Friday finds

From the Izu Islands of Japan (where volcanic activity fills the air with the stench of sulfur) to saltie-infested Ramree Island in Burma (where it is believed hundreds of soldiers met horrible deaths during World War II), here’s an irresistible list of the top 10 places you don’t want to visit. Though I’m perfectly happy to keep clear of the North Yungas Road, which kills a few hundred travelers annually, and the Ilha de Queimada Grande, which is densely populated by a uniquely dangerous breed of pit viper, I have to admit the “Door to Hell” in Turkmenistan has a certain fascination. And I wonder if the Alnwick Poison Garden (pictured above) inspired Dr. Shatterhand’s garden in the Ian Fleming novel You Only Live Twice.

For decades now, E.O. Wilson has been your go-to guy on the subject of ants. Now he’s published his first novel. Want to take a wild guess on what it’s about?

Would you really want to live in any of these popular science fictional universes?

Congress was voting on my well-being Sunday night. Congress was voting on the survivability of my family. And one political party voted unanimously against my family. That is something I will never, ever forget.”

So you wanna be a literary star? Just follow this chart.


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