Author Topic: Who are your National Treasures?  (Read 2753 times)

Dic Penderyn

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Re: Who are your National Treasures?
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2013, 10:23:14 PM »
So your Grandad is John or Thomas?

Ethel fisher in my list is my wifes godmother by the way.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 10:27:31 PM by Dic Penderyn »
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starsmurf

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Re: Who are your National Treasures?
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2013, 12:32:08 AM »
Alexander Graham Bell shouldn't be on a list of heroes on a disabled forum  >omg<

Bell actually stole the design and patent from an Italian inventor called Meucci, the two had shared a laboratory.  Meucci invented the telephone to help his wife after she became paralysed.  He endured many disasters in his life, including suffering severe burns himself.  As a result, he could not afford to take out a full patent, only a notice of impending patent.  When that came up for renewal, he couldn't afford the $10 it would cost.  Bell then filed his own patent.

Meucci had demonstrated the telephone in 1860, 16 years before Bell's patent.  He also sent a prototype to Western Union but they "lost" it.  Bell would make a lucrative deal with Western Union after filing his patent.  Bell was being sued by Meucci and there were charges of fraud pending.  The Supreme Court was about to hear the case when Meucci died in 1889.  The US ruled in 2002 that Meucci was the inventor, not Bell.

Bell used his millions to pursue his obsession over deafness.  Bell's mother and wife were both profoundly deaf.  He believed that if deaf people were not forced to speak, they would marry one another and produce a seperate (and inferior) Deaf race.  He continued to believe this even after his research found that 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents and that two deaf people have a 95% chance of having a hearing child.  He simply falsified the results to conform to what he believed.

Bell founded a society, almost exclusively consisting of hearing people.  This society led to the infamous 1880 Milan conference.  The conference advocated Bell's ideas, deaf people were excluded from the proceedings.  The result was immediate.  Deaf teachers were sacked, deaf children were forced to speak and were punished (often beaten) if they signed, even outside of class.  Prior to Milan, Deaf people were very well educated, often better educated than hearing children.  There was even a Deaf university founded in the USA (Gallaudet University) which used American Sign Language.  After Milan, Deaf people were excluded from many areas of society, a situation not helped by the fact that they couldn't use a telephone.  After holding out, even Gallaudet University stopped using ASL for most classes.

Even as late as the 1980's, when a play was performed in ASL, the Alexander Graham Bell Society (AGBS) tried to stop it being broadcast on TV.  They continue to oppose any use of sign language and to promote cochlear implants in children who were born profoundly deaf or who became so before the aquistion of language.  Both policies are the opposite of what Deaf people themselves advocate.

Bell's effect on Deaf people continues to this day.  Deaf children leave school with an average reading age of 8, even though they have a normal IQ.  Until a group of Deaf parents set up their own school, no Deaf school in the UK used BSL.  Instead they use a system called "Total Communication".  In practice, this means using BSL signs while the teacher speaks in English.  Deaf people find this very hard to understand.  As the grammar of the two languages is totally different, this method cannot make use of the ways BSL compresses information.  This usually results in the teacher simply missing out some of the signs, so students never get that information. 

Mainstream education has been great for most children with a physical disability but it has been a disaster for Deaf children.  The teacher is unlikely to be able to sign, the other children won't sign either, so the Deaf child is totally isolated.  It is actually possible for an education authority to refuse to supply a sign language interpreter, even if that means that the child misses out on lessons.

Bell's legacy continues to damage Deaf people, not only in education but in the widespread idea among health professionals and social workers that parents of a deaf child should not sign to their child, as this would delay speech.  All the evidence shows that the opposite is true, in both hearing and deaf children (my 7-month-old hearing nephew can't speak yet but he can sign "milk" "drink" and "mummy").  This idea promotes cochlear implants, which are very controversial in young children, especially as the procedure essentially leaves a hole in the skull, results in the child having to wear an external device and the implant means the child can never have an MRI.  Deaf people see cochlear implants as similar to eugenics.

Sorry to put such a serious post in this (I'll put my heroes up next) but Bell makes my blood boil.  I hate the fact that he had Scottish ancestry and the fact that I have a lot of Bell blood (he's not a relation, as far as I know).

Let's promote Meucci as the inventor, that way we can tell people that the telephone was invented to give a disabled woman some independence.  It meant that she didn't have to have someone with her all the time and could get a little privacy and dignity back.  Meucci is a hero to me.
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starsmurf

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Re: Who are your National Treasures?
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2013, 12:53:32 AM »
My national treasures include:

Sir Chris Hoy
Andy Murray
Peter Higgs
(the guy who helped postulate the Higgs Boson aka the God Particle)

A lady a few miles away from where I grew up called Sylvie.  She runs the Tayside Cat Shelter and the cats that don't find homes just stay with her.  I vividly remember going there on my sister's 13th birthday, there were cats everywhere.

And a couple called Sarah and Paul Ross.  Sarah has a painful medical condition, despite this, they have gradually turned their entire home into a shelter for over 50 cats at a time.  It's called Sunny Harbour Cat and Kitten Rescue.  They've spent tens of thousands of pounds of their own money to save the sickest and most desperate cats.  They've saved newborn kittens and elderly strays.  Their dedication and love has meant that hundreds of cats have been saved from a life of starvation and suffering.  They've found loving new homes for most, those too old to be homed have been fostered and for those they couldn't save, at least the last thing they ever knew was warmth, kindness and love.  If the story of Rainbow Bridge is true >rainbow2<, they are going to have a wave of thousands of cats come running towards them  >biggrin<  If anyone knits (or has old blankets/towels etc) they would be very grateful for blankets for their cats.

Yes, I love cats but those people really are National Treasures.
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SirCumference

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Re: Who are your National Treasures?
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2013, 12:08:01 AM »
My three-card trick, of course. What else?  >biggergrin<

Yvette

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Re: Who are your National Treasures?
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2013, 03:07:38 PM »
All the volunteers who help raise money for the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes - as well as all the vets themselves.

Dic Penderyn

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Re: Who are your National Treasures?
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2013, 07:05:55 AM »
Sir Fred Hoyle - theoretical physicist, cosmologist , Astronomer and Author

Fellow of the Royal Society (March, 1957)
Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1968)
Bakerian Lecture (1968)
Bruce Medal (1970)
Henry Norris Russell Lectureship (1971)
Jansky Lectureship before the National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Knighthood (1972)
President of the Royal Astronomical Society (19711973)
Royal Medal (1974)
Klumpke-Roberts Award of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (1977)
Balzan Prize for Astrophysics: evolution of stars (1994, with Martin Schwarzschild)
Crafoord Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, with Edwin Salpeter (1997)

And has an asteroid named for him

starsmurf how could you leave him out?
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seegee

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Re: Who are your National Treasures?
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2013, 07:42:19 PM »
All the volunteers of the RNLI & Mountain Rescue teams.

starsmurf

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Re: Who are your National Treasures?
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2013, 09:15:35 PM »
Sir Fred Hoyle - theoretical physicist, cosmologist , Astronomer and Author

Fellow of the Royal Society (March, 1957)
Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1968)
Bakerian Lecture (1968)
Bruce Medal (1970)
Henry Norris Russell Lectureship (1971)
Jansky Lectureship before the National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Knighthood (1972)
President of the Royal Astronomical Society (19711973)
Royal Medal (1974)
Klumpke-Roberts Award of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (1977)
Balzan Prize for Astrophysics: evolution of stars (1994, with Martin Schwarzschild)
Crafoord Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, with Edwin Salpeter (1997)

And has an asteroid named for him

starsmurf how could you leave him out?

I though the question was about living treasures.  Hoyle also had some rather "unusual" ideas and kept advocating the steady state theory long after it was dead in the water.  I did think that it was awful that he was snubbed for the Nobel Prize for Physics, for the B2FH paper.  It was widely seen as because of his ideas like panspermia and the steady state theory.  I think the description of him as a "cosmologist and controversialist" was pretty accurate.

My astronomy heroes include Henrietta Swan Levitt and Annie Jump Cannon but they were both American.  They were brave and determined women, who couldn't do astronomy (it makes the female brain overheat or something).  They had to do boring, repetative work as "computers" cataloguing star fields.  They noticed things that had escaped the male astronomers.  Their discoveries are still fundamental to astronomy and astrophysics today.  Their male boss had the important theory that the dark patches on Mars were caused by swarms of seasonally migrating insects.
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Dic Penderyn

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Re: Who are your National Treasures?
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2013, 10:24:36 PM »
How about Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell she's British and still living I believe. 
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starsmurf

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Re: Who are your National Treasures?
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2013, 01:07:43 PM »
How about Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell she's British and still living I believe. 

Oh yes, she's a real hero of mine. 

I still get angry that the Nobel committee awarded the prize to her supervisor who didn't do any of the work and seems to have actually dismissed the idea.  I signed a petition a few years ago that asked the Nobel committee to consider awarding her the prize but they won't do it.
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ATurtle

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Re: Who are your National Treasures?
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2013, 06:46:08 PM »
I know about the back story of a large number of the above named people, however, the reason I was including Alexander Graham Bell is not his treatment of deaf people, or the fact that he "stole" the patent.  My selection of this man was the work he did after the telephone (which he refused to have in his study), work on hydrofoils and aeronautics were what I was focussing on.

The telephone was inspired by his family's experiences with deafness, true, however, his eugenics views were, and are, controversial.  If he had only "invented" the telephone and not gone on to do other research, then he would not have been on my list.

Many "Inventions", including the television, radio and the telephone all relied on the research of some other scientists, and the "First to Publish" culture forgets people like Philo Taylor Farnsworth and remembers John Logie Baird.

In a list of "National Treasures" the controversy of Archibald Belaney would cause too much vitriol, as he was considered a confidence trickster, but he was of course, one of the first conservationists in the world.  Oh, he's British, can we add him to the list?
Tony.

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Dic Penderyn

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Re: Who are your National Treasures?
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2013, 07:19:30 PM »
Turtle add who you wish if he's one of your national treasures then add him. Oh you just did didn't you.  >lol<
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