08 November 2018



The word tsunami unfortunately turns up in the news regularly as this devastating effect of earthquakes is not uncommon. It is particularly common particularly in the Pacific Islands and coasts. An earthquake far out in the ocean is capable of creating enough vibration to displace massive amounts of seawater and send deadly waves at islands and coastlines.

It should not be surprising that the term comes from the Pacific islands of Japanese. Two words are combined:  TSU  (pronounced sue) which means "harbor" and NAMI (nah me) which means "wave." The word distinguishes other words to describe waves as a very large one that enter a normally safe harbor.

Katsushika Hokusai: The Great Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki nami ura) 
The waves in this work are sometimes mistakenly referred to as tsunami (津波),
but they are more accurately called okinami (沖波), great off-shore waves.

29 October 2018

Boston Red Sox

The name Red Sox was chosen by owner John I. Taylor after the 1907 season. It is a reference to the red socks (hose) in the team's uniform which began in 1908.

There is a tradition of using sox and stockings as part of a team's name. Using "Sox" for a team name had previously been done for the Chicago White Sox, but it was not official at first. Newspapers wanted a shorter, headline-friendly form of Stockings which was part of the official team name.

The team name "Red Sox" had actually been used as early as 1888 by a "colored" or Negro League team from Norfolk, Virginia.

The current Red Sox team is sometimes shortened to "Bosox" or "BoSox", a combination of "Boston" and "Sox" which is similar to the "ChiSox" in Chicago or the minor league "PawSox" of Pawtucket. Sportswriters sometimes refer to the Red Sox as the Crimson Hose and the Olde Towne Team.

Boston was not the first to be a "Red Stockings" team. The Cincinnati Red Stockings were members of the pioneering National Association of Base Ball Players and wore white knickers and red stockings. That team folded after the 1870 season and when a new team was wanted in Boston a few players and the "Red Stockings" nickname were brought there. This was a nickname and not a club names or registered trademark.

The Boston Red Stockings won four championships in the five seasons of the new National Association, the first professional league. In 1876, a new Cincinnati club joined the National League and they took back the "Red Stockings" nickname. The Boston team was referred to as the "Red Caps."

In 1901, the competing American League established a club in Boston that wore dark blue stockings and had no official nickname. They were referred to by fans and newspapers as simply "Boston", "Bostonians," "the Bostons," the "Americans," "Boston Americans" or as the "American Leaguers."

Confusingly, in the 1908 season the AL team shirts featured a red stocking across the front labeled "BOSTON" along with red stockings and white caps, and the NL team also wore red stockings and red caps with an old-English "B."

The Nationals reverted to their red trim and took on the nickname of Braves when James E. Gaffney, became club president in 1912. Gaffney was part of the Tammany Hall political organization which was named after an American Indian chief and used an Indian image as its symbol, hence the "Braves." That nickname has persisted - despite controversy about its stereotyping of Native Americans - and the name followed the team when they moved to Milwaukee in 1953, and then to Atlanta in 1966.

We find the current "RED SOX" appearing in 1912 with the opening of Fenway Park.

The Red Sox compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division and have won nine eight World Series championships, most recently this year in their defeat of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Part of the Boston Red Sox story is their long championship drought nicknamed the "Curse of the Bambino" because it was said to have started when the team traded Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees. There was an 86-year wait before the team got its sixth World Championship in 2004. The team still has an intense rivalry with the Yankees.


Etsy is an e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items. These items cover a wide range, including art, photography, clothing, jewelry, food, bath and beauty products, quilts, knick-knacks, and toys.

Etsy was founded in 2005 and this online marketplace now has millions of registered users - and more than $100 million in revenue.

The company name origin was a mystery and continues to be deliberately mysterious.

In a 2010 interview for Reader's Digest, co-founder Rob Kalin said “I wanted a nonsense word because I wanted to build the brand from scratch. I was watching Fellini's and writing down what I was hearing. In Italian, you say 'etsi' a lot. It means 'oh, yes.' And in Latin, it means 'and if.'"

But, the following year the other co-founder, Chris Maguire, said that "We then made a founder's pact to give a different origin story for the site's name every time someone asked about it."