Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (18 February 1745 – 5 March 1827) was an Italian physicist credited with the invention of the first electrical battery, the Voltaic pile, which he invented in 1799 and the results of which he reported in 1800 in a two part letter to the President of the Royal Society. With this invention Volta proved that electricity could be generated chemically and debased the prevalent theory that electricity was generated solely by living beings. Volta's invention sparked a great amount of scientific excitement and led others to conduct similar experiments which eventually led to the development of the field of electrochemistry.
Mardi Gras (/ˈmɑrdiɡrɑː/), also called Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday, in English, refers to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three King's Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday", reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.
Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting, is the first day of Lent in Western Christianity. It occurs 46 days (40 fasting days, if the 6 Sundays, which are not days of fast, are excluded) before Easter and can fall as early as 4 February or as late as 10 March. Ash Wednesday is observed by many Western Christians, including Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans, and Presbyterians.
Cynthia Ann "Cindy" Crawford (born February 20, 1966) is an American model. Her success at modeling made her an international celebrity that has led to roles in television and film, and to work as a spokesperson. In 1995, Forbes magazine named her the highest paid model on the planet. She was named No. 3 on VH1's 40 Hottest Hotties of the 90s and was named one of the "100 Hottest Women of All-Time" by Men's Health. Crawford is known for her trademark mole just above her lip, and has appeared on hundreds of magazine covers throughout her career.
Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase (/ˈtʃɛvi/; born October 8, 1943) is an American comedian, actor, and writer. Born into a prominent New York family, Chase worked a plethora of odd jobs before he moved into comedy and began acting with National Lampoon. He quickly became a key cast member in the inaugural season of Saturday Night Live, where his Weekend Update skit soon became a staple of the show.
Tracy Jamal Morgan (born November 10, 1968) is an American actor and comedian best known for his eight seasons as a cast member on Saturday Night Live (1996–2003) and for his role as Tracy Jordan in the comedy series 30 Rock (seven seasons, from 2006–2013). He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2009 for his work on 30 Rock. He has appeared in numerous films as an actor and as a voice talent.
Dean Edwards Smith (February 28, 1931 – February 7, 2015) was an American head coach of men's college basketball. Originally from Emporia, Kansas, Smith was called a "coaching legend" by the Basketball Hall of Fame. Smith was best known for his 36-year coaching tenure at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Smith coached from 1961 to 1997 and retired with 879 victories, which was the NCAA Division I men's basketball record at that time. Smith had the 9th highest winning percentage of any men's college basketball coach (77.6%). During his tenure as head coach, North Carolina won two national championships and appeared in 11 Final Fours.
Nelle Harper Lee (born April 28, 1926) is an American novelist widely known for her 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which deals with the issues of racism that she observed as a child in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Though Lee only published this single book for half a century, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature. Lee has received numerous honorary degrees, declining to speak on each occasion. Lee assisted close friend Truman Capote in his research for the book In Cold Blood.
Monty Oum (June 22, 1981 – February 1, 2015) was an American web-based animator. He was known for his crossover fighting videos and was employed by Rooster Teeth Productions to animate for Red vs. Blue and RWBY. Oum attracted attention within the gaming community after releasing the hit video Haloid in 2007 on GameTrailers, which a Destructoid article called "the most interesting Halo-related fan movie in existence." The video has received more than 4 million views and is the most watched user-created content on the site. In October of the same year, he released the first video in his Dead Fantasy fan series. He released 5 episodes of Dead Fantasy and a preview of the eighth episode. He also created two music video spin-offs of the series. The music videos were named after the songs the main characters danced to. The first music video showed all the main characters dancing to Mariah Carey's 2009 hit single, Obsessed. The second music video was similar to the first, but the characters were dancing to the 2009 single Gee by the Korean-pop girl group, Girls' Generation. After Oum announced that he had started working for Rooster Teeth, the series was put on hold.
Star Wars is an American epic space opera franchise centered on a film series created by George Lucas. The film series, consisting of two trilogies (and an upcoming third), has spawned an extensive media franchise called the Expanded Universe including books, television series, computer and video games, and comic books. These supplements to the franchise resulted in significant development of the series' fictional universe, keeping the franchise active in the 16-year interim between the two film trilogies. The franchise depicts a galaxy described as "far, far away" in the distant past, and commonly portrays Jedi as a representation of good, in conflict with the Sith, their evil counterpart. Their weapon of choice, the lightsaber, is commonly recognized in popular culture. The franchise's storylines contain many themes, with strong influences from philosophy and religion.