Page 9 - Interesting Facts

After his engine died at 70,000 feet, this pilot safely landed his plane in the dark with no map. Find out how he did it!


On August 3rd, 1959, Major H. Mike Hua went on a training mission using a Lockheed U-2 aircraft, also known as “Dragon Lady”.

The Lockheed U-2 is a single engine plane that operates at high altitudes. This particular type of aircraft is normally used for reconnaissance missions.

He left the Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas and began his training mission. Major Hua was reaching heights as high as 70,000 feet. While he was up there, he encountered a crisis: his only engine had flamed up and died.

Using his previous training and experience, Major Hua got control of the plane by gliding it until he could find a safe place to land and send for help. He turned to his map for help, but saw that there were no airports in sight. He accidently came across what looked like an illuminated landing strip and began to descend.

As it turns out, the lights belonged to an airport that was not on his map. He had landed at the Cortez Municipal Airport in Montezuma County in Colorado. Despite the mountain range and the endless amount of terrible things that could happen, this pilot used his instincts and training and was able to survive.

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A key ingredient in root beer has been BANNED in the US for over 50 years! So what are we drinking?


The Sassafras Root is one of the main ingredients in root beer, but in 1960 it was banned by the US Foor and Drug Administration (FDA). The oil from this root, called Safrole, is believed to be involved in causing cancer. So how do we drink root beer without one of its key ingredients?

There are artificial versions that are often used in the making of root beer. There is also a natural extract available which has the harmful oil removed as well, but the artificial versions are still used for root beer in most cases.

Safrole was found to be a weak cancer causing agent in rats, which led to the ban on the oil in the US. A study done in 1977, however, found that it may not have the same effect on humans. Despite this, the FDA, as well as The European Commission On Health And Consumer Protection still holds to the assumption that it is carcinogenic (cancer causing).

Safrole was used in many different products in the past, from drinks such as root beer and sassafras tea to soap and perfume. It can also be found naturally in various common spices and herbs such as cinnamon and basil. Commercially available culinary sassafras oil is usually sold with safrole taken out.

So how harmful is this oil? The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that it has effects on humans similar to risks posed by breathing indoor air or drinking municipally supplied water, so there seems to be no need to worry.

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Out of Ray Kurzweil's 108 predictions about the future, 89 of them were true! His prediction for 2029 will blow you away


Futurist Raymond Kurzweil is known for his books that make accurate predictions about the future. His predictions explain how we will grow as a human race, as well as the growth of artificial intelligence.

Some of his well-known, correct predictions include the demise of the Soviet Union and the explosion of the internet around the world once wireless internet had been introduced.

His prediction for 2029 involves direct brain implants. These implants will be widespread by 2029, meaning that they will be relatively affordable. The implants will have the capability to take your mind wherever you want to go. It would be the most advanced type of virtual reality mankind has ever known.

Without the use of eyeglasses or headphones, you will be able to think of a place, a situation, even a sound and signals will be sent to your brain, making you feel like you are really there. On top of this, he claims that there will also be implants for your eyes and/or ears, which could possibly be removable. These implants will be able to record everything you see and or hear.

So, will Kurzweil’s prediction be correct again? We will just have to wait until 2029 to see.

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Some awesome lists!

At a college in Maryland, you can take a class about South Park!


Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that South Park has made a huge impact on TV. The hit show has been on the air for 17 seasons. It boats over 200 episodes, a full length movie, several Emmy Awards, and guest stars like Jennifer Aniston and George Clooney.

The show’s biggest claim to fame, however, are its controversial episodes that often get right to the core of social issues. McDaniel College in Maryland offers a class run by a Philosophy lecturer and a Sociology professor that discusses the show’s topics of gay marriage, business ethics, race, and more. Students say that they find it easier to critically think these topics through and form their own opinions on them since they’re presented through the show first.

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Can you imagine 'The Shawshank Redemption' starring Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford? It almost happened!


The critically acclaimed film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is one of the most famous films of the 90’s, but it was almost very different.

Frank Darabont, who directed and wrote the film, was offered $2.5 million by Rob Reiner to let him write and direct it instead. Reiner also wanted to cast the two main characters differently, with Tom Cruise as Andy and Harrison Ford as Red.

In the audio commentary of the film, Darabont said that he seriously considered the proposal as he liked Reiner’s vision a lot. In the end, however, he declined because it was his "chance to do something really great" by directing the film himself.

Although the film was originally met with limited box office success, only barely covering the film's budget, after its re-release during Oscar season, it was nominated for seven Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. It also saw much better success in rentals as well as a considerable amount of television showings.

It seems as though Darabont made the right decision.

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