World’s Strangest

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11 Not-So-Famous People We Lost in 2012

It’s been a solemn year for the deaths of famous and significant people – and as always, many died who were less famous, but should be saluted nonetheless for their contributions to the world. Here are 11 of the lesser-known greats who passed this year. 1. Murray Lender: Bagel Tycoon Lender’s Bagels Historical Images Murray Lender, son of [...]

Homeless Student Got Accepted Into Harvard

On the nights when David Boone had no where else to go, the high school senior slept on a bench at a local baseball park. Now, through perseverence and hard work, the homeless student has won [...]

Martin Luther King, Jr. Murals

Camilo José Vergara takes photographs of street art. A popular subject for the art he finds is Martin Luther King, Jr. who appears in murals in city after city. Smithsonian has a dozen of Vergara’s pictures of these MLK installations, with some information about each one. The mural pictured here depicts the 1963 “I Have [...]

Who Embodied Evil Before Hitler?

My daughter is studying governments and needed some examples of dictators. A Google search led her to say, “Boy, everybody hates Hitler!” I gave her more examples, but they were all from the past 100 years. Before World War II, did any one person serve as a metaphor for oppression, cruelty, and all-around evil? Slate [...]

Dietribes: Chili Weather

• Whether it came from the turn-of-the century prison system, the 1893 World’s Fair or the Chili Queens of San Antonio (or from traditional dishes prepared by Mexicans living in the Southwest), chili’s popularity has never slowed – today it carries the distinction (among many) of being the state dish of Texas, a cook-off classic, the [...]