World’s Strangest

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The Missing Links: Fantastic Non-Fiction Names

Taking Lincoln Liberties Let’s get a few things straight about our 16th president. Abe Lincoln was never abducted by two time-traveling California teenagers for a school report. He was never actually a vampire hunter. And he did not, as a new novel imagines, survive the assassination attempt on his life and get impeached. Here are some cool [...]

Music History #1: “One Night in Bangkok”

Editor’s Note: This is the big debut of Bill DeMain’s new column, where he explores the real historical events that inspired various songs. “Music History” will appear twice a month. Try it. You’ll like it! “One Night In Bangkok” Written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice (1984) Originally sung by Murray Head The Music With its perky chorus [...]

5 Tyrants Who Died Relatively Peaceful Deaths (and 5 Who Weren’t So Lucky)

According to Herodotus, when the Athenian lawgiver Solon visited Croesus, the fabulously wealthy king of Lydia, Croesus — showing off his riches and sumptuous palace — asked Solon who the happiest man in the world was, arrogantly assuming Solon’s answer would be the king himself. But the king was disappointed and angry when Solon named [...]

The Almost Famous Relatives of Famous People

If you are famous, people are always trying to get something out of you. From Frank Stallone to Jim Belushi, we’ve seen how even your own family will try to ride your coattails. Here are some of the infamous and almost famous that are following in their relatives more famous footsteps. Tom Hanks Son is a [...]

Putin’s New Puppy and Other Snuggly Diplomatic Gifts

© Pierre Marsaut/ZUMA Press/Corbis Last week, during their meeting about the South Stream gas transit pipeline and other large-scale energy projects, Bulgarian Premier Boyko Borisov gave Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin a Karakachan puppy, which he nuzzled in front of the cameras. Throughout history, many other world leaders have exchanged animals. From showing might to making [...]