Posts Tagged: Mysteries

Is the Voynich Manuscript Mexican? Scientists Say "Maybe," Ugh

Have you heard of the Voynich Manuscript? Otherwise known as the best manuscript-based mystery in the entire world? If you haven't, read the Wikipedia page, which in its own right is a stellar #longread, but if you want a #shortread, okay, here it is, so you can beef up before learning about the newest plot twist in this mystery.


Prince, "Screwdriver"

What is the last Prince song I heard that I liked as much as like this new one? Oh, right, "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," from way back in 1995, when he was sending special glyph icons to magazine art departments so he would not have to see his name in print. It's a rockabilly pop tune, in the vein of his early 80's stuff like "When You Were Mine," but looser and grungier, as if it was played by, umm, Everclear instead of, umm, the Cars. And the video takes its cues from his pal Cee-Lo. Not surprisingly, there is MYSTERY [...]


Because Whence?

Anybody know where the "because [NOUN]" construction came from? If I had to guess it would be someone using "Because Jesus," probably in a despairing fashion after the 2004 elections, but I'm certainly open to other citations.


I Can Not Believe That Story About Pig Wings In Today's Dining Section

"Appert’s gets the fibulas from a plant in Sioux City, Iowa, that separates them from the rest of the shank and cuts some of them into two-ounce portions, using a saw developed by Mr. File. Appert’s workers tumble 2,000-pound batches in a paddle mixer that helps force a marinade of water, salt and 'natural pork flavorings' into the meat." —Articles about the production processes behind our proud nation's suicidal dietary habits are always fascinating and disgusting. And oftentimes, also, confusingly appetizing. Barbecued "pig wings" sound delicious to me. (Especially the kind with blue cheese in Chicago. Yum! Wait, no, yuck! No, yum!) But the most confounding thing about [...]


Other Comedians Aflac Could Hire To Do The Voice Of The Aflac Duck

1) Robin Williams

2) Whoopi Goldberg

3) Dane Cook

4) Pretty much any other comedian—or, really, person of any profession whatsoever—who can make his or her voice sound somewhat like a duck.


Making Sense of Courtney Love When She Makes No Sense

"Documents were scattered all over the room, and Love shared dozens of these documents with the reporters-property records, financial statements showing money being transferred from Love's account to other people's accounts, payment receipts, signatures she said were forged. The reporters huddled around Love's laptop and viewed a private website that served as a database for all of these documents, which she'd been collecting as evidence. Love would show them a document on paper or online and then say something like: 'Isn't it weird that [So and So's] signature is on that?' She did a lot of Googling, too, mostly of names and property addresses listed in the documents. This went [...]


Our Rockingest, Remixingest Wishes For Your Weekend

Our new pal who so wonderfully contributed our theme song is really giving the home studio a workout. For you, a new punk remix follows! But before we leave you with this truly awesome bit of audio entertainment for the weekend: can we also please give you all a Hill Street Blues style "let's be careful out there"? You know how I hate drowning more than cancer and other equally bad things. Yes, the 15-foot waves coming East Coast-ward look awesome, and thanks to the dissipating Hurricane Bill, but speaking as someone who just drank a few cups of salt water on his lunch break (and it's still [...]


The Mysteries of Ambrose Bierce

Hello, would you like to buy something weird? Hammer Time is our guide to things that are for sale at auction: fantastic, consequential and freakishly grotesque archival treasures that appear in public for just a brief moment, most likely never to be seen again.

If novelist Carsten Stroud has $53 or so to his name, we hope he hurried over to Heritage Auction house for their most-recent sale of books and autographs. Under the hammer: a British first edition of Ambrose Bierce’s In the Midst of Life: Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, which contains "An Occurrence at Owl Creek," a short story Stroud recently listed as one [...]


Where Is This "Mali" Where Frenchmen Are Having Wars?

Lately there has been a lot of confusing stuff in the news about "Mali," and also "France having a war." What is going on? Didn't France lose the war in North Africa, maybe in the 1950s? Also, Vietnam, remember that whole deleted scene from Apocalypse Now, the way the French colonials ate their food, while Vietnamese were getting killed by Robert Duvall? Is he French? And where is this Mali, anyway?

We don't want you to have to go around feeling like an idiot all the time, so here's the information you need to deal with any offhand references to "the French war in Mali," in case you know [...]


Two Great New Videos Wherein Teeth Get Knocked Out Of People's Mouths, And Richard Ford And Lorrie Moore (Those Aren't The People)

Solved: The mystery of how Detroit rapper Danny Brown lost his front tooth. And how Die Antwoord's Ninja, from Johannesburg, lost his.


The Great Canadian Severed Foot Mystery: The Ninth Shoe Drops

It was just back at the end of August that the eighth foot was found. Now here is the ninth mysterious and Canadian severed foot. This one is in a boot! For the first time! And also has apparently been in water for a decade. And… "The autopsy did not show any toolmarks or impressions on the bones or any evidence to suggest the foot had been mechanically separated from the body. Like the others, it appears to have come off naturally as a result of having spent a long time in the water, the coroners office said." I dunno, what does it mean?


Secretive Maybe-Gay Dead British Spy Still Maybe-Gay

When last we checked in on the dead maybe-murdered maybe-gay Gareth Williams MI6 spy story—back in September!—we were learning about how he may have locked himself allegedly into his own sports bag? Now, at Christmas-time, no less, we are learning a few things! For one, an investigator believes "that someone else had been involved in putting Williams into the bag." Well good, the laws of physics remain unchallenged! A few other things? Bondage website browser history, for one. "Detectives also found a £15,000 collection of unworn women's designer clothing, including tops, dresses and shoes, in his wardrobe." (Collection includes Louboutin! Also, he was (secretly) a fashion design [...]


You Too Can Read the Missing ESPN LeBron James Story

Just thought it was important to further propagate the link to the story on LeBron James that got disappeared from ESPN. It may be true, as ESPN says, that it was "accidentally published"! We have no opinion. But everyone else sure does.


"The Thetan Templar," by Dan Brown: Last Plane To Benghazi

Don't miss the startling first chapter of The Thetan Templar.

Chapter Two

It was cold and drizzly outside—as cold as the trail leading to the Islamic glass dildo, currently nestled within the elegant antique Egyptian laptop desk in the office of NYU Professor Nate "Shirky" Stryker, the world's leading academic in the fields of new media, the occult and nanotechnology. But Stryker wasn't keeping office hours today, and neither was the mysterious dildo.

"Get the phallus," Nate Stryker said to his beautiful assistant professor, Tanalyne Foster Wallace.

"What's a phallus?"

Stryker glanced out the window with its unobstructed view of the Empire State Building

"You're a genius," she said, [...]


Jesus Was A Square

“This fragment suggests that some early Christians had a tradition that Jesus was married. There was, we already know, a controversy in the second century over whether Jesus was married, caught up with a debate about whether Christians should marry and have sex.” —There goes another "utopian hero." Mark Grief is going to be bummed out.


"Christmas In Hollis," Twenty Years Ago

The culture (and TV) experts at ego trip bring us a wonderful ghost of Christmas past. Run-DMC, performing one of the very best Christmas songs ever by anybody, on TV, in 1991. It's a bit mysterious (as most ghosts are, I guess), because no one seems to know what program this was on. Does anybody recognize the backdrop? Chevy Chase' show didn't come on til '93.


Mammoth Silverback Gorilla Bling Identified

Back in January, we posed a question : "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?" And now we know: "The jeweler claims the chain pictured is Trent Williams’s, that contains 400-500 carats of black and white diamonds, and that it would be worth $100,000 – $150,000."


Who's the Teen Billionaire Asking the Internet for Advice with His Inheritance?

As a member of a class of French aristocrats that most Americans would mistake for characters in a faintly Francophobic Monty Python sketch, Christine de Védrines should be forgiven for making unusual choices. An anxious heiress to a centuries-old fortune, she, along with much of her immediate and extended family, entrusted their fortunes and fates to a charismatic gentleman with a penchant for conspiracy theories. The result? For Christine, routine, cultish beatings; for the others, brainwashing, isolation and bankruptcy. It's an uncomfortably fascinating story; vivid and salacious to the point of doubt, and so incredibly specific that it can barely be considered cautionary.

Barely. Somewhere in [...]


Carly Simon Still Kinda Has A Thing For Me, I Guess.

I knew it. Turns out Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" is about me after all. There it is, clear as day, recorded backwards at the end of the new version of the song included on her album Never Been Gone that comes out next week, a not very subtle answer to one of the oldest, most-gossiped-about mysteries in the history of rock: "David."