If you suffer from this malady–the fear of Friday the 13th–you might want to read on, as you’re probably only succumbing to a recently minted superstition rather than one grounded in age-old mystic wisdom or scientific data… As for the etymology of friggatriskaidekaphobia, Frigga is the name of the Norse goddess who is the wife […]
Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto, Japan: Zen Buddhist temple rebuilt after a fire to replicate the original late-14th-century villa. Photo by Christopher M. Cevasco.
At 5:30 am on December 22, this year’s winter solstice will occur for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere (summer solstice for those in the Southern Hemisphere). The date is commonly known as midwinter, but astronomically speaking, the winter solstice marks the point at which the polar hemisphere’s axial tilt is farthest from […]
… No, you got your chicken in my duck! [chewing pause] Hey, tastes great! Perhaps like the two great tastes that taste great together in a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, some sort of unwary barnyard collision resulted in the first turducken. Or perhaps not. Either way, with the Thanksgiving season having descended upon the United […]
This is the fourth in a series of posts about the storied history of Halley’s Comet (officially designated 1P/Halley). If you missed the earlier posts, you can still read Part One here, Part Two here, and Part Three here. 1P/Halley made its first post-medieval appearance in 1531, which also marked the start of a more […]
Of the various methods Vikings employed to plant fear in the guts of their enemies, perhaps none would have been as visually striking as the raven banner–a sort of warcloth flown by many famous Norsemen, particularly during the 9th through 11th centuries. From surviving accounts and a few visual depictions such as the one at […]
Although Labor Day did not officially become a federal holiday in the United States until 1894, it was first observed as a celebration of the social and economic contribution of workers on September 5, 1882, by the Central Labor Union of New York, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. The CLU itself was established as a trade […]
On August 24, 1857, the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company failed in the wake of fraudulent activities by its management. It was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, plunging the United States fully into what came to be known as the Panic of 1857. Ohio Life was a bank based in Ohio […]