Sure, sure. Cardano was a great mathematician
. I mean, even da Vinci
consulted with him on matters of geometry
. But he was, um, more interesting
First, he didn't just 'love' to gamble. This guy was a Vegas dealer's wet dream... smart enough to understand probability and know when to quit, but dumb enough to just keep gambling anyway. Supposedly, he once slashed a man three times in the face when he thought he was being cheated.
Next : he was invited to the court of John Andrews, the Archbishop of St. Andrews. After staying with him for two months, he claimed that he had healed the good Archbishop of consumption. From then on, he proclaimed his boundless healing talents. It's not known whether the good Archbishop had consumption or not - some accounts say he had asthma, some say he had a simple fever, some say he was never sick at all. Either way, Cardano went on, preaching his mad doctoring skillz.
He loved astronomy - he gave King Edward VI a very favorable forecast for the coming year (which Edward then rudely refuted by dying after a few months). He published horoscopes for Christ and Martin Luther (except he deliberately monkeyed with Luther's birthdate to give him a very, very negative prediction).
He wrote a book expounding on the merit and virtues of Emperor Nero, apparently portraying the crazed sonofabitch as 'good people'. The Church didn't take too kindly of this, seeing as how Nero was the great tormentor of the martyrs and all, and Cardano was jailed for heresy.
And, finally, Cardano successfully predicted the day of his own death. Too bad he fulfilled it by committing suicide.