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Mickey Mouse turns 80 - symbol of optimism, fun, sheer zest for life, a little fellow trying to do the best he can
You may have missed it, but one of the great inspirational figures of the last century celebrated his 80th birthday a few days ago. Born in Los Angeles in 1928, he has surely brought more pleasure to more people than anyone of his generation. His features are recognizable in almost every city on earth, and he has probably raised a smile from almost everyone whose life he has touched.
And while his name has become a metaphor for anything gimcrack, cheap or childish, he remains the supreme symbol of American optimism, fun and sheer zest for life. He is, of course, Mickey Mouse.
Oddly, the Disney corporation is not making a big deal of Mickey's birthday, perhaps because it is worried that mentioning his great age will damage his reputation among his youngest fans. So it is up to the rest of us to celebrate for him - and celebrate we should. For while Mickey's first 80 years coincided with some of the darkest moments in history, and while Disney has become a byword for commercialism, the great Mouse reminds us of the best in humanity. Sure, he may not have the muscles of Michelangelo's David, but he has a much better sense of humor.
Royal giggles and Google Doodle - Queen Elizabeth II visits Google's UK headquarters, view laughing baby video
LONDON (AP) - She sent her first e-mail in 1976. She has her own Web site. And on Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II uploaded video to YouTube during a visit to Google's British headquarters. The company celebrated the queen's visit by creating a special version of its google.co.uk home page, which featured a silhouette of her head as the second "G" and a regal crown atop the "E" in their logo.
The queen, 82, herself has a presence on YouTube - she launched the Royal Channel in December. There are 54 videos on the channel, which range from the Queen's 1957 Christmas message to a day in the life of Prince Charles. On Thursday, she uploaded archive footage to the channel of a 1969 reception at Buckingham Palace for British Olympians. The monarch has reigned since 1952. According to the Buckingham Palace Web site, the queen sent her first e-mail from a computer on an army base, well before the widespread use of the Internet.
"The Simpsons" wins 10th best cartoon Emmy Award - US television's highest honor for a prime-time cartoon
"The Simpsons" once again claimed U.S. television's highest honor for a prime-time cartoon on Saturday at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, extending the show's record winning streak. It marked the 10th time that "The Simpsons," airing on the Fox network for 19 seasons, as the longest-running comedy series in prime time, was named best half-hour animated show. The latest accolade for the hit cartoon came during a 3 1/2-hour presentation of the 60th annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards, mostly honoring achievements in categories like makeup, costumes, sound editing and art direction.
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom which was created by Matt Groening, a satirical parody of the middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its titular family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield, and it lampoons many aspects of the human condition, as well as American culture, society as a whole, and television itself.
World's most decorated penguin: Sir Nils Olav, honorary colonel-in-chief of Norwegian King's Guard, now a knight
For the com- manding officer of the Nor- wegian King's Guard, it was a moment as surreal as it was moving. As Lieutenant-Colonel Ingrid Gjerde surveyed the scene before her in Edinburgh yesterday, she must have wondered whether she was dreaming. For the King's Guard was about to award a knighthood to what was already the world's most decorated penguin.
Nils, or now Sir Nils Olav, waddled into the history books Friday when he was knighted by a visiting royal Norwegian regiment in Scotland. The king penguin became the first black-and-white pint-sized Norwegian Sir with wings after inspecting the Norwegian King's Guard, which is visiting Edinburgh for the annual Military Tattoo.
Three writers finalists for American humor award - the Thurber Prize: Larry Doyle, Patricia Marx, and Simon Rich
NEW YORK (AP) — A former writer and producer for "The Simpsons," a former writer for "Saturday Night Live" and a former president of the Harvard Lampoon are finalists for the Thurber Prize for American Humor, a $5,000 award.
Larry Doyle, a contributor to The New Yorker and Esquire magazines whose previous credits include "The Simpsons," was nominated for "I Love You, Beth Cooper," his debut novel, inspired by his experiences at Buffalo Grove High School.
Doyle is now in post-production for the movie version of "I Love You, Beth Cooper."
Patricia Marx, an author of humor books and children's books who has written for "Saturday Night Live" and "Rugrats" and is a contributing editor to Time magazine, was cited for the novel "Him Her Him Again The End of Him." read more »
Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop computer or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed. Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"The policies . . . are truly alarming," said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who is probing the government's border search practices. He said he intends to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches, as well as prohibit profiling on race, religion or national origin.
Dog becomes tigers' momma at Kansas Zoo: labrador retriever adopts, nurses three abandoned white tiger cubs
(AP) A dog at a southeast Kansas zoo has adopted three tiger cubs abandoned by their mother. Safari Zoological Park owner Tom Harvey said the tiger cubs were born Sunday, but the mother had problems with them.
A day later, the mother stopped caring for them. Harvey said the cubs were wandering around, trying to find their birth mother, who wouldn't pay attention to them. That's when the cubs were put in the care of a golden retriever, Harvey said.
Harvey said it's unusual for dogs to care for tiger cubs, but it does happen. He said he has seen reports of pigs nursing cubs in China, and he actually got the golden retriever after his wife saw television accounts of dogs caring for tiger cubs.
Puppies take about the same amount of time as tiger cubs to develop, and Harvey said the adoptive mother just recently weaned her own puppies. "The timing couldn't have been any better," he said. The mother doesn't know the difference, Harvey said. He said the adopted mother licks, cleans and feeds the cubs.
The Safari Zoological Park is a licensed facility open since 1989 and specializes in endangered species. It has leopards, lions, cougars, baboons, ring-tailed lemurs, bears and other animals. It currently has seven white tigers and two orange tigers.
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