not your typical annihilatrix (furiosity) wrote,
not your typical annihilatrix

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Things I Learned Today

Things I Learned Today
by f, age 6.

0001 - Pope Pius II wrote het erotica before he became pope. *snicker*

0010 - From September 30, 2001 to September 30, 2002, there were 288 convictions for terrorism in the United States of America. During an investigation, the General Accounting Office (an investigative unit that reports to Congress) found that 132 (about 40%) of these had, in fact, nothing to do with terrorism. We're talking aeroplane drunks charged with "domestic terrorism" so the DoJ could get funding. Out of 174 "international terrorism" convictions, 131 (75%) were not about terror. Classy.

0011 - There's a committee inside the Pentagon called the Defence Science Board (is it just me, or do Hollywood movies come up with way cooler names for such committees? :P). In the summer of 2002, they proposed the "Proactive Pre-emptive Operations Group (P2OG)" to combat terror. The P2OG's task? To "pre-emptively provoke responses from adversary/terrorist groups". Provoke. Responses. Yep. That's exactly what it sounds like.

0100 - In 1961, two MARK 39 thermonuclear bombs were dropped on North Carolina after a jet carrying them caught fire and disintegrated. They weren't armed, obviously, so really it was more like a couple of really big rocks falling. One's parachute engaged and it was recovered by the US Army. The other fell into a swampy stretch of land. Its secondary is still in the ground, about 150ft down. The federal government owns that land now and tests the radiation levels in ground water annually. So far, so good.

0101 - IBM equipment enjoyed widespread use in the 1940s. By the Nazis who ran concentration camps.

0110 - Feminist figures Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Victoria Woodhull were pro-life. They considered abortion a heinous crime, but lay the blame for it at the feet of the men responsible for the pregnancy.

0111 - 28% of the American cars produced in 1900 were electric. Yeah, the year's not a typo. Wuhappen? Nobody really knows.

1000 - In DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not impose a duty on governments to protect the citizens from criminal harm. Yeah, the cops? Depends where you live, but generally, they don't actually have to do a damned thing to protect you. That is, if they fail to and you suffer as a result, you can't hope to win a lawsuit.

1001 - The International Labour Organisation estimates that about 2 000 000 people die annually as a result of workplace injuries and illnesses. By contrast, 650 000 people die annually in warfare.

1010 - If you take into account the percentage of the population for the age group. the elderly are far likelier to commit suicide. Men aged 75 and up have a suicide rate of 55.7 per 100 000, whereas for women this figure is 18.8 per 100 000. Those are pretty much three times the rates for youths aged 15 to 24.

1011 - The automotive industry consciously targets self-centred and insecure people when it sets out to sell SUVs. Market research. (This isn't to say that everyone who drives an SUV is self-absorbed and insecure, but the auto industry's marketing is definitely targeted at such people, and people who tend to buy a car for how it looks rather than for what it does.)

These things were learned courtesy of Russ Kick's 50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know (sampler) I've been reading Kick's books since I first picked up You Are Being Lied To back in 2001 from disinformation. He's prone to editorialising and he makes no secret of his views, but he's free with providing references which can be fact-checked.
Tags: books, politics

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