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A Dictator’s 5 Destroyed and Recycled Palaces

It’s a surreal, otherworldly scene: ornate palaces with the finest appointments being used as temporary shelter for American soldiers. The detritus of their everyday lives mingles with the ornate columns, shiny marble floors and war rubble in the palaces built by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. After the dictator was forced from power and his property seized, the US Army moved their command headquarters into Al-Faw Palace in Camp Victory. Photographer Richard Mosse traveled to Iraq to document this bizarre circumstance, this juxtaposition of supposed liberators dwelling in the very home of the dictator they vowed to depose. He called the resulting book Breach, a nod to the liberators stepping into the breach they created when Hussein was removed from power.

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13 Weird Taxes (And Tax Breaks) From Around The World

Everyone knows that taxes are one of life’s only certainties. But while most of us are well acquainted with income and sales taxes, few of us are aware that some countries tax prostitution. The same goes for tax breaks. No one bats an eye about writing off some office supplies, but did you know that Germany (until recently) allowed businesses to deduct the cost of bribery? The United States and the rest of the world tax – and exempt from taxation – strange activities and behavior that virtually no one would have expected, or has any rational explanation for. Today, BillShrink combs some of the top financial websites online to gather thirteen of the weirdest taxes – and tax breaks – from around the world.

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13 Things You Didn’t Know About Bourbon

America loves its bourbon. We stand in line for it. We (slurrily) wax poetic about it. We fall into embarrassingly overexaggerated southern porch drawls after about four fingers of it. But how much do most of us actually know about it? Beyond its sweet, sweet brown beauty, that is. There’s plenty to know about bourbon, and not for random trivia’s sake. (Though if you win your next bar trivia night, feel free to share the cash prize with us.) Bourbon is the kind of thing where the more you learn about its history, the richer and the fuller it tastes on the tongue. Learning about bourbon while drinking it is like putting a sepia filter on a soft, mellow buzz.

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Top 10 Modern Night Club Fires

Nightclubs, a place for fun, dance, drink, and celebration, can quickly turn into deadly fire traps, killing hundreds of guests, entertainers, and staff. Here are ten of the deadliest nightclub fire disasters from 1940-2009. Though almost 60 years separates the oldest from the most recent, common threads run through all of these nightclub fires, overcrowding, locked exits, flammable decorative and construction materials, making them, in most cases, preventable catastrophes. The use of pyrotechnic displays or fireworks inside the buildings, usually as part of live stage acts or bands, has been the cause of many of these fire disasters, and the two most recent that occurred in 2009.

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6 'Easily' Breakable Guinness World Records

How good are you at bouncing on a spacehopper? Record-breakingly good? We think you might be. Perhaps it's because we occasionally have complete and utter blind faith in total strangers, or maybe it's because you're reading Asylum UK and because of this, logically, you must be smarter than your dog. The record in question is the 100m dash... on a spacehopper. If you're in good shape, you should be able to run 100m in about 12 seconds - and if you really gave it some welly, doing it on a hopper in around three times that shouldn't be too hard... should it? Having a good old rootle through the Guinness Book of Records we discovered quite a few records that instantly make you think: "Hells' proverbial bells, I could beat that!" Here's our favourites, and why you might be able to do it, and, erm, why you probably can't.

read: 6 'Easily' Breakable Guinness World Records

10 Human Freaks of Nature

Kermit the Frog sang that “It ain’t easy being green.” How about, “It ain’t easy being a conjoined-twin forced into a humiliating form of circus-slavery,” or “It ain’t easy having no limbs.” Being green is the least of these people’s worries (in fact, it might be nice to be culturally-beloved for a change). At the turn of the last century, entertainment was a different species than it is today, having no T.V. nor radio nor action movies; you had to witness a living miracle in order to be fully entertained, and circuses provided that very thing. Showcasing hoards of deformed and mutant varieties of humans – that freak-collectors like P.T. Barnum rounded up and whipped into shape – the world marveled at what it so often sought to sweep under its own carpet. Circus sideshows might have been a cruel form of psychological abuse for any of the so-called “freaks” placed under contract (or a kind of indentured slavery), but some of these individuals also went on to profit greatly off what no one else would hire. So as you ask yourself, “Was being a circus freak actually a bad thing?” – given the duality of the situation – step right up and ogle at these 10 freaks of nature.

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Top 5 Ways To Get The Flu

Either you have it or know someone whose got it. "My whole family is sick. I'm sick. He's sick. My older son is sick" said Kathy Townsman of South Philadelphia. Doctors at the University of Arizona ranked the top five ways people are catching the flu, and you may be surprised at where the germs are hiding.

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14 Things Everyone Should Understand About Guns

uns can be dangerous in the wrong hands. But so are articles about guns written by people who don’t understand anything about them. There’s sadly no excuse to be ignorant about firearms. They’ve been around for hundreds of years. They’re owned and operated safely by tens of millions of Americans each year. Our Constitution guarantees our individual right to possess guns so that we might be able to defend ourselves from those who would violently take away our freedom. Many gun controllers, however — some of whom have bylines for major media organizations — don’t actually know the first thing about firearms.

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8 Facts Revealed by Genetic Analysis of the Platypus

You’ve heard the joke: “After God finished making all the animals, He took the leftover parts and made the platypus.” While the platypus does not, in fact, have an actual beaver’s tail nor a duck’s bill, genetic analysis proves that the platypus is confounding well beyond its external mismatched/mish-mashed characteristics.

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The Other 15 Ways I Blew My Marriage

Almost two weeks ago, I told you all about my family’s tradition of going around the room and having everyone give their best marriage advice to the bride and groom on the eve of their wedding. While sitting in that circle on the night before my sister’s nuptials, I felt so valueless having been divorced not just once but twice. Not a lick of what I had was good marriage advice. No. Everything I had was “how not to botch your marriage like I did” advice, which was something I had plenty of. They were the “don’t dos” instead of the “do dos.” (Yes, I heard it the second I typed it). They were my regrets, and not my successes. And I didn’t really feel like anyone in that room would want to hear them.

read: The Other 15 Ways I Blew My Marriage

Fire Up the Grill: 8 Healthy Grilling Recipes

Add tons of flavor, not fat, to your next barbecue with these eight healthy, delicious dishes. We've even got desserts! Rosemary Shrimp Skewers with Arugula-White Bean Salad. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 5 minutes. Makes: 4 to 6 servings.

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25 of the Best Photographs of the Legendary Boxer Muhammad Ali

Our picture editor, Jonny Weeks, has selected his favourite photographs of Muhammad Ali from the archives. The selection includes pictures of some of Ali’s most memorable fights as well as many distinctive portraits from his life outside the ring. The most famous photo of Ali ever taken is of him standing over Sonny Liston, who appeared to have thrown their 1965 bout. It was taken by Neil Leifer and was shot in colour. Spare a thought, then, for John Rooney, sat right beside Leifer, who captured this less-acclaimed version.

read: 25 of the Best Photographs of the Legendary Boxer Muhammad Ali