World’s Strangest

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12 Proposed U.S. States That Didn’t Make the Cut

The road to 50 states was littered with wannabes who couldn’t wait to declare themselves—but never quite got to full statehood. Here are 12 states that could have been. 1. Franklin Wikimedia Commons After the Revolutionary War, it became common for states to gift their westernmost lands to the newly-founded (but broke) American government to repackage and sell [...]

A Little Bit of Lotto History (Including Thomas Jefferson’s Take on Lotteries)

EPA/ERIK S. LESSER /LANDOV Tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot is up over $500 million—the biggest lottery prize ever. Whether you call it the poor man’s dream, a casino without walls, or a tax on the stupid, the lottery has deep and widespread roots. Here’s a look at three quick stories about the numbers game. Lotteries of Yore Lotteries have [...]

Zombie Mount Rushmore Letter and Key Holder

Zombie Mount Rushmore Letter and Key Holder – $34.95 Spring is finally here. Are you dying to find a way to spruce up and organize your living space? You need the Zombie Mount Rushmore Letter and Key Holder from the NeatoShop. Nothing screams homey like decorating with zombies. Let zombified  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, [...]

Who Was Murphy and Why Is There a Bed Named After Him?

Image credit: Valet Custom Cabinets & Closets The Murphy Bed, also known as a wall bed, fold down bed or pull down bed, is a bed that’s hinged at one end so it can be folded up and stored vertically against a wall or in a closet. It’s useful in situations where floor space is at [...]

Presidents and Their Cars

Jason Torchinsky of Jalopink wrote ten statements about American Presidents and automobiles. Only five of them are true. Can you figure out which ones? Check out the answers at the link: 1. The first President to serve at a time when there was an American-built automobile was Thomas Jefferson. 2. The first car a President ever rode [...]

Nuts & Bolts: The Skinny on Your Favorite Cocktail Treats

PECANS The All-American Nut (Image credit: Flickr user Mevrouw Cupcake) With more than 80% of the world’s output produced in the United States, pecans have been an American favorite since the days of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (both of whom grew them in their gardens). The nuts even helped fight communism during the Space Race! Apollo [...]

Heartland Surgery

Playing the “what if” game, here are the names Thomas Jefferson thought would be nice for the states of the American Midwest: Sylvania, Michigania, Chersonesus, Assenisipia, Metropotamia, Illinoia, Saratoga, Polypotamia, Pelisipia, and Washington. Aren’t you glad he didn’t get his way? It was hard enough to learn how to spell Mississippi! Link -via 22 Words

5 Famous Riots and the Art They Inspired

With the chaos in the streets of London this week, we’ve been reading up on other riots in history. One thing several had in common: in addition to wreaking general havoc, they’ve inspired hit singles, feature films and more. 1. The Zoot Suit Riots That swinging, eponymous Cherry Poppin’ Daddies song that was all over the radio [...]

On the Money: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Coin Portraits

During America’s infancy, the government didn’t want to put President George Washington or any of the Founding Fathers on U.S. currency. Since government-issued coins had first appeared in the world, it was common for the faces of kings, queens and emperors to appear on them. The Founders had just gotten a constitutional republic up and [...]

The Skinny on Your Favorite Cocktail Treats

1. Pecans: The All-American Nut With more than 80 percent of the world’s output produced in the United States, pecans have been an American favorite since the days of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (both of whom grew them in their gardens). The nuts even helped fight Communism during the Space Race! Apollo astronauts regularly munched [...]