World’s Strangest

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10 Famous Literary Characters Based on Real People

“Write what you know,” they say. So it makes sense that many authors take a good look around at friends and family when creating characters for their books. 1. Mark Twain once admitted that he wasn’t terribly creative in creating Huckleberry Finn – he based the character almost precisely on his childhood friend Tom Blankenship. From [...]

Not Your Parents’ Action Figures

Action figures began with Habro’s introduction of G.I. Joe in 1964. Since then, they’ve become associated with the marketing of TV, film, and comic book characters. But those are just the ones you see all the time. If you look, you’ll find just about anyone available as an action figure, which can spur imaginative play, [...]

14 Literary Settings Inspired by Real Places

At the end of a good book, don’t you just sometimes close the back cover, sigh, and think, “I wish I could be there.” Good news: in some cases, you can. While you’re probably never going to make it to Narnia or Hogwarts (I know – I’m disappointed, too) here are a handful of “fictional” [...]

7 Tiny Books That Packed a Big Punch

by Michael Ridgeway At 1,456 pages, War and Peace makes a big impression … and a great doorstop. But books don’t have to weigh a lot to be heavy hitters. Here are seven tiny tomes—all fewer than 100 pages—that sparked revolutions. 1. Common Sense by Thomas Paine (52 pages) In the 1770s, American colonists were riding the [...]

3 Bizarre Cases of Death by Shaving

by Brett & Kate McKay These days, nothing can be more routine for a man than shaving. We hardly give a second thought to scraping a razor against our skin each morning. If we fear anything about the process, it’s that we’ll nick ourselves or end up with severe razor burn. But it wasn’t always so. Shaving was [...]

3 Cases of Death by Shaving

by Brett & Kate McKay These days, nothing can be more routine for a man than shaving. We hardly give a second thought to scraping a razor against our skin each morning. If we fear anything about the process, it’s that we’ll nick ourselves or end up with severe razor burn. But it wasn’t always so. Shaving was [...]