World’s Strangest

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The Order of the Occult Hand: A Secret Society of Journalists

How do journalists get into this mysterious group? They must sneak the phrase “It was as if an occult hand had…” past their editors and into published articles. The Order emerged sometime during the 1960s, perhaps when Paul Greenberg was writing for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. After an exposé in 2004, Greenberg was eventually forced to come [...]

Trivia Contest With Pat Kiernan Starts Now!

You may have heard that I’m teaming up with mental_floss and TrivWorks to put on The Ultimate Halloween Pop Culture Trivia Night at the Bell House on October 29. But we couldn’t wait to start in on the fun, so we’re holding an online trivia contest on mental_floss, right here, right now. Here’s how it works: [...]

Messing with Mother Nature: Snakeheads

Fish normally occur in three places: in the wild water, in aquariums, and on our dinner plates. But fish can move from one of these worlds to another. Fish imported to eat or to keep as pets sometimes get into the local ecosystem, which is not their native habitat. The population controls of the species’ [...]

Cheerleader POV

(YouTube link) An LSU cheerleader wore a GoPro camera during the November 25th LSU-Arkansas football game. Be warned that she is a “flyer,” one of the smaller cheerleaders who stand on top of the pyramids, so this might make you dizzy. It might also make you rethink allowing your daughters to try out for the team. [...]

Hairy Stairway

This Hairy Stairway art installation in the abandoned Mountainaire Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas, by Jessica Wohl reminds me of a certain tune by Led Zeppelin. I think it goes something like this: There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold [...]

10 Cool Underground Hotels

My husband and I were watching some apocalyptic group building an underground shelter on TV, and I remarked that living underground is quite cozy and pleasant -as long as you have ready access to the outside (of course, being trapped is a nightmare). My father was a geologist, and I grew up in cave country, [...]

Five Interesting Tributes to Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan on Mount Rushmore? Absolutely, if Grover Norquist has his way. As Chairman of the Reagan Legacy Project, Norquist believes that all 50 states should have a landmark of some kind named after the Gipper. At least 27 states already have something – streets, elementary schools, post offices, even an airport. But some of [...]

Now Hear This: Radio War Propagandists

The following is an article from the book History’s Lists from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. During America’s wars, they were considered entertainers more than harbingers of fear to U.S. troops. But sometimes media stars like Tokyo Rose and Hanoi Hannah broadcast strategic information that there’s no way the enemy should have known. As radio propagandists transmitting from [...]

The Origins of Weird State Park Names (Part Three)

When you see these names, you tend to say to yourself, “Does that mean what it sounds like?” In most cases, no. Bong You’ve seen the sign, if not from the highway in Wisconsin, then on the internet. And you’ve heard the jokes about “recreation” involving either a water pipe for marijuana, or more recently a funnel [...]

10 Places With Strange Names (and How They Got Them)

What’s in a (bizarre) name? Here are ten strangely named places and the stories, legends and theories about their origins. 1. Santa Claus, Indiana In 1854, a group of pioneers settled in southwest Indiana and established a small town called Santa Fe. But when they applied to get a post office two years later, they were turned [...]