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A Club For Failures

We like winners. We care about who wins the gold medal, the Oscar, the Pulitzer Prize, but what about all the people who never win? Well, we just forget about them. That’s what prompted journalist Stephen Pile to create the Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain in 1976. The organization was designed to celebrate all of those who shoot for the stars and land in the mud. To qualify for membership, you had to demonstrate your mediocrity or your “special incompetence.” At meetings, members would discuss and show off their inability to do things, and there was only one rule — absolutely no success! At the first meeting, Pile reportedly messed up big time by catching a falling soup tureen before it hit the floor. For this demonstration of ability, by his own bylaws, he had to step down from his role as club president. Over the next few years, Pile collected some of his favorite tales of failure and published them as The Book of Heroic Failures: The Handbook of the Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain. Unfortunately, Pile had included a Not Terribly Good Club membership form in the back pages. As the book’s popularity grew, so did the club, thus violating another of its bylaws. In the face of such embarrassing success, Pile had no choice but to disband the organization. You can still pick up his book for less than $1, but all you really need to do is keep failing and find someone to fail with you…….just don’t get too good at it.

The "Suicide Plant" Has the Most Painful Stingers in the World

There are plenty of plants that are to be avoided, but there’s one unforgiving plant that will make you feel pain for years. The gympie gympie plant's stinging nettles are so powerful that anyone who touches it will immediately vomit, and can literally leave you in pain for years. That’s why it has been nicknamed the “suicide plant.” The pain you will experience after touching it has been described as like being burned by hot acid and electrocuted at the same time. You don’t even have to actually touch the plant to experience its wrath. An extremely fine fuzz of poisonous needles coats the entire plant, and it sheds like a cat in the summertime. That’s what makes it disturbingly easy to get stung just by standing near one. If you're stung by the plant, you can't just pluck the needles out with tweezers because  they're too fine and too dense. One of the best solutions is to rip them all out at once with hot wax. However, be careful — if any of the hundreds of stingers stuck in your skin breaks off, you’ll be in for years of pain. So, if you're exploring the rainforest of eastern Australia, do so very carefully and avoid the gympie gympie at all cost.

Court Awards $15.6 Million For Coffee “Mug"

In 1986, model Russell Christoff posed for a 2-hour Nestle photo shoot, but figured it was a bust, since he never heard from them again ........ until he stumbled across his likeness on a jar of coffee while shopping at a drug store in 2011. Christoff filed suit against Nestle USA for using his likeness without his permission. Nestle offered Christoff $100,000, which he declined. Instead, he offered to settle for $8.5 million. When Nestle declined, the case went to court, where Christoff presented a written contract that spelled out the terms of his modeling agreement with Nestle. The court sided with Christoff, awarding him $15.6 million for unauthorized use of his likeness on Nestle's Taster's Choice coffee labels. As Christoff pointed out afterwards, Nestle should have settled for $8.5 million when they had the chance.

Mislaid Hammer Led to the Largest Roman Treasure in Britain

On November 16, 1992, a man by the name of Eric Lawes was helping out a local farmer in the village of Hoxne in Suffolk, England. The farmer had lost his hammer in a field and Lawes, who received a metal detector as a retirement gift, was called to help find it. When the detector picked up a strong signal, Lawes began digging. What he discovered was two plastic bags filled with coins and silver spoons. At that point, Lawes contacted the landowner, the police, and the Suffolk Archaeological Society to report the discovery. Archaeologists were able to excavate the remaining pieces with more care so the objects could be carefully removed under laboratory conditions, which allowed the age and best storage method for the treasure to be determined. In the end, 60 pounds of gold and silver artifacts — including approximately 15,000 Roman coins, dozens of silver spoons, and various gold objects — were removed. Incidentally, the hammer was also found. Based on the coins found within the hoard, archaeologists have estimated that the Hoxne Hoard was buried no later than 450 AD. To date, it’s the largest hoard of Roman gold and silver ever found. The British government rewarded Lawes with £1.7 million ($2.2 million).