Page 54. " And a Rembrandt "

Self Portrait 1630
Public DomainSelf Portrait 1630 - Credit: Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)
 Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) was a highly renowned Dutch painter and etcher.  He was active during a period of great wealth and cultural achievement in The Netherlands, referred to as the Dutch Golden Age. 

He achieved youthful success as a portrait painter. His later years were however marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. But his work was very popular throughout his lifetime, and he was highly esteemed as an artist.  Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called "one of the great prophets of civilization.”

Page 63. " remarkable work regarding game theory "

Game theory is a tool for analysing strategic interactions between two or more parties.  It uses simple, often numerical models to study complex social relations.  On this basis, it can illustrate the potential for, and risks associated with, cooperative behavior.

Voting: Game Theory
Public DomainVoting: Game Theory - Credit: Encyclopedia Britannica

It can be applied to disciplines such as economics, political science, psychology, logic and biology.

John von Neumann is responsible for modern game theory. In 1944 he published Theory of Games and Economic Behaviour with Oskar Morgenstern, which considered cooperative games among several players. The theory has subsequently been developed extensively by many scholars.  Eight game-theorists have won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and John Maynard Smith was awarded the Crafoord Prize for his application of game theory to biology.

Page 64. " Charlotte Brontë in 1847 under the pseudonym Currer Bell "
Portrait of Charlotte Bronte
Public DomainPortrait of Charlotte Bronte - Credit: Evert A. Duyckinck

Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters.  In 1846, sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne published a joint collection of poetry under the assumed names of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Although only two copies were sold, the sisters continued writing for publication and began their first novels. Charlotte used "Currer Bell" when she published Jane Eyre.  She explained the use of the pen names as follows:

“Averse to personal publicity, we veiled our own names under those of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell; the ambiguous choice being dictated by a sort of conscientious scruple at assuming Christian names positively masculine, while we did not like to declare ourselves women, because—without at that time suspecting that our mode of writing and thinking was not what is called 'feminine' – we had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice; we had noticed how critics sometimes use for their chastisement the weapon of personality, and for their reward, a flattery, which is not true praise.”

Page 71. " I placed a small stone on top his headstone "

Jewish Cemetry on Mount of Olives, Jerusalem
GNU Free Documentation LicenseJewish Cemetry on Mount of Olives, Jerusalem - Credit: Mewasul
In the Jewish religion, it is customary for a visitor to a grave to place a small stone on the headstone, using the left hand. This shows that someone visited the gravesite, and is also a way of participating in the mitzvah of burial.

In Biblical times, headstones were not used - graves were marked with mounds of stones.  Placing a stone on the pile was thus a way of maintaining and perpetuating the burial place. 

Page 72. " He wore a small porkpie hat "
Buster Keaton wearing his trademark porkpie hat
Public DomainBuster Keaton wearing his trademark porkpie hat - Credit: The Blacksmith, 1922

A pork pie hat is made of felt or straw, and has a cylindrical crown and flat top. It originated in the mid-19th century, and was originally a ladies’ hat.  According to American fashion reports of the 1930's, the smooth dark brown felt was the original popular model, but the "fuzzier" green model came in close second. 

Today, pork pie hats are often associated with jazz and blues musicians and fans.

Page 72. " His patent-leather brogues were covered in white spats "

Man in spats, 1914
Public DomainMan in spats, 1914 - Credit: Bernard B. Demonvel
Spats, originally a contraction of spatterdashes, are a footwear accessory covering the instep and ankle. They were primarily worn in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  French infantry wore white spats for parade and off duty wear until 1903.  Italian soldiers wore a light tan version until 1910 and the Japanese army wore long white spats or gaiters during the Russo-Japanese War of 1905.

Spats remain a distinctive feature of uniform of many military bands, including Scottish Highland pipe bands.  Traditionally, Highland regiments in kilts have worn spats reaching halfway up the calf.  In popular culture the wearing of spats is associated with wealth.

Page 75. " The Goliath Corporation was to altruism what Genghis Khan was to soft furnishings "
Statue of Genghis Khan in front of the Mongolian government building in Sükhbaatar Square, Ulaanbaatar
Public DomainStatue of Genghis Khan in front of the Mongolian government building in Sükhbaatar Square, Ulaanbaatar - Credit: GenuineMongol

 Genghis Khan was born as Temujin, in the 1160s, in the area of modern day Mongolia.  By 1190, he and his followers had united many of the nomadic tribes of northeast Asia, creating a Mongol confederation.  They went on to forge a great Mongol Empire, leading invasions across most of Eurasia. Under Temujin’s leadership, the Mongol Empire conquered and/or incorporated the Keraits, Naimans, Merkits, Tanguts, Jin and Tatars.  At a council of Mongol chiefs, he was acknowledged as Khan of the consolidated tribes and took the new title, "Genghis Khan."

Temujin had been promised in an arranged marriage at the age of nine.  The marriage took place when he was 16.  The couple had four sons, who took on the mantle of power after their father’s death.  Later, when he rose to power, Temujin took several other wives and had many children, but all were excluded from succession.


By the time he died in 1227, the Mongol Empire occupied much of Central Asia and China.  He left behind an army of more than 129,000 men.  His sons and grandsons extended his empire across most of Eurasia, conquering or subduing the territories of modern-day China, Korea, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, and much of Eastern Europe, Russia and the Middle East. Invasions under Genghis Khan and his sons were often accompanied by the wholesale slaughter of local populations.  Historians suggest that Mongol invasions may have resulted in the deaths of up to 40 million people.