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When death changed from a tragic matter to a comedic one

Whenever I had occasions when I choked on food or struggled to go to the toilet, I thought: “How bad would it be if I died this way?” Then, not only would my whole life be a joke, but my death as well. However, even my wildest thoughts seem to pale in comparison to many of the ridiculous ways people have died in history!

Here are some examples:

1. Killed by his own beard


“If those rails could talk”

A picture of a man in a train
A picture of a man in a train

Subways fascinate me, not the sandwich kind — even though it came up a lot when I was searching online about subways in various cities, but I meant the metro kind. Subways are fascinating, especially the old ones that have been running for more than a hundred years.

Just imagine how much life has happened there: the ambition when going to a job interview, the smiling to yourself when coming back from a sweet date, the unexpectedness of running into a long-lost friend, the attentiveness of reading on the commute to a morning class, and even the surprises of babies…


The story of the father of handwashing

Picture of washing a hand with water
Picture of washing a hand with water

By both chance and fate, I came to Budapest in 2016. It was a whole new place to me and I used to wander around mapping out the communities I lived amongst. During one of these expeditions, I came across a giant sculpture at a hospital's entrance near the first apartment I stayed at in Budapest. It was a sculpture of a man with babies and a breastfeeding mother surrounding him. I was wondering what was that about?

So I googled Semmelweis, the name written on the sculpture, and found out an unbelievable story of what a long and tragic…


3. Albania was the only country in Europe that came out of WWII with more Jewish population than prior to the war

A photo of Albanian architectures
A photo of Albanian architectures

A long time ago, I was an undergraduate student who majored in Albanian language and literature. We had a loving professor from Elbasan, Albania, teaching us the language as well as the history of his motherland. We were a bunch of brats who had absolutely no idea about Albania. To this day I can still remember those moments when we were surprised, shocked, awed, and saddened by Albanian history.

Here are a few of those from the fascinating history of Albania:

1. Mother Teresa is Albanian


Laughable silly mistakes, serious lasting impact

Anything that involves humans, involves human error, history is no exception. Some of our idiotic mistakes have led to unimaginable outcomes, and the world might look comletely different if these mistakes did not occur. So let us take look at how these mistakes, idiotic they can be, have changed our history.

The fall of the Berlin Wall

The fall of the Berlin Wall resulted from a bureaucrat who did not read through his speech beforehand and therefore misspoke himself at the press conference.

You might assume that the immediate fall of the Berlin Wall came from international political pressure or a revolutionary fight for freedom. …


How you exercise and absorb light can either hinder or improve your sleep

A koala sleeping on the tree
A koala sleeping on the tree

When I was younger, my mom always reminded me of the importance of sleep. But I never cared about it because I felt I had more important things to do than sleep. I had to study for exams, to be cool and party, to be online to sustain a long-distance relationship. How young and naive I was now that I realized all of those things turned out to not matter at all. I should have just slept instead, which would have benefited my life much more.

In the past few years, I experienced the importance of quality sleep for enhancing…


Nurture the body to nurture the mind, based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Taoism.

a man relaxing on a tree
a man relaxing on a tree

To take good care of one’s body and mind is called “yang sheng” in Chinese, whose literal translation means “to nurture life”. It has deep roots in traditional Chinese medicine and the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism.

Chinese self-care — yang sheng is not so much about adopting drastic changes to improve the health of our body and mind, it is more like a river creek flowing lightly and consistently through the forest. That being said, yang sheng constitutes numerous tiny practices and measures that are simple, easy, and enjoyable to incorporate into our daily life.

The positive effect of…


Story of the most controversial woman in Chinese history

In the 2,000 years of dynastic rule in China from 220 BC all the way until the end of 1911, there were about 557 emperors. All these emperors were male except one, Wu Zetian, the one and only female emperor in the imperial history of China.

There is no doubt that she was one of the most beautiful, intelligent, effective, and talented leaders of her time. However, there is also a lot of controversy surrounding her character: she is said to have been manipulative, ruthless, and cruel.

She has always inspired a lot of curiosity and debate. Many historians and…


Tax on urine, on being a coward, on being single, and more

Words: Pay your tax now here written on a window
Words: Pay your tax now here written on a window

We muddle through life, we make meaning out of our insignificant existence, and we always look for answers and wonder what the future has in store for us. Rest assured, because, among all the unknown, uncertain, and the unexpected in life, there are at least two things that are for sure according to Benjamin Franklin: “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.”

No matter how absurd they can be sometimes, death and tax have always been with us and will continue so. In my last article, I talked about the ridiculous ways people have died in history


We’ve learned it all wrong

One day a friend of mine mentioned the ostrich reference, which was about how ostriches would bury their heads in the sand, deceiving themselves that the dangers would not get to them this way. I found this behavior of ostriches so funny and cute, but also wondered why they are so silly? It turned out that they are not, but we are by misunderstanding ostriches and many other animals.

So, here I am, writing some fun facts we have heard about some animals that are not true and also not fun to the misunderstood animals, probably.

“Ostriches bury their heads in the sand to hide from danger”

Out of…

Summer

Writing about my learnings from work, life, places and cultures :) Connect at www.linkedin.com/in/summersutong

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