Posted in History & Literature

Zodiac: Leo

Leo is the Zodiac sign for those born between July 23 and August 22. The symbol for Leo is a ferocious lion.

The model for Leo is the Nemean Lion, killed by Hercules during one of his twelve labours. The Nemean Lion was a frightening beast with claws sharper than any sword and able to cut through any armour, with a golden hide that could not be pierced by any weapon. With its ultimate offence and defence, no warrior could defeat the Lion and it continued to wreak havoc in Nemea. As stated in the legend of Cancer, Hercules had to complete twelve challenges for his sins, the Hydra being the second. The first labour was to kill the Nemean Lion. Not knowing that the Lion had invincible leather, Hercules shot many arrows at it with no effect. The Lion laughed at his vain attempt and pounced, ready to shred him with his claws. Hercules understood that arrows and swords were no use, so he pulled out his club and smashed the Lion’s head with full force. The Lion was completely stunned by the impact and Hercules took this opportunity to strangle it with his bare hands. After a few minutes, the Lion collapsed and Hercules came out as the victor. He tried to take the hide by cutting it with his knife, but the knife did not even make a scratch. After thinking about it, he took the claws of the Lion and found that this could cut through the hide. With the golden hide, Hercules made the toughest armour that would protect him from much harm in the future. The corpse of the Lion was lifted to the heavens and turned into a constellation.

(Part of the Zodiac series:

Posted in History & Literature


There is an extremely simple way to tell if a shirt or jacket is designed for a man or a woman – buttons. A male garment traditionally has buttons on the right side while female garments have them on the left side.

The reason for the male garment is that having the button on the right side is easier to button up when dressing oneself (given that he is right-handed). So why is this not the case for female garments? This is because during Victorian times, women were usually dressed by a maid or servant so it would be easier for them to button up a dress if it was on the left side. This theory is very plausible as zippers were not available then and dresses were mostly buttoned from the back. Even when women’s clothing started having buttons in the front, tailors were already accustomed to the traditional convention.

Alternate theories are quite interesting too. It is hypothesised that buttons on male clothing were modelled after a knight’s armour that would be latched on so that a right-handed opponent could not jam their pike through a seam. Contrary to the military origin of the male buttons, female buttons may be placed in such a way to allow the lady to easily expose her left breast – which is closer to her heart – to nurse her baby.