World’s Strangest

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World War I Centennial: Schlieffen Is Dead, but His Plan Lives On

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 Surprising Last Words of 11 Entertainers

What do actors, musicians, and writers say when they die? I consulted the reference Last Words of Notable People by Bill Brahms to collect eleven examples. Read on, and get a hanky ready. 1. Bob Hope (1903-2003) The words: “Surprise me.” The story: “Bob” Hope’s full name was Leslie Townes Hope. As an actor [...]

DRB Pic of the Day: Propeller-driven "The Bennie Railplane"

“PIC OF THE DAY” Link Still hanging there in the 1950s, rusted and abandoned… We wrote about the Bennie Monorail System in Glasgow, Scotland before, see our One Track Wonders: Early Monorails article. But since then, better pictures have been discovered and more information has come to light, so we have to [...]

If the Titanic Didn’t Sink, This Female Pilot Would Be a Lot More Famous

You know Amelia Earhart, but you’ve probably never heard of Harriet Quimby. It’s quite likely that she inspired Earhart, who didn’t start flying until a decade after Quimby. And while Amelia was famous for being the first solo female pilot to cross the Atlantic in 1932, Quimby was the first woman pilot to fly solo over [...]

World War I Centennial: Councils of War

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 [...]

Luxury Retirement Abroad for Greek Donkeys

As the Greek economy continues to tumble, there’s a glimmer of hope for "retirees" who are offered a luxurious retirement abroad by a British royalty: great food, great room with a view of the [...]

10 Technology Prizes That Propelled Us Forward

Sometimes, people just need a little added incentive. Here are 10 technology-related prizes that helped move us forward. 1. Orteig Prize In 1919, French-born, New York City hotelier Raymond Orteig offered a $25,000 prize to the first pilot who made a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. For years, pilots gave it a shot and many [...]

Seawise Giant: You Can’t Keep a Good Ship Down

We’ve all heard of the Titanic and the Exxon Valdez. The story of the tanker than was once known as the Seawise Giant is much less familiar, although it’s every bit as memorable. The largest ship ever built—she was nearly twice as long as the Titanic—actually sank, only to rise up from the ocean floor [...]

10 Bizarre Weapons of the Allies During World War II

Listverse has pictures and descriptions of ten strange weapons developed by the Allies during World War II. Among them were sound mirrors, some of which still dot the British coast: They are the long-forgotten acoustic reflectors, dubbed by locals as the “listening ears.” These lonely structures were built to protect harbors and coastal towns from airborne [...]

Quadruple Amputee Swims Across the English Channel

Philippe Croizon, 42, lost his arms and legs in an electrical accident 16 years ago. But that hasn’t stopped him from swimming across the English Channel in 13 and a half hours: He had set off at 6.30am, expecting to spend up to 24 hours in the water. The swim was, he explained, “a symbol of [...]