World’s Strangest

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How To Write a Love Letter

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research. (Image credit: Flickr user Kristina Alexanderson) An application of current communications techniqueby Joshua LedermanSpecial Instructor of Writing Department of English, Emmanuel College, Boston, Massachusetts [EDITOR’S NOTE: Professor Lederman has tried, for many years, to teach college students how to write. He got to thinking about [...]

15 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in October

Need a reason to celebrate this month? Look no further than the list below. October 1st: National Homemade Cookies Day Getty Images Take a knee, Little Debbie, today we only want our tasty circular treats fresh from the oven. If you aren’t a master of the chocolate chip, take the day to make a little mess [...]

10 Peculiar Things Public Schools Have Banned

We’ve all heard stories about schools banning books or gang-affiliated clothing, but there are many less-publicized bans in effect. Here are ten of the more interesting cases. 1. Pogs Remember Pogs? The game featured cardboard discs printed with some kind of design on one side (sometimes a TV show or company promo), and was played by stacking [...]

F-Bomb, Sexting And Other Words Being Added To The Dictionary

The Merriam-Webster dictionary is getting some not so necessary additions, including f-bomb, sexting and brain cramp, that really define the slangy modern state of the good old English language. These new additions are sure to vex the older generation, vindicate students involved in English class arguments, and turn future Scrabble games into a total mess. What do [...]

The Missing Links: “F-Bomb” Is Now in the Dictionary

Where in the F-Bomb Did the Term ‘F-Bomb’ Come From? Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary added “f-bomb” to its collection of words that are words. The term may have originated from a Hall of Fame baseball player who had sworn off swearing. * Get Your Metal Detectors Ready It sounds like something out of a film. This explorer is getting ready [...]

A Crudely Drawn Penis Almost Derailed Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is about as American as it gets. Funny, then, that the book was released in England well before it hit shelves in the U.S. Funny, except to author Mark Twain, whose greatest work was almost derailed by a strange prank. Image credit: University of Virginia Library Special Collections Twain was unhappy with [...]

7 Other Famous Abbeys in England

The most famous abbey in England right now is not actually an abbey at all — it’s a castle. Highclere Castle is the stand-in for Downton Abbey, the eponymous location of the mega-popular British series about an upstairs-downstairs household in the early 1900s. While Downton might be the only abbey about which people in the [...]

12 Luminous Shadow Artworks

I’m a big fan of shadow art, especially the ones where piles of trash have been assembled just so to produce something entirely different on a wall. Luckily, there are plenty of artists like Kumi Yamashita, Tim Noble and Sue Webster to fuel my addiction. Some of these you might have seen floating around the Interwebz [...]

What Exactly Is a Sandwich?

It seems like a simple enough question, right? One even a very small child could answer. Unfortunately, there were no children on staff at Panera Bread in 2006, when the company sued Qdoba Mexican Grill for building a restaurant near one of theirs–a restaurant which happened to be protected by a “sandwich shop” location exclusivity contract. [...]

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 [...]