Best Facts of the Month - Page 61

When wounded, Thomas Baker ordered his squad to leave him propped against a tree with a pistol and 8 bullets. They later found his body in the same position with 8 dead Japanese soldiers around him.

The Medal of Honor is the highest military honor the United States gives.There have been less than 3,500 of these medals ever given out.

A few thousand may seem like a lot, but considering the number of servicemen there are and have been, this is a miniscule percentage.

It wouldn’t be fair to compare any of these recipients, as they all have performed “personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.”

Still, there are always some that stand out from the rest. One of these men was Thomas Baker, a member of the US Army during WWII.

When his entire company was pinned down, Baker voluntarily took a bazooka and dashed alone to within 100 yards of the enemy and knocked out the strongpoint. His deeds didn’t stop there, though.

Some days later, when in a vulnerable position crossing a field, Baker again voluntarily took up a position in the rear to protect the company against surprise attack, and came upon 2 heavily fortified enemy pockets manned by 2 officers and 10 enlisted men which had been bypassed.

He killed them all by himself.

Five hundred yards further, he discovered 6 men of the enemy who had concealed themselves behind our lines and destroyed all of them.

Impressive, but Baker still wasn’t done stating his case for the medal. From his Medal of Honor summary on the Army’s website:

“On 7 July 1944, the perimeter of which Sgt. Baker was a part was attacked from 3 sides by from 3,000 to 5,000 Japanese. During the early stages of this attack, Sgt. Baker was seriously wounded but he insisted on remaining in the line and fired at the enemy at ranges sometimes as close as 5 yards until his ammunition ran out.”

He refused to let his comrades carry him to safety because he didn’t want to risk their lives. He was left propped up against a tree with a pistol and 8 rounds. His body was later found in the same position, gun empty, with 8 dead Japanese soldiers around him.


The most profitable item on McDonald's menu is its fountain drink. It costs between 13 and 18 cents to produce a drink.

Drinks are often the most profitable item in restaurants.

The Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics reports that the biggest mark-ups on any restaurant menu are drinks and side dishes, thus maximizing the profits for the business.

This holds especially true with fast food restaurants. McDonald’s, for example, spends between 13 and 18 cents to produce a soft drink.

That includes the syrup, the cup, water, ice, electricity, labor, and wastage.

If the particular restaurant has customers fill their own drinks, you can essentially take labor out of that as well.

A medium sized soft drink at McDonalds costs them 15 cents or less. The typical profit margin on fountain beverages is approximately 85%. McDonald’s profit margin is 90% or more because of their volume purchasing power.

Concentrate for 50,000 Cokes costs $2.60, including labor. A single penny’s worth of syrup makes almost 200 cups of Coke.

The new McCafe has only increased their profits from drinks, and is considered one of the main driving factors in the company’s growth. They plan to expand the McCafe globally.


Separating bananas from their bunch slows down the ripening process

Fruit ripens. We all know that. It gets softer, less green and often sweeter even though there’s a higher acidity level.

Not all fruit ripens at the same speed, however, and sometimes it’s possible to speed up or slow down a fruit's ripening process.

If you want a banana to ripen fast, you should keep it in its bunch, and if you want it to last a little longer before ripening, separate it.

It’s been shown that when a banana is separated from the bunch, it takes longer to ripen.

Around the world, people have been speeding up the process of ripening for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptian harvesters slashed open the figs they collected to stimulate ripening, and Chinese farmers would leave pears in closed rooms with incense burning.

Both of these things have been proven to speed up ripening.


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