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post Mar 13 2010, 10:08 AM
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Today I met and had a chat with a guy who worked at Bletchley Park during WWII. He was one of the small team who built the first ever computers. Those computers were essential in decyphering the messages of the Nazis and their allies. I think it's safe to say that he literally was one of the people who saved the world. He wasn't out there with a gun, but his contribution saved millions of lives and helped turn the tide in our favour. I'm actually feeling incredibly emotional about having met him, because people like him are real heroes to me, and I feel very honoured to have been able to thank him for everything that he has done.

On a different side of things, I met William Gibson a few years ago. This is the author that I wrote my PhD thesis about and who is creditted with inventing (or certainly popularising) the word 'cyberspace'. His novel Neuromancer influenced the way that people thought about technology to an enormous degree and shaped the way that computers have developed. He's one of the most important authors of the 20th century. He's also very tall, and a nice guy!

A friend of mine met Neil Armstrong (of moon landing fame) yesterday. He's understandably very excited about that.

Who are your heroes? Have you ever met them?

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post Mar 13 2010, 11:01 PM
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suggestive cupcake

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a while back when i was in tenth grade, there were a couple of murders here - a man killed his girlfriend, her son, and intended to rape/kill her daughter and other son. the second son and daughter survived, thankfully, but the killer escaped. a few weeks later just before the funeral, the surviving boy went with a family friend to pick up some things for the funeral in their house, only to discover the killer was waiting inside. this family friend quickly shoved the boy down and took a baseball bat in the face to keep him safe. even though he was dazed, he managed to fight off the killer long enough for he and the son to escape, getting mangled in the process.
i was following the story very closely and eventually found out that said family friend was, gasp, my favorite teacher! he was the sort of teacher who would go above and beyond for his students no matter what they needed, and it didn't surprise me in the least that he'd gone so far to keep this boy from getting hurt. i'll never forget him, or all of the things he did for me, including massive support while i was very sick and after dayan/my father passed away. all in all, he's an amazing man.
i like this thread. :)

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