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 ...
A selection of weird nativity sets.
A Brief History of the Chicken Dance.
The Popular Victorian Clubs That Yearned To Fill Europe With Hippos.
Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day.
A potential boon for DUI defense lawyers: Hand Sanitizer ...
The precursor to the war on drugs: on December 5th, 1933, prohibition in the United States of America came to an end.
Murder in Hitler’s Bunker: Who Really Poisoned the Goebbels Children?
The stories behind Fahrenheit and Celsius.
Winston Churchill was born on November 30, 1874: here he is on Islam, and here’s the story of his “Iron Curtain” speech.
How Alchemy Has Been Depicted in Art Through the Ages.
Dogs Do as You Do, Not as You Say. (...
Kids re-enact the first Black Friday.
November 25 is “Evacuation Day, when the British ran ‘way” from New York City at the end of the Revolutionary War. Here’s the story of the young man who slithered up a greased flagpole ...
A Thanksgiving miscellany: Mark Twain, science, WKRP, Cicero, the best turkey fryer PSA ever, more. Related, this may be a good idea this year: in 1939, the U.S. celebrated Democrat Thanksgiving and Republican Thanksgiving.
Photographs Taken By NASA’s Apollo ...
Before it was Veterans Day, it was Armistice Day, for the fallen of the First World War: Here’s some history.
In 1987, Heineken tried to convince beer drinkers that Corona was actually urine.
Ranking the most beloved TV shows that ...
November 5 is Guy Fawkes Day, when God preserved us from the “secret contrivance and hellish malice of Popish Conspirators”. Also on November 5th this year, Daylight Saving Time ends: here’s DST history (including Ben Franklin’s satirical proposal), stories ...
Lots of Halloween-related links.
Science: What’s the Longest You Can Hold Your Breath?
How Your Doctor’s Politics Affects Your Health Care — And What You Can Do About It.
Faust, Mephistopheles, Napoleon, Oliver Cromwell or a Hugenot: Halloween Ideas ...
October 21 is Trafalgar Day: history, videos, art and links.
Photo gallery: Carving Mount Rushmore 1927-1941.
Scientists Figure Out Why Mozzarella Is the Perfect Pizza Cheese.
Animals who look as if they had a few too many.
Trace The Remarkable History ...
The Battle of Hastings occurred 950 years ago on October 14, 1066: history, videos (including Horrible Histories), maps, and links.
Get the Nobel Prize ready: a coffee-beer hybrid.
Where the Nazis Hung Out in Occupied Paris.
Heh – I guess it made sense at ...
In honor of Columbus day, here’s a list of the top 10 accidental discoveries and the story of that time Columbus tricked Jamaicans using knowledge of upcoming lunar eclipse. Related; Columbus has been cleared of importing syphilis from the Americas ...
A collection of vintage ads you would never see today.
Stolen Van Gogh paintings found after 14 years.
The 1980s Crime Ring That Poisoned Japan’s Candy And Never Got Caught.
These maps show how the continents would look if you ...
Hypnotic breast enlargement.
Want to appear more intelligent, influential, educated and honest? The benefits of going bald. (Raise your hand if you can think of a couple of political figures who could use more of these attributes)
Animals That Changed ...
Happy first day of Fall! Autumnal equinox science, links, videos, quotes, poems, Vivaldi.
How to Survive an Alligator Attack.
A Nazi’s Documentary Photographs of the Forced Removal of Polish Jews, 1940.
Here’s What’s Happening When You Hiccup.
September 14, 1861: The Night of the Flaming Ballerinas.
How many fireflies would it take to match the brightness of the Sun?
The designated survivor: while most government officials are at the State of the Union address, one member of the Cabinet ...
Heineken’s Forgotten Plan To Build Houses Out Of Beer Bottles, plus more bottle houses and a DIY bottle brick tutorial.
From 1998: Paul McCartney Shows You How to Make Mashed Potatoes.
Your kids will like this: Back to School Fashion ...
It’s the anniversary of the birth of the Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette.
Gallery of hermit crabs wearing garbage as shells.
Russians purchased 500,000 baseball bats in one year — but only one ball.
Why would we evolve to poop ...
Anyone remember George Burns and Gracie Allen? Here’s the story of Gracie Allen’s 1940 White House Run.
McDonald’s Employee with Down Syndrome to Retire After 32 Years.
The Electric Baths of Japan.
The French word for “paperclip” is “trombone”.
Here’s What Happens When You Crash-Test a Shopping Cart at 73 MPH.
Italian teenagers to get €500 ‘culture bonus’ on their 18th birthday.
It’s his birthday this weekend: LBJ: The President Who Marked His Territory.
Harry Potter and the Hopefully ...
St. Bartholomew’s Day – some history (including the massacre), a brief documentary, and Monty Python.
How sunflowers track the sun across the sky.
Which bathroom stall should you choose if you want the cleanest one?
How to Undress in 20 Seconds ...
Australian weird wildlife update: football-sized goldfish invading waterways (with bonus Aussie wildlife links).
Why hackers are so obsessed with picking locks. Related: The MIT Guide to Lock picking.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Cars For Sale.
François Bourassa printed $250 million ...
Turns out that you should either have a puppy or a Roomba, but not both: When the Roomba runs over dog poop.
Vaguely Olympic links: Hy-Brassil: Irish origins of Brazil, an infographic of how Human Athletes Fare Against Average Animals, ...
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori? Today is the anniversary of the 480 BC battle of Thermopylae.
The History of French Fries.
Man fought off armed would-be carjackers with high-pressure car wash sprayer.
Some people seem to need reminding: “We ...
Is Your Washroom Breeding Bolsheviks?
Dan Aykroyd’s Fascination with the Paranormal and How It Inspired Ghostbusters.
Trial by Touch was a method used occasionally in colonial America to determine guilt in murder cases.
The Experimental Nuclear Reactor Secretly Built ...
Free-market economist Milton Friedman’s birthday is this weekend: some favorite quotes and short videos. And Beatrix Potter’s birthday was yesterday: in addition to Peter Rabbit et al, she produced some gorgeous botanical drawings.
Ready for a career change? ...
These fashion ads from the 1970s will make you really glad no one dresses this way now.
Widow takes dead husband on road trip in Alaska.
This Ingenious Car From 1923 Turned Into a Boat.
Compilation: 100 Greatest Action Movie Punchlines (NSFW ...
It’s the anniversary of the 20th of July Plot, the unsuccessful bomb attempt to kill Hitler in 1944.
These photos are quite extraordinary: c. 1890: Venice in Photochrom.
Doing the math: Calculating the Ghostbusters’ 35 Foot Long Twinkie in Real Life.
Happy Bastille Day: Here’s the classic Jonah Goldberg article on the subject.
How to Cook a Pig in the Ground, Hawaiian Style.
Man Spends $51,000 On Supercomputer That Only Plays Tetris.
From Kurt Vonnegut in 1988, a letter to the Ladies & ...
Large set of Independence Day links: the full text of the Declaration of Independence, Lincoln’s 1858 speech on the meaning of Independence Day (“Let us stick to it then. Let us stand firmly by it then.”) and more inspirational speeches ...
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 ...
A day that will live in infamy: It’s the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
How Civil War Soldiers Gave Themselves Syphilis While Trying to Avoid Smallpox.
Microwave Memories – cooking with early microwave ovens.
December 6 was the feast ...
December 2, 1823: the Monroe Doctrine, the announcement forbidding countries outside of North and South American to interfere in American affairs.
The Medical Dangers of Kissing.
A brief history of competitive eating.
Want your hoo-ha steam-cleaned but don’t have a spa ...
Six ways to modify your baseball bat into a zombie-killing weapon: real versions and an infographic.
The Origins of 10 Nicknames.
Back When Your Thanksgiving Dinner Walked Hundreds of Miles to Market: The forgotten history of turkey drives.
What not to ...
Time to invite the neighbors to dinner, kill them, and take their land.
’A Day of Thanksgiving and Praise’: Remembering President Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation.
The traditional Benjamin Franklin’s account of the First Thanksgiving.
How Turkey Got Its Name.
The Gettysburg Address was seven score and thirteen years ago. Related: President James Garfield’s birthday – when he was shot, Alexander Graham Bell showed up with a metal detector to try to locate the bullet.
The Japanese Museum of Rocks ...
Reasons to elect a supervillain President, with bonus Homer Simpson proving that both candidates are aliens.
How to keep your iPhone from tracking your location in iOS 10.
Aristotle Sold Drugs (Legally).
Some of the best newspaper corrections ever, including an ...
also Hallow-e’en, c. 1745, Scottish shortening of Allhallow-even “Eve of All Saints, last night of October” (1550s), the last night of the year in the old Celtic calendar, where it was Old Year’s Night, a night for ...
October 25 is the anniversary of 3 major battles: Agincourt, the charge of the Light Brigade and Leyte Gulf: history and brief documentaries.
The 30 Weirdest Horror Movies of the 1970s.
Secret Nazi military base discovered by Russian scientists in the Arctic. Related, ...
Happy Birthday, Rita Hayworth: this excellent compilation of her dancing, set to Stayin’ Alive, will brighten your day.
How to Track a Human.
Arsenic Pills and Lead Foundation: The History of Toxic Makeup.
Still perfect 20 years later: Dave Barry’s ...
Video: Halloween pumpkin carving tricks and NASA’s Pumpkin Carving Competition.
Why you love cheese – the scientific explanation.
Explaining the significance of the Economic Nobel Prize winners’ work.
Circa 1890, it was pretty easy to end up in an insane asylum.
From 1930, Information Tests To Try On Your Children.
Gallery – the living root bridges of India.
The Science Behind Senior Moments. It’s because your brain gets full.
Gift for the person who has everything – this UFO Detector (check the reviews).
Interesting bit of history: the readers who entertained cigar factory workers in the early 20th century.
Buddhist Kung Fu nuns (and yes, that would be an excellent name for a rock band) are biking the Himalayas to oppose human trafficking.
How to fight off an invasive species: Shooting Lionfish With A Glock 9mm.
Churches and their Hidden Basement Bowling Alleys.
This Guy Gets Punched in the Stomach for a Living.
Women are teachable: 1940’s booklet to “assist male bosses in ...
Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day, me hearties!
Unusual Suspects: A Collection of Vintage Mugshots.
Is The Sea Really Blue?
Yesterday was the birthday of Dr. Samuel Johnson: here’s a selection of his excellent insults and Scotland-bashing quotes.
“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.
If You Own Land, How Far Above and Below Do You Own?
The Battle of Borodino, on which War and Peace and the 1812 Overture are based, took place on September 7, 1812.
Star Trek at 50: The theme song has lyrics.
Watch M.C. Escher Make His Final Artistic Creation in this 1971 Documentary.
Political maps ...
It’s V-J Day, the anniversary of the date of Japan’s surrender in 1945 and the end of WWII.
How Private Investigators Use the Internet to Track You.
Did Americans know FDR couldn’t walk?
Remember this? Digital hell: Kansas ...
Warning signs and labels of note.
All about endurance tickling.
Whatever Happened to Pay Toilets?
August 29th, 2:14 AM: Skynet Becomes Self-aware.
400 Years of Equator Hazings: Surviving the Stinky Wrath of King Neptune’s Court.
Fascinating Facts About the Invention of ...
August 24: the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and destruction of Pompeii in A.D. 79.
They Drew Fire is a collection of paintings selected from the works of the World War II combat artists.
Humongous Tunnel Boring Machines.
Supercut of Improbable Weapons.
Dorothy Parker’s birthday: quotes, poems, a brief bio, and the weird journey of her ashes.
Five Ancient Athletes Who Dominated the Olympics Thousands of Years Ago, and The United States’ First Trip to the Olympics.
In Jerusalem, the World’...
Today is the anniversary of the death of Genghis Khan: founder of Mongolian Empire, prolific spreader of DNA, and climate change hero.
Eric Clapton Goes Fishing and Lands the Biggest Salmon of the Summer.
Do trees communicate with each other?
The Jeep Hackers Are Back to Prove Car Hacking Can Get Much Worse.
Revolutionary War Olympics: The Games Our Founders Played.
The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight, with the best viewing after local midnight. Too late or cloudy for ...
If you grew up in the 1980s, or have kids who did, you’ll love this supercut of dancing in ‘80s movies (set to Lionel Richie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling”)
Habits of highly mathematical people.
11 Weird Sports That Were ...
Australian Sex Survey asks about your gender – here are explanations of the 33 possibilities.
The Public Shaming of England’s First Umbrella User.
The Physics Of Stopping A Meteor With One Punch.
Here’s How You Can Lick Doberman’s Leg ...
For Aldous Huxley’s birthday, an infographic of Huxley Vs Orwell, a letter from Huxley to Orwell explaining why he (Huxley) was right, and audio of Huxley narrating Brave New World.
Toasters of the 1920s.
World War I in Photos: ...
Child labor photos from the Library of Congress.
How many fireflies would it take to match the brightness of the Sun?
Exiled Italian prince, only male heir to throne, now sells pasta from a van in California.
Universal law of ...
Scary-Ass Cow Science: Scientist Draws Eyes on Cow Butts to Protect Them from Lions.
How far would you go for science? Would you shove jellyfish tentacles under your arms?
These Guys Just Built the World’s Largest Nerf Gun.
July 9 is Nikola Tesla’s birthday: bio, Tesla coil music, Tesla vs Edison rap battle, infographic from The Oatmeal.
Why Did the Star Trek and Star Wars Universes Turn Out So Differently?
John T. Scopes, the defendant in the 1925 anti-evolution “...
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 available ...