World’s Strangest

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The Face of the Emperor

Before the development of photography, and even for some time afterward, one of the customs right after the death of someone important was to cast a death mask, to ensure there was a lasting representation of what that person looked like. After all, statues would be commissioned someday! Napoleon Bonapart’s death mask was (and still [...]

8 Heroic U.S. Military Chaplains

While researching the post 10 Heroic Battlefield Medics, I came across a couple of fascinating stories about military chaplains and their wartime exploits. Those stories were filed away for later, and they grew into a list of stories that deserve to be told and remembered. They are presented here in more or less chronological order. 1. [...]

10 Things We’re Supposed to Remember

Rob Wilson / Shutterstock.com 1. …the Alamo A quick refresher on the basics of the Battle of the Alamo: fought from February 23-March 6, 1836, between Mexico and the Republic of Texas as a part of the Texas Revolution of 1835-1836. The first 12 days were a siege by Mexican General Santa Anna and his troops [...]

The King of Dudes (Hint: It’s Not Jeff Bridges)

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a man they called the King of Dudes. Not “dude” in the sense that we use the word today – the King would certainly have been appalled by Bill S. Preston, Esq., and “Ted” Theodore Logan. Back in the 1800s, “dude” referred to a man who [...]

The Time Fidel Castro Asked FDR for $10

The year: 1940. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was residing in the White House; a 12-year-old Fidel Castro was studying at a boarding school, Colegio Dolores in Santiago, Cuba. Fidel read about Roosevelt’s third re-election and, on a whim, decided to drop one of the most powerful men in the world a line. At the time, Fidel’s [...]

Sketchy Business: The Life of a Courtroom Artist

Courtroom sketch artist Shepard (in red) shows one of her drawings of the Martha Stewart trial to a reporter. © Ramin Talaie/Corbis/2004 Why can’t they just use a photographer? In many cases in the US (and the UK and Canada), cameras aren’t allowed into the courtroom. Especially in high-profile trials, where the presence of many media personnel [...]

5 Stories of People Delivered as Cargo

You hear about cases of smugglers who traffic in slaves or illegal immigrants as cargo, often with horrific outcomes. But there are a few stories of people who shipped themselves by mail or cargo carrier which turned out relatively happily. It’s not so easy to do that with today’s regulations. Do not attempt this yourself. 1. [...]

8 U.S. Presidents With Statues Abroad

Every former U.S. president has been honored with a statue in the United States, some more than others. A handful of the 43 men who have held the nation’s highest office have also been honored with statues abroad. Here are a few examples, including some that may surprise you. 1. George W. Bush—Albania Bush will always [...]

4 Great Documentaries Currently Free on YouTube

So, recently YouTube started showing whole movies for free — much like Hulu, there are occasional ads interspersed, but they’re not too bad. The video quality is better than average for a YouTube video, and of course, it’s free, so what do you have to lose? In this roundup, I’ll point you to four great [...]