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Inform       Today is Friday, August 14, 2020 and day 227 of the year.

Laureate Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin

Informed Mar 20, 2019 at 04:36 PM

Informer:  Wegen
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Laureate Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin was born in Bodaa village, Ethiopia, some 120km from the capital near Addis Ababa. As many Ethiopian boys do, he also learned Ge'ez, the ancient language of the church, which is an Ethiopian equivalent of Latin. He also helped the family by caring for cattle. He was still very young when he began to write plays while at the local elementary school. One of those plays, King Dionysus and the Two Brothers, was staged in the presence, among others, of Emperor Haile Selassie.

Gabre-Medhin later attended the prestigious British Council-supported General Wingate school – named after British officer Orde Wingate. He subsequently attended the Commercial school in Addis Ababa, where he won a scholarship to Blackstone School of Law in Chicago in 1959. In 1960 he travelled to Europe to study experimental drama at the Royal Court Theatre in London and the Comédie-Française in Paris. Upon returning to Ethiopia, he devoted himself to managing and developing the Ethiopian National Theater – which institution staged an impressive memorial for its former director.

During this time Gabre-Medhin travelled widely; he attended the first UNESCO-organised World Festival of Black Arts in Dakar, Senegal, and the Pan-African Cultural Festival [fr] in Algiers. In 1966, at the age of only 29, he was awarded his country's highest literary honour, the Haile Selassie I Prize for Amharic Literature, joining the ranks of such distinguished previous recipients as Kebede Michael. The prize earned him the title of Laureate, by which he has ever since been known.

Following the Ethiopian revolution of 1974, Gabre-Medhin was appointed for a short time as vice-minister of culture and sports, and was active in setting up Addis Ababa University department of Theatre Arts. In 1984 he wrote an extended, and very poetical, essay "Footprints in Time", which appeared in large format with photographs by the Italian photographer Alberto Tessore. It traced Ethiopian history from the prehistoric time of Lucy, the first-known hominid that had recently been found in the Afar Desert in eastern Ethiopia.

One of Gabre-Medhin's passionate interests throughout this time was in the struggle to regain Ethiopia's looted treasures. A close friend of Chief Olusegun Olusola, the Nigerian Ambassador in Addis Ababa, who was a fellow poet, Gabre-Medhin was present when the ambassador agreed to throw his diplomatic pressure behind the national demand for the return of the Aksum obelisk, which had been taken on Mussolini's personal orders in 1937. The chief's support marked a turning point in the Aksum Obelisk Return movement. Gabre-Medhin was no less insistent that Britain should return the manuscripts, crosses, tents and other loot taken from Emperor Tewodros' mountain citadel. Much of this loot is currently in the British Museum, the British Library, and the Royal Library in Windsor Castle.

Gabre-Medhin always believed in the unity of the Ethiopian people and felt that this by far transcended purely political matters of the day. In later years he concerned himself increasingly with questions of peace, human rights and the dignity of humanity. He was elected to the United Poets Laureate International, and received many international awards – the last of them from Norway.

Although unable to return to his native land, which lacked the dialysis facilities on which his life depended, he remained in close contact with the Ethiopian diaspora. Gabre-Medhin died in Manhattan, where he had moved in 1998 to receive treatment for kidney disease. He was buried in Addis Ababa at Holy Trinity Cathedral church, where the body of Emperor Haile Selassie lies.  

Source:  Wikipedia

Alexander Graham Bell

Informed Mar 18, 2019 at 12:48 PM

Informer:  Wegen
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Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), American inventor and teacher of the deaf, most famous for his work on the telephone.

Bell was born on March 3, 1847, in Edinburgh, Scotland, and educated at the universities of Edinburgh and London. He immigrated to Canada in 1870 and to the United States in 1871. In the United States he began teaching deaf-mutes, publicizing the system called visible speech. The system, which was developed by his father, the Scottish educator Alexander Melville Bell, shows how the lips, tongue, and throat are used in the articulation of sound. In 1872 Bell founded a school to train teachers of the deaf in Boston, Massachusetts. The school subsequently became part of Boston University, where Bell was appointed professor of vocal physiology. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1882.

Since the age of 18, Bell had been working on the idea of transmitting speech. In 1874, while working on a multiple telegraph, he developed the basic ideas of the telephone. His experiments with his assistant Thomas Watson finally proved successful on March 10, 1876, when he transmitted: “Watson, come here; I want you.” Subsequent demonstrations, particularly one at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, introduced the telephone to the world and led to the organization of the Bell Telephone Company in 1877.

In 1880 France bestowed on Bell the Volta Prize, worth 50,000 francs, for his invention. With this money he founded the Volta Laboratory in Washington, D.C., where, in that same year, he and his associates invented the photophone, which transmits speech by light rays. Other inventions include the audiometer, used to measure acuity in hearing; the induction balance, used to locate metal objects in human bodies; and the first wax recording cylinder, introduced in 1886. The cylinder, together with the flat wax disc, formed the basis of the modern phonograph.

Bell was one of the co-founders of the National Geographic Society, and he served as its president from 1896 to 1904. He also helped to establish the journal Science by financing it from 1883-1894.

After 1895 Bell's interest turned mostly to aeronautics. Many of his inventions in this area were first tested near his summer home at Baddeck on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. His study of flight began with the construction of large kites, and in 1907 he devised a kite capable of carrying a person. With a group of associates, including the American inventor and aviator Glenn Hammond Curtiss, Bell developed the aileron, a movable section of an airplane wing that controls roll. They also developed the tricycle landing gear, which first permitted takeoff and landing on a flying field. Applying the principles of aeronautics to marine propulsion, his group started work on hydrofoil boats, which travel above the water at high speeds. His final full-sized “hydrodrome,” developed in 1917, reached speeds in excess of 113 km/h (70 mph) and for many years was the fastest boat in the world.

Bell's continuing studies on the causes and heredity of deafness led to experiments in eugenics, including sheep breeding, and to his book Duration of Life and Conditions Associated with Longevity (1918). He died on August 2, 1922, at Baddeck, where a museum containing many of his original inventions is maintained by the Canadian government.

Source:  Microsoft student


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