Disney’s Robin Hood features a song about the “Phony King of England.” That song is based on an old (and very bawdy) English folk ballad about “The Bastard King of England.”
In 1978 a cache of five hundred film reels was discovered under an ice rink in Dawson City, Yukon. These buried reels included the only copy of films that had been lost for decades.
The blues music genre at its core is about hardship, oppression, and suffering. But it took Screamin’ Jay Hawkins to sing about that real pain down inside.
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.
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.
On May 10, 1849, New Yorkers rioted over who was the better Shakespearean actor, the English performer William Macready or the American Edwin Forrest.
In 2008, a whole beach in northwestern Jamaica was reported stolen: five hundred truckloads of sand went missing and were never recovered.
On a sidewalk in New York City is a triangle mosaic about 70cm wide. It is perhaps the smallest parcel of private land in the city, and it exists entirely because of spite.
On June 22, 1948, eight hundred and two African-Caribbean migrants arrived in Britain on the HMT Empire Windrush. Amongst this historic first wave of “reverse colonization” were the soon-to-be-famous calypsonian singer Lord Kitchener.
A Bangladeshi engineer named Fazlur Rahman Khan revolutionised the design of skyscrapers by modelling them on bamboo tubes.
From 1951 to the 1980s the PATSY Award celebrated the greatest animal actor in Hollywood; from 2001 to today the Palm Dog Award celebrates the greatest canine actor showing at Cannes.
In the 18th century, a new pirate crew would come together to elect a captain and quartermaster, and agree on a shared code of conduct: what we today call the pirate code.
The opening riff of Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” bears a strong resemblance to the 1984 song “Eighties”… which in turn bears a strong resemblance to the 1982 song “Life Goes On.”
Donald Duck’s distinctive speaking style is a type of alaryngeal speech – it is made without using your voice box.
M-185 has been part of Michigan’s state highway system since 1933… but no cars drive on it. And it has still managed to have at least one crash.
Specially designated “sentinel chickens” allow health officials to track the emergence of infectious diseases like West Nile virus amongst human populations.