9 Questions to Ask Influential Figures of the Past Over Coffee

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What question would you ask influential figures throughout history? I guess it depends on the person, the period they came from, and the influence they had. Recently, a group of people in a well-known forum pondered this exact question and have plenty to say.

1. Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin in rupee note
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Maybe the most visible founding father after Washington (who would surely be fuming he didn’t get that hundred-dollar bill), Benjamin Franklin’s reputation as a flirt and alleged womanizer intrigues our first respondent, who would simply inquire whether he was a player, as history suggests.

2. A Squire From the Middle Ages

Squire
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Others look to the past, pondering what people from the Middle Ages would think of living by today’s standards. One poster says they would invite a prominent squire from the period in for a coffee in their modem, insulated home, asking them what they think of the future. Did it meet their expectations?

3. Cleopatra

Cleopatra
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Cleopatra was the last Egyptian ruler before the Roman period, and she is remembered for her joint rule with brother Ptolemy and will always be remembered for her mythical presence. A thread poster would ask Cleopatra how she ruled over her empire with such elegance and poise. For all the grandiose questions historians might ask the Queen of the Nile, I suspect most people would want to know about bathing in milk.

4. Marie Curie

Mr and Mrs Curie in their laboratory
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The Nobel Prize laureate who discovered polonium and radium gave so much to the world, eventually succumbing to the many years of radiation exposure. Her work was instrumental in cancer treatments, prolonging the lives of many. One observer would sit her down, pour a coffee, and ask her about all her career struggles.

5. Kurt Cobain

Closeup of rolling stone magazin cover with portrait of Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain in the 90s (focus on center)
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A child of the ‘90s chooses their rock hero, Kurt Cobain, Nirvana’s troubled yet talented frontman. They would ask how he is doing and whether he has found peace. Sadly, we lost him in 1994 to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Thinking of all the unwritten songs we missed as a consequence of his death is still something many consider.

6. Agrippina the Younger

Agrippina the younger, wife of the emperor Claudius
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Not many realize there was a Roman empress for five years. Agrippina the Younger was Germanicus’ daughter and sister to the feared Caligula. After his death, Agrippina married her uncle, Claudius, which, believe it or not, was the norm in Roman times. A history buff would love to ask Agrippina how she is doing and (for reasons unknown) invite her on a hike.

7. Joe Strummer

Clash and Clash books
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One of the icons of British punk rock music, Joe Strummer, influenced millions of young wannabe rock stars with his message of defiant anti-corporatism and personal freedom. A fan shares how he would ask the late Clash frontman how life was out of the public eye and how it compared to being a punk rock pioneer.

8. Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci wax figure
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There are so many artists to choose from, so why not choose the most influential? Leonardo was more than just an artist: he invented numerous flying machines, including the parachute; he also designed an armored car, scuba gear, and a revolving bridge. A design student would offer the great man his best coffee and ask about his creative process — hopefully, he can understand Latin.

9. George Orwell

LONDON, UK - CIRCA SEPTEMBER 2019: George Orwell in front of BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place
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An Orwell fan would pick the brains of the greatest 20th-century thinkers, asking him about all the world’s social issues that followed his short stint on Earth. I love Orwell, too, though I would address the dystopian elephant in the room, asking, “Why did you have to invent all these mass surveillance instruments, George?” It’s as if his warnings become a blueprint for oppressive regimes everywhere — including some much closer to home than comfortable.

Source: Reddit

20 Seemingly Polite Behaviors That Are Actually Annoying

annoyed business woman at computer.
Image Credit: Nensuria and iStock

There’s a fine line between being genuinely courteous and engaging in behaviors that, while seemingly polite, are actually quite annoying. From over-apologizing to insisting on paying for everything, what’s intended as politeness can sometimes backfire, leading to discomfort or frustration.

Here are 20 behaviors that masquerade as politeness but may do more harm than good. Understanding these nuances can help navigate social situations better and maintain healthier, more authentic relationships.

Beating the Burnout Blues: 25 Smart Ways to Stay Energized at Work

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In a world where the hustle never takes a coffee break, burnout has become the party crasher of our professional lives. According to the 2021 Work and Well-being Survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 60% of workers reported suffering from adverse mental and physical effects stemming from work-related stress.

By embracing a holistic approach that interweaves physical self-care, mental resilience, and emotional intelligence, we can empower ourselves to navigate the relentless demands of our professional and personal lives with renewed vigor and a balanced perspective.

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