28 Apr 2021

Archiving Smells

Q. Are there any signature scents from your childhood that you haven’t smelled for years? Do you think those scent memories will sit strong in your brain, or will the fragrant details start to fade? . A. First, we can start by exploring which smells people most frequently associate with

21 Apr 2021

Round Dodgers

Q. Remember, back in the day, when it was safe to go out for cocktails, mocktails, and bar snacks with friends? How is it that some people order up a storm, then manage to make themselves scarce when it’s their turn to buy the next round for the table? .

31 Mar 2021

He Who Gobbles All The Candy Corn

Q. But who would you rather talk to at a party: the one who ate the marshmallow, or the one who let it be? . A. At this point, we’re all marshmallow-savvy. Let’s move it to the world of candy. Tony and Steve share a secret vice: they are both

13 Mar 2021

Sweet Peas And Mouldy Cheese

Q. Stop and smell the roses. Those chocolate chip cookies smell like home. We’re not surprised to hear of scents that trigger memories and make us happy. But are scents associated more broadly with different emotions? . A. We can start with this.. Please complete these sentences as quickly as

06 Mar 2021

Canadian Travel Dreams

Q. We may be sheltered in place, but we can still dream about where we’d like to go when travel is safe again. Where do Canadians dream about voyaging? . A. One dreamy vote here for Harbour Island in the Bahamas – pink sand, gentle turquoise waves, white picket fences,

18 Feb 2021

Masterful Mimicry

Q. How is it that some people are so good at mimicking day to day sounds – popping corks, robot vacuums, espresso machines, car alarms? . A. We have certainly heard remarkable mimicry in our animal friends. As we see in the David Attenborough-narrated video below, the incredible lyre bird

01 Feb 2021

Making Mannequin Heads

Q. As our attention moves to the world of lifelike robots, we owe a nod back to those who spend their days and weeks crafting old school mannequin heads. Who does that? . A. Their eyes fix on nosy visitors. Given their torsoless state, some of these display heads look

30 Jan 2021

Weird Things We Say

Q. We English speakers say some strange things. Which of our expressions are most likely to get lost in translation? . A. As we prattle on, it’s easy to forget how many baffling idioms we use in our complicated language. What must those new to English think when we drop off-topic,

11 Jan 2021

Green-Eyed Neighbours

Q. Neighbours can make the deepest of friends. But, what kind of things make those who live side by side jealous of each other? . A. We see it in The Simpsons and the Flintstones, Three’s Company and Mary Tyler Moore, from Friends to Seinfeld, Modern Family to Succession. In

30 Dec 2020

Ladies Whistledown and Crackenthorpe

Q. Lady Whistledown, aka the Gossip Girl of Netflix’s wildly popular 1800s drama Bridgerton, is quick to report on the scandals of the British upper classes. Who were some of her real-life equivalents?   A. ‘London is awash these days with Ambitious Mamas.’ So writes the pseudonymous ‘Lady Whistledown’ in