The intersections between sci-fi and real patents: tractor beams, transparent aluminium, mid-ocean tunnels, and the prolific predictions of Hugo Gernsback.
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.
The oldest surviving carpet, the oldest surviving shoe, prehistoric proto-knitting, and the earliest evidence of clothing.
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.
Radio announcers’ tongue twister tests, the pirate radio station that broadcast while it sank, the radio play hoax attack twelve years before The War of the Worlds, and the broadcaster who was the last person in the UK executed for treason.
When United States deported thousands of US citizens to Mexico, when an Arizona town exiled 1,300 striking miners, when Bulgaria exiled the world’s last tsar, and the Soviet Union’s 101 kilometre exile.
The tiniest wee car in the world, the car with two faces, the time a Grand Prix driver crashed his car on purpose, and the problem with driving cars after the end of the world.
The Swedish king’s “scientific” battle between coffee and tea, the East German coffee crisis, edible tea, and coffee / tea blends.
Mickey Mouse’s first words, Mel Blanc’s exceptionally short Disney career, the 1941 Disney Strike, and the alternative names for the seven dwarfs.
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.
Shakespeare (the programming language), the invisible programming language, programming in 282 different languages at the same time, and the programmer’s Fizz Buzz challenge.
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.
The ingeniously twisted canal bridge; the first bridge of iron; the “bridge” to Sri Lanka; and folding, curling, tilting, swinging, and submerging bridges.
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 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.
Electric cars of the 19th century, an unjustly electrocuted elephant, the electrified corpse of George Forster, and the river mouth with year-round lightning.