World’s Strangest

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If Great Literary Works Had Been Written by Lawyers

Legal humorist Kevin Underhill imagined a horrifying world in which the greatest works of Western literature were composed by attorneys. At the link, you can read selections from Shakespeare’s  A Midsummer Night’s Hearing Before the U.S. Patent Examiner and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, or, The “Whale” (A Narrative About, But Not Necessarily Limited to, the Species Enumerated [...]

The Word Counts of 11 American Things

1. “The Star-Spangled Banner” (National Anthem version): 80 2. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettsyburg Address: 271 3. The Emancipation Proclamation: 719 (title and signatures included) 4. Don McLean’s “American Pie”: 870 5. The Declaration of Independence: 1,458 (including signatures) 6. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech: 1,652 7. The U.S. Constitution: 4,543 (including signatures) 8. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. [...]

Möbius Ship

Tim Hawkinson made this model sailing ship that’s twisted like a möbius strip: Echoing the working methods of ship-in-a-bottle hobbyists, Hawkinson created a painstakingly detailed model ship that twists in upon itself, presenting the viewer with a thought-provoking visual conundrum. The title is a witty play on Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, which famously relates the [...]

100 Best First Lines from Novels

American Book Review posted what it considers to be the 100 best first lines from novels – see if you agree: 1. Call me Ishmael. —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851) 2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. —Jane Austen, Pride and [...]

Translating Moby Dick Into Emoji

Image: Fred Beneson Emoji are pictographs and emoticons common to text messaging in Japan. The scale of this language has grown so much that Fred Beneson of Creative Commmons wants to translate Herman Melville’s Moby Dick into emoji. The novel has 6,438 sentences, and he hopes to crowdsource the translation project out to people interested in [...]