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Old 05-23-2009, 02:53 PM   #1
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Who would you most like to meet / spend the day with from history

We’ve had an assortment of silly and serious threads recently and I wondered if I could start a serious but for obvious reasons silly one.

The premise is;- if you could choose who you would like to meet and spend a day or up to a week with who would it be and more importantly your reasons why.

As a (non devout and Darwinist) Christian I could choose he /she or / it who made our world (or not) - but that is really boring. Or as a pubescent youth at the time they were famous, I could choose Brigitte Bardot or Marilyn Monroe - Too easy

My choice would be to spend a day with William Shakespeare. To discover what made him ‘tick’ in the time he was alive.

If this has been done before, I’ve not found the thread, so humour me.

Last edited by columbus; 05-23-2009 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 05-23-2009, 02:55 PM   #2
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hm, there are many people i would like to spend a day or week with, however i think i'd also be a bit afraid to meet some of my great artistic or litterary heroes, because it would be really disappointing to discover that someone whose work i revere is a jackass.
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:09 PM   #3
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Leonardo Da Vinci.

The man was a marvel. To accomplish what he did, in the times that he lived, is beyond comprehension.

But thats just me.
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:11 PM   #4
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My grandfather when he was a young man and a boxer. I've heard tales of those days from his friends, but would love to have been there. Bonus, I know I would never be disappointed as I might be with someone famous
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:13 PM   #5
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Oh good grief - too many people to choose from!

Sir Francis Walsingham - one of the people from the Elizabethan age who has fascinated me for a very long time
Kit Marlowe - if only to ask him what of the rumours about him are true

Just about any of the plant hunters, to ask "why?" - but especially Joseph Banks (who sailed with Cook), Richard Spruce (who got seeds of the tree quinine is from out of South America), Robert Fortune (who got tea out of china, and travelled extensively in parts o that country that were technically prohbited to him - apparently by assuming Chinese mannerisms etc he was able to pass himself off as a native of some province distant to where he currently was); and Marianne North (who set herself the target of painting all the flowers in the tropics, and seems to have been somewhat of a keen observer of the places she visited)

To this list I'll add the Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron - it would have to be a week - as her work influenced some modern trends in photography and she shot so many interesting people (including Marianne North).
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgrandma;
Leonardo Da Vinci.

The man was a marvel. To accomplish what he did, in the times that he lived, is beyond comprehension.

But thats just me.
That would have been my second choice - but there are rumours he was a 'time traveller' - (just kidding)
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:30 PM   #7
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Ben Franklin - He did just about everything.

An author, a politician, a rebel, an inventor, a musician; he really doesn't get close to the credit he deserves. He was also a persuasive leader which in my mind means he had the ability to keep great focus. I find that remarkable considering his numerous interests and abilities.

However, I would not want to be standing next to him on the day he flew that kite in the lightning storm.
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:17 PM   #8
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Eve, before she ate the forbidden fruit, so I could talk her out of it!
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Old 05-24-2009, 01:12 AM   #9
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It has to be Boris Vian.
Spending a week (not a day, I'd need more!) with him in the early fifties, in the golden age of the collège de pataphysique (meeting Raymond Quenaud at the same time!), watching him write, create, sing, play music...
I would have to be a fly on the wall, and learn...
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Old 05-24-2009, 03:37 AM   #10
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Eve, before she ate the forbidden fruit, so I could talk her out of it!
Ah' the paradox - but then none of us would exist
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:31 AM   #11
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It has to be Boris Vian.
Spending a week (not a day, I'd need more!) with him in the early fifties, in the golden age of the collège de pataphysique (meeting Raymond Quenaud at the same time!), watching him write, create, sing, play music...
I would have to be a fly on the wall, and learn...
aaaah !!! i think i might have to follow you, boris vian and raymond queneau are two of my heroes !!!! excellent idea... imagine going to a jazz club in st.-germain-des-près, with vian and his trompette de poche, and queneau telling stories... of course, i might have to drink absinthe, and since i hate anis that would be very difficult, but i think i could make the sacrifice in those conditions !
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:14 AM   #12
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I'm not sure. I think, probably, Charles Darwin, because of who is and what he did in the history of science, and because of his apparent nature towards his family and in the face of criticism. However, I'd just note that if history is just dead people, I'd like to spend a week with Clive James before he became history, because he makes me laugh while making me feel embarrassingly stupid while making me smarter, all at the same time.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:17 AM   #13
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hm, there are many people i would like to spend a day or week with, however i think i'd also be a bit afraid to meet some of my great artistic or litterary heroes, because it would be really disappointing to discover that someone whose work i revere is a jackass.
I hadn't thought of that. But did you know, Zelda, that Pirandello despised both cats *and* chocolate?! (just kidding)

This is the easiest question in the world for me to answer. I'd want to meet (or, rather, be a fly on the wall so as to watch carefully without interrupting) Gandhi, particularly when he was young to figure out how he came to be who we know him to be. But a day wouldn't cut it - I'd need to follow him until he was at least 30 years old.
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:20 AM   #14
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I hadn't thought of that. But did you know, Zelda, that Pirandello despised both cats *and* chocolate?! (just kidding)
the bastard !

i often think of picasso in such cases : he was a genius, but from what i know of his life he was also a rather moody, womanizing jerk sometimes... i don't know how i would feel about the man, and i wouldn't want it to spoil my appreciation of the artist.

Quote:
This is the easiest question in the world for me to answer. I'd want to meet (or, rather, be a fly on the wall so as to watch carefully without interrupting) Gandhi, particularly when he was young to figure out how he came to be who we know him to be. But a day wouldn't cut it - I'd need to follow him until he was at least 30 years old.
see, that's a good choice, because it's very hard to imagine gandhi being anything less than angelic.
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:22 AM   #15
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It's a toss up between Sir Issac Newton (famous for inventing the cat flap), or Galileo.
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