Culture

Columnist Revisits Stephen King's Work in Chronological Order, One Horror at a Time

Guardian columnist and Stephen King devotee James Smythe is revisiting King's work chronologically, writing his observations as he goes. Since these are books that many people read for the first time as young adults (or even children), it's fascinating to go back and see them again through fresh eyes. Smythe's already sailed through The Stand and is on to the pseudonymous novella The Long Walk.

Many pseudoscientests have tried to link the writings of H.P. Lovecraft to "ancient astronaut" theories, in which mankind's intelligence is the result of prehistoric contact with aliens of some kind. This video by Jason Colavito points out the flaws in that research. As Lovecraft himself admitted, "Let me confess that this is all a synthetic concoction of my own." Of course, there's always a chance that the priests of Shub-Niggurath forced him to say that.

Speaking of pseudoscience, researchers have determined that "Airplane" was the funniest film ever made; it generated more laughs per minute than any other comedy tested by the movie subscription service LoveFilm. Of course, their research was limited to a list of ten films voted on by their clients, so a few notable contenders have surely been excluded. (We promise to stop calling them "Shirley.")

If you're a New Yorker, you might have noticed something a little different happening at your corner pay phone. A designer named John Locke (no, not that John Locke) has been installing teeny tiny lending libraries in phone booths, stocked with everything from picture books to paperback copies of The Shining. But first things first: What the hell is a pay phone? Let's find an old person and ask them.