Tintin, the subject of 200 million comics sold, was likely based on a real 15-year-old …

 

In the overcrowded world of fictional characters, there are few faces as adorable as Tintin’s. Unlike Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman, Tintin, the young investigative reporter, is not a household name in America, but he is definitely one of the most beloved figures in Europe.

With no specific magic powers, he is the antithesis of a superhero, but that didn’t prevent him from being widely admired by both children and adults. Charles de Gaulle once declared that Tintin is his only international rival, saying that “nobody notices, because of my height. We are both little fellows who won’t be got at by big fellows.”

Tintin and his fox terrier, Snowy, appeared for the first time on January 10, 1929, in the children’s supplement of the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siecle. What started as the subject of a supplement went on to become a symbol of the 20th century, appearing in an inde­pen­dent comic book, on television, and even on the big screen in Steven Spiel­berg’s animated movie The Adven­tures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

Tintin is one of the most beloved figures in the comic book world.Author: Joi/Flickr-CC By 2.0

Georges Prosper Remi, known by the pen name Hergé, is the man behind the creation of Tintin. With almost no formal training, Hergé began drawing the legendary comic-book character in 1929, but little did he know that by doing so he would give birth to an entire European comics publishing industry.

Tintin and his fox terrier Snowy appeared for the first time in 1929. Author: karrikas/Flickr CC By 2.0

Since 1929, Tintin comics have sold more than 200 million copies, and over the years, this beloved character served as an inspiration for many people and influenced the ways comic book readers perceive the world around them. But what actually inspired Hergé to create the iconic character?

Debate still exists on what exactly inspired Hergé to come up with the snub-nosed teenage reporter, but most people agree that it was a real life person known by the name Palle Huld. It is one of the most original of origin stories in the comic book world.

Less than a year before Tintin made his first appearance, in the children’s supplement of  Le Vingtième Siecle, a 15-year-old Danish Boy Scout named Palle Huld won a competition organized by a Danish newspaper to mark the centennial of Jules Verne.

 

Palle Huld, during his trip around the world in 1928, almost certainly influenced Hergé to create Tintin.

The winner of the competition would re-enact Phileas Fogg’s voyage from Verne’s famous novel Around the World in Eighty Days. Strangely enough, only teenage boys were allowed to take part in the competition, and the 15-year-old was the perfect match. There was another twist: The winner had to complete the journey within 46 days, without any company and without using planes.

Hundreds of Danish teenagers applied to participate in the competition, and Palle was lucky enough to be chosen. He started his journey on March 1, 1928, from Copenhagen and traveled by rail and steamship through England, Scotland, Canada, Japan, the Soviet Union, Poland, and Germany.

His journey made the headlines at the time and when he arrived in Denmark, he was already a celebrity. Over 20,000 admirers greeted their hero when he came back home.

The next thing he did was write a book about his journey, which was quite popular among his admirers, and published in several languages. That book also came into the hands of a Belgian cartoonist known by the name of Hergé and that same year, when Huld’s book was published, Tintin made his debut.

Huld himself suggested on several occasions that he was the inspiration for Tintin. However, others believe that the inspiration behind the character was actually the French travel photojournalist Robert Sexe, whose journeys were exactly in the same order as Tintin’s first three books.

With no specific superpowers, Tintin is the antithesis of a superhero. Author: Hicham Souilmi CC By 2.0

Nonetheless, true Tintin fans couldn’t care less. For them it is all about the character, a hero they all know and love, representing something that others don’t have: uncompromising vigilance and the need to succeed no matter what the cost.

Tintin proves that a hero doesn’t need to be big or strong, he or she just needs to be tenacious and stubborn enough to do what needs to be done.

By Goran Blazeski

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Rakuten targets sleep data in tie-up with mattress maker

Rakuten targets sleep data in tie-up with mattress maker

September 15, 2017 5:31 am JST

E-commerce giant looks to tailor products to individual health needs

Mattress maker Airweave offers a smartphone app that measures a person’s sleep quality by detecting movements.

TOKYO — Rakuten has partnered with mattress maker Airweave, with plans to use the company’s customer sleep data for products and services tailored to the health needs of…

View On WordPress

Rakuten targets sleep data in tie-up with mattress maker

September 15, 2017 5:31 am JST

E-commerce giant looks to tailor products to individual health needs

Mattress maker Airweave offers a smartphone app that measures a person’s sleep quality by detecting movements.

TOKYO — Rakuten has partnered with mattress maker Airweave, with plans to use the company’s customer sleep data for products and services tailored to the health needs of individual customers.

The Japanese virtual mall operator acquired a stake of over 10% in Airweave for about 1.2 billion yen ($10.8 million) through a private placement. Rakuten will send executives to the company.

Airweave operates a smartphone app that measures sleep quality. The smartphone placed next to the user’s pillow detects movements that are used to analyze his or her sleep patterns. The app also helps the user keep track of meals and drinks as well as other activities that affect sleep.

This is the first time Airwave has accepted an outside investment. The proceeds will go toward launching new businesses that leverage its app and the data collected from it. The company also is considering an eventual initial public offering.

Rakuten aims in the next few years to have a business model in place that recommends food, furniture and other products to customers based on data accumulated by the app. The e-commerce site operator also hopes to use the business to steer more customers toward its group life insurance policies. The company may link the service to customer purchase histories to better identify consumer needs as well.

The Airweave tie-up is Rakuten’s latest partnership in the health data field. Last month the company invested about 1.4 billion yen in Tokyo-based Genesis Healthcare, which offers genetic testing using saliva to identify genes linked to traits such as obesity. In July, Rakuten took a stake in Swiss health startup Dacadoo, which calculates a health score for individuals based on lifestyle and other factors.

Efforts to incorporate health data into businesses are gaining traction among manufacturers as well. Panasonic is developing a health monitoring system for the elderly using “internet of things” technology to analyze temperature changes and sleep patterns. Fujitsu, meanwhile, partnered with bedding maker Nishikawa Sangyo to develop a coin-shaped activity tracker that attaches to a person’s hip to gather exercise and sleep data. Users receive advice on ways to improve their sleep quality based on analysis of the data.

(Nikkei)

Rakuten targets sleep data in tie-up with mattress maker

Rakuten targets sleep data in tie-up with mattress maker

September 15, 2017 5:31 am JST

E-commerce giant looks to tailor products to individual health needs

Mattress maker Airweave offers a smartphone app that measures a person’s sleep quality by detecting movements.

TOKYO — Rakuten has partnered with mattress maker Airweave, with plans to use the company’s customer sleep data for products and services tailored to the health needs of…

View On WordPress

Rakuten targets sleep data in tie-up with mattress maker

September 15, 2017 5:31 am JST

E-commerce giant looks to tailor products to individual health needs

Mattress maker Airweave offers a smartphone app that measures a person’s sleep quality by detecting movements.

TOKYO — Rakuten has partnered with mattress maker Airweave, with plans to use the company’s customer sleep data for products and services tailored to the health needs of individual customers.

The Japanese virtual mall operator acquired a stake of over 10% in Airweave for about 1.2 billion yen ($10.8 million) through a private placement. Rakuten will send executives to the company.

Airweave operates a smartphone app that measures sleep quality. The smartphone placed next to the user’s pillow detects movements that are used to analyze his or her sleep patterns. The app also helps the user keep track of meals and drinks as well as other activities that affect sleep.

This is the first time Airwave has accepted an outside investment. The proceeds will go toward launching new businesses that leverage its app and the data collected from it. The company also is considering an eventual initial public offering.

Rakuten aims in the next few years to have a business model in place that recommends food, furniture and other products to customers based on data accumulated by the app. The e-commerce site operator also hopes to use the business to steer more customers toward its group life insurance policies. The company may link the service to customer purchase histories to better identify consumer needs as well.

The Airweave tie-up is Rakuten’s latest partnership in the health data field. Last month the company invested about 1.4 billion yen in Tokyo-based Genesis Healthcare, which offers genetic testing using saliva to identify genes linked to traits such as obesity. In July, Rakuten took a stake in Swiss health startup Dacadoo, which calculates a health score for individuals based on lifestyle and other factors.

Efforts to incorporate health data into businesses are gaining traction among manufacturers as well. Panasonic is developing a health monitoring system for the elderly using “internet of things” technology to analyze temperature changes and sleep patterns. Fujitsu, meanwhile, partnered with bedding maker Nishikawa Sangyo to develop a coin-shaped activity tracker that attaches to a person’s hip to gather exercise and sleep data. Users receive advice on ways to improve their sleep quality based on analysis of the data.

(Nikkei)