Methusela was the longest living man in history, according to the Hebrew Bible, and he grew to become 969 years old before he died seven days prior to the great flood.
Many have questioned the possibility of growing that old, and many explanations have been offered.
The ones that make the most sense and carries the most weight, are the ones that explain that there was a mistranslation and therefore a misinterpretation of how time was measured back then.
One of the theories is that ‘lunar months’ have been translated to read years. If that is correct, then Methusela would have died at age 78. The problem is that Enoch would then have had to have fathered Methusela when he himself was only five! That does not seem credible.
Another theory is that the Septuagint Genesis 5 numbers are in tenths of years. That would mean that Methusela died when he was almost 97. Enoch would then have been almost 16 when he fathered his son, which certainly is more feasible than becoming a father at age 5.
Whatever the argument or explanation, Methusela’s name still gets used today to describe anything that is exceptionally old.
In 1993 Joanne Rowling, also known as J.K. Rowling, was a single mother and, as she puts it, as “poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless”.
She was living in Scotland with her daughter after leaving her abusive husband behind in Portugal. She completed the first ‘Harry Potter’ novel while living off state benefits.
In 1995 she submitted the book to 12 publishing houses and it was rejected by all of them!
In 1996 it was accepted for publishing by Bloomsbury publishing house mainly because the chairman’s eight-year-old daughter liked it. They kindly suggested that Rowling should consider getting a day job because they thought it would be unlikely that she would make a living from her writing.
But boy, were they wrong! In 2004 Forbes named her the first person ever to become a US$ billionaire from writing books. Rowling refuted this and said she did have quite a lot of money, but was not a billionaire.
She was removed from the list in 2012 because, said Forbes, her US$160 million in charitable donations and the high tax rate in the UK meant she was no longer a billionaire.
Harry Potter is now a global brand worth an estimated US$15 billion and the last book of the series (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) has set the record for the fastest selling book of all times.
Parents are always telling their energetic children to sit down and stay quiet.
Let’s hope they don’t continue obeying that rule as they get older since sitting still is one of the biggest causes of premature death in the world.
Couch potatoes be warned! Get off your butt and go have some fun.
A lack of physical activity isn’t just one of the most common causes of death in the world—it’s also the most preventable death.
The risk starts to greatly increase for those that sit more than five hours a day, which is way long than the average office work day.
If you don’t just keel over and die from sitting around too much, you may come down with some chronic disease.
People who sit for more than four hours a day have a 40 percent higher risk of things like depression, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure and a whole mess of other non-fun things.
The cure is exercise. People who work out four hours a week or more are as healthy as those that sit less than four hours a day. Get out and take a walk!
When 70 year old William Harrison of Chipping Campden in Gloucester disappeared in 1660, his wife sent a servant to go and look for him.
William went for a walk on the 16th of August and never returned home.
The servant, John Perry, did not return from his search and William’s son Edward went looking for the pair of missing men.
On his way to Charingworth he met Perry who said he could not find Mr Harrison.
On the main road between Chipping Campden and Ebrington, Williams’ slashed hat and bloodied shirt were discovered, but his body could not be found.
When Perry was questioned he suddenly ‘spilled the beans’ and said that his brother Richard and his mother Joan Perry murdered Harrison for his money and hid the body, but that he had nothing to do with it.
There was a murder trial and the court found the entire Perry family guilty of murder, including John, and they were hanged together despite their pleas of innocence.
In 1662 however, Harrison re-appeared in Dover – very much alive! He told a tale of being abducted by pirates and sold into slavery in Turkey.
He managed to escape and made his way back home. Whether that was the truth is not known, but was is known for a fact is that three innocent people were sentenced to death!
It is unclear why John Perry accused his family of murder.
This case, known as the Campden Wonder, lead to the “no body, no murder” rule.
The blanket octopus is a type of octopus that occupies shallow waters in subtropical and tropical oceans. They are called this because of the long, transparent webs that connect the dorsal and dorsolateral arms of the adult females.
Unlike most species of animals, the females are much larger than the males. They can reach 2 meters in length while the males are only a few centimeters long. The male dies shortly after mating and the female carries nearly 100,000 eggs at the base of her dorsal arm.
The blanket octopus is immune to the poison of the Portuguese Man O’War. This allows the males and immature females to rip off the man o’war’s tentacles and use them for defensive purposes. The females also unfurl their net-like membranes to increase their apparent size.
Thor, the Norse god of thunder, was supposed to have a very impressive hammer with a long handle that was intended to be wielded with both hands – a weapon worthy of a god.
The making of Thor’s hammer started with a bet.
Loki bet his head that the dwarf Sindri and his brother Brokkr would never be able to make items as beautiful as those made by the Sons of Ivaldi, who made Odin’s spear.
They accept the bet and get to work.
Sindri put some iron in the forge and told his brother to never, under any circumstances, stop pumping the bellows until he returned to remove the iron from the forge.
Bokkr faithfully pumped the bellows as instructed.
Loki, with his head on the line, disguised himself as a fly and as soon as Sindri was out of sight, he bit Bokkr on the eyelid.
The bite was so hard that it caused Bokkr’s eyelid to bleed!
The blood ran into his eye. He stopped pumping the bellows just long enough to wipe the blood away, but when Sindri returned and removed the iron meant to be Thor’s hammer, the disruption caused the handle to be much shorter than intended.
Despite the flaw, the hammer was so beautiful that Bokkr and Sindri won the bet. They did not take Loki’s head, but sewed his mouth shut instead.
It’s sad when a young person is diagnosed with a terminal illness, but it’s inspiring to see some of their biggest wishes come true.
You often hear about a professional athlete or actor going to see their biggest fan, but some people don’t want either of those.
One of these people is Oliver Burton, a boy born with autism and then diagnosed with cancer.
His dying wish was to meet Queen Elizabeth II. Perhaps more ambitious than asking to meet John Cena, but if anyone’s deserving, it’s Burton.
Unfortunately this didn’t happen, but that wasn’t the end of it. Actress Helen Mirren who portrays the queen in a West End performance of ‘The Audience’ invited Burton and his family to see the show and brought him backstage after the show.
Mirren stayed in character the whole time. The two drank tea together while Oliver played with the corgis featured in the show. She later knighted him and told everybody that they had to call him “sir Oliver”. Oliver’s father, James Browne, said “Oliver thought she was the real queen, and well, that’s good enough for us.”
It’s no secret that animals destined for the dinner plate are generally not treated very well. This is largely thanks to various campaigns to illuminate this subject, and now the push is for better treatment.
Burger King is taking a huge step to increase the living conditions of animals.
They currently get 9% of their eggs and 20% of their pork from cage-free animals. Burger King isn’t the only fast food chain to use cage-free products, but they are taking it further than anyone else. The plan is to be 100% cage-free by 2017.
This doesn’t come without cost to Burger King. They will be spending an extra 25 cents to 40 cents per dozen to produce cage-free eggs. Multiply that by the literally billions of dozens of eggs they use every year and you can see that they are taking a significant financial hit in order to do the right thing and cater to those who demand humanely produced food.
Farms now have the option to switch to cage-free production, but without their customers pushing for it, they have no reason to. It will cost them money as well.
“Our attitude is our producers believe in consumer choice and if that’s what their consumers want to buy, they’ll produce cage-free eggs for the marketplace provided the customer is willing to pay the additional cost,” said Gene Gregory, chief executive of the farm group United Egg Producers.
You can’t live without food for long, right? Food provides us with energy, and without it, we would simply run out.
While it’s true that without food we would run out of energy, how long you can go without food varies. You need look no further than a hibernating bear to see evidence.
A bear is not a human, though. Can humans last for months without food?
This question was answered in 1965 when a man went over a year without eating! 382 days to be exact. This is the longest recorded fast to date.
The patient remains unnamed, but there are a few things known about him. He was 27 years old and weighed 456 pounds at the start of his fast. Fasting was an acceptable therapy for the obese, but doing so for longer than 40 days was considered dangerous.
The patient presented himself for normal treatment, but since he adapted so well to the fasting, he decided to try and keep it up for as long as he could or until he reached his ideal weight. During this time he only had to poop every 40-50 days.
Unlike a bear in hibernation, however, the man was given vitamin supplements daily. The fast was mostly uneventful, but some adjustments had to be made to keep him healthy.
We all know that if a can of soda has been shaken, it is best not to open it immediately otherwise most of the drink will gush out of the can in a mini-explosion of liquid, causing a huge mess.
But we all think we have a trick to solve this problem. If the can was accidentally shaken, we just tap it on the top and all will be fine, right?
Wrong! Tapping the top will make no difference. There is a scientific reason why it does not settle the soda.
When a can of soda is shaken, bubbles form on nucleation sites on the sides of the can.
A nucleation site is little discontinuities in the can that encourage dissolution of gases when equilibrium is disturbed - and a bubble of CO2 will grow there until buoyant forces separate it from the surface, at which point it rises, and another bubble immediately begins to grow on that site.
As was explained, these bubbles form on the sides of the can and tapping the top therefore does not make sense.
If you tap the sides of the can, however, it loosens the bubbles from their nucleation sites and then you can safely and without flinching open your can of soda.