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15 Shocking Survival Stories You Didn't Know

During WWII, 5 people ended up in a lifeboat with no food, water, oars or mast after their ship sunk. They survived a typhoon and a 300 mile journey and made it home alive

In the beginning of WWII, Japan found itself capturing many more prisoners of war than they anticipated. They built a number of ships to transport these POWs, known as Hell ships. One of them, the Arisan Maru, was hit and sunk by a US submarine.

After the Arisan Maru sank, five of its passengers made it into a lifeboat. They had survived the sinking but they had no food, water or way to move the boat. A number of amazing occurrences fixed all of this. First, a keg of water floated by. Then the mast to the lifeboat came along in the water. Finally, they plucked a box from the ocean that contained the sail and rope.

While they were making a rudder for the boat, they found a stash of food hidden in an inner compartment in the boat. With these new supplies, they were able to sail 300 miles through a typhoon to China. The one civilian passenger happened to know celestial navigation, which allowed them to orient themselves.

When they made it to China, they were fed, clothed and guided by friendly natives, who took them to a US airbase in the hearland. They eventually made it back home 8 months before the war ended.


Madonna uploaded a fake album to mess with pirates. Her site got hacked for it!

Madonna came up with a creative way to deter fans from downloading her music illegally. Prior to the release of her “American Life” album, she seeded peer-to-peer music sharing sites with tracks that appeared to be from the album. They were actually digital decoys that contained loops of Madonna saying “what the f*** do you think you’re doing?”

The illegal downloaders had the last laugh though. Just days after Madonna’s detterrant attempt, her website,, was hacked. The hacker proclaimed “this is what the f*** I think I’m doing” and then posted MP3 files to every track on “American Life.”

Madonna’s site was shut down once the breach was detected and remained down for 15 hours. Her spokespeople maintained that it was not a stunt or marketing ploy.


That 70s Show was remade in the UK as 'Days Like These.' It had almost the same scripts!

Days like These was directed by Bob Spier and broadcast Fridays at 8:30pm on ITV in 1999. It used much of the same names for the characters for the most part. However, some names had slight alterations; for example, Donna Pinciotti became Donna Palmer and Jackie Burkhart became Jackie Burget.

The scripts were almost verbatim to That 70s show. The only major difference was that Days like These was set in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

Only 10 of the 13 produced episodes were aired due an embarrassing amount of public disinterest. The network shut down the show and it's broadcast and began to show re-runs of That 70s Show and it was one of the first comedy shows imported onto the channel.


Canada almost joined the United States in 1777!

Today, you don’t often hear US citizens talking about how they want to annex parts or all of Canada. This was not the case in the early days of the United States. American political figures pre-approved Canada’s admission into the US as part of the Articles of Confederation in 1777.

However, Americans failed to annex Canada in either the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812. Then, in the Treaty of Washington in 1871, the United States de facto recognized the new Dominion of Canada. After that, there has been no more real annexation attempts.

In recent years, surveys have shown that a minority of Canadians – anywhere from 7% to 20% - would support annexation by the United States. However, there are no mainstream Canadian or American politicians who openly advocate for annexation.


MIT has developed a drag & drop programming language to teach KIDS!

The Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT decided to create a programming program for kids. “Scratch” is a free program that allows kids to program their own games, stories and animations. They can then share these online with other users.

The point of the program, which is specifically designed for children age 8 to 16, is to help young people to “think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.” MIT sees these as essential skills in today’s world.

Scratch has millions of users in homes, schools, community centers, etc. Considering the value of knowing how to code in our modern world, Scratch could potentially give children who use it a huge advantage as they grow up.

It is used in more than 150 countries and is available in 40 languages. It is used in many different schools, many different grade levels and across disciplines, such as math, language arts and social studies.



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