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In Celebration of Jim Henson! (9/24/12)

In Celebration of Jim Henson!  (9/24/12)

Since the day Jim Henson brought Kermit the Frog to life, we’ve all been getting a better understanding of what it means to be green. Kermit set his own rainbow in the sky
and we saw a new promise of joy in the world. 

It’s an honor to celebrate the life of Jim Henson, whom we miss even to this day, for his extraordinary talents and fascinating character. If you’ve ever wondered whether
a person can truly be drawn to their life’s work at an early age, you only have to look at Jim as a teenager in high school to see how his passion for puppetry began. Of course, it was later—after his college years and his collaboration with Frank Oz and others—that he became known as the greatest tenant that ever moved to Sesame Street.

Because of him, some of us had relationships with Big Bird and Bert and Ernie well before we realized there was another world apart from our TV sets. We learned what it meant
to be a friend, what it meant to be different, and even what it meant to be an adult. We learned to appreciate and acknowledge each other in new ways.

In Celebration of Jim Henson!  (9/24/12)

Jim Henson was one of the first puppeteers to give precise mouth movements to his characters so that they could become more human. He wasted no time designing appealing and fun characters for every age group. Soon, Miss Piggy was born to be Kermit’s “girlfriend,” Fozzie Bear joined the team of friends and numerous other personalities emerged, all of whom helped to make the Muppets a household name.

Henson, who was born in 1936, built a legacy that few can rival and certainly we are all
the better for it. When he stepped out on the stage of the Ed Sullivan show in the 50’s a new kind of star was born and it shone brightly. 

Today that star lives on in the work that Jim Henson’s children continue to build, bringing a new generation of viewers a reason to look at life with renewed joy each day. It may not be easy being “green,” but it’s easy for all of us to embrace the work of this innovative puppet creator. 

On September 24th, we sing Happy Birthday to Jim Henson and are grateful for the role he played in giving all of us a beautiful rainbow connection.

In Celebration of Jim Henson!  (9/24/12)In Celebration of Jim Henson!  (9/24/12)In Celebration of Jim Henson!  (9/24/12)In Celebration of Jim Henson!  (9/24/12)In Celebration of Jim Henson!  (9/24/12)In Celebration of Jim Henson!  (9/24/12)

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Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!

Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!

Happy Birthday to Leonardo da Vinci, born April 15th!

He was a handsome, left-handed, vegetarian animal lover who excelled in art, anatomy, architecture, engineering, geology, hydraulics, military arts, optics and sculpture. His mystique was also captured in a book and subsequent 2003 Hollywood movie called The Da Vinci Code by author Dan Brown. Who is it? It’s Leonardo da Vinci, who was born in Vinci, Italy on April 15, 1452. Best known for his painting of the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci (which literally means “Leonardo from the town of Vinci”) was a brilliant scholar and artist.

Da Vinci was the illegitimate son of a notary and a peasant girl. Although his parents split up shortly after his birth, both remarried and eventually gave Leonardo a total of 17 half sisters and brothers! As a young boy, he had access to many scholarly texts and great writings. At age 15, his father apprenticed him to artist Andrea del Verrochio in Florence, where he showed early and rapid signs of brilliance.

Along with his artistic flair, da Vinci is revered for his technological ingenuity. Centuries ahead of his time, he conceptualized a helicopter, a tank, a calculator, and brainstormed the ideas of concentrated solar power, and outlined a rough theory of plate tectonics. His smaller inventions included an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire. In his spare time, he doodled parachutes and flying machines, and wrote lengthy scientific thoughts in personal notebooks… backwards.

It’s a shame that so few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible in the 1400s. A failure by him to publish his findings meant that his grand scope of influence on many fields of study and ingenuity is not well documented by historians.

Known best as an artist, though, da Vinci is the talent behind works such as The Last Supper (1495), two different paintings with almost identical compositions called Virgin of the Rocks, or Madonna of the Rocks (1483-1486 and 1495-1508, respectively) and The Mona Lisa (1503-1506).

Leonardo da Vinci died of natural causes on May 2, 1519. It is said that he passed away as the King of France, Francis I, held da Vinci’s head in his arms.

Leonardo da Vinci left the world with a lot to ponder, and much to smile about. But one question remains: why do you think the woman in the Mona Lisa painting was smiling? Tell us in the comments section!

For other famous birthdays, check out our famous birthdays category here in the BlueMountain blog!  Have a friend or loved one celebrating a birthday today?  Send them a birthday eCard to show you care!

http://www.mos.org/leonardo/bio.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_vinci

http://www.answers.com/topic/leonardo-da-vinci

http://www.leonardoda-vinci.org/biography.html

Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!

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Dr Seuss' Birthday: National Read Across America Day

Dr Seuss' Birthday: National Read Across America DayTheodor Seuss Geisel — known as “Ted” to his family and friends — is famous for his whimsical rhyming books that inspire both young and old alike. Dr. Seuss (pronounced in Bavaria as “Zoice”) began his career as an advertiser and a cartoonist. His works are known for imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of trisyllabic meter. Of the forty-four books that he personally wrote and illustrated, only four are in prose (non-rhyming). He was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize in 1984.

Dr. Seuss’ success was not immediate. His first children’s book, a sort of ABC of fanciful creatures, was written in 1931, but no one wanted to publish it. It took him to his 13th children’s book to achieve one of his most famous works, The Cat in the Hat, proving that persistence can pay off. Published in March of 1957, The Cat in the Hat sold nearly a million copies by the end of 1960.

People often asked Dr. Seuss how he, a childless person, could write so well for children. His standard response was, “You make ’em. I’ll amuse ’em.” He had the desire to motivate and to teach through his work. His purpose for writing The Cat in the Hat stemmed from his worry that children weren’t learning to read. Although he did not start writing children’s books with this goal, he eventually became America’s best-known reading teacher.

 Dr. Seuss was challenged by the director of Houghton Mifflin’s education division to write him “a story that first-graders can’t put down!” The extra twist? Limit the book’s vocabulary to no more than 225 different words, chosen from a list of 348. And thus greatness was born.

Later, another publisher bet him that he couldn’t write a book that used fifty or fewer words. Dr. Seuss took the challenge in stride and produced Green Eggs and Ham, his best-selling title. The Cat in the Hat is his second best-selling, followed by two more Beginner Books: One fish two fish red fish blue fish (1960) and Hop on Pop (1963).

But Dr. Seuss did not just want to teach children how to read, he also hoped to teach them how to think. He wanted to nurture that potential for good in his post-war publications, which included Horton Hears a Who!, Yertle the Turtle, The Sneetches, The Lorax, and The Butter Battle Book.

 Dr. Seuss’ birthday is March 2, and has been deemed National Read Across America Day, the National Education Association’s annual initiative on reading.

What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book? Tell us in the comments section!
http://www.seussville.com/#/author

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Seuss

http://www.answers.com/topic/dr-seuss

 

Dr Seuss' Birthday: National Read Across America DayDr Seuss' Birthday: National Read Across America DayDr Seuss' Birthday: National Read Across America DayDr Seuss' Birthday: National Read Across America DayDr Seuss' Birthday: National Read Across America DayDr Seuss' Birthday: National Read Across America Day