It's not every day that one gets unexpectedly bear hugged, repeatedly berated and verbally abused, and forced to get up close and personal with naked strangers. This is what you can expect if you visit Blackout—the scariest haunted house ever created.
All participants have to be 18 years or older because participants could be required to strip naked. Visitors are sensory deprived and verbally abused in dark spaces. But that is just the mild beginning. They encounter just about anything imaginable in a series of dark corridors—while walking through entirely alone. You are not allowed to take anybody with you.
Attendees are expected to do everything that they are told to do (no matter what) and to never speak unless told to do so. Before being allowed to enter, waivers are signed noting potential parts of the experience—complete darkness, strobe lights, crawling, stairs, loud noises, water, physical contact, and sexual and violent situations. Almost everything goes, without the participant having any say in it once the waiver is signed and they are inside.
If a guest feels that the experience is too intense to handle, a safety word can be used to end it all immediately. No refund is given.
Ever noticed the yellow-capped Coca-Cola bottles during March and April each year? The Coca-Cola in those bottles is made with a different, special recipe and they are especially made during the Jewish Passover.
It is the result of a burgeoning market in kosher for Passover soda. Jews are not allowed to eat products made from wheat, corn or other grains during the eight days of Passover. Most commercial sodas, with heavy doses of corn syrup and traces of alcohol from grain, are therefore forbidden.
In the 1930s, orthodox rabbi Tobias Geffen was given Coca-Cola's secret list of ingredients. He then managed to persuade the soft drink giant to create an alternative for Jews. The yellow cap bottles therefore contain real sugar rather than corn syrup.
"Because Coca-Cola has already been accepted by the general public in this country and Canada and because it has become an insurmountable problem to induce the great majority of Jews to refrain from partaking of this drink, I have tried earnestly to find a method of permitting it's usage," Geffen said.
Pepsi, Sprite, Sierra Mist and many other soft drinks are now also available in kosher form for Passover. Many consumers prefer the cane sugar variety and it is not only the devout who stock up during Passover.
Leif Erikson was arguably the most famous Viking of all time.
He was a Nordic explorer from Norway, who discovered Greenland. He lived from roughly 970-1020 AD, and landed in America sometime in 1000, 492 years before 1492 when "Columbus sailed the ocean blue."
Navigation was not an easy task for Erikson because the Nordics sailed at such northern latitudes that the summer sky was too bright at night, disallowing the use of stars for navigation.
The Vikings used a clever method to remain on course: Calcite sunstones! Calcite is a type of crystalized mineral that refracts two visible wavelengths of light, which, when paired with a bearing-board allowed for very accurate latitudinal navigation!
The Vikings used this method very well, but Erikson's landing in North America, which he named Vinland, was still an accident, so it obviously wasn't a perfect method!
If you're looking for the next great thinker, you may want to start by visiting your local pet store. Turns out, research shows that laboratory rats possess the ability to think about what they do and do not know.
Metacognition is the ability to reason or think about one's own thinking.It's the first example and demonstration of any non-primate that shows when they don't know something.
The test consisted of offering rewards to rats to defining a signal as short or long. Correct answers lead to a food reward and the incorrect answer lead to squat.
The twist? The rats were given a choice to opt out of the test completely, resulting a much smaller food reward.
The rats were basically forced into a game of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" but with food. Extensively long or short signals resulted in relatively quick, and correct, choices. But signals that bordered on the mid-range had the rats questioning whether to take the chance for a bounty of food, or opt out for the tiny, but guaranteed nibble.
The results showed that the rats declined more difficult tests and showed the lowest accuracy on difficult tests that they were forced to do.
We expect some Shakespeare-writing rats in the next experiment!
Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the band Nirvana, was a tortured soul, struggling with depression and drug addiction all his adult life.
When he was just 14 years old he made a prediction to a school friend that was to become strikingly true. Cobain stated that he would become a superstar, get rich and famous then kill himself to go out in a blaze of glory like Jimi Hendrix.
Cobain came from a broken home, something he was later quoted as saying had a profound impact on his life, and at school was not a particularly noticeable boy. He began playing the drums in middle school and received his first guitar at the age of 14 from his uncle.
Cobain quickly mastered the guitar and started writing his own material, however, he struggled to find others to play music with, mostly owing to the "punk rock" style he favoured.He eventually found a kindred spirit in Krist Novoselic, and Nirvana was born.
The band struggled initially to get off the ground until the success of their album "Nevermind". The album launched the band into the spotlight and helped to create the alternative rock genre they are so well known for.
At this point, all but one of the childhood predictions had come true. But in 1994 Cobain completed the third prediction by committing suicide in his Seattle home, thereby joining the infamous "27 Club" and dying at the age of 27.