World’s Strangest

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11 Not-So-Famous People We Lost in 2012

It’s been a solemn year for the deaths of famous and significant people – and as always, many died who were less famous, but should be saluted nonetheless for their contributions to the world. Here are 11 of the lesser-known greats who passed this year. 1. Murray Lender: Bagel Tycoon Lender’s Bagels Historical Images Murray Lender, son of [...]

How To Write a Love Letter

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research. (Image credit: Flickr user Kristina Alexanderson) An application of current communications techniqueby Joshua LedermanSpecial Instructor of Writing Department of English, Emmanuel College, Boston, Massachusetts [EDITOR’S NOTE: Professor Lederman has tried, for many years, to teach college students how to write. He got to thinking about [...]

DARPA’s Obedient Robot

(YouTube link) Boston Dynamics and DARPA introduced the quadruped robot known as BigDog a few years ago, and have worked to improve it ever since. The latest incarnation of the robotic pack mule is the LS3, which obeys spoken commands! The LS3 is also known as AlphaDog. The purpose of the robot is to relieve troops [...]

Bicycle Santa

Photo: Patrick Pleu/AFP/Getty Images German bicycle designer Didi Senft is the builder of the world’s largest bicycle and the largest mobile guitar, which was made out of bike parts. He likes bicycles. He is also known as “El Diablo” of the Tour de France because he always dresses up as a devil for the event. This year, [...]

World’s Largest Cannoli

Appropriately, the Boston Foodie refers to this enormous concoction as “the Big Dig of pastry engineering.” This cannoli, the world’s largest, was made last year at the New England Dessert Showcase.  Link -via Pocket Pistols, Historic Firearms, & Curiosities

3 Animals (Other Than Birds) That Mimic Human Speech

Everyone knows that parrots can mimic human speech. So can a few other birds, including ravens and starlings. But it’s not just birds that speak up. Here are a few less obvious examples of animals that have learned to sound like people. 1. Asian Elephant At least one elephant is using his trunk for more than just [...]

The 10 Most Beautiful Libraries in the United States

We already looked at libraries in all the major continents, but there were so many great ones in the United States that the article featuring libraries in North America had to leave many beautiful buildings out. Now’s the time to share some of the stunning libraries that might not make it in the top 10 [...]

Tituba, the Early American Witch

Barring fictional characters, a slave named Tituba is America’s most famous “witch.” She was there at Ground Zero in the case of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. But because she was a slave, her documented biography is sparse compared to other accused witches of Salem. Photograph by Flickr user ISD 191 Performing Arts Programs. Samuel Parris [...]

The Surprising Last Words of 11 Entertainers

What do actors, musicians, and writers say when they die? I consulted the reference Last Words of Notable People by Bill Brahms to collect eleven examples. Read on, and get a hanky ready. 1. Bob Hope (1903-2003) The words: “Surprise me.” The story: “Bob” Hope’s full name was Leslie Townes Hope. As an actor [...]

Alcoholic Pizza

If you want to order the new pizza at Salvatore’s, you’ll have to show ID to prove that you’re at least 21. That’s because the Boston eatery is now serving pizza that’s cooked with vodka. Chef Victor Paone describes it: “We got some dried Italian cherries, and we cooked them, and they were too tough,” Paone [...]