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Zile de nastere - Birthdays

As a priest and a professor, Gassendi lectured on theology in his native southeastern France. However, as a philosopher, scientist, and astronomer, he was compelled to try to reconcile his scientific beliefs with the teachings of the church. Dissatisfied with the teachings of Aristotle, he came to espouse empiricism and atomism, the belief that tiny, indestructible particles form the basic building blocks of the entire universe. In 1631, he became the first person to observe what? Discuss
In 1858, Jex-Blake enrolled in college against the wishes of her parents. She struggled to find a medical school that would accept women, and though she persuaded the University of Edinburgh to admit her, she could not graduate. She took her fight to Parliament, which passed a law enabling women to receive medical degrees. Jex-Blake founded two medical schools for women, and, after obtaining her degree in 1877, became the third female doctor in the UK. What became of her Edinburgh home? Discuss
Though Malcolm and Allan Loughead attended only elementary school, the mechanically gifted brothers built their first airplane in 1913. Malcolm soon left the industry, but Allan persisted. Though several of his aircraft companies failed, his name—with the spelling changed to Lockheed—would eventually be connected to one of the world's largest aerospace manufacturers. Who once turned down a flight in Lockheed's first plane by saying he would not fly in any plane "for all the money in California"? Discuss
Joplin began singing folk rock in Texas bars after running away from home at the age of 17. In 1966, she moved to San Francisco and became lead vocalist of the rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. The band catapulted Joplin to stardom. By the late 1960s, she was almost as well known for her unconventional lifestyle as for her gritty, memorable vocals. Before her death from a heroin overdose at 27, she released hit albums with two other bands beside Big Brother. What were they called? Discuss
Born in Sicily, Bonanno came to the US illegally in 1924. He settled in Brooklyn and became a bootlegger and mob enforcer. In 1931, he founded the Bonanno crime family, one of five families that dominated organized crime in New York City. He ruled the family for decades, and although his empire stretched across the country and involved gambling, loan sharking, and drug trafficking, he was never convicted of a serious crime. He died in Arizona at the age of 97. What was the "Banana Split"? Discuss
Though often overshadowed by her more famous sisters, Charlotte and Emily, Anne Brontë was a novelist and poet in her own right. She possessed a style distinct from the romanticism of her sisters, and her works—which include Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall—have been praised for their realism and moral force. Like her five older siblings, Anne died of tuberculosis at a fairly young age. After she died, who prevented her controversial second novel from being reprinted? Discuss
Fossey was an occupational therapist when, on a trip to Africa in 1963, she met famed anthropologist Louis Leakey, who encouraged her to pursue her dream of studying gorillas. In 1966, she began living a solitary life in the mountains of central Africa, gradually gaining the acceptance of the gorillas she observed and building a vast body of knowledge about their habits, communication, and social structure. In 1985, she was found hacked to death in her Rwandan forest camp. Who murdered her? Discuss
Believed to have been the first person to call himself an anarchist, Proudhon was a French journalist and social theorist best known for his radical assertion that "property is theft." Originally a printer, he joined the socialist movement after moving to Paris in 1838. There, he published radical newspapers and was imprisoned. His writings were deeply influential within the anarchist movement. In his famous essay "What is Government?" how does Proudhon define what it means to be governed? Discuss
Born into a samurai family, Mishima served briefly in the finance ministry before going on to become one of the most important Japanese novelists of the 20th century. His novels are known for their exquisite attention to detail and character and often involve paradoxes—such as when a troubled monk destroys the temple he loves in The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. Following a failed coup attempt in 1970, he tried to commit seppuku, ritual suicide by self-disembowelment. How did he die? Discuss
Alger was an American author who wrote more than 100 children's books. Highly formulaic, each taught that through honesty, perseverance, and hard work, poor but virtuous lads could prevail in life. Published in 1868, the first of those books, Ragged Dick, was an immediate success. Despite the weaknesses of Alger's writing, his books ultimately sold more than 20 million copies, making him one of the most popular writers of the 19th century. What ended Alger's previous career as a minister? Discuss
Ferdinand became king of Naples in 1759 when his father ascended to the Spanish throne. A weak ruler, he was greatly influenced by his wife, the arguably more capable Maria Carolina of Austria. The execution of her sister, Marie Antoinette of France, induced Ferdinand to fight against the French Revolution. The French then invaded Naples—twice. Ferdinand regained control of Naples and took over Sicily, but his despotism prompted an 1820 insurrection. What secret society influenced the uprising? Discuss
A militant leader of the US suffrage movement, Paul is best remembered as the author of the Equal Rights Amendment. Written in 1923, the proposed constitutional amendment has been the source of nearly a century of legislative wrangling. While fighting for women's rights, Paul—who earned doctorate degrees in both sociology and law—picketed the White House, was imprisoned, and was force-fed after she staged a hunger strike. Paul was recently selected to appear on a US coin—in place of whom? Discuss
Denied admission to Cambridge University because of his Roman Catholicism, Acton studied instead in Munich. He went on to become a noted historian and member of English Parliament. Outspoken against arbitrary power, he was also an editor of a Catholic monthly but resigned due to papal criticism of his scientific approach to history. He coined the saying "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." Another of Acton's sayings is that a strong man with a dagger is followed by whom? Discuss
Born into immense wealth as a member of the Vanderbilt family, Whitney studied sculpture in the US and Europe. In addition to producing her own notable artwork, which included a Titanic memorial, Whitney became an influential patron and collector. After attempting to donate her vast art collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and being turned away, Whitney founded her own museum—today one of the foremost museums of modern American art. What family dispute made headlines in 1934? Discuss
An influential American psychologist, Rogers is best known for having developed the technique of nondirective therapy, in which therapists refrain from offering advice or interpretation so as to allow clients to talk freely. By the 1960s, his method had been widely adopted, and Rogers became one of the best-known professionals in his field. His books include 1961's On Becoming a Person. According to Rogers, what are the characteristics of a fully functioning person living "the good life"? Discuss
Born in a log cabin in rural New York, Fillmore was compelled to work at an early age to help support his large, impoverished family. Despite his limited education, he became a lawyer and was elected vice president under Zachary Taylor. Upon Taylor's death in 1850, Fillmore was sworn in as president. His attempt to take a moderate stance on the highly contentious issue of slavery ended his political career. While being fed soup, a dying Fillmore made what remark that turned out to be his last? Discuss
As a boy, Schliemann loved Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. After making his fortune, he devoted himself at the age of 36 to searching for the ruins of the ancient city of Troy, which played a prominent role in Homer's account of the Trojan War but was believed to be fictional. In 1873, Schliemann not only found the remains of Troy—verifying the Trojan War's place in history—but also uncovered the ruins of several other cities that had been built on the same site. Where did he find Troy? Discuss
When famed Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in 1791, he left his beloved 29-year-old wife, Constanze—herself a musician—with two young children and an uncertain financial outlook. Constanze went to work. She arranged for a pension from the emperor, organized memorial concerts, and collaborated on a biography of her late husband. Today, she is recognized as much for her business sense as for her influence on her husband's music. Which of her sisters did Wolfgang originally pursue? Discuss
An expert in Caribbean birds and a distinguished ornithologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Bond wrote the definitive Birds of the West Indies in 1936. The book came to the attention of avid bird-watcher Ian Fleming, who lived in Jamaica. He contacted Bond and asked if he could use the ornithologist's name for the hero of his first novel, Casino Royale. Bond agreed. In what film can the fictional Bond be seen reading the real-life Bond's book? Discuss
One of the first Chinese-American movie stars, Wong played her first leading role, at age 17, in The Toll of the Sea. At that time, most Asian character roles were played by white actors in "yellowface." As a result, Wong was frequently passed over for leading roles due to the anti-miscegenation laws that prevented her from sharing an on-screen kiss with a white actor. Nevertheless, her acting skills and impeccable fashion sense made her a star. How was she received in China? Discuss
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