Modern Notion

Between the summer of 2014 and the winter of 2015 I was a regular contributor at Modern Notion, a now-defunct publication featuring brief articles on a smattering of unusual general interest topics.

“Sasha Siemel: The Latvian Dude Who Killed Jaguars with A Spear for A Living” (Modern Notion, January 2016)

“A Eulogy for The Death of Russia’s Roscosmos” (Modern Notion, January 2016)

“Should An Alleged Survival Cannibal Pay Damages to The Family of The Man He Supposedly Ate?” (Modern Notion, January 2016)

“Rotting Fish Guts and Dormice: Strange Roman Cuisine” (Modern Notion, January 2016)

“Want to Sail A Viking Ship from Norway to America?” (Modern Notion, January 2016)

“Why This Mongol Miner Set Himself on Fire” (Modern Notion, January 2016)

“How The Moon Affects Animal Activity” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“Why African Nations Are Teaching Mandarin Chinese on Their State School Curricula” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“Scientists Think They’ve Discovered Real Value in Your Appendix” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“An Irish Birthright for Teens May Soon Be Coming Your Way” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“Camera Trap Theft Is A Serious Problem, You Guys!” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“A Year into U.S.-Cuban Normalization, Where Are We?” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“Why You Collapse, But Animals Don’t, When You’re Shot” (Modern Nation, December 2015)

“Religious Kids Are Meaner Than Secular Kids, Apparently” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“Nigeria’s Fulani Militants Were The Fourth-Deadliest Terror Group of 2014; Who Are They?” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“The One Country That Gained Independence Against Its Will” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“Parasitic Intestinal Worms Could Benefit Fertility Research” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“No, You Cannot Have A Pet Raccoon” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“Why Bugs Bite Some People More Than Others” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“International Men’s Day: A Meninist or Feminist Observance?” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“Why Liverpool’s Fast Pedestrian Walkways Won’t Take Off” (Modern Notion, December 2015)

“Should You Worry About Solar Flares?” (Modern Notion, November 2015)

“Can Animals Acquire A Taste for Human Blood?” (Modern Notion, November 2015)

“Meet The World’s Strongest Ruling Monarchs” (Modern Notion, November 2015)

“How The Head Transplant Doctor Found A Patient” (Modern Notion, November 2015)

“4 Very Real, Scientific Reasons to Fear The Rise of The Apes” (Modern Notion, November 2015)

“How to Survive A Python Attack” (Modern Notion, November 2015)

“A Transgendered Killer Refuses to Stand Trial for Crimes Committed in Her Prior Life As A Man” (Modern Notion, October 2015)

“What You Might Learn If You Take Canada’s Pot Business Course” (Modern Notion, October 2015)

“That Time An Escaped Criminally Insane Murder Ran Loose in My Hometown for Four Days” (Modern Notion, October 2015)

“How Wasps Domesticate Viruses and Mess with Butterfly Genes” (Modern Notion, October 2015)

“Elon Musk REALLY Wants to Bomb Mars (for The Good of Mankind)” (Modern Notion, October 2015)

“15 Individual Feet Have Washed Up on The Northwestern Coast since 2007” (Modern Notion, October 2015)

“Robert Yates, My Hometown’s Serial Killer” (Modern Notion, October 2015)

“Why Georgia Is Suing A Man for Reprinting The State’s Annotated Law Code” (Modern Notion, October 2015)

“Can Livestock Survive without Human Predation?” (Modern Notion, October 2015)

“Vietnam’s Quest to Tame The Isolated Ruc People” (Modern Notion, October 2015)

“A Promising New Gene Therapy to Treat Blindness” (Modern Notion, October 2015)

“Why The Dodo Bird Was Exceptionally Lucky (Until It Was Suddenly Exceptionally Unlucky)” (Modern Notion, September 2015)

“Why You Can’t Have A Big Birthday Bash in Tajikistan” (Modern Notion, September 2015)

“Britain Is Seriously Looking into Roads That’ll Recharge Your Electric Car As You Drive” (Modern Notion, September 2015)

“Can You Still Claim Sanctuary in A Church?” (Modern Notion, September 2015)

“7 of The Most Wonderfully Bizarre Statues Ever Built” (Modern Notion, September 2015)

“Is Japan’s Massive Two-Petawatt Laser Truly Fear-Worthy?” (Modern Notion, September 2015)

“How Lala, A Pet Penguin with A Backpack, Came to Live (And Die) in Japan” (Modern Notion, September 2015)

“The Universe Is Dying: Old But Newly Bleak Information” (Modern Notion, September 2015)

“The (Modern Day, Literal) Kings of Nigeria” (Modern Notion, September 2015)

“What Use Is The Controversial New Study Suggesting That Bullies Are Popular, Sexy and Confident?” (Modern Notion, September 2015)

“India Solves One Crazy Border Dispute; Many Remain” (Modern Notion, September 2015)

“A South African KFC Will Now Play Music Only You Can Hear through Your Bones” (Modern Notion, August 2015)

“New Astronomical Data Breathes Life into The Drake Equation, The Literal Probability of Finding E.T.” (Modern Notion, August 2015)

“If You Shoot An Armadillo, There’s A Chance Both of You Will Die” (Modern Notion, August 2015)

“Look, Anyone Can Radio The International Space Station” (Modern Nation, August 2015)

“Norway’s Starting A Legit Viking School” (Modern Notion, August 2015)

“The Dark Mythos within Pokémon And Why That’s A Good Thing” (Modern Notion, August 2015)

“35 Years Ago, The World Got Its First Democratically Elected Female President” (Modern Notion, August 2015)

“Beyond Pluto, New Horizons Will Uncover The Mysteries of The Kuiper Belt” (Modern Notion, August 2015)

“Turkish Researchers Discover A 4,000-Year-Old ‘Women’s Rights Tablet'” (Modern Notion, August 2015)

“Why The OED Adds Words Like ‘Meh’ to The English Language” (Modern Notion, August 2015)

“How China Built A 3D Printed Mansion in 3 Hours” (Modern Notion, August 2015)

“Meet ISIS Chan, The Anime Girl Fighting The Islamic State” (Modern Notion, August 2015)

“Handheld Molecular Scanners Are Weak Now, But Still Awesome” (Modern Notion, July 2015)

“Five Foods That Will Serve You Better Than Canned Goods in The Apocalypse” (Modern Notion, July 2015)

“Writer’s Block? Try Playing This Video Game” (Modern Notion, July 2015)

“5 of Sardinia’s Most Inventive and (For Americans) Difficult Head-to-Hoof Treats” (Modern Notion, July 2015)

“How The Vatican Verifies Miracles” (Modern Notion, July 2015)

“Why Are There So Many Poisonous Spiders in Your Supermarket Fruits?” (Modern Notion, July 2015)

“We’re (Kind Of) Running Out of Internet Addresses, But Here’s Why It’s Okay” (Modern Notion, July 2015)

“Everything Is Awful: Death by Mosquito Asphyxiation Is A Thing” (Modern Notion, July 2015)

“Why Does Sardinia’s Flag Have Four Disembodied Black Heads On It?” (Modern Notion, July 2015)

“Did This Guy Steal An Eight of Moldova’s National GDP in One Bank Scam?” (Modern Notion, June 2015)

“Would It Really Be So Wrong to Totally Eradicate Mosquitoes?” (Modern Notion, June 2015)

“Is Hallucinogenic Ayahuasca A Miracle Drug?” (Modern Notion, June 2015)

“Siberia’s Sinkholes Are No Longer Mysterious, But They’re Spreading” (Modern Notion, June 2015)

“Need A Job? Saudi Arabia’s Hiring Eight Executioners” (Modern Notion, June 2015)

“Why You Have to Wear A Tie” (Modern Notion, June 2015)

“How Will Obama’s New Butterfly Highway Work?” (Modern Notion, June 2015)

“Why France Should Pay Haiti $18+ Billion Immediately” (Modern Notion, June 2015)

“Middle Eastern Militants Have Stolen Fighter Jets (And It’s No Big Deal)” (Modern Notion, June 2015)

“PETA Says It’s Abusive to Swear at Sheep; They Might Not Be All Wrong” (Modern Notion, June 2015)

“The Archaeologist Who Believed She Was A Reincarnated Egyptian Priestess” (Modern Notion, June 2015)

“The Most Illogical Bans of Recent History” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“Why an Austrian Magazine Printed an Issue Using HIV+ Blood” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“Woman Treats Animal Like Person; Is Eaten for Her Foolishness” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“Why Japan Just Recognized The Independence of Niue” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“When Big Tobacco Tried to Recruit Muslim Scholars to Sell Tobacco” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“Why We’re Poisoning Rhinos to Save Rhinos” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“Can Africa Stop The Spread of the Sahara with A Giant Wall of Trees?” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“Why This Kenyan Cow Eats Sheep” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“The Rise and Fall of China’s Funeral Strippers” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“A Holiday Where Everyone Can Feel Comfortable Getting Naked” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“Why Americans Don’t (But Should) Eat Horse” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“The Mystery of Norway’s Worm Rain” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“Google Goes after The Loch Ness Monster” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“Why Is India So Obsessed with Skin-Whitening?” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“An Uncontacted Amazonian Tribe Teaches Us The Value of Germs” (Modern Notion, May 2015)

“Something No One Needs to Teach You? How to Smile” (Modern Notion, April 2015)

“Lima Revives Ancient Canals to Solve Modern Droughts” (Modern Notion, April 2015)

“Old Trees Die Sad, Lonely and Ironic Deaths” (Modern Notion, April 2015)

“When Is It Too Late to Save An Endangered Species?” (Modern Notion, April 2015)

“What Happens When Someone Self-Immolates?” (Modern Notion, April 2015)

“Was Ivan the Terrible Really That Terrible?” (Modern Notion, April 2015)

“The Life of China’s Last Empress” (Modern Notion, April 2015)

“Oneida: From Free Love Biblical Commune to Silverware Company” (Modern Notion, April 2015)

“Why the US Isn’t Metric” (Modern Notion, April 2015)

“Are Gurkhas As Tough As Everybody Thinks?” (Modern Notion, April 2015)

“When Did Nations Stop Buying And Selling Sovereign Territory?” (Modern Notion, April 2015)

“Is This The World’s Hardest Tongue Twister?” (Modern Notion, April 2015)

“The Story of a Muslim Prince Enslaved in America” (Modern Notion, April 2015)

“There’s A Japanime Qur’an Now” (Modern Notion, March 2015)

“Baboons May Be Sexually Harassing Kenyan Farmers” (Modern Notion, March 2015)

“The Clown Fight That Helped Clean Up Toronto” (Modern Notion, March 2015)

“America’s Greatest Colonial Riddle: Roanoke” (Modern Nation, March 2015)

“The Vanishing of Percy Fawcett” (Modern Notion, March 2015)

“The Stoned Wallabies Behind Tasmania’s Crop Circles” (Modern Notion, March 2015)

“How Creed Proved It’s Possible to Get Sued for A Bad Show” (Modern Notion, March 2015)

“The Brief, Wondrous History of Inflatable Planes” (Modern Notion, March 2015)

“How Canada’s Inuit Got Their Own Territory in 1999” (Modern Notion, March 2015)

“This Was Dental Care before The Toothbrush” (Modern Notion, March 2015)

“Who Can Lucid Dream?” (Modern Notion, March 2015)

“Do ‘Skin Gyms’ Really Keep Your Face Young Forever?” (Modern Notion, February 2015)

“Rumpologists Believe They Can See Your Future in Your Butt” (Modern Notion, February 2015)

“Don’t Buy Into The Hype Around The Mars One Project” (Modern Notion, February 2015)

“We’ve Learned How to Unboil Egg Whites. Here’s Why It Matters” (Modern Notion, February 2015)

“That Time New Yorkers Rioted Over Straw Hats” (Modern Notion, February 2015)

“The UK’s Version of Bigfoot Could Be Real. Really!” (Modern Notion, February 2015)

“Who Goes on Disaster Tourism Trips?” (Modern Notion, February 2015)

“Alabama Still Maintains Its Ban on Selling Sex Toys” (Modern Notion, February 2015)

“Zombie, Jitterbug and Other English Words That Come from Surprising Places” (Modern Notion, February 2015)

“How Mexican General Santa Anna’s Fake Leg Wound Up In (And Will Never Leave) Illinois” (Modern Notion, February 2015)

“That Time Indiana Almost Passed A Law Rounding Pi to 3.2” (Modern Notion, February 2015)

“How to Measure Beauty in Millihelens” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“The Historical Origins of Suicide Bombings” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“How Michigan Lost $1.2 Million to A Nigerian Prince Scam” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“Why Every Space-Active Government Wants The Moon’s Helium-3” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“That Time It Rained Meat in Kentucky” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“There Is A 17th Century Precursor to The Pokémon Trading Card Game” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“Was The Turkish President Right about Muslims Discovering America?” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“Americans Are Surprisingly Wary of Buddhism” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“The Many Variations on Human Cannibalism” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“Hippos, Camels, and Nutrias: America Actually Tried to Bring These Animals into Our Environment” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“Punching Steaks and Smashing Lettuce: How Sound Effects Get Made” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“How A Family-Owned Japanese Hotel Survived for over 1,300 Years” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“Why China Felt The Need to Search 10,000 Pigeons’ Anuses” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“Meet Mongolia’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“Internet Historians Are Lying To You About The Antiquity of Condoms” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“There’s A Massive Stone City in the Pacific and We’re Not Sure How It Got There” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“Will Navajo be The Last Native American Language to Survive?” (Modern Notion, January 2015)

“How Your Ancestors Handled Holiday Leftovers” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“Hipsters Are Moving Into An Environmental Disaster Zone” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“We’ve (Maybe) Cracked The Secret to Color Changing Ice Cream” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“There’s A Lot More to The Coffee Plant Than Just Coffee” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“The True History of Tantra (It’s Not All About Sex)” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“Why Millions of Russians once Believed That Lenin Was A Mushroom” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“Why Does The Word ‘Dick’ Have So Many Meanings?” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“Ecuador Doesn’t Have Its Own Hard Currency, But It Wants A Digital One” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“What Is Buddhist Feminism?” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“The Truth about Furries” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“In Praise of Crossguard Lightsabers” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“Was Pearl Harbor an Inside Job? Probably Not” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“Ecuador Wanted to Avoid Drilling in a Rainforest and We Said No” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“Why Nations Change Their Alphabets” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“This Is Your Brain on Meditation” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“Why It Matters That Seals Are Now Mauling Porpoises And Raping Penguins” (Modern Notion, December 2014)

“The Dark Side of Germany’s Obsession with Native American Culture” (Modern Notion, November 2014)

“The Leopard Man Murders of Africa” (Modern Notion, November 2014)

“This Nation Wanted To Tear Down Its Capital and Rebuild It As A Rhino City” (Modern Notion, November 2014)

“China’s New Taste for Chocolate Is Upping The Price for All of Us” (Modern Notion, November 2014)

“What the Chinese Communist Party Means when It Promotes Marxist News Values” (Modern Notion, November 2014)

“Why Are There No Indiana Jones-Style Headhunters Anymore?” (Modern Notion, November 2014)

“So Who Came Up With The Illuminati Myth, Anyway?” (Modern Notion, November 2014)

“The Ugly History of Elephant Taming” (Modern Notion, November 2014)

“Why Do So Many People Think The World Is Controlled By Reptilian Aliens?” (Modern Notion, November 2014)

“India Reopens What May Be The Oldest University in the World” (Modern Notion, October 2014)

“Kenya Needs You To Drink Kenyan Tea” (Modern Notion, October 2014)

“There Have Been More Animals Elected To Office Than You’d Think” (Modern Notion, October 2014)

“Meet Teff, The World’s Newest Superfood” (Modern Notion, October 2014)

“At Least Half of Iceland Believes in Elves” (Modern Notion, October 2014)

“Academics Have Written Hundreds of Papers on Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (Modern Notion, October 2014)

“Would You Pay for a $2300 Hot Dog?” (Modern Notion, October 2014)

“Lion Taming Isn’t All Whips And Chairs” (Modern Notion, October 2014)

“How and Why The Chinese Still Use Crossbows” (Modern Notion, October 2014)

“Meet The Chimp Artist Who Outsold Renoir and Warhol” (Modern Notion, October 2014)

“How to Get Drunk on Tea” (Modern Notion, October 2014)

“Why A Contest Offered Gold And A Prostitute If You Could Get Scurvy In Antarctica” (Modern Notion, October 2014)

“The Day Nazis Invaded Canada, Sort Of” (Modern Notion, September 2014)

“When The CIA Tried To Train Spy Cats” (Modern Notion, September 2014)

“So Your Dying Wish Is To Turn Your Ashes Into Frisbees” (Modern Notion, September 2014)

“The Sufi Nation That Hates Sufis” (Modern Notion, September 2014)

“Japanese Hand Fans Were The First Smart Phones” (Modern Notion, September 2014)

“How 3-D Printed Guns Went From Fantasy To Reality And Why You Should Be Scared” (Modern Notion, September 2014)

“When Three Yemenis Sued NASA For Trespassing on Mars” (Modern Notion, September 2014)

“Phone Numbers and Sovereignty: Who Chooses Your Country Code?” (Modern Nation, September 2014)

“The Strange and Twisted Path We Take To Name Diseases” (Modern Notion, September 2014)

“The Long and Strange History of Buddhist Violence” (Modern Notion, September 2014)

“9 Common Misconceptions about WWI” (Modern Notion, August 2014)

“How DARPA’s Training for Cyber War” (Modern Notion, August 2014)

“Uzbekistan Gambles on Sporting Genetics for Olympic Wins” (Modern Notion, August 2014)

“It Took 62,000 Chicken Heads to Reverse a Rabies Outbreak” (Modern Notion, August 2014)

“Heroic Small Town War of 1812 Story Is A Total Tall Tale” (Modern Notion, July 2014)

“The Long, Ancient History of Identity Theft” (Modern Notion, July 2014)