In 2008, melamine added to milk in China caused kidney stones in thousands of Chinese children. To show his confidence in Chinese dairy products, Peter Mandelson MP drank a glass of Chinese yoghurt in front of reporters. The following week, he was hospitalized for a kidney stone.
A shipyard worker set fire aboard a nuclear submarine, causing $450M worth of damage, because he was suffering from an anxiety attack and had no vacation or sick leave remaining. He was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $400 million in restitution.
In the 1980s the Naval Investigative Service undertook a massive and futile search for a woman named “Dorothy” in the Chicago area, after hearing gay men refer to themselves as “friends of Dorothy”. They believed she was at the center of a ring of gay military personnel.
William of Orange was the first head of state assassinated with a firearm. Take a look at the assassins punishment: “The magistrates decreed that the right hand of Gérard should be burned off with a red-hot iron, that his flesh should be torn from his bones with pincers in six different places, that he should be quarteredand disembowelled alive, that his heart should be torn from his bosom and flung in his face, and that, finally, his head should be cut off.”
When Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet during its 1910 approach, there was public fear that a gas discovered in the tail, cyanogen, would destroy all life on the planet, leading to people buying gas masks and “Anti-Comet Pills.”
There is a rare mental disorder in which the sufferer is convinced that he or she is dead.
Dubai has a weight-loss contest called ‘Your Child in Gold’ where individual participants win one gram of gold for every one kilogram (~2.2lbs) lost, and double reward for families. The contest is aimed at combating early obesity and raise awareness on the disease.
Eli Lilly, the company behind the SSRI antidepressant Prozac, hid its clinical trials from the FDA that showed patients who took Prozac were 12 times more likely to commit suicide compared to older antidepressants.
Seals have been known to have sex with penguins.
The Bayanzi tribe of the Congo would execute via decapitation with a twist. While alive, the head of the condemned would be connected to a springy sapling so that when it was cut off, it would be thrown through the air “with the force of a bomb”. According to some studies, some consciousness remains after decapitation, so that flight would probably have been very confusing.
Slave laborers making tanks for Nazi Germany routinely sabotaged every part they could, and this caused German tanks to be extremely prone to breaking down.
Robert De Niro was so dedicated, to prepare for his roles, he actually gained 60 lbs for Raging Bull, lived in Sicily Italy for The Godfather Part II, ground his teeth for Cape Fear, became a cab driver for Taxi Driver, and learned to play the saxophone for New York, New York.
Jake Bird was a truly creepy character — an axe-murderer who may have killed as many as 46 people. But even after he was caught in 1947 and sentenced to death, he’s said to have continued killing people by putting the “Jake Bird hex” on them. Six people associated with the trial were said to have succumbed to his hex.
To eliminate all the elusive invasive goats in the Galapagos, researchers attached a radio-collar to a ‘Judas goat’ who would, because of its gregarious nature, seek out other goats. It was then tracked down, the group killed, but with the ‘traitor’ left alive in order to find more goats.