The Curious Mind

The Hindu Words


Loot (n.)
“Goods taken from an enemy, etc.,” 1788, Anglo-Indian, from Hindi lut, from Sanskrit loptram, lotram “booty, stolen property,” from PIE *roup-tro-, from root *reup- “to snatch” (see rip (v.)). The verb is first attested 1821, from the noun. Related: Looted; looting.
Thugs (n.)
The word “Thuggee” derives from the Hindi ठग (ṭhag), which means “deceiver”. Related words are the verb thugna (“to deceive”), from the Sanskrit स्थग (sthaga “cunning, sly, fraudulent”) and स्थगति (sthagati, “he conceals”).[5] This term, describing the murder and robbery of travellers, is popular in South Asia and particularly India.  Thuggee or tuggee (Hindi: Nepali ठग्गी ṭhaggī; Urdu: ٹھگ‎; Sanskrit: sthaga; Sindhi: ٺوڳي، ٺڳ‎; Kannada: ಠಕ್ಕ thakka) refers to the acts of Thugs, an organised gang of professional robbers and murderers. Thugs travelled in groups across South Asia for six hundred years.[1] Although the Thugs traced their origin to seven Muslim tribes, Hindus appear to have been associated with them at an early period.
Assasin (n.)
A  member of the Nizari branch of Ismaili Muslims at the time of the Crusades, when the newly established sect ruled part of northern Persia (1094–1256). They were renowned as militant fanatics, and were popularly reputed to use hashish before going on murder missions.



There are 100 billion stars in our galaxy.  A thousand million.  There are 9 known galaxies beyond ours.  So there are a trillion stars (that’s ten hundred billion stars) in the discovered universe.  The nearest star is over four light years away. The rest are much, or much, much further. A light year is the distance that light can travel in a year at 670 million miles per hour.  It could take centuries or eons for a message traveling at the speed of light to reach us, assuming it was properly directed and not deflected along the way.

A trillion stars would support tens of trillions of planets.  Would you like to bet against those odds that there is not intelligent life out there somewhere.  Are we so unique?



Good God!

Nemesis (/ˈnɛməsɪs/; Greek: Νέμεσις), also called Rhamnousia/Rhamnusia (“the goddess of Rhamnous”) at her sanctuary at Rhamnous, north of Marathon, was the spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris (arrogance before the gods). Another name was Adrasteia, meaning “the inescapable.”



Perhaps I can create a little bedlam for you.  The word “bedlam” is derived from the name of the first hospital to treat the insane in the 15th Cetury, Bethlem Royal Hospital in  England.  Bethlem was a scene of horrors over many centuries and the name became corrupted over the years to mean chaos and anarchy.

The Keyboard

I learned to type in the summer before high school.  That was just a little before the dawn of recorded time.  I didn’t want to know how to type, but I needed the credit.  I knew absolutely that I would have a secretary.  What I did not know was about the coming of the personal computer.  Oops.  I should have practiced more.

So have you ever wondered why the letters on a typewriter keyboard (and a computer keyboard) are arranged so strangely?  Well, the first typewriters had mechanical keys (you’ve seen them in the movies).  A typist would strike a key and a metal arm with a letter at the end would swing up and strike a carbon ribbon against a piece of paper.  It was a slow and unwieldy process.

So the keys were arranged as they were to slow the process down in order to prevent the keys from being struck too quickly and tangling up.  It has never changed.


Basket Case


Goodness, are you a basket case?  Do you know one?  Your boss, perhaps?  Where did the term “basket case” come from?

The term originated from WWI, indicating a soldier missing both his arms and legs, who needed to be literally carried around in a litter or “basket.” Today it indicates a state of helplessness similar to the metaphoric removal of the appendages, most frequently in the context of mental health or aptitude.