Tuesday, October 28, 2008

700 Wedding couple in Artsakh

700 Wedding couple in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic)

A wedding with participation of 700 couples took place in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Republic. Ceremonies took place in St. Ghazanchetsots church in Shushi and Gandzasar monastery.

Wedding couple
Wedding couple
Wedding couple
Wedding couple
Wedding couple
Wedding couple

Saturday, October 25, 2008

5 Incredible Underwater Habitats

5 Incredible Underwater HabitatsRecently, hurricanes, floods and torrential rains have resulted in vast areas of land, sometimes whole villages and cities, being engulfed in water. The devastation is often catastrophic. People are left homeless and destitute, with little to call their own. The effects of these disasters leave their mark long after the waters have subsided. But what if there was a way out, an alternative? What if we fulfilled the dreams of Jules Verne, and many like him, and succeeded in living under the oceans. For a long time it was never thought truly possible, now it's quickly becoming a reality.

We look at five habitats underwater that show it is possibe to live submerged beneath the waves.
1. Hydropolis Hotel, Dubai

5 Incredible Underwater HabitatsDesigned by Joachim Hauser, this futuristic hotel is currently being built 20m below the surface of the Persian Gulf, just off the coast of Dubai. Touted to be the world's first underwater luxury hotel, Hydropolis will include a marine biology research center but it's doubtful whether it will be oozing eco credentials.

5 Incredible Underwater Habitats
The logistics of these underwater habitats are intriguing; for one, where is the waste diverted to? Imagine gazing out at the underwater world, mesmerized by the vision beyond, amazed and in awe of the creation, when something floats by your panoramic window… and it's not a fish.

If it succeeds without ruining everything around it, as many predict, it could be a blueprint for sustainable designers and architects for the future.

2. Hilton Maldives Undersea Restaurant, Rangali Island

5 Incredible Underwater HabitatsBuilt entirely off-site, in Singapore, this undersea restaurant in the Maldives was based on the success of the National Centre Aquarium's design in Kuala Lumpur. It proved to be more of a pain to construct than first thought, with many recalculations to check centers of gravity, weight distributions and tidal flows. If this small design required so much fiddling before it became a reality, how many complications must be occurring with the larger resorts?

5 Incredible Underwater HabitatsSitting 5m below sea level, the restaurant is able to serve 12 people at one sitting. Diners can sit back and enjoy watching life beyond the 5m wide viewing arch, which is made from acrylic and silicone sealed.

3. Poseidon Undersea Resort, Fiji

5 Incredible Underwater HabitatsAlthough not exactly 20,000 leagues under the sea, the Poseidon Undersea Resort will sit 40 feet beneath the surface of a lagoon in Fiji. Plans for the resort have been underway since 2001 but there's no sign of it yet in the lagoon… that's because the hotel is being built in Portland, Oregon and will be transported to the site once completed. One can only imagine the carbon emissions totted up by that little trip.

Each room, or underwater pod, will be open to the water so guests can watch the marine world go by without getting wet, but at a cost of $30,000 per couple for a week's stay you would hope there was at least one dive included in the price!
5 Incredible Underwater Habitats
4. Jules' Undersea Lodge, Florida

5 Incredible Underwater Habitats
Initially an underwater research facility, used to explore the continental shelf off the coast of Puerto Rico, Jules' Undersea Lodge now sits motionless in Emerald Lagoon in Key Largo, spending its retirement showing guests the wonders of the underwater world.

Accessed by scuba diving down 21 feet to a landing platform, Jules' Undersea Lodge is big enough to house six people at a time. It boasts two private rooms, a relatively spacious living area with kitchen and has huge windows in every room so guests can watch the fishes go by.

5 Incredible Underwater HabitatsThe chamber sits on stilts just five feet from the bottom of the Lagoon and compressed air prevents water from flooding the rooms.

5. Red Sea Star Restaurant, Israel

5 Incredible Underwater HabitatsThe underwater Red Sea Star Restaurant, in the Israeli resort of Eilat, offers another take on underwater establishments. Designed by Israeli husband and wife team, Ayala and Albi Serfaty of Aqua Creations, the underwater theme is carried throughout the design, which has been created to look like a reef. Chairs take the form of sea-urchins and jelly fish, lights are starfish shaped and sand lies under an epoxy bonded floor, even the menu reflects the underwater theme, which given the setting seems somewhat disturbing.

5 Incredible Underwater Habitats
The view is not what most people would imagine as most of the reefs around Eilat are dead or dying. To recreate a reef system for diners, the restaurant management built an artificial reef from iron mesh and transferred various already broken species of coral onto it. Once in the water a new reef was born.

5 Incredible Underwater Habitats

Friday, October 24, 2008

52 cows killed by a lightning strike in Uruguay

CowThe Hereford and Normandy breed cows were discovered by the ranch manager in the field.

A veterinary expert who examined the carcases said they had been killed by lightning hitting the wire fence bordering the field where the animals were stood. The incident occurred in Valdez Chico, near Montevideo, Uruguay.

In September, 53 cattle were killed by lightning in Katosi, Uganda. They had been seeking shelter underneath trees, according to local reports.

Lightning hits the earth an average 100 times per second, or 8.6 million times a day.

Each spark of lightning can reach over five miles in length, soar to temperatures of approximately 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and contain 100 million electrical volts.

Weather officials estimate the United States alone receives up to 20 million lightning strikes per year from as many as 100,000 thunderstorms.

The odds of being struck by lightning are approximately 1 in 576,000 and the chance of actually being killed by lightning is about 1 in 2,320,000.

However, experts say working or playing in open fields; boating, fishing, and swimming; working on heavy farm or road equipment; playing golf; taking a shower; talking on a conventional telephone; and repairing or using electrical appliances are all activities that should be avoided during storms.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tigers are known as the best swimmers

Tigers are known as the best swimmers of all the big cats with modified webbing between their toes to make their feet more like flippers. But The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, or Tigers, near Miami, claims to have overcome the problem by encouraging both tigers and humans to swim together in a specially adapted pool. Traditionally, trainers have struggled to build an attachment with the largest of the big cats. Despite the apparent danger, the trainers are never at risk. They've found that in the water people and tigers are on a more equal footing. The hand-reared tigers are introduced to the water a few months after birth and the trainers then give one-on-one tuition to each of the animals while they are in the water.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Shoppers buying alcohol at the supermarket

Shoppers buying alcohol at the supermarket face a 'walk of shame' to a dedicated checkout counter.

The plan is being drawn up by ministers to curb Britain's growing binge-drinking culture.

Stores would have to create the 'alcohol-only' areas manned by specially-trained staff.

This would hopefully deter shoppers from making excessive purchases by putting them under the scrutiny of fellow customers.

And it would help catch those buying alcohol underage.

AlcoholA senior Government source told the Daily Mail that ministers were convinced the easy availability of cut-price alcohol is causing young people, in particular, to drink to excess.

Leading stores have been attacked for selling lager at a cheaper price than bottled water.

'Having separate areas to sell alcohol will help us tackle this growing problem of young people getting tanked up on cheap supermarket beers and lagers,' said the source.

'We would also want to see specially-trained staff in these areas to make sure alcohol is not being bought by people who are underage.'

The move would bring Britain into line with countries such as Sweden, Norway and Finland, which have varying restrictions on alcohol sales and in some areas, only allow it to be sold at state-owned outlets.

Effectively, it would bring alcohol sales into line with tobacco sales in supermarkets.

Families doing a weekly shop would have to queue twice, once to purchase their groceries and again to purchase wine, beer and spirits.

Retailers are likely to be infuriated by the suggestion of dedicated check-out areas.

They will argue that it would cost tens of thousands of pounds in store refits and staff training, and would also inconvenience customers.

Critics might also claim Labour is stigmatising supermarkets to deflect the impact of its own relaxation of licensing laws to allow 24-hour drinking.

Ministers are expected to reject a system of minimum pricing for drink, with a fixed fee per unit of alcohol, which has been called for by some doctors.

AlcoholHowever, they are considering a system of barcoding of alcohol products to ensure the point of sale can be quickly identified.

Stores such as Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's could be required to stamp a barcode on cans and bottles so police who detain underage drinkers know where their alcohol has come from.

Research backed by the Government has concluded that cheap supermarket deals are linked to binge drinking.

Experts from Sheffield University warned that cheap alcohol was fuelling rates of cancer and strokes, as well as helping to increase divorce rates.

The annual cost of treating people in hospital for alcohol-related problems has now reached £2.7billion. The Government also claims the drinks industry is failing to abide by its voluntary codes of conduct.

One study found that only 57 per cent of alcohol products contained details of the number of units they contained, and only 3 per cent warned pregnant women to avoid drinking.

Other moves being considered by the Government are a ban on pub promotions, such as free drinks offers to women, happy hours and the sale of cocktails with suggestive names such as Sex on the Beach.

The draft code of practice drawn up by the Home Office and the Department of Health also proposes cigarette-style health warnings about the dangers of alcohol for display in shops, bars and restaurants.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Xiphactinus Audax one of the largest bony fish

FishXiphactinus was one of the largest bony fish of the Late Cretaceous and is considered one of the fiercest creatures in the sea. A powerful tail and winglike pectoral fins shot the 17-foot-long (5-meter-long) monster through the surface waters of the ocean. Unlucky fish and unsuspecting seabirds were snared inside Xiphactinus's upturned jaw, which was lined with giant, fanglike teeth, giving it an expression akin to that of a bulldog.
A 13-foot-long (4-meter-long) Xiphactinus could open its jaw wide enough to swallow six-foot-long (two-meter-long) fish whole, but it itself was occasionally prey to the shark Cretoxyrhina.
Xiphactinus trolled an ancient ocean called the Western Interior Seaway, which covered much of central North America during the Cretaceous. Though long extinct, if alive today the bony fish would look like a giant, fanged tarpon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Camilla's 60 birth-day presents for Charles...one 4 every year of his life

Prince Charles has already raised eyebrows by having not one but two birth-day parties, and now his wife Camilla is planning to give him 60 individual gifts - one to mark every year of his life.

The presents, which friends describe as a 'labour of love', include a pair of walking boots, a personalised fly fishing rod and his favourite episodes of The Goon Show.

They will be presented to Charles over his birthday weekend next month.

birth-daySo far, the celebrations include a lavish State banquet at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen and arranged by Charles's former aide, events organiser Michael Fawcett.

The following night, there will be a party for 75 of Charles's closest friends at Highgrove, the Prince's Gloucestershire residence, which will include a five-course dinner followed by dancing.

According to one source who has helped Camilla gather the presents, the idea has taken months to come to fruition and the Duchess of Cornwall is still tracking down a few final items.

'Camilla was at a loss over what to buy for Charles - he is the man with everything. In the end, she decided that she would abandon the idea of buying one huge gift and instead present him with a number of smaller gifts,' a friend said.

'It was as she was sourcing some of his favourite wines and literature that she seized on the idea of presenting him with a gift for every year of his life.

'She has spent months getting all the things together and every item will mean something special to Charles.

'She is also collating a special book, which many of Charles's friends have contributed to, and will present it to him at Highgrove.'

Among the 60 presents that Camilla will give Charles are two rosebushes for his beloved garden at Highgrove bearing Charles's favourite blooms: the Margaret Merrill and the Frederic Mistral, which is so perfectly formed that the flower resembles porcelain.

Camilla, who has overseen plans for the more intimate second birthday party, has also sourced a page from The Times on Charles's date of birth, November 14, 1948.

She has had it framed along with pictures of their wedding, and a collection in antique silver of photographs of Princes William and Harry as children.

A keen chess player, the Duchess has also commissioned a Gloucestershire craftsman to carve a wooden chess set for Charles.

'Camilla has spent weeks getting everything together.

'This hasn't been about expense, it's been about making sure she gets a memory or special token for every year of Charles's life,' the friend added.

'The presents are poignantly all about Charles as a man rather than a Royal and everything Camilla has sourced has a real connection to Charles.'

Camilla, 61, had a drinks specialist in St James's Street, London, seek out a number of bottles for Charles to share with friends including a 1948 Glen Grant vintage whisky, a bottle of Armagnac from the same year and a case of Malvasia, one of the

Prince's favourite organic Madeira wines. She has also had two cases of his favourite Argentinian wine from the Mendosa vineyards flown over.

'Camilla has really taken a lot of time getting everything together --Charles will be very touched,' added the source.
'She has reproduced manuscripts f some of his favourite sonnets and extracts from his favourite Shakespeare plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo And Juliet.

'Probably the most romantic thing she has done is had some of their love letters from over the years bound in a special leather book.'

William and Harry, who have been instrumental in planning Charles's birthday party at Highgrove with Camilla, are also understood to have helped their stepmother with her choice of presents.

It is, of course, unlikely that Charles will wish to part with any of the sentimental presents. In the past, there has been controversy over the fact that Michael Fawcett made a business selling unwanted Royal gifts.

The revelations led to him resigning and being nicknamed Fawcett the Fence.

Last night, a spokesman at Clarence House declined to comment and said: 'The Prince's birthday is a private matter.'

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Deafness caused by listening to their iPods at high volumes

In parks, on trains and even pounding the pavement, we are permanently wired for sound.

But our love affair with our iPods and MP3 players could cost us our hearing.

More than a million Britons could go deaf because they listen to their music too loud and too long, experts warn.

iPods Up to 10 per cent of iPod and other MP3 users across Europe are risking deafness if they listen for more than an hour a day for at least five years.

That means about 10million could end up sacrificing their hearing simply because they can't stop listening to music.

The warning comes from the EU's scientific committee on emerging health risks.

It carried out a study into the soaring numbers routinely exposed to high noise volumes through personal music players.

An EU safety standard already exists restricting the noise level of such players to 100 decibels.

But the scientists warn that the danger level is much lower than this.

They say music pumped into the ears above 89 decibels for long periods of time is actually louder than currently allowed in factories. Their report will be welcomed by campaigners for the deaf - and the fed-up commuters who have to endure loud music leaking from the earphones of neighbours on packed buses and trains.

Emma Harrison, head of campaigns at the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, said: 'Decision makers and opinion formers are finally waking up to the hearing loss time bomb threatening many young MP3 users.'

She said the institute had started a Don't Lose the Music campaign, which raises awareness of the dangers of listening to MP3 players too loudly.

'Our research revealed that 58 per cent of 16 to 30-year-olds are completely unaware of any risk to their hearing from MP3 players,' she said.

'The announcement that further action is needed is a vindication of this work.

'We want to see the Government and industry taking decisive action to save the hearing of future generations.'

The committee said users should turn down the volume on their music players, or, if possible, set the machine's maximum usable volume at a lower level.

Between 50million and 100million people across the EU are thought to listen to portable music players on a daily basis - equivalent to between six and 12 million in Britain.

EU consumer affairs commissioner Meglena Kuneva said a conference early next year would bring governments, the music industry and consumers together to discuss the way forward.

'I am concerned that so many young people who are frequent users of personal music players and mobile phones at high acoustic levels may be unknowingly damaging their hearing irrevocably,' she said.

'The scientific findings indicate a clear risk and we need to react rapidly.

'Most importantly we need to raise consumer awareness.

'We need also to look again at the controls in place to make sure they are effective and keep pace with new technology.'

Monday, October 13, 2008

The longest tail on a horse

Crystal Socha, 26, of Augusta, Kan., combs the tail of her American Paint horse, Summer, during the 11th annual EquiFest of Kansas at the Kansas Coliseum in Wichita today. EEleven-year-old Summer holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for the longest tail on a horse, at 12 feet, six inches.


10 Female Great Cartoon Voice Actors

To create a great cartoon, a creative team must have two ingredients: great writing, and great voice acting. Low quality animation (such as the limited animation style of the 1970’s era Hanna Barbera shows) can easily be overcome when the characters have memorable personalities. Voice actors of the past were rarely, if ever, credited (or well paid) for their work. Fortunately, conditions and pay have greatly improved, and with the DVD releases of many classic shows, the respect due is being given as well.

Nicole Jaffe
Velma, Scooby Doo, Where Are You?

Scooby Doo
Jinkies! I’m sure most of us would agree that, usually, the original is the best. Six performers have voiced the smart, short, bespectacled, turtle-neck sweater loving crime solver Velma Dinkley. Listening to all the different voices though, Jaffe’s voice is the one that has stuck in my head as the iconic voice of the character. Jaffe performed as Velma in the debut of the show called “Scooby Doo, Where Are You?”. This version debuted on American television in 1969 and ran for two years. A follow-up show, “The New Scooby Doo Movies” ran for two more years; Jaffe also voiced Velma in these episodes. This show was cancelled in 1974; Scooby, though would be revived in 1976 on a different network, and in a different format. Jaffe had married and moved on and was replaced, though she did return to the role for several videos earlier this decade.

Trivia: The current voice of Velma is done by Mindy Cohn, who is remembered for being on the sitcom “The Facts Of Life”. She was Emmy-nominated for her work as Velma. BTW, the picture of Nicole is from the 1969 Elvis Presley movie “The Trouble with Girls”.

Cree Summer
Penny, Inspector Gadget

Inspector Gadget
At 14, Cree Summer got the part of Penny, the smart, resourceful girl who helped her not-so-super spy uncle, Inspector Gadget, save the day from evil genius Dr. Claw. Major changes after the first season, including moving production of the show from Canada to the US, lead to Ms. Summer being replaced for it’s less successful second (and final) season. Summer has nearly 150 voice acting credits on her resume, with characters ranging from Elmyra Duff of “Tiny Toon Adventures” to Foxxy Love on “Drawn Together”. She has voiced characters of many different nationalities and several male characters.

Trivia: Cree Summer starred as Freddie in the late-1980’s Bill Cosby-produced comedy “A Different World”.

Lucille Bliss
Smurfette, The Smurfs

The Smurfs
Into a show about the lives of 100 blue men, each just three apples high, came it’s first female character, Smurfette. Bliss, with only a few cartoons on her resume, won the part at the age of 65! She gave her character a very recognizable high-pitched yet raspy voice. There is a memorable discussion scene about Smurfette in the cult film Donnie Darko, and there is a planned trilogy of Smurf movies with “Heroes” star Hayden Panettiere rumored to be providing her voice. After “The Smurfs”, Bliss had a very busy voice-acting career and has been active in her nineties, most recently working on “Invader ZIM”.

Trivia: There is very little information about Ms. Bliss on the Web; I could only smurf some brief anecdotes mentioning that she is a smurfy storyteller. She is in an assisted-living home, but still able to do voice work.

Jean Vander Pyl
Wilma, The Flintstones

The Flintstones
Yabba Dabba Doo! “The Flintstones” was initially a cartoon geared more for adults when it debuted as a successful nighttime animated show in 1960. It followed the crazy antics of Fred Flintstone and his friend Barney. Fred’s wife, Wilma, would be the one to show Fred the error of his ways or get him out of trouble. Vander Pyl had performed in a handful of radio and television shows before becoming the voice of Wilma. She then would go on to voice work in many other cartoons, including voicing Rosey the Robot in “The Jetsons”. An example of an actor not understanding Hollywood finances, Vander Pyl accepted a one-time $15,000 payment in lieu of payments from future airings (residuals). Had she been given residuals, she would have earned millions, as the show airs continuously around the world, mostly on the Boomerang Network. She continued working until her death in 1999, at age 79, of lung cancer.

Trivia: “The Flintstones” continues to be a very profitable marketing brand, with a line of vitamins and, perhaps the awesomest cereal ever, Fruity Pebbles.

Bea Benaderet
Granny, Looney Tunes

Looney Tunes
For me, it doesn’t get any better than the Looney Tunes/Merry Melodies cartoons of the 1940’s and 50’s. The vocal work of Mel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan (Elmer Fudd) and Stan Freberg (Pete Puma) was sublime, and one female actor fit in with them just fine. Voicing most of the female characters during that time, Benaderet voiced Granny (of the Sylvester/Tweety shorts), Ma Bear (of the Three Bears shorts) and Prissy the Hen (in the Foghorn Leghorn shorts). She was replaced around 1955 by June Foray (for reasons I have been unable to find). However, just a few years later, she would star on “The Flintstones”, voicing Betty Rubble. She left this show during it’s run to focus on her acting, primarily a role in the popular sitcom “Petticoat Junction”. Benaderet passed away though shortly afterwards at the age of 62.

Trivia: Benaderet missed out on playing two legendary television characters: She had been Lucille Ball’s first choice to play Ethel in “I Love Lucy”, but was unable to get out of a contract with another program, and she was the first choice for Granny on “The Beverly Hillbillies”, but was later rejected because she was too “busty” to be an elderly grandmother, according to the producers.

Tress MacNeille
Mom, Futurama; Agnes Skinner, The Simpsons

The Simpsons
Perhaps the busiest female voice actor of the past thirty years. MacNeille voices some twenty recurring characters in the long-running show “The Simpsons” including Crazy Cat Lady and business-woman Lindsey Naegle. Included among over 200 credits are the voices of Daisy Duck (since 1999) and Dot Warner (of one of the most underrated cartoons ever, “Animaniacs”.) Recently, she has voiced Mom and Linda (one half of the newscast team, alongside Morbo) in the new Futurama movies. She will also be in the upcoming sequel to Hoodwinked.

Trivia: MacNeille sang in “Weird Al” Yankovic’s song “Ricky”, an ode to “I Love Lucy”, and appeared in the video as Lucy.

June Foray
Rocket “Rocky” J. Squirrel, Rocky and His Friends; Granny, Looney Tunes

Granny Looney Tunes
Considered one of the very best voice actors, male or female, of all time. Legendary animation director Chuck Jones gave Ms. Foray the highest compliment possible when he said “Mel Blanc is the male June Foray”; as Blanc is typically regarded as the best ever for his voices including Bugs Bunny. She became a regular in the Looney Tunes shorts in the mid 1950’s, taking over as the voice of Granny, and new characters such as Witch Hazel. Most of her fame, though would come from her work on the “Rocky and Bullwinkle” cartoons of the 1960’s; Foray voiced Rocky and Natasha Fatale. Foray has worked on virtually every popular cartoon of the past 50 years: “The Flintstones”, “Garfield and Friends”, “DuckTales” and so many more. She has continued to work steadily through 2007.

Trivia: A great injustice has been done to Ms. Foray. The two current premiere showcases for voice acting, “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy”, have each used Foray’s incredible talents only once each: “Simpsons” in a brief part on a first season episode, and “Family Guy” for one line as Rocky. Shame on them, especially as Foray still looks and sounds great at the age of 91.

Nancy Cartwright
Bart, Ralph Wiggum, The Simpsons

The Simpsons
Another performer from the greatest animated television show of all time. Cartwright is notable in that most of her recent voice work is of young boys. In addition to the infamous Bart Simpson, Cartwright voices Nelson, Kearney, and Todd Flanders of “The Simpson's” and Chickie from “Rug rats.” She got her start by telephoning voice great Daws Butler (Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound) for advice and eventually became his student and friend. An example of changing economics, Cartwright and her “Simpsons” cast mates now receive $400,000 per episode (typically 22-24 episodes per year).

Trivia: Cartwright is a leading member of the Church of Scientology. She donated a whopping $10 million dollars to the church in 2007, more than Scientology poster boy Tom Cruise.

Mary Kay Bergman
Sheila Broflovski, Sheila Marsh, South Park

South Park
Trey Parker and Matt Stone created the brilliant, hilarious, and obscene show “South Park” which debuted in 1997. Bergman was brought in for most of the female roles including each of the four boys’ mothers. Initially, she was credited under the pseudonym “Shannen Cassidy” to offset any conflict with her job at Disney. My favorite character was Ms. Crab tree, the bus driver with the bird’s nest in her hair: “Sit down!”, and “What did you say?!” were her usual lines. Bergman also voiced these roles in the 1999 movie South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. Sadly, later that year she would commit suicide after struggling with mental illness. Several actresses have since replaced Bergman, but with those first episodes being so original and revolutionary I had to include Ms. Bergman.

Trivia: Bergman did hundreds of commercials, including the voice of pancake syrup character “Mrs. Butter worth”. She was also the official voice of Snow White, which she did for videos, games, and toys.

Lillian Randolph
Mammy Two Shoes, Tom and Jerry

Tom and Jerry
In the Tom and Jerry shorts of the 1940’s and 50’s, the only human character was an unnamed lady who was always after Tom (originally named Jasper), a cat, to catch Jerry, a mouse. Radio and film veteran Randolph provided the voice. The character is considered to be a racial stereotype known as a “Mammy”, a servant or maid of African descent, often overweight, loud, and heavily accented, and this has lead to some controversy. The shorts though, never stated that she was a maid and it is implied that she was the owner of that huge house with the well-stocked refrigerator. Also, the name “Mammy Two Shoes” was never used in the cartoons; it was given years later by the media, as typically only the character’s feet were shown. The shorts would be edited in the 1960’s. In some, Randolph’s voice was replaced with a plain-sounding one, and in others, she was replaced entirely with a thin white woman (voiced by June Foray.) Recent DVD releases have somewhat restored the original character.

As a child watching these cartoons, I had no awareness of the racial connotations. I just found the character completely funny, such as when she threatens to throw Tom “O-U-W-T Out!” I would hate to see this character completely erased, especially since talented performers like Ms. Randolph and others of her time are already nearly forgotten because they were mostly offered only these type parts.

Trivia: The Tom and Jerry cartoons won more Academy Awards (7) than the Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes did (5).

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pictures which are talking for themselves?

talkingThey say that one picture is worth a thousand words…but what about pictures which are talking for themselves?!
Related Posts with Thumbnails