Minute Physics decided this issue is important enough to make a video about even though it has nothing to do with physics, so here is why you’re reading ‘Ye Olde Shoppe’ the wrong way: in the olden days, the sound “th” had its own letter, Þ, called thorn. This letter appears in Scandinavian languages and was probably introduced by the Vikings, during numerous invasions of England during the 9th and 10th centuries (Old Norse and Old English were similar languages, both having come from Northern Germany). During this time, words like “this” and “that” would have been written “Þis” and “Þat”, if Old English were anything like Modern English.
Then the English were conquered for the last time, in 1066 by an entirely different sort of Vikings: Normans, who had settled in the part of northern France now known as Normandy, who spoke French and who instituted it as the language of the aristocracy in England. Over time, the ruling class did adopt English, but it became heavily influenced by French. These French-speaking English didn’t like the letter thorn, so they started using “th” instead of “Þ”, and it obviously caught on. But for centuries after the Norman conquest, thorn was still used.
In fact, it was still in use when the printing press was invented 400 years later, but since printing presses came from continental Europe, the typed alphabets were Latin and didn’t include the letter thorn and other Norse runes. Having to make do with what they had, English writers figured that ‘y’ looked close enough to ”Þ” and started using it instead. And that’s how “Þe olde” became “ye olde”. Interestingly “ye“, pronounced like you’d think, actually meant the same thing back in those days as “y’all” does in the South now.
All Scandinavian languages eventually followed suit with English and started using “th” instead of “Þ” — except for Icelandic, who still uses thorn and another Old English letter called eth (ð). As for English, there’s little chance of it going back to ”Þ”, especially since words like “thorn” would become ”Þorn” and probably be either read as “born” or “porn”. And just for confusion, there’s a letter called sho (Ϸ) that looks very similar to thorn, but comes from the Greek alphabet and has nothing to do with English.
The world-renown Kobe beef is a delicacy that is not sold anywhere outside of Japan. Yet many American restaurants have menu items supposedly containing Kobe beef. According to NPR, they’re all lying: besides the fact that it has to come from a particular lineage of cow and has to be slaughtered in a particular region of Japan, Kobe beef is illegal to import in the United States.
The USDA has not approved any of the Kobe slaughterhouses to export their meat to America due to health concerns, so it cannot be legally imported either commercially or privately. The only way it can get into the country is if it were smuggled in. But since the Kobe trademark is not recognized by the US government, anyone is free to slap the Kobe name to any old beef and charge twice the price for being clever enough to do so.
But the Kobe beef you find in American restaurants is likely not entirely fraudulent: American Kobe-style beef comes from a hybrid cattle bred from the Wagyu cattle (which produces true Kobe beef), and Angus cattle, which is better suited to American climates. Besides the genetic lineage however, true Kobe beef also has a secret cattle-raising tradition which, rumors say, include being fed superior grain, beer, and even massaged with sake. The American Kobe cattle gets none of that treatment: it’s really just a genetic cousin of the Wagyu cattle that’s fatted up about a year longer than normal, and is probably organic. So it’s quality beef, but nowhere near true Kobe.
Other products are legally protected from similar counterfeiting:
(Updated April 23rd, to include information about American Kobe-style beef.)
A good measure of how profitable retail stores are is that of sales per square foot. Rather than just using sales alone, this measure evens the playing field between giants like Costco and small stores like Gap. And by that measure, Apple makes almost twice as much as the next store on the list, the jewelry store from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Tiffany & Co. The top performers on the list are all boutique chains, and the first big box store, Costco, comes in sixth, with a meager 18% of Apple’s sales per square foot. Overall however, things are completely reversed: Apple had 17% of Costco’s total sales.
Last year, HBO created a great viewer guide for the first season of Game of Thrones; this year, they updated it for season 2, and it now contains the most complete map of Essos found anywhere. If you’re a somewhat-more-than casual viewer of the series, it’s a great way to get a feel for the geography of that world and to see the intricate family trees of the dozens of characters. If you’re a hardcore fan that reads the books, A Wiki of Ice and Fire from the westeros.org fan-site might be a better reference since it’s a lot more in-depth; but the maps on HBO’s viewer guide are still the best drawn, best designed, and most extensive currently in existence. So until the new map book comes out, enjoy poking around HBO’s guide.
Give me a second I –
I don’t have time it’s getting late
My friends are all parents now
Dinner parties with cheeseplates
My girlfriend she is waiting for me
To buy a diamond ring
Been together eight years now
Feel like I’m settling
You know that college was ten years ago
I know you’re trying to forget
Depression and anxiety
Has come on strong since 33
Has made it hard not to crack
So if by the time I’m 40, I’m still a waiter here,
I’m killing myself…
We’re not young
We’re all somewhere in our 30s
And nothing worthy
This ain’t fun
We’re not young
I guess that I’ll learn Photoshop
Maybe I’ll sell pot
Start a blog
Now I know that I’m fat
Shut up about that
I guess I’ll do elliptical
Maybe I can finally do that yoga class
But I probably won’t
Gonna stay at home and watch Modern Family
We’re not young
Gonna get our shit together
Be less distracted
Words With Friends
We’re not young
It’s time to get my prostate checked
I’m a nervous wreck
That’s not all
Apply to grad school tonight
Yoga teacher training tonight
Real estate test tonight
Improv class tonight
We just need a word. I heard “pineapple”. PINEAPPLE! “Ugh, 4$ for a pineapple: can you believe this thing?” “You think you have it tough? Try raising this baby!”
Might have a drinking problem
I got a DUI
So someone come and drive me home tonight
I need health insurance
I got a dental sty
And I’m really gonna start that blog
We are scared
So let’s… just…. uh…
OH MY GOD!
We’re not young
We’ve accomplished almost nothing
I have no money
Where’s my gun?
So if by the time I’m 40
And I’m still a waiter here
Oh please God, I don’t even wanna imagine it
And finally, the We Are Young song and lyrics: