World’s Strangest

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13 Vintage Photos Of Hurricanes And Their Aftermath

As Hurricane Sandy makes landfall on the East Coast, here’s a look back at other dramatic hurricanes in American history. Galveston, Texas Hurricane, September 1900 This hurricane was the deadliest in U.S. history—the estimated death toll was 8000 (to compare, 1800 people died during Hurricane Katrina). Damage to a church. The hurricane, which had a storm [...]

The Last ‘Frankenstorm’: Video of the 1938 Nor’easter That Ravaged New England

Getty Images Hurricane Sandy is making its presence known across the Eastern Seaboard, with powerful winds beginning to lash the coast and rain starting to pour down from North Carolina to New York. And as millions of Americans across the East Coast hunker down, some are turning to history as a guide. In 1938, for instance, a [...]

McDonalds in a Mansion

This is a McDonalds outlet in New Hyde Park, Long Island, New York. McDonalds didn’t set out to make one of their restaurants this beautiful. The Georgian mansion called The Denton House is over 200 years old -or at least parts of it are. It’s been passed around and used as everything from a restaurant [...]

How Steven Spielberg’s Malfunctioning Sharks Transformed the Movie Business

Before Steven Spielberg became Hollywood royalty, he was just another young director with a giant shark problem. It was July 1974, and 27-year-old Steven Spielberg was sure his career was over. He’d been on location in Martha’s Vineyard for three months, waiting for the overdue star of his new movie Jaws. And now, as he watched [...]

Meet Garfield, the 40-Pound Cat

Garfield recently came to live at the North Shore Animal League shelter in Long Island, New York, when his elderly owner died. Shelter staff have him on a carefully restricted diet now. How did a cat get to forty pounds? Maybe Garfield was eating lasagna like his namesake! Buzzfeed has lots more pictures of the [...]

The Late Movies: Happy Birthday, Billy Joel!

Today the Piano Man turns 63. To celebrate, here are ten of his greatest hits (my favorites), arranged in chronological order. Looking back on it, it’s stunning how many hit records Billy Joel released — according to Wikipedia, his catalogue includes “13 studio albums, 5 live albums, 59 singles, and 11 compilation albums.” [...]

The mental_floss Guide to the NCAA Tournament: The West

We may not be much help in filling out your bracket, but we can promise one interesting fact about each of the 68 teams in the tournament. Let’s tip things off with the West Region. © Chris Bergin/Icon SMI/Corbis (1) Michigan State In May, a Michigan State professor from the School of Social Work will begin teaching an [...]

The Controversial Case of Typhoid Mary

Did your mother ever call you “Typhoid Mary” when she caught you coughing without covering your mouth? Typhoid Mary was a real person, an Irish immigrant  by the name of Mary Mallon who cooked for wealthy New York families, until 1906, when her life took a downward turn. She spent the summer working for the Warren [...]

If a Foul Ball Hits You, Does the Team Owe You Anything?

© RHONA WISE/epa/Corbis On August 29, former Philly and current Florida Marlins infielder Greg Dobbs hit a kid in the face with a line drive foul ball while playing the Mets at Citi Field. The 12-year-old fan, from Long Island, suffered from severe internal bleeding, had to have had two blood transfusions and four CT scans, and spent five [...]

What Was Nixon’s “Checkers Speech”?

Fifty-nine years ago today, Republican VP candidate Richard Nixon went on TV to give what’s known as the “Checkers Speech.” Why does a speech named after a dog live on in our cultural subconscious all these years later? Let’s find out. Checkers, the Speech After practicing law and serving in the Navy during World War II, Nixon’s [...]