The Kyshtym Disaster Is The Nuclear Accident You Haven't Heard Of

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The Kyshtym Disaster Is The Nuclear Accident You Haven't Heard Of

You've heard of Chernobyl, and you've even heard of Fukushima. But the next biggest nuclear disaster probably won't ring any bells for you, and that's because it was largely kept secret. The Kyshtym disaster of 1957 was the third largest nuclear accident, but not even those affected knew it had happened. Heck, it didn't even happen in Kyshtym—the name was something of a cover-up. The disaster occurred in the secret, then-Soviet region called Chelyabinsk (it was renamed Ozyorsk in the early 1990s). According to the Soviets, the secret site of the accident didn't even exist.

Jason Barnes Drums With A Musically Programmed Robotic Hand

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Jason Barnes Drums With A Musically Programmed Robotic Hand

In 2012, Jason Barnes lost his right hand and part of his arm due to an electrical accident. As an avid drummer, he was devastated. He tried to fashion a prosthetic hand that would allow him to play the drums, but it was imperfect: he couldn't adjust his grip or the speed of the stick. That's when professor Gil Weinberg stepped in. Weinberg already had a band of robot musicians in his lab at Georgia Tech, and he was intrigued by Barnes's problem. He and his team devised a prosthesis that has a "musical brain," meaning that it can play on its own. Not only that, but it can play faster than a human hand, and is capable of wielding two drumsticks instead of one.

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Key Facts to Know

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    In 2012, an electrical accident left Jason Barnes without his right hand. 0:13

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    See Jason Barnes drum with his robotic arm: 4:17

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    Shimon is an eight-armed robotic marimba player. 5:25

Britain's First Satellite Was Destroyed By A U.S. Nuke

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Britain's First Satellite Was Destroyed By A U.S. Nuke

In 1959, Britain approached the United States to help get its first satellite into space, following an open offer from NASA. From there, the wheels started spinning on the Ariel 1. The satellite, which was the first international space effort seeing as the U.K. created the satellite and NASA in the U.S. constructed the launching equipment, launched in 1962. The purpose of the satellite was to study the ionosphere and its relationship to the sun. Just weeks after its launch, the satellite was accidentally damaged by the U.S. military's experimental 1.4 megaton nuclear weapon, Starfish-Prime.

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Key Facts to Know

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    On April 26, 1962, the first international space effort was launched into space. 1:10

The Swim Coach Who Accidentally Invented Spring Break

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The Swim Coach Who Accidentally Invented Spring Break

In 1936, Colgate University's swim coach Sam Ingram took his team to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to practice during what is now known as spring break time. The city had the only Olympic size swimming pool at that time in Florida. Two years later in 1938, the city of Ft. Lauderdale caught on and decided to host 300 collegiate swim teams for a meet over spring break to help boost the local economy. The phenomenon of "spring break" was reported on for the first time in 1959 by TIME magazine.

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Key Facts to Know

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    Sam Ingram was a swim coach at Colgate University when he accidentally invented spring break in 1936. 0:19

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    The original location of spring break is Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 1:42

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    In 1986, MTV began live-broadcasting from various spring break locales. 1:57

The First Intentional Acid Trip

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The First Intentional Acid Trip

Dr. Hofmann, often called "the father of LSD," was the first person to experience the drug's psychedelic effects. In fact, he realized that they existed three days before Bicycle Day, when he accidentally ingested some LSD and reported feeling somewhat strange. The following Monday, he intentionally took .25 milligrams of LSD, and embarked on the world's first official acid trip. Unfortunately, it was not a very pleasant one. "...My condition began to assume threatening forms," he recollected in his autobiography. "Everything in my field of vision wavered and was distorted as if seen in a curved mirror. I also had the sensation of being unable to move from the spot." Later, he became convinced that his neighbor was a witch, and felt that "[a] demon had invaded me, had taken possession of my body, mind, and soul."

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from Brit Lab

Key Facts to Know

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    On April 19, 1943, Albert Hofmann ingested 250 micrograms of LSD and took a bicycle ride home, resulting in the first intentional acid trip. 0:28

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    LSD affects serotonin receptors to cause hallucinations, but scientists aren't exactly sure how. 2:30

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    In the 1950s, the MKUltra program involved the military and the CIA secretly slipping LSD to various subjects. 4:57