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.
During the December 2001 riots in Argentina, the country went through five presidents in just two weeks.
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.
Every Indian flag in India is made in one small south Indian village.
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.
Habeas corpus formally entered English law because of a parliamentarian’s fat joke in 1679.
Tiny Broadwick was the first person to intentionally jump out of a flying airplane without being tethered to something.
The calendar date February 30th has happened just once in history: in Sweden in 1712.
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.
The Japanese kotatsu combines a table, a heater, and a layer of comfortable blankets.
The Man of the Hole is an indigenous man living alone in the Amazon rainforest. Authorities believe that he is the last survivor of a tribe otherwise wiped out by illegal loggers.
The English language is notorious for borrowing words from other languages. And sometimes it borrows them more than once.
Six dancers in costume caught on fire at a ball in 1393 Paris. Only two survived; one of them was King Charles VI.