The blog is one year old today.
The song Happy Birthday to You is in the public domain. But that didn’t stop a music publishing company collecting two million dollars a year for its use.
In Mexican wrestling the mask is sacred, and its loss in the ring is the ultimate insult. The first Mexican wrestler to lose his mask was El Murciélago Enmascarado, The Masked Bat, and it all happened eighty years ago.
In Japanese folklore, turtle monkey demons can steal your soul… by pulling it out of your anus. Fortunately, they have easily detachable arms and like cucumbers.
What’s the fastest object ever made by humans? In 1957 a 900kg steel plate may have been launched into space by a nuclear explosion, but it has since been eclipsed by far faster things.
For the several of the first modern Olympic Games you could win a gold medal in sculpture, painting, music, literature, or architecture.
In 1947 the English author Dennis Wheatley wrote a letter to the dystopian future he thought was coming and buried it. Twenty-two years later the letter was uncovered. It had not aged well.
In southern and south-eastern Asia and the Pacific, teeth were blackened or lacquered to keep them intact and healthy.
Marc-André Hamelin’s piano piece Circus Galop cannot be played by a human. It was not written with humans in mind.
The P vs. NP problem is perhaps the biggest unsolved question in computer science – but an answer would have profound implications for mathematics, cryptography, cancer research, nurse roster scheduling, and sudoku. [2 of 2]
The P vs. NP problem is perhaps the biggest unsolved question in computer science – but an answer would have profound implications for mathematics, cryptography, cancer research, nurse roster scheduling, and sudoku. [1 of 2]
Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books have a long history in the Soviet Union and Russia, from illegal translations in the 1960s to a film in the 1980s to an unauthorised retelling sympathetic to the orcs in the 1990s.
When a location is abandoned by humans, nature returns. Sci-fi author Bruce Sterling calls these feral landscapes involuntary parks.
The heart symbol may have originated with an ancient Roman form of birth control, a plant that is probably now extinct.
In 1983 a Boeing 767 with 61 passengers ran out of fuel while twelve thousand metres off the ground. The metric system was to blame.