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A Retired Teacher Built a Perfect Scale Map of China on His Terrace

An excellent map of China. (Photo: Reddit user wildeastmofo)For a year, a retired teacher in China worked on the project on his terrace—a scale map of the country, more than 30 feet wide.Each province...

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Conductor Stops Train After His Work Shift Ends, Stranding 109 Passengers...

Later, losers (train conductor not pictured). (Photo: skeeze/Public Domain)Most everyone has dreamt of having that Jerry Maguire moment, when you get to just walk out of your job, but that fantasy gets...

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Arctic Sea Ice Is At Its Second Lowest Minimum on Record

Arctic sea ice extent. (Image: NASA/Public domain)The expanse of ice in the Arctic appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year, and it's the second lowest record in the record of satellite...

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Was Your Salad Fork Made in a Former Utopia?

Oneida: from eugenics experiments to silverware giant. (Photo: Will Culpepper/CC BY-SA 2.0)American history is littered with stories of failed utopian communities that tried to bring new ways of living...

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Listen to the Surprisingly Goofy Voice of a Neanderthal

When we imagine Neanderthals, we typically picture them like much dirtier, hairier versions of ourselves. Imaginative depictions of Homo neanderthalensis usually mean fur pelts, cave paintings, heavy...

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The Mystery of Van Gogh's Final Breakdown Will Probably Never Be Solved

Van Gogh's famous Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear (1889). (Photo: Public domain)Even though Vincent Van Gogh began acting increasingly strangely during the final year and a half of his life, he...

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How America’s First Popular Comic Shaped the 19th Century Newspaper Wars

(Photo: San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum)In 1896, Richard F. Outcault, or, as he was known professionally, R.F....

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The NSA Has Files on a Country That Doesn’t Exist

(Photo: Deror avi)A version of this story originally appeared on Muckrock.com.A couple years ago, Robert Delaware requested from the NSA any entries from its Intellipedia - the agency’s internal answer...

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10 Bars at the End of the World

Vernadsky Station on Galindez Island, Antarctica. (Photo: Christopher/CC BY 2.0)People have found ways to live in the most inhospitable places on Earth. Nearly immediately after finding a way to...

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My Mom Grew Up in a Utopian Colony in Iowa

Bridge over Mill Race, the canal that stretches through the Amana Colonies in Iowa. (Photo: Carl Wycoff/CC BY 2.0)From my hometown of Toronto the drive to Amana, the dismantled utopian colony in Iowa,...

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See 8 Fascinating Ruins of Space Exploration

The Mohon del Trigo Observatory in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains. (Photo: Jebulon/Public Domain)Our relationship with the stars stretches back to the first person ever to look up and wonder, what's...

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Poland Digs Up a Nazi Time Capsule

Inside the time capsule. (Photo: Zlocieniec)What do a group of Nazis put in a time capsule?In 1934, in the Polish town of Zlocieniec, then part of Germany, Hitler's Nazi party was putting up a new...

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A Small-Town 'Goldfinger' Is Gilding Fire Hydrants In Austria

 Ich hab einen gefunden!A photo posted by Johann Fürnsinn (@johannfurnsinn) on Sep 14, 2016 at 7:39am PDTIn Ian Fleming's Goldfinger, the titular villain has a penchant for covering things in...

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The Revolutionary Concept of Standard Sizes Only Dates to the 1920s

Eternit-Werk Heidelberg, by architect Ernst Neufert. (Photo: Eternit AG/CC BY-SA 3.0)Almost every kitchen counter in the United States is 36 inches tall. And 25 inches deep. Eighteen inches above the...

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Found: The World's Longest Lightning Strikes, In Both Length and Time

(Photo: colinedwards99/CC BY 2.0)Lightning happens in a flash, but that doesn’t mean they are always forgotten. In a recently released paper from the American Meteorological Society (h/t Science Alert)...

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This Buenos Aires Radio Show Comes to You Live from a Psychiatric Hospital

A sign for Radio La Colifata. (All Photos: Alejandro Cynowicz)The weather is chilly, but the sun is shining. It’s Saturday, August 13, the tail end of winter in the southern hemisphere. A crowd is...

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Listen to This Duo Elegantly Play the Harry Potter Theme Music on Glass Goblets

When you hear John Williams' enchanting score for the the Harry Potter films, you are immediately transported to J.K. Rowling’s fantastic world of wizards, witches, and magical creatures. The first...

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Why You’ll Never Be Able to Block a Presidential Alert

A test screen from the Emergency Broadcast System, which was replaced in 1997. (Photo: YouTube)On Monday morning, a little over a day after Saturday's bombing in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan,...

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The Incredible Cloud Forests of Mexico

Writer Erik Vance treks into the cloud forest near El Zapotal, Veracruz. (All Photos: Dominic Bracco II / Prime)A version of this story originally appeared on bioGraphic.com.Mexico is a land of...

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The Screw Heads That Tried, But Failed, to Topple Phillips

A pile of Phillips head screws. (Photo: nukeaf/shutterstock.com) A version of this post originally appeared on Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail.The screw is the...

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