In 2012 the editors of Centralia, Illinois' Morning Sentinel learned the value of one little letter. Red-faced, the editors ran the following correction: "Due to a typing error, Saturday’s story on local artist Jon Henninger mistakenly reported that Henninger’s band mate, Eric Lyday, was on drugs. The story should have read that Lyday was on... Continue Reading →
In the movie Braveheart, Sir William Wallace gives a stirring speech at the beginning of the battle of Stirling Bridge that motivates the Scots to fight to victory. Perhaps they were so overcome with patriotic enthusiasm that they failed to notice the white van in the background (pictured above in the lower, left corner) --... Continue Reading →
Herbie Goes Bananas, the 1980 film about a Volkswagen Beetle that is seemingly alive, is widely regarded as the worst of the Herbie movies. Some might even call it a disaster. Few could have guessed, however, that it would play a part in one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. When the private radiotherapy... Continue Reading →
Marvel Comics' mega-strong, most-in-need-of-anger-management character the Hulk is best known for being green. Originally he appeared as grey, just as his creator Stan Lee intended. When a printer error turned him green, Lee decided to go with the flow. The Hulk has returned to grey occasionally over the more than half century since he first... Continue Reading →
Haven't heard of the Khwarezmian Empire? You can thank the unbelievably bad decisions of its leader, Shad Ala Ad-Din Muhammad II (1169-1220). The Khwarezmian Empire stretched from the Sea of Oman to the Oxus River and encompassed what sociologists refer to as “Greater Iran,” incorporating parts of modern-day China, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Genghis Khan... Continue Reading →
A Chinese factory worker spent more than $63,000 (500,000 yuan) to purchase 99 iPhone 6 devices. This is 17 times the average annual salary in his southern province of Guagzhou. He arranged the phones in the shape of a heart and then proposed to his girlfriend. Unfortunately, she said no. Maybe he should have sprung... Continue Reading →
When Crown Princess (later Queen) Louise of Sweden visited Uppsala Cathedral, the Archbishop conducted the tour in English. His use of the language was good, but he got tripped up at a very inconvenient time. As they approached a chest of drawers holding priceless items, the Archbishop said, "I will now open these trousers and... Continue Reading →
Japanese speakers frequently have difficulty differentiating between the English letters "L" and "R". This was particularly evident in 1950 when supporters of General Douglas MacArthur (then serving as military governor of Japan during the post-war occupation) tried to encourage him to run in the next US Presidential election. While the general undoubtedly appreciated the vote... Continue Reading →
At the beginning of the song "Roxanne" by The Police, during the intro, you can hear a strange piano chord, then Sting laughing. In fact, during the voice recording, Sting accidently sat on the piano just behind him. They decided to keep this on the final mix.
The flag of Nova Scotia was only officially adopted in 2013, after 155 years of use, when an 11 year-old girl researching a project realized that it had never been officially recognized in all that time.
Eastman Kodak research Harry Coover discovered Superglue years before he figured out what to do with it. At first, its stickiness infuriated him. Coover first came across cyanoacrylates (the chemical name for these überadhesives) in World War II. His team tried to use the material to create plastic gunsights. The cyanoacrylates kept sticking to everything,... Continue Reading →
Sometimes all you really need to make the next leap in science is a snack. Percy Spencer was an American engineer who, while working for Raytheon, walked in front of a magnetron, a vacuum tube used to generate microwaves, and noticed that the chocolate bar in his pocket melted. In 1945 after a few more... Continue Reading →
On February 19, 1803, President Jefferson signed an act of Congress that approved Ohio’s boundaries and constitution. However, Congress had never passed a resolution formally admitting Ohio as the 17th state. The current custom of Congress declaring an official date of statehood did not begin until 1812, with Louisiana’s admission as the 18th state. Although... Continue Reading →