World’s Strangest

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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 [...]

6 Memorable Letters From Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong is remembered as both a “reluctant American hero” and “the spiritual repository of spacefaring dreams.” He was man of few words, but those he chose to share were significant and occasionally, tongue-in-cheek. Here are some notable letters and notes written by the first man on the moon. 1. Its true beauty, however, was [...]

The First Photo From Space

Photo: White Sands Missile Range/Applied Physics Laboratory – via Smithsonian’s Air & Space The grainy black and white photo above was the very first photo from space. It was taken from an [...]

10 Facts You Might Not Know about Star Trek: Voyager

The fourth Star Trek series, Voyager, told the story of a ship and its crew hurled to the opposite side of the galaxy. At the best possible speed, it would take 75 years for them to return home — if they completed the journey at all. From 1995 to 2001, we watched their tales of [...]

Combination Pistol/Knife Owned by the President of Peru

José Balta’s reign as President of Peru ended with an assassin’s bullet on July 26, 1872. So perhaps this was a fitting weapon for him to own during a dangerous age. The French gunmaker Lefaucheux, Casimer & Eugene made this unique knife that includes a pinfire revolver in the handle. It fires six 7.65 mm [...]

14 Super Bowl Sideshows and Subplots

At Super Bowl XV in New Orleans — my first Super Bowl — wildman defensive lineman John Matuszak of the Oakland Raiders nominated himself as a most unlikely Bourbon Street chaperone. “I’m going to see that there’s no funny business,” The Tooz said. “I’ve had enough parties for 20 people’s lifetimes. I’ll keep our young fellows [...]

10 Other Organizations “Without Borders”

Most of us have heard of the international NGOs Doctors Without Borders and Engineers Without Borders, and you might know about Reporters Without Borders. But what about Monks Without Borders? Or Clowns? Here’s a list of borderless organizations you really should hear about. 1. Bikes Without Borders Bikes Without Borders is a Canadian non-profit group that [...]

Tonight: Trek Nation on Science Channel

Set your DRVs for “Trek Nation” tonight (November 30, 2011) at 8pm ET/PT on the Science Channel. If you’re going to watch one documentary about Star Trek, it should be Trekkies. But if you’re going to watch two, the second should be Trek Nation, premiering tonight on the Science Channel. Trek Nation puts Star [...]

Big Man on the Bridge

I know you are familiar with this picture of workers on the Brooklyn Bridge, taken in 1914 by Eugene de Salignac for the city of New York. But wait… why is the guy on the right so much bigger than the others? He’s not. Rob at the What Is It? Blog altered the picture to [...]

5 Things You Didn’t Know About John Candy

The world hasn’t been quite as funny since we lost John Candy in 1994. Let’s remember the star of great comedies like Uncle Buck and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles by taking a look at five things you may not have known about Candy. 1. He Was Almost a Ghostbuster By 1983, Candy’s national celebrity had grown to [...]