Ahmad al-Mansur

Ahmad al-Mansur was Sultan of the Saadi dynasty from 1578 to his death in 1603, the sixth and most famous of all rulers of the Saadis. Ahmad al-Mansur was an important figure in both Africa in the sixteenth century, he has been described as "a man of profound Islamic learning, a lover of books and mathematics, as well as a connoisseur of mystical texts and a lover of scholarly discussions." Ahmad was the fifth son of Mohammed ash-Sheikh, the first Saadi sultan of Morocco. His mother was the well-known Lalla Masuda. After the murder of their father, Mohammed in 1557 and the following struggle for power, the two brothers Ahmad al-Mansur and Abd al-Malik had to flee their elder brother Abdallah al-Ghalib, leave Morocco and stay abroad until 1576; the two brothers spent 17 years among the Ottomans between the Regency of Algiers and Constantinople, benefited from Ottoman training and contacts with Ottoman culture. More he "received an extensive education in Islamic religious and secular sciences, including theology, poetry, lexicography, geometry and algebra, astronomy."

In 1578, Ahmad's brother, Sultan Abu Marwan Abd al-Malik I Saadi, died in battle against the Portuguese army at Ksar-el-Kebir. Ahmad was named his brother's successor and began his reign amid newly won prestige and wealth from the ransom of Portuguese captives; this was a smart tactic on his part. Al-Mansur began his reign by leveraging his dominant position with the vanquished Portuguese during prisoner ransom talks, the collection of which filled the Moroccan royal coffers. Shortly after, he began construction on the great architectural symbol of this new birth of Moroccan power and relevance; the coffers began to run dry due to the great expense of supporting the military, extensive spy services, the palace and other urban building projects, a royal lifestyle and a propaganda campaign aimed at building support for his controversial claim to the Caliphate. Morocco's standing with the Christian states was still in flux; the Spaniards and the Portuguese were still popularly seen as the infidel, but al-Mansur knew that the only way his Sultanate would thrive was to continue to benefit from alliances with the Christian economies.

To do that Morocco had to control sizable gold resources of its own. Accordingly, al-Mansur was drawn irresistibly to the trans-Saharan gold trade of the Songhai in hopes of solving Morocco's economic deficit with Europe. Ahmad al-Mansur developed friendly relations with England in view of an Anglo-Moroccan alliance. In 1600 he sent his Secretary Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud as ambassador to the Court of Queen Elizabeth I of England to negotiate an alliance against Spain. Ahmad al-Mansur wrote about reconquering Al-Andalus for Islam back from the Christian Spanish. In a letter of 1 May 1601 he wrote that he had ambitions to colonize the New World with Moroccans, he envisioned that Islam would prevail in the Americas and the Mahdi would be proclaimed from the two sides of the oceans. Ahmad al-Mansur had French physicians at his Court. Arnoult de Lisle was physician to the Sultan from 1588 to 1598, he was succeeded by Étienne Hubert d'Orléans from 1598 to 1600. Both in turn returned to France to become professors of Arabic at the Collège de France, continued with diplomatic endeavours.

The Songhai Empire was a western African state centered in eastern Mali. From the early 15th to the late 16th century, it was one of the largest African empires in history. On October 16, 1590, Ahmad took advantage of recent civil strife in the empire and dispatched an army of 4,000 men across the Sahara desert under the command of converted Spaniard Judar Pasha. Though the Songhai met them at the Battle of Tondibi with a force of 40,000, they lacked the Moroccan's gunpowder weapons and fled. Ahmad advanced, sacking the Songhai cities of Djenné, as well as the capital Gao. Despite these initial successes, the logistics of controlling a territory across the Sahara soon grew too difficult, the Saadians lost control of the cities not long after 1620. Ahmad al-Mansur died of the plague in 1603 and was succeeded by Zidan Abu Maali, based in Marrakech, by Abou Fares Abdallah, based in Fes who had only local power, he was buried in the mausoleum of the Saadian Tombs in Marrakech. Well-known writers at his court were Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari, Abd al-Aziz al-Fishtali, Ahmad Ibn al-Qadi and Al-Masfiwi.

Through astute diplomacy al-Mansur resisted the demands of the Ottoman sultan, to preserve Moroccan independence. By playing the Europeans and Ottomans against one another al-Mansur excelled in the art of balance of power diplomacy, he spent far more than he collected. He attempted to expand his holdings through conquest, although successful in their military campaign against the Songhay Empire, the Moroccans found it difficult to maintain control over the conquered locals as time went on. Meanwhile, as the Moroccans continued to struggle in the Songhay, their power and prestige on the world stage declined significantly. Featured as the playable leader of the Moroccan civilization in the computer strategy game Civilization V: Brave New World Davidson, Africa in history: themes and outlines, New York: Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-82667-4. Mouline, Nabil, Le califat imaginaire d'Ahmad al-Mansûr, Presses Universitaire

Frank A. Beach

Frank Ambrose Beach, Jr. was an American ethologist, best known as co-author of the 1951 book Patterns of Sexual Behavior. He is regarded as the founder of behavioral endocrinology, as his publications marked the beginnings of the field. Frank Ambrose Beach, Jr. was born in Emporia, the first of three children to Frank Ambrose Beach and Bertha Robinson Beach. Although he respected his father, a distinguished Professor of Music at Kansas State Teachers College, Frank Beach Jr. rebelled against him. Frank A. Beach Jr. used the Jr. associated with his name. Beach began an English major with the intent to become a high school English teacher. Beach was a poor student, receiving D's and F's at Emporia, so he was sent to Antioch College for his sophomore year to regain his focus. Beach returned to Emporia, where he took his first psychology course with James B. Stroud, who would prove to be an important influence in his life. Beach graduated in 1932, right in the middle of the Great Depression. Beach was unable to find a job in teaching, so he accepted a fellowship in clinical psychology at Emporia to earn his master's degree.

Beach completed a thesis on color vision in rats. After completing his master's degree, he moved to the University of Chicago, to accept a fellowship from psychologist Harvey Carr, who had trained his former mentor, James B. Stroud. In Chicago, Beach met and worked with behaviorist Karl Lashley, who had the strongest influence on Beach's professional life. Financial difficulties forced Beach to leave Chicago, took a high school teaching position in Yates Center, where he married his first wife; the union was short-lived. Beach returned to the University of Chicago in 1935, completed, under the supervision of Harvey Carr, a PhD thesis on the role the neocortex on innate maternal behavior in rats. Although Beach completed his dissertation in 1936, he did not receive the degree until 1940 due to his inability to pass the foreign language portion of the degree requirements. During this period, Beach married his second wife, Anna Beth Odenweller, with whom he had two children and Susan. In 1936, Beach accepted a one-year position at Karl Lashley's Cambridge laboratory, where he continued his studies of animal sexual behavior.

In 1937, Beach was employed by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Beach was influential in advancing the study of endocrinal influences on animal behavior. Beach remained at the Museum for 10 years. Beach organized an effort to save the department after the death of the former chairman; the department was renamed "The Department of Animal Behavior". In 1946, Beach accepted an academic appointment at Yale University where he would spend the next decade. There his research interest became focused on the reproductive behavior of dogs which he continued for the rest of his life. In 1950, he accepted a position as a Sterling Professor of Psychology. A sabbatical at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford began in 1957-58. In 1958, Beach accepted a position as Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley; the research program on dogs, initiated at Yale was expanded at Berkeley. Beach helped. Beach was known for being an excellent mentor to graduate students.

Beach still remained active in his work. Beach was awarded the APA award for Distinguished Teaching in Biopsychology in 1986. Beach, along with anthropologist Clellan S. Ford, co-authored the book Patterns of Sexual Behavior, considered a "classic" of its field, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1953. He authored an edited version, Human Sexuality in Four Perspectives, in 1977. Beach's second wife, died in 1971, he thereafter married Noel Gaustad. In the days prior to his death, Beach continued his work from a hospital bed, reading scientific literature and giving advice about a paper on reproductive behavior to be presented at an Omaha conference on June 12, 1988, he died on June 15, 1988. Beach's work in comparative psychology was influential. Beach studied behavior in rats, cats, pigeons and hamsters. Beach was interested in the role of endocrinology in behavior, he studied the effects of endocrines on behaviors through methods such as castration, brain legions, hormone manipulation.

Other behaviors that Beach was interested in include instinct behavior, maternal behavior, menstruation. Beach is remembered as a serious scholar and researcher, who believed that "increasing knowledge, in and of itself, is a justifiable way to spend your life." However, he was known for his sense of fun, humorously coined the term "Coolidge effect" based on an old joke about U. S. President Calvin Coolidge. Beach is remembered for his colorful paper titles such as "The Snark was a Boojum" and "Locks and Beagles". Throughout his professional career, his greatest interests remained in the field of behaviour, remarking that "Man's greatest problem today is not to understand and exploit his physical environment, but to understand and govern his own conduct."Beach was regarded as an excellent graduate student mentor. Beach did change his mind about women and went on to mentor several successful female students. At age sixty-five, Beach wrote the following autobiographical statement, preceded by a list of goals he wished to achieve: Of course, I shall never accomplish all the goals just listed, but, unimportant.


Ronald Ryan

Ronald Joseph Ryan was the last person to be executed in Australia. Ryan was found guilty of shooting and killing warder George Hodson during an escape from Pentridge Prison, Victoria, in 1965. Ryan's hanging was met with public protests by those opposed to capital punishment; the death penalty was abolished in all states by 1985. Ronald Edmond Thompson was born at the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne's inner suburb of Carlton, to John Ronald Ryan and Cecilia Thompson. Cecilia had a son with her first husband George Harry Thompson and was living with John Ryan. Cecilia and George had separated in 1915; the relationship never resumed. Cecilia met John Ryan while working as a nurse in Woods Point where he was suffering from lung disease, they formed a relationship in 1924 and married in 1929, after Thompson's death in 1927 by falling from a tram and getting hit by a car. Ronald adopted the name Ronald Edmond Ryan. In 1936 Ryan was confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church, he took as his confirmation name Joseph.

He did not like Edmond and from on used "Ronald Joseph Ryan". Following the theft of a watch from a neighbour's house at Mitcham in November 1936, the plight of the Ryan children was brought to the attention of the state welfare authorities. Ronald was sent to Rupertswood, the Salesian Order's school for orphaned and neglected boys in Sunbury, his three sisters were made wards of the state a year when authorities declared them to be "neglected". His sisters were sent to the Good Shepherd Convent in Collingwood. Ryan absconded from Rupertswood in September 1939 and, with his half-brother George Thompson, worked in and around Balranald, New South Wales. At the age of 20, Ryan had saved enough money to rent a house in Balranald, he collected his mother and sisters and they lived together in this house. Ryan's father stayed in Melbourne and died a year aged 62, after a long battle with miners' disease, phthisis tuberculosis. Aged about 22, Ryan decided to join his brother, tomato farming near Tatura, Victoria.

He started visiting Melbourne on weekends and during one of these weekend trips Ryan met his future wife, Dorothy Janet George. On 4 February 1950, Ryan married Dorothy at St Stephen's Anglican Church in Victoria, he converted from Roman Catholicism to the Church of England to marry her. He converted back to Catholicism shortly before his execution. Dorothy was the daughter of the mayor of the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn. Ryan and Dorothy had three daughters, Janice and Rhonda. A fourth baby was stillborn. After spending a few months working for his father-in-law as a trainee mechanic, Ryan decided that more money could be made cutting timber near Marysville and Licola; when it was too wet to cut timber, Ryan got a job painting for the State Electricity Commission. By 1952 the Ryan family was living in Noojee. Trouble with the law started. Ryan was away for the weekend in Melbourne; the arsonist was caught and claimed that Ryan had put him up to it in order to claim insurance money. His first appearance in court was in Warragul in 1953.

In 1956 Ryan appeared in court for passing bad cheques in Dandenong. He was given a bond, his next appearance in court was. His partner was caught with the goods purchased with the bad cheques and handed Ryan over to the police, he received another good-behaviour bond after the arresting detective gave a favourable character reference on Ryan's behalf. After being apprehended for robbery in April 1960, Ryan and his accomplices escaped from the Melbourne City Watch House but were recaptured several days later. On 17 June 1960, Ryan pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Court of General Sessions to eight charges of breaking and stealing and one of escaping from legal custody, he was sentenced to eight and a half years imprisonment. Ryan first served prison time at Bendigo Prison. Here, under Ian Grindlay, he appeared to want to rehabilitate himself, his time in prison was productive and he exhibited a disciplined approach to study, completing his Leaving Certificate. He was studying for his Matriculation when he was released on parole in August 1963.

He was regarded by the authorities as a model prisoner. After working as a clerk for a couple of months, Ryan went to lunch and never returned, he had used explosives to blow their safes. Ryan and two accomplices were caught after a butcher shop robbery on 4 January 1964, he was charged with breaking and entering and theft offences on 6 January 1964. Bailed on 3 February 1964, Ryan fled to New South Wales, he admitted to nine robberies in New South Wales between 4 April and 11 July 1964. On a visit home on 14 July he was caught by Victoria Police in the early hours the next morning. On 13 November 1964 he received an eight-year prison sentence for entering, he was sent to Pentridge Prison. After Ryan was sentenced to Pentridge Prison, he was placed in B Division where he met fellow prisoner Peter John Walker; when Ryan was informed that his wife was seeking a divorce, he made a plan to escape from prison. Walker decided to go along with him. Ryan planned to take himself and his family and flee to Brazil, which did not have an ex