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, [...]

8 Creative Ways People Went Over the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall divided East Germany from West Berlin from 1961 through 1989. Although the East German government fortified the barrier with everything from watchtowers to guard dogs to beds of nails, a few people managed to slip over the border in amazing ways. Let’s take a look at some spectacular crossings, including the iconic [...]

The Fall of the Wall

The following is an article from the book Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges Into History Again. The East German government called the Berlin Wall “the Anti-Fascist Protection Barrier.” But the machine guns along its length were pointed inward, toward East Berlin, not outward. Shortly after midnight on August 13, 1961, the city of Berlin was cut [...]

Get Out! How 8 Dictators Spent Their Exile Years

As civil war rages in Libya, many observers are calling for Qaddafi to step down and go into exile. This wouldn’t be the first time an oppressive leader has stepped aside in exchange for a relatively comfortable retirement abroad. We’ve compiled this handy list of famous exiled emperors and dictators for reference. 1. Napoleon Bonaparte (Elba [...]

A Brief History of Garden Gnomes

Note: This article was originally published in May 2009. We’re currently switching to a new hosting provider, and it’s a messy process. So while we wait for the “OK, you can start posting again” note from the server migration people, we’ll be putting up a few stories you may have missed the first time around. At [...]

Cat vs. Metronome

LinkScroll down for today’s pictures & links. Cat vs. Metronome A metronome has found this cat’s inner frequency, or so it seems. Another cat comes to check it out, and remains totally unperturbed… Oh, and here is a classic “Cat vs. Printer” video. Link Today’s pictures & links: German Television Tower Models Looking like some inspired DIY project, these models were [...]

Retro Future: To The Stars! – Part 3

“QUANTUM SHOT” #612Link – by Avi Abrams We can not get enough of that stuff. The Future that never happened. The Past that kept dreaming and never woke up. Also read Part 2 and Part 1 We continue to update our extensive collection of the most inspiring and hard-to-find retro-futuristic images. As usual, we try to stay away [...]

Angela Merkel: The Sharp Axe of Reason

The global recession has hit Germany hard; its economy will likely shrink by 6 percent this year alone. Why should you care? Because it has the biggest economy in Europe and it’s the biggest exporter in the world. More than that, you should care because an economic meltdown in Germany could change the course of [...]

The Fall of the Berlin Wall — 20 Years Later

Twenty years ago today, the Berlin Wall was breached and collapse of European Communism rapidly accelerated. From the archives of the BBC: At midnight East Germany’s Communist rulers gave permission for gates along the Wall to be opened after hundreds of people converged on crossing points. They surged through cheering and shouting and were be met by [...]