Category Archives: Articles

What the Nautical Term ‘Avast’ Means and The Origin of Many Other Seafaring Words and Phrases

pirate encyclopedia

Avast: meaning “stop” or “hold still.” The word was originally derived from the Dutch phrase “houd vast,” which literally means “hold fast.”  The frequent usage of this phrase eventually got it slurred down to “hou’ vast” and later “avast.” This became a common term among sea-folk around the late 17th century. Coxswain: a boy servant (swain) in charge of a […]

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All Lifesavers Spark When Chewed, Not Just Wintergreen

Lifesavers

Today I fount out that all lifesavers spark when chewed, not just the Wintergreen Lifesavers (also known as Wint-O-Green). The flash you see when these hard sugar candies are crunched is caused by triboluminescence, which is similar to the electrical charge build-up that produces lightning, except on a much smaller scale here.  With most hard sugar candies, this flash tends […]

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The Term “Third World Country” Refers to the Political and Economic Structure of a Country, Not Its Developmental State or Wealth

Today I found out a “Third World” country is not a country that simply is primitive, underdeveloped, or poor, as most people think.  In fact, a third world country is actually just a country that is not considered a capitalist country (first world) and not considered a communist country (2nd world). This terminology was originally coined just after WWII with […]

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The Song “Happy Birthday” is Copyrighted and Brings in About $2,000,000 Per Year to the Copyright Holders

Today I found out the song “Happy Birthday” is copyrighted and brings in about $2,000,000 per year to the copyright holders (currently an investment group that purchased Warner Music who in turn was the most recent owner of the copyright for the song). The original tune for the song was created by sisters Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill in […]

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