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King Maximilian II’s Daugher

King Maximilian II was concerned about a possible duel between two young men who both wanted to marry his daughter. To prevent any such fight, he had them compete for her hand with a burlap bag. The objective was accomplished after an hour of struggle, when one suitor had the other firmly enclosed in the bag.
King Maximillian II, public domain via Wikimedia Commons
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Before The First Atomic Bomb

Worst Assumption Ever

I’m not sure how this qualifies as easier, faster or better, but maybe you can make up something:

Before testing the first atomic bomb, some of the scientists working on the Manhattan Project did their best to calculate what might happen. They estimated there was a three percent chance the bomb would set the entire world’s atmosphere on fire, instantly killing us all. They went ahead and tested the bomb.

See the worst of everything: The Worst

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Making Rain

Noting that after military battles the weather frequently turns rainy, early scientists tried to recreate the effect. The cause of the rain after a battle is that droplets form around the smoke and dust particles in the air. But the early rain makers thought it was because the sky was shocked by the explosions. So they tried to make it rain by shooting cannons into the air or carrying explosives aloft in balloons. Their attempts were horrendously noisy, but mostly unsuccessful.