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#1051 2022-02-06 00:03:42

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1015) Lata Mangeshkar

Summary

Lata Mangeshkar (born Hema Mangeshkar; 28 September 1929 – 6 February 2022) was an Indian playback singer and music composer. She is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential singers in India. Her contribution to Indian music industry in a career spanning seven decades gained her honorific titles such as the Nightingale of India, Voice of the Millennium and Queen of Melody.

Lata had recorded songs in over thirty-six Indian languages and a few foreign languages, though primarily in Hindi and Marathi. She received several accolades and honors throughout her career. In 1987 the Dadasaheb Phalke Award was bestowed on her by the Government of India. In 2001, in recognition of her contributions to the nation, she was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour and is only the second female singer, after M. S. Subbulakshmi, to receive this honour. France conferred on her its highest civilian award, Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, in 2007.

She was the recipient of three National Film Awards, 15 Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards, four Filmfare Best Female Playback Awards, two Filmfare Special Awards, the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award and many more. In 1974, she became the first Indian to perform at Royal Albert Hall, London.

Details

Lata Mangeshkar, (born September 28, 1929, Indore, British India—died February 6, 2022, Mumbai, India), was a legendary Indian playback singer noted for her distinctive voice and a vocal range that extended over more than three octaves. Her career spanned nearly six decades, and she recorded songs for the soundtracks of more than 2,000 Indian films.

Mangeshkar’s father, Dinanath Mangeshkar, was a noted Marathi stage personality popularly known as Master Dinanath. Lata, who was the eldest of five siblings, was introduced to music at an early age. She recorded her first song at age 13 for Vasant Joglekar’s Marathi film Kiti Hasaal, though her song did not make the final edit. Mangeshkar was trained from age five by her father, a disciple of the Gwalior gharana (a community of performers who share a distinctive musical style), and she was also tutored by maestros such as Aman Ali Khan Sahib and Amanat Khan. As a teenager she struggled to help support her family and to establish herself as a playback singer in the Hindi film industry of the 1940s, at a time when the profession was dominated by such divas as Shamshad Begum and Noor Jehan.

After Mangeshkar recorded the hit “Uthaye ja unke sitam” in Andaz (1949), her destiny was sealed. From that point on she voiced the musical parts for every major leading lady, representing every generation of Hindi cinema from Nargis and Waheeda Rehman to Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta. Music directors such as Naushad Ali, Madan Mohan, and S.D. Burman composed tunes specifically to exploit the potential of her wide-ranging soprano. Mangeshkar’s singing contributed a great deal to the commercial success of such films as Mahal (1949), Barsaat (1949), Satyam shivam sundaram (1978), and Maine pyar kiya (1989). Notable among her concert performances was her wartime rendition of the poet Pradeep’s patriotic song “Ae mere watan ke logo,” which moved Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to tears.

In 1991 Mangeshkar was credited with having made 30,000 solo, duet, and chorus-backed song recordings in 14 Indian languages between 1948 and 1987. She won four Filmfare awards (Filmfare is a noted Indian film magazine) for her song “Aaja re pardesi” from the film Madhumati (1958), for “Kahin deep jale kahin dil” from Bees saal baad (1962), for “Tumhi mere mandir” from the film Khandaan (1965), and for “Aap mujhe acchhe lagne lage” from the film Jeene ki raah (1969). She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honours, in 1999, and two years later she became only the second film celebrity (the first was Satyajit Ray in 1992) to receive the Bharat Ratna (2001), India’s highest civilian award for performance of the highest order in any field. Mangeshkar’s sister Asha Bhosle was also a noted playback singer.

IMDB

Lata Mangeshkar was born in Indore on September 28, 1929, and became, quite simply, the most popular playback singer in Bollywood's history. She has sung for over 50 years for actresses from Nargis to Preity Zinta, as well as having recorded albums of all kinds (ghazals, pop, etc). Until the 1991 edition, when her entry disappeared, the Guinness Book of World Records listed her as the most-recorded artist in the world with not less than 30,000 solo, duet,and chorus-backed songs recorded in 20 Indian languages between 1948 and 1987. Today that number might have reached 40,000!

She was born the daughter of Dinanath Mangeshkar, the owner of a theater company and a reputed classical singer in his own right. He started giving Lata singing lessons from the age of five, and she also studied with renowned singers Aman Ali Khan Sahib and Amanat Khan. Even at a young age she displayed a God-given musical gift and could master vocal exercises the first time.

Ironically, for someone of her stature, she made her entry into Bollywood at the wrong time - around the 1940s, when bass singers with heavily nasal voices, such as Noor Jehan and Shamshad Begum were in style. She was rejected from many projects because it was believed that her voice was too high-pitched and thin. The circumstances of her entry into the industry were no less inauspicious - her father died in 1942, the responsibility of earning income to support her family fell upon her, and between 1942 and 1948 she acted in as many as eight films in Hindi and Marathi to take care of economic hardships. She made her debut as a playback singer in the Marathi film Kiti Hasaal (1942) but, ironically, the song was edited out!

However, in 1948, she got her big break with Ghulam Haider in the film Majboor (1948), and 1949 saw the release of four of her films: Mahal (1949), Dulari (1949), Barsaat (1949), and Andaz (1949); all four of them became runaway hits, with their songs reaching to heights of what was until then unseen popularity. Her unusually high-pitched singing rendered the trend of heavily nasal voices of the day totally obsolete and, within a year, she had changed the face of playback singing forever. The only two lower-pitched singers to survive her treble onslaught to a certain extent were Geeta Dutt and Shamshad Begum.

Her singing style was initially reminiscent of Noor Jehan, but she soon overcame that and evolved her own distinctive style. Her sister, Asha Bhosle, too, came up in the late 1950s and the two of them were the queens of Indian playback singing right through to the 1990s. Her voice had a special versatile quality, which meant that finally music composers could stretch their creative experiments to the fullest. Although all her songs were immediate hits under any composer, it was the composers C. Ramchandra and Madan Mohan who made her sound her sweetest and challenged her voice like no other music director.

The 1960s and 1970s saw her go from strength to strength, even as there were accusations that she was monopolizing the playback-singing industry. However, in the 1980s, she cut down her workload to concentrate on her shows abroad. Today, Lata sings infrequently despite a sudden resurgence in her popularity, but even today some of Hindi Cinema's biggest hits, including Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Dil to Pagal Hai (1997), and Veer Zaara (2004) feature her legendary voice.

No matter which female playback singer breaks through in any generation, she cannot replace the timeless voice of Lata Mangeshkar. She is an icon beyond icons....

Trivia

* Sister of Asha Bhosle
* Daughter of Dinanath Mangeshkar
* A legendary playback singer in Indian movies, she recorded over 30,000 songs in 14 Indian languages, making her the most recorded voice in history.
* Was awarded the Bharatha Rathna, the highest civilian honor by the Government of India.
* Mentioned in the song "Brimful of Asha" by Cornershop. (The title refers to her sister, Asha Bhosle, who is also mentioned in the song.).
* In an interview,Lata Mangeshkar herself disclosed on her 84th birthday in September,2013,"Ghulam Haider is truly my Godfather.It was his confidence in me that he fought for me to tuck me into the Hindi Film Industry which otherwise had initially rejected me.Remembering her early rejection,Lata once said," Ghulam Haiderwas the first music director who showed complete faith in my talent.He introduced me to many film producers including S. Mukherji,a big name in film production,but when he said my voice was "too thin" to use in his film,Ghulam Haider was furious.Hence,finally he convinced Bombay Talkies,a banner bigger than S. Mukherji and introduced me through their movie Majboor (1948).Lata's first big breakthrough film song,was "Dil mera tora,mujhe kaheen ka na chhora teray pyaar ne" lyrics by Nazim Panipati,composed by Ghulam Haider.
* International DJ Lord Paramour sampled her vocals for their song "Jalnina". They did that as a tribute to her.
* Black Thought & Mos Def song Hurricane sampled a old song by Lata Mangeshkar. This was for the album Okayplayer Bollywood Remake - Deleted Scenes.
* International NRI singer Lata Ramasar was named after the legend Lata Mangeshkar. She sand the disco songs "The Greatest Name That Lives" and "Highway Xpress" in the year 1980. Her songs are now frequently remixed by DJ''s around the world.
* Niece is singer Radha Mangeshkar.
* Mangeshkar is also a recipient of honorary doctorates from the Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1989, Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Khairagarh, and Shivaji University in Kolhapur.
* Her contribution to Indian music industry in a career spanning seven decades gained her honorific titles such as the Nightingale of India, Voice of the Millennium and Queen of Melody.
* In 2009, Mangeshkar was awarded the title of Officer of the French Legion of Honour, France's highest order.
* In 2012, Mangeshkar was ranked number 10 in Outlook India's poll of the Greatest Indian.
* In 1984, the State Government of Madhya Pradesh instituted the Lata Mangeshkar Award in her honour. The State Government of Maharashtra also instituted a Lata Mangeshkar Award in 1992.
* She was the recipient of three National Film Awards, 15 Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards, four Filmfare Best Female Playback Awards, two Filmfare Special Awards, the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award and many more.
* She is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential singers in India.
* Indian actor and film producer Dilip Kumar once commented, Lata Mangeshkar ki awaaz kudrat ki takhleek ka ek karishma hain, meaning "Lata Mangeshkar's voice is a miracle from God".
* In 1969, she made the unusual gesture of giving up the Filmfare Best Female Playback Award in order to promote fresh talent. She was later awarded the Filmfare Lifetime * Achievement Award in 1993 and Filmfare Special Awards in 1994 and 2004.
* In 1974, she became the first Indian to perform at Royal Albert Hall, London.

22_01_2022-lata_manhgeshkar_health_update_22403850.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1052 2022-02-08 00:28:41

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1016) Sunita Williams

Summary

Sunita Williams, in full Sunita Lyn Williams, née Sunita Pandya, (born September 19, 1965, Euclid, Ohio, U.S.), is an American astronaut who set records on her two flights to the International Space Station (ISS).

In 1983 Williams entered the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. She was made an ensign in 1987 and reported for aviator training at the Naval Aviation Training Command. In July 1989 she began combat helicopter training. She flew in helicopter support squadrons during the preparations for the Persian Gulf War and the establishment of no-fly zones over Kurdish areas of Iraq, as well as in relief missions during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 in Miami.

In 1993 she became a naval test pilot, and she later became a test pilot instructor, flying more than 30 different aircraft and logging more than 2,770 flight hours. When selected for the astronaut program, she was stationed aboard the USS Saipan.

Williams completed an M.S. in engineering management from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne in 1995, and she entered astronaut training in 1998. She traveled to Moscow, where she received training in robotics and other ISS operational technologies while working with the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) and with crews preparing for expeditions to the ISS.

On December 9, 2006, Williams flew aboard the space shuttle Discovery on the STS-116 mission to the ISS, where she was a flight engineer for Expeditions 14 and 15. During her stay at the space station, she made four space walks, totaling more than 29 hours outside the spacecraft, and spent a total of more than 195 days in space, both of which were records for women in space. (She held the latter record until 2015, when Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti spent more than 199 days in space.) She also participated in the Boston Marathon by running 42.2 km (26.2 miles) on the station’s treadmill. She was the second American astronaut of Indian heritage to go into space, after Kalpana Chawla, who died in the Columbia disaster. Williams landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California with the crew of STS-117 on June 22, 2007.

Williams flew to the ISS again on July 15, 2012, as part of the crew of Soyuz TMA-05M. She was a flight engineer on Expedition 32, and on September 16 she became commander of Expedition 33. She made three more space walks, totaling more than 21 hours, retaining her space walk record with a total time outside the ISS between her two flights of more than 50 hours. She also completed a triathlon in orbit by using a treadmill, a stationary bicycle, and a weightlifting machine to simulate the swimming portion of the race. Williams returned to Earth on November 11 after nearly 127 days in space. Her two spaceflights combined lasted more than 321 days, ranking her second, after American astronaut Peggy Whitson, for the most time spent in space by a woman.

In 2015 Williams was selected as one of four astronauts to make the first test flights in NASA’s Commercial Crew program, in which two new private crewed spacecraft, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, would take astronauts and supplies to the ISS. She was chosen in 2018 for the first crewed Starliner flight to the ISS, which was scheduled for 2020.

Details

Sunita Lyn Williams (née Pandya; born September 19, 1965) is an American astronaut and United States Navy officer who formerly held the records for most spacewalks by a woman (seven) and most spacewalk time for a woman (50 hours, 40 minutes). Williams was assigned to the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 14 and Expedition 15. In 2012, she served as a flight engineer on Expedition 32 and then commander of Expedition 33.

Early life and education

Sunita Williams was born in Euclid, Ohio, to Indian American neuroanatomist Deepak Pandya and Slovene American Ursuline Bonnie (Zalokar) Pandya, who reside in Falmouth, Massachusetts. She was the youngest of three children. Her brother Jay Thomas is four years older and her sister Dina Annad is three years older. Williams's paternal family is from Jhulasan in the Mehsana district in Gujarat, India, while her maternal great-grandmother Mary Bohinc (originally Marija Bohinjec), born in Slovenia, immigrated to America as an 11-year-old with her mother, 1891 Slovene emigrant Ursula (Strajhar) Bohinac.

Williams graduated from Needham High School in Needham, Massachusetts, in 1983. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in physical science from the United States Naval Academy in 1987, and a Master of Science degree in engineering management from Florida Institute of Technology in 1995.

Military career

Williams was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy in May 1987. After a six-month temporary assignment at the Naval Coastal System Command, she was designated a Basic Diving Officer. She next reported to the Naval Air Training Command, where she was designated a Naval Aviator in July 1989. She received initial H-46 Sea Knight training in Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 3 (HC-3), and was then assigned to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 8 (HC-8) in Norfolk, Virginia, with which she made overseas deployments to the Mediterranean, Red Sea and the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Provide Comfort. In September 1992, she was the Officer-in-Charge of an H-46 detachment sent to Miami, Florida, for Hurricane Andrew relief operations aboard USS Sylvania. In January 1993, Williams began training at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. She graduated in December, and was assigned to the Rotary Wing Aircraft Test Directorate as an H-46 Project Officer and V-22 chase pilot in the T-2. Later, she was assigned as the squadron Safety Officer and flew test flights in the SH-60B/F, UH-1, AH-1W, SH-2, VH-3, H-46, CH-53, and the H-57.

In December 1995, she went back to the Naval Test Pilot School as an instructor in the Rotary Wing Department and as the school's Safety Officer. There she flew the UH-60, OH-6, and the OH-58. She was then assigned to USS Saipan as the Aircraft Handler and the Assistant Air Boss. Williams was deployed on Saipan in June 1998 when she was selected by NASA for the astronaut program. She has logged more than 3,000 flight hours in more than 30 aircraft types.

Career in NASA

Williams began her Astronaut Candidate training at the Johnson Space Center in August 1998.

STS-116

Williams was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) with STS-116, aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, on December 9, 2006, to join the Expedition 14 crew. In April 2007, the Russian members of the crew rotated, changing to Expedition 15 .

Expeditions 14 and 15

After launching Williams arranged to donate her pony tail to Locks of Love. Fellow astronaut Joan Higginbotham cut her hair aboard the International Space Station and the ponytail was brought back to Earth by the STS-116 crew. Williams performed her first extra-vehicular activity on the eighth day of the STS-116 mission. On January 31, February 4, and February 9, 2007, she completed three spacewalks from the ISS with Michael López-Alegría. During one of these walks, a camera became untethered, probably because the attaching device failed, and floated off to space before Williams could react.

On the third spacewalk, Williams was outside the station for 6 hours and 40 minutes to complete three spacewalks in nine days. She has logged 29 hours and 17 minutes in four spacewalks, eclipsing the record held by Kathryn C. Thornton for most spacewalk time by a woman. On December 18, 2007, during the fourth spacewalk of Expedition 16, Peggy Whitson surpassed Williams, with a cumulative EVA time of 32 hours, 36 minutes. In early March 2007, she received a tube of wasabi in a Progress spacecraft resupply mission in response to her request for more spicy food. When she opened the tube, which was packaged at one atmospheric pressure, the gel-like paste was forced out in the lower pressure of the ISS. In the free-fall environment, the spicy geyser was difficult to contain.

On April 26, 2007, NASA decided to bring Williams back to Earth on the STS-117 mission aboard Atlantis. Although she did not break the U.S. single spaceflight record that was recently broken by former crew member Commander Michael López-Alegría, she did break the record for longest single spaceflight by a woman. Williams served as a mission specialist and returned to Earth on June 22, 2007, at the end of the STS-117 mission. Poor weather at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral forced mission managers to skip three landing attempts there over a 24-hour period. They then diverted Atlantis to Edwards Air Force Base in California, where the shuttle touched down at 3:49 p.m. EDT, returning Williams home after a 192-day stay in space.

Marathon in space

On April 16, 2007, she ran the first marathon by any person in space.[17] Williams was listed as an entrant for the 2007 Boston Marathon, and completed the distance in four hours and 24 minutes. The other crew members cheered her on and gave her oranges during the race. Williams' sister, Dina Pandya, and fellow astronaut Karen L. Nyberg ran the marathon on Earth, and Williams received updates on their progress from Mission Control. In 2008, Williams participated in the Boston Marathon again.

Expeditions 32 and 33

Williams was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 15, 2012, as part of Expedition 32/33. Her Russian spacecraft Soyuz TMA-05M docked with the ISS for a four-month stay at the orbiting outpost on July 17, 2012. The docking of the Soyuz spacecraft occurred at 4:51 GMT as the ISS flew over Kazakhstan at an altitude of 252 miles. The hatchway between the Soyuz spacecraft and the ISS was opened at 7:23 GMT and Williams floated into the ISS to begin her duties as a member of the Expedition 32 crew. On the Soyuz spacecraft, she was accompanied by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko. Williams served as the commander of the ISS during her stay onboard ISS Expedition 33, succeeding Gennady Padalka. She became the commander of the International Space Station on September 17, 2012, being only the second woman to achieve the feat. Also in September 2012, she became the first person to do a triathlon in space, which coincided with the Nautica Malibu Triathlon held in Southern California. She used the International Space Station's own treadmill and stationary bike, and for the swimming portion of the race, she used the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) to do weightlifting and resistance exercises that approximate swimming in microgravity. After swimming half a mile (0.8 km), biking 18 miles (29 km), and running 4 miles (6.4 km), Williams finished with a time of one hour, 48 minutes and 33 seconds, as she reported.

She returned to Earth with fellow astronauts Yuri Malenchenko and Akihiko Hoshide on November 19, 2012, touching down in the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan. Helicopters joined the search-and-recovery crew to assist them, as their capsule parachuted down some 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the planned touchdown site due to a procedural delay.

Commercial Crew program

In July 2015, NASA announced Williams as one of the first astronauts for U.S. Commercial spaceflights. Subsequently, she has started working with Boeing and SpaceX to train in their commercial crew vehicles, along with other chosen astronauts. In August 2018 she was assigned to the first mission flight, CTS-1, to the International Space Station of Boeing CST-100 Starliner.

Spacewalks

As of August 2012, Sunita Williams has made seven spacewalks totaling 50 hours and 40 minutes, at the time putting Williams fifth on the list of most experienced spacewalkers. On August 30, 2012, Williams and JAXA astronaut Hoshide ventured outside the ISS to conduct US EVA-18. They removed and replaced the failing Main Bus Switching Unit-1 (MBSU-1), and installed a thermal cover onto Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 (PMA-2).

Personal life

Williams is married to Michael J. Williams, a federal police officer in Texas. The two have been married for more than 20 years, and both flew helicopters in the early days of their careers. They reside together in suburban Houston, Texas. She had a pet Jack Russell terrier named Gorby who was featured with her on the Dog Whisperer television show on the National Geographic Channel on November 12, 2010. In 2012, Williams expressed a desire to adopt a girl from Ahmedabad.

In September 2007, Williams visited the Sabarmati Ashram and her ancestral village of Jhulasan in Gujarat, India. She was awarded the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vishwa Pratibha Award by the World Gujarati Society, the first person of Indian descent who was not an Indian citizen to be presented the award. On October 4, 2007, Williams spoke at the American Embassy School, and then met Manmohan Singh, the then-Prime Minister of India. Williams has also visited Slovenia numerous times. During her stay in October 2014, amongst other things, she paid a visit to the Astronomical Society Vega in Ljubljana. She visited Slovenia again in 2016. Williams has taken a samosa and Carniolan sausage to space in celebration of her Indian and Slovenian heritage.

In June 2017, the Needham Public Schools committee voted to name the town's new elementary school after Williams. In May 2020, Williams addressed more than 500,000 Indian and other international students in the United States in a virtual interview organized by the Student Hub at the Embassy of India, Washington, DC, during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

Williams is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

Honors and awards

* Navy Commendation Medal
* Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
* Humanitarian Service Medal
* NASA Spaceflight Medal
* Medal "For Merit in Space Exploration", Government of Russia (2011)
* Padma Bhushan, Government of India (2008)
* Honorary Doctorate, Gujarat Technological University (2013)
* Golden Order for Merits, Government of Slovenia (2013)

sunita-williams-4.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

Offline

#1053 2022-02-10 00:45:19

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1017) Jack Dorsey

Jack Patrick Dorsey (born November 19, 1976) is an American technological entrepreneur and philanthropist who is the co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, as well as the founder and CEO of Block, Inc., a financial payments company.

Early life

Dorsey was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Tim and Marcia (née Smith) Dorsey. He is of part Italian descent on his mother's side, and part Irish descent on his father's side.[citation needed] His father worked for a company that developed mass spectrometers and his mother was a homemaker. He was raised Catholic, and his uncle is a Catholic priest in Cincinnati. He attended Bishop DuBourg High School. In his younger days, Dorsey worked occasionally as a fashion model. By age 14, Dorsey had become interested in dispatch routing. Some of the open-source software he created in the area of dispatch logistics is still used by taxicab companies. Dorsey enrolled at the University of Missouri–Rolla in 1995 and attended for two-plus years before transferring to New York University in 1997, but he dropped out two years later, one semester short of graduating. He came up with the idea that eventually became Twitter while studying at NYU.

While working on dispatching as a programmer, Dorsey moved to California. In 2000, Dorsey started his company in Oakland to dispatch couriers, taxis, and emergency services from the Web. His other projects and ideas at this time included networks of medical devices and a "frictionless service market". In July 2000, building on dispatching and inspired in part by LiveJournal and by AOL Instant Messenger, he had the idea for a Web-based realtime status/short message communication service.

When he first saw implementations of instant messaging, Dorsey wondered whether the software's user status output could be shared easily among friends. He approached Odeo, which at the time happened to be interested in text messaging. Dorsey and Biz Stone decided that SMS text suited the status-message idea, and built a prototype of Twitter in about two weeks. The idea attracted many users at Odeo and investment from Evan Williams, a co-founder of that firm in 2005 who had left Google after selling Pyra Labs and Blogger.

Career:

Twitter

Williams, Stone and Noah Glass co-founded Obvious Corporation, which then spun off Twitter, Inc., with Dorsey as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). As CEO, Dorsey saw the startup through two rounds of funding by venture capitalists. He reportedly lost his position for leaving work early to enjoy other pursuits, such as yoga and fashion design.

As the service began to grow in popularity, Dorsey chose the improvement of uptime as top priority, even over creating revenue—which, as of 2008, Twitter was not designed to earn. Dorsey described the commercial use of Twitter and its API as two things that could lead to paid features. His three guiding principles, which he says the company shares, are simplicity, constraint and craftsmanship.

On October 16, 2008, Williams took over as CEO, while Dorsey became chairman of the board. During his time as chairman, Dorsey joined several State Department delegations, including a trip to Iraq in April 2009, led by Jared Cohen. In November, when Iranians took to the streets in the Green Revolution, Twitter was scheduled to conduct maintenance of its site, which would entail temporarily shutting down Twitter's servers. Dorsey responded to a request from Cohen to delay the maintenance so that it would not affect the revolution in Iran, because Iranians were using Twitter to communicate and coordinate. Since President Obama had announced that there would be no meddling in Iran, the move sparked controversy. In February 2010, Dorsey was part of another State Department delegation, this time to Russia. On March 28, 2011, he returned to Twitter as executive chairman after Dickinson Costolo replaced Williams as CEO. On June 10, 2015, Costolo announced his resignation as CEO, effective July 1, 2015. Dorsey assumed the post of interim CEO upon Costolo's departure. He was named permanent CEO on October 5, 2015. On the day after the controversy about Twitter's new algorithms for tweets, Dorsey said it was a hoax.

In May 2016, Dorsey announced that Twitter would not count photos and links in the 140-character limit to free up more space for text. This was an attempt to entice new users, since the number of tweets per day had dropped to about 300 million in January 2016 from about 500 million in September 2013 and its peak of 661 million in August 2014.

On November 22, 2016, Dorsey was briefly suspended from his own Twitter account with 3.9 million followers. After restoring the account, Dorsey tweeted that the suspension was due to an "internal mistake".

In February 2017, Dorsey and Executive Chairman Omid Kordestani matched a $530,000 donation to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) raised by Twitter staffers. Their match brought the total donation to $1.59 million.

In March 2018, Dorsey announced that an improved version of the verification system would be coming to Twitter. The purpose of redesigning verification was to let people verify more facts about themselves, emphasizing proof of identity. The overhaul was not in place before the U.S midterm election of 2018 to help in verifying the identities of the candidates.

In September 2018, Dorsey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg about meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Following this testimony, Twitter shares fell six percent.

Dorsey met privately with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House and discussed Trump's concerns that Twitter had limited or removed some of his Twitter followers, and those of conservatives. After the meeting, Dorsey tweeted that their discussion included making Twitter "healthier and more civil". A week earlier, Dorsey took part in a TED talk about the social media platform's spread of abuse and misinformation, which has brought him criticism.

On August 30, 2019, Dorsey's personal Twitter account was allegedly breached for nearly an hour by a group calling itself the Chuckling Squad, posting and retweeting numerous racist tweets.

On October 23, 2019, Twitter's stock price fell by nearly 24 percent, from $38.83 to $30.75. The reason was an earnings miss off a third quarter report, which Twitter blamed on ad targeting problems. Dorsey had been making a concerted effort to dampen the effect that Twitter had on political elections, which entailed banning all political ads. This was also seen as a large contributor to the drop. Dorsey announced that, as of November 22, 2019, Twitter would ban all political advertising. The policy applies globally to all marketing campaigns about political issues.

On February 29, 2020, it was announced that activist hedge fund Elliott Management led by billionaire Paul Singer was looking to oust Dorsey and nominate four directors to Twitter's board, including Elliott's senior portfolio manager Jesse Cohn. Dorsey received support from entrepreneurs Elon Musk and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, among others.[57] The two parties reached an agreement days later, with Dorsey remaining CEO.

In October 2020, Dorsey was one of several tech firm CEOs subpoenaed by the US Senate Commerce Committee. Republican Roger Wicker, who chairs the committee, led the charge to force the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google to testify about the legal immunity the tech platforms receive under Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1996.

He announced his departure from the role of Twitter's CEO on November 29, 2021. His resignation was effective immediately. Dorsey was replaced by the company's former CTO Parag Agrawal, who took over as CEO effective immediately. Dorsey will continue to lead as the CEO of Block, Inc.

Block

Dorsey, along with co-founder Jim McKelvey, developed a small business platform to accept debit and credit card payments on a mobile device called Square, released in May 2010. The small, square-shaped device attaches to iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Android devices via the headphone jack, and as a mini card reader, allows a person to swipe their card, choose an amount to transfer to the recipient and then sign their name for confirmation. Square is also a system for sending paperless receipts via text message or email, and is available as a free app for iOS and Android OS. The company grew from 10 employees in December 2009 to over 100 by June 2011. Square's office is on Market Street in San Francisco. In September 2012, Business Insider magazine valued Square Inc. at US$3.2 billion. Dorsey is CEO of Square, Inc. On October 14, 2015, Square filed for an IPO to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. As of that date, Dorsey owned 24.4 percent of the company. In March 2020 the FDIC permitted Square to open a bank. It announced plans to launch Square Financial Services in 2021.

In May 2020, Dorsey announced that employees for Square would work from home permanently.

In 2020, Square began withholding for months up to 30 percent of the funds that merchants collected from customers using its Cash App.

On December 1, 2021, CEO Jack Dorsey officially changed the name of the platform to Block, Inc. This was due in part to his interest in the blockchain as well as the new name encompassing the various businesses better than the current name, which is mostly associated with its merchant-payment services. The stock ticker for Block, Inc. would remain "SQ".

Other projects

In 2013, Dorsey expressed to CNN an admiration for Michael Bloomberg, and said that he aspires to become mayor of New York City. He served as a judge for Bloomberg's NYC BigApps competition in 2011.

Dorsey was announced as a new member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company on December 24, 2013. In January 2018, it was reported that Dorsey would not seek reelection at Disney's March annual meeting, due to increased difficulty with conflicts of interest.

Dorsey is a board member of the Berggruen Institute's Governance Center. Dorsey gives advice in a chapter of Tim Ferriss' book Tools of Titans.

Dorsey is a vocal Bitcoin advocate, and has spoken at Bitcoin conferences such as "The B Word". He has said that if he was not working on Twitter and Square, he would be working on Bitcoin.

Personal life

In 2012, Dorsey moved to the Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco.

Meditation

In late 2017, Dorsey completed ten days of meditation known as Vipassanā taught by followers of S. N. Goenka. In November 2018, Dorsey went on a birthday Vipassanā meditation trip to Myanmar.

Politics

In 2019, Dorsey contributed financially to the campaigns of Democratic 2020 presidential candidates Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang.

In 2020, he donated $15 million to 29 mayors pursuing the piloting of guaranteed basic income programs in the United States.

Until 2021, Dorsey applied "world leader" exceptions that enabled President Donald Trump to post content on Twitter that would normally be removed or generate sanctions per the platform's rules. In May 2020, some of Trump's tweets received warning labels, and from Election Day in November 2020, more flaggings were applied to his tweets. On January 6, 2021, after pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, Twitter applied a 12-hour timeout to Trump's account for violating its Civic Integrity policy. Trump's account was suspended permanently on January 8. On January 14, Dorsey defended banning Trump, but also said it "sets a precedent I feel is dangerous."

Philanthropic and other donations

In March 2016, Dorsey fully funded about 600 Missouri public school projects registered at DonorsChoose.

In October 2019, Dorsey donated $350,000 to #TeamTrees, a nonprofit started by YouTuber MrBeast that pledged to plant 20 million trees by the end of 2019.

On April 7, 2020, Dorsey announced that he will move about $1 billion of his equity in Square, Inc., just under a third of his total wealth, to Start Small, LLC, and to relief programs related to the coronavirus. He committed to funding COVID-19 relief, girls' education and health, and universal basic income. Dorsey has donated $24 million to over 40 different grantees for relief efforts.

In August 2020, Dorsey donated $10 million to Boston University's Center for Antiracist Research, founded by Ibram X. Kendi.

In May 2021, he donated $15 million in his personal capacity to support relief efforts in India's COVID-19 second wave. The three NGOs were Care ($10 million), Aid India ($2.5 million), and Sewa International ($2.5 million).

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1054 2022-02-12 00:12:03

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1018) J. Allen Hynek

Josef Allen Hynek (May 1, 1910 – April 27, 1986) was an American astronomer, professor, and ufologist. He is perhaps best remembered for his UFO research. Hynek acted as scientific advisor to UFO studies undertaken by the U.S. Air Force under three projects: Project Sign (1947–1949), Project Grudge (1949–1951) and Project Blue Book (1952–1969).

In later years, he conducted his own independent UFO research, developing the "Close Encounter" classification system. He was among the first people to conduct scientific analysis of reports and especially of trace evidence purportedly left by UFOs.

(UFO: Unidentified flying object : An unidentified flying object (UFO) is any perceived aerial phenomenon that cannot be immediately identified or explained. On investigation, most UFOs are identified as known objects or atmospheric phenomena, while a small number remain unexplained.

Scientists and skeptic organizations such as the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry have provided prosaic explanations for a large number of claimed UFOs being caused by natural phenomena, human technology, delusions, or hoaxes. Small but vocal groups of "ufologists" favour unconventional, pseudoscientific hypotheses, some of which go beyond the typical extraterrestrial visitation claims and sometimes form part of new religions.

While unusual sightings have been reported in the sky throughout history, UFOs did not achieve their current cultural prominence until the period after World War II, escalating during the Space Age. The 20th century saw studies and investigations into UFO reports conducted by governments (such as Projects Grudge and Sign in the United States, and Project Condign in the United Kingdom), as well as by organisations and individuals.)

Early life

Hynek was born in Chicago to Czech parents. In 1931, Hynek received a B.S. from the University of Chicago. In 1935, he completed his Ph.D. in astrophysics at Yerkes Observatory. He joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ohio State University in 1936. He specialized in the study of stellar evolution and in the identification of spectroscopic binary stars.

Career

During World War II, Hynek was a civilian scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where he helped to develop the United States Navy's radio proximity fuze.

After the war, Hynek returned to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ohio State, rising to full professor in 1950. In 1953, Hynek submitted a report on the fluctuations in the brightness and color of starlight and daylight, with an emphasis on daytime observations.

In 1956, he left to join Professor Fred Whipple, the Harvard astronomer, at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, which had combined with the Harvard Observatory at Harvard. Hynek had the assignment of directing the tracking of an American space satellite, a project for the International Geophysical Year in 1956 and thereafter. In addition to over 200 teams of amateur scientists around the world that were part of Operation Moonwatch, there were also 12 photographic Baker-Nunn stations. A special camera was devised for the task and a prototype was built and tested and then stripped apart again when, on Oct. 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched its first satellite, Sputnik 1.

After completing his work on the satellite program, Hynek went back to teaching, taking the position of professor and chairman of the astronomy department at Northwestern University in 1960.

Evolution of opinion on UFOs:

Skepticism

In response to numerous reports of "flying saucers", the United States Air Force established Project Sign in 1948 to examine sightings of unidentified flying objects. Hynek was contacted to act as a scientific consultant to Project Sign. He studied UFO reports and decided whether the phenomena described therein suggested known astronomical objects.

When Project Sign hired Hynek, he was skeptical of UFO reports. Hynek suspected that they were made by unreliable witnesses, or by persons who had misidentified man-made or natural objects. In 1948, Hynek said that "the whole subject seems utterly ridiculous," and described it as a fad that would soon pass.

In his 1977 book, Hynek said that he enjoyed his role as a debunker for the Air Force. He also said that debunking was what the Air Force expected of him.

Change of opinion

In April 1953, Hynek wrote a report for the Journal of the Optical Society of America titled "Unusual Aerial Phenomena," which contained one of his best-known statements:

Ridicule is not part of the scientific method, and people should not be taught that it is. The steady flow of reports, often made in concert by reliable observers, raises questions of scientific obligation and responsibility. Is there ... any residue that is worthy of scientific attention? Or, if there isn't, does not an obligation exist to say so to the public—not in words of open ridicule but seriously, to keep faith with the trust the public places in science and scientists?

In 1953, Hynek was an associate member of the Robertson Panel, which concluded that there was nothing anomalous about UFOs, and that a public relations campaign should be undertaken to debunk the subject and reduce public interest. Hynek would later lament that the Robertson Panel had helped make UFOs a disreputable field of study.

As UFO reports continued to be made, some of the testimonies, especially by military pilots and police officers, were deeply puzzling to Hynek. He once said, "As a scientist I must be mindful of the lessons of the past; all too often it has happened that matters of great value to science were overlooked because the new phenomenon did not fit the accepted scientific outlook of the time."

In a 1985 interview, when asked what caused his change of opinion, Hynek responded, "Two things, really. One was the completely negative and unyielding attitude of the Air Force. They wouldn't give UFOs the chance of existing, even if they were flying up and down the street in broad daylight. Everything had to have an explanation. I began to resent that, even though I basically felt the same way, because I still thought they weren't going about it in the right way. You can't assume that everything is black no matter what. Secondly, the caliber of the witnesses began to trouble me. Quite a few instances were reported by military pilots, for example, and I knew them to be fairly well-trained, so this is when I first began to think that, well, maybe there was something to all this."

Hynek remained with Project Sign after it became Project Grudge (though he was far less involved in Grudge than he had been in Sign). Project Grudge was replaced with Project Blue Book in early 1952, and Hynek remained as scientific consultant. Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, Blue Book's first director, held Hynek in high regard: "Dr. Hynek was one of the most impressive scientists I met while working on the UFO project, and I met a good many. He didn't do two things that some of them did: give you the answer before he knew the question; or immediately begin to expound on his accomplishments in the field of science."

Though Hynek thought Ruppelt was a capable director who steered Project Blue Book in the right direction, Ruppelt headed Blue Book for only a few years. Hynek has also stated his opinion that after Ruppelt's departure, Project Blue Book was little more than a public relations exercise, further noting that little or no research was undertaken using the scientific method.

Turnaround

Hynek began occasionally disagreeing publicly with the conclusions of Blue Book. By the early 1960s—after about a decade and a half of study—Clark writes that "Hynek's apparent turnaround on the UFO question was an open secret." Only after Blue Book was formally dissolved did Hynek speak more openly about his "turnaround".

Hynek speculated that his personality was a factor in the Air Force keeping him on as a consultant for over two decades.

Some other ufologists thought that Hynek was being disingenuous or even duplicitous in his turnaround. Physicist James E. McDonald, for example, wrote to Hynek in 1970, castigating him for what McDonald saw as his lapses, and suggesting that, when evaluated by later generations, retired Marine Corps Major Donald E. Keyhoe would be regarded as a more objective, honest, and scientific ufologist.

It was during the late stages of Blue Book in the 1960s that Hynek began speaking openly about his disagreements and disappointments with the Air Force. Among the cases about which he openly dissented with the Air Force were the highly publicized Portage County UFO chase, in which several police officers chased a UFO for half an hour, and the encounter of Lonnie Zamora, a police officer who reported an encounter with a metallic, egg-shaped aircraft near Socorro, New Mexico.

In late March 1966 in Dexter, Michigan, two days of mass UFO sightings were reported, and received significant publicity. After studying the reports, Hynek offered a provisional hypothesis for some of the sightings: a few of about 100 witnesses had mistaken swamp gas for something more spectacular. At the press conference where he made his announcement, Hynek repeatedly and strenuously stated that swamp gas was a plausible explanation for only a portion of the Michigan UFO reports, and certainly not for UFO reports in general. But much to his chagrin, Hynek's qualifications of his hypothesis were largely overlooked, and the term swamp gas was repeated ad infinitum in relation to UFO reports. The explanation was subject to national derision.

In his reply dated October 7, 1968, to a request for scientific recommendations regarding Blue Book from Colonel Raymond Sleeper, commander of the USAF Foreign Technology Division, Hynek noted that Blue Book suffered from numerous procedural problems and a lack of resources, which rendered its efforts "totally inadequate". Hynek also noted that one wag had bestowed upon Blue Book the epithet of "Society for the Explanation of the Uninvestigated".

Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS)

Hynek was the founder and first head of the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS). Founded in 1973 in Evanston, Illinois (but now based in Chicago), CUFOS advocates for scientific analysis of UFO cases. CUFOS's extensive archives include valuable files from civilian research groups such as NICAP, one of the most popular UFO research groups of the 1950s and 1960s.

Speech before the United Nations

In November 1978, Hynek presented a statement on UFOs before the United Nations General Assembly's Special Political Committee on behalf of himself, Jacques Vallée, and Claude Poher. The speech was prepared and approved by the three authors.[10] Their objective was to initiate a centralized, United Nations authority on UFOs.

UFO origin hypotheses
At the MUFON annual symposium in 1973, held in Akron, Ohio, Hynek first expressed his doubts regarding the extraterrestrial (formerly interplanetary or intergalactic) hypothesis, in a speech titled "The Embarrassment of the Riches". He was aware that the number of UFO sightings was much higher than was reflected in the Project Blue Book statistics. "A few good sightings a year, over the world, would bolster the extraterrestrial hypothesis—but many thousands every year? From remote regions of space? And to what purpose? To scare us by stopping cars, and disturbing animals, and puzzling us with their seemingly pointless antics?"

In a paper presented to the Joint Symposium of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics in Los Angeles in 1975, he wrote, "If you object, I ask you to explain—quantitatively, not qualitatively—the reported phenomena of materialization and dematerialization, of shape changes, of the noiseless hovering in the Earth's gravitational field, accelerations that—for an appreciable mass—require energy sources far beyond present capabilities—even theoretical capabilities, the well-known and often reported E-M (electro-magnetic interference) effect, the psychic effects on percipients, including purported telepathic communications."

In 1977, at the First International UFO Congress in Chicago, Hynek presented his thoughts in his speech "What I Really Believe About UFOs". "I do believe", he said, "that the UFO phenomenon as a whole is real, but I do not mean necessarily that it's just one thing. We must ask whether the diversity of observed UFOs ... all spring from the same basic source, as do weather phenomena, which all originate in the atmosphere", or whether they differ "as a rain shower differs from a meteor, which in turn differs from a cosmic-ray shower." We must not ask, Hynek said, simply which hypothesis can explain the most facts, but rather which hypothesis can explain the most puzzling facts.

Regarding hypotheses of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) and extradimensional intelligence (EDI), Hynek continued, "There is sufficient evidence to defend both". As evidence for the ETI hypothesis, he mentioned the cases involving radar as good evidence of something solid, as well as the cases of physical evidence. Then he turned to defending the EDI hypothesis: in addition to the observations of materialization and dematerialization, he cited the "poltergeist" phenomenon experienced by some people after a close encounter; the photographs of UFOs, sometimes in only one frame, and not seen by witnesses; the changing of form in front of witnesses; the puzzling question of telepathic communication; that in close encounters of the third kind, the creatures seem to be at home in Earth's gravity and atmosphere; the sudden stillness in the presence of the craft; levitation of cars or people; and the development by some of psychic abilities after an encounter. "Do we have two aspects of one phenomenon or two different sets of phenomena?" Hynek asked.

Finally, he introduced a third hypothesis. "I hold it entirely possible", he said, "that a technology exists, which encompasses both the physical and the psychic, the material and the mental. There are stars that are millions of years older than the sun. There may be a civilization that is millions of years more advanced than man's. We have gone from Kitty Hawk to the moon in some seventy years, but it's possible that a million-year-old civilization may know something that we don't ... I hypothesize an 'M&M' technology encompassing the mental and material realms. The psychic realms, so mysterious to us today, may be an ordinary part of an advanced technology."

In Hynek and Vallee's 1975 book The Edge of Reality, Hynek published a stereoscopic photograph of a UFO he took during a flight. According to the book, the object stayed in sight long enough for Hynek to unpack his camera from his luggage and take two exposures. UFO researcher Robert Sheaffer writes in his book Psychic Vibrations that Hynek seemed to have forgotten the photographs when he later told a reporter for The Globe and Mail that he had never seen a UFO. The article states that in all the years he had been looking upward, Hynek "has never seen 'what I would so dearly love to see. Oh, the subject has been so ridiculed that I would never report a UFO even if I did see one—not without a witness'".

Close encounter

In his first book, Hynek published the "Close Encounter" scale that he had developed to better catalog UFO reports. Hynek was later a consultant to Columbia Pictures and Steven Spielberg for the popular 1977 UFO movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, named after a level of Hynek's scale. He made a cameo appearance in the film. At the end of the film, after the aliens disembark from the "mother ship", he can be seen, bearded and with pipe in mouth, stepping forward to view the spectacle.

Personal life

Hynek and his wife, Miriam (Curtis) had five children. Hynek's son Joel is an Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor. He oversaw the design of the camouflage effect for the movie Predator, and won the Best Visual Effects Oscar for his work on What Dreams May Come.

DocuSeries based on his life

In 2019, The History Channel created and aired a highly-fictionalized TV show based on his UFO research and the organization he worked for dubbed Project Blue Book.

Death

On April 27, 1986, Hynek died of a malignant brain tumor, at Memorial Hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona.[20] He was 75 years old, and was survived by his wife Mimi, children Scott, Roxane, Joel, Paul, and Ross, and his grandchildren.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

Offline

#1055 2022-02-15 00:17:18

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1019) Magnus Carlsen

Summary

Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen (born 30 November 1990) is a Norwegian chess grandmaster who is the reigning five-time World Chess Champion. Carlsen is also a three-time World Rapid Chess Champion and five-time World Blitz Chess Champion. Carlsen has held the No. 1 position in the FIDE world chess rankings since 1 July 2011, and trails only Garry Kasparov in time spent as the highest rated player in the world. His peak rating of 2882 is the highest in history. He also holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak at the top level in classical chess.

A chess prodigy, Carlsen finished first in the C group of the Corus chess tournament shortly after he turned 13, and earned the title of grandmaster a few months later. At 15, he won the Norwegian Chess Championship, and at 17, finished joint first in the top group of Corus. He surpassed a rating of 2800 at 18, the youngest at the time to do so. In 2010, at 19, he reached No. 1 in the FIDE world rankings, the youngest person ever to do so.

Carlsen became World Chess Champion in 2013 by defeating Viswanathan Anand. The following year, he retained his title against Anand, and won both the 2014 World Rapid Championship and World Blitz Championship, becoming the first player to hold all three titles simultaneously, a feat which he repeated in 2019. He defended his classical world title against Sergey Karjakin in 2016, against Fabiano Caruana in 2018, and against Ian Nepomniachtchi in 2021.

Known for his attacking style as a teenager, Carlsen has since developed into a universal player. He uses a variety of openings to make it more difficult for opponents to prepare against him and reduce the utility of pre-game computer analysis. He has stated the middlegame is his favourite part of the game as it "comes down to pure chess". His positional mastery and endgame prowess have drawn comparisons to former world champions Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov, José Raúl Capablanca, and Vasily Smyslov.

Details

Magnus Carlsen, in full Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen, (born November 30, 1990, Tønsberg, Norway), is a Norwegian chess player who in 2013 at age 22 became the second youngest world chess champion.

Carlsen’s father first taught him how to play chess when he was five years old. He played in his first tournament at the age of eight. Carlsen finished second in the boys’ under-12 division at the 2002 Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) World Youth Chess Championship, held in Iráklion, Greece.

In January 2004 he won his first tournament, at Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands. Although he was playing in the lowest-rated group against adult players, his domination of the tournament, best exemplified in a game won with a 29-move checkmate, established him as a player with enormous potential and led American chess player Lubomir Kavalek to dub him the “Mozart of chess.” In March of the same year, at a blitz chess tournament (where the game is played at a much faster pace than normal) in Reykjavík, Iceland, he defeated former world champion Anatoly Karpov and drew a game against another former champion, Garry Kasparov. He became a grandmaster after finishing in second place at the Dubai Open Chess Championship in April 2004.

Carlsen came in 10th at the 2005 World Chess Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, thus becoming the youngest player to earn a place at the Candidate Matches in Elista, Russia, in 2007, where the top four players received a spot at the FIDE World Chess Championship later that year in Mexico City. However, he was defeated in the first round by Armenian chess player Levon Aronian (who went on to place seventh at the world championship).

Carlsen’s victory at the Pearl Spring Chess Tournament in Nanjing, China, in October 2009 with 8 out of a possible 10 points was considered one of the all-time best tournament performances. In November he won the World Blitz Championship (in which players are given a total of 3 minutes of time with an additional 2 seconds per move) in Moscow.

In January 2010 FIDE announced that Carlsen was the top player in the world. He had recently turned 19 and was thus the youngest player to become number one. That year he was hired by the Dutch clothing company G-Star to model its denim clothing in an advertising campaign. Carlsen surprised the chess world in November 2010, when he decided to forgo the 2011 Candidate Matches to select a challenger to play against Indian chess player Viswanathan Anand for the world championship, arguing that the championship structure was flawed and that the reigning champion should not receive an automatic spot in the final round.

However, Carlsen participated in the 2013 Candidates Tournament in London. Despite losing in the final round to Russian player Peter Svidler, he accumulated enough wins earlier in the tournament to best Russian player Vladimir Kramnik (who had the same number of points) and secure the challenger spot against Anand. In November 2013 Carlsen defeated Anand in 10 games at the world championship match in Chennai, India, with a score of 3 wins and 7 draws. Carlsen was the second youngest player (after Kasparov) to win the world title. He successfully defended his title in a rematch against Anand in 2014 in Sochi, Russia, with a score of 3 wins, 7 draws, and 1 loss. That same year he won the World Rapid Championship (in which players are given a total of 15 minutes of time with an additional 10 seconds per move) in Dubai, and he won that title again in 2015 in Berlin.

At the 2016 world championship in New York City, Carlsen was tied against Russian player Sergey Karjakin after 12 games. He defeated Karjakin by winning 2 games in a 4-game rapid round, in which each player had only 25 minutes on the clock, with 10 seconds added after each move. Carlsen clinched his victory with style on the last move of game 4 by sacrificing his queen to set up checkmate on the next move. He again successfully defended his title at the 2018 world championship in London. He tied against American player Fabiano Caruana after 12 games but won 3 games in the tie-breaking rapid round. In 2019 Carlsen won the rapid and blitz titles in Moscow, thereby becoming the first person to hold all three FIDE titles: blitz, rapid, and regular.

From the very beginning of his career, Carlsen impressed his coaches with a prodigious memory, which he has used in his career to play a large variety of openings. He favours a positional style of play in which overall control of the board, rather than attacking an opponent’s pieces, is of paramount importance.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

Offline

#1056 2022-02-17 00:25:46

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1020) Pierre Cardin

Summary

Pierre Cardin, (born July 7, 1922, San Biagio di Callalta, Italy—died December 29, 2020, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France), French designer of clothes for women and also a pioneer in the design of high fashion for men.

Cardin’s father, a wealthy French wine merchant, wished him to study architecture, but from childhood he was interested in dressmaking. At 17 he went to Vichy, Fr., to become a tailor at a men’s shop. After World War II he joined the Parisian fashion house of Paquin, where he helped design the costumes for Jean Cocteau’s film Beauty and the Beast. He also worked at the couture house of Christian Dior.

In 1950 he opened a shop of his own and gradually gained a solid reputation as a men’s suit maker. In 1959 he created one of the first ready-to-wear collections for women presented by a “name” designer and in 1960 introduced the first designer ready-to-wear collection for men. In the mid-1960s his stark, short tunics and his use of vinyl, helmets, and goggles helped launch the so-called Space Age look. Cardin later became famous for licensing his name for use on a variety of products (such as sunglasses). The practice of licensing subsequently became common for fashion designers.

Details

Pierre Cardin, born Pietro Costante Cardin (2 July 1922 – 29 December 2020), was an Italian-born naturalised-French fashion designer. He is known for what were his avant-garde style and Space Age designs. He preferred geometric shapes and motifs, often ignoring the female form. He advanced into unisex fashions, sometimes experimental, and not always practical. He founded his fashion house in 1950 and introduced the "bubble dress" in 1954.

He was designated a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1991, and a United Nations FAO Goodwill Ambassador in 2009.

Career

Cardin was born near Treviso in northern Italy, the son of Maria Montagner and Alessandro Cardin. His parents were wealthy wine merchants, but lost their fortune in World War I. To escape the blackshirts they left Italy and settled in Saint-Étienne, France in 1924 along with his ten siblings. His father wanted him to study architecture, but from childhood he was interested in dressmaking.

Cardin moved to Paris in 1945. There, he studied architecture and worked with the fashion house of Paquin after World War II. He worked with Elsa Schiaparelli until he became head of Christian Dior's tailleure atelier in 1947, but was denied work at Balenciaga.

Cardin founded his own fashion house in 1950. His career was launched when he designed about 30 of the costumes for a masquerade ball in Venice, hosted by Carlos de Beistegui in 1951. Cardin inaugurated his haute couture output in 1953 with his first collection of women's clothing and became a member of the Chambre Syndicale, a French association of haute couture designers. The following year he opened his first boutique Eve, and introduced the "bubble dress", which is a short-skirted, bubble-shaped dress made by bias-cutting over a stiffened base. He was the first couturier to turn to Japan as a high fashion market when he travelled there in 1957.

As haute couture began to decline, ready-to-wear ('prêt-à-porter') soared as well as Cardin's designs. He was the first to combine the "mini" and the "maxi" skirts of the 1970s by introducing a new hemline that had long pom-pom panels or fringes.

Beginning in the 1970s, Cardin set another new trend: "mod chic". This trend holds true for the form or for a combination of forms, which did not exist at the time. He was the first to combine extremely short and ankle-length pieces. He made dresses with slits and batwing sleeves with novel dimensions and mixed circular movement and gypsy skirts with structured tops. These creations allowed for the geometric shapes that captivated him to be contrasted, with both circular and straight lines. Cardin became an icon for starting this popular fashion movement of the early 1970s.

Inspired by space travel and exploration, Cardin visited NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in 1970, where he tried on the original spacesuit worn by the first human to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong. Cardin designed spacesuits for NASA in 1970.

Cardin resigned from the Chambre Syndicale in 1966 and began showing his collections in his own venue. He also designed uniforms for Pakistan International Airlines, which were introduced from 1966 to 1971 and became an instant hit.

In 1971, Cardin redesigned the Barong Tagalog, a national costume of the Philippines, by opening the front, removing the cuffs that needed cufflinks, flaring the sleeves, and minimizing the embroidery. It was also tapered to the body, in contrast with the traditional loose-fitting design, and it also had a thicker collar with sharp and pointed cuffs. A straight-cut design was favored by President Ferdinand Marcos.

In 1975, Cardin opened his first furniture boutique on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. In 1977, 1979, and 1983, he was awarded the Cartier Golden Thimble by French haute couture for the most creative collection of the season. He was a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Prêt-à-Porter from 1953 to 1993.

Like many other designers today, Cardin decided in 1994 to show his collection only to a small circle of selected clients and journalists. After a break of 15 years, he showed a new collection to a group of 150 journalists at his bubble home in Cannes.

A biography titled Pierre Cardin, his fabulous destiny was written by Sylvana Lorenz.

Brand

Pierre Cardin used his name as a brand, initially a prestigious fashion brand, then in the 1960s extended successfully into perfumes and cosmetics. From about 1988 the brand was licensed extensively, and appeared on "wildly nonadjacent products such as baseball caps and cigarettes".

A 2005 article in the Harvard Business Review commented that the extension into perfumes and cosmetics was successful as the premium nature of the Pierre Cardin brand transferred well into these new, adjacent categories, but that the owners of the brand mistakenly attributed this to the brand's strength rather than to its fit with the new product categories. The extensive licensing eroded the brand's credibility, but brought in much revenue; in 1986 Women's Wear Daily (WWD) estimated Cardin's annual income at over US$10 million.

In 1995, quotes from WWD included "Pierre Cardin—he has sold his name for toilet paper. At what point do you lose your identity?" and "Cardin's cachet crashed when his name appeared on everything from key chains to pencil holders". However, the Cardin name was still very profitable, although the indiscriminate licensing approach was considered a failure.

In 2011, Cardin tried to sell his business, valuing it at €1 billion, although the Wall Street Journal considered it to be worth about a fifth of that amount. Ultimately he did not sell the brand.

Automobiles

Cardin entered industrial design by developing thirteen basic design "themes" that would be applied to various products, each consistently recognizable and carrying his name and logo. He expanded into new markets that "to most Paris fashion designers ... is rank heresy."

The business initiatives included a contract with American Motors Corporation (AMC). Following the success of the Aldo Gucci designed Hornet Sportabout station wagon interiors, the automaker incorporated Cardin's theme on the AMC Javelin starting in mid-1972. This was one of the first American cars to offer a special trim package created by a famous French fashion designer. It was daring and outlandish design "with some of the wildest fabrics and patterns ever seen in any American car".

The original sales estimate by AMC was for 2,500 haute couture "pony" and muscle cars. The special interior option was continued on the 1973 model year Javelins. During the two model years, a total of 4,152 AMC Javelins received this bold mirrored, multi-colored pleated stripe pattern in tones of Chinese red, plum, white, and silver that were set against a black background. The Cardin Javelins also came with the designer's emblems on the front fenders and had a limited selection of exterior colors (Trans Am Red, Snow White, Stardust Silver, Diamond Blue, and Wild Plum) to coordinate with the special interiors. However, 12 Cardin optioned cars were special ordered in Midnight Black paint.

Other interests

Cardin owned a palazzo in Venice named Ca' Bragadin. Although he claimed that this house was once owned by Giacomo Casanova, some scholars have argued that it was owned by another branch of the Bragadin family, and that its usage by Casanova was "somewhat unlikely".

Personal life

Cardin self-identified as being mostly gay, but in the 1960s he had a four-year relationship with actress Jeanne Moreau. His long-term business partner and life partner was fellow French fashion designer André Oliver, who died in 1993.

Death

Cardin died on 29 December 2020,[40] at the American Hospital of Paris, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, at the age of 98. No cause of death was given.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1057 2022-02-19 00:19:35

Jai Ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

1021) Ben Carson

Summary

Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr. (born September 18, 1951) is an American retired neurosurgeon and politician who served as the 17th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2017 to 2021. He was a candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 Republican primaries. He is considered a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery.

Carson became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in 1984 at age 33, then the youngest chief of pediatric neurosurgery in the United States. At retirement, he was professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Carson's achievements include participating in the first reported separation of conjoined twins joined at the back of the head. Although surgically a success, the twins continued to suffer neurologic/medical complications. Additional accomplishments include performing the first successful neurosurgical procedure on a fetus inside the womb, developing new methods to treat brain-stem tumors, and revitalizing hemispherectomy techniques for controlling seizures. He wrote over 100 neurosurgical publications. He retired from medicine in 2013.

Carson gained national fame among political conservatives after delivering a speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast which was perceived as critical of the policies of President Barack Obama. Following widespread speculation of a presidential run, Carson officially announced his campaign for the 2016 Republican nomination for President in May 2015. Carson performed strongly in early polls, leading to his being considered a frontrunner for the nomination during the fall of 2015; however, his polling support began to decline following scrutiny of his foreign policy credentials after the November 2015 Paris attacks. Carson withdrew from the race after Super Tuesday, following a string of disappointing primary results, and endorsed Donald Trump. Following Trump's victory, Trump nominated Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, being confirmed by the United States Senate in a 58–41 vote on March 2, 2017. Carson is one of the most prominent black conservatives in America.

Carson has received numerous honors for his neurosurgery work, including more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees and numerous national merit citations. In 2001, he was named by CNN and Time magazine as one of the nation's 20 foremost physicians and scientists and was selected by the Library of Congress as one of 89 "Living Legends" on its 200th anniversary. In 2008, Carson was bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. In 2010, he was elected into the National Academy of Medicine. He was the subject of the 2009 TV film Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, wherein he was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. Carson has also written or co-written six bestselling books.

Details

Ben Carson, in full Benjamin Solomon Carson, Sr., (born September 18, 1951, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.), American politician and neurosurgeon who performed the first successful separation of conjoined twins who were attached at the back of the head (occipital craniopagus twins). The operation, which took place in 1987, lasted some 22 hours and involved a 70-member surgical team. Carson also refined a technique known as hemispherectomy, in which one-half of the brain is removed to prevent seizures in persons with severe epilepsy. He later became active in politics and served as U.S. secretary of housing and urban development (HUD; 2017–21) in the administration of U.S. Pres. Donald Trump.

Early life and medical career

Carson spent his early childhood in Detroit. His parents divorced when he was eight years old, and thereafter he lived with his mother and brother, spending a brief period in Boston and later returning to Detroit. Although Carson showed potential as a student, he performed poorly in school until his mother challenged him and his brother with reading and writing assignments in addition to their regular schoolwork. Carson developed a newfound interest in learning and eventually earned a scholarship to Yale University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1973. While at Yale, he met Lacena (“Candy”) Rustin; the couple married in 1975 and had three children. He next attended the University of Michigan, earning a medical degree in 1977, and later Johns Hopkins University Medical School in Baltimore, Maryland, where he completed a residency in neurosurgery. In 1984, after a brief stint as a senior registrar in neurosurgery at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, part of the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Center in Nedlands, Western Australia, Carson became director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. He was one of the youngest doctors in the United States to earn such a title. He later also held professorships in plastic surgery, oncology, and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins.

In his successful separation of occipital craniopagus twins in 1987, Carson used a radical approach in which the twins’ body temperatures were lowered to the point of circulatory arrest. The success of the procedure and the reconstructive techniques employed gained Carson world renown as a pediatric neurosurgeon. In 1997, in a 28-hour-long operation, he led a team of South African and Zambian surgeons in a separation of twins conjoined at the top of the head (type 2 vertical craniopagus twins). Carson was also known for having performed the first successful rescue of a hydrocephalic twin using an intrauterine shunt. The shunt served to drain fluid under high pressure away from the developing brain of the fetus and into the amniotic cavity of the mother. Carson’s techniques for hemispherectomy and craniofacial reconstructive surgery were influential in the fields of neurosurgery and plastic surgery.

Move to politics

In 2012 Carson published America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great (cowritten with his wife), a work reflecting his growing interest in politics. The following year he appeared at the National Prayer Breakfast, a traditionally nonpartisan event organized by the Family, a Christian movement. In his keynote speech, Carson was highly critical of U.S. Pres. Barack Obama, who was in attendance, and the resulting media attention helped make Carson a rising star in conservative circles. In mid-2013 he retired as a surgeon, and the following year he joined the Fox News Channel as a commentator. In that role, he expressed his opposition to same-gender marriage and abortion and claimed that homosexuality is a choice. He also was highly critical of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In 2014 he wrote (with his wife) One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future, and the following year he entered the 2016 U.S. presidential election race. In the 2015 volume A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties (also written with his wife), he issued his interpretations of the mandate established by the U.S. Constitution.

Presidential run and HUD

With his conservative agenda, Carson initially proved popular with Republican voters, and by October 2015 he was among the party’s front-runners. However, soon thereafter his campaign began to struggle when questions mounted concerning his grasp of foreign policy. In addition, his debate performances were criticized for a perceived lack of energy. After failing to win any states a month into the primary election season, Carson formally suspended his campaign in early March 2016. He was a vocal supporter of eventual winner Donald Trump, who in December 2016 announced that he would nominate Carson to serve as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In March 2017 Carson was confirmed by the Senate, 58–41, and took office shortly thereafter.

In an effort to promote self-sufficiency, Carson supported rent increases for those receiving federal housing assistance or living in public housing properties. He also sought to reduce housing regulations, including those designed to end discrimination. Such moves were met with opposition, as critics alleged that he failed to understand the complexities of the issues. In a February 2019 interview Carson suggested that he would leave HUD at the end of Trump’s term in 2021. In March 2020 he was appointed to the government’s task force handling the coronavirus pandemic. In November it was announced that he had tested positive for the disease, and he later claimed that he had become “desperately ill” but recovered after Trump intervened to get him access to an antibody treatment that required FDA approval. Carson stepped down as secretary of HUD in January 2021.

Other activities

In 1994 Carson cofounded the Carson Scholars Fund, an organization that awarded scholarships to students who had demonstrated academic excellence and community service. He received numerous awards during his career, including the 2008 Presidential Medal of Freedom, given to him by U.S. Pres. George W. Bush. Carson also traveled as a motivational speaker, was an outspoken supporter of creationism, and was the subject of the 2009 made-for-television movie Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. The movie took its title from Carson’s autobiography, Gifted Hands (1990; with Cecil Murphey).

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1058 2022-02-21 02:01:22

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1022) Indra Nooyi

Summary

Indra Nooyi (née Krishnamurthy; born October 28, 1955) is an Indian-American business executive and former chairperson and chief executive officer (CEO) of PepsiCo. In 2017, her final year at PepsiCo, her pay was $31 million.

She has consistently ranked among the world's 100 most powerful women. In 2014, she was ranked at number 13 on the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women and was ranked the second most powerful woman on the Fortune list in 2015. In 2017, she was ranked the second most powerful woman once more on the Forbes list of The 19 Most Powerful Women in Business.

She serves on the boards of Amazon and the International Cricket Council. Philips has proposed that Nooyi join their board in May 2021.

Details

Indra Nooyi, (born October 28, 1955, Madras [now Chennai], India), is an Indian-born American businesswoman who was instrumental in the lucrative restructuring and diversification of soft-drink manufacturer PepsiCo, Inc.’s brands. Nooyi served as the company’s CEO (2006–18) and chairman of the board (2007–19).

Nooyi earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Madras Christian College in 1976 and a master’s degree in business administration from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta two years later. After moving to the United States, she received an additional master’s degree in public and private management from the Yale School of Management in 1980. For the next six years, Nooyi worked as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group. She later held executive positions at Motorola, Inc., and the engineering firm Asea Brown Boveri (now ABB).

In 1994 Nooyi joined PepsiCo as senior vice president of corporate strategy and development. In 2001 she was named president and chief financial officer of the company. Nooyi was responsible for guiding a major restructuring, which included the company’s spin-off of its restaurants—which included KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell—into Tricon Global Restaurants (which later became Yum! Brands, Inc.), as well as the spin-off of PepsiCo’s bottling operations. In addition, she oversaw the acquisition (1998) of Tropicana Products and a merger in 2001 with the Quaker Oats Co. as part of the company’s strategy of diversifying into more healthful drinks and foods.

Nooyi assumed the title of CEO in October 2006 and the next year became chairman of the board as well. The fifth chairman and CEO in PepsiCo’s 42-year history, Nooyi was the first woman to lead the soft-drink and snack-food giant and one of only 11 female chief executives of Fortune 500 companies. Although analysts expressed surprise at the timing of Nooyi’s appointment as chairman (her predecessor, Steven Reinemund, had served just five years before abruptly deciding to retire), many praised the skills that she would bring to the job. Nooyi continued the strategy of making PepsiCo a well-balanced consumer-products company that was less reliant on sales of its flagship soft drinks. She also aggressively pursued international expansion. Under her leadership, PepsiCo’s revenues increased from $35 billion in 2006 to $63.5 billion in 2017. The following year it was announced that Nooyi would be stepping down as CEO in October and as chairman of the board in early 2019.

Nooyi’s memoir, My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future, was published in 2021.

Additional Information

Indra Nooyi is one of the world’s most powerful women, being known as PepsiCo's CEO. Indra was born in India and is an alumni of IIM Calcutta, where she had her MBA, and Yale, where she earned a master's degree in Public and Private Management. In the 14 years prior to joining PepsiCo, Nooyi worked as an International Corporate Strategist at the Boston Consulting Group, VP and Director of Corporate Strategy and Planning at Motorola, and Senior VP of Strategy and Strategic Marketing at ABB (ASEA Brown Boveri), an automation multinational corporation. Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994, where she helped the company position for growth in China, the Middle East and India. Between 2001 and 2006, she served as CFO, and was named CEO and President in 2006, becoming the fifth CEO in PepsiCo's history. Under her leadership and successful strategic direction, the company was restructured, including the 1997 selling of Tricon (now known as Yum! Brands that operate KFC, Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and others), acquisition of Tropicana, and other strategic investments which led to 80% growth of company's sales. She also focused on taking measures that will cut sugar, salt and fat, in order to make Pepsi products more healthy, as soda consumption has been declining for over than a decade. Nooyi stepped down as the CEO at the end of 2018 and was replaced by Ramon Laguarta, who also became a member of the board of directors. Nooyi continued to serve as the chairwoman of the company until the beginning of 2019. During her years as CEO, Nooyi was open about the challenges faced by women leaders and pushed the public towards honest conversations about the importance of work-life balance and the choices many women face. In February 2019, Nooyi joined Amazon's Board of Directors, raising the percentage of women on its board to 45%.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1059 2022-02-23 00:13:50

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
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Re: crème de la crème

1023) A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Summary

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (15 October 1931 – 27 July 2015) was an Indian aerospace scientist who served as the 11th president of India from 2002 to 2007. He was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu and studied physics and aerospace engineering. He spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was intimately involved in India's civilian space programme and military missile development efforts. He thus came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. He also played a pivotal organisational, technical, and political role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.

Kalam was elected as the 11th president of India in 2002 with the support of both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the then-opposition Indian National Congress. Widely referred to as the "People's President", he returned to his civilian life of education, writing and public service after a single term. He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.

While delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Kalam collapsed and died from an apparent cardiac arrest on 27 July 2015, aged 83. Thousands, including national-level dignitaries, attended the funeral ceremony held in his hometown of Rameswaram, where he was buried with full state honours.

Details

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in full Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, (born October 15, 1931, Rameswaram, India—died July 27, 2015, Shillong), was in Indian scientist and politician who played a leading role in the development of India’s missile and nuclear weapons programs. He was president of India from 2002 to 2007.

Kalam earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology and in 1958 joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In 1969 he moved to the Indian Space Research Organisation, where he was project director of the SLV-III, the first satellite launch vehicle that was both designed and produced in India. Rejoining DRDO in 1982, Kalam planned the program that produced a number of successful missiles, which helped earn him the nickname “Missile Man.” Among those successes was Agni, India’s first intermediate-range ballistic missile, which incorporated aspects of the SLV-III and was launched in 1989.

From 1992 to 1997 Kalam was scientific adviser to the defense minister, and he later served as principal scientific adviser (1999–2001) to the government with the rank of cabinet minister. His prominent role in the country’s 1998 nuclear weapons tests solidified India as a nuclear power and established Kalam as a national hero, although the tests caused great concern in the international community. In 1998 Kalam put forward a countrywide plan called Technology Vision 2020, which he described as a road map for transforming India from a less-developed to a developed society in 20 years. The plan called for, among other measures, increasing agricultural productivity, emphasizing technology as a vehicle for economic growth, and widening access to health care and education.

In 2002 India’s ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) put forward Kalam to succeed outgoing President Kocheril Raman Narayanan. Kalam was nominated by the Hindu nationalist (Hindutva) NDA even though he was Muslim, and his stature and popular appeal were such that even the main opposition party, the Indian National Congress, also proposed his candidacy. Kalam easily won the election and was sworn in as India’s 11th president, a largely ceremonial post, in July 2002. He left office at the end of his term in 2007 and was succeeded by Pratibha Patil, the country’s first woman president.

Upon returning to civilian life, Kalam remained committed to using science and technology to transform India into a developed country and served as a lecturer at several universities. On July 27, 2015, he collapsed while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong and was pronounced dead from cardiac arrest soon afterward.

Kalam wrote several books, including an autobiography, Wings of Fire (1999). Among his numerous awards were two of the country’s highest honours, the Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the Bharat Ratna (1997).

Additional Information:

Key Points

About

* Born on 15th October 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.
* His birth anniversary is celebrated as the National Innovation Day.
* He graduated in Science from St Joseph's College, Trichy in 1954 and specialized in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1957.
* He is one of the most distinguished scientists of India with the unique honour of receiving honorary doctorates from 48 Universities and institutions from India and abroad.
* He was sworn in as India’s 11th President in 2002 and completed the full term in 2007.
* He planned programmes to produce a number of successful missiles, which helped earn him the nickname “Missile Man”.

His Contribution

* Pioneer in Fiberglass Technology

He was a pioneer in fiberglass technology and led a young team to initiate this effort in ISRO from design, development leading to the production of composites rocket motor cases.

* Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3)

He made a significant contribution as Project Director to develop India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) which successfully injected the Rohini satellite into Near-Earth Orbit in July 1980 and made India an exclusive member of Space Club.

* He was responsible for the evolution of ISRO's launch vehicle programme, particularly the PSLV configuration.

Indigenous Guided Missiles

* After working for two decades in ISRO and mastering launch vehicle technologies, he took up the responsibility of developing Indigenous Guided Missiles at the DRDO.
* He was the Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
* He led to the weaponization of strategic missile systems and the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in collaboration with the Department of Atomic Energy, which made India a nuclear weapon State.

Technology Vision 2020

In 1998, he put forward a countrywide plan called Technology Vision 2020, which he described as a road map for transforming India from a less-developed to a developed society in 20 years.
The plan called for, among other measures, increasing agricultural productivity, emphasising technology as a vehicle for economic growth, and widening access to health care and education.

Others

* He was passionate about bringing rural prosperity through PURA (Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas), in which science and technology has to play a key role.
* Based on his diverse experience he propagated the concept of World Knowledge Platform through which the core competencies of organizations and nations can be synergized to innovate and create solutions and products for the challenges of the 21st century.

Awards Received

He was awarded the coveted civilian awards - Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997).

Literary Works

"Wings of Fire", "India 2020 - A Vision for the New Millennium", "My journey" and "Ignited Minds - Unleashing the power within India", "Indomitable Spirit", "Guiding Souls", "Envisioning an Empowered Nation", "Inspiring Thoughts" etc.

Death

27th July 2015 at Shillong, Meghalaya.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1060 2022-02-25 02:50:07

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1024) Matthew Flinders

Summary

Captain Matthew Flinders (16 March 1774 – 19 July 1814) was a British navigator and cartographer who led the first inshore circumnavigation of the landmass that is now known as Australia. He is also credited as being the first person to utilise the name Australia to describe the entirety of that continent including Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania), a title he regarded as being "more agreeable to the ear" than previous names such as Terra Australis.

Flinders was involved in several voyages of discovery between 1791 and 1803, the most famous of which are the circumnavigation of Australia and an earlier expedition when he and George Bass confirmed that Van Diemen's Land was an island.

While returning to Britain in 1803, Flinders was arrested by the French governor at Isle de France (Mauritius). Although Britain and France were at war, Flinders thought the scientific nature of his work would ensure safe passage, but he remained under arrest for more than six years. In captivity, he recorded details of his voyages for future publication, and put forward his rationale for naming the new continent 'Australia', as an umbrella term for New Holland and New South Wales – a suggestion taken up later by Governor Macquarie.

Flinders' health had suffered, however, and although he returned to Britain in 1810, he did not live to see the success of his widely praised book and atlas, A Voyage to Terra Australis. The location of his grave was lost by the mid-19th century but archaeologists, excavating a former burial ground near London's Euston railway station for the High Speed 2 (HS2) project, announced in January 2019 that his remains had been identified.

Details

Matthew Flinders, (born March 16, 1774, Donington, Lincolnshire, England—died July 19, 1814, London), was an English navigator who charted much of the Australian coast.

Flinders entered the Royal Navy in 1789 and became a navigator. In 1795 he sailed to Australia, where he explored and charted its southeast coast and circumnavigated the island of Tasmania. As commander of the Investigator, he again sailed from England for Australia in 1801. On this visit he surveyed the entire southern coast, from Cape Leeuwin, in the southwest, to the Bass Strait, which separates mainland Australia from Tasmania. On July 22, 1802, he sailed from Sydney (on Port Jackson) and charted the east coast of Australia and the Gulf of Carpentaria on the north coast. Continuing westward and southward, he circumnavigated Australia and again reached Port Jackson on June 9, 1803.

In December, on the voyage back to England, the condition of his ship required him to stop at the Île de France (now Mauritius) in the western Indian Ocean. There he was interned by the French authorities and was not allowed to leave for England until 1810. His Voyage to Terra Australis appeared shortly before his death.

Flinders’s remains were among the tens of thousands of bodies interred at the St. James Gardens cemetery in London in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The construction of a high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham necessitated the excavation of that burial site, and in January 2019 archaeologists uncovered Flinders’s coffin. Flinders’s skeleton would be subjected to scientific analysis before being reinterred at a different location.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1061 2022-02-28 01:07:15

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1025) Paul Harris (Rotary)

Paul Percy Harris (April 19, 1868 – January 27, 1947) was a Chicago, Illinois, attorney. He founded the club that became the humanitarian organisation Rotary International in 1905.

Personal life

Harris was born in Racine, Wisconsin to George and Cornilia Harris. He was the couple's second child. At age 3, when his family fell on hard times, Paul was moved with a sibling to Vermont to live with his paternal grandparents, Howard and Pamela Harris. Harris would later write about his parents: "Of all charges which might have been made against George and Cornelia, parsimony would have stood the least chance. They were both royal spenders."

While living in Vermont, he attended Black River Academy in Ludlow, but was expelled after only a short time. At his secondary school in Rutland, he was known as a prankster. After secondary school, he attended the University of Vermont. In 1886, he was expelled in an incident involving a secret society. In the fall of 1887, he attended Princeton University.

Due to the death of his grandfather in the spring of 1888, he did not return to school the following fall. Harris soon moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where he was apprenticed at a local law firm. After completing his apprenticeship, he studied law at the University of Iowa. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in June 1891. However, for the next five years, he worked odd jobs: for a newspaper as a salesman and a reporter, on fruit farms, as an actor and cowboy, and on cattle ships that traveled to Europe. In 1896, Harris moved to Chicago, eventually settling in the Morgan Park neighborhood, where he lived the rest of his life (except for spending summers in Michigan and winters in Alabama during his later years).

It was 2 July 1910 in Chicago that Harris married Jean Thomson, a Scotswoman whom he had met at a local nature club. Jean traveled the world with Harris in support of Rotary. She helped to make women an important part of Rotary, eventually leading to all Rotary Clubs admitting women as full members. The couple never had any children.

Harris sought meaningful personal and spiritual relationships in addition to his professional achievements. He attended religious services on Sundays but visited many different churches rather than aligning himself with one congregation. Later in his life, he said that his religious affiliations were, like himself, difficult to label. "I really have no church affiliations … I am not easily classified; that is to say my convictions are not that of that definite nature essential to whole-hearted affiliation with the general run of churches. … Of course, these days one can hear the best of preaching over the radio and I generally hear three or four sermons every Sunday."

Career

Harris began his law practice in 1896 in Chicago's main business district and continued being active in this practice for the next forty years. After establishing his law practice, Harris began to consider the benefits of the formation of a social organization for local professionals. In 1905, Harris organized the first Rotary Club "in fellowship and friendship" with three clients and local businessmen, Silvester Schele, Gustavus Loehr, and Hiram Shorey. His initial goal was solely to create a club of professional and business men for friendship and fellowship. Soon, Harris realized that Rotary needed a greater purpose.

When Harris was elected as third president of the Chicago Rotary Club in 1907, the club initiated its first public service project, the construction of public toilets in Chicago. This step transformed Rotary into the world's first Service Club. This action was facilitated by the formation of the Executive Committee (now Ways and Means Committee). This Committee was open to all members and their noon meetings began tradition of club luncheon meetings. Harris had great ambitions for Rotary's growth, and very early in the organization's history new clubs were started, first on the west coast, and then all over the US and in Europe. By 1910, at least 15 new clubs had begun in major cities. That August, the existing 16 Rotary Clubs held a national convention in Chicago. There they unanimously chose to unify as the National Association of Rotary Clubs. Eventually, the organization became the International Association of Rotary Clubs, helping to realize Harris' dream worldwide. Through his work with the Rotary Club, Harris received awards from numerous national governments.

Death and legacy

In his later life, Harris reduced his involvement in both the Rotary Club and his legal practice, but continued to write. He often spent his winters in Alabama with his wife. In early 1946, while vacationing with his wife in Alabama, Harris grew ill. He returned to Beverly, Illinois, but never recovered fully. He died on 27 January 1947 at the age of 78. He was interred at Mount Hope Cemetery in Chicago's Morgan Park neighborhood.[8] His autobiography, "My Road to Rotary" was published the following year.

Rotary International

By the time of Harris' death, Rotary International had grown to more than 200,000 members in 75 countries. While the club provides a venue for both business and social networking, the primary focus is on local and international service projects. There are currently about 1.2 million members worldwide.

In cooperation with Rotary International, several towns have established a Rotary Heritage trail. It includes Harris' birthplace in Racine, Wisconsin and a downtown plaza/pedestrian park named after him, as well as the organization's current headquarters in Evanston, Illinois (with a reproduction of his law office), their home, and final resting place.

Paul Harris Fellow

Individuals who have contributed $1,000 or more to the Annual Program Fund, the Polio Plus Fund or the Humanitarian Grants Program of the Rotary Foundation are recognized as Paul Harris Fellows. Additionally, individual Rotary clubs may from time to time award the honor to an individual who meets the high professional and personal standards exemplified by Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary International, without the honored individual having made any monetary contribution. The recognition is not limited to Rotarians.

A Paul Harris Fellow receives a special certificate and a gold pin. At the discretion of the Fellow's club, they may also receive a gold medallion on a blue-and-gold ribbon.

Multiple-time Fellows are recognized as they continue to contribute. Additionally, Fellows receive recognition points which they may contribute towards the recognition of other members as Paul Harris Fellows.

Paul Harris Society

The Paul Harris Society is a special program administered by Rotary Districts. Paul Harris Society members make a commitment to contribute $1,000 each year to the Annual Program Fund. A Paul Harris Society member receives a "hanger" for their Paul Harris Fellow Pin with the initials PHS.

Monuments and memorials

There is a statue of Harris installed in American Park, Mexico City.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1062 2022-03-02 03:47:36

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1026) Grigori Perelman

Summary

Grigori Yakovlevich Perelman (born 13 June 1966) is a Russian mathematician who is known for his contributions to the fields of geometric analysis, Riemannian geometry, and geometric topology.

In the 1990s, partly in collaboration with Yuri Burago, Mikhael Gromov, and Anton Petrunin, he made influential contributions to the study of Alexandrov spaces. In 1994, he proved the soul conjecture in Riemannian geometry, which had been an open problem for the previous 20 years. In 2002 and 2003, he developed new techniques in the analysis of Ricci flow, thereby providing a detailed sketch of a proof of the Poincaré conjecture and Thurston's geometrization conjecture, the former of which had been a famous open problem in mathematics for the past century. The full details of Perelman's work were filled in and explained by various authors over the following several years.

In August 2006, Perelman was offered the Fields Medal for "his contributions to geometry and his revolutionary insights into the analytical and geometric structure of the Ricci flow", but he declined the award, stating: "I'm not interested in money or fame; I don't want to be on display like an animal in a zoo." On 22 December 2006, the scientific journal Science recognized Perelman's proof of the Poincaré conjecture as the scientific "Breakthrough of the Year", the first such recognition in the area of mathematics.

On 18 March 2010, it was announced that he had met the criteria to receive the first Clay Millennium Prize for resolution of the Poincaré conjecture. On 1 July 2010, he rejected the prize of one million dollars, saying that he considered the decision of the board of the Clay Institute to be unfair, in that his contribution to solving the Poincaré conjecture was no greater than that of Richard S. Hamilton, the mathematician who pioneered the Ricci flow partly with the aim of attacking the conjecture. He had previously rejected the prestigious prize of the European Mathematical Society in 1996.

Awards:    

Saint Petersburg Mathematical Society Prize (1991), accepted
EMS Prize (1996), declined
Fields Medal (2006), declined
Millennium Prize (2010), declined.

Details

Grigori Perelman, (born 1966, U.S.S.R.), is a Russian mathematician who was awarded—and declined—the Fields Medal in 2006 for his work on the Poincaré conjecture and Fields medalist William Thurston’s geometrization conjecture. In 2003 Perelman had left academia and apparently had abandoned mathematics. He was the first mathematician ever to decline the Fields Medal.

Perelman earned a doctorate from St. Petersburg State University and then spent much of the 1990s in the United States, including at the University of California, Berkeley. He was still listed as a researcher at the Steklov Institute of Mathematics, St. Petersburg University, until Jan. 1, 2006.

In the 1980s Thurston won a Fields Medal for his efforts to extend the geometric classification of two-dimensional manifolds to three dimensions. Thurston’s geometrization conjecture claimed that in three dimensions there are only eight possible geometries, although a three-dimensional manifold may be made up of several regions, each with a different geometry. The conjecture implied that, in the particular case of three-dimensional manifolds modeled on the three-dimensional sphere, the Poincaré conjecture is true. In 2000 the Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) was formed to stimulate mathematical research by offering $1 million prizes for the solution of important problems in mathematics, and the Poincaré conjecture was one of the initial seven Millennium Problems designated by CMI.

In 1982 the American mathematician Richard Hamilton took up the idea of studying how a manifold develops as its curvature is smoothed out, using what is known as a Ricci flow (after the Italian mathematician Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro). Much was achieved, but Hamilton reached an impasse when he could not show that the manifold would not snap into pieces under the flow. Perelman’s decisive contribution was to show that the Ricci flow did what was intended and that the impasse reflected the way a three-dimensional manifold is made up of pieces with different geometries. In a series of three difficult papers, published on the Internet in 2002, Perelman announced proofs of the Poincaré conjecture and the geometrization conjecture. By 2006 the consensus among mathematicians was that Perelman had resolved the Poincaré conjecture in the affirmative and likely the geometrization conjecture too. It is generally believed that the techniques he introduced will have a profound influence on other branches of geometry and analysis. In 2010 CMI offered Perelman the million-dollar reward for proving the Poincaré conjecture. As he had done with the Fields Medal, Perelman refused the prize.

grigori-perelman_resize_md.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1063 2022-03-04 01:08:35

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1027) Bertrand Russell

Summary

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a Welsh polymath. As an academic, he worked in philosophy, mathematics, and logic. His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, and various areas of analytic philosophy, especially philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of language, epistemology and metaphysics. He was a public intellectual, historian, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. He was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom.

Russell was one of the early 20th century's most prominent logicians, and one of the founders of analytic philosophy, along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, his friend and colleague G. E. Moore and his student and protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. Russell with Moore led the British "revolt against idealism". Together with his former teacher A. N. Whitehead, Russell wrote Principia Mathematica, a milestone in the development of classical logic, and a major attempt to reduce the whole of mathematics to logic. Russell's article "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy".

Russell was a pacifist who championed anti-imperialism and chaired the India League. He occasionally advocated preventive nuclear war, before the opportunity provided by the atomic monopoly had passed and he decided he would "welcome with enthusiasm" world government. He went to prison for his pacifism during World War I. Later, Russell concluded that the war against Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany was a necessary "lesser of two evils" and also criticized Stalinist totalitarianism, condemned the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. In 1950, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought". He was also the recipient of the De Morgan Medal (1932), Sylvester Medal (1934), Kalinga Prize (1957), and Jerusalem Prize (1963).

Details

Bertrand Russell, in full Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell of Kingston Russell, Viscount Amberley of Amberley and of Ardsalla, (born May 18, 1872, Trelleck, Monmouthshire, Wales—died February 2, 1970, Penrhyndeudraeth, Merioneth), was a British philosopher, logician, and social reformer, founding figure in the analytic movement in Anglo-American philosophy, and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Russell’s contributions to logic, epistemology, and the philosophy of mathematics established him as one of the foremost philosophers of the 20th century. To the general public, however, he was best known as a campaigner for peace and as a popular writer on social, political, and moral subjects. During a long, productive, and often turbulent life, he published more than 70 books and about 2,000 articles, married four times, became involved in innumerable public controversies, and was honoured and reviled in almost equal measure throughout the world. Russell’s article on the philosophical consequences of relativity appeared in the 13th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

Russell was born in Ravenscroft, the country home of his parents, Lord and Lady Amberley. His grandfather, Lord John Russell, was the youngest son of the 6th Duke of Bedford. In 1861, after a long and distinguished political career in which he served twice as prime minister, Lord Russell was ennobled by Queen Victoria, becoming the 1st Earl Russell. Bertrand Russell became the 3rd Earl Russell in 1931, after his elder brother, Frank, died childless.

Russell’s early life was marred by tragedy and bereavement. By the time he was age six, his sister, Rachel, his parents, and his grandfather had all died, and he and Frank were left in the care of their grandmother, Countess Russell. Though Frank was sent to Winchester School, Bertrand was educated privately at home, and his childhood, to his later great regret, was spent largely in isolation from other children. Intellectually precocious, he became absorbed in mathematics from an early age and found the experience of learning Euclidean geometry at the age of 11 “as dazzling as first love,” because it introduced him to the intoxicating possibility of certain, demonstrable knowledge. This led him to imagine that all knowledge might be provided with such secure foundations, a hope that lay at the very heart of his motivations as a philosopher. His earliest philosophical work was written during his adolescence and records the skeptical doubts that led him to abandon the Christian faith in which he had been brought up by his grandmother.

In 1890 Russell’s isolation came to an end when he entered Trinity College, University of Cambridge, to study mathematics. There he made lifelong friends through his membership in the famously secretive student society the Apostles, whose members included some of the most influential philosophers of the day. Inspired by his discussions with this group, Russell abandoned mathematics for philosophy and won a fellowship at Trinity on the strength of a thesis entitled An Essay on the Foundations of Geometry, a revised version of which was published as his first philosophical book in 1897. Following Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781, 1787), this work presented a sophisticated idealist theory that viewed geometry as a description of the structure of spatial intuition.

In 1896 Russell published his first political work, German Social Democracy. Though sympathetic to the reformist aims of the German socialist movement, it included some trenchant and farsighted criticisms of Marxist dogmas. The book was written partly as the outcome of a visit to Berlin in 1895 with his first wife, Alys Pearsall Smith, whom he had married the previous year. In Berlin, Russell formulated an ambitious scheme of writing two series of books, one on the philosophy of the sciences, the other on social and political questions. “At last,” as he later put it, “I would achieve a Hegelian synthesis in an encyclopaedic work dealing equally with theory and practice.” He did, in fact, come to write on all the subjects he intended, but not in the form that he envisaged. Shortly after finishing his book on geometry, he abandoned the metaphysical idealism that was to have provided the framework for this grand synthesis.

Russell’s abandonment of idealism is customarily attributed to the influence of his friend and fellow Apostle G.E. Moore. A much greater influence on his thought at this time, however, was a group of German mathematicians that included Karl Weierstrass, Georg Cantor, and Richard Dedekind, whose work was aimed at providing mathematics with a set of logically rigorous foundations. For Russell, their success in this endeavour was of enormous philosophical as well as mathematical significance; indeed, he described it as “the greatest triumph of which our age has to boast.” After becoming acquainted with this body of work, Russell abandoned all vestiges of his earlier idealism and adopted the view, which he was to hold for the rest of his life, that analysis rather than synthesis was the surest method of philosophy and that therefore all the grand system building of previous philosophers was misconceived. In arguing for this view with passion and acuity, Russell exerted a profound influence on the entire tradition of English-speaking analytic philosophy, bequeathing to it its characteristic style, method, and tone.

Inspired by the work of the mathematicians whom he so greatly admired, Russell conceived the idea of demonstrating that mathematics not only had logically rigorous foundations but also that it was in its entirety nothing but logic. The philosophical case for this point of view—subsequently known as logicism—was stated at length in The Principles of Mathematics (1903). There Russell argued that the whole of mathematics could be derived from a few simple axioms that made no use of specifically mathematical notions, such as number and square root, but were rather confined to purely logical notions, such as proposition and class. In this way not only could the truths of mathematics be shown to be immune from doubt, they could also be freed from any taint of subjectivity, such as the subjectivity involved in Russell’s earlier Kantian view that geometry describes the structure of spatial intuition. Near the end of his work on The Principles of Mathematics, Russell discovered that he had been anticipated in his logicist philosophy of mathematics by the German mathematician Gottlob Frege, whose book The Foundations of Arithmetic (1884) contained, as Russell put it, “many things…which I believed I had invented.” Russell quickly added an appendix to his book that discussed Frege’s work, acknowledged Frege’s earlier discoveries, and explained the differences in their respective understandings of the nature of logic.

The tragedy of Russell’s intellectual life is that the deeper he thought about logic, the more his exalted conception of its significance came under threat. He himself described his philosophical development after The Principles of Mathematics as a “retreat from Pythagoras.” The first step in this retreat was his discovery of a contradiction—now known as Russell’s Paradox—at the very heart of the system of logic upon which he had hoped to build the whole of mathematics. The contradiction arises from the following considerations: Some classes are members of themselves (e.g., the class of all classes), and some are not (e.g., the class of all men), so we ought to be able to construct the class of all classes that are not members of themselves. But now, if we ask of this class “Is it a member of itself?” we become enmeshed in a contradiction. If it is, then it is not, and if it is not, then it is. This is rather like defining the village barber as “the man who shaves all those who do not shave themselves” and then asking whether the barber shaves himself or not.

At first this paradox seemed trivial, but the more Russell reflected upon it, the deeper the problem seemed, and eventually he was persuaded that there was something fundamentally wrong with the notion of class as he had understood it in The Principles of Mathematics. Frege saw the depth of the problem immediately. When Russell wrote to him to tell him of the paradox, Frege replied, “arithmetic totters.” The foundation upon which Frege and Russell had hoped to build mathematics had, it seemed, collapsed. Whereas Frege sank into a deep depression, Russell set about repairing the damage by attempting to construct a theory of logic immune to the paradox. Like a malignant cancerous growth, however, the contradiction reappeared in different guises whenever Russell thought that he had eliminated it.

Eventually, Russell’s attempts to overcome the paradox resulted in a complete transformation of his scheme of logic, as he added one refinement after another to the basic theory. In the process, important elements of his “Pythagorean” view of logic were abandoned. In particular, Russell came to the conclusion that there were no such things as classes and propositions and that therefore, whatever logic was, it was not the study of them. In their place he substituted a bewilderingly complex theory known as the ramified theory of types, which, though it successfully avoided contradictions such as Russell’s Paradox, was (and remains) extraordinarily difficult to understand. By the time he and his collaborator, Alfred North Whitehead, had finished the three volumes of Principia Mathematica (1910–13), the theory of types and other innovations to the basic logical system had made it unmanageably complicated. Very few people, whether philosophers or mathematicians, have made the gargantuan effort required to master the details of this monumental work. It is nevertheless rightly regarded as one of the great intellectual achievements of the 20th century.

Principia Mathematica is a herculean attempt to demonstrate mathematically what The Principles of Mathematics had argued for philosophically, namely that mathematics is a branch of logic. The validity of the individual formal proofs that make up the bulk of its three volumes has gone largely unchallenged, but the philosophical significance of the work as a whole is still a matter of debate. Does it demonstrate that mathematics is logic? Only if one regards the theory of types as a logical truth, and about that there is much more room for doubt than there was about the trivial truisms upon which Russell had originally intended to build mathematics. Moreover, Kurt Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem (1931) proves that there cannot be a single logical theory from which the whole of mathematics is derivable: all consistent theories of arithmetic are necessarily incomplete. Principia Mathematica cannot, however, be dismissed as nothing more than a heroic failure. Its influence on the development of mathematical logic and the philosophy of mathematics has been immense.

Despite their differences, Russell and Frege were alike in taking an essentially Platonic view of logic. Indeed, the passion with which Russell pursued the project of deriving mathematics from logic owed a great deal to what he would later somewhat scornfully describe as a “kind of mathematical mysticism.” As he put it in his more disillusioned old age, “I disliked the real world and sought refuge in a timeless world, without change or decay or the will-o’-the-wisp of progress.” Russell, like Pythagoras and Plato before him, believed that there existed a realm of truth that, unlike the messy contingencies of the everyday world of sense-experience, was immutable and eternal. This realm was accessible only to reason, and knowledge of it, once attained, was not tentative or corrigible but certain and irrefutable. Logic, for Russell, was the means by which one gained access to this realm, and thus the pursuit of logic was, for him, the highest and noblest enterprise life had to offer.

In philosophy the greatest impact of Principia Mathematica has been through its so-called theory of descriptions. This method of analysis, first introduced by Russell in his article “On Denoting” (1905), translates propositions containing definite descriptions (e.g., “the present king of France”) into expressions that do not—the purpose being to remove the logical awkwardness of appearing to refer to things (such as the present king of France) that do not exist. Originally developed by Russell as part of his efforts to overcome the contradictions in his theory of logic, this method of analysis has since become widely influential even among philosophers with no specific interest in mathematics. The general idea at the root of Russell’s theory of descriptions—that the grammatical structures of ordinary language are distinct from, and often conceal, the true “logical forms” of expressions—has become his most enduring contribution to philosophy.

Russell later said that his mind never fully recovered from the strain of writing Principia Mathematica, and he never again worked on logic with quite the same intensity. In 1918 he wrote Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, which was intended as a popularization of Principia, but, apart from this, his philosophical work tended to be on epistemology rather than logic. In 1914, in Our Knowledge of the External World, Russell argued that the world is “constructed” out of sense-data, an idea that he refined in The Philosophy of Logical Atomism (1918–19). In The Analysis of Mind (1921) and The Analysis of Matter (1927), he abandoned this notion in favour of what he called neutral monism, the view that the “ultimate stuff” of the world is neither mental nor physical but something “neutral” between the two. Although treated with respect, these works had markedly less impact upon subsequent philosophers than his early works in logic and the philosophy of mathematics, and they are generally regarded as inferior by comparison.

Connected with the change in his intellectual direction after the completion of Principia was a profound change in his personal life. Throughout the years that he worked single-mindedly on logic, Russell’s private life was bleak and joyless. He had fallen out of love with his first wife, Alys, though he continued to live with her. In 1911, however, he fell passionately in love with Lady Ottoline Morrell. Doomed from the start (because Morrell had no intention of leaving her husband), this love nevertheless transformed Russell’s entire life. He left Alys and began to hope that he might, after all, find fulfillment in romance. Partly under Morrell’s influence, he also largely lost interest in technical philosophy and began to write in a different, more accessible style. Through writing a best-selling introductory survey called The Problems of Philosophy (1911), Russell discovered that he had a gift for writing on difficult subjects for lay readers, and he began increasingly to address his work to them rather than to the tiny handful of people capable of understanding Principia Mathematica.

In the same year that he began his affair with Morrell, Russell met Ludwig Wittgenstein, a brilliant young Austrian who arrived at Cambridge to study logic with Russell. Fired with intense enthusiasm for the subject, Wittgenstein made great progress, and within a year Russell began to look to him to provide the next big step in philosophy and to defer to him on questions of logic. However, Wittgenstein’s own work, eventually published in 1921 as Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1922), undermined the entire approach to logic that had inspired Russell’s great contributions to the philosophy of mathematics. It persuaded Russell that there were no “truths” of logic at all, that logic consisted entirely of tautologies, the truth of which was not guaranteed by eternal facts in the Platonic realm of ideas but lay, rather, simply in the nature of language. This was to be the final step in the retreat from Pythagoras and a further incentive for Russell to abandon technical philosophy in favour of other pursuits.

During World War I Russell was for a while a full-time political agitator, campaigning for peace and against conscription. His activities attracted the attention of the British authorities, who regarded him as subversive. He was twice taken to court, the second time to receive a sentence of six months in prison, which he served at the end of the war. In 1916, as a result of his antiwar campaigning, Russell was dismissed from his lectureship at Trinity College. Although Trinity offered to rehire him after the war, he ultimately turned down the offer, preferring instead to pursue a career as a journalist and freelance writer. The war had had a profound effect on Russell’s political views, causing him to abandon his inherited liberalism and to adopt a thorough-going socialism, which he espoused in a series of books including Principles of Social Reconstruction (1916), Roads to Freedom (1918), and The Prospects of Industrial Civilization (1923). He was initially sympathetic to the Russian Revolution of 1917, but a visit to the Soviet Union in 1920 left him with a deep and abiding loathing for Soviet communism, which he expressed in The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism (1920).

In 1921 Russell married his second wife, Dora Black, a young graduate of Girton College, Cambridge, with whom he had two children, John and Kate. In the interwar years Russell and Dora acquired a reputation as leaders of a progressive socialist movement that was stridently anticlerical, openly defiant of conventional sexual morality, and dedicated to educational reform. Russell’s published work during this period consists mainly of journalism and popular books written in support of these causes. Many of these books—such as On Education (1926), Marriage and Morals (1929), and The Conquest of Happiness (1930)—enjoyed large sales and helped establish Russell in the eyes of the general public as a philosopher with important things to say about the moral, political, and social issues of the day. His public lecture “Why I Am Not a Christian,” delivered in 1927 and printed many times, became a popular locus classicus of atheistic rationalism. In 1927 Russell and Dora set up their own school, Beacon Hill, as a pioneering experiment in primary education. To pay for it, Russell undertook a few lucrative but exhausting lecture tours of the United States.

During these years Russell’s second marriage came under increasing strain, partly because of overwork but chiefly because Dora chose to have two children with another man and insisted on raising them alongside John and Kate. In 1932 Russell left Dora for Patricia (“Peter”) Spence, a young University of Oxford undergraduate, and for the next three years his life was dominated by an extraordinarily acrimonious and complicated divorce from Dora, which was finally granted in 1935. In the following year he married Spence, and in 1937 they had a son, Conrad. Worn out by years of frenetic public activity and desiring, at this comparatively late stage in his life (he was then age 66), to return to academic philosophy, Russell gained a teaching post at the University of Chicago. From 1938 to 1944 Russell lived in the United States, where he taught at Chicago and the University of California at Los Angeles, but he was prevented from taking a post at the City College of New York because of objections to his views on gender and marriage. On the brink of financial ruin, he secured a job teaching the history of philosophy at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Although he soon fell out with its founder, Albert C. Barnes, and lost his job, Russell was able to turn the lectures he delivered at the foundation into a book, A History of Western Philosophy (1945), which proved to be a best-seller and was for many years his main source of income.

In 1944 Russell returned to Trinity College, where he lectured on the ideas that formed his last major contribution to philosophy, Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits (1948). During this period Russell, for once in his life, found favour with the authorities, and he received many official tributes, including the Order of Merit in 1949 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. His private life, however, remained as turbulent as ever, and he left his third wife in 1949. For a while he shared a house in Richmond upon Thames, London, with the family of his son John and, forsaking both philosophy and politics, dedicated himself to writing short stories. Despite his famously immaculate prose style, Russell did not have a talent for writing great fiction, and his short stories were generally greeted with an embarrassed and puzzled silence, even by his admirers.

In 1952 Russell married his fourth wife, Edith Finch, and finally, at the age of 80, found lasting marital harmony. Russell devoted his last years to campaigning against nuclear weapons and the Vietnam War, assuming once again the role of gadfly of the establishment. The sight of Russell in extreme old age taking his place in mass demonstrations and inciting young people to civil disobedience through his passionate rhetoric inspired a new generation of admirers. Their admiration only increased when in 1961 the British judiciary system took the extraordinary step of sentencing the 89-year-old Russell to a second period of imprisonment.

When he died in 1970 Russell was far better known as an antiwar campaigner than as a philosopher of mathematics. In retrospect, however, it is possible to see that it is for his great contributions to philosophy that he will be remembered and honoured by future generations.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

Offline

#1064 2022-03-05 22:15:17

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1028) Steve Wozniak

Summary

Stephen Gary Wozniak, (born August 11, 1950), also known by his nickname "Woz", is an American electronics engineer, computer programmer, philanthropist, and technology entrepreneur. In 1976, with business partner Steve Jobs, he co-founded Apple Inc., which later became the world's largest information technology company by revenue and the largest company in the world by market capitalization. Through his work at Apple in the 1970s and 1980s, he is widely recognized as one of the prominent pioneers of the personal-computer revolution.

In 1975, Wozniak started developing the Apple I  into the computer that launched Apple when he and Jobs first began marketing it the following year. He primarily designed the Apple II, introduced in 1977, known as one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputers, while Jobs oversaw the development of its foam-molded plastic case and early Apple employee Rod Holt developed its switching power supply. With software engineer Jef Raskin, Wozniak had a major influence over the initial development of the original Apple Macintosh concepts from 1979 to 1981, when Jobs took over the project following Wozniak's brief departure from the company due to a traumatic airplane accident. After permanently leaving Apple in 1985, Wozniak founded CL 9 and created the first programmable universal remote, released in 1987. He then pursued several other businesses and philanthropic ventures throughout his career, focusing largely on technology in K–12 schools.

As of November 2019, Wozniak has remained an employee of Apple in a ceremonial capacity since stepping down in 1985. In recent years, he has helped fund multiple entrepreneurial efforts dealing in areas such as telecommunications, flash memory, technology and pop culture conventions, ecology, satellites, technical education and more.

Details

Steve Wozniak, byname of Stephen Gary Wozniak, (born August 11, 1950, San Jose, California, U.S.), is an American electronics engineer, cofounder, with Steve Jobs, of Apple Computer, and designer of the first commercially successful personal computer.

Wozniak—or “Woz,” as he was commonly known—was the son of an electrical engineer for the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Sunnyvale, California, in what would become known as Silicon Valley. A precocious but undisciplined student with a gift for mathematics and an interest in electronics, he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for one year (1968–69) before dropping out. Following his return to California, he attended a local community college and then the University of California, Berkeley. In 1971 Wozniak designed the “Blue Box,” a device for phreaking (hacking into the telephone network without paying for long-distance calls) that he and Jobs, a student at his old high school whom he met about this time, began selling to other students. Also during the early 1970s Wozniak worked at several small electronics firms in the San Francisco Bay area before obtaining a position with the Hewlett-Packard Company in 1975, by which time he had formally dropped out of Berkeley.

Wozniak also became involved with the Homebrew Computer Club, a San Francisco Bay area group centred around the Altair 8800 microcomputer do-it-yourself kit, which was based on one of the world’s first microprocessors, the Intel Corporation 8080, released in 1975. While working as an engineering intern at Hewlett-Packard, Wozniak designed his own microcomputer in 1976 using the new microprocessor, but the company was not interested in developing his design. Jobs, who was also a Homebrew member, showed so much enthusiasm for Wozniak’s design that they decided to work together, forming their own company, Apple Computer. Their initial capital came from selling Jobs’s automobile and Wozniak’s programmable calculator, and they set up production in the Jobs family garage to build microcomputer circuit boards. Sales of the kit were promising, so they decided to produce a finished product, the Apple II; completed in 1977, it included a built-in keyboard and support for a colour monitor. The Apple II, which combined Wozniak’s brilliant engineering with Jobs’s aesthetic sense, was the first personal computer to appeal beyond hobbyist circles. When the company went public in 1980, its market value exceeded $1 billion, at the time the fastest rise to that milestone in corporate history, and Wozniak’s stock in the company made him an instant multimillionaire.

During these years, Wozniak designed new hardware components, such as the 3.5-inch floppy disk drive for the Apple II, and various components of the Apple operating system and its software applications. This work ended in 1981 when he crashed his small airplane, leaving him temporarily with traumatic amnesia (unable to form new long-term memories), and he was forced to go on a sabbatical. He soon decided to return to Berkeley, under the pseudonym of Rocky Clark, in order to finish the computer science and electrical engineering courses needed to earn those degrees. Although he dropped out again, he eventually was given credit for his work at Apple, and the school awarded him a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1987.

Wozniak returned to Apple in 1982, though he resisted efforts to involve him in management. He finally retired as an active employee in 1985, immediately after being awarded, along with Jobs, a National Medal of Technology by U.S. Pres. Ronald W. Reagan. Wozniak spent the ensuing decades engaged in philanthropic causes, especially involving the education of children, and in volunteer work teaching computer enrichment classes to preteens.

Although Wozniak was semiretired after leaving Apple, he kept up with the computing world by funding various business ventures and occasionally serving as an adviser or board member for different companies. In 2009 he became the chief scientist at Fusion-Io, an American company that produces high-capacity, solid-state storage devices. Wozniak was serving on the company’s board of directors when he decided to become a full-time employee. After Fusion-Io was sold to SanDisk in 2014, Wozniak left the company to become chief scientist at Primary Data, which was involved in data virtualization; that business shut down in 2018.

In 2006 Wozniak published his autobiography, iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

Offline

#1065 2022-03-07 17:37:10

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1029) Alexander the Great

Summary

Alexander III of Macedon (20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. He succeeded his father Philip II to the throne in 336 BC at the age of 20, and spent most of his ruling years conducting a lengthy military campaign throughout Western Asia and Northeastern Africa. By the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires in history, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered to be one of history's greatest and most successful military commanders.

During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16. His father Philip was assassinated in 336 BC at the wedding of Cleopatra of Macedon, Alexander's sister, and Alexander assumed the throne of the Kingdom of Macedon. In 335 BC he campaigned in the Balkans, reasserting control over Thrace and Illyria before sacking the Greek city of Thebes. Alexander was then awarded the generalship of Greece. He used his authority to launch his father's pan-Hellenic project, assuming leadership over all the Greeks in their conquest of Persia.

In 334 BC he invaded the Achaemenid Empire (Persian Empire) and began a series of campaigns that lasted 10 years. Following his conquest of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, including those at Issus and Gaugamela. He subsequently overthrew King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River. Alexander endeavored to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea" and invaded India in 326 BC, achieving an important victory over King Porus at the Battle of the Hydaspes. He eventually turned back at the Beas River due to the demand of his homesick troops, dying in 323 BC in Babylon, the city he planned to establish as his capital. He did not manage to execute a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart.

Alexander's legacy includes the cultural diffusion and syncretism which his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism and Hellenistic Judaism. He founded more than twenty cities that bore his name, most notably Alexandria in Egypt. Alexander's settlement of Greek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek culture resulted in Hellenistic civilization, which developed through the Roman Empire into modern Western culture. The Greek language became the lingua franca of the region and was the predominant language of the Byzantine Empire up until its end in the mid-15th century AD. Greek-speaking communities in central and far eastern Anatolia survived until the Greek genocide and the population exchange in the 1920s. Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mould of Achilles, featuring prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. His military achievements and enduring, unprecedented success in battle made him the measure against which many later military leaders would compare themselves. Military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics.

Details

Alexander was the third King of Macedon and can be regarded as one of the best military personnel the world has ever seen. His military genius brought him tremendous success and managed to stretch the Empire of Macedon from Greece to India. Alexander the Great, as he is known today, is credited with conquering and annexing to his glorious empire nearly half of the world's population during his time. He is undoubtedly the most famous figure of ancient Greece.

Tremendously successful in all military coups, Alexander the Great spread the Greek civilization all over the East, till the borders of India, and changed the course of history until he died at the age of 33. In his short life, he managed so many things as to become a legend.

The First Years

Alexander was born in 356 BC in Pella, the capital of the Macedon Kingdom. His father was King Phillip II of Macedon and his mother was Olympias, the daughter of the king of Epirus. The two of them had met in Samothraki island during some religious festivals and, although Phillip also had other wives, Olympias was thought as his primary wife and queen. The myth says that the night Alexander was born, the temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was burnt down as the goddess was not there to protect it, being busy to attend the birth of that boy who would later become a legend.

Since he was a little boy, Alexander was taught by the best tutors and had shown special courage in fights. At the age of 10, to everyone's surprise, he managed to tame a very wild horse. Since then, this horse which was named Bucephalus became his companion in all battles and wars.

When Alexander was 13, he came under the tutelage of Aristotle, the famous philosopher. Aristotle taught some very important and interesting subjects to him and his courses covered topics on biology, philosophy, religion, logic and art. During this learning process, Alexander developed favoritism for Homer's literature, especially the epic of Iliad, and became a great fun of Achilles, whom he had as his exemplar.

Ancient sources state Alexander to be short, much shorter than a normal Macedonian, but very tough. His beard was scanty and it is reported that he had a short of spinal problem: his neck was twisted and some believe that he had a congenital spinal disorder.

At 16, when he finished his education, he was constantly involved in fights against the tribe of the Illyrians, who threatened the Macedonian Empire. Along with his father, he participated in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC and defeated both Athenians and Thebans who had formed an alliance against Macedonia. Together they occupied Central Greece and then marched to Peloponnese. There at Corinth, that Philip got the recognition of Supreme Commander of all Greeks in the war they wanted to launch against Persia.

When King Phillip II returned to his kingdom, he was charmed by a Macedonian noblewoman Cleopatra Eurydice, whom he married soon. Their marriage bore doubts in the minds of many as because their offspring would be true Macedonian blood and a possible heir to the throne. Such thoughts were even spoken aloud in the banquet ceremony before the wedding, which led to a heated exchange of words and actions between Alexander and his father.

Next day, the day of his wedding to Cleopatra, King Phillip was assassinated by Pausanias, his chief bodyguard, for unknown reasons. Some said that it was Olympias who had ordered the assassination of her husband from jealousy. Others believed that the Persians had arranged everything to prevent a war against them, while Alexander himself was also suspect as he faced the danger not to become king, after the birth of Cleopatra's son.

The result was that at the early age of 20, Alexander the great had to take his father's position on the throne. Soon regions of Thebes, Athens, Thessaly and the Thracian tribes revolted against Macedon to acquire their independence now that Phillip was dead. Alexander got the news very quickly and he acted spontaneously. He first crushed the Thessalian forces making them surrender and went south to face other battles.

In Corinth, he met the Athenians who opted for peace and persuaded all the Greeks to make his father's dream true: to start the war against the Persians in order first to take revenge for the Persian Wars, about a century earlier, and then to minimize the risk of a new Persian attack.

Conquering the East

It was in the springtime of 334 BC that Alexander the Great set out to conquer Persia with an army of soldiers from all Greek towns, except Sparta that denied taking part in this war. The generals of his army were all Macedonians. They were Antigonus, Ptolemy and Seleucus. In the ancient city of Troy, close to the River Granicus, the Macedonian army defeated the Persian forces and occupied all the coastline of Asia Minor. While in Troy, the myth says that Alexander paid tributes to the grave of Achilles, his eternal model.

At the Battle of Issus, in 333 BC, the Macedonian army for the first time came face to face with the real Persian army led by King Darius III. Darius was defeated and he succumbed to Alexander, who proclaimed himself to be the King of Asia. Alexander moved then to Egypt, where he was viewed upon as a liberator to free Egypt from the Persians. There he was named Pharaoh and established the city of Alexandria, that exists and flourishes till today. Alexander went on to the west to occupy Babylon, the capital of the Persian Empire.

In Babylon, he resided in the Palace of Darius and married his daughter, princess Statira. The ambitions of Alexander brought his army to modern Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he married the daughter of a local leader, Roxana. This was rather a strange decision and raised many reactions from his general, but Alexander considered it a symbolic action: a Greek king married a local princess and populations of the West and the East could finally unite into one empire, as was his dream.

In the meantime, the relationship of Alexander with his generals was getting bad. After some conspiracies against his life, Alexander didn't trust them any more except for one general, Hephaestion, the son of a Macedon nobleman and long friend of his. The Macedon generals would also protest against some Persian traditions and practices that Alexander demanded from them, such as the custom of kneeling before him. This was a natural practice for the Persians to show their respect to the king but the Greeks kneeled only before the statues of the gods, not to their kings, so the generals considered it as an act of indignity to kneel in front of a man.

After long years of marching and fighting, Alexander the Great had yet reached the borders of India but fighting with the local tribes was very difficult. In fact, in a battle, Alexander lost his beloved horse, Bucephalus. Plus his army was much tired from so many years of wars and they wanted to rest. That is when Alexander decided to return to Babylon for a few months and then come back to conquer India.

The Death

However, death prevented him to launch a new expedition. Alexander the Great died in June 323 BC in his palace in Babylon from unknown causes. It could be poisoning, or malaria or even a physical problem that may have caused the death of Alexander. Others say that he died from grief because his companion, Hephaestion, had been killed in a battle some months before.

When he died, his wife Roxana was pregnant to their son but Alexander didn't see his heir being born. After his death, the vast Empire he has created, the Empire that was stretching from Greece and Egypt to India, was split into four parts and was divided to his generals, while his son was killed before adulthood.

Despite his just 33 years of life, Alexander had seen them all in life: love and hate, loyalty and conspiracy, war and peace, virtues and faults. He was happy to fulfil his ambitions and he changed history and the fate of many tribes, as the Greek civilization was spread far and wide. The cities he had conquered and established flourished for many centuries and even today there are tribes in Asia that say they descend from Alexander the Great.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1066 2022-03-09 00:26:07

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1030) Luca Pacioli

Fra Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli (sometimes Paccioli or Paciolo; c. 1447 – 19 June 1517) was an Italian mathematician, Franciscan friar, collaborator with Leonardo da Vinci, and an early contributor to the field now known as accounting. He is referred to as "The Father of Accounting and Bookkeeping" in Europe and he was the first person to publish a work on the double-entry system of book-keeping on the continent. He was also called Luca di Borgo after his birthplace, Borgo Sansepolcro, Tuscany.

Life

Luca Pacioli was born between 1446 and 1448 in the Tuscan town of Sansepolcro where he received an abbaco education. This was education in the vernacular (i.e., the local tongue) rather than Latin and focused on the knowledge required of merchants. His father was Bartolomeo Pacioli; however, Luca Pacioli was said to have lived with the Befolci family as a child in his birth town Sansepolcro. He moved to Venice around 1464, where he continued his own education while working as a tutor to the three sons of a merchant. It was during this period that he wrote his first book, a treatise on arithmetic for the boys he was tutoring. Between 1472 and 1475, he became a Franciscan friar. Thus, he could be referred to as Fra ('Friar') Luca.

In 1475, he started teaching in Perugia as a private teacher before becoming first chair in mathematics in 1477. During this time, he wrote a comprehensive textbook in the vernacular for his students. He continued to work as a private tutor of mathematics and was instructed to stop teaching at this level in Sansepolcro in 1491. In 1494, his first book, Summa de arithmetica, geometria, Proportioni et proportionalita, was published in Venice. In 1497, he accepted an invitation from Duke Ludovico Sforza to work in Milan. There he met, taught mathematics to, collaborated, and lived with Leonardo da Vinci. In 1499, Pacioli and Leonardo were forced to flee Milan when Louis XII of France seized the city and drove out their patron. Their paths appear to have finally separated around 1506. Pacioli died at about the age of 70 on 19 June 1517, most likely in Sansepolcro, where it is thought that he had spent much of his final years.

Mathematics

Pacioli published several works on mathematics, including:

Tractatus mathematicus ad discipulos perusinos (Ms. Vatican Library, Lat. 3129), a nearly 600-page textbook dedicated to his students at the University of Perugia where Pacioli taught from 1477 to 1480. The manuscript was written between December 1477 and 29 April 1478. It contains 16 sections on merchant arithmetic, such as barter, exchange, profit, mixing metals, and algebra, though 25 pages from the chapter on algebra are missing. A modern transcription was published by Calzoni and Cavazzoni (1996) along with a partial translation of the chapter on partitioning problems.

Summa de arithmetica, geometria. Proportioni et proportionalita (Venice 1494), a textbook for use in the schools of Northern Italy. It was a synthesis of the mathematical knowledge of his time and contained the first printed work on algebra written in the vernacular (i.e., the spoken language of the day). It is also notable for including one of the first published descriptions of the bookkeeping method that Venetian merchants used during the Italian Renaissance, known as the double-entry accounting system. The system he published included most of the accounting cycle as we know it today. He described the use of journals and ledgers and warned that a person should not go to sleep at night until the debits equalled the credits. His ledger had accounts for assets (including receivables and inventories), liabilities, capital, income, and expenses – the account categories that are reported on an organization's balance sheet and income statement, respectively. He demonstrated year-end closing entries and proposed that a trial balance be used to prove a balanced ledger. Additionally, his treatise touches on a wide range of related topics from accounting ethics to cost accounting. He introduced the Rule of 72, using an approximation of 100*ln 2 more than 100 years before Napier and Briggs.

De viribus quantitatis (Ms. Università degli Studi di Bologna, 1496–1508), a treatise on mathematics and magic. Written between 1496 and 1508, it contains the first reference to card tricks as well as guidance on how to juggle, eat fire, and make coins dance. It is the first work to note that Leonardo was left-handed. De viribus quantitatis is divided into three sections: Mathematical problems, puzzles, and tricks, along with a collection of proverbs and verses. The book has been described as the "Foundation of modern magic and numerical puzzles," but it was never published and sat in the archives of the University of Bologna, where it was seen by only a small number of scholars during the Middle Ages. The book was rediscovered after David Singmaster, a mathematician, came across a reference to it in a 19th-century manuscript. An English translation was published for the first time in 2007.[9]
Geometry (1509), a Latin translation of Euclid's Elements.

Divina proportione (written in Milan in 1496–98, published in Venice in 1509). Two versions of the original manuscript are extant, one in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, the other in the Bibliothèque Publique et Universitaire in Geneva. The subject was mathematical and artistic proportion, especially the mathematics of the golden ratio and its application in architecture. Leonardo da Vinci drew the illustrations of the regular solids in Divina proportione while he lived with and took mathematics lessons from Pacioli. Leonardo's drawings are probably the first illustrations of skeletal solids, which allowed an easy distinction between front and back. The work also discusses the use of perspective by painters such as Piero della Francesca, Melozzo da Forlì, and Marco Palmezzano.

The majority of the second volume of Summa de arithmetica, geometria. Proportioni et proportionalita was a slightly rewritten version of one of Piero della Francesca's works. The third volume of Pacioli's Divina proportione was an Italian translation of Piero della Francesca's Latin book De quinque corporibus regularibus. In neither case did Pacioli include an attribution to Piero. He was severely criticized for this and accused of plagiarism by sixteenth-century art historian and biographer Giorgio Vasari. R. Emmett Taylor (1889–1956) said that Pacioli may have had nothing to do with the translated volume Divina proportione, and that it may just have been appended to his work. However, no such defense can be presented concerning the inclusion of Piero della Francesca's material in Pacioli's Summa.

Impact on accounting and business

Pacioli dramatically affected the practice of accounting by describing the double-entry accounting method used in parts of Italy. This revolutionized how businesses oversaw their operations, enabling improved efficiency and profitability. The Summa's section on accounting was used internationally as an accounting textbook up to the mid-16th century. The essentials of double-entry accounting have for the most part remained unchanged for over 500 years. "Accounting practitioners in public accounting, industry, and not-for-profit organizations, as well as investors, lending institutions, business firms, and all other users for financial information are indebted to Luca Pacioli for his monumental role in the development of accounting."

The ICAEW Library's rare book collection at Chartered Accountants' Hall holds the complete published works of Luca Pacioli. Sections of two of Pacioli's books, 'Summa de arithmetica' and 'Divina proportione' can be viewed online using Turning the Pages, an interactive tool developed by the British Library.

Chess

Luca Pacioli also wrote an unpublished treatise on chess, De ludo scachorum (On the Game of Chess). Long thought to have been lost, a surviving manuscript was rediscovered in 2006, in the 22,000-volume library of Count Guglielmo Coronini-Cronberg in Gorizia. A facsimile edition of the book was published in Pacioli's home town of Sansepolcro in 2008. Based on Leonardo da Vinci's long association with the author and his having illustrated Divina proportione, some scholars speculate that Leonardo either drew the chess problems that appear in the manuscript or at least designed the chess pieces used in the problems.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1067 2022-03-11 00:20:01

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1031) Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Morad Omidyar (born Parviz Morad Omidyar, June 21, 1967) is a French-born American billionaire. A technology entrepreneur, software engineer, and philanthropist, he is the founder of eBay, where he served as chairman from 1998 to 2015. Omidyar and his wife Pamela founded Omidyar Network in 2004.

Forbes ranked Omidyar as the 24th-richest person in the world in 2021, with an estimated net worth of $21.8 billion.

Since 2010, Omidyar has been involved in online journalism as the head of investigative reporting and public affairs news service Honolulu Civil Beat. In 2013, he announced that he would create and finance First Look Media, a journalism venture to include Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill.

Early life and education

Omidyar was born in Paris, the son of Iranian parents who had immigrated to France for higher education. He was named Parviz. His mother, Elahé Mir-Djalali Omidyar, who earned her doctorate in linguistics at the Sorbonne, is an academic. His father, Cyrus Omidyar (born c. 1934), completed medical education and training in France and is a surgeon. After immigrating with his family to the United States when Omidyar was a child, the father worked as a urologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He now practices in Aliso Viejo, California.

Omidyar attended Punahou School in Honolulu for a couple of years. (He now serves on its Board of Trustees). His interest in computers began while he was a ninth-grade student at The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia. He graduated in 1984 from St. Andrew's Episcopal School, Potomac, Maryland.

He studied at Tufts University, graduating with a B.S. in computer science in 1988, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Career

Shortly after studying at Berkeley, Omidyar started working for Claris, an Apple Computer subsidiary. He worked with the team that upgraded MacDraw to MacDraw II. In 1991, he co-founded Ink Development, a pen-based computing startup that later was rebranded as an e-commerce company and renamed eShop Inc.

Microsoft acquired eShop on June 11, 1996, for less than $50 million, and Omidyar earned $1 million from the deal.

Founding eBay

In 1995, at the age of 28, Omidyar began to write the original computer code for an online venue to enable the listing of a direct person-to-person auction for collectible items. He created a simple prototype on his personal web page. On Labor Day, Monday, September 4, 1995, he launched an online service called Auction Web, which would eventually be developed as the auction site eBay.

The service was originally one of several items on Omidyar's website eBay.com. His website also had a section devoted to the Ebola virus, among other topics.

The first item sold on the eBay site was a broken laser pointer. Omidyar was astonished that anyone would pay for a broken device, but the buyer assured him that he was deliberately collecting broken laser pointers. Similar surprises followed. The business exploded as correspondents began to register trade goods of an unimaginable variety.

Omidyar incorporated the enterprise; the small fee he collected on each sale financed the expansion of the site. The revenue soon outstripped his salary at General Magic and nine months later, Omidyar decided to dedicate his full attention to his new enterprise.

By 1996, when Omidyar signed a licensing deal to offer airline tickets online, the site had hosted 250,000 auctions. In the first month of 1997, it hosted two million. By the middle of that year, eBay was hosting nearly 800,000 auctions a day.

In 1997, Omidyar changed the company's name from AuctionWeb to eBay, and began to advertise the service aggressively. The name "eBay" was his second choice. His first choice was already registered to a Canadian mining company, Echo Bay Mines. He originally wanted Echo Bay, the name of a recreational area near Lake Mead, Nevada, because it "sounded cool". When he learned that echobay.com was taken, he dropped the "cho", and ebay.com was born. The frequently repeated story that eBay was founded to help Omidyar's fiancée trade Pez candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager in 1997 to interest the media. This was revealed in Adam Cohen's 2002 book, and confirmed by eBay.

Later years

Jeffrey Skoll joined the company in 1996. In March 1998, Meg Whitman was brought in as president and CEO. She ran the company until January 2008, when she announced her retirement. In September 1998, eBay launched a successful public offering, making both Omidyar and Skoll billionaires.

In 2002, eBay bought PayPal, an online payment company. Later, in 2014, they spun PayPal off; Omidyar owns 6% of it.

As of July 2008, Omidyar's 178 million eBay shares were worth around $4.45 billion. Omidyar is an investor in Montage Resort and Spa in Laguna Beach, California.

Omidyar is also a member of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council.

In 2020, Omidyar stepped down from the board of eBay as part of a broader overhaul of the company. He has, however, stayed active in the company, retaining the title of director emeritus.

News media businesses

In 2010, Omidyar launched an online investigative reporting news service, Honolulu Civil Beat, covering civic affairs in Hawaii. The site was named Best News Website in Hawaii for 2010, 2011, and 2012. On September 4, 2013, Honolulu Civil Beat started a partnership with HuffPost, launching HuffPost Hawaii.

In 2013, prompted by the Edward Snowden leaks, Omidyar announced the creation of the journalism venture First Look Media, which on February 10, 2014, launched The Intercept, drawing from journalists such as Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Jeremy Scahill, Dan Froomkin, John Temple, and Jay Rosen.

Film production

Omidyar has been part of the executive producer team for the following films.

Merchants of Doubt (2014)
Spotlight (2015)

Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. It was established in 2004 by Omidyar and his wife, Pam. The organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic, social, and political change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $992 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including Property Rights, Governance & Citizen Engagement, Education, Financial Inclusion and Consumer & Internet Mobile. In 2010, he and his wife established, along with Richard Branson and the Nduna Foundation (founded by Amy Robbins), Enterprise Zimbabwe.

In 2018 Omidyar established the global philanthropic organisation named Luminate Group. He separated the organization into a separate unit from his ten-year Governance & Engagement initiative.

Personal life

Omidyar and his wife Pamela own properties in Henderson, Nevada, and Honolulu, Hawaii. According to Forbes, his net worth was US$13.1 billion as of January 2019. He is a major donor to Democratic Party candidates and organizations.

Omidyar, a follower of the Dalai Lama who in 2010 joined Bill Gates and Warren Buffett as a signatory of The Giving Pledge, has declared his intention to give away most of his wealth during his lifetime.

In 2019, he donated approximately $500 million to charitable causes.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1068 2022-03-13 01:04:58

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1032) Azim Premji

Summary

Azim Premji, in full Azim Hasham Premji, (born July 24, 1945, Bombay (now Mumbai), India), is an Indian business entrepreneur who served as chairman of Wipro Limited, guiding the company through four decades of diversification and growth to emerge as a world leader in the software industry. By the early 21st century, Premji had become one of the world’s wealthiest people.

In the year that Premji was born, his father founded Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd., which produced vanaspati, a widely used hydrogenated shortening. Three years later, colonial India was partitioned into mainly Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan, but the Premjis, a Muslim family, chose to remain in India. In 1966, just before Premji was to complete his degree in engineering at Stanford University, his father died unexpectedly. Postponing his graduation, he returned to India to take the reins of the family business and immediately began to diversify, delving into consumer products such as soap, shoes, and lightbulbs, as well as hydraulic cylinders.

Premji renamed the company Wipro in 1977, and in 1979, when the Indian government asked IBM to leave the country, he began to steer the company toward the computer business. Wipro established a number of successful international partnerships in the 1980s to help it build computer hardware for sale in India. It was software development, however, that made the firm so lucrative. Premji built a reputation for hiring the best people and providing them with unparalleled training, and he took advantage of India’s large pool of well-educated software developers who were willing to work for much less money than their American counterparts. Wipro concentrated on developing custom software for export, primarily to the United States.

Thanks to substantial increases in technology stocks, Wipro’s value skyrocketed in the late 1990s, and Premji became one of the richest entrepreneurs in the world—a position he retained well into the 21st century. The success of both the company and its chairman was more than merely the result of outside forces’ inflating the value of the company, however. Premji had boldly broken with tradition by transforming Wipro into an information technology powerhouse with a solid footing in foreign markets at a time when most fortunes in India were based on ownership of land and factories used to produce domestically consumed goods. In 1999 Premji officially completed his degree from Stanford through a distance-learning arrangement.

Despite his vast personal wealth, Premji continued to be recognized for his modesty, lack of extravagance, and charity. In 2001 he established the nonprofit Azim Premji Foundation, through which he aimed to improve the quality of elementary education in rural regions throughout India. By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the foundation had extended computer-aided education to more than 16,000 schools, with child-friendly content increasingly available in local languages. Premji’s reputation remained that of a highly ethical entrepreneur whose operation served as a model for other Indian firms.

Details

Azim Hashim Premji (born 24 July 1945) is an Indian businessman, investor, engineer, and philanthropist, who was the chairman of Wipro Limited. Premji remains a non-executive member of the board and founder chairman. He is informally known as the Czar of the Indian IT Industry. He was responsible for guiding Wipro through four decades of diversification and growth, to finally emerge as one of the global leaders in the software industry. In 2010, he was voted among the 20 most powerful men in the world by Asiaweek. He has twice been listed among the 100 most influential people by Time magazine, once in 2004 and more recently in 2011. For years, he has been regularly listed one among The 500 Most Influential Muslims.

He is one of the richest people in India with an estimated net worth of US$32.8 billion according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In 2013, he agreed to give away at least half of his wealth by signing the Giving Pledge. Premji started with a $2.2 billion donation to the Azim Premji Foundation, focused on education in India. He topped the EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List for 2020. In 2019, he dropped from the 2nd position in the Forbes India Rich list to 17th position after giving away a huge amount to charity.

Early life and education

Premji was born in Bombay, India in a Gujarati Muslim family. His father was a noted businessman and was known as Rice King of Burma. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, invited his father Muhammed Hashem Premji to come to Pakistan, he turned down the request and chose to remain in India.

Premji has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Stanford University. He is married to Yasmeen Premji. The couple have two children, Rishad and Tariq. Rishad Premji is currently the chief strategy officer of IT business, Wipro.

Career

In 1945, Muhammed Hashim Premji incorporated Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd, based at Amalner, a small town in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. It used to manufacture cooking oil under the brand name Sunflower Vanaspati, and a laundry soap called 787, a byproduct of oil manufacture. In 1966, on the news of his father's death, the then 21-year-old Azim Premji returned home from Stanford University, where he was studying engineering, to take charge of Wipro. The company, which was called Western Indian Vegetable Products at the time, dealt in hydrogenated oil manufacturing but Azim Premji later diversified the company to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products, and hydraulic cylinders. In the 1980s, the young entrepreneur, recognising the importance of the emerging IT field, took advantage of the vacuum left behind by the expulsion of IBM from India, changed the company name to Wipro and entered the high-technology sector by manufacturing minicomputers in technological collaboration with an American company Sentinel Computer Corporation. Thereafter, Premji made a focused shift from soaps to software.

Recognition

* Premji has been recognised by Business Week as one of the "Greatest Entrepreneurs" for being responsible for Wipro emerging as one of the world's fastest growing companies.
* In 2000, he was conferred an honorary doctorate by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education. In 2006, Azim Premji was awarded Lakshya Business Visionary by National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai.
* In 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut for his outstanding philanthropic work. In 2015, Mysore University conferred an honorary doctorate on him.
* In 2005, the Government of India honoured him with the title of Padma Bhushan for his outstanding work in trade and commerce.
* In 2011, he has been awarded Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award by the Government of India.
* In April 2017, India Today magazine ranked him 9th in India's 50 Most powerful people of 2017 list.
* In 2018, Premji was conferred with Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) – the highest French civilian distinction by the French Government.
* In December 2019, Premji was cited by Forbes magazine as one of the "Heroes of Philanthropy list of 30 altruists" in the Asia-Pacific region.
* In 2019, Forbes put Premji in the list of the world's most generous philanthropists outside of the US.

Philanthropy:

Azim Premji Foundation

* In 2001, he founded Azim Premji Foundation,a non-profit organization.
* In December 2010, he pledged to donate US$2 billion for improving school education in India. This has been done by transferring 213 million equity shares of Wipro Ltd, held by a few entities controlled by him, to the Azim Premji Trust. This donation is the largest of its kind in India. In March 2019, Premji pledged an additional 34% of Wipro stock held by him to the foundation. At a current value of about US$7.5 billion, this allocation will bring the total endowment from him to the foundation to US$21 billion.
* In May 2020, the Azim Premji Foundation collaborated with the National Centre for Biological Sciences, and the Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine for augmenting testing infrastructure to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
* The foundation has warned against scam emails which claim to be from the foundation and falsely request donations.

The Giving Pledge

Premji has said that being rich "did not thrill" him. He became the first Indian to sign up for the Giving Pledge, a campaign led by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, to encourage the wealthiest people to make a commitment to give most of their wealth to philanthropic causes. He is the third non-American after Richard Branson and David Sainsbury to join this club.

I strongly believe that those of us, who are privileged to have wealth, should contribute significantly to try and create a better world for the millions who are far less privileged.

- Azim Premji

In April 2013 he said that he has already given more than 25 per cent of his personal wealth to charity.

In July 2015, he gave away an additional 18% of his stake in Wipro, taking his total contribution so far to 39%.

The first Indian to sign the Giving Pledge, his lifetime giving now stands at US$21 billion. In April 2019, Azim Premji became the top Indian philanthropist.

EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List

Azim Premji topped the list of "India's most generous" released by Hurun India and EdelGive on 10 November 2020. He donated ₹7,904 crore in financial year 2019-20 which is a 17-fold jump from the ₹453 crore donated in FY19. Education is the primary cause for his donations. He retained his position in FY21 by donating ₹9,713 crore (US$ 1.33 billion).

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1069 2022-03-15 02:46:32

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1033) Michael Aldrich

Summary

Michael Aldrich (22 August 1941 – 19 May 2014) was an English inventor, innovator and entrepreneur. In 1979 he invented online shopping to enable online transaction processing between consumers and businesses, or between one business and another, a technique known later as e-commerce. In 1980 he invented the Teleputer, a multi-purpose home infotainment centre that was a fusion of PC, TV and Telecom networking technologies. In 1981 he developed the concept of interactive broadband local loop cable TV for mass market consumer telecommunications.

Aldrich had a 38-year career in the IT industry, 20 years of which were spent as CEO of an international computer company, Redifon/Rediffusion/ROCC Computers. He retired as CEO in 2000 and became non-executive chairman (2000-2014). He also worked for Honeywell (now Groupe Bull) and Burroughs Corporation (now Unisys).

Aside from his inventions and innovations, he is known for his pro bono public service. He was an IT adviser to British prime minister Margaret Thatcher 1981-86, IT adviser to the Confederation of British Industry January 1982-December 1983, president of the Institute of Information Scientists 1984-85, and chairman of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations 1989-99. He has had a long, formal association with the University of Brighton in various capacities since 1982.

Details

As far back as the 6th century BC when the phrase was coined, humans have known that necessity is the mother of invention.

Great progress almost always comes from an even greater need or problem in society. Take the rapid development of mRNA vaccine technology, an advancement that could have far-reaching implications for the treatment of all sorts of diseases, yet it took a global health crisis to spur (and fund) the acceleration of research in the field.

One could be forgiven for thinking online shopping is the exception to this rule. After all, do we really need the ability to have pet rocks shipped to our doors with next-day delivery? What existential problem is SEO optimization solving? But the truth is that eCommerce, today a multi-trillion dollar industry, was in fact born out of necessity, and invented in a bid to give a helping hand to some of those that society was letting down.

This is the story of the invention of eCommerce and Michael Aldrich, the godfather of online shopping.

Early days

Michael John Aldrich was born in the UK in 1941 and after earning a history degree from the University of Hull, he got into the nascent computing industry of the 1960s, eventually joining the board of Redifon in 1977.

At that time, the company “manufactured minicomputers and designed systems for companies including Inland Revenue, British Aerospace, and Harrods,” Aldrich would later write. So all very big business and exclusive, not exactly how we see eCommerce today.

In the late 1970s, videotex technology was beginning to take off in the UK. This rudimentary system allowed the likes of British Telecom and other telecommunications companies to send text-based news updates to television sets via telephone lines. Aldrich and others at Redifon tinkered with the technology and reasoned that a domestic television could be used to communicate with a computer via the other end of the telephone line and therefore allow users to order all sorts of goods and services.

They experimented and brought their ideas on the road to Data Entry Management Association Conference in New Orleans in September 1979. The system was a hit in the US and Aldrich and co rushed home to get it up and running in the wild.

While Aldrich had at first imagined his invention being used by consumers as a B2C device due to his hatred of heading to the supermarket to do his weekly shopping, it would be the B2B market that began the online shopping revolution.

“The marketing plan was simple. Sell the idea to the big corporations that they could connect their agents, distributors and customers to their corporate information systems for direct shopping and sales,” he later wrote.

By 1981 the first of the systems were up and running and being used by the travel agent Thomson, allowing the company’s salesmen up and down the country to show prospective customers which holiday packages were available in real-time by connecting to the central Thomson computer system.

Mrs Snowball

Gateshead in Northeast England is probably best known for architectural works like the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and the Angel of the North sculpture, which was completed in 1998. However, few people know in 1984, a pensioner called Jane Snowball laid the foundations for the eCommerce revolution that continues to this day.

In 1979, five years before the fateful day of the first online grocery order, a study by the University of Newcastle and supermarket chain Tesco found that a high proportion of people, many in inner-city areas, had poor access to large stores that offered a wide selection of affordable goods.

The study found that the elderly, disabled, mothers with young children and other people with dependents struggled with the logistics of traveling to and from a supermarket with bags full of shopping, if they were able to travel at all.

This, then, was the necessity from which eCommerce was born almost 40 years ago, the need of a society to ensure its most vulnerable members weren’t left behind.

Tesco and some academics set about tackling the problem and used the system Aldrich had invented and provided to B2B companies like travel agents and carmakers. Consumers’ access to the system, however, depended on being able to travel to first a community center and later a local library, before they began plans to roll out what became known as the Gateshead Shopping and Information Service to the completely housebound.

Jane Snowball, a 72-year-old grandmother in Gateshead, had broken her hip and was unable to travel to do her shopping, and was to become the world’s first online shopper. The Gateshead local authorities installed Aldrich’s device in her home and in 1984, she made the first B2C online shopping order from Tesco using her TV remote and Aldrich’s modified television. The remote had a special ‘phone’ button allowing it to be used to input numbers to the TV that would be sent to a computer at the supermarket, showing employees there what Snowball wanted to buy. They would then pack up her order and arrange delivery, or fulfillment as we know it now.

It’s hard to imagine the first online sales happening all the way back in 1984, given that Amazon and eBay were more than a decade away, and smartphones wouldn’t become ubiquitous for another 40 years.

Remarkably, BBC footage exists of Snowball using the system, which she called “wonderful”.

“We didn’t have ‘www dot’ I used telephone numbers as the addresses. It was dead easy. It took 15 minutes to teach her how to do it!” Aldrich said.

While it would be more than a decade before online shopping became financially viable enough to become more widespread, the foundations of the B2C commerce landscape we exist in today were laid that day.

“It was necessary to develop many of the concepts that have since become commonplace: account login; an online shopping basket; the tailored prescreening of shopping usage providing repeatable shopping lists; and collective roll-up of multi shopping stores succeeded into an easy-to-use, plain-to-see, and understandable shopping list with associated billing. Goods were collected and dispatched within hours of receiving an order, or collection of orders, with simple-to-use technology and a softened customer-facing software interface,” Aldrich wrote.

The experiment was largely forgotten for years as the significance of what had happened wasn’t apparent, due to the fact that it would be years before online shopping became commonplace. Snowball was later posthumously honored by Gateshead council in 2009, after Aldrich had dug up old press clippings and the footage of the momentous day.

Legacy

Michael Aldrich went on to have a storied 38-year career in the IT industry before passing away in 2014. His legacy lives on through the Aldrich Archive and the Michael Aldrich Foundation.

Aldrich was a visionary and ahead of his time and it’s fascinating to ponder what he would have thought of how important his invention became in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. It’s no exaggeration to say that the ability to shop for necessities online instead of crowding into shops likely saved thousands, if not millions, of lives across the world.

“As telecommunications become even cheaper and conventional transport more expensive the whole concept of buying goods and services is changing dramatically.

“The old ways of doing business and the old businesses themselves are under attack and the new ways of doing business will in many cases spawn totally new businesses,” Alrich wrote in 1981, under an article titled ‘I hate shopping’.

To put the invention of eCommerce and online shopping entirely down to one man’s hatred for his weekly trip to the supermarket would be churlish, even if it would be a little funny.

Instead, it’s clear that a desire to help the likes of Jane Snowball and other disadvantaged people drove him on. And if helping the most vulnerable in society isn’t a necessity, what is?

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1070 2022-03-17 00:18:29

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1034) Günter Grass

Summary

Günter Wilhelm Grass (born 16 October 1927 – 13 April 2015) was a German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, sculptor, and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature.

He was born in the Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland). As a teenager, he served as a drafted soldier from late 1944 in the Waffen-SS and was taken as a prisoner of war by U.S. forces at the end of the war in May 1945. He was released in April 1946. Trained as a stonemason and sculptor, Grass began writing in the 1950s. In his fiction, he frequently returned to the Danzig of his childhood.

Grass is best known for his first novel, The Tin Drum (1959), a key text in European magic realism. It was the first book of his Danzig Trilogy, the other two being Cat and Mouse and Dog Years. His works are frequently considered to have a left-wing political dimension, and Grass was an active supporter of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The Tin Drum was adapted as a film of the same name, which won both the 1979 Palme d'Or and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In 1999, the Swedish Academy awarded him the Nobel Prize in Literature, praising him as a writer "whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history".

Details

Günter Grass, in full Günter Wilhelm Grass, (born October 16, 1927, Danzig [now Gdańsk, Poland]—died April 13, 2015, Lübeck, Germany), was a German poet, novelist, playwright, sculptor, and printmaker who, with his extraordinary first novel Die Blechtrommel (1959; The Tin Drum), became the literary spokesman for the German generation that grew up in the Nazi era and survived the war. In 1999 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In his native Danzig, Grass passed through the Hitler Youth movement and was drafted during World War II. As he revealed in 2006, he was called up to the Waffen-SS (the elite military wing of the Nazi Party) at age 17, two years after he had been refused as a volunteer for submarine duty. He was wounded in battle and became a prisoner of war in 1945. Later, while an art student in Düsseldorf, he supported himself as a dealer in the black market, a tombstone cutter, and a drummer in a jazz band. Encouraged by the writers’ association Gruppe 47, he produced poems and plays, at first with little success. In 1956 he went to Paris and wrote Die Blechtrommel (film 1979). This exuberant picaresque novel, written in a variety of styles, imaginatively distorts and exaggerates his personal experiences—the Polish-German dualism of Danzig, the creeping Nazification of average families, the attrition of the war years, the coming of the Russians, and the complacent atmosphere of West Germany’s postwar “economic miracle.” Underlying the anarchic fantasy is the moral earnestness that earned Grass the role of “conscience of his generation.” It was followed by Katz und Maus (1961; Cat and Mouse) and an epic novel, Hundejahre (1963; Dog Years); the three together came to be known as the “Danzig trilogy.”

His other novels—always politically topical—include Örtlich Betäubt (1969; Local Anaesthetic), a protest against the Vietnam War; Der Butt (1977; The Flounder), a ribald fable of the war between the sexes from the Stone Age to the present; Das Treffen in Telgte (1979; The Meeting at Telgte), a hypothetical “Gruppe 1647” meeting of authors at the close of the Thirty Years’ War; Kopfgeburten; oder, die Deutschen sterben aus (1980; Headbirths; or, The Germans Are Dying Out), which describes a young couple’s agonizing over whether to have a child in the face of a population explosion and the threat of nuclear war; Die Rättin (1986; The Rat), a vision of the end of the human race that expresses Grass’s fear of nuclear holocaust and environmental disaster; and Unkenrufe (1992; The Call of the Toad), which concerns the uneasy relationship between Poland and Germany. In 1995 Grass published Ein weites Feld (“A Broad Field”), an ambitious novel treating Germany’s reunification in 1990. The work was vehemently attacked by German critics, who denounced Grass’s portrayal of reunification as “misconstrued” and “unreadable.” Grass, whose leftist political views were often not well received, was outspoken in his belief that Germany lacked “the politically organized power to renew itself.” Mein Jahrhundert (1999; My Century), a collection of 100 related stories, was less overtly political than many of his earlier works. In it Grass relates the events of the 20th century using a story for each year, each with a different narrator.

Grass was a longtime participant in Social Democratic Party politics in West Berlin, fighting for social and literary causes. When he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999, there were many who believed that his strong, and sometimes unpopular, political beliefs had prevented him from receiving the prize far earlier. Grass’s disclosure of his membership in the Waffen-SS, which came just before publication of his memoir Beim Häuten der Zwiebel (2006; Peeling the Onion), caused widespread controversy, with some arguing that it undercut his moral authority. He had previously claimed that he had been drafted into an air defense unit in 1944.

Unterwegs von Deutschland nach Deutschland: Tagebuch 1990 (2009; From Germany to Germany: Diary 1990) was a diary of his experiences in East and West Germany during the period between the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification. Grass wrote two more volumes of autobiography, Die Box (2008; The Box) and Grimms Wörter: eine Liebeserklärung (2010; Grimms’ Words: A Declaration of Love), the latter of which explores Grass’s political past through a loving analysis of the Brothers Grimm.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1071 2022-03-19 00:29:58

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1035) Warren Buffett

Summary

Warren Edward Buffett (born August 30, 1930) is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is currently the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and has a net worth of over $117 billion as of March 2022, making him the world's sixth-wealthiest person.

Buffett was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He developed an interest in business and investing in his youth, eventually entering the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1947 before transferring to and graduating from the University of Nebraska at 19. He went on to graduate from Columbia Business School, where he molded his investment philosophy around the concept of value investing pioneered by Benjamin Graham. He attended New York Institute of Finance to focus his economics background and soon after began various business partnerships, including one with Graham. He created Buffett Partnership, Ltd in 1956 and his firm eventually acquired a textile manufacturing firm called Berkshire Hathaway, assuming its name to create a diversified holding company. In 1978, Charlie Munger joined Buffett as vice-chairman.

Buffett has been the chairman and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway since 1970. He has been referred to as the "Oracle" or "Sage" of Omaha by global media. He is noted for his adherence to value investing, and his personal frugality despite his immense wealth.

Buffett is a notable philanthropist, having pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes, primarily via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He founded The Giving Pledge in 2009 with Bill Gates, whereby billionaires pledge to give away at least half of their fortunes.

Buffett was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2009.

Details

Warren Buffett, in full Warren Edward Buffett, (born August 30, 1930, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.), is an American businessman and philanthropist, widely considered the most successful investor of the 20th and early 21st centuries, having defied prevailing investment trends to amass a personal fortune of more than $100 billion.

Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Buffett was the son of U.S. Rep. Howard Homan Buffett from Nebraska. After graduating from the University of Nebraska (B.S., 1950), he studied with Benjamin Graham at the Columbia University School of Business (M.S., 1951). In 1956 Buffett returned to Omaha and in 1965 took majority control of the textile manufacturer Berkshire Hathaway Inc., turning it into his primary investment vehicle. From the 1960s through the ’90s the major stock averages rose by roughly 11 percent annually, but Berkshire Hathaway’s publicly traded shares gained about 28 percent per year. Though Buffett’s success with Berkshire Hathaway made him one of the world’s wealthiest men, he eschewed lavish spending and criticized governmental policies and taxation that favoured the rich over the middle or lower classes.

In June 2006 Buffett announced that he planned to donate more than 80 percent of his wealth to charitable foundations; in 2020 he raised that amount to 99 percent. The main recipient was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his then wife, Melinda—which focused on issues of world health and education; Bill and Buffett had maintained a close friendship since the early 1990s. The other organizations receiving donations included those run by Buffett’s three children and the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named for his late wife, which focused on women’s reproductive rights and funded college scholarship programs. In 2010 Buffett and the Gateses created the Giving Pledge, an invitation to other wealthy individuals to donate the majority of their fortune to charities.

During the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007–08, Buffett made a number of deals that, though questioned at the time, proved highly profitable. In September 2008 he invested $5 billion in the U.S.-based bank holding company Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., and the following month Berkshire Hathaway purchased $3 billion in General Electric Company (GE) preferred stock. In November 2009 Buffett announced that Berkshire was buying the railroad company Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation for about $26 billion; the investment group already owned approximately 23 percent of the railroad. Berkshire Hathaway also had significant shareholdings in companies it did not control, including Coca Cola and Apple.

In 2011 Buffett was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

* Known as the "Oracle of Omaha," Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time.

* Buffett runs Berkshire Hathaway, which owns more than 60 companies, including insurer Geico, battery maker Duracell and restaurant chain Dairy Queen.

* The son of a U.S. congressman, he first bought stock at age 11 and first filed taxes at age 13.

* He has promised to donate over 99% of his wealth. So far he has given more than $45 billion, mostly to the Gates Foundation and his kids' foundations.

* In 2010, he and Bill Gates launched the Giving Pledge, asking billionaires to commit to donating at least half of their wealth to charitable causes.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1072 2022-03-21 00:44:34

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1036) Ho Chi Minh

Summary

Hồ Chí Minh (19 May 1890 – 2 September 1969), born Nguyễn Sinh Cung, also known as Nguyễn Tất Thành, Nguyễn Ái Quốc, Bác Hồ, Người cha dân tộc ('Father of the people') or simply Bác ('Uncle', pronounced), was a Vietnamese revolutionary and politician. He served as Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Vietnam from 1945 to 1955 and President from 1945 until his death in 1969. Ideologically a Marxist–Leninist, he served as Chairman and First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Vietnam.

Hồ Chí Minh was born in Nghệ An province, in Central Vietnam. He led the Việt Minh independence movement from 1941 onward. Initially, it was an umbrella group for all parties fighting for Vietnam's independence, but the Communist Party gained majority support after 1945. Hồ Chí Minh led the Communist-led Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945, defeating the French Union in 1954 at the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ, ending the First Indochina War, and resulting in the division of Vietnam, with the Communists in control of North Vietnam. He was a key figure in the People's Army of Vietnam and the Việt Cộng during the Vietnam War, which lasted from 1955 to 1975. North Vietnam was victorious against South Vietnam and its allies, and Vietnam was officially unified in 1976. Saigon, the former capital of South Vietnam, was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in his honor. Ho officially stepped down from power in 1965 due to health problems and died in 1969.

The details of Hồ Chí Minh's life before he came to power in Vietnam are uncertain. He is known to have used between 50  and 200 pseudonyms. Information on his birth and early life is ambiguous and subject to academic debate. At least four existing official biographies vary on names, dates, places, and other hard facts while unofficial biographies vary even more widely.

Aside from being a politician, Ho was also a writer, a poet, and a journalist. He wrote several books, articles and poems in Chinese, Vietnamese and French.

Details

Ho Chi Minh, original name Nguyen Sinh Cung, also called Nguyen Tat Thanh or Nguyen Ai Quoc, (born May 19, 1890, Hoang Tru, Vietnam, French Indochina—died September 2, 1969, Hanoi, North Vietnam), founder of the Indochina Communist Party (1930) and its successor, the Viet-Minh (1941), and president from 1945 to 1969 of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). As the leader of the Vietnamese nationalist movement for nearly three decades, Ho was one of the prime movers of the post-World War II anti-colonial movement in Asia and one of the most influential communist leaders of the 20th century.

Early life

The son of a poor country scholar, Nguyen Sinh Huy, Ho Chi Minh was brought up in the village of Kim Lien. He had a wretched childhood, but between the ages of 14 and 18 he was able to study at a grammar school in Hue. He is next known to have been a schoolmaster in Phan Thiet and then was apprenticed at a technical institute in Saigon.

In 1911, under the name of Ba, he found work as a cook on a French steamer. He was a seaman for more than three years, visiting various African ports and the American cities of Boston and New York. After living in London from 1915 to 1917, he moved to France, where he worked, in turn, as a gardener, sweeper, waiter, photo retoucher, and oven stoker.

During the six years that he spent in France (1917–23), he became an active socialist under the name Nguyen Ai Quoc (“Nguyen the Patriot”). He organized a group of Vietnamese living there and in 1919 addressed an eight-point petition to the representatives of the great powers at the Versailles Peace Conference that concluded World War I. In the petition, Ho demanded that the French colonial power grant its subjects in Indochina equal rights with the rulers. This act brought no response from the peacemakers, but it made him a hero to many politically conscious Vietnamese. The following year, inspired by the success of the communist revolution in Russia and Vladimir Lenin’s anti-imperialist doctrine, Ho joined the French Communists when they withdrew from the Socialist Party in December 1920.

After his years of militant activity in France, where he became acquainted with most of the French working-class leaders, Ho went to Moscow at the end of 1923. In January 1924, following the death of Lenin, he published a moving farewell to the founder of the Soviet Union in Pravda. Six months later, from June 17 to July 8, he took an active part in the Fifth Congress of the Communist International, during which he criticized the French Communist Party for not opposing colonialism more vigorously. His statement to the congress is noteworthy because it contains the first formulation of his belief in the importance of the revolutionary role of oppressed peasants (as opposed to industrial workers).

In December 1924, under the assumed name of Ly Thuy, Ho went to Canton (Guangzhou), a communist stronghold, where he recruited the first cadres of the Vietnamese nationalist movement, organizing them into the Vietnam Thanh Nien Cach Menh Dong Chi Hoi (“Vietnamese Revolutionary Youth Association”), which became famous under the name Thanh Nien. Almost all of its members had been exiled from Indochina because of their political beliefs and had gathered together in order to participate in the struggle against French rule over their country. Thus, Canton became the first home of Indochinese nationalism.

When Chiang Kai-shek, then commander of the Chinese army, expelled the Chinese communists from Canton in April 1927, Ho again sought refuge in the Soviet Union. In 1928 he went to Brussels and Paris and then to Siam (now Thailand), where he spent two years as a representative of the Communist International, the world organization of communist parties, in Southeast Asia. His followers, however, remained in South China.

Founding of the Indochinese Communist Party

Meeting in Hong Kong in May 1929, members of the Thanh Nien decided to form the Indochinese Communist Party (PCI). Others—in the Vietnamese cities of Hanoi, Hue, and Saigon—began the actual work of organization, but some of Ho’s lieutenants were reluctant to act in the absence of their leader, who had the confidence of Moscow. Ho was brought back from Siam, therefore, and on February 3, 1930, he presided over the founding of the party. At first it was called the Vietnamese Communist Party, but, after October 1930, Ho, acting on Soviet advice, adopted the name Indochinese Communist Party. In this phase of his career, Ho acted more as an arbiter of conflicts among the various factions, allowing the organization of revolutionary action, rather than as an initiator. His prudence, his awareness of what it was possible to accomplish, his care not to alienate Moscow, and the influence that he already had achieved among the Vietnamese Communists can be seen in these actions.

The creation of the PCI coincided with a violent insurrectionary movement in Vietnam. Repression by the French was brutal; Ho himself was condemned in absentia to death as a revolutionary. He sought refuge in Hong Kong, where the French police obtained permission from the British for his extradition, but friends helped him escape, and he reached Moscow via Shanghai.

In 1935 the Seventh Congress of the International, meeting in Moscow, which he attended as chief delegate for the PCI, officially sanctioned the idea of the Popular Front (an alliance with the noncommunist left against fascism)—a policy Ho had advocated for some time. In keeping with this policy, the Communists in Indochina moderated their anti-colonialist stance in 1936, allowing for cooperation with “antifascist colonialists.” The formation of Premier Léon Blum’s Popular Front government in France in the same year allowed leftist forces in Indochina to operate more freely, although Ho, because of his condemnation in 1930, was not permitted to return from exile. Repression returned to Indochina with the fall of the Blum government in 1937, and by 1938 the Popular Front was dead.

World War II and the founding of the Vietnamese state

In 1938 Ho returned to China and stayed for a few months with Mao Zedong at Yen-an. When France was defeated by Germany in 1940, Ho and his lieutenants, Vo Nguyen Giap and Pham Van Dong, plotted to use this turn of events to advance their own cause. About this time he began to use the name Ho Chi Minh (“He Who Enlightens”). Crossing over the border into Vietnam in January 1941, the trio and five comrades organized in May the Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh Hoi (League for the Independence of Vietnam), or Viet Minh; this gave renewed emphasis to a peculiarly Vietnamese nationalism.

The new organization was forced to seek help in China from the government of Chiang Kai-shek. But Chiang distrusted Ho as a Communist and had him arrested. Ho was then imprisoned in China for 18 months, during which time he wrote his famed Notebook from Prison (a collection of short poems written in classic Chinese, a mixture of melancholy, stoicism, and a call for revolution). His friends obtained his release by an arrangement with Chiang Fa-k’uei, a warlord in South China, agreeing in return to support Chiang’s interests in Indochina against the French.

In 1945 two events occurred that paved the way to power for the Vietnamese revolutionaries. First, the Japanese completely overran Indochina and imprisoned or executed all French officials. Six months later the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and the Japanese were totally defeated. Thus, the two strongest adversaries of the Viet Minh and Ho Chi Minh were eliminated.

Ho Chi Minh seized his opportunity. Within a few months he contacted U.S. forces and began to collaborate with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS; a U.S. undercover operation) against the Japanese. Further, his Viet Minh guerrillas fought against the Japanese in the mountains of South China.

At the same time, commandos formed by Vo Nguyen Giap, under Ho’s direction, began to move toward Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, in the spring of 1945. After Japan’s surrender to the Allies, they entered Hanoi on August 19. Finally, on September 2, before an enormous crowd gathered in Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam independent, using words ironically reminiscent of the U.S. Declaration of Independence: “All men are born equal: the Creator has given us inviolable rights, life, liberty, and happiness…!”

All obstacles were not removed from the path of the Viet Minh, however. According to the terms of an Allied agreement, Chiang Kai-shek’s troops were supposed to replace the Japanese north of the 16th parallel. More significantly, France, now liberated and under the leadership of Charles de Gaulle, did not intend to simply accept the fait accompli of an independent Vietnam and attempted to reassert its control. On October 6 the French general Jacques Leclerc landed in Saigon, followed a few days later by a strong armoured division. Within three months he had control of South Vietnam. Ho had to choose between continuing the fight or negotiating. He chose negotiations, but not without preparing for an eventual transition to war.

Ho Chi Minh’s strategy was to get the French to make the Chinese in the north withdraw and then to work for a treaty with France in which recognition of independence, evacuation of Leclerc’s forces, and reunification of the country would be assured. Negotiations began in late October 1945, but the French refused to speak of independence, and Ho was caught in a stalemate. In March the deadlock was broken: on his side, Ho Chi Minh allowed parties other than the Viet Minh to be included in the new government, in an attempt to gain a wider base of support for the demands made on the French, and, at the same time, the French sent a diplomatic mission to China to obtain the evacuation of the Chinese soldiers. This was done, and some of Leclerc’s troops were also removed from Haiphong, in the north. Having secured the withdrawal of the Chinese, Ho signed an agreement with the French on March 6. According to its terms, Vietnam was recognized as a “free state with its own government, army, and finances,” but it was integrated into a French Union in which Paris continued to play the key role. Twelve days later Leclerc entered Hanoi with a few battalions, which were to be confined to a restricted area.

The First Indochina War

The agreement was unsatisfactory to extremists on both sides, and Ho Chi Minh went to France for a series of conferences (June to September 1946) and concluded a second agreement with the French government. But the peace was broken by an incident at Haiphong (November 20–23, 1946), when a French cruiser opened fire on the town after a clash between French and Vietnamese soldiers. Almost 6,000 Vietnamese were killed, and hope for an amicable settlement ended. Sick and disillusioned, Ho Chi Minh was not able to oppose demands for retaliation by his more militant followers, and the First Indochina War began on December 19.

After a few months, Ho, who had sought refuge in a remote area of North Vietnam, attempted to reestablish contact with Paris, but the terms he was offered were unacceptable. In 1948 the French offered to return the former Annamese (Vietnamese) emperor Bao Dai, who had abdicated in favour of the revolution in August 1945. These terms were more favourable than those offered to Ho Chi Minh two years earlier, because the French were now attempting to weaken the Viet Minh by supporting the traditional ruling class in Vietnam. But this policy was not successful. The Viet Minh army, commanded by Giap, was able to contain the French and Bao Dai’s forces with guerrilla tactics and terrorism, and by the end of 1953 most of the countryside was under Viet Minh control, with the larger cities under a virtual state of siege. The French were decisively defeated at Dien Bien Phu on May 7, 1954, and had no choice but to negotiate.

The Geneva Accords and the Second Indochina War

From May to July 21, 1954, representatives of eight countries—with Vietnam represented by two delegations, one composed of supporters of Ho Chi Minh, the other of supporters of Bao Dai—met in Geneva to find a solution. They concluded with an agreement according to which Vietnam was to be divided at the 17th parallel until elections, scheduled for 1956, after which the Vietnamese would establish a unified government.

It is difficult to assess Ho’s role in the Geneva negotiations. He was represented by Pham Van Dong, a faithful associate. The moderation exhibited by the Viet Minh in accepting a partition of the country and in accepting control of less territory than they had conquered during the war follows the pattern established by the man who had signed the 1946 agreements with France. But this flexibility, which was also a response to pressures exerted by the Russians and Chinese, did not achieve everything for the Viet Minh. Hanoi lost out because the elections that were to guarantee the country’s reunification were postponed indefinitely by the United States and by South Vietnam, which was created on a de facto basis at this time.

North Vietnam, where Ho and his associates were established, was a poor country, cut off from the vast agricultural areas of the south. Its leaders were forced to ask for assistance from their larger communist allies, China and the Soviet Union. In these adverse conditions Ho Chi Minh’s regime became repressive and rigidly totalitarian. Attempted agricultural reforms in 1955–56 were conducted with ignorant brutality and repression. “Uncle” Ho, as he had become known to the North Vietnamese, was able to preserve his immense popularity, but he abandoned a kind of humane quality that had distinguished some of his previous revolutionary activities despite ruthless purges of Trotskyists and bourgeois nationalists in 1945–46.

The old statesman had better luck in the field of diplomacy. He traveled to Moscow and Beijing (1955) and to New Delhi and Jakarta (1958), skillfully maintaining a balance between his powerful communist allies and even, at the time of his journey to Moscow in 1960, acting as a mediator between them. Linked by old habit, and perhaps by preference, to the Soviet Union but aware of the seminal role China had played in the revolution in Asia, preoccupied with using his relations with Moscow to lessen China’s influence in Asia, and, above all, careful to assert Vietnamese rights, Ho Chi Minh skillfully maintained a balance between the two communist giants. When the war was resumed, he obtained an equal amount of aid from both.

Beginning about 1959, North Vietnam again became involved in war. Guerrillas, popularly known as the Vietcong, were conducting an armed revolt against the U.S.-sponsored regime of Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam. Their leaders, veterans of the Viet Minh, appealed to North Vietnam for aid. In July 1959, at a meeting of the central committee of Ho Chi Minh’s Lao Dong (Worker’s Party), it was decided that the establishment of socialism in the North was linked with the unification with the South. This policy was confirmed by the third congress of the Lao Dong, held shortly thereafter in Hanoi. During the congress, Ho Chi Minh ceded his position as the party’s secretary-general to Le Duan. He remained chief of state, but, from this point on, his activity was largely behind the scenes. Ho certainly continued to have enormous influence in the government, which was dominated by his old followers Pham Van Dong, Truong Chinh, Vo Nguyen Giap, and Le Duan, but he was less actively involved, becoming more and more a symbol to the people. His public personality, which had never been the object of a cult comparable to that of Joseph Stalin, Mao, or even Josip Broz Tito, is best symbolized by his popular name, Uncle Ho. He stood for the essential unity of the divided Vietnamese family.

This role, which he played with skill, did not prevent him from taking a position in the conflict ravaging his country, especially after American air strikes against the North began in 1965. On July 17, 1966, he sent a message to the people (“nothing is as dear to the heart of the Vietnamese as independence and liberation”) that became the motto of the North Vietnamese cause. On February 15, 1967, in response to a personal message from U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, he announced: “We will never agree to negotiate under the threat of bombing.” Ho lived to see only the beginning of a long round of negotiations before he died. The removal of this powerful leader undoubtedly damaged chances for an early settlement.

Ho Chi Minh’s importance

Most of Ho Chi Minh’s writings are collected in the two-volume Selected Works, published in Hanoi in 1960, in the series of Foreign Language Editions.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1073 2022-03-23 00:43:44

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1037) Elon Musk

Summary

Elon Reeve Musk (born June 28, 1971) is an entrepreneur and business magnate. He is the founder, CEO, and Chief Engineer at SpaceX; early-stage investor, CEO, and Product Architect of Tesla, Inc.; founder of The Boring Company; and co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI. With an estimated net worth of around US$245 billion as of March 2022, Musk is the wealthiest person in the world according to both the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and the Forbes real-time billionaires list.

Musk was born to a Canadian mother and South African father, and raised in Pretoria, South Africa. He briefly attended the University of Pretoria before moving to Canada at age 17 to avoid conscription. He was enrolled at Queen's University and transferred to the University of Pennsylvania two years later, where he received a bachelor's degree in economics and physics. He moved to California in 1995 to attend Stanford University but decided instead to pursue a business career, co-founding the web software company Zip2 with his brother Kimbal. The startup was acquired by Compaq for $307 million in 1999. The same year, Musk co-founded online bank X.com, which merged with Confinity in 2000 to form PayPal. The company was bought by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion.

In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, of which he is CEO and Chief Engineer. In 2004, he joined electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors, Inc. (now Tesla, Inc.) as chairman and product architect, becoming its CEO in 2008. In 2006, he helped create SolarCity, a solar energy services company that was later acquired by Tesla and became Tesla Energy. In 2015, he co-founded OpenAI, a nonprofit research company that promotes friendly artificial intelligence. In 2016, he co-founded Neuralink, a neurotechnology company focused on developing brain–computer interfaces, and founded The Boring Company, a tunnel construction company. Musk has proposed the Hyperloop, a high-speed vactrain transportation system.

Details

Elon Musk, (born June 28, 1971, Pretoria, South Africa), is a South African-born American entrepreneur who cofounded the electronic-payment firm PayPal and formed SpaceX, maker of launch vehicles and spacecraft. He was also one of the first significant investors in, as well as chief executive officer of, the electric car manufacturer Tesla.

Early life

Musk was born to a South African father and a Canadian mother. He displayed an early talent for computers and entrepreneurship. At age 12 he created a video game and sold it to a computer magazine. In 1988, after obtaining a Canadian passport, Musk left South Africa because he was unwilling to support apartheid through compulsory military service and because he sought the greater economic opportunities available in the United States.

PayPal and SpaceX

Musk attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and in 1992 he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where he received bachelor’s degrees in physics and economics in 1997. He enrolled in graduate school in physics at Stanford University in California, but he left after only two days because he felt that the Internet had much more potential to change society than work in physics. In 1995 he founded Zip2, a company that provided maps and business directories to online newspapers. In 1999 Zip2 was bought by the computer manufacturer Compaq for $307 million, and Musk then founded an online financial services company, X.com, which later became PayPal, which specialized in transferring money online. The online auction eBay bought PayPal in 2002 for $1.5 billion.

Musk was long convinced that for life to survive, humanity has to become a multiplanet species. However, he was dissatisfied with the great expense of rocket launchers. In 2002 he founded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to make more affordable rockets. Its first two rockets were the Falcon 1 (first launched in 2006) and the larger Falcon 9 (first launched in 2010), which were designed to cost much less than competing rockets. A third rocket, the Falcon Heavy (first launched in 2018), was designed to carry 117,000 pounds (53,000 kg) to orbit, nearly twice as much as its largest competitor, the Boeing Company’s Delta IV Heavy, for one-third the cost. SpaceX has announced the successor to the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy: the Super Heavy–Starship system. The Super Heavy first stage would be capable of lifting 100,000 kg (220,000 pounds) to low Earth orbit. The payload would be the Starship, a spacecraft designed for providing fast transportation between cities on Earth and building bases on the Moon and Mars. SpaceX also developed the Dragon spacecraft, which carries supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). Dragon can carry as many as seven astronauts, and it had a crewed flight carrying astronauts Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken to the ISS in 2020. Musk sought to reduce the expense of spaceflight by developing a fully reusable rocket that could lift off and return to the pad it launched from. Beginning in 2012, SpaceX’s Grasshopper rocket made several short flights to test such technology. In addition to being CEO of SpaceX, Musk was also chief designer in building the Falcon rockets, Dragon, and Grasshopper.

Tesla

Musk had long been interested in the possibilities of electric cars, and in 2004 he became one of the major funders of Tesla Motors (later renamed Tesla), an electric car company founded by entrepreneurs Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. In 2006 Tesla introduced its first car, the Roadster, which could travel 245 miles (394 km) on a single charge. Unlike most previous electric vehicles, which Musk thought were stodgy and uninteresting, it was a sports car that could go from 0 to 60 miles (97 km) per hour in less than four seconds. In 2010 the company’s initial public offering raised about $226 million. Two years later Tesla introduced the Model S sedan, which was acclaimed by automotive critics for its performance and design. The company won further praise for its Model X luxury SUV, which went on the market in 2015. The Model 3, a less-expensive vehicle, went into production in 2017.

Musk expressed reservations about Tesla being publicly traded, and in August 2018 he made a series of tweets about taking the company private, noting that he had “secured funding.” The following month the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Musk for securities fraud, alleging that the tweets were “false and misleading.” Shortly thereafter Tesla’s board rejected the SEC’s proposed settlement, reportedly because Musk had threatened to resign. However, the news sent Tesla stock plummeting, and a harsher deal was ultimately accepted. Its terms included Musk stepping down as chairman for three years, though he was allowed to continue as CEO.

Dissatisfied with the projected cost ($68 billion) of a high-speed rail system in California, Musk in 2013 proposed an alternate faster system, the Hyperloop, a pneumatic tube in which a pod carrying 28 passengers would travel the 350 miles (560 km) between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 35 minutes at a top speed of 760 miles (1,220 km) per hour, nearly the speed of sound. Musk claimed that the Hyperloop would cost only $6 billion and that, with the pods departing every two minutes on average, the system could accommodate the six million people who travel that route every year. However, he stated that, between running SpaceX and Tesla, he could not devote time to the Hyperloop’s development.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1074 2022-03-25 00:52:57

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1038) Sam Walton

Summary

Sam Walton, in full Samuel Moore Walton, (born March 29, 1918, Kingfisher, Oklahoma, U.S.—died April 5, 1992, Little Rock, Arkansas), is a American retail magnate who founded Walmart in 1962 and developed it, by 1990, into the largest retail sales chain in the United States.

Walton graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in economics (1940) and entered a J.C. Penney Company management training program in Des Moines, Iowa. He opened his own Ben Franklin variety (five-and-dime) store in Newport, Arkansas, in 1945 and relocated the store to Bentonville, Arkansas, five years later. By the early 1960s he and his brother, James, operated a regional chain of Ben Franklin stores, and, when that company’s executives rejected his concept for a new discount store chain to be based in small towns, Walton decided to set up such a chain on his own. He opened the first Walmart store, Wal-Mart Discount City, in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962, offering a wide variety of merchandise at discount prices in a no-frills setting. (In 2018 the company’s name was changed to Walmart.)

Large American discount store chains typically situated their stores in or near large cities, but Walton was convinced that even small towns could generate enough business to make such stores profitable. To operate in out-of-the-way locations, he situated a regional cluster of stores no farther than one day’s drive from a giant Wal-Mart warehouse that made large-volume purchases and distributed the goods to the stores using its own trucking services. Volume buying and a low-cost delivery system enabled Wal-Mart Stores to offer name-brand goods at discount prices in locations where there was little competition from other retail chains. As a result, the Wal-Mart chain experienced tremendous and sustained growth, with 190 stores by 1977 and 800 stores by 1985.

In 1983 Walton founded Sam’s Wholesale Club, a chain of deep-discount wholesale warehouse outlets, and in 1988 he began opening Supercenters, which added full grocery fare to the regular merchandise offerings and dwarfed even the barnlike Wal-Mart stores in size. By 1990 Wal-Mart Stores had passed Sears, Roebuck and Company to become the largest retailer in the United States. The next year the company began its international expansion with the opening of a store in Mexico. Growth continued, either through new stores or by the acquisition of established retailers, in countries such as Canada, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Walton kept prices and salaries low but nevertheless inspired company loyalty in employees, who retired with comfortable pensions as a result of his profit-sharing plan. He stepped down as chief executive officer in 1988 but remained company chairman. By the time of his death in 1992, his company had established 1,735 Wal-Marts, 212 Sam’s Clubs, and 13 Supercenters with a total of 380,000 employees and annual sales of almost $50 billion. In the ensuing years, Walmart continued to grow, and in the early 21st century it was one of the largest corporations in the world. Walton’s heirs were among the wealthiest individuals in the United States.

Details

Samuel Moore Walton (March 29, 1918 – April 5, 1992) was an American businessman and entrepreneur best known for founding the retailers Walmart and Sam's Club. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. grew to be the world's largest corporation by revenue as well as the biggest private employer in the world. For a period of time, Walton was the richest man in America.

Early life

Samuel Moore Walton was born to Thomas Gibson Walton and Nancy Lee, in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He lived there with his parents on their farm until 1923. However, farming did not provide enough money to raise a family, and Thomas Walton went into farm mortgaging. He worked for his brother's Walton Mortgage Company, which was an agent for Metropolitan Life Insurance, where he foreclosed on farms during the Great Depression.

He and his family (now with another son, James, born in 1921) moved from Oklahoma. They moved from one small town to another for several years, mostly in Missouri. While attending eighth grade in Shelbina, Missouri, Sam became the youngest Eagle Scout in the state's history. In adult life, Walton became a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.

Eventually the family moved to Columbia, Missouri. Growing up during the Great Depression, he did chores to help make financial ends meet for his family as was common at the time. He milked the family cow, bottled the surplus, and drove it to customers. Afterwards, he would deliver Columbia Daily Tribune newspapers on a paper route. In addition, he sold magazine subscriptions. Upon graduating from David H. Hickman High School in Columbia, he was voted "Most Versatile Boy".

After high school, Walton decided to attend college, hoping to find a better way to help support his family. He attended the University of Missouri as an ROTC cadet. During this time, he worked various odd jobs, including waiting tables in exchange for meals. Also during his time in college, Walton joined the Zeta Phi chapter of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He was also tapped by QEBH, the well-known secret society on campus honoring the top senior men, and the national military honor society Scabbard and Blade. Additionally, Walton served as president of Burall Bible Class, a large class of students from the University of Missouri and Stephens College. Upon graduating in 1940 with a bachelor's degree in economics, he was voted "permanent president" of the class.

Furthermore, he elaborated that he learned from a very early age that it was important for them as kids to help provide for the home, to be givers rather than takers. Walton realized while serving in the army, that he wanted to go into retailing and to go into business for himself.

Walton joined J. C. Penney as a management trainee in Des Moines, Iowa, three days after graduating from college. This position paid him $75 a month. Walton spent approximately 18 months with J. C. Penney. He resigned in 1942 in anticipation of being inducted into the military for service in World War II. In the meantime, he worked at a DuPont munitions plant near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Soon afterwards, Walton joined the military in the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps, supervising security at aircraft plants and prisoner of war camps. In this position he served at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City, Utah. He eventually reached the rank of captain.

The first stores

In 1945, after leaving the military, Walton took over management of his first variety store at the age of 26. With the help of a $20,000 loan from his father-in-law, plus $5,000 he had saved from his time in the Army, Walton purchased a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas. The store was a franchise of the Butler Brothers chain.

Walton pioneered many concepts that became crucial to his success. According to Walton, if he offered prices as good or better than stores in cities that were four hours away by car, people would shop at home. Walton made sure the shelves were consistently stocked with a wide range of goods. His second store, the tiny "Eagle" department store, was down the street from his first Ben Franklin and next door to its main competitor in Newport.

With the sales volume growing from $80,000 to $225,000 in three years, Walton drew the attention of the landlord, P. K. Holmes, whose family had a history in retail. Admiring Sam's great success, and desiring to reclaim the store (and franchise rights) for his son, he refused to renew the lease. The lack of a renewal option, together with the prohibitively high rent of 5% of sales, were early business lessons to Walton. Despite forcing Walton out, Holmes bought the store's inventory and fixtures for $50,000, which Walton called "a fair price".

With a year left on the lease, but the store effectively sold, he, his wife Helen and his father-in-law managed to negotiate the purchase of a new location on the downtown square of Bentonville, Arkansas. Walton negotiated the purchase of a small discount store, and the title to the building, on the condition that he get a 99-year lease to expand into the shop next door. The owner of the shop next door refused six times, and Walton gave up on Bentonville when his father-in-law, without Sam's knowledge, paid the shop owner a final visit and $20,000 to secure the lease. He had just enough left from the sale of the first store to close the deal, and reimburse Helen's father. They opened for business with a one-day remodeling sale on May 9, 1950.

Before he bought the Bentonville store, it was doing $72,000 in sales and it increased to $105,000 in the first year and then $140,000 and $175,000.

A chain of Ben Franklin stores

With the new Bentonville "Five and Dime" opening for business, and 220 miles away, a year left on the lease in Newport, the money-strapped young Walton had to learn to delegate responsibility.

After succeeding with two stores at such a distance (and with the postwar baby boom in full effect), Sam became enthusiastic about scouting more locations and opening more Ben Franklin franchises. (Also, having spent countless hours behind the wheel, and with his close brother James "Bud" Walton having been a pilot in the war, he decided to buy a small second-hand airplane. Both he and his son John would later become accomplished pilots and log thousands of hours scouting locations and expanding the family business.)

In 1954, he opened a store with his brother Bud in a shopping center in Ruskin Heights, a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. With the help of his brother and father-in-law, Sam went on to open many new variety stores. He encouraged his managers to invest and take an equity stake in the business, often as much as $1000 in their store, or the next outlet to open. (This motivated the managers to sharpen their managerial skills and take ownership over their role in the enterprise.) By 1962, along with his brother Bud, he owned 16 stores in Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas (fifteen Ben Franklin's and one independent, in Fayetteville).

Sam Walton is regarded as one of the greatest project entrepreneurs in the retail chain industry. He had a great passion for learning. He frequently made unannounced visits to Walmarts around the country to learn what local innovations were working that then could be shared with other Walmarts. On one of those visits he was puzzled by a greeter saying “hello” at the entrance of the store and asked the fellow what he was doing. The greeter explained that his main job was to discourage shoplifters from taking unpaid merchandise out of the store through the entrance. Walton was delighted and shared the innovation with “associates” throughout his chain.

First Walmart

The first true Walmart opened on July 2, 1962, in Rogers, Arkansas. Called the Wal-Mart Discount City store, it was located at 719 West Walnut Street. He launched a determined effort to market American-made products. Included in the effort was a willingness to find American manufacturers who could supply merchandise for the entire Walmart chain at a price low enough to meet the foreign competition.

As the Meijer store chain grew, it caught the attention of Walton. He came to acknowledge that his one-stop-shopping center format was based on Meijer's original innovative concept. Contrary to the prevailing practice of American discount store chains, Walton located stores in smaller towns, not larger cities. To be near consumers, the only option at the time was to open outlets in small towns. Walton's model offered two advantages. First, existing competition was limited and secondly, if a store was large enough to control business in a town and its surrounding areas, other merchants would be discouraged from entering the market.

To make his model work, he emphasized logistics, particularly locating stores within a day's drive of Walmart's regional warehouses, and distributed through its own trucking service. Buying in volume and efficient delivery permitted sale of discounted name brand merchandise. Thus, sustained growth—from 1977's 190 stores to 1985's 800—was achieved.

Given its scale and economic influence, Walmart is noted to significantly impact any region in which it establishes a store. These impacts, both positive and negative, have been dubbed the "Walmart Effect".

Personal life

Walton married Helen Robson on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1943. They had four children: Samuel Robson (Rob) born in 1944, John Thomas (1946–2005), James Carr (Jim) born in 1948, and Alice Louise born in 1949.

Walton supported various charitable causes. He and Helen were active in 1st Presbyterian Church in Bentonville; Sam served as an Elder and a Sunday School teacher, teaching high school age students. The family made substantial contributions to the congregation. Walton worked the concept of “service leadership” into the corporate structure of Walmart based on the concept of Christ being a servant leader and emphasized the importance of serving others based in Christianity.

Walton was diagnosed and treated for Hairy cell leukemia.

Death

Walton died on Sunday, April 5, 1992 (three months shy of Walmart's thirtieth anniversary), of multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, in Little Rock, Arkansas. The news of his death was relayed by satellite to all 1,960 Walmart stores. At the time, his company employed 380,000 people. Annual sales of nearly $50 billion flowed from 1,735 Walmarts, 212 Sam's Clubs, and 13 Supercenters.

His remains are interred at the Bentonville Cemetery. He left his ownership in Walmart to his wife and their children: Rob Walton succeeded his father as the Chairman of Walmart, and John Walton was a director until his death in a 2005 plane crash. The others are not directly involved in the company (except through their voting power as shareholders), however his son Jim Walton is chairman of Arvest Bank. The Walton family held five spots in the top ten richest people in the United States until 2005. Two daughters of Sam's brother Bud Walton—Ann Kroenke and Nancy Laurie—hold smaller shares in the company.

Legacy

In 1998, Walton was included in Time's list of 100 most influential people of the 20th Century. Walton was honored for his work in retail in March 1992, just one month before his death, when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from then-President George H. W. Bush.

Forbes ranked Sam Walton as the richest person in the United States from 1982 to 1988, ceding the top spot to John Kluge in 1989 when the editors began to credit Walton's fortune jointly to him and his four children. (Bill Gates first headed the list in 1992, the year Walton died.) Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. also runs Sam's Club warehouse stores. Walmart operates in the United States and in more than fifteen international markets, including: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Eswatini (Swaziland), Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua and the United Kingdom.

At the University of Arkansas, the Business College (Sam M. Walton College of Business) is named in his honor. Walton was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1992.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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

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#1075 2022-03-27 01:52:23

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1039) N. R. Narayana Murthy

Summary

Narayana Murthy, (born Aug. 20, 1946, Kolar, Karnataka state, India), is a Indian software entrepreneur who cofounded Infosys Technologies Ltd., the first Indian company to be listed on an American stock exchange.

Murthy earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Mysore in 1967 and a master’s degree in technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in 1969. During the 1970s he worked in Paris, where, among other projects, he helped design an operating system for handling air cargo at Charles de Gaulle Airport. Returning to India, he accepted a position with a computer systems company in Pune, but eventually he decided to launch his own company. He cofounded Infosys with six fellow computer professionals in 1981.

The company grew slowly until the early 1990s, when the Indian government’s decisive move toward economic liberalization and deregulation contributed to dramatic growth in the country’s high-technology and computer sectors. Murthy aggressively expanded his company’s services and client base, negotiating deals with many overseas businesses to provide them with consulting, systems integration, software development, and product engineering services. By 1999 Infosys had joined NASDAQ, becoming the first Indian company to be listed on an American stock exchange. The following year Asiaweek included Murthy in its Power 50, the magazine’s annual list of the most powerful people in the region. In addition, BusinessWeek named him one of its “Stars of Asia” for three consecutive years (1998–2000), and he was Fortune magazine’s 2003 Asian Businessman of the Year.

In April 2004 Murthy announced that the Bangalore-based Infosys had posted $1.06 billion in total annual revenues—an astonishing 33 percent increase in revenues over the previous fiscal year. The company’s growth was all the more remarkable because it came in the midst of a global downturn in the information technology industry. Such phenomenal success was not without controversy, however. A political debate erupted in the United States over job losses caused by offshoring, the outsourcing of work overseas. This was of serious concern to Infosys, which derived more than two-thirds of its revenue from American corporations. Murthy responded that it was “normal” that concerns over job losses would be voiced, and while he indicated that he thought outsourcing was “here to stay,” he made efforts to assuage some of the anger by announcing that Infosys would establish a consulting unit in the United States that would employ 500 workers. In the end the controversy appeared not to have significantly dented Infosys’s business. When Murthy retired in 2006, he left behind a company with some 70,000 employees and $3 billion a year in revenues. He was awarded the Legion of Honour in 2008.

Details

Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy  (born 20 August 1946) is an Indian billionaire businessman. He is the founder of Infosys, and has been the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), president, and chief mentor of the company before retiring and taking the title chairman emeritus. As of October 2021, his net worth was estimated at US$4.3 billion.

Murthy was born and raised in Shidlaghatta, Karnataka. He graduated from National Institute of Engineering, University of Mysore with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.

Before starting Infosys, Murthy worked at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad as the chief systems programmer, and Patni Computer Systems in Pune (Maharashtra). He started Infosys in 1981 and was the CEO from 1981 to 2002 as well as the chairman from 2002 to 2011. In 2011, he stepped down from the board and became the chairman emeritus. In June 2013, Murthy was appointed as the executive chairman for a period of five years.

Murthy has been listed among the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time by Fortune magazine. He has been described as the "father of the Indian IT sector" by Time magazine and CNBC for his contribution to outsourcing in India. Murthy has been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan and Padma Shri awards. He is the father-in-law of Rishi Sunak, a British MP and the current Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Early life and education

N. R. Narayana Murthy was born on 20 August 1946 in Sidlaghatta in the Kingdom of Mysore in British India (present-day Chikkaballapura district, Karnataka, India) into a middle-class Kannada Brahmin family. After completing his school education, he went to the National Institute of Engineering and graduated in 1967 with a degree in electrical engineering. In 1969 he received his master's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.

Career

Murthy first served as a Research Associate under a faculty at IIM Ahmedabad and then later served as the chief systems programmer. There he worked on India's first time-sharing computer system and designed and implemented a BASIC interpreter for Electronics Corporation of India Limited. He started a company named Softronics. When that company failed after about a year and a half, he joined Patni Computer Systems in Pune.

A bitter experience on a train in 1974 in Niš, a border town between what is now Serbia and Bulgaria, turned N R Narayana Murthy into a "compassionate capitalist" from a "confused leftist", leading him to create Infosys. Murthy and his six software professionals founded Infosys in 1981 with an initial capital investment of Rs 10,000, which was provided by his wife Sudha Murthy. Murthy served as the CEO of Infosys for 21 years from 1981 to 2002 and was succeeded by co-founder Nandan Nilekani. At Infosys he articulated, designed and implemented the Global Delivery Model for IT services outsourcing from India. He was the chairman of the board from 2002 to 2006, after which he also became the Chief Mentor. In August 2011, he retired from the company, taking the title chairman Emeritus.

Murthy is an independent director on the corporate board of HSBC and has been a director on the boards of DBS Bank, Unilever, ICICI and NDTV. He is also a member of the advisory boards and councils of several educational and philanthropic institutions, including Cornell University, INSEAD, ESSEC, Ford Foundation, the UN Foundation, the Indo-British Partnership, Asian Institute of Management, a trustee of the Infosys Prize, a trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and as a trustee of the Rhodes Trust. He is also the Chairman of the Governing board of Public Health Foundation of India. He is on the Asia Pacific advisory board of British Telecommunications. In 2005, he co-chaired the World Economic Forum in Davos.

In June 2013, Murthy returned to Infosys as executive chairman and a director. In June 2014, he stood down as executive chairman, was the non-executive chairman until October, when he became chairman emeritus.

Murthy is also on the strategic board which advises the national law firm, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, on strategic, policy and governance issues. He is also a member of IESE's International Advisory Board (IAB).

In 2016, Murthy spoke with Harvard Business Review Ascend on the subject of "How To Be a Better Manager", where he shared tips that he has learned from his own life.

In 2017, Murthy raised concerns over alleged corporate governance lapses at Infosys, however the company went on to deny these claims.

Personal life

His wife, Sudha Murthy, is a businesswoman, educator, author and the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation.

Murthy has two children, a son, Rohan Murty, and a daughter, Akshata Murthy. In June 2013, Rohan joined Infosys as an executive assistant to his father. He left Infosys in June 2014. In 2009, Akshata married Rishi Sunak; the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer and Conservative MP for Richmond, Yorkshire.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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