CLOSE
Original image
Getty Images

Famous Poems Read By Famous Men

Original image
Getty Images

Classic poems by Auden, Wordsworth, Keats, and the like are even more of a treat when recited in the rich and resonant tones of such actors as Alan Rickman and Benedict Cumberbatch. Words off a page have never felt so alive.

*

The judges of the 2013 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition have picked some real winners. 

*

Which fictional character shares your birthday?

*

A single man, formerly a monk, has spent the past half-century building a 131-foot cathedral with his own hands, but advancing age and the lack of a building permit could put an end to all of that.

*

Ernest Hemingway wasn’t known for a particularly playful sense of humor, but a newly published satirical short story from the writer’s early years might help change that.

*

Certain “unisex” names, like Leslie, Casey, Stacy, and Riley have been batted back and forth between genders over the years; their spikes and slumps over time form a fascinating picture of how easily “boy names” and “girl names” can change.

*

The men behind the bizarre Twitter account @horse_ebooks and the equally strange YouTube channel Pronunciation Book have stepped forward and pled guilty to performance art.

*

An international panel of scientists has weighed in: it is “extremely likely” – and they are 95% sure – that humankind is predominantly to blame for rising global temperatures. Better start apologizing to the Earth now.

Original image
HBO
Game of Thrones Has Changed the Real World
Original image
HBO

6 Ways Game of Thrones has Changed the Real World. Even those who don't watch it know the characters as cultural metaphors.

*

The Only Thing Worse than Watching an Offensively Bad Comedy is Watching One You Supposedly Wrote. A.J. Via got a movie deal and lost all control of the finished product.

*

To Fight Smallpox in the Spanish Colonies, King Charles IV Sent a Ship on a Vaccination Mission in 1803. The expedition included 22 orphans carrying the fresh vaccine in their bodies to keep it safe enough to last the voyage around the world.

*

For Centuries, People Celebrated a Little Boy’s First Pair of Trousers. Once he was toilet-trained and could dress himself, he could become a real boy.

*

What A Doctor Calls A Condition Can Affect How We Decide To Treat It. A familiar terms carries a lot of baggage, while a new term will encourage patients to just follow doctor's orders.

*

Ben Stiller's Never-Ending Midlife Crisis. His new movie Brad's Status is the fourth that explores that theme.

*

Sir Arthur and the Fairies. After a thorough but flawed investigation, the Sherlock Holmes author believed the Cottingley Fairies were real.

Original image
Getty Images
Great Stephen King Stories
Original image
Getty Images

16 Great Stephen King Stories to Read This Fall. In case you want to scare yourself silly alone in the dark.

*

Cowabunga! Strange Cow Stories. Bossy has gotten herself into some weird places.

*

How Two Lesbians Fought the Nazis With a Typewriter. Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe kept up a propaganda war from their home in the Channel Islands.

*

Can You Survive on Potatoes Alone? Maybe, but there are drawbacks to potatoes as a life-sustaining food.

*

Why Back-to-School Season Feels Like the New Year—Even for Adults. The majority of people spend more than half their lives tied to the school calendar.

*

A Visual History of Lunchboxes. Come for the nostalgia, stay for the trivia.

*

An Austrian Ossuary Holds Hundreds of Elaborately Hand-Painted Skulls. The custom is a combination of memento mori and identification.

*

A Brief History of United States Currency. Until the Civil War, money was printed privately by banks.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios