While dogs have been used for protection for thousands of years, parrots are a new twist. “Run, run, you are going to get caught,” cried Lorenzo the parrot as the police arrived. Lorenzo was one of 1,700 parrots trained to warn their drug-dealing owners in Barranquilla, Colombia. Lorenzo’s warnings weren’t enough to stop the police from arresting four men and seizing 200 guns, a stolen motorcycle and a large amount of drugs.
Texas millionaire and hunter Corey Knowlton recently paid $350,000 to kill an endangered black rhino in Namibia. There are only 4,000 to 5,000 black rhinos left in the world, and now there is one less. While it’s easy to paint Corey as a monster, he says that hunters like himself are endangered animals’ best hope for survival.
In 1921, Ada Blackjack sailed to the Arctic’s Wrangel Island. She had no idea it would be a life and death struggle to survive. The petite woman was hired as a seamstress for the risky journey. Her travel companions were four men and a female cat, called Vic. Blackjack was born in 1898 in Alaska. She was a Native American Inupiat woman, but raised by white Methodist missionaries. They taught her to cook, clean, sew, and read the bible. They didn’t teach her the hunting and survival skills of her native tribe.
In 1907, Dr. Duncan MacDougall announced the answer to one of humankind’s most intriguing questions. Do we each have a soul? The answer, according to MacDougall, is yes – and it weighs about 21 grams. He and his team originally set out to determine whether anything measurable happens when the soul leaves the body. By doing this, they would be able to prove the existence of the soul once and for all.
Have you ever worked more than 40 hours in one week? Most people have and their bosses probably thanked them for their hard work. Your boss might think you’re doing a good job, but the majority of new research says the exact opposite.
Every August, Klepatan says goodbye to his lover Malena, before going to South Africa where he spends the spring and summer. Every March, like clockwork, he flies back to Croatia to be with his partner. Klepatan and the love of his life, Malena, are birds, storks to be more specific. And they have been continuing their long distance romance for the past 16 years.
Mamoudou Gassama, a migrant from Mali, has become a household name in France. They call him The Spiderman of Paris. Mamoudou never considered himself a hero. He grew up in Mali, an African country riddled with poverty, famine, and war. Mamoudou sought to find a better life elsewhere. He crossed the Sahara desert with some fellow refugees. The journey was hard and risky, but the small group made it to Libya. Unfortunately, the authorities arrested them and sent them home to Mali.
Life can be hard when you’re different. Just ask 7-year-old Braedon Monthony from New York. Shortly after he was born, the little boy was dealt a bad hand. He lost both of his legs due to a viral infection. His disability hasn’t prevented Braedon from living life to the fullest. He still cycles, swims, and makes the most of every day.
Humans are herd animals. We often look to the likes and dislikes of crowds to help us make our decisions. Of course, following the crowds can often lead us the wrong way. The expression, “Don’t be a lemming” means don’t just follow the crowd. Be an individual.
Image by: Uzy Yachin (CC BY-ND 2.0)
When Max Montgomery met Andi Traynor for a first date, he had high hopes. They went surfing on a California beach early in the morning and had a great time. Exhausted and happy, the couple left the ocean. Then, out of the blue, 56-year-old Max collapsed. He lay on the sand, silent and still. Fortunately, Andi was a doctor, whose years of training kicked in. She immediately began to perform CPR.
“I’ve done a good day’s work,” he said. It was only noon, and the bearded scientist’s workday was already over. While it might sound like he was slacking off, the famous scientist did a huge amount of research and wrote 19 books in his career.
Elizabeth I was Queen of England for 45 years during the late 1500s. Her nickname was the Virgin Queen. The Queen was highly-intelligent and fluent in six different languages. Despite countless marriage offers, Queen Elizabeth never took a husband. She was the equal of any King and claimed she was married to her kingdom. It has strangely been suggested that Queen Elizabeth was a man.
Andrew Carnegie arrived in America as a penniless 13-year-old. He was a stranger in a strange land. As an immigrant, the odds were stacked against him. Through hard work and self-belief, Carnegie would become the richest man in the world. He left a mixed legacy as one of the world’s greatest philanthropists and a ruthless businessman.
Irena Sendler smuggled children in boxes, suitcases and caskets, saving the lives of more than 2,500 Jewish children. During World War II, she watched in horror as the Nazis forced Jewish people to live in a ghetto in Warsaw, Poland where disease ran rampant. Soon, it became clear that the Nazis intended to exterminate the Jews. That’s when Sendler took courageous action. To gain access to the ghetto, she pretended to be a nurse. She used a fake I.D. and told German soldiers she was there to deliver supplies and care for the sick.
In 1922, archeologist Howard Carter found the tomb of King Tutankhamun, the boy-king, also known as King Tut. In 1907, Lord Carnarvon hired Carter to search the burial tombs of Egypt for dead nobles. For 16 years Carter hunted for archeological mysteries. His long search was fruitless. Carter became obsessed with finding the tomb of the forgotten dead king. His patience paid off. On November 4th, 1922, he discovered a step that had been cut into a rock. The step led to 16 stairs. The stairs led to a sealed door covered in royal designs. An excited Carter immediately sent word to Lord Carnarvon.
Daniel Tammet was born in London. His mother spoke English and he grew up in an English-speaking environment. Yet to his ears the English language was an alien language. Words and sentences were a puzzle the young boy could not figure out. Daniel was an autistic savant. He was a self-confessed misfit in a world of words. He was also a mathematical genius. Daniel felt, thought, and dreamed in a private language of numbers.
Everything goes black. Tricia Kennedy thinks she is dead. It feels peaceful until the pain sets in. Then it is excruciating. The noise is deafening. The light is blinding. She realizes that she has been shot in the head. Kennedy was in a shooting competition when a bullet accidentally hit her. Luckily, a nurse was nearby and ran to her aid. Kennedy’s heart rate was dangerously high and the nurse told her, “You must breathe. You are going into shock, and we’re going to lose you.”
Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the greatest composers of all time. Yet by the time he was writing his last few masterpieces he was completely deaf. Beethoven wasn’t born deaf. He gradually lost all his hearing from the age of 30 onwards. He first had an inkling something was wrong when he began to hear buzzing noises in his ears. He was only 26 at the time.
Hypnosis is a form of direct communication with the unconscious mind. It is a valuable tool for raising self-awareness. It can also help people change negative patterns of behavior. It was accidentally invented by a man named Franz Anton Mesmer. Mesmer belongs to a small group of people who have a verb named after them. To ‘mesmerize’ means to capture the complete attention of someone. Mesmer spent a lifetime trying to do exactly that.
At the tender age of five, Ryan Hammons told his mother that he remembered being someone else. He recalled traveling the world, marrying five women, dancing on Broadway, and becoming a successful Hollywood agent.