Timothy Patrick McMahon

Yes, THAT Timothy Patrick McMahon!

Archive for the ‘Wiki-Person’ Category

Wiki-Person of the Day: The Fonz

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The last two days haven’t been cool.  I need some coolness in my life.  Who’s cooler then Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli?  No one!  So today, I present to you, my first fictional Wiki-Person of the Day- Fonzie!

The Fonz


Written by Timothy Patrick McMahon

January 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Posted in Television, Wiki-Person

Wiki-Person of the Day: Frank Ryan

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Maybe I shouldn’t call this series of posts the Wiki-Person of the DAY, but rather the Wiki-Person of the WHENEVER, because I certainaly have not posting these Wiki-Links every day.

Anyway, today’s link is American football quarterback Frank Ryan.

Frank Ryan

I stumbled onto Dr Ryan’s Wikipedia entry when I was checking out my old stompin’ grounds of Grafton, Vermont on Wikipedia.  I’ve selected Dr. Ryan not because he retired to the town I used to live in, but because I find people who have mastered one field, and then work in another, to be fascinating.  Like William Gosset, the statistician/brewer, Frank Ryan held a doctorate in mathematics and yet still had time to be a starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.  He was the only Ph.d. to play pro ball.

That’s all for now.  Sorry, no witty ending today.

Written by Timothy Patrick McMahon

January 11, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Posted in Wiki-Person

Wiki-Person of the Day: William Sealy Gosset

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Sorry I didn’t post yesterday. Two sick kids at home- Not fun.

Anyway, today I’ve selected William Sealy Gosset.

Wiliam Sealy Gosset

Wiliam Sealy Gosset

Why? Well, let me tell you a tale…

During my first trip to Madrid, I discovered a pretty nice fake-Irish pub (can’t remember name, I’ll have to pull out my photo album later and find the pictures I took when I was there). I say “fake”, because it was one of these “pubs in a box” that bar owners can buy from Guinness. Not quite a franchise, but, Guinness will, for a fee, come an outfit, decorate and stock your pub, with everything from the bar itself to tall the nick-knacks on the walls.

Anyway, in the middle of old Madrid, there was this stereotypical Irish pub straight from County Kilkenny. This place became my oasis for a few weeks; my traveling companions at the time were into going to dance clubs and other loud, youthful places at night. Not my cup of tea. So, I kept going back to this pub.

I managed to befriend one of the co-owners, a guy from Dublin. He was an amateur historian as well as a publican.  Over many pints, he gave me a full history of Guinness.  One of the things he told me was that was mathematics that made Guinness so good.  This came up at the end of a long night, and I never really understood it.  His explanation was a bit… well, like I said, I never understood it.

Anyway, I recently stumbled upon the bio of Mr. William Sealy Gossett.  I still can’t say I completely understand his work, but if a statistician can be the Head Brewer at St. James Gate, then I will have to agree with the statement that is is mathematics that makes Guinness so good!

Enjoy these Wiki-Links: William Sealy Gosset, Student’s t-distribution, Studentized residual, Guinness, St. James Gate, Madrid, County Kilkenny, Dublin, Irish Expats

Written by Timothy Patrick McMahon

December 15, 2010 at 11:30 am

Wiki-Person of the Day: Theodore Hook

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Today, I am selecting Theodore Hook.

Theodore Hook

I am not selecting Mr. Hook because I find his biography all that interesting, but because he is the man responsible for the Berners Street Hoax, which is quite possibly the best bar bet of all time!  I’ve always enjoyed that story, so I’m selecting Mr. Hook as my Wiki-Person of the Day as an excuse to share it all with you.

From Wikipedia…

The Berners Street Hoax was perpetrated by Theodore Hook in the City of Westminster, London, in 1809.[1][2] Hook had made a bet with his friend, Samuel Beazley, that he could transform any house in London into the most talked-about address in a week, which he achieved by sending out thousands of letters in the name of Mrs Tottenham, who lived at 54 Berners Street, requesting deliveries, visitors, and assistance.[3]

On 27 November, at five o’clock in the morning, a sweep arrived to sweep the chimneys of Mrs Tottenham’s house. The maid who answered the door informed him that no sweep had been requested, and that his services were not required. A few moments later another sweep presented himself, then another, and another, 12 in all. After the last of the sweeps had been sent away, a fleet of carts carrying large deliveries of coal began to arrive, followed by a series of cakemakers delivering large wedding cakes, then doctors, lawyers, vicars and priests summoned to minister to someone in the house they had been told was dying. Fishmongers, shoemakers, and over a dozen pianos were among the next to appear, along with “six stout men bearing an organ”. Dignitaries, including the Governor of the Bank of England, the Duke of York, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Mayor of the City of London also arrived. The narrow streets soon became severely congested with tradesmen and onlookers. Deliveries and visits continued until the early evening, bringing a large part of London to a standstill.[4]

Hook stationed himself in the house directly opposite 54 Berners Street, from where he and his friend spent the day watching the chaos unfold.

Written by Timothy Patrick McMahon

December 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Funny, History, Wiki-Person

Wiki-Person of the Day – Pablo Fanques

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In an attempt to post more, I’ve decided to start a series of “…of the Day” posts.  I have a few ideas for themes, and the first is the Wiki-Person of the Day.  These are interesting people from history with short entries on Wikipedia.  Hey, they may be short entries, but at least they have a Wikipedia entry, which is more then I can say for myself.

(And please, if you feel the need to make a Tim McMahon Wikipedia entry, go right ahead.  I’ll be happy to help you fill the page with lies and half truth.)

So, first up is Pablo Fanques, a name I’m sure most of you have heard before, but had no clue who he was.

From Wikipedia…

Pablo Fanque (born William Darby in 1796 in Norwich – May 4, 1871 in Stockport) was the first black circus proprietor in Britain.

A famous showman in his time, he is best known today from the lyrics of the Beatles song Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!, written by John Lennon based on an antique circus poster that he had bought, in which the Henderson family is described as “late of Pablo Fanque’s fair.” Lennon pronounces the surname to rhyme with “Yankee”.

Pablo Fanque is buried in Woodhouse Cemetery, Leeds next to his first wife Susannah Darby.

In 2010, he was honoured in his birthplace of Norwich by a commemorative blue plaque.[1]

Fanque is also mentioned in the song Ritz by the band Cockney Rebel.

As a bonus, here’s Eddie Izzard, as Mr. Kite in ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, attempting to sing “Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite”. Enjoy. “Have you seen it? It’s great!”

Written by Timothy Patrick McMahon

December 12, 2010 at 6:18 am

Posted in History, Wiki-Person