SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

William Miller (preacher)

William Miller was an American Baptist preacher, credited with beginning the mid-19th-century North American religious movement known as Millerism. After his proclamation of the Second Coming did not occur as expected in the 1840s, new heirs of his message emerged, including the Advent Christians, the Seventh-day Adventists and other Adventist movements. William Miller was born on February 1782, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, his parents were Captin Miller, a veteran of the American Revolution, Paulina, the daughter of Elnathan Pelps. When he was four years old, his family moved to New York. Miller was educated at home by his mother until the age of nine, when he attended the newly established East Poultney District School. Miller is not known to have undertaken any type of formal study after the age of eighteen, though he continued to read and voraciously; as a youth, he had access to the private libraries of Judge James Witherell and Congressman Matthew Lyon in nearby Fair Haven, Vermont, as well as that of Alexander Cruikshanks of Whitehall, New York.

In 1803, Miller married Lucy Smith and moved to her nearby hometown of Poultney, where he took up farming. While in Poultney, Miller was elected to a number of civil offices, starting with the office of Constable. In 1809 he was elected to the office of Deputy Sheriff and at an unknown date was elected Justice of the Peace. Miller served in the Vermont militia and was commissioned a lieutenant on July 21, 1810, he was reasonably well off, owning a house, at least two horses. Shortly after his move to Poultney, Miller became a Deist. In his biography Miller records his conversion: "I became acquainted with the principal men in that village, who were professedly Deists, they put into my hands the works of Voltaire, Thomas Paine, Ethan Allen, other deistical writers." At the outbreak of the War of 1812, Miller raised a company of local men and traveled to Burlington, Vermont. He transferred to the 30th Infantry Regiment in the regular army of the United States with the rank of lieutenant. Miller spent most of the war working as a recruiter and on February 1, 1814, he was promoted to captain.

He saw his first action at the Battle of Plattsburgh, where vastly outnumbered American forces overcame the British. "The fort I was in was exposed to every shot. Bombs and shrapnel shells fell as thick as hailstones", he said. One of these many shots had exploded two feet from him, wounding three of his men and killing another, but Miller survived without a scratch. Miller came to view the outcome of this battle as miraculous, therefore at odds with his deistic view of a distant God far removed from human affairs, he wrote, "It seemed to me that the Supreme Being must have watched over the interests of this country in an especial manner, delivered us from the hands of our enemies... So surprising a result, against such odds, did seem to me like the work of a mightier power than man." After the war, following his discharge from the army on June 18, 1815, Miller returned to Poultney. Shortly after his return, however, he moved with his family back to Low Hampton, where he purchased a farm. Throughout this time period Miller was concerned with the question of death and an afterlife.

This reflection upon his own mortality followed his experiences as a soldier in the war, but the recent deaths of his father and sister. Miller felt that there were only two options possible following death: annihilation, accountability. Soon after his return to Low Hampton, Miller took tentative steps towards regaining his Baptist faith. At first he attempted to combine both, publicly espousing Deism while attending his local Baptist church, his attendance turned to participation when he was asked to read the day's sermon during one of the local minister's frequent absences. His participation changed to commitment one Sunday when he was reading a sermon on the duties of parents and became choked with emotion. Miller records the experience: Suddenly the character of a Savior was vividly impressed upon my mind, it seemed that there might be a Being so good and compassionate as to Himself atone for our transgressions, thereby save us from suffering the penalty of sin. I felt how lovely such a Being must be.

Following his conversion, Miller's Deist friends soon challenged him to justify his newfound faith. He did so by examining the Bible declaring to one friend "If he would give me time, I would harmonize all these apparent contradictions to my own satisfaction, or I will be a Deist still." Miller commenced with Genesis 1:1, studying each verse and not moving on until he felt the meaning was clear. In this way he became convinced firstly. Basing his calculations principally on Daniel 8:14: "Unto two thousand and three hundred days. Using the interpretive principle of the "day-year principle", Miller interpreted a day in prophecy to read not as a 24-hour period, but rather as a calendar year. Further, Miller became convinced that the 2,300 day period started in 457 BC with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem by Artaxerxes I of Persia. Simple calculatio

Karl Laurenz

Karl Laurenz trained as a lawyer, but worked, for much of his life, as a German journalist and specialist translator. He was executed as a western spy on the guillotine at the National Execution Facility in Dresden guillotine: ten minutes his lover Elli Barczatis underwent the same fate. Karl Anton Laurenz was born and grew up in Brünn, a large multi-cultural city, at that time the principal city in the Austro-Hungarian territory of Moravia, his school career concluded when he passed his school leaving exams, which opened the way to university-level education. Remaining in Brünn, he studied Jurisprudence at the city's opened Masaryk University, his studies included a dissertation which he wrote with the title "De poena capitali mutandis in temporibus". By this time, following frontier changes mandated at Versailles, Austro-Hungary had ceased to exist, Brno had ended up in Czechoslovakia. Defined according to its 1918 city limits, the city was predominantly German speaking, but several neighbouring municipalities had subsequently been concatenated into a new enlarged city area, as a result of which German speakers in Brno, such as the Laurenz family, were now a minority, albeit a substantial minority.

In 1924 Laurenz took a job as a contributing editor with the publishers of "Tageboten", while moonlighting as a translator, sometimes obtaining work as a simultaneous court translator. He worked as a correspondent for the Vienna-based Neue Freie Presse and the Ostrava-based "Morgen-Zeitung"; until 1939 Laurenz was a member of the German Democratic Liberal Party, founded in Czechoslovakia to preserve liberal political traditions on behalf of the German speaking minority. The party lost support after 1933, following the establishment of the more overtly nationalistic Sudeten German Party, but there is no sign that Laurenz himself defected from the DDFP as the political mood across Europe became progressively more shrill. In 1934, in a lead article that he wrote for the Neue Freie Presse, he condemned an attack by Nazi party supporters on a barracks in Brno, but otherwise he was for the most part apolitical. After the German invasion of 1938 Laurenz was not among the ethnic Germans who joined the Nazi party, according to his own testimony was reprimanded by the security services for his "lack of political sensitivity" and despite his physical unsuitability, conscripted into the military in 1941.

Laurenz himself placed his political position during the 1930s in the context of his work as a translator kn the courts, which gave him deep insights into the political situation. With positive beliefs forfeited, he identified himself as a "pacificst multiculturalist", acknowledging "just three gods": the law and common sense. Karl Laurenz was a Roman Catholic, he married on 28 February 1929, which resulted in the birth, in around 1930, of two daughters who ended up, after the war, in Vienna and subsequently with Laurenz's brother at Kirrlach near Karlsruhe. Following his conscription Laurenz had the good fortune not to be sent to the front line for several years, instead being assigned to work on the training of new recruits. Towards the end of the war, however, in February 1945 he was posted as a soldier to the western front: in April 1945 he deserted, ending up at Profen, where he was captured and was held for a few weeks as a US prisoner of war. After that he took a job in the coal industry in Profen, ending up, by the end of 1947, at the national head office of the Coal Department in Berlin.

Since the war had ended, formally in May 1945, the entire central portion of what had been Germany had been administered as the Soviet occupation zone. In the early summer the US army, in the south of the country, had advanced into a region of Thuringia, designated, by the allied commanders, as part of the Soviet occupation zone, but they had withdrawn in June 1945, leaving Laurenz in the region controlled by the Soviet military. In October 1949 the entire Soviet zone underwent a relaunched as the Soviet sponsored German Democratic Republic. In economic and political terms the new country was modeled on the institutions of the Soviet Union itself. Internationally it was a member of the Soviet military bloc. Early in 1948 Karl Laurenz became a member of the constructed Socialist Unity Party, by now well on its way to becoming the ruling party in a new kind of German one-party dictatorship. In the course of his work in the National Coal Administration Department Laurenz became friendly with several female colleagues, including Elli Barczatis who after 1949 was employed as a secretary to the head of the "Coal Department", a political appointee called Gustav Sobottka.

Towards the end of 1949 Laurenz and Barczatis became lovers. Elli Barczatis was six years younger than Laurenz, was building a successful career inside the SED and, after 1949, in the German Democratic Republic, she was liked and trusted by colleagues who appreciated her friendly but always correct manner. On 6 April 1950 she was promoted to a prestigious and sensitive job as secretary to Otto Grotewohl, the prime minister. In contrast, Laurenz's career was going into reverse. Full details are hard to discern, although much following his arrest, hints emerged o

Vanessa Fernandes

Vanessa de Sousa Fernandes GOIH ComM OM is a Portuguese athlete, a former triathlon European and world champion, an Olympic medalist. In duathlon, she was European and world champion. Fernandes won the European Triathlon Championships five consecutive years, beginning in 2004, on 1 September 2007, she became world champion for the first time, in Hamburg, managing to grab the only title missing from her career, she competes for S. L. Benfica since 2005. Born in Perosinho, Vila Nova de Gaia, Fernandes was introduced to triathlon in 1999, when she was fourteen, by her father, Venceslau Fernandes, a former professional cyclist and winner of the 1984 Volta a Portugal, she competed for her local triathlon club Clube de Perosinho and for Belenenses where she became world champion of under-23. In 2005, Fernandes joined S. L. Benfica and represents the club to this day, she enters cross country events. She competed at the Olympic Games for the first time in 2004. On the second Olympic triathlon competition, at age eighteen, she finished in eighth place with a total time of 2:06:15.39.

In June 2006, Fernandes won the International Triathlon Union World Cup, ranking number one in the world. In September, she equaled Australian Emma Carney's record number of consecutive wins in the World Cup, with a twelfth victory at the Beijing leg; that year, she was awarded with the "Best Female Athlete of the Year" prize from CNID at its annual sports gala. In 2008, she won her 5th-in-a-row Elite European Championships title, at "home", in Lisbon, Portugal. In August 2008, she finished second in the Beijing Olympic Games. After years without competing, Fernandes is training with the 2016 Summer Olympics in mind. 2001 18th – European Championships – junior 2nd – European Duathlon Championships – junior 2002 World Cup: 34th 29th 12th 4th – World Championships – junior 3rd – European Championships – junior 3rd – European Duathlon Championships – junior2003 World Cup: 10th 9th 1st 9th 1st 3rd 1st – Estoril International Triathlon 2nd – Praia da Vitória International Triathlon 5th – World Summer Games European Championships: 1st – junior 2nd – junior 3rd – World Championships – junior 1st – World Duathlon Championships – junior2004 1st – Portugal National Championships World Cup: 1st 1st 5th – World Championships 8th – Olympic Games 1st – European Under-23 Championships 1st – European Championships 2005 1st – European Under-23 Championships 1st – European Championships 4th – World Championships World Cup: 1st 1st 1st 1st 2006 World Cup: 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 3rd – Portugal Cross-Country Championships 1st – Portugal Triathlon Cup 1st – European Cup 1st – European Championships 1st – European Under-23 Championships 5th – Life Time Fitness Triathlon 2nd – World Championships 1st – European Duathlon Championships 6th – Corrida do Tejo 2007 World Cup: 3rd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st – World Duathlon Championships 1st – European Championships 1st - World Championships 1st – Life Time Fitness Triathlon 2008 Olympic Games: 2nd World Cup: 2nd 1st 1st – European Championships 10th – World Championships Grand Officer of the Order of Prince Henry Commander of the Order of Merit Officer of the Order of Merit S.

L. Benfica profile International Triathlon Union profile