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Posts from the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category

10 Amazing Lord of the Rings Tattoos

One thing is true about Lord of the Rings fans: They really, really love the Lord of the Rings.

So much so that they get tattoos, big tattoos, beautiful tattoos, tattoos even better than the Great Gatsby tattoo in this post.

Jason, one of the editors on my team (not Brandon, the editor who guest-posted yesterday), has dedicated his entire left arm to Lord of the Rings tattoos. It’s impressive.

This is what it looks like. Read more

These Literature-Inspired Benches Are Unbelievable

I love it when people do creative things with classic literature.

That’s why I love sharing this stuff with you guys. Whether it’s Litographs (who design shirts with the text of classic books), or The Snake and Fawn (who makes pendants out of famous authors’ handwriting), I love seeing this kind of creative effort poured into exposing literature to more people.

Here’s another great example. Over in London, the National Literacy Trust has teamed with an organization called Wild at Art to create 50 public benches that give the impression of a folded paperback book. Each bench is dedicated to a different novel with roots in London, like 1984, Mary Poppins, Great Expectations and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

These are the coolest, most beautiful benches ever, and artists like Rae Smith, Charlotte Brown and Ralph Steadman created them.

If you live in London, consider yourself lucky, and look for these benches over the next few months before they go to auction in October.

Here are some incredible examples of these book benches: Read more

The Pavement Bookworm

This story was making the rounds a few weeks ago and because of my blog vacation I missed it, but it’s too good not to share with you today.

They call him “The Pavement Bookworm.” Philani is a 24-year-old homeless man in Johannesburg.

Instead of holding a sign or begging with a hat, Philani reviews books. He sits on a street corner with a pile of books and offers to review those books to passers-by. If someone thinks the book sounds promising, they can buy it directly from Philani.

By selling the books, he raises money for himself and his homeless friends. He’s doing something to make his life better in a practical way. Now, his story has gone viral.  Read more

The Lord of the Rings Journey Animated

If The Lord of the Rings novel could be summed up in three words, they would be this: “Onward they traveled.”

As you hopefully know, the novel is the most epic adventure ever written (my description).

As I’ve re-read the novel this time around (I’m currently over halfway through The Two Towers), I’ve really grown to appreciate the immensity of the distances these characters travel. I’ve also grown more respect for Tolkien’s writing skill, as he goes way beyond simply saying “they traveled from The Shire to Mt. Doom.”

The novel has an amazing amount of detail, and it’s easy to get lost in some of that detail. So when it comes to the traveling itself, this GIF created by “SiliconeSoldier” and showcased on Reddit is incredible in illustrating just how long their fictional journey took them.

This GIF shows the entire pacing of the novel with one frame per day represented. Read more

Bling It Up With Tolkien’s Handwriting

This might surprise you, but I’m not much of a jewelry-wearing guy.

I know…shocker, right?

But I’ll tell you this. If I ever decided to wear jewelry, I think I might choose to wear this. Read more

Literary Meals That Will Make You Hungry

Over the past ten years, I’ve become one of those awfully annoying people you might know as “foodies.” I really hate that word, foodie, but if someone were to label me, I’d probably fit somewhere in that designation.

So you can imagine my excitement when I saw a recently released coffee table book called Fictitious Dishes, written by Dinah Fried (such a great last name for a food writer). Food and literature? I’m in. All that’s missing is college football.

In Fictitious Dishes, Fried pulled quotes about meals from famous novels, cooked the food, then took beautiful photos of the result. It’s really a cool concept that is impressively executed.

Here are 6 samples from Dinah Fried’s website (used with permission) with the relevant sentence from each novel. And, okay, maybe the title of this post was misleading–let’s hope the meal from The Metamorphosis doesn’t make you hungry.  Read more

This Akinator App Will Mess With Your Head

This will kind of creep you out.

Seriously, this Akinator app is pretty impressive.

To play, just think of a person—either real or fictional—and the Akinator will ask you questions to try and figure out who you are thinking of. It’s insanely accurate.

It’s guessed correctly 8 out of the 10 times I’ve played. Some of the real-life people and fictional characters I thought of that it guessed correctly: Read more

Kids! Cats! Reading!

I hate cats, but even I have to admit that this is pretty adorable.

Berks Animal Rescue League in Berks County, Pennsylvania has an afterschool program for kids in grades 1-8. These kids visit the shelter and can read books to sheltered cats. How cute!

The program helps the kids develop their reading skills while giving the cats some much-needed social time. The only problem I see here is finding books that know-it-all, smug cats haven’t already read.

In all seriousness, the program sounds great. A lot of home-school kids, autistic kids, and parents who want their kids more exposed to animals have taken advantage of it.

Read more

Famous First Sentences Diagrammed

I must admit that I’m a bit of a grammar nerd…with one exception.

I loathe diagramming sentences. I think I missed that part of middle school English. Just the thought of diagramming sentences makes my eyes glaze over.

I get it. I understand the point. I just don’t enjoy the thought of doing them. In fact, I don’t even enjoy looking at the diagrams that someone else has done.

That is, unless you show me the diagrams of opening sentences from famous novels. Now that’s kind of interesting. Maybe just a little bit.

And the cool folks at Pop Chart Lab decided to take on that assignment and created an infographic that diagram 25 famous opening sentences.

A few of my favorites:

Read more

This 6-Year-Old Wants To Raise $1 Million For His Sick Friend

Here’s a heart-warming way to start your week.

Dylan Siegel is 6-years-old. His best friend, Jonah Pournazarian, has an incurable, rare liver disease called Glyogen Storage Disease Type 1B.

Jonah’s liver can store sugar but can’t release it, which means he can have dangerously low blood sugar levels that could lead to seizures or death. His immune system is also compromised, meaning something like the flu or a stomach bug could kill him.

When Dylan found out about Jonah’s illness, he decided he wanted to do something to help. His dad offered to have a bake sale or open a lemonade stand. “He’s like ‘Don’t patronize me. I want to do something big,” Dylan’s dad told ABC News.

Read more


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