World’s Strangest

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Ketchum Hand Grenade

Image: Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield; WICR 30377 That, Neatoramanauts, is a hand grenade patented in 1861 by William F. Ketchum. If someone threw one at you and you ketchum, you’d be in trouble. Unless [...]

Walk This Way: The History of the Moving Sidewalk

Authors like H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein have long envisioned a future where the automobile gives way to massive, high-speed moving walkways. Some of them merely zoom commuters around cities, while others, like Heinlein’s “mechanized roads,” could take people from Cleveland all the way to Cincinnati. The moving sidewalk is familiar to travelers in [...]

Muppets Revenge!

Artist Joey Skaggs has a protest/art project/demonstration ready to go for New York City starting tomorrow with his Mobile Homeless Homes (MHH) and a gang of Muppets. Continue reading for Skaggs’ explanation of the unique demonstration. And more pictures. (Image credit: Joey Skaggs Archive) To address the issue of homelessness and the growing number of people who have [...]

General Tom Thumb

You’ve heard of General Tom Thumb, one of P.T. Barmnum’s most famous human exhibits. But how much do you really know about the man born Charles Sherwood Stratton in 1838? When he was discovered at the age of four by P. T. Barnum little Charles stood a mere 25 inches in height and weighed 15 pounds. [...]

Juror Found Guilty of "Friending" Defendant on Facebook

Call the court system old and stodgy all you want, but they do tend to frown upon jurors interacting with the defendants, much less friending them on Facebook. Here’s what a young juror in Texas [...]

Operation Cupcake: Problems, al-Qaeda?

MI6 and GCHQ trolled an al-Qaeda online magazine by replacing bomb-making instructions with a list of recipes for the best cupcakes in America. ”Operation Cupcake” was launched to disrupt efforts by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular who were recruiting “lone-wolf” terrorists with a new English-language magazine. When followers tried to download the 67-page colour magazine, instead of [...]

Hamilton’s Dueling History, a Haunted Bar and the Bank That Owns the Pistols: Your Guide to the Hamilton-Burr Duel

Image courtesy of Bill Coughlin/The Historical Marker Database So, you want to impress your friends with your extensive knowledge of the Hamilton-Burr duel. First, you’ve got to somehow bring Alexander Hamilton and/or Aaron Burr into the conversation. In response, your listeners are going to think, and hopefully say, something about the famous duel, because that’s the [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Names That Were Already Taken

There aren’t many places where names are first come, first-served, but actors’ unions are one of them. If you tried to register with one and found that someone was already actively using your name, you’d simply have to pick another one. It’s likely not a problem for people called Gyllenhaal, but the 10 entertainers below [...]

Why Do College Basketball Teams Cut Down the Nets?

© Wally McNamee/CORBIS The men’s NCAA Division I hoops championship game is tonight, and we can’t tell you whether UConn or Butler is going to win. We can predict two things, though. The winning team will cut down the nets. And CBS will show a highlight montage set to the song “One Shining Moment.” Let’s take [...]

The Quick 9: Non-Blonde Ambition

Tons of singers and actresses go blonde – everyone knows that. But who knew it was almost as common to leave blonde behind for another hue? Here are nine people who did just that. 1. Elvis. The King started life with light blonde hair and progressed naturally into darker hair as he got older like a [...]