Topic: Biography

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๐Ÿ”— John McCarthy Has Died

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— California ๐Ÿ”— Computing ๐Ÿ”— Chess ๐Ÿ”— Biography/science and academia ๐Ÿ”— Computing/Computer science ๐Ÿ”— Robotics ๐Ÿ”— Stanford University

John McCarthy (September 4, 1927 โ€“ October 24, 2011) was an American computer scientist and cognitive scientist. McCarthy was one of the founders of the discipline of artificial intelligence. He coined the term "artificial intelligence" (AI), developed the Lisp programming language family, significantly influenced the design of the ALGOL programming language, popularized time-sharing, invented garbage collection, and was very influential in the early development of AI.

McCarthy spent most of his career at Stanford University. He received many accolades and honors, such as the 1971 Turing Award for his contributions to the topic of AI, the United States National Medal of Science, and the Kyoto Prize.

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๐Ÿ”— Tarrare

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— France ๐Ÿ”— Military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Military biography ๐Ÿ”— Biography/military biography ๐Ÿ”— Military history/French military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Napoleonic era ๐Ÿ”— Military history/European military history

Tarrare (c.ย 1772ย โ€“ย 1798), sometimes spelled Tarare, was a French showman and soldier, noted for his unusual eating habits. Able to eat vast amounts of meat, he was constantly hungry; his parents could not provide for him, and he was turned out of the family home as a teenager. He travelled France in the company of a band of thieves and prostitutes, before becoming the warm-up act to a travelling charlatan; he would swallow corks, stones, live animals and a whole basketful of apples. He then took this act to Paris where he worked as a street performer.

At the start of the War of the First Coalition, Tarrare joined the French Revolutionary Army. With military rations, though quadrupled, unable to satisfy his large appetite, he would eat any available food from gutters and refuse heaps but his condition still deteriorated through hunger. He was hospitalised due to exhaustion and became the subject of a series of medical experiments to test his eating capacity, in which, among other things, he ate a meal intended for 15 people in a single sitting, ate live cats, snakes, lizards and puppies, and swallowed eels whole without chewing. Despite his unusual diet, he was of normal size and appearance, and showed no signs of mental illness other than what was described as an apathetic temperament.

General Alexandre de Beauharnais decided to put Tarrare's abilities to military use, and he was employed as a courier by the French army, with the intention that he would swallow documents, pass through enemy lines, and recover them from his stool once safely at his destination. Tarrare could not speak German, and on his first mission was captured by Prussian forces, severely beaten and underwent a mock execution before being returned to French lines.

Chastened by this experience, he agreed to submit to any procedure that would cure his appetite, and was treated with laudanum, tobacco pills, wine vinegar and soft-boiled eggs. The procedures failed, and doctors could not keep him on a controlled diet; he would sneak out of the hospital to scavenge for offal in gutters, rubbish heaps and outside butchers' shops, and attempted to drink the blood of other patients in the hospital and to eat the corpses in the hospital morgue. After being suspected of eating a toddler he was ejected from the hospital. He reappeared four years later in Versailles with a case of severe tuberculosis, and died shortly afterwards, following a lengthy bout of exudative diarrhoea.

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๐Ÿ”— In-flight surgery with a coat-hanger and silverware

๐Ÿ”— Biography

William Angus Wallace (born 31 October 1948) is a Scottish orthopaedic surgeon. He is Professor of Orthopaedic and Accident Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences of the University of Nottingham. He came to widespread public notice for a life-saving surgery he performed using improvised equipment on a British Airways flight in 1995, and for treating Wayne Rooney before the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

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๐Ÿ”— Bert Sutherland Has Died

๐Ÿ”— United States ๐Ÿ”— Biography

William Robert Sutherland (May 10, 1936ย โ€“ February 18, 2020) was an American computer scientist who was the longtime manager of three prominent research laboratories, including Sun Microsystems Laboratories (1992โ€“1998), the Systems Science Laboratory at Xerox PARC (1975โ€“1981), and the Computer Science Division of Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc. which helped develop the ARPANET.

In these roles, Sutherland participated in the creation of the personal computer, the technology of advanced microprocessors, the Smalltalk programming language, the Java programming language and the Internet.

Unlike traditional corporate research managers, Sutherland added individuals from fields like psychology, cognitive science, and anthropology to enhance the work of his technology staff. He also directed his scientists to take their research, like the Xerox Alto "personal" computer, outside of the laboratory to allow people to use it in a corporate setting and to observe their interaction with it.

In addition, Sutherland fostered a collaboration between the researchers at California Institute of Technology developing techniques of very large scale integrated circuits (VLSI)ย โ€” his brother Ivan and Carver Meadย โ€” and Lynn Conway of his PARC staff. With PARC resources made available by Sutherland, Mead and Conway developed a textbook and university syllabus that helped expedite the development and distribution of a technology whose effect is now immeasurable.

Sutherland said that a research lab is primarily a teaching institution, "teaching whatever is new so that the new can become familiar, old, and used widely."

Sutherland was born in Hastings, Nebraska on May 10, 1936, to a father from New Zealand; his mother was from Scotland. The family moved to Wilmette, Illinois, then Scarsdale, New York, for his father's career. Bert Sutherland graduated from Scarsdale High School, then received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and his master's degree and Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); his thesis advisor was Claude Shannon. During his military service in the United States Navy, he was awarded the Legion of Merit as a Carrier ASW plane commander. He was the older brother of Ivan Sutherland. Bert Sutherland died on February 18, 2020, aged 83.

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๐Ÿ”— Peter Naur has died

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— Computer science ๐Ÿ”— Biography/science and academia ๐Ÿ”— Denmark

Peter Naur (25 October 1928 โ€“ 3 January 2016) was a Danish computer science pioneer and Turing award winner. His last name is the "N" in the BNF notation (Backusโ€“Naur form), used in the description of the syntax for most programming languages. He contributed to the creation of the ALGOL 60 programming language.

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๐Ÿ”— The man who singlehandedly carved a road through a mountain

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— India ๐Ÿ”— India/Bihar

Dashrath Manjhi (1934 โ€“ 17 August 2007), also known as Mountain Man, was a laborer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, India, who carved a path 110 m long (360 ft), 9.1 m (30 ft) wide and 7.7 m (25 ft) deep through a ridge of hills using only a hammer and chisel. After 22 years of work, Dashrath shortened travel between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of Gaya town from 55ย km to 15ย km.

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๐Ÿ”— Li Wenliang

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— Medicine ๐Ÿ”— COVID-19 ๐Ÿ”— China ๐Ÿ”— Biography/science and academia

Li Wenliang (Chinese: ๆŽๆ–‡ไบฎ; pinyin: Lว Wรฉnliร ng; 12 October 1986 โ€“ 7 February 2020) was a Chinese ophthalmologist who worked as a physician at Wuhan Central Hospital. Li warned his colleagues in December 2019 about a possible outbreak of an illness that resembled severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), later acknowledged as COVID-19. He became a whistleblower when his warnings were later shared publicly. On 3 January 2020, Wuhan police summoned and admonished him for "making false comments on the Internet". Li returned to work, later contracted the virus from an infected patient (who had been originally treated for glaucoma) and died from the disease on 7 February 2020, at age 33. A subsequent Chinese official inquiry exonerated him and the Communist Party formally offered a "solemn apology" to his family and revoked its admonishment of him.

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๐Ÿ”— Gell-Mann amnesia effect

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— Chicago ๐Ÿ”— Biography/Actors and Filmmakers ๐Ÿ”— College Basketball

John Michael Crichton (; October 23, 1942 โ€“ November 4, 2008) was an American author, screenwriter, film director, and film producer. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and over a dozen have been adapted into films. His literary works are usually within the science fiction, techno-thriller, and medical fiction genres, and heavily feature technology. His novels often explore technology and failures of human interaction with it, especially resulting in catastrophes with biotechnology. Many of his novels have medical or scientific underpinnings, reflecting his medical training and scientific background. He wrote, among other works, The Andromeda Strain (1969), The Great Train Robbery (1975), Congo (1980), Sphere (1987), Jurassic Park (1990), Rising Sun (1992), Disclosure (1994), The Lost World (1995), Airframe (1996), Timeline (1999), Prey (2002), State of Fear (2004), and Next (2006). Films he wrote and directed included Westworld (1973), Coma (1978), The Great Train Robbery (1979), Looker (1981), and Runaway (1984).

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๐Ÿ”— Jonathan James

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— Law ๐Ÿ”— Computer Security ๐Ÿ”— Computer Security/Computing ๐Ÿ”— Biography/science and academia ๐Ÿ”— Florida

Jonathan Joseph James (December 12, 1983 โ€“ May 18, 2008) was an American hacker who was the first juvenile incarcerated for cybercrime in the United States. The South Florida native was 15 years old at the time of the first offense and 16 years old on the date of his sentencing. He died at his Pinecrest, Florida home on May 18, 2008, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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๐Ÿ”— Isambard Kingdom Brunel

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— London ๐Ÿ”— Trains ๐Ÿ”— Civil engineering ๐Ÿ”— Ships ๐Ÿ”— River Thames ๐Ÿ”— Wiltshire ๐Ÿ”— Hampshire ๐Ÿ”— Bristol ๐Ÿ”— Trains/UK Railways

Isambard Kingdom Brunel (; 9 April 1806ย โ€“ 15 September 1859) was a British civil engineer who is considered "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history", "one of the 19th-century engineering giants", and "one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution, [who] changed the face of the English landscape with his groundbreaking designs and ingenious constructions". Brunel built dockyards, the Great Western Railway (GWR), a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship, and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering.

Though Brunel's projects were not always successful, they often contained innovative solutions to long-standing engineering problems. During his career, Brunel achieved many engineering firsts, including assisting in the building of the first tunnel under a navigable river and the development of SSย Great Britain, the first propeller-driven, ocean-going, iron ship, which, when launched in 1843, was the largest ship ever built.

On the GWR, Brunel set standards for a well-built railway, using careful surveys to minimise gradients and curves. This necessitated expensive construction techniques, new bridges, new viaducts, and the two-mile (3.2ย km) long Box Tunnel. One controversial feature was the wide gauge, a "broad gauge" of 7ย ftย 1โ„4ย in (2,140ย mm), instead of what was later to be known as "standard gauge" of 4ย ftย 8ย 1โ„2ย in (1,435ย mm). He astonished Britain by proposing to extend the GWR westward to North America by building steam-powered, iron-hulled ships. He designed and built three ships that revolutionised naval engineering: the SSย Great Western (1838), the SSย Great Britain (1843), and the SSย Great Eastern (1859).

In 2002, Brunel was placed second in a BBC public poll to determine the "100 Greatest Britons". In 2006, the bicentenary of his birth, a major programme of events celebrated his life and work under the name Brunel 200.

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