10 Weird Things People Found in Their Backyards

10 Weird Things People Found in Their Backyards

While pets and children are the most frequent visitors for most backyards, the few people that dare to go and check it out do not consider them anything more than just a yard. If you decide to dig up your backyard, you may find a few old cans, worms and maybe some old coins. However, some people’s lives have been changed by their backyards. While some people have struck life-changing fortunes lying idle right there in their backyards, others discovered life-threatening encounters that made them regret ever owning or visiting their backyards at all. Of these intriguing stories, these are the strangest top 10 backyard finds.

1. An Ice Age Mammoth Femur

Mammoth Femur

In 2012, one of the greatest archeological sites turned up in John’s backyard in Iowa while he was hunting with his sons. It is not every day that a berry hunting trip pays off with one of the most massive mammoth bones ever discovered. John, a farmer from Iowa, came to the grave of what is called the mother of all mammoths in Iowa when his son spotted the head of the femur bone which he thought was a ball.

At 46 inches in length and weighing 70 pounds, this is one of the most massive bones ever found on earth. It was huge, and he could hardly carry it, well he loved the find and called in excavators from The University of Iowa to investigate. They estimated that the animal had lain there for over 12,000 years since the last ice age. The farmer decided to keep it for himself as a monument. Quite a great hunt, right?[1][2]

2. Ferrari

Ferrari
Feb. 7, 1978: A buried Ferrari stolen in 1974, is dug up from a backyard on W. 119th Street, still in good condition. This photo was published in the Feb. 8, 1978 Los Angeles Times.

It takes many guts to bury cash or even a diamond ring underground but a Ferrari! No. In 1978 however, a group of buys digging around in the backyard hit a large piece of metal that turned out to be a Ferrari. The Dino had been lying there for more than four years after a group of thieves that buried it took a little too long to come for it. The owner was fed up with it and wanted to cash in with insurance money, everyone earned their share of course, but the boys became more famous when they became the first people to dig up one of the most expensive machines from their backyard.[3]

There was no perfect explanation on the state of the car after being unearthed but the years in the ground had taken off a big chunk of life from her. The car was auctioned at a disappointingly low price to a businessman who later sold it to a mechanic to revive it. DUG UP” as the ultimate buyer named her Is still one of the most famous 1974 Ferrari Dinos in LA even today.[4]

3. Live World War II Bombs

Live World War II Bombs

Bombs are tested before being taken to war, and the best place to do it is a mostly uninhabited place. Everyone would say Utah, but Orlando Florida was the victim this time. The army had used the 12000-acre property to test heavy-duty bomb shooting, but the shooting range seems to have been forgotten. The first scare came when bomb fragments injured developers of a race track in Odyssey middle school.

The clear map of the range testing site was drawn forcing the Army corps to start a 10 million dollar clean up. The result was a whole neighborhood with lots of red flags pointing at hundreds of live bombs. People were outraged because their property prices plummeted overnight and the cleanup crew was never able to get all the bombs. So next time you buy a house on former military land, you better make sure it was used for guns only.[5][6]

4. An Ancient Royal Treasure

This was a good one. A whole 3 kilos worth of gold, silver and other precious stones were discovered by a man in his backyard in 2007. He didn’t attach any value to the items; he simply tucked them away because they were covered in mud. Quite a fairy tale he gave! After selling his house, he noticed the shiny emeralds while packing and posted photos online before being warned that he was dealing with something royal and precious.

He went to the Austrian department of antiques. The authorities confirmed that the quality was associated with royal families and the jewelry was over 650 years old left behind by a fleeing royal or a merchant. Who knows, maybe he bought back his house and dug the backyard again. Either way, they were worth more than $130,000. Considering he reported it over a year of digging them up, maybe he kept some.[7][8]

5. 8 Cans Full of Gold Coins

Full of Gold Coins

Getting old coins in the backyard is nothing strange but gold coins take a little more luck. The most valuable coin discovery in a backyard happened to a couple in March 2014. This was the biggest ever treasure trove in US history. This time the couple was not digging, they were walking a dog in the backyard.[9]

The gold coins are believed to have been left behind in the 19th-century old rush, but the most astonishing fact was the $10 million valuation that changed the couple’s life forever. They put them up for auction on Amazon raking in millions within the first 24 hours. The whole treasure was made of 8 cans packed with 1427 gold coins just waiting to be picked. Well, at least the lady said she had been preparing her whole life for such a day anyway.[10]

6. A Whole 18th-Century Cemetery

A 10-million-dollar lottery in your backyard sounds like good luck, but backyards sometimes change people’s lives for the worst. What do you do when you realize that your backyard is the resting place for dozens of people? This is what happened to the Salazars in DuPage county Chicago when they discovered that they got what used to be Thurston cemetery for a backyard. The county had paid for the bodies to be moved in the 60s, but it turned out that a massive chunk of the cemetery remained untouched because of the unmarked graves.

The Thurstons from Broome county used only $250 to buy it in 1843 before turning it into a cemetery, but now the Salazars and the county had to spend nearly a, million dollars to make the 132 by 1450-foot cemetery a home for the local families next to highway 88. The discovery was quite disturbing because the family had to pay for the cost of moving the 29 300-year old bodies from their property.[11]

7. Pablo Escobar’s $600 Million

Pablo Escobar

This is an unexpected backyard discovery since it is exactly 1000 times larger than the largest ever US backyard cash discovery. The US one was the remaining part of a million-dollar heist by drivers of a Bank of America Armored car. The robbers were caught with $400,000; the remaining amount was declared missing until a year later when a man dug it out of his backyard, Well the CIA said Pablo Escobar had $1 billion buried all over rural Colombia, and this find seemed to have unearthed the biggest part of it.

Pablo Escobar is the richest ever drug lord in history, and he had more money than he could spend. He stashed lots of cash in his safehouses and buried the rest underground. Most of the money was forgotten, and farmers find it now and then in Colombia but Jose Mariena Carlos, a palm plantation owner made the largest of them all. He discovered the 0.6 billion dollars while working on the farm in his backyard. Astonishingly, he handed it over to the authorities. He is a one in a million or one in 600 million in this case.[12][13]

8. A Cheetah

Toby Taylor with the bicycle seat that was attacked by the marauding cheetah. Photo: The Hunts Post

Cheetahs are large African cats that you expect to find in a zoo or a park in Africa while on a Safari but a backyard in Cambridge shire, well that was astonishing and quite scary. The discovery was made by 9-year-old Toby as he was playing with his bike. The big cat which also happens to be the fastest animal on land was just 15 feet from him. Not enough head start for a death run but the cat was quite harmless, it only wanted to join the boy and play with the bike. The boy’s mother was ready to scream at him when she saw the rare background discovery and called the police. They later found out that the cat had escaped from a nearby zoo and was only looking for a playmate as she was taught since she grew up in a domestic setting — quite a relief for poor Toby.[14]

9. A Roman Emperor’s Villa

Roman Emperor

Finding out that an ancient house, even more, precious than your lies beneath your property can be quite intriguing. Luke Irwin was laying an electric cable for his home in Wiltshire when he noticed a unique mosaic lying underneath. After sending a photo to archeologists, he was visited by a group of excavators who established his find as part of a 220 AD Roman emperor’s villa.

The structure which was associated with a three-story villa is still considered the greatest archeological discovery in that part of the UK in the century. The site was so vast that after eight days of digging, the excavators found out that this precious piece of architecture stretched underneath the neighboring houses. There was no way to unearth and reach all of it, and maybe rebuild the whole villa, Irwin and his neighbors just had to stay knowing they inherited an ancient royal Roman home.[15]

10. $150,000 Worth of Cursed Money

$150,000 Worth of Cursed Money

Wayne Sabaj, a jobless carpenter, struck gold when he found the cash stashed in a bag in his backyard in 2011. He theorized that the money was dropped from a low flying drug plane and fell into his backyard, but after giving it to the Authorities, his neighbor Delores Johnson claimed she threw it away because it was cursed. A local grocery store owner also brought a claim to court saying a similar amount had been stolen from him in 2010, but the court dropped his claim.

Delores Jonson’s daughter lay claim on the money and they set a court date for a sharing settlement, but Wayne died just days to the court date from a strange diabetic complication. His father also suffered a cardiac arrest on learning about his death while Delores, the neighbor who had Dementia also died a few days later. The money was then settled between Wayne’s son and Johnson’s daughter, well the deaths stopped. Maybe the curse was finally lifted.[16]

10 of the Most Shocking Moments in History

Shocking Historical Moments

From the great catastrophe to the Salem witch trials, the world has witnessed many events and activities that has continued to shock humanity for decades and even centuries after their occurrence. Of these many defining events, the following ten shocking moments in history will have you questioning the future of humanity.

1. The Execution of Anne Boleyn

The Execution of Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry VIII. In 1536, May 15th, the world was shocked and devasted as it witnessed the first public execution of the Queen of England. She was charged with a long list of crimes encompassing conspiring in the King’s death, incest, adultery, among others, and her sentence was death via beheading. Anne was beheaded in London, and her death is hard to scrape off in the history of the world as the shock was unimaginable, the queen of England publicly executed! Anne was married to Henry for approximately four years before she was sent to her maker. As the second wife, the King left his wife of over twenty years and kid to marry her, breaking away from the Catholic church in the process. However, the love waned in 1536, and the king started an affair with Jane Seymour, Anne’s lady in line waiting.

In the same year in May, she was arrested and imprisoned in London Towers together with her bother, and five others. The five were prosecuted and found guilty of conspiring the death of King Henry VIII and adultery with the queen while the queen and her brother were convicted of high treason. All the prisoner with the queen were executed. The world was shocked in the manner in which the queen was ready to meet with death demonstrating high standards of courage. Many historians many years after her death still disagree with them on reasons why Anne had to be executed.[1]

2. The Great Fire of London

The Great Fire of London

The Great fire broke out in London and destroyed over 70,000 homes and 13,500 buildings encompassing the royal exchange and the then St. Paul’s cathedral church. The Catastrophic fire which originated at the Kings baker in the house of Farrinor near the London bridge started in the morning of 2nd September 1666. It lasted for three days as the dry and dusty London air together with the strong winds catalyzed the fire, helping to destroy over a hundred thousand human lives and made many homeless in the process.

The official reports, however, indicates that only a few people lost their lives. But the real tally of human life that was smoked up in the fire was shocking. It is one of the catastrophes that claimed the highest number of human lives in the history of fire outbreaks in the world. The fire devasted the city and destroyed a tremendous amount of resources and property.[2]

3. The Building of the Berlin Wall

The Building of the Berlin Wall

The radical Germany communist wanted to alienate themselves from the US-friendly west Germany. The Berlin wall was constructed overnight in August 1961 orchestrated by the German Democratic Republic formerly known as East German with the primary objective of curtailing the Western fascists from going in East Germany and interfering with the establishment of the socialist state. The wall stopped the free movement of people from either side of the wall, east and west German. To a greater extent, however, the wall also served the purpose of preventing people from defecting from socialism to the west.

The wall construction shocked the world as the Berlin people woke on the 13th of August 1961 separated from their families, relatives, and friends, working places, as well as their own homes. Initially, it was a makeshift wall that made it impossible for the people to locomote from west to east Germany as it was guarded heavily with soldiers. However, it was replaced with a 12 feet tall and 4 feet wide concrete reinforced wall in addition to the lined traps of booby and guards securing the wall 24/7. As a result, over 200 people were killed on the wall maneuvering to cross either over or under the Berlin wall which lasted till 1989.[3]

4. The Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials

The trial of around 20 witches, both men and women took place in northern America between June and September 1692. They were found guilty of practicing witchcraft in the country and were sentenced to death. They were executed in Salem, Massachusetts, a small religious community. The act was horrendous and it shocked the world for the inhuman acts committed against those people. The witch trials at Salem is attributed to many TV shows, films, books, plays, and scholarly documents over the years encompassing, The Crucible by Arthur Miller. The decision and conviction to execute the witches were based on the evidence of village girls claiming they have been bewitched without any solid proof of the claim. The conviction triggered paranoia and increased family squabbles and attacks on the native American people spreading across the country and the entire colony of Massachusetts. In the process, more than 200 people including women, men, and children were associated with witchcraft and forced to confess to receiving forgiveness.[4]

5. Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper

The serial killer emerged in east end London in the begging of 1888. Jack, dubbed the Ripper, was the serial killer associated with the killing and mutilating five prostitutes in the streets of London, causing panic and shock in the society. The police were charged with the mandate to hunt and arrest the ruthless killer in the streets as the people lacked sleep and peace due to fear. The killer’s identity is unknown with speculations looming as to whether the killer is a doctor, butcher, Jew, foreigner or Jill? To some point, the turn of events even linked the five murders to the murder of the prince, Albert Victor, Queen Victoria’s grandson. The law enforcement team deployed various approaches in seeking the identity of the killer encompassing intensive interrogation, all proved futile. Till today, to the amusement of many historians and scholars, the serial killer remains unknown despite increased cases of killings in the streets of Victoria, London.[5]

6. The Bombing of Hiroshima

Victim of Hiroshima atomic bombing
A victim of Hiroshima atomic bombing

The Hiroshima Bombing was orchestrated by the American soldiers on the 6th of August 1945. The Americans deployed the nuclear bomb against the Japanese the bomb was dropped on the populated Japanese city of Hiroshima accounting for the tally of over 140,000 human lives in the smoke. According to nuclear scientists, within 2 seconds following the blast, humans within the vicinity were incapacitated and the temperatures escalated to over 65 million degrees centigrade, producing over ten thousand times more heat as compared to the surface of the sun. the attack continues as three days later, the American soldiers carried out another atomic bomb attack on the other Japanese city Nagasaki, killing over seventy-five thousand people.

The survivors of the attack demonstrated the signs and symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, thinning hear, gum bleeding and death. The people suffered from a condition medically known as radiation sickness caused by the exposure to nuclear weapons.[6]

7. The Execution of Oliver Cromwell

The Execution of Oliver Cromwell

One of the most outstanding and remarkable moments in the world of history took place in 1661, was the execution of a dead person for treason. The body of Oliver Cromwell was exhumed from Westminster Abby for execution following his treasonous acts around threes after his death and state burial. Oliver played a significant role as an offer in the parliamentary army in the civil war of 1642. He contributed as a key figure in the trial, conviction, and execution of King Charles I.[7]

8. The Emergence of the First World War

The Emergence of the First World War

The first world war represents the moment in the world of history when the world experienced a global conflict. The war involved over 30 countries and it covered the largest geographical space in the history of wars. The tally of lives lost during the first was is approximated to over 10 million soldiers and the unknown number of civilians and it changed the perception of the world of social and political aspects. The war started with Britain declaration of war on Germany in 1914 following the assassination of Franz Ferdinand the heir to Austro-Hungarian throne. Within one-month, entire Europe was engulfed in a war that devasted the entire world.[8]

9. The First Man in Space

The First Man in Space

In his Vostok 1 spacecraft, Yuri Gagarin, the Soviet cosmonaut, became the first man to journey in space. He orbited for 108 minutes in space, wearing a bright orange spacesuit with a helmet imprinted CCCP for identification with the Soviet and recognition.

The 27 years technician and test pilot were the first men to travel into space and the first human being to orbit the planet. He aided prove the triumph of the Soviet Union space program in the world. Yuri opened the door for other people to study and explore space. He was awarded named the hero of the Soviet Union.[9]

10. The Holocaust

The Holocaust

It is the barbaric period in the history of the world that marked the death of over seven million Jews people. After the end of the first world war, the Nazi’s were furious with the Jews and Hitler, in particular, blamed the Jews for the Germans defeat in the war. The Holocaust is described as the systematic persecutions and murders of a group of people planned and orchestrated and sponsored by the government. Hitler blamed the Jews for the defeat in the war as he refers to the Jews racially as an inferior race that cannot produce strong soldiers to fight in the war.

When he rose to power as the Nazi leader, Hitler devised a final resolution of killing two out of every three Jews with the objective of preventing the weak from breading. The procedure was brutal and barbaric as it was compulsory sterilization and institutionalization of weak in the society. This was the devastating duration in the history of the world that occurred during the 20th century.[10]

Top 10 of the Coldest Inhabited Places in the World

world-coldest-inhabited-places

Did you know that if your body freezes beyond 70 degrees F (20 degrees Celsius), you simply fade off into oblivion? Well, unless you have the superpowers of Wim Hof, “The Iceman.” In most cities, the coldest winters bring life to a standstill making life seem almost impossible. However, human beings have survived for centuries on earth by enduring, adapting or simply improvising through the coldest of times. While time and intelligence have helped us seek out more temperate places to live, some people still survive in sub-zero temperatures for months every year. The stories of the lowest temperatures that these people have to endure simply sound like miracles. These are 10 of these coldest places that other members of our species still live in.

1. Oymyakon, Russia

Oymyakon, Russia

The most interesting story was of the journalist who said his saliva froze to sharp needles in his mouth that pierced him. Surprisingly enough, Oymyakon actually stands for the non-freezing waters, named because of the warm spring in the area. 3,300 miles east of Moscow lies this town with 500 inhabitants whose temperatures have never hit zero between December and March. These four months for the inhabitants of Oymyakon are long and testing. Stories of people freezing to death while running from their dead cars are quite common here. The lowest recorded temperature was about -75C, just 20C above the coldest temperatures ever recorded on earth.

Being the coldest inhabited place on earth means people here survive. The cold winters are withstood with long hours next to burning coals, wood and of course lots of strong alcohol. Schools operate into the heart of the winter only stopping if –40s are recorded. The temperature recording devices in the town are just a tourist attraction because record lows break some of them. Selfies of people with frozen eyelashes are always common. However, some people still swim naked in the non-freezing stream of the frozen city.[1][2]

2. Verhoyansk, Russia

Verhoyansk, Russia

Oymyakon and Verhoyansk are the two contenders for the top spot for the coldest frozen habitats. None can be said to be colder than the other, the only fact is that Verhoyansk’s pole of cold museum has more details on the actual stories of surviving or succumbing to the frost since the 17th century. Stalin used this city as the hell for punishing political prisoners, they however thrived and their generation of over 1500 descendants inhabit the town nowadays. Accessing the isolated town is actually easiest in the winter because you can drive over the frozen marshes, the summer is a different story altogether.

Survival here is no different from Oymyakon. Residents got a supply of fresh water in form of a large block of ice, nowadays, there is a heating pump that runs nonstop to keep the city alive. Being an agricultural town and the home of many reindeer, attacks from wolves are not rare, the locals have to brave the cold and keep watch in the ice for these four-legged devils. The stories of people who give up and commit suicide by simply being less cautious come from Verhoyansk almost every winter.[3][4]

3. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Ever heard of having to thaw the ground to bury the dead? At a 1.3 million population, Ulaanbaatar has the highest number of extreme cold survivors every year. A cold winter becomes a death storm when the wind blows at a high speed onshore freezing everything in it’s way to death. In 2010, the cold storms killed more than one million animals and subjected the whole city to the threat of death. If you have to stay in Ulaanbaatar in the winter, you need to avoid moving around in January as much as possible, Oh, and your boot will make a perfect fridge too.

Many people don’t understand just how cold a Mongolian January can get because of the high average annual temperature and the high-temperature difference between the cities. Mongolians have braved these winters for centuries though. With heavier layers of clothes and stronger fires to warm their homes, Mongolians who are mostly herders keep each other warm and life goes on. The people have actually developed a culture of generosity offering tea and food to almost any stranger in need during these hard times.[5]

4. Yakutsk, Russia

Yakutsk, Russia

The Yakutsk winter is popularly referred to as the Siberian curse because of the centuries the people here have had to live close to death. At minus 50, if you have spectacles, you simply can’t use them, they will rip off your skin if you try to pull them off. Imagine a city with over 270,000 people where you cannot put on spectacles for over 3 months. Yakutsk Russia is known for some sweet summers but it’s under 40 degrees winters make it the coldest city on earth. Vicinity to the extreme North is explained as the main cause of these killer sub-zeros that make Yakutsk the largest cold death zone in the northern hemisphere.[6]

Living here is simply impossible, planes cannot land at the airport unless they are rated for -40 degrees. The houses need a thermosyphon that keeps the ground frozen and the phones can’t hold the power just long enough. At -70f the human lungs cannot hold any moisture making the 300,000 locals thirsty through the winter. The cold doesn’t freeze all the fun in Yakutsk though, the locals still get time to throw ice balls and also flush buckets of boiling water into the frozen sky and watch the heat wither into the frost.[7][8]

5. Astana, Kazakhstan

Astana, Kazakhstan

The Coldest “STAN” as people call it, Kazakhstan is no foreigner to harsh weather but Astana seems to have the worst of them all. It is the second coldest capital city in the world after Ulaanbaatar but the killer snowfalls are made deadlier by the stronger winds. While a minus 30 in Mongolia may be deadly enough, in Astana, they may be accompanied by 50km/hr. of winds freezing everything in their wake.[9]

Winters in Astana also come earlier because of the high altitude. The whole city is subjected to frozen roads from November to march with parents having to overdress the young ones to school and stand on the ready to pick them up in case the weatherman predicts another deadly storm. Despite the harsh weather, Astana seems to have the best snow clearance team in the world. While a 5cm snow in London takes a whole week to clear, Astana’s specialized team clears up 8 lane roads within a day or two of a snowfall, the locals hardly notice the difficulty.[10]

6. Yukon, Canada

Yukon, Canada

Snag, a small town in Whitehorse holds the record for the coldest day ever in North America recorded in February 1947. The accounts of water freezing before your eyes and being blown away by the wind still haunt the day. Although the summer is full sunlight, the winter here is dark and full of cold snap. The town was evacuated some years back but it has since been repopulated with the Canadian government putting in more effort to manage the ice.

While this is a popular destination for watching the Northern lights, this place is also a death zone in the winter. Popularly labeled as North America’s colder than Mars, Yukon gives the perfect description of cold snap for Canada throughout its history. Of the coldest inhabited places on earth, Canada is the coldest, closely followed by Russia. But Yukon Canada is Canada’s cold hell. The combination of the Converging cold currents and proximity to the pole is the explanation to the -60 plus record colds in the past although the figures are sticking to low forties to thirties now due to climate change.[11][12]

7. Alaska, USA

Alaska, USA

Just like Yukon Canada, Alaskan winters come with less than 6 hours of sunlight turning the state into a gloomy freezer for months. Alaska holds the record for the US’s lowest ever temperature at -79.8F. Alaskan winters stay below 60 degrees for days giving the same experience as Yukon in Canada, records of -70 degrees are common in most places turning Alaskan air into total ice fog. If you hear on the news that Alaskan weather has warmed up, you are probably dealing with 38 below zero, just an expression of how cold it can get down there.

The cold doesn’t stop life in Alaska though, Alaskans have the best winter preparation methods in the US. Battery warmers and remote starters are stocked in their numbers to keep cars running in the cold. While staying indoors may be the warmest option, the depression is also bad for your health forcing Alaskans to seek friends and family to warm up their hearts in the cold weather.[13][14]

8. Yellowknife, Canada

Yellowknife, Canada

Once Yellowknife comes up on any map, Ostersund Sweden stops being the real winter city. The summers are great because of its southern placement making it a great tourist destination with 24 hours of the day. The cold is, however, the exact opposite. The coldest record for Yellowknife stands at minus 65 making it colder than any regular winter for a city considering the human activity and many structures. Although the annual average is just -29 degrees, Yellowknife always stands at the top of Canada’s coldest cities and of course the longest chilling winds in the world. The mayor once said that it takes a special breed of people to survive the winter in Yellowknife but the locals do not consider it that bad. Life continues through the winter with a recent influx of tourists in the region during the winter as well.[15][16]

9. Montana, USA

Montana, USA

While weather is predictable in most freeze zones, Montana cold and hots are simply a flip of a coin, it can happen any time. Snowstorms are less frequent nowadays but it is still the 9 months of winter state. Montana set a record -69.7F making it the coldest ever Contiguous state. This record low does not hold forever though because of the nature of temperature fluctuations due to the state topography but a cold day here is not so far from the Martian lows. A drop from 44 above zero to 56 below zero is the USA’s highest ever drop and it was recorded in Browning Montana in 1916. December lows sometimes hit -50 in some places but life here doesn’t stop.[17]

Montana winter bravery is actually the most unique in the US, unlike other states where a drop below 20 means and of a business day, In Montana, it is just another day on the calendar. The children in Montana are called the thickest-skinned kids in the US braving the lowest temperatures to go to school. At -26, children still enjoy class and recess with teachers arguing that it is the safest place for them to be because the parents are not home either.[18]

10. Hell, Norway

Hell, Norway

This “Hell” does not mean eternal damnation, it actually means luck. The biggest Irony of weather is that Scandinavian Countries have warmer winters than some places further from the pole but winters here still get cold. The closer you get to Antarctica, the colder it becomes right? Actually no, there are other factors to consider especially the warm gulf stream, the Antarctica freeze still has an Impact on Eastern Norway. The ‘’hell that freezes over” is a popular joke for this town in the coldest place in Norway. With one of the coldest breezes in the world hitting at it and the sun shining for less than 3 hours for many days, temperatures below 25 are not so rare here. The wind chills make it even colder giving one of the coldest freezes to its 1500 inhabitants.[19][20]

Top 10 Real People With Remarkable Superpowers

People-With-Superpowers

Our world hosts people with varying abilities that make it a truly fantastic place. People with superpowers are part of the special group of extraordinary humans with abilities that is beyond human understanding and scientific explanation. Some of these people heroically deploy their abilities for the benefit of the world, while others misuse the superpowers to destroy and commit evil in society. Either way, these real people with real-life superpowers have unusual abilities that are either learned or inherited. They achieve feats that are considered humanly impossible. Meet real people with real superpowers.

1. Raj Mohan Nair – “Electro Man”

Raji Mohan Nair is the Indian national with superpowers that led him to be known as the electro man. Nair discovered his superpower ability when he attempted to commit suicide at age seven by climbing an electric transformer and holding on one of the live wires. To the great amusement and shock of many, he was not hurt or harmed in any way. This brought him to the fandom that he has a supernatural gift, an ability that he believes is god given.

The man with the ability to withstand outstandingly 10 amps of electric current flowing within his body. Different studies and research reveal that Raji Mohan Nair has the ability makes him withstand over ten times currents of electricity flowing in his body more than a normal human body can sustain. One of the stunning superpower capabilities of electric man is the ability to power light bulbs and electronic appliances by allowing electric current to circulate via his body. To enhance conductivity, he uses the tongue as a connection point. For instance, in the superhumans, Raji Mohan Nair displayed his super abilities by powering blenders via his tongue which a proximate over five amps of electrical currents. Usually, a human being without such special powers will be a suicide mission to try this amount of electricity in their body.[1]

2. Natasha Demkina

The is a Russian girl with superpowers in terms of her vision. The ability in her eyes earned her the title of the X-Ray Eye Russian girl. At the age of ten years, Natasha discovered her superpowers when she realized and revealed to her mother that she has the ability to see her organs. The discovery was that she could switch on and off her X-Ray vision whenever she wants to. Her ability enabled her to see through the human skin and diagnose or treat medical complications inside their body.

She constructively used her superpower X-Ray vision to avail medical consultation to the local people in her society. The media took notice of her and she participated in the Discovery Channel in 2004. The exposure of the media enabled her to identify using her special vision and diagnose various ailments of the willing people in the study. Despite the display of her superpower that would have been instrumental in the medical arena, the research around her ability lacked evidence to accumulate support.[2]

3. Stephen Wiltshire

The ability in the field of art and drawing was illuminated by Stephen Wiltshire, born in London. At the age of 3, Stephen was autism diagnosed, at the same age, he lost his father in a motorbike crash. As a means of communication and expression, he used artistic capabilities which were noticed and received a commission from prime minister at age 8. The superpower was revealed in his photographic ability and memory in drawing the whole city such as New York, Sydney, London, and Singapore from a single helicopter ride. As the victim of autism, Stephen uses his abilities to solicit funds, create awareness for autism support globally.[3]

4. Masutatsu Oyama

Masutatsu Oyama

The karate trainer and master Oyama is known for creating and founding Kyokushin Karate style which is the most influential in karate contact. He is well known for training and mentoring the most successful martial art champions worldwide. The title the God-hand emerged from Oyama’s ability to battle bulls barehand. The super ability is demonstrated in the strange power he killed three bulls with a single barehand strike. The second outstanding display was revealed when Oyama finished and emerged as the winner in 100-man Kumite three consecutive times within three days, defeating three hundred opponents in the process. In his memory and legacy, a manga series and anime of 47 episode was created based on his abilities. The fighter and karate character in various films was based on his legacy.[4]

5. Wim Hof – “The Iceman”

Wim Hof (The Iceman)

The Dutch athlete, Wim Hof, had the capabilities that led him to be known as the Iceman because of his ability to survive under extremely low temperatures. The superpower is associated with special and unique breathing features and techniques. One-way Hof deployed in surviving under such conditions is by conscious hyperventilation which enables his heart rate and adrenaline at optimum. The unique breathing method is instrumental in regulating body temperature and increasing his nervous activities. Some of Hof’s superpowers was attested when he took the longest ice bath of one hour and fifty-two minutes, and he also completed a marathon in a temperature of about -20 degrees in Finland wearing just shorts. He further advanced his name as iceman when he climbed Mount Everest in shorts.[5]

6. William Trubridge

He is a New Zealand world champion recording holding free driver. At age 8, William was able to free dive to 15 meters. He was also very competitive in free diving at the same age against his brothers testing who could dive the deepest and hold the longest.

The superpower of William came to light when Martin Khodabakhshian’s documentary, Breathe. The real-life documentary acted as the platform to expose William as the first free diver to reach a depth of three hundred feet on a single breath. Further, he holds an impressive of 15 world records of free diving encompassing the free immersion dive of 396 feet in a single breath in 2011. The study reveals that Williams ability is not genetically acquired but it is learned through extensive training, perseverance, consistency, and taking a long time growing up in water.[6]

7. Byron Ferguson – “Master Marksman”

Bryon Ferguson found out about his love for archery when he was just 12 years old. He demonstrated the great capability and credible feats in his ability and skill with the longbow. He attributes his perfection and improvement to training in dark rooms and shooting arrows at candle lights. One of the accomplishments is demonstrated in Stan Lee’s superhumans where Byron was able to shoot at an aspirin pill in the air. Byron featured in several TV shows such as History Channels More Extreme Marksmen and the Extreme Marksmen. The master marksman was attributed to the better than normal eyesight and vision of 20/15 rating implying Byron can see at 20 feet while normal humans only see at 15 feet. His superpower is a product of combining skills and talent making him a perfect marksman master.[7]

8. Liam Hoekstra

Liam Hoekstra

Liam Hoekstra was extraordinarily strong since his childhood. The adopted parents who raised him realized his physical capability and strength at an early age. For instance, just at the age of six months, the young Liam was able to walk upright without being aided by anything or anybody, he could walk up and down the stairs. With normal children at the same age, cannot manage to do this. the real power of Liam manifested at one-year-old, he was doing chin-ups and by the 18th month of age, Liam demonstrated extraordinary physical strength by moving heavy types of furniture around the house.

The doctors carried out the strength test when Lian Hoekstra was three years old and the findings are shocking. For one, he was four times stronger as compared to kids his age, with over 50% muscles. Secondly, he was stronger than 91% of the children two times older than him and stronger than 75% of kids three times his age. The research and studies contacted to establish the source of Liam’s strength point at the deficiency in his protein known as myostatin which contributes to faster muscle mass development and increased fat metabolism in his body.[8]

9. Tim Cridland

Tim Cridland

Tim is gifted in the endurance over pain. He is a side-show actor and is known as the torture king because of his extreme ability to endure and withstand pain. As one of the inventors of the Jim Rose Circus, he featured in a number of feats for many years. For example, Tim demonstrated the ability to skewer himself via any part of his body, encompassing electrocution, sleeping on a bed of nails, and swallowing flaming swords among others. The real superpower of Tim emanates from a genetic disorder called Congenital Analgesia that enables him to be immune to pain, according to experts. However, he attributes his extraordinary abilities and powers to his greater understanding of martial arts, anatomical science, and the teachings of the middle east. The real superpower of Tim has given him a ticket to feature in shows such as the Ripley’s Believe It OR Not, the Superhumans by stan lee, and traveling globally to perform in shows.[9]

10. Concetta Antico – “The Rainbow Woman”

Antico is an artist with superpowers and super abilities to see way more colors others normal. The feature that scholars attribute it to a condition known as tetrachromat which gives her an extra mutation on her X chromosomes. The superpower to see a different variety of colors than other people is instrumental in her career as an artist. The eyes have more cones than a normal person’s eyes thus explaining her powers and abilities.[10]

Top 10 Most Notorious Serial Killers Arrested in the 21st Century

serial killers

Every time a neighborhood is associated with a serial killer, the terror shakes everything including property prices. Hunting down a serial killer also takes years with their crimes continuing to hurt the society making unserved justice to these murderers so painful. Serial killers are one the most unpredictable threats to security even in the 21st century. While society has never established one main reason for their actions, these people are dangerous and very elusive. Every arrested serial killer brings justice to the victims of their crime. These are 10 of the most notorious serial killers arrested in this century.

1. Mikhail Popkov: Russia 1992 – 2012

This is Russia’s most prolific serial killer with over 100 murders to his head and counting. Mikhail Popkov’s murders seem unending after another 22 deaths were added to his initial 84 which he confessed to after his arrest. Also known as the Wednesday killer or the Angarsk Maniac, Popkov’s motive for killing women was “cleansing the city.” He claimed the women who were walking alone at night were immoral, leaving their husbands and children at home to go drinking.

Over the 20 years of his criminal acts, Popkov, a former police officer, kidnapped women late at night in his car and killed them with tools such as hammers. He is also believed to have raped the victims, so much for cleaning right? He dumped most victims on the roadside and came later as a police officer to visit the crime scene. [1]

2. Harold Shipman: UK 1911 – 2004

Ever heard of a man who kills people just to derive sexual pleasure from watching them die? This is probably the only doctor that went to record as a serial killer hence his name “Doctor Death.”[2] Harold Shipman was an elusive serial killer who took the opportunity he was given of saving lives as a doctor to kill people. He fantasized having power over life and death and would overdose patients with Morphine or medical heroine and watch them die. The sad thing is that his colleagues never flagged him even after taking a surprisingly large quantity of pain medication. 

He still had thousands of patients recorded to him as a personal physician making him one of the most dangerous serial killers to walk the earth. While the exact number of his victims was never established, he was convicted of 15 before more evidence uncovered more murders over the years. Unlike other serial killers, Shipman denied his crimes until his suicide in 2004. He is still considered the UK’s most prolific serial killer. He thought he was doing the patients a favor because they were going to die anyway.[3]

3. Pedro Rodrigues Filho: Brazil 1967 – 2003

A serial killer that kills bad guys may sound like a less dangerous criminal but Pedro Filho is simply the expression of pure evil.[4] His behavior is highly associated with the abuse he faced as a child, he was born with an injured skull because his dad beat his mother before he was born. He started taking pleasure in killing rapists and killers leading to a conviction on 71 counts of murder although he claimed to have killed over 100 people.

He was arrested in 1973 but continued killing inmates making him a career serial killer.[5]  Filho is probably the evilest vigilante in the world. His killings began before he was 18. He killed a vice mayor for firing his dad on false accusation and went ahead to kill the right culprit. He took up killing bad guys as a hobby, at the peak of his crimes, he killed 7 people in one day during a wedding. He killed his own father for killing his mum with a machete, his most evil side was exposed when he curved out his heart and chewed it.

4. Yang Xinhai: China 1969 – 2004

Yang Xinhai is also called the monster killer or China’s home invader serial killer. He invaded homes and simply killed everyone alive. His motivation was quite interesting too, he just wanted to get back at the world for his terrible misfortunes in life. He was born in the poorest family in the village, imprisoned for raping the girl he loved and rejected by the love of his life. After killing 67 people, he was finally arrested, DNA evidence identified him in all the murder scenes turning him into China’s worst serial killer of the century. He said he enjoyed killing people and there was nothing strange about killing before his execution in 2004.[6]

5. Gary Leon Ridgeway: USA 1949 – 2001

Ted Bundy was the worst serial killer in America until he helped the police arrest his successor on that list. Just like Ted, Gary was a typical serial killer, he derived sexual pleasure from raping his victims mostly made of prostitutes and runaway girls. The infamous green river killings that led to the naming of Route 99 south in King County as haunted went on for over 3 decades. Victims were being murdered and dumped in the woodlands along Green river. His arrest came after Ted Bundy, who was on death row awaiting his execution, advised the authorities to lay a trap for the killer at a fresh grave because the killer would come to have sex with the corpse.[7]

DNA evidence only linked him to 4 murders but there was still a trail of nearly 100 bodies unaccounted for. Gary was a truck painter and a trace of paint he used at murder scenes was linked to 44 other murders turning his number of convictions to 48. He confessed to having killed more than 90 women making him the worst serial killer in American history. According to him, killing was his career.[8] He was imprisoned to multiple life sentences for each of the murders and an additional 480 years for tampering with evidence in each case.

6. Alexander Pichushkin: Russia 1974 – 2006

This man appears on every list of evil men because of his weird motivation to kill. While sexual pleasure, thrill, and attention is the major driver for many serial killers, Alexander only killed to fill his 64 square chase board. His behavior is highly associated with a head injury he received while playing on a swing at a young age. He preyed on weak and poor homeless people especially old men whom he would lure from the park promising them a free vodka. As he himself confessed that he killed so many people until he lost count.[9]

His arrest came after one of his victims was suspicious enough to give his contact to her son which allowed the police to track down the murder scene. He was not remorseful about his crimes, in fact, he was angry because the police arrested him after marking off only 61 of the 64 squares. Other theories say he was competing with Andre Chikatilo, another serial killer convicted of killing children a few years earlier.[10]

7. Sailson Jose Das Gracas: Brazil 2005 – 2014

Like Pedro Filho, this serial killer also started killing at a young age but he got so sporadic that the authorities were surprised by his rate of killing. He acted as a killer for hire apart from his normal fun killings. Das Gracas was not any regular serial killer, he simply killed for fun not money or sexual fantasies. His victim range was rather scattered and all of them happened across a 9-year period making him one of the most sporadic killers in this list.[11]

He had a MO of strangling his victims to death with his hands. He mostly killed white women but his victims included a 2-year-old child and 3 men apart from the 37 women. While attention was claimed as the cause for these actions, he himself said lack of killing made him nervous. After his arrest, he confessed to having killed 42 people and swore to kill again if ever released from prison.[12]

8. Serhiy Tkach: Ukraine 1980 – 2005

This was another ex-police officer who turned into a notorious sexual predator and murderer. His victims were 9 to 17-year-old girls who were raped before being choked to death. He was very elusive running away from police by sticking to railway tracks and busy roads to avoid sniffer dogs. His crimes led to the false accusation of a father who committed suicide because of the sorrow and shame of being accused of killing his own daughter.[13] He also killed another girl and had a young boy who found the body falsely jailed for the offense, he was simply too bad for the society.

After raping victims, he would also rip off their clothes and clear all evidence making it difficult to tie any loose ends. His notorious elusive techniques are what made him one of Ukraine’s most wanted criminals. He was arrested after a group of girls identified him as the kidnapper of a 9-year-old girl. After being sentenced to life in prison, things still turned out well for him after an admirer married him in prison and gave birth to his child.[14]

9. Charles Edmund Cullen: USA 1984 – 2003

Like the UK’s killer doctor, Charles Edmund, a critical patient care nurse, poisoned his patients because he felt he had a calling to save them from their pain.[15] The angel of Death as many people called him was a killer nurse who killed people mercilessly and enjoyed being the ruler over life and death just like other serial killers. He personally confessed to between 30 and 40 murders but after confirming that he poisoned at least 3 people per week since his first job, the police concluded that he may have killed more than 300 people.[16]

He was a deranged person from his early life after attempting suicide many times from the age of 9. He was sentenced to 18 lifetimes in prison for his crimes which ranged for nearly 20 years of his career. When interviewed after his incarceration, he said he was sorry for his crimes but that he would never have stopped killing if he wasn’t caught.

10. Dennis Raider: USA 1970s – 2005

From the president of a Lutheran church to America’s most wanted serial Killer, the arrest of Raider after a floppy disk traced him back to his evil deeds in the previous century shocked the whole nation.[17] This was one of the greatest victories for US law enforcement in serial killer hunts. The BTK killer as many knew him killed 10 people in a span of three decades. Bind, torture, and kill are the three methods he used to kill his highly skewed range of victims. While his number of killings may seem narrow, his methods were so gruesome. He would, first of all, write a letter to the police with hints on his next victim. He stalked the victims and killed them by stabbing or strangling them, he would then write to mock the law enforcement for failing to connect the dots.[18]

10 Shocking Stories of Rich and Famous Celebrities Who Died Poor

celebrities

They say the hardest part of being a celebrity is that everyone watches you making money and also spending it. You have to dress well and keep a smile for the cameras to impress the world. However, as money makes celebrities, it destroyed some too. Most celebrities run into financial hurdles but they swing to a different career or get help from friends. However, even with millions of fans and a huge name to reap from, some of these people get broke and fade off into oblivion with nothing to their name. Here is a list of the 21st-century riches to rags stories that shocked the world.

1. Michael Jackson

Thriller, Jackson’s best seller in the 70s raked in over $100m, this was a record sale and just a tip of what the king of pop would make in the 80s and 90s. King of pop, the highest paid celebrity and the king of fame are all the names that follow Michael Jackson after his death. According to Forbes, he made a whopping 1.1 billion dollars during his 4-decade career from album sales, shows, royalties and his 50% share of the ATV partnership later in his life. With so much money earned a year, Michael Jackson seems to be the greatest spendthrift in the last century, he owed nearly 0.5 billion dollars when he died contrary to what everyone expected.[1]

Celebrity life is expensive but being a celebrity cost Jackson less than half of his fortune. He spent the rest on expensive holidays and of course the ultra-expensive plastic surgeries. His private life was full of scandals pushing off Pepsi and other sponsors. With lawsuits increasing including a child molestation case that cost over $20 million, Jackson’s revenues could not keep up. He turned to expensive borrowing to keep up the image but his death would expose the depth of his financial woes. He left the family with nothing, his estate has however brought in over $1 billion reviving his finances, ok his name’s finances because he was too dead to spend it.[2]

2. Houston McTear

Houston McTear

This was a famous athlete who died to the media long before his actual death in 2015 after he was reported homeless and desperate on the Santa Monica beach. Houston McTear was the unluckiest fastest man in the world. Despite running a record 6.5 seconds in a 60-meter race that went unbroken for a decade and setting a 9-second finish for the 100-meter dash, he never got to run in the Olympics. He was the Hussein Bolt of the 20th century. He was a favorite rag to riches story after growing up in a Shack in Florida in the family of 8 but turning his life around at the peak of his career.[3]

His speed would be the family savior after he started earning lots of money when he got into a partnership with Mohammed Ali to create a club in his name. He confessed to having $400,000 in his account at one point but things didn’t work in his favor. Drugs and family problems got the better of him. He started spending over $300 a week on drugs, this was really damaging considering his earnings were not as constant. He died forgotten in Sweden with no known wealth to his name.[4]

3. Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman

Different strokes the NBC hit show made Gary Coleman one of the richest child actors on the planet. He was paid $100,000 per episode making him one of Hollywood’s richest at one point. With so much money and a young age, Coleman had all it took to be great, in his career and financially.[5]

However, Gary Coleman’s financial problems were not his fault, his foster parents squandered his money, he sued them for a $1.3 million settlement in 1993 but that was not nearly enough. After 2 failed kidney transplants, his health cost him the other half of his fortune. He later became jobless and had to work as a security guard to fend for himself. When he died from a fatal fall years later, he was bankrupt although his estate was expected to continue earning some money years on.[6]

4. Corey Haim

Corey Haim

Silver Bullet, Lucas and Snowboard Academy were all best sellers acted by Corey Haim at a young age. He was one of the best Canadian actors in Hollywood in 80s being called up for a role in 7 movies. In any standard, Corey Haim had all it takes to be famous and rich but he only managed one of the two, get famous. Corey Haim was the Hollywood teen Idol through his role in “the lost boys” which he acted alongside his friend Corey Feldman. The two Coreys became the pride of Hollywood earning so much fame and money through the 80s. 

Getting so much money when young requires a lot of responsibility which Corey just didn’t have. He lost most of his money on drugs leading to an addiction that pushed him out of his career. He later tried to come back from it but he couldn’t. By the time he died of pneumonia in 2010, Corey was broke living in a rental apartment with his sick mother. He allegedly didn’t have any property to his name, not even a car.[7]

5. Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds

After 66 years of a successful career in best sellers including Bandit, deliverance and Boogie nights, Burt Reynolds made more money than any regular Hollywood star. ‘Boogie nights’ was a great hit that earned Burt Reynolds more than $10 million a year in his prime and a Golden Globe award in 1998. After spending a better part of his life in the industry, Burt Reynolds acquired enough wealth to keep him financially secure all his life but the revelation on his financial state at the time of his death was a shocker. 

He had lost his 150-acre ranch, a private jet, a spread and many other expensive properties he acquired in his career. By the time he died, he was literally homeless living in his waterfront mansion at the mercy of its buyer who happened to be his friend. While drugs were not his thing, Reynolds blamed his financial problems on wrong investment decisions. The sad bit is that even after losing all his wealth, he regretted not having spent more. He sure lived large and literally spent all his money on himself.[8][9]

6. Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney left an 18,000-dollar estate after acting, directing and producing for 80 years. It was a total mockery to his many years of hard work and fame. Andy Hardy film royalties were not as huge as modern films but Mickey Rooney was still the highest paid actor in the 30s and 40s. Mickey Rooney’s career in Hollywood spanned nearly his entire life. His production business continued to supplement his earnings way into his later years. He died at 92, with a career that lasted over 80 years, Mickey Rooney’s estate would have been worth millions.[10]

He was not a drug addict, just a good man surrounded by a very greedy family. His stepson Aber was accused of taking $2.8 million from him. He blamed one of his other sons for mishandling his money. In his last days, Rooney had quite a hard time facing harassment from his eighth wife and her son who were accused of elder mistreatment. He was a very miserable man considering he was still the Jewel of Hollywood’s greatest even before his death.[11]

7. Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr

Once named the most beautiful woman in the world, Hedy went from riches to rags reaching the worst in the 60s when she could hardly pay for food. Hedy was as complicated an actor as she was an inventor but a rich celebrity either way. No one had a grasp on her, in her early days, she starred in a German movie called ecstasy but her life had not started just yet. She was the main actor in Samson and Delila, Paramount’s best seller through the better part of the 20th century. 

She earned a lot of money from her contract with Goldwin Meyer and many other roles of her early career, she was the most beautiful woman in the world, so she set her own prices and she spent her money on everything she wanted. With 6 marriages, some with financial troubles that forced her to sell her priced paintings and a lavish living, there was no money for the future. Besides, she didn’t even believe in saving, she said money was earned to be spent and everyone should spend theirs, not leave it to other people. There wasn’t much left to her name. Before her death in January 2000, she was living off a pension and royalties from some of her productions.

8. George Best

George Best

Soccer pays well and most players are rich although not all of them maintain wealth and fame after retiring. George best’s woes, however, had nothing to do with retiring, he was just a man that could not part with his characters from his youth. George Best is one of the best players to ever play for Manchester United. Before leaving the club at the age of 27, Best had everything it takes to be a great man. 

Best, however, descended into deep alcoholism that affected his health. He misused his money on drugs in the early years after leaving his career leading to liver and kidney failure by the time he was 50. He was given a new liver in 2002 while dealing with financial problems. However, by the time he died 3 years later, George best was in a desperate state with nearly nothing to his name.[12]

9. Anita Ekberg

Anita Ekberg

Anita Ekberg came to fame after becoming Miss Sweden at 20 and proceeding to contest for miss universe, of course, she lost due to the number of better divas but she became more famous a few decades later. Universal pictures gave her a contract that sent her to Italy to begin her great career. She played a part in great films, but none has ever hit like La Dolce Vita, which she acted in epic romantic chemistry with Marcello Mastroianni. She was good, maybe too good. After La Dolce, she was named the sex goddess of 20th-century film. Her acting was loved by many and also criticized worldwide including the Vatican.

She had money and wealthy lovers too, including Frank Sinatra. Through her life, she lived large when it was necessary, but misfortune struck as age caught up with her. Better faces appeared, and she was pushed to the sidelines. After moving to a Villa in Italy after her second divorce, she was robbed of her jewelry and lost her property to fire. She also lost a leg when her dog knocked her down and had to move by on a wheelchair leading to her most desperate times during which she had to appeal for help.[13][14]

10. Sammy Davis Jr

Sammy Davis Jr
circa 1955: Studio portrait of American singer and actor Sammy Davis, Jr 1925 – 1990 (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Sammy Junior or ‘Mr. Show’ as his fans still call him died in 1990 leaving a $5m debt owed to the IRS. He had earned a lot of money in his 60-year career with its peak as a member of Rat Pack where he was the most popular figure. Sammy died in 1990, but the details of his financial problems became more evident in this century. He was a great man who left the war and went straight on stage to fill up halls and stadiums in every event he hosted. By his 60s, he was making millions a year and living large. He confessed to spending twice the money he earned.[15]

The stories that emerged a decade after his death exposed this great musician as an alcoholic. He struggled with substance abuse before succumbing to throat cancer. While this may have contributed to his financial problems, Sammy Jr was trying to salvage his situation in his last tour which was cut short by the disease. He, however, had a life insurance which saw to his wife and children keeping the family safe from his mistakes.[16]

10 Films that Bankrupted the Studios That Made Them

studios

Movies tell some amazing stories that go beyond the limits of our wildest imagination. But to accomplish such eye-popping wonders and next-level imagery, it requires a lot of the green to get those things to translate to a believable narrative. Studios are always on the lookout for the next potential blockbusters that they pray will open the doors to the next profitable franchise. Whether its remakes, reboots, sequels or spinoffs, the movie-making business is one that is built on dollars and cents.

There have been some very expensive tentpoles over the years which have resulted in some serious box office disasters. It is easy for a film these days to soar into massive budgets that can be a huge roll of the dice for a studio. If the numbers don’t roll out in their favor, they may have to close up shop due to the heavy losses sustained from a severe flop. While most people think studios are too big to fail, one would be surprised at how many times one bad movie sinks at the box office drowning studios in tremendous debt and leaving many employees out of work. These are ten films that notoriously took everyone down with the ship.

1. Titan AE (2000)

Titan AE was a bold move by 20th Century Fox. The Sci-fi animated film directed by Don Bluth criminally underperformed at the box office costing the studio a $100 million. The talented voice casting of famous actors such as Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, and Drew Barrymore couldn’t put fans in the seats for this one. It essentially cost Fox a million buckaroos per minute of the film’s hour and a half run time. Those numbers are no good when you are toting that kind of star power.

The film had an estimated budget of what was believed to be around $75 million, but when it released it took in less than $37 million in sales. This, along with its poor marketing, are what many claim to be the real source of the picture’s failure. It opened at the five spot on its initial weekend. One silver lining in this mess is that it has developed somewhat of a cult following. It was also nominated for a Saturn Award, which is a big deal in the Sci-fi community. But this didn’t help employees who lost their jobs at Fox Animation. Not very long after the film failed to resonate with audiences, Fox Animation Studios was officially shut down forever.[1]

2. Heaven’s Gate (1976)

Heaven’s Gate had everything necessary to churn out a solid hit. The film was helmed by the director of The Deer Hunter and starred a cast that included the talents of Christopher Walken, Jeff Bridges, John Hurt, and Willem Dafoe. Terry O’Quinn, Sam Waterston, Kris Kristofferson, and Mickey Rourke are also in the film and this seems like a sure fired recipe for success. Well, that is the farthest thing from what ended up happening with Heaven’s Gate.

Michael Cimino’s Western set in Wyoming in the 1890s was a massively troubled production that ended up going well over its budget by $13 million, bringing the grand total to around $44 million. The film’s runtime clocked in at a whopping three and a half hours long. It was only in theaters two weeks and brought in a measly return of $1.4 million. This makes it one of the biggest disasters in history at the box office. The picture also faced accusations of cruelty to animals during production. Cimino’s unconventional directing style led to the decimation of United Artists and resulted in its sale to MGM Studios. Heaven’s Gate was truly the end of an era in Hollywood.[2]

3. Cleopatra (1963)

It isn’t every day that you have a film that is a success at the box office but somehow still be considered one of the biggest cinematic financial distress ever. Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra is that anomaly in the space-time continuum. The movie was 1963s highest grossing film. The film about the infamous ruler from Egypt pulled in $26 million. Even with that amazing run at the box office, it still managed to lose $18 million. This was mainly due to the massive production costs to get the film completed.[3]

Despite starting out with a decent budget, it increased to the amount of $44 million by the time principal photography had wrapped. The film had little to no chance of recouping its budget back which was a significant financial loss to 20th Century Fox, almost bankrupting the major studio. Having virtually no shot at ever earning that money back, the beautiful looking picture forced the studio to close its doors for weeks. To date, this is the only film to ever win the yearly box office and still managed to lose a ridiculous amount of money.[4]

4. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2000)

Final Fantasy is a very popular long-running franchise that’s produced some of the best video games ever developed in history. In 2000, the game made the leap to the silver screen. The picture had recruited the voice talents of such famed celebrities like Alec Baldwin, James Woods, Donald Sutherland, Steve Buscemi, and Ving Rhames. And even with that kind of star power, the results were not very good. It didn’t help that the story had nothing to do with any of the Final Fantasy video game titles, which has never gone over well when adapting a video game for the big screen.

The movie grossed $32 million domestically and $85 million overall. This makes the CGI animated feature one of the biggest box office flops in recent history. The Spirits Within had a hefty price tag of $137 million. And it did not come anywhere close to getting back its budget. This forced Square Pictures to shut its doors. Its parent company Squaresoft planned to merge with its rival developer Enix. The financial losses from the Final Fantasy film put this necessary partnership in turmoil. Enix needed two more years to be convinced that the merger made fiscal sense.[5]

5. The Golden Compass (2007)

The Golden Compass was supposed to be the next big fantasy adventure on the same scale as the Harry Potter films. This fool’s dream never came to fruition. Despite bringing in some serious talents with the newly appointed James Bond aka Daniel Craig, alongside the likes of Nicole Kidman, Eva Green and Sir Ian McKellen, the adaptation of the books written by Philip Pullman didn’t come anywhere close to where it was supposed too, financially or story-wise. The $180 million budget quickly became New Line Cinema’s most lavish purchase at the time. It also was the main reason New Line was forced into merging with Warner Brothers Studios. This ended their reign established by the imaginative success with The Lord of the Rings films.[6]

Globally the film was not actually considered a flop at the box office. The American take was too low for studio execs to stomach. New Line sold the international rights for The Golden Compass so they missed out on the worldwide profits. Although the film took in a respectable $375 million, it still ended up taking down the once prolific movie studio to be eaten up and swallowed by a larger entity.

6. The Lady Vanishes (1938)

In 1938 Alfred Hitchcock put out another title to add to his prolific filmography with The Lady Vanishes. This was a popular thriller that takes place on a train. In true Hitchcock fashion, the film was a success and ended up becoming part of the Criterion Collection. Around fifty years later the magic that Hitchcock found in The Lady Vanishes attempted to be recreated with Cybil Shepard starring in the new version. While this all but seemed like an easy win at the box office, this was not the case at all.

The film that follows two Americans traveling by train across Germany in 1939 saw the setting change from the original fictional country to a pre-Second World War Germany. The remake of the Hitchcock classic was a poor enough attempt at cinema greatness that ended up dooming the poor people at the Hammer Film Production company and forced its doors to close. The Lady Vanishes was the final feature made by them for at least 29 years, that is until the 2008 film Beyond the Rave was released ending their hiatus from the industry.[7]

7. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

Superman IV is the greatest defeat the Man of Steel has ever encountered. It doesn’t matter what comic books you have read because the biggest flop the Last Son of Krypton was ever involved in is without a doubt Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. The story, the villain, and the whole approach are just some of the worst things the superhero genre has ever produced. When the foolish executives at The Cannon Group told the tall tale to Superman himself, Christopher Reeve, that they had a budget of $36 million, they actually had less than half.[8]

This thing is just a mess from start to finish. It is a far cry from the masterpiece that Richard Donner had created with the original Superman film. This film wasn’t a hit with average moviegoers and is universally hated by hardcore comic fanatics worldwide. Cannon Films eventually died off from their debt and did something Lex Luthor or Darkseid had so much trouble doing in the comics, kill Superman for nearly twenty years.

8. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It would surprise many to find out that the most iconic Christmas film was a huge financial disaster. It’s a Wonderful Life is remembered to have not resonated well with critics during its release as well as bombing badly at the box office. The movie grossed a pathetic $3.1 million and skewered the career of famed director Frank Capra. How a film with a title like It’s a Wonderful Life could have had such a negative effect on an icon within the world of cinema is one of the most baffling things ever heard of.

Capra’s production studio ended up going bankrupt because of this and his future was in fact in jeopardy. The Christmas classic was a solid gut punch to the genre as well as the people involved. The beloved family feature enjoyed by viewers everywhere during the holiday season was such a massive financial disaster and so many that enjoy it so much have no idea of this at all. It was not until the film received this very same television syndication that it finally managed to achieve some financial success.[9]

9. Life of Pi (2012)

Life of Pi was notoriously known to have been shot almost entirely against a green screen. This was thought by some to be a visual effects milestone and it was poised to make a significant impact during awards season. The film based on a book many people have enjoyed was a solid contender and thought to be a sure-fire win at the box office. The final product was nothing short of stunning and went on to win an Academy Award for its game-changing visual effects. And it did end up making a ton of money at the box office. Despite raking in a whopping $609 million worldwide, the special effects company responsible for that success ended up going under.[10]

When accepting the coveted Oscar for best visual effects, the artists begged for money because the movie put the talented folks at Rhythm & Hues out of jobs. The excessive workload the industry continually demands from the VFX community took a terrible toll forcing R&H into bankruptcy. This was met with much disdain throughout the entertainment industry, even starting a social media campaign demanding change.[11]

10. One for the Heart (1981)

Francis Ford Coppola is one of the most recognizable names in all of cinema history. His name is synonymous with such classic titles as Apocalypse Now and The Godfather. The latter was a massive box office success, so it seems Coppola, like his mob characters, is simply untouchable at the box office. Those that think so would be so wrong they may end up sleeping with the fishes. Coppola’s musical starring the likes of Raul Julia, Teri Garr and Frederic Forrest was anything but a financial success. The film started out having a modest budget from MGM that eventually got inflated all the way up to $26 million at the request of Coppola.

These numbers were considered astronomical in the year 1982. These were also considered to be some pretty crazy figures for bringing a simple love story to life. The critics were not fans of the film and it barely recouped a fraction of it its hefty budget. The infamous filmmaker was forced to file for Chapter 11 in order to bail out his two production companies and his family.[12]

Top 10 Most Powerful Criminal Empires in the World

criminal

After the second world war and the economic crisis that followed, many criminals got much power across the world and started running a parallel economy. The manpower and national budget portions that are used to combat crime have increased yearly since the end of the crisis. However, the sad fact is that some of these organizations have continued to grow. When crime pays more than legal business, anarchy will rule the world. Some of these organizations are so powerful controlling global economics and politics, they are literally the greatest threat to civilization in the world.

1. Sinaloa Cartel

The king of the biggest kingdom automatically becomes the greatest king, Mexico has the biggest drug cartels in the world and the Sinaloa cartel rules them all. While making nearly $10 bn a year and supported by a range of employees both inside and outside the government, there was no way any drug cartel could beat the Sinaloa. This cartel has appeared in the list of the richest drug syndicates for their constant production and supply of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and meth to the US and at least 50 other countries across the world. The Sinaloa cartel is simply the most dangerous combination of drug trafficking and business management that the criminal world has ever had.[1]

The Sinaloa power, however, goes way beyond the money, the cartel has an effective network of employees in a hierarchy attached to all its markets worldwide. The most notable figure of the Sinaloa was Joaquin Guzman aka El Chapo, considered the most powerful drug dealer in the world after Pablo Escobar. However, El Chapo was imprisoned twice and both times while he was behind bars, the Sinaloa survived and in fact expanded. Vincente Zambada the man believed to be second in command was a former member of the Tijuana cartel and he understands the supply routes into the US. Just Like Escobar’s Plata o Plomo rule, the Sinaloa used bribery and coercion to secure power in the government and bullets to clear the competition all the way to the top.[2]

2. Russian Mafia (Bratva)

Russia is the biggest country Geographically but it’s largest crime syndicate is larger than the country. The mafia is believed to have roots inside the old Soviet Union and ties to the government even after the adoption of a democratic government. The groups have a membership of over 300, 000 people, working in over 50 countries in the world. Their stronghold in Russia was secured when they gained control of a fair share of the Russian Economy after the death of Joseph Stalin. With lots of firepower and enough men to wield it, The Russian Mafia encroached the US turning into what the FBI called the greatest threat to national security.[3]

With several fronts used to carry out their criminal activities worldwide, this empire seems unbreakable with Russia itself admitting to having 5000 of these organizations. The mafia has continued to disrupt the peace of many countries including the US, France, and Spain where they have controlled organized since the 90s. Their leader, Semion Mogilevich, once put on the list of the most wanted men by the FBI, is a powerful man who freely walks in Russia. He is wanted in almost every country in the world, mostly in the US for fraud through his company YBM Magnex that defrauded investors over$150m.[4]

3. Mara Salvatrucha: MS-13

They started as underdogs being bullied by the Mexican Mafia in the 70s but as more immigrants came to LA from El Salvador during the civil war, they grew and became a cult-like mob. This is the main street gang that got so violent that is has influenced the US immigration policy since the 70s. It started in Los Angles and spread to the rest of the US, Canada and central America acquiring over 60,000 members making it America’s biggest security threat. Donald Trump called them animals and mentioned them as the main reason for his hostile immigration policy towards central American immigrants. The Obama administration declared them the first Transnational criminal organization after their association with drug cartels was exposed in an FBI threat assessment.[5]

Their main activities in the US are ground level drug distribution, kidnapping, racketeering, and contract killings. They use kill steal, rape, and control as their motto and they beat up new members for 13 seconds as initiation. With a large population of youth membership and a lifetime loyalty oath, their population never declines. They easily interact with society including schools and juvenile detentions gaining more street control than any other syndicate. Most Mexican drug cartels now hire them as hit men using their power which extends to prisons to perform killings for the cartels.[6]

4. D Company

Ibrahim Dawood, the father of the Mumbai underworld created D Company to conduct his criminal activities worldwide. Dawood used this organization first to wipe out all competition in the criminal underworld in Mumbai. Being a Muslim, he was not liked by most of the Indian rivals in the Underworld and his alliance with the most powerful criminals was key to gaining control. He joined hands with Al Qaeda to bomb Mumbai in 1993 making him India’s greatest enemy.[7]

D Company, however, moved on to gain a large membership with headquarters in London, Dubai, Singapore, and some African Countries. This organization also smuggle precious stones and people. It supplied nearly 20% of European drugs at one point before the joint forces between India and the US forced them to recede. They continue to earn over $2 bn annually from their illegal trade despite their leader being on the run for over 3 decades.[8]

5. The Sicilian Mafia: Cosa Nostra

Ever heard of a mafia ordering all shops in the city to install slot machines for it to launder money through? That is the current nature of Italy’s oldest Mafia. Southern Italy was the home of almost every crime in the book including organized prostitution rings, illegal arms trades, and drug trafficking. After solidifying a base at home, Cosa Nostra extended to the rest of Europe and America becoming the mother of all mafias. If you walk in the streets of Sicily today, you may not notice the power of a mafia that once ruled the city and scared the Italian government. The combination of the Italian military and the US law enforcement have hit down on the local front but not the whole mafia, American Italian Mafia and European Cosa Nostra are still very powerful.[9][10]

This Was the first crime syndicate to single-handedly provoke a military deployment of a European government within its own borders. Cosa Nostra went way over its head when it bombed government prosecutors consecutively resulting in more than 10 deaths. Their target of extending their power into the Italian and American governments was just the new face of this mafia. At home, Cosa Nostra is not so strong anymore, apart from extorting refugees and local businesses. The Cosa Nostra, however, records one of the highest memberships with power abroad maintained by over 250,000 members.

6. Yamaguchi Gumi-Yakuza

This is the second arm of the Japanese government. Their former image of tattooed men with chopped fingers is slowly vanishing and their methods got more civilized but Yamaguchi Gumi is still the same old yakuza. They control the bigger part of the Japanese entertainment industry controlling stars and productions. They also have an organized network of professional escorts, IT experts, Money changers and casinos used to control every sector of the economy including the Stock exchange, the US State Department named them a dangerous organized crime group after the revelation on how they extort company executives and events to influence stock prices.[11]

Ever imagined a large skyscraper in the heart of the city headquartering a criminal empire? The Yakuza is not illegal according to Japan, no, it is just a group of criminals who do good stuff, quite a hard relationship to define so far. A united front in the Yakuza would make it the largest empire in the world. However, the many Yakuza groups tend to operate independently although all of them exploit innocent people and make dirty money. The Yamaguchi Gumi at 30,000 strong in Japan became even more interesting when they encouraged their members to get real jobs.[12]

7. Hells Angels

According to the FBI, men with tattoos and branded jackets on bikes are not criminals, however, if crime spikes every time these people encroach a city, questions arise. Hells Angels operate like the Yakuza with their main difference being they are bikers. They have a history dating back to the 40s in LA. Publicly, they appear as a group of civilized bikers with no ties to crime. Police investigations on most of their operations hardly bring out all tying evidence, crime is mostly linked to just a small group of this syndicate. However, Hells Angels are the largest biker crime syndicate in the world coordinating arms and drug supply in Australia, Europe, and North America. They have legal nightclubs, casinos and other commercial enterprises that are used to launder proceeds making them a very difficult syndicate to break. Their European counterparts are the most violent because of high competition from other biker gangs, especially in Spain and the Netherlands.[13][14]

8. Ndrangheta

When a crime Syndicate North of Italy was reported to have made $60bn in 2013, the Italian government was made aware of the real problem in the North. While Sicily and the rest of Southern Italy were invaded by the military to combat the more aggressive Cosa Nostra, another bigger problem was brewing in the North. Calabria is the prime target for immigrants who use Italy as the main route to get to Australia, Germany, and the US. Ndrangheta has exploited these poor people since the 60s operating under the radar to gain the support of many powerful people. No one knew that Ndrangheta was a big problem, Even the mayor of Milan said he didn’t know it in 2010, a year before they were named Italy’s largest mafia.

This is a highly organized syndicate involved in almost every business in the underworld. While kidnapping and extortion were its stepping stones, it has since expanded to doing anything that brings in money. Trafficking both drugs and people is their main source of income because of their strategic location. to Launder their earnings, they started operating construction companies and local gambling businesses around Calabria. Their leadership is highly secretive but the head of all Ndranghetas from Milan to Australia stays in Calabria.[15]

9. The Triads

The Triads are the second largest Asian organized crime syndicate after the Yakuza. They are also made up of many small organizations with a highly decentralized hierarchy. The most Notable are the Sun Yee with over 50, 000 members but 14K is their most active global actor. The total membership is way over 100,000 but the numbers are hard to pin considering every group retains autonomy and operational independence from the triad leader. Their structure doesn’t make them any less dangerous, they move large quantities of drugs especially cocaine and heroin for China which accounts for 12% of the global heroin consumption.[16]

The global reach of the triads was extensively aided by the presence of indigenous Chinese populations in Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Koreas. The US state department accused them of human trafficking involving smuggling almost 100,000 illegal immigrants into the US and forcing them to work at their benefit. Inside China, they are believed to hold strong standings in their local cities of Operation. Hong Kong which houses two of the strongest triads has seen more violence including wars when the triads have a conflict.[17]

10. Camorra

This is the most powerful extortionist mafia in the world. They are known to be very violent, they extort businesses, especially foreigner owned shops North of Port city, and traffic drugs, people and weapons worldwide. The strategic location of their operations opened the gates to their international expansion gaining strong drug markets in Spain. They do not care about politics like the Cosa Nostra but they still bring in more money because of the efficient decentralized organization. They are literally the mafia that grabs every opportunity, their latest rise is highly linked to the problems of the Sicilian Mafia.[18]

Their style of operation is rather unique, the men handle the violence while women handle communication, accounting, and connections. While maintaining their headquarters in the poor suburbs, they still exploit rich neighborhoods in almost every country Europe including the UK and Germany. They spread so much fear to any snitches, the author that wrote about them, Saviano, in the mafia book Gomorrah hardly sees the light again after publishing his work.[19]

10 Interesting Things to Expect if Marijuana Is Fully Legalized

marijuana-cannabis

After Canada became the first G7 country to legalize cannabis, it became obvious that more countries are going to join. Currently, cannabis is legal in many countries including Uruguay, Colombia, and Jamaica and the question is no longer whether other countries will legalize but rather which country will legalize it next. With acceptance in more than 23 states in America and support by more than 50% of both the British and Chinese populations in recent surveys, this plant may soon be legal in all G7 countries and maybe the whole world. However, after nearly a century of being illegalized in many countries including being named as a dangerous drug in the UN, its legalization is bound to change the world in many ways. These are the 10 things to expect if marijuana achieves full legalization.

1. More Users but Fewer Smokers

Legal cannabis is expected to be consumed more as a flavor than being smoked according to studies on the Canadian legalization. While the novelty factor is highly associated with the rise in the number of new users, many people still use cannabis mostly in secret and they will come out. With legalization, there will be advertisements and high accessibility meaning anyone who prefers cannabis’s softer side effects over alcohol and tobacco is likely to start using. However, the marijuana being legalized has a lower THC content reducing its effect on social behavior.[1]

The best way to get high will involve drinking or eating cannabis in food. This way, the effects take over the user at a slower rate but they last for long and every user is likely to enjoy this. Moreover, the stigma associated with cannabis smoking will not be inherited in marijuana-infused foods, this way, you get to use cannabis without risking any judgment. Traffic rules are also the main cause for this trend, an officer will suspect you more easily if you smoke than when you eat or drink cannabis in food.[2]

2. Aggressive Marijuana Adverts

Ever imagined a giant billboard advertising the store that sells the best weed in town on the roadside? In every industry, as competition increases, advertising becomes very important. It will be strange in the beginning, but the adverts will eventually pop up all over. In America today, seeing a TV advert of a marijuana store is weird. However, as more people use and sell, advertising becomes necessary. A few decades ago, no one expected to see whiskey, cigarettes or even condoms advertised on TV but today they are all over. With the competition on quality and a race for more food sales, bakeries including “weed cake” won’t be rare. Just like cigarettes, the companies will include the side effects and minimum legal age in the advert.[3][4]

3. Marijuana Cigarettes

The number of people trying to stop smoking tobacco increases yearly while more people are smoking cannabis. What do you think these people will do if their cigarette brand contains less addictive cannabis instead? Tobacco has been smoked for years although people hate it, the irony with cannabis is that the users love it. Tobacco and cannabis have little in common except being smoked, but tobacco companies are the most equipped institutions to package and sell lots of recreational marijuana.

Addiction and the damage even to passive smokers related to tobacco have given the companies a hard time for many years. In America alone, tobacco companies are forced to pay billions every year because of the product they sell. With shrinking global tobacco consumption, these companies seriously needed a way to expand, and cannabis seems to be their next best venture.[5]

As cannabis is legalized in more countries, more people are expected to take it up as their main recreational drug. this will be bad news for cigarette manufacturers. In 2016, Imperial brands invested $20 million in the Israeli based cannabis research company creating a cannabis inhaler for administering accurate doses. In anticipation of the nationwide legalization of cannabis in Canada, American tobacco giants rushed in to invest in Cannabis companies. With the expectation of more revenues, you can expect cannabis cigarettes in the market replacing the pure tobacco brands.[6]

4. More Cannabis Flavored Food and Drinks

Using cannabis in any form has a positive impact on appetite making people feel hungrier and of course love the taste of food. This is the reason for the popularity of Brownie Mary, the weed cake lady that taught the world how marijuana can help sick people eat better. With this impact, medical cannabis became the most common flavor for reintroducing appetite to patients but the love has long spread to healthy people who enjoy it in their food and drinks. Unlike tobacco, cocaine, and alcohol, cannabis can bond with almost any food or drink and retain its effectiveness.

As the designated flavor of the century, cannabis can be used in any food company from bakeries to breweries. The first company to benefit from cannabis legalization was Coca-Cola which was already designing a formula for cannabis flavored soft drinks for Canada anticipating the legalization. Weed cakes and chocolates hit the streets in Canada days after the legalization of the drug. With legalization, there will be increased production and innovation. People will find more fun ways of delivering cannabis to their customers and just like vanilla, this may be the next global flavor.[7][8]

5. Vast Cannabis Fields

The demand for cannabis cannot be supported by the small indoor cultivations even with the current legal barriers. With international legalization, outdoor farming will be unavoidable. Many people are likely to tap into the fast-growing cannabis crops which are cheap to grow compared to corn and vegetables. The Canadian government projected a $5 billion annual revenue from cannabis sales, the value may rise to hundreds of billions on a global scale and everyone will try to tap into the market.

In economics, demand drives the market. When shops opened in Canada to sell cannabis to the public on the first day, they learned that they just didn’t have enough. Most shops ran out of stock in hours. This is a pointer to the high demand that cannabis legalization will pose to the world. Since both farmers and big companies follow the money, many people are likely to replace corn farms with marijuana if the government will allow it.[9]

6. More Cannabis Pain Medication

Opioids are stronger and more addictive than cocaine but they are currently the world’s top pain medication. Opioids caused more than 70,000 overdose deaths in the US in 2017 resulting in a health crisis which made scientists consider marijuana even more. It is also accused of causing addiction that forces patients to use heroin and cocaine which imitates its effects to sooth the addiction. Most pharmaceutical companies are seeking less lethal ingredients for pain medication and medical cannabis seems to be gaining more popularity even in countries where recreational cannabis is still illegal. Medical cannabis has been in use for decades due to its power to relieve pain effectively without overdose and addiction risks.

The discussion on whether THC, the most active component of cannabis, is a better pain reliever is not in America alone, labs across Europe have taken up the task trying to establish a way of relieving pain cheaply and effectively. With international legalization, more scientists are likely to join the research.[10] The end result may be a mixture of THC with other pain-relieving ingredients or its pure form becoming a famous painkiller. Either way, medical cannabis as a pain reliever may actually be a life saver.[11]

7. Less of the Black Market

Once legalized, quality and quantity of marijuana will be improved but regulated for both health and thrill. The main problem with the black market is the violence associated with their business, and of course, they don’t pay tax. Ever imagined how all the pot reaches the streets and where it comes from? Every joint of cannabis sold illegally at the street level is a direct product from a well-equipped industry with producers and retailers. This industry has not been tapped in many countries meaning legal cannabis will render these people jobless.[12]

Since illegalization in the 1930s, over 60% of cannabis sales are controlled by the black market including large drug syndicates such as the Sinaloa. Legalizing cannabis will definitely push these people out of business although the process will be slow and strenuous. Despite being an illicit drug, cannabis is used in almost every country in the world making it one of the most prized commodities in the black market. With mainstream companies legally controlling production and sales, the syndicates will have less market.[13]

8. The Rise of Marijuana Experts

Because of its illegal nature, many people that really understand cannabis could not come out and participate in nation building as marijuana experts. Being an expert in a demonized industry automatically makes you an outcast among professionals and this is the case for many people that understand cannabis. Most of the people who understand cannabis cultivation and processing have never really received appreciation in many industries. With widespread cultivation and consumption expected, more training and public awareness will be a must meaning every expert will be brought on board.[14]

Most of the indoor cultivators of cannabis are likely to come out and help the world develop better weed. Every new farmer, distributor or dealer will require a professional opinion. The fact, however, is that there are very few people who went to school just to study cannabis, most of them are self-trained individuals some at the risk of long jail terms. Since many people will be gambling their way through the new industry, these people will still come in handy.

9. New Traffic Rules: Don’t Smoke and Drive

Alcohol consumption makes you a dangerous driver depending on your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) which can be determined through your breath. However, to determine if you have smoked too much cannabis, a police officer will have to take your saliva or urine sample and the process is long and sometimes too inconvenient to be carried out on the roadside. cannabis can also be detected in your body fluids months after use meaning you may easily be convicted for last month’s joint. This means integrating marijuana into traffic rules will be hard for most countries. It will just be very hard for smokers to drive even if it is legal.[15]

Most traffic officials are just likely to detain you if they suspect you are stoned as is the case in Canada. Canada put the cap for stoned drivers at 3 nanograms of THC. cannabis, however, affects people differently and the same level of smoking may bring out very different results in different people making any form of smoking and driving dangerous. There is no exact amount of cannabis that has been determined as the actual breaking point for the body as is the case with alcohol. As a result, most countries will simply ban you from driving if you smoked.[16]

10. Many Amnesties for Cannabis Convicts

In America, marijuana-related cases accounted for over 40% of drug-related cases before 23 states legalized it. When Portugal decriminalized cannabis, the crime rate went down. In Canada however, the main question was what to do with cannabis possession convicts standing at 150,000 strong. The prime minister agreed to free them although traffickers were not as lucky. Many people in prisons worldwide were arrested and convicted for possession, distributing or using cannabis. This effect will definitely spread to any nation that chooses to accept cannabis for recreational use.[17]

Freeing large-scale traffickers is the hardest part of the process because most of them had to get involved in other crimes while trading in cannabis. Many pro-legalization activists point at the cost of managing marijuana-related crimes as unnecessary. Legalizing will allow many countries to decongest their prisons and focus on more serious crimes.

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10 Movie Directors That Were Kicked Off Their Films

movie-directors-kickedoff

Some people are lucky and go their entire life without experiencing the pain of being sacked from their job. Getting fired or being so fed up that quitting seems like the only option isn’t anything new. Sometimes getting replaced is the way the tenure of employment is savagely ended. It appears in specific industries one people are more expendable than others — one defiant example of switching out roles in that of the glamorous world of movies.

There are many excuses used to showcase that there are no hard feelings when a studio decides to part ways with its picture’s production boss. Whether it was a scheduling conflict, creative differences or just not being able to get the job done, there have been several instances where movie directors were unceremoniously usurped from the director’s chair. Out of all the times that filmmakers were taken out of the lead role on their film set, and some other rival was taking over their vision, these ten movie directors stand tall among the rest of the fallen cinema specialists.

1. James Gunn – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

James Gunn

James Gunn shocked the world when his Marvel debut came with characters that were anything but household names. Guardians of the Galaxy was a big gamble for the MCU that paid off significantly for the studio, thanks in large part to Gunn. His vision and direction brought one of the most fun space opera to life. It also brought the MCU off of Earth and into the far reaches of the cosmos. After the second film was considered to be an improvement on the first, a third film was poised for success with Gunn at the helm, or so we thought.

After some controversial tweets discussing subjects of pedophilia and rape resurfaced, Disney quickly cut ties with the director. This has since left the third film in the beloved franchise in dimensional limbo with a future unknown at this time. Gunn has seemed to bounce back after support was received for him to be reinstated. Since then he has apparently changed sides and is in talks to helm Suicide Squad 2 for rival DC.

2. Richard Donner – Superman II

Richard Donner

The first Superman film was a fantastic accomplishment and set the tone for the superhero genre that is one of the biggest moneymakers in the industry. The film had big name stars and a solid story that saw the famed caped comic book hero saving the world on the big screen for the first time. Richard Donner, who has also directed such iconic films as The Goonies and Lethal Weapon, was the man that helmed the Last Son of Krypton’s cinematic debut.

Donner attempted to make a second great film about the Man of Steel but was replaced by Richard Lester during filming. The Producers and Donner were not getting along on the sequel for some reasons. The Producers claimed Donner was going too over budget in trying to meet his vision while Donner says the producers were trying to make the movie too campy. The differences were not resolved, and this resulted in Donner leaving the film. In 2006 the studio had released Superman II the Donner cut which is an improvement on the one initially released in theaters.

3. Phil Lord & Chris Miller – Solo: a Star Wars Story

Phil Lord & Chris Miller

After their success on The Lego Movie, movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were then tasked with a significant Star Wars spinoff film. This one wasn’t about Death Star Plans but the first to focus on the origin of one of the franchises most beloved characters. A Han Solo film was to be a Star Wars story with more humor than in previous films. So the comic directing duo was poised for success in a galaxy far, far away, or so you’d think.

The two were booted off the project with the official reasoning being creative differences. The two were focusing on a lot of improvisation with the actors and from what the higher-ups were seeing was not worthy of the iconic Star Wars name. Director Ron Howard was eventually brought it to finish the film. It ended up having one of the worst box office performances of any Star Wars film causing Disney to rethink their spinoff strategy.

4. Brenda Chapman – Brave

Brenda Chapman

Brenda Chapman was set to be Pixar’s first female director of a feature-length movie that had the first female protagonist with the movie Brave. She was a great choice to take on this project as she had previously directed 2011s The Prince of Egypt. Chapman was ready to make sure her vision was set, and she could introduce a new role model for little girls everywhere to look up to.

Pixar replaced Chapman on the film with Mark Andrews, who had previously worked on films such as Ratatouille and The Incredibles. It was reported this was over creative differences, but Chapman claims its more significant than that. The filmmaker went on to state that animation directors aren’t protected like live-action directors and that she does not at all agree with the decision to have her removed from the film. She and Andrews are credited as the film’s directors and Chapman is all in all, proud of the film, but it is sad that she couldn’t finish what she started as the sole leader of the project.

5. Zack Snyder – Justice League

Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder kicked off DC’s Cinematic Universe with Man of Steel back in 2012. This got fans excited and he followed that up with a highly anticipated Batman v. Superman film. While it wasn’t everything fans hoped for, it put the pieces together for a Justice League movie. Batman Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Cyborg would all be on screen together for the first time, and Snyder was going to be the guy to unite the team. TIt was not to be.

Snyder left the Justice League film after his daughter’s tragic passing. While he grieved with his family, Avengers director Joss Whedon was brought in to give the movie a lighter tone. It ended up being a critical and financial mess. Then later it was revealed that Snyder had been fired from the film because his version was unwatchable. While fans demand to see a Snyder cut of the film, it is probably safe to assume that it will never see the light of day.

6. Richard Stanley – the Island of Dr. Moreau

Richard Stanley

The island of Dr. Moreau had all the ingredients for a powerhouse that would be admired for generations to come. The film was based on a sci-fi Classic by the likes of H.G. Wells. The cast consisted of an A-list lineup including Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, and Fairuza Baulk. Movie Director Richard Stanley had what looked like a winning team on paper that would make this glorious piece of twisted fiction a reality. Stanley was voted off the island.

The filmmaker was fired from the picture after he was blamed for being unable to control the likes of Val Kilmer, who was stated to have been becoming rather difficult to work with. Kilmer’s attitude was recast from the part that David Thewlis would play. Stanley had pitched had very high hopes for his ambitious vision to come true which abruptly came to an end during filming. Stanley was then replaced by director John Frankenheimer. The entire ordeal can be relived in detail in a documentary called Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau.

7. George Cukor – Gone With the Wind

George Cukor

Gone with the Wind is among the best of the classic cinema era. They don’t make films like that anymore. No one knew at the time how big a part of history this film would eventually play. Director George Cuckor was excited to sit in the director’s chair with this one. A solid story and great cast would be under his control to mold into a great film. But like the wind, Cuckor would soon be gone from this picture.

The director was taken off of Gone with The Wind a mere three weeks into the film’s production. He always got into quarrels over the screenplay. He also did not get along with the movies key player, the infamous Clark Gable. It is never a good sign if you can’t handle your talent let alone see eye to eye. This, along with a ruthless producer attempting to micromanage the project, didn’t help Cuckor’s chances at finishing this one. The frustrated filmmaker was later replaced with director Victor Fleming.

8. Edgar Wright – Ant-Man

Edgar Wright

Edgar Wright had been attached to an Ant-Man film even before the MCU was a thing. He’d been working on bringing the microscopic hero to the big screen since 2006, and the MCU began resonating with audiences, it meant it was time for the world to get an Ant-Man movie. After Wright’s successes with Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World fans believed they were in for something they had never seen before. They were right.

Ant-Man’s director left the project in what was one of the biggest surprise moves in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The official reasoning for the split was due to differences in their vision for the film. It is not crazy to think had Wright stuck around but not changed his views on the direction of the film, they may have had him replaced. It was very honorable of him to walk away when he did so the film could finish on schedule for the fans. While some parts of the film feel very similar to Wrights style, Peyton Reed took over the film and directed its sequel.

9. Colin Trevorrow – Star Wars: Episode IX

Colin Trevorrow

After the success of Star Wars The Force Awakens everyone was eager to know who would direct the next two chapters in this newly rebooted trilogy based on the iconic franchise. After a successful run rebooting the Jurassic Park franchise with Jurassic World, Colin Trevorrow was chosen to close out the latest set of installments form the galaxy far, far away. Unfortunately, Trevorrow’s dreams of helming a Star Wars film were rather short-lived.

Trevorrow’s initial pitch was the reason he had received the gig. But after Kathleen Kennedy, head of all things Star Wars, wasn’t happy with the drafts she was receiving, she brought in another writer to take a stab at it, but that didn’t work either. Instead of giving Trevorrow another chance, Kennedy fired him and replaced him with J.J. Abrams. Abrams was the director of The Force Awakens so this was an ideal match for everyone involved, except poor Colin.

10. Steven Soderbergh – Moneyball

Steven Soderbergh

Brad Pitt was very passionate about bringing the story of Moneyball to film. The sports film centers on a new approach to winning a championship that focuses on statistics and relies less on having as much money as the New York Yankees. Oceans Eleven director Steve Soderbergh planned to take a different approach with this one. He was going to do a semi-documentary type of film for a sports movie with what was considered at the time to have a questionable commercial appeal at best. The studio budget appropriated for the film was approaching $60 million. All this did not please the big wigs at Sony.

Sony wasn’t a fan of Soderbergh’s vision for the story of how Billy Beane almost took the Oakland Athletics to a World Series with a small payroll. His idea of shooting it in the style of a documentary with interviews with real-life pros was ultimately scrapped for a more conventional narrative. Bennett Miller was brought on as a replacement and reworked Soderbergh’s concept into the Academy Award-nominated film audiences resonated well with.