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8 Children's Book Themes Dr. Seuss Never Tackled

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Everyone reads Dr. Seuss, Judy Blume, Shel Silverstein and Maurice Sendak books growing up, but there are thousands more children’s authors out there. With so much competition, some authors choose to cover unique subjects in an attempt to stand out from the crowd.

1. The Illicit Drug Trade

Do your kids need to know more about the drug industry? Well then, The House That Crack Built might be just right for educating them about everything from the workers struggling in Colombian fields to drug dealers to homeless crackheads. While the book intends to show the evils of the drug trade, it also does a great job at showing that becoming a drug kingpin can get you one heck of a house.

2. Weed

Maybe you’re a 420-friendly kind of parent who doesn’t want your child to think all illegal substances are evil. Well, in that case, you’d better grab a copy of It’s Just a Plant as soon as possible. This title, written for children aged 3-5, tells the story of a young girl who walks in on her parents smoking marijuana and then is educated about the plant and why adults sometimes use it, but children never should. This might cause some confusion when the D.A.R.E. program starts up at their school.

3. In-Utero Boredom

Most children’s books are oriented towards kids that have already been born, but Ma! There’s Nothing to Do Here! tells the story of a bored little fetus awaiting the big day when it can finally come out and see the world.

4. Fertilization

There are differing opinions on when you should introduce your kids to the birds and the bees, but for those who want to teach 4-7-year-olds about the subject, Where Willy Went is a good way to start. The book stars Willy the sperm and his nemesis Butch who compete in the swimming race every day until Willy finally makes his way into the big prize, the egg inside Mrs. Browne. Eventually, the egg becomes a baby girl, but no one knows where Willy disappeared to, until baby Edna starts showing off the same traits as the little winning sperm.

While the book won’t answer all of a kid’s questions about baby-making, it certainly makes the story of fertilization fun.

5. Constipation

If given the chance, most kids would survive on a diet of ice cream and candy. While this might be a delicious way to live, we all know that it’s not healthy, and it would wreak havoc on someone’s digestive system. Fortunately, It Hurts When I Poop is there to teach children why their diet can make it easier or harder to go potty and why they shouldn’t hold in their poops too long.

6. Flatulence

Ever since Everyone Poops became a breakout success, children’s authors have become obsessed with talking about things that come out of our backsides. This specific title was actually created by the same author as a follow up to Everyone Poops, offering to explain where gas comes from and why it stinks.

7. Urinals

This book is specifically oriented to children living in Brussels, as the plot revolves around the famous bronze statue of the little peeing boy. When a toddler sees the statue, he is inspired to start standing while urinating. While his first few attempts fail, he is soon peeing on trees, snails and more, finally standing beside his father at a urinal.

8. Conjoined Twins

Actually, Seuss did include conjoined twins in his 1953 musical The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, but this book includes a short history of famous conjoined twins and talks about the medical causes of the condition. It's more about accepting other people regardless of their differences. The author goes into detail about how Siamese twins are different from most people, but also makes sure to focus on how, in many ways, they are like everyone else.
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Have any of you ever bought one of these books for your youngster? Or, do you guys have any titles to add to the list?

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Weird
A Hairy Situation: Meet the Winners of the 2017 World Beard and Moustache Championships
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Greg Anderson Photography

From long and thick to coiled or curly, every type of mustache, beard, and goatee under the Sun (and barber's pole) seemed to be present at the 2017 World Beard and Moustache Championships. The biannual competition—held in Austin, Texas in early September, according to Laughing Squid—brings together hairy rivals from around the globe, who come before a panel of judges to see whose facial hair is the most coiffed and creative.

Participants compete across 17 traditional categories in three main groups: mustaches, partial beards, and full beards. Awards are granted to individuals with the best Salvador Dalí–inspired mustache; the best "goatee freestyle," or short beards styled into elaborate arrangements; and the best natural full beard, among other looks.

Held in Leogang, Austria, the 2015 World Beard and Moustache Championships had just 317 competitors, Bryan Nelson—who helped organize this year's event along with the Austin Facial Hair Clubtells Mental Floss. But the 2017 Championships attracted a staggering 738 participants from 33 countries.

Nelson believes that the Austin Facial Hair Club pulled off history's largest facial hair competition (the group is awaiting validation from Guinness World Records), and also says that the tournament was the first of its kind to include craft-based categories for women.

"We had Creative Moustache and Realistic Moustache, Creative Beard and Realistic Beard," Nelson says. For the realistic categories, female participants used either real or fake tresses to create authentic-looking facial hair (which they attached to their faces), and for the creative categories, "they were all over the place and could be made from whatever," Nelson explains. "Seashells, bacon, bones … it's such a creative event."

You can check out a handful of 2017's winners—who were captured in all their hairy glory by Las Vegas-based photographer Greg Anderson—below, or view even more hilarious looks on his Instagram.

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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The Funniest Word in the English Language? 'Booty,' According to New Survey
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Some words, regardless of their meaning, are simply more chuckle-worthy than others. To determine which expressions in the English language are truly the most comical, Smithsonian reports that psychologists at the University of Warwick in the UK conducted a survey in which they asked people to rate the “humor value” of a sampling of chosen words. They recently published their findings in the journal Behavior Research Methods.

The researchers selected nearly 5000 words, and then used Amazon’s online crowdsourcing tool Mechanical Turk to ask more than 800 individuals to rank the humor value of 211 randomly chosen words from the list, on a scale from 1 (humorless) to 5 (humorous). Likely not surprising to anyone with younger siblings, the funniest word ended up being “booty,” with an average ranking of 4.32. In descending order, the remaining top 12 words—which all received a score of 3.9 or higher—were “tit,” “booby,” “hooter,” “nitwit,” “twit,” “waddle,” “tinkle,” “bebop,” “egghead,” “ass,” and “twerp.”

Why these words are so funny remains fuzzy. But when they analyzed their findings according to age and gender, the researchers did find that sexually suggestive words like “orgy” and “bondage” tended to tickle the funny bones of men, as did the words “birthmark,” “brand,” “chauffeur,” “doze,” “buzzard,” “czar,” “weld,” “prod,” “corn,” and “raccoon.”

Meanwhile, women tended to laugh at the words “giggle,” “beast,” “circus,” “grand,” “juju,” “humbug,” “slicker,” “sweat,” “ennui,” “holder,” “momma,” and “sod.” As for people under the age of 32, they were amused by “goatee,” “joint,” and “gangster,” while older participants liked “squint,” “jingle,” “burlesque,” and “pong.” Across the board, all parties were least amused by words like “rape,” “torture,” and “torment.”

Although humor is complex and dependent on elements like syntax and delivery, the study's researchers say that breaking comedy down to single-word units could demystify its essence.

“The research initially came about as a result of our curiosity,” said Tomas Engelthaler, the study’s lead author, in a press release. “We were wondering if certain words are perceived as funnier, even when read on their own. It turns out that indeed is the case. Humor is an everyday aspects of our lives and we hope this publicly available dataset allows future researchers to better understand its foundations.”

[h/t Smithsonian]

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