Tjiliwirri: A Language of Opposites

The Warlpiri people, a group of Indigenous Australian, teach a strange language called Tjiliwirri to their boys who go through an initiation rite. Tjiliwirri literally means “funny’ or “clown”. The peculiar thing about this language is that it expresses every idea as its opposite. For instance, if you want to say “It’s hot”, you have […]

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Benjamin Franklin’s Epitaph and Its Potential Inspiration

Benjamin Franklin The following is the epitaph of Benjamin Franklin. It was written by himself several years before his death on April 17, 1790: THE BODY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, PRINTER, (LIKE THE COVER OF AN OLD BOOK, ITS CONTENTS TORN OUT, AND STRIPT OF ITS LETTERING AND GILDING,) LIES HERE, FOOD FOR WORMS; YET THE […]

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How to Get Your Jet-Setting Kitty Ready for Its Next Flight

Image: Getty Image This is a guest post by Emily Cline. Felt sad about leaving your cat with a sitter on your last vacation? Then take them with you!  You can bring your cat on your next flight as an ESA or as a carry-on.  Cats are often excellent fliers as they are quiet and […]

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Dissection Puzzle: From “E” To Square

Can you cut the E into seven pieces with just four straight cuts and reassemble the pieces into a square? Solution When I wrote that you need to cut it into seven pieces, it’s actually a hint. Did you figure it out? The letter “E” figure above is constructed using the seven tangram pieces. So, if you were able to figure […]

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Communicating a Proof

Saunders Mac Lane (1909 – 2005) was an American mathematician who became known for being one of the proponents of category theory. During an interview with The Mathematical Review in 1976, he reminisced about the time when he was learning about geometry in high school: I recall one occasion involving a theorem about a triangle: I knew […]

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Random Joke #16: Horse in the Bathtub

Image: HabitatofHorses.org An Englishman buys a horse and hires porters to take the horse up to his apartment on the fourth floor. The porters exert themselves and sweat. Finally they succeed in getting the horse to his apartment. He asks them to put the horse in the bathtub. After they finish the job, one of […]

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Getting His Money’s Worth

In 1930, a man from Boston wrote the following amusing letter to The Christian Science Monitor, a weekly periodical: Dear Sir, When I subscribed a year ago you stated that if I was not satisfied at the end of the year I could have my money back. Well, I would like to have it back. On second thought, […]

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Is That an Acrostic?

We’ve been talking about acrostics a lot lately on Learn Fun Facts. While thinking about other acrostics, I remember an “acrostic” I read a while ago. It’s a conundrum submitted by a man from Boston as his entry to an acrostic competition during the end of the nineteenth century: If you stick a stick across […]

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A Song with All Words Beginning with the Letter M

Here is another example of alliteration. In a book titled Songs of Singularity, a compilation of poems, written by Walter Parke, the “London Hermit”, and published in 1875, there is a song with all words beginning with the letter M. Apparently, this is a serenade in M flat, performed by Major Marmaduke Muttonhead to Mademoiselle […]

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