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Oddities News Archive - December 04, 2004

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The practice of smoking tobacco through elaborate water pipes called hookahs emerged centuries ago, in the palaces and harems of the Middle East. But experts say hookahs are now almost as popular in Denver as they are in Damascus, with the current fad for water-pipe use growing among U.S. college students.

Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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