January 6, 2009

Mysteries of the Realm, Revealed

Newsflash: Seemingly inexplicable things happen each day. And here at Unexpectedly Bart!, we pride ourselves on either resolving these mysteries or muddying the icy waters even more. All of which brings us to a question that probably just struck you: Why do Bulgarian men jump into this lake each January 6th?

Answer: They're trying to get the cross which will be thrown into the water, thus insuring their health in the coming year. (Unless they die of pneumonia first.) It's a Bulgarian Orthodox New Year's tradition. (Photo from Der Spiegel.)

Here's another one: Why do the Australian/New Zealand editions of The Big Book of Girl Stuff and the The Big Book of Boy Stuff have different covers than the originals? I don't actually know, but the answer has to be marketing. While Girl Stuff enjoyed a relatively mild makeover, there now seems to be a demented subhuman on the cover of Boy Stuff. Clearly, Aussie/Kiwi readers are a hearty, rollicking group who enjoy subhumans! (Although you'd never know it from this thin-blooded review by Susan Whelan headlined "Bart King 'Big Books'— What's the Big Deal?")

One final New Year puzzler: Why did five relatively unexceptional photos from Whitefish, Montana that I posted on my Flickr page accumulate about 4,000 views in just one day? Dunno! (One shot is the "Safety Has No Quitting Time" above, and another is just below.) Looks like the veil of mystery will obscure the truth of this matter indefinitely. (And please, don't tell me it's just a Flickr glitch. This would deflate my ego to the point where it'd be draped all over the living room furniture.)

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