Ernest Thompson Seton, one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America, was presented with an invoice for all the expenses connected with his childhood, by his father, including the fee charged by the doctor who delivered him. He paid the bill, but never spoke to his father again.
Seton called his father “the most selfish man I ever knew, or heard of, in history or in fiction.” He cut off ties completely after being made to pay off an itemized list of all expenses he had cost his father, up to and including the doctor’s fee for his delivery, a total of $537.50.
A Spanish archives director who only showed up to work to sign-in & sign-out for 10 years. During the time that he was “working,” he ran a male brothel and was an erotic comic book artist who created a busty superheroine named Fallarela “who hurls flaming Valencia oranges at her enemies” (article)
Ham, the chimp who was the first hominid in space, trained by NASA to operate a capsule in space. His trainer described the moment he was recovered from his capsule following the project – “I have never seen such terror on a chimp’s face” (article)
If he correctly pushed the levers, he would receive a reward of banana pellets but if he didn’t push the levers, he would receive an electric shock. During the flight, the wiring went haywire due to the malformation in the valve. As a result, no matter what lever Ham pushed, he was given a cruel shock.
Andy George who spent $1,500 and 6 months making a single sandwich completely from scratch. He did absolutely everything from making his own cheese to harvesting his own wheat. He made his own salt and made his own oil. He grew sunflowers and collected their seeds to extract fat.
At Jon Bon Jovi’s restaurant, JBJ Soul Kitchen, you can pay for your meal with either a donation or one hour of volunteer work in the kitchen. In 2014, JBJ served 11,500 meals, and half of them were paid for with a donation, and the other half were paid for with volunteer work. (article)
In 1897, 3 Swedes attempted to be the first people to reach the North Pole. They travelled by hot air balloon but crashed after 65 hours. 33 years later, a ship discovered their camp, along with their dead bodies, journal, and camera. They’d survived for weeks by killing and eating polar bears. (article)
Harper Lee’s friends gave her a full year’s salary for Christmas in 1956 so that she’d be able to take a year off from work to write. Lee used that time to write “To Kill a Mockingbird” which has since sold over 30 million copies (article)
The Hundred Flowers Campaign of 1956 China, in which Mao Zedong allowed citizens to speak out their opinions on the Communist regime freely before ending the campaign within a year and imprisoning those who spoke critically of the regime
Charles Schulz always disliked the title of Peanuts, which was given to his comic strip by the syndicate. In a 1987 interview, Schulz said of it: “It’s totally ridiculous, has no meaning, is simply confusing, and has no dignity—and I think my humor has dignity.”
Adding an additional 20 minutes of commuting per day has the same negative effect on job satisfaction as receiving a 19% pay cut. (article)
Kelly Blue Book has been purchased by Autotrader (used car seller) and NADA Guides has been purchased by J.D. Power (a P.R. firm) and no longer give accurate values of used cars
Lucius Cincinnatus, a Roman statesman and military leader was given absolute power to rule the empire when it was attacked. After his victory, he immediately resigned his post as Dictator and went back to farming. The city of Cincinnati is named in his honor. (article)
He was granted the post of Dictator twice, in 458 BC and in 439 BC. In Ancient Rome, the position of Dictator was legally a year long position that allowed for better streamlining of military orders, without having to go through the Senate for each major decision. Many granted the position of Dictator would simply grant themselves extra time as Dictator, given they had absolute, unilateral power. Cincinnatus was one of the few to rule as Dictator for exactly one year (and he ruled rather well, might I add), then willingly cede power again. And he did this twice in his lifetime, willingly and readily stepping down to tend to his farm each time once his year-long term was up.
When actor Raul Julia was terminally ill, he decided that his last performance would be as the villain in Street Fighter, as his children were fans of the game it was based on. The movie received terrible reviews, but Julia’s performance was critically acclaimed
Hajimi Fuji, who volunteered for the kamikaze but was refused acceptance because he had a wife and two young children. To honour his wish his wife drowned her two young girls and drowned herself. Hajimi then flew as a kamikaze pilot, meeting his death on the 28th May 1945. (article)