Fartkontrol: Don’t Speed By This Warning

the Danish word fartkontrol means "speed check"

The next time you are in Denmark and see a traffic sign that says, “Fartkontrol”, don’t be so quick to hold your nose and snicker. It actually is warning you that the speed limit is highly enforced.

The Getty Kidnapping: How Much is a Grandson’s Life Worth?

 

Jean Paul Getty refused ransom demand for grandson

Jean Paul Getty (1892-1976) was one of the wealthiest man in the world. In 1966 the Guinness Book of Records named him as the wealthiest man on the planet with a fortune of $1.2 billion ($9.1 billion in 2017). He earned his fortune in the oil business, and in 1996 The Wealthy 100 ranked him as the 67th richest American who ever lived. Continue reading

Scotland Did Not Always Give Sports a Sporting Chance

King James I Banned football soccer in Scotland
Scotland is known for its passionate football (American soccer) fans, and it is recognized as the birthplace of golf and home to the most famous golf courses in the world. Did you know that both sports were once illegal throughout the land? Continue reading

When Wallace and Gromit Met a Time Lord

Peter Sallis Doctor Who Patrick Troughton Wallace and Gromit
Peter Sallis appears with Wallace and Gromit (top), and as Eric Penley (bottom left). Patrick Troughton is the Doctor, with an Ice Warrior (bottom right).

Fans of Wallace and Gromit mourned the passing of Peter Sallis (February 1, 1921 – June 2, 2017) at the age of 96. This versatile actor was beloved as the voice of Wallace in the claymation series Wallace and Gromit. 

Whovians tip their hat to Sallis as having a featured role in the 1967 Doctor Who story arc “The Ice Warriors.” As scientist Eric Penley, Sallis met the Doctor (Patrick Troughton) when the Martian warrior race the Ice Warriors first debuted. 

Sadly, and ironically, Peter Sallis passed away a mere 8 days before the airing of “The Empress of Mars,” the most recent appearance of the Ice Warriors on Doctor Who. 

Keep One Hand Free to Slap the Inventor

Bad ideas inventions fire alarm traps hand

We all know that pulling a fire alarm as a prank shows serious lack of judgment. When it comes a lack of judgment, however, few could surpass the inventor of the Fire Box Trap. Continue reading

Whether You Have ADD or Are an Introvert, the Isolator May be For You

Hugo Gersback The Isolator Science and Invention magazine
The above pictures were featured in the July 1925 issue of Science and Invention magazine.

Ritalin has only been available since the 1950’s, but people have had difficulty with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) forever. Inventor Hugo Gernsback offered his solution for highly-distractable people when he invented The Isolator in 1925. Continue reading

How Long to Walk the Planck?

Measurements of time Planck Time
One of the smallest units of measurement of time is the Planck time (tP). It is the time required for light to travel, in a vacuum, a distance of one Planck length, approximately 5.39 × 10−44 s.

To give you an idea of how small this is, in one second there are more Planck times than there have been seconds since the Big Bang, which occurred 14 billion years ago.