Who were the Ottomans?

The Ottomans were converts to Islam and decendants of Turkish speaking people from Central Asia. The word 'Ottoman' is an European corruption derived from the name Osman, a Turkish leader whose great success as a "fighter for the faith" attracted … [Continue reading]

Facts about Grey Squirrels

Did you know that the grey squirrel was introduced to Great Britain in the late 19th to early 20th century from the United States of America. Grey squirrels are considered to be pests, as not only do they strip the bark off trees, pinch bird food … [Continue reading]

What is The Ashes?

The Ashes are a series of five test matches in cricket which are played between England and Australia at least once every four years. When Australia won the test series in 1882, a satirical obituary was put in 'The Sporting Times' by a cricket … [Continue reading]

Who built the first cars?

Although Henry Ford is credited with revolutionising the motor car, he was by no means the inventor of the first motor vehicle. Their were many contributors to the procedure of creating the car but the two most important pioneers were two German … [Continue reading]

Who was the Mahatma Gandhi?

He was an Indian political and religious leader named Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who was born in 1869. He came over to London to study law and also spent some time in South Africa before returning to India in 1915 to lead a powerful movement from … [Continue reading]

When does our Summer Solstice occur and why?

Our Summer Solstice, which is also known as "the longest Day" is celebrated on June 21st and it happens when the tilt of the planet's semi axis in either the southern or northern hemispheres is more inclined toward the star that it orbits. The … [Continue reading]

Who was Kung Fu Tsu?

Back in ancient times, around 550-478 bc, there was a Chiense philosopher named Kung Fu Tsu, whose name was westernized to Confucius. He was a servent in the government, but he wished to change his way of life and those of others by improving … [Continue reading]

When was the Alphabet invented?

It is believed that the parent alphabet dates back to 1700 bc and was derived from a North Semitic alphabet spoken and used by the people of Syria and Palastine. Before the invention of the alphabet, it is known that pictograms or syllabic signs … [Continue reading]

Why did the Japenese attack Pearl Harbour?

Japan realised that their natural resources were dwindling but that their population was rapidly growing. So in 1931 it 'annexed' the large northern province of Manchuria from China and with the fall of France in 1940 it allowed them to gain a … [Continue reading]

Who is the longest reigning monarch?

The history of the longest reigning monarch at present was Queen Victoria's reign for 63 years, 216 days. She became Queen on 20th June 1837 upto her death on 22nd January 1901. However, if our current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II continues her … [Continue reading]

What is a Jackstaff and Union Jack?

It all started back in 1603, when James VI of Scotland became James I of England, Wales and Scotland, uniting the three countries. He blended the St George's flag of red and white cross with the Scottish St Andrew's flag, which was white saltire … [Continue reading]

Why do people from Scotland have Ginger Hair?

Did you know that Scotland has the highest percentage of people with ginger hair. There is on average about 40% of people in Edinburgh that carry the gene with 13% of them expressing this through their hair colour.   It is believed that red … [Continue reading]

Where did Princess Charlotte of Cambridge get her name from?

It is thought the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge may have chosen Charlotte as it was a name they both liked and it is the feminine version of Charles, which honour's the Duke's father, the Prince of Wales. But did you know that the name also has … [Continue reading]

Why do people hate Cockroaches?

Probably as there are so many of them around the world!! There are more than 5,000 different species of cockroach, and they can be found anywhere apart from the Arctic and Antartic. They have white blood and can run up to a speed of 5.5 km/h, … [Continue reading]

Was Napoleon a short man?

History books would have you believe that Napoleon was indeed a short man, but he was about the average height of a French man back in the 1800's. He was known to be five feet two inches tall in French feet and inches which are actually different … [Continue reading]

Why is Raglan Castle in Wales unusual?

What makes Raglan castle stand out from most castles is that it is made of a polygonal design. All of it's towers and the gatehouse has six sides, not round or square which is the usual build for castles. Raglan Castle is one of the last true … [Continue reading]

How old is your dog in human years?

There is an old myth that states that you have to multiply a dogs age in years by seven to equal the age in human years. For example, your dog is 2 years old, which should make him 14 years old in our age - that I'm afraid is not correct. In … [Continue reading]

Who was the first Prime Minister of Great Britain?

The first Prime Minister of Great Britain was Sir Robert Walpole and he was born on 26th August 1676. He was appointed head of the government in 1721 when he was 45 years old and he was the longest serving Prime Minister to hold office, which he … [Continue reading]

Was Nylon really named after New York and London?

The fabric known as nylon was invented in 1935 by a chemist, known as Wallace Carothers, who worked in a large American company called Du Pont. His aim was to invent a material as a substitute to silk, which was and is a very expensive fabric, the … [Continue reading]

What is a Lemming?

A lemming is a small rodent type animal, not dissimilar to the hamster, and they live in colder climates. People used to believe that lemmings would commit suicide jumping off cliff sides in order to reduce their population. The truth is … [Continue reading]

What was an ammonite?

An ammonite was a creature of the sea and lived many millions of years ago in the era of the dinosaurs. With it's long tentacles which it used as arms and large eyes the ammonite would catch it's prey easily.  It's soft body was protected … [Continue reading]

What was a Thunder Beast?

The prehistoric name for the Thunder beast was the Brontotherium, which looked like a modern day rhinoceros. The male creatures would lock their Y shaped horns (which were made of bone matter) to fight one another to decide who would become the … [Continue reading]

Who is the longest standing serving sailor in the Navy?

His name was Sir Provo William Perry Wallis and he was born in 1791. His father enlisted him when he was four years old as an able seaman in the Navy on the 36-gun frigate HMS Oiseau. Then in 1796 aged five years old he moved on to the 40-gun … [Continue reading]

What is Orthokeratology?

Orthokeratology which is also known as ortho-K is the treatment of corneal re-shaping from overnight vision correction. A select few opticians now offer this service which is to use a specially designed rigid gas permeable (RGP) hard contact … [Continue reading]