Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Helen Keller

Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama on 27th June, 1880. Her father, Arthur H. Keller, was the editor for the North Alabamian, and had fought in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. At 19 months she suffered "an acute congestion of the stomach and brain (probably scarlet fever) which left her deaf and blind.

She later wrote in The Story of My Life: "In the dreary month of February, came the illness which closed my eyes and ears and plunged me into the unconsciousness of a new born baby. They called it acute congestion of the stomach and brain. The doctor thought I could not live. Early one morning, however, the fever left me as suddenly and mysteriously as it had come. There was great rejoicing in the family that morning, but no one not even the doctor, knew that I should never see or hear again." As a child she was taken to see Alexander G. Bell. He suggested that the family should contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston.
In 1886 the Perkins Institute provided Keller with the teacher Anne Sullivan. She later recalled: "We walked down the path to the well-house, attracted by the fragrance of the honeysuckle with which it was covered. Some one was drawing water and my teacher placed my hand under the spout. As the cool stream gushed over one hand she spelled into the other the word water, first slowly, then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten - a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that "w-a-t-e-r" meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! There were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away." The 21 year old Sullivan worked out an alphabet by which she spelled out words on Helen's hand. Gradually Keller was able to connect words with objects.

Helen Keller with Anne Sullivan in 1888.
Sullivan's teaching skills and Keller's abilities, enabled her at the age of 16 to pass the admissions examinations for Radcliffe College. While at college she wrote the first volume of her autobiography, The Story of My Life. It was published serially in the Ladies' Home Journal and, in 1902, as a book. By the time she had graduated in 1904 she had mastered five languages.
While at college she developed a strong interest in women's rights and became a militant campaigner in favour of universal suffrage. She also became friends with several notable public figures including John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes and William Dean Howells. The journalist, Max Eastman, became a friend during this period. He later recalled: "The gleam of true, courageous and unaffected joy in living that shone out of her gray-blue eyes. Her face was round; she was a round-limbed girl, perpetually young in her bearing, as though her limitations had made it easy instead of hard to grow older."

Helen Keller at Radcliffe College
Keller's political views were influenced by conversations she had with John Macy (Anne Sullivan's husband) and reading New Worlds for Old by H. G. Wells. In 1909 Keller became a socialist and was active in various campaigns including those in favour of birth control, trade unionism and against child labour and capital punishment.
Keller was a supporter of Emmeline Pankhurst and the militant Women's Social and Political Union in Britain. She told the New York Times: "I believe the women of England are doing right. Mts Pankhurst is a great leader. The women of America should follow her example. They would get the ballot much faster if they did. They cannot hope to get anything unless they are willing to fight and suffer for it."
Keller joined the Socialist Party of America and campaigned for Eugene Debs and his running-mate, Emil Seidel, in the 1912 Presidential Election. During the campaign Debs explained why people should vote for him: "You must either vote for or against your own material interests as a wealth producer; there is no political purgatory in this nation of ours, despite the desperate efforts of so-called Progressive capitalists politicians to establish one. Socialism alone represents the material heaven of plenty for those who toil and the Socialist Party alone offers the political means for attaining that heaven of economic plenty which the toil of the workers of the world provides in unceasing and measureless flow. Capitalism represents the material hell of want and pinching poverty of degradation and prostitution for those who toil and in which you now exist, and each and every political party, other than the Socialist Party, stands for the perpetuation of the economic hell of capitalism." Debs and Seidel won 901,551 votes (6.0%). This was the most impressive showing of any socialist candidate in the history of the United States.
A book on Keller's socialist views, Out of the Dark, was published in 1913. She later wrote "I had once believed that we are all masters of our fate - that we could mould our lives into any form we pleased. I had overcome deafness and blindness sufficiently to be happy, and I supposed that anyone could come out victorious if he threw himself valiantly into life's struggle. But as I went more and more about the country I learned that I had spoken with assurance on a subject I knew little about. I forgot that I owed my success partly to the advantages of my birth and environment. Now, however, I learned that the power to rise in the world is not within the reach of everyone." Hattie Schlossberg wrote in the New York Call: "Helen Keller is our comrade, and her socialism is a living vital thing for her. All her speeches are permeated with the spirit of socialism."
In 1912 Keller joined the theIndustrial Workers of the World (IWW). A socialist trade union group that opposed the policies of American Federation of Labour. Keller wrote later: "Surely the demands of the IWW are just. It is right that the creators of wealth should own what they create. When shall we learn that we are related one to the other; that we are members of one body; that injury to one is injury to all? Until the spirit of love for our fellow-workers, regardless of race, color, creed or sex, shall fill the world, until the great mass of the people shall be filled with a sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice cannot be attained, and there can never be lasting peace upon earth."
Keller also wrote articles for the socialist journal, The Masses. Keller, a pacifist, believed that the First World War had been caused by the imperialist competitive system and that the USA should remain neutral. After the USA declared war on the Central Powers in 1917, the journal came under government pressure to change its policy. When it refused to do this, the journal lost its mailing privileges. In July, 1917, it was claimed by the authorities that cartoons by Art Young, Boardman Robinson and Henry J. Glintenkamp and articles by Max Eastman and Floyd Dell had violated the Espionage Act. Under this act it was an offence to publish material that undermined the war effort. One of the journals main writers, Randolph Bourne, commented: "I feel very much secluded from the world, very much out of touch with my times. The magazines I write for die violent deaths, and all my thoughts are unprintable."
TheIndustrial Workers of the World also came under pressure for its opposition to the First World War. In 1914, one of the leaders of the IWW, Joe Haaglund Hill was accused of the murder of a Salt Lake City businessman. Convicted on circumstantial evidence and despite of mass protests, Hill was shot by a firing squad on 19th November, 1915. Whereas another IWW leader, Frank Little, was lynched in Butte, Montana. Another leader of the IWW, William Haywood, was arrested under the Espionage Act.
In an article published in The Liberator, Keller argued: "During the last few months, in Washington State, at Pasco and throughout the Yakima Valley, many IWW members have been arrested without warrants, thrown into bull-pens without access to attorney, denied bail and trial by jury, and some of them shot. Did any of the leading newspapers denounce these acts as unlawful, cruel, undemocratic? No. On the contrary, most of them indirectly praised the perpetrators of these crimes for their patriotic service! On August 1st, of 1917, in Butte, Montana, a cripple, Frank Little, a member of the Executive Board of the IWW, was forced out of bed at three o’clock in the morning by masked citizens, dragged behind an automobile and hanged on a railroad trestle. Were the offenders punished? No. A high government official has publicly condoned this murder, thereby upholding lynch-law and mob rule."
Newspapers that had previously praised Keller's courage and intelligence now drew attentions to her disabilities. The editor of the Brooklyn Eagle wrote that her "mistakes sprung out of the manifest limitations of her development." Keller was furious and wrote a letter of complaint to the newspaper. "At that time the compliments he paid me were so generous that I blush to remember them. But now that I have come out for socialism he reminds me and the public that I am blind and deaf and especially liable to error.... Socially blind and deaf, it defends an intolerable system, a system that is the cause of much of the physical blindness and deafness which we are trying to prevent."
In 1919 Keller appeared in an autobiographical film, Deliverance, in an attempt to spread "a message of courage, a message of a brighter, happier future for all men". Keller as a young girl was played by Etna Ross and as a young woman by Ann Mason. According to one critic: "In the final and most inspirational sequence, we see the real Helen Keller working tirelessly as a public figure to improve conditions for other blind people, and helping them to learn useful trades."
When Helen Keller decided after 1921 that her main work was to be devoted to raising funds for the American Foundation of the Blind, her activities for the socialist movement diminished but did not cease. Philip S. Foner has argued: "No matter what social cause she espoused, Keller was always on the radical side of the movement." As a left-wing socialist she disliked "parlor socialists" who quickly abandoned the struggle when the situation became difficult and later became "hopelessly reactionary."
In 1929 she published her book Mainstream. It included the following: "I had once believed that we are all masters of our fate - that we could mould our lives into any form we pleased... I had overcome deafness and blindness sufficiently to be happy, and I supposed that anyone could come out victorious if he threw himself valiantly into life's struggle. But as I went more and more about the country I learned that I had spoken with assurance on a subject I knew little about. I forgot that I owed my success partly to the advantages of my birth and environment... Now, however, I learned that the power to rise in the world is not within the reach of everyone."
Keller's childhood education was depicted in The Miracle Worker, a play by William Gibson, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1960. An Oscar-winning feature film in 1962, starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, appeared two years later.
Helen Keller died in Westport, Connecticut, on 1st June, 1968.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Mylapore Ponnuswamy Sivagnanam (Ma.Po.Si) was a Veteran Tamil Scholar and the Champion of Tamil Language and Culture.

Ma.Po.Si was an example of self-made leader, an embodiment of whatever is noble and great in Tamil tradition and culture. He belonged to a rare group of eminent personalities who, having had no formal education worth the name in a background of poverty and lack of social status, have risen. By dint of sheer self-effort to an exalted position.

Ma.Po.Si was born in the toddy-tapper community and overwhelming all odds, achieved distinction, as an eminent Tamil Scholar, a prolific writer, a silver tongued and persuasive orator who could hold spell bound the masses as well as classes, a true nationalist, with the seal of recognition earned through stints in jail for his activities in pursuance of the struggle for national independence.

A Gandhian, an educationalist, and protagonist of state autonomy without being a secessionist, and a crusader for a pre-eminent place for Tamil at all levels in education and the administration. Ma.Po.Si was a multi-faceted personality, a humanist with a cultivated taste for the Tamil Classic tradition. As a dedicated leader of Tamils, Ma.Po.Si gained recognition from the prince and the peasant alike. Ma.Po.Si with no formal education to his credit, was able to earn the honour of being conferred a doctorate, the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature Honoris causa by the Madras University in 1981, a recognition of his well earned distinction in various fields including high level research in Tamil Classics.

Ma.Po.Si was born on 26th of June 1906 of humble parentage in Salvankuppam in Thousand Lights of Madras City, to God –fearing Parents, Ponnuswamy and Sivakami, belonging to the Gramani Community, a counterpart of the Nadars of the Southern Districts.For long, Sivagnanam was known as Sivagananm Gramani, which denominational suffix he shed later.

His early education was through his devout mother, and his school term ended at the commencement of Standard III, due to poverty, his father could not buy for him the class text books. Thereafter, the wide world was his school. Sivagnanam was the eldest of the surviving three of his parents’ ten children. Sivagnanam worked on daily wage for some time and later as a weaver for eight years. Subsequently he started life as a compositor in the Pres of a Tamil Journal. Sivagnanam married Tilottamai, daughter of his maternal uncle in 1927, and after her death six months later, chose to remain single for nine years. He later married Rajeshwari in 1937, and the couple gave birth to a son named Thirunavukkarasu after the Tamil mystic poet Thirunavukkarasar and two daughters named Kannaki and Madhavi after the leading heroines of Silappathikaram, the Tamil Classic chosen by him for his research.

Serving as a compositor in a Tamil Press eked his lively-hood, he took advantage of the opportunity it gave him to study Tamil books and biographies of great men like Mahatma Gandhi. Sivagnanam earned reputation as an authentic researcher in Tamil Classics, especially Silappadhikaram for which he was conferred the title of ‘Silambu Selvar’.

In fact, he earned his credential as an eminent researcher through his work “Kappalottiya Tamizhan”, on the life of the nationalist and freedom fighter V. O. Chidambaram of the National Steam Navigation Company fame.As a freedom fighter who has faith in national integration wrote a book, Vallalarum Orumaipadum for which the Sahitya Academy awarded a prize of Rs. 5,000. His 1,000 page book entitled My Struggle (Enathu Porattam) is acknowledged as a well-written autobiography for which the Tamil Nadu Government gave a prize of 2,000 in 1981. His magnum opus was on the history of the Freedom Fighter Struggle in Tamil Nadu, published in 1982, for which the State Government presented him a cheque for Rs. One lakh in recognition of his praiseworthy Endeavour. Sivagnanam’s political career started when he enrolled himself as a Congress volunteer during the Madras Congress Session in 1927. Since then he was drawn into national movement in its various phases. He participated in the boycott of the Simon Commission in 1928 and had his first baptism of police arrest, lathi charge and imprisonment when he took part in the Salt Satyagraha on Madras Beach in 1930. The news of Gandhiji’s arrest on 4th January 1932 on his return from London ignited the spark of nationalism in Sivagnanam and that marked the beginning of his two decades of active association formally under the banner of national organization.

Since then he took taken part in all the activities of the Congress with enthusiasm, and this gave him an opportunity to cultivate his oratorical skills by address public meetings. Simultaneously, his association with trade unions also began which brought him in contact with well known trade union leaders like V. V. Giri. Ma.Po.Si went to jail six times as a Congress worker.While undergoing a jail term in Amaravati under hard conditions in 1943 his health suffered a serious setback he narrowly escaped death.He has written in his autobiography that it was when he got a message that his beloved wife was in her death bed, and that on similar crisis, his firm faith in God helped him maintain his mental calm. Ma.Po.Si was elected as a member of the Madras District Congress Committee in 1936; as a Join Secretary in 1937; as Secretary in 1938 in which post he served till 1946. In 1951 he was elected as Vice-President of the Madras District Congress Committee.

Sivagnanam’s interest in Tamil Classics grew and his silent and sustained research on Silapadhikaram progressed. Ma.Po.Si was an enlightened lover of Tamil.. His prime aim was to see that Tamil becomes the medium of instruction at all levels of education and the language of administration in the State.All along in his public life, Ma.Po.Si had managed successfully to evince interest both in politics and literary activities side by side. He has written nearly 120 books big and small in Tamil both political and literary aspects.

Sivagnanam was also a writer of repute in Tamil. He was the editor of Senkole which became the vehicle of his ideas on matters of political and literary. His style is simple, direct and appealing alike to the common man and the learned scholar. He wielded a facile and versatile pen. He was noted for his sense of humor. Of no robust health, Ma.Po.Si lived long with gastric ulcer, an ailment which started when he was in Amaravati prison. But he never allowed his disability to impede his political and literacy activities. Having started his life in acute poverty and being by non means affluent, he did not allow the lack of material resources to deter him from his work. Recognition came to him unasked, and his work, his dedication to nationalist, literary and cultural causes compelled acknowledgement.

Ma.Po.Si became an M.L.C in 1952. He later became the Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council,having been Deputy Chairman before.Sivagnanam had taken part in the international Tamil Conferences and has visited foreign countries wherever Tamil Speaking people live and flourish. A review of Ma.Po.Si’s work will be incomplete without a reference to his activities as an Alderman of Madras City Corporation (1948-1954) when he served on the Education Committee. Posterity cannot afford to forget the valuable services rendered by him as Chairman, Local Library Authority, Madras (1954-1957).

He was an Member of Legislative Assembly elected from T-Nagar Constituency of the City of Madras.He was an indefatigable worker, a scholar, a politician, an inspiring and convincing campaigner and orator, a real nationalist bound by Gandhian ethics, a Journalist with a mission, a writer of number of books and articles, and above all a servant for Tamil Cause.

Many are the titles conferred on him in recognition of his services. He was awarded Padmashri in 1972. Ma.Po.Si’s association with the University of Madras dates back to 1952. When he was elected to the Senate by legislators of the composite Madras State. Later on, he was nominated twice by the Chancellor of the University of Madras to serve on the Syndicate from 1972 to 1976. He was the unique honor of being invited by the Madras University to deliver the Convocation Address on December 31, 1981.

Silambu Selvar died on October 3rd 1995.Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Dr. Kalaignar M Karunanidhi on August 15th tuesday 2006 released commemorative postage stamp issued by the Department of Posts on freedom fighter and Tamil scholar Silambu Selvar M.P. Sivagnanam(Ma.Po.Si.) and also unvieled statue of Silambu Selvar on February 9th in T.Nagar,Chennai. Check Out The Works of Dr. Ma.Po.Si

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Vishwanath Pratap Singh (born 1931) became India's eighth prime minister on December 2, 1989, heading a minority National Front coalition government that ended a decade of continuous Congress Party rule. However, he was ousted less than a year later.

Born in the north Indian city of Allahabad on June 25, 1931, Vishwanath Pratap Singh was adopted by the raja (ruler) of Manda principality in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In 1955 he married the former Sita Kumari, who was a close confidante. They had two sons. Educated at the Universities of Allahabad and Poona, Singh held two bachelor's and one law degree. He became involved in politics as vice-president of the student union at Allahabad University, joined the Congress Party, and in 1969 was elected to the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly.

Two years later Singh became the parliamentary representative from Phulpur constituency in the Uttar Pradesh. In 1974 the then prime minister, Indira Gandhi, named him Union deputy minister of commerce. Within two years he became the minister of commerce. After the Congress Party's defeat in 1977, Singh returned to Parliament as an opposition member until 1980, when the Congress Party once again won a majority. In 1980 he was named chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, where he earned a reputation for honesty in a state known to be difficult to administer with integrity. He resigned in 1982 after failing as promised to curb an upsurge of robberies and killings by gangs of thugs, among whose victims was his brother. Called back to the center, he returned as commerce minister and head of the Department of Supplies in 1983.

After Indira Gandhi's assassination in 1984, her son and successor, Rajiv Gandhi, named Singh as finance minister. In this capacity Singh gained a national and international reputation. Suspicious of the bookkeeping habits of India's major industrial companies, Singh ordered tax raids into the offices of some of the largest and even searched the homes of several chief executive officers, some of whom were close to the Congress Party. Not surprisingly, elements within the Congress and the business community opposed what they termed "heavy handed" tactics. However, Singh gained widespread approval for relaxing industrial controls, rules, and license requirements, thus liberalizing the business climate for Indian and foreign firms alike. He also took an active role internationally at negotiations on aid and trade policies, pressing for special concessions for less-developed countries.

The growth of Singh's personal popular support was viewed with trepidation among Rajiv Gandhi's supporters. Hence, in January 1987 Singh was transferred to the less conspicuous Defense portfolio, a post he held only a few months. Accusations surfaced regarding kickbacks paid to Indian agents for the acquisition of German submarines. Singh immediately ordered an investigation, which was criticized by the prime minister, who said he had not been consulted. Singh resigned from the government, accusing the administration of a cover-up. Shortly thereafter he was expelled from the Congress Party.

In October 1987 Singh formed the Jan Morcha (People's Movement), which he hoped would become a rallying point for opposition parties, which initially paid it little attention. The next year he forged the National Front coalition, including in it the Janata Dal and several smaller parties. However, it was not until almost six months before the November 1989 elections that leaders from other major opposition parties decided that Singh himself was the best bet to defeat the Congress. A loose electoral alliance was formed between the National Front; the right wing Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), although Singh refused to support its platform; several regional parties; the Socialists; and the Communists.

Singh campaigned actively on three platform planks. The first was a promise to invest more resources to combat rural poverty, a problem he accused the Gandhi administration of ignoring. Countering allegations that he himself was an aristocrat with vast land holdings without sympathy for the poor, he stressed his participation in the Bhoodan movement during the 1950s. That movement distributed donated land to the landless. In fact, he himself donated a large, well-endowed farm to the movement in 1957. The second plank was to clean up the scandals of the Gandhi administration. Further press disclosures had accused the administration of complicity in another arms pay-off scheme involving the Swedish firm Bofors. Singh promised to use the judicial process to prosecute the guilty, but without vindictiveness, and to create an independent ombudsman's office to handle public complaints. His supporters called him "Mr. Cleaner," juxtaposed against Gandhi's "Mr. Clean" label. The third plank was to make the state-owned radio and television service, which many felt had become a mouthpiece for the Congress, autonomous. Singh proved to be an effective campaigner, drawing larger crowds than any other candidate, especially in the north.

Final election results showed the Congress Party had lost its majority, winning only 192 seats (out of 525). Gandhi resigned after futile attempts to build a coalition. The National Front, which had won only 145 seats--with the Janata Dal making up 141 of those--was then asked to form the government. The electoral coalition needed to be transformed into a governing one: a formidable task since the parties involved ranged from the rightist BJP, with 88 seats, to the socialists and Communists (51 seats), and the National Front in the middle. Despite the qualms felt by the National Front and leftists about Hindu fundamentalism, they decided the BJP had to be included in the coalition in order to have a majority. After delicate negotiations spearheaded by Singh, the coalition was forged.

Singh's leadership was then challenged by two members of the Janata Dal: Devi Lal, chief minister of Haryana, and Chandra Shekhar, a Dal founder and long-standing Congress opponent, who were both interested in the prime ministership. After considerable back-stage maneuvering, Singh nominated Lal as prime minister, which, surprisingly, he declined and in turn nominated Singh, who won the vote. Lal was offered a newly created deputy prime ministership, which he accepted.

To hold this unwieldy coalition together proved to be a formidable task. Additionally, Singh faced secessionist movements in the states of Punjab and Kashmir. The latter threatened to erupt into armed conflict with Pakistan in early 1990 and exacerbated Hindu-Muslim conflict in the country. Known as a consensus builder, skilled negotiator, and a person of strong will, Singh's talents were considerable, but were stretched to their utmost and ultimately failed. Singh held the post as Prime Minister less than a year due to pressures from political rivals and an electorate increasingly polarized along caste and religious lines.

With frequent changes in the India government, Singh joined a growing group of ex-prime ministers. The number of ex-prime ministers had become so large by 1995 that concern for the cost of providing the security services of the Special Protection Group (SPG) became a major political issue. Singh, always putting the plight of the poor before his own, requested that the SPG, in order to save money, no longer provide security for him and his family. In a letter to, then Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Singh stated, "It will not be possible to accept an alternative cover if it puts the same burden on the treasury and the poor man as the SPG does." In January 1997 Singh announced he was taking a sabbatical from active politics.

-கவியரசு கண்ணதாசன்

கண்ணதாசன் (ஜூன் 24 1927 - அக்டோபர் 17 1981) 4000மேற்பட்ட கவிதைகள், 5000மேற்பட்ட திரைப்படப் பாடல்கள், நவீனங்கள், கட்டுரைகள் பல எழுதியவர்.
இயற்பெயர் முத்தையா.பிறந்த ஊர் முந்தைய இராமநாதபுரம் மாவட்டமும் இப்போதைய சிவகங்கை மாவட்டமுமாகிய காரைக்குடி அருகேயுள்ள சிறுகூடல்பட்டி
சண்டமாருதம், திருமகள், திரை ஒலி, மேதாவி, தென்றல், தென்றல்திரை, முல்லை ஆகிய இதழ்களின் ஆசிரியராக இருந்தவர் -

தமிழக அரசின் அரசவைக் கவிஞராக இருந்தவர். சாகித்ய அகாதமி விருது பெற்றவர்

அழும்போதுதனிமையில் அழு;சிரிக்கும்போதுநண்பர்களோடு சிரி. கூட்டத்தில்அழுதால் நடிப்புஎன்பார்கள்; தனிமையில்சிரித்தால்பைத்தியம் என்பார்கள்

சில நேரங்களில் புத்தி வெற்றி பெறுகிறது. பல நேரங்களில் வெற்றியே புத்தியாகிவிடுகிறது.

"யாருக்காகவும் உன்னை மாற்றி கொள்ளாதே.
ஒருவேளை மாற நினைத்தால், ஒவ்வொரு மனிதர்களுக்கும்
நீ மாற வேண்டி வரும்.

மூன்றாம் பிறை படத்தில் இடம்பெற்ற கண்ணே கலைமானே பாடல் சினிமாவில் இவர் எழுதிய கடைசிப்பாடலாகும்

" மானிட இனத்தை ஆட்டி வைப்பேன்
மாண்டுவிட்டால் அதை பாடிவைப்பேன் நான்
நிரந்தரமானவன் அழிவதில்லை எந்த
நிலையிலும் எனக்கு மரணமில்லை!!

'அனுபவித்தேதான் அறிவது வாழ்க்கையெனில்
ஆண்டவனே நீ ஏன்' எனக் கேட்டேன்!
ஆண்டவன் சற்றே அருகு நெருங்கி
'அனுபவம் என்பதே நான்தான்' என்றான்!

"உயர்ந்த இடத்தில் இருக்கும் போது
உலகம் உன்னை மதிக்கும்
உன் நிலைமை கொஞ்சம் இறங்கி வந்தால்
நிழலும் கூட மிதிக்கும் "

"இன்னதுதான் இப்படித்தான்
என்பதெல்லாம் பொய்க்கணக்கு
இறைவனிடம் உள்ளதடா
எப்போதும் உன்வழக்கு "

"எல்லாம் அவன்செயலே
என்பதற்கு என்ன பொருள்
உன்னால் முடிந்ததெல்லாம்
ஓரளவே என்று பொருள்"

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Roy Oliver Disney -co founder of Disney

Roy O Disney. born on June 24, 1893; Walt Disney s long-standing business associate; dedicated Walt Disney World in October 1971 and died two months later (December 20) at age 78; his son, Roy E Disney, as vice-chairman and head of animation has headed the studio (along with chairman of the board Michael Eisner) since 1984

Friday, June 22, 2012

Johannes Gutenberg -the Printer

In 1440, German inventor Johannes Gutenberg invented a printing press process that, with refinements and increased mechanization, remained the principal means of printing until the late 20th century. The inventor's method of printing from movable type, including the use of metal molds and alloys, a special press, and oil-based inks, allowed for the first time the mass production of printed books. Johann Gutenberg, a German goldsmith and printer, is credited with being the first European to use movable type printing. In 1439, he became the global inventor of the mechanical printing press. He also produced the Gutenberg Bible.

1. Movable Type Printing

Gutenberg is given credit for inventing the first press capable of mass-producing movable type using oil-based ink on wooden printing presses. Gutenberg came up with a printing system that was unique. The process of moveable type printing was actually more complicated than even early historians believed. However complicated, it was a vast improvement over handwriting manuscripts, as was done prior to the invention of the press. European bookmaking was revolutionized and printing innovations would spread rapidly throughout Europe.
2. Honors and Awards

Gutenberg remains a pivotal figure in world history whose inventions have changed the world. In 1999, the A&E Network ranked Gutenberg #1 on their "People of the Millennium" countdown. In 1997, Time-Life magazine picked Gutenberg's printing press as the most important invention of the second millennium.
3. Being Sued

Gutenberg was not a wealthy man nor did he have a steady source of income, so he borrowed the money that he needed to come up with his press. Gutenberg used borrowed funds for the printing of his Bible project. Gutenberg was sued by his lender and ended up virtually bankrupt. The man who sued Gutenberg then became the first European shop to print their name on the books that they made with the press.

Johann Gutenberg, inventor of the moveable press.
4. Exiled

Gutenberg was exiled after having a heated argument with two archbishops. While living in exile, he supervised the building of a new printing press belonging to the brothers Bechtermünze. He also worked on printing some books of his own though how many were his own is unknown because he did not always include his name on the book.
5. A New Title

In January 1465, Gutenberg's achievements were recognized and he was given the title Hofmann (gentleman of the court) by von Nassau. With this honor came some benefits. As a gentleman of the court, he was awarded a stipend which he used to support himself and to travel.
6. Attention to Detail

Gutenberg paid close attention to detail when using his press, especially when it came to the printing of his Bibles. His Bibles were so beautifully created that they sold for an amount that equaled roughly three years' wages for an average clerk.
7. How The Press Worked

Gutenberg's press worked by first hammering a hard metal punch (with the letter carved back to front) into soft metal copper. This makes what is called a mold or matrix. This is then placed into a holder, and cast by filling the mold with hot metal, which cooled down to create a piece of type. The matrix can now be reused to create hundreds of identical letters. Because the letters can be used in any combination the type is called moveable.
8. Other Hypothesis About The Press' Origins

Historians have examined papers that were said to have been copied on a Gutenberg press to determine if, in fact, Gutenberg was using the materials that history tells us that he used. There have been some disagreements regarding their findings and therefore there are those who claim that Gutenberg could not have been the inventor of moveable type printing or it would have been used in specific methods on certain documents including his own Gutenberg Bible.
9. Financially Unsuccessful in His Lifetime

Although Gutenberg was never monetarily rewarded for his innovations during his lifetime, the invention of his press was a huge contributor to the Renaissance and a catalyst for the scientific revolution. Printing technologies allowed for news and books to travel across Europe much faster than before.
10. Gutenberg's Historical Impact

Without Gutenberg's press, Christopher Columbus would not have had the geographical book (printed by movable types) that inspired him to explore, Martin Luther would not have had his 95 Thesis circulated and broadsheet news would never have evolved in to newspapers, the first form of mass media publishing.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Erin Brockovich-

A single mother, with no formal education, brought an American powerhouse crashing down to £229million.

Erin grew up as the youngest of four children in a house where her father Frank was the disciplinarian—and also her hero.
Following graduation in 1980, 20-year-old Erin moved with a girlfriend to Newport Beach, California, to find work. She was happy to be on the West Coast, since her brother Tommy had also relocated there. But the good times didn’t last. By 1982, Tommy had moved away, and Erin was left to contemplate her future.
While roller-skating by the beach one afternoon, 21-year-old Erin met Shawn Brown, a local housepainter. Soon they were inseparable, and talking about marriage. In April of 1982, Erin and Shawn made it official. The newlyweds settled in Kansas City, 40 miles from Erin’s hometown.
In May 1983, 22-year-old Erin gave birth to her son, Matthew. But, before long, Erin’s marriage to Shawn began to unravel. Erin says she stayed with Shawn for the sake of their young son, and soon after, she gave birth to her second child, Katie. When Shawn was transferred for work, the young family moved first to St. Louis, and then to Lodi, California.
But Erin’s secret misgivings about the marriage led to her first round of panic attacks at age 24. A doctor concluded that it was anxiety, and when Shawn’s job uprooted the family again, Erin reached her breaking point.
In 1987, when Erin was 26, she and Shawn divorced. Erin knew she had to work, so she put her kids in day-care and took a secretarial job. By the spring of 1988, Erin started getting her life back on track. She also started dating her boss, a stockbroker named Steve Brockovich. The couple tied the knot in 1989.
Just a few months later, however, Erin’s second marriage hit hard times. In an effort to boost her self-confidence, Erin got breast implants. When that didn’t work, she began showing signs of anorexia. During this difficult time in her marriage, Erin sought help from a therapist who put her on the road to recovery.
In May 1990, when she was just 29, Erin and Steve Brockovich divorced. Erin kept the last name Brockovich, only because she didn’t have the $675 to change back to her maiden name.
Then Erin got surprising news - she was pregnant with Steve’s child. Though she was struggling financially, she made a courageous decision after she had a sonogram to keep the baby. But just four months into her pregnancy, Erin had a major car accident. Because of her pregnancy, no X-rays or MRI’s were taken, and no one realised that Erin had herniated her spinal cord. Moving a mere inch caused Erin excruciating pain.
In addition to her physical pain, Erin also suffered from financial hardship. The single-mum, with a baby on the way, had hit rock bottom. She drew inspiration from a quote by Calvin Coolidge that her father had told her as a child, about having persistence and pressing on.
In early 1991, Erin gave birth to her third child, Elizabeth. That summer, Erin took a short trip to Los Angeles with a friend. There, she fell for Jorge Halaby, a biker, and she made an impulsive decision to move back to California.
Once Erin and the kids were settled in L.A., Jorge introduced Erin to attorney Jim Vititoe, of the law firm, Masry & Vititoe. Vititoe filed a lawsuit on Erin’s behalf and helped her get the neck surgery she desperately needed. During Erin’s recovery, Jorge moved in and helped care for the kids.
The settlement from Erin’s accident lawsuit provided less than she had expected, and her father suggested that she return home. But Erin refused to be defeated. Desperately in need of a job, Erin contacted the one place she felt owed her the chance to prove herself - the law firm of Masry and Vititoe.
In August of 1992, 32-year-old Erin started at Masry and Vititoe answering phones for $300 a week. Though her sexy attire set her apart from most others in the office, Erin showed she was an asset to the firm when boss Ed Masry came to her with a real-estate pro bono case that needed filing. On the surface, the case concerned Pacific Gas & Electric’s interest in buying a family residence in Hinkley, California - but Erin began to dig deeper when she noticed there were blood samples mixed in with the real estate files.
Though she had no formal legal training, Erin’s instincts kicked into gear, and she asked Masry if she could investigate the case further. What Erin discovered was that Pacific Gas & Electric had allowed the leakage of a contaminant called Chromium 6 into the well-water of Hinkley, California, for over 30 years. Several residents of this small desert community were suffering from ailments ranging from chronic nosebleeds to cancer.
A combination of her feisty spirit and sex appeal gave Erin access to places where others had been denied. As she toiled to build evidence on the case, Erin and Ed Masry formed an unlikely, yet unbreakable, bond. Erin also formed close relationships with several of the residents of Hinkley.
Erin was relentless in her search for the truth, and the personal sacrifices she made were enormous. By now her romance with Jorge, the biker, had cooled. Yet the law firm employed him for several years as the children’s live-in nanny so Erin could commit herself fully to the Hinkley case. Erin’s persistence paid off, and in 1993, 634 Hinkley residents hired Masry & Vititoe to sue PG&E.
After nearly four years in arbitration, the Hinkley case was settled behind closed doors for $333 million - the largest direct-action lawsuit in U.S. history. The underdog, dyslexic girl from Kansas, who doubted she would amount to much in life, had brought a multi-billion-dollar corporation to its knees.
But Erin’s tireless work ethic caused the pain from her years-earlier car accident to resurface. She sought out a chiropractor to relieve her suffering, and shared details of her life during their sessions. Erin’s chiropractor happened to have another client, Carla Santos-Shamberg, who was an executive at Danny DeVito’s production company, Jersey Films. Santos-Shamberg envisioned the movie version of Erin’s life as 'Rocky' in a mini-skirt, and in 1995, Jersey Films paid Erin $30,000 for her life rights.
When completed, the screenplay was immediately sent to noted director Steven Soderbergh. Soon, Julia Roberts signed on to portray Erin, and the movie got the green light. But this wasn’t the only good news that would catch 37-year-old Erin by surprise. She also found out she had earned a $2.5 million bonus from the Hinkley case.
When the film ‘Erin Brockovich’ opened in March 2000, it catapulted the real Erin Brockovich into overnight stardom. Suddenly, 40-year-old Erin was a household name and the world was eager to meet the real woman who had inspired the movie.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Benazir Bhutto- first female PM

Benazir Bhutto was born June 21, 1953, in Karachi, SE Pakistan, the eldest child of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He founded the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and was prime minister from 1971 to 1977. After completing her early education in Pakistan, she pursued her higher education in the United States. From 1969 to 1973, she attended Radcliffe College, and then Harvard University, where she graduated with a B.A. degree in comparative government. It was then onto the United Kingdom to study at Oxford from 1973 to 1977 and she completed a course in International Law and Diplomacy.

Bhutto returned to Pakistan in 1977, and was placed under house arrest after the military coup led by General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq overthrew her father's government. One year after Zia ul-Haq became president in 1978, the elder Bhutto was hanged after his conviction on charges of authorizing the murder of an opponent. She inherited her father's leadership of the PPP.

There was more family tragedy in 1980 when Bhutto's brother Shahnawaz was killed in his apartment on the Riviera in 1980. The family insisted he was poisoned, but no charges were brought. Another brother, Murtaza, died in 1996 (while his sister was in power) in a gun battle with police in Karachi.

She moved to England in 1984, becoming the joint leader in exile of the PPP, then returned to Pakistan on April 10, 1986, to launch a nationwide campaign for 'open elections.

She married a wealthy landowner, Asif Ali Zardari, in Karachi on December 18, 1987. The couple had three children: son Bilawal and two daughters, Bakhtawar and Aseefa.

Zia ul-Haq's dictatorship ended when he was killed in a plane crash in 1988. And Bhutto was elected prime minister barely three months after giving birth to her first child. She became the first ever female prime minister of a Muslim nation on December 1, 1988. Bhutto was defeated in the 1990 election, and found herself in court defending herself against several charges of misconduct while in office. Bhutto continued to be a prominent focus of opposition discontent, and won a further election in 1993, but was replaced in 1996.

While in self-imposed exile in Britain and Dubai, she was convicted in 1999 of corruption and sentenced to three years in prison. She continued to direct her party from abroad, being re-affirmed as PPP leader in 2002.
Bhutto returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007, after President Musharraf granted her amnesty on all corruption charges, opening the way for her return and a possible power-sharing agreement.

Bhutto's homecoming rally after eight years in exile was hit by a suicide attack, killing 136 people. She only survived after ducking down at the moment of impact behind her armored vehicle. Bhutto said it was Pakistan's "blackest day" when Musharraf imposed a state of emergency Nov. 3 and threatened to bring her supporters on to the streets in mass demonstrations. She was placed under house arrest Nov. 9. Bhutto called for his resignation four days later. Emergency rule was lifted Dec.

Bhutto was killed when an assassin fired shots and then blew himself up after an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007. The attack also killed 28 others and wounded at least another 100. The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto addressed a rally of thousands of supporters in Rawalpindi, She died after hitting her head on part of her vehicle's sunroof -- not as a result of bullets or shrapnel, a spokesman for Pakistan's Interior Ministry said. President Musharraf said he had asked a team of investigators from Britain's Scotland Yard to assist in the investigation into Bhutto's killing. Hundreds of thousands of mourners paid last respects to former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on December 28, 2007 as she was buried at her family's mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, the southern province of Sindh. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced three days of mourning. Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, her three children and her sister Sanam attended the burial. Bhutto was buried alongside her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan's first popularly elected prime minister who was later on executed by hanging.

World Humanist Day -June 21

World Humanist Day is celebrated annually on June 21 throughout the world.

Marking the day is a way to spread information and combat misinformation about the positive aspects of Humanism as a philosophical life stance and means to effect change in the world.

The origin was in the 1980s, when several state chapters of the American Humanist Association (AHA) began celebrating World Humanist Day. Different chapters had different ideas as to when that day should be. Some chapters, for example, preferred the anniversary of the founding of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), while other chapters celebrated a Humanist Day on different dates of significance. In the late 1980s-early 1990s, the AHA and then the IHEU passed resolutions declaring the Summer Solstice to be World Humanist Day. In both cases it was done as twin resolutions: the first to decide that there should actually be a World Humanist Day, the second to decide when that day should be.
At present, World Humanist Day isn't widely celebrated although several other groups and organizations are beginning to recognize the holiday and plan events and activities.

The Campus Freethought Alliance, for instance, holds its annual conference on World Humanist Day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

World Refugee Day -June 20

The United Nations' (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. This event honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

People honor the spirit and courage of millions of refugees worldwide on World Refugee Day. It is a day to recognize the contributions of refugees in their communities. Organizations such as Amnesty International and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) often get involved in various activities for the day. They may include:

Activist protests against using former prisons to detain migrants and asylum seekers.
Screenings of films about the lives of asylum seekers living in a western country.
Organization members visiting asylum seekers in detention to offer moral support.
Letters or petitions to governments on the treatment of asylum seekers in detention.
Some communities dedicate an entire week that includes World Refugee Day to encourage people to think about the lives of refugees and the human right to a secure place to that one can see as “home”.

Public life
World Refugee Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

For years, many countries and regions have been holding their own events similar to World Refugee Day. One of the most widespread events is Africa Refugee Day, which is celebrated on June 20 in many countries. the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to express its solidarity with Africa on December 4, 2000.

The resolution noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on June 20. The Assembly therefore decided that June 20 would be celebrated as World Refugee Day from 2001 onwards. This day was designated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to bring attention to the plight of approximately 14 million refugees around the world.

The UN Refugee Agency's (UNCHR) logo is often associated with the day. The colors used are either white on a blue background or blue on white background. The logo features olive branches that symbolize peace surrounding or protecting two hands facing each other, and in the middle a figure of a person protected by these hands. The logo is sometimes featured with the words “UNHCR”, followed by “The UN Refugee Agency” in smaller text to mark the logo.

The UNHCR in Canada uses a special World Refugee Day logo that features two figures – one smaller figure on the left and a taller figure on the right. They are protected by brackets or half circles. The words “World Refugee Day” are placed at the centre top of the figures, and “20 June” is placed at under the figures at the centre. All elements of the logo are the one color – green.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi-Nobel woman

Aung San Suu Kyi was born on June 19, 1945 as the daughter of national leader General Aung San

Aung San Suu Kyi's father, formerly the de facto prime minister of British Burma, was assassinated in 1947. Her mother, Khin Kyi, was appointed ambassador to India in 1960. Suu Kyi obtained a bachelor's degree from the University of Oxford in 1969, and in 1972, she married. She had two children—in 1973 and 1977—and the family spent the 1970s and 1980s in England, the United States and India.

In 1988, Suu Kyi returned to Burma to care for her dying mother, and her life took a dramatic turn.

Return to Burma

In 1962, Burma dictator U Ne Win staged and carried out a coup d'état in Burma, which spurred intermittent protests over his policies for the subsequent decades. By 1988, he had resigned his post of party chairman, essentially leaving the country in the hands of a military junta, but stayed behind the scenes to orchestrate various violent responses to the continuing protests and other events.

Suu Kyi returned to Burma from abroad in 1988, amidst the slaughter of protesters rallying against U Ne Win and his iron-fisted rule. She began speaking out against him, with democracy and human rights at the fore of her struggle. It did not take long for the junta to notice her efforts, and in July of 1989, the military government of Burman—which was renamed the "Union of Myanmar" in 1989—placed Suu Kyi under house arrest and cut off any communication she might have with the outside world.

Though the Union military told Suu Kyi that if she agreed to leave the country, they would free her, she refused to do so, insisting that her struggle would continue until the junta released the country to civilian government and political prisoners were freed. In 1990, a parliamentary election was held, and the party with which Suu Kyi was now affiliated—the National League for Democracy—won more than 80 percent of the parliamentary seats. The election results, though, were predictably ignored by the junta. Twenty years later, they formally annulled the results.

Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in July 1995, and the next year she attended the NLD party congress, under the continual harassment of the military. Three years later, she founded a representative committee and declared it as the country's legitimate ruling body, and in response, in September 2000, the junta once again placed her under house arrest. She was released in May of 2002.

In 2003, the NLD clashed in the streets with pro-government demonstrators, and Suu Kyi was yet again arrested and placed under house arrest. Her sentence was then renewed yearly, and the international community came to her aid each time, calling continually for her release (to no avail).

Arrest and Election

In May of 2009, just before she was set to be released from house arrest, Suu Kyi was arrested yet again, this time charged with an actual crime—allowing an intruder to spend two nights at her home, a violation of her terms of house arrest. The intruder, an American named John Yettaw, had swum to her house to warn her after having a vision of an attempt on her life. He was also subsequently imprisoned, returning to the United States in August 2009.

That same year, the United Nations declared that Suu Kyi's detention was illegal, under Myanmar law. In August, however, Suu Kyi went to trial, and was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison. The sentence was reduced to 18 months, however, and she was allowed to serve it as a continuation of her house arrest.

Those within Myanmar and the concerned international community believed that the ruling was simply brought down to prevent Suu Kyi from participating in the multiparty parliamentary elections scheduled for the following year (the first since 1990). These fears were realized when a series of new election laws were put in place in March 2010: One law prohibited convicted criminals from participating in elections,

In support of Suu Kyi, the NLD refused to re-register the party under these new laws and was disbanded. The government parties ran virtually unopposed in the 2010 election and easily won a vast majority of legislative seats, with charges of fraud following in their wake. Suu Kyi was released from house arrest six days after the election.

In November 2011, the NLD announced that it would re-register as a political party, and in January 2012, Suu Kyi formally registered to run for a seat in parliament. On April 1, 2012, following a grueling and exhausting campaign, the NLD announced that Suu Kyi had won her election. A news broadcast on state-run MRTV confirmed her victory, and on May 2, 2012, Suu Kyi took her oath and took office.

Awards and Recognition

In 1991, Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. She has also received the Rafto prize (1990), the International Simón Bolívar Prize (1992) and the Jawaharlal Nehru Award (1993), among other accolades.

In December 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 400–0 to award Suu Kyi the Congressional Gold Medal, and in May 2008, U.S. President George Bush signed the vote into law, making Suu Kyi the first person in American history to receive the prize while imprisoned.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Autistic Pride Day-june18

Autistic Pride Day is a celebration of the neurodiversity of people on the autism spectrum held on June 18, 2012. The day is celebrated annually and “Autistic pride” stands for pride in autism, about shifting views of autism from "disease" to "difference". It observes the diversity various neurological types express.

Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life. In June 2005, some organizations launched the first annual Autistic Pride Day, with events around the world. Autistic pride asserts that autistic people are not sick; rather, they have a unique set of characteristics that provide them many rewards and challenges, not unlike their non-autistic peers.

Autistic Pride Day is an Aspies for Freedom initiative, an autism rights group that aims to educate the general public with initiatives to end ignorance of the issues involving the autistic community. Every year there is a main theme for the Autistic Pride Day, like it was “Acceptance not cure” in 2005, “Perspectives, not fear” in 2010 and “Recognize, Respect, Include” in 2011. (

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Leander Paes & Venus Williams

Leander Paes was born on 17 June 1973, in Calcutta, India. Belonging to the Goan Catholic community in Calcutta (the present day Kolkata), his parents - father Vece Paes and mother Jennifer Paes were sportspersons. Vece was a midfielder in the Indian field hockey team, while Jennifer was a basketball player. Leander Paes attended La Martiniere School and graduated from St. Xavier's College in Calcutta. Thereafter, he was enrolled into the Britannia Amritraj Tennis Academy in Madras in 1985, where he was given training by Coach Dave O'Meara. Paes sharpened his skills in tennis by practicing at the Academy.

Early Life
Right from his early entry to tennis, Leander Paes proved to be a promising player. He won titles at the Junior US Open and the Junior Wimbledon, thus making the promise even stronger. Thereafter, he decided to take up tennis as his profession and turned into a professional tennis player in 1991. He shot into limelight, when he was ranked the World No.1 player in junior rankings. In the following year, he made it to the quarter finals of the doubles match in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, by pairing with veteran tennis player Ramesh Krishnan.

Success In Career
Paes continued to perform outstandingly, as the time passed by. In 1996, he represented India at the Atlanta Olympics and won bronze medal, thus becoming the Indian tennis player, next to KD Jadhav, to win an individual Olympic medal for India. The scintillating performance fetched Paes the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1996. Thereafter, Paes partnered with Mahesh Bhupathi to add to the tally of his titles. The Paes-Bhupathi combination proved a reward for the Indian tennis, as the duo brought a number of titles to the homeland. They entered the semi-finals of the US Open in 1997.

The doubles team of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi continued to dominate a number of tennis tournaments. One of the notable achievements of Paes-Bhupathi pair was the entry to the semi-finals of three Grand Slams - the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open - in 1998. The duo created a record, by reaching the finals of all the four Grand Slams, in 1999. By winning the French Open and the Wimbledon, Paes-Bhupathi team became the first Indian pair to have won a doubles event at a Grand Slam tournament.

Apart from pairing with Mahesh Bhupathi, Paes has teamed up with Lisa Raymond to win the Mixed doubles event at Wimbledon in 1999. In the following year, he paired with Sébastien Lareau for the Australian Open and Jan Siemerink for the French Open. However, in both the events, they were defeated in the first round itself. Paes partnered with Bhupathi for the US Open, which fetched defeat in the very first round. Despite of wining the French Open in 2001, the Paes-Bhupathi duo lost in the first round in the other three Grand Slams of the year. Paes picked up pace in 2003, when he won Wimbledon and Australian Open mixed doubles crowns with Martina Navratilova.

In the following years, Leander Paes put more focus on his doubles and mixed doubles game. He featured at many Mixed Doubles events, where he registered wins and tasted defeat too. After failing at the semi final stage of doubles event at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games (when he paired with Bhupathi), Paes emerged victorious at the US Open doubles event in 2006. He was chosen the captain of the Indian tennis team at the Doha Asian Games in 2006, in which, he won two gold medals in the Men's Doubles event (teaming Mahesh Bhupathi) and Mixed Doubles (paired with Sania Mirza).

Present Day
Leander Paes continues to be one of the promising Indian tennis players. He was ranked among the top 20 players in the world doubles ranking in 2005 and maintained the position until 2007. He has taken his doubles tally to a whopping 38 times, as per recorded in May 2007. Although he had a split with his compatriot Bhupathi, the duo teamed up again at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. By teaming with Cara Black, Leander Paes won the US Open Mixed Doubles title in 2008. Although he is towards the end of his career, Paes continues to maintain his charm and authoritativeness, whenever he is on the tennis court.

Venus Williams
Venus Ebony Starr Williams was born June 17, 1980 in Lynwood, California. Her parents, Oracene and Richard, already had three daughters, Yetunde, Isha and Lyndrea. A fifth daughter, Serena, would follow 15 months later.

Richard and Oracene worked hard to support their children and give them opportunities to rise above the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles. Richard ran his own security company; Oracene was a private-duty nurse.

Both parents had been good athletes in their youth. Their first three daughters were also accomplished athletes. During the 1970s, there wasn’t much money in women’s sports, and college scholarship were few and far between. By the time Venus came along, the possibilities were widening. Richard had been struck by a tennis match he had seen on television, in which Virginia Ruzici won and took home $30,000. That was about what he made in a year. Also, Ruzici, a Top 10 player, seemed to have no extraordinary athletic skills. When Venus was born, Richard decided to channel her talents into tennis.

Richard collected whatever books and videos he could find on tennis. He spent four years studying the game before handing Venus her first racket. The first day he took her out to the public courts in Compton, she was popping balls over the net with ease. Soon those lollypops where screamers. Venus loved tennis—not for the beauty of the game, but because it was a way to have her dad all to herself. Serena was crestfallen whenever Richard and Venus hopped into the family's old VW and headed for the courts. She would soon begin tagging along.

Away from tennis, Venus had a creative mind and an eye for detail. She had a steel-trap intellect that served her well on and off the court. She could watch a women’s match on TV and then pick up a racket and imitate the grips and swings of the top players. She also noticed that the successful players were the ones that identified an opponent’s weakness and then hammered them into submission. Venus sharpened her competitive skills in a variety of sports, including soccer and track. At the age of eight, she ran a mile in under 5:30.

By the late 1980s, Venus and Serena were hitting together, building on their considerable skills, competitive spirit, and sibling rivalry—as Richard egged them on. They hardly noticed that their neighborhood was disintegrating around them. Compton was quickly becoming a metaphor for urban blight and gang warfare, all fueled by a malignant crack epidemic. The Williams sisters remember these days with great joy. Richard likes to remind them, “We played tennis in hell.” He recalls teaching the girls how to lie flat when they heard gunshots. Fortunately, the street gangs and drug dealers of Compton had a hands-off policy on the girls.

Around the age of 10, Venus began entering local junior tournaments. On these weekends, she would be transported out of the inner city to the tennis clubs of greater Los Angeles. The kids, the homes, the facilities—for a girl from the ’hood, it seemed like she was visiting another planet. Her opponents felt the same way. Venus was taller, faster and stronger than the other players, and she demolished them with grim efficiency.

By the early 1990s, Venus’s stiffest competition came from her sister. They hit with each other day after day. This gave Serena the opportunity to hone her game against a superior player, and forced Venus to stay ahead of her little sister.

During Venus’s teen years, the spectators at her matches began to include sports agents and representatives from equipment companies. They were equally excited by her talent and the diversity she might bring to what was becoming a ho-hum sport. To their dismay, Richard rebuffed their offers, unwilling to relinquish control of his daughter’s career. Venus’s parents were also worried that too much tennis would burn her out. Sometimes, when the girls became too focused on the sport, they would simply take their rackets away for a few weeks and tell them to find something else to do.

Riachrd and Oracene also had strict rules about schoolwork. They explained to their daughters that tennis would only occupy a few years of their lives. To become productive, well-rounded human beings, they had to prepare for a life beyond tennis. Venus and Serena became straight-A students. Oracene also brought the girls along when she worked the neighborhood spreading the word about her religion, Jehovah's witnesses. They had a lot of doors slammed in their faces. Venus learned that there are some things in the world you just can't take personally.


By the time Venus became the top 12-and-under player in Southern California, the tennis establishment started to eye Richard with suspicion. Venus, and soon Serena, would need a higher level of coaching than he could provide. They feared that he was using his daughters’ growing fame for his own benefit.

Eventually, the Williamses became convinced of the need to bring in a pro. They chose Rick Macci and moved to Delray Beach, Florida. There was one condition—that Macci limit the girls' training partners to players who were better than the pair. Typically, these were male players. And the arrangement precluded Venus and Serena from playing on the junior circuit, which gave the USTA conniption fits. Tennis officials argued that Venus needed to experience the pressure of junior tournaments in order to round out her game. The Williamses argued the opposite and pointed out how Jennifer Capriati ended up with a set of mug shots at the age of 16.

Serena & Venus Williams,
1998 SI for Kids

A few months after Venus’s 14th birthday, the Williams braintrust decided that it was time to turn pro. In the fall of 1994, she played her first WTA tournament in Oakland. As she took the court for her match against Shaun Stafford, fans were amazed. Venus was a well-muscled, ebony-skinned six-footer with elaborate beadwork in her long hair and an ear-to-ear smile across her face. That smile disappeared once the match began—and that body began crushing shot after shot against the overwhelmed Stafford. Venus won 6–3, 6–4. In her next match, she nearly blew second-ranked Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario off the court. Venus took the first three games, but the crafty veteran taught her younger opponent a lesson. Once Sanchez-Vicario noticed a flaw in her opponent’s footwork, she tied her up with twisting, spinning shots. Venus could not adjust quickly enough. She was used to exploiting a weakness, not having her own exploited. She lost the next 12 games and Sanchez-Vicario moved on.

Over the next two years, Venus entered just eight tournaments as she continued to hone her game under Macci’s watchful eye. Her light schedule hardly hurt her pocketbook, especially after she signed a lucrative endorsement deal with Reebok. Macci taught Venus how to use her long. lean body as a whip on her strokes and serves, and how to move smoothly around the court. He also spent a lot of time on court strategy and managing points. Venus proved a particularly able student in this respect. With a little more experience, few doubted she would be able to think her way through tough matches.

In 1997, Venus joined the WTA Tour and worked her way from a sub-200 ranking to #66 by the US Open. This was her coming out party, as she buzzed through the draw to reach the semifinals. There she met Irena Sprilea, who tried every shot in her arsenal and every mind game in the book to rattle Venus—including bumping her as they changed sides during the final set. Venus survived two match points to win.

Richard claimed the bumping incident was a racial affront and stirred up a hornet's nest on the eve of his daughter’s final showdown with Martina Hingis. Some criticized him for stealing the spotlight from Venus. But as he would do time and again in his daughters’ careers, he was making himself a target for the media to take some heat off of them. In retrospect, Venus was probably distracted by her father’s ploy. She seemed unfocused against Hingis, who beat her 6–0, 6–4.

Venus gained some revenge early in 1998, when she defeated Hingis at the Australian Open. That spring, she won her first singles title, at an event in Oklahoma City. Venus added two more singles titles to her resume, and both were big—the Lipton Championship and the Grand Slam Cup.

Two of her most memorable matches in 1998 came against Serena, who had joined the WTA Tour the previous fall. Venus beat her first at the Australian Open and later at the Italian Open. The Williams sisters also teamed up for doubles in '98. They won four tournaments. Venus took her first Grand Slam titles as a member of a mixed doubles team at the Australian and French Opens.

Fearing that Venus and Serena would distract each other on the tour, Richard devised a schedule that had them playing separate events whenever possible. In February, the sisters each won a singles title on the same day—the first time in history that had happened. Venus beat Amanda Coetzer and Serena beat Amelie Mauresmo.

Venus Williams, 1993 Netpro

A month later, Venus and Serena squared off in the finals of the same tournament, the Lipton. Venus had defeated Jana Novotna and Steffi Graf along the way and Serena had beaten Hingis and Monica Seles. For a couple of hours, the girls transported themselves back to the courts of Compton, playing what they later called “nuclear war.” It was ugly, emotional, intimidating, risk-taking tennis. For every spectacular winner, there were many unforced errors. Venus won again.

Venus rode this victory to a pair of clay-court titles in Hamburg and Rome, and then combined with Serena to win their first Grand Slam title as a team at the French Open. Over the summer, the Williams Sisters, brimming with confidence, began to irritate others on the tour. Heading into the US Open, they predicted they would meet in the final. This did not sit well with Hingis, the WTA’s #1 player, who was growing weary of answering questions about Venus and Serena. She engaged in a war of words with Richard Williams, and then beat Venus in the semifinals at Flushing Meadows.

To Hingis’s dismay, she found herself dealing with a second Williams sister in the final. Serena had scored a stunning semifinal victory over Lindsay Davenport to advance. She next defeated Hingis in two sets. Venus didn’t have much time to celebrate with her sister—they were scheduled to play the doubles finals that day. They lost the first set and then rallied to win the next two for the championship.


Venus finished 1999 ranked third and Serena was right behind her at #4. However, it was Serena who had won the first Grand Slam singles title. Venus desperately wanted one of her own. She got it in July of 2000 at Wimbledon, after defeating Hingis in the quarterfinals, Serena in the semifinals, and Davenport in the finals.It was a part of a 35-match winning streak that saw her win five tournaments in a row. Not bad, considering sore wrists had kept her from competing at full strength at the beginning of the year.

Venus stayed red-hot that summer and cruised to victory at the US Open, defeating Hingis and Davenport again. Her final victories of the year came at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where she won the gold medal in singles and in doubles (with Serena). Exhausted and anemic, Venus ended her season early in October.

After an up-and-down start to 2001, Venus arrived at Wimbledon to defend her singles championship. She was successful, beating Davenport in the semis and the up-and-coming Justine Henin in the final. After capturing a pair of hardcourt titles in the summer, Venus demolished the field at the US Open to defend her title there, too. She won the championship without losing a single set and defeated Serena in the finals.

Venus kept on rolling in 2002, winning several tournaments—and achieving the #1 ranking for the first time, in March—on her way to the final of the French Open, where she faced her sister. Just reaching this level was an accomplishment for both sisters, as the slow clay of Roland Garros negated much of the power advantage they possessed over opponents. On this day, however, it was Serena who would prevail. At Wimbledon, the sisters treated tennis fans to their second straight all-Williams Grand Slam final. Serena prevailed again, in straight sets. Later Venus and Serena teamed up to win the doubles crown.

Venus Williams, 1998 SI for Kids

Venus rebounded from her singles loss by winning the hardcourt tournaments in San Diego, New Haven and Stanford, all for the third year in a row. She then reached the final of the US Open. Once again, she played Serena, and once again, her little sister won. Incredibly, they met in their fourth straight Grand Slam final at the 2003 Australian Open, and to Venus’s dismay, Serena won again.

Venus made her next appearance in a Grand Slam final that summer at Wimbledon against—who else?—Serena. In the semis against Kim Clijsters, Venus injured an abdominal muscle, but was still able to pull out a victory. After winning the first set against Serena, she lost the next two. The tennis world soon got a reprieve from the Williams sisters, as both suffered season-ending injuries.

Venus struggled to recapture her form in 2004. The top-tier players she had once dominated were able to beat her, and although she advanced deep into many tournaments, she won only two singles titles. Venuscontinued her losing ways in 2005, but she gained momentum heading into Wimbledon. Despite being seeded a lowly 14th, she smashed her way through the draw and scored a stunning defeat in the semifinals over defending champ Maria Sharapova, who had lost just one service game heading into their match.

Looming between Venus and her third Wimbledon title was Davenport. In a classic slugfest that broke the record for the longest women’s final, Venus saved a match point to win in three thrilling sets.

Prior to the tournament, Venus had given an interview to The London Times, making a passionate plea for equal prize money for men and women at Wimbledon. In the story, she stated that Wimbledon was on “the wrong side of history.” Her words inspired Parliament to beseech the All England Club to end the double-standard. In 2007, women received the same prize money as men for the first time.

The 2005 season ended early for Venus because of another injury. She was also out of action for much of 2006, primarily with a sore wrist. This problem also kept her out of the 2007 Australian Open. Desperate to get back into championship form, Venus entered a number of tournaments prior to the French Open. The results were mixed. She lost a second-round match in the Istanbul Open, marking her first career defeat in a Tier III event. At Roland Garros, she bowed out in the third round.

No one knew what to expect from Venus at Wimbledon. At this stage of her career, she obviously had the talent and experience to win at the All England Club. But was she healthy, and where was her game? It seemed as if she was destined for disappointment after nearly losing losing to lightly regarded Alla Kudryavtseva in the first round. Venus managed to rescue this match and advance.

In the third round, Venus faced Akiko Morigami, who served for the match in the third set. Again, Venus eeked out a win. In her next match, she pulled it together and blew the second-seeded Sharapova off the court. From there, her path to the finals was clear, as she overwhelmed Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ana Ivanovic. Venus’s opponent in the final was France’s Marion Bartoli, who proved to be the proverbial deer caught in the headlights. Venus rolled to her fourth Wimbledon singles title, 6–4, 6–1.

At the US Open, Venus was at full strength, as witnessed by her 129 mph serve in the opening round. It was the fastest in the history of women’s tennis. Her bid for a championship ended in the semis, however, against Henin. Venus had experienced lightheadedness and nausea during the match. She cut short her season that fall because of anemia problems.

Venus could not shake her various maladies in 2008. She performed poorly in a number of events before taking a break from tennis. Venus returned for the end of the clay court season and was at full strength again by the time Wimbledon began. She and Serena each reached the semifinals, Venus against dangerous Elena Dementieva and Serena against low-ranked Jie Zheng. In both matches, Venus and Serena dominated the first, and then took the second set in thrilling tie-breakers. When the day was done, it was another all-Williams Grand Slam final. Venus knew she had an uphill battle—Serena had won five of the six previous meetings in these situations.

Serena took the early advantage, with Venus playing defensively at times against her sister. Venus soon got aggressive, hit a handful of winners, and the momentum shifted. She won five of the final six games to take the first set. After struggling with her serve early in the second set, she broke her sister’s serve to gain a 5–4 advantage and closed out the match on an unforced error to win her fifth Wimbledon singles title. Later that day, the Williams sisters teamed up to earn their third Wimbledon crown.

At the end of this great day, Serena summed it all up for reporters, “It’s definitely a great celebration for the Williams family."

Serena & Venus Williams,
2003 Netpro

And it has been a wonderful life for Venus. Few athletes in sports history have aged as gracefully or maintained their edge as effectively over the long haul. Even if she doesn't win another major, Vaenus will go down as one of the all-time greats.


Power and reach are two excellent attributes in women’s tennis, and Venus may be unsurpassed in both departments. Her 125-mph serve is one of the most intimidating weapons in sports. It gives her a chance to win any tournament she enters. Although she does not venture to net as often as other players, her long arms and quick reactions compensate for a so-so volleying game.

Venus’s long arms and legs make her an exceptional baseline player. Opponents who try to move her from side to side do so at their own peril, as she lopes around the backcourt striking balls with tremendous speed and topspin.

The better of Venus's baseline shots is her two-handed backhand. Her forehand can be an awesome shot, but it is more prone to inconsistency when she is tired or injured. Early in her career, opponents tried to test Venus by varying their shots, and often this broke her concentration. This strategy, however, is no longer effective.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Geronimo -Apache Legend

Apache leader Geronimo was born in June 16, 1829 in No-Doyohn Canyon, Mexico. He was a naturally gifted hunter, who, the story goes, as a boy swallowed the heart of his first kill in order to ensure a life of success on the chase.

He belonged to the smallest band within the Chiricahua tribe, the Bedonkohe. Numbering a little more than 8,000, the Apaches were surrounded by enemies—not just Mexicans, but also other tribes, including the Navajo and Comanches.

Raiding their neighbors was also a part of the Apache life. In response the Mexican government put a bounty on Apache scalps, offering as much as $25 for a child's scalp. But this did little to deter Geronimo and his people. At the age of 17 Geronimo had already led four successful raiding operations.

Around this same time Geronimo fell in love with a woman named Alope. The two married and had three children together.

Then tragedy struck. While out on a trading trip, Mexican soldiers attacked his camp. Word of the ransacking soon reached the Apache men. Quietly that night, Geronimo returned home, where he found his mother, wife and three children all dead.

Warrior Leader

The murders devastated Geronimo. In the tradition of the Apache, he set fire to his family's belongings and then, in a show of grief, headed into the wilderness to bereave the deaths. There, it's said, alone and crying, a voice came to Geronimo that promised him: "No gun will ever kill you. I will take the bullets from the guns of the Mexicans … and I will guide your arrows."

Backed by this sudden knowledge of power, Geronimo rounded up a force of 200 men and hunted down the Mexican soldiers who killed his family. On it went like this for 10 years, as Geronimo exacted revenge against the Mexican government.

Beginning in the 1850s, the face of his enemy changed. Following the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the U.S. took over large tracts of territory from Mexico, including areas belonging to the Apache. Spurred by the discovery of gold in the Southwest, settlers and miners streamed into their lands. Naturally, tensions mounted. The Apaches stepped up their attacks, which included brutal ambushes on stagecoaches and wagon trains.

But the Chiricahua leader, Geronimo's father-in-law, Cochise, could see where the future was headed. In an act that greatly disappointed his son-in-law, the revered chief called a halt to his decade-long war with the Americans and agreed to the establishment of a reservation for his people on a prized piece of Apache property.

But within just a few years, Cochise died, and the federal government reneged on its agreement, moving the Chiricahua north so that settlers could move into their former lands. This act only further incensed Geronimo, setting off a new round of fighting.

Geronimo proved to be as elusive
as he was aggressive. However, authorities finally caught up with him in 1877 and sent him to the San Carlos Apache reservation. For four long years he struggled with his new reservation life, finally escaping in September 1881
Out on his own again,
Geronimo and a small band of Chiricahua followers eluded American troops. Over the next five years they engaged in what proved to be the last of the Indian wars against the U.S.

Perceptions of Geronimo were nearly as complex as the man himself. His followers viewed him as the last great defender of the Native American way of life. But others, including fellow Apaches, saw him as a stubborn holdout, violently driven by revenge and foolishly putting the lives of people in danger.

With his followers in tow, Geronimo shot across the Southwest. As he did, the seemingly mystical leader was transformed into a legend as newspapers closely followed the Army's pursuit of him. At one point nearly a quarter of the Army's forces—5,000 troops—were trying to hunt him down.

Finally, in the summer of 1886, he surrendered, the last Chiricahua to do so. Over the next several years Geronimo and his people were bounced around, first to a prison in Florida, then a prison camp in Alabama, and then Fort Sill in Oklahoma. In total, the group spent 27 years as prisoners of war.

Final Years

While he and the rest of the Chiricahua remained under guard, Geronimo experienced a bit of celebrity from his white former enemies. Less than a decade after he'd surrendered, crowds longed to catch a glimpse of the famous Indian warrior. In 1905 he published his autobiography, and that same year he received a private audience with President Theodore Roosevelt, unsuccessfully pressing the American leader to let his people return to Arizona.

His death came four years later. While riding home in February 1909, he was thrown from his horse. He survived a night out in the cold, but when a friend found him the next day, Geronimo's health was rapidly deteriorating. He passed away six days later, with his nephew at his side.

"I should never have surrendered," Geronimo, still a prisoner of war, said on his deathbed. "I should have fought until I was the last man alive."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mittal-the iron man

Lakshmi Niwas Mittal was born on June 15, 1950 at Sadulpur, in Churu district of Rajasthan, in a poor family. The extended family of 20 lived on bare concrete floors, slept on rope beds and cooked on an open fire in the brickyard in a house built by his grandfather. Laxmi Mittal belongs to Marwari Aggarwal caste and his grandfather worked for the Tarachand Ghanshyam Das firm, one of the leading Marwari industrial firms of pre-independence India.

The family later on moved to Kolkata where his father Mohan Mittal became a partner in a steel company. Lakshmi Mittal graduated from St. Xaviers in Kolkata with a commerce degree in 1969. He began his career working in the family's steelmaking business in India and in 1976, Lakshmi Mittal founded Mittal Steel Company. He split from his father and two younger brothers in 1994 and took the international arm, with interests in Indonesia and Trinidad and Tobago, while the rest of the family kept the domestic Indian business. In the last few years Mittal Steel has made a number of acquisitions, buying up a network of steel producers in former communist countries including Kazakhstan, Romania and Ukraine, and pushing into the U.S. in 2004 with the $4.5 billion purchase of International Steel Group. Today, Mittal Steel is the only truly global steel producer in the world with operations on 14 countries, spanning 4 continents.

Lakshmi Mittal is also known for his opulence. In 2003, he acquired the Kensington mansion, said to be the world's most expensive home, from Formula One racing's Bernie Ecclestone for £70 million ($128 million). His daughter Vanisha's $50 million wedding bash is touted as the most expensive wedding of the 20th century.

In March 2006, Lakshmi Mittal was listed as the third wealthiest person in the world after Bill Gates and Warren Buffet by Forbes Magazine.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Karl Landsteiner -father of Blood Transfusion

Karl Landsteiner was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1868. He was essentially raised by a single mother, as his father died when he was only six. He finished medical school at age 23 and then began traveling to study under other famous scientists of the day. He often couldn't find research jobs (which were his passion) and he would make his living by doing autopsies at "deadhouses," which we call morgues today. But he always persevered and no matter what his circumstances, he would carve out a space to do research. Somewhat reclusive and pessimistic by nature, he felt at home in the laboratory and made it the focus of his life.

One of the topics he researched and found interesting was human blood. Doctors had tried giving people transfusions (a dose of another person's blood) but it was actually just pure luck if it worked. Sometimes the patient became much better and other times the patient had a fatal or deadly reaction. Before he discovered that people had different blood group types, people routinely bled to death from ulcers, accidents, and childbirth problems. No one knew that there were four different types of blood (A, B, AB, and O) and that if you gave a person the wrong type of blood, they could die from a reaction between their blood and the donor's blood. If a person receives the wrong type blood, a terrible reaction begins. This can start a chain reaction of other problems, in which the red blood cells will begin to react with the new blood cells, and then the cells will actually lyse, or fall apart, in the blood vessels. This releases hemoglobin that can damage the kidneys, which can lead to death.

In 1901, Landsteiner discovered that different people's blood had different characteristics that made it "incompatible" with other people's blood that didn't carry those same traits. He discovered the A, B, and O blood types. His discovery of the differences and identification of the groups that were alike made it possible for blood transfusions to become a routine procedure. This paved the way for many other medical procedures that we don't even think twice about today, such as surgery, blood banks, and transplants.

Landsteiner is known as the "melancholy genius" because he was so sad and intense, yet he was so systematic, thorough, and dedicated. He wrote 346 papers during his long career contributing to many areas of scientific knowledge. He is considered the father of Hematology (the study of blood), Immunology (the study of the immune system), Polio research, and Allergy research.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

John Forbes Nash-A beautiful mind

John Forbes Nash, Jr. was born on June 13, 1928 in Bluefield, West Virginia to John Forbes Nash, Sr., an electrical engineer for the Appalachian Power Company, and Margaret Virginia Martin, an English and Latin teacher. Though Bluefield, by Nash’s own description, “was not a community of scholars or of high technology,” his parents recognized the value of academics and were supportive of young John’s scholastic pursuits.

Early in his life, Nash’s parents provided him with a copy of Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia, essentially launching the rapid development of his academic abilities. By the time he was four years old, Nash had learned how to read.

He eventually picked up Latin, and with his mother’s tutoring outside of the classroom, Nash was able to skip a grade level at school. From an early age, Nash was aware of his intellectual superiority to his peers and turned inwards to lead a relatively solitary and introspective childhood—a trend that would continue over the course of his lifetime.

From a young age, Nash showed a particular affinity for mathematics, and after reading Men of Mathematics by E.T. Bell in high school, his interest was piqued. Following his father’s lead, Nash originally planned to put his mathematical sensibilities to use as an electrical engineer. In 1945, Nash was one of ten nationally recognized recipients of the George Westinghouse Award, which provided him with a full scholarship to the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Because of the war, colleges were operating on an accelerated, year-round academic calendar so that students could graduate in three years. In mid-June of 1945, Nash caught a train to Pittsburgh to begin classes at Carnegie Tech.

Though he entered as a chemical engineering student, after only one semester Nash changed his major to chemistry. Soon after, he grew restless with his new course of study, writing that chemistry, “was not a matter of how well one could think and understand or learn facts but of how well one could handle a pipette and perform a titration in the laboratory.” Frustrated, Nash decided to change his major for one final time, this time to mathematics. When he graduated from Carnegie Tech in 1948, he had progressed so far in his studies of mathematics that the school awarded him a Masters degree in addition to his Bachelors of Science.

After graduating from Carnegie Tech, Nash was accepted to graduate fellowships at both Harvard and Princeton, eventually deciding to attend Princeton due to its closer geographic proximity to Bluefield and his perception that the university desired him more so than Harvard. At Princeton, Nash studied his namesake equilibrium theory (Nash equilibrium), which examines the dynamics of competition and strategy applicable to both traditional games (like card games) and real-world disciplines like business and economics. Nash earned his doctorate in 1950 with a dissertation on game theory.

In 1951, Nash joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While at M.I.T., he met physics student Alicia Larde and the two married in 1957, with Alicia giving birth to a son soon after. One year later, he was named as "the most promising mathematician in the world" by Fortune magazine. Just as things were beginning to align for John Nash, his mental condition was taking a turn for the worse. His decent into madness became overwhelmingly apparent at an American Mathematical Society lecture at Columbia University in early 1959, where Nash was expected to present his highly-anticipated proof of the Riemann Hypotheses. As Nash spoke, however, it became clear that not only was his proof wrong, but that his speech had nothing to do with the Riemann Hypotheses at all-- he was speaking in complete nonsense. Just one month earlier, Nash had a similarly jarring episode in which he told a friend that he was featured on the cover of Life magazine disguised as Pope John XXIII, and that he knew this because his favorite prime number was 23.

After months of erratic behavior, his wife committed him to the McLean Hospital in April of 1959, where he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Upon his release from the hospital, Nash resigned from his position at M.I.T. and moved to Europe where he sought asylum as a refugee. After Nash was deported back to the United States, he and his wife settled in Princeton, New Jersey, where Nash began to wander the Princeton University campus, referring to himself in the third person, writing irrational postcards, and lecturing endlessly on numerology.
According to his autobiography, he continued to drift in and out of New Jersey mental health institutions, “always on an involuntary basis and always attempting a legal argument for release.” After three years of Nash’s steady descent into madness, Alicia filed for divorce in 1962.

After the divorce, Nash’s Boston colleagues convinced him to meet with a psychiatrist, who prescribed him medication for his schizophrenia. Nash’s condition improved dramatically, allowing him to smoothly integrate back into society. Despite the promising progress Nash made while taking anti-psychotic medication, less than a year later he stopped seeking treatment and once again slipped back into his delirious, nonsensical ways. In 1970, Alicia began to have doubts about the divorce and took Nash in as a “boarder” in her home. He again began to wander around Princeton, writing mathematical formulas on blackboards and gaining the nickname of “the Phantom” by students. It wasn’t until over ten years later that Nash would overcome his illness by, according to him, learning to think rationally “in the style that is characteristic of scientists” to reject the voices in his head. In 1994, Nash won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his doctoral thesis on game theory written over 40 years prior. His life was also the subject of a biography by Sylvia Nassaar, A Beautiful Mind, and perhaps most popularly in a film by the same name. Alicia and John eventually remarried, and today Nash continues to work in Princeton’s Department of Mathematics.