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open culture

Nelson Mandela’s Prison Packing List

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open culture

After finally being released from Victor Verster prison in 1990, Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela had his confiscated property returned to him. Among the items were two big umbrellas, one “large” birthday card, and a surfboard.

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The 18 states that have outlawed the death penalty have since repurposed the space used for their respective final executions as a museum exhibit, a private residence, a break room, and even a department store.

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Rather than getting caught up in the impossibility of actually traveling back in time to her own childhood, photographer Chino Otsuka simply faked the photographs.

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Artists Pierre Javelle and Akiko Ida have populated a tiny world with lemon lamps, marshmallow seas, and a Moon made of cocoa, and it’s a beautiful sight to behold.

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As a child, Andre the Giant was too big to fit on the school bus, so he got a ride from a surprising famous neighbor instead.

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Hershey's is issuing a throwdown challenge to Nutella.

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Disney movies have some ‘splainin’ to do.

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How does one construct the perfect compliment? Leslie Knope, as always, has the answers.

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Keystone/Getty Images
Einstein is Proved Right (Again)
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Keystone/Getty Images

Deep in the Heart of Our Galaxy, Einstein is Proved Right Again. His theory of general relativity holds true even at the black hole near the center of our galaxy.

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"Total Eclipse of the Heart" Was Almost a Meat Loaf Song. It was written for him, but then detoured to Bonnie Tyler.

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The Atomic Bomb That Was Too Big To Use. The largest nuclear bomb ever made, Tsar Bomba, was actually a scaled-down version of the original design.

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6 Weirdly Specific Ideas Movies Have About Normal Bathrooms. You'll be surprised by the many times the same weird thing happens in a bathroom across different fictional worlds.

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What It’s Like to Apartment Hunt With a Boyfriend Who Has No Credit Score. He's a responsible guy, but couldn't prove it on paper.

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The 33 Most Romantic Moments In TV History. Get your hankies out.

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27 Hilariously Nasty Sounding Mushroom Species Names. They would be hurt by them if they had feelings.

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iStock
The Mind-Bending Science of Awe
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iStock

The Mind-Bending Science of Awe. Encountering something that overwhelms your previous experience can be terrifying or enlightening.

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Dominoes and Fire. See a chain reaction of dominoes—powered by candles, hot air, and burning sparklers.

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Alan Hale Jr. "The Skipper." Meet the man behind the Gilligan's Island character.

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The 9 Most Nightmarish Movies About Nuclear Attacks. None of them are as scary as growing up during the Cold War arms race.

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5 Tips from NASA for Photographing the Total Solar Eclipse on August 21. The secret is preparing ahead of time.

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The Bloody San Antonio Origins of Chili Con Carne. One of the possible origin stories goes back as far as an uprising in 1813.

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The United States of Movies. The most iconic film set in each state, plotted on a colorful map.

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7 Spacecraft NASA Has Landed on Mars. Some future civilization may discover it and call it a robot planet.

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