Talk about a buzzkill -- my boss just waltzed into the office wearing a fabulousÂ new top from a local vintage store, and instead of oohing-and-ahhing as was clearly expected, my co-worker said, "oh, you got that at the Garment District? I bought a shirt there once and it gave me ringworm."
This prompted a lively discussion in which I learned the following not-very-fun facts: (1) you really can get ringworm from sharing clothes, (2) ringworm is not a worm, but a skin-infecting fungus, (3) "jock itch"... READ ON
First a Green Day album cover saves a little girl from exploding, now this:
British popster James Blunt's song You're Beautiful has taken a beating of late, with even the singer himself referring to it as "overplayed". ButÂ Britain's Daily Mail has revealed that the song might have miracle powers. Five-year-old Claudia De'Alwis, had been a coma for 10 days following a head-first plunge from a five-metre balcony. She began to awake after her favourite song came over the hospital radio - it was [James]... READ ON
This blog is mostly written by guys, and I bet youÂ guys don't read the New York Times Styles section, and hey, I can understand that, because you're guys, but -- this isÂ the lede of the Times' current "Critical Shopper" column:
The first time I ever came across the term "penis bone" — in JT Leroy's novel "Sarah," the main character wears such a bone on a necklace — I thought it was made up, a novelist's surreal fictional version of perma-Viagra.
Later it turned out that JT Leroy was... READ ON
Ah, the South in the summertime -- land of creeping kudzu, stifling humidity, and the fire ant:
In the 70 years since the imported red fire ant sneaked into Mobile aboard a ship from Brazil, no insect has been more vilified or subjected to such a relentless chemical assault from Southern homeowners, gardeners and farmers. Even the government joined the quest to kill the pest, but through it all, the fire ant has not merely endured, but prospered, expanding from its original beachhead in Alabama to... READ ON
A couple of weeks ago, a writer named Jason Feifer formulated a hypothesis that all of us have probablyÂ also come up with: (a) YouTube videos are almost uniformly terrible, therefore (b) an awesomely terrible video posted to YouTube couldÂ conceivably hit it big and make the filmmaker famous. Unlike the rest of us, Feifer decided to actually test the hypothesis:
One week ago, at almost exactly midnight, I uploaded this stupid video and officially launched Operation Shockless and Awful, an experiment... READ ON
Over at Collision Detection, Clive Thompson has stumbled on another interesting internet art project:
MillionArtists is fundraising project with an interesting way of gathering donations: Everyone who gives money can choose the color and placement of single pixel on a massive online canvas. In theory, as thousands or millions of people donate, it'll take shape as a picture. But a picture of what? Heh -- interesting question. A story in the Globe and Mail points out that at the moment, there are only 88... READ ON
I've always liked reading other people's college-graduation addresses, maybe because I didn't get to hear the one directed at me -- the geniuses at Duke set up the stadium's acoustics so the parents in the stands could hear the speech but the kids sitting on the field might as well as been deaf. (Or maybe it was just my corner of the field.Â Mangesh, you must have been there; can you confirm?)Â So I was delighted to see thatÂ the New Yorker this week printed David Sedaris' amusing, if slightly... READ ON
First the Midwest mumps outbreak, now this: Several people here in Boston have come down with the measles and/or rubella, apparently including a member of the Christian Science Church, which is well known for its queasy stance toward MMR vaccination. Anti-vaccine hysteria has also been blamed for a huge epidemic of measles in Britain, even though by now many studies (including a new one in next month's Pediatrics) have disproven any link between vaccines and autism. And "vaccine fatigue" may also be behind... READ ON
Here at mental_floss, we make a point of telling you about things that happened in the pastÂ (executions of royal mistresses, origins of nursery rhymes, and so on).Â It's a little-known fact that we can also predict the future. For instance, I predict that you are about to readÂ two paragraphs about The Amazing Criswell, a character I recently came across while doing m_f-related research:
The Amazing Criswell began his career as a television newscaster. One night he ran out of copy, and faced with... READ ON
Leonard Maltin's complete review of the 1948 film Isn't It Romantic?: "No."