10 Weird Things Nintendo Sold Before They Made Video Games

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Nintendo didn’t always make video games. The company was formed in 1889, and before Mario, they tried to sell pretty well everything you can imagine. We’re talking goods and services that no sane man would ever link to video gaming.

It would be impossible to list everything Nintendo has tried to sell because they’ve tried pretty near everything. There are some highlights, though, that tell the story of a company desperately trying to find its niche—and you’d be surprised at just how much of it involves brothels, the yakuza, and light pornography.

[Read the full article at Listverse.]

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10 Major Historical Figures And Their Failed Attempts At Writing

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Everybody thinks they have a great novel in them. Most never get around to writing it, but some chance the rejection and put their thoughts on paper, mostly without commercial success.

We tend to think of these people as destined to toil in lonely isolation, forever unknown. However, before they made their marks on history, some of the biggest names imaginable sat down and tried to churn out a great work of literature—usually with disastrous results.

[Read the full article at Listverse.]

What Was Life Like in Sumer, History’s First Civilization?

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Life went through some incredible changes when the first cities were built. Up until then, nearly every person had to work as a farmer or a hunter, moving from place to place in a constant struggle to survive.

All that changed about 7,000 years ago, when Sumer, the first civilization, began. For the first time in human history, people moved into the safety of a walled city. For the first time, they didn’t have to hunt or farm. They could become builders, astrologers, and teachers. They could develop things that, until then, no one had ever even dreamed of.

 It was the dawn of history; the greatest change humans have ever undergone.

The Chinese Emperor Who Built A Lake of Wine and a Forest of Meat

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The last ruler of China’s Shang Dynasty knew how to relax. When he and his Queen wanted to unwind, they would head to his pleasure palace and take a dip in their lake of wine.

That wasn’t just a cute name. King Zhou Xin’s lake of wine, it’s said, stretched more than two kilometers across in each direction. It was big enough that the emperor could take a canoe out and paddle his way around a sea of liquor.

[Read the full article at Ancient Origins.]

The Heinous Crimes Of Henry Lucas And Ottis Toole, The Confession Killers

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Henry Lucas and Ottis Toole are either the worst serial killers in American history or the worst liars. They were a pair of star-crossed lovers who traveled across America murdering, raping, burning, and even cannibalizing everyone who crossed their paths. And if Henry Lucas is be believed, they killed thousands.

It’s one crime’s strangest and most unnerving stories. The truth is as murky as it comes but the things we know for sure are twisted enough to turn anyone’s stomach.

[Read the full article at All That Is Interesting.]

Death By Tire Fire: A Brief History Of “Necklacing” In Apartheid South Africa

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Necklacing was a horrible way to die. Mobs would put a car tire around the arms and neck of their victim, wrapping them up in a twisted parody of a rubber necklace. Usually, the massive weight of a tire was enough to keep them from running, but some took it even further. Sometimes, the mob would chop off their victim’s hands or tie them behind their back with barbwire to ensure they couldn’t get away.

Then they would set their victims on fire. While the flames rose and seared their skin, the tire around their necks would melt and cling like boiling tar to their flesh. The fire would still burn on, even after they’d died, incinerating the body until it was charred beyond recognition.

[Read the full article at All That Is Interesting.]

10 Horrifying Ways America’s Puritans Persecuted The Quakers

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“I would carry fire in one hand,” an early American preacher once told his congregation, “to burn all the Quakers in the world.”

He was one of the Puritans who had set sail for America in search of religious tolerance. They had cried for freedom of religion in England, but once they’d landed in America, all those ideas of tolerance had quickly started to fade.

The Puritans were already becoming every bit as cruel as the people they’d tried to escape. And no religion would suffer as horribly under their hands than the Quakers.

[Read the full article at Listverse.]