Laughing Matters – National Hispanic Heritage Month, But Who Knew?

first_imgHomeOpinionColumnsLaughing Matters – National Hispanic Heritage Month, But Who Knew? Sep. 13, 2019 at 6:00 amColumnsFeaturedLaughing MattersNewsLaughing Matters – National Hispanic Heritage Month, But Who Knew?Jack Neworth2 years agoAhmanson TheaterHispanic HeritageJack NeworthJohn Leguizamo When I was in grade school my father often took me to Los Angeles’ historic district. He had a business friend who had an office there. My dad would bring me along and let me explore Olvera Street, which had great souvenirs, music and delicious Mexican food, all of which I found irresistible. (My mother, however, wasn’t exactly thrilled when I returned home with no appetite for dinner.)My childhood was in L.A. and my adult life has been in Santa Monica. Both cities are filled with Hispanic history. Los Angeles is Spanish for “The Angels” since its founding in 1850, and Santa Monica is Spanish for “Saint Monica,” the mother of St. Augustine, a sinner who became a saint and great writer of the Faith.There’s a tall, white statue of Saint Monica in Palisades Park. And, at 725 California, there’s St. Monica Church, and St. Monica High School, which was founded in 1899 and consistently excels in academic and sports.The point of all this (there better be one) is that I considered myself fairly well informed about Hispanic culture. But, until this week, I didn’t know there was a National Hispanic Heritage Month, which, as it happens, begins Sunday. So much for “well informed.”I was puzzled why National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the latter half of one month and through the first half of the next. I discovered it starts on September 15th to correspond with the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile. Meanwhile, communities across the U.S., Canada and Latin America, will mark the achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans with festivals and educational activities.My connection to the Hispanic culture deepened in 2004 when I read an article in the L.A. Times “Was This Woman Railroaded?” The story chronicled the tragic life of Modesta Avila who, at 21, in 1889 San Juan Capistrano, boldly stood up to the Sante Fe Railroad, which had run track 15 feet from her front door without compensation.In protest, Modesta strung a clothesline across the track and later planted a sign on the tracks, “This land is mine!” In a rigged trial, Modesta became the first woman sent to San Quentin and died 3 months before her release. However, in 2002, the same railroad applied for a second line that would run through Capistrano. The young environmental activists discovered Modesta’s courageous protests and duplicated them as a rallying cry.Shockingly, the railroad was denied a 2nd line by a unanimous vote of the State Transportation Committee. I eventually wrote a screenplay, “Modesta – A Light Across Time,” because, even to this day, there are 911 calls describing her in a white dress, on moonlit nights at midnight, dancing barefoot on the tracks.In 2011, I wrote another screenplay about another charismatic Mexican-American, 1950’s tennis legend, Richard (Pancho) Gonzalez, who was called the “Jackie Robinson of tennis” for breaking the color and class barriers in tennis. The title is “Fury and Grace,” as Richard had an abundance of both.Born in 1928, the oldest of 7 children, Richard was raised in S. Central Los Angeles. When his father, Manuel, was 10, he and his father walked 600 miles from Mexico to Arizona, primarily at night to avoid the broiling heat and ruthless banditos. Manuel was tough and strict and Richard was rebellious, which was a tumultuous mix.Completely self taught, at 20 and 21, Richard won the U.S. Championships in 1948 and in 1949, when he became the last player in the tournament’s history to come back from 2 sets to love down and win. Always controversial and volatile, Richard’s considered among the greatest players of all time, finishing #1 in the world for a record 8 times.Lastly, in the spirit of the National Hispanic Heritage Month, is actor, stand-up comedian, filmmaker and playwright, John Leguizamo, in his hilarious (and educational) one-man play direct from Broadway, “Latin History for Dummies” at the Ahmanson Theater in downtown Los Angeles. The Tony and Emmy Award-winner who has also appeared in 75 movies and produced 10, gives the audience a “crash course” covering three continents and 3000 years of history.The idea for the play came about when Leguizamo’s son was being bullied at school and mocked for his Latino heritage. Leguizamo, who was born in Bogotá, Colombia, remembered his youth in New York and also being bullied. Leguizamo used his extraordinary humor to escape getting beat up but he wanted his son to be able to fight back with facts.A self-professed “ghetto scholar,” Leguizamo engaged in exhaustive research about Latinos that are not taught in the schools. The result is an undeniably entertaining, brilliantly funny and often poignant play whose time has definitely arrived. Meanwhile, I’m still thinking about the delicious food on Olvera Street.To learn more, go to:www.nationalhispanicheritagemonth.org. For Richard Gonzalez and the work done in his name, go to www.panchofoundation.org. “Latin History for Morons” info go to www.Ahmasontheater.org. Jack is at [email protected] :Ahmanson TheaterHispanic HeritageJack NeworthJohn Leguizamoshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentJack Neworthview all postsYour Column Here – Magical sounding “rent control that isn’t rent control”Lyft raises scooter prices to $0.26 per minute, joining Bird, Lime and JumpYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall7 hours agoColumnsOpinionYour Column HereBring Back Library ServicesGuest Author13 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press18 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press18 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson18 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter18 hours agolast_img read more

Springboks end good season with Paris win

first_img25 November 2013The Springboks brought the curtain down on a long and satisfying season with a bruising 19-10 victory over France at Stade de France on Saturday night. It was South Africa’s first win over the French in Paris since 1997, when the Boks famously crushed France 52-10.The victory left South Africa with 10 wins in 12 matches in 2013, including a Rugby Championship record 73-13 victory over Argentina in Soweto, a big 38-12 defeat of Australia for the Boks’ first win in Brisbane, and a 28-0 whitewash of Scotland at Murrayfield.It was by no means a vintage Springbok performance in Paris, but it was controlled, committed and confident, which was enough to defeat a fiery French side that had pushed New Zealand hard in a recent seven-point defeat to the All Blacks.‘Relieved and proud’“I’m very relieved and very proud,” coach Heyneke Meyer said at the post-match press conference, which took place in the early hours of Sunday.“It has been a very long season and there have been a lot of niggles and a lot of injuries, but the guys really wanted to put their bodies on the line and win for their country. They played against a very tough French side, so I’m just very happy and very relieved. I think we have been blessed this year, especially today.”‘They play for each other’Meyer also lauded the contribution of the entire Springbok squad, saying: “I’m very proud of the team. The great thing about them is they play for each other. It’s not just the 23 guys on the pitch, it’s all 32 players that have been here and a few injured guys back home.“What really makes me proud is a guy like Willem Alberts, who was injured, shouldn’t have played probably, but he put his body on the line and suddenly he’s the man of the match. That’s awesome. A guy like Coenie Oosthuizen, we had two injuries to props, and we were really worried about the scrum, especially against the French. He came through brilliantly and Bakkies Botha, at 34-years-old there was a lot of criticism about his inclusion, but when Eben Etzebeth got injured, he came on and delivered a really awesome performance and that it what it is all about.“It’s about team work, playing for each other, putting your body on the line for the guy next to you, and that is what makes them a successful team. I am very, very proud of the guys.”Poor pitchUnfortunately, as it had been in all three of their northern hemisphere tests, the pitch was not up to scratch and negated a consistent showdown at scrum time, although the Springboks on one occasion absolutely blasted France off the ball to earn a penalty and on another occasion claimed a tighthead.Despite the awful surface, tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen was one of South Africa’s leading lights on the night, scrumming strongly, putting in plenty of tackles, and working hard to turn over ball. A big man, weighing 127 kilograms, with his industrious work rate he reminds one of his provincial forwards’ coach at the Cheetahs, Bok great Os du Randt.The South African loose trio was again effective and very physical. Man of the match Willem Alberts was singled out by coach Meyer after the game for his commitment to the green and gold after Alberts came through a late fitness test to take the field, while Francois Louw made matters tough for the hosts at the breakdown. He was, however, shown a yellow card late in the game for shoving Pascal Pape’s face into the ground at a ruck, but the referee missed the slap Pape had given Bok captain Jean de Villiers, which led to Louw’s reaction.A superb seasonAt the back of the scrum Duane Vermeulen put an exclamation point on a superb season. His heavy tackling, powerful carrying of the ball, and winning of the ball at the ruck were, as they have been throughout the year, outstanding.It is difficult to imagine 53-test veteran Pierre Spies, who has been sidelined with injury this season, winning the eighthman position back. Not only has Vermeulen played out of his socks at the back of the scrum, he has also combined wonderfully with Alberts and Louw.Behind both packs, the backlines struggled to make ground against one another, although South Africa were twice denied tries by the television match official (TMO) in the second half.DisallowedOn the first occasion, with South Africa on the attack and just outside the French 22, Morne Steyn failed to hold onto a pass, but it flew parallel to the flyhalf on to De Villiers, who scooped it up, broke through the opposition backline and then offloaded to his centre partner Jaque Fourie, who crashed over for what looked like a try. The TMO viewed it numerous times before disallowing the five-pointer because he deemed the ball had gone forwards between Steyn and De Villiers. The decision was somewhat surprising.Later, after one of the few flowing, attacking moves in the game, fullback Willie le Roux stabbed through a beautifully judged grubber. Francois Louw, out on the right touchline, flew through to force the ball down beyond the French try line. The referee, though, asked for the TMO to review the score because French winger Yohann Huget had been close by.The replays revealed the defender’s hand missed the ball as he desperately dived to prevent the try. However, at full stretch and with his eyes closed, Huget made contact with the ball as his body bounced on the ground. His hand appeared to have moved the ball sideways, just before Louw touched it, but the TMO decided that the ball had been touched down and a 22 metre kick out went France’s way. Again, it could have gone the other way.Springbok trySouth Africa’s only try was scored by JP Pietersen, who charged down an attempted clearance kick to go over. The enthusiastic and effective chasing of kicks was a feature of the Boks’ play and they did it better than the French to keep the hosts under pressure.France became the only team to score a try against South Africa on their tour of the north just before half time, but the try was more about an unforced error by the Springboks than about French design.Having caught a kick off comfortably, the Boks formed a ruck, intent on passing the ball back to flyhalf Morne Steyn. Inexplicably it squirted out of the scrum on the blind side and French scrumhalf Morgan Parra, who enjoyed a strong outing, pounced on the ball before feeding it out. South Africa’s defence scrambled to stop the danger, but Sofiane Guitone just made it in the left-hand corner, with the TMO once again being called upon to adjudicate whether or not a try had been scored.Defensive organisationWhile some have been critical of centre Jaque Fourie on his return to the side, it is hard to see why. His influence on the Springboks’ defensive pattern, his reading of the game and his organisation, was nothing short of brilliant. With Fourie to the fore, it was not just France, but also Wales and Scotland who found it extremely difficult to break through South Africa’s defensive lines.At the back, Willie le Roux enhanced his reputation with another strong performance in the number 15 jersey. His kicking was probing and he was also solid under the high ball. On better pitches, he will be an absolute handful, but even on the poor Paris pitch his clever grubber for Francois Louw deserved to be rewarded with a try. With Le Roux at the back, the Springbok backline enjoys a dimension that has been missing for far too long.Pride and hopeOne of the main reasons that 2013 must be viewed as a successful season is the effect that the Springboks’ performances have had on supporters. Pride and hope in the team is on a high and the trajectory of the team continues to be up. Injuries notwithstanding, this side should have matured perfectly by the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and that is a reason to be very excited.SPRINGBOK RESULTS IN 20138 June: SA 44-10 Italy, Durban15 June: SA 30-17 Scotland, Nelspruit22 June: SA 56-23 Samoa, Pretoria17 Aug: SA 73-13 Argentina, Soweto24 Aug: SA 22-17 Argentina, Mendoza7 Sept: SA 38-12 Australia, Brisbane14 Sept: SA 15-29 New Zealand, Auckland28 Sept: SA 28-8 Australia, Cape Town5 Oct: SA 27-38 New Zealand, Johannesburg9 Nov: SA 24-15 Wales, Cardiff17 Nov: SA 28-0 Scotland, Edinburgh23 Nov: SA 19-10 France, Parislast_img read more

ThinkFree Reaches 1 Million Hosted Documents

first_imgTags:#web#Web Office Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Web Office suite provider ThinkFree has announced it has hit the 1 Million mark in number of hosted documents, up from 654,000 in late February when we last reported ThinkFree’s usage. Their community uploads between 60,000 to 80,000 documents per month and currently ThinkFree has 335,000 users, up from the 250,000 in February.ThinkFree also stated in their blog post that they are the number 2 Web Office suite provider, behind Google Apps. They wrote:“GD&S is a great lightweight tool, but having the best MS Compatibility and the highest level of feature functionality of any online offie suite has propelled us into the second spot.”ThinkFree’s main startup competitor Zoho also recently announced user numbers, stating that they have over 300K users. The current figure is around 310k, according to a Zoho representative I checked with tonight.Judging by the figures both companies provided, it seems that Zoho’s growth rate is stronger. According to their blog post, Zoho took “12 months to get to the first 100K users, 6 months for the next 100K users and 4 months for the last 100K users.” However it’s great to see that both Web Office startups are experiencing high usage and growing well. While Google is the dominant player in this market, both ThinkFree and Zoho are an acquisition away from being major players in the office software market (e.g. Microsoft or Oracle might buy them).Disclosure: Zoho is a R/WW sponsor A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… richard macmanuscenter_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts last_img read more