What These Soldiers Don’t Know Is That They’re Walking To Their Own Doom

We’ve already talked about the effects of nuclear testing on communities in Nevada throughout the 1950s, but we have yet to discuss the fate of the soldiers who were actually running those tests.

At Camp Desert Rock, soldiers were ordered not only to watch the detonations, but to walk toward the ominous mushroom clouds. We may never know what the purpose of the order was, but in the end, all it really did was poison the men stuck following that command. Records state that only two of these men died of old age.

Of course, we now know about the horrendous effects of nuclear poisoning, but this knowledge wasn’t available to soldiers in the ’50s. It seems like decimated nations aren’t the only bad side effects of nuclear warfare.

 

An Elephant Spent 11 Hours Digging, And Your Heart Will Shatter When You See Why

It’s a commonly known fact that elephants are some of the most intelligent, emotionally developed creatures on the planet. They forge family bonds that are just as strong and complex as the ones we create with our loved ones, and they experience loss just as profoundly as we do.

That’s why this dedicated elephant spent 11 hours digging a massive hole in the ground. Spectators gathered to figure out what she was doing, and when they realized what was going on, their hearts ached for her. While she and her baby were out walking that day, the little one fell into a well and was unable to get out. Mom stepped into action and made it clear that she’d stop at nothing to save her baby.

Unfortunately, she knocked more mud into the hole by accident, further trapping the scared little one. Luckily, a few locals gave her a helping hand.

After many, many hours, the adorable pair walked away from the scene shaken, but mostly unscathed. While we often consider humans to be the most intelligent beings on the planet, it’s clear that we have more in common with other creatures than we think. Like any human mother, this elephant went to great lengths to rescue the one she loves most.

He Was About To Punish His Dog For Getting Into The Garbage, ‘Til He Saw This Hilarity

We all have bad habits we just can’t seem to shake. For this hilarious pup, it’s the allure of digging through the trash that gets him in trouble every time.

Well, not every time. When his human came home on this occasion to see the debris scattered around, he was ready to punish the bad pup. But when he finally found the cute culprit, he was too busy laughing to remember what he was mad about.

You have to admit, that’s a pretty impressive feat for such a small pup! Good luck to his humans with finding a new lock this silly, determined boy won’t find a way through.

 

You Eat These 15 Foods Every Holiday Season, But Do You Know They Came From?

We all have our favorite holiday dishes. Every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukah, we indulge in tasty treats that send us on nostalgic trips back in time to when we were kids and didn’t have to decide between paying rent and giving awesome gifts every year.

But how much do you really know about pumpkin pies, candy canes, and latkes? Where did they come from, and why do we eat them during the holidays? Let’s find out.

1. Fruitcake

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Nothing says “I can’t cook or bake, and I had no idea what else to bring to Christmas dinner” quite like a nice, heavy fruitcake. This cake, which is full of dried fruit, spices, and nuts, has become something of a Christmas mockery. Back in the Middle Ages, however, dried fruit and nuts were super expensive, so they saved the preparation of this little indulgence for holiday festivities.

2. Cranberry Sauce

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This polarizing Thanksgiving treat came to be in 1912 when a guy named Marcus L. Urann wanted to extend the short shelf life of cranberries. Some prefer to make more elegant versions at home when Thanksgiving rolls around, but as for me, I want this delicious nonsense to be a sliceable, can-shaped, gelatinous blob.

3. Candy Canes

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Candy canes were developed about 350 years ago, but they looked nothing like the striped, hook-shaped sweets that we know and love today. They eventually took on their most familiar form when a choirmaster curved them to represent a shepherd’s staff, and the red stripes were added in the 19th century when there were more vibrant dyes available.

4. Eggnog

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If you ever want me to avoid speaking to you until the end of time, offer me a glass of eggnog. While I find the stuff contemptible, plenty of people adore this holiday drink — and they have for centuries. Back in the day, members of the British aristocracy mixed warm milk, eggs, sweet spices, and various liquors to create the original version of this holiday staple. Because the ingredients were so expensive, it quickly became a symbol of wealth. It eventually fell out of fashion with the Brits, but Americans brought it back. We added our own spin by using rum instead of sherry.

5. Apple Cider

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This is one of few holiday beverages that sticks around throughout autumn and winter, which is probably because it’s awesome. Originally an exclusively alcoholic drink, cider was created by the Brits back in 55 B.C., and it has been well loved ever since. With the advent of refrigeration technology in the 20th century, people were able to start drinking unfiltered apple juice, which meant that alcohol was no longer necessary in the process. While Americans refer to non-alcoholic, unfiltered apple juice as cider, the rest of the English-speaking world still associates the term with the alcoholic version.

6. Latkes

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These Hanukkah favorites are absolutely amazing, and your opinion is invalid if you think otherwise. Latkes were originally just cheese pancakes (which are also too delicious for this Earth), but the addition of potatoes became popular in the 18th century. Because they pay homage to Judith — a Jewish heroine — latkes hold far more significance in the Jewish tradition. That being said, they’ve been known to show up on Christmas tables as well.

7. Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

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While this dish strikes fear into the hearts of many, tons of people love indulging in this sweet casserole. Cooking with marshmallows was trendy at the turn of the 20th century, and this particular recipe stuck after being featured in a popular cook book by Angelus Marshmallow Company, which was printed in 1917.

8. Pumpkin Pie

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Pumpkin pie is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert. Everyone knows that. It’s science. This beloved pie originated about 9,000 years ago in Mexico, and it was eventually adopted by Native Americans. Boiling pumpkin and mixing it with honey and spices was a great way to preserve it back then, and some even suspect that the Pilgrims made a dish similar to pumpkin pie. They just didn’t use a crust.

9. Pecan Pie

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If you ask me, this amazing southern staple beamed down from Heaven many years ago. If you ask people who actually know things about pecan pie, however, this dessert was first made in 19th-century Texas. Back then, the filling was a standard custard that was topped with pecans. The pecan pie that we know (and love way too much) today actually came to be in the 1930s when the wife of a Karo Syrup executive came up with a new way to use corn syrup…and we are all eternally grateful to that woman.

10. Gingerbread

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We might feel bad about decapitating these sweet, spicy cuties for a second, but once that epic flavor hits, all cookie carnage is forgotten. The recipe originated in Greece in 2400 B.C., and it eventually made its way to the U.K., where Queen Elizabeth I was credited with the tradition of decorating gingerbread cookies during the holidays.

11. Corned Beef and Cabbage

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We have the Irish to thank for this one. This salt-cured dish was served on Christmas in Ireland for years, and it only makes sense that Americans eventually adopted the tradition. We do have a pretty serious amount of Irish-Americans floating around out there, after all.

12. Stuffing

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People have been stuffing food into animal carcasses for their own enjoyment for centuries now. One Roman by the name of Apicius even dedicated a recipe book to the many methods of making stuffing. Today, we prefer stuffing of the non-meat variety, which explains why we love putting bread inside of our Thanksgiving turkeys and serving it as a side dish.

13. Green Bean Casserole

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I eat so much green bean casserole on Thanksgiving that I’m pretty sure it runs through my veins for weeks after the fact. Americans have been eating creamed vegetables since the 19th century, and the traditional white sauce used in doing so was eventually replaced by cream of mushroom soup. In its current form, green bean casserole was popularized by Campbell’s in an effort to advertise their cream of mushroom soup. The deliciousness really caught on, and it’s said that Campbell’s makes about $20 million on Thanksgiving each year.

14. Peppermint Bark

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While no one knows exactly when people started sprinkling broken candy canes on chocolate, many agree that it was sometime between the ’60s and ’80s. Popular treat company Williams-Sonoma first sold peppermint bark in 1988, and they’ve been doing it ever since. They estimate that they’ve sold five million one-pound packages of the treat in the last decade alone.

15. Figgy Pudding

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This originated in the U.K. in the 17th century. English Puritans banned the consumption of figgy pudding because of its high alcohol content, but those who knew how to get down loved it. Medieval lore dictated that this dessert could only be made on the 25th Sunday after Trinity Sunday. It originally included 13 ingredients, which represented Christ and the 12 Apostles. Today, figgy pudding isn’t seen on tables that often, but it remains popular in holiday songs.

(via mental_floss)

Knowing where these dishes come from probably won’t change your opinion on any of them, but it’s still cool to think about the fact that many before you have gorged on pumpkin pie until they were about to explode.

 

A Passionate Animal Lover Knits Abused Chickens Tiny Sweaters To Keep Them Warm In Fowl Weather

Battery hens are birds that are kept in tiny cages and are raised only to be slaughered for food. The conditions are horrendous…but sometimes, these birds are rescued. Nicola Congdon and her mother, Ann, have been rescuing and re-homing battery chickens for some years. Recently, Nicola discover that the over-stressed birds would be too cold outside beacuse of their lack of proper feathers. She decided to do something about it — and make them their own wooly winter sweaters to keep them warm.

Abused birds will often over-preen themselves and pull out most of the feathers. This is an action caused by stress…and these comfy sweaters are what birds need to stay warm!

Instead of charging for the mini-sweaters she makes, Nicola will be accepting donations for an aids orphanage in South Africa, where the money goes straight to the orphans.

(via Daily Mail)

It’s truly wonderful what Nicola and Ann are doing for the poor birds that are abused on farms. If you haven’t thought about what it’s like to be a battery hen, you need to read this:

“I am battery hen. I live in a cage so small I cannot stretch my wings. I am forced to stand night and day on a sloping wire mesh floor that painfully cuts into my feet. The cage walls tear my feathers, forming blood blisters that never heal. The air is so full of ammonia that my lungs hurt and my eyes burn and I think I am going blind. As soon as I was born, a man grabbed me and sheared off part of my beak with a hot iron, and my little brothers were thrown into trash bags as useless alive.

My mind is alert and my body is sensitive and I should have been richly feathered. In nature or even a farmyard I would have had sociable, cleansing dust baths with my flock mates, a need so strong that I perform ‘vacuum’ dust bathing on the wire floor of my cage. Free, I would have ranged my ancestral jungles and fields with my mates, devouring plants, earthworms, and insects from sunrise to dusk. I would have exercised my body and expressed my nature, and I would have given, and received, pleasure as a whole being. I am only a year old, but I am already a ‘spent hen.’

Humans, I wish I were dead, and soon I will be dead. Look for pieces of my wounded flesh wherever chicken pies and soups are sold.”

Chickens are living creatures. Their lives are precious, too.

A Man Was Walking Near A Ditch When He Spotted An Old Aquarium — With 2 Puppies Inside

Matt Williamson was walking along a highway and looking for his lost dog when he stumbled upon something truly heartbreaking. He spotted something in a ditch that looked like an old aquarium that someone deserted on the side of the road. At first, he didn’t think much of it. Then, as he walked closer, he noticed something strange.

The abandoned aquarium had something inside and the lid was sealed shut with concrete.

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To Williamson’s horror, he discovered there were two puppies trapped inside.

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Whoever sealed the puppies into this glass tomb didn’t want them to survive.

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Once local sheriff’s deputies arrived, they removed the aquarium lid and freed the two dogs. The siblings were taken to the nearby Mississippi Animal Rescue League. Both puppies were pretty shaken up, but will hopefully quickly recover from their terrifying ordeal.

Unfortunately, Williamson was unable to locate his own dog, but thankfully he stumbled across these two pups during his search.

This Special Fungus Looks Like A Zombie Devil Hand From Hell

There are many beautiful and fragrant plants that grow in forests around the world that make hikes a delight.Clathrus archeri is not one of those plants. The “Octopus Stinkhorn” or “Devil’s Fingers” is not pleasant in any way — and it’s one of the creepiest-looking plants out there.

This delightfully disgusting plant is indigenous to Australia (of course) and Tasmania.

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But you can also find it in Europe, North America, and Asia as an introduced species.

The fungus grows from an off-white egg…errupting into bright red zombie fingers.

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Not only does it look disgusting, but once mature, it smells like putrid flesh.

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As if it would be a surprise, this plant is also extremely creepy as it bursts from its suberumpent egg.

 

She Turned Something Heartbreaking Into Something The Whole Community Could Enjoy

When Sarah Sanders bought her house, she was drawn to a particularly gorgeous tree on the property. Over the years, however, it began to rot. The city soon came calling, since the dead tree posed a safety hazard for Sanders and nearby residents.

Although she was devastated, Sanders enlisted the help of a local artist to remove the tree and turn it into something beautiful that the whole neighborhood could enjoy.

Although the tree no longer exists in its original form, people in the community will get to cherish it for years to come.

Seeing A Movie Is Great Family Fun, But Things Are So Much Different Than Before

Gone are the days when you could take your family to the movies — complete with popcorn and soda — without it costing as much as your mortgage payment. It’s insane how much we have to spend to enjoy blockbusters.

So it shouldn’t surprise you that movies are no longer played from massive reels of film. Instead, our favorite films arrive in indestructible boxes.

Pelican cases are extremely durable. Basically, these boxes transport the hard drives that hold movie footage.

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First developed for scuba divers, they are airtight and watertight, and they can handle extreme amounts of pressure. They’re also used to carry military equipment.

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We all know how fickle hard drives can be, so these cases have to be able to withstand anything.

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The hard drives are just as secure as the boxes that carry them. They can only be accessed with a special key, and information cannot be copied from one hard drive to the next.

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These drives only contain the movie and any associated trailers.

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When loaded up, the movie takes about an hour to work its way from the drive to the server. But when it comes to seeing blockbusters on the silver screen, I don’t think any of us mind the wait (even if it does cost next month’s rent to see them)!

 

College Students Heard Whimpering, But Had No Idea What Was Hiding On Campus

Hope For Paws was recently called to a campus where students spotted a homeless Chihuahua hiding in a field. They thought she might have given birth to puppies and knew she needed help ASAP.

Thankfully, Eldad Hagar quickly showed up on the scene, with help and a cheeseburger in hand.

The small family was hiding in a trench, and was able to be cornered without too much stress.

Unfortunately, one of the puppies was in severe pain. The little girl, Ivy, had severe hydrocephalus (which is fluid in the brain). They had to put her down to let her be at peace.

The mother and two remaining puppies were cleaned up and given a clean bill of health. All of them are currently available for adoption, so if you’re interested in giving one a home, please visit Doggies 911 Rescue.

If you’d like to help Hope For Paws rescue more dogs, please visit their site and consider giving a donation. Every little bit helps.