World’s Strangest

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Why Do We Say "The Butler Did It"?

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website. The all-too-common phrase “the butler did it” is commonly attributed to Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958). Mary was a very popular writer who authored over 50 books, many of which became best-sellers. Known as “the American Agatha Christie,” Mary [...]

4 Doctor Who Stories Ripped From History Books

Earlier this week, we looked at Doctor Who stories inspired by the headlines. But far more stories were ripped from the history books. In fact, the original series concept back in 1963 was to alternate science fiction stories (which could be used to introduce science concepts) with period pieces (which could be used to [...]

10 Things Mark Twain Didn’t Really Say

As Google reminded us this morning with this nifty Tom Sawyer Doodle, today is Mark Twain’s 176th birthday! The man who provided us with some of the best quips ever is also one of the most misquoted men of all time. Here are 10 quotes Mark Twain likely never uttered, despite popular belief. 1. “The secret [...]

Agatha Christie And The Endless Summer

Believe it or not, the First Lady of mystery and the Big Kahuna had something in common-they were both innovators in the sport of surfing! Agatha Christie, as it turns out, was one of the first Britons to stand up on a surfboard, and she sharpened her wave riding skills in South Africa, Australia, New [...]

Where Do You Do Your Best Thinking?

On Fridays, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else’s reply, whatever you want. On to this week’s topics of discussion… 1. Agatha Christie said she came up with most of her book plots while sitting in her bathtub, eating apples. Do [...]

Aging-related Changes in Agatha Christie’s Vocabulary

In a recently-presented scientific paper, Ian Lancashire and Graeme Hirst from the University of Toronto’s Department of English and Department of Computer Science demonstrate changes in the vocabulary used in Agatha Christie’s later novels. The professors digitized 14 Christie novels (and included two more available in the Gutenberg online text archive), and then, with the aid [...]