Best Facts of the Week - Page 14

This serial rapist got away with it by abusing his power. You'll never guess what position he held, and where


Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria was chief of the Soviet security and secret police (NKVD) under Joseph Stalin during World War II. He was a depraved, power hungry man who ruthlessly used his power for his own entertainment.

On warm nights during the war, Beria's driver would drive him slowly through the streets of Moscow in his armored Packard limousine. He would 'shop' around for young women to his liking, point them out and have them detained. They would then be brought to his mansion where he would dine with them.

After dinner, he would take them into his soundproof office and rape them. His bodyguards were ordered to hand them a bouquet of flowers when they left. If they accepted, it was considered consent. If they refused they would be immediately arrested.

He did not only rape young women, he also murdered some of them and had them buried in his wife's rose garden. The bone remains of several young girls buried in the gardens was found during routine work in 1990.

When he was finally sentenced to death, he begged for mercy and cried so uncontrollably that General Batitsky stuffed a rag into his mouth to shut him up before he fatally shot Beria through the forehead.

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Weezer's second album was voted the 3rd worst album of the year. Six years later, it was voted 16th best! What changed?


Weezer's first album, 'The Blue Album', was a multi-platinum success. It was expected that their second album, 'Pinkerton', would be the same, but that wasn't originally the case. 'Pinkerton' got mixed reviews from critics and was voted the third worst album of the year by 'Rolling Stone' readers!

Despite the reviews, the album sold steadily over the years, mostly from internet word-of-mouth. In 2002, six years after the original release, it was voted the 16th greatest album of all time by 'Rolling Stone' readers! The magazine later gave 'Pinkerton' another review and it was awarded five out of five stars!

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Scientists decapitated some trained flatworms. They remembered their training after their heads grew back!


Flatworms are tiny creatures that can usually only be seen under a microscope. Scientists spent two weeks training them to get food by moving across a rough floor of a petri dish. Other worms were introduced, and the ones that had been trained on the rough floor were more comfortable with their environment and got to their food faster than the newly introduced worms. The trained worms then got their heads cut off!

Amazingly, when their heads grew back, the worms retained their training! After just one 'reminder' session, they reached their food much more quickly than worms who had never been trained at all. Despite all of this research, scientists actually have no idea how this is possible!

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Some awesome lists!

A Dutch crime writer wrote a pretty suspicious book a year after his wife disappeared. The ending is soooo surprising


Richard Klinkhammer, a Dutch crime writer, wrote a book which explored seven ways to kill your spouse in great detail. He proposed this book to his publisher a year after his wife had disappeared, a crime which he was suspected of.

The manuscript was rejected for being too gruesome, but a few years later details of the manuscript began to surface in the Dutch underground press. With his new cult fame, he would appear on television occasionally and moved to Amsterdam with his new girlfriend, where the coverage of him had gathered him a small following among crime writers.

He only stayed in Amsterdam for three years, however, because in 2000, the new owner of his house found the body. The police had already searched the house and even had a plane fly over to do thermal scans of the property, but they never found anything. The body was buried under the shed's concrete base. At age 62 he was arrested and confessed to murdering his wife.

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There's a sea-slug that eats the venomous Portuguese man o' war. What does it do with the poison?


It’s no secret that some species of animals have developed incredible means of survival. The diversity of life in the ocean alone is difficult to fathom. Hence, there always seems to be an inexhaustible supply of interesting facts to learn about marine biology, and the blue glaucus (Glaucus atlanticus) is a perfect case in point.

Even though it is often mistaken for a jellyfish, the blue glaucus is distinct in a number of ways. This sea slug characteristically floats upside down near the surface of the water. How do they manage to do it? By swallowing air, which is then stored in their stomachs, giving them the ability to float.

That’s not even their most unusual quality. They survive mainly by eating hydrozoans (tiny animals living in salt water), including the Portuguese man o’ war . . . even the stings! In fact, not only do the stings provide sustenance for the blue glaucus, but they use the poison for their own defense.

For obvious reasons, this species has been of serious interest to scientists for as long as they have been known. They were first discovered by Westerners on Captain Cook’s second voyage to the Pacific. Scientists who accompanied him on his journey first described the animal in 1777.

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