TIL that as of April 2010, Bill Gates had donated over $36,854,000,000 in his lifetime, which is more than half of his current net worth of $61 billion.
TIL that a Labrador Retriever service dog pulled his disabled owner into the recovery position after he was struck unconscious, then covered him with a blanket. Retrieved his mobile phone and pushed it against his face, and only left his owner to fetch help once he had regained consciousness.
TIL that at the premiere of Beethoven’s 9th, police had to break up the applause, as the amount he was receiving was considered inappropriate for a private citizen
TIL that in Germany, the city weighs your garbage and charges you $4 per kilogram (!) As a result, people recycle and compost almost *everything*. You need a permit to throw out furniture (once per year, max). When Germans come here, they are often shocked by our wastefulness.
TIL a Hungarian psychologist wrote a book on how to raise a genius. He proposed his ideas to a teacher. They married and raised three chess grandmasters, two of them became record-breakers and one even became the first female to beat the top ranked male (Gary Kasporov).
TIL In 2003, Pres. Bush started PEPFAR, providing antiretroviral drugs to African nations, lowering the AIDS rate by 10% and saving 1.1 million lives
TIL Salvador Dali would put a tin plate on the floor and then sit by a chair beside it, holding a spoon over the plate. The moment he began to doze the spoon would slip from his fingers and clang on the plate, immediately waking him to capture the surreal dream images.
TIL there was a proposed amendment in 1916 that put every act of war to a national vote, and every person that voted yes had to register for volunteer service in the army.
TIL about Polio researcher Jonas Salk who could have enriched himself by claiming patent rights to his vaccine. He gave it away for free. Saving millions from paralysis and death was reward enough.
TIL that some libraries allow you to check out seeds with the intention that you will replace the seeds when your crop is harvested.
TIL in 1975 a 17 year old boy was killed while riding his moped. He was killed exactly a year after his 17 year old brother was killed while riding the same moped, in the same intersection, by the same taxi, with the same driver, carrying the same passenger.
TIL that a full McBain movie is hidden across multiple Simpsons episodes.
TIL That Google pays $300 Million annually to Mozilla in order to keep Google as the default search provider in Firefox
Interesting. The Bill Gates figure if true is pretty impressive to.
And he still has around 30 BILLION left... Yet people are still dying of curable diseases and malnutrition around the US. Tens of thousands are homeless in the U.S alone. And the empire he helped to build is embroiled in all kinds of lawsuits based around money and who should have the most of it.
In my mind, Philanthropy is the sign of a guilty conscience, not someone who is trying to make the world "a better place"