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Sunday, January 24, 2016

THE STORY BEHIND THE COMICALLY VILLAINOUS OCTOPUS LOGO OF U.S. SPY AGENCY

Remember SPECTRE?

TOURISTS LOVE TO RUB THE BRONZE BALLS OF WALL STREET'S CHARGING BULL STATUE.

Yes, curious minds want to know...
"Right, so back to the balls. It's clear they represent the intersection of two universal and timeless human fascinations: money and genitals."

NORTHWEST ANGLE

"Surrounded on all sides by water and Canada, Minnesota's Northwest Angle is home to just 119 residents. Yet this small spit of land, which locals call "the Angle," makes a most prominent mark on U.S. geography."

America's silhouette includes 100 square miles of wilderness jutting into Canada thanks to an old mapmaking error

HOW THALIDOMIDE WENT FROM MEDICAL DISASTER TO MIRACULOUS CANCER TREATMENT

Remember the Thalidomide scare in the late 50's early 60's? Well the story is not quite done yet, as the drug has resurfaced as a treatment for cancer patients and it is proving to be a very effective way of targeting cancer cells.
"A big reason why thalidomide works in cancer is because of its interaction with cereblon, a protein coded in the human genome. In the cells of complex organisms like humans, replication is vital, and happens on a constant basis. In the case of cancer, though, replication becomes a problem: cells mutate, grow out of control, and quickly form new, terrible cells. These cells behave oddly, and are desperately dependent on specific proteins that exist within them to live.
Normally, using specialized proteins, cereblon wanders around and flags unwanted material in your average, non-cancerous cell. Once flagged, material enters a sort of cellular garbage disposal system, and degrades. But when cereblon binds to thalidomide, which happens readily, it does something unexpected and amazing: it flags and destroys the exact proteins that cancer cells need to survive."

THE WORLD'S LONGEST WAR ONLY ENDED IN 1986

There are wars and then there's the Scilly conflict between the Scilly islands and the Netherlands.
"They no longer faced any sort of threat and set sail for home. It seems they forgot one minor detail: the Scilly Isles weren’t technically a nation in their own right and so no one remembered to make the peace."