The international light bulb conspiracy, the creative taxes (and tax evaders) of early modern England, how German employees help control their company, and the bond that has been paying 5% interest every year since 1648.
The waterfall of blood, the blood rainbow, humans with green blood, and blood type personalities.
The North Korean reality show about haircuts, the impressive moves of the smallest sumo wrestler in Japan, Hong Kong’s backwards-named street, and Mao Zedong’s epic war… against sparrows.
The worst poet in history, the worst tank ever made, the worst performance by a chess master, and the worst smell.
Smallpox cultists, the half a billion neurons in your guts, androgen immunity, and the citric acid panic of 1976.
The ancestor of hundreds of languages, including English, Italian, Russian, Farsi, and Punjabi; the last speaker of Yahi; the last speaker of Yaghan; and nests to revive endangered languages.
The first people born in Antarctica, the polar parka made from animal guts, the town without appendices, and a mysterious death at the South Pole.
The intersections between sci-fi and real patents: tractor beams, transparent aluminium, mid-ocean tunnels, and the prolific predictions of Hugo Gernsback.
Today’s post was #900. So, as is my tradition, it’s time for some updates.
The chemist who changed the planet’s atmosphere more than any other living thing in history; the physics of falling bullets; why two events can be both simultaneous and not simultaneous at the same time; and old people smell.
The green elixir of long life; Oliver Reed’s last day; Peter the Great’s All-Joking, All-Drunken Synod of Fools and Jesters; and prime minister who got drunk and announced a snap election.
Politicians courting the violent fringe, the first mammal casualty of climate change, the largest free trade agreement in the world, and the phantom serial killer of Heilbronn.
The oldest surviving carpet, the oldest surviving shoe, prehistoric proto-knitting, and the earliest evidence of clothing.
Colombian Nadaists; the tomb-raiders whose blackmail returned Eva Perón’s body to Argentina; the 40,000km-long Incan road network; and why the largest national park, and the largest rainforest, in the European Union is in South America.
History’s most unlikely conflicts: horses vs. ships, Manuel Noriega vs. The Clash, a jet fighter vs. a New Jersey intermediate school, and that time the Irish invaded Canada.
How Monet captured colour and weather in his haystacks; the proto-Escher engravings of Piranesi; the extraction of Goya’s famous Black Paintings; and the ancient artistic motif spread across Europe, the Middle East, and India.