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The American Media's Awkward Fawning Over Hitler's Taste in Home Decor

A view of the window in the Great Hall of the Berghof, 1936. (Photo: Bavarian State Library: Heinrich Hoffmann Collection, Picture Archive, Bavarian State Library)When digging through archives for...

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Roadtripping Through Illinois on Route 66

Created in partnership with Enjoy Illinois and the Illinois Obscura Society. While popular culture tends to associate Route 66 with the West, its roots are solidly Illinois.During our adventure, we...

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I Spent 4 Years Working at Drunken, Decadent Debutante Balls in New Orleans

A debutante ball in the 1930s. (Photo: Public Domain/WikiCommons)“I'm deeply reconsidering my career choice,” a distraught fellow lighting designer tells me. It's 5 a.m. on the morning of a massive...

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FOUND: A Super-Sized Stonehenge

How the stones might have looked before they were buried (Image: LBI ArchPro, Juan Torrejón Valdelomar, Joachim Brandtner)Just under two miles from Stonehenge, there's another large monument called...

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Objects of Intrigue: Teaching Machines of the 20th Century

Sidney Pressey's 1920s teaching machine. (Photo: Gomer Bolstrood/Public domain)Classrooms where each student learns by staring intensely at their own gadget may seem to be a millennial phenomenon. But...

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Fleeting Wonders: The Hottest September 8th On Record?

Fall is now officially ice cream season. (Photo: Ruth Hartnup/Flickr)If you hear someone groaning “this is the hottest day ever” today, they may be correct—within certain parameters. As the weather...

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The Man Who Survived Doomsday

 In 2009 an Airbus A130 went down near the Comoros Islands between Africa and Madagascar. 152 people were killed in the crash. A fourteen year old girl, Bahia Bakari, clung to a piece of aircraft...

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The Story Behind Bucket of Blood Street and Other Weird Road Names

Photo: Richard Masoner/ FlickrThe road you grew up on undoubtedly holds its own, personally meaningful mythology. But all of the meaningful adventures that took place on, say, McClelland Street...

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FOUND: A Giant, Frozen Virus

A giant virus (Photo: PNAS)Deep in the Siberian permafrost, the giants have been frozen."Giant", though, being a relative term—these are viruses that measure more than half a micron, which, for this...

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How Two 18th-Century Lady Pirates Became BFFs on the High Seas

(Photo: Library of Congress)The fact that Anne Bonny and Mary Read ever crossed paths at all is almost unbelievable. Of the thousands of pirates active in the Caribbean during the 17th and 18th...

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The Lovable Syrian Brown Bear Who Fought For His (Adoptive) Country

 A soldier, possibly Peter Prendys, helps Wojtek engage in his favorite activity—snacking. (Photo: WikiCommons/Public Domain)As the Syrian conflict escalates, millions of families have fled the...

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Fleeting Wonders: Mumbai's Works of Art on Wheels

"Ever since I’ve got the Taxi Fabric, all my friends want one and the passengers can’t stop asking me about it,” said driver Dashrath Sawant, pictured here with "City of Objects," designed by Sam...

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This Adorable Alabama Bookstore Only Sells Signed Copies

The sitting area at the front of the store. (Photo: Mike Persons/Courtesy Booksmith) The Alabama Booksmith is admittedly hard to find. It keeps few titles on its shelves. There is no coffee shop on the...

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100 Wonders: Last Tree of Ténéré

A recent study estimated that there are around 3 trillion trees currently on earth.This is down by about 46 percent over the last 12,000 years as human populations have expanded. Three trillion is...

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The Grand Canyon Luxury Suite That Is Also A Cave

The Underground Cavern Suite. (Photo: Courtesy Grand Canyon Caverns)  Usually, the word “cavernous” wouldn’t be the highest praise you could pay a hotel room—adjectives like “cozy” or “luxurious”...

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Fleeting Wonders: The Longest Game of Pinball

The world's longest pinball game was just played on a Twilight Zone machine. (Photo: Carsten Frenzi/Flickr) British Columbia resident Eden Stamm just broke the Guinness World Record for the longest...

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Places You Can No Longer Go: Pickfair

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Pizza Ovens That (Almost) Never Cool Off

A modern Neapolitan pizzaioli tends an old-fashioned Neapolitan pizza oven. (Photo: Glenn MacLarty/Flickr)Humans have basically always loved pizza. The ancient Egyptians ate flatbread with toppings....

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Why Doesn’t Tennis Have a Single Professional League?

 Qatar Open, Doha. (Photo: Kate/flickr)These days, most casual tennis fans know the sport by knowing its superstar international players: Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Maria...

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FOUND: An Ancient Megamouth Shark

A modern-day megamouth (Photo: FLMNH Ichthyology/Wikimedia)100 million years ago, a prehistoric shark swam the shallow waters around what's now Russia. A group of scientists found a collection of this...

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