Sydney Irwin Pollack was an American film director, producer and actor. Pollack studied with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, where he later taught acting. He began directing television shows in the 1960s before moving to films. Pollack directed more than 21 films and 10 television shows, acted in over 30 films or shows, and produced over 44 films. Some of his best known works include Jeremiah Johnson (1972), The Way We Were (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1975) and Absence of Malice (1981). His 1985 film Out of Africa won him Academy Awards for directing and producing; he was also nominated for Best Director Oscars for They Shoot Horses, Don't They? and Tootsie, in the latter of which he also appeared. His later films included Havana (1990), The Firm (1993), Sabrina (1995), The Interpreter (2005), and as producer for and actor in Michael Clayton (2007).
Paul Berg is an American biochemist and professor emeritus at Stanford University. He was the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980, along with Walter Gilbert and Frederick Sanger. The award recognized their contributions to basic research involving nucleic acids. Berg received his undergraduate education at Penn State University, where he majored in biochemistry. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 1952. Berg worked as a professor at Washington University School of Medicine and Stanford University School of Medicine, in addition to serving as the director of the Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Berg was presented with the National Medal of Science in 1983 and the National Library of Medicine Medal in 1986.
Keno Don Hugo Rosa is an American comic book writer and illustrator known for his stories about Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck and other characters created by Carl Barks for Disney comics, such as The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Son of the Sun and many others. Don Rosa was exposed to comics at a very young age, as his 11-years-older sister was a comics hoarder, and had thousands of comics for Don to look at and later read. Rosa began drawing comics before being able to write. Until high school, of which he attended Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky his featured characters were a large cast of stick figures featured in comedy-adventures like the Barks comics and old movies Don enjoyed most. He never tried to draw more than stick figures because the drawings, for him, were illustrations to get the story told. Only the story was important to him, not the actual drawings. His favorite comic books growing up were Uncle Scrooge by Western Publishing and Little Lulu comics from Dell Comics (Western Publishing), and his sister's collection of MAD comics and magazines.
Thomas Andrew "Tom" Merritt is a technology journalist and broadcaster who hosts a daily show on Leo Laporte's TWiT.tv Netcast Network called Tech News Today. Merritt was formerly an Executive Editor for CNET and developer and co-host of the daily podcast Buzz Out Loud. Prior to joining TWiT as an employee, Merritt had a long standing working relationship with former TechTV colleague Leo Laporte's network having regularly appeared on This Week in Tech as either a guest or as a relief host. His general discussion podcast with Roger Chang, East Meets West, also featured on TWiT Live. Tech News Today launched on 1 June 2010. Unlike Buzz Out Loud, Merritt is the truly regular host with ABC's Becky Worley and former Revision3 host Sarah Lane alternating as co-host on most episodes. Upon joining TWiT.tv, Merritt brought with him two shows previously produced by cartoonist Scott Johnson's Frogpants Studios. Originally started on July 7, 2009, "Fourcast" features Merritt and Johnson inviting various guests to discuss the future and what it might contain in a so-called virtual fireside setting.
Amber Dawn MacArthur is a Canadian television and netcasting personality. MacArthur is currently CP24's Web/Technology Specialist as well as the host of Webnation. Previously, she produced and hosted her own video podcast, called commandN, and co-hosted the TWiT podcast network's Social Hour (successor to net@night/Inside the Net). MacArthur is known for the series Call for Help, but has also hosted on Torrent and Gadgets and Gizmos for G4techTV Canada. MacArthur worked for over a year for Citytv's CityNews and CP24, and she has recently returned to the now CTV-owned CP24 as New Media Specialist. She currently hosts and produces a show for XBOX called "Girls Go Geek" with Christopher Dick that features women in technology. MacArthur worked for Microsoft for two years as a web strategist, as a web designer at Razorfish in San Francisco, and as a judge at the Webby Awards 2000. She was also Director of Web Marketing at HigherMarkets, "where she managed corporate branding initiatives, software usability and online course development." In 2007 she co-founded a media company MGImedia Communications Inc. with her brother Jeff.
Patrick Norton is most commonly known as the former co-host and managing editor of The Screen Savers, an interactive television program on TechTV geared toward the technology enthusiast. He is currently a managing editor at Revision3 where he hosts Tekzilla and formerly HD Nation and Systm. After graduating from college, Norton tested products and wrote for PC Magazine, Computer Shopper, and InfoWorld, and managed the hardware reviews section of Windows Sources magazine. In the spring of 2000, ZDTV (later TechTV) named Norton as the co-host (alongside Leo Laporte) and managing editor of The Screen Savers, a television show centered around computers, new technologies, and their adaptations in the world. Norton remained in this capacity until the spring of 2004. Norton regularly appears on the weekly podcast This Week in Tech (a.k.a. TWiT) along with several other former members of TechTV, including Leo Laporte, Kevin Rose, John C. Dvorak, and his former DL.TV co-host Robert Heron. He is also currently a co-host of This Week in Computer Hardware on the TWIT.TV network along with Ryan Shrout. Norton is currently a managing editor at Revision3 where he is hosting HD Nation and Tekzilla. Norton first confirmed his employment with Revision3 on TWiT episode 110 at 58:52 (The popular Netcast hosted by friend Leo Laporte).
Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism. Considered perhaps the twentieth century's best chronicler of English culture, Orwell wrote fiction, polemical journalism, literary criticism and poetry. He is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (published in 1949) and the satirical novella Animal Farm (1945)—they have together sold more copies than any two books by any other twentieth-century author. His 1938 book Homage to Catalonia , an account of his experiences as a volunteer on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War, together with numerous essays on politics, literature, language, and culture, are widely acclaimed. Orwell's influence on contemporary culture, popular and political, continues decades after his death. Several of his neologisms, along with the term "Orwellian"—now a byword for any oppressive or manipulative social phenomenon opposed to a free society—have entered the vernacular.
Spaceballs is a 1987 American science fiction parody film co-written by, directed by, and starring Mel Brooks. It also features John Candy, Rick Moranis, Daphne Zuniga, Bill Pullman, and the voice of Joan Rivers. The film was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on June 24, 1987, and earned mixed reception. It later became a cult classic on video and one of Brooks' most popular films. Its plot and characters parody the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as other sci-fi films like Star Trek, Alien and Planet of the Apes. Breaking the fourth wall, the possibility of a sequel was already included in the film itself, with Yogurt's quote: "God willing, we'll all meet again in Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money". In September 2004, news about a sequel, parodying the Star Wars prequel trilogy, appeared on the internet. A follow on to Spaceballs was eventually developed into an animated television show which debuted in September 2008 as Spaceballs: The Animated Series on G4 and the Canadian Super Channel.
Alan Mathison Turing was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a significant role in the creation of the modern computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. During the Second World War, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking centre. For a time he was head of Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including the method of the bombe, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine. After the war he worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he created one of the first designs for a stored-program computer, the ACE.
Floyd E. Norman is an American animator who worked on the Walt Disney animated features Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in the Stone, and The Jungle Book, along with various animated short projects at Disney in the late '50s and early '60s. Norman had his start as an assistant to comic book artist Bill Woggon, who lived in the Santa Barbara, California, area that Norman grew up in. After Walt Disney's death in 1966 Floyd Norman left Disney Studios to co-found the AfroKids animation studio with business partner animator/director Leo Sullivan. Norman and Sullivan worked together on various projects such as the original Hey! Hey! Hey! It's Fat Albert television special which aired in 1969 on NBC (not to be confused with the later Fat Albert series made by Filmation Associates). Norman returned to Disney at one point in the early 1970s to work on the Disney animated feature Robin Hood. In the 1980s he worked as a writer in the comic strip department at Disney and was the last scripter for the Mickey Mouse comic strip before it was discontinued. More recently he has worked on motion pictures for Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, having contributed creatively as a story artist on films such as Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. for Pixar and Mulan, Dinosaur and The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Walt Disney Animation, among others. He continues to work for the Walt Disney Co. as a freelance consultant on various projects.
Timothy William Bray is a Canadian software developer and entrepreneur. He co-founded Open Text Corporation and Antarctica Systems. Bray was Director of Web Technologies at Sun Microsystems from early 2004 to early 2010. Since then he has served as a Developer Advocate at Google, focusing on Android. Bray was born on June 21, 1955 in Alberta, Canada. He grew up in Beirut, Lebanon and graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science (double major in Mathematics and Computer Science) from the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario. Tim described his switch of focus from Math to Computer Science this way: "In math I’d worked like a dog for my Cs, but in CS I worked much less for As—and learned that you got paid well for doing it."
Bruce Sterling Woodcock is an American computer and video games industry analyst, best known for his work on subscription tracking of massively multiplayer online games via his website MMOGCHART.COM. Woodcock was born in the small farming community of Sullivan, Missouri on June 20, 1970, the youngest of three children to Myron and Mary Woodcock. He graduated from Sullivan Senior High School in 1988, and then went on to Purdue University, studying physics, philosophy, and computer science. In 1989, he became involved in internet gaming on early MUDs, and in 1990, was briefly running two of the largest TinyMUDs of the time, TinyMUD Classic and Islandia. His original online handle was Sir Bruce Sterling, which was later shortened to Sir Bruce when he began posting on message boards. Leaving college early, he moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1991, where he began a career in information technology.
Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is a British Indian novelist and essayist. His second novel, Midnight's Children (1981), won the Booker Prize in 1981. Much of his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent. He is said to combine magical realism with historical fiction; his work is concerned with the many connections, disruptions and migrations between East and West. His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), was the centre of a major controversy, provoking protests from Muslims in several countries, some violent. Death threats were made against him, including a fatwā issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, on February 14, 1989. Rushdie was appointed Commandeur dans Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France in January 1999. In June 2007, Queen Elizabeth II dubbed him Knight Bachelor for his services to literature. In 2008, The Times ranked him thirteenth on its list of the fifty greatest British writers since 1945. Since 2000, Rushdie has "lived mostly near Union Square" in New York City. In 2007 he began a five-year term as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he has also deposited his archives. In May 2008 he was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Lisa Randall is an American theoretical physicist and a leading expert on particle physics and cosmology. She works on several of the competing models of string theory in the quest to explain the fabric of the universe. Her most well known contribution to the field is the Randall-Sundrum model, first published in 1999 with Raman Sundrum. She was the first tenured woman in the Princeton University physics department and the first tenured female theoretical physicist at MIT and Harvard University. Randall was born in Queens in New York City. She is an alumna of Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics and graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1980, where she was a classmate of fellow physicist and science popularizer Brian Greene. She won first place in the 1980 Westinghouse Science Talent Search at the age of 18. Randall earned a BS from Harvard in 1983, and obtained her Ph.D. in particle physics in 1987 under the direction of Howard Georgi. She was made a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. Randall was featured in Newsweek magazine's "Who's Next" issue of January 2, 2006, as "one of the most promising theoretical physicists of her generation."