World’s Strangest

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Things to Recall About Total Recall

The Total Recall reboot comes out today, if you didn’t already know. In honor of the remake, here are some fascinating facts about the original movie and the short story that inspired it all. WARNING: While I tried to minimize the number of spoilers here, there are a few spoilers from the story both movies were [...]

A Small Mystery Hidden In Five Postage Stamps

In 1993 the Royal Mail in Great Britain issued a set of five se-tenant stamps to honor the legendary fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.  The stamps depicted iconic scenes from The Reigate Squire, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Six Napoleons, The Greek Interpreter, and The Final Solution. Hidden within the design of each stamp is a [...]

Five Potentially Great Power Couples (and why they never made it)

1. Bobby Fischer and Barbra Streisand Barbra Streisand, the future Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner, actually attended the same Brooklyn high school as Bobby Fischer, who at the time was already competing in and winning international chess tournaments. Streisand later confided that she had a crush on the chess player, saying that he “was always [...]

The Late Movies: Lin-Manuel Miranda Raps on The Electric Company

Lin-Manuel Miranda came to my attention when he rapped about Alexander Hamilton. Miranda is the Tony award-winning star, writer, and composer of In the Heights — and he has what we call in the business “mad skills.” For tonight’s nerdy kid-friendly goodness, here’s Miranda dropping educational pronunciation-related rhymes on PBS’s The Electric Company. If you [...]

Ben Franklin’s 200+ Synonyms for “Drunk”

Yesterday we ran a quiz titled “Monty Python Phrase or Ben Franklin Synonym for Drunk?” The quiz referred to Franklin’s lengthy list of expressions meaning “inebriated” that he first published in the Pennsylvania Gazette on January 6, 1737. People must be tired of using the same old terms when describing their wasted friends, because we’ve received [...]

What If the Earth Had Rings Like Saturn?

(YouTube Link) This computer-generated animation by Roy Prol imagines the Earth as a ringed planet, such as Saturn or Uranus. First, it addresses the orientation of the rings, and then shows what they would look like from various places around the world, day and night. In Scientific American, John Matson writes that Earth may have once [...]