Epicurus himself lived by this philosophy. He had a house with a nice garden outside of Athens, where anyone was invited to live a simple life with him discussing philosophy. He got by on a diet of bread and olives. If he saw your EPICURE vanity license plate on your brand-new Lexus parked at Whole Foods, he would vomit in rage. And it would smell of second-use olives, like Subway.
The Inventor Of The Diesel Engine Was A Tree-Hugging Socialist
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There's nothing in this world more closely associated with capitalism, meat-grinder warfare, and environmental pollution than the workhorse diesel engine. Though it's served many uses, from World-War-II-era Soviet tanks to the more recent VW emissions fiasco, a hell of a lot of bad has come from the engine which inventor Rudolf Diesel premiered at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris.
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The second-worst thing done by a __dolf.
Rudolf Diesel was an environmentalist and a socialist, and he actually wanted to reduce the world's dependency on fossil fuels. The diesel engine was originally designed to run on peanut oil. Some diesels can be converted to run on biofuel, but since most gargantuan pickup trucks aren't hauling ass down the interstate on the power of PBJs, you know Rudolf wouldn't be happy.
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He wanted to save the planet, but only saved men the humiliation of having to admit their junk barely exists.
Diesel also hoped that his invention would foster social equality and peace between all nations. He was an outspoken and active egalitarian internationalist, who dreamed of a world society of equal individuals. He even published a book on the subject early on. So to him, one of the main benefits of his engine was that it enabled small-time craftsmen and artisans to compete with the industry behemoths that were beginning to snuff them out. The last thing he had in mind was that the engine should power submarines and other war contraptions, as it wound up doing a mere 15 years later. And that's why Rudolph Diesel is spinning in his grave right now -- though at significantly fewer RPMs than Nikolaus Otto.
The authors would like to thank Gregory Maus for the original idea and S. Peter Davis for contributing research. Quinn Knobbe is a child who never grew up. For more of his idiotic musings, follow his Facebook here. Wes Corwin is a stand-up comedian currently residing in Memphis. You can follow him on Twitter here, or listen to his jokes on the subjects of John Henry and Delivering Bad News here.
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For more people with unfortunate legacies, check out 6 Geniuses Who Saw Their Inventions Go Terribly Wrong and 6 Geniuses Who Saw Their Inventions Turn Evil.
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