Mind Candy

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Strange ways famous people died – If he took a poo the world may have been different

Posted by mandyf on September 14, 2011

The strangest, and to a large degree dumbest deaths of famous people in history are really somewhat bizarre. What makes them so odd, is that in many cases these were intelligent people – even Attila the Hun was a pretty bright guy from a military standpoint – you’d have to be to lead an army that conquered all he did. Combine smart people with dumb and mostly avoidable deaths, and you have a taste of some seriously dark comedy. In some cases – to be fair – the deaths were just freakish, but they are still kind of dumb ways to go.

Jim Fixx was the father of the jogging craze. Millions of people picked up his book “The Complete Book of Running” or saw him on a talk show and laced up their sneakers and hit the roads. Fixx espoused how jogging was healthy and would extend a persons life so long and loud everyone began accepting it without question. Jim Fixx died of a heart attack – while jogging! His autopsy revealed that while he looked okay on the outside, he was a train wreck on the inside with three arteries that were 70%-99% clogged, and that he had at least three smaller heart attacks only weeks from the one that killed him.

US public domain

Maybe that last serving of mutton was a bad idea....

Attila the Hun was a military genius, and a rampaging, pillaging slash and burn barbarian. But he was a lover too. He married in 453 AD, and his wedding lasted a whole night almost. Attila the Hun was someone that in his personal life was never noted to indulge in the excesses of food and drink. When he got married however, he gorged. He ate to an excess and particularly drank to one as well. During the night while he was sleeping, his nose began to bleed. He was too drunk to notice and eventually drowned in his own blood.

Horace Wells is a name you may not know, but he was the pioneer in the field of anesthesia. No one knew how to put a patient out like Wells did. The problem is he liked the knockout drugs, particularly chloroform. He was pretty out of it one night and splashed the faces of two women with sulfuric acid which of course landed him in jail. While in jail, he got his hands on a supply of chloroform, got high, and killed himself. What is weird is, he did not overdose on the chloroform, he chose to just numb himself enough to cut deep enough into his thigh to bleed to death.

Tycho Brahe could have just had a V* - or a salad. Damn man, say NO now and then!!

Tycho Brahe was Isaac Newton before Isaac Newton was anybody. Newton actually based theory of gravity on the research of Brahe. Brahe had what wound up being three fatal flaws – for him at least. He liked people, he was polite, and he liked to drink a lot of alcohol. His death combined all three elements. Brahe went to a banquet because he loved dining with people, and in the 16th century things were different than today. When you sat down to eat, you remained seated until the entire banquet was over. That was the custom of the time and to get up was an insult to the host.

For whatever reason, Brahe did not go to the bathroom beforehand. So he ate, and drank. Then he drank some more. He drank so much that his already damaged bladder exploded. The waste made its way through his body and he died a miserable agonizing death over the next week and a half. Because Brahe liked socializing and was a courteous, but over-drinking guest, he died.

Aeschylus who is widely considered the father of Greek tragedies, allegedly died a very dumb death. Aeschylus himself was not dumb, he was just the victim of dumb luck. It is said that an eagle flying overhead with a turtle in its talons mistook his head for a rock and dropped a turtle on it. Eagles supposedly dropped turtles on rocks to try to crack them open and gain access to a meal. maybe it really did happen, or maybe it’s just a story, but it is for sure one dumb luck way to die.

US public domain

Sir Francis Bacon - a little too dedicated to his trade

Sir Francis Bacon was a little bit of everything. He was a statesman, a philosopher, a scientist and inventor, and generally anything he set his mind to. One night while snow was falling, Bacon got the idea stuffing a dead chicken with snow would be a great way to preserve it for safe consumption at a later time. He went to town – in the snow – purchased a chicken, and brought it back home where he stuffed it with snow.

Being a scientists, he wanted to measure how long it took the chicken to freeze and assorted other points he considered important. The thing is, he did this all outside in the snow. While he was taking down notes on how a dead chicken stuffed with snow froze, he himself froze to death.

An all time dumb death, maybe the dumbest by a famous person bar none, is the one Jerome Irving Rodale suffered. Rodale’s death was dumb because he was by all accounts a pompous idiot that loved his own voice – which makes his death more funny in a dark way than dumb really. Rodale was the founder of Rodale Press obviously, but he was also a green living health nut. He bragged he was one of the healthiest people in the world because he lived a clean chemical free life.  In fact he was saying just that, and that he was going to live to be at least 100 when he was 72 years old on the “Dick Cavett Show.” While Rodale was in mid-brag, he dropped dead sitting in the chair. No amount of organic foods saved him. The show was never aired for obvious reasons, but it is a verified dumb death.

Crystal Kiss


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