For a war that affected nearly every country in the world, only a few nations seem to get mentioned when we talk about World War II. Germany, England, Russia, Japan, and the United States are sure to come up, but many more countries get left out. The other nations of the world were involved, though—and we forget that some of those places did a lot more than you might realize.
We don’t know entertainment. Sure, we have our TV shows and our movies, but we’re not living up to our potential because one little thing is holding us back: basic human morality.
In ancient Rome, they didn’t share our hang-ups over human rights. At the Colosseum and the Roman games, the Romans acted out every sadistic, twisted thought they could imagine—and turned it into first-rate entertainment.
Hidden on the side of a forest road 45 km north of Venice, there is a cheap hand-painted sign that reads: “Osteria Ai Pioppi.” It points to a “ristorante” though, from the road, the old metal gate and thick lines of trees look more like a park than any place where people would pay for a meal.
That first impression would be correct. While there are lines of picnic tables and placards with prices for cafeteria-style food, nobody is there for the pasta puttanesca. Visitors come for what sits behind the tables: a rusted-steel amusement park featuring roller coasters, tilt-a-whirls, luges and other rides the restaurateur welded together in his spare time.
The world is in a panic right now. To some, we seem to be entering a dark new era where hate, racism, misogyny and division will reign supreme. People are afraid. They don’t know what’s going to happen next, and their worried it will be something terrible.
But it’s okay. Everything is going to be fine.
The world is not as terrible a place as you think. Your brain is hardwired to make you think things are much worse than they really are. Life might not be perfect, but it’s better than it’s ever been before.
A petition signed by over three million people is asking the Electoral College to change their votes from Trump to Clinton. It’s a crazy and dangerous idea—but it’s not unprecedented. We’ve done this before.
In 1824, John Quincy Adams became president even though he lost the election. It was as bad an idea then as it is now. It caused major problems, and its fallout changed American politics forever.
The Soviet Union kept tight control over their people. Behind the Iron Curtain, freedoms were rare, and the minds of the populace were kept tightly in check. We’ve heard for decades how strict life was under the rule of the Communist Party, but we rarely hear just how strange it was. Soviet laws weren’t just strict; they were insane—and much more ridiculous than you might imagine.
These days, everyone is informed. We’re experts on every international incident, up on every detail that makes the headlines — until we get bored with it.
Once news stories have run their course, they tend to stop making the front page. Things keep happening, though, and the little details we miss can sometimes change everything.