Random Facts #16

  • In Oulu, Finland there is an air guitar championship during the Oulu music festival
  • In Poland and the Ukraine they celebrate Easter by blasting each other with water
  • Cape Rain Frogs can inflate their bodies into round balls when they feel threatened
  • It is impossible to buy Coca-Cola in North Korea
  • Superman technically couldn’t officially fly till the 1940’s
  • During New Years, Balinese people spend 24 hours in complete silence(this is called “Nyepi”
  • In the Alps of Switzerland there is a finger pulling competition where the contestants try to pull there opponent across a table only using their finger
  • The unicorn is the official national animal of Scotland
  • Bees have been known to bit and sting other bees
  • Benjamin Franklin’s friend instructed an anatomy school and the bodies used in the classes were found in his basement
  • Most people in the world have an extra bone in their knee called the Fabella
  • There is a cheese chasing competition in Gloucester, England every spring
  • The goblin shark is a rare species of shark that is the only living relative of the Mitsukurinidae family
  • During WW1, the US army would use dogs to send messages back and forth(Rags, a mixed terrier was buried with military honors for his bravery during the war in Maryland)
  • During the Cold War both the USA and Soviet Union studied and trained dolphins to use in wars
  • Many children medicines in the 1800s contained Morphine
  • An officer named Kevin Briggs has saved more then 200 suicidal people by keeping them from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge
  • There is a Wife-Carrying Championship in Finland where the prize is the wife’s weight in beer
  • There is a strange drinking game in Sweden where you tie a pen to your waist and try to get the pen into an empty bottle only using your waist
  • It is good luck in Russia and the Ukraine to sit in one place for a few minutes before leaving for holiday
  • A fox makes a sound that is similar to a high pitched bark or scream

Random Facts #15

  • Around 42 million people celebrate Halloween world wide
  • The people in Latin America, Mexico and Spain celebrate a day similar to Halloween called Día de los Muertos(Day of the Dead) which is on November 2. Following after is a three day celebration that begins on the 31st of October as a way of honoring the departed
  • Halloween isn’t celebrated much in England and has been replaced with Guy Fawkes Day where people set bonfires in celebration of the English traitor, Guy Fawkes, execution
  • In England, children go door to door saying, “A penny for a guy” instead of “trick or treat”
  • In Ireland, children play a game where coins or candy are placed under playing cards and the child will win each coin or candy that was hiding under the cards
  • In Ireland and parts of the UK, ding-dong-ditching is known as “knock-a-dolly” or “knock-knock-ginger”
  • Nickanan Night is a time before the Christian holiday Lent, when children prank their families and neighbours and minor acts of vandalism
  • Halloween originally came from the Irish and Scottish holiday ,Samhain, where they would set bonfires, dress in animal skin costumes, play games and eat
  • Many people go to Vlad the Impaler’s castle in Romania on Halloween, also known as “Count Dracula’s castle”
  • There is a big Costume Halloween parade in Kawasaki, Japan every year on October 31st
  • A tradition in the Philippines, Pangangaluluwa, is a celebration similar to Samhain, where children will go door to door, in costume, and pray for the spirits of loved ones
  • The people of Poland will travel to their families graves in early November during Dzień Zaduszny( All Soul’s Day)
  • In India, during the Hindu celebration, Pitru Paksha, it is believed that when someone dies the god of death with come and guide their soul to Purgatory, where they will be reunited with their ancestors
  • It is a tradition for people in Austria to leave bread, water and a lamp outside their doors as a way of guiding souls back to earth
  • In Czechoslovakia, it was a tradition to place a chair in front of the fireplace. One for each each living member and one for each dead members spirit.
  • In Germany, people hide their knives out of fear of them being used to harm them by spirits
  • Alla Helgons Dag Is a Swedish holiday celebrated during the 31st of October to the sixth of November. Students are given a day off and adults get shorter work days to celebrate.

History: H.P. Lovecraft

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an American author/writer that didn’t receive much acknowledgement for his writing during his lifetime, but now is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th-century. He is most famous for writing “The Call of Cthulhu”, “Cool Air” and is responsible for creating the Lovecraftian Horror genre. Howard was born August 20, 1890 to Winfield Lovecraft and Sarah Lovecraft in Rhode Island, Providence. When Howard was 3 his father suffered a psychotic episode, and died 5 years later in a psych-hospital due to general paresis and syphilis. After his father’s death his mother was stated to have been “permanently stricken with grief”, so he left to live with his two Aunts and Grandparents. Howard’s grandfather became like a father figure to Howard and helped him become proficient reader and writer. In 1896, his family faced another tragedy when his grandmother died, to which they never fully recovered from. This caused a 5 year old Howard to be terrified while at the funeral and had started to have recurring nightmares that would later influence his writing. Howard was in and out of school and was often home school or read the books in their library. Even though he missed many years of school do to mental and physical health problems he still graduated high school in 1908(however he is a college dropout). Throughout his life he suffered from mental breakdown, anxiety, depression and multiple health problems that his family both supported and helped him cope with. After his Mother died in 1921 Howard was stated to be “emotionally and physically crippled” and became extremely depressed to the point he question his value in the world. Years after he got married and moved out of Providence to Brooklyn with his wife. He was said to have been a good husband but eventually moved back to Providence because of a few problems. In his final years he had learned that his friend had committed suicide, was diagnosed with small intestinal cancer and suffered from malnutrition because of his financial decline. Howard Lovecraft died March 15, 1937 because of his cancer and now is resting in Swan Point Cemetery. 

Did you know #9

Did you know there are around 196 countries in the world as of 2019 and the word’s “country” and “nation” are terms for the word “sovereign state”. A sovereign state is a piece of land that has its own borders, independent government and land. Nearly all these countries are part of the U.N.(United Nations) with only 2 being U.N. observing states. The UN is an intergovernmental organization charged with keeping the peace, security and overall friendly communication between the countries in order to avoid conflict. There are a few non-U.N. states that aren’t fully recognized/apart of the UN, but they do have the recognition of at least one UN member. There are a total of 6 non-U.N. states: Taiwan, Western Sahara, Kosovo, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Northern Cyprus. Non-U.N. states are countries they just aren’t fully recognized or apart of the U.N. making them different from Micronations that aren’t recognized by any sovereign states. (Learn More)

History: The Russo-Japanese War

The Russo-Japanese war was a fight between the Russian empire and the Empire of Japan that lasted from 1904 to 1905. It started as a rivalry for dominance in Korea and Manchuria. The Russians wanted to extend the Trans-Siberian Railroad into a warmer area for strategic purposes and pressured China into letting them lease a port on the Liaodong Peninsula. However, when the Trans-Siberian Railroad was built it lacked proper transportation facilities and had limited how many troops and supplies were in Manchuria(it was unsecured). The Japanese were worried about the growing Russian influence in the region. Since the Russian army had a history of military aggression the Japanese originally wanted to make a deal with Russia. The Japanese offered to cease control of Manchuria to Russia as long as they could still maintained control over Korea. The Russians didn’t agree, wanting Korea North to be a neutral area. When negotiating failed the Japanese launch a surprise attack on Russia at the newly made navy port, Port Arthur, starting the war with the Battle of Port Arthur(February 8, 1904). The Russians were reluctant to leave the harbor because of the recent death of Admiral Stepan Osipovich Makarov who died on the Petropavlovsk in an attempt to break pass a blockade. The Japanese then attempted to launch another attack against Russia but it only resulted in many Japanese casualties. At the Battle of Liaoyang, the Japanese were able to push the Russian army back to Port Arthur from the sea, causing the Russians to send more troops to defend the area. Over the next year there were many battles and casualties, but by 1904 the Japanese navy had nearly sunk all the ships in the Russian’s navy fleet. In early 1905 a Russian commander of the Port Arthur’s garrison had surrendered, believing the port was no longer worth defending since they faced so many losses. Then the remaining Russian fleet were defeated at the Battle of Yellow Sea causing the Russian Empire to mobilize the Baltic Fleet. On May 27, 1905, the Battle of Tsushima Strait began when a Russian fleet attempted to sneak past a Japanese barracked at night, but were spotted. The war ended with the Treaty of Portsmouth, were Russia agreed to recognize Korea as part of the Japanese sphere of influence and withdrew their troops from Fort Arthur and Manchuria. The war however left a negative impact on both countries; leaving Japan nearly bankrupt and becoming one of the causes of the Russian Revolution. (Article) (Learn more)

A Small dark cave

Scotophobia is the fear of darkness or blindness. I don’t like the dark. Darkness is really cold and scary to me. I know its not an unusual fear to have, a lot of people are afraid of the dark, but I am now 18 and can sleep without having a flashlight next to me. This fear has been always present in my life. When I was younger I hated being alone and hated the dark even more. It has now become a running joke to turn the lights off while i’m in a room. No one ever really could understand my fear or were it came from. Pretty sure they would be scared of the dark to it they were where I was too. I didn’t know where I was, just that it was very dark and cold. I started to walk a few feet forward when I stared to hear a hissing sound. Then I heard a growling and then a loud humming. before I knew it, i was completely surrounded by loud sounds and I realized that they were trying to trap me. I quickly decided to dart in the direction were it was still quiet. It was to dark to know were I was heading but I knew it would be away from whatever they were. It wasn’t long before I tripped over something in the dark. I must have fell down some kind of cave tunnel because I hit something hard. The last thing I heard before blacking out was a loud buzzing noise. The kind of sound you hear when something blows up in you ear and leaves your ears buzzing. What a way to go.

Quotes from the internet

  • “If opportunity doesn’t knock, built the door” – Milton Berle
  • “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” – Martin Luther King, jr.
  • “I haven’t failed, I just found a 1000 different ways it wouldn’t work.” – Thomas Edison
  • “Those who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana
  • “A little consideration, a little thought for others makes all the difference.” – Eeyore(from Winnie the Poo and Friends)
  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill
  • “They told you to never talk to people on the internet because they could be liars, but they never warned you about the people you meet face to face.” – Unknown
  • “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself enough to make room for it in your life” – Jean Shinoda Bolenc