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Banana republic the beginning

Costa Rica is a small country in Central America. The rapid development of the coffee business in the early 19th century led to major changes in the economic development of the country. With the growth of coffee production, the need for a more developed infrastructure increased (at that time, oxcart was the main transport in the country). The Costa Rican government tried almost unsuccessfully to establish the country's infrastructure throughout the 19th century and until the middle of the 20th century. The first railway, El Burrocarril, which means Donkey Road, was completed in 1857. This 9-mile animal-drawn railroad only ran for a couple of years because it couldn't compete with an ox-cart, which was cheaper and faster (the speed of the train pulled by mule was about 2 miles per hour).
Minor Cooper Keith (who later played an important role in the history of the region), along with two of his brothers and their uncle Henry Meiggs, who signed the contract with the government of Costa Rica, began construction of the railroad from San Jose (the capital city of Costa Rica) to port Limon in 1871. During the first twenty-five miles of construction, Henry Meiggs, along with Keith's brothers and 5,000 other men working on the construction, died of malaria and harsh working conditions, leaving Minor Cooper Keith in charge of the project.
In 1882, when the seventy miles of the railroad were built, the Costa Rican government depleted its financial resources and could no longer pay. To complete the project, the government struck a deal with Minor Keith. He was to bear the costs of the rest of the project and in return receive 800,000 acres of tax-free land along the railroad and all the profits from the newly built railroad for the next 99 years. To complete the railroad, Keith had to take out a £ 1.2 million loan from several banks as well as private investors.
When the railway was completed, it became apparent that there were not enough passengers or cargo to use it at full capacity. Keith had to pay for the railroad's operating expenses as well as the huge loan he received. He started experimenting with different business ideas to raise money, and one idea was very successful. During construction work, Keith ordered banana trees to be planted along the railroad. Bananas were used to feed workers during hard times, and now he wanted to try exporting them using the newly built railroad. By 1890, the railroad was used only to transport bananas to the port of Leon, and the new banana business surpassed the cost of the railroad itself.
What began as a loan waiver experiment has grown to become the largest banana trading company in Central America and Colombia. In 1899, the company was merged with the Boston Fruit Company to form the United Fruit Company, today known as Chiquita Brands International.


When immune system goes rogue

Immune system is a system of the body that protects it from all foreign substances from the outside (viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.) and controls the destruction of failed or outdated cells (for example, it is immunity that protects us from tumour formations). In order for immune cells not to destroy the cells of their own body, there is immunological tolerance.

Most healthy poisons in the world

While plants do their best to scare away those who want to eat them by producing all sorts of complex poisons and toxins, ironically, some of them are now used by humans only because of those very poisons.

Appendix - a secondary immune organ

Although appendix is no longer used by humans for digestive purposes it still contains a high concentration of lymphoid tissue. Lymphoid tissue is essential for the immune system and may help encourage the growth of some types of beneficial gut flora.

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A sloth can move slowly, but movement is not his primary defense method. Camouflage is a great way to go undetected. And this is where sloths have become experts over a long period of their evolution.

Bone conduction: why your own voice sounds different to you

Low frequency sounds are better transmitted through bone than high frequency sounds. This is why people tend to feel the low bass notes in music more than the higher pitched notes. This is also why your own voice sounds different to you than it does to other people.