Today I learned of William Burke, a Scottish murderer who would sell corpses for a profit to medical researchers. After he was hanged for his crimes, scientists dissected him, wrote with his blood, and bound a book with his skin. wikipedia.org/wiki/Burke_…
Patch Adams only agreed to the 1999 film of his namesake because they promised to help build his hospital. None of the profits from the film was ever given to his foundation, and the film was heavily criticised by Patch Adams himself, saying: "I hate that movie." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat…
The 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles was so profitable that profits continue to help fund youth sports as recently as in the 2010s gizmodo.com/how-l-a-s-198…
If your kids want to have a lemonade stand in Canada's capital city, Ottawa, the sign must be in English and French, as well 7% of the profits must be donated to charity. globalnews.ca/news/350599…
Today I learned of the Phoebus cartel, which controlled the global lightbulb market for over 15 years and worked to remove long-lasting bulbs from the market in order for lightbulb manufacturers to profit more en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pho…
Eric Goode, the director of Tiger King, is a lifelong conservationist who protected over 65,000 acres of habitat for endangered turtles and tortoises through his his non-profit, the Turtle Conservancy. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eri…
Shakespeare became wealthy by hoarding grain, and reselling at inflated prices during a period of famine. He used the profits for money-lending activity and was pursued by authorities for tax evasion and was prosecuted for hoarding grain. independent.co.uk/arts-en…
Frederick Banting discovered insulin in 1923, he refused to put his name on the patent. He felt it was unethical for a doctor to profit from a discovery that would save lives. Banting's co-inventors, James Collip and Charles Best, sold the insulin patent to the University of Toronto for $1 vox.com/2019/4/3/18293950…
The Psychic industry in the U.S. has grown 52% in the last decade, reached $2.3 billion in profits in 2019, and is one of the 30 fastest growing industries in the U.S. ibisworld.com/united-stat…
Many products are getting smaller due to 'shrinkflation', for example Mars shrank its Maltesers, M&Ms by up to 15%. In the past, companies blamed the rising price of raw materials. Recently, these prices dropped back, but the shrinkage continued as manufacturers try to stealthily boost profits independent.co.uk/news/bu…
Family Video still operates over 500 stores in the US and Canada. They own the real estate where their stores are located and they own all of the media they rent out so they keep all of the profits. This is why they were able to outlast other video rental businesses like Blockbuster. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fam…
In 1995, the Blockbuster video rental chain had more than 4,500 stores. The company made $785 million in profits on $2.4 billion in revenues: a profit margin of over 30 percent. Much of this profit came from "late fees" on overdue rentals smallbusiness.chron.com/m…
Some of the most successful films of all time, such as the Harry Potter series, were actually financial losses on paper. This is called creative accounting and it's a way for Hollywood studios to avoid paying actors, producers and directors based on net profits. popmatters.com/192246-hol…
A man in 2002 found a way to crack the lottery in the US state of Michigan using math and probability. He figured out that if he bought a certain amount of tickets that he would certainly make a profit. He and his wife Marge ended up making millions of dollars. bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06s…
Before the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant struggled financially after leaving the military to start a family, working in fields with his wife's family's slaves which was uncommon, but after acquiring a slave, William Jones, he gave him his freedom unconditionally instead of selling him for profit. acwm.org/blog/myths-misun…
90% of the profits of the O.J. Simpson book 'If I did it" went to Fred Goldman, Ron Goldman's father. Goldman had sued Simpson in a wrongful death civil suit and was awarded $33.5 million, which had gone unpaid. In 2007, a judge awarded the rights to the book to the Goldman family as payment. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_…
From 1994-99 George Foreman was paid about 40% of the profits on each Foreman grill sold, earning him $4.5M a month in payouts at its peak. In the period it’s estimated he received over $200M, more than he did as a boxer. bloomberg.com/news/articl…
During the initial theatrical run of E.T. Steven Spielberg earned $500,000 a day from his share of the profits. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.T…
Today I learned of a non-profit called "The Last Mile," which teaches prisoners how to code and works with Silicon Valley companies to give ex-cons jobs upon release. Since 2010, The Last Mile has had 622 prisoner students, 90 are in full-time employment/higher ed. releases with 0% recidivism rate. cnbc.com/2017/04/10/san-q…
A company once redirected all attempts to a non-registered domains to their own page, supposedly for profit. This also messed up with emails sent to non-existing domains for a while. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dom…
In the 19th century, profit-maximizing recipe used by milk producers was a pint of lukewarm water for every quart of milkβ€”after the cream was skimmed; To whiten the bluish liquid they added chalk and to replace skimmed-off layer of cream, they might add a final flourish of pureed calf brains theatlantic.com/magazine/…
The Boondock Saints made $30,471 in its theatrical run which was at only 5 theaters for 1 week. It became a cult hit after its home release grossing about $50 million in domestic video sales but its writer/director Troy Duffy didn't see profits because he signed away DVD rights in his contract. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
Jim Croce's first album, Facets, was financed by his parents for $500. His parents hoped it would fail so that he would continue his education. Instead, he sold every copy and made a profit of $2500. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fac…
Because American textbooks are sold at a lower price in Thailand, somebody was reselling them in the US and making enough of a profit to get sued by the publishers, the Supreme Court ultimately ruled against the publishers because the "first sale" doctrine applies everywhere, not just the US en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kir…
Today I learned about Wikitongues, a non-profit organization attempting to document all 6000+ existing spoken languages. To date they have hundreds of recorded conversations and add new videos to their archive every week. voanews.com/arts-culture/…
Upton Sinclair's novel "The Jungle" was never about the meatpacking industry. Sinclair intended it as a "breaking of human hearts by a system which exploits the labor of men and women for profit". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upt…
1980s Indy Car driver took stock options out of spite after being fired, with a 14000% profit currently. indystar.com/story/sports…
Ocean Spray Cranberry Cocktail comes from cooperatively owned cranberry farms where 100% of product profits are returned to farmers. businessinsider.com/how-o…
Matt Damon was offered the lead in Avatar and 10% of the film's profits β€” but he turned it down out of respect for the Bourne franchise, and ended up losing out on $250 million as a result. the-talks.com/interview/m…
There exists a non profit organization whose sole mission is to assure the six Apollo lunar landing sites are preserved and protected for posterity by having them included on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage List airandspacelaw.olemiss.ed…
Englishman Dan Harris wanted to help bees struggling in urban areas such as on pavement with no flowers. So he crowdfunded "bee saviour" credit card sized feeders with 3 notches of beekeepers’ formula under a peel-off foil backing to sell for Β£4 via his not-for-profit co-op. theguardian.com/environme…
It's a violation of the Dept. Of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for ANY for-profit company to use volunteers, even if the volunteers don't mind, to do work that the company should otherwise be paying employees to perform. hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/20…
Victor Lustig, a German con artist, designed and sold a "money box" which he claimed could print $100 bills. A victim, sensing profits, would buy the machine for a high price. Stocked with six to nine genuine $100 bills for demonstration purposes, but after that it produced only blank paper. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis…
Nigerian scammers once convinced a Brazilian bank to send them $242 million over the course of three years to "invest" in the profits of a new airport. The airport in question never actually existed. pulse.ng/gist/how-emmanue…
Kevin Smith announced he will donate all his dividends from Weinstein-Made films to the non-profit 'Women In Film' deadline.com/2017/10/harv…
In 2014, to protest Black Friday, Cards against Humanity only sold boxes labeled "Bullshit" to Black Friday shoppers for 6 dollars each. The boxes contained actual bull feces and some dug through it looking for a new card but found nothing but feces. The profits were donated to charity. independent.co.uk/news/we…
Despite its popularity in 1939, The Wizard of Oz didn't make a profit until it was re-released ten years later. latimes.com/entertainment…
Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC were established by the same financier, Lou Pearlman, who, among numerous other schemes, infamously classified himself as the β€œsixth member of the band” to siphon profits away from the artists. crimeonline.com/2019/12/1…
The Chrysler Building sits on land owned by Cooper Union, a non profit school. Because of Copper Union's non profit status this means that there is no property tax assessed to the property. Instead the Chrysler Building pays yearly rent to Cooper Union en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chr…
Members of the Parliament of the UK are technically not permitted to resign; instead, they apply to be appointed 'Steward and Bailiff' of one of two obscure places which are an 'office of profit under the Crown'. Being paid by the Crown disqualifies from being MP. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Res…
Volvo opened up the patent for three-point seatbelt cause "it had more value as a free life saving tool than something to profit from" arnoldclark.com/newsroom/…
The British Rock band Radiohead released their album "In Rainbows" under a pay what you want pricing strategy where customers could even download all their songs for free. In spite of the free option, many customers paid and they netted more profits because of this marketing strategy en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_…
The wounded warrior project only gives 60% of their profits back, compared to their counter parts who donate 90%+ cbsnews.com/news/wounded-…
During the middle Ages saffron was so expensive some traders would try to increase their profits by bulking up the herb with yellow marigold petals. When authorities in Nuremberg, where the herb was mainly traded, found out about these tainted parcels of saffron, the traders were burned alive. theherbexchange.com/surpr…
Haiti had to financially recompensate France for lost colonial profits after gaining independence through its successful slave rebellion. This independence debt wasn't paid back in full until 1947. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ext…
Stan Lee, had a contract awarding him 10% of the net profits of anything based on his characters. The film Spider-Man (2002) made more than $800 million, but the producers claim that it did not make any profit as defined in Lee's contract en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hol…
There's a legal difference between a non-profit organization and not-for-profit organization in the US. For example, The income that nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations generate is used differently. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non…
Today I learned of Efunroye Tinubu, a powerful slave trader in 19th century Nigeria. She was thought to have been so unapologetic and profit minded, she attempted to subvert a British anti-slavery treaty and, after a slave trade went wrong, said she: "would rather drown the slaves than sell them at a discount." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efu…
IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad started his journey to becoming the 8th richest man in the world at age 5, by selling matches to his neighbors. He bought matches in bulk, cheaply & re-sold them at a very low price while still making a good profit, the same basic model used later at IKEA. ikea.com/ms/fr_MA/about_i…
Nova Roma is an international Roman revivalist and reconstructionist organization, later incorporated as a non-profit organization with an educational and religious mission. It claims to promote "the restoration of classical Roman religion, culture, and virtues" and "shared Roman ideals". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nov…
Marlon Brando was paid $3.7 million, plus 11% of the profits, for his cameo in Superman, while Christopher Reeve was paid $250,000 for the title role. variety.com/2018/vintage/…
Today I learned of the Son of Sam laws that state convicted criminals cannot profit in any way from their crimes whether it be from books, tv, film, etc. All proceeds from these deals go directly to the victims or their families. mtsu.edu/first-amendment/…
About Georgia Tan, the director of the Children’s Home Society, who became wealthy by kidnapping over 5,000 children and selling them for a steep profit. 500 children died under her care in Memphis, TN latimes.com/archives/la-x…
AEG Live, the owners and operators of Coachella Music Festival attempted to profit off of Michael Jackson's death by offering fan's 'Souvenior Tickets' in leiu of a refund to tickets to the 'This Is It' tour, which was interrupted by Jackson's death. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ans…
The Jamestown colony was founded with money made from holding a lottery. Harvard and Yale were also built with profits from a lottery. In these small-scale games, people could find out if they won a prize immediately after buying a ticket, similarly to scratch-and-win lotteries today. history.com/news/13-colon…
The Australian slang phrase, "Pissing in a person's pocket", means to insincerely attempt to convince a person that you're doing them a favor, when you actually have only your own interests (generally either making a profit or ingratiating oneself) at heart. loudwire.com/mastodon-bre…
The Church of the SubGenius is a satirical for profit religion. The primary instructions are to avoid work, buy the Church's products, rebel against "law and order", remove the descendants of Yetis, and to exploit fear. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu…
In game theory "first-mover" advantage is the idea that by being the first to enter a new market, a business gains a commercial advantage over its actual and potential rivals leading to higher revenues and profits over time tutor2u.net/economics/ref…
Today I learned about Gilberto Baschiera, an Italian banker heralded a as modern-day Robin Hood. Over a period of 7 years, he secretly diverted 1 million euros from wealthy clients to poorer clients so they could qualify for loans. He did not profit from the scheme and avoided jail in 2018 after a plea bargain. bbc.com/news/world-europe…
Crocodile Dundee was inspired by Ron Ansell, an Australian buffalo hunter & crocodile poacher. He sued Paul Hogan for profits of the films, but lost & was bitter about it for the rest of his life. He was killed in a police shootout on 8/3/99. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod…
During prohibition [1920-1933] legal exemptions to the Volstead Act allowed Drs to prescribe alcohol & at pharmacies medicinal alcohol made profits soar. Denatured wood alcohol was legal for industry but poisonous; people drank it anyway. Up to 250,000 people were poisoned or paralyzed. prohibition.themobmuseum.…
Winston Groom, the author of "Forrest Gump" the source for the titular movie, was contracted to earn 3% share of the profits. The film made about $678 million on the budget of $55 million, but Paramount did not pay Groom, using Hollywood accounting to posit that the film indeed lost money. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For…
Today I learned that the dark web browsers are non profit organizations that were started by the government. Their mission is to stop the things they’re most known for providing access to. donate.torproject.org/don…
The 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz" cost so much to make and promote that MGM did not profit from it until a 1949 re-release en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
Marlon Brando earned $3.7m and 11% of the profits for appearing in Superman (1978) as Jor El, while Christpher Reeves was paid $250k as Superman variety.com/2018/vintage/…
Despite being a self-made billionaire with several successful businesses, Richard Branson didn’t know the difference between gross profit and net profit until well into his 50’s, asking his board β€œAre these numbers good or bad?” cnbc.com/2018/10/18/richa…
UK Members of Parliament legally can't resign, so those that wish to "quit" are made unpaid stewards of a royal manor. This works because the position is considered an "office of profit" under the Crown, and those who are appointed to such offices legally cannot serve in Parliament. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Res…
Nova Roma is an international Roman revivalist and reconstructionist organization, later incorporated as a non-profit organization with an educational and religious mission. It claims to promote "the restoration of classical Roman religion, culture, and virtues" and "shared Roman ideals". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nov…
Alexander Protopopov, acting deputy chief of Russia's prison service, had about 50 km of road illegally dismantled and sold for his own profit between 2014 and 2015. bbc.com/news/world-europe…
Learned film giant Kodak went from 1.4 billion in profits in 2000 to bankruptcy in 2012, mainly due to not predicting the rise of online photo sharing and smartphone cameras. petapixel.com/2018/10/19/…
The 2009 movie "Where the Wild Things Are" barely turned any profit despite having mostly positive reviews, making $100.1 million from a budget of $100 million en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whe…
Today I learned about canned hunting, the process of domesticating big game animals then allowing them to be shot while in a closely confined area for profit. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Can…
Today I learned about Victoria Woodhull, the traveling psychic that gave American tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt advice on investing in the gold market. Following her advice, Vanderbilt made a profit of $1.3 million, withdrawing just before the gold market crash of Black Friday on September 24, 1869. archive.nytimes.com/www.n…
The Green Bay Packers are community-owned and non-profit (the only such professional team in the USA) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gre…
Hugh Jackman started his own coffee brand and foundation called "Laughing Man" after meeting a struggling coffee farmer in Ethiopia. His goal was to provide a marketplace for farmers in developing countries to sell their goods for a fair price. Jackman donates 100% of profits. cbsnews.com/news/hugh-jac…
Membership revenues account for all of Costco's profits. The same is likely true for Amazon and its prime memberships. fool.com/investing/genera…
The author of Forrest Gump had a deal to receive a lump sum and a cut of the film's net profits, but Paramount reported a loss and refused to pay him the cut. He settled with Paramount and they bought the rights to the sequel, which has been stuck in development for over a decade. looper.com/13814/forrest-…
Chance The Rapper donated over $2 million to Chicago Public Schools. Working with 20 principals and his non-profit SocialWorks, he helped the schools gain $100,000 over 3 years, and selected the schools based on budgetary and individual needs. abc7chicago.com/education…
Kids from the Ho Chunk nation receive $200,000 upon turning 18 and graduating. The money comes from profits from the casinos. Many of the recipients end up blowing the money fast with little to show for it. madison.com/wsj/news/loca…
Ty Warner, owner of Ty Inc. and creator of Beanie Babies, purchased the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City with his Beanie Baby profits. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ty_…
Digimon, despite it's perception as a failed Pokemon competitor, s one of the highest grossing media franchises, exceeding Minecraft, Shrek, Game of Thrones, Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat, Candy Crush, Friends, Assassin's Creed, and the Big Bang Theory with a gross profit of 6.36b dollars. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis…
The function of coupon codes is to increase the posted price to profit from price-insensitive buyers, while still maintaining an attractive price for price-sensitive buyers willing to use coupons. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cou…
George Lucas thought Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" would out perform Star Wars so he proposed they trade 2.5% of the profit on each other's films; Spielberg took the trade, and still receives 2.5% of the profits from Star Wars. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sta…
GoFundMe is a for-profit corporation, and any revenue they collect beyond their operating costs actually benefit their owners/shareholders. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoF…
Woodstock was intended as a profit-making venture, not a free music festival. Tickets cost $18 in advance and $24 at the gate (about $120 and $160 in today's dollars), but organizers made it free after more than 400,000 showed up instead of the expected 200,000. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woo…
Today I learned about OpenAI Inc,a non-profit organization that studies AI,specifically the hypothesis that substantial progress in artificial general intelligence (AGI) could someday result in human extinction or some other unrecoverable global catastrophe. Microsoft invested US$1B in the organization in 2019. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ope…
Rentier capitalism is a term currently used to describe the belief in economic practices of monopolization of access to any (physical, financial, intellectual, etc.) kind of property, and gaining significant amounts of profit without contribution to society. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren…
The non-profit Nurse-Family Partnership, which arranges for registered nurses to make regular home visits to first-time low-income or vulnerable mothers, reduced the number of babies or toddlers hospitalized for accidents by more than half and increased babies' IQ by 5 to 7 points opinionator.blogs.nytimes…
VitaminWater Is Not Healthy For You and Coca-Cola, who owns Vitaminwater, was sued by a non-profit public interest group on the grounds that the company’s vitaminwater products make unwarranted health claims. sunnyskyz.com/blog/2321/N…
After being faced with budget problems during the filming of Titanic, James Cameron offered to give up his share of future profits but the studio didn't accept his offer as they believed it was an empty gesture because the film would have no profit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit…
Kodak discovered the US was testing atomic weapons due to problems appearing on their consumer film. Kodak was worried about their product and profits ultimately striking a deal with the US Government in order to get schedules and maps of future tests in exchange for Kodak's silence. popularmechanics.com/scie…
The name "Ghostbusters" was owned by Filmation/Universal, and it was licensed to Columbia for the 1984 film on a profit-sharing deal. Because the hit film didn't turn a profit, Filmation didn't make any money on allowing the name to be used. collider.com/ghostbusters…
Today I learned about the South Sea Company which, adjusted for inflation, was worth 579 billion dollars. It also never made a profit in its 9 year history. youtu.be/k1kndKWJKB8
Marvel made only $25,000 profit from the first Blade movie screencrush.com/marvel-ba…
SNK, the video game company, created a non-profit organization dedicated to bolstering children's education in Japan. snk.fandom.com/wiki/Nakor…
The law making it illegal to profit from illicitly-obtained commodity reports is called "The Eddie Murphy Rule." npr.org/sections/money/20…
Stan Lee had a contract awarding him 10% of the net profits of anything based on his characters. The first Spider-Man made more than $800 million in revenue, but the producers claimed it did not make any profit and Lee received nothing. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hol…
Bill Niman, founder of Niman Ranch and pioneer of humane animal farming, stopped eating Niman Ranch products after his farm was bought out by a corporation that dropped his humane treatment and sustainability standards in order to make a profit. sfgate.com/news/article/N…
The Green Bay Packers are the only publicly owned, not-for-profit, major professional sports team in the United States newyorker.com/sports/spor…

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