Author Archives: Gilles Messier

Cultivator No.6 Winston Churchill’s Trench-Digging White Elephant

Generals, it is said, are always ready to fight the last war. Never has this adage been more true than in the years 1939-1941, when the Nazi blitzkrieg swept its way across Europe. German divisions, spearheaded by tanks and supported by ground-attack aircraft, either steamrollered over or bypassed entirely the French Maginot Line and other fortifications built to keep them […]

Read more

Briefcase of Armageddon (And How a U.S. Nuclear Barrage Would Be Carried Out)

By nearly every measure, the Office of President of the United States is the most powerful position in the world,  its holder presiding over not only the world’s largest economy but also its third-largest military and largest arsenal of nuclear weapons. The United States Nuclear Stockpile currently stands at 3,800 warheads, distributed among the three branches of the “nuclear triad”: […]

Read more

How a Couple of British School Girls Fooled the Creator of Sherlock Holmes Into Publicly Declaring Fairies Exist

“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” These are the immortal words of fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, first spoken in the 1890 novel The Sign of Four. But while the great sleuth of Baker Street is the apotheosis of logic and deductive reasoning, his creator, […]

Read more

That Time a Teenager Built a Nuclear Reactor in His Backyard

June 26, 1995 is a day the residents of Golf Manor, Michigan will never forget. On that day, hazmat-suited agents of the Environmental Protection Agency descended upon the quiet suburb and began systematically dismantling the garden potting shed of one Patty Hahn. When interviewed about the incident, most residents believed there had been some kind of chemical spill. But the […]

Read more

Is Genuine Multiple Personality Disorder as Depicted in Movies Actually a Thing or a Hollywood Invention?

Looking back at the long and storied history of literature, film, and other narrative art forms, one trend becomes abundantly clear: writers love mental illness. From depression to bipolar disorder to schizophrenia, psychiatric disorders have been used by artists for hundreds of years to heighten drama, make heroes more heroic, villains more villainous, and allow actors to flex their acting […]

Read more

How the Nazis Teamed Up with IBM for Mass Murder, and the Incredible Story of the First Ethical Hacker

In the era of Big Data, few figures are more divisive as that of the hacker. On the one hand, malicious or “black hat” hackers cause billions of dollars of damage every year, breaking into private and public networks to steal money or personal data or simply to create chaos. On the other hand, so-called ethical or “white hat” hackers […]

Read more

A Crisis of Minds- The Fascinating Tale of Fixing People By Destroying Their Brain

In November 1941, Rosemary Kennedy, the eldest sister of future American president John F. Kennedy, was admitted to the George Washington University School of Medicine to undergo a radical procedure. The then 23-year-old Rosemary had for many years exhibited erratic behaviour, mood swings, and mild learning difficulties that left her high profile parents exasperated and publicly embarrassed, until her father, […]

Read more
1 2 3 4 5 6