Leonard Nimoy

“Live long and prosper” – Leonard Nimoy as Spock

  • American Leonard Nimoy, was an actor who was most well known for his acting in the Star Trek film and television series, as Spock, while the role received many award nominations.
  • Leonard Nimoy’s full name was ‘Leonard Simon Nimoy’, and he was born in 1931 on 26th March to Jewish parents in Boston, in the United State’s state of Massachusetts.
  • Leonard Nimoy started acting in 1939 as a young boy, performing in plays and high school productions, and later started his acting career in the early 1950s, appearing in Kid Monk Baroni (1952).
  • Leonard Nimoy was casted as Star Trek’s Vulcan (extraterrestrial humanoid species) Spock, and played this role in various Star Trek films and television series over many years between 1966 to 2009; while his performance as Spock is said to have affected Nimoy’s personality and thoughts.
  • Leonard Nimoy did extra studies in drama in 1959; had prominent skills in singing, poetry, and writing; was an accomplished photographer; and directed two box office hits, Star Trek IV (1986) and Three Men and a Baby (1987), among other films.
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Leonard Nimoy
Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr
  • The symbolic Vulcan salute was created by Leonard Nimoy, performed using a single hand, and it was based on a sign given by priests during a Jewish blessing.
  • Leonard Nimoy performed in numerous films and television shows outside of Star Trek, and though he technically retired in early 2010, he later acted in 2011 and provided voice performances during his remaining years.
  • Leonard Nimoy was fluent is the Jewish language Yiddish, and showed much support for his fellow Jews.
  • Leonard Nimoy was married twice; once from 1954 to 1987, to Sandra Zober, and later, in 1989 until his death, to Susan Bay, both actresses.
  • Leonard Nimoy died at age 83, on 27th February, 2015, due to complications of the lung disease ‘COPD’ (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), at his residential home in Bel Air, in Los Angeles, California, United States.
Bibliography:
Remembering Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015, 2015, Star Trek, http://www.startrek.com/article/remembering-leonard-nimoy-1931-2015
Leonard Nimoy, 2015, Biography.com, http://www.biography.com/people/leonard-nimoy-9423757
Leonard Nimoy, 2015, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Nimoy

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Taylor Swift

“Just be yourself, there is no one better.” – Taylor Swift

  • American Taylor Swift, is among the most successful and youngest country and pop vocalists, and songwriters that has ever lived.
  • Taylor Swift was born on 13 December 1989 as ‘Taylor Alison Swift’, in Pennsylvania’s West Reading, in the United States, and was brought up on a farm of Christmas trees.
  • Sony’s RCA Records was the first company to work with Taylor Swift, in 2004 when she was 14 years of age, and was the youngest writer to do so; however, the artist was only there for around a year, leaving to pursue a self-constructed career, and later signed with Big Machine Records.
  • Taylor Swift released her first album, self-titled, in 2006, which took one to two years to write, record and produce.
  • Taylor Swift has written songs with themes of romance, fantasy, friends, alienation and her past teenage life, and she uses codes in some of her written lyrics to reveal extra messages.
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Taylor Swift
Image courtesy of Jana Zills/Flickr
  • Taylor Swift endeavours to present a good public image and be a good role model, and she also likes to engage with her most enthusiastic fans by having them selected from audiences to meet with backstage.
  • Taylor Swift is well known for her philanthropy, and her earnings have reached significant millions since 2009, while in 2014 she earned $64 million.
  • When Taylor Swift was young, writing poetry was among her hobbies, and as an adult, writing about life is one of her favourite things to do.
  • Taylor Swift has been the recipient of numerous different awards, and by the end of 2014 had received 7 Grammy Awards as well as 16 American Music Awards, and had sold 27.1 million album copies in the United States.
  • Five albums, that is one every two years, have been produced by Taylor Swift; Taylor Swift in 2006, Fearless in 2008, Speak Now in 2010, Red in 2012, and 1989 in 2014.
Bibliography:
About, 2014, Taylor Swift, http://taylorswift.com/about
Taylor Swift, 2015, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_Swift
Widdicombe, L, You Belong With Me, 2011, The New Yorker, http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/10/10/you-belong-with-me

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Taylor Swift

Military Decoration

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Military decorations look quite prestigious.

  • Military decorations are ornamental items that also represent status or achievement, awarded to and warn by members of the military.
  • Military decorations are often given as a token of recognition for courage, service and bravery during a certain situation, such as participation in a war.
  • Honours and awards, similar to military decorations can be awarded to members of the general public for their bravery and service, notably fire fighters and police.
  • The ancient Romans, Egyptians and Celts awarded military decorations to their soldiers and military leaders.
  • The Polish award named the ‘War Order of Virtuti Militari’, the Latin term for ‘military virtue’, first bestowed in 1792, is among the earliest and most senior military decorations still available for nomination.

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  • Military decorations are sometimes illegally replicated, sold and worn, and the offence can lead to serious consequences like jail.
  • Bravery, campaign and service awards, are common military decorations awarded today, and orders of merit can also be awarded, although they are not necessarily restricted to the military.
  • Military decorations often come in the form of ribbons, badges or medals, and multiple decorations are often worn at a time.
  • Awardees of military decorations are typically nominated by someone not directly related to the recipient, typically submitted to the government’s military department by other military personnel.
  • Military decorations come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes, and stars, crosses and circles are common shapes.
Bibliography:
Military Awards and Decorations, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_awards_and_decorations
Military Honours and Awards, n.d., The British Monarchy, http://www.royal.gov.uk/MonarchUK/Honours/MilitaryHonoursandAwards/MilitaryHonoursandAwards.aspx

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Isaac Newton

“We build too many walls and not enough bridges.” – Isaac Newton

  • Isaac Newton was a scientist and mathematician who was an important contributor to the field of physics and its discoveries.
  • Isaac Newton was born on Christmas day, the 25th of December, in 1642 (on the Julian calendar) in Woolsthorpe, in England’s Lincolnshire county in Europe, and he did not meet his father, who had died three months earlier.
  • Isaac Newton spent a number of years at The King’s School in Grantham, England, and was discharged by his mother, who wanted Newton to become a farmer, much against the juvenile’s wishes, although he did later return to school.
  • In 1661, Isaac Newton extended his education at Trinity College in Cambridge, England, and earned himself a scholarship in 1664 that continued until the completion of his degree, that was awarded to him in 1669.
  • Isaac Newton was quite knowledgeable on the subject of mathematics, producing many papers, and among many other things, he discovered the visible spectrum through a prism, defined the laws of motion and gravity and created the concept of Newtonian fluid.

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Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton
Image courtesy of Paukrus/Flickr
  • Isaac Newton died at age 84 on 20 March 1726/7, in the capital of England, London, and was laid to rest at Westminster Abbey, and his death may have been caused by mercury poisoning.
  • Isaac Newton is commemorated by a number of statues, including one at Oxford University Museum and one at Westminster Abbey, and he is known officially as ‘Sir Isaac Newton’, as he was knighted in April 1705 by Queen Anne.
  • A tooth that is believed to have been that of Isaac Newton’s, was sold in 1816 for £730 and in 2001 was said to be worth £25,000 or US$35,7000.
  • It is commonly believed and accepted, that Isaac Newton decided to look into gravity after watching an apple fall from an apple tree.
  • Isaac Newton became ‘Master’ of the Royal Mint in the late 1600s, and he calculated that approximately 20% of coins received where fake, and he caught many offenders.
Bibliography:
Isaac Newton, 2014, Biography, http://www.biography.com/people/isaac-newton-9422656
Isaac Newton, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton
Isaac Newton’s Life, 1998, Isaac Newton Institute, https://www.newton.ac.uk/about/isaac-newton/life

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Marilyn Monroe

“We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.” – Marilyn Monroe

  • Marilyn Monroe was a famous actress, singer and model from America who was born with name Norma Jeane Mortenson.
  • Marilyn Monroe was born in California’s Los Angeles, in the United States, on 1 June, 1926, to Gladys Baker, although it is uncertain who her father was.
  • As a child, Marilyn Monroe had no permanent home, as her mother had mental health issues, so she lived in various foster homes and an orphanage, although at age 16 she was encouraged to marry James Dougherty, a neighbour friend, in 1942, to avoid being in another care situation.
  • Marilyn Monroe started her modelling career in 1945, for The Blue Book Modeling Agency, and was quickly signed up with 20th Century Fox, so that in 1946, Monroe performed in her first films, and her first significant role was in 1947 in Dangerous Years.
  • During her life, Marilyn Monroe was also known as ‘Norma Jean Baker’, ‘Norma Jean DiMaggio’, ‘Norma Jean Dougherty’ and ‘Marilyn Monroe Miller’ and while she was naturally a brunette, she began dying her hair blonde for work purposes.

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Marilyn Monroe
Image courtesy of MTA Photos/Flickr
  • Marilyn Monroe first acted in a more major role in 1948 Ladies of Chorus, for Columbia, and although she performed well, the film was not as successful as hoped and it received negative reviews.
  • Marilyn Monroe is well known for acting in Don’t Bother to Knock (1952), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Niagara (1953), The Seven-Year Itch (1955), Some Like it Hot (1959) and The Misfits (1961), all primarily comedy or romance films.
  • Marilyn Monroe died at 36 years of age, on 5 August 1962, from barbiturate poisoning, said to be a self-induced drug overdose, although much speculation has been made regarding the circumstances.
  • Marilyn Monroe was awarded, in 1960, the Golden Globe Award for her notable acting in Some Like it Hot (1959), and she also received two Golden Globe Awards for female ‘World Film Favourite’ in 1953 and 1962.
  • Marilyn Monroe was married to James Dougherty from 1942 to 1946, Joe DiMaggio whom she married and divorced in 1954, and Arthur Miller from 1956 to 1961, and although she was married three times, she did not have any children.
Bibliography:
A Brief Marilyn History, n.d, Marilyn Monroe, http://marilynmonroe.com/history/
Marilyn Monroe, 2014, Biography, http://www.biography.com/people/marilyn-monroe-9412123
Marilyn Monroe, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Monroe

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Shaving Cream

Have you ever thought about the invention of shaving cream?

  • Shaving cream is a foamy mixture placed on the body, typically the face, during the process of removing, or shaving, hairs.
  • ‘Shaving cream’ is also known as ‘shaving foam’.
  • Shaving cream is typically used with a razor to create an easier and smoother cutting process and to help protect the skin from the razor blade.
  • Before shaving cream, a type of soap made from animal fat and wood ash was used in a similar way, and was invented thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia, now modern day Middle East, by Sumerians.
  • Shaving cream was originally manufactured as a solid prism, like soap blocks, and an early foaming soap for shaving purposes was produced in 1840, while in the 1900s the products became more foamy and were generally applied by brush.

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  • Modern day shaving cream is most often bought in cylindrical cans, that are pressurised, and have a spray function and nozzle.
  • Shaving cream that expands against a change of pressure was invented in 1949 by the American healthcare company Carter-Wallace, and quickly became very popular, although gases emitted from the pressurised cans were later considered environmentally unfriendly, so the propellants were eventually changed.
  • Shaving cream is generally made of water, oils, soap and other agents used primarily for hygiene.
  • Shaving cream is usually white in colour and has a texture of cream or foam, and it can also be a gel-like substance.
  • Shaving cream products need to be tested before being being released to customers, for the size of the foam once emitted, rate of absorption, water purity, and pH levels, and the standards are set by agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Bibliography:
Shaving Cream, 2014, How Products are Made, http://www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Shaving-Cream.html
Shaving Cream, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaving_cream
History of Shaving Cream, Part 1 (of 1), 2012, Perfect Shave, http://perfectshave.com/history-of-shaving-cream-part-1-of-1/

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