Fed on radioactive turnips, Rose Newman of Bourton-on-the-Water, England,
grew to the astonishing height of 50 feet.

Just kidding. Bourton-on-the-Water contains a 1:10 scale model of itself.

And, yes, the scale model contains a scale model.


“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” — Ken Olsen, president, Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977

Take Your Pick

Frivolous political parties around the world and their campaign promises:

  • Denmark’s Union of Conscientiously Work-Shy Elements promised tailwinds on all cycle paths.
  • Hungary’s Two-Tailed Dog Party promised eternal life, world peace, one work day per week, two sunsets a day, smaller gravitation, and low taxes.
  • Sweden’s Donald Duck Party promised wider sidewalks and “free alcohol to the people.”
  • England’s Death, Dungeons and Taxes Party promised the reintroduction of hanging, the annexation of France, and the reduction of the school leaving age to 9.
  • America’s Guns and Dope Party would replace one-third of Congress with ostriches.

And Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus all have Beer Lovers’ Parties.

“Politicians are the same all over,” said Nikita Khrushchev. “They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.”

Lebensraum in Oils

Adolf Hitler produced more than 2,000 paintings and drawings before World War I.

He once described himself as a misunderstood artist.


Milk is the official beverage of 18 states.

Could You Repeat That?

This is a grammatically valid English sentence:

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

It was discovered/invented in 1972 by University of Buffalo linguist William J. Rapaport. It means “Buffalo from the city of Buffalo that are intimidated by other buffalo from the city of Buffalo themselves intimidate a third group of buffalo, also from Buffalo.”

Is that clear? Be glad you’re not in the Netherlands, where Als In Bergen, bergen bergen bergen bergen bergen bergen bergen bergen bergen bergen means “If in Bergen, heaps of mountains salvage heaps of mountains, then heaps of mountains salvage heaps of mountains.”

The Tsavo Man-Eaters

If you wanted a sucky job in 1898, you couldn’t do much worse than the Tsavo River project in Kenya. The work crew was assembled to build a railway bridge, but it quickly turned into a lion smorgasbord.

Men were regularly dragged out of their tents at night and devoured. The predators evaded traps, ambushes and even thorn fences, but after 10 months engineer John Henry Patterson managed to kill these two enormous maneless lions. By that time they had killed nearly 140 men between them.

And why? Apparently the flesh of railroad workers has a particular savor. The pair had got a taste for it in raiding shallow graves; when they ran out of graves they started going after live game.

In a Word

a fight or quarrel between priests

August Reading

A capitonym is a word that changes meaning when it’s capitalized:

A herb store owner, name of Herb,
Moved to a rainier Mount Rainier.
It would have been so nice in Nice,
And even tangier in Tangier.

Lluvia de Peces

In the Honduran province of Yoro, it rains fish. Each year between May and July there’s a heavy rainstorm that leaves hundreds of live fish on the ground, which local villagers cook and eat.

No one knows how this happens, but it’s been going on for more than a century. One town has even started an annual festival.