World’s Strangest

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From Classics to Graphics: 6 Literary Masterpieces Turned Into Graphic Novels

Abridging classic novels for younger readers is nothing new. But in recent years, classic literature has been graphic novel-ized, making it more accessible for readers young and old while preserving the plot, themes, and sometimes even the author’s voice. English class will never be the same, thanks to these classics gone graphic. 1. The Picture of [...]

The Ulysses Map

It took Rachel Kerr three years to create, but it’s worth the wait: Leopold’s Day is a map of Dublin that features the city as it was described in James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses. Rachel also made a directory [...]

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 [...]

12 Really Forced Portmanteaux That Didn’t Catch On

There are times when one big word can more effectively do the job of two words. These are not those times. 1. Balloonatic (balloon + lunatic)
 A person who is balloon-mad; a balloonist, spec. (Mil. slang) a member of a balloon corps or balloon squadron in the First World War (1914–18).
 When the first manned hot air balloon [...]

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” [...]

Play Zork on a Rotary Phone

Zork, a classic computer game from the 1970s, is now accessible through a rotary phone. The project is appropriately called “Dial-A-Grue”: [...] a chap named Ulysses got the vintage game to run on a TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) — a project he built to show off at the Bay Area Maker Faire last weekend. [...]

The Quick 10: Pre-Presidential Professions

You already know that Ronald Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild before he was President of the United States, and I bet you recall a joke or two about Jimmy Carter being a peanut farmer. Here are a few ways other future presidents paid the bills before they started signing bills. 1. Harry Truman, [...]

What 10 Classic Books Were Almost Called

Remember when your high school summer reading list included Atticus, Fiesta, and The Last Man in Europe? You will once you see what these books were renamed before they hit bookshelves. 1. F. Scott Fitzgerald went through quite a few titles for his most well-known book before deciding on The Great Gatsby. If he hadn’t [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Really Pricey Books

I have this fantasy that I am harboring a rare, insanely valuable first edition of some obscure book somewhere on my overstuffed bookshelves. I’ll decide I don’t need it someday and take it to trade in at Half Price Books and the overly-honest guy behind the counter will give me a look like I’ve lost [...]

13 Examples of Literature in Song

It’s no real surprise that Wikipedia has a thorough list of these, but it’s interesting to parse through the many, and find a neat collection of songs and albums that were based on, or influenced by books. Led Zeppelin has a scatological lyric library referencing JRR Tolkien, but let’s see what else is out there. 13. Alan Parson’s [...]