It's National Candy Day, and the day after Election Day, so let's visit the back row of the U.S. Senate chamber, where, for over half a century, senators have kept a desk drawer filled with candy to share with colleagues. Plus: in Japan, candy is also fine art, thanks to the practice of amezaiku, or sculpting molten sugar syrup.
In some areas, Halloween festivities actually start the night before October 31, on a night that goes by a few very unusual names. Plus: how about an unusual lollipop that's far off the beaten trick-or-treating path?
It's hard to believe we're saying goodbye to guitar great Eddie Van Halen. His band won millions of fans on record and offstage, and won a reputation for offstage excess. But one of their most infamous stories - that they banned brown M&Ms from backstage - wasn't quite what it seemed. Plus: a Gloria Estefan hit gets a heavy metal treatment on YouTube.
We don’t have the Olympic Games right now, but we can still mark a big Olympic moment that happened on this day in 1948: the day Alice Coachman became the first Black woman to win Olympic gold. Plus: a chocolate company and an engineer say they've redesigned the chocolate chip. Is it more efficient? I don't know, but I'll be happy to test it out.
On this day in 1988, the Ostry family of Bruno, Nebraska got 328 people to lift a barn - a real, actual barn - and moved it 110 feet by hand. That's some impressive crowdsourcing. Plus:
A team at King’s College London has found evidence that, with help from a prescription treatment, teeth may be able to repair themselves! Plus: parades are off this St. Patrick's Day, but we've still got Irish Potato Candies. (Don't worry, they only look like potatoes.)
Oh man, this day.
Color-Changing Chocolate Sounds Like A Willy Wonka Invention Brought To Real Life (Cool Weird Awesome 205)
Researchers in Switzerland say they’ve found a way to change the color of chocolate, and without adding any colors or dyes to it. Instead, they use a special imprint to give it a glowing, rainbow-y patina. Plus: the annual PeepsFest is getting underway, and they're going to do a ball drop for New Year's with a giant Peep!
It’s National Candy Corn Day, and while no candy gets more hassle around this time of year than candy corn, it also has its fans. I mean, someone's eating those 9 billion pieces produced each year. Plus: a haunted house in Utah with an unforgettably creepy name.
Languages change over time; Merriam-Webster said it added over 500 new words to the dictionary last month. But you can also see those new additions over time through the Time Traveler feature on Merriam-Webster's website. Plus: a piece on Mental Floss explains how some of the most beloved Halloween candies got their names.