Titan of the Seas: The Impracticality of Tessarakonteres, Antiquity’s Largest Vessel

Tessarakonteres in an 1858 illustrationSpanning 130 meters in length and possessing the capacity to hold over 7000 individuals, with 4000 allocated as rowers, the Tessarakonteres represents the most sizable ship of ancient times. Commissioned by Ptolemy IV Philopator in the 3rd century BCE, its construction demanded the development of a rudimentary dry dock. However, its extraordinary dimensions ultimately rendered it inefficient for practical use.

Five Fascinating Facts About Haunted Houses, Paranormal Phenomena and Ghosts

When it comes to the paranormal, the truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction. Ghost stories and eerie encounters have always enthralled us, so here are five intriguing facts about haunted houses, ghosts, and the world of the supernatural.

Drawn ghost of the girl in the wood
Photo by depositphotos.com

1. The Scientific Explanation Behind Haunted Houses
A large number of purported haunted houses, when investigated, have been found to possess high levels of carbon monoxide or other poisonous substances. This can result in the inhabitants experiencing hallucinations, leading them to believe in the presence of otherworldly entities. This theory, often referred to as the carbon monoxide theory, also clarifies why such hauntings are more commonly reported in older houses. The older appliances, due to their age and resulting defects, are more prone to emitting harmful gases.

2. The Doorless Village Trusting in the Supernatural
In an intriguing display of faith in the supernatural, the Indian village of Shani Shingnapur lacks any doors or locks. The villagers believe in divine protection and the integrity of their community to deter criminal activities, relying on an age-old tradition of supernatural safeguarding.

3. The Legally Haunted House in New York
In a rather unusual legal condition, there’s a house in New York that is officially recognized as haunted. Consequently, the seller is legally obligated to disclose the house’s supernatural status to potential buyers, making it perhaps the most transparent ghostly real estate deal you’ll ever come across.

4. Increasing Belief in Ghosts and UFOs
According to a 2019 study, the belief in ghosts and UFOs among Americans has seen a considerable rise since 2007. What’s more fascinating is the gender difference in these beliefs. Men, interestingly, were found to be more inclined towards the existence of UFOs, while women demonstrated a stronger belief in ghosts and witchcraft.

5. The Theatre Ghost Tradition
A popular belief rooted in the world of theater asserts that every theater houses a ghost. For instance, the Palace Theatre in London maintains a unique tradition to honor this belief. Two seats in their balcony are perpetually reserved, serving as exclusive seating for their resident apparitions.

From the cold facts of science to the warm traditions of theater, the world of the haunted and the paranormal is full of surprising stories and facts. Hopefully, these five fascinating facts have given you a fresh glimpse into this mysterious world.

An Unexpected Bond: The Super Twelve and Saddam Hussein

In the twilight of Saddam Hussein’s life, a profound wave of grief and sadness swept over the American soldiers assigned to guard him. These soldiers, who would come to be known as the Super Twelve, found themselves forming an unexpected bond with the ousted leader of Iraq.

In his book, The Prisoner in His Palace, author Will Bardenwerper tells the story of these soldiers and their emotional journey. A good number of them felt a deep sense of loss over Saddam’s fate. Adam Rogerson, a Specialist in the Super Twelve, was quoted as saying, “I feel like I let him down…I almost feel like a murderer, like I killed a guy I was close to.”

Even though Saddam was considered an enemy of the United States, he was a complicated and highly cultured individual with a deep love for literature and writing. He had a special appreciation for authors such as Dostoevsky and Naguib Mahfouz and often asked for reading and writing materials during his time in confinement. He viewed the denial of pen and paper as a breach of his human rights.

As the days turned into weeks and months, a surprising connection grew between Saddam and the Super Twelve. One soldier went as far as to compare him to a caged lion. They shared stories and smoked cigars together. For these 13 men, their assignment to guard Saddam had morphed into something more than just a duty – it had become a friendship that broke through the barriers of politics and ideology.

Platonic Co-Parenting: A Rising Trend in Non-Traditional Family Structures

Some individuals opt for ‘platonic co-parenting‘, where they jointly raise children despite not having a romantic relationship with each other. The reasons for doing this can vary. Some people might be part of the LGBTQ+ community or are just close friends who want to have a child. There have been some criticisms of this approach, but more people are considering it, and the law is starting to recognize these arrangements.

The Marathon Boxing Fight of 1893: Bowen vs Burke

The record for the longest boxing match is held by Andy Bowen and Jack Burke, who battled it out on April 6, 1893. The grueling fight extended to 110 rounds and lasted for an exhausting 7 hours and 19 minutes, ultimately concluding when both boxers were incapable of leaving their corners. The aftermath left Burke with fractures in all the bones in his hands, confining him to bed for a period of six weeks.

Newfoundland in WWII: The American Influence and Desire for Statehood

In the time of World War II, Newfoundland was under British rule and not a part of Canada. In 1941, the United States established four military bases in Newfoundland, introducing wealth, leisure activities, and American goods to the region. Consequently, a survey conducted in 1947 revealed that a staggering 80% of Newfoundland’s population desired to become American citizens.

Wild Mice and the Joy of Running Wheels

Studies have discovered that when a running wheel is left in nature, wild mice will willingly use it to run, seemingly for their own pleasure.

A recent study reveals that wild mice voluntarily run on exercise wheels in their natural environment without any food reward, similar to how captive mice behave. This finding contradicts the belief that such activity is a result of captivity or an indicator of neurosis or repetitive behavior associated with confinement. Over a period of three years, the study recorded more than 200,000 visits by various free-living animal species to the exercise wheels, proving its popularity among wild creatures.

Chernobyl’s Radiation-Eating Fungi

It seems that fungi in Chernobyl are thriving by utilizing gamma radiation as a food source, and they are progressing towards the heart of the reactor core.

A variety of fungi have been found to harness the energy of strong radiation, such as gamma radiation, to promote their growth. This was initially discovered when these fungi were observed flourishing in the highly radioactive surroundings of the Chernobyl reactor disaster site. The fungi use a pigment known as melanin, which not only shields them from the harmful effects of radiation but also enables them to convert the energy from the radiation, much like how plants utilize sunlight for photosynthesis. Interestingly, these fungi appear to switch to this unique energy source when they find themselves in environments lacking in nutrients, like the inside of the Chernobyl reactor.

Insights into these fungi and their melanin could potentially lead to a range of applications, such as creating protection against radiation, aiding in the clean-up of radioactive waste, and possibly even offering new sources of renewable energy in harsh environments where typical plants can’t survive.

Seven Fascinating Facts of Nintendo History

Dive into the world of Nintendo, the gaming giant with a history as rich and amazing as the games it has graced us with, as we uncover seven fascinating facts about this iconic company.

1. The Origin of Mario’s Name: Back in 1981, Nintendo of America was preparing to release its soon-to-be iconic game, Donkey Kong. However, financial challenges led to an unforgettable visit from the company’s landlord, demanding overdue rent. This altercation happened in front of the company’s president, Minoru Arakawa. In a unique twist, the team decided to name Donkey Kong’s protagonist after their relentless landlord, hence the legendary “Mario” was born.

2. Shigeru Miyamoto’s Safety First Policy: Renowned for creating the likes of Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong, Shigeru Miyamoto is an invaluable asset to Nintendo. Such is his importance to the company that they have barred him from biking to work, emphasizing that his safety is paramount.

3. Nintendo’s Hint Hotline: If you were a gamer stuck in a Nintendo game during the 90s, your best bet would’ve been the Nintendo Power Line. This hotline, active until 2010, was a go-to source for game hints, solidifying Nintendo’s support for their gaming community.

4. The $9,000 Kid Icarus: In an astonishing discovery, a man from California stumbled upon a pristine, unopened copy of a 1987 Nintendo game called Kid Icarus in his mother’s attic. Incredibly, the game, still in its original shopping bag with a receipt indicating its price of $38.45, was auctioned for a staggering $9,000.

5. The Stubborn Ape – Donkey Kong: When Shigeru Miyamoto proposed the name “Donkey Kong,” intending to convey “stubborn ape” to the American audience, he was met with laughter from Nintendo of America. Despite this initial response, the name stuck and has since become synonymous with Nintendo’s gaming history.

6. Nintendo’s Best Selling Games: Out of the 50 best-selling video games of all time, an impressive 26 were developed by Nintendo, a testament to the company’s enduring popularity and innovative game design.

7. Nintendo in a Time Capsule: In a testament to Nintendo’s cultural impact in the 1990s, a time capsule was buried at the old Nickelodeon Studios. It encapsulated items important to children of that era, including a Nintendo Gameboy, a Back to the Future VHS, and CDs from pop icon Michael Jackson. This highlights the status Nintendo had in shaping the childhood of an entire generation.

Sikh Warriors and Unseen Wars: Canada’s Anticipated Conflict with the USA

Believing that a war with the United States was inevitable, Canada’s first Prime Minister proposed a plan to amass an army of Sikhs, well-known for their courage in battle, to invade California on behalf of Canada. His strategy was to send these Sikh warriors to California to take control of San Francisco, using it as a safeguard for Montreal and Canada. This perceived threat of a U.S. invasion in 1867 was predicated on a proposed bill from 1866 – which ultimately did not pass – that would have allowed the British colonies to become part of the USA if they wished. This idea wasn’t completely off the table, as there were still discussions about Newfoundland potentially joining the United States instead of Canada up until the late 1940s.