I’m usually pretty dialed into this stuff, but somehow this one slipped by me last fall. During the Gangnam Style craze, MIT shot a parody video where Noam Chomsky, the father of modern linguistics, made a cameo appearance. Maybe it slipped by me because the appearance is brief. About 5 seconds, starting at the 3:20 mark.[...]
Props go to Mental Floss for coming up with this unexpected find. Back in 2011, in Tokyo, 167 musicians performed some classic Beethoven with the “Matryomin,” a new-fangled instrument that lodges a theremin inside a matryoshka.[...]
Reading James Joyce’s Ulysses is no walk in the park. Why else would so many people falsely claim to have read it. (See our post from last week, 20 Books People Pretend to Read.) But Finnegans Wake is a whole ‘nother deal.[...]
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On February 7th, 1910, Virginia Woolf (then Virginia Stephen) and five of her Bloomsbury companions—painter Duncan Grant, Woolf’s brother Adrian, Anthony Buxton, Guy Ridley, and Horace de Vere Cole—boarded the pride of the British Royal Navy, the HMS Dreadnought, dressed in blackface and outlandish stage costu
Having one of those mornings where you wake up thinking it’d be “awesome” if you jazzed up Stravinsky’s atonal musical setting of Edward Lear’s famous nonsense poem, “The Owl and the Pussycat“?
You are? Wow! What luck! Apparently Recreational Mathemusician Vi Hart had the exact same kind of morning recentl
In 1973, Dale Irby, a teacher at Prestonwood Elementary in Dallas, decided to wear a polyester shirt and coffee-colored sweater for school-picture day. Without realizing it, he wore the same outfit the following year. According to the Dallas News, Dale’s wife noticed the emerging trend and dared him to do it a third year.[...]
The likes of U2, Coldplay, and David Bowie can afford to hire producer, artist, and thinker Brian Eno to shake up their creative processes. You and I, alas, probably can’t. We can, however, afford to consult the Oblique Strategies, a deck of cards invented by Eno and painter Peter Schmidt in 1975.[...]
I was born in the City of the Flowland People, made my way to Stink Onion upon reaching maturity, then onward to New Yew Tree Village where I have lived for the last 217 moons.
Look up some of your key co-ordinates in The Atlas of True Names and you too can have a personal history as mythic-sounding as mine.
Last month we told you about The Strange Day When Bugs Bunny Saved the Life of Mel Blanc. It’s a true tale about how, back in 1971, Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny and other beloved Looney Tunes characters, got into a terrible car accident in Los Angeles and slipped into a coma.[...]
In late May, The Seattle Public Library set a world record for the Longest Book Domino Chain, according to the World Record Academy. Watch as 2,131 books — all part of an upcoming book sale — fall one by one. Apparently, it took 27 volunteers seven hours — and five failed attempts — to pull off this feat for the ages.[...]