Sure, it’s a cliché that “truth is stranger than fiction”—but these strange natural phenomena will beguile, amuse, and fascinate you in equal measure. From humorist Andy Borowitz’s tongue-in-cheek look at his experience with serious illness to scientist Paul Bloom’s take on why we pay more money for a sweater once owned by George Clooney, enjoy some true and unusual stories this week.
On Your Kindle
An Unexpected Twist, by Andy Borowitz
Humorist Andy Borowitz is probably best known for his satirical news column, “The Borowitz Report,” but he can write about serious topics as well. In this recent Kindle single, he describes his experience with a dangerous medical illness in his characteristically quirky style: “Someday I’m going to write down all of those life lessons in a book called ‘Tuesdays with My Colon,’” he said in a New Yorker interview.
On Your Smartphone
This hilarious and slightly profane tumblr has compiled photographs of nature’s most baffling animals, from nose-picking birds to bizarrely mangled-looking fish. (As the authors say, “Go home, evolution. You are drunk.”) Grotesque as they may be, I bet you won’t be able to look away from all the mesmerizingly weird animalia on display.
On a Podcast
The Greater Good podcast from UC Berkeley recently interviewed developmental psychologist Paul Bloom about his work on the science of pleasure. Answering the question, “Why do we like what we do?” Bloom talks about sex, George Clooney, and Shakespeare and how affection may make someone more physically attractive to you. Find out more by listening to Bloom’s theories: “We’re not as simple as people think we are—our desires are rich and complex.”
In this book, plant enthusiast and expert Amy Stewart tells the strange and inexplicable histories of deadly plants—from “killer algae” to tobacco. Gorgeously illustrated with gothic-style plant drawings, this little green book is both beautiful and alarming.