Panama is undoubtedly a gorgeous country with magnificent coastlines, from Gorgona to Punta Chuma you can find beautiful beaches. And in the distance, you can generally see two islands, and one of these islands is known as John Wayne Island.
You see in Panama, John Wayne is seen as a hero. Wayne was known to be the same rebel in his private life that he portrayed in his famous western movies. During the sixties, he was part of the diplomatic fight that was asking for the independence of Panama. Even though he was a Republican, he openly had a different opinion when it came to the issues surrounding the Panama Canal.
The problem came from the fact that the canal was on Panamanian soil, yet it was completely under United States control. This had of course been disputed for years, and in 1964, the conflict between the United States and Panama really arose. A clash between the United States Military and Panamanian demonstrators on January 9th caused many fatal injuries.
You may ask why Wayne was involved in this struggle at all, the answer lies in his former wife Josephine being a native of Panama and he was actually a close personal to one of the former presidents of Panama: Omar Torrijos. This is one of the reasons why Wayne believed that the Panamanians had the right to the canal and why he sided with Jimmy Carter’s 1977 treaty that guaranteed the canal being transferred to Panama control.
This agreement ensured the Panama Canal would after 1999 be completely controlled by Panama, however, it would remain a neutral area and continue to function. The United States was also given the right to defend the canal from any threats.
A funny outcome out of this support is John Wayne received the first hate mail ever, as people believed he was not being American. And for compensation, Omar Torrijos awarded John Wayne a beautiful island off in the middle of the Pacific – which is the story of how John Wayne Island was born.
A Freed Slave Penned A Sarcastic Letter When Asked Back To The Farm
Brother Jordan Anderson was a former slave who had been freed from a plantation in Tennessee by Union troops in 1864. He spent his remaining years up in Ohio finding the North much more friendly at the time to him and his family.
After gaining his freedom, he lived quietly and would most likely have tried hard to completely forget the horrors of slavery and his old plantation master. Yet his old master asked him to come back, which caused Anderson to write back a letter which now is seen as one of the best examples of satire in history.
Anderson’s letter is studied and taught by historians and writers all around the world. It is seen as a masterpiece of satire and has received numerous praises from news outlets. It is now treated as a treasured document that shows how satire evolved over the years. Humorist Andy Borowitz and told the world it would be something that Twain would have been proud to have written.
The letter addressed to Col. Patrick Henry Anderson starts out quite cheerfully with relief that he had not been forgotten but does mention that he often felt uneasy around his old masters. He then goes on to explain that he is now working in Drayton, Ohio and has a very well paid job. Also explains that in Ohio his family is respected and his children are allowed to go to school.
His letter takes a much more satirical turn when he asks for 52 years of back pay to test his old master’s sincerity regarding his offer of employment. Jordan tallies this up at being over $11,000 dollars.
He then goes on to take a much more serious tone, commenting on the violence that happened to a black woman in Tennessee and that he could not risk bringing his family around that sort of level of violence. One of the best parts is his nonchalant way of signing off, advising his old master to thank George for stopping him from shooting him.
Questions have arisen over how Jordan possibly wrote this letter after years of working on a plantation with no education, however, historians and researchers have verified that his letter is indeed real and not a fake. All the signs point to Jordan dictating his words to a writer.
Nuclear Submarines Are So Well Cloaked They Don’t Even Notice Each Other
In what can only be referred to as a freak accident, in 2009, a French and British nuclear submarine by chance collided into each while submerged. This happened while both vessels were on Atlantic ocean patrols, and luckily they were traveling so slow that it was not too damaging.
With 250 crew members, on-board a submerged collision can be catastrophic, and it seems the two submarines were both carrying nuclear warheads. Both submarines were able to make it back to their home port even though they were damaged. And both defense ministries from each nation announced that there was no need to worry, none of the nuclear material had been compromised.
But it does indeed beg the question, how good are these cloaking and stealth measures on nuclear submarines. Why can they not spot each other when they are just centimeters apart. Both British and French submarines routinely carry over 16 nuclear warheads on their submarines so you would think they would be taking extreme care when navigating the oceans.
According to NATO agreements, there should be arrangements to ensure NATO allies know about the whereabouts of their nuclear submarines. It seems on this occasion both countries were keeping the location a secret. Foundations that campaign for nuclear disarmed have claimed we are very lucky this freak accident did not turn into anything sinister such as radiation leaking into our oceans.
Military experts describe the collision as a one in a million chance, and they do not think it will ever occur again. Apparently, both submarines were traveling so slowly that they did not notice one another. In fact, the stealth abilities of these submarines are so high-tech that in the immediate aftermath, the French military was unaware they had hit a British submarine. They believed that they had collided with an object, which they thought was surely a drifting cargo container.
When you think these submarines are over 500 feet long it is pretty incredible they can move without being noticed at all.
Some think of toothbrushes as being man’s best friend and that this award is not actually occupied by dogs. In modern times, people have indeed voted that toothbrush is one of the greatest inventions that we cannot live without. In surveys, it beats microwaves, automobiles, and television – but it is interesting to look at the history of the toothbrush and really breakdown where it came from.
One thing that you may find surprising is that humans have always sought out ways to brush our teeth. Since the beginning of time, we as a species have held on to our trusted companion that can help keep our teeth clean. The first records ever of a toothbrush come from the ancient civilizations such as the Babylon Empire. And though these were not the first humans to walk the earth, historians put down their records to the fact that they tended to document everything – whereas earlier civilizations did not. So the toothbrush will most likely have been in existence long beforehand.
Now, these first toothbrushes were very rudimentary and we often refer to them as chewsticks. They would be frayed on one end with a rock and the other side would be sharp to be used as a toothpick. As early as 3500 BC these sorts of chewsticks have been found buried in graves, also they have been seen in Egyptian drawings.
The modern toothbrush that we have come to love so much today, was first seen during early Chinese dynasties. The Chinese Tang Dynasty to be exact, where bones and bamboo were used as the handle. Tiny holes would be drilled through the handle and for the brush hog hair was used. Though Europeans did not like how rough hog hair was so started to replace them with horse hair.
We had to wait until 1935 when Nylon was invented for toothbrushes with hair to finally be replaced. Nylon brushes are much more sanitary and healthy than the hair equivalent. So in 1938 nylon brush toothbrushes were mass produced, and the rest as they say it is history.
Oldest Organism On Earth Only Reproduce Every 10,000 Years
Researchers who have been working with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) have discovered new bacteria, fungi, and viruses living a mile under the ocean floor that are thought to be millions of years old.
The incredible discovery shines some light on how old species on Earth really are, with these living organisms having witnessed life and creation for the past million years. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is a joint venture with over 22 countries taking part. The goal is to understand more about our ocean basins, how old they are and how they were created. This is achieved by drilling into the ground using the scientific discovery boat JOIDES.
Researchers then look at the ground samples found and test them to figure out what bacteria has been living there. And these organisms have many interesting traits that scientists are looking extremely forward to studying further. For example, not only are they very old but they are also very sparse there are not really many of them around at all.
To put it into perspective, in a teaspoon size amount of dirt on from ground level soil we would find over a billion types of bacteria but here researchers only found a couple thousand. The difference could be accounted to the real lack of resources so deep in the ocean ground, yet somehow they have found a way to survive.
Another cool trait that researchers noted is their metabolism works extremely slowly, which is likely to be one of the reasons that their life span is so long. In fact, it works so slow that some researchers are refusing to classify them as living creatures, arguing that they have entered a sort of zombie state.
Geochemists seem stumped on how they find food to survive or even how they reproduce given there is a great distance between the different fungi species or bacteria. They plan to dig deeper and discover even more types of microbes to hopefully find some answers about where and how the first organisms on Earth appeared.
One Rickshaw Driver Was Able To Help Educate Hundreds Of Poor Children
A famous rickshaw driver by the name of Mr. Bai Fang Li is a folklore legend in his home region, having helped hundreds of poor children afford education during his lifetime. Most people believe in relaxation when getting older, especially as they retire, but not Mr. Li who continued his donation lifestyle until the very end.
Working as a pedicab driver or a rickshaw operator, Mr. Li was never very rich himself but decided to dedicate his life towards helping impoverished students access education. He gave all of his hard earnings, as much as he could to help support children who otherwise would never have been able to afford education.
Once he reached the age of 90 he had donated over 350,000 Yuan which had ensured that more than 300 students were able to safely attend school. You see when Li returned home to his hometown village with every intention of retiring at the age of 74, he noticed that children were working in the fields because they could not afford school fees. So he sacrificed his retirement and continued working, to ensure these children had a better future.
His own sons and daughters tried to persuade him to simply retire and live the good life, but he refused. Pedicab driver work is not easy and is a very demanding job, with low pay. He worked hard sometimes over 24 hours without any rest, and for two whole decades, he hardly bought any clothes or new shoes. He ate simple food and looked like a beggar when out on the streets.
And then one winter he handed in his last donation to the school, advising that he could no longer work at the age of 90. In 2005, Li passed away with terminal lung cancer. Hundreds of people turned up to pay their hero their respects, ensuring that this pedicab operator will never be forgotten. One thing is for sure, Li proved that age is no barrier for achieving your dreams.
The Secret Ingredient To Victorian Leather Was Dog Poop
Back in time, dog poop was an extremely valuable resource for leather makers. Every coat, handbag, briefcase or any sort of leather goods was created by using dog poop to an extent. So as you can imagine some entrepreneurs around the city of London found a way to benefit from this ever-growing need for dog poop.
They kept the streets and alleyways free of the brown mess because it was worth money when taking to the local tanneries. You see long before the industrial revolution that brought in modern manufacturing and chemicals for cleaning factories, tanneries had such an overpowering smell that they were generally found outside of the city.
But in the city of London, everyone knew that poop was an important part of the tanning process. So this business effectively kept the streets clean because it would be shipped out to the tanneries. You see dog feces contains enzymes that will break down collagen in hides, part of the tanning process which is known as bating. It comes as no surprise that older encyclopedias refer to tanning as a noxious and odoriferous trade.
Skins would arrive in a tannery covered in blood and wet from whatever animal remains would be clinging to them. The process happens as following, first you soak them in water to clean them, then you would soak them in urine which makes them pliable to cut off the hair with knives. And that is when the poo would come into play, it does sound disgusting reading about it now, but back in the day, there were no chemicals available to make your leather shine. The lovely fine leather goods would be achieved by a mixture of water and dog poop. And sometimes they would even use pigeon poop also.
It is funny to think that we now find our streets covered in dog poop, as owners have no reward to pick them up anymore. Sometimes it seems we may have been doing the right thing back in time before the modern age of machinery took over.
The Famous MI5 Double Cross System From World War II
Espionage and spying really went to a whole new level during World War II and continued to become an important part of modern warfare during the Cold War. The British Security Service or as known by their cover title the MI5 used an amazing double cross system that caused every single German spy to be caught during World War II.
In fact, most of them started to work for the British. It was also known as the XX System and it was a counter-espionage tactic that worked amazingly well. It allowed the British to broadcast so much misinformation to the Nazis during the war, that many believe this system was integral to the Allies victory. All of the agents from German intelligence services were either apprehended or many simply turned themselves into authorities on reaching British shores.
There were also numerous false agents, people who had tricked the Germans into thinking they would spy for them if they helped them reach Great Britain – but really they just wanted to escape Germany. The real counter espionage started to happen when the agents that were charged with a German spy initial contact on arrival were controlled by the British.
This meant that immediately on arrival a German spy was already known to British authorities, allowing them to apprehend them almost immediately. The Abwehr as the German secret intelligence agency was called at the time would sneak spies into the country by parachute, submarine or sending them traveling via neutral countries. The last options were the preferred one as they could easily enter Great Britain by impersonating refugees.
Once the war was over, looking through the records it was discovered that every single German agent sent to England had either given themselves up or been captured, with one exception, an agent who committed suicide. The reason so many were spotted and captured was that they were mostly of Eastern European descent and usually were very poorly trained and had zero motivation as it was not really their war.
It became even easier for the British once the German Enigma machine encryption was broken, which pretty much assured they would know of any espionage plans before they happened.
Once Upon A Time Europe, Dealt With Their Rabies Problem By Airdropping Vaccine Loaded Chicken Heads
Back in 1939, the Nazis were not the only thing sweeping through Europe. There was also a whole outbreak of the rabies epidemic being carried by red foxes. The disease was moving rapidly southward and westward every year by several dozen kilometers. And it was going through country after country.
Given what was going on with World War II, not many countries had time to deal with the disease, which meant by 1967 it was a huge problem and had reached Switzerland. Rabies is a dangerous disease that targets the brain if untreated, infected people nearly always die. This meant that something had to be done, and the usual methods of trapping the foxes were not working. There were just too many animals roaming the forests with the disease, it would be impossible to hunt them all down. So a plan was created to set up a way to vaccinate them.
Vaccinating wild animals was a completely new concept that the Americans had been putting forward, but capturing animals and immunizing them by hand was proving very time consuming and also costly. So scientists figured out a way to allow wild animals to vaccinate themselves, first they tried adapting popular traps to shoot the vaccines instead of cyanide – but this failed.
So research was changed to create edible vaccines that could be hidden in a bait. By 1971, laboratories had invented an oral solution that could vaccine animals from rabies. Now they just needed the bait: they tried and tested everything from biscuits to sausages to eggs. But of course, they finally decided the best bait would be a disembodied chicken head: perfect for tracking a fox.
From 1979 to 1984, chicken heads would rain down on the Swiss countryside. In total over 52,000 heads were dropped, and wherever they did rabies disappeared. And then every European country decided to participate, millions of chicken heads were dropped, and by 1995 Europe was barely seeing any cases of rabies.
The Incredible Story Of The Town Of Coca-Cola Millionaires
There is a small town in Florida, called Quincy, that does not really have much of a claim to fame. Just another sleepy town in the sunshine state, with not much to do but relax in the sun. What you would not know though from just driving through, is that this small town is filled with the most Coca-Cola millionaires in the whole world. And that is all off the back of one banker’s love for the fizzy drink.
A small town in Florida became the richest town per capita overnight when the shares of Coca-Cola skyrocketed. All because one shrewd businessman urged all his fellow neighbors and townspeople to invest and buy Coca-Cola shares when they were still extremely cheap.
It happened in the midst of the Great Depression of the ‘20s and ‘30s, orchestrated by a banker called Pat Munroe. He noticed that everyone in his town, despite being in poverty or struggling, would always use their very last nickels to buy a bottle of Coca-Cola. And at this time Coca-Cola shares were extremely cheap, they were a steal, you didn’t need millions in your bank to invest with.
So Munroe invested and he did not keep silent, he urged all the people he knew in Quincy to do the same. And many of them, maybe due to the desperation of the time, followed his advice. Buying into Coca-Cola at around $19 per share, and as they were so cheap, Munroe simply kept urging the people to keep buying – which they did.
And it proved to be sound investment advice, his observation and advice paid off big time. In fact, the price of Coke shares going up is what saved the town from the worst of the Great Depression. The traditional farming town was about to keep afloat with the dividends they were receiving from their shares.
Which is what led to at least 67 inhabitants becoming Coca-Cola millionaires. The shares they bought so early allowed them to amass a great fortune which was passed down for generations.