World’s Strangest

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Why Aren’t There B Batteries?

Reader Donna wrote in wondering why there are AA, AAA, C and D batteries, but no B. Well, there used to be, but they’re not really needed anymore. Getty Images Around the time of World War I, American battery manufacturers, the War Industries Board, and a few government agencies got together to develop some nationally uniform specifications [...]

The Size of a Jelly Molecule as Estimated by Jelly Electrophoresis

(Image credit: Flickr user Brandie Kajino) by Gregory J. Crowther Department of Physiology & Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington   Despite the importance of jelly as a sandwich ingredient, its molecular structure remains poorly understood. We therefore attempted a preliminary characterization of the jelly molecule using a novel technique we call “jelly electrophoresis.” Jelly electrophoresis is a methodological [...]

Lithophones – Instruments Made of Fossils, Floor Tiles, and More

Musician, artist, and “edutainer” Tom Kaufmann makes unique instruments called lithophones, which are similar to xylophones, but created from various stones. Here’s how Kaufmann describes them: Another happy coincidence led me to my current fascination with constructing lithophones. I was tossing around some scrap pieces of granite countertop that I’d gotten for one of my [...]

“Hallelujah” 10 Ways

“Hallelujah” is a song written by Leonard Cohen in 1984, and never officially released as a single. It has become famous mainly through cover versions, and has been recorded by hundreds of artists. In 2008, American Idol contestent Jason Castro sang a version that caused Jeff Buckley’s famous cover to rocket to the top of [...]

Being Grumpy is Hazardous to Your Health

We’ve all heard about the Type A personality, but did you know that there are Type B,C, and D? T Goodman of InventorSpot explains the difference between the personality types, and why it’s bad to be the grumpy Type D: Now, Type D’s have been described as anxious, irritable, and pessimistic. They are the grumps and [...]

Do Blind People See Things in Their Dreams?

A question from reader Josiah: “Do blind people see when they dream? I think there are two sides to the question, dealing with people who were born blind, and those who used to be able to see.” Whether visual imagery is present in the dreams of the blind has been pondered by scientists since the early 19th [...]

15 Famous People Who Used to Teach

Students, we know you may not be all that ecstatic about seeing your teachers – and the homework they assign – as the school year starts up. Pay attention in class, though; you never know what hidden talents your teachers might have. Just look at all of these famous former teachers: 1. Gene Simmons The tongue-flicking [...]