World’s Strangest

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11 Not-So-Famous People We Lost in 2012

It’s been a solemn year for the deaths of famous and significant people – and as always, many died who were less famous, but should be saluted nonetheless for their contributions to the world. Here are 11 of the lesser-known greats who passed this year. 1. Murray Lender: Bagel Tycoon Lender’s Bagels Historical Images Murray Lender, son of [...]

5 Spy Tunnels From Around the World

Spies have more tools at their disposal than bribery, blackmail, and black bag jobs. They’ve also got pickaxes. When going undercover isn’t enough, they go underground to ply their trade. Here are five spy operations that involved digging tunnels to get the job done. 1. Operation SILVER Post-World War II Vienna was divided into four zones, each [...]

5 Restaurants Where Spy Games Were Played

Restaurants are ideal places for spies to ply their trade, as there’s plenty of ambient noise, a nice crowd to throw things off, and food to go around, which tends to alleviate stress. Here are five restaurants where tradecraft was the daily special. 1. Au Pied de Cochon, Georgetown DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images Vitaly Yurchenko was a 25-year veteran [...]

Music History #4: “Cloudbusting”

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of Bill DeMain’s new(ish) column, where he explores the real historical events that inspired various songs. “Music History” appears twice a month—unless we can convince Bill that twice a month is not sufficient! “Cloudbusting” Written and Performed by Kate Bush (1984) The Music Kate Bush has always had a way of making [...]

The Late Movies: Pipe Organ Pop

A pipe organ sounds so important, so majestic, so …big. It was meant for big songs. Rock Around the Clock Recorded at the Nathanaelchurch in Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany. * Jump Van Halen’s classic from 1984. * Star Wars Overture On the grand pipe organ at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. * Star Wars Throne Scene Music This song has become a staple of wedding processionals in recent [...]

Digital Paintings of Dorothee Golz

Vienna-based artist and photographer Dorothee Golz "updated" Vermeer’s masterpiece Girl With a Pearl Earring with a little bit of digital magic. Check out the rest of her "digital paintings," where she puts faces from [...]

Everywhere a Sign: A Brief History of International Symbols

Restroom sign via Shutterstock You see them every day when you go to the restroom, cross the street, or look at a map. International symbols are intended to make getting around easier for anyone, regardless of their native tongue. But where do these symbols come from? Let’s take a look. Isotype Unlike many museums, the [...]

The Jewish Engineer Behind Hitler’s Volkswagen

“QUANTUM SHOT” #765 Link – article by Paul Schilperoord Finally, the full story behind emergence of Volkswagen, “Hitler’s pet project” We welcome back our contributing writer Paul Schilperoord, whose book “The Extraordinary Life of Josef Ganz – The Jewish Engineer Behind Hitler’s Volkswagen” has just been released in the US and [...]

Nano 3D Printer

Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology may call this nano 3D printer a "two-photon litography," but I think the better term is "sorcery." Here’s how the high-precision-3D-printer, which can create objects with nano-scale [...]

Wrapper’s Delight: The Legendary Collaboration of Christo and Jeanne-Claude

© Bettmann/CORBIS On November 18, 2009, one of the most important artistic partnerships of the century ended when Jeanne-Claude, of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, passed away. During the couple’s 45 years of collaboration, they completed 20 gargantuan works of art—masterpieces so enormous they encompassed entire cities. In the United States, they were best known for The Gates, [...]