Ponzi scheme: An investment swindle in which high profits are promised from fictitious sources and early investors are paid off with funds raised from later ones. - Named after Charles Ponzi (1882-1949), a speculator who organized such a scheme during 1919-1920. He was neither the first nor the last person to float this or a similar scheme, just someone who did it on a massive scale. There is a long, long list of Ponzi schemes in history. Earliest documented use: 1920.
23 Unbelievable Facts You Didn't Know About Humanity
Charles Sherwood Stratton was born 4 January 1838, and his growth virtually stopped at six months, reaching only one meter at adulthood. He was picked up by P.T. Barnum and became a huge circus success as "General Tom Thumb."
COVERT SCIENCE-On the afternoon of August 7th 1999, London police received over 36 reports of a gigantic sea serpent in the Thames, “at least 200 ft long and 5 yards across,” according to one panicky witness. Despite all the sightings, no one managed to get a picture—or so it was thought. That day photographer John Collins was taking aerial photos of London from a private plane. He didn’t notice the object at the lower right until he examined the photo later. "Hoax or Smoking Gun?…
Mrs. Alma B. Little. Arthur Little, a druggist, sought to divorce his wife Alma in 1914-15, because she "concealed Negro blood in her veins." Mrs. Little was a pale blonde, and denied that she had any African ancestry. She came to New York to visit the anthropologist Franz Boas, who pronounced that "If this golden-haired blond really has Negro blood in her veins, not a husband in the world can feel assured that his wife is not a Negress." The couple divorced on grounds of cruelty instead.
Susan B Anthony was arrested by a U.S. Deputy Marshal for voting on November 5 in the 1872 Presidential Election two weeks earlier. She had written to Stanton on the night of the election that she had "positively voted the Republican ticket—straight...". She was tried and convicted seven months later. The sentence was a $100 fine, but not imprisonment; true to her word in court ("I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty"), she never paid the fine for the rest of her life.