World’s Strangest

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Meet the Beats

The following article is from the book Uncle John’s Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader. The Beats were America’s first hipsters. But what were they, like, really about, man? THE OTHER SIDE OF AMERICA One night in 1948, two students at new York’s Columbia University, John Clellon Holmes and Jack Kerouac, were hanging out talking about what they thought was [...]

The Fearless Wonders

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader. How Mohawk “skywalkers” came to build New York’s skyscrapers. THE FEARLESS WONDERS St. Lawrence Bridge 1886 In 1886 the Dominion Bridge Company (DBC) of Canada was hired to build a cantilever railroad bridge across the St. Lawrence River near Montreal. The north end of the bridge lay [...]

Tuition Costs Compared to Other Prices

This graph from the New York Times shows how much tuition has gone up, way more than other costs. They offer several reasons, but since they are focusing manly on state schools, public funding cutbacks appears to explain a lot of it. Link -via TYWKIWDBI

Best NYT Correction Ever

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times ran a great article entitled Navigating Love and Autism. A day later, it was forced to add a correction, apparently by the many fans of My Little Pony. Link -via Buzzfeed

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 [...]

Down But Not Quite Out: The "Near Poor" in America

Graphic: The New York Times / Source: U.S. Census Bureau Can you be living on the edge of poverty if you earn more than $50,000 a year? Yes, you can … if you live in Silicon Valley. A new and very surprising [...]

The President’s Secret New York City Train Station

Dan Lewis runs the popular daily newsletter Now I Know (“Learn Something New Every Day, By Email”). To subscribe to his daily email, click here. Grand Central Terminal, located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, has more than 40 platforms, making it the largest train station in the world. But one of those platforms is rarely, [...]

New York Comic-Con 2011 Photos

There was a huge turnout of cosplayers at new York’s Comic-Con, and Geeks Are Sexy was there to document them. See their gallery of 43 photographs of the best costumes to be seen at the convention. Link

Glory Day: Lancaster’s Brief Stint as Our Nation’s Capital

© Richard T. Nowitz/CORBIS If you’ve visited Lancaster, Penn., you probably remember it as a nice mid-sized city right in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country. What you might not know is that 234 years ago today, it became our young country’s third capital city, a position it held only briefly. Very, very briefly. Let’s take [...]

Frank Sinatra: Crossword Puzzle Fan

Frank Sinatra wrote this letter to New York Times editor Eugene Maleska. The correspondence between them began in the early 80s after he was featured in a crossword puzzle, which he could complete in half an hour. Link -via Letters of Note