World’s Strangest

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10 Public Figures Who Choose Not to Vote

We’re not telling you not to vote. We’re just saying that these 10 people won’t be (or didn’t). 1. Nate Silver When “Poblano” began publishing his 2008 presidential election predictions and analyses on Daily Kos in 2007, people paid attention. Then “Poblano” moved to his own blog, FiveThirtyEight.com, where he later revealed he was really Nate Silver, [...]

15 of the Greatest Gifts in the History of Presents

Every once in a while, you think you’ve found the most perfect gift ever. But does it compare to the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France to the United States? Mental_floss has a roundup of the biggest, costliest, and most thoughtful gifts ever given. For example, General Sherman notified his boss of an impressive [...]

11 Wars That Led to Natural Disasters

An hour ago, we discussed 11 Natural Disasters That Led to Wars. Let’s switch that around. 1. Flooding of Babylon, 689 BCE The Assyrians still rank as one of history’s meanest groups of people: skinning captives alive, throwing babies on spears — all in a day’s work for these brutal empire-builders in the ancient Near East. So [...]

Good Advice Costs Nothing and It’s Worth the Price

(Video Link) Until today, I’d never heard of the comedian and songwriter Allan Sherman (1924-1973). He was the Weird Al Yankovic of the 50s and 60s, composing and performing parody songs to millions of television viewers. This song, “Good Advice”, is a real hoot. It turns out that Sherman was responsible for the great inventions and discoveries [...]

When Political Conventions Go Wild: Four Knock-Down, Drag-Out Convention Floor Fights

by Brendan Spiegel 1. The Convention Turned Klanbake For Americans accustomed to today’s tame, scripted political conventions, the 1924 Democratic Convention went down more like a taping of The Jerry Springer Show. On one side was New York Governor Al Smith, supported by urban, Catholic voters who favored his efforts to repeal prohibition. On the other side [...]

The Science Behind Cowboys In Black and White Hats

In old Western movies, heroes often wore white hats and villains wore black hats. Why? Wray Herbert wrote in Scientific American about a new study that investigated why people often associate the color white with righteousness and black with wickedness: In Sherman and Clore’s version of the Stroop, volunteers read not the names of colors but [...]

Dinosaur Built (and Named) Like a Tank

Paleontologists Bill and Kris Parsons of the Buffalo Museum of Science in New York found a dinosaur skull in Montana in 1997. In the years since, they’ve excavated the rest of the skeleton of a new dinosaur called Tatankacephalus cooneyorum. “These were big dinosaur versions of a Sherman tank,” Bill Parsons said. “They were armored and [...]

What’s in a Nickname? The Origins of All 30 NHL Team Names

Ever wonder what a Canuck is? How about a Blue Jacket? With the NHL season kicking off this week, here’s a breakdown of how the league’s 30 teams got their names. 1. New York Rangers In 1925, the New York Americans joined the National Hockey League and played their home games at the old Madison Square [...]