World’s Strangest

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World War I Centennial: Schlieffen Is Dead, but His Plan Lives On

The First World War was an unprecedented catastrophe that killed millions and set the continent of Europe on the path to further calamity two decades later. But it didn’t come out of nowhere. With the centennial of the outbreak of hostilities coming up in 2014, Erik Sass will be looking back at the lead-up to [...]

Lace Helmet Cozy

It’s February, 1945. The US Army is advancing into Germany through Luxembourg. Sgt. William Furia of Philadelphia first wore his lace cozy as a joke, but then he found it offered some effective camouflage in the snowy weather. Link -via Retronaut | Photo: AP

11 Notable Medalists in the Olympic Art Competitions

We’ve been taking a look back at the fine art competitions that originated in ancient Greece and were revived as part of the modern Olympics from 1912 to 1948. Here are a few of the more notable medalists over the years. 1. Baron Pierre de Coubertin The founder of the International Olympic Committee and the man [...]

From 1912 to 1948, Art Competitions Were Part of the Olympics

Over the next two weeks, we’ll take a look back at the fine art competitions that originated in ancient Greece and were revived as part of the modern Olympics from 1912-1948. International Olympic Committee, 1896/Getty Images French aristocrat and educationalist Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin (seated, at left) was the man primarily responsible for reviving [...]

Euthanasia Coaster: The Suicide Roller Coaster

The Euthanasia Coaster, designed by London’s Royal College of Art’s student Julijonas Urbonas, lets you ride the last ride of your life. Literally. The three-minute ride involves a long, slow, climb — nearly a third of a mile long — [...]

Way More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Hello Kitty

You know her name. You’ve seen her signature red ribbon. And even though you’re curious, you’ve never had the courage to learn more because you’re not a seven-year old girl. Don’t worry; your secret is safe with us. To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of everything you’ve ever wanted to know [...]

Strange Geographies: Abandoned Belgium (and Luxembourg), Part II

So last week, I told about half the story of my recent adventure to Belgium and Luxembourg, where I was looking for atmospheric abandoned chateaus to film inside for a book trailer I’m making for a novel I have coming out in June called Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I was, ostensibly, looking for [...]

Strange Geographies: Abandoned Belgium, Part I

I recently spent eight days traveling around the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, though explaining why I went is a bit complicated. The short version is that I was there on business: to film the interiors of abandoned houses. The somewhat longer explanation is that I have a novel coming out in June, and my publisher [...]

Active Duty US Army Ranger Named #3 Pastry Chef in the World

Master Sergeant Mark Morgan of the U.S. Army Rangers is, according to the World Association of Chefs, among the three best pastry chefs in the world. He won this affirmation in Luxembourg at a competition held every four years: “I’m not as good as I used to be – it’s been 10 years,” the Bronze Star [...]

The Late Movies: Covers of Morrissey & The Smiths

I’m a longtime Morrissey fan. From the first time I heard The Queen is Dead by Morrissey’s band The Smiths in the 80’s, I was hooked. Morrissey’s music is generally very maudlin (if not straight-up depressing), but somehow it’s also hopeful and sweet. Below I have collected some terrific covers of songs by Morrissey and [...]