Monthly Archives: September 2012

IN REMEMBRANCE: 9-30-2012

EUGENE GENOVESE, HISTORIAN OF THE SOUTH

United Press International

Eugene D. Genovese at a “teach-in” at Rutgers in 1966. A year earlier he enraged politicians by saying at a similar event that he would welcome a Vietcong victory.

By

Published: September 29, 2012

  • Eugene D. Genovese, a prizewinning historian who challenged conventional thinking on slavery in the American South by stressing its paternalism as he traveled a personal intellectual journey from Marxism to conservative Catholicism, died on Wednesday at his home in Atlanta. He was 82.
Harriet Maziar Leibowitz

Mr. Genovese in 1995.

His friend William J. Hungeling confirmed the death without giving a cause.

Mr. Genovese enthusiastically melded politics and academia even as his politics changed. A member of the Communist Party at 15, he had remained firmly on the left when, in 1965, speaking to students, he inflamed politicians by saying he would welcome a Vietcong victory in the Vietnam War.

By the 1980s, however, he had rejected Communism and liberal politics. In 1998 he helped form the Historical Society to combat what he saw as the “totalitarian assault” of political correctness and ideologically tinged research. He also came to support conservative Republicans like Pat Buchanan.

“I never gave a damn what people thought of me,” he said in an interview with The Star-Ledger of Newark in 1996. “And I still don’t.”

Mr. Genovese’s greatest influence, however, was quieter, devolving from his insights into the politics and culture of the antebellum South, expressed in more than a dozen books. Several were written with his wife, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, a noted scholar of women’s studies whose own political transformation, from Marxist-leaning feminist to social conservative, paralleled her husband’s.

Praised for his meticulous research, Mr. Genovese argued that slave life in the pre-Civil War South was not one of continuous cruelty and degradation. Rather, he described a system of “paternalism” in which slaves had compelled their owners to recognize their humanity. This, he said, allowed the slaves to preserve their self-respect as well as their aspirations for freedom while enabling their owners to continue to profit from their labor.

The book in which he articulated this view most completely was “Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made,” which in 1975 won the Bancroft Prize for American history writing. The historian Edward L. Ayers, writing in The New Republic in 1994, called it “the best book ever written about American slavery.”

But others criticized the book as being weak in its analysis of the economics of the period and took issue with its view that a paternalistic relationship was peculiar to slavery in the United States. Some said that the buying and selling of slaves could hardly be considered paternalistic; parents do not normally sell their children, the historian Eric Foner wrote in 1982.

More broadly, Mr. Genovese was accused of playing down the truth that slavery, by definition, demonstrates the cruelest kind of racism. Mr. Genovese repeatedly felt compelled to assert that his books were not an apology for slavery. In subsequent books, Mr. Genovese praised intellectual life in the antebellum South, particularly its tradition of cooperative conservatism, which he saw as kinder than capitalism in the North. He cited statistics showing Southern whites, even those from disadvantaged families, were more apt to go to college than Northern whites. He argued Southerners preferred broader ownership on property and more constraints on the marketplace.

He called the Civil War the War for Southern Independence. He castigated those who saw the slaveholding South “as the citadel of the Devil.”

“The fact is the South embodies much that’s at the core of Western civilization,” Mr. Genovese said in an interview with The New York Times in 1998. “If it has become at times the embodiment of the worst of that tradition, it has also embodied the best.”

The son of a dockworker, Eugene Dominick Genovese was born on May 19, 1930, in Brooklyn and never lost the accent. His membership in the Communist Party lasted five years, ending when he was expelled at 20 for “having zigged when I was supposed to zag,” he said. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College, then served 10 months in the Army before being discharged because of his Communist past.

In his 20s, he earned a master’s and Ph.D. from Columbia (and started pronouncing his name the Italian way, “jen-o-VAY-zay”). He then began a professorial career that took him to more than a dozen colleges, including the University of Rochester, the University of Cambridge in England and four universities in Georgia: Emory University, Georgia State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia. He was president of the Organization of American Historians from 1978 to 1979.

In April 1965, as a professor at Rutgers in New Jersey, Mr. Genovese spoke at a “teach-in” against the escalating violence in Vietnam. Saying he was a Marxist (but no longer a member of the Communist Party), he proclaimed: “I do not fear or regret the impending Vietcong victory in Vietnam. I welcome it.”

His remarks created a firestorm. Richard M. Nixon, then out of office and living in New York, denounced him, and the Republican candidate for governor of New Jersey, Wayne Dumont, demanded his dismissal. Bumper stickers saying “Rid Rutgers of Reds” popped up.

Mr. Genovese insisted that he did not mean to say that he hoped American servicemen would be killed, and the state educational authorities defended him. But he soon left Rutgers to teach at Sir George Williams University in Montreal (since merged into Concordia University).

In the 1990s, he and Ms. Fox-Genovese converted to Roman Catholicism and were remarried in the church 26 years after their first wedding. She died in 2007. Mr. Genovese left no immediate survivors.

Mr. Genovese came to believe that religion should be taught in public schools, and opposed abortion on demand and special laws to protect homosexuals. He believed pornography should be banned. But Mr. Genovese did not affiliate himself with any segment of the political right. He said he felt uncomfortable around conservatives who believed that unfettered markets solve all problems.

“if somebody wants to disorder the world and give me political power,” he said, “they’ll find out how conservative I’m not.”

SOURCE

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ANDY WILLIAMS, CROONER OF ‘MOON RIVER’

By

Published: September 26, 2012

  • Andy Williams, the affable, boyishly handsome crooner who defined both easy listening and wholesome, easygoing charm for many American pop music fans in the 1960s, most notably with his signature song, “Moon River,” died on Tuesday night at his home in Branson, Mo. He was 84.

Associated Press

Andy Williams in 1961.                            More Photos »

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The cause was complications of cancer, his publicist, Paul Shefrin, said. Mr. Williams, who had continued to perform until last year, announced in November that he had bladder cancer.

“Moon River” was written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, and Audrey Hepburn introduced it in the 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” but it was Mr. Williams who made the song indisputably his own when he sang it at the 1962 Academy Awards ceremony and titled a subsequent album after it. When he built a theater in Branson, he named it the Andy Williams Moon River Theater.

“Moon River” became the theme song for his musical-variety television series “The Andy Williams Show,” which, along with his family-oriented Christmas TV specials, made him a household name.

“The Andy Williams Show” ran on NBC from 1962 to 1971 and won three Emmy Awards for outstanding variety series. But its run also coincided with the social and cultural upheavals of the 1960s, and with a lineup of well-scrubbed acts like the Osmond Brothers (whom Mr. Williams introduced to national television) and established performers like Judy Garland and Bobby Darin, the show, at least to many members of a younger, more rebellious generation, was hopelessly square — the sort of entertainment their parents would watch.

Despite that image, “The Andy Williams Show” was not oblivious to the cultural moment. Its guests also included rising rock acts like Elton John and the Mamas and the Papas, and its offbeat comedy skits, featuring characters like the relentless Cookie Bear and the Walking Suitcase, predated similar absurdism on David Letterman’s and Conan O’Brien’s talk shows by decades.

Mr. Williams’s Christmas specials, on the other hand, were entirely anodyne and decidedly homey, featuring carols and crew-neck sweaters, sleigh bells and fake snow, and a stage filled with family members, including his wife, the telegenic French chanteuse Claudine Longet, and their three children. The Osmonds were regular guests, as were his older brothers, Bob, Don and Dick, who with Mr. Williams had formed the Williams Brothers, the singing act in which he got his start in show business.

Although Mr. Williams’s fame came from television, movie themes were among his best-known recordings, including those from “Love Story,” “Charade,” “The Way We Were” and “Days of Wine and Roses.” Decades after he had stopped recording regularly, his old hits continued to turn up on movie soundtracks: “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” in “Bad Santa,” for instance, and his version of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” in “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”

Mr. Williams earned 18 gold and 3 platinum albums and was nominated for Grammy Awards five times, but he never had a gold single. (His version of “Moon River” was not released as a single, although versions by Mr. Mancini and Jerry Butler reached the Top 20.) His biggest hit single — and his only No. 1 — was “Butterfly,” an uncharacteristically rocklike 1957 number for which he was instructed to imitate Elvis Presley.

His more mellow hits included “Canadian Sunset,” “The Hawaiian Wedding Song,” “Lonely Street,” “Can’t Get Used to Losing You,” “The Shadow of Your Smile” and “Are You Sincere?” He continued to record into the 1970s.

Mr. Williams was close friends with Senator Robert F. Kennedy and his wife, Ethel, and sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at Kennedy’s funeral in 1968, but he considered himself a Republican. By 2009 he had become an outspoken one. “Obama is following Marxist theory,” he told The Radio Times, a British magazine. “He’s taken over the banks and the car industry. He wants the country to fail.”

For 21 years, until 1988, Mr. Williams was the host of a namesake golf tournament in San Diego. He also collected art — works by Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Henry Moore — and in 1987 was named to Arts & Antiques magazine’s list of 100 top American collectors.

Howard Andrew Williams was born on Dec. 3, 1927, in Wall Lake, Iowa, a small town northwest of Des Moines. His father, Jay, a railroad company mail clerk who later went into the real estate and insurance businesses, and his mother, the former Florence Finley, had one daughter and five sons, Andy being the fourth.

He and his older brothers began singing in their local Presbyterian church’s choir, which their father directed. When Andy was 6, the four formed the Williams Brothers singing group and were soon appearing on the radio stations WHO in Des Moines, WLS in Chicago and WLW in Cincinnati.

After the family moved to Los Angeles, Andy was asked to dub Lauren Bacall’s singing voice in the 1944 film “To Have and Have Not.” According to several sources, including Ms. Bacall, the studio ended up using her voice after all, although perhaps a few high notes were the boy’s.

That same year Bing Crosby invited the Williams Brothers to sing backup on his recording of the hit song “Swinging on a Star.” After World War II ended, the brothers toured with the singer, actress and author Kay Thompson for five years. Then the group disbanded, and the three older brothers left show business.

At 24 Mr. Williams moved to New York, where he was hired for a two-week engagement on NBC’s new, live late-night show, “Tonight,” hosted by Steve Allen. As Mr. Williams often told interviewers, when the two weeks ended, he simply kept showing up at the studio and kept being paid.

Both his recording career and his television fame grew from there, leading to contracts with Cadence and Columbia Records and appearances on summer-replacement series. He did so well on television that he was soon given his own year-round prime-time spot.

Mr. Williams began performing in Las Vegas in 1966, as a headliner at the opening of Caesars Palace, and continued to do shows there for two decades. His one film role was in a comedy, “I’d Rather Be Rich” (1964), with Sandra Dee and Robert Goulet, and his one appearance on Broadway was in a two-man, limited-run production with the pianist and composer Michel Legrand at the Uris Theater in 1974.

On a 1991 visit to Branson, the small Ozark Mountains town that had become an entertainment vacation destination, Mr. Williams decided to build a theater there. When the 2,000-seat Andy Williams Moon River Theater opened the next year, it was Branson’s first non-country-music attraction. He performed there several months a year until last November. He also had a home in La Quinta, Calif.

Mr. Williams had a sudden burst of international fame in 1999, when British automobile commercials began using his 1960s hit “Music to Watch Girls By.” The song was rereleased and climbed the British charts.

In 2006 he released his first new album in about 15 years, “I Don’t Remember Ever Growing Up,” which included a cover of the Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” He toured Asia that year and Britain in 2007.

Mr. Williams married Ms. Longet in 1961, and they had two sons, Christian and Robert, and a daughter, Noelle. The couple divorced in 1975. The next year Ms. Longet was charged with fatally shooting Spider Sabich, a ski racing champion, in Aspen, Colo. Mr. Williams stood by his ex-wife, who contended that the shooting was accidental, and accompanied her to court during her trial. She was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide, a misdemeanor, and sentenced to 30 days in jail.

In 1991 Mr. Williams married Debbie Haas, a hotel executive. She survives him, as do his children, his brothers Don and Dick, and six grandchildren.

In 2000, Mr. Williams spoke about the passing years to Larry King on CNN. “I think everybody feels, ‘Where did it go?’ because it goes fast,” he said. “But I have done a lot of things that I love.”

During his 2007 tour in Britain he attributed his longevity to the joy of performing. He told a reporter there, “Perhaps that two hours out onstage is the medicine that everybody should have.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: September 26, 2012

An earlier version of this obituary, as well a caption in an accompanying slide show, misspelled Spider Sabich’s surname as Sabitch.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: September 28, 2012

An obituary on Thursday about the singer Andy Williams misstated the year that his ex-wife, Claudine Longet, was charged with fatally shooting the skier Spider Sabich. It was 1976, not 1975.

SOURCE

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HERBERT LOM, FRUSTRATED BOSS OF INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU

Keystone/Hulton Archive, via Getty Images

Herbert Lom, left, with Peter Sellers in 1976 on the set of “The Pink Panther Strikes Again.”

By DAVID BELCHER

Published: September 27, 2012

  • Herbert Lom, the versatile Czech-born actor who could play Napoleon Bonaparte or a witch hunter with equal aplomb but who was perhaps best known as Peter Sellers’s frustrated boss in the Pink Panther franchise, died on Thursday at his home in London. He was 95.

His son Alec confirmed his death, The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Lom gained more attention as a reliable character actor than as a suave leading man, although he was both. His deep-set, mesmerizing eyes made him the perfect villain in a series of minor films in the early 1940s, and he went on to excel after World War II and in the 1950s and ’60s in small roles in a variety of genres. In a career of more than five decades he appeared in more than 100 movies and television shows.

He was born Herbert Charles Angelo Kuchacevich ze Schluderpacheru in 1917 to upper-class parents in Prague. (Various sources give his date of birth as Jan. 9 or Sept. 11.) He became a theater actor and made one movie in his native Czechoslovakia before emigrating to London in 1939, just before the Nazis invaded (and shedding about 40 letters from his name along the way). His parents survived and later joined him in London, but his girlfriend died in a concentration camp.

He began his English-speaking acting career at the Old Vic and other stage companies before landing some impressive film roles, thanks to an appealingly exotic accent and a sultry gaze. From the outset he was able to avoid being typecast as the lecherous but irresistible villain, unlike many other European actors who went to Hollywood in the 1940s.

Mr. Lom’s first major Hollywood successes were “The Seventh Veil” (1945), with James Mason, in which he played a psychiatrist treating a suicidal musician, and Jules Dassin’s noir masterpiece “Night and the City” (1950), in which he played a chilling but remorseful gangster.

But he flourished in comedy as well, notably alongside Sellers and Alec Guinness in “The Ladykillers” (1955) and later as the twitchy, long-suffering Chief Inspector Dreyfus, who is eventually driven insane by Sellers’s bumbling Inspector Clouseau. He played Dreyfus in seven Pink Panther movies, from “A Shot in the Dark” (1964) to “Son of the Pink Panther” (1993), which was made 13 years after Sellers’s death and starred Roberto Benigni as Clouseau’s son.

Mr. Lom also starred with Robert Mitchum and Rita Hayworth in “Fire Down Below” (1957) and played a hoodlum on the make in prewar London in “No Trees in the Street” (1959). He played Napoleon Bonaparte twice, in “The Young Mr. Pitt” (1942) and in King Vidor’s ambitious “War and Peace” (1956). He appeared in epics — as a pirate who leads the slaves out of Italy in “Spartacus” (1960) and as the Muslim leader Ben Yussuf in “El Cid” (1961) — and in horror movies.

Mr. Lom had the title role in a not very successful remake of “The Phantom of the Opera” (1962); he was Van Helsing in “Count Dracula” (1970), one of many movies starring Christopher Lee as the notorious vampire; and he played a bloodthirsty witch hunter in 18th-century Austria in the ultragory German-made “Mark of the Devil” (1970), which developed a cult following for its explicit torture scenes. Audiences were handed “stomach distress bags” at cinemas around the world.

Onstage, Mr. Lom originated the role of the king in the original London cast of the musical “The King and I” in 1955. On television, he appeared in the British series “The Human Jungle” in 1963 and 1964 and on “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” in 1967.

His two most notable films in the 1980s were “Hopscotch” (1980), a spy spoof with Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson, and David Cronenberg’s “Dead Zone” (1983), in which he played a neurologist to a telekinetic patient, played by Christopher Walken.

Among the low points of his career was his performance in the disastrous 1985 remake of “King Solomon’s Mines,” which earned him a nomination for a Razzie Award, given to the worst that Hollywood has to offer. He had few roles after the 1980s; his last on-screen appearance was a 2004 episode of the British TV series “Marple.”

Mr. Lom also wrote two historical novels, “Enter a Spy: The Double Life of Christopher Marlowe” and “Dr. Guillotine: The Eccentric Exploits of an Early Scientist,” set during the French Revolution, which was optioned as a movie but never made.

Private and reclusive for most of his life, Mr. Lom was married and divorced three times. Besides his son Alec, survivors include a daughter, Josephine, and another son, Nick. “You know, I always do my best, no matter the quality of the film,” Mr. Lom once told an interviewer. “One thing I hate is when directors come to me before shooting a take and say, ‘Herbert, give me your best!’ And I think: ‘But it’s my job to give my best. I can’t give anything else.’ ”

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WORLD HEART DAY: SEPTEMBER 30, 2012

 

WORLD HEART DAY

Quick Facts

World Heart Day is annually observed on the last Sunday of September to raise awareness of cardiovascular diseases and ways to reduce their risk.

Local names

Name Language
World Heart Day English
Día Mundial del Corazón Spanish

World Heart Day 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

World Heart Day 2013

Sunday, September 29, 2013

World Heart Day is globally held on the last Sunday of September each year to inform people about cardiovascular diseases, which are the biggest cause of death worldwide. The event also aims to promote preventative measures that reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Fresh Red Apple on Tree in Huon Valley, Tasmania, AustraliaHealthy eating is one of the lifestyle topics promoted on World Heart Day. ©iStockphoto.com/Ashley Whitworth

What do people do?

Many people around the world unite with governments and non-government organizations celebrate and promote World Heart Day each year. Activities include fun runs, public talks, concerts, and sporting events. The World Heart Federation organizes awareness events in more than 100 countries. They include:

  • Health checks.
  • Organized walks, runs and fitness sessions.
  • Public talks.
  • Stage shows.
  • Scientific forums.
  • Exhibitions.
  • Concerts.
  • Carnivals.
  • Sports tournaments.

These activities are done in partnership with organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the UN’s directing and coordinating authority for health.

Public life

World Heart Day is a global observance but it is not a public holiday.

Background

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide and this is projected to remain so, according to WHO. About 17.5 million people died from cardiovascular disease in 2005, representing 30 percent of all global deaths. Risk factors that may lead to heart disease and stroke include:

  • Raised blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.
  • Smoking.
  • Inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables.
  • Overweight.
  • Obesity.
  • Physical inactivity.

World Heart Day was created to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading cause of death. Together with organizations such as WHO, the World Heart Federation spreads the news that at least 80 percent of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided if the main risk factors – which are tobacco, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity – are controlled. World Heart Day started in 1999 and is held on the last Sunday of September every year.

Symbols

Various leaflets, posters, brochures and other material used to promote World Heart Day show images of people taking steps towards healthier living through activities such as exercise, as well as eating healthy and nutritious food. The heart symbol is also seen in promotional material.

World Heart Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sun Sep 26 1999 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 24 2000 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 30 2001 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 29 2002 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 28 2003 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 26 2004 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 25 2005 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 24 2006 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 30 2007 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 28 2008 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 27 2009 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 26 2010 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 25 2011 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 30 2012 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 29 2013 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 28 2014 World Heart Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 27 2015 World Heart Day United Nations observance

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WORLD RABIES DAY: SEPTEMBER 28, 2012

 

WORLD RABIES DAY

Quick Facts

World Rabies Day is annually observed on September 28 to raise awareness about rabies and how it can be prevented.

Local names

Name Language
World Rabies Day English
Día Mundial de la Rabia Spanish

World Rabies Day 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

World Rabies Day 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Many people around the world observe World Rabies Day (WRD), which raises awareness about the impact of rabies and how the disease can be prevented. It is held on September 28 each year. is an annual event on April 7 to draw attention to particular priorities in global health.

Smiling Asian children with their pet dogs.Awareness issues, such as the importance of pet vaccinations for children’s safety, are brought to attention on World Rabies Day. ©iStockphoto.com/Zhang Bo

What do people do?

Many communities and organizations around the world, including the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the UN’s directing and coordinating authority for health, and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), actively promote various activities and events that center on World Rabies Day.

Many government agencies and disease control centers that support World Rabies Day produce media kits, including posters, pamphlets, and press releases, to increase awareness about rabies and preventing the disease. Symposiums are also held on or around this time of the year to remember researchers who were pioneers in finding a rabies vaccination. Some associations and clinics offer free pet vaccinations and some organizations host competitions, such as t-shirt design contests to promote the event’s message.

Public life

World Rabies Day is a global observance but it is not a public holiday.

Background

Rabies is widely distributed across the globe. More than 55,000 people die of rabies each year. About 95 percent of human deaths occur in Asia and Africa, according to WHO. Most human deaths follow a bite from an infected dog. About 30 to 60 percent of dog bite victims are children under the age of 15. There are safe and effective vaccines available for people who have been bitten by an animal that might have the disease, but usage in developing countries is low due to the high cost.

World Rabies Day, which is founded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and GARC, aims to unite relevant partners to address rabies prevention and control. With the initial goal of engaging 55,000 people to take action, one for each person who dies each year from rabies, the inaugural campaign saw nearly 400,000 people from at least 74 countries participating on September 8, 2007. The event was held again in 2008, but on September 28 instead of September 8, and September 28 has been used as the date to promote the event from that year onwards.

More than 393,000 people participated and rabies education messages reached more than 50 million people on World Rabies Day in 2008. The result of this event was that there were enough funds to start grass-roots education and control projects in five countries. Various partners, including WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, support World Rabies Day, which highlights the impact of human and animal rabies and promotes how to prevent and stop the disease by combating it in animals.

Symbols

The World Rabies Day logo features a globe in blue and green, and the green shapes in the globe are that of a bat (left), human (center), and dog or canine figure (right).  The words “World Rabies Day” and the event’s date (month, day and year), typed in black, circle the outer part of the globe. These elements are kept within a black ring, completing the logo.

World Rabies Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sat Sep 8 2007 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 28 2008 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Mon Sep 28 2009 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Tue Sep 28 2010 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Wed Sep 28 2011 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Fri Sep 28 2012 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Sat Sep 28 2013 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 28 2014 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Mon Sep 28 2015 World Rabies Day United Nations observance

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SKYWATCH: ANCIENT MARTIAN STREAMBED, SUN-GRAZING COMET, AND MORE

News
Ancient streambed on Mars

NASA / JPL / MSSS

Curiosity Finds Ancient Streambed on Mars

September 28, 2012 | NASA’s newest rover has found strong evidence near its landing site inside Gale crater that vigorous steams of liquid water once flowed across the Martian surface. > read more

Much Ado at Mars

September 24, 2012 | It’s a great time to be a Red Planet researcher. Right now three orbiters and two rovers — including the increasingly mobile Curiosity — are checking out Earth’s planetary neighbor from very close range. > read more

Hubble Goes Deep — eXtremely Deep

September 26, 2012 | The Hubble Space Telescope’s newest deep space image reveals 5,500 galaxies in a tiny, dark patch of sky in the constellation Fornax. > read more

A Black Hole in Orion?

September 26, 2012 | The Orion Nebula Cluster might be home to a black hole more than 100 times the mass of the Sun, according to a recent simulation. > read more

Pluto’s Fake Moon

September 25, 2012 | Astronomers think a small body in the Kuiper Belt might be temporarily spiraling around Pluto — well, that’s what it would look like if you were standing on Pluto, anyway. > read more

Astronomers Approach Black Hole

September 27, 2012 | The Event Horizon Telescope team has unmasked the heart of the jet-shooting galaxy M87, paving the way for astronomers to discover how black holes create their superpowered streamers. > read more

Observing

Comet ISON's path

NASA / JPL

A “Dream Comet” Heading Our Way?

September 27, 2012 | Veteran skywatchers are trying to contain their enthusiasm for a new find that, late next year, could become the brightest comet in decades. > read more

Tour September’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

August 31, 2012 | Some of this month’s sky sights are low down along the horizon: Saturn and Mars in the west after sunset, the first-quarter Moon in the south, and Jupiter when it rises around midnight in the east. > read more

Uranus’s Rare Close Encounter

September 18, 2012 | The planet Uranus is spectacularly close to an almost identically bright star throughout late September. > read more

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

Dawn view

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

September 28, 2012 | The Harvest Moon wanes from full almost down to last quarter this week, stepping past the Pleiades, Aldebaran, and Jupiter along the way. > read more

SkyWeek Television Show
View SkyWeek as seen on PBS click here to watch this week’s episodeSponsored by Meade Instruments

September 24 - 30, 2012 Powered by TheSkyX from Software Bisque

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COLORLINES: FLORIDA’S FELONIOUS VOTING TRAP

Florida’s Felonious Voting Trap

When it comes to determining who can and cannot vote, misinformation reigns. The tea party movement is eager to exploit that fact.

Colorlines.com’s Voting Rights reporter Brentin Mock explains.

Hollywood Takes Up School Reform’s Latest Agenda in ‘Won’t Back Down’

Julianne Hing looks at how the new film “Won’t Back Down,” made with the help of billionaire school reform backers, could alter the national dialgoue on school reform.

The Ballot and the Bible: How Voting Can Be a Sacred Act

Aura Bogado looks at how people across the country are organizing their religious communities ahead of this year’s presidential election.

Decision on Deported Dad’s Parental Rights Will Have to Wait The protracted case over Felipe Montes’ parental rights will continue another day.

We Can’t Afford to Participate in a ‘Justice for Some’ Culture Coverage of the case of Michelle Kosilek, the Massachusetts prisoner who will receive state-funded gender reassignment surgery, has sparked lots of vicious, vengeful, anti-trans comments. Here’s why that’s dangerous for everyone.

How the Mayweather-Pacquiao Saga Reminds Us of the Voter ID Game In both boxing and voting, the strategy is the same: keep the opponent away.

Samuel L. Jackson Debuts F-Bomb-Laced Pro-Obama Ad [NSFW] The actor has a message for Democrats who supported President Barack Obama in 2008 but aren’t enthusiastic this time around: “Wake the f—- up!”

Families Urge the FCC to Lower Price of Prison Phone CallsEarlier this week FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn heard from friends and relatives of people who are in prison urging him to help lower the cost of calls from U.S. prisons.

Dolce & Gabbana Send Racist Mammy Collection Down the Catwalk The models on the runway wore fruit cornucopias — and burlap dresses and earrings that include romanticized images of black women living happy slave plantation lives.

Cherokee Nation Demands Scott Brown Apologize For ‘Downright Racist’ Behavior The Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation issued a strongly worded statement Wednesday denouncing the actions of Sen. Scott Brown’s staffers and supporters at a campaign rally earlier this week.

New Yorkers Tag Racist ‘Savage’ Jihad Subway Ads Hours after the ads went up a street artist tagged them with “racist” and “hate speech” labels.

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WORLD MARITIME DAY: SEPTEMBER 27, 2012

WORLD MARITIME DAY  [INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION -IMO]

Quick Facts

World Maritime Day is held on the last week of September each year, although the exact date is up to individual governments around the world.

Local names

Name Language
World Maritime Day English
Día Marítimo Mundial Spanish

World Maritime Day 2012 [IMO]: ONE HUNDRED YEARS AFTER THE TITANIC

Thursday, September 27, 2012

World Maritime Day 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The United Nations (UN), via the International Maritime Organization (IMO), created World Maritime Day to celebrate the international maritime industry’s contribution towards the world’s economy, especially in shipping. The event’s date varies by year and country but it is always on the last week of September.

Small Syrian harbour in TartusWorld Maritime Day focuses on the marine environment, as well as safety and security for boats and ships.. ©iStockphoto.com/Olga Kolos

What do people do?

World Maritime Day focuses on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO’s work. The day also features a special message from the IMO’s secretary-general, which is backed up by a discussion paper on the selected subject in more detail.

World Maritime Day is celebrated in many countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Many maritime organizations and unions hold special events and activities to celebrate this day. These activities and events range from symposiums to luncheons, as well as school lessons that focus on the day. Some classes may organize a trip to a maritime museum so students can understand the significance of the maritime industry in shaping world history and its importance in world trade.

Public life

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

Background

Throughout history, people have understood that international regulations that are followed by many countries worldwide could improve marine safety so many treaties have been adopted since the 19th century. Various countries proposed for a permanent international body to be established to promote maritime safety more effectively but it was not until the UN was established that these hopes were realized. An international conference in Geneva in 1948 adopted a convention formally establishing the IMO, a specialized UN agency that develops and maintains a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping.

The IMO’s original name was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) but the name was changed in 1982 to IMO. The IMO focuses on areas such as safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.

World Maritime Day was first held on March 17, 1978 to mark the date of the IMO Convention’s entry into force in 1958. At that time, the organization had 21 member states. It now has about 167 member states and three associate members. This membership includes virtually all the nations of the world with an interest in maritime affairs, including those involved in the shipping industry and coastal states with an interest in protecting their maritime environment.

Note: The dates below are a rough guide on when World Maritime Day is observed, based on the most recent previous dates it was observed by the UN. It is also important to note that the exact date is left to individual governments but is usually celebrated during the last week in September.

External links

IMO: World Maritime Day

World Maritime Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Thu Sep 25 1980 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 24 1981 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 23 1982 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 22 1983 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 27 1984 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 26 1985 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 25 1986 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 24 1987 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 22 1988 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 28 1989 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 27 1990 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 26 1991 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 24 1992 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 23 1993 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 22 1994 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 28 1995 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 26 1996 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 25 1997 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 24 1998 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 23 1999 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 28 2000 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 27 2001 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 26 2002 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 25 2003 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 23 2004 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 22 2005 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 28 2006 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 27 2007 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 25 2008 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 24 2009 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 23 2010 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 22 2011 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 27 2012 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 26 2013 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 25 2014 World Maritime Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 24 2015 World Maritime Day United Nations observance

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 9-23-2012

EDWIN P. WILSON, THE SPY WHO LIVED IT UP

By

Published: September 22, 2012

  • Part spy, part tycoon, Edwin P. Wilson lived large.

Associated Press

The former C.I.A. agent Edwin P. Wilson was escorted from court in 1982 after his sentencing for selling arms to Libya.

He claimed to own 100 corporations in the United States and Europe, many of them real and many of them shells. He had an apartment in Geneva; a hunting lodge in England; a seaside villa in Tripoli, Libya; a town house in Washington; and real estate in North Carolina, Lebanon and Mexico. He entertained congressmen, generals and Central Intelligence Agency bigwigs at his 2,338-acre estate in Northern Virginia.

He showered minks on his mistress, whom he called “Wonder Woman.” He owned three private planes and bragged that he knew flight attendants on the Concorde by name.

His preferred habitat was a hall of mirrors. His business empire existed as a cover for espionage, but it also made him a lot of money. He had the advantage of being able to call the Internal Revenue Service and use national security jargon to get the details on a potential customer. And if the I.R.S. questioned his own tax filings, he terminated the discussion by saying he was a C.I.A. operative on a covert mission.

“Being in the C.I.A. was like putting on a magic coat that forever made him invisible and invincible,” Peter Maas wrote in “Manhunt,” his 1986 book about Mr. Wilson.

For Mr. Wilson, who died on Sept. 10 in Seattle at 84, the adventure collapsed with his arrest in 1982 on charges of selling Libya 20 tons of powerful explosives.

Over the next two years, he was tried in four federal cases in four different courts, accused of, among other things, smuggling arms and plotting to murder his wife. He was sentenced to a total of 52 years in prison. He served 22 of them, mostly in solitary confinement. Then the dagger of fate took a strange twist.

After studying thousands of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Mr. Wilson and his lawyer went back to court and demolished the government’s case.

Mr. Wilson’s sole defense was that he had been working for the C.I.A., serving his country, when he sold the explosives to Libya. The prosecution’s case had rested on an affidavit by the C.I.A.’s third-ranking official denying that Mr. Wilson had been working for the agency at the time. An hour after being read the affidavit, a jury found Mr. Wilson guilty.

Two decades later, the evidence Mr. Wilson had collected convinced a federal judge in Houston, Lynn H. Hughes, that he had in fact been working for the agency and that the C.I.A. had lied.

“Because the government knowingly used false evidence against him and suppressed favorable evidence, his conviction will be vacated,” Judge Hughes wrote. He added, “America will not defeat Libyan terrorism by double-crossing a part-time informal government agent.”

In 2004, a year after the judge’s ruling, Mr. Wilson was released from Allenwood federal penitentiary in Pennsylvania. Since then he had lived in Seattle on a monthly Social Security check of $1,080. He died of complications from heart-valve replacement surgery, his nephew Scott Wilson said.

Up until his death, Mr. Wilson was still hoping to persuade two other federal courts to void his convictions on the other charges.

Edwin Paul Wilson was born into a poor farm family in Nampa, Idaho, on May 3, 1928. A member of Future Farmers of America, he had a newspaper route and sometimes supplemented his income by rolling a drunk, Mr. Maas wrote in “Manhunt.” He shipped out as a seaman before returning to earn a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from the University of Portland. He joined the Marines and served in Korea after the conflict there ended.

Flying home, he fell into a conversation with a passenger, who told him that he might like working for the C.I.A. The passenger did not identify himself, but Mr. Wilson wrote down a name and a phone number to call. The agency hired him in 1955. His first job was guarding U-2 spy planes.

In 1960, the C.I.A. sent him to Cornell for graduate studies in labor relations, which he put to use against Communism in unions around the world. In one assignment he paid Corsican mobsters to keep leftist dockworkers in line; in another, he released cockroaches in the hotel rooms of Soviet labor delegations.

In 1964, on behalf of the agency, Mr. Wilson started a maritime consulting firm so that the C.I.A. could better monitor international shipping. By nudging up costs and skimping on taxes, he multiplied his own income.

Mr. Wilson left the C.I.A. in 1971, at least publicly, to join the Office of Naval Intelligence. Again he formed companies in service of the government and took them with him when he left the government in 1976. He grew rich and lived lavishly.

Several years later, a top C.I.A. official asked Mr. Wilson to go to Libya to keep an eye on Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, better known as the Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal, who was living there. That led to several weapons deals. In one, a Libyan asked him to throw in a few pistols to send to Libyan embassies. One was used to kill a Libyan dissident in Bonn. “That I feel bad about,” Mr. Wilson told The Washington Post in a 2004 interview.

He also arranged for former Green Berets to train Libyan troops, and for airplane and helicopter pilots to work for Libya. There was speculation in news publications that he had contributed to the deaths of a dozen Libyan dissidents around the world. He later maintained that all of his activities had been done to gather information for the C.I.A.

Unknown to Mr. Wilson, investigators had been building a case against him since 1976, when Kevin Mulcahy, one of his partners, approached the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. with grave doubts about the legality and ethics of Mr. Wilson’s business dealings.

Lured by investigators to the Dominican Republic in 1982, Mr. Wilson was flown to New York and eventually indicted on various charges in federal courts in Washington, Virginia, New York and Houston. He was tried four times over the next two years.

In Washington, he was acquitted of charges that he had solicited assassins to kill a Libyan dissident. In Virginia, he was convicted of exporting weapons, including the one used in the Bonn killing, and sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $200,000.

The New York case concerned a deal Mr. Wilson had tried to make with a fellow inmate, who was actually a federal informer, to murder two prosecutors, six witnesses and his own wife, the former Barbara Hagen, at $50,000 a head. Prosecutors said he had wanted to avoid paying a settlement in a divorce suit. They also said he had requested that the killer return her wedding ring to him, preferably attached to her finger.

Convicted in the murder plot, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and fined $75,000.

In Houston, Judge Hughes appointed David Adler to handle Mr. Wilson’s petition. Mr. Adler had worked for the C.I.A. He said in an interview on Friday that the most convincing documents supporting Mr. Wilson’s contentions were records of communications among government lawyers clearly deciding to withhold evidence.

Asked why he thought they did it, Mr. Adler said, “There was such tremendous pressure to get a conviction.”

Mr. Wilson is survived by two sons, Erik and Karl, and a sister, Leora Pinkston. One of his last attempts at retribution was a civil suit he filed against seven federal prosecutors and a former C.I.A. official. In 2007, a federal judge dismissed the case on the ground that all eight had immunity covering their actions.

David Corn, the author of “Blond Ghost,” a biography of Theodore Shackley, the C.I.A. boss who had first sent Mr. Wilson to Libya, spoke of the essential paradox in Mr. Wilson’s story.

“They framed a guilty man,” he told The Washington Post. “I think he’s a terrible fellow who got what he deserved, but they did frame him.”

SOURCE

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JEROME P. HORWITZ, CREATOR OF AZT

By

Published: September 20, 2012

  • Jerome P. Horwitz, a scientific researcher who created AZT in 1964 in the hope that it would cure cancer but who entered the medical pantheon decades later when AZT became the first successful drug treatment for people with AIDS, died on Sept. 6 in Bloomfield Township, Mich. He was 93.

Courtesy of Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University

Jerome P. Horwitz developed AZT as a cure for cancer.

His wife, Sharon Horwitz, confirmed his death, which had not been widely reported until this week.

Dr. Horwitz never achieved much fame and did not earn a penny for making the AZT compound. The riches — billions of dollars eventually — went to the drug company that tested it, patented it and, in 1986, won federal approval for it as the first treatment proven to prolong AIDS patients’ lives.

Dr. Horwitz told interviewers that when AZT (short for azidothymidine) had failed as a cancer drug, he literally put it away on a shelf in disappointment and moved on to explore other ideas, never bothering to patent it.

To console himself, he half-kiddingly told colleagues at Wayne State University’s cancer research center in Detroit that AZT and several similar drugs he had developed were “a very interesting set of compounds that were waiting for the right disease.”

That set of compounds not only proved useful 22 years later in combating full-blown AIDS, it also defined a new approach to attacking disease by stealth.

Dr. Horwitz called the family of compounds he and his colleagues had developed “dideoxythymidines.” All were synthetic forms of components of DNA known as nucleosides, a building block of genetic material. The researchers had injected AZT into cancer cells, hoping it would act like a Trojan horse to hinder cell growth by confusing the DNA’s real nucleosides.

The stealth approach did not work against cancer, but it provided the foundation for the development of antiviral drugs now used in treating the human immunodeficiency virus, as well as hepatitis and herpes.

“It would be hard to put a number on how many lives have been saved because of these three drugs,” said Nathalia Holt, an AIDS research fellow at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, M.I.T. and Harvard. She referred to AZT and two other compounds that Dr. Horwitz created, known as didanosine and stauvidine. “They form the basis for the antiviral therapy we use today.”

AZT collected dust on the shelf until the mid-1980s, when public awareness of the growing death toll from AIDS prompted a widespread search for treatments. Along with thousands of other drugs being tried in laboratories, the pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome asked the National Cancer Institute to determine whether AZT might be effective in treating people with AIDS.

When a group of scientists financed by the institute found that it was effective, the drug company filed for and received a patent. (The company later became GlaxoSmithKline in a merger.)

The approval of AZT for treating AIDS made Dr. Horwitz briefly famous. Newspapers wrote about him and “ABC World News Tonight” profiled him as a “Person of the Week.” But for Dr. Horwitz, the publicity was soured by the loss of potential income — both for him and for his research center — because of their failure to secure a patent.

Dr. Horwitz told interviewers that Burroughs Wellcome had donated money to the Karmanos Cancer Institute, the research center affiliated with Wayne State, to establish a chair in his name. But the gift — $100,000 — was not enough to cover the cost of an endowed professorship. He said the size of the gift, given the profits earned, made him angry for a while.

But he got over it, he said. “If I was ever bitter, it’s long since passed,” he told The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2005.

Jerome Phillip Horwitz was born in Detroit on Jan. 16, 1919, one of three children of Louis and Belle Horwitz. His father was in the wholesale poultry business. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the University of Detroit in 1942 and a master’s degree there two years later. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1948 at the University of Michigan.

After working in the field of rocket fuel science at the Illinois Institute of Technology, he became a cancer researcher in the mid-1950s at the Michigan Cancer Foundation and a professor at the Wayne State Medical School. (The Cancer Foundation was renamed the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in 1995.) He remained with those institutions until retiring in 2005.

One of his last projects involved developing drugs for treating solid tumors. The research led Wayne State to obtain a patent, which it licensed in 2003 to a pharmaceutical company. While clinical trials were taking place, the company paid the school a hefty licensing fee, which it shared with Dr. Horwitz. At 86, he received the first royalty check of his career.

Besides his wife, his survivors include two daughters, Carol Kastan and Suzanne Gross, and five grandchildren.

“He never did it for the money,” Ms. Horwitz said. “He went into science because he wanted to make a difference.” After a pause she added, “He also went into science because he didn’t want to go into the poultry business with his father.”

SOURCE

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