Saturday, 1 February 2014

Sir Isaac Newton


(born Jan. 4, 1643, Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, Eng.died March 31, 1727, London) English physicist and mathematician. The son of a yeoman, he was raised by his grandmother. He was educated at Cambridge University (166165), where he discovered the work of Ren Descartes. His experiments passing sunlight through a prism led to the discovery of the heterogeneous, corpuscular nature of white light and laid the foundation of physical optics. He built the first reflecting telescope in 1668 and became a professor of mathematics at Cambridge in 1669. He worked out the fundamentals of calculus, though this work went unpublished for more than 30 years. His most famous publication, Principia Mathematica (1687), grew out of correspondence with Edmond Halley. Describing his works on the laws of motion ( Newton's laws of motion), orbital dynamics, tidal theory, and the theory of universal gravitation, it is regarded as the seminal work of modern science. He was elected president of the Royal Society of London in 1703 and became the first scientist ever to be knighted in 1705. During his career he engaged in heated arguments with several of his colleagues, including Robert Hooke (over authorship of the inverse square relation of gravitation) and G.W. Leibniz (over the authorship of calculus). The battle with Leibniz dominated the last 25 years of his life; it is now well established that Newton developed calculus first, but that Leibniz was the first to publish on the subject. Newton is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time.

William P. Lear

(born June 26, 1902, Hannibal, Mo., U.S.—died May 14, 1978, Reno, Nev.), self-taught American electrical engineer and industrialist whose Lear Jet Corporation was the first mass-manufacturer of business jet aircraft in the world. Lear also developed the automobile radio, the eight-track stereo tape player for automobiles, and the miniature automatic pilot for aircraft.
The child of immigrant parents and a broken home, Lear said that at the age of 12 he had worked out a blueprint of his life, based upon profiting by inventing what people wanted. He held some 150 patents at his death.
After completing eighth grade, Lear quit school to become a mechanic and at the age of 16 joined the navy, lying about his age. During World War I, Lear studied radio and after his discharge designed the first practicable auto radio. Failing to secure the financial backing to produce the radio himself, Lear sold the radio to the Motorola Company in 1924.

Wernher von Braun

(born , March 23, 1912, Wirsitz, Ger.died June 16, 1977, Alexandria, Va., U.S.) German-born U.S. rocket engineer. Born into an aristocratic family, he received his doctorate from the University of Berlin. In 1936 he became technical director of the new military development facility at Peenemnde, an essential centre for the rearmament of Nazi Germany, forbidden by the Versailles accords. Liquid-fueled rocket aircraft and jet-assisted takeoffs were successfully demonstrated there, and the V-2 long-range ballistic missile and the Wasserfall supersonic antiaircraft missile were developed. By 1944 the sophistication of the rockets and missiles being tested at Peenemnde was many years ahead of that of any other country. After World War II he and his team surrendered to the U.S.; they were immediately set to work on guided missiles by the U.S. Army, and in 1952 he became technical director (later chief) of the Army's ballistic weapon program. Under his leadership, the Redstone, Jupiter-C, Juno, and Pershing missiles were developed. In 1958 he and his group launched the first U.S. satellite, Explorer 1. After NASA was formed, von Braun led the development of some of the large Saturn space launch vehicles; the engineering success of each of the Saturn class of space boosters remains unmatched in rocket history.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Harry Belafonte

  (born March 1, 1927) is an American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist. One of the most successful African-American pop stars in history, he was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s. His breakthrough album Calypso (1956) is the first million selling album by a single artist. Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing "The Banana Boat Song", with its signature lyric "Day-O". He has recorded in many genres, including blues, folk, gospel, show tunes, and American standards. He has also starred in several films, most notably in Otto Preminger's hit musical Carmen Jones (1954), 1957's Island in the Sun, and Robert Wise's Odds Against Tomorrow (1959).

Patrick Dempsey

 (born January 13, 1966) is an American actor and race car driver, best known for his role as neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd ("McDreamy") on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy. Prior to Grey's Anatomy he made several television appearances and was nominated for an Emmy Award. He has also appeared in several films, including Sweet Home Alabama, Made of Honor, Valentine's Day, Enchanted, With Honors, Flypaper, Freedom Writers, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Dempsey, who maintains an exclusive sports and vintage car collection, also enjoys auto racing in his spare time. He has competed in prestigious pro-am events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 at Daytona sports car race, and Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race. Prior to the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans, Dempsey declared that he would "walk away" from acting if he could and dedicate himself full-time to motorsports

Bill Gates

(born Oct. 28, 1955, Seattle, Wash., U.S.) U.S. computer programmer and businessman. As a teenager, he helped computerize his high school's payroll system and founded a company that sold traffic-counting systems to local governments. At 19 he dropped out of Harvard University and cofounded Microsoft Corp. with Paul G. Allen (b. 1954). Microsoft began its domination of the fledgling microcomputer industry when Gates licensed the operating system MS-DOS to IBM in 1980 for use in IBM's first personal computer. As Microsoft's largest shareholder, Gates became a billionaire in 1986, and within a decade he was the world's richest private individual. Beginning in 1995, he refocused Microsoft on the development of software solutions for the Internet, and he also moved the company into the computer hardware and gaming markets with the Xbox video machine. In 1999 he and his wife created the largest charitable foundation in the U.S. In 2008 Gates relinquished day-to-day oversight of Microsoft in order to devote more time to charity work. He remained, however, the company's chairman.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Stephen Hawking

(born Jan. 8, 1942, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Eng.) English theoretical physicist. He studied at the University of Oxford and later received his Ph.D. from Cambridge. He has worked primarily in the field of general relativity and particularly on the physics of black holes. In 1971 he suggested that numerous objects, formed after the big bang, each had as much as one billion tons of mass but the size of only a proton. These mini black holes are unique in being subject to both the laws of relativity, due to their immense mass and gravity, and the laws of quantum mechanics, due to their minute size. In 1974 he proposed that black holes evaporate by what is now known as Hawking radiation. His work greatly spurred efforts to delineate the properties of black holes. His work also showed the relationship of these properties to the laws of classical thermodynamics and quantum mechanics. Hawking's achievements, despite near-total paralysis from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, have earned him extraordinary honours. His books include the best-selling A Brief History of Time (1988).

Henry Ford

(born July 30, 1863, Wayne county, Mich., U.S.died April 7, 1947, Dearborn, Mich.) U.S. industrialist and pioneer automobile manufacturer. Ford worked his way up from a machinist's apprentice (at age 15) to the post of chief engineer at the Edison Company in Detroit. He built his first experimental car in 1896. In 1903, with several partners, he formed the Ford Motor Company. In 1908 he designed the Model T; demand became so great that Ford developed new mass-production methods, including the first moving assembly line in 1913. He developed the Model A in 1928 to replace the Model T, and in 1932 he introduced the V-8 engine. He observed an eight-hour workday and paid his workers far above the average, holding that well-paid labourers become the consumers that industrialists require, but strenuously opposed labour unions. As the first to make car ownership affordable to large numbers of Americans, he exerted a vast and permanent influence on American life. Ford Foundation.

Harrison Ford

 (born July 13, 1942) is an American film actor and producer. He is famous for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Ford is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, John Book in Witness and Jack Ryan in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. His career has spanned six decades and includes roles in several Hollywood blockbusters, including Apocalypse Now, Presumed Innocent, The Fugitive, Air Force One, and What Lies Beneath. At one point, four of the top six box-office hits of all time included one of his roles.[1] Five of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry.
In 1997, Ford was ranked No. 1 in Empire's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. As of July 2008, the United States domestic box office grosses of Ford's films total over US$3.5 billion, with worldwide grosses surpassing $6 billion, making Ford the third highest grossing U.S. domestic box-office star. Ford is the husband of actress Calista Flockhart.

Jim Carrey

 (born January 17, 1962) is a Canadian American actor, comedian, and producer. Carrey has received four Golden Globe Award nominations, winning two. Known for his highly energetic slapstick performances, he has been described as one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood.
Carrey first gained recognition in 1990 after landing a recurring role in the sketch comedy In Living Color. His first leading roles in major productions came with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), Dumb and Dumber (1994), The Mask (1994), and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995). In 1997, he gave a critically acclaimed performance in Liar Liar, which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor. He then starred in The Truman Show (1998) and Man on the Moon (1999), with each garnering him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.

John Winston Lennon

(born Oct. 9, 1940, Liverpool, Merseyside, Eng.died Dec. 8, 1980, New York, N.Y., U.S.) British singer and songwriter. He wanted to be a sailor like his father but became a musician after hearing Elvis Presley's recordings. In 1957 he formed the band that became the Beatles, and in the 1960s he achieved enormous success performing with the group and writing songs with Paul McCartney. In the mid-1960s he began working on side projects in film and music, notably with the Japanese-U.S. avant-garde artist Yoko Ono (b. 1933), whom he married in 1969. Their political activism and social ideals were reflected in much of Lennon's early solo work, including the hit Imagine, and attracted the attention of the U.S. government, which sought to have him deported. After 1975 he withdrew from public life; he and Ono returned with the album Double Fantasy shortly before his murder by a deranged fan. His sons, Julian (b. 1963) and Sean (b. 1975), also became musicians.

Whoopi Goldberg

 (born Caryn Elaine Johnson; November 13, 1955) is an American comedian, actress, singer-songwriter, political activist, author and talk show host. Some sources give her birth year as 1955, but according to the African-American Registry and a New York Times article from 1984,[3] she was born in 1949. Although Goldberg made her film debut in the avant-garde ensemble film Citizen: I'm Not Losing My Mind, I'm Giving It Away (1982), her breakthrough role was playing Celie, a mistreated black woman in the Deep South in the period drama film The Color Purple (1985).
She played Oda Mae Brown – a wacky psychic helping a slain man (Patrick Swayze) save his lover (Demi Moore) – in the romantic fantasy film Ghost (1990) for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Goldberg was the second black woman in the history of the Academy Awards to win an acting Oscar (the first being Hattie McDaniel who won for Gone with the Wind in 1939). She was co-producer of the television game show Hollywood Squares from 1998 to 2004. She has been the moderator of the daytime television talk show The View since 2007. Goldberg has been nominated for 13 Emmy Awards for her work in television. She is one of the few entertainers who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. In the 1990s, Goldberg was rumored to be the highest paid actress for her appearances in film.

Vince Vaughn

 (born March 28, 1970) is an American film actor, screenwriter, producer, comedian and activist. He began acting in the late 1980s, appearing in minor television roles before attaining wider recognition with the 1996 movie Swingers. He has since appeared in a number of films, including Rudy, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Return to Paradise, Old School, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Wedding Crashers, The Break Up, Fred Claus, Couples Retreat, The Watch and The Internship. He is one of the tallest leading men in Hollywood at 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m).

Anthony Hopkins

(born 31 December 1937) is a Welsh actor of film, stage, and television, and a composer. After graduating from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 1957, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and was then spotted by Laurence Olivier who invited him to join the Royal National Theatre. In 1968, he got his break in film in The Lion in Winter playing Richard I.
Considered to be one of the greatest living actors, Hopkins is well known for his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, its sequel Hannibal, and the prequel Red Dragon. Other notable films include The Mask of Zorro, The Bounty, Meet Joe Black, The Elephant Man, Magic, 84 Charing Cross Road, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Legends of the Fall, Thor, The Remains of the Day, Amistad, Nixon, The World's Fastest Indian, Instinct, and Fracture.

Jerry Hall

Famous fashion model Jerry Hall is perhaps best known as former wife of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger. Born in Texas, on July 2, 1956, the lanky blond also featured in movies such as Willie and Phil (1980) and Tim Burton's Batman (1989). In 1990, she joined other celebrities in a star-studded performance of The Wall in Berlin. In the early 2000�s, Hall starred as Mrs. Robinson in the theatrical performance of The Graduate. Her marriage to Jagger was annulled in 1999.

Cher

( born Cherilyn Sarkisian; May 20, 1946) is an American singer and actress. Recognized for having brought the sense of female autonomy and self-actualization into the entertainment industry, she is known for her distinctive contralto singing voice and for having worked in various areas of entertainment, as well as continuously reinventing both her music and image, which has led to her being nicknamed the Goddess of Pop.
Cher became prominent in 1965 as one-half of the folk rock husband–wife duo Sonny & Cher, who popularized a particular smooth sound that successfully competed with the dominant British Invasion and Motown sounds of the era. From 1965, she had established herself as a solo artist with successful singles such as "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)", "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves", "Half-Breed", and "Dark Lady", songs that deal with subjects rarely addressed in American popular music. Goldmine magazine's Phill Marder described her as the leader of an effort in the 1960s to "advance feminine rebellion in the rock world [and] the prototype of the female rock star, setting the standard for appearance [and] attitude".[1] After the duo's drug-free lifestyle had lost its popular appeal in the United States owing to the drug culture of the 1960s, she returned to stardom in the 1970s as a television personality with her shows The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and Cher, both of which attained immense popularity. She became a fashion trendsetter with her daring outfits. After Cher and Sonny divorced in 1975, Cher experimented with various musical styles, including disco and new wave, before becoming a successful live act in Las Vegas.

Jay Leno

( born April 28, 1950) is an American comedian, actor, voice actor, writer, producer and television host.
Leno was the host of NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from 1992 to 2009. Beginning in September 2009, Leno started a primetime talk show, titled The Jay Leno Show, which aired weeknights at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time, UTC-5), also on NBC. After The Jay Leno Show was canceled in January 2010 amid a host controversy, Leno returned to host The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 1, 2010

John F. Kennedy

(born May 29, 1917, Brookline, Mass., U.S.died Nov. 22, 1963, Dallas, Texas) 35th president of the U.S. (196163). The son of Joseph P. Kennedy, he graduated from Harvard University in 1940 and joined the navy the following year. He commanded a patrol torpedo (PT) boat in World War II and was gravely injured in an attack by a Japanese destroyer; he was later decorated for heroism. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1946 and the U.S. Senate in 1952, he supported social-welfare legislation and became increasingly committed to civil rights; in foreign affairs, he supported the Cold War policies of the Truman administration. In 1960 he won the Democratic nomination for president, beating out Lyndon B. Johnson, who became his running mate. In his acceptance speech Kennedy declared, We stand on the edge of a New Frontier; thereafter the phrase New Frontier was associated with his programs. After a vigorous campaign managed by his brother Robert F. Kennedy and aided financially by his father, he narrowly defeated the Republican candidate, Richard Nixon. He was the youngest person and the first Roman Catholic elected president. In his inaugural address he called on Americans to ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. His legislative program, including massive income-tax cuts and a sweeping civil-rights measure, received little support in the Congress, though he did win approval of the Peace Corps and the Alliance for Progress. In 1961 he committed the U.S. to land a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. In foreign affairs he approved a plan drawn up during the Eisenhower administration to land an invasion force of Cuban exiles on their homeland, but the Bay of Pigs invasion (1961) was a fiasco. Determined to combat the spread of communism in Asia, he sent military advisers and other assistance to South Vietnam. During the Cuban missile crisis (1962) he imposed a naval blockade on Cuba and demanded that the Soviet Union remove its nuclear missiles from the island. In 1963 he successfully concluded the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty with Britain and the Soviet Union. In November 1963, while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, he was assassinated by a sniper, allegedly Lee Harvey Oswald. The killing is considered the most notorious political murder of the 20th century. Kennedy's youth, energy, and charming family brought him world adulation and sparked the idealism of a generation, for whom the Kennedy White House became known as Camelot. Revelations about his powerful family and his personal life, especially concerning his extramarital affairs, tainted his image in later years. Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

Ludwig van Beethoven

(baptized Dec. 17, 1770, Bonn, archbishopric of Colognedied March 26, 1827, Vienna, Austria) German composer. Born to a musical family, he was a precociously gifted pianist and violist. After nine years as a court musician in Bonn, he moved to Vienna to study with Joseph Haydn and remained there for the rest of his life. He was soon well known as both a virtuoso and a composer, and he became the first important composer to earn a successful living while forsaking employment in the church or court. He uniquely straddled the Classical and Romantic eras. Rooted in the traditions of Haydn and Mozart, his art also encompassed the new spirit of humanism expressed in the works of German Romantic writers as well as in the ideals of the French Revolution, with its passionate concern for the freedom and dignity of the individual. His astonishing Third (Eroica) Symphony (1804) was the thunderclap that announced the Romantic century, and it embodies the titanic but rigorously controlled energy that was the hallmark of his style. He began to lose his hearing from 1795; by 1819 he was totally deaf. For his last 15 years he was unrivaled as the world's most famous composer. In musical form he was a considerable innovator, widening the scope of sonata, symphony, concerto, and string quartet. His greatest achievement was to raise instrumental music, hitherto considered inferior to vocal, to the highest plane of art. His works include the celebrated 9 symphonies; 16 string quartets; 32 piano sonatas; the opera Fidelio (1805, rev. 1814); 2 masses, including the Missa Solemnis (1823); 5 piano concertos; a violin concerto (1806); 6 piano trios; 10 violin sonatas; 5 cello sonatas; and several concert overtures.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

(born Jan. 27, 1756, Salzburg, Archbishopric of Salzburgdied Dec. 5, 1791, Vienna) Austrian composer. Son of the violinist and composer Leopold Mozart (171987), he was born the year of the publication of Leopold's best-selling treatise on violin playing. He and his older sister, Maria Anna (17511829), were prodigies; at age five he began to compose and gave his first public performance. From 1763 Leopold toured throughout Europe with his children, showing off the miracle that God allowed to be born in Salzburg. The first round of touring (176369) took them as far as France and England, where Wolfgang met Johann Christian Bach and wrote his first symphonies (1764). Tours of Italy followed (176973); there he first saw the string quartets of Joseph Haydn and wrote his own first Italian opera. In 177577 he composed his violin concertos and his first piano sonatas. His mother died in 1778. He returned to Salzburg as cathedral organist and in 1781 wrote his opera seria Idomeneo. Chafing under the archbishop's rule, he was released from his position in 1781; he moved in with his friends the Weber family and began his independent career in Vienna. He married Constanze Weber, gave piano lessons, and wrote The Abduction from the Seraglio (1782) and many of his great piano concertos. The later 1780s were the height of his success, with the string quartets dedicated to Haydn (who called Mozart the greatest living composer), the three great operas on Lorenzo Da Ponte's librettosThe Marriage of Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787), and Cos fan tutte (1790)and his superb late symphonies. In his last year he composed the opera The Magic Flute and his great Requiem (left unfinished). Despite his success, he always lacked money (possibly because of gambling debts and a fondness for fine clothes) and had to borrow heavily from friends. His death at age 35 may have resulted from a number of illnesses; among those that have been suggested are miliary fever, rheumatic fever, and Schnlein-Henoch syndrome. No other composer left such an extraordinary legacy in so short a lifetime.

Johnny Depp

(born June 9, 1963) is an American actor, film producer, and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. Depp rose to prominence on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street, becoming a teen idol. Dissatisfied with that status, Depp turned to film for more challenging roles; he played the title character of the acclaimed Edward Scissorhands (1990) and later found box office success in films such as Sleepy Hollow (1999), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Rango (2011) and the Pirates of the Caribbean film series (2003–present). He has collaborated with director and friend Tim Burton in eight films; the most recent being Dark Shadows (2012).
Depp has gained acclaim for his portrayals of such people as Ed Wood, in Ed Wood, Joseph D. Pistone in Donnie Brasco, Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, George Jung in Blow, and the bank robber John Dillinger in Michael Mann's Public Enemies. Films featuring Depp have grossed over $3.1 billion at the United States box office and over $7.6 billion worldwide.[2] He has been nominated for top awards many times, winning the Best Actor Awards from the Golden Globes for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and from the Screen Actors Guild for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He also has garnered a sex symbol status in American cinema, being twice named as the "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine in 2003 and 2009. He has been listed in the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records as the highest paid actor, with $75 million.

Jamie Oliver

 (born 27 May 1975) is a British chef, restaurateur, media personality, known for his food-focused television shows, cookbooks and more recently his campaign against the use of processed foods in national schools. Nicknamed the Naked Chef, he strives to improve unhealthy diets and poor cooking habits in the United Kingdom and the United States. Oliver's speciality is Italian cuisine, although he has a broad international repertoire.

Will Smith

 (born September 25, 1968) is an American comedic and dramatic actor, producer, and rapper. He has enjoyed success in television, film and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood. Smith has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards.
In the late 1980s, Smith achieved modest fame as a rapper under the name The Fresh Prince. In 1990, his popularity increased dramatically when he starred in the popular television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show ran for nearly six years (1990–1996) on NBC and has been syndicated consistently on various networks since then. In the mid-1990s, Smith moved from television to film, and ultimately starred in numerous blockbuster films. He is the only actor to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office, and eleven consecutive films gross over $150 million internationally and the only one to have eight consecutive films in which he starred open at #1 spot in the domestic box office tally.

Friday, 17 January 2014

George Washington

(born Feb. 22, 1732, Westmoreland county, Va.died Dec. 14, 1799, Mount Vernon, Va., U.S.) American Revolutionary commander-in-chief (177583) and first president of the U.S. (178997). Born into a wealthy family, he was educated privately. In 1752 he inherited his brother's estate at Mount Vernon, including 18 slaves; their ranks grew to 49 by 1760, though he disapproved of slavery. In the French and Indian War he was commissioned a colonel and sent to the Ohio Territory. After Edward Braddock was killed, Washington became commander of all Virginia forces, entrusted with defending the western frontier (175558). He resigned to manage his estate and in 1759 married Martha Dandridge Custis (17311802), a widow. He served in the House of Burgesses (175974), where he supported the colonists' cause, and later in the Continental Congress (177475). In 1775 he was elected to command the Continental Army. In the ensuing American Revolution, he proved a brilliant commander and a stalwart leader, despite several defeats. With the war effectively ended by the capture of Yorktown (1781), he resigned his commission and returned to Mount Vernon (1783). He was a delegate to and presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention (1787) and helped secure ratification of the Constitution in Virginia. When the state electors met to select the first president (1789), Washington was the unanimous choice. He formed a cabinet to balance sectional and political differences but was committed to a strong central government. Elected to a second term, he followed a middle course between the political factions that later became the Federalist Party and the Democratic Party. He proclaimed a policy of neutrality in the war between Britain and France (1793) and sent troops to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion (1794). He declined to serve a third term (thereby setting a 144-year precedent) and retired in 1797 after delivering his Farewell Address. Known as the father of his country, he is universally regarded as one of the greatest figures in U.S. history.

Agatha Christie

(born Sept. 15, 1890, Torquay, Devon, Eng.died Jan. 12, 1976, Wallingford, Oxfordshire) British detective novelist and playwright. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), introduced Hercule Poirot, the eccentric Belgian detective who would appear in about 25 novels. The elderly spinster Miss Jane Marple, her other principal detective figure, first appeared in Murder at the Vicarage (1930). Most of her approximately 75 novels, such as Murder on the Orient Express (1933; film, 1978), were best-sellers; translated into 100 languages, they have sold more than 100 million copies. Her plays include The Mousetrap (1952), which set a world record for longest continuous run, and Witness for the Prosecution (1953; film, 1958). She was married to the eminent archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan (190478).

Henry Winkler

(born October 30, 1945) is an American actor, director, producer and author.
Winkler is best known for his role as Fonzie on the 1970s American sitcom Happy Days. "The Fonz", a leather-clad greaser and auto mechanic, started out as a minor character at the show's beginning, but had achieved top billing by the time the show ended. He currently stars as Sy Mittleman on Childrens Hospital

Danny Glover

(born July 22, 1946) is an American actor, film director and political activist. Glover is well known for his roles as Mr. Albert Johnson in The Color Purple, as Michael Harrigan in Predator 2, as corrupt cop James McFee in Witness, as Detective Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film franchise (where he coined the catchphrase "I'm too old for this shit"), as Detective David Tapp in Saw, and as George Knox in Angels in the Outfield. He has also appeared in many other movies, television shows, and theatrical productions. He is an active supporter of various humanitarian and political causes.

Richard Branson

(born 18 July 1950) is an English business magnate, best known as the founder and chairman of Virgin Group of more than 400 companies.
His first business venture was a magazine called Student at the age of 16.In 1970, he set up an audio-record mail-order business. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores. Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded the Virgin Records music label.
Branson is the 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom, according to the Forbes 2012 list of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of US$4.2 billion.

Winston Churchill

(born Nov. 30, 1874, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, Eng.died Jan. 24, 1965, London) British statesman and author. Son of Lord Randolph Churchill and the American Jennie Jerome, he had an unhappy childhood and was an unpromising student. After joining the 4th Hussars in 1895, he saw service as both a soldier and a journalist, and his dispatches from India and South Africa attracted wide attention. Fame as a military hero helped him win election to the House of Commons in 1900. He quickly rose to prominence and served in several cabinet posts, including first lord of the Admiralty (191115), though in World War I and during the following decade he acquired a reputation for erratic judgment. In the years before World War II, his warnings of the threat posed by Adolf Hitler's Germany were repeatedly ignored. When war broke out, he was appointed to his old post as head of the Admiralty. After Neville Chamberlain resigned, Churchill headed a coalition government as prime minister (194045). He committed himself and the nation to an all-out war until victory was achieved, and his great eloquence, energy, and indomitable fortitude made him an inspiration to his countrymen, especially in the Battle of Britain. With Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, he shaped Allied strategy through the Atlantic Charter and at the Cairo, Casablanca, and Tehran conferences. Though he was the architect of victory, his government was defeated in the 1945 elections. After the war he alerted the West to the expansionist threat of the Soviet Union. He led the Conservative Party back into power in 1951 and remained prime minister until 1955, when ill health forced his resignation. For his many writings, including The Second World War (6 vol., 194853) he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953; his later works include his History of the English-Speaking Peoples (4 vol., 195658). He was knighted in 1953; he later refused the offer of a peerage. He was made an honorary U.S. citizen in 1963. In his late years he attained heroic status as one of the titans of the 20th century.

Walter Elias Disney

(born Dec. 5, 1901, Chicago, Ill., U.S.died Dec. 15, 1966, Los Angeles, Calif.) U.S. animator and entertainment executive. In the 1920s he joined with his brother Roy and his friend Ub Iwerks (190171) to establish an animation studio. Together they created Mickey Mouse, the cheerful rodentcustomarily drawn by Iwerks, with Disney providing the voicethat starred in the first animated film with sound, Steamboat Willie (1928). The brothers formed Walt Disney Productions (later the Disney Co.) in 1929. Mickey Mouse's instant popularity led them to invent other characters such as Donald Duck, Pluto, and Goofy and to make several short cartoon films, including The Three Little Pigs (1933). Their first full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), was followed by classics such as Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), and Cinderella (1950). A perfectionist, an innovator, and a skilled businessman, Walt Disney maintained tight control over the company in both creative and business aspects. He oversaw the company's expansion into live-action films, television programming, theme parks, and mass merchandising. By his death in 1966, Disney had transformed the family entertainment industry and influenced more than one generation of American children.

Steven Spielberg

(born Dec. 18, 1946, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.) U.S. film director and producer. About the time of his graduation from California State College, Long Beach (1970), he attracted the attention of Universal Pictures with a short film he made. As a director of television movies, he made the thriller Duel (1971), and in 1974 he directed the feature film The Sugarland Express. His shark-attack thriller Jaws (1975) became one of the highest-grossing movies ever, and he went on to direct huge successes such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and its sequels, and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982). He received Academy Awards for directing Schindler's List (1993), which tells the story of a group of Polish Jews who avoided Nazi extermination camps through the heroic actions of a German industrialist, and Saving Private Ryan (1998), which followed American soldiers in the days after the Normandy invasion of 1944. His other movies include The Color Purple (1985), Empire of the Sun (1987), Jurassic Park (1993), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Minority Report (2002), Munich (2005), and War Horse (2011). In 1994 he cofounded DreamWorks SKG, a film, animation, and television production company; it was sold to Viacom in 2006.

Keanu Reeves

( born September 2, 1964)is a Canadian actor. Reeves is known for his roles in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Speed, Point Break, and The Matrix trilogy as Neo. He has collaborated with major directors such as Stephen Frears (in the 1988 period drama Dangerous Liaisons); Gus Van Sant (in the 1991 independent film My Own Private Idaho); and Bernardo Bertolucci (in the 1993 film Little Buddha). Referring to his 1991 film releases, The New York Times' critic, Janet Maslin, praised Reeves' versatility, saying that he "displays considerable discipline and range. He moves easily between the buttoned-down demeanor that suits a police procedural story and the loose-jointed manner of his comic roles."A repeated theme in roles he has portrayed is that of saving the world, including the characters of Ted Logan, Buddha, Neo, Johnny Mnemonic, John Constantine and Klaatu.

Steven Paul Jobs

(born Feb. 24, 1955, San Francisco, Calif., U.S.died Oct. 5, 2011, Palo Alto, Calif.) U.S. businessman. Adopted in infancy, he grew up in Cupertino, Calif. He dropped out of Reed College and went to work for Atari Corp. designing video games. In 1976 he cofounded (with Stephen Wozniak) Apple Computer (incorporated in 1977; now Apple Inc.). The first Apple computer, created when Jobs was only 21, changed the public's idea of a computer from a huge machine for scientific use to a home appliance that could be used by anyone. Apple's Macintosh computer, which appeared in 1984, introduced a graphical user interface and mouse technology that became the standard for all applications interfaces. In 1980 Apple became a public corporation, and Jobs became the company's chairman. Management conflicts led him to leave Apple in 1985 to form NeXT Computer Inc., but he returned to Apple in 1996 and became CEO in 1997. The striking new iMac computer (1998) revived the company's flagging fortunes. Under Jobs's guidance, Apple became an industry leader and one of the most valuable companies in the world. Its other notable products include iTunes (2001), the iPod (2001), the iPhone (2007), and the iPad (2010). In 2003 Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and he subsequently took several medical leaves of absence. In 2011 he resigned as CEO of Apple but became chairman.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Orlando Bloom

(born 13 January 1977) is an English actor. He had his break-through roles in 2001 as the elf-prince Legolas in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and in 2003 as blacksmith Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. He subsequently established himself as a lead in Hollywood films, including Elizabethtown and Kingdom of Heaven. He appeared in the ensemble films Black Hawk Down; Troy; New York, I Love You; Sympathy for Delicious; and Main Street. Bloom made his professional stage debut in West End's In Celebration at the Duke of York's Theatre, St. Martin's Lane, which ended its run on 15 September 2007. On 12 October 2009, Bloom was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. He reprised his role as Legolas in parts two and three of The Hobbit film trilogy.

Muhammad Ali

(born Jan. 17, 1942, Louisville, Ken., U.S.) U.S. boxer. Cassius Clay took up boxing at the age of 12 and rose through the amateur ranks to win the Olympic light heavyweight crown in 1960. His first professional heavyweight title win was against Sonny Liston in 1964. After defending the title nine times between 1965 and 1967, he was stripped of it for refusing induction into the armed forces following his acceptance of the teachings of the Nation of Islam. It was then that he changed his name to Muhammad Ali. In 1974 Ali regained his title after defeating the former champion Joe Frazier and the then-current champion George Foreman. He lost to Leon Spinks in 1978 but later that year regained the title a third time, becoming the first heavyweight champion ever to do so. He retired in 1979, having lost only three of 59 fights. Attempted comebacks in 1980 and 1981 failed. Throughout his career Ali was known for his aggressive charm, invincible attitude, and colourful boasts, often expressed in doggerel verse. I am the greatest was his personal credo. Ali's later years have been marked by physical decline. Damage to his brain, caused by blows to the head, has resulted in slurred speech, slowed movement, and other symptoms of Parkinson disease.

Keira Knightley

( born 26 March 1985) is an English actress and model.Keira began acting as a child on television and made her film debut in 1995. Knightley had a supporting role as SabĂ© in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) and her first significant role came in The Hole (2001). She gained widespread recognition in 2002 after co-starring in the film Bend It Like Beckham and achieved international fame in 2003 as a result of appearing as Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series (2003–07)

Tom Cruise

(born July 3, 1962, Syracuse, N.Y., U.S.) U.S. actor. He made his screen debut in 1981 and rose to stardom as the leading man in Risky Business (1983) and Top Gun (1986). He received acclaim for his dramatic roles in The Color of Money (1986), Rain Man (1988), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), and Magnolia (1999). His other films include A Few Good Men (1992), Mission: Impossible (1996), Jerry Maguire (1996), Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Steven Spielberg's Minority Report (2002), and Valkyrie (2008).

Abhishek Bachchan

(born 5 February 1976) is an Indian film actor. Bachchan has received three Filmfare Awards for acting, a National Award as producer (for Paa) and was named as one of the highest paid actors in Bollywood in 2010
    Bachchan was dyslexic as a child; this was referred to by Aamir Khan in the film Taare Zameen Par

George Smith Patton

(born Nov. 11, 1885, San Gabriel, Calif., U.S.died Dec. 21, 1945, Heidelberg, Ger.) U.S. army officer. He graduated from West Point and fought in World War I with the newly formed tank corps. He was later promoted to major general and given command of the 2nd Armored Division (1940). In World War II he led military operations in Morocco (1942) and Sicily (1943) and then commanded the 3rd Army in its sweep across northern France (1944) into Germany (1945). His strategy of bold and highly mobile operations in tank warfare, coupled with his strict, highly disciplined leadership, earned him his troops' respect and the nickname Old Blood-and-Guts. Criticized for striking a hospitalized soldier he suspected of malingering, he later publicly apologized. He died in a car crash in Germany. Battle of the Bulge.

Michael Faraday

(born Sept. 22, 1791, Newington, Surrey, Eng.died Aug. 25, 1867, Hampton Court) English physicist and chemist. Son of a blacksmith, he received only a basic education in a church Sunday school, but he went to work as an assistant to Humphry Davy, from whom he learned chemistry. He discovered a number of new organic compounds, including benzene, and was the first to liquefy a permanent gas. His major contributions were in the fields of electricity and magnetism. He was the first to report induction of an electric current from a magnetic field. He invented the first electric motor and dynamo, demonstrated the relation between electricity and chemical bonding, discovered the effect of magnetism on light, and discovered and named diamagnetism. He also provided the experimental, and much of the theoretical, foundation on which James Clerk Maxwell built his electromagnetic field theory. In 1833 he was appointed professor at the Royal Institution. After 1855 he retired to a house provided by Queen Victoria, but he declined a knighthood.

Thomas Alva Edison

(born Feb. 11, 1847, Milan, Ohio, U.S.died Oct. 18, 1931, West Orange, N.J.) U.S. inventor. He had very little formal schooling. He set up a laboratory in his father's basement at age 10; at 12 he was earning money selling newspapers and candy on trains. He worked as a telegrapher (186268) before deciding to pursue invention and entrepreneurship. Throughout much of his career, he was strongly motivated by efforts to overcome his handicap of partial deafness. For Western Union he developed a machine capable of sending four telegraph messages down one wire, only to sell the invention to Western Union's rival, Jay Gould, for more than $100,000. He created the world's first industrial-research laboratory, in Menlo Park, N.J. There he invented the carbon-button transmitter (1877), still used in telephone speakers and microphones today; the phonograph (1877); and the incandescent lightbulb (1879). To develop the lightbulb, he was advanced $30,000 by such financiers as J.P. Morgan and the Vanderbilts. In 1882 he supervised the installation of the world's first permanent commercial central power system, in lower Manhattan. After the death of his first wife (1884), he built a new laboratory in West Orange, N.J. Its first major endeavour was the commercialization of the phonograph, which Alexander Graham Bell had improved on since Edison's initial invention. At the new laboratory Edison and his team also developed an early movie camera and an instrument for viewing moving pictures; they also developed the alkaline storage battery. Although his later projects were not as successful as his earlier ones, Edison continued to work even in his 80s. Singly or jointly, he held a world-record 1,093 patents, nearly 400 of them for electric light and power. He always invented for necessity, with the object of devising something new that he could manufacture. More than any other, he laid the basis for the technological revolution of the modern electric world.

Pablo Picasso

(born Oct. 25, 1881, Mlaga, Spaindied April 8, 1973, Mougins, France) Spanish-born French painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer. Trained by his father, a professor of drawing, he exhibited his first works at 13. After moving permanently to Paris in 1904, he replaced the predominantly blue tones of his so-called Blue Period (190104) with those of pottery and flesh in his Rose Period (190406). His first masterpiece, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), was controversial for its violent treatment of the female body and the masklike faces derived from his study of African art. From 1909 to 1912 Picasso worked closely with Georges Braquethe only time Picasso ever worked with another painter in this wayand they developed what came to be known as Cubism. The artists presented a new kind of reality that broke away from Renaissance tradition, especially from the use of perspective and illusion. Neither Braque nor Picasso desired to move into the realm of total abstraction in their Cubist works, although they implicitly accepted inconsistencies such as different points of view, different axes, and different light sources in the same picture. By 1912 they had taken Cubism further by gluing paper and other materials onto their canvases. Between 1917 and 1924 Picasso designed stage sets for five ballets for Sergey Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. In the 1920s and '30s, the Surrealists spurred him to explore new subject matter, particularly the image of the Minotaur. The Spanish Civil War inspired perhaps his greatest work, the enormous Guernica (1937), whose violent imagery condemned the useless destruction of life. After World War II he joined the Communist Party and devoted his time to sculpture, ceramics, and lithography as well as painting. In his late years he created variations on the works of earlier artists, the most famous being a series of 58 pictures based on Las Meninas of Diego Velzquez. For nearly 80 of his 91 years Picasso devoted himself to an artistic production that contributed significantly to and paralleled the whole development of modern art in the 20th century.

Galileo Galilei

(born Feb. 15, 1564, Pisadied Jan. 8, 1642, Arcetri, near Florence) Italian mathematician, astronomer, and physicist. Son of a musician, he studied medicine before turning his attention to mathematics. His invention of the hydrostatic balance ( 1586) made him famous. In 1589 he published a treatise on the centre of gravity in solids, which won him the post of mathematics lecturer at the University of Pisa. There he disproved the Aristotelian contention that bodies of different weights fall at different speeds; he also proposed the law of uniform acceleration for falling bodies and showed that the path of a thrown object is a parabola. The first to use a telescope to study the skies, he discovered (160910) that the surface of the Moon is irregular, that the Milky Way is composed of stars, and that Jupiter has moons ( Galilean satellite). His findings led to his appointment as philosopher and mathematician to the grand duke of Tuscany. During a visit to Rome (1611), he spoke persuasively for the Copernican system, which put him at odds with Aristotelian professors and led to Copernicanism's being declared false and erroneous (1616) by the church. Obtaining permission to write about the Copernican system so long as he discussed it noncommittally, he wrote his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632). Though considered a masterpiece, it enraged the Jesuits, and Galileo was tried before the Inquisition, found guilty of heresy, and forced to recant. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest, continuing to write and conduct research even after going blind in 1637.

Alexander Graham Bell

(born March 3, 1847, Edinburgh, Scot.died Aug. 2, 1922, Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia, Can.) Scottish-born U.S. audiologist and inventor. He moved to the U.S. in 1871 to teach the visible-speech system developed by his father, Alexander Melville Bell (18191905). He opened his own school in Boston for training teachers of the deaf (1872) and was influential in disseminating these methods. In 1876 he became the first person to transmit intelligible words through electric wire (Watson, come here, I want you, spoken to his assistant Thomas Watson). He patented the telephone the same year, and in 1877 he cofounded Bell Telephone Co. With the proceeds from France's Volta Prize, he founded Volta Laboratory in Washington, D.C., in 1880. His experiments there led to the invention of the photophone (which transmitted speech by light rays), the audiometer (which measured acuteness of hearing), the Graphophone (an early practical sound recorder), and working wax recording media, both flat and cylindrical, for the Graphophone. He was chiefly responsible for founding the journal Science, founded the American Association to Promote Teaching of Speech to the Deaf (1890), and continued his significant research on deafness throughout his life.

Albert Einstein


(born March 14, 1879, Ulm, Wrttemberg, Ger.died April 18, 1955, Princeton, N.J., U.S.) German-born Swiss-U.S. scientist. Born to a Jewish family in Germany, he grew up in Munich, and in 1894 he moved to Aarau, Switz. He attended a technical school in Zrich (graduating in 1900) and during this period renounced his German citizenship; stateless for some years, he became a Swiss citizen in 1901. Einstein became a junior examiner (or clerk) at the Swiss patent office in 1902 and began producing original theoretical work that laid many of the foundations for 20th-century physics. He received his doctorate from the University of Zrich in 1905, the same year he won international fame with the publication of four articles: one on Brownian motion, which he explained in terms of molecular kinetic energy; one on the photoelectric effect, in which he demonstrated the particle nature of light; and two on his special theory of relativity, the second of which included his formulation of the equivalence of mass and energy ( = 2). Einstein held several professorships before becoming director of Berlin's Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in 1913. In 1915 he published his general theory of relativity, which was confirmed experimentally during a solar eclipse in 1919 with observations of the deflection of light passing near the Sun. He received a Nobel Prize in 1921 for his work on the photoelectric effect, his work on relativity still being controversial. For decades he sought to discover the mathematical relationship between electromagnetism and gravitation, which he believed would be a first step toward discovering the common laws governing the behaviour of everything in the universe, but such a unified field theory eluded him. His theories of relativity and gravitation represented a profound advance over Newtonian physics and revolutionized scientific and philosophical inquiry. He resigned his position at the Prussian Academy when Adolf Hitler came to power and moved to Princeton, N.J., where he joined the Institute for Advanced Study. Though a longtime pacifist, he was instrumental in persuading Pres. Franklin Roosevelt in 1939 to initiate the Manhattan Project for the production of an atomic bomb, a technology his own theories greatly furthered, though he did not work on the project himself. Einstein became a U.S. citizen in 1940 but retained his Swiss citizenship. The most eminent scientist in the world in the postwar years, he declined an offer to become the first prime minister of Israel and became a strong advocate for nuclear disarmament.

Leonardo da Vinci

(born April 15, 1452, Anchiano, Republic of Florencedied May 2, 1519, Cloux, France) Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, draftsman, architect, engineer, and scientist. The son of a landowner and a peasant, he received training in painting, sculpture, and mechanical arts as an apprentice to Andrea del Verrocchio. In 1482, having made a name for himself in Florence, he entered the service of the duke of Milan as painter and engineer. In Milan his artistic and creative genius unfolded. About 1490 he began his project of writing treatises on the science of painting, architecture, mechanics, and anatomy. His theories were based on the belief that the painter, with his powers of perception and ability to pictorialize his observations, was uniquely qualified to probe nature's secrets. His numerous surviving manuscripts are noted for being written in a backward script that requires a mirror to be read. In 150203, as military architect and engineer for Cesare Borgia, he helped lay the groundwork for modern cartography. After five years of painting and scientific study back in Florence (150308), he returned to Milan, where his scientific work flourished. In 1516, after an interlude under Medici patronage in Rome, he entered the service of Francis I of France; he never returned to Italy. Though only some 17 completed paintings survive, they are universally seen as masterpieces. The power of The Last Supper (149598) comes in part from its masterly composition. In the Mona Lisa ( 150306) the features and symbolic overtones of the subject achieve a complete synthesis. The unique fame that Leonardo enjoyed in his lifetime and that, filtered by historical criticism, has remained undimmed to the present day rests largely on his unlimited desire for knowledge, a trait that guided all his thinking and behaviour