Monday, May 24, 2010

Roald Dahl


Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew
Cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two
The candy man, the candy man can
The candy man can 'cause he mixes it with love
And makes the world taste good

In England once there lived a big
And wonderfully clever pig.
To everybody it was plain
That Piggy had a massive brain

Dahl Story
 In 1943 Dahl wrote his first children's story, The Gremlins, and invented a new term in the process. Gremlins were small creatures that lived on fighter planes and bombers and were responsible for all crashes. Through the 1940s and into the 1950s Dahl continued as a short story writer for adults, establishing his reputation as a writer of deathly tales with unexpected twists.

     Eleanor Roosevelt read it to her grandchildren and liked it so much that she invited him to have dinner with her and the President at the White House. They had such a good time that he was invited again, and then the visits extended to weekends at their country house. During those visits, Dahl had the unique opportunity to talk with President Franklin Roosevelt about world events as casually as one might have a conversation with an very old friend. It was a very exciting experience for him.


    Roald Dahl was born September 13, 1916, in Llandaff, South Wales, United Kingdom, to Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood summers visiting his grandparents in Oslo, Norway.
  Dahl first attended Llandaff Cathedral School, where he began a series of unfortunate adventures in school. After he and several other students were severely beaten by the principal for placing a dead mouse in a storekeeper's candy jar, Dahl's mother moved him to St. Peter's Boarding School and later to Repton, an excellent private school.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ga Ga People

Walt Disney

All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.

How It Started 

At age 16, during World War I, he lied about his age to join the American Red Cross. He soon returned home, where he won a scholarship to the Kansas City Art Institute. There, he met a fellow animator, Ub Ilwerks. The two soon set up their own company. In the early 20s, they made a series of animated shorts for the Newman theater chain, entitled "Newman's Laugh-O-Grams". Their company soon went bankrupt, however. The two then went to Hollywood in 1923. They started work on a new series, about a live-action little girl who journeys to a world of animated characters. Entitled the "Alice Comedies", they were distributed by M.J.Winkler (Margaret). Walt was backed up financially only by Winkler and his brother Roy.O. Disney, who remained his business partner for the rest of his life. Hundreds of "Alice Comedies" were produced between 1923 and 1927, before they lost popularity. Walt then started work on a series around a new animated character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. This series was successful, but in 1928, Walt discovered that M.J.Winkler and her husband, Charles Mintz, had stolen the rights to the character away from him. They had also stolen all his animators, except for Ub Ilwerks.While taking the train home, Walt started doodling on a piece of paper. The result of these doodles was a mouse named Mickey. With only Walt and Ub to animate, and Walt's wife Lillian Disney(Lilly) and Roy's wife Edna Disney to ink in the animation cells, three Mickey Mouse cartoons were quickly produced. The first two didn't sell, so Walt added synchronized sound to the last one, Steamboat Willie (1928), and it was immediately picked up.

The Myth That Disney Was Frozen

As with most myths, this bizarre and complicated story springs out of one small truth: Walt Disney was indeed obsessed with death, particularly his own. His estate didn't help matters by holding his funeral behind closed doors (perhaps at the request of Disney himself) and never publicly announcing the cause of his death.
  How It Started
  Biographers, fans, and conspiracy buffs have long reveled in the idea that Walt Disney had his body frozen. Part of the myth comes from the sci-fi craze of the fifties and sixties, when cryogenic freezing fascinated the general population. Walt Disney may well have heard of the concept, but there is absolutely no proof that he had any interest in the subject, or even knew anything about it.

The Truth Behind It

Walt Disney's death certificate indicates that he died of lung cancer in December of 1966. In accordance with his wishes, Disney was cremated two days later and buried in a marked plot. There is plenty of documentation to support these assertions. 

Cryogenic Freezing Today

If Walt Disney lived today, would he have any more luck with the concept of cryogenic freezing? Rumor has it that eleven people exist today in cryogenic suspension. It is actually completely possible to freeze a human body to prevent its death. Unfortunately, reviving the person is not nearly as simple a proposition.
The human body is not meant to be frozen, and the process usually kills a number of essential cells. Furthermore, as soon as the body thaws, more cells begin to perish. Still, some people have such a pervasive fear of the unknown that they'd prefer the uncertainties of cryogenic freezing to a natural death.Regardless, Walt Disney wasn't one of them.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I've got seven kids. The three words you hear most around my house are 'hello,' 'goodbye,' and 'I'm pregnant'
Dino Paul Crocetti was born on June 17, 1917 in Steubenville, Ohio; the son of an immigrant barber, he spoke only Italian until the age of five, and at school was the target of much ridicule for his broken English. He ultimately quit school at the age of 16, going to work in the steel mills; as a boxer named Kid Crochet, he also fought a handful of amateur bouts, and later delivered bootleg liquor. After landing a job as a croupier in a local speakeasy, he made his first connections with the underworld, bringing him into contact with club owners all over the Midwest; initially rechristening himself Dean Martini, he had a nose job and set out to become a crooner, modeling himself after his acknowledged idol, Bing Crosby. Hired by bandleader Sammy Watkins, he dropped the second "i" from his stage name and eventually enjoyed minor success on the New York club circuit, winning over audiences with his loose, mellow vocal style.
Despite his good looks and easygoing charm, Martin's early years as an entertainer were largely unsuccessful. In 1946 -- the year he issued his first single, "Which Way Did My Heart Go?" -- he first met another struggling performer, a comic named Jerry Lewis; later that year, while Lewis was playing Atlantic City's 500 Club, another act abruptly quit the show, and the comedian suggested Martin to fill the void. Initially the two performed separately, but one night they threw out their routines and teamed onstage, a Mutt-and-Jeff combo whose wildly improvisational comedy quickly made them a star attraction along the Boardwalk. Within months, Martin and Lewis' salaries rocketed from 350 to 5000 a week, and by the end of the 1940s they were the most popular comedy duo in the nation. In 1949, they made their film debut in My Friend Irma, and their supporting work proved so popular with audiences that their roles were significantly expanded for the sequel, the following year's My Friend Irma Goes West.

Dean Martin and Goldie Hawn

 Petula Clarke and Dean