World’s Strangest

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Pig Genome Project Could Lead to Tastier Bacon

The Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium has completed the task of sequencing the DNA of a pig and placing all of that data available online for free. Is it now possible to improve bacon through genetic engineering? The study’s authors think so: Tastier pork could certainly be an outcome of this research, too, Schook and Dekkers say. What [...]

10 Legendary Monsters of Europe

There are monsters all around us -or at least the legends of monsters. Last week we saw some of the monsters of Asia. Now here are some of the scariest monsters of Europe. 1. Kelpie The Kelpie lives in the lakes and rivers of Scotland, and is often referred to as a “water horse” because it is [...]

Legendary Monsters of Asia

Every country has eerie tales of monsters from hundreds, or even thousands, of years ago. There are many such stories from Asia; here are a few of those monsters you might want to tell the kids about the next time you have a campfire on a dark and spooky night. 1. Penanggalan The Penanggalan is a Malaysian [...]

How Collecting Opium Antiques Turned Me Into an Opium Addict

Smoking opium was a widespread practice in Asia over a hundred years ago, but the practice is almost gone today. Almost. Antiques collector Steven Martin, author of the new book Opium Fiend: A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction, tells the story of how his research into the opium smoking tools he collected [...]

Why Immigrant Children Do Better in School

Photo: Shutterstock A large study by Johns Hopkins University confirmed what many of us have known for a long time: children who immigrate the United States with their families tend to do better in [...]

8 Lovely Libraries in Australia and New Zealand

We’ve covered Europe’s, Asia’s, Africa’s, North America’s and South America’s most beautiful libraries; now it’s time to take a look at Australia and, while it isn’t technically a part of the continent, New Zealand as well. Victorian State Library, Australia This library is not only massive – containing over 2 million books – it also has some [...]

World War I Centennial: The Balkans Spin Out of Control

The First World War was an unprecedented catastrophe that killed millions and set the continent of Europe on the path to further calamity two decades later. But it didn’t come out of nowhere. With the centennial of the outbreak of hostilities coming up in 2014, Erik Sass will be looking back at the lead-up to the [...]

How Did the Chicken Cross the Ocean?

At some point in the last few thousand years, someone in India or Southeast Asia decided to try catching one of the wild fowl than ran through the jungles and roosted up in the trees. We don’t know exactly what that person was intending, but the bird probably wasn’t destined to be stuffed and roasted or [...]

Music History #3: “Yes! We Have No Bananas”

Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of Bill DeMain’s new column, where he explores the real historical events that inspired various songs. “Music History” appears twice a month. “Yes! We Have No Bananas” Written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn (1922) Originally sung by Eddie Cantor The Music The story goes that one day in 1922, songwriting duo Frank [...]

World War I Centennial: Russia Promises to Attack Germany

The First World War was an unprecedented catastrophe that killed millions and set the continent of Europe on the path to further calamity two decades later. But it didn’t come out of nowhere. With the centennial of the outbreak of hostilities coming up in 2014, Erik Sass will be looking back at the lead-up to [...]