America's Weirdest State Symbols

The bald eagle. The Lincoln Memorial. The Stars and Stripes. Symbols matter in the United States.
But regional pride is important, too, and every state in the union has its own heritage to celebrate—sometimes in odd ways.
As children, we all learned about our state flags and state birds—but who can name their official state soil? How about their state crustacean?


Save (Me From) the Whales

Goodness gracious me. My essay about confronting my whale phobia—remember that one?—is finally in print. And oh, look...it's the cover story!

The folks at Open Minds Quarterly are lovely, and I highly encourage sending them your money in exchange for copies of the magazine.

Read more here.


Chicken Goggles, Tiny Cardboard Hats, and Lobster Love Hotels...For Science!

Look into the "methods" section of any given animal experiment and you'll find descriptions ranging from the ghastly to the absurd. Researchers have crafted chicken goggles, tiny cardboard hats, and remote-control whale-snot collectors—all in the name of science.
The road to enlightenment has taken some pretty strange turns over the last century. Here are a few of the weirdest pit stops. (Links to the story at mental_floss)

(glorious art by Zach Weiner)

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