Moscow’s ZiL lanes are special lanes on main roads that are reserved for the use of top government officials

ZiL lanes (also sometimes called “Chaika lanes”) are lanes on some principal roads in Moscow dedicated to vehicles carrying senior government officials. Known officially in Russian as rezervniye polosy (“reserved lanes”), they took their nickname from the black limousines produced by ZiL and the luxury Chaika cars that were used by officials of the Soviet Union as their official vehicles. ZiL lanes emerged in the 1960s during the rule of Leonid Brezhnev, replacing the previous system of having other vehicles flagged down to make way for those of top officials. The lanes were inserted into the middle of some of Moscow’s main highways in place of the central reservations and were off-limits to all but authorised civilian and emergency service vehicles.

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Chicken called Mike lived for 2 years without a head

Bob Landry—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images  Mike the headless chicken, October 1945. According to some accounts, the day the ax fell, Mike slept with his head under his wing.
Bob Landry—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Mike the headless chicken, October 1945. According to some accounts, the day the ax fell, Mike slept with his head under his wing.

September 10th, 1945 finds a strapping (but tender) five and a half month old Wyandotte rooster pecking through the dust of Fruita, Colorado. The unsuspecting bird had never looked so delicious as he did that, now famous, day. Clara Olsen was planning on featuring the plump chicken in the evening meal. Husband Lloyd Olsen was sent out, on a very routine mission, to prepare the designated fryer for the pan. Nothing about this task turned out to be routine. Lloyd knew his Mother in Law would be dining with them and would savor the neck. He positioned his ax precisely, estimating just the right tolerances, to leave a generous neck bone. “It was as important to Suck-Up to your Mother in Law in the 40’s as it is today.” A skillful blow was executed and the chicken staggered around like most freshly terminated poultry.

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You’re more likely to die on your birthday than any other day

A study involving a staggering 2.4 million people has revealed that dying on your birthday is possibly more common than we might assume. Researchers in Switzerland determined that the effect may be due to something called the anniversary reaction hypothesis, and even cite stress surrounding the big day as a reason people are prone to kick it on their birthdays.

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