A is for Alexandrovich Arkhipov

Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov

The name Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov may not mean much to you, but you have a lot to thank him for because he has also been called the man who saved the world.

Arkhipov was born to a peasant family near Moscow in 1926. He was educated at the Pacific Higher Naval School and served on board a minesweeper in the war with Japan in 1945. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

And the winner is: Social media got itself in a tizzy this week thinking that a 1997 episode of The Simpsons had predicted a Portugal vs Mexico World Cup final. (See the video) A nonsense, of course, since they are both in the same half of the draw. Read more ›››

Z is for Agent Zigzag

Wartime can throw up some strange heroes, but the strangest was Eddie Chapman, audacious safe-cracker, womaniser and conman who became the most extraordinary spy of Word War Two, better known as Agent Zigzag.

Born in County Durham in 1914, Chapman was a bright, but unruly child who often skipped school and by the time he was seventeen, he had become bored by life in the north east and took himself off to London. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

And the winner is: Social media got itself in a tizzy this week thinking that a 1997 episode of The Simpsons had predicted a Portugal vs Mexico World Cup final. (See the video) A nonsense, of course, since they are both in the same half of the draw.

Childish things: A woman flew 4,000 miles from America to Scotland just to tag a friend in an epic game of international tag. It could make a movie. Read more ›››

Y is for Irvin Yeaworth

It may come as a surprise, but the 1958 cult classic sci-fi movie, The Blob, was directed by a Presbyterian minister, Irvin Yeaworth, owner of Christian production company, Good News Productions.

Yeaworth was born in Berlin in 1926 and began his show business career at the age of ten, singing on KDKA in Pittsburgh, the world’s first commercial radio station. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Speaking of which: On the day that Cristiano Ronaldo scored his hat-trick against Spain, the widely ridiculed statue of him at the Madeira airport named in his honour was removed and replaced with one less bizarre, although the new one could be almost anyone.

And on that hat-trick: How did David De Gea, arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, manage to fluff that shot from Ronaldo? Apparently, a car knocked it out of his hands. Read more ›››

X is for Xenophobe

X is the most eXasperating letter of the ABC Wednesday alphabet as there not many subjects to choose from when you’re writing about the eXemplars of eccentricity, so as a matter of eXpediency I offer instead a prime eXample of a xenophobe.

Charles de Laet Waldo Sibthorp was born in 1783 and was elected as the Member of Parliament for Lincoln in 1826, setting standards for xenophobia unequalled in parliamentary history. Read more ›››

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