Feed Your Brain With These Fascinating Facts

June 12, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: Facts, Interesting

During the Cold War the CIA considered dropping dropping enormous condoms labeled “medium” over the Soviet Union to demoralize the Soviet male population (article)

Following World War II, Frank Wisner helped found the Office of Policy Coordination. Officially, its mission was refugee assistance and working with the International Red Cross. Its actual mission involved covert actions against the Soviet Union. Wisner was a wily, charming, Southern aristocrat who was forever changed when he witnessed the brutal Soviet occupation of Romania. His office invested heavily in psychological warfare, which was still a relatively new concept. Ideas that came from the office included delivering American toiletries across the Iron Curtain (to demonstrate superior Western standards of comfort) and airdropping enormous condoms labeled “Medium” onto the Soviets, to demoralize them against an anatomically superior American army. (Sadly, this plan was never carried out.)


Japan has a popular TV show called “My First Errand” where little kids are sent to do minor tasks for the family on their own while a camera crew secretly follows them (article)

Parents in Japan regularly send their kids out into the world at a very young age. A popular television show called Hajimete no Otsukai, or My First Errand, features children as young as two or three being sent out to do a task for their family. As they tentatively make their way to the greengrocer or bakery, their progress is secretly filmed by a camera crew. The show has been running for more than 25 years.


Johatsu – A Japanese phenomenon where due to failed marriage, mounting debt, loss of work, failure etc, people just simply abandon everything and walk away from their life, disappear to live life anonymously in an off the grid world. Companies too can “reset your life” 

Tormented by the shame of a lost job, failed marriage, or mounting debt, thousands of Japanese citizens have reportedly started leaving behind their formal identities and seeking refuge in the anonymous, off-the-grid world.

That’s according to a recently-published book called “The Vanished: The ‘Evaporated People’ of Japan in Stories and Photographs,” by French author-photographer pair Léna Mauger and Stéphane Remael. The book features a collection of vignettes from people who have fled modern society in search of a more secretive, less shame-filled life.

Mauger and Remael spent five years traveling around Japan beginning in 2008, earning the trust of locals to learn about the troubling trend. They also met the loved ones of those who disappeared: abandoned fathers, housewives, and ex-lovers. No formal government data exists on the trend, but by the pair’s research more than 100,000 people “disappear” annually.


In 1987 a jury awarded Michael Donald’s mother $7 million in damages against the United Klans of America after 4 members lynched her son in ’81 & this settlement bankrupted the organization. (article)


JFK’s sister Rosemary Kennedy, was born mentally disabled because during her birth, the doctor was not immediately available and the nurse ordered Rose Kennedy to keep her legs closed, forcing the baby’s head to stay in the birth canal for two hours…resulting in a harmful loss of oxygen. 

Her occasional erratic behavior frustrated her parents, who expected all of their children to behave appropriately, be goal-oriented, and act competitively. Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. was especially worried that his daughter’s behavior would shame and embarrass the family and possibly damage his political career

The instrument Dr. Watts used looked like a butter knife. He swung it up and down to cut brain tissue. “We put an instrument inside”, he said. As Dr. Watts cut, Dr. Freeman put questions to Rosemary. For example, he asked her to recite the Lord’s Prayer or sing “God Bless America” or count backwards….. “We made an estimate on how far to cut based on how she responded.” ….. When she began to become incoherent, they stopped.

After the lobotomy, it quickly became apparent that the procedure was not successful. Kennedy’s mental capacity diminished to that of a two-year-old child. She could not walk or speak intelligibly and was incontinent.

Related Viewing: The Lobotomist


In Aztec mythology, giving birth was seen as a woman’s battle with the gods to win her child’s life. Mothers who succeeded were celebrated, while women who died in childbirth were thought to become vampiric monsters called Cihuateteo, which stole other women’s children. 

In the case of the death of the woman, special funerary practices were carried out, as the body of a woman who had died in childbirth was believed to possess special powers and magic following the departure of the soul from the body. In these special practices, the body was guarded fiercely by an armed entourage that included the widowed husband, his friends, all the midwives, and old women. This was deemed necessary due to the need to protect the woman’s human remains from male warriors. Parts of the body believed to be especially potent relics for warriors were the left middle finger and the hair. According to Aztec belief, “these relics had magical power and, if placed on their shields, would make the warriors brave and valiant, give them strength, and blind the eyes of their enemies.”


Huichol Indian men tie ropes around their testicles when their wives are giving birth. When she feels a painful contraction, she tugs on the rope so her husband will share some of the pain as part of their child’s entrance into the world. (article)


“White monkey” jobs in China, Caucasian foreigners are hired to stand around and pretend to be a employee of the chinese company or representative of a international company to increase the value of the Chinese (article)


Charles Dickens’ novels were hugely popular even among the illiterate poor. They would pool their money to hire a reader, and then gather together to listen to the stories. 

Dickens had such a talent for creating images in your mind with his prose – I love him because it is so detailed that, when I read it, it plays like a film in my head. I know sometimes people complain he gets a little wordy but oh man the way he describes even the smallest of details to add to a scene is extraordinary

One of my favorite little moments from A Tale of Two Cities describing the horses

With drooping heads and tremulous tails, they mashed their way through the thick mud, floundering and stumbling between whiles, as if they were falling to pieces at the larger joints. As often as the driver rested them and brought them to a stand, with a wary “Wo-ho! so-ho- then!” the near leader violently shook his head and everything upon it–like an unusually emphatic horse, denying that the coach could be got up the hill. Whenever the leader made this rattle, the passenger started, as a nervous passenger might, and was disturbed in mind

There was a steaming mist in all the hollows, and it had roamed in its forlornness up the hill, like an evil spirit, seeking rest and finding none. A clammy and intensely cold mist, it made its slow way through the air in ripples that visibly followed and overspread one another, as the waves of an unwholesome sea might do. It was dense enough to shut out everything from the light of the coach-lamps but these its own workings, and a few yards of road; and the reek of the labouring horses steamed into it, as if they had made it all


When Crystal Pepsi was released, Coca-Cola released a competitor called Tab Clear, however Tab Clear was intentionally marketed poorly in order to hurt Crystal Pepsi’s image by product association. The “born to die” strategy was successful and both campaigns were dead 6 months later. 

According to Coca-Cola’s chief marketing officer, Sergio Zyman, Tab Clear was an intentionally “suicidal kamikaze” effort to create an unpopular beverage that was positioned as an analogue of Crystal Pepsi in order to “kill both in the process”. The “born to die” strategy included using the poor-performing Tab brand rather than Coke, labeling the product as a “sugar free” diet drink to confuse consumers into thinking Crystal Pepsi had no sugar, and marketing the product as if it were “medicinal”. Zyman said “Pepsi spent an enormous amount of money on the brand and, regardless, we killed it. Both of them were dead within six months.”


Yao Ming’s conservation campaigns has led to a 50% drop in shark fin soup consumption in China. He is now working on poaching as well (article)


Venezuelan serial killer and cannibal Dorangel Vargas – who confessed to killing and eating at least ten individuals – didn’t consume fat people because he thought they had too much cholesterol.

Sure I eat people,” the candid cannibal told reporters. “Anyone can eat human flesh, but you have to wash and garnish it well to avoid diseases… I only eat the parts with muscles, particularly thighs and calves which are my favorite … I make a very tasty stew with the tongue and I use the eyes to make a nutritious and healthy soup.” Vargas said he prefers the taste of men to women and will not eat hands, feet or testicles, “although I’ve been on the point of trying them on various occasions.” He said he rejected overweight men because they had too much cholesterol, and the elderly were spared because their flesh “is contaminated and very tough.”


Seattle kids have a lower polio vaccination than the African country of Rwanda (article)

Vaccine denialism is a perverse affliction of people who should be smarter than they act—the well-educated, high-income folks who know just enough to know too much, and to assume that simply because they haven’t seen a disease in a long time it’s gone away. And hey, if it does turn up, they’ve surely got the resources to deal with it.

That’s the reason that in the U.S., anti-vaxxers tend to cluster in wealthy, blue-state communities like Silicon Valley, New York City, Columbus, Seattle and it’s down-coast little sister Portland. It’s the reason too that the nonsense that animates the anti-vaxxers—the idea that vaccines are toxic or overprescribed or nothing more than a cash grab by big pharma and big government—is a lot likelier to gain traction in other wealthy countries around the world than in ones that have only recently done away with scourges like polio or are still struggling with them, and either way have images of sick or dying children still fresh in their minds.