Is insanity the secret companion to genius? It turns out some of the world’s greatest geniuses were quite mad. In fact, some scientists claim that a far greater percentage of creative types (poets, painters, musicians and the like) have been afflicted with bipolar disorder than the general population. Some of the world’s most renowned creative minds, including writers Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, and Ernest Hemingway; composers Irving Berlin and Sergei Rachmaninoff; and painters Paul Gauguin and Jackson Pollock are all believed to have suffered from the illness.
Let’s take a look at these mad geniuses — the famous thinkers and artists who may have experienced mental illness.
First, we’ll inspect the modern case of John Nash, whose schizophrenia has been sensationalized by Hollywood.
5: John Nash (1928 – )
The award-winning film “A Beautiful Mind” popularized the story of John Nash. Nash is a world-renowned mathematician who struggled with paranoid schizophrenia after coming up with significant contributions to the concept of game theory.
4: Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890)
Paintings, such as “Starry Night” are quickly recognizable by their unique brushwork and expression. However, it was not until after his death that van Gogh gained popularity. Now he is considered among the greatest painters in history.
3: Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849)
Best known for his poem “The Raven,” writer Edgar Allan Poe wrote compelling horror and detective stories as well. He put great emphasis on form and structure in his taut short stories. His short story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” published in 1841, is often called the first modern detective story.
2: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Beethoven’s contributions to music were monumental. His passionate intensity and brilliant design brought instrumental music to a new level. However, the famous composer had a hard life. Raised by an abusive, alcoholic father, Beethoven was responsible for the well-being of his struggling family by the age of 18. One of the most tragic aspects of his life was his gradual descent into deafness, which occurred between the ages of 30 and 49 and may have come as a result of his father’s beatings. Remarkably, he was able to compose some of his most esteemed work after losing his hearing.
1: Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727)
With numerous and far-reaching contributions to physics and mechanics, Sir Isaac Newton is universally known as a brilliant thinker. Indeed, polls of both scientists and the public show an agreement that Newton even surpasses Einstein in influence [source: The Royal Society]. Some of his notable contributions include inventing calculus, explaining “universal gravitation,” developing laws of motion and building the first reflective telescope.
Source: Article written by Jane McGrath Curiosity ONLINE from discovery
“A Jewish wife will forgive and forget, but she’ll never forget what she forgave.”
A Jewish woman goes to see her Rabbi and asks, “Irv” and Max are both in love with me, who will be the lucky one?”
The wise old Rabbi answers, “Irv will marry you, Max will be the lucky one.”
HERE IS A HISTORY KNOWN TO VERY FEW:
When baseball greats Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig went on tour in baseball-crazy Japan in 1934, some fans wondered why a third-string catcher named Moe Berg was included. Although he played with 5 major league teams from 1923 to 1939, he was a very mediocre ball player, but was regarded as the brainiest ballplayer of all time. In fact Casey Stengel once said: “That is the strangest man ever to play baseball.” When all the baseball stars went to Japan, Moe Berg went with them, and many people wondered why he went with the team.
The answer was simple: Moe Berg was a United States spy working undercover with the OSS forerunner to the CIA .
Moe spoke 15 languages – including Japanese – Moe Berg had two loves: baseball and spying. In Tokyo, garbed in a kimono, Berg took flowers to the daughter of an American diplomat being treated in St. Luke’s Hospital – the tallest building in the Japanese capital.
He never delivered the flowers. The ball-player ascended to the hospital roof and filmed key features: the harbor, military installations, railway yards, etc. Eight years later, General Jimmy Doolittle studied Berg’s films in planning his spectacular raid on Tokyo..
BERG’S EARLY YEARS:
Berg’s father, Bernard Berg, a pharmacist in Newark, New Jersey, taught his son Hebrew and Yiddish. Moe, against his wishes, began playing baseball on the street aged four.
His father disapproved and never once watched his son play. In Barringer High School, Moe learned Latin, Greek and French. Moe read at least 10 newspapers every day.
He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton – having added Spanish, Italian, German and Sanskrit to his linguistic quiver.
During further studies at the Sorbonne, in Paris, and Columbia Law School, he picked up Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Arabic, Portuguese and Hungarian – 15 languages in all, plus some regional dialects. While playing baseball for Princeton University, Moe Berg would describe plays in Latin or Sanskrit.
BERG’S MILITARY EXPERIENCE:
During World War II, he was parachuted into Yugoslavia to assess the value to the war effort of the two groups of partisans there. He reported back that Marshall Tito’s forces were widely supported by the people and Winston Churchill ordered all-out support for the Yugoslav underground fighter, rather than Mihajlovic’s Serbians. The parachute jump at age 41 undoubtedly was a challenge. But there was more to come in that same year. Berg penetrated German-held Norway, met with members of the underground and located a secret heavy water plant – part of the Nazis’ effort to build an atomic bomb.
His information guided the Royal Air Force in a bombing raid to destroy the plant.
The R.A.F. destroys the Norwegian heavy water plant targeted by Moe Berg. There still remained the question of how far had the Nazis progressed in the race to build the first Atomic bomb. If the Nazis were successful, they would win the war. Berg (under the code name “Remus”) was sent to Switzerland to hear leading German physicist Werner Heisenberg, a Nobel Laureate, lecture and determine if the Nazis were close to building an A-bomb. Moe managed to slip past the SS guards at the auditorium, posing as a Swiss graduate student. The spy carried in his pocket a pistol and a cyanide pill. If the German indicated the Nazis were close to building a weapon, Berg was to shoot him – and then swallow the cyanide pill. Moe, sitting in the front row, determined that the Germans were nowhere near their goal, so he complimented Heisenberg on his speech and walked him back to his hotel.
THE RESULTS OF BERG’S WORK AS A SPY:
Werner Heisenberg – he blocked Nazis from acquiring an atomic bomb. Moe Berg’s report was distributed to Britain’s Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and key figures in the team developing the Atomic Bomb. Roosevelt responded: “Give my regards to the catcher.”
Most of Germanys leading physicists had been Jewish and had fled the Nazis mainly to Britain and the United States . After the war, Moe Berg was awarded the Medal of Freedom Americas highest honor for a civilian in wartime. But Berg refused to accept, as he couldn’t tell people about his exploits.
After his death, his sister accepted the Medal and it hangs in the Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown ,
HONORS BERG RECEIVED:
Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest award to be awarded to civilians during wartime).
Moe Berg’s baseball card is the only card on display at the CIA Headquarters in Washington D.C.
Morris “Moe” Berg (March 2, 1902 – May 29, 1972)
A German court ordered Viagra to be given to a stallion after his new owner claimed he was impotent and refused to pay the full asking price.
And when the stallion was given the potency drug, it emerged he was fully functional.
The court ordered the buyer to pay the full price.
This story reminds me of the classic line from the movie “When Harry Met Sally,” and a lady in awe of Meg Ryan’s scene faking an orgasm, says to the waitress…“I’ll have what she’s having.” I am sure many men will write to the horse’s owner asking for a potent dose of the “Viagra for Stallions,” hoping to have what the horse has. Thus…I’ll have what he’s having.
As the three little pigs gather round the piano to belt out some catchy showtunes or other, you can see a line of sausages in a picture frame behind them-marked “Father”. Sure to make the more cynical among us smile, and the vegetarians weep. So really, a win all round! This is one of Disney’s most explicit hidden jokes, as they’ve never tried to deny it and it seems so gleefully dark.
It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.
After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: Either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.
The best relationship is not the one that brings togethenr perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.
The moral of the story is: Just learn to live with the Pricks in your life!
Of all the things I wear, my expression is the most important.
Having a sharp tongue can cut your own throat.
The best vitamin for making friends…. B1.
The happiness of my life depends on the quality of my thoughts.
The heaviest thing I can carry is a grudge.
If I want my dreams to come true, I mustn’t oversleep.
One thing I can give and still keep…is my word.
I lie the loudest when I lie to myself.
If I lack the courage to start, I have already finished.
My mind is like a parachute…it functions only when open.
The 10 commandments are not a multiple choice.
The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime! It is never too late to become what I might have been.
Friends are like balloons; once you let them go, you might not get them back.
Sometimes we are so caught up in who’s right and who’s wrong that we forget what’s right and wrong.
Article link below from The New Yorker magazine, written by David Remnick, June 4, 2007
By Harvey Tobkes
Early in our marriage Anita’s father John, asked me if I cared to join him and his Masonic lodge brothers on a fishing outing. He asked me this while we were having dinner at his home and Anita and her mom thought it would be a good idea and offered to cook us all a wonderful fish dinner when we brought home the catch.
Sounded good to me, so I agreed and very early Sunday morning, John and I went out on Long Island Sound in quest of our fish dinner. The Captain greeted us and said that all week long, the boats were coming back with lots of fish and that porgies were running and easy to catch.
I would say we were a little unlucky, because between us we only caught 3 porgies, and to be generous they were not of a large size, but just about adequate. We begged, borrowed and did not steal 3 others from a sympathetic high ranking lodge Master, and triumphantly trekked home with the bounty.
I must admit that Anita and her mom kept their promise. We had white wine, delicious bread with a tarama spread, a wonderful feta cheese salad and a platter of fish that was truly an epicurean delight.
While digging in to the sweet flesh of my porgy, I felt stupid for feeling they were inadequate and I even remarked that it was strange, but the fish on my plate looked much larger than it did on my hook. I supposed it had something to do with the broiling or grilling process, which made the fish expand, and I remember saying, “Wow! There’s nothing better than fresh caught fish.”
About 10 years later, Anita and her mom finally let the cat out of the bag. You see, when we gave them fresh caught slimy, smelly fish with sharp scaly bodies, they were not about to go through scaling, gutting, cleaning those puny specimens. Nope! Off they went to the fish market and luckily were able to find porgies on sale and ready to cook. They were even able to improve on the size.
And the moral of the story is – men are so gullible and easy for a smart woman to fool… didn’t Delilah deceive Samson after he revealed the secret of his strength?
Anyway, John and I were in blissful state that night, and while we were duped (and didn’t know it) our stomachs were still thankful.
By Harvey Tobkes
Today I had a brainstorm about dieting that I would like to share with you; it is based on the Chinese culture.
The diet is simple enough, just buy a few dozen pairs of disposable Chinese chop sticks and eat all your meals that way for two weeks. No other utensils are allowed. That's it! __________________________ For your free 2 weeks supply of chopsticks, send an email to:
Guaranteed you will lose 10 pounds. How the Chinese eaters maneuver food from their plate to their mouths is a mystery, but I have observed that they lift very small portions, and then only about 50% of that makes it to its destination. What an ingenious way of cutting back on food intake. Just compare their use of chopstick utensils to our use of shovel sized table-spoons and the “pitch-forks” we use for spearing our chicken and steaks.
The diet is simple enough, just buy a few dozen pairs of disposable Chinese chop sticks and eat all your meals that way for two weeks. No other utensils are allowed. That's it!
For your free 2 weeks supply of chopsticks, send an email to:
One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University study.
Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen.
Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.
Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day?
Of course, too much water may have strange side effects.
“The difference between stating the almost-right fact and the right fact is no small matter.
‘Tis the difference between…
the lightning-bug and the lightning.”
15 MOST MEMORABLE LINES FROM TV SHOWS & MORE
>>>CLICK HERE FOR NEW YORKER ARTICLE by ANDY BOROWITZ
Ice cream maker Häagen-Dazs will soon be marketing ice cream sandwiches for dogs. Not just any ice cream, mind you. Because doggies are lactose intolerant, the companies had to come up with a special formula — 1 percent lactose, added protein and no sugar. Cost: $3.99 for a pack of six.
Ice cream isn’t the only creature comfort that our befuddled pets receive from us. Americans are expected to heap about $38.4 billion worth of stuff on their pets this year, almost 10 percent more than last year and more than double what we spent in 1994, according to the American Pet Products Association. That’s a lot of money, a barking-heck of a lot actually.
There is a growing market is in luxuries. Doggie sunglasses. A Virginia pet spa that offers acupuncture, massages and hydrotherapy. Designer bird cages. A yoga class for puppies and kitties in New York. A Louis Vuitton dog carrier. A swank doghouse with fine linens and luxurious leathers. A dog and cat hotel with color TV, custom-designed bed and round-the-clock room service in its private suites.
Have we lost our minds? Bark once for No, twice for Yes.
It’s great to love our pets. They provide companionship, joy and entertainment. But what does it say about us, about our misplaced values, about our indulgences, about our insensitivity to real needs, when we lavish luxuries on those that would settle for a bone from the table?
Excerpt from an article in The Miami Herald written by Ana Veciana-Suarez.