The most obscure pun in Asterix; the first comic strip character; the Scrabble-like game using comics instead of letters; and the comic that can be read upside-down.
In the 16th century Portugal claimed the Indian Ocean and Spain the Pacific Ocean as their unique domain, as “closed seas.” In 1609, a Dutch jurist presented a new alternative that has since entered international law: the freedom of the seas.
When it launched in 1980, CNN was the first 24-hour news channel in television history. It has been running non-stop since that launch. But what happens if the world ends? Well, CNN plans to go out in style.
We just passed Post Number 1000! Time for some updates, links to friends, and news about the future of this website.
For more than fifty years, Norbert Pearlroth sat in the reading room of the New York Public Library main branch every weekday from noon until 10pm. Unknown to almost everyone, he was researching one of the 20th century’s great sources of facts and trivia.
Steganographia is a late 15th / early 16th century German book of magic… but it’s not actually about magic.
Auckland, New Zealand, is built on top of more than fifty volcanoes.
The 1859 military standoff between the United States and Canadian territories over a single pig; the Panamanian rain forest that splits the transcontinental highway; foods that are illegal in the US; and how to swim all the way across North America.
Blind imagination; the best colour vision in the world; the sixth, seventh, eight, and ninth senses; and how to train yourself to see light polarisation.
Before we knew about plate tectonics, a zoologist proposed a lost continent connecting Madagascar and India across the Indian Ocean. That hypothesis, now debunked, was nevertheless picked up by Theosophists and Tamil revivalists.
The leaves of Codariocalyx motorius move fast enough that you can see their motion. This plant likes to dance.
From 1681 to 1838, performances of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy King Lear had a happy ending.
Przewalksi’s horse is genetically distinct from modern horses (it has an extra chromosome pair). It went extinct in the wild in 1969, but a small population was introduced to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in 1998; they have thrived.