The Sideshow
  • Toad Suck, Arkansas (Wiki Commons)

    A new poll across seven English-speaking countries has chosen Toad Suck, Arkansas, as having the "most unfortunate" town name in the United States.

    Toad Suck, an unincorporated community in Perry County, took top dishonors, edging out Climax, Georgia, and Boring, Oregon.

    The poll was conducted by the genealogy site, and polled respondents in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

    "Some people are disconcerted to learn that their forebears came from somewhere called Toad Suck, Roachtown or Monkey's Eyebrow," said Josh Taylor, genealogist and spokesperson for the site, in a press release.

    Toad Suck reportedly takes its name from a once popular drinking location for boaters on the Arkansas River. The site explains in more detail, "While they waited, they refreshed themselves at the local tavern there, to the dismay of the folks living nearby, who said: 'They suck on the bottle 'til they swell up like toads.' Hence, the name Toad Suck."

    Interestingly, Climax's unique name isn't its only claim to fame. It's also home to the annual "Swine Time" festival.

    The Top 10:

    Read More »from Toad Suck, Arkansas, voted ‘most unfortunate’ town name
  • An elephant knocks over a tree in Kruger National Park. (YouTube)A new aerial study has found that tree loss is six times higher in areas that are home to elephants.

    "Previous field studies gave us important clues that elephants are a key driver of tree losses, but our airborne 3-D mapping approach was the only way to fully understand the impacts of elephants across a wide range of environmental conditions found in savannas," lead author Greg Asner of Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology said in a press release.

    Discovery News reports that humans have "essentially engineered" the situation by relocating elephant populations. The results, published in the journal Ecology Letters, found that elephants topple up to 20 percent of trees in their habitats, preferring to go after ones in the 16- to 30-foot range.

    The study results, which were gathered in South Africa's Kruger National Park, have created a dilemma for conservationists who must balance the need to preserve elephant populations with the importance of maintaining a healthy tree population

    Read More »from Elephants may be contributing to deforestation
  • A New Jersey man whose Twitter handle—@StC—is also the initials of a Saudi Arabian telecommunications company has attracted thousands Saudi followers on the micro messaging service.

    Chris Rowland—a 44-year-old programmer and web developer who goes by his college nickname, St. Chris—has been @StC on Twitter since March 2007.  Rowland started to notice a wave of new followers late last month. He now has more than 5,000.

    "This is all very surreal," Rowland told Yahoo News.

    "Reminder for my Saudi followers: I am not the telecom company," Rowland wrote on Twitter on July 31. "I'm a guy in New Jersey."

    "I cannot believe how fast I am gaining Twitter followers," he wrote on Aug. 2. "This is surreal. 93% of my followers are 6,500 miles away. 93% of my followers. A day ago, I don't think I even had 93 followers."

    Rowland even changed his Twitter profile in an attempt to curb the confusion: "I am neither a Saudi phone company nor a shopping mall in Jakarta. But I'm pleased to make your acquaintance."

    The Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based Saudi Telecom Company—or STC—has not contacted him, Rowland said. "Sort of amazingly, no."

    He's nonetheless been inundated with inquiries from STC customers.

    "To my Saudi followers: You guys are great," he tweeted. "I wish I COULD fix your phone company."

    Read More »from Twitter handle gets New Jersey man thousands of Saudi followers in a day


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