In 1950 Leo Szilard warned the world that a single device capable of annihilating all life on Earth was theoretically possible.
The inventor of the diesel engine died at sea under mysterious and still unexplained circumstances.
How do you test Moon landers, or lunar excavation and construction processes? Get some fake moon dust, of course.
What do the first postage stamps, Fabergé eggs, and watch backs have in common? Rose engine lathes.
Thomas Selfridge was a passenger in one of the Wright brothers’ early planes when it crashed in 1908; he was the first person to die in a plane crash.
The 19th century mystery watch was a genuine engineering puzzle: a pocket watch whose face was entirely transparent.
Gated reverb drums, one of the core sounds of 1980s rock music and most famously played in Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” were the result of an accident in the recording studio.
A bump key can be used to open most standard pin tumbler locks.
Sputnik 1 orbited the Earth for three months; Sputnik 2 for nearly six months. Explorer 1 stayed in orbit for twelve years, but the fourth artificial satellite, Vanguard 1, is still flying today.
Why can computers play chess or Go better than any human but struggle with walking or seeing? This is Moravec’s paradox.
In 1962 the United States detonated a nuclear bomb in outer space over Hawai’i. It caused an artificial aurora in the sky over Honolulu – and another one over Samoa, more than four thousand kilometres away.
A passenger in the the 1957 Zündapp Janus sits with their back to the driver. The Janus has two doors: the front of the car and the rear of the car.
Earl Muntz was an American businessperson who made a fortune chopping unnecessary bits out of TV sets. He may have also coined the term “TV” and certainly named his daughter “Tee Vee” too.
One Sunday in 1987, two Chicago TV broadcasts were hijacked by someone with a Max Headroom mask, a voice modulator, and an odd sense of humour. He was never caught.
In many parts of the world it is traditional to celebrate by firing guns in the air. But what happens to the bullets?