I'm not sure the folks at the University of Utah created "Mouse Party" as an anti-drug effort - it looks like it's aimed at neuroscience students, not smack-addled teenagers - but it's easily the best one I've seen since the fried-egg ads. Drag the little cartoon lab mice into a scanner, and you get to see what various controlled substances do to their brains. Best part: When they're not in the scanner, the little guys act like they're actually on their respective drugs, all to a cool club beat: Ecstasy... READ ON
With a heat wave sweeping vast swaths of the country, including the swath that encompasses my un-air-conditioned apartment, I've found only two forms of sweet solace: (A) sticking my head in the freezer and (B) reading, over and over again, these bits of cool trivia that A.J. kindly provided for our latest issue:
Ice: The next time you're sipping a vodka on the rocks while watching "Barbershop 2," give a little toast to the man behind the ice cube -- Boston entrepreneur Frederic "the Ice King" Tudor.... READ ON
What do the Great Fire of Rome, the publication of Mein Kampf, Ted Kennedy's plunge off a Chappaquiddick bridge, the McDonald's massacre, a tidal wave that killed 3,000 Papua New Guineans, and the Kobe Bryant rape charge have in common?
They all happened on July 18th, i.e., today.
If anyone needs me for the rest of the afternoon, I'll be huddled under the covers, waiting for the horsemen to show... READ ON
From McSweeney's, Notes on "Sweet Child O' Mine," as delivered to Axl Rose by his editor:
She's got a smile that, it seems to me—Why equivocate? You weaken your point by framing this as a mere personal observation instead of a fact.
Reminds me of childhood memories—Redundant. You either have a memory or you're reminded of something. You're not reminded of a memory. Heavy-metal fans won't stand for such writing, my friend. ...
Finally, Axl, I think we might have had a misunderstanding... READ ON
I just got back from a sunburned weekend in the twee little town of Ogunquit and thought I'd share a few things I learned:
* If anyone tries to tell you that "Ogunquit" means "beautiful place by the sea" (which happens to be the town motto) tell them to Ogun-quit it: The word, from the Western Abenaki Indians, means "coastal lagoon."
* That doesn't mean Ogunquit isn't a beautiful place by the sea -- in the early 20th century, its cliffs were the subject of paeans from well-known painters, including a... READ ON
A la Slate's "Today's Papers," I glean the best stuff from the country's top three newspapers so you don't have to:
"Forging Ahead in Moscow," from the LA Times
Persey Tours was barely keeping the bill collectors at bay before it started offering fake vacations last year. Now it's selling 15 a month — providing ersatz ticket stubs, hotel receipts, photos with clients' images superimposed on famous landmarks, a few souvenirs for living room shelves. ... Of course, it's not the real thing. But in... READ ON
Sydney Brenner is a brilliant biologist, Freeman Dyson is a fantastic physicist, W.D. Snodgrass is a prodigious poet (and what a name!) -- but why would you want me to tell you that when the geniuses themselves can do it directly and with less goofy alliteration? I refer to the People's Archive, a trove of first-person stories from the great intellectual celebrities of our time, including some who have recently passed on, such as Francis Crick and Ernst Mayr. Give me Brenner sitting in a cozy library,... READ ON
I know it's not nice to make fun of people from "the hills of eastern Kentucky" (I'm from the hills of eastern Georgia, so there's a pot-kettle dynamic), but the Kircher Society does it in such an interesting way:
Sometime around 1820, a French orphan named Martin Fugate, carrier of an incredibly rare recessive gene for a disease known as hereditary methemoglobinemia, settled on the banks of Troublesome Creek in Eastern Kentucky and married Elizabeth Smith, carrier of the same incredibly rare... READ ON
Say what you will about eco-warrior Alex Martin, for the past year she hasn't once looked in her closet and thought "I have nothing to wear." That's because every single day from July 7, 2005 to July 7, 2006, she wore the same item of clothing -- a homemade little brown dress:
The project is influenced in part by the art/anti-fashion movement "Grey Sweatsuit Revolution", in which participants attend a social event or public gathering wearing un-flattering sweatsuits as a statement against... READ ON
Minggu Mang anak Madang recently described himself to Malaysian newspapers as being "the living dead," but don't worry, he's not about to terrorize y'all's neighborhood:
Official records show that Minggu Mang anak Madang passed away from head injuries in the town of Bintulu in the eastern state of Sarawak on January 18, 2002, and was buried. But Minggu Mang, 40, says that he is alive and rallying for years to show to authorities he was not dead. ... He said he found out that he was proclaimed dead when he... READ ON
Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” was written by Shel Silverstein.