Interesting facts, interesting humans

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Here are some quite interesting people around the word!

Philip Gale was child prodigy that committed suicide at age 19, jumping from a classroom’s window. Before jumping he wrote on the blackboard Newton’s equation for how an object accelerates as it falls, along with a sketch of a stick figure tossing a chair. He signed it, “Phil was here”

In a speed demonstration, Bruce Lee could snatch a dime off a person’s open palm before they could close it, and leave a penny behind.

Steve McQueen was supposed to attend the dinner party where the Manson family murdered Sharon Tate and others, but skipped it after he “ran into a chickie and decided to go off with her instead”

There was a girl nicknamed Sober Sue, who was offered worked at a theater that would offer $1,000 to anyone that could make her laugh. All summer people tried to make her laugh, even professional comedians came onto the show, none of which prevailed. Sober Sue had facial paralysis.

Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person to win twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences couldn’t legally attend college, so she did it illegally, going to what was known as the ‘Flying University’, a secret organization.

During the tornado outbreak of 1974, forecasters in Indiana, frustrated because they could not keep up with all of the simultaneous tornado activity, put the entire state under a blanket tornado warning. This was the only time in U.S. history that an entire state was under a tornado warning.

Jason Mraz lives on and runs an avocado farm that supplies 30,000 pounds of avocados to California Chipotle restaurants every year

It took three different actors to portray Darth Vader. Voice: James Earl Jones. Face: Sebastian Shaw. Body: David Prowse.

In the American Civil War, Robert E. Lee’s orders were found by Union troops in a cigar case on a battlefield, use of this information led to Antietam, the bloodiest battle of the war.

Quentin Tarantino used to work as an usher at a movie theater, meaning he got to watch movies for free–but it was a porn theater, and porn movies bored him.

Aristotle thought that women had less teeth than men.

For a private citizen, there are no penalties for violating the US flag code. And that, “the Flag Code serves as a guide to be followed on a purely voluntary basis to insure proper respect for the flag.”

The inventor of the GameBoy and Duck Hunt, Gunpei Yokoi, died in his fifties after rear ending someone and then being hit by a car when he went to check on them.

The bikini was invented by the frenchman Louis Réard in 1946. At the time, the USA were conducting Atomic Bomb tests in the Bikini Atoll, and so Louis Réard named his two piece swimsuit the “Bikini” as it was what he referred to as an “Anatomic Bomb”

Varnado Simpson was a US soldier who admitted to his role in the My Lai massacre. His own child would be shot and killed 11 years later. Simpson regarded this as his punishment for the children he had killed in My Lai.

A 96-year-old self-taught conservationist dedicated the last 40 years of his life to saving North American bluebird populations, building and monitoring 350 nest boxes all across southeast Idaho. In part from his conservation efforts, bluebird populations have significantly rebounded.

Larry Walters, a man who dreamed of flying since he was a child. He was going to join the air force but his poor eyesight disqualified him. On July 2, 1982 he built a homemade airship out of a patio chair and 45 helium balloons and flew for nearly an hour, reaching an altitude of 16,000 feet.

The last surviving captive of the last slave ship to bring African slaves to the US was interviewed in the 1930s

The German composer, Carl Orff, was responsible for having kids play the Recorder in elementary schools. He saw it as an easy way for kids to start playing music. The Recorder relies on rhythm rather than memorization.

BJ Novak convinced childhood buddy and The Office costar John Krasinski to first go into acting when he recruited Krasinski to be in a play Novak has written for their high school.

Amish people end formal education at the 8th grade. This is mainly because they value apprenticeship and hands-on learning, and that more advanced learning can foster anti-Christian beliefs and counter their values.

Men in 18th Century France wore high heels as a sign of wealth. As the shoes became popular, men wore thick heels and women wore skinny ones. During the Enlightenment men stopped wearing heels and they became more associated with a woman’s supposed sense of impracticality and extravagance.

John Hancock and Charles Tomson were the only two people to sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn’t added until 5 years later.

Sir William Grove demonstrated the incandescent light bulb in 1840, seven years before Thomas Edison was even born.

Leonidas was 60 years old during the battle of Thermopylae (depicted in 300). His last stand would ultimately contribute to the preservation of the whole of Greece.

Constantine I of the Roman Empire melted down the Holy Nails and made them into an armor piece because he thought it would invoke divine protection upon him.

Nick Clegg, a former UK politician who had been leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister, was once featured in maintenance posters at Las Vegas airport. The poster maker had thought that the image used was a stock photo.

Pope Benedict IX, born in 1012 and died 1056. In his 43 years of life, he managed to get elected pope three times, ex-pulsed twice, and abdicated by SELLING the papacy in order to marry his cousin,

Leonardo Da Vinci was the inventor of the scissors.

Oscar Gomer Swahn was a Swedish shooter who competed at three Olympic games and won six medals, including three gold. Swahn holds records as the oldest Olympian at the time of competition, the oldest person to win gold, and the oldest person to win an Olympic medal.

Roman Mazurenko was a Russian startup founder who died in a tragic accident in Moscow in 2015, and is now “revived” through an app his best friend has developed by feeding all their text messages to a neural network in order to speak with him again.

In high school, with his imposing physique and creepy mustache, most Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s classmates thought he was an undercover cop.

An alcoholic court stenographer in Manhattan repeatedly typed I hate my job instead of documenting speech during cases.

New York City has more people than 40 of the 50 U.S. states, has the largest Chinese population of any city outside of Asia, and that half of New Yorkers speak a language other than English at home (and over 200 languages are spoken).

Saitō Musashibō Benkei was a Japanese warrior who is said to have killed in excess of 300 trained soldiers by himself while defending a bridge. He was so fierce in close quarters that his enemies were forced to kill him with a volley of arrows. He died standing upright.

The band Chicago was so fond of cocaine that during a tour in the 70’s they put a fake phone booth on stage called the “Snortitorium” so they could do lines mid-concert without going backstage.

If you hold in too many farts, the gas can be reabsorbed and then exhaled in your breath.

Australians use nearly twice as much coal per person than Americans and five times as much as the rest of the world.

In 1889 the Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary died in a suicide pact with his teenage mistress, leaving his cousin Franz Ferdinand to be heir. His daughter would become a prominent socialist politician

A photographer suggested to Matt LeBlanc that he file down one of his front teeth to improve his headshots. LeBlanc later consulted a dentist who would have charged $80. Relying on his carpentry skills, LeBlanc instead bought three emery boards for 19¢ and filed down the tooth himself.

Morgan freeman is a beekepper. And doesn’t even wear a bee suite.

A woman attempted to hire a “hitman” to kill the mother of her teenage daughter’s cheerleading rival. She had hoped the rival would be too distraught to cheer. The “hitman” was working with police.

In 2007, a 12 year old Norwegian boy named Hans Jorgen Olsen saved both himself and his sister from a vicious moose attack using skills he learned from playing World of Warcraft; taunt and feign death.

Conjoined twins need two passports to travel.

Professional Mourners are paid to cry at funerals. The job dates back to Ancient Egypt and Professional Mourners appear in the Bible. It remains a popular practice in China today.

MMA Announcer Bruce Buffer found out when he was 30 years old that his dad had been married before and his half-brother was boxing announcer Michael Buffer. Today, they have a company together.

The national dish of Luxembourg is literally called “Jew with beans”. Despite its name, it doesn’t actually contain any jews, but rather consists of smoked pork collar with broad beans, usually served with beer or wine and boiled potatoes fried in bacon.

Inmate Lawrence Russell Brewer’s last meal request consisted of over 20 meals, costing the state hundreds of dollars. When given his last meal, he said he wasn’t hungry, and ate none of it.

Leo Gradwell was a WWII Royal Navy volunteer. He saved his lightly-armed ship and three unarmed merchant ships from German attacks by sailing north against orders, and hiding in thick Arctic ice by painting the ships white. His only navigational aids were a sextant and a pocket atlas.

Bonus!
More people die from getting a coconut to the head than from shark attacks.

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