Who's Behind Listverse?
Jamie founded Listverse due to an insatiable desire to share fascinating, obscure, and bizarre facts. He has been a guest speaker on numerous national radio and television stations and is a five time published author.More About Us
Top 10 Secretly Connected Topics
If you are looking for an article that examines a wide range of topics and controversial subjects then this list is for you. The world is full of people, ideas, laws, theories, and events that are secretly connected in some way; events that show a causal relationship or common factor. For a wide variety of reasons, some topics are not discussed by international media organizations, federal governments, and business populations. Here is a collection of ten topics that share a common factor.
Nintendo is one of the largest consumer electronics companies in the world. In 1985, the company released the NES console, which helped set a standard for video game expansion. Nintendo’s most popular character is Mario. To date, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games and is probably the most famous personality in the history of video games. Mario games have sold more than 210 million units, making the franchise the best-selling in history. Mario has inspired television shows, film, comics, and a line of licensed merchandise. However, there are two films based on Mario that Nintendo doesn’t want you to know about.
In 1993, two pornographic parodies of the Super Mario franchise were filmed called Super Hornio Brothers and Super Hornio Brothers II. The movies were made at the same time as the Super Mario Bros. film. Each movie starred Buck Adams, T.T. Boy, Ron Jeremy, and Chelsea Lynx as the main characters. The series tells the story of computer programmer Squeegie Hornio (Ron Jeremy) and his brother Ornio Hornio (T.T. Boy) who are teleported into a computer game after a freak power overload and forced to battle King Pooper (Buck Adams). Pooper has kidnapped Princess Perlina (Chelsea Lynx).
Initially, Sin City Entertainment funded the project, but dropped out, leaving Buck Adams to seek the help of Midnight Video. Before the movies were released to the public, Nintendo decided to halt their distribution. Ron Jeremy’s official website notes that while he would love to make both films available alongside his massive library, Nintendo purchased the rights to stop the movies distribution indefinitely. The evidence that the Super Hornio Brothers films are real wasn’t confirmed until 2008. The movies are currently unavailable for viewing and considered by some to be the “holy grail” of parodies.
One of the most bizarre human disappearances of the 20th century is Tara Calico. On September 20, 1988, Tara left her home in Belen, New Mexico to go for a bike ride and never returned. After an extensive search, part of Tara’s Sony Walkman and a Boston cassette tape were discovered along her normal bike route. Several people saw Tara riding her bicycle, but nobody witnessed her presumed abduction. The disappearance of Tara Calico received extensive media coverage in the United States and was featured on Unsolved Mysteries, America’s Most Wanted, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and 48 Hours.
The case went cold until June 15, 1989, when a Polaroid photo of an unidentified young girl and boy, both bound and gagged, was found in the parking lot of a convenience store in Port St. Joe, Florida. After the photo was released, it was immediately theorized that the girl was Tara. Her mother came forward and said that the photo was indeed of her daughter because of what appeared to be a scar on the girl’s leg, similar to one Tara received in a car accident.
Scotland Yard analyzed the photo and concluded that the girl was Tara, but the Los Alamos National Laboratory and FBI tests were inconclusive. In the photo, the book next to the girl is the gothic horror novel “My Sweet Audrina” by V.C. Andrews, which was published in 1982. According to investigators, the picture was taken after May 1989 because the film used was not sold until that time. This means the picture was not taken until at least 8 months after the disappearance of Tara.
The boy inside the picture was initially thought to be Michael Henley, also of New Mexico, who disappeared in April 1988, but after Henley’s body was discovered in the Zuni Mountains where he was lost, the theory was dismissed. In the 1980s and ’90s there were several reported sightings of Tara, but her disappearance remains a mystery. Two other Polaroid photographs have surfaced over the years that might show Tara, but the pictures have not been released by the police.
Ignaz Semmelweis was a 19th century Hungarian physician that was an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. He has been described as the “savior of mothers” because in 1847 he postulated a theory that washing your hands in a hospital with chlorinated lime solutions would improve the high fatality rate of puerperal fever. Puerperal fever is a bacterial infection that can be contracted by women during childbirth or miscarriage. The infection can develop into puerperal sepsis, which is often fatal. The discovery eventually reduced childbed fever fatalities by 90%.
Despite the publication that washing your hands can greatly reduce puerperal fever, doctors did not wash their hands while working with pregnant women in hospitals until Louis Pasteur confirmed the germ theory, which stated that microorganisms are the cause of many diseases. The idea was highly controversial because people were convinced that diseases were caused by miasma. The miasma theory held that diseases such as cholera or the Black Death were caused by a noxious form of “bad air.” The word miasma means “pollution.”
Miasma was considered to be a poisonous vapor. It was said that the vapor was passed to people by way of contaminated water, foul air, and poor hygienic conditions. Miasma was identifiable by its foul smell, but the infection was not said to be passed between individuals. In the 1850s, miasma was used to explain the spread of cholera in London and Paris. Authorities told people that they needed to clean their bodies to prevent the disease, but in reality cholera was being spread through the water. The miasma theory was important to understanding the danger of poor sanitation, but it failed to recognize microbiology and germs.
In 1982, a man named Bob Lazar made his first appearance in the media when an article was published in the Los Alamos Monitor that described a project where he built a jet car with the help of a jet engine. In the article, Lazar is referred to as “a physicist at the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility.” Seven years later, in November 1989, Bob Lazar conducted an interview with investigative reporter George Knapp. The interview was broadcast on a Las Vegas TV station and included claims by Lazar that he worked at a top secret facility named S-4, located near Groom Lake, Nevada, within Area 51.
According to Lazar, S-4 served as a hidden U.S. military location that was used to study the reverse engineering of extraterrestrial flying saucers. Lazar said that he saw nine separate flying discs and was given a briefing on the involvement between humans and extraterrestrial beings for the past 100,000 years. Lazar said that the beings originate from the Zeta Reticuli 1 & 2 star system and are therefore referred to as Zeta Reticulans, popularly called Greys. Bob Lazar claimed that S-4 contained nine aircraft hangars built into the side of a mountain, with doors constructed at an angle that matched the slope.
He described some specifics of the alien spaceships and provided details on their mode of propulsion. According to Lazar, atomic Element 115 served as a nuclear fuel for the aircraft. He said that the element (ununpentium) provided an energy source which produced anti-gravity effects under proton bombardment. As the strong nuclear force field of Element 115’s nucleus was amplified, the gravitational effect would distort the surrounding space-time continuum and shorten the travel time to a destination. The description given by Lazar was extremely scientific and seemed probable.
However, after the interview made headlines, Bob Lazar was called a fraud. Government officials denied the existence of Element 115 and said Lazar was lying. Lazar’s educational history was put into question and his fellow scientists claimed to have no memory of meeting him. On February 2, 2004, Russian scientists and American scientists announced that they had completed the synthesis of ununpentium (Element 115). The news was surprising and came fifteen years after Bob Lazar said ununpentium was responsible for the propulsion of alien aircraft.
In 2003, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency developed a ten year plan named Operation Endgame. The objective of the program is to detain and deport all removable aliens and “suspected terrorists” living in the United States by 2012. In order to accomplish this goal, the U.S. has passed a collection of laws that are aimed at getting rid of immigration. In 2007, the program Secure Communities was developed to identify criminal aliens, prioritize them on criminal activity, and remove them from the country.
The program identifies illegal immigrants with the help of modern technology, most notably biometric identification techniques, which rely on computer science. The Obama administration is a strong proponent of the Secure Communities program. From 2008 to 2011, the program arrested 140,396 criminal aliens and deported 72,445 of them. By 2013, Secure Communities is expected to be all over the United States with detention centers located in many cities.
On December 31, 2011, in the middle of the American holiday season, President Barack Obama signed an extremely important law named The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Act authorized the spending of $662 billion “for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad.” The act underwent a number of revisions before being accepted. Most notably, the federal court blocked a section of the bill that allowed government officials to detain American citizens that are suspected of being terrorists. Instead, the bill allows for the indefinite detention of illegal aliens and foreign travelers deemed terrorists.
On April 23, 2010, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed law SB 1070, which made it a state misdemeanor for an illegal immigrant to be in Arizona without carrying registration documents. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that most of the bill over-reached the state’s power into federal jurisdiction. The three provisions of the bill that were removed included the rule that legal immigrants needed to carry registration documents at all times, that state police were allowed to arrest any individual for suspicion of being an illegal immigrant, and that it was a crime for an illegal immigrant to search for a job in the state.
All Supreme Court Justices agreed to uphold the provision of the law that allows Arizona state police to investigate the immigration status of a person stopped if there is a reason to do so. Had the legislation passed, each individual state would have had the opportunity to hold vastly different immigration regulations. However, since the bill was deemed unconstitutional, current states, including Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana, and Utah, will have to adjust their immigration laws to meet the new standards.
Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (Cloud 9) is a psychoactive drug that was first developed in 1969. In 2004, Cloud 9 became a popular designer drug in the United States and stores began to sell the product as bath salts. Cloud 9 is easier to get than cigarettes and alcohol, so it has become a popular choice for teenagers. Very little is known about how Cloud 9 interacts with the brain, but a wide range of unpredictable symptoms have been reported including violent outbursts and cannibalism. Starting in 2011, stories began to emerge about people who took Cloud 9 and then did some very strange things. The drug has been connected with suicides and unexplained deaths.
The issue of bath salts and their impact on people reached a new level of exposure on May 26, 2012, when it was initially reported that Rudy Eugene was under the influence of Cloud 9 when he attacked and ate the face off Ronald Poppo on the MacArthur Causeway in Miami, Florida. During the shocking attack, Eugene chewed up most of Poppo’s face, including his left eye. The event lasted for over 18 minutes until Eugene was shot to death by a police officer. Poppo survived the attack, but needed massive facial reconstruction surgery. After the event, police initially speculated that Rudy Eugene had been high on bath salts. However, toxicology reports ruled that only traces of marijuana were found in his system.
On June 2, 2012, a homeless man in Miami named Brandon DeLeon took Cloud 9 and began yelling obscenities at two North Miami police officers. He was arrested and then tried to bite the hand off one of the police officers. On June 6, 2012, a man named Carl Jacquneaux, who was high on Cloud 9, attacked Todd Credeur at his home. Jacquneaux bit the face of Credeur until he was subdued with wasp spray and forced to retreat.
At the end of May 2012, a man named Alexander Kinyua confessed to cannibalizing his roommate Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie. In the same week, Wayne Carter stabbed himself repeatedly then threw his skin and intestines at police officers. In both cases, the men were said to be under the influence of Cloud 9. In July of 2012, a man named Karl Laventure, high on the drug, was arrested because he ran on to a Liburn, Georgia golf course and threatened to eat officers. In June of 2012, Michael Daniel, 22, allegedly smoked spice in his Waco, Texas home and then went crazy. He began to bark like a dog and then took his neighbors 40 pound dog and ate it.
The current availability of Cloud 9 and spice (synthetic marijuana) has been halted by many U.S. states and countries around the world. In the fall of 2012, the drug policy of Canada will start categorizing methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) as a schedule I substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, placing it in the same category as heroin and cocaine. Cloud 9 is a dangerous drug that can cause serious mental hallucinations and delusions.
The online disinhibition effect is a term used to describe the complete abandonment of social restrictions on the Internet. The behavior occurs because the Internet is an anonymous platform and doesn’t involve face-to-face conversation. For this reason, people interact in a way that is opposite of their recognized personality. Some users will search the Internet in hopes of finding a person to have an emotional reaction with. These individuals will do whatever it takes to get someone to respond to their comments.
One has to remember that their mind will automatically assign characteristics and traits to a person on the Internet. In many cases, these assumptions are false, so the nature of the Internet throws off the basic hierarchical structure of society. You never know if you are talking with an old woman, a police officer, a child, or a sexy 25 year-old woman that is looking for a date. People on the Internet behave badly because they don’t fear reprisal.
Data mining is a growing field in computer science. The process is used by a large number of organizations to predict behavior. It involves the statistical analysis of data sets in order to organize trends and patters of information. Data mining is used by Internet companies to research behavioral output. It is also heavily used by government officials to monitor Internet activity and dangerous users.
One of the reasons that data mining is so effective is because of the online disinhibition effect. Google regularly tracks activity and uses a mathematical formula to identify certain keywords and threats. For this reason, anyone can be targeted if they write the wrong thing on Twitter or Facebook. Just ask Leigh Van Bryan and Emily Banting, who were denied access to the United States because of Twitter. The online disinhibition effect helps federal agencies and business organizations accurately track the true personal, political, social, and economic trends of the world.
A large number of studies have been carried out that examine the relationship between human intelligence and religious belief. The experiments have been done in order to determine if the overall IQ of atheists is different from people adhering to religion. In 2008, intelligence researcher Helmuth Nyborg conducted a study in which he compared religious belief and IQ in 137 countries. He found that a sample population of atheists scored 6 IQ points higher on IQ tests. Among the 137 countries, only 23 (17%) had more than 20% atheists. Of these 23 countries, they constituted “virtually all… higher IQ countries.” The authors reported a correlation of 0.60 between atheism rates and intelligence, which was “highly significant.”
As you would expect, many people have challenged the results, saying that Nyborg did not examine a complex range of social, economic, and historical factors. A confounding variable is the fact that people from poor countries are generally more religious and uneducated. A correlation between highly educated people and religious belief has also been presented. In Australia, 23% of Christian church members have earned a university or postgraduate degree, whereas only 13% of the general population has earned a degree.
Gallup poll studies have shown that those with high IQs tend to not believe in God. A study in March 2010 published in Social Psychology Quarterly stated that “atheism correlates with higher intelligence.” A study conducted at Harvard University found that participants who tended to think more reflectively were less likely to believe in God. Some have argued that a causal relationship between IQ and religious belief is impossible to determine. A 2004 study concluded that people who are extremely religious reported that they had higher intelligence than the average person, so the issue is really controversial.
The chilling effect is a deterrent, usually in the form of a federal law or regulation that is used to discourage the exercise of a constitutional right. It occurs when a government passes a law that causes people to hesitate to do something. Usually, free speech is the right that is suppressed. The chilling effect doesn’t always prohibit speech, but instead imposes a collection of undue burdens. In some cases, the laws can cause outrage because they are deemed undemocratic.
In March of 2012, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin received 63.64% of the presidential vote and secured a record third term in the Kremlin. The event sparked a collection of protests in Russia because people felt it was unfair that Putin was allowed to run for a third term. People were upset at Putin and his government policies. The 2011 Democracy Index states: “Russia has been in a long process of regression culminated in a move from a hybrid to an authoritarian regime” under Putin. American diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks alleged that Russia has become a “virtual mafia state” due to Putin.
In response to the large scale protests, Russia enacted a series of laws and chilling effect. Vladimir Putin set strict boundaries on protests and imposed heavy penalties for out of bounds action. He ordered government raids on protest organizers. A law was passed that imposed a $9,000 fine for individuals who participated in rallies that caused harm to people or property. The fine was devastating because the average annual salary in Russia is around $8,500. Putin basically said that if you want to protest, I will take all your money.
Currently, approximately 2/3 of the female population lives in an area of the world where abortion is legal. The law varies by region and China, North Korea, and Vietnam are the only countries that conduct mandatory abortions. The topic is controversial and has sparked a large number of court cases. Abortion wasn’t made legal in every U.S. state until 1973. Since that time, millions of abortions are carried out every year.
The number of abortions around the world has been increasing since the introduction of Mifepristone, which is a form of nonsurgical abortion. In the United States, the rate of abortion is much higher among minority women. In 2000, black women were three times more likely to have an abortion than white women. The most listed reasons for people to get an abortion include the mother wants to postpone childbearing, she cannot afford a baby, she has a relationship problem, she is too young, the baby will disrupt her education, or she doesn’t want more children.
In 2001, a study conducted by John J. Donohue III of Yale University was published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. In the paper Donohue III examines the connection between U.S. crime rates in the 1990s and the legalization of abortion in 1973. In the 1990s, the United States experienced a dramatic decrease in crime. On average, homicides and auto theft rates dropped 40 percent in cities across the country. The event produced the longest and deepest crime decline in the U.S. since World War II.
In the paper, Donahue III argues: “We offer evidence that legalized abortion has contributed significantly to recent crime reductions. Crime began to fall roughly eighteen years after the legalization of abortion. U.S. states that allowed abortion in 1970 experienced declines earlier than the rest of the nation.” The theory argues that abortion is having an impact on future crime rates because unwanted children are more likely to become future criminals. Abortion is also more common among poor people. The paper has been challenged by a collection of economists, who call the theory pseudoscientific and unproven.
Another interesting observation surrounding abortion is the Roe effect. The Roe effect is a hypothesis on the long-term impact of abortion on the world’s political balance. The theory suggests that the practice of abortion will eventually become illegal because those who favor abortion are much more likely to get one than those who oppose it. Children follow their parents’ political leanings, so the population of pro-choice people will gradually shrink until the pro-lifers become the dominant group. After generations, the impact will eventually cause the abolishment of the law. The process will then start over.