Guest Appearances

Watch for interviews with these distinguished guests!
Ambassador of Lindy Hop: Frankie Manning
Frankie Manning, Ambassador of Lindy Hop

Frankie Manning, Ambassador of Lindy Hop

Swing dancer extraordinaire Frankie Manning was a leading dancer at Harlem’s legendary Savoy Ballroom where, in the mid-1930s, he revolutionized the course of the lindy hop with his innovations, including the lindy air step and synchronized ensemble lindy routine.

As a featured dancer and chief choreographer for the spectacular Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, he performed in numerous films including Hellzapoppin’, and entertained on stages around the world with jazz greats Ethel Waters, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Cab Calloway.

Upon the demise of the Swing Era, Frankie took a job in the Post Office, where he worked for thirty years until his rediscovery by a new generation of swing dance enthusiasts in the mid-1980s. Since then, he’s been in constant demand and motion, teaching, choreographing, and performing globally. He won a 1989 Tony Award for his choreography in Black and Blue, and served as a consultant for and performed in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. Frankie’s activities have been chronicled in hundreds of articles (including features in GQ and People) and dozens of news programs (including a profile on ABC’s 20/20).

Considered the world’s leading authority on the lindy, he is highlighted in Ken Burns’s acclaimed documentary, Jazz. His autobiography, Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop, co-written by Cynthia R. Millman, was published by Temple University Press in spring 2007.

Joshua Katcher: The Discerning Brute

Joshua Katcher, The Discerning Brute

Joshua Katcher, The Discerning Brute

Joshua Katcher is self-declared hotshot and jack-of-all-trades. He’s an artist, writer, vegan chef, businessman, activist and television producer living in Brooklyn. Joshua founded “The Discerning Brute” in 2008 as a resource for intelligent men who want to make ethical, informed decisions concerning their lifestyles. Joshua is a committed environmentalist, vegan, and social justice advocate. He is critical of unbridled consumerism, backwards classical economics, and most things that do more damage than good. He encourages skepticism, critical thinking, and accountability.

Joshua’s open and inviting style and fashion flare make him a unique and entertaining resource for any conscious consumer — male or female!

Mathematician/Writer Dr. Arturo Sangalli, PhD
Author, Pythagoras’ Revenge (2009)

Arturo Sangalli, PhD/Author

Arturo Sangalli, PhD/Author

Although he trained and worked as a mathematician, Arturo Sangalli always had a special love for words and learned languages in parallel with his studies and scientific career. Born in Buenos Aires in 1940, his schooling up to second year university was done in Spanish, his mother tongue. Arturo immigrated to Canada in 1964 to work as a computer operator at the University of Saskatchewan while completing a M.Sc. in mathematics, all in English. In 1967, after taking a beginners’ course in French, he headed to Montreal to complete a PhD at the French-speaking Université de Montreal. Shortly before graduating in 1971, Arturo was awarded an NRC fellowship to do a post-doc at the Mathematics Research Institute of the Swiss Federal Polytechnic, in Zurich.

His grandfather, who was first-generation Italian, had taken him to the opera as a teenager, thus introducing young Arturo to an appreciation of the beauty of both the Italian language and classical music (he would later have a brief and obscure musical “career” playing clarinet in various semi-professional jazz bands in the early 1960s.)

Dr. Sangalli came to writing late in life, almost by accident. He eventually obtained a teaching appointment at the University of Bahrain. While there, he came across an article on the foundations of mathematics in the British weekly New Scientist. Noticing that the author had missed an important point, Dr. Sangalli wrote a note pointing this out to the “Letters” section of the magazine. A couple of months went by and the note had neither been acknowledged nor published, so Arturo wrote to the editor again, enclosing a copy of it. The editor this time replied that the first letter had probably gotten lost in the holiday mail, because he had never received it. Then he added, “It is too late to publish your comments on an article that appeared more than three months ago, but I would be willing to consider for publication a full article in which you explain your point.”

Thus Dr. Sangalli’s writing career was launched thanks to a lost letter—the ways of fate are inscrutable. Had the letter reached its destination, New Scientist would most likely have published his first note and never offered him an opportunity to become a writer.
During the next decade, Dr. Sangalli contributed over twenty pieces to New Scientist: feature articles, opinion articles, science news, and book reviews. But writing was only a second job: teaching and research was the real one. From 1985 until retirement in 2007, he taught at Champlain Regional College in Quebec, Canada. On the research front, Arturo published some twenty papers in logic, the theory of computation, universal algebra and cosmology. His book The Importance of Being Fuzzy: And Other Insights from the Border between Math and Computers (Princeton, 1998) won the 1998 Association of American Publishers Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Computer Science. In 1996 he received the Author of the Year Award from the French-Canadian Association for the Advancement of Science for one of his science popularization articles (in French).

Dr. Sangalli began working on Pythagoras’ Revenge in 2002. Initially intended as a reflection on the triumph and tyranny of numbers in modern societies, the original project became instead a work of fiction.  It is Dr. Sangalli’s belief that through a fictional—and hopefully gripping—story one can best introduce to a large audience certain mathematical and philosophical concepts, some of them rather challenging. The final result has been described by one of the book’s reviewers as “A serious work on the philosophy of mathematics disguised as a mystery novel that would make a terrific motion picture.”


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