History can often turn on the simplest of mistakes and there is probably no finer example than Geoffrey Tandy who was accidentally in the right place to help crack the Enigma Code and so bring about the end of World War Two.
When the British were casting around to create a team of appropriately qualified experts for the super-secret Bletchley Park, someone recruited Tandy. Read more ›››
Shed alight: The only road legal motorised shed in the world set a new speed record by topping 100 mph at Pendine Sands in Carmarthenshire breaking its previous 80 mph record.
Illusions of perception: Following the gold/blue dress controversy of 2015, there is now an audio illusion on the web. So do you hear ‘laurel’ or ‘yanny’? The Donald, of course, hears ‘covfefe’. Read more ›››
We live in an age of admiration for ‘strong women’ but the original strong woman was around many years ago in the shape of Katie Sandwina, ‘the strongest woman that ever lived’.
Sandwina was born Catherine Brumbach in Bavaria in 1884, the second eldest of fourteen children of a circus family. Both her parents performed feats of strength and it was little wonder that Sandwina should follow them. Read more ›››
T&Cs apply: Ever wondered what you are signing up to when you click ‘I agree’ for the various apps you use? Dima Yarovinsky has printed out the T&Cs for seven of the most popular social media apps and it’s quite a list.
Cool origins: The recent hot weather has done wonders for the ice cream trade but have you ever wondered how the 99 got its name? It’s all down to the king of Italy’s bodyguard. Read more ›››
Jeannie Rousseau was an Allied spy during World War Two whose intelligence work led directly to the raid on Peenemunde that disrupted the V-1 and V-2 rocket programme and saved thousands of lives.
Rousseau was born in 1919 in Brittany, the daughter of a World War One veteran and French Foreign Ministry official. She was a brilliant linguist and graduated in languages in 1939. Read more ›››
Mind the step: A passenger on a Lucky Air flight from Sanya, on Hainan Island, has been fined £8,000 after opening the plane’s emergency door ‘to get some air’.
Jesus saves: Unlikely Rochdale superfan Jesus Sanchez left his home in Spain thanks to the home supporters who raised the £500 for his trip in the hope that his presence might save them from relegation. And it worked! Read more ›››
My subject this week is Qiu Jin, feminist, poet and revolutionary who became a martyr known as the Chinese Joan of Arc.
Qiu was born in 1875 in Xiamen in the south-east of China. She endured an unhappy marriage and came into contact with new ideas, in particular, the Tongmenghui secret society which advocated the overthrow of the Qing, the last imperial dynasty. Read more ›››