This month we have not one, not two, not three, not five but four, four das Ub3r G33ks!!!!

das Ub3r G33k one

Jonathan Frid

John Herbert "Jonathan" Frid (December 2, 1924 – April 14, 2012) was a Canadian theater, television, and film actor, best known for having played the role of vampire Barnabas Collins on the gothic television soap opera Dark Shadows.

Early life and career
Frid was born of Scottish, English, German and Danish ancestry in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He was the youngest son of Isabella Flora (nee McGregor) and Herbert Percival Frid, a construction executive. He served in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II. He graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton in 1948, and the following year was accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He moved to the United States in 1954, and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Directing from the Yale School of Drama in 1957.

As a student at Yale, Frid starred in the premiere of William Snyder's play A True And Special Friend. He went on to star in the first productions at the Williamstown Theater in Williamstown, Massachusetts and stage productions in Canada, England and the United States.

He began using the stage name Jonathan Frid in 1962,[4] and made his Broadway debut as an understudy in the 1964 play Roar Like a Dove.

Frid is widely known for the role of vampire Barnabas Collins on the original gothic cult television serial Dark Shadows, which ran from 1966 to 1971. He also starred as Barnabas Collins in the movie House of Dark Shadows. Frid had made plans to move to the U.S. West Coast pursue a career as an acting teacher when he won the role that ultimately made him a household name. As Frid explained on his Web site, he had barely entered his apartment as the phone call from his agent came informing him that he had won the role of Barnabas Collins. He agreed to accept it after being told it was a short-term one that would provide him with extra cash while he prepared to move. As the character's popularity soared, Frid scrapped those plans.

Frid starred in Dial M for Murder while the television series was still appearing. After Dark Shadows ended, he starred as Thomas Becket in Murder in the Cathedral, and in Wait Until Dark. Frid had previously played the role of a psychiatrist on the CBS Television soap opera As the World Turns.

In 1973, Frid appeared in the TV movie The Devil's Daughter starring Shelley Winters, and the following year starred in Oliver Stone's directorial debut, Seizure (aka Queen of Evil). He took time off from acting and returned to Canada, reviving his stage career in 1978.

Frid began performing readings at Dark Shadows fan conventions in the 1980s, and while developing ideas for his one-man shows. Frid succeeded Abe Vigoda in the role of Jonathan Brewster in the 1986-1987 Broadway revival of Arsenic and Old Lace.

In 1994, Frid retired and returned to Canada. He continued to perform one-man shows for charities in both Canada and the United States. In 2000, he starred in the play Mass Appeal which enjoyed a successful, limited run in Hamilton and at the Stirling Festival Theatre in Stirling, Ontario.

Frid attended Dark Shadows conventions in New York in August 2007, Burbank, California, in July 2008, and Elizabeth, New Jersey, in August 2009. In 2010, he returned to the role of Barnabas for the first time in 39 years in a Dark Shadows audio drama, The Night Whispers. Along with former Dark Shadows castmates Lara Parker, David Selby and Kathryn Leigh Scott, Frid spent three days at Pinewood Studios in June 2011 filming a cameo appearance for the 2012 Tim Burton Dark Shadows film, which became his final film appearance.

Frid died in April 2012 at Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario of pneumonia and complications after a fall. While sources at the time variously reported the date of his death as April 13 or April 14, 2012, Frid's nephew, David Howitt, subsequently confirmed that Frid in fact died in the early hours of April 14, 2012. Howitt added that while Friday the 13th "makes for good press... it’s good to get it right.”

das Ub3r G33k two

George Cowan

George A. Cowan (February 15, 1920 – April 20, 2012) was an American physical chemist, a businessman and philanthropist.

He conducted early research in the Manhattan Project. George served 39 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory as director of chemistry, associate director of research and senior laboratory fellow. He participated in founding the Santa Fe Opera in 1953. He founded the Los Alamos National Bank in 1963 to provide a means to obtain housing for Los Alamos employees and served for 30 years as its chair. He was also the driving influence in founding the Santa Fe Institute together with Nobel Prize winner Murray Gell-Mann and others in 1984, based upon his recognition of the need for a place where scientists could be offered a broader curriculum for the development of "a kind of twenty-first century Renaissance man" and associated research. A graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (bachelor of science in Chemistry) and Carnegie Institute of Technology (doctorate of science), Princeton University, and the University of Chicago, he worked on the top secret Manhattan Project at Los Alamos during World War II. He received the Enrico Fermi Award for "a lifetime of exceptional achievement in the development and use of energy," the New Mexico Academy of Science Distinguished Scientist Award, the Robert H. Goddard Award, the E.O. Lawrence Award, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory Medal, which is the highest honor the Laboratory bestows upon an individual or small group.

Cowan was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1941, at the age of twenty one, after graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in chemistry, he worked on the cyclotron project at Princeton University with the intention of taking graduate courses in physics. He worked there with future Nobel Prize Laureate Eugene Wigner, who would design the first uranium chain reactor. In 1941, George participated in taking measurements essential to determining whether the chain reaction in uranium could be achieved. His knowledge of chemistry and nuclear physics experience provided expertise on a number of things necessary to the Manhattan Project. In 1942, Wigner, Cowan, and several others transferred to the Metallurgy Lab at the University of Chicago where the first atomic pile was being developed under Enrico Fermi. Starting as a junior member, Cowan became a jack-of-all-trades, capable of such skills as machining graphite blocks used for control of the pile's reaction rate and in casting uranium metal. In 1942, the Chicago Pile 1 (CP-1) generated the first controlled nuclear reaction. This controlled release of energy from the nucleus of the atom enabled development of a method to obtain nuclear fuel for the first atomic weapons. His experience made him one of the experts on the chemistry of radioactive elements in the field of applied nuclear fission. Since he was single and in possession of high expertise, project managers transferred him around the nation to help resolve bottlenecks. He was one of the select group with knowledge of the separate components of the project, kept separate for security reasons. He received a draft deferment from the president of the United States for possessing skills uniquely useful to the war effort.

Following the end of the war and obtaining his PhD in physical chemistry from Carnegie Tech, Cowan returned to work for Los Alamos in 1950. Only weeks after his arrival, he directed the detection of radioactive fallout from samples collected near the Russian border indicating the Soviets were in possession of a nuclear bomb. He also participated for some years in the Bethe Panel, whose first chairman was Hans Bethe. One of his early participatory functions on the panel was to convince U.S. government officials that the radiochemistry of the samples proved that it was not the result of a peaceful nuclear reactor problem, but a Soviet bomb, which was dubbed "Joe-1" after Joseph Stalin.

In 1953, Cowan was a member of the group which founded the Santa Fe Opera. Another member of this group was Arthur Spiegel, of the Spiegel Catalog fortune. Art was later to help Cowan in his initial fund raising efforts to finance the Santa Fe Institute.

In 1982, Cowan accepted a seat on the White House Service Council. While serving in this capacity and facing problems involving interlinked aspects of science, policy, economics, environment and more, he realized that this demanded a broad range expertise above the current reductionist approach and fragmentation of the sciences. He believed that our educational culture was enforcing intellectual fragmentation through conservative university programs that depended on specialized grants and funded work. It seemed that cross-disciplinary team efforts were discouraged by membership in traditional, isolated science and social science disciplines. He knew that beginning in the 1980s numerical experiments through computer simulations were capable of providing the tools to think about very complex problems in a more holistic fashion. He began to imagine a new and independent type of institute that would combine the charter of a university while sharing some of Los Alamos' personnel and computer power. This could be a place where senior researchers would have a place to work on very speculative ideas. Where one could educate a man starting in science, but that could deal with the real messy world, which is not elegant, which science doesn't really deal with. In 1983, Cowan assembled a group of senior scientists interested in researching complex, adaptive systems. One year later, this assembly became the Santa Fe Institute. Initial funding was received by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, Citicorp and others.George was enthusiastic about complex systems, which he declared to be the next major thrust in science. The Santa Fe Institute fosters interdisciplinary research between physicists, mathematicians, economists, computer scientists, and others. Although most of his duties as president did not allow time for research, as Distinguished Fellow of the Institute, Cowan applied neuroscience principles to investigate relationships between children's brain physiological changes and behavioral development.

Later Life
In 1988, Cowan became a senior fellow emeritus at Los Alamos, a member of a group of six longtime Los Alamos employees rewarded with research positions free from administrative chores that would also advise the laboratory director on policy issues. Cowan served as president of the Santa Fe Institute until his retirement in 1991.

Cowan died on April 20, 2012 from complications of pneumonia in his Los Alamos home.

das Ub3r G33k three

Allen Tough

Dr. Allen Tough (1936 – 27 April 2012), futurist, scientist, and author, was Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. He made major contributions to the fields of Adult Education, Futures Studies, and SETI. Linking these fields together was Dr. Tough's concern with the long-term future of humanity in the cosmos, and humans' search for meaning and purpose on personal, societal, and global levels. He taught at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, for 33 years, retiring from teaching in 1997 that he might devote the balance of his time and energy to his research interests.

Education and early research
Allen Tough was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. During his years as a student at the University of Toronto, Allen Tough's interests included psychology, sociology, philosophy, global issues, alternative futures, journalism, youth education, and adult education as well as soccer, skating, dancing, campus publications, and wilderness hiking. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the 450-page all-campus yearbook for two years, recruiting and supervising a staff of 40 volunteers.

During his twenties, he taught high-school English and Guidance for two years, earned his M.A. at the University of Toronto, married and began his family, earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, and became an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. In Chicago, in line with his focus on the psychology of adult learning and change, he did a Ph.D. internship in conference planning and wrote his Ph.D. thesis on the behavior of adults during self-directed learning projects.

Until the end of the 1970s, Dr. Tough's line of research focused on the adult's successful efforts to learn and change, particularly the 70% of adults who are self-guided without relying much on professionals or institutions. His first books, The Adult's Learning Projects and Intentional Changes, were based on his thesis research.

Adult learning
For more than four decades, Allen Tough, Ph.D., was globally recognized as a pioneering scholar in adult learning, self-directed growth, and personal change. His seminal contributions to the field date back to the 1960s, and his research illuminated adults' successful efforts to learn and change. More than 90 major studies in eleven countries were based on Tough's early work.

Tough's inquiry contributed to an expansion of the dialogue on adult learning to include self-directed learning. He was instrumental in catalyzing movement from research focused primarily on who participates in organized adult education, to one which embraces the entire range of intentional adult learning.

Allen Tough wrote seven books and numerous articles and papers over the span of his career. His book The Adult's Learning Projects was chosen as one of the ten classical books in adult education. He was named "one of six most often used authors" in a survey of the Adult Education Association in 1978. Allen received The Malcolm Knowles Memorial Award for significant lifelong contribution to the field of self-directed learning in 2006. Later the same year, he was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame in Dallas, Texas.

Future studies and SETI
In 1981, Dr. Tough expanded his areas of study to include the fields of Futures Studies and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI. His 1991 book Crucial Questions about the Future, which brought these themes together, was translated into Spanish and Chinese. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Dr. Tough continued to pursue these subjects, both through publishing and presenting papers at European SETI conferences, SETI League symposiums, and the World Space Congress. His book When SETI Succeeds was chosen as one of eight works "The Editors Recommend" in the December 2000 issue of Scientific American. He coordinated the World Future Society's Web forum on future generations, and was recognized as a Fellow of the World Futures Studies Federation and the British Interplanetary Society.

The SETI League
Allen was a SETI League Charter Member, edited the online academic journal Contact in Context, initiated that journal's Best Ideas Awards, was founding chair of the SETI League's Strategic Planning Committee, and served as a SETI League volunteer Regional Coordinator. The SETI League honored Allen Tough in 2003 with its Orville Greene Service Award.

Invitation to ETI
Almost everyone who thinks and writes about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence agrees that the technology of any civilization we detect will be thousands or even millions of years beyond ours. In his 1986 and 1987 SETI papers, Tough had discussed the likelihood that such a civilization can (one way or another) reach or study our solar system. In November 1994 he began to focus more intensively on such a possibility. One year later, at the Boston Museum of Science, he devoted his Wright Lecture on Cosmic Evolution to this topic, specifically to the feasibility of a small smart interstellar probe reaching our planet. During 1996, at SETI and Contact conferences in California, Capri, and Beijing, he presented papers that furthered this topic. A year later he incorporated these papers into a foundation paper on small smart interstellar probes for the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society.

Throughout 1995 and early 1996, Allen Tough pondered how to detect extraterrestrial intelligence if it had, in fact, reached Earth. Finally, in June 1996, he came up with a fresh and promising approach. He realized that the World Wide Web enabled a new search strategy. It was now possible to switch from detecting to inviting. Instead of figuring out how to detect extraterrestrial intelligence, humans could simply use the Web to invite contact.

The logic of this idea is simple. As Tough read and thought about the long-term future of human civilization and technology, he realized that a highly advanced civilization or intelligence would likely be able to study our civilization in detail. Humans will likely achieve a similar capability within 200 years, and NASA is already trying to design an interstellar probe; such feats should be easy for an intelligence and technology thousands of years older than we are. Tough realized that a highly advanced intelligence could learn our languages and learn about our civilization in great detail. In particular, it could monitor our television broadcasts, our fax and email communications (as some of our human security agencies do already), and of course our World Wide Web and its search engines and directories. As a result of this insight, Dr. Tough drafted an online "Invitation to ETI." In 2000, he published an essay, How to Achieve Contact: Five Promising Strategies.

In the early stages of this effort to contact ETI (in whatever form it has reached our solar system), about 20 individuals were listed as an informal advisory panel. On October 27, 1998, a much larger group issued the Invitation to ETI, with Allen Tough serving as coordinator. This continuing group now includes 100 Signatories, most of them scientists and artists who are active in the SETI field, the interstellar propulsion field, studies of the future, or the annual CONTACT conference.

International Academy of Astronautics
Prof. Tough was a Full Member of the International Academy of Astronautics and a leader within the Academy's SETI Committee. In 2006, Allen Tough initiated The Billingham Cutting-Edge Lectures, a series of annual lectures to be held at the meetings of the International Academy of Astronautics SETI Permanent Study Group.

Illness and death
In 2000, Allen Tough began exhibiting symptoms of Multiple System Atrophy, a degenerative neurological disorder initially misdiagnosed as Parkinson's Disease. In January 2008, at the age of 72, he said about his health: "I have always enjoyed walking and hiking, and enjoyed good health until recently. Then one day in the summer of 2000, while my wife Cathy and I were hiking in Kluane National Park in the Yukon, I had problems with balance and falling. At the time, I attributed it to fatigue. Now I know it was the first warning sign of a disease called Multiple System Atrophy, a rare degenerative disease related to Parkinson's. It occurs because of progressive cell loss in numerous sites in the central nervous system. Why this cell loss occurs is unknown. Because MSA causes postural instability and low blood pressure, I always use a walker. I continue to live a happy, busy, productive life. I feel cheerful and not at all sick. Cathy and I often enjoy walking in natural settings. Life is good!"

For the remainder of his life, Prof. Tough continued to make significant intellectual contributions to his three chosen fields of research: adult learning, futures studies, and the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence. During the last few days of his life, despite having lost the ability to communicate verbally, he was actively involved in the analysis of a still unverified SETI candidate detection. Allen Tough died of pneumonia on 27 April 2012, at the age of 76.

das Ub3r G33k four

Roland Moreno

Roland Moreno (June 11, 1945 – April 29, 2012) was a French inventor, engineer, humorist and author who was the universally accepted inventor of the smart card. Created in 1974, his invention has "Touched almost everyone on the planet" in the words of The Guardian and is now used in identity cards, drivers licenses, passports, oyster cards and SIM cards. Moreno's smart card, or la carte à puce in French, was little known internationally. However, he became a national hero in France and was awarded the Légion d'Honneur in 2009.

Early life and career
Moreno was born in Cairo, Egypt, to Egyptian Jewish parents on June 11, 1945. His original last name was Bahbout, but the family changed their surname to Moreno when they moved to France when he was very young. He attended the Montaigne and Condorcet schools in Paris, but dropped out early, and described his education as "self taught" for the rest of his life. Moreno worked in several smaller jobs after leaving school. He worked as a young reporter for Détective Magazine and a runner for the L'Express news magazine. From 1970 to 1972 Moreno was also an editor at Chimie-Actualités, a French chemistry magazine.

Smart card
After leaving Chimie-Actualités, Moreno founded his own company, Innovatron, to market ideas and intellectual property. He successfully marketed a software system which merged dictionary words to create new product or brand names for companies. The idea would later be licensed by the Nomen company. Companies which utilized this particular invention included Wanadoo, the Thales Group and Vinci.

The smart chip would prove to be Moreno's most important invention. Moreno claimed to have thought of the smart card concept in a dream, telling France Soir in a 2006 interview, "I came up with the idea in my sleep... To be honest, I'm a lazy bum and my productivity is on the feeble side. I'm jealous, spendthrift, a total couch potato and absent-minded – I've got my real Professor Nimbus side." He code-named his earliest smart card project as TMR, short for the 1969 comedic film Take the Money and Run, as Moreno was a huge fan of American film director Woody Allen. He later flipped the letters to RMT as the name of Innovatron's research and development department.

His original idea was for a signet ring, or smart ring, embedded with a microchip as shown in his first patent filed on March 25, 1974, when he was just 29-years-old. Moreno modeled the ring on the seal ring used by European nobility with an upside down microchip and external arms to transfer or read information. However, the idea proved both impractical and unpopular during the 1970s. Moreno then simplified the idea, introducing a plastic card with a microchip in 1975. He called it la carte à puce, literally the flea card in English, due to the small chip inserted into the plastic card. Moreno first demonstrated that the smart card could be used in electronic financial transactions in 1976, using a machine which he held together with meccano.

It took approximately eight years for Moreno's smart card to gain widespread use in France due to initial start-up costs. However, the smart proved a huge success in France in the 1980s, where it became widespread long before other countries. In 1983, France Télécom introduced the smart card for use with its Télécarte pay phone payment cards. Nine years later, the French consumer banking industry introduced the Carte Bleue, a national debit card system which used Moreno's smart card, in 1992. The invention was slower to come into widespread use in Britain and the United States: American Express did not introduce the smart card-using Blue Card until 1999 and the London transport system did not issue a smart card encrypted card until the 2000s.

Moreno's smart card, and its increased use, was met with criticism from activists and privacy groups. There were concerns, which continue to the present day, that the smart cards could have security flaws or could be used in illegal surveillance. Moreno recognized and acknowledged these concerns, saying that smart cards "have the potential to become Big Brother's little helper." In 2000, Moreno held a contest offering one million French francs to anyone who could break his security codes within 90 days; no one succeeded.

While Moreno may have lacked international name recognition, his invention made him very wealthy. His company, Innovatron, has made nearly $192 million in royalty payments, from the smart card and its licenses. In 2005, Moreno noted, "I can stop anyone on the street in Paris and they'll have at least three smart cards on them.

Other inventions
Moreno was very interested in music, broadcasting and writing. He launched Radio Deliro, a now defunct Internet radio station. He was credited as the inventor of several unorthodox musical instruments, including devices called le pianok, calculette, and Pièce-o'matic. His additional inventions included the Matapof, which could sort coins by either their heads or tails sides.

Writings, acting and other pursuits
Moreno wrote several books, includineg Theorie du Bordel Ambiant, a collection of his ideas and reflections. He also authored books under the literary pseudonym Laure Dynateur, including a cookbook entitled L'Aide-Memoire du Nouveau Cordon-bleu with more than 2,000 recipes. Moreno chose this pseudonym because, when pronounced, the name sounds like the French word for computer: l'ordinateur. Moreno also had several small acting and cameo roles in French cinema. He was cast in the 1982 comedic film Les Sous-doues en vacances, directed by Claude Zidi, as a "mad inventor" character who invents a "love computer."

Despite his recognitions in France, Moreno, who has been variously described as a "nutty professor", once told the France Soir newspaper that his greatest hypothetical honor would be a wax likeness of himself in the Musee Grevin.

Moreno died in Paris on April 29, 2012, at the age of 66. He had previously suffered a pulmonary embolism in 2008. He had married Stephany Stolin in December 1976; the couple had two daughters, Marianne and Julia, who survive him.