Take a look at the pink circles. If you’re like most people, the circle on the right probably looks bigger, but they are actually the same size. People of the Himba tribe are not so easily fooled by optical illusions like this. The Himba can be found in the small town of Opuwo, Namibia in small numbers. They’re easy to pick out, with the distinctive red paint that they spread on their skin and hair.
As a teenager in Ghana, George Mwinnyaa fell seriously ill. After sacrificing three chickens to the gods, he miraculously healed. Now a student of public health at Johns Hopkins University, he doesn’t think it was the sacrifice itself that saved him. He thinks it was the act of giving thanks.
Dr. Robert Epstein fell in love with the woman of his dreams. The only problem was it wasn’t a real woman. He had been fooled by a computer chatbot. If anyone should have known better, it was Dr. Epstein. He’s a psychologist who specializes in relationships and love and he’s one of the world’s leading researchers in computer-human interactions.
Typos are careless spelling or punctuation mistakes. They are usually minor, but not always. Sometimes these small mistakes can cost millions of dollars. NASA, the US space agency, made a little mistake in 1962 that had a big impact. Their spacecraft, called “Mariner 1”, was launched in 1962 with the goal of flying by the planet Venus. The spacecraft was robotic, so there were no people onboard. Because of this, its navigation was controlled by software. Unfortunately, the person in charge of writing the software forgot one character – a hyphen. This missing hyphen caused the software to malfunction. The spacecraft exploded after takeoff, costing NASA $80 million!
Shakespeare died over 400 years ago, but his words live on in everyday English conversations. Even native English speakers who don’t know his plays, use idioms the famous playwright coined over 400 years ago.
Worldwide, it’s estimated that one out of every three women has been a victim of violence. Also, women are paid less than men, and they are less likely to hold positions of leadership. Female babies are even aborted at a higher rate than male babies. This phenomenon is so common in some countries that it even has a name: femicide.
The people of Vietnam suffered through war from 1955 to 1975, but for one man, the war took much longer to end. Ho Van Thanh was a soldier for more than 15 years. One terrible day, a mine exploded and killed his wife and two of his sons and completely destroyed his home. In a panic, Thanh grabbed his two-year-old son, Ho Van Lang, and fled deep into the jungle where he planned to live until the war ended. Just two years later, the war did end, but Ho and his son had no way of hearing the news. The two of them ended up living in the jungle for more than forty years, believing that the war was still raging on.
culture and sometimes have historical origins as well. The story of Peeping Tom and Lady Godiva is a prime example. If you’re a lover of chocolate, you’ve heard of Godiva chocolates. These luxury chocolates are named after Lady Godiva of 11th century England. Lady Godiva was a very rich woman, but according to legend, she was also a defender of the poor.