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  • Russian scientist Anatoli Bugorski, while doing maintenance work on particle accelerator, got his head stuck in the path of a proton beam. He described the experience of a flash ‘brighter than a thousand suns.”  Link here
  • Famous hacker Kevin Mitnick served five years in prison—four and a half years pre-trial and eight months in solitary confinement—because, according to Mitnick, law enforcement officials convinced a judge that he had the ability to “start a nuclear war by whistling into a pay phone”,meaning that law enforcement told the judge that he could somehow dial into the NORAD modem via a payphone from prison and communicate with the modem by whistling to launch nuclear missiles. Link here
  • ‘True Stories’ or ‘True History’, written in 2nd century, is considered to be the earliest known science fiction. It talked about traveling to outer space, alien life, inter-planetary warfare, artificial atmosphere, colonization of other planets and so on. Link here
  • A cow named Emily escaped a slaughterhouse, wandered for 40 days avoiding recapture and finally found refuge in a park. She then lived on for 8 years. After her death, she was buried between the statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. A ‘Sacred Cow Animal Rights Memorial’ was built on her grave with her life sized statue of her. Link here.
  • When Islam was just beginning to bloom, a philosopher named Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri was born in Syria. He was so advanced and progressive in his views that he rejected all the religions of his days. He was described as ‘pessimistic freethinker and rationalist’. For him reason was the chief source of truth. He was strict vegetarian as he would not eat the meat produced through the slaughtering of animals. He didn’t even drink milk as he thought people had no right over milk produced by animals. He was strictly opposed to all kind of violence and lived his life as true ascetic. He also never married. He understood the concept of religious indoctrination. Link here
  • A religious song, written during 1630s, was performed only in Sistine Chapel. Transcribing this song or performing it elsewhere was punishable offense. Besides, three written compositions of the same song was distributed elsewhere but none captured the beauty of the original performance. However, 14 year old Mozart visited Sistine Chapel and listened to the performance which he later wrote down entirely from his memory. He again visited Sistine Chapel two days later, listened it again and made some minor corrections. For this feat, he was praised for his Musical Genius by Pope instead of being punished. Link here
  • Once a Air Canada flight’s fuel tank was filled with 22,300 pounds of fuel instead of required 22,300 Kg due to confusion about recently adopted metric system. The same flight ran out of fuel when it was flying at the altitude of 41,000 feet. However, one of the pilot was skilled glider and he was able to glide the plane to the nearest airport at Gimli, Canada and thereby avoiding the accident. Link here
  • In 1924, Hitler was once arrested and tried for High Treason. The usual punishment for such crimes were execution. However, judge let him go as he thought Hitler had good intentions. Link here
  • Poon Lim survived 133 days at sea by staying on 8 square feet raft. He survived by fishing, catching seabirds and collecting rainwater. At one point, he even hunted shark. Link here
  • Despite the objections of McDonald’s, the term “McJob” was added to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in 2003. The term was defined as “a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement”. Link here
  • Alvin Straight, a 73 old guy, wanted to visit his 80 year old brother who just suffered from a stroke. The problem was Alvin didn’t have a driving license. So he completed a journey of 390 kilometers on a John Deere lawn mower. At a top speed of 8 km/hr, this journey took about 6 weeks to complete. Link here
  • In some Cuban cigar factories, a ‘lector’ was appointed and whose job would entail to read aloud articles, stories and news from newspapers to keep the workers from getting bored due to their monotonous job. Due to this, illiterate workers became very well versed in intellectual matters. Link here
  • Famous musician Frank Zappa’s award winning album ‘Jazz from Hell’ received ‘Parental Advisory’ status despite the fact this album was merely a collection of instrumental songs with no lyric at all. It was given the said status because of the word ‘hell’ in its title and a song named ‘G-Spot Tornado’. Link here
  • Henry Allingham, the oldest Briton in history, died at the age of 113. He had participated in both WW1 and WW2. He credited his longevity to cigarettes, whiskey and wild, wild women – and a good sense of humor.  Link here
  • Fish hooks have been used to catch fish in stone age. Apparently, the design of such hooks haven’t changed much from what they were in stone age. Modern day hooks still look very much the same as those from stone age. Link here
  • Around 200 AD, Rome briefly had a population of 1 million. For next 1600 years (that is, before 19th century) or so, no other city ever touched that figure. Link here
  • During early days of postal system, people would write a ‘Crossed letter’, that is writing in both horizontally and vertically,  in order to save money (postal charges were high) and save paper. Link here
  • Frank Abagnale (the inspiration behind movie ‘Catch Me If You Can’), in his one of early cons, bought a dress of security man. He put a notice on ‘Deposit Box’ declaring that ‘Out of service. Place deposits with security guard on duty.’ Apparently, this trick worked. Later on, Abagnale expressed shock and wondered ‘how can a deposit box be out of order?’ Link here
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