Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Link O' the Day

If you're looking for a way to discard several hours of your life, a good place to do it would be Wikipedia's directory of strange articles. They seem to fall into two categories, the first of which make you think "I can't believe someone decided the world needed a Wikipedia entry devoted to 'more cowbell' /Nixon masks /the phrase 'talk to the hand.'" On the other hand, a lot of them are genuinely interesting: there's dancing mania, "No soap, radio", the thagomizer (a.k.a. the spikes on a stegosaurus's tail, named after a Far Side cartoon), the Phantom time hypothesis (which claims that the years between 614 and 911 AD never occurred) and exploding head syndrome (which, the article takes pains to point out, "is not an example of spontaneous human combustion, nor does it involve the head actually exploding.")

This sort of repository is a godsend for lazy bloggers (like this, uh, friend of mine). I, for one, was fascinated by the article on the Arbre du Ténéré, which was the world's most isolated tree until it was hit by a truck in 1973. Think about that; this is a tree in the middle of the Sahara desert, the only tree for 400 kilometers, and someone managed to hit it with a car! That is some colossally bad luck.

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