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Leeds College of Art - Jack Neville 2011


Joseph Kittinger On August 16, 1960 history was made and boundaries were pushed as Joseph Kittenger floated to 102,800 feet in an open gondala, named Excelsior II, As the helium filled ballon reached the edge of space, he did the unthinkable and jumped. This freefall lasted a mere four minutes and 36 seconds, allowing Kittenger to reach speeds up to 614 miles per hour. With this jump, Kittinger set many records but more importantly, he did it in a way many people could only dream of.

Sign on the gondala reads ‘This is the highest step in the world’


The moment where Kittinger lept back down to Earth


Alan Turing Alan Turing was a brilliant mathematician and was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalization of the concepts of “algorithm” and “computation” with the Turing machine, which played a significant role in the creation of the modern computer. During the Second world war Turing played a vital role in deciphering the messages encrypted by the German Enigma machine, which provided vital intelligence for the Allies. He took the lead in a team that designed a machine known as a bombe that successfully decoded German messages.

In 1952, Turing was arrested and tried for homosexuality, then a criminal offence. To avoid prison, he accepted injections of estrogen for a year, which were intended to neutralise his libido. This made Turing very depressed and led to his suicide in 1954. Being a big fan on Disney and especially ‘Snow White’ he took his on life by dipping an apple in poison and taking a bite. Hence the famous Apple computer logo which is allegedly a homage to the great man.


HunterS.Thompson


Hunter S. Thompson was a writer and journalist who pioneered “gonzo journalism”, a factual style of reporting where writters involve themselves in the action to such a degree that they become central figures of their stories. He is known also for his unrepentant lifelong use of alcohol, LSD, mescaline, and cocaine (among other substances); his love of firearms; his long-standing hatred of Richard Nixon; and his iconoclastic contempt for authoritarianism. He is best-known for his 1972 account of a drug-addled Nevada trip, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He was an acute observer of American life and saw the world in a new and some times disturbing light.

Artist Ralph Steadman’s illustration of Thompson


Nikola Tesla

The Croatian-born engineer was a truly brilliant man. He spoke eight languages fluently, had photographic memory and the ability to visualize even the most complex pieces of machinery in his head. During his lifetime Tesla invented fluorescent lighting, the Tesla induction motor, the Tesla coil which is still used in radio, television and other electronic equipment. He developed the alternating current (AC) electrical supply system that included a motor and transformer and is credited with inventing modern radio as well.

Tesla was known to be very eccentric often labeled as a mad scientist, he had strange phobias and claimed to receive ‘strange visions’ at night. Tesla also claimed to have invented things that are still unachievable today. Electrical generators that would not consume any fuel, laser beams of ionized particles that would be capable of disintegrating people and objects and also sending power to equipment without wires over huge distances. But most of the schematics and plans existed only in Tesla’s head.


Tesla’s groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of physics, robotics, steam turbine engineering, and magnetism have changed our world.


Pablo Escobar Pablo Escobar was a Colombian drug lord. The leader of the infamous Medellin drug cartel was often referred to as the “World’s Greatest Outlaw” Regarded as the richest and most successful criminal in world history, it was estimated that profits for the medillon cartel were $20 billion annually during the 1980s.

Building a billion-dollar global cartel responsible for up to 80 per cent of the world’s cocaine market, Escobar applied increasing deadly pressure on those who tried to topple his empire. Government officials, journalists and rival dealers died on his orders: torture, drive-by shootings and car bombs were his favourite methods of doling out death. To Medellin’s poorest people, Escobar was nothing short of Robin Hood in the flesh,. He establishing food programs, building parks, soccer fields and a whole neighborhood of 450 red brick homes housing some of Medellin’s most indigent. They didn’t even have to pay rent or property taxes.


We Shape Worlds

We Shape Worlds  

A book showing the men who have haped our world

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