From getting hitched to saving the environment, here's proof you can still be a busybody long after you kick the bucket.... READ ON
This is the story of a boy, a dream, and a very spicy sauce. As a young man growing up in a village near Saigon, David Tran dreamt of creating the Asian equivalent of ketchup—something everybody would want to slop onto everything. During the Vietnam War, he and his family made a living selling dipping sauces that were packaged in recycled baby food jars. As the condiments grew popular with soldiers, one product became a clear favorite—a spicy, oil-based sauce, usually served with grilled meat. It was... READ ON
The hottest thing about chili peppers isn't the way they taste; it's everything else they can do for you.
1. They Strangle... READ ON
If there's a case to be made for intelligent design, we're not sure it should begin with the spiny dogfish. The fact is, their reproductive acts are nothing short of disturbing. If you're up for the nature's greatest argument for faking headaches, read... READ ON
Created by the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, the Witness Protection Program (WPP) does exactly what the movies say—it hides witnesses from vengeful thugs by giving them new identities (not to mention $60,000 a year in subsistence payments, one reasonable job opportunity, and—of course—psychological counseling). Since its inception, some 17,000 people have participated in the system, and no one who's followed the program guidelines has ever been killed. With that in mind,... READ ON
According to 3 Would-Be Holy Books That Got Left Out of the Bible
Book: The Infancy Gospel of James
Didn't Make the Cut: Because prequels are never as popular as the original story (we're looking at you, Mr. Lucas).
The Infancy Gospel of James focuses on the early life of the Virgin Mary and is the source of most extra-biblical traditions about her. Here, Mary is a miracle baby, born to aging parents and sent to live with priests. And Joseph isn't her husband, but a widower who... READ ON
When Life Gives You Massive River Flooding, Make Lemonade
In a fit of early 1900s nature-subduing enthusiasm, the good people of California decided to turn Imperial Valley (a desert) into a vast agricultural paradise (not a desert). To do so, they started cutting irrigation channels from the Colorado River. When those filled up with silt, they cut a little deeper, digging out a large gap in the River's bank to increase flow. Then, in 1905, the floods came, washing out the engineered canal and... READ ON
YOU WILL NEED
The ability to make new friends when your old ones disappear
Step 1: Pick the Right Crowd
The tiger keelback snake is native to Japan and several other nearby islands, where it's known for defending itself by spraying a toxin called bufadienolides into the eyes of its attackers. The toxins prevent proper heart function and give the snake a great getaway plan, but for years, scientists suspected that the tiger keelback wasn't capable of producing... READ ON
YOU WILL NEED
A Sense of Humor
Poor... READ ON
Although widely beloved as a sort of satirical Santa Claus today, any rational look at the biography of Mark Twain would reveal a very different man. The real Mark Twain was more often depressed than jolly, more bitter curmudgeon than wacky old coot. Then there was the atheism, the temper, and, oh yeah, the fact that he spent his later years surrounded by a flock of adoring underage girls. That last bit wasn't as bad as it sounds. The girls were always chaperoned and, apparently, the whole... READ ON
YOU WILL NEED
A way with women
A flexible moral compass
One At a Time
Frank Lloyd Wright, the man who revolutionized American architecture, was equally, uh, revolutionary, when it came to his love life. In 1889, he married Catherine Lee Clark Tobin and set about raising a family of six with her. However, that version of his personal life came to an abrupt end in 1909, when Wright went on an extended vacation to Berlin, Germany—with Margaret Cheney, the wife of a client, in tow. The pair spent... READ ON
How To Is Now 100% Desert Island-Free!
YOU WILL NEED
A strong desire to get out of the rat race
A beard (guys... READ ON
YOU WILL NEED
1 unstoppable will to live
An appreciation for tragic irony
If there's one thing you can say about most desert island strandings, it's that, at the very least, the weather is nice. There are certainly worse islands to be trapped on, thousands of miles from civilization, than a tropical paradise. Antarctica for instance. Sadly, that's just the place explorer Ernest Shackleton and his men found themselves marooned in the fall of 1915. They'd set out to... READ ON
YOU WILL NEED
1 Alligator, un-sedated and unbowed
1 Person, just a little bit crazy
1 Rope, preferably strong
Do: Check the Classifieds
In 2000, members of the Seminole tribe near Hollywood, Florida put an ad in a local paper. They were looking for a new alligator wrestler. While mano-y-gator conflict is nothing new to the Seminoles (the leathery beasts were once a valuable—and traditionally hand-caught—food source), it's only recently that the tribe has had such hard luck... READ ON
If you have several billion dollars and
a defense department contract:
You may be able to get invisible thanks to a new technology based off the Fantastic Four. According to comic book mythology, the Invisible Woman pulls off her shtick by bending light waves around her body with a force field—so instead of seeing a blond chick in spandex, super villains see whatever happens to be behind her. So far, this skill is strictly for fictional hotties, but researchers at St. Andrews University in... READ ON
YOU WILL NEED
---A perilous (and paranoid) diplomatic climate
---Weapons of mass destruction
First: Don't Read Your Mail
That way, you can remain blissfully uninformed about important events that you (and your staff) are likely to misinterpret. Case in point: One the night of January 25, 1995, Boris Yeltsin found himself dusting off the old Cold War-era nuclear command briefcase when an early warning radar station detected a missile rising out of the Norwegian Sea and heading... READ ON
Bring the Wife
While not exactly paragons of female equality, the Romans also certainly weren't at the bottom of the patriarchy pole either (that spot probably goes to the Greeks, who believed that ladies shouldn't be seen or heard and basically kept them locked up in the house). Unmarried Roman women, particularly those who were engaged via arranged marriage, didn't have a whole lot of freedom, but that changed once the marriage was validated. Proper Roman matrons had power within... READ ON
If kids used to ride you for looking "beat up from the feat up" or for "taking one too many hits from the ugly stick" or even for having a "face that only a mother could love on payday," then maybe it's time you gained back some of that self-confidence...by hopping in a time... READ ON
YOU WILL NEED
To Give Your Cat Some Good Role Models, Such As"¦
--Humphrey, the cat who launched a political scandal
Named the Prime Minister's Official Mouser in 1988, former stray Humphrey quickly became a fixture at 10 Downing Street, overseeing feline issues for Margaret Thatcher and John Major. But, when Tony Blair won the Prime Ministership in a landslide in 1997, Humphrey's position quickly became threatened. Rumors flew through the British press that Blair's wife... READ ON
The Dilemma: You find yourself at a Chinese restaurant craving cylindrical food. But of which variety?
Who You Can Impress: All the folks down at Hunan Garden. No longer do you need to hang your head in shame!
The Quick Trick: If it's got a shell like a deep fried tortilla, it's probably an egg roll. And if you're thinking that deep frying tortillas is awfully American for Chinese food, you're onto... READ ON
Question: What's greasy, grimy, and surprisingly useful?
Answer: Turkey guts"¦and a lot of other stuff, too. It just depends on how you process it.
If you're reading this, you're probably hip to the concept that Americans (and pretty much everybody else in world) have a bit of an oil addiction and that, unlike some things you could get yourself addicted to, the supplies aren't limitless. So, wouldn't it be great if we could make it ourselves? Produce oil just... READ ON
Name Dropping: Saint Augustine (Saint Uh-GUSS-tin if you're trying to impress people; St. AWW-guh-steen if you're talking about the town in Florida): (354-430). The most important Christian theologian ever, except for St. Paul, whose thoughts on God ended up filling out the latter half of the New Testament. Augustine didn't get so lucky—but he still gets read by anyone seriously studying the Christian understanding of... READ ON
Step 1: Use a Cereal Company as Your Realtor
Back in the Golden Days of Radio, the Quaker Oats Company sponsored a program called "The Challenge of the Yukon." Essentially the sort of story that Dudley Do-Right would later be created to mock, "Challenge" revolved around the adventures of a brave and true Mountie and his thematically named dog, Yukon King. But, with the advent of television, ratings for the show began to slump. Hoping a change of venue would do a world of good,... READ ON
When Willie Nelson admonished mamas everywhere to not let their babies grow up to be cowboys, he had no idea how accurate his assessment of a mother's power really was. Turns out, moms have a lot of control over what their babies become, both before and after birth.
YOU WILL NEED
To be a mom (sorry,... READ ON
The Dilemma: You want to assail someone's intelligence, but you don't know quite what word to use, which calls into question your own intellect.
Materials Needed: An IQ test would be helpful, but you can get by on just your wits—provided you have enough of them.
People You Can Impress: Well, idiots and morons both, for starters. But also psychologists. And you really, really need to impress psychologists, because—as you'll see—you really don't want... READ ON
Method #1: By Remote Control
It's every despot's dream: Tiny electrodes, implanted into the brains of your subjects, compelling them to follow your command. Priceless. Of course, the technology has more "ethical" applications as well. Currently, scientists are experimenting with electrodes that can make several different species of animals perform useful work, including protecting humans. At the State University of New York Health Science Center, microchip-enhanced rats have been... READ ON
THE WHITE-BONED DEMON: MAO'S MAIN SQUEEZE Jiang Qing, better known as Madame Mao, was Communist China's answer to Lady Macbeth. A beautiful and ambitious actress, she seduced Mao Zedong when his first wife fell ill. Then, as the leader of the notorious Gang of Four (the political group, not the band), Madame Mao helped spearhead the Cultural Revolution beginning in 1966, during which all Chinese schools were shut down, intellectuals were beaten or murdered, and anyone expressing... READ ON
Dangerous Item: Comedians
Don't Bring "˜Em To: Myanmar
The citizens of this country just want to avoid trouble—the kind that starts with a capital "T" and that rhymes with "C" and that stands for "comedy." Once known as Burma, Myanmar has a long tradition of stand-up comedy, usually in conjunction with traditional dance and theatre. But, since the rise of the military government nearly 20 years ago, comedy and comedians are increasingly unwelcome... READ ON
Most one-book authors are one-book authors for a reason: They die before they can crank out a second. (Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind comes to mind.) It seems Harper Lee, however, just plain doesn't want to write anymore. In the 1950s, Lee moved to New York to become an author, and in one sense, she succeeded. Her 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, won a Pulitzer Prize and is already a classic. But aside from a few nonfiction magazine articles she published later in the... READ ON
First: Get Embroiled in a Love Triangle
Lord Edward Bruce loved Venetia Stanley. So did Edward Sackville, Earl of Dorset. This being 1613, the disagreement quickly turned to impassioned slapping, which was, of course, an invitation to duel to the death.
Second: Evade The Wrath Of Your King
Besides commissioning a translation of the Bible, King James I of England is also well known for disliking the "barbaric" tradition of dueling. He had banned it from England, so Lord Bruce and the Earl of... READ ON
Stick Out Your Tounge
Snakes, you just can't trust "˜em. First they go around getting us humans kicked out of paradise, then they (or, rather, their oil) become synonymous with quacks and patent medicine. Snake fat, you see, was once believed to have curative powers and no snake fat solution was more curative than "Stanley's Snake Oil," the brainchild of cowboy Clark "The Rattlesnake King" Stanley. The King made a name for himself hawking his wares at the 1893... READ ON
YOU WILL NEED
Descendants to carry on your... READ ON
How the Hells Angels Conquered... READ ON
Like George Washington
"I cannot tell a lie." Except, of course, for that one. We've all heard the story about how young George Washington was bad enough to chop down a neighbor's cherry tree, but not bad (or, perhaps, smart) enough to lie about it"¦but it turns out that the story itself is a big, fat fabrication. Washington's first biographer, the questionable Anglican minister "Parson" Weems, cut the tale from whole cloth. It's the most famous... READ ON
Because the Government's Making You
Naming your baby Brooklynn, America, or Lindsee might be acceptable (if mockable) in the good ol' US of A, but don't try a stunt like that in Denmark. Of all the European laws regulating baby names, Denmark's are the strictest. Danish parents must choose from a state-approved list of 7,000 names, which seems like a lot, until you fall in love with a name that isn't on there. And bucking the system means months of slogging through a... READ ON
Take Your Aspirin
Here's the secret they don't tell you about space travel: It hurts. Spacesickness is common, particularly for first-timers and anybody who launches into a bunch of fancy spins or soaring across the station before they've had time to get acclimatized. And trust us, hurling in zero-G is no fun. Worse, the effects of weightlessness can really do a number on your body. One symptom is lower back pain, caused by your spine stretching as the fluid within it floats. You get... READ ON
GOOD NEWS: It's Possible
New words pop up in the dictionary all the time, thanks to a handy—and almost maniacally extensive—editorial system. If you want your word to make into the big books, you'll need to get it past the gate-keepers.
Step 1: Invent a Word and, More Importantly, Get It In Print
Over at the Oxford English Dictionary, the life of a new word starts out in the Reading Program department, where about 50 people spend their 9 to 5 lives gobbling up all the... READ ON
YOU WILL NEED
Step 1: Recognize the Awesomeness That is the Llama
Push those vile stereotypes out of your mind. Llamas are more than just South America's walking sweater. For one thing, they jump—many reaching Jordan-like heights of as much as four feet. They also make excellent golf caddies and scientists have developed a way to make a dandruff control treatment out of the llama's immune system.
Step 2: Draw Blood From Several Of Your New Furry Friends
Then head to... READ ON
Tip #1: Be Alive
Actually, that's pretty much all you have to do. Despite what the Uri Gellars of the world would have you believe, you're already using all of your brain. Everybody (from otherwise respectable media mavens to shamefully misinformed teachers) has probably told you at some point that humans only use 10 percent of their grey matter, but that couldn't be further from the truth. The myth most likely originated from the phrenology craze of the early 19th century, when... READ ON
The Easy Way: Be Famous
Hey, we didn't say anything about this being the easily accessible way. But, if you are blessed with the sort of fame that leads media types to follow your every move, then chances are, you won't ever get chosen for jury duty. Why? Frankly, your presence would be distracting in the courtroom. In 2003, for instance, Bill Clinton was called in as Prospective Juror No. 142 on a New York City murder trial, but was eliminated only a couple of days into the jury selection... READ ON
According to aeronautical pioneer (and Wright Brothers' arch-nemesis) Glenn Hammond... READ ON
According to the residents of Hibbing, Minnesota
Hibbing, Minnesota was a mining town. Incorporated in 1893, it quickly became the largest of several cities built near the Mesabi Range iron ore deposits. Known as the "richest village in the world," the town grew to a population of 20,000 within 20 years and boasted opulent hotels, decorative Victorian banks, and all the cultural amenities of "big city" life, such as it was at the time. But, in 1912, a geologic survey revealed that... READ ON
If you're like us, you are so over bobbing for apples. Instead, why not try having some real fun this Halloween? We suggest scaring small children, egging your boss' house, or bringing deceased creatures back to the land of the living.
YOU WILL NEED
1 extinct species (preferably herbivorous, just in case)
Its modern, surviving relatives
20-odd years of careful breeding
Ever since things went horribly wrong in Jurassic Park, mankind has carefully pondered the ethical and biological dilemmas of... READ ON
Oh, sure, you could just go buy some fireworks, but where's the fun in that? To really leave your smoking, blackened mark on history there are two things you've just got to have.
1) A DEDICATED STAFF
Don't make the mistake of thinking you can do this alone. There's a reason James Bond's archenemies always have hordes of minions. Or, on a less intentionally evil note, think of the Manhattan Project. To build the world's first nuclear bomb, the U.S. government... READ ON
I know, I know, you're thinking, "Finally, something practical!" And you'd be right. While driving a tank and digging to the center of the earth are fun things to know how to do, the chances you'll use that info are pretty slim. Breaking out of prison, on the other hand...well, I'm pretty sure some of you will find this helpful. You know who you... READ ON
Driving a tank is every destructive little child's personal goal. But with age comes maturity, and with maturity comes the realization that getting a hold of one of these puppies is going to be a little difficult. For all those tankophiles who just aren't ready to make a personal commitment to the U.S. military, we offer the following tips for getting yourself behind the wheel:
Check Your Neighbors' Mail
It may seem a bit hopeless, but the key is to not be fooled by misleading... READ ON
How To Travel to the Center of the Earth
We know shockingly little about what's going on beneath our feet. Sure, geologists and seismologists have burrowed down some—but if the Earth is a cocktail party, their work is the equivalent of nervous, pre-martini small talk. There are some pretty serious questions left unanswered. For instance, what's the center of the Earth made of—there's apparently some confusion over whether it's a uranium nuclear furnace or a slowly cooling ball... READ ON
Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don't drift apart.