18 July, 2008

Konrad Lorenz


Konrad Zacharias Lorenz was an Austrian zoologist, animal psychologist, ornithologist and Nobel Prize winner. He is often regarded as one of the founders of modern ethology, developing an approach that began with an earlier generation, including his teacher Oskar Heinroth. Lorenz studied instinctive behavior in animals, especially in greylag geese and jackdaws. Working with geese, he rediscovered the principle of imprinting in the behavior of nidifugous birds.

He wrote numerous books, some of which, such as King Solomon's Ring and On Aggression became popular reading. In later life his interest shifted to the study of man in society.

At the request of his father, Adolf, Lorenz began a premedical curriculum in 1922 at Columbia University, but he returned to Vienna in 1923 to continue his studies at the University of Vienna until 1928. At this university he became an assistant professor from 1928 to 1935. In 1936, at an international scientific symposium on instinct, Lorenz met his great friend and colleague Niko Tinbergen. Together they studied geese - wild, domestic, and hybrid. One result of these studies was that Lorenz "realized that an overpowering increase in the drives of feeding as well as of copulation and a waning of more differentiated social instincts is characteristic of very many domestic animals." Lorenz began to suspect and fear "that analogous processes of deterioration may be at work with civilized humanity."

In 1940 he became a professor of psychology at the University of Königsberg. He was drafted into the Wehrmacht in 1941. He sought to be a motorcycle mechanic, but instead he was assigned as a medic. He was a prisoner of war in the Soviet Union from 1942 to 1948. In captivity he continued to work as a medical doctor and "got quite friendly with some Russians, mostly doctors." When he was repatriated, he was allowed to keep the manuscript of a book he had been writing, and his pet starling. He arrived back in Altenberg "with manuscript and bird intact." The manuscript became his book Behind the Mirror. The Max Planck Society established the Lorenz Institute for Behavioral Physiology in Buldern, Germany, in 1950.

In 1958, Lorenz transferred to the Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology in Seewiesen. He shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for discoveries in individual and social behavior patterns" with two other important early ethologists, Niko Tinbergen and Karl von Frisch. In 1969, he became the first recipient of the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca.

Lorenz retired from the Max Planck Institute in 1973 but continued to research and publish from Altenberg and Grünau im Almtal in Austria.

Konrad Lorenz died on February 27, 1989, in Altenberg.

Alexander Kent


Douglas Edward Reeman is a British author who has written many historical fiction books on the Royal Navy, mainly set during World War II or during the Napoleonic Wars.

Reeman joined the Royal Navy in 1940, at the age of 16, and served during World War II and the Korean War. He eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant. In addition to being an author, Reeman has also taught the art of navigation for yachting and served as a technical advisor for films. Douglas married author Kimberley Jordan Reeman in 1985.

Reeman's debut novel, A Prayer for the Ship was published in 1958. Writing under the name Alexander Kent, Reeman is most famous for his series of Napoleonic Naval Stories whose central character is Richard Bolitho. He also wrote a series of novels about several generations of the Blackwood family who served in the Royal Marines from the 1850s to the 1970s and a non-fiction account of his World War II experiences, D-Day: A Personal Reminiscence (1984).

Jacques Brel


Jacques Romain Georges Brel was a Belgian French-speaking singer-songwriter. The quality and style of his lyrics are highly regarded by many leading critics of popular music.

Brel's songs are not especially well known in the English-speaking world except in translation and through the interpretations of other singers, most famously Scott Walker. Others who have sung his work in English include Marc Almond, Dave Van Ronk, Alex Harvey, David Bowie, Dusty Springfield, The Dresden Dolls, Frank Sinatra, Terry Jacks, Nina Simone, Rod McKuen, The Kingston Trio, Jack Lukeman and Beirut. In French-speaking countries, Brel is also remembered as an actor and director.

Brel was born in Schaarbeek, Belgium, a district of Brussels, but lived half of his life in Paris. He died in Bobigny in the suburbs of Paris, of lung cancer, and is buried in the Marquesas Islands.

Although the Brels family spoke French, they were of Flemish descent, with some of the family originating from Zandvoorde, near Ieper.

In the early 1950s Brel achieved minor success in Belgium singing his own songs. A 78rpm record (La foire/Il y a) was released as a result. From 1954 Brel pursued an international singing career. He quit his job and moved to Paris, where he stayed at the Hotel Stevens and gave guitar lessons to artist-dancer Francesco Frediani to pay for his rent. Francesco Frediani witnessed his first show at the Olympia as "ouverture de rideau" act ie while the public was entering and being seated. Brel had to change behind the bar. Bruno Cocquatrix, the owner, invited him to come back. He carried on writing music and singing in the city's cabarets and music-halls, where on stage he delivered his songs with great energy. In January 1955 he supported in the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels the performances of the Belgian pop and variety pioneer Bobbejaan Schoepen. After some success his wife and daughters joined him from Belgium. By 1956 he was touring Europe and he recorded the song Quand on n'a que l'amour that brought him his first major recognition. He appeared in a show with Maurice Chevalier and Michel Legrand.

By the end of the 1950s Miche and Brel's three daughters had returned to Brussels. From then on he and his family led separate lives . Under the influence of his friend Georges Pasquier ('Jojo') and pianists Gérard Jouannest and Francois Rauber, Brel's style changed. He was no longer a Catholic-humanist troubadour, but sang grimmer songs about love, death, and the struggle that is life. The music became more complex and his themes more diverse, exploring love (Je t'aime, Litanies pour un Retour), society (Les Singes, Les Bourgeois, Jaurès), and spiritual concerns (Le Bon Dieu, Dites, Si c'était Vrai, Fernand). His work is not limited to one style. He was as proficient in funny compositions (Le Lion, Comment Tuer l'Amant de sa Femme...) as in more emotional ones (Voir un Ami Pleurer, Fils de..., Jojo).

Brel's acute perception made him an innovative and creative painter of daily life with rare poetic ease. His intelligent use of words was striking and simple, exhibiting a very visual and meaningful vocabulary. Few of his peers are considered as matching his skill in fitting as much novelty and meaning in a sentence from a few words in common usage.

Brel had a keen sense of metaphor, as in Je suis un soir d'été where the narrator is a summer's evening telling what he observes as he falls on a city. Although regarded a master with lyrics, his musical themes were of the first standard, and also here he was not limited to one style.

He composed both rhythmic, lively and captivating tunes (L'aventure, Rosa, Au printemps) as well as sad and solemn songs. (J'en appelle, Pourquoi faut-il que les hommes s'ennuient?)

Brel's romantic lyricism sometimes revealed darkness and bitter irony. At moments his tender love songs might show flashes of barely suppressed frustration and resentment. His insightful and compassionate portraits of the so-called dregs of society: the alcoholics, drifters, drug addicts, and prostitutes described in 'Jef', 'La chanson de Jacky' and 'Amsterdam' evaded easy sentimentality, and he was not shy about portraying the unsavoury side of this lifestyle.

He composed and recorded his songs almost exclusively in French, and is widely recognized in French-speaking countries as one of the best French-language composers of all time.

But he occasionally included parts in Dutch as in "'Marieke", and also recorded Dutch versions of a few songs such as "Le Plat Pays" ("Mijn vlakke land"), "Ne me quitte pas" ("Laat Me Niet Alleen"), "Rosa", "Les Bourgeois" ("De Burgerij") and "Les paumés du petit matin" ("De Nuttelozen van de Nacht"). Since his own command of Dutch was poor, these were translated by Ernst van Altena.

He starred in the musical L'Homme de la Mancha (Man of La Mancha) which he also translated into French and directed. As an actor he gained fame playing opposite Lino Ventura in L'Emmerdeur. In 1969 he took the lead role opposite Claude Jade in Mon oncle Benjamin. Le Far West, a comedy which he directed, co-wrote and appeared in, competed for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973. He was also one of the alien voices in the Cadbury's Smash advertisements in the 1970s.

In 1973 he embarked in a yacht, planning to sail around the world. When he reached the Canary Islands, Brel, a heavy smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer. He returned to Paris for treatment and later continued his ocean voyage.

In 1975 he reached the Marquesas Islands, and decided to stay, remaining there until 1977 when he returned to Paris and recorded his well-received final album. He died in 1978 at age 49 and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia only a few yards away from painter Paul Gauguin.

Lino Ventura


Lino Ventura was an Italian actor who starred in French movies.

He was born in Parma, northern Italy. Lino Ventura dropped out of school at the age of eight and later took on a variety of jobs. At one point Ventura was pursuing a prizefighting and professional wrestling career but had to end it because of an injury.

Despite living most of his life in France and speaking Italian with a French accent, he never acquired French citizenship.

In 1953 Ventura entered the film industry in a gangster movie called Touchez pas au grisbi by Jacques Becker and started to build up an acting career in similar hard boiled gangster movies, often playing beside his friend Jean Gabin. His most famous roles include the portrait of corrupt police chief Tiger Brown in 1963's The Threepenny Opera and mob functionary Vito Genovese in The Valachi Papers. Although Italian, 'Cento Giorni a Palermo' (1983) was the only film he ever made in his native language which surprised Italian audiences, long used to seeing him dubbed into Italian from the original French release. Lino Ventura remained active until the year before his death caused by a heart attack in 1987 at the age of 68. Lino Ventura was also known for creating a foundation called 'Snowdrop' in 1966 that supports handicapped people.

Alfred Wainwright


Alfred ("A.") Wainwright was a British hill walker, guidebook author and illustrator. His seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, published between 1955 and 1966 and consisting entirely of reproductions of his hand-written manuscript, has become the standard reference work to 214 of the fells of the English Lake District. Among his 40-odd other books is the first guide to the Coast to Coast Walk, a 190-mile long-distance footpath devised by Wainwright which remains popular today.

Alfred Wainwright was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, into a family which was relatively poor, mostly due to his stonemason father's alcoholism. He did very well at school although he left at the age of 13. While most of his classmates were obliged to find employment in the local mills, Wainwright started work as an office boy in Blackburn Borough Engineer's Department. He spent several further years studying at night school, gaining qualifications in accountancy which enabled him to further his career at Blackburn Borough Council. Even when a child Wainwright walked a great deal, up to 20 miles at a time; he also showed a great interest in drawing and cartography, producing his own maps of England and his local area.

In 1930, at the age of 23, Wainwright saved up enough money for a week's walking holiday in the Lake District with his cousin Eric Beardsall. They arrived in Windermere and climbed the nearby hill Orrest Head, where Wainwright saw his first view of the Lakeland fells. This moment marked the start of what he would later describe as his love affair with the Lake District. In 1931 he married his first wife, Ruth Holden, a local mill worker, with whom he had a son Peter. In 1941 Wainwright was able to move closer to the fells when he took a job at the Borough Treasurer's office in Kendal, Westmorland. He lived and worked in the town for the rest of his life, serving as Borough Treasurer from 1948 until he retired in 1967.

Book One of the Pictorial GuideWainwright started work on the first page of his Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells on 9 November 1952. He planned the precise scope and content of the seven volumes from the start, and worked conscientiously and meticulously on the series for the next 13 years at an average rate of one page per evening.

The Pictorial Guides are currently being updated, for the first time since their original publication, to take account of changed conditions on the fells. The revisions are being made by Chris Jesty, who uses an imitation of Wainwright's hand lettering to make the alterations look as unobtrusive as possible. Perhaps the most notable change is that the covers of the revised books show photographs of the Lake District by Derry Brabbs, rather than the drawings that were on the covers of the originals.

Wainwright followed the Pictorial Guides in 1968 with the Pennine Way Companion, applying the same detailed approach to Britain's first long-distance footpath. This was for many years a leading guide to the Pennine Way, rivaling the official guide book by Tom Stephenson. Wainwright's book consists of a continuous strip map of the route with accompanying commentary, with an unusual quirk: because the route goes from south to north, contrary to normal reading order, the map and commentary start at the bottom of the last page and work upwards and backwards towards the front of the book. The guide was prepared with the aid of four helpers and its preparation was affected by the major outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in 1966 and 1967, which closed access to many of the moors.

In 1972 Wainwright devised the Coast to Coast Walk, partly as a conscious alternative to the Pennine Way. The Coast to Coast, he declares in his guidebook to the route, which follows the same format as the Pennine Way Companion, "puts the Pennine Way to shame" for scenic beauty, variety and interest. The 190-mile route traverses the north of England from St. Bees to Robin Hood's Bay, passing through the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors national parks.

The Outlying Fells of Lakeland, published in 1974, was his last major guidebook. Thereafter he concentrated on sketchbooks of larger-size line drawings until his eyesight began to fail in the mid-1980s. His Ex-Fellwanderer, an autobiographical work published in 1987, was clearly intended to be his last written work – to the relief of some, shocked by the misogyny and right-wing views it revealed – but he continued to lend his name and some written commentary to a series of "coffee table books" featuring the photography of Derry Brabbs. Although commercially successful, these were not highly regarded by fans of Wainwright's earlier work as they contained little new information and the octogenarian's prose had become stilted and humourless.

In the mid-1980s Wainwright began to become a TV personality; several TV series based on his work were largely devised and presented by the farmer and broadcaster Eric Robson.

Wainwright died in 1991 of a heart attack.

Rudolph Bultmann


Rudolf Karl Bultmann was a German theologian of Lutheran background, who was for three decades professor of New Testament studies at the University of Marburg. He defined an almost complete split between history and faith, writing that only the bare fact of Christ crucified was necessary for Christian faith.

Bultmann was born in Wiefelstede, Oldenburg, the son of a Lutheran minister. He got an Abitur from the Altes Gymnasium in Oldenburg. He studied theology at Tübingen. After three terms, Bultmann went to the University of Berlin for two terms and finally at Marburg for two more terms. He received his degree in 1910 from Marburg with a dissertation on the Epistles of St Paul. After submitting a Habilitation two years later, he became a lecturer on the New Testament at Marburg. After brief lectureships at Breslau and Giessen, he returned to Marburg in 1921 as a full professor. He stayed there until his retirement in 1951.

His History of the Synoptic Tradition (1921) is still highly regarded as an essential tool for gospel research, even by scholars who reject his analyses of the conventional rhetorical tropes or narrative units of which the Gospels are assembled, and the historically-oriented principles called "form criticism," of which Bultmann has been the most influential exponent:

"The aim of form-criticism is to determine the original form of a piece of narrative, a dominical saying or a parable. In the process we learn to distinguish secondary additions and forms, and these in turn lead to important results for the history of the tradition."
In 1941, he applied form criticism to the Gospel of John, in which he distinguished the presence of a lost Signs Gospel on which John, alone of the evangelists, depended. This monograph, highly controversial at the time, is a milestone in research into the historical Jesus. The same year his lecture New Testament and Mythology: The Problem of Demythologizing the New Testament Message called on interpreters to replace traditional theology with the philosophy of Bultmann's colleague, Martin Heidegger, an endeavor to make accessible to a literate modern audience the reality of Jesus' teachings. Bultmann remained convinced the narratives of the life of Jesus were offering theology in story form. Lessons were taught in the familiar language of myth. They were not to be excluded, but given explanation so they could be understood for today. Bultmann thought faith should become a present day reality. To Bultmann, the people of the world appeared to be always in disappointment and turmoil. Faith must be a determined vital act of will, not a culling and extolling of "ancient proofs."

He carried form-criticism so far as to call the historical value of the gospels into serious question. Some scholars criticized Bultmann and other critics for excessive skepticism regarding the historical reliability of the gospel narratives. The full impact of Bultmann was not felt until the English publication of Kerygma and Mythos (1948).

Bultmann was a student of Hermann Gunkel, Johannes Weiss, and Wilhelm Heitmüller. Ernst Käsemann, Günther Bornkamm, Hannah Arendt and Helmut Koester were among his students.

He was member of the Confessing Church and critical towards National Socialism. He spoke out against the mistreatment of Jews, against nationalistic excesses and against the dismissal of non-Aryan Christian ministers.

Bultmann died on July 30, 1976.

Errol Flynn


Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn was an Australian film actor, most famous for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films and his flamboyant lifestyle.

Errol Flynn was born on 20 June 1909 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Errol was taken to Sydney, New South Wales, as a child where he attended Sydney Church of England Grammar School , from which he was expelled for fighting and, allegedly, having sex with a school laundress. He was also expelled from the next schools he attended. At 20 he moved to New Guinea, where he bought a tobacco plantation, a business which failed. A copper mining venture in the hills near the Laloki Valley behind the present national capital, Port Moresby, also failed.

In the early 1930s, Flynn left for Britain and, in 1933, got an acting job with Northampton Repertory Company, where he worked for seven months.

In 1933, he starred in the Australian film In the Wake of the Bounty directed by Charles Chauvel, and in 1934 appeared in Murder at Monte Carlo, produced at the Warner Bros. Teddington Studios, UK.. This latter film is now considered a lost film. During the filming of Murder at Monte Carlo, Flynn was discovered by a Warner Brothers executive, signed to a contract, and shipped to America as a contract actor. In 1942, Flynn became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Flynn as Captain BloodFlynn became an overnight sensation with his first starring role in Captain Blood (1935). He became typecast as a swashbuckler and made a host of such films, including The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), The Dawn Patrol (1938) with his close friend David Niven, Dodge City (1939), The Sea Hawk (1940), and Adventures of Don Juan (1948).

Flynn played opposite Olivia de Havilland in eight films, including Captain Blood, The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), The Adventures of Robin Hood, Dodge City, Santa Fe Trail (1940), and They Died with Their Boots On (1941).

After America entered World War II Flynn was often criticised for his failure to enlist while continuing to play war heroes in films. Flynn in fact had actually attempted to join every arm of the services but been rejected for health reasons. The studios' failure to counter the criticism was due to a desire to hide the state of Flynn's health. Not only did Flynn have an enlarged heart, which had already resulted in several heart attacks, but he also suffered from tuberculosis, a painful back, and suffered from recurrent bouts of malaria which he had contracted in New Guinea.

By the 1950s, Flynn had become a parody of himself. Heavy alcohol and drug abuse left him prematurely aged and bloated, but he won acclaim as a drunken ne'er-do-well in The Sun Also Rises (1957), and as his idol John Barrymore in Too Much Too Soon (1958).

Also in the 1950s, Flynn tried his hand as a novelist, penning the adventure novel Showdown, which was published in 1952. His first book was Beam Ends (1937).

Flynn was famous for his drinking, womanizing, and brawling.

Flynn died on October 14, 1959 due to suffering a massive heart attack.

Philippe Sollers


Philippe Sollers is a French writer and critic. In 1960 he founded the avant garde journal Tel Quel along with the writer and art critic Marcelin Pleynet, published by Seuil, which ran until 1982. In 1982 Sollers then created the journal L'Infini published by Denoel which was later published under the same title by Gallimard for whom Sollers also directs the series.

Sollers was at the heart of the intense period of intellectual unrest in the Paris of the 1960s and 1970s. Among others, he was a friend of Jacques Lacan, Louis Althusser and Roland Barthes. These three characters are described in his novel, Femmes (1983) alongside a number of other figures of the French intellectual movement before and after May 1968. From A Strange Solitude, The Park and Event, through "Logiques", Lois and Paradis, down to Watteau in Venice, Une vie divine and "La Guerre du goût", the writings of Sollers have often provided contestation, provocation and challenge.

Jean Gabin


Jean Gabin November 15, 1976) was a major French actor and war hero.

Born Jean-Alexis Moncorgé in Paris, France, he grew up in the village of Mériel in the Seine-et-Oise département, about 22 mi north of Paris. He worked as a laborer, but at age 19 entered show business with a bit part in a Folies Bergères production. He continued performing in a variety of minor roles before going into the military.

After completing his military service, Gabin returned to the entertainment business, working under the stage name of Jean Gabin at whatever was offered in the Parisian music halls and operettas imitating the singing style of Maurice Chevalier which was the rage at the time. He was part of a troupe that toured South America and upon returning to France found work at the Moulin Rouge. His performances started getting noticed and better stage roles came along that led to parts in two silent films in 1928.

Two years later, he easily made the transition to talkies in a 1930 Pathé Frères production titled Chacun sa Chance. Playing secondary roles, Gabin made more than a dozen films over the next four years, including films directed by Maurice and Jacques Tourneur. However, he only gained real recognition for his performance in Maria Chapdelaine, a 1934 production directed by Julien Duvivier. Cast as a romantic hero in a 1936 war drama titled La Bandera, this second Duvivier-directed film established Gabin as a major star. The following year, he teamed up with Duvivier again, this time in the highly successful Pépé le Moko that became one of the top Grossing Films of 1937 worldwide; its popularity brought Gabin international recognition. That same year, he starred in the Jean Renoir masterpiece La Grande Illusion, an anti-war film that was a huge box office success and given universal critical acclaim, even running at a New York City theatre for an unprecedented six months. This was followed by another Renoir's great success: The Human Beast (La Bête Humaine), a film noir tragedy based on the novel by Émile Zola and starring Gabin and Simone Simon.

Flooded with offers from Hollywood, for a time Gabin turned them all down until the outbreak of World War II. Following the German occupation of France, he joined Jean Renoir and Julien Duvivier in the United States. Divorced from his second wife in 1939, during his time in Hollywood, Gabin began a torrid romance with actress Marlene Dietrich. However, his films in America proved less than successful.

A difficult personality, he did serious damage to his Hollywood career while working for RKO Pictures. Scheduled to star in an RKO film, at the last minute he demanded Dietrich be given the co-starring role. The studio refused. After Gabin remained steadfast in his demand, he was fired, and the film project was shelved.

Undaunted, Jean Gabin joined General Charles de Gaulle's Free French Forces and earned the Médaille Militaire and a Croix de Guerre for his wartime valor fighting with the Allies in North Africa. Following D-Day, Gabin was part of the military contingent that entered a liberated Paris. Captured on film by the media is a scene where an anxious Marlene Dietrich is waiting in the crowd when she spots Gabin onboard a battle tank and rushes to him.

In 1946, Gabin was hired by Marcel Carné to star in the film, Les Portes de la Nuit, but his conduct got him fired again. He then found a French producer and director willing to cast him and Marlene Dietrich together, but their film Martin Roumagnac was not a success and their personal relationship soon ended. Following another box office failure in 1947, Gabin returned to the stage, but there too, the production was another financial disaster. Nevertheless, he was cast in the lead role of the 1949 René Clément film Au-Delà Des Grilles that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Despite this recognition, the film did not do well at the French box office, and the next five years brought little more than repeated box office failures.

Gabin's career seemed headed for oblivion. However, he made a comeback in the 1954 film, Touchez pas au grisbi. Directed by Jacques Becker, his performance earned him critical acclaim, and the film was a very profitable international success. Over the next twenty years, Gabin made close to 50 more films, including many for Gafer Films, his production partnership with fellow actor Fernandel.

Gabin died of a heart attack in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine. His body was cremated and with full military honours, his ashes were dispersed into the sea from a military ship.

Edgar Rice Burroughs



Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.

Burroughs was born on September 1, 1875 in Chicago, Illinois. He was educated at a number of local schools, and during the Chicago influenza epidemic in 1891 spent a half year on his brothers' ranch on the Raft River in Idaho. He then attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and then the Michigan Military Academy. Graduating in 1895, and failing the entrance exam for West Point, he ended up as an enlisted soldier with the 7th U.S. Cavalry in Fort Grant, Arizona Territory. After being diagnosed with a heart problem and thus found ineligible for a commission, he was discharged in 1897.

What followed was a string of seemingly unrelated and short stint jobs. Following a period of drifting and ranch work in Idaho, Burroughs found work at his father's firm in 1899. In 1904 he left his job and found less regular work, initially in Idaho but soon back in Chicago.

By 1911, after seven years of low wages, he was working as a pencil sharpener wholesaler and began to write fiction. By this time Burroughs and Emma had two children, Joan and Hulbert.

Aiming his work at these pulp fiction magazines, his first story "Under the Moons of Mars" was serialized in The All-Story magazine in 1912 and earned Burroughs US$400. Burroughs soon took up writing full-time and by the time the run of Under the Moons of Mars had finished he had completed two novels, including Tarzan of the Apes, which was published from October 1912 and went on to begin his most successful series.

Burroughs also wrote popular science fiction and fantasy stories involving Earthly adventurers transported to various planets, lost islands, and into the interior of the hollow earth in his Pellucidar stories, as well as westerns and historical romances. Along with All-Story, many of his stories were published in the Argosy Magazine.

Tarzan was a cultural sensation when introduced. Burroughs was determined to capitalize on Tarzan's popularity in every way possible. He planned to exploit Tarzan through several different media including a syndicated Tarzan comic strip, movies and merchandise. Experts in the field advised against this course of action, stating that the different media would just end up competing against each other. Burroughs went ahead, however, and proved the experts wrong—the public wanted Tarzan in whatever fashion he was offered. Tarzan remains one of the most successful fictional characters to this day and is a cultural icon.

In 1923 Burroughs set up his own company, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and began printing his own books through the 1930s.

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor he was a resident of Hawaii and, despite being in his late sixties, he asked for permission to be a war correspondent. This permission was granted and so he became the oldest war correspondent for the U.S. during World War II. After the war ended, Burroughs moved back to Encino, California, where, after many health problems, he died of a heart attack on March 19, 1950, having written almost seventy novels.

Leo Malet


Léo Malet was a French crime novelist.

Leo Malet was born in Montpellier. He had little formal education and began work as a cabaret singer at "La Vache Enragee" in Montmartre, Paris in 1925.

In the 1930s, he was closely aligned with the Surrealists, and was close friends with Andre Breton, Rene Magritte and Yves Tanguy amongst others. During this time, he published several volumes of poetry.

Though having dabbled in many genres, he is most famous for Nestor Burma, the anti-hero of Les Nouveaux Mystères de Paris. Burma, a cynical private detective, is an astute speaker of argot (French slang), an ex-Anarchist, a serial monogamist and an inveterate pipe smoker. Of the 33 novels detailing his adventures 18 take place in a sole arrondissement of Paris, in a sub-series of his exploits which Malet dubbed the "New Mysteries of Paris" quoting Eugene Sue's seminal "feuilleton"; though he never completed the full 20 arrondissements as he originally planned. Aside from the novels 5 short stories were also published, bringing the total of Burma's adventures to 38.

He died in Chatillon, the little town just south of Paris where he had lived for most of his life, on March 3, 1996, the day before his 87th birthday.

G.E. Moore


George Edward Moore, usually known as G. E. Moore, a distinguished and influential English philosopher who was educated at Dulwich College and went on to study, and later teach, at the University of Cambridge. He was, with Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Gottlob Frege, one of the founders of the Analytic tradition in philosophy.

Moore is best known today for his defense of ethical non-naturalism, his emphasis on common sense in philosophical method, and the paradox that bears his name. He was admired by and influential among other philosophers, and also by the Bloomsbury Group, but is mostly unknown today outside of academic philosophy. Moore's essays are known for his clear, circumspect writing style and for his methodical and patient approach to philosophical problems. He was critical of philosophy for its lack of progress, which he believed was in stark contrast to the dramatic advances in the natural sciences since the renaissance. He often praised the analytic reasoning of Thales of Miletus, an early Greek philosopher, for his analysis of the meaning of the term "landscaping." Moore thought Thales' reasoning was one of the few historical examples of philosophical inquiry resulting in practical advances. Among his most famous works are his book Principia Ethica, and his essays, "The Refutation of Idealism", "A Defense of Common Sense", and "A Proof of the External World".

He was president of the Aristotelian Society from 1918 to 1919.

G. E. Moore died on October 24, 1958 and was interred in the Burial Ground of Parish of the Ascension, Cambridge, England.

Gilbert Ryle


Gilbert Ryle was a British philosopher, and a representative of the generation of British ordinary language philosophers influenced by Wittgenstein's insights into language, and is principally known for his critique of Cartesian dualism, for which he coined the phrase "the ghost in the machine". Some of his ideas in the philosophy of mind have been referred to as "behaviorist".

Ryle was born in Brighton, England in 1900. The young Ryle grew up in an environment of learning. His father was a generalist who had interests in philosophy and astronomy, and passed on to his children an impressive library. Ryle was initially educated at Brighton College. In 1919, he went to Queen's College at Oxford, initially to study Classics but was quickly drawn to Philosophy. He would graduate with first class honors in 1924 and was appointed to a lectureship in Philosophy at Christ Church, Oxford. A year later, he was to become a tutor. Ryle remained at Christ Church until World War II.

A capable linguist, he was recruited to intelligence work during World War II, after which he returned to Oxford and was elected Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy and Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. He published his principal work, "The Concept of Mind" in 1949. He was president of the Aristotelian Society from 1945 to 1946, and editor of the philosophical journal Mind from 1947 to 1971. Ryle died on 6 October 1976 at Whitby, North Yorkshire.

Edmund Husserl


Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl was a philosopher, known as the father of phenomenology. His work was a break with the purely positivist orientation and understanding of the science and philosophy of his day, giving weight to subjective experience as the source of all of our knowledge of objective phenomena.

Husserl was a pupil of Franz Brentano and Carl Stumpf; his philosophical work influenced, among others, Hans Blumenberg, Ludwig Landgrebe, Eugen Fink, Max Scheler, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Lévinas, Rudolf Carnap, Hermann Weyl, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Alfred Schütz, Pierre Bourdieu, Paul Ricœur, Jacques Derrida, Jan Patočka, Roman Ingarden, Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), and Karol Wojtyla. In 1887 Husserl converted to Christianity and joined the Lutheran Church. He taught philosophy at Halle as a tutor from 1887, then at Göttingen as professor from 1901, and at Freiburg im Breisgau from 1916 until he retired in 1928. After this, he continued his research and writing by using the library at Freiburg.

Husserl died on April 26, 1938 at the age of 79.

J.L. Austin



John Langshaw Austin was a British philosopher of language, born in Lancaster and educated at Balliol College, Oxford University. Austin is widely associated with the concept of the speech act and the idea that speech is itself a form of action. His work in the 1950s provided the early underpinnings for the modern theory of speech acts developed subsequently by the Oxford-educated American philosopher John R. Searle and his followers.

After serving in MI6 during World War II, Austin became White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford. He occupies a place in philosophy of language alongside Wittgenstein in staunchly advocating the examination of the way words are used in order to elucidate meaning. Unlike many ordinary language philosophers, however, Austin disavowed any overt indebtedness to Wittgenstein's later philosophy. His main influence, he said, was the exact and exacting common-sense philosophy of G. E. Moore.

He was president of the Aristotelian Society from 1956 to 1957.

Austin died on February 8, 1960 at the age of 48.

Lalo Schifrin


Lalo Schifrin is an Argentine-American pianist and composer.

Schifrin was born Boris Claudio Schifrin in Buenos Aires of Jewish heritage. At the age of six, Schifrin began a six-year course of study on piano with Enrique Barenboim, the father of the pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim. At age 16, Schifrin began studying piano with the Russian expatriate Andreas Karalis, former head of the Kiev Conservatory, and harmony with Argentine composer Juan-Carlos Paz. During this time, Schifrin also became interested in jazz.

Although Schifrin studied sociology and law at the University of Buenos Aires, it was music that captured his attention. At age 20, he successfully applied for a scholarship to the Paris Conservatoire. While there, he attended Olivier Messiaen's classes and formally studied with Charles Koechlin, a disciple of Maurice Ravel. At night he played jazz in the Paris clubs. In 1955, Schifrin played piano with Astor Piazzolla and represented his country at the International Jazz Festival in Paris.

After returning home to Argentina, Schifrin formed a jazz orchestra, a 16-piece band that became part of a popular weekly variety show on Buenos Aires TV. Schifrin also began accepting other film, television and radio assignments. In 1956, Schifrin met Dizzy Gillespie and offered to write an extended work for Gillespie's big band. Schifrin completed the work, Gillespiana, in 1958. Later that year Schifrin began working as an arranger for Xavier Cugat's popular dance orchestra.

While in New York in 1960, Schifrin again met Gillespie, who had by this time disbanded his big band for financial reasons. Gillespie invited Schifrin to fill the vacant piano chair in his quintet. Schifrin immediately accepted and moved to New York City. In 1963, MGM, which had Schifrin under contract, offered the composer his first Hollywood film assignment with the African adventure, Rhino! Schifrin moved to Hollywood late that year.

To date, he has written more than 100 scores for films, television and video games. Among the classic scores are The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Mannix, The Fox, Cool Hand Luke, Bullitt, Enter the Dragon, THX 1138, The Four Musketeers, Dirty Harry, The Big Brawl, The Cincinnati Kid, T.H.E. Cat, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Voyage of the Damned, Rollercoaster, The Amityville Horror and The Osterman Weekend.

One of Schifrin's most recognizable and enduring compositions is the theme music for the long-running TV series Mission: Impossible. It is a famously distinctive tune written in an unusual 5/4 time signature.

Recent film scores include Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, Rush Hour 3, Bringing Down the House, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, After the Sunset, and Abominable. He also wrote the songs for Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. In the 1999 film Tango, Schifrin returned to the tango music he had grown familiar with while working as Astor Piazzolla's pianist in the mid-1950s. He brought traditional tango songs to the film as well as introducing compositions of his own in which tango is fused with jazz elements.

In 1970, he composed the Paramount Television logo jingle "Color I.D." It was an 8-note jingle featuring horns, woodwinds and timpani. This music would have a long run in Paramount's TV production logos through 1987.

Schifrin's "Tar Sequence" from his Cool Hand Luke score was the longtime theme for the Eyewitness News broadcasts on New York station WABC-TV and other ABC affiliates, as well as National Nine News in Australia. CBS Television used part of the theme of his St. Ives soundtrack for its golf broadcasts in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Schifrin's working score for 1973's The Exorcist was rejected by the film's director William Friedkin. Schifrin had written six minutes of difficult and heavy music for the initial film trailer but audiences were reportedly too scared by the combination of sights and sounds. Warner Bros. executives told Friedkin to instruct Schifrin to tone it down with softer music, but Friedkin did not relay the message. Schifrin's final score was thrown out into the parking lot. Schifrin reported in an interview that working with Friedkin was the one of the most unpleasant experiences in his life.

To date, Lalo Schifrin has won four Grammy Awards, one Cable ACE Award, and received six Oscar nominations, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.