Today's stories [12.15.11]
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Pioneered the use of anesthesia in the 1840s
How he died: Used anesthetics to commit suicide
While experimenting with various gases during his anesthesia research,
Wells became addicted to chloroform. In 1848 he was arrested for spraying
two women with sulfuric acid. In a letter he wrote from jail, he blamed
chloroform for his problems, claiming that he'd gotten high before the
attack. Four days later he was found dead in his cell. He'd anaesthetized
himself with chloroform and slashed open his thigh with a razor.
One of the most influential minds of the late 16th century. A statesman, a
philosopher, a writer, and a scientist, he was even rumored to have
written some of Shakespeare's plays.
How he died: Stuffing snow into a chicken
One afternoon in 1625, Bacon was watching a snowstorm and was struck by
the wondrous notion that maybe snow could be used to preserve meat in the
same way that salt was used. Determined to find out, he purchased a
chicken from a nearby village, killed it, and then, standing outside in
the snow, attempted to stuff the chicken full of snow to freeze it. The
chicken never froze, but Bacon did.
Jerome Irving Rodale:
Founding father of the organic food movement, creator of "Organic Farming
and Gardening" magazine, and founder of Rodale Press, a major publishing
How he died: On the "Dick Cavett Show", while discussing the benefits of
Rodale, who bragged "I'm going to live to be 100 unless I'm run down by a
sugar-crazed taxi driver," was only 72 when he appeared on the "Dick
Cavett Show" in January 1971. Part way through the interview, he dropped
dead in his chair. Cause of death: heart attack. The show was never aired.
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