Soy, soy , soy again

Kikkoman, one of the world's best-known soy sauce brands, dates all the way back to 17th century Japan. "As legend has it, an upper-class war widow named Shige Maki escaped in disguise with her son from Osaka Castle, their war-ravaged home, to Edo (the city that would become Toyko). Maki and her son learned to cultivate rice and brew soy sauce like their new neighbours, and Maki's tweaks to the production process went over so well that 350 years later Kikkoman is still making a version of the stuff." (Via Mental Floss)


Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

To determine which movie characters best embodied psychopathic traits, Belgian psychiatry professor Samuel Leistedt watched 400 movies over three years. Javier Bardem's character, Anton Chigurh, in No Country for Old Men was found to be the most realistic psychopath, approaching murder with an uncanny sense of normalcy. "He seems to be effectively invulnerable and resistant to any form of emotion or humanity," the researchers wrote. An honourable mention went to the 1986 John McNaughton film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, the title character's inability to plan ahead, coupled with his turbulent personal life and poor family relationships, make him a textbook idiopathic psychopath, Leistedt said. (Source: Business Insider)

Lavatory vocabulary

If the use of "bathroom" or "smallest room in the house" to designate the room where someone goes to relieve oneself irks you with its lack of directness, how about the Elizabethan term "the house of easement"? George Washington's home, Mount Vernon, had no bathroom — the President, his family, his distinguished guests had to trek across the front lawn to a hut concealed in the shrubbery and rather wonderfully named "the Necessary".

(Source: The Guardian)