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Monty Python

Monty Python were a British surreal comedy group who created the sketch comedy television show Monty Python's Flying Circus, which first aired on the BBC in 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series; the Python phenomenon developed from the television series into something larger in scope and impact, including touring stage shows, numerous albums, several books and musicals. The Pythons' influence on comedy has been compared to the Beatles' influence on music. Regarded as an enduring icon of 1970s pop culture, their sketch show has been referred to as being “an important moment in the evolution of television comedy". Broadcast by the BBC between 1969 and 1974, Monty Python's Flying Circus was conceived and performed by its members Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin. Loosely structured as a sketch show, but with an innovative stream-of-consciousness approach aided by Gilliam's animation, it pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in style and content.

A self-contained comedy team responsible for both writing and performing their work, the Pythons had creative control which allowed them to experiment with form and content, discarding rules of television comedy. Following their television work, they began making films, including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life, their influence on British comedy has been apparent for years, while in North America, it has coloured the work of cult performers from the early editions of Saturday Night Live through to more recent absurdist trends in television comedy. "Pythonesque" has entered the English lexicon as a result. At the 41st British Academy Film Awards in 1988, Monty Python received the BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Contribution To Cinema. In 1998 they were awarded the AFI Star Award by the American Film Institute. Many sketches from their TV show and films are well-known and quoted. Both Holy Grail and Life of Brian are ranked in lists of greatest comedy films.

In a 2005 poll of over 300 comics, comedy writers and directors throughout the English-speaking world to find "The Comedian's Comedian", three of the six Pythons members were voted to be among the top 50 greatest comedians ever: Cleese at No. 2, Idle at No. 21, Palin at No. 30. Jones and Palin met at Oxford University. Chapman and Cleese met at Cambridge University. Idle was at Cambridge, but started a year after Chapman and Cleese. Cleese met Gilliam in New York City while on tour with the Cambridge University Footlights revue Cambridge Circus. Chapman and Idle were members of the Footlights, which at that time included the future Goodies, Jonathan Lynn. During Idle's presidency of the club, feminist writer Germaine Greer and broadcaster Clive James were members. Recordings of Footlights' revues at Pembroke College include sketches and performances by Cleese and Idle, along with tapes of Idle's performances in some of the drama society's theatrical productions, are kept in the archives of the Pembroke Players.

The six Python members appeared in or wrote these shows before Flying Circus: I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again: Cleese and Chapman The Frost Report: Cleese, Chapman and Jones At Last the 1948 Show: Chapman and Cleese, Idle Twice a Fortnight: Palin and Jones Do Not Adjust Your Set: Idle and Palin, Gilliam + Bonzo Dog Band We Have Ways of Making You Laugh: Idle, Gilliam How to Irritate People: Cleese and Chapman, Palin The Complete and Utter History of Britain: Palin and Jones Doctor in the House and Chapman The BBC's satirical television show The Frost Report, broadcast from March 1966 to December 1967, is credited as first uniting the British Pythons and providing an environment in which they could develop their particular styles. Following the success of Do Not Adjust Your Set, broadcast on ITV from December 1967 to May 1969, Thames Television offered Gilliam, Idle and Palin their own late-night adult comedy series together. At the same time and Cleese were offered a show by the BBC, impressed by their work on The Frost Report and At Last the 1948 Show.

Cleese was reluctant to do a two-man show for various reasons, including Chapman's difficult and erratic personality. Cleese had fond memories of working with Palin on How to Irritate People and invited him to join the team. With no studio available at Thames until summer 1970 for the late-night show, Palin agreed to join Cleese and Chapman, suggested the involvement of his writing partner Jones and colleague Idle—who in turn wanted Gilliam to provide animations for the projected series. Much has been made of the fact that the Monty Python troupe is the result of Cleese's desire to work with Palin and the chance circumstances that brought the other four members into the fold. By contrast, according to John Cleese's autobiography, the origins of Monty Python lay in the admiration that writing partners Cleese and Chapman had for the new type of comedy being done on Do Not Adjust Your Set.

Roger Wheeler (businessman)

Roger Milton Wheeler Sr. was an American businessman, the former chairman of Telex Corp. and former owner of World Jai Alai. In 1981, he was murdered at age 55 in his car. Roger Milton Wheeler was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Sidney Sea Wheeler and Florence Edith Wheeler on February 27, 1926, he served in the United States Navy from June 28, 1943 until July 1, 1946. On May 27, 1981, he was murdered in his car while preparing to leave Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, following his weekly game of golf, he was purportedly murdered for uncovering an embezzlement scheme, going on at his business, World Jai Alai. After retiring from the FBI, H. Paul Rico took a job as head of security for World Jai Alai, he saw the perfect opportunity to set up his former confidential informants Whitey Bulger and Steve Flemmi in a skimming operation there. The Winter Hill Gang was thought to have skimmed $10,000 per week from the parking lot operation at World Jai Alai, but this was never proven. Upon discovering the thefts, Wheeler investigated.

When a Bulger underling expressed relief that the emergency was over, Bulger replied: "No, it's not over… Roger Wheeler was a multi-millionaire… and he was connected. So dig in… because it's gonna go on for as long as it has to."On March 14, 2001, three members of the Winter Hill Gang — Bulger and Johnny Martorano — were indicted for Wheeler's murder. In a plea bargain, Martorano confessed to some 20 murders by the gang, including Wheeler's, he was released in 2007 after serving only six years. Flemmi pleaded guilty to the murder of Wheeler and others and is serving a life sentence. Bulger became a fugitive and was on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list from August 19, 1999, until his capture on June 22, 2011. In 2003, the former head of security for World Jai Alai and an associate of Bulger's, was indicted for Wheeler's murder, he died of natural causes while in custody awaiting his trial. Wheeler's case was covered in the first-ever episode of long-running investigative show Unsolved Mysteries in January 1987.

In the Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass, Wheeler is portrayed by David De Beck. Voices of Oklahoma interview with Detective Mike Huff about his investigation into Whitey Bulgers involvement in the murder of Tulsan Roger Wheeler. First-person interview conducted on June 13, 2013 with Detective Mike Huff concerning his investigation into Whitey Bulger's involvement in the murder of Tulsan Roger Wheeler. Roger Wheeler at Find a Grave

Caspar Neumann

Caspar Neumann was a German professor and clergyman from Breslau with a special interest in mortality rates. Caspar Neuman was born September 14, 1648 to Martin Neumann, the city tax collector; the clergyman first did an apprenticeship as a pharmacist. He finished his higher school education at Breslau's Maria-Magdalen grammar school. In 1667 he became a student of theology at the University of Jena, on 30 November 1673 was ordained as a priest, having been requested as a traveling chaplain for Prince Christian, the son of Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha. On his return home, following a two-year journey through western Germany, northern Italy, southern France, he became a court-chaplain at Altenburg, married the daughter of J. J. Rabe, physician in ordinary to the prince of Saxe-Friedenstein. In 1678 he was made the deacon of St. Maria-Magdalen in Breslau and became pastor in 1689. In 1680 he published his prayer-book under the title Kern aller Gebete in Jena. In 1689 he became vicar of Breslau, his observations on the city's mortality rates resulted in the treatise “Reflexionen über Leben und Tod bey denen in Breslau Geborenen und Gestorbenen” which he sent to Leibniz – the covering letter is documented, the text itself is lost.

Leibniz seems to have informed the Royal Society of Neumann's work. The society's secretary Henri Justel invited Neumann in 1691 to provide the Society with the data he had collected. Neumann's mail is lost, Edmond Halley's computations digesting Neumann's data have, survived – published in the Transactions of the Royal Society of 1693. In 1697 Neumann was appointed inspector of the Protestant churches of Breslau, he became vicar of St. Elisabeth and professor of theology at both the city's grammar schools. Neumann influenced Johann Christian Kundmann, who published the first German comparative study of mortality rates in the Sammlung von Natur- Medizin- sowie auch dazu gehörigen Kunst- und Litteraturgeschichten ff. Neumann left a legacy of more than 30 hymns, many of which were included in Burg’s Gesang Buch and in the ninth edition of the Breslau Vollständige Kirchen-und Haus-Music He was known for his theory that the individual Hebrew letters had "hieroglyphic" meanings; the letter aleph, for instance, representing the idea of activity, the idea of three dimensions, etc.

Around 1712, Isaac Newton wrote to Neumann, acknowledging receipt of his book, Clavis Domus Heber, congratulating him on the endeavor, but professing himself insufficiently skilled in Hebrew to make a responsible judgment as to its success. Kern aller Gebete. Breslau, 1680. Genesis linguae sancte V T: Perspicue docens Vulgo sic dictas Radices non esse vera Hebraeorum Primativa. Nuremberg, 1696. Bigam Difficultatum Physico-Sacrarum: De Gemmis Urim & Tummim... & De Cibo Samariae obsessae... Una cum Responsione ad Quaestionem amici, num Potus, Caffe dicti, aliqva in Sacris dentur vestigia? 1709. Clavis Domus Heber. 1712. "Adam hat im Paradies" "Auf, mein Herz, des Herren Tag" "Gottes und Marien Sohn" "Grosser Gott, von alten Zeiten" "Herr! auf Erden muss ich leiden" "Mein Gott, nun ist es wieder Morgen" "Nun bricht die finstre Nacht herein" Edmond Halley, An Estimate of the Degrees of the Mortality of Mankind, based on Neumann's data. Graetzer, Jonas, "Edmund Halley und Caspar Neumann - Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Bevölkerungs-Statistik", Breslau 1883 Schimmelpfennnig, K. A. "Kaspar Neumann", in ADB, 23.

Lischke, Ralph-Jürgen, Caspar Neumann. Ein Beitrag zur ed. Institut für Angewandte Demographie GmbH