Few photographs exist of Mao Zedong’s teeth. According to his doctor Li Zhisui, Mao never brushed his teeth, which were coated with a green patina. Mao’s habit, shared by many peasants in China, was to wash his mouth in the morning with tea and then chew tea leaves. When, once, Dr. Li suggested to him that he should use a toothbrush, Mao’s reply was, “A tiger never brushes his teeth.”
In the history of civilization, there have been few more spectacular erections than the megalopolis of Shenzhen. A quiet hamlet, the village was chosen as a “Special Economic Zone” by a Mao-weary Chinese leadership in 1979. With its proximity to Hong Kong, Shenzhen would be the ideal portal to reconnect China with the outside world, physically, economically, and philosophically.
The Shenzhen SEZ was created as an experimental ground for market capitalism within a community guided by the ideals of “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” With an outpouring of infrastructure construction and loosening of state control, trade, foreign investment, and the population exploded.
Shenzhen has since become one of the largest cities in the Pearl River Delta region, which has become one of the economic powerhouses of China as well as the largest manufacturing base on the planet.
The surface of Venus, as photographed by the USSR’s Venera 13 and 14 probes in March 1982.
The climate on the planet would kill a human instantly in three ways: temperatures around 800°, air pressure 93 times greater than Earth’s, and a cocktail of an asphyxiating 97% CO2 with a splash of sulphuric acid.
Soviet engineers designed Venera 13 and 14 to last half an hour on the surface, but both lasted slightly longer than this (127 and 57 minutes respectively) before being crushed and melted in the hellscape.
This false-color image from NASA’s Cassini mission highlights the storms at Saturn’s north pole. The angry eye of a hurricane-like storm appears dark red, framed by a fast-moving hexagonal jet stream—each arm 9,000 miles long. A second, smaller vortex pops out in teal at the lower right of the image. The rings of Saturn appear in vivid blue at the top right.