Category Archives: People

Robert Downey Jr. Modeled His Portrayal of Tony Stark After Elon Musk, One of the Founders of Zip2, Paypal, Tesla Motors, Solar City, and SpaceX

Today I found out Robert Downey Jr. modeled his portrayal of Tony Stark after Elon Musk, one of the founds of Zip2, Paypal, Tesla Motors, Solar City, and SpaceX. During the planning stages of Iron Man, after Downey Jr. had been cast, director Jon Favreau and Downey Jr. sat down to discuss how to make a really believable Tony Stark […]

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Julia Child was a Top Secret Research Assistant for the Predecessor of the CIA, the Office of Strategic Services

Today I found out, before becoming one of the world’s most famous TV chefs, Julia Child was a top secret research assistant for the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the CIA. After graduating from college with a degree in English, Julia Child, then named Julia McWilliams, worked in the advertising department for W. & J. Sloane in New […]

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Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn Once Struck a Spectator with Foul Balls Twice in the Same At Bat, the Second Time as She was Being Carried Off on a Stretcher

Today I found out Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn once struck a spectator twice in the same at bat with foul balls, the second time as she was being carried off on a stretcher. The event happened on August 17, 1957 during a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Giants.  The spectator was Alice Roth.  Roth was […]

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The Woman Eric Clapton Thought was His Sister was Actually His Mother

Today I found out, until he was nine years old, the woman Eric Clapton thought was his sister was actually his mother. Clapton’s mother, Patricia Molly Clapton, was just 16 years old when she met and subsequently had a very brief relationship with Clapton’s father, Edward Walter Fryer.  Fryer was a 24 year old Canadian soldier stationed in Britain during […]

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Adolf Hitler had a British Nephew Who Joined the U.S. Navy During WWII

Today I found out Adolf Hitler had a British nephew who joined the U.S. navy during WWII. Hitler’s nephew, who he would come to call “my loathsome nephew”, was originally named William Patrick Hitler, but he later changed it to William Patrick Stuart-Houston to distance himself from his uncle’s name after WWII.  William was born in Liverpool, the son of […]

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Dr. Seuss Wrote “Green Eggs and Ham” on a Bet that He Couldn’t Write a Book with 50 or Fewer Words

Today I found out Dr. Seuss wrote “Green Eggs and Ham” on a bet that he couldn’t write a book with fifty or fewer distinct words. The bet was made in 1960 with Bennett Cerf, the co-founder of Random House, and was for $50 (about $382 today).  Despite Dr. Seuss, a.k.a. Theodore Geisel, winning the bet by producing one of […]

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In 1842, Ada Lovelace Wrote the World’s First Computer Program

Ada Lovelace

Today I found out that Ada Lovelace was the world’s first computer programmer all the way back in the mid-1800s, writing the world’s first computer program in 1842.  She was also an accomplished mathematician, which was obviously quite rare for women in the era she lived. Lovelace was the only legitimate daughter of Lord Byron, though she never knew him […]

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