Mental Floss List Show host John Green shares a few interesting facts about United States money.
A weekly show where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. This week, John discusses United States money!
Just A Common Soldier, also known as A Soldier Died Today, is one of the most popular poems on the Internet. Written and published in 1987 by Canadian veteran and columnist A. Lawrence Vaincourt, it now appears in numerous anthologies, on thousands of websites and on July 4, 2008 it was carved into a marble monument at West Point, New York. This year marks the poem’s 26th anniversary.
Please enjoy this tribute to the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen who have given so much for our country.
JUST A COMMON SOLDIER
(A Soldier Died Today)
by A. Lawrence Vaincourt
He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.
And tho’ sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we’ll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
And the world’s a little poorer, for a soldier died today.
He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won’t note his passing, though a soldier died today.
When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?
A politician’s stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.
It’s so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?
He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier’s part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor while he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.
An animated naval gun turret, based on a British 15 inch turret Mark 1. The figure represents a person 5 ft 8 in high (172 cm).
1. Platform deck
2. Shell room
3. Lower deck
5. Middle deck
7. Main deck
9. Working Chamber
10. Upper Deck
11. Roller path
It may not look like it sitting in that cute bear bottle, but honey is a supercharged bacteria-killing powerhouse!
Sometimes while browsing the grocery story we’ll pick up an item we know we’ll be out of soon, only to open the new one before using up the old one. For me, that’s honey. There’s always an all-but-spent bottle haunting the back of the pantry like a bear-shaped ghost with unfinished business. While the natural assumption with any other sauce or spread would be to toss the past-due portion out, honey doesn’t have to suffer the same fate. It’s true what they say, honey doesn’t go bad.
This superpower has a few factors that allow honey to survive without refrigeration or other preservatives which the folks over at SciShow have laid out in fascinating detail. Honey has some surprising properties including being a supersaturated solution which means that it literally sucks bacteria dry before they can flourish and potentially cause the consumer harm. It also contains an anti-bacterial protein that protects bees from harmful diseases. That’s right, bees are making us one of the most sterile substances on the planet. I guess we shouldn’t complain about a few stings.