Expand Your Mind: Fascinating People

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Expand Your Mind: Fascinating People

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I know people who are fascinated by technology, by science, by pop culture, but it is people, the source of all that, that fascinate me.

Not people in terms of gossip, Twitter or Facebook; not just what they do, but why they do it.

For that reason I sometimes watch Biography and American Greed on CNBC, read biographies and articles.

So I thought I’d share a few recent ones with you.

I’ll start with a bit of fluff; not an article I’d normally read, but I was bored and clicked on the link. It’s a profile of Naomi Campbell, not glitz or sleaze, but an interesting overview of a woman who has done the almost impossible—stayed an icon of beauty and interest, and still going strong, for 25 years in an industry that typically uses them up in four or five.

Did you know that three Italian towns produced most of more than 100 commercial knife sharpeners in the US today? Here is the story of one of those families that is reinventing itself so it will be around for future generations.

In our land of instant gratification people are unlikely to want anything enough to spend years to get it. Now meet Cha Sa-soon, a 69-year-old widow who lives alone in a mountain-ringed village in Korea, who wanted a drivers license badly enough to take the test 960 times before she passed. Who do you know with that kind of tenacity?

Tell me, if you were going to run a Ponzi scheme where would you look for your victims? What kind of organization or network would you want to infiltrate? Wayne McLeod ran a small scheme as these things go, just $43 million, but that entire amount came from law enforcement officers at all levels, including Homeland Security and the FBI. But there won’t be a trial, McLeod killed himself, but first sent an email to his investors saying, “I pray that at some point in time you can and will forgive me.” Excuse me, I don’t think so!

Finally, if you ever thought that owning a bordello would be a good career move, but you didn’t want to deal with the sleaze, and you speak German there is a bordello for sale on eBay. (See pictures here.) Let me know if you buy it, because I’m sure it would be the kind of story I like to hear.

Flickr image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pedroelcarvalho/2812091311/

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