Maybe you don't follow the underground scene, and you are woefully uneducated about the Next Big Thing's independent album. How about the fictional musicians from television and film? Were you a Zack Attack groupie? Can you sing all the lyrics to "Let's go to the mall!"? Prove your fandom and take our fictional band quiz.
Take the Quiz: I'm With The (Fictional)... READ ON
Their fans get up at the crack of dawn and drive, sometimes hundreds of miles, to empty fields where they put on an army uniform, pick up a bayonet, and faithfully reenact battles from the Revolutionary War. Or the Civil War. Or Desert Storm. Historical reenactments, known to their supporters as "living histories," are events where individuals attempt to faithfully portray an event of the past.Â But wars aren't the only historical events that lend themselves to enthusiastic and accurate... READ ON
Whether you saw the original productions (or, more likely, a revival), or own the film versions on worn-out VHS tapes, true fans know that The Golden Age of Broadway (c. 1943-1968) blessed us with classic, yet sometimes ridiculous tunes. How well do you know your soundtracks? Let's test your knowledge of musical theatre lyrics.
Take the Quiz: Broadway... READ ON
The products gracing the pages of the SkyMall Magazine provide guaranteed laughter, disbelief and audible exclamations of "Who would buy that?" In each question in today's quiz, one product is actually for sale in SkyMall Magazine; the other is an invention that failed to secure a patent. Can you tell the difference?
Take the Quiz: Actual Skymall Product or Rejected Invention... READ ON
Appropriately enough, I'm writing today's Quick 10 from my neighborhood public library. Since it's National Library Week, here's a look at ten people who once worked amongst the bookshelves.
1. Mao Zedong: Before he led the Communist Party of China, Mao worked as a librarian's assistant at Peking University between 1918 and 1919. He needed a job, and earned only eight dollars a month carrying periodicals to the readers and organizing shelves. The future Chairman said,... READ ON
Broadway in Chicago recently held a conference on the topic of transforming books into Broadway Musicals, partially due to the success of "Wicked," the longest running Broadway Musical in Chicago history. But "Wicked" wasn't the first work of literature to be interpreted through song on the stage. Here are ten Broadway musicals based on books.
1. "Wicked," "the untold story of the witches of Oz," is based upon the best-selling novel by Gregory... READ ON
When Helvetica turned 50 in 2007, it was honored with the release of an eponymous independent documentary film. While that font has claimed its own place in history, it remains only one of many options on your Microsoft Word toolbar. Think you can tell one typeface from another?
Take the Quiz: Name That... READ ON
Recently, a good friend and I discussed books we read and re-read growing up and noticed a common theme: Our lasting favorites featured strong female protagonists who often kicked some serious behind. After the fun I had writing about literature's desirable men and reading the heated debates in the comments, the time came to reminisce and cyber-bond over sassy leading ladies.
Warning: Some spoilers ahead.
1. Elizabeth Bennet (from Pride and Prejudice by Jane... READ ON
What did women do before we had People magazine to define ultimate attractiveness and tell us which leading man is the Sexiest Man Alive? Since the sexiness of said men is debatable and so many more worthy contenders are passed over, I suggest adding fictional men to the ballot. Literary characters are timeless; they never age, lose their looks or compromise their reputation. A self-proclaimed book nerd, I maintain that the most attractive men exist in the world of stories. Obviously I haven't read every... READ ON
From gunpowder stockpiles to Star Wars memorabilia, it seems that nothing is safe from a lightning strike. Let's take a look back at some notable examples.
1. Lightning and Gunpowder Don't Mix
In August of 1769, lightning struck the tower of the Church of the Nazaire in Brescia, Italy. The current passed through the vaults where 207,000 pounds of gunpowder had been stored for safekeeping. You can tell where this is going. The aftermath destroyed a sixth of the city and killed 3,000 residents.... READ ON
Four years ago today (June 2, 2004), an unassuming Mormon with boyish good looks and a pistol-quick reaction on the buzzer began his famous winning streak on Jeopardy! When his original appearance ended, Ken Jennings won $2,520,700 (the highest total winnings in non-tournament play) in an unprecedented 74 games. Additionally, Ken holds the record for the longest winning streak in the game show's history, and the most money won in a single game: $75,000. Since making his mark, Ken appeared on the Jeopardy!... READ ON
In the ubiquitous Baby Mama trailer, Tina Fey looks at a used home pregnancy test that mocks her with a foreboding blue "NO" in the results box. Although the mock factor is optional, home pregnancy tests can lay it out straight: YES or NO. Whether the results are determined by blue lines, a plus or minus sign, or the plain words, the "pee on a stick" method is a popular way to discover if one is with child. Isn't it interesting that one of life's greatest achievements... READ ON
I've never felt more like a therapist or priest as I did when reading the submissions in our 'Admit Vice, Win Book' contest. Apparently, the world of flossers is not limited to knowledge junkies, but junkies for World of Warcraft, for your own bodily functions and odors (and those of your pets), and for trashy television and movies. And many of you admitted to, shall I say, well-known vices (you know who you are).
Now that I know you all too well, to determine two "winners," I used the guidelines for... READ ON
Like many fellow flossers, I am addicted to public radio. The soft buzz of NPR is truly cathartic on Saturday mornings when Wait Wait"¦Don't Tell Me! airs in Chicago. If your weekend routine does not include this show, you are missing out on an informative and hilarious hour of current events commentary. And on occasion, the hosts even break out a copy of mental_floss magazine.
One of the personalities behind this weekly news quiz is Peter Sagal. Self-described as "vanilla," Peter also... READ ON
John Adams drank a tankard of hard cider each day and had the occasional beer for breakfast.