Category Archives: History

What’s Up With the Very Real ‘Doomsday Clock’?

On January 23, 2020, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a non-profit research and education organization based in Chicago, moved the hands on its Doomsday Clock forward to 100 seconds to midnight – the closest in its 74-year history. According the Bulletin, this change reflects the growing threat posed by climate change, nuclear proliferation, and misinformation, and the increasing unwillingness […]

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Death by Blue Peacock Britain’s Bizarre and Deadly Cold War “Rainbow Codes”

In the world of modern weaponry, a good name can go a long way when it comes to the intimidation factor. Names like “Hellfire”, “Sidewinder”, “Stinger”, and “Javelin” convey menace and devastating firepower, making it abundantly clear that you wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of these weapons. But what if you were confronted by a weapon named […]

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The Russian Roulette of Food- Japan’s Deadly Delicacy

Take a moment to ask yourself: would you ever play a round of Russian roulette? As we’ve covered previously in our video Who Invented Russian Roulette and Has Anyone Ever Actually Played It? while partaking in this extreme pastime is, to put it mildly, ill advised, real-life cases, though tragic, are thankfully rare. Yet every year, thousands of people willingly […]

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The Mysterious Disappearance of One of the Most Successful Recording Artists of All Time

If I were to ask you which 20th Century recording artist had the most top-ten hits in their lifetime, you might be tempted to guess Elvis Presley, or maybe a member of the Beatles. But no: that honour belongs to Glenn Miller, the trombonist and band leader whose recordings of such classics as “In the Mood,” “Chattanooga Choo-Choo,” and “Moonlight […]

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Intentionally Swept Under the Rug- The Forgotten and Extremely Tragic Valcartier Grenade Incident

It was a rainy afternoon in July 1974 when the Royal Canadian Army Cadets of D Company filed into a classroom at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier [“Val-cart-yay”], Quebec. The Cadets, all boys aged 13 to 18, were glad for the chance to sit down and relax, having just undergone a rigorous inspection of their barracks and hours of marching drill […]

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The Race to Create Working, Practical Personal Jetpacks

In the opening sequence of the 1965’s Thunderball, James Bond, having just dispatched the villainous SPECTRE agent Colonel Jacques Bouvar, flees to the rooftop of Bouvar’s French chateau, dons a futuristic-looking jetpack, and makes his dramatic escape. Given its fantastical, over-the-top nature, this scene was obviously accomplished via the magic of Hollywood special effects, right? Well, no, actually. As incredible […]

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The Secret Cold War Project Behind the Roswell UFO Incident

On July 6, 1947, foreman William Brazel was patrolling the Foster cattle ranch, 50 kilometres outside the town of Roswell, New Mexico, when he noticed some strange debris strewn across the ground. The debris was composed of a strange, silvery metallic substance, parts of which were covered in strings of mysterious symbols resembling Egyptian hieroglyphs. The following day, Brazel contacted […]

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The Largely Forgotten Entirely Mad Adventure of Half Safe The Amphibious Car That Could

If you suddenly decided to travel around the world, what sort of vehicle would you choose? Likely a sailboat, or – of you’re feeling particularly ambitious – an aeroplane. Well if so, then you’re a far more reasonable person than Ben Carlin. When this former Australian mining engineer began planning his own round-the-world trip in the early 1950s, he decided […]

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The One-Eyed Barnstormer Who Invented the Space Suit in the 1930s

The space suit has become synonymous with the astronaut, defining the occupation more than any other piece of equipment. Essentially flexible, one-person spacecraft, space suits protect astronauts from the harsh environment of outer space and have been key to countless spaceflight achievements, from walking on the moon to the building the International Space Station. But while humans first reached space […]

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How Close Did the Nazis Actually Come to Building an Atomic Bomb?

On August 6, 1945, the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay flew over the Japanese city of Hiroshima and dropped a single, 4,000 kilogram uranium bomb called Little Boy. Seconds later the bomb detonated with the equivalent power of 15 thousand tons of TNT, destroying 8 square kilometres of the city and killing an estimated 90-140,000 people. Three days later the  […]

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The Amazing Story of the British Schoolboys Who Cracked Soviet Space Secrets

Ah, the science fair project: the dreaded rite of passage for many an elementary or high school student. A chance to stand for hours in front of a crudely adorned tri-fold presentation board and demonstrate to the judges one’s tenuous grasp of the scientific method. For many, these projects trend towards the basic and unambitious: building a baking soda and […]

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