World’s Strangest

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The Surprising Last Words of 11 Entertainers

What do actors, musicians, and writers say when they die? I consulted the reference Last Words of Notable People by Bill Brahms to collect eleven examples. Read on, and get a hanky ready. 1. Bob Hope (1903-2003) The words: “Surprise me.” The story: “Bob” Hope’s full name was Leslie Townes Hope. As an actor [...]

The Time Fidel Castro Asked FDR for $10

The year: 1940. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was residing in the White House; a 12-year-old Fidel Castro was studying at a boarding school, Colegio Dolores in Santiago, Cuba. Fidel read about Roosevelt’s third re-election and, on a whim, decided to drop one of the most powerful men in the world a line. At the time, Fidel’s [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Cool Harry Potter Costumes

With the first half of Deathly Hallows coming out this week, I bet there are lots of Potterphiles out there who already have their tickets for the midnight showing. I haven’t been to one, but I hear people get all decked out in their HP finest. In fact, I know they do – there’s photo [...]

J.K. Rowling’s Plot Spreadsheet

(Click to enlarge.) When you’re writing a book (actually, a series of books) with a bunch of plot lines, you need a way to keep track of what’s going on. How can you structure the book so that everything fits, and moves, and you don’t leave out any of those zillions of characters and subplots? How [...]

The Bald Bear

Vets are baffled at this strange sight: Dolores, a spectacled bear at the Leipzig Zoo in Germany has gone bald! It could be due to a genetic defect but the animals don’t seem to be suffering any other afflictions. The normally fluffy dark brown bears should be now growing a thick fur coat to keep them warm [...]