Science, It’s About Stuff

The Strange Blind Fish of the Lower Congo River
SciShow – Apr 25, 2020 – 4:41
The lower Congo River is treacherous, turbulent, and very deep. While that might seem like an inhospitable habitat, hundreds of species of fish thrive there, including some that are really bizarre! Hosted by: Hank Green

Crabs, Cockroaches, and 3 Other Pollinators That Aren’t Bees
SciShow – Apr 26, 2020 – 11:12
Bees aren’t the only pollinators out there. Some of the other, more surprising pollinators aren’t just unconventional, they give us unique examples of how the relationship between pollinators and plants evolved in the first place. Hosted by: Olivia Gordon

When Antarctica Was Green
PBS Eons – Oct 3, 2019 – 12:13
h/t YouTube sidebar suggestion
I’ve now subscribed to PBS Eons.

Before the start of the Eocene Epoch about 56 million years ago–Antarctica was still joined to both Australia and South America. And it turns out that a lot of what we recognize about the southern hemisphere can be traced back to that time when Antarctica was green.

Didja ever notice how some people pronounce the “t” in “often” (see below video)? Fingernails on a blackboard. How about not pronouncing the “c” in the second syllable of “Antarctica”‽‽‽

How Do You Pronounce “Often”?

…The t in often continued to be pronounced until some time in the 15th century when a consonant simplification occurred in some words that had two or more consonants in a row. It was at this time that speakers stopped pronouncing the d in handkerchief and handsome, the p in raspberry, and the t in chestnut and often.

John Walker’s Critical Pronouncing Dictionary, published in 1791 and still available in a 2001 reprint of the 1838 edition, stipulates that “in often and soften the t is silent.”

By 1926, enough speakers were pronouncing the t in often to provoke this testy comment from H. W. Fowler in Modern English Usage:

[the pronunciation of the t in often] is practised by two oddly consorted classes—the academic speakers who affect a more precise enunciation than their neighbours…& the uneasy half-literates who like to prove that they can spell….”



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