Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker.
A prolific author, Keller was well-traveled, and was outspoken in her opposition to war. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Wobblies, she campaigned for women's suffrage, workers' rights, and socialism, as well as many other leftist causes.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Lucille Désirée Ball (August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989) was an American comedienne, film, television, stage and radio actress, model, film and television executive, and star of the sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy and Life With Lucy. One of the most popular and influential stars in the United States during her lifetime, with one of Hollywood's longest careers, especially on television, Ball began acting in the 1930s, becoming both a radio actress and B-movie star in the 1940s, and then a television star during the 1950s. She was still making films in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1962, Ball became the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu; a studio that produced many successful and popular television series.
Ball was nominated for an Emmy Award thirteen times, and won four times. In 1977 Ball was among the first recipients of the Women in Film Crystal Award. She was the recipient of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1979, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986 and the Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 1989.
In 1929, Ball landed work as a model and later began her performing career on Broadway using the stage name Dianne Belmont. She appeared in many small movie roles in the 1930s as a contract player for RKO Radio Pictures. Ball was labeled as the "Queen of the Bs" (referring to her many roles in B-films). In 1951, Ball was pivotal in the creation of the television series I Love Lucy. The show co-starred her then-husband, Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo, Vivian Vance as Ethel Mertz and William Frawley as Fred Mertz. The Mertzs were the Ricardos' landlords and friends. The show ended in 1957 after 180 episodes. Then, some minor adjustments were made to the program's format - the time of the show was lengthened from 30 minutes to 60 minutes (the first show lasted 75 mins), some new characters were added, the storyline was altered, and the show was renamed The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, which ran for three seasons (1957–1960) and 13 episodes. Ball went on to star in two more successful television series: The Lucy Show, which ran on CBS from 1962 to 1968 (156 Episodes), and Here's Lucy from 1968 to 1974 (144 episodes). Her last attempt at a television series was a 1986 show called Life with Lucy - which failed after 8 episodes aired, although 13 were produced.
Ball met and eloped with Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz in 1940. On July 17, 1951, at almost 40 years old, Ball gave birth to their first child, Lucie Désirée Arnaz. A year and a half later, Ball gave birth to their second child, Desiderio Alberto Arnaz IV, known as Desi Arnaz, Jr. Ball and Arnaz divorced on May 4, 1960.
On April 26, 1989, Ball died of a dissecting aortic aneurysm at age 77. At the time of her death she was married to her second husband and business partner, standup comedian Gary Morton for more than twenty-seven years.
Monday, September 19, 2011
The Honeymooners is an American situation comedy television show, based on a recurring 1951–'55 sketch of the same name. It originally aired on the DuMont network's Cavalcade of Stars and subsequently on the CBS network's The Jackie Gleason Show hosted by Jackie Gleason, and filmed before a live audience. It debuted as a half-hour series on October 1, 1955. Although initially a ratings success — becoming the #2 show in the United States its first season — it faced stiff competition from the Perry Como Show, and eventually dropped to #19, ending its production after only 39 episodes (now referred to as the "Classic 39"). The final episode of The Honeymooners aired on September 22, 1956. Gleason went on to revive The Honeymooners as sketches and hour-long specials off and on through 1978.
Psych is an American detective comedy-drama television series created by Steve Franks and broadcast on USA Network. It stars James Roday as Shawn Spencer, a young crime consultant for the Santa Barbara Police Department whose "heightened observational skills" and impressive detective instincts allow him to convince people that he solves cases with psychic abilities. The program also stars Dulé Hill as Shawn's best friend and reluctant partner Burton "Gus" Guster, as well as Corbin Bernsen as Shawn's captious father, Henry.
The series airs new episodes in the US on Wednesdays at 10PM ET/PT on USA Network. During the second season, an animated segment was added to the series titled "The Big Adventures of Little Shawn and Gus". Psych debuted on Friday, July 7, 2006, immediately following the fifth season premiere of Monk, and continued to be paired with the series until Monk's conclusion on December 4, 2009. It was the highest-rated US basic cable television premiere of 2006. The series has been picked up for a sixth season.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Born an ethnic Serb in the village of Smiljan (now part of Gospić), in the Croatian Military Frontier of the Austrian Empire (modern-day Croatia), Tesla was a subject of the Austrian Empire by birth and later became an American citizen. Because of his 1894 demonstration of wireless communication through radio and as the eventual victor in the "War of Currents", he was widely respected as one of the greatest electrical engineers who worked in America. He pioneered modern electrical engineering and many of his discoveries were of groundbreaking importance. In the United States during this time, Tesla's fame rivaled that of any other inventor or scientist in history or popular culture. Tesla demonstrated wireless energy transfer to power electronic devices as early as 1893, and aspired to intercontinental wireless transmission of industrial power in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project.
Because of his eccentric personality and his seemingly unbelievable and sometimes bizarre claims about possible scientific and technological developments, Tesla was ultimately ostracized and regarded as a mad scientist by many late in his life. Tesla died with little money at the age of 86 in a hotel suite in New York City.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Uma Karuna Thurman (born April 29, 1970) is an American actress and model. She has performed in leading roles in a variety of films, ranging from romantic comedies and dramas to science fiction and action movies. Among her best-known roles are those in the Quentin Tarantino films Pulp Fiction (for which she received an Oscar nomination) and Kill Bill. In 2002 she won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Hysterical Blindness.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
God bless Jerry Lewis (now 85 years old) who served as the national chairman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association since its inception in 1950. Jerry's kids were all the MDA kids who counted on the nation to give each year on the Labor Day weekend in a marathon fundraiser. This will be the first year MDA will ask for help without Jerry.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was the first black Major League Baseball (MLB) player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues since the 1880s, he was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation in professional baseball, which had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six decades. The example of his character and unquestionable talent challenged the traditional basis of segregation, which then marked many other aspects of American life, and contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement. In addition to his cultural impact, Robinson had an exceptional baseball career. Over ten seasons, he played in six World Series and contributed to the Dodgers' 1955 World Championship. He was selected for six consecutive All-Star Games from 1949 to 1954, was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949—the first black player so honored. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. In 1997, Major League Baseball retired his uniform number, 42, across all major league teams. Robinson was also known for his pursuits outside the baseball diamond. He was the first black television analyst in Major League Baseball, and the first black vice-president of a major American corporation. In the 1960s, he helped establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American-owned financial institution based in Harlem, New York. In recognition of his achievements on and off the field, Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Edward Harrison Norton (born August 18, 1969) is an American actor, screenwriter, film director and producer. In 1996, his supporting role in the courtroom drama Primal Fear garnered him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Two years later, his lead role as a reformed white power skinhead in American History X earned a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor. His other films include period dramas such as Kingdom of Heaven (2005), The Illusionist (2006), and The Painted Veil (2006); and other notable films such as Rounders (1998), Fight Club (1999), 25th Hour (2002), Red Dragon (2002), and The Incredible Hulk (2008).
In addition to acting, Norton is also a writer and director. He made his directorial debut with the film Keeping the Faith (2000) and is slated to direct the film adaptation of the novel Motherless Brooklyn. Norton did uncredited work on the scripts for The Score, Frida, and The Incredible Hulk.
In his private life, Norton is an environmental and social activist. He is a member of the board of trustees of Enterprise Community Partners, a non-profit organization for developing affordable housing, founded by his grandfather, James Rouse. Norton is president of the American branch of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. He ran in the 2009 New York City Marathon to raise money for the Trust. He also raises money for charity through Crowdrise, a social networking community for volunteers and a micro-donations fundraising platform. In July 2010, Norton was designated as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Source: Wikipedia
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Brittany Anne Murphy-Monjack (November 10, 1977 – December 20, 2009), known professionally as Brittany Murphy, was an American actress and singer. She starred in films such as Clueless, Just Married, Girl Interrupted, Spun, 8 Mile, Uptown Girls, Sin City, Happy Feet, and Riding in Cars with Boys. She voiced Luanne Platter on the animated TV series King of the Hill. Her final film, Abandoned, was released direct-to-DVD on August 24, 2010.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
Gregory "Pappy" Boyington (December 4, 1912 - January 11, 1988) was a United States Marine Corps officer who was an American fighter ace during World War II. For his heroic actions, he was awarded both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. Boyington flew initially with the American Volunteer Group in the Republic of China Air Force during the Second Sino-Japanese War. He later commanded the famous U.S. Marine Corps squadron, VMF-214 ("The Black Sheep Squadron") during World War II. Boyington became a prisoner of war later in the war.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Alfredo James "Al" Pacino (born April 25, 1940) is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared several times on the other side of the law — as a police officer, detective and a lawyer. His role as Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992 after receiving seven previous Oscar nominations.
He made his feature film debut in the 1969 film Me, Natalie in a minor supporting role, before playing the leading role in the 1971 drama The Panic in Needle Park. Pacino made his major breakthrough when he was given the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather in 1972, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Other Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor were for Dick Tracy and Glengarry Glen Ross. Oscar nominations for Best Actor include The Godfather Part II, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, the court room drama ...And Justice for All and Scent of a Woman.
In addition to a career in film, he has also enjoyed a successful career on stage, picking up Tony Awards for Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. His love of Shakespeare led him to direct his first film with Looking for Richard, a part documentary on the play Richard III. Pacino has received numerous lifetime achievement awards, including one from the American Film Institute. He is a method actor, taught mainly by Lee Strasberg and Charles Laughton at the Actors Studio in New York.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
David and Beth Robinson have sponsored their child for several years. Compassion International coordinates funds from sponsors to local churches like the one in Ecuador that helped David and Beth's sponsor child. Sponsors are asked to write and encourage the children and since it is church sponsored, the children are taught and cared for in a local Christian community.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
A cicada (play /sɪˈkeɪdə/ or /sɪˈkɑːdə/) is an insect of the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha (which was formerly included in the now invalid order Homoptera), in the superfamily Cicadoidea, with large eyes wide apart on the head and usually transparent, well-veined wings. There are about 2,500 species of cicada around the world, and many of them remain unclassified. Cicadas live in temperate to tropical climates where they are among the most widely recognized of all insects, mainly due to their large size and unique sound. Cicadas are often colloquially called locusts, although they are unrelated to true locusts, which are a kind of grasshopper. Cicadas are related to leafhoppers and spittlebugs.
Cicadas are benign to humans under normal circumstances and do not bite or sting in a true sense, but may mistake a person's arm or other part of their body for a tree or plant limb and attempt to feed. Cicadas have a long proboscis under their head which they insert into plant stems in order to feed on sap. It can be painful if they attempt to pierce a person's skin with it, but it is unlikely to cause other harm. It is unlikely to be a defensive reaction and is a rare occurrence. It usually only happens when they are allowed to rest on a person's body for an extended amount of time.
Cicadas can cause damage to several cultivated crops, shrubs, and trees, mainly in the form of scarring left on tree branches while the females lay their eggs deep in branches. Many people around the world regularly eat cicadas though the female is prized for being meatier. Cicadas have also been known to be eaten in Ancient Greece, China, Malaysia, Burma, Latin America, and the Congo. Shells of cicadas are employed in the traditional medicines of China.
Look up cicada in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
The name is a direct derivation of the Latin cicada, meaning "tree cricket". There is no word of proper English, or indeed Germanic, etymology for the insect. In classical Greek, it was called a tettix, and in modern Greek tzitzikas—both names being onomatopoeic.
Charles Bronson (November 3, 1921 – August 30, 2003), born Charles Dennis Buchinsky (Lithuanian: Karolis Dionyzas Bučinskis), was an American actor best known for his "tough guy" image. Bronson starred in films such as Once Upon a Time in the West, The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape, Rider on the Rain, The Mechanic, and the popular Death Wish series. He was most often cast in the role of a police officer or gunfighter, often in revenge-oriented plot lines.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Matthew Paige "Matt" Damon (born October 8, 1970) is an American actor, screenwriter, and philanthropist whose career was launched following the success of the film Good Will Hunting (1997), from a screenplay he co-wrote with friend Ben Affleck. The pair won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay for their work and Damon garnered multiple Best Actor nominations, including the Academy Award, for his lead performance in the film.
Damon has since starred in commercially successful films such as Saving Private Ryan (1998), the Ocean's trilogy, and the Bourne series, while also gaining critical acclaim for his performances in dramas such as Syriana (2005), The Good Shepherd (2006), and The Departed (2006). He garnered a Golden Globe nomination for portraying the title character in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) and was nominated for an Academy Award as a supporting actor in Invictus (2009). He is one of the top forty highest grossing actors of all time. In 2007, Damon received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine.
Damon has been actively involved in charitable work, including the ONE Campaign, H2O Africa Foundation, and Water.org.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Aristotelis "Telly" Savalas (Greek: Αριστοτέλης "Τέλι" Σαββάλας; January 21, 1922 – January 22, 1994) was an American film and television actor and singer, whose career spanned four decades. Best known for playing the title role in the 1970s crime drama Kojak, Savalas was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Birdman of Alcatraz (1962). His other movie credits include The Young Savages (1961), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), Battle of the Bulge (1965), The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Scalphunters (1968), supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Kelly's Heroes (1970), Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971), Inside Out (1975) and Escape to Athena (1979).
Natalie Hershlag (Hebrew: נטלי הרשלג; born June 9, 1981), better known by her stage name Natalie Portman, is an actress with dual American and Israeli citizenship. Her first role was as an orphan taken in by a hitman in the 1994 French action film Léon, but major success came when she was cast as Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. In 1999, she enrolled at Harvard University to study psychology while still working as an actress. She completed her bachelor's degree in 2003.
In 2001, Portman opened in New York City's Public Theater production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. In 2005, Portman received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture for the drama Closer. She won a Constellation Award for Best Female Performance, and a Saturn Award for Best Actress for her starring role in V for Vendetta (2006). She played leading roles in the historical dramas Goya's Ghosts (2006) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008). In May 2008, she served as the youngest member of the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival jury. Portman's directorial debut, Eve, opened the 65th Venice International Film Festival's shorts competition in 2008.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was an eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone.
Bell's father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech, and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell's life's work. His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first US patent for the telephone in 1876.[N 1] In retrospect, Bell considered his most famous invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study.
Many other inventions marked Bell's later life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics. In 1888, Alexander Graham Bell became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society. Bell has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history. Source: Wikipedia
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx (October 2, 1890 – August 19, 1977) was an American comedian and film star famed as a master of wit. His rapid-fire delivery of innuendo-laden patter earned him many admirers. He made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers, of whom he was the third-born. He also had a successful solo career, most notably as the host of the radio and television game show You Bet Your Life. His distinctive appearance, carried over from his days in vaudeville, included quirks such as an exaggerated stooped posture, glasses, cigars, and a thick greasepaint mustache and eyebrows. Source: Wikipedia
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Bruce Lee (born Lee Jun-fan; 27 November 1940 – 20 July 1973) was a Chinese American and Hong Kong actor, martial arts instructor,philosopher, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and founder of the Jeet Kune Do martial arts movement. He is widely considered by many commentators, critics, media and other martial artists to b...e the most influential martial artist of modern times, and a cultural icon.
Lee was born in San Francisco to parents of Hong Kong heritage but was raised in Hong Kong until his late teens. Lee emigrated to the United States at the age of 18 to claim his U.S. citizenship and receive his higher education. It was during this time that he began teaching martial arts, which soon led to film and television roles.
His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, and sparked a major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West in the 1970s. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in Hong Kong and the rest of the world, as well. He is noted for his roles in five feature-length films: Lo Wei's The Big Boss (1971) and Fist of Fury (1972); Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee; Warner Brothers' Enter the Dragon (1973), directed by Robert Clouse; and The Game of Death (1978), directed by Robert Clouse.
Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world, particularly among the Chinese, as he portrayed Chinese nationalism in his films. He initially trained in Wing Chun, but he later rejected well-defined martial art styles, favouring instead to utilise useful techniques from various sources in the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy, which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist). Source: Wikipedia
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Mel Blanc (May 30, 1908 – July 10, 1989) was an American voice actor and comedian. Although he began his nearly six-decade-long career performing in radio commercials, Blanc is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros. during the "Golden Age of American animation" (and later for Hanna-Barbera television productions) as the voice of such well-known characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote, Woody Woodpecker, Barney Rubble, Mr. Spacely, Speed Buggy, Captain Caveman, Heathcliff, Speedy Gonzales, and hundreds of others. Having earned the nickname “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” Blanc is regarded as one of the most influential people in the voice-acting industry.
At the time of his death, it was estimated that 20 million people heard his voice every day.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Aunt Bee - Beatrice Taylor (commonly known as Aunt Bee) is a fictional character from the 1960s American television sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. The show was televised on CBS from October 3, 1960, until April 1, 1968. The character migrated to the spinoff Mayberry R.F.D. (1968–1971) when The Andy Griffith Show ended its run.
Note that though she was the aunt of Sheriff Andy Taylor, virtually every character in Mayberry called her "Aunt Bee", regardless of whether they were related to her or not.
Frances Elizabeth Bavier (December 14, 1902 – December 6, 1989) was an American stage and television actress. Originally from the New York theatre, Bavier worked in film and television from the 1950s. She played the continuing role of Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D. from 1960 to 1970, and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Comedy Actress for the role in 1967. Source: Wikipedia