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  #101  
Old 05-14-2017, 08:14 PM
Weisshund Weisshund is offline
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Justin Bieber
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  #102  
Old 05-14-2017, 08:41 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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I grew up in Des Moines. Carlisle is a bedroom community, and this family certainly didn't set out to make any kind of worldwide headlines when they learned they could not conceive without using fertility drugs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCaughey_septuplets

The public's hatred for this family exceeds that of the Octomom, who DID set out to something like that, even though she can't take care of any of her kids, and I can't figure out why.
  #103  
Old 05-14-2017, 10:28 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Most artists sought recognition, I think. There are very few artists who became famous posthumously by name and who weren't trying to become recognized humously.

But the OP implies that they're looking for folks who became famous during their lives, so maybe we exclude folks whose names became household after they died? Set the criteria this way:

1) The person's name is well-known.
2) There's an event or characteristic of the person widely associated with that name.
3) The person did not intend to become known.
I don't think they have to be alive. I think the key distinction I was making is that whatever the person did, or whatever happened to the person, that led to their fame; is something where, when they woke up that morning, and planned what they were going to be doing that day, had you said to them "hey, something you are doing is going to make you very famous someday", they wouldn't have any idea what it was. So, if Anne Frank was writing her diary with the idea that it might be a good book, trying to give it literary merit and quality, that makes her a much less clear candidate than if she was writing what she thought was just a totally normal private diary.

Emily Dickinson may not have intended her poems to be published, but presumably she realized that most people didn't write poetry the way she did. If you had said to her "you're going to be famous some day", she probably would have been able to predict that that would be due to her poetry, not, say, her fashion sense. Whereas if you'd said to Abraham Zapruder on the morning of Nov 22 1963 that he was going to be famous some day, he would have had absolutely no idea why.
  #104  
Old 05-14-2017, 10:59 PM
Sefton Sefton is offline
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The only names I can think of are Lazarus and Stella Liebeck.
  #105  
Old 05-14-2017, 11:08 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Rosa Parks

The Dion quintuplets
  #106  
Old 05-15-2017, 11:28 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
Rosa Parks
Doesn't remotely fit this category

Quote:
The Dion quintuplets
I dunno. I'd argue that while the accident of their birth was clearly just an accident, they certainly didn't shun the spotlight. Compare them to Abby and Brittany Hensel (conjoined twins, one body two heads), who, while fairly well known, generally (as I understand it) go about their every-day life outside the spotlight.
  #107  
Old 05-15-2017, 12:45 PM
Boozahol Squid, P.I. Boozahol Squid, P.I. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
William Hung (American Idol "She Bangs")
Appearing on American Idol is pretty much the definition of fame seeking. Perhaps he didn't get famous in the way he hoped, but you could say the same thing about Hitler, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck or Ryan Leaf.
  #108  
Old 05-15-2017, 03:25 PM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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John Bobbit, of course.
  #109  
Old 05-15-2017, 04:11 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
Doesn't remotely fit this category
.....
Care to elaborate as to why Rosa Parks didn't become accidentally famous for refusing to give up her seat?

Are we not still talking about her today?




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  #110  
Old 05-15-2017, 04:40 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
Care to elaborate as to why Rosa Parks didn't become accidentally famous for refusing to give up her seat?

Are we not still talking about her today?
My understanding is that she was a deliberately and carefully chosen test case, not just a random citizen who one day had had enough. Which in no way diminishes her heroism or bravery, but it's certainly not an accident that she's famous, it's due to a conscious and informed decision to stand up for her rights.
  #111  
Old 05-15-2017, 05:38 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
Doesn't remotely fit this category


I dunno. I'd argue that while the accident of their birth was clearly just an accident, they certainly didn't shun the spotlight. Compare them to Abby and Brittany Hensel (conjoined twins, one body two heads), who, while fairly well known, generally (as I understand it) go about their every-day life outside the spotlight.
The Dionne quintuplets, two of whom are still alive, didn't choose the spotlight. Their parents really didn't either. Much of Quintland, etc. was the work of the province of Ontario, as a morale-building and money-raising gimmick during the Depression.

They would still be considered a medical curiosity were they to be born nowadays; AFAIK they are the only known set of identical quintuplets ever born.

The Hensels have been in the public eye since they were about 6 years old, when they were on the cover of Life magazine, and the subject of a story in Time at about the same time. I loved their reality show, because they were so NORMAL.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 05-15-2017 at 05:39 PM.
  #112  
Old 05-15-2017, 08:38 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
My understanding is that she was a deliberately and carefully chosen test case, not just a random citizen who one day had had enough. Which in no way diminishes her heroism or bravery, but it's certainly not an accident that she's famous, it's due to a conscious and informed decision to stand up for her rights.
I wasn't aware of that. I thought she just said "I'm not taking this bullshit any more" and stood (or sat) her ground.

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  #113  
Old 05-15-2017, 08:59 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
I wasn't aware of that. I thought she just said "I'm not taking this bullshit any more" and stood (or sat) her ground.
It's a weird combination of stuff--neither a shot-from-the-blue, nor a totally planned event. From my understanding, she worked with the local NAACP (as secretary), most likely knew about discussions about finding a perfect test case, wasn't directly included on such plans, had attended training at the Highlander Research and Education Center (a place where a lot of folks got training for civil rights protesting), had never completely planned to be a test case, knew what it'd look like to be a test case, and on that afternoon made her move.

She totally knew what she was doing, though, which IMO makes her even more awesome.
  #114  
Old 05-16-2017, 01:20 AM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
Care to elaborate as to why Rosa Parks didn't become accidentally famous for refusing to give up her seat?

Are we not still talking about her today?




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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
My understanding is that she was a deliberately and carefully chosen test case, not just a random citizen who one day had had enough. Which in no way diminishes her heroism or bravery, but it's certainly not an accident that she's famous, it's due to a conscious and informed decision to stand up for her rights.
That is my understanding too.
  #115  
Old 05-18-2017, 04:40 PM
Sternvogel Sternvogel is offline
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Zapruder was the first name that came to mind when I saw the thread title. I subsequently thought of Laura Keene, who certainly sought (and achieved) some measure of fame as an actress, but made the history books because she happened to be starring in Our American Cousin at Ford's Theater on the night Abraham Lincon was assassinated.
  #116  
Old 05-18-2017, 06:14 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post

William Hung (American Idol "She Bangs")
Going on american idol hardly qualifies as accidental fame.

Many involved in questionable police shootings in recent years probably qualify and are rallying cries for many recent civil rights protests.
  #117  
Old 05-19-2017, 01:46 AM
eschereal eschereal is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drachillix View Post
Many involved in questionable police shootings in recent years probably qualify and are rallying cries for many recent civil rights protests.
from the OP:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
… And for this thread, I'm also somewhat arbitrarily excluding Rodney King, Treyvon Martin, and other people involved in controversial violent crime/police encounters. Not because I don't think they fit, but because I don't want the thread to just turn into another rehashing of a hot-button topic.…
  #118  
Old 05-19-2017, 05:20 AM
Scougs Scougs is offline
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My first thought on reading the OP was John Smeaton. He's probably not famous outside Scotland now, but for a week in July 2007 he was known internationally.

He went to work one morning as a baggage handler at Glasgow Airport. He heard explosions, saw a vehicle on fire trying to ram the terminal building, ran towards it and kicked a terrorist in the balls.

By that evening interviews with him describing how Glasgow reacts to terrorists ("We'll set about ye") was on every international news channel.

So, for the spirit of the OP in terms of utterly mundane existence to international celebrity in the blink of an eye, I think it fits.
  #119  
Old 05-19-2017, 06:07 AM
up_the_junction up_the_junction is offline
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obv. a researcher or scientist .. Issac Newton, Einstein, etc.
  #120  
Old 05-19-2017, 10:08 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by up_the_junction View Post
obv. a researcher or scientist .. Issac Newton, Einstein, etc.
How is their fame accidental? It's the absolutely predictable outcome of their hard work.
  #121  
Old 05-19-2017, 12:55 PM
up_the_junction up_the_junction is offline
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No, it was sparks of genius, revelatory moments: you don't work hard expecting to twig weird stuff like gravity or the 4th dimension.
  #122  
Old 05-19-2017, 02:43 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by up_the_junction View Post
No, it was sparks of genius, revelatory moments: you don't work hard expecting to twig weird stuff like gravity or the 4th dimension.
Obviously this is just a semantic dispute, but I don't agree with this at all.

My father is a scientist. He's reasonably successful in his chosen field, and has a few times in his career shown up on TV and on newspapers discussing discoveries he (or projects he has worked on) have made.

I suppose it's possible that he might be involved in some research which ended up leading to the rare scientific discovery that really catches the public eye, and he might become well known because of that. He's certainly not seeking that or angling for that, but one can imagine it happening. And if that did happen, it would be ridiculous and insulting to say that he had become well known "by accident".

And sure, there's en element of right-place-right-time in just about any important scientific discovery. But the same is true of just about anything. Do we claim that J K Rowling is only famous "by accident" because she happened to be lucky enough to hit the zeitgeist in accidentally the perfect moment for the Harry Potter books to be runaway successes? Do we say that Bill Gates is only rich "by accident" because he happened to be lucky enough to be at the right time and place to make a deal with IBM to write the OS for their new PC? Of course not.
  #123  
Old 05-19-2017, 03:21 PM
eschereal eschereal is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
I suppose it's possible that he might be involved in some research which ended up leading to the rare scientific discovery that really catches the public eye, and he might become well known because of that. He's certainly not seeking that or angling for that, but one can imagine it happening. And if that did happen, it would be ridiculous and insulting to say that he had become well known "by accident".
Well, not really, though. I mean, look at this guy. Started out as a major fuck-up, kind of coasted through college, then, by accident, he discovered one of the most useful tools in history, and almost everybody has heard of him, whether or not they can spell his name right.

Some non-trivial fraction of scientific and technological advancements have an unexpected point of inflection. Probably even fire.
  #124  
Old 05-19-2017, 03:52 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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What guy? Your link doesn't work.

Why not just post his damned name?



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  #125  
Old 05-19-2017, 04:38 PM
ftg ftg is offline
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Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
What guy? Your link doesn't work.

Why not just post his damned name?
Works for me. Name: Wilhelm Röntgen. (And if that doesn't display right for you, you need to get some better software. In particular, something that doesn't have that inane tapatalk signature.)
  #126  
Old 05-19-2017, 06:16 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
Some non-trivial fraction of scientific and technological advancements have an unexpected point of inflection. Probably even fire.
Sure. And I think we're getting into agree-to-disagree territory here, but I still see a MASSIVE gulf between Abraham Zapruder, and the extent to which it was a total accident that he ended up recording one of the most viewed bits of film in American history, and any of dozens or hundreds of scientists whose discoveries or adventures were to some extent due to a fluke. The guy who invented the microwave oven may have just gotten lucky to notice that a chocolate bar near some experimental apparatus was melting, but it still took an enormous amount of imagination and engineering know-how to turn that into a functional consumer product. Alexander Fleming may have gotten "lucky" to discover penicillin, but it still took plenty of work and expertise to go from "hey, this mold from my fruit seems to do something" to a practical medicine that can be administered to human beings.
  #127  
Old 05-19-2017, 07:40 PM
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Jessica McClure was very accidentally famous for awhile. .
The Australian version of this, Stuart Diver
  #128  
Old 05-19-2017, 07:49 PM
purplehearingaid purplehearingaid is offline
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http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-f...where-35482537
Noel Santillan , the guy who got lost b/c of his confused GPS
  #129  
Old 05-19-2017, 10:46 PM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
There are very few artists who became famous posthumously by name and who weren't trying to become recognized humously.
Henry Darger?
  #130  
Old 05-19-2017, 11:21 PM
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Why?
Because Christopher Columbus was trying to find India and accidentally bumped into a few islands in the Caribbean.
  #131  
Old 05-20-2017, 09:49 AM
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If I could bring back the person in history who would probably be most amazed at their level of fame, Anne Frank would be second on the list First place would go to Vincent Van Gough (and I'd take him to a Don McLean concert!). Third would be William Shakespeare, who would be jaw dropping astonished that his plays are still being performed.
  #132  
Old 05-20-2017, 11:52 AM
eschereal eschereal is online now
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What guy? Your link doesn't work.
That is actually nerdily hilarious. Tapatalk is escaping the escape code, making the url invalid. What a piece of junk. Even a blah browser is handier for forums than that thing.
  #133  
Old 05-20-2017, 12:24 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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That is actually nerdily hilarious. Tapatalk is escaping the escape code, making the url invalid. What a piece of junk. Even a blah browser is handier for forums than that thing.
And that is why I keep the shitty Tapatalk signature at the bottom of my Tapatalk posts.

My spelling, grammar and punctuation (editing) can be problematic on a phone. As can linkage to other sites, as I find out now apparently.

Last edited by Leaffan; 05-20-2017 at 12:25 PM.
  #134  
Old 05-20-2017, 09:17 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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How about Saint Valentine? From what little I know about him, I think he'd be astonished at what happens every February 14.
  #135  
Old 05-21-2017, 09:44 AM
PunditLisa PunditLisa is offline
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Pontius Pilate. Here's some random civil servant just doing his job for the state. Fast forward 2000+ years and everyone still knows who he is. Heck, he's in the Nicene Creed, spoken by billions of people throughout the ages.
  #136  
Old 05-21-2017, 10:21 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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I think I would win if it was head to head polling of people selected purely at random and you asked how many people who tell you who Stars Wars Kid was vs Anne Frank.
I really, really do not think so. Not a chance in hell. I bet the majority of my friends and none of my older relatives know who that is. I only have the vaguest memory of him.

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  #137  
Old 05-21-2017, 10:23 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by PunditLisa View Post
Pontius Pilate. Here's some random civil servant just doing his job for the state. Fast forward 2000+ years and everyone still knows who he is. Heck, he's in the Nicene Creed, spoken by billions of people throughout the ages.
I dunno. I feel like he's in a somewhat different category. He was the prefect of Judea, which I assume is approximately similar to being a governor. So it's not like he just just joe sixpack in his day.
  #138  
Old 05-21-2017, 11:46 AM
Riemann Riemann is offline
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Because Christopher Columbus was trying to find India and accidentally bumped into a few islands in the Caribbean.
I don't think this really satisfies the OP's intent. CC set out to become famous for reaching one continent, and through an inadequate appreciation of global geography became famous for reaching another.

We might equally well argue that Hitler qualifies (Godwin!) because he set out to become famous for winning the Second World War, but ended up being famous for losing it.
  #139  
Old 05-21-2017, 07:44 PM
Mallard Mallard is offline
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Lorne Grabher He supposedly had an "offensive" personalized licence plate.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/grabher...ourt-1.3356618
  #140  
Old 05-21-2017, 08:36 PM
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Ignoring your restrictions on "waking up and suddenly becoming famous", the best accidentally-famous people are almost all hereditary royalty. They did not seek the fame associated with their posts; they had it thrust on them as an accident of birth. They didn't, in general, suddenly become famous unless it was something they actively sought though.

As for an actual contribution: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Dreyfus - this was a pretty big deal, and the guy did nothing to deserve all the attention. Famous for Emile Zola's "J'accuse" headline at the least.
  #141  
Old 05-21-2017, 09:02 PM
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How is their fame accidental? It's the absolutely predictable outcome of their hard work.
The vast majority of researchers do their work in the mostly-anonymity of the research community; the most prolific could maybe hope to become vaguely-known names within their broader field, simply because their names are attached to so many research papers their fellow academics are marinating in, but being the biggest name in bioinformatics (a huge umbrella field, and one that actually gets grants) hardly translates to your name getting a second glance in academic computer science, let alone anywhere in industry. Einstein's fame was earned, certainly, but there are other figures from the 20th Century who did great things and who are much less famous, such as John von Neumann.

Newton is history book famous, in that his works are so foundational he gets mentioned as a big figure in the history of science portion of the world history classes we all sit through in high school and grade school. That's retroactive, by definition: You can't be in history books until you're history, one way or another, and most people achieve that long postmortem.
  #142  
Old 05-21-2017, 09:31 PM
It's Not Rocket Surgery! It's Not Rocket Surgery! is offline
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Not mentioned yet, unless I missed them:

Louise Brown

Barney Clark

Baby Fae
  #143  
Old 05-21-2017, 09:36 PM
drewder drewder is offline
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Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr
  #144  
Old 05-21-2017, 09:51 PM
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Jeanne Calment
  #145  
Old 05-22-2017, 07:42 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangosteen View Post
"The Tank man himself might be unaware of these photos."

The Tank man is unlikely to know of the photos because he is probably dead.
The Onion published a picture of him standing in front of the tank, with just the caption:

"Stirring symbol of humanity difficult to remove from tank treads"
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