Did you know…?!
The guy who created the Nobel Peace Prize, Alfred Nobel, also invented the highly combustible chemical composition commonly known as: DYNAMITE?!
When Galileo published his book: “A Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems“, debunking the Earth-centered universe ‘theory’, everything else in his research, except for postulating that the Earth revolved around the Sun, everything else in the book has since been proven completely and totally False. However, it’s worth noting he was kinda limited on technological resources. It was this one indisputable Fact that he discovered (the solar system), which went against the Church’s official doctrine. It was this essential truth that he’d discovered that made him a pariah, and sentenced him to house arrest for the rest of his life.
Ludwig Van Beethoven’s music teacher was once quoted as saying in frustration, “As a composer, he is hopeless!” Despite this, the (now famous world wide) German Composer persevered and went on to become one of the most innovative and inspiring musicians in history!
Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime, 1888’s “The Red Vineyard”: sold in 1890 for only 400 Francs.
Prior to being considered one of the greatest minds of the Twentieth Century, Albert Einstein’s parents were convinced he was mentally retarded. In grade school, his grades were so terrible that his Third Grade teacher called him out, essentially telling him to give up: “Einstein, you will never amount to anything!” Turns out Einstein’s teacher had even less foresight then Ms. Cleo…
Thomas (Alva) Edison did not actually ‘invent’ the light bulb. In fact he didn’t even come up with the concept. The credit goes to an English Chemist: Sir Humphry Davy a whole 77 years prior to ‘Edison’s’ version, in 1802. Then in 1845 American inventor J.W. Starr made a bulb of light with a vacuum tube utilizing carbon filament. Problem was it was impractical due to a short lifespan, so Edison began his search for a longer-lasting light-bulb filament, or at least he hired others to do it for him. After 9,000 attempts Edison’s company had made little headway. Turns out that another dude, Joseph Swan, stole his thunder by patenting the use of carbonized cotton thread as a filament. Edison literally stole his idea and was later sued. Then in true-douchebagery-fashion, Edison hired Swan on as a business partner and subsequently bought him out…. Not to mention all the ways he screwed over a certain super-genius / former employee by the name of Nikola Tesla…
President William Henry Harrison died from pneumonia in office exactly a month after being elected, because he was too stubborn to wear his jacket?!
In the 9th Century, (one thousand years before the Wright Brothers created the first modern aircraft) a Muslim mathematician / inventor / scholar (of the Middle East), by the name of Abbas Ibn Firnas, created a rudimentary flying device somewhat akin to a glider with vulture feathers. At the age of 65, he decided to test it out, on himself, by jumping off a tower. Miraculously he sustained flight to the surprised awe of spectators who came to watch a high profile suicide. Unfortunately he didn’t think of a suitable way to land safely, and was met by the unforgiving force of gravity, and crashed like a super-sized paper airplane at about 60 feet. This Icarus-wannabe was about as lucky as he was brave, surviving the fall, and only sustaining permanent back injury….
U.S. President William Howard Taft was so um… large that he once got stuck in the White House’s bathtub. At his pinnacle of mass, Taft weighed in at a whopping 340 pounds. He later had a custom-made bathtub built specifically for his particularly bulky physique.
Nineteenth century German composer Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy once wrote a passionate masterpiece, his magnum opus: Mendelssohn’s Cello Concerto. If only Mendelssohn had a flash drive to back up his work on. Turns out the one and only copy of this priceless collection of notes was lost en route to its dedication. The sheet music was picked up by the wind and flew out of the stage coach, never before to be seen again… except possibly by the illeterate vagrant who may have used it for toilet paper…
Valentine’s day originated as a Pagan-Roman fertility festival (Lupercalia) which was then co-opted by christianity and renamed after a martyred saint (Valentine) who went against the law and performed marriages for young Roman soldiers during the third century. It has since been usurped by greeting card companies…
Marie Curie discovered the element of Radium… she eventually died of aplastic anemia, a condition brought on by her long-term exposure to radiation.
On February 15th, 1933, in Miami, FL: President Franklin Delenore Roosevelt was nearly assassinated by a disgruntled unemployed Italian immigrant by the name of Giuseppe Zangara. Giuseppe managed to fire off five shots at the President-Elect from 25 feet away in the middle of a crowd, hitting several others, and mortally wounding the mayor, but leaving FDR completely and totally unscathed when the rickety bench he was standing on collapsed beneath this poor excuse for an assassin.
In 1927 Charles D. B. King. was elected President of Liberia by an advantage of 600,000 votes… however, Liberia only had 15,000 registered voters at the time….
In 1916, Grigory Efimovich RASPUTIN, a Russian peasant turned mystic monk (and advisor to Czar Nicholas II), after recovering from a mortal wound in which his entrails were sliced open, proved to be harder to kill than the Terminator when a trio of noble assassins laced his food and wine with enough cyanide to kill five men. When that didn’t work, one of them shot him in the back… which only made the Mad Monk angry-er. Rasputin lunged at one of his attackers, cursing the aristocrats, before fleeing into the winter cold. After being beaten, poisoned, and shot four times this invincible mofo of horror movie calibur was then tied up and thrown in an icy river. Although he houdinied his way out and managed to claw his way through the ice, Rasputin finally succumbed to hypothermia and drowned.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s full-name was: Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophillus Amadeus Gottlieb Sigismundus Mozart. Mozart’s ‘pet-name’ was “Wolferl”.
In the year 897 CE, Pope Stephen VII of the Holy Roman Empire decided to put his successor (Pope Formosus) on trial for perjury with wild accusations of treason. If this wasn’t odd enough on its own, as it turns out the previous Pope under question at the time was deceased!
Yep, Stephen was so crazy that he ordered the holy corpse of the last Pope dug up and propped up on a throne in the Papal Court for judgement from beyond the grave. After this macabre spectacle where the jury found Pope Formosus’s skeletal remains guilty, his retro-status of Pope was removed from history. The dead Pope’s fingers were chopped off, his body was tied to a rock and flung into the Tiber River where it would later wash up. Public opinion eventually turned against the mad Pope Stephen (the Seventh) who was then arrested and thrown in prison where he was strangled by another inmate.
The following Pope, Theodore II had Formosus officially reinstated among the long list of popes, and he was a reburied in St. Peter’s Basilica, a decision that was later overturned by Pope Sergius III.
Before Abraham Lincoln became one of the greatest Presidents in American history, Lincoln suffered no less than 12 major career failures before being elected as the nation’s 16th Commander-in-Chief.
Back during the time of Ancient Greece: According to the philosophers Plato and Xenophon – when their mentor Socrates was found guilty by the court of Athens, for basically not believing in the Olympian gods, and ‘corrupting the youth’ (by asking too many questions), the Jury asked him what his sentencing should be. Socrates responded by suggesting that the government should pay him a wage as Athens’s wise and benevolent benefactor (along with free dinners for the remainder of his life, just because). Instead, of course, his peers decided to sentence him to death by poison. Regardless, Socrates accepted his fate and ironically, willingly, drank the poisonous Hemlock goblet in ironic support of the democratic process of the justice system…