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Let the Games end!

And so it goes: the XXI Olympic Winter Games has come to an end, with an insanely entertaining final event capping things off in the USA-Canada men’s hockey game hurtling to a nailbiting finish. We have two biographies for Sidney Crosby, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime.

Thanks for enjoying the Games with us, and we’ll see you in two years in London! We now return you to your regularly scheduled Biography Resource Center blog post topics…

Posted on: March 2, 2010, 12:02 pm Category: Announcements, Factoids Tagged with: ,

O, Canada

There’s been a decent amount of “O Canada” going around at the Olympics, with Canada scoring eight gold medals (so far).  That includes yesterday’s gold medal performance by the Canadian women’s hockey team, which defeated Team USA 2-0. We have an engrossing biography available for Adolphe Basile Routhier, who wrote the lyrics for the anthem, which includes the following nuggets:

“O Canada,” the Canadian national anthem, was sung for the first time in 1880, with lyrics by a prominent judge of that era, Adolphe Basile Routhier. The son of a farmer and his wife, Routhier grew up in Quebec under religious influence and harboring the twin passions of law and literature. Defying his mother’s wish that he enter the priesthood, Routhier finished his classical studies and earned his law degree, then went into practice in Lower Canada.

Posted on: February 26, 2010, 3:43 pm Category: Factoids Tagged with: ,

Spotlight on Debi Thomas

As part of our continued coverage of African American History Month and the Winter Olympics, and as a precursor to tonight’s medal round of women’s figure skating, we’d like to draw your attention to our current Spotlightee: Debi Thomas. Thomas won a bronze medal in the 1988 Winter Olympics, the first African American to do so, losing to German’s Katarina Witt (gold) and Canada’s Elizabeth Manley (silver). She went on to become a doctor. Read all about her in one of four biographies available in Biography Resource Center.

Posted on: February 25, 2010, 4:27 pm Category: Factoids Tagged with: ,

Ice dancing finishes up, read all about the athletes here

The ice dancing competition in the Olympics wrapped on Monday, with gold going to Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada and silver to Charlie White and Meryl Davis of the United States. We have biographies available for all four skaters, as well as for Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, who came in fourth, and Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates, who came in 11th.

The ladies’ skating competition kicked off last night, with Korea’s Kim Yu-Na crushing the other hopefuls with a 78.5 score on her short program. We have a biography available for her in Biography Resource Center, as well as for the second and third-place finishers from the short program, Japan’s Asada Mao and Canada’s Joannie Rochette, the latter of whom skated her heart out in honor of the recent passing of her mother. We also have bios for Team USA’s Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu, who skated well enough to make the top ten and stay in medal contention.

And finally, we have a biography available for second-place men’s finisher Evgeni Plushenko — but we’re pretty smitten with his platinum medal as well.

Posted on: February 24, 2010, 2:02 pm Category: Factoids Tagged with: ,

New content added to Biography Resource Center: African American History Month special edition 2/22/2010

African American Firsts in Science and Technology

African American Firsts in Science and Technology

Remember that announcement we hinted at back at the beginning of the month? Without further ado…

It is with great pride and pleasure that we announce the release of African American Firsts in Science and Technology to the Biography Resource Center content library. This reference work has been a long time coming as an addition to the database, and we are especially pleased to be able to release it during Black History Month. Biographies from this work can be found in the Brief Biographies tab; alternatively, all 1,171 biographies joining Biography Resource Center from this title can be viewed as a whole by doing an Advanced Search on Source “African American Firsts in Science and Technology. 

Biographies from African American Firsts in Science and Technology range from pieces on Tralance Addy, the first person to receive both a B.A. and a B.S. simultaneously from Swarthmore College, to Lois Cooper, the first African American woman to earn a license in civil engineering in California, to Peyton Randolph Higginbotham, the first African American appointed to the West Virginia State Board of Health, to A.C. Howard, who won first prize at the Paris Exposition in 1900 for his shoe polish products, to Rosalie A. Reed, the first woman veterinarian at the Los Angeles Zoo (or any other major American zoo), to Arthur Lee Thompson, the first African American medical officer in the United States Navy, to William J. White, first African American general foreman and superintendent of the Sharon Steel Corporation.

And to tie this back to our other major content effort this month — the 21st Winter Olympiad — there is even a biography on Linzy Scott, Jr., who patented the Scott Spiral Knee Brace and was an Olympic team physician in 1981.

We hope that you find the biographies in African American Firsts in Science and Technology useful and informative, and that it makes your 2010 African American History Month that much more wonderful and educational.

Posted on: February 22, 2010, 4:48 pm Category: Announcements Tagged with: , ,

Men’s figure skating gold? ‘Cek!

Congrats to Team USA’s Evan Lysacek, who won the gold medal in men’s figure skating at the Olympics last night. We’ll have an update on his win loaded to Biography Resource Center soon — the same goes for silver medalists Hannah Teter (snowboarding) and Julia Mancuso (skiing).

In other news, there has been a coup in Niger, which ousted President Mamadou Tandja. Wondering about who he is? Have no fear, we have three biographies available for Tandja.

Posted on: February 19, 2010, 3:03 pm Category: Factoids Tagged with: , ,

Shani in the Spotlight

Shani Davis in the Spotlight

Shani Davis in the Spotlight

While preparing this month’s Spotlights for the Biography Resource Center homepage, we worked feverishly to identify Olympics athletes that dovetailed with Black History Month — in other words, African American Winter Olympians. Earlier this month we looked at Herschel Walker, and then shifted over this week to Shani Davis. We’re not above patting ourselves on the back, so check out how psychic our editorial team is: Shani Davis, current Spotlightee, won the gold medal in the 1000m speedskating race yesterday. It was his second straight gold medal in the event, which he also won in Torino in 2006.

Posted on: February 18, 2010, 11:11 am Category: Factoids Tagged with: , ,

Weir science

We’re (Weir?) pretty sure that Johnny Weir crushed Evan Lysacek in last night’s men’s figure skating short program costume competition, although Lysacek certainly gave Dr. John a run for his fashion money (he made up for it, of course, by crushing his USA teammate by 8.2 points). At any rate, we’re making a concerted effort to acquire a photo of Weir’s pink-corseted ensemble to add to Biography Resource Center. No promises given the intricacies of image permissioning — sorry, there’s no such thing as a free lunch and few such things as a photo without licensing fees, although we do our best to fill our database with as many beautiful images as possible — but at least here in the blogosphere we can exercise the magical power of linking.  So without further ado:

Johnny Weir


We wish we could find a picture that truly does this justice — like an image that shows the lacing up his back — but beggars can’t be choosers. And now we must take our leave in order to start work on the second edition of Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion (available in our Lives & Perspectives Collection, in case you didn’t know!)…

Posted on: February 17, 2010, 5:12 pm Category: Factoids Tagged with: ,

First figure skating medals awarded

Congrats to pairs gold medalists Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo of China. If you have our Marquis Who’s Who add-on module, you can find brief biographies on these and other skaters (and athletes in general) competing at the Winter Games in Vancouver under the Brief Biographies tab.

Posted on: February 16, 2010, 4:15 pm Category: Factoids Tagged with: ,

Deck the heads with boughs of laurel

We are extremely pleased and excited to announce the addition of new, original 2010 Olympic athlete biographies written by our subject experts to Biography Resource Center in time for the kickoff of the Games tomorrow. Now available:

  • Gretchen Bleiler, USA snowboarding
  • Tim Burke, USA biathlon
  • Rachel Flatt, USA figure skating
  • Ted Ligety, USA Alpine skiing
  • Henrik Lundqvist, Sweden hockey
  • Evan Lysacek, USA figure skating
  • Trevor Marsicano, USA speed skating
  • Mirai Nagasu, USA figure skating
  • Angela Ruggiero, USA hockey
  • Johnny Weir, USA figure skating

We’re working on new biographies for a few other athletes and expect to have them available in short order. Also, stay tuned for a list of 2010 athletes already available in Biography Resource Center.

Posted on: February 11, 2010, 3:10 pm Category: Announcements Tagged with: , ,