1, 2 and 3. My sons. Without a doubt my favourite three aspies are my three sons. Their claims to fame currently consist of Lego building and exhibition abilities far beyond their years. They will forever have an impact on my life.
“Mummy, can we go for a drive around the corner?”
“Um, okay, but what’s around the corner?”
“CHRISTMAS!” - Casey
4. Leonardo da Vinci. A painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor and writer. An absolute genius. He was said to have had an unquenchable curiosity and feverishly inventive imagination. I truly fell in love with Da Vinci at an exhibition I attended with my boys. The black walled, focus lit exhibition was full of working models showing his technological ingenuity. A flying machine, musical instruments, hydraulic pumps, crank mechanisms and many other inventions filled the room. I was left thinking how could one man do so much in his lifetime, and then there was the paintings…
“Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation…even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci
5. Bill Gates. Extremely focused on all things computers and charity. Business magnate, investor, programmer, inventor, and philanthropist. Bill is currently the world’s richest person. He revolutionized the personal computer industry and is the current chairman of Microsoft. He makes my top 10 due to his philanthropic endeavours. As of 2007 he and his wife have given over 28 billon dollars to charity and they plan to eventually donate 95% of their wealth to charity.
“People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn't they? People feared coal, they feared gas-powered engines... There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters.” - Bill Gates
6. Woody Allen. Nobody makes films like Woody Allen. He’s a screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, author, playwright and musician. His most recent film, Midnight in Paris, has become his most successful film at the box office. What other people would perceive as quirky, witty and intelligent, Allen believes to be “how he sees it”. Considered to be the third greatest comedian of all time, his public persona of being an insecure, intellectual fretful “nebbish” is said to have some truth in his real life.
“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.” – Woody Allen
"If you want to be a prolific writer, you have to be a single-minded, driven, non-stop person. Sounds horrible, doesn't it? Well, then, concentrate on being a good writer, and leave prolific for those poor souls who can't help it. I do all my own typing, my own research, answer my own mail. I don't even have a literary agent. This way there are no arguments, no instructions, no misunderstandings. I work every day. Sunday is my best day: no mail, no telephones." – Isaac Asimov
8. Jim Henson. Where would we be without the Muppets! A brilliant puppeteer, inventor, screenwriter, director and producer. Early childhood television would be so much duller without the charaters in Fraggle Rock and on Sesame Street. His life was cut too short with a sudden illness at 53. He left a legacy of beloved characters. At his funeral Kermit the Frog sang “Bein’ Green” and nobody was allowed to wear black.
“I really do believe that all of you are at the beginning of a wonderful journey. As you start traveling down that road of life, remember this: There are never enough comfort stops. The places you're going to are never on the map. And once you get that map out, you won't be able to re-fold it no matter how smart you are. So forget the map, roll down the windows, and whenever you can pull over and have picnic with a pig. And if you can help it never fly as cargo.” - Jim Henson
9. Michael Palin. My childhood would not have been the same without the “Knights who say Ni!” Comedian, actor, writer, television presenter and member of Monty Python. The “Dead Parrot” skit, which he stared in, was recently voted as the greatest comic sketch of all time. His portrayal of the stammering character “Ken” in A Fish Called Wanda earnt him BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The character was based around his father who stammered his whole life and 1993 he founded the Michael Palin Center for Stammering Children. Although recently his focus has been on travel documentaries, his wit and unique perspective on life is still seen throughout his work.
“Listen -- strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.” - Michael Palin
10. Basil Faulty. Hotel owner, bully, insufferable husband, fictional. Basil has become an iconic British comedy character despite only twelve episodes of Faulty Towers being filmed. The character, played by John Cleese, is based on a hotel owner, Donald Sinclair, at the Gleneagles Hotel where he and the Monty Python team stayed after filming of the Python show. Sinclair was very rude, throwing bus timetables at guests and putting Eric Idle’s suitcase in a garden as he thought it contained a bomb. Thirty Eight years later Basil Faulty continues to make generations laugh and was voted as the best British television series of all time.
"People don't talk that much in the morning... Well look, I'm just delivering a tray, right? If the guest isn't singing "Oh What A Beautiful Morning," I don't immediately think, "Oh there's another snuffed it in the night." Another name in the Fawlty Towers Book of Remembrance. I mean this is a hotel, not the Burma Railway. I mean it does actually say "Hotel" outside, you know. Perhaps I should be more specific. What about "Hotel for people who have a better than fifty percent chance of making it through the night." - Basil Faulty, The Kipper and The Corpse
It’s safe to say that my life would be like a bland piece of toast without my top 10 Aspies in it. The flavour, texture and variety they add to life are what make every day so much more enjoyable. Each of these top 10 will continue to impact the world for generations to come and they all have one thing in common. They're obsessive, focused and they follow what they are passionate about with vigor. Regardless of what the rest of the world thinks of them, they believe in that they do.
Disclaimer: People and characters mentioned may or may not have been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, however there is reasonable evidence to suggest that they do. Please don’t sue me if I’m wrong.