World’s Strangest

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"Magic" Phone Booth Lets Kids Call Santa

What’s better than writing a letter to Santa? Well, obviously, the answer is talking to him on the phone, then getting a gift, then having snow magically appear from nowhere with the press of a button as a choir of children sing and cheer for you. And that’s exactly what happens when children dial up [...]

The Fashionable Russian Army Ensembles Of The 1890s

The men who made up the ranks of the Russian Army in the late 1800s were a rather fashionable bunch, and some of the shots in this gallery look like they came straight out of a fashion magazine. Maybe it’s the way the men are posing, or the abundance of fur and shiny bits, whatever it [...]

Pikachu Sunrise

Photo: Luis Argerich – via Buzzfeed First it was Sunsquatch, now Pikachu sunrise! Argentinian photographer Luis Argerich took this photo of an unusual sunrise over Rio [...]

How Fake Money Saved Brazil

Twenty years ago, Brazil found itself in the grips of hyperinflation. Its inflation rate hit 80% a month, and the country was in financial free fall. Economists at the Catholic University in Rio came up with an unlikely – but ultimately successful – plan to rescue the country. And would you believe it, the plan calls [...]

Four Neglected Wild West Figures

You’ve heard of Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, and Wild Bill Hickok, but there were plenty of other colorful figures who left their mark on the Wild West. This list tells us about four that you may never had heard of, like Texas Ben Thompson. Texas Ben served in the Confederate States Army, then after the [...]

Carnival Bateria

You might not be able to fly down to Rio for Carnival, but you can hear and feel a “bateria,” a samba school drum section, in this web toy from Brazil. Enjoy the rhythm, or toggle on and off the sections to hear how each instrument sounds: shaker, cuica, agogo, tambourine, snare drum, repique, and [...]

Travelers: Should You Flush that Toilet Paper?

Matthew Kitson spent a few months traveling around in South America and stumbled into the most perplexing bathroom quandary ever to face the traveling public: what to do with the toilet paper after you’ve done with it (or what to do if there’s no toilet paper to begin with!) So he decided to make an aptly [...]

Card Game World Domination: The Rise of ‘Dominion’

Most of the highly regarded “German-style” board games on the market today are true board games, with physical boards that are either set up at the game’s start or built as the game goes along. Very few card-based games grace the top end of the BoardGameGeek top 100, while most of the games that are [...]

Poland to build world’s largest Jesus statue

The world’s largest statue of Jesus is being constructed in a small Polish town. The new statue will eclipse Rio’s “Christ the Redeemer” and will help…

Strange Geographies: 2009 Roundup

I’ve put a lot of miles on my car and my frequent flier card this year, tramping through villages in the South Pacific, abandoned buildings around California, the shorelines of toxic seas and junkyards littered with the carcasses of jetliners, among other places — all with my camera in tow. This is a rundown of [...]