Fun facts! -

The Cuban Missile Crisis is one of two times that the US was at DEFCON 2, which is the second highest readiness of the military. At DEFCON 2 armed forces ready to deploy and engage in less than six hours, with the readiness of the next step to nuclear war. As it turns out we were even closer to that than originally thought.

(Quick aside, DEFCON 2 is the highest level of readiness the US has ever been at, never reached DEFCON 1. DEFCON 1 is when they know nuclear war is imminent or has already started)

Soviet Submarine B-59 was in the Caribbean to support Soviet arms deliveries to Cuba. However on October 27, a US task force that included 11 destroyers detected it. They dropped very low-yield training depth charges to try and force the submarine to the surface for positive identification, as there was no way to get in contact with it. B-59 had not been in radio contact with Moscow for several days, and was too deep to hear any radio traffic so they were confused if they were really being attacked or if they were at war or not. The Captain wanted to retaliate with a T-5 Nuclear Torpedo.

The three senior officers had to unanimously agree to launch the nuke. Captain Valentin Savitsky and Political Commissar Ivan Maslennikov said yes, but this was vetoed by the Executive Officer, Vasili Arkhipov. Arkhipov eventually convinced the Captain to Surface and await clear orders from Moscow. The sub needed to surface anyway, as their batteries were running dangerously low and the air conditioning had failed. B-59 surfaced and set a course back to the Soviet Union.

TL;DR: One man managed to prevent all-out nuclear war at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Fun fact, Arkhipov was ALSO the Executive Officer on the K-19, the first russian nuclear submarine whose nuclear incident was used in the film The Widowmaker.

Samson Pumpkin Jr.
Some facts concerning German involvement in the 1900 boxer rebellion. Boxers were Chinese xenophobes who wanted to destroy all foreign influence in China and were fervent believers in Chinese traditions and mysticism.

On 12 or 13 June the German minister to China, von Ketteler (the highest ranking German official in China) encountered two Chinese, presumably a father and a son. They were in the middle of the legation quarter, clothed in Boxers’ attire; the elder Chinese was sharpening a short sword and shouted “This is for all foreigners!” Unfortunately, Ketteler, who spoke Chinese, understood him, beat him with his walking stick, forced him to flee, and took the younger Chinese prisoner. Later, top-ranking Chinese officials including Zhongli, the commander of Beijing police, came to Ketteler and asked him for release of the adolescent, but it didn’t happen. Either Ketteler refused to comply, or the captive had already been shot during an attempt to escape.

When the foreign legations in Beijing were put under siege the British ordered admiral Seymour to relieve them. Seymour had a coalition of 2,000 British, 500 German, and 200 French troops. Because they were travelling through hostile territory and were constantly raided by boxers Seymour asked the German and French to stay behind and protect a railway. They refused because they believed Seymour wanted to delay their entry to Beijing so the British could steal all the glory.

Seymour's forces were then attacked by the Chinese regular army and were forced to turn back. But they couldn't turn back because the railway was destroyed by boxers. So instead they reached a town and entrenched there. They were eventually relieved by Russian soldiers. The relief force was relieved by another relief force.

On June 18, 1900, a telegram was sent to Germany informing the Kaiser about the killing of his minister in China, Ketteler. Kaiser Wilhelm got really angry and ordered the mobilization of the marine so they can be sent to China. Like, Wilhelm II got very pissed off. The thing is, Ketteler was actually still alive and well.

As a matter of irony, the news about factual Ketteler’s death reached Europe only after 12 days, i. e. on 1 July, 82 and the day after it was finally confirmed.

Ketteler was actually killed on the 20th of June. The Chinese gave an ultimatum to the foreign legations saying all of them could leave Beijing IF they were escorted out by Chinese soldiers. Every minister agreed to this proposal except Ketteler, who was very opposed. The ministers sent a reply to negotiate. But the Chinese took a very long time to respond. So long in fact that Ketteler got angry and demanded to meet with Chinese officials. Ketteler met with some ceremonial princes before he was shot in the head. Little is known for the motive behind Ketteler's murder. If Ketteler didn't get so angy, it is likely the boxer rebellion would've never turned into such an international affair.

The rumour was spread that the foreign legations had fallen and everyone slaughtered. The world believed it until the Chinese allowed telegrams to leave the legations informing everyone they were still alive.

Germany was planning on sending 12k soldiers to China to aid in the capture of Beijing. It was important to have armies in China both for the prestige of defeating the yellow menace and also so they could have greater leverage to negotiate. It was estimated 50k men were needed. In reality the combined international forces already in China, numbering 20k, had already started to march on Beijing and captured it on August 14, liberating the foreign legations. Among the international army were British, French, Indians, Russians, Italians, even Austro-Hungarians, but no Germans.

During the occupation of Zhili province (the province where Beijing and the most active boxer activity was) German troops were widely criticised for their brutality. To give a little perspective, 40 punitive expeditions were German, 8 Italian, 3 Austro-Hungarian, 2 Japanese, 1 British, 1 American and 6 mixed. Punitive expeditions mostly involved seizing towns held by boxers (or not), burning them down, killing Chinese soldiers and civilians etc.

AND, FINALLY, THE MOST IMPORTANT FACT: A fire broke out at the Winter Palace. Major General Schwarzhoff rushed into his flat to save some important documents. But he knew he missed something. His dog was sleeping under his office desk. He rushed back in to save his dog. Major General Schwarzhoff became the only victim of the fire. He and his dog died.


King of Jerky
A shoebill stork can push its spine out of its mouth to allow more air to reach their throat. This is done because they cannot sweat and need an alternative cooling method.


Frank D'arbo

It is 5 am and You are Listening to Los Angeles
True & Honest Fan
The 1982 version of Annie cost Columbia pictures 53 million dollars, one of their most expensive movies made at the time.

Supposedly the budget and marketing costs took money away from the then in production film ghostbusters. Because Columbia had no faith in Ivan ritherman's film but expected Annie to be a blockbuster hit.
speaking of Columbia Pictures

Ishtar and The Adventures of Barren Munchausen were such expensive bombs that it convinced Coke to leave the film business altogether, they were purchased by Sony in 1989 and they continue to be owned by Sony.

Pretty Boy Extremism

Buck Breakin' Cracka
Alexander the Great named around 70 cities after himself (not an egomaniac btw). Some of them he founded and sometimes he just renamed already existing cities after himself. He even named a city after Bucephalus, which was his horse, after it died during the Battle of the Hydaspes. However he was not willing to let his horse share all the glory so they had to share the limelight - the city was called Alexandria Bucephalus.

Funnily enough, today most places named Alexandria were established centuries after his death, with most of them being in the USA. The vast majority of cities that Alexander named after himself were either destroyed, abandoned or renamed sometime later in history, with the only notable one still standing being the one in Egypt.


Master of SCARE-imonies!
While the exact purpose of the appendix before it was rendered vestigial is unknown, one theory suggests that it was originally larger, ND served as an extension of the small intestine to store underdigested plant matter until all possible nutrition had been absorbed to covert it into waste.

This function became less and less important as our diets changed from being plant based like most primates, and more carnivorus as we developed tools to hunt and fire to cook food.


Master of SCARE-imonies!
The Great Muppet Caper was Jim Henson's directorial debut as well as the only Muppets movie directed by Henson himself.


Master of SCARE-imonies!
mario jumpman mario was named after the owner of a an office building Nintendo owned.

Kirby was named after Nintendo's lawyer during the Nintendo v universal studios case John Kirby.
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Master of SCARE-imonies!
Danny Lloyd Thought the Shining was a family comedy while filming it

The famous "all work and no play makes jack a dull boy" pages were written by Margret Addams Stanley Kubrick's secretary at the time over the course of several months.

Stanley Kubrick received the first nomination for worst Director at the first ever Golden Raspberry awards for The Shining.

The Shining's "door chopping" scene used over 60 doors, Jack Nicholson kept breaking them down too fast because of his training as a volunteer firefighter, it wasn't until they used a real door made of solid wood did they get the take they used.

Frank D'arbo

It is 5 am and You are Listening to Los Angeles
True & Honest Fan
The famous "all work and no play makes jack a dull boy" pages were written by Margret Addams Stanley Kubrick's secretary at the time over the course of several months.
Those pages were also written in French, Spanish, German, and Italian.
Although most versions after 2000 just have the English version's pages instead