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The Mistaken Case of the Killer Cornbread

In 1908, the U.S. suffered its first outbreak of a horrendous disease called pellagra. The nation’s first response? Arguing about cornbread recipes.The pellagra outbreak was confined to the South,...

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Watch a Man Turn a Lump of Hot Sugar Into a Bunny

On a street in Beijing, an elderly Chinese man blows into a hollow lump of hot, melted sugar. A minute or two later, he holds a bunny. Or a giraffe. Or a goldfish. All are shaped via the traditional...

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The Curious Curriculum of the 1950s Red Cross 'Bride Schools'

In the 1950s, Japanese women seeking a new life in America had to learn about more than just visa requirements. They also had to learn how to cook hamburgers, entertain neighbors, and confidently walk...

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The 'Death Hand' of One of Canada's First Nationalists Lives on in This...

It's easy to miss the ghost-white plaster hand that rests under a plexi-glass box at D’Arcy McGee’s in Ottawa, Canada, where it sits at the top of a small flight of stairs that constitutes the bar’s...

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Watch a Hong Kong Villain-Hitter Beat Away Foes With a Shoe

In the Wan Chai District of Hong Kong Island, a chorus of smacking shoes reverberates against the underpass of the Canal Road Flyover. Here, people take vengeance on their villains by seeking a group...

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The Criminal History of Fantomas, France's Favorite Fictional Villain

As villains go, Fantômas is a nasty one. Created in 1911, he is a gentleman criminal who perpetrates gruesome, elaborate crimes with no clear motivation. He hangs a victim inside a church bell so that...

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Found: A Giant Crack in the Arizona Desert

In Arizona’s Tator Hills, the Arizona Geological Survey has located a giant fissure in the earth. It’s two miles long; according to a local news station, that’s a half mile longer than any other...

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Why Are Rats Always the Bad Guys?

In 1972, the graphic novelist Art Spiegelman was asked to draw something for an animal-themed comic book. As he brainstormed his submission, he recalled in a 2011 interview, he searched for a way to...

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A Rescued Surfer Who Got Lost on Purpose

Over a week ago, a surfer later identified as a Japanese man named Toru was plucked from the ocean by a cargo ship, having spent 16 hours alone on his surfboard some three-and-a-half miles off the...

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A Washington Dentist Skated a Whole Pond Into Swirly Ice Art

Sometimes you head out to get some exercise, and you end up making a massive geographic art piece instead. On January 15th, David Chuljian, a dentist in Port Townsend, Washington, decided to take...

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Handicapping This Year's Doomsday Clock Adjustment

Every year since 1947, a few dozen esteemed scientists have put their heads together and decided how close we are to the end of the world. Thursday morning, in the face of an unusually intense amount...

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Portugal's Unexpectedly Heroic Custard Tarts

Small, crumbly, with a bright yellow color and a slightly burned top, Portugal’s rustic pastel de nata—custard tart—tops is often near the top of foodies' travel guides. But the flaky pastry also has a...

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The World's Most Powerful 'Super Laser' Has Been Created

While things are looking grim for the sciences here in America, a team of British and Czech scientists have recently claimed to have invented the world’s most powerful "super laser." They have named...

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Found: Tens of Thousands of Previously Unknown Nazi Persecution Sites

When researchers started working in 2000 on an encyclopedia of camps and ghettos from the Holocaust, they thought they would find 5,000 examples of labor camps, POW camps, military brothels, ghettos...

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You Can No Longer Release Balloons in Atlantic City

A lot of things are illegal in Atlantic City—underage gambling, vandalizing hedges, (probably) blowing up the chicken man. Wednesday night, lawmakers worked to add one more thing to the list: releasing...

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The Joys of Pretend Villainy

While the average person likely spends most of their lives trying to avoid being a villain, there are those who make it a point to get out there and unleash their inner baddie.For live-action...

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The Awkward 17th-Century Dating Practice That Saw Teens Get Bundled Into Bags

If today’s complicated dating world disturbs you, imagine being a young woman in love in 17th-century Wales. You can’t wait to begin your life with your beau, but first, you need to prove to your...

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A Beginner's Guide to Body Snatching

Say it's 1820 and you're an uneducated, lower-class chap with nights and weekends free who needs to pick up a few extra quid. You might consider the profitable, if criminal, profession of body...

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How We Forgot the Bobbed Haired Bandit

On a cold January night in 1924, a young woman flaunting a stylish bobbed haircut slinked into the Thomas Roulston grocery store in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. She was dolled up...

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In 1969, One Inventor Tried to Sell Police a 'Net Gun' for Catching Robbers

If a burglar is on the loose, what better way to catch them with a gun that launches a hundred square-foot nylon net? At least, that's what one inventor thought in 1969.In the video above, archived by...

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