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100 Wonders: The Merry Cemetery

In the small Romanian town of Săpânţa, when you die, you can expect a colorful goodbye.At the town's Merry Cemetery, colorfully illustrated crosses depict soldiers being beheaded and resident being hit...

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FOUND: A Cuneiform Text That Shows How Babylonians Used Geometry to Track...

The Moon and Jupiter (Photo: Eric Kilby/Wikimedia)Among the tens of thousands of cuneiform tablets and fragments dug up in the early 19th century from Mesopotamian cities, there are about 450 of those...

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The Strange–and Sometimes Secret–Ways Cities Deal With Massive Piles of Snow

Snow in Times Square (Photo: Johan Lange/flickr)After a big snow storm, snow disposal, even in big cities, used to be relatively simple.“We used to throw the snow in the water,” says the New York City...

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Fleeting Wonders: Earth's Hardiest Fungi Survive In Space

Cryomyces fungi in a rock and under a microscope. (Photo: S. Onofri et. al.)Last week, while everyone was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over astronaut Scott Kelly's space zinnias, other life forms were, in their...

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Video Wonder: What a Sonic Boom Sounds Like

Early afternoon on Thursday, flurries of U.S. east coast residents rushed fearfully into the streets, convinced that an earthquake was making the ground tremble and windows rattle.Turns out the...

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How Do Board Games Go Viral?

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 (Photo: yoppy/flickr)Codenames is a simple game. There are 25 small cards, each with a word on it, and two teams are trying to guess, based on one-word hints, which eight or...

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Cincinnati Built a Subway System 100 Years Ago–But Never Used It

Work progresses on Cincinnati's subway in 1920. But the construction would soon stop for good. (Courtesy University of Cincinnati Library Archives)Interstate 75 slices the city of Cincinnati in half...

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How Nigerian Romance Novelists Sneak Feminism Into Their Plots

A still from the movie version of So Aljannar Duniya, the first work published in Hausa by a woman. (Image: Youtube)Say you've run into a spot of trouble–some relationship issues, or family drama, or...

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Italian Mountain Town Welcomes First Baby in 28 Years, Despite the Global...

The town of Ostana (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Francofranco56)Pretty late for a new year's baby but the BBC reports that the tiny Italian mountain town of Ostana welcomed its first newborn since 1987,...

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It's Not Just Tony the Tiger: Tijuana Bibles and the History of Cartoon Sex...

 A Tijuana bible (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Anonymous author)Note: Many of the links in this article contain sexually explicit material that is definitely NSFW.This week, Twitter's capacity for...

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Fighting Whitewashed History With MIT's Diversity Hackers

Hackathon participant Nelly Rosaria, making the Wiki-world a more textured place. (Photo: Atlas Obscura)It's a scene no one would look twice at–on a Friday afternoon at the end of January, in a...

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The Balinese Cremation Ceremony Admired by David Bowie

A Balinese funeral procession. (Photo: Flickr/William Cho)When David Bowie’s will was made public on Friday, it revealed plenty of the unique details you expect from the legendary figure’s final...

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In the Wake of the Zika Virus, Should Humans Try to Eradicate Mosquitoes?

A worker sprays DDT directly into a water supply during the National Malaria Eradication Program. (Photo: CDC Public Health Image Library, ID#4684)Mosquitoes might just be the most unpopular insect on...

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NASA Stole the Rocket Countdown From a 1929 Fritz Lang Film

 A series of images from the countdown sequence of Fritz Lang's Woman in the Moon. (Image: Frau im Mond/Youtube)On December 1, 2014, NASA retired a historic piece of equipment at Kennedy Space Center...

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Who Has the Time to Use All 24 Clock Emojis?

 It's 8:30. (I think?) (Image: Twitter/Wikimedia)There is a mystery that has long bothered me. From time to time, in the course of normal texting, when I’m scrolling through the emoji on my phone, I...

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FOUND: A California 'Sin Ship' Wreck, Revealed by El Niño

The SS Monte Carlo (Photo: Jamie Lantzy/Wikimedia)On the coast of Coronado, California, there's a ship buried in the sand—the wreckage of the SS Monte Carlo, a ship once dedicated to sin, and ruined by...

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Meet the Brain Banker Who Keeps Thousands of Brains In His Lab In the Bronx

Brain scans at a research facility. (Photo: Tushchakorn/shutterstock.com)Dr. Vahram Haroutunian opened the plastic tupperware with a careful, rigid pop. Inside are over a dozen pink, carefully...

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Back When Monday Night Football Was Like a Groovy '70s Detective Show

As anticipation grows for Sunday night's Super Bowl 50, we bring you an NFL promo from 1970 that you don't have to be a football fan to appreciate. The minute-long spot essentially looks like the...

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Could Naked Mole-Rats Hold the Key to Everlasting Life?

The key to longevity? (Photo: Justin/flickr)The naked mole-rat—as its name fairly shouts—is not a comely animal. It looks like a wrinkled potato with pinhole eyes, a wet, pink divot for a nose and two...

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FOUND: An Incredibly Well Preserved Egyptian Funeral Boat From 4,500 Years Ago

That was a boat, 4,500 years ago (Photo: Czech Institute of Egyptology/V. Dulikova)In the desert sand of Abusir, an archaeological site south of Cairo, archaeologists from the Czech Republic have...

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