Monthly Archive: April 2016

When Princeton Students Created An Organization For Future Veterans

When World War I veterans received a payout from the government to help see them through the troubled times of the Great Depression, a pair of Princeton students sat down and wrote a manifesto for the Veterans of Future Wars. They demanded their payouts now: War was imminent, after all, and at least they could use the money while they were still alive. The entire idea might have fizzled (sooner rather than later) if another student hadn’t written up a fake story about supportive rallies and sent the story out on the wire. By summer, more than 50,000 people had signed up, and it led to some heated debates in Congress. The organization didn’t last, but all eight of the nine founding members (one was paralyzed in a car accident) would serve in World War II.

The Unsettling ‘Celestial Bed’ That Would Cure All Your Ailments

James Graham was a student of the University of Edinburgh and a student of electricity. In 1780, he opened the Temple of Health in London, followed by the Temple of Hymen the next year. One of his biggest, grandest therapies was the Celestial Bed, a massive bed covered with mirrors and lights, which would supposedly cure impotence and infertility. He also had pills for gas and depression, lotions for preventing sexually transmitted diseases, and pills for getting rid of the diseases when they’d already been caught. Turning to “earth-bathing” after his first bankruptcy, he ultimately died in Edinburgh after a long fast.

Does Today’s Population Really Outnumber History’s Dead?

It’s repeated every so often, usually as a comment on how out of control the world’s population is getting and what a drain we are on the world’s resources. It’s said that the present-day living outnumber all the dead of human history. But the Population Reference Bureau put some serious work into debunking that. In 2011, there were around 6.987 billion people on Earth, and it estimated that there have been a staggering 107,602,707,791 that have ever lived. There are a lot of variables, from changes in the birth rate to natural disasters, but it’s safe to say that we’re not even close to making the factoid come true.