Jumat, 15 November 2013

Top 10 Geniuses

First off, you may be surprised to find that Albert Einstein is not included on this list. The reason is that I have used a table of IQ estimates for historical geniuses to determine the members and order of this list, and Einstein’s IQ (around 160) did not make the grade. Despite that, he is still the first person to pop in to most people’s minds when thinking of a genius. Having said that, here is a list of the ten greatest geniuses in history.
10. Madame De Stael IQ: 180Wikipedia
In full – Anne-Louise-Germaine Necker, Baronne (baroness) de Staël-Holstein, byname Madame de Staël. Madame de Stael was a French-Swiss woman of letters, political propagandist, and conversationalist, who epitomized the European culture of her time, bridging the history of ideas from Neoclassicism to Romanticism. She also gained fame by maintaining a salon for leading intellectuals. Her writings include novels, plays, moral and political essays, literary criticism, history, autobiographical memoirs, and even a number of poems. Her most important literary contribution was as a theorist of Romanticism. Madame de Stael is on an equal level with René Descartes but I chose to include her rather than him in order to put at least one woman on this list.
9. Galileo Galilei IQ: 185Wikipedia
Galileo was Italian natural philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician who made fundamental contributions to the sciences of motion, astronomy, and strength of materials and to the development of the scientific method. His formulation of (circular) inertia, the law of falling bodies, and parabolic trajectories marked the beginning of a fundamental change in the study of motion. His insistence that the book of nature was written in the language of mathematics changed natural philosophy from a verbal, qualitative account to a mathematical one in which experimentation became a recognized method for discovering the facts of nature. Finally, his discoveries with the telescope revolutionized astronomy and paved the way for the acceptance of the Copernican heliocentric system, but his advocacy of that system in support of his view that the Bible contained errors, eventually resulted in an Inquisition process against him.
8. Bobby Fischer IQ: 187Wikipedia
Fischer Bobby
Bobby is the byname of Robert James Fischer, an American chess master who became the youngest grandmaster in history when he received the title in 1958. His youthful intemperance and brilliant playing drew the attention of the American public to the game of chess, particularly when he won the world championship in 1972. Fischer learned the moves of chess at age 6 and at 16 dropped out of high school to devote himself fully to the game. In 1958 he won the first of many American championships. In world championship candidate matches during 1970–71, Fischer won 20 consecutive games before losing once and drawing three times to former world champion Tigran Petrosyan of the Soviet Union in a final match won by Fischer. In 1972 Fischer became the first native-born American to hold the title of world champion when he defeated Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union in a highly publicized match held in Reykjavík, Iceland. In doing so, Fischer won the $156,000 victor’s share of the $250,000 purse.
7. Ludwig Wittgenstein IQ: 190Wikipedia
in full – Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was an Austrian-born English philosopher, regarded by many as the greatest philosopher of the 20th century. Wittgenstein’s two major works, Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung (1921; Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1922) and Philosophische Untersuchungen (published posthumously in 1953; Philosophical Investigations), have inspired a vast secondary literature and have done much to shape subsequent developments in philosophy, especially within the analytic tradition. His charismatic personality has, in addition, exerted a powerful fascination upon artists, playwrights, poets, novelists, musicians, and even filmmakers, so that his fame has spread far beyond the confines of academic life.
6. Blaise Pascal IQ: 195Wikipedia
Blaise Pascal
Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, religious philosopher, and master of prose. He laid the foundation for the modern theory of probabilities, formulated what came to be known as Pascal’s law of pressure, and propagated a religious doctrine that taught the experience of God through the heart rather than through reason. The establishment of his principle of intuitionism had an impact on such later philosophers as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Henri Bergson and also on the Existentialists.
Read all about his inventiveness in Works of Blaise Pascal at Amazon.com!
5. John Stuart Mill IQ: 200Wikipedia
John Stuart Mill was an English philosopher, economist, and exponent of Utilitarianism. He was prominent as a publicist in the reforming age of the 19th century, and remains of lasting interest as a logician and an ethical theorist. Mill was a man of extreme simplicity in his mode of life. The influence that his works exercised upon contemporary English thought can scarcely be overestimated, nor can there be any doubt about the value of the liberal and inquiring spirit with which he handled the great questions of his time. Beyond that, however, there has been considerable difference of opinion about the enduring merits of his philosophy.
4. Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz IQ: 205Wikipedia
300Px-Gottfried Wilhelm Von Leibniz-1
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (also Leibnitz or von Leibniz (July 1 (June 21 Old Style) 1646 – November 14, 1716) was a German philosopher of Sorbian origin who wrote primarily in Latin and French. Educated in law and philosophy, and serving as factotum to two major German noble houses (one becoming the British royal family while he served it), Leibniz played a major role in the European politics and diplomacy of his day. He occupies an equally large place in both the history of philosophy and the history of mathematics. He discovered calculus independently of Newton, and his notation is the one in general use since. He also discovered the binary system, foundation of virtually all modern computer architectures. In philosophy, he is most remembered for optimism, i.e., his conclusion that our universe is, in a restricted sense, the best possible one God could have made.
3. Emanuel Swedenborg IQ: 205Wikipedia
180Px-Emanuel Swedenborg Full Portrait
Emanuel Swedenborg was a Swedish scientist, Christian mystic, philosopher, and theologian who wrote voluminously in interpreting the Scriptures as the immediate word of God. Soon after his death, devoted followers created Swedenborgian societies dedicated to the study of his thought. These societies formed the nucleus of the Church of the New Jerusalem, or New Church, also called the Swedenborgians.
2. Leonardo Da Vinci IQ: 205Wikipedia
Leonardo Da Vinci, Italian painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, and engineer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. His Last Supper (1495–98) and Mona Lisa (c. 1503–06) are among the most widely popular and influential paintings of the Renaissance. His notebooks reveal a spirit of scientific inquiry and a mechanical inventiveness that were centuries ahead of their time. The unique fame that Leonardo enjoyed in his lifetime and that, filtered by historical criticism, has remained undimmed to the present day rests largely on his unlimited desire for knowledge, which guided all his thinking and behaviour.
1. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe IQ: 210Wikipedia
Goethe, German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, critic, and amateur artist, is considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era. Goethe is the only German literary figure whose range and international standing equal those of Germany’s supreme philosophers (who have often drawn on his works and ideas) and composers (who have often set his works to music). In the literary culture of the German-speaking countries, he has had so dominant a position that, since the end of the 18th century, his writings have been described as “classical.” In a European perspective he appears as the central and unsurpassed representative of the Romantic movement, broadly understood.

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Selasa, 01 Oktober 2013

10 People Who Lived To 100

A centenarian is a person who has attained the age of 100 years or more. The term is associated with longevity because average life expectancies across the world are far from 100. In the United States, centenarians traditionally receive a letter from the president upon reaching their 100th birthday, congratulating them for their longevity. In the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms, the Queen sends greetings (formerly as a telegram) on the 100th birthday and on every birthday starting with the 105th. This is a list of ten great people who lived to 100 or more.
10. Charles Lane Lane
Charles Lane was born on January 26th 1905, and began acting professionally in 1929, becoming a founding member of the Screen Actor’s Guild in 1933. When he passed away in 2007, he was the oldest living American actor.
During his career he starred in hundreds of television shows, including Petticoat Junction, I Love Lucy and Little House on the Prairie. He starred in over 250 feature films, including Mr Smith Goes to Washington, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, and most memorably, as the rent collector in It’s a Wonderful Life.
Indefatigable to then end, Lane’s final acting role was in 2006’s The Night Before Christmas aged 101.
People aren’t the only life on this planet. Read The Oldest Living Things in the World at Amazon.com!

9. Jeanne Calment
Jeanne Calment is, according to Guinness World Records, the oldest person to have ever lived for whom there is irrefutable evidence.
Born on February 21st 1875 in Arles, France, Calment’s mother, father and brother lived to 86, 93, and 97 respectively.
As well as living through two world wars, Calment also met Vincent Van Gogh while he was staying in Arles, and attended Victor Hugo’s funeral in 1885. At the age of 114, she appeared in the film Vincent and Me, making her the world’s oldest actress, and in 1996, the nursing home she resided in released a CD of her reminiscing about her life.
Calment lived on her own until she was 101. She took up fencing at age 85, and was still riding a bicycle by the time she reached 100. She survived a hip operation at age 114 to become the oldest verifiable surgery patient, and remained an ardent smoker until she decided to quit at age 117.
She died on August 4th 1997, age 122.

8. George Burns Burns
George Burns was an Academy Award winning comedian and actor. His career spanned vaudeville, film, radio, and television, with and without his equally legendary wife, Gracie Allen. His arched eyebrow and cigar smoke punctuation became familiar trademarks for over three quarters of a century.
Enjoying a remarkable career resurrection that began at age 79, and ended shortly before his death at age 100, George Burns was as well known in the last two decades of his life as at any other time during his career.
The likelihood that Burns would live to see his 100th birthday became a running gag in his stage work, but he indeed intended to live that long, even booking himself to play the London Palladium as a 100th birthday celebration. However, his health seriously declined towards his centenary, and although he eventually reached it, he was too ill to perform any engagements and died just 49 days later.
7. Henri Fabre
Henri Fabre was a French aviation pioneer, and inventor of La Canard, the first sea plane in history.
Henri Fabre was born into a prominent family of shipowners in the city of Marseilles. He was educated in the Jesuit College of Marseilles, where he undertook advanced studies in sciences. He then studied intensively aeroplane and propeller designs. He patented a system of flotation devices, which he used when he succeeded in taking off from the surface of the Etang de Berre on March 28th, 1910. On that day, he completed four consecutive perfect flights, the longest about 600 meters.
During the First World War, he established a company with 200 employees, which was specialized in the manufacture of seaplanes.
He died in 1984, age 102, as one of the last living pioneers of human flight.
6. Strom Thurmond
James Strom Thurmond, born December 5th 1902, was an American politician who served as governor of South Carolina and as a United States Senator. He left office, age 100, as the oldest serving US senator in history.
He ran for President in 1948 as a third party candidate for the segregationist States Rights Democratic Party, garnering 39 electoral votes. He represented South Carolina in the senate from 1954 to 1964 as a Democrat, and then from 1964 to 2003 as a Republican.
He left the Senate in January 2003 and died six months later, age 100.
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5. Irving Berlin Berlin
Born in Mogilev, Belarus on May 11th 1888, Berlin’s parents immigrated to the US in 1893, where he was forced to work various street jobs after his father’s death in 1896.
Berlin’s first taste of music composition was when the owner of a café where he was working asked him to produce an original song for them, as a rival café had had their own song pubished. Though he was paid just 37 cents for the result, this started Berlin off on a new career where he would become one of the most successful and prolific musicians and lyricists in history, composing over 3,000 songs including God Bless America, White Christmas, Anything You Can Do, and There’s No Business Like Show Business. He also composed 17 film scores, and 21 Broadway scores.
Berlin died of a heart attack in New York in 1989, aged 101.
4. Albert Hofmann
Born in Switzerland on January 11th 1906, Albert Hofmann changed the world irrevocably when, in 1938, he synthesised Lysergic acid diethylamide, which later became known as LSD.
He began experimenting with the drug in 1943, and subsequently wrote about his experiences. He became director of the natural products department at Sandoz and went on studying hallucinogenic substances found in Mexican mushrooms and other plants used by the aboriginal people. This led to the synthesis of psilocybin, the active agent of many “magic mushrooms.”
Hofmann calls LSD “medicine for the soul” and is frustrated by the worldwide prohibition that has pushed it underground. “It was used very successfully for 10 years in psychoanalysis,” he said, adding that the drug was hijacked by the youth movement of the 1960s and then unfairly demonized by the establishment that the movement opposed, though he concedes LSD can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
As of the time of writing, Hofmann is still alive and kicking.
3. Bob Hope
Bob Hope, was an English-born American entertainer who appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, on radio and television, in movies, and in performing tours for U.S. Military personnel. He was well known for his good natured humor and the longevity of his career.
Born in London, England on May 29th 1903, Hope and his family immigrated to the US in 1920, when Hope was 20. He began by entering dance and talent competitions, winning prizes for his Charlie Chaplin impersonations. Soon he was landing roles in various film and theatre productions, and numerous broadcasting shows.
As well as commerical work, Hope performed over 60 USO shows, across half a century, entertaining troops during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War. A 1997 act of Congress signed by President Clinton named Hope an “Honorary Veteran”. He remarked, “I’ve been given many awards in my lifetime — but to be numbered among the men and women I admire most — is the greatest honour I have ever received.”
Hope died on July 27th 2003, aged 100.
2. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, later Queen Elizabeth, was the Queen Consort of King George VI of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions from 1936 until his death in 1952. After her husband’s death, she was known as Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Elizabeth II. Before her husband ascended the throne, from 1923 to 1936 she was known as the Duchess of York. She was the last Queen of Ireland and Empress of India.
Born into a family of Scottish nobility, she came to prominence in 1923 when she married Albert, Duke of York, the second son of George V and Queen Mary. As Duchess of York, she – along with her husband and their two daughters Elizabeth and Margaret – embodied traditional ideas of family and public service. She undertook a variety of public engagements, and became known as the “Smiling Duchess” because of her consistent public expression.
In 1936, her husband unexpectedly became King when her brother-in-law, Edward VIII, abdicated in order to marry his mistress, the American divorcée Wallis Simpson. As Queen Consort, Elizabeth accompanied her husband on diplomatic tours to France and North America in the run-up to World War II. During the war, her seemingly indomitable spirit provided moral support to the British public, and in recognition of her role as a propaganda tool, Adolf Hitler described her as “the most dangerous woman in Europe”. After the war, her husband’s health deteriorated and she was widowed at the age of 51.
With her brother-in-law living abroad and her elder daughter now Queen at the age of 26, when Queen Mary died in 1953 Elizabeth became the senior royal and assumed a position as family matriarch. In her later years, she was a consistently popular member of the Royal Family, when other members were suffering from low levels of public approval.
Only after the illness and death of her own younger daughter, Princess Margaret, did she appear to grow frail. She died six weeks after Margaret, at the age of 101.
1. Leni Riefenstahl
Helene Bertha Amalie Riefenstahl was a German film director, dancer and actress widely noted for her aesthetics and innovations as a filmaker.
Born to a working class family in Berlin, on August 22nd 1902, Riefenstahl began her career as a dancer before moving to acting in silent films. In the early 1930s, Riefenstahl gave up acting to pursue her love of film directing and photgraphy. Her first film, Daus Blaue Licht, released in 1932, was critically acclaimed and became hugely popular throughout Germany.
Riefenstahl became a supporter of Hitler shortly after he came to power, and wrote of his mesmerising abilities as a public speaker. Hitler, himself, was a fan of Riefenstahl’s work and asked her to direct a film about the Nazi Party’s 1933 Nuremberg rally, titled Victory of Faith.
Impressed by her work, Hitler asked her to direct another film about their 1934 Nuremberg rally, called Triumph of the Will. The film used pioneering camera and cinematography techniques to create a rousing and uplifting portrait of the Nazi party. Today the film is regarded as one of the greatest documentaries and propaganda pieces ever made, despite its distasteful subject matter.
In 1936, she was hired by Hitler to film the Berlin Olympic Games. The result, Olympia, is considered one of the greatest sport documentaries ever made, praised for its aesthetic beauty and pioneering use of the tracking shot, and various revolutionary editing techniques.
During the war, she remained in and around Germany, shooting as film production of Tiefland, based on Hitler’s favourite opera of the same name by Eugene d’Albert. However she fell ill, and the film wasn’t completed until 1954.
Despite being detained after the war, Riefenstahl denied any involvement with Nazi war crimes, nor any knowledge of them. After the war, she was unable to secure funding for her films due to her nefarious associations, and was often met with protests wherever she went. Nevertheless, Riefenstahl regained some respect as a photographer in Africa during the 70s, and as an underwater photographer. Her final film, Underwater Impressions, was a film presenting an idealised view of the life in the oceans. It was her first film since Tiefland.
Though she has always been accused of helping further Nazi propaganda, Riefenstahl is admired as one the greatest directors of all time, and along with Soviet film-maker Sergei Eisenstein, one of the pioneers of modern propaganda films.
Leni Riefenstahl died on September 8th 2003, aged 101.

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Rabu, 04 September 2013

10 People who died before they were 25

In an era where people are living to increasingly old ages, it is always a shock to see someone with promise pass away, while still in their youth. Though not all of the people on the list have achieved anything other than notoriety, the question of what some of these people could have accomplished, had they lived their remaining years, is a lingering one. As usual, if you think of someone who deserves to be on this list, mention it in the comments for all to see.
10. The Notorious B.I.G. Biggie
Christopher George Latore Wallace was an American rapper from Brooklyn, New York, better known by his stage name of The Notorious B.I.G. When he debuted with his 1994 album Ready to Die, he was already a central figure in the East Coast hip-hop scene, and helped increase its presence at a time when it was the West Coast who dominated the genre.
He became involved in the East Coast – West Coast feud, which was causing waves within the hip-hop community, and on 9th March, 1997, he was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in LA. He was 24. His album, Life after Death, was released 15 days later and topped the American charts, being certified Diamond in 2000.
Watch the whole story with the 2009 film Notorious at Amazon.com!

9. Steve Prefontaine
Born in Coos Bay, Oregon, on 25th January, 1951, Steve Prefontaine was once told to give up his aspirations of being a long distance runner, as he had one leg shorter than the other.
Known for his aggressive racing style, Prefontaine once held the American record in every event, from 2,000m to 10,000m. He took part in the 1972 Olympic Games, coming fourth in the 5,000m despite having led for the majority of the race.
On May 30, 1975, returning from a party and dropping off friend and Marathon Olympic Gold Medallist, Frank Shorter, Prefontaine was driving down a familiar road, Skyline Boulevard, near Hendricks Park, when his car swerved left and hit a rock wall along the side of the street. The overturned car trapped Prefontaine underneath it and killed him before any emergency services could get to the scene. The exact cause of the crash is uncertain, although his blood-alcohol level was found to be 0.16, six-hundredths higher than Oregon’s legal limit at that time. He was 24.

8. Robert Pershing Wadlow Wadlow
Robert Wadlow is, according to Guinness World Records, the tallest person in history for whom there is irrefutable evidence. At the time of his death, aged 22, he measured an astonishing 2.72 metres (8 feet 11.09 inches). He showed no indication of an end to his growth, even at the time of his death.
Born 22nd February, 1918, in Alton, Illinois, Wadlow’s enormous stature was believed to be due to a tumour within his pituitary gland. He grew an average of 4 inches a year, becoming the world’s tallest boy scout at 13, with a height of 2.24m (7f 4in).
Towards the end of his life, he began requiring leg braces to walk, which caused him immense discomfort. On July 4th, 1940, one of his braces fractured, causing a blister and subsequent infection. Doctors treated him with a blood transfusion and surgery but his condition worsened, and he died from complications on July 15th, 1940.
7. Ian Curtis
Born in Manchester, England, on the 15th July, 1956, Curtis knew he wasn’t cut out for a conventional life at a young age. When he was 19, he hooked up with two young musicians, Bernard Sumner and Pete Hook, signed a deal with newly created Factory Records, and formed the band Joy Division.
His music was known for its dark, despairing lyrics, rough, aggressive guitar and bass, and later on, its synth work. Curtis sang in an almost baritone voice, and was known for his frenetic dance style on stage, mirrored on his own epileptic fits (sometimes they were epileptic fits).
While celebrating their upcoming American tour at a nightclub, Curtis excused himself from the group and made his way home, where he hung himself in the early hours of the morning. He was 23.
Though they had limited success during their career, Joy Division have gone on to influence many artists, pioneer the emerging Goth genre, and become one of the most respected bands of all time. After Curtis’ death, the remaining members formed a new group, New Order, who went on to great success and acclaim.
6. Sid Vicious
Replacing Glen Matlock as bassist for the Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious (born John Simon Ritchie) contributed little to the musical side of the band, but almost everything to the attitude of the band. During one performance, Vicious smashed a bottle and used it to cut his chest, before flinging the blood at audience members.
On the morning of October 12th, 1978, he awoke to find his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, dead from a stab wound. Vicious and Spungen had been taking copious amounts of drugs the night before, and Vicious said he couldn’t remember any of what had happened. He was arrested for her murder and released on bail. While on release, he overdosed on heroin at his new girlfriend’s house, and died on February 2nd, 1979, aged 21; whether this was deliberate or accidental is disputed to this day.
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5. River Phoenix Phoenix
Brother of Joaquin, River Phoenix was voted one of the “most promising new actors of 1986” by critic John Willis, after his breakthrough performance in Stand By Me. He went on to star in such films as Running on Empty, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and My Own Private Idaho – being nominated for an Academy Award for the former. Known for his wild looks and raw acting talent, Phoenix died of a drug overdose outside Hollywood nightclub The Viper Room, October 31st, 1993, aged 23.
4. Buddy Holly
Charles Hardin Holley was born in Lubbock, Texas, on September 7th, 1936. Initially starting as a bluegrass musician, Holley switched to rock after seeing Elvis Presley perform live, and a few months later would be performing on the same bill as him.
He signed to Decca Records in 1956, changed his name to Buddy Holly, and formed a band called The Crickets. They performed all over the US, and crossed racial boundaries, famously winning over an all black audience at the New York Apollo Theater. On August 15th, 1958, he married his wife, Maria Santiago, after proposing to her on their very first date.
Famous for the songs ‘That’ll be the day’ and ‘Peggy Sue,’ Buddy Holly died in a plane crash on the way to Fargo, North Dakota. He was 22.
3. Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald was, according to two United States government investigations, the assassin of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. A former Marine who defected to the Soviet Union and later returned, Oswald was arrested later that day on suspicion of killing the president and Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit. Oswald denied any responsibility for the murders. Two days later, before he could be brought to trial for the crimes, while being transferred under police custody from the police station to jail, Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby, on live television. His motives, and the significance of his role in JFK’s assassination, are hotly contested to this day. He was 24 at the time of his death.
2. James Dean
It’s incredible to think that James Dean only made three films in his lifetime. Dying in a tragic motoring accident at the age of 24, Dean was posthumously nominated for two Academy Awards for East of Eden and Giant. His other film, Rebel without a Cause was, arguably, his most enduring, with his iconic lead role, Jim Stark, becoming a poster boy for teen angst.
Born in Marion, Indiana, on February 8th, 1931, Dean attended Santa Monica College, but dropped out in 1951 to pursue a career in acting. He is buried in Park Cemetery in Fairmount, Indiana.
1. Saint Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc was a 15th century national heroine of France. She was tried and executed for heresy when she was only 19 years old. The judgment was broken by the Pope and she was declared innocent and a martyr 24 years later. She was beatified in 1909, and canonized as a saint in 1920.
Joan asserted that she had visions from God which told her to recover her homeland from English domination, late in the Hundred Years’ War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege at Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence when she overcame the dismissive attitude of veteran commanders, and lifted the siege in only nine days. Several more swift victories led to Charles VII’s coronation at Reims, and settled the disputed succession to the throne.
The renewed French confidence outlasted her own brief career. She refused to leave the field when she was wounded during an attempt to recapture Paris that autumn. Hampered by court intrigues, she led only minor companies from then onward and fell prisoner at a skirmish near Compiègne the following spring. A politically motivated trial convicted her of heresy. The English regent, John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, had her burnt at the stake in Rouen. She had been the heroine of her country at the age of 17 and died when only 19 years old. Some 24 years later, Pope Callixtus III reopened the case, and a new finding overturned the original conviction. Her piety to the end impressed the retrial court. Pope Benedict XV canonized her on May 16, 1920.

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Selasa, 16 Juli 2013

Top 10 Rarest Gems

Gems are one of nature’s ways of saying, “look how beautiful I can be”, and people know it, too. For thousands of years humans have been adorning themselves with gems and jewels to stand out and wow an audience. Be it necklaces, brooches, pendants, or bracelets, precious and rare gems have long since become one of the favored ways to express just how much wealth one has. Here are the ten rarest gems on earth.
10. Jeremejevite USD $2000/Carat Jeremejevite-1
Pronounced ye-REM-ay-ev-ite, this is a colorless, sky blue or pale yellow stone, the highest quality of which comes from Namibia. In nature it occurs in small obelisk-shaped crystals and has in the past been mistaken for aquamarine. It was named after Russian mineralogist Pavel Jeremejev who discovered the mineral in 1883. As of early 2005, a clean, 2.93-carat faceted gem was selling on the Internet for $2000.00 per carat.

9. Black Opal USD $2,355/Carat
Australia is the classical Opal country and today is the worldwide most important supplier of Fine Opals. Almost 95 per cent of all Opals come from Australian mines. The remaining five per cent are mined in Mexico, and in Brazil’s north, also in the US states of Idaho and Nevada, but recently the stones have also been found in Ethiopia and in the West African country of Mali. Black Opal or Opal with a dark gray body shows the most brilliant play of colors imaginable.

8. Red Beryl Emerald USD $10,000.00/Carat Red Beryl Emerald
Red beryl is found primarily in the Thomas Range and the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah, and has also been reportedly found in a location in Mexico (possibly near San Luis Potosi one of the very few places beryl is also found on rhyolite). Where it is found in Utah it occurs on rhyolite, where it crystallized under low pressure and high temperature, along fractures or cavities and porous areas of volcanic rhyolitic magma. Very few cut specimens exist.
7. Musgravite USD $35,000/Carat
Musgravite is one of the newest and most rare gemstones in the world. Musgravite is a silicate mineral whose main ingredients are beryllium (Be), magnesium (Mg) and aluminum (Al). It was named ‘musgravite’ after the area Musgrave in Australia from where the material was first found. The musgravite was later found also in Greenland and Madagascar, but neither of them produces gem quality material. Two pieces of faceted gem-quality musgravite from Sri Lanka were reported first in 1993. Keep in mind, this is the LEAST priceless of the ten.
6. Grandidierite USD $50,000/.5 Carat
This is a bluish green mineral found primarily in Madagascar. The first and so far only clean faceted specimen, from Sri Lanka, was originally mistaken for a serendibite and subsequently purchased in May 2000 by Prof. Gübelin from Murray Burford. The gem shown above weighs 0.29 carats. Grandidierite is trichroic, transmitting blue, green and white light. The mineral is named after French explorer and natural historian Alfred Grandidier, who among other things unearthed bones from the extinct half-ton elephant bird in Ambolisatra, Madagascar.

5. Painite USD $50-60,000/Carat Painite Faceted4
This gem was once believed to be the rarest mineral on earth, is today still considered very rare. British mineralogist 1950s first discovered it in Myanmar. When it was confirmed as a new mineral species, it was named after him: Arthur C.D. Pain. For many years, only three small painite crystals were known to exist. Before 2005 there were less than 25 known crystals found, though more material has been unearthed recently in Myanmar.
4. Blue Garnet USD $1.5 Million/Carat
Garnets species are found in many colors including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, pink and colorless. The rarest of these is the blue garnet, discovered in the late 1990s in Bekily, Madagascar. It is also found in parts of the United States, Russia and Turkey. It changes color from blue-green in the daylight to purple in incandescent light, as a result of the relatively high amounts of vanadium. The most expensive, a 4.2 carat gem sold in 2003 for $6.8 Million.
3. Serendibite USD $1.8-2 Million/Carat
This gem is a cyan colored stone that comes from Sri Lanka. It boasts an unusually complex formula consisting of calcium, magnesium, aluminum, silicon, boron and oxygen. So far there exist only three faceted (cut) specimens of 0.35 carats, 0.55 carats and 0.56 carats. The first two were discovered by rare stone specialist D. P. Gunasekera and purchased by the late Prof. E. J. Gübelin of Switzerland. The smallest was sold for about $14,300.00 per carat.
2. Red Diamonds USD $2-2.5 Million/Carat
Only a very few red diamonds are ever found, and few people have only seen even one treated red diamond. The gem is described as a purplish red, so it is not a pure red, crimson, vermilion, or scarlet. Nevertheless for its size it is one of the most expensive diamonds ever. The Argyle Mine in Australia produces a small number of red diamonds. The largest and finest of these are auctioned every year or two, and sell for millions of dollars.
1. Jadeite USD $3 + Million/Carat
Until recent years jadeite has been something of a mystery mineral, but we now know of primary sources in Guatemala as well as several California occurrences of white or grayish jadeite. Boulders in which a few small freestanding crystals have been seen occur in San Benito Co., California, with additional finds in Clear Creek, between New Idria and Hernandez. All Mexican jadeite is in artifacts, from unknown sources. The record price for a single piece of jadeite jewelry was set at the November 1997 Christie’s Hong Kong sale: Lot 1843, the “Doubly Fortunate” necklace of 27 approximately .5 mm jadeite beads sold for US$9.3 million.

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Selasa, 18 Juni 2013

Top 10 Coolest Plants

Plants are some of the most beautiful and abundant things on earth. There is just something so calming about standing in a dense forest taking in all of the amazing trees with their dizzying heights. Plants are not just for show either; they provide much of the oxygen we breathe while we offer them our exhaled carbon dioxide in return. Here is our top 10 list of coolest plants.
10. Aloe Plant Aloe
Aloes are succulent plants that need very little attention in the garden and give a nice show whether in bloom or not. Their healing and first aid properties from the semi-sticky fluid within the stems is well known. Aloe has been added to burn-healing products for years which can be taken gingerly from a plant itself.

9. Amorphophallus (Misshapen Penis Plant)
As is normal of this plant family, these species develop an elongate or oval ‘sheath’, which usually envelops the flower itself. The flower can have different colors, but mostly brownish-purple or whitish-green. On the inside, they contain ridges or warts, functioning as insect traps. Despite all of that information that describes the plant itself, it emits a foul odor smelling of rotting fish.

8. Nepenthes (Pitcher Plant) Pitcher Plant
Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants whose prey-trapping mechanism features a deep cavity filled with liquid known as a ‘pitfall trap’. It has been widely assumed that the various sorts of pitfall trap evolved from rolled leaves, with selection pressure favoring more deeply cupped leaves over evolutionary time. Basically, prey flies or crawls in, and can not possibly get out.
7. Rafflesia arnoldii
Rafflesia Arnoldii
Although technically a member of the plant kingdom, Rafflesia challenges traditional definitions of what a plant is because they lack chlorophyll and are therefore incapable of photosynthesis. And according to all accounts of those who have gotten close enough to tell they have an odor similar to a carcass in advanced decomposition. Get one for your home today!
6. Dracunculus vulgaris (Dragon or Voodoo Lily)
Dracunculus Vulgaris
The odor that bursts from the flower on the day it opens smells somewhat like rotting meat attracting flies as its chief pollinator, an attribute that needs consideration when you decide where to plant this flower. Fortunately the odor dissipates after the first day, allowing you to enjoy the exotic beauty of this unusual plant! The 10-12 inch flowers range in color from deep maroon to nearly black and last for 7-10 days. The lovely green foliage appears in March but the flowers wait until early May to make its appearance.

5. Sundew Sundew
Sundews are found throughout the world. These unique carnivorous plants attract their victims with a glistening morsel of nectar, or so the insect thinks! Once the insect gets stuck, the tendrils will close around the victim to sting and release an enzyme to start the digestion process. These plants make watching the action far easier as well.
4. Hydnora africana
Hydnora Africana
The only portion of Hydnora that appears above the ground is the upper portion of the flower. Most of the flower is below the soil surface. The flower is thick and succulent in texture. The portion of the flower above the ground surface is tubular and has three openings, one of which is shown in the image. These plants are parasitic and emit quite harsh odors. Looks Like Audry 2, huh?
3. Welwitschia mirabilis
An adult welwitschia consists of two leaves, a stem base and roots. That is all! Its two permanent leaves are unique in the plant kingdom. They are the original leaves from when the plant was a seedling, and they just continue to grow and are never shed. They are leathery, broad, strap-shaped and they lie on the ground becoming torn to shreds. The stem is low, woody, hollowed-out, and sturdy. It grows to about 500 mm in height.
2. Stinking Titan Arum (Corpse Flower)
A flower taller than a man, stinking strongly of putrefying roadkill and colored deep burgundy to actually mimic rotting flesh… sounds like something fun to witness, doesn’t it? But Indonesia’s titan arum—or “corpse flower” as known by locals—is a real, if rare, phenomenon, pollinated in the wild by carrion-seeking insects.
1. Venus Fly Trap
Venus Fly Trap
The leaves of Venus’ FlyTrap open wide. On the leaves are short, stiff hairs called trigger hairs; when anything stimulates them, the two lobes of the leaf snap shut trapping whatever is inside. The trap will shut in less than a second. When the leaves close over food, the cilia, finger-like projections, keep larger insects inside.

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