Jaime de Mora y Aragon, a flamboyant Spanish aristocrat whose amiable antics made him the toast of the Costa del Sol.
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William Buckland is famous for two things: he was the first man to write a full account of a fossil, and he was incredibly eccentric when it came to animals and food. Buckland’s love of natural history resulted in his house being something akin to a zoo. He filled it with animals of every kind and he then proceeded to eat them all (and serve them to guests). He claimed to have eaten his way through every animal. The creatures that he said tasted worst were bluebottle flies, and mole. Various guests to dinner describe being served panther, crocodile, and mouse.
Hubert Burda is a German art historian and publisher. A kind of German Franco Maria Ricci, although not as cool.
Erdös was a Hungarian mathematician. Erdős published more papers than any other mathematician in history, working with hundreds of collaborators. He is also known for his eccentric personality.
Possessions meant little to Erdős; most of his belongings would fit in a suitcase, as dictated by his itinerant lifestyle. Awards and other earnings were generally donated to people in need and various worthy causes. He spent most of his life as a vagabond, traveling between scientific conferences and the homes of colleagues all over the world. He would typically show up at a colleague’s doorstep and announce “my brain is open,” staying long enough to collaborate on a few papers before moving on a few days later.
Karl Hess left school at fifteen to work as a reporter and wound up, just a few years later, as associate editor at Newsweek. He helped William F Buckley Jr found the National Review, worked closely with Joseph McCarthy, and became chief speechwriter for Barry Goldwater. But true to a conscience that caused him to question the claims and authority of others, Hess eventually rejected conservatism and embraced the libertarian politics of the New Left. He dabbled with drugs, rode motorcycles, worked with the Black Panthers, got arrested while protesting the war in Vietnam, and published an article in Playboy that defined libertarianism and ignited a national debate. As an anti-Communist he co-operated with the FBI, but as a libertarian he fought the IRS until he was nearly destitute. Whatever his political leanings, he always despised conceit, exploded intolerance, and embraced life to the fullest. He was a man who travelled in influential circles, often close to power, but, in his own words, ‘mostly on the edge’. Karl Hess participated in many of the defining events of 20th-century America, a self-taught boy who became a self-made journalist. “Mostly on the Edge” chronicles the life education of Hess, who became a defiant tester of the prevailing ideas of each decade. He lived by trial and error, and was always willing to acknowledge his mistakes. Like Franklin and Thoreau, Hess hoped to wake up America by questioning the moral majority, fighting the Kafkaesque intrusions of government, and encouraging his family, friends, and highly influential colleagues to think for themselves. Hess provides eyewitness accounts, unique personal observations, startling and valuable insights on leadership and dissent, and, in the end, leaves behind a clear path to realising the dream of freedom.
In 2004, Jennings won 74 Jeopardy! games before he was defeated by challenger Nancy Zerg on his 75th appearance. His total earnings on Jeopardy! are $3,172,700
At the age of 98, the dashing Lady Killearn and her antics provide us with the perfect distraction from the realities of market turmoil and credit crunches
Most of Laffoley‘s pieces are painted on large canvases and combine words and imagery to depict a spiritual architecture of explanation, tackling concepts like dimensionality, time travel through hacking relativity, connecting conceptual threads shared by philosophers through the millennia, and theories about the cosmic origins of mankind. As of 2004, Laffoley claims to have executed over 800 works. His work over the last forty years is a dizzying mix of precise architectural-quality painting and ideas (both societally accepted and far on the fringe) from ancient times to the present. Laffoley has called his work a blend of the purely rational, Apollonian impulse and the purely emotional, Dionysianimpulse.
Antanas Mockus is a Colombian mathematician, philosopher, and politician. He was mayor of Bogotá for two (non-consecutive) terms, during which he became known for springing surprising and humorous initiatives upon the city’s inhabitants. These tended to involve grand gestures, including local artists or personal appearances by the mayor himself—taking a shower in a commercial about conserving water, or walking the streets dressed in spandex and a cape as Supercitizen. In a notable 1993 incident, when confronted with a disruptive group of students, he mooned them. He later explained his action by saying “Innovative behavior can be useful when you run out of words”, and linked it to philosopher Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of “symbolic violence.”
Spooner has become famous for his “spoonerisms” (“He was killed by a blushing crow” – He was killed by a crushing blow). Few, if any, of his own spoonerisms were deliberate. After the concept of Spoonerisms became popularized, Spooner denounced a crowd that had gathered to hear him speak by saying, “You haven’t come for my lecture, you just want to hear one of those…things.”
Spooner is supposed to have committed other absent-minded gaffes. He was said to have invited a don to tea, “to welcome Stanley Casson, our new archaeology Fellow”. “But, sir,” the man replied, “I am Stanley Casson”. “Never mind,” Spooner said, “Come all the same.”