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Detail from Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights

A flighty detail from Hieronymus Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights." (Image: Prado Museum/WikiCommons Public Domain)

It's one of the stranger things about being human that we can spend all night flying and then wake up in our own beds.

A brief, very unscientific Facebook poll reveals that people treat this night pastime like a real hobby, with different flying strategies and concerns:

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Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, sent letters filled with cryptography, ciphers, codes and invisible ink while she was in exile in The Hague. (Photo: Public Domain/Wikipedia Commons)

In the 17th century, espionage was more diverse than you might think. Not only did female spies exist, they employed some of the most fascinating techniques in their information gathering.

Forthcoming research into female spies that operated in Europe and England at the time shows that they utilized an ingenious arsenal of tools, such as eggs and artichokes, to smuggle secrets. 

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One of the oldest traffic-grabbing tricks in the internet book is to pick a popular website and register your own variants of the address, hoping that web users typing in the address will get it wrong. An easy way to do this is by swapping in a new top-level domain (TLD), which is the suffix of a URL—like .com, .net, or .gov. 

While you need to be part of an official government organization or program to use .gov, anyone can register a .com. This leaves government sites vulnerable to impersonation by people who want to flip the domain for big bucks or just rake in money by displaying ads and links on it.

A prime example of a not-quite-government site is Whitehouse.com, the rogue version of the official Whitehouse.gov. The imposter site was originally purchased in 1997, back when people all across the internet were just figuring out how to troll. The owner of the site set it up as a "parody and commentary site of the White House and U.S. politics," according to a CNET article from '97. Unfortunately this didn't earn the kind of money the site's owner was hoping for, even with the similar URL, so he added an element of porn, linking to adult sites and featuring images of politicians Photoshopped onto naked bodies. This resulted in traffic rising from 10,000 visitors a day to 30,000, according to CNET.

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Looks like synchronized figure skaters have a good sense of humor in addition to their grace and athleticism. This men’s team, suited up in speedos and swim caps, takes to the ice and gives the crowd a show at the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Synchronized Skating Championships in Courmayeur, Italy. (This year's takes place April 8-9 in Budapest, Hungary.)

In this seven-minute performance, the skaters play on the sport's parallels to synchronized swimming, wearing goggles and diving onto the ice. They proceed to “swim” in unison as Swan Lake comes over the loudspeakers, then it’s time to ditch the caps and goggles and get the crowd riled up. Next thing you know, shirts are coming off too. They end with the crowd going wild and the message “WHY NOT SYNCHRO” painted across their backs.

Hey, why not?

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This man was buried upright (Photo: Andreas Kotula)

Archaeologists in Germany have excavated a burial site, first found in 1962 on top of a rocky hill, that they now believe is the first "true cemetery in northern Europe or Scandinavia," National Geographic reports.

The burial site, at Groß Fredenwalde, north of Berlin, dates back 8,500 years to the Mesolithic period, the archaeologists report in the journal Quaternary. At the time, Europe was populated by hunter-gatherers who rarely stayed in one place. It's unusual to find a concentration of graves, but there have been nine skeletons found in this one spot so far, and likely more will be found. 

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