World’s Strangest

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Amazing Mechanical Table, c.1750

(Video Link) Jean-François Oeben, a French cabinet maker, built this astonishingly complex and precisely crafted desk. It’s filled with several hidden compartments that become accessible when a key turns interior gears. Link -via Core 77

Bodyscapes

Photographer Jean-Paul Bourdier’s most recent book, Bodyscapes, shows the nude human form painted to blend in with scenic landscapes. The results are gorgeous. You can see several examples of his work at the link. Content warning: artistic nudity. Link | Artist’s Website

The Complete History of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

If you were a kid in the 1980s or 90s, you probably spent some time reading, watching, or playing with four adolescent reptilian martial arts experts with irregular DNA. To make sure I got the scoop on everyone’s favorite heroes in a half-shell, I went straight to the source – co-creator Peter Laird – [...]

Man Spent 11 Years Walking Around the World

When you and I got the itch to walk, we usually go around the block a couple of times. But not Canadian Jean Béliveau. He went walking for 46,600 miles through 64 countries. And perhaps [...]

A Tribute to Professor Lipscomb

Professor Lipscomb, together with fellow Nobel Laureate, Rich Roberts and the Nicola Hawkins Dancers, performing in the premiere and only performance of the ballet “The Interpretive Dance of the Electrons” at the 2004 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. Photo: Alexandra Murphy. by Marc Abrahams, Improbable Research staff Very sad news. My good friend and longtime collaborator William Lipscomb [...]

Man claims to be Hitler’s grandson

56-year-old Philippe Loret believes that his father Jean-Marie Loret was Hitler’s secret lovechild. Philippe had avoided going public with his claim w…

Moments With Aloe Blacc: Orchestral Hip Hop

I first stumbled across singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc when rounding up covers of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” for The Late Movies. Blacc is a hell of a singer, and his talents are highlighted in a concert film from 2011 at the MADE creative space in Berlin. Blacc sings, accompanied by an orchestral string section. [...]

The “Lyrical Embarrassment” that is the Sesame Street Theme Song

My 17-month-old daughter is just getting into Sesame Street, and I have to say, I think I’m enjoying it even more than she is. But while I’m totally into the guest appearances by Andy Samberg and Will Arnett, her main thing right now is getting her groove on to the theme song. And who can [...]

The Late Movies: Songs About November

Today marks the first day of November. We’re still recovering from our Halloween candy hangover, so we’re keeping things simple with tonight’s Late Movies. Here are six songs about the month of November. Add them to your playlist and keep them in heavy rotation this month. November Rain Guns N’ Roses’ 1992 hit had one of the [...]

The Late Movies: “Billie Jean” Twelve Ways

When I came across an amazing acoustic cover of Michael Jackon’s “Billie Jean” performed by Chris Cornell (of Soundgarden and Audioslave), I thought it would be fun to locate a dozen versions. “Billie Jean” was released as a single on January 2, 1983 — hard to believe that it and the whole Thriller album [...]