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Alfred von Tirpitz

Alfred Peter Friedrich von Tirpitz was a German Grand Admiral, Secretary of State of the German Imperial Naval Office, the powerful administrative branch of the German Imperial Navy from 1897 until 1916. Prussia never had a major navy, nor did the other German states before the German Empire was formed in 1871. Tirpitz took the modest Imperial Navy and, starting in the 1890s, turned it into a world-class force that could threaten Britain's Royal Navy, his navy, was not strong enough to confront the British in the First World War. Tirpitz turned to submarine warfare, he never regained power. Tirpitz was born in Küstrin in the Prussian province of Brandenburg, the son of lawyer and judge Rudolf Tirpitz, his mother was the daughter of a doctor. Tirpitz grew up in Frankfurt, he recorded in his memoirs. Tirpitz spoke English fluently and was sufficiently at home in Great Britain that he sent his two daughters to Cheltenham Ladies' College. On 18 November 1884 he married Maria Augusta Lipke. On 12 June 1900 he was elevated to the Prussian nobility.

His son, Oberleutnant zur See Wolfgang von Tirpitz, was taken prisoner of war following the sinking of SMS Mainz in the Battle of Heligoland Bight on 28 August 1914. Tirpitz joined the Prussian Navy more by accident than design when a friend announced that he was doing so. Tirpitz decided he liked the idea and with the consent of his parents became a naval cadet at the age of 16, on 24 April 1865, he attended Kiel Naval School. Within a year Prussia was at war with Austria. Tirpitz became a midshipman on 24 June 1866 and was posted to a sailing ship patrolling the English Channel. In 1866 Prussia became part of the North German Confederation, the navy became that of the confederation and Tirpitz joined the new institution on 24 June 1869. On 22 September 1869 he had obtained the rank of Unterleutnant zur See and served on board SMS König Wilhelm. During the Franco-Prussian War the Prussian Navy was outnumbered and so the ship spent the duration of the war at anchor, much to the embarrassment of the navy.

During the early years of Tirpitz's career and Great Britain were on good terms and the Prussian Navy spent much time in British ports. Tirpitz reported that Plymouth was more hospitable to German sailors than was Kiel, while it was easier to obtain equipment and supplies there, which were of better quality than available at home. At this time the British Royal Navy was pleased to assist that of Prussia in its development and a considerable respect grew up in Prussian officers of their British counterparts. Unification of Germany in 1871 again meant a change of name, to the German Imperial Navy. On 25 May 1872 Tirpitz was promoted on 18 November 1875 to Kapitänleutnant. In 1877 he was chosen to visit the Whitehead Torpedo development works at Fiume and afterwards was placed in charge of the German torpedo section renamed the torpedo inspectorate. By 1879 a working device had been produced, but under demonstration conditions Tirpitz reckoned it was as to miss a target as to hit it. On 17 September 1881 he became Korvettenkapitän.

From developing torpedoes, Tirpitz moved on to developing torpedo boats to deliver them. The State Secretary for the Navy, Leo von Caprivi, was a distant relation, Tirpitz now worked with him on the development of tactics. Caprivi envisioned that the boats would be used defensively against their most enemy, but Tirpitz set about developing plans to attack the French home port of Cherbourg. Tirpitz described his time with torpedo boats as'the eleven best years of my life'. In 1887 the torpedo boats escorted Prince Wilhelm to attend the Golden Jubilee celebrations of his grandmother, Queen Victoria; this was the first time. In July 1888 Caprivi was succeeded by Alexander von Monts. Torpedo boats were no longer considered important, Tirpitz requested transfer, commanding the cruisers SMS Preussen and SMS Württemberg, he was promoted to Captain 24 November 1888 and in 1890 became chief of staff of the Baltic Squadron. On one occasion the Kaiser was attending dinner with the senior naval officers at Kiel and asked their opinion on how the navy should develop.

The question came to Tirpitz and he advised building battleships. This was an answer which appealed to the Kaiser, nine months he was transferred to Berlin to work on a new strategy for creating a high seas fleet. Tirpitz appointed a staff of officers he had known from his time with the torpedo boats and collected together all sorts of vessels as stand-in battleships to conduct exercises to test out tactics. On 1 December 1892 he made a presentation of his findings to the Kaiser; this brought him into conflict with Admiral Friedrich von Hollmann. Hollmann was responsible for procurement of ships, had a policy of collecting ships as funding permitted. Tirpitz had concluded that the best fighting arrangement was a squadron of eight identical battleships, rather than any other combination of ships with mixed abilities. Further ships should be added in groups of eight. Hollmann favoured a mixed fleet including cruisers for long distance operations overseas. Tirpitz believed that in a war no number of cruisers would be safe unless backed up by sufficient battleships.

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Louis Ferrante

Louis Ferrante is a former Gambino family mobster who, after spending eight and a half years in prison appealed his conviction and became a bestselling true crime and science writer. He hosts his own show airing on Discovery Networks International in 195 countries and was nominated for a Grierson Trust Award, the highest documentary award in the United Kingdom, known as "the Oscars of the documentary world." He has appeared on television stations such as MSNBC, Fox News Channel, BBC, PBS, Comedy Central, The History Channel. On September 15, 2011, Ferrante spoke at The Economist's Ideas Economy: Human Potential Summit in New York City. On October 21, 2014, Ferrante spoke at the CEO Global Leaders Forum in New York City, hosted by billionaire businessman Leonard Lauder. Ferrante was raised in Queens, New York; as a teenager, he made his reputation as a gang leader. Ferrante and his crew hijacked delivery trucks all over New York and he soon gained the attention of the infamous Gambino crime family.

By his early twenties, Ferrante headed a crew of older armed robbers within the family. Newspaper articles from the 1990s referred to Ferrante as "Gotti's pal" in reference to Gambino boss John Gotti, Senior. Another article referred to Ferrante as a "crony of John Gotti." On one occasion and his crew flew from New York to California to hold up an armored car. His plans were foiled by the FBI, although there was insufficient evidence to charge Ferrante and his crew with a crime. During this time, he was suspected of masterminding some of the largest heists in U. S. history. The law caught up with Ferrante and he became the target of three separate investigations, he was indicted by the FBI, the United States Secret Service, the Nassau County Organized Crime Task Force. The main informant against Ferrante was entered into the Witness Protection program. Another informant against Ferrante was William Degel, now the host of Restaurant Stakeout on Food Network. By 1994, facing a life sentence in prison, Ferrante wrote and distributed a rap song defending infamous Gambino Family Boss John Gotti.

Ferrante hired controversial civil rights. In court, Kunstler claimed that Ferrante's song aggravated law enforcement agencies who'd convicted Gotti and that the massive resources used to indict Ferrante multiple times were part of a government vendetta. Ferrante's defense was defeated in court by prosecutors and Ferrante was convicted. In Ferrante's second case, he was forced to plead guilty to a thirteen-year sentence, with his third case running concurrent with the first two cases. Ferrante refused to cooperate with the government and did not inform on former associates of the Gambino family, he was sent to the maximum security prison in Pennsylvania to begin his sentence. During Ferrante's incarceration, he read his first book, he subsequently immersed himself in the study of history and literature. He learned the art of writing, penned a historical novel, set in the antebellum South. At the time, Lewisburg Penitentiary was the scene of an ongoing race war which claimed the lives of several men who were brutally murdered inside the prison.

Ferrante states in his memoir, that he wrote the novel to shield his mind from the racism around him. While in prison, Ferrante hired and fired a number of attorneys before appealing his own conviction, a case, cited in courtrooms across the country, he was released after serving eight and a half years. In addition to law, Ferrante studied many religions and chose to convert to Judaism, becoming an observant Jew. In the U. S. the paperback edition of Ferrante's memoir is titled Unlocked: The Life and Crimes of a Mafia Insider. In the United Kingdom, the memoir is titled Tough Guy: The Crimes of a Mafia Insider; the book has been translated into Dutch. Ferrante's second book is a non-fiction work, Mob Rules: What the Mafia Can Teach the Legitimate Businessman; the book is an international bestseller. It has been translated into the languages of the following countries: Bulgaria, Holland, Germany, Italy, Korea, Brazil, Spain, Thailand and Serbia. Ferrante's third book titled, The Three Pound Crystal Ball: How the Dreaming Brain Can See the Future.

Combines physics, personal experience, extensive research, neuroscience to establish that the dreaming brain can see nanoseconds into the future. The book details Ferrante's theory of the dreaming brain, a theory he worked out while still in prison but wrote while free. A number of professional scientists have praised the book which follows the lives of Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud as the work of both men contribute to Ferrante's theory. Ferrante has contributed essays to Signed, Your Student: Celebrities Praise the Teachers Who Made Them Who They Are Today, Bound to Last: 30 Writers on Their Most Cherished Book; the book, Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations, by Jules Evans, contains a chapter dedicated to Ferrante titled, "Plutarch and the Art of Heroism." Ferrante's book, The Three Pound Crystal Ball, outlines his theory of Sleep AID, short for Anticipatory Incorporation Dreams. Ferrante wrote the book detailing it while free; the theory is yet to be disproven. Ferrante contributed his time and efforts to promoting literacy in the UK, has visited numerous prisons in an effort to help British prison inmates.

As a result of his voluntary work, he was given the Celebrity Reading Hero Award, presented to him at Number 10 Downing Street

The Serpent's Gold

The Serpent's Gold is a compilation album by the band Cathedral, released in 2004 on Earache Records. It consists of The Serpent's Treasure and The Serpent's Chest. "Ride" – 4:46 "Hopkins" – 5:18 "Autumn Twilight" – 5:49 "Midnight Mountain" – 4:55 "Soul Sacrifice" – 4:32 "Enter the Worms" – 6:05 "Stained Glass Horizon" – 5:30 "Vampire Sun" – 4:07 "Cosmic Funeral" – 6:59 "Ebony Tears" – 7:42 "Melancholy Emperor" – 5:35 "Equilibrium" – 6:04 "Utopian Blaster" – 5:38 "Voodoo Fire" – 5:11 "Imprisoned in Flesh" – 1:38 "Hide & Seek" – 1:41 "Neophytes for Serpent Eve" – 8:16 "Violet Breath" – 3:00 "Night of the Seagulls" – 5:24 "Magic Mountain" – 6:16 "A Funeral Request" – 9:06 "The Olde Oak Tree" – 4:01 "Schizoid Puppeteer" – 12:14 "Carnival Bizarre" – 9:30 "Rabies" – 4:41 "Blue Light" – 9:56 "Commiserating the Celebration" – 3:14 Scott CarlsonBass Brian DixonDrums Lee DorrianVocals, Compilation Victor GriffinGuitar Mark Griffiths – Bass Joe Hasselvander – Drums Garry Jennings – Bass, Drums, Backing Vocals, Compilation Adam Lehan – Bass, Guitar David Patchett – Cover Art John Paul – Mastering Leo Smee – Bass Dan Tobin – Compilation Mark Ramsey WhartonFlute, Penny Whistle Dave Hornyak – Drums