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Martin Frobisher

Sir Martin Frobisher was an English seaman and privateer who made three voyages to the New World looking for the North-west Passage. He sighted Resolution Island near Labrador in north-eastern Canada, before entering Frobisher Bay and landing on present-day Baffin Island. On his second voyage, Frobisher found what he thought was gold ore and carried 200 tons of it home on three ships, where initial assaying determined it to be worth a profit of £5.20 per ton. Encouraged, Frobisher returned to Canada with an larger fleet and dug several mines around Frobisher Bay, he carried 1,350 tons of the ore back to England, after years of smelting, it was realised that the ore was comparatively worthless iron pyrite. As an English privateer, he plundered riches from French ships, he was knighted for his service in repelling the Spanish Armada in 1588. Martin Frobisher was born c. 1535, the son of merchant Bernard Frobisher of Altofts and Margaret York of Gouthwaite. He was raised in London by Sir John York.

Some records suggest that his father was Gregory Frobisher, Esq. of Altofts, Yorkshire, by his wife, Ann. Frobisher first went to sea as a cabin boy in 1544. In 1553, he sailed with Thomas Wyndham on the first English expedition to West Africa, comprising three ships and 140 men; the Englishmen were received in person by the Oba Oroghbua of Benin City, who in turn traded with them and extended them credit for 80 tons of pepper. Over two thirds of the ships' men died of heat or disease, while Wyndham himself died at sea in the Bight of Benin, dying either of fever like most of the crew, or of drowning. Despite this setback, Frobisher returned to West Africa the next year as an apprentice merchant in an expedition to Portuguese Guinea organised and funded by Thomas Lok, under the command of his brother John Lok. Frobisher accompanied the landing party sent ashore at the town of Samma to trade with the Africans as a voluntary hostage or pledge, but during the course of this business the Africans abruptly ceased trading and held Frobisher.

The expedition abandoned the young hostage and went elsewhere to trade returning to England with a valuable cargo of gold and ivory. His African captors handed the boy over to the Portuguese at their trading post of Mina, where he was imprisoned in the castle of São Jorge da Mina. After nine months or so, the Portuguese authorities sent him to Portugal, whence he made his way back to England about 1558. On 30 September 1559 Frobisher married a Yorkshire widow, Isobel Richard, who had a substantial settlement from her previous marriage to Thomas Richard of Snaith,as well as two young children. Little is known of their domestic life, but having spent all her inheritance to finance his ventures, Frobisher seems to have left her and her children by the mid-1570s. Around 1560 or 1561, Frobisher first resolved to voyage in search of a North-west Passage as a trade route to India and China. From 1563 to 1573 he gained experience in the rough and tumble of sea warfare in the English Channel, seeing a good deal of action as a privateer in association with John Hawkins and other English sea dogs who operated under sometimes questionable letters of marque.

He seized five French prizes in May 1563. After serving some time in gaol for his part in despoiling the Catherine, which held tapestries intended for Philip II, in 1565 Frobisher purchased the Mary Flower and was soon cruising under various commissions, not always with due attention to their terms. According to the Dictionary of National Biography, the first direct notice of Frobisher is an account in the State papers of two interrogations in 1566, "on suspicion of his having fitted out a vessel as a pirate". On 21 August 1571 Captain E. Horsey wrote to Lord Burghley from Portsmouth that he "has expedited the fitting out of a hulk for M. Frobisher". Burghley chief minister of the Queen, became Lord High Treasurer in 1572. From the latter part of 1571 to 1572 Frobisher was in the public service at sea off the coast of Ireland. In 1574, Frobisher petitioned the Privy Council for permission and financial support to lead an expedition to find a north-west passage to "the Southern Sea" and thence to Cathay.

Some of its members were intrigued by his proposal, but cautiously referred him to the Muscovy Company, an English merchant consortium which had sent out several parties searching for the North-east Passage around the Arctic coasts of Norway and Russia, held exclusive rights to any northern sea routes to the East. In 1576, Frobisher persuaded the Muscovy Company to license his expedition. With the help of the company's director, Michael Lok, Frobisher was able to raise enough capital for three barques: Gabriel and Michael of about 20–25 tons each, an unnamed pinnace of ten tons, with a total crew of 35. Queen Elizabeth sent word that she had "good liking of their doings", the ships weighed anchor at Blackwall on 7 June 1576; as they headed downstream on the Thames

Interstellar Marines

Interstellar Marines is a science fiction first-person shooter video game being developed by indie studio Zero Point Software. It was added to Steam Greenlight on 3 September 2012 and released on Steam Early Access on July 2, 2013. Updates are released every six to eight weeks with some larger sprints. Interstellar Marines is being developed in four acts planned as individual titles; the first act, code-named "Prologue", is in development and takes place in a future military training facility that will stage multiplayer, single-player, cooperative training scenarios. Multiplayer was the first feature of Prologue to be built, doubling as both a tech foundation for future co-op missions and as a playable Early Access release on Steam; the first co-op mission, titled The NeuroGen Incident, was released on September 26 which built much of the technology needed for future co-op campaigns. The three acts after Prologue, collectively titled the "Trilogy", will be narrative-driven campaigns spanning a continuous story arc set in "a realistic and unpredictable future where first contact with another sentient species is becoming reality."

The campaigns will support up to four players in drop-in/drop-out co-op. Zero Point Software claims that their co-op campaign will feature tactical game-play, role-playing elements, open-ended level design, a compelling sci-fi storyline, it claims to pay homage to old-school tactical first person shooters like Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield and cites System Shock 2 and Deus Ex for their action RPG elements and open-ended levels, as well as Half-Life for its first person narrative-driven storytelling. As of Update 10, game-play is multiplayer and revolves around the Team Domination game mode, introduced in Update 6. Team Domination is a dynamic game mode; the zone moves on a regular basis during the match, forcing both teams to use different parts of the level. On some maps, such as Elevation and Colony, various parts of the map move during the game. A crouch and cover system for tactical movement, introduced in Update 10. Prior to releasing on Steam's Early Access, Zero Point Software released playable demos in order to demonstrate how development was progressing.

Four demos were released on their website: The Vault, an in-game showroom of some of the main characters and equipment that will be found in the game. The user is free to roam around the vault's rooms and find details on the game's factions and setting. Bullseye, a shooting range minigame where the player is guided by an artificial intelligence in order to complete graded objectives. More powerful weapons are unlocked. Running Man pits players against android training machines. Unlike the previous demos this allows players to experience combat game-play. Deadlock, the last demo to be released and was the precursor to the version of Interstellar Marines released on Steam Early Access. Interstellar Marines had a working title of Project IM and development began in May 2005, it was announced in November 2005 and was described by the developers as "a AAA, FPS, sci-fi, action and adventure game.." It was planned for release on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with the game being built using Epic Games' Unreal Engine software.

Interstellar Marines is now being developed using the Unity game engine. The game was funded by players pre-ordering and an external investor, removing the need for publisher backing whilst attempting to produce a game of higher quality than is released by independent developers. Interstellar Marines was greenlit on Steam Greenlight and released on Steam Early Access. Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux versions are available from Steam for digital download. Zero Point Software called their early crowdfunding system "AAA Indie"; the strategy relied on fans of a game pre-ordering. In exchange the gaming company allows pre-ordering members to either play specific demos of the game or allows the community access to the current game build in its entirety; this method of crowd funding was completely superseded by the launch of the game on Steam Early Access. On October 2012, Zero Point Software attempted to do a Kickstarter campaign with a $600,000 pledge by November 28, 2012, their campaign failed to meet its funding goal, with only $157,906 raised from 3,823 backers.

The game was released on Steam Early Access on July 2, 2013 in pre-alpha form with content updates aimed for release every 3–6 weeks. The Spearhead Edition costs more than the base game and is designed for users who wish to further support the developers and, in exchange, have their name included in the credits and access digital downloads of artwork and music among other extras. There will be several campaigns released as they are created and they will be made available at no extra cost to all existing owners; the first campaign was planned for release near the end of 2014, however this never materialized. Official website - Not always* active. Steam store page "Trello page"

Conrad Schmidt (Medal of Honor)

Conrad Schmidt was a Union Army soldier during the American Civil War. He received the Medal of Honor for gallantry during the Battle of Opequon more called the Third Battle of Winchester, Virginia on September 19, 1864. Schmidt joined the army from Fort Leavenworth in February 1861, was discharged in December 1866. “The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to First Sergeant Conrad Schmidt, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 19 September 1864, while serving with Company K, 2d U. S. Cavalry, in action at Winchester, Virginia. First Sergeant Schmidt went to the assistance of his regimental commander, whose horse had been killed under him in a charge, mounted the officer behind him, under a heavy fire from the enemy, returned him to his command.” List of Medal of Honor recipients List of American Civil War Medal of Honor recipients: Q–S Military Hall of Valor Findagrave entry