Mike Vago, The AV Club

Mike Vago

The AV Club

New York, NY, United States

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Recent articles by Mike:

Fake Zombies, dangerous triangles, and more Wiki Wormhole quick hits

A round of quick hits from Wikipedia about two attempts to replace British Invasion act The Zombies, the deadly truth about the Danger Triangle of the Face, and the Japanese warrior Tomoe Gozen. → Read More

Quick hits: Presidential cows, Batman Dracula, and steamed hams

For the next few weeks, we’re going to shake up the Wiki Wormhole format, and move through our 6,191,168-part series a bit faster by tackling multiple subjects in brief. → Read More

This week’s most pressing legal issue: monkey selfies!

Turns out, a monkey can't hold a copyright. → Read More

Aspiring authors in novel-writing month have a kindred spirit in Saddam Hussein

The Butcher Of Baghdad wrote four novels in the last few years of his life, published anonymously (with the traditional Arab attribution, “Written By He Who Wrote It”). → Read More

Who was the real author of The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre?

All of the details of the life of famous and prolific author B. Craven are just speculation. → Read More

During WWII, a bear named Wojtek joined the Polish army

Wiki WormholeWe explore some of Wikipedia’s oddities in our 5,664,405-week series, Wiki Wormhole. This week’s entry: Wojtek What it’s about: There’s no rule on the books that says a mule can’t kick a field goal, and apparently there’s no rule against a bear joining the Polish army. Wojtek was a bear cub that was rescued by and mustered into the Polish army during WWII. It rose to the rank of… → Read More

Karaoke turned deadly in the “My Way” killings

The Philippines saw a number of killings over karaoke renditions of “My Way” in the 2000s, although karaoke violence seems to respect no national borders, as we’ll see. → Read More

Napoleon’s sister led a life of “Bacchanalian promiscuity”

Despite his disapproval, Pauline Bonaparte was fiercely loyal to her brother. → Read More

Anything can be a sport, even stuffing an animal down your pants

The strange sport of ferret-legging manages to be both dangerous and boring. → Read More

The Futurist art movement tried its hand at cooking, with unappetizing results

Some of the food on the table “would not be eaten, but only experienced by the eyes and nose.” Food would “contain many flavors,” but be served in portions of only a few mouthfuls. On the plus side, political discussion at the dinner table is also forbidden. → Read More

Sometimes your own stomach can get you drunk

This week's Wiki Wormhole explores auto-brewery syndrome, a not-as-fun-as-it-sounds condition where gastrointestinal bacteria or yeast start fermenting the carbs you eat, creating alcohol in the stomach. → Read More

A fashion faux pas turned violent in NYC’s Straw Hat Riot

In this bizarre incident from 1922, the fashion police were supplanted by fashion vigilantes. → Read More

White soldiers declared war on their Black counterparts in an ugly incident from WWII

The military’s response, at least in the short-term, was as racist as the incident itself. → Read More

Misheard translated lyrics are a global phenomenon—there’s even a Japanese word for it

For example, Punjai hit “Tunak Tunka Tun”’s chorus translates to “Oh the freezing cold of winter, how pale it feels,” but in Mandarin sounds like, “It’s freezing cold, I’m playing with dirt in the Northeast.” → Read More

The Y2K bug ended up being the millennium’s biggest anticlimax

When the clock struck 2000, every computer would glitch, destroying the electrical grid, sending planes plummeting from the sky, destroying the monetary system… or causing some minor headaches for people’s filing systems, depending on who you believed. → Read More

Do bookstores make you poop? The Japanese have a theory

We explore some of Wikipedia’s oddities in our 6,125,173-week series, Wiki Wormhole. → Read More

Wiki Wormhole: This Soviet breakaway republic never fully broke away

Transnistria is largely autonomous, with its own government, military, postal system, currency, constitution, flag, and national anthem. But it’s only officially recognized as an independent country by three other unrecognized former Soviet territories. → Read More

2020 can’t be all bad if someone found an actual buried treasure

New Mexico art dealer Forrest Fenn buried a treasure chest in the mountains north of Santa Fe, then self-published a memoir in 2010 full of clues. Earlier this year, an unnamed man found the treasure, worth an estimated $2 million. → Read More

Roger Corman’s low-budget studio gave us more than just cult movies

The same studio that brought you Women In Cages and T.N.T. Jackson also introduced 1970s audiences to foreign films and helped many now-prominent directors and actors get their start. → Read More

Beat the summer heat in the northernmost towns on Earth

Superman. Santa Claus. Black metal bands. All the best people live up north. Way, way, way up north. → Read More