Category: People

“Ugly Laws” in the US banned many disabled people from appearing in public until the 1970s. (source 1,2)

Photo: Lewis Hine/Library of Congress

People have a cognitive bias where they over-estimate how noticeable their embarrassing behavior is to others. This is called “The spotlight effect”. 

Photo : tian2992 / flickr

Roller coasters were invented to distract Americans from sin. In the 1880s, hosiery businessman LaMarcus Thompson didn’t like that Americans were going to places like saloons and brothels and created the first roller coaster on Coney Island to persuade them to go there instead.

Marion Stokes, a Philadelphia woman began taping whatever was on television in 1979 and didn’t stop until her death in 2012. The 71,000 VHS and Betamax tapes she made are the most complete collection preserving this era of TV. They are being digitized by the Internet Archive.

To celebrate her 104th birthday, Holocaust survivor Shoshana Ovitz asked for a gift: That all her descendants come together for prayer at the Western Wall (the Kotel). This is the picture.

Lucius Cincinnatus, a Roman statesman and military leader was given absolute power to rule the empire when it was attacked. After his victory, he immediately resigned his post as Dictator and went back to farming. The city of Cincinnati is named in his honor.

Chuck Yeager broke two of his ribs two nights before a test flight. Worried an injury would have him removed from the mission, he snuck a broom handle into the plane with the help of his friend to help him seal the hatch. He then proceeded to become the first human being to break the sound barrier.

25 year old Kenyan, Roy Allela invented smart gloves that can convert sign language movements into audio speech, for his six years old niece who was born deaf.

Chess Grand Master Ossip Bernstein was arrested by the Bolshevik secret police and ordered to be shot. As the firing squad lined up, an officer asked if he was really the famous chess master. The officer made Bernstein play a game for his life against him. Bernstein won easily and was released.

Chess Grand Master Ossip Bernstein was arrested by the Bolshevik secret police and ordered to be shot. As the firing squad lined up, an officer asked if he was really the famous chess master. The officer made Bernstein play a game for his life against him. Bernstein won easily and was released.