World’s Strangest

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Precariously Leaning Towers of the World

“QUANTUM SHOT” #772 Link – article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams The World’s Other Leaning Towers (apart from the one in Pisa) Many people are familiar with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of the most famous buildings in the world. Construction began on the Tower in 1173 and took place in three [...]

Saving Venice with Sea Water

Venice is sinking very slowly -only about two inches every 100 years. But worse, the Adriatic sea is rising around Venice as well. A proposed plan to save the Italian city involves “inflating” its porous foundation with sea water to raise the whole town about a foot. Forty billion gallons of water would need to [...]

The Venice of Africa

Photo: Hugo!/Flickr No, that’s not a photo of a flooded village. Rather, it’s of the city of Ganvié in the Republic of Benin, which calls itself "The Venice of Africa." Kuriositas has the details [...]

The Capitol Building Could Have Had a Giant Chicken On Top

Jason, Stephanie, Ethan and I put out a daily newsletter called Watercooler Ammo. This weekend we’ll be sharing a few recent editions. If you’d like this kind of thing delivered to your inbox each morning, subscribe here! Check out these design proposals for some of Washington D.C.’s most famous landmarks. From a giant chicken weather vane [...]

Not Your Momma’s Cookbooks (Part 3)

For someone who doesn’t like to cook (and who rarely cooks), I sure own a lot of cookbooks; I love seeing all the different foods that can be made. In my ventures through the cookbook aisles, I’ve noticed some with less-than-typical main ingredients, cooking methods, and themes. This weekend, I’m sharing with you a sampling [...]

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Orson Welles

You know Orson Welles was one of the most revered actors and directors of the 20th century, but how much do you know about his sketchy big break or his deft efforts to make rabbits disappear? Let’s take a look at five surprising things about Welles. 1. He Knew How to Fib Welles got his first [...]

Where Children Sleep

9-year-old Jamie shares a top-floor apartment on New York’s Fifth Avenue with his parents and three siblings. The family’s two other homes are in Spain and the Hamptons. 14-year-old Prena is a domestic worker in Nepal and lives in a cell-like room in the attic of the house where she works in Katmandu. Kenyan-born, English-raised, Venice-based documentary [...]

What, Exactly, is a “Radio Flyer”?

Most people don’t get through childhood without a ride or two in a Radio Flyer. But how did a little red wagon become known as a Radio Flyer and what does the Statue of Liberty have to do with it? To figure out the story behind one of America’s classic childhood toys, we have to [...]

Pipe Organ ATM

Artists Allora and Calzadilla made this unusual ATM in Venice. It’s built into a pipe organ that plays a unique tune for each customer: But this is no run-of-the-mill A.T.M. The brainchild of the artist duo Allora & Calzadilla, it is a pipe organ with an A.T.M. embedded in its belly that is computer-programmed to play [...]

Pot Shop Raided on 4/20

Photo: Venice311.org What better day to raid a medical marijuana dispensary than 4/20 AKA National Weed Day? The LAist explains: No better day for a tour of beachfront dispensaries than April 20th, or 4/20, the date/time a bunch of stoners once decided to use as code for smoking the pot. But to walk into a marijuana dispensary, [...]