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Humans Are Responsible for 84 Percent of Wildfires in the U.S.

In the past decades, the number of wildfires in the U.S. has spiraled upwards, as has the cost of fighting them: In recent years, by the end of the fire season, the Forest Service has usually exhausted...

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These Two WWII-Era Grenades Were Found in a 91-Year-Old's Refrigerator

On Friday, at the Tappan Zee Manor Nursing Home in Central Nyack, New York—about 25 miles north of Manhattan—two hand grenades were found, perched in the top shelf of a refrigerator door, where one...

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St. Louis Paid to Move a Historic Three-Story Home Nearly a Mile

Moving a house down Jefferson Ave, part of the St. Louis NGA development more details to come @stltodaypic.twitter.com/r6wpZCyJ0X— David Carson (@PDPJ) February 26, 2017Like some community-minded...

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The Mysteries of the First-Ever Map of the North Pole

These days, climate scientists are looking hard at Arctic maps. As winter sea ice shrinks and cracks appear, they try to understand the reasons for these changes, and determine what we should expect in...

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Metal Detector Hobbyists Find Gold in a Field They Got Bored of 20 Years Earlier

Metal detecting—let’s face it—can be kind of boring. Often, you can go searching and find nothing; more often, when you do find something, it’s trash.Two British men, Mark Hambleton and Joe Kania,...

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A Seattle Taco Truck Opened in the Middle of a Highway Traffic Jam

Food truck sells tacos to drivers stuck in I-5 traffic - https://t.co/IZfDDBnyxepic.twitter.com/rQfv8lx1Oa— KOMO News (@komonews) February 28, 2017Sometimes, when one truck ruins your day, another...

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The Animal Soldiers of World War I

During the First World War, a menagerie of animals became honorary soldiers in the American army. Whether for the sake of comfort, combat, or ceremonial pride, different World War I U.S. military...

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Scientists Say They've Solved the Mystery of Devil's Kettle

Devil's Kettle, in Grand Marais, Minnesota, contains two streams: one, the waterfall itself, and a second stream (above left) that disappears down a hole. For years, people have been trying to figure...

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Uncovering the Hidden Books Tucked Inside Every Single Library

Finding an anonymous text, if you don't know which one, exactly, you're looking for, can be difficult, if not impossible. When Emily Kopley, a scholar of British and American literature, was first...

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How Judge Wapner Launched the Phenomenon of Court Shows on Modern TV

A version of this post originally appeared on Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail.Courtroom drama may be one of our greatest televised resources.Reality-based...

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The Experimental Zoo Where Parrots Rollerskated and Chickens Played Baseball

Tourists sailing down the highways toward Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1955 would have been filled with gleeful anticipation. Numerous resorts and roadside offerings were on offer to sate their...

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Boston's Beloved Citgo Sign Might Be Getting Priced Out of Its Home

Boston’s beloved neon Citgo sign may have finally run out of gas, if their landlords have anything to say about it. As The Boston Globe is reporting, the huge, historic sign, which has become a...

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Making Fun of Thomas Edison

On March 25, 1878, in an unsigned editorial, The New York Times spent a few column inches dragging a public figure through the mud. "Something ought to be done," about this person, they began, "and...

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Found: 47 Lumps of Orichalcum, an Ancient Alloy Attributed to Atlantis

Off the coast of Sicily, near the city of Gela, a new expedition to a 2,600-year-old shipwreck has returned with 47 lumps of orichalcum, a rare alloy said to be mined on the fabled island of Atlantis,...

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Meet Bessie Coleman, the First Black Woman to Get a Pilot's License

In the summer of 1922 a biplane whirred above an amazed crowd gathered in a New York airfield. The pilot, an African-Chocktaw-American woman named Bessie Coleman, made daring figure-eight loops and...

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After a Heated Response, the City of Vancouver Is Reconsidering Its New Logo

'It is an insult': City designers 'deeply disappointed' with new Vancouver logo https://t.co/2X7Y4BcFmQpic.twitter.com/PRNbDXIuJY— The Vancouver Sun (@VancouverSun) February 24, 2017Last week, after an...

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How the FBI Thwarted a Non-Existent Plot to Assassinate Margaret Thatcher

A version of this story originally appeared on Muckrock.com.In February 1981, FBI Director William H. Webster received a priority memo from the Bureau’s Alexandria office—a source of known standing had...

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Behold the Erdapfel, the World's Oldest Surviving Globe

If the world’s oldest surviving globe has taught us anything, it's that just when we think we're starting to figure out how the world works, turns out we barely know anything at all.Known formally as...

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Found: Fossil Evidence of the Oldest Life on Earth

The Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt (perhaps the best-named geological formation out there) is a stretch of rock in the northern part of Quebec, Canada, on the Hudson Bay. The Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal...

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The WWII Plan to Mess With the Japanese by Dyeing Mt. Fuji

In the waning months of World War II, as the likelihood of a land invasion of the Japanese home islands loomed, the United States’ Joint Intelligence Center, Pacific Ocean Areas (JICPOA) instituted a...

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