April 26th, 2008


Birthday post

I've celebrated my birthday on livejournal in past years by googling up relevant links to my date of birth. This year, WikiPedia has become so dominant that I can assemble an impressive bunch of dates just from that source alone. (It also of course provides a handy index for just how famous the individuals in question are, given the number of links involved).

Born the same day as me:

Glen Jacobs, aka Kane, wrestler and actor. There are Wikipedia articles about him in 20 languages. I am totally baffled by this.
Marianne Jean-Baptiste, actress and musician who has inspired articles in the Wikipedias of a mere eight languages.
Rainer Salzgeber, Austrian skier (three languages)
Ariel Sorín, Argentinian chess grand master (three languages)
Florbela Oliveira, Portuguese actress (two languages)
Pavel Eduardovich Lion/Павел Эдуардович Лион, better known as Psoy Galaktionovich Korolenko/Псой Галактионович Короленко, also known as khaloymes , Russian musician and Slavic scholar (two languages)
Trevyn McDowell, South African/British actress
Tim Moore, member of the Michigan state legislature
Bruce Cruse, Australian cricketer
Andy Schmetzer and Walt Schmetzer, American twin soccer players
Mike Masters, another American soccer player
Monte Warden, an American country musician who features only in the German Wikipedia.
Ralph Kistner German footballer and now trainer at OSC Vellmar.
Stefan Ludwig, German politician, mayor of Königs Wusterhausen.
Klaus 'Klausi' Merk, German ice hockey champion goalkeeper
Susanne Brantl, German actor and singer
Alexander 'Sascha' Draeger, German actor and dubbing artist whose voice credits include Clark Kent from Lois and Clark, and Dipsy from the Teletubbies.
Eva Cobo, Spanish actress who figures only in French Wikipedia
Yves Cotten, Breton graphic novelist and artist
Leszek Kisiel, Polish economist
Bertrand le Guern, French/Polish businessman
Alf Kåre Tveit, Norwegian footballer
Oleh Volodymyrovych Salmin / Олег Володимирович Салмін , Ukrainian politician
Toomas Tõniste, Estonian sportsman and politician
呂孔維, whose name can apparently be written Lu Kongwei or Lu Kung Wei, Taiwanese comedian

Amy Biehl (d. 1993), anti-apartheid activist
Robbie Millar (d. 2005), Northern Irish restaurateur

and, fictionally
Grace Adler, as in Will and Grace.

Launched the day I was born

The Twenty-Fifth Hour, film starring Anthony Quinn (release date from French Wikipedia page)
The Leicester Riders, Britain's oldest basketball club
La Fondation nationale Reine Fabiola pour la Santé Mentale, Belgian charitable foundation (now swallowed up by the King Baudouin Foundation)
Grajski biki/Tvrđava siledžija/Stronghold of Toughs, Yugoslav/Slovenian film
HMS Hermione
The MS Taras Shevchenko's Black Sea career
San Marco 2, Italy's second satellite

Died the day I was born

Jean Alexandre Barré (born 1880), as in Guillain-Barré syndrome. Articles in five languages.
W.J.A. 'Dave' Davies (born 1890), rugby player
Roman Wilkosz (born 1895), Polish artist
Siegfried Charoux (born 1896), Austrian sculptor
Nicolae Cernescu (born 1904), Romanian chemist
(probably) Michael J. Estocin (born 1931), US Vietnam war naval pilot

See a gallery of some of these people and things here.

(See previous birthday posts for 2007, 2006, 2005, and an old collection of links on my website.)

April Books 32) The Cornelius Quartet

32) The Cornelius Quartet: The Final Programme , A Cure for Cancer, The English Assassin, The Condition of Muzak, by Michael Moorcock

Another classic of speculative fiction, which I have now read: the complex tales of Jerry Cornelius, his family, his allies and his enemies. It's difficult to call it a novel, or a collection of novels; the first book perhaps comes closest to having a conventional plot, but the second and third books in particular are rather free of the contraints of linearity. You have to really let the word pictures wash over you without expecting the narrative to behave as we are used to plots behaving. There's a consistent sort of post-Empire awareness behind the scenes, which sometimes bubbles to the top: in one passage in the fourth book, various English groups are presented as if native tribes in some far-off colony. Often such experiments seem just boring and self-indulgent, but this kept my interest.

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