World’s Strangest

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What’s Going on in Yemen?

In Spring of 2010, Haley Sweetland Edwards took us on a tour of Yemen for the Spinning the Globe section of mental_floss magazine. Here’s her explanation of the current situation, followed by an excerpt from last year’s Yemen feature. © YAHYA ARHAB/epa/Corbis Yemen is the poorest nation in the Arab world. It’s economy has flat-lined. It’s facing [...]

Secret Romance Novelists

PIUS II Before becoming the Vatican’s top dog in 1458, Pius “the coolest-pope-in-history” II was an adventurer who traveled abroad on spy missions for the papacy, a smooth-talking diplomat, and a prolific writer. (Think of him as a kind of medieval James Bond with a slightly different collar.) His Eurialus and Lucretia is still read today, [...]

Saddam’s Military Planes Found in Serbia

Iraq’s missing Air Force jets have been traced to Serbia, where they are mostly in pieces. They have been cannibalized, parted out, or left to deteriorate over he past twenty years. Iraqi officials said they found the planes in the process of trying to trace what Saddam, the former dictator, did with the country’s military assets. [...]