People who see our planet from outer space experience profound awe, humility, and a recognition of the fragility of life. They return to Earth changed.
Christian Bök’s 2001 anthology Eunoia contains five chapters that each use just one of the five vowels.
In 2011, the World Computer Chess Championship banned the four-time champion Rybka chess engine for cheating.
In the 1993 World Open chess tournament, an unknown competitor drew a match against a grandmaster. He used a computer to cheat.
How did people wake up in the morning before alarm clocks? They paid to get knocked up.
Sarah Josepha Hale published “Mary had a Little Lamb” in 1830. Forty-six years later, Mary Tyler claimed to be the original Mary.
The Scandinavian mile is 10 kilometres long. It used to be longer still.
Bees use sunlight polarisation patterns to navigate. We can train ourselves to detect light polarisation too.
The Doubting Antiquity School were sceptics of ancient Chinese texts’ historical veracity… until the oracle bones were deciphered.
A Portuguese mercenary stole the largest working bell in history from Shwedagon Pagoda, and then lost it in the waters of the Yangon River.
The fastest sailing route around the world – the Clipper route – is also the most dangerous.
Germany’s 1930 Schienenzeppelin was a propeller-driven train that could pull forty passengers at speeds faster than 200 kilometres per hour.
In a kiln, a set of three drooping cones can monitor the effects of temperature on the pottery items being fired.
The famed philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was also an early pioneer of jet-engine propellers.
The 19th century Scottish author Emily Gerard collected local legends about a school of black magic high in the mountains of Transylvania.
John Newton was a press-ganged sailor, a slave, a slave-ship captain, an Anglican priest, an abolitionist, and the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace.”