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#26 2015-11-21 07:18:45

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,429

Re: crème de la crème

Agnishom wrote:

What do I need to accomplish to make it to this list?

If you are asking me then I would say you should ask this question in your own new thread, then I would attempt to answer there. I try to keep comments that are not germane to a thread to a minimum.


In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

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#27 2015-11-21 12:25:48

Agnishom
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From: Riemann Sphere
Registered: 2011-01-29
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Re: crème de la crème

I wanted to ask ganesh. This question is absolutely related to this thread


'And fun? If maths is fun, then getting a tooth extraction is fun. A viral infection is fun. Rabies shots are fun.'
'God exists because Mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists because we cannot prove it'
I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested.

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#28 2015-11-21 13:35:29

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

Agnishom wrote:
Agnishom wrote:
bobbym wrote:

The title means cream of the cream. Translates into the best of the best.

What do I need to accomplish to make it to this list?

Eminent Scientists, Mathematicians, Celebrities, Poets and Writers, Outstanding persons in all walks of life (in my opinion) generally fit in here.


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#29 2015-11-21 13:51:59

Agnishom
Real Member
From: Riemann Sphere
Registered: 2011-01-29
Posts: 24,719
Website

Re: crème de la crème

I see.

Last edited by Agnishom (2015-11-21 13:55:49)


'And fun? If maths is fun, then getting a tooth extraction is fun. A viral infection is fun. Rabies shots are fun.'
'God exists because Mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists because we cannot prove it'
I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested.

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#30 2015-11-21 16:00:34

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
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Re: crème de la crème

Anthony Quinn
Date of Birth  - 21 April 1915, Chihuahua, Mexico
Date of Death - 3 June 2001, Boston, Massachusetts, USA  (pneumonia and respiratory failure due to complications from throat cancer)
Birth Name - Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca
Nickname - Tony
Height  - 6' 2" (1.88 m)


Anthony Quinn was born Antonio Rudolfo Oaxaca Quinn on April 21, 1915, in Chihuahua, Mexico, to Manuela (Oaxaca) and Francisco Quinn, who became an assistant cameraman at an LA film studio. His paternal grandfather was Irish, and the rest of his family was Mexican. After starting life in extremely modest circumstances in Mexico, his family moved to Los Angeles, California, where he grew up in the Boyle Heights and the Echo Park neighborhoods. In Los Angeles he attended Polytechnic High School and later Belmont High, but he eventually dropped out. The young Quinn boxed (which stood him in good stead as a stage actor, when he played Stanley Kowalski to rave reviews in Chicago), then later studied architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright at the great architect's studio, Taliesin, in Arizona. Quinn was close to Wright, who encouraged him when Quinn decided to give acting a try. After a brief apprenticeship in theatre, Quinn hit Hollywood in 1936 and picked up a variety of small roles in several films at Paramount, including an Indian warrior in The Plainsman (1936), which was directed by the man who later became his father-in-law, Cecil B. DeMille.

As a contract player at Paramount, Quinn mainly played villains and ethnic types, such as an Arab chieftain in the Bing Crosby-'Bob Hope' vehicle Road to Morocco (1942). As a Mexican national (he did not become an American citizen until 1947), he was exempt from the draft. With many actors in the service fighting World War II, Quinn was able to move up into better supporting roles. He had married DeMille's daughter Katherine DeMille, which enabled him to move in the top circles of Hollywood society.

He became disenchanted with his career and did not renew his Paramount contract despite the advice of others, including his father-in-law (whom Quinn felt never accepted him due to his Mexican roots). Instead, he returned to the stage to hone his craft. His portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire" in Chicago and on Broadway (where he replaced the legendary Marlon Brando, who is forever associated with the role) made his reputation and boosted his film career when he returned to the movies.

Brando and Elia Kazan, who directed "Streetcar" on Broadway and on film, were crucial to Quinn's future success. Kazan, knowing the two were potential rivals due to their acclaimed portrayals of Kowalski, cast Quinn as Brando's brother in his biographical film of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, Viva Zapata! (1952). Quinn won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for 1952, making him the first Mexican-American to win an Oscar. It was not to be his lone appearance in the winner's circle: he won his second Supporting Actor Oscar in 1957 for his portrayal of Paul Gauguin in Vincente Minnelli's biographical film of Vincent van Gogh, Lust for Life (1956), opposite Kirk Douglas. Over the next decade Quinn lived in Italy and became a major figure in world cinema, as many studios shot films in Italy to take advantage of the lower costs ("runaway production" had buffeted the industry since its beginnings in the New York / New Jersey area since the 1910s). He appeared in several Italian films, giving one of his greatest performances as the circus strongman who brutalizes the sweet soul played by Giulietta Masina in her husband Federico Fellini's masterpiece La Strada (1954). Alternating between Europe and Hollywood, Quinn built his reputation and entered the front-rank of character actors and character leads. He received his third Oscar nomination (and first for Best Actor) for George Cukor's Wild Is the Wind (1957). He played a Greek resistance fighter against the Nazi occupation in the monster hit The Guns of Navarone (1961) and received kudos for his portrayal of a once-great boxer on his way down in Rod Serling's Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962). He went back to playing ethnic parts, such as an Arab warlord in David Lean's masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and he played the eponymous lead in the "sword-and-sandal" blockbuster Barabbas (1961). Two years later he reached the zenith of his career, playing Zorba the Greek in the 1964 film of the same name (a.k.a. Zorba the Greek (1964)), which brought him his fourth, and last, Oscar nomination as Best Actor. The 1960s were kind to him: he played character leads in such major films as The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968) and The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969). However, his appearance in the title role in the film adaptation of John Fowles' novel, The Magus (1968), did nothing to save the film, which was one of that decade's notorious turkeys.

In the 1960s Quinn told Life magazine that he would fight against typecasting. Unfortunately, the following decade saw him slip back into playing ethnic types again, in such critical bombs as The Greek Tycoon (1978). He starred as the Hispanic mayor of a southwestern city in the short-lived 1971 TV series The Man and the City (1971), but his career lost its momentum during the 1970s. Aside from playing a thinly disguised Aristotle Onassis in the cinematic roman-a-clef "The Greek Tycoon", his other major roles of the decade was as Hamza in the controversial 1977 movie The Message (1976) (a.k.a. "Mohammad, Messenger of God", as the Italian patriarch in The Inheritance (1976), yet another Arab in Caravans (1978) and a Mexican patriarch in The Children of Sanchez (1978). In 1983 he reprised his most famous role, Zorba the Greek, t on Broadway in the revival of the musical "Zorba", for 362 performances. Though his film career slowed during the 1990s, he continued to work steadily in films and television.

Quinn lived out the latter years of his life in Bristol, Rhode Island, where he spent most of his time painting and sculpting. He died in hospital in Boston from pneumonia and respiratory failure linked to his battle with lung cancer. He was 86 years old.

anthony-quinn-march-15-1957.jpg


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#31 2015-11-22 12:06:44

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

Walt Disney

Date of Birth 5 December 1901, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death 15 December 1966, Los Angeles, California, USA (cardiac arrest following lung cancer surgery)
Birth Name Walter Elias Disney
Nickname Uncle Walt
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. He moved with his parents to Kansas City at age 7 where he spent the majority of his childhood. At age 16, during World War I, he faked his age to join the American Red Cross. He soon returned home, where he won a scholarship to the Kansas City Art Institute. There, he met a fellow animator, Ub Iwerks. The two soon set up their own company. In the early 1920s, they made a series of animated shorts for the Newman theater chain, entitled "Newman's Laugh-O-Grams". Their company soon went bankrupt, however.

The two then went to Hollywood in 1923. They started work on a new series, about a live-action little girl who journeys to a world of animated characters. Entitled the "Alice Comedies", they were distributed by M.J. Winkler (Margaret). Walt was backed up financially only by Winkler and his older brother Roy O. Disney, who remained his business partner for the rest of his life. Hundreds of "Alice Comedies" were produced between 1923 and 1927, before they lost popularity.

Walt then started work on a series around a new animated character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. This series was successful, but in 1928, Walt discovered that M.J. Winkler and her husband, Charles Mintz, had stolen the rights to the character away from him. They had also stolen all his animators, except for Ub Iwerks. While taking the train home, Walt started doodling on a piece of paper. The result of these doodles was a mouse named Mickey. With only Walt and Ub to animate, and Walt's wife Lillian Disney (Lilly) and Roy's wife Edna Disney to ink in the animation cells, three Mickey Mouse cartoons were quickly produced. The first two didn't sell, so Walt added synchronized sound to the last one, Steamboat Willie (1928), and it was immediately picked up. With Walt as the voice of Mickey, it premiered to great success. Many more cartoons followed. Walt was now in the big time, but he didn't stop creating new ideas.

In 1929, he created the 'Silly Symphonies', a cartoon series that didn't have a continuous character. They were another success. One of them, Flowers and Trees (1932), was the first cartoon to be produced in color and the first cartoon to win an Oscar; another, Three Little Pigs (1933), was so popular it was often billed above the feature films it accompanied. The Silly Symphonies stopped coming out in 1939, but Mickey and friends, (including Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, and plenty more), were still going strong and still very popular.

In 1934, Walt started work on another new idea: a cartoon that ran the length of a feature film. Everyone in Hollywood was calling it "Disney's Folly", but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was anything but, winning critical raves, the adoration of the public, and one big and seven little special Oscars for Walt. Now Walt listed animated features among his ever-growing list of accomplishments. While continuing to produce cartoon shorts, he also started producing more of the animated features. Pinocchio (1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942) were all successes; not even a flop like Fantasia (1940) and a studio animators' strike in 1941 could stop Disney now.

In the mid 1940s, he began producing "packaged features", essentially a group of shorts put together to run feature length, but by 1950 he was back with animated features that stuck to one story, with Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Peter Pan (1953). In 1950, he also started producing live-action films, with Treasure Island (1950). These began taking on greater importance throughout the 50s and 60s, but Walt continued to produce animated features, including Lady and the Tramp (1955), Sleeping Beauty (1959), and 101 Dalmatians (1961).

In 1955, he even opened a theme park in southern California: Disneyland. It was a place where children and their parents could take rides, just explore, and meet the familiar animated characters, all in a clean, safe environment. It was another great success. Walt also became one of the first producers of films to venture into television, with his series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1954) which he began in 1954 to promote his theme park. He also produced The Mickey Mouse Club (1955) and Zorro (1957). To top it all off, Walt came out with the lavish musical fantasy Mary Poppins (1964), which mixed live-action with animation. It is considered by many to be his magnum opus. Even after that, Walt continued to forge onward, with plans to build a new theme park and an experimental prototype city in Florida.

He never did finish those plans, however; in 1966, he developed lung cancer brought on by his lifelong chain-smoking. He died in the hospital on December 15, 1966 at age 65. But not even his death, it seemed, could stop him. Roy carried on plans to build the Florida theme park, and it premiered in 1971 under the name Walt Disney World. What's more, his company continues to flourish, still producing animated and live-action films and overseeing the still- growing empire started by one man: Walt Disney, who will never be forgotten.

waltdisney3.jpg


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#32 2015-11-23 23:05:24

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 22,953

Re: crème de la crème

Shreya Ghoshal

Shreya Ghoshal (born 12 March 1984) is an Indian playback singer. She has received four National Film Awards, five Filmfare Awards (four for best playback singer), seven IIFA Award, six Screen Awards, and eight Filmfare Awards South till date. She has established herself as a leading female playback singer in Indian cinema.

Ghoshal aspired to become a playback singer from a young age. At the age of sixteen, she was noticed by film-maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali when she participated and won the television singing reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. Following that, she made her Bollywood playback singing debut with Bhansali's romantic drama Devdas (2002) for which she received a National Award and a Filmfare Award.

Apart from playback singing, Ghoshal has also been appearing on several television reality show's, serving as a judge. She has also featured three times in Forbes’ list of the top 100 celebrities of India. On February 2015, Ghoshal married her childhood friend Shiladitya Mukhopadhyaya.

Ghoshal performs in musical concerts around the world. In 2013, she performed at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium in United Arab Emirates. The same year, she paid her respects to the casualties of an excessive rainfall in Mauritius with a concert at the The Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre in Pailles. Along with Hrishikesh Ranade, she also made a stage performance during the 18th annual day celebration of Airports Authority of India. Later in 2013, Ghoshal made a Europe tour as a celebration of 100 years of Indian cinema.

DSC_5714.jpg


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#33 2015-11-24 23:27:57

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 22,953

Re: crème de la crème

19. The Shannon number, named after Claude Shannon, is an estimated lower bound on the game-tree complexity of chess of

, based on about
initial moves for White and Black and a typical game lasting about 40 pairs of moves. Shannon calculated it as an aside in his 1950 paper "Programming a Computer for Playing Chess". (This influential paper introduced the field of computer chess.)

Shannon also estimated the number of possible positions, "of the general order of

, or roughly
". This includes some illegal positions (e.g., pawns on the first rank, both kings in check) and excludes legal positions following captures and promotions. Taking these into account, Victor Allis calculated an upper bound of
for the number of positions, and estimated the true number to be about
. Recent results improve that estimate, by proving an upper bound of only
, which is less than
and showing an upper bound
in the absence of promotions. Mathematician James Grime estimates that there are
possible "sensible" games.

Allis also estimated the game-tree complexity to be at least

, "based on an average branching factor of 35 and an average game length of 80". As a comparison, the number of atoms in the observable universe, to which it is often compared, is estimated to be between
and
.

shannon2.jpeg

Last edited by ganesh (2015-11-27 15:11:29)


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#34 2015-11-26 13:25:14

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 22,953

Re: crème de la crème

20. Neil Armstrong

Astronaut, military pilot, and educator, Neil Armstrong made history on July 20, 1969, by becoming the first man to walk on the moon.

Neil Armstrong joined the organization that would become NASA in 1962 and was command pilot for his first mission, Gemini VIII, in 1966. He was spacecraft commander for Apollo 11 and the first man to walk on the moon.


Neil Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930. After serving in the Korean War and then finishing college, he joined the organization that would become NASA. He joined the astronaut program in 1962 and was command pilot for his first mission, Gemini VIII, in 1966. He was spacecraft commander for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar mission, and became the first man to walk on the moon. He died in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2012.

Military Service

Astronaut Neil Armstrong developed a fascination with flight at an early age and earned his student pilot's license when he was 16. In 1947, Armstrong began his studies in aeronautical engineering at Purdue University on a U.S. Navy scholarship.

His studies, however, were interrupted in 1949 when he was called to serve in the Korean War. A U.S. Navy pilot, Armstrong flew 78 combat missions during this military conflict. He left the service in 1952, and returned to college. A few years later, Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which later became the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). For this government agency he worked in a number of different capacities, including serving as a test pilot and an engineer. He tested many high-speed aircraft, including the X-15, which could reach a top speed of 4,000 miles per hour.

Astronaut Program

In his personal life, Armstrong started to settle down. He married Janet Shearon on January 28, 1956. The couple soon added to their family. Son Eric arrived in 1957, followed daughter Karen in 1959. Sadly, Karen died of complications related to an inoperable brain tumor in January 1962. The following year, the Armstrongs welcomed their third child, son Mark.

That same year, Armstrong joined the astronaut program. He and his family moved to Houston, Texas, and Armstrong served as the command pilot for his first mission, Gemini VIII. He and fellow astronaut David Scott were launched into the earth's orbit on March 16, 1966. While in orbit, they were able to briefly dock their space capsule with the Gemini Agena target vehicle. This was the first time two vehicles had successfully docked in space. During this maneuver, however, they experienced some problems and had to cut their mission short. They landed in the Pacific Ocean nearly 11 hours after the mission's start, and were later rescued by the U.S.S. Mason.

Moon Landing

Armstrong faced an even bigger challenge in 1969. Along with Michael Collins and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, he was part of NASA's first manned mission to the moon. The trio were launched into space on July 16, 1969. Serving as the mission's commander, Armstrong piloted the Lunar Module to the moon's surface on July 20, 1969, with Buzz Aldrin aboard. Collins remained on the Command Module.

At 10:56 PM, Armstrong exited the Lunar Module. He said, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," as he made his famous first step on the moon. For about two and a half hours, Armstrong and Aldrin collected samples and conducted experiments. They also took photographs, including their own footprints.

Returning on July 24, 1969, the Apollo 11 craft came down in the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii. The crew and the craft were picked up by the U.S.S. Hornet, and the three astronauts were put into quarantine for three weeks.

Before long, the three Apollo 11 astronauts were given a warm welcome home. Crowds lined the streets of New York City to cheer on the famous heroes who were honored in a ticker-tape parade. Armstrong received numerous awards for his efforts, including the Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

Later Contributions

Armstrong remained with NASA, serving as deputy associate administrator for aeronautics until 1971. After leaving NASA, he joined the faculty of the University of Cincinnati as a professor of aerospace engineering. Armstrong remained at the university for eight years. Staying active in his field, he served as the chairman of Computing Technologies for Aviation, Inc., from 1982 to 1992.

Helping out at a difficult time, Armstrong served as vice chairman of the Presidential Commission on the space shuttle Challenger accident in 1986. The commission investigated the explosion of the Challenger on January 28, 1986, which took the lives of its crew, including school teacher Christa McAuliffe.

Death & Legacy

Despite being one of the most famous astronauts in history, Armstrong largely shied away from the public eye. He gave a rare interview to the news program 60 Minutes in 2005. He described the moon to interviewer Ed Bradley, saying "It's a brilliant surface in that sunlight. The horizon seems quite close to you because the curvature is so much more pronounced than here on earth. It's an interesting place to be. I recommend it." That same year, his authorized biography came out. First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong was written by James R. Hansen, who conducted interviews with Armstrong, his family, and his friends and associates.

Even in his final years, Armstrong remained committed to space exploration. The press-shy astronaut returned to the spotlight in 2010 to express his concerns over changes made to the U.S. space program. He testified in Congress against President Barack Obama's decision to cancel the Constellation program, which included another mission to the moon. Obama also sought to encourage private companies to get involved in the space travel business and to move forward with more unmanned space missions.

Taking this new decision, Armstrong said, would cost the United States its leadership position in space exploration. "America is respected for its contributions it has made in learning to sail on this new ocean. If the leadership we have acquired through our investment is simply allowed to fade away, other nations will surely step in where we have faltered. I do not believe that would be in our best interests," he told Congress, according to a report on NewsHour.

Armstrong underwent a heart bypass operation in August 2012. A few weeks later, on August 25, 2012, at the age of 82, Neil Armstrong died of complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was survived by his second wife, Carol, in Indian Hill, Ohio, and his two sons from his first marriage. He and his first wife divorced in 1994.

Shortly after his death, his family released a statement: "For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

News of Armstrong's death quickly spread around the world. President Obama was among those offering their condolences to his family and sharing their remembrances of the late space pioneer. "Neil was among the greatest of American heroes—not just of his time, but of all time," Obama said, according to the Los Angeles Times. His Apollo 11 colleague Buzz Aldrin said that "I know I am joined by millions of others in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew. My friend Neil took the small step but giant leap that changed the world and will forever be remembered as a landmark moment in human history," according to CBS News.

armstrong.jpg

Last edited by ganesh (2015-11-27 15:12:25)


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#35 2015-11-27 15:19:59

ganesh
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Posts: 22,953

Re: crème de la crème

21. Steven Allan Spielberg (born December 18, 1946) is an American director, producer and screenwriter. Spielberg is considered as one of the founding pioneers of the New Hollywood era, as well as being viewed as one of the most popular and influential directors and producers in film history. In a career spanning more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking. In later years, his films began addressing humanistic issues such as the Holocaust (in Schindler's List), the transatlantic slave trade (in Amistad), war (in Empire of the Sun, Saving Private Ryan, and War Horse), and terrorism (in Munich). He is one of the co-founders of DreamWorks Studios.

His other films include Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Indiana Jones film series, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Spielberg won the Academy Award for Best Director for Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Three of Spielberg's films- Jaws (1975), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Jurassic Park (1993)- achieved box office records, originated and came to epitomize the blockbuster film.

The unadjusted gross of all Spielberg-directed films exceeds $9 billion worldwide, making him the highest-grossing director in history. His personal net worth is estimated to be more than $3 billion.

Steven-Spielberg.jpg


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#36 2015-11-27 17:57:46

ganesh
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Posts: 22,953

Re: crème de la crème

22. Thomas Edison

Thomas Alva Edison,  (born February 11, 1847, Milan, Ohio, U.S.—died October 18, 1931, West Orange, New Jersey), American inventor who, singly or jointly, held a world record 1,093 patents. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial research laboratory.


Edison was the quintessential American inventor in the era of Yankee ingenuity. He began his career in 1863, in the adolescence of the telegraph industry, when virtually the only source of electricity was primitive batteries putting out a low-voltage current. Before he died, in 1931, he had played a critical role in introducing the modern age of electricity. From his laboratories and workshops emanated the phonograph, the carbon-button transmitter for the telephone speaker and microphone, the incandescent lamp, a revolutionary generator of unprecedented efficiency, the first commercial electric light and power system, an experimental electric railroad, and key elements of motion-picture apparatus, as well as a host of other inventions.

Edison was the seventh and last child—the fourth surviving—of Samuel Edison, Jr., and Nancy Elliot Edison. At an early age he developed hearing problems, which have been variously attributed but were most likely due to a familial tendency to mastoiditis. Whatever the cause, Edison’s deafness strongly influenced his behaviour and career, providing the motivation for many of his inventions.

Early years

In 1854 Samuel Edison became the lighthouse keeper and carpenter on the Fort Gratiot military post near Port Huron, Michigan, where the family lived in a substantial home. Alva, as the inventor was known until his second marriage, entered school there and attended sporadically for five years. He was imaginative and inquisitive, but because much instruction was by rote and he had difficulty hearing, he was bored and was labeled a misfit. To compensate, he became an avid and omnivorous reader. Edison’s lack of formal schooling was not unusual. At the time of the Civil War the average American had attended school a total of 434 days—little more than two years’ schooling by today’s standards.

In 1859 Edison quit school and began working as a trainboy on the railroad between Detroit and Port Huron. Four years earlier, the Michigan Central had initiated the commercial application of the telegraph by using it to control the movement of its trains, and the Civil War brought a vast expansion of transportation and communication. Edison took advantage of the opportunity to learn telegraphy and in 1863 became an apprentice telegrapher.

Messages received on the initial Morse telegraph were inscribed as a series of dots and dashes on a strip of paper that was decoded and read, so Edison’s partial deafness was no handicap. Receivers were increasingly being equipped with a sounding key, however, enabling telegraphers to “read” messages by the clicks. The transformation of telegraphy to an auditory art left Edison more and more disadvantaged during his six-year career as an itinerant telegrapher in the Midwest, the South, Canada, and New England. Amply supplied with ingenuity and insight, he devoted much of his energy toward improving the inchoate equipment and inventing devices to facilitate some of the tasks that his physical limitations made difficult. By January 1869 he had made enough progress with a duplex telegraph (a device capable of transmitting two messages simultaneously on one wire) and a printer, which converted electrical signals to letters, that he abandoned telegraphy for full-time invention and entrepreneurship.


Edison moved to New York City, where he initially went into partnership with Frank L. Pope, a noted electrical expert, to produce the Edison Universal Stock Printer and other printing telegraphs. Between 1870 and 1875 he worked out of Newark, New Jersey, and was involved in a variety of partnerships and complex transactions in the fiercely competitive and convoluted telegraph industry, which was dominated by the Western Union Telegraph Company. As an independent entrepreneur he was available to the highest bidder and played both sides against the middle. During this period he worked on improving an automatic telegraph system for Western Union’s rivals. The automatic telegraph, which recorded messages by means of a chemical reaction engendered by the electrical transmissions, proved of limited commercial success, but the work advanced Edison’s knowledge of chemistry and laid the basis for his development of the electric pen and mimeograph, both important devices in the early office machine industry, and indirectly led to the discovery of the phonograph. Under the aegis of Western Union he devised the quadruplex, capable of transmitting four messages simultaneously over one wire, but railroad baron and Wall Street financier Jay Gould, Western Union’s bitter rival, snatched the quadruplex from the telegraph company’s grasp in December 1874 by paying Edison more than $100,000 in cash, bonds, and stock, one of the larger payments for any invention up to that time. Years of litigation followed.

Menlo Park

Although Edison was a sharp bargainer, he was a poor financial manager, often spending and giving away money more rapidly than he earned it. In 1871 he married 16-year-old Mary Stilwell, who was as improvident in household matters as he was in business, and before the end of 1875 they were in financial difficulties. To reduce his costs and the temptation to spend money, Edison brought his now-widowed father from Port Huron to build a 2 1/2-story laboratory and machine shop in the rural environs of Menlo Park, New Jersey—12 miles south of Newark—where he moved in March 1876. Accompanying him were two key associates, Charles Batchelor and John Kruesi. Batchelor, born in Manchester in 1845, was a master mechanic and draftsman who complemented Edison perfectly and served as his “ears” on such projects as the phonograph and telephone. He was also responsible for fashioning the drawings that Kruesi, a Swiss-born machinist, translated into models.

Edison experienced his finest hours at Menlo Park. While experimenting on an underwater cable for the automatic telegraph, he found that the electrical resistance and conductivity of carbon (then called plumbago) varied according to the pressure it was under. This was a major theoretical discovery, which enabled Edison to devise a “pressure relay” using carbon rather than the usual magnets to vary and balance electric currents. In February 1877 Edison began experiments designed to produce a pressure relay that would amplify and improve the audibility of the telephone, a device that Edison and others had studied but which Alexander Graham Bell was the first to patent, in 1876. By the end of 1877 Edison had developed the carbon-button transmitter that is still used in telephone speakers and microphones.

The phonograph


Edison invented many items, including the carbon transmitter, in response to specific demands for new products or improvements. But he also had the gift of serendipity: when some unexpected phenomenon was observed, he did not hesitate to halt work in progress and turn off course in a new direction. This was how, in 1877, he achieved his most original discovery, the phonograph. Because the telephone was considered a variation of acoustic telegraphy, Edison during the summer of 1877 was attempting to devise for it, as he had for the automatic telegraph, a machine that would transcribe signals as they were received, in this instance in the form of the human voice, so that they could then be delivered as telegraph messages. (The telephone was not yet conceived as a general, person-to-person means of communication.) Some earlier researchers, notably the French inventor Léon Scott, had theorized that each sound, if it could be graphically recorded, would produce a distinct shape resembling shorthand, or phonography (“sound writing”), as it was then known. Edison hoped to reify this concept by employing a stylus-tipped carbon transmitter to make impressions on a strip of paraffined paper. To his astonishment, the scarcely visible indentations generated a vague reproduction of sound when the paper was pulled back beneath the stylus.


Edison unveiled the tinfoil phonograph, which replaced the strip of paper with a cylinder wrapped in tinfoil, in December 1877. It was greeted with incredulity. Indeed, a leading French scientist declared it to be the trick device of a clever ventriloquist. The public’s amazement was quickly followed by universal acclaim. Edison was projected into worldwide prominence and was dubbed the Wizard of Menlo Park, although a decade passed before the phonograph was transformed from a laboratory curiosity into a commercial product.

The electric light

Another offshoot of the carbon experiments reached fruition sooner. Samuel Langley, Henry Draper, and other American scientists needed a highly sensitive instrument that could be used to measure minute temperature changes in heat emitted from the Sun’s corona during a solar eclipse along the Rocky Mountains on July 29, 1878. To satisfy those needs Edison devised a “microtasimeter” employing a carbon button. This was a time when great advances were being made in electric arc lighting, and during the expedition, which Edison accompanied, the men discussed the practicality of “subdividing” the intense arc lights so that electricity could be used for lighting in the same fashion as with small, individual gas “burners.” The basic problem seemed to be to keep the burner, or bulb, from being consumed by preventing it from overheating. Edison thought he would be able to solve this by fashioning a microtasimeter-like device to control the current. He boldly announced that he would invent a safe, mild, and inexpensive electric light that would replace the gaslight.

The incandescent electric light had been the despair of inventors for 50 years, but Edison’s past achievements commanded respect for his boastful prophecy. Thus, a syndicate of leading financiers, including J.P. Morgan and the Vanderbilts, established the Edison Electric Light Company and advanced him $30,000 for research and development. Edison proposed to connect his lights in a parallel circuit by subdividing the current, so that, unlike arc lights, which were connected in a series circuit, the failure of one lightbulb would not cause a whole circuit to fail. Some eminent scientists predicted that such a circuit could never be feasible, but their findings were based on systems of lamps with low resistance—the only successful type of electric light at the time. Edison, however, determined that a bulb with high resistance would serve his purpose, and he began searching for a suitable one.

He had the assistance of 26-year-old Francis Upton, a graduate of Princeton University with an M.A. in science. Upton, who joined the laboratory force in December 1878, provided the mathematical and theoretical expertise that Edison himself lacked. (Edison later revealed, “At the time I experimented on the incandescent lamp I did not understand Ohm’s law.” On another occasion he said, “I do not depend on figures at all. I try an experiment and reason out the result, somehow, by methods which I could not.
By the summer of 1879 Edison and Upton had made enough progress on a generator—which, by reverse action, could be employed as a motor—that Edison, beset by failed incandescent lamp experiments, considered offering a system of electric distribution for power, not light. By October Edison and his staff had achieved encouraging results with a complex, regulator-controlled vacuum bulb with a platinum filament, but the cost of the platinum would have made the incandescent light impractical. While experimenting with an insulator for the platinum wire, they discovered that, in the greatly improved vacuum they were now obtaining through advances made in the vacuum pump, carbon could be maintained for some time without elaborate regulatory apparatus. Advancing on the work of Joseph Wilson Swan, an English physicist, Edison found that a carbon filament provided a good light with the concomitant high resistance required for subdivision. Steady progress ensued from the first breakthrough in mid-October until the initial demonstration for the backers of the Edison Electric Light Company on December 3.


It was, nevertheless, not until the summer of 1880 that Edison determined that carbonized bamboo fibre made a satisfactory material for the filament, although the world’s first operative lighting system had been installed on the steamship Columbia in April. The first commercial land-based “isolated” (single-building) incandescent system was placed in the New York printing firm of Hinds and Ketcham in January 1881. In the fall a temporary, demonstration central power system was installed at the Holborn Viaduct in London, in conjunction with an exhibition at the Crystal Palace. Edison himself supervised the laying of the mains and installation of the world’s first permanent, commercial central power system in lower Manhattan, which became operative in September 1882. Although the early systems were plagued by problems and many years passed before incandescent lighting powered by electricity from central stations made significant inroads into gas lighting, isolated lighting plants for such enterprises as hotels, theatres, and stores flourished—as did Edison’s reputation as the world’s greatest inventor.

One of the accidental discoveries made in the Menlo Park laboratory during the development of the incandescent light anticipated the British physicist J.J. Thomson’s discovery of the electron 15 years later. In 1881–82 William J. Hammer, a young engineer in charge of testing the light globes, noted a blue glow around the positive pole in a vacuum bulb and a blackening of the wire and the bulb at the negative pole. This phenomenon was first called “Hammer’s phantom shadow,” but when Edison patented the bulb in 1883 it became known as the “Edison effect.” Scientists later determined that this effect was explained by the thermionic emission of electrons from the hot to the cold electrode, and it became the basis of the electron tube and laid the foundation for the electronics industry.

Edison had moved his operations from Menlo Park to New York City when work commenced on the Manhattan power system. Increasingly, the Menlo Park property was used only as a summer home. In August 1884 Edison’s wife, Mary, suffering from deteriorating health and subject to periods of mental derangement, died there of “congestion of the brain,” apparently a tumour or hemorrhage. Her death and the move from Menlo Park roughly mark the halfway point of Edison’s life.

The Edison laboratory


A widower with three young children, Edison, on February 24, 1886, married 20-year-old Mina Miller, the daughter of a prosperous Ohio manufacturer. He purchased a hilltop estate in West Orange, New Jersey, for his new bride and constructed nearby a grand, new laboratory, which he intended to be the world’s first true research facility. There, he produced the commercial phonograph, founded the motion-picture industry, and developed the alkaline storage battery. Nevertheless, Edison was past the peak of his productive period. A poor manager and organizer, he worked best in intimate, relatively unstructured surroundings with a handful of close associates and assistants; the West Orange laboratory was too sprawling and diversified for his talents. Furthermore, as a significant portion of the inventor’s time was taken up by his new role of industrialist, which came with the commercialization of incandescent lighting and the phonograph, electrical developments were passing into the domain of university-trained mathematicians and scientists. Above all, for more than a decade Edison’s energy was focused on a magnetic ore-mining venture that proved the unquestioned disaster of his career.

The first major endeavour at the new laboratory was the commercialization of the phonograph, a venture launched in 1887 after Alexander Graham Bell, his cousin Chichester, and Charles Tainter had developed the graphophone—an improved version of Edison’s original device—which used waxed cardboard instead of tinfoil. Two years later, Edison announced that he had “perfected” the phonograph, although this was far from true. In fact, it was not until the late 1890s, after Edison had established production and recording facilities adjacent to the laboratory, that all the mechanical problems were overcome and the phonograph became a profitable proposition.


In the meantime, Edison conceived the idea of popularizing the phonograph by linking to it in synchronization a zoetrope, a device that gave the illusion of motion to photographs shot in sequence. He assigned the project to William K.L. math, an employee interested in photography, in 1888. After studying the work of various European photographers who also were trying to record motion, Edison and math succeeded in constructing a working camera and a viewing instrument, which were called, respectively, the Kinetograph and the Kinetoscope. Synchronizing sound and motion proved of such insuperable difficulty, however, that the concept of linking the two was abandoned, and the silent movie was born. Edison constructed at the laboratory the world’s first motion-picture stage, nicknamed the “Black Maria,” in 1893, and the following year Kinetoscopes, which had peepholes that allowed one person at a time to view the moving pictures, were introduced with great success. Rival inventors soon developed screen-projection systems that hurt the Kinetoscope’s business, however, so Edison acquired a projector developed by Thomas Armat and introduced it as “Edison’s latest marvel, the Vitascope.”

Another derivative of the phonograph was the alkaline storage battery, which Edison began developing as a power source for the phonograph at a time when most homes still lacked electricity. Although it was 20 years before all the difficulties with the battery were solved, by 1909 Edison was a principal supplier of batteries for submarines and electric vehicles and had even formed a company for the manufacture of electric automobiles. In 1912 Henry Ford, one of Edison’s greatest admirers, asked him to design a battery for the self-starter, to be introduced on the Model T. Ford’s request led to a continuing relationship between these two Americans, and in October 1929 he staged a 50th-anniversary celebration of the incandescent light that turned into a universal apotheosis for Edison.

Most of Edison’s successes involved electricity or communication, but throughout the late 1880s and early 1890s the Edison Laboratory’s top priority was the magnetic ore-separator. Edison had first worked on the separator when he was searching for platinum for use in the experimental incandescent lamp. The device was supposed to cull platinum from iron-bearing sand. During the 1880s iron ore prices rose to unprecedented heights, so that it appeared that, if the separator could extract the iron from unusable low-grade ores, then abandoned mines might profitably be placed back in production. Edison purchased or acquired rights to 145 old mines in the east and established a large pilot plant at the Ogden mine, near Ogdensburg, New Jersey. He was never able to surmount the engineering problems or work the bugs out of the system, however, and when ore prices plummeted in the mid-1890s he gave up on the idea. By then he had liquidated all but a small part of his holdings in the General Electric Company, sometimes at very low prices, and had become more and more separated from the electric lighting field.

Failure could not discourage Edison’s passion for invention, however. Although none of his later projects were as successful as his earlier ones, he continued to work even in his 80s.


The thrust of Edison’s work may be seen in the clustering of his patents: 389 for electric light and power, 195 for the phonograph, 150 for the telegraph, 141 for storage batteries, and 34 for the telephone. His life and achievements epitomize the ideal of applied research. He always invented for necessity, with the object of devising something new that he could manufacture. The basic principles he discovered were derived from practical experiments, invariably by chance, thus reversing the orthodox concept of pure research leading to applied research.

Edison’s role as a machine shop operator and small manufacturer was crucial to his success as an inventor. Unlike other scientists and inventors of the time, who had limited means and lacked a support organization, Edison ran an inventive establishment. He was the antithesis of the lone inventive genius, although his deafness enforced on him an isolation conducive to conception. His lack of managerial ability was, in an odd way, also a stimulant. As his own boss, he plunged ahead on projects more prudent men would have shunned, then tended to dissipate the fruits of his inventiveness, so that he was both free and forced to develop new ideas. Few men have matched him in the positiveness of his thinking. Edison never questioned whether something might be done, only how.


Edison’s career, the fulfillment of the American dream of rags-to-riches through hard work and intelligence, made him a folk hero to his countrymen. In temperament he was an uninhibited egotist, at once a tyrant to his employees and their most entertaining companion, so that there was never a dull moment with him. He was charismatic and courted publicity, but he had difficulty socializing and neglected his family. His shafts at the expense of the “long-haired” fraternity of theorists sometimes led formally trained scientists to deprecate him as anti-intellectual; yet he employed as his aides, at various times, a number of eminent mathematical physicists, such as Nikola Tesla and A.E. Kennelly. The contradictory nature of his forceful personality, as well as such eccentricities as his ability to catnap anywhere, contributed to his legendary status. By the time he was in his middle 30s Edison was said to be the best-known American in the world. When he died he was venerated and mourned as the man who, more than any other, had laid the basis for the technological and social revolution of the modern electric world.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#37 2015-11-29 01:24:05

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 22,953

Re: crème de la crème

23. Socrates

Philosopher (c. 470 BCE–c. 399 BCE)
Place of Birth : Athens, Greece
Place of Death : Athens, Greece

Socrates was a Greek philosopher and the main source of Western thought. Little is known of his life except what was recorded by his students, including Plato.


Socrates was born circa 470 BC, in Athens, Greece. We know of his life through the writings of his students, including Plato and Xenophon. His "Socratic method," laid the groundwork for Western systems of logic and philosophy. When the political climate of Greece turned, Socrates was sentenced to death by hemlock poisoning in 399 BC. He accepted this judgment rather than fleeing into exile.



Early Years

Born circa 470 BC in Athens, Greece, Socrates's life is chronicled through only a few sources—the dialogues of Plato and Xenophon and the plays of Aristophanes. Because these writings had other purposes than reporting his life, it is likely none present a completely accurate picture. However, collectively, they provide a unique and vivid portrayal of Socrates's philosophy and personality.
Socrates was the son of Sophroniscus, an Athenian stone mason and sculptor, and Phaenarete, a midwife. Because he wasn't from a noble family, he probably received a basic Greek education and learned his father's craft at a young age. It is believed Socrates worked as mason for many years before he devoted his life to philosophy. Contemporaries differ in their account of how Socrates supported himself as a philosopher. Both Xenophon and Aristophanes state Socrates received payment for teaching, while Plato writes Socrates explicitly denied accepting payment, citing his poverty as proof.



Socrates married Xanthippe, a younger woman, who bore him three sons—Lamprocles, Sophroniscus and Menexenus. There is little known about her except for Xenophon's characterization of Xanthippe as "undesirable." He writes she was not happy with Socrates's second profession and complained that he wasn’t supporting family as a philosopher. By his own words, Socrates had little to do with his sons' upbringing and expressed far more interest in the intellectual development of Athens' young boys.

Athenian law required all able bodied males serve as citizen soldiers, on call for duty from ages 18 until 60. According to Plato, Socrates served in the armored infantry—known as the hoplite—with shield, long spear and face mask. He participated in three military campaigns during the Peloponnesian War, at Delium, Amphipolis, and Potidaea, where he saved the life of Alcibiades, a popular Athenian general. Socrates was known for his courage in battle and fearlessness, a trait that stayed with him throughout his life. After his trial, he compared his refusal to retreat from his legal troubles to a soldier's refusal to retreat from battle when threatened with death.
Plato's Symposium provides the best details of Socrates's physical appearance. He was not the ideal of Athenian masculinity. Short and stocky, with a snub nose and bulging eyes, Socrates always seemed to appear to be staring. However, Plato pointed out that in the eyes of his students, Socrates possessed a different kind of attractiveness, not based on a physical ideal but on his brilliant debates and penetrating thought. Socrates always emphasized the importance of the mind over the relative unimportance of the human body. This credo inspired Plato’s philosophy of dividing reality into two separate realms, the world of the senses and the world of ideas, declaring that the latter was the only important one.




Socrates believed that philosophy should achieve practical results for the greater well-being of society. He attempted to establish an ethical system based on human reason rather than theological doctrine. He pointed out that human choice was motivated by the desire for happiness. Ultimate wisdom comes from knowing oneself. The more a person knows, the greater his or her ability to reason and make choices that will bring true happiness. Socrates believed that this translated into politics with the best form of government being neither a tyranny nor a democracy. Instead, government worked best when ruled by individuals who had the greatest ability, knowledge, and virtue and possessed a complete understanding of themselves.
For Socrates, Athens was a classroom and he went about asking questions of the elite and common man alike, seeking to arrive at political and ethical truths. Socrates didn’t lecture about what he knew. In fact, he claimed to be ignorant because he had no ideas, but wise because he recognized his own ignorance. He asked questions of his fellow Athenians in a dialectic method (the Socratic Method) which compelled the audience to think through a problem to a logical conclusion. Sometimes the answer seemed so obvious, it made Socrates's opponents look foolish. For this, he was admired by some and vilified by others.

During Socrates's life, Athens was going through a dramatic transition from hegemony in the classical world to its decline after a humiliating defeat by Sparta in the Peloponnesian War. Athenians entered a period of instability and doubt about their identity and place in the world. As a result, they clung to past glories, notions of wealth, and a fixation with physical beauty. Socrates attacked these values with his insistent emphasis on the greater importance of the mind. While many Athenians admired Socrates's challenges to Greek conventional wisdom and the humorous way he went about it, an equal number grew angry and felt he threatened their way of life and uncertain future.



Execution

The jury was not swayed by Socrates's defense and convicted him by a vote of 280 to 221. Possibly the defiant tone of his defense contributed to the verdict and he made things worse during the deliberation over his punishment. Athenian law allowed a convicted citizen to propose an alternative punishment to the one called for by the prosecution and the jury would decide. Instead of proposing he be exiled, Socrates suggested he be honored by the city for his contribution to their enlightenment and be paid for his services. The jury was not amused and sentenced him to death by drinking a mixture of poison hemlock.
Before Socrates's execution, friends offered to bribe the guards and rescue him so he could flee into exile. He declined, stating he wasn't afraid of death, felt he would be no better off if in exile and said he was still a loyal citizen of Athens, willing to abide by its laws, even the ones that condemned him to death. Plato described Socrates's execution in his Phaedo dialogue: Socrates drank the hemlock mixture without hesitation. Numbness slowly crept into his body until it reached his heart. Shortly before his final breath, Socrates described his death as a release of the soul from the body.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#38 2015-12-06 03:07:20

ganesh
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Posts: 22,953

Re: crème de la crème

24.

Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz 

Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz (July 1, 1646 – November 14, 1716) was a German polymath and philosopher who occupies a prominent place in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy. Scholars including Bertrand Russell believe Leibniz developed calculus independently of Isaac Newton, and Leibniz's notation has been widely used ever since it was published. It was only in the 20th century that his Law of Continuity and Transcendental Law of Homogeneity found mathematical implementation (by means of non-standard analysis). He became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. While working on adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal's calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685 and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. He also refined the binary number system, which is the foundation of virtually all digital computers.

In philosophy, Leibniz is most noted for his optimism, i.e. his conclusion that our Universe is, in a restricted sense, the best possible one that God could have created, an idea that was often lampooned by others such as Voltaire. Leibniz, along with René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza, was one of the three great 17th-century advocates of rationalism. The work of Leibniz anticipated modern logic and analytic philosophy, but his philosophy also looks back to the scholastic tradition, in which conclusions are produced by applying reason of first principles or prior definitions rather than to empirical evidence.

Leibniz made major contributions to physics and technology, and anticipated notions that surfaced much later in philosophy, probability theory, biology, medicine, geology, psychology, linguistics, and computer science. He wrote works on philosophy, politics, law, ethics, theology, history, and philology. Leibniz's contributions to this vast array of subjects were scattered in various learned journals, in tens of thousands of letters, and in unpublished manuscripts. He wrote in several languages, but primarily in Latin, French, and German. There is no complete gathering of the writings of Leibniz.

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Last edited by ganesh (2015-12-07 03:23:43)


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#39 2015-12-07 03:42:30

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 22,953

Re: crème de la crème

25.

John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse.

Milton's poetry and prose reflect deep personal convictions, a passion for freedom and self-determination, and the urgent issues and political turbulence of his day. Writing in English, Latin, Greek, and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime, and his celebrated Areopagitica (1644)—written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship—is among history's most influential and impassioned defences of free speech and freedom of the press.

William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the "greatest English author", and he remains generally regarded "as one of the preeminent writers in the English language", though critical reception has oscillated in the centuries since his death (often on account of his republicanism). Samuel Johnson praised Paradise Lost as "a poem which...with respect to design may claim the first place, and with respect to performance, the second, among the productions of the human mind", though he (a Tory and recipient of royal patronage) described Milton's politics as those of an "acrimonious and surly republican".

Poetry and drama

    1631: L'Allegro
    1631: Il Penseroso
    1634: A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634 commonly known as Comus (a masque)
    1638: Lycidas
    1645: Poems of Mr John Milton, Both English and Latin
    1652: On His Blindness
    1655: On the Late Massacre in Piedmont
    1667: Paradise Lost
    1671: Paradise Regained
    1671: Samson Agonistes
    1673: Poems, &c, Upon Several Occasions

Prose

    Of Reformation (1641)
    Of Prelatical Episcopacy (1641)
    Animadversions (1641)
    The Reason of Church-Government Urged against Prelaty (1642)
    Apology for Smectymnuus (1642)
    Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce (1643)
    Judgement of Martin Bucer Concerning Divorce (1644)
    Of Education (1644)
    Areopagitica (1644)
    Tetrachordon (1645)
    Colasterion (1645)
    The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649)
    Eikonoklastes (1649)
    Defensio pro Populo Anglicano [First Defence] (1651)
    Defensio Secunda [Second Defence] (1654)
    A Treatise of Civil Power (1659)
    The Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings from the Church (1659)
    The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth (1660)
    Brief Notes Upon a Late Sermon (1660)
    Accedence Commenced Grammar (1669)
    History of Britain (1670)
    Artis logicae plenior institutio [Art of Logic] (1672)
    Of True Religion (1673)
    Epistolae Familiaries (1674)
    Prolusiones (1674)
    A brief History of Moscovia, and other less known Countries lying Eastward of Russia as far as Cathay, gathered from the writings of several Eye-witnesses (1682)
    De Doctrina Christiana (1823)


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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#40 2015-12-07 18:41:15

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 22,953

Re: crème de la crème

26. Celine Dion

Céline Marie Claudette Dion, (born 30 March 1968) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, businesswoman and occasional actress. Born into a large family from Charlemagne, Quebec, Dion emerged as a teen star in the French-speaking world after her manager and future husband René Angélil mortgaged his home to finance her first record. In 1990, she released the English-language album Unison, establishing herself as a viable pop artist in North America and other English-speaking areas of the world.

Dion first gained international recognition in the 1980s by winning both the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest where she represented Switzerland. Following a series of French albums in the early 1980s, she signed on to CBS Records Canada in 1986. During the 1990s, with the help of Angélil, she achieved worldwide fame after signing with Epic Records and releasing several English albums along with additional French albums, becoming one of the most successful artists in pop music history. However, in 1999 at the height of her success, Dion announced a hiatus from entertainment in order to start a family and spend time with her husband, who had been diagnosed with cancer. She returned to the top of pop music in 2002 and signed a three-year (later extended to almost five years) contract to perform nightly in a five-star theatrical show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada.

Dion's music has been influenced by genres ranging from rock and R&B to gospel and classical. Her recordings are mainly in French and English, although she also sings in Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. While her releases have often received mixed critical reception, she is renowned for her technically skilled and powerful vocals. Dion has won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for Falling Into You and Record of the Year for "My Heart Will Go On". She is the second best-selling female artist in the US during the Nielsen SoundScan era, with her albums Falling Into You and Let's Talk About Love both certified Diamond in the US, In addition, her 1995 album D'eux, is the best-selling French-language album of all time. In 2004, after surpassing 175 million in album sales worldwide, she was presented with the Chopard Diamond Award at the World Music Awards for becoming the best-selling female artist of all time. Dion remains the best-selling Canadian artist in history and one of the best-selling artists of all time with record sales of more than 200 million copies worldwide.

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Last edited by ganesh (2015-12-14 15:31:06)


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#41 2015-12-08 14:56:21

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 22,953

Re: crème de la crème

27.

Sylvester Stallone

This athletically built, dark-haired American actor/screenwriter/director may never be mentioned by old-school film critics in the same breath as, say, Richard Burton or Alec Guinness; however, movie fans worldwide have been flocking to see Stallone's films for over 30 years, making "Sly" one of Hollywood's biggest-ever box office draws.

Sylvester Stallone was born on July 6, 1946, in New York's gritty Hell's Kitchen, to Jackie Stallone (née Labofish), an astrologer, and Frank Stallone, a beautician and hairdresser. His father was an Italian immigrant, and his mother's heritage is half French (from Brittany) and half German. The young Stallone attended the American College of Switzerland and the University of Miami, eventually obtaining a B.A. degree. Initially, he struggled in small parts in films such as the soft-core The Party at Kitty and Stud's (1970), the thriller Klute (1971) and the comedy Bananas (1971). He got a crucial career break alongside fellow young actor Henry Winkler, sharing lead billing in the effectively written teen gang film The Lords of Flatbush (1974). Further film and television roles followed, most of them in uninspiring productions except for the opportunity to play a megalomaniac, bloodthirsty race driver named "Machine Gun Joe Viterbo" in the Roger Corman-produced Death Race 2000 (1975). However, Stallone was also keen to be recognized as a screenwriter, not just an actor, and, inspired by the 1975 Muhammad Ali-Chuck Wepner fight in Cleveland, Stallone wrote a film script about a nobody fighter given the "million to one opportunity" to challenge for the heavyweight title. Rocky (1976) became the stuff of cinematic legends, scoring ten Academy Award nominations, winning the Best Picture Award of 1976 and triggering one of the most financially successful movie franchises in history! Whilst full credit is wholly deserved by Stallone, he was duly supported by tremendous acting from fellow cast members Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith and Burt Young, and director John G. Avildsen gave the film an emotive, earthy appeal from start to finish. Stallone had truly arrived on his terms, and offers poured in from various studios eager to secure Hollywood's hottest new star.

Stallone followed Rocky (1976) with F.I.S.T. (1978), loosely based on the life of Teamsters boss "Jimmy Hoffa", and Paradise Alley (1978) before pulling on the boxing gloves again to resurrect Rocky Balboa in the sequel Rocky II (1979). The second outing for the "Italian Stallion" wasn't as powerful or successful as the first "Rocky"; however, it still produced strong box office. Subsequent films Nighthawks (1981) and Escape to Victory (1981) failed to ignite with audiences, so Stallone was once again lured back to familiar territory with Rocky III (1982) and a fearsome opponent in "Clubber Lang" played by muscular ex-bodyguard Mr. T. The third "Rocky" installment far outperformed the first sequel in box office takings, but Stallone retired his prizefighter for a couple of years as another mega-franchise was about to commence for the busy actor.

The character of Green Beret "John Rambo" was the creation of Canadian-born writer David Morrell, and his novel was adapted to the screen with Stallone in the lead role in First Blood (1982), also starring Richard Crenna and Brian Dennehy. The movie was a surprise hit that polarized audiences because of its commentary about the Vietnam war, which was still relatively fresh in the American public's psyche. Political viewpoints aside, the film was a worldwide smash, and a sequel soon followed with Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), which drew even stronger criticism from several quarters owing to the film's plotline about American MIAs allegedly being held in Vietnam. But they say there is no such thing as bad publicity, and "John Rambo's" second adventure was a major money spinner for Stallone and cemented him as one of the top male stars of the 1980s. Riding a wave of amazing popularity, Stallone called on old sparring partner Rocky Balboa to climb back into the ring to defend American pride against a Soviet threat in the form of a towering Russian boxer named "Ivan Drago" played by curt Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV (1985). The fourth outing was somewhat controversial with "Rocky" fans, as violence levels seemed excessive compared to previous "Rocky" films, especially with the savage beating suffered by Apollo Creed, played by Carl Weathers, at the hands of the unstoppable "Siberian Express".

Stallone continued forward with a slew of macho character-themed films that met with a mixed reception from his fans. Cobra (1986) was a clumsy mess, Over the Top (1987) was equally mediocre, Rambo III (1988) saw Rambo take on the Russians in Afghanistan, and cop buddy film Tango & Cash (1989) just did not quite hit the mark, although it did feature a top-notch cast and there was chemistry between Stallone and co-star Kurt Russell.

Philadelphia's favorite mythical boxer moved out of the shadows for his fifth screen outing in Rocky V (1990) tackling Tommy "Machine" Gunn played by real-life heavyweight fighter Tommy Morrison, the great-nephew of screen legend John Wayne. Sly quickly followed with the lukewarm comedy Oscar (1991), the painfully unfunny Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992), the futuristic action film Demolition Man (1993), and the comic book-inspired Judge Dredd (1995). Interestingly, Stallone then took a departure from the gung-ho steely characters he had been portraying to stack on a few extra pounds and tackle a more dramatically challenging role in the intriguing Cop Land (1997), also starring Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta. It isn't a classic of the genre, but Cop Land (1997) certainly surprised many critics with Stallone's understated performance. Stallone then lent his vocal talents to the animated adventure story Antz (1998), reprised the role made famous by Michael Caine in a terrible remake of Get Carter (2000), climbed back into a race car for Driven (2001), and guest-starred as the "Toymaker" in the third chapter of the immensely popular "Spy Kids" film series, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003). Showing that age had not wearied his two most popular franchises, Stallone has most recently brought back never-say-die boxer Rocky Balboa to star in, well, what else but Rocky Balboa (2006), and Vietnam veteran Rambo (2008) will reappear after a 20-year hiatus to once again right wrongs in the jungles of Thailand.

Love him or loathe him, Sylvester Stallone has built an enviable and highly respected career in Hollywood; plus, he has considerably influenced modern popular culture through several of his iconic film characters.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#42 2015-12-09 17:40:37

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

28.

Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira, (c. 1460s – 23 December 1524) was a Portuguese explorer. He was the first European to reach India by sea, linking Europe and Asia for the first time by ocean route, as well as the Atlantic and the Indian oceans entirely and definitively, and in this way, the West and the Orient. This was accomplished on his first voyage to India (1497–1499).

Da Gama's discovery was significant and opened the way for an age of global imperialism and for the Portuguese to establish a long-lasting colonial empire in Asia. The route meant that the Portuguese would not need to cross the highly disputed Mediterranean nor the dangerous Arabian Peninsula, and that the whole voyage would be made by sea. The sum of the distances covered in the outward and return voyages made this expedition the longest ocean voyage ever made until then, far longer than a full voyage around the world by way of the Equator.

One century after the discovery, European powers such as England, the Netherlands and France were finally able to challenge and break Portugal's monopoly and naval supremacy in the Cape Route around Africa, the Indian Ocean and in the Far East, opening a new era of European imperialism in the East.

After decades of sailors trying to reach the Indies with thousands of lives and dozens of vessels lost in shipwrecks and attacks, da Gama landed in Calicut on 20 May 1498. Reaching the legendary Indian spice routes unopposed helped the Portuguese Empire improve its economy that, until da Gama's discovery, was based mainly on trading along northern and coastal West Africa. The spices obtained were mostly pepper and cinnamon at first, but soon included other products, all new to Europe and leading to a commercial monopoly for several decades.

Da Gama led two of the armadas destined for India, the first and the fourth, which was the largest and made only four years after his return from the first one. For his contributions he was appointed the Governor of India in 1524, under the title of Viceroy, and given the newly created County of Vidigueira in 1519. Vasco da Gama remains a leading figure in the history of exploration to this day. Numerous homages have been made worldwide to celebrate his explorations and accomplishments. The Portuguese national epic, Os Lusíadas, was written in his honour. His first trip to India is widely considered a milestone in world history as it marked the beginning of the first wave of global multiculturalism.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#43 2015-12-10 17:07:05

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

29. Usain Bolt

Usain St. Leo Bolt, (born 21 August 1986) is a Jamaican sprinter. Regarded as the fastest person ever recorded, he is the first man to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records since fully automatic time measurements became mandatory in 1977. Along with his teammates, he also set the world record in the 4×100 metres relay. He is the reigning Olympic champion in these three events, the first man to win six Olympic gold medals in sprinting, and an eleven-time World champion. He was the first to achieve a "double double" by winning 100 m and 200 m titles at consecutive Olympics (2008 and 2012), and topped this through the first "double triple" (including 4×100 m relays).


Although gaining worldwide popularity for a sprint double victory at the Beijing Games, Bolt has had more victories as a 200 m runner. While he had not won any significant 100 m title prior to the 2008 Olympics, he had won numerous crowns in the 200 m event at the youth, junior and senior levels. Further, at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Bolt completed a hat-trick of 200 m world titles by winning his third straight gold in the event. His 2009 record breaking margin for 100 m, from 9.69 seconds (his own previous world record) to 9.58, is the highest since the start of fully automatic time measurements.


Bolt's achievements in sprinting have earned him the media nickname "Lightning Bolt", and awards including the IAAF World Athlete of the Year, Track & Field Athlete of the Year, and Laureus World Sportsman of the Year (three times). He is the highest paid athlete ever in track and field. He has been called the world's most marketable athlete. By winning three gold medals at the 2015 World Championships, Bolt became the first athlete to complete a "triple triple", and also became the most successful athlete in the 32-year history of the athletics world championships.
On 14 February 2015, Bolt announced that he intends to retire from athletics after the 2017 World Championships in London.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#44 2015-12-11 20:25:51

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

30. Sophie Germain

French mathematician

Sophie Germain, in full Marie-Sophie Germain   (born April 1, 1776, Paris, France—died June 27, 1831, Paris), French mathematician who contributed notably to the study of acoustics, elasticity, and the theory of numbers.

As a girl Germain read widely in her father’s library and then later, using the pseudonym of M. Le Blanc, managed to obtain lecture notes for courses from the newly organized École Polytechnique in Paris. It was through the École Polytechnique that she met the mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange, who remained a strong source of support and encouragement to her for several years. Germain’s early work was in number theory, her interest having been stimulated by Adrien-Marie Legendre’s Théorie des nombres (1789) and by Carl Friedrich Gauss’s Disquisitiones Arithmeticae (1801). This subject occupied her throughout her life and eventually provided her most significant result. In 1804 she initiated a correspondence with Gauss under her male pseudonym. Gauss only learned of her true identity when Germain, fearing for Gauss’s safety as a result of the French occupation of Hannover in 1807, asked a family friend in the French army to ascertain his whereabouts and ensure that he would not be ill-treated.

In 1809 the French Academy of Sciences offered a prize for a mathematical account of the phenomena exhibited in experiments on vibrating plates conducted by the German physicist Ernst F.F. Chladni. In 1811 Germain submitted an anonymous memoir, but the prize was not awarded. The competition was reopened twice more, once in 1813 and again in 1816, and Germain submitted a memoir on each occasion. Her third memoir, with which she finally won the prize, treated vibrations of general curved as well as plane surfaces and was published privately in 1821. During the 1820s she worked on generalizations of her research but, isolated from the academic community on account of her gender and thus largely unaware of new developments taking place in the theory of elasticity, she made little real progress. In 1816 Germain met Joseph Fourier, whose friendship and position in the Academy helped her to participate more fully in Parisian scientific life, but his reservations about her work on elasticity eventually led him to distance himself from her professionally, although they remained close friends.

Meanwhile Germain had actively revived her interest in number theory and in 1819 wrote to Gauss outlining her strategy for a general solution to Fermat’s last theorem, which states that there is no solution for the equation

if n is an integer greater than 2 and x, y, and z are nonzero integers. She proved the special case in which x, y, z, and n are all relatively prime (have no common divisor except for 1) and n is a prime smaller than 100, although she did not publish her work. Her result first appeared in 1825 in a supplement to the second edition of Legendre’s Théorie des nombres. She corresponded extensively with Legendre, and her method formed the basis for his proof of the theorem for the case n = 5. The theorem was proved for all cases by the English mathematician Andrew Wiles in 1995.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#45 2015-12-12 20:02:36

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

31. Evangelista Torricelli

Evangelista Torricelli,  (born Oct. 15, 1608, Faenza, Romagna—died Oct. 25, 1647, Florence), Italian physicist and mathematician who invented the barometer and whose work in geometry aided in the eventual development of integral calculus. Inspired by Galileo’s writings, he wrote a treatise on mechanics, De Motu (“Concerning Movement”), which impressed Galileo. In 1641 Torricelli was invited to Florence, where he served the elderly astronomer as secretary and assistant during the last three months of Galileo’s life. Torricelli was then appointed to succeed him as professor of mathematics at the Florentine Academy.

Two years later, pursuing a suggestion by Galileo, he filled a glass tube 4 feet (1.2 m) long with mercury and inverted the tube into a dish. He observed that some of the mercury did not flow out and that the space above the mercury in the tube was a vacuum. Torricelli became the first man to create a sustained vacuum. After much observation, he concluded that the variation of the height of the mercury from day to day was caused by changes in atmospheric pressure. He never published his findings, however, because he was too deeply involved in the study of pure mathematics—including calculations of the cycloid, a geometric curve described by a point on the rim of a turning wheel. In his Opera Geometrica (1644; “Geometric Works”), Torricelli included his findings on fluid motion and projectile motion.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#46 2015-12-14 15:22:46

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

32. James Watt

James Watt, (30 January 1736 – 25 August 1819), was a Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist whose Watt steam engine, an improvement of the Newcomen steam engine, was fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world.

While working as an instrument maker at the University of Glasgow, Watt became interested in the technology of steam engines. He realised that contemporary engine designs wasted a great deal of energy by repeatedly cooling and reheating the cylinder. Watt introduced a design enhancement, the separate condenser, which avoided this waste of energy and radically improved the power, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of steam engines. Eventually he adapted his engine to produce rotary motion, greatly broadening its use beyond pumping water.

Watt attempted to commercialise his invention, but experienced great financial difficulties until he entered a partnership with Matthew Boulton in 1775. The new firm of Boulton and Watt was eventually highly successful and Watt became a wealthy man. In his retirement, Watt continued to develop new inventions though none was as significant as his steam engine work. He died in 1819 at the age of 83.

He developed the concept of horsepower, and the SI unit of power, the watt, was named after him.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#47 2015-12-15 19:25:44

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

William Wordsworth

Born in England in 1770, poet William Wordsworth worked with Samuel Taylor Coleridge on Lyrical Ballads (1798). The collection, which contained Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey," introduced Romanticism to English poetry. Wordsworth also showed his affinity for nature with the famous poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud." He became England's poet laureate in 1843, a role he held until his death in 1850.

Early Life

Poet William Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770, in math, Cumberland, England. Wordsworth’s mother died when he was 7, and he was an orphan at 13. Despite these losses, he did well at Hawkshead Grammar School—where he wrote his first poetry—and went on to study at Cambridge University. He did not excel there, but managed to graduate in 1791.

Wordsworth had visited France in 1790—in the midst of the French Revolution—and was a supporter of the new government’s republican ideals. On a return trip to France the next year, he fell in love with Annette Vallon, who became pregnant. However, the declaration of war between England and France in 1793 separated the two. Left adrift and without income in England, Wordsworth was influenced by radicals such as William Godwin.

Young Poet

In 1795, Wordsworth received an inheritance that allowed him to live with his younger sister, Dorothy. That same year, Wordsworth met Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The two became friends, and together worked on Lyrical Ballads (1798). The volume contained poems such as Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey," and helped Romanticism take hold in English poetry.

The same year that Lyrical Ballads was published, Wordsworth began writing The Prelude, an epic autobiographical poem that he would revise throughout his life (it was published posthumously in 1850). While working on The Prelude, Wordsworth produced other poetry, such as "Lucy." He also wrote a preface for the second edition of Lyrical Ballads; it described his poetry as being inspired by powerful emotions and would come to be seen as a declaration of Romantic principles.

"Though nothing can bring back the hour, Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower." -- from Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

In 1802, a temporary lull in fighting between England and France meant that Wordsworth was able to see Vallon and their daughter, Caroline. After returning to England, he wed Mary Hutchinson, who gave birth to the first of their five children in 1803. Wordsworth was also still writing poetry, including the famous "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" and "Ode: Intimations of Immortality." These pieces were published in another Wordsworth collection, Poems, in Two Volumes (1807).

Evolving Poetry and Philosophy

As he grew older, Wordsworth began to reject radicalism. In 1813, he was named as a distributor of stamps and moved his family to a new home in the Lake District. By 1818, Wordsworth was an ardent supporter of the conservative Tories.

Though Wordsworth continued to produce poetry—including moving work that mourned the deaths of two of his children in 1812—he had reached a zenith of creativity between 1798 and 1808. It was this early work that cemented his reputation as an acclaimed literary figure.

In 1843, Wordsworth became England's poet laureate, a position he held for the rest of his life. At the age of 80, he died on April 23, 1850, at his home in Rydal Mount, Westmorland, England.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#48 2015-12-16 16:21:15

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

34. Pierre, Baron de Coubertin

Pierre, Baron de Coubertin, originally Pierre de Frédy (born January 1, 1863, Paris, France—died September 2, 1937, Geneva, Switzerland), French educator who played a central role in the revival of the Olympic Games in 1896, after nearly 1,500 years of abeyance. He was a founding member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and served as its president from 1896 to 1925.

As a republican born to the French aristocracy, a patriot with an internationalist’s outlook, and a child of the French defeats of 1871 yet a committed progressive and optimist, Coubertin struggled in his 20s to find a satisfying vocation. Inspired by study tours of British public schools and American colleges, he resolved "to attach his name to a great educational reform," embarking upon lifelong campaigns for secondary-school improvement, workers universities, and the popular study of world political history. These efforts attained little success and are largely forgotten today. In 1890 Coubertin met English educator William Penny Brookes, who had organized British Olympic Games as early as 1866. Brookes introduced Coubertin to the efforts that he and others had made to resurrect the Olympic Games. Brookes’s passion for an international Olympic festival inspired Coubertin to take up the cause and gave a new direction to his life. As Le Rénovateur ("The Reviver") of the Olympic Games, Coubertin managed to alter modern cultural history on a global scale.

The idea of a new Olympic Games, which in Coubertin’s case emerged from a focus on the liberal democratic and character-building properties of school sport, was hardly original. Whenever Europe renewed its fascination with ancient Greece, the charismatic phrase "Olympic Games" came to the fore. Historians have discovered dozens of fanciful evocations of the Olympics from the Renaissance through early modern times, and in the 18th and 19th centuries sporting, gymnastic, and folkloric festivals bearing this name are known from Canada, Greece, France, Germany, Sweden, and Great Britain. These local or national expressions often asserted the superiority of indigenous physical culture over that of rival peoples. By contrast, Brookes, Coubertin, and their colleagues were committed from the beginning to a quadrennial festival of strictly international character and featuring many kinds of modern athletic contests.

Coubertin’s extraordinary energies, his taste for cultural symbolism, his social and political connections, and his willingness to exhaust his fortune in pursuit of his ambitions were critical to launching the Olympic movement. At the 1889 Universal Exhibitionin Paris, Coubertin launched a series of congresses on physical education and international sport that coincided with inspiring new archaeological finds from Olympia. His public call for an Olympic revival at one of these congresses in 1892 fell on deaf ears, but he persevered, and in 1894 a second Sorbonne congress resolved to hold an international Olympic Games in Athens.

The success of Athens 1896 was followed by embarrassments in Paris and St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., where the Olympics were swallowed by world’s fairs and control was all but lost by the young IOC and its president, Coubertin. Stockholm 1912 put the Games back on track, and during the World War I era Coubertin reconsolidated the Olympic movement by moving its headquarters to Lausanne, Switzerland, and by articulating its ideology of "neo-Olympism," the pursuit of peace and intercultural communication through international sport.

After the highly successful 1924 Olympics in Paris, Coubertin retired from the IOC presidency. His final years were marked by personal isolation, penury, and family tragedy, while the Games themselves, as evidenced by Los Angeles 1932 and Berlin 1936, stepped closer to the centre of world affairs. Coubertin died in Geneva in 1937 and was buried in Lausanne, save for his heart, which upon his instructions was removed from his corpse and interred in a memorial stela adjacent to the ruins of ancient Olympia.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#49 2015-12-17 15:47:31

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

35.  Marie Skłodowska Curie

Marie Skłodowska Curie (7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934), born Maria Salomea Skłodowska, was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only person to win twice in multiple sciences, and was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.

She was born in Warsaw, in what was then the Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire. She studied at Warsaw's clandestine Floating University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and with physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Her achievements included the development of the theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms, using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I, she established the first military field radiological centres.

While a French citizen, Marie Skłodowska Curie (she used both surnames) never lost her sense of Polish identity. She taught her daughters the Polish language and took them on visits to Poland. She named the first chemical element that she discovered – polonium, which she isolated in 1898 – after her native country.

Curie died in 1934, aged 66, at a sanatorium in Sancellemoz (Haute-Savoie), France, due to aplastic anemia brought on by exposure to radiation while carrying test tubes of radium in her pockets during research, and in the course of her service in World War I mobile X-ray units that she had set up.

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Last edited by ganesh (2015-12-17 15:49:42)


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#50 2015-12-18 14:26:31

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

36.

(i) Sir Edmund Percival Hillary  (20 July 1919 – 11 January 2008) was a New Zealand mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist. On 29 May 1953, Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest. They were part of the ninth British expedition to Everest, led by John Hunt. Hillary was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

Hillary became interested in mountaineering while in secondary school, making his first major climb in 1939, reaching the summit of Mount Ollivier. He served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a navigator during World War II. Prior to the 1953 Everest expedition, Hillary had been part of the British reconnaissance expedition to the mountain in 1951, as well as an unsuccessful attempt to climb Cho Oyu in 1952. As part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition he reached the South Pole overland in 1958. He subsequently reached the North Pole, making him the first person to reach both poles and summit Everest.

Following his ascent of Everest, Hillary devoted most of his life to helping the Sherpa people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust, which he founded. Through his efforts, many schools and hospitals were built in Nepal.

(ii) Tenzing Norgay  (29 May 1914 – 9 May 1986), born Namgyal Wangdi and often referred to as Sherpa Tenzing, was a Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer. Among the most famous mountain climbers in history, he was one of the first two individuals known to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which he accomplished with Edmund Hillary on 29 May 1953. TIME named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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