Thursday, 31 March 2016

Super Humans - Jodelle Micah Ferland

Jodelle Micah Ferland (born October 9, 1994) is a Canadian actress, best known for her portrayals of Sharon/Alessa in the 2006 horror film Silent Hill, Mary Jensen in the 2004 miniseries Kingdom Hospital, Bree Tanner in the 2010 film The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Five in the SyFy series Dark Matter. Ferland was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, the daughter of Valerie and Marc Ferland. Her siblings are actress Marisha Ferland and musician Jeremy Ferland. Ferland started her career in commercials at the age of two. She made her movie debut at age 4 in the TV-movie Mermaid, for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination, making her the youngest nominee in Emmy history. She has since made guest appearances in several televisions series, including Stargate Atlantis, Dark Angel, Stargate SG-1, Smallville and Supernatural, and has appeared in films including They and Trapped. In 2005, she starred in the Terry Gilliam drama Tideland, for which she received a Genie Award nomination in the Best Actress category. Later, she appeared in the 2006 film Silent Hill, an adaptation of the well-known video game, and had a supporting role in Good Luck Chuck for Lions Gate Entertainment. In 2007, she filmed the movie Case 39 opposite Renée Zellweger, however, due to a lengthy post-production, it was not released until 2010. She played Bree Tanner in the third film of the Twilight series, titled Eclipse. She stated: "Usually I read the script before I take a role, but I haven't read this one," she explained. "It's Twilight, of course I'm going to take it." From 2010 to 2011, she provided voice work for the videogame BioShock 2 and its DLC, appeared in the SyFy movie Ice Quake, and starred in the Lifetime movie Girl Fight. In 2012, she appeared in the drama Mighty Fine, the horror film The Tall Man, Joss Whedon's The Cabin in the Woods, the stop-motion animated film ParaNorman, and had her first starring role in a comedy, in Home Alone: The Holiday Heist. In 2013, she starred in the family film Midnight Stallion,[9] and the short film Monster. Most recently, she starred in the crime drama A Warden's Ransom, the short film The Goodbye Girl, and the horror film The Haunting of Briar House (originally titled The Unspoken) which premiered at the Film4 Frightfest Film Festival on October 24. Since June 2015, she has starred as Five in the SyFy series Dark Matter, based on the comic book series of the same name.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Super Humans - Brandon deWilde

Andre Brandon deWilde (April 9, 1942 – July 6, 1972) was an American theatre, film, and television actor. Born into a theatrical family in Brooklyn, he debuted on Broadway at the age of 7 and became a national phenomenon by the time he completed his 492 performances for The Member of the Wedding. Before the age of 12, he had many accomplishments: He was the first child actor awarded the Donaldson Award, he filmed his role in The Member of the Wedding, he starred in his most memorable film role as Joey Starrett in the film Shane (1953). He had also been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and starred in his own sitcom Jamie on ABC. He became a household name making numerous radio and TV appearances before being featured on the cover of Life magazine on March 10, 1952, for his second Broadway outing Mrs. McThing. He continued acting in stage, film and television role into adulthood before his death at age 30 in a car crash in Colorado on July 6, 1972. 

Andre Brandon deWilde was the son of Frederic A. "Fritz" deWilde and Eugenia (née Wilson) deWilde. Fritz deWilde was the only son of Dutch immigrants who changed their surname from Neitzel-de Wilde to "deWilde" when they emigrated to the United States. He was a descendant of the Dutch merchant and seigneur Andries de Wilde, who was married to Cornelia Henrica Neitzel. Fritz deWilde became an actor and Broadway production stage manager. Eugenia was a part-time stage actress. After deWilde's birth, the family moved from Brooklyn to Baldwin, Long Island. deWilde made his much-acclaimed Broadway debut at the age of 7 in The Member of the Wedding. He was the first child actor to win the Donaldson Award, and his talent was praised by John Gielgud the following year. He also starred in the 1952 film version of the play, which was directed by Fred Zinnemann. In 1952 deWilde acted in the film Shane as Joey Starrett and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance, becoming the youngest nominee for the time in a competitive category. He had the lead role in his own television series, Jamie which aired in 1953 and 1954. Although the series was popular, it was canceled due to a contract dispute. In 1956 he was featured with Walter Brennan, Phil Harris, and Sidney Poitier in the coming-of-age Batjac movie production of Good-bye, My Lady, adapted from James Street's book. This film showcased the then-rare dog breed Basenji, the African barkless dog, to American audiences. Brooklyn-born, deWilde's soft-spoken manner of speech in his early roles was more akin to a Southern drawl. In 1956 (at age 14) deWilde narrated classical music works Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev and The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten. He also recorded a reading of Huckleberry Finn in the album The Stories of Mark Twain, along with his Good-bye, My Lady co-star, Walter Brennan. deWilde had hoped to embark on a music career. He asked his friend, Gram Parsons (of the Byrds), and his band at the time, International Submarine Band, to back him in a recording session. ISB guitarist John Nuese claimed that deWilde sang harmony with Parsons better than anyone except Emmylou Harris and bassist Ian Dunlop wrote, "The lure of getting a record out was tugging hard at Brandon." Parsons and Harris later co-wrote a song entitled "In My Hour of Darkness", the first verse of which refers to the car crash that killed deWilde

Friday, 25 March 2016

Super Humans - Quinn Louise Cummings

Quinn Louise Cummings (born August 13, 1967) is an American retired child actress, now writer and entrepreneur. She is best known for her Academy Award nominated role in Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl as Lucy McFadden, and for her recurring role as Annie Cooper on the television series Family. She has written a memoir Notes From The Underwire. Her second book, The Year of Learning Dangerously, about homeschooling in America, was released in August, 2012. In 2013, Cummings published Pet Sounds, a collection of essays relating to living with and around animals.

Born in Los Angeles, the only child of Sumner Aaron Cummings (1919-1977), a businessman, and Jan Mae (née Lies; 1928-2015), a bookkeeper. In June 2000, Cummings gave birth to a daughter, Anneke DiPietro, by her partner Donald DiPietro. Quinn Cummings began her career after being discovered by famed cinematographer James Wong Howe. She soon began landing roles in numerous television commercials, eventually winning the role of Marsha Mason's daughter, Lucy McFadden, in the 1977 film The Goodbye Girl. Cummings' performance was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture. In 1978, Cummings landed a recurring role on the drama series Family. In 1985, Cummings also appeared in the short-lived ABC sitcom, Hail to the Chief, playing the daughter of the first female President of the United States (played by Patty Duke). During the late-1980s, Cummings acted occasionally and worked as a casting agent. In the 1990s, she quit acting because she wasn't comfortable living her life in the public eye and stated that, "nobody could conceive of hiring me". She went on to attend UCLA for two years, and had a stint recruiting writers to publish short stories online. Her last acting role was in a 1991 episode of Blossom. Inspired by the birth of her first child, Cummings created the HipHugger, a stylish, sling-type device for carrying a baby. She was the president of the HipHugger company, before selling it in 2006. In February 2005, Cummings created The QC Report, a blog which discusses the ironies of modern life from the point of view of a career-mom in her thirties. It has received numerous recommendations including Newsweek's BlogWatch pick of the week.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Super Humans - Jackie Cooper

John Cooper, Jr. (September 15, 1922 – May 3, 2011), known as Jackie Cooper, was an American actor, television director, producer and executive. He was a child actor who managed to make the transition to an adult career. Cooper was the first child actor to receive an Academy Award nomination. At age nine, he was also the youngest performer to have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, an honor that he received for the film Skippy (1931). For nearly 50 years, Cooper remained the youngest Oscar nominee in any category, until he was surpassed by Justin Henry's nomination, at age eight, in the Supporting Actor category for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).

Cooper was born John Cooper, Jr. in Los Angeles, California. Cooper's father, John Cooper, left the family when Jackie was only two years old. His mother, Mabel Leonard Bigelow (née Polito), was a stage pianist. Cooper's maternal uncle, Jack Leonard, was a screenwriter, and his maternal aunt, Julie Leonard, was an actress married to director Norman Taurog. His stepfather was C.J. Bigelow, a studio production manager. His mother was Italian American (her family's surname was changed from "Polito" to "Leonard"); Cooper was told by his family that his father was Jewish (the two never reunited after he left the family). Cooper first appeared in films as an extra with his grandmother, who would bring him along in hopes of aiding her own attempts to get extra work. At age three, Jackie appeared in Lloyd Hamilton comedies under the name of "Leonard". He graduated to bit parts in feature films such as Fox Movietone Follies of 1929 and Sunny Side Up. His director in these two films, David Butler, recommended the boy to director Leo McCarey, who arranged an audition for the Our Gang comedy series produced by Hal Roach. Cooper joined the series in the short Boxing Gloves in 1929, signing to a three-year contract. He initially was only a supporting character in the series, but by early 1930 he had done so well with the transition to sound films that he had become one of the Gang's major characters. He was the main character in the episodes The First Seven Years, When the Wind Blows, and others. His most notable Our Gang shorts explore his crush on Miss Crabtree, the schoolteacher played by June Marlowe, which included the trilogy of shorts Teacher's Pet, School's Out, and Love Business. According to his autobiography, Cooper, under contract to Hal Roach Studios, was loaned in the spring of 1931 to Paramount to star in Skippy (directed by his uncle, Norman Taurog), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor—the youngest actor ever (at the age of nine) to be nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor. Although Paramount paid Roach $25,000 for Cooper's services, Cooper received only his standard Roach salary of $50 per week. The movie catapulted young Cooper to superstardom. Our Gang producer Hal Roach sold Jackie's contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in mid-1931, as he felt the youngster would have a better future in features. Cooper began a long onscreen relationship with actor Wallace Beery in such films as The Champ (1931), The Bowery (1933), The Choices of Andy Purcell (1933), Treasure Island (1934), and O'Shaughnessy's Boy (1935). A legion of film critics and fans have lauded the relationship between the two as an example of classic movie magic. However, in his autobiography Cooper wrote that Beery was "a big disappointment", and accused him of upstaging and other attempts to undermine the boy's performances out of what Cooper presumed was jealousy. Cooper played the title role in the first two Henry Aldrich movies, What a Life (1939) and Life with Henry (1941).

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Super Humans - William Henry West Betty

William Henry West Betty (13 September 1791 in Shrewsbury – 24 August 1874 in London) was a popular child actor of the nineteenth century, known as "the young Roscius". Both of William's parents were very wealthy due to inheritance. His mother inherited money from Shropshire and his father inherited money from the north of Ireland. According to legend, Betty’s father frivolously spent his money on anything, which resulted in his losing a large portion of his inheritance. This loss might have contributed to the extreme exploitation of his child prodigy, William.

William Betty first showed his desire for the stage at the age of eleven when, in 1802, his father took the young boy to Belfast to watch Sheridan’s Pizarro, starring Sarah Siddons in the role of Elvira. Her performance inspired him so much that William stated, "I shall certainly die if I may not be a player." Betty’s father introduced William to Michael Atkins, manager of the Belfast Theatre. After meeting the child, Atkins said, "I never dared to indulge in the hope of seeing another Garrick, but I have seen an Infant Garrick in Betty." Not long after meeting Atkins, Betty was introduced to the theatrical prompter Thomas Hough, so he could direct, train, and mentor young William in the role of Osman in Voltaire’s Zair. While this was going on, there was an insurrection in Ireland which resulted in the closing of the Belfast theatre. Atkins knew he needed a huge attraction to bring in the crowds and he immediately thought of William. After some hard planning, it was settled, and on 11 August 1803, the eleven-year-old William Henry West Betty debuted professionally as the well-known Osman. His appearance brought in a large crowd, and reports stated that his performance was flawless and extremely well received. He next took on the role of Young Norval in John Home's Douglas. This role fit him much better since he was actually playing a child and, once again, he astonished people in the theatre. News of Master Betty soon began spreading across Europe. Master Betty’s fame extended beyond just Belfast to Dublin, where Betty’s father talked to Frederick Edward Jones, manager of the Crow Street Theatre. They were able to reach an agreement for Betty to appear again in Home's Douglas at the Theatre Royal, where he debuted on 28 November 1803. There he also played Frederick in Elizabeth Inchbald's Lovers' Vows, the title role in Tancred, and in William Shakespeare's Hamlet. It was said that in three hours of study he committed the part of Hamlet to memory. The citizens of Dublin became so excited over Betty that the civil authorities extended the curfew an hour for those attending the theatre. His parents then had Betty tour in Scotland and England in 1804, where he was treated with thunderous applause as he reprised past roles such as Young Norval in Douglas. His performances sold out and earned nearly 850 pounds the last six nights. Home, the author of Douglas, came to watch Betty and claimed that he "considered it the only performance where Young Norval was played according to his conception of the character." Having become the biggest sensation in Dublin and Belfast, Master Betty was ready for London. On 1 December 1804, guards were hired to handle the anxious crowd at the doors of the Covent Garden Theatre waiting to get a glimpse of the child sensation. Some waited in line for hours. Constables stood inside the theatre, ready to stem any chaos. Once the doors were open, people flooded inside to find seats, creating a huge disorder. Clark Russell described the event: Shrieks and screams of choking, trampled people were terrible. Fights for places grew; Constables were beaten back, the boxes were invaded. The heat was so fearful that men all but lifeless were lifted and dragged through the boxes into the lobbies which had windows. Master Betty played Selim in Brown’s Barbarossa or the Freedom of Algiers, an imitation of Voltaire’s Mérope. The boy did not come on stage until half-way through the show, but he was still grandly received by his audience, including the Prince of Wales. The second night, the patrons started a small riot, injuring many of the audience members and also damaging the theatre itself. At Drury Lane, the house was similarly packed, and he played for the then unprecedented salary of over 75 guineas a night. Betty quit the stage in 1808 to attend Christ's College in Cambridge. After graduation, he lived with his family in the country, having become financially secure.

He was invited back to Covent Garden in 1812. The critics derided his performance, talking more about his former career as a child actor than his performance at the age of twenty-one. Betty never returned to perform in London again. Nine years later, he once again tried to mount a comeback and failed. He then tried to commit suicide, which also failed. He gave up acting in 1824. Betty devoted the remainder of his life to works and theatrical charities. He died on 24 August 1874 in Ampthill Square, London

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Super Humans - Sahibzada Sanwar Azam Sunny

Sahibzada Sanwar Azam Sunny (/ˈsænˈwɔːr ˈəsəm səniː/; Urdu: سنوار اعظم ثانی‎; Bengali: সানওয়ার আজম সানি, born December 17, 1989) is a Bangladeshi-born artist, environmental activist and social entrepreneur. He is a columnist for The Daily Star and a blogger. He became fluent in multiple languages and is one of the youngest artists to have a solo exhibition at the National Art Gallery with work in permanent collection at the Liberation War Museum. He finished four years of American high school in eight months with honors and was a college senior by the age of eighteen, teaching university courses in engineering at the age of 21. A member of the Singranatore family, he is the youngest child and only son of Colonel Muhammad Shahid Sarwar and his wife Kamrun Nahar. One of the founding members of the Sustainable Automotive Energy Infrastructure, he is also the founder of the Sustainable Built Environment Initiative of Bangladesh, later Bangladesh Green Building Council (BGBC), the Bangladesh affiliate of the World Green Building Council. His father was a senior member of the Singranatore family and a military commander of the national Army, United Nations forces and the Border Guards, while his mother, Kamrun Nahar of the Munshibari family of Comilla was an artist and scientist, a student of Iajuddin Ahmed, the thirteenth President of Bangladesh. Both parents were born in erstwhile East Pakistan. He grew up in various places around the country. He has an older sister, named Shahzia Sarwar, an architect. The House of Singra and Natore (Singranatore Zamindari) was a formerly ruling family who were hereditary lords (Zamindars) in the northwestern region of Rajshahi in erstwhile East Bengal in the area of present day Singra, Bangladesh. In 1950, the State Acquisition Act was adopted by the erstwhile democratic Government of East Pakistan, abolishing the rights of the feudal ruling families. The Singranatore family, who served as vassals to the Maharajas of Natore and Dighapatia, also produced many influential members and politicians. In 2005, as a Youth Ambassador to the United States, he was supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. He started high school at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy after completing eighth grade, to study International Baccalaureate and was a senior aged fifteen. His first ever paid job at the age of 16 was to do a MATLAB programming project for Miftahur Rahman at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at North South University. A child prodigy, he could fluently read, write or speak six languages by the age of eight and by 2006 he completed the four-year American high school program in less than nine months, as a member of the Honor Roll, United States National Honor Society and winning awards with the Science Olympiad. Then he was offered a Merit Scholarship by the School of Engineering at the University of Kansas when he was only sixteen years old. He was a final year university student (college senior) studying engineering by the age of eighteen. At Kansas, he was an active brother of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity (PIKE) initiated through the Beta Gamma Chapter. He also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he was a graduate researcher under Jered Carr at the L.P. Cookingham Institute of Urban Affairs. He graduated with Pi Alpha Alpha, Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honors in 2013. Nicholas Peroff was his graduate advisor.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Super Humans - Karl Friedrich Benz

Karl Friedrich Benz (German: [kaɐ̯l ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈbɛnts] November 25, 1844 – April 4, 1929) was a German engine designer and engineer, generally regarded as the inventor of the first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine, and together with Bertha Benz, pioneering founder of the automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz which is now one of the leading car brands. Other German contemporaries, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach working as partners, also worked on similar types of inventions, without knowledge of the work of the other, but Benz received a patent for his work first, and, subsequently patented all the processes that made the internal combustion engine feasible for use in an automobile. In 1879, his first engine patent was granted to him, and in 1886, Benz was granted a patent for his first automobile. Karl Benz was born Karl Friedrich Michael Vaillant, on November 25, 1844 in Mühlburg, now a borough of Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, which is part of modern Germany, to Josephine Vaillant and a locomotive driver, Johann George Benz, whom she married a few months later. According to German law, the child acquired the name "Benz" by legal marriage of his parents Benz and Vaillant. When he was two years old, his father died of pneumonia, his name was changed to Karl Friedrich Benz in remembrance of his father. Despite living in near poverty, his mother strove to give him a good education. Benz attended the local Grammar School in Karlsruhe and was a prodigious student. In 1853, at the age of nine he started at the scientifically oriented Lyceum. Next he studied at the Poly-Technical University under the instruction of Ferdinand Redtenbacher. Benz had originally focused his studies on locksmithing, but he eventually followed his father's steps toward locomotive engineering. On September 30, 1860, at age fifteen, he passed the entrance exam for mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe, which he subsequently attended. Benz was graduated July 9, 1864 at nineteen. During these years, while riding his bicycle, he started to envision concepts for a vehicle that would eventually become the horseless carriage. Following his formal education, Benz had seven years of professional training in several companies, but did not fit well in any of them. The training started in Karlsruhe with two years of varied jobs in a mechanical engineering company. He then moved to Mannheim to work as a draftsman and designer in a scales factory. In 1868 he went to Pforzheim to work for a bridge building company Gebrüder Benckiser Eisenwerke und Maschinenfabrik. Finally, he went to Vienna for a short period to work at an iron construction company. In 1871, at the age of twenty-seven, Karl Benz joined August Ritter in launching the Iron Foundry and Mechanical Workshop in Mannheim, later renamed Factory for Machines for Sheet-metal Working. The enterprise's first year went very badly. Ritter turned out to be unreliable, and the business's tools were impounded. The difficulty was overcome when Benz's fiancée, Bertha Ringer, bought out Ritter's share in the company using her dowry. On July 20, 1872, Karl Benz and Bertha Ringer married. They had five children: Eugen (1873), Richard (1874), Clara (1877), Thilde (1882), and Ellen (1890). Despite the business misfortunes, Karl Benz led in the development of new engines in the early factory he and his wife owned. To get more revenues, in 1878 he began to work on new patents. First, he concentrated all his efforts on creating a reliable petrol two-stroke engine. Benz finished his two-stroke engine on December 31, 1878, New Year's Eve, and was granted a patent for it in 1879. Karl Benz showed his real genius, however, through his successive inventions registered while designing what would become the production standard for his two-stroke engine. Benz soon patented the speed regulation system, the ignition using sparks with battery, the spark plug, the carburetor, the clutch, the gear shift, and the water radiator.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Super Humans - Alia Sabur

Alia Sabur (born February 22, 1989) is an American materials scientist and attorney. She holds the record for being the world's youngest professor. Sabur was born in New York City, New York. Her mother, Julie Sabur (born Kessler), worked as a reporter for News12 Long Island until 1995. She married Mohammed Sabur, a Pakistan native, in 1980. Alia, born on February 22, 1989, showed early signs of giftedness. She tested "off the IQ scale," according to an educator who tested her as a first-grader. As a fourth-grader, she left public school and was admitted to State University of New York at Stony Brook at the age of 10, later graduating summa cum laude at 14. She also received a black belt in Tae Kwon Do at the age of 9. After Stony Brook, Sabur attended Drexel University where she received her M.S. in 2006. Alia is recipient of the 2007 Dean fellowship from Drexel University.  In 2007 she took a temporary position at Southern University in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. On 19 February 2008, at 18 years of age (3 days before her 19th birthday), she was appointed to the position of International Professor as Research Liaison with Stony Brook University by the Dept. of Advanced Technology Fusion at Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. The position was a temporary, one-year contract which she chose not to renew. The Guinness Book of World Records named Sabur the World's Youngest Professor. She began her position at the Department of Advanced Technology Fusion at Konkuk University in June 2008 and returned to her hometown of New York early 2009, without renewing her contract.

In 2008, Sabur filed a civil suit against Drexel University, claiming that the university engaged in fraud and defamation regarding Sabur's pursuit of a doctoral degree. In the suit, Sabur charges that Yury Gogotsi, her former Ph.D. advisor, improperly used her research to apply for grants, and deliberately obstructed her degree. Trial proceedings began on August 9, 2010. "But that was when I grew disillusioned with the science world. I saw bad conduct and realised that some professors weren’t motivated by a love of science. I fell out with the adviser who was supervising my PhD. I sued Drexel University in a civil lawsuit and the case has now gone into private, binding arbitration. I believe my adviser applied for grants and patents using my ideas, and took credit for them. He denies this and has accused me of stealing his work. Even though the university has cleared me of plagiarism it has still refused to award me my PhD.", says Financial Times article. This is the second lawsuit involving the Sabur family. In the previous one Alia Sabur's "parents brought suit on behalf of their daughter and alleged that defendants board of education, its members, and the school district failed to provide their daughter with appropriate educational services in violation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act". Six of the seven counts were dismissed.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Super Humans - Sho Timothy Yano

Sho Timothy Yano (矢野 祥 Yano Shō, born 1990, Portland, Oregon) is an American physician. Yano is a former child prodigy and has an estimated IQ of 200. Yano's father, Katsura, is originally from Japan and his mother, Kyung, is originally from South Korea. Yano reportedly was reading by age two, writing by age three, playing classical music on the piano at age four, and composing by age five. He went to the Mirman School as a child. After scoring 1500 out of 1600 on the SAT at age eight, he graduated from the American School of Correspondence at age nine then entered Loyola University Chicago also at age nine, graduating summa cum laude at age 12. He then entered the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago in the MSTP (Medical Scientist Training Program), which is designed for those seeking to earn an MD and PhD. He was awarded a PhD in molecular genetics and cell biology there in 2009, at the age of 18. He entered his second year of medical school at the University of Chicago in 2009, becoming at age 21 the youngest person to graduate with an MD from the University of Chicago, for which he has been called a "real-life Doogie Howser". He is currently a pediatric neurology resident at the University of Chicago.

According to Yano, he owes much of his success to his mother, who noticed his superior intellectual capabilities at an early age and helped encourage and motivate him through rigorous academic enrichment. His mother also homeschooled him through the 12th grade, saying she felt other students his age wouldn't be as interested in their studies. Sho's younger sister Sayuri (born 1996) also exhibits prodigious talents in both academic studies and music; she is, as of 2010, a graduate at Roosevelt University with a Bachelor of Science in biology degree. She is currently a B.M. student majoring in violin performance at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Super Humans - Avicenna

"Avicenna" is the Latinate form of Ibn Sīnā. For the mountain peak known by this name, see Ibn Sīnā Peak. Avicenna (/ˌævᵻˈsɛnə/; Latinized form of Ibn-Sīnā, Arabic full name Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Sīnā[4] أبو علي الحسين ابن عبد الله ابن سينا; c. 980 – June 1037) was a Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age. Of the 450 works he is known to have written, around 240 have survived, including 150 on philosophy and 40 on medicine. His most famous works are The Book of Healing. a philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and The Canon of Medicine – a medical encyclopedia which became a standard medical text at many medieval universities and remained in use as late as 1650. In 1973, Avicenna's Canon Of Medicine was reprinted in New York. Besides philosophy and medicine, Avicenna's corpus includes writings on astronomy, alchemy, geography and geology, psychology, Islamic theology, logic, mathematics, physics and poetry.

Avicenna was born c. 980 in Afšana, a village near Bukhara (in present-day Uzbekistan), the capital of the Samanids, a Persian dynasty in Central Asia and Greater Khorasan. His mother, named Setareh, was from Bukhara; his father, Abdullah, was a respected Ismaili scholar from Balkh, an important town of the Samanid Empire, in what is today Balkh Province, Afghanistan, although this is not universally agreed upon. His father worked in the government of Samanid in the village Kharmasain, a Sunni regional power. After five years, his younger brother, Mahmoud, was born. Avicenna first began to learn the Quran and literature in such a way that when he was ten years old he had essentially learned all of them. A number of theories have been proposed regarding Avicenna's madhab (school of thought within Islamic jurisprudence). Medieval historian Ẓahīr al-dīn al-Bayhaqī (d. 1169) considered Avicenna to be a follower of the Brethren of Purity. On the other hand, Dimitri Gutas along with Aisha Khan and Jules J. Janssens demonstrated that Avicenna was a Sunni Hanafi.  However, the 14th cenutry Shia faqih Nurullah Shushtari according to Seyyed Hossein Nasr, maintained that he was most likely a Twelver Shia. Conversely, Sharaf Khorasani, citing a rejection of an invitation of the Sunni Governor Sultan Mahmoud Ghazanavi by Avicenna to his court, believes that Avicenna was an Ismaili. Similar disagreements exist on the background of Avicenna's family, whereas some writers considered them Sunni, some more recent writers contested that they were Shia. According to his autobiography, Avicenna had memorised the entire Quran by the age of 10. He learned Indian arithmetic from an Indian greengrocer, Mahmoud Massahi and he began to learn more from a wandering scholar who gained a livelihood by curing the sick and teaching the young. He also studied Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) under the Sunni Hanafi scholar Ismail al-Zahid. Avicenna taught some extent of philosophy books such as Introduction (Isagoge)'s Porphyry (philosopher), Euclid's Elements, Ptolemy's Almagest by an unpopular philosopher, Abu Abdullah Nateli, who claimed philosophizing. As a teenager, he was greatly troubled by the Metaphysics of Aristotle, which he could not understand until he read al-Farabi's commentary on the work. For the next year and a half, he studied philosophy, in which he encountered greater obstacles. In such moments of baffled inquiry, he would leave his books, perform the requisite ablutions, then go to the mosque, and continue in prayer till light broke on his difficulties. Deep into the night, he would continue his studies, and even in his dreams problems would pursue him and work out their solution. Forty times, it is said, he read through the Metaphysics of Aristotle, till the words were imprinted on his memory; but their meaning was hopelessly obscure, until one day they found illumination, from the little commentary by Farabi, which he bought at a bookstall for the small sum of three dirhams. So great was his joy at the discovery, made with the help of a work from which he had expected only mystery, that he hastened to return thanks to God, and bestowed alms upon the poor. He turned to medicine at 16, and not only learned medical theory, but also by gratuitous attendance of the sick had, according to his own account, discovered new methods of treatment. The teenager achieved full status as a qualified physician at age 18, and found that "Medicine is no hard and thorny science, like mathematics and metaphysics, so I soon made great progress; I became an excellent doctor and began to treat patients, using approved remedies." The youthful physician's fame spread quickly, and he treated many patients without asking for payment. He was a truly Renaissance man and polymath, the Leonardo da Vinci equivalent in the Arabic world.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Convention, hiding in plain sight and the art of "I don't give a S**t!"

I was just touching the surface, talking with some friends about why some prodigies choose to not help the progress of the entire world and have ordinary jobs instead. It is a complex matter, but one will learn fast that people don't like somebody to finish the test in 5 minutes, or to be faster and better than anyone else, somehow pointing out everyone mediocrity. You cannot enjoy "la dolce vita" if you have a young prodigy or a genius in your class, just because every teacher will compare all with him. And people will start to resent this, and to make your life miserable. Teachers will expect you to be always at your best. Parents will always have a lot of hopes. Due to the environment, you will learn to hide your capabilities, especially if you choose the fast track of schooling, and you will do only what it is enough to go by. For a while. As soon as you hit the emotional maturity, you will explode in brilliance, you will be amazed and amazing. At that stage, you do not care anymore for what "they" would think. Your personality is fully formed, you know what are your goals and how to achieve them.

That should be the way, but not all of us reach this stage. Some of the young geniuses will hide the entire life, some of them will try to look normal, some will secretly fight against the system. Either way, the problem is, in my humble opinion, that we push them too far intellectually, without caring about the not fully formed emotional maturity.

When one learn what he really want, after the emotional maturity stage, he/she will often choose what is best, even if this is contrary to the general opinion. I often find myself being asked about some decision, and choosing not to follow it, even if it is more efficient and logical, just because others do not understand the ideas behind it. But i do this out of social convention, if the other way is not affecting me personally. If it is something important, i will just do what i think it is the best, without a second thought.

That's all for today, have a nice week!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Super Humans - Balamurali Ambati

   Balamurali Ambati is an Indian-American ophthalmologist, educator, and researcher, currently working at the University of Utah. In 1995, he entered the Guinness Book of World Records[citation needed] as the world's youngest doctor, at the age of seventeen. According to his parents, Ambati was doing calculus at the age of 4. At age 11, he graduated from Baltimore City College and co-authored a research book on AIDS. He graduated from New York University at the age of 13, with Rami Malek a distant second at the age of 20. He graduated from Mount Sinai School of Medicine with distinction at the age of 17, scoring above 99 percent on his National Medical Boards and becoming the world's youngest doctor in 1995. Ambati expressed that he disliked being compared to Doogie Howser, the fictional teenage doctor. Ambati described himself as being popular with people and, standing 6 feet tall, did not appear too young for a career in medicine, when he entered medical school at 14 years old, some assumed that he was one of the regular medical students. He completed an ophthalmology residency at Harvard University, where he developed strategies to reverse corneal angiogenesis, after becoming a winner at the Westinghouse Science Talent Search and the International Science & Engineering Fair and becoming a National Merit Scholar. He received the prestigious Raja-Lakshmi Award in the year 1995 from Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation, Chennai. After completing a fellowship in cornea and refractive surgery at Duke University in 2002, he joined the faculty of the Medical College of Georgia, where he practiced clinical ophthalmology and conducted research in such areas as corneal angiogenesis and outcomes of corneal and refractive surgery. He also volunteers with the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, traveling to under-privileged countries to practice and teach ophthalmic surgery. Currently, Dr. Ambati is a professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, adjunct associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy, and director of corneal research at the University of Utah School of Medicine. His father, Dr. Rao Ambati, convinced school administrators to allow his son to study at his own pace — nearly twice as fast as his peers. Dr. Rao Ambati says that he taught Balamurali and his brother to be focused and to desire accomplishment. Balamurali wrote a book on AIDS at age 11 with his brother, who is also a doctor now. His mother is a Tamil linguist and mathematician. 

    He completed his MD on May 19, 1995 at age 17 years, 294 days.

   He won the Ludwig von Sallmann Clinician-Scientist Award from the ARVO Foundation in 2014 and the Troutman-Véronneau Prize from the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology in 2013.  He was also awarded the Fourth IRDS Awards for Medicine for his achievements, awarded by the Lucknow based Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences (IRDS).

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Super Humans - Mahmoud Wael

Mahmoud Wael (born 1999), an Egyptian boy, At 14 years old he became one of the youngest people qualified to teach university-level graduates in the programming language C++ after completing the Cisco Certified Network Associate, Cisco Certified Network Professional and Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert certificates in the American University in Cairo. He was sponsored by Microsoft to complete a series of certificates in computer programming. At the age of 4 Mahmoud could multiply 3 digit by 3 digit numbers in few seconds, he scored 155 on the IQ test he took at 6 years old. Multiple universities in Egypt and abroad have contacted him for scholarship offers since he was 7.

I found here an interview with him, age 14, one of the few in English, although you can find more in Arabic.