The second-fastest animal, the second-greatest wall, the second disease eliminated by humans, and the second human in orbit.
An episode of the 1970s television series The Goodies killed a man. He died laughing.
The Church of One Tree in Santa Rosa, California, was built in 1873 out of a single giant redwood tree.
The French artist Yves Klein sold empty space – an invisible “zone of immaterial pictorial sensibility.” Buyers paid in gold, half of which Klein would throw into the Seine River.
In 2004 a new white blood cell defence mechanism was discovered: the cells extrude DNA threads like nets or lassos to trap and neutralise harmful bacteria.
In 1974 the Arecibo message was broadcast into space. In 2001 hoaxers made a reply “from aliens” in a field next to another observatory.
The hot dog stand at the centre of the Pentagon, a Japanese garden ziggurat, a town under Australia, and the building that housed 1% of a country.
The first (accidental) 3D film, the surprising origin of the Wilhelm Scream, the first damsel in distress, and the first closed captions.
The houses in the Transylvanian city Sibiu are watching you.
It has been 800 posts since I began this website, so it’s time for an overhaul, a redesign, and some more updates.
The Universal Decimal Classification aims to label all human knowledge, and it’s even more thorough than the Dewey Decimal system.
According to Jewish law, Shabbat begins at sundown. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. But what do you do if the sun does not set?
Poisoned potions of immortality caused the death of up to seven Chinese emperors – the last less than three centuries ago.
It is illegal to climb Gangkhar Puensum in Bhutan, so no-one has ever reached the top. It is the highest unclimbed mountain in the world.
Eugene Debs received more than 900,000 votes in the 1920 American presidential election – while in prison for sedition.
The Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff has a songwriter credit for the power ballad “All by Myself.”