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10 Gorgeous Pilgrimage Sites You Need to See
By Steve Wiegand 1)... READ ON
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Roz Savage: First Woman to Row Solo From California to Hawaii
Early on the morning of September 1, Roz Savage became the first woman to row, alone, from California to Hawaii. The voyage of 2,600 miles took her 99 days, 8 hours and 55 minutes. During the trip she was in surprisingly regular contact with the outside world, equipped with high-tech gear including a satellite phone, iPod loaded with audiobooks, water-proof speakers, video/still camera, and a solar panel rig to power everything (read more about the boat and the gear). In total, Savage packed a reported... READ ON
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6 of LBJ's Favorite Things (on his 100th Birthday)
Lyndon Johnson was born 100 years ago today. Here's a piece from mental_floss magazine on some of LBJ's favorite things, including his Amphicar—the only amphibious passenger automobile ever mass-produced for... READ ON
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The Extraordinary Lives of the World's Tallest People
As a relatively tall person, I know that excessive height means struggling to find fashionable shoes that fit and fighting sneeze guards at salad bars. Here are the stories of several people way taller than me, the good they've done with their extreme height, and the problems encountered along the way. Sandy Allen Until her death on August 13, Sandy Allen was verified by Guinness Book of World Records as the world's tallest woman—over 7-feet, 7-inches—a record she held since 1976.... READ ON
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The Conservatives Hated Bush (and 7 Other Reactions to VP Choices)
Senator Obama is likely to name his running mate this week, possibly as early as tomorrow morning. So we went back into the archives of The New York Times to see the initial reaction to past VP announcements. Here's how the press covered the nominations of Vice Presidents Roosevelt, Cheney, Gore, Quayle, Bush, Agnew, Johnson and Nixon. George Bush—Ronald Reagan's VP July 18, 1980 Conservatives First Recoil, Then Line Up Behind Bush Finally, after 16 years, the conservatives thought they had... READ ON
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10 Other Amazing Buildings by 2008's Olympic Architects
If you have any interest in the Olympics, you've certainly seen Beijing's "Bird's Nest" and "Water Cube." But who are the geniuses behind them? And what other structures pad their résumés? Ben Smith's got all the answers below. 1. Herzog & de Meuron: The Guys Behind the "Bird's... READ ON
Article
Playing God: Lori Nix
Contemporary photographer Lori Nix creates images that she hopes will trick the viewers, if only for a few seconds. Her images, many of which appear to depict the destruction resulting from human or natural disasters, are actually photographs of tabletop models that she creates in her apartment. A bit about this fascinating modern artist and her work"¦ 1. Lori Nix "has a God complex," asserts the Randall Scott Gallery. "The creation and destruction of the world she creates from... READ ON
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The Stories Behind 5 Famous Exhumations
Not all final resting places are peaceful. Here are the stories of some famous corpses, and why they were exhumed. 1. The Jesse James Body Count As the story goes, on April 3, 1882, young recruit Bob Ford shot Jesse James in the back of the head while James was straightening a picture hanging on the wall of his Missouri home. But rumors spread for decades that the man shot by Bob Ford was not the real outlaw, rather... READ ON
Article
The Weekend Links
This list was so popular it got submitted twice (Thanks Andi and Jan!) - 25 awesome foods you never knew could be deep fried! (From personal tailgating experience, pretty much anything can be tossed into that vat, although I'm not saying it's tasty OR particularly safe ... but those Oreoes sure look amazing!) * From J Martin, a Verizon wireless customer gets surprised by his network ... in real life. I swear that looks like Piedmont Park in Atlanta, anyone know for sure? * From Larry's blog,... READ ON
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Wacky Sci-Fi "Laws"
Sci-Fi writers seem to enjoy coining Laws: adages bearing their own names that live on past their appearances in Sci-Fi stories. Here are five of my favorites, plus one bonus law (actually a Principle) from the world of cartoons. 1. Hanlon's Razor (aka Hanlon's... READ ON
Article
All In The Family: The Vernets
Back in July, our post on Horace Vernet mentioned that, because his father and grandfather had apartments in the Louvre, Horace enjoyed the rare privilege of being born in the Louvre. Today is the birthday of both his father, Carle Vernet, and that grandfather, Joseph Vernet. (Joseph was born in 1714; his son was born exactly 44 years later.) It only makes sense, then, that we devote today's post to Joseph and Carle Vernet. "The Shipwreck," Claude-Joseph (Joseph)... READ ON
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7 Ways to Cope with Movie Star Deaths
As The Dark Knight approaches the $450 million mark, Oscar buzz is building for the late Heath Ledger. Christopher Nolan has insisted that he did not digitally alter or use stand-ins to complete Ledger's scenes—this was the director's attempt to preserve the integrity of the late actor's performance. Unfortunately, that honor was not bestowed upon the legacies of other departed actors. Here are a few methods directors have used to fill the gaps left by deceased movie stars—some... READ ON
Article
Happy Birthday Hitch! 4 Alfred Hitchcock Secrets
Today's Alfred Hitchcock's birthday. But between all the international invasions, record breaking sports events, and alleged love childs of politicians, no one seems to be giving the Master of Suspense any love. Here are 4 things everyone ought to know about... READ ON
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Our first $100 Challenge winner!
On July 30, we announced our first ever $100 challenge. We made up a 10-question challenge based on information in the July/August issue of mental_floss magazine; the goal was to be the first reader to submit the correct (as found in the magazine) answers for all 10 questions. The Winner Eric Yount, whose e-mail arrived at 2:17 p.m., just 1 hour and 42 minutes after the challenge was posted. Congratulations! (We'll be in touch via e-mail about your prize money.) Check out the winning answers, and... READ ON
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5 Things You Didn't Know About COPS
Bad boys, bad boys"¦whatcha gonna do? If the ratings can be taken as an indicator, TV viewers love to see drunken trailer park residents beat up on their relatives. This week our TVHolic looks at that weekly guilty pleasure, COPS. 1. It all started with a Documentary COPS is the brainchild of writer/producer John Langley. In 1983 Langley was working with Malcolm Barbour on a documentary called Cocaine Blues, which was a graphic depiction of the effect of the so-called upscale drug on the average... READ ON
Article
The 17 Most Recognizable Trademarked Sounds
"Potato-potato-potato!" Know what that sound is? Maybe you don't recognize the onomatopoeia, but you must certainly know the actual sound. It's the "Hog Call," the rev of a Harley Davidson, and it's one of the most recognized sounds of one of the most recognized brands in the US. As for "potato-potato-potato," that's the sound that Harley tried to trademark back in the '90s. In 1994, Harley filed a registration for a trademark of its V-twin engine sound. It read "the mark consists of the exhaust sound... READ ON

Engineers have developed light bulbs that gather information about the surface the light hits, allowing anything to be used as a screen.

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