Autumn vs. Fall

Why do we have two English terms for this, and only this, season? Are Americans to blame? Here’s what you should know. Though they both mean exactly the same thing, fall is widely used in America and Canada, while autumn is the preferred term in the UK and its Commonwealth. You might assume that the Americans, who have a tendency to simplify the English language (e.g. lite, nite, thru, and the near abolishment of adverbs), created “fall” because the ending of the word autumn rubs them the wrong way. You […]


As you already know, the abbreviations AD for “Anno Domini” (in the year of the Lord) and BC for “before Christ” indicate where a year occurs with respect to best known date for the birth of Jesus Christ. Here’s what else you should already know. The Anno Domini system was invented in AD 525 by Dionysius Exiguus, a revered intellectual Romanian/Bulgarian monk living in Rome and serving on the Roman Curia. His model, also known as the Dionysian Era system, was widely adopted after Saint Bede the Venerable, an English […]


Since it’s widely believed that Christopher Columbus “discovered” America in 1492, Pre-Columbian refers to everything in the history of the Americas that came prior to the influence of the Europeans. Olmec, Teotihuacan, Toltec, Inca, Aztec, Maya, and countless other native American tribes are examples of the Pre-Columbian civilizations that had their their own art, culture, food, music, tools, beliefs, etc., all free from European influence. There is some credibility to the belief that the Vikings visited North America, what is now Maine and Newfoundland, as far back as the 10th […]

The Holy See and Vatican City

The place where the Pope lives is referred to in many ways, the least clear of which is the Holy See. Most people use this term as if they understand what it means. They probably should, and so should you, but as long as there is a slight possibility you do not, here is what you should know. In the Catholic Church, a Bishop has ecclesiastical jurisdiction over a geographical territory known as an episcopal see or more commonly as a diocese. The word “see” derives from the Latin word […]


Where does milk come from? Unless you live near a dairy farm it comes from the supermarket and it comes already homogenized and pasteurized. You know and use them, but what exactly do these two terms mean? Here’s what you should already know about milk. When you see milk with only 2% fat you wouldn’t be criticized for thinking that 98% of the fat has magically been removed. But that would be wishful thinking because actually only about 50% of the fat has been removed, which is still a good […]