The other night, my friend Deontée tweeted that he was “Researching Zoroastrianism, Krishna, religion’s history, burial customs, and theocracies. The nerd is pleased.” A few days later: “More research and reading today (plus many hours of sleep)… Tackled the Cold War, Athens, Sparta, the history of democracy, the ROC (Taiwan) and it’s political beef with the PRC (China), Sharia law, and the inspiration for Alabama’s state flag (the Spanish Cross of Burgundy). Can someone just pay me to read all day?”

If I had a nickel for every time I said that!

So, today, in honor of Deontée and all of our intellectually curious brothers and sisters, here are five random but interesting bits of brain food.

1. Bohemian Rhapsody has got to be one of the coolest songs ever written. Learn the story behind it (and all about Queen) in this NPR interview with guitarist Brian May. (Side note: he also has a doctorate in astrophyiscs–who knew?)
2.One of my Twitter pals was doing some research on female serial killers. For some reason, I knew exactly where to send her. Thanks, Mental Floss, for making me look deranged. :/ Seriously, though, Mental Floss is like a Nerd Narcotic.
3. A few summers ago, people were buzzing about this new film that was coming out, something called The Dark Knight. Great, I thought, another Batman film. However, I stumbled across this amazing program on the history channel called “Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of the Dark Knight.” It offers psychological analysis of Batman’s most famous enemies and, of course, of the Caped Crusader himself. The most fascinating? The Joker.
4. Speaking of my new favorite movie director, check out this post that examines his (IMO) brilliant depictions of antiheros–or, as the author calls them, a**holes.
5. Every now and then (ok, all the time) I develop intellectual crushes on people. My latest is Bernard Freeman, better known as Bun B, one half of UGK and a paragon of (not just Southern) hip-hop. Not only did he deftly insert a short, compelling narrative into a song called “Gimme Dat”, he also spit one of my favorite lines in all of rap: “Read a book…step up your vocab.” People (including me) have slept on his intelligence.