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Google’s Birthday

September 27, 2013 is the 15th birthday of the search engine that we all know and love – Google.

Google was founded by Stanford graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998 in a friend’s garage, although the actual web domain www.google.com was registered in 1997. Although Google’s official birthday is September 7, the celebration has been shifted over the years, aligning with whenever people “feel like having cake”.

Originally called “BackRub”, Page and Brin eventually decided to call their search engine “Google” a play on the mathematical term “googol” which means a one followed by one hundred zeros. If you type “google in 1998” into the Google search today, you’ll see what the site looked like 15 years ago.

Check out 15 facts you probably don’t know about Google.

Sources: Wikipedia, About.com

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Will Smith’s Birthday

Actor, producer, and rapper Will Smith was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 25, 1968. He began rapping at the age of 12, and when he met DJ Jeff Townes at a party when he was 16, duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince was born.

Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince separated themselves from the rest of hip-hop by releasing catchy but clean tunes including “Summertime” and “Parents Just Don’t Understand”. While “Gangsta” rappers NWA were talking about drugs and violence, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince were rapping about problems facing teens in middle-America, and people all over were able to relate. As their success mounted, the rap duo won the first Grammy Award for a Rap performance in 1988.

From 1990 to 1996, Will Smith acted as the title character in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, a sitcom about a street wise kid from Philadelphia sent to live with family in California in order to keep out of trouble. The show’s re-runs  still air on multiple networks today.

Will Smith made the transition from television to movies in the mid-90s. His first big hit was opposite Martin Lawrence in the 1995 hit Bad Boys. After his breakout, the hits just kept going: Independence Day (1996), Men in Black (1997), Enemy of the State (1998), and many others. Smith received two Academy Award nominations for his reprisal of Muhammad Ali in 2001’s Ali, and 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness.

Some of his other popular films include I, Robot, Hitch, I Am Legend, and Hancock, with many more projects in the works.

Happy Birthday Will Smith!

Sources: Biography,

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Stephen King’s Birthday

American horror and suspense writer, Stephen King, was born on September 21, 1947 in Portland, Maine. He attended the University of Maine, after which he unsuccessfully tried to become a teacher. King worked odd jobs to support his passion for writing, until his fourth novel Carrie was published and became immensely successful. So much so, that it warranted a film adaptation in 1976 starring Sissy Spacek.

Stephen King has published 50 novels which have sold over 350 million copies around the world. Many of his horror and science fiction works have been adapted for film, television, and comic books including: The Shining, Cujo, and It. One of the most successful horror writers of all time, Stephen King has collected many awards over the years such as Bram Stoker Awards, World Fantasy Awards, British Fantasy Society Awards, O. Henry Awards and more.

Happy Birthday Stephen King!

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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Harry Connick Jr.’s Birthday

American jazz musician and actor, Harry Connick Jr., was born on September 11, 1967 in New Orleans, Louisiana. His musical talent was apparent at an early age, and by the time he turned 9, Harry Connick Jr. was a member of the musician’s union and had already recorded a few albums.

Harry Connick Jr. got his big musical break when he was asked to record the soundtrack for one of the most popular romantic comedies of all time, When Harry Met Sally (1989), for which he won his first Grammy Award. He broke into acting in 1990 as a tail gunner in the WWII film Memphis Belle, followed by Blockbuster hit Independence Day in 1995. Harry Connick Jr. earned his first role as a leading man in the 1998 film Hope Floats opposite Sandra Bullock.

Harry Connick Jr. has acted in nearly two dozen films, sold over 25 million albums across the globe, and is among the top 60 bestselling male musical artists in America.

Happy Birthday Harry Connick Jr.!

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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Beyonce Knowles’ Birthday

Immensely popular American singer, songwriter, and actress Beyonce Knowles was born in Houston, Texas on September 4, 1981.

Beyonce’s music career took off when she became the lead vocalist of the girl group Destiny’s Child (along with her cousin Kelly Rowland and two friends from school), when they received a record deal from Columbia Records in 1997. The release of the group’s second album landed them their first number one single with “Bills, Bills, Bills”, and Destiny’s Child became one of the most popular girl groups in music.

Destiny’s Child broke up in 2005, and Beyonce went on to become one of the top-selling artists in the music industry. Most of her music aligns with themes of love, relationships, and female empowerment. Some of her most popular songs as a solo artist are “Crazy in Love”, “Me, Myself, and I”, “Upgrade U”, “Irreplaceable”, “Halo”, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”, and “Run the World (Girls)”.

In addition to her successful career in music, Beyonce has also acted in several feature films, including: Goldmember, The Fighting Temptations, Dreamgirls, Cadillac Records, and Obsessed. She also runs a clothing line with her mother Tina Knowles, called House of Dereon, and acts as a spokesperson for several popular brands.

In 2008, Beyonce married hip hop artist and rapper Jay-Z, and the couple had their first child, baby girl Blue Ivy Carter on January 7, 2012. As of 2013, Beyonce has won 16 Grammy Awards, among many other prestigious accolades.

Happy Birthday Beyonce!

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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Maria Montessori’s Birthday

Maria Montessori was an Italian physician most known for her development of the educational method that is named after her. Montessori was born into a well-educated family on August 31, 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy. Challenging gender stereotypes, Montessori graduated from medical school at the University of Rome with high honors, becoming the first female doctor in Italy.

During her time spent teaching at the University of Rome, she treated children from all different socioeconomic backgrounds which led to her interest in early education. This experience allowed her to practice and perfect her different style of teaching on the children that came to the free clinics.

By 1925, there were over 1000 Montessori schools opened in America. The Montessori way encouraged teachers to “follow the child” and use the child’s interests and natural intuition as the guide. Although, interest in Montessori schools declined for a few decades, there was a resurgence and new found interest for the teaching method during the 1960s. Montessori’s work in childhood education led her to receive two nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. She died in 1952, but her legacy lives on as she was a pioneer in the development of young children.

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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Rupert Grint’s Birthday

August 24 is English actor Rupert Grint’s Birthday!

Rupert Grint is best known for his role as Ron Weasley, one of the main characters in the Harry Potter film series. Grint was cast at only 11 years old, having no prior professional acting experience. He starred alongside Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe during all eight Harry Potter films from 2001 to 2011.

Since the Harry Potter series has come to a close, Rupert Grint continues to act in a variety of films, most recently in The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman and CBGB.

Happy Birthday Rupert Grint!

Sources: Wikipedia, Biography

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Donnie Wahlberg’s Birthday

Singer, actor, and producer Donnie Wahlberg was born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 17, 1969. The eighth of nine children (famous brother Mark Wahlberg being the youngest), the Wahlberg family was extremely close although strapped for cash most of the time.

In 1984, producer Maurice Starr recruited Donnie Wahlberg to be a part of the boy band New Kids on the Block. The group proved to be immensely popular, especially among teenage girls in the late 80s and early 90s, but disbanded in 1994.

Following his time spent as a musician, Donnie Wahlberg embarked on an acting career, garnering attention for his role in The Sixth Sense. Other acting roles that Donnie has taken on include: the Saw horror films, and the television shows Blue Bloods, and Band of Brothers, among others.

Most recently, New Kids on the Block reunited for a tour in Summer 2013, along with musical acts Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees.

Happy Birthday Donnie Wahlberg!

Sources:  Biography, Wikipedia

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Dustin Hoffman’s Birthday

American film, television, and theater actor Dustin Hoffman was born in Los Angeles, California on August 8, 1937. Most known for his portrayal of vulnerable characters and antiheroes, Dustin Hoffman practices method acting to properly get into many of his roles. By definition, method actors fully immerse themselves during role preparation, adopting the thoughts and feelings of their characters to give a true-to-life performance.

In 1955, Dustin Hoffman graduated from Los Angeles High School and registered at Santa Monica College to study medicine. Hoffman dropped out of school after one year to join the Pasadena Playhouse alongside a young and unknown Gene Hackman. The two became fast friends and ended up moving out to New York City together in search of acting jobs.

After working in a few off-Broadway and Broadway productions, Hoffman’s breakthrough film role occurred in 1967 as Ben Braddock in The Graduate. Always self-conscious for not having the typical Hollywood blonde-haired, blue-eyed looks, Hoffman helped pave the way for a different type of leading man.

Hoffman went on to star in many more critically acclaimed films, such as: All the President’s Men (1976), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Tootsie (1982), Rain Man (1988), Hook (1991), I Heart Huckabees (2004), and Stranger than Fiction (2006). He has been nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning two, and 13 Golden Globes, winning six, among other accolades. Dustin Hoffman continues to act and recently made his directing debut in 2012 with Quartet, starring Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay.

Happy Birthday, Dustin Hoffman!

Sources: Wikipedia, Biography

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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Birthday

Former professional bodybuilder, actor, and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger was born on July 30, 1947 in Austria.

At age 20, Schwarzenegger won Mr. Universe and received the Mr. Olympia title seven times after that. He gained the nickname “Austrian Oak” for his roles in Hollywood action films including Conan the Barbarian, The Terminator, Predator, Total Recall, Eraser, and many more. Arnold Schwarzeneggar served for two terms from 2003 to 2011 as the 38th Governor of California.

Happy Birthday, Arnold!

 

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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