Thursday, June 30, 2005
The series of five stamps released for general use Wednesday depicts a child character from a comic book started in the 1940s that is still published in Mexico.
The boy, hapless but lovable, is drawn with exaggerated features, thick lips and wide-open eyes. His appearance, speech and mannerisms are the subject of kidding by white characters in the comic book.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
No one old enough to remember my father is also old enough to know that every public figure has a private side that no one but those closest to them will ever see. Surely no one over the age of 12 believes that what you see on television is a reflection of reality.
But therein lies the problem. Childhood memories become idealized. We think of everything we loved from those days as being completely good. Do you remember how endless the summer seemed to you? How long we waited for the weekend to come? And when, as an adult, have you ever thought that Christmas took too long to come?
The mere mention of my father's name evokes bowls of cereal on the floor on Saturday morning, a sense of wonderment and a suspension of disbelief we don't have as adults. His work was magic to us.
And it was to me as well. I loved his work. I was at every puppet show, every recording session, every supermarket opening and public appearance. I was his biggest fan. Never at any time, will you ever hear me discount his talent or his accomplishments.
My father was an extremely gifted man. He did amazing things with his intellect. He contributed not only to television, but to medicine, society and technology. Some of you have even said that he was infinitely more talented than I will ever be. You're probably right. But I was never in competition with him, nor am I jealous of his accomplishments. I am very, very proud of them. I can honestly say that he left this world a better place than he found it.
I sometimes wish I too, could have had the experience others had of him. If I could have known only his public persona, I'm sure I would have had nothing but warm and happy memories of him. I envy you that.
But you must be fair and understand that he was my father. And even in the best of circumstances, no one has an idyllic, uncomplicated, painless relationship with a parent.
And these were not the best of circumstances. This was a terrible situation for all concerned. Every one of my siblings suffered more than you will ever know.
I'm sorry if you're disappointed, but it was not Winchell Mahoney Time at my house. It was dark and frightening and very, very sad.
And I didn't want to disappoint you, believe me. It was never my desire to tarnish the memories of those who grew up watching my father. For many years, I never publicly said one negative thing about him. I was always deferential.
But last year, my father wrote a book called "Winch". That book was so cruel, that I no longer felt compelled to protect him, or you.
Perhaps you think I went wrong there. And perhaps I did. But I'd like you to put yourself in my shoes for just a moment, and imagine your course of action.
Imagine that your father writes a book depicting your loving and generous mother as a whore. Imagine him laying waste to your entire family, under the guise of "getting well". Imagine too, that all his memories are filtered through years of self-admitted drug abuse and mental llness, and bear no relation to the real events .
What would you do with that?
All I can tell you is what I had to do. I had to defend my mother. Because she really is a hero.
My mother stood by my father for 12 years, throughout his drug abuse, his infidelities, his paranoia, his psychotic episodes, his physical abuse and his institutionalizations. She did so because he was my father, and she did that for me.
When she finally realized our own mental health was at risk, she left. She was heartbroken. He retaliated in ways that are unspeakable.
Still, my mother insisted that I keep in contact with him, because he was my father. She forced me to go on visitation with him, because he was my father. She constantly reinforced his talent and value to me, because he was my father. So please don't send me emails saying, 'He's still your father", because my mother already said it. And coming from someone who withstood the abuse he dished out and still did the right thing, it really meant something.
Whether you think I'm funny or not, my sense of humor is my greatest gift. It has been my vocation and my lifeline. And that sense of humor was a gift from my mother. She taught me the value of laughter. She gave me self-esteem. And most importantly, she was there.
So here I am, feeling a million things. I'm grieving, I'm angry, I'm sad, I'm heartbroken, I'm hopeful. But please don't ask me to feel guilty for defending a woman who saved my life.
I would also like you to know that before this book came out, I had worked long and hard to get to a place of forgiveness. I accepted his illness, and tried to have a relationship with him for many, many years. Eventually I came to the sad realization that he could brighten the lives of children all over the world, but he could not be a father. And I was able to forgive him for that as well.
Today I join you in a celebration of his work, and the joy his gifts brought to the world. Those gifts will be missed. The infinite sadness will not.
Please try to forgive me if this causes you unhappiness. I am at a place where it's your life or mine, and I have to save myself.
Monday, June 27, 2005
December 21, 1922 - June 24, 2005
Paul Winchell had a lifetime of achievements however I was most impressed with what he was doing right up until his passing. At 82 Paul was still active and was working on streaming video that would showcase full half hour children shows from the 50's and 60's. Not just his shows, but as many performers as he could get that had wholesome children's programming. He wanted it all to be free to the public.
He knew more about and better understood the technology of the Internet than most people one quarter his age and often compared the spread of broadband to the early days of television when he could judge the spread of television by the number of rooftop antennas. Paul had a dedicated media server that was streaming some of his early work for a while (Paul Winchell Kids Network) but put the project on hold for a year until technology could catch up, broadband had a greater saturation, and he could get the rights for the shows he wanted to broadcast over the Internet.
I will greatly miss my long conversations with him and his desire to push the boundaries of "what's next" rather than living in "what was". As was often the case he was a little ahead of his time.
For recent radio interviews with Paul click here.
From the Los Angeles Times
Paul Winchell, 82; the Voice of Tigger Gained Fame as Ventriloquist
By Myrna Oliver, Times Staff Writer
Paul Winchell, the voice of Tigger in "Winnie the Pooh" features for more than three decades and a versatile ventriloquist who became a fixture in early children's television along with his dummies Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff, has died. He was 82.
Winchell died early Friday in his sleep at his home in Moorpark, Burt Du Brow, a television producer and close family friend, said Saturday.
Although he was a legendary ventriloquist and built a career attracting legions of followers of that dwindling art, Winchell's most durable legacy may be his rich voice as Tigger and other animated characters on television and in motion pictures.
He became the lovable Tigger in 1968 for Disney's "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day," which earned an Academy Award for best animated short film. Winchell continued to voice A.A. Milne's imaginative little tiger on television and the big screen through "Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving" in 1999. In recent years, Jim Cummings has voiced Tigger as well as Pooh.
Winchell earned a Grammy in 1974 for the best children's recording with "The Most Wonderful Things About Tiggers" from the feature "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too." In addition, he was nominated for an Annie award for the 1998 animated feature-length "Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin."
It was Winchell, crediting his British-born wife, who came up with Tigger's signature phrase "TTFN," or "Ta-ta for now."
The entertainer also has been heard as Gargamel in "The Smurfs," as Dick Dastardly in Hanna Barbera cartoons, including "Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines," and as Boomer in Disney's "The Fox and the Hound," among many others.
During a career spanning more than six decades, Winchell saw television evolve from his best asset to something of a nemesis for ventriloquists.
"Television and its use of computers can make everything talk, so there's no need for the art of ventriloquism anymore," he told The Times in 1998. "I don't think young kids today would even understand it."
Yet it was television that dramatically showcased Winchell's art.
By the time he published his book "Ventriloquism for Fun and Profit" in 1954, he had built a base of ready buyers.
Winchell debuted on NBC in 1947 with "The Paul Winchell-Jerry Mahoney Show," featuring a smart-mouthed puppet he had invented in his early teens. The budding ventriloquist had introduced Jerry in 1936 on radio's "Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour," earning first prize.
He created the dimwitted Knucklehead Smiff in 1950 and introduced him on "The Spiedel Show," which was quickly renamed "What's My Name?" In those early days of television, Winchell also hosted "The Bigelow Show" and a program called "Circus Time."
His string of children's shows through the 1950s and 1960s welcomed top guest entertainers, including Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball and Angela Lansbury.
Winchell, who credited television variety shows with popularizing ventriloquism in the mid-20th century, received broad exposure on Ed Sullivan's show beginning in 1949. That earned him invitations to subsequent variety programs such as "The Lucy Show," "The Dean Martin Show" and "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In."
Named television's most versatile performer by Look magazine in 1952 and 1953, Winchell was also in demand as a panelist on "What's My Line?" and for guest roles on such popular series as "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Perry Mason" and "Love, American Style."
As variety shows began losing their luster in the 1960s, the canny Winchell segued into a new career voicing animated characters, beginning with various roles for the 1962 futuristic television series "The Jetsons."
Although Winchell's recorded voice is preserved in countless animated programs and other shows, little remains of his hours of on-air performances as a ventriloquist.
That void was highlighted in 1986 when he won a $17.8-million jury verdict in his lawsuit against Metromedia Inc. over its destruction of the only remaining tapes of his "Winchell Mahoney Time" children's television series. Metromedia, which produced the show from 1964 to 1968, erased the 288 tapes in a dispute with Winchell over the syndication rights.
"The thing that was perhaps most painful to me was that in my best days, back in the '50s and '60s, it was all live," Winchell told The Times after the verdict. "All the work I had done in the past, there was no record of it.
"Then finally I had the opportunity to do this taped thing [from 1964 to 1968], and I felt that at last, I'll have some remaining record of my work that future people could see, especially children. Suddenly I didn't have it anymore. It was gone forever."
Winchell donated the original versions of his best-known sidekicks, Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff, to the Smithsonian Institution.
Born Paul Wilchen in New York City on Dec. 21, 1922, he was a shy youth who stuttered. Fascinated with ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy pal Charlie McCarthy, Winchell learned to throw his own voice and gradually overcame his speech impediment.
"Ventriloquism is closely related to magic," he told the Chicago Tribune in 1999. "It's all about misdirection. You practice speaking from your diaphragm and low in your throat. You substitute letters for 'B' and 'P' that allow you to speak without moving your lips."
Something of a renaissance man, Winchell was also an inventor who held 30 patents, including one for an early artificial heart he built in 1963 and then donated to the University of Utah for research. Dr. Robert Jarvik and other University of Utah researchers later became well-known for the Jarvik-7, which was implanted into patients after 1982.
Among Winchell's other inventions were an early disposable razor, a flameless cigarette lighter, an invisible garter belt and an indicator to show when frozen food had gone bad after a power outage.
He attended Columbia University, then studied and practiced acupuncture and hypnosis. To help himself through bouts of severe depression, he studied and wrote widely on theology.
Winchell was featured in the book "Dummy Days: America's Favorite Ventriloquists From Radio and Early TV" by director Kelly Asbury, and published an autobiography, "Winch."
He is survived by his wife of 31 years, the former Jean Freeman; five children; and three grandchildren.
Funeral services will be private. A public memorial observation is pending.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Klein will sensationally claim Bill Clinton is flagrantly cheating on his senator wife.
"Hillary's aides noticed that Bill seemed to grow even more reckless after his memoir MY LIFE became a big bestseller.
"Throwing caution to the wind, he started a torrid affair with a stunning divorcee in her early forties, who lived near the Clintons in Chappaqua. There was nothing discreet about the way he conducted this illicit relationship; he often spent the night at his lover's home, while his Secret Service agents waited in a car parked at the end of her driveway."
The book presents a photo of the former president 'mouth-kissing' an unidentfied woman.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Veterinary Pet Insurance company has released its annual list of the 10 most popular male dog names and 10 most popular female dog names.
TOP MALE DOG NAMES
TOP FEMALE DOG NAMES
#8.) Bailey (This is also #5 on the male dog list)
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Sunday, June 12, 2005
Saturday, June 11, 2005
by Jillian Green
June 07 2005 at 06:50AM
A rape victim once wished for teeth "where it mattered". Now a device has been designed to "bite" a rapist's penis. The patented device looks and is worn like a tampon, but it is hollow and attaches itself with tiny hooks to a man's penis during penetration.
"We have to do something to protect ourselves. While this will not prevent rape it will assist in identifying attackers and securing convictions," claims Sonette Ehlers, inventor of the device.
Not everyone, however, is convinced of its usefulness.
Lisa Vetten, of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) says: "It is like we are going back to the days where women were forced to wear chastity belts. It is a terrifying thought that women are being made to adapt to rape by wearing these devices.
'It is a terrifying thought that women are being made to adapt to rape'
"We should rather focus our energy on changing men's mindsets and behaviour towards women."
Ehlers, of Kleinmond, who has worked for the South African Institute for Medical Research, said she had been seeking a way to help women since meeting a rape survivor 20 years ago who commented that she wished she had teeth in her vagina.
"Over the past three years I have been working on this device. It is now completely safe and ready to be manufactured and distributed," she said.
It had been designed with engineers, gynaecologists, psychologists and urologists. It was "hygienic - no human hands will be involved in the manufacture".
In the event of rape, the device folds itself around the rapist's penis, attaching to the skin with microscopic hooks. It is only when the rapist withdraws that he will realise the device is clamped around his penis.
'He will have to be put under anaesthetic to have it removed'
"Its design will also go a long way towards lowering HIV infection as semen is contained in the device ... as well as preventing sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies," Ehlers says.
As it is impossible to remove the device from a penis without medical help, hospitals and clinics will be able to alert police when assistance is sought.
"This will rule out any possibility of the rapist's escaping arrest and speed up conviction."
If the rapist tries to remove the device, it will only embed itself further.
"He will have to be put under anaesthetic to have it removed. He will not be able to leave it as he will be unable to urinate."
A woman would have to wear the device every day.
"We never know when we might be raped. This device should become a part of every woman's daily routine, just like brushing her teeth."
Last year, there were 52 733 reported rapes. In a study, the Gender-Based Violence Programme at the CSVR analysed 162 rapes in Johannesburg's inner city and found that one in four had been a gang rape. The study found that 56 percent of the victims had been raped by two men and 23 percent by three.
Although Ehlers is optimistic that the device will go a long way towards reducing the high incidence of rape in this country, rape organisations are not so sure.
"Women would have to wear this every minute of their lives on the off-chance that they would be raped," Vetten says.
"I am concerned at how normal rape has become that we would even consider a device like this."
Chanaz Mitchell, spokesperson for the National Network on Violence against Women, says although it is a good idea for women to protect themselves, men should take responsibility for their actions.
"We still need to focus on men as perpetrators of this heinous crime."
Mitchell is also concerned that the device might lead to further violence against victims.
"Once the rapist realises this device is attached to him, he is more than likely to take his anger out on his victim."
Mbuyiselo Botha, spokesperson for the Men's Forum, said anything that could empower women should be welcomed.
"I would encourage my wife and two daughters to wear this device. It would send a signal to would-be rapists that they won't have it easy."
Ehlers intends launching the prototype next month.
"It will be available at supermarkets, chemists, anywhere where one would be able to buy tampons," she says.
The device is to cost R1 and also be available in bulk packs.
Will you idiots please spay and neuter your animals??If I see one more classified ad for Free Kittens I am going to go postal.
Harrisonburg, VA -Eastern Mennonite University
July 11-15, 2005
ALL Ages. Bring your family! In addition to workshops, this event includes a Kids Camp. Including daily activities for kids 3-4, 5-11 and Teens.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Thursday, June 02, 2005
"The Sunday Morning Hangover" features "Remembering Our Fathers" a discussion and musical tribute to Dad on Fathers Day-with host Marc Time and Local New Zone Artist Peter Herley, 8am, KWVA 88.1 FM.
Sunday June 26
"The Sunday Morning Hangover" celebrates summertime with "Brian Wilson 1965-a musical breakdown of the underated Beach Boys Today recordings" , 8am, KWVA 88.1 FM.
I picked up EW on my way to school this morning, as I do each Thursday, and was both amused and bothered by the tongue in cheek article "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Summer Fashion" by Vanessa Salvia.
Although I agreed completely with the comments about "the boob curtain," her comments on the pinch and pucker, which is described as "the lovely effect of fat girls wearing too-tight low-rider jeans with the flab fluttering in the wind" really deserved my response.
As a fat (though healthy and extremely stylish) girl who lives in Gap Ultra Low Rise jeans, I find this ridiculous to imply that only fat girls have rolls when they wear such pants. If you look around, you notice just as many size 6s with Gateway Mall-worthy hip love handles as size 16s.
The point Salvia made is well received with me otherwise, I just think a reconsidering of her language and generalized thoughts is needed.
In conclusion, fat ladies have just as much right as thinner ones to wear whatever (trendy) clothes they want, and I think everyone should pull their damn pants up.
Amelia Kimball, Eugene
The crust trust
Friday, March 11, 2005
by GRANT BUTLER The Oregonian
Great New York-style pizza is a grail for food lovers. The super-thin, cracklingly crisp slices are talked about in reverent tones, particularly the farther west you head from the Big Apple, when they take on a mythological air.
Here, in the land of deep-dish catastrophes and unappealing all-you-can-eat pizza buffets, you're more likely to run across Bigfoot than a really good pie.
Which makes the Phoenix-from-the-ashes story of Apizza Scholls so wonderful.
Apizza Scholls is the new eastside incarnation of the terrific Scholls Public House, the Washington County pizza place that got national attention for its incredible crusts and minimalist approach to dressing them up. The place was so good it became doomed by its popularity. Its parking lot overflowed regularly, resulting in a zoning spat with neighboring businesses.
Caught in a bureaucratic trap, the Public House closed in late December, with owners Brian Spangler and Kim Nyland reopening in January in the upper Hawthorne digs most recently home to the Indonesian restaurant Surabaya.
Though you'd hardly know that Surabaya is history, given that its name is still on the awning and the only sign that a top-notch pizza parlor has taken its place are two tiny placards taped to the windows. That, and the incredible crowds that have found the place mostly by word-of-mouth.
Of course, the word spreads like wildfire when it's about a place this good.
The secret is in the fermented dough that's treated like a science, rising for more than a day, then spun out until it's thinner than a starlet on Oscar night. The dough is topped with the merest hint of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, then popped into an oven fired as high as 900 degrees. The result is pizza that remains crisp to the last bite of the last slice, with crust edges having spots of char that intensify the flavors.
The reason the crust stays so crisp is because the kitchen enforces restraint, allowing no more than three ingredients on any pie and limiting meats to just one. This keeps it from getting soggy and allows the pizza to be cooked faster.
If you're the sort who craves stuffed Chicago-style crusts and behemoths with names like "Meat Lover's Supreme," this probably isn't your kind of place. But when they're using such great meats, like spicy sausages from Viande Meats, why would you want to cloud up flavors by piling on topping after topping?
Pizzas come in only one size, roughly 15 inches, and a single pie is plenty for two, or enough for leftovers if you split the on-the-mark Caesar salad (the croutons are made from leftover pizza dough). With drinks and a mascarpone-cheese-filled cannoli for dessert, you can have a feast for less than $40.
So where does Apizza Scholls fall flat? It's not on the plate, but in the glass. Portland is an incredible beer city, with more than 20 breweries calling it home. It's also less than an hour's drive from one of the nation's top wine regions. So it's startling that only one local beer is available (the sublime Hair of the Dog's Ruth) and not a single Oregon wine.
For a place that's embraced the local and sustainable philosophy with its food, it's puzzling why its homegrown pies are paired with sips from places far away.
On Monday nights, when the pizza ovens are turned off, LOW BBQ fills in, altogether fitting given its similar background. LOW, short for Laid-Off Workers, developed a cult following at its tiny booth along lower Hawthorne and at regular appearances at the Portland Farmers Market, before calling it quits last year.
One barbecue fanatic I know was adamant that it was the city's best barbecue, and though I experienced it only once, I had no grounds to argue with him. I still don't. LOW's Monday night stints at Apizza Scholls feature incredibly tender beef brisket, pork spareribs, smoky pulled pork and something few barbecue places attempt, lamb ribs. The meat is served without sauce, allowing the smoky flavors to dominate (though there's a Crock Pot full of not-too-sweet sauce at the bar, if you feel the need to dip your 'cue). Wrapping it all up is a slice of pecan pie that my Oklahoma grandma might've made. This is true love.
Much like the pizzas that rule the rest of the week.