Deep in the vaults of the Bank of England are banknotes, legal tender, for 100 million pounds each. These may be the most valuable banknotes in the world.
Topsy the elephant was famously electrocuted in 1903. History has not been kind to her, so let’s set the record straight. No, she was not a victim of the AC vs. DC wars. No, she was not a killer elephant. Yes, she killed one man, but in clear self defence.
In 1925, staff from Osram, General Electric, Philips, and others met in Switzerland to artificially fix the life expectancy of light bulbs worldwide. For the next 14 years, the Phoebus cartel controlled the world supply of light.
In 2017, because of a missing comma, a Maine company had to pay out five million dollars in a legal settlement.
In late 1940s Hungary, the highest inflation rate ever recorded led to the creation of a banknote valued at one hundred quintillion pengő.
The Peel P50, manufactured in the Isle of Man, is the smallest car ever to go into mass production. It’s really, really small.
Have you ever had a boss who just had to contribute to your project in order to prove their worth? There’s an easy way to counteract that: just add a duck.
Eighty percent of the surface area of the Pacific country Nauru has been strip-mined; most of its land has been shipped to Australia, New Zealand, and Britain.
“Hey kid, go to the store and get me a glass hammer, will ya?” Many professions prank newcomers by giving them an impossible task: find a left-handed screwdriver, striped paint, elbow grease, a lobster gun…
Traffic is so bad, why don’t we build more roads to deal with it? Since the 1940s, city planners have known (and often ignored) one counterintuitive rule: more roads means more congestion.
The Emeco 1006 Navy chair was originally designed to survive a torpedo hit. In continuous production since 1944, it has found a second life as the go-to chair for interrogation scenes in film.
We all know that chocolate chip cookies are the best thing since sliced bread. But what is older than sliced bread? Well, the list is long: Betty White. Sidney Poitier. The ex-pope.
The gambler’s fallacy is the belief that random independent events “even out” over time. In Monaco in August 1913, this belief cost casino gamblers millions because of an extraordinary streak at a roulette table.
January 25, 1979: the day that the robot uprising began. Well, not precisely, but that day saw the first human fatality caused by a robot. It would not be the last.
Horse-drawn canal boats made up the early British Industrial Revolution’s transportation network. But they presented a tough problem: how to get a horse from one bank of a canal to another, without disconnecting the rope?