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The word 'nickname' doesn't actually come from a guy named Nick...and the word for romantic nicknames isn't romantic at all

Whether it's "Bubba," "Smalls," "Slim," or any other of the countless clichs, chances are you have a nickname. Maybe it's something quirky you do, or thanks to your favorite hobby, or just a friendly jab at your size, a nickname is something special that helps define who you are as a person. But why does "Nick" get all the credit for coming up with the new names?

The compound word "ekename" literally means "additional name" and was used as early as 1303. As most words do over a course of time, it evolved thanks to the misdivision of syllables into a "nekename."

There's even a special word that refers to the nickname two people in love have for another, though it doesn't sound cute or endearing. It's known as a hypocoristic, but you'll probably just keep using the terms "baby name" or "pookums."

Nicknames are actually often sought after and desired. They are considered a form of acceptance, though many times they can be the weapon of ridicule and teasing. Finding the right group of people to create your new special name is the tough part.


An autistic savant was able to learn an incredibly complicated language in just one week!

One of the toughest languages in the world was mastered in one week by an autistic savant. He managed to prove his capabilities by participating on a live Iceland talk show—doing the entire interview in Icelandic.

Daniel Tammet has savant syndrome, which is a condition where a person with a mental disability, such as autism, demonstrates incredible prodigious-like capabilities that blow any normal person out of the water. Many can't learn a new language in their lifetime and Daniel challenged himself by learning one of the most complicated ones in a week.

His teachers didn't get their hopes up, but he managed to start absorbing the words "like a vacuum cleaner." When he went in front of the cameras to the live talk show, he fluently answered the interviewer's questions with the correct context and usage, blowing everyone away.

So while you struggle to pronounce that volcano that erupted there a couple years ago (remember Eyjafjallajkull?) Daniel Tammet will probably go on to learn a few more languages.


A new device has made it so that police officers can automatically release their K9 partners from the car to come help them

Police K9 units have a 93% success rate in the fight against crime, while human units have a 59% success rate. These dogs work tirelessly and their loyalty to their trainers is unquestionable. Every officer who has ever trained a dog for duty will speak highly and dearly of the incredible bond between him and his K9 partner.

An electronic device has now been developed that can further assist a police officer and his dog in an emergency situation. It's an emergency button that will release the dog from the vehicle with a press of a button on the officer's belt. This means that if an officer gets into trouble at a routine stop, he can immediately release his K9 to rush to his assistance.

This is great news for dogs too, as there are documented cases that reveal that trained police dogs become severely distressed when trapped in the vehicle if they can see their trainer is desperately in need of their assistance.

It's estimated that 12 to 18 police dogs die each year in overheated vehicles. This device also automatically opens the doors of the vehicle if the temperature inside rises too high for a dog's health when his trainer is otherwise occupied. Many K9 officers have saved countless lives, so it's great that something like an automated release can save theirs.


You might want to try some Aboriginal customs - they are not allowed to see or speak to their mothers-in-law!

Cultural rules and regulations can sometimes be a bit of a pain. Sometimes they can be viewed as rather ridiculous by those outside of the culture itself, but there is an Aboriginal cultural rule that many would probably find pretty helpful.

It's the rule of avoiding your mother-in-law! It's the strongest kinship avoidance rule in Aboriginal custom throughout Australia. This rule doesn't only ban a person from ever speaking to one's mother-in-law, it forbids you from even seeing her.

This goes as far as avoiding all women in the same skin-group as the mother-in-law, and she in turn, must avoid all men in the same skin-group as her son-in-law. If they happen to be at the same ceremony, they have to sit with their backs to each other and if speaking to each other is unavoidable, it's done through the spouse.

This custom is still practiced by Aborigines in Australia to a greater or lesser extent and is seen as a mark of respect. One reason for it is that traditionally women get married very early – just after puberty – while men get married in their late twenties. Mothers-in-law and sons-in-law are therefore likely to be of about the same age and this rule will prevent 'illicit relationships.'

It has been suggested that the custom originally developed to overcome a common cause of friction in families.


15 Seriously Depressing Facts About Our Earth

Heavily hunted animals live in Chernobyl, because it is safer where there are no humans

In April and May 1986, reactor four at the Chernobyl nuclear plant melted down. Over the course of ten days, it pored out radioactive isotopes that blanketed the area. They killed the pine trees surrounding the plant in a matter of days. Now, the area remains one of the most contaminated ecosystems on Earth.

The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone encompasses 1,600 square miles or norther Ukraine and southern Belarus and is guarded by armed military. The levels of radiation within the zone are dangerous. After the meltdown, the Soviet government took drastic measures to contain the radiation as best they could.

They scraped away the topsoil, sprayed the area with chemicals meant to trap radiation close to the ground, evacuated nearby villages and slaughtered livestock. They left a barren moonscape.Since then, nature has begun to take over again. Not only has the vegetation returned, but wild animals now roam the area.

Bears, boars, owls and wolves have all been spotted in the area. Ironically, since no humans live in the Exclusion Zone, it has become a sanctuary for biodiversity, particularly the wildlife. With no humans there to hunt them, these animals are able to thrive despite the radioactivity.



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