Animated map of the changing borders and population of Europe: every year since 400 BC.
Why all the actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age have such a distinct and strange accent.
We All Nearly Missed The Largest Underwater Volcano Eruption Ever ...
January 17 is Ben Franklin’s birthday - bio, quotes, videos, his 200 synonyms for drunk, the bodies found in his basement, and more.
Alexa, What Are You Doing With My Family’s Personal Info?
How to Build an Igloo.
Gorgeous X-Ray ...
On Jan. 15, 1919, Boston’s 2.3 million gallon molasses flood killed 21 people.
Napoleon’s Heirs Include a Wall Street Banker, the Founder of the FBI and a Star Trek Actor.
The Impossible Task of Reconstructing the Rules to an Ancient Board Game.
The die is cast! On January 10 in 49 B.C., Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River.
US road grid corrections because of the Earth’s curvature.
This $800 belt (presumably for the elderly) has airbags to protect your hips.
Video: X-Ray Camera ...
J. R. R. Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892: some LOTR quotes, history, physics, and video (including dancing orcs and a Lego version of the battle of Helm’s Deep). Related: Tolkien wrote a translation of Beowulf and included some imagined ...
New Year links - history, advice and lots of hangover cures
How (Not) to Celebrate the New Year: advice from 700 AD (hint – if you dress up as a stag or a calf you’ll spend 3 years doing penance).
Strange New Year traditions around the world.
The Guardian’s best photographs of 2017, ...
December 21 is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.
Christmas Gift Ideas from the 19th Century.
A collection of downloadable templates for Star Wars snowflakes.
Classic Christmas drunken fruitcake recipe: Check the whiskey. Pour 1 level cup and drink. ...
A day that will live in infamy: It’s the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor: some history, contemporaneous newsreels, and a Monty Python re-enactment.
The voice actress who played Snow White was forbidden by Disney from appearing in ...
The precursor to the war on drugs: on December 5th, 1933, prohibition in the United States of America came to an end.
Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for ...
Kids re-enact the first Black Friday.
Tomorrow, 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 ...
Round-up of Thanksgiving links
A Thanksgiving miscellany: Mark Twain, science, WKRP, Cicero and the best turkey fryer PSA ever.
10 Thanksgiving Words With Bizarre Origins.
In 1939, the U.S. celebrated Democrat Thanksgiving and Republican Thanksgiving.
A bird in a bird in a bird in a ...
Yesterday was 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 Astounding Engineering Behind the World’s Largest Optical Telescope.
A Gallery of ...
Field Marshall Erwin Rommel was born on November 15, 1891.
When The Photographer Asks You to Look Seductive…
Your house is a gigantic bug habitat, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
A Scientific Look at How Female Turkeys Choose ...
Before it was Veterans Day it was Armistice Day, for the fallen of the First World War: here’s some history.
The June 1940 ‘Lancastria’ disaster – Britain’s worst loss of life at sea: as many as 9,000 people were aboard the ...
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 ...
Per Bishop Ussher, the earth was created on this date in 4004 B.C. at 9AM.
The Modern World of Jousting.
10 Travel Tips From the Age of Napoleon.
Scary dog costumes, instructions for pet costumes, and 16 Clearly Miserable Dogs In Halloween ...
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 ...
For Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s birthday, here’s a list of her birthday catastrophes.
If Cooties Were Real, What Disease Would They Be?
Weird Beauty Hacks of Yesteryear.
On January 21 – It’s Stonewall Jackson’s birthday - here’s ...
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.
The Forgotten History Of How Automakers Invented The Crime Of ‘Jaywalking’.
Director John Ford’s WWII-era movies made for the pre-CIA OSS How to Operate Behind Enemy Lines and Sex Hygiene.
Why Can’t I Take an Orange Through Customs?
A Victorian dinosaur park.
Sunday, January 14: Happy Feast of the Ass.
Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935.
The Business of Fake Hollywood Money.
Fascinatingly Filthy: How Bad Science Saved Lives in Victorian London.
The fennel and garlic diet from 1595, or How to Slim Down in Fourteen Days.
The woman who slept ...
Happy New Year! A happy and healthy 2018 to all.
A roundup of hangover science and cures.
The New Year’s Feast That Transformed Fools Into Popes and Kings.
Dave Barry’s 2017 Year in Review: Did that really happen? Previous such ...
Roundup of Christmas links
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 enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or ...
Yesterday was the anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first flight in 1903.
Why Is Your First Instinct After Hurting Your Finger to Put It in Your Mouth?
The Scientific American Guide to Cheating in the Olympics.
How to Have a British ...
December 6 is the feast day of St. Nicholas of Myra, aka Santa Claus.
In 1909, a Door-to-Door Catnip Salesman Incited a Riot in New York City.
How Civil War Soldiers Gave Themselves Syphilis While Trying to Avoid Smallpox.
A selection of ...
Winston Churchill was born on November 30, 1874: here he is on Islam, here’s the story of his “Iron Curtain” speech and his “We shall fight on the beaches…we shall never surrender” speech (on the occasion of the evacuation of ...
Time to invite the neighbors to dinner, kill them, and take their land.
Here’s a huge roundup of Thanksgiving links: how turkey got its name, why the Lions and Cowboys always play, Ben Franklin’s account of the first ...
A Thanksgiving miscellany: Mark Twain, science, WKRP, Cicero, the best turkey fryer PSA ever, more.
KFC releases bath bombs that will leave you smelling like the 11 secret herbs and spices.
For those of us born between the 22nd and 28th ...
The Suez Canal opened on November 17, 1869.
These crabs can grow up to 3 feet long — and hunt birds, a biologist’s video proves.
Watch 245 People Jump Off a Bridge.
The Gettysburg Address was seven score and fourteen years ago tomorrow (November 18) — ...
Most Popular Thanksgiving Foods in All 50 States, Mapped.
Can you make a 10-year malt whisky in weeks? The chemistry says yes.
Self-Help Lessons from Napoleon Bonaparte.
Some of the best newspaper corrections ever, including an excellent 2001 apology to Mark Steyn.
Sunday will be Guy Fawkes Day: On November 5, 1605, he and a group of buddies tried to carry out the “gunpowder plot,” a failed attempt to blow up the British Houses of Parliament and kill King James I. God preserved us, ...
Excellent site for DIY intelligent women’s costumes.
This 1935 Car of the Future Had Huge Spheres Instead of Wheels.
The Strange Real-Life Origins of the Fiendish Werewolf.
We’ve come a long way… from 2013: Obama Mask for Halloween? That’ll ...
October 25 is the anniversary of three major battles: Agincourt, the charge of the Light Brigade and Leyte Gulf.
Things you didn’t know you needed – Nissin Introduces a Noise-Canceling Ramen Fork.
In 1901 Ladies Home Journal predicted the world would look ...
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.