World’s Strangest

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17 Euphemisms for Sex From the 1800s

While shoe-horning these into conversation today might prove difficult, these 17 synonyms for sex were used often enough in 19th-century England to earn a place in the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, a book for upper-crust Britons who had no idea what the proles were talking about. 1. Amorous congress To say two people were engaged in [...]

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare

Photo: LaDawna Howard/Flickr It was a close ruling, but a 5 to 4 decision by the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate, the key part of the Affordable Care Act, or more popularly known [...]

Four Years Before Women Had the Right to Vote, Jeannette Rankin Was Elected to Congress

In 1916, four years before the Constitution recognized her right to vote, Jeannette Rankin was elected to Congress. While women had not achieved suffrage across the U.S. yet, there were no laws barring them from holding office in the Capitol. So Rankin, with her belief that “men and women are like right and left hands; it [...]

Congress Talks Like a 10th Grader

Photo: Lawrence Jackson Quick: what’s circular, full of wind and is destructively expensive? Tornado? No, Congress. It’s no secret that politicians love to talk, but what is suprising is that the average grade level of [...]

Would Americans Trust Your Profession?

Not if you’re a member of Congress, they won’t! No surprise there – politicians haven’t been highly regarded for their honesty and ethics by John Q. Public for decades, but the 7% ratings in [...]

Glory Day: Lancaster’s Brief Stint as Our Nation’s Capital

© Richard T. Nowitz/CORBIS If you’ve visited Lancaster, Penn., you probably remember it as a nice mid-sized city right in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country. What you might not know is that 234 years ago today, it became our young country’s third capital city, a position it held only briefly. Very, very briefly. Let’s take [...]

$1 Billion That Nobody Wants

The U.S. Mint is manufacturing, and will continue to manufacture, one dollar coins that just pile up in the Federal Reserve because no one wants to use them. They’ve already stockpiled over a billion dollars in coins, and may reach two billion! In 2005, Congress decided that a new series of dollar coins should be minted [...]

Wolves taken off endangered species list.

Federal wildlife officials will soon take wolves in the western US off the endangered species list. In an unprecedented step, Congress has chosen to r…

Members of Congress Spent 27% of Their Time Taunting Each Other

Debates are part of a healthy democracy but why does it seem like Congress has so much trouble working out a deal over the budget? (Or anything else for that matter) Harvard professor Gary King decided to take a look at how members of Congress communicate with each other and found something surprising: they spent 27% [...]

The Late Movies: O-SPAN

C-SPAN can be pretty boring, unless you’re watching Jon Stewart narrate the highlights. Personally, if I have to watch Congress on TV I much prefer O-SPAN, which is The Onion’s coverage. It’s a heckuva lot livelier. For instance, here’s what happens what a bat gets loose on the floor of Congress. … or when a half-eaten fish [...]