I am about to finish Dan Dennett's "From Bacteria to Bach: The Evolutions of Minds" and it's pretty good (though recapitulating stuff I've heard before from him) but it's a little disconcerting how he writes about Java Applets in the present tense - they were a great model for virtual machines, but it's not clear he knows how much they've slipped into the dustbin of tech history for the most part.
"In The Kalevala, Vainamoinen and the others are burrowing into a mountain to find The Sampo, when they come across a bunch of snakes drinking beer. Vainamoinen is infuriated for some reason and curses all snakes so that they can never drink beer again. This is never mentioned again."
--TV Tropes "Big Lipped Alligator Moment"