When one thinks of bacteria, disease normally comes to mind, and rightly so. A bacterial infection can put you in bed for a while, but not all bacteria are bad.
They are quite numerous, and occur just about everywhere on the planet, having even been found in radioactive waste. Scientists estimate that, should you combine all the bacteria on earth, their total mass would be greater than the mass of all the plants and animals put together.
And yet, you can not see bacteria with the naked eye. You will even battle to see one with a decent microscope. Most bacteria have not been classified, and those that have were generally classified because they made people sick.
However, some bacteria exhibit rather interesting characteristics. One such interesting bacteria is the Magnetospirillium Magneticum. This particular chap has the ability to consume iron and turn it into magnetite, which is the most magnetic of all naturally occurring minerals on earth. The bacteria then stores this magnetite and uses it align itself with the earth’s magnetic field, which it uses as a navigation system.
Additionally, by using this magnetic nature, a 16-year old Montreal school boy was able to generate around half the voltage of a AA battery from one fifth of an ounce of the bacteria.
Not exactly an answer to the world’s power problems yet, but considering how much bacteria there is in the world, he might be on to something.
You may not know this, but Texas has a nude beach. Ok, it’s not actually a beach, but more of a park, and technically it’s called a “clothing optional” park. Officially it’s known as the McGregor park, but everyone in the know calls it Hippie Hollow.
The park sits on the shore of Lake Travis in northwest Austin and has been officially clothing-optional since 1985, although its use goes back to the sixties—hence the name.
Needless to say, it has been the source of some controversy over the years, but in 2004 it was in the news for a completely different reason. Local news reported that a double story party barge had capsized in Lake Travis. Thankfully nobody was seriously injured.
Investigations into the accident revealed that the barge had overturned when all the passengers suddenly rushed to one side of the boat.
The barge was, of course, passing Hippie Hollow at the time.
The human eye is one of the more complex organs of the human body and features some characteristics that are totally unique. The eye itself consists of a number of components and is responsible for light perception, vision and depth perception. It does all this by focusing light from the outside world through the cornea and onto the retina at the back of the eye.
For one’s vision to be clear, the cornea needs to be totally transparent—so much so that it can not even contain any blood vessels. Nevertheless, he cornea is still made up of living cells and they need oxygen and nutrients to survive.
The cornea therefore takes its oxygen directly from the air. It does this by first having the oxygen absorbed by the tears, from where the cornea extract it. Nutrients are also supplied to the cornea via the tears through the process of diffusion.
So, next time somebody finds you crying, just tell them you are feeding your cornea.
On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln Released the Emancipation Proclamation, which was an Executive Order freeing slaves, but only slaves who were in rebel territory.
At its release, the Emancipation Proclamation did not free the slaves from the four border states, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, and also did not free slaves in certain parts of Louisiana, especially along the Mississippi river, which were part of the Union, including New Orleans.
However, as you know, slavery was abolished in the USA, so what was it that abolished it? The legality of the Emancipation Proclamation is debated because in order to change a law, you must pass a bill through both houses of Congress, have the president sign it, and then have it ratified by ¾ of the states.
The Emancipation Proclamation doesn’t meet this criteria because it was an executive order, not a bill.
Instead, the 13th Amendment was the one that formally abolished slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States, which is why it is illegal today.
Darren Sproles is an NFL running back and return specialist for the New Orleans Saints, and previously for the San Diego Chargers.
Sproles was originally drafted out of Kansas State in the fourth round by the Chargers in the 2005 NFL, where he was the backup to All-Pro running back LaDainian Tomlinson.He worked hard and excelled as a special teams player and as fill in for Tomlinson.
In 2011, he signed as a free agent with the Saints, and went on to have his best season of his career, to date, by leading the entire NFL in all purpose yards (rushing yards + receiving yards + kick/punt return yards.)
Despite his incredible season in 2011, the NFL did not change any rules to try and slow Sproles down, but that is exactly what happened when he played peewee football! Sproles was so much faster than everyone else in his league that they made a rule that his team was no longer allowed to run sweeps to him, because he scored a touchdown every single time!
It’s no wonder that he has gone on to succeed in high school, college, and now the pros!
Bungie is a video game company best known for the Xbox-exclusive Halo games. In the series, there is an extremely powerful weapon called a Gravity Hammer, and it is really intimidating.
Crazily enough, the security guard at Bungie’s main desk has his very own Gravity Hammer! His name is Jerome Simpson, and he has become one of the most sought after Bungie employees for fans to get autographs, pictures, and handshakes with!
Many VIPs also ask to have him serve as their body guard, because of his fame and his gigantic size.
Oddly enough, Jerome has admitted that he really knows very little about video games. He doesn’t even have a Bungie.net account or an Xbox live account!
Because of his internet fame, Bungie named a medal in Halo Reach after him, which is achieved by killing 15 zombies!
As many of us know from our middle school days, there are 2 ways to becoming a US Citizen; you are either born a citizen by being born in any US territory or by having one or both parents being US citizens, or you take classes and a test and become a naturalized citizen after time spent in the US.
Being a US citizen gives you a ton of rights and privileges, including holding arguably the most valuable passport, having a Social Security Number, et cetera. However, you also have to follow the laws of the United States in order to maintain those rights and privileges, except under one condition.
If your parents are foreign diplomats and you’re born in the United States, you could have all the privileges of a US citizen AND retain diplomatic immunity! When the 14th Amendment was written, it was specified that “no subject of a foreign government” would gain citizenship.
However, because hospitals don’t ask if parents are foreign diplomats, every child born in the US gets a US birth certificate and Social Security number—but cannot be arrested for any crime, essentially making them super-citizens!
Last sighted by fur traders in the late 1700s, the Michigan wolverine has made its appearance in the state once again—and not just as athletes at the University of Michigan.
The small but vicious member of the weasel family was spotted by coyote hunters 90 miles north of Detroit. While present-day sightings have been limited to northern Canada, Idaho, and Alaska, the Michigan sighting, confirmed by a wildlife biologist, marks the first in the state in over 200 years.
The appearance of the wolverine is unprecedented, and experts conclude that the animal may have traveled into Michigan, been released into the wild, or escaped captivity. The wolverine, also called carcajou and skunk bears, is the largest species in the family of weasels and more closely resembles a bear.
Though small and weighing up to 25 pounds, the wolverine has powerful jaws, thick claws, and a strength beyond its size. Wolverines have been known to ferociously attack prey larger than itself, including deer, caribou, and porcupines.
The wolverine was removed from Michigan’s endangered species list in the late 1990s under the assumption that the animal wouldn’t return to the state. In 2009, The Wildlife Conservation Society reported that researchers had tagged a young wolverine in Wyoming and tracked it for three months and over 500 miles while it crossed into Northern Colorado.
The world’s wolverine population remains unknown.
Chances are if you’ve ever enjoyed a hot dog, burger, fries, or any other of America’s fine foods, you’ve drenched it in ketchup. It turns any delicacy into a simple man’s dish, and the French absolutely hate it. In fact, the sauce is banned in French schools, where it can’t touch any French food.
Whether you spell it catsup, fancy, or plain, ‘ol ketchup, it’s all the same thing. It’s a sweet and tangy sauce made with tomatoes, vinegar, sugar or some other sweetener, and assorted spices. It can be found most commonly on any restaurant’s table as a primary condiment. Common foods you’d throw it on include french fries, hamburgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, grilled meat, and even eggs.
It originated in 17th century China as a concoction of pickled fish and spices. By the time it reached the English in the Malay states in the 18th century, the Chinese phrase k-chiap, or the brine of pickled fish, turned into ketchup. It eventually made its way to the American colonies.
But what makes “Fancy” ketchup so fancy? It’s a USDA grade to relate to the gravity of the sauce. Fancy ketchup has a higher concentration of solid tomatoes, about 33%. Though, don’t bother slathering your escargot with ketchup, even the fancy stuff. The French won’t take kindly to that.
Not everyone in the German army was a fan of Hitler during World War II. Such was the case with Erwin Rommel, a German Field Marshal that conspired against Adolf Hitler himself in 1944. A failed assassination attempt led to Rommel’s arrest and death sentence However, he was given a choice on how to die.
If there could be a good guy in the Nazi army, Erwin Rommel was him. He was highly respected among his troops and enemies. He was never accused of any war crimes, his captured soldiers were treated humanely, and he ignored the orders to kill Jewish soldiers and civilians.
In order to “come to the rescue of Germany,” Rommel agreed to support the conspiracy to go against Hitler, though he opposed an assassination out of fear of a German civil war. When the failed bomb attack against Hitler happened, Rommel’s name was one of the first dropped in an interrogation.
When two generals from Hitler’s headquarters came to his home and charged him, he was given a choice: face the People’s Court or commit suicide quietly, protecting his staff and his family as well. He took a cyanide pill, ensuring his family’s safety and a state funeral that claimed he died a hero.