Monthly Archive: June 2015

The Man Who Used Concentration Camp Skills To Save POWs

Tibor Rubin survived a German concentration camp as a child. Years later, he joined the US Army to give back to the country that had liberated him. But an anti-Semitic superior officer kept him from getting recognition for his heroic deeds. As a POW during the Korean War, he saved at least 40 of his fellow prisoners from starvation by using the survival skills he’d learned in the concentration camp. Anti-Semitism denied him the honors he was due for 55 years until President George W. Bush awarded Rubin the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2005.

The ‘Lonely Planet’–Style Guide To The World’s Deadliest Caliphate

Ever since Lonely Planet first issued their “Across Asia on the Cheap” in the 1970s, the travel guide market has exploded. Guides to Rome, guides to Spain, guides to South America… all the obvious places are catered for. Some less obvious ones, too. Earlier this year, Abu Rumaysah al-Britani penned his first Lonely Planet-inspired guidebook. His destination: the chunk of Iraq and Syria under control of ISIS’s fledgling caliphate.

The Explorer Who Wants To Live On An Iceberg Until It Melts

Adventurer Alex Bellini plans to go to Greenland and pick out an iceberg to live on alone for one year or until it melts (whichever comes first), then he’ll float ashore. He hopes to get sponsors to back his mission to illustrate how humans are impacted by global warming. But will he really change anyone’s mind? That seems unlikely with the men who drive “Coal Rollers,” modified diesel trucks that emit extra black smoke to anger environmentalists. In addition, officials in some US states like Florida are banned from talking about climate change.

The Most Famous World War I Dogfight Photos Are Totally Fake

They’re some of the most iconic photos from World War I, and they’re completely fake. They’re the photos of aerial dogfights, of planes diving and swooping at each other, of smoke billowing from the loser. And they were all faked by Wesley David Archer, an American RAF serviceman turned set designer for the film industry. It took until 1984 for them to be deemed without-a-doubt fake, and that was only when the Smithsonian inherited some of his possessions that included photos of him faking the iconic pictures.

The New Force Field That Might Protect Soldiers From Blast Waves

Over 300,000 US soldiers have sustained traumatic brain injuries from improvised explosive devices and bomb blasts since the warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq began. A newly patented device from Boeing may stop shock waves by detecting the blast, then heating the air in front of the area where a bomb goes off. The warmer air acts like a force field or shield to speed up the blast wave, directing its energy around the person so that he or she is less likely to be wounded. It works in a similar way to how a lens bends light.

When Truman Capote Wrestled Humphrey Bogart

If you were to imagine a tough guy celebrity, you might picture Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone. You probably wouldn’t pick Truman Capote, the guy who wrote “In Cold Blood” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” But despite his diminutive size and sophisticated personality, Capote was actually a pretty tough dude … something Humphrey Bogart found out the hard way.

The Most Isolated Human Alive During 9/11

During the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, NASA astronaut Frank Culbertson was the only American who wasn’t on Earth. “The most overwhelming feeling being where I am is one of isolation,” Culbertson wrote from the International Space Station (ISS). “The feeling that I should be there with all of you, dealing with this, helping in some way, is overwhelming.” He was also saddened to learn of the death of his friend, Charles Burlingame, the pilot of the plane that hit the Pentagon. Despite his loss, Culbertson successfully completed his mission, returning to Earth on December 17, 2001.

The Shocking Impact Of Not Finishing Your Dinner

Food waste is one of those things that we tend not to think too much about. We scrape our leftovers into the bin, we throw away that fruit that’s gone bad, and we toss the bread that’s gotten moldy. But food waste is a problem that’s much larger than most people realize. Recent studies show that between 30 and 40 percent of the food that the United States produces is wasted, and every year, the world throws out about $750 billion in food. Adding insult to injury for the estimated 870 million people in the world who are starving, the rest of us are wasting, on average, about 1,249 calories per day.

The Debate Over Cancer And Cell Phones Might Not Be Settled Yet

Back in the late ’90s, everyone and their dog suddenly became terrified by a new kid on the technology block: cell phones. People worried about cancer rates. Children were forbidden from using them. Then a series of studies published in the early 21st century nixed the idea. We went back to using our cell phones, content in the knowledge the debate was settled.

Or was it? Despite what you may have read, plenty of scientists and organizations still think there may be a link between cell phones and cancer. And they might have the data to back their theories up.

The Beauty Pageant That Required X-Rays

Throughout the 1950s and ’60s, there was a series of popular beauty pageants that not only judged a woman’s outer appearance and personality but also her spine and posture. X-rays of the contestants’ bodies were judged along with their overall posture to determine who had the straightest and best spine. The pageants were the brainchild of the chiropractic industry, which was trying to improve its public image.