World’s Strangest

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11 Things That Happened on Other Cool Dates

11/22/11 is the 791st anniversary of Frederick II being crowned Holy Roman Emperor, the 293rd anniversary of Blackbeard’s beheading, the 254th anniversary of the Austrian defeat of Prussia in the Seven Years’ War’s Battle of Breslau, the 48th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and what would have been novelist George Eliot’s 192nd birthday. [...]

On the Money: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Coin Portraits

During America’s infancy, the government didn’t want to put President George Washington or any of the Founding Fathers on U.S. currency. Since government-issued coins had first appeared in the world, it was common for the faces of kings, queens and emperors to appear on them. The Founders had just gotten a constitutional republic up and [...]

What Lies Behind the Grand Canyon?

The following is an article from the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research. Note how the bottom of the Grand Canyon (in this rare view) is darker than at the top, giving an idea of how solar radiation attenuates the deeper one goes into the canyon. (Image credit: Wikipedia user chensiyuan) By Earle E. Spamer American Philosophical [...]

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 [...]

Dietribes: Hot Sauce

• Tabasco sauce is like Kleenex or Band Aids, or even Coca-Cola here in the South — a brand name that has become a catch-all for products bearing its likeness. Of course, these products achieved household-name status because of their market dominance, but in the following facts I will attempt to call Tabasco by name when [...]