Monthly Archives: April 2011

PRESIDENT OBAMA SAYS RELEASE OF BIRTH CERTIFICATE INTENDED TO END DEBATE

The “birthers”, the Tea Party, and Donald Trump have attacked President Obama for quite some time on his legitimacy as a U.S. citizen. Their cries, screams and bleats demanding that he divulge his birth certificate have caused Pres. Obama to release his birth certificate, as the following Washington Post article states. The birthers finally got their wish.

But, something tells me that the birth certificate will not be enough for these heathens.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for them.

This will not be the last we will hear from them on Obama.

Pres. Obama’s releasing his birth certificate will not stop these racist, knuckle-dragging Piltdown humans. They seek to hound him from office and nothing, even with this certificate, will ever be good enough for them.

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OBAMA SAYS RELEASE INTENDED TO END DEBATE

Obama produces his detailed birth certificate

By Karen Tumulty and Perry Bacon Jr., Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 9:33 AM

(Brendan Smialowski/ GETTY IMAGES ) – President Obama addresses the press corps Wednesday in the White House breifing room. The White House released a long form version of his birth certificate earlier that morning.

In a gesture that acknowledged the corrosive and distracting effect that a false but persistent rumor has had on the Obama presidency, the White House on Wednesday released the long-form version of Barack Obama’s birth certificate, which showed that he was born in Hono­lulu, Hawaii.

In a White House appearance, a smiling Obama expressed puzzlement that some people continue to believe he is not a U.S. citizen, a rumor he said has been fueled by “side shows and carnival barkers.”

 

(The White House/ The White House released a long-form copy of the president’s birth certificate Wednesday. ) –

Video

President Obama made a statement about his birth certificate Wednesday morning, saying the country should focus on more important issues. (April 27)

President Obama made a statement about his birth certificate Wednesday morning, saying the country should focus on more important issues. (April 27)

 

 

 

 

Citing the serious economic challenges that face the nation, Obama added, “We do not have time for this silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do. I’ve got better stuff to do. We’ve got big problems to solve.”

The belief that Obama was born in another country, which the most recent CBS/New York Times poll suggests is embraced by about a quarter of Americans, has been used by some conservative critics of the president as a means to question his constitutional legitimacy to occupy the White House — and even his basic American-ness.

“The President believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn’t good for the country,” White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer wrote in a blog post on the White House Web site. “It may have been good politics and good TV, but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country.”

Most recently, it has been raised in near-constant television appearances by showman and business executive Donald Trump, who is flirting with the prospect of running for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. As recently as Tuesday, Trump — who claimed to have a team of investigators looking into the issue in Hawaii — said he had heard that the certificate was missing.

“I’m very proud of myself because I’ve accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish,” Trump announced as he arrived in Portsmouth, N.H., for what looked like a campaign swing, to the news that Obama had released the certificate. “I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully — hopefully — getting rid of this issue.”

At that point, Trump launched into another favorite topic: whether Obama — who graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude — deserved admission to Ivy League schools. Trump cited unspecified sources who claim that Obama had not been a good student.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama had posted on the Internet a shorter “certification of live birth,” which Pfeiffer noted was the same one that Hawaiians use to get a driver’s license from the state and the one recognized by the federal government and the courts.

The campaign also set up a Web site to address the “birther” controversy, as well as other rumors that had dogged Obama.

However, the rumor persisted — and, Obama acknowledged during his appearance Wednesday, probably will, despite the release of the long-form birth certificate.

The timing is in some ways surprising — though also telling of what drives the political culture these days. It came on a day when the top story might otherwise have been news of changes in the administration’s national security team.

And even as Trump had vaulted up in some polls of the Republican 2012 field in part by making claims that Obama was not born in the United States, a series of major Republican figures, including Karl Rove, the top political strategist for President George W. Bush, and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, considered a leading contender for the 2012 GOP nomination, had publicly urged members of the party to move on from the “birther” issue.

Indeed, it is far from clear who is hurt most by the persistent rumors, which many Republicans believe makes their purveyors seem wacky.

Obama himself was mentioning the birthers his recent campaign speeches, attempting to fire up his own supporters by reminding them of how some Republicans remained so sharply opposed to him.

In an interview with ABC News earlier this month, Obama suggested that continued questions about his background from Republicans such Trump would hurt the GOP in next year’s elections.

It “creates, I think, a problem for them when they want to actually run in a general election where most people feel pretty confident the president was born where he says he was, in Hawaii,” Obama said. “He doesn’t have horns. We may disagree with him on some issues and we may wish that you know, the unemployment rate was coming down faster and we want to know his plan on gas prices.

“But we’re not really worrying about conspiracy theories or or birth certificates,” Obama said, “and so I think it presents a problem for them.”

SOURCE

 

 

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. . . .AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: PBS – “BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA”

If you missed viewing the first episode of PBS’ Black In Latin America, tonight is your chance to catch up on the next episodes. Black in Latin America is the third of a trilogy that began in 1999 with the broadcast of Professor Henry Louis Gates’s first series for public television, Wonders of the African World, an exploration of the relationship between Africa and the New World, a story he continued in 2004 with America Beyond the Color Line, a report on the lives of modern-day Black Americans. Black In Latin America, which premiered nationally Tuesdays April 19, continues on April 26 and May 3, 10, 2011 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings), examines how Africa and Europe came together to create the rich cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The series will showcase the following countries:  Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. If you miss tonight’s episode, not to worry. PBS will re-broadcast it for a week until the next episode airs. You can also view previous episodes by going to the PBS website.

Many of these countries have black Afro-Latin populations that many people in America are unaware of their existence. On the other hand, many countries throughout Latin America have sought to whiten their history, as well as seeking high immigration from European countries to further whiten their nations. The desire to erase much of the African influences and contributions throughout South America, Mexico, and Central America, has left those areas as an image of nations peopled by white people, or at least people who could pass for white, in the minds of many outsiders.

But, there is a profound effect that Africans have had on the countries discussed in this four-part series: 

-The first Black president in this hemisphere was not Barack Obama, but instead was Vicente Guerrero, who was of mixed black and Indian blood.

-The first black (and only) black nation in this hemisphere was Haiti, with its overturning slavery and winning its independence from France.

Haiti, with its proud and troubled history, and still recovering from last year’s earthquake. Haiti, one of the only countries that did not undergo the whitening mentality that affected other Latin American/Caribbean nations, even though colorism is an issue in Haiti as it is in many countries that have a history of European domination. Haiti, the only country where French is spoken.

-Brazil, with its huge land expanse, favelas, and the voice of blacks who have pride in their African history and legacy. Brazil—the only nation in this hemisphere where Portuguese is spoken.

Brazil, with its black heroines who valiantly fought for the end of degrading slavery:  Aqualtune, the enslaved African Congo princesss,  Anastasia, Patron Saint of Brazil’s blacks, and Dandarah, one who was named after a goddess.

The many color descriptions and racial classifications for blackness: Brazil, where there are 134 descriptions; Mexico, with 16; Haiti, with 98.

-Cuba, a country that is still under a U.S. embargo that keeps many visitors from going there.

Cuba, a country where the Rebellion of Matanzas in 1843 was led by Carlotta, a Black woman who fought for the freedom of enslaved Blacks. Her name was later given to Cuba’s 1980′s operation Black Carlota in Southern Africa, which culminated in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale and the defeat of the South African army in pitch battle.

-Vodun is a recognized and established religion just like Catholicism, Buddhism, and Islam, not the zombie, glazed-eyed-in-a-trance fiction of Hollywood racist movies.

-Brazil, outside, of Nigeria, has the largest population of African descent people.

The first episode aired on April 19, and it explained the history, culture and people of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

You can view the first full episode, “Haiti and the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided”  here. This episode explores race and identity in both countries.

(Minna Sedmakov/PBS)

A market in Haiti, a nation where enslaves overthrew their colonial masters in the 19th century. 

Tonight’s episode, is “Cuba: The Next Revolution.” It explores whether Fidel Castro’s revolution really eradicated racism in that country. You can decide for yourself with the title of the episode. In Cuba, Professor Gates finds out how the culture, religion, politics and music of this island are inextricably linked to the huge amount of slave labor imported to produce its enormously profitable 19th century sugar industry, and how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution in 1959.

Part 3 entitled “Brazil: A Racial Paradise?”, airs May 3.

Part 4 and the final episode, entitled “Mexico and Peru: A Hidden Race”, airs May 10.

It would have been nice if Prof. Gates could have done all 12 South American nations, all 7 Central America nations, and all 13 Caribbean nations, but due to lack of sponsor support, he presented us with these gems of unknown knowledge. (Okay, I know; not possible at all to do all nations, but, wow, what a series it would have been if he could have pulled off such a feat).  I realize that a four-part series can only explore so much in the limited time it has, but, I was disappointed when I saw that some countries, and some factors, were not included:

-Puerto Rico. As a commonwealth of the U.S., its importance cannot be ignored, and as a nation where Puerto Ricans can vote in the presidential elections, but are not U.S. citizens, is one of the contradictions;

-Argentina, where the cry that “There are no Black people in Argentina” reverberates throughout the land, hides the truth that there have been, and still are Afro-Argentines.

-The many Afro-Latins found throughout this hemisphere:  Afro-Bolivians, Afro-Ecuadorans, Afro-Panamanians, Afro-Columbians and others all across Latin America, of whose existence the world is still unaware.

But, this program is a start, and it holds promise to shed more light on a part of the world of which so many know so little.

So, tune in tonight and get acquainted with your neighbors, America.

It looks to be an interesting, entertaining and educational series.

RELATED LINKS:

BLACK LATIN AMERICA: POPULATION DEMOGRAPHICS OF EACH COUNTRY LISTED

THE HUMAN FAMILY TREE

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SISTERHOOD AGENDA: SISTERHOOD COMMUNITY MEETING – HEALTH & WEALTH IN ST. JOHN: MAY 3, 2011


SISTERHOOD COMMUNITY MEETING:

Health & Wealth in St. John

TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2011 5:30PM-6:30PM


ST. JOHN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OFFICE
THE MARKETPLACE IN CRUZ BAY, 3RD FLOOR*

 
Calling All Sisters!
Find out how you can be a part of this positive
movement to uplift women and girls!

For more information, call Angela Coleman @ (340) 714-7076.

 

*Light refreshments servedwww.sisterhoodagenda.com

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WORLD MALARIA DAY: APRIL 25, 2011

 

WORLD MALARIA DAY

Quick Facts

World Malaria Day is annually observed on April 25 to promote efforts that provide effective control of malaria worldwide.

Local names

Name Language
World Malaria Day English
Día Mundial de la Malaria Spanish

World Malaria Day 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

World Malaria Day 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
List of dates for other years

World Malaria Day gives people the chance to promote or learn about the efforts made to prevent and reduce Malaria around the world. It is observed on April 25 each year.
Postage Stamp from the "World United Against Malaria", 1962
Many people, groups, and organizations around the world unite to promote World Malaria Day on or around April 25 each year. ©iStockphoto.com/Mantonature

What do people do?

Organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the United Nations’ (UN) directing and coordinating authority for health, actively play a role in promoting and supporting World Malaria Day. The activities and events that take place on or around World Malaria Day are often joint efforts between governments, non-government organizations, communities and individuals. Countries that have been involved in actively participating in World Malaria Day include (but are not exclusive to):

  • Belgium.
  • Denmark.
  • Ethiopia.
  • Cameroon.
  • Germany
  • Mozambique.
  • Switzerland.
  • Uganda.
  • United States.
  • Zambia

Many people, as well as commercial businesses and not-for-profit organizations, will use the day as an opportunity to donate money towards key malaria interventions. Many fundraising events are held to support the prevention, treatment and control of malaria. Some people may also use the observance to write letters or petitions to political leaders, calling for greater support towards protecting and treating people who are at risk of malaria. Many newspapers, websites, and magazines, as well as television and radio stations, may use World Malaria Day as the chance to promote or publicize awareness campaigns about malaria.

Public life

World Malaria Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. About half of the worlds’ population is at risk of malaria, particularly those in lower-income countries. It infects more than 500 million people each year and kills more than one million people, according to WHO. However, Malaria is preventable and curable.

The World Health Assembly instituted World Malaria Day in May 2007. The purpose of the event is to give countries in affected regions the chance to learn from each other’s experiences and support one another’s efforts. World Malaria Day also enables new donors to join in a global partnership against malaria, and for research and academic institutions to reveal scientific advances to the public. The day also gives international partners, companies and foundations a chance to showcase their efforts and reflect on how to scale up what has worked.

External link

WHO Information on World Malaria Day

World Malaria Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Fri Apr 25 2008 World Malaria Day United Nation day  
Sat Apr 25 2009 World Malaria Day United Nation day  
Sun Apr 25 2010 World Malaria Day United Nation day  
Mon Apr 25 2011 World Malaria Day United Nation day  
Wed Apr 25 2012 World Malaria Day United Nation day  
Thu Apr 25 2013 World Malaria Day United Nation day  
Fri Apr 25 2014 World Malaria Day United Nation day  
Sat Apr 25 2015 World Malaria Day United Nation day  

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. . . .AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: “BLACK GIRL PAIN”

We’ve all heard the Black-woman-hating gangsta rap music of the likes of Snoppy Dog, Fitty Cent, Dr. Dre, et al. But, very little airplay and recognition is given to the music of hip hop artists who know that there is no reason to tear down a Black woman to make a buck. That there is much in the world to sing of the praises of Black women and girls.

Hip hop artist Talib Kweli sings of the beauty, the resilience, the indomitable spirit of Black girls. “Black Girl Pain”, from The Beautiful Struggle, his second solo album released in 2004, provides a positive alternative from the garbage of rap that masquerades as music.

As a father, Talib shows his concern for his daughter and offers his love and protection to her, and exhorts others to understand the importance of Black girls, to be protective of them and to not seek their destruction.

Black girls.

The struggle of Black girls.

The pain of Black girls.

The beauty of Black girls.

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 4-24-2011

VIOLET COWDEN, WARTIME PLANE PILOT

By MARGALIT FOX

Published: April 23, 2011

 
The problem was simple, but would have disastrous consequences if left unsolved. The United States had entered World War II, and military aircraft were barreling off the assembly lines. But with many military pilots deployed overseas, or soon to be, there was no way to transport the planes from the factories to the airfields where they were urgently needed.
April 24, 2011

Armed Air Forces

Violet Cowden became the subject of a documentary, “Wings of Silver: The Vi Cowden Story,” which was released last year.

Then someone remembered an untapped source of aeronautic talent: the thousands of American women who were licensed pilots. And so, in 1942, the Women Airforce Service Pilots — as the contingent of more than a thousand would be named — was born, freeing the men for service overseas.Attached to the ArmyAir Forces, the WASPs, as they were known, were the first women to serve as United States military pilots. They performed duties formerly done by men: some ferried new planes to their destinations, others towed targets for aerial gunnery practice, still others were flight instructors.By all accounts, the women did their jobs capably and ardently — until the men came home and suddenly the Army had no need of them. Then, unable to work as peacetime pilots, they faded into the 1950s, receiving recognition as military veterans only decades after the war ended.

Violet Cowden, who died at 94 on April 10, was one of those women. In 1943 and 1944, assigned to the Army’s Air Transport Command, she flew some of the country’s most sophisticated planes, transporting them from factories to domestic airfields or to coastal debarkation points for shipment to foreign theaters.

She was the subject of a documentary, “Wings of Silver: The Vi Cowden Story,” released last year.

A past president of the national WASP veterans’ group, Mrs. Cowden was among about 200 WASPs (fewer than 300 are now living) presented in 2010 with the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the country’s two highest civilian awards.

Mrs. Cowden, who flew a plane as recently as last year, lived in Huntington Beach, Calif. Her death, in nearby Newport Beach, was confirmed by her daughter, Kim Ruiz.

Ever since she was a child, watching hawks swoop over the family farm, Mrs. Cowden had yearned to fly. She was not quite sure how one went about it, until she discovered a marvelous thing called the airplane.

Violet Clara Thurn was born on Oct. 1, 1916, in a sod house in Bowdle, S.D. In 1936, she earned a teaching certificate from what was then the Spearfish Normal School, in Spearfish, S.D., and stayed in Spearfish to teach first grade. There, she rode her bicycle six miles each way to a local airfield for her first flying lessons. (She had no driver’s license.)

She knew immediately that she had found her calling. “The air is such a comfortable place for me,” Mrs. Cowden said in a 2007 interview with the Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. “I feel so in oneness with life and with the world and everything when I’m in the air.”

After Pearl Harbor was attacked, Mrs. Cowden, by then a licensed pilot, asked to join the Civil Air Patrol but got no reply. “Everybody was joining something,” she said in the interview. “So I joined the Navy, because I liked their hats.”

She soon heard about the Women’s Flying Training Detachment, an early incarnation of the WASPs. Of the 25,000 women who applied, she was one of 1,830 accepted. She had lived for a week on a diet rich in bananas and malted milk to raise her weight from 92 pounds to 100, the required minimum.

She reported to Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Tex., then a place of dust, desolation and rattlesnakes, for six months of rigorous training.

The women banded together through shared ritual. “They’d have picnics in the sky,” Mark C. Bonn, who with his wife, Christine, directed “Wings of Silver,” said in an interview. “If there was a group of girls picking up two or three planes from the same factory, they would have their lunch on their long trip at the same time. And so they would talk on the radio. ‘O.K., I’m having my apple.’ ‘I’m having my sandwich.’ ”

Because they were civil service employees and not military personnel, the WASPs had to pay for their own food, lodging and often capacious attire. There were no flight suits for women then, and Mrs. Cowden, barely more than 5 feet tall, was installed in a men’s Size 44 for the duration.

Mrs. Cowden, one of 1,074 women to complete training, was assigned to Love Field in Dallas. She logged hundreds of thousands of miles in a variety of planes, including the P-51 Mustang, the swift single-seat fighter she called “the love of my life.”

She once delivered a P-51 to the Tuskegee Airmen, the black military squadron. (There were also black women who had graduated from the Tuskegee Institute’s pilot training program; they were denied admission to the WASPs.)

Mrs. Cowden worked seven days a week, sleeping on commercial flights that ferried her to and from assignments. She flew in all weather, came down on runways without lights and sometimes took the controls of planes so fresh from the factory that they had never been tested. To fly such a plane, she often said, was like making footprints in soft virgin snow.

Her plane once caught fire on landing; thinking quickly, Mrs. Cowden saved her important papers and her makeup.

Thirty-eight WASPs died in accidents during training or while on duty; others were injured, some seriously.

By late 1944, male pilots began coming home, and they wanted their jobs back.

“We had defeated the Luftwaffe by then, and so our pilots were not dying at the rate that they had been,” said Katherine Landdeck, a historian at Texas Woman’s University who is an authority on the WASPs. “The whole purpose of the WASP program was to release male pilots for combat duty. By December of ’44, the WASPs were no longer releasing them, they were replacing them. And that was the argument that was used against them.”

That December, on a day Mrs. Cowden recalled as one of the worst in her life, the Army dissolved the WASPs.

Few airlines would hire a woman as a commercial pilot then. Mrs. Cowden went to work in New York in the only aviation job she could get — behind the ticket counter at Trans World Airlines. It was painful, she later said, to be so close to planes yet so far from the cockpit, and she soon left.

She became a partner in a California ceramics studio, married and had a child. She let her pilot’s license lapse, though friends who took her aloft over the years gladly ceded her the controls.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed a bill granting the WASPs recognition as veterans, which allowed them limited benefits.

Besides her daughter, Mrs. Cowden is survived by two sisters, Betty Niese and Lillian Riede, and three grandchildren. Her husband, Warren William Cowden, known as Scott, whom she married in 1955, died in 2009.

Though Mrs. Cowden and her colleagues were consigned to the recesses of history, during the war their work was considered so vital that the airlines were ordered to displace any passenger if a WASP needed to be shuttled to an assignment.

This status was brought home to Mrs. Cowden one day after a place was made for her on a commercial flight to Memphis. Disembarking, she faced a throng of women huddled on the tarmac, looking unaccountably disappointed.

Mrs. Cowden had bumped Frank Sinatra.

SOURCE

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MICHAEL SARRAZIN, SOULFUL-EYED ACTOR

By WILLIAM GRIMES

Published: April 20, 2011

 

Michael Sarrazin, a leading man in the late 1960s and 1970s who led Jane Fonda around the dance floor in the Depression drama “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” and played Paul Newman’s misunderstood half-brother in “Sometimes a Great Notion,” died on Sunday in Montreal. He was 70.

April 20, 2011

Palomar Pictures-ABC, via Photofest

Michael Sarrazin and Jane Fonda in “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”

The cause was cancer, his agent, Michael Oscars, said.

With his big, soulful eyes and sensitively handsome face, Mr. Sarrazin brought youthful innocence with a dash of countercultural rebelliousness to films like “The Flim-Flam Man” (1967), in which he played a reluctant apprentice to George C. Scott’s grifter, and the 1973 television drama “Frankenstein: The True Story,” in which he gave a Byronic performance as the monster.

He was in great demand in the 1970s. He played a pickpocket trainee in the James Coburn caper film “Harry in Your Pocket” (1973) and Barbra Streisand’s cabdriver husband in the screwball farce “For Pete’s Sake” (1974). He brought a brooding complexity to the title role of the horror film “The Reincarnation of Peter Proud” (1975).

It was his performance in the 1969 film “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?,” a grueling existentialist drama directed by Sydney Pollack, that established him as one of the era’s more intriguing antiheroes. He played Robert Syverten, an aimless, unemployed film extra who enters a marathon dance contest with the equally desperate Gloria (Ms. Fonda), hoping to win recognition and prize money. Instead, after days spent circling the dance floor, he ends up fatally shooting his partner in a twisted act of mercy.

“You could have paid me a dollar a week to work on that,” Mr. Sarrazin told The Toronto Star in 1994. “It hits you bolt upright; I still get really intense when I watch it.”

Jacques Michel André Sarrazin was born on May 22, 1940, in Quebec City and grew up in Montreal. After dropping out of high school he acted in theater and television in Montreal and Toronto — he played Romeo to Geneviève Bujold’s Juliet in a live production on Canadian television — before being signed by Universal Studios in 1965.

He was assigned to the television series “The Virginian” and the TV movie “The Doomsday Flight” before making his big-screen debut in “Gunfight in Abilene” (1967), starring Bobby Darin and Leslie Nielsen.

“The Flim-Flam Man” put his career on the fast track. He played a drifting Malibu surfer in “The Sweet Ride” (1968) opposite Jacqueline Bisset, with whom he entered into a long romantic relationship, and a raw Confederate recruit (with James Caan) in “Journey to Shiloh” (1968), before being offered the role of Joe Buck in “Midnight Cowboy.”

Universal refused to let him take the role, which went to Jon Voight, but tried to make amends by steering him to Mr. Pollack and “They Shoot Horses.” The experience was every bit as demanding off screen as on.

“We stayed up around the clock for three or four days,” Mr. Sarrazin told The Toronto Star, adding that the director demanded that the actors remain in character. “Pollack said we should work until signs of exhaustion,” he said. “Fights would break out among the men; women started crying. I’d get into terrible fights with Bruce Dern.”

His career waned after the mid-1970s and “The Gumball Rally” (1976), his last prominent role. In 1993 he took a French-speaking role in the Canadian comedy “La Florida,” about a Quebec family trying to run a shabby motel in Hollywood, Fla. The film was a huge hit in Quebec, and as Romeo Laflamme, an-over-the-hill Canadian crooner and ladies’ man, Mr. Sarrazin became a cult figure in Montreal, where he returned to live in his 60s.

Mr. Sarrazin is survived by a brother, Pierre, of Toronto; a sister, Enid, of Montreal; and two daughters, Catherine and Michelle, also of Montreal.

SOURCE

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‘RESTREPO’ DIRECTOR TIM HETHERINGTON AND PHOTOGRAPHER CHRIS HONDROS KILLED IN LIBYA

By C. J. CHIVERS

Published: April 20, 2011

 
BENGHAZI, Libya — Tim Hetherington, a conflict photographer who was a director and producer of the Afghan war documentary “Restrepo,” was killed in the besieged city of Misurata, Libya, on Wednesday, and three photographers working beside him were wounded, one fatally, when they came under fire at the city’s front lines.

April 21, 2011

Eddy Risch/European Pressphoto Agency

Tim Hetherington in 2008.

 

April 21, 2011

Getty Images

Chris Hondros was killed Wednesday in Libya.

 

Chris Hondros of the Getty Images photo agency died later of devastating brain trauma. Guy Martin, who was filing photographs to the Panos agency, suffered a severe pelvic wound, said Andre Liohn, a colleague who was at the triage centerwhere the photographers were rushed by rebels after they were struck.Mr. Hondros suffered an extensive loss of brain tissue and was revived twice before being triaged from care. He spent several hours in a coma and died after 10 p.m., Mr. Liohn said.Mr. Martin, a British citizen, underwent vascular surgery Wednesday night, according to the same account. As the night progressed, Mr. Liohn said that Mr. Martin’s bleeding had been stopped and that his prospects had improved, though a doctor said his condition was not yet stable.

The fourth photographer, Michael Christopher Brown, suffered shrapnel wounds to his left shoulder, but his life was not in danger. He was back in surgery late Wednesday night, Mr. Liohn said.

Misurata, Libya’s third-largest city, has been cut off by land from the rest of the country by military forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. It has been the scene of intensive, close-quarters fighting for weeks. Hundreds of Libyans have been confirmed killed.

The photographers had reached the city by sea from Benghazi, the rebel capital. Mr. Liohn said they had been working together on the rebel side of the front lines on Tripoli Street, one of the city’s main battle grounds. Watched by snipers and struck by all manner of incoming fire, from tank rounds to cluster bombs, it is an extended boulevard of ruins.

Mr. Liohn said rebels had been fighting house-to-house and making progress clearing blocks of buildings. There had been pitched fighting overnight Tuesday, he said, and the four photographers had arrived in the area late Wednesday morning.

Mr. Liohn said he worried that the Qaddafi forces would counterattack in the afternoon, then added, “And that’s what happened.”

About 3 p.m., Mr. Liohn said, the four were struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. Nicole Tung, another journalist in Misurata, who helped the wounded photographers, said she thought the men might have been hit by a high-explosive mortar blast. Both weapons are in use by the Qaddafi forces fighting for Tripoli Street.

Rebels sped them to the triage center. All four were alive, but it was obvious from the outset, Mr. Liohn said, that Mr. Hetherington and Mr. Hondros were gravely wounded.

Mr. Hetherington had lost a large amount of blood, Mr. Liohn said, and doctors were unable to stabilize him.

“They tried to do cardiac massage for a very long time,” he said. “Maybe 15 minutes or more. Then they declared him dead.”

Mr. Hondros was unconscious and died late at night.

Covering the war in eastern Libya and Misurata in the west has proved to be especially treacherous for journalists, who have been subjected to airstrikes, and artillery, rocket, rifle and machine-gun fire, and they have faced the risk of arrest, beatings and detention from the pro-Qaddafi forces.

The risks during the fighting have been compounded by the difficulties of moving protective equipment into Libya through Egypt, where customs officials have tried to block the transit of helmets and flak jackets.Some journalists have managed to move the equipment to front lines, but most have not. Neither Mr. Hetherington nor Mr. Brown had protective gear in Misurata, Mr. Liohn said.

It was not immediately clear how Mr. Martin and Mr. Brown might be evacuated.

The Ionian Spirit, a vessel chartered by the International Organization for Migration, was in port in Misurata to evacuate migrant workers, having just completed a third relief trip from Benghazi and loaded evacuees.

Human Rights Watch, the New York-based organization, whose staff members know the photographers, contacted the vessel and found it was prepared to evacuate the two injured photographers back to Benghazi as well. But the two men were not deemed fit for travel, especially on a voyage that could last 20 or more hours.

The organization made arrangements late at night to move Mr. Hetherington’s and Mr. Hondros’s remains to the vessel for the journey to Benghazi. Consular officials from England and the United States were beginning to organize their repatriation from Libya after the voyage.

The remains of Mr. Hetherington and Mr. Hondros were confirmed to be on board the vessel.

Two other journalists were killed last month in the Libyan conflict, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists: Mohammed al-Nabbous, the founder of the online Libya Alhurra TV, who was shot as he was streaming audio reports of the fighting in Benghazi; and Ali Hassan al-Jaber, a cameraman with Al Jazeera who was shot when his crew was ambushed near Benghazi.

In addition to the four who were killed, 49 journalists have been detained, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The loss of Mr. Hetherington, 41, reverberated in many circles, including among the journalists, aid workers, soldiers and victims of war he had befriended in a distinguished career. A British citizen who lived in New York, he had covered conflicts with sensitivity in Liberia, Afghanistan, Darfur and, in recent weeks, Libya.

“This is a devastating loss to many of us personally,” said Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch. “But it is also a devastating loss to the human rights community. His work has raised the visibility of many of the world’s forgotten conflicts. May the legacy of his exceptional photographs serve to inspire future generations.”

April 21, 2011

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

A photograph of a rebel fighter in Misurata, Libya, was one of the last images taken by Chris Hondros.

 

Mr. Hetherington’s family released a brief statement: “Tim was in Libya to continue his ongoing multimedia project to highlight humanitarian issues during time of war and conflict. He will be forever missed.” Mr. Hetherington was between assignments at Vanity Fair when he was killed. He had traveled to Libya on his own to work on a multimedia project while he and his editors tried to figure out what his next series of photos for the magazine would be.Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair’s editor, said the sudden death of someone who was so well regarded and well liked by his colleagues had left the staff stunned.“We’re just devastated here,” Mr. Carter said. “But he lived for this. And this sort of thing did not faze him. It’s what gave him life, and it’s what took it away from him.”

Mr. Hetherington last contacted his editors on Tuesday. “Am currently in misrata — would have made interesting article with SJ,” he wrote in an e-mail, a reference to his friend and fellow Vanity Fair contributor Sebastian Junger, who was his co-director on “Restrepo.”

The two men had put themselves in harm’s way together on many occasions, chronicling the war in Afghanistan.

Mr. Hetherington’s final Twitter post, sent Tuesday, was eerily prophetic: “In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”

Mr. Hetherington embedded with American troops on numerous occasions. His work shooting still photography and film was celebrated for how it often captured soldiers’ humanity.

As the vigil ended for Mr. Hondros, his friends expressed pain, grief and respect for him and his body of work, built over a career of two decades. Soon to be married, he had been one of the most familiar names in the business in recent years, covering conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and Africa.

“Chris never shied away from the front line, having covered the world’s major conflicts throughout his distinguished career and his work in Libya was no exception,” Getty Images said in a statement. “We are working to support his family and his fiancée as they receive this difficult news, and are preparing to bring Chris back to his family and friends in the United States. He will be sorely missed.”

Tyler Hicks, a photographer for The New York Times who worked alongside Mr. Hondros in several wars, paid a tribute in an e-mail.

“Chris made sacrifices in his own life to bring the hardships of war into the public eye, and that dedication created award-winning photographs that shaped the way people viewed the world,” he wrote. “He was a close friend for nearly 20 years. The tragedy of his death had brought so many memories to the surface, and I’m grateful to be among the many people who were lucky enough to know him. He will be missed.”

Jeremy W. Peters contributed reporting from New York.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:Correction: April 21, 2011An earlier version of this story referred incorrectly to Chris Hondros as father of a 3-year old boy.

SOURCE

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MADELYN PUGH DAVIS, WRITER FOR ‘I LOVE LUCY’

By DENNIS HEVESI

Published: April 21, 2011

 

Madelyn Pugh Davis, who with her writing partners for the classic sitcom “I Love Lucy“ concocted zany scenes in which the harebrained Lucy dangles from a hotel balcony, poses as a sculpture or stomps and wrestles in a vat full of grapes, died Wednesday at her home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. She was 90.

April 22, 2011

CBS, via Photofest

Madelyn Pugh Davis with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

 

Her death was confirmed by her son, Michael Quinn Martin.

Clever turns of the phrase were not grist for the comedy mill that Ms. Davis, along with Bob Carroll Jr. and the producer Jess Oppenheimer, began running out of a studio back office in 1951. With Ms. Davis clacking away at the typewriter and her partners pacing around her, the basic premise was to come up with ludicrous physical predicaments for the show’s star, Lucille Ball, to get herself into — to the eternal consternation of her husband, played by her real-life husband, the bandleader Desi Arnaz, who was also one of the show’s producers. Lucy would be plopped in a bucket of cement, scampering about a bull ring, coated by ice after being locked in a meat freezer — all of which she escaped with clownish glee.

In one famous scene, Lucy’s oversized bread loaf swells from the oven and backs her across her kitchen. In another, she guzzles a 46-proof health tonic, Vitameatavegamin, in a commercial, and is soon mumbling and stumbling.

Visual comedy is what the team, joined by Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf 1n 1955, considered their playful work. “We weren’t doing joke jokes or funny word jokes as much as we were setting up physical situations for her,” Ms. Davis said in a 1993 interview for the Archive of American Television. Often it was Ms. Davis who first rode a unicycle or tried out other stunts to see if they would work for Ms. Ball.

“On set, these stunts became known as the ‘Black Stuff,’ since Ms. Davis would type these zany feats in all caps on the script so Lucy would know exactly what she was getting herself into,” according to a profile of Ms. Davis by the Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio), which honored her in 2006.

“During the formative years of television, when few women were working behind the screen, Madelyn Pugh Davis wrote one of the most popular shows of all time,” the Paley Center said. She “not only made her mark as a writer, but also opened the door for other women to follow in her footsteps.”

Viewers certainly loved Lucy, and still do. For four of its six seasons, “I Love Lucy” was the most popular show on television; it never ranked lower than third in any of those seasons. It received two Emmy Awards for best situation comedy and two nominations for best comedy writing. The show’s 179 episodes — all of which Ms. Davis and Mr. Carroll were involved in writing — remain rerun regulars.

“It’s still hard for me to grasp it when people tell me, ‘I’ve seen every episode dozens of times,’ “ Ms. Davis said in 1993.

Ms. Davis and Mr. Carroll went on to write for all of Ms. Ball’s later television endeavors: “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour” (1957-60), a series of specials, and the three series she made after she and Mr. Arnaz divorced: “The Lucy Show” (1962-68), “Here’s Lucy” (1968-74) and the short-lived “Life With Lucy” (1986).

Born in Indianapolis on March 15, 1921, Madelyn Pugh was the youngest of three daughters of Isaac and Louise Hupp Pugh. A three-act play she wrote when she was 10 set her career path. At Shortridge High, she wrote for the school newspaper and, with her classmate Kurt Vonnegut, joined the school’s fiction club. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism in 1942.

Her first professional writing job was at the Indianapolis radio station WIRE. She moved to Los Angeles in 1943 and was soon working for CBS. There she met Mr. Carroll, with whom she wrote scripts for “My Favorite Husband,” a radio show about a ditzy wife and her banker husband. It starred Lucille Ball.

By 1951, “My Favorite Husband” had evolved into “I Love Lucy,” chronicling the loony lives of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. Their best friends, Ethel and Fred Mertz, were played by Vivian Vance and William Frawley.

Madelyn Pugh married Quinn Martin, one of television’s most successful producers, in 1955; they divorced six years later. Her second husband, Richard Davis, died in 2009. In addition to her son, she is survived by four stepchildren from her second marriage, Brian, Charlotte, Lisa and Ned Davis; nine step-grandchildren; and one step-great-grandson.

Ms. Davis and Mr. Carroll, who died in 2007, wrote together for more than 50 years. Among the other shows they worked on were “The Mothers-in-Law” and “Alice.” They also wrote the story for the 1968 film “Yours, Mine and Ours,” starring Ms. Ball and Henry Fonda. They collaborated on a memoir, “Laughing With Lucy,” in 2005.

In an interview last year for this obituary, Ms. Davis recalled some of the many wacky situations she helped devise for Ms. Ball: standing on stilts, coping with a house overrun by baby chicks, wearing a beard and — a classic — overwhelmed by a warp-speed conveyor belt in a chocolate factory.

“Lucy would do anything we suggested,” Ms. Davis said.

Really?

“The only time she ever said she didn’t want to do something was when she saw an elephant on the set and ran up to her office,” Ms. Davis recalled.

The script called for her to retrieve $500 from under the elephant’s foot.

“Then the phone rang and it was Vivian Vance,” Ms. Davis said. “Vivian said, ‘It’s O.K., I told Lucy that if she didn’t want to do that funny thing, I’ll do it.’ And Lucy said, ‘O.K., I’ll do it.’ So she talked into the elephant’s trunk and got it to lift its foot.”

SOURCE

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SOL SAKS, WRITER OF ‘BEWITCHED’ PILOT

By MARGALIT FOX

Published: April 21, 2011

 

Sol Saks, who wrote the first episode of “Bewitched,” the popular sitcom about a suburban housewife skilled in the uses of enchantment, died on Saturday in Sherman Oaks, Calif. He was 100 and a Sherman Oaks resident.

April 21, 2011

Stan Levy

Sol Saks, comedy writer and creator of “Bewitched.”

 

His wife, Sandra Wagner, confirmed the death.

Broadcast on ABC from 1964 to 1972, “Bewitched” starred Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha, a comely young witch. (The character was called Cassandra in Mr. Saks’s original script.) Her husband, Darrin, was a sometimes bothered, often bewildered mortal first played by Dick York and later by Dick Sargent.

Mr. Saks’s pilot, “I, Darrin, Take This Witch, Samantha,” marries the couple off only to have Darrin discover on their wedding night that his bride is equipped with magical powers. Darrin is surprised.

Mr. Saks was not formally involved with the show beyond this script: he preferred writing pilots to the grind of a weekly series, his wife said, and his contract called for him to write no further episodes. But he remained associated with the show in public memory to the end of his life.

“Bewitched” inspired a 2005 feature film starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell.

Mr. Saks’s other credits include the screenplay for the film comedy “Walk, Don’t Run” (1966), adapted from a story by Robert Russell and Frank Ross. The movie was Cary Grant’s last picture: in it, he plays matchmaker to a young couple (Samantha Eggar and Jim Hutton) amid the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Sol Saks was born in New York City on Dec. 13, 1910, and reared in Chicago. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and afterward worked for a small paper in Dunsmuir, Calif.

He began his entertainment career in radio, writing for “Duffy’s Tavern” and other shows. On television, he wrote for “My Favorite Husband,” “I Married Joan” and “Mr. Adams and Eve,” a late-1950s sitcom starring Howard Duff and Ida Lupino.

In the mid-1960s Mr. Saks was an executive producer with CBS in Hollywood, where he oversaw comedy programming.

Mr. Saks’s first wife, the former Anne Chaddock, died in 1972. Besides Ms. Wagner, he is survived by two children from his first marriage, Mary Spivey and Daniel Saks; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He was the author of “The Craft of Comedy Writing,” published in 1985 by Writer’s Digest Books.

“Bewitched” was sometimes called derivative by critics, who cited big-screen films like “I Married a Witch” (1942) and “Bell Book and Candle” (1958) as influences. Mr. Saks had no trouble conjuring a reply.

“Go back to the Greeks, who had stories of gods coming down to Earth to live with mortals,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2004. “There are stories in other cultures of angels doing the same. The only thing is, before ‘Bewitched,’ this basic tale had not been used as a TV series.”

SOURCE

 

Thanks so much for giving us ‘Bewitched’. The great memories of Darrin Stevens,  played by the late Dick York and the late Dick Sargent; his arch nemesis and mother-n-law Endora, played by the late Agnes Moorehead; Larry Tate, the rear-end kisser, played by the late David White; and most of all—Samantha Stevens, who bewitched everyone both onscreen and off, as played by the late Elizabeth Montgomery.

They are all gone, and now, sadly you have left us.

Thanks for writing for one of the best situation comedies of the 1960s-1970s era.

Rest in peace, Mr Saks.

Rest in peace.

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SKYWATCH: MCDONALD OBSERVATORY SPARED, LYRID METEOR SHOWER, AND MORE

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Wildfire near McDonald Observatory

Frank Cianciolo / McDonald Observatory

Bulletin at a Glance

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McDonald Observatory Dodges Wildfire

April 22, 2011 | The Rock House Fire has consumed more than 300 square miles in West Texas and came within about a mile of the telescopes atop Mount Locke before abating. But the nearby town of Fort Davis wasn’t so fortunate. > read more

Royal Birth Heralded by a Supernova?

April 22, 2011 | Why didn’t 17th-century observers see the exploding star that created the Cas A supernova remnant? According to a controversial new hypothesis, British royal historians — but not astronomers — saw the event in 1630. > read more

Sky & Telescope June 2011

April 21, 2011 | Sky & Telescope‘s June 2011 issue is now available to digital subscribers. > read more

Observing

Radiant of Lyrid meteors

Sky & Telescope diagram

The Fickle Lyrid Meteors

April 21, 2011 | Even though moonlight will interfere with this year’s Lyrid meteor shower, skywatchers should be alert for a possible outburst on the mornings of April 22nd and 23rd. > read more

A Great Time for Space-Station Watching

April 21, 2011 | For the next two weeks, the enormous International Space Station will be slam-dunk easy to spot in the evening sky — if you know where and when to look for it. > read more

T Pyxidis Finally Blows Again

April 15, 2011 | A very overdue recurrent nova has begun its long-awaited outburst. You can follow it with binoculars right after dark. > read more

Tour April’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

March 31, 2011 | Look out! Jupiter is no longer ruling the evening sky, and sky critters are on the march in the north, east, and south. > read more

Saturn’s New Bright Storm

December 27, 2010 | A massive new storm in the ringed planet’s northern hemisphere is bright enough to see in small telescopes. > read more

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

April 22, 2011 | How long can you track Sirius twinkling in the twilight? After dark, Saturn climbs the southeastern sky with Porrima next it, both awaiting your telescope. > read more

Community

Inspecting endless goodies.

S&T: Dennis di Cicco

NEAF: Bigger and Better Than Ever

April 18, 2011 | Record crowds swarmed into the Northeast Astronomy Forum last weekend to examine amateur astronomy’s latest telescopes, cameras, gizmos and gear. > read more

Let the Star Parties Begin!

April 14, 2011 | Want to gaze at the Milky Way all night or peer into the eyepiece of a 12-foot-tall telescope? Then escape the city lights and head for the nearest “star party.” > read more

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