Life under Mao Zedong was strange and brutish. While he was chairman of China, he introduced some policies that didn’t work well and that eventually killed an estimated 45–75 million of his own people. Under the feverish sway of Mao’s cult of personality, people in China got a little weird—and there are some lesser-known stories from Mao’s rule that you’d never imagine.
The Voynich Manuscript is one of the most baffling mysteries in the world of books. Its 272 pages, bound together by goat skin strings, are filled with strange illustrations and sprawling messages in an indecipherable language. For years, people have tried to decipher it – but no living person has ever cracked what the words the mean, what language it is written in, or even what the book is meant to be.
And now, more than 600 years after it was written, it’s finally getting a publisher.
Novels seem to get all the attention, but short stories account for some of the greatest pieces of writing ever created. There’s something incredibly satisfying about sitting down with a work you can consume in a single sitting and devour from beginning to end.
The internet abounds with these stories, and a reader might never go hungry again if they feast their minds on the endless troves of short stories that you can read online right now, for free.
Every parent has had a moment where they’ve stared at their screaming, tantruming child and wondered, “Am I doing this wrong? Am I creating a monster?”
Raising a child up into adulthood is a path full of struggles. We all want our children to be the sort of perfect angels that will make other parents coo in awe and envy, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
As it turns out, though, raising a perfect child might not be such a great thing after all. According to psychologists, some of those terrible things your children do that drive you insane are actually working wonders for their development – and might be great signs about their futures.
Ancient Rome holds a mythic place in our imaginations. It’s the land of historical epics like Ben-Hur and Gladiator, where men in golden armor ride chariots and emperors are fed grapes in reclining chairs.
Real life in Rome, though, was quite a bit less glamorous. In a time before modern sanitation and medicine, getting through an average day was a difficult task—and far more disgusting than you could ever imagine.
Roald Dahl is one of the most beloved children’s writers of all time. Almost every child alive grew up devouring his stories, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG and so many more classic family-friendly stories.
Dahl has other stories that never made it quite as big, though, that will give you a whole new image of the man whose writing lit up your childhood. In his off-time, Dahl wrote for adults — and some of those stories are among the filthiest, darkest, and most twisted stories you’ll ever read.
In the US, nearly 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce and the stats are even higher for people who remarry. It’s enough to make a person wonder how the marriages of yesterday lasted so much longer. As it turns out, our forefathers tried a lot of crazy ways to fix marital disputes—and some of them are a lot weirder than you’d ever imagine.