25 April, 2009

José Manuel Lopes


José Manuel Lopes

Was born in Lisbon in 1954. A graduate of the Lisbon School of Journalism (Escola Superior de Meios de Conumicaçâo Social), he has been a professional journalist since 1982.

A pipe smoker and collector since he was 16 years old, he became a member of the Pipe Club of Portugal in 1995 and is currently its president. He is also Fellow Member of the International Academy of the Pipe, and regularly contributes to the verious areas of the media and to Internet discussion forums specialised in pipes and tobacco, particularly the weekly magasine of the Barcelona Pipa Club/Virtual Pipa Club and the Pipalista, Fumeurs de Pipes, Pipes.org and Alt.smokers.pipes groups. He attends international pipe exhibitions and is a frequent participant in meetings and national and international pipe smoking competitions.

Herschel Burke Gilbert


Herschel Burke Gilbert was a prolific composer of television and film theme songs, including the musical scores of Chuck Connors' The Rifleman, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, Robert Taylor's The Detectives, Gene Barry's Burke's Law, and Bob Denver's Gilligan's Island. Gilbert once estimated that his compositions had been used in at least three thousand individual episodes of various television series.

Gilbert was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At the age of nine, he began studying the violin in Shorewood in Milwaukee County. By the time he was fifteen, he had formed his own dance band. He attended Milwaukee State Teachers College (now University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and studied for four years, two undergraduate and two graduate, from 1939–1943 at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. After Juilliard, Gilbert won a music scholarship to the Berkshire Music Festival in Massachusetts, where he studied under Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.

After a two-year stint with the Harry James band, as both viola player and arranger, brought him to Hollywood. He arranged and orchestrated for Dimitri Tiomkin on James Stewart's It's a Wonderful Life and Duel in the Sun (both 1946). He composed the scores for some three dozen films throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, including The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), Comanche (1956), Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (1957), and Sam Whiskey (1969).

Gilbert was nominated for three Academy Awards in consecutive years: the original score for The Thief (1952), his title tune for The Moon Is Blue (1953), and for his direction on Carmen Jones (1954). Gilbert assigned opera star Marilyn Horne her first professional job as the voice of Carmen. The Thief, a spy film starring Ray Milland, relied heavily on Gilbert's music because the picture lacked dialogue.

Gilbert was president of the Film Music Society, also known as the Society for the Preservation of Film Music, from 1989–1992. He also served on the society's board until his death. In 1998, Gilbert was presented the organization's "Film Music Preservation Award".

As music director for Dick Powell's Four Star Television, Gilbert also wrote themes for The Dick Powell Show, Robert Taylor's The Detectives, The Westerner starring Brian Keith, and the DuPont Show with Powell's wife, June Allyson. At Four Star, Gilbert supervised the music of an estimated 1,500 television program over a six-year period. Two of his The Dick Powell Show scores were nominated for music Emmy Awards. He also handled the composition for The Rogues and The Gertrude Berg Show. Gilbert also did the music for The Loretta Young Show on NBC. He produced a popular LP entitled Dick Powell Presents Themes from Four Star Television, one of the first television soundtrack albums to feature the actual music heard weekly on various series.

One of his last assignments at Four Star resulted in another memorable television theme: Burke's Law (1963–1966), with its breathy female voice and jazzy brass opening for the Rolls Royce-chauffeured police detective Amos Burke. (Ironically "Burke" was also Gilbert's middle name.) Gilbert thereafter did the theme songs for Gilligan's Island, a series about comical castaways, and Clint Eastwood's Rawhide, both on CBS. He went to Oklahoma City in 1964 to receive the National Cowboy Hall of Fame's "Western Heritage Award" for "Damon's Road", a two-part episode of Rawhide.

While in Europe in the early 1950s, Gilbert composed music libraries. Many of these works became the underscore of classic television programs, including The Adventures of Superman, M Squad starring Lee Marvin, Topper, Sky King, and Ramar of the Jungle. His association with producers Arthur Gardner, Jules Levy, and Arnold Laven led to his music for The Rifleman, which ran on ABC from 1958-1963. In addition to his famous theme, he wrote a library of dramatic music for The Rifleman, which was recorded in Munich, Germany.

Gilbert retired from television in 1966 to form Laurel Records, which eventually produced more than sixty LPs and nearly thirty CDs, mostly of contemporary American chamber music. Laurel became one of the nation's premier classical labels, acclaimed for its outstanding engineering.

In his last years, Gilbert was joined by his son, John Gilbert of Berkeley, to produce more than sixty LPs and twenty-eight CDs featuring the music of Ernest Bloch, Henri Lazarof, Paul Hindemith, David Baker, and Robert Muczynski.

Gilbert was heavily involved in civic affairs. Through his Rotary International chapters in both Hollywood and West Hollywood, he sponsored classical musical competitions for high school students. He was a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts of America.

Gilbert suffered a stroke on March 23, 2003. He died some three months later, at the age of eighty-five, at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

Vasily Livanov


Vasily Borisovich Livanov is a notable Russian and Soviet film actor, screenwriter, voice actor and the only one to have been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.

His father Boris Livanov was a prominent actor of the Moscow Art Theatre. Vasily was brought up in the artistic milieu, as many Soviet/Russian actors (such as Olga Knipper and Alla Tarasova) worked with his father and frequented the Livanov house.

Livanov graduated from the Vakhtangov Theatre school and started his film career in 1959. His breakthrough role came in the 1963 adaptation of Vasily Aksyonov's Colleagues, in which he co-starred with Vasily Lanovoy and Oleg Anofriev.

Livanov's rather erratic bohemian lifestyle derailed his film career. He made very few appearances in the movies produced in the late 1960s and 1970s, using his newly acquired hoarse voice to become the voice behind the famous Soviet cartoon characters – Karlsson-on-the-Roof and Crocodile Gena. His other major contribution to the Soyuzmultfilm cartoon industry was writing the modernized adaptation of Town Musicians of Bremen, which went on to become a cult Soviet cartoon film of the 1970s. He also wrote a few more animated films, e.g. The Blue Bird.

In the late 1970s and in the 1980s, Livanov returned to film stardom in what became the greatest success of his acting career: the role of Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles and other Holmes TV series directed by Igor Maslennikov. His other notable roles from the period included Tsar Nicholas I(1975) and Don Quixote(1997) .

Sherlock Holmes short stories and novels that were featured in Livanov's movies included: A Study In Scarlet, The Adventure of the Speckled Band, The Hound of the Baskervilles,The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, The Adventure of the Final Problem, The Adventure of the Empty House, A Scandal In Bohemia, The Sign of Four, The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb, The Adventure of the Second Stain, The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans and His Last Bow. Those movies were filmed between 1979 and 1986, and the latter four stories formed the plot of a standalone big-screen feature titled The 20th Century Begins. Vasily Livanov played Sherlock Holmes and Vitaly Solomin played Doctor Watson.

The actors were cast for the roles according to the illustrations by Sidney Paget, a friend of Conan Doyle and the first illustrator of the book The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - their appearance was close to this of the characters of Paget’s illustrations.

New Zealand Mint Ltd. issued a four-coin set to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Sherlock Holmes; the picture of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are easily recognizable as Vasily Livanov and Vitaly Solomin.

Vasily Livanov is also the author of a number of stories, plays, fairy tales for children and memoirs (one of them a book about Boris Pasternak, who was a close friend of his father Boris Livanov).

He lives in Moscow.

Harold Sakata


Toshiyuki "Harold" Sakata was a Japanese American professional wrestler and film actor most famous for his role as the villain "Oddjob" in the James Bond film Goldfinger.

Toshiyuki Sakata was born on July 1, 1920 in Holualoa, Hawaii, of Japanese descent; when he moved to mainland America he began to go by the more Western name "Harold." At the age of eighteen, he only weighed 113 lb (51 kg) at a height of 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m). Wanting to "look as good as the other guys", he started lifting weights. He spent his early life training as a weightlifter and won a silver medal for the United States at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, lifting a total of 410 kg in the Heavyweight division. He also did a stint as a professional wrestler under the name Tosh Togo from the early 1950s until the early 1960s, becoming Canadian Tag Team Champion.

Bond producers Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli took notice of Sakata because his heavy build--he stood 5 ft 9 in and weighed 284 lb (129 kg)--which when coupled with his intimidating gaze, made him the perfect choice for the part of Oddjob. He had no acting background at all besides pro wrestling, but the film character was mute and required little theatrical skill. Before Sakata had secured the role of Oddjob, another former wrestler, British actor Milton Reid had auditioned for the role. In 1964 Reid challenged Sakata to a wrestling contest and whomever was the winner would be the deciding factor for who would get the role. But since Reid had been in Dr. No and his character killed off, the producers decided to go with Sakata and the wrestling match didn't take place.

As Oddjob, he was bodyguard to Bond villain Auric Goldfinger and his sharpened, steel-brimmed bowler hat became a famous and much-parodied trademark of the Bond series. He appeared in several other movies in similar roles and took on "Oddjob" as an informal middle name.

With time, Sakata's acting skills improved. He co-starred opposite William Shatner in the movie Impulse, in which he played the character Karate Pete. He also guest starred on a Gilligan's Island episode as Rory Calhoun's henchman.

He also appeared in a series of TV commercials for Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup in the 1970s. The ad showed Sakata demolishing his house and frightening his family as his cough spasms grow worse and worse. The ad premise was that a spoonful of Formula 44 would quiet the worst coughs. At the end of the commercial the house is in shambles but everyone is politely (and quietly) bowing to each other. He made an appearance on the Tonight Show on which he parodied the commercial by destroying Johnny Carson's set.

Sakata died on July 29, 1982 in Honolulu, Hawaii, of cancer.

Hans Selye


Hans Hugo Bruno Selye was a Canadian endocrinologist of Austro-Hungarian origin and Hungarian ethnicity. Selye did much important factual work on the hypothetical non-specific response of the organism to stressors. While he did not recognize all of the many aspects of glucocorticoids, Selye was aware of this response on their role. Some commentators considered him the first to demonstrate the existence of biological stress.

Selye was born Vienna, Austria-Hungary on 26 January 1907. He became a Doctor of Medicine and Chemistry in Prague in 1929, went to Johns Hopkins University on a Rockefeller Foundation Scholarship in 1931 and then went to McGill University in Montreal where he started researching the issue of stress in 1936. In 1945 he joined the Universite de Montreal where he had 40 assistants and worked with 15,000 lab animals. Kantha (1992), in a survey of an elite group of scientists who have authored over 1,000 research publications, identified Selye as one who had published 1,700 research papers, 15 monographs and 7 popular books. He died October 16, 1982 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Famous Quotes on Pipe Smoking



"There is no composing draught like the draught through the tube of a pipe."

~Captain Frederick Marryat~


I hated tobacco. I could have almost lent my support to any institution that had for its object the putting of tobacco smokers to death...I now feel that smoking in moderation is a comfortable and laudable practice, and is productive of good. There is no more harm in a pipe than in a cup of tea. You may poison yourself by drinking too much green tea, and kill yourself by eating too many beefsteaks. For my part, I consider that tobacco, in moderation, is a sweetener and equalizer of the temper.

~Thomas Henry Huxley~




"A pipe is the fountain of contemplation, the source of pleasure, the companion of the wise; and the man who smokes, thinks like a philosopher and acts like a Samaritan."
-Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton



"The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish; it generates a style of conversation, contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected..."
-William Makepeace Thackeray, from The Social Pipe