How Abe Lincoln Failed and Failed...Before He Succeeded

Update: thanks to astute commenter Baby Friday, apparently a few of these items are bogus. Snopes has a great writeup on this list, categorizing it as a "mixture of accurate and inaccurate information." Anyway, check out both the list and the Snopes writeup for a complete picture of Lincoln's travails (which were many, though perhaps not that many).

My friend Will Maier found a gem: a list of the failures Abraham Lincoln suffered before he finally achieved the presidency in 1860. (To be fair, there are a few successes in there, but items like "SWEETHEART DIED" and "DEFEATED FOR CONGRESS" seem particularly biting). It's humbling, and indeed offers us something to think about when a personal setback seems insurmountable: if Lincoln didn't admit defeat, why should you? From Will's blog:

I found this page in an old sales manual that belonged to my Grandfather. I feel it says something about how, in America, it is often difficult to imagine some of our successful heroes ever having been 'mere mortals' like ourselves. I think it's good to remind ourselves that it often takes years of failure before people experience success.

"Never Admit Defeat"

What Koalas and Humans Have in Common

There's something strange about koala fingerprints. Read more bizarre koala facts here.

Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead

Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.

As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.

In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.

[h/t Thrillist]


More from mental floss studios