While reading Dava Sobel’s book The Planets last week, I learned that Uranus is the only major planet in our solar system named after a Greek myth instead of a Roman one. Off-hand, I couldn’t remember any mention of Uranus in Greek mythology. So I decided to look it up. Who was Uranus? Why is he the only Greek god to get his own planet?
In her book, Reading like a Writer, Francine Prose casually states that it’s bad luck to have peacock feathers in the house. I’d never heard that before. So of course, I wanted to know: do peacock feathers bring bad luck?
It’s May, which means any day now a massive thunderstorm will form in Yoro, Honduras, pelting the region with heavy rain for hours. By the time the rain’s over, the ground will be covered in small, blind, silver fish. Locals call it the Lluvia de Peces (rain of fish). But why does it happen?
If you’re just joining us, on Monday The Five-Year-Old asked her Daddyo what people used to think caused earthquakes back in the olden days. “Like when you were born.” Turns out she meant the really olden days, when instead of seeking scientific explanations, people relied on storytelling to make sense of their world. And that’s a really fun question, because the ancient explanations are all over the map.