Monday, October 12, 2015

30 Less Known Facts About Six Men Who Changed The World!

The earth is a terribly old place, and through its many ages several men have come, and several gone. There have been some, however, who left a rather indelible mark on the planet, leaving it a considerably better place than they found it. Men who changed the world – the greats, the men of mettle – have caught our fancies and our imaginations like none else, and you might forgive us for assuming that, to that end, the following facts about six incredible men who easily fall into the aforementioned category, will interest you:

1. William Shakespeare



Image source: bcc.co.uk

Born in 1564, William Shakespeare is widely credited as being the greatest playwright to have ever graced the history of mankind. With an impressive portfolio that boasts 37 plays and 154 sonnets, Shakespeare penned works that are, even today, among the most renowned and most widely read, displaying his prowess with almost all genres out there – tragedy, romance, comedy, you name it, with iconic works such as “Romeo and Juliet” and “Hamlet” among them.
Shakespeare’s contribution to the world has been massive. Consider this: a large portion of the words we use today were coined by him. He was also a major source of inspiration for other great writers like Charles Dickens, and John Keats, and his plays are believed to have laid the foundation for Freudian psychoanalysis. Shakespeare’s influence, therefore, extended beyond his lifetime, inspiring several generations and cultures the world across.
Check out these facts about Shakespeare:
1. Shakespeare introduced more than 3,000 words to the English language and has often been credited by the Oxford English Dictionary for the same.
2. None of his plays were published by him, or in his lifetime. Instead, fellow actors John Hemminges and Henry Codell posthumously recorded and published 36 of his plays in 1623 as a dedication to the man who is by far considered the best playwright to have ever existed.
3. Shakespeare, besides having written 37 plays and 154 sonnets, was also an established actor.
4. More than 80 variations of the spelling of Shakespeare’s name are recorded.
5. Shakespeare’s birthday is still a mystery; it is, however, widely considered to be on April 23, three days before his baptism, which was recorded on April 26, 1564.
[sources: 1,2,3,4,5]

2. Albert Einstein



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Scientist, Nobel laureate, and amateur violinist. This is the same man who gave the world the famous theory of relativity and revolutionized all of physics in the process. In 1921, he was awarded a Nobel Prize for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Possessing a genius that knew no bounds, Einstein published multiple papers and theories on matter and energy spanning across topics ranging from the capillary forces of a straw to exploring Brownian motion.
Einstein made some pretty great contributions to the world, among them the theory of lasers, which makes possible the use of CDs and similar devices, and have tremendous usage in medical and industrial fields. His theories of relativity also enable usage of the GPS system. Moreover, other theories he explained are practically made use of in most electronic gadgets that we use; furthermore, nuclear weapons and warfare and their development has its basis in Einstein’s theories.
Check out these facts about Einstein:
1. Einstein’s most remarkable breakthroughs are a result of visual experiments he performed in his head, rather than practically applying them in the lab! He was, indeed, a man who thought in pictures than in words.
2. Albert Einstein was a self-proclaimed agnostic, and not, as is common belief, an atheist.
3. Einstein, being a slow learner as a child, spoke very slowly.
4. In 1952, Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel. He declined.
5. The parietal lobe of Albert Einstein’s brain was 15% larger than that of the average human brain.
[sources: 12345]


3. Mahatma Gandhi


One of the most renowned patrons of non-violence and ahimsa, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as Mahatma Gandhi, was a man who had a tremendous role to play in the Indian struggle for Independence, employing methods of non-violence and civil disobedience, earning him the title of “Father of the Nation”. Mahatma Gandhi was a man who was staunchly against the practice of racial discrimination and injustice on the basis of hierarchy in caste.
Mahatma Gandhi, through his ideals of non-violence, inspired several world leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, who followed in his footsteps, thus having an impact on the lives of people across the world. In India, he had a tremendous role to play in eliminating untouchability and discrimination on the basis of caste to a large degree.
Check out these facts about Gandhi:
1. Mahatma Gandhi was Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1930, and runner-up for Time’s Person of the Century.
2. Mahatma Gandhi was of the opinion that ‘untouchability is a crime against humanity’ and discouraged the theory of downtrodden in the name of caste hierarchy, and encouraged inter-caste marriages.
3. Being a football aficionado, he founded two football clubs while working in South Africa as a lawyer between 1893-1915. Both teams were called The Passive Resisters, and were founded in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
4. He was a great advocate of self-control; according to him, the solution to the population problem in India lay in self-control, and not birth control. It is also widely speculated that, in order to test his resolve to chastity, he used to sleep naked next to young Indian girls.
5. Gandhi has had a great influence on many leaders of the 20th century, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Aung San Suu Kyi, and Nelson Mandela.
[sources: 12345]

4. Nikola Tesla



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Nikola Tesla is a thoroughly underrated man: born in 1856, Tesla was constantly overshadowed by fellow scientists despite his contributions to the world being equal to, if not greater than theirs. A man of exceptional brilliance, Tesla worked with another brilliant man- Edison, early in his career.
If we were to credit Tesla with all his inventions, it will take a long time: he has over 300 patents to his name. He invented the AC current, which fuels every household on the planet today; he came up with the idea of radar; he discovered X-Rays; he was amongst the first to experiment with cryogenic engineering; he was the first person to ever record radio waves from outer space; he discovered the resonant frequency of the earth; he invented the remote control; the electric motor was his brainchild, and so was wireless communication. We can go on and on, but the list is endless, and therefore, highly time-consuming.
Check out these facts about Nikola Tesla:
1. Tesla stayed awake for over 22 hours, never sleeping for more than 2 hours a day. He was also prey to extreme OCD, and famously, remained abstinent.
2. Tesla proposed the idea of AC current, but was never recognised for his invention, as people chose to go with Edison’s proposal of the DC current, partly due to Edison’s renown at the time.
3. Tesla is credited with having predicted the internet. He said – “The household’s daily  newspaper will [one day] be printed ‘wirelessly’ in the home during the night”. Talk about perfect predictions!
4. Nikola Tesla was of the belief that women would outclass men in societal standing in the future, and said that “this struggle of the human female toward sex equality will end in a new sex order, with the female as superior”.
5. Nikola Tesla spent over $2000 USD to build a device that could support/heal the broken leg and wing of a white female pigeon, towards whom Tesla, in the last years of his life, developed a great deal of affection.
[sources: 12345 ]


5. Abraham Lincoln



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The 16th President of the United States was a remarkable man in many ways. Serving his presidency during the American Civil War between the years 1861 to 1865, Abraham Lincoln is even today, remembered as the “Great Emancipator” owing to his struggle to bring slavery to an end in the United States, and had a key role to play in the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment that formally ended slavery in the country. Before becoming President, he had successful careers as a lawyer and a politician.
He was a leader that was dedicated to providing the best for his country, and to that end, worked towards a total elimination of slavery and racism. He was also a model individual, possessing a character that widely inspired a lot of people across the globe.
Check out these facts about Abraham Lincoln:
1. Unlikely that you know this, but Lincoln was a licensed bartender!
2. Lincoln, suffering from depression, avoided carrying knives as he feared that he would use it to harm himself.
3. Lincoln felt that women should have the right to vote – one of the first major U.S. leaders to do so.
4. Abe Lincoln lost just once in the 300 wrestling matches he participated in; to that end, he is enshrined in the Wrestling Hall of Fame.
5. He had less than 12 months of formal schooling, and practiced law without a degree.
[sources: 12345]

6. Bill Gates



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Entrepreneur, philanthropist and one of the richest men in the world; Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has a lot to his name. He was named by Time Magazine as being one of the most influential people of the 20th century. Having dropped out of Harvard, he pursued his entrepreneurial dream, and along with his partner Paul Allen, founded one of the most extensively used softwares today – Microsoft.
His most remarkable influence, however, remains his philanthropy. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is, according to Wikipedia, “the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world”! The initiatives undertook by the foundation has seen infant mortality in the world by half, women’s death in childbirth reducing by two-thirds and the complete elimination of polio from the face of the earth, and this is only just the beginning. Bill Gates, therefore, is a man who changed not only the technological, but also the socio-cultural status of the world.
Check out these facts about Bill Gates:
1. Bill Gates dreamt of becoming a millionaire by the time he was 30. By 31, he was a billionaire.
2. Bill Gates had no college degree and joined the ranks of Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs in that respect.
3. Bill Gates has donated $28 billion thus far.
4. According to him, by 2035, there will barely be any poor countries remaining.
5. He sponsors a machine that turns human waste into water.
[source: 12345]

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