Novels have words and films move. But some creators have resisted even these conventions, creating novels without writing and films without motion.
In 1959, the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was one of the most sophisticated aircraft prototypes in the world. When the project was cancelled, the Canadian government ordered all Arrows, parts, production equipment, and technical data destroyed.
At the 1978 Grammy Awards, in the category Best Pop Instrumental Performance, John Williams’ famous Star Wars soundtrack faced off against… a disco funk cover of the Star Wars soundtrack that had outsold and out-charted the original.
In a 1994 qualifying match for the Caribbean Cup, both Barbados and Grenada attempted to score deliberate own goals – because it was the best strategy available.
McDonald’s iconic Happy Meal came to us via a Chilean-Guatemalan restauranteur, a Missouri advertising agent, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
In the mid-20th century, Austin Wiggin’s mother predicted that her son would have daughters, and those daughters would form a famous band. He did, and they did, in the most surprising way possible.
Laika, the first space dog, died in orbit. But the next two – Belka and Strelka – survived. One of Strelka’s puppies was gifted to John F. Kennedy… but not before it was fully scanned for secret listening devices.
On December 9, 1968, a team led by computer scientist Douglas Engelbart ran a 90 minute tech demo at a San Francisco conference. This “mother of all demos” introduced the world to the computer mouse, windows, hypertext, and collaborative document editors.
A large enough kite can lift someone off the ground. So, of course, several inventors and aeronauts tried to find a military application for such man-lifting kites.
Several mammals, including rodents and bears, hibernate over the cold winters. But at least one bird does so as well.
In the 1960s and 1970s, both the United States and the Soviet Union explored “peaceful” applications of nuclear weapons: excavating earth for lakes and canals, geological research, and extinguishing gas well fires.
Tiny Broadwick was the first person to intentionally jump out of a flying airplane without being tethered to something.
The US state of Nebraska is landlocked; all the states around it are also landlocked; and all the states around them are also landlocked. And yet, the Governor of Nebraska can grant residents the honorary title of Nebraska Admiral.
In 1976, twenty-six children riding in a California school bus were kidnapped at gunpoint and hidden inside a truck that was buried in a quarry. Twenty-seven hours later, after sixteen hours underground, they escaped.
In 1869, some samurai and their families set up a colony in California. Although it only lasted two years, it was the first permanent Japanese settlement in the United States.
When asked why we have no proof of extraterrestrial life, the Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard joked that Martians were already among us… they just called themselves Hungarians.