Edwin Robinson suffered a severe head in …

Edwin Robinson suffered a severe head injury in a 1971 road accident and gradually lost his sight and hearing. On 4 June 1980, he was struck by lightning outside his house in a suburb of Portland, Maine. He survived, because of his rubber-soled shoes, but remained unconscious for 20 minutes. On regaining consciousness, he found that his central vision was back and that he could hear perfectly well without his hearing aid (which had been burnt out by the lightning).

In 1990, 14-year-old Lisa Reid went perm …

In 1990, 14-year-old Lisa Reid went permanently blind as the result of a brain tumor. Then one night about 10 years later, she smacked her head on a coffee table as she was bending down to kiss her guide dog goodnight. When she woke up the next morning, 80% of the vision in her left eye had been restored. She celebrated the miracle “by telephoning her mother and reading aloud the health warning on a pack of cigarettes”.

Christopher Columbus’ expeditions were …

Christopher Columbus’ expeditions were funded by the Spanish king. To pay him back, Columbus tried to find as much gold as possible. He forced Native American children to find gold in the hills of Caribbean islands. Natives who didn’t collect enough gold would have their hands cut off. American’s celebrate Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the Americas every October 12th.

In South Korea, it is commonly and incor …

Korean_fans_closeupIn South Korea, it is commonly and incorrectly believed that sleeping in a closed room with an electric fan running can be fatal. According to the Korean government, “In some cases, a fan turned on too long can cause death from suffocation, hypothermia, or fire from overheating.” The Korea Consumer Protection Board issued a consumer safety alert recommending that electric fans be set on timers, direction changed and doors left open. Belief in fan death is common even among knowledgeable medical professionals in Korea. According to Yeon Dong-su, dean of Kwandong University’s medical school, “If it is completely sealed, then in the current of an electric fan, the temperature can drop low enough to cause a person to die of hypothermia.” Whereas an air conditioner transfers heat from the air and cools it, a fan moves air without change of temperature to increase the evaporation of sweat. Leaving a fan running in an unoccupied room will not cool it; in fact, due to energy losses from the motor and viscous dissipation, a fan will slightly heat a room.



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