World’s Strangest

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The Politically Incorrect Etymologies of 11 Words and Phrases

At various moments in its life, a word will hop languages, change meanings, travel through sinister moments and land in pleasant ones. But no matter how many times it’s superimposed, and how far it gets from its original source, a word doesn’t let go of its memories easily. Here are 11 modern English words with [...]

A Brief and Incomplete History of Launching Animals Into Space

Pretty much ever since humans discovered flight, we’ve been strapping animals into our new devices just to see what would happen. Over the last 330 years or so, we’ve launched dogs, cats, chimps, monkeys, roosters, ducks, spiders, fruit flies, silk worms, ants, bees, moss, turtles, rabbits, jellyfish, amoebae, fish, hamsters, guinea pigs, goldfish, and one Enlightment-era [...]

The Roma’s Long Road to Equality

From Self-Segregation to Institutionalized Racism, Why Bulgaria’s “Gypsies” Have Struggled to Integrate (Image credit: Flickr user Dominic Rivard) To the ill-informed, the word “gypsy” evokes images of tarot cards and nomads wandering on horses through grasslands. But the Roma people (as they’re properly called) have a complex culture that, even today, struggles to earn respect in Eastern [...]

Gypsy Life

Roxy Freeman never went to school until she was 22 and decided to go to college. She found the lifestyle that went with her studies to quite a challenge, and very different from the Gypsy life in which she was raised. Instead of going to school, my siblings and I, like many children from travelling families, [...]