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Biographies Feedback

by Ron Kurtus

Each day readers send in questions and feedback concerning the various lessons in the School for Champions website. A total of 193 letters have been answered.

List of most recent 15 letters




When should I write my biography? General Congo
What were the achievements of Archimedes? Archimedes India
Parts of a biography for speech class General USA
Twain and Plasmon Mark Twain USA
I remember when Ruby shot Oswald Lee Harvey Oswald USA
Could Edison be successful in science and family life? Edison Nigeria
What people started late in life to become successful? General Nigeria
Learning from Edison Edison India
Person claims to be a descendent of Gillette Gillette UK
How to cite page as reference Archimedes USA
Request to use graphic General USA
Relationship of Oswald and Finland Lee Harvey Oswald Finland
Your page was so helpful in my research Edison USA
Disagree with Oswald biography Lee Harvey Oswald USA
Did Archimedes receive any awards? Archimedes Pakistan

Next 15 letters


When should I write my biography?

February 27, 2017


Good Day! My name is Gabriel, I am 24 years old and I want to know at what age am I supposed to write my biography?
Thank you

Gabriel Clef - Congo (27910)


A biography is usually about some other person. An autobiography is what you write about yourself.

Some people keep a journal to write down interesting events in their lives. You can start writing about yourself and activities at any age.

When seeking a job, they often want to know what you have achieved related to the type of work. It is often good to have that written down beforehand.

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What were the achievements of Archimedes?

June 4, 2016


Achievements of Archimedes?
What for Archimedes was famous?

Ajay - India (27054)


Archimedes’ greatest achievements include:

He invented the sciences of mechanics and hydrostatics. He discovered the laws of levers and pulleys. He calculated pi to the most precise value known. He proved the formulas for the volume and surface area of a sphere. He showed how exponents could be used to write bigger numbers than had ever been thought of before.

Also, he proved that to multiply numbers written as exponents, the exponents should be added together. He invented the Archimedean Screw to pull water out of the ground.

Archimedes was one of the world’s first mathematical physicists, applying his advanced mathematics to the physical world. He was the first person to apply lessons from physics to solve problems in pure mathematics. He found how to tell if an object was pure gold or had silver mixed in it.

He also invented war machines such as a highly accurate catapult. Supposedly, he used a mirror system to burn attacking ships using the sun’s rays.

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Parts of a biography for speech class

November 27, 2015


Hi my name is Rose.
I need help prepare an informative outline about Joseph Lister for my speech class. i have a lot of information about his life but i don't know how to put things together. can you help me please?

Rose - USA (26570)


Often a biography can be broken into important parts of the person's life, such as Early Life, Years of Achievements, and Final years.

A biography about Lister could emphasize his achievements and his work in antiseptic surgery.

See Learning from Biographies for another approach.

I hope this helps. Best wishes for success in your speech.

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Mark Twain

Twain and Plasmon

November 11, 2015


Hi, I'm trying to locate information on one of Twain's business ventures....a cure-all medicine he either invented or marketed, called PLASMON.

If you know where I can get detailed info on this, please let me know. This information came from WIT AND WISDOM OF MARK TWAIN, Edited by Alex Ayers,page 30. Thanks

Tom - USA (26524)


Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) was an investor in the Plasmon company and also promoted Plasmon's health benefits. There are articles in the New York Times Dec 1907 and Nov 1908 on Twain's involvement.

Also, the Routledge Encyclopedia of Mark Twain has an article on Plasmon.

I hope that helps.

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Lee Harvey Oswald

I remember when Ruby shot Oswald

October 29, 2015


I remember watching the Oswald transfer and my father saying he hopes someone would shoot this bastard, and the stomach would be a good spot so this son of a bitch would suffer. Ruby steps out and shoots Oswald in the stomach, my father and the rest of us were not horrified.

Robert - USA (26488)


Your father certainly had a premonition about Ruby shooting Oswald. Although many people hated Oswald for shooting President Kennedy, it still would have been good to see him go to trial and then to jail and perhaps the electric chair.

Also, there were rumors that Ruby was employed by a group responsible for the assassination.

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Could Edison be successful in science and family life?

October 4, 2015


would it had been possible for thomas to be sucesful in both his scientific work and family life. pls give reasons to answer

chuks - Nigeria (26419)


Although Thomas Edison was known as an inventor and scientific businessman, he also apparently had time for a good family life. He had several children. After his first wife died at a young age, he remarried.

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What people started late in life to become successful?

June 3, 2015


Kindly send me how i can assess the biography of people who started late(age 40 and above)and still make it in life in all area of life carrier

Abegunde - Nigeria (26064)


There are many people who have started businesses or advanced in their careers after the ago of 40.

A good example of someone who started after age 40 and became successful was King Gillette, who came up with the idea of a disposable razor.

In the U.S., Ray Kroc was a salesman when he got involved in running McDonald's hamburger restaurants after the age of 59. Col. Sanders started selling franchises of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) while in his 60s.

Note that these people were hard workers who picked an area of interest and saw something that others would want.

However, being successful in business does not always mean successful in life. Ray Kroc's wife divorced him because he was spending too much time on his business.

I will try to add more biographies of those who became successful in their later years.

Best wishes for success in your career or business.

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Learning from Edison

September 10, 2014


what do you learn from the life of thomas edison

sandeep - India (25348)


Thomas Edison was ambitious and a hard-worker, even as a young man. He would see a need for something--such as newspapers for people who rode the train--and then sell them to his customers. He read much about science, was curious about things, and when he got an idea, he would work on it to completion.

These are good traits to have.

Later, when he was inventing things, he organized a research group to help him in his inventions. His business skills were very important.

Seeing what Edison did to make his inventions and his business, you can look at your own skills and apply them to become successful in your areas of interest.

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Person claims to be a descendent of Gillette

January 7, 2014


In the mid 60's here in my home town of Hartlepool UK I met a big bold brassy theatrical american woman aged about 50/60 her name was Mrs Jeff Smith ....I also met her husband Mr Robert Smith. Jeff claimed to be direct decendant of the gillette family. I presume that smith was her married name, I did not know her maiden name. Do you think that there is any truth in her claims. I think that she was just a fairly harmless theatrical imposter. did the gillette family have relatives here in the UK in the 60's
Best Wishes Geoff

Geoff - UK (24413)


The Gillette family has a long genealogy in the UK since the 1500s. It is easily possible that he is a descendent of the Gillette family, but not necessarily of King Gillette, who was born in Wisconsin in the US. Are these people from Wisconsin?

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How to cite page as reference

August 3, 2013


Can you send me a email back on how to cite your page
like your; date last updated, group responsible for site, and all that jazz. This is about the
Archimedes: Early Years and Mathematics

Haley - USA (23904)


A good way to cite the page is:

"Archimedes: Early Years and Mathematics" by Ron Kurtus, June 3, 2009

I hope that helps.

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Request to use graphic

June 16, 2013


I very much like your page on Magnetism and the Lorentz force. I request permission to use your graphic with the caption "Force on electric charge moving through a magnetic field" with a link to your web site. However I would like to cross promote your site; it looks to me like you have lots of fun stuff here.

My background: I present a Living History of Marie Curie. I'm writing a series of science articles for families / kids / classrooms / curious people. The series supports and builds on ideas in my Marie Curie Living History program. Examples: "Qualitative vs. Quantitative Observation", "What is an atom?", "What is Radioactivity?" "How did Marie's Piezo-electrometer work?" Magnetism is one of the approximately 30 concepts I am writing about. It was because Marie Curie studied magnetic properties of steels that she met Pierre Curie, who discovered the Curie point - the temperature above which magnetic materials stop being magnetic. And the inner workings of the atom were discovered because of the ways the alpha and beta particles (which I define in another article) in the radioactive rays behave in a magnetic field.

You can read about my Living History program at -> manya I have presented this program across 28 of the United States, Canada, and Europe over the last dozen years.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Susan Marie - USA (23779)


Certainly, you can use the graphic "Force on electric charge moving through a magnetic field" along with a link to our website.

It looks like you have an interesting website. I have provided a link to your site from Biography Resources.

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Lee Harvey Oswald

Relationship of Oswald and Finland

September 21, 2012


How often at least one of those men in pictures has travelled trhough Finland in the end of 1960´s. Do you have more of them, looked the same but were sick. I´ve seen one. Film material was filed under the title "Normaali poliklinikkakäynti, Sukkavartaankatu. Tampere." They were not Finns.

Leena - Finland (22931)


I'm not sure which pictures you are referring to.

Oswald went from the U.S. to Helsinki, where he applied to go to the U.S.S.R See The Journey From USA to USSR. Apparently, there was something strange about how quick he got his visa.

I hope that helps.

PS: My grandparents are from Finland.

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Your page was so helpful in my research

January 19, 2012


Your page was so helpful in my research, thank you for having such a great page available! For one of my classes I'm writing a paper and doing a presentation on Thomas Edison and I came upon your site's Resources on Edison's Life web page (, which has really great resources that really helped me with my research.

Also while researching I found another page (www., that I think would be a wonderful additional Edison resource on your page. It would be really great if I could use your page with the additional resource when I present my research next week. How often do you update the page?


Alisa - USA (22350)


I'm glad the material was helpful for your research. I added your suggested resource to the page, as well as updating it with some new books.

Best wishes for success in your presentation.

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Lee Harvey Oswald

Disagree with Oswald biography

January 17, 2012


i just read your biography hit piece on oswald. where did you get your info,from the warren commission. i think that oswald was a reg. kid,and was said to be non violent,but you state over and over oswald pulled a knife on his brother. i think this is put into the story to lay claim he was a violent person capable of shhoting people. but what i see is a very smart maybe a genius,capable of running the latest radar equiptment on a top secret miltery base,in japan. yewt you and the media try to paint a pic of a anti social ,wing nut that plkayed with weapons. he was a marine but had trouble qulifing at the rifle range,and only made marksman. which is the lowest grade of shooting in the military. i myself shot expert,at 17 years in the army,never having shot a gun un till enlisting. i know i could not have made that shot in the givin time. so what im trying to say is your biography is pure hoq wash.

ron - USA (22333)


The items in Resources and references are the main sources of information on Oswald.

The Warren Commission Reports apparently goes into a lot of details on what happened, but I don't think they really looked into Oswald's background. It is not a resource for his biography.

The biography states that with his travels and experiences, it certainly was a strange life that brought about many conspiracy theories.

If you feel the material is "hog wash" you should contact the resources and tell them so.

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Did Archimedes receive any awards?

October 9, 2011


did the Archimedes receive any awards or nobles for his work?

saja - Pakistan (22050)


Archimedes lived between 287 BC and 212 BC in ancient Greece. He was honored in his country, but they did not give award in those days. The Nobel Prize was started in 1895.

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