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Researcher Says One Danger of Peace-Sign Photos Could Be Stolen Fingerprints

Have you ever posed for a photo with your index and middle fingers raised, indicating your desire for world peace? Probably, since the sign has become shorthand for the sentiment after Vietnam War...

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Spooky, Rare Ice Spikes Are Popping Up in Britain

Have you ever seen one? Christopher Nash spotted this fantastic example of an 'ice spike' this morning pic.twitter.com/54XDWOMq3u— Met Office (@metoffice) January 19, 2017Britain is gearing up for a...

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The First Observations of Sea Ice Came From 8th-Century Irish Monks in Iceland

One of the charts that the National Snow and Ice Data Center produces shows the area of the Earth’s surface that is covered in sea ice over the course of the year, and for the past few months, the line...

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Found: The Owner of a Message-in-a-Bottle Sent in 1983

In 1983, the USS Coral Sea CV-43 Catapult One was cruising the Atlantic Ocean, and the engineering department discovered a small problem. The ship had an excess of small plastic bottles, meant to test...

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How to Make an Alien Planet on Earth

In Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, just outside an unassuming house, sits a seemingly ordinary piece of land. A stand of mature eucalyptus trees towers over smaller, shrubby growth. Wild green plants...

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Sold, for $100: A Massive Pennsylvania Mall Once Valued at $190 Million

Back in 2005, the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills opened 1.1 million square feet of retail space, welcoming Western Pennsylvania shoppers to what was then the largest mall in that part of the state.At its...

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The True History of the Gambia's Bizarre Origin Story

The Gambia, the tiniest country on the African mainland, is shaped unlike any other nation in the world. It is long and skinny, just 30 miles wide at its widest points; it looks like someone tried to...

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Watch These Joyous Strangers in London Roll a Massive Snowball Down a Hill

In February 2009, a glorious triumph occurred on Parliament Hill in London's Hampstead Heath park: a gigantic snowball (weighing about half a ton) tumbled down the white slopes.   The video above,...

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Found: The Bones of a Giant Otter

The otter S. melilutra would have weighed 110 pounds—about the size of a large dog or a small woman. It had the teeth of a badger and could smash or pry open even the most resistant clams and other...

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Rethinking the Origins of the Damsel on the Railroad Tracks

Most people are familiar with that most clichéd of old cinema tropes: the damsel-in-distress, tied to the railroad tracks by a dastardly villain, only to be saved at the last moment by the dashing...

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A Tram Thief Took a Short Joyride in Austria

Around 8 a.m. this past Saturday, a tram driver on the 60 line in Vienna stopped in Rodaun for a bathroom break. He locked up his tram, and went off to take care of business. But when he returned...

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11 Secret Spaces Hiding in Famous Places

When planning a trip, it's easy to feel torn between wanting to experience a city's must-see iconic landmarks and discovering something unknown to the most passersby. As it happens, there's a third...

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When Networks Aired Their Failed TV Pilots in the Middle of the Summer

A version of this post originally appeared on Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail.The idea that there should be limits on the quality of what ends up on or TV...

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Airships: The Most Villainous Form of Transport

Two hours into the 1985 James Bond classic A View to a Kill, antagonist Maximilian Zorin has already pulled out most of the bad-guy stops. He's pushed one of his henchmen through a razor-sharp...

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Lost: 38,000 Pounds of a Trucker's Marbles

A trucker making his way through Indianapolis on Saturday was driving along Interstate 465 when his trailer became unhitched, spilling 38,000 pounds of marbles on the roadway. Indiana State Police...

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A Tour of Al Capone's 'Killer' Cadillac, Which Once Terrorized Chicago Streets

In the world of organized crime, Al Capone had few equals. For seven years in the 1920s, as the boss of the Chicago Mafia during Prohibition, Capone shocked the city with bombings, heists, gambling,...

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A 1927 Map Reveals the Hide-Outs of Chicago's Most Notorious Gangsters

In the 1920s, the streets of Chicago were home to hundreds of secret clubhouses and hideouts—home bases to thieving, violent gangsters. Between 1923 and 1926, one sociologist at the University of...

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Found: A Man Buried With a Stone in Place of His Tongue

In the 3rd or 4th century A.D., in a farming community near the river Nene, in what’s now Stanwick, England, a man was buried in an unusual fashion—face down, with a stone in his mouth where his tongue...

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The True History of the Umbrella Gun, a Surprisingly Serious Weapon

In 1978, Georgi Markov was on his way to work at the BBC in London when he felt a sharp sting on his thigh. Behind him, he saw a man picking up an umbrella. The man, who spoke with a foreign accent,...

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Watch This Irresponsible Raven Eat a Parking Ticket

Ravens like to hang out in the parking lots of Yellowknife, in Canada's Northwest Territories, perching on cars and foraging for snacks. Last Thursday, one of them made its opinions on government...

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