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Rigil Kent
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Three men make a tiger.


« on: March 12, 2009, 11:41:17 AM »

Right, who's clever? Well, obviously all of you, but lets see who can first name the individual described in the following summary based on his/her Wikipedia article. (Please switch your search engines off, you either know this or you don't Wink):

This person was born on September 14, 1915 in Beijing, China. His mother was a musician, and his father a zoologist. He moved to San Francisco, California in 1927, and spent 23 years in a monastery. He became a very influential and popular amateur astronomer, and  became known as the "pied piper of astronomy". He often leverages this popularity to draw attention to his unorthodox views of cosmology.

Enough clues. Who are we talking about?

Mintaka
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Mefiante
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2009, 12:11:23 PM »

Initials JD, leader of the SF SAs, and a fun populariser of science.

Will the first person to give it away explicitly lose…?  Tongue

'Luthon64
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2009, 12:31:06 PM »

Well done 'Luthon. John Dobson is well known for being the first person to attach a Newtonian reflector to a low cost revolving cannon mount, resulting in the ever so popular Dobsonian telescope.

Oh, did I mention the rule that the first person who guesses right has to provide the clues for the next celebrity?

Mintaka
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 13:50:55 PM by Mintaka, Reason: Nope, not the Focus on the Family guy! » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2009, 12:53:52 PM »

Okay, here goes:  Born 1914 around Tulsa, Oklahoma, this prolific populariser of mathematics, science and philosophy has published more than 70 books, and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, including a 25-year stint as a columnist with a well-known science magazine.  He has a particular fascination with the works of one Charles Lutwidge Dodgson ( Wink ).  He served a few years in the US Navy as a yeoman during WWII, and later moved to New York with his wife Charlotte who died in the year 2000.  He’s also an accomplished stage magician and eminent sceptic, though one with theist leanings.

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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2009, 14:33:06 PM »

My best guess is Michio Kaku, but the years must have been kind.

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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2009, 14:49:27 PM »

Without doing a Google search, what about Asimov?
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2009, 15:18:21 PM »

Martin Gardner.
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2009, 15:24:36 PM »

Yup, it’s Martin Gardner — answer posted while I was composing this:
Quote
Nope, it’s neither Asimov nor Kaku.

Another hint:  In the early fifties, he wrote one of the first exposés of assorted pseudosciences that formed the modern sceptical movement.  A chapter for each topic, which included orgone energy, scientology, flying saucers, Atlantis/Lemuria and Velikovsky’s Worlds in Collision hooey.

In truth I’m a little surprised that the man hasn’t been identified yet.

ETA: “Charles Lutwidge Dodgson” is the real name of Lewis Carroll (of Alice in Wonderland fame).  Gardner wrote a regular column for Scientific American, and his 1952 pseudoscience exposé was titled Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, a book that has, more than half a century later, lost very little if any of its relevance.  Gardner is a founder member of SCICOP.

'Luthon64
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 16:26:39 PM by Anacoluthon64, Reason: Spelllllllllinnnnnnnnggggggggg! :-[ » Logged
bluegray
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2009, 15:43:04 PM »

Ok, an easy one Wink

This person (born 28 April 1948) is an English novelist, known for his frequently comical work in the fantasy genre. He is best known for his popular and long-running series of comic fantasy novels. His first novel was published in 1971, and since 1983, he has written two books a year on average. He is also known for close collaboration on adaptations of his books. He is currently the second most-read writer in the UK.


PS. I am reminded of Martin Gardner everyday, since this dragon is on my desk Wink
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Rigil Kent
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Three men make a tiger.


« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2009, 15:46:41 PM »

Terry Pratchett?
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2009, 15:48:37 PM »

Indeed! Your turn again.
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Rigil Kent
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Three men make a tiger.


« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2009, 15:58:13 PM »

This gentleman lived 1897 - 1968. He lectured Chemistry at Rhodes University and was informed in 1938 of an astonishing discovery made by an East London museum curator.

His son was in A Word or 2.

He wrote a book called Old Fourlegs.


Mintaka
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 19:02:24 PM by Mintaka, Reason: Added another clue » Logged
ingwe
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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2009, 21:12:12 PM »

James Leonard Brierley Smith
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2009, 21:15:27 PM »

None other. You're it. Smiley
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ingwe
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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2009, 21:29:14 PM »

(November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996)He was an American astronomer, astrochemist, author, and highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics and other natural sciences. He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

He is world-famous for writing popular science books.  He also wrote the novel Contact, the basis for the 1997 Robert Zemeckis film of the same name starring Jodie Foster. During his lifetime, he published more than 600 scientific papers and popular articles and was author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books. In his works, he frequently advocated skeptical inquiry, secular humanism, and the scientific method.

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ingwe
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« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2009, 22:42:04 PM »

He co-wrote and presented the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which has been seen by more than 600 million people in over 60 countries, making it the most widely watched PBS program in history.[
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Rigil Kent
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Three men make a tiger.


« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2009, 07:21:46 AM »

Carl Sagan - busy reading one of his books at the moment.

Here's a tricky one. Born in 1986, this young American man gained internet fame by posting a hilarious video in 2004 of himself dancing to a song by the Moldovan pop group O-zone called Dragostea din tei. This video alone arguably justifies the existence of the web cam. The video was watched an estimated 700 milion times, enough to secure him a Guinness book entry in 2008.
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ingwe
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« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2009, 09:30:48 AM »

numa numa?
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2009, 16:02:21 PM »

Not bad! After all this time Gary Brolsma's Numa Numa clip still has the power to turn me from a big Grinch into a mere grouch in one minute flat.

Maiya Hee!!
Mintaka
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ingwe
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« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2009, 18:32:25 PM »

I was guessing and honestly did not know the name!

 He(November 30, 1866, Paisley – April 6, 1951) was a South African doctor and paleontologist. He qualified as a medical practitioner in 1895 and received his DSc in 1905 from the University of Glasgow. In 1893 he married Mary Baird Baillie.

From 1903 to 1910 he was professor of zoö and geology at Victoria College, Stellenbosch, South Africa, and subsequently he became keeper of vertebrate paleontology at the South African Museum, Cape Town.

« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 20:21:59 PM by ingwe, Reason: Add new CV » Logged
benguela
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An infinitesimal subset of the observable universe


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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2009, 16:56:12 PM »

(November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996)He was an American astronomer, astrochemist, author, and highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics and other natural sciences. He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

He is world-famous for writing popular science books.  He also wrote the novel Contact, the basis for the 1997 Robert Zemeckis film of the same name starring Jodie Foster. During his lifetime, he published more than 600 scientific papers and popular articles and was author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books. In his works, he frequently advocated skeptical inquiry, secular humanism, and the scientific method.



pick me, pick me .... John Steinbeck?
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ingwe
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« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2009, 09:10:24 AM »

(November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996)He was an American astronomer, astrochemist, author, and highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics and other natural sciences. He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

He is world-famous for writing popular science books.  He also wrote the novel Contact, the basis for the 1997 Robert Zemeckis film of the same name starring Jodie Foster. During his lifetime, he published more than 600 scientific papers and popular articles and was author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books. In his works, he frequently advocated skeptical inquiry, secular humanism, and the scientific method.



pick me, pick me .... John Steinbeck?
It was Carl Sagan as Mintaka said on the 14th
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ingwe
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2009, 09:16:31 AM »


He(November 30, 1866, Paisley – April 6, 1951) was a South African doctor and paleontologist. He qualified as a medical practitioner in 1895 and received his DSc in 1905 from the University of Glasgow. In 1893 he married Mary Baird Baillie.

From 1903 to 1910 he was professor of zoö and geology at Victoria College, Stellenbosch, South Africa, and subsequently he became keeper of vertebrate paleontology at the South African Museum, Cape Town.



He was first known for his study of mammal-like reptiles. After Raymond Dart's discovery of the Taung Child, an infant australopithecine, his interest in paleoanthropology was heightened. his career seemed over and he was sinking into poverty, when Dart wrote to Jan Smuts about the situation. Smuts exerting pressure on the South African government, managed to obtain a position for him, in 1934 with the staff of the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria as an Assistant in Palaeontology.

In the following years, he made a series of spectacular finds, including fragments from six hominids in Sterkfontein, which he named Plesianthropus transvaalensis, popularly called Mrs. Ples, but which was later classified as an adult Australopithecus africanus, as well as more discoveries at sites in Kromdraai and Swartkrans. In 1937, he made his most famous discovery of Paranthropus robustus. These discoveries helped support Dart's claims for the Taung species.

The remainder of his career was devoted to the exploration of these sites and the interpretation of the many early hominid remains discovered there. In 1946 he proposed the Australopithecinae subfamily. He continued to write to the very last. Shortly before his death he finished a monograph on the Australopithecines and remarked to his nephew:


"Now that's finished ... and so am I." [1]
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2009, 09:38:57 AM »

Thanks for that interesting piece Ingwe. I for one need to brush up on my SA archeology!

Mintaka
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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2009, 10:59:52 AM »

I think technically ingwe is still it, but I'm stealing it Wink
I was thinking of this guy, but the timeline didn't match up:

He is a South African palaeoanthropologist and Professor Emeritus at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is best known for his pioneering work at South Africa's famous hominid fossil sites, and is one of the world's leading authorities on the evolution of humankind.
He is best known for his research on hominid fossils and human evolution, having studied and described hominid fossils from Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia. His best known work was on the hominids of East Africa, particularly those of the Olduvai Gorge. Collaborating with Louis Leakey, he identified, described and named the new species Homo habilis. He is closely linked with the archaeological excavation at the Sterkfontein site, a research programme he initiated in 1966.
In 1959 he became Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy and Human Biology, succeeding his mentor and eminent scholar, Professor Raymond Dart.
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Spike
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2009, 11:07:18 AM »

Robert Broom?
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ingwe
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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2009, 13:35:01 PM »

Robert Broom?

Broom died in 1951. So he is out.
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ingwe
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« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2009, 13:47:50 PM »

I would put the initials as P V T
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« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2009, 14:59:01 PM »

Ah man!!  Talk about not seeing the wood for the trees!  I attended some of his lectures, for FSM's sake.

Tobias.  Duh.  Phillip Tobias.
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« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2009, 15:51:21 PM »

 Grin Grin Spike, your turn.
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Spike
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« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2009, 22:53:27 PM »

Let's keep it light and entertaining (hope it's not too cryptic):

Which American SF writer and political activist unsuccessfully pursued political office between 1999 and 2003? His CV includes Prometheus Awards and an essay "Why Did it Have to be ... Guns?"

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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2009, 22:40:15 PM »

I will venture Gene Roddenberry with a 10% confidence level.

Mintaka
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« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2009, 21:14:09 PM »

His first book was published in 1981 and won him the first of three Pometheus awards.  He has since written or co-written over 20 books, and contributed to a few more.  His work includes SF series, novels, graphic novels and nonfiction as well as several short stories contained in SF anthologies. 

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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2009, 10:32:03 AM »

 Huh? Ok Spike ... enlighten us!
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ingwe
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« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2009, 22:13:51 PM »

He wrote The Forge of the Elders?
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« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2009, 22:24:37 PM »

Yikes!! Sorry for dropping the ball like this, I was awaaaaay! for a long time.  If anyone is still interested,  it is L Neil Smith, or "El Neil" as he is affectionately known to his fans.  I came across his book "The probability broach" a few years back and was sold to anarchism on the spot. 
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« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2009, 12:52:14 PM »

Not bad! After all this time Gary Brolsma's Numa Numa clip still has the power to turn me from a big Grinch into a mere grouch in one minute flat.

Maiya Hee!!
Mintaka

"numa numa" rocks! makes me laugh every time Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2009, 14:24:21 PM »

Spike, since nobody guessed right, you're still it Wink
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #38 on: October 10, 2011, 18:38:04 PM »

Born in London in 1940 and raised an Orthodox Jew.
Medical doctor, scientist, author and television presenter.
Sits on the Labour Party benches in the House of Lords.
Fan of the Arsenal Football Club. Tongue

?

Rigil
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« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2011, 10:01:33 AM »

Born in London in 1940 and raised an Orthodox Jew.
Medical doctor, scientist, author and television presenter.
Sits on the Labour Party benches in the House of Lords.
Fan of the Arsenal Football Club. Tongue

?

Rigil

Robert Winston. One of the very few reasons to bother watching TV at all.  :-)
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2011, 11:12:40 AM »

Yes! Sorry 'bout the belated confirmation.

Rigil
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« Reply #41 on: January 03, 2012, 19:50:45 PM »

Yes! Sorry 'bout the belated confirmation.

Rigil

Does that mean I have to put up one now?
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #42 on: January 03, 2012, 22:29:13 PM »

Yeah, why not? I've seen even older threads flogged on these forums Wink.

Rigil
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