World’s Strangest

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5 Pop Culture Apocalypse Scenarios and How They Might Happen

Since the earliest days, humankind has pondered the end of the world. We’ve imagined messianic judgment days, cataclysmic comets, hyperspace bypasses, and Mega Maids. Here are a few apocalyptic scenarios from recent popular culture, how they might happen, and how likely they are to occur. 1. Subterranean Apocalypse Some existential threats are waiting quietly beneath the surface [...]

Interesting College Courses at Sweet 16 Schools

Sweet Sixteen schools are obviously pretty good at basketball (this year, anyway). But they’re also pretty good at coming up with interesting classes that have students clamoring to enroll. Check out some of the unusual past and present offerings in the Sweet 16. University of Florida: Lightning Research Laboratory. Students and researchers basically spend their summer [...]

The mental_floss Guide to the NCAA Tournament: The East

We’re going region by region, giving you one fun fact about each team in the tournament. (1) Syracuse Syracuse’s colors were originally pink and blue, but the class of 1890 changed it to orange. A member of that class explained the switch at his 50th reunion in 1940: “What kind of ‘whoopee’ can be made with [...]

Three More Coaches Who Lied About Their History

By now, you’ve probably heard the story of Yale football coach Tom Williams, who resigned this week for lying on his resume. He claimed to have been a Rhodes scholar candidate, and was even cited as a finalist during several stories about quarterback Patrick Witt’s Rhodes application. However, a New York Times investigation revealed that, [...]

Man Takes Wife to Visit Family

Ned Nefer is very much in love with his wife, Teagan–so much so that he’s pushing the 6-foot wooden mannequin across upstate New York to spend a weekend in the woods with her. Nefer, 38, says he’s married to a mannequin named Teagan, and the kooky couple is traveling 70 miles from Syracuse to Watertown on foot, the Watertown [...]

Vinyl Record Sculpture

Angelo Bramanti and Giuseppe Siracusa made this marvelous sculpture from vinyl records. Wouldn’t it be cool to see portraits of musicians melted into their own records? Looking around the artists’ website, it would appear that they’re fond of using old media storage formats to create works of art, such the skyline of Syracuse rendered in VHS [...]

Nazi Scientists Proposed Creating a Giant Space Mirror to Burn Enemy Nations

An issue of Life magazine published on July 23, 1945 includes an article about a secret weapon proposed by some Nazi scientists toward the end of World War II. It was a huge mirror that, if placed in orbit, would focus sunlight on enemy nations and burn them: Plausible schemes to build a station in space [...]

Democratic Incumbent Couldn’t Run on Party Ticket Because He Didn’t Sign His Own Petition

Michael Heagerty was already well known locally as the incumbent Syracuse Common Councilor.  Now that he won’t be running for re-election as a Democrat, he is perhaps a little better known. Mr. Heagerty fell short one signature to run for re-election as the Democratic nominee for his current position.  However, had he signed his own name [...]