Hottest Heads of State

A scientific and unbiased ranking of world leaders in order of hotness.

How to Launder Money (by buying rare and valuable candles)

Diagram showing how to launder money

For the most part, we cannot predict the future. And yet, we predict that over the next year or two, we’ll be reading a lot in the news about money laundering. Specifically, how foreign oligarchs use expensive real estate purchases in the U.S. to launder their money. This widespread practice is deeply corrosive…to our profits! You see, oligarchs could be laundering money just as easily with expensive candle purchases. If you happen to be an oligarch googling for money laundering tips, here’s an easy step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Have a lot of money.

How did you get a lot of money? We don’t want to know! But if you’re looking to launder it, chances are good that it’s in a foreign currency that isn’t easily convertible into dollars, Euros, or another widely-accepted “hard currency.” For the sake of argument, let’s just say Russian rubles. Obviously, there aren’t a lot of things you can buy in the U.S. with rubles. Except our candles! (And U.S. political ads on Facebook. But Mark Zuckerberg has got to earn a living, guys.)

Step 2: Buy our candles.

The key to laundering money is to buy something:

1) expensive and/or cash-generating,
2) that isn’t inherently suspicious,
3) from someone who won’t ask a lot of questions.

For instance, if you have millions of dollars that you want to move into America under the radar, you could buy a Trump property. Or several! But—to be brutally honest—this is a pretty tired way of laundering money. If you want to try something fresh and cool, buy our $1,000 Defective Candle!

Defective Candle

Now, we know you’re thinking: “I need to launder way more than $1,000! If it were only $1,000, I wouldn’t be trying to hide it! The FBI doesn’t even get out of bed in the morning for less than $100k in money laundering!” (Except maybe you’re thinking it in Russian.)

Well, that’s true. But check it out: we don’t often admit to this, but we can actually make more defective candles. In fact, sometimes it feels impossible for us to not crank out defective candles. I’m not going to say there is NO limit on how many we can make. But I will tell you this: using our special processes, we can actually produce defective candles EVEN FASTER than regular candles. At $1,000 apiece, I would conservatively estimate we can hand-pour $280,000 worth of defective candles per day. Just let us know how much money you would like to launder, and we will produce the corresponding number of defective candles.

Step 3: We deposit your cash.

Everyone knows home candlemaking is incredibly lucrative. So our bank will have no questions about why we’re depositing millions of dollars in rubles.

Or at least, no questions other than, “Why aren’t you making even more money selling candles? We assumed that your ‘Rutherford B. Hayes-Scented Candle’ would have made you billionaires by now.”

Step 4: Your assets are now safe from prying government eyes.

Your hard-earned wealth has now been converted from suspicious, icky cash, into nice, clean, defective candles. And, what’s more, it is disguised by the common misconception that defective candles are worthless. If an IRS auditor demands to see your investments, you can simply point to your vault full of defective candles and shrug sadly. Don’t feel obligated to reveal that each candle retails for a full $1,000!

Step 5: Convert your investment back into money.

Some people won’t accept defective candles as payment, so at some point, you might want to convert your wealth back into money. No problem! Just create an Etsy shop and put all of your defective candles on sale. We’ll even help you set it up and give you some free tips.

(For instance, people love free shipping, so you should consider offering free shipping on each defective candle you sell. Also, on Etsy, it helps to add that personal touch. Maybe take a selfie with your candle hoard and upload it to your shop’s webpage, or include a personalized, handwritten note with each candle sold.)

Defective Candle with thoughtful note

Just remember to have a little patience. It will probably take a few weeks to sell millions of dollars of defective candles. So don’t lose your nerve and drop the price! If anything, you should probably raise the price, to account for inflation.

Step 6: Your money is clean!

Etsy will wire the money directly into your bank account. And now, when people ask where your vast wealth comes from, you no longer have to say, “I stole an aluminum mine during the chaotic breakup of the Soviet Union” (or whatever). You can just say the same thing we do: Your vast wealth came from selling candles on Etsy!

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Hottest Heads of State Explains: NATO


You might have heard that President Trump is attending a neato summit in Brussels this week. And you probably thought to yourself, “I’m relieved he’s thousands of miles away. But how come he gets to attend a neato summit?” Well, the answer is that it’s actually a NATO summit. And, if you have a very specific set of questions about NATO, we have answers.

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JD and Kate Visit the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum

Even though we’ve finished writing our book, can we still deduct the cost of visiting presidential museums from our taxes? There’s only one way to find out!

The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum

The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum

Independence, MO
Adults: $8 | Children (age 6-15): $3 | Children (5 and under): Free

Kate: I have never been more sleepy than on the day we visited the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, MO.

JD: Same. Sometimes, I get an idea in the middle of the night and write it down, but in the morning it makes no sense. That is what my notes from this visit are like. “How does this lettering get eroded.” “Black out parts of a love letter.” OK, JD, whatever you say!

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Hottest Heads of State Explains: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens

Eric Greitens mugshot

You probably think you don’t know anyone from Missouri. Well, check it out: I’m from Missouri! And I’m guessing there are two things you want to know about my home state: Where it is, and what the deal is with our governor.

As to the location of Missouri, it is a secret. But as to our governor, please allow me to answer your hypothetical questions. And a warning: like everything in the Show-Me State, this gets a little racy!

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Hottest Heads of State Through History: French Presidents

Charles de Gaulle

A good way to learn about world history is to glance through a series of foreign leaders’ portraits and imagine what kinds of things might have happened under their rule. Here, we’ll help!

Afterwards, if you want even more help learning about France, check out part one of this two-part series. There; now it’s like you earned two degrees in French history!

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New Candle Alert!

Titanic-Scented Candle

As an avid reader of this website, you already know that we have a candle business. What you may NOT know is that we sell about 80% of our candles between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I make them all by hand. And this means that by mid-December, my body is experiencing an accelerating cascade of physical breakdowns, much like the spacecraft in Apollo 13.

Fortunately, the solution to this problem is pretty obvious. (And no, it is not to hire someone.) It is to start making candles that people will buy at other times of the year. Like birthdays, baby showers, housewarmings, and the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

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We Went on a Book Tour

One thing you might get to do if you write a book is go on a book tour. This means going to bookstores in different cities, talking about and/or reading from your book, and signing copies.

As you may know, we wrote a book, and we went on a whirlwind tour of bookstores in St. Louis and Washington, D.C. And yes, it is still a tour if it’s just two cities. (If it’s just one city, it’s a residency, like Britney Spears is doing in Las Vegas.)

Anyhow, our book tour was a wild ride! Do you want to hear about it? No? Too late!

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Help a Statue of Young Ronald Reagan in a Bathing Suit Get Erected

Young Ronald Reagan

Normally, we don’t use this platform to promote any sort of cause or agenda. (Except for the agenda of trying to get you to buy our book, through frequent, gratuitous mentions of our book.)

But this isn’t as a matter of principle. After all, this is a website that ranks people in order of hotness—clearly, I have no principles.* The reason is simply that there has never been a cause that really inspired me. Until now.

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Our Lousy Neighbors Won’t Review Our Book

Little Free Library box

Do you see how we’ve conveniently arranged our book so it’s between two less-appealing books, in order to make it pop? If you want to help us out, that’s something you can do at your local Barnes & Noble. Just place a few copies in the “#1 Bestsellers” section. If any employees challenge you, tell them you’re Barnes & Noble CEO Demos Parneros.

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How to Launder Money (by buying rare and valuable candles)


Hottest Heads of State Explains: NATO

Special Report

Know Your Flags, Part I