Couronian colonisation refers to the colonisation efforts of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, a vassal of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Small, but wealthy, the Duchy took a modest part in the European domination and settlement of West Africa and the Caribbean. Like Brandenburg, that had far larger German colonising power before the formation of the German Empire, the Polish-Lithuanian fief of Courland had a European crusading, hence expansionist, past; the colonies were established under Jakob, Duke of Courland and Semigallia, were indirect colonies of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. During his reign, the Duchy established trading relations with all of the major European powers. Jakob established one of the largest merchant fleets in Europe, with its main harbours in Windau, Libau, his fleet made voyages to the West Indies as early as 1637 when the settlers established the first colony on Tobago. The first colony was a failure, but it was refounded in 1639. In 1651, the Duchy gained a colony in Africa on St. Andrew's Island in the Gambia River and went on to build Fort Jakob on the island.
The Duchy gained control of additional land, which happened to include St. Mary Island and Fort Jillifree; the Duchy's colonies exported sugar, coffee, ginger, rum, tortoise shells, as well as tropical birds and their much sought after feathers. In the end, the Duchy would manage to retain control of these lands for less than a decade and the colonies were formally ceded to England in 1664; the colonies were lost when the Duchy's neighbours took advantage of its weakened defences during the Northern Wars, when Jakob was held captive by the Swedish Army from 1658 to 1660. However, after the end of the war the island of Tobago was returned to Courland. However, the Duchy ended up abandoning the island in 1666. In 1668, a Courish ship attempted to reoccupy Fort Jacob but was driven off by the Dutch garrison stationed on the island; the Courland Monument near Great Courland Bay commemorates the Duchy's settlements. A final Courish attempt to establish a Caribbean colony involved the construction of a settlement near modern Toco on Trinidad.
Gary Mallaber is a Los Angeles session drummer and singer. He attended Lafayette High School, where he and Bobby Militello, along with other musicians, were mentored by saxophonist Sam Scamacca. Mallaber got his start playing drums in a Buffalo band known as Raven. Mallaber was the drummer-percussionist and backing singer for the 1980s band Kid Lightning, who released an album with Gerard McMahon in 1981 entitled Blue Rue. Mallaber sings on many albums by well-known rock artists, he is best known for his work as drummer-percussionist, backup singer, co-composer for The Steve Miller Band. He has played with the Greg Kihn Band. Mallaber was the main studio drummer for Eddie Money for most of his earlier recordings and has played on many Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison solo albums, he was in the 1974 Brian DePalma film Phantom of the Paradise. In addition to drums, Mallaber plays vibraphone on the Morrison records, he has played on hit singles by Miller, Springsteen, Peter Frampton, Paul Williams, Jimmy White and Kermit the Frog.
Some of the other artists Mallaber has recorded with include Joan Armatrading, The Beach Boys, John Lennon, Gene Clark, David Cassidy, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Rush, Bob Seger, Joe Brucato, Barbra Streisand, Warren Zevon, Hughes/Thrall and Gerard McMahon. Since March 7, 2009, Mallaber has been standing in as temporary drummer for Dave Mason during his 2009 tour, he endorses Drum Workshop and Regal Tip. Official website Gary Mallaber at AllMusic Modern Drummer interview with Gary Mallaber
Ramin Golestanian is a professor at the Department of Physics and the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics at Oxford University. He is a fellow of St Cross College and is affiliated with the Oxford Centre for Soft and Biological Matter. In 2014 he was awarded the Fernand Holweck Medal and Prize for his "pioneering contributions to the field of active soft matter microscopic swimmers and active colloids". In 2017 he was awarded the Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Lecture Prize. Ramin Golestanian is now director at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, heading the department of Living Matter Physics, he grew up in Tehran and graduated from Alborz High School in 1989. In the same year, he won a bronze medal at the 20th International Physics Olympiad in Poland; this was the first time. He obtained his B. Sc. from Sharif University of Technology, his M. Sc. and Ph. D. from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences. He has been a Visiting Scholar at MIT, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB, Joliot Chair and CNRS Visiting Professor at ESPCI, Visiting Professor at College de France.