World’s Strangest

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How To Write a Love Letter

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research. (Image credit: Flickr user Kristina Alexanderson) An application of current communications techniqueby Joshua LedermanSpecial Instructor of Writing Department of English, Emmanuel College, Boston, Massachusetts [EDITOR’S NOTE: Professor Lederman has tried, for many years, to teach college students how to write. He got to thinking about [...]

The Mayflower Gun: The Only Surviving Firearm from the Pilgrims

This .50-caliber wheellock musket, propularly known as the Mayflower Gun, is thought to be the only surviving firearm among those that crossed the Atlantic with the Pilgrims. It has been traced back to John Alden, traditionally the first Pilgrim to step ashore at Plymouth. Preservationists discovered it in 1924: The Alden family dwelling, like the gun, [...]

How to Draw a Dotted Line

Think you can draw dotted lines? See if you can do it the way Professor Walter Lewins of Massachusetts Institute of Technology does it!

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 10 Most Beautiful Libraries in the United States

We already looked at libraries in all the major continents, but there were so many great ones in the United States that the article featuring libraries in North America had to leave many beautiful buildings out. Now’s the time to share some of the stunning libraries that might not make it in the top 10 [...]

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, [...]

Could paintball one day save the planet ?

A graduate student from Massachusetts has developed a method to deflect an asteroid using paintballs. Sung Wook Paek’s proposal to save the world from…

Pro Tip: Don’t Rob Banks Where the Tellers Know You By Name

Especially if you’re on a first-name basis with them: During one robbery the teller actually recognized her, asking Heffernan, “Do you want to make a deposit Kerri?” No, Kerri wanted to make a withdrawal. But before she could complete the transaction, police in Whitman, Massachusetts arrested her for this bank robbery and on suspicion of three others. Link [...]

15 Suspicious Packages That Were Definitely Not Explosives

Getty Images Reports of suspicious packages are common across the United States. Police take all reports seriously — as they should — and they look into every unmanned briefcase or wayward box. More often than not, abandoned gym bags just wind up being lost gym bags. Here are 15 fairly recent suspicious package reports from alert [...]

The Life and Times of America’s First Murderer

John Billington isn’t a household name today, but when Englishmen started settling in the New World, he became infamous as the colonies’ first convicted killer. In 1620, the Mayflower left England and sailed across the Atlantic to New England. Many of the ship’s passengers were Puritan dissenters who had separated from the  Church of England — [...]