Melvin James Kaminsky – Mel Brooks – Comedian – Changed the World

He Made Us Laugh

Mel Brooks was born on June 28, 1926. He is an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor and producer. He is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic parodies.Mel Brooks 2

He began his career as a stand-up comic and as a writer for the early TV variety show Your Show of Shows. He became well known as part of the comedy duo with Carl Reiner, The 2000 Year Old Man.

In middle age he became one of the most successful film directors of the 1970s, with many of his films being among the top ten money makers of the year that they were released. His most well known films include The Producers, The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, History of the World, Part I, Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

More recently he has had a smash hit on Broadway with the musical adaptation of his first film, The Producers. He was married to the actress Anne Bancroft from 1964 until her death in 2005.

The Short List

Brooks is a member of the short list of entertainers with the distinction of having won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award.

He received the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award in June 2013. Three of his films ranked in the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 comedy films of all-time, all of which ranked in the top 20 of the list: Blazing Saddles at number 6, The Producers at number 11, and Young Frankenstein at number 13.

On December 5, 2009 Brooks was one of five recipients of the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. C.

On April 23, 2010 Brooks was awarded the 2,406th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The List of Works Goes On and On

The body of Brooks’ work is enormous. Film, stage, television, recordings all have been his artistic playground.

These works never failed to make one laugh sometimes until the tears were rolling one’s cheeks.

So, What Is His Value to the Human Race?

Mel BrooksJust that ability to have people laugh. Laughter helps keep one healthy and happy. Mel Brooks in producing that laughter for humankind has done us all a wonderful service.

And, of course, he had a cast of characters all around him to help make this all happen. No one does anything of significance without others to aid them. However, it is the force of personality and the inspiration of one individual that forges the product – whatever that final ware might be – horseshoes or laughter.

So, What Is Your Value to the Human Race?

Have you helped someone laugh today? Of course, that may not be you talent. Then what is your talent? Develop your endowment until you become useful, first to yourself, then to your sibling human beings.

Make the best horseshoe you can.

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Woodrow Wilson – 28th President of the United States – Changed the World

He Did Not Win At Everything

His life-prize was to be the League of Nations. He did not win that prize, in the end. But he did a great deal of good anyway, he changed the world.

First Name – Did You Know? – Was ThomasWoodrow Wilson 1

Thomas Woodrow Wilson, born December 28, 1856, died February 3, 1924, was the presidential  from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he had served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910.

He was Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913. With the Republican Party split in 1912, he led his Democratic Party to control both the White House and Congress for the first time in nearly two decades.

Some of the Good He Accomplished

In his first term as President, Wilson persuaded Congress to pass a legislative agenda that few presidents have equaled, remaining unmatched up until the New Deal in 1933. This agenda included the Federal Reserve Act, Federal Trade Commission Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, the Federal Farm Loan Act and an income tax.

Child labor was curtailed by the Keating–Owen Act of 1916, but the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 1918. Wilson also had Congress pass the Adamson Act, which imposed an 8-hour workday for railroads.

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Although considered a modern liberal visionary giant as President, Wilson was “deeply racist in his thoughts and politics” and his administration racially segregated federal employees and the Navy.

The War To End All Wars

Narrowly re-elected in 1916 around the slogan, “He kept us out of war”, Wilson’s second term was dominated by American entry into World War I. While American non-interventionist sentiment was strong, American neutrality was challenged in early 1917 when the German Empire began unrestricted submarine warfare despite repeated strong warnings.

In April 1917, Wilson asked Congress to declare war in order to make “the world safe for democracy.” During the war, Wilson focused on diplomacy and financial considerations, leaving the waging of the war itself primarily in the hands of the Army.

On the home front in 1917, he began the United States’ first draft since the American Civil War; borrowed billions of dollars in war funding through the newly established Federal Reserve Bank and Liberty Bonds; set up the War Industries Board; promoted labor union cooperation; supervised agriculture and food production through the Lever Act; took over control of the railroads; and gave a well-known Flag Day speech that fueled the wave of anti-German sentiment sweeping the country.Woodrow Wilson 2

Stroke Ended His Presidency

In the late stages of the war, Wilson took personal control of negotiations with Germany, including the armistice. In 1918, he issued his Fourteen Points, his view of a post-war world that could avoid another terrible conflict. In 1919, he went to Paris to add the formation of a League of Nations to the Treaty of Versailles, with special attention on creating new nations out of defunct empires.

During an intense fight with Henry Cabot Lodge and the Republican-controlled Senate over giving the League of Nations power to force the U.S. into a war, Wilson suffered a severe stroke that left his wife largely in control of the White House until he left office in March 1921.

For his sponsorship of the League of Nations, Wilson was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize.

Not Everyone Who Changes the World Has Success Every Try

I understand that some folks don’t start out to change the world because they are afraid of failure. I can empathize. Failure hurts. Failure feels humiliating.

Yet, it is those who face the possibility of failure, or even actual failure itself, who make a real difference. Woodrow Wilson attempt to establish a world body, The League of Nations, to help extend peace and democracy to the world set the stage for the United Nations some years later. Sometimes it takes an idea some time to bear fruit. Some blossoms never turn into apples.

$100,000 Bill
$100,000 Bill

Are going to let that stop you? I hope not. I hope you will face your fear of failure and move on. Move on to change the world. You have that opportunity. You deserve that opportunity. The world deserves that opportunity.

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Never Heard of Her – Ada E. Yonath – But She Changed the World – All By Herself

Another Unknown – Crystallographer

Ada E. Yonath was born on June 2, 1939 and is an Israeli crystallographer best known for her pioneering work on the structure of the ribosome.

Nobel Prize – “No Big Deal”

She is the current director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly of the Weizmann Institute of Science. In 2009, she received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz for her studies on the structure and function of the ribosome.

That made her the first Israeli woman to win the Nobel Prize out of ten Israeli Nobel laureates, the first woman from the Middle East to win a Nobel prize in the sciences, and the first woman in 45 years to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

However, she said herself that there was nothing special about a woman winning the Prize.


She attended college in Jerusalem, graduating from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1962, and a master’s degree in biochemistry in 1964. In 1968, she earned a Ph.D. in X-Ray crystallography at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Yonath accepted postdoctoral positions at Carnegie Mellon University (1969) and MIT (1970). While a postdoc at MIT she spent some time in the lab of subsequent 1976 chemistry Nobel Prize winner William N. Lipscomb, Jr. of Harvard University where she was inspired to pursue very large structures.


Yonath focuses on the mechanisms underlying protein biosynthesis, by ribosomal crystallography, a research line she pioneered over twenty years ago despite considerable skepticism of the international scientific community.

Ribosomes translate RNA into protein and because they have slightly different structures in microbes, when compared to eukaryotes, such as human cells, they are often a target for antibiotics. She determined the complete high-resolution structures of both ribosomal subunits and discovered within the otherwise asymmetric ribosome, the universal symmetrical region that provides the framework and navigates the process of polypeptide polymerization.

Consequently she showed that the ribosome is a ribozyme that places its substrates in stereochemistry suitable for peptide bond formation and for substrate-mediated catalysis. Two decades ago she visualized the path taken by the nascent proteins, namely the ribosomal tunnel, and recently revealed the dynamics elements enabling its involvement in elongation arrest, gating, intra-cellular regulation and nascent chain trafficking into their folding space.

What Does That Mean?

Simply – this understand helps persons and companies develop effective drugs.

Yonath elucidated the modes of action of over twenty different antibiotics targeting the ribosome, illuminated mechanisms of drug resistance and synergism, deciphered the structural basis for antibiotic selectivity and showed how it plays a key role in clinical usefulness and therapeutic effectiveness, thus paving the way for structure-based drug design.

For enabling ribosomal crystallography Yonath introduced a novel technique, cryo bio-crystallography, which became routine in structural biology and allowed intricate projects otherwise considered formidable.

Perhaps You Prefer To Remain Enigmatic

Yes, you probably never heard her name, but you may well have been a “recepient” of her science. Perhaps you took an antibiotic to get over a sinus infection. Perhaps that antibiotic was develop using the techniques of crystallography.

Perhaps you would like to change the world but remain rather anonymous. I am being straightforward when I say you may feel yourself too shy to make a splash that souses the whole world.

That’s more than okay. It may be just what the world needed – someone to change it for the better but who does not rise to unwanted world-celebrity.

If you are such a person – get to changing the world in your own enigmatic way. We need all such persons as this.

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