Category Archives: People

That Time Howard Hughes Purchased a TV Station So He Could Have Netflix in the 1960s

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Howard Hughes, the legendarily reclusive billionaire business magnate, is a man about whom much has been written and most people know at least a little bit about. However, as we did when we covered JP Morgan’ giant, purple, knobbly nose that he largely managed to keep hidden from the world, today we’re going to focus on a lesser known aspect […]

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The Husband and Wife Team That Gave the World the First Car, and the First Road Trip That Saved It From Obscurity

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We may not have flying cars quite yet, but the ground-bound automobile is the world’s second most popular mode of transportation (behind the bicycle). Many think Henry Ford invented the car, but that isn’t correct. While Ford certainly made the automobile affordable for the middle-class, it was actually a German engineer with a familiar name that invented the first commercially […]

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From Soccer Hopeful to World’s Angriest Chef- The Life of Gordon Ramsay

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Thanks mostly to his famously explosive temper and natural affinity for the culinary arts, Gordon Ramsay has become a household name in the States and his native Britain. However, few people know of Ramsay’s extremely humble beginnings and that prior to becoming a multiple Michelin star holding chef and one of the wealthiest people in the world, he had a […]

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The Man Who Controls TV – Arthur Nielsen Senior

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While it’s an incredibly convoluted system, the entire television industry is still basically controlled by Nielsen ratings. To this day, they have an immense impact on advertising dollars and the overall financial health of the companies that own television networks. From which TV shows are produced to how local news cover certain stories, the goal of everyone involved in television […]

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From Sorcerer to Clergyman to Pirate to Admiral, the Remarkable Life of Eustace The Monk

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At the turn of the 13th century, Eustace Busket fought, raided, killed, embezzled, betrayed, revenged, impersonated and prayed his way across France, Spain and England. Although better known as Eustace the Monk, this younger son of a county lord spent little time in a monastery, choosing instead to live the life of a steward, mercenary and pirate. Born in 1170 […]

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Forgotten History: the Story of Emma Sharp and the Barclay Challenge

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In 1809, Captain Robert Barclay Allardice made a bet with one of his pedestrian rivals, Sir James Webster-Wedderburn, that he could walk 1,000 miles (about 1,609 kilometers) in 1,000 hours. The wager? 1,000 guineas. To get around the major problem of needing to rest, Barclay figured if he walked back to back miles–a mile at the end of one hour and another […]

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The Original Dungeon Masters

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The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader ROLLING THE DICE Gary Gygax (pronounced GHEE-Gax) was an insurance underwriter living in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, in the late 1960s. He made his living calculating the probabilities that an individual seeking to buy insurance would become sick or disabled or die, and he used these estimates to set the premiums […]

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That Time a Professional Gambler Turned $50 into $40 Million, Then Promptly Lost It All

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In the world of professional gambling, there is a well documented hot streak of near-mythical status referred to by many as “The Run”. During this streak, a man known as Archie Karas turned $50 into $40 million by primarily shooting pool and playing poker in Vegas. What makes this run so infamous is that, after winning more money than most […]

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That Time an Olympic Rower Stopped to Let Some Ducks Swim By and Still Won the Gold Medal

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Born in Sydney Australia in 1905, Henry Robert Pearce, better known as Bobby Pearce, dominated the world of competitive rowing throughout the 1920s and 1930s and was extremely popular with fans of the sport due to a combination of the ease with which he seemed to best opponents and his affable personality. Perhaps the greatest example of both of these […]

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Changing the World Twice- The Story of Eli Whitney

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The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader When you hear the name Eli Whitney, you probably think of his invention, the cotton gin. But you may not realize how profoundly it (and his other inventions) changed the world. Here’s the history they never taught you in school. LOOKING FOR WORK In 1792 a 27-year-old Massachusetts Yankee named […]

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