Strange But True
June 18, 2023 | 9:09 pm
Geniuses occupy a lot of space in our history books, but it turns out that most of them were a little more – well, eccentric. As Katie Spalding reveals in “Edison’s Ghosts: The Untold Weirdness of History’s Greatest Geniuses” (Little, Brown and Company), the mathematician Pythagorus was killed because he taunted a bean into his garden – even though he was angry. The crowd was chasing him. Thomas Edison unsuccessfully tried to make a telephone to call the dead, and Benjamin Franklin filled his unsuspecting guests with dinner and electricity. Some amazing geniuses are:
A 15th-century Danish astronomer, Brahe discovered supernovae and created the world’s most accurate star map. He also entered into a drunken competition for mathematics and ended up with a bronze nose to replace the original one. He spent a lot of time hanging out with his best friend, a moose, who died after falling down the stairs. Brahe also died young, from eating and drinking from gold-plated gold or lab experiments – however, an autopsy in the 2000s revealed a large amount of gold plate in his internal organs.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Underkind music or not, Mozart also insisted that his new baby be fed only water – the baby survived because Wolfgang’s mother-in-law secretly fed him. But the singer’s biggest problem was his love of good toilet jokes. One love letter she sent to a young teenager asked her to “sit on his bed” and kiss her “backside.” He maintained a sense of vulgarity throughout his life, although at the age of 30 he switched from German to high Latin to make his swimming puns. One of his songs included the lyrics “it’s hard to lick my ass and my balls.” Mozart couldn’t help himself, Spalding writes, just being there “for s-ts and giggles.”
Emilie du Chatelet
Born in France in the 17th century, Chatelet had one thing to do: Get married. But Emilie knew her worth and defied her father’s rule by challenging his soldier to a tournament. At the age of 17, she stripped down to her underwear and fought with the soldier for attention. This helped Emilie to do what she wanted: study math and science. She became the first woman published by the Parisian Academy of Sciences and wrote an impressive translation of Isaac Newton’s tome.
In war, the great conqueror of Europe had only one fear: rabbits. After Napoleon survived the Battle of the Fourth Coalition, he celebrated by taking his generals on a rabbit hunt. An agent collected thousands of rabbits during the 1807 expedition and released them where Bonaparte’s party was waiting. But the rabbits saw soldiers on horses and chased them, and “all [rabbit] The phalanx fell upon Napoleon.” After being routed, the hares regrouped and increased their efforts, and attacked the “Emperor” from the flanks and rear, forcing the “conqueror of conquerors . . . to turn back and withdraw.” [the silly wabbits] in the field.”
George Gordon “Lord” Byron was a 19th century British poet famous for “The Pilgrimage of Harold’s Son” and “Don Juan.” The son of the famous “Mad Jack Byron”, who left his wife for an affair with her sister, Lord Byron overcame his passion for clubfoot to become a roué legend. If a boy was raped by a nanny – and maybe his mother? – which might explain why she fell in love with so many of her cousins, gave away her middle sister, and slept with several boys in Harrow. In Cambridge, he bragged to a friend about “seducing at least 14 girls including my mother. women including many Matrons and Widows.” Byron’s bad behavior was largely forgiven for his writing skills, which did not include referring to William Wordsworth as “Turdsworth,” referring to John Keats’s work as a “piss-bed poem,” and implying that the English poet had a problem. a male member who “didn’t work.” Talk about bad poetry boy!
Considered the father of psychoanalysis, aka “talk therapy,” Sigmund Freud was also an international cocaine aficionado. He admitted as much to a lover, describing himself as having “cocaine in his body.” Worse, Freud tried using the drug cocaine to treat morphine, injecting his partner three times a day. 6 months later, the friend’s new habit of morphine both and cocaine left him very emaciated and he scratched bed bugs before he died. Later, after reporting that a patient underwent 2 surgeries that killed him, Freud struggled with “a lot of cocaine.” Freud was so drunk that he began to believe that the number 62 was behind him. When the hotel gave Sigmund room 31, he was horrified, 31 being half of 62. Even worse, he cried! But Freud still believed that a regular habit of white powder was a way to help people through the darkest times – assuming that, everyone avoided the number 62.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes may be history’s most brilliant, indomitable detective. But the creator of the gumshoe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was probably the most clever man of all. “Ghosts, witches, ghosts – Conan Doyle believed in them all,” Spalding writes. His greatest embarrassment was believing in photographs taken by two young women in Cottingley, West Yorkshire, which were said to prove the existence of the occult. That the girls’ house was full of sculptures and paintings did not deter Conan Doyle, who insisted that the pictures were “the most amazing pictures ever published.” Although Sir Arthur was dead when the now grown girls admitted that their old photos were Photoshopped, Conan Doyle would not admit it. Why? Because he believed that “two working girls can’t fool me!” Sherlock Holmes, he wasn’t.
Best known for inventing the modern reciprocating engine, Tesla predicted in 1926 that people would one day be able to “communicate instantaneously, regardless of distance.” Tesla described the devices that were thought to fit “in a vest pocket.” But Tesla also spent his last 30 years living in various luxury New York City hotels without paying a penny, not to mention falling in love with pigeons. (We’re not kidding.) “I loved that pigeon like a man loves a woman,” he said.
Albert Einstein was so brilliant he called it genius after him. But his theory of relativity notwithstanding, the man could not get out of his way. Einstein loved sailing, but he bought a boat without knowing how to sail it. Nor did he learn to swim. However, Einstein often floated his boat in Peconic Bay on Long Island, but the problem was that Einstein was a very bad “sailor” – just before settling in Connecticut, sometimes in Rhode Island – and swimming so that he always overturned his boat and others. and he had to be saved. It can’t be said that Einstein had any problem with his sailing snafus, he seems to find them “funny.” So falling into water he could not survive was not something Einstein feared; on the contrary, he enjoyed it. To each his own, as they say – everything is relative.
During the Apollo missions in the 1960s, astronaut Alan Shepard sat atop the rocket for eight hours when he realized he had to urinate. Ground control told him to relax in his pants. NASA has learned something, by giving a scientist a solution to the pee-pee problem of astronauts. The answer? Male astronauts must attach condoms to their penises. But a “small” condom for an arrogant flyboy? Even “medium”? The proud researchers chose “big” condoms, which causes different condoms to fall off different penises and many missions are canceled – a leak in the rocket ship leads to an electrical short. NASA instead changed the three condom choices generously to “big, big, and funny,” to please the faint of heart of astronauts and ultimately help America land on the moon.