Today's stories [5.20.13]
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An important Danish astronomer of the 16th century. His ground breaking
research allowed Sir Isaac Newton to come up with the theory of gravity.
How he died: Didn't get to the bathroom in time
In the 16th century, it was considered an insult to leave a banquet table
before the meal was over. Brahe, known to drink excessively, had a bladder
condition -- but failed to relieve himself before the banquet started. He
made matters worse by drinking too much at dinner, and was too polite to
ask to be excused. His bladder finally burst, killing him slowly and
painfully over the next 11 days.
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.
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