Hello everyone, and welcome to a brand new topic! Atlas Obscura is one of my favorite books of all time, and it’s chalk full of wacky and wild landmarks from around the world. I’ve decide to share some of my favorites with you guys. I hope you enjoy it, so, let’s begin!
The Poison Garden Location: Alnwick, Northumberland Description: This dangerously gorgeous garden is home to some of the most lethal plants on the face of the Earth. The place is decorated with Skulls and Crossbones that worn THESE PLANTS CAN KILL! I have always wanted to visit this place because I’m a real fan of these plants. The garden is open from March to December.
The Jellyfish Lake Location: The Island of Palau Description: This small saltwater lake houses about a million jellyfish that bob up and down, feeding on plankton. The jellyfish don’t sting, and they make the entire lake gorgeous and mesmerizing.
Hello everybody, and welcome to a very special post! This particular topic will cover one of my favorite Podcasts. I’ve been listening to podcasts for as long as I can remember, and always love the diverse subject that they go into. You can imagine my delight when I found out about this one! I discovered this gem when researching information about Kevin MacLeod’s music. He did a very in depth interview on how Kevin produces his Royalty-Free Music. The Podcast is simply titled Composer Quest: A Songwriting and Music Composition Podcast. This podcast covers a variety of musical topics from Royalty Free Music, to Slot Machine Music. The host of this podcast is Charlie McCarron, an incredibly talented Composer and Producer that lives in Minneapolis. From He has a very quirky personality, and vast knowledge of everything music. Every week, for four years (1/2/13-1/24/17, he interviewed a different composer about a different genre of music. He would give various composing tips, and explain the inner workings in a way that was easy to understand. There’s 177 episodes to choose from, so the possibilities are nearly endless. The best part is that all of the Podcasts are completely free, and easily accessible on his website, charliemccarron.com, and on iTunes. I highly recommend this Podcast, and will share my favorite episodes below. Final Rating: 10/10 (CHECK THIS OUT IMMEDIATELY!)
Slot Machine Composing
Kevin MacLeod, King of Royalty-Free Music
Cyriak’s Surrealist Music And Animation
Game Music so Sweet it’ll Make Your Teeth Hurt
Chiptune Composing With Ben Barnes
Eggs, Bacon, and Composer Wisdom from Rick Sowash
Schizophrenic Synthpop Storytelling with Felix Frost
Torley on Creativity, Asperger’s, and Music Production
Metal 101 with Devin Earlywine
How to write a pooping duck robot song with Matt Schubbe
Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. This incredible series of books are one of my main inspirations for starting a blog in the first place. I was always extremely happy upon buying one of these books. They are magnificent tomes that hold crazy, wonderful, and at times, ridiculous facts. I highly recommend picking up one of these books ASAP, as it will have you entertained for hours. This post will be covering some of my favorite facts from the series as a sign of respect for the Bathroom Readers’ Institute. I am going to divide each set of facts into the main article in which they are featured. Now, as Uncle John always says, “Go with the flow”!
My First Job: This page covered the first jobs of famous celebrities. The article is featured on page 43 of Uncle John’s Triumphant 20th Anniversary Bathroom Reader from 2007. My favorite facts included; “Steve McQueen was a towel boy in a brothel.”, “Chris Rock was a busboy at Red Lobster.”, and “Walt Disney mashed apples in a jelly factory.”
Not For Export: This page displayed many foreign products whose names were lost in translation. The article is featured on page 99 of Uncle John’s Biggest Ever Bathroom Reader from 2002. The products included; “Ass Glue” a Chinese patent, “Homo Sausage” a Japanese beef jerky, and “Shitto” a spicy pepper sauce from Ghana.
Games & Gambling: An article all about the crazy world of gambling and games in general. The article is found on page seven of Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Extraordinary Book Of Facts And Bizarre Information from 2006. The crazy facts included; “There are 635,013,559,599 possible hands in the game of bridge.” “If you add up all the numbers of the roulette wheel (1 to 36), the sum is 666.”, and “One in four compulsive gamblers is a woman.”
I’m Gonna Wallace! & Cockney Slang: These are very interesting articles about Cockney slang terms. Cockney Slang is found on pages 129-130, while I’m Gonna Wallace is found on page 424 of Uncle John’s Triumphant 20th Anniversary Bathroom Reader from 2007. Some fascinating slang terms include; “Mutt and Jeff”, which means “Deaf.” “Trouble and strife”, which translates to “wife.” “Loaf”, which means “head”, and can also be said as “Loaf of Bread.” “Wallace”, means “to barf”, and is short for “Wallace and Grommit.” Lastly, for some reason, “Tom Cruise”, means “booze.”
Flubbed Headlines: This is a list of outrageous, but true newspaper headlines. Flubbed Headlines is found on page 34 of Uncle John’s Triumphant 20th Anniversary Bathroom Reader from 2007. Some of the wacky headlines include; “Woman Improving After Fatal Crash.” “TV ads boost eating of obese children by 130%.” “Dr. Fuchs off to the Antarctic.” Then, the most punny entry, “Suicide squirrels driving utilities nuts.”
Hello fellow Botanists, and welcome to a blast from the past! I have decided to bring back an interesting topic on dangerous and beneficial plants. Botany has always interested me, and I love the different defenses of plants. Now, let’s begin our journey into the unknown!
Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) Size: Tree 49 ft Leaves 2-4 in Habitat: South America Edible
Yerba mate is a fantastic plant that can be found all over South America. The plant is very versatile, and has many benefits. It contains caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine. It also can be made into a delicious tea that can satisfy ones caffeine craving, as well as boosting ones mood and mental energy. I actually prefer the tea over coffee, and it has a very refined taste. If you ever find one of these bottles in a supermarket, I highly recommend that you pick it up.
Sandbox Tree (Hura crepitans) Size: Tree: Up to 195 ft Leaves: 2 ft and up Edible Parts: Sap (But only if prepared correctly!) Dangerous Parts: Fruit, bark, and leaves are poisonous
The Sandbox Tree is a very dangerous tree that can be found in the tropical regions of South America. The tree is very tall and covered in sharp thorns. It houses strange, pumpkin-like fruit that combust ferociously when ripe. Upon explosion, the fruit sends its seeds everywhere at speeds of up to 160 miles per hour! This is how this plant got its other name, the dynamite tree. Contact with the tree’s leaves, fruit, or bark can result in a variety of unpleasant ailments. If the seeds are ingested, serious stomach cramps, diarrhea, temporary vision loss, increased heartbeat, and vomiting will soon occur. Dermatitis can also occur if the skin is exposed to the sap for a short period of time. Lumberjacks who deal with these trees must wear masks and eye protection. Despite the bad effects of the plant, some parts, such as the sap, can be used to treat decaying teeth, intestinal worms, leprosy, and rheumatism. The sap is even used in the United States when manufacturing tear gas shells! (What a strange, yet fascinating plant!)
Hello fellow Entomologists! It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means! Yes, its time for us to take a look at some more dangerous insects. Now, let’s begin!
Maricopa harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex maricopa) Size: The tip of your finger Pain Index: 3 Diet: Seeds Habitat: Arizona
This species of harvest ant is mainly found in Arizona. It has a bright, red body and a very potent venom. The ant species harvests seeds for consumption, and make their homes in gravel or rock-rich environments. The sting is infamous for being extremely painful, and 12 stings call kill a mouse. Schmidt describes the pain as: “A drill wedged into an ingrown toenail.” o_O! To make matters worse, the pain can last for up to four hours!
California carpenter bee (Xylocopa californica) Size: 12-25 mm Diet: Nectar Habitat: California, Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah Sting Index: 2.5
The California carpenter bee is a large, black bee with big wings, powerful mandibles, and a stinger. The females are the only ones who sting, while the males focus on pollination. Schmidt describes the pain as: “Swift, sharp, and decisive, like slamming a fingertip in a car door.”
Hello fellow Entomologists! It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means! Yes, it’s time to take a look at some more scary creatures. Now, let’s start exploring!
Velvet Ant (Dasymultila klugii) Size: 0.75 in Habitat: The North American Southwest Diet: Larvae and adult insects Schmidt Pain Level: 3
The Velvet Ant, or “cow killer”, is a large ground wasp with a hairy, orange body. While not an actual species of ant, its appearance can confuse people. It’s known for delivering an excruciating sting that can last for 30 minutes. Only the females have the stinger, which is quite long and pointy. Coyote Peterson described the pain as radiating and fiery with a tingling sensation.
The Tarantula Hawk is an incredibly scary, parasitic wasp with an amazingly painful sting. They hunt tarantulas, and paralyze them before eating them whole. The pain is equivalent to being shocked with a taser. The females are the only ones that sting, and won’t unless provoked.