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At the Vietnam Memorial Wall, M.I.A. soldiers are marked with a cross by their names, and if they are found, a circle is circumscribed around the cross. To this day, the memorial has no circles.


 

The Vietnam War (or Vietnam Conflict, as it’s called now) was a pretty nasty issue that divided the United States in half. Though it’s now been over for decades, it’s still very often reflected on as a grisly piece of American history. The Memorial Wall dedicated to those who died in Vietnam sits in Washington DC. The names of all who died are etched into it.

The memorial is made of a very reflective kind of stone, so that when someone looks at it, his or her reflection can be seen too. The point of this is to “symbolically bring the past and present together.” In total, there are 58,264 men and 8 women whose names are inscribed on the wall. In addition to the names of those Killed in Action, there are names of those Missing in Action. About 1,200 are MIA, which is denoted with a cross. The confirmed dead are marked with a diamond.

If someone MIA is found alive, a circle is drawn around the cross, but this has never happened. If a death of a person previously thought MIA is proven, a diamond is superimposed over the cross. (Source)

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Carrots haven’t been orange for that long!


 

Before the 17th century rolled in, almost all carrots cultivated were purple! The modern day orange carrot wasn’t even cultivated until Dutch growers in the late 16th century took mutant strains of the purple carrot, including yellow and white carrots (mutated versions of the regular purple carrot) and gradually developed them into the orange variety we have today.

It is believed that this strange desire to change the color of a vegetable was brought about the fact that the emblem of the House of Carrots was also orange. So, the orange carrot became popular in the Netherlands because it represented the struggle for Dutch independence.

It is more likely however, that the success of orange carrots had to the fact the orange carrots that the Dutch developed were sweeter and more fleshy than the purple ones.

(Source)

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The Body Mass Index (BMI) was never intended to be an indicator of health.


 

You’re probably already familiar with the Body Mass Index. Maybe you’ve also heard how it’s not a good indicator of how healthy you are or what your ideal weight should be. Put simply, that’s because it’s true. The BMI wasn’t meant to be healthiness meter.

The main problem with the BMI is that it doesn’t measure the percentage of body fat. Moreover, it was never meant to. The BMI first came around in the mid 1800’s when Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet was developing “social physics.” He wasn’t developing anything geared to show a healthy weight for height. BMI actually defines a person’s body mass divided by the square of his or her height. It’s used more for medicinal purposes (determining dosage) than showing ideal weight. 

As seen in its numerous variations, the BMI also isn’t universal. Back in 1998 when the US National Institutes of Health and the CDC aligned US definitions of health with those of the World Health Organization, the BMI’s “normal” was changed, making some people suddenly overweight. The problem is obviously that the BMI is highly subjective, and while 25 million people in the US were factually overweight before 1998, the BMI didn’t say so until after. 

(Source)

 

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A lion’s roar can be heard from 5 miles away!


In case you’re looking for a mascot for your new heavy metal band, let me tell you that in average conditions, an adult lion’s roar can carry up to 5 miles or 8 kilometers in all directions. This is because they’re vocal chords contain a thick layer of fat that allows them to make that hard and heavy sound by protecting their repertory system.

Lions use their roars to strike fear into the hearts of their prey, so that they cannot “think” properly and the lion can attack with ease. This far-reaching roar pulls in tourists from all over the world. However, lions have still become extinct from 26 countries which they used to inhabit and their range has decreased more than 80%. 

Their top threat is conflicts with humans hunting livestock or trophy hunting. To find out how you can keep the King of the Jungle’s voice from being silenced forever, check out the source! 

(Source)

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The 10 most interesting facts about the London Olympics!


The 2012 Summer Olympics are about to take the world by storm. Here's the list of the 10 most interesting Olympic 2012 facts that we've come across. Do you have any more? Let us know in the comments. 

10. Girl Power: The 2012 Olympics will have 2 significant milestones for female athletes. It's the first Olympics where every country has at least 1 female athlete. Also, Female Boxing was included this year, which means that every sport in the games will have male and female competitors.

9. The opening ceremony is based on William Shakespeare's The Tempest. The organizers have named the ceremony "Isles of Wonder" and it is taken from a speech given by Caliban in Shakespeare's The Tempest.  Academy award winner Danny Boyle will serve as the artistic director. Over 20,000 volunteers are working on it!

8. The London Olympic stadium is the lightest stadium ever built. Not just that, but they also used 2,500 tons of steel tubing that was recycled from old gas pipelines. That's a pretty green stadium!

7. There's going to be over 20,000 members of the media covering the event. The International Broadcast Centre that will house them during the games is huge: the size of six full size football pitches. 

6. More than half the world will be watching. The organizers of the game estimate that about 4 billion people will tune in to watch the games. 

5. London will be the first city to host the Olympics for a third time. They hosted the Olympics in 1908 and 1948. Although this distinction is only a technicality. Athens has also hosted 3 Olympic games, but one of them, the 1902 Athens Intercalated Olympic Games weren't counted as an official Olympic event. 

4. The Olympics will leave London with its largest piece of public art. The ArcelorMittal Orbit is a 377-foot observation tower that was built in the Olympic park and is supposed to be a permanent fixture of London, long after the Olympics are gone. The design so far seems to be polarized, some have said it's striking and daring and Olympian in its ambition. Others say it looks like a roller coaster collapsing onto itself. 

3. The games might include a Spice Girls reunion. The Olympic games will officially end on August 12. It's traditional that the mayor of the host city hands over the games to the mayor of the next host city (in this case, Rio de Janeiro). It's heavily rumored that the closing ceremony will feature the first Spice Girls reunion since 2008. 

2. Even though Adidas is the official apparel sponsor, Nike features prominently in the games! Not Nike the brand, but rather the Goddess of Sport. She's going to be engraved in front of every medal given out during the games. Ironically, Nike just came out with an ad poking fun at the Olympics. Watch it here.

1. The games cost almost $15 BILLION. The final estimated cost for the Olympic games was increased from £2.4 billion to £9.3 billion. That's 3.8x the cost! The reason for this was because London had to invest heavily in the Olympic venues and other infrastructure expenses. In fact, the Contingency Fund, for any unexpected expenses, was set at £2.7 billion. That means that the unexpected costs ended up  being costlier than they originally expected the whole thing  to be!

(Sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)