jpaulthomas

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Legendary Lands: Umberto Eco on the Greatest Maps of Imaginary Places and Why They Appeal to Us

Celebrated Italian novelist, philosopher, essayist, literary critic, and list-lover <b>Umberto Eco</b> has had a long fascination with the symbolic and the metaphorical, extending all the way back to his vintage semiotic children’s books. Half a century later, he revisits the mesmerism of the metaphorical …

20: Tolkien's 20 rings of power

JRR Tolkien's 20 rings of power feature in today's advent calendar extract, from Rogerson's Book of Numbers<p>JRR Tolkien's works are deeply embedded within a lifetime of mythological and philological scholarship that merges strains of Celtic, Norse, Zoroastrian, Chinese and Byzantine storylines with …

All The Doctor Who Doctors As Tim Burton Animation Characters (With BONUS Animated GIFS Of A Few)

This is a series of portraits of all the Doctors (including the War Doctor, labeled 'X') reimagined in the style of Tim Burton animation characters …

The Fascinating Story of Why U.S. Parks Are Full of Squirrels

In most American cities, it's hard to walk through a park without spotting a gray squirrel. Those bushy-tailed little buggers are everywhere, …

North Korea executes Kim Jong-un's uncle as a traitor

Jang Song-thaek was a mentor to the young North Korean dictator until he was publicly purged last week.<p>The once-powerful uncle of <b>North Korean</b> leader Kim Jong-un has been executed for treason after being branded "despicable human scum", according to the state news agency.<p>Jang Song-thaek was a mentor …

North Korea

Even if the Feds Let Them Fly, Amazon's Delivery Drones Are Still Nonsense

Amazon took over the 24-hour news cycle last night with the unveiling of Prime Air, an aerial drone that can fly Amazon packages straight to your …

One In Six Women Won't Let Their Husbands See Them Naked, And 15% Don't Have Sex At All

The next time you hold a dinner party for 12, try and figure out which of those couples might not be having sex, or allowing themselves to see each …

Most Expensive Printed Book Sells At Auction For $14.2 Million

“Old South Church has millions of reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving,” said Nancy S. Taylor, Senior Minister and CEO of Old South Church.<p>Why so much thanks? The church’s second copy of a rare printed book, “The Bay Psalm book” sold for $14.2 million last night at Sotheby’s, New York.<p>While the …

Crazy or cool: trampolines turned into oversized, suspended beds. http://crb.li/17S4Y6O

The Care and Feeding of Your Extrovert

Over the last few years, I've seen a lot of "How to Understand an Introvert," and "Things You Need To Know about Introverts" essays, but I find that …

The Coldest War

I'm entering into the portion of the Postwar that deals with the early days of the Cold War. Terms like "evil" are overused, but it takes some mental gymnastics to watch Stalin bend Czechoslovakia, war with Tito, choke Bulgaria, pilfer Hungary and not construe the U.S.S.R as "an evil empire." If …

Thumbnail View Optical Illusion

Discovered by Aza McG, here’s another “obvious in thumbnail view” illusion that both of us found quite original. I’m sure there are dozens of similar …

Stunning aerial view of tulip fields in bloom in the northwest Netherlands municipality of Hollands Kroon (25/04/2011). Photograph by NORMANN SZKOP: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bruxelles5/5655826222/ See the entire 119-picture album on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bruxelles5/sets/72157626454113099

30 Books You Should Read Before You're 30

The best books aren't static stories, but living entities with meanings that change and grow along with you. That's why we strongly recommend rereading the classics that were assigned to you in high school; you may find that they're nothing like they were before.<p>Still, some books are best …

Why People Born After 1995 Can't Understand the Book '1984'

Jack O'Brien talks to David Wong about the weird disconnect they've noticed between the world of today and the world they grew up in. Throw on your …

Celebrity Gossip

6 Freaky Things Your Body Does (Explained by Science)

The human body is a strange and mysterious place filled with gross guts and gurgling magic potions. There are all sorts of confusing or nonsensical …

Dairy Queen

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Imagine if any of that happened!

Imagine if any of that happened!<p><b>#6. Super Size Me – Nobody Can Replicate the Results</b><p>Researchers from the Making Sure Movies Aren’t Stupid department of Sweden’s University of Linkoping tried to replicate Spurlock’s experiment by tasking healthy college students with the challenge of eating 6,000 calories of fast food per day, inadvertently also answering the question “What’s the easiest way to get guinea pigs ever?” At the end of the 30 days, the students had none of the liver or cholesterol …

35 Random Corners Of The Internet You Should Visit When You Need A Break

Bookmark this for when you're having a bad day or when you just need a distraction and want to play. There's something so soothing about these single-serving sites.<p>Major h/t to this post by Tumblr user Writing Weasels and the website The Useless Web for providing me with endless hours of amusement.

InterAct

The 4 Weapons Of Exceptional Creative Leaders

Charles Day outlines four perhaps unexpected but effective weapons that the best creative leaders use in their battle for creativity and profitability.<p>For the leader of a company powered by creativity, the difficulties of navigating today’s complex marketplace are compounded by the fact that, in …

Artist  Ekaterina Panikanova creates beautiful collages made from old books. 

Picture of the Day: Yale’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Yale’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library<p>Photograph by Lauren Manning<p>The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (BRBL) at Yale University was a 1963 …

Have Some Nerdy Drinks!

Geek

Generosity Redefined - Part 3 "What's wrong with TOMS?"

Guest post by John Poitevent<p>I've dreaded writing this post. I confess, I own a pair of TOMS. Most people I know own a pair of TOMS. Because of this, …

Cambodia's vast lost city: world's greatest pre-industrial site unearthed

It's 7am at Angkor Wat and there's not a tourist in sight. It's blissfully quiet, the first clear June morning after two days of torrential rains. …

Roast Your Own Coffee on the Grill

If you're the type who loves to use their grill for just about everything, and you've wanted to try your hand at roasting your own coffee beans, the …