W is for Nancy Wake

This week I give you another of the remarkable women who operated in Europe during World War Two in the shape of Nancy Wake, also known as The White Mouse.

Wake was born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1912, the youngest of six children. Two years later the family moved to Australia only for her father to return to New Zealand leaving his wife to raise the children alone. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Burger it: The world’s most expensive burger is on sale in Rotterdam containing ingredients that include Japanese dry-aged Wagyu and Black Angus beef, lobster infused with gin, foie gras, white truffle, Japanese fruit tomatoes and caviar.

No way down: Residents of an apartment complex in Georgia found themselves stranded this week when they woke to find that the owners had removed the stairs. Read more ›››

V is for Erwin Van Haarlem

Espionage can be a dirty business of duplicity, double-crossing and general skullduggery but one case that stands out is that of Erwin Van Haarlem also known as the spy with no name.

His story begins in occupied Europe in 1944 when Johanna Van Haarlem gave birth to her son Erwin in the Netherlands. His father was a Polish Nazi who was killed soon after in the fighting around Caen. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Bless you: The town that gave us Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation is now home to the robot priest BlessU-2 that beams light from its hands and can give automated blessings as this video illustrates.

The big cheese: Chris Anderson won all three races at this year’s cheese-rolling contest in Gloucestershire to equal the all-time record – and he doesn’t actually like double Gloucester cheese. Read more ›››

U is for Sir Thomas Urquhart

Sir Thomas Urquhart

Much as I hate to repeat myself, U is a tricky letter to fill so here is a favourite ABC Wednesday entry of mine from a few years ago.

We all like to think that there is an ancestor with a claim to a title or was notable in some way, but few people can have taken his family history as far as Sir Thomas Urquhart when he published his Pantochronachanon in 1652. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Luxury vending: A dealer in luxury supercars in Singapore has created a fifteen storey high vending machine where you can pick up a Lamborghini, Ferrari or Maserati at the touch of a button.

Wrong ‘un: Kim Jong-un’s bid for world domination has spread as far as Teeside after a North Korean flag mysteriously appeared outside a house in Ingleby Barwick. Read more ›››

T is for George Francis Train

George Francis Train was an American entrepreneur, political activist and as an eccentric globetrotter possibly the inspiration for Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days.

Train was born in Boston in 1829, the son of Oliver Train, but both his parents and his three sisters died in a yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans when he was just four years old. Read more ›››

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