For Want of a Nail

Small things can have reverberating effects on history, both good and bad. In 1453, the great walled city of Constantinople, which had withstood sieges for 1,100 years, fell to the Ottomans…because someone left the door open.

You’re How Old?!


In the age of bigger, better, faster, more, it’s easy to default to thinking that we invented everything, that the complex things that make up our lives couldn’t have existed in the times we view as primitive. Oh, how wrong we are.

Untold Devastation


There exists a small deserted town, which has been seized by eminent domain and condemned by the state. Why would an entire town that once housed over a thousand residents be shuttered? Because the ground under their feet was on fire.

hiStory

Take, for example, George Washington’s youthful proclamation on the lumberjacking of his father’s cherry tree – “I cannot tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet.” It’s one of the first presidential facts American children learn in elementary school. The trouble is, that story is a complete fabrication.

Phe-nom-nom-nom

You say potato, I say a dangerous tuber that people will only eat in the face of actual starvation. You say tomato, I say a poison apple from the mysterious new world that’s killing the aristocracy.


In The Name of Science

From a lone example of a trilobite in Hunan, China named Han Solo to a butterfly pea flower reminiscent of a Georgia O’Keefe painting, called clitoria ternatea, the naming of species offers almost as much in the way of entertainment as it does scientific classification.