World’s Strangest

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Did Blowing Into Nintendo Cartridge Help?

Like many of us, when Chris Higgins was young, he blew into his Nintendo game cartridge to make it work. But did blowing really help? Now a grown man, Chris looked into the subject matter and consulted with [...]

Getting High Off Someone Else’s Blood

Dan Lewis runs the popular daily newsletter Now I Know (“Learn Something New Every Day, By Email”). To subscribe to his daily email, click here. “Flashblood.” The word itself conjures the idea of something not-so-good, and the description confirms it. Flashblooding is the practice of injecting oneself with the blood of another person — a person who [...]

The Late Movies: Fun Facts

Tonight for The Late Movies, we have a collection of fact clips to boost your trivia knowledge and tease and tantalize your mind. Enjoy! Think you know the relative distance between the Earth and moon? It may be farther away than you think. Are you one of the 35% of young people who wake up and immediately [...]

Placebos Can Work Even Without Deception

Placebos work because people who take it believe that they’re actually medicine, right? I mean, that’s the basic tenet of every modern medical studies, which use placebos as controls. But can placebos work without any deception? Here’s an intriguing study from Harvard Medical School that discovered the surprising healing power of sugar pills: “Not only did we [...]

Placebo Effect Caught on MRI

Not only is the placebo effect is becoming stronger, but it’s now been imaged for the first time by researchers with fMRI machines. Falk Eippert at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany led the study: Later, with an fMRI scanner on, the researchers rubbed “control” and “painkiller” creams onto two different spots on each volunteer’s [...]