Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Any Halloween stories you'd like to share?

Here's one. It's a bright, sunny day here in Brooklyn. I'm sitting on my couch in the living room, writing this post. I can hear someone upstairs. S/he's walking around in my bedroom. The only problem? I'm alone in the house. No. I'm not joking.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Was a Time Traveler Captured on Film?

A man in Belfast claims to have discovered something rather remarkable in some old movie footage from 1928. A woman appears to be speaking into a cell phone. (And no, there weren't any cell phones in 1928.)

Check out the footage below. It's clear that she's clutching something small and rectangular in her hand. And she seems to be speaking into it. (Watch the whole video for slow-mo and stills.)

Here's my question. OK, let's say she's a time traveler. Who's on the other end of the phone?

I think an obvious explanation has been ignored. She's an alien.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ever Wonder Why Squirrels Are Evil?

We must have done something really, really bad to them at some point in the past.


I'm sorry I'm a day late!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Be Careful! The Animals Are Up to Something

(Above: Coming to get you?)

An English florist discovered a deadly South American poison dart frog in a batch of tropical foliage.

Two monkeys have been made station masters at a train station in Japan. They don't look terribly competent if you ask me.

You say they're "pets?" Tell that to the neighbors, lady.

There's an animal that is able to clone itself. We must stop them before they take over the world!

Earlier this year, a stalker pheasant was terrorizing England, and an escaped hippo was roaming free in Montenegro.

Painting with maggots.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ah the Wonders of Science

Veruca Salt: Will Violet always be a blueberry?
Willy Wonka: No. Maybe. I dunno. But that's what you get from chewing gum all day, it's just disgusting.
Mike Teavee: If you hate gum so much, why do you make it?
Willy Wonka: Once again you really shouldn't mumble, 'cause it's kinda starting to bum me out.

I was in kindergarten the first time I saw Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (that's the original version). I recall being rather intrigued by two things in particular. Everlasting gobstoppers. And the "three course meal gum." Now, researchers may have made flavor-changing gum a reality. Let's just hope they've managed to get rid of the unfortunate side effects.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Know Where Batman Lives

Now you do, too. If I ever win the lottery, (come on, universe, throw me one!), I'm going to do something similar with the Irregulars' logo. (Perhaps a little something involving topiary.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Good to Know

Need to ask your dad, brother, uncle, or grandfather for something? (Karate lessons? Bail money? A kidney? A place to hide while you're on the run from the law/gangsters/CIA?) According to a study conducted by a major pharmaceutical manufacturer (I'm going to let that fact go without comment for now), men are more likely to grant the wishes of a female loved one at 6PM.

Gee, I wish all studies funded by major pharmaceutical manufacturers were this practical!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Zombie Barbies

One of the things I love about Brooklyn is that people here go ALL OUT on Halloween. Half the houses on my block are already decorated for the holiday, and the creativity on display is pretty astounding. (I should really take some pictures.)

I probably won't have the opportunity to decorate my own house this year, but I may have found my theme for next Halloween. I recently came across a guide to building a Zombie Barbie Garden. (What are you supposed to do with all those mangy old Barbies, anyway?) I love it!

Adventures in Texas

I just got back from my second favorite city in the world--Austin, Texas! I always love going to the book festival down there. Not only is it a chance to meet some wonderful authors, it's often my last chance to experience a little good weather before it gets dreadfully cold here in New York.

This year, there was a big bonus: The chance to participate in a panel that was held in one of the coolest settings ever. (See above.) The room was in the Texas State Capitol Building. I have no idea what kind of business usually takes place there, but I felt very, very powerful. Ha. And the panel itself was pretty amazing. That's me (trying to look tough) with authors Mary Mancusi (Gamer Girl, Bad Blood, Girls That Growl), Andrea Cremer (Nightshade) and Heather Brewer (The Chronicles of Vladamir Tod). And a big thanks to Soren for stopping by!

I'd also like to thank the lovely ladies from Amarillo who saved my butt later in the evening. (And Andrea's and Heather's.) We were stranded at an event. No taxis in sight. Then six heroines appeared in a minivan and offered us a ride to our hotel. If only I could think of a way to repay you . . . (And I WILL repay you. I never forget a good deed.)


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Might Just Get an Eye Patch

(Above: Yes, I know that's not a pirate.)

The other day, I was reading about pirates (as I'm wont to do), and I came across an interesting "fact." Some pirate experts (can you imagine a better job?) claim that sailors may not have worn eye patches to look tough or to cover up injuries. Instead, the eye patch might have been a trade secret of sorts. If a sailor always kept one eye in the dark, that eye wouldn't need time to adjust when the sailor went below deck.

Interesting, right? (Perhaps you already knew?) Anyway, I was thinking that this might have a few practical applications for those of us who don't spend our days on the high seas. Perhaps you have some suggestions?

Monday, October 11, 2010


A bomb was just discovered in the Marble Cemetery! I'm not making this up. Check out the news report here!

Here's a little message for the person responsible. Soon, you will wake up in the middle of the night to find a pale, elfin girl with colorless hair staring down at you. Don't bother to beg for mercy.

(And I would just like to state for the record that I wrote the previous post long before I heard about this. What a bizarre coincidence!)

UPDATE: This report from the New York Times leads me to believe that the device was discovered at the OTHER Marble Cemetery. (Yes, there are two of them. They're about a block apart, and people tend to get them confused.)

It's Monday. Let's Take a Moment to Blow Some Stuff Up

(Thanks, Emily!)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

What the Heck Is Happening in Upper Michigan?

Earlier this week, residents of upper Michigan reported hearing the sound of an explosion in the woods. When they investigated, they discovered a mysterious crevice had suddenly appeared. The crack was over 600 feet long and up to five feet deep in places. And it's growing. There have been no earthquakes in the area. So what do you suppose could have caused the fissure?

Anyone out there in Michigan feel like doing a little investigative reporting for Ananka's Diary?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Who Knew Carrots Could Be So Interesting?

I live in New York. I know nothing about horticulture or farming. So maybe you guys are already aware of the facts I plan to put forth in this post. But I gotta say, I just had my mind blown. By carrots.

Are you aware that carrots were purple before the 17th century? Yeah. Purple. Apparently the Dutch are responsible for their current color. (Did they breed orange carrots because they were tastier? Or to celebrate the powerful House of Orange? Who knows? The Dutch work in mysterious ways.)

Among the other things I recently learned about carrots. (All taken from this enlightening post.)

1. Carrot seeds are they key ingredient in an ancient concoction proven to counteract the effects of poison.

2. The Romans believed carrots were aphrodisiacs. Everyone in ancient Rome grew them.

3. That whole "carrots improve your eyesight" thing? It's an urban legend cooked up by the British government.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Reading Tomorrow!

Tomorrow evening, I’ll be reading from my new book, The Eternal Ones, at the Jefferson Market Library in Manhattan. So if you’re in town, come say hi. (And be sure to check out the other authors who will also be reading. See the list below!)

(6-7:30, Jefferson Market Branch of NYPL, 425 6th Ave, at 10th St.)

Maria Boyd, Will
Matt de la Pena, I Will Save You
Kirsten Miller, The Eternal Ones
Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall
Samantha Schutz, You Are Not Here
Suzanne Weyn, Empty
Lizabeth Zindel, A Girl, A Ghost, and the Hollywood Hills