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Pictures From Our Readers: Ill-Advised Business Names

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The response to our second reader photo challenge was great, and we got a ton of hilarious submissions! We're posting most of them here, and all of them on our Flickr page. Enjoy!

Anatomically-inclined business names
We had so many submissions in this category, we were actually able to organize them by body part:

We received two pictures of Massachusetts liquor stores named "Bunghole," from Cody (above, in Peabody) and Sabrina (below, in Salem). According to Wikipedia, "a bunghole is a hole bored in a liquid-tight barrel," though it's been used as naughty slang since at least the 13th century (famously making an appearance in Dante's Inferno).

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We also got two pictures of the same business, from readers Kati and Laura -- the unfortunately-named Analtech in Newark, Delaware. (I'm sure it's pronounced an-AL-tech, guys. Jeez, grow up!)
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Jocelyn sent us a snap of Oregon's own T&A Supply Co., which judging from their name, keeps Nevada well-stocked with pasties and stripper poles.
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This package store is just outside of Atlanta. (Thanks, Lucy!)
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Furniture guaranteed to keep you up at night. (Heh. Sorry.)
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Puntastic business names
The hair weaves in Pine Bluff, Arkansas are beyond belief. (Thanks to Darcie!)
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This had to be intentional. Right? (From Josh and Joanna Burress, taken near Kokomo, Indiana.)
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Caroline Hanke sent in this picture of a really full-service gas station.
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Unfortunate business names
From reader Katherine: tanning for the truly pale.
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Kelly found this sign in southern Indiana. (Just because you own the place doesn't mean you have to name it after yourself.)
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From Mindy, the least popular furniture store in Mason City, Iowa.
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Joe Warner writes that this business in Acworth, Georgia was torn down a few years ago. I guess the formula just wasn't working.
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Asian restaurants

There could've been thousands of pictures in this column, but we liked these three the best. From J.J. in Poughkeepsie:
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In Bath, Maine (thanks, Austin):
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Reader Christine pointed out this photo of San Diego's own Pho King (it's pronounced fuh), taken by the gourmands at mmm-yoso!
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There are lots of these places in Los Angeles, but apparently people in other parts of the world (like reader Tori) think that donuts and Chinese food make strange platefellows:
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Just plain odd
There's really no other way to classify these. What were they thinking?

More weirdness from Darcie in Pine Bluff, Arkansas:
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Discount caskets? (I hope they're not used.) Thanks, Alyssa!
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Sarah sent us this shot from Shreveport, Louisiana. She hoped this was a sign for an exterminator business, but needless to say, didn't go inside to investigate.
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Laura found this on vacation in Phoenix about 15 years ago. Cute!
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Georgetown's own Moby Dick Kabob. (Say that five times fast.) Thanks to Luz.
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On-purpose weird business names
When you have no marketing budget, sometimes the best way to get the word out about your business is by giving it a ridiculous name. We're pretty sure that's what happened to these fine establishments.

From Kevin:
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A Phillipsburg, Kansas restaurant found by Alyssa:
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A guy who got tired of answering the question "what kind of stuff do you sell?" From Jocelyn:
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More peculiarity from Pine Bluff:
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A frozen yogurt place in Salt Lake (thanks Devora), whose motto appears to be "no spooning on Sundays!"
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Bars
There seems to be a long-standing tradition of giving bizarre names to drinking establishments. Here are a few.

Nothing special about this Lancaster, Ohio saloon (thanks, Sheya):
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Live nude cattle in Star Valley, Arizona. (Thanks, Susan.)
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Both the name and logo of this business seem to celebrate drunk driving:
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Just around the corner from the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City (thanks, Jessica):
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Space
Google Street View Now Lets You Explore the International Space Station

Google Street View covers some amazing locations (Antarctica, the Grand Canyon, and Stonehenge, to name a few), but it’s taken until now for the tool to venture into the final frontier. As TechCrunch reports, you can now use Street View to explore the inside of the International Space Station.

The scenes, photographed by astronauts living on the ISS, include all 15 modules of the massive satellite. Viewers will be treated to true 360-degree views of the rooms and equipment onboard. Through the windows, you can see Earth from an astronaut's perspective and a SpaceX Dragon craft delivering supplies to the crew.

Because the imagery was captured in zero gravity, it’s easy to lose sense of your bearings. Get a taste of what ISS residents experience on a daily basis here.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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Lucy Quintanilla/iStock
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travel
6 East Coast Castles to Visit for a Fairy Tale Road Trip
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Lucy Quintanilla/iStock

Once the stuff of fairy tales and legends, a variety of former castles have been repurposed today as museums and event spaces. Enough of them dot the East Coast that you can plan a summer road trip to visit half a dozen in a week or two, starting in or near New York City. See our turrent-rich itinerary below.

STOP 1: BANNERMAN CASTLE // BEACON, NEW YORK

59 miles from New York City

The crumbling exterior of Bannerman Castle
Garrett Ziegler, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Bannerman Castle can be found on its very own island in the Hudson River. Although the castle has fallen into ruins, the crumbling shell adds visual interest to the stunning Hudson Highlands views, and can be visited via walking or boat tours from May to October. The man who built the castle, Scottish immigrant Frank Bannerman, accumulated a fortune shortly after the Civil War in his Brooklyn store known as Bannerman’s. He eventually built the Scottish-style castle as both a residence and a military weapons storehouse starting in 1901. The island remained in his family until 1967, when it was given to the Taconic Park Commission; two years later it was partially destroyed by a mysterious fire, which led to its ruined appearance.

STOP 2. GILLETTE CASTLE STATE PARK // EAST HADDAM, CONNECTICUT

116 miles from Beacon, New York

William Gillette was an actor best known for playing Sherlock Holmes, which may have something to do with where he got the idea to install a series of hidden mirrors in his castle, using them to watch guests coming and going. The unusual-looking stone structure was built starting in 1914 on a chain of hills known as the Seven Sisters. Gillette designed many of the castle’s interior features (which feature a secret room), and also installed a railroad on the property so he could take his guests for rides. When he died in 1937 without designating any heirs, his will forbade the possession of his home by any "blithering sap-head who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.” The castle is now managed by the State of Connecticut as Gillette Castle State Park.

STOP 3. BELCOURT CASTLE // NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

74 miles from East Haddam, Connecticut

The exterior of Belcourt castle
Jenna Rose Robbins, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Prominent architect Richard Morris Hunt designed Belcourt Castle for congressman and socialite Oliver Belmont in 1891. Hunt was known for his ornate style, having designed the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island, but Belmont had some unusual requests. He was less interested in a building that would entertain people and more in one that would allow him to spend time with his horses—the entire first floor was designed around a carriage room and stables. Despite its grand scale, there was only one bedroom. Construction cost $3.2 million in 1894, a figure of approximately $80 million today. But around the time it was finished, Belmont was hospitalized following a mugging. It took an entire year before he saw his completed mansion.

STOP 4. HAMMOND CASTLE MUSEUM // GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS

111 miles from Newport, Rhode Island

Part of the exterior of Hammond castle
Robert Linsdell, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Inventor John Hays Hammond Jr. built his medieval-style castle between 1926 and 1929 as both his home and a showcase for his historical artifacts. But Hammond was not only interested in recreating visions of the past; he also helped shape the future. The castle was home to the Hammond Research Corporation, from which Hammond produced over 400 patents and came up with the ideas for over 800 inventions, including remote control via radio waves—which earned him the title "the Father of Remote Control." Visitors can take a self-guided tour of many of the castle’s rooms, including the great hall, indoor courtyard, Renaissance dining room, guest bedrooms, inventions exhibit room, library, and kitchens.

STOP 5. BOLDT CASTLE // ALEXANDRIA BAY, THOUSAND ISLANDS, NEW YORK

430 miles from Gloucester, Massachusetts

It's a long drive from Gloucester and only accessible by water, but it's worth it. The German-style castle on Heart Island was built in 1900 by millionaire hotel magnate George C. Boldt, who created the extravagant structure as a summer dream home for his wife Louise. Sadly, she passed away just months before the place was completed. The heartbroken Boldt stopped construction, leaving the property empty for over 70 years. It's now in the midst of an extensive renovation, but the ballroom, library, and several bedrooms have been recreated, and the gardens feature thousands of plants.

STOP 6. FONTHILL CASTLE // DOYLESTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA

327 miles from Alexandria Bay, New York

Part of the exterior of Fonthill castle

In the mood for more castles? Head south to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where Fonthill Castle was the home of the early 20th century American archeologist, anthropologist, and antiquarian Henry Chapman Mercer. Mercer was a man of many interests, including paleontology, tile-making, and architecture, and his interest in the latter led him to design Fonthill Castle as a place to display his colorful tile and print collection. The inspired home is notable for its Medieval, Gothic, and Byzantine architectural styles, and with 44 rooms, there's plenty of well-decorated nooks and crannies to explore.

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