World’s Strangest

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Music History #4: “Cloudbusting”

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of Bill DeMain’s new(ish) column, where he explores the real historical events that inspired various songs. “Music History” appears twice a month—unless we can convince Bill that twice a month is not sufficient! “Cloudbusting” Written and Performed by Kate Bush (1984) The Music Kate Bush has always had a way of making [...]

The Missing Links: Hitler’s Tricky Chocolates

The Thin T-Shirt Material This Batsuit Is Made of Will Surely Protect Me! Because I fully intend to mention Batman as much as possible this week, have a look at this LIFE gallery of behind-the-scenes shots from the set of the 1960s Batman TV show. * When It Comes to Science, Mr. Wizard Doesn’t Play Around Sure, all of [...]

Are High-IQ People More Likely to Use Drugs?

Mat Hayward / Shutterstock.com In 1884, a young researcher named Sigmund Freud was studying the mysteries of the human brain when he wrote an article about cocaine. The scientist extolled its benefits in a paper, “Über Coca,” chronicling how he felt when he used the drug. For the next 12 years, Freud habitually used cocaine as [...]

The True Stories Behind 10 Bad Album Covers

Even though it’s been years since Ransom Riggs posted about bad album art, those “what were they thinking?” covers have stuck with me all this time. After I wiped away the initial tears of laughter, it occurred to me that bargain bin recording artists are people, too. In the interest of balanced reporting, I hereby [...]

The Sherlock Holmes Handbook: Opium Dens and Narcotics in the Victorian Era

It’s been well over a century since the first Sherlock Holmes adventure was published, and yet the master detective remains as popular as ever; witness the upcoming release of Holmes, starring Robert Downey, Jr., the Holmes-inspired television phenomenon that is House, M.D., and countless adaptations over the years. But what is it about this 19th [...]