James Franklin "Jamie" Hyneman is an American special effects expert, best known for being the co-host of the television series MythBusters. He is also the owner of M5 Industries, the special effects workshop where MythBusters is filmed. He is known among Robot Wars devotees for his robot entry, Blendo, which, for a time, was deemed too dangerous for entry in the competition. He is one of the designers of the aerial robotic camera system Wavecam, used in sports and entertainment events. On May 16, 2010, he delivered the commencement address and received an honorary Doctorate of Engineering, from Villanova University. Hyneman was born in Marshall, Michigan and raised in Columbus, Indiana. Describing his early life, Hyneman said "I was a problematic kid, to be sure. I left home when I was 14 and hitchhiked all over the country." He earned a degree in Russian linguistics from Indiana University. He has since received honorary doctorate degrees from Villanova University and the University of Twente. A variety of careers fill his resume, including scuba diver, wilderness survival expert, boat captain, linguist, pet shop owner, animal wrangler, machinist, concrete inspector, and chef. He apparently has a mild case of acrophobia (fear of heights), as mentioned in the "Hammer Drop" episode segment of Mythbusters.
James Maury "Jim" Henson was an American puppeteer, best known as the creator of The Muppets. As a puppeteer, Henson performed in various television programs, such as Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, films such as The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper, and created advanced puppets for projects like Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. He was also an Oscar-nominated film director, Emmy Award-winning television producer, and the founder of The Jim Henson Company, the Jim Henson Foundation, and Jim Henson's Creature Shop. He died on May 16, 1990, of organ failure resulting from a Group A streptococcal infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. Henson, who was born in Greenville, Mississippi and educated at University of Maryland, College Park, is one of the most widely known puppeteers ever. He created Sam and Friends as a freshman in College Park. After suffering struggles with programs that he created, he eventually found success with Sesame Street. During this time, he also contributed to Saturday Night Live. The success of Sesame Street spawned The Muppet Show, which featured Muppets created by Henson. He also co-created with Michael Jacobs the television show Dinosaurs during his final years. On June 16, 2011, he posthumously received the Disney Legends Award.
Peter Allen David, often abbreviated PAD, is an American writer of comic books, novels, television, movies and video games. His notable comic book work includes an award-winning, 12-year run on The Incredible Hulk, as well as runs on Aquaman, Young Justice, Supergirl, and Fallen Angel. His Star Trek work includes both comic books and novels, such as Imzadi, and co-creating the New Frontier series. His other novels include film adaptations, media tie-ins, and original works, such as the Apropos of Nothing and Knight Life series. His television work includes series such as Babylon 5, Young Justice, Ben 10: Alien Force and Space Cases, the latter of which David co-created. David often jokingly describes his occupation as "Writer of Stuff", and is noted for his prolific writing, characterized by its mingling of real world issues with humor and references to popular culture, as well as elements of metafiction and self-reference. David has earned multiple awards for his work, including a 1992 Eisner Award, a 1993 Wizard Fan Award, a 1996 Haxtur Award, a 2007 Julie Award and 2011 GLAAD Media Award.
Robert Lee "Bobby" Satcher, Jr. is a physician, chemical engineer, and NASA astronaut. He became the first orthopedic surgeon in space during STS-129. He participated in 2 spacewalks during STS-129, accumulating 12hrs 19min of EVA time. Satcher holds two doctorates (Ph.D., M.D.) and has received numerous awards and honors as a surgeon and engineer. He is married with two children. Bobby Satcher enjoys running, scuba diving, and reading. Born in Hampton, Virginia, Satcher graduated from Denmark-Olar High School in Denmark, SC (1982), and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree as well as a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then went on to study medicine at Harvard Medical School, and received his medical doctorate in 1994.
Herbert George "H.G." Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games. Together with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback, Wells has been referred to as "The Father of Science Fiction". His most notable science fiction works include, The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau. Wells's earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context. He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of "Journalist." Most of his novels had nothing to do with science fiction. Some described lower-middle class life (Kipps; The History of Mr Polly), leading him to be touted as a worthy successor to Charles Dickens, but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole. Wells also wrote abundantly about the "New Woman" and the Suffragettes (Ann Veronica).
William J. C. "Bill" Amend III is an American cartoonist, best known for his comic strip FoxTrot. Amend attended high school in Burlingame, California where he was a cartoonist on his school newspaper. Amend is an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. He attended Amherst College, where he drew comics for the college paper. He majored in physics and graduated in 1984. In 1982 Amend took first place among sophomores in a mathematics prize examination at Amherst. After a short time in the animation business, Amend decided to pursue a cartooning career and signed on with Universal Press Syndicate. FoxTrot first appeared on April 10, 1988. Amend made a television appearance on The Screen Savers, which aired October 20, 2003 on the former TechTV. Amend is also an avid World of Warcraft player, but refuses to reveal his character's name, although he did mention in an interview with Allakhazam (a World of Warcraft fan site) that he played on the server 'Bronzebeard' (Jason is often shown or referred to playing "World of Warquest" in the strip).
Gina Marie Trapani is an American tech blogger, web developer, and writer. Trapani founded the Lifehacker blog in January 2005, and led it until January 2009. She still writes a weekly column for Lifehacker. She co-hosts a netcast on the TWiT.tv network called This Week in Google with Leo Laporte and Jeff Jarvis. She also hosted twelve episodes of Work Smart, a weekly column, for Fast Company. Gina is currently leading development of a crowdsourcing platform (named ThinkUp) at Expert Labs. She has written two books and also writes for other publications including Harvard Business Online. Fast Company named her one of the Most Influential Women in Technology in 2009 and 2010, and Wired magazine awarded her its prestigious Rave Award in 2006. Trapani was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English/Writing from Marist College in 1997. Trapani received a Master of Science in Computer Information Science from Brooklyn College (City University of New York) in 1998. She resides in La Jolla, California.
Steven Arthur Pinker is a Canadian-American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist and popular science author. He is a Harvard College Professor and the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. Pinker’s academic specializations are visual cognition and psycholinguistics. His academic pursuits include experiments on mental imagery, shape recognition, visual attention, children's language development, regular and irregular phenomena in language, the neural bases of words and grammar, and the psychology of innuendo and euphemism.
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released 5 October 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux was originally developed as a free operating system for Intel x86-based personal computers. It has since been ported to more computer hardware platforms than any other operating system. It is a leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers and supercomputers: more than 90% of today's 500 fastest supercomputers run some variant of Linux, including the 10 fastest. Linux also runs on embedded systems (devices where the operating system is typically built into the firmware and highly tailored to the system) such as mobile phones, tablet computers, network routers, televisions and video game consoles; the Android system in wide use on mobile devices is built on the Linux kernel. The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software collaboration: the underlying source code may be used, modified, and distributed—commercially or non-commercially—by anyone under licenses such as the GNU General Public License. Typically Linux is packaged in a format known as a Linux distribution for desktop and server use.
Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., is an American literary critic, educator, scholar, writer, editor, and public intellectual. He was the first African American to receive the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship. He has received numerous honorary degrees and awards for his teaching, research, and development of academic institutions to study black culture. In 2002, Gates was selected to give the Jefferson Lecture, in recognition of his "distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities." Gates has hosted several PBS television miniseries, including the history and travel program Wonders of the African World and the biographical African American Lives and Faces of America. Gates sits on the boards of many notable arts, cultural, and research institutions. He serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, where he is director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.
Phillip Bradley "Brad" Bird is an Academy Award-winning American director, voice actor, animator and screenwriter. He is best known for writing and directing Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles (2004) and Ratatouille (2007). He also adapted and directed the critically acclaimed 2D animated 1999 Warner Brothers film The Iron Giant. Reviewing the Ratatouille DVD, Eye Weekly offered this characterization of Bird's work: "It's very hard to think of another mainstream American director with a comparably fluid visual style or such a vise-grip on storytelling mechanics." He also directed The Simpsons ' episodes "Krusty Gets Busted" and "Like Father, Like Clown". Bird was born in Kalispell, Montana, the youngest of four siblings. His father, Phillip, worked in the propane business, and his grandfather, Frank W. Bird, was a president and chief executive of the Montana Power Company. On a tour of the Walt Disney Studios at age 11, he announced that someday he would become part of its animation team, and soon afterward began work on his own 15-minute animated short.
Christopher McCulloch, also known by the pseudonym Jackson Publick, is an American comic book and television writer, storyboard artist, and voice actor known for his work on several Tick properties and for the animated television series The Venture Bros. He authored the comic book miniseries The Tick: Karma Tornado, a spin-off of The Tick, and was a staff writer and storyboard artist on the 1994 Tick animated series. He also worked on storyboards for PB&J Otter and Sheep in the Big City and as a writer on the 2001 Tick live-action series. He created The Venture Bros. in the early 2000s and produced its 2003 pilot episode. He and Doc Hammer are the series' co-creators, writers, editors, and directors, producing the show through their animation company Astro-Base Go. McCulloch voices over 20 characters in the series, including Hank Venture, The Monarch, and Sergeant Hatred.
James Garland "J. G." Quintel is an American animator, television writer, and voice actor. Best known as the creator of the animated television series, Regular Show which airs on Cartoon Network, Quintel also was the creative director for The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, an animated series that appeared on television from June 2008 to August 2010. In December 2009, ASIFA-Hollywood nominated Quintel for an Annie Award in the category of "Directing in a Television Production" for his directing work on an episode of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. In September 2011, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences nominated Quintel for a Primetime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Short-format Animated Program category for Regular Show. Quintel currently works for Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, California developing episodes for Regular Show. As a preteen and into his teenage years, Quintel loved drawing and watching cartoons such as The Simpsons, Beavis and Butt-head, and The Moxy Show, as well as British shows, such The League of Gentlemen and The Mighty Boosh. He often played the video game ToeJam and Earl, the influence of which Quintel later described as "the perfect platform for Mordecai and Rigby" characters of Regular Show. Quintel also became influenced by music from the 1980s and later added 1980s music into Regular Show.
Stanisław Lem was a Polish writer of science fiction, philosophy, and satire. His books have been translated into 41 languages and have sold over 27 million copies. He is perhaps best known as the author of the 1961 novel Solaris, which has been made into a feature film three times. In 1976 Theodore Sturgeon said that Lem was the most widely read science fiction writer in the world. In 1996, Lem was the recipient of the prestigious Polish national award, the Order of the White Eagle. His works explore philosophical themes; speculation on technology, the nature of intelligence, the impossibility of mutual communication and understanding, despair about human limitations and mankind's place in the universe. They are sometimes presented as fiction, but others are in the form of essays or philosophical books. Translations of his works are difficult due to passages with elaborate word formation, alien or robotic poetry, and puns. Multiple translated versions of his works exist.