World’s Strangest

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The 2012 Olympic Torch Relay

Less than a month to go before the opening of the London Olympics, and we are halfway through the 70-day Olympic Torch Relay that takes the Olympic Flame through all four countries of the United Kingdom. The route covers 8,000 miles and involves 8,000 relay runners. Photograph of the Olympic torch passing through Dunfermline, Scotland, by [...]

The Stories Behind 11 Classic Album Covers

1. The Velvet Underground & Nico, aka “The Banana Album” (1967) The Velvet Underground & Nico Design by Andy Warhol With apologies to Carmen Miranda and Chiquita, the world’s most famous banana is the ripe, peelable print on the cover of the Velvets’ debut. Designed by pop artist Andy Warhol, the image was a silkscreen made from simple black-and-white [...]

7 Giant Fences Dividing Good Neighbors

The existing 650-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexican border has been a hot political topic in the States for the last few years, and with the Republican primary campaign in full swing, it’s making headlines again. Already, Michele Bachmann has promised to build a “double-walled fence” along the entire 2,000-mile border, while Herman Cain has said [...]

The Late Movies: Sesame Street International Part 3

Have you ever wondered how Sesame Street looks to people in countries other than the US? Thanks to the world wide web, we can get a glimpse. This is part three of a series, and it is not all-inclusive, because there are versions of Sesame Street in countries that haven’t made it to YouTube yet. France Rue [...]

10 Stories of Lifesaving Dogs

He’s unbelievable! He’s some dog! He’s a lifesaver! That’s what l’ll call him, too! Ol’ Lifesaver! That will be your name! -Navin R. Johnson in The Jerk Dogs are wonderful. They are goofy and fun and smart and dedicated. Most of the time, they are just fun to be around, but when the situation calls for [...]

The Quick 10: The Unbelievable Early Jobs of 10 Successful People

As the saying goes, “Everybody’s gotta start somewhere,” but during these trying times, many people are simply looking to start. It’s comforting, then, to hear about the unusual first jobs of people who went on to bigger and better and more lucrative things. 1. Michael Dell The founder and CEO of Dell Computers began working at the [...]

Funny and Rude UK Place Names

You knew there were some provocative place names in the United Kingdom. Now we have a definitive (and long) list of funny place names in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland all in one place. Here is a small sample: Titley Close, London Swallow Passage, London Bachelors Bump, Essex, UK Crapstone, Devon Fanny Hands Lane, Lincolnshire Golden Balls, Oxfordshire, UK Hornyold Road, [...]

Clowndoctors

Apparently years and years of medical schooling isn’t enough to make good doctors. They also need to go to … clown school! Just kidding. A charity in Northern Ireland is recruiting clowns to entertain sick children in hospitals and hospices: Clowndoctor Elaine Duncan, aka Dr Twinkle, said she loved to see the smiles on children’s faces. “The children [...]

Amputee Skydiver

When Alistair Hodgson was 21, he was a British paratrooper stationed in Northern Ireland. A booby trap exploded and tore him apart. His horrific injuries healed, except for the leg that was blown off and the other leg which had to be amputated. That was 17 years ago. Now Hodgson is the British National Freestyle [...]

Jupiter’s Temporary Moons

Sarah Zielinski writes in The Smithsonian that Jupiter, as the largest planet in our solar system, occasionally pulls comets into its orbit. Sometimes, as with comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994 (pictured), Jupiter’s gravity will even pull a comet into a direct impact. Zielinsky writes: Astronomers from Japan and Northern Ireland, presenting their findings today at the [...]