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People Share The Most Interesting Domino Effects In History

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History buffs - and 80's music fans - will happily tell you one thing leads to another. Life is full of domino effects that take us through things you might never expect.


Reddit user Smallchimp asked:

What are the most interesting domino effects in history?

So, first thing's first - there's a lot of booty involved in changing the course of history. We're going to talk about ancient Roman butt, donkey butt, and Kim Kardashian's butt. Secondly, the butterfly effect isn't really the sort of thing we put much thought into before - but this thread might just be enough to make us into believers.

How else do you explain a little food cart in Tunisia basically leading to ISIS?

From Star Trek To Obama

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Star Trek: Voyager was not as well received as previous Star Trek series. In 1997, producers decided to add a new character in an attempt to boost ratings. Actress Jeri Ryan was brought in to play Seven of Nine. Jeri's frequent separations from her husband, Jack Ryan, due to her acting schedule contributed to their decision to divorce in 1999.

In 2004, Jack Ryan became the Republican nominee for an open Senate seat in Illinois. During the campaign, the proceedings from Ryan's divorce became public, and contained details of his sex life that did not make him look good.

The scandal forced Ryan to drop out of the Senate race in July, leaving the GOP time to only find token opposition to Democratic nominee Barack Obama. Obama's landslide victory in the Senate race helped launch him onto the national stage, allowing him to pull off an upset victory in the 2008 Democratic primary and win the presidential election.

- IAmNotScottBakula

Howard The Duck Leads To Pixar

George Lucas really wanted to make a Howard the Duck movie, and after Return of the Jedi, he had the pull to do it. But, Howard the Duck lost George Lucas so much money that he had to sell the animation part of Lucasfilm.

He sold it to Steve Jobs, and it later became Pixar.

- jpterodactyl

The Butt That Killed Ten Thousand Jews

From Wikipedia, this is probably my favorite 'That escalated quickly':

"In 80 AD, Flavius Josephus recorded the first known incident of mooning. Josephus recorded that in the procuratorship of Ventidius Cumanus (48-52 AD), at around the beginning of the First Roman-Jewish War, a soldier in the Roman Army mooned Jewish pilgrims at the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem who had gathered for Passover, and "spake such words as you might expect upon such a posture" causing a riot in which youths threw stones at the soldiers, who then called in reinforcements—the pilgrims panicked, and the ensuing stampede resulted in the death of ten thousand Jews."

- Judas_Black

Fear Created The Simpsons

Matt Groening's comic Life in Hell caught the attention of James L. Brooks, who wanted to adapt it as a short for the Tracey Ullman show. Groening was afraid of losing the rights to his characters and that the show would fail and take down his comic he pitched a new idea. While waiting in lobby of James L. Brooks' office he came up with the idea for The Simpsons and quickly sketched the family out and pitched that instead.

As we all know The Simpsons became a huge success and has been going on for more than 30 years and is the longest-running American prime time, scripted television series with over 662 episodes and many Emmy awards. It never would have happened if Groening hadn't been afraid.

- -eDgAR-

Roman Donkey Butts In Space

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That the width of the rump of an ancient Roman mule determined the size of the space shuttle.

- GeddyLeesThumbs

A wagon's wheelspan was selected to fit in tracks made by two mules harnessed in what wagon

When cars came about, their wheelspan was selected to fit those tracks too

A trains wheelspan is the same as car's wheelspan at the time, so tunnels and tracks were built to fit that.

Shuttle components size was limited by size of railway tunnel. Specifically the shuttle engines, as far as I remember. Originally engines were wider, but it was hard to deliver them between assembly sites, so they were scaled down to fit railways - which were made that size because of ancient Roman donkey butts.

- krypt_lynx

Runny Ink Leads To Reagan

In the early 20th century there was an issue of humidity in printing press rooms causing the ink to run. A man named William Carrier invented a dehumidifier to suck the moisture out of the air, and it worked. The ink dried faster and stayed dry, and as an unseen side effect it kept the rooms cooler too. Thus the precursor to the modern air conditioner was inadvertently invented.

At first it was only used for industrial purposes and it wasn't until after WW2 that smaller units were manufactured and made readily available to the public. This led to a huge migration of city-dwelling folks from the north to more rural areas. Conservatives retirees were settling in the south without having to worry about discomfort from the heat and/or heat related injuries for the elderly. This caused a huge shift in electoral college votes from north to south.

Another side effect of air conditioning happened when it started being put in movie theaters. Before, being crammed in a room with a bunch of other sweaty people to watch a movie just wasn't enjoyable. Once theaters could be cooled, it became way more popular to go to when it was sweltering hot outside. Thus, the summer blockbuster.

Movies became not only a device for entertainment but also a way for pop culture to shift the political climate. During the Vietnam war there weren't very many pro military movies since the general population was pretty much against the war. It wasn't until George Lucas came out with the Star Wars trilogy that people were able to enjoy heroic stories of battle and triumphing over evil.

It was around the 2nd Star Wars movie that a man named Ronald Reagan was campaigning his plans to on how to deal with the "evil empire" known as the Soviet Union. The democrats in an attempt to make his missile defense plan sound silly dubbed it "Star Wars." This had the opposite effect because people thought it sounded cool. People also resonated with the rebels trying to overthrow and oppressive government the same way that Ronald Reagan was taking on Big Government in America. In 1980 Ronald Reagan was elected president.

So the in an effort to keep ink smearing on the pages of newspapers in the printing press room, it set off a domino effect that led to Ronald Reagan being elected 40th president of the United States.

- Sir_Thomas_Noble

An Unusual Bargain Leads To An Empire

When Margaret Beaufort was a baby, the king promised her father that, should something bad happen to him, she could inherit her father's wealth if he would fight in an upcoming battle. He fought and was taken prisoner and died. Margaret got that fortune and was determined it would pass through her lineage.

A few decades later, King Richard passed a new law that said a woman's wealth passed to her husband, not her descendant. Margaret was, by this time, on her third husband, and had an only son by a previous marriage. The thought of her husband inheriting her fathers legacy instead of her son pissed Margaret off.

Margaret was a lady-in-waiting and that gave her access to a lot of information, which she used expertly. She started conspiring with Elizabeth Woodville, mother to the princes in the tower. They conspired to overthrow the king, making a deal that Margaret's son and Elizabeth's daughter would marry. They gathered support, passed on secrets and that led to Margaret's son, Henry Tudor, killing king Richard and establishing the Tudor Dynasty. That eventually lead to the British monarchy being stable enough that they focused on other things like exploration, colonization, trade, etc.

An unusual bargain for a woman to inherit wealth led to Britain becoming a world power.

- cingalls

A Food Cart Leads To ISIS

26 year old Mohamed Bouazizi from Tunisia had been the sole income earner in his extended family of eight. He operated a food cart for seven years in Sidi Bouzid, 300 kilometres south of Tunis. On 17 December 2010, a female officer confiscated his cart and produce.

A humiliated Bouazizi went to the provincial headquarters in an attempt to complain to local municipality officials and to have his produce returned. He was refused an audience. Within an hour of the initial confrontation, Bouazizi returned to the headquarters, doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself on fire. Public outrage quickly grew over the incident, leading to protests.

This immolation, and the subsequent heavy-handed response by the police to peaceful marchers, provoked riots the next day in Sidi Bouzid. In an attempt to quell the unrest, President Ben Ali visited Bouazizi in hospital on 28 December. Bouazizi died on 4 January 2011.

This act became a catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and the wider Arab Spring protests.

Which led to:

  • Syrian Civil War
  • Iraqi Insurgency
  • The Egyptian Crisis
  • Yemeni Civil War
  • Libyan Civil War (including the fall of Gaddafi)
  • The refugee crisis
  • major unrest in the middle east, proxy wars, power vacuums
  • the rise of ISIS
  • frequent terrorist attacks globally
  • the rise in popularity of right wing politicians in Europe
  • the rise of Erdogan in Turkey
  • the election of Trump
  • Brexit and all that brings.

So they should have left Mohamed Bouazizi alone. Stay tuned for more.

- HacksawJimDGN

A Literal Domino Effect

Domino's pressuring drivers to deliver pizza in 30 minutes or less led to driver's crashing and them suing Domino's which then removed the 30 minutes or less tag.

- B__Malz

The Buffalo Bills Gave Us Kim Kardashian

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The Buffalo Bills having a bad season is responsible for the fame of the Kardashians. Basically it boils down like this:

The Bills had a terrible season in 1970. This allowed them the 1st overall pick in 1971, in which they drafted O.J. Simpson. O.J. met his wife, Nicole Brown, while in Buffalo and then allegedly killed her.

When things went down, O.J. hired Robert Kardashian to be his lawyer. They won the case, and the Kardashian name became somewhat famous. Kris Kardashian rode that mild fame through her divorce, into her marriage to Bruce Jenner (thus becoming Kris Jenner) and when Kim grew up, she dropped an infamous sex tape.

That sex tape wouldn't have been such a big deal if she hadn't already been semi-noteworthy (although Ray J also had something to do with that fame). So yeah basically the Bills being awful are the reason we have to suffer with the Kardashians. If they hadn't drafted OJ, he wouldn't have met Nicole and Robert Kardashian would be just another lawyer in NY.

- bighairyyak

Westend61/Getty Images

When you're a kid most adults will tell you one thing or another is "cool" and "fun." Odds are you're too young to form any kind of opinion on the matter one way or another. You're a kid, right? You don't know what you're eating for breakfast. However, when you get older and form that larger worldview, you realize that yeah, maybe that one time when you were a kid actually wasn't fun.

These are those stories.

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