Geniuses & cranks

A famous psychiatrist Cesare Lombroso assert that genius and insanity go together. Some famous people – writers, musicians, philosophers, had their vagaries, which are not well-known, but could seem funny, interesting and sometimes scaring.
For example, a German composer Robert Schumann began to suffer from insanity bouts at the age of 4 years, and at the age of 46 he lost his mind. He was followed by talking tables and he saw the sounds that later were formed into the chords and musical phrases. Well, it was for a good cause.
An English writer James Harrington imagined that his thoughts flew out of his mouth in the form of bees and birds, and he used to clutch his broom to drive them away. As you can guess that looked pretty strange.
It seemed to an Italian philosopher Gerolamo Cardano that he was spied by the government, and the meat, that he ate during the official events was impregnated with wax and sulfur. His delirium-of-persecution-mate was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was sure that Italians wanted to poison him.
Vincent van Gogh couldn’t stop painting all days long, drinking unlimited amount of absinth. A famous fact is that he cut off his left ear and wrote a self-portrait in that way, and at the age of 37 he committed suicide. A sad end, actually.
Geniuses are often very unusual in their habits and eccentricities. For example, Friedrich Schiller, a German poet, philosopher and historian, could create only when there were some rotten apples on his desk. An Austrian composer, Joseph Haydn couldn’t work without his ring with a diamond: he was staring at it every moment. Richard Wagner liked to put bright pieces of silk on his chairs and sofas during composing. He trifled with them waiting for inspiration. To work better Emile Francois Zola, a French writer, used to bind himself to his chair, and Charlotte Bronte couldn’t stop peeling potatoes while creating her novels. I hope someone ate all these potatoes piles.
Isaac Newton was constantly deep in his thoughts. Once he decided to boil an egg. He took his watch to clock, and some minutes later he realized he was boiling his watch, holding an egg in his hand. He used to forget to eat ( he could do it twice without batting an eyelid) or to dress himself before going outside.
Some brilliant geniuses had some odd rules they followed all life long. For example, Pythagoras created two main articles of his faith: he believed in transmigration of souls and he also thought beans meant evil. Yes, our usual beans. So, his mad directives were as follows: upon any excuse not to eat beans; to smooth out all wrinkles on the pillow and the bed; not to sleep across the bed; not to walk along the highway; not to let swallows nest under the roof.
Tyge Brahe, a Danish astronomer, was sure that nothing should be ideal. During his feasts a dwarf was sitting at the dinner table with the other dolled-up guests, just keeping silence.

A Serbian engineer Nikola Tesla suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder. He was afraid to touch any object which was covered with dust. Moreover Tesla avoided everything round. Then, before entering any building, he used to turn it round three times. If he had to stay at the hotel, he demanded a room which number could be divided by three, like 18 or 27. One more crank was that Nikola always used 18 napkins: he made three piles of 6 napkins.
Well as you see, many famous people had their own kinks. So, do you have some? If yes, my congratulations, you must be a man of genius!

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