Monthly Archive: July 2014

A Hunting Accident Might Have Changed The Course Of History

On June 28, 1914, a deranged Yugoslav nationalist named Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, resulting in the unprecedented mayhem of World War I. Globally, around 16 million people lost their lives, with Europe being utterly devastated. But it nearly didn’t happen. Seven months before he was murdered on the streets of Sarajevo, Franz Ferdinand came within inches of being killed in a hunting accident.

The Worst Traffic Jam In History

While cities all over the world struggle with traffic issues, Beijing, China holds the title of having the worst traffic jam to date. In 2010, the China National Highway 110, which runs from Beijing to Yinchuan was clogged for an astounding 12 days over a 100-kilometer (62 mi) stretch of road. Travelers were stuck in their cars for up to five days, and a mini-economy of overpriced food, water, and cigarettes sprang up instantly.

Most Of The Kama Sutra Has Nothing To Do With Sex

If there’s any book that you would think would make anyone blush it’s the Kama Sutra. But in truth, only a little bit is actually about what we think it is—sexual positions. The book is actually about human sexuality, which is quite different than the act itself. Included in the Kama Sutra are huge sections on how a woman should behave when her husband is away, how the furniture in the house should be arranged, how husbands and wives should interact with their in-laws, and how a man can attract a woman if he’s not so handsome.

The Forgotten History Of The Irish Sold Into Slavery

An often-overlooked chapter in the history of slavery was the part played—unwillingly—by the Irish. Alongside the millions of people uprooted from West Africa and shipped to the New World as slaves were thousands of Irish, banished from their homeland at the behest of Oliver Cromwell. Most ended up working as slaves and servants in Barbados, Brazil, Antigua, and the southern part of the United States.

The Difference Between Teenage Brains And Adult Brains

Teenagers can look like adults, dress like adults, and even act like adults at times; sometimes, it might be hard to tell the teenagers from adults (and other times it isn’t hard at all). But it’s also crucial to remember that their brains are wired completely differently. It’s long been known that at the end of the day, teenagers just don’t think like adults, and that’s because the different sections of their brains aren’t connected the way they will be once they’ve matured a little more. Most specifically, teenagers lack many of the nerve connections that tie the frontal lobe to the rest of the brain, limiting their ability to think ahead.

The Shocking Baby Cage From 1937

They say that everything old is new again, but if there’s one thing destined to remain in the past it’s the 1937 baby cage. This disturbing contraption was designed to hang outside a window—even many stories up—so babies could crawl inside it and get fresh air. More astonishing than it being invented is the fact that it actually caught on and was used by a number of London mothers looking for a convenient way to get their little ones outdoors.

The Forgotten Creator Of Crime Scene Forensic Science

In the late 19th century, Alexandre Lacassagne was rewriting the way law enforcement looked at crimes and crime scenes. He ushered in a new era of weapon identification and analytical sciences and should be known as the father of modern forensics, but his name has largely been swallowed by unforgiving, cramped history books. A real-life Sherlock Holmes, Lacassagne constructed the first forensics lab and taught countless students how to recreate a crime from the evidence left behind.

Rome’s First Deadly Artificial Sweetener

Health gurus and nutritional experts have been waging a war on artificial sweeteners and the potential long-term health effects of using such products for decades. The idea of artificial sweeteners is nothing new, and neither is the idea that they can be pretty deadly. The Romans were the first to use an artificial sweetener; it was called “sugar of lead,” and was exactly that. This lead-based sweetener was often added to wine, and the rampant lead poisoning it caused has, in some cases, been linked to the beginning of the downfall of Rome.