World’s Strangest

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The Nobel Winners Who Foiled the Führer

As the Nazis swallowed Europe, two scientists fought back with the only weapon they had: chemistry. Getty Images When the Third Reich took control of Germany, Danish physicist Niels Bohr (pictured) transformed into something like Oskar Schindler in a lab coat. From his Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen, the Nobel laureate aided and protected Jewish scientists, [...]

Marie Curie’s Sex Scandal

Sex scandal and Nobel Prize winner don’t usually go hand-in-hand, so that’s why this story about physicist Marie Curie’s torrid love affair with a married man was huge news back then. Why, it even led to a duel and a [...]

The Sperm Bank for Nobel Prize Winners

The Repository for Germinal Choice, better known as the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank, was founded in 1980 by multimillionaire Robert Graham, inventor of shatterproof eyeglass lenses. His goal was to combine the sperm and eggs of superior men and women—ideally Nobel laureates—to produce superior babies. If all this sounds an awful lot like eugenics, well, [...]

Marie Curie’s Sex Scandal and the Duel It Inspired

Getty Images Marie Curie is well known as the first genius to have snagged two Nobel Prizes. The first came in 1903, when she and her husband, Pierre, were awarded a Nobel Prize in physics for their radiation research. Then, in 1911, she nabbed a Nobel in chemistry for her discovery of radium and polonium. But [...]

AbyssBox

A few animals have made the deepest depths of the ocean their natural habitat, which means they evolved to withstand enormous pressure. We only get to see these animals by remote camera, unless you happen to be James Cameron. But now Océanopolis, an aquarium in Brest, France, has developed a special aquarium that maintains high [...]

Ig® Nobel Limericks: Promotion, Ignition, Spaghetti

Ig Nobel Achievements distilled into limerick form by Martin Eiger, Improbable Research Limerick Laureate The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, then make them think. For details of all the Ig Nobel Prize–winning achievements, see each year’s special Ig Nobel issue of the magazine, and also see a list at the website. 2010 [...]

9 Child Prodigies (Who Actually Ended Up Doing Something)

Four-year-old Australian Aelita Andre is the talk of the international art world. She sold one painting for $24,000, and her work is currently on display at the Agora Gallery in New York. Perhaps a few decades from now, she’ll earn a spot on this list, which we first published in 2009. By Rick Chillot Being a child [...]

A Day Without Chemistry

(YouTube link) The American Chemical Society produced the video A Day Without Chemistry to raise awareness of the many ways we depend on chemistry in our daily lives. The International Year of Chemistry (IYC) officially begins on February 1st. The 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry, envisioning a [...]

The Best Thing to Come Out of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank (other than the idea for the movie Twins)

Since it’s Christmas and all, we wanted to give you one last sneak peek at the new issue. This one comes from our cover story on Acts of Genius, Ripped from the Headlines. The story itself is pretty great (we cover Marie Curie’s scandalous affair, why Paul Dirac never took off his 3-piece suit, how one [...]