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youthful endeavour
November 7, 2003 10:44 PM   Subscribe

Things other people accomplished when they were your age. Well nobody likes a smarty dick.
posted by johnny7 (32 comments total)

 
I love these things. They make me feel so inept!

American novelist Herman Melville jumped ship and spent a month as the captive of a cannibal tribe. This became the source of his novel Typee.

What a guy.

Jack London went to the Klondike with the first rush of gold-seekers, returning home a year later as poor as when he had left.

Ummm.

John Dillinger robbed a grocery store, was caught and spent 9 years in prison. He later became "public enemy number one," before being gunned down by the FBI.

Hey..

Robert Browning publishes his first poetry; it is poorly received.

Alfred Tennyson publishes his first poetry; it is poorly received.


So...

College dropout Steven Jobs co-founded Apple Computer.

Hmm. Ok, I have a few good years left before I have to hit the bottle.
posted by The God Complex at 10:47 PM on November 7, 2003


TGC: Why wait?
posted by spazzm at 10:58 PM on November 7, 2003


"It is a sobering thought, for example, that when Mozart was my age he had been dead for two years." --Tom Lehrer (at age 37)
posted by RavinDave at 11:00 PM on November 7, 2003


I admit it: I ignored all the good ones. Still, if failed roberies qualify as "doing something," then surely all hope is not lost yet.

spazzm: Good point.
posted by The God Complex at 11:00 PM on November 7, 2003


Alexander the Great will probably have it up on just about anyone who's alive or will ever be born to history. Bit o' trivia for any of you history fans out there -- when Julius Caesar turned 18, he wept for much of the day. When his father asked him what the problem was, Julius replied that Alexander the Great had done so much by 18, and here poor Julius was and he hadn't accomplished anything.

Puts things in perspective, I guess.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:46 AM on November 8, 2003


At age 45:

Earl Vickers created a program for displaying things other people accomplished when they were your age.


hehhe-hee
posted by RavinDave at 2:32 AM on November 8, 2003


At my age:

Jim Bakker, former PTL minister, was convicted of fraudulently raising $158 million in contributions.

I guess I haven't fared too poorly.
posted by SteveInMaine at 4:23 AM on November 8, 2003


I guess I haven't fared too poorly.

You raised $175 million?
posted by LeLiLo at 4:34 AM on November 8, 2003


You raised $175 million?

No, but the operative word is "fraudulently."
posted by SteveInMaine at 4:51 AM on November 8, 2003


No, but the operative word is "fraudulently."

So they haven't caught you yet? ;)
posted by slater at 4:58 AM on November 8, 2003


At age 16: Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti had his first arrest and exile.

Exiled at age 16? Shit, I better get started.
posted by thebabelfish at 6:26 AM on November 8, 2003


Alexander the Great conquered almost the entire known world.

So I'm close! All I have to do is conquer the entire known world before next September, and I'm back on top!
posted by ook at 6:46 AM on November 8, 2003


This has been a debate my wife and I have been having. Are these sorts of accomplishments even possible in our modern society? If you think about it, childhood has been extended into your late 20's/early 30's. I am 25 and I have five years left of school.
posted by Quartermass at 7:11 AM on November 8, 2003


At age 33:

Vaudeville performer Walter Nilsson rode across the United States on an 8 1/2 foot unicycle.

Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh and 80 others die after cult members set fire to their compound.


Oh, the decisions I'm going to have to make this year...
posted by Guy Smiley at 8:12 AM on November 8, 2003


At age 0: Before he was one year old, Leonard Bernstein played his first piano note. He appeared to enjoy the note very much.

ROFL!

This is the most depressing, enjoyable thing I've read in ages. Thanks for the link. I mean; I hate you!
posted by dazed_one at 8:39 AM on November 8, 2003


quatermass - what does school have to do with it? do you think being "at school" would have made browning stop writing poetry? more likely, you're just like the vast majority of us - mediocre, never likely to do anything that will be remembered... the sooner you admit it, the sooner you can relax and enjoy yourself ;o)
posted by andrew cooke at 9:01 AM on November 8, 2003


Well, all of these achievements are as nothing next to my achievement, the invention of a new type of unspecified thing which I can't tell you about. Were the details to be made public it could spell doom for us all.
posted by mokey at 9:42 AM on November 8, 2003


Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh and 80 others die after cult members set fire to their compound.

Are you fucking kidding me? That's what it says? How quickly we forget that the FBI might have been complicit.

</hijack>
posted by taumeson at 9:47 AM on November 8, 2003


Quartermass -- You can always take up painting. Though you'll probably have to settle with being a unappreciated genius in your time.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:17 AM on November 8, 2003


>Nuclear plant lab tech Karen Silkwood died in a car crash

Well, I'm off to drive recklessly.
posted by skallas at 10:20 AM on November 8, 2003


At age 36:

Barthelemy Thimmonier developed the world's first practical sewing machine.

Walter Hunt devised a modern sewing machine.


If a sewing machine is practical at the time it's developed, doesn't that also make it modern?

Benjamin Franklin invented the Franklin stove.

I guess it's a stroke of luck that his name was Franklin, then. Having the Franklin stove invented by a Jones or Smith would have been weird.

Robert Jarvik invented a pneumatically powered heart.

But it would take another 6 tries before he came up with a working pneumatically powered heart.

German chemist Friedrich August Kekule discovered the ring structure of the benzene molecule in a dream.

This discovery did not have the impact he had expected, as so few people actually required benzene while dreaming.

English navigator George Vancouver explored Vancouver island.

I can't imagine why.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:41 AM on November 8, 2003


At age 32:

Penniless and unemployed, Buckminster Fuller decided against suicide, resolving instead to live out the rest of his life as an experiment to see what one person could do to help humanity.


i'm recently unemployed, and approaching penniless. Perhaps i should attemp to use my powers for evil instead?
posted by th3ph17 at 1:00 PM on November 8, 2003


If you are 51, here's what you have to match:

Joseph Guillotin proposed a beheading machine to the French National Assembly.

The Marquis de Sade, imprisoned for much of his life, wrote the novel Justine.


In honor of my agemates, I think sharpen my kris collection and thumb through my extensive collection of French S&M.
posted by kozad at 1:14 PM on November 8, 2003


Legendary womanizer and adventurer Casanova was expelled from a seminary for moral misconduct.

I've missed so much.
posted by punishinglemur at 4:11 PM on November 8, 2003


"Satchel" Paige became the first black pitcher in the American League.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the oldest NBA regular player.

Tennis player Bill Raskam became Renee Richards and registered for the U.S. Women's Tennis championships.

Junk bond promoter Michael Milken was indicted for conspiracy, racketeering, and securities fraud.


And yet here I sit, neither black, trans-sexualed, nor an asshole. Pity.
posted by yhbc at 4:40 PM on November 8, 2003


Hank Williams overdosed on drugs and alcohol.

I knew I was right to dislike country music as much as I do.
posted by orange swan at 5:18 PM on November 8, 2003


At age 99:

Harold Mark Foster of Owensboro, KY, began learning to read.

Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mt. Fuji.


Awhile back my dad told me about a news item he'd read. A young woman wanted very much to be a flight stewardess. She applied, but was turned down. So instead she got a job at an airport, and worked there for awhile. One day she heard there were openings for flight attendants, so she applied. She got an interview, and it went so well that her interviewer asked when she wanted to start flight attendant school. She began classes on her sixty-ninth birthday. Her classmates were all 21 or so, but they all called her Nanna and she was everyone's confidante. Now she's 72 and still flying, and loving it.

No need to panic over not having accomplished much. It's not a competition, and lots of things aren't time-limited.
posted by orange swan at 5:26 PM on November 8, 2003


English navigator George Vancouver explored Vancouver island.

I can't imagine why.


It's lovely here, you douche bag!
posted by The God Complex at 8:41 PM on November 8, 2003


Skallas, you can't just drive recklessly to emulate Karen Silkwood, you have to be run off of the road by nefarious agents of a corrupt company. Something to avoid, really.

At age 37:
Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield, considered to be his greatest work.


I'm working on my third novel right now. I'll probably finish it (in final draft form) after I turn 37. It is, if I do say so myself, the best thing I've ever written.

The coincidence is downright spooky.
posted by Dreama at 5:00 AM on November 9, 2003


At age 0: By eight weeks of age, Christian Friedrich Heinecken was speaking intelligible German. Many children can't even speak English at that age.

At age 1: By this age, Christian Friedrich Heinecken had read the Pentateuch.

At age 3: Christian Friedrich Heinecken could read German, French and Latin (though not English) and was a student of history and geography. A year later, he correctly predicted his imminent demise.

You can start too early.

At age 12: Isaac Merrit Singer, inventor of the sewing machine, left home to become an itinerant machinist.

At age 15: Baker's apprentice Hanson Crockett Gregory invented the first ring doughnuts by knocking the center out of a fried doughnut.

At age 18: Elias Howe, who worked in a watchmaking shop, dreamed the idea of the sewing machine and worked on developing it for the next five years.

At age 22: Caresse Crosby became the first person to patent a brassiere, which was made of two handkerchiefs and ribbon sewn together.

At age 36: Barthelemy Thimmonier developed the world's first practical sewing machine.

At age 38: French physician Rene Theophile Hyacinthe Laennec invented the stethoscope as a way to avoid having to place the physician's ear to the female patient's breast.


Defeat is an orphan but the sewing machine has many fathers.
posted by y2karl at 9:00 AM on November 9, 2003


I think it's better for general mental health to start with the 90 year olds and work your way down. I'd rather think of Burt Mustin starring in his first film at 67, than Mozart writing a piano sonata at age 4.
posted by RavinDave at 9:12 AM on November 9, 2003


At age 30, Bill Gates was a billionaire.

At age 30, I'm nowhere close.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:20 PM on November 9, 2003


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