News flash: Jesus Christ didn’t die on the cross; instead, he fled to Siberia and then on to Japan. Don’t believe me? Well, go visit the Tomb of Jesus in Shingō, talk to some of his descendants, and then tell them they’re wrong.
Olivier Messiaen was one of the most prominent classical composers of the 20th century, and his most famous work – the Quartet for the End of Time – was first performed in a POW camp in Germany.
NASA famously freeze-dried ice cream so that astronauts could enjoy it in space. But this method of food preparation actually dates back hundreds of years: the South American chuño, or freeze-dried potato, remains edible for decades.
102 years ago, a tiny junior college was founded in Deep Springs Valley in eastern California. Despite having under 30 students at a time, alumni have received three MacArthur “genius grants,” two Pulitzer Prizes, and an Emmy award.
For a period of about four thousand years, during the Neolithic Subpluvial, the Sahara was green. Rivers, lakes, trees, savanna, and pre-historic societies flourished in this wet period.
Most people know that smallpox was the first disease that we have completely eradicated in the wild. But what was the second, and what does it have to do with Egyptian plagues, measles, and cattle?
From 1878 through to his death in 1934, Willy Clarkson was king of the wigmakers of London. He provided disguises to Scotland Yard (and was rumoured to have supplied Jack the Ripper also), theatre actors, and Virginia Woolf.
Can mathematics be beautiful? Mathematicians often describe proofs in aesthetic terms – they are elegant, sublime, ineffable; in a word, they are beautiful.
In 1939, a geologist dug up mammoth-ivory fragments inside a cave in Germany. Two weeks later, World War II began and they were forgotten. The fragments were reconstructed later, and turned out to be the earliest art in the world.
Samoa won independence from New Zealand through a concerted campaign of non-violent resistance. The Mau movement used a wide range of clever tactics, including boycotts, beetle-breeding, and surrendering en masse – and it worked.