20150522

Why Is the NBA Shot Clock 24 Seconds?


The NBA’s 24-second shot clock was invented in 1954 by Syracuse Nationals owner Danny Biasone, who wanted to force teams to pick up the pace of games. 

Why 24 seconds?

“I looked at the box scores from the games I enjoyed, games where they didn’t screw around and stall,” Biasone explained. 

“I noticed each team took about 60 shots. That meant 120 shots per game. 

So I took 48 minutes (2,880 seconds) and divided that by 120 shots. 

20150520

The First "Snuff" Film


The First "Snuff" Film: In 1976 the movie Snuff caused a tremendous stir when the word hit the street that an actual film depicting the on-screen murder of an actress had been smuggled into the States from South America, and this was it. 

Widely-believed hype aside, the film's origin was much more mundane. 

Snuff was a product of Monarch Releasing Corporation and had been filmed in Argentina in 1971 as Slaughter, a film about bad girls, motorcycles, and bad guys. 

Slaughter was so ineptly made as to be unreleasable. 

Five years later, the head of Monarch breathed new life into this terrible piece by splicing on five minutes of additional footage, releasing it as Snuff, and spreading the word this was an actual snuff film.

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20150518

President Ronald Reagan and His Squirrels


Ronald Reagan was a president who had a fondness for squirrels at the White House. 

He would pick up acorns while at Camp David and bring them back for the squirrels on the grounds at the White House. 

They would hear Air force One and come running. He would drop the acorns for the squirrels en route to the Oval Office. 

One time he forgot to feed them as he was in a hurry to meet with some heads of state. He heard some noise and when he looked at the windows he saw squirrels pressed up to the glass of the Oval Office looking for their supply of nuts.

In George H.W. Bush’s eulogy for Reagan, he said that on the 40th president’s last day in the White House, he left a sign on the Oval Office door addressed to the squirrels that said “Beware of the dog” because “our dog Millie came in and beat the heck out of the squirrels.”

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From The Earth To The Moon (1865)


Lunar modules would launch from Florida and then return to Earth as splashdown capsules.

This boldly specific prediction, in his book From The Earth To The Moon (1865), Jules Verne wrote about this scenario 104 years before the 1969 Apollo mission did exactly that.

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Dog Flu


Dr. Audrey Cook, an associate professor of small animal medicine at Texas A&M University, said this strain of canine flu hasn't responded to existing vaccines.

"There is no recognized treatment for the virus itself," she said. "Usually treatment consists of supportive care."

The Midwestern outbreak sickened thousands of dogs and killed at least eight in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. It is unknown how the virus came to the United States, but Dr. Cook says it probably traveled with an animal from East Asia. It spreads because it's airborne.

"When a dog coughs it fills the air with infectious virus particles, and if another dog is in that air space and infections particle land on the nose, eyes or mouth, that dog could get the infection," Dr. Cook said.

Symptoms include cough, fever, loss of appetite and laziness.

"I would stress that if people are concerned about their dog they should reach out to their regular vet as soon as they can and not just sit and watch the dog get sicker," Dr. Cook said.

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20150517

Gas Tank


Trying to figure out where to put the gas in back in the 50s and 60s.

20150516

General Eisenhower and the German Death Camps


At the end of World War II, General Eisenhower made a decision to personally visit as many Nazi concentration camps as he could. His reason? He wanted to document the camps and their appalling conditions.

Anticipating a time when Nazi atrocities might be denied, General Eisenhower also ordered the filming and photographing of camps as they were liberated. Members of the U.S. Army Signal Corps recorded approximately 80,000 feet of moving film, together with still photographs.

Within months after the war in Europe was over, about 6,000 feet of that film footage was excerpted to create a one-hour documentary called "Nazi Concentration Camp". Prosecutors used the film, which is graphically gruesome, to prove that Nazi leaders, on trial at Nuremberg, had perpetrated unbelievably heinous crimes against humanity.

Eisenhower wanted to be in as many pictures as possible to prove the death camps really existed. He was sometimes accompanied by Generals Bradley and Patton.

It didn't take long for Eisenhower's concerns to materialize. Despite his presence in many photographs, Holocaust deniers persist to this day.