William McGonagall is widely recognised as the worst poet in history.
Elementals are a common feature of modern bestiaries, video games, and RPGs. We have the 16th century alchemist Paracelsus to thank for thinking them up.
If you’re using an Australian recipe book, watch out for the tablespoon, or your baking will turn out all wrong.
What is the smallest boring number? There’s no such thing, because the title of smallest boring number automatically makes that number interesting.
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, why would you paint anything else? The eye miniature was one of the oddest trends in late 1700s art.
In 1925, staff from Osram, General Electric, Philips, and others met in Switzerland to artificially fix the life expectancy of light bulbs worldwide. For the next 14 years, the Phoebus cartel controlled the world supply of light.
In 1976, North Korea, South Korea, and the United States almost went to war over a single tree.
Author Ayn Rand wrote a play about a murder trial. Audience members were invited to play the jury and determine the end of the play – thus creating one of the first choose-your-own-adventure plots in history.
An earworm is a piece of repetitive memorable music that gets stuck in your head. How do you cure it? Chew gum.
In computer programming, how do you know when a program is going bad? First, it begins to smell.
The Mars Climate Orbiter space probe cost 327 million US dollars – and it crashed because of a mix-up between the metric and imperial systems.
Manuel Noriega was the CIA-funded dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989. When the United States invaded Panama, they drove him out with The Clash’s cover of I Fought the Law.
Before television, people had to make their own fun. So they trained pigs to read.
In a 1939 short film, Porky Pig swears in the funniest way possible. It was not seen by the public until the 1970s.
In 2017, because of a missing comma, a Maine company had to pay out five million dollars in a legal settlement.