First News
Volume:8, Number:03
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FUN FACTS
THIS WEEK

Zone of Silence

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In Durango, Mexico, there lies a desert patch called the “Mapimì Silent Zone”, often compared to the famous ‘Bermuda Triangle’, the legend follows that radio waves cannot be transmitted in parts of the zone due to local magnetic fields and ‘earth energy’ among other explanations. The most popular myth however is surrounding the US Air Force, where it says that a US Athena rocket containing two small containers of ‘Cobalt 57’ had lost control and landed in the desert region of Durango. Even after the rocket had been taken back, the radioactive element may have made an impact, resulting in much rumors between locals.

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Hobo Spider

The native European ‘Hobo Spider’ was first introduced to the United States in the early 1980s. The species, however, was discovered by naturalist Charles Athanase. The features of a ‘Hobo Spider’ are very indistinct and cannot be easily identified using a naked eye, therefore require an Arachnologist to identify after examination. Hobo Spiders made a name for themselves when a study revealed their venom would produce necrotic lesions posing a medical threat to us humans, but further research has defied this and it is no longer proclaimed as a medically threatening spider.

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Hospital, Ireland

A town in the east of County Limerick, Ireland possesses a rather fascinating name, Hospital. Most importantly, to add to the irony, the town has no hospitals! Hospital has its own fair share of history in receiving its name. When the medieval catholic military order known as the ‘Knights Hospitaller’ built a Hospital Church (actual hospital) circa 1215, it remained as the most significant part of the town. The town was officially named ‘Hospital’ in 1226 by then lord-justice of Ireland, Geoffry de Marisco.

Compiled by: Sameer Miyaz Ahmed

Famous People, Funny Stories

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Former US president Bill Clinton sat down with historian Taylor Branch to gibe an “oral history” of his presidency. According to his account, former Russian president Boris Yeltsin during his visit in 1995 was staying at the Blaire House. He got so drunk one night that he was found standing outside the White House in his underpants trying to hail a cab to go and buy a pizza.

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Not long after leaving the White House, Ronald Reagan visited his former agent, Lew Wasserman, now a Hollywood mogul, in the Universal Studios commissary. Wasserman asked him whether there was any way he could lure the president back to the movies. No, said Reagan with a grin, for that would be cashing in on the presidency. “Well, Mr. President,” returned Wasserman, “We do not necessarily have to pay you.”

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John F. Kennedy’s name skyrocketed into the national scene when he received a surprising number of votes for the vicepresidential nomination in 1956. His triumphant re-election as senator from Massachusetts two years later led him to believe he had a chance at the presidency in 1960. When a friend told him he would have no trouble getting the vice-presidential nomination in 1960, Kennedy smiled and said, “Let us not talk so much about vice. I am against vice in any form.”

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Republican senator John G. Tower of Texas liked to tell a story about George Washington, who was growing up on his daddy's ranch in the High Plains of West Texas. One day, George whittled down his daddy’s favorite mesquite tree. When his daddy asked him: "George, who whittled down my mesquite tree?" "I did it, Daddy," said George. "I cannot tell a lie." "Pack your things, son," his daddy said. "We are moving to Virginia. You will never get along like that in Texas!"

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