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Beijing's Latest 'Toilet Revolution' Includes ATMs and Free Wifi

A 21st-century public toilet in Beijing's Olympic Forest Park. (Photo: SuSanA Secretariat/CC BY 2.0)Your average toilet serves it purpose. Your average public toilet, even more so. But have you ever...

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Inside the Bizarre, Racist Scheme to Import Siberian Workers to Hawaii in 1909

A photo from a passport application for a Russian couple in Hawaii, c. 1917. (Photo: Russian Collection, Hamilton Library, University of Hawaii at Manoa) On October 21, 1909, a crowd of curious...

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The Combat Ration Collectors Who Eat Decades-Old Military Meals

A G.I. eating a compressed dehydrated vegetable bar in 1971. (Photo: Natick Soldier Systems Center Photographic Collection/CC BY 3.0)Even if they’ve been baked to perfection and stored in an airtight...

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Get Hypnotized By This Interactive Map of the Winds

What a lovely map of all the particles in the air. (Photo: All images from the Earth wind map. Screenshots by Eric Grundhauser)While the elegance of hand-crafted old maps is self-evident, finding...

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Bitcoin's Creator Unmasks Himself After Months of Suspicion

Craig Steven Wright, an Australian entrepreneur, publicly identified himself Monday as the creator of the digital currency Bitcoin, apparently ending months of speculation.Wright gave interviews to the...

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Watch This Sneaky Octopus Roll Around the Ocean Floor in a Coconut

Who would have thought a couple of coconut shells would be a smooth way to travel? Amphioctopus marginatus, commonly known as the coconut octopus, has cracked open the power of the coconut. As the...

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The Unfathomable Collection of Lonnie Hammargren

(All photos: Dylan Thuras)Las Vegas, with its bright lights and constant whirl, can feel like another dimension. Visitors to the city can stay in an "ancient" castle, take an elevator to the top of a...

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American Cruise Ship Arrives in Cuba for the First Time Since 1978

Just in: For first time in nearly 40 years, a U.S. cruise ship has docked in Cuba https://t.co/0bT2fltneCpic.twitter.com/3Ja6tjQZ8b— CNN (@CNN) May 2, 2016An American cruise ship anchored in Havana...

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The History of GeoWorks, Microsoft Windows' Upstart '90s Competitor

A Commodore 64 computer. (Photo: Luca Boldrini/CC BY 2.0)A version of this post originally appeared on Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail. Back in the early '90s,...

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Horse Racing Rules Found on 2,000-Year-Old Tablet

Horseracing rules found on 2,000-year-old tablet in central Turkey https://t.co/6fw8YkkCYspic.twitter.com/eEZKinUBDM— Hürriyet Daily News (@HDNER) May 2, 2016Horse racing these days is a dying sport,...

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5 Amazing LEGO Jobs Currently Open

Stop dreaming of working at LEGO and apply for these jobs! (Photo: Jay Reed/CC BY-SA 2.0)Welcome back to AO Jobs, the weekly column where we spotlight jobs and career opportunities that you can apply...

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An Australian Island Paradise's Century-Long Rat War

A group of ratters on Lord Howe Island, holding their kill by the tail. (Photo: Courtesy of the Lord Howe Island Museum)When the Lord Howe stick insect limped back into the limelight from the brink of...

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Found: An Incredibly Rare and Giant Violet Diamond

That's a very large greyish bluish violet diamond. (Photo: Rio Tinto)Diamonds, most famously, are colorless and sparkly. But some diamonds, either because of chemical impurities or structural...

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The Weird History Of The Space Blanket

The mysterious "Black Knight Satellite"—or, a space blanket that escaped from NASA and reinvigorated a decades-old conspiracy theory. (Photo: NASA/Public Domain)Over the past year, over a million...

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Olympic Flame Lands On Brazilian Runway

Picturing the Olympic torch conjures up grand images: a flame held aloft by sweaty runners, moving from city to city, cheered by uproarious crowds until it reaches its final destination. This year, in...

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A Mother's Day Gift Idea from Imperial Russia

(Photos: The Walters Art Museum/Creative Commons)When your mother's a dowager empress, it can be hard to find a gift for her that's impressive and original. Faced with this situation in 1901, Russian...

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Safe Zones For Exchanging Internet Purchases Are Popping Up Around the U.S.

Go ahead and buy things from strangers without worry at spots like this South Carolina safe zone. (Photo: North Charleston/CC BY-SA 2.0)Finally found that perfect used bike on Craigslist, but a little...

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Watch These Chemicals Create Trippy Colorful Patterns

A puff of smoke. Billowing clouds. Blobs of wax in a lava lamp. The neon blue and green undulating chemicals glowing under ultraviolet light evoke the imagination. In a lab in Paris, a group of artists...

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The Kati Roll Can Be Traced Back to One Kolkata Restaurant

 A stack of kati rolls served on a plate in Kolkata. (Photo: Satyajit Dhawale (Satyajit888)/CC BY-SA 4.0)Behold, the kati roll: the spicy street wrap that is springing up in cities all over the world....

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The Kentucky Derby Puts the Mad Hatter to Shame

(Photo: MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®)“I’m out of my mind—Oh my god, I hardly know my name. It’s crazy, always crazy this time of year. It’s hat Christmas.”That’s Gena Conti, the owner of Gena Conti Millinery,...

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