World’s Strangest

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Uncle Drew Chapter 2

In the first chapter of Uncle Drew, Pepsi Max teamed up with NBA star Kyrie Irving to play a little prank on people. Now, they are back for Chapter 2. In the first installment they dressed him up as an old man named Uncle Drew and brought him to a pickup game. The film crew explained [...]

New York City’s Mad Bomber and His Patriotic Break

On November 16, 1940, an unattended wooden toolbox was discovered on a windowsill in the Consolidated Edison Company Building at 4 Irving Place in Manhattan. The headquarters of the utility giant is huge, taking up an entire block, and it was bustling that day. No one had seen who left the box behind, where they [...]

How Your Grandpa Got His LOLs

Those of a certain age will recall “gag boxes,” which are little jokes hidden inside a small box. You gave (or just showed) them to people like a greeting card. Irving Fishlove, founder of H. Fishlove and Co. novelties, popularized the little boxes in the 1920s and ’30s. Collector’s Weekly talks to novelty collectors Mardi [...]

Who Wrote “Happy Birthday to You” (and Who’s Collecting the Millions in Royalties)?

Getty Images “Happy Birthday to You” has been used in hundreds of movies, countless advertisements, an estimated 1,500,000+ singing telegrams, and been the basis for pieces by classical composers like Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland. It’s arguably the most recognized song in the English-speaking world, and it’s making some lucky people a whole lot of money. [...]

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 [...]

Twinkies Maker Files for Bankruptcy

Rumor has it that Twinkies have an infinite shelf life*, but unfortunately the maker of the famous snack may not enjoy such longevity. Hostess Brands Inc, the company that makes Twinkies and Wonder Bread, has [...]

The Evolution of Santa Claus

The following article is reprinted from The Best of Uncle John’ Bathroom Reader. Ever wonder how the Santa Claus of 21st-century Christmas lore came about? Here’s the story of how an almost completely unknown bishop became the most recognized holiday character in Western civilization. A MAN NAMED NICHOLAS In the fourth century A.D., a man named Nicholas [...]

11 Broadway Musicals Featuring Characters in the U.S. Military

Not only have the men and women of the United States Armed Forces served their country, they have also served as inspiration for the Great White Way. 1. Carmelina (1979) This was the story of a single mother who told everyone in her small Italian town that the father of her teenage daughter was an American soldier [...]

Art Deco Skyscraper of the Week: Trinity Building, New York

“QUANTUM SHOT” #727Link – article by Avi Abrams Where is this stupendous architecture when you need it? Sorry folks, they do not build them like this any more. These imposing structures with all the look and atmosphere of a superhero’s (or a supervillain’s) headquarters now exist in a time warp, dwarfed by lifeless and faceless obelisks of [...]

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” [...]