Spider-sense: Lifeboat men from Sunderland and Seaham Coastguard and a rescue helicopter were sent to rescue a parachutist who had landed in the sea only to find that it was actually a Spider-Man balloon.
Nicknamed the Black Eagle, the flamboyant Hubert Fauntleroy Julian was one of the early pioneers of aviation and parachuting and promoter of black civil rights.
Julian was born in 1897 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, the son of an affluent cocoa plantation manager. He emigrated to Canada in 1914 where he claimed to have learned to pilot an aeroplane and served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Read more ›››
The term ‘old soldier’ would suit no-one better than George Ives who, when he died in 1993 at the age of 111, was the last surviving veteran of the Boer Wars.
Ives was born in Brighton in 1881 although the family moved to Bristol to work for the Tidmarsh family. As a boy, Ives trained to be a jockey but then worked in his father’s workshop. Read more ›››
Off his head: Police in Osnabrück in Germany have seized thousands of ecstasy tablets shaped like Donald Trump’s head. The colour probably helps.
Having a laugh: The BBC released the results of a poll of the best film comedies with Some Like It Hot at number one with Dr Strangelove second. I was glad that Duck Soup made it into the top ten though. Read more ›››
Body art: The town of Klagenfurt in Austria hosted the annual World Bodypainting Festival at the end of July.
Mighty fallen: Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci tops the chart of the fifty least powerful people in the world according to 24/7 Wall Street ahead of a lot of people I’ve never heard of. Read more ›››
Mother of all flowers: Scientists have produced an image of what they think the ancestor of all flowers might have looked like 140 million years ago.
Belated anniversary: I overlooked to mention that it was the 60th anniversary of Test Match Special last which was remiss of me. To make up for that, here is poet Murray Lachlan Young’s excellent Ode to TMS with the epilogue below. Read more ›››
Diversitea: There’s nothing like a good cup of tea but what exactly constitutes a ‘good’ cuppa? Yorkshire Problems posted this chart on Twitter and asked people to select their preferred shade, from black tea to more or less all milk. It caused quite a stir, pun intended.
What a gay day: It was International Drag Day on Sunday to celebrate drag artists across the planet and BBC weatherman Owain Wyn Evans got in on the act by including references to Ru Paul’s Drag Race in his forecast.
Cold reception: Polar field guides Julie Baum and Tom Sylvester made history by becoming the first couple to tie the knot in British Antarctic Territory. Read more ›››