The innocuous house cat is a symbol of laziness and disinterest. But beneath this nonchalant exterior lies a horrifying sexual attribute: Male cats are equipped with painful barbed penises to scrape out rival semen.
Thanks to events like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, most of us assume the Bible is a pretty homophobic book. And reading through a modern translation, you’d be forgiven for thinking that was the case. Go back to the New Testament’s original Greek though, and you get a whole different story — such as the moment in both Matthew and Luke when Jesus heals a Roman centurion’s “pais.” Traditionally, “pais” has been translated as “servant.” However, a more accurate translation would be “young gay lover.”
After losing his fortune, mentally unstable Englishman Joshua Norton declared himself emperor of the US on the streets of San Francisco. Seizing the opportunity to have some fun, residents played along until Norton’s death. His funeral was attended by 30,000.
Most people these days know the late George Steinbrenner either as the tyrannical former owner of the New York Yankees, or the guy Larry David voiced and who George Costanza worked for on “Seinfeld.” What most people don’t realize is that, back in the 1970s and 1980s, Steinbrenner worked as a confidential informant for the FBI.
During World War II, when the Allied forces entered Italy in 1943, they knew they would face tough resistance from the Germans, but what they didn’t know was that Mother Nature had her own surprise for them. On March 22, 1944, Mount Vesuvius erupted and destroyed between 78 and 88 Allied aircraft stationed at Pompeii Airfield.
Chinese herbal medicine is quite popular in the West. You can buy all sorts of herbs online and sellers have sprung up in malls around the world. The marketing rhetoric is consistent, claiming the Chinese have been doing this for thousands of years and still do, but the truth is much different. In the late 1960s, China’s doctors and hospitals were practicing the same medicine as in the West, but doctors were reluctant to settle outside of China’s cities. This left a huge percentage with no medical care, so a program to train farmers with basic medical knowledge was undertaken. A handbook was provided to the recruits, which contained herbal options to address the unavailability of real drugs in rural areas. People in the West missed that the use of herbs was intended as a last resort for when proper medicine was unavailable and times were desperate, and the Chinese medicine fad was born.
The people of Thailand have chewed the illegal kratom leaf for a cheap high for hundreds of years. The drug is thought to be no more dangerous than drinking coffee, but has been outlawed in Thailand for 70 years because the government worried that the chewing of kratom leaves would interfere with taxes derived from the sale of opium.
Chemotherapy is one of the most successful and widespread medical procedures developed during the 20th century. Its origins, however, are rather sinister. A US ship carrying chemical weapons was bombed in an Italian harbor in 1943, and survivors forced to swim through the resulting toxic mess ended up with severe and fatal burns. An expert found during autopsy that certain cell lines had been suppressed, and thought that this action could be used to treat tumors. This discovery led to the first chemotherapy agents and trials.
For 30 years until 2007, the camera company Kodak maintained its own nuclear reactor. Kept safe in a heavily fortified bunker beneath Rochester, New York, it was used for a variety of scientific tests. Due to the security risk, its existence was only known to a handful of Kodak and Federal employees.
The antechinus is a small Australian marsupial that only mates once in its life. During that time, it goes into a sex frenzy for weeks until it literally disintegrates, many of its bodily functions shutting down in order to get the precious sperm into the gene pool.