Tycho Brahe: The physicist who died of being too polite

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Nobody likes to be rude. But some take it much further than others, going to great lengths to avoid annoying others. Tycho Brahe, however, went a step too far and ultimately died because he did not want to breach etiquette. 

Personally AND as an etiquette consultant, I believe you should stand up for yourself when boundaries have crossed. 

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On October 13, 1601, Tycho Brahe attended a banquet. During the meal he found himself in need of the toilet, but as to leave the table wold have been rude, he stayed. On returning home he found himself no longer able to urinate—this, then likely caused his bladder to burst, killing him.

Brahe was gifted an island and titles by the Danish king (I’m assuming King Christian III because of the time he ruled), and on this island he built a castle dedicated to the arts and sciences in which he manufactured a great many scientific instruments, and it became a hub of learning and experimentation.

tycho brahe fun facts

He created catalogs of the stars and huge sets of data that were referred to for years to come in the blooming scientific revolution. His work became a standard for empiricism and precise, objective scientific measurement. Beyond this, he also discovered supernovas and was able to prove that the stars are much farther away from Earth than was previously thought.

By all accounts, Tycho Brahe was a character. Tales of his antics could fill volumes of their own, and his revelry was renowned. In his university days he quarreled with another student (supposedly over a mathematical formula), which resulted in a sword duel between the two of them. He was scarred on the forehead and lost the end of his nose. He wore a fake brass one of the remainder of his life.

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Gia G. Dixon
Gia G. Dixon

I’m Gia G. Dixon, an etiquette consultant certified under Royal Charter of King Charles III. Here is my guide to elegant style, high quality living, and little things that make your daily life glamorous.

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