Thomas Blake Glover was one of the first western businessmen to establish links with Japan and is remembered as the ‘Scottish Samurai’ responsible for bringing what was an isolated nation into the modern industrial and commercial world.
Glover was born in Fraserburgh, Scotland, in 1838, the son of a coastguard officer and, on leaving school, he joined the trading company, Jardine Matheson and first visited Japan in 1857. Read more ›››
Hanging out: Swiss Olympic skier Fabian Bosch has made a name for himself even before he goes on the piste with this escalator stunt on Instagram, not to mention his two-man bobsled run.
Reptile dysfunction: Iran’s former chief-of-staff has accused the west of using lizards to ‘attract atomic waves’ and spy on his country’s nuclear programme. Read more ›››
Like the secret of immortality or turning lead into gold, there are arcane legends as old as time, but none stranger than the magical petrol pill promoted by Guido Franch.
Franch was born in Livingston, Illinois, in 1910 and left school at the age of twelve to become a coal miner. He might have remained a blue collar worker except that in the 1950s he ‘discovered’ how to turn water into gasoline. Read more ›››
Perspective: Enlarge the two images on the left and they show the same street but from different angles right? Wrong. They are actually identical but your eyes are playing tricks.
Frank Ifield Award: Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is the first in Switzerland to offer a three-year bachelor’s degree and a two-year master’s degree on the techniques and history of yodelling. Read more ›››
No, not that Chris Evans or even the actor, but Chris Evans the Canadian-born outlaw, train robber, serial escaper and gunslinger at the Gunfight at Stone Corral.
Evans was born in 1847 near Ottawa in Canada but settled in the town of Visalia in the San Joaquin Valley of California as a typical farmer and was considered a hard-working and honest man. Read more ›››
Colour me: Archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be the world’s oldest crayon in North Yorkshire. And all so that 10,000 years later we can use them as sculpting material like the ones on the left.
My word: Mansplaining, snowflake and ransomware are among the 1,000 plus words to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Read more ›››
When the BBC included a black actor as a Victorian soldier in the Empress of Mars episode last year, he protested that there were no black soldiers in Victoria’s army but when he researched further he found there was at least one – James Durham.
The story of how Durham’s came to join the army is a remarkable one. Born in Sudan around 1884, he was abandoned, found and adopted by the men of the Durham Light Infantry in 1885. Read more ›››