World’s Strangest

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11 Harry Potter Facts From the Amazing Fact Generator

In the Harry Potter universe, the famous boy wizard was born on July 31, 1980, which would make him a man wizard in his early thirties today. To celebrate his 32nd birthday, here are some Potter-related facts from our Amazing Fact Generator. Getty Images 1. Michael Jackson wanted to do a musical version of Harry Potter and [...]

Causes Of Death: 1900 vs. 2010

Here’s a nifty little chart from the New England Journal of Medicine that shows how far we’ve come, and how far we still need to go, in the field of medicine over the last hundred and ten years. It’s surprising to note how much more cancer we deal with nowadays, and how heart disease rates have [...]

Why Does the Sound of Running Water Make You Have to Pee?

Reader Bill wrote in to ask, “Why does the sound of running water make me want to pee—and sometimes badly?” Faucet image via Shutterstock The quirk behind the burning need to pee when we hear rainstorms, waterfalls and babbling brooks seems to be all tied up in the power of suggestion. Most of you are familiar with [...]

HIV Cured?

Keep in mind that early news reports on scientific stories are sometimes wildly inaccurate. But, that said, it appears that doctors claim to have cured an HIV-infected man: The ‘Berlin Patient,’ a U.S. citizen named Timothy Ray Brown, underwent a procedure in which HIV-resistant stem cells from an individual with an unusual genetic profile were introduced [...]

The Need for Double-Strength Placebos

by Frederic N. Firestone, Ph.D., J.D. Virginia Beach, Virginia [EDITOR'S NOTE: On May 24, 2001, two years after this article was published, a research report and accompanying editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine claimed that the placebo effect does not exist. Clearly, the New England Journal authors did not read Frederic Firestone's classic report on [...]

Windpipe Transplanted Twice in Same Patient

Linda De Croock was injured in a traffic accident 25 years ago that left her with a crushed windpipe. Since then, her throat has been held open by metal stents until a new procedure in organ transplant gave her a new trachea. Dr. Pierre Delaere and his team at the University Hospital in Leuven, Belgium [...]