Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reunion crazy...

So I had an entirely different theme planned for today and then three separate reunion stories popped up on my Google alerts. It depends on your entertainment proclivities, but I imagine these stories probably qualify as good news to some people. They do to me, at least. :)

Recently a book came past me at the library called "Totally Tubular '80s Toys". It is hot pink and highlights all the greatest '80s toys by year. It was a fantastic trip down memory lane. So when I saw this story from London's Daily Mail, it immediately caught my eye and was like a little detour off that lane. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, better known as Bill and Ted, were spotted out at the movies together and there is talk of a third installment of excellent adventures...

The cast of one of my favorite '80s flicks also reunited earlier this week. Christopher Lloyd, Michael J. Fox, and Lea Thompson - better known as Doc Brown, Marty McFly and Lorraine McFly - recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fabulous movie "Back to the Future". It grossed $380 million dollars and was the biggest hit of 1985, according to CBS. To commemorate the anniversary, BTTF is coming out on Blu-Ray with never-before-seen-footage. Those are four of my favorite words in entertainment... :)

The Daily Mail seems to be all over the reunion stories. This afternoon, 45 years after "The Sound of Music" debuted, the movie version of the Von Trapp family - including Dame Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer - joined Oprah on her show. The movie won five Oscars in 1965 and the enduring hatred of Plummer for its saccharin-y sweetness. But he seems to have softened in his old age, speaking (positively) about the movie for the first time in decades. The end of the article does little bios on what all the actors have been up to for the last almost-half century.

(Photo courtesy of The Daily Mail)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Think pink...

Every October, the landscape is blanketed not only with leaves but with everything pink. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010, the effort to remind everyone about the dangers of breast cancer and women in particular about the importance of early detection shows up in anything from pink ribbons to men's athletic gear.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month began as a collaboration between the American Association of Family Physicians and other sponsors to promote the importance of self- and physician examinations in the hope that fewer women will be caught off guard and fall victim to the cancer. As the years have passed the awareness activities have grown, and the treatment techniques have advanced. London's Daily Mirror posted an article highlighting some of those advances in techniques and treatments for diagnosing and treating breast cancer.

The idea of wearing ribbons for awareness is believed to have started when people wore yellow ribbons during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. It is then somewhat interesting (and really good for women there) that the pink ribbons and wearing of pink has spread to the Middle East.

My friend Matt publishes a blog called the Middle East Alliance, and in his last email, there was a post from a Saudi Arabian female hospital worker talking about breast cancer awareness in her country. The post comes complete with a photo of her custom pink ribbon-edged abaya and pink Coach purse.

Today's last story is from the Rockford, Ill. Register Star. It profiled a local small business owner, Terri Johnston, who uses her successful battle against breast cancer as inspiration in her efforts to help other women deal with the effects of treatment. The pain and nausea from chemotherapy can be dealt with, but Johnston helps women work through the maybe harder issue of losing self-identity with the hair loss.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sometimes they just write themselves...

Trapped since August 5, all 33 Chilean miners and six rescuers have emerged from nearly 2000 feet below the earth's surface. The rescue was originally thought to take place near Christmas, but serious international cooperation brought the miners back to their families two months sooner than expected.

As the Christian Science Monitor notes, the rescue took advantage of drills and workers from Canada, NASA experts who helped build the rescue capsule Phoenix II, a huge drilling tool from the US and a drilling expert from Australia who had until recently been in Afghanistan, drilling wells there.

The Phoenix II capsule carried the miners up to safety and fresh air, but those who went down the hole aren't receiving perhaps the attention they deserve. The Sydney Morning Herald did a piece on Manuel Gonzalez, the brave rescuer who served as guinea pig, descending first into the pit housing the miners. Coincidentally, the Phoenix II reunited two long-lost soccer rivals. Rescuer Gonzalez had played professional soccer against miner Franklin Lobos Ramirez 25 years ago, and the pair hadn't met since, according to the Mirror.

Irish Central summed up the feeling evoked from the nearly miraculous and totally successful rescue fairly well in this opinion piece. It focuses on how the world doesn't so much have stories like this to rally around that often. Many media watch outlets have already noted how intensely the world watched on TV and online as Chile hauled up its miners one by one. Some of the viewers weren't the average nightly news' demographic; they were children. CNN had a story on touching reactions by children around the world.

(Photo courtesy of Reuters)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

(Un-) Earthly delights...

Today's post is a short one, featuring stories from both above and below Planet Earth. (Those DVDs, by the way, are phenomenal. Definitely worth a watch.)

MSNBC posted a story today saying the 33 trapped Chilean miners could be freed by Saturday. It seems they will finish drilling by this weekend and are contemplating putting in a steel sleeve through the hole before pulling up the miners. Originally estimated to be freed around Christmas, this is absolutely good news for the poor men stuck below ground and their anxious families above. 

The second story isn't so much strictly good news as pretty cool. My friend Stef posted this on Twitter (different article though) - scientists have found a planet not that far from Earth which could sustain life. Called a Goldilocks planet (get it?), Gilese 581g orbits a red dwarf and is one of six planets in its little system about 120 trillion miles away.

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)