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James Randi

James Randi is a Canadian-American retired stage magician and a scientific skeptic who has extensively challenged paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Randi is the co-founder of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry known as the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, he is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation. He began his career as a magician under the stage name The Amazing Randi and chose to devote most of his time to investigating paranormal and supernatural claims, which he collectively calls "woo-woo". Randi retired from practicing magic at age 60, from the JREF at 87. Although referred to as a "debunker", Randi has said he dislikes the term's connotations and prefers to describe himself as an "investigator", he has written about paranormal phenomena and the history of magic. He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, famously exposing fraudulent faith healer Peter Popoff, was featured on the television program Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

Before Randi's retirement, JREF sponsored the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, which offered a prize of one million dollars US to eligible applicants who could demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event under test conditions agreed to by both parties. The paranormal challenge was terminated by the JREF in 2015; the foundation continues to make grants to non-profit groups that encourage critical thinking and a fact-based world view. Randi was born on August 7, 1928 in Toronto, Canada, the son of Marie Alice and George Randall Zwinge, he has sister. He took up magic after seeing Harry Blackstone Sr. and reading conjuring books while spending 13 months in a body cast following a bicycle accident. He confounded doctors. Randi skipped classes and, at 17, dropped out of high school to perform as a conjurer in a carnival roadshow, he practised as a mentalist in local nightclubs and at Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition and wrote for Montreal's tabloid press.

In his twenties, Randi posed as an astrologer and, to establish that they were doing simple tricks, he wrote an astrological column in the Canadian tabloid Midnight under the name "Zo-ran" by shuffling up items from newspaper astrology columns and pasting them randomly into a column. In his thirties, Randi worked in the UK, Philippine nightclubs, all across Japan, he witnessed many tricks. One of his earliest reported experiences is that of seeing an evangelist using a version of the "one-ahead" technique to convince churchgoers of his divine powers. Though defining himself as a conjuror, Randi began a career as a professional stage magician and escapologist in 1946, he presented himself under his real name, Randall Zwinge, which he dropped in favor of "The Amazing Randi". Early in his career, he performed numerous escape acts from jail safes around the world. On February 7, 1956, he appeared live on NBC's Today show, where he remained for 104 minutes in a sealed metal coffin, submerged in a hotel swimming pool, breaking what was said to be Harry Houdini's record of 93 minutes, though Randi calls attention to the fact that he was much younger than Houdini when the original record was established, in 1926.

Randi was a frequent guest on the Long John Nebel program on New York radio station WOR, did character voices for commercials. After Nebel went to WNBC in 1962, Randi was given the time slot, from 1967 to'68 hosted The Amazing Randi Show; this show had guests who defended paranormal claims, among them Randi's then-friend James W. Moseley. Randi says he quit WOR over complaints from the archbishop of New York, that Randi had said on-air that "Jesus Christ was a religious nut."Randi hosted numerous television specials and went on several world tours. As "The Amazing Randi" he appeared on the New York-based children's television series Wonderama from 1959 to 1967, he auditioned for a revival of the 1950s children's show The Magic Clown in 1970, which showed in Detroit and in Kenya, but was never picked up. In the February 2, 1974, issue of the British conjuring magazine Abracadabra, defining the community of magicians, stated: "I know of no calling which depends so much upon mutual trust and faith as does ours."

In the December 2003 issue of The Linking Ring, the monthly publication of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, it is stated: "Perhaps Randi's ethics are what make him Amazing" and "The Amazing Randi not only talks the talk, he walks the walk."During Alice Cooper's 1973–1974 Billion Dollar Babies tour, Randi performed on stage both as a mad dentist and as Alice's executioner. He built several of the stage props, including the guillotine. Shortly after that, in a 1976 performance for the Canadian TV special World of Wizards, Randi escaped from a straitjacket while suspended upside-down over Niagara Falls. Randi has been accused of using "psychic powers" to perform acts such as spoon bending. According to James Alcock, at a meeting where Randi was duplicating the performances of Uri Geller, a professor from the University at Buffalo shouted out that Randi was a fraud. Randi said: "Yes, indeed, I'm a trickster, I'm a cheat, I'm a charlatan, that's what I do for a living. Everything I've done here was by trickery."

The professor shouted back: "That's not. You're a fraud because you're pretending to do these things through trickery, but you're using psychic powers and misleading us by not admitting it." A sim

Muslim Halwai

The Muslim Halwai are a Muslim community found in various part of India and Pakistan in Uttar Pradesh. They have their ancestral backgrounds from Arabian Adnani Tribes. Halwai caste, > Halva means sweets in Hindi and Halvai or Halwai are sweet makers. Their preferred self-designation is Shaikh, they are known as Siddiqui and Adnani. The Halwai are a community associated with the manufacture of sweetmeats, their name comes from the Arabic word Halva. The Muslim Halwai community came in India with Humayoon from Iran as his soldiers, they belong to the Shaikh category and they have their ancestral backgrounds from Arabian Adnani tribes. Their ancestors were not Hindu it proves their ancestral backgrounds and their sweet products as Halwai, Halwai e sohaan, Chashni, Lauzeena etc; the words belong to either Persian. They have the following subdivision, the Purbi or eastern and Pachaon or western group, speak Urdu, as well as local dialects of Hindi; these sub-divisions are further divided into clans, known as biradaris, which claim descent from a common ancestor.

Important biradaris include the Tobacco Traders, The biscuit Traders and the Sweet Makers but Halwai is common among them. Marriages are preferred within the biradari, only will take place outside the community; the Halwai are a Sunni Muslim community. They visit the shrines of various Sufi saints found in North India, such as Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, they are a landless community, involved in the selling of sweetmeats, as well as the occupation of dyeing clothes. Members of the community members have taken up jobs in government and private service, they are an urban community, living in their residential quarters. All older cities in North India and Pakistan have a Halwai Mohalla The Muslim Halwai have their own registered committee with name of All India Muslim Halwai biradari committee to deal with matters relating to the community. Haji Mahmood Ahmad is President of all India Muslim halwai biradari committee. Shaikhs in South Asia

Tirit of Armenia

Tirit known as Tirid was a Prince from the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia. Tirit was the son born to Artaxias by an unnamed mother, hence his paternal uncle was Arsaces II who ruled as Roman Client King of Armenia from 350 until 368 and was a grandson to the previous ruling Roman Client Armenian King Tiran who ruled from 339 until 350. Tirit was most born and raised during the reign of Tiran, his father died at an unknown date during the reign of Tiran. Sometime during the reign of his paternal grandfather, the Sassanid King Shapur II launched a war on Rome and her allies, firstly by persecuting the Christians that lived in Persia and Mesopotamia. Shapur II's war by capturing these territories began to dealt a severe blow to Roman prestige in the East; the Sassanid King with his army had invaded Armenia, taking the members of the royal family including Tirit as hostages as they were betrayed to Shapur II by Tiran's chamberlain. Tirit with all members of his family had become Sassanid political prisoners in which his paternal grandfather was blinded and thrown into prison after Shapur II accused Tiran of collusion with Rome.

The nobles of Armenia were infuriated by the brutality of Shapur II and his treatment of the Armenian royal family, took up arms and fought against Shapur II and his army with assistance from the Romans. They drove Shapur II and his army out from Armenia. After Shapur II was defeated, he had signed a treaty and Tirit with members of his family were released from prison; as Tiran being depressed and blinded from his experience in captivity, had abdicated his throne and Arsaces II succeeded Tiran as Armenian King in 350. During the reign of Arsaces II, Tirit could have been seen as a potential successor to his uncle. Tirit's paternal cousin Gnel married an Armenian noblewoman called Pharantzem of Siwnik’ from the Siunia Dynasty. Pharantzem was well known for her beauty and modesty, her reputation for her beauty had become renown and widespread to the point that Tirit had become passionately in love with her and desired her to be his wife. Finding a way to plot against his cousin Gnel, Tirit approached their uncle Arsaces II and said to him: “Gnel wants to rule, to kill you.

All the grandees, the Naxarars and the Azats like Gnel and all the Naxarars of the land prefer his lordship over them than yours. Now they say, ‘look and see what you do, king, so that you can save yourself”. Believing the words of Tirit, Arsaces II did confirm the statements of Tirit. Arsaces II from until Gnel's death had a grudge against Gnel which he had tried to persecute and plot treachery against him for a long time. From that moment Gnel was on the run with his wife from his uncle. Arsaces II did kill Gnel around the time of the festival of Nawasard as his falsely lured his nephew and his wife into Shahapivan a native camping place of the Arsacids, below a walled hunting preserve based on a lie that Arsaces II wanted to reconcile with Gnel; when Gnel was captured by Arsaces II's soldiers he was taken to a nearby hill of the mountain called Lsin where he was executed. After the death and burial of Gnel, Arsaces II issued an order to mourn the death of his nephew which Arsaces II weep and mourn for Gnel while Pharantzem mourned so much for Gnel she tore off her clothes, was screaming and cried so much.

Now Tirit had got rid of his cousin, he was unable to control his lust for Pharantzem. Tirit had sent his messenger to Pharantzem a note reading: “Do not mourn so much, for I am a better man that he was. I loved you and therefore betrayed him to death, so that I could take you in marriage”. In her mourning Pharantzem, raised a protest, pulling out her hair and screaming as she mourned that her husband died because of her; when the Armenians in particular Arsaces II heard the cries of Pharantzem, Arsaces II began to realise the plotting of Tirit and the senseless death of Gnel. Arsaces II was stunned in what had regretted in killing Gnel. For a while Arsaces II, didn't do anything to Tirit. Tirit had sent a message to Arsaces II stating, “King, I want you to order that I be allowed to marry Gnel’s wife”; as Arsaces II heard this he said: "Now I know for sure. Gnel’s death occurred for his wife”. Arsaces II planned to kill Tirit in return for Gnel's murder; when Tirit heard this, he was in so much fear for Arsaces II.

Arsaces II was informed that Tirit had ordered his soldiers to find Tirit and kill him. His soldiers killed him there. Faustus of Byzantium, History of the Armenians, 5th Century Encyclopaedia Iranica: Armenia and Iran II; the pre-Islamic period R. G. Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004 V. M. Kurkjian, A History of Armenia, Indo-European Publishing, 2008

Hec Edmundson

Clarence Sinclair "Hec" Edmundson was a college basketball and track head coach. A native of Moscow, a 1910 graduate of the University of Idaho, Edmundson coached at his alma mater and the University of Washington, compiling a 508–204 overall record in 29 seasons. Edmundson coached the track teams and served on the NCAA Basketball Committee from 1941-46; the University of Washington hosted the national basketball finals in 1949 and 1952 in the arena that bears his name. Edmundson gained his nickname from his mother: as a child he muttered, "Oh, heck." One of the first great athletes at the fledgling University of Idaho in Moscow, Edmundson competed in track for his hometown university, launched the team onto the national stage when he and two other athletes traveled to the Lewis and Clark Exposition Games against the top schools in the Northwest. While still in high school at the UI prep school, he lowered the Northwest record for the half-mile in June 1905. Newspapers wrote that Edmundson "impressed with his graceful form and unfaltering determination."

He is responsible for organizing the Idaho cross country team in 1908, which set the foundation for a team that would win nine Pacific Coast Conference titles. In 1908, Edmundson traveled to Stanford for the western U. S. Olympic trials, where he won the 800 meters and finished second in the 400 meters, but did not make the Olympic team, he held the title of top half-miler in the country through 1912. Edmundson became the first Idahoan to compete in the Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912, he finished seventh in sixth in the 400 meters. Edmundson attended the UI prep school and was a charter member of the new chapter of Kappa Sigma fraternity as an undergraduate, he earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Idaho in 1910, taught and coached at the high school level, one year each at Coeur d'Alene and Broadway High School in Seattle. He returned to Moscow to coach the UI track team in 1913. After several seasons as track coach at Idaho, he left after a salary dispute and coached at Whitman College in nearby Walla Walla for a season.

He returned to Idaho as both track and basketball coach in 1916, his basketball teams compiled a 20–9 record in two seasons. It was these basketball teams. After a track season at Texas A&M, he headed to Seattle to coach the Washington Huskies, where he is credited with the creation of the fast-break offense style, which he attributed to his track background, he coached basketball through March 1947, continued as track coach for another seven years. The UW Pavilion, a multi-purpose field house opened 93 years ago in December 1927, was renamed "Hec Edmundson Pavilion" in his honor in January 1948. In March 1999, "Hec Ed" underwent a major interior renovation for 19 months and re-opened in November 2000. Edmundson died of a stroke in August 1964 at the age of 78, was interred in Calvary Cemetery in northeast Seattle, about a mile north-northeast of the Hec Edmundson Pavilion, he is buried next to his wife Mary Zona Schultz, son James, infant child. Edmundson was posthumously inducted into the Big W Club, the UW athletics hall of fame, in the first class of 1979.

Edmundson's parents were both buried in Moscow. His younger brother was Wilbur Clifford Edmundson, who taught horticulture at the UI and worked for the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D. C. University of Idaho - Vandal Athletics Hall of Fame - Hec Edmundson Washington Sports Hall of Fame - coaches Sports Press NW - Wayback machine: Ace coach Hec Edmundson Hec Edmundson at Olympics at Sports-Reference.com – Olympic results Hec Edmundson at Find a Grave

Ian Fraser (surgeon)

Sir Ian Fraser FRSE PRCSI PBMA DSO OBE LLD was an eminent Irish surgeon. He served as President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1954-1956 and was President of the British Medical Association. In the Second World War he was responsible for the implementation of the widespread use of the newly discovered penicillin throughout military hospitals, saving tens of thousands of lives, he was described as "Northern Ireland's best known surgeon". He was a lifelong campaigner for the harmonisation of relationships between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland; the Sir Ian Fraser Theatre in the Royal Victoria Hospital, his named in his honour. He was born on 9 February 1901 in Belfast the son of Dr Robert Moore Fraser a Belfast GP, he was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and studied Medicine at Queen's University Belfast where he won numerous prizes before graduating in 1923. He undertook practical training at both Guy's Hospital in the nearby Middlesex Hospital.

He worked at the Hotel Dieu and Hospital Necker in Paris and the Allgemeines Krankenhaus in Vienna. He worked as Consultant Surgeon at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and the Belfast Royal Hospital for Sick Children. During a period as RSO at St Helens Hospital in Lancashire he had to attend a major mining disaster. Thereafter he saw a huge need for widespread first aid training; as a result, in 1932 he became the first Commissioner of the St Johns Ambulance Brigade in Northern Ireland and in 1935 became its first Commander. In 1939 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, his proposers were Sir Frederick W Ogilvie, Thomas H Bryce and Duncan M Blair. In the Second World War he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. After initial service in West Africa the War Office called upon him to begin field trials of the then-new penicillin, felt to be of huge benefit in cases of sepsis. In this he was contacted by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, seeking his valued medical opinion; this proved enormously successful.

Not only did this save many lives but it kept a far higher proportion of troops fighting fit, playing a major role in the winning of the war. He won the Distinguished Service Order in 1943 for his bravery during the Battle of Salerno: at Cape Passero he left the safety of the hospital ship St David to retrieve wounded from the beaches, he worked without sleep for 48 hours and donated his own blood to save lives. During the D-Day landings he set up a field hospital at Arromanches, he rose to the rank of Brigadier ending his final months of the war in Agra in northern India. In India he had the duty of delivering the first consignment of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, better known as DDT, to the country. From 1952 to 1954 he was President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. In 1958 he was President of the Association of Surgeons in Great Ireland. In 1962 he was President of the British Medical Association. In 1963 he received his first knighthood. In 1964 he was President of the Queens University Association.

He was Chairman of the Police authority 1970 to 1976. As founding Chairman of the Northern Ireland Police Authority and a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment advisory council he was at least twice the subject of IRA bomb attacks, his more unusual awards and honours include Knight of Bailiff Grand Cross. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1979 as Knight Commander of the Order of St John, he received multiple honorary doctorates. France created him a Chevalier de Légion d'honneur, Belgium made him Ordre de la Couronne and the Dutch made him Ordre van Oranje-Nassau, he died in Belfast on 11 May 1999. He is buried with his wife Eleanor Mitchell at St Patricks in Northern Ireland. Blood Sweat and Cheers Looking Back His portrait, by Carol Graham, hangs in the Great Hall at Queen's University, Belfast. Clarke, Richard Samuel Jessop. A Surgeon's Century: The Life of Sir Ian Fraser DSO FRCS. Ulster Historical Foundation. ISBN 9781903688502

Curlew Pond

Curlew Pond is a 43-acre natural warm water pond in Plymouth, located in the Myles Standish State Forest. Called "Clear Pond" and "Clew Pond" in the 19th century, the pond is located north of Rocky Pond and south of Kings Pond; the average depth is 11 feet and the maximum depth is 31 feet. The source for this pond is groundwater, there is no outlet. Access to the pond, suitable for car top boats and canoes, is at the northern shore. There are two beaches located on both sides to the boat access. About half of the pond is surrounded by the Curlew Pond public camping area of the Myles Standish State Forest, although a number of leased cottages ring the northeastern shore of the pond; the southern section is adjacent to the owned Blueberry Hill Camping Area. The pond was in the vicinity of a large forest fire in 1902 which burned thousands of acres of forest. MassWildlife - Pond Map and Info