Monthly Archive: August 2013

Some Jerusalem Tourists Turn Into Messiahs

Jerusalem syndrome, a disorder first diagnosed in the 1930s, is characterized by ideas, delusions, or hallucinations, with strong religious overtones. Like the name suggests, it affects tourists who travel to Jerusalem, whether the person is Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. Many of the sufferers even begin to feel they are on a mission from God or even are the Messiah themselves.

Human Hands Are Built For Fighting

While your hands developed to be better at manual dexterity, they also evolved, according to one study, to beat things down. When you clench your fist, you actually increase its density by around four times, which allows you to mete out damage without harming yourself too much. Why exactly our hands do this isn’t clearly understood, but researchers think it might have something to do with the fact that, unlike apes, we didn’t need bigger hands to climb trees any more, but still needed to strike things. Chimps hands, incidentally, don’t make a fist when they close but an “open donut shape.”

Lyndon Johnson Held Meetings On The Toilet

Lyndon B. Johnson, our 36th president, was well known for getting things done and doing them fast. Within a day of becoming President, he ordered that the entire phone system in the White House be expanded so that calls could be made from absolutely anywhere … including the bathroom. But those weren’t the only conversations that were had on the crapper. He was notorious for having reporters and aides follow him into the bathroom where he would then conduct two kinds of business at once.

Suicide Bombers Are Surprisingly Bad At Their Jobs

It seems hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear about a suicide bombing in the Middle East. Hundreds are killed each year by Islamic fundamentalists, many of them innocent civilians. But the problem could be far worse; luckily, many suicide bombers are amazingly unsuccessful at their job — only 50 percent of suicide bombings are successful.