The Etymology of “Namaste”

The Hindi term “namaste” is derived from the Sanskrit term “namah” which means “bow” but can also be in reference to “obeisance” and/or “adoration,” and the Sanskrit term “te”, which means “to you”. The term “namaste” is used as a means of greeting someone, with an overall translated meaning of “greetings to you”

The Japanese Concept of “Ubasute”

The Japanese term “ubasute” (pronounced “ooh-bah-suu-tay”) refers to “taking a person into the forest to leave them to die” and is a practice in Japan which has been imposed upon the elderly, sick, mentally ill, and disabled (e.g. blind, deaf, epilepsy etc.) during difficult periods when food resources have been scarce. This practice is referred to as “senicide” in English. It is unclear if this practice actually occurred throughout Japanese history, but the practice did occur within other cultures (e.g. Ancient Rome, India, Scandinavia etc.) which has led most experts to believe that the practice was more than mere mythology in Japan

The Etymology of the “Merry Christmas” Greeting

The greeting “Merry Christmas” was created in 1534 in London, England when it was written formally in a letter sent to King Henry VIII’s chief minister Thomas Cromwell from Bishop John Fisher. The letter states, “and thus our Lord God send you a mery [sic] Christmas, and a comfortable, to your heart’s desire” sent December 22, 1534

The Symbolism of the Islamic Garden

Islamic gardens act as symbolic representation of the archetypal eternal heavenly garden, an attempt to provide a small peak into what could potentially wait for a person in the afterlife. Repetition of geometric shapes in Islamic gardens help to emphasize the link between the physical world and thereafter. Circular fountains represent Jannah, the Islamic representation of heaven, as the circle is symbolic of heaven. The square is always utilized as a symbol of the Earth, with circular fountains often found within square indentations to act as a metaphor for heaven and Earth meeting. The term “Jannat-al-Firdaws” which means “Garden of Paradise” in Arabic, is mentioned many times throughout the Quran, with Chapter 55 of Surat al-Rahman (pronounced “suu-rat al rack-man”), which means the “all merciful” in Arabic, holding the best and most descriptive accounts of what this garden truly would look like if experienced. Water plays a crucial role in these accounts, with multiple layers of symbolism for life present which is why water is the most important element within an Islamic garden as it is symbolic of the soul. Rain was and continues to be viewed as a merciful gift from heaven within Islamic culture as Islam stems from one of the hottest regions in the world. Water is essential to Islam and an Islamic paradise garden cannot exist without the incorporation of water to some degree. Islamic gardens are separated into 4 specific quadrants because of the “chahar bagh” (pronounced “cha-harr bahh”) which means “4 gardens” in the Persian language of Farsi, directly related to the 4 rivers of paradise, including a river of milk, honey, wine, and water, an order and harmony which underlies everything within an Islamic garden

The Etymology of American Industrialist Henry Ford’s Model T Automobile and the First Mass Produced Vehicle

Henry Ford named the iconic Model T automobile as he did because of the way he built his company. Ford started with the Model A and continued to improve the design, moving through each letter of the alphabet the way modern software changes numerically with each upgrade (eg. Model A, Model B, Model C alongside software 1.0, software 2.0, software 3.0 etc.). It was Ford’s 20th design that met his stringent personal requirements allowing the Model T to become the first mass produced vehicle in 1908

The Etymology of “Tetris” and the Block Shapes Available to Players

The videogame Tetris was named as such due to its creator, Alexey Pajitnov, amalgamating the Ancient Greek prefix “tetra” which means “4”, a direct reference to the various block shapes of Tetris which always have 4 cubes, and the term “tennis” as this was Pajitnov’s favorite sport. The shapes are referred to as “tetrominoes” and consist of an S-shape, Z-shape, T-shape, L-shape, line-shape, 7-shape, and a square-shape

The Reason the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) Was Created in North America

It was the Fatality feature of the Mortal Kombat videogame series that prompted the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, a non-profit organization tasked with reviewing and rating all videogames (e.g. console, online, mobile etc.) made available to North American consumers. The concept of the Entertainment Software Rating Board was created within the U.S. Congress in 1994 and the original intent of the agency was and continues to be, to provide caretakers of minors with pertinent in game information so that they are able to make informed decisions as to the type of content these minors consume

The Origin of Pogs

The game of Pogs originated in Japan during the 17th century and was originally referred to as “Menko”. The Pogs game was adopted once again during the 1960’s in Hawaii, United States of America and was played using cardboard juice and milk bottle lids. The name “Pogs” was chosen for the game due to the popular juice flavor in Hawaii of “passion fruit orange guava”, making “Pogs” more so an acronym rather than a name

How Ritalin Acquired its Name

Methylphenidate, more commonly known by its brand name “Ritalin”, was developed in 1944 by Swiss scientist Leandro Panizzon. Panizzon created the medication in part as he wanted his wife Marguerite to become more energized, play better tennis, lose weight, and help improve her hypotension. Panizzon created the term “Ritaline” (pronounced “ree-tah-lean”) for his newly invented medication, named as such for his wife Marguerite (pronounced “mar-gah-reet”) as Marguerite always referred to herself using the shortened version of her name, “Rita”. When Chemische Industrie Basel, more commonly known by the acronym “CIBA”, the company which owned the research, released methylphenidate into the marketplace, the “e” was discarded from “Ritaline” to create “Ritalin” (pronounced “ree-tah-lin”)