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15 Lesser-Known Facts About Jeff Bezos

11. But despite his wealth and success, in 2014, Bezos was named the “World’s Worst Boss” by the ITUC, an organization with 180 million members spanning across 161 countries.

Jeff Bezos
Image credits: Jeff Bezos/Twitter

Sharan Burrow, the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), said in 2014, “Jeff Bezos represents the inhumanity of employers who are promoting the American corporate model. The message to big business is back off, you are not going to mistreat workers.”

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At the third ITUC World Congress held in Berlin in 2014, Bezos won the poll for the world’s worst boss. Eight other bosses from across the world were part of the poll where twenty thousand votes were cast. ITUC represents the interests of 180 million workers from 161 countries. (source)

12. Fond of innovation, Jeff Bezos is drilling a clock inside a mountain in West Texas. It is a “10,000 Year Clock” that will tick every year and cuckoo every 1000 years.

10000yearclock
Image credits: 10000yearclock

An icon for long-term thinking is the “10,000 Year Clock” that Jeff Bezos along with Danny Hillis has been building inside a mountain in West Texas for more than six years. Every millennium, the cuckoo will come out, the century hand will advance every 100 years and it will tick every year. It will also have a different bell-ringing sequence every day for 10,000 years.

According to Bezos, the clock is not easily accessible. It is placed almost 2,000 feet above ground with a rugged path to reach it. It also takes several hours drive to it from the nearest airport. Bezos and the crew are also creating tunnels and chambers inside the mountain which they plan to open to the public once the construction is completed. The mountain will have five rooms dedicated to the clock’s one year, ten years, 100 years, 1.000 years, and 10,000 years anniversaries. The last three rooms wouldn’t be designed by Bezos as the plan is to leave it to the future generations. The first, one-year chamber will have a clockwork model of the planets and Earth’s moon along with models of interplanetary probes launched during the 20th century. They haven’t thought of what will be in the 10-years chamber. Apart from Bezos and Hillis, several other organizations like Penguin Automated Systems, Seattle Solstice, Machinists Inc., etc., are also involved in the building of this clock. (source)

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13. Bezos has also funded a search of the Atlantic Ocean for NASA rockets. By 2013, the team had found parts of the rocket used to carry Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon on Apollo 11.

Bezos and Nasa
Bezos with NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver (fourth from left) a tour of Blue Origin’s crew capsule in 2011. Image credits: Bill Ingalls/nasa

In March 2012, Bezos gave a green signal to a secret expedition to recover the Apollo 11 engines that launched the famous astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins on the Moon. After the fuel in the Apollo 11 engines was exhausted, the engines were dropped into the Atlantic Ocean. On impact with the sea floor because of their force and height, the engines were broken into several pieces. A team funded by Bezos did recover some parts from the Atlantic Ocean in 2013, but it was difficult to ascertain whether they were parts of the Apollo 11 engines. The conservation team at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas examined the parts recovered under black light and found the number “2044” written on the thrust chambers. The number was the company Rocketdyne’s serial number that matched NASA’s serial number ”6044” for F-1 engine number five from Apollo 11. (source)

14. A fan of Star Trek, Bezos played an alien Starfleet official in the movie Star Trek Beyond in 2016. In The Simpsons, he gave his voice for his animated character.

Jeff Bezos in Star Trek
Jeff Bezos in the movie Star Trek. Image credits: Justin Lin/Twitter

Playing a character in a Star Trek movie was on Bezos’ bucket list. In the third film of the series, Star Trek Beyond, we see Bezos playing an alien Starfleet official, but he is hardly recognizable. In a blink-and-miss cameo, Bezos is seen adorned in loads of prosthetic makeup playing the role of an alien who helps a rescued spacefarer. At 13:12 in the movie, for eight seconds, Bezos is seen on the screen. All he says is, “Speak normally.”

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Always a fan of Star Trek, Amazon’s AI assistant Alexa is inspired by the computer of the Starship Enterprise who knows it all. “I said, ‘Look, I’ll put any amount of makeup on. I’ll be invisible, nobody will know it’s me. But I want a speaking part, and I want it to be in a scene that is central to the storyline so that I cannot end up on the cutting-room floor,” Bezos said about how he convinced Paramount while talking at the Pathfinder Awards banquet at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

The episode The Burns and the Bees first aired in the United States on December 7, 2008 as a part of the The Simpsons‘ twentieth season.  Bezos guest-starred as himself in the episode along with billionaire Mark Cuban and sportscaster Marv Albert. (1,2)

15. For three years in a row, Jeff Bezos appeared in Fortune’s “Fifty Great Leaders of the World.” He is the first “centi-billionaire” on the Forbes wealth index and was named “the richest man in modern history” in July 2018.

Out of three consecutive years that Jeff Bezos was on Fortune’s “Fifty Great Leaders of the World.” he topped it in 2015. His first recognition was in 1999 when Time named him “Person of the Year.” In 2018, Time named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He also holds an honorary doctorate in science and technology from Carnegie Mellon University. Bezos is also the first centi-billionaire (a person with a hundred billion dollars) on the Forbes wealth index, a title he achieved when his net worth increased to 150 billion US dollars in July 2018. He is named “the richest man in modern history.” (source)

“One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out,” Jeff Bezos.

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