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What Happened to Starting Races With Real Pistols?

Jason Plautz

When Usain Bolt, Wallace Spearmon and the rest of the field line up for today's 200-meter race, they'll kick off the race not at the fire of a pistol, but a noise triggered by an electronic

The Lasting Gifts of the Civilian Conservation Corps

Miss Cellania

In 1933, America was in the depths of the Great Depression. Unemployment stood at around 25%.

Does Peeing on a Jellyfish Sting Actually Help?

Matt Soniak

The sting of a jellyfish comes from specialized cells in the surface of its tentacles called cnidocytes.

A Physics Lesson: Why Cats Land on Their Feet (Usually)

Chris Higgins

Why do cats (usually) land on their feet?

Invade Canada! A Brief History of the War of 1812

The Week

Two centuries ago, the U.S. declared war on Britain, and invaded its closest colony. Why was the War of 1812 fought, and who really

Brain Game: Below Your Feet?

Here's some "elemental floss" for today's mentalfloss.com Brain Game Think Thursday challenge.

Morning Cup of Links: Screaming Stars

Miss Cellania

The Olympics Hall of Shame.

World War I Centennial: Teddy Roosevelt Runs Again

Erik Sass

Installment #29: August 7, 1912, was a busy day in one of the most complicated presidential elections in U.S. history.

Does Wedding Rice Really Make Birds Explode?

Matt Soniak

Throwing rice at a newly married couple has been a tradition for thousands of years, possibly going back as far as the ancient Assyrians and Egyptians.

The Late Movies: Geeking Out on "The Edge's" Guitar Rig

Chris Higgins

Today in 1961, Dave Evans (known as "The Edge" of U2) was born. In the 51 years since, The Edge has become known for his layered, echoing guitar lines.

The Stories Behind 15 Albums Named After Numbers, Featuring a Lot of Van Halen

Stacy Conradt

When you think about it, most album titles are a little cryptic (Fiona Apple, I love you, but that's a lot of title).

The Missing Links: Why America Smells (Or Thinks It Does)

Colin Patrick

The Grinch, Voldemort and Michael Jackson’s Zombie No this isn’t the beginning of a “...walk into a bar...” joke.

In Parts of Europe, Ranch-Flavored Doritos Are Called "Cool American"

Jason English

[Via BuzzFeed. See more unusual Doritos flavors and flavor names from around the

"Today I'm Dressed in C Major" -- A Cyborg Artist

Chris Higgins

Neil Harbisson is an artist who was born with a rare form of colorblindness called achromatopsia -- he sees everything in grayscale.

6 Olympians Who Don't Keep Their Medals in a Sock Drawer

Stacy Conradt

For being such rare, magical creatures, gold medals seem to get second-rate treatment once they land in the hands of Olympians.