Thomas Carlyle once called economics "a dismal science." Indeed, economists tend to be cautious and pedestrian, but can you blame them? After all, in these troubled times, who could sleep easy knowing these scary stories?
1. The Irish Potato... READ ON
The Dilemma: "What just stung me?!"
People You Can Impress: six-year-olds (maybe)
The Quick Trick: A bee can generally only sting you once, while hornets and wasps can sting multiple times.
The Explanation: The problem with elucidating the difference between wasps and hornets is that, at least according to most definitions of wasps, all hornets are wasps. So here's the... READ ON
The sagas of early medieval Iceland (written down between 1100 and 1300) are some of the great works of Western literature. Heck, they've got it all: lust, envy, large-scale violence, widespread failures. Plus, these charming tales are all set in a time when a man just had to do what a man (generally a man with anger-management issues and a club) had to do.
1. Hallgerd the Petty (Njal's Saga)
One of the bloodiest feuds in Icelandic history arose from the seating chart at a wedding, when... READ ON
Theodor Seuss Geisel wasn't actually a doctor (at least not until his alma mater, Dartmouth, gave him an honorary PhD), but his unique poetic meter and leap-off-the-page illustrations made him one of the most successful children's writers in history (over 220 million books sold). Here are five stories about the man behind such classics as The Cat in the Hat and Oh, the Places You'll... READ ON
The Dilemma: The guy sitting next to you at the bar keeps insisting that John Wayne Gacy wasn't a serial killer but a mass murderer, which is really creepy. But is he right?
People You Can Impress: Authors of true crime novels and suckers for semantics.
The Quick Trick: The creepy guy at the bar is full of it: Gacy was a serial killer because he committed many murders over a long period of time; mass murderers commit many murders all at once.
The difference here is all... READ ON
The Dilemma: Sure, your friend's been on the cover of Vogue a couple of times now, but does that make her legitimately super?
People You Can Impress: Supermodels!
The Quick Trick: A model gets arrested for snorting cocaine; a supermodel gets on the cover of People for snorting cocaine.
The... READ ON
The Dilemma: You're proud to be all three of these supposed insults! But you're wondering if one captures your brilliant essence better than the others.
People You Can Impress:Well, not cool kids, certainly. Face it—we're never going to impress those jerks.
The Quick Trick: Etymologically, geek probably equals carny, nerd probably equals Seussian animal, and dork probably equals what you might have called President Nixon if you were his close friend.
The Explanation:... READ ON
The Dilemma: You've got to defend your honor, you're just not exactly sure how.
Materials Needed: A tolerance for French words.
People You Can Impress: Your mortal enemy; Zorro; and fans of The Princess Bride.
The... READ ON
The Dilemma: Either you're a rabid AC/DC fan in search of lyrical meaning or you've got some pressing need to blow something up. Either way, we've got your answer.
People You Can Impress: demolition experts, mustachioed villains from silent movies, and Wile E. Coyote
The Quick Trick: If it's a white powder found in sticks, it's dynamite. If it's a yellow crystal, it's TNT. Use this little mnemonic to remember dynamite's inventor:... READ ON
Who shot J. R.? A scorned woman. Who gave Mr. Bobbitt a belated bris? A scorned woman. Who bested Buttafuoco? You guessed it. Those guys could have picked up a thing or two from these poor saps, who learned not to upset the fairer sex the hard way.
1. "Mrs. Jack... READ ON
The actor who was inside R2-D2 hated the guy who played C-3PO.