World’s Strangest

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Hooray for Men’s Underwear Sales!

Good news, everyone! The sales of men’s underwear is up and you know what that means: the economy is finally on the mend! But wait, you say, what’s the connection between men’s tighty whities and [...]

6 Memorable Letters From Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong is remembered as both a “reluctant American hero” and “the spiritual repository of spacefaring dreams.” He was man of few words, but those he chose to share were significant and occasionally, tongue-in-cheek. Here are some notable letters and notes written by the first man on the moon. 1. Its true beauty, however, was [...]

‘Rasputin Was My Neighbor’ And Other True Tales Of Time Travel

When we heard of the death of Florence Green, the final surviving veteran of World War I, many people stopped and thought about the old people who are our living links to history. Robert Krulwich at NPR has a list of people and stories that span a lot of years, like the guy he met [...]

The Mystery Art Patron of the Scottish Poetry Library

Image: chrisdonia/Flickr Last spring, a librarian saw a little paper sculpture of a tree sitting on a table in the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh. It seems like the library had gotten itself a [...]

The Secret of Immortality Is to Become a Noun

(Video Link) Do you want to live forever? You can do that, in a sense, by turning your name into a noun. The French doctor Joseph-Ignace Guillotin invented the guillotine. James Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan, is known for his now famous sweaters. Jules Léotard lives on in common dancewear. That’s the key! You’ve got [...]

Can Ants Count?

In this science video from NPR, Robert Krulwich (of Radiolab fame) describes an experiment in which scientists demonstrated that ants were somehow counting their steps. The crazy (and somewhat gruesome) part is that the experiment involves, uh, altering the ants’ legs in order to demonstrate the specific counting aspect of these ants’ behavior — it’s [...]

World’s Tallest Tree

Photo: James Balog The tree in the photo above is pretty tall – so tall, in fact, that it used to be the tallest known tree in the world. Until people found other trees that are even taller. NPR’s Robert Krulwich has a very neat post about the discovery of the world’s tallest tree: Link See also: [...]

Smart Elephant is a Lazy Cheater

We know that elephants are smart animals, but this particular one is a bit too smart. Graduate student Joshua Plotnik of Emory University recently recorded the result of an elephant intelligence test in which one elephant was caught “cheating.” Robert Krulwich of Krulwich Wonders blog over at NPR explains how: Link | Article about the [...]

No Technology Ever Dies

Kevin Kelly, an editor for Wired and Cool Tools, points out something that is both simple and profound. No piece of technology, once it becomes widely used, ever goes extinct. It doesn’t matter if that technology has become obsolete. There are and always will be people who will continue to produce it. Robert Krulwich of [...]

Why Can’t (Blindfolded) People Walk Straight?

Today, a short science video from NPR contributor Robert Krulwich (of RadioLab fame), animated by Benjamin Arthur. Krulwich describes a series of experiments in which blindfolded people are asked to walk (or drive) in a straight line — and then maps are made showing the routes they walk instead. It’s certainly a curious effect, and I [...]