Origin of the word “Vitamin”

close-up image of typical vitaminsThere are certain essential compounds that the body needs in order to survive that subsequently cannot be synthesized by the body. For example, if a sailor is at sea for extended periods of time without the proper nutrition he will come down with scurvy. This is caused by a lack of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) which is something that the body cannot synthesize on its own. In the early days it was thought that all the essential compounds required to sustain life contained a chemical group known as an “amine”. These “amines” were therefore critical for life or “vita” as its termed in Latin. Hence the name “vital-amine” or “vitamin” as it is used today.

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Southpaw: Get this lefty term right

A typical Baseball Diamond facing East

Approximately 10% of the human population is determined to be left-handed and as a result they often get special names for their handedness. The term “southpaw” was first used in baseball to refer primarily to pitchers. Traditionally, when baseball diamonds were built they were arranged such that a batter would be facing east (to avoid any glare from an afternoon sun) when at bat. When pitching, a right-hander’s arm would be facing the North side of the baseball diamond while a left-handed pitcher’s arm would be facing the South side of the diamond-hence he was called a “southpaw”.

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Weddings: Rings and Things

wedding ceremony

A traditional arrangement for a wedding ceremony

A “ring” finger can be found on both hands of a woman so why is it that the left hand should bear the wedding ring? According to the Romans, there is a vein called the “vena amoris” that leads directly to the heart and therefore was deemed the most appropriate to wear a symbol of love. Additionally, you may notice that in a wedding ceremony the bride always stands on the left. The reason goes back to when men wore swords and had to defend their property and apparently their bride’s from potential intruding suitors who may wish to steal away her. Most men are right handed though the sword’s scabbard would be worn on the left hip a right handed man would have to “cross draw” to have the sword in his right hand and pointed toward potential marauders hence he stands at the ready on the right side.

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