O is for Sonya Olschanezky

Sonya Olschanezky is another of those ordinary brave men and women who risked and gave their lives in resisting the German occupation of Europe during the Second World War.

Olschanezky was born in Chemnitz, Germany, in 1923. Her parents were secular Jews, her father a Russian-born chemical engineer and her mother from a moneyed German family. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Tap tips: If you’ve ever been tempted to practice your tap-dancing skills in a lift think again, as the message on the left spotted at a Premier Inn hotel explains.

Tanks a bunch: Tank enthusiast Nick Mead got much more than he bargained for when he bought a £30,000 Russian T54 on eBay – £2 million of gold bullion hidden in the fuel tank. Read more ›››

N is for Emperor Norton

Most national leaders suffer from self-delusion to some degree, but they pale in comparison with Joshua Abraham Norton who in 1859 declared himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.

Norton was born in England in 1818 but spent his early life in South Africa. Following the death of his parents, he then emigrated to San Francisco during the Gold Rush of 1849. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Grammar vigilante: Known as the Banksy of grammar, one man has been waging a war on misplaced apostrophes on the shop signs of Bristol for the last thirteen years, armed with his trusty ‘apostrophiser’.

Naked ladies: No, not the usual internet stuff but naked bodies hidden in the landscape through the use of very clever camouflage by Swiss artist Filippo Ioco. Read more ›››

M is for René Mouchotte

The French military has an undeserved reputation for its lack of martial ardour, from the infamous ‘French military victories’ Google Bomb to the ‘cheese-eating surrender monkeys’ epithet from The Simpsons that has entered the language.

This is a slur on the many brave French servicemen and women who gave their lives in the cause of freedom and one of those was René Mouchotte who became a hero of the Battle of Britain. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

What a bust: Footballing heartthrob Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t look quite so handsome when a sculpture of him was unveiled at the ceremony at Madeira airport which has been named after him. I think it looks like Niall Quinn.

Speaking of busts: Sculptor David Bradley has carved a statue of the pregnant Beyonce entirely out of cheese as part of the East Village’s Wine and Cheese Festival. Read more ›››

L is for Solomon Linda

Solomon Linda is responsible for one of the most instantly recognised songs heard across the world and yet despite this, he earned little from the composition and was to die unrecognised and in poverty.

Linda was born in 1909 on a labour reserve near Ladysmith in Natal, South Africa. He grew up in the traditions of amahubo and izingoma zomshado music, or wedding songs. Read more ›››