Best Facts of the Week - Page 8

These radio broadcasts have caused mystery and speculation for decades! Where do they come from and what do they mean?


Nobody is really sure if it's conspiracies, aliens, or secret agents secretly communicating with each other from the four corners of the globe.

But whatever the cause, numbers stations have had people tuning in and talking about what the heck is going on for nearly 80 years.

As WWII ended short wave radios started to become commonplace in people's homes as a hobby. They were also used as something a little darker and much more mysterious: a way for unknown individuals to communicate and interact using a strange, vague code—numbers.

They normally consist of a female reading groups of numbers, sometimes letters or sound tones, in a monotone voice and without saying anything else. Intervals could consist of a few minutes to once a day, week, or month.

A common one, known as “The Lincolnshire Poacher” because it used the bars from the English folk song with the same name, showed up at the height of the Cold War in the mid 1970s.

It continued broadcasting until June 29, 2008 when it stopped unexpectedly and without another word. This one in particular was broadcast several times throughout the day, seven days a week.

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there are more people speaking french in Africa than in France


French is mostly a second language in Africa, but in some areas it has become a first language, such as in the region of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire or Libreville, Gabon.

The language is spoken by an estimated 120 million (2010) people in Africa spread across 15 countries.

This doesn’t even include those in non “French-speaking” countries. With this number, Africa is the continent with the most people who speak French, meaning that there are more people who speak it in Africa than in France, though a continent is much larger than a single country.

The amount of French spoken depends on where you go. Sometimes it’s used as a first language by upper-class members while the lower classes know it as a second language. The French spoken is known as African French, and is a little different from the original language.

The countries with the most French speakers are the Democratic Republic of the Congo with over 24 million people who know it as either their first or second language, Algeria with 19 million, Côte d'Ivoire with close to 13 million and Morocco with over 10 million.

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MIT students developed a wristband that can regulate the body's temperature, thereby possibly eliminating the need for central heating and cooling in the future!


Sam Shames is a MIT senior who faced a rather common problem.

His body temperature usually runs hot and his mom's usually runs cold and, between the two of them, it was not easy to decide where to set the thermostat in a room when they were both occupying the same space.

He figured there must be a way where everybody can just live in peace and be comfortable at the same time, so he did some research.

He came across scientific papers that explained that heating or cooling certain parts of the body have an effect on how cold or warm we think we are.

Suddenly he asked the right question: Why, instead of heating or cooling a space with central air conditioning, don’t we just heat or cool our own bodies?

That is how he and a team of other students started working on ‘Wristify," a thermoelectric bracelet that uses alternating pulses of hot or cold to regulate the temperature of the person wearing it.

The ‘Wristify’ prototype won first place at the MADMEC, an annual competition put on by the school’s Materials Science and Engineering program.

In the U.S. alone air conditioning accounts for 16.5 percent of energy use. If ‘Wristify’ becomes available for public use, it will certainly contribute to lessening the energy problem the world is currently facing, because you will not need air conditioning if you can control your body’s temperature!

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Some awesome lists!

James Sinegal, former CEO of Costco, was criticized by Wall Street for putting employees before profits! His response is great.


James Sinegal is the co-founder of Costco and held the position of CEO from its inception in 1983 to his retirement in 2012. Sinegal wasn’t your every day CEO, though.

He subscribed to the idea that treating your employees well will, in turn, get them to treat/serve customers well.

Sinegal made sure that most of his employees received benefits, and gave them compensation and benefits much higher than the industry standards.

For example, over 90% of Costco employees qualify for employer-sponsored health insurance; the U.S. retail industry average is just under sixty percent. As a result, Costco has the lowest employee turnover rate in retail.

Not everyone loved his style of management, however. Wall Street analysts criticized his policies of putting employees before shareholders and profits. Sinegal didn’t let this faze him. “We want to build a company that will still be here 50 and 60 years from now," he said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle.

One of his more famous quotes is “you have to take the shit with the sugar."

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The Aztecs believed they were living in the fifth world and that the previous four was destroyed by the sun gods


The Aztecs saw themselves as the ‘people of the Sun’ and their divine purpose was to supply the Sun with nourishment by offerings of blood and hearts because without that, they believed, the Sun would disappear and the entire universe as they knew it, would come to an end.

They believed they were living in the time of the fifth Sun and that there were four worlds, or ‘Suns’ before theirs.

The first world was destroyed when Jaguars ate all the people because in-fighting among the gods angered the Black Tezcatlipoca, the sun god, and he ordered the Jaguars to devour all.

The gods created new people but they became disrespectful and failed to show the necessary honor to the gods. They were all turned into monkeys and blown off the face of the earth by a mighty hurricane.

Once again new people were created and Tlaloc became the next sun. He became angered by the incessant prayers for rain from the people and sent a fire rain that burnt away the entire earth.

A new earth was created and Chalchiuhtlicue became the new sun goddess. When she was told she was only faking her kindness, she cried blood and everyone on earth drowned in the ensuing flood.

The Aztecs were then created and no wonder they were so devoted in their attentions to the sun!

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