- Every country is proud of its
outstanding people. Russia can be really proud of its great people. Russian
scientists and inventors made a great contribution to the development of arts,
science, technology, medicine. Their names are world-known. Almost in every
field of human activity they achieved great results. M. Lomonosov was one of
the most learned men in Europe. He was an outstanding innovator both in the
humanities and sciences. He inspired the foundation of the first Russian
University. Mendeleev's greatest discovery was the Periodic System of Elements.
Russia is rightly called the mother of aviation and interplanetary navigation.
- Who are you going to talk about?
- I admire the achievements of the
Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. Ivan Pavlov is known chiefly for his
development of the concept of the conditioned reflex. In a now-classic
experiment, Pavlov trained a hungry dog to salivate at the sound of a bell,
which was previously associated with the sight of food. He developed a similar
conceptual approach, emphasizing the importance of conditioning, in his
pioneering studies relating human behaviour to the nervous system.
- Was Pavlov's work appreciated?
- Yes, certainly. Ivan Pavlov was
awarded the Nobel Prize for physiology in 1904.
- What do you know about Pavlov's
- Pavlov, the son of a priest, was
born on September 14, 1849. He spent his youth in Ryazan. In 1870 he entered
the University of St. Petersburg, where he studied chemistry and physiology.
After receiving the M.D. at the Imperial Medical Academy in St. Peters burg, he
studied in Germany. Pavlov's first independent research was on the physiology of
the circulatory system. From 1888 to 1890 in St. Petersburg he investigated
cardiac physiology and the regulation of blood pressure. In 1890 he became
professor of physiology.
- What law did Pavlov formulate?
- Pavlov formulated the law of the
- How long was the scientist
occupied with the subject?
- The subject occupied Pavlov's
attention from about 1898 until 1930.
- What did Pavlov try to explain
with his law?
- From about 1930 to 1936, Pavlov
tried to apply his law to the explanation of human psychoses. During this
period Pavlov announced the important principle of the language function in the
human activity as based on long chains of conditioned reflexes involving words.
The function of language involves not only words, he held, but an elaboration
of generalizations. Pavlov's work laid the basis for the scientific analysis of
- Who else glorified Russia?
- Tsiolkovsky did.
- What is Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
- Konstantin Tsiolkovsky is the
father of rocket flying. He was among the first to work out the theoretical
problems of rocket travel in space. He is the greatest Russian research
scientist in aeronautics and astronautics who pioneered rocket and space re
search and the development and use of wind tunnels for aerodynamic studies.
- What family did Konstantin
Tsiolkovsky come from?
- Tsiolkovsky's father was a
- What event had an important impact
on his early life?
- At the age of nine Tsiolkovsky
lost his hearing. He had to study at home. The boy became withdrawn and lonely,
yet self- reliant. Books became his friends. He developed an interest in
mathematics and physics and, while still a teenager, began to speculate on
- Did Konstantin Tsiolkovsky study
- At 16 Konstantin Tsiolkovsky went
to Moscow to study chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, and mechanics. Listening
to the lectures with the aid of an ear trumpet, he expanded his grasp of the
problems of flight. But in 1876 Tsiolkovsky's father called him home to Vyatka.
- What did Tsiolkovsky do then?
- Konstantin Tsiolkovsky passed the
teachers examination and was assigned to a school in Borovsk, about 100 km from
Moscow. There he began his teaching career. Then Tsiolkovsky was transferred to
another teaching post in Kaluga
- What did Konstantin Tsiolkovsky do
in Kaluga besides teaching?
- There in Kaluga Konstantin
Tsiolkovsky carried out his re search in astronautics and aeronautics. While
investigating aerodynamics, however, Tsiolkovsky began to devote more attention
to space problems.
- Did Konstantin Tsiolkovsky publish
books and articles on the problems he studied?
- In 1895 Tsiolkovsky's book
"Dreams of Earth and Sky" was published, and in 1896 he published an
article on communication with inhabitants of other planets. That same year he
also began to write his largest and most serious work on astronautics.
"Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices" dealt with
theoretical problems of using rocket engines in space, including heat transfer,
a navigating mechanism, heating resulting from air friction, and maintenance of
- What did Konstantin Tsiolkovsky do
later in life?
- In the final 18 years of his life,
Tsiolkovsky continued his re search on a wide variety of scientific problems.
His contributions to stratospheric exploration and interplanetary flight were
particularly noteworthy and played a significant role in contemporary
astronautics. In 1919 Tsiolkovsky was elected to the Academy of Sciences.
- Russia is proud of its outstanding
painters. Who are going to talk about?
- My talk is about Vassily Perov. He
was the leader of the critical movement of the 1860s. In his paintings Perov
expressed his protest against the unjustness of society. The son of a public
prosecutor, Perov studied at Arzamas at the Art School of Alexander Stupin.
During the 1850s Perov attended the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and
Architecture. Pavel Fedotov's domestic scenes, William Hogarth's pictorial
satire and genre painting of the "Little masters" had a great
influence on Perov. In his early works the artist criticized social behaviour.
Perov's compositions show the painter's profound knowledge of the people's
routine life. Perov reached the peak of his success as a genre painter in the
later half of the 1860s.
- Can you tell us about one of
Perov's well-known works of art?
- "The Last Inn at the City
Gate" (or "The Last Pub") is considered to be one of the best
art works of Russian painting. The artist depicts the city outskirts on a dark
winter evening. A sledge in front of the inn, the sign "Parting", a
girl in the cold street, the city gate with the Russian coats of arms and the
road to nowhere - all these attain a symbolic meaning. The dark, muted colours
convey the feeling of loneliness in the cold estranged world.
- What other paintings were created
- Perov was the founding-member of
the Wanderers. During the 1870s he created portraits of such outstanding
Russian personalities as Alexander Ostrovsky and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Perov's
genre paintings of the 1870s present a sympathetic and humorous, rather than
tragic treatment of everyday life. The "Hunters Resting", of 1871,
became one of the most popular Russian Realism canvases.
- What trend did Perov turn to at
the end of his career?
- In his later life like other
Wanderers, Perov turned to monumental historical paintings. "Nikita
Pustosvyat. The Dispute about Faith", is very expressive. The Wanderers
contributed much to the development of Russian historical painting, the peak of
which is the brilliant canvases of Vassily Surikov.
- What movement did Perov's works of
- Perov's work was extremely varied
and at times showed un expected stylistic potential. Some of his late religious
and allegorical paintings foreshadowed Symbolism and Art Nouveau.
- Who were Perov's pupils?
- Perov was a perfect teacher. From
1871 he taught at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.
Among his pupils were Nikolay Kasatkin, Sergey Korovin, Mikhail Nesterov and
- Can you tell us about an
outstanding British politician?
- I can tell you about Winston
Churchill. This formidable politician became Prime Minister in May 1940. This
was one of the rare moments when events and the man were to be perfectly
matched. Winston Churchill, then aged sixty four, saw himself as destined for
- What kind of man was Winston
- Sir Winston Churchill led Great
Britain from the brink of de feat to victory as wartime prime minister. He was
not only a determinant leader, author, orator, and statesman he perfectly knew
the history of the country, and was powerful enough to hold people together.
Yet Winston Churchill was a man of contrasts. He was a democrat unable to see
that Britain's colonial subjects deserved democracy too; decisive, yet a poor
manager of his own cabinet; far-sighted and effective in his own view and
practice of global diplomacy, stubbornly wrong-headed at times about military
strategy. Winner of the most crucial war in Britain's history he was
immediately dismissed by the British electorate from all further conduct of
- What did Winston Churchill do in
- In his youth, in India, Sudan and
the Boer war, Winston Churchill was a daring officer and a war correspondent.
After a sensational rise to prominence in national politics before World War I,
he acquired a reputation for erratic judgement in the war itself and in the
decade that followed.
- What do you know about Winston
Churchill's activity from 1939 onward?
- Politically suspect in
consequence, he was a lonely figure until his response to Adolf Hitler's
challenge brought him to leader ship of a national coalition in 1940. With
Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin he shaped Allied strategy in World War
II, and after the breakdown of the alliance he alerted the West to the
expansionist threat of the Soviet Union. He led the Conservative Party back to
office in 1951 and remained prime minister until 1955, when ill health forced
- Can tell us about a great British
- Yes, certainly. I shall to tell
you about Lord Byron, an English Romantic poet and satirist whose poetry and
personality captured the imagination of Europe. Renowned as the "gloomy
egoist" of his autobiographical poem "Childe Harold's
Pilgrimage" in the 19th century, he is now more generally esteemed for the
satiric realism of "Don Juan".
- What family did Byron come from?
- Byron came from a well-to-do
family but his father squandered most of his mother fortune. At the age of 10,
Byron unexpectedly inherited the title and estates of his great-uncle William,
the 5th Baron Byron. Byron went to Harrow, one of the most prestigious schools
of England. In 1805 Byron entered Trinity College, Cambridge.
- Were Byron's first books popular?
- In 1806 Byron had his early poems
privately printed in a volume entitled "Fugitive Pieces". Byron's
first published volume of poetry "Hours of Idleness" appeared in
1807. A sarcastic critique of the book in "The Edinburgh Review"
provoked his retaliation in 1809 with a couplet satire "English Bards and
Scotch Reviewers" in which he attacked the contemporary literary scene.
This work gained him his first recognition.
- Was Byron interested in politics?
- Yes, of course. In 1809 Byron took
his seat in the House of Lords. In February 1812 he made his first speech in
the House of Lords.
- What poem brought Byron fame?
- "Childe Harold's
Pilgrimage" did. At the beginning of March 1812, the first two cantos of
"Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" came out and Byron "woke to find
himself famous." The poem describes the travels and reflections of a young
man who, disillusioned with a life of pleasure, looks for distraction in
foreign lands. Besides the description of Byron's own wanderings through the
Mediterranean, the first two cantos express the melancholy and disillusionment
felt by a generation weary of the wars of the post-Revolutionary and Napoleonic
- What other verse tales did Byron
- Byron created a number of gloomy
verse tales. "The Giaour". "The Bride of Abydos", "The
Corsair" sold 10,000 copies on the day of publication. Byron went abroad
in April 1816, never to re turn to England. At Geneva Byron wrote the third
canto of "Childe Harold". In 1817 he created the poetic drama
"Manfred" whose protagonist reflects Byron's own Romantic spirit. In
1817 Byron wrote his greatest poem "Don Juan". In this poem Byron was
able to free himself from the excessive melancholy and reveal other sides of
his character and personality - his satiric wit, and his unique view of the
comic rather than the tragic discrepancy between reality and appearance.
- Did Byron take part in any war?
- In 1823 Byron participated in the
struggle of the Greeks for their independence from the Turks. He sent ? 4,000
of his own money to prepare the Greek fleet for sea service. Byron made efforts
to unite various Greek factions. He took personal command of a brigade of Greek
soldiers. But a serious illness in February 1824 weakened him, and in April he
contracted the fever from which he died. Deeply mourned, he became a symbol of
disinterested patriotism and a Greek national hero.
- What do Byron's works reveal?
- Lord Byron's writings are more
autobiographic than even those of his fellow self-revealing Romantics. Upon
close examination the paradox of his complex character can be resolved into
understandable elements. Byron early became aware of reality's imperfections,
but the scepticism and cynicism bred of his disillusionment coexisted with a
lifelong tendency to seek ideal perfection in all of life's experiences.
Consequently, he alternated between deep-seated melancholy and humorous mockery
in his reaction to the disparity between real life and his unattainable ideals.
The melancholy of "Childe Harold" and the satiric realism of
"Don Juan" are thus two sides of the same coin.
- Can you tell us about an American
- Yes, I shall tell you about
- What is Abraham Lincoln notable
- The 16th president of the United
States, Abraham Lincoln preserved the Union during the Civil War and brought
about the emancipation of the slaves. Among American heroes, Lincoln continues
to have a unique appeal for his fellow countrymen and also for people of other
lands. This charm derives from his remark able life story - the rise from
humble origins, the dramatic death - and from his distinctively human and
humane personality. His relevance endures and grows especially because of his
eloquence as a spokesman for democracy. In his view, the Union was worth saving
not only for its own sake but also because it embodied an ideal, the ideal of
self-government, which was of interest to the people of the entire world. Hence
the universality of his continuing appeal.
- What is known about Lincoln's
- Abraham Lincoln was born on
February 12, 1809, in a backwoods cabin in Kentucky.
- What was Abraham Lincoln's father?
- His father, Thomas Lincoln was a
- What is known about Abraham
- In December 1816 Abraham Lincoln's
family moved to south-western Indiana. There his father built a cabin. Abraham
helped to clear the fields and take care of the crops. The unhappiest period of
his boyhood followed the death of his mother A year later his father married
Sarah Bush Johnston. Later Lincoln called her his "angel mother". She
encouraged the boy's taste for reading. Yet the original source of Lincoln's
desire to learn remains a mystery. Both of his parents were almost completely
illiterate, and he himself received little formal education. In March 1830 the
Lincoln family moved to Illinois, with Lincoln himself driving the team of
oxen. Having just reached the age of 21, he was about to begin life on his own.
He was especially noted for the skill and strength with which he could wield an
axe. Good-natured though somewhat moody, talented as a storyteller, he readily
attracted friends. Later he demonstrated his other abilities.
- What did Abraham Lincoln do when
he arrived in Illinois?
- After his arrival in Illinois,
having no desire to be a farmer. Lincoln tried his hand at a variety of
occupations. He worked as storekeeper, postmaster, and surveyor. He considered
blacksmithing as a trade but finally decided in favour of the law. Al ready he
had taught himself grammar and mathematics, and now he started to study
lawbooks. In 1836, having passed the bar examination, he began to practice law.
- What is known about Lincoln law
- The next year Abraham Lincoln
moved to Springfield, Illinois, the new state capital, which offered many
opportunities for a lawyer. From 1844 he was a partner of William H. Herndon.
Lincoln had to work hard. About 20 years after launching upon his legal career,
Lincoln had made himself one of the most distinguished and successful lawyers
in Illinois. He was noted not only for his shrewdness and practical common
sense, which enabled him always to see to the heart of any legal case, but also
for his invariable fairness and utter honesty.
- When did Lincoln become the USA
- In 1861 Lincoln became President
of the USA.
- Who else do you admire?
- I admire American aviator Charles
Lindbergh. He is one of the best-known figures in aeronautical history. Charles
Lindbergh is remembered for the first non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic.
- What did Charles Lindbergh do
early in life?
- He was born on February 4, 1902,
in Detroit. His formal education ended during his second year at the University
of Wisconsin, in Madison, when his growing interest in aviation led to
enrolment in a flying school in Lincoln, Nebraska. After a year at the army
flying schools in Texas he became an airmail pilot.
- When did Charles Lindbergh make
his famous flight?
- On May 20-21, 1927 in the
monoplane "Spirit of St. Louis" Charles Lindbergh made his famous
night from New York to Paris in 33 1/2 hours. Overnight Lindbergh became a folk
hero on both sides of the Atlantic and a well-known figure in most of the
- Did Charles Lindbergh take part in
World War II?
- When the United States entered
World War II Charles Lindbergh became a consultant to the United Aircraft
Corporation. He flew 50 combat missions during a tour of duty in the Pacific;
and later, after the end of the war in Europe, he accompanied a navy technical
mission in Europe.
- What did Charles Lindbergh do
after the war?
- Following World War II, Lindbergh
lived in Hawaii where he died in 1974.
- Did Charles Lindbergh receive any
honours and awards for his deeds?
- Charles Lindbergh was a member of
a number of boards and committees. He received many honours and awards, in
addition to the Medal of Honour that had been awarded to him by special act of
Congress in 1927. For his services to the government he was appointed brigadier
general in the Air Force Reserve by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954. His
book "The Spirit of St. Louis", describing the flight to Paris, was
published in 1953 and gained him a Pulitzer Prize.
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