World’s Strangest

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Unusual and Fascinating Coins and Currency

In a continuing series on coins and currency, Dark Roasted Blend has a roundup of weird designs and stories about money. When the USSR was formed, and again when it crumbled, new money was designed for various areas that you may never have heard of. For example, Transnistria is a strip of land bordering Ukraine [...]

What Exactly Is the Heat Index?

Is it really not the heat, but the humidity? With temperatures spiking around the country, we thought it might be a good time to answer some questions about the heat index. © BRIAN SNYDER/Reuters/Corbis Why does humidity make us feel hotter? To answer that question, we need to talk about getting sweaty. As you probably remember from your [...]

How to Talk Like a Somali Pirate

All day, every September 19th, we celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day by basically saying “Arrrr!” But that sort of language is from another time and place (mainly Hollywood) -modern day pirates don’t talk like that. Real pirates in the modern world are liable to speak Somali, or other languages heard around the Horn of [...]

Former Prime Minister Now Cubicle Dweller in Buffalo

Mohamed A. Mohamed was a native of Somalia living in Buffalo, New York for the past twenty years. When the president of Somalia asked him to become the prime minister of the war torn country he took the job to try and do some good for his countrymen. Now nine months later he is back [...]

Burning Questions About the Heat Index

Is it really not the heat, but the humidity? With temperatures spiking around the country and weathermen warning of days where the heat index surges into the triple digits, we thought it might be a good time to answer some questions about the heat index. © BRIAN SNYDER/Reuters/Corbis Why does humidity make us feel hotter? To answer that [...]

8 Candidates for the Next New Nation

On Saturday, South Sudan declared its independence, becoming the brand-spanking newest nation in the world. While peace and prosperity is still a good way off for this newborn, Texas-sized country—ethnic tensions are high, the economy is in shambles, and a half-dozen rebel groups have already vowed to take down the new government—the South Sudanese people [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Unusual War Weapons

Think fighting wars is all about grenades and tanks? Think again. It takes some serious innovation to win wars – here are a mere handful of those ideas, although some of them were bombs in more than one way. 1. Major Martin, AKA Operation Mincemeat. How did a homeless alcoholic help pull one over on [...]

The Somali Pirate Stock Exchange

Pirates operating in the waters off of Somalia have opened a stock exchange in order to encourage investment in their industry. The market has thrived, and the exchange now provides a business forum for 72 “maritime companies”. Mohamed Ahmed writes for Reuters: It is a lucrative business that has drawn financiers from the Somali diaspora and [...]

Somali man, 112, weds girl, 17

A 112-year-old man in Somalia has married a 17-year-old girl in a wedding that hundreds attended. Her new husband is old enough to be her great gr…

An Anniversary Worth Celebrating

On October 26th, 1977, a hospital cook in Somalia named Ali Maow Maalin was diagnosed with smallpox. What makes this so remarkable is that no naturally-occurring cases of smallpox have been diagnosed in the 32 years since. The global eradication of smallpox was certified, based on intense verification activities in countries, by a commission of eminent [...]