Best Facts of the Week - Page 9

Helen Keller was a radical socialist. She observed that cases of blindness were more prevalent in lower classes and thus felt that blindness was a result of social injustice.

Helen Keller is an inspiring person.

After being born with both her sight and hearing, she lost both before turning 2 years old.

That didn’t stop her, as she was the first dead and blind person to earn a bachelor’s degree. She went on to be a much desired public speaker, writer and political activist.

What popular history tends to leave out, however, is the fact that she was a radical socialist. She believed that blindness was more prolific among the lower class because of working conditions and the greed of the employers.

On top of poor working conditions, she cites prostitution as an indirect cause of blindness among the middle class as well, as the STD syphilis can cause it.

Keller’s motivation in her own words:

“I was appointed on a commission to investigate the conditions of the blind. For the first time I, who had thought blindness a misfortune beyond human control, found that too much of it was traceable to wrong industrial conditions, often caused by the selfishness and greed of employers. And the social evil contributed its share. I found that poverty drove women to a life of shame that ended in blindness.”

Many in the United States were paranoid about socialism and so this piece of information about Helen Keller is often overlooked in popular history. People weren’t happy about it at the time, either.

At least one columnist, a writer for the ‘Brooklyn Eagle,’ who had graciously complimented Keller before knowing of her political allegiance wrote that her "mistakes sprung out of the manifest limitations of her development.”

Keller’s response was nothing short of brilliant:

“At that time the compliments he paid me were so generous that I blush to remember them. But now that I have come out for socialism he reminds me and the public that I am blind and deaf and especially liable to error. I must have shrunk in intelligence during the years since I met him. ... Oh, ridiculous Brooklyn Eagle! Socially blind and deaf, it defends an intolerable system, a system that is the cause of much of the physical blindness and deafness which we are trying to prevent.”


Guillermo del Toro lost his notebook with four years' worth of planning for 'Pan's Labyrinth' in it, in a London cab! Luckily the determined cab driver saved the day

Imagine working on something for four years and then watching it drive away from you because you forgot it in a taxi in a foreign country!

Guillermo del Toro experienced that horrible, sinking feeling first hand.

The Mexican film maker has a habit of writing all his ideas down in leather bound notebooks and he did exactly that with his thoughts surrounding ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’—a movie about a child’s fantasy set in the wake of the Spanish Civil War.

The notebook contained four years’ worth of planning and sketches around the plot and character deign for the movie. It was the foundations of the entire project.

Del Toro tried to run after the British taxi, but to no avail. He jumped in another taxi and asked the driver to follow the one driving off with his hard work, but they could not catch up with it.

Luckily the cabbie noticed the journal on the back seat of his cab. He found a scrap of paper with the logo of the hotel Guillermo was staying in printed on it. There was no name or address for the hotel, but he went to work finding the owner of the leather bound journal.

Two days later he returned the notebook to Del Toro who was so delighted that he tipped the driver $900!

Until that day he was not even sure if he was going to make the movie, but after the kind act of the taxi driver, he believed it was a sign that ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ had to be made.


Russian embalmers did such an excellent job at preserving the body of Vladimir Lenin, that Ho Chi Minh's corpse was flown to Russia yearly to be 'refreshed'!

Some nations find it hard to let go of their dear, deceased leaders, it seems, and they want them to be on permanent display after their death.

North Korea, China and Russia are known to have their leaders embalmed to last yet another lifetime and they are placed on permanent display!

Russian embalmers are truly experts in their field and they went to great lengths to keep the body of the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, in excellent condition.

They did such a good job of it that Vietnam’s former leader Ho Chi Minh’s corpse was flown to Russia on a yearly basis to be ‘refreshed’!

It is also Russian experts who preserved the body of Kim II-sung, the father of Kim Jong-il.

Although Lenin’s body can still be viewed for five minutes at a time in small groups, it has taken on a wax-fruit look despite the warm lighting that is supposed to make it look ‘alive’.

His skin is washed weekly with a mild bleach to fight discoloring fungus and mold and every eighteen months his corpse gets a chemical bath of glycerol and potassium, lasting thirty days.

Ironically, Vladimir Lenin stated in his will that he wished to be buried in the ground after his death, but due to public outcry the body was preserved for generations to come.


Some awesome lists!

An Illinois man intentionally caused a major flood with the hopes of stranding his wife so that he could have an affair!

James Scott lived in Fowler, Illinois, during the Great Flood of 1993.

Residents in and around Quincy and Hannibal spent a great deal of July reinforcing the Mid Quincy levee to keep the town and its surrounds from flooding.

On the night of July 16, Scott, a habitual criminal, decided he wanted to be free from the nagging of his wife, Suzie, who had a job on the Missouri side of the river.

He wanted to party, go fishing and have an affair without fear of being caught or any spousal interference. He came up with a plan only a criminally minded person would conceive of – he broke the levee!

As he hoped, the ensuing flood washed out all the bridges for 200 miles! Suzie and many other people had to find alternative ways to get across the river for several weeks.

A barge was sucked into the levee and slammed into a gas station causing a fire to break out. Several businesses in West Quincy were completely destroyed! Luckily nobody was killed in the incident.

An old friend of Scott, Joe Flachs, told authorities that James told him of his plan to break the levee so that he can live it up a bit while his wife would be stranded.

Scott was found guilty of intentionally causing a catastrophe and was sentenced to 10 years to life in prison and he will only be eligible for parole in 2023. He is serving his time in the Jefferson City Correctional Center, where there won’t be any fishing or partying for James!


In 2012, a cat saved it's owner after awaking her from a seizure and got her son to call for assistance...the same day it was adopted.

In 2012, Amy Jung went into a diabetic seizure while asleep. Her cat Pudding nudged her awake until she could call out to her son.

The son couldn’t hear her, though, so Pudding went into his room and pounced on him until he woke up and called for medical assistance.

That’s a great story, but it’s not what makes it stand out. The most interesting fact about this is that Jung and her son had only adopted Pudding earlier that very day!

That’s one cat that seems to be very happy with being adopted.

Dogs and cats can both do amazing things. There have been countless accounts of a pet saving its owners life, whether through alerting them to a fire or discovering a tumor.

Dogs get the label of man’s best friend, but cats can be just as helpful.

According to animal psychologist Roger Mugford, cats are as capable as dogs at detecting illnesses in humans, but are less likely to do so because they are they are “very much more selfish, solitary creatures.”

Luckily for Amy Jung, Pudding was looking out for her.



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