World’s Strangest

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11 Household Items Made Into Prom Dresses

Industrious ladies have always taken to designing and creating their own prom dresses, but generally that just means sewing a few pieces of fabric together. For the truly crafty and clever, though, the materials for a one-of-a-kind dress can be found around the house. 1. Duct Tape The most common oddball material for prom dresses and tuxes [...]

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

On the surface, B. Traven’s 1927 novel The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a suspenseful, propulsive can’t-put-it-down adventure story about three down-and-out Americans who trek deep into the Mexican mountains on a doomed search for gold. It’s a terrific read. But it’s more than just a page-turner; the work recasts the classic American adventure [...]

Composite Sketches of Literary Characters

Brian Joseph Davis uses a law enforcement composite sketch program to create pictures of literary characters. This is how the program saw Humbert Humbert from Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita based on the physical description of him in the novel. I’d love to see a rendering Bel-ka-Trazet from Shardik from this method. What literary figure would you [...]

The Outrageous Art Trucks of Japan

Japan takes its subcultures very seriously and while many of them, like rockabilly, goth and lolita, have some sort of equivalent in the U.S., Dekotora (the lavish decoration of a semi) doesn’t. You can find out more about this culture and see some amazing pictures of these blinged out trucks over on Flavorwire. Link

From the Dictionary to a Book Called “Horse”: The Surprising Complaints Against 6 Books

This week (September 24 through October 1, 2011) is the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, an “annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.” We’ve all heard about books like Lolita and The Awakening being banned, especially from schools, for overly sexual content; other books are banned—or at [...]

Case History Of A Wikipedia Page: Nabokov’s ‘Lolita’

There are some websites that are so interesting and extensive they are known as “black holes” or “time sucks,” because once you get started, you may not be able to escape. Wikipedia is near the top of the list. Even more perilous to your workday than reading is joining Wikipedia as an editor. Before you [...]

The Many Different Faces of Lolita

“Covering Lolita” is Dieter Zimmer’s rather fascinating look at how Nabokov’s classic novel has been depicted on more than 150 different covers from 33 countries over a period of 50 years. It’s interesting to see what each country thinks a Lolita would look like. Some avoid the image entirely by using an abstract image or [...]

Nabokov’s Theory on Butterflies Vindicated

Vladimir Nabokov was the curator of butterflies at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. The lifelong butterfly researcher posed a theory of butterfly evolution in 1945. He said butterflies came to the New World in five waves of migration, through Asia across the Bering Strait into Alaska and then southward through North and [...]

Parrot Sings "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor"

(Video Link) Lolita the parrot can sing the song “Bodies” by the metal band Drowning Pool. Here’s a selection from the lyrics: One – Nothing wrong with me Two – Nothing wrong with me Three – Nothing wrong with me Four – Nothing wrong with me One – Something’s got to give Two – Something’s got to give Three – Something’s got to [...]

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 [...]