This short 1901 film has some surprisingly impressive special effects: The Fat and the Lean Wrestling Match.
The Mathematics Of Measuring Cups.
The Krakatoa volcanic eruption in 1883 was so loud it ruptured eardrums of people 40 miles away, traveled around the world ...
This rock version of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” will make your day.
From 1962, predictions of what the world in 1975 would look like.
The lonely lives of scientists: Researchers inflated dead dolphin penises to fake sex with dead dolphin vaginas. ...
In honor of Columbus Day, here’s a list of the top 10 accidental discoveries. Related: Columbus cleared of importing syphilis from the Americas to Europe. Plus, that time Columbus tricked Jamaicans out of supplies using knowledge of an upcoming eclipse.
From 1803, here’s the Ottoman Empire’s first map of the newly minted United States.
Advice on Settling in New York in 1820.
A Creepy Crawly Collection of Insects Built Out of LEGO.
Hormone Guide: How to Speak to Women.
Composer Dimitri Shostakovich was born September 25, 1906: some quotes, history, and music.
Mind-Altering Cat Parasite Just Got Linked to a Whole Lot of Neurological Disorders.
How the Star Trek Punch Became the Worst Fight Move on TV.
Hypnotic breast enlargement.
Hey, Firefly fans - It’s Unification Day.
Joshua Norton, Emperor of the United States.
The origins of Kotex.
In 1859, the United States and Britain Almost Went to War Over a Pig.
A Secret World Hidden Beneath the Vineyards of ...
Dr. Samuel Johnson (wiki) was born on this date in 1709: here’s a selection of his insults and Scotland-bashing comments.
The now-abandoned Russian town that was aiming nuclear missiles at America from just 125 miles away.
How to Get Breasts like ...
It’s the anniversary of the 1812 battle of Baltimore, inspiration for the Star-Spangled Banner.
Creepy Soviet-era playground sculptures.
An eyewitness look at the 1917 Halifax Explosion, the biggest explosion of the pre-atomic age.
September 14, 1861 was The Night of the Flaming Ballerinas.
The Battle of Borodino, on which War and Peace and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture are based, took place on September 7, 1812.
Drinking cold water and other 19th century causes of death.
What Did Houses For Ordinary People In Sumer Look Like?
September 2 is V-J Day, the anniversary of the date of Japan’s surrender in 1945 and the end of WWII.
Estimated Insect Deaths Due to Collisions with Motor Vehicles.
Cancer Treatment in the 19th Century.
Apocalypse update: Martha Stewart and Snoop ...
Why Do We Sleep Under Blankets, Even on the Hottest Nights? Related - air conditioning: invention, historical reactions, the days before air-conditioning.
Now you can buy cough-drop flavored Kit Kats in Japan.
Why Nature Prefers Hexagons: the geometric rules behind ...
It’s Gene Kelly’s birthday: here the famous “Singin’ In The Rain” dance.
15 of the Dumbest Inventions in the 20th Century.
Photos of Victorian living rooms from the 1800s.
This 1957 film on how grocery stores work is a hoot.
The Polish Doctors Who Used Science to Outwit the Nazis.
Today is the anniversary of the death of Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongolian Empire, prolific spreader of DNA, and climate change hero. Related: Why Genghis Khan’s tomb can’...
August 12 is Erwin Schrödinger’s (he of the famous half-dead cat) birthday: explanation, quotes, jokes, video.
12 Plane Crashes That Changed Aviation.
Browse the British Library’s online copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s 570-page notebook.
A subway-style map of ...
Early explosives, including cat and bird bombs, from 16th century illustrated manuscripts.
The Wool Brigades of World War I, When Knitting Was a Patriotic Duty.
The Deadliest Natural Disaster in U.S. History. The 1900 hurricane left over 6,000 dead in Galveston.
It’s Beatrix Potter’s birthday: in addition to Peter Rabbit et al, she produced some gorgeous botanical drawings.
The Invention of the Chilean Sea Bass.
The Proper Names of 17 Bodily Functions.
Some disturbing examples of bad taxidermy.
Medieval Fashion ...
How Baby Flamingos Become Pink. Kind of related: Don Featherstone, creator of the plastic pink flamingo, and his wife wore matching outfits every day for 37 years.
The Great Lengths Taken to Make Abraham Lincoln Look Good in Photos.
Fascinating photos: ...
The 47 names Disney considered for the 7 dwarfs.
Happy Bastille Day! Here’s an old Jonah Goldberg article on the subject: The French are Revolting.
Museum discovers three cases of Madeira wine from 1796 in cellar — it had been stocked in anticipation ...
Want some inspiration? Read Lincoln’s 1858 speech on the meaning of Independence Day: “Let us stick to it then. Let us stand firmly by it then.” More excellent speeches from Coolidge (1926) and Reagan (1986). Video of the Reagan speech is here.
Today is Helen Keller’s birthday. Here are quotes, links, some history, and a selection of (non-PC) jokes.
14 of History’s Craziest Baldness Cures.
Would Your Dog Eat You if You Died?
Awkward Pregnancy Photos.
How Animals Develop Regional Accents: ...
Summer started this morning at 12:24 EDT - here’s some solstice science, history, poetry and music. Related: Fridgehenge: to celebrate the solstice, British guy recreates Stonehenge using old refrigerators.
Why Is It Called Area 51?
Hawaiian Style: The History of the ...
June 14 is Flag Day and the birthday of the U.S. Army.
How ‘OK’ took over the world.
How lemons gave rise to organized crime in Sicily.
Famous Works Of Art Recreated Using Marvel Action Figures.
A New Map Reveals ...
How Falconry Shaped the English Language.
What it Takes to Cook Some of Literature’s Most Famous Meals.
How long, exactly, is a jiffy?
On June 10, 1964, Democrats Filibustered the Civil Rights Act.
Stunning Photos of Earth from the International Space ...
“Your smile is a naughty goblin”: Foolproof pick up lines, per Chinese scientists.
The Ultimate Ranking of Pasta Shapes.
How do Animals Have Sex Underwater?
June 6 is D-Day: quotes (Shakespeare, Eisenhower, Churchill), videos (footage, FDR’s and Reagan’s speeches, ...
It’s the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Here’s an uncropped version of the Sgt. Pepper album cover, with the unused Hitler cutout.
Why It’s So Hard to ...
Hottest chili pepper in the world accidentally created by Welsh farmer.
Why Flamingos Are More Stable on One Leg Than Two.
How Model Trains Transformed From Cutting-Edge to Quaint.
If meat eaters acted like vegans.
If a T-rex were released ...
Happy Birthday, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.
DIY: How to build a medieval crossbow.
TV Logos Used To Be Physical Objects.
The History of Tea.
When Women Started Growing Out and Painting Their Nails.
Physicist Richard Feynman ...
It’s Fred Astaire’s birthday - here are clips of some of his best dancing.
Evolution or entropy? Why Doesn’t Ancient Fiction Talk About Feelings?
Ten-Year-Old Girl Survives Alligator Attack by Punching It, Shoving Fingers into Its Nostrils.
Here are lots of chicken-related links for International Respect for Chickens Day. May the Fourth (be with you) is also Star Wars Day. Here’s a nice collection of Star Wars propaganda posters.
The Day Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis ...
April 25th is ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps ) Day, the anniversary of the 1915 Battle of Gallipoli: history, maps, contemporaneous footage, a brief documentary, and a Lego re-enactment.
Seven Things You Didn’t Know About Medieval Dragons.
Is a ...
On April 18, 1906, an earthquake and fire destroyed 80% of San Francisco: here’s a documentary, Library of Congress footage of the destruction, and side by side film of Market Street two weeks before the earthquake compared to afterward.
The Swashbuckling History ...
Tax day: quotes, songs, links, advice, filing an extension, Dave Barry, and the 1967 cartoon version of The Beatles “Taxman”.
Tax Revolts from Science Fiction and Fantasy.
The Long Sordid Tale of the American Income Tax.
Death and Taxes… and Zombies: ...
1860s series of Australian photos illustrating the ‘5 stages of inebriation’.
FDR’s Bomb Shelter was located in an old vault under the Treasury, connected to the White House via tunnel.
Why ‘Wednesday’ Isn’t Pronounced the Way It’s Spelled.
A roundup of April Fool’s day links: history, pranks, and hoaxes:
There will definitely be some overlap in these collections of pranks and hoaxes (for example, no list would be complete without Burger King’s 1998 full page ad for ...
This collection of Vintage Celebrity Endorsements is pretty funny, if you’re old enough to remember the celebrities.
Where to Hide If a Nuclear Bomb Goes Off In Your Area.
This Man Built an Entire Church Out Of Live Trees.
How Far Back In Time Could You Go And Still Understand English?
A History of Tug-of-War Fatalities.
The Science of Facial Hair: What Signals Do Beards, Stubble, and Mustaches Send to Others?
It’s William Shatner’s birthday: here he ...
Saint Patrick’s Day: origin, history, videos, and how to make your own green beer. Related: From Slave to Saint, The Story of Patrick
An Interactive Map of New York’s Earliest Skyscrapers.
When Medieval Monks Couldn’t Cure the ...
Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879: here’s a short bio, video, an explanation of gravitational waves, and the strange post-mortem saga of his brain.
New Zealand Could Have Been Part of the United States.
Project Habakkuk: Britain’s Secret ...
It’s Michelangelo’s birthday – here’s a brief bio, some art, and his illustrated grocery list.
The Forgotten Kingpins Who Conspired to Save California Wine.
How Do You Train a Dog to Sniff Bombs?
Interesting vintage video: How a ...
It’s that time of year – a roundup of recommendations for beer, wine and whiskey pairings to drink with Girl Scout cookies.
Washing machine history.
Why Do Ballet Dancers Turn Clockwise?
It’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday – here’s his ...
Video: The Science of Chocolate (a.k.a. the real meaning of Valentine’s Day).
Horror-movie-themed Valentine’s Day cards and a collection of really nerdy Valentine’s Day cards.
The history of those chalky little pastel hearts with sayings ...
Add some weasel brain to your cheese to keep rats and mice away: advice from 1649.
Cops use pacemaker data to charge homeowner with arson, insurance fraud.
The etymologies of all 50 states’ names.
This Bill of Mortality shows the death tally ...
February/Groundhog Day links
Groundhog Day, Candlemas and weather predictions. Related: Where Did Groundhog Day Come From?
February links – pagan Roman purification (februa = purify) and Mary’s purification 40 days after the birth of Christ.
Don’t like what the groundhog has to say about ...
The Best Kitchen Gadget of the 1600s Was This Small, Short-Legged Dog.
That Old-Time Hucksterism: The Oddest Doohickeys of Industrial-Age Entrepreneurs.
Laser Weapons Will Turn Earth’s Atmosphere into Lenses, Deflector Shields.
Scots, wha hae – Happy Burns Day! Here’s ...
Today is Ben Franklin’s birthday – bio, quotes, videos, his 200 synonyms for drunk, the bodies found in his basement, and more.
Animals that Self-Medicate.
Semaphore: The World’s First Telegraph.
Here’s a Photograph of Lincoln’s First Inauguration.
Paraskavedekatriaphobia: Why is Friday the 13th Considered Unlucky?
Why Do Pandas Have Thumbs?
The Long, Unusual History of Pickles.
Happy Feast of the Ass.
How Russians Imagined the Year 2017 In 1960.
How the World’s Smallest Birds Survive the Winter.
Yesterday was National Fruitcake Toss Day: here’s a video of people launching fruitcakes from trebuchets, catapults, air cannons, and giant sling shots.
Floridians and Mastodons Once Coexisted.
Know Your Sh!t – Identifying wildlife droppings.
This will get your morning ...
From 1862: How to Tell Your Fortune for the New Year.
List of lists: the lists of top 2016 science stories from 24 different sources.
Dave Barry’s 2016 Year In Review. Previous such columns are available here.
How (Not) to Celebrate the New ...
December 21 is the winter solstice, the first day of winter, and the shortest day of the year. Here are science, history, and short video explanations of the celestial mechanics involved, plus descriptions of the concurrent celebrations of Saturnalia and Halcyon ...
Lots of ugly Christmas sweaters, instructions for making your own, plus ugly Christmas sweater suits, and here’s how to make ugly sweater ornaments.
CIA Declassifies Maps from 75 Years of Surveillance.
The Science Behind Why Dark Winter Days Bum People ...
It’s Rita Hayworth’s birthday: here’s an excellent compilation of her dancing, set to Stayin’ Alive.
John Quincy Adams’ Obsession with Weights and Measures.
How Will Martian Laws Differ From Earth’s Laws?
Here’s A Giant Drunk ...
October 10th, 732 – the clash of civilizations at the Battle of Tours.
What You Actually Got From Those Vintage Back-of-Magazine Ads.
Why 3 Man-Sized Cages Hang From a Medieval German Church Steeple.
Get a Nobel Prize ready: If you’re dealing with ...
A collection of vintage ads you would never see today.
Ex-FBI agent opens cold case review into who betrayed Anne Frank.
The Existential Horror Created by the First X-Ray Images.
Need a gift for the person who has everything? Check ...
From 1960, here’s how to build your own fallout shelter.
World War II Prison Camp Music.
Is beaming down in Star Trek a death sentence? Is it still you on the other side, or is it a copy?
Weird anti-drug ...
Watch this kid show his dad how to make Leonardo da Vinci’s self-supporting bridge.
How Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Almost Nothing For.
The Physics of Wiffle Ball.
It’s the first day of Fall - autumnal ...
Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day, me hearties! Instructions, translators, and the Dave Barry column that started it.
Is there a single food that you can survive on forever?
How Grand Pianos are Made.
Why Blue Is the World’s ...
IBM’s 1937 corporate songbook is something of a hoot.
Some 19th century money saving tips.
Eyewitnesses to the Great Los Angeles Air Raid.
Sex And The Censors: America’s First Obscene Books Commission (1953 – 1973).
The Definitive Sandwich Family Tree.
How to ...
“Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.” It’s the birthday of H.L. Mencken, noted curmudgeon, satirist, and political and cultural critic.
“Jay Walking” and the Fight for the Streets.
The Paradox of the ...
It’s the anniversary of the birth of Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette. Related: Adrienne de Noailles: Wife of Lafayette.
Images from La Tomatina, the world’s largest annual tomato fight.
The Day Van Gogh Cut Off His Ear. ...
August 29th, 2:14 AM: Skynet Becomes Self-aware.
When Margarine Was Contraband. Related: Operation Margarine: Tracing the wartime rise of ersatz butter.
How Depression-Era Women Made Dresses Out of Chicken Feed.
Physiognomy of eyebrows: everything you wanted to know about eyebrow interpretation ...
It’s St. Bartholomew’s Day - some history (including the massacre), a brief documentary, and Monty Python.
Women’s fashion in every year from 1784-1970.
The Amazing Sutherland Sisters And Their 37 Feet Of Hair.
Today is the anniversary of ...
Updated links and resources for the eclipse.
Latitude/longitude digits explainer: The 5th decimal place is worth up to 1.1 meters: it distinguishes trees from each other.
A Navy SEAL explains what to do if you’re attacked by a dog.
Roundup of some solar eclipse links and resources.
How Army Rations Helped Change Food.
Hilarious recipe videos in the style of famous directors.
Happy birthday to Davy Crockett, hero of the Alamo.
The Women Warriors who served Wine on the ...
RIP Glen Campbell - here’s his heartbreaking Alzheimer’s-related song: “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”.
Now you can directly stream music and voice from an iOS device to your cochlear implant.
This 1814 Beer Flood Killed Eight People.
The Violent Italian Sport that Inspired Modern Football.
It’s free-market economist Milton Friedman’s birthday: some favorite quotes and short videos.
$130 million of Nazi gold may be in a sunken cargo ship.
Ten facial reconstructions, using scans of skeletal ...
It’s Brave New World author Aldous Huxley’s birthday.
10 Relics From the Horse-Powered City Hiding in Plain Sight.
Why do monks have strange haircuts?
What happens when you leave a tetherball hanging in the forest.
CNN headquarters was built ...
On July 16, 1945 the atomic age began with the Trinity nuclear test.
The Medieval History of Stonehenge.
Why ancient Roman concrete is better than modern mixes.
Old New York: film from the Library of Congress of New York City circa 1900.
Yesterday was Nikola Tesla’s birthday: here’s a bio, some Tesla coil music, and a Tesla vs Edison rap battle.
Brussels sprouts, English Muffins, French toast – How 9 Site-Specific Foods Got Their Names.
The strange and righteous history of the ...
1954 film: How a Clean, Tidy Home Can Help You Survive the Atomic Bomb.
Why do we have pinky toes?
Digital Atlas Of The Roman Empire.
June 30, 1934 was the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler’s purge of those standing in ...
Tomorrow (June 24) is the birthday of Ambrose Bierce, author of The Devil’s Dictionary.
Caterpillars Recruit Friends with Anal Scraping. If you know of others who use the same method, feel free to discuss in the comments.
Lincoln Memorial Undercroft ...
For Father’s Day, a selection of parenting advice from Homer Simpson: “Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try”. Related: here are some Father’s Day lessons from Walter White, Don Draper and ...
It’s Anne Frank’s birthday: here’s some history and a video tour of the annex where her family hid for two years prior to their arrest.
Technologies That Replace Super Powers.
How I Caught a Contract Killer.
Advice from 1688: How to Kill Snakes and Fleas.
Giant Hand Sculptures Around The World.
The Architectural Evolution of the Filling Station.
These food photography tricks are kinda fascinating.
Inside the Cut-Throat World of Toddler Bike Racing.
Diet tip of the ...
17th century advice on how to encrypt and send secret messages.
Why We Divide the Day Into Seconds, Minutes, and Hours.
7 TV Characters Killed Off Out of Spite.
The evacuation of Dunkirk by a flotilla of small boats, the inspiration ...
Happy Memorial Day:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Fans of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: don’t panic - today is Towel Day!
Why You Do Your Best Thinking In The Shower: Creativity and the “Incubation Period”.
15 Famous People Who Actually Married Their Cousins.
Before and After ...
Now there’s a KFC romance novel: Tender Wings of Desire.
The psychological effects of growing up with an extremely common name.
Victorians Believed That a Train Ride Could Cause Instant Insanity.
What to do if you get caught in ...
Happy Cinco de Mayo. And here’s an illustrated history of Tex-Mex food.
Europe’s Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets.
Nazi Board Games of World War II.
Gorgeous X-Ray Photographs of Plants and Animals.
McDonald’s introduces ...
Vintage animation lessons, including how to make things cute.
Second Handwritten Copy of the Declaration of Independence Discovered in England.
The Evolution of Potty Training.
Redshirts Aren’t Likeliest to Die and Other Star Trek Math Lessons. Related: Doing the ...
This 1983 episode of The Family Feud pitted the cast of Gilligan’s Island vs the cast of Batman.
Jazz was America’s “Secret Sonic Weapon” Against Communism.
South Indian frog oozes molecule that inexplicably devastates flu viruses.
April 22 is Earth ...
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on this date in 1865. Related: In 1956, an eyewitness to the Lincoln assassination appeared on TV.
The Titanic sunk on April 14, 1912 - here’s an eyewitness account.
A Brief History of the Cadbury Egg.
Videos of violence ...
The first shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter.
There’s A Secret Hideaway In The Heart Of Disney World Just For The Military.
We may have missed Dog Farting Awareness Day (it was April 8...
The United States joined the First World War on April 6, 1917: some history, a brief documentary and archival footage.
The Cookie Butter Patent Wars.
These 10 companies control everything (edible) that you buy.
In 1650, here’s how you could dye your hair ...
It’s Vincent Van Gogh’s birthday - here are his rarely-seen sketchbooks and the unexpected math behind Starry Night.
Who Owns Your Face? Advertising companies, tech giants, data collectors, and the federal government, it turns out.
Brutalist Sand Castles.
Uninspirational Quotes for People Who Hate Inspirational Quotes.
Flying Water Taxis are coming to Paris this Summer.
Found: A Colossal Statue of Ramses II Hiding Under a Cairo Street.
Dead Men’s Teeth: A History of Dentures.
Humanure: The Next ...
Spring is here – this year’s vernal equinox was on Monday, March 20th at 6:29 a.m. EDT. Here’s Vivaldi, science, myths, “spring spheres” and more.
How Movie Effects Were Done in the Silent Film Era.
Into the woods: how ...
Beware - It’s the Ides of March. Related: when Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates, he insisted on a higher ransom.
The Evolution of Animation.
Two Irish villages claim that the skeleton of Napoleon’s horse belongs to them. ...
Daylight Saving Time starts this weekend: here’s some DST history (including Ben Franklin’s proposal), stories and video.
How Mickey Mouse Evades the Public Domain.
How To Become a Cat: The Complete Guide.
Making Prescription Eyeglasses From Scratch.
The anniversary of Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech.
Weird and Fascinating Ways Animals Use Poop.
The Origins of 10 Great Insults.
Beefcake alert from 1970’s Spain.
Just How Much Pee Is In That Pool?
When Bowling Was a Sport Reserved ...
February 29, 1504: Columbus tricked Jamaican natives using knowledge of upcoming lunar eclipse.
How long would it take for a single person to fill up an entire swimming pool with their own saliva?
Competitive Eating in the 17th Century.
Watch an Ambush ...
An animated history of Valentine’s Day, plus an explanation of why the heart is associated with love.
DIY machine sorts M&Ms and Skittles by color.
BBC: The untranslatable emotions you never knew you had.
Supercut of people running ...
February 5th is World Nutella Day – just in time for your weekend baking, here’s a canonical list of Nutella recipes.
Submarine tourism didn’t catch on.
What If: Since Death Valley is below sea level could we dig a ...
The history of chickens and eggs: When and why did they get domesticated?
In the Days of Human Zoos.
25 animals that scientists want to bring back from extinction.
Why It’s Nearly Impossible to Castrate a Hippo.
Beer Yoga goes ...
For Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s birthday, here’s a list of her birthday catastrophes.
Picasso’s Self-Portraits From 15 Years Old To 90 Years Old.
What Are Dogs Really Thinking About?
This weekend is Stonewall Jackson’s birthday – here’s the ...
Prohibition in the United States began on January 16, 1920: here’s some history, contemporaneous newsreels, the women who tried to telepathically influence the vote, Abraham Lincoln and Milton Friedman.
How to Become a Lawyer Without Going to Law School.
For 15 Years, ...
How big can a tsunami really get?
The history of the sneeze guard.
Saddam Hussein’s Unfinished Mosques.
How to Slim Down in Fourteen Days: Advice from 1595.
How to Build an Igloo.
Giant Snow ‘Mushrooms’ Are Winter’s Rarest Natural ...
A very Happy New Year to you all!
Today is Isaac Asimov’s birthday. Here’s his 1964 essay predicting life in 2014 and a recently published paper on creativity he wrote in 1959 for DARPA.
How Breakfast Became a Thing.
Which Actor ...
Way too many links – I’ve been saving them up.
Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most ...
Here, on one sheet of paper, is a map of the entire internet as of 1973.
When Americans Outlawed Christmas.
The Island Where Donkeys Wear Pajamas.
Advice from c. 1200: How to Survive the Winter. Don’t forget to lay off the ...
New Guinness World Record-setting Rube Goldberg machine takes 412 steps to light a Christmas tree.
When Mother Teresa Met With New York’s Mayor to Lobby for a Parking Permit.
Who Inspired Elvis Presley’s Haircut?
Before Seinfeld: The Origins of ...