World’s Strangest

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The Sad Story of Alfred Nobel

Despite being one of the richest people in Europe, Alfred Nobel was not a happy man. The Swedish industrialist made his fortune by inventing (and later producing) dynamite. But his work made him a recluse. He spent most of his life traveling to oversee his vast multinational business, and he filled the rest of his [...]

The Disastrous North Pole Balloon Mission of 1897

Reaching the North Pole was an international obsession during the late 19th century. Various countries devised plans for becoming the first to reach the pole, but no journey was as fascinating (or as doomed) as Sweden’s S.A. Andree’s mission to cross the Arctic in a hydrogen balloon. To understand what went wrong with Andree’s mission, [...]

7 Nobel Prize Stories Ripped from the Tabloids!

by Maggie Koerth-Baker and Linda Rodriguez Forget Brad and Angelina. It’s time to put the spotlight back where it belongs—on history’s biggest nerds! We’ve got all the juiciest gossip about the world’s greatest minds. 1. Scientist, Editor Duel Over Marie Curie’s Honor! Gunshots Barely Avoided as Albert Einstein Weighs In Marie Curie is well known as the first [...]

The Quick 10: 10 People Pronounced Dead a Bit Prematurely

Pope Benedict XV died on January 22, 1922, which isn’t all that notable by itself – after all, he was 67 and had been suffering from a pretty bad case of pneumonia all month. What is notable is that he had been declared dead several days before he actually died thanks to a foible by [...]

11 Other Halls of Fame

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame was in the news last weekend as it inducted a banner class that included Michael Jordan, David Robinson, and John Stockton. You might not have much of a shot at getting yourself enshrined at Springfield, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a hall of fame. There are [...]