Content for Thursday, January 5, 1995

News & Stories

Drums: The Secret Language of Insurrection

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What keeps contact lenses on your eyes

A lens can't disappear into your head

Matt: Is it really possible for contact lenses to slide around to the back of your eye and get lost somewhere in your head forever? My mother tells me this is true. She says it ...

American Indians were the first tobacco smokers

Spanish peasants down-sized cigars into cigarettes

Dear Matthew Alice: Where did cigarettes come from? I mean, did somebody invent them or did they just evolve from ancient times or what? — Marlene Walter, Boston, MA Tobacco was originally wrapped in corn ...

UPC bar codes — backwards and forwards

That pattern of 1s and 0s can be read both ways

Dear Matthew Alice: Every time I’m in the grocery store, I always wonder how the machine that reads the UPC bar codes can tell what is front and what is back. They don’t line up ...

Dive bars and eggnog —where they came from

In the 1700s we added egg to our brandy and rum

Dear Matthew Alice: Where does the term “dive,” meaning a sleazy bar, come from? — Maria, El Paso, TX Matt: I know what “egg” is, but what’s “nog”? — Tom G., San Diego Some festive ...

The Desire to Leave Hangs Like Heat

My life as substitute teacher at Pendleton, La Paloma, Fallbrook Elementary, Potter Jr. High, and Fallbrook High

I’m the substitute, so I sit at a stranger’s desk beneath a poster that displays a Ferrari in the driveway of a mansion. “The rewards of higher education,” it reads. A boy named Eric, who was called to the office during the first hour, is working on his test and talking to two girls, so after three warnings, I give him detention. “You bitch!” he shouts across the room.

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