Martine Rothblatt is the founder of Sirius Satellite Radio, from which she earned millions of dollars.
Her daughter Jeni, however, was diagnosed with the rare, fatal disease pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) which is caused when the artery between the heart and lungs is damaged.
Martine felt useless, stating “I was an expert in satellites, and I didn’t know anything about medicine.”
She didn’t let this feeling of helplessness last long, however. She sold her stock and started a $3 million foundation to fund research. Unfortunately not much came of this, so Martine started her own biotechnology company United Therapeutics and went for her Ph.D. in bioethics.
Investors weren’t easy to convince, but eventually she got the support she needed. The company ended up doing extremely well, with shares up 800% from the time the company went public.
The medicine had to be sold at a high price which she was not happy about at first, but that changed when she realized what other affects her company had on the market for rare disease medicine.
There were 75 specialists in PAH in the U.S. when Jeni got sick. Now 10,000 doctors treat it and a few major pharmaceutical companies carry the drugs needed to treat it. It’s still a fatal disease, but people can last a lot longer with it now.
Celebration, Florida is a town built by The Walt Disney Company starting in the early 1990’s. This wasn’t the first time that Disney had considered getting into the city-building business, though.
Walt Disney himself wanted to build a city. His vision was completely different from what later came to be, however, and it’s a little creepy too.
Walt Disney essentially wanted to run the city himself. The city Walt dreamed up was known as The Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow (EPCOT). He wanted 20,000 people to live in his city, and wanted industries to test out their newest technology there, where it would be on display for the rest of the world.
All of the people living in his city would be tenants, paying rent to Disney. Literally everyone in the city would work for Disney in one way or another. No residents would be retirees. Everyone would be living by Walt Disney’s rules.
That’s not even the extent of control Walt wanted over the city. He bought up swampland in Florida and then petitioned the state to allow him complete control over the land, including building codes. To this day, Disney still has the control over this land. They could build a nuclear reactor on it if they so choose.
Walt Disney died soon after his plan went into motion, and the Disney board of directors, who weren’t so excited about the plan, stopped it and focused on their own plan of creating a theme.
War movies often don’t portray things the way they happened. That’s not the case with Saving Private Ryan, however.
The film has been received critical acclaim for its realistic portrayal of World War II combat.
In particular, the sequence depicting the Omaha landings was named the "best battle scene of all time" by Empire magazine and was ranked number one on TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest Movie Moments".
The scene wasn’t easy to make, though. The scene cost US$12 million and involved up to 1,500 extras, some of whom were members of the Irish Reserve Defence Forces, while others members of local reenactment groups such as the Second Battle Group who played German soldiers.
In addition, 20 to 30 actual amputees were used to portray American soldiers maimed during the landing.
Spielberg did not storyboard the sequence, as he wanted spontaneous reactions and for "the action to inspire me as to where to put the camera" It was all about authenticity for him.
North Korea's apparent stance on marijuana may surprise you.
According to multiple reports from defectors, visitors and experts, North Korea either has no law against the sale and consumption of weed, or it has a law that is largely unenforced.
A 29-year-old freelance writer from England wrote an account on his blog explaining how he purchased a grocery bag full of weed at an indoor market in rural North Korea and smoked it with impunity both at outdoor parks and monuments, as well as in restaurants and bars.
Experts explained that it's unknown whether the drug is technically outlawed, but in practice, the regime doesn't appear to take issue with it.
Which guard dog provides the best protection? Maybe a Rottweiler, or perhaps a Doberman. Bullmastiffs are another one that would come to mind.
But if you asked police in rural parts of China's Xinjiang Province, they would tell you that the best guard dog isn’t a dog at all!
The police in these areas are using geese instead.
Geese are known for being very territorial and some defend their territory pretty aggressively. They also have very sensitive hearing and much better eyesight than humans. On top of all of that, they are loud when someone invades their territory.
So have these guard “dogs” been tested? Yes! Recently a man tried to break into a police station that used geese to recover his confiscated motorbike. The geese went crazy and woke up the sleeping officers.
Whether they would be good at defending by themselves doesn’t seem to be known yet, though.