Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Etymology of the Piggy Bank + 9 Other Things Worth Reading on Whale Feces, Hitchcock, Wine Vending Machines and more...

1. Do you know the etymology of the Piggy Bank? I wondered about if it was different then just a reference to the the common shape of the bank and there is a real interesting answer that refers to 2nd Century BC in Greece. Here's part of the pertaining section on Wikipedia:

In Middle English, "pygg" referred to a type of clay used for making various household objects such as jars. People often saved money in kitchen pots  and jars made of pygg, called "pygg jars". By the 18th century, the spelling of "pygg" had changed and the term "pygg jar" had evolved to "pig bank."  Once the meaning had transferred from the substance to the shape, piggy banks began to be made from other substances, including glass, plaster, and plastic.

An alternative theory, and the one usually given for the origin in German sources, is that in Germany and surrounding countries the pig is a symbol of good luck or good fortune (see Pigs in folklore), hence keeping money in a piggy bank will bring good fortune.

The oldest find of a money box dates from 2nd century B.C. Greek colony Priene, Asia Minor, and features the shape of a little Greek temple with a slit in the pediment. Money boxes of various forms were also excavated in Pompeii and Herculaneum, and appear quite frequently on late ancient provincial sites, particularly in Roman Britain and along the Rhine.

2. Would you buy J.D. Salinger's Toilet on eBay for $1 Million?(Paste)

3. Why Not Rebrand The Post Office? (Fast Company via The Atlantic) - This is a good idea. Make the Post Office possibly cool.  It's been needing a change for a long time, maybe it will help morale too.  Have you been too a post office counter recently?

4. Wine Vending Machines Test Breath Before Sales (BBC)

5. Is Coconut Water Really Better Than Sports Drinks? (Mother Jones)

13 Hitchcock Films That Were Never Made (mental_floss) - 13 more films that people would say they've watched but haven't.

7. Would you like a guitar that is made to be smashed? Made of recyclable material so that they can still be broken. (Wired)

8. 25 Best (Worst?) Infomercials - Don't worry, Billy Mays is on the list. RIP Billy, we still miss you.

9. Sperm Whale faeces 'help oceans absorb CO2' (BBC) - I knew there was a reason they were so big.

10. Top 50 Music Videos of the '90s (Pitchfork) Includes some classics like "Loser" & Ain't Nothing But a G Thang", four tracks with Dave Grohl (2 Nirvana & 2 Foo Fighters, a personal fav in Busta Rhymes frenetic "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See" along with missed gems like Wilco skydiving and of course some Aphex Twin.

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