Monthly Archive: August 2013

The Turtle Of Terror

Reptiles, such as snakes and crocodiles, trigger a sharp fear response in many humans, but turtles tend to be enjoyed by most people. However, the alligator snapping turtle is a truly terrifying exception to the rule. The largest freshwater turtle in the world can weigh over 100 kilograms, and it has been known to use its massive, plate-like beak to wreak havoc on humans. Fishermen have lost fingers to this beast, and one German community is learning that danger comes in a shell after a boy suffered a severed tendon.

The World’s First Cocaine-Serving Bar

In the city of La Paz, Bolivia, there is a bar called Route 36 with an interesting distinction: It is the world’s first cocaine bar. Renowned for its purity, it attracts visitors from all over the world but is hard to locate because it often changes its location due to constant complaints from the neighborhood.

Diamonds Aren’t Rare At All

One diamond cartel, De Beers, has artificially driven up the price of diamonds for decades. A 1920s advertising campaign set a cultural expectation of diamonds as an expression of love that has endured since, and their scarcity is an illusion — emeralds, rubies, and sapphires are all more rare than diamonds (and much cheaper).

The Klansman Who Became A Civil Rights Leader

C.P. Ellis was an Exalted Grand Cyclops for the Ku Klux Klan — a dyed-in-the-wool racist who hated black people with an intense passion. Ann Atwater was a black activist who battled ferociously for desegregation. In 1971, the two met and became unlikely friends. In Ellis’s own words, he suddenly realized he had “more in common with poor black people than (he) did with rich white ones,” and he tore up his Klan membership.