Outstanding people

- In December 1816 Abraham Lincoln's family moved to south-western Indiana. There his father built a cabin. Abraham helped to

Outstanding people

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Outstanding people

- Who glorified Russia?

- 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 early life?

- 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 conditioned reflex.

- 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 behaviour.

- Who else glorified Russia?

- Tsiolkovsky did.

- What is Konstantin Tsiolkovsky noted for?

- 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 forestry official.

- 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 space travel.

- Did Konstantin Tsiolkovsky study anywhere?

- 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 fuel supply.

- 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 by Perov?

- 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 art foreshadow?

- 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 Andrei Ryabushkin.

- 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 the part.

- What kind of man was Winston Churchill?

- 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 their affairs.

- What did Winston Churchill do in his youth?

- 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 wa

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