Pierre Boulle won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Bridge on the River Kwai. He did not write the screenplay, did not accept the award in person, and in fact did not even speak English.
Need to hide your smallpox or syphilis scars? Try fake beauty marks made of velvet, silk, or mouse fur.
In 1605 Miguel de Cervantes published Part 1 of Don Quixote, the first “modern” novel. In 1614 an unidentified author wrote an unauthorized sequel: the first fanfic of the first modern novel.
Mainoumi Shūhei is a legend in the world of sumo for defeating opponents more than twice his weight.
Although the character was inspired by many real-life spies, the author Ian Fleming took the name James Bond from an ornithologist.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was written by a German author under the pseudonym B. Traven. Who was he? We don’t know.
Worshippers of many different religious use beads on a string to count prayers: Catholic Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, and Baháʼís.
John Cage’s 1942 work The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs was composed for one singer and one piano… with the lid closed.
Oliver Reed, the famed actor and alcoholic, drank 8 pints of beer, 12 shots of rum, half a bottle of whiskey, and some shots of cognac, arm-wrestled five sailors, and then died of a heart attack.
Mike returns home from the Vietnam War with PTSD. He joins an underground fight club and wrestles with his own inner demons. Also: Mike is an adorable penguin, and this is one of the weirdest anime films to come out of 1980s Japan.
The inventor of the pie chart and the bar chart was also a secret agent who helped collapse the French revolutionary government’s economy through an elaborate counterfeiting operation.
The silicon chip pictured here is the central processor from a 1991 Hewlett-Packard 9000 700-series workstation. It contains 577,000 transistors… and a horse?
Lake Eyre, in the middle of the Australian Outback, is only a lake when it floods. And when that happens, people like to sail yachts on it.
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.