Monthly Archive: August 2013

10,526

The Forgotten Climate Apocalypse Of 1783

In the summer of 1783, the Laki Volcano in Iceland erupted, killing thousands and sending a plume of sulphur into the atmosphere above Europe. What followed was a year of horror; as the weather turned lethal, a mist of blood seemed to hang over the continent, and the climate went haywire.

7,976

Porphyria: Disease Of The Walking Dead

Porphyria is a hormone disease that causes sufferers to develop horrifying physical symptoms and light sensitivity. It is believed that severe cases of the little-understood disease gave rise to the legends of vampires and werewolves.

7,404

The Difference Between HIV And AIDS

HIV is a type of virus that can be transmitted through sex, while AIDS is the most severe stage of HIV. HIV has remedies but researchers have still not discovered the cure for AIDS. A person with HIV can live many years without developing AIDS.

6,655

The 639-Year-Long Concert

In 2001, an automatic organ in Sankt Burchardi Church started playing a piece titled “As Slow As Possible,” written by John Cage. It is scheduled to finish playing the song in the year 2640, making this the longest concert in the world.

7,199

Mount Everest Is Littered With Dead Bodies

Despite being one of the most difficult places on earth to reach, Mount Everest is plagued by trash, leftover gear, and yes, even dead bodies. Many climbers have been lost, and Everest does not make reclaiming them an easy task.

7,501

Microsoft’s Big Start Was A Total Ripoff

Microsoft’s revolutionary MS-DOS operating system was a essentially a ripoff — a “Quick and Dirty” operating system that a 24-year-old programmer was paid $25,000 to “create” (read: copy from the competition and make a couple minor changes).

4,104

The World’s Worst Opera Singer

Florence Foster Jenkins was an amateur operatic soprano, who was widely recognized as the world’s worst opera singer. After she inherited a large amount of money, Jenkins performed at numerous venues, including Carnegie Hall. Surprisingly, she was immensely popular throughout the first half of the 20th century and recorded a number of records.

4,588

The Difference Between Rabbits And Hares

Most people probably don’t know what differentiates a hare and a rabbit, and they are so remarkably similar that it’s understandable. Among other differences, hares are born with hair and open eyes, while rabbits are born naked and blind. Hares usually go it alone in life, but rabbits will form colonies with a dominant male.

4,733

The Soldier Who Refused To Die

Adrian Carton de Wiart was a bit of a badass. While serving with the British Army, he was shot more times than 50 Cent, losing his left eye and left hand in the process. He took bullets to the stomach, face, and skull among other places, survived a plane crash, and (as a senior citizen, mind you) tunneled out of a German POW camp with only one hand.