McDonalds Monopoly Fraud

From Wikipedia:

In 2000, the US promotion was halted after fraud was uncovered. A subcontracting company called Simon Marketing (a then-subsidiary of Cyrk), which had been hired by McDonald’s to organize and promote the game, failed to recognize a flaw in its procedures, and the chief of security, Jerome P. Jacobson,[1] was able to remove the “most expensive” game pieces, which he then passed to associates who would redeem them and share the proceeds. The associates “won” almost all of the top prizes between 1995 and 2000, including McDonald’s giveaways that did not have the Monopoly theme. The associates “netted” over $24 million. The scheme was uncovered when one of the participants informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation on its ringleaders. While the fraud was perpetrated without McDonald’s knowledge, the McDonald’s Corporation voluntarily attempted to rectify the situation by issuing payouts to new (legitimate) winners, awarding five $1 million annuity prizes, and fifty $100,000 prizes over a five-day period.

(via Reddit)

Only Tanya is Left

Diary of a child, Tanya Savicheva, who was stuck with her family in the middle of the Siege of Leningrad:

Zhenya died on Dec. 28th at 12:00 P.M. 1941
Grandma died on Jan. 25th 3:00 P.M. 1942
Leka died on March 5th at 5:00 A.M. 1942
Uncle Vasya died on Apr. 13th at 2:00 after midnight 1942
Uncle Lesha on May 10th at 4:00 P.M. 1942
Mother on May 13th at 7:30 A.M. 1942
Savichevs died.
Everyone died.
Only Tanya is left.

Schienenzeppelin

From Wikipedia:

The Schienenzeppelin or rail zeppelin was an experimental railcar which resembles a zeppelin airship in appearance. It was designed and developed by the German aircraft engineer Franz Kruckenberg in 1929. Propulsion was by means of a propeller located at the rear, and only a single example was ever built.

(via Reddit)

The Invasion of Sark

If only it had been a surprise invasion:

In August 1990, an unemployed French nuclear physicist named André Gardes attempted a singlehanded invasion of Sark, armed with a semi-automatic weapon. The night Gardes arrived he put up signs declaring his intention to take over the island the following day at noon. He was arrested while sitting on a bench, changing the gun’s magazine and waiting for noon to arrive, by the island’s volunteer Constable

(via Reddit)

Zwarte Piet

From Wikipedia:

In the folklore and legends of the Netherlands and Belgium, Zwarte Piet (About this sound pronunciation (help·info)) (meaning Black Pete) is a companion of Saint Nicholas (Dutch: Sinterklaas) whose yearly feast in the Netherlands is usually celebrated on the evening of the 5th of December (Sinterklaas-avond, that is St. Nicolas Eve) and the 6th of December in Belgium, when they distribute sweets and presents to all good children.

Some sources indicate that in Germanic Europe, Zwarte Piet originally was such an enslaved devil forced to assist his captor, but the character emerged in the 19th century within the Netherlands as a companion of Saint Nicholas resembling a Moor.[1] Saint Nicholas is said to come from Turkey. The relation of Zwarte Piet with Haji Firuz is incredibly close, Haji Firuz is a traditional herald of Nowruz, the Persian New Year celebration, exactly black in the face and comes with Amoo Nowruz a white beared old man who brings gifts for the children counter part of Western Santa.

The introduction of this new Zwarte Piet was paired with a change in the attitude of the Sinterklaas character that was often shown as being quite rough against bad children himself and thought unbefitting of a Bishop by teachers and priests. Soon after the introduction of Zwarte Piet as Sinterklaas’ helper, both characters adapted to a softer character.[2]

Until the second half of the 20th century, Saint Nicholas’ helper was not too bright, in line with the old colonial traditions. Once immigration started from the former colonised countries Zwarte Piet became a much more respected assistant of Saint Nicholas, who is often a bit inattentive.[3]

According to the more modern Saint Nicholas legend, a Zwarte Piet is a servant who accompanies Saint Nicholas on his holiday travels. In some versions, it is alleged that Saint Nicholas once liberated a young slave named Peter, who decided to serve Nicholas (as a free servant) rather than enjoy liberty alone. Zwarte Piet is today commonly depicted as a black person in the colorful pantaloons, feathered cap and ruffles of a Renaissance European page, a tradition based on a single illustration in a book published in 1850.

Old Tom Parr

From Wikipedia:

Thomas Parr (1483 (reputedly) – 14 November 1635) was an English supercentenarian who supposedly lived for 152 years.

Parr was said to have been born in 1483 near Shrewsbury, possibly at Wollaston. He supposedly joined the army around 1500 and did not marry until he was 80 years old. He had two children, both of whom died in infancy. Parr attributed his long life to his vegetarian diet and moral temperance, although when he was about 100 years old he purportedly had an affair and fathered a child born out of wedlock. After the death of his first wife, he married a second time at the alleged age of 122.

But…

William Harvey (1578–1657), the physician who discovered the circulation of the blood,[2] performed a post-mortem on Parr’s body.[3][4] The results were published in the book De ortu et natura sanguinis by John Betts as an attachment. According to P. Lüth the results of the autopsy suggest that Thomas Parr was probably under 70 years of age.[5]

It is possible that Parr’s records were confused with those of his grandfather.

(via Best of Wikipedia)

Unfinished portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt

From Wikipedia:

The Unfinished Portrait is a water color of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that was in progress at the time of his collapse and subsequent death. Elizabeth Shoumatoff had begun working on the portrait of the president around noon on April 12, 1945. FDR was being served lunch when he stated “I have a terrific headache” and then collapsed of a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Later that day Roosevelt died. Shoumatoff never finished the portrait.

(via The Best of Wikipedia)