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Great Paybacks/Strange Deaths in History: The Earl and the Vengeful Head

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Wikimedia Commons

Rognvald Eysteinsson didn't want to be a Scottish Earl, and his brother paid the price for it.

Eysteinsson, a Viking warrior and sailor, helped Harald Finehair subdue various bands of Viking raiders after they rejected Finehair's authority and union under the kingdom of Norway. Eysteinsson's son Ivar was killed while battling the Viking pirates along the Orkney and Shetland islands off the coast of Scotland, and after the islands were taken by Norway, Finehair gave them to Eysteinsson to claim as Earl. Rognvald didn't want them, so he transferred the title and land to his brother Sigurd.

After establishing his earldom, Sigurd allied with the former Viking warlord Thorstein the Red to expand his influence on the Scottish mainland. Together, they conquered all or part of the territories of Caithness, Moray, Sutherland, Argyll, and Ross. In Moray, Sigurd feuded with the local nobleman Máel Brigte, known as Máel Bucktoothed or Máel Tusk because of his protruding buckteeth.

The two men agreed to meet on the field of battle with 40 men each to settle their territorial disputes. Sigurd ignored their deal and tried to sneak 80 men onto the field. Máel Brigte knew he’d been tricked when he saw that each of Sigurd's horses had two men's legs dangling from its flanks, but rode with his men into battle anyway. Máel Brigte and his troops fought fiercely and killed a number of Sigurd’s men, but were eventually all killed themselves.

Sigurd had his men behead their enemies and strap the heads to their saddles as trophies. Sigurd took Máel Brigte's head for himself, and as he rode back to his stronghold, one of Máel Brigte's buckteeth scratched and cut his leg. The wound quickly became infected and the Tusk had his revenge when Sigurd died soon after.

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Opening Ceremony
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These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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Opening Ceremony

To this:

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Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

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