Part 3: Las detenciones (The Arrests)
Play • 27 min

An unexpected betrayal leads to the downfall of the robbers. But police still struggle to answer a central question: Who is the man who dreamt up this audacious plan that made fools of them?

A transcript of this episode is available at podcast.duolingo.com.

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day
Merriam-Webster
vulcanize
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for January 15, 2021 is: vulcanize • \VUL-kuh-nyze\  • verb : to treat crude or synthetic rubber or similar plastic material with chemicals to give it useful properties (such as elasticity, strength, and stability) Examples: "In 1939 [Charles] Cornell invented a safer and more efficient way of patching holes in tires. Previously people put a piece of rubber on the tire and put heat on it as part of the vulcanization process. Cornell discovered a way to use chemicals to vulcanize the patch to the tire without heat, revolutionizing the industry, [Mike] Murray said." — Maria DeVito, The Newark (Ohio) Advocate, 18 Mar. 2017 "The station was known for the service it provided vulcanizing tires. This type of repair involves external tire damage, such as sidewall cuts, chipped lugs, cracks in the shoulder, and bead damage." — Scott Mall, FreightWaves.com, 20 Nov. 2020 Did you know? Vulcanize might sound like something Spock from Star Trek might do, but the explanation behind this word has more to do with ancient mythology than it does with science fiction. Vulcanization in its simplest form consists of heating rubber with sulfur in order to improve the rubber's qualities. The Roman god Vulcan (whose Greek counterpart is Hephaestus) was the god of fire and of skills that used fire, such as metalworking. So when Charles Goodyear discovered that high heat would result in stronger rubber, he called the process "vulcanization" after the god of fire. Goodyear developed the idea in 1839 and acquired a patent for it in 1844.
2 min
But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids
But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids
Vermont Public Radio
What's A Screaming Hairy Armadillo? How Animals Get Their Names
Why are whale sharks called whale sharks? Why are guinea pigs called pigs if they're not pigs? Why are eagles called bald eagles if they're not bald? You also ask us lots of questions about why and how animals got their names. So today we're going to introduce you to the concept of taxonomy, or how animals are categorized, and we'll also talk about the difference between scientific and common names. We'll learn about the reasoning behind the names of daddy long legs, killer whales, fox snakes, German shepherds and more! Our guests are Steve and Matt Murrie, authors of The Screaming Hairy Armadillo, and 76 Other Animals With Weird Wild Names. There are some animals whose names don't really seem accurate-like daddy long legs...which certainly aren't all daddies! Or bald eagles that very clearly have plenty of feathers on their heads. Or guinea pigs, which aren't actually pigs! And then there are animals with awesomely silly names. Have you ever heard of the umbrella bird? How about the sparklemuffin peacock spider! Or the monkeyface prickleback, the sarcastic fringehead, and the white-bellied go-away bird! How do animals get their names? Well, there are two types of animal names: Scientific names and common names. Scientific names are used as a way to categorize all living things, so even if you don't know a lot about an animal, you can learn a lot about them by knowing their scientific name. There are eight different levels that living things get grouped into: domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. The broadest category is called the domain. There are three domains: archaea, bacteria, and eucarya. Bacteria and archaea are both categories of micro-organisms. All animals and plants belong in the eucarya domain. Below domain is kingdom. There's a kingdom for animals called Animalia and a kingdom for plants called plantae. (And a few others as well.) As you go through the classification system it gets more and more specific. So, take humans: we belong to the eucarya domain, the animalia kingdom, the chordata phylum (because we have a backbone), the mammalia class (because we're mammals), the primate order, homonidae family, homo is our genus and homo sapien is our species name. All species have two official scientific names, kind of like how you have a first name and a family name. So the species name for humans is homo sapien. The species name for a common black rat is rattus rattus. An Asian elephant is elephas maximus. Those names sound fancy, and originally the scientific names of animals were in Latin or Greek, but they don't have to be Latin or Greek anymore, they just have to sound like they are! But we don't typically call all animals by their scientific names. We often refer to them by their common names, which are kind of like nicknames! Common names can be different in different languages. Like, the scientific name for a wolf is canus lupus. That would stay the same no matter what language you're using. But in English we tend to call it a wolf; in Spanish you'd call it un lobo, and in Welsh it would be blaidd (pronounced "blythe"). Even within the same language, an animal can have lots of common names. Here in Vermont, where I live, we have an animal called a groundhog. But most people around here call it a woodchuck. And others call it a land beaver, or a whistle pig! Common names were often in use long before animals go their specific scientific names.
28 min
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