In 2nd century Rome, there were no black swans. No one in western Europe had seen anything other than a white swan. It was just assumed black swans just didn’t exist.
And so when a Roman poet described something as “a rare bird in the lands and very much like a black swan,” he didn’t mean black swans were rare birds. He meant they were impossible.
This became a common saying and generally referred to things that just could not happen.
But then black swans actually happened.
In 1697, over a thousand years after a roman declared them impossible, Dutch…
If you’re American, there’s a good chance you are not going to vote in the upcoming presidential election. In 2016, only 58% of the electorate actually voted. Compared to other democracies, voter turnout in the United States doesn’t even break the top 20. Americans just don’t vote. And it’s been that way since the early 1900s.
So what’s going on?
Well, first of all, let’s do some math to prove that you shouldn’t ever vote.
Here’s an equation for you:
PB + D > C
Where “P” is the probability your vote will affect the outcome of the election.
At one point in Earth’s history, Blockbusters inhabited every continent on the planet except Antarctica. At their peak, the Blockbuster population was over 9,000 and their bright blue and yellow plumage was a common sight in cities around the world.
The brand first arose in Texas — through the unlikely hybridization of a data company with a video store. It’s distinctive coloration appeared almost immediately and made it an eye-catching sight in its native habitat, but it was its knack for adaptability that set it apart from the competition.
Scientists traced the origin of the plague to the vast and remote jungles of Stranglethorn Vale. The outbreak began in the troll city of Zul’Gurub, unknowingly carried back to the four corners of Azeroth by brave bands of unstoppable heroes. They may be some of the mightiest warriors in all the land, but they were not immune to this plague. They had contracted it while vanquishing the fearsome Blood God, Hakkar the Soulflayer. Soon much of the realm would be infected with Corrupted Blood. Untold numbers would die.
The scientists observed with great fascination that the disease did not remain…
If we could step outside the universe and somehow inspect its packaging, we’d find a shelf life of something on the order of a 100 trillion years. After that, all the heat in the universe will be exhausted. Life and all energetic processes will hit their thermodynamic expiration dates. But long before that, our Sun’s nuclear fuel tank will be running on fumes. The outer layers of our star will peel off into the inner solar system, vaporizing Mercury, Venus, and most likely the Earth. No worries though. We will be long gone. …
150 hot meals an hour. 20 million meals nationwide. Delivered while navigating an active war zone. They called it a mobile canteen — belying its military status. It looks like any delivery truck you’ve ever seen.
But this was the first of its kind. The primordial pizza delivery. Amazon Prime prime. The big bang of modern culinary convenience, born of necessity, forged in battle
This was the first food delivery.
Of course, food has been delivered since ancient times — whether it be by horseback or on foot. But the modern idea of a coordinated system that allows a hot…
In 1725, there were no elephants in America. Not anymore anyway. So when enslaved Africans found gigantic teeth buried in a swamp on the Stono Plantation in South Carolina, the white owners thought they must come from giants wiped out during the biblical flood. That’s what they told the English naturalist, Mark Catesby, who came all the way from the mother country to view these mysterious teeth. The Africans told him otherwise.
They had come from the Congo or Angola. No one knows for sure. But nevertheless, they came from Africa, and in 1725, Africa still had plenty of elephants…
You don’t want to kill anyone. It’s not really your style. But the urge hits you as a call to adventure of sorts. It begins as an amorphous desire to shake up the relentless monotony of your life and resolves itself as something sweet and frosted, and possibly jelly-filled.
You realize — with growing dread — that the time has come to acquire donuts.
And that means you might kill someone.
In the ancient past (approximately 60+ days ago), acquiring donuts was a simple proposition. You went and got donuts. There wasn’t much more to it. How you did it…
20 years ago, our world almost came crashing down. Financial markets were preparing for an economic meltdown. Countries around the globe were bracing for a worldwide shutdown.
All because of a bug.
The bug was a computer error. Experts had warned about it for years. Called the Year 2000 problem, or Y2K, it threatened to bring our newly computerized civilization to its knees.
That’s not what happened, of course.
So was it overblown? Or did a handful of concerned scientists and a multibillion dollar preventative effort save us from digital armageddon?
Depends on who you ask and we might never…
When one of the most powerful storm systems the Earth’s atmosphere can summon is bearing down on a populated area, it’s customary for a typical roadside fast food chain to close up shop and wait for the storm to pass.
But not Waffle House.
A Waffle House never closes. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Some say the doors on a Waffle House don’t even have locks.
Of course there are many all-night diners inhabiting the interstate highways of America. …