World’s Strangest

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What Happened to the Star Dust?

In 1947, the British South American Airways plane Star Dust took off from Buenos Aires, Argentina, with eleven people aboard, destined for Santiago, Chile. But it never arrived. The passenger list certainly does its part to set the stage for conspiracy theories: A Palestinian returning to Chile from visiting a dying relative, two British businessmen, a [...]

10 Ideas for Antiquating Your Modern Technology

Modern technology is amazing and efficient. But there is something to be said for the giddy nostalgia created by products from the past. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to combine the two experiences. 1. Rotary iPhone Dialer App For just 99-cents you too can be really frustrated every time you call your friend who has [...]

9 People Who Rose to the Challenge

People with disabilities have the same aspirations as anyone, whether they came up with a dream before or after they became disabled. And, like those in the general population, there are a few who will do whatever it takes to make their dream come true, or to live their lives the way they want. Here [...]

Using Morse Code To Tweet It Out

Is it just too easy typing out 140 characters to fill up your Twitter account? Then maybe you should try slowing down the process by morse coding your way across the micro blogging platform. You can find schematics for your own Tworsekey at the link. Link via Geekosystem

Subversive Cross-Stitch by a Prisoner of War

While being held in a Nazi prisoner of war camp, British officer Major Alexis Casdagli did everything he could to resist his captors. He was skilled with a needle and thread, so among other projects, Casdagli made an excellent cross-stitch sampler which told the Nazis in a coded message where to shove it: Over the next [...]

Forget Your Password: Typing Rhythm and Computer Security

Patricia Loring, a research associate at Carnegie Mellon University, presses tiny blue dots on my fingers and the back of my hand. She tells me to adjust the keyboard as she maneuvers three webcams. On a monitor, I see a split screen, displaying images of my hands and posture (which is terrible). The blue stickers [...]

How Cryptic: 4 Famous Unsolved Ciphers and Codes

People love a good mystery, and few things are more mysterious than a long-unsolved code. Here are the stories of four ciphers and codes we’ve been unable to crack. 1. The Shugborough Inscription Letters carved into Shepherd’s Monument at Shugborough Hall in the mid-1700s, commissioned by Thomas and Admiral George Anson, continue to ignite the interest of [...]

The Lesser-Known Namesakes of 4 Selective Schools

You know the schools, but do you know the names behind them? 1. William Marsh Rice (Rice University, Houston, Tex.) Wealthy Houston merchant and investor William Marsh Rice planned to leave most of his fortune to the development of a new university. But in 1900, he suffered a demise of the untimely variety when he wound up [...]