History

How the televised presidential debates are a fraud

Occupy Wall Street marked its first anniversary with a day of roaming actions throughout the Financial District in New York City. Thousands of police massed to contain them, but only contributed to the chaos as they - not the demonstrators - sealed off Wall Street, harassed office workers and arbitrarily blocked side streets and intersections. Yours truly was knocked over by one officer of the law. There were about 200 arrests. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was there.

The evening of Monday, Oct. 22, was the final installment in the presidential debates leading up to Election 2012. Did you know that by believing that that’s all there is in politics this election cycle, you are buying into a gigantic serving of fraud perpetrated against you? Did you know that by supporting the idea that there are only two viable candidates for President of the United States, you are not only accepting the status quo, but implicitly supporting a backroom agreement between bullies to exclude other voices from the U.S. political landscape? If you care about being informed and […]

Little-known facts about US currency

Image of U.S. currency and coins.

Here’s a big news flash: we all want money, for the flexibility and security it provides. However, do we actually know much about money, beyond what it’s worth? Here are some little-known facts about U.S. currency that will satisfy the trivia buffs out there.
US currency fact No. 1 – Money was once made by hand
The U.S. government didn’t begin printing paper currency until 1861. Coins were the thing, and people began hording those during the Civil War. This quickly ate up all U.S. money in circulation, forcing Congress to authorize the Treasury to begin making paper money. These “greenbacks” had […]

Transcendental Meditation lowers stress and med bills

David Lynch

Transcendental Meditation is an effective relaxation technique that can reduce stress and help keep the doctor bills down.
No philosophical or spiritual concessions
Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a relaxation technique that was introduced to the West by Mahesh Prasad Varma, who later in life came to be called Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1917 – 2008). His technique was a distillation of Eastern meditative practices that eschewed spiritual trappings in favor of simplicity and verifiable stress reduction effects. It is a simple, effortless technique that take only 20 minutes, twice a day, and requires no philosophical or spiritual concessions.
Over the years, his technique has […]

Bad celebrity investments for the ages

Mark Twain.

While the magic of celebrity may elevate the status attributed to certain individuals, this does not mean that everything celebrities touch turns to gold. Here are some bad celebrity investments that may make you feel better at night.
Mark Twain
A famous writer and humorist who has been called America’s first modern celebrity, Mark Twain spent $150,000 to $300,000 (a massive amount of money back then) over 11 years during the late 19th century on a machine called the Paige Compositor. This was a typesetter that was said to be faster than standard Linotype. Unfortunately, the machine had more than 18,000 parts […]

US considers replacing paper dollar bills with dollar coins

The back of a 2006 Benjamin Franklin silver dollar. The classic U.S. colonial slogan “E Pluribus Unum: Join, or Die” and drawing of a segmented snake adorn the back of the coin.The U.S. Government Accountability Office wants $1 bills to be replaced entirely by $1 coins. Hundreds of billions of dollars could be saved.

Canada confirms use of Agent Orange to clear brush

A Vietnam-era photograph of a military plane dropping the chemical warfare Agent Orange on a Vietnamese jungle.A Toronto Star investigation found that Canada used the infamous herbicide Agent Orange in its forestry program from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Plastic heart beats for three days, kicks off revolution

Artificial HeartThe first plastic heart, implanted in 1969, only beat for three days, but it kicked off decades of research, development and artificial hearts.

NASA remembers Challenger disaster and two other tragedies

Challenger disasterThe Challenger disaster that killed teacher Christa McAuliffe and six astronauts joins two other NASA tragedies remembered within one week.

Evidence of 9,400-year-old domesticated dog found by grad student

diet of ancient humansA 9,400-year-old domesticated dog was identified from a bone fragment in human dung unearthed at an archaeological site in Texas ...

Bill Richardson to deliver decision on Billy the Kid by New Year

Billy the KidBill Richardson, outgoing Governor of New Mexico, will soon decide whether to grant a pardon to dead but well-known outlaw Billy the Kid.

Earliest human remains found in Israel

Photo: British Museum (Natural History). SIDE-VIEW OF A PREHISTORIC HUMAN SKULL DISCOVERED IN 1921 IN BROKEN HILL CAVE, NORTHERN RHODESIA Very striking are the prominent eyebrow ridges and the broad massive face. The skull looks less domed than that of modern man, but its cranial capacity is far above the lowest human limit. The teeth are interesting in showing marked rotting or "caries," hitherto unknown in prehistoric skulls. In all probability the Rhodesian man was an African representative of the extinct Neanderthal species hitherto known only from Europe.The earliest human remains may have been found in Qesem Cave near Tel-Aviv. What many believe are Homo sapiens teeth are 400,000 years old.

Confederate gunboat C.S.S. Peedee discovered in S.C. river

Navy Historical Center -- In this Matthew Brady photograph, a nine-inch Dahlgren gun on a slide-pivot mounting is seen in operation aboard a U.S. Navy warship during the Civil War. A similar gun, originally mounted on the famous Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia, was recently loaned to the Fredericksburg Area Museum, Fredericksburg, Va., for a three-year exhibit. On March 9, 1862, CSS Virginia battled the Union ironclad USS Monitor in the famous Battle of Hampton Roads, an action in which the two ships fought to a virtual draw and revolutionized sea warfare.Archaeologists from the University of South Carolina have discovered the wreck of the C.S.S. Peedee, a Confederate gunship.

Chinese archaeologists discover pot full of 2,400-year-old soup

2400 year old soup found near terracotta armyThe bronze cauldron of 2,400-year-old soup was found during construction near the Terracotta Army in the ancient Chinese capital of Xian...

The decline of monarchies

King and queenAs revolution and change swept through the world, monarchies were challenged by the common man. Thus, the power of people's rights evolved.

The history of the Jack-o-Lantern

Photo of a Jack-O-LanternEver wondered where the Jack-O-Lantern came from? Here's the story of a man named Jack who roams the dark with only a coal to light his way.

Oktoberfest in the 21st Century

Celebrating OktoberfestThis year's Oktoberfest has set a new record for the amount of alcohol consumed. Reports of lost items have increased because of drinking...