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
France's last execution via guillotine was in 1977.