Witold Pilecki, a Polish Army officer, volunteered to get imprisoned in Auschwitz to gather intelligence and escape. 00
After fighting in the winter war against the USSR, Lauri Törni, a Finnish soldier, joined the SS and kept fighting until the end WW2. After WW2, he migrated to the US and joined the US Army, and died in combat in Vietnam in 1965 by which time he had earned high ranking U.S. awards. 00
North Korea had a show called “Let’s trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle”. 00
In 1899 taxi driver Jacob German was arrested for driving 12mph, 4 mph over the legal limit. He was pulled over by a police officer on a bicycle. 00
As a recurring feature, our team combs the Web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, April 28.
Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!
GADGETS, TOYS, MEDIA, AND ELECTRONICS
Smart Color Light Strip USB LED LTB010 with Bluetooth, 2 meters (6.5ft) LED Strip, Water Resistant, 16 Million Colors, Proximity Control, Schedule On/Off, Dimmable, Apple Watch Compatable for $34.99 (list price $49.99)
Tacklife SLM01 Classic Decibel Meter Portable Sound Level Meter Tester Measuring 30dBA~130dBA Accuracy within +/-1.5dBA Max/Min & Hold Function with Large LCD Screen Display 9V Battery Included for $16.97 (list price $79.99)
Bluetooth Headphones, Hussar Magicbuds Best Wireless Sports Earphones with Mic, IPX7 Waterproof, HD Sound with Bass, Noise Cancelling, Secure Fit, Up to 9 Hours of Play for iPhone Android (Upgraded) for $28.99 (list price $169.99)
SoundFit Plus Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker – Durable Portable Outdoor Wireless Sound System – Features Powerful Bass and Clear Treble – Hands-Free with Built-In Microphone – Dust and Shock Resistant for $32.95 (list price $79.95)
Anker Quick Charge 3.0 39W Dual USB Car Charger, PowerDrive Speed 2 for Galaxy S7 / S6 / Edge / Plus, Note 5 / 4 and PowerIQ for iPhone 7 / 6s / Plus, iPad Pro / Air 2 / mini, LG, Nexus, HTC and More for $21.99 (list price $59.99)
FosPower All-In-One International Power Adapter, High Speed [3.1A] Dual USB Ports Travel Plug Charger (US UK EU AU) for iPhone, iPad, Smartphones, Tablets, Laptop – Black for $9.99 (list price $12.97)
“Magic” Reusable Labels – 12 Vinyl Static Cling Stickers for Glass, Ceramic, Metal, Plastic – Re-Write with Wet Erase Markers – Tag Spices, Preserves, Bottles, Pitchers, Canisters and Mason Jars for $11.85 (list price $27.99)
Essence of Bamboo Pillows – The Original Premium Hypoallergenic Down Alternative Fiber Pillow with Bamboo Derived Rayon / Poly Cover- Designed and Filled in USA (Queen 2-Pack) Best Sleep Ever for $39.99 (list price $149.99)
HEALTH AND BEAUTY
Vitamin K2 (MK7) with D3 Supplement – Vitamin D & K Complex for Strong Bones and a Healthy Heart – 5000 IU of Vitamin D3 & 90 mcg of Vitamin K2 MK-7 – 60 Small & Easy to Swallow Vegetable Capsules for $19.99 (list price $24.99)
BIOTIN PRO WITH CALCIUM. Potent Formula, 10,000 mcg. Best Product for Hair, Skin and Nails. Non GMO, Made in USA. Metabolic support supplement, Vitamin H for hair growth, healthy skin and strong nails for $16.70 (list price $19.70)
Organic Castor Oil – 100% USDA Certified Pure Cold Pressed Hexane free – Boost Growth For Eyelashes, Hair, Eyebrows, Face and Skin – with Treatment Applicator Kit – Satisfaction Guarantee, 1oz (30ml) for $15.77 (list price $29.95)
Argan Oil Shampoo, Sulfate Free, 8 oz. – With Argan, Jojoba, Avocado, Almond, Peach Kernel, Camellia Seed, and Keratin – 100% Safe for Color Treated Hair – For Men, Women, and Teens – All Hair Types – Most Beneficial Haircare Product Available for $10.95 (list price $25.00)
Anjou Ionic Hair Straightener Brush Electric Ceramic Heating Straightening Brush Anti-Burn & Anti-Static for Frizzy Hair (Max 450℉, Adjustable Temperature, Auto Lock, 120-min Timer) for $24.99 (list price $89.99)
OFFICE, ART, AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES
Leather Writing Journal Notebook, MALEDEN Classic Spiral Bound Notebook Refillable Diary Sketchbook Gifts with Unlined Travel Journals to Write in for Girls and Boys (Sky Blue) for $8.99 (list price $16.99)
OUTDOORS, GARDEN, AND SPORTS
April 28, 2017 – 11:00am
|Pass rate:||75 %|
Thursday, April 27, 2017 – 09:53
Most people might view this IKEA pendant lamp as a unique piece of home decor. Instructables user MariaK64 instead saw it as a delightfully geeky crafting opportunity. According to Geekologie, all it took was a quick paint job to transform the light into a miniature exploding Death Star.
The original lamp already lends itself to the epic design—when the cord is pulled, sections of the globe expand out in all directions. In order to achieve the intended effect, Maria first spray-painted the tiles light gray then covered the lamp in a Death Star pattern with masking tape. After spraying over the exterior with darker gray paint, the lighter gray lines beneath the tape remained. It requires a little more effort than buying a pre-made Death Star fire pit or Bluetooth speaker, but being able to blow it up without using the Force is well worth it. You can find Maria’s detailed instructions on Instructables and watch a video of the final product below.
April 27, 2017 – 9:00pm
Gardening is more than a hobby. The act of cultivating veggies for your dinner table and flowers for your lawn has numerous health benefits. Research has indicated that regular gardeners are less likely to suffer from heart attacks or come down with Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, spending time with your backyard crops is an excellent way to relieve stress. Now that spring has sprung, why not get your hands dirty? If you’re new to the game, here are 10 tough plants that you won’t need a green thumb to take care of.
These hardy flowers are tough to kill—in most areas of the United States, pansies are resilient enough to survive winter temperatures. More than 300 varieties of pansies exist, including several that have been specifically bred for really hot or really cold environments.
The ideal time to plant pansies is when the soil temperature is around 50 to 60 degrees (August for the northern parts of the country to October in the southern), but you can also set yours out in the early spring. Fully-grown plants can be purchased at most gardening stores and deposited directly into the ground. If you plan on growing some from seeds, deposit each one in moist soil spaced 7 to 12 inches apart. In colder states, pansies do best in direct sunlight, but if you live in a warm state like Georgia or Texas, give the flowers some shade and strategically plant them so that they can spend three to four hours in the shadows per day and see that they get an inch of water each week.
According to the National Gardening Association, nearly nine out of 10 American household vegetable gardens have at least one tomato plant. Germinating tomato plants need a constant soil temperature of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and seeds should be planted six to eight weeks before your area’s projected last frost date. Given these requirements, you’ll most likely have to start indoors (or buy tomato plants from your local garden center).
First, you’ll need one container for every two seeds. (While it’s possible to raise all of the seeds in the same pot, this makes the young plants harder to remove when the time comes to transplant them.) Plastic or Styrofoam cups work well; make a couple small holes in the bottom of each one for drainage and fill it with a good potting mix. Then, place the seeds about a quarter of an inch beneath the surface. Mist the dirt with water (make it moist, but not soggy) and maintain a constant 70 to 80-degree room temperature, and within 10 days, the little plants will sprout. They’ll need plenty of sunlight; if possible, put the plants by a south-facing window or, in windowless homes, use artificial grow lights.
As soon as the plants sprout four leaves apiece, move them into bigger containers; pots with a height of 4 to 6 inches will be perfect. Meanwhile, find a nice, sunny section of your garden outside. One week before the last frost date, till the soil until it’s nice and loose. Then, dig a trench about 6 or 8 inches deep. After the last frost date finally arrives and the dirt has warmed, throw in 3 inches of compost. Cover that with some extra soil and then transplant your seedlings there.
Like pansies, tomatoes come in many varieties which offer fruits of every shape and size. Depending on what kind you’re growing, you’ll want to arrange the young plants anywhere from 12 to 48 inches apart. Consult the seed package or a neighborhood gardening store for an exact number. By the way, novice gardeners may want to choose varieties that yield smaller fruits (like cherry tomatoes). If left to their own devices, medium or large fruits may rot prematurely. Preventing this will require tethering your plants to stakes or cages for support. That’s not too difficult, but it is an extra step.
Tomatoes and basil make for a great combination in spaghetti sauces, and in your garden, the two plants may help each other grow. According to many amateur and professional gardeners, basil serves as a natural bug repellent that drives off unwanted insects that might otherwise eat the herb—or munch on your tomato fruits; some speculate is that planting the two near each other somehow gives the tomatoes a much better flavor. Garden-raised basil needs plenty of sunlight and should be arranged accordingly. Plant the seeds at least 12 inches apart six weeks before the last frost comes along. Water them lightly whenever the soil feels dry and you’ll have a healthy plant that will keep giving you delicious leaves all summer long. Mangia!
Another hardy herb, mint is ridiculously easy to grow. In fact, mint does so well outdoors that the biggest challenge associated with it is keeping the plant from taking over your whole garden. But before we get into that, let’s talk logistics. Mint needs damp soil with good drainage, and it tends to do best when kept in an area that receives a moderate amount of shade during the day.
Under favorable conditions, the herb’s specialized stems—known as “runners”—shoot out in all directions. Left unchecked, the runners will devour every inch of available real estate, sometimes conquering entire lawns in the process. For this reason, many people grow their outdoor mints in clay pots from which the roots can’t escape. But if you want to put yours in a multi-species garden, plant it on the inside of a long, tubular container with an open bottom and thick walls. An 18-inch metal stove pipe buried vertically with its uppermost inch poking out above the surface would be perfect. Patio edges and driveways can also be effective root barriers.
Whether you’re hungry for their seeds or just like to look at them, sunflowers are a terrific choice for first-time gardeners. They don’t need much in the way of fertilizing, they can thrive in all but the soggiest soils, and they’re extremely adept at weathering droughts. As the common name implies, these flowers do require direct, unimpeded sunlight. Plant yours out in the open, and be sure to keep them a fair distance away from any other plants you might be cultivating, as a row of tall sunflowers can throw unwanted shade onto neighboring veggies. To get started, wait until the last frost date has passed in the spring and then plant your seeds in 1-inch holes. For best results, space these at least 6 inches apart—or, if you’re dealing with a larger species, up that figure to 24 inches. Water well after planting.
An ideal cool-weather crop, radishes develop spicy bulbs during the chillier months of spring and autumn. Arrange the seeds at least an inch apart in half an inch of loose, moist, and well-lit dirt. They’ll grow fast: Certain radishes may be ready for harvest just 22 days after planting, although other varieties may need up to 70. Once yours begin sprouting leaves, thin out the rows by plucking every other radish. A new row may be planted in early spring or late summer, depending on when you plan to dig yours up and eat them.
The average American eats roughly 114 pounds of them per year [PDF]. With spud cultivation, you don’t have to worry about planting seeds. Instead, the objective here is to find a potato tuber that’s grown a few buds that are around one quarter to one third of an inch in length. Cut the potato into chunks, leaving at least one bud on each segment. Before you move on from there, store these wedges indoors at room temperature for 48 to 72 hours.
If you’ve got a lot of space to work with, potatoes can be grown in vast rows across your backyard. (For instructions on how to do that, go here.) But if space is limited, potato plants can be cultivated in bottomless half-bushel baskets. Alternatively, as Janice Stillman of the Old Farmer’s Almanac explains in the above video, a trash can with some holes drilled into the base also make for effective containers. In any event, you’ll need to start out shortly after the last spring frost. Take your barrel or basket and place it in a sunny locale. Fill it with loamy potting soil and bury the chunks 2 to 4 inches beneath the surface. Give them an inch of water every week and they’ll be ready to harvest by midsummer. Home-made French fries, here we come!
Popeye’s favorite food is one of the best cold-weather crops a gardener could ask for. Four to six weeks before the last frost date in your area, you’ll need to kick things off by following a process called priming: Soak some seeds in water for 24 hours. Take them out and let them dry off on a paper towel for a day or two, then seal up the seeds in an airtight zip-lock bag and keep them in a cool room for up to one week. When their week-long stint in a cool room is up, sow the seeds in an inch of tilled soil that has a temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You can start harvesting your spinach leaves whenever they reach the desired size.
As far as flower-growing is concerned, marigolds definitely fall into the idiot-proof category. Wait to plant their seeds until after the spring frosts have come to an end. Just about any bedding type will suit them, although moist, well-drained soils are preferable. Marigold enthusiasts usually get their seeds by purchasing them in packets, which come with specific instructions about spacing and other topics. Cover the seeds with a small amount of dirt, don’t let the soil get too dry, and uproot some of the seedlings as needed. In exchange for this minimal effort, you’ll get vibrant flowers that will stick around until football season.
Not only are zucchinis super easy to grow, they’re also amazingly prolific. Within a few short weeks, your garden will be churning out enough to feed a small army. To get going, dig a row of inch-deep holes in the earth at some point between early spring and midsummer (although in practice, one or two plants will probably be enough). The depressions should be spaced about 3 feet apart, with each crater housing two or three seeds. Make sure the dirt is warm and keep it moist at all times (regular mulching will help you with that). Six to eight weeks later, you can start harvesting. And because new zucchinis sprout to replace the squashes that’ve been plucked, you’ll soon have quite a yield on your hands. Within a single season, a solitary plant can generate 10 pounds’ worth of zucchinis.
All images courtesy of iStock
April 27, 2017 – 6:00pm
A woman cut the tattoo of her boyfriend’s name off of her forearm with a scalpel and mailed him the skin after she found out he had cheated on her and lied about moving out of the country to avoid the breakup. 10
In 2015, Facebook canceled Harvard student’s internship after he highlighted a massive privacy issue. 10