The cowboy college, the clown college, the impossibility of proof, and the impossibility of universal categorization.
Mickey Mouse’s first words, Mel Blanc’s exceptionally short Disney career, the 1941 Disney Strike, and the alternative names for the seven dwarfs.
The suspicious origins of Wall Street’s wall, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s abandoned children, the crossroads killings of Sengoku era Japan, and Renaissance fart jokes.
How we know Kofi Annan was born on Friday, the first named author in history, the peculiar names of American pilgrims, and the names of the biblical nameless.
Uganda’s first action film, Cameroon’s lake of death, the resurrection of the extinct quagga, and the war over the (literal and physical) throne of the Ashanti Empire.
Shakespeare (the programming language), the invisible programming language, programming in 282 different languages at the same time, and the programmer’s Fizz Buzz challenge.
Diamond-, copper- and gold-prospecting forests; the smallest tree in the world; the lost plant species that provided ancient Rome’s birth control (and our modern heart symbol); and the tree still defending itself against an extinct giant.
Fake slang of the Seattle grunge scene, nonsense as a propaganda tool, the American accent as imagined by an Italian singer, and the ultimate expression of engineering technobabble.
Ayn Rand’s choose-your-own-adventure play, the magician in the oven, the shortest play in history, and the cross-eyed kabuki pose.
The ingeniously twisted canal bridge; the first bridge of iron; the “bridge” to Sri Lanka; and folding, curling, tilting, swinging, and submerging bridges.
An international alphabet, the tongue-twisters of click languages, language chains across continents, and the five million dollar comma.
Mongolia’s answer to the Beatles, the Soviet Union’s answer to cowboy films, the Russian adaptation of The Hobbit, and Western music etched onto old x-ray film to get through the Iron Curtain.
The juggernaut’s kitchen, patenting yoga, the thousand names of Vishnu, and the strange chain reaction that led from anti-inflammatory drug use on cattle to a leopard invasion.
The 17th century warship sunk the same day it was launched, the deepest shipwreck in the world, the dreadnought sunk by a human torpedo, and the cyclone that ended gunboat diplomacy in Samoa.
The measure of a one-in-a-million death, the problem with Australian tablespoons, counting prayers, and why an ounce of gold weighs more than an ounce of feathers.
Electric cars of the 19th century, an unjustly electrocuted elephant, the electrified corpse of George Forster, and the river mouth with year-round lightning.