World’s Strangest

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The Late Movies: Six Songs Inspired by Hurricane Sandy

First: If you’re one of our readers in New Jersey, Delaware, New York, or any of the other areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy, our thoughts are with you. Now, on to the Late Movies business: Hurricane Sandy has inspired some budding singer-songwriters. We’ve got six examples of how they spent their time during the storm. “Sandy” This [...]

12 Proposed U.S. States That Didn’t Make the Cut

The road to 50 states was littered with wannabes who couldn’t wait to declare themselves—but never quite got to full statehood. Here are 12 states that could have been. 1. Franklin Wikimedia Commons After the Revolutionary War, it became common for states to gift their westernmost lands to the newly-founded (but broke) American government to repackage and sell [...]

Do You Own The Space Above Your House?

Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos means “whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell.” This property right principle asserts that a person who owns a particular piece of land owns everything directly above and below that piece of land, no matter the distance, [...]

New Level of Fakery in China: Fake U.S. Bank

Fake watches and knock off Louis Vuitton bags? In china, such fakery is so common it’s pedestrian. Well, rice trader Lin Chunping took it to another level with this brazen act: he pretended to [...]

World War I Centennial: Breaking Up DuPont

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 [...]

After Elections in Delaware, Politicians Literally Bury Hatchets

Image credit: A Chesapeake Journal As the election season kicks into gear and all that negative rhetoric hits the airwaves, it’s worth remembering that politics isn’t always so nasty. And no place is that more clear than in one Delaware town, where politicians mark the end of campaigning by literally burying the hatchet. It’s part of [...]

Why Is the Mob Often Tied to the Garbage Industry?

I know I’m only about a decade late, but I recently, finally, watched the entire run of The Sopranos. Tony and his crew get their hands into plenty of different moneymaking schemes, but throughout the series one character or another (Tony, Richie Aprile, Ralph Cifaretto) is involved in solid waste management. What makes trash collection [...]

10 of Ben Franklin’s Lesser-Known Feats of Awesomeness

Franklin statue image via Shutterstock We all know about Benjamin Franklin’s kite-flyin’, library-establishin’, Declaration-signin’, newspaper-printin’, lady-killin’ ways but, in honor of the Ben’s 306th birthday, let’s celebrate some of his lesser-known but very cool contributions to society. 1. Ben swam with the fishes. As a youngster, Ben learned to swim in Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River and became [...]

Earliest-Known Depiction of the Easter Bunny

If you ask me, this early representation of the Easter Bunny resembles a Lepus-like reindeer. It was drawn by a German schoolmaster who moved to Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 1757. If you want to see the art in person, Winterthur Museum in Winterthur, Delaware, is exhibiting the piece from now through Mother’s Day, when it [...]

Fordlandia: Henry Ford’s Ill-Fated Foray Into the Brazilian Jungle

We remember Henry Ford as the automotive magnate who perfected assembly line technology, but he also dabbled in ambitious social programs, including one in which he hired ex-convicts straight out of Sing Sing to staff his factories. Although many of these efforts were successful, Ford’s ill-fated foray into the Brazilian jungle was a notable and [...]