Indigo’s the Color of Your Energy, pt 1: When a Made-Up Gluten Allergy Isn’t Special Enough


“I am an indigo child, and you are a crystalline child.”

These were the words my sister’s crazy ex-roommate used to break up with his girlfriend. You don’t have to know what they mean to sense, instinctively, that the guy was kind of a douche. You also don’t have to know what they mean to accept, merely at my say-so, that he used to hide peanut butter in weird places around the apartment.

“Yeah,” you say. “Sounds like the kind of guy who would do something like that.”


“You can come out now, baby, she’s gone. She never understood our love…”

So what the hell is an indigo child? According to today’s book, Beyond the Indigo Children: The New Children and the Coming of the Fifth World by P.M.H. Atwater, L.H.D., indigo children are “those brilliant and irreverent kids born since 1982…the ‘fifth root race’–new stock in the human gene pool–destined to help us through the exciting and massive changes ahead.” Said changes, incidentally, were forecast by the Mayan calendar. What, you thought the calendar was predicting the apocalypse? After reading this post, you’ll wish it had been.

Continue reading


Periodical Paroxysm: What’s Up With the Names of Scientific Journals?

shrugging scientist

Hello, dearly beloved. I am still very much alive–and now very much graduated. Having left Boston for the colder and Rust Belt-ier clime of Michigan, I’m currently working as a legal writer. That means I help foreign researchers get their green cards. Which means I have to examine their publication histories, which means I spend a lot of time looking at the names of scientific journals. As I do so, a few things have stood out to me.

Firstly, there are about eighty billion different journals, covering every esoteric research niche you could possibly image, and lots you couldn’t. What the hell, for example, is electroceramics?

Secondly, some of them have funny names. With that in mind, I’d like to present the first (and likely only) SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL TITLE AWARDS.

Continue reading

I Played 8 Queen Elsa Medical Fetish Games So You Don’t Have To

It started, as so many things do, with a text conversation with my husband.

Elsa foot surgery games for kids

I want you to know how tiresome this is getting for me. My husband is not a wild guy. He makes vanilla ice cream look like a ghost pepper smoothie. He makes Peppa Pig look like Caligula. I once asked him which physical attribute he found most alluring in a woman, and he responded: “Bangs.”

And yet, it’s always him discovering this deep-web, poorly-disguised internet fetish nonsense. On top of that, he knows that, once he brings it up, I’ll be compelled to dive into it face-first. He knows, and yet he tells me anyway.

I hope you’re happy, Ryan.

Note: While there is nothing NSFW about these games, they do contain some medical imagery that readers may find stomach-churning. I know I had to look away from my screen a couple times while I was playing them. Continue reading

Unsavory Alums: Schools and Serial Killers

University of Michigan

I found out that the Unabomber attended the University of Michigan shortly after transferring there in 2006. There was no avoiding the revelation. Ted Kaczynski’s memoirs were housed in the Hatcher Graduate Library, after all. He’d donated them in 1999.

Considerate guy.

It was only this year that I learned of another unpalatable U of M alumnus: infamous grifter, serial killer, and Murder House proprietor H.H. Holmes. It was then that I began to feel uneasy.

Logically, I had no reason to be self-conscious. A certain proportion of American murderers are bound to go to college, which means a certain proportion of American colleges are bound to have hosted serial killers. Still, though–Kaczynski and Holmes? You can understand why it gave me a bit of a complex.

In the interest of remedying said complex, I decided to make this list of the alma maters of every American serial killer from the last two hundred years. Along the way, I had to wade through a lot of whack jobs who either dropped out of high school, were kicked out of the military, or just plain didn’t have the chops to make it to university. Some of the academic failure prevalent in the serial killer community appears to be the result of socioeconomic factors. Some of it, though, is related to the fact that–contrary to popular believe–the majority of murderers are really, really stupid.

Did your school make the cut? Find out below! Continue reading

Angels of Death: Fictional Detectives Who Witnessed a Suspicious Number of Murders

When I was little, I loved watching Murder She Wrote.  Well…okay, I mostly loved the incongruously peppy theme song. Those of you too young to have ever heard it, give it a listen and try to tell me it’s not a bop.

(That’s right. The video’s a two-hour loop. You’ll thank me later.)

What I never noticed, at least at the time, was just how many people wound up dead when fictional detective Jessica Fletcher was around. The woman is a dark harbinger. And she’s not the only one.

Continue reading

It Came from Arabia: Genres Born in the Middle East

I’ve got five more weeks of school, which means I’ve got five more weeks in which to find a job so I don’t wind up starving to death or throwing garbage at people outside the Tedeschi. In light of that, I’m asking for your forbearance. I’ll be back to my regular posting schedule in a month, I promise. In the meantime, here’s something I put together for my advanced writing class last semester.

Arabian literature

Largely unknown to Western audiences, the Arabian literary tradition is nevertheless a long and colorful one. Indeed, though many Americans may not be able to name a single work of Arabic fiction, most will be familiar with these genres invented in the Middle East.

Layla and Majnun

Tragic romance

The story of Layla and Majnun hails from the 7th century and shares many features in common with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In fact, a French translation of Layla and Majnun is said by some scholars to have been the inspiration for Shakespeare’s masterpiece. Unlike their Elizabethan counterparts, Layla and Majnun never marry or consummate their love. Like Romeo and Juliet, however, they meet with a tragic end.

The Three Apples

Murder mystery

“The Three Apples” is one of the 1001 stories Scheherazade tells her husband to forestall her execution. This mystery tale centers on a caliph named Harun al-Rashid, who purchases a locked chest from a local fisherman. Opening the chest and discovering a dismembered female corpse inside, the caliph instructs his vizier, Ja’far, to solve the riddle of the woman’s murder. Plot twists abound in what is arguably history’s oldest detective story.

Theologus Autodidactus

Science fiction

The science fiction genre is often considered a product of the Victorian period, but Theologus Autodidactus predates that era by several centuries. Ibn al-Nafis’ 13th century story uses spontaneous generation, futurology, and apocalyptic themes as a vehicle for the author’s knowledge of science and sociology. Translated into English in the 1900’s, the work was discovered to include accurate descriptions of the human metabolism and pulmonary circulation.

The Horrors of Children’s YouTube, pt 3: An Unholy Discovery


This post is part of an extremely-occasional series on the worst of children’s YouTube videos. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Imagine: you’re browsing YouTube when you come across one of the more recent videos from an account called Play Kids. The title of the video is “♫Nursery Rhymes♫ HULK Colors x4 riding Banana Colors cars & Lightning McQueen Cars (Songs for Kids).” The description of it reads as follows:

HULK COLORS With Their New Banana Colors Car & Disney Pixar Custom Flying Colors Lightning McQueen Cars. Popular Children Song With Action. Nursery Rhymes Fun Time.

You might be forgiven for thinking the account manager threw in a bunch of random words in a pitiful bid to enhance the video’s SEO. Only after clicking the play button would you realize that the description was entirely accurate.

Another thing you’d realize? You’ve just fallen into one of the strangest internet rabbit holes in existence. Continue reading