World’s Strangest

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WWI Centennial: The Conference of London Convenes

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 [...]

Giant cave may have inspired mythical Hades

A vast cave system known as Alepotrypa in Greece was a bustling neolithic hub for thousands of years. The gigantic cavern was so large that it would h…

World War I Centennial: Turks Defeated at Kirk Kilisse and Kumanovo

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 [...]

World War I Centennial: Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece Declare 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 the [...]

European Union Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

Congratulations to all Neatoramanauts from the European Union! You’ve all won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, which comes with $1.2 million in prize money: The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, a choice that [...]

Why Did the U.S. Abandon the Gold Standard?

Some have called for a return to the gold standard. How would it affect the economy? What is the gold standard? It’s a monetary system that directly links a currency’s value to that of gold. A country on the gold standard cannot increase the amount of money in circulation without also increasing its gold reserves. Because the [...]

World War I Centennial: Montenegro Pledges 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 the [...]

The Politically Incorrect Etymologies of 11 Words and Phrases

At various moments in its life, a word will hop languages, change meanings, travel through sinister moments and land in pleasant ones. But no matter how many times it’s superimposed, and how far it gets from its original source, a word doesn’t let go of its memories easily. Here are 11 modern English words with [...]

Why Does Bad Weather Aggravate Old Injuries?

Reader Jen wrote in to ask, “Why do old injuries ache during crummy weather?” “Oh, my bones are aching. It must be about to rain.” – Everybody’s grandpa, ever. The idea that certain aches and pains correspond with, and can even predict, the weather is widespread, and has been around since at least the days of ancient [...]

World War I Centennial: The Balkans Spin Out of Control

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 [...]