Cabinet Magazine Online - The Floating Island
: "Pykrete is the namesake of Geoffrey Pyke, who the Times of London once declared 'one of the most original if unrecognized figures of the present century.' His career began in 1914 when, as a teenager at Cambridge University, he landed a foreign correspondent job by using a false passport to sneak into wartime Germany. After getting tossed into a concentration camp, he fled the country in a daring daytime escape. In the 1920s, he virtually created progressive elementary education in Great Britain, all for the sake of his own son's education. Pyke financed his own school by brilliantly riding futures markets and controlling a quarter of the world's supply of tin, a ploy which brought him to financial ruin in 1929. He lived on as an eccentric hermit, publishing prescient warnings of Nazism and proposing one of the first media watchdogs. After the war, his freelance genius helped propel the creation of the National Health Service.3"