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Why Do We Toast to Celebrate?

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Humans have been giving toasts for as long as there’s been alcohol and an excuse to party with it. The Egyptians, Persians, and Huns did it. In the Odyssey—which was written over 2500 years ago—Ulysses toasted to the health of Achilles. But why did we start clinking glasses after a few good words?

There are plenty of theories. Some speculate that a toast drove away evil spirits. Others say it was strictly a paranoid habit, a way of making sure your drink wasn’t poisoned. (A hard “clink” would slosh the liquid around, contaminating everyone’s glass.) Neither is likely true. Although many of our traditions today were yesteryear’s way of warding off evil spirits, there’s no evidence that our ancestors toasted to drive away ghouls. And the poison theory is bunk because people have only been clinking glasses for 300 years—long after toasting was born

More likely, the tradition probably originated from ancient communal rituals, back when people drank from the same vessel called a “loving cup.” Over the centuries, people ditched the idea of drinking out of the same bowl in favor of drinking from individual glasses. It certainly improved everyone’s hygiene, but it dampened that unified feeling that came along with drinking from the same cup. So, to bring everything back together, people started raising their glasses and giving them a good tap. Bringing everyone’s glass together symbolized camaraderie, reuniting the drink as one.

Why Call it a Toast?

Starting in the 17th century, a piece of spiced bread was added to drinks to boost flavor. Unsurprisingly, that little piece of bread was called toast, although anything thrown into a glass was given the moniker.

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Opening Ceremony
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These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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Opening Ceremony

To this:

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Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

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