World’s Strangest

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A New Spin on Teh Tarik

In Teh tarik ("pulled tea"), black tea and milk are mixed not with a spoon, but with showmanship. Take a look at this man doing teh tarik in Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok, Thailand.

Music History #11: “The Ballad of Ira Hayes”

“The Ballad of Ira Hayes” Written by Pete La Farge (1963) Performed by Johnny Cash The Music Folk singer and songwriter Peter La Farge packed a lot into his thirty-four years on Earth. The son of a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist was a Korean War vet, a rodeo cowboy, an actor, and a singer who was part of [...]

How Collecting Opium Antiques Turned Me Into an Opium Addict

Smoking opium was a widespread practice in Asia over a hundred years ago, but the practice is almost gone today. Almost. Antiques collector Steven Martin, author of the new book Opium Fiend: A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction, tells the story of how his research into the opium smoking tools he collected [...]

Simpsons Chairs

It’s not a couch gag, but it’s close. 56th Studio, a design firm in Bangkok, made chairs in the images of four characters from The Simpsons. May I suggest a high chair inspired by little Maggie, who is conspicuously absent? Link | Studio Website

Music History #8: “New York Mining Disaster 1941″

“New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Have You Seen My Wife, Mr. Jones)” Written by Barry and Robin Gibb (1967) Performed by Bee Gees Getty Images The Music When the Bee Gees debut US single was released in April 1967, a lot of people thought it was The Beatles masquerading as another band. Even the name Bee Gees was [...]

Music History #7: “Hurricane”

“Hurricane” Written by Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy (1975) Performed by Bob Dylan Getty Images The Music In 1974, when Bob Dylan wrote “Hurricane” about Rubin Carter, the boxer had already been in prison for ten years for a murder he supposedly did not commit. But his case had become a kind of cause célèbre for civil rights [...]

Music History #5: “I Don’t Like Mondays”

“I Don’t Like Mondays” Written by Bob Geldof (1979) Originally sung by The Boomtown Rats The Music It may be the catchiest murder ballad of all time. Laced with baroque piano flourishes and a call-and-response style chorus, the song is an earworm that makes you feel a little guilty for singing along. After all, you are echoing [...]

Music History #4: “Cloudbusting”

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of Bill DeMain’s new(ish) column, where he explores the real historical events that inspired various songs. “Music History” appears twice a month—unless we can convince Bill that twice a month is not sufficient! “Cloudbusting” Written and Performed by Kate Bush (1984) The Music Kate Bush has always had a way of making [...]

Music History #3: “Yes! We Have No Bananas”

Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of Bill DeMain’s new column, where he explores the real historical events that inspired various songs. “Music History” appears twice a month. “Yes! We Have No Bananas” Written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn (1922) Originally sung by Eddie Cantor The Music The story goes that one day in 1922, songwriting duo Frank [...]

Music History #2: “Smoke on the Water”

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of Bill DeMain’s new column, where he explores the real historical events that inspired various songs. “Music History” will appear twice a month. “Smoke on the Water” Written by Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Paice (1972) Originally performed by Deep Purple The Music It’s the riff that will not [...]