World’s Strangest

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How the Canadian Provinces and Territories Got Their Names

Here’s a little more Canadian history on this Canada Day. Alberta Named in honor of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848-1939), the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the wife of the Marquess of Lorne, Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883. Lake Louise, the village of Caroline, and Mount Alberta are also named after her. British Columbia The name refers to the Columbia District, the [...]

How 13 More Great American Cities Got Their Names

A few weeks ago we took a look at how 17 great American cities got their names. Since we could never cram every city’s story into a single post, let’s take a look at a second round of city name origins today. 1. Albany New York’s first capital first went by the name Beverwyck when it was [...]

Holy of Holies: The Tribuna of the Uffizi

Today’s “Feel Art Again” is a double-header. First up was a post on the German-English artist Johann Zoffany (1733-1810); now this post delves into his painting “The Tribuna of the Uffizi.” Read both to get the full story on this talented artist. In the summer of 1772, Johann Zoffany was sent by Queen Charlotte to Florence [...]

Creating Magic: Johann Zoffany

Today’s “Feel Art Again” is a double-header. First up is this post on Johann Zoffany, followed by a post delving into his painting “The Tribuna of the Uffizi.” Read both to get the full story on this talented artist. Johann Zoffany (1733-1810) was a German-born English painter and favored portraitist of King George III and Queen [...]

13 Medical Conditions Named After People

Having a disease named after you is a decidedly mixed bag. On the one hand, your scientific developments are forever commemorated. On the other hand, though, you’re stuck with the knowledge that no patient will ever be happy upon hearing your name. Who are the scientists and doctors behind some of our most famous diseases [...]

Scandalous Academician: Mary Moser

Mary Moser (1744-1819) was “one of the most celebrated women artists of 18th-century Britain,” yet today she’s mostly overlooked. In honor of the 265th anniversary of her birth, we’ve rounded up some of the most interesting facts about Moser. 1. Mary Moser received training from George III’s own drawing master—her father, George Michael Moser, an artist [...]

They’re Alive: Real Scientific Reasons to Believe in Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies

Dracula vs. Cujo One dark and stormy evening, Spanish neurologist Juan Gomez-Alonso was watching a vampire movie when he realized something strange; he noticed that vampires behave an awful lot like people with rabies. The virus attacks the central nervous system, altering the moods and behaviors of those infected. Sufferers become agitated [...]

Scientific Reasons to Believe in Vampires, Werewolves & Zombies

Let’s take a look at some of the real-world events and phenomena that may have inspired the creation of vampires, werewolves and zombies. Vampires One dark and stormy evening, Spanish neurologist Juan Gomez-Alonso was watching a vampire movie when he realized something strange; he noticed that vampires behave an awful lot like people with rabies. The virus [...]

Enter the Chamber of Horrors: Madame Tussaud

The subject of our final post for our week of women is Marie Grosholtz (1761-1850), although you probably know her as Madame Tussaud. The French-born, Swiss-reared Grosholtz was a wax model prodigy – she made her first wax figure (Voltaire, above left) at the tender age of 17. (Her life is so interesting we had [...]