Best Facts of the Week - Page 11

Walt Disney planned his own city of the future where he would be in complete control of how it ran!

Celebration, Florida is a town built by The Walt Disney Company starting in the early 1990’s. This wasn’t the first time that Disney had considered getting into the city-building business, though.

Walt Disney himself wanted to build a city. His vision was completely different from what later came to be, however, and it’s a little creepy too.

Walt Disney essentially wanted to run the city himself. The city Walt dreamed up was known as The Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow (EPCOT). He wanted 20,000 people to live in his city, and wanted industries to test out their newest technology there, where it would be on display for the rest of the world.

All of the people living in his city would be tenants, paying rent to Disney. Literally everyone in the city would work for Disney in one way or another. No residents would be retirees. Everyone would be living by Walt Disney’s rules.

That’s not even the extent of control Walt wanted over the city. He bought up swampland in Florida and then petitioned the state to allow him complete control over the land, including building codes. To this day, Disney still has the control over this land. They could build a nuclear reactor on it if they so choose.

Walt Disney died soon after his plan went into motion, and the Disney board of directors, who weren’t so excited about the plan, stopped it and focused on their own plan of creating a theme.


Martine Rothblatt made millions by inventing satellite radio. When her daughter was diagnosed with a rare, fatal disease, she earned a PhD in bioethics & formed a biotech company.

Martine Rothblatt is the founder of Sirius Satellite Radio, from which she earned millions of dollars.

Her daughter Jeni, however, was diagnosed with the rare, fatal disease pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) which is caused when the artery between the heart and lungs is damaged.

Martine felt useless, stating “I was an expert in satellites, and I didn’t know anything about medicine.”

She didn’t let this feeling of helplessness last long, however. She sold her stock and started a $3 million foundation to fund research. Unfortunately not much came of this, so Martine started her own biotechnology company United Therapeutics and went for her Ph.D. in bioethics.

Investors weren’t easy to convince, but eventually she got the support she needed. The company ended up doing extremely well, with shares up 800% from the time the company went public.

The medicine had to be sold at a high price which she was not happy about at first, but that changed when she realized what other affects her company had on the market for rare disease medicine.

There were 75 specialists in PAH in the U.S. when Jeni got sick. Now 10,000 doctors treat it and a few major pharmaceutical companies carry the drugs needed to treat it. It’s still a fatal disease, but people can last a lot longer with it now.


Bruce Springsteen's 'Born in the USA' is about the negative effects of the Vietam War on Americans, but is often misunderstood to be a patriotic or nationalistic anthem

‘Born in the USA’ is one of Bruce Springsteen’s most famous songs, but it’s often completely misunderstood. At first it may seem like a patriotic song, but in reality it’s anything but.

The song is both a tribute to Springsteen’s friends who went through Vietnam, some of which didn’t make it back, and a protest of the hardships veterans faced when returning home.

The song is a narrative, following a fictional protagonist from his working-class origins to his introduction to the armed forced to his return home.

Some scholars have looked a little more deeply into it and claim that the song is a metaphor that the imagery of the Vietnam War could be read as metaphor for "the social and economic siege of American blue-collar communities" at large, and that lyrics discussing economic devastation are likely symbolic for the effect of blind nationalism upon the working class.


Some awesome lists!

Boys were the first telephone operators, but they were rude and swore. Young women were hired soon after as they didn't swear as much (and were faster).

The telephone was a revolutionary invention.

Within a year of the Alexander Graham Bell introducing his device, 230 phones were installed by Bell, and he had established the Bell Telephone Company. In four years the number of phones was at 60,000!

When the telephone was new, it required switch operators to connect callers. At first they were all male, but that soon changed. Boys earned a reputation for being rude and abusive to each other as well as to the customers.

In response, young women replaced them, and by 1910, New York Telephone had 6,000 women working on its switchboards. The women didn’t swear as much and were faster as well.

These women had to adhere to strict codes for dress and conduct, though. They could only use certain phrases, while customers could say whatever they wanted. This led to the occasional rude customer yelling and swearing at them to which they would reply “thank you.”

Still, this was important because besides teachers, there weren’t many women in the workplace. This was one of the first steps towards equal work opportunities for women.


Dolphins have the next best memory to humans! These guys remember their pals from 20 years ago!

There's a saying that goes “an elephant never forgets,” however we've been wrong all this time.

Turns out the bottlenose dolphin has an incredibly impressive memory. In fact, they have the longest memory of any non-human animal out there.

This cognitive ability and sophistication puts them in line with that of humans, chimpanzees and the aforementioned elephants.

They are said to be able to remember the whistle of a companion even after 20 years of being separated. I can barely remember what I had for lunch!

Tests were done using 53 different bottlenose dolphins, each with records about who they lived with at the science facility. They found that each dolphin develops a sort of whistle or call that is unique and belongs solely to them, almost like a name.

When recordings were played of their old room mate (tank mate?), the dolphins showed sign of recognition as opposed to recordings of stranger dolphin calls, even though they had been separated for more than 20 years.



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