It's not even lunchtime yet, and I've learned two interesting things.
(1) The NYT brings me the lovely and occasionally necessary word, “shatara,” which it defines as “the Arabic word for cunning and guile with a hint of deception.” It even gives an example:
An example of shatara once overheard in Beirut: “I’m not going to cheat you,” a landlord told a prospective tenant. “Well, I am going to cheat you, but not a lot.”
I encountered shatara when shopping for a shirt in Egypt, and I gather it was the hallmark of certain legendary Deans.
(2) The reason modern Western carrots are orange is because they were bred that way, in the 16th and 17th centuries, in tribute to the Dutch royal House of Orange (via Boing Boing – see the nice 'carrot rainbow' photo).
Now, I admit that neither of these additions to my information store is absolutely essential. But like any dragon curled around its hoard, I am very happy to have them.