The name 'spam' for unsolicited bulk email is said to come from a classic Monty Python comedy sketch, in which the canned meat is shown as ubiquitous and unavoidable. Photo by freezelight under Creative Commons licence.

The name 'spam' for unsolicited bulk email is said to come from a classic Monty Python comedy sketch, in which the canned meat is shown as ubiquitous and unavoidable. Photo by freezelight under Creative Commons licence.

The name 'spam' for unsolicited bulk email is said to come from a classic Monty Python comedy sketch, in which the canned meat is shown as ubiquitous and unavoidable. Photo by freezelight under Creative Commons licence.

We're continuing to count down our series on the 80 moments that shaped the world over the past 80 years. Today we turn to number 26, the invention and widespread use of email. Elinor Carmi, a PhD candidate at the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmith’s College in London, explains.

Wikipedia marks a major step change in how we access reference information, compared to traditional printed encyclopaedias such as Britannica. Photo by BostonTx under Creative Commons licence.

Wikipedia marks a major step change in how we access reference information, compared to traditional printed encyclopaedias such as Britannica. Photo by BostonTx under Creative Commons licence.

Wikipedia marks a major step change in how we access reference information, compared to traditional printed encyclopaedias such as Britannica. Photo by BostonTx under Creative Commons licence.

In the second of our series on the 80 moments that shaped the world in the last 80 years, we turn to number 47: Wikipedia. For many people, particularly school and college students in the English-speaking world, the online reference source is now synonymous with 'encyclopaedia'. Lyn Robinson, from the Centre for Information Science at City University

'It could be argued that shipping containers date back to prehistoric and Roman times.' Photo by pete on Flickr under Creative Commons licence.

'It could be argued that shipping containers date back to prehistoric and Roman times.' Photo by pete on Flickr under Creative Commons licence.

'It could be argued that shipping containers date back to prehistoric and Roman times.' Photo by pete on Flickr under Creative Commons licence.

This month marks the 80th anniversary of the British Council. To celebrate with us, 10,000 people across the world have ranked the top 80 moments of the last 80 years. In the first of our series, Christoph Beuttler explains how the humble shipping container -- number 69 on the list -- shaped the world.

Lighthouse at the Isle of Wight, near which the SS Mendi sank. Photo: Neil Howard under Creative Commons licence.

Lighthouse at the Isle of Wight, near which the SS Mendi sank. Photo: Neil Howard under Creative Commons licence.

Lighthouse at the Isle of Wight, near which the SS Mendi sank. Photo: Neil Howard under Creative Commons licence.

During the First World War, a ship sank off the Isle of Wight, killing more than 600 South African passengers. The sinking of the SS Mendi is one of the worst maritime disasters in UK waters of the 20th century, yet few in the UK have heard of it. This Black History Month, Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey

'Almost 1.5 million Muslim, Sikh and Hindu men volunteered in the Indian Expeditionary Force, which saw fighting on the Western Front, in East Africa, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Gallipoli'. Photo of members of a Waziri Khasadar, India 1917-19 courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.

'Almost 1.5 million Muslim, Sikh and Hindu men volunteered in the Indian Expeditionary Force, which saw fighting on the Western Front, in East Africa, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Gallipoli'. Photo of members of a Waziri Khasadar, India 1917-19 courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.

'Almost 1.5 million Muslim, Sikh and Hindu men volunteered in the Indian Expeditionary Force, which saw fighting on the Western Front, in East Africa, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Gallipoli'. Photo of members of a Waziri Khasadar, India 1917-19 courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.

The First World War had lasting consequences that extended far beyond Europe. It set in motion forces that developed into India's independence movement. Anne Bostanci, co-author of the British Council report, Remember the World as well as the War, ponders a promising emerging shift in the UK’s discussions about the First World War.