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6 Notable Goldman Sachs Alums (Who Made Their Mark Elsewhere)

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When Goldman Sachs received Fed approval to become a bank holding company, it ended the stalwart firm's run as an investment bank and foretold a new corporate direction. While a staggering amount of money has passed through Goldman's hands since its founding in 1869, many notable people have made their marks (and their fortunes) while passing through the firm's ranks. Here are a few alums you might not have realized had Goldman Sachs on their resumes.

1. Stuart Sternberg

The Tampa Bay Rays just made the World Series thanks to their brilliant defense and a dazzling pitching performance by Matt Garza, but one could argue that none of this season's magic could have happened without principal owner Stuart Sternberg, who took over executive control of the woeful team in 2005. Sternberg immediately cleaned house and let smart baseball thinkers lay the groundwork for this season's run. Of course he's a shrewd manager who knows that it may take a few years for a smart investment to mature; Sternberg enjoyed a 24-year career in finance before retiring as a partner at Goldman in 2002. When he took over the Rays, he needed a new president for the team, and he didn't have to look past the Goldman partner who helped him arrange his purchase of the team, Matthew Silverman. Silverman, who formerly worked in Goldman's Merchant Banking Division and Firmwide Strategy Group, now controls the day-to-day operations of baseball's biggest surprise.

2. Jim Cramer

Jim-Cramer.jpgIf you're a fan of financial-talk television or just enjoy seeing someone stalk around a TV set while apparently coping with the early symptoms of rabies, you've probably watched an episode or two of Jim Cramer's Mad Money. Obviously Cramer's a really sharp guy behind all of his bluster, but it's surprising how interesting his life's been. After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard, he worked as a journalist, where one of his assignments saw him report on a murderous rampage by infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. He then went to Harvard Law School before getting a job as a broker at Goldman. Cramer used the expertise he gathered at Goldman to launch his own hedge fund, and he later founded TheStreet.com before eventually jumping to TV fame. As you might expect, Cramer's not the only Goldman alum to find a niche on TV; CNBC personality Erin Burnett also spent time with the firm.

3. Charlie Haas

haas.jpgGoldman's alums haven't all gone on to become leaders in the corporate world, though. Some have taken up high positions in the tail-kicking industry, especially Charlie Haas. Haas was a decorated amateur wrestler at Seton Hall, where he won two Big East championships, but after college, he did the responsible thing and got a job working as a stockbroker for Goldman Sachs. He still had the itch to do some wrasslin', though, so he eventually started working some independent shows with his brother, Russ. It's unclear how skilled Haas was as a broker, but he showed some real merit as a grappler. He eventually made it up to the WWE in 2002, and he's won the WWE Tag Team Championship three times. Despite following a wildly divergent career path from the one he started on after college, Haas has maintained a bit of business-world flavor in his matches: one of his signature moves is a lifting reverse DDT he calls the "Haastile Takeover."

4. Josh Bolten

boltenrove.jpgThe White House Chief of Staff is sometimes referred to as the second-most powerful man in Washington, and Bolten currently holds the title. After graduating from Princeton and then going to Stanford Law School, he passed through a number of high-level jobs, including International Trade Counsel to the Senate Finance Committee, private law practice, and even a one-semester stint teaching international trade at Yale Law School. From 1994 to 1999, though, he was a Goldman man. He served as the Executive Director, Legal & Government Affairs for Goldman Sachs International in London.

5. Ashwin Navin

ashwin_navin.jpgOne doesn't usually associate high finance with downloading albums and movies, but Navin was able to use his own financial expertise to help make the BitTorrent protocol become one of the Internet's most popular content distribution avenues. After his 1999 graduation from Claremont McKenna, Navin worked as a banker and analyst for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch before going to Yahoo! in 2002. In 2004, he linked up with BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen to start BitTorrent, Inc. While serving as the company's president, Navin has been able to strengthen BitTorrent's position by working directly with movie studios and other content creators who generally don't work with file-sharing powerhouses.

6. Jon Corzine

Corzine.jpgCorzine is a former Democratic Senator and the current Governor of New Jersey, but he's possibly most famous for suffering serious injuries in a 2007 accident involving his motorcade. (Although Corzine made the questionable decision not to wear a seat belt, he turned his bad judgment into a memorable public service announcement for seat belt use. He opened with the line, "I'm New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and I should be dead.") Before he entered the political realm, though, Corzine was a big name in finance. He went to work for Goldman in 1975, and by 1994 he'd risen to the position of Chairman and co-CEO of the company. When Goldman went public after Corzine left the company, the future governor's stake in the firm was worth $400 million. Why did Corzine leave in the first place, then? He was apparently pushed out following clashes with his co-CEO, another famous Goldman alum: current United States Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson.

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10 Memorable Neil deGrasse Tyson Quotes
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Neil deGrasse Tyson is America's preeminent badass astrophysicist. He's a passionate advocate for science, NASA, and education. He's also well-known for a little incident involving Pluto. And the man holds nearly 20 honorary doctorates (in addition to his real one). In honor of his 59th birthday, here are 10 of our favorite Neil deGrasse Tyson quotes.

1. ON SCIENCE

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
—From Real Time with Bill Maher.

2. ON NASA FUNDING

"As a fraction of your tax dollar today, what is the total cost of all spaceborne telescopes, planetary probes, the rovers on Mars, the International Space Station, the space shuttle, telescopes yet to orbit, and missions yet to fly?' Answer: one-half of one percent of each tax dollar. Half a penny. I’d prefer it were more: perhaps two cents on the dollar. Even during the storied Apollo era, peak NASA spending amounted to little more than four cents on the tax dollar." 
—From Space Chronicles

3. ON GOD AND HURRICANES

"Once upon a time, people identified the god Neptune as the source of storms at sea. Today we call these storms hurricanes ... The only people who still call hurricanes acts of God are the people who write insurance forms."
—From Death by Black Hole

4. ON THE BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGY INVENTED FOR USE IN SPACE

"Countless women are alive today because of ideas stimulated by a design flaw in the Hubble Space Telescope." (Editor's note: technology used to repair the Hubble Space Telescope's optical problems led to improved technology for breast cancer detection.)
—From Space Chronicles

5. ON THE DEMOTION OF PLUTO FROM PLANET STATUS 

PBS

"I knew Pluto was popular among elementary schoolkids, but I had no idea they would mobilize into a 'Save Pluto' campaign. I now have a drawer full of hate letters from hundreds of elementary schoolchildren (with supportive cover letters from their science teachers) pleading with me to reverse my stance on Pluto. The file includes a photograph of the entire third grade of a school posing on their front steps and holding up a banner proclaiming, 'Dr. Tyson—Pluto is a Planet!'"
—From The Sky Is Not the Limit

6. ON JAMES CAMERON'S TITANIC

"In [Titanic], the stars above the ship bear no correspondence to any constellations in a real sky. Worse yet, while the heroine bobs ... we are treated to her view of this Hollywood sky—one where the stars on the right half of the scene trace the mirror image of the stars in the left half. How lazy can you get?"
—From Death by Black Hole

7. ON DEATH BY ASTEROID

"On Friday the 13th, April 2029, an asteroid large enough to fill the Rose Bowl as though it were an egg cup will fly so close to Earth that it will dip below the altitude of our communication satellites. We did not name this asteroid Bambi. Instead, we named it Apophis, after the Egyptian god of darkness and death."
—From Space Chronicles

8. ON THE MOTIVATIONS BEHIND AMERICA'S MOONSHOT

"[L]et us not fool ourselves into thinking we went to the Moon because we are pioneers, or discoverers, or adventurers. We went to the Moon because it was the militaristically expedient thing to do."
—From The Sky Is Not the Limit

9. ON INTELLIGENT LIFE (OR THE LACK THEREOF)

Perhaps we've never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon Earth and decided there's no sign of intelligent life.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/n/neildegras615117.html
Perhaps we've never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon Earth and decided there's no sign of intelligent life.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/n/neildegras615117.html

"Perhaps we've never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon Earth and decided there's no sign of intelligent life."

10. PRACTICAL ADVICE IN THE EVENT OF ALIEN CONTACT 

A still from Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Universal Studios
"[I]f an alien lands on your front lawn and extends an appendage as a gesture of greeting, before you get friendly, toss it an eightball. If the appendage explodes, then the alien was probably made of antimatter. If not, then you can proceed to take it to your leader."
—From Death by Black Hole
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40 Fun Facts About Sesame Street
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Now in its 47th season, Sesame Street is one of television's most iconic programs—and it's not just for kids. We're big fans of the Street, and to prove it, here are some of our favorite Sesame facts from previous stories and our Amazing Fact Generator.

Sesame Workshop

1. Oscar the Grouch used to be orange. Jim Henson decided to make him green before season two.

2. How did Oscar explain the color change? He said he went on vacation to the very damp Swamp Mushy Muddy and turned green overnight.

3. During a 2004 episode, Cookie Monster said that before he started eating cookies, his name was Sid.

4. In 1980, C-3PO and R2-D2 visited Sesame Street. They played games, sang songs, and R2-D2 fell in love with a fire hydrant.

5. Mr. Snuffleupagus has a first name—Aloysius

6. Ralph Nader stopped by in 1988 and sang "a consumer advocate is a person in your neighborhood."

7. Caroll Spinney said he based Oscar's voice on a cab driver from the Bronx who brought him to the audition.

8. In 1970, Ernie reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the timeless hit "Rubber Duckie."

9. One of Count von Count's lady friends is Countess von Backwards, who's also obsessed with counting but likes to do it backwards.

10. Sesame Street made its Afghanistan debut in 2011 with Baghch-e-Simsim (Sesame Garden). Big Bird, Grover and Elmo are involved.

11. According to Muppet Wiki, Oscar the Grouch and Count von Count were minimized on Baghch-e-Simsim "due to cultural taboos against trash and vampirism."

12. Before Giancarlo Esposito was Breaking Bad's super intense Gus Fring, he played Big Bird's camp counselor Mickey in 1982.

13. Thankfully, those episodes are available on YouTube.

14. How big is Big Bird? 8'2". (Pictured with First Lady Pat Nixon.)

15. In 2002, the South African version (Takalani Sesame) added an HIV-positive Muppet named Kami.

16. Six Republicans on the House Commerce Committee wrote a letter to PBS president Pat Mitchell warning that Kami was not appropriate for American children, and reminded Mitchell that their committee controlled PBS' funding.

17. Sesame Street's resident game show host Guy Smiley was using a pseudonym. His real name was Bernie Liederkrantz.

18. Bert and Ernie have been getting questioned about their sexuality for years. Ernie himself, as performed by Steve Whitmere, has weighed in: “All that stuff about me and Bert? It’s not true. We’re both very happy, but we’re not gay,”

19. A few years later, Bert (as performed by Eric Jacobson) answered the same question by saying, “No, no. In fact, sometimes we are not even friends; he can be a pain in the neck.”

20. In the first season, both Superman and Batman appeared in short cartoons produced by Filmation. In one clip, Batman told Bert and Ernie to stop arguing and take turns choosing what’s on TV.

21. In another segment, Superman battled a giant chimp.

22. Telly was originally "Television Monster," a TV-obsessed Muppet whose eyes whirled around as he watched.

23. According to Sesame Workshop, Elmo is the only non-human to testify before Congress.

24. He lobbied for more funding for music education, so that "when Elmo goes to school, there will be the instruments to play."

25. In the early 1990s, soon after Jim Henson’s passing, a rumor circulated that Ernie would be killed off in order to teach children about death, as they'd done with Mr. Hooper.

26. According to Snopes, the rumor may have spread thanks to New Hampshire college student, Michael Tabor, who convinced his graduating class to wear “Save Ernie” beanies and sign a petition to persuade Sesame Workshop to let Ernie live.

27. By the time Tabor was corrected, the newspapers had already picked up the story.

28. Sesame Street’s Executive Producer Carol-Lynn Parente joined Sesame Workshop as a production assistant and has worked her way to the top.

29. Originally, Count von Count was more sinister. He could hypnotize and stun people.

30. According to Sesame Workshop, all Sesame Street's main Muppets have four fingers except Cookie Monster, who has five.

31. The episode with Mr. Hooper's funeral aired on Thanksgiving Day in 1983. That date was chosen because families were more likely to be together at that time, in case kids had questions or needed emotional support.

32. Mr. Hooper’s first name was Harold.

33. Big Bird sang "Bein' Green" at Jim Henson's memorial service.

34. As Chris Higgins put it, the performance was "devastating."

35. Oscar's Israeli counterpart is Moishe Oofnik, whose last name means “grouch” in Hebrew.

36. Nigeria's version of Cookie Monster eats yams. His catchphrase: "ME WANT YAM!"

37. Sesame's Roosevelt Franklin ran a school, where he spoke in scat and taught about Africa. Some parents hated him, so in 1975 he got the boot, only to inspire Gob Bluth’s racist puppet Franklin on Arrested Development 28 years later.

38. Our good friend and contributor Eddie Deezen was the voice of Donnie Dodo in the 1985 classic Follow That Bird.

39. Cookie Monster evolved from The Wheel-Stealer—a snack-pilfering puppet Jim Henson created to promote Wheels, Crowns and Flutes in the 1960s.

40. This puppet later was seen eating a computer in an IBM training film and on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Thanks to Stacy Conradt, Joe Hennes, Drew Toal, and Chris Higgins for their previous Sesame coverage!

An earlier version of this article appeared in 2012.

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