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Brewer's: Bellwether of the Flock

A jocose and rather depreciating term applied to the leader of a party. Of course the allusion is to the wether or sheep which leads the flock with a bell fastened to its neck. Source:…

Connie Willis

Author Connie Willis has been winning science fiction awards since the late 1980s, including Hugo Awards for the novels The Doomsday Book (1992) and To Say Nothing of the Dog (1998). Influenced by…

Brewer's: Bellows

The pit of the stomach. To knock a man on the “bellows” takes his “wind (breath) away.” Sing old rose and burn the bellows. (See Sing.) Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham…

Brewer's: Belly

The belly and its members. The fable of Menenius Agrippa to the Roman people when they seceded to the Sacred Mount: “Once on a time the members refused to work for the lazy belly; but, as…

Brewer's: Bell

Acton, Currer, and Ellis. Assumed names of Anne, Charlotte, and Emily Brontë. Bell As the bell clinks, so the fool thinks, or, As the fool thinks, so the bell clinks. The tale says when…

Medical Maggots, Menacing Asteroids

Information Please's roundup of recent discoveries by Otto Johnson It seems the latest discoveries in our annual roundup are either mutant size-busters or minor portents of disaster.…

The Mother Lobe of Genius

The fossil skull of a 260-million-year-old sheep-sized animal was found near Williston on the Northern Cape, South Africa. It is the most primitive member yet discovered of a group of plant-…

Glossary of Financial Terms

Adjusted gross incomeAmount of income that is subject to federal income tax. In addition to any other tax credits, contributions to IRAs and 401(k) plans are subtracted from the total.…