Welcome to Town


The “Hollywood sign” started as an advertisement for a housing development in the 1920s, but a deeper symbolism soon became clear.

In 1932, actress Peg Entwistle committed suicide by jumping to her death from the letter “H”.


“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.” — Popular Mechanics, 1949

Silly Old Bear

Psychological diagnoses of inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood, according to an article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2000:

  • Winnie-the-Pooh: ADHD, inattentive subtype; OCD (provisional diagnosis); borderline intellectual functioning (Very Little Brain)
  • Piglet: Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Eeyore: Dysthymic disorder
  • Rabbit: Narcissistic personality disorder
  • Owl: Reading disorder
  • Tigger: ADHD, hyperactivity-impulsivity subtype

“Pooh needs intervention,” the authors conclude. “We feel drugs are in order. We cannot but wonder how much richer Pooh’s life might be were he to have a trial of low-dose stimulant medication. With the right supports, including methylphenidate, Pooh might be fitter and more functional and perhaps produce (and remember) more poems.”

Cooped Up


Mike Tyson collects pigeons.


Two racehorses and a dog are in the stable on the night before the big race.

The old horse says, “Kid, I have a favor to ask. Tomorrow’s the last race of my career. If I win, they’ll have a big parade in my honor and put me in a nice pasture for the rest of my life. If I lose, they’ll send me to the glue factory. Now, I’m still a pretty good racer, but I think we both know that if you try tomorrow, you can beat me. So I’m asking you, just this once … will you let me win?”

The younger racehorse looks at the ground for a long time. “I understand what you’re asking,” he says, “and I feel for you, I really do. But look at this from my point of view. I’ve never lost a race. If I keep up my record, there’s no telling how far I’ll go. And, no offense, but if I lose this early in my career to a horse as old as you, I could never recover. I’m really sorry, but I just can’t do it.”

The dog says, “Are you out of your mind? You’ve said yourself that you already have a great record, and he’s asking you to come in second, in one race, to save his life. How can you refuse that? Have you no soul at all?”

The young horse looks at the old horse and says, “Look — a dog that can talk!”

High-Rent Districts

World’s most expensive cities, according to a worldwide 2006 cost of living survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting:

  1. Moscow
  2. Seoul
  3. Tokyo
  4. Hong Kong
  5. London
  6. Osaka
  7. Geneva
  8. Copenhagen
  9. Zurich
  10. Oslo

New York was number 11.

Brain Food

Tom’s Restaurant, famous as the diner in Seinfeld, shares a building with the Goddard Institute of Space Studies in Manhattan.

“Bulwell Is Considered a Good Writer”

Excerpts from 19th-century students’ English exams:

  • “Lord Byron was the son of an heiress and a drunken man.”
  • “Gibbon wrote a history of his travels in Italy. This was original.”
  • “George Eliot left a wife and children who mourned greatly for his genius.”
  • “George Eliot Miss Mary Evans Mrs. Cross Mrs. Lewis was the greatest female poet unless George Sands is made an exception of.”
  • “Sir Walter Scott Charles Bronte Alfred the Great and Johnson were the first great novelists.”
  • “Thomas Babington Makorlay graduated at Harvard and then studied law, he was raised to the peerage as baron in 1557 and died in 1776.”
  • “Homer’s writings are Homer’s Essays Virgil the Aenid and Paradise lost some people say that these poems were not written by Homer but by another man of the same name.”
  • “A sort of sadness kind of shone in Bryant’s poems.”
  • “Holmes is a very profligate and amusing writer.”

— From Mark Twain, “English as She Is Taught: Being Genuine Answers to Examination Questions in Our Public Schools,” 1887

Think Again

Chocolate is toxic to cats, dogs, parrots, and horses.

The “Flaming Rainbow”


When sunlight is refracted through ice crystals in cirrus clouds, it sometimes produces this rare phenomenon, known as a circumhorizontal arc.

It happens only when the sun is high in the sky, so there’s no pot of gold.

(Thanks, Mysticwolf.)