World’s Strangest

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Americanisms

As an American, sometimes it’s tough to know which commonly-used words and phrases are particular to America, and sound strange in other parts of the world. There was a fascinating round-up of “Americanisms” on this BBC blog the other day, and I wanted to share a few here. Some I find surprising — what, you [...]

The Late Movies: Flash Mobs Around the World

Flash mobs, defined by Webster’s as “a group of people who organize on the Internet and then quickly assemble in a public place, do something bizarre, and disperse,” have become part of global pop culture. The clips below feature some that were organized for advertisements, some for commemoration, and some just for fun — but [...]

Keith Moon, Bathroom Bomber

The following article is from the book Uncle John’s Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader. More than 30 years after his death, the Who’s drummer, Keith Moon, is still remembered as one of the best in rock history. And as more than one hotel chain learned to their regret, that wasn’t all he was known for. MY GENERATION In the [...]

What Is the Fittest City in the US?

According to a study by the American College of Sports Medicine, it’s the Minneapolis-St.Paul metropolitan area, followed by Washington, D.C.: Their winning rank reflects the cities’ relatively low (and rapidly-diminishing) smoking rate, their above-average percentage of regular exercisers, moderate-to-low rates of obesity, asthma, diabetes, and other chronic concerns, and rising share of farmers’ markets (indicative of [...]

Matchbox Masterpieces

Way back in the 1890s match-manufacturers, Messrs. S. I. Moreland and Sons, of Gloucester and Birmingham, issued a challenge to their customers to construct a model made with no fewer than 1000 of their matchboxes. Many marvelous creations were submitted and judged by a panel mostly composed of architects. Mr. G. W. Roberts, of 2 [...]

Lightsabers Are Real And Other Science Fiction Brits Believed as Science Facts

From the it-must-be-real-cuz-I-saw-it-in-the-movies department, here’s the shocking (or not so shocking, depending on your level of faith in humanity) results from a recent survey of British adults, as conducted by Birmingham Science City: 1. Over a fifth of adults incorrectly believe light sabres exist.2. Nearly a quarter (24%) of people are wrong in their belief that humans [...]

The Rich History of Chocolate

This article is taken from the book Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges Into History. Among the ancients, it was revered as “the elixir of the gods.” Today, it is the one sweet temptation that most of us find impossible to resist. Yet, for most of its 3,500-year history, it was not eaten but rather consumed as a [...]

Feline Fanatic Collects Thousands of Ceramic Cats | Wired Collection

A feline fanatic has spent the last 60 years amassing a bizarre collection of over 2,000 ceramic cats… and she won’t stop until it’s purr-fect. Pamela Cole, 60, from Birmingham, has been collecting the cats since the late 1940s, after her mother gave her a replica of a beloved kitten. The collection, thought to be worth over [...]

Strange Stories Of The World’s Most Famous Sleuth

I’ve always enjoyed an occasional Sherlock Holmes story, but it wasn’t until I took a class on the subject that I learned just how strange many of the tales are. From crazed Mormons to ape men to vampires, Conan Doyle’s heroic detective encounters some seriously strange cases in his time. In celebration of 124 years [...]

Scenes From Our Birmingham Trivia Show

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to our Birmingham trivia show on Tuesday night. We had a packed house at Cantina and raised $2000 for the Ronald McDonald House. And a big thanks to Reg, our new executive vp of Birmingham-area trivia shows, for co-hosting the event. Those of you who couldn’t attend [...]