Throughout history there have been humans with genetic abnormalities, some that lead to devastating consequences such as having life-changing disfigurements or in other cases you may not even notice that you are walking beside a superhuman. This was the case of Veronica Seider, a woman whose eyesight redefined completely what the human eye was capable of seeing.
While many of us require glasses or need to squint to see across the room, Seider was capable of seeing clearly for miles. Seider, as a result, was known as a superhuman, she was born in West-Germany in 1951. She went to school in Germany just like any other child and ended up enrolling into Stuttgart University in West Germany.
It was during her days as a student that her abilities really became clear and entered the scope of the general public. This happened when the university found out about her optical abilities in 1972. They claimed that Seider was able to see everything in astute detail up to a mile away, sometimes even further. Sounds like something that should be in a superhero movie.
You see while most people’s eyesight has the visual acuity of 20/20, her acuity was around 20/2. This meant that she could recognize and distinguish people from a mile away and even could accurately determine their distance from her position. To put that into perspective for you, 1 mile is 5280 feet, so you can only imagine the detail of her eyesight. You could compare her eyesight as to using a telescope or binoculars, in fact, she claimed she could also see constituent colors that come out of an old fashioned color by color television set.
What this means is though we know colors are made up of 3 primary colors: red, green, blue, we do not see the mixture of them. Veronica could actually distinguish these different components when looking at a color.
Despite her apparent superpower, Seider wanted to live a normal life and pursued her professional dream of becoming a dentist.
There is a lot to learn from studying the history of one of the world’s most ancient beverages: beer. If you are a beer expert, then you probably know that officially you would be referred to as a cerevisaphile. A Latin word that comes from the Roman goddess of agriculture. Beer is after all one of the oldest prepared beverages dating back as early as Neolithic or 9500 BC.
One of the first cultures to really push the craft of beer brewing was the Ancient Babylonians. Babylon is one of the most famous cities from the ancient Mesopotamia civilization and its ruins lie in what is modern-day Iraq, it is located 59 miles southwest of Baghdad. The name translates roughly into the Gate Of God, from ancient Greek. The city really owns its fame to the multiple references the Bible makes to it.
Now not only were the people themselves very serious about the craft of brewing beer. So much so that historians believe that if a bad batch was brewed, it was punishable by drowning to death, in the bad batch of beer. There were even laws that dictated how beer brewing should be followed. These were part of a group of laws that was known as the Code of Hammurabi.
King Hammurabi was a famous king that lived from 1792 to 1750 BCE, he is known to have transformed the city of Babylon into one of the most powerful and influential cities in the region. His laws are very well known, it was one of his initiatives to maintain peace and encourage the economy to keep turning. In his eyes, prosperity and wealth meant a happy population.
And in his laws you can find some that covered beer, just to reinforce how serious the ancient Babylonians were about their beer brewing craft. The Code of Hammurabi decreed that watering down beer was forbidden. In fact, any bar owner who was found to be watering down their beer would be executed.
The real question would be to see if master brewers from modern times would be able to keep an ancient population of Babylonians happy. The pressure of crafting a good beer must have been immense in ancient times.
The Astronomer That Just Could Never See The Transit Of Venus
Guillaume Le Gentil was a well-respected astronomer from France that discovered several nebulae and was even a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences. And though he made some amazing scientific discoveries he is more remembered for his turmoil of two unsuccessful attempts of observing the transit of Venus from India in 1761 and 1769.
He was part of an international project that was trying to measure the distance to the Sun by observing the transit of Venus at different points to the Earth. Hundreds of observers were dispatched to different parts of the globe in 1761, but the French expedition that was sent to Pondicherry in India proved to be extremely unlucky – especially Guillaume Le Gentil.
He left France in 1760 but took nearly a year to make it to India due to wars between France and Britain causing travel problems. And unfortunately, even though he was on route to make it in time to make the observation, his boat was blown off course. Along with unfavorable winds they were stuck out at sea for five weeks, and then when they were finally going to make it to Pondicherry, the British had occupied the port which forced the French ship to turn around. This meant that Le Gentil to missed the chance to observe the transit of Venus. Due to it taking so long to get to India, Le Gentil decided he may as well wait the 8 years and observe the next transit of Venus.
After spending some time in Madagascar mapping the Eastern coast, he traveled to Manila to prepare to observe the next transit but encountered hostility from Spanish authorities. However, as France and Britain had signed a peace treaty in 1763, he decided to make his way back to Pondicherry and arrived in March 1768. He built up a small observatory and waited patiently for the observation date.
Yet the sky became completely overcast and Le Gentil saw nothing. This misfortune nearly drove him completely mad, but he was able to discover enough courage to travel back to France. His return trip was not great either, but he finally made it home in 1771 after being away for 11 years – only to find he had been declared legally dead! The Academy had replaced him, his wife had remarried and all his relatives had plundered his estate. Due to shipwrecks and wartime attacks, none of his letters had arrived to the Academy. It took an intervention from the King himself to restore his titles.
Known as the Straw Hat Riot of 1922, it was a series of protesting and rioting around New York City. Not for equal rights between men and woman, or against racial discrimination or police brutality or LGBT rights, no this was for what at the time was seen to be a travesty. It was about men wearing straw hats past the unofficial date that was seen as socially acceptable.
The date in question was September 15, after this time, men apparently should no longer be seen wearing straw hats in public. And though it may seem silly now, these riots ended up in numerous arrests and multiple injuries.
One of the main problems was this date was arbitrary, it seemed to shift year by year. Earlier the limit had been the 1st September then it was a mid-month date. Any man seen wearing a straw hat was at the very least going to be mocked in the street, in fact, youths started to knock off the hats and stomp on them. And this tradition was even supported by the local media, newspapers would let people know that the date was approaching and that men needed to switch back to felt or silk hats.
What happened was a group of youths decided to get in early on the stomping and start off the tradition on the 13th, in Manhatten. They were removing and stomping hats worn by factory workers without much of an issue until a group of dock workers decided they did not like their hats being stomped on. This escalated into a full out brawl with traffic being stopped on the Manhattan Bridge because of it.
Then gangs of hat stompers started to prowl the streets with sticks and bats, beating down pedestrians who resisted. Reports said these mobs were over 1000 strong, and there were also reports that the police were much too slow to respond which caused the riots to get much worse. The tradition died out after some time, most likely due to Panama hats becoming quite fashionable during the 1930s.
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.