Monthly Archives: May 2015

WORLD NO-TOBACCO DAY [WHO]: MAY 31, 2015

WORLD NO-TOBACCO DAY

People, non-governmental organizations and governments unite on World No Tobacco Day to draw attention to the health problems that tobacco use can cause. It is held on May 31 each year.

Hand saying no thanks to a packages of cigarettes offered
World No Tobacco Day focuses on informing people about health problems associated with tobacco use.
©iStockphoto.com/Anneke Schram

What do people do?

World No Tobacco Day is a day for people, non-governmental organizations and governments organize various activities to make people aware of the health problems that tobacco use can cause. These activities include:

  • Public marches and demonstrations, often with vivid banners.
  • Advertising campaigns and educational programs.
  • People going into public places to encourage people to stop smoking.
  • The introduction of bans on smoking in particular places or types of advertising.
  • Meetings for anti-tobacco campaigners.

Moreover, laws restricting smoking in particular areas may come into effect and wide reaching health campaigns may be launched.

2015 Theme: “Stop illicit trade of tobacco products

Public life

World No Tobacco Day is not a public holiday.

Background

Tobacco is a product of the fresh leaves of nicotiana plants. It is used as an aid in spiritual ceremonies and a recreational drug. It originated in the Americas, but was introduced to Europe by Jean Nicot, the French ambassador to Portugal in 1559. It quickly became popular and an important trade crop.

Medical research made it clear during the 1900s that tobacco use increased the likelihood of many illnesses including heart attacks, strokes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema and many forms of cancer. This is true for all ways in which tobacco is used, including:

  • Cigarettes and cigars.
  • Hand rolling tobacco.
  • Bidis and kreteks (cigarettes containing tobacco with herbs or spices).
  • Pipes and water pipes.
  • Chewing tobacco.
  • Snuff.
  • Snus (a moist version of snuff popular in some countries such as Sweden).
  • Creamy snuff (a paste consisting of tobacco, clove oil, glycerin, spearmint, menthol, and camphor sold in a toothpaste tube popular in India).
  • Gutkha (a version of chewing tobacco mixed with areca nut, catechu, slaked lime and other condiments popular in India and South-East Asia).

On May 15, 1987, the World Health Organization passed a resolution, calling for April 7, 1988, to be the first World No Smoking Day. This date was chosen because it was the 40th anniversary of the World Health Organization. On May 17, 1989, the World Health Organization passed a resolution calling for May 31 to be annually known as World No Tobacco Day. This event has been observed each year since 1989.

Themes

The themes of World No Tobacco Day have been:

  • 2009 – Tobacco health warnings.
  • 2008 – Tobacco-free youth.
  • 2007 – Smoke free inside.
  • 2006 – Tobacco: deadly in any form or disguise.
  • 2005 – Health professionals against tobacco.
  • 2004 – Tobacco and poverty, a vicious circle.
  • 2003 – Tobacco free film, tobacco free fashion.
  • 2002 – Tobacco free sports.
  • 2001 – Second-hand smoke kills.
  • 2000 – Tobacco kills, don’t be duped.
  • 1999 – Leave the pack behind.
  • 1998 – Growing up without tobacco.
  • 1997 – United for a tobacco free world.
  • 1996 – Sport and art without tobacco: play it tobacco free.
  • 1995 – Tobacco costs more than you think.
  • 1994 – Media and tobacco: get the message across.
  • 1993 – Health services: our windows to a tobacco free world.
  • 1992 – Tobacco free workplaces: safer and healthier.
  • 1991 – Public places and transport: better be tobacco free.
  • 1990 – Childhood and youth without tobacco: growing up without tobacco.
  • 1989 – Initial observance.

Symbols

Images that symbolize World No Tobacco Day are:

  • Clean ashtrays with flowers in them.
  • Ashtrays with images of body parts, such as the heart and lungs, which are damaged by tobacco use.
  • No smoking signs.
  • Symbols of death, such as gravestones and skulls, with cigarettes.
  • Images of the diseases caused by tobacco use.

These images are often displayed as posters, on Internet sites and blogs, on clothing and public transport vehicles.

World No Tobacco Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Thu May 31 1990 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Fri May 31 1991 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Sun May 31 1992 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Mon May 31 1993 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Tue May 31 1994 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Wed May 31 1995 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Fri May 31 1996 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Sat May 31 1997 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Sun May 31 1998 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Mon May 31 1999 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Wed May 31 2000 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Thu May 31 2001 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Fri May 31 2002 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Sat May 31 2003 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Mon May 31 2004 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Tue May 31 2005 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Wed May 31 2006 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Thu May 31 2007 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Sat May 31 2008 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Sun May 31 2009 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Mon May 31 2010 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Tue May 31 2011 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Thu May 31 2012 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Fri May 31 2013 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Sat May 31 2014 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Sun May 31 2015 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Tue May 31 2016 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Wed May 31 2017 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Thu May 31 2018 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Fri May 31 2019 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance
Sun May 31 2020 World No Tobacco Day United Nations observance

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 5-31-2015

BEAU BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’S SON

Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., in 2012. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

The cause was brain cancer, his father said.

Mr. Biden had spent more than a week receiving treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, where he died.

In a statement Saturday night, the vice president said, “It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life.”

The statement went on to say, “In the words of the Biden family: Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known.”

In 2010, the younger Mr. Biden, known as Beau, had suffered what officials described as a mild stroke. Three years later, he was admitted to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston after what White House officials described at the time as “an episode of disorientation and weakness.”

The vice president and his son at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

Officials said in 2013 that the doctors in Texas had removed a small lesion from his brain.

Mr. Biden’s death is a second tragic loss for the vice president, whose first wife, Neilia, and 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, were killed in a car accident in 1972 when the station wagon they were driving in to go Christmas shopping was hit by a tractor-trailer. Beau Biden and his brother, Hunter, were also injured in the crash, but both survived.

A popular Democratic politician in his home state who was known to be very close to his father, Mr. Biden served two terms as Delaware’s top law enforcement official before announcing last year that he would not run for a third term so he could make a bid for governor in 2016.

“What started as a thought — a very persistent thought — has now become a course of action that I wish to pursue,” Mr. Biden wrote in an open letter to his constituents in April 2014.

As recently as late February, some Delaware politicians close to Mr. Biden told news organizations that they still believed Mr. Biden planned to run for governor.

But Mr. Biden’s health had apparently declined in recent weeks, and he was taken to Walter Reed this month.

Born on Feb. 3, 1969, in Wilmington, Del., Joseph Robinette Biden III was an energetic politician whose broad smile mirrored that of his father. He appeared to be a natural to follow his father’s path toward national political success.

A lawyer by training, Mr. Biden joined the Delaware National Guard in 2003, serving as a major in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. His unit was deployed to Iraq in 2008, while his father was running for vice president. He was also a Bronze Star recipient.

In a short, emotional speech introducing his father at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Mr. Biden recalled the tragedy that had touched his family, describing the moments after the crash.

“One of my earliest memories was being in that hospital, Dad always at our side. We, not the Senate, were all he cared about,” Mr. Biden said. “He decided not to take the oath of office. He said, ‘Delaware can get another senator, but my boys can’t get another father.’ However, great men like Ted Kennedy, Mike Mansfield, Hubert Humphrey — men who had been tested themselves — convinced him to serve. So he was sworn in, in the hospital, at my bedside.”

The vice president, right, spoke with his son, an army captain, near Baghdad in 2009. Credit Khalid Mohammed/Associated Press

Many in Delaware expected Mr. Biden to run for his father’s Senate seat after the 2008 election, but the younger Biden, who was elected attorney general in 2006, declined, saying he was still needed in his state as he pressed ahead on a major child molestation case his agency was pursuing against a pediatrician.

“I have a duty to fulfill as attorney general, and the immediate need to focus on a case of great consequence. And that is what I must do.”

He ran for re-election in 2010, serving a second term before deciding to seek higher office.

Mr. Biden, who lived in Greenville, Del., is survived by his wife, Hallie, and their two children, Natalie, 11, and Hunter, 9; his parents, the vice president and Dr. Jill Biden; his brother, Hunter; and his sister, Ashley Biden.

President Obama and Michelle Obama paid their respects to the Bidens on Sunday, visiting with them for about a half-hour at the vice president’s residence at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington.

Earlier, the president said in a statement that he was grieving for the vice president and his family. “For all that Beau Biden achieved in his life, nothing made him prouder, nothing made him happier, nothing claimed a fuller focus of his love and devotion than his family,” Mr. Obama said. “Just like his dad.”

He called the vice president “one of the strongest men” he had ever known and quoted the poet William Butler Yeats. “I have believed the best of every man,” Yeats wrote, “and find that to believe it is enough to make a bad man show him at his best or even a good man swing his lantern higher.”

“Beau Biden believed the best of us all,” Mr. Obama said. “For him, and for his family, we swing our lanterns higher.”

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SKYWATCH: MOST LUMINOUS GALAXY FOUND, THE SKY IN 27,800 AD, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

The Most Luminous Galaxy

Researchers using NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer have discovered the most luminous galaxy to date.

The Migrating Stars of Cluster 47 Tucanae

Observations of white dwarfs in a densely populated globular cluster confirm astronomers’ expectations that stars migrate to a cluster’s outskirts after losing weight.

Hot Jupiters: Cloudy or Clear?

New analysis of Kepler observations shows that hot Jupiters’ temperatures might predict their weather report.

OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, May 29 – June 6

The bright Moon shines near Spica and Saturn at dusk. And with a full Moon on Tuesday, it’s time to turn our scopes from deep-sky objects to double stars.

Will We Still Recognize the Sky in 27,800 AD?

With Arcturus as our touchstone, we set off in a virtual time machine to visit the sky of the distant future.

Tour June’s Sky: An Epic Planet Pairing

Watch as the two brightest planets — Venus and Jupiter — edge closer together and culminate on June 30th with a dramatically close pairing.

COMMUNITY

NEAF 2015 Product Videos Are Here!

As amateur astronomers gathered several weeks ago at the 24th annual Northeast Astronomy Forum, they caught first glimpses of hot new products showcased at one of the world’s largest astronomy trade shows.

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HATEWATCH ROUNDUP: WEEK OF MAY 25-29, 2015

Wow.

There was so much hating going on over the week, that I just could not put up just one post for this week’s Hatewatch. So, here are the following examples of how demonic racism and hatred can be.

Enjoy!

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Hatewatch Headlines 5/29/15

By Hatewatch Staff on May 29, 2015 – 8:41 am

Right Wing Watch: Homeschooling activist defends Josh Duggar by proclaiming ‘abuse is the new racism.’

Raw Story: Gun-wielding woman arrested for pointing pistol at peaceful Muslim couple she considered ‘suspicious.’

Chronicle of Higher Education: UNC-Chapel Hill renames building that honored state Ku Klux Klan leader Saunders.

AL.com: Two antigovernment ‘sovereign citizens’ sentenced to 10 years in prison for filing false documents.

Huffington Post: Ohio sheriff’s deputy fired over racist tweets comparing Baltimore protesters to ‘Planet of the Apes.’

Associated Press: Two Georgia men plead guilty to participating in would-be militia bombing plot.

Think Progress: Alabama minister fined and sentenced to probation after she tries to marry a same-sex couple.

Talking Points Memo: Newspaper apologizes for running letter suggesting President Obama be executed.

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Ann Coulter – A White Nationalist in the Mainstream?

By Hatewatch Staff on May 28, 2015 – 1:07 pm

Ann Coulter was back in the news again this week following racist comments she made during an interview with Fusion TV host Jorge Ramos. Coulter claimed the Mexican culture is “deficient” and went on to claim that part of Mexican culture includes “uncles raping their nieces.” Such quotes are nothing new for Coulter, who uses her mainstream popularity as a platform to spread white nationalist messages and ideas to a large audience.

Over the past few decades, other white nationalist ideologues such as Pat Buchanan and Sam Francis (before his death) have been publicly denounced and marginalized. The main question for TV networks and newspaper columns is why are they not doing the same to Coulter? If one looks at her quotes throughout the years, many strikingly similar things have been uttered by neo-Nazis and hardcore white nationalists. Yet Coulter remains in the mainstream.

In an interview with Sean Hannity last year, Coulter scoffed, “But unfortunately for liberals, there is no racism in America. There is more cholera in America than there is racism. But they have to invent it.” Sadly, Coulter is very much mistaken. Racism is alive and well in America today and Coulter is doing her part to spread it.

Below is a selection of racist quotes from Coulter juxtaposed with similar quotes from other members of the radical right:

One may assume the new majority will not be such compassionate overlords as the white majority has been. If this sort of drastic change were legally imposed on any group other than white Americans, it would be called genocide. Yet whites are called racists merely for mentioning the fact that current immigration law is intentionally designed to reduce their percentage in the population. (From AnnCoulter.com

 “Why can’t European-Americans be concerned with this genocide [of white people]? Is it racial to say that?” – Gordon Baum, former head of the white nationalist group Council of Conservative Citizens

“I think there are cultures that are obviously deficient. And if they weren’t deficient, you wouldn’t be sitting in America interviewing me — I’d be sitting in Mexico.” (Coulter in Politico

“Multiculturalism, which subordinates successful Euro-American culture to dysfunctional Third World cultures, keeps gaining ground against surprisingly weak opposition.” – White nationalist John Vinson,  founding member of the neo-Confederate hate group League of the South 

 “You fled that culture because there are a lot of problems with that culture. We can share our culture with other nations without bringing all of their people here. When you bring the people here, you bring those cultures here. That includes honor killings, it includes uncles raping their nieces, it includes dumping litter all over, it includes not paying your taxes, it includes paying bribes to government officials. That isn’t our culture.” (Coulter in Politico

Statistics repeatedly prove that ILLEGAL ALIENS, first committing a criminal act by violating our borders and then bringing their values and culture to our midst, are major contributors to our mounting financial burdens as well as moral and social decay.” – Barbara Coe, former head of the anti-immigrant hate group California Coalition for Immigration Reform  

“I think our motto should be, post-9/11, ‘Raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.” (Coulter in CNSnews

“A bunch of towel head/sand niggers put our great White Movement to shame” – Neo-Nazi Rocky Suhayda

“But unfortunately for liberals, there is no racism in America. There is more cholera in America than there is racism. But they have to invent it.”  (Coulter in Newshounds

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Hatewatch Headlines, 5-28-15

By Hatewatch Staff on May 28, 2015 – 7:43 am

Salon: Ann Coulter sneers that Mexican culture ‘is obviously deficient,’ and ‘Hispanics are not black, so drop the racism crap.’

New York Daily News: Drive-by shooting of Connecticut pastor outside church may be investigated as a hate crime.

Raw Story: Photo shows rifle-toting Chicago cops posing with black drug suspect like a hunting trophy.

Gay Star News: Westboro Baptist tries to attack J.K. Rowling over Ireland vote, earns an epic putdown.

Right Wing Watch: Alex Jones hails manly Vladimir Putin for promoting ‘masculine men’ and homeschooling.

The Denver Channel (CO): Investigators ask public to help ID woman seen near arson at Colorado Muslim Society mosque.

Media Matters: NRA magazine features a lamp that celebrates the Confederacy and other bizarre products.

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPERS: MAY 29, 2015

 

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPERS

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is a day to remember those who served in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations. They also honor the memory of people who died in the name of peace.

United Nations soldiers stand at the ready.
Many UN workers are remembered for their work in peacekeeping operations.
Many UN workers are remembered for their work in peacekeeping operations.
©iStockphoto.com/ Sean_Warren

What do people do?

Many activities are organized on this day. Activities include:

  • Notes in official UN documents and schedules.
  • Presentations during UN meetings and events.
  • Memorial services and wreath laying events for those who died in peace keeping missions.
  • Presentation of the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal as a way to honor military, police and civilian personnel who lost their lives while working for UN peacekeeping operations.
  • Awarding peacekeeping medals to military and police officers who are peacekeepers.
  • The launch of photographic and multimedia exhibitions on the work of UN peacekeepers.

The events take place in places such as the UN headquarters in New York in the United States, as well as Vienna, Australia, and other locations worldwide.

2015 Theme:  “UN70 and UN Peacekeeping: Past, Present, and Future”

Public life

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is not a public holiday.

Background

The UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was founded on May 29, 1948. UNTSO’s task was to assist peacekeepers to observe and maintain a cease-fire. This cease-fire marked the end of the hostilities between Israel and the Arab League forces. The hostilities started after the end of the British Mandate of Palestine on May 14, 1948. On December 11, 2002, the UN General assembly designated May 29 as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. The day was first observed on May 29, 2003.

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is a tribute to people who serve or have served in UN peacekeeping operations. The peacekeepers are honored for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage. People who died for peace are also remembered.

Symbols

UN Peacekeepers are usually clearly recognizable. They often display the UN flag and the letters “UN” on their clothing, equipment and vehicles. They also wear hats, helmets or other clothing with UN colors.

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Thu May 29 2003 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Sat May 29 2004 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Sun May 29 2005 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Mon May 29 2006 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Tue May 29 2007 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Thu May 29 2008 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Fri May 29 2009 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Sat May 29 2010 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Sun May 29 2011 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Tue May 29 2012 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Wed May 29 2013 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Thu May 29 2014 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Fri May 29 2015 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Sun May 29 2016 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Mon May 29 2017 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Tue May 29 2018 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Wed May 29 2019 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance
Fri May 29 2020 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers United Nations observance

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MEMORIAL DAY: MAY 25, 2015

MEMORIAL DAY IN UNITED STATES

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women, who have died in military service for the United States. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season.

USA memorial day
Memorial Day remembers those who died serving the United States military.
©iStockphoto.com/ Alan Crosthwaite

What do people do?

It is traditional to fly the flag of the United States at half mast from dawn until noon. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. Memorial Day is combined with Jefferson Davis’ Birthday in Mississippi.

Memorial Day has become less of an occasion of remembrance. Many people choose to hold picnics, sports events and family gatherings on this weekend. This day is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season for cultural events. For the fashion conscious, it is seen as acceptable to wear white clothing, particularly shoes from Memorial Day until Labor Day. However, fewer and fewer people follow this rule and many wear white clothing throughout the year.

Public life

Memorial Day is a federal holiday. All non-essential Government offices are closed, as are schools, businesses and other organizations. Most public transit systems do not run on their regular schedule. Many people see Memorial Day weekend as an opportunity to go on a short vacation or visit family or friends. This can cause some congestion on highways and at airports.

Background

Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women, who died in any war or military action.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that that, from 1971, Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May. However, it took a longer period for all American states to recognize the new date.

Memorial Day Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Mon May 28 1990 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 27 1991 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 25 1992 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 31 1993 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 30 1994 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 29 1995 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 27 1996 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 26 1997 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 25 1998 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 31 1999 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 29 2000 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 28 2001 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 27 2002 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 26 2003 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 31 2004 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 30 2005 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 29 2006 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 28 2007 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 26 2008 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 25 2009 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 31 2010 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 30 2011 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 28 2012 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 27 2013 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 26 2014 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 25 2015 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 30 2016 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 29 2017 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 28 2018 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 27 2019 Memorial Day National holiday
Mon May 25 2020 Memorial Day National holiday

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 5-24-2015

ANNE MEARA, COMEDIAN AND ACTRESS

Anne Meara in her West Side apartment in 1995. Credit Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Her death was confirmed by her husband and longtime comedy partner, Jerry Stiller, and her son, the actor and director Ben Stiller. They did not provide the cause.

Ms. Meara was an experienced but relatively unknown stage actress when she joined forces with Jerry Stiller, as members of the Compass Players, an improvisational theater troupe that evolved into Second City (where another male-female team, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, had gotten their start), and later on their own as Stiller and Meara. The duo began performing in New York nightclubs in 1961 and within a year had become a national phenomenon.

But even during the heyday of Stiller and Meara, Ms. Meara also pursued a separate career as an actress. She had already amassed an impressive list of stage credits before beginning her comedy career, including an Obie Award-winning performance in “Mädchen in Uniform” in 1955 and roles in several Shakespeare in the Park productions. (She was a witch in “Macbeth” in 1957.)

Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara on the set of “The King of Queens” in 2003. 

Credit Stefano Paltera/Associated Press

She later appeared both on and off Broadway, in films, and especially on television, where she was seen on a wide range of series, from “Rhoda” and “Archie Bunker’s Place” on CBS to “Sex and the City” and “Oz” on HBO.

A tall redhead with a brassy voice and a self-confident demeanor, Ms. Meara was a natural for comedy but frequently played dramatic parts as well. “Comedy, drama, it’s the same deal,” she said in an interview for the Archive of American Television in 2008. “You don’t really act differently; you just make adjustments.”

Anne Meara was born in Brooklyn on Sept. 20, 1929, and raised in Rockville Centre on Long Island. An only child, she was the daughter of Edward Meara, a lawyer, and the former Mary Dempsey, who committed suicide when her daughter was 11. After studying for a year at the Dramatic Workshop at the New School in Manhattan, Anne began her career in summer stock in 1948.

She met Mr. Stiller in 1953 and married him soon after, but it would be some time before they began working as a team. The idea, they both agreed, was his; she did not think of herself as a comedian, but because work was scarce she reluctantly agreed.

“Jerry started us being a comedy team,” she said in 2008. “He always thought I would be a great comedy partner. At that time in my life, I disdained comedians.”

In the 1960s Stiller and Meara were regular guests on the variety and talk shows of Ed Sullivan and many others, and performed in nightclubs all over the country. In the 1970s their voices were heard on radio commercials for Blue Nun wine and other products.

Ms. Meara and Mr. Stiller’s relationship was the basis for their best-known comedy routines, which told the continuing story of Hershey Horowitz and Mary Elizabeth Doyle, a short Jewish man and a tall Catholic woman who had virtually nothing in common except their love for each other.

On their first date, arranged by a computer, Hershey and Mary Elizabeth were surprised to learn that they lived on the same block but knew none of the same people. (There was one significant difference between the real-life couple and the comedy version: Ms. Meara, though born and raised Roman Catholic, converted to Judaism in 1961.)

By the end of the decade, Mr. Stiller and Ms. Meara were both concentrating on their individual careers, but they continued to perform together from time to time. She made several guest appearances on the sitcom “The King of Queens,” on which Mr. Stiller (who had also memorably played Frank Costanza on “Seinfeld”) was a regular; her character married his in the series finale in 2007.

In 2010 they began appearing in a series of web videos produced by their son in which they sat on a couch and talked, to the camera and occasionally to each other, about a variety of topics.

In 1975 Ms. Meara starred in “Kate McShane,” an hourlong drama about a lawyer that, despite generally good reviews, was canceled after two months. “They never really made her a full-blooded woman,” she said of her character in 2008. “She had no love life; she was really a nun.”

That was her only starring role on television, but she kept busy in a range of supporting roles on the small screen well into the 21st century. In addition to her prodigious prime-time work, she appeared occasionally on the soap opera “All My Children” in the 1990s. During her career, she was nominated for four Emmy Awards and won a Writers Guild Award as a co-writer for “The Other Woman,” a 1983 TV movie.

She had memorable character parts in movies as well, including a teacher in “Fame” (1980) and a personnel manager in “Reality Bites” (1994), Ben Stiller’s feature-film directorial debut. Onstage, she was in the original Off Broadway production of John Guare’s dark comedy “The House of Blue Leaves” in 1971 — her son had a small role in the 1986 Broadway revival and the lead role in a second revival, in 2011 — and she was nominated for a Tony for “Anna Christie” in 1993.

In addition to her husband and her son, Ms. Meara is survived by a daughter, the actress and comedian Amy Stiller, and two grandchildren.

Ms. Meara branched out into writing in 1995, when her comedy “After-Play” was presented Off Broadway. Her “Down the Garden Paths” had a brief Off Broadway run in 2000, with a cast headed by Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson.

“After-Play” has been produced by a number of regional theaters, sometimes with both Ms. Meara and Mr. Stiller in the cast. But neither of them was in the original cast, and she did not conceive it as a Stiller and Meara vehicle.

“I wanted to do something on my own,” she told The New York Times in 1995. “It’s the same way he feels good about doing ‘Seinfeld.’ The irony is, I feel we’re closer personally than when we were out going to nightclubs.”

SOURCE

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JOHN NASH, ‘A BEAUTIFUL MIND’ SUBJECT AND NOBEL WINNER

John F. Nash Jr. receiving an honorary doctorate in Hong Kong in 2011. Credit Aaron Tam/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Dr. Nash and his wife, Alicia, 82, were in a taxi on the New Jersey Turnpike in Monroe Township around 4:30 p.m. when the driver lost control while trying to pass another car and hit a guard rail and another vehicle, said Sgt. Gregory Williams of the New Jersey State Police.

The couple were ejected from the cab and pronounced dead at the scene. The State Police said it was likely that they were not wearing seat belts. The taxi driver and the driver of the other car were treated for non-life threatening injuries. No criminal charges have been filed.

The Nashes were returning from Norway, where Dr. Nash and Louis Nirenberg, a mathematician from New York University, had received the Abel Prize from The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

John F. Nash Jr. at his graduation from Princeton in 1950. Credit Courtesy of Martha Nash Legg

Dr. Nash was widely regarded as one of the great mathematicians of the 20th century, known for the originality of his thinking and for his fearlessness in wrestling down problems so difficult few others dared tackle them. A one-sentence letter written in support of his application to Princeton’s doctoral program in math said simply, “This man is a genius.”

“John’s remarkable achievements inspired generations of mathematicians, economists and scientists,’’ the president of Princeton, Christopher L. Eisgruber, said on Sunday, “and the story of his life with Alicia moved millions of readers and moviegoers who marveled at their courage in the face of daunting challenges.”

Russell Crowe, who portrayed Dr. Nash in “A Beautiful Mind,” tweeted that he was “stunned,” by his death. “An amazing partnership,” he wrote. “Beautiful minds, beautiful hearts.”

Dr. Nash’s theory of noncooperative games, published in 1950 and known as Nash equilibrium, provided a conceptually simple but powerful mathematical tool for analyzing a wide range of competitive situations, from corporate rivalries to legislative decision making. Dr. Nash’s approach is now pervasive in economics and throughout the social sciences and is applied routinely in other fields, like evolutionary biology.

Harold W. Kuhn, an emeritus professor of mathematics at Princeton and a longtime friend and colleague of Dr. Nash’s who died in 2014, said, “I think honestly that there have been really not that many great ideas in the 20th century in economics and maybe, among the top 10, his equilibrium would be among them.” A University of Chicago economist, Roger Myerson, went further, comparing the impact of Nash equilibrium on economics “to that of the discovery of the DNA double helix in the biological sciences.”

Dr. Nash also made contributions to pure mathematics that many mathematicians view as more significant than his Nobel-winning work on game theory, including solving an intractable problem in differential geometry derived from the work of the 19th century mathematician G.F.B. Riemann.

“Jane Austen wrote six novels,’’ said Barry Mazur, a professor of mathematics at Harvard who was a freshman at M.I.T. when Dr. Nash taught there. “I think Nash’s pure mathematical contributions are on that level. Very, very few papers he wrote on different subjects, but the ones that had impact had incredible impact.”

Yet to a wider audience, Dr. Nash was probably best known for his life story, a tale of dazzling achievement, devastating loss and almost miraculous redemption. The narrative of Dr. Nash’s brilliant rise, the lost years when his world dissolved in schizophrenia, his return to rationality and the awarding of the Nobel, retold in a biography by Sylvia Nasar and in the Oscar-winning film, starring Mr. Crowe and Jennifer Connelly as John and Alicia Nash, captured the public mind and became a symbol of the destructive force of mental illness and the stigma that often hounds those who suffer from it.

John Forbes Nash was born on June 13, 1928, in Bluefield, W. Va. His father, John Sr., was an electrical engineer. His mother, Margaret, was a schoolteacher.

As a child, John Nash may have been a prodigy but he was not a sterling student, Ms. Nasar noted in a 1994 article in The New York Times. “He read constantly. He played chess. He whistled entire Bach melodies,” she wrote.

Russell Crowe as John F. Nash Jr. in the 2001 film “A Beautiful Mind.” Credit Eli Reed/Universal Studios

In high school, he stumbled across E.T. Bell’s book, “Men of Mathematics,” and soon demonstrated his own mathematical skill by independently proving a classic Fermat theorem, an accomplishment he recalled in an autobiographical essay written for the Nobel committee.

Intending to become an engineer like his father, he entered Carnegie Mellon (then called Carnegie Institute of Technology). But he chafed at the regimented courses, and encouraged by professors who recognized his mathematical genius, he switched to mathematics.

Receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Carnegie, he arrived at Princeton in 1948, a time of great expectations, when American children still dreamed of growing up to be physicists like Einstein or mathematicians like the brilliant, Hungarian-born polymath John von Neumann, both of whom attended the afternoon teas at Fine Hall, the home of the math department.

John Nash, tall and good-looking, quickly became known for his intellectual arrogance, his odd habits — he paced the halls, walked off in the middle of conversations, whistled incessantly — and his fierce ambition, his colleagues have recalled.

He invented a game, known as Nash, that became an obsession in the Fine Hall common room. (The same game, invented independently in Denmark, was later sold by Parker Brothers as Hex.) He also took on a problem left unsolved by Dr. von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern, the pioneers of game theory, in their now classic book, “Theory of Games and Economic Behavior.”

Dr. von Neumann and Dr. Morgenstern, an economist at Princeton, addressed only so-called zero-sum games, in which one player’s gain is another’s loss. But most real world interactions are more complicated, where players’ interests are not directly opposed, and there are opportunities for mutual gain. Dr. Nash’s solution, contained in a 27-page doctoral thesis he wrote when he was 21, provided a way of analyzing how each player could maximize his benefits, assuming that the other players would also act to maximize their self-interest.

This deceptively simple extension of game theory paved the way for economic theory to be applied to a wide variety of other situations besides the marketplace.

“It was a very natural discovery,” Dr. Kuhn said. “A variety of people would have come to the same results at the same time, but John did it and he did it on his own.”

After receiving his doctorate at Princeton, Dr. Nash served as a consultant for the RAND Corporation and as an instructor at M.I.T. and still had a penchant for attacking problems that no one else could solve. On a dare, he developed an entirely original approach to a longstanding problem in differential geometry, showing that abstract geometric spaces called Riemannian manifolds could be squished into arbitrarily small pieces of Euclidean space.

As his career flourished and his reputation grew, however, Dr. Nash’s personal life became increasingly complex. A turbulent romance with a nurse in Boston, Eleanor Stier, resulted in the birth of a son, John David Stier, in 1953. Dr. Nash also had a series of relationships with men, and while at RAND in the summer of 1954, he was arrested in a men’s bathroom for indecent exposure, according to Ms. Nasar’s biography. And doubts about his accomplishments gnawed at him: two of mathematics’ highest honors, the Putnam Competition and the Fields medal, had eluded him.

In 1957, after two years of on-and-off courtship, he married Alicia Larde, an M.I.T. physics major from an aristocratic Central American family and one of only 16 women in the class of 1955.

“He was very, very good looking, very intelligent,” Mrs. Nash told Ms. Nasar. “It was a little bit of a hero worship thing.”

But early in 1959, with Alicia pregnant with their son, John, Dr. Nash began to unravel. His brilliance turned malignant, leading him into a landscape of paranoia and delusion, and in April, he was hospitalized at McLean Hospital, outside Boston, sharing the psychiatric ward with, among others, the poet Robert Lowell.

It was the first step of a steep decline. There were more hospitalizations. He underwent electroshock therapy and fled for a while to Europe, sending cryptic postcards to colleagues and family members. For many years he roamed the Princeton campus, a lonely figure scribbling unintelligible formulas on the same blackboards in Fine Hall where he had once demonstrated startling mathematical feats.

Though game theory was gaining in prominence, and his work cited ever more frequently and taught widely in economics courses around the world, Dr. Nash had vanished from the professional world.

“He hadn’t published a scientific paper since 1958,” Ms. Nasar wrote in the 1994 Times article. “He hadn’t held an academic post since 1959. Many people had heard, incorrectly, that he had had a lobotomy. Others, mainly those outside of Princeton, simply assumed that he was dead.”

Indeed, Dr. Myerson recalled in a telephone interview that one scholar who wrote to Dr. Nash in the 1980s to ask permission to reprint an article received the letter back with one sentence scrawled across it: “You may use my article as if I were dead.”

Still, Dr. Nash was fortunate in having family members, colleagues and friends, in Princeton and elsewhere, who protected him, got him work, and in general helped him survive. Alicia Nash divorced him in 1963, but continued to stand by him, taking him into her house to live in 1970. (The couple married a second time in 2001.)

Mrs. Nash supported her ex-husband and her son by working as a computer programmer, with some financial help from family, friends and colleagues

By the early 1990s, when the Nobel committee began investigating the possibility of awarding Dr. Nash its memorial prize in economics, his illness had quieted. He later said that he simply decided that he was going to return to rationality. “I emerged from irrational thinking, ultimately, without medicine other than the natural hormonal changes of aging,” he wrote in an email to Dr. Kuhn in 1996.

Colleagues, including Dr. Kuhn, helped persuade the Nobel committee that Dr. Nash was well enough to accept the prize — he shared it with two economists, John C. Harsanyi of the University of California at Berkeley, and Reinhard Selten of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn, Germany — and they defended him when some questioned giving the prize to a man who had suffered from a serious mental disorder.

The Nobel, the publicity that attended it, and the making of the film were “a watershed in his life,” Dr. Kuhn said of Dr. Nash. “It changed him from a homeless unknown person who was wandering around Princeton to a celebrity, and financially, it put him on a much better basis.”

Dr. Nash is survived by two sons, John David Stier and John Charles Martin Nash, and a sister, Martha Nash Legg.

Dr. Nash continued to work, traveling and speaking at conferences and attempting, among other things, to formulate a new theory of cooperative games. Friends described him as charming and diffident, a bit socially awkward, a little quiet, with scant trace of the arrogance of his youth.

“You don’t find many mathematicians approaching things this way now, bare-handedly attacking a problem,” the way Dr. Nash did, said Dr. Mazur.

Correction: May 24, 2015
An earlier version of this obituary misstated the title of a book by E.T. Bell. It is “Men of Mathematics,” not “Men and Mathematics.” It also misstated the poet with whom Dr. Nash spent time in the psychiatric ward at McLean Hospital. It was Robert Lowell, not Ezra Pound.

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