By Chad Upton | Editor
Shortening Christmas to Xmas has been used since the 16th century and it’s not an attempt by secular culture to remove Christ from Christmas. It can actually be traced back to religious documents themselves and has history in etymology and practical applications.
Here’s an advertisement from a 1922 issue of the Ladies Home Journal:
Before the 16th century, Christ was frequently written as Xρ. Xρ kind of looks like Greek doesn’t it? It is. The Greek word for Christ is Χριστός, well it actually means “anointed” but it translates to English as Christ. The shortened version; Xρ, is just the first two letters.
Of course, the new testament was written in Greek, so it’s easy to see how this all started. Later, Xρ was further shortened to just X — that’s how we get Xmas. The X was also used in “Xtian”, a short form of “Christian”.
But, why not just type or write out Christmas or Christian?
Back when printing presses were first developed, typesetters had limited space to work with and a limited number of characters available, so they saved characters whenever possible. Although the abbreviations existed before the moveable type printing press, the abbreviations became much more popular because of them. Some of the most popular documents to print were bibles, so abbreviations were very important to printing bibles efficiently and cost effectively.
By Chad Upton
If you find a great clearance price at a Target store, pay attention to the final digit in the price. Often, clearance prices end in 4 or 8. But, the 4 is the most important one to remember – if it ends in a 4 then it won’t be marked down any further and if it ends in anything else then it can be marked down further.
The number in the top right corner of the price tag is the % savings.
Waiting for a future markdown is a bit of a gamble since someone else may buy the item in the meantime. Knowing the markdown schedule can help you determine the right time to buy:
- Monday: Electronics, Kids Clothing, Accessories, Books, Baby and Stationery
- Tuesday: Women’s Clothing, Pets, Food, Domestics
- Wednesday: Diapers, Lawn/Garden, Furniture, Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty
- Thursday: Toys, Housewares, Luggage, Lingerie, Sporting Goods, Footwear and Decor
- Friday: Cosmetics, Automotive, Jewelry and Hardware
If the item is in a department that is scheduled to be marked down the next day, you may want to check back if you’re in the area.
By Chad Upton
I’m not a great singer, and I know this. Despite that fact, I’ve done karaoke a couple times on vacation.
In some countries, karaoke is comparable to television singing competitions — part of the entertainment is the fact that some people can’t sing. In other countries, karaoke is dead serious.
In the Philippines, they’re known as “My Way Killings” since there are at least six documented incidents of someone being killed for murdering Frank Sinatra’s version of “My Way”. Those are just the documented ones, there are more that are suspected but unconfirmed. (more…)
About 4000 years ago, Whiskey (or Whisky) was invented to purify perfumes and aromatics. Now, some Whiskey is aged longer than many people were back then.
Soft drinks are a much more recent invention, although perhaps still older than you may think. Soda water was first introduced to the world by Joseph Priestley in 1767 when he published his paper, Impregnating Water with Fixed Air. Yes, that’s the real name of the paper.
Through a series of followup inventions, flavored soda became popular in the late 1800s, starting with lemon and orange varieties. Large soda bottlers and distributors weren’t common back in the 1930s, so the Hartman brothers invented their own whiskey mixer: Mountain Dew. The Hartman brothers sought advice from Coca-Cola about Mountain Dew, but Coke didn’t help. Pepsi was interested, albeit 35 years later, when they bought Mountain Dew. (more…)
Ladies probably don’t know this, but the urinals in men’s bathrooms, usually at bars or clubs, sometimes have ice in them.
Even though many men have seen this, they don’t usually know why it’s there.
Well, auto flush exists because some people don’t flush. Urinal cakes exist because some people don’t flush. So of course, ice exists in urinals because some people don’t flush. (more…)
Twitter’s bird logo can be found on almost every website that’s been updated in the past five years. Despite its ubiquity, most people don’t realize the bird is named Larry.
Larry the bird is named after former professional basketball player Larry Bird. Drafted in 1978, Larry Bird played professional basketball for the Boston Celtics for a better part of 23 years.
So, it’s no surprise that Boston native and twitter cofounder Biz Stone named the company’s bird after an iconic local hero.
Showers should be refreshing, but it’s impossible to rejuvenate when a shower curtain is constantly rubbing your leg like an annoying dog.
To combat this problem, some shower curtains have magnets or weights to help keep it in place. Others are made of heavy or clingy materials. Sometimes these are enough, but often they’re not.
The best way to keep the shower curtain in place is to position the rod so the curtain can’t blow around.
If the curtain is hanging straight down, it is likely to blow around as the shower heats up and cool air rushes under it. Due to gravity, the shower curtain wants to hang straight down. Use this to force the shower curtain against the side of the tub by placing the curtain rod over the edge of the tub or shower basin.
The shower curtain will try to hang straight down but the tub is in the way so it will be forced against the tub and you can shower in peace.
By Chad Upton | Editor
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was formed in 1973. Prior to that, drug laws were enforced by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD).
In 1970, the BNDD’s years were numbered. If you’re thinking it’s because the acronym was too awkward, you’re (unofficially) wrong. The CIA was called in to eradicate suspected corruption among BNDD agents. In an apparent coincidence, and although he wasn’t an agent, Elvis Presley was given a BNDD badge by president Nixon that same year. (more…)
By Chad Upton | Editor
Telephones have been around in some capacity since the mid to late 19th century, depending on who you credit with the invention.
Early dialing was accomplished by inserting your finger in the rotary disk adjacent to the number you wanted and rotating the dial to the stopping point, then you would remove your finger and the dial would rotate back to its default position. Each number it passed on its way back would induce a pulse — a short variance in current — on the phone line. This pulse communicated the number to the phone system. (more…)