World’s Strangest

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Andrew Jackson’s Big Block of Cheese

There’s a great scene in The West Wing’s episode “The Crackpots and These Women” in which White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry (John Spencer) tries to invigorate his exasperated team with a story about how Andrew Jackson kept a two-ton block of cheese in the foyer of the White House. According to Leo’s story, [...]

Putin’s New Puppy and Other Snuggly Diplomatic Gifts

© Pierre Marsaut/ZUMA Press/Corbis Last week, during their meeting about the South Stream gas transit pipeline and other large-scale energy projects, Bulgarian Premier Boyko Borisov gave Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin a Karakachan puppy, which he nuzzled in front of the cameras. Throughout history, many other world leaders have exchanged animals. From showing might to making [...]