Category: history

History: what does GI stand for in GI Joe?

Self-tutoring about pop culture and history: the tutor researches another question he’s often wondered about. GI: galvanized iron, apparently. With time, it took on a broader meaning, eventually referring even to recruits. BTW: not all sources seem to agree about

When did the Jesuits begin?

Self-tutoring about history: the tutor gives a brief about the Jesuits. The Jesuits are a Catholic religious order begun in 1534, and approved by Pope Paul III in 1540. Their main aim is helping people from a Catholic viewpoint, hopefully

How much is a talent (unit of mass)?

Self-tutoring about antiquity: the tutor brings up the ancient unit of mass talent. Talent is a measure used for precious metals in the Old Testament – for instance, in 1 Kings 10.10. How much was a talent? Apparently, a talent,

Ronald Reagan and ice cream

Self-tutoring about history and dessert: the tutor shares a find about Ronald Reagan. I was a kid while Reagan was in power in the United States. Times were heady: the Cold War was reaching its climax. Most people probably recall

English, history: whence the saying “That’s all she wrote”?

Self-tutoring: the tutor inquires about the origin of the popular saying “That’s all she wrote.” Apparently “That’s all she wrote” originates from WWII: if an American serviceman received a letter saying only “Dear John,” he’d been deserted by its writer.

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Music, history: the 85-key piano

Seeing an antique can trigger self-tutoring: the tutor shares a find. A few days back my son, visiting a historic site, was invited to play the piano. After awhile he pointed out that it starts – and ends – with

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History: Battle of Hastings: what was William’s claim?

Tutoring history or social studies, you might be asked about the Battle of Hastings. The tutor explains why it happened. William’s claim William of Normandy was a cousin of Edward the Confessor, King of England 1042-1066. Supposedly, William visited Edward,

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English, economics, history: what is mercantilism?

Tutoring a number of subjects, the term mercantilism might arise. The tutor defines it. mercantilism economic policy that favours exports, discourages imports, and has the objective of amassing precious metals. Source: Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current

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English, history: what does wassail mean?

Tutoring English, new vocabulary is always interesting. The tutor shares the meaning of wassail and its holiday connection. wassail (verb): to celebrate with drinking In the Yule celebrations, people would not only wassail each other, but also crops and trees.

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English, history: AD vs CE

Tutoring English, conventions are important. The tutor brings up one he was curious about. As far as I can determine, timewise, the two acronyms AD and CE have the same meaning. However, their literal meanings are different: AD anno domini:

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