Coke exists thanks to this wounded warrior from Civil War

You know that common bit of trivia about how Coca-Cola used to have cocaine in it? Well, it turns out the inventor had good reason for a constant trickle of anesthesia. He was trying to get some relief from the unhealed saber wound in his chest, a souvenir from his cavalry service at Columbus, Georgia.

There's a fun fact that you can't escape in the South: Coca-Cola used to have cocaine in it. The Coke brand is everywhere down here, and every 14-year-old will bring up the cocaine fact a couple of times a week for the first six months after they learn about it.

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DARPA wants to make you eat your own trash

DARPA has a new program it's trying to get up and running that would turn trash, especially trash that is high in organic materials, into valuable resources needed in disaster and war zones. A successful ReSource program could create fuel, lubricants, and even food for troops in remote locations while reducing the need to ship, burn, or bury trash.

Those mad bois over at the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency are at it again. This time, they want to create a system that would let you eat your own trash, and to be honest, you'd probably like it. (The system, not the taste.)

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This pilot crashed his plane into the guns that shot him down

U.S. Air Force Maj. Charles Loring Jr. was leading a dive bomb attack on Chinese and Korean artillery and anti-aircraft positions in 1952 when those same guns managed to heavily damage his plane. Instead of calling off the attack, he leaned into it and crashed his entire jet into the people shooting at him.

Air Force Maj. Charles J. Loring Jr. was a veteran of World War II, former prisoner of war, and an accomplished fighter and bomber pilot when he took off on a mission over Korea on Nov. 22, 1952. When North Korean batteries scored hits on his plane that would normally force the pilot to abort the mission, Loring turned his dive bomber into a kamikaze plane instead.

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This famous actor was a bomber pilot in WWII

Jimmy Stewart was most famous for his roles in romantic comedies and dramatic movies, but when his nation came calling in early 1941, he answered the call and became a bomber pilot in World War II. But he remained in the military, earning medals and the rank of brigadier general before flying his last mission in Vietnam.

Remember It's a Wonderful Life? The 1946 movie where an angel visits a man to convince him not to kill himself? The actor who portrayed the man was Jimmy Stewart, and he was pretty fresh from bombing missions over Nazi-occupied Europe when he played the part. He also remained in the Air Force Reserve until he retired as a brigadier general.

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Russia absolutely hates these American weapons in Europe

"Aegis Ashore" installations in Europe and Japan are primarily defensive weapons, but they drastically reduce the ability of Russia or other potential adversaries to attack America or its allies or to launch a retaliatory strike if America hit first. So Russia hates them, but they keep going up around the world because allies love Aegis.

The U.S. Navy's Aegis Combat System is primarily a defensive weapon (Aegis was first used in English as a synonym to "shield"), but it can also be used to attack enemy land and sea targets. Many American allies have sought to have Aegis installed on their ships or land installations, a trend that Russia hates and often protests.

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This single joke by Reagan put the Soviet military on alert

Some rather, uh, ill-advised comments from President Ronald Reagan have leaked in recent weeks, tarnishing his legacy. But it wasn't Reagan's first spot of trouble with leaked audio. In 1984, the Soviets in Vladivostok put their troops on high alert because of a joke he told into a hot mic.

So, President Ronald Reagan managed to make it into the news about 15 years after his death due to some leaked audio with inflammatory, racist remarks. But, oddly enough, 20 years before his death, Reagan accidentally sent Soviet forces in Vladivostok into high alert thanks to another bit of leaked audio. Specifically, he told an ill-advised joke about outlawing Russia.

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'Danger Close' tells the story of heroic Australians in Vietnam

The men of Delta Company, 6th Royal Australian Regiment, found themselves outnumbered almost 25 to 1 when they stumbled into an entire North Vietnamese regiment in 1966. Thanks to a combination of artillery, brave pilots, and their own indomitable grit, they didn't just survive, they won the battle.

It's easy to forget that the Vietnam War was originally fought by the French and that plenty more countries came to fight the communists, not just the U.S. One of the other groups deployed to Vietnam was a force of Australian and New Zealand soldiers. A group of just over 100 of them would fight an estimated 2,500 North Vietnamese for over three hours with little support, achieving a victory in the direst of circumstances.

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There's a current Army helicopter you may have never seen

The UH-72 Lakota is the adopted child of the Army helicopter fleet. It's not the helicopter the Army set out to buy, it's not the one the Army wants on the frontlines, and it's not what the Army wants for the future. But it's a quiet workhorse that's conducting an important mission in the U.S. every day.

While Black Hawks, Apaches, and Chinooks usually get top billing when the Army comes out to play at air shows and sporting events (plus the occasional MH-6 Little Bird when special operation aviators come to play), the service does have another helicopter quietly working behind the scenes to plug crucial gaps: the UH-72 Lakota.

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What China's spin doctors want you to believe this week

We took a quick spin around China Military, China's English-language site for pushing out government-sanctioned military news and opinions. From South Korean missile tests and politics to U.S. nuclear weapons and international war games, here's what our rival across the Pacific is talking about right now.

Most national governments have some sort of official apparatus for pushing its views in other countries. The U.S. has the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Qatar has Al Jazeera, Russia has Russia Today and Russia Beyond the Headlines. China has a few outlets as well, including China Military. We took a quick tour to see what they're talking about right now.

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