The Oldest Trees in the World
Joe Burbank/MCT/Landov Roughly 3,500 years ago, a tiny cypress tree sprouted in the swamplands of Central Florida. Earlier this month, that cypress burned to the ground. As a tribute, here’s a look at some of the world’s oldest and most amazing remaining trees.
Punxsutawney Phil May Not Be the Magic...
Image credit: Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce According to the Stormfax Almanac, Punxsutawney Phil’s winter prognostications are only accurate 39% of the time. [Read More: Where Did Groundhog Day Come From?]
Rest in Peace, Mr. Pitt
Sad to hear Ian Abercrombie, the actor who played Mr. Pitt on Seinfeld, has passed away. Here’s his LA Times obituary, and here’s some advice on how to see those Magic Eye pictures (and why some people just can’t).
Clara Peller, the “Where’s the Beef?” lady, lost her Wendy’s gig in 1985 after appearing in an ad for Prego spaghetti sauce in which she said, ”I found it. I really found it.” Wendy’s argued that statement “infers she found the beef at somewhere other than Wendy’s restaurants.”
A few years ago, any cool kid who could read was suffering from Hogwarts Headache. The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine actually ran a letter from a physician noting the unfortunate side effect of children reading more, and for longer periods, than they ever had in their lives. Yes, thanks to a couple extremely long (ostensibly children’s) books, an increasing number of parents...
Saying Goodbye to Mr. Hooper
On Thanksgiving Day in 1983, Sesame Street aired one of its most memorable episodes, acknowledging the passing of actor Will Lee. For many kids of the ’80s, it was their first lesson about death. Here’s the full episode with commentary.
How Apple's '1984' Ad Almost Never Aired (Except...
Here’s the story of the Super Bowl commercial that rocked the world of advertising, even though Apple’s Board of Directors didn’t want to run it.
In its earlier years, the word “brunch” didn’t have a monopoly on describing midmorning meals. In 1896, the English magazine Punch warned readers, “The combination-meal, when nearer the usual breakfast hour, is ‘brunch,’ and when nearer luncheon, is ‘blunch.’ Please don’t forget this.” Blunch image via Shutterstock
6 Extremely Rare National Animals
Here are six of the coolest, strangest, and most endangered animals repping countries today.
Quiz: Cheesy 80s Movie Songs
Take the quiz.
The Name '3 Musketeers' Used to Make Sense
These are our two favorite pieces of trivia: 1. John Tyler’s grandsons are still alive. 2. The 3 Musketeers originally included three smaller bars: one vanilla, one chocolate and one strawberry. When the ingredients became too costly during World War II, the 3 Musketeers became a single chocolate bar. Now that the whole world knows about the first, it’s time to work on spreading the...
Fun With Flags
. Image credit: Monty Brinton/CBS On Thursday night’s episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon wowed us with some flag knowledge during Sheldon Cooper Presents Fun With Flags. “The flags of Liechtenstein and Haiti were identical by coincidence — a fact that wasn’t discovered until they competed against each other at the 1936 Olympics.” I love vexillology.
In 1989, Wal-mart pulled Listerine from shelves...
After tests, the mouthwash was restocked. That’s just how Listerine tastes.
5 Ripped-from-the-Headlines Doctor Who Stories
From its start in 1963, Doctor Who has heavily featured the future and the past — but stories based on current events have also been part of the series. While it isn’t quite Law & Order, sometimes we do get to see Doctor Who: Ripped from the Headlines!
Scott Wade takes “wash me” to a whole new level.
This Tortoise Is Older Than the United States
Even with the long life expectancy of giant tortoises, an Aldabra Giant Tortoise named Adwaita blows all others away with a life lasting around 255 years. Estimates put his birth date around 1750, making him an entire generation older than the United States of America. The tortoise was originally owned by a man named General Robert Clive, an important member of the East India Company, who...
Judge Judy makes $45 million a year.
Here’s a look at what legal authority comes with that fat paycheck.
John Tyler's Grandsons Are Still Alive!
Born in 1790, John Tyler was our 10th President. He took office in 1841 after William Henry Harrison died. And he has two living grandchildren! Not great-great-great-grandchildren. Their dad was Tyler’s son. How is this possible? The Tyler men have a habit of having kids very late in life. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, one of President Tyler’s 15 kids, was born in 1853. He fathered Lyon...
Who Were Fisher and Price?
Their names have been plastered on iconic toys for decades, but who exactly were Herman Fisher and Irving Price? Here’s some background on the toy giants.
5 Crazy Ways People Amused Themselves Before...
The first escalators completely blew people’s minds. Nothing remotely similar had ever been seen before. Jesse W. Reno patented his idea for an “Endless Conveyor or Elevator” (later called the “inclined elevator”) in 1892, and by 1896 the first working example had been installed…as a ride at the popular Coney Island amusement park. It differed from modern elevators in that you sat on...
Tomorrow is National Hugging Day
But be smart about it. From the holiday’s website: “National Hugging Day always suggests at least asking first.” Hugging image via Shutterstock
Abraham Lincoln's grandfather, also named Abraham...
10 Actors Who Hated Their Own Movies
The Guardian: What is the worst job you’ve done? Bob Hoskins: Super Mario Brothers. The Guardian: What has been your biggest disappointment? Bob Hoskins: Super Mario Brothers. The Guardian: If you could edit your past, what would you change? Bob Hoskins: I wouldn’t do Super Mario Brothers. Read More: 10 Actors Who Hated Their Own Movies
10 Other People Ronald Reagan's Diary Only...
During last night’s GOP debate, Mitt Romney attempted to minimize Newt Gingrich’s connection to President Reagan: “I looked at the Reagan diary. You’re mentioned once in Ronald Reagan’s diary. And in the diary, he says you had an idea in a meeting of young congressmen, and it wasn’t a very good idea and he dismissed it. That’s the entire mention.” But the former Speaker is in good company....
Today is Thesaurus Day. A perfectly cromulent...
The Most Amusing Images from Today's SOPA Strike
On January 18th, websites across the internet went on strike to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the related Protect IP Act (PIPA). Some sites were completely blocked. Others added censorship graphics to their banners. And some posted about the strike. The point was to make all internet users aware of the bills before Congress and to encourage reader participation. A few sites went...
Why Is Wikipedia Down?
By now everyone knows Wikipedia is down today. Here’s our attempt to explain what’s going on and why you should care, in case someone asks you what’s going on (and why they should care).
Jim Henson's Lost Screenplay. (They Found It!)
In his early years, Jim Henson wrote a screenplay called Tale of Sand that was never produced. He and his writing partner Jerry Juhl returned to the project repeatedly over the years, revising it, but it was never filmed, and the screenplay went into a drawer in the mid-1970s. Now the project has been resurrected, adapted by Ramón Pérez into a graphic novel that conveys the sardonic,...
This Is What Mitt Romney Looks Like Holding Dino...
via Rick Friedman/Corbis
Quiz: Lady Gaga or Jem?
Take the quiz.
When Did Americans Lose Their British Accents?
Matt Soniak explains. [War reenactment image via Shutterstock]
Ben Franklin’s 200+ Synonyms for “Drunk”
Today we’re celebrating Ben Franklin’s 306th birthday. If you’re celebrating at home, perhaps one of these phrases from The Drinkers Dictionary will come in handy. The lengthy list of expressions meaning “inebriated” was first published by Franklin in the Pennsylvania Gazette on January 6, 1737.
Way More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Yo...
Here: Yo Gabba Gabba!
The Golden Lobe Awards
Hollywood has the Golden Globe Awards. We hand out Golden Lobes instead. See some past winners.
A Boy Named Brfxxccxxmnpcccc-...
Name tag image via Shutterstock Enacted in 1982, the Naming law in Sweden was originally created to prevent non-noble families from giving their children noble names, but a few changes to the law have been made since then. The part of the law referencing first names reads: “First names shall not be approved if they can cause offense or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it,...
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11 Lesser-Known 2012 Presidential Candidates
CES Technologies Ahead of Their Time
These products weren’t exactly hits, but the technologies behind them have since become a part of our daily lives. [Read More: 6 CES Technologies Ahead of Their Time]
The Vagina Masculina
Men and women have more in common “down there” then you might think. Because the sex organs of a fetus don’t develop until about five months into pregnancy, males and females have remnants of the opposite sexual organs — and some are more useful than others. While the penis is basically an enlarged version of a lady’s clitoris, the male remnant of the lower vagina is less useful. Called the...
Since 2009, at least two vegans have been rejected...
(One in Colorado and one in Tennessee.)
Who Said It: Jack Kennedy or Jack Donaghy?
30 Rock is back! Here’s an old 30 Rock quiz.
Outrageously Obscure 'West Wing' Characters Who...
This goes way beyond @Pres_Bartlet and the members of his senior staff. Read More: 11 Outrageously Obscure ‘West Wing’ Characters Who Resurfaced on Twitter
Things Way More Disgusting Than a Public Toilet...
Unlike the sheets, hotels and motels do not change or launder the bedspreads on a daily basis. And if you don’t think there are various bodily fluids lingering in those coverings, let us remind you that when the bedspread from an internationally rated five-star hotel was introduced as evidence in boxer Mike Tyson’s rape trial, investigators found it coated with the DNA of so many different...
The Best Geeky Vanity Plates
Amazing Cakes That Look Like Other Foods
More: 11 Stunning Cakes That Look Exactly Like Other Foods
Great Zoo Posters Created for the WPA
Lots more here.
How Mister Rogers Saved the VCR
In 1984, a landmark case laid down a controversial law regarding copyright infringement. Here’s a look back at the “Betamax Case,” including the role Mister Rogers played in the decision.
Great Moments in Wikipedia
[It’s been changed back already. Oh well.]
Remember Those Magic Eye Pictures That Were...
This is how they work.
25 One-Word Answers to Very Important Questions
To coincide with our new cover story — The Most Important Questions of 2012 — here are some very short answers to very big questions.