Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner Invites - The Explorers

Friday morning NPR ran a story where a reviewer of classical music listed the classical composers he would invite to Thanksgiving dinner if he could.  The premise is it could be anyone from history. He chose to go with all dead composers.  A friend and I have had similar conversations in the past.  Sometimes we'd discuss it in the "any body, ever" scenario.  Sometimes we'd limit it to certain categories.  We usually ran a list of ten.  I'm going to play with this for the next few days until Thanksgiving.  For now I'm going to keep myself to a limit of five people. I think I'll do one grand invite in the "any body, ever" category to end this run.

Today, I'm looking at Explorers.  These are men that boldly went where no one had gone before they knew nothing about where they were going or that where they were going even existed.  I'm sure I'd have questions but really this would just be a dinner of listening to their stories and absorbing their adventures.

  1. John Glenn The first American to orbit the Earth and the third American in space.
  2. Marco Polo - Spent 24 years traveling through Asia.  Was an inspiration for Columbus
  3. Lief Erickson - Viking explorer.  He is believed to be the first European to reach the new world.
  4. Wang Dayuan - I've never really heard of this guy before looking at a general list of explorers.  I'll out source this to wiki, "He made two major trips on ships. During 1328-1333, he sailed along the South China Sea and visited many places in Southeast Asia and reached as far as South Asia, landing in Sri Lanka and India. In 1334-1339 he visited north Africa and East Africa." He also apparently wrote one of the earliest accounts of Singapore.
  5. Richard Francis Burton. Per Wiki "English explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, ethnologist, linguist, poet, hypnotist, fencer and diplomat; known for his travels and explorations within Asia and Africa as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures; according to one count, he spoke 29 European, Asian, and African languages."

Others that could have, or maybe should have, made it are Isabella Bird, the first woman inducted into the Royal Geographical Society who traveled through out Asia, one of the Spanish conquistadors, and Lewis and Clark.


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