Monthly Archive: November 2013

The Arson Investigator Who Set Deadly Fires

In the 1980s and early ’90s, southern California experienced a spate of arson fires, including a blaze at a hardware store that killed four people. In a bizarre turn, the culprit turned out to be a fire captain and arson investigator named John Orr. The final circumstantial nail in Orr’s coffin was the fact that he’d written a novel called “Points of Origin”—the story of a fireman who commits arson.

The Difference Between Cows, Oxen, And Cattle

Even the short answer is a bit complicated: Oxen and cows are both cattle, but not all cattle are cows and oxen. The umbrella term for the animal is “cattle” (or bovines), while cows and oxen have specific roles beneath that umbrella. Oxen are working animals, while cows are female animals kept solely for their milk or meat production and breeding potential.

How Two Men Lived Without Hearts

Doctors at the Texas Heart Institution have developed a new type of heart replacement vastly superior to anything else that’s been used previously. The new device is smaller, cheaper, longer-lasting, more reliable and safer, with only one slight drawback: Those who use it have no pulse or heartbeat.

The Nude LSD Therapy That Made Psychopaths Worse

In 1968 Dr. Elliott Barker, a Canadian psychiatrist, came up with an unusual idea to treat violent psychopaths. He locked a small group of male offenders in a room for 11 days, during which time they were kept completely nude and given large amounts of LSD. The only food available had to be sucked through straws in the wall. Follow-up research showed offenders were one-third more likely to commit violent crime after release than those that didn’t receive the “treatment.”

How The Chinese Used Ice To Build The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City, is one of the largest palaces in the world. It’s a large, sprawling, ancient city, and has baffled historians for centuries as to how it was built. The materials used in its construction were taken from a faraway quarry, and how they got to the city has been a mystery for years. We now know that ice roads were used to transport materials during construction.

Orcas Can Eat Great White Sharks

The great white shark is a terrifying predator, but it is not at the top of the food chain. The orca, or killer whale, has been observed attacking and eating the shark. In one highly publicized incident, a female orca was observed holding one of the sharks upside-down and causing it to suffocate.

A Possible Scientific Explanation For The Yeti

The yeti is one of the world’s most famous cryptids. Its existence has been the subject of controversy for generations, with explanations for alleged sightings ranging from an undiscovered species of ape or bear, to confusion and outright lies. Now, professor Bryan Sykes claims it may be a type bear thought to be long extinct.

30 Million Chinese People Live In Caves

When we think of China, we often consider hopelessly overcrowded cities like Beijing and Hong Kong, but in more remote areas of the country, some people live like hobbits — in caves dug from hillsides. This is not a rare phenomenon; over 30 million Chinese live in caves, nearly as many people as live in all of Canada.

Corned Beef And Cabbage Isn’t Really From Ireland

Most “traditional” St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States are built around corned beef and cabbage as the main dish. In truth, beef was never even a popular menu item in Ireland. While the vaguely similar salt beef was a major export of Ireland in the 17th century, today’s popular dish was purely an invention of Irish immigrants and their Jewish neighbors.

Mobster Whitey Bulger Underwent CIA Mind Control Experiments

Infamous Boston mobster Whitey Bulger has been in the headlines for months. The elusive killer went on the lam in 1994, spending 16 years in hiding despite being prominently displayed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. The now-84-year-old gangster was finally captured in 2011 and sentenced to two life sentences plus five years on November 14, 2013. His murderous exploits are legendary, but few realize that before he made men tremble at his feet, Bulger was a guinea pig for the CIA’s MK-ULTRA mind control program.