Author Archives: Staci Lehman

How Drilling a 14 Inch Hole Accidentally Created a 1,300-Foot Deep Saltwater Lake Out of a Formerly 10-Foot Deep Freshwater One

lake-peigneur

Lake Peigneur is located in Louisiana near the Gulf of Mexico. Before 1980, it was an approximately 10-foot deep fresh water lake with an island in the middle. Next to it, and partially under it, Diamond Crystal Salt Company maintained a salt mine, with salt being mined near the lake since 1919. Around large underground salt domes, you can often […]

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WWII Files: Japan’s Secret Weapon- Exploding Balloons

fire-balloons

WWII saw the development of some zany designs for weapons, such as when the U.S. developed pigeon guided missiles and (literal) bat bombs (the latter of which were a little too effective, accidentally destroying the testing base when they escaped), or when the Soviets trained exploding anti-tank dogs. Not to be left out of the fun, the Japanese developed their own oddball […]

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WWII Files: Pigeon-Guided Missiles and Bat Bombs

pigeon-missile

Today I found out about Project Pigeon and Project X-Ray, WWII plans to use pigeons to guide missiles and (literal) bat bombers. The man behind Project Pigeon was famed American behaviorist and Harvard professor B.F. Skinner, who teamed with the U.S. Army to develop such a system.  Pigeons were trained using operant conditioning, a type of learning pioneered by Skinner […]

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The Superhero Who Powers Up By Smoking, and Other Bizarre Comic Characters

8man

While there are a million plotlines and hundreds of explanations of how various superheroes got their special powers, there was one superhero in the 1960s who maintained his powers to fight evil by lighting up. “8-Man” originally ran as a weekly comic strip in Japan from 1960 to 1963, then a half-hour cartoon from 1963 to 1964.  The show eventually moved […]

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Has Anyone Ever Actually Poisoned Or Put Razor Blades or Needles in Halloween Candy?

halloween-candy

Lee asks: How many children have died from people poisoning Halloween candy? Remember your mom sorting through your Halloween candy as a kid, looking for signs of ‘tainted’ candy laced with poison, needles or razor blades?  It turns out, unless she was just using it as an excuse to steal the good candy before you got it, she was wasting […]

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The Bear Who was Officially a Member of the Polish Army During WWII

Wojtek

After being invaded by Germany in the west and later by Soviet Russia in the east, the Polish government fled Warsaw but continued to fight from abroad. After Germany attacked Russia, the Russians decided to release their Polish prisoners of war, who then began re-forming into an army. In April 1942, several of these Polish units landed in Persia and […]

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