Scratch that one off your mental image of pirates. Even though it’s one of the most popular ‘facts’ about pirate lore, there is actually little evidence to suggest that walking the plank as a common punishment during the pirate era.
That said, there were other punishments that do match up with our modern notion of pirates. For example, being stranded on an island (probably with no rum) was one of the more extreme ones. Pirates also got whipped as a punishment
One of the most brutal, and one that hopefully we’ll see in Pirates of the Caribbean 5 was being ‘keel-hauled.’ The punished would be tied to a rope then thrown overboard. Then he’d be dragged down on one side of the ship, under the vessel, over the keel then back up the other side. If this doesn’t sound too bad, remember that ship bottoms were usually covered in very hard barnacles, which would result in serious injury.
Yes, historians really have been wondering that for years. In the spring of 1865, a train carried the body of Abraham Lincoln on a nearly two-week-long funeral procession from Washington DC to Springfield, Illinois. It’s said that millions of people watched the procession and many held memorial services along the route.
However, one detail was lost to history: What color was it? And yes, they had spent many years trying to figure it out, until it was finally solved this year. The original car had been sold at an auction and was lost to a fire in 1911, which is why this detail had been lost until today.
A chemist found a scrap piece of the original railcar’s window frame. He and his friends analyzed a small piece of the window trim under the microscope, and managed to get microscopic flecks of paint and finally came with an answer: A brownish-red described as a ‘dark maroon.’ Finally we can all rest easy.
A manned Japanese submersible recently shot video of an enormous mass of granite off the coast of Brazil that looks like could be part of a lost continent. If you remember your geology, South America split from Africa millions of years ago. Scientists think that this granite block might have been part of that supercontinent, but sunk when the split happened.
The place is more than 600 miles southeast of Rio de Janeiro and it's 3,000 feet underwater. Brazilian geologists say that granite is not something you find on the seabed because it only forms on land. The next step is to take samples of the granite and see it they match rock from Africa or South America; then we'll know if we're talking about the South American Atlantis.
It’s called the Barkley Marathons and it’s held every year in late March or early April in Frozen Head State Park near Wartburg, Tennessee. The race started in 1986 and currently consists of a 20-mile loop with no aid stations except for 2 points of water, and whatever the runner has in their car when they go around the loop.
Runners are supposed to go around the loop five times, and they are supposed to alternate direction every time they complete a loop. It’s considered the toughest ultramarathon in the world because you also have to climb over 54,200 feet over those 100 miles.
Since 1986, about 800 people have tried this race, and only 14 have completed it. On top of being really tough, there’s also a time limit. You only have 12 hours to complete each loop. Most people finish in over 50 hours. That’s over 2 days of straight running!
The race is crazy, and the organizer is crazy too. For example, there’s no registration website, and the registration dates, and even the dates of the race, are never publicized. Check out the source to read more about it.
This might sound strange, but one of the big destinations of the recycling you take out every week don’t all go to a magic recycling plant that turns them into something else. A good chunk of it is actually exported to China.
The industry is actually in crisis, despite the fact that the market for recyclables to China has doubled since 2006. This is because China has recently passed a ban on the importation of certain types of solid waste, including unwashed plastics.
The big problem seems to be in the trash sorting. Because it’s so labor intensive, the US hasn't developed good processes for sorting through trash. The Chinese are cracking down on dangerous stuff being in the piles of trash. For example, a single syringe can get an entire shipment rejected as medical waste.