World’s Strangest

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The Most Mysterious Painting in the Pentagon

This cloak and dagger story has got everything: a mysterious painting, the headquarters of the world’s most powerful military, and a clandestine operation known only as "The Project." In a Pentagon hallway hung an austere [...]

How the Greatest Prankster in Political History Messed With Richard Nixon

© Bettmann/CORBIS by David Borgenicht and Turk Regan Democratic prankster Dick Tuck began tormenting Richard Nixon in California in 1950, after he became a mole in Nixon’s successful Senate campaign. When Nixon unsuccessfully sought the presidency 10 years later, his opponent, John F. Kennedy, hired Tuck to play practical jokes on Nixon. The day after the first [...]

Chicken Pox via Mail

Before the varicella vaccine became widely available in 1995, some parents would encourage a case of chicken pox in their children, as enduring the disease would cause immunity and it is less dangerous in children than for adults. Decades ago when I was young, no encouragement was needed as chicken pox, measles, and mumps swept [...]