Right Here, Right Now, Back Then in 1977

When Instagram was founded, back in 1977, the company seemed destined for failure. Mainly because founder John ‘Clawless Koala’ Jonstontownson (nicknamed so because he once fought a clawless koala*) liked to do things differently. Idiotically, really. But don’t blame John Jonstontownson. Remember, he was a child of his era and many things went topsy-turvy in the 1970s: ugly became the …

Walkie-Talkie Etymology

Although the origin of the word ‘walkie-talkie’ seems straightforward enough, there’s still much debate amongst etymologists. According to one source (the one you’re currently reading) the story goes as follows. It all began in the 1890s, with the first moving pictures. At the time, these were called walkies, as most early films involved people or animals walking. People required little …

Rolling in the Deep

According to most historical sources, skateboarding was invented around 1950 by American surfers who needed additional ways to waste their time in the absence of waves. But in actual fact, the idea was introduced by the Society for Innocent Boring Citizens. Their aim was twofold. First of all, they wanted Innocent Boring beachgoers to be able to frolic in the …

The Devil’s Pin Cushion

The Devil’s a sneaky bastard (though technically, he has no parents). Ever since his early days in the Garden of Eden, he’s been plotting to pervert and enslave man. His latest trick was the internet. Initially, it was intended as the digital era’s apple: a means to drown man in a world-engulfing sea of knowledge of everything and all, in …

The Wolf Who Cried Rain

Having lost World War II because of the Allies’ superior weather forecast capabilities, Germany was anxious for success on the weather front. On any front, really, as long as it wasn’t one of the military kind. But how could they possibly trump the breakthrough of the home weather station network? Meteorologists agreed that mapping and forecasting global weather was now …

The End of Fruity Ambiguity

There was a time when you could compare apples and oranges. In fact, for the most part of history it was near impossible to differentiate between the two. Which may seem silly now, in hindsight, but consider the similarities. Both are fruits, growing on trees. Both are roundish in shape, attached to their tree by a stem originating from their …