If you want to keep something safe, build a mountain fortress above the Arctic Circle. That’s the thinking behind the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Almost every nation keeps collections of native seeds so local crops can be replanted in case of an agricultural disaster. The Global Seed Vault, opened in 2008 on the far-northern Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, is a backup for the backups. It’s badly needed as many as half the seed banks in developing countries are at risk from natural disasters or general instability. The vault can hold up to 4.5 million samples, which will be kept dry at about 0°F (-18°C). Even if the facility loses power, the Arctic climate should keep the seeds viable for thousands of years.
Nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals were manufactured in anticipation of the casualties resulting from the invasion of Japan. To the present date, all the American military casualties of the sixty years following the end of World War II—including the Korean and Vietnam Wars—have not exceeded that number. In 2003, there were still 120,000 of these Purple Heart medals in stock. There are so many in surplus that combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan were able to keep Purple Hearts on-hand for immediate award to wounded soldiers on the field.
A scold’s bridle, sometimes called a brank’s bridle or simply branks, was an instrument of punishment used primarily on women, as a form of torture and public humiliation. First introduced by the Church of Scotland in 1567, the device saw use across Europe and the New World until the mid 18th century.
The device was an iron muzzle in an iron framework that enclosed the head. A bridle-bit, about 2 inches long and 1 inch broad, projected into the mouth and pressed down on top of the tongue. The curb-plate was frequently studded with spikes, so that if the offender moved her tongue, it inflicted pain and made speaking impossible. Woman who were seen as witches, shrews and scolds, were forced to wear the branks, locked onto their head.
The Spanish fly is actually an emerald-green beetle, Lytta vesicatoria, belonging to the blister beetle family. (Meloidae). The insect's juice, terpenoid cantharidin, is a toxic blistering agent with poisonous properties comparable in degree to that of the most violent poisons.
However, despite the inherent danger, it has a legendary reputation as an aphrodisiac. As it passes through the body, cantharidin irritates the genitals resulting in increased blood flow that can mimic the engorgement that occurs with sexual excitement.
For this reason, various preparations of desiccated Spanish flies have been used as some of the world’s oldest love potions, with a reputation dating back to the early western Mediterranean classical civilizations.
The ease of toxic overdose makes this highly dangerous, so the sale of real Spanish Fly has been made illegal in most countries.
This MRI scan shows the difference between a healthy (120 pound) and obese (250 pound) woman. You can see where the strain is put on an obese body. Excess fat not only encases the woman’s waistline but also wraps around her heart, liver, lungs and tissues.