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6 Acrostics You May Not Have Noticed

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I rather enjoy word games. And chances are, if you're a flosser, you do too. Crosswords, jumbles, Hangman-type games"¦ they're all good. I can't finish a Friday New York Times crossword yet, but it gives me a goal.

In that spirit, I think I'm going to give acrostics a try. Acrostics are what you get when the first letter of each line of a written piece spells something out when you read it vertically. For instance:

Mental Floss is awesome;
Everyone thinks so, including my aunt and her
Niece and
The Grand Poobah from Ben and Jerry's
And Wil Wheaton (who doesn't love Wil Wheaton?).
Lots of stuff to make you feel smart again,
Facts to impress (or annoy) your friends and
Lunchtime quizzes to quench your noontime boredom.
Oh, I really hope you guys enjoyed this
Shameless plug by

See? If you read the first letter of every line, it spells out "Mental Floss". But I didn't need to tell you that. Here's a look at six other acrostics"¦ some nicer than others. (Side note: I cannot type the word 'acrostic' without thinking of suburbia 'Agrestic' from the show Weeds)

1. Gordon Macdonald

Mr. Macdonald was a British politician; in fact, he was Newfoundland's last British governor. But there was no love lost between Macdonald and the people of Newfoundland. When the island joined Canada in 1949, Macdonald left pretty quickly. Just two days after he departed, a poem that appeared to be very flattering was published in the Newfoundland Evening Telegram:

The prayers of countless thousands sent
Heavenwards to speed thy safe return,
Ennobled as thou art with duty well performed,
Bringing peace, security and joy
Among the peoples of this New Found Land.
So saddened and depressed until your presence
Taught us discern and help decide what's best for
All on whom fortune had not smiled.
Remember if you will the kindness and the love
Devotion and the respect that we the people have for Thee

2. Het Wilhelmus

Het Wilhelmus is the national anthem of the Netherlands and is (arguably) the oldest national anthem in the world. It tells the story of William of Orange, Count of Nassau. Well, actually, William tells his own story "“ the song is written from his point of view. All of this is notable in its own right, but the anthem is also a famous acrostic. There are 15 stanzas to the song, and if you take the first letter of each stanza and put them together, it spells "Willem Van Nazzov". An English translation upholds the tradition by spelling out "William of Nassau". Since it's 15 stanzas, I'm not going to reprint it here, but feel free to check it out on Wikipedia.

3. An Acrostic by Edgar Allan Poe

Poe didn't leave anything to chance when he wrote this poem "“ he wanted the reader to figure out it was an acrostic. Why, you ask? Because that's what he titled the poem "“ An Acrostic. It was reportedly written for his cousin and was not published until after his death.

Elizabeth it is in vain you say
"Love not" — thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L. E. L.
Zantippe's talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breathe it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love — was cured of all beside —
His folly — pride — and passion — for he died.

4. PETA's Prank

Colonel Sanders is probably rolling over in his grave at this acrostic located just a stone's throw away from his final resting place. At the Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, PETA (legally) had a marker that appears to be a tribute to Harland Sanders himself. However, the acrostic spells out, "KFC tortures birds".

5. Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned"¦

This one may be not safe for work, but I had to include it.
The man who carved the epitaph into the gravestone said the wording was given to the monument maker jointly by the man's ex-wife and mistress - the 'friends' on the headstone who 'miss' him, apparently. He didn't realize the hidden message was there until after he had finished carving it. I'm going to go ahead and link you to Snopes on this one instead of posting the actual picture.

6. "A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky", Lewis Carroll

Should there be any doubt about who the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice books was, he spells it out for you "“ literally "“ in the last chapter of Through the Looking-Glass.

"A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky".
A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July--

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear--

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die.
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream--
Lingering in the golden gleam--
Life, what is it but a dream?

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Little Baby's Ice Cream
Pizza and Cricket Cake Are Just Some of the Odd Flavors You'll Find at This Philadelphia Ice Cream Shop
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Little Baby's Ice Cream

Ice cream flavors can get pretty out-there, thanks to the growing number of creative scoop shops willing to take risks and broaden their customers’ horizons beyond chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Intrepid foodies can cool off with frozen treats that taste like horseradish, foie gras, and avocado, while Philadelphia's Little Baby’s Ice Cream is pushing the boundaries of taste with chilly offerings like everything bagel, Maryland BBQ, ranch, and cricket cake.

Cricket-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Everything Bagel-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

As Lonely Planet News reports, Little Baby’s Ice Cream launched its first signature “oddball” ice cream—Earl Grey sriracha—in 2011. Since then, its rotating menu has only gotten quirkier. In addition to the aforementioned flavors, customers who swing by Little Baby’s this summer can even try pizza ice cream.

The store created the savory flavor in 2011, to celebrate neighborhood eatery Pizza Brain’s inclusion into Guinness World Records for its vast collection of pizza memorabilia. The savory, Italian-esque snack is made from ingredients like tomato, basil, oregano, salt, and garlic—and yes, it actually tastes like pizza, Little Baby’s co-owner Pete Angevine told Lonely Planet News.

Pizza-flavored ice cream, made by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

“Frequently, folks will see it on the menu and be incredulous, then be convinced to taste it, giggle, talk about how surprised they are that it really tastes just like pizza … and then order something else,” Angevine said. “That’s just fine. Just as often though, they’ll end up getting a pizza milkshake!”

Little Baby’s flagship location is in Philadelphia's East Kensington neighborhood, but customers can also sample their unconventional goods at additional outposts in West Philadelphia, Baltimore, and a pop-up stand in Washington, D.C.’s Union Market. Just make sure to bring along a sense of adventure, and to leave your preconceived notions of what ice cream should taste like at home.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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Warby Parker
Warby Parker Is Giving Away Free Eclipse Glasses in August
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Warby Parker

When this year’s rare “all-American” total solar eclipse comes around on August 21, you’ll want to be prepared. Whether you’re chasing the eclipse to Kentucky or viewing it from your backyard, you’ll need a way to watch it safely. That means an eclipse filter over your telescope, or specially designed eclipse glasses.

For the latter, you can just show up at your nearest Warby Parker, and their eye experts will hand over a pair of eclipse glasses. The stores are giving out the free eye protectors throughout August. The company’s Nashville store is also having an eclipse party to view the celestial event on the day-of.

Get your glasses early, because you don’t want to miss out on this eclipse, which will cross the continental U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. There are only so many total solar eclipses you’ll get to see in your lifetime, after all.


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