A Life Poetic
YOUNG WIDE EYED ARTIST: The world is my oyster! What will I be when I grow up?
THE UNIVERSE: Disappointed.

Here are three elements we often see in town names:

If a town ends in “-by”, it was originally a farmstead or a small village where some of the Viking invaders settled. The first part of the name sometimes referred to the person who owned the farm - Grimsby was “Grim’s village”. Derby was “a village where deer were found”. The word “by” still means “town” in Danish.

If a town ends in “-ing”, it tells us about the people who lived there. Reading means “The people of Reada”, in other words “Reada’s family or tribe”. We don’t know who Reada was, but his name means “red one”, so he probably had red hair.

If a town ends in “-caster” or “-chester”, it was originally a Roman fort or town. The word comes from a Latin words “castra”, meaning a camp or fortification. The first part of the name is usually the name of the locality where the fort was built. So Lancaster, for example, is “the Roman fort on the River Lune”.

A Little Book of Language by David Crystal, page 173. (via linguaphilioist)

My brain assumes everything is a spider until clearly proven otherwise. And even then, it maintains a level of suspicion. 


top gear tho



Mickey Mouse gas mask for children during WW2.


I love the way you used statistics and not just spewing vague terms to prove your point about Stand Your Ground laws, but with no disrespect, I as an American citizen feel safe knowing if an intruder were to enter my home I am justified to use force, possibly deadly, to protect my family. I am in no way justifying attacking unarmed people because they look threatening, I am instead justifying my right to protect myself from people explicitly threatening me safety in my home.


I understand your feeling, and the feeling is real and important, but our gut feelings are often incorrect.

Like, to give you an analogous example: I feel like I am going to die every time I get onto an airplane, but this gut feeling I have is wrong. Maybe I will someday die on an airplane, but if I need to go to Los Angeles for some reason, I am statistically far safer flying than I would be driving, so if one of my big goals is not wanting to die (and it is!) then I should fly, even though I feel less safe than I would if I were driving.

Similarly, you are much more likely to be murdered if you have a gun in your home than if you don’t have a gun in your home. So you may feel more safe, but statistically you are much less safe.

More importantly: Due to Stand Your Ground laws, more people are dying than would otherwise die. We know this with almost total certainty. So even if the Stand Your Ground law were providing your family some protection from a hypothetical home intrusion, I fail to see how this would justify the deaths of hundreds of non-hypothetical human beings. 

And most importantly: The laws we are discussing do not involve the so-called “castle doctrine.” In almost every state in the U.S., it’s legal to shoot someone who has broken into your home. (This may be a bad idea when it comes to minimizing your chance of dying, but it’s not a crime.) The Stand Your Ground laws being publicly debated in the U.S. right now apply to locations outside your home.