World’s Strangest

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Pumpkin Carvings Inspired By Hollywood Movies

Bringing characters and images from the big screen to the side of a pumpkin is no small feat, but these sublimely detailed carvings from the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular in Providence, Rhode Island prove it can be done, and without the grossly inflated budget of a Hollywood movie! Link

Cthulhu Jack-O’-Lantern

When the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island, say that it’s hosting a Jack-O’-Lantern Spectacular, they’re not kidding. These carved pumpkins sure are spectacular! My favorite is the Cthulhu pumpkin above (if [...]

Going Viral: How Two Pakistani Brothers Created the First PC Virus

by Jason Kersten Before vigilante hackers like Anonymous tamed the Internet, two brothers started their own fight against software piracy. Their weapon: the first PC virus. Twenty-five years ago, students at the University of Delaware began experiencing strange symptoms: temporary memory loss, a lethargic drive, and fits of rage. This wasn’t just any old flu—it was the [...]

At the Libraries: RIP Jan Berenstain

Each week Miss Kathleen provides links to a variety of stories about libraries, authors, and books. If there’s something noteworthy going on in your local library, leave us a comment! You know you loved those Berenstain Bears books, and I bet your kids do, too (even if your tastes have changed). A sad announcement, then: creator [...]

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” [...]

How Wildman Whitehouse Destroyed the Transatlantic Cable

We’re pretty used to our instantaneous communications these days, aren’t we? We get mad when an email takes too long to send or if a page takes more than five seconds to load. Back in the 1850s, though, people were awed and amazed when the first communication was successfully transmitted via the Transatlantic Cable in [...]

The Worst First Pick in Basketball History

There’s not much we can say with certainty as Thursday’s NBA draft approaches. Some team will get a terrific bargain in this draft. Some team will burn its pick on a colossal disappointment whose name will be whispered in the same breath those of uber-busts Darko Miličić and Marcus Fizer. NBA general managers should take [...]

Operation Barbarossa: The Biggest Military Adventure in History

June 22nd marks the 70th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union — the biggest military adventure in history, which led directly to the downfall of Adolf Hitler’s murderous regime. Together with the Holocaust that followed it, Operation Barbarossa was the ultimate expression of Hitler’s twisted vision, reflecting both the vaulting [...]

Guerrilla City Planning

A few years ago, I wrote a short fictional newspaper article about “guerrilla city planners.” In the story, these rogues painted “keep clear” signs and put up stop and yield signs wherever they were needed. While a recent review of the story reminded me that it wasn’t very well-written, I still had to give myself a [...]

Knitted Bridge

Providence, Rhode Island-based artist Dave Cole specializes in large-scale knitting. Recently, he created an enormous knitted piece covering an old bridge in Melbourne, Australia: All around there it’s very dust-colored, so I chose the brightest, most fluorescent colors – orange and pink – and with 40 people we knitted one kilometer of two-foot-wide surveyors’ tape along [...]