17 July, 2019

Smokey Yunick


Henry "Smokey" Yunick was an American mechanic and car designer associated with motorsports. Yunick was deeply involved in the early years of NASCAR, and he is probably most associated with that racing genre. He participated as a racer, designer, and held other jobs related to the sport, but was best known as a mechanic, builder, and crew chief.

Yunick was twice NASCAR mechanic of the year; and his teams would include 50 of the most famous drivers in the sport, winning 57 NASCAR Cup Series races, including two championships in 1951 and 1953.

He was renowned as an opinionated character who "was about as good as there ever was on engines", according to Marvin Panch, who drove stock cars for Yunick and won the 1961 Daytona 500. His trademark white uniform and battered cowboy hat, together with a cigar or pipe, were a familiar sight in the pits of almost every NASCAR or Indianapolis 500 race for over twenty years. During the 1980s, he wrote a technical column, "Track Tech", for Circle Track magazine. In 1990, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

23 May, 2019

Walter Knight-Adkin


The Very Reverend Walter Kenrick Knight-Adkin was an eminent Anglican priest.

Born in Cheltenham, Knight-Adkin was educated at Cheltenham College and St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He did his pastoral training at Wells Theological College. Ordained in June 1908 at St Paul's Cathedral in London, he was a Curate at Kentish Town before commencing a long period of service as a Chaplain with the Royal Navy rising to become Chaplain of the Fleet from 1929 to 1933, after which he was Dean of Gibraltar. Evacuated to England in 1941 due to illness, he became civilian Vicar of Sparkwell then Chaplain to the Lord Mayor of Bristol at St Mark`s Church, College Green.

He was awarded the OBE in 1919 and appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1932. On January 25, 1929 he was appointed as Honorary Chaplain to HM King George V. He was an Honorary Canon of Portsmouth Cathedral and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucester and of Bristol on 3 June 1950.

Knight-Adkin was the second son of the Rev Harry Kenrick Knight-Adkin (1851–1928) and Georgina Elizabeth Knight (1849–1930). He was born in Cheltenham on August 17, 1880.

He married Elizabeth Cuff Napier (1891–1984) at St. Andrew's-by-the-Green, Glasgow on December  20, 1915. His bride was the daughter of Colonel Alexander Napier RAMC. They had one child, Peter Napier Knight-Adkin, who died at Portsmouth in 1918.

Walter died at his home on May 24, 1957.

10 May, 2019

Joachim Fuchsberger


Joachim "Blacky" Fuchsberger was a German actor and television host, best known to a wide German-speaking audience as one of the recurring actors in various Edgar Wallace movies. In the English-speaking world, he was sometimes credited as Akim Berg or Berger.

Fuchsberger was born in Zuffenhausen, today a district of Stuttgart, and was a member of the obligatory Hitler Youth. During World War II, at the age of 16, he was trained as a Fallschirmjäger, combat instructor and sent to the Eastern Front where he was wounded. He was captured in a hospital in Stralsund by the Red Army and came into Soviet captivity and later in American and British captivity. Because of this turbulent time of his youth on the Eastern front, he could never make a school diploma. In 1946, he worked as a coal miner for the British in Recklinghausen. His nickname Blacky hails from that time.

After his release, he worked as an engineer for typesetting and printing machines in the family business and later in a publishing house in Düsseldorf. In 1949, he was advertising manager of the German Building Exhibition in Nuremberg. From 1950 to 1952, he was spokesman at the radio station in Munich and newsreel spokesman. In 1951, he married the pop singer Gitta Lind, from whom he divorced after two years. In 1954 he married the radio technician and actress Gundula Korte (born 24 March 1930), with whom he has a son. In the same year he had his breakthrough playing "Gunner Asch" in the three-part war film 08/15 film series, based on the novel by Hans Hellmut Kirst.

After several war films, he starred in the 1959 film Der Frosch mit der Maske (The Frog with the Mask) playing amateur detective Richard Gordon. More than 3.2 million visitors saw the movie in the cinema. The surprising success laid the foundation for many other film adaptations of novels by Edgar Wallace.

After this success, he played the detective in another 12 Edgar Wallace films: 1960 – Chief Inspector Long in Die Bande des Schreckens (The Gang of Horror); 1961 – Inspector Larry Holt in The Dead Eyes of London; 1961 – Insurance Agent Jack Tarling in The Devil's Daffodil; 1961 – Inspector Mike Dorn in The Strange Countess; 1962 – Inspector Wade in The Inn on the River; 1963 – Clifford Lynne in Der Fluch der gelben Schlange [de] (The Curse of the Yellow Snake); 1963 – Estate manager Dick Alford in The Black Abbot; 1964 – Investigator Johnny Gray in Zimmer 13 [de] (Room 13); 1964 – Inspector Higgins in Der Hexer (The Warlock); 1967 – Inspector Higgins in Der Mönch mit der Peitsche [de] (The Monk with the Whip); 1968 – Inspector Higgins in Im Banne des Unheimlichen (Under the Spell of the Sinister); 1972 – Inspector Barth in What Have You Done to Solange?.

Fuchsberger was the stadium announcer for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. During the closing ceremony, it was suspected that a hijacked passenger aircraft was on its way to the stadium. Fuchsberger, fearing a panic, decided against evacuation. This decision was vindicated when the original suspicion turned out to have been false.

In the late 1960s, Fuchsberger co-founded a real estate company that went bankrupt in a short time. At 42, he had lost his entire fortune, had to sell his villa and sat on a mountain of debt. With the help of his wife, Gundula, good friends and tireless work, he managed to discharge the debt and to start a new existence.

In 1978, he was bitten by a chimpanzee during a TV show and fell seriously ill with hepatitis B. He spent 4 months at the quarantine station and suffered through a depression but recovered. He withdrew from film and television work in the late 1970s and concentrated on his stage career.

Fuchsberger lived in Grünwald near Munich and in Sandy Bay, Hobart, Tasmania. He held Australian citizenship together with his German one. He died of organ failure at his German home in Grünwald on 11 September 2014.

02 May, 2019

Edward Hulburt


Edward Olson Hulburt was an American geophysicist . He is considered the discoverer of the electrical properties of the ionosphere and the interaction between the sun and the earth's atmosphere. Besides, he was the first to realize that the blue color of the sky during the blue hour has a different cause than that during the day.

In 1931 he developed a study on the greenhouse effect in the Earth's atmosphere.

Felix Bloch



Felix Bloch was a Swiss-American physicist and Nobel physics laureate who worked mainly in the U.S. He and Edward Mills Purcell were awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize for Physics for "their development of new ways and methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements." In 1954–1955, he served for one year as the first Director-General of CERN. Felix Bloch made fundamental theoretical contributions to the understanding of electron behavior in crystal lattices, ferromagnetism, and nuclear magnetic resonance.

Bloch was born in Zürich, Switzerland to Jewish parents Gustav and Agnes Bloch. He was educated at the Cantonal Gymnasium in Zürich and at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETHZ), also in Zürich. Initially studying engineering he soon changed to physics. During this time he attended lectures and seminars given by Peter Debye and Hermann Weyl at ETH Zürich and Erwin Schrödinger at the neighboring University of Zürich. A fellow student in these seminars was John von Neumann. Bloch graduated in 1927, and was encouraged by Debye to go to Leipzig to study with Werner Heisenberg. Bloch became Heisenberg's first graduate student, and gained his doctorate in 1928. His doctoral thesis established the quantum theory of solids, using Bloch waves to describe electrons in periodic lattices.

He remained in European academia, working on superconductivity with Wolfgang Pauli in Zürich; with Hans Kramers and Adriaan Fokker in Holland; with Heisenberg on ferromagnetism, where he developed a description of boundaries between magnetic domains, now known as "Bloch walls"; with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, where he worked on a theoretical description of the stopping of charged particles traveling through matter; and with Enrico Fermi in Rome. In 1932, Bloch returned to Leipzig to assume a position as "Privatdozent" (lecturer). In 1933, immediately after Hitler came to power, he left Germany because he was Jewish, returning to Zürich, before traveling to Paris to lecture at the Institut Henri Poincaré.

In 1934, the chairman of Stanford Physics invited Bloch to join the faculty. Bloch accepted the offer and emigrated to the United States. In the fall of 1938, Bloch began working with the 37 inch cyclotron at the University of California at Berkeley to determine the magnetic moment of the neutron. Bloch went on to become the first professor for theoretical physics at Stanford. In 1939, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

During WWII, Bloch briefly worked on the atomic bomb project at Los Alamos. Disliking the military atmosphere of the laboratory and uninterested in the theoretical work there, Bloch left to join the radar project at Harvard University.

After the war, he concentrated on investigations into nuclear induction and nuclear magnetic resonance, which are the underlying principles of MRI. In 1946 he proposed the Bloch equations which determine the time evolution of nuclear magnetization. Along with Edward Purcell, Bloch was awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on nuclear magnetic induction.

When CERN was being set up in the early 1950s, its founders were searching for someone of the stature and international prestige to head the fledgling international laboratory, and in 1954 Professor Bloch became CERN's first Director-General, at the time when construction was getting under way on the present Meyrin site and plans for the first machines were being drawn up. After leaving CERN, he returned to Stanford University, where he in 1961 was made Max Stein Professor of Physics.

At Stanford, he was the advisor of Carson D. Jeffries, who became a professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1964, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Bloch died in Zürich in 1983.

Elmer Imes



Elmer Samuel Imes was the second African American to earn a Ph.D. in Physics and the first in the 20th century. He was among the first African-American scientists to make important contributions to modern physics. While working in industry, he gained four patents for instruments to be used for measuring magnetic and electric properties. As an academic, he chaired and developed the department of physics at Fisk University, serving from 1930 to 1941.


Elmer S. Imes was born in 1883 in Memphis, Tennessee to Elizabeth (Wallace) and Benjamin A. Imes, both of whom were college educated and had met at Oberlin College in Ohio. They married there in 1880. Benjamin earned a divinity degree at Oberlin Theological Seminary in 1880. His father was descended from free people of color who had been established in south-central Pennsylvania by the time of the Revolution. His mother was born into slavery; her family had moved to Oberlin after the American Civil War when she was a child. Imes had two younger brothers: Albert Lovejoy Imes and William Lloyd Imes. The latter became a minister and was later pastor of St. James Presbyterian Church in New York City; he held degrees from Fisk, Union Theological Seminary, and Columbia University.

Imes and his brothers attended grammar school in Oberlin, Ohio. Their parents became missionaries with the American Missionary Association and moved to the South to serve freedmen and their children. Imes completed his high school education at the Agricultural and Mechanical High School in Normal, Alabama. He graduated in 1903 from Fisk University, a historically black college, with a bachelor's degree in science.

Upon graduating from Fisk, Imes taught mathematics and physics at Georgia Normal and Agricultural Institute; now Albany State University, a historically black college in Albany, Georgia, and the Emerson Institute, which had been founded in Mobile, Alabama by the American Missionary Association. Imes returned to Fisk in 1913 as an instructor of science and mathematics. During his tenure there, Imes also earned a master's degree in science from Fisk University.

He went to the University of Michigan for additional study in physics, earning a Ph.D. in Physics in 1918. He studied under Harrison McAllister Randall. Imes became the second African American to receive a Ph.D. in physics since Edward Bouchet did so from Yale University in 1876; Imes was the first African American in the 20th century to gain this degree.

Around 1919, after moving to New York to work in industry, Imes married Nella Larsen, a nurse who became a writer. She is considered part of the Harlem Renaissance, having published short stories and two novels in the late 1920s. The couple had moved from Jersey City, New Jersey, to Harlem, where they became part of the professional and cultural society that included artists and intellectuals such as Langston Hughes and W.E.B. Du Bois, members of the black elite. Due to strains in their marriage, they divorced in 1933, after Imes had returned to Fisk University in 1929 for an academic career.

Imes’ research and doctoral thesis led to his publication of Measurements on the Near-Infrared Absorption of Some Diatomic Gases in November 1919 in the Astrophysical Journal.[4] This work was followed by a paper co-authored and presented in November 1919 jointly with Harrison M. Randall, "The Fine Structure of the Near Infra-Red Absorption Bands of HCI, HBr, and HF" at the American Physical Society; it was published in the Physical Review in February 1920. This work demonstrated for the first time that Quantum Theory could be applied to radiation in all regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, to the rotational energy states of molecules, as well as the vibration and electronic levels. Imes' work provided an early verification of Quantum Theory. It became known in Europe as well as in the United States.

Imes' work was one of the earliest applications of high resolution infrared spectroscopy and provided the first detailed spectra of molecules. This led to development of the field of study of molecular structure through infrared spectroscopy.

In the early 1920s, Imes found difficulty in securing employment in academia. Not many black colleges had physics programs and white colleges did not hire him. As a result, he became a physics consultant and researcher after completing his doctorate; he worked in physics at the Federal Engineers Development Corporation in 1918 and with the Burrows Magnetic Equipment Corporation in 1922. In 1927, Imes went to work as a research engineer at E.A. Everett Signal Supplies. During the decade that Imes worked in the scientific and materials industry, his research resulted in four patents for instruments that were used for measuring magnetic and electric properties.

In 1930, Imes returned to Fisk University, where he served as Chair of the Physics Department. Imes is credited with the academic development of the physics programs at Fisk. Many of his students went on to obtain doctoral degrees from highly ranked schools such as the University of Michigan. While at Fisk, Imes developed a course in Cultural Physics, to teach students about the history of science. In 1931, Imes was named one of the thirteen most gifted Black Americans.

In 1939, Imes returned to New York, where he conducted research as a scholar in magnetic materials at the Physics Department at New York University. He died in 1941.

Pyotr Kapitsa



Pyotr Kapitsa was a leading Soviet physicist and Nobel laureate, best known for his work in low-temperature physics.


13 December, 2018

Bengt Berg



Bengt Magnus Kristoffer Berg was a Swedish ornithologist, zoologist, wildlife photographer, and writer.

Bengt Berg was one of the world’s first nature filmographers. He was one of the very first nature photographers and filmographers and one of the very top in the world of his time. He started photographing at around 1910. At the Victoria theatre in Berlin, the biggest "cinematograph theatre" at the time, he would explain to the audience from a speaker’s chair during his soundless films. During one consecutive period of four months there was full house (2600 people each show) twice a day every day. He was also the author of almost 30 books translated into 16 languages. His books were full of wildlife photographs and questioning, humorous stories from Sweden, Africa, India, Bhutan and the Himalayas. He was a vivid debater of various subjects to do with birds, flora, fauna in general. More than often his booming voice or pen would declare that man was taking far too greedy or indeed urban view and place in nature. Bengt Berg was many things beside a photographer and a writer. He was also a hunter and a believer in a natural life as a being amongst other animals. But first and foremost, his love was birds and in his writing, he was never far from words declaring his passion for the winged creatures surrounding us all: Thanks to him the sea eagle, the graylag goose, the golden eagle and the mute swan of Sweden were saved. He was the first to film the shoebill stork in South Sudan (early 1920s) Also in the 20s he followed the common cranes from Europe to find out the southernmost point they went to in Africa. 1930 He photographed the bearded vulture in the Himalayas, from a balloon basket fastened to a very long rope. Here he (and sometimes his wife) hung precariously and at great heights to get clear pictures of the birds, inside their caves on the cliff walls. But it was not only birds: At home in Sweden he was deeply involved in fencing private land to protect and understand more about the red deer, and his travels across the globe also turned him towards filming, photographing and writing of mammals like the elephants of Africa, the tigers and rhinoceros of India. When he came home from his filming of the shoebill stork in South Sudan he also had in his trunks the longest piece of film so far taken of the African elephant, and through his book of the Indian rhino in 1932 he brought the world to attention that the Chinese were killing them off at great speed in their demand for rhino horn. Dr. Bengt Berg looked with a very sober, albeit furious, gaze at man’s one moment thoughtlessness in nature and next moment unrealistic approach to be a human animal amongst other animals. Some thought him too loudly critical of man and claimed that he loved other kinds more than his own. "Do not judge me on my person but on the work, I have done here" were words he wrote not long before he died. 31 July 1967, 82 years old, he died from a stroke while swimming in the archipelago at his estate at Rosberg, Blekinge, Sweden.

He is best remembered for his many travel books, his naturalist photographs and movies, taken on several expeditions around the world, including Europe, Africa and Asia.

11 December, 2018

Michael Ende


Michael Andreas Helmuth Ende was a German writer of fantasy and children's fiction. He is best known for his epic fantasy The Neverending Story; other famous works include Momo and Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver. His works have been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 35 million copies, and adapted as motion pictures, stage plays, operas and audio books. Ende is one of the most popular and famous German authors of the 20th century, mostly due to the enormous success of his children's fiction.

10 December, 2018

Sydney Chaplin



Sydney John Chaplin was an English actor. He was the elder half-brother of Sir Charlie Chaplin and served as his business manager.


Chaplin was born to 19-year-old Hannah Hill in London. Hannah claimed Sydney's father was a man named Sydney Hawkes, but his father's identity was never verified. The Chaplin surname was adopted following his mother's marriage to Charles Chaplin, Sr., a year after his birth.

While Syd and brother Charlie were in the Cuckoo Schools in Hanwell following his mother's mental collapse, Syd was placed in the program designed to train young boys to become seamen, on the Exmouth training ship docked at Grays, Essex. He followed this training period with several years working on ships, receiving high marks from all of his employers. But his ambition was to get into the entertainment business and he left his final voyage with that in mind.

In 1905 Charlie and Sydney worked briefly together in one of their first stage appearances, Sherlock Holmes. Syd was briefly cast as a villain in that play. In 1906 however, he landed a contract with Fred Karno, of Karno's London Comedians and was to fight hard to bring Charlie into the company two years later. Charlie never achieved the sort of fame Syd did as a principal comedian for that company, but that was to be the only time that Syd was able to outdo his brother—at least in front of an audience.

After Charlie achieved worldwide fame in the 1910s, the brothers discovered they had another half-brother through their mother, Wheeler Dryden, who had been removed from his mother's care as an infant and brought up abroad by his father. Wheeler was also an actor, and the brothers reunited in Hollywood in 1918, occasionally working together at Chaplin's studio through to the 1950s.


As Charlie was negotiating his Keystone contract, he suggested Sydney be asked to join the company, and Syd and his wife Minnie Chaplin arrived in California in October 1914. Syd made a few comedies there, including the "Gussle" comedies, and the comedy short A Submarine Pirate in 1915, which, second to Tillie's Punctured Romance, was the most financially successful comedy Keystone ever made.

Following this success, Sydney decided to leave the screen to negotiate Charlie a better contract. After getting him a $500,000 contract with Mutual on 27 February 1916, he got him his first million dollar ($1.25 million) contract on 17 June 1917 with First National. Soon he was handling the majority of Charlie's business affairs, including a failed sheet music business and a successful merchandising one, in addition to further contract negotiation. He also appeared in a few films during the First National era, such as Pay Day and The Pilgrim. Sydney achieved his own million-dollar contract from Famous Players-Lasky in 1919, but a series of problems resulted in only one failed film, King, Queen, Joker (1921), disappearing from the screen once again.

Later films include The Perfect Flapper (1924) with Colleen Moore, A Christie Comedy, Charley's Aunt (1925) and five features for Warner Bros. Pictures, including The Man on the Box (1925), Oh, What a Nurse! (1926), The Missing Link (1927), The Fortune Hunter (1927), and The Better 'Ole (1926). The last is perhaps his best-known film today because of his characterization of cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather's famous World War I character, Old Bill, and the fact that it was the second Warner Bros. film to have a Vitaphone soundtrack. It is also believed by many to have the first spoken word of dialogue, "coffee", although there are those who disagree.

Sydney's first film for British International Pictures (BIP), A Little Bit of Fluff (1928), proved to be his final film. In 1929, just as he was to begin work on a second film for the studio, Mumming Birds, he was accused of biting off the nipple of actress Molly Wright in a sexual assault. BIP settled out of court, conceding the truth of Wright's claims. Following the scandal, he left England, leaving a string of unpaid tax demands and by 1930 he was declared bankrupt.

In addition to his importance in launching and promoting brother Charlie's career over the years, perhaps Chaplin's most important contribution to history is in the field of aviation. In May 1919, he, along with pilot Emery Rogers, formulated the first privately owned domestic American airline, the Syd Chaplin Airline Company, based in Santa Monica, California. Even though the corporation lasted only a year, in that time it accumulated many "firsts." Syd and partners had the first ever aeroplane showroom for their Curtiss aeroplanes. Emery Rogers conducted the first roundtrip Los Angeles to San Francisco flight in one 24-hour period. Charlie Chaplin took his first-ever aeroplane flight in one of Syd's planes, as did many other notable personages of the period. Chaplin got out of the aviation business right after legislation began to pass regarding pilot licensing and the taxation of planes and flights.

Chaplin married twice and had no children. His first wife, Minnie, died in France in September 1936 following surgery for breast cancer. After World War II, Sydney lived most of his final years in Europe. His second wife, Henriette (called Gypsy) survived him. After a long illness, he died one month after his 80th birthday, on 16 April 1965, in Nice, France. Chaplin is buried beside his wife Gypsy in Clarens-Montreux Cemetery, near Vevey.

Bill Bowes



William Eric Bowes was an English professional cricketer active from 1929 to 1947 who played in 372 first-class matches as a right arm fast bowler and a right-handed tail end batsman. He took 1,639 wickets with a best performance of nine for 121 and completed ten wickets in a match 27 times. He scored 1,531 runs with a highest score of 43* and is one of very few major players whose career total of wickets taken exceeded his career total of runs scored. He did not rate himself as a fielder but he nevertheless held 138 catches.

Bowes played for Yorkshire and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). He was a member of the ground staff at MCC for ten seasons and they had priority of selection, which meant he played against Yorkshire for them and he did not play against MCC until 1938. He made fifteen appearances for England in Test cricket and took part in the 1932–33 Bodyline series. He took 68 Test wickets at the creditable average of 22.33 with a best performance of six for 33. Bowes represented Yorkshire in thirteen County Championship seasons, his career being interrupted by the Second World War, and the team won the championship eight times in that period, largely due to their strong attack which was led by Hedley Verity and himself.

During the war, Bowes was commissioned in the British Army as a gunnery officer and served in North Africa until he was captured, along with over 30,000 other Allied troops, after the fall of Tobruk in June 1942. He spent three years in Italian and German prisoner-of-war camps and lost over four stone in weight. He continued playing for two seasons after the war but, weakened by his experiences, could only bowl at medium pace. After he retired from playing, he became a coach with Yorkshire and worked for The Yorkshire Post as a cricket writer. He was born in Elland, West Yorkshire, and died in Otley, West Yorkshire, aged 79.