Tag: random thursday

The Tragic Life Of Lucia Zarate: The Smallest Woman Ever

Lucia Zarate was a popular sideshow performer in the late 1800s and was billed as the human doll for the fact that she was only 24 inches tall and weighed only 4.7 pounds, a world record to this day.

Learning about Lucia tells us a lot about how the shortest person in the world is determined. It’s more complicated than you think.

Are Repressed Memories Real?

Repressed memories are a subject of intense debate in the academic, therapeutic, and legal fields as people have been charged for crimes based on a mental phenomenon that some believe does not exist.

A repressed memory is a memory of a traumatic event that your mind purposefully forgets in order to protect itself, but in theory the memory never really goes away, it instead enters your subconscious, where it creates anxiety, depression, and self-sabotaging behavior.

Some therapists believe that reviving these memories can help people deal with their issues, but sometimes these memories involve childhood abuse at the hands of people they know, people who often get prosecuted on the basis of these repressed memories.

And this is where things get hazy because many researchers don’t think that repressed memories are really a thing. They also point to the fact that it’s a fairly modern phenomenon, and it’s possible people are actually remembering events of sleep paralysis, where waking people experience vivid, often terrifying hallucinations.

Did The US Navy Teleport A Ship?

The Philadelphia Experiment is the story of a military exercise gone horribly wrong. In October of 1943, the USS Eldridge supposedly was teleported from the shipyards of Philadelphia to Norfolk, Virginia, with some disastrous results.

Much of the mythology of the story comes from a man who went by the name of Carlos Allende, but was he a credible witness? Did the US Navy have a secret program in place in WWII? And is teleportation possible?

The Truth About HH Holmes, America’s First Serial Killer

HH Holmes became known as the Devil in the White City because of the legend that he built a murder castle in Chicago in 1893 with the intent of murdering hundreds of people as they visited the Chicago World Columbian Exposition (which became known as the White City).

He built a hotel with secret walls and rooms so that he could kill people and dispose of their bodies in the basement.

At least, this is the story we’ve all been told. The real story is quite different.

Why Are Insects Disappearing?

All around the world, insect species are dying at alarming rates. It’e being called the Insect apocalypse, and aA new study looks at why this is happening, what can be done about it, and what would happen if the trend continues.

The Mysterious “Lost Cosmonaut” Recording

In 1961, two amateur Italian radio engineers recorded what many believe to be the voice of a female cosmonaut burning up on re-entry. If real, this would have been the first woman in space.

Achille and Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia were two highly regarded radio engineers from Italy who, starting with the launch of Sputnik, made a name for themselves by tracking and recording radio signals from satellites in orbit.

Over time, they bought an old WWII bunker and transformed it into a listening station they named Torre Bert.

From here, the recorded everything from the heartbeat of Laika, the dog on Sputnik 2, to Yuri Gagarin.

But they also recorded some mysterious sounds from missions that were never made public by the highly secretive Soviet Union. One of these was of a woman crying out in distress in May of 1961.

If real, this would have been the first female in space, a full 2 years before the current first, Valentina Tereshkova.

To this day, Russian officials have never named or acknowledged the existence of a mission that this could have been from. Was this a doomed cosmonaut in her final moments? Or a clever hoax?

Did The US Accidentally Blast A Manhole Cover Into Space?

In 1957, the United States began testing nuclear weapons underground in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada as part of Operation Plumbbob. One underground test, Pascal B, may have put the first manmade object into space.

Robert R. Brownlee engineered the Pascal A underground test to measure the amount of fallout that would occur from underground nuclear explosions. It involved digging a 485 foot shaft into the ground and capping it with a heavy steel plate.

The explosion blew the steel plate off the ground and caused Brownlee to wonder how fast it propelled the object, so he set up a second nuclear test, Pascal B, to measure the speed of the steel cap.

The high-speed camera only recorded the plate in one frame, which led Brownlee to conclude that it must have been traveling at more than 125,000 miles per hour, or 5 times the escape velocity of Earth. The plate was never found, and this has led many to believe it was jettisoned out into space.

If this is true, the steel plate from Pascal B beat Sputnik to space by 2 months and would be the fastest human-made object of all time.

There are many who believe this couldn’t possibly be true though because at that speed the plate would have vaporized in the atmosphere just like a meteor or satellite re-entering the atmosphere at orbital velocity. So the mystery of Pascal B carries on.

Living Zombies: People Living Without A Heart

20 people die every day waiting for a heart transplant. Luckily science has found a way to keep people alive without a heart while waiting for a new one. Here’s everything you need to know about artificial hearts.

The first artificial heart was received by Barney Clark in 1982. He only survived for 112 days, but subsequent patients lived longer and longer and now go years on a machine.

The Syncardia Total Artificial Heart is the go-to artificial heart these days. It replaces the left and right ventricles with two bifurcated bladders through which fluid is pumped in and out, forcing the blood up into the atriums like a normal heartbeat.

The fluid is piped into the body through tubes that protrude from the abdomen that lead to a backpack. The backpack carries the pump device and the batteries that power it. Each battery lasts 6 hours.

Another, simpler device is called the Left Ventricular Assist Device, this is a continuously flowing pump that leads blood out of the left ventricle directly into the aorta, meaning people with this device have no pulse.