As far as free speech goes, May 10, 1933, was one of Western Civilization’s saddest, most frightening days. That’s the date the newly-empowered Nazi Party led a wholesale literary immolation—participated in by university students and broadcast on radio stations throughout Germany—at Bebelplatz, the square of the Berlin Opera House. Some 25,000 volumes of books deemed
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One could be forgiven for believing that every crime is a Machiavellian scheme acted out by masterminds or a twist-laden story that turns out to be a tragic miscarriage of justice by an evil state perpetrated against “the little guy.” Thanks, Netflix. The truth is that most crimes are quite simple, both in the action
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As the Halloween season approaches, several images come to our minds: witches, monsters, haunted houses, horror movies, a full moon, and overflowing amounts of candy. It is that time of year where we indulge in all things macabre and spooky. And now you can add another unexpected activity to your October fright-filled festivities—Ballet! How many
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We tend to think of history as a book that has been written. So to find out anything, all you have to do is look up the facts, and you can find what you want to learn. But to the frustration of historians, history is riddled with mysteries. Some of the things that are unknown
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The Great Lakes, inhabiting over 152,800 square kilometers (95,000 square miles) and filled with 27.3 quadrillion liters (6 quadrillion gallons) of water (no, really!), collectively make up the largest body of fresh water on earth. More than 170 species of fish (and perhaps one Loch-Ness-like creature) lurk beneath the surface, and its waters have claimed
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Movies fail when they create villains with thin or nonexistent motivations and justifications. Bad guys who are just bad for the sake of badness tend to suck the drama and tension right out of stories. But there’s a problem on the reverse side, too; sometimes villains are created a little too sympathetic and reasonable, and
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Fire is a powerful element that the human species has long manipulated. We use it for cooking, warmth, and light, among many other things. It has been a lifeline in the ever-changing world. However, what happens when a rare few no longer use fire as a helpful tool but instead use it as a deadly
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Everyone wants to build something with their lives and leave it behind in the right way. But some, whether because they’re crazy, rich, or most often both, leave their vast estates behind with some thick strings attached. Far from the usual bequeathals to spouses and kin, these eccentrics use their deaths to settle scores, atone
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Every culture in history has created its own bestiary of otherworldly and mythical creatures. And the deeper you get into mythology, the weirder the monsters are. From the giant to the tiny, the ethereal to the subterranean, the sagely to the fiendish, if you can imagine it, it most likely exists in lore. Except we
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Cartoons are loved by children and even adults across the world. While many of them may seem innocent, sometimes they push the boundaries a little too far. Some of the most popular cartoons have seen episodes and entire collections censored and banned in different countries for several reasons such as violence, drinking, smoking, sexual scenes,
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The existence of the paranormal is a controversial subject. There’s been no reputable scientific evidence to support the existence of what we call supernatural, which leaves many people to believe that all allegations of hauntings and paranormal phenomena are fake and even baseless. Staunch believers, however, would disagree. Pointing to evidence they think wasn’t properly
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For the ultra-wealthy, money is no object. Instead, it’s many objects: golden mammoth skeletons, rooftop pools full of Patron, and jetpacks for their butlers (I assume). But when the one-percenters inevitably get sick of soaking in their own opulence, they vacation in search of fresh, new luxuries at the finest resorts in the world. Luckily,
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Science has come such a long way it’s laughable. Ancient humans used to mistake every correlation for causation, and that’s why they thought sneezes caused lighting and sacrificing children made corn grow. They even worshipped cats as gods instead of the indifferent little furballs they are. But for all the progress we’ve made, from a
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There have been hundreds of video game consoles that hit the market and fizzled out, and most of them died for a good reason. Bad games, horrible controls, intense competition, and bad marketing will often kill the sales of an otherwise crappy console. That said, there have been several consoles that failed even though they
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Movie buffs know the names behind the music in their favorite films. Hollywood composers usually rise in fame when they get the chance to write music for blockbuster hits, often becoming as recognizable of a name as a movie’s director or lead actor. For example, think about composer Danny Elfman’s long-lasting partnership with director Tim
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Even before the outbreak of Covid-19, the image of modern medicine in developed countries has for some time been one of ruthless cleanliness and clinical dazzle. But for most of history, medicine was often raw, messy, and outrightly disgusting. In contexts where plague, smallpox and cholera were the norm, not the exception, patients were rarely
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Most people will die under pretty mundane circumstances. But throughout history, there have been several unlucky individuals whose deaths can be described as more than simply noteworthy. While many have died heroic deaths over the centuries, this list is dedicated to those who died in amusing, ironic, and sometimes simply stupid ways. Related: 10 Unfortunate
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