Ants have designated paramedics that are assigned to rescue their wounded soldiers, carry them back to their nest and help them heal by gently holding the hurt limb in place with their mandibles and front legs while intensely “licking” the wound for up to 4 minutes (article)
Bonus fact: if an ant knows it is mortally wounded, it will flail wildly to signal to other ants that it is not worth saving and spending time and resources on it would be a waste
In 1999, Philip Morris attempted to convince the government of the Czech Republic that smoking was highly beneficial to the country, as more people would die earlier as a result, thus letting the government save millions on pensions, hospitals, and housing for elderly citizens (article)
Many casinos try to avoid making you ever have to turn in a right angle by design, as such a hard turn forces people to call upon the decision-making parts of their brain; something that casinos naturally want to avoid. (article)
Related Podcast: What Happened in Vegas
Natasha Dow Schüll, author of Addiction by Design, has spent years studying how slot machines hold gamblers, spellbound, in an endless loop of play. She never imagined the addictive designs which she had first witnessed in Las Vegas, would go bounding into Silicon Valley and reappear on virtually every smartphone screen worldwide.
The United States Government was in full support of the movie Independence Day 1996 offering real military uniforms and even jets until the film makers refused to remove Area 51 from the movie. The government withdrew all support. (article)
There’s a running deal Hollywood studios have with the Department of Defense. In essence, DOD will supply all the equipment you want, including fighter jets, and even naval resources.
There’s just two catches. The production company pays for the fuel (relatively nothing) and the DOD gets final approval of the script.
That’s why big budget action movies depicting America as the obvious good guy are so common, whereas the reverse (where Americans look really bad) is very uncommon. Famously Kubrick denied any and all help from DOD in making Full Metal Jacket and he supplied all the equipment via military surplus.
Aguy made $1,000,000 by selling each pixel on a 1000 x 1000 pixel web page for $1 a pixel. The Million Dollar Homepage was created in 2005 to raise money for his university fees. The inventor went on to create a company today valued at $250m. (article)
Nike had conditions before giving rookie Michael Jordan a record contract: Either be rookie of the year, or average 20 ppg, or be an all star, or sell $4 mill worth shoes in a year. Jordan was rookie of the year, scored 28.2 ppg, named all star, and Nike sold $100 mill of shoes in 1984-85. (article)
The Nazis developed an experimental drug cocktail called D-IX in which the Nazi doctors found that equipment-laden test subjects who had taken the drug could march 55 miles without resting
Pharmacologist Gerhard Orzechowski and a group of other researchers were commissioned in Kiel to develop this drug, and by later in the year developed a formula which contained in each tablet: 5 mg of oxycodone (brand name Eukodal), 5 mg of cocaine and 3 mg of methamphetamine (then called Pervitin, now available under the brand name Desoxyn).
Coolio’s cameo in Batman & Robin was an Easter Egg setting up a fifth movie in the series. Coolio is uncredited as playing Dr. Jonathan Crane aka The Scarcrow who would’ve been the main villain in Batman Unchained. (article)
CBS created a show called Kid Nation (2007), where 40 kids ages 8-15 spent 40 days without direct adult supervision in a ghost town where they had to create a sustainable community
Pope John XII was the only Pope who was ever beaten to death by a jealous husband for sleeping with his wife. He was also accused of turning the papal palace into a brothel, sleeping with his niece, toasting the devil, ordaining a 10yr old boy, and misusing papal funds to pay gambling debts.
Ebbie Tolbert was born around 1807 and spent over 50 years as a slave. She got her freedom at the age of 56. She also lived long enough so that at age 113 she could walk to the St Louis polling station and registered to vote (article)
In Japan, you can hire a handsome man to show up at your place, watch a sad video with you until you cry, then wipe your tears for you. (article)