John Walker created the match by accident in 1826. He was scraping a mixture of dried chemicals off of a stick in his hearth and it caught fire. Against the advice of friends he did not patent his idea, leading to others greatly profiting off of his invention thenorthernecho.co.uk/new…
The inventor of Velcro took 20 years to take his idea from concept to production and even then the apparel industry wasn't sold on it. It wasn't until NASA came along asking about it for use in space that the fashion industry then went wild due to it now being space aged. velcro.com/blog/2016/11/a…
In 1981 a group of scientists met to discuss ways of making future humans aware of nuclear waste disposal sites. One idea was genetically engineering cats to change color in the presence of radiation and introducing a cultural idea to run away when you see a cat change color. theguardian.com/environme…
Snow globes were accidentally invented by a medical tool repair man. He was trying to make a brighter light bulb for operating rooms, so he tried using a water filled glass with reflective particles to do this. The effect looked like snow to him which is how he got the idea for snow globes. goworldtravel.com/snow-gl…
Shaving does not affect the thickness or rate of hair growth, so this widely accepted idea is a myth. healthline.com/health/doe…
In the early 1900s, school bathrooms were invented to help teach children to bathe regularly and to promote the idea of regular bathing to their parents. During this time period, people usually only bathed once a week. themodernrogue.com/articl…
Nancy Grace Roman: called β€˜The Mother of Hubble’ telescope program. NASA's 1st chief astronomer. She paved the way in taking Hubble Space Telescope from an idea to reality. Her interest to astronomy was sparked because of her walks with her mom who would show her constellation and auroras. solarsystem.nasa.gov/peop…
A 1949 BBC memo forbade employees to use desk lamps unless the main room light was on. The head of the Variety department believed that a man working at a desk in a confined space with only the light from a low-wattage lamp would nurture furtive ideas and produce degenerate programme material. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ang…
Spock was originally going to have red skin, but the idea was scrapped because the makeup looked like blackface on a monochrome television. legendsrevealed.com/enter…
In 2015, a British woman began receiving threatening emails from a stalker that included pictures of her in public she had no idea were being taken. When she contacted authorities, they told her the emails were coming from inside her house. It turned out to be her husband. mamamia.com.au/amanda-pla…
Burger King launched a $40 million ad campaign in November 1985 called "Where's Herb?" The idea was to find a character named Herb who'd never been to BK. Other chains pointed out that if Herb wasn't at BK, it meant he probably liked other chains' burgers more. BK profits fell 40% in 1986. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whe…
The bullet lodged inside President Garfield likely didn't cause his death. At the time, Joseph Lister's ideas about germs had been widely accepted in Europe, but American doctors were still sceptical. Garfield's doctors used unsterilised instruments, causing an infection which killed him. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam…
Joseph Guillotin, who proposed the idea of the guillotine as a less painful method of execution, was born prematurely because his mother was in distress after hearing the screams of a man being tortured to death. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos…
A man named Jayme Gordon sued Dreamworks Animation for stealing ideas from his drawings to make β€œKung Fu Panda”. Investigators found that he had traced his drawings from a β€œLion King” coloring book. Gordon was charged with perjury and wire fraud. He was sentenced to two years in prison. fbi.gov/news/stories/the-…
In 1957, San Francisco's "Youth for Service" program helped get young gang members off the streets by having them help the community. They did things like paint houses and help the elderly. The idea was that they just wanted to feel needed. bloomberg.com/news/articl…
The idea of a company's primary goal being to create shareholder wealth and increasing shareholder value wasn't very popular until 1981. It was a response to "stagflation" which was seen as a big issue due to Japan's competitive nature with the United States. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sha…
Shirley Temple disliked her namesake drink, as she disliked the idea of cocktails for children. She also found most varieties to be "too sweet" for her tastes. She also sued companies seeking to mass produce the drink, claiming it diluted her commercial value and invaded her privacy. latimes.com/archives/la-x…
In 2005 two engineers at Apple help the US Department of Energy create a Top Secret iPod the looked and functioned like a regular iPod but had added hardware to record data. They have no idea what kind of data they helped the government record. arstechnica.com/informati…
Stoicism had a profound impact on Christianity, with some of the central concepts of Stoicism still being used in religious texts today, such as "virtue", "Spirit" and "conscience". Stoicism also invented the idea that sex is just within marriage, for unitive and procreative purposes only. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sto…
"How to Win Friends and Influence People" was a smash-hit in Nazi Germany, much to the author's surprise. He thought the idea of being smooth and charming wouldn't go well with the Nazi worldview. He wrote that he would rate "butter higher than guns as a means of winning friends". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How…
Today I learned about Nominative Determinism, the idea that people gravitate towards areas of work that fit their names. The term was coined by a New Scientist writer noting studies carried out by researchers with remarkably fitting names, such as an article on urology by researchers named Splatt and Weedon. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nom…
The modern Christmas tree originated in western Germany. They combined the Adam and Eve idea of the β€œparadise tree" with various Christ symbols (like candles, figurines and stars). By the 16th century the Christmas pyramid and the paradise tree had merged, becoming the Christmas tree. britannica.com/plant/Chri…
The majority of Egyptian hieroglyphs represent sounds, not objects/ideas. In English, this would be like using pictures of a pear, ant, and hood to write "parenthood." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egy…
Rod Serling got the idea for the Twilight Zone episode "I Shot an Arrow into the Air" from a conversation with a friend, to whom he paid $500 for the rights. More people would pitch episode ideas to Serling in person over the years, but none were ever produced. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_S…
The VoIP was invented by a woman. Maria Croak who holds more than 200 patents today and is an inspiration to many says "...children often produce the most creative of ideas which are fuel of innovation. β€œYou need to be childlike. A little naΓ―ve and not inhibited by what’s possible.” tribune.com.pk/story/2273…
Today I learned about James Edgar, a businessman who has been credited with being the one who first came up with the idea of dressing up as Santa Claus for Christmas. He started the tradition in 1890 in his Brockton, Massachusetts, department store. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam…
The quiz-show originated in Canada. In 1935, Richard Louis del Valle, who changed his name to Roy Ward Dickson, came up with an idea developed from his teaching days and proposed it to a local radio station where the show β€˜Professor Dick and his Question Box’ began rcinet.ca/en/2020/05/15/c…
Jack-o-lanterns originated in 19th Ireland and was said to represent either spirits or supernatural beings, or were used to ward off evil spirits. This idea of warding doorways and windows with carvings is called a "grotesquerie". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jac…
George Fan (Designer and Creator of Plants vs Zombies) was fired by EA in 2012 for refusing to add microtransactions as he was against the idea of making Plants vs Zombies a pay to win game. bleedingcool.com/games/ea…
The player depicted on the Heisman Trophy is actually former NYU player Ed Smith. He also had no idea he even modeled for the trophy until almost 50 years later when a reporter called to ask him questions about it. mentalfloss.com/article/2…
β€˜β€œTurtles all the way down" is an expression of the problem of infinite regress. The saying alludes to the mythological idea of a World Turtle that supports the flat earth on its back’ wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtle…
An executive wanted to change Back to the Future’s title to the Spaceman from Pluto, only to get a sarcastic response from Spielberg that embarrassed him out of going through with the idea radiotimes.com/news/2016-…
The US Navy refused help to the movie Crimson Tide by letting them film aboard Navy ships. They found the idea of a mutiny distasteful. So the French allowed use of their carrier Foch. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fre…
The idea of St. Bernard rescue dogs wearing casks of brandy comes from an 1820 British painting. In fact, though alcohol makes one feel warm, it does so by dilating blood vessels, hastening hypothermia. The idea is like "rescuing a burn victim with a keg of lighter fluid and a book of matches." thedailybeast.com/the-myt…
β€œMushroom management” is where employees aren’t told about the ideas or general state of the company, and are given work without knowing its purpose. So called because they are β€œkept in the dark and fed bullshit” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mus…
Monty Python's famous gag in Holy Grail of using coconuts for horse clops was NOT out of budget necessity, but was in fact the first idea they had which served as a starting point for the film. filmschoolrejects.com/42-…
ESPN launched a sport centered phone called "Mobile ESPN" in 2005 which failed miserably. Steve Jobs called it, "The dumbest fucking idea I have ever heard." It cost $300 for the phone itself, and between $65 and $225 per month for content. vice.com/en_us/article/53…
, William Harvey (1578-1657), an English physician discovered the circulation of blood when it was believed that blood oscillated in the body. For his idea, he was ridiculed and was called a "circulator". But after his death, his idea was accepted as a biological fact. ahajournals.org/doi/full/…
Steven Spielberg initially wanted to make a James Bond film in the 1970s; after being turned down by the producers, George Lucas told him that he had a better idea... The result was Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones (this was why Bond actor Sean Connery would later play Indy's father). slashfilm.com/star-wars-j…
The origin of Pocari Sweat. When a researcher with the pharmaceutical company that makes the Japanese soft drink was hospitalized with diarrhea on a trip to Mexico, he saw a doctor drink the liquid from an IV bag after completing a surgery which gave him the idea for a drinkable IV solution. scmp.com/lifestyle/food-d…
Today I learned about the Ray Cat Solution, a way to keep future generations away from dangerous nuclear waste sites. The idea was to engineer a cat that changes colour in response to radiation β€” then create a culture around this cat so that if your cat changes colour, you should move someplace else. theraycatsolution.com/#10…
The idea behind the relocation of the Abu Simbel temples in Egypt was given by an Italian Donald Duck comics story, where Scrooge McDuck cuts the giant statues into blocks. ventennipaperoni.com/2019…
Today I learned of Bible Code theory. An ancient idea that there are secret messages in the bible and torah. By, for example, using each Xth letter or word a message will be found. The search got a big upshoot in the 90ies with computerization, but the theory has been widely disproven by several disciplines. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bib…
Today I learned about a Lithuanian artist who designed a roller coaster whose purpose is to kill people through euphoria obtained by g-forces and appropriately called it "Euthanasia coaster." He got this idea while working at an amusement park. vice.com/en_us/article/ex…
The originator of the popular saying, "It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission" was Grace Hopper, a United States navy Rear Admiral and pioneer of computer programming who popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Gra…
You don't get vitamin D from the sun. You make vitamin D from cholesterol in its inactive form. Inside your cells, this inactive form gets subjected to UV light which is provided by the sun and then gets activated. That's where the whole "vitamin D from the sun" idea comes from. webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-61…
France has 58 nuclear reactors, generating 71.6% of the country's total electricity, a larger percent than any other nation. France turned to nuclear in response to the 1973 oil crisis. The situation was summarized in a slogan, "In France, we do not have oil, but we have ideas." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuc…
Charlie From 'The Chocolate Factory' was originally "a little black boy" but the writer's agent thought it was a bad idea so they made him white npr.org/sections/thetwo-w…
A deceased man was considered a coauthor of a 1990 math paper after he appeared in a dream to the other author to explain some of the key ideas. gwern.net/docs/math/1990-…
Today I learned of Marchioness Elizabeth Conyngham, the last mistress of King George IV. A contemporary dismissed her as having "Not an idea in her head; not a word to say for herself; nothing but a hand to accept pearls and diamonds with, and an enormous balcony to wear them on” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eli…

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