Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser was once awoken to a report of 2,200 incoming Soviet missiles: a false alarm due to the malfunction of a 46 cent chip. He wanted further confirmation, and as he lay there in bed in the early morning hours, he decided not to wake up his wife, because if Washington, D.C., was about to be destroyed, he preferred that she die in her sleep. As he was preparing to call President Carter to talk about the American retaliation, and his military aide called back one more time [and] said it was a false alarm.
Firefighters in Pana, Ill. found a cockroach infestation so massive that the city council agreed that the best option was to burn the house down.
King Pepy II came to the throne aged nine, and ruled until he was 100. It is said he had a great system for avoiding insects: he would cover a slave in honey. Flies swarmed to the slave and left Pepy in peace.
In the late 80s NASA studied house plants as a means of providing cleaner and purer air for their space stations. They found Peace Lilies and Chrysanthemums to be the best all rounders at air filtering.
In 2017 a Qatar Airways plane had to make an emergency landing after a woman used her sleeping husband’s thumb to unlock his phone and discovered he was cheating on her.
Members of a chimpanzee troop in Senegal have been observed by scientists fashioning tree branches into spears and using them as hunting tools.
Luke “Milky” Moore, an Australian, was able to overdraft over $1.5 million from his bank. He was eventually sent to prison, appealed and argued his own case, was released, and is now studying to become a criminal defense lawyer.
The first ever photocopier, the Xerox 914, caught fire so frequently that a “scorch eliminator”, asmall fire extinguisher, was provided with the copier.
In July 2018, scientists from 4 Russian institutions collected and analyzed 300 prehistoric worms from the permafrost and thawed them. 2 of the ancient worms revived and began to move and eat. One is dated at 32,000 years old, the other 41,700 years old.
North Korea is obsessed with Choco Pies from South Korea. There’s a black market for them, and factories once used them to pay worker bonuses. In 2010, The Chosun Ilbo reported that choco pies could fetch as much as US$9.50 on the North Korean black market. In 2014, S Korean activists sent 10K pies to NK with helium balloons. After an injured NK defector crossed the DMZ in 2017, he was given a lifetime supply.