Hot Topics: Ordinary Folks Rise to Heroism in Tucson
Saturday's attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in which six people were killed, reminds us how ordinary people suddenly can perform acts of astonishing bravery.
At least two of those heroes were seniors whose desperate resolve helped prevent even more bloodshed. This ABC News story describes how 61-year-old Tucson woman Patricia Maisch boldly grabbed a high-capacity magazine from the gunman, preventing him from reloading his semi-automatic handgun. In the melee, retired National Guard Col. Bill Badger, 74, despite being wounded in the head, also reached up from the floor to grab the gunman and, with another survivor, proceeded to wrestle the shooter to the ground. Anna Ballis, a 54-year-old office worker who was shopping at the Safeway where the shooting occurred, helped save the life of Giffords' district director by applying pressure to his gunshot wound and stopping the bleeding. Another Giffords aide, Daniel Hernandez, provided life-saving first aid to the congresswoman herself, keeping her alive until help could arrive.
President Barack Obama paid tribute to Maisch in a moving speech in Tucson Wednesday and also hailed a fallen hero, 76-year-old Dorwan Stoddard, who took a fatal bullet in an effort to shield his wife, Mavy, who was wounded but survived.
Is the new Kato up to the job? The movie remake of The Green Hornet, a short-lived mid-1960s TV series that nevertheless occupies a hallowed place in pop culture, debuts today in theaters. The advance word from Roger Ebert isn't too good, though the Washington Post's Dan Kois thinks the movie's humorous take is a nice change from, say, The Dark Night's gloomy seriousness. Let's remember that the original wasn't exactly Playhouse 90, either. The show is remembered chiefly because it introduced viewers to the astonishing physicality and withering stare of martial arts superstar Bruce Lee, who played the Hornet's kung fu-kicking chauffeur Kato. I don't think any old-school Green Hornet aficionados really care whether comic actor Seth Rogen is any good in the title role originally played by hunky nonentity Van Williams. What we're really wondering is whether singer/rapper Jay Chou, who seems to be the Taiwanese analog of Justin Timberlake, is up to following in martial-arts superstar Bruce Lee's nimble footsteps. But Chou demonstrates in this video clip from his 2008 action film Kung Fu Dunk, an odd basketball-martial arts mashup that apparently resonated with Asian moviegoers, he's got some kicks, too.
Classic rock sisters score funding. Fanny co-founder June Millington, the subject of a recent SecondAct post, and her sister, Jean, have reached their goal by raising $16,525 in contributions on Kickstarter.com to market their upcoming CD, Play Like A Girl. Contributions came from fans as far away as Australia. June Millington says the sisters are planning an international tour and hope to stage workshops for young female rockers along the way, even recruiting some of them as opening acts. "We can't wait to go play," she says.
Breakfast of champions. Ralph Maxwell, a 91-year-old track athlete, is ranked first in the world in the over-90 age category in various events, from the 100 meters to the javelin. Like all those famous athletes who have appeared over the years on Wheaties boxes, the secret of Maxwell's success seems to be a nutritious breakfast. Maxwell likes to start the day with a concoction of his own creation -- an oatmeal mush recipe that includes such exotic ingredients as goji berries and chia seeds. Mastertrack.com shares the recipe.
Tips for older job seekers. Author Kerry Hannon, in a blog post for Forbes.com, relays some useful advice for job hunters from career coach and Sirius XM radio host Maggie Mistal. Among Mistal's recommendations: A job applicant should approach that crucial interview as if he or she is a highly paid consultant. Offering observations and nuanced recommendations, Mistal says, is a way to demonstrate that you've taken a "genuine interest" in your prospective employer. It also shows that you have the ability to talk to people and learn about the company and its history and goals.
"Ice Ice Baby" redux. If Vanilla Ice can make a comeback, surely there is hope for the rest of us. The 43-year-old rapper, aka Robert Matthew Van Winkle, struggled mightily after his brief moment of stardom in the early 1990s and at one point sank so low that he agreed to try wrestling, in a bout promoted by fellow rappers of the Insane Clown Posse. The Iceman has resurfaced as the star of a hit cable TV reality show, The Vanilla Ice Project, now in its second season, in which he displays his unexpected virtuosity in a different art form: home renovation. Here's an equally surprising Fast Company piece on what we can learn from the man who immortalized the phrase "word to your mother."
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