W is for Prof Dick Willoughby

The Alaskan mining prospector ‘Professor’ Dick Willoughby was looking out across the Muir Glacier in June 1888 when he caught a glimpse of a most remarkable sight – the outline of a modern city skyline looming out of the misty horizon.

Although the mirage lasted only a few minutes, he was able to photograph it to prove that he had indeed seen it. Willoughby speculated that what he had witnessed was the reflection of a real city many thousands of miles away. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Cornflake Ale

Flake News
The Seven Bro7thers Brewery in Salford is using cornflakes rejected by the nearby Kellogg’s factory to make Throw Away Ale and so cut down on food waste.

Not annoying at all
Parents of young children in America are about to be driven mad by the latest craze for cuddly singing sharks. Read more ›››

V is for Vesna Vulovic

Vesna Vulović

Vesna Vulović has an unusual claim to fame – according to the Guinness Book of Records, she holds the world record for surviving the highest fall without a parachute, some 33,330 feet.

This unsought achievement happened on 26th January 1972 when Vulović was a flight attendant on Yugoslav Airline Flight 367 and a bomb exploded on board. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Dreaming of a White House Christmas
Melania Trump has decorated the White House in typically understated style but what on earth are the red trees about? It looks like a weird Dr Who set.

Treasure Trove
Two lost episodes of the Morecambe and Wise from 1968 have turned up in a derelict cinema in Sierra Leone. Read more ›››

J is for Jamie Uys

There is a popular notion that elephants and other creatures get themselves drunk by eating the fermented fruit of the marula tree, but it is a complete myth created by the South African filmmaker, Jamie Uys.

Uys was born in Boksburg, SA, in 1921 and began his career as a mathematics teacher in his hometown. Then he married Hettie, a fellow maths teacher, and they took to farming and opened trading posts on the Palala River. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

536

Sign of the times 1: Forget the year of the Black Death or the Spanish Flu, medieval historian Michael McCormick believes the year 536 AD was the worst to be alive when a mysterious fog plunged Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness for eighteen months.

Keepie uppies: A group of women MPs were shown the red card after having a kick about on the floor of the House of Commons. Read more ›››

T is for Gerda Taro

The recently published biography of war correspondent Marie Colvin illustrates the dangers and bravery of this peculiar profession and the very first woman on the frontline was photojournalist Gerda Taro.

Taro was born Gerta Pohorylle in Stuttgart in 1910 to a middle-class Jewish family. She would later change her name to overcome the increasing intolerance of Jews in Europe. Read more ›››

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