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Former First Lady Barbara Bush dies at 92

Barbara Bush dies at 92

Former First Lady Barbara Bush, a pillar of strength, dignity and class, has died at home, of natural causes, at 92.

During her White House years she passionately championed the cause of literacy, winning the respect and admiration of many from both sides of the political divide, and the international community.

Known affectionately as “The Enforcer” to her beloved family members for her exacting standards, she is survived by her husband, Former President Herbert Walker Bush, and her many children and grand children, including Former Governor Jeb Bush, and Former President George Walker Bush.

She was the only First Lady in American History to live to see one of her children elected to the office of the Presidency (Abigail Adams, a close second, died before her son, John Quincy Adams, won the Presidency.)

Watch this tribute to the Former First Lady:

 

Video: MSNBC / Youtube

Photo: Cropped – By White House Photo Office, courtesy George Bush Presidential Library and Museum [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Boston Marathon: American Woman Wins! First time in years

Boston Marathon 2018

Historic News in Boston Massachusetts! In a sport dominated by top African runners for decades, an American woman has won the women’s race for the first time since 1985. Linden is a two time Olympian and the 2011 Boston marathon runner up. Her time was 2 hours, 39 minutes and 54 seconds.

Inclement weather made for a challenging and uncomfortable race, as runners contended with a cold rain, low temperatures, and an exceedingly strong headwind.

In the men’s race, Yuki Kawauchi, a government employee in Japan, won the race with a time of 2:15:58. Kawauchi is a world record-holding runner who holds actually holds the record for the most races run under 2 hours and 20 minutes.

In the wheel chair race, Marcel Hug of Switzerland won again, with a time of 1:46:26. Hug has won the title for the past three years (last year he broke the course record, with a personal best.)

Learn more about the 2018 Boston Marathon (Deadspin.com)

Video: NBC Sports / YouTube

Photo: screen capture (NBC Sports and YouTube)

Unarmed black men shot by police, triggering outrage and protests

unarmed black men shot by police

Tragedy strikes in New York as police shoot and kill Saheed Vassell, an unarmed, mentally ill African American man who held a metal pipe they mistook for a gun.

This terrible incident comes only a few weeks after police in Sacramento, California killed Stephon Clark, another unarmed black man, in his grandmother’s back yard: similarly his cell phone was mistaken for a gun. It’s estimated that police fired 20 rounds at the Clark, and a private autopsy conducted by the victim’s family found that he was struck eight times, twice in the side and six times in the back.

These tragic deaths have angered people across the nation, triggering protests by concerned citizens and activists. They are the latest in a long line of police killings of young black men over the last few years, including Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, and Michael Brown.

Statistically African American men are much more likely to be be killed by police than white men: in 2016, 6.7 black men per million residents were killed by police, compared to 2.9 white men per million. The numbers are even worse for Native American men: 10.1 are killed per million.

This is a terrible epidemic and a blight on our society. African Americans consistently report unfair treatment by law enforcement officers across the nation. The situation is grave, and the health and safety of young black men and boys is at great risk. Good citizens must stand up and take action, calling upon their elected government representatives at every level, from local, through state and the federal branches, to stave this unacceptable trend.

Clearly the will of congress, and President Trump, to affect change is lacking. But much can be achieved at the local and state levels, regardless of federal paralysis. Solidarity, empathy and a willingness to act are necessary, now more than ever.

It’s very important to talk about this issue. Write blog articles, post on social media, sign petitions, and call your congressman and state representatives. Also, discuss the crisis with your children at an age-appropriate level, and others in your community. Most important of all, vote for politicians who take this emergency seriously and are willing to act to end the violence. The people have the power to reverse this dark trend.

Learn more (Vox)

 

Photo: By The All-Nite Images [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Significance of Easter

Significance of Easter

The management team of Face Activities wishes our members and visitors, and their families, a very Happy Easter!

Easter is the most important holiday in Christianity. It’s celebrated by 2.2 billion Christians world-wide. Traditional Christians worship the divinity of Jesus, and Easter Sunday is the day, according to the Bible, when Jesus rose from the dead, revealing himself to be a divine figure. Easter, at its essence, actually defines Christianity.

Easter is the culmination of “holy week,” including many religious events. Most well known are Palm Sunday (a celebratory day) commemorating when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (a symbol representing a peaceful King) and Good Friday (a day of fasting and penance), commemorating his crucifixion and death at the hands of the Romans. The joyful holiday of Easter, commemorating his Resurrection, caps the holy week with an exuberant feast.

As with Christmas and other Christian holidays, many pagan elements have worked their way into modern Easter celebrations. This blending of traditions was encouraged by the early church, which sought to incorporate diverse religious and cultural groups into the religion by adopting and repurposing the ancient religious holidays and culturally specific imagery of these groups. For this reason rabbits and eggs, which were common pagan fertility symbols throughout Europe, have their place in the modern holiday.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Scarlet Street, a film by Fritz Lang, 1945

Scarlet-Street

Scarlet Street, a film by Fritz Lang, 1945

A young couple attempt to con a man out of his fortune. Scarlet Street is both film noir and black comedy. This film was directed by German film maker Fritz Lang, who brought us such early film classics as Metropolis and M, enjoyed a short but productive career in Hollywood.

(Browse our Movie Archive)

The Hitch-Hiker, a film by Ida Lupino, 1953

The Hitch-Hiker, 1953

The Hitch-Hiker, 1953

A film by Ida Lupino

If you and your friend are driving along and decide to pick up a hitch-hiker–don’t! That’s what the guys in this film noir did. But he turned out to be a demented, escaped convict, with a gun. Don’t you hate it when that happens? By the way, it’s a true story, so be careful out there!  (Browse our Movie Archive)

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