World’s Strangest

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Meet the Fokkens

In the Netherlands, where prostitution is legal, there are about 25,000 prostitutes but two in particular really stood out. Meet the Fokkens, 70-year-old identical twins Louise and Martine who have the remarkable distinction of [...]

What Happens if You Die on a Cruise Ship?

A modern cruise ship is a floating city often populated by elderly people. So on board deaths are common. How does the crew respond? In a fascinating article at io9, Keith Veronese explored the physical and legal challenges of corpses on cruise ships: Cruise ships are required to carry body bags, and maintain a small morgue. [...]

10 Other People Ronald Reagan’s Diary Only Mentions Once

During last night’s GOP debate, Mitt Romney attempted to minimize Newt Gingrich’s connection to President Reagan: “I looked at the Reagan diary. You’re mentioned once in Ronald Reagan’s diary. And in the diary, he says you had an idea in a meeting of young congressmen, and it wasn’t a very good idea and he dismissed it. [...]

Cute Vintage Ice Cream Trucks

“QUANTUM SHOT” #748Link – article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams “Stop Me & Buy Some!”… “Often licked, never beaten!”… Ah, ice cream trucks. What great memories they represent from so many people’s childhood years! The sound of those distinctive tunes and melodic chimes are still guaranteed to send shivers down the spine even today. (images credit: [...]

The Evolution of Santa Claus

The following article is reprinted from The Best of Uncle John’ Bathroom Reader. Ever wonder how the Santa Claus of 21st-century Christmas lore came about? Here’s the story of how an almost completely unknown bishop became the most recognized holiday character in Western civilization. A MAN NAMED NICHOLAS In the fourth century A.D., a man named Nicholas [...]

Divorce Hotel

Divorce Hotel is not a particular place, but a service available to splitting couples in the Netherlands, in which they can go to a hotel for three days to work out an agreement. It’s the brainchild of Jim Halfens, who is not a lawyer. Couples thinking about going through the Divorce Hotel process have to start [...]

Scientists Claim Human Brain May Have Reached Full Capacity

Scientists claim the human brain is at capacity and is too tiring to get smarter We’ve invented penicillin, space shuttles, computers and even artificial hearts, among many other wonders. So where will human intelligence go from here? The answer, if certain scientists are correct, is nowhere. Mankind’s brain power has reached its peak and it is physically impossible [...]

The Newspaper Hoax that Shook the World

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Giant 10th Anniversary Bathroom Reader. The media’s power to “create” news has become a hot topic in recent years. But it’s nothing new. This true story, from a book called The Fabulous Rogues, by Alexander Klein, is an example of what’s been going on for at least a [...]

Let’s See a Kindle Try This

This year’s Dutch Book Week is celebrating the autobiography. To promote the event, The Van Wanten Etcetera Firm has created a series of carefully crafted author portraits – made from their very own literature. As an example, here is one created for Anne Frank: Probably not enough to get me to book a ticket to Holland. But [...]

PVC Beasts That Walk on Their Own

Theo Jansen is an artist (technically, a sculptor) who creates strandbeests — PVC sculptures that operate like simple robots. The strandbeests can walk using wind power, some can dig themselves into the ground when the wind gets too strong, and some can even detect when they touch obstacles or water. Jansen builds them and sets [...]