Peter Taylor was doing research at the UK's Imperial War Museums when he stumbled across the story of parachuting pigeons. In 1914, the British were seeking intelligence about German troop numbers and movement in Belgium. So they parachuted homing pigeons into the region from balloons and planes. Attached to the pigeons were instructions for civilians to write down what they had seen and then to allow the birds to fly back to base. Inspired, Taylor went on to collect unusual war stories and compiled them into two books, Weird War One: Intriguing Items and Fascinating Feats from the First World War and its sequel Weird War Two: Intriguing Items and Surprising Stuff from the Second World War.
“It was a mixture of proper research—talking to curators, reading books, trawling through the archives—and suitably strange research: for example, (mis)using the museum’s database by typing in odd words for hours to see what came up (‘Socks,’ ‘Disguise,’ ‘Secret,’ ‘Insect’)," Taylor told Air & Space. "It’s hard to have a completely sensible plan for finding strange and surprising things.”
Below, an illustration of a propaganda idea involving flying machines shaped like sharks.
Every month, Tor Books' free Ebook Club gives away a different novel to people who have signed up; this month, the selection is my most recent novel, Walkaway! Sign up between now and the 20th to get your free copy (this only works in Canada and the US; different publishers have the rights in other […]
Carol Monahan writes, "In the summer of 1996, James Ernest began his quest to bring happiness and joy to all the people of the world, by creating clever tabletop games and selling them really cheap. He named his company Cheapass Games, and now he's writing a book about it."
Gene Wolfe, author of more than 30 books including classics like The Book of The New Sun, has died at the age of 87.
When businesses need big cloud projects done right, they need experts in DevOps. For the uninitiated, that’s shorthand for the framework that allows development and operations teams to work together toward the same goal – not as independent departments with their own agendas. There’s an arsenal of software that has cropped up to help in […]
Are you super organized? You’re going to love the Genius Pack G4 and its seemingly limitless, well-placed compartments. Not that organized? You’re still going to love this piece of luggage because it’s so well thought out that it practically does the packing for you. We’ve all tried to stuff a piece of carry-on so full […]
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re not just hungry for success. You’re hungry for knowledge, the insights that can lead to bigger and better ideas and ways to implement them. That knowledge is out there in the bestselling biz books that have changed the game over the years. There’s just one problem: In a fast-paced lifestyle, […]