They Weren’t All Bad – The Ways Dictators Have Enriched Our Lives
April 7, 2011
Chairman Mao invented Sudoku
A keen mathematician and fan of logic puzzles Mao designed the game in around 1963 as a way of mentally training his elite Red Guards. The game was then adapted slightly by the Japanese publisher Nikoli in 1984 giving it the currently recognised name ‘Sudoku’ (a shortened form of the Japanese for “the digits must be single”)
Seal’s Kiss from a Rose was written by Mussolini and Stalin
Mussolini was a keen violinist in his early years and wrote many pieces for the instrument, but it was the melody from an untitled work from 1904 that the British singer Seal combined with Stalin’s 1916 Georgian poem Morning and used as a base for his 1994 hit Kiss from a Rose. He had initially intended to publicise the use of the works as a unique selling point but Sire Records advised that their influence be played down for the release of the song.
Thatcher invented Mr Whippy ice cream
Before her political career Thatcher was part of a chemical research team that discovered a way to increase the amount of air in ice-cream, therefore reducing the costs for manufacturers, and Mr Whippy was born!
The film In the Line of Fire was written by Saddam Hussein
Ayyam al-tawila, al- (the long days) is a 1980 autobiographical film of Saddam Hussein’s attempted assassination of Abd al-Karim Qasimin the script of which Jeff Maguire used as the basis for the American film In the Line of Fire, changing the setting to the US and Hussein’s hero into Mitch Leary, the villain of the piece.