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The Serpentine Story of Snake Oil, Or How I Came to Buy Snake Oil from...

Snake oil purchased from Amazon.com. (Photo: Ella Morton)Buying snake oil in 2015 is surprisingly easy. A search for "snake oil" on Amazon yields 2,716 hits, many of them not liquid, but 16 oils sit...

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LOST: Hollywood's Greatest Twitter Account

Fame is fickle (Photo: Christian Haugen/Flickr)Hollywood, an entire industry dedicated to people pretending to be someone that they're not (both onscreen and off), pretty much invented the concept of...

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Cheating Wonders: The $6,000,000,000 Gold Mine That Didn't Exist

(Photo: Wichan Kongchan/shutterstock.com)The Gold Rush may be over, but that doesn’t mean the precious metal stopped inspiring criminal ingenuity.In fact, the largest gold mining scam in the history of...

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How To Design a Magical Life

(Photo: Alexandre17/shutterstock.com)You know those magical moments when fates collide, uncertainties resolve into sudden, stunning clarity, and the resulting awe and gratitude you feel for the...

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The Unmasking of the 19th Century's Seance Queen

Helena Blavatsky. (Photo: Public Domain/WikiCommons)“For our part, we regard her as neither the mouthpiece of hidden seers, nor as a mere vulgar adventuress; we think that she has achieved a title to...

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Nashville's Cheatin' Heart: Why Country Music Has Been Obsessed With Adultery...

Some troubadour left his broken heart. (Photo: Tim Parkinson/Flickr)Country music and cheating go together like whiskey and water.Flip on any radio station—classic country, pop-country, alt-country,...

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Pizza Doesn't Really Stretch That Way, And Other Devious Food Stylist Tricks

What are they hiding? (Photo: William Hueberger/Lisa Homa)Everyone needs a little help to look their freshest. Celebrities have makeup artists, Instagrammers have filters, and food has food stylists:...

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Found: A Very Flexible Fake Football Player

As a professional football team, the Phoenix-based Arizona Rattlers fields a very talented group of cheerleaders...and one extra-talented football player:  Okay, okay, just because he is wearing a...

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5 Time Machines You Can Buy, Build or Visit

An 'Astral Projection Time Travel Machine Helmet Psychotronic Technology', for $129.95. (Photo: Ebay)The urge to travel through time is irresistible. It is, in fact, timeless: H.G. Wells' The Time...

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Cheating Wonders: A New Nazi Gold Scam?

One of the tunnels from Project Riese. (Photo: Chmee2/Wikipedia)This week, a pair of amateur treasure hunters claimed to have discovered a lost train packed with ill-gotten Nazi gold near the Polish...

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Scam Reviewers Are So Crafty They Actually Deserve 4 Stars

(Photo: Artem Samokhvalov/shutterstock.com)You're walking around the city with a group of friends. It's 7 p.m., and you all have a similar urge to fill your stomachs with fish tacos and strong...

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Take a Ride with the Country's Most Dedicated Elevator Tourist

Nix Hospital Elevator Lobby in San Antonio. (Photo: DieselDucy/flickr)Andrew Reams was just a toddler when he went on the elevator ride that launched a lifelong passion.He was shopping with his mother...

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FOUND: The Oldest Message in a Bottle Ever Recovered

One of Bidder's bottles (Photo: Marine Biological Association of the U.K/Facebook)A few months back, Marianne Winkler and her husband, Horst, were taking a vacation on Amrum, a German island in the...

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The Psychedelic Moon Maps of the 1970s

Geological detail from the Byrgius Quadrangle of the moon. (Image: U.S. Geological Survey)In the 1960s and '70s, the U.S. Geological Survey created a Geologic Atlas of the Moon. The series of maps,...

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140 Years Ago, Captain Matthew Webb Swam The English Channel And Made...

An artist's rendering of Captain Webb accepting libations during the long swim. (Image: CS&PF/Public Domain)It's a hot August day, and you, like many, may choose to beat the heat with a few bracing...

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Fleeting Wonders: Snow in August

A windshield's-eye view in Longview, Alberta this weekend. (Photo: National Weather Service Grand Forks/Weather Channel)While much of the world swelters through one of the hottest summers on record,...

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Meet the Genghis Khans of the Plant Kingdom

Sonchus oleraceus (Photo: Sten Porse/Wikimedia)In human history, certain societies have made it their business to try to take over the world. In plant history, there are species with the same...

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When the Lights Go Out: 8 of the World's Loneliest Lighthouses

Photo: Thomas Guest/WikimediaAh, the lonely life of the lighthouse keeper. In the heyday of sailing, long before automated beacons steered ships away from treacherous shores, brave men and women were...

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FOUND: A Reef to Rival the Great Barrier Reef

The reef (Photo: Parks Victoria)Off the south coast of Australia, the Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park has been hiding an incredible coral reef beneath its waters. Not long ago, when scientists...

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Fleeting Wonders: Watch One Stumble Ruin $1.5 Million Worth of Flowers

In the history of destroyed art, are there any more tragic or strangely gratifying examples of destruction than those caused by bumbling?The latest example of masterpiece-tarnishing klutzery comes from...

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