Satan Once Lived In The White House–And More Surprising Facts About Our Founding Fathers

Founding Fathers' Surprising Beliefs

Source: Wikipedia

We can thank our Founding Fathers for giving us an annual excuse to overindulge win barbecues, beer and fireworks–and for being some real characters:

America’s Founding Fathers were some of most influential–and controversial–people in our history. This historical documentary explores some of the conspiracy theories surrounding our trailblazing founders:

America’s Blooper Reel: The Biggest Blunders In American History

The United States of America isn’t like any other country, and not just because our national anthem is phrased in the form of a question. Unlike China, which has a recorded history going back almost to Homo erectus, America was founded pretty much from scratch (after the Indians were chased away) and July 4, 1776 represented a unique opportunity to start fresh. We flubbed it.

Don’t get us wrong – there’s a lot to like about America. The Bill of Rights, the Interstate Highway system, and aircraft carriers are just the impressive bits we like to show off to make foreigners feel small and weak. That said, we all know that America has done some dirt-stupid things in the last 239 (and counting) years. This Fourth of July, let us celebrate the First Amendment by revisiting some of its dumbest moments.

Independence Might Have Been A Huge Mistake

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What We Love This Week, Volume CXXIX

Forest Fire Aerial Smoke

June 7: Smoke rises from the Bogus Creek Fire, one of two fires in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska. Source: The Atlantic

Wildfires Rage In The West

Forest Fire Silhouette Glow

June 13: Flames consume dry vegetation at the Saddle Fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest near Hyampom, California. Sparked by lightning, the wildfire scorched more than 1,500 acres in drought-parched Northern California. Source: The Atlantic

While wildfire season is far from over, the West Coast and Alaska have already suffered devastating blows. With a record 700 fires to date this year, Alaska has taken the largest hit, losing over 1.8 million acres. Although higher temperatures and lower humidity are to blame, the astounding number of lightning strikes (6,000-10,000 bolts per day) may be the major culprit. Elsewhere, California, Oregon, and Washington have lost thousands of acres. As total acreage lost has surged in the last two decades, many climate change experts warn that things will only get worse. Survey the damage at The Atlantic.

Wildfire Smoke Plume Cloud

June 18: A smoke plume from the Lake Fire in the San Bernardino National Forest is seen at sunset, rising over the Coachella Valley from Palm Springs, California. About 500 firefighters have been battling this 7,500-acre fire, which is still only 5% contained. Source: The Atlantic

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This Is The Last Thing You’d Expect To See Within A Sinkhole

Inside Chinese Sinkhole

Source: Song Wen/Zuma Press

Sinkholes are a relatively commonplace occurrence in China, but what emerged from one in the Hubei province is certainly not. Thanks in part to the karst formations, if you take a peek into the 317-yard-deep gash you’ll find a home to an array of flora and fauna. That’s right: the hole has given way to an ecosystem.

Head to The Wall Street Journal to learn more about the life teeming within the sinkhole.

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