Tag Archives: Biography

Jennifer Aniston

 Hi everyone, I hope you are all keeping your spirits up. I first off want to apologise for my post being late. This is the second time I have written this out, as my computer decided to shut down on me and I lost everything that I had done, Anyway on with today’s post.

Today is a day in which we celebrate Jennifer Aniston birthday as she turns 52 today. She is not only an amazing actress but she is also a film producer, a businesswoman and philanthropist. Born into a family of actors, she decided to follow her parent’s footsteps early in life and trained herself accordingly. However, regardless of her best efforts, success had not come for six exceptionally long years.

Her career really took off when she got the part of Rachel Green in the extremely popular television sitcom ‘Friends’ and it was then that she started to make her mark. Thanks to her portrayal of Rachel, she became so popular that she was known as The Rachel. Even though it made her so well known, she, unfortunately, became typecast. It was not until she played an unglamorous cashier in the ‘Good Girl’ that set her free from her stereotype image. It was not long before work started pouring in for her, and she began playing many lead roles that went on to become major hits. In addition to that, she appeared in many commercials and successful music videos. She had also signed a contract with Elizabeth Arden Inc, and worked there for more than a year to launch a new perfume called ‘Jennifer Aniston’, she also has two other perfumes to add to her credits ‘J’ and ‘Near Dusk’. Aniston fights for equal rights for the LGBT.

Jennifer Aniston and her dad John Aniston

The Early Years

Jennifer was born Jennifer Joanna Anastassakis on February 11, 1969, in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles to parents John Aniston and Nancy Dow. She spent the first part of her childhood in Eddystone, Pennsylvania, where the family shared a three-bedroom house with her grandmother. It was there she begun her education in an elementary school. Later the family moved to New York City.

She went on to Waldorf School at six years where they would discourage you from watching television, so she would go to the theatre instead. Three years later her parents separated. Her dad went on to marry someone else and had her half-brother Alexander Aniston. She instantly became the middle child as she also has an older half-brother John T. Melick from her mother’s side.

Jennifer first started acting at eleven while she was studying at Waldorf. She later enrolled at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and graduated from there.

Jennifer as a teenager

Her Career

In 1988, Jennifer started her acting career by working in Off-Broadway shows like ‘For Dear Life’ and ‘Dancing on Checker’s Grave’. However, she was not making much money out of her acting career, instead, she took on some side jobs to help support herself, taking on jobs such as telemarketer, waitress and bike messenger.

In 1989, she went on to appear on ‘The Howard Stern Show’, the American radio show hosted by Howard Stern. In the same year, she moved to Los Angeles, where her father used to stay. Not long after her move, she got a part in 1990’s ‘Molloy’ alongside The Big Bangs Mayim Bialik. It aired for just for one season. She then went on to do a television series named ‘Ferris Bueller’ starring with Charlie Schlatter again, that only lasted for a season.

Undeterred by this, she went on to act in another two-television series before finding fame on the television sitcom ‘Friends’ in 1994. Which lasted 10 seasons, it became a success, It catapulted her career, and she became a household name. It was then she had finally established herself firmly as an actress and has made several successful films.

Ever The Philanthropist

Jennifer is a well-known activist and philanthropist, she has been so generous with both her time and money as she has donated to several different philanthropic organizations, such as Project A.L.S., Feeding America, Doctors without Borders, AmeriCares, Friends of Al Faro, EB Medical Research Foundation, OmniPeace, and Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, Clothes Off Our Back, etc.

Jennifer has also helped with other causes like LGBT and has hosted shows like Stand Up for Cancer, and It Cannot Wait.

Facts

  • Her birth name is Jennifer Joanna Anastassakis. She later shortened her name to make it easier for people to remember it.
  • Both her parents are actors and encouraged her high school interest in drama. her father, John Aniston, is best known for his role as Victor Kiriakis on the daytime drama Days of Our Lives. Her mother is Nancy Dow.
  • She has royal blood in her. Through her mother, Jennifer is a direct descendant of the royal House of Stuart of Scotland.
  • As a child, Aniston lived in Greece for a year with her family. They moved to Pennsylvania, then to New York City.
  • Aniston attended a Waldorf educational school in New York when she was six and harnessed her love for acting at age 11 at the school.
  • When she was 11, one of Jennifer’s paintings was placed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Aniston was bullied throughout her school life, as other kids decided to make fun of her. She was known as the class clown.
  • She went to school with Chaz Bono, and she would go to his house after school.
  • Jennifer had other jobs before becoming an actress, which she was not any good at, she worked as a bike messenger, and drove into an open car door. When she was a waitress, she accidentally dropped a few burgers on customers’ laps.
  • Aniston made her screen debut in the television series Molloy (1990), but her film career began in the horror film Leprechaun (1993). The horror flick was a bad experience for her and made her consider giving up her acting career.
  • She appeared in ‘Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ music video for the 1996 song “Walls.”
  • Her big break came when she was cast as Rachel Green in the NBC sitcom Friends. The hugely popular series made her a star and a household name.
  • Directors originally had other ideas about who would play who on the show “Friends,”. They had picked Courteney Cox to be Rachel and Jennifer Aniston to play Monica. The two actresses persuaded producers that they were better suited to play it the other way round. Aniston got the role after she was told by the producers to lose 30 pounds. Ouch!
  • Chris McMillan, who managed the ‘Friends’ star’s hair for more than a decade, admitted he was stoned when he cut Jennifer Aniston’s into the iconic “Rachel” haircut.
  • Her best friend is her Friends co-star Courteney Cox.
  • She won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award during her tenure on the show.
  • She went on to star in 238 episodes of the hit series, becoming one of the highest-paid actresses in a television show at $1 million per episode.
  • Jennifer offered to be Matthew Perry’s personal trainer in 2002 to help him lose weight.
  • She has a fear of flying – even though she must do it so often for her work.
  • Jennifer was once recognized by a fan when she was naked in a sauna.
  • Jen has been friends with Adam Sandler for an exceptionally long time, way before they became famous. Aniston was dating one of Sandler’s friends. They were two teenagers and met at Jerry’s Deli while hanging out with a group of other kids. They have been friends ever since.
  • Aniston and Sandler have appeared in two movies together, “Just Go With It” (2011) and Netflix’s “Murder Mystery” (2019).
Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston (best friends for life)
  • Jen met her former husband Brad Pitt on a blind date in 1998. The couple got married in 2000.
  • Jennifer is the first woman to win the GQ Man of the Year award. She shared the award with 50 Cent and Vince Vaughn in November 2005.
  • She stays in great shape by practising yoga. She filmed the introduction to her instructor’s 2009 Yogalosophy DVD.
  • The late actor Telly Savalas was her godfather.
  • Jen is 5′ 6″ (1.68 m) tall.
  • Aniston has dated actors Vince Vaughn, singer John Mayer and SNL cast member Jason Sudeikis following her divorce from Brad Pitt.
  • Her favourite colour is blue.
  • She began dating former husband Justin Theroux in 2011 and the couple got engaged in August 2012. Aniston and Theroux met while filming Wanderlust.
  • Jen and Justin threw away the traditional honeymoon of just the two of them, they decided to have a holiday with a group of friends, which included Jason Bateman, Courtney Cox, and Chelsea Handler. They wanted the partying to carry on.
  • Jennifer owns a Welsh corgi-terrier mix named Norman and a white German shepherd named Dolly.
  • Her birthday is February 11, 1969, and she shares it with Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, Burt Reynolds, Sheryl Crow, and Kelly Rowland.
  • She dislikes spicy foods also Greek, Chinese, and Indian food, but is very fond of Mexican food.
  • Jen has been the crush of many Hollywood actors, which included former husband Justin Theroux, Jake Gyllenhaal, Cole Sprouse, and John Mayer.
  • Her favourite movies include “Wuthering Heights” and “Fame.”
  • She is the godmother of Coco Riley Arquette, the daughter of Courteney Cox and David Arquette.
  • If Jennifer were not an actress, she has said that she would have been a therapist today.
  • She is widely known for her beautiful locks, but before all that, she used to keep a tiny pair of scissors in the glove compartment of her car so she could trim any split ends when she found them.
  • What does she dislike reading about herself? “Try that Jennifer Aniston diet.” There is no secret diet – she says she follows a healthy diet and exercises often.
  • She went through a goth phase in high school, as she wanted to be rebellious.
  • Her father, who has starred on Days of Our Lives since 1985, also discouraged his daughter from following in his footsteps. “He said, ‘I do not want your heartbroken. The rejection is brutal. He begged her not do it, and become a lawyer.”
  • When Jennifer Aniston was a young child, she was riding a tricycle around the swimming pool and ended up crashing it into the water. She was too scared to let go of the trike, so her brother had to help her out of the water. This caused her to be terrified of being underwater…and even now she has a hard time filming scenes in the water.
  • Jennifer has struggled with dyslexia which made reading difficult for her. Before she was diagnosed, she just thought she was not good at academics since she was not able to retain any of the information.  
  • Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman have been friends since there early 20’s. They have appeared in five movies together “The Break-Up” (2006), “The Switch” (2010), “Horrible Bosses” (2011), “Horrible Bosses 2” (2014), and “Office Christmas Party” (2016).
Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston BFF

Films I Like of Hers

Earliest to Latest

  • Picture Perfect (1997)
  • Bruce Almighty (2003)
  • Rumor Has It (2005)
  • The Break-Up (2006)
  • Marley and Me (2008)
  • He’s Not That Into You (2009)
  • The Bounty Hunter (2010)
  • The Switch (2010)
  • Just Go with It (2011)
  • Horrible Boss (2011)
  • Wanderlust (2012)
  • We’re the Millers (2013)
  • Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)
  • Mother’s Day (2016)
  • Storks (2016)
  • Office Christmas Party (2016)
  • Murder Mystery (2019)

Thankyou for taking the time to read my blog. See you all next week.

Lewis Carroll

Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing okay. It is times like this that you can reflect on what matters most in the world to you, family, friends and most important, to yourself is your sanity. These are crazy times that as befallen us all, so we must make the most of what we have and cherish it with all our hearts.

I would like to share with you on how I try to keep my sanity intact. I try to keep my mind busy whether its reorganising cupboards in every room in the house, enrolling on courses, to learn new things or further educate myself in certain subjects as well as writing my blog and my first fantasy novel. And of course, watching comedy films.

I am not immune to having my bad days, where I feel down and depressed, I have my moments where I sit down and have a good cry. I try to keep busy so that I do not have too many days like that. What may work for me, may not necessarily work for you, so I would suggest trying to find what will work for you to help you get through this by any means necessary. I have found that laughter has been a key factor for my family as it has got us through some of our darkest of days, it has been our saviour.

Anyway, on with my blog. Today’s post is about the wonderfully talented, and a great imaginative mind that is of Lewis Carroll.

Who was Lewis Carroll?

Who was Lewis Carroll you might ask, well he was a fiction writer, who loved to write and use his imagination to create games from when he was a child? By the age of 20, he received a studentship at Christ Church and was appointed as a lecturer in mathematics. Although he was extremely shy, he did enjoy creating stories for children. His all-time and most famous books included Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

Early Years

Best known by his pseudonym name, Lewis Carroll, he was born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, to parents Frances Jane Lutwidge and Revered Charles Dodgson on 27 January 1832, in a village of Daresbury, Warrington, England. The eldest boy of eleven children, Carroll was adept at entertaining himself and his younger siblings.  His father, who was a clergyman raised them in the rectory. Carroll had a happy childhood. His mother was gentle and patient, and his father, regardless of his religious beliefs tutored every one of his children and taught them to be good people.

Even though during his years at Rugby School (1846-1849) were a particularly unhappy time, he was always recognised as a good student, Carroll excelled in mathematics and won many academic prizes. In 1850 he was admitted to study further at Christ Church, Oxford, England, and would graduate in 1854. He became a mathematical lecturer in 1855 at the college. This became a permanent appointment, which not only recognised his academic skills, but it also paid him a decent pay, that required Carroll to take holy orders in the Anglican Church and for him to remain unmarried. He agreed to these terms and then was made a deacon in 1861.

Alice in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll suffered severely from a bad stammer, but he vocally found his voice when he could speak fluently to children. The young children played a significant part in inspiring his best-known work. He loved to entertain children, and it was Alice, the daughter of Henry George Liddell, who can be credited with his pinnacle inspiration and overall achievement. Alice remembers spending many hours with Carroll, listening to his stories that told fantastic tales of dream worlds.

The story fell into the hands of novelist Henry Kingsley, who urged him to publish it. The book Alice in Wonderland was released in 1865. The book gained popularity at a steady pace, and as a result, Carroll began writing a sequel. Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (1871). By the time of his death, Alice went on to become the most popular children’s book in England, and by 1932, it had become the most popular in the world.

20 Fascinating Facts About Lewis Carroll

  • Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, author of the children’s classics ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking-Glass.’
  • Lewis Carroll was one of eleven children, and whilst he was growing up, he would often spend his time playing literary games with his three brothers and seven sisters.
  • Lewis invented a way to write in the dark. Like a lot of writer’s, he was frustrated by losing great ideas that would come to him in the middle of the night, that is why in 1891 he invented the nyctograph. Carroll also considered it to be useful for the blind.
  • He invented the Carroll Diagram (which is sometimes known as the Lewis Carroll Square), a method of grouping data, which is still taught in math lessons today.
  • Carroll wrote numerous books including 11 books in mathematics, 12 literary fiction books, as well as poetry.
  • Carroll would have a very rough childhood. Not only did he suffer with a stutter from an early age, which lasted throughout his life, but a childhood fever also left him deaf in one ear, and a bout of whooping cough at 17 weakened his chest for the rest of his life. Whilst later in life he had developed debilitating, aura migraines that doctors at the time diagnosed him as having epilepsy.
  • Lewis Carroll suffered with ADHD.
  •  He was a big letter writer, sometimes he would correspond up to 2,000 times in one year, and he would occasionally write backwards, so the reader would have to hold it up to a mirror to decipher what was said.
  • He was very keen on drawing as a child.
  • He kept records of the letters he had sent and received, it recorded more than 98,000 letters
  • Carroll had his productivity down to a science, he could write 20 words in a minute, a page of 150 words in seven minutes, and 12 pages in two and a half hours.
  • He was an accomplished photographer, that started in his mid-20’s and would continue on for over two decades. Carroll had created more than 3000 photographs, that would include portraits of friends, children staged in costume and very notable figures (such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson), landscapes, and stills of skeletons, dolls, statues, paintings and so much more, he even considered making a living as a photographer in the 1850’s.
  • Even after all the success of Alice in Wonderland, and the only time he travelled was in 1867 on a road trip to Russia, and on the way back he stops in Poland, Germany, Belgium, and France,
  • In Christ Church College at Oxford, you can find a white rabbit and Alice holding a flamingo that is immortalized in its stained glass. This was where Lewis Carroll would spend most of his life.
  • Lewis Carroll had spelled out his inspiration for Alice in the last chapter of Through the Looking Glass, but throughout his life he had denied that Alice was based on a real-life person, but it was “a boat beneath a sunny sky,” poem it was at the end of Through the Looking Glass, is an acrostic which spells out Alice Pleasance Liddell.
  • Lewis Carroll would often take his friend Dean Liddell’s three daughters, for days out and on boat trips on the river. It was whilst on one of these trips on 4 July 1862, during the Independence celebrations that was going on across the pond that he first told the story that would go on to become Alice in Wonderland. The story was first published in 1865.
  • The Cheshire cat was inspired by cheese moulds from the Cheshire county in England, which was a dairy rich area, where “grinning like a Cheshire cat” was a popular phrase. Cheesemakers in the area would mould the cheese into a cat’s grinning face, and slice the cheese from the back, so that he would slowly disappear until the last part was consumed was the head.
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been translated into more than 70 languages.
  • He became a deacon but never a priest. He was ordained as a deacon on 22, December 1861, but had to petition Dean Liddell to avoid becoming a priest.
  • He was born in Daresbury 1832, and died in Guildford from pneumonia in 1898.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week and stay busy, safe and connected. see you all next week!

The Wright Brothers Day

Hi everyone hope you are all okay. It is not long now until Christmas day, it is almost upon us, only 8 shopping days left, so I hope you have managed to do all your Christmas shopping, as next week will just be horrendous.

Today’s post is about real life brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright also known as the Wright brothers. They were two American Aviation Pioneers who had incredible vision and enormous talent for designing and creating their inventions. They invented the first successful airplane one hundred and seventeen years ago today.

Wilbur and Orville: The Early Years

Orville Wright 4 years and 9 months of age and Wilbur Wright 9 years of age

Wilbur (16 April 1867) and Orville (19 August 1871) were born to parents Milton and Susan Koerner. They belonged to a warm and loving family that would encourage learning, and to always keep on doing. Their family consisted of older brothers Rauchlin and Lorin, and younger sister Katharine.

The Toy Helicopter

Their mother Susan was the daughter of a wagon maker, who made toys for her children and always encouraged their curiosity. Whilst their father Milton was a bishop of the United Brethren Church, which often took him away from home on church business. But he would always keep in contact with his family by writing hundreds of letters home, and would often bring presents from his many trips away, and that gave the children a look at the world beyond their horizon. In 1878, one of the gifts he brought home was a rubber band powered helicopter, the young boys immediately began to build copies of it and would sell them to their friends including handmade kites. Wilbur and Orville always did things together ever since they were small.

The Wright Brothers Helicopter

In 1884, Bishop Wright decided to move his family to Dayton, Ohio, which was the political center of the United Brethren Church. Around the same time, his wife Susan fell ill with tuberculosis. Just out of high school Wilbur put aside going to college, so that he could nurse his sick mother, while Orville started to lose interest in school, instead he learned all he could about the printing business. Their mother Susan Wright’s health declined and died by summer of 1889, and that same year Orville decided to drop out of high school to open his first print shop.

Their Career Path

The Printing Business

In 1890, Wilbur went to join Orville in the printing business, serving as editor for The West Side News, a newspaper that went out weekly to their west Dayton neighborhood. It was a modestly successful business, and to give its residence more, they began a daily, and evening item, in 1891. However, it took a lot of work to keep up with the larger and more established daily newspapers, so after a few months they simply went back to being job printers.

The Bicycle Process
Original Wright Brothers Bicycle

By 1894, the brothers were caught up in the bicycling craze that had swept the nation. They used the money they had got from their printing trade and used it to open their first bicycle shop, at first they just sold and repaired bikes. This soon grew in to a full-time business, and by 1896 they started to build their own brand of bikes. The Wright Cycle Company would soon make a handsome profit. The brothers cared little about money, and by now they were already thinking about trading their wheels for wings.

It was their experiences with bicycles that helped them in their investigation of flight. They would later go on to use their knowledge that they had learned from they’re bicycle business in their airplanes: wheel hubs, chains, ball bearings, sprockets and spoke wire. They would use their experience as cyclist to help with balancing and controlling their aircraft.

The Invention Of The Airplane

In 1896, the newspapers were filled with stories of flying machines. Wilbur and Orville had noticed that these archaic aircraft lacked suitable controls. They would start to wonder how a pilot would balance an airplane in the air just as a biker would balance his bike when cycling on the road. By 1899 The Wright Brothers were so eager to control an aircraft that they devised a simple system plan that twisted or warped the wings of a biplane, which causes it to roll right then left and then restoring it back to level flight. Wilbur and Orville came up with this idea by watching birds in flight. They tested this system by using a kite, then a series of gliders.

Their First Successful Airplane

They made their first test flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on the shores of the Atlantic, it’s a place where the strong winds had helped to launch the gliders and it helped that you had the soft sand to cushion yourself when you crashed. Their first two gliders that had flown in 1900 and 1901 were not provided with enough lift, nor were they fully controllable. So during the winter of 1901 and 1902 the brothers built a wind tunnel and organized many experiments on them to determine the best shape for an airplane to stay up in the air. This empowered them to build a glider with enough lift, and enabled them to concentrate on the problem of control. It wasn’t until towards the end of 1902 flying season, that their third glider became the first fully controllable aircraft, with roll, pinch and yaw controls.

It was during the winter of 1902 and 1903, with the help of their mechanic Charlie Taylor, the Wrights finally got to design and build a  gasoline engine that was light enough to propel an airplane. They also designed the first true airplane propellers and build a new powered aircraft. Back at Kitty Hawk, Wilbur and Orville had found themselves in a race. Samuel P. Langley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, had also built a powered aircraft that was designed after a small unmanned “aerodrome” that he had flown successfully in 1896. To add to their frustrations, the brothers kept being delayed by problems with the propeller shafts as well as the weather, which gave Langley time to check the aircraft twice in late 1903. Both experiments floundered badly, and then Langley left the field to the Wright Brothers. On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first assisted, controlled flights in a powered aircraft.

Orville’s Dedication To His Brother

On 30 May, 1912, Wilbur died aged 45 of typhoid fever, which he had contracted after eating some oysters at a hotel in Boston. Orville is the shyer one and less worldly, was devastated by his brothers’ death that he had made the decision to sell the Wright Company as it was too much to bear without Wilbur being there, and made around $1.5 million in the process. He spent the rest of his life tinkering in his workshop, and hanging out with his family and protecting the Wright family legacy.

By the time of Orville’s’ death on 30 January, 1948 he had seen his brother’s invention transform transportation, culture war forever. And to think all there work that they had created, started by two small boys and one toy helicopter and there self believe in each other.

 The Wright brothers are from a mere minority, that were among the blessed few who could combine mechanical ability with intelligence in roughly equal amounts. The brother’s biographer Fred Howard had once wrote. “One man with this dual gift is exceptional. Two such men whose lives and fortunes are closely linked, can raise this combination of qualities to a point where their combined talents are akin to genius.”

22 Amazing Facts

  • Milton and Susan Wright had seven children, that included a set of twins Otis and Ida, but tragically the twins died. Otis was born first and managed to live for 1 week and 6 days and Ida managed 2 weeks and 4 days.
  • Wilbur was the third child and Orville the sixth
  • A toy piqued their passion from an early age.
  • In 1878, when Wilbur was 11 and Orville 7, their father gave them a helicopter-like toy to share. It was based on an invention by Alphonse Pénaud and was made of paper, bamboo and cork with a rubber band to twirl the motor. The brothers later said this toy was the beginning of an obsession with flying machines.
  • Their genius was genetic as their mother, Sarah, was very mechanically inclined. Her own father was a carriage maker, and she spent a lot of time in his shop. She made her own appliances as well as toys for her children. The Wright brothers consulted their mother’s advice regularly as they designed their own machines.
  • The brothers shared such a close bond…  Even though the Wright brothers weren’t twins, they certainly lived like they were. They worked side by side six days a week, and shared the same residence, meals, and bank account. They also enjoyed mutual interests, like music and cooking. Neither brother ever married. Orville said it was Wilbur’s job, as the older sibling, to get hitched first. Meanwhile, Wilbur said he “had no time for a wife.” In any case, the two became successful businessmen, scoring aviation contracts both domestically and abroad.
  • One of the newspapers they printed, The Tattler, was for the African-American community in Dayton, Ohio.
  • They decided who would fly first with a toss of a coin. Wilbur won the toss, but his first attempt failed. Orville went second and managed to fly for 12 seconds. 
  • They were autodidacts which is a person who has learned a subject without the benefit of a teacher or formal education; a self-taught person.
  • When Neil Armstrong went to the moon he paid homage to the Wright brothers by carrying both a swatch of fabric from the 1903 Flyer’s left wing and a piece of its wooden propeller inside his spacesuit.
  • The Wright brothers were proud Midwesterner that spent their formative years in Dayton, Ohio. Later in life, Wilbur said his advice for those seeking success would be to “pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.”
  • Neither of the Wright brothers graduated from high school, but they were undoubtedly bright, neither of them ever earned their high school diploma. Wilbur became reclusive after suffering a bad hockey injury, and Orville dropped out of school.
  • They achieved four successful flights with their first airplane design… The Wright brothers started testing various wing designs and spent the next few years perfecting their evolving vision for a heavier-than-air flying machine.
  • On Dec. 17, 1903, the brothers successfully launch the world’s first airplane. The Wright Flyer I. It was made of spruce and had propellers and a specially designed engine cast mainly from lightweight aluminum. It was the first controlled and powered flying machine that could fly with the weight of humans. From this design, the modern airplane was born.
  • The Wright Flyer I cost about $1000 to make.
  • The Wright brothers only flew together once (though both piloted the planes individually); on May 25, 1910, they took a six-minute flight piloted by Orville with Wilbur as his passenger.
  •  On that same day in May, Orville took his 82-year-old father, Milton, on a seven-minute flight. They flew at a height of about 350 feet.
  • The Wright Brothers made life-sized copies of their beloved helicopter toy with the intention of making an aircraft that would hold them both.
  • The press initially ignored the Kitty Hawk flights, despite their monumental achievement, the Dayton Journal didn’t think the Wright brothers’ short flights were important enough to cover. The Virginia Pilot ended up catching wind of the story, however, and they printed an error-ridden account that was picked up by several other papers. Eventually, the Dayton Journal wrote up an official and accurate story.
  • The Wright brothers established the world’s first test flight facilities (which is now known as Wright Patterson Air Force Base) near Dayton, Ohio. 
  • Ohio and North Carolina often battle over which state is truly the “birthplace of aviation.”

Thank you for stopping by, Enjoy the rest of your day and I will see you all back here next week!

Emily Dickinson

Hi everyone, today’s post is about the American Poet Emily Dickinson. She was born on this day, one hundred and ninety years ago today. Emily was more renowned for her poetry after her death than when she was alive.

Early Life

Emily as a Child

Born Emily Elizabeth Dickinson, (December 10, 1830), to parents Edward Dickinson (politician), and Emily Norcross Dickinson (poet), in Amherst, Massachusetts, she was born into a literate and very respectable family. Emily is the second of three children, and she grew-up living a moderately privileged life with strong religious beliefs. For the first nine years of her life she lived in a mansion built by her paternal grandfather Samuel Fowler Dickinson who helped found the Amherst College, but then everything took a drastic turn and they went bankrupt shortly before her birth.

Her father Edward Dickinson was a forceful Whig lawyer and trustee of Amherst College, her mother Emily Norcross Dickinson was a former student of ‘Monson Academy’ and an introverted wife and hardworking housekeeper. Emily was named after her mother and lived with her parents and two siblings her elder brother William Austin Dickinson (known as Austin), and her younger sister, Lavinia Norcross Dickinson (known as Vinnie) at their homestead. Her parents were loving but stern, Emily didn’t get along with her parents but she did become very close to Austin and Vinnie.

 The family moved to Pleasant Street after the birth of Lavinia in order to accommodate for Edwards prospering political career as well as his legal career that provided a bigger house for his children, and to provide his children with a refined education. The education catered to Emily which was not one that was provided to girls during the Victorian age. She received a classical education that only the elite few could afford.

Emily and her siblings – L-R: Emily, William and Lavinia

Dickinson went to primary school in Amherst before she attended the co-educational Amherst Academy, where teachers and students alike saw her extraordinary abilities in composition. Along with being brilliant and observant. She showed a keen interest in the piano and domestic chores, especially in gardening, she also excelled in other subjects that was encouraged by the school, most notably Latin and sciences.

After having seven years at Amherst Academy (1840), she then went onto Mount Holyoke female seminary (1847). This was her first and longest time that she had spent away from her family. Emily made friends easily and acquired plenty of female friends as a young girl, some of them were Emily Fowler, Abby Wood, Jane Humphrey, Abiah Root, Susan Gilbert (who later went on to marry her brother William) and her cousin Sophia Holland. She also had a couple of male friends Benjamin Newton and Henry Vaughn Emmons. The only affection she had for them was purely platonic, nothing went beyond the boundaries of friendship.

There was a sudden turn of events, when Emily was hit by the sudden death of her beloved cousin Sophia Holland; she was so overwhelmed and shaken up by grief over the loss of Sophia that she was sent away to Boston to recover from the trauma. It was the death of Sophia that bought up many questions of death and mortality to a young Emily, and the fact that her garden at the back of the house was opposite the cemetery, which added to her morbid fascination with death. It was presumed that it was the loss of her loved ones that inflicted her with the most pain and which she would later sit down and pen several poems.

Emily’s House/Museum

Facts:

  • Her Father was a Senate for the United States.
  • The Dickinson family were devout Calvinists.
  • Emily Dickinson’s passion in her early years was botany, and it was because of her love of plants that she wanted to know the science of plant life.
  • The sisters never married and remained at home, there brother who was the only one that married, moved into the house next door with his wife.
  • Benjamin Franklin Newton, a student of her fathers, and had tutored her, introduce her to the works of William Wordsworth and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • Emily wrote a letter to her brother expressing on her growing interest and desire to write. She also wrote telling him on how different she felt.
  • Between the years of 1858 to 1865 saw her work take a steady leap, she based her writings on a few themes, such as nature and flora: some ballads, gospel, death and mortality
  • Her family moved back to the homestead, where her brother married Susan and had three children.
  • From an early age Emily Dickinson chose to restrict her social engagements as she retreated from society and became a recluse. In her late twenties she chose to stay within her family home for the vast majority of the time instead of venturing out into the world around her. She rarely travelled and based her perceptions of her friends on their ability to write a letter back to her.
  • Emily had wrote 1,000 poems by the time she was 35, which she categorized into manuscripts, and around 50 poems were sent to the chief editor of ‘Springfield Republican Samuel Bowles, which he published only a few anonymously in his journal.
  • Only 10 poems were actually published in her lifetime. The poems that were published during her lifetime were mainly done so anonymously or without her consent.
  • Emily Dickinson’s work was mostly published after her death.  Her sister Lavinia retrieved the bulk of her works when the poet had died. On per Emily’s request Lavinia burnt most of her letters but she recognized the worth of her poems and rather than burn them she wanted the world to recognize and applaud her sister’s works.
  • Dickinson’s health began to deteriorate after the untimely death of her youngest nephew in 1883. She became extremely fragile and became bedridden, but even during her illness she would continue to write.
  • Aged just 55, on May 15, 1886, Emily died of a kidney disorder called ‘Bright’s Disease’. As per her last wish, she was carried through a blooming field of buttercups to her burial site, where her coffin was laid in the family cemetery.
  • Emily’s herbarium, consists of 66 pages of special plant species from her garden is now preserved at Harvard University. The special collections of Amherst College also contains the original portrait and locks of the great poet.
  • Because of the wide heritage that stood in the ‘Homestead’ especially contributing to the proliferous work of Emily Dickinson, the mansion has now been preserved as a museum.
  • The ‘Amherst College’ also purchased the house of William and Susan Dickinson, called ‘Evergreens’ and converted it into a museum open to tours and renamed it the ‘Emily Dickinson Museum’.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Thankyou for taking the time to read my blog. See you all next week.