Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Camille A. Nelson

To celebrate his birthday, I'll start today's entry with a relevant quote from Mark Twain:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” —Mark Twain, 1857
Now, on to Camille A. Nelson!

Country of origin: Jamaica
Camille A. Nelson is a Jamaican academic, and the current and 12th Dean of Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. Nelson graduated with her Bachelors from the University of Toronto, her law degree from the University of Ottawa and a LLM from Columbia University. Camille Nelson was the first black woman to clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, and is the first woman and first person of color to become Dean at Suffolk University Law School; she became Dean in 2010.
Above quoted from Wikipedia. To read an article about Camille A. Nelson, visit

Stalin's daughter, who had found refuge in Marin, dies at 85

Story here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wolfgang Pauli

Country of origin: Austria Hungary
Wolfgang Ernst Pauli (25 April 1900 – 15 December 1958) was an Austrian theoretical physicist and one of the pioneers of quantum physics. In 1945, after being nominated by Albert Einstein, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his "decisive contribution through his discovery of a new law of Nature, the exclusion principle or Pauli principle," involving spin theory, underpinning the structure of matter and the whole of chemistry.
To read more about Wolfgang Pauli, visit his page at Wikipedia, or see his bio at the website.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Carlo Alban

Country of origin: Ecuador
From his soft-spoken demeanor, you wouldn't suspect Carlo Alban's incredible story. This 32-year-old actor came from Ecuador as a child and was an undocumented immigrant for most of his teenage life. But he was also one of the main characters on Sesame Street for five years.
To read more about Carlo Alban, see this story, or listen to an interview here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ngawang Wangyal

Country of origin: Tibet
Ngawang Wangyal (c. 1901-1983), popularly known as "Geshe Wangyal," was a Buddhist priest and scholar of Kalmyk origin who was born in the Astrakhan province in southeast Russia sometime in 1901. Geshe Wangyal was the youngest of four children and had chosen at age six to enter the monastery as a novice monk. After the Russian Civil War, Geshe Wangyal went to Lhasa, Tibet, where he studied at the Gomang College of Drepung Monastic University in Lhasa until 1935 when he decided to return to his homeland to obtain financial support to complete his studies.


In 1958, Geshe Wangyal established a Buddhist monastery in Washington, New Jersey called Labsum Shedrub Ling. He served as the monastery's head teacher until his death in January, 1983. He taught many students of Western background and contributed greatly to the spread of Tibetan Buddhism in the United States.
To learn more about Ngawang Wangyal, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Diluwa Khutugtu Jamsrangjab

Country of origin: Mongolia
Diluwa Khutugtu Jamsrangjab (1883–1964) was supposedly the last Mongolian Khutugtu, a Lamaist dignitary believed to be an incarnation of Buddha, politician and Mongolian-American scholar. Jamsrangjab was a Khalkha Mongolian and considered the living Buddha among the Mongols. He had strong friendly ties with Dalai Lama and Chiang Kai-shek. Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, respected Diluwa Khutugtu Jamsrangjab as his mentor and teacher during his visit to the monastery he founded in New Jersey, USA. ... After he came to the USA in 1949 with the assistance of Owen Lattimore and fellow professors, Jamsranjab worked at the Johns Hopkins University. There he joined American-British professor Owen Lattimore's the Mongolia Project. In New Jersey, he founded a Monastery with Kalmyk American lamas in 1950-1952. He was elected the chief lama of the Monastery there. When he was in the USA, he still worked for the international recognization of Mongolian independence.
To read more about Diluwa Khutugtu Jamsrangjab, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ahmet Ertegun

Country of origin: Turkey
Ahmet Ertegün (pronounced [ahˈmet eɾteˈɟyn]; July 31 [O.S. July 18] 1923 – December 14, 2006) was a Turkish American musician and businessman, best known as the founder and president of Atlantic Records. He also wrote classic blues and pop songs and served as Chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and museum. Ertegun has been described as "one of the most significant figures in the modern recording industry." He also co-founded the New York Cosmos soccer team of the North American Soccer League.
To read more about Ahmet Ertegun, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Feza Gürsey

Country of origin: Turkey
Feza Gürsey (April 7, 1921 - April 13, 1992) was a Turkish mathematician and physicist. His best known contribution to theoretical physics is his work on the Nonlinear Chiral Lagrangian.
To read more about Feza Gürsey, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

7-Eleven owner Igor Finkler Celebrates One Year of Business

See the video here.

Muzafer Sherif

Country of origin: Turkey
Muzafer Sherif (born Muzaffer Şerif Başoğlu; July 29, 1906, in Ödemiş, İzmir, Turkey – October 16, 1988, in Fairbanks, Alaska) was one of the founders of social psychology. He helped develop social judgment theory and realistic conflict theory.
To read more about Muzafer Sherif, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Oliver Smithies

Country of origin: England
Oliver Smithies (born June 23, 1925) is a British-born American geneticist and Nobel laureate, credited with the invention of gel electrophoresis in 1955, and the simultaneous discovery, with Mario Capecchi and Martin Evans, of the technique of homologous recombination of transgenic DNA with genomic DNA, a much more reliable method of altering animal genomes than previously used, and the technique behind gene targeting and knockout mice.
To read more about Oliver Smithies, visit his link at Wikipedia, or see this page at

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jamaica Kincaid

Country of origin: Antigua and Barbuda
Jamaica Kincaid (born May 25, 1949, as Elaine Cynthia Potter Richardson) is a Caribbean novelist, gardener, and gardening writer. She was born in the city of St. John's on the island of Antigua in the nation of Antigua and Barbuda. She lives with her family in North Bennington, Vermont, during the summers and teaches at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, during the academic year.
To read more about Jamaica Kincaid, visit her page on Wikipedia.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo

Country of origin: Mexico
Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo is a Mexican radio personality, born in Ocotlán, Jalisco, in 1972. His show, "Piolín por la Mañana," runs weekday mornings on KSCA in Southern California. His nickname means "Tweety Bird" in Spanish, a nickname he acquired as a child. The LA Times ranked Sotelo in 2006 amongst the 100 most powerful people in Southern California. His show, broadcast entirely in Spanish for a Spanish speaking audience, is one of the most popular shows on Los Angeles radio, with a 9.9 rating. In 2005 Sotelo gave illegal alien supporters four hours on his program. His support of the illegal alien protests in 2006 is often credited as the main reason for their enormous turnout, even though many other media personalities helped to make it. He has explained that his own experience of crossing the border illegally and living in the United States as an illegal alien helped him identify with the situation. He is now residing legally in the United States where he encourages illegal aliens to engage in peaceful political activism for immigration reform.
To read more about Eddie Sotelo, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Maria Martinez

Country of origin: El Salvador
Maria Martinez, 19, is an illegal alien. She immigrated to this country from El Salvador six years ago to be with her mother, who works in a poultry processing plant in the mountains of rural Virginia. And she is scheduled to be deported Aug. 27.
To read more about Maria Martinez's story, read this article at the New York Times.

Friday, November 18, 2011

José Iturbi

Country of origin: Spain
José Iturbi (28 November 1895 – 28 June 1980) was a Spanish conductor, harpsichordist and pianist. He appeared in several Hollywood films of the 1940s, notably playing himself in the 1943 musical, Thousands Cheer and in the 1945 film, Anchors Aweigh. He was involved in a complex family custody battle in the 1940s that culminated in his former son-in-law kidnapping Iturbi's two granddaughters.
To read more about José Iturbi, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Andy García

Country of origin: Cuba
Andrés Arturo García Menéndez (born April 12, 1956), professionally known as Andy García, is a Cuban American actor. He became known in the late 1980s and 1990s, having appeared in several successful Hollywood films, including The Godfather: Part III, The Untouchables, Internal Affairs and When a Man Loves a Woman. More recently, he has starred in Ocean's Eleven and its sequels, Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen, and The Lost City. García was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Vincent Mancini in The Godfather Part III.
To read more about Andy García, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Franklin Chang-Diaz

Country of origin: Costa Rica
Franklin Ramón Chang Díaz (born April 5, 1950) is a Costa Rican-American engineer, physicist and former NASA astronaut. He is currently president and CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Company. He is a veteran of seven Space Shuttle missions, making him the record holder as of 2008 for the most spaceflights (a record he shares with Jerry L. Ross). He was the third Latino American to go into space and is the first naturalized US citizen to become an astronaut.
To find out more about Franklin Chang-Diaz, visit his Wikipedia page here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rodolfo Llinás

Country of origin: Columbia
Rodolfo R. Llinás PhD (b. Bogotá, Colombia in 1934) is a neuroscientist. He is presently the Thomas and Suzanne Murphy Professor of Neuroscience and Chairman of the department of Physiology & Neuroscience at the NYU School of Medicine. He attended the Gimnasio Moderno school and received his MD from the Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá in 1959 and his PhD in 1965 from the Australian National University working under Sir John Eccles. Llinás has published over 500 scientific articles.
To read more about Rodolfo Llinás, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Monday, November 14, 2011

John Leguizamo

Country of origin: Columbia
Jonathan Alberto "John" Leguizamo (born July 22, 1964) is an Colombian-American actor, producer, voice artist, and comedian.
To read more about John Leguizamo, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Vilmos Zsigmond

Country of origin: Hungary
Vilmos Zsigmond, A.S.C. (born June 16, 1930) is a Hungarian-American cinematographer. In 2003, a survey conducted by the International Cinematographers Guild placed Zsigmond among the ten most influential cinematographers in history.
To read more about Vilmos Zsigmond, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Agoston Haraszthy

Country of origin: Hungary
Agoston Haraszthy (Hungarian: Haraszthy Ágoston; August 30, 1812, Pest, Hungary – July 6, 1869, Corinto, Nicaragua) was a Hungarian-American traveler, writer, town-builder, and pioneer winemaker in Wisconsin and California, often referred to as the "Father of California Viticulture," or the "Father of Modern Winemaking in California". One of the first men to plant vineyards in Wisconsin, he was the founder of the Buena Vista vineyards (now Buena Vista Carneros) in Sonoma, California, and an early writer on California wine and viticulture. Agoston Haraszthy He was the first Hungarian to settle permanently in the United States and only the second to write a book about the country in his native language. He is remembered in Wisconsin as the founder of the oldest incorporated village in the state. He also operated the first commercial steamboat on the upper Mississippi River. In San Diego he is remembered as the first town marshal and the first county sheriff. In California he introduced more than three hundred varieties of European grapes.
To read more about Agoston Haraszthy, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Louise Bourgeois

Country of origin: France
Louise Joséphine Bourgeois (French pronunciation: [lwiz buʁʒwa]; 25 December 1911 – 31 May 2010), was a renowned French-American artist and sculptor, best known for her contributions to both modern and contemporary art, and for her spider structures, titled Maman, which resulted in her being nicknamed the Spiderwoman. She is recognized today as the founder of confessional art.
To read more about Louise Bourgeois, visit her page on Wikipedia.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kalpana Chawla

Country of origin: India
Kalpana Chawla (July 1, 1961 – February 1, 2003) was an Indian-American astronaut with NASA. She was one of seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
To read more about Kalpana Chawla, visit her page on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ted Fujita

Country of origin: Japan
Tetsuya Theodore "Ted" Fujita (藤田 哲也, Fujita Tetsuya?, October 23, 1920 – November 19, 1998) was a prominent severe storms researcher. His research at the University of Chicago on severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes and typhoons revolutionized knowledge of each.
To read more about Ted Fujita, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Masi Oka

Country of origin: Japan
Masayori "Masi" Oka (岡 政偉 (Oka Masayori?); born December 27, 1974) is a Japanese-American actor and digital effects artist. He has performed in numerous feature films and TV series, most prominently as Hiro Nakamura in the NBC TV series Heroes from 2006 until its cancellation in May 2010. He resides in Los Angeles, California.
To read more about Masi Oka, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Jessica Tandy

Country of origin: England
Jessie Alice "Jessica" Tandy (June 7, 1909 – September 11, 1994) was an English - American stage and film actress. She first appeared on the London stage in 1926 at the age of 16, playing, among others, Katherine opposite Laurence Olivier's Henry V, and Cordelia opposite John Gielgud's King Lear. She also worked in British films. Following the end of her marriage to Jack Hawkins, she moved to New York, where she met Canadian actor Hume Cronyn. He became her second husband and frequent partner on stage and screen. She won the Tony Award for her performance as Blanche Dubois in the original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948, sharing the prize with Katherine Cornell (who won for Antony and Cleopatra) and Judith Anderson (for the latter's portrayal of Medea). Over the following three decades, her career continued sporadically and included a substantial role in Alfred Hitchcock's film, The Birds (1963), and a Tony Award-winning performance in The Gin Game (playing in the two-character play opposite her husband, Cronyn) in 1977. She, along with Cronyn was a member of the original acting company of The Guthrie Theater. In the mid 1980s she enjoyed a career revival. She appeared opposite Hume Cronyn in the Broadway production of Foxfire in 1983 and its television adaptation four years later, winning both a Tony Award and an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Annie Nations. During these years, she appeared in films such as Cocoon (1985), also with Cronyn. She became the oldest actress to receive the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Driving Miss Daisy (1989), for which she also won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Fried Green Tomatoes (1991). At the height of her success, she was named as one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People". She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1990, and continued working until shortly before her death.
To read more about Jessica Tandy, visit her page on Wikipedia.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cleng Peerson

Country of origin: Norway
Cleng Peerson (17 May 1783 – 16 December 1865) was a Norwegian-American pioneer who led the first group of Norwegians to emigrate to the United States, traveling on the Norwegian sloop Restauration.
To read more about Cleng Peerson, read his page on Wikipedia here.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Country of origin: Germany
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, CBE (born 7 May 1927) is a Booker prize-winning novelist, short story writer, and two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter. She is perhaps best known for her long collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions, made up of director James Ivory and the late producer Ismail Merchant. Their films won six Academy Awards.
To read more about Ruth Prawer Jhabvala visit her page on Wikipedia.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Eileen Chang

Country of origin: China
Eileen Chang (simplified Chinese: 张爱玲; traditional Chinese: 張愛玲; pinyin: Zhāng Ailíng; Cantonese Yale: Zoeng Oiling) (September 30, 1920 – September 8, 1995) was a Chinese writer. Her most famous works include Lust, Caution and Love in a Fallen City. She is noted for her fiction writings that deal with the tensions between men and women in love, and are considered by some scholars to be among the best Chinese literature of the period. Chang's portrayal of life in 1940s Shanghai and occupied Hong Kong is remarkable in its focus on everyday life and the absence of the political subtext which characterised many other writers of the period. Taiwanese author Yuan Qiongqiong drew inspiration from Eileen Chang. Poet and University of Southern California professor Dominic Cheung commented "had it not been for the political division between the Nationalist and Communist Chinese, she would have almost certainly won a Nobel Prize".
To read more about Eileen Chang, visit her page on Wikipedia.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dan Aykroyd

Country of origin: Canada
Daniel Edward "Dan" Aykroyd, CM (born July 1, 1952) is a Canadian comedian, actor, screenwriter, musician, winemaker and ufologist. He was an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, an originator of The Blues Brothers (with John Belushi) and Ghostbusters and has had a long career as a film actor and screenwriter.
To read more about Dan Aykroyd, visit his page on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nasser J. Kazeminy

Country of origin: Iran
Mr. Nasser J. Kazeminy was born in Iran and educated in England where he met his wife. After designing the worldwide logistics and management information system for Honeywell, Mr. Kazeminy was recruited away by Control Data Corporation. Together with two small children and a salary advance of $250 from his new employer; Mr. Kazeminy relocated to the United States in 1969 to design and implement a worldwide logistics and management information system.
To find out more about Nasser J. Kazeminy, visit this link at

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Country of origin: Poland
Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski (Polish: Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzeziński, pronounced [ˈzbʲiɡɲiɛf kaˈʑimʲiɛʐ bʐɛˈʑiɲski]; born March 28, 1928) is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.
To read more about Zbigniew Brzezinski, visit his page on Wikipedia.