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Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was an American writer. In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published fourteen novels, three short story collections, five plays, five works of non-fiction, with further collections being published after his death, he is most famous for his darkly best-selling novel Slaughterhouse-Five. Born and raised in Indianapolis, Vonnegut attended Cornell University but dropped out in January 1943 and enlisted in the United States Army; as part of his training, he studied mechanical engineering at Carnegie Institute of Technology and the University of Tennessee. He was deployed to Europe to fight in World War II and was captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge, he was interned in Dresden and survived the Allied bombing of the city by taking refuge in a meat locker of the slaughterhouse where he was imprisoned. After the war, Vonnegut married Jane Marie Cox, he adopted his sister's three sons, after she died of cancer and her husband was killed in a train accident.

Vonnegut published his first novel, Player Piano, in 1952. The novel was not commercially successful. In the nearly 20 years that followed, Vonnegut published several novels that were only marginally successful, such as Cat's Cradle and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Vonnegut's breakthrough was his commercially and critically successful sixth novel, Slaughterhouse-Five; the book's anti-war sentiment resonated with its readers amidst the ongoing Vietnam War and its reviews were positive. After its release, Slaughterhouse-Five went to the top of The New York Times Best Seller list, thrusting Vonnegut into fame, he was invited to give speeches and commencement addresses around the country and received many awards and honors. In his career, Vonnegut published several autobiographical essays and short-story collections, including Fates Worse Than Death, A Man Without a Country. After his death, he was hailed as a morbidly comical commentator on the society in which he lived and as one of the most important contemporary writers.

Vonnegut's son Mark published a compilation of his father's unpublished compositions, titled Armageddon in Retrospect. In 2017, Seven Stories Press published Complete Stories, a collection of Vonnegut's short fiction including five unpublished stories. Complete Stories was collected and introduced by Vonnegut friends and scholars Jerome Klinkowitz and Dan Wakefield. Numerous scholarly works have examined Vonnegut's humor. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was born on November 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was the youngest of three children of his wife Edith, his older siblings were Alice. Vonnegut was descended from German immigrants who settled in the United States in the mid-19th century. Kurt's father, his father before him, were architects. Vonnegut's mother was born into Indianapolis high society, as her family, the Liebers, were among the wealthiest in the city, their fortune derived from ownership of a successful brewery. Both of Vonnegut's parents were fluent German speakers, but the ill feeling toward Germany during and after World War I caused them to abandon German culture in order to show their American patriotism.

Thus, they did not teach their youngest son German, or introduce him to German literature and traditions, leaving him feeling "ignorant and rootless." Vonnegut credited Ida Young, his family's African-American cook and housekeeper for the first 10 years of his life, for raising him and giving him values: she "gave me decent moral instruction and was exceedingly nice to me. So she was as great an influence on me as anybody." Vonnegut described Young as "humane and wise", adding that "the compassionate, forgiving aspects of beliefs" came from her. The financial security and social prosperity that the Vonneguts had once enjoyed were destroyed in a matter of years; the Liebers' brewery was closed in 1921 after the advent of Prohibition in the United States. When the Great Depression hit, few people could afford to build, causing clients at Kurt Sr.'s architectural firm to become scarce. Vonnegut's brother and sister had finished their primary and secondary educations in private schools, but Vonnegut was placed in a public school, called Public School No.

43, now known as the James Whitcomb Riley School. He was bothered by the Great Depression, his father withdrew from normal life and became what Vonnegut called a "dreamy artist". His mother became depressed, withdrawn and abusive, she labored to regain the family's wealth and status, Vonnegut said that she expressed hatred "as corrosive as hydrochloric acid" for her husband. Edith Vonnegut tried to sell short stories to Collier's, The Saturday Evening Post, other magazines, with no success. Vonnegut enrolled at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis in 1936. While there, he played clarinet in the school band and became a co-editor for the Tuesday edition of the school newspaper, The Shortridge Echo. Vonnegut said his tenure with the Echo allowed him to write for a large audience—his fellow students—rather than for a teacher, an experience he said was "fun and easy". "It just turned out that I could write better than a lot of othe

Lifeboat Foundation

The Lifeboat Foundation is a nonprofit organization in Reno, dedicated to the prevention of global catastrophic risk. Technology journalist Ashlee Vance describes Lifeboat as "a nonprofit that seeks to protect people from some catastrophic technology-related events". Lifeboat was founded by online dating service entrepreneur Eric Klien, who continues to run Lifeboat as president and chairman of the board of directors. Lifeboat is run out of Klien's home in a suburb of Reno; the organization has raised over $500,000 in total donations from individuals and corporate matching funds programs, most of which went to "supporting conferences and publishing papers". Writer and advisory board member Sonia Arrison describes the group as "basically a Web site that raises money for various things". In 2007, the Lifeboat Foundation absorbed an organization called the "Alliance to Rescue Civilization", which aimed to establish a disaster-proof record of human civilization on the Moon. Lifeboat has tried to raise more money by accepting donations in a cryptocurrency.

According to Fast Company, Lifeboat raised $72,000 in Bitcoin donations and pledges, sought to use Bitcoin to protect itself against events such as the 2012–13 Cypriot financial crisis. Lifeboat aimed to use some of the funds raised to fix Bitcoin-related bugs. According to Fast Company, Lifeboat runs a number of "programs" to protect Earth against threats such as an asteroid impact, grey goo from molecular nanotechnology, unfriendly artificial general intelligence. Lifeboat maintains a list of "dozens and dozens" of catastrophic threats - including the eventual burnout of the Sun - divided into four main categories of "calamities", "collapse", "dominium", "betrayal". Journalist Ashlee Vance notes that it's "unclear how far along any of these projects is"; the Lifeboat Foundation publishes books, such as Visions of the Future, an anthology of futurist and science fiction writing reviewed in the Financial Times. The Lifeboat Foundation is notable for its large set of advisory boards, containing thousands of scientists and other individuals across dozens of separate disciplines.

Owing to their size, the Lifeboat boards meet rather than in person. The boards contain a number of Nobel Prize winners, four MacArthur genius grant fellows, including Mathematica founder Stephen Wolfram, anti-Islam political activist Pamela Geller, hosted two Russian secret agents identified in 2010 as part of the Illegals Program. Lifeboat Foundation website

Foxfire, North Carolina

Foxfire is a village in Moore County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 902 at the 2010 census. Foxfire is located at 35°10′32″N 79°34′22″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.9 square miles, of which, 2.9 square miles of it is land and 0.1 square miles of it is water. It is one of the few incorporated areas of North Carolina that does not host any primary numbered state highways; as of the census of 2000, there were 474 people, 222 households, 172 families residing in the village. The population density was 165.4 people per square mile. There were 324 housing units at an average density of 113.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the village was 1.27 % African American and 0.42 % Asian. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.05% of the population. There were 222 households out of which 12.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.9% were married couples living together, 2.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 22.1% were non-families.

19.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.40. In the village, the population was spread out with 11.0% under the age of 18, 3.0% from 18 to 24, 15.4% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, 47.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 64 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.1 males. The median income for a household in the village was $54,750, the median income for a family was $60,625. Males had a median income of $51,042 versus $24,643 for females; the per capita income for the village was $29,030. About 1.7% of families and 1.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under the age of eighteen or sixty-five or over. Official Foxfire, NC website Moore County Chamber of Commerce