Sixto Rodriguez, a US-based ’70s musician, became a construction worker after commercial failure in the US. However, unbeknown to him, he achieved cult-like status in South Africa, where both his albums went platinum. His daughter found out after discovering a website dedicated to him, in 1997.
Peter Ostrum, who played Charlie in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory currently earns just $8-9 every three months from royalty payments.
Zell Kravinsky donated his kidney to a poor African American man. He calculated the chances of dying from the procedure at 1 in 4,000, and said “to withhold a kidney from someone who would otherwise die means valuing one’s own life at 4,000 times that of a stranger”.
For months, scientists in France could not figure out why seagulls they were tracking were traveling far inland, away from their breeding colony. Eventually, they traced the seagulls’ path and discovered they were visiting a chip factory.
In 1898, Nikola Tesla tricked an entire crowd into believing they could control a boat by shouting commands – in fact he invented Radio Control and piloted the boat himself.
The Sony PlayStation was never meant to be a product. It was intended to be a new console that would play exclusively Nintendo games on CDs. Instead Nintendo backed out of the deal at the last minute. Sony went ahead and launched what would become the most successful console of all time.
The State of Washington once forced Comcast to refund nearly 50,000 customers for charging them a $5/month “service protection plan” that actually did nothing.
While the Royal Mail employed cats from 1868, the cats only had one pay rise in the first 84 years.
When questioned about these labour practices in the House of Commons, the Assistant Postmaster-General reported “there have been no complaints”.
Hitler was so paranoid that the British would poison him so he had 15 girls taste the food before he ate it himself. “The food was delicious, only the best vegetables, asparagus, bell peppers, everything you can imagine”, food taster Margot Woelk recalled.
Forcing left-handed children to write with their right hands is not in any way innocuous or helpful- it is actually harmful to their developing brains and can result in dyslexia, stuttering and other learning or speech disorders.