Willem Kolff created the first dialysis machine in the Netherlands during WWII. Lacking materials, he used sausage casings, tin cans, a washing machine, and salt water. He also saved more than 800 people from the Nazis by hiding them in his hospital. And he later invented the artificial heart.
A London skyscraper melted several cars and started fires due to the intensity of the sun’s reflection on its south side. It had to be fitted with a permanent sunshade to prevent more incidents.
In 1883 Sitting Bull made a speech in Sioux, not English, to US officials, generals, and railroad barons that began: “I hate all the White people, you are thieves and liars,” and got worse from there. He would stop periodically to smile and bow, and the audience applauded enthusiastically.
Brokeback Mountain was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. It is currently the most recent film chosen to be in the Registry.
In France, you can sign up for a service where the postman pop in and check on your elderly parents to make sure they’re all right.
Igbo Ora is a town in Nigeria known as the “twins capital of the world”. It’s in the south west part of Nigeria which has a documented 50 sets of twins born out of every 1,000 births. Locals say it is due to an okra leaf they eat. One woman says it’s responsible for her having 8 pairs of twins.
When Toyota introduced its first model in the USA, the Crown, in 1957, they attempted a common American advertising stunt – an endurance run from Los Angeles to New York. However, the car barely managed to reach Las Vegas.
Honeybees sleep between five and eight hours a day, some bees hold each other’s legs as they sleep. Colonies are divided into different sectors of work. There are cleaners, nurses, security guards, also collection bees whose sole job is to cache nectar in comb. Promotions happen as well.
Andreas Mihavecz is an Austrian who was taken into custody and forgotten in his cell for 18 days by policemen. He lost 24 kg (53 pounds) and holds the record of surviving the longest without any food or liquids.
Richard Proenneke left his career as a heavy equipment operator, flew to a remote Alaskan lake, built a log cabin by hand, and lived alone for 30 years.