Friday, September 14, 2007

7 Interesting People (of all sorts..)

Harry Browne (1933-2006): Harry was a investment analyst and libertarian politician. He was the U.S. presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party in 1996 and 2000. He received 0.5% of the popular vote in his first candidacy and 0.4% in the second. He was noted as being one of the very few presidential candidates to, as a matter of principle, reject matching funds that he qualified for during an election. He was a fairly successful author, writing a number of books on finances and libertarianism. One of his more well-known books was a book on personal liberty titled How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World. Harry was confied to a wheelchair by Lou Gehrig's disease in 2005 and died in 2006.

Wilkie Collins (1824-1889): This British man wrote 27 novels, 50 short stories, over 100 pieces of non-fiction work, and at least 15 plays. He was the son of a painter and was never married, although he lived with a widow and fathered three children.

John Stott (1921-Present) is an Anglican Christian leader and one of the principal authors of the 1974 Lausanne Covenant. In the 1960's, Stott and Martyn Lloyd-Jones argued over whether evangelicals should leave the Church of England, with Lloyd-Jones making the case for a separatist position. Controversy has also arisen over John's adherence to Annihilationism. John has remained celibate for his entire life and has devoted much time to writing around 50 books. He's also written a book on birdwatching and is a skillful photographer. He retired in 2007 at the age of 86. He's received the CBE and was appointed chaplain to Elizabeth II. A New York times columnist is quoted as once having said that if evangelicals could elect a pope, it would be John Stott.

Peter Sellers (1925-1980): Sellers was a British comedian/actor who never won an Oscar but was nominated for two Academy Awards for "Best Actor". He rose to prominence starting with his role in The Goon Show. He then starred in a number of well-known movies, including his famous role as Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther series. He also appeared on the Muppets Show. He consistently showed a versatility as an actor, he was able to skillfully imitate accents and playing sharply contrasting role with ease. Sellers had a casual friendship with Ringo Starr and George Harrison. Personal issues and his personality often made his relationship with various producers and actors difficult. Sellers had four marriages and struggled with drug abuse and also heart problems. He tended to defer his problems, both with mental heath and physical heath to astrologers and psychics, a fact which eventually lead to his death by heart attack. His reputation as a "man behind a mask" was furthered by public statements such as "If you ask me to play myself, I will not know what to do. I do not know who or what I am." and "There used to be a me behind the mask, but I had it surgically removed.".

I.F. Stone (1907-1989) was a radical journalist best know for his thorough investigative journalism. Stone had a self-published journal named "I.F. Stone's Weekly", which had a small circulation but was quite influential. His journalism was remarkable in that his material came largely from obscure public domain sources and official government reports. Stone actively criticized government policy on things such as the Vietnam War and racism. He was placed on the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee's list of the 82 most active and typical sponsors of Communist fronts in the USA. There is some debate over the exact nature of his dealings with the Soviet Union, but he clearly was considered a threat and was heavily monitored by the FBI, CIA, State Department, etc. After his retirement, Stone learned Ancient Greek and wrote a book on the
trial of Socrates.

Eric Raymond (1957-Present) is a programmer, author, and open source advocate. Eric is well known with the "hacker culture" mainly due to his publication of the "Jargon File" and also a pro-open source work entitled "The Cathedral and the Baazar". He was born in Boston and entered computing due to physical limitations imposed by his mild form of congenital cerebral palsy. He's contributed to a number of software and software documentation projects. Eric is also known for being: a black-belt, a practitioner of Moo Doo, a native of Pennsylvania, an agnostic, a sci fi fan, a musician, a libertarian, against Wikipedia, for the Iraq war, against gun control, and against the CDA.

Huddie Ledbetter (1888-1949) was an American blues musician known as "Leadbelly". Huddie could play the twelve-string guitar, harmonica, piano, mandolin, violin, and accordian. He was imprisoned several times, once for killing a relative in a fight and another time for attempted murder. Perhaps his best known and most covered song is "Midnight Special", which was based on his jail experiences. Huddie's music has been picked up by many popular artists including The Animals, Peter Seeger, Creedance Clearwater Revival, Nirvana, and Van Morrison.


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