World’s Strangest

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Napoleon Wasn’t Short, Vikings Didn’t Wear Horned Helmets, and 3 More Historical Misconceptions

There’s nothing a history geek likes more than saying, “Actually, everything you think you know about [insert historical event here] is wrong. And here’s why.” In this four-minute video, C.G.P. Grey tackles five historical misconceptions, contrasting the commonly accepted stories with what the historical record actually shows. My favorite is his explanation of Napoleon [...]

Alternate Histories: 7 More Ways the World Could Be Completely Different

We covered some of the many alternate histories out there. Here are seven more intriguing ways the world could be completely different. 1. What if the Romans won the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest? Effect: No one would speak English. Explanation: In What If? (1999), edited by Robert Cowley, historians pondered what would happen if historical events had [...]

5 Great Love Stories That Actually Kind of Suck

Bonnie & Clyde, Napoleon & Josephine and Louis XV & Madame de Pompadour…they’re all great love stories -on paper at least. But when you actually learn the whole story for all of these romances, they’re a lot less sweet. Link

The Face of the Emperor

Before the development of photography, and even for some time afterward, one of the customs right after the death of someone important was to cast a death mask, to ensure there was a lasting representation of what that person looked like. After all, statues would be commissioned someday! Napoleon Bonapart’s death mask was (and still [...]

In a Single Line: Stormtroopers at Breakfast

This drawing by Napoleón Vuelaenpartes is composed of a just one line, from the helmet of one Stormtrooper to the next. Imperial Breakfast sets just the right mood. “How’s the new baby, Sam?” “Not bad, Ralph, almost sleeping through the night now.” Link via Walyou

The Suburban Life of Napoleon’s Brother

Being the older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte wasn’t an easy job. Joseph wanted to be a writer, but instead had to rule Naples and then Spain. When Napoleon was defeated, Joseph set sail for the United States, where he eventually settled in …New Jersey! Bonaparte may have been dethroned, but he was still royalty. He built [...]

The Last King of New Jersey: The Suburban Life of Napoleon’s Brother

As Napoleon Bonaparte expanded his new French Empire and conquered much of Western Europe, he doled out the spoils of war to his friends and family, whether they wanted it or not. Napoleon’s older brother Joseph, described by historians as “idealist, mild mannered, and lacking in vigor,” had wanted to be a writer, but was [...]

Napoleon VS. Napoleon

Epic Rap Battle time! Who do you think would win in a match between Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon Dynamite? [Warning: Adult language at the very beginning of the video] As always, these great rap battles are brought to you by NicePeter.

Napoleon Wine Bottle Stopper

Napoleon Wine Bottle Stopper – $11.95 Do you know someone who is a bit of a petty tyrant when it comes to fine wines? Get them the Napoleon Wine Bottle Stopper from the NeatoShop. This essential wine accessory has never been so authoritarian. Be sure to check out all the impressive Cocktail & Barware available at the [...]

Why Don’t We All Drive on the Same Side of the Road?

Yesterday, the residents of Samoa began driving on the right side of the road instead of the left. This is the first major switch since the 1970s, when Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone made the change. Randy James of Time magazine has an article exploring how different nations came to use different sides of the [...]