World’s Strangest

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The Missing Links: Your Work Is Killing Your Work Ethic

Worst. Financial. Decision. Ever. If you wonder why the US Postal Service is struggling, wonder no more. * Did This Post Take Your Computer 10 Minutes to Open? If so, your WiFi signal is weak. Here are 10 tips to kick it up a few notches. * Here’s Why You Don’t Get Anything Done At Work You [...]

10 James Joyce Facts in Honor of Bloomsday

Happy Bloomsday!! If you’re not a James Joyce aficionado (or if you don’t celebrate obscure holidays), June 16 is the day all of the events in Joyce’s Ulysses take place. The name comes from Leopold Bloom, the main character in the novel. To honor Bloomsday and James Joyce, here are a few [...]

Famous Novelists on Symbolism in Their Work and Whether It Was Intentional

It was 1963, and 16-year-old Bruce McAllister was sick of symbol-hunting in English class. Rather than quarrel with his teacher, he went straight to the source: McAllister mailed a crude, four-question survey to 150 novelists, asking if they intentionally planted symbolism in their work. Seventy-five authors responded. Here’s what 12 of them had to [...]

The True Stories Behind 10 Bad Album Covers

Even though it’s been years since Ransom Riggs posted about bad album art, those “what were they thinking?” covers have stuck with me all this time. After I wiped away the initial tears of laughter, it occurred to me that bargain bin recording artists are people, too. In the interest of balanced reporting, I hereby [...]

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” [...]

Now Hear This: Radio War Propagandists

The following is an article from the book History’s Lists from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. During America’s wars, they were considered entertainers more than harbingers of fear to U.S. troops. But sometimes media stars like Tokyo Rose and Hanoi Hannah broadcast strategic information that there’s no way the enemy should have known. As radio propagandists transmitting from [...]

World’s First Synthetic Microbe Accused of Copyright Infringement by James Joyce’s Estate

When Craig Venter created a synthetic microbe, he inserted a passage from James Joyce. Guess who’s upset? Joyce’s estate, claiming copyright infringement: In order to distinguish their synthetic DNA from that naturally present in the bacterium, Venter’s team coded several famous quotes into their DNA, including one from James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist of [...]

Up In Arms

Pull up an armchair -you might be up in arms over this roundup of arm stories from mental_floss magazine! NO ARM, NO FOWL One afternoon in 1972, friends Jack Northrup and Jack Bishop were having lunch at their local drugstore in Olney, Texas, when they realized the strangers next to them were eavesdropping. The pair, both amputees, [...]

10 Works of Literature That Were Really Hard to Write

by Mark Juddery Instead of judging works of literature based on their artistic merit, we’ve decided to rank them by degree of difficulty. These 10 authors may not be Shakespeare, but they sure had vaulting ambitions. 1. The Story That Will Never Be an e-Book Gadsby by Ernest Vincent Wright Some might call Gadsby a “love” story. But [...]

6 Ways Charles Schulz Really Was Charlie Brown

While Charlie Brown and his creator, Charles Schulz, share a first name, the character was actually named after one of Schulz’s art school friends, not after himself. Despite this, the big-headed character shares a lot more with his creator than a name. In honor of what would be Charles Schulz’s 88th birthday, let’s celebrate the [...]