Aside from being one of the finest actors the world has ever known, Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was (there's just no better way to express it) a badass.
At 6'5", he spoke six languages, participated in more on-screen sword fights than any actor in history and is the oldest (award-winning) heavy metal vocalist ever at 91. He was apparently the most prolific actor in motion picture history (281 roles), the son of an Italian Countess descended from the line of King Charlemagne, and of a WWI war hero related to American Civil War General Robert E. Lee.
In 1939, Christopher Lee volunteered to fight for the Finnish government, and upon the death of his father volunteered for the Royal Air Force. As a codebreaker in North Africa, he helped bring about the 1943 North African surrender of the Axis.
Lee's special ops service is so highly classified that his records are still sealed, seventy years after the close of the war. However, after the war, Lee is also said to have assisted the UN War Crimes Commission by personally tracking down Nazi war criminals. In 1997, he was named Commander of the Venerable Order of Saint John; in 2001, Commander of the Order of the British Empire; in 2009, he was knighted by Prince Charles, and in 2011, he was named Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by the government of France.
Lee acted in screen adaptations of the greatest stories of all time: The Three Musketeers, Robin Hood, Dracula, Star Wars, James Bond, The Lord of the Rings, Sherlock Holmes, Hamlet, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, and many more.
As an interesting bit of trivia, Lee also hobnobbed with many other greats - you can find him on the cover of Paul McCartney's album Band On The Run, where he's dressed as one of several convicts caught by a searchlight (alongside McCartney, the band, and actor James Coburn). As a master golfer, he's played against Jack Nicklaus. He even met J.R.R. Tolkein in an Oxford pub called the Eagle and Child, and found himself so starstruck that all he could say was "How do you do?"
"Members of the [Lord of the Rings] cast and crew were always trying to catch me out. They'd ask me questions like, 'What was the name of Frodo's father,' or, 'What was the name of this or that sword.' Things like that. Well, they never caught me out -- not once! They tried, but they never did."
"I still think the Lord of the Rings is the greatest literary achievement in my lifetime," he said.
Millions around the world will doubtless agree Sir Christopher Lee was the greatest actor of his time.
"Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." Horatio - Hamlet
Sources: "Christopher Lee was a Nazi hunter and other badass things you didn't know about cinema's biggest villain", Philippa Hawker, The Age;"Sir Christopher Lee on The Lord of the Rings trilogy", Lawrence French, Cinefantastique;
IMDB; Wikipedia; "One Reason Christopher Lee Was Perfect For 'Lord Of The Rings'", Todd Van Luling, The Huffington Post
The 19-year-old Dutch aerospace engineer looks like a young Donovan Leach, and certainly shares the famous balladeer's visionary temperament.
But Boyon Slat's Atlantis is of a more tangible sort: he plans to address a deeply troubling and pressing environmental issue - skimming off the mountains of plastics choking the life from our oceans.
Slat's TedX Talk sparked international enthusiasm, and funds started pouring in for his Ocean Cleanup foundation:
A year, a UN Champions of the Earth award, and $2 million in seed money later, his passive ocean cleanup system is set to launch - next year.
It's an engineering feat on a grand scale, and one that is restoring hope in our planet's future.
The passive cleanup array is currently being tested off the coast of Tsushima, an island found between Japan and South Korea.
It's 6,560-feet long, the largest structure ever set afloat, and it's scheduled for at least two years of operation. Slat's team is currently trying to find methods of using the harvested waste plastic as a source of alternative energy.
After three more years, with deployments gradually increasing in size, Slat's engineering team will deploy a 62-mile-long array
to deal with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch found between California and Hawaii.
In preparation, the team will deploy 50 ships this August to map out a 3,500,000 square km region between California and Hawaii, creating a high-resolution map of Pacific Ocean plastic contamination.
making many reconsidertravelandemigration plans. They can’t be blamed-thenumbersarestunning: according tothe most recentUnitedNationsOfficeonDrugsandCrimereport,“Withlessthan5%oftheworld'spopulation,the UnitedStatesishome toroughly35–50percent
guns, heavilyskewingtheglobal geographyoffirearmsandanyrelativecomparison.”
thehighestper-capita gunownership in the world, far aheadof numbertwo contender Yemen, which boasts54.8gunsper 100people. So just howmanygunsisthat?
A 2012Congressional ResearchServiceReportsaysnearly310milliongunsareowned by40%ofU.S. households,
andmost of thosehouseholdshavemorethan one. That’saverysizeableportion
TheFBI's2011 Uniform CrimeReports also showthat,
of12,664resolvedmurdercases,twothirds(8,583)were committedusingfirearms. But that’sjusttheproverbialtipof
moretangibleprice:the 2012SmallArmsSurveyaddsthat "...Direct
medicalcostsfor firearminjuries, including hospitalstays, diagnosticprocedures, surgery, and bloodproducts,aresubstantialandoftenexceedthecostsof treatingotherinjuriesandmedical emergencies.”
"Researchwas carriedout intheUnitedStatesinthe1990s,whenthefirearmviolenceepidemicwasatitspeak, to
One studyestimatesthat direct
whichUSD 1.4billionrepresenteddirectmedicalcosts(MaxandRice, 1993,p.171).
estimatesthemeancost perinjuryatabout USD 17,000, whichincludes
hospitalization(asvictimswho survivefirearminjuriesfrequentlyrequire multiplerehospitalizations)andsubsequent
firearminjuriesintheUSin1994,the study estimateda totalcostofUSD2.3billion. Thestudyfindsthatapproximatelythree-quartersof thesecostswereborne for gunshot
obviousdeleteriousconsequencesofAmerica'sloveaffair withfirearms:in2008, theWorldHealthOrganizationconcludedthat"...acomprehensiveassessment ofdirectcostsoffirearmviolence wouldincludeexpenseslinkedtopolicing and imprisonment,legal services,fostercare,
andprivatesecurity(Butchart et al.,
2008, p. 7, table1)."
100Harvard classmateswere asked politically polarizing questions about topics like abortion, military expenditures and religion, and the responses scored from1(extremelyliberal)to7(extremelyconservative).Theresponseswerethentalliedandcompared
with responsestothequestion"Should guncontrollawsbestricter?",
ornot therewasacorrelation betweenpoliticalconservatismandapreferencefor laxgun controllaws.
The sampleof100individualswasdrawnfromenrolleesinHarvard'sIntroductiontoStatisticsfor theBehavioral
Sciences. Theparticipantsranged inagefrom17to65witha meanageof29.17 andSDof 10.8years, andthere wasaratioof 66womento32men,
withtwoparticipantselecting not todisclosetheir gender.
The political leanings of the100respondentsformeda roughly normal distribution,rangingfromextremely
SPSS automaticallysetthe alphalevelat.19,andthisvalue was not adjustable.
The secondcorrelationtestlikewisefoundno significant correlationbetweengender andgunlegislationpreference
(r=.170n=98, p=.01,two-tailed). However, it'simportant tobear
inmindthat this sampleisdrawnfromapopulationwhichishighlyatypical;Harvardstudents haveahigherlevelof literacy,affluenceandupwardeconomic mobilitythantypicalAmericans.
witha muchlarger,regionallydiverseand race/gender/income-balancedsample.Giventhetimeandresources,
GunCrimeStatisticsby US State, MonaChalabi,September17, 2013,The Guardian