21 Things I Literally Just Learned That Completely Changed The Way I Look At The World

Posted on Apr 17, 2021

Believe it or not, people used to believe babies don’t feel pain.


Up until the late 1980s, it was widely believed that babies don’t feel pain. So common was this belief in the mainstream medical community that infants who were undergoing surgery weren’t given any type of anesthesia or pain relief.


In 2014, scientists discovered an ancient virus that had been lying dormant in the Siberian permafrost for 30,000 years and that, when thawed, became infectious again. Though this particular virus poses no threat to humans, it’s a stark warning about what sort of long-forgotten threats to humanity might be unearthed as the globe continues to warm.

Tatiana Gasich / Getty Images, Aitor Diago / Getty Images

Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination would change the course of history, actually survived an assassination attempt earlier that day when a bomb that was intended to kill him ended up exploding underneath the car directly behind his in the motorcade. Fate would intervene, however, when Archduke Ferdinand decided to take an unplanned detour to the hospital to visit those injured in the attack. On the way, his chauffeur accidentally made a wrong turn and came to a stop right in front of 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip, who shot and killed him, setting off World War I. Here’s the coat the archduke was wearing that day, still covered in his blood:

The bloodstained coat of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. His assasination started the Great War. Sarajevo, 1914 [811×1000] from

The tarantula hawk is a species of spider wasp that gets its name for its penchant for hunting tarantulas, which it’s able to paralyze with a single sting. In fact, these terrifying creatures boast the second most painful sting on the planet (bullet ant is the first):

Tarantula Hawk from


Kati Kariko is an unsung hero of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Story of a 66-year-old researcher, an immigrant, who rarely got grants, never got her own lab, never earned more than $60K. For four decades, she kept working on mRNA—a path considered foolish. Her work is the basis for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. https://t.co/wOvCEM8jja

12:18 AM – 09 Apr 2021

Twitter: @nathanheller

And last but *definitely* not least:

This is Odette Sansom Hallowes — codename “LISE” — who was a highly decorated spy during World War II. She was hired by the British government to infiltrate Nazi-occupied France and assist in recruiting, training, and arming members of the French resistance. She would eventually be captured and brutally tortured by the Gestapo. Even as they ripped out all of her toenails she would repeat these words: “I have nothing to say.” She never once revealed the whereabouts of her co-conspirators and comrades in arms, and was ultimately sent to Ravensbrück, a concentration camp for women. Despite it all, Odette Hallowes survived the war. She died at the age of 82 in 1995:

WW2 SOE agent Odette Sansom Hallowes GC MBE, photographed in 1946. Colourised. from

Want to see what I learned last week? Click here to find out. And click HERE to see what I learned in March.

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