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Fall of the South: Last Hurrah, Final Words

yesterdayHumor / odd : mental_floss

Wikimedia Commons  For the next few weeks, we'll be covering the final days of the Civil War exactly 150 years later. This is the sixth installment of the series.  March 25-28, 1865: Last Hurrah, Final Words In the last days of March 1865 the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Show More Summary

10 Elegant Facts About Compsognathus

yesterdayHumor / odd : mental_floss

Zach Tirrell, Wikimedia Commons// CC BY-SA 2.0 The svelte Compsognathus could have squeezed inside a typical shopping cart—but for sensitivity’s sake, you’d probably want to avoid steering it through the poultry aisle… 1. Paleontologists...Show More Summary

Second Life is Staying Alive

Avatars hanging out during a live radio show in Second Life. Photo by HyacintheLuynes via Wikimedia Commons It’s probably been a long time since many people out in the real world thought about the virtual universe of Second Life. Developed...Show More Summary

Do You Know Your Company’s Maternity Leave Policy? Submit it to This Tumblr. 

Portrait of a pregnant lady who probably didn’t have paid maternity leave either (because she was as rich as God, probably). Image via Wikimedia Commons/attributed to artist Marcus Gheeraerts. The U.S. has some of the most pitiful family...Show More Summary

UN Defeats Russian Anti-Gay Measure

UN General Assembly. Photo by Patrick Gruban via Wikimedia Commons Yesterday, a Russian-led bid to deny benefits to same-sex couples employed by the UN was solidly trounced—the General Assembly fifth committee, which handles many of the organization’s budget issues, voted 80-43 against the measure. Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: Childe Hassam’s Washington Arch, Spring

Washington Arch, Spring, Childe Hassam The link is to a zoomable version on the GoogleArt Project; there is a downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons; the original is in the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. What has always fascinated me about this painting — one of Hassam’s most recognizable works — is the seeming defiance of compositional […]

Angelina Jolie Discusses Removal of Her Ovaries and Fallopian Tubes

Image via Georges Biard/Wikimedia Commons. Today, Angelina Jolie penned an op-ed for the New York Times frankly discussing her recent surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes. The operation carried the added weight of kickstarting early menopause despite the hormone replacements Jolie has been taking. Show More Summary

10 Would-Be Assassins Who Tried To Kill Hitler

4 days agoHumor / odd : mental_floss

More than 30 attempts were made on Adolf Hitler's life before he finally took it himself—and some of them came very close to doing the dictator in. 1. Johann Georg Elser Wikimedia Commons A woodworker by trade, Elser was convinced that Hitler was going to lead Germany to war, and was unhappy with Hitler’s aggressive anti-union policies. Show More Summary

WWI Centennial: Fall of Przemy?l

5 days agoHumor / odd : mental_floss

Wikimedia Commons March 22-23, 1915: Fall of Przemy?l For 131 days from November 12, 1914 to March 23, 1915, the Austrian fortress town of Przemy?l (Puh-SHEM-ish-le) was under siege, with around 130,000 Habsburg troops trapped by a Russian force of about the same size, determined to starve the enemy into submission. Show More Summary

The Economic Case for Loving This Spiky, Tropical Fruit

Original image by Hans Hillewaert via Wikimedia Commons A while back, I first wrote about the spiky, green football that is the breadfruit. It was perhaps the most enthusiastic endorsement of a piece of fruit I’ll ever pen in my life. Show More Summary

Profiles in Social Justice: Meet Lori

By Malene Thyssen, Wikimedia Commons In the first part of our Profiles in Social Justice series, we met Beatrice, a Catholic who devoted her professional life to social justice work with women and children escaping domestic violence and who has continued to make a meaningful difference after retiring. Show More Summary

An Unlikely Bureaucratic Tool for Ethnic Cleansing

"Displaced Rohingya people in Rakhine State (8280610831)" by Foreign and Commonwealth Office - Flickr. Licensed under OGL via Wikimedia Commons. Ever since Burma’s military elite began a slow and piecemeal, but highly publicized, march...Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: Botticelli’s Primavera

La Primavera, Sandro Botticelli (Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi) Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project, hi-res downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence (unofficial site). Despite another round of snow here on the east Coast of the U.S., today marks the Vernal Equinox, the first day […]

10 Domed Facts About Stegoceras

last weekHumor / odd : mental_floss

Sebastian Bergmann, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0 Thanks to its similar-sounding name, today’s dino will always get mixed up with the spiky-tailed, crowd-pleasing Stegosaurus. If you caught these two standing side by side, however, you’d have no trouble telling them apart. Show More Summary

The Pooter: An Entomologist's Favorite Tool

last weekHumor / odd : mental_floss

Fritz Geller-Grimm, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0 Entomologists everywhere are pooting for science. That’s not a euphemism—they’re using the scientific tools known as “pooters,” and they’re pooting up a storm. A pooter (named for its inventor, William Poos, for real) is also called an insect aspirator. Show More Summary

The Pirate Party is Now the Most Popular Political Group in Iceland

Photo by fdecomite via Wikimedia Commons Avast ye mateys! According to a new poll out of Iceland, the Pirate Party has now become the country’s most popular political entity. Iceland Review reports that the left-wing group had the support of 23.9 percent of those voters polled, eking out the conservative Independence Party’s 23.4 percent. Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: Helen Searle still life

Still Life with Fruit and Champagne, Helen Searle In the Smithsonian American Art Museum; there is a somewhat larger version of the image on Wikimedia Commons, but it’s unfortunately not well focused. Careful you don’t get stung reaching for a grape.

That “Green” Cleaning Product Could Still Damage Your Health

Image by Mysid via Wikimedia Commons While “greenwashing”—marketing products as good for the environment when they are not—is nothing new, according to a paper released earlier this month, allegedly ecofriendly cleaning products may also not be very good for your health. Show More Summary

WWI Centennial: Disaster at the Dardanelles

last weekHumor / odd : mental_floss

Wikimedia Commons  The First World War was an unprecedented catastrophe that shaped our modern world. Erik Sass is covering the events of the war exactly 100 years after they happened. This is the 174th installment in the series. March...Show More Summary

Greece: Europe’s Wildcard

Alexis Tsipras. Photo by Lorenzo Gaudenzi via Wikimedia Commons Ever since their election at the end of January, Greece’s new government, a coalition of the left-wing Syriza and right-wing Independent Greeks parties, led by Syriza Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, has been making waves in the European press. Show More Summary

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