World’s Strangest

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Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro on His Hands

Spencer West has no legs, so he walked on his hands. All the way up Mt. Kilimanjaro! Word came last night that West has reached Uhuru Peak in Tanzania, the highest altitude in Africa. From his blog: The moment the summit was within sight… it was incredible. We looked around – me, David and Alex – [...]

Two Snack Food Veterans Buried With Their Products

You may have heard that the inventor of Doritos died this week. Arch West was the marketing vice president at Frito-Lay in 1964 when he and his family took a trip to southern California. Like many of us tend to do when we’re traveling, West grabbed a quick snack for the road – a bag [...]

Doritos to be Sprinkled Over Creator’s Grave

Sad news for snackers: Arch West, creator of Doritos, passed away last week. He was 97. West, of Dallas, Texas,  is credited with creating the iconic snack chip after a family trip to San Diego in 1961. The inventor of the super-cheesy tortilla chips will get a memorable nod for his junk-food innovation, though: According to West’s [...]

Beulah Land

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader. Here’s a little-known slice of Americana: the story of how freed slaves changed the face of the American West. LAND OF OPPORTUNITY In 1865 the American Civil War came to an end and four million black slaves were free. But to what future? The South [...]

Josh Groban’s “The Best Tweets of Kanye West”

Kanye West’s Twitter feed is legendary. Sometimes profane, always bombastic, often awesome — if you can keep up with the intense volume of the tweets, you’re in for a treat. Some gems from the last few weeks: 26 Jan – “NO ALCOHOL BEFORE TATTOOS” 23 Jan – “I just threw some bassoon on this muthaf—a” (portion redacted) 21 [...]

Why Are the Western Ends of Cities Generally Wealthier than the Eastern Ends of Cities?

Dan Zambonini alleges that cities in the northern hemisphere tend to have poorer eastern rather than western sides. He then suggests that this is because wealthier people could afford to be upwind of air pollution: Many older cities rapidly expanded during the Industrial Revolution, as workers flocked to the urban centers. As the towns and cities [...]

Buddha Head Carved out of Phone Books

Long Bin-Chen, a New York-based artist originally from Taipei, sculpts books. He’s especially fond of depicting the Buddha, such as this sculpture made out of phone books. The artist explained that this is an effort to make the Buddha meaningful to the West: Since colonial times, Westerners have taken Buddha heads from the Buddha statues in [...]

Billy the Kid considered for a pardon

The notorious Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid who killed 21 men is being considered for a pardon. The governor of New Mexico has been reviewing the cas…

The Last Best Ghost Town: Bodie, California

There are a thousand ghost towns spread across the western United States — a whole constellation of loss and ruin — but most are little more than foundations, or at best a few tumbledown shacks, or if the people who lived and died there did anything of note, and if they’re lucky, a sun-faded commemorative [...]