Saturday, 22 February 2014


Via the peripatetic Kottke, purveyor of fine hypertext products, cites some stunning pairings of historic events that took place on roughly the same date but to grapple with this coincidence presents some real cognitive dissonance. The growing indices solicited on Reddit point out, for instance:

1888: Nintendo was founded as a playing-card company, Jack the Ripper was active in London, the cornerstone was laid for the Washington Monument and van Gogh painted Starry Night

1971: Astronauts drove a rover on the Moon and Switzerland attained universal suffrage

1977: The last execution in France via guillotine and the premiere of the Star Wars franchise

There are plenty of other jarring, curious moments of history overlapping—like the Monguls fought on two fronts simultaneous: the Crusaders in the Middle East and the Samurai clans in the Far East, woolly mammoths still existed during the time that the Ancient Egyptians were building the earliest pyramids, or the sandwich and the sushi-roll were invented approximately the same time separately by two noble men, one English and the other Japanese, both with a love for gaming and could not be bothered to devote two hands to their food. What other historical worm-holes can you think of? You'll earn a Time Tunnel badge if you can come up with a good one.