14 Nov 2023

The Sistine Ceiling

Q. As Goethe said: ‘Without having seen the Sistine Chapel, it’s not possible to have an idea of what one man is capable of doing.’  How long did it take Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Ceiling? . A. Michelangelo painted his brilliant Old Testament frescoes over four and a half

28 Oct 2023

City Love 2023

Q. What are your favourite cities in the world? When Condé Nast Traveler asked this question, more than half a million readers – 526,518 to be exact – responded. Which cities outside of the US did they pick for 2023? . A. How many of the winning cities are in

27 Sep 2023

Baby Paris Meet Baby Vienna

Q. What to name your child: that’s no small decision for a parent. And how interesting when we choose the name of a city or country for our progeny. It would be intriguing to learn more about the ‘whys’. Even those of us who just like the sound of the

26 Sep 2023

Family Road Trip Squabbles

Q. The last family road-trip? Nothing but ear-to-ear smiles. and spread-eagle jumps into roadside lakes . Well, at least if you believe the much-liked photos. But, almost anyone who has been on a long family road trip knows that there will be squabbles. What are families most likely to bicker

26 Sep 2023

Terrifying Town Names

Q. Fiction has brought us all kinds of alarming place names. Take C.S. Lewis who, in Chronicles of Narnia, invited us to: Burnt Island, Deathwater Island, Dragon Island .. Back on the workaday end of the wardrobe, what are some alarming town names on our maps? . A. Alligator Pond,

06 Jun 2023

So Many Broadways

Q. Why? Why are there so many cities with streets named ‘Broadway’?   A. Whilst many cities can claim a Broadway street, there is none more famous than New York’s. This now bustling hubbub was once part of an Indigenous trail called Wickquasgeck. Moving forward to Dutch takeover and 17th Century

03 May 2023

Summer Travel Dreams 2023

Q. Now that we’re into May, summer vacation days are peeking over the horizon. Where are the places that we’re dreaming that we can visit as we take a break from work, from school? . A. In digging into Google’s ample data – which includes flight and accommodation searches –

17 Mar 2023

St. Patrick’s Day Green

Q. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We’ll see joyous green everywhere today – on clothes, on plates, in glasses. Sure there is green on the tri-striped Irish flag, but why the green and why today? After all, St. Patrick’s official colour is blue. . A. The green on the Irish National

14 Mar 2023

Name That Country Motto

Q. What is the official motto for your country? . A. Chances are that you can identify the flags, national anthems, signature foods and most popular sports of a number of countries. But what about the neglected national mottos? Country Motto Challenge How many of these mottos can you link

16 May 2022

A Penny For Luck

Q. What are some of the many luck-inspired superstitions centred around pennies? . A. One thing is for certain: there are a lot. Here in Canada, you better hold on tight to the pennies you have. Our Royal Mint stopped making the ‘costs more to make one than have one’