Category Archives: factoids

World’s oldest person dies in NYC, aged 116 Reuters

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World’s oldest person dies in NYC, aged 116

Reuters

Susannah Mushatt Jones, the world’s oldest person, has died at the age of 116 years, 311 days.The supercentenarian died at 8:26 p.m. Thursday evening at her senior home in Brooklyn, the Gerontology Research Group’s Robert Young told the Daily News.She was the last known American to have been born in the 1800s, and there is currently only one more person in the world verified as having taken breath in the 19th century.

Susannah Mushatt Jones (right), the world's oldest woman, has died at age 116 in Brooklyn.

Susannah Mushatt Jones (right), the world’s oldest woman, has died at age 116 in Brooklyn.

(DEBBIE EGAN-CHIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

New York’s Oldest celebrated in Queens, offer tips for long life

GRG, which works with the Guinness Book of World Records, said that the oldest person is now Emma Morano-Martinuzzi, an Italian born on Nov. 29, 1899.

Jones celebrated her 116th birthday last July with family and friends.(BYRON SMITH FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Her cake paid tribute to her love of chicken drumsticks and bacon.(BYRON SMITH FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Jones celebrated her 116th birthday last July with family and friends. Her cake paid tribute to her love of chicken drumsticks and bacon.

The queen of King’s County inherited the title of world’s oldest person from Jerlean Telley, a Michigan woman who died last year at the age of 116.

Jones, known to loved ones as “Miss Susie,” told the Daily News last year that she credited her long life to getting sleep, not smoking and not drinking, though she admits that she loves and often eats bacon.

First 100-year-old model to appear in June issue of British Vogue

Her one marriage lasted only briefly, but the woman — born during the McKinley administration — has more than 100 nieces and nephews.

Italy's Emma Morano Martinuzz is now believed to be the world's oldest person and the last person born in the 19th century.

Italy’s Emma Morano Martinuzz is now believed to be the world’s oldest person and the last person born in the 19th century.

(ANTONIO CALANNI/AP)

Young said that he had met her in April, but that he had only heard her say she was tired.

Jones was the third American in a row to be able to call the every one else on the planet a whippersnapper.

Jones said she avoided smoking and drinking. Above, Jones in her youth.

Jones said she avoided smoking and drinking. Above, Jones in her youth.

(DEBBIE EGAN-CHIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

103-year-old blind woman stunned by mugging in Bronx

The oldest American is now Goldie Michelson, a 113-year-old in Massachusetts originally from Russia, according to the GRG.

Follow on Twitter @CKozalBrennan.

 

#worlds-oldest-person#susannah_mushatt_jones#age116#ana_christy#beatnikhiway.com#brooklyn#death

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13 Chilling Childhood Photos Of History’s Most Infamously Evil Humans

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13 Chilling Childhood Photos Of History’s Most Infamously Evil Humans

 
It’s hard to fathom that some of the most evil humans in history entered this world as innocent infants. These chilling photos remind us that, while they are known universally as some of the world’s most hated and brutal individuals, they all started off as chaste and innocent youths. All though they descended into evil over the years, their childhood photos will send a chill down your spine. Little did these photographers know that they were capturing some of the most infamous men of all time.
  • Joseph Stalin

  • Widely considered a psychopath, Joseph Stalin is estimated to be responsible for anywhere from 20-40 million deaths total. Coming from a troubled childhood, he ruled Russia with an iron fist during the Red Terror. To see him as a formative youth is mind-boggling.

  • Ted Bundy

  • The most infamous serial killer of all time, Theodore Robert Bundy is estimated to have killed anywhere from 40 to 100 women in unspeakably gruesome ways. It’s heartbreaking to know the future that awaits this seemingly normal child.

  • Osama bin Laden

  • Bin Laden is known for founding al-Qaeda, the militant organization that claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks on the United States, in addition to many other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets. Can you tell from this childhood photo what future he had in store?

  • Adolf Hitler

  • A man whose name has come to signify evil in all its capacities, Hitler is probably the most infamous and evil person in all of human history. He directly caused the death of millions of innocent Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and people with mental and physical illness, not to mention the millions of other lives lost in World War II as an indirect result of his actions. Seeing this baby photo of him is as creepy as it gets.

  • Heinrich Himmler

  • The commander of the SS Schutzstaffel and head of the concentration camps, Himmler was the mastermind who gassed inmates with toxic poison in chambers and systematically worked and starved them to death. Responsible for the genocide of millions, Himmler committed suicide in 1945.

  • Charles Manson

  • Manson is a murderer and conspiracist who ordered his commune members to murder rich people in Beverly Hills. He’s still in prison to this day.

  • Jeffrey Dahmer

  • Dahmer was an American serial killer and sex offender, who committed the rape, murder and dismemberment of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Many of his later murders also involved cannibalism to some extent. Dahmer was beat to death in prison, but his childhood photo is chilling to look at.

  • John Wayne Gacy, Jr.

  • Nicknamed the Killer Clown, Gacy was an American serial killer and rapist who was convicted of the sexual assault and murder of at least 33 teenage boys and young men in a series of killings committed between 1972 and 1978 in Chicago. From his childhood photo, however, he just looks like a standard troublemaker. Eerie.

  • Emperor Hirohito

  • Hirohito served as Emperor of Japan from 1926 to 1989, but is most remembered for the 1937 war crime called The Rape of Nanking (then the capital of China, now known as Nanjing). During the occupation of Nanjing, the Japanese army committed many atrocities, such as rape, looting, arson and the execution of prisoners of war and civilians. The death toll is estimated to be around 300,000. It’s hard to believe the happy baby in this picture could preside over such an atrocity.

  • Gary Ridgway

  • Known as the Green River Killer, Ridgway was a serial killer convicted of 48 separate murders who later confessed to nearly twice that number. His childhood picture is nothing but innocent, however.

  • Albert DeSalvo

  • Between June 14, 1962 and January 4, 1964, DeSalvo killed between 13 women in the Boston area. Pictured here on the left, it’s hard to believe he would grow up to be a serial killer.

  • Saddam Hussein

  • The fifth President of Iraq was largely condemned throughout the world for the brutality of his dictatorship. He was executed after being convicted of charges related to the killings of 148 Iraqi Shi’ites.

  • Alexander Pichushkin

  • Known as “the Chessboard Killer,” Pichushkin murdered nearly 50 elderly homeless men in and around Moscow, Russia. According to him, he murdered people because he was competing with another killer. Could you tell from his childhood picture what future awaited him?

How Much Does It Cost to Live In Each of the World’s Countries?

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How Much Does It Cost to Live In Each of the World’s Countries?

SUNDAY 01.18.2015 , POSTED BY

image: http://cdn.visualnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/cost-of-living-featured-600×319.jpg

cost-of-living-featured

How much does it cost to live in Sweden? How about Morocco or Japan? You can’t just compare exchange rates to figure that out. You need people on the ground reporting on how much they pay for a loaf of bread, an apartment or a glass of beer in Stockholm, Fez and Tokyo. That’s what Numbeo has been doing for years, creating a cost of living database with a lot of help from people all around the world. Movehub recently took that information and created a fantastic series of maps comparing how expensive it is to live in all the world’s countries. How does yours measure up? [Read more…]

Read more at http://www.visualnews.com/page/2/#gvBJKJWMbK70bjaS.99

LITTLE KNOWN FACTS

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trickle-down-theory-quote 200 (60)

Printing the phrase “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency was a mandate handed down by Abraham Lincoln’s Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase. During his presidency, Theodore Roosevelt attempted to remove the slogan because he, as a devout Christian, felt that putting God on money was a sacrilege.

A famous North American landmark, Niagara Falls, is constantly moving backward. The rim wore down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute. Attempts to control flow and divert the water has reduced erosion in recent years to one foot per year with a potential increase of one foot every ten years.

Before hitting the big time, Billy Joel played the organ in a TV ad for Bachman’s Pretzels that featured Chubby Checker singing “The Twist.”

Local lore in Saint Louis claims that Cary Grant started the trend of placing a mint on a pillow. In an attempt to woo a lady, he had the bell hop let him into her room and place a mint on a pillow with a calling card.

Horses cannot breathe through their mouth. If their nostrils become obstructed, they could suffocate.

A famous North American landmark, Niagara Falls, is constantly moving backward. The rim wore down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute. Attempts to control flow and divert the water has reduced erosion in recent years to one foot per year with a potential increase of one foot every ten years.

Nixon was speaking at Disney World when he famously declared, “I am not a crook.”

The medical term stroke comes from the 16th century, when a person suffering a cerebral hemorrhage was thought to have been hit by “the stroke of God’s hand.”

The first president to earn a PhD was Woodrow Wilson.

Before hitting the big time, Billy Joel played the organ in a TV ad for Bachman’s Pretzels that featured Chubby Checker singing “The Twist.”

Charles Douglass, inventor of the canned laughter we hear on sitcoms, recorded the guffaws for his original “Laff Box” during broadcasts of The Red Skelton Show.

Local lore in Saint Louis claims that Cary Grant started the trend of placing a mint on a pillow. In an attempt to woo a lady, he had the bell hop let him into her room and place a mint on a pillow with a calling card.

In 1912, Kazimierz (Casimir) Funk discovered the first vitamin, Niacin (or vitamin B3)

The Procrastinators’ Club of America newsletter is called “Last Month’s Newsletter.”

Horses cannot breathe through their mouth. If their nostrils become obstructed, they could suffocate.

After losing the White House, John Quincy Adams was elected to Congress in 1830. He served until his death in 1848.

The word “lucky” was rarely used in I Love Lucyscripts. That’s because the show’s sponsor, Philip Morris, was in competition with Lucky Strike cigarettes at the time.

The last state to ban eugenics-based castration was Oregon in 1983. The last castration took place in 1978.

Despite its reputation as a cosmonaut staple, freeze-dried ice cream only made one mission to space. In 1968, it provided instant sugar rushes to the astronauts of Apollo 7.

There are nearly as many inmates in California state prisons as there are in U.S. federal prisons.

A famous North American landmark, Niagara Falls, is constantly moving backward. The rim wore down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute. Attempts to control flow and divert the water has reduced erosion in recent years to one foot per year with a potential increase of one foot every ten years.

Nixon was speaking at Disney World when he famously declared, “I am not a crook.”

The medical term stroke comes from the 16th century, when a person suffering a cerebral hemorrhage was thought to have been hit by “the stroke of God’s hand.”

The first president to earn a PhD was Woodrow Wilson.

Before hitting the big time, Billy Joel played the organ in a TV ad for Bachman’s Pretzels that featured Chubby Checker singing “The Twist.”

Charles Douglass, inventor of the canned laughter we hear on sitcoms, recorded the guffaws for his original “Laff Box” during broadcasts of The Red Skelton Show.

Local lore in Saint Louis claims that Cary Grant started the trend of placing a mint on a pillow. In an attempt to woo a lady, he had the bell hop let him into her room and place a mint on a pillow with a calling card.

In 1912, Kazimierz (Casimir) Funk discovered the first vitamin, Niacin (or vitamin B3)

The Procrastinators’ Club of America newsletter is called “Last Month’s Newsletter.”

Horses cannot breathe through their mouth. If their nostrils become obstructed, they could suffocate.

After losing the White House, John Quincy Adams was elected to Congress in 1830. He served until his death in 1848.

The word “lucky” was rarely used in I Love Lucyscripts. That’s because the show’s sponsor, Philip Morris, was in competition with Lucky Strike cigarettes at the time.

The last state to ban eugenics-based castration was Oregon in 1983. The last castration took place in 1978.

Despite its reputation as a cosmonaut staple, freeze-dried ice cream only made one mission to space. In 1968, it provided instant sugar rushes to the astronauts of Apollo 7.

Only one half of a dolphin’s brain sleeps at a time. The other half that’s awake signals the dolphin to come up for air to prevent drowning.

There are nearly as many inmates in California state prisons as there are in U.S. federal prisons.

J.K. Rowling invented Quidditch in a pub.

The Hard Rock Café got its name from a now-defunct bar that appeared on the back of the Doors’ album Morrison Hotel.

A famous North American landmark, Niagara Falls, is constantly moving backward. The rim wore down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute. Attempts to control flow and divert the water has reduced erosion in recent years to one foot per year with a potential increase of one foot every ten years.

Nixon was speaking at Disney World when he famously declared, “I am not a crook.”

The medical term stroke comes from the 16th century, when a person suffering a cerebral hemorrhage was thought to have been hit by “the stroke of God’s hand.”

The first president to earn a PhD was Woodrow Wilson.

Before hitting the big time, Billy Joel played the organ in a TV ad for Bachman’s Pretzels that featured Chubby Checker singing “The Twist.”

Charles Douglass, inventor of the canned laughter we hear on sitcoms, recorded the guffaws for his original “Laff Box” during broadcasts of The Red Skelton Show.

Local lore in Saint Louis claims that Cary Grant started the trend of placing a mint on a pillow. In an attempt to woo a lady, he had the bell hop let him into her room and place a mint on a pillow with a calling card.

In 1912, Kazimierz (Casimir) Funk discovered the first vitamin, Niacin (or vitamin B3)

The Procrastinators’ Club of America newsletter is called “Last Month’s Newsletter.”

Horses cannot breathe through their mouth. If their nostrils become obstructed, they could suffocate.

After losing the White House, John Quincy Adams was elected to Congress in 1830. He served until his death in 1848.

The word “lucky” was rarely used in I Love Lucyscripts. That’s because the show’s sponsor, Philip Morris, was in competition with Lucky Strike cigarettes at the time.

Despite its reputation as a cosmonaut staple, freeze-dried ice cream only made one mission to space. In 1968, it provided instant sugar rushes to the astronauts of Apollo 7.

There are nearly as many inmates in California state prisons as there are in U.S. federal prisons.

J.K. Rowling invented Quidditch in a pub.

The Hard Rock Café got its name from a now-defunct bar that appeared on the back of the Doors’ album Morrison Hotel.

Only one U.S. state’s name ends with the letter “K.” It’s New York. Likewise, only one U.S. state’s name ends with the letter “G”: Wyoming.

Kathleen Casey of Philadelphia was born at 12:00:01 A.M., Eastern time, on January 1st, 1946. This not only made her the first child born in the United States that year, but also made her the first “Baby Boomer.”

The national animal of Scotland is the unicorn.

One of the first known contraceptives was crocodile dung, used by Egyptians.

Nixon was speaking at Disney World when he famously declared, “I am not a crook.”The medical term stroke comes from the 16th century, when a person suffering a cerebral hemorrhage was thought to have been hit by “the stroke of God’s hand.”

Before hitting the big time, Billy Joel played the organ in a TV ad for Bachman’s Pretzels that featured Chubby Checker singing “The Twist.”

Charles Douglass, inventor of the canned laughter we hear on sitcoms, recorded the guffaws for his original “Laff Box” during broadcasts of The Red Skelton Show.

In 1912, Kazimierz (Casimir) Funk discovered the first vitamin, Niacin (or vitamin B3)

The Procrastinators’ Club of America newsletter is called “Last Month’s Newsletter.”

Horses cannot breathe through their mouth. If their nostrils become obstructed, they could suffocate.

After losing the White House, John Quincy Adams was elected to Congress in 1830. He served until his death in 1848.

The word “lucky” was rarely used in I Love Lucyscripts. That’s because the show’s sponsor, Philip Morris, was in competition with Lucky Strike cigarettes at the time.

Despite its reputation as a cosmonaut staple, freeze-dried ice cream only made one mission to space. In 1968, it provided instant sugar rushes to the astronauts of Apollo 7.

There are nearly as many inmates in California state prisons as there are in U.S. federal prisons.

J.K. Rowling invented Quidditch in a pub.

The Hard Rock Café got its name from a now-defunct bar that appeared on the back of the Doors’ album Morrison Hotel.

Only one U.S. state’s name ends with the letter “K.” It’s New York. Likewise, only one U.S. state’s name ends with the letter “G”: Wyoming.

365images

Kathleen Casey of Philadelphia was born at 12:00:01 A.M., Eastern time, on January 1st, 1946. This not only made her the first child born in the United States that year, but also made her the first “Baby Boomer.”

The national animal of Scotland is the unicorn.

In addition to the four known taste sensations (bitter, salty, sour, and sweet), some scientists now include a fifth, called “umami,” best represented by the MSG flavoring added to certain foods.

A ten-gallon hat actually holds a little less than one gallon of water.

Why Do We Count Sheep?

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WHY COUNT SHEEP?

filed under: Big Questions
IMAGE CREDIT:
ISTOCK

In Medieval Britain, shepherds who wanted to use communal grazing land were required to keep a close head count of their flocks, using a special counting system (it went by the catchy name of “yan, tan, tethera,” and shepherds kept using it until the turn of the 20th century!) before they hit the hay each night. But at least one book claims the link between sheep and sleep goes back even further. A chapter in Disciplina Clericalis, a 12th-century book of fables, suggests that counting sheep had already been a cultural trope in Islamic culture for centuries. Origins aside, the practice is an awful sleeping aid. A 2002 Oxford study found that insomniacs who counted imaginary ewes actually took longer to nod off. Maybe that’s why Don Quixote preferred goats.

This story originally appeared in print in the August 2014 issue of mental_floss magazine.

The first recorded use of marijuana as a medicinal drug occurred in 2737 B.C. by Chinese emperor Shen Nung.

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Marijuana has been used as a medicinal drug for achieving euphoria since ancient times. Its use spread from China to India and then to North Africa and reached Europe at least as early as A.D. 500.

The first direct use dates from 2737 BC, in the writings of the Chinese emperor Shen Nung. It found its main use as a medication for rheumatism, gout, malaria, and oddly enough, absent-mindedness. Knowing of its intoxicating properties, the medicinal value was considered more important. In India though it was clearly used recreationally. The Muslims used it recreationally for alcohol consumption. It was the Muslims who introduced hashish, whose popularity spread quickly throughout 12th century Iran and North Africa.

24 Most Dangerous Places in the World

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24 Most Dangerous Places in the World

D44NH1 Mountain road: Rakaposhi, Karakoram Highway, Hunza, Pakistan.

Traveling around the world is a great way to spend your vacation time, but not all cities are as charming as the ones in the brochures. While every large city has its problems, some are a little worse than others. Here are some of the most dangerous cities in the world.

While most of us know about the popular and safest places to live, travel or work: the cities on this list are dangerous due to uncontrolled drug trafficking, violence, and political corruption. These cities are predominantly dominated by ruthless and violent gangs.

Here’s a list of 25 of the world’s most dangerous cities, based primarily on murder rates and their danger for tourists/visitors.

 

Barquisimeto, Venezuela

1_Barquisimeto

Though Barquisimeto has just over a million residents, the city sees murders almost every day. The city is the capital of its region and features a surprisingly high number of universities and other places of higher education. Despite once being a thriving tourist destination, the area is now so dangerous that many tourists avoid it.

Guayana, Venezuela

2_Guayana

Guayana in Venezuela reported 578 homicides for 1,050,283 inhabitants. In February 2012, the Venezuelan Observatory launched the “Campaign to Sensibilize the Value of Life in Venezuela” in the hope that this campaign would spread the message of peace. If actions such as this are continued, one can only hope that the violence and homicide will decrease dramatically.

Peshawar, Pakistan

3_Peshawar

PeshawarPakistan, is another of the most dangerous place in the world. With tribes and warlords fighting for supremacy, Peshawar is not safe, especially for foreigners. Although the city boasts amazing landmarks and breathtaking parks, targeted attack on security forces and suicide bombings, unfortunately, make Peshawar one of the world’s most dangerous cities to visit.

Large parts of Pakistan should be avoided, according to the Foreign Office. They include the “Federally Administered Tribal Areas”, the city of Peshawar and districts south of the city, northern and western Balochistan, the Karakoram Highway between Islamabad and Gilgit, the Kalesh Valley, the Bamoboret Valley and Arandu District, the city of Quetta, the city of Nawabshah, and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Sana’a, Yemen

4_Sana’a

Yemen is politically unstable country with both Britain and America recently urging its citizens to leave the country due to fears of an imminent terrorist attacks on Western interests. The Foreign Office advises against all travel to the whole of Yemen.

The country’s highlights include Sana’a, one of the world’s highest capital cities (7,500 feet above sea level) and a World Heritage Site; it’s also one of the most dangerous places in the entire world. It is renowned for its quirky architecture, which includes multi-storey buildings decorated in geometric patterns. Those who do make it there enjoy visiting the Old City, a section of Sana’a full of beautifully designed buildings from a more peaceful time. Official statistics are difficult to obtain, but it seems to be a very dangerous place for foreigners.

Acapulco, Mexico

5_Acapulco

Acapulco was once a popular tourist destination. These days, however, the stunning beaches see only a handful of vacationers. A rise in murderous violence between drug lords and criminals has made tourists avoid the sunny destination. The city reported 1,170 murders for 818,853 inhabitants.

Drug cartels are a problem throughout Mexico and it has only been getting worse over the past decade. It has gotten so bad citizens are forming self-defense groups which have managed to capture at least one major drug lord. Large numbers of dead bodies are a common occurrence in this port city, making it a nerve-wracking place to hang out.

Distrito Central, Honduras

6_Distrito Central

While no large city is immune to violence, Distrito Central has surpassed the usual level of violence. It has one of the highest murder rates around the globe. The dangers can be attributed to extreme poverty, government corruption, and a heavy Mafia presence. Distrito Central is actually three cities blended into one. The high level of violence deters all but the most reckless of tourists.

Maceió, Brazil

7_Maceió

Maceió is the capital of the Alagoas state and sees around 135 murders per 100,000 residents each year. The city is by far the most dangerous in the country, topping even Rio de Janeiro, which most people know for its “favelas”, or slums. Brazil may host a large part of the Amazon rainforest, but its most populated areas are not places you want to hang out in.

Joao Pessoa, Brazil

8_Joao Pessoa

Joao Pessoa is another dangerous city in Brazil. There was a whopping 508 homicides reported for 723,515 inhabitants. In December, President Dilma Rousseff reportedly stated that three in every 1000 Brazilian teens are murdered before turning 19: very dangerous indeed.

Mali

9_Mali

Radical Islamists now control northern Mali, and much of the country’s ancient sites – including Timbuktu – are considered under threat. The Foreign Office advises against travel to the entire country, due to the high risk of terrorism and kidnapping.

Mogadishu, Somalia

10_Mogadishu

The city of Mogadishu has had major problems with al Shabaab militants for a while now (who at one point last year controlled most of the city), making the area unsafe for citizens and tourists alike.

The United States refused to set foot in the country for over two decades, but changed that policy in 2013 when military advisers were sent to Mogadishu to help the locals resolve the militant issue. Despite the aid, the area is still dangerous.

Nairobi, Kenya

11_Nairobi

Nairobi has suffered considerably in recent years. Although Kenya is a beautiful country with plenty to offer, it is also so dangerous that most tourists leave it off the itinerary. Nairobi is considered particularly dangerous for women, but no one should walk around the city alone at night. Al Shabaab militants have threatened the area for some time now, making it even more tense than usual.

Chihuahua, Mexico

12_Chihuahua, Mexico

Mexico’s violence problems are big enough to warrant it two spots on this list. In reality, there are many more Mexican cities on the world’s most violent cities list, but Chihuahua beats them out because of its position on the cocaine smuggling route to the United States. Drug cartels have taken over the area and it is not uncommon to see random firefights in the streets, making it a very inhospitable place to visit or to live.

Medellin, Colombia

13_Medellin

If you’re thinking of travelling to Columbia any time soon, then take note. One of the overall most dangerous cities on the list is the city of MedellinColombia, with a reported 1,175 homicides per 2,393,011 inhabitants. It is believed that much of the violence can be blamed on criminal bands trying to gain control of certain territories. However, homicide is actually on the gradual decrease in this city, as 1991 alone reported 6,349 homicides

Cleveland, USA

15_Cleveland

Crime was up by more than 7 percent in Cleveland during the first six months of 2013. In 2012, the murder rate rose 30%. It has one of the highest murder and rape rates in the US, although it is not the highest. Flint, Michigan, actually seems to have the highest murder rate in the entire US,with 62 murders per 100,000 residents in 2013 (for reference, Detroit has approximately 54). 2013 data is not fully available yet, none of these cities are tourist friendly.

This list is not fully inclusive, and there are many dangerous places that are not listed. You should be careful wherever you are, especially in a city, and especially as an outsider. If possible, travel with someone who knows the area.

Read more: http://www.exposingtruth.com/24-dangerous-places-world/#ixzz37YRHi97e
Follow us: @Exposing4Truth on Twitter | ExposingTheTruth on Facebook

HIWAY AMERICA -6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America

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6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America

#3. Everything You Know About Columbus Is a Calculated Lie

The Myth:

Columbus discovered America thanks to a daring journey across the Atlantic. His crew was about to throw him overboard when land was spotted. Even after he landed in America, Columbus didn’t realize he’d discovered an entire continent because maps of America were far less reliable back then. In one of the great tragedies of history, Columbus went to his grave poor, believing he’d merely discovered India. Nobody really “got” America’s potential until the pilgrims showed up and successfully settled the country for the first time. Nearly 150 years might seem like a long time between trips, but boats were really slow back in those days, and they’d just learned that the Atlantic Ocean went that far.


“Pile into a tiny boat with dozens of filthy people for months on end” isn’t the world’s most attractive sales pitch.

The Truth:

First of all, Columbus wasn’t the first to cross the Atlantic. Nor were the vikings. Two Native Americans landed in Holland in 60 B.C. and were promptly not given a national holiday by anyone. Columbus didn’t see the enormous significance of his ability to cross the Atlantic because it wasn’t especially significant. His voyage wasn’t particularly difficult. They enjoyed smooth sailing, and nobody was threatening to throw him overboard. Despite what history books tell kids (and the Internet apparently believes), Columbus died wealthy, and with a pretty good idea of what he’d found — on his third voyage to America, he wrote in his journal, “I have come to believe that this is a mighty continent which was hitherto unknown.”


“Unknown” in this context means “inhabited by tens of millions.”

The myths surrounding him cover up the fact that Columbus was calculating, shrewd and as hungry for gold as the voice over guy in the Cash4Gold ads. When he couldn’t find enough of the yellow stuff to make his voyage profitable, he focused on enslaving Native Americans for profit. That’s how efficient Columbus was — he discovered America and invented American slavery in the same 15-year span.

There were plenty of unsuccessful, mostly horrible attempts to settle America between Columbus’ discovery and the pilgrims’ arrival. We only hear these two “settling of America” stories because history books and movies aren’t huge fans of what white people got up to between 1492 and 1620 in America — mostly digging for gold and eating each other.

Getty
When people talk about traditional American values, this is what they mean.

They also show us white Europeans being unable to easily defeat a native population that hadn’t yet been ravaged by plague. It wasn’t coincidence that the pilgrims settled America two years after New England was emptied of 96 percent of the Indians who lived there. According to James W. Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me, that’s generally how the settling process went: The plague acted as a lead blocker for white European settlers, clearing the land of all the natives. The Europeans had superior weapons, but they also had superior guns when they tried to colonize China, India, Africa and basically every other region on the planet. When you picture Chinese or Indian or African people today, they’re not white because those lands were already inhabited when the Europeans showed up. And so was America.

American history goes to almost comical lengths to ignore that fact. For instance, if your reading comprehension was strong in middle school, you might remember the lost colony of Roanoke, where the people mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind only one cryptic clue: the word “Croatan” carved into the town post. As we’ve covered before, this is only a mystery if you are the worst detective ever. Croatan was the name of a nearby island populated by friendly Native Americans. In the years after the people of Roanoke “disappeared,” genetically impossible Native Americans with gray eyes and an “astounding” familiarity with distinctly European customs began to pop up in the tribes that moved between Croatan and Roanoke islands.


“It must be written in a cypher of some sort. Let’s just go ahead and call it alien abduction.”

#2. White Settlers Did Not Carve America Out of the Untamed Wilderness

The Myth:

The pilgrims were the first in a parade of brave settlers who pushed civilization westward along the frontier with elbow grease and sheer grizzled-old-man strength.

The Truth:

In written records from early colonial times, you constantly come across “settlers” being shocked at how convenient the American wilderness made things for them. The eastern forests, generally portrayed by great American writers as a “thick, unbroken snarl of trees” no longer existed by the time the white European settlers actually showed up. The pilgrims couldn’t believe their luck when they found that American forests just naturally contained “an ecological kaleidosocope of garden plots, blackberry rambles, pine barrens and spacious groves of chestnut, hickory and oak.”

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“We have hours of weeding ahead of us, but by the grace of God, we will persevere.”

The puzzlingly obedient wilderness didn’t stop in New England. Frontiersmen who settled what is today Ohio were psyched to find that the forest there naturally grew in a way that “resembled English parks.” You could drive carriages through the untamed frontier without burning a single calorie clearing rocks, trees and shrubbery.

Whether they honestly believed they’d lucked into the 17th century equivalent of Candyland or were being willfully ignorant about how the land got so tamed, the truth about the presettled wilderness didn’t make it into the official account. It’s the same reason every extraordinarily lucky CEO of the past 100 years has written a book about leadership. It’s always a better idea to credit hard work and intelligence than to acknowledge that you just got luckier than any group of people has ever gotten in the history of the world.


“Holy crap, it’s already wired for Wi-Fi!”

Nobody’s role in settling America has been quite as overplayed as the pilgrims’. Despite famous sermons with titles like “Into the Wilderness,” the pilgrims cherry-picked Plymouth specifically because it was a recently abandoned town. After sailing up and down the coast of Cape Cod, they chose Plymouth Rock because of “its beautiful cleared fields, recently planted in corn, and its useful harbor.”

We’re always told that the pilgrims were helped by an Indian named Squanto who spoke English. How the hell did that happen? Had he taken AP English in high school? The answer to that question is the greatest story your history teachers didn’t bother to teach you. Squanto was from the town that would become Plymouth, but between being born there and the pilgrims’ arrival, he’d undergone an epic journey that puts Homer’s Odyssey to shame.


And at the end, instead of bangin’ his hot wife, he had to teach white people how to bury dead fish with corn kernels.

Squanto had been kidnapped from Cape Cod as a child and sold into slavery in Spain. He escaped like the boy Maximus he was, and spent his better years hoofing it west until he hit the Atlantic Ocean. Deciding that swimming back to America would take too much time, he learned enough English to convince someone to let him hitch a ride to “the New World.” When he finally got back home, he found his town deserted. The plague had swept through two years before, taking everyone but him with it.

when the pilgrims showed up, instead of being pissed at the people from the Continent who had stolen his ability to grow up with his family, he decided that since nobody else was using it, he might as well show them how to make his town work.

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“And this is the sea. I’d recommend bathing in it, because you people smell like the inside of my asshole.”

This is especially charitable of him when you realize that, while the pilgrims were nicer than past settlers, they weren’t exactly sensitive to Squanto’s plight. According to a pilgrim journal from the days immediately after they arrived, they raided Indian graves for “bowls, trays, dishes and things like that. We took several of the prettiest things to carry away with us, and covered the body up again.” And yet Squanto taught them how to make it through a winter without turning to cannibalism — a landmark accomplishment for the British to that point.

Compare that to Jamestown, the first successful settlement in American history. You don’t know the name of the ship that landed there because the settlers antagonized the natives, just like the vikings who came before them. The Native Americans didn’t have to actively kill them. They just sat back and laughed as the English spent the harvest seasons digging holes for gold. The first Virginians were so desperate without a Squanto that they went from taking Indian slaves to offering themselves up as slaves to the Indians in exchange for food. Enough English managed to survive there to make Jamestown the oldest successful colonial settlement in America. But it’s hard to turn it into a religious allegory in which white people are the good guys, so we get the pilgrims instead.

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If this were accurate, the settlers would be shitting in bushes while the Indians told them which leaves were safe to wipe with.

#1. How Indians Influenced Modern America

The Myth:

After the natives helped the pilgrims get through that first winter, all playing nice disappeared until Dances with Wolves. Even the movies that do portray white people going native portray it as a shocking exception to the rule. Otherwise, the only influence the natives seem to have on the New World and the frontiersmen is giving them moving targets to shoot at, and eventually a plot outline for Avatar.

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It’s pretty much just this and Kevin Costner until Wounded Knee.

The Truth:

The fake mystery of Roanoke is a pretty good key for understanding the difference between how white settlers actually felt about American Indians and how hard your history books had to ignore that reality. Settlers defecting to join native society was so common that it became a major issue for colonial leaders — think the modern immigration debate, except with all the white people risking their lives to get out of American society. According to Loewen, “Europeans were always trying to stop the outflow. Hernando De Soto had to post guards to keep his men and women from defecting to Native societies.” Pilgrims were so scared of Indian influence that they outlawed the wearing of long hair.

Ben Franklin noted that, “No European who has tasted Savage Life can afterwards bear to live in our societies.” While “always bet on black” might have been sound financial advice by the time Wesley Snipes offered it, Ben Franklin knew that for much of American history, it was equally advisable to bet on red.

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“It’s this, or powdered wigs and sexual repression.”

Franklin wasn’t pointing this out as a critique of the settlers who defected — he believed that Indian societies provided greater opportunities for happiness than European cultures — and he wasn’t the only Founding Father who thought settlers could learn a thing or two from them. They didn’t dress up like Indians at the Boston Tea Party ironically. That was common protesting gear during the American revolutions.

For a hundred years after the American Revolution, none of this was a secret. Political cartoonists used Indians to represent the colonial side. Colonial soldiers dressed up like Indians when fighting the British. Documents from the time indicate that the design of the U.S. government was at least partially inspired by native tribal society. Historians think the Iroquois Confederacy had a direct influence on the U.S. Constitution, and the Senate even passed a resolution acknowledging that “the confederation of the original thirteen colonies into one republic was influenced … by the Iroquois Confederacy, as were many of the democratic principles which were incorporated into the constitution itself.”


If we’d incorporated their fashion sense, C-SPAN would be more interesting.

That wasn’t just Congress trying to get some Indian casino money. The colonists came from European countries that had spent most of their time as monarchies and much of their resources fighting religious wars with each other. They initially tried to set up the colonies exactly like Western Europe — a series of small, in-fighting nations stacked on top of each other. The idea of an overarching confederacy of different independent states was completely foreign to them. Or it would have been. But as Ben Franklin noted in a letter about the failure to integrate with one another:

“It would be a strange thing if six nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming a scheme for such a union and be able to execute it in such a manner as that it has subsisted ages and appears insoluble; and yet that a like union should be impracticable for 10 or a dozen English colonies.”


Join, or die (or plagiarize from the Indians).

In 1987, Cornell University held a conference on the link between the Iroquois’ government and the U.S. Constitution. It was noted that the Iroquois Great Law of Peace “includes ‘freedom of speech, freedom of religion … separation of power in government and checks and balances.”

Wow, checks and balances, freedom of speech and religion. Sounds awfully familiar.

One of the strangest legacies of America’s founding is our national obsession with the apocalypse. There’s a new JJ Abrams show coming this fall called The Revolution about a post-apocalyptic America, and of course The Hunger Games. We go to a gift shop in Arizona and see dug-up Indian arrowheads, and never think “this is the same thing as the stuff laying around in Terminator or The Road or that part in The Road Warrior where the feral kid finds a music box and doesn’t know what it is.”

We love the apocalypse as long as nobody acknowledges the truth: It’s not a mythical event. We live on top of one.

Jack O’Brien is the Editor in Chief of Cracked.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_19864_6-ridiculous-lies-you-believe-about-founding-america_p2.html#ixzz36btmmXh3

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