World’s Strangest

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6 Memorable Letters From Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong is remembered as both a “reluctant American hero” and “the spiritual repository of spacefaring dreams.” He was man of few words, but those he chose to share were significant and occasionally, tongue-in-cheek. Here are some notable letters and notes written by the first man on the moon. 1. Its true beauty, however, was [...]

Burning Books to Save the Library

(YouTube link) The library in Troy, Michigan, was under a threat to close if a referendum raising taxes .07% did not pass. Things looked pretty grim until a creative campaign using reverse psychology was designed to turn the focus from the tax increase to the library and its books. Troy Public Library would close for good unless [...]

Inspector Spacetime Needs You!

The man pictured here is Inspector Spacetime, or rather, the actor who plays the fictional Inspector on a fictional show created for the cult hit TV show Community. He’s supposed to be an alternate version of Doctor Who, and characters Troy and Abed from Community are huge fans of the fictional space-time detective. Are you lost [...]

The Historical Gift Guide: 15 of the Greatest Gifts in the History of Presents

Do you have a pal who always leaves you scratching your head when it comes to gifts? Perhaps something in our Historical Gift Guide will sound like the perfect present for the person in your life who has everything—everything except a 69-carat diamond, an eagle made of beer can tabs, and fire. 1. For Friends Abroad: [...]

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 [...]

Protective Suit Improvised to Remove Nest of Yellowjackets

The girlfriend of redditor TroyPDX got stung by a yellowjacket, so “it was on like Donkey Kong.” He prepared for his attack on their nest by getting drunk and improvising a beekeeping suit out of duct tape, rubber boots, a flashlight, and computer parts. Troy then armed himself with a vacuum cleaner and marched off [...]

Dr. Seuss’ Letter to the Children of Troy, Michigan

In 1971, Marguerite Hart, a children’s librarian in Troy, Michigan, wrote to many celebrities and political leaders and asked them to send back inspirational messages to the children of her town. 97 wrote back, among them Vincent Price, E.B. White, Pearl Bailey, Douglas Fairbanks, Isaac Asimov, and Pearl Buck. You can read them all at [...]

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Vergil

1. Vergil or Virgil? Vergil’s proper Roman name was Publius Vergilius Maro. However, many texts refer to the author of The Aeneid as Vergil while others refer to him as Virgil. Vergil is now understood to be the correct spelling of the poet’s name. Why the mistake? There are different theories. Gilbert Highet, in The Classical Tradition, [...]

Reagan to the Rescue!

Now that the mainstream media is crowing that Obama’s approval rating has been bouncing back, what’s a good ol’ conservative to do? Time to trot out the Gipper! Here’s Reagan to the Rescue Tumblr blog, which described itself as such: A photoblog dedicated to the fact that Ronald Reagan — and only Ronald Reagan — can solve [...]