Progressive Pioneers

  • March 10, 2021

    Super Game-y Bro!

    Mario Mario is an international Progressive Pioneering Superstar. This simple plumber from New York City has become quite literally the most popular video game character ever! Along with his fraternal twin brother Luigi (who is in the midst of his own breakout career with a new game for the Nintendo Switch titled Luigi’s Mansion 3). Mario Mario (or simply Mario as he is known to his fans) had his debut in the 1981 Nintendo video game Donkey Kong. Back then, he went by the alias of Jumpman. His career was just starting out, and he wasn’t sure how to brand himself at the time. “It was a crazy era of video games back then,” Mario remarks, “The graphics were a scant eight by eight pixels. I wasn’t even given much to do, just run around trying to save my girlfriend, Pauline, from that mischievous ape. I had to beg just to be able to be allowed to actually jump, which was ironic since my character’s name was Jumpman!” However, in no time, Mario became an overnight sensation throughout the golden age of video games back in the eighties, racking up such titles as Donkey Kong Junior; Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3; and Super Mario Land 1 & 2. Sadly, he and Pauline broke up citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the dissolution of their romantic relationship. However, when one door closes and another opens: and so it was that Mario met and wooed Princess Peach on the set of Super Mario Bros—which some theorize may have been the reason for Mario and Pauline’s breakup. Mario’s work however has transcended virtually all forms of media from video games, television, film, to theme parks. From 1981 to the present, Mario has appeared in over 250 video games ranging from...
  • February 4, 2021

    Science of the Heart and Stars

    In honor of Black History Month, I very much wanted to profile two wonderful Black American scientists who have greatly contributed to the advancement of humanity’s health and well-being and to our understanding of the universe! I’m speaking of none other than Progressive Pioneers Doctors Marie M. Daly and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Let’s take a look into the lives of these great Americans who make us all proud—for we are all one color: beautiful. Dr. Marie Daly STEM Revolution of Equal Opportunity When the 45th president signed into law the Hidden Figures Act honoring the four African‐American women who were instrumental in the success of NASA’s space race to the moon, we should not forget other accomplished women who have also contributed our nation’s scientific knowledge. One such venerated pioneer is Dr. Marie Maynard Daly. Dr. Daly was born in Queens, NY on April 16, 1921. She was the daughter of Ivan Daly (an immigrant from the British West Indies) and Helen Page of Washington DC. Her parents settled in the New York City area where Mr. Daly attended Cornell University in pursuit of a chemistry degree. Like her father, Dr. Marie Daly also chose to pursue a career in chemistry. She was spurred on by her grandfather’s extensive library of books about scientists and their scientific achievements. Dr. Daly graduated from Queens College magna cum laude with a BA in Chemistry. Due to labor shortages and the need for scientists during World War II, she was able to garner fellowships to study at both New York and Columbia Universities earning her a master’s and a Ph.D. (respectively). Daly’s first major publication was her thesis on the formation of pancreatic amylase on corn starch. From there, her scientific career soared. She was awarded a grant from the American Cancer Society...
  • This is a cute little post I wrote about the science behind Santa’s Enchantment. There are fictional interviews with three of the world’s leading experts on Christmas Magic.
  • There haven’t been too many famous snowmen over the years, the most recent one is arguably Olaf from Disney’s Frozen movie series. Here’s a quick list: The Abominable Snowman, A.K.A. The Yeti The Wampa of Hoth, from Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Michelangelo’s famous 1494 snowman for the Medici prince, Piero the Unfortunate Jack Frost, from the 1998 Warner Bros. film of the same name starring Michael Keaton as the eponymous character The Bumble, seen in the 1964 stop-motion animation television Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer The aforementioned Olaf And Frosty the Snowman! And this is where our story begins, with Frosty. Arguably no one has done more to raise awareness for snowmen and snowwomen than good Ole Frosty. After all, he was a jolly happy soul. It all began on a temperate winter’s day. The school kids were making a snowman who sported a corn cobb pipe, a button nose, and two eyes make out of coal. They had just finished when one of the children found an old hat to place upon Frosty’s frozen head. Well, there must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found, for when they placed it on his head he began to dance around! From that point on, Frosty was as alive as he could be! However, the sun was hot that day. So they knew that they had to get him to the North Pole before he melted away. It was a sad goodbye, but Frosty said, “Don’t you cry, I’ll be back again someday!” And has come back, many times! One of Frosty’s most famous friends is Santa Claus, who along with the elves up at the North Pole, have given him a great home where he and his snow-family live a comfortable life...
  • November 5, 2020

    Progressive Puppies Ready for Duty!

    And keeping with the “factoid theme” this week, I thought I’d take a quick look at our furry friends who are also Progressive Pioneers—not just limited to humans you know. So here are some great facts about Military Dogs. Fact 1: Dogs have been part of military history for as long as people have been fighting. The Romans, the Vikings, and even in the Revolutionary War, all used dogs during conflicts. Fact 2: The official recognition for four legged soldiers didn’t come until World War II. Fact 3: Originally, dogs in wars involving the United States mostly were used to carry messages. Fact 4: Over 5,000 dogs served in the Vietnam War and many helped the soldiers in different capacities. Fact 5: Sergeant Stubby, a very famous Boston Terrier who was part of the military was the most decorated War Dog in history. He saved an entire group of soldiers from an enemy attack and thanks to his help, everyone made it out safely. He also met three presidents during his lifetime. Fact 6: Another big hero who served with the military was a German Shepherd named Chips. The dog single‐ evenhandedly forced a large group of enemy soldiers to surrender. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and the Purple Heart after people heard of his bravery. Fact 7: A dog was part of the SEALS special forces team that was known to accompany the unit during the famous Osama bin Laden raid. Fact 8: Rin Tin Tin is the most famous dog military dog of the movies. A German war dog, he was abandoned, then adopted by American troops and brought to the U.S., where he became a movie star after World War I. American soldier, Lee Duncan, brought the dog back to America where he...
  • October 25, 2020

    Stan the Man!

    Nearly two years ago (2018) on November the 12th, marked a sad day for comic book and superhero movie fans alike as the world lost one of the most creative storytelling minds ever: Stan Lee. Lee was the man behind the formation of Marvel Comics and the creation of such great characters as Spider‐Man, Captain America, the X‐ Men, and Iron Man to name but a scant few. Stan Lee’s art of crafting stories about super‐science, space operas, radioactive superheroes, and all kinds of futuristic and fanciful worlds was truly digital in the analog world of comic books. Born on December 28, 1922 in New York City, Stanley Martin Lieber (known to his fans as Stan Lee) was influenced creatively at a young age by books and movies. He cited the swashbuckling adventures of Errol Flynn in his classic heroic roles from early cinema as a particular inspiration. At fifteen, Lee was the winner of the New York Herald Tribune’s Biggest News of the Week essay contest for 3 straight weeks. One of the editors there suggested that he pursue a career as a professional writer. Lee claimed that that advice probably changed his life. Lee was married for 69 years to Joan Boocock with whom he had two daughters: Joan Celia (J. C.) and Jan Lee (who died shortly after delivery). Though he had worked for several publications, it is his work with Marvel Comics that he is most remembered for. Lee was hired as an assistant to the then Timely Comics in 1939 and stayed with the publication as it evolved into Marvel Comics in the during the 1960s—he also did a stint in the U.S. Army in 1950s. Stan Lee was responsible not only for the co‐creation of many of the iconic characters that grace comics, books,...
  • In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I thought it would be a great idea to profile two Japanese Progressive Pioneers who literally changed the world: the founders of SONY Corporation. SONY Corporation is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo Japan. Its diversified business includes consumer and professional electronics, gaming, entertainment and financial services. The company owns the largest music entertainment business in the world, the largest video game console business and one of the largest video game publishing businesses, and is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets, and a leading player in the film and television entertainment industry. And two men, Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita, started it all in 1946 in the devastating wake of World War II. They started out building Japan’s first tape recorder but soon expanded to transistor radios an other electronics. The name SONY was adopted in 1958 (a mashup of the Latin word Sonus for sound, and Sonny for the American slang term “sonny boy”). SONY rapidly grew into the digital mega-giant it is today. Ibuka served as president of Sony from 1950 to 1971, and then served as chairman of Sony from 1971 until he retired in 1976. He died in 1997 at the age of 89. Morita stepped down as Chairman of SONY in 1994, passing away five years later at the age of 78. Between these two men are dozens of awards, publications, and accolades that span decades. They were also involved in many charities and economic ventures helping to rebuild Japan after the war, and paving the way to making it a world economic leader. Ibuka & Morita leave behind a legacy of world‐changing Digital Revolution that reaches far into our global digital society...
  • April 15, 2020

    IDIC Personified

    Today’s Progressive Pioneer comes from far away—not a galaxy far, far away (that’ll be in another TenthSphere.com post)—but from far in the future, about 300 years. Yep! That’s right. I’m talking about the one and only Mister Spock! A Starfleet captain before his retirement, a United Federation of Planets Ambassador to the Romulan Star Empire, and a lauded scientist. Ever since Zefram Cochrane’s first contact with the Vulcans on April 5, 2063 (A.K.A. First Contact Day), humans have been in awe of their outstanding scientific prowess that stems from their almost completely logical minds. Born on Vulcan in 2230, Spock son of Sarek son of Skon, had achieved the level of accolades in the sciences as well as in other disciplines few in the Federation have been able to match. Half Vulcan and half human, Mr. Spock is truly a Progressive Pioneer. Here are some of his more notable accomplishments during his time as first officer of the USS Enterprise (NCC 1701, NCC 1701‐A): Made first contact communication via the Vulcan Mind‐Meld with a remarkable alien species known as the Horta Successfully implemented the Cold Matter/Anti‐matter startup equation saving the Enterprise from certain destruction Successfully plotted time‐travel slingshot path around the sun bringing Humpback Whales back to the future to save Earth Solved inter‐dimensional space crisis rescuing both his commanding officer, Captain James T. Kirk, and the ship Reconfigured Warp Drive engines on refitted Enterprise to enable ship and crew to intercept the VGER threat to Earth Built a quantum computer out of antiquated 1930s technological resources in an effort to restore the prime timeline Survived encounter with giant Space Amoeba in order to take vital readings that in turn helped save the ship and potentially the galaxy Devised a way to beat an attacking rogue Klingon Bird of Prey’s...
  • This week’s Progressive Pioneers  will focus on two very special “other worldly” people who tirelessly worked behind the scenes the make the world a better place. I’m talking about none other than Tia and Tony Malone. And now thanks to WikiLeaks and the Freedom of Information Act, we know the full truth about these two amazing beings, which will blow your mind! Their story is a rich and complicated one that has taken four documentaries to tell! Escape to Witch Mountain Return from Witch Mountain The Blair Witch Mountain Project Race to Witch Mountain And though Digital Batman cannot fully do justice to their story, I’m going to give you a glimpse into their contributions to our society. Escape to Witch Mountain & Return from Witch Mountain documentaries can be currently watched on Disney+. Endless movies and TV shows. Always ad free. The best of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. From new releases, to your favorite classics, and exclusive Originals, there’s always something new to discover. Race to Witch Mountain documentary can be currently watched on Netflix. Watch Netflix movies & TV shows online or stream right to your smart TV, game console, PC, Mac, mobile, tablet and more. The Blair Witch Mountain Project documentary can be currently watched on YouTube (embedded below for your convenience). Tia and Tony Malone come from a binary star system some 3,000 light years from Earth. Their world was in the late stages of climate and environmental collapse (much like where our own world is headed). They were part of an advanced group of alien colonists seeking to find a way to reverse the self-inflicted damage done to their planet by studying our own in the early stages of exceeding the nine planetary boundaries. However, things did not go as planned. In 1975, their ship was damaged upon arrival at Earth and the two children were almost...
  • March 13, 2020

    Now for Something Truly Puzzling!

    Chris Ramsay is not your usual nerd. Between his ZZ-Top-like beard, sleeve tattoos, and quotidian hoodie/baseball cap, you would foolishly think that he is not one of the world’s greatest puzzle solvers. And you would be wrong! This guy has built up a massive YouTube subscriber following of over 6.62 million, that’s million with an M, subscribers solving Level 10 puzzles. Level 10 puzzles are the hardest possible puzzles in the world that would drive most of us bonkers trying to solve. But not Chris Ramsay. In fact, he thrives on these challenges. He has spent countless hours attacking some of the world’s most difficult and craziest puzzles such as: The Impossible Excalibur Puzzle The Absolute Hardest Jigsaw Puzzle The Hardest Lock Puzzle in History And many, many others. Even though the amount of time it may take for him to solve one of these could be half a day, his videos are thankfully edited down between 15 and 25 minutes (give or take)—and they are they are truly fascinating to watch. There’s also lot of sped up POV footage and pithy commentary as he tinkers with these mind-numbing enigmas. Another thing to note about Chris is that he’s a very good cinematic videographer as well. Frequently, he’ll introduce a new puzzle video with a sweeping array of lens flared artistic and themed cinematography along with an epic Game of Thrones-style music score. It’s his signature film style, coupled with his happy-go-lucky (and extremely patient) persona, along with his inconceivable ability to solve crazy puzzles that make him a YouTube sensation. If you like real physical 3D puzzles that you can touch, rotate, tinker with, and lose your mind over, then you want to watch Chris Ramsay’s YouTube Channel. He’s also got links to where you can purchase these puzzles yourself for hours of intense eye-hand-brain coordination entertainment that...