eklectica - this, that & everything!
eklectica - this, that and everything

What Is Weird?

What Is Weird? | eklectica.in
Weird is a wayward word: though it describes a set of singular effects that link the cultural fringe with peculiar personal experiences, it remains an elusive and marginal term.

The roots of weirdness lie in the noun wyrd, an Old English term that pops up in Beowulf and denotes the (usually grim) demands of destiny. The adjective first appears in the phrase weird sisters, which was used by Scottish poets to describe the classical Fates before Shakespeare attached the term to the witches of Macbeth. But Shakespeare’s spelling of weird is, well, a bit weird—“weyrd”, “weyward”, and “weyard” appear in the first folio, but never “weird”. These alternate spellings, again, suggest the term wayward, a word used by Shakespeare to denote the capricious refusal to follow rule or reason.

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Mallakhamb: The Strangest Sport No One Knows

Mallakhamb: The Strangest Sport No One Knows | eklectica.in
Originally developed as a training methodology for wrestlers, Mallakhamb’s own name entwines Sanskirt and Hindi to literally means “pole wrestling.” The ritual of greasing both the equipment and athlete in castor oil mirrors the Indian kushti wrestling tradition of dousing both ring and wrestler in ghee.

The climbing, joyfulness, and irreverence of Mallakhamb are said to be informed by the spirit of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, and its strange apparatus reflect his anatomy: the pole is his phallus (which is why Pole has no female practitioners) and the rope is his tail (which is why the rope is exclusively climbed with toes, as using the soles of feet would be disrespectful).

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How Hot Dogs Are Made and What’s Actually Inside

How Hot Dogs Are Made and What's Actually Inside | eklectica.in
After the steaks, chops, breasts, ribs, thighs, hams, tenderloins and briskets are removed, there’s a fair amount of gristle, fat and offal remaining on a butchered animal, and early on, people realized this could be put to good use. One of these products is the hot dog, a classic of pre-cooked, processed meat.

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The Uncertain Future of the Crossword Puzzle

The Uncertain Future of the Crossword Puzzle | eklectica.in
While the world warns of an impending print collapse, it might take down an innocent bystander with it—those little black and white squares that have long inhabited the back pages of newspapers and made themselves the primary Sunday-afternoon obsession of crossword nerds, for whom completing a puzzle is a bragworthy accomplishment.

Yes, the meager crossword, its unnerving simplicity belying a capability to wrench you mad with clues that speak of everything and nothing at once, is moving toward becoming a relic of the past.

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The history of the Walkman: 35 years of iconic music players

The history of the Walkman: 35 years of iconic music players | eklectica.in
The first of Sony’s iconic portable cassette tape players went on sale on, July 1st, back in 1979 for $150. As the story goes, Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka got the wheels turning months before when he asked for a way to listen to opera that was more portable than Sony’s existing TC-D5 cassette players. The charge fell to Sony designer Norio Ohga, who built a prototype out of Sony’s Pressman cassette recorder in time for Ibuka’s next flight.

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