If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the Internet age, it’s that we lose interest in news stories long before they’ve run their course. And as we’ve written before, sometimes that means we miss the biggest details that never made the front page. More often than not, those missing details change everything we learned about the story in the first place.
The reason you have to take off your shoes when going through the security line at an airport is because on December 22, 2001, Richard Reid attempted to blow up his shoes on American Airlines Flight 63. Obviously, his shoes were special, because ordinary footwear does not explode unless something has gone catastrophically wrong during the manufacturing process. Fortunately, his didn’t work as intended — despite Reid’s best attempts, he couldn’t get the fuse to light, and since the act of striking one match after another to light a fuse can draw attention on a plane (particularly just three months after 9/11), passengers and flight attendants soon started beating the piss out of him.
All his careful efforts to blend in were wasted.
It looked like the people on that flight were saved from a fiery death not only because of their quick reactions, but also because Reid sucked at building bombs. But actually, Richard Reid was a perfectly able bomber. His plans were foiled by something far, far worse than incompetence.
The Story You Didn’t Know:
Reid was a victim. A victim of sweaty feet.
Reid’s bomb was actually pretty sophisticated and could’ve easily blown a hole in the floor under his seat. Which, incidentally, was over a fuel tank. It was a pretty good plan that Reid had followed to a T. However, the bomb makers didn’t think of the fact that Reid was a living, breathing, leaking human being.
It’s pretty much the same problem that gets in the way of giving advice to teenagers.
Reid had attempted to board a flight the previous day, cool as a cucumber. And if he had made that flight, history books would probably be one tragedy richer. Instead, post-9/11 security measures latched on to the massive, peculiar-looking man, and Reid ended up being grilled by airport security and was refused boarding.
But they turned Reid loose and he was free to try again. This time, though, he was nervous as hell — and sweaty. This, together with the day’s moist weather, played merry hell with his footwear. While the bomb was still a viable explosive, it relied on a fuse made of gunpowder to set it off. Since wet gunpowder doesn’t work, and sweat makes things wet … well, Reid instead found out firsthand just how many people you can get tackled by at once.
Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
“Uh, just out of curiosity, are any of the 72 of you virgins? Anyone? Fuck.”
Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) was a government-backed group that helped low-income families with health care, neighborhood safety, housing, and a host of social issues. For 40 years, it aided hundreds of thousands of people across the United States. All that came to a grinding halt in 2009, with a single horrendous video clip.
The ludicrously messed-up video that was released onto the Internet showed ACORN employees from several offices eagerly volunteering advice to a young couple starting a criminal enterprise. The gentleman in question wore a fur coat, a top hat, sunglasses, and a goddamn pimp cane. He wanted to know how to get 15-year-old girls “on their feet” even though they were dependents. Watching the video, you couldn’t help but wonder how the ACORN employees could possibly think that helping these people would be a good idea.
“He has a point; pimping ain’t easy …”
Said video single-handedly caused a scandal that, in turn, caused Congress to pull federal funds from the organization, ultimately leading to its bankruptcy and closure in 2010.
The Story You Didn’t Know:
The video was a fake, set up by self-proclaimed investigative journalist and right-wing extremist James O’Keefe.
O’Keefe and the woman, Hannah Giles, weren’t dressed like a pimp and ho when they entered the ACORN offices — that was a bit of creative editing. Despite what the beginning of the video would indicate — and what O’Keefe claimed in interviews — he actually wore a shirt and tie, and Giles wore a dark blouse. The videos were filmed from O’Keefe’s perspective, so you never saw them while they were in the ACORN offices.
Furthermore, the ACORN employees who proffered the most enthusiastic — and illegal — advice were only playing along. A counselor in San Diego, who was fired after the video showed him offering to help O’Keefe bring girls across the border from Mexico, was just humoring the maniac in front of him to get him to reveal more of his insane plan — and then actually reported O’Keefe to the police afterward. Not surprisingly, that employee sued the shit out of the video makers, who had to fork over $100,000 to settle it.
Another employee in San Bernardino smelled bullshit the second the couple stepped in and decided to jokingly counter the couple’s outrageous questions with lines that she murdered her husband and ran an escort service of her own. Of course, this was presented by O’Keefe as fact — and later debunked by literally everyone else. Ultimately, the U.S. Government Accountability Office cleared ACORN of any wrongdoing. ACORN had already been closed down for several months at that point, so that was about as helpful a redemption as the murder suspect getting proven innocent two months after his date with the electric chair.
Roll Call/Getty Images
“If we can’t trust shadily made Internet videos, what can we trust?”
Darren McCollester/Getty Images News/Getty Images
In 2009, pirate lovers everywhere realized just how badly Pirates of the Caribbean had lied to them when a highly publicized, real-life pirate attack took place off the coast of Somalia and it didn’t look anything at all like the movie. It’s way less sword fighting and way more AK-47s and kidnappings.
If you don’t remember the incident, an American cargo ship called the Maersk Alabama was overtaken by four villainous Somali pirates. During the four-day ordeal, the captain of the cargo ship offered himself as a hostage and goddamn Navy SEAL snipers intervened by “sniping” three of the four pirates, rescuing Captain Richard Phillips in the process. For his part, Phillips wound up the hero, with Hollywood bigwigs immediately jumping at the chance to tell his story. In fact, he’s such a hero that Tom freaking Hanks is going to play him in a movie called, you guessed it, Captain Phillips.
Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
“It took six months and $6 million to come up with that title.”
The Story You Didn’t Know:
According to the lawsuits filed by more than half of the crew of the Maersk Alabama, the whole adventure was kind of the captain’s fault in the first place. Days before the attack, both the captain and the owners of the ship were warned to stay at least 600 miles off the coast of Somalia, because duh, pirates. Sailing near Somalia with a ship full of cargo was like sailing near Al Capone’s house with a ship full of vodka — it was a stupid invitation for a drunken shootout.
Darren McCollester/Getty Images News/Getty Images
“In hindsight, it may have been a mistake to paint ‘Bring it, pussies!’ in Somali on the side of the ship.”
But in a move motivated by a Titanic-like insistence on being fast and making money, Captain Phillips got the Alabama within 250 miles of the Somali coast before he was predictably attacked. And in the first American piracy indictment in over a hundred years, the one surviving non-English-speaking Somali hijacker (a teenager who was stabbed and bound for 12 hours during the crisis) was sentenced to 33 years in prison.
Obviously no one’s excusing piracy or being a teenager in a lawless, war-torn country, and nobody is saying the victim is to blame. We’re just wondering if the part about Captain Hanks/Phillips willfully plowing into pirate territory is going to make it into the Hollywood treatment of the story.
i’ve got 99 problems and being a decaying organism that’s born to die in a society run by money that i can’t escape is one of them
I went on a date last night and then you texted and asked, again, whether I would come there. Start our days with coffee, end with you making dinner. Forever. I feel myself tug towards yes and then I remember why it will always be no with you and I.
There are people in your life who are going to love you for all of the wrong reasons. They will love you for the best part of your face, the best part of you naked, the best mood on your best day, the best story you ever wrote, the best outfit you ever wore.
They are going to miss the scar on the underside of your nose from the time your older brothers dared you to run across a pile of logs. They won’t know that you fell on a hidden nail just as you completed the challenge. They’ll miss the scar on your finger, too from the time you were seven and closed a swiss army knife on it. They won’t understand that these are two of only a handful of things you can remember about your childhood. They’ll notice that you have great tits, but they’ll miss that your thumb tucks into their palm when you’re walking together and that your eyes have darker circles when a migraine is coming. They won’t know you get migraines. They won’t ask where the story you wrote came from, so they’ll never know that it was true. They’ll love it because it feels real to them. They’ll miss knowing the sweatshirt full of holes that they criticized you for wearing was your dads. You might tell them some of these things along the way, but they will remember the best things instead.
They will love your good moods, your energy, your sense of humor, but miss that you never turn to them, but rather to a shower or a pillow or the back of your throat to shed tears. They won’t ever consider you strong.
When the parts that aren’t your best come out, some people will shield their eyes as if you have just forced them to look directly into the sun for hours until their irises burn. They’ll silently make you promise to never show them that again. Those things are not to be shown. Be at your best so I can love you. I would love you more if only you never show me those things.
And you do not marry those people. You do not sit and sleepily drink coffee with those people. You leave those people and you remind yourself that they missed the better parts of you.
Or they leave you.
Moments like this make me doubt if Ray Comfort is smart enough to be a con man. I just went to his Facebook page and this comment thread does still exist so it appears entirely legit.
10 Things Your Dog Would Tell You..
- My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful: remember that before you get me.
- Give me time to understand what you want of me.
- Place your trust in me- it is crucial to my well being.
- Do not be angry at me for long, and do not lock me up as punishment.
- You have your work, your entertainment,and your friends. I only have you.
- Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understands your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me.
- Be aware that how ever you treat me, I will never forget.
- Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily hurt you, but I choose not to bite you because I love you.
- Before you scold me for being uncooperative,obstinate,or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I might not be getting the right food, or I have been out too long, or my heart is getting to old and weak.
- Take care of me when I get old; you too will grow old. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say: “I cannot bear to watch” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there, even my death.
why I will never have another pet, dog, cat or otherwise
Thirty-some summers ago, when I was 15, I lost my virginity to a boy who didn’t care a bit about my emotional well-being. He was very popular, on his way to college in the fall, and sleeping with any girl who would spread her legs to have sex with him that summer.
Two weeks after we had sex for the first time, he and I and his best friend got drunk — me for the first time in my life — and I ended up having sex in a park with both of them. It was somewhat miserable for me to have sex consecutively with two young men, ages 17 and 19, and to hear the second one ask, in the midst of intercourse, “Are you using birth control?” and quickly add, “Oh, who cares — if you get pregnant, it’s your fault,” and to have my bra and panties left behind on the grass when they drove me home. I was shaken both by the degrading nature of the incident and by the fact that I had allowed it. But allow it, I did. Was I raped? No. Did I ever for one second think that maybe I had been raped? No.
Many would disagree.
Defining regret over a consensual experience as rape conveys the message that women who experiment with something sexually and do not like it means that a traumatic crime has been committed. Nonsense.
This is actually a great read.
This morning I was reading a book at my favorite beach-side coffee shop when an 18-year-old kid sat down next to me and said, “That’s a great read, ain’t it?” So we started chatting.
He told me he was getting ready to graduate from high school in a couple of weeks and then immediately starting his college career in the fall. “But I have no clue what I want to do with my life,” he said. “Right now I’m just going with the flow.”
And then, with eager, honest eyes, he began asking me one question after the next:
I answered his questions as best as I could, and tried to give decent advice with the time I had. And after a half-hour conversation, he thanked me and we parted ways.
But on the walk home I realized the conversation I had with him was actually quite nostalgic for me. He reminded me of me ten years ago. So I started thinking about his questions again, and I began imagining all of the things I wish someone had told me when I was 18.
Then I took it a step further and thought about all the things I would love to tell myself if I could travel back in time to give my 18-year-old self some advice about life.
So after a few cups of coffee and a couple hours of deliberation, here are 18 things I wish someone told me when I was 18:
But above all, laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change. Life is short, yet amazing. Enjoy the ride.
Also, if you liked this article and you’re looking for similar advice on life, love and personal growth I highly recommend that you read The Road Less Traveledby M. Scott Peck. It’s an easy, enjoyable read that literally changed my life.
I understand the actual sentiment behind those kinds of posts but after seeing them a million times my brain over-analyzes and attempts to actually answer the question.
Reality is a monster living under your bed. They tell it like it is, but they’re not all bad.
ALWAYS REBLOG KAT DENNINGS SLAMMING SLUT SHAMING
BAM BAM TURKEY AND HAM
welp, now I must watch show
every patent I hold
My nine or so followers may have noticed that I have been quiet for a few weeks now. The reason is simple. I moved out of the house I have shared with my partner for nearly two decades because I caught her in bed with two guys. See? Simple, really.
Truth be told, we had not been getting on well…
humor, even dark is an excellent coping method. I sometimes do this when relating a particularly horrific experience, much to the horror of the listener. They think I am a monster, but it really just how i keep from crying inside.