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Angelina Jolie Brings Kids Maddox and Shiloh to Music Event Remembering the Cambodian Genocide

Angelina Jolie had quite a squad for her night out in New York City on Saturday, but all eyes were on her special guests: son Maddox and daughter Shiloh.

The group, which also included First They Killed My Father author Loung Ung, film director Rithy Panh and composer Him Sophy, posed for photos before attending Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music).

The 42-year-old actress wore a beige trench coat. Shiloh, 11, donned a white shirt and black trousers, while Maddox, 16, picked up his own simple outfit with a black scarf.

The show combined the Metropolis Ensemble, the Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir and traditional Khmer vocalists and instruments to pay tribute to the nearly two million victims of the Cambodian genocide, according to BAM’s website.

RELATED VIDEO: Angelina Jolie Attends U.N. Event With 4 Of Her Children

This is the second family outing of the weekend. On Friday, the filmmaker brought along four of her children to accompany her to the 2017 United Nations Correspondents Association Awards at Cipriani Wall Street, where Jolie was honored as the 2017 UNCA Global Citizen of the year.

She was photographed at the event alongside her sons Pax, 14, Knox, 9, and daughters Zahara, 12 and Shiloh, 11. While both Pax and Zahara opted for all-black outfits, Knox and Shiloh both wore black suits with white dress shirts underneath.

And while the actress’ other two children  — Maddox, 16, and Vivienne, 9 — were not present for the event, there was a good reason why they decided to sit the night out. “Vivienne had an upset tummy and big brother Maddox stayed with her,” a source told PEOPLE.

Earlier this year, Jolie brought all six of her children to the premiere of her Netflix movie, First They Killed My Father, at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

Based on Cambodia human rights activist Ung’s memoirFirst They Killed My Father documents her experience as a young girl under the brutal rule of the Khmer Rouge. The film is a passion project for Jolie, who said she was motivated to make the film by Maddox, who was born in Cambodia.

 


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Remembering Whitney Houston with Her Super Bowl National Anthem Performance That United the Country

Ten days after declaring war is a lousy time for a party, let alone a Super Bowl.

On Jan. 17, 1991, an armed coalition led by the United States commenced Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf, marking the first major military action of the post-terrorism age. Less than two weeks later, the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills prepared for their own conflict as Super Bowl XXV kicked off in Tampa, Florida. Fears that Saddam Hussein would target this, the most American of sporting events, led some NFL officials to consider rescheduling. The big game would proceed as planned, but the festive mood of Jan. 27 was damped by the grim realities of a world at war.

Goodyear’s iconic blimp was grounded, and in its place flew Black Hawk air patrol. Instead of tailgate barbecues, the Tampa Stadium parking lot was crammed with concrete barriers and chain-link fences. Machine-gun wielding SWAT teams patrolled the roof of the arena while ushers carried metal detector wands down below. The mood wasn’t much brighter in the locker rooms. “Players were discussing privately if there would be a draft,” former Giants tight end Howard Cross later told the New York Post. “And whether our younger brothers might be drafted.”

It was into this tense, foreboding atmosphere that Whitney Houston strode onto the 50-yard line in a casual white tracksuit with red and blue stripes and matching white sneakers. With her dark ringlets pulled back in a wide headband, the 27-year-old looked more like an Olympian than the bonafide pop star who had scored back-to-back No. 1s the previous year with “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and “All the Man That I Need.”

She was there to open the game by singing the national anthem, Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner.” The tradition seemed charmingly quaint given the dire circumstances. “It was an intense time for a country,” Houston remembered in 2000. “A lot of our daughters and sons were overseas fighting. I could see, in the stadium, I could see the fear, the hope, the intensity, the prayers going up. And I just felt, ‘This is the moment.’”

The moment became the most famous of her career. Armed with no more than a song, Houston galvanized an uncertain nation.

Shortly after her performance was announced on Nov. 6, 1990—Election Day—Houston conferred with her longtime musical director Ricky Minor about the best way to wring every drop of passion and emotion from the ubiquitous tune. She spoke highly of a version sung by Marvin Gaye at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game, a soulful, stripped down rendition backed by an electric drum machine.

Minor tracked down a VHS tape of Gaye’s performance—not an easy task in the pre-YouTube-era—and studied it closely to find elements he could incorporate in his own arrangement. After careful analysis, he decided to take the unorthodox approach of changing the anthem’s time signature. “The original version is in 3/4 time, which is more like a waltz,” Minor explained to ABC News in 2012. “What we tried to do was to put it in 4/4 meter… We wanted to give her a chance to phrase it in such a way that she would be able to take her time and really express the meaning.” Slowing the tempo would give Houston a chance to eke out each subtle nuance of every lyric.

The demands of a live television broadcast coupled with the challenges of an outdoor performance proved too much of a liability for event organizers. To ensure a flawless rendition, producers had to get creative. “NFL policy is that when they have a performer singing the national anthem for live TV, they request the performer record what they call a protection copy, just in case the singer has laryngitis, the day of the Super Bowl,” Houston’s publicist, Regina Brown, explained to JET in 1991.

After recording the instrumental backing track with the Florida Orchestra in early January, Minor sent a copy to Houston to allow her to practice. As it happened, she never did. “I was busy doing a screen test for a film with Kevin Costner,” was her excuse when she met up with Minor in a Miami studio two weeks prior to the Super Bowl. But she was a quick study. After listening to the track only once, she walked into the vocal booth and belted the version that would mesmerize millions across the globe “Amazingly, it was done in one take,” NFL executive Jim Steeg confirmed to SportsBusinessDaily.com. “All was in place for what many of us thought would be one of the greatest versions of the national anthem ever performed.”

Not everyone was impressed. Some NFL officials were less than pleased by what they saw as a radical reimagining of a cherished piece of Americana “They thought the harmonies were too different, that it was sacrilegious,” Minor told USA Today. Just days before the broadcast, NFL brass placed a call to Houston’s father and manager, John, begging him to force the singer to record a new version. “The conversation was brief,” Steeg told ESPN.com. “There would be no rerecording.”

Houston was surprisingly grounded when Super Bowl Sunday finally arrived. “It wasn’t a lot of hype going in,” her brother, Gary, later told EW. “She was like a little girl going into a football game — not really understanding the magnitude of this game. But she was very excited, like, ‘Isn’t this great?’” Seventy-four thousand sports fans filled Tampa Stadium, adding to an estimated 115 million watching on television. For the first time the game was broadcast internationally, allowing troops stationed across the globe to tune in. The performance would be for them.

It’s been said that Houston lip-synced “The Star-Spangled Banner” on this day, but that’s not entirely fair. Even while the tape played she sang her heart out, pouring her inimitable voice into a dead microphone. The only ones could who could hear her magnificent artistry truly live that day were servicemen and women, representing all branches of the armed forces, bearing the colors of each of the 50 states, gathered before her on the field.

For the rest of us, the grand unveiling of Houston’s stunning interpretation was nothing short of a revelation. “Whitney was at the height of her vocal powers, and her performance of the song was electrifying,” Houston’s label head and industry icon Clive Davis wrote in his 2013 memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life. “It was soulful, passionate, supremely confident, and rousing.” As she hit the final climactic high note—an E-flat above middle C—on the word “free,” four F-16 fighter jets performed a ceremonial fly-by in the skies above. “It was a moment of unforgettable drama and pride,” writes Davis.

Only a genius could take a song that, by design, belongs to all citizens, and make it her own. Make no mistake; this was not a selfish act, but a selfless one. The African-American community has had a troubled relationship to “The Star-Spangled Banner” dating back to more than a century before Colin Kaepernick. “The machinery of state violence has too often been used against black people for a song about bombs and rockets to hold much appeal,” writes journalist and screenwriter Cinque Henderson in the New Yorker. The NAACP named James Weldon Johnson’s poem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as the “Black National Anthem” in 1919, and even Martin Luther King preferred “My Country, Tis of Thee.”

On Jan. 27, 1991, Houston, a strong, confident, supremely talented black woman took back the national anthem and made it speak for all Americans.

The primary role of an artist is to reflect and articulate the mood and feeling of those unable or unwilling to express these complex emotions for themselves. When she sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Houston succeeded like few have, before or since. “It was a time when Americans needed to believe in our country.” Houston reflected in an interview with PEOPLE shortly after the event. “I remember standing there and looking at all those people, and it was like I could see in their faces the hopes and prayers and fears of the entire country.”

To many, the song outshone the outcome of the game (the Giants beat the Bills 20 to 19). The response was so overwhelming that Arista Records took the unprecedented step of releasing the version as a single just a few weeks later. It became the fastest-selling song in the label’s history up to that point, climbing to No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. Houston donated her portion of the proceeds to charities supporting soldiers and families involved in the Persian Gulf War.

When the worst fears of Super Bowl XXV became reality a decade later on September 11th, Houston’s anthem once again served as a rallying cry. It was re-released to raise funds for firefighters and victims of the terrorist attacks. This time it peaked at No. 6, making Houston the only artist to take “The Star-Spangled Banner” into the Billboard Top 10. It would be her final trip to the top of the charts.


PEOPLE.com

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Remembering Phyllis Diller

Three years ago today my pal Phyllis Diller died. She was 95.

She always brought something positive to this party we call life, as a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, copywriter, stand-up comic, actress, pianist, painter, author– and as my friend.

Phyllis and I would talk on the phone nearly every night, and go to dinner or an event a couple of times a week. She was like family to me, and we had often said we would have chosen each other as relatives. I have hundreds of fond memories of her. Here are a few of them.

There were many high-profile events, including a birthday dinner party that Barbra Streisand hosted at her home for her manager, Marty Erlichman, in September of 2010. Phyllis and Streisand had a friendship dating back to Streisand’s earliest days in show business, and they genuinely adored each other. The evening of the party, Streisand was wearing a layered white lace dress that had a slightly shredded look. Phyllis was asked to speak. She stood and said, “I was greeted here tonight by Barbra– who was wearing an unmade bed!” It was the biggest laugh of the evening, and Streisand loved it.

We sat with Don and Barbara Rickles and Elliot Gould and his date. When we first arrived, Rickles delighted Phyllis with three one-liners:
“Phyllis Diller, check yourself into a home already!”
“Call the morgue– one of them got away!’
“This is the only person in show business who thought Bob Hope was funny.”

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Phyllis and me in “The Bob Hope Salon” at her home. The portrait was a gift to her from Hope.

While parties and events were great fun, our preferred evening was at Phyllis’ home on Rockingham in Los Angeles, where we would play “Diller Gin,” a game she invented with some screwy rules. We would also usually play after any night on the town, even following the Streisand party. We would play for a penny a point and listen to jazz. No matter how tired she was, she always seemed to have time to beat me out of a couple of bucks at the card table. We were often there until midnight or later, with her beloved cat “Miss Kitty,” sleeping on a third chair at the table.

In addition to playing gin, we would drink it, martinis being her chosen delivery system. Phyllis would boast that she taught two people to drink, Elliot Gould and me. And I always would add that it wasn’t so much that she taught us to drink– rather she drove us to it!

Phyllis did enjoy her cocktails. She also thought gin was medicinal, preventing many common ailments. She certainly benefited from multiple doses. One person she clearly failed to teach to drink was Roseanne Barr. One evening in December of 2010, we were going to a dinner party in a private residence. When I picked up Phyllis, everyone was quietly tiptoeing around. Karla, Phyllis’ personal assistant, whispered to me that Roseanne was asleep in a guest bedroom, and they didn’t want to wake her. Roseanne and Phyllis had a couple of martinis during the late afternoon. The 58 year old Rosanne passed out and the 93 year old Phyllis went out. When we returned to Phyllis’ home around 5 hours later, Roseanne and Karla, were in the kitchen eating a pizza that they ordered. Karla went to assist Phyllis, and Roseanne and I sat in the kitchen. Roseanne explained that she was not accustomed to drinking martinis. That was apparent. She looked like a pigeon that got caught in the middle of a badminton game.

Phyllis and I would often have dinner at either her home or mine. We also would frequently go to an unpretentious little place by the beach in Santa Monica called the Golden Bull. This was a regular hang-out for Phyllis, and we had countless dinners there. One night we arrived around 6:00 PM. Our waitress, Kiki, asked Phyllis whether she wanted soup or salad. Phyllis inquired what kind of soup they had, and Kiki listed several. Then Phyllis asked what kind of salad, and Kiki went through that list. Phyllis hesitated, thought, asked again, and was in a dilemma as to what to order. This went on far longer than necessary. I loved to make her laugh, so I put down my menu, looked at her and said They close at 11.” Phyllis cackled so loud and robustly everyone in the place heard her and laughed at her signature laugh.

That gag became a standing joke with us. Anytime someone was making a long-winded speech, onstage too long, or otherwise consuming too much time, Phyllis would whisper to me “They close at 11.”

Phyllis could sometimes be very stubborn. Thankfully I was one of the few people from who she would accept advice. At one point she needed to replace her pacemaker, but was refusing to do so. One of her staff members frantically called me and asked me to intervene. I spoke with Phyllis and bluntly said “Are you out of your $ ##!! mind?” She calmly replied that she didn’t want to live to be 110. After much back and forth, I appealed to her vanity, and told her how much the pacemaker would increase her circulation, bring a rosy glow to her complexion, and improve the looks of her legs too. The pacemaker was immediately replaced.

Phyllis had done a special guest spot on the Bold and Beautiful at CBS in early 2012. Lee Bell was a close friend of Phyllis, and Lee co-created the series with her late husband, William J. Bell. After the shoot, Phyllis called and told me that she had her makeup done at B&B by one of the best makeup artists in town. She said, “Bernie, I don’t want to go home and wash my face– take me to dinner.” She was not the type to waste anything, even makeup.

One night we were having dinner with George and Erin Pennacchio in a restaurant in Encino. George is the “Entertainment Guru” for KABC television in Los Angeles. Phyllis proudly announced to Erin “I did my own makeup, and it only took me 5 minutes.” I loved to kid her, so I sarcastically suggested, “Next time take 10.” Phyllis laughed loudly, and then gave me the single finger salute, a gesture she frequently bestowed upon me.

In early 2012, we had a chili dinner at Phyllis’ home with Thomas Lauderdale, founder and director of a little orchestra of good cheer called Pink Martini. He was a huge fan, and the next day he called me and asked if I thought Phyllis would consent to record the Chaplin tune Smile with them. Phyllis and I were going somewhere that night, so I told him I would ask, and I did. She sought my advice, and I recommended that she do it. Pink Martini is a remarkable group with huge and loyal following, playing major venues around the world, including the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall. Phyllis trusted my input, and asked me to handle it for her, which I gladly did. Thomas and I quickly worked out the details.

In late January, Thomas, his sound engineer, and I were in Phyllis’ home, which was somewhat suitable for recording. Thomas tried to accompany her on Phyllis’ piano, but it presented continuity/editing problems in her attempts to get through the full song. Phyllis suggested that she sing it acapella and that they later add the instrumentation in the studio. When I later played it for Phyllis, she said to me, “They will play it at my funeral.” (Listen to it at the end this remembrance.)

Phyllis was born on July 17, 1917. I hosted her 93rd birthday in my home, attended by approximately of 100 of her friends. I asked my friend, Los Angeles Councilperson Tom LaBonge, if he could do something special for her. He delivered, and presented Phyllis with a Proclamation from the Mayor and entire City Council making her birthday “Phyllis Diller Day” in the City of Los Angeles. The presentation was exclusively covered by the TV show Access Hollywood.

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I joined CouncilpersonTom LaBonge and former LA Mayor Richard Riordan in presenting Phyllis a Proclamation declaring her 93rd birthday “Phyllis Diller Day” in the City of Los Angeles.

For her 94th, Terry Ebert-Mendozza and Joe Mendozza had a surprise birthday dinner at Spago in Beverly Hills. In addition, Sherry Hackett, Buddy’s widow, organized another grand birthday affair at Sherry’s beautiful home.

For her 95th, Ruta Lee called me and asked what we should do for Phyllis’ birthday. Phyllis health was declining, so we decided to have a small pot luck dinner at Phyllis’ home. Debbie Reynolds, Ruta Lee and her husband Webb Lowe, Alex Trebeck and his wife Jean, and I all met at Rockingham with covered plates in hand. Phyllis looked great, still had her signature laugh and we all had a wonderful time.

Phyllis had no fear of death or anything else. She often told me she was ready to “fly away like a little bird,” and she did. On August 20, 2012, she died peacefully in her home. Her son, Perry, was at her side, and he immediately called me to tell me we had lost her. The music and laughter ended.

I still have some keepsakes in my car– the remote control for her front gate, her sunglasses, and a box of her tissues, a constant reminder of my friend Phyllis.


“Phyllis Diller lived with style and grace,
And Phyllis Diller died with a smile on her face.”
— Bernie Shine
.


Click on screen to hear Phyllis singing Smile.

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Remembering Victims Of Flight MH17 With Ukrainian Sunflowers

A year after a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all aboard, a Dutch town is remembering the victims with Ukrainian sunflowers. 

Flight MH17 was hit by a missile over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, amid fighting between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian government. The plane was destroyed by a Russian surface-to-air missile fired from rebel-controlled territory, according to a Dutch Safety Board investigation

Hilversum, a town near Amsterdam, lost 15 residents in the crash. One year later, Hilversum residents have a new way to remember those who died — with sunflowers grown from seeds gathered near the crash site.  

Crash investigators found sunflowers blooming around the twisted wreckage and human remains when they first reached the scene of the disaster, after two weeks of Russian obstruction. 

The flowers quickly became a symbol of hope and remembrance. Some laid the blooms in front of the Dutch Embassy in Kiev as a memorial to the victims. 

It’s unclear how the sunflower seeds got to Hilversum. Two Australian journalists said they made it their mission to send seeds from the crash site to victims’ families and friends, thinking they could plant them as symbols of remembrance and renewal. 

They sent seeds to the father of Quinn Lucas Schansman, who lives in Hilversum. The first news article about Hilversum’s sunflowers says an unnamed American journalist gave an unnamed victim’s father the seeds. 

Some of those seeds were nurtured into flowers by the town’s head gardener. Others flourished in the church of the Rev. Julius Dresme, pastor of the St. Vitus Church, where the victims’ funerals were held.

Seeds from those flowers were to have been given away at a memorial service Friday. They will be planted in families’ gardens, as well as the schools and sports clubs they attended. 

 ”It was a really good thought, because the seeds, they become flowers. They have seeds again, and on and on. And you can see, there’s life,” the gardener told RFE/RL. 

“There will always be seeds from Ukraine now in Holland,” he said.  

The MH17 disaster heightened tensions among Russia, Europe and the U.S., as the as the world blamed Russian President Putin for sponsoring and arming the separatists suspected of bringing down the plane. 

Secretary of State John Kerry accused pro-Russian separatists of drunkenly piling up corpses and disturbing the crash site. Rebels initially blocked international investigators from reaching the site.

Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine have all called on the U.N. Security Council to conduct an independent investigation into the crash. Putin has rejected the calls as “premature.”

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A Virtual Tribute: Remembering on Memorial Day

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Memorial Day is upon us, the special day in the United States when we remember the people who died while serving in our country’s armed forces. In Washington, D.C., the holiday turns into a major event with millions of people visiting the various national war memorials and monuments, and Arlington National Cemetery.

Over the years, I have photographed many of these sites. This year, General Dynamics Information Technology is displaying some of the photos on their social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+) . Below you can find some of the photos, a virtual tribute to those that made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States of America.

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The Korean War Memorial

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The World War II Memorial

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The Vietnam War Memorial

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6,821 Ribbons: Armor Down hosts Mindful Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery with 6,821 ribbons honoring the service men and women nthat have died in theater since 9/11.

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The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial

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The Air Force Memorial

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My daughter Soleil reflects at Arlington National Cemetery

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Remembering Dave Goldberg, The Ultimate Mensch

Most of us are lucky if we have even one great passion in our lives. Dave Goldberg had many more: his wife Sheryl Sandberg, his children, his friends and colleagues, music, poker, and the Minnesota Vikings.

On Dave’s birthday last fall, a group of friends joined him at his home to watch the Vikings play the Packers. Dave did something that caught me off guard. At the time, it seemed small. But now it speaks profoundly to one of the many ways that Dave was larger than life.

The game got off to an ugly start. In the first 10 minutes, the Vikings were down 14-0. A typical fan would scream at the coach, start hurling objects at the TV, or give up on the game. But Dave stuck by his team. By halftime, the Vikings were losing 28-0. Dave didn’t budge; he kept rooting for them. In the third quarter, they were down 42-0. By this point, I wasn’t even watching the game. I was watching Dave in awe — because every time the Packers scored, he cheered louder for the Vikings. The further behind his team fell, the more he stood up for them. Even after losing 42-10, Dave still loved his team.

That’s who Dave Goldberg was. When your chips were down, he doubled down. As Sheryl expressed it Tuesday in the single most beautiful speech I’ve ever heard, “Dave was my rock.”

Dave was the CEO of SurveyMonkey, and he hosted me to speak there a year ago. When he gave the introduction, I was so embarrassed by his kind words that I could hardly speak. I knew I didn’t deserve his praise, but I wanted to earn a fraction of it.

Among the hundreds of talks I gave that year, it was the most extraordinary audience I had. Just as Dave did with everyone he met, the SurveyMonkey team instantly made me feel accepted. They listened more intently, and laughed more loudly, than any group I had addressed. I was so astonished by their generosity and curiosity that I hung around afterward, hounding various employees to find out how they had created such a positive culture. Over and over, I heard the same thing: the secret ingredient was Dave.

It was clear that Dave made a concerted effort to recruit people who cared about others, who loved to learn and have fun. But his team stressed something far more meaningful: Dave built that culture by example. His helpfulness, inquisitiveness and joy were contagious. His employees wanted to be like him.

Great leaders build things that outlast them. Inspired by Dave’s example, SurveyMonkey will continue to thrive. This week, the teams worked late to finish projects that mattered most to Dave, and used the hashtag #makedaveproud.

When leaders are admired, it’s usually for what they do for the company. But Dave’s team admired him for what he did for them. Dave saw and brought out the best in others.

His goodness moved us even more than his greatness.

I’ve spent a dozen years studying generosity, and there is no one who embodied it like Dave. Touching tributes have extolled him as a loving father and husband, the heart and soul of Silicon Valley, a lifelong advocate for women, best friend to many, a compassionate leader, and a gracious and generous connector who was bright, kind, humble, and universally admired and liked.

Like his wife, her parents, and his own parents, Dave lived his life in service of others. He was an advocate for SurveyMonkey Contribute, which has donated over $ 5 million to charity in exchange for people taking surveys. He was a dedicated benefactor of a wide range of important causes, particularly in education and healthcare. But he rarely spoke about his philanthropic work.

“David Goldberg embodied the definition of a real leader — someone who was always looking for ways to empower others,” President Obama wrote. “He was generous and kind with everybody, and cared less about the limelight than making sure that the people he worked with and loved succeeded in whatever they did.”

Dave was quiet about his contributions because he was modest, but also because he genuinely took more joy in the success of others than his own. His startup was streaming music online before most people had even heard of the internet, but he didn’t talk about that. He grew SurveyMonkey from 12 employees to 500, building it into a billion-dollar company, but he didn’t talk about that. As he wisely noted last year, his best advice for leaders was to “Stop talking. Ask and listen.”

A little over a month ago, I saw Dave for the last time. As always, there was no handshake; he greeted me with a teddy bear hug. When I asked him what was new in his life, he immediately said the highlight was the Lean In Together campaign. He beamed with pride at the prospect of fathers becoming more involved with their children, husbands becoming 50-50 partners, and men becoming more supportive of women at work.

Dave was Sheryl’s biggest fan, and he cheered for her even more passionately than the Vikings. When she was writing Lean In, she didn’t want to put her picture on the cover or share her personal stories. She wanted the book to be about progress for women, not about her. Dave knew the movement needed a champion. It needed a human face and voice. He encouraged her to lean in.

Queen Elizabeth II said that grief is the price we pay for love, and for Dave, the grief is immeasurable. My heart is aching for Sheryl and their children. It is also hurting deeply for the world.

I don’t believe this happened for a reason, but it has given us all a reason to be more present parents, more loving spouses, more supportive friends, and more caring leaders. The overwhelming sentiment from everyone who knew Dave is that he inspired us to be better human beings. And he had that effect on us throughout his life, long before we lost him. “Things will never be the same,” Sheryl said, “but the world is better for the years my beloved husband lived.”

There is little that can bring solace in this time, but there is one memory of Dave that I will cherish forever. In the spirit of candor, Sheryl is not the world’s biggest football fan. But on his last birthday, when Dave walked in the door, she and the kids were decked out in Vikings jerseys.

Dave broke out in the biggest grin imaginable, and I have never seen a person happier. He loved his family with all his heart, and he knew they loved him the same way.

For those who have inquired about how to honor Dave’s memory, his mother Paula has spent her life helping children with disabilities. For the past four decades, she has run the PACER Center, which exists to enhance the quality of life for children and youth with disabilities, and their families. The Goldberg family has asked that you please direct donations to the David B. Goldberg Endowment, c/o Pacer Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, MN, 55437.

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On Mother’s Day, Remembering Mothers Without Living Children

Mother’s Day evokes bittersweet emotions in bereaved mothers everywhere. The pain of loss may be especially poignant for mothers without living children. Memories of loss transposed onto a world awash in flowers and greeting cards leaves women reeling. Too often, their experience of motherhood is largely unacknowledged by society. Taking place in May, a month that pulses with such tremulous beauty in long-awaited spring, Mother’s Day can threaten to break the best of us.

Says Toni Brabec, whose only baby daughter Olivia died in 2013:

Before, I saw Mother’s Day like most people do. A special day to honor our mothers… [I]’d pick out cards, a small gift… Now on Mother’s Day, I would rather stay in or just have a small gathering… [F]or me, who has no evidence of children other than the photos in my house, I am overlooked and/or it is assumed I am not a mother at all… it is difficult because in my heart, I know I am a mother. But the world doesn’t always see it like that.

This is what loving family and friends can consider doing to help support mothers without living children coping with loss.

1. Do acknowledge and affirm her standing as mother.
You can absolutely include bereaved mothers in Mother’s Day events. This may feel initially awkward, but it truly is both appropriate and helpful. The tone of inclusion may feel a bit more subdued, but the mother without living children should have her heroic struggle to mourn, remember, and find meaning marked. She will decline if she is not comfortable, but she will appreciate the invitation.

2. Do send a card.
It is comforting to receive an acknowledgement in the mail regarding loss. These cards are evidence of the existence of babies gone too soon, and these apparently slight things carry precious love to shore up mothers mourning and remembering.

3. Don’t try to talk her out of grief.
Resist the impulse to try to make her feel better. Instead, let her miss her child. Most expressions of grief that tow with them an undercurrent of the “at least,” will only inadvertently push the bereaved away.

4. Do ask her questions about her loss/her birth/her stillbirth.
Depending upon your relationship to the bereaved, dialogue can be helpful. It promotes the integration of grief and complex healing. Loss, when processed, can reveal phenomenally painful truths about being alive. However, the other side of the pain is the recognition of the beauty that is also inherent in living. Bereaved mothers don’t take much for granted. They can teach a great deal in this regard.

5. Do take care to acknowledge the loss of their baby.
If you see a Facebook post pertaining to loss, the mother is reaching out. Go ahead and comment — add your voice to the supportive community. You may not know what to say, but “I am thinking of you,” is a powerful statement.

Part of the isolation born of perinatal loss is the lack of shared memories. It is for this reason that efforts to invite the sharing of memories have great import. The bereaved mother is working to find her place in a whole new world. It is a lonely journey and she does appreciate the company.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Remembering Leonard Nimoy

I knew it was coming.

I’d steeled myself for grim news when I read earlier in the week that he’d been admitted to a hospital due to chest pains, but that didn’t make it any less of a gut punch to actually see the headline that Leonard Nimoy, 83, was gone.

This one hurts for a variety of reasons. The older you get, the more aware you become of the immutable passage of time. Your own mortality starts feeling more starkly pronounced, as does that of the people close to you, and the people you admire. Certainly Nimoy falls into that latter camp. While he amassed a raft of impressive accomplishments during his many years in and out of the film industry, it’s of course for his pointy-eared alter ego as the original Star Trek‘s Mr. Spock, such an indelible part of so many of our lives, that he’ll rightly be remembered, in death just as he was in life.

With Spock, the dispassionate, half-human, half-Vulcan officer who manned the science station on the U.S.S. Enterprise, Nimoy found the kind of character performers both clamor for and disdain (often at the same time). He assured himself a place of permanence in the pop culture conversation while also chaining himself to that role forever and always. And while he attempted to branch out in other directions following Trek‘s cancellation in 1969 (including a two-season stint as “The Great Paris” on TV’s Mission: Impossible), it wasn’t long before Spock came calling once again, and Nimoy answered.

While reticent at first (he even wrote an autobiography in the early ’70s with the pointed title I Am Not Spock), the actor did reprise his role for the Trek animated show, and eventually returned with the rest of the crew for 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which in turn launched a string of five movie sequels over the next twelve years (three of which Nimoy himself was intimately involved with shaping). By the end of that run, which included a guest shot on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Nimoy had long since come to be viewed by many (including the late Trek creator Gene Roddenberry himself), as “the conscience of Star Trek.” And indeed he was.

By all accounts a gregarious and self-effacing guy, Nimoy nonetheless took his role, his work, and his fans seriously, and he was beloved right back as a result. Despite some early headaches in the post-TV, pre-movie Trek era thanks to typecasting, it’s plain to see that the franchise gave Nimoy far more than it ever took from him. (His second bio, from the mid-’90s, seemed to reflect his own acknowledgment of this fact, bearing the amended title I Am Spock.) Indeed, from the ’60s right up to his death, he never stopped working, including a particularly memorable (to me) voiceover, and directing the hit comedy Three Men and a Baby in 1987.

More than that, he was also the perfect point man to help pass the torch of the original Trek crew to its new iteration via his key role in 2009’s J.J. Abrams-helmed Star Trek reboot, which gave us this memorable moment between the two Spocks. By itself that would have been fitting enough goodbye, but they found a way to include him in 2013’s sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness as well. At the time, I thought Nimoy’s cameo there was reflective of lazy writing more than anything else. But looking at it now, I view it as a little gift from the filmmakers to us. One final chance to spend some too-fleeting moments with an actor and character we loved so much.

For the perfect perspective on his passing, here’s Leonard Nimoy’s final tweet, from five days ago. LLAP indeed, Mr. Nimoy. Thanks for giving us so many perfect moments for our memories.


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How Remembering the Past Can Help You Win in 2015

What was your favorite memory of the holiday season? For me, one stood out. Last week, I attended a party thrown by an old high school friend. The party was fabulous — I spent the night catching up with high school friends I’d lost touch with over the years. One of the best parts was introducing my high school boyfriend to my husband. It was just a scream.

On the way home, though, a strange sensation washed over me. Because I’m a psychologist, and because my second book is about self-awareness, it seemed professionally irresponsible not to try to understand this feeling.

At first, it wasn’t easy to pin down. But I soon figured it out. It was nostalgia. My mind was flooded with sweet, sad high school memories (for context, many people hated high school, Glee-style, but my experience was the exact opposite. I was lucky to go to a school where good grades and theater made you “cool” — otherwise I would have been in big trouble).

The irony of my feelings didn’t escape me. Just a few days before the new year, I felt hopelessly stuck in the past. This is probably bad, I thought, but decided to seek the answer in the science just to be sure. Imagine me coming home from the party and pouring over Google Scholar, and you might grasp my true level of geekiness.

Nostalgia: What’s the Deal?

The term “nostalgia” was first coined in the 1600s by a Swiss doctor to describe immigrants’ homesick feelings (the word is Greek: nostos = return home, algos = pain). And for hundreds of years, nostalgia got a terrible rap: It was called a “neurological disease … of demonic cause” and a “repressive compulsive disorder.”

Thankfully, the way we think about nostalgia has evolved. A more modern definition, courtesy of Google Dictionary, is “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically … with happy personal associations.”

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Photo credit: LabyrinthX

On average, people experience nostalgia between one and four times per week — I’d wager it’s more frequent around the holidays. Individually, we relive childhood memories, think of people no longer in our lives, or hear songs that instantly transport us back in time. Collectively, we’re inundated with 2014 retrospectives in magazines and on TV. (Fun fact: This “collective nostalgia” actually brings people closer together.)

Now, prepare to be surprised: Scientists have discovered that nostalgia is actually good for us! According to Constantine Sedikides, a psychology professor who’s cornered the market on this research, nostalgia is “absolutely central to the human experience.”

Sedikides and his colleagues have shown that nostalgia can help make us less lonely, less bored, less existentially anxious, and even less money hungry. It also can make us more optimistic about the future. When researchers asked students to recall nostalgic events, they used more optimistic words, and felt more positively, than when remembering ordinary events. How could this be? Reliving positive memories makes us feel more connected to others and better about ourselves.

Every year around this time, I can fall prey to terrifying thoughts — sometimes the blank slate of a new year can feel just as scary as it is invigorating: What if I can’t sustain the success of my business this year? What if I inadvertently let down all my friends and family? What if my next book is horrible?

Enter nostalgia. My wonderful memories of high school immediately reminded me of three things:

(A) I got good grades because I worked hard and never gave up — I’ll use that same drive to keep growing my business in 2015.

(B) I had a group of friends who I would do anything for — I’ll draw on that same feeling to support the people I care about in 2015.

(C) I fell in love with writing early in life and realized I was pretty darn good at it — I’ll remember that joy, and draw on that success, to make my next book my best one yet.

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Photo credit: Howard Lebowitz

Three Ways to Harnass The Power of Nostalgia in 2015

  1. Access your nostalgia bank. The next time you’re afraid, lonely, or bored, try to remember a time when you felt confident, loved, or captivated. We are more likely to experience nostalgia when we’re feeling down, so stay aware of your emotions. And when you make a withdrawal from your nostalgia bank, try not to compare those memories with your present situation (that’s when things can get tricky). Instead, simply enjoy this sweet, comparison-free memory.
  2. Bolster your self-esteem. One of the reasons nostalgia is adaptive is that it can boost our self-esteem. The next time you’re tackling a new project or feeling totally overwhelmed, remember a time in your life when you were wildly successful in the face of a challenge. You’re that same person now — probably a better one — and you can take whatever life throws at you!
  3. Live your life fully. Have you ever realized — in real time — that you’re living a moment you’ll be nostalgic about in the future? There’s actually a term for this: anticipatory nostalgia. Typically, the more surprising and positive an event is, the more likely it is to become a nostalgic memory. So in 2015, use this as an excuse to live your life fully and make each moment great — then deposit that memory into your nostalgia bank for later use.

Ironically, as we look ahead to the new year, drawing from our past can help us achieve our goals and live a happier, more fulfilling life. To paraphrase Dr. Sedikides, nostalgia gives us meaning. It reminds us of our roots. It improves how we see ourselves. And it gives us the courage to move forward.

So move forward, but never forget your past, and you just might win in 2015.
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Remembering Towering Filmmakers Fuller and Truffaut

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Francois Truffaut (left) and Samuel Fuller (right). Photo courtesy of Samantha Fuller.

It’s timely that A Fuller Life — a documentary celebrating Samuel Fuller’s career — opens Friday at the Laemmle Noho 7 in Los Angeles, and that the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris has just mounted a massive retrospective of Francois Truffaut’s work. The internationally revered French filmmaker died thirty years ago on October 21 — at the age of 52 — while the 17th anniversary of Fuller’s passing (at 85) is October 30.

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The two directors — who often expressed mutual admiration — were fiercely independent, making movies that were often deeply personal. Truffaut wrote in 1960 — just after directing his first feature, The 400 Blows — “I always come away from Samuel Fuller films both admiring and jealous.” And when I was Truffaut’s translator for a 1979 American Film Institute retrospective of his work, Fuller was one of the American directors about whom I heard him speak reverentially.


Francois Truffaut and Annette Insdorf at an AFI master seminar

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Truffaut in The Wild Child with Jean-Pierre Cargol (Photo: Pierre Zucca)

Samantha Fuller’s film works not only as a valentine from a daughter to her filmmaker-father, but an absorbing and illuminating piece of film history. Samuel Fuller had quite a life, which he chronicled in his autobiography, A Third Face. He didn’t simply direct such classics as Shock Corridor, Pickup on South Street and Forty Guns; he was a newspaperman, soldier, liberator, screenwriter, and — late in life — husband to the actress Christa Lang, and then a father (at age 63). The irascible director’s words are spoken by twelve actors and filmmakers, as well as illustrated by clips from his feature films, home movies, and archival footage.

In Fuller’s evocative studio office, the “readers” provide glimpses of a life lived with gusto: James Franco about being a young NYC (Park Row) newsboy; Jennifer Beals recreating his time as a crime reporter; Bill Duke about freelancing during the Depression as well as the San Francisco strike of 1934; James Toback recalling that Fuller heard about Pearl Harbor on a car radio and immediately enlisted.

Given how Fuller’s World War II experiences shaped his future work — from The Steel Helmet (1951) to his masterpiece The Big Red One (1980)–the film offers numerous presenters of this seminal period. Wim Wenders — who cast Fuller in The State of Things (1982) — reads a wonderful story about Marlene Dietrich. (The cigar in the German director’s mouth echoes the one that seemed to be attached to Fuller’s mouth.) They met when she performed for the USO, and Fuller asked her to give their mutual agent a message.

Fuller was part of the charge into North Africa in November of 1942, not to mention D-Day. Filmmaker Monte Hellman gives voice to Fuller’s liberation of the Falkenau concentration camp (and we see in the studio the Bell & Howell camera with which he filmed the crematoria).

A maverick whose work was better appreciated in Europe than the U.S., Fuller was always struggling with authority. Screenwriter Buck Henry recalls how he fought with J. Edgar Hoover, while director William Friedkin invokes Fuller’s White Dog: it was meant to be a humanizing drama about racial tensions, but Paramount — fearing violence — shelved the film.

An astute viewer of White Dog can glimpse Truffaut’s oblique presence: when Kristy McNicol’s character visits a black girlfriend — who has been hurt by a dog trained to attack African-Americans — one can glimpse the famous book of interviews that Truffaut conducted with Hitchcock.

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Fuller in Paris. Photo courtesy of Samantha Fuller.

Truffaut was not the only French New Wave director who revered Fuller. Jean-Luc Godard gave him a cameo (un-credited) in Pierrot le fou (1965) that is often quoted: “Film is a battleground,” Fuller said on camera. “Love, hate, violence, action, death… In a word, emotion.” (Godard’s latest motion picture, Goodbye to Language 3D, opens next Wednesday.)

Truffaut was closer than Godard to the kind of narrative filmmaking in which Fuller excelled, namely stories about compelling individuals. Although his movies — including Jules and Jim, the Oscar-winning Day for Night, and The Last Metro — conveyed emotion more subtly or obliquely than Fuller, they seem inspired by his assessment of the American master: “As I watched Verboten, I realized all that I still have to learn to dominate a film perfectly, to give it rhythm and style, to bring out the beauty in each scene without taking refuge in extrinsic effects, to bring out the poetry as simply as possible without ever forcing it.”

____________

Annette Insdorf, the author of Francois Truffaut, is currently writing a book on the films of Wojciech Has.
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Robert De Niro’s Anxiety of Influence: Remembering the Artist Premieres

Back in the 1970’s when Robert De Niro was breaking out in films–Bang the Drum Slowly, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver–his dad Robert De Niro, Sr. was a painter of note, influenced by the European modernists Manet, Matisse, and Picasso, but never to equal the fame of his actor son. By the time De Niro, Sr. died in 1993 of prostate cancer, he left behind a significant body of work, journals and other writings revealing pride in his actor son, homosexuality, and depression. Now De Niro, the son, encouraged by his Tribeca Films producing partner Jane Rosenthal put together a documentary about his father, Remembering the Artist, directed by Perri Peltz and Gita Gandhbir that will air on HBO on Monday night.

On Thursday night at the DC Moore Gallery in Chelsea, Robert De Niro’s paintings eclipsed all the stars. The actor’s friends, Christopher Walken, Thelma Schoonmaker, Regis Philbin and wife Joy praised the work. Tony Bennett, a painter, had never met De Niro’s dad, admiring the exhibit. In fact, De Niro had a show in Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of the Century gallery, a major early recognition, and continued to exhibit throughout his life. The exhibition catalogue lists his shows with bibliography and also features a 1958 ARTnews essay about the artist with photographs by Rudy Burckhardt.

Albert Kresch, a fellow painter, speaks about the artists’ milieu, the Cedar Tavern, as a mecca for abstract expressionists like Kline, DeKooning, and Pollock, noting that De Niro would have nothing to do with it, feeling himself superior, as art world tastes shifted toward the commercial and pop Warhol, Lichtenstein and Kelly. Little is revealed about Virginia Admiral, De Niro’s mother, a painter too of some early acclaim who met her husband studying with Hans Hofmann in Provincetown. She stopped painting, needing to be more practical, she told her son, a resonant glimpse of the talented, pioneering women of that time, and their thwarted ambitions.

At a Q&A after the MoMA screening, Gita Gandhbir said it was most difficult to make a lively film portrait when the subject is dead. With De Niro’s wistful interview at center, the documentary remembers a significant artist of his time, and stands as an eloquent tribute of son to father.

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.
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Remembering Debbie Ford: Author Shares Major Lesson Learned From Cancer (VIDEO)

When the late Debbie Ford was diagnosed with cancer, she kept it a guarded secret for 11 years. In 2012, the Courage author revealed her diagnosis on an episode of OWN’s “Super Soul Sunday,” telling Oprah that she spent a long time in denial — even after doctors removed a five-pound tumor from her body.

Ford finally came to terms with her diagnosis and began to understand that she knew nothing of true courage until she battled cancer.

“What I would say to anybody facing any life challenge or disease is that that is courage — to choose life, to keep looking at what’s good,” Ford said

For Ford, having a supportive friend made a big difference in her outlook. “Cheryl Richardson used to send me texts every day, ‘Just believe that I believe,'” Ford told Oprah. “I would call her crying, ‘I lost my faith.'”

Even in the darkest moments, Ford found that courage could emerge. “We just have to make it a choice. We have to choose faith even if we don’t feel it,” Ford says. “Or hold on to a friend who has faith.”

“What was your lowest moment?” Oprah asked.

“When I got home from the hospital,” Ford answers. “Still, I didn’t know that they were thinking I was going to die. I thought I was just going to live and have no energy.”

For those who don’t understand what it’s like to live with disease, Ford attempted to explain the feeling. “Empty. It felt so lost, like, ‘Why am I here? Why do I want to be here? What am I doing?'” she said. “It just felt like I didn’t belong anymore.”

By making a conscious choice to fight, Ford found her courage and refused to give up. She found strength in her supportive loved ones, kept a “gratitude journal” to remind herself about the good things in life and made the most of every moment she had.

A year after her interview with Oprah aired, Ford passed away on Feb. 17, 2013 at her home in San Diego, lovingly surrounded by friends and family.

“God never gives us more than we can handle. Everything that comes our way is coming our way so that we can grow and evolve. If we look at it like that and we’re willing to open our hearts and see where we’re shut down, where we’re trying to resist life, then we have a great opportunity to step into who we always wanted to be.”

— Debbie Ford

“Super Soul Sunday” airs Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on OWN.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News