World’s Strangest

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The US Government Still Pays 2 Civil War Pensions

The American Civil War ended in 1865, but as of last September, the Department of Veterans Affairs still pays out 2 pensions from that conflict. Privacy rules prevent the release of the names or reasons for the pensions, but it’s likely that the recipients are the disabled elderly children of veterans: Department of Veteran Affairs spokesman [...]

Is America a Nation in Decline?

If you listen to the pundits on TV and radio (on both sides of the political spectrum), it seems like this country is going to hell in a handbasket with jets strapped to our backs. But are they actually right? Fareed Zakaria of TIME magazine takes an in-depth look at whether America’s best days are [...]

6-Chamber Revolver Can Fire 12 Rounds

This unique revolver invented by John Walch in 1859. It has two triggers and two hammers to fire two rounds that were loaded into each chamber. James R. Rummel explains how it works: The secret to the extra firepower is what is known as “superimposed loads”. Basically, the chambers are loaded with a powder charge with [...]

Baby Otters Going for a Swim

(Video Link) Sumalee and Kasem are two baby otters that live at Longleat, a wildlife park and zoo in Britain. In this video, Beverley Allen introduces them a large wading pool. Allen says: I started off putting them in the sink with a little bit of water when they were about nine weeks old. Then they progressed [...]

Pistol Bayonets

James R. Rummel of Hell in a Handbasket has a post about early handgun bayonets. The Elgin Pistol Cutlass (above) was a single-shot pistol available in the U.S. in various calibers starting in the 1830s. It’s basically a built-in machete that served to clear away brush while tramping out in the wilderness: Instead the guns were [...]

Star Wars Facebook Updates

Yeah, but they’re teddy bears that eat people, so don’t feel too bad. Brian Murphy of CollegeHumor put together five Facebook update pages as though they had been written by Star Wars characters. Link via Hell in a Handbasket

Bullet Impacts in Super-Slow Motion

(YouTube Link) This 10-minute video shows the impact of bullets on various targets at 1 million frames per second. It was made by Werner Mehl, an engineer noted for his development of high-speed photography: Germany’s Werner Mehl is the talented engineer who created the PVM-21 infrared chronograph, in many respects the most sophisticated ballistic speed-measuring system currently [...]