This isn’t just Halloween. It’s also the anniversary of the passing of the legendary illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini, who they say wanted to make the greatest escape of all time… from mortality. Hence why Bess Houdini held seances every Halloween, trying to pick up whatever signals her late husband might be sending out from the hereafter.
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.
There’s still time to get ready for Halloween in most places, but in Anoka, Minnesota, it’s kind of always Halloween. The community north of the Twin Cities bills itself as the Halloween Capital of the World. Plus: Pennsylvania invites you on a Halloween-themed trip it calls the Trail of the Living Dead.
A project in Russia tracks the movements of steppe eagles through trackers that can send text messages back to research HQ about their whereabouts. There’s one problem: the eagles have been crossing into other countries and their trackers are using roaming data!
Today is the anniversary of the day the first consumer microwave oven went on sale, back in 1955. But the microwave has roots that go back well before that, and it’s at least in part a byproduct of radar technology from World War II. Plus: Los Alamos, New Mexico is trying to break a world record for simultaneous pumpkin carving.
A startup called Beetl is developing an autonomous device that’s ready to clean up after our dogs on demand, thanks to a large scooper on its underside. If they’re willing to do this job, maybe robots aren’t trying to conquer us after all. Plus: “dogfishing” is a problem for online dating.
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.