World’s Strangest

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8 Disabled Animals That Triumphed Over Adversity

Like humans, animals are prone to birth defects and devastating accidents that leave them disabled. What’s incredible about all creatures (including mankind) is their ability to thrive despite their challenges and survive against all odds. These 8 animals are inspirations not just to those with disabilities, but to everyone who’s faced a seemingly impossible challenge. 1. [...]

Penguin Dilemma

(YouTube link) Carole Anne and Ron caught video of some penguins wandering about in the Falkland Islands. These two seem to have a small conundrum. Penguin: Ooh, look, the ground is gone here! Penguin: It’s water. Penguin: But not deep enough to swim in. Penguin: What will we ever do? Penguin: I’ll have to think about that a bit. Penguin: Look, maybe [...]

Gurning Champion Declared Ugliest Woman by Guinness World Records

“Gurning” is apparently a competitive sport in Britain that consists of contorting one’s face in ugly poses. Anne Woods, who’s been a local champion for 27 straight years, will now get a special mention in the Guinness Book of World Records: Gurning involves contorting the facial features into ugly positions while draped in a horse collar [...]

The Quick 10: The Real People Behind 10 Literary Characters

We’ve learned the background of some children’s book characters here on the _floss (Eloise may have been based on Liza Minnelli, for example), but today we’re uncovering the inspiration for some characters in more adult novels. 1. Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind was distant cousins with Doc Holliday. It’s supposed that she based [...]

The King William’s College General Knowledge Quiz

Arguably the most challenging test of arcane knowledge is the “Christmas Quiz” offered to students at King William’s College. Up until 1999, pupils at King William’s College would sit the paper unseen on the last day of term before the Christmas holidays. The questions are very hard and often cryptic, and pupils got hardly any questions [...]

10 Neat Facts About Google

Google in 1998 (notice the exclamation mark) Sure, everybody knows that Google was created by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin who became gazillionaires. But did you know that Google’s first storage device was cobbled together with LEGO? Or that Google’s first investor wrote a $100,000 check even before the company officially existed? Or [...]

A Brief History of Swedish Fish

The friendly Swedish Fish are a staple of the US candy scene, a denizen of nearly every movie theater counter and convenience store. But where did they come from? And why fish? Why not Swedish Reindeer? Or Geese? There isn’t a lot of research on Swedish Fish out there, but here’s what we got: In the [...]

All About Anne (of Green Gables)

Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maude Montgomery’s first book about Anne, the redheaded orphan of Canada’s Prince Edward Island, and her misadventures. But this year, Anne fans are in for a treat. This week, the Anne of Green Gables canon (the Anne-on?) is expanding: Publisher Penguin [...]

The Only Known Video of Anne Frank

(YouTube Link) The only known video images of Holocaust victim and diarist Anne Frank have been circulating YouTube. Lisa Gutierrez writes in the Kansas City Star: The 21-second, black-and-white video, filmed on July 22, 1941 about a year before Anne and her family went into hiding, shows the front of an Amsterdam apartment building where Anne and [...]