The Strange Saga Of The Odd father

You may think that a mafia mob boss could show no fear and never show a sign of weakness. And also you would have assumed they had to be very secretive and operate with care, as surely any known mafia mob boss would be stopped by the relevant authorities.

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That was not the case for Vincent “Chin” Gigante who ran New York’s Genovese crime family for nearly a quarter-century. After he assumed power in the early 1980s it is estimated Gigante was raking in over $100 million with an army of at least 300 made men operating on the streets of New York. Nicknamed the Chin after loyal soldiers would never speak Gigante’s name in public, so they would refer to him by rubbing their chins.

Chin was known to be a scary figure, came up through the ranks as a contract killer, so was known to enforce the mafia code by killing anyone who violated. It was even thought Chin put out a contract to kill the infamous John Gotti after Gotti decided to whack the boss of the Gambino family without getting the OK first.

But the real reason Chin became infamous is that he started to be referred to as the Odd Father. This was because he feigned insanity whenever law enforcement officials were closing in. It may be hard to picture but this big scary crime boss would regularly walk around Manhattan in a bathrobe, slippers and a floppy hat. He was also known to urinate in public and hid a second family from his wife.

This strategy allowed him to keep his reign as a mafia crime boss much longer than usual. A full 30 years of psychiatric evaluations finally came to an end, when Chin was declared competent enough to stand trial in 1997. He was sentenced to racketeering, murder conspiracy and sentenced to federal prison where he died in 2005.

A Patch Of Snow That Has Nearly Never Melted

In Britain’s highest mountain, a patch of snow exists that has a nickname. You may wonder why a patch of snow might garner such affection but the story is that it has only ever melted seven times in the last 300 years.

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Known as the Sphinx, this patch of snow exists on the Garbh Choire Mor on Braeriach, and in all of the Scottish mountains, this snow patch is historically the longest lasting. Climbers that regularly trek up and down these mountains, even use it as a point of navigation, calling it Scotland’s Glacier. In recent years it melted completely in 2017 and 2006, meaning that it stayed put for eleven years.

The patch of snow is so famous it is also one of the most studied by snow experts and researchers around the world. Many experts, such as Stirling based Iain Cameron, record the snow that survives around the highest mountains. They believe it is an important way to tell how climate change is affecting the mountains. However, recently it is more simply the mild and wet conditions of recent winters that have caused the snow to melt.

Ben Nevis which is Britain’s highest mountain was also strangely snowed free during the summer of 2017. However, snow is much more random in the Scottish mountains. If the Scottish winter of 2016/2017 was very mild, you only have to look back a couple of years to find records of tons of snow falling in 2013.

According to the records put together by experts who have crawled through years of family stories from the highlands, the Sphinx previously melted in 1933, 1953, 1959, 1996, 2003 and 2006. A biologist by the name of Dr. Adam Watson has warned that it appears to be melting faster than usual and the snowy peaks do not stay snowy for long in modern times.

A sign that pollution and climate change are making notable changes to the north of Scotland, which could completely change the region. Garbh Choire Mor is described as being remote and having an alpine feel, but without snow will it be the same?

The Maori Use Fungus For Tattoos

As we are sure you have seen the pacific islanders have an intensive cultural and ancestry of face and body tattoos. And this is something that has been an integral part of their culture for generations, of course, you may ask how in the world did they create ink for the use of tattoos. Well, one thing that the Maori people have mastered is the knowledge of fungi.

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They use fungi for medicine, for food and also for creating tattoos. One of the most important colors when it comes to tattoos in the Maori culture is black. And one of the ways the blank ink was produced was by using fungus. The special fungus is actually more of a light brown color than black, which is not really seen that often today. But the ancestors of Maori tribes would have used it intensively, in fact, they would learn where the fungus grew and collect lots of it.

Then to make the light brown color black, it would be burnt. The fungus was known as awheto, and unlike wood that would become grey when burnt this fungus would turn black. Once burnt it was trivial to grind it up into a black powder. The final ingredient would be to mix the black powder with bird fat to produce the black color you need for tattooing.

Once you have the black ink, then a tattoo export who would have been known as a moko would use his chisel and blade to create beautiful tattoos with the pigments.

Awheto is very different when it comes to fungus, it is not like a mushroom, you see to grow it needs an insect. But not just any type of insect, awheto requires caterpillars. This means awheto only grows if it gets lucky enough with a caterpillar to stumble upon it. You see the tiny spores are hopefully eaten by the caterpillar, and once that happens it actually starts to grow from inside the insect.

These caterpillar carcasses would become hard, and this is what the Maori tribes would collect to produce their tattoo ink and also could be eaten as food. An amazing use and knowledge of local nature to survive.

The Man Who Has Filled Thousands Of Potholes

Dadarao Bilhore is a man on a mission, a mission to wage war against the enemies of the street: the simple pothole. When his only son died in a road accident that was caused by a pothole, he took matters into his own hands. Bilhore has filled in thousands of potholes and has even launched an app to make it easy to report them.

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On July 28, 2016, Dadaroe Bilhore woke up to the worst news any father can receive: his 16-year-old son had lost his life in a Mumbai road accident. And this road accident on Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road was caused by a pothole. But he rose up above his grief and took it upon himself to fill in every pothole he could find.

Bilhore’s son Prakash died after he drove into a deep pothole on a rainwater clogged road. Initially, Bilhore made repeated and regular visits to the Brihanmumbair Municipal Corporation (BMC) but after several months of trying to get them to react and do something, they were still dragging their feet.

This let to Bilhore getting down to work on the road himself using a kit he put together himself. It included paver blocks, a trowel, and some construction sand. Often he would be joined by some of Prakesh friends and even random strangers who would take note of what he was doing.

Bilhore has been quoted explaining that he does not want anyone to face the same fate as his son, and that he will not stop until India is pothole free no matter how tired he is. The 47-year-old has also created an ingenious little app called Spothole which helps organize fellow citizens to locate potholes and fill them up themselves.

Most times they do use supplies that they find on construction sites and crowdsource anything else they need. Spothole is filling an amazing gap at trying to help people recognize that potholes are a dangerous threat on the road, a survey in 2017 found that 10 people died every day in India due to potholes.

The 16 Psyche Asteroid Could Make Everyone A Billionaire

There is a giant golden asteroid that flies around space carrying enough heavy metals to make everyone on Earth a billionaire. There is so much precious metal on this asteroid that NASA is even planning an attempt to reach it on 2022.

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Known as Psyche 16 the asteroid is found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, unlike other space asteroids, this one is formed completely of solid metal. And it is not only filled with gold, but this mysterious space object is also packed to the brim with platinum, iron, and nickel.

There have been some estimations that would be the total of Psyche’s various metals around the worth of $10,000 quadrillion. This means that if ever a company figured out how they could transport this asteroid to Earth, it would cause the world’s economy to collapse. This is because most of our economy still use commodities as a store of value. And if you think that currently the world’s economy is valued at around $80 trillion, then this amount of gold and other precious metals turning up on the market would simply cause a collapse.

The asteroid Psyche 16 has been on the radar for quite some time, but the potential to cause complete havoc to the world’s economy was really only touched on by a veteran miner. Scott Moore who is the CEO of EuroSun Mining said that the huge amounts of gold found on this asteroid would cause the gold industry to fall into chaos.

This is because on a yearly bases mining companies find around 4 to 5 million ounces of gold, which is a really small amount compared to the tons we would discover on this asteroid.

NASA has announced a mission that will probe the billionaire asteroid in the summer of 2022. However, given the vast distance, the probe has to travel it will not arrive until around 2026. Luckily for the world’s commodity markets, NASA is taking the journey solely for scientific reasons and has not planned to take out any space mining.

Glow In The Dark Trees To Replace Street Lamps

In the eco-friendly heart of Scandinavia, you will find all sorts of projects that are being built up to ensure that the future of mother nature can continue to thrive. Researchers in Denmark have started a project to create an amazingly eco-friendly way to light up a city by using glow in the dark trees.

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You can see the appeal: no more street lamps that create broken bulbs or alleys that are dimly lit. Instead, your evening stroll or night out is light up nicely by luminous trees. Not only will it create an increase of planted trees, but the lighting used is a calming blue hue. The project is being manned and put forward by a Danish startup called Allumen. This is an everyone sci-fi fantasy coming into reality, the goal of the project is to figure out the genes that make some creatures glow.

By isolating these genes they will be able to genetically engineer them to grow trees with glowing genes. You may think this is just a silly research project, but the bottom line is that street lights are expensive. Cities all over the world would jump on a way to remove them from the equation of their yearly budgets. In fact, street lights make up the biggest chunk of our energy bills.

Also, you have to factor in the pollution, lighting a city bring in a high amount of emissions to urban life. It is well noted that cities who have already switched over to environmentally friendly lights have seen their carbon emissions plummet. Detroit, for example, swapped over to LED lights and saw their emissions go down by 40,000 tons. Bioluminescent trees would be a step further being even more friendly when it comes to being a greener alternative.

Bioluminescence at its core is simply a chemical reaction. You find it happening in fireflies, jellyfish and also certain types of algae – all use it to produce their own light. Not only is it a beautiful phenomenon, but it also does not need any energy consumption at all.

Rice And Fish Farming Go Hand In Hand

Production of fish in a rice field might sound strange, but historically it is a primitive way of agriculture that has existed for generations. In fact, producing fish seems to go hand by hand with rice culture itself. Rice farming with fish is a sort of duo farming system where the rice is normally seen as the farmer’s enterprise focus and then the fishes are simply taken to initiate an additional extra income.

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Known as Rice-cum-fish culture it is practice in nearly all the major rice-growing belts of the world: China, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and India. The actual inventor of rearing fish in a rice paddy most likely comes from India. India has seen this practice in is coastal areas for centuries. Mostly because rice and fish are a staple food of the typical Indian diet, whereas other countries in the region do tend to eat more meat.

What happens is fish will be produced in a rice field that has been irrigated, as rice production requires the fields to be flooded. You can easily add in fish to your farming and it comes with a great benefit. Not only does it give a higher profitability for your farm, the fish help improve the soil fertility and soil health for the future.

This is seen by the number of rice-gum fish farms that increase much higher yields per unit per area. Rice farmers see it as a logical addition to their farming way of life, providing extra income and being an efficient use of labour. The cool thing also is this is seen as a very eco-friendly farming technique, which means it helps avoid forest degradation and also recycles resources.

The rich soil quality comes from the paddy field receiving a high amount of organic manure from the fish. Not every field is capable of holding fish though, farmers have to choose carefully to pick a field where water leakage will be extremely minimal. It is an amazing agricultural development in the area, as it helps reduce poverty for farmers.

This has seen many governments provide free training and information on how rice farmers can also include fish production into their yearly routines.

In Germany You May Find The World’s Most Romantic Postbox

In the sleepy town of Eutin, outside in the surrounding forest, you will find a 500-year-old oak tree which is very special. The story goes that this tree has been matching singles for over a century and has been the matchmaker for over 100 plus marriages.

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And how it works is nothing short of being magical, because the tree is actually a registered postbox. A postman will walk through the forest, slowly climb up the 3-meter tall wooden ladder and hand delivers an envelope to a 500-year-old oak tree.

You see singles send over their profile by letter to the oak tree which is a postbox. Singles send through their details and hope that there is someone out there who will surprise them. Known as the Bridegroom’s Oak, this ancient timber has been matching singles for generations. Even today hundreds of people all over the world write letters to this tree, hoping that for the price of a stamp, they will find a partner.

You see it is not only Germans that write and send a letter, even people from China know about the magical tree. Karl Heinz Martens who used to deliver letters to the tree for 20 years, said “There’s something so magical and romantic about it.” and for that, he is definitely right. Because people just keep on sending their hopeful letters.

On the internet or through matching websites, people rely on algorithms to match them, but with the tree, it all works via pure coincidence – like fate. You see anyone is allowed to walk up and open a letter. The only rule is that if you decide not to respond, you should place the letter back inside the tree for someone else to find.

The tradition started when two lovebirds were wed under the very tree in 1891, the story goes that the girl’s father forbade the marriage so the two lovers spoke by letter. And they would leave the letter’s in the oak tree’s knothole. A year later the girl’s father agreed to the wedding, and this is when the tree became a magical matchmaking legend.

If You Drilled A Tunnel Through The Center Of The Earth You Could Cross Through In 43 Minutes

If you really want to get away from everyone then the farthest you can travel from home but still be on Earth would be directly under you. That would mean going 7,900 miles straight down, but of course, you have to take a long way there over land and sea so that would take 12,450 miles.

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But if you are up for the challenge of avoiding Mole Men and prehistoric reptiles then you can go straight down, in fact, it will only take you 42 minutes. Granted if you live in America then you would end up in the Indian Ocean – so that would not be too good. However, if you are lucky enough to live in Chile then you could come out in China or if you are in New Zealand then you would end up in Spain.

Though, nobody said it was going to be easy. This would be one rough ride, first, you will need to get through 22 to 44 miles of continental crust, followed by 1,800 miles of the mantle. The real problem will be the Mars-sized outer core which is liquid iron that is as hot as the sun’s surface. And a moon-sized inner core, that nobody really knows what is in it. But for the sake of this theory let’s assume you can make it through all that alive.

Gravity will pull you through at 32 feet per second squared, which means that for every second you fall, you will be speeding up by 32 feet per second. This will be one hell of acceleration, but it will slow down massively once you reach the Earth’s core due to the counterforce of gravity going in the other direction. However, by this point, you will still be moving way too fast to be stopped.

It should take you roughly 21 minutes after jumping into your hole to reach the core, and then another 21 minutes with gravity slowing you down to arrive on the far side. And unless someone grabs you well, you are going to fall back down and be caught in a never-ending gravity loop.

Bill Gates and Melinda Gates have helped save over 122m lives

Touted as one of the biggest philanthropic gestures ever, a partnership that could only be matched by Superman and Batman joining forces to fight crime. Just ten years ago, Warren Buffet, made a pledge to give most of his fortune to one of the only people that was worth more money than him: Bill Gates.

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The aim was to help scale up the efforts of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is focused on saving children’s lives around the world. As Bill Gates likes to put it: All lives have equal value. The billionaires have always shared a close relationship, they take a holiday together every January. And they always like to make jokes together, Bill Gates once published a report that was filled with jokes. Such as how Buffet enjoys eating Oreos for breakfast.

But in between all the jokes is the real data: that his billions have been helping them reach the ultimate goal: the magic zero. A world where the disease is no more. They have never claimed to have saved over 122m lives, but if you study the data the results are clear. There has been a massive decline in child mortality, mostly due to new vaccines being developed and their ability to bring in governments to lead the charge. This helps the country adopt the vaccines and ensures children receive them.

Since 1980, vaccine coverage has soared, now it is at the best rate it has ever been. One of their key thoughts about pushing out vaccines is that for every dollar spent on childhood immunization: there is a massive future return in economic benefits. This comes in the form of parents not having to stay home and lose income when their children are sick.

Bill Gates has also helped improve nutrition and lower the deaths related to malnutrition. He feels that nutrition is one of the biggest missed opportunities when it comes to global health, if it is solved, it could cause huge waves of human potential.