The snow scene in The Wizard of Oz (1939) used Industrial Grade Asbestos as snow. Cotton was used as fake snow until the 1920s, but was considered a fire hazard. Firefighters recommended using Asbestos because it was fire retardant.
A large number of Graffiti found in Pompeii are political ads. Specificaly, one Gnaeus Helvius Sabinus appears in no less than 140 political signs throughout the town, endorsed by all manner of individuals, trade unions, religious and social groups.
The Flannan Isles Lighthouse is known for the mysterious disappearances of its keepers in 1900. The entrance gate to the compound and the main door were both closed, beds were unmade, and the clock was stopped. The set of oilskins found suggested one of the keepers had left without the others.
90% of Icelandic women went on strike both professionally and domestically in 1975. This led to the passage of equal pay legislation the following year.
Humans almost became extinct about 70,000 years ago when the total population dropped below 2,000.
In Russian culture “British Scientists” is a running joke and Internet meme used as an ironic reference to absurd news reports about scientific discoveries, particularly ones that have no practical value. For example, “British scientists debunked the myth that mice love cheese.”
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess was written over a period of three weeks after he was misdiagnosed with brain cancer and given a year to live.He decided to spend that year writing five novels to provide for his wife after his death. Ironically, he outlived her.
From 1881-1890, a baboon named Jack was the assistant of a disabled railway signalman in South Africa. The signalman trained Jack to push his wheelchair and to operate the railways signals. After Jack’s job competency was verified, he was paid 20¢ a day, and half a bottle of beer each week.
There was a 70 year study on over 70,000 children in Britain after WW2 on how to be a good parent. The most important factor is, don’t be poor. Other factors include listening, setting goals, exercise, and maintaining a bedtime.
Drayton Daugherty was a doctor who cured a dying man by pretending to undo a voodoo hex in a last ditch effort after modern medicine didn’t work. The man believed he was cured and lived for ten more years.
In 1943, 4 children found the skeletonised body of a woman inside a wych elm in Hagley Wood. Soon after graffiti that read, “Who put Bella down the Wych Elm?” appeared, along with other messages in the same hand. Similar graffiti has appeared since, changed to “Who put Bella in the Witch Elm?”
In 1966 after failing for 3 years to extinguish a gas well fire Soviet authorities decided to use a 30kt atomic bomb. It was detonated at a depth of 1,500m, crushing the well and extinguishing the flames in seconds. Following this success the same technique was use on 4 other well fires. This was carried out as part of the government’s amusingly named “Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy” program.