Bootlegging Etymology

Bootlegging Etymology

From 1916 to 1927 buying a drink in Toronto could have got you in trouble with the law. Why? Prohibition! Although there was a loophole in an exemption for doctors to prescribe their patients alcohol for certain illnesses (which, curiously enough, was especially high...
Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and mirrors may seem an invention of relatively modern magic, but mischievous artists have been using these tools for much longer than that. At first glance, this 15th century painting by Jan van Eyck appears to be a simple image of a couple to celebrate their...
Spinning… but which way?

Spinning… but which way?

This dancer’s clearly spinning, but the lack of depth on the image means the brain can interpret her as moving either way. Approximately two-thirds of people initially see the dancer spinning clockwise, and some can even see her switch directions – how about you? When...
Secret Initiation

Secret Initiation

Thinking of joining The Mad Fox Society? Your initiation will involve puzzles, cryptic clues and only a 15% success rate! Secret societies like this might sound made up, but here are four real-life organizations with an equally interesting story: The Knights Templar...