Meet The Gong Farmers Who Dealt With Medieval Waste

These nocturnal poop collectors of Tudor-era England spent their time knee-deep in cesspits full of human excrement. Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesAn 1849 illustration of two nightmen as published in London’s The Morning Chronicle. On moonlit nights during the Tudor period of Wales and England, darkened silhouettes would toil below the castle. They were the “nightmen,” digging … Read more

​​What Is The Blarney Stone And Why Do People Kiss It?

Installed at the top of Blarney Castle in County Cork, Ireland, the Blarney Stone can only be kissed while hanging upside down and suspended over thin air — yet countless people line up to do it each year. Flickr/Pat O’MalleyAbout 400,000 people kiss the Blarney Stone every year. The Blarney Stone would undoubtedly be just … Read more

The Surprisingly Tolerant Origins Of The Skinhead Movement

Before linking with neo-Nazism, skinhead culture started out as an alliance between young English and Jamaican working-class communities in 1960s London. John Downing/Getty ImagesA police officer detains a skinhead in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. April 7, 1980. They just weren’t having it anymore. Sick of the hippie movement’s empty promises and the austerity that pervaded the British … Read more

Iconic Punk Rocker, Drug Addict, And Murderer?

Sid Vicious was the infamously troubled bassist for the Sex Pistols. But was he really a killer? 1 of 44 Sid Vicious, bassist and vocalist with punk rock band the Sex Pistols, injects himself with heroin. Circa 1978. Sunday People/Mirrorpix/Getty Images 2 of 44 Sid Vicious in a hotel room. January 1978. Richard E. Aaron/Redferns … Read more

Vera Atkins, The Spymaster Who Inspired James Bond’s Moneypenny

Throughout World War II, Vera Atkins recruited and trained hundreds of secret agents to fight the Nazis for Britain’s covert Special Operations Executive. A Romanian-born British intelligence officer during World War II, Vera Atkins usually showed little emotion and was known for being tough, as well as caring, about her recruits. She took on many … Read more

Bobby Sands, The Hunger Striker Who Died For A United Ireland

Imprisoned in HM Prison Maze in connection with a bombing, Bobby Sands spent the last 66 days of his life on a hunger strike — fighting for the status of a political prisoner. PA Images via Getty ImagesBobby Sands, who died on hunger strike in 1981 at the age of 27. Bobby Sands’ earliest memories … Read more