World’s Strangest

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The Nerdiest Practical Joke Ever

The Nobel Prize winning chemist Melvin Calvin (1911-1997) was not known as a man of great humor. This only encouraged one of his assistants to play a great prank on him while Calvin was preparing a paper for a 1955 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Joshua Howgego, a graduate student in [...]

Ketchum Hand Grenade

Image: Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield; WICR 30377 That, Neatoramanauts, is a hand grenade patented in 1861 by William F. Ketchum. If someone threw one at you and you ketchum, you’d be in trouble. Unless [...]

12 Cat-Related Patents That Are Really Quite Bizarre

To visit Google’s patent website is to lose yourself in a black hole of totally weird wannabe inventions—a surprising number of which are for your feline friends. From toys meant to encourage exercise to systems that deliver live birds for food, here are 12 really weird cat patents. 1. “Method of Exercising a Cat” If you watch [...]

1:1 Scale Crocheted Pokémon

Ruthanne Wilson’s life-sized Pokémon are, at a distance, almost indistinguishable from the real creatures. This Turtwig is about 54 cm tall. You can find seven other life-sized models in her shop at the link. Link -via The Mary Sue

23 Writers Who Were Famous by Age 23

While it’s not as easy for authors to become famous at a young age as it is for pop singers, it’s still not unheard of for barely legal authors to find fame, success, and even fortune. Here are 23 authors who manager to achieve fame—though not always positive—by age 23. 1-2. Guptara Twins Date of Birth: November [...]

The Favorite Movies of 42 Famous People

Presidents & Politicians What’s with presidents and High Noon? 1. Barack Obama – The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974) When Katie Couric asked then-presidential-candidate Barack Obama what his favorite movie is, he replied, “Oh, I think it would have to be The Godfather. One and Two. Three not so much. That saga — I [...]

Awkwardness and Bawdy Talk: 7 Tales of Presidential Courtship

You may be surprised to learn that not every politician is equipped with romantic game. Here are the stories of a few presidents who had a little difficulty garnering the affections of the first lady – or at least had a few awkward moments during the courtship. Learn from their fumbles, and be grateful that [...]

Who Wrote “Happy Birthday to You” (and Who’s Collecting the Millions in Royalties)?

Getty Images “Happy Birthday to You” has been used in hundreds of movies, countless advertisements, an estimated 1,500,000+ singing telegrams, and been the basis for pieces by classical composers like Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland. It’s arguably the most recognized song in the English-speaking world, and it’s making some lucky people a whole lot of money. [...]

The Late Movies: 5 Smart People Say Smart Things in 5 Minutes or Less

Big Think has interviewed a staggering array of smart people, and is posting micro-interviews on YouTube. For tonight’s viewing, I thought I’d collect five favorites. Yes, they’re short, and sometimes they’re simple — but these are smart sentiments. Bill Nye “How is science education like comedy?” Bill Nye on the parallels between comedy and [...]

Knope-Newport and 6 Other Memorable TV Elections

Image credit: Knope2012.com Tonight’s season finale of Parks and Recreation will feature one of the most hotly contested elections since Truman defeated Dewey. While we wait to see whether Leslie Knope trumps Bobby Newport for a seat on the Pawnee City Council, here are some of our other favorite TV election episodes. 1. Cheers After Boston City Councilman [...]