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Author Topic: The "Famous people you've probably never heard of but should have" thread  (Read 15382 times)

Offline BFM_three60

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Re: The "Famous people you've probably never heard of but should have" thread
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2010, 05:03:02 AM »
Good to see that the thread hasn't gone down too badly. My next post might be about Paul Dirac or some other mathematician.
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Offline meeelisa

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Re: The "Famous people you've probably never heard of but should have" thread
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2010, 04:14:25 PM »
or ME!  I am not as boring as those people. 
If you need notes, I have a personal autobiography of myself I have written just for this thread!

 ^^! ^^!
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Offline BFM_three60

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Re: The "Famous people you've probably never heard of but should have" thread
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2010, 05:25:45 AM »
Well, it's been a week now so here's the next instalment of my random-people-dug-up-from-history-who've-been-unlucky-not-to-have-ended-up-known-better thread...

Clair Patterson

"Who's she?" I've been asked several times whenever I've mentioned the name. In fact Clair Patterson was a man, and a very important one too. Clair Patterson was the person who came up with the modern accepted figure for the age of Earth - interesting but not particularly important to most people, it is true - but as a direct result of the problems he had doing this he found that levels of lead, a poisonous metal, had risen dramatically since the use of leaded petrol (gasoline).

So, what'd he do then? We have Clair Patterson to thank for the fact that most petrol (gas) used today is unleaded. He also developed the modern climate science technique of using ice cores to track changes in climate - very useful today - and during his campaign for a ban of lead in petrol he took on and beat the powerful companies that sold the stuff. It's the most impressive victory environmentalists have ever scored, and has had an enormous benefit on the health of the whole World.

For some reason, though, very few people seem to know about him - expect maybe those who've read Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" which is where I found out about him.

Thank you, Clair Patterson, for making a difference.
Check out my Short introduction... corner and my "Historical figures who should perhaps be better-known" thread!!

Exciting videos: 1.1 / 1.2 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6



               

Offline BFM_three60

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Re: The "Famous people you've probably never heard of but should have" thread
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2010, 10:26:46 AM »
And another topic. This time I've moved away from science to a very obscure person who nevertheless has made a big difference.



General Sir Howard Rawdon Briggs is likely never to become a household name. He was a British officer in World War Two and was in charge during several minor battles in the African campaign, and though most of these are important only to military historians, he did have a key role in this part of the War, and later in the Burma campaign he led his forces to more victories.

But that's not why I mention him. It is true that Briggs made a difference in World War Two and should, like everyone else, be remembered for that.

But in 1950, Briggs was called to lead the British Forces against the Communist uprising in Malaya. Now a forgotten period in 20th-Century history, "Briggs' Plan" and other ideas of his led to a resounding victory, not by military means, but in the Battle of "Hearts and Minds". This was the first time the idea that you could win a War by winning the support of the people was used. When instead the focus was military, things tend not to have gone so well.

As a result, Malaysia, the country that spawned out of Malaya, is now a thriving democracy. Indeed, after the British withdrew (decolonisation) in the 1960's, a second Communist uprising was defeated without any Western presence at all.

This model of focusing on Hearts and Minds has been used since. But it started in Malaya, with Howard Briggs.
Check out my Short introduction... corner and my "Historical figures who should perhaps be better-known" thread!!

Exciting videos: 1.1 / 1.2 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6



               

Offline trx

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Re: The "Famous people you've probably never heard of but should have" thread
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2010, 08:07:35 AM »
Thomas Edison invented more than just the lightbulb. Anyone else know what else he invented? I'm guessing most of you would see one at least once a week.


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Offline Fanatic

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Re: The "Famous people you've probably never heard of but should have" thread
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2010, 09:26:19 PM »
Very Interesting thread Jim, Keep it up! Maybe you'll educate the lot of us.

-Fanatic

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Offline BFM_three60

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Re: The "Famous people you've probably never heard of but should have" thread
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2010, 02:24:16 PM »
Hello again!

Today's post is rather timely because on top of anything else it's been made on Wolfgang Mozart's 254th anniversary. But since most of you have heard of him, I hope, I won't be posting about him but instead another obscure chap from history, Gardiner Green Hubbard.

Right up until researching this post, I would have thought, "Who??????" too. GGH, as he'll be known from now on, became wealthy (or more likely was born into a great deal of money) and spent his money on a series of interesting and very useful things. He actually has a rather famous connection too - his son-in-law was Alexander Graham Bell.

In later life, after retiring, he founded, among other institutions:

 - the water works and Gas companies at Cambridge, Massachusetts;
 - the Clark School for the Deaf (co-founder);
 - American Bell Telephone Company;
 - Columbia Records (as it would become known later);
 - National Geographic Society.

In addition, as a result of his connection to Alexander Graham Bell, he funded the experiments that led to the invention of the telephone.

Put another way, GGH used his money wisely and helped shape modern life as much as most of the people I will choose have done. Nonetheless, he has disappeared from history.

By the way, today is the 122nd anniversary of the founding of the National Geographical society, which is why I found out about GGH.

Enjoy!!
« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 07:56:05 AM by BFM_three60 »
Check out my Short introduction... corner and my "Historical figures who should perhaps be better-known" thread!!

Exciting videos: 1.1 / 1.2 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6



               

Offline BFM_Edison

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Re: The "Famous people you've probably never heard of but should have" thread
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2010, 02:26:32 PM »
I feel like there might be some buildings at some college (maybe MIT) named after him. Seems familiar.
52.87   60.07   46.40   72.73   68.23   55.10   98.27   84.73

Offline meeelisa

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Re: The "Famous people you've probably never heard of but should have" thread
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2010, 11:49:36 PM »
Thomas Edison invented more than just the lightbulb. Anyone else know what else he invented? I'm guessing most of you would see one at least once a week.

Atrox you never said.. and I'm too lazy to look it up.
Thanks Fanatic!!

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Offline BFM_three60

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Re: The "Famous people you've probably never heard of but should have" thread
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2010, 01:03:03 PM »
Today's Feature: Lord North.

Lord North is one of the forgotten de facto Prime Ministers of the UK. His chief role in history is as the leader of the UK during the American Revolution, and indeed his policies were among the casi belli ("reasons for war" in Latin).

In particular, Lord North passed the Tea Act which was followed rather swiftly by the "terrible waste of good tea by throwing it all into the port at Boston" as I like to think of it. That minor incident of course hurt the tea-loving English and what could have been blown over, North now worsened by passing a series of Acts that only served to anger the Americans - the first of which said that until Boston paid for the tea it had wasted its port would be closed (what a waste of government time).

The end effect of all of North's Acts was the complete opposite of what he had hoped for (to shut the rebellion up). The rest, as they say, is history...

At the end of this, in 1783, North helped to sign the Treaty of Paris that made the USA officially a country.

The summary of all this is that in the end the US actually came about in part because of Lord North's "epic fail". So now you know. :P

Check out my Short introduction... corner and my "Historical figures who should perhaps be better-known" thread!!

Exciting videos: 1.1 / 1.2 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6



               

Offline BFM_three60

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Re: The "Famous people you've probably never heard of but should have" thread
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2010, 03:50:54 PM »
Well, how about a Footballing theme?

Roger Milla was a Striker for Cameroon national football team. (That is football and not soccer. :P) At his prime, around the age of 30, he was pretty good as a player but nothing compared to his contemporary, Maradona. So naturally he faded away.

Then rolls around the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Milla, now 38, had all but retired when the President of Cameroon, Paul Biya, persuaded Milla to play again. He did so, and so the legend was born.

Cameroon's performance in the 1990 World Cup is phenomenal. Their first match was against Argentina, with a team including Maradona, Batista and Balbo, and the reigning champions. Increidbly, despite being reduced to nine men, Cameroon won the match. Roger Milla was finally used in the second match against Romania, scoring twice to win the match and send Cameroon through. At 38 years old this is a veyr impressive performance and Milla stole the show.

In the second round, Cameroon faced Columbia, a team with, among other players, Rene Higuita who produced that wonder-save I've posted in Multimedia. In the second half, Milla came on and in extra time he again scored twice and sent Cameroon through to the quarter-finals, the farthest any African football team has ever got in the World Cup.

In the Quarter-Finals Cameroon faced England, and once again Roger Milla played a key role, setting up two goals. This being one of the better England teams, with Gary Lineker, Peter Shilton (the real best goalkeeper ever, so my Dad always says), Paul Gascoigne, and many other famous footballing names - we only just managed to scrape through, coming from 2-1 behind.

West Germany may have won the World Cup, but this truly was Roger Milla's tournament, and one of African football's greatest-ever moments.
Check out my Short introduction... corner and my "Historical figures who should perhaps be better-known" thread!!

Exciting videos: 1.1 / 1.2 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6



               

Offline BFM_three60

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Re: The "Famous people you've probably never heard of but should have" thread
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2010, 02:06:28 PM »
Clement Attlee

Of all the many Prime Ministers of the UK, the ones most people will have heard of are Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Arthur Wellesley the Duke of Wellington, and the most recent one: Tony Blair. But Clement Attlee, perhaps not too surprisingly, tends to be overlooked. He did, after all, fail in his aims. But then most World Leaders do.

But with the exception (in my opinion) of Sir Winston Churchill himself, Attlee was probably the greatest Prime Minister of the UK. In his term of office, from 1945 -1951, he - well, obviously the first thing he did was win the election over the victorious leader, Churchill. But after that, he did a good job of his 6 years in office. Among other things we have Attlee to thank for are the National Health Service, the Social Security system, National Parks (e.g. Snowdon, Dartmoor), nationalisation, decolonisation (the end of the British Empire and the birth of the Commonwealth) and Keynesian economics. That's a big difference for six years, considering the fact that the UK was bankrupt and for various reasons found it hard to get hold of money.

Despite all that, though, Attlee's biggest single contribution to the history of the world was to, along with his fellow Party member Aurthur Greenwood, make an incredible choice.

In May 1940, on the 28th, at the darkest days of the War, the five members of the British War cabinet voted 3-2 in favour of fighting on. Attlee and Greenwood - effectively - won the War. Just.

Check out my Short introduction... corner and my "Historical figures who should perhaps be better-known" thread!!

Exciting videos: 1.1 / 1.2 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6



               

Offline BFM_three60

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Jemima Nicholas



Part of the reason why the USA is an independent country today is because in the late 18th Century, at the time of the Revolution, the whole of Europe was engaged in a power struggle. When the US rebelled against British rule, shortly after the other European nations of France, the Dutch Republic (now the Netherlands) and Spain felt they had an opportunity to end Britain's Global dominance. In the end, Great Britain had to give up its US colonies, as you all know.

But the tension in Europe remained, and indeed was heightened when shortly afterward the French people also rebelled against the aristrocracy there, ending the French monarchy. This forced Europe into yet another war, this time everyone (Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, Dutch Republic, Spain...) taking sides against France. Despite this alliance France was able, under Napoleon Bonaparte, to one-by-one defeat her enemies on mainland Europe, and by 1797 only Great Britain remained, and indeed Spain had allied with France.

From 1797 onwards, we enter the Napoleonic Wars of Britain against France. Names that hopefully you all know, such as Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson and Arthur Wellesley the Duke of Wellington, are the heroes of this war, winning battles at sea and on land and defeating Napoleon in 1815 at Waterloo (e.g. the Abba song, the London Underground Station).

What is less well-known is that in 1797, on February 22nd, some 1,400 French Troops landed at Fishguard in Wales. This caused mass panic and several villagers fled as the news spread across the countryside. In fact the invasion was doomed to failure because 800 of the invaders were assorted "riff-raff" that quickly deserted, leaving just 600 soldiers. In addition some of these soldiers were, shall we say, not in the best state when the British resistance started.

As a result the "invasion" came rapidly to a halt and the 600 troops surrendered on February 24th.

Jemima Nicholas at last appears in this tale because, unlike several of her fellow villagers who had fled, she instead stayed to fight. She grabbed a pitchfork, strode about the fields at night and found, rounded up and captured 12 of the French soldiers. This remarkable tale of courage in the face of overwhelming odds is so typical of British history, and this is one of my favourite examples of it.

Indeed, the "Battle of Fishguard" is the last time ever that foreign invaders have landed on British soil.

Today marks 255 years to the day since Jemima Nicholas was baptised.
Check out my Short introduction... corner and my "Historical figures who should perhaps be better-known" thread!!

Exciting videos: 1.1 / 1.2 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6



               

Offline Hydra

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I wouldn't say Churchill was the greatest PM ever, he DID leave Australia to die...;D


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Offline BFM_three60

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I was never intending to get into political debates. But I would enjoy dicussing it via PM if you like?
Check out my Short introduction... corner and my "Historical figures who should perhaps be better-known" thread!!

Exciting videos: 1.1 / 1.2 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6



               

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