More than a thousand English soldiers were killed by hailstones during the Siege of Chartres in 1360.
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.
Earth-like planets that orbit too close to their stars are probably completely covered in lava.
For the last thirty-one years, an alliance of nearly forty small island states have campaigned against global warming – because if it is not checked, some of them will be underwater.
Imagine glowing, hissing, steaming balls of floating rock up to three metres across emerging from the depths of the ocean – these are lava balloons.
McDonald’s iconic Happy Meal came to us via a Chilean-Guatemalan restauranteur, a Missouri advertising agent, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Biomedical research uses immortal cell lines such as HeLa to test treatments and examine biological mechanisms. But sometimes those cell lines are not what everyone thought: they have been invaded.
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 calendar date February 30th has happened just once in history: in Sweden in 1712.
The Japanese kotatsu combines a table, a heater, and a layer of comfortable blankets.
Want to work out what day of the week for any date? Just use the doomsday algorithm.