In 2004 a plaque commemorating Father Pat Noise was installed on a bridge in Dublin, Ireland. Pat Noise never existed.
The Kāma Sūtra suggests that lovers learn cryptography.
Between 1941 and 1943 Germany broadcast propaganda jazz music with altered lyrics into Britain.
The first author whose name we know was Enheduanna. Daughter of Sargon the Great, she wrote religious hymns, so she can also lay claim to being the first named poet in history.
Okay, here’s a hybrid sport for you: combine volleyball, football, and gymnastics. And (why not) throw in a trampoline and make the referee double as the DJ.
The longest word in Ancient Greek literature comes from Aristophanes’ comic play Assemblywomen. It is 78 syllables long.
An iconic image of silent film: a space ship approaches the face in the moon and crashes into its… mouth? In 1908 a competitor made a nearly identical shot-for-shot remake of Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon.
Artists sometimes change or improve paintings by painting over old versions. Through careful examination or special imaging, we can sometimes see these ghosts of lost art again.
In Marvel comics, the X-Men struggle to have their humanity recognised. But in real life, the United States Court of International Trade ruled that the X-Men are not human.
Looking for a new hobby? Try folding banknotes into origami.
In Psychomachia, one of the most popular poems of Medieval Europe, the personifications of Christian virtues fight the vices in a bloodthirsty battle royale. Decapitation, strangulation, squished eyeballs, vomiting bloody teeth…
Take Five is perhaps the most famous piece of music in 5/4 time. Tito Puente’s cover of the song is not in 5/4 time.
In 1956 Eddie Lawrence had a one-hit wonder, a song called The Old Philosopher that is perhaps the most pessimistic song to ever reach the American Billboard Top 40.
Leia and Luke crash land on Mimban, are arrested by stormtroopers, fall in with a pair of drunk aliens, escape, float on giant lily-pads, then chop off Darth Vader’s arm. This is the official 1978 novel sequel to Star Wars.
Samuel Beckett wrote one of the shortest performed plays in the world on the back of a postcard. The first staging still managed to mess it up.