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Posted 20 May 2015 at 10:38 am

Any idea when another piece will be put out? I am missing out on some Damn Interesting information.

Posted 20 May 2015 at 08:37 am

Quality work! I like that even the image at the top of the page has an animated layer of smoke. The effect it gives is stronger when you knowingly trust that it will be followed by quality writing about an interesting topic.

Posted 18 May 2015 at 04:59 pm

Very good story, a few other interesting facts - at the time Peshtigo was a valuable resource to Chicago for timber. Also I have heard other stories that fires may have been helped through the result of poor tree harvesting during this time - 1800's. Finally - not only Peshtigo and Chicago were decimated by fire in October,1871; The communities of Manistee, Mi; Holland, Mi and Port Huron, Mi. were also decimated about the same week. Most people are unaware of this significant fire across the midwest, it is certainly not taught in school.

Posted 16 May 2015 at 09:48 am

Really damn intresting!you know just a thought but ive been hearing that the space suits needed to go to mars need a new pressure system to make better movement possible i was thinking what about water pressure normally this can kill us but if you use it in space it allows maximum mobility and saves precious air needed for breathing im not a scientist but just wondering if this has been tryed yet.Same Speech Like Mr Johnathan Macneil

Posted 14 May 2015 at 08:08 am

another scary thing about this disease is that while sufferers are trapped in their catatonic states, (unlike in a coma) they are completely aware of it. they are human statues trapped in their own bodies.

also, while in the catatonic state, they suffer psychosis. seeing horrible hallucinations, as if they were in a nightmare. scientist believe that this is because, like in Normal sleep, if pressure is put on the body, the brain will think that the body is trapped or in danger, and will generate a horrifying image to wake us up.

unfortunately for the victims of sleepy sickness (gosh thats a horrible name)they cannot wake up. they are condemned to age while trapped in that nightmarish state

Indrani Biswas
Posted 14 May 2015 at 04:51 am

Thanks for such a captivating read & a real love story !

Posted 13 May 2015 at 06:40 pm

Who owns fordlandia now and how can I buy it?

Posted 13 May 2015 at 07:51 am

Great article, although the title is misleading. This is in no way a paradox, just a strange phenomenon.

Posted 10 May 2015 at 11:25 am

Great read! One question remains: WHAT did they use for thermometers?

rene k. b.
Posted 09 May 2015 at 01:24 pm

ausgezeichnet!can't wait for the movie..(if I'm still alive)

Posted 07 May 2015 at 05:50 am

his astro-logical chart, shows exactly what he was programmed to do and why he was so single minded. apparently ,he was born during a thunderstorm near midnight 9th jul 1856 or just into 10th jul, I think it was about 11 45 pm.neptune in pisces m12th house, Jupiter in aries ,12 th house pluto in Taurus ist house ,Uranus (rules electricity) in the 1st house, very potent electrifying energies. chiron in the 10th house, relating to friends and electrical and career matters and being slightly wounded on that level ,but plutonic and chironic and neptunian planets ,show continuation of his insights and experiments, to be picked up on,in the future, they were not ready to receive or understand them, or him, at that time. all power to him!

Posted 06 May 2015 at 02:15 am

Most of my grownup life i have been wondering about my beard growth, from my teens and till i was around 26 years i had no beard or mustache growth at all, from 26-till 33 witch im now, ive had a small spot on both the sides of my chin under my mouth where it grows a little but at a very slow rate about 25mm in 3 months and its growing very thin.

I come from a vaerity of mixed genes From my fathers side Mostly Norwegian, Danish and Netherlands. and from my mothers side Native American, Irish, French, English and it may be even more becouse my grandma was adopted and we dont know her heritage, but she does look like she may be atleast half native American.

Ive been asking some of my family members for years about my beard stubble, and according to my Norwegian family it is very strange that i cannot grow a full beard or mustache, some times i wish i could just Teleport cus im scared of flying, to the US and get to know my Grandpa that lives there, asking him about his Native american father and family as i believe thats where i get my Hardly any hair in my face genes.

Enough about me and my thoughts, nice reading about the history of beards.

Susan H
Posted 05 May 2015 at 10:29 pm

I've wondered before how long consciousness could persist after stands to reason that it might before all the blood leaks out. That said, too bad a good lip reader couldn't have been present to interpret the real last words. Better than blinking Morse code (if one has a cooperative victim). This could really jazz up all the executions on Game of Thrones.
On a second line of comments about the death penalty-- I didn't used to oppose it--people who deliberately kill others would have to be insane to my way of thinking. But more recently, given the alarming number of death row inmates proven innocent by re-evaluating DNA evidence-- and the imbalance of the justice system to convict minorities far more than the ruling white class... I have a hard time supporting the death sentence unless the evidence is overwhelming. In the end, I would rather 100 guilty killers serve life sentences than 1 innocent person given a death sentence. We are supposed to be a fairly civilized society but our justice system isn't yet civilized.

Claudette Cohen
Posted 29 April 2015 at 06:11 pm

Over 70 words and names gleaned using a new transcription alphabet indicate constructions of an old Finno-Ugric origin with a substantial amount of Old Norse. In addition, there is a distinct Slavic influence. Some of the pages contain text suggestive of Karelian runic charm songs or Sami joiks in that they are highly alliterative and trochaic.

More here:

The pages depict female heliocentric star charts resembling Nordic brooches. They also depict kolovrats, octagrams, sauna/banya, torcs, a seidr staff, the sun cross symbol, intercalary year, red conical roofs, onion domes, plants from the northern hemisphere, a landscape resembling the Ruskeala marble caves, zaftig fair blond women, a Permic-like lizard of the underworld, the pike of Tuonela, and runic glyphs (comparable to those found in Icelandic magic books).

Some visual designs are reminiscent of a Sami shamanic drum, Karelian embroidery, and Vologda lace. The herbal powder receptacles are modified sewing necessaires in the tradition of north European treenware.

All of this points to core elements of north European culture that can be found in Scandinavian, Finno-Ugric, north Germanic, and to some extent Celtic traditions. These belief systems go back thousands of years.

Posted 28 April 2015 at 07:29 am

So Anne's comment makes sense. Until last week I never even thought about this. I have been through a lot of therapy for depression have been on adderall, paxil (at same time), and then effexor. I never noticed them do anything. Adderall and paxil would make me zone out, just lay there and stare. I'd also have problems waking up. Effexor I felt no different, actually I'd feel lower more often.

The reason I started seeing a psychologist again was because of these panic attacks. Never had something like this and it scared me. Heart racing, chest tight, muscles tightening, fear, just all these things. Knew it was anxiety from what I've heard (which is what I think those of us that have this bad relate our emotions too, what we perceive as emotions cognitively). So I was supposed to do acceptance therapy so I just blindly started to accept things. Think of it as faith. Just letting go. Well that was overwhelming, like constant panic attacks.

Well then I find out emotions have physical connections. Couldn't make the link until it happened. To put it simply, I was wrong what emotion it was, but I was crying because I connected a physical feeling to an emotion. Having a physical feeling connected to a thought that I connected to feeling is kind amazing honestly. Like I feel something, this is new to me. I'm 33, it was like hearing for the first time, or seeing.

Later on I freaked out and thought of something terrifying, and thought it'd kill me. And if I have physical sensations associate with these thoughts I think I'll die. As soon as it happened I had to shut down. I always called it calming myself down. Always was told I was emotionless, when I was younger said I wore a mask, that no one would ever know who I was or what I was feeling (little did I know neither would I really), would say how I'm building this wall. But even then, 13-14 years old I don't remember these connections.

My psychiatrist picked up on this when I said it, reason she thinks I have this, when I was younger I was abused and when spanked or punched or anything negative happen and I cried I'd get the "you don't have anything to cry for", "I'll give you something to cry about" (even after being punched). Thing is that was normally with spankings when I was little, and then later around 13-14 with fights. Mom told me my father abused me as an infant, and he abused her too (they'd send me and my brother out of the house, come in see her crying but everything was "ok"). So honestly I don't think I've ever made these connections.

I understand very well why no one understands me now with anything emotionally charged. My arguments are normally just factual or logically based so "emotions" kind of throw me off. Even as I type this I have panic feelings (the first feelings I recognized) but think it's really numerous emotions all hitting me at once, and I have no control. I'm scared. I want to feel these things to experience them, but if I get depressed and feel pain, or feel the terror of my fears, I don't think I can handle it.

Thing is, people like me don't know we have this problem. We can think we do, then learn that emotions aren't thoughts, they're physical, you just "feel" them. I can't get my head around it still, hell, people can't get their head around the fact I don't feel like they feel. It's more isolating and lonely than before honestly. At least not knowing you "feel" normal. Knowing leaves me wanting to experience, afraid of experiencing, and a "feeling" (thought I guess) that I am better off with what I know.

Posted 27 April 2015 at 10:31 pm

Another brilliant piece of audio.

Great story telling and so well researched.

Best podcast on the net!!

Posted 22 April 2015 at 02:03 pm

This is an excellent site in all respects. Keep up the good work.

Posted 20 April 2015 at 10:26 pm

Wonderful work. Thank you for creating this. I had never heard of this ship, and I read a lot of history.

Posted 19 April 2015 at 06:39 pm

This article is interesting, it made me learn a lot

Posted 18 April 2015 at 10:42 am

I was watching Engineering Disasters and saw the Texas City explosion. I was working at Pepcon when the explosion happened. Believe me I ran for my life and knew both of the people that died at the plant.

Gerald R Scott
Posted 18 April 2015 at 10:01 am

Cars must never go away. It would be the total and complete end of freedom to billions of people everywhere. Cars do not need to be poison. Hybrids and pure electric cars are NOT the answer. Hybrids use hundreds of pounds of highly toxic batteries that must be manufactured and disposed of, as well as a gasoline engine. Purely electric cars won't help either. They use even more toxic batteries, and these batteries are recharged by electricity from toxic sources. There is nothing "green" about these vehicles, in fact they appear to be dirtier than purely gas powered cars.

I'll come right out and say it. People have putting this idea down for decades (yes it has been around for that long) I am a believer in hydrogen fueled vehicles. Yes there are still some technical issues, though I believe they are very minor compared to electric vehicles, which do not solve anything anyway. I think we would have most if not all of these issues solved now if we had been working on this rather than electric power, which as I've already stated, I believe to have no future at all.

Posted 17 April 2015 at 04:16 pm

Vaseline is amazing - it can be applied to the teeth to stop enamel from staining, used as a makeup remover and weirdly i put it all over my nose and mouth and ears and within about 7 hours a really bad cold will always go away . . .

Posted 16 April 2015 at 01:15 am

I'm pretty sure every single Western nation has a plan to invade every other nation. Canada probably has a plan to fight the US, the UK, Australia, China, Russia... Heck probably even Botswana or something. Honestly the surprise that people exhibit when nations reveal they've had plans to invade other nations exasperates me. Even the British response to the Suez crisis was somewhat planned out (then the Egyptians decided to be weird and the plans changed)

Posted 15 April 2015 at 03:24 pm

And only girls were affected. I don't think. Pseudoscience strikes again.

James Lunsford
Posted 15 April 2015 at 10:39 am

I lived five years in Brazil and two years in Peru during the 1950s, and during that te, I was bitten, or at least latched onto by one of the creatures several times. I remember, while swimming in the Judoa river. I would have to physically grab these creatures and pull them off. The would leave a white scar of what appeared like four tooth marks that would remain for several years. If you were fishing, and they were in the area, very little else would bite. These fish were slimy and slick. They were useless in that they could not be eaten nor were they good got bait.

Posted 13 April 2015 at 01:57 pm

No one in Russia was able to make a computer programs?

What I mean is that, such a software should not be that hard to make.

PS: I don't know much about programming.

Posted 09 April 2015 at 02:00 pm

I enjoyed this article and if anyone would like more information on the fire,
I just finished reading Colors of the Firestorm The Great Peshtigo Fire by Linda Brieno. It was very, very good. She did a lot of research and used a lot from a first-hand account written by Reverend Peter Pernin (The Great Peshtigo Fire - An Eyewitness Account.

Posted 08 April 2015 at 01:35 am

Simo häyhä movie will be come out 2017, the film will be directed by Olli Saarela

Posted 07 April 2015 at 01:13 pm

hey you should show images for the what happens to people when they get sucked into space

Posted 05 April 2015 at 09:23 pm

Nice article -- I'm consistently enjoying the writing on this site.

My high school history passed over the Irish Potato Famine with about the same depth as this article's sentence, "So reliable was [the potato] that in Ireland […] a simple potato fungus in 1845 was able to cause […] "total and utter catastrophe killing over a million people and depopulating the island by a quarter through death and emigration.""

I know the Irish Potato Famine was bad, but I've recently seen some mentions that there was plenty of other food available in Ireland at the time, but in the form of crops and animals primarily grown for export. The Irish poor could not match the market prices for the export items, so that food was all sent away.

While the simplistic perspective provides a good lesson about the risks of monocultural crops, I wonder if there might be a "Damn Interesting" story to be found in a wider lense/deeper dive look at the Irish Potato Famine.

Posted 05 April 2015 at 09:13 pm

I dated his granddaughter years ago, and she told me she was descended from a famous doc. 20 years later I heard about him on people's pharmacy, and I was hey why hasn't this been followed up? But looks like his results were not replicated...

roscoe p, coltrane
Posted 04 April 2015 at 04:56 pm

Gee I dunno...maybe guys like Tesla and Da Vinci etc aren't from around here. Another neighborhood...Off planet? consider the Mayans who could travel off planet by a practice that involved body positions. On a planet where greed is the number one priority, the human race is in a pathetic state.

The great thinkers should inspire everyone that sharing and respect for the planet and other humans is the number one priority. I have to say though Tesla, wherever he was from, is a fascinating subject. nice article

Nick Dewhurst
Posted 04 April 2015 at 09:16 am

I do not believe there is any mystery about the message whatever; it is completely insignificant. People try to read too much into it. The message was read as:

… - . -. -.. . -.-.
It should read ST (standard time) - END (of message) - AR .-.-. (end of transmission). They used to call the .-.-. symbol "AR" (it has the same composition as "EC", and is sent as a single symbol).
The operator was expecting to land in a few minutes and probably had nothing on his mind other than putting away his headphones and taking time off in Santiago. He certainly never expected to spend the next fifty years in a glacier!
Much ado about nothing! That's my interpretation, anyway.

james brown
Posted 04 April 2015 at 06:25 am

I first ran across the Dr. Buzz Aldrin Mars Cycler about a decade and a half ago. The real "Mr. Funk" did first here indicated the cycler orbits take more fuel and energy. Yes, so they should only be used to send, protect, and support delicate payloads like humans. A Hohmann transfer orbit is the cheapest orbit, but the earth, Mars one takes nearly nine months. So for freight we should use that, and the cyclers should be reserved for humans.

The Mars Homestead Project has done lots of work on producing the equipment to produce the resources to build large pleasant habitats, greenhouses, and such to support a quickly growing population on Mars bringing to Mars little more the a starting set of equipment and then little more than the people.

To fill Elon Musk of SpaceX plan to send a million people to Mars we should start with a half dozen people with a good start of processing equipment, and then try to double that each alignment. They should be sent to Mars with a small spinning habitat like cycler that also grows food. The first Mars cycler ship might not have all that.

Larger cyclers should mostly be made out of materials already in orbits. Of course the lowest fuel need would be out of some asteroids between Earth and Mars. Some would need hardly a nudge to put them into that orbit. Lunar, might be easier get to, to process, but I think the best at is to process in Mars orbits, mostly using the tiny Moons of Mars. For many other reasons I see many advantages to develop and process using Phobos, the very close moon or Mars. It can be a great solution to many problems for a settlement on Mars as well as a great boon to transportation for Mars and beyond.

Posted 02 April 2015 at 10:51 am

Some may say it, but they would be spinning a lie, no Davy Crocket was ever set off in Vietnam. All were accounted for and removed from that theatre of operation.

Shaun Wilkinson
Posted 02 April 2015 at 03:03 am

I understand that a lot of work goes into all the articles, but I've got to ask when can we expect the next one? I've read through the entire archive + pulled articles and everything is amazing! :)

rob hamm
Posted 01 April 2015 at 11:58 pm

Setting up a real test Wardenclyffe would be not only impractical, but would also cause the experimenters to incur massive damage costs they would have to pay. (think massive disruption/interference with all communication systems on an absolutely huge scale from the electromagnetic waves both in the earth and ionosphere.) A very unwise experiment.

Alan Bellows
Posted 29 March 2015 at 06:10 pm

@Wade Nelson: You are alleging plagiarism because we both used the commonly-used phrase "carved up" to mean "separated into portions" when telling the same story? That's just silly.

Wade Nelson
Posted 29 March 2015 at 03:32 pm

Would you prefer to insert a line crediting me for all of the lines you plagiarized from MY article on the same subject or chat with my lawyer?

You know, like "carving up" the runway...


Joe Stokes
Posted 29 March 2015 at 12:24 pm

Great story and thanks for it. Here in the States we call "dripstick" a "dip stick" and wondered if that was correct. Awfully well written. Again, thanks.

Posted 27 March 2015 at 08:00 am

Illig has right that is minimal...; but it seems the falsification is bigger ...see Fomenko

I get to conclusion that the 'tatar invasion' [and in fact all of the nomad invasions] were the crusades [Fomenko even says taht some wars [trojan etc] were the same [but says the tatars were the russians] - but to simplify this they were the scythians.

Fomenko says about 'roman empire' the populating of europe from east'

Myself i think that the 'roman empire' realy was some
nomad empire'

Posted 27 March 2015 at 02:33 am

If someone having such a disorder is curable of the psychological state the doctors willing in removal of the clients requested limb or limbs can seem quite strange, yet in reality who is it really hurting? The client? No. To them removala a life saver.The doctor/doctors? No. Need to see potential in lim b donation. Think possitive. Society? No. Only when people look down upon illness strange or not.

Posted 26 March 2015 at 10:01 am

I want to thank you for this article.

I came here looking for it to present to my nephew, who has a bad case of instant gratification.

He went to Berkley on a double major and then dropped out a semester short of graduation to join the Navy. I was discharged on a medical before he finished boot camp.

Then he decides to go to Coleman College to get a degree in computer technology.

Now I hear he has dropped out again after completing only a few certificates to get a job. Doesn't have a job lined up.

So rather than finish a degree to get a higher paying job, he quits now and is pretty much doomed to a lifetime of lower paying jobs.

He won't listen to any of us about what a bad decision this is.

And he had a free ride. My Dad was paying for it all. Now if he wants any additional school he'll have to pay for it out of his own pocket, on whatever low salary he manages to pull in from whatever kind of job he manages to find.

This was a 4.0 valedictorian of his class with AP classes up the whazoo. Now he is just a dropout and a loser.

I blame the video games but your mileage may vary.

Posted 22 March 2015 at 01:56 pm

GREED, GREED, GREED!!!! Little do these big companies realize is of they were honest in there dealings, and didn't push the GENIUIS OUT OF THE WAY FOR MONEY, BIG BUSINESS in the long run would make so much more. WHO KNOWS HOW MANY MORE INVENTIONS THIS GUY WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF. "GREED SEE'S THE SHORT TERM, INTEGRITY SEE'S THE LONG TERM".

Posted 18 March 2015 at 01:43 pm

@Guerrero: A polar bear of course :) A self-timer on their camera (in 1897 no less), and a tripod? An Inuit who mysteriously appeared out of the fog, helpfully took their picture, then vanished again without a trace? Truly a baffling question!

Hmm, on a related note it looks like Alan modified the story somewhat and removed a picture he had originally included, that showed a backup aeronaut, along with the three who actually took flight - a "spaeronaut". Without that picture my previous comment makes no sense any more, and the story got less funny! Why did you take that picture out, Alan?

Maybe the now-vanished spaeronaut took the picture of the other three with the sledge...

Alan Bellows
Posted 16 March 2015 at 07:28 am

@Chris: The fellow who narrates most of our podcast episodes--Simon Whistler--also does the voice work for a few other podcasts. That's probably what has caused the confusion. Apart from the shared narrator they are unaffiliated. I do have other projects, but they are mostly pedestrian stuff such as a day job, contract work, and occasional tinkering.

Posted 16 March 2015 at 07:27 am

Great article, but after the 1707 Act of Union there was no 'English' parliament, just a British one (based in England).

Posted 16 March 2015 at 06:11 am

Alan, why dont you advertise your other project? I understand you have bills to pay so why not tell people about it? I actually like your daily podcast, listen to it through Audioboom.

Posted 15 March 2015 at 08:57 pm

Very Interesting! I had a SRO at my school who talked about the Cold War. I remember him saying that there was a malfunction and he remembered thinking he was going to die because Russia was going to nuke us. I didn't realize he was apart of this. He was apart of the air force i believe.

Posted 13 March 2015 at 03:44 am

Someone in here started commenting about GM and "plant aura's" and what not...

Just wanted to clarify:

Aura's are fictional. Like magic, unicorns and lepricons.

GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) are not necessesarily bad. Transplanting gene's in whatever way to some organism (plant, animal, yeast, bacteria) is nothing more but a quicker way to introduce mutations, that might otherwise have occured naturally after a vast time period, or that could have been happening sooner due to selective breeding (which happens all the time for all kinds of plants and animals, e.g: humans created the dog race. Ten thousand years ago we started training wolves - and now they are dogs. All dogs come from the same animal - all dogs are different phenotypes of the wolf. All corn types are descendents of grass. The same thing with broccoli, wiki quote: "Common vegetables such as cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts are all descendants of the wild cabbage plant").

My point is: Mutation = a good thing.
GMO's = quick way of selective breeding.

The one thing with GMO's that you have to be carefull with, is that you dont introduce some mutation that might be harmful for human consumption or harmful for the wild flora and fauna, if the gmo race was to be introduced to the wild. Remember, though, that this can also happen naturally. Anyway - there are strict protocols to make sure GMO's do not escape into the wild. They are studied in closed laboratories, that force you to wear protective clothing etc. They are meticulously tested before even considering being used. If they are safe - then they are used. As an example, all penicillin is actually produced by a genetically modified yeast strain! Yes! By modifying some yeast strain, they were able to have the fungi produce penicillin.

The anti-gmo movement has raised attention towards genetic engineering, which is a good thing, but it has also significantly damaged and stagnated research and development. By means of genetic engineering the human race could solve a lot of problems. We could battle hereditary diseases, make food crops resistent to certain fungi and vira, maybe enable them to grow on saline water, instead of fresh water. However all these things require research, and research requires funding. And funding is very hard to get on these subjects due to misinformed people spreading the false accusations of said anti-gmo movement.

My point is. Know what you are actually voting against. Research it.

Posted 10 March 2015 at 11:36 am

Recognizing that this is an old topic, it does still turn up on google-searching. Thus, I get to put in my two cents worth for someone else to read, right? After reading all the cute and/or wise comments both on topic and off, I'm left to wonder why none of them mentioned the elephant in the room: why must all birth control and/or abortion discussion center so fully on the role of the female when the male is obviously equally present and active at the time of conception? In today's supposedly enlightened society, shouldn't we give credence to more than latex in preventing the little swimmers that invade the nest? What's wrong, in short, with MALE birth control ingestions? Or does such a product get vetoed out of hand immediately as interfering with the macho of the male image? Considering the disasterous effects of botched abortion, neglect of unwanted children, any number of potentially hazardous in vitro complications, it seems MALE birth control medicines would be a far safer route for society.

Posted 08 March 2015 at 08:04 pm

My father-in-law was a Captain and pilot in the Army Air Corps, during World War II. He was aware of the leaflets being dropped. At the time, civilians, enemy and ally alike, were instructed NOT to pick up leaflets of any kind, falling from the sky. There were reports of incendiary leaflets (whether true or not), being made on both sides. That and whatever was printed on them would almost surely be propaganda from the enemy. This may help explain why most leaflets were mostly ignored. While giving first-hand accounts of the World War to an elementary class, my father-in-law was asked whether he thought it was necessary to drop the atomic bomb. After a pause, emotionally, he said: "At the time, yes. We were planning a major invasion of Japan and the Japanese civilians had been instructed for every man, woman and child to fight to the death. The losses of American soldiers and Japanese soldiers and civilians nation-wide were spared the horror of a major invasion. I hope and pray no one ever has to use that kind of force, again."

Posted 07 March 2015 at 10:58 am

In Boris Chertok's four volume history of the Soviet space program (Rockets and People)he talks about the plundering of German technology and the revelation he got from it. They contributed little or nothing to the war effort. All the resources the secret weapons required to develop were a tremendous drain on the system and produced little of value in return.

Posted 06 March 2015 at 09:16 pm

"Doyle was undeniably biased, but on the other hand, he had become intimately familiar with George Rogers’ machinations" on the other hand he only had two fingers.

Posted 05 March 2015 at 07:19 am

This is cool!!!

T. Fraser
Posted 04 March 2015 at 11:38 pm

This is one the best stories I've read in ages, and I come here all the time! (Heck, I own the book, and I still think this is an incredible story.) Thank you for all the hard work and research!

Matt Heyne
Posted 03 March 2015 at 11:08 pm

"Bob Nesbo
Posted 19 August 2008 at 03:37 am

This sounds crazy, but would there be a way to drill out the magma, do some "magma mining" to slowly release the pressure? And get some heat energy while we were at it, and at the same time reduce the pressure on the caldera? Or will someone complain that we will be deflating the earth or something like that and protest the whole thing?"

Sounds like a great idea Bob, but we have no idea of the effect of such an action. It could work, but it could also destabilise the caldera and cause an eruption. And if we tried to vent it there is no guarantee we could control what we vented(toxic gasses etc.) how much, or if we could stop it once it began. Volcanology is still a guessing game for the most part, as we still have no way of mapping the internal structure of the planet or the extreme forces involved therein. 10 points for creativity though.

Malleus Mal
Posted 03 March 2015 at 10:58 am

I have bad news. In my opinion, we are utterly alone in the Universe. At best, there may be some forms of life millions of miles away, that exist briefly, and are then extinguished, just as earth will cease to exist one day. I suspect this happens over and over, again, throughout the Universe. For different forms of life to communicate over these vast distances, given their brief existence, would be a rare event, indeed.

Posted 28 February 2015 at 05:03 pm

Seriously damn interesting. I feel like it would be like any drugs now, and not all bad. Although there would be cases in which people might zap themselves constantly and be addicted and fail at life and blah blah blah, there could still be a vast number of people that could use it for occasional pleasure and recreation. And there's also the factor of money. I seriously doubt this would be a cheap procedure which limits the number of people that could even have access to it, let alone abuse it. Just because some people might abuse the technology doesn't mean it's bad.

Posted 28 February 2015 at 08:24 am

Kiniesten, I hope I never come cross one of your posts again.... talk about deviating from the topic! you don't belong here.

Posted 28 February 2015 at 06:38 am

you're not last....

Posted 28 February 2015 at 12:52 am

no, their IQ isn't higher, then average. (explain you later, if anybody is interested)
no, we don't look up to them, unless we haven't had a close relationship with them, but just read.
no, it's not true, that they don't know, they are hurting others: not knowing what you are doing is different from doing it, because you think you are the only one, who is allowed. they don't allow the same to be done to themselves, do they??
no, they aren't strong or heroic. courage is, when you are scared, but can overcome the fear and still do GOOD....and good, not bad, Bad is easy to do.
no, as weird, as it may sound, the sadistic type psycho isn't as bad, as praying (doesn't care, if somebody is hurt). Dr. George K. Simon.
Re: quots "from horses mouth" - well....a quot from a 'victim' - "a psycho says the sky is blue, it means, that it's not". this to just consider, but believe the rest, or you are in trubble, because....
....YES, THEY ARE DANGEROUS, but silly, because
...Yes, it IS a disorder.

Posted 27 February 2015 at 05:37 pm

Wow. Damn Interesting

Posted 26 February 2015 at 10:05 pm

The Big Bang shattered absolute zero. Charles Talley

Posted 26 February 2015 at 08:31 am

I really enjoyed that story. Excellently told and just a total cracker.

I like reading maritime stories and highly recommend the books by the historian, Jean Hood, one of my favourites being her short (yet true) stories about shipping disasters called "Come Hell and High Water."

Posted 25 February 2015 at 11:05 pm

As always, this is a great story. I love your style and this was a captivating piece of History. I couldn't wait to read more. Not just damn interesting more like fascinating!

Posted 24 February 2015 at 06:41 pm

I know this is a pretty old article, and please forgive me for reviving it, but as a medical student, I must pick on this a little bit...

"I don't think nerves are anywhere near as sensitive on your insides. Many organs have virtually no nerves, such as the brain, which can be poked and moved around without you feeling much. :D"

your brain is probably the worst example you can give of a "nerve-less" organ, it is literally comprised of all nervous tissue. nerves are bundles of nervous tissue. While the brain may not have pain receptors, or pressure receptors, (called nociceptors and baroceptors respectively), it quite certainly has nervous tissue.

again, my apologies. *end rant*

Alan Bellows
Posted 24 February 2015 at 03:24 pm

@Chris: Actually, the voice you are recognizing is that of Simon Whistler, our professional voice talent. He just happens to do the voice work for that other podcast as well. My voice is the one you'll hear reading the end credits, and I have also recorded a few episodes myself (e.g., The Clockmaker).

Regarding the reduction in article publication frequency, this is simply a function of decreased free time, increased publication difficulty (longer articles, addition of the podcast, etc.), and an unwillingness to reduce quality for the sake of quantity.

Damn Interesting has always been a spare-time endeavor for me, so I become a bottleneck. This is especially true considering that I personally edit articles, produce the podcast, create most of the podcast music, create most of the article artwork, manage our social media, keep our server running through Reddit click-storms, code site updates, and generally manage our constellation of responsibilities, all in my spare time. And I also like to write articles on occasion.

So, I'm sorry that we cannot publish with the swiftness of our youth, but at least we're not caving to the easy and lucrative clickbait-and-ads model that is gobbling up so much of the Internet nowadays.

Posted 24 February 2015 at 08:59 am

Now I know why the articles have dried up past year or so, Alan you've been busy doing the Daily Knowledge Podcast haven't you? Recognise your voice a mile off, glad to get a fix using Audioboom's new app anyway.

Posted 23 February 2015 at 12:57 pm

I was so happy to see another article on here, and even more so when I saw how long it was! Such an interesting and lengthy back story that continued well after the Derelict had sunk.

Damn Interesting!

Colin Davis
Posted 21 February 2015 at 08:18 am

This is very similar in theory, to a tactic used by the Portuguese, before that tried to invade India at the start of the 16th century. Albuquerque, a Portuguese church minister, was commissioned to obtain information from leading persons in India, to enable the Portuguese to establish commercial routes and relationships. Albuquerque, always dressed poor, but his never told anyone his mission or his plan. Eventually he let slip and the Indians rose up against the Portuguese.

Posted 21 February 2015 at 07:17 am

Strange, I thought about this when I found all my socks that had disappeared in the washing machine.

Posted 21 February 2015 at 02:39 am

I don't really like the Calvinist conclusion that money makes you what you are. Voltaire wasn't the first or only wealthy man on Earth and yet he spoke his mind well ahead of time by expressing concepts that are at the foundation of our human rights today.

One could even argue that there were already signs of his free mind before the lottery scheme came into being and that he would eventually become Voltaire anyway, but that again would be interspersing history with our beliefs.

Posted 20 February 2015 at 10:54 pm

Thanks for a great article. Some fantastic turns of phrase. As a longtime pulpmill operator, 'percussive maintenance' is something I am very familiar with.

The Firestarter
Posted 20 February 2015 at 04:57 pm

"The fourth wall, dear reader ..." Oh I see what you did there!

Posted 18 February 2015 at 09:16 pm

I always called this 'The Simpsons Effect' because by about 1998 here in the UK, The Simpsons was aired twice a day every day except Saturday. What would happen is you'd frequently run into something obscure and specific that was featured in an episode you'd just watched. Of course the reality is that when you're watching that many hours of a tv show with as many side jokes and references as The Simpsons, it shouldn't be surprising at all.

As a few people have mentioned accurately guessing the time, I've prided myself on being good at cancelling the alarm within seconds of its set time, usually when I've given myself another 10 minutes or so.

I was most proud about the time my power went out for..I suppose say two hours and 34 minutes, so I manually set my old timey electric non smart clock forward by that amount until my computer loaded up and connected to the internet - of course when it connected I saw that my estimate was spot on to the minute.

Bicky Goyal
Posted 17 February 2015 at 04:34 am

Amazing story. I wonder why this has not been adapted into a movie yet. Nonetheless, the read was fun. :-)


Posted 16 February 2015 at 05:30 am

At the heart of the tragedy that we know as the Titanic lies the Potato Famine in Ireland. There was only a famine because the entire crop came from one genus and had others been available this disaster might have been mitigated.
So great was the exodus of Irish nationals, leaving to find a new life in America that the White Star line saw a business opportunity.
The Titanic was not the only vessel on this run. It is commonly thought that she was a luxury liner but the real trade was in the emigration from the Emerald Isle.
The cabins were poky and small and following the dispersal of the Irish to America via Ellis Island, these cabins were all stripped out of their scanty furnishings and used for freight back to England.
Following the sinking of the Titanic there was the usual board of enquiry. It found that the vessel had been incorrectly classified and this led to a major revision of the construction rules for such vessels.
All this from the humble potato.

Posted 16 February 2015 at 12:28 am

Hi. I'm alexithymic, and I'd like to clear something up. Having this condition does not render you apathetic or void of emotion, and nowhere in the article was that stated. It simply means that I have trouble understanding my own emotions and why other people are so controlled by them. Yes, I am neutral a lot of the time, but I am a loving, kind, and funny person. I'm very realistic, but I am also very imaginative. When people call us emotionless, it hurts our feelings, yes, we have those! It just takes a little more to make us recognize them,instead of being detached and viewing emotion as a resource with little value.

Posted 15 February 2015 at 02:34 am

Against the backdrop of European history from 1860 to 1939 there is the rise of Finland. Finland never existed as a nation and was little more than a Grand Duchy of Sweden until the Kalevala was discovered. This is a massive epic poem, possibly one of the greatest discoveries in world literature of recent times.
Up to the point of its discovery, anyone who was anyone in what became Finland was Swedish. Sweden was anxious to have a buffer state between it and Russia and was right to be concerned about the bellicose noises coming out of Russia after the 1917 Revolution.
The story of the creation of Finland is an example of how a nation is created once that body of people discovers a great heritage, a language of its own, and nationhood is only around the corner.
It is a terrible tragedy that Britain found itself at war with Finland during WW2.
Years ago, I met an attractive Finnish lady who had the classic Swedish complexion. Bright sapphire blue eyes topped by flowing blonde hair. She told me she was going on holiday back to Helsinki and I asked her if she could find and purchase a book with the Kalevala on one side and a translation into English on the other. She drew a blank but came back with two texts, the Kalevala and a good translation in paperback. The spine of the Kalevala is written in large uppercase vertically on the spine.
She puzzled at the words and the language.
" is not Finnish as I know it."
"Yes...." I said. "That is because the language of the Kalevala is ancient, Runic and it was remembered through chant and song."
It is wonderful. Well worth study.

Posted 14 February 2015 at 07:12 am

Those events are still discussed. The hero was a man on one vessel, Radio Officer Proudfoot who was in the singular position of being able to send weather reports that forewarned the emergency services of the danger that would engulf the eastern coast of Britain. He lost his life but the measures, such as could be mustered, were in place and thanks to him loss of life was to some degree minimised. The high water levels that overwhelmed Norfolk were caused by a high tide combined with the depression that caused the seas to rise well above maximum spring tide levels.
It is with thanks to R/O Proudfoot, with his totally unambiguous copper plate morse, that we owe this debt.
There was another freak incident in more recent times when an atmospheric depression affected the river Trent and the oxygen levels were depleted. Oxygen had to be vapourised and blown into the water to stop the fish from dying.

Posted 14 February 2015 at 04:44 am

That moment when your suspicion is subtly focused on Rogers and you realise you're only halfway into an epic tale; just magnificent! Bravo, Mr Bellows!

Posted 10 February 2015 at 09:08 pm

Fantastic article, really enjoyed it.

Posted 10 February 2015 at 11:11 am

Furnace, I am reading this article 9 years to the day that you posted your comment, and my birthday is on 24 February! Pretty cool!

Posted 09 February 2015 at 03:09 pm

The most obvious benefit is... to do something else, such as sleep, read, make phone calls, watch the news...

Our society continues going backward. We already have the technology with these benefits. They're called trains.

Posted 07 February 2015 at 10:37 am

I'll read this one to my love for valentines.... wonder if she would wail so long for me?

either way, thanks so much Marrisa,DI!

Posted 07 February 2015 at 05:19 am

great read and beautifully descriptive
"so crew members applied percussive maintenance to the mechanisms "

Posted 07 February 2015 at 02:27 am

This is my first read here...and I must say...stunningly well done. Gained a fan for sure :)

Julie Hafford
Posted 06 February 2015 at 12:56 pm

I read this book after accidentally finding it on a dusty shelf in the library. I wished that we learned the story of this woman along with (or instead of) Anne Frank. She represents strength, perseverance, bravery and so much more. I have told people if this book at every chance I get. I'm very happy that I'm not the only person who feels this way. Great article!

Posted 06 February 2015 at 09:35 am

pls tell abut working principle & working off six stroke engine REPLY FAST

Posted 03 February 2015 at 04:19 pm

No one had commented in a long time so i feel like i should. This was all true (I would know) very Interesting

Posted 03 February 2015 at 11:35 am

Surviving exploding ammunition is nothing short of miraculous.

Here's a video about that ammunition, he would most likely have been hit with a Soviet PZ round:

Posted 02 February 2015 at 10:01 am

Quote: "the Finns developed a counter-strategy called "Motti" tactics, a name derived from the Finnish word for "encircled.""

Not true. The word "motti" in Finnish is a measure of wood, equivalent to one cubic metre. The logic behind the term is that the Soviet invaders were sorted and arranged into "mottis", a measure (or "portion") that could be handled, contained and destroyed. Think of a "motti" as a "bite size" piece.

Posted 01 February 2015 at 09:24 am

That is awesome!- I had forgotten what this man's name was.

Posted 01 February 2015 at 05:49 am

Amazing production values on the podcast! Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Posted 29 January 2015 at 08:28 am

Great article. Another point you missed is that he often did not use a scope. As that made him a lager target, and of coarse a gleam. Hence why he was so successful in hiding in plane site and was not shot until the end of the war.

Posted 28 January 2015 at 11:45 am

As always a pleasure to learn a shiny new interesting story..

For the first time I have used the podcast instead of reading the article. It works very well. Thank you for the effort!

James Mhango
Posted 28 January 2015 at 02:54 am

What else. what if whatever I believe in has similar connotations. we are not free beings we are under control of memes. Victims of information. This proves that All religions started like this. Examine all your beliefs and don't cry

Posted 27 January 2015 at 07:39 pm

Great article. Thank you.

Posted 23 January 2015 at 11:59 pm

And this affair apparently was the origin of magicians pulling rabbits out of hats - gave the audience of the day a good laugh. Funny to think that magicians then started doing the rabbit out of hat effect as if it was serious magic when originally it was just a gag.

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