Modern Mysteries

Terrifyingly Cheerful Ghost Revealed To Be Free iPad App Notification

The first time you hear a very clear Chinese woman's voice say "Sou Sou!" in your living room while you are supposedly alone, it is natural to brush it off. There are so many things making noises all the time! The second time, weeks later, when you're sitting alone by the fireplace reading at midnight, is terrifying. At this point, it is natural to wonder if this is how Moses or Allah or Jesus or Neale Donald Walsch or Oral Roberts or Ted Nugent or Charles Manson felt, when they first heard voices telling them what to do. But what did "Sou Sou!" even mean? It seemed less like [...]


Why Did Lady Wear Unexpected Dress?

What sinister cabal is behind the massive conspiracy to keep the world from knowing why Natalie Portman wore "Rodante" [sic] rather than Dior at last night's Oscars? I'm guessing it had something to do with the Jews. I mean, it usually does.


Is Creepy Poe Toasting Guy Dead?

"I think we can safely say it's not car trouble, and he's not sick. This doesn't look good." —Jeff Jerome, curator of the Poe House and Museum, discusses the absence of the mysterious stranger who for nearly 60 years would leave three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac at Edgar Allan Poe's grave on the anniversary of his birth. The "Poe Toaster" has missed the occasion for two years in a row now, leading to speculation that… well, pretty much every news story you read about this is going to contain the word "nevermore."


Will President Personally Thank Bin Laden-Killing Dog?

"President Obama will meet with the valiant Navy SEALs who took down Osama Bin Laden Friday – but it remains a secret whether the raid's daredevil dog will be in the room." [UPDATE: He did!]


The Case Of The Piano On The Beach: Credit Where Credit Is Due

Mystery solved. Sixteen-year-old Miami resident Nicholas Harrington says he put a grand piano on the sandbar in the middle of Biscayne Bay because he "wanted to create a whimsical, surreal experience." And also make a video for his application to college (where he will be totally stressed out.) Nicholas and his family came forward yesterday after local film-makers Billy and Anais Yaeger falsely claimed credit for the stunt that became a world-wide phenomenon. But there's someone else who deserves credit for the inspiration. His name is Dwayne Smith.


Why Wouldn't Bradley Manning Want to Meet the Bold Star of 'Hackers Wanted'?

There are a lot of unanswered questions in the case of Bradley Manning, the intelligence analyst who was arrested last May, allegedly on information supplied by ex-hacker Adrian Lamo. It is widely believed that Manning is responsible for the leak of over a quarter million diplomatic cables to the WikiLeaks organization. This belief rests largely on the contents of chat logs between Lamo and Manning, excerpts of which were published in Wired magazine, on boingboing and in the Washington Post starting in June of last year.

One of the most interesting of those unanswered questions—right after exactly how long is he going to be [...]


Insert Sumo Ring Joke Here

"Given the years of political frustration and irresolution, Japan's voters might be forgiven for asking: Where is their Chris Christie?"


Dear Insane Silverback Gorilla Bling

What is your sad story? Why were you sitting in the window of an otherwise unremarkable jewelry shop in New York's Diamond District, just after Christmas, amidst other comparatively tasteful—if far less garishly ambitious—baubles? Did the primate-loving impresario who commissioned you, perhaps overestimating the sustainability of some heady, early success in the hip-hop and/or high-end poaching games, fall on hard times, leaving you imprisoned with other sparkling victims of a still-foundering economy? Are you roaring with rage at the nearby watches, with their diamond-encrusted faces the size of stop signs, for the utter banality of their excess?