Monthly Archive: August 2014

You Can Only Have 150 Real Friends

According to professor and anthropologist Robin Dunbar, the most friendships we can actively maintain is 150. That’s because our brains have been hard-wired throughout human history to exist in social groups of no more than 150 since the time we were hunter-gatherers. Relationships take work, maintenance, and brainpower, and 150 quality friends is the most we’re able to manage.

Scorpions Aren’t Nearly As Dangerous As You Think

If there’s any creature that’s been vilified as being a deadly, sneaky, underhanded threat to humans, it’s the scorpion. Only, they’re not nearly as dangerous as movies would like you to think. There are more than 1,500 different species of scorpion that have so far been discovered in the world, and only about 25 of them pose a threat to humans—and even those stings aren’t any real danger to healthy adults.

How To Prove Henry Ford Is Dumb (In Court)

Henry Ford once sued the Chicago Tribune for slander because it called him an ignorant anarchist. In court, the defense attorney decided to demonstrate Ford’s ignorance and lack of patriotism by asking him basic American history questions. The automobile tycoon consistently missed these questions, and court transcripts of his buffoonery became popular reading at the time. Ultimately, the court ruled in Ford’s favor and awarded him six cents.

The Difference Between Pigs, Hogs, And Wild Boars

Pigs, hogs, boars—they all wallow in mud, root around, and can destroy nearly any vegetation in their path. But what makes a pig a pig and not a boar or hog? Ultimately, there’s no cut-and-dried difference, because farmers, hunters, and regular folk all use these terms a little differently and interchangeably. However, “pig” usually refers to the barnyard variety, a wild boar is the kind that lives out in nature and is the ancestor of domestic pigs, and “hog” is used to describe larger pigs and boars.

School Shootings Are Not Just A Modern Phenomenon

With the relatively recent rash of school shootings in the United States, educators, psychologists, parents, and politicians alike have struggled to rationalize just what drives a young person to commit such a horrible, horrible act. Bizarrely, school shootings and violence aren’t a new thing, and looking back through the centuries will show that schools have always been a hotbed of violence. From a bombing in 1927 that killed 45 people in Bath, Michigan to a 10-year-old girl who was shot in the face on a playground in 1890 by her angry classmate, school violence has haunted us for generations.

The Obedient Wives Club

Born in Malaysia in 2011, the Obedient Wives Club is a very small sub-sect of the Islamic faith which believes that a good wife gives total sexual submission to her husband, and as such will ensure his faithfulness and loyalty throughout the marriage. To date, the group has over 3,000 members in just under a dozen primarily Islamic countries worldwide. It has published two sex manuals (both banned by the Malaysian government), and even has its own Facebook page. Its stated mission is to promote lasting marriages through proper training of wives in their role as lovers and partners to their husbands, citing Malaysia’s rocketing divorce rate as reason for the club’s formation.

Wearing Feathers Was Once As Condemned As Wearing Fur

At one time, it was the height of fashion for women to wear massive hats lavishly adorned with feathers and sometimes, with entire birds. Once people realized just where those birds were coming from, the mass killings that were being carried out by bird hunters and the species that had been driven to extinction in the name of fashion, an anti-plumage movement was started to discourage the trade. Laws were passed, but the finishing blow to the fad wasn’t legislation, it was social pressure and a world war.

Queen Victoria’s Nazi Grandson

Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1884–1954) was the posthumous son of the haemophiliac Prince Leopold and favorite grandson of Queen Victoria. He experienced an idyllic upbringing as an English royal, yet, through a series of unfortunate events he fell in with Hitler and the Nazi Party before dying an ignominious, pauper’s death.