World’s Strangest

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A Brief History of Olympic Defectors

Getty Images For some athletes, the Olympics aren’t just a competition: they’re a chance to escape oppression. Earlier this week, seven of Cameroon’s athletes disappeared from London’s Olympic Village. The week before, three runners from Sudan’s Olympic training squad filed for asylum in Britain. Here’s a look at some other Olympic defections. 1948 Summer Olympics: London Marie Provaznikova, [...]

World War I Centennial: Protests and Pistols in Hungary’s Parliament

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 Jewish Engineer Behind Hitler’s Volkswagen

“QUANTUM SHOT” #765 Link – article by Paul Schilperoord Finally, the full story behind emergence of Volkswagen, “Hitler’s pet project” We welcome back our contributing writer Paul Schilperoord, whose book “The Extraordinary Life of Josef Ganz – The Jewish Engineer Behind Hitler’s Volkswagen” has just been released in the US and [...]

AC/DC: The Tesla–Edison Feud

You’ve probably heard about the famous rivalry between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison—both giants of electrical engineering whose innovations changed history. But what exactly was their history with one another? And has history proven one of them right? That whole boss/employee thing. Tesla, a Serbian by parentage, began working for the phone company in Budapest. In [...]

Hungary Outlaws Homelessness

With 10,000 people homeless in Budapest alone, Hungary has figured out how to solve the problem: make homelessness illegal. According to an amendment to the local government act, passed by a strong majority in parliament last month, those found sleeping on the streets will first receive a warning. They can subsequently be imprisoned or ordered to pay [...]

The Cave Church in Budapest

There is a cave on the side of the side Gellert Hill near Budapest, Hungary, in which it is said that a monk, possibly St. Istvan, lived his life. It later became a place of worship run by the Pauline monks. In 1951, the communist government arrested the monks and sealed the cave with a [...]

Swimming Magnetic Gels

(Video Link) Miklós Zrínyi of Semmelweiss University in Budapest invented a flexible magnetic substance. By controlling the magnetic forces around objects made from this gel, one can move it around as needed. There are numerous potential applications: Soft magnetic materials like this one could be used for artificial muscles in robots, or to replace rigid machine components, [...]

"We Are The World. We Are The Linguists."

YouTube link. Professors and students at Budapest’s ELTE-MTA Theoretical Linguistics Programme celebrate the 20th anniversary of their department with a cover of “We Are The World.” There comes a time When we heed a certain call, When linguists must come together as one. There are people speaking, They bind and c-command; It’s grammar, the greatest gift of all. We can’t go on Pretending day [...]

Contest for the Criminally Beautiful

It’s the beauty contest where nervous judges are likely to get an offer they can’t refuse – Miss Mafia 2010.Contestants for the pageant in Budapest, Hungary, must either have mob connections or convictions for crimes that have earned them time behind bars.Judges have already selected the four Mafia molls who will compete for the title [...]

Post-Halloween Eclectic Image Mix

“QUANTUM SHOT” #18(rev)Link – by Avi Abrams Philosophy, fear of birds, and movie monsters Well, Halloween has come and gone, and for those of you who’s still trembling a little from encountered (and probably imbibed) spirits, here is a very eclectic image mix… Apparently, imaginary disasters can help sell cars: Dressed up in costume all year long - or [...]