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Japanese shoyu, or soy sauce, was traditionally brewed in vats over two years in a process that dates back to the 7th century. Over the past 60 years, global demand gave way to industrialization, and today less than one percent of shoyu is produced in the old way. But on the island of Shōdos…

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“Newspapers are like police departments. If you decide not to pay for them you might save money in the short run, but you end up paying a great deal more in the long run.”

It’s hard to fathom how magnificent castles were built centuries ago. One group set out to understand just that by building their own masterpiece two hours outside of Paris. Tucked away in a forest, a team of master builders and archeologists are attempting to construct Guédelon, a castle fr…

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Hula is a dance of illusions. Behind the grace and the sway there is grit, athleticism, and a knee-breaking, blister-inducing effort to leave everything you have on the dance floor. Every year, the best compete at the Merrie Monarch Festival, the world’s most prestigious hula competition. Ka…

In Japan, there's a specialty fruit craze sweeping the nation, from square watermelons to grapes the size of Ping-Pong balls. Still, the crown jewel of the luxury fruit basket is the white strawberry, bred to be a whole lot bigger and a whole lot sweeter than its classic red counterpart. We …

The probability of completing a perfect NCAA tournament bracket is less than the combined odds of landing a hole-in-one, winning the Powerball and being struck by lightning multiple times. So how did Sam Holtz, the 2015 winner of ESPN's March Madness Bracket Challenge, beat out almost 12 mil…

Forget lowrider bikes, the O.G. bicyclists rode high atop penny farthings. These old-school bikes with on oversized front wheel require excellent balance, and are still raced by cyclists today. We spoke with a penny farthing champion about the danger and delight of racing one of these throwb…

America's movie and film archive is located in an underground bunker in Culpepper, Virginia. The bunker was originally a gold storage unit that doubled as a fallout shelter for the U.S. president and his cabinet during the Cold War. Today, the Library of Congress stores all manner of film he…

What happens when a horror movie composer and a guitar maker join forces? They create the world’s most disturbing musical instrument. Affectionately known as "The Apprehension Engine," this one-of-a-kind instrument was commissioned by movie composer Mark Korven. Korven wanted to create spook…

In Hollywood, everything is magic and make-believe, even sounds. When you watch a film that immerses you completely in its world, you’re probably hearing the work of sound artists. If the work is done right, you won’t be able to tell that the “natural” sounds on screen are manufactured with …

Anthony Howe creates the world's most mesmerizing kinetic sculptures. His wind-powered, curved-metal designs tower up to 25 feet high, and are on display in public spaces around the world. Take a break from reality as you stare at Howe's artwork and prepare to be transfixed.

Jake Koehler is a pretty regular dude -- he loves surfing, fishing, freediving and hanging out at the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Georgia. Jake's found a lot of cool stuff on his dives, from GoPros and iPhones lost by rafters to knives and pistols (that were, of course, turned over to t…

John Collins, the “Paper Airplane Guy,” studied origami and aerodynamics in a quest to design the world's most sophisticated paper projectiles. His record-breaking plane flew 226 feet. To Collins, paper airplanes aren't just for making a ruckus in class, they can teach us a lot about science…

Bruce Campbell lives in an airplane. Yes, an actual jet. The Portland-based aeronautics enthusiast makes his home in a converted Boeing 727 that was once used as a Greek aircraft until the mid-1960s and now resides in a forest near Portland.

Turns out, your old cash has a very green afterlife. When money gets too old and worn out for circulation, it gets sent back to the Federal Reserve to be shred and turned into … compost? Yep. Million-dollar compost. Money may not grow on trees, but trees can grow from money.

When he was 11 months old, Wade McCrae Washington was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He also has severe scoliosis and was told by doctors that he wouldn't live past 10 years old. But Washington was determined to overcome these challenges, and he took up weightlifting. He's now 45, and recent…

Remember the childhood hours of fun spent blasting your friends with neon-tinged water cannons? You can thank a NASA scientist for that. In 1982, Lonnie Johnson designed the Super Soaker. But that wasn't Johnson's only invention. The award-winning scientist came up with everything from the N…

Forget Pac-Man, Donkey Kong or Mario—in the ‘90s, Street Fighter II ruled the arcades, eventually dominating consoles like the SNES. One particular LA teen was unbeatable: the legendary Tomo Ohira. That is, until he disappeared…

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Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, cooler than a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce, it’s Piper the Aviation Bird Dog, ready for duty. Alongside his handler Brian Edwards, the dynamic duo protects the planes at Cherry Capital Airport from bird strikes. Birds can pos…

Remember Officer Clemmons, the policeman from "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood?" Actor Francois Clemmons was initially reluctant to take the role. Growing up in the late '60s, Clemmons didn't have a positive opinion of the cops at the time. But Fred Rogers convinced him, and Clemmons became one …

Tug of war is a real sport. And it’s hard. Once upon of time it was an official Olympic event, before it got cut for budget reasons. Today, a dedicated group of athletes still train and compete in the gritty sport on a global level. This isn’t the tug of war of your summer camp days.

You know Anonymous, the hacktivist group that performs cyber ops to advance social and political change. Now, meet Jay Leiderman, the California-based lawyer who represents Anonymous, pro bono. Leiderman specializes in cyber law and he’s become the go-to resource for cyber protestors. Armed …

Dippin’ Dots—they're an amusement park, zoo, aquarium and overall summertime staple. The mini balls of ice cream that melt in your mouth are also a childhood favorite. But where did the “ice cream of the future” come from? The answer has a little something to do with cow feed.

In 1904, athletes competing at the St. Louis marathon suffered through the race from hell. During a particularly sweltering day, runners were thrust into an event of catastrophic proportions, involving dysentery, drugs and rotten apples. Out of the 32 athletes that competed, only 14 made it …

Everything in Elizabeth Sweetheart’s life is green. From her bright green hair, to her self-dyed green overalls, the New York City artist has earned her moniker, “the Green Lady.” Elizabeth was inspired to wear green after an emotional trip to Florida with her father. Today, she continues to…

An Italian immigrant named Hector Boiardi invented it, but the U.S. Military canned pasta and tomato sauce into what it is today. Ladies and gentlemen, your [dorm room] dinner is served.

At Penn State University, you can study ice cream. Yes, you heard right: ice cream 101 is an actual class. Enter Dr. Bob Roberts, who's been teaching ice cream production for 25 years. On some days, students must come to class prepared to sample nine different flavors. Yum!

For South Korea, kimchi is a symbol of national pride, and Kim Myung-Sung makes some of the best fermented vegetables around. Originally inclined to make a delicious gift for his wife, he has since committed his life to making the perfect kimchi. Here's his secret.

At 27 years old, Shinri Tezuka may be one of the youngest people still practicing the dwindling art of amezaiku, or candy crafting, in Japan. The self-taught Japanese artist carves, sculpts and paints delicate lollipops into intricate edible sculptures. Amezaiku dates back hundreds of years,…

Oyakodon, or chicken and eggs over rice, may be one of Japan’s simplest comfort foods, but done right, it can also be the most satisfying. Tokyo’s Tamahide restaurant has been setting the bar for oyakodon since 1891. Through eight generations of perfecting this gooey, savory dish, Tamahide k…

Ioannis Ikonomou works for the European Commission as a translator. It's a prestigious position, and yet it still sells him short. You see, Ioannis speaks 32 living languages. He belongs to a very small and special group of people called hyperpolyglots who have the extraordinary ability to a…

When Tatsuo Horiuchi retired, he decided to try his hand at art. But instead of spending money on paints and brushes, Horiuchi used what he already had pre-installed on his computer—Microsoft Excel. Now, the 77-year-old artist is creating remarkably intricate digital masterpieces of the Japa…

What does it take to make a face? Try $4,500. At Landon Meier’s studio, you can try on a new face for a day. Meier specializes in creating hyper-realistic (and hyper-expensive) masks that could easily pass for the real thing. Take a test run at being Walter White, or try on Mike Tyson for si…

Before the FDA came around, there was some pretty gnarly stuff in our food: additives like formaldehyde, borax, and copper sulfate​—poisons! To prove these toxins weren't good for us, Dr. Harvey W. Wiley, a chemist, organized a volunteer supper club​ to document the effects of these poisons …

Andrew Jones jokes that he’s “the best looking zombie you’ll ever see.” The fitness model and body builder technically has no pulse, and has built an impressive physique on an artificial heart. Until he receives a donor match, he keeps a constant supply of batteries on him. Heart or no heart…

Adrian Wellock lost his sense of taste. After suffering a cold, he started getting a metallic taste in his mouth, which took his palate with it. These days, he only eats foods that are simple to chew and adds spice and herbs to ratchet up the smell. Find out what it's like when everything, a…

In the competitive world of hot pepper breeding, one man is smoking the competition. Meet “Smokin’” Ed Currie. He’s the man behind the world’s hottest pepper—the “Carolina Reaper.” For the past three decades, Currie has been pushing the limits of the Scoville scale—breeding hotter and hotter…

In 1853, George Crum was a chef at the Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, Ny. One day, a customer ordered fried potatoes. Upon being served, the customer scoffed and sent them back several times because of their soggy texture. But Chef Crum lost it. He fired back, cutting the potatoes pa…

Puppets—they’re child’s play, right? Spend five minutes watching Barnaby Dixon and you’ll surely disagree. At first, it might seem strange for a 26-year-old to be hand-building puppets in his bedroom and shooting videos of his performances for a living, but the puppet prodigy’s creations are…

Locked behind black steel doors in Northumberland, England, the Poison Garden at Alnwick Castle grows around 100 infamous killers. From deadly nightshade to hemlock, the only way a plant can take root in this garden is if it is lethal to humans. Created by the Duchess of Northumberland, this…

In 1999, Billy Mitchell was the first person to achieve a perfect score in "Pac-Man." His ability to reach the end of the game even stumped "Pac-Man's" creators and designers, who named him the “video game player of the century.” Here’s what he had to do to beat the game.

Mitsuo Nakatani is a mochi master, and to watch him do his work is a genuine thrill. Turning sticky rice into Japan’s traditional soft and chewy treat requires pounding, flipping and smashing the glutinous rice at high speeds in perfect coordination with a team. While visitors come to Nakata…

In 1950, a group of U.S. Marines fighting in North Korea got stranded without enough ammunition. They managed to get to safety, but only with the help of ... wait for it ... Tootsie Rolls. Imagine that!

Stunts, pyrotechnics, and superstars in sunglasses: that's what comes to mind when you think of the world behind the scenes of a big-budget action movie, right? Well here's one more for you: automotive modification. Matt McEntegart wasn't a great artist and didn't know much about computers, …

Durge Kami, 69, was born into a poor family and lived too far away from school to receive a formal education as a child. But that hasn't stopped him from finishing school now. He's the oldest student in his school and his classmates affectionately call him Bajee, or 'grandpa' in Nepali. Durg…

In 1982, when he was only 14 years old, Robert Wardhaugh sat down to play a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Thirty-five years later, that same game is still going strong. Based out of Wardhaugh’s basement in London, Canada, people from all around the country gather each week to join in the dec…

At the end of World War II, Germany was divided. Berlin, its capital, was in crisis. The city was partially controlled by the Soviets, who held it under a siege. In order to save millions from starvation, the United States and England devised a plan: They would send in basic supplies by air …

Floating off the coast of Vancouver Island, a 45-minute boat ride to the nearest town, is a sustainable island fortress complete with a dance floor, art gallery and garden. For artists Catherine King and Wayne Adams, this is home: a labor of love 24 years in the making.