Japanese park shocks visitors by freezing sea creatures into ice skating rink

Japanese park shocks visitors by freezing sea creatures into ice skating rink

In a shockingly insensitive display, Japan’s “Space World” theme park froze hundreds of sea creatures, including fish and crabs, into the ice of a skating rink. The the park says the animals were already dead when purchased, but outraged visitors, revolted by the sight, weren’t aware of this. They took to social media to protest in large numbers, forcing a closure. The park will unfreeze the dead animals, and they will be used as fertilizer.

It’s hard to believe, in this sensitive age, that the park’s executives didn’t anticipate the backlash. And it’s harder still to fathom why cheap plastic replicas wouldn’t have sufficed. What were these executives thinking? The public, particularly those involved with social media, are increasingly aware of animal cruelty, and sensitive to the appearance of such cruelty, whether or not abuse has actually occurred. And, after all, it’s very easy to share one’s outrage on Facebook or Twitter.

Watch video of Space World’s macabre ice rink exhibit (CNN)

 

 

Photo: By ja:User:Sanjo (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Silent Night, Bloody Night, a film by Theodore Gershuny, 1972

Silent Night, Bloody Night, a film by Theodore Gershuny, 1972

Silent Night, Bloody Night, 1972

A film by Theodore Gershuny

“A man inherits a mansion, which once was a mental home. He visits the place and begins to investigate some crimes that happened in old times, scaring the people living in the region.” (IMDB)

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Florence Henderson, Entertainer, dies at 82

Florence Henderson, Entertainer, dies at 82

Florence Henderson, the beloved actress best known for her role as Mrs. Brady, the matriarch of America’s most well-known blended television family, the Brady Bunch (1969 – 1974,) has died of heart failure at the age of 82. She had a long career on both screen and stage, including a 2010 stint on the wildly popular reality show “Dancing with the Stars” (at 76 she was one of the program’s oldest contestants.) In fact, she recently visited the set of Dancing with the Stars to cheer on her former Brady Bunch co-star, Maureen McCormick, who played Martia Brady on the iconic television show. She’d seemed the picture of health, and her passing has shocked and shaken her unprepared fans.

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Her role on The Brady Bunch brought a stable, loving, traditional image of motherhood to the small screen, which was updated for the times. She didn’t wear frumpy aprons and old-fashioned house dresses like the previous generation of TV moms, but rather the latest fashions, and pants, though in hindsight the show’s fashion choices, reflecting trends in the early 70s, may seem funny to people today. The series originally aired during the tumultuous 1960s and early 1970s, which was an era marked by the Vietnam War, violent student protests, increasing drug use among the young, growing social unrest, and great changes to the American family.

Shared from Youtube

Shared from Youtube

Florence Henderson’s character, and the show as a whole, addressed the changing nature of motherhood and the family (the show’s premise: two adults, with children of their own, marry and raise a blended family together) and succeeded in presenting a reassuring, wholesome image that was quite soothing to the throngs of ordinary folks seeking entertainment, and reeling from the political and social excesses of the time. The show has only grown in popularity in syndication over the years. And many foreign countries air the Brady Bunch reruns. Evidently the simple, upbeat Brady Bunch formula works well for members of other cultural traditions, as well as fans in the United States.

Shared from Youtube

Shared from Youtube

Early in her career Florence Henderson was known for her singing, enjoying success as a star on Broadway, including her well-known role in the musical Oklahoma!, and for numerous guest appearances on television, including a regular gig on the Today Show, long before her iconic role on the Brady Bunch. Though her character on that popular 1970s sitcom was upbeat, wholesome, and pragmatic, Henderson’s persona in recent years, as an older woman, was often feisty and sexy, defying expectations and stereotypes.

Learn more about the life and career of Florence Henderson (Washington Post)

 

Photo: By Greg in Hollywood (Greg Hernandez)Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Link

Fidel Castro’s Life and Legacy

Life of Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro (1926 – 2016), the leader of Cuba for a nearly 50 year stretch, is mourned in the streets of Havana, while his death is celebrated in the streets of Miami. He was a complex man who brought about great change, both positive and negative, for his small island nation. Due to poor health he relinquished a leadership role to his brother, and fellow revolutionary, Raúl, in 2008, but he is still very much on the minds of the Cuban people.

Literacy and health care
Under his rule, a great emphasis was placed on public education, and today Cuba has built over 10,000 schools and has a 98% literacy rate, one of the highest in the world. His government also spear-headed a massive public health effort, extending quality universal health care to the entire population, reducing infant mortality to 1.1%, despite great shortages imposed by the U.S. embargo.

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Political repression
These are certainly impressive results, rivaling or surpassing the success of first world nations. However, under his communist regime, civil rights suffered, and many faced repression for political reasons. In response, over the years hundreds of thousands of refugees left Cuba for the U.S., including the largest single group, in 1980, during the Mariel boat lift, when over 120,000 people left their native land. Castro actually exploited this trend to his advantage, sending along many prisoners and mental patients, whom he deemed undesirable.

His early life and education
Castro was born the illegitimate son of a wealthy sugar plantation owner near Birán, Cuba. He had five other siblings, including his brother Raúl, and originally used the surname name Ruz. At 17 his father formally recognized him, two years after marrying his mother, and he began using his father’s surname, Castro. He was initially educated at Jesuit boarding schools, and as a boy he excelled both athletically and academically. He began the study of law at the University of Havana in 1945, where he immersed himself in student politics, fascinated by issues of social justice, Cuban nationalism, anti-imperialism, and socialism. Read more

Little Lulu: Bored of Education, an animated short by Bill Tytla, 1946

Little Lulu: Bored of Education, an animated short by Bill Tytla, 1946

Little Lulu: Bored of Education, 1946

An animated short by Bill Tytla

“Lulu answers wrong on a history quiz after cheating off of Tubby. While sitting in the corner and wearing a dunce cap Lulu falls asleep and dreams of chasing Tubby through history to get back at him.” (IMDB)

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Slashed Dreams (aka Sunburst), a film by James Polakof, 1975

Slashed Dreams (aka Sunburst), a film by James Polakof, 1975

Slashed Dreams, (aka Sunburst), 1975

A film by James Polakof

In this disturbing thriller by James Polakof, “a couple vacationing in the woods is stalked by two rapists.”(IMDB) Starring Peter Hooten, Kathrine Baumann, Ric Carrott

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