World’s Strangest

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The Weird Nicknames of 8 Spy Agency Headquarters

Because being a secret agent isn’t cool enough, spymasters tend to build elaborate headquarters buildings with really great nicknames. Here are a few headquarters known for their vodka martinis, Aston Martins, and Walther pistols. 1. Legoland The British Secret Intelligence Service (also called MI6, but more famously known as James Bond’s employer) was only officially acknowledged as [...]

The Early History of 5 Spy Agencies

Most intelligence agencies in the U.S. government were formed to solve specific problems, or evolved from preceding organizations. There wasn’t always an FBI, for example. Before its founding, there was the Bureau of Investigation, whose members were drawn from the Secret Service. Most agencies operate in blackout conditions, and it takes a lot of work [...]

6 Intelligence Agency Websites Geared Toward Children

The United States spends $80 billion annually on its intelligence community. That’s equal to the combined amount spent on the entire Marine Corps, NASA, and the State Department each year, with enough change left over to buy the Legislative Branch. To keep that kind of cash flowing, success isn’t enough—it’s going to take some good [...]

The Late Movies: Oh, Those Clever Octopi

Octopi are pretty clever creatures with a whole wealth of skills; some people believe their intelligence levels are on par with those of cats and dogs. Here are just a few of the ways they continue to amaze us. They Can Open Jars to Get Dinner They Steal Things They’re Escape Artists They’re Masters of Camouflage and Mimicry They [...]

The Gene That Makes You Smarter

Brain image via Shutterstock Scientists have long known that our genetic makeup influences our intelligence. But now, thanks to the largest brain study of its kind, they’ve pinpointed one gene in particular that may be responsible for our IQ levels. Meet HMGA2. You can call it the “Intelligence Gene” — that’s what Paul Thompson, professor of [...]

Are Octopuses Intelligent? It Depends on How You Define Intelligence

If you’re going to evaluate the intelligence of an animal, it’s not enough to measure the size of its brain. Researchers are convinced that octopuses have an intelligence so sophisticated that they can display emotions and individual personalities. But it’s a different sort of intelligence that has to be assessed in a different way: Octopuses have [...]

What’s a Better Predictor of Achievement than Intelligence, Grades, or Personality?

The answer is hope. That’s right: a study led by Psychologist Alex Wood of University of Manchester has revealed that hope trumps general intelligence, personality and even previous academic achievement in predicting success: A 3-year longitudinal study explored whether the two-dimensional [...]

Spies Like Us: Spying without Spies

The alternatives to HUMINT, or human intelligence, include remote sensors that do the spy’s work, but from a distance. The names given to these type of sensors are COMINT, or communications intelligence, SIGINT, signals, ELINT or electronic and IMINT or imagery intelligence. Of all these cool-sounding approaches to spying without spies, IMINT is perhaps the [...]

New Study Claims Men Are Funnier Than Women

This is sure to be controversial, but a study by psychologists and anthropologists from the University of New Mexico finds that “Humor ability reveals intelligence, predicts mating success, and is higher in males.” Here’s the abstract: A good sense of humor is sexually attractive, perhaps because it reveals intelligence, creativity, and other ‘good genes’ or ‘good [...]

US develops software to analyse metaphors

US intelligence aims to use the nuances of language to reveal who may be a potential enemy. English is a difficult language to master and the US intel…