World’s Strangest

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Butter Sculptures

Now we have seen some interesting sculptures before, but none quite as heart-stopping as this collection of butter sculptures by sculptor Jim Victor and his wife Marie Pelton. Let’s just hope the scukptures are in an air conditioned room so they won’t melt, that or at a lobster-eating-fest in Maine. As I was writing this I [...]

3 Animals (Other Than Birds) That Mimic Human Speech

Everyone knows that parrots can mimic human speech. So can a few other birds, including ravens and starlings. But it’s not just birds that speak up. Here are a few less obvious examples of animals that have learned to sound like people. 1. Asian Elephant At least one elephant is using his trunk for more than just [...]

The Great New England Vampire Panic

Although European vampire panics died out in the 1700s, America had its share of scares in the 1800s, particularly in New England, and particularly during outbreaks of tuberculosis. Some of the dead were dug up and killed a second time, just to make sure. The particulars of the vampire exhumations, though, vary widely. In many cases, [...]

Trivia Contest With Pat Kiernan Starts Now!

You may have heard that I’m teaming up with mental_floss and TrivWorks to put on The Ultimate Halloween Pop Culture Trivia Night at the Bell House on October 29. But we couldn’t wait to start in on the fun, so we’re holding an online trivia contest on mental_floss, right here, right now. Here’s how it works: [...]

On the Value of a Good Sawhorse

In his workshop in Rumford Falls, Maine, Gregory Sullivan makes custom furniture by hand and from local materials. He’s also a writer–and a rather elegant one at that. Often he writes about the value of craftsmanship and crafting traditions of the past. Here’s what Sullivan thought about when he saw this photo of Marilyn Monroe: Marilyn [...]

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 [...]

What Is a Blue Moon, and How Rare Is It?

Stockbyte/John Foxx Before Curiosity landed on Mars, the main topic of discussion among amateur astronomers was the blue Moon that is scheduled to make an appearance on August 31. The widely accepted definition of a blue Moon is a full Moon that appears twice within a calendar month. But that description is actually based on an [...]

The Late Movies: Baby Goats

A little goat named Buttermilk Sky took the internet by storm this week, but she’s only one of many adorable kids you can enjoy watching …without having to clean up after! Bouncing Baby Buttermilk Sky Only one of these baby goats has had her morning coffee already. Can you guess which one? I thought you could. These [...]

Music History #4: “Cloudbusting”

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of Bill DeMain’s new(ish) column, where he explores the real historical events that inspired various songs. “Music History” appears twice a month—unless we can convince Bill that twice a month is not sufficient! “Cloudbusting” Written and Performed by Kate Bush (1984) The Music Kate Bush has always had a way of making [...]

Buttermilk Sky

(YouTube link) Only one of these baby goats has had her morning coffee already. Can you guess which one? I thought you could. These goats live at Took A Leap Farm in Houlton, Maine. -via Arbroath