A Portuguese mercenary stole the largest working bell in history from Shwedagon Pagoda, and then lost it in the waters of the Yangon River.
Since 1971, US diplomats and State Department workers who disagree with government policy can communicate their opposition through the Dissent Channel.
How about that time that the Egyptian Mamluks, with secret support from Venice, battled the Portuguese in the sea off the coast of India?
On December 29, 2010, Eddie Tipton won US$14.3 million from Hot Lotto. In 2015 he went to jail for it. Tipton had hacked the lottery’s random number generator.
In the Roman Empire someone who killed their parent would be sewn into a sack with a live rooster, dog, monkey, and snake, and then thrown into the water. In medieval Germany, they used a cat, a dog, and a picture of a snake.
Antarctica has eight churches: four Catholic, one non-denominational, and three Eastern orthodox.
Vidal Sassoon was an icon of 20th century fashion – and also beat up fascists in post-WWII London.
John I the Posthumous was the King of France for five days, from the time he was born until the time he died.
The 1956 novelty song “The Flying Saucer” was one of the first mashup records. The words of the first spaceman ever to land on Earth? “A-wop-bop-a-loo-mop-a-lop-bam-boom!”
In 1867 the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire. But before offering it to the Americans, Russia tried to sell Alaska to the Prince of Liechtenstein.
A last-minute injunction blocked the live stream and recordings of the same-sex marriage court case Perry v. Schwarzenegger. So Dustin Lance Black took the trial transcripts and made a play reenacting the whole case.
In World War I, phenol was a key ingredient in aspirin, explosives, and phonograph records. German agents secretly redirected Thomas Edison’s excess phenol supply to prevent it being used for British bombs.
In 1968 a North Korean black ops assassination team got within 100 metres of the South Korean president’s house. South Korea formed a team of petty criminals and teenagers to return the favour, but after three years of training they mutinied.
At the start of this year the largest free trade agreement in the world came into effect, with the goal of connecting the entire African continent.
In 1859 a dispute over a single pig led to a military standoff between the United States and the United Kingdom. The conflict would eventually draw in George Pickett (of Pickett’s Charge), Henry Robert (of Robert’s Rules of Order) and Kaiser Wilhelm I.
When British suffragettes were released from prison, they got medals.