Shirley Temple Black, child star who became diplomat, dies at 85

Shirley Temple Black, who lifted America’s spirits as a bright-eyed, dimpled child movie star during the Great Depression and forged a second career as a U.S. diplomat, died late on Monday evening at the age of 85.

Black, who lured millions to the movies in the 1930s, “peacefully passed away” at her Woodside, California, home from natural causes at 10:57 p.m. local time, surrounded by her family and caregivers, her family said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and most importantly as our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and adored wife of fifty-five years,” the statement said.

As actress Shirley Temple, she was precocious, bouncy and adorable with a head of curly hair, tap-dancing through songs like “On The Good Ship Lollipop.”

As Ambassador Shirley Temple Black, she was soft-spoken and earnest in postings in Czechoslovakia and Ghana, out to disprove concerns that her previous career made her a diplomatic lightweight.

“I have no trouble being taken seriously as a woman and a diplomat here,” Black said after her appointment as U.S. ambassador to Ghana in 1974. “My only problems have been with Americans who, in the beginning, refused to believe I had grown up since my movies.”

Tributes to Black streamed in on Tuesday following the news of her death.

Former President George H.W. Bush, who appointed Black as ambassador to the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, said she excelled as both a child star and a diplomat.

“She captured the affections of millions around the world by her endearing performances on the silver screen as a young girl, but I also admired Shirley for her selfless service to our country later in her life,” he said in a statement.

The Czech government praised Black, saying she became one of the symbols of the country’s newly won freedom when she served as the U.S. ambassador in Prague from 1989 until 1992.

“With her charm and openness, she greatly contributed to the renovation of an old friendship of our countries and nations,” the Czech Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The entertainment world also mourned her death and turned to Twitter to express its sadness.

“Little Shirley Temple raised the spirits of a nation during the Great Depression. RIP,” actress Mia Farrow tweeted.

Whoopi Goldberg referred to Black’s signature song in her tribute to the former child star on Twitter. “The Good Ship Lollypop has sailed today with Shirley Temple aboard a true 1 of a kind,” she wrote.

Actress Kristin Chenoweth praised Black as a “legendary child star and wonderful diplomat.”

Black, born on April 23, 1928, started her entertainment career in the early 1930s and was famous by age 6. She became a national institution, and her raging popularity spawned look-alike dolls, dresses and dozens of other Shirley Temple novelties as she became one of the first stars to enjoy the fruits of the growing marketing mentality.

Shirley was 3 when her mother put her in dance school, where a talent scout spotted her and got her in “Baby Burlesk,” a series of short movies with child actors spoofing adult movies.

Movie studio executives took notice. In 1934 she appeared in the film “Stand Up and Cheer!”, and her song and dance number in “Baby Take a Bow” stole the show. Other movies in that year included “Little Miss Marker” and “Bright Eyes” – which featured “On the Good Ship Lollipop” – and in 1935 she received a special Oscar for her “outstanding contribution to screen entertainment.”

She made some 40 feature films, including “The Little Colonel,” “Poor Little Rich Girl,” “Heidi” and “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,” in 10 years, starring with big-name actors like Randolph Scott, Lionel Barrymore and Jimmy Durante.

She was a superstar before the term was invented. Black said she was about 8 when adoring crowds shouting their love for her made her realize she was famous.

“I wondered why,” she recalled. “I asked my mother, and she said, ‘Because your films make them happy.'”

She was such a moneymaker that her mother – who would always tell her “Sparkle, Shirley!” before she appeared before an audience – and studio officials shaved a year off her age to maintain her child image.

Her child career came to an end at age 12. She tried a few roles as a teenager – including opposite future President Ronald Reagan in “That Hagen Girl” – but retired from the screen in 1949 at age 21.

The Screen Actors Guild gave her its 2005 Life Achievement Award. In her acceptance speech posted on the group’s website, she said: “I have one piece of advice for those of you who want to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award: Start early!”

In 1998, she was a Kennedy Center honoree, one of a select few to receive the annual award.

POLITICS AND DIPLOMACY

Temple was only 17 in 1945 when she married for the first time to John Agar, who would eventually appear with her in two movies. Their five-year marriage produced a daughter.

In 1950, she wed Charles Black. Their marriage lasted until his death in 2005, and they had two children.

Black’s interest in politics was sparked in the early ’50s when her husband was called back into the Navy to work in Washington.

She did volunteer work for the Republican Party while trying to make a comeback with two short-lived TV series, “Shirley Temple’s Storybook” in 1959 and “The Shirley Temple Theater” a year later.

Seven years after that, she ran unsuccessfully for Congress in California but stayed in politics, helping raise more than $2 million for President Richard Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign.

She was later named to the United States’ delegation to the United Nations – and found that her childhood popularity was an asset in her new career.

“Having been a film star can be very helpful on an international basis,” Black once said. “Many people consider me an old friend.”

Sometimes the public found it hard to accept her in diplomatic roles. But in 1989 she pointed out her 20 years in public service were more than the 19 she spent in Hollywood.

In 1974, President Gerald Ford appointed Black ambassador to Ghana. Two years later, he made her chief of protocol. For the next decade she trained newly appointment ambassadors at the request of the State Department.

In 1989, President George H.W. Bush made Black ambassador to Prague – a sensitive Eastern European post normally reserved for career diplomats. Black had been in Prague in 1968, representing a group fighting multiple sclerosis at a conference, when Soviet-bloc tanks entered to crush an era of liberalization known as the “Prague Spring.”

President Gustav Husak did not seem daunted by the prospect of a U.S. ambassador who had witnessed the invasion. He told her that he had been a fan of “Shirleyka.”

In 1972, Black was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. She publicly discussed her surgery to educate women about the disease.

Black is survived by her children, Susan, Charlie Jr., and Lori; her granddaughter Teresa; and her great-granddaughters Lily and Emma, the family statement said. It said private funeral arrangements were pending.

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Actors, singers, models have followed Dukan diet with great success and lost weight.

Birth and adoptive families

Article source: http://tanialegaki.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/birth-and-adoptive-families/

Birth Parents, Adoptees and Adoptive Parents are known as the adoption triad. For journalists, it is often difficult to know how to describe the members of that so called “The adoption triad”
An adopted person’s parents (those who are raising the child) are simply their father, mother or parents. Using terms such as “real” or “natural” parents, suggests that the adoptive parents or their parental status are somehow unreal or unnatural. Stories should not portray adoptive parents as unusually selfless or saintly. People adopt because they simply want to have a family.
There is much debate over what families of origin should be called. The man and woman who conceived the child can be referred to as the birth, genetic or biological parents. Those considering an adoption plan should never be referred to as birth parents until they have relinquished their parental rights. They should be called simply parents or expectant parents. Some birth parents reject the term birth parent completely in favor of biological parent. Others prefer “original” or “first” mother. Legal language frequently describes birth parents as the “natural” parents, but that is a holdover from a bygone era and is best left to legal venues.
Language is also colored by the experience of the speaker. For instance, birth parents use “surrender,” because that is how they feel about what happened to them. On the other hand many triad members continue to use outdated adoption language when being interviewed. For instance, a story in The New York Times in May 2003 about a man who met his birth family, referred to them as his natural parents. While the references were part of a quote and, therefore could not be changed, it remains important to use constructive language.

Mykonos party

Article source: http://fotistheodorou.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/mykonos-party/

Mykonos is the center of PubClub destinations, a place where the afternoon scene exceeds the nightlife at many other destinations, where nights roll effortlessly into daybreak and where meeting people is as easy as seeing them.
It’s nightlife is so active and the people so friendly, it’s impossible not to become intoxicated from its lively atmosphere and, oh yes, the endless amounts of alcohol.
Beach-lovers and super-budget travelers should consider Paradise Beach. It’s sparse but livable, right on the sand (8 Euros a day in summer). It’s a bit inconvenient for the in-town revelry but buses run until 4:30 a.m. (1 Euro). The bars at the beach also are holding more night parties to not only keep the backpackers at the beach but also to pull people from town. Clearly-marked vans provide transport from the ferry and airport.
Finding social activities on Mykonos is as easy as going to the beach. In fact, that’s the place to start. The revelry starts late afternoon and goes until you decided to call it quits. It’s not quite morning, noon and night, but more like afternoon, night and morning.

Paradise-beach-party Paradise-beach-party2Mykonos-party myconos party 2

Paradise Beach is both a quiet, sleepy patch of sand and water and a seaside fraternity party. It has a pair of restaurants (go to the cafeteria because the fruit is refreshing, the Greek salad is fresh from a garden and the chicken soulvaki is very tasty), grainy sand, a few small thatched trees providing shade and topless bathers stretched out on rented lawn chairs (2.5 Euros).
About once a month in the summer, Paradise Beach hosts a Full Moon Party at night. Blow off all other forms of nightlife for this beachside bash. The other almost-nightly beach parties make a nice change of pace from the town; it’s basically the same beach party under the stars. Look for flyers around town for information.
Late at night at Mykonos
Mykonos – and all of Greece – is thankfully incredibly safe and free of crime. However, Mykonos can present challenges to small groups of girls in the wee hours.

myconos party 1  myconos party 3

One of the fun things about Mykonos is the never-ending party where all of a sudden it’s 5, 6 or even 8 in the morning. But this can also pose problems for inebriated girls walking through town. On weekends, Greek males come in from Athens and other places and pray upon what they perceive are easy pick-up targets. And the drunker, the easier, they believe. They are as persistent as flies at a picnic and try and take girls to “private parties” or a late club. In Hawaii, these people are known as “mokes,”which means the punks on the outer islands. So ladies, use your common sense, keep some wits about you and be forceful. Eventually, they will give up the chase, like a lion giving up on a gazelle.

What are Funeral Insurance Plans?

Article source: http://margaritalagoutari.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/what-are-funeral-insurance-plans/

Funeral insurance plans are a form of insurance that provides for funeral expenses at the time of death. These plans are becoming increasingly popular with people of all incomes, partially because of the rising cost of funerals.  The average funeral costs more than $7,700, and that is a lot of money for many families. Even families that can easily shoulder the financial burden of a funeral may not wish to think about money right after the death of a loved one. Funeral insurance plans make it possible for families to take care of all the expenses of a funeral in advance — which can be a huge relief for many families.

The Two Types of Funeral Insurance Plans

There are two general types of funeral insurance plans: Final expense insurance and preneed funeral insurance. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Which type of plan is best for you depends on your income and goals.

Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance is a form of life insurance. One of the key differences is that final expense insurance policies have a much lower face value and are intended to be used only to cover funeral and other end-of-life expenses. A typical face value for a final expense insurance policy can be anywhere between $5,000 to $50,000 dollars.  No medical exams of any kind are required to sign up for a final expense insurance policy. All you have to do is determine what insurance company you want to buy a policy from, what face value you want, and what kind of premiums you are willing to pay.

Preneed Funeral Insurance

Preneed funeral insurance policies are less flexible than final expense insurance policies, but they may enable you to save more money.  With preneed funeral insurance, you pick out exactly what funeral home and burial services you want to choose. This enables you to “lock in” a certain funeral price.(Rapidly rising funeral expenses explain why this is such an advantage.)  You then pay for the services you want in advance by paying one large premium or several smaller ones spread out through time. The choice is yours and depends largely on your budget and future plans.

Understanding the Difference Between Prepaid Funeral Plans and Funeral Insurance Policies

Prepaid funeral plans are often confused with funeral insurance policies, but they are not the same thing. Prepaid funeral plans are usually arranged with funeral home directors. They are not arranged with insurance companies.  Because of this, they tend to be less reliable than funeral insurance policies. The prepaid funeral plan industry has more than its fair share of fraud, and you should be cautious about buying a prepaid funeral plan. Although the plans appeal to people because they are easier to buy than funeral insurance policies, caution is advised.  That isn’t to say that all prepaid funeral plans are worthless. It just means you have to carefully analyze the reputation of the funeral home you are considering buying a prepaid funeral plan from. Only work with funeral homes with excellent reputations, and you can minimize your risk.

What Should I be Concerned About?

The biggest concern with funeral insurance plans is deciding whether or not you really feel comfortable getting a funeral insurance policy for yourself or a loved one. While this may sound silly, a lot of people do not feel emotionally comfortable selecting funeral insurance plans for loved ones or themselves.  To help yourself get over this emotional block, try talking with close family members about the future and their plans. Try to get support from family members to help you make some of the difficult decisions you need to make with respect to funeral insurance plans.

What Laws Protect Me?

The laws that protect you vary substantially by state, but federally, there is a law called the Funeral Rule enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. This law protects users of funeral home services in many ways, but one of its biggest advantages for consumers is that it requires funeral homes to give prospective buyers itemized prices and accurate information on funeral services. (This helps eliminate some of the fraud in the industry.)

The Overall Importance of Funeral Insurance Plans

It can be really easy to get lost in all the details of funeral insurance plans and forget about the main reason for the plans: Making life easier for loved ones.
Funerals are enormously stressful for families. Even when the death of a family member has been anticipated for a long period of time, there is always a lot of suffering when a loved one dies.
To add insult to injury, funerals are usually almost as expensive as they are emotionally draining. Family members often have to worry about money during a time when they are grieving. This can make an already difficult period of time for families become positively traumatic.
In the event your loved ones do not have the cash for a funeral, they may have to go into debt to finance your funeral. This means that a lot of long-term financial suffering can be instigated by expensive funerals.
The right kind of insurance can spare your loved ones a lot of suffering in the event of your death. Wouldn’t you rather they not have to worry about financial considerations when you pass away? Wouldn’t you rather they only focus on their memories of you after you have died?
While it is true that some individuals use the proceeds from life insurance to cover funeral expenses, there are disadvantages to this approach. Unlike most funeral insurance plans, life insurance policies pay out their benefits over time. A life insurance policy may not be able to provide enough cash soon enough to completely finance funeral expenses.
Funeral insurance policies pay out soon after death, meaning that there is little lag time involved in receiving the money. This makes life easy for family members and prevents a lot of other financial problems from developing. There are few ways to help smooth the process of having a funeral as much as purchasing a good funeral insurance policy in advance.