In the 1950s in Borneo was suffering from an outbreak of malaria, so, with the help of the World Health Organization, they sprayed DDT all over the island to kill the mosquitos. But the DDT also killed the islands wasps which helped control the population of thatch eating caterpillars, thatch that people’s homes were made of, and thanks to this, their roofs began to collapse. Many other small insects started to get affected by the DDT, which were eaten by geckos, the geckos developed a tolerance to the DDT but the cats that ate the geckos didn’t, and the cat population started to die off. This led to the island's rat population to increase greatly. And that’s the story of how an island with a malaria problem, lead to cats being airdropped into Borneo.
While in the Olympic final, an ancient Greek boxer named Kleomedes killed his opponent by stabbing his fingers into his opponent's chest, killing him. There was a rule that if your opponent was killed by the fight, he automatically won. So despite surviving the fight, Kleomedes is judged loser. He returns home to Astypalaia and lapses into a deep depression and commits the first mass murder of school children after punching a support beam so hard the school fell down. All the kids died. Angry mob forms to kill him so he takes shelter in a giant chest in the temple of Athena. Townsfolk storm the temple, having to rip it apart board by board. But when they got it open there was nothing in it. People didn’t know what to make of it. So they sent people to the oracle of Delphi, who declared that Kleomedes was The Last True Astypalaian and that he be worshipped as a Demigod. That is how an Olympic boxer became a deity of fertility after murdering a bunch of kids.
36th Largest Military
In 1959, President Eisenhower wanted to show the Soviet Union how great America was, so the USA set up an “American National Exhibition.” There Nixon and Soviet leader Khrushchev got in an argument over Communism vs Capitalism. As it got heated the President of Pepsi stepped in and offered Pepsi to Khrushchev. Khruschev loved it and he wanted to bring Pepsi over to their country. The problem was that their currency wasn’t accepted throughout the world. Instead, Russians agreed to trade vodka for Pepsi. This was all good until the late 1980s when their contract was going to expire and vodka just wouldn’t cut it for payment. So instead Russia traded with Pepsi 17 submarines, a cruiser, a frigate, and a destroyer for $3 billion dollars’ worth of Pepsi, making Pepsi the 6th Largest Military in the world, albeit only briefly. Sadly instead of terrorizing the seas and shooting harpoons at their enemies, Pepsi decided to sell the fleet to a Swedish scrap metal company.
4Cult of the Clitoris
In 1918, British MP Noel Pemberton Billing caused a major scandal when he accused actress Maud Allan, and Margot Asquith, wife of the previous Prime Minister, of being at the center of a homosexual ring sabotaging the war effort. Evidence included Allan having performed in a play by Oscar Wilde, and Asquith having attended the performance. He presented his case in an article entitled “The Cult of the Clitoris”, in which he claimed the exiled prince of Albania had a black book, listing all the blackmailed homosexuals in Britain. Maud Allan (who was, in fact, homosexual; Asquith was not) sued for libel but lost. During the trial, one witness claimed to have seen the Albanian prince’s black book and claimed that the judge’s name was in it.
Mohamed Bouazizi was a Tunisian street vendor who had his wares confiscated in 2010. Unable to combat the police, he goes to the local governor to ask for his wares back but is refused even a meeting. In response, Bouazizi sets himself on fire in public. His death was not the sole reason, but certainly, the catalyst for the Arab Spring, which brought forth civil war in many countries, leaders being ousted and in cases like Gaddafi, executed. It saw the rise in ISIS, terrorist acts in the western world, and other conflicts that remain active to this day (as of 2019), all because the police wouldn't give Bouazizi his weighing scales back.
Rome made the roads and the roads grew ruts in them. Ruts created by the standard roman war chariot had a width of 4 feet 8 1/2 inches. The Roman chariots were designed to fit the wheels in such a way that two horses could pull the chariots and wagons abreast to each other and the wheels don't sit directly in the horse’s hoof prints. As Europe grew it continued to use the old roads with the old ruts and to keep their wagons from breaking they were designed to fit the old roman ruts. So a 4 foot 8 1/2 inch axle. When rail lines were developed in Europe they were made to match the original axle size of the wagons, as the tools to make this size wagon already existed and it was only a matter of changing the wheel itself to make a basic rail car. When trolleys and simple rail came to the US, it was originally designed by experienced European craftsmen, so it too was designed with the standard 4 foot 8 1/2 inch axle. As the US rail system grew it passed through mountains which had tunnels cut through them to fit the trains that ran on the rails as they passed and turned. So that brings us to the Solid Rocket Boosters and the Space Shuttle. The Solid Rocket Boosters were designed by a company called Thiokol and built in a factory in Utah, then shipped by rail to Florida. This meant the Solid Rocket Boosters’ width had to be planned to fit through these tunnels that the rails passed through the mountains, which were designed to match the European rail line standards, which were based on carts that had to match the old Roman roads, which were rutted by chariots that were designed to fit the width of a horse’s a*s and that is the connection between the width of an old Roman horse’s a*s and the US Space program.
7Operation Paul Bunyan
USA and North Korea almost went to war once over a tree. The US forces wanted to chop down a few branches because they could not see the DPRK guard post. The US chopped some branches and angered the North Koreans. The North Korean guards killed two US soldiers. In retaliation, the USA launched Operation Paul Bunyan and its mission was to chop down the tree. As few US soldiers were sent to the tree to chop it down and a U.S. infantry company of 20 utility helicopters and seven Cobra attack helicopters circled behind them. Behind these helicopters, B-52 Stratofortresses came from Guam escorted by U.S. F-4 Phantom IIs from Kunsan Air Base and South Korean F-5 and F-86 fighters were visible flying across the sky at high altitude. At Taegu Air Base, F-111 bombers of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing out of Mountain Home Air Force Base were stationed, and F-4C and -D Phantoms from the 18th TFW Kadena Air Base and Clark Air Base were also deployed. The aircraft carrier USS Midway task force had also been moved to a station just offshore. In addition, a 64-man task force of the South Korean Special Forces accompanied them, armed with clubs and trained in taekwondo, supposedly without firearms. However, once they parked their trucks near the Bridge of No Return, they started throwing out the sandbags that lined the truck bottoms and handing out M16 rifles and M79 grenade launchers that had been concealed below. Several of the commandos also had M18 Claymore mines strapped to their chests with the firing mechanism in their hands and were shouting at the North Koreans to cross the bridge. The mission was a success.
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15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History
8Ice Cream Ships
During World War 2, the Japanese were struggling and failing, to produce enough of anything. But, they still felt they had a chance to win if they could just get a single large victory. One commander remarked that he lost faith in this when he discovered that the US had 2 specially designed “Ice Cream Ships.” These were boats that were formally designed to make concrete on the move and use that for building ports and airstrips in the Pacific. We made too many, however, so the US Brass decided to convert two of them to make ice cream to be served to US troops fighting in the pacific where they had few tastes of home. The Japanese naval officer was aghast that we had so many products that we could afford to waste money, fuel, food, and sailors on ships that had no purpose (or armaments) aside from giving our soldiers a luxury like ice cream, in the tropics, during a war that he, until then, thought his side was winning. According to his recollections, his men were short of food, clothing, boots, ammunition, fuel, ships, guns, aircraft, training, and everything but the US had so much we could waste it on ice cream. Add to the fact that these ships were chosen because the giant concrete mixers came on each ship in sets of three allowing the GIs and sailors to choose between Vanilla, Chocolate, and whatever fruit was available (often frozen strawberries) was another nail in the coffin of his opinion.
9Louis XIV's Filthy Court
Louis XIV's court at Versailles had very few toilets despite accommodating thousands of people. As a result, many courtiers would relieve themselves in corners and corridors during parties and leave it for the servants to clear up. Often richer guests bribed servants to bring them chamber-pots, but there simply weren't enough. Combine this with a large number of pets who weren't house-trained it's no surprise that foreign dignitaries considered Versailles the 'filthiest palace in the world'. Eventually, the problem became acute enough that Louis ordered the servants to clean the corridors of feces ‘at least once a week.’
Phryne was once the richest woman in the world. She was an Ancient Greek prostitute. Apparently she had a very odd complexion, making her green-yellow. She was so rich, she offered to pay to rebuild the walls of Thebes, provided they installed a plaque that read: “Destroyed by Alexander, restored by Phryne the courtesan.” The Thebans turned her down. As was the style in those days, Phryne eventually got taken to court for impiety, a capital offense. If you lose a trial in Ancient Greece for a capital offense, they make you drink hemlock, a deadly poison. Her trial wasn't going well, she was pretty impious after all, but she had an ace up her sleeve. Well, it was definitely somewhere in her shirt. Phryne ripped off her robe and bore her breasts to the jury. It is said that the jury was so moved by her green-yellow breasts, they declared that she was a prophet of Aphrodite, and acquitted her.