Posted in Events, games

Scrabble Day

Scrabble Day takes place annually on 13 April. It Commemorates the anniversary of the birth of American architect, And Scrabble inventor Alfred Butts, who was born, 13 April 1899 in Poughkeepsie, New York. His parents were Allison Butts and Arrie Elizabeth Mosher, His father was a lawyer, and his mother was a high school teacher. Alfred attended Poughkeepsie High School and graduated in 1917. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania from where he graduated with a degree in architecture in 1924. He was also an amateur artist, and six of his drawings were acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

He began working as an Architect until finding himself unemployed In the early 1930s Whereupon he set out to design a board game. He began by studying existing games and found that games fell into three categories: number games such as dice and bingo; move games such as chess and checkers; and word games such as anagrams. Butts was a resident of Jackson Heights, New York, when he decided to create a game that utilized both chance and skill by combining elements of anagrams and crossword puzzles, a popular pastime of the 1920s. Players would draw seven lettered tiles from a pool and then attempt to form words from their seven letters. A key to the game was Butts’ analysis of the English language. Butts studied the front page of The New York Times to calculate how frequently each letter of the alphabet was used. He then used each letter’s frequency to determine how many of each letter he would include in the game. He included only four “S” tiles so that the ability to make words plural would not make the game too easy.

Butts initially called the game “Lexiko”, but later changed the name to “Criss Cross Words”, after considering “It”, and began to look for a buyer. The game makers he originally contacted rejected the idea, but Butts was tenacious. Eventually, he sold the rights to entrepreneur and game-lover James Brunot, who made a few minor adjustments to the design and renamed the game “Scrabble.”

In 1948, the game was trademarked and James Brunot and his wife converted an abandoned schoolhouse in Dodgingtown, Connecticut, into a Scrabble factory. In 1949, the Brunots made 2,400 sets, but lost $450. The game, however, steadily gained popularity, helped along by orders from Macy’s department store. By 1952, the Brunots could no longer keep up with demand and asked licensed game maker Selchow and Righter to market and distribute the game. So far at least One hundred and fifty million sets have been sold worldwide and between one and two million sets are sold each year in North America alone. To Commemorate Butts Contribution to board games There is a street sign at 35th Avenue and 81st Street in Jackson Heights that is stylized using letters, with their values in Scrabble as a subscript

Posted in computers, games, Internet

National Mario Day

National Mario Day takes place annually on March 10, (as the date MAR 10 resembles the name MARIO). Mario (マリオ) is a fictional character in the Mario video game franchise, owned by Nintendo and created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto who created Mario while developing Donkey Kong in an attempt to produce a best-selling video game for Nintendo. Originally, Miyamoto wanted to create a video game that used the characters Popeye, Bluto, and Olive Oyl At the time, however, Miyamoto was unable to acquire a license to use the characters (and would not until 1982 with Popeye), so he ended up making an unnamed player character’ which became Mario alongside, Donkey Kong, and Lady (later known as Pauline).

Mario is Depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian plumber who resides in the Mushroom Kingdom, his adventures generally center upon rescuing Princess Peach from the Koopa villain Bowser. His younger brother and sidekick is Luigi. The Mario franchise is the best-selling video game franchise of all time. Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation. Outside of the Super Mario platform series, other Mario genres include the Mario Kart racing series, sports games such as the Mario Tennis and Mario Golf series, role-playing games such as Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario, and educational games such as Mario Is Missing!, Mario’s Time Machine and Mario Teaches Typing. Mario has also appeared in television shows, film, comics, and licensed merchandise. Since 1990, Mario has been voiced by Charles Martinet.

Mario was originally named Jumpman in the game’s English instructions and Mario in the sales brochure. Miyamoto originally named the character “Mr. Video” he was eventually named Mario after American warehouse landlord Mario Segale who owned the premesis where Nintendo was based, when he confronted then-president Minoru Arakawa, demanding back rent. Following a heated argument, the Nintendo employees eventually convinced Segale he would be paid, and opted to name the character in the game Mario after him.

Mario’s profession was chosen to fit with the game design. Since Donkey Kong was set on a construction site, Mario was made into a carpenter. When he appeared again in Mario Bros., it was decided he should be a plumber, since a lot of the game is played in underground settings. Mario’s appearance was dictated in part by the graphical limitations of arcade hardware at the time, Miyamoto clothed the character in red overalls and a blue shirt to contrast against each other and the background and added A red cap. Over time, Mario’s appearance has become more defined; blue eyes, white gloves, brown shoes, a red “M” in a white circle on the front of his hat and gold buttons on his overalls have been added. The colors of his shirt and overalls were also reversed from a blue shirt with red overalls to a red shirt with blue overall. Then To make him appear human onscreen despite his small size, Mario was given distinct features, prominently a large nose and a mustache, which avoided the need to draw a mouth and facial expressions. Nintendo did not initially reveal Mario’s full name. However Miyamoto eventually confirmed that his name was indeed Mario Mario at the September 2015 at the Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary festival.

More International and National events happening 10 March

  • International Bagpipe Day
  • Harriet Tubman Day
  • landline Telephone Day
  • Pack Your Lunch Day
  • U.S. Paper Money Day
  • Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Posted in books, films & DVD, games

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The novel Lord of the Flies by by Nobel Prize-winning British author William Golding was first published 17 September 1954. The book focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island after a British aeroplane crashes in a remote region of the Pacific Ocean. The only survivors include Two boys—the fair-haired Ralph and an overweight, bespectacled boy nicknamed “Piggy”— who find a conch, which Ralph uses as a horn to convene all the survivors to one area. Ralph is optimistic, believing that grown-ups will come to rescue them but Piggy realizes the need to organize: And Ralph is elected “chief”.

The members of a boys’ choir, led by the red-headed Jack Merridew, form a separate clique of hunters. Ralph establishes three primary policies: to have fun, to survive, and to constantly maintain a smoke signal that could alert passing ships to their presence on the island and thus rescue them. The boys establish a form of democracy by declaring that whoever holds the conch shall also be able to speak at their formal gatherings and receive the attentive silence of the larger group. Jack organises his choir into a hunting party responsible for discovering a food source. Ralph, Jack, and a quiet, dreamy boy named Simon soon form a loose triumvirate of leaders with Ralph as the ultimate authority. The boys discover fruit and wild pigs for food and use Piggy’s spectacles to create a fire.

Sadly, Despite this promising start the situation gradually get worse and The semblance of order quickly deteriorates as the majority of the boys turn idle. Piggy is quickly made into an outcast by the older boys. Simon, in addition to supervising the project of constructing shelters, feels an instinctive need to protect the “littluns” (younger boys). The older boys give little aid in building shelters, spend their time having fun and begin to develop paranoias about the island. Jack, who has started a power struggle with Ralph, gains a level of control over the group. A ship travels by the island, however the signal fire goes out and vessel continues without stopping. Ralph angrily confronts Jack about his failure to maintain the signal. Jack assaults Piggy, breaking his glasses. Piggy persuades Ralph to remain leader in order to protect him from Jack.

One night, an aerial battle occurs near the island while the boys sleep, during which a fighter pilot ejects from his plane and dies in the descent. the twins Sam and Eric, now assigned to the maintenance of the signal fire, find the dead pilot. Later Jack leads Ralph and Roger, to explore the other side of the island, where they discover a mountain of stones, Castle Rock, and they also discover the dead parachutist” Jack then tries unsuccessfully to turn the others against Ralph, before forming his own tribe. Roger and the older boys abandon Ralph to join Jack’s tribe. Jack’s tribe continues to lure recruits from the main group by promising feasts of cooked pig. Jack’s tribe begin to paint their faces and enact bizarre rites, including sacrifices to the beast.

Ralph and Piggy decide to go to one of Jack’s feasts and witness Jack and his followers conducting a sacrifice to the imaginary Beast who rules the island whom he dubs “Lord of the Flies”. The boys start displaying feral, warlike behaviour as any semblance of order breaks down. Then When Simon discovers the truth behind “The Beast” he finds himself in great danger from the other tribe members. Jack and his rebel tribe steal Piggy’s glasses the only means the boys have of starting a fire. Ralph, journeys to Castle Rock to confront Jack over Piggy’s glasses accompanied by Piggy, Sam, and Eric. However the tribe capture and bind the twins under Jack’s command. Then Ralph confronts Jack, while Roger confronts Piggy with tragic consequences. Ralph manages to escape, but Sam and Eric are tortured by Roger until they agree to join Jack’s tribe. Sam and Eric warn Ralph that Jack and Roger intend to hunt him and behead him. Jack orders his tribe to begin a hunt for Ralph and Ralph faces a fight for survival as he tries to escape Jack’s rampaging savages.

Posted in computers, Events, Fantasy, Food, games, Internet

International Games Masters Day

International Games Master’s Day takes place anuually on 4 March. GM’s Day was born on EN World in December 2002. Originally a simple messageboard post by EN World member Spunkrat (later renamed Heathen72), the idea quickly gained popularity, championed by Mark Clover of Creative Mountain Games and, of course, EN World itself.

GM’s Day is an annual day to show your GAmes Master, DUngeon Master, Storyteller, or Referee) how much you appreciate them. Publishers and retail outlets across the world now join in GM’s Day, offering discounts, sales, and other cool stuff. From a single messageboard thread, GM’s Day now includes hundreds of publishers, websites, bloggers, such as RPGNow/DriveThruRPG’s who host a massive GM’s Day sale. Marth 4th is also the anniversary of the sad passing of Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax who sadly died 4 March 2008.

Toy Soldier Day

The name of Toy Soldier Day is a bit deceiving. Rather than collecting or displaying plastic toys or replicas, Toy Soldier Day is actually intended to unite fans of various role-playing activities. Toy Soldier Day was orignally started as a fan club by The Army of Toy Soldiers to give recognition to talented street performer, including musicians and the internet personality Dr. Steel who started his career in 1999 in Los Angeles, Putting on shows combining puppetry and video projections to help his audience better understnd the meanings of his steampunk songs. countless fans of stage persona Dr. Steel celebrate Toy Soldier Day annually Including nurses, scouts and soldiers) one of the primary goals of Toy Soldier Day is to collaborate, compare and share costume ideas.

More International, National events and Holidays happepning on 4 March

International Scrapbooking Industry Day
March Forth Day
National Day of Unplugging
National Grammar Day
National Poundcake Day
National Snack Day
Old Inauguration Day

Posted in computers, films & DVD, games, Science fiction, Television

Ole Kirk Christiansen (LEGO(tm)

Danish businessman and LEGO(Tm) creator Ole Kirk Christiansen, was born 7 April 1891 in Filskov, Denmark. He trained as a carpenter and started making wooden toys in 1932 to make a living after having lost his job during the depression. Sadly though, shortly after the depression Christiansen’s wife also died, leaving him to raise his four sons by himself. Christiansen knew the value of hard wearing toys So to make ends meet he decided to construct a small wooden duck toy for his children. When he found that his sons loved the new toy he decided to put the ducks into production using the leftover wood from his old business. He then went on to making miniature versions of the houses and furniture, which also became quite successful.

Unfortunately though In 1942 a fire broke out at the factory destroying Ole’s life’s work and forcing them to rebuild from scratch. So in 1947 he invested in a revolutionary injection-moulding machine Imported from Britain for 30,000 Danish kroner (£3,200). After Building a new factory, Ole set about re-making his lost designs and moved on to manufacturing plastic items rather than wood, which originally consisted of small plastic bears and rattles. By 1949 he had produced over 200 plastic and wooden toys. Then, two years after buying the injection-moulding machine, he produced the first Lego bricks, called Automatic Binding Bricks, they looked similar to today’s blocks but had a slit in the sides and were completely hollow. Ole Kirk Christiansen came up with the name Lego from the Danish words leg godt, meaning “play well”, and the company grew to become the Lego Group.

Then In 1954, Ole’s son Godtfred, the firm’s junior managing director returned from a UK toy fair with the idea of creating a toy system in which every element could connect together to build things, and by 1958 the firm had patented the colourful bricks with hollow tubes on the underside which could be locked together and the story of the Lego brick began. Sadly though On 11 March 1958, Christiansen died from a heart attack when he was 66 years old, however his third son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen promptly took over the company and developed his idea of interconnecting bricks culminating in The first Lego set, Town Plan No.1, which had everything a child needed to make their own model town centre, this became a huge success.

Since then Lego(tm) has grown to become a household name, annually selling many million sets worldwide. Then In 1968 they opened a theme park at their HQ in Billund, Denmark — the first of six worldwide. A year later came Lego Duplo for under-fives and in 1978 “minifigure” people. Since then, all manner of themed Lego sets have hit shelves, from pirates, Outer Space, Lord of the Rings, Ninjago to Harry Potter and today, eight Lego sets are sold every Second worldwide. The UK even has its own Legoland which opened in Windsor in 1996 and there are now Lego-only stores, Lego computer games including Lego batman. There are also a number of rather entertaining LEGO Movies and Television series (Ninjago, Lego Star Wars) and even a clothing range.

Posted in films & DVD, games, Television

Peter O’Toole

British Actor Peter James O’Toole sadly passed away 14 December 2013. Born 2 August 1932, He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic and with the English Stage Company, before making his film debut in 1959.He achieved stardom playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) for which he received his first Academy Award nomination. He received seven further Oscar nominations – for Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969),The Ruling Class (1972), The Stunt Man (1980), My Favorite Year (1982) and Venus(2006) – and holds the record for the most Academy Award acting nominations without a win. He won four Golden Globes, a BAFTA and an Emmy, and was the recipient of anHonorary Academy Award in 2003.

O’Toole began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic and with the English Stage Company, before making his television debut in 1954. He first appeared on film in 1959 in a minor role in The Day They Robbed the Bank of England. O’Toole’s major break came when he was chosen to play T. E. Lawrence in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962). His performance was ranked number one in Premiere magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Performances of All Time. The role introduced him to US audiences and earned him the first of his eight nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor.O’Toole is one of a handful of actors to be Oscar-nominated for playing the same role in two different films; he played King Henry II in both Becket (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968). O’Toole played Hamlet under Laurence Olivier’s direction in the premiere production of the Royal National Theatre in 1963. He demonstrated his comedic abilities alongside Peter Sellers in the Woody Allen-scripted comedy What’s New Pussycat? (1965). He also appeared inSeán O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock at Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.

He played King Henry II in The Lion in Winter(1968) and fulfilled a lifetime ambition  in 1970, when he performed in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot alongside Donal McCann in Dublin. In 1972, he played both Miguel de Cervantes and his fictional creation Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, the motion picture adaptation of the 1965 hit Broadway musical, opposite Sophia Loren. The film was a critical and commercial failure, criticised for using mostly non-singing actors. O’Toole’s singing was dubbed by tenor Simon Gilbert, but the other actors sang their own parts. O’Toole and co-star James Coco, who played both Cervantes’s manservant and Sancho Panza, both received Golden Globenominations for their performances. In 1980, O’Toole starred as Tiberius in the Penthouse-funded biographical film Caligula. In 1980, he received critical acclaim for playing the director in the behind-the-scenes film The Stunt Man. He received good reviews as John Tanner in Man and Superman and Henry Higgins in Pygmalion, and won a Laurence Olivier Award for his performance in Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (1989). He was nominated for another Oscar for My Favorite Year (1982), a romantic comedy set behind-the-scenes at a 1950s TV variety-comedy show, in which O’Toole plays an ageing swashbuckling film star reminiscent of Errol Flynn. He also appeared in 1987’s acclaimed The Last Emperor.

In 1999 O’Toole won an Emmy Award for his role in the mini-series Joan of Arc and in 2004, he played King Priam in the summer blockbuster Troy. In 2005, he appeared on television as the older version of legendary 18th century Italian adventurer Giacomo Casanova in the BBC drama serial Casanova. The younger Casanova, seen for most of the action, was played by David Tennant, who had to wear contact lenses to match his brown eyes to O’Toole’s blue. O’Toole was once again nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Maurice in the 2006 film Venus, directed by Roger Michell, his eighth such nomination.O’Toole co-starred in the Pixar animated film Ratatouille (2007), an animated film about a rat with dreams of becoming the greatest chef in Paris, as Anton Ego, a food critic. O’Toole appeared in the second season of Showtime’s successful drama series The Tudors(2008), portraying Pope Paul III, who excommunicates King Henry VIII from the church; an act which leads to a showdown between the two men. On 10 July 2012, O’Toole released a statement that he was retiring from acting

Posted in Art, books, Events, games, Humour, music, Science-tech

World Teachers Day

imageWorld Teachers’ Day, has been held annually on October 5 since 1994, to commemorate teachers’ organizations worldwide. Its aim is to gain support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers. According to UNESCO, World Teachers’ Day represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development.

Education International (EI) (the global union federation that represents education professionals worldwide) strongly believes that World Teachers’ Day should be internationally recognized and celebrated around the world. EI also believes that the principles of the 1966 and 1997 Recommendations should be considered for implementation in all nations.

Over 100 countries observe World Teachers’ Day. The efforts of Education International and its 401 member organizations have contributed to this widely spread recognition. Every year, EI launches a public awareness campaign to highlight the contributions of the teaching profession.

Posted in books, films & DVD, games

H.P.Lovecraft (Cthulhu)

American author Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born August 20, 1890, known as H. P. Lovecraft he wrote mostly horror, fantasy, poetry and science fiction, especially the subgenre known as weird fiction. Lovecraft’s guiding aesthetic and philosophical principle was what he termed “cosmicism” or “cosmic horror”, the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that the universe is fundamentally inimical to the interests of humankind. As such, his stories express a profound indifference to human beliefs and affairs. Lovecraft is the originator of the Cthulhu Mythos story cycle and the Necronomicon, a fictional magical textbook of rites and forbidden lore.

Some of Lovecraft’s work was inspired by his own nightmares. His interest started from his childhood days when his grandfather would tell him Gothic horror stories. Lovecraft’s biggest influence was Edgar Allan Poe and forbidden knowledge Is often a central theme in many of Lovecraft’s works.Many of his characters are driven by curiosity or scientific endeavor, and in many of his stories the knowledge they uncover proves Promethean in nature, either filling the seeker with regret for what they have learned, destroying them psychically, or completely destroying the person who holds the knowledge. Some critics argue that this theme is a reflection of Lovecraft’s contempt of the world around him, causing him to search inwardly for knowledge and inspiration. The beings of Lovecraft’s mythos often have human (or mostly human) servants; Cthulhu, for instance, is worshiped under various names by cults amongst both the Eskimos of Greenlandand voodoo circles of Louisiana, and in many other parts of the world.These worshipers served a useful narrative purpose for Lovecraft. Many beings of the Mythos were too powerful to be defeated by human opponents, and so horrific that direct knowledge of them meant insanity for the victim. When dealing with such beings, Lovecraft needed a way to provide exposition and build tension without bringing the story to a premature end. Human followers gave him a way to reveal information about their “gods” in a diluted form, and also made it possible for his protagonists to win paltry victories. Lovecraft, like his contemporaries, envisioned “savages” as closer to supernatural knowledge unknown to civilized man. Another recurring theme in Lovecraft’s stories is the idea that descendants in a bloodline can never escape the stain of crimes committed by their forebears, at least if the crimes are atrocious enough. Descendants may be very far removed, both in place and in time (and, indeed, in culpability), from the act itself, and yet, they may be haunted by the revenant past, e.g. “The Rats in the Walls”, “The Lurking Fear”, “Arthur Jermyn”, “The Alchemist”, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”, “The Doom that Came to Sarnath” and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

Often in Lovecraft’s works the protagonist is not in control of his own actions, or finds it impossible to change course. Many of his characters would be free from danger if they simply managed to run away; however, this possibility either never arises or is somehow curtailed by some outside force, such as in “The Colour Out of Space” and “The Dreams in the Witch House”. Often his characters are subject to a compulsive influence from powerful malevolent or indifferent beings. As with the inevitability of one’s ancestry, eventually even running away, or death itself, provides no safety (“The Thing on the Doorstep”, “The Outsider”, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, etc.). In some cases, this doom is manifest in the entirety of humanity, and no escape is possible (“The Shadow Out of Time”). Lovecraft was also familiar with the work of the German conservative-revolutionary theorist Oswald Spengler, whose pessimistic thesis of the decadence of the modern West formed a crucial element in Lovecraft’s overall anti-modern worldview. Spenglerian imagery of cyclical decay is present in particular in At the Mountains of Madness. S. T. Joshi, in H. P. Lovecraft: The Decline of the West, places Spengler at the center of his discussion of Lovecraft’s political and philosophical ideas.

H. P. Lovecraft’s writing, particularly the so-called Cthulhu Mythos, has influenced fiction authors including modern horror and fantasy writers such as Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Bentley Little, Joe R. Lansdale, Alan Moore, Junji Ito, F. Paul Wilson, Brian Lumley,Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Neil Gaiman, have cited Lovecraft as one of their primary influences. Beyond direct adaptation, Lovecraft and his stories have had a profound impact on popular culture. Some influence was direct, as he was a friend, inspiration, and correspondent to many of his contemporaries, such as August Derleth, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch and Fritz Leiber. Many later figures were influenced by Lovecraft’s works, including author and artist Clive Barker, prolific horror writer Stephen King, comics writers Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Mike Mignola, film directors John Carpenter, Stuart Gordon, Guillermo Del Toro and artist H. R. Giger. Japan has also been significantly inspired and terrified by Lovecraft’s creations and thus even entered the manga and anime media. Chiaki J. Konaka is an acknowledged Lovecraft disciple and has participated in Cthulhu Mythos, expanding several Japanese versions.caside being writer, he is an anime scriptwriter who tends to add horror elements and is credited for spreading the popularity of Lovecraft among anime base. Manga artist Junji Ito is also inspired by Lovecraft.

Although Lovecraft’s readership was limited during his lifetime, his reputation has grown over the decades, and he is now regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. According to Joyce Carol Oates, an award-winning author, Lovecraft—as with Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century—has exerted “an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction”. Science fiction and fantasy authorStephen King called Lovecraft “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale. King has made it clear in his semi-autobiographical non-fiction bookDanse Macabre that Lovecraft was responsible for King’s own fascination with horror and the macabre, and was the single largest figure to influence his fiction writing. Sadly though in 1936, Lovecraft was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine, and as a result he suffered from malnutrition. He lived in constant pain until his death on March 15, 1937, in Providence. However Lovecraft’s legacy lives on and his stories have been adapted into plays, films and games, such as Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth and id Software’s Quake.

Posted in games, locomotives, music, Photography, Science-tech

Wizard of Menlo Park -tribute to Thomas Edison

American inventor and businessman Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio, and grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. In school, the young Edison’s mind often wandered, and his teacher, the Reverend Engle, was overheard calling him “addled”. This ended Edison’s three months of official schooling. Edison recalled later, “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint.” His mother taught him at home. much of his education came from reading R.G. Parker’s School of Natural Philosophy. Edison developed hearing problems at an early age. The cause of his deafness has been attributed to a bout of scarlet fever during childhood and recurring untreated middle-ear infections. Around the middle of his career, Edison attributed the hearing impairment to being struck on the ears by a train conductor when his chemical laboratory in a boxcar caught fire and he was thrown off the train in Smiths Creek, Michigan, along with his apparatus and chemicals. In 1854 Edison’s family moved to Port Huron, Michigan, He sold candy and newspapers on trains running from Port Huron to Detroit, and he sold vegetables to supplement his income. He also studied qualitative analysis, and conducted chemical experiments on the train until an accident prohibited further work of the kind. He obtained the exclusive right to sell newspapers on the road, and, with the aid of four assistants, he set in type and printed the Grand Trunk Herald, which he sold with his other papers.This began Edison’s long streak of entrepreneurial ventures, as he discovered his talents as a businessman. These talents eventually led him to found 14 companies, including General Electric, which is still one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world.

Thomas Edison began his career as an inventor in Newark, New Jersey, with the automatic repeater and his other improved telegraphic devices, but the invention that first gained him notice was the phonograph in 1877. This accomplishment was so unexpected by the public at large as to appear almost magical. Edison became known as “The Wizard of Menlo Park,” New Jersey.His first phonograph recorded on tinfoil around a grooved cylinder, but had poor sound quality and the recordings could be played only a few times. In the 1880s, a redesigned model using wax-coated cardboard cylinders was produced by Alexander Graham Bell, Chichester Bell, and Charles Tainter. This was one reason that Thomas Edison continued work on his own “Perfected Phonograph.” In 1877–78, Edison invented and developed the carbon microphone used in all telephones along with the Bell receiver until the 1980s. After protracted patent litigation, in 1892 a federal court ruled that Edison and not Emile Berliner was the inventor of the carbon microphone which was also used in radio broadcasting and public address work through the 1920s.

He also developed many other devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb Edison also patented a system for electricity distribution in 1880, which was essential to capitalize on the invention of the electric lamp. Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” by a newspaper reporter, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.Edison is the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures.His advanced work in these fields was an outgrowth of his early career as a telegraph operator. Edison developed a system of electric-power generation and distribution to homes, businesses, and factories – a crucial development in the modern industrialized world. He also developed the first power station on Pearl Street in Manhattan, New York and is credited with designing and producing the first commercially available fluoroscope, a machine that uses X-rays to take radiographs. Until Edison discovered that calcium tungstate fluoroscopy screens produced brighter images than the barium platinocyanide screens originally used by Wilhelm Röntgen, the technology was capable of producing only very faint images, The fundamental design is still in use today.

Edison was active in business Just months before his death, the Electrical transmission for the Lackawanna Railroad inaugurated suburban electric train service from Hoboken to Montclair, Dover, and Gladstone in New Jersey. was by means of an overhead catenary system using direct current, which Edison had championed. Despite his frail condition, Edison was at the throttle of the first electric MU (Multiple-Unit) train to depart Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken in September 1930, driving the train the first mile through Hoboken yard on its way to South Orange.This fleet of cars would serve commuters in northern New Jersey for the next 54 years until their retirement in 1984. A plaque commemorating Edison’s inaugural ride can be seen today in the waiting room of Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, which is presently operated by New Jersey Transit. Edison was said to have been influenced by a popular fad diet in his last few years; “the only liquid he consumed was a pint of milk every three hours”. He is reported to have believed this diet would restore his health. Edison became the owner of his Milan, Ohio, birthplace in 1906. On his last visit, in 1923, he was reportedly shocked to find his old home still lit by lamps and candles.Thomas Edison died of complications of diabetes on October 18, 1931, in his home, “Glenmont” in Llewellyn Park in West Orange, New Jersey, which he had purchased in 1886 as a wedding gift for Mina. He is buried behind the home. Edison’s last breath is reportedly contained in a test tube at the Henry Ford Museum. Ford reportedly convinced Charles Edison to seal a test tube of air in the inventor’s room shortly after his death, as a memento.

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Boris Karloff

FrankensteinsMonsterEnglish actor Boris Karloff (William Henry Pratt) was born 23 November 1887. Karloff is best remembered for his roles in horror films and his portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939). His popularity following Frankenstein was such that for a brief time he was billed simply as “Karloff” or “Karloff the Uncanny.” His best-known non-horror role is as the Grinch, as well as the narrator, in the animated television special of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966).Karloff grew up in Enfield & attended Enfield Grammar School before moving to Uppingham School and Merchant Taylors’ School, and King’s College London where he studied to go into the consular service. He dropped out in 1909 and worked as a farm labourer and did various odd jobs until he happened into acting. His brother, Sir John Thomas Pratt, became a distinguished British diplomat. Karloff was bow-legged, had a lisp, and stuttered as a young boy. He conquered his stutter, but not his lisp, which was noticeable all through his career. In 1909, Pratt travelled to Canada and began appearing in stage shows throughout the country; and some time later changed his professional name to “Boris Karloff”. Some have theorized that he took the stage name from a mad scientist character in the novel The Drums of Jeopardy called “Boris Karlov”. Karloff joined the Jeanne Russell Company in 1911 and performed in towns like Kamloops, British Columbia and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. After the devastating Regina, Saskatchewan, cyclone of 30 June 1912, Karloff and other performers helped with cleanup efforts. He later took a job as a railway baggage handler and joined the Harry St. Clair Co. that performed in Minot, North Dakota. Once Karloff arrived in Hollywood in 1918, he made dozens of silent films, such as The Masked Rider (1919), The Hope Diamond Mystery (1920), King of the Wild (1930) and The Criminal Code (1931), a prison drama in which he reprised a dramatic part he had played on stage. Another significant role was an unethical newspaper reporter in Five Star Final, a harshly critical film about tabloid journalism which was nominated for an Oscar as Best Picture of 1931-32. However it was His role as the Frankenstein monster in Frankenstein (1931) which made Karloff a star. A year later, Karloff played another iconic character, Imhotep in The Mummy. The Old Dark House (with Charles Laughton) and the starring role in The Mask of Fu Manchu quickly followed. These films all confirmed Karloff’s new-found stardom and In 1933, he went back to Britain to make The Ghoul.

Karloff appeared in other films besides horror. including the 1932 film Scarface and the 1934 John Ford epic The Lost Patrol.However, horror remained Karloff’s primary genre, and he appeared in many 1930s Universal horror films, including several with Bela Lugosi, his main rival as heir to Lon Chaney, Sr.’s status as the top horror film star. After earning fame in Frankenstein, Karloff appeared as the Frankenstein monster in two other films, The Bride Of Frankenstein in 1935 and The Son Of Frankenstein in 1939, with the latter also featuring Lugosi. Karloff also starred as the villainous Dr. Niemann in House of Frankenstein (1944). Karloff returned to the role of the “mad scientist” in 1958′s Frankenstein 1970, as Baron Victor von Frankenstein II, the grandson of the original inventor. The long, creative partnership between Karloff and Lugosi produced some of the actors’ most revered and enduring productions, beginning with The Black Cat. Follow-ups included Gift of Gab (1934), The Raven (1935), The Invisible Ray (1936), Black Friday (1940), You’ll Find Out (also 1940), and The Body Snatcher (1945) & Tower of London (1939). From 1945 t0 1946 Karloff also appeared in Isle Of The Dead, The Body Snatcher, and Bedlam.

He returned to the Broadway stage in the original production of Arsenic and Old Lace in 1941. He also appeared as Captain Hook in the play Peter Pan with Jean Arthur. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his work opposite Julie Harris in The Lark, by the French playwright Jean Anouilh about Joan of Arc, which was also reprised on Hallmark Hall of Fame. In later years, Karloff appeared in a number of television series, including, Out Of This World, and The Veil & the British TV in the series Colonel March of Scotland Yard. He also appeared in The Comedy of Terrors, The Raven, and The Terror, the latter two directed by Roger Corman, and Die, Monster, Die! He also featured in Michael Reeves’s second feature film, The Sorcerers, in 1966. Karloff also guest starred along with horror actor Vincent Price in a parody of Frankenstein, with Red Skelton as the monster “Klem Kadiddle Monster.” In 1966, Karloff also appeared with Robert Vaughn and Stefanie Powers in the spy series The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. That same year he also played an Indian Maharajah on the instalment of the adventure series The Wild Wild West titled “The Night of the Golden Cobra.” In 1967, he played an eccentric Spanish professor who believes himself to be Don Quixote in a whimsical episode of I Spy.In 1968, Karloff starred in Targets, a film directed by Peter Bogdanovich about a young man who embarks on a killing spree. The film starred Karloff as retired horror film actor, Byron Orlok, a thinly disguised version of Karloff himself. It was his last film shot in the United States.In 1968 he played occult expert Prof. Marsh in a British film called The Crimson Cult (Curse of the Crimson Altar), which was the last film to be released during Karloff’s lifetime.

Karloff ended his career by appearing in four low-budget Mexican horror films: The Snake People, The Incredible Invasion, The Fear Chamber, and House of Evil. He also starred in Cauldron of Blood, in 1967 alongside Viveca Lindfors.Boris Karloff lived out his final years in England at his cottage, ‘Roundabout,’ in the Hampshire village of Bramshott.Sadly After a long battle with arthritis and emphysema, he contracted pneumonia, succumbing to it in King Edward VII Hospital, Midhurst, Sussex on 2 February 1969. He was cremated, following a requested low-key service, at Guildford Crematorium, Godalming, Surrey, where he is commemorated by a plaque in the Garden of Remembrance. A memorial service was held at St Paul’s, Covent Garden (the Actors’ Church), London, where there is also a plaque. However, even death could not put an immediate halt to Karloff’s media career. Four Mexican films for which Karloff shot his scenes in Los Angeles were released over a two-year period after he had died. Karloff also lent his name and likeness to a comic book for Gold Key Comics based upon the series. After Thriller was cancelled, the comic was retitled Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery. An illustrated likeness of Karloff continued to introduce each issue of this publication for nearly a decade after the real Karloff died; the comic lasted until the early 1980s. Starting in 2009, Dark Horse Comics started to reprint Tales of Mystery in a hard bound archive.