sâmbătă, 30 iulie 2011

Pulp Fiction (1994): John Travolta & Samuel L. Jackson

Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino, who cowrote its screenplay with Roger Avary. The film is known for its rich, eclectic dialogue, ironic mix of humor and violence, nonlinear storyline, and host of cinematic allusions and pop culture references.

The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture; Tarantino and Avary won for Best Original Screenplay. It was also awarded the Palme d'Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. A major critical and commercial success, it revitalized the career of its leading man, John Travolta, who received an Academy Award nomination, as did costars Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman.

Directed in a highly stylized manner, Pulp Fiction joins the intersecting storylines of Los Angeles mobsters, fringe players, small-time criminals, and a mysterious briefcase. Considerable screen time is devoted to conversations and monologues that reveal the characters' senses of humor and perspectives on life. The film's title refers to the pulp magazines and hardboiled crime novels popular during the mid-20th century, known for their graphic violence and punchy dialogue. Pulp Fiction is self-referential from its opening moments, beginning with a title card that gives two dictionary definitions of "pulp". The plot, as in many of Tarantino's other works, is presented out of chronological sequence.

The picture's self-reflexivity, unconventional structure, and extensive use of homage and pastiche have led critics to describe it as a prime example of postmodern film. Considered by some critics a black comedy, the film is also frequently labeled a "neo-noir". Critic Geoffrey O'Brien argues otherwise: "The old-time noir passions, the brooding melancholy and operatic death scenes, would be altogether out of place in the crisp and brightly lit wonderland that Tarantino conjures up. [It is] neither neo-noir nor a parody of noir".

Similarly, Nicholas Christopher calls it "more gangland camp than neo-noir", and Foster Hirsch suggests that its "trippy fantasy landscape" characterizes it more definitively than any genre label. Pulp Fiction is viewed as the inspiration for many later movies that adopted various elements of its style. The nature of its development, marketing, and distribution and its consequent profitability had a sweeping effect on the field of independent cinema (although it is not an independent film itself). Considered a cultural watershed, Pulp Fiction's influence has been felt in several other media.
John Travolta as Vincent Vega: Tarantino cast Travolta in Pulp Fiction only because Michael Madsen, who had a major role—Vic Vega—in Reservoir Dogs, chose to appear in Kevin Costner's Wyatt Earp instead. Madsen was still rueing his choice over a decade later. Harvey Weinstein pushed for Daniel Day-Lewis in the part. Travolta accepted a bargain rate for his services—sources claim either $100,000 or $140,000—but the film's success and his Oscar nomination as Best Actor revitalized his career. Travolta was subsequently cast in several hits including Get Shorty, in which he played a similar character, and the John Woo blockbuster Face/Off. In 2004, Tarantino discussed an idea for a movie starring Travolta and Madsen as the Vega brothers; the concept remains unrealized.

Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Tarantino had written the part with Jackson in mind, but the actor nearly lost it after his first audition was overshadowed by Paul Calderón's. Jackson assumed the audition was merely a reading. Harvey Weinstein convinced Jackson to audition a second time, and his performance of the final diner scene won over Tarantino. Jules was originally scripted with a giant afro, but Tarantino and Jackson agreed on the Jheri-curled wig seen in the film. (One reviewer took it as a "tacit comic statement about the ghettoization of blacks in movies".) Jackson received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Calderon appears in the movie as Paul, a bartender at Marsellus's social club.

Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace: Miramax favored Holly Hunter or Meg Ryan for the role. Alfre Woodard and Meg Tilly were also considered, but Tarantino wanted Thurman after their first meeting. She dominated most of the film's promotional material, appearing on a bed with cigarette in hand. She was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar and was launched into the celebrity A-list. She took little advantage of her newfound fame, choosing not to do any big-budget films for the next three years. Thurman would later star in Tarantino's two Kill Bill movies.
Bruce Willis as Butch Coolidge: Willis was a major star, but most of his recent films had been box-office disappointments. As described by Peter Bart, taking a role in the modestly budgeted film "meant lowering his salary and risking his star status, but the strategy...paid off royally: Pulp Fiction not only brought Willis new respect as an actor, but also earned him several million dollars as a result of his gross participation." Willis's appearance and physical presence were crucial to Tarantino's interest in casting him: "Bruce has the look of a 50s actor. I can't think of any other star that has that look."
Harvey Keitel as Winston Wolf or simply "The Wolf": The part was written specifically for Keitel, who had starred in Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and was instrumental in getting it produced. In the filmmaker's words, "Harvey had been my favorite actor since I was 16 years old."[47] Keitel had played a character similarly employed as a "cleaner" in Point of No Return, released a year earlier.

Tim Roth as "Pumpkin" or "Ringo": Roth had starred in Reservoir Dogs alongside Keitel and was brought on board again. He had used an American accent in the earlier film, but uses his natural, London one in Pulp Fiction. Though Tarantino had written the part specifically with Roth in mind, TriStar head Mike Medavoy preferred Johnny Depp or Christian Slater.

Amanda Plummer as Yolanda or "Honey Bunny": Tarantino wrote the role for Plummer, specifically to partner Roth onscreen. Roth had introduced the actress and director, telling Tarantino, "I want to work with Amanda in one of your films, but she has to have a really big gun." Plummer followed up with director Michael Winterbottom's Butterfly Kiss, in which she plays a serial killer.

Maria de Medeiros as Fabienne: Butch's girlfriend. Tarantino met the Portuguese actress while traveling with Reservoir Dogs around the European film festival circuit. She had previously costarred with Thurman in Henry & June (1990), playing Anaïs Nin.

Ving Rhames as Marsellus Wallace: Before Rhames was cast, the part was offered to Sid Haig, who had appeared in many classic exploitation movies of the 1970s. Haig passed on the role. According to Bender, Rhames gave "one of the best auditions I've ever seen." His acclaimed performance led to his being cast in big-budget features such as Mission Impossible, Con Air, and Out of Sight.

Eric Stoltz as Lance: Vincent's drug dealer. Courtney Love later reported that Kurt Cobain was originally offered the role of Lance; if he had taken it, Love would have played the role of his wife. Tarantino, however, denies that he ever even met Cobain, much less offered him a role in the movie.

Rosanna Arquette as Jody: Lance's wife. Pam Grier read for the role, but Tarantino did not believe audiences would find it plausible for Lance to yell at her.Grier was later cast as the lead of Tarantino's Jackie Brown. Ellen DeGeneres also read for Jody.

Christopher Walken as Captain Koons: Walken appears in a single scene, devoted to the Vietnam veteran's monologue about the gold watch. In 1993, Walken had appeared in another small but pivotal role in the "Sicilian scene" in the Tarantino-written True Romance.

joi, 28 iulie 2011

Succes 2011: Astronaut Jeremy Hansen

Jeremy Roger Hansen, CD (born January 27, 1976 in London, Ontario) is a Canadian astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). He was selected to join the CSA in the 2009 CSA selection along with David Saint-Jacques. Prior to his selection as one of Canada's newest astronauts, Hansen held the rank of Captain in the Canadian Forces, piloting the CF-18 fighter plane from deployment at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta.

Born January 27, 1976 in London, Ontario, and raised on a farm near Ailsa Craig, Ontario, until moving to Ingersoll for his high school years. Captain Hansen is married with 3 children.

Captain Hansen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Space Science (First Class Honours) from Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario (1999). He earned a Master of Science in Physics from the same institution in 2000, with a research focus on Wide Field of View Satellite Tracking.

miercuri, 27 iulie 2011

Succes 2011: Vladimir Remek, the first Czechoslovak in space. The first cosmonaut from a country other than the Soviet Union or the United States

Vladimír Remek (born 26 September 1948) is the first Czechoslovak in space and the first cosmonaut from a country other than the Soviet Union or the United States. As of 2004, with the entry of the Czech Republic into the European Union Vladimír Remek is considered to be the first astronaut from the EU. He flew aboard Soyuz 28 from March 2nd to March 10th 1978, for seven days, 22 hours, and 17 minutes. In 2004 he was elected into the European Parliament.

Vladimír Remek was born in České Budějovice to Czech mother and Slovak father. His father, Jozef Remek, was Lieutenant General of the Czechoslovak army (1973-75 deputy of the Minister of Defense responsible for air force and air defense, 1976-89 commander of the air force). In 1970 Vladimír Remek became military pilot. In 1976 he finished a military air force academy.

Remek joined the Intercosmos program in 1976; his backup was Oldřich Pelčák. After the flight, on March 16, 1978, he and Aleksei Gubarev, the other member of the crew, were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
In 1990 he became director of the Military Museum for Aviation and Astronautics in Prague, since 1995 he worked as a sales representative for the company ČZ in Moscow, since 2002 he served at the Czech embassy in Russia.

During the 2004 European Parliament election Remek was an independent candidate for the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia and, being second on the list, was elected into the European Parliament. He was elected again into the European Parliament in 2009 European Parliament election.

The asteroid 2552 Remek is named after him.

sâmbătă, 23 iulie 2011

RIP Amy Winehouse

Amy Jade Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011 in London) was an English singer-songwriter known for her powerful contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres including R&B, soul and jazz.

Winehouse's 2003 debut album, Frank, was critically successful in the UK and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Her 2006 follow-up album, Back to Black, led to six Grammy Award nominations and five wins, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and made Winehouse the first British female to win five Grammys, including three of the "Big Four": Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. On 14 February 2007, she won a BRIT Award for Best British Female Artist; she had also been nominated for Best British Album. She won the Ivor Novello Award three times, one in 2004 for Best Contemporary Song (musically and lyrically) for "Stronger Than Me", one in 2007 for Best Contemporary Song for "Rehab", and one in 2008 for Best Song Musically and Lyrically for "Love Is a Losing Game", among other distinctions. The album was the third biggest seller of the 2000s in the United Kingdom.

Winehouse was credited as an influence in the rise in popularity of female musicians and soul music, and also for revitalising British music. Winehouse's distinctive style made her a muse for fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld. Winehouse's problems with drug and alcohol abuse, and her self-destructive behaviours were regular tabloid news from 2007 until her death. She and her former husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, were plagued by legal troubles that left him serving prison time. In 2008, Winehouse faced a series of health complications that threatened both her career and her life.

Winehouse died at the age of 27 on 23 July 2011 at her home in London; police have said that the cause of her death was "as yet unexplained".

Winehouse was born in the Southgate area of north London to a Jewish family, who were influential toward her interest in jazz. Winehouse was the younger of two children (older brother Alex) of Mitchell Winehouse, a taxi driver, and Janis Winehouse (née Seaton), a pharmacist. Mitchell often sang Frank Sinatra songs to young Amy, who also took to a constant habit of singing to the point that teachers found it difficult keeping her quiet in class.

When Winehouse was nine years old, her grandmother, Cynthia, suggested she attend the Susi Earnshaw Theatre School for further training. At age ten, Winehouse founded a short-lived rap group called Sweet 'n' Sour with childhood friend Juliette Ashby. She stayed at the Earnshaw school for four years before seeking full time training at Sylvia Young Theatre School, but was allegedly expelled at 14 for "not applying herself" and for piercing her nose. With other children from the Sylvia Young School, she appeared in an episode of The Fast Show in 1997. She later attended the BRIT School in Selhurst, Croydon and attended Southgate School and Ashmole School.

Winehouse's debut album, Frank, was released on 20 October 2003. Produced mainly by Salaam Remi, many songs were influenced by jazz and, apart from two covers, every song was co-written by Winehouse. The album received positive reviews with compliments over the "cool, critical gaze" in its lyrics and brought comparisons of her voice to Sarah Vaughan, Macy Gray and others.

The album entered the upper levels of the UK album chart in 2004 when it was nominated for BRIT Awards in the categories of "British Female Solo Artist" and "British Urban Act". It went on to achieve platinum sales. Later in 2004, she won the Ivor Novello (songwriting) Award for Best Contemporary Song, alongside Salaam Remi, with her contribution to the first single, "Stronger Than Me". The album also made the short list for the 2004 Mercury Music Prize. In the same year, she performed at the Glastonbury Festival, the V Festival, the Montreal International Jazz Festival (7 July 2004, at the Club Soda), and on the Jazzworld stage. After the release of the album, Winehouse commented that she was "only 80 percent behind [the] album" because of the inclusion by her record label of certain songs and mixes she disliked.
In contrast to her jazz-influenced former album, Winehouse's focus shifted to the girl groups of the 1950s and 1960s. Winehouse hired New York singer Sharon Jones's longtime band, the Dap-Kings to back her up in the studio and on tour. In May 2006, Winehouse's demonstration tracks such as "You Know I'm No Good" and "Rehab" appeared on Mark Ronson's New York radio show on East Village Radio. These were some of the first new songs played on the radio after the release of "Pumps" and both were slated to appear on her second album. The 11-track album was produced entirely by Salaam Remi and Ronson, with the production credits being split between them.

Ronson said in a 2010 interview that he liked working with Winehouse because she was blunt when she did not like his work. Promotion of Back to Black soon began and, in early October 2006, Winehouse's official website was relaunched with a new layout and clips of previously unreleased songs. Back to Black was released in the UK on 30 October 2006. It went to number one on the UK Albums Chart numerous times, and entered at number seven on the Billboard 200 in the United States. It was the best-selling album in the UK in 2007, selling 1.85 million copies over the year.

The album spawned a number of singles. The first single released from the album was the Ronson-produced "Rehab". The song reached the top ten in the UK and the US. Time magazine named "Rehab" the Best Song of 2007. Writer Josh Tyrangiel praised Winehouse for her confidence, saying, "What she is is mouthy, funny, sultry, and quite possibly crazy" and "It's impossible not to be seduced by her originality. Combine it with production by Mark Ronson that references four decades worth of soul music without once ripping it off, and you've got the best song of 2007." The album's second single and lead single in the US, "You Know I'm No Good", was released in January 2007 with a remix featuring rap vocals by Ghostface Killah. It ultimately reached number 18 on the UK singles chart. The title track, "Back to Black", was released in the UK in April 2007 and peaked at number 25, but was more successful across mainland Europe. "Tears Dry on Their Own", "Love Is a Losing Game" and "Just Friends" were also released as singles, but failed to achieve the same level of success.

A deluxe edition of Back to Black was also released on 5 November 2007 in the UK. The bonus disc features B-sides, rare, and live tracks, as well as "Valerie". Winehouse's debut DVD I Told You I Was Trouble: Live in London was released the same day in the UK and 13 November in the US. It includes a live set recorded at London's Shepherds Bush Empire. Frank was released in the United States on 20 November 2007 to positive reviews. The album debuted at number 61 on the Billboard 200 chart.
In addition to her own album, she collaborated with other artists on singles. Winehouse was a vocalist on the song "Valerie" on Ronson's solo album Version. The song peaked at number two in the UK, upon its October single release. The song was nominated for a 2008 Brit Award for "Best British Single". Her work with ex-Sugababe Mutya Buena, "B Boy Baby", was released on 17 December 2007. It served as the fourth single from Buena's solo debut album, Real Girl.

Winehouse and Mark Ronson contributed a cover of Lesley Gore's "It's My Party" to the Quincy Jones tribute album Q Soul Bossa Nostra released 9 November 2010. Winehouse and drummer ?uestlove of the Roots had agreed to form a group. Winehouse's problems obtaining a visa delayed the still unnamed group from working together. Producer Salaam Remi has already created some material with Winehouse as part of the project. According to a newspaper report, Universal Music pressed her regarding new material in 2008. According to that same report Winehouse as of 2 September had not been near a recording studio. It was noted that she had touring obligations during the summer and also that if an album was quickly recorded, it would be at least a year before an album could be released. In late October, Winehouse's spokesman was quoted as saying that Winehouse had not been given a deadline to complete her third album, for which she was learning to play drums.

During her 2009 stay in Saint Lucia Winehouse worked on new music with producer Salaam Remi. It was claimed by Island that a new album would be due in 2010, Island co-president Darcus Beese said, "I've heard a couple of song demos that have absolutely floored me". In July 2010 Winehouse was quoted as saying her next album would be released no later than January 2011, saying "It’s going to be very much the same as my second album, where there's a lot of jukebox stuff and songs that are... just jukebox, really." Mark Ronson said in July 2010 that he had not started to record the album.
American singer Tony Bennett recorded a song with Winehouse for his forthcoming album, Duets II, which is scheduled for release on 20 September 2011.

At 3:54 pm BST (14:54 UTC) on 23 July 2011, two ambulances were called to Winehouse's home in Camden, London Shortly afterwards, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that she had died. As of 24 July, the investigation to determine the cause of death, which is described by police as unexplained, is still ongoing.After her death was announced, media and camera crews appeared as crowds gathered near Winehouse’s residence to pay their respects. Forensic investigators entered the flat as police cordoned off the street outside.

Fans and celebrities across the globe quickly began posting their reactions to Winehouse's sudden death on Twitter and other social networks. Winehouse's record label, Universal Republic, released a statement that read in part: "We are deeply saddened at the sudden loss of such a gifted musician, artist and performer."

vineri, 22 iulie 2011

Succes 2011: Lanny Morgan, jazz living legend

Lanny Morgan (b. March 30, 1934, Des Moines, Iowa) is an American jazz alto saxophonist chiefly active on the West Coast jazz scene.
Morgan was raised in Los Angeles. In the 1950s he played with Charlie Barnet, Si Zentner, Terry Gibbs, and Bob Florence, then did a stint in the U.S. military, for which reason he had to turn down an offer to play in the orchestra of Stan Kenton. From 1960-65 he played in Maynard Ferguson's orchestra; after a few years in New York City he returned to Los Angeles in 1969, where he played frequently in the studios, was a member of Supersax, and played in the big bands of Bill Berry, Bob Florence, and Bill Holman.
Countless critics and fans agree-in the U.S. and especially elsewhere-accounting for many repeat tours of the U.K. where he has been a frequent frontliner with British musicians.
As a leader of his own group and a solo performer, he has been on the scene here and abroad since 1960, playing every major jazz club and festival that exists and guesting as soloist/clinician at colleges and universities in nearly every state of the union.

Morgan first came to prominence in New York, as the young lead alto for Maynard Ferguson's Big Band of the sixties, as well as the MF Sextet of the same era, and clubbing with his own group in the Big Apple.
His signature sound has endured from his early years with Ferguson through decades in a career that has spanned an A-Z list of involvement with everyone notable in the recent history of jazz—Supersax, Bill Holman, Frank Capp’s Juggernaut, to name a few.

A significant endorsement of his earned respect was the prestigious guest spot in a 2004 program titled “Bird Lives,” a tribute to revered alto saxman Charlie Parker.
The program spotlighted Morgan in a performance with members of the Pasadena Symphony, reproducing the famous recording of “Charlie Parker with Strings,” and in a quartet setting, playing famous Parker tunes.

The most recent Morgan-led recording, "6" The Lanny Morgan Sextet, documents several of many Morgan-penned originals, “just waiting for the right opportunity to ‘go on record,’” he said. "6" features "the old master" (so-named by Hong Kong Press) with Bob Summers (trumpet), Doug Webb (tenor sax), Tom Ranier (piano), Chuck Berghofer (bass) and Steve Schaeffer (drums), fellow old masters -- some older than others, but all masters in their own right.

His other CDs include a project for Fresh Sound Records, A Suite for Yardbird, Lanny Morgan interprets the compositions of Charlie Parker; Pacific Standard (Contemporary), The Lanny Morgan Quartet (VSOP) and It’s About Time (Quicksilver Records QSCD2024, Palo Alto Jazz Masters).

Overall, credits include TV, movie soundtracks, more than 100 albums, regular guest appearances at major world festivals. Appearances at nearly 100 colleges and high schools coast-to-coast inspired “Lanny’s Licks,” a book for beginning jazz improv students (Rheuben Publications). And, he has been an instructor for several years at Idyllwild Jazz Camp.

joi, 21 iulie 2011

Succes 2011: Gary Player aka Black Knight, one of the greatest players in the history of golf. Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. Has won 165 tournaments on six continents over six decades.

Gary Player is a South African professional golfer. With his nine major championship victories, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of golf. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. Player has won 165 tournaments on six continents over six decades.

Player was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has logged more than 15 million miles in travel, which is claimed to be more than any other athlete. Nicknamed the Black Knight, Mr. Fitness, and the International Ambassador of Golf, Player is also a renowned golf course architect with more than 300 design projects throughout the world. He has also written several golf books.

His business interests are represented by Black Knight International, which includes Gary Player Design, Player Real Estate, and Black Knight Enterprises, aspects of which include licensing, events, publishing, wine, apparel and memorabilia.

The Gary Player Stud Farm has received worldwide acclaim for breeding top thoroughbred race horses, including 1994 Epsom Derby entry Broadway Flyer. He operates The Player Foundation, which has a primary objective of promoting underprivileged education around the world.

In 1983, The Player Foundation established the Blair Atholl Schools in Johannesburg, South Africa, which has educational facilities for more than 500 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. In 2008 it celebrated its 25th Anniversary with charity golf events in London, Palm Beach, Shanghai and Cape Town, bringing its total of funds raised to over US $35 million.

Player is one of the most successful golfers in the history of the sport, ranking third (behind Roberto de Vicenzo and Sam Snead) in total professional wins, with at least 166, and tied for fourth in major championship victories with nine. Along with Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus he is often referred to as one of "The Big Three" golfers of his era – from the late 1950s through the late 1970s – when golf boomed in the United States and around the world, greatly encouraged by expanded television coverage. Along with Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, he is one of only five players to win golf’s "career Grand Slam". He completed the Grand Slam in 1965 at the age of twenty-nine. Player was the second multi-time majors winner from South Africa, following Bobby Locke, then was

Player played regularly on the U.S. based PGA Tour from the late 1950s. He led the money list in 1961, and went on to accumulate 24 career titles. He also played an exceptionally busy schedule all over the world, and he has been called the world's most traveled athlete, clocking up more than 15 million miles. He has more victories than anyone else in the South African Open (13) and the Australian Open (7). He held the record for most victories in the World Match Play Championship, with five wins, from 1973 until 1991 when this feat was equaled by Seve Ballesteros, finally losing his share of the record in 2004, when Ernie Els won the event for a sixth time. Player was ever-present in the top ten of Mark McCormack's world golf rankings from their inception in 1968 until 1981; he was ranked second on those rankings in 1969, 1970 and 1972, each time behind Jack Nicklaus, and had those rankings been based on just the most recent two seasons (like their modern counterpart), Player would have been number one several times.

He was the only player in the 20th century to win the British Open in three different decades. His first win, as a 23-year-old in 1959 at Muirfield, came after he double-bogeyed the last hole, and broke down in tears thinking he had lost his chance, but none of the remaining players on the course could match the clubhouse lead he had set. In 1974, he became one of the few golfers in history to win two major championships in the same season. Player last won the U.S. Masters in 1978, when he started seven strokes behind the leaders entering the final round, and won by one shot with birdies at seven of the last 10 holes for a back nine 30 and a final round 64. One week later, Player came from seven strokes back in the final round to win the Tournament of Champions. In 1984, at the age of 48, Player nearly became the oldest ever major champion, finishing just behind Lee Trevino at the PGA Championship. And in gusty winds at the 1998 Masters, he became the oldest golfer ever to make to the cut, breaking the 25-year-old record set by Sam Snead. Player credited this feat to his dedication to the concept of diet, health, practise and golf fitness.

Being South African, Player never played in the Ryder Cup in which American and European golfers compete against each other. Regarding the event, Player remarked, "The things I have seen in the Ryder Cup have disappointed me. You are hearing about hatred and war." He was no longer an eligible player when the Presidents Cup was established to give international players the opportunity to compete in a similar event, but he was non-playing captain of the International Team for the Presidents Cup in 2003, which was held on a course he designed, The Links at Fancourt, in George, South Africa. After 2003 ended in a tie, he was reappointed as captain for the 2005 Presidents Cup, and his team lost to the Americans 15.5 to 18.5. Both Player and Jack Nicklaus were appointed to captain their respective teams again in 2007 in Canada; the United States won.

In 2000 he was voted "Sportsman of the Century" in South Africa. In 1966, Gary Player was awarded the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. The "Gary Player – A Global Journey" exhibition was launched by the Hall of Fame as of March, 2006.

In 2000, Player was ranked as the eighth greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine.

In 2002, Player was voted as the second greatest global golfer of all time by a panel of international media, golf magazines and fellow professionals conducted by the leading Golf Asia Magazine.

On 10 April 2009, he played for the last time in The Masters, where he was playing for his record 52nd time. He was the last of The Big Three (Nicklaus, Player & Palmer) to retire from this tournament, a testament to his longevity.

On 23 July 2009, at the age of 73, Player competed in the Senior British Open Championship at Sunningdale Golf Club, 53 years after capturing his maiden European Tour victory at the Berkshire venue.

miercuri, 20 iulie 2011

Succes 2011: Heike Daute Drechsler, one of the most successful female long jumpers of all time. Two times world champion. The only woman who has won two Olympic gold medals in the long jump

Heike Gabriela Drechsler née Daute (born 16 December 1964 in Gera, Thuringia, then East Germany) is a German track and field athlete. She is one of the most successful female long jumpers of all time and also had several successes in sprint disciplines.

She is the only woman who has won two Olympic gold medals in the long jump (1992 and 2000). She also won two World Championships in the long jump (1983 and 1993), as well as gold medals in the long jump and the 200 m sprint in the World Indoor Championships 1987. In addition, she had numerous successes in European and German championships.

Drechsler's greatest rival in the long jump was Jackie Joyner-Kersee, with whom she was also very good friends.
In 1986, Drechsler twice equalled Marita Koch's 200 metres sprint world record and set two long jump world records and equalled one in 1985 and 1986. As of 2000[update], she had more than four hundred long jump competitions with results over seven meters, more than any other female athlete.

As teenager she was active in the Free German Youth (FDJ) and in 1984 she was elected to the Volkskammer of East Germany.

Several German websites, including her own, claim that Heike Drechsler was voted "Athlete of the Century" in 1999 by the IAAF. This is not quite correct: she was put on the "shortlist" but the award was given to Fanny Blankers-Koen.
World records

Long Jump:
1983: 7.14 meters Bratislava / (Juniors)
1985: 7.44 meters Berlin
1986: 7.45 meters Tallinn
1986: 7.45 meters Dresden
In 1992 Heike Drechsler jumped 7.63 m at altitude in Sestriere Italy with a 2.1 m / sec. wind, over the allowable. That jump is 11 cm longer than the current world record. Her personal best under legal conditions was 7.48 set in Neubrandenburg July 9, 1994, which is still the #4 jump of all time.[1]
200-meter run:
1986: 21.71 seconds Jena
1986: 21.71 seconds Stuttgart
1981: 5891 Points (Junior)

marți, 19 iulie 2011

Succes 2011: Steffi Nerius, the javelin throw reigning World Champion

Steffi Nerius (born 1 July 1972 in Bergen auf Rügen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) is a German athlete competing in the javelin throw. She won silver at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and is the reigning World Champion; she is also a three-time bronze medalist at that level.

Initially playing volleyball in school, she was too short for a career in this sport and switched to athletics instead. She was taught javelin throw by her mother, a former javelin thrower. Her first international success was a third place at the 1991 Junior's European Championships.

Her first major gold medal came at the 2006 European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg. From 2003 to 2006 she won four consecutive national championships.

Her personal best throw is 68.34 metres, achieved on 31 August 2008 in Elstal. This ranks her second among German javelin throwers, behind Christina Obergföll. The throw also marked a world's best for javelin throwers elder than 35.

* 9th (60.20 m) at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia
* 4th (64.84 m) at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney
* 5th (62.08 m) at the 2001 World Championships
* 2nd (64.09 m) at the 2002 European Championships
* 3rd (62.70 m) at the 2003 World Championships
* 2nd (65.82 m) at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens
* 3rd (61.16 m) at the 2004 IAAF World Athletics Final
* 3rd (65.96 m) at the 2005 World Championships
* 2nd (66.35 m) at the 2005 IAAF World Athletics Final
* 1st (65.82 m) at the 2006 European Championships
* 2nd (65.06 m) at the 2006 IAAF World Athletics Final
* 3rd (64.42 m) at the 2007 World Championships
* 2nd (64.90 m) at the 2007 IAAF World Athletics Final
* 5th (65.29 m) at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing
* 3rd (62.78 m) at the 2008 IAAF World Athletics Final
* 1st (67.30 m) at the 2009 World Championships

luni, 18 iulie 2011

Succes 2011: Yaroslava Shvedova, winner of the 2010 Wimbledon and US Open Ladies' Doubles tennis titles

Yaroslava Vyacheslavovna Shvedova (Russian: Яросла́ва Вячесла́вовна Шве́дова, born 12 September 1987 in Moscow) is a Kazakhstani professional tennis player of Russian descent.

She has achieved a career high ranking of No. 29 as of 21 June 2010. She has won 1 WTA singles title, 3 ITF Women's Circuit singles titles and 3 doubles titles, including the 2010 Wimbledon and US Open Ladies' Doubles titles. She was taught tennis at the age of six by her father who is currently her coach. She has made one Grand Slam singles quarterfinal, at the 2010 French Open.

In February 2007, she unexpectedly reached the final of the Sony Ericsson International, beating homecrowd favourite and No.2 seed Sania Mirza in the quarterfinals, 6–7 (2–7), 6–4, 6–4. In the final, she defeated top-seeded defending champion Mara Santangelo 6–4, 6–4, to win her first WTA Tour title.[3][4] This win caused her to be in the top 100 for the first time, at 78.

At the 2007 Miami Masters, she came through qualifying and impressively recorded her first-ever top 20 win over future number one Ana Ivanović in the second round, beating her 7–5, 6–4. Tathiana Garbin beat her 4–6, 6–3, 6–2 in the third round.

In August 2008, she won an ITF title in Monterrey, Mexico, defeating Magdaléna Rybáriková in the final 6–4, 6–1. Just over a week later, she won through the qualifying rounds for 2008 US Open, but lost to Agnieszka Radwańska in the first round 4–6, 2–6.

In 2009, Shvedova qualified for the main draw of Roland Garros, defeating Americans Shenay Perry in the first qualifying round 6–4, 6–4 and Angela Haynes, 6–1, 6–2 in the second qualifying round. She then beat Elena Baltacha 6–2, 6–2 in the final qualifying round to enter the main draw. She beat Kaia Kanepi in the first round and advanced to the third round after defeating Arantxa Rus, also a qualifier, in the second. There she lost in a close 3rd round match to former number one Maria Sharapova, returning from a long-lasting shoulder injury and then ranked 102, 6–1, 3–6, 4–6.

At the 2009 Wimbledon Championships in the first round she faced Romanian Monica Niculescu and demolished her 6–1, 6–0, but lost 6–3, 2–6, 4–6 to American teenager Melanie Oudin in the second. At the 2009 U.S. Open, Shvedova pulled off the biggest win of her career by beating then No. 5 Jelena Janković 6–3, 6–7(4), 7–6(6), in a match where she saved two match points.


Shvedova experienced a good run at the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. She gained direct entry into the main draw and won a tight first round match against wildcard Ajla Tomljanović 6–7(1), 7–6(3), 7–5. She then defeated 23rd seed Sabine Lisicki in the second round after she retired whilst trailing 3–6, 1–0. In the third round, Shvedova advanced against unseeded Andrea Petkovic by winning another close match 6–0, 5–7, 7–5. She fell to 6th seed Agnieszka Radwańska 6–1, 6–4 in the fourth round.

At the 2010 Barcelona Ladies Open Shvedova defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues 6–1, 6–4 in the first round before upsetting 4th seed Maria Kirilenko 4–6, 6–2, 6–2 in the second round. Next, she defeated Iveta Benešová 6–4, 6–4, before falling to eventual tournament and 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in the semifinals.

Shvedova enjoyed arguably her best career result at the 2010 French Open. There, she advanced to the quarterfinals in the Women's Singles competition. Shvedova defeated 8th seed Agnieszka Radwańska, avenging her loss to her in Miami, en route to the quarters. As the last unseeded player in the tournament, Shvedova was defeated by 4th seed Jelena Janković in the quarterfinal, 7–5, 6–4. In mixed doubles, Shvedova partnered with Julian Knowle of Austria to reach the final, beating doubles legends Cara Black and Leander Paes, the second seeds, along the way. They fell 4–6, 7–6(5), [11–9] in a nailbighting final to sixth seeds Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia and Nenad Zimonjić of Serbia.

At the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, Shvedova entered the Women's Doubles competition unseeded with partner Vania King. The two began playing together at the start of the grass court season two weeks before, and were only in their third event together. In a stunning string of upsets, Shvedova and King won the tournament, beating Elena Vesnina and Vera Zvonareva 7–6(6), 6–2 in the final. The pairing they beat in the final beat Serena and Venus Williams in the quarterfinals, and Zvonareva lost in the women's singles final.

Both Shvedova and King continued their good form onto the hard courts of the 2010 US Open, being seeded 6th, the team continued to win match after match before taking a spot in their second consecutive Grand Slam final, this time facing Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova. King and Shvedova won 2–6, 6–4, 7–6(4) after the match was played over two days due to heavy rainfall.

duminică, 17 iulie 2011

Succes 2011: Robert F. Curl Jr, laureat al Premiului Nobel pentru Chimie (1996). A Superstar of Science

Robert Floyd Curl, Jr. (born August 23, 1933) the son of a Methodist Minister is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio, Texas and is an emeritus professor of chemistry at Rice University.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 for the discovery of fullerene (with the late Richard Smalley, also of Rice University, and Harold Kroto of the University of Sussex).

Born in Alice, Texas, United States, Curl received a B.A. from Rice Institute in 1954 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1957.
Professor Curl's current research interests involve physical chemistry, developing DNA genotyping and sequencing instrumentation, and creating quantum cascade laser-based mid-infrared trace gas monitoring instrumentation.

Curl often attended the German table at Hanszen College at Rice University. However, he is more known in the residential college life at Rice University for being the first master of Lovett College.

vineri, 15 iulie 2011

Succes 2011: Astronaut Guion Bluford, the first African American in space

Guion “Guy” Bluford, Jr. (born November 22, 1942), is an engineer, retired Colonel from the United States Air Force and a former NASA Astronaut. He participated in four Space Shuttle flights between 1983 and 1992. In 1983, as a member of the crew of the space shuttle Challenger on mission STS-8, Bluford became the first African American in space, and the second person of African ancestry, after the Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez.

Bluford was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Guion (a mechanical engineer) and Lolita (a special education teacher), and graduated from Overbrook High School. He received a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 1964, an M.S. in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in 1974, a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering with a minor in laser physics, again from AFIT, in 1978, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston–Clear Lake in 1987. He married Linda Tull in 1964 and had two sons,Guion III and James.

Bluford attended pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, and received his pilot wings in January 1966. He then went to F-4C combat crew training in Arizona and Florida and was assigned to the 557th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. He flew 144 combat missions, 65 of which were over North Vietnam.
In July 1967, he was assigned to the 3,630th Flying Training Wing, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, as a T-38A instructor pilot. He served as a standardization/evaluation officer and as an assistant flight commander. In early 1971, he attended Squadron Officers School and returned as an executive support officer to the Deputy Commander of Operations and as School Secretary for the Wing.

In August 1972, he entered the Air Force Institute of Technology residency school at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Upon graduating in 1974 with his master's degree, he was assigned to the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as a staff development engineer. He served as deputy for advanced concepts for the Aeromechanics Division and as branch chief of the Aerodynamics and Airframe Branch in the Laboratory. Bluford has written and presented several scientific papers in the area of computational fluid dynamics. He has logged over 5,200 hours of jet flight time in the T-33, T-37, T-38, F-4C, U-2/TR-1|, and F-5A/B, including 1,300 hours as a T-38 instructor pilot. He also has an FAA commercial pilot license. Member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
Bluford became a NASA astronaut in August 1979. His technical assignments have included working with Space Station operations, the Remote Manipulator System (RMS), Spacelab systems and experiments, Space Shuttle systems, payload safety issues and verifying flight software in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) and in the Flight Systems Laboratory (FSL). Bluford was a mission specialist on STS-8, STS-61-A, STS-39, and STS-53.

Bluford's first mission was STS-8, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 30, 1983. This was the third flight for the Orbiter Challenger and the first mission with a night launch and night landing. During the mission, the STS-8 crew deployed the Indian National Satellite (INSAT-1B); operated the Canadian-built RMS with the Payload Flight Test Article (PFTA); operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES) with live cell samples; conducted medical measurements to understand biophysiological effects of space flight; and activated four "Getaway Special" canisters. STS-8 completed 98 orbits of the Earth in 145 hours before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on September 5, 1983.
Bluford then served on the crew of STS-61-A, the German D-1 Spacelab mission, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on October 30, 1985. This mission was the first to carry eight crew members, the largest crew to fly in space and included three European payload specialists. This was the first dedicated Spacelab mission under the direction of the German Aerospace Research Establishment (DFVLR) and the first U.S. mission in which payload control was transferred to a foreign country (German Space Operations Center, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany).

During the mission, the Global Low Orbiting Message Relay Satellite (GLOMR) was deployed from a "Getaway Special" (GAS) container, and 76 experiments were performed in Spacelab in such fields as fluid physics, materials processing, life sciences, and navigation. After completing 111 orbits of the Earth in 169 hours, Challenger landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on November 6, 1985.

Bluford also served on the crew of STS-39, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 28, 1991, aboard the Orbiter Discovery. The crew gathered aurora, Earth-limb, celestial, and Shuttle environment data with the AFP-675 payload. This payload consisted of the Cryogenic Infrared Radiance Instrumentation for Shuttle (CIRRIS-1A) experiment, Far Ultraviolet Camera experiment (FAR UV), the Uniformly Redundant Array (URA), the Quadrupole Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (QINMS), and the Horizon Ultraviolet Program (HUP) experiment.

The crew also deployed and retrieved the SPAS-II which carried the Infrared Background Signature Survey (IBSS) experiment. The crew also operated the Space Test Payload-1 (STP-1) and deployed a classified payload from the Multi-Purpose Experiment Canister (MPEC). After completing 134 orbits of the Earth and 199 hours in space, Discovery landed at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on May 6, 1991.

More recently, Bluford served on the crew of STS-53 which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on December 2, 1992. The crew of five deployed the classified Department of Defense payload DOD-1 and then performed several Military-Man-in-Space and NASA experiments. After completing 115 orbits of the Earth in 175 hours, Discovery landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on December 9, 1992.

With the completion of his fourth flight, Bluford has logged over 688 hours in space.

Bluford left NASA in July 1993 to take the post of Vice President/General Manager, Engineering Services Division of NYMA, Greenbelt, Maryland. In May, 1997, he became Vice President of the Aerospace Sector of Federal Data Corporation and in October, 2000, became the Vice President of Microgravity R&D and Operations for the Northrop Grumman Corporation. He retired from Northrop Grumman in September, 2002 to become the President of the Aerospace Technology, an engineering consulting organization in Cleveland, Ohio.

He was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1997, and inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2010.

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Bluford on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. In 2006, Bluford was recognized as a distinguished alumnus of Penn State by being selected as the Grand Marshal for his alma mater's Homecoming celebration.

Bluford, an Eagle Scout, was designated as the emissary to return the Challenger flag to Boy Scout Troop 514 of Monument, Colorado in December, 1986. On December 18 of that year, he presented the flag to the troop in a special ceremony at Falcon Air Force Base.

joi, 14 iulie 2011

Cesare Prandelli, the manager of the Italy national football team

Cesare Claudio Prandelli (born 19 August 1957 in Orzinuovi, province of Brescia) is an Italian football coach and former player. He is currently the manager of the Italy national football team.

Prandelli, a midfielder, started his playing career at Cremonese in 1974. He then moved to Atalanta in 1978, and then Juventus in 1979. He played six seasons with Juventus, winning the Serie A championship three times. He returned to Atalanta in 1985, where he ended his career in 1990. In total, Prandelli played 197 Serie A matches.

Prandelli started his managing career as youth team coach for Atalanta. He coached Atalanta's youth squad with excellent results from 1990 to 1997, except for a seven-months parenthesis, from November 1993 to June 1994, in which he served as caretaker for the first team, then relegated to Serie B. After a poor 1997–98 Serie A campaign as Lecce head coach ended in a sacking in January 1998, Prandelli headed Hellas Verona for two seasons, leading the gialloblu to an immediate promotion to Serie A, and then to a very good ninth place the next year. He later spent two years with Parma, where he fully reached national glory.

Starting the 2004–05 season for AS Roma, he left the team because of personal problems involving his wife, with her being seriously ill.

Prandelli joined Fiorentina as manager in the summer of 2005. His first season in Tuscany proved to be a huge success, as Prandelli transformed Fiorentina from relegation strugglers into a team worthy of a UEFA Champions League spot, finishing the season in fourth place. Unfortunately for Fiorentina and Prandelli however, as a result of the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal, Fiorentina were stripped of their Champions League spot and started the 2006–07 season in Serie A with a 15 point deduction.

The next year, despite the points deduction, Prandelli was able to guide Fiorentina to a 6th place finish in Serie A (with the same point tally as 5th placed Palermo), securing UEFA Cup qualification for the 2007–08 season. The team did very well in the competition, losing the penalty shootout against Rangers in the semi-final. In Serie A, the team finished fourth after winning a long race against Milan, earning a ticket to participate in the UEFA Champions League. His wife died during the season, making Prandelli's efforts all the more impressive.

For his work in the 2007–08 season, Prandelli was awarded the Serie A Coach of the Year at the "Oscar del calcio" awards in early 2009. He later managed to get Fiorentina into the group phase, after defeating SK Slavia Praha in the third qualifying round, and also guided Fiorentina to another fourth place spot, this time winning competition to Genoa (who ended the season with the same points as Fiorentina, but were classified at fifth due to head-to-head results) and a second consecutive participation in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds. After the departure of Carlo Ancelotti, Prandelli's tenure as Fiorentina became the longest of all incumbent Serie A managers.

In 2009, Prandelli surpassed Fulvio Bernardini as the longest serving manager in Fiorentina history, and guided the viola to a historic qualification in the round of 16 of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League, where they were controversially eliminated by Bayern Munich (who later went on to qualify to the final) through the away goals rule. However, Prandelli did not manage to repeat such successes at the domestic stage, with things being made even more complex by his key player Adrian Mutu being suspended due to doping-related issues. Fiorentina ended the 2009–10 Serie A in eleventh place, well far from the top spots of the league.

On 20 May 2010 Fiorentina confirmed that Prandelli was given permission to hold talks with Italian Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete to replace Marcello Lippi as head coach of the Italian national team after the 2010 FIFA World Cup. On 30 May, the Italian Football Federation publicly announced that Prandelli will take over from Lippi at the head of the Azzurri after the 2010 FIFA World Cup.His official debut arrived on 10 August 2010, in a friendly match against Ivory Coast at the Boleyn Ground, finishing in a 0–1 defeat.

Then, during the 2012 Euro Qualifiers, Italy came back from behind to defeat Estonia 2-1. Italy's mtach against Serbia was plagued by crowd trouble and UEFA subsequently awarded Italy a 3-0 victory, putting them in pole position of their group. On March 25. 2011, Italy recorded a 1-0 win over Slovenia to secure their spot at the top of the qualification table. Before the Slovenia game, Prandelli said: “The moment has come for us to have faith in the former greats of our football and learn from them”. “My instruction is to work, work, work and I sincerely believe in rebuilding" he continued. “I don’t think it’s incredible the huge number of talents that Slovenia are producing, nothing is incredible if you program and cultivate your ideas about football."

marți, 12 iulie 2011

Succes 2011: Vint Cerf, father of the Internet

Vinton Gray "Vint" Cerf is an American computer scientist, who is recognized as one of "the fathers of the Internet", sharing this title with American computer scientist Bob Kahn. His contributions have been acknowledged and lauded, repeatedly, with honorary degrees, and awards that include the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and membership in the National Academy of Engineering.

In the early days, Cerf was a program manager for the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funding various groups to develop TCP/IP technology. When the Internet began to transition to a commercial opportunity during the late 1980s,[citation needed] Cerf moved to MCI where he was instrumental in the development of the first commercial email system (MCI Mail) connected to the Internet.

Vinton Cerf was instrumental in the funding and formation of ICANN from the start. Cerf waited in the wings for a year before he stepped forward to join the ICANN Board. Eventually he became the Chairman of ICANN.

Cerf has worked for Google as its Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist since September 2005. In this function he has become well known for his predictions on how technology will affect future society, encompassing such areas as artificial intelligence, environmentalism, the advent of IPv6 and the transformation of the television industry and its delivery model.

Cerf also went to the same high school as Jon Postel and Steve Crocker; he wrote the former's obituary. Both were also instrumental in the creation of the Internet as we know it (see articles).

Since 2010, Cerf has served as a Commissioner for the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, a UN body which aims to make broadband internet technologies more widely available.

Cerf was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Muriel (née Gray), a homemaker, and Vinton Thurston Cerf, an aerospace executive. Cerf's first job after obtaining his B.S. degree in Mathematics from Stanford University was at IBM, where he worked for less than two years as a systems engineer supporting QUIKTRAN. He left IBM to attend graduate school at UCLA where he earned his M.S. degree in 1970 and his Ph.D. degree in 1972. During his graduate student years, he studied under Professor Gerald Estrin, worked in Professor Leonard Kleinrock's data packet networking group that connected the first two nodes of the ARPANet, the predecessor to the Internet, and "contributed to a host-to-host protocol" for the ARPANet. While at UCLA, he also met Robert E. Kahn, who was working on the ARPANet hardware architecture. After receiving his doctorate, Cerf became an assistant professor at Stanford University from 1972–1976, where he conducted research on packet network interconnection protocols and co-designed the DoD TCP/IP protocol suite with Kahn.

Cerf then moved to DARPA in 1976, where he stayed until 1982.

As vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982–1986, Cerf led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet. Cerf rejoined MCI during 1994 and served as Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy. In this role, he helped to guide corporate strategy development from a technical perspective. Previously, he served as MCI's senior vice president of Architecture and Technology, leading a team of architects and engineers to design advanced networking frameworks, including Internet-based solutions for delivering a combination of data, information, voice and video services for business and consumer use.

During 1997, Cerf joined the Board of Trustees of Gallaudet University, a university for the education of the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Cerf is hard of hearing.

Cerf joined the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 1999, and served until the end of 2007.

Cerf is a member of the Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov's IT Advisory Council, a group created by Presidential Decree on March 8, 2002. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Eurasia Group, the political risk consultancy.
Cerf is also working on the Interplanetary Internet, together with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It will be a new standard to communicate from planet to planet, using radio/laser communications that are tolerant of signal degradation.

During February 2006, Cerf testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation's Hearing on “Network Neutrality”. Speaking as Google's Chief Internet Evangelist, Cerf blamed the anticompetitive intentions and practices of telecommunications conglomerates like Comcast and Verizon for the fact that nearly half of all consumers lack meaningful choice in broadband providers.Google made a bid in 2006 to offer free wireless broadband access throughout the city of San Francisco in conjunction with Internet service provider Earthlink, Inc.Vertically-integrated telecommunications incumbents like Comcast and Verizon opposed such efforts on the part of Silicon Valley firms like Google and Intel (which promotes the WiMax standard) as undermining their revenue in a form of "unfair competition" whereby cities would violate their commitments to offer local monopolies to telecommunications conglomerates. Google currently offers free wi-fi access in its hometown of Mountain View, California.

Cerf currently serves on the board of advisors of Scientists and Engineers for America, an organization focused on promoting sound science in American government. He also serves on the advisory council of CRDF Global.
Cerf is on the board of trustees of ARIN, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) of IP addresses for United States, Canada, and part of the Caribbean.

Cerf is on the board of directors of StopBadware, a non-profit anti-malware organization that Google has supported since its inception as a project at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

Cerf is on the board of advisors of The Hyperwords Company Ltd of the UK, which works to make the web more usefully interactive and which has produced the free Firefox Add-On called 'Hyperwords'.

During 2008 Cerf chaired the IDNAbis working group of the IETF.

Cerf was a major contender to be designated the nation's first Chief Technology Officer by President Barack Obama.

Cerf is the co-chair of Campus Party Silicon Valley, the US edition of one of the largest technology festivals in the world, along with Al Gore and Tim Berners-Lee.