Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saltine cracker challenge


The saltine cracker challenge or simply the "saltine challenge" is a competition in which a person has 60 seconds to eat 6 saltines (also known as soda crackers), without drinking anything; all the crumbs must be eaten too. Although the challenge sounds easy, it is actually very difficult, because the crackers quickly exhaust the saliva in one's mouth. Even though six saltines can fit in one's mouth all at the same time, and a minute is plenty of time to chew, the resulting mess of crumbs resists swallowing. One is not allowed to use any external liquid to aid in mastication.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rüppell's Vulture


Rüppell's Vulture (Gyps rueppellii) is a medium-sized vulture that occurs throughout the Sahel region of central Africa. The current population of 30,000 is in decline due to ongoing loss of habitat and other pressures.  Rüppell's Vulture is considered to be the world's highest-flying bird, with confirmed evidence of a flight at an altitude of 11,000 metres (36,100 ft) above sea level.  A Rüppell's Vulture was confirmed to have been ingested by a jet engine of an airplane flying over Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire on November 29, 1973 at an altitude of 11,000 metres (36,100 ft). In August 2010 a Rüppell's Vulture escaped a bird of prey site in Scotland, prompting warnings to pilots in the area to keep an eye out due to the danger of collision.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Project Seal


Project Seal ( also known as the Tsunami bomb) was a program by the New Zealand military to develop a weapon that could create destructive tsunamis. This weapon was tested off the coast of Auckland between 1944-1945. The experiments were conducted by Professor Thomas Leech. British and US defense chiefs were eager to see it developed and it was considered as important as the atomic bomb. It was expected to cause massive damage to coastal cities; it could have even been used with a nuclear charge. The weapon was only tested using small explosions and never on a full scale. After 4000 test explosions over a seven-month period, none of which generated an appreciable tsunami, the project was closed down when it was determined that there were errors in the theoretical basis of the plan. The top secret documents on Project Seal were only declassified in 1999.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dennō Senshi Porygon


"Dennō Senshi Porygon" literally "Computer Soldier Porygon", although most commonly translated as "Electric Soldier Porygon") is the thirty-eighth episode of the Pokémon anime's first season. Its only broadcast was in Japan on December 16, 1997.  The episode is infamous for using visual effects that caused seizures in a substantial number of Japanese viewers, an incident referred to as the "Pokémon Shock" by the Japanese press. Six hundred and eighty-five viewers were taken to hospitals; two people remained hospitalized for more than two weeks. Due to this, the episode has not been rebroadcast worldwide. After the shock, the Pokémon anime went into a four month hiatus, and it returned on TV Tokyo in April 1998.

Saturday, March 5, 2011



Surströmming, known colloquially as Scandinavian rotten fish, is a northern Swedish dish consisting of fermented Baltic herring. Surströmming is sold in cans, which often bulge during shipping and storage, due to the continued fermentation. When opened, the contents release a strong and sometimes overwhelming odour, which explains why the dish is often eaten outdoors. A Japanese study has shown that the smell of a newly opened can of surströmming is the most putrid smell of food in the world.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Edward Mordrake


Edward Mordrake was reportedly the 19th century heir to an English peerage. He supposedly had an extra face on the back of his head, which could neither eat nor speak, although it could laugh or cry. Edward begged doctors to have his "demon head" removed, because, supposedly, it whispered horrible things to him at night, but no doctor would attempt it. He committed suicide at the age of 23.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Robert Restaino


On the morning of 11 March 2005, while presiding over a domestic violence case, Restaino ordered into custody the entire courtroom audience of 46 people after nobody came forward as the owner of a cellphone that rang during proceedings. 14 of the 46 jailed who could not afford to post the bail set were shackled and transported to the county jail and were not released until later that afternoon when reporters started asking about the ruling.  The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct ordered Restaino to be removed from office after finding that Restaino had engaged in "an egregious and unprecedented abuse of judicial power". Through his lawyer,  Restaino indicated that he would be appealing the commission ruling.  On 5 June 2008, Restaino's removal was upheld by the New York Court of Appeals. In a 6-0 decision, the Court stated, "By indiscriminately committing into custody 46 defendants, petitioner deprived them of their liberty without due process, exhibited insensitivity, indifference and a callousness so reproachable that his continued presence on the Bench cannot be tolerated."