This Teacher’s Neat (But Extremely Gross) Experiment For Her Students Has Gone Viral

Teaching children to love science can be difficult. Getting kids to wash their hands can be even more so. Well, one teacher in Gray’s Creek, North Carolina, has managed to do both for her class in one foul, really gross swoop.

In a post that’s gone viral on Facebook, Donna Gill Allen showed off a neat experiment she did with her class to teach them about the importance of washing their hands.

“To all my teacher friends this is the grossest yet coolest experiment,” she wrote. “I did this while teaching about germs and how they spread. You use three pieces of bread. You let all the kids see you put a piece of bread in a baggy with a glove on hence ‘controlled’ then you wash your hands and put a piece of bread in a baggy for ‘clean’ last but definitely not least you pass a piece of bread around and let every kid in class touch it then you put it in a baggy and label it dirty.”

“Watch how the bread changes over time due to germs. It is so cool and a great way to teach the importance of hand washing”.

And boy does the bread change.

Donna Gill Allen / Facebook

 

The control bread and the slice that had been handled with washed hands show little signs of mold, whilst the bread that had been handled with “dirty hands” is covered in mold, due to the spores the children had wiped all over it. Feeling an urge to wash your hands?

The experiment has been met with praise online, with people calling it a great idea and a cute way to teach kids about germs. It could also be used to teach science classes about using controls in studies.

Other commenters have also suggested that this needs to be shown to adults, who clearly aren’t taking hygiene seriously enough, and have tagged people who should wash their hands more.

If this hasn’t grossed you out enough, check out this experiment from Buzzfeed that looks at how McDonald’s burgers don’t ever appear to go moldy, despite being left out for a long time. To understand why, check out the full explanation of what’s going on here.

 

 

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/chemistry/this-teachers-neat-but-extremely-gross-experiment-for-her-students-has-gone-viral/

Linkin Park Singers Wife Shares Video of Him 36 Hours Before Suicide, Reveals What Depression Really Looks Like

Depression wears many faces.

It doesn’t always look like a tears-streaming-down-your-face ugly cry in the fetal position. It doesn’t even always look somber or neutral.

Sometimes, depression laughs.

It even belly laughs.

This was the face of Linkin Park lead singer, Chester Bennington, 36 hours before dying by suicide in his Los Angeles home this July.

His wife, Talinda Bennington, took to Twitter this weekend to post the “most personal tweet” she’s ever shared: a video of her late husband laughing.

The 40-second footage featured a cheerful Chester playing a game with his children.

“This is what depression looked like to us just 36 hrs b4 his death,” wrote Talinda. “He loved us SO much & we loved him.”

After spinning to see what jelly bean flavor he had to eat, Chester cringed as his fate fell upon “rotten egg.” A brief second after having a taste, he playfully spit out the candy and busted up laughing.

Between his big smile and the infectious giggles in the background, the father seemed to be in high spirits.

But that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Less than two days later, the singer took his own life.

So why post something like this?

“So that you know that depression doesn’t have a face or a mood,” wrote Talinda, who shared another smiling photo of her late husband earlier this month.


Twitter

“This was days b4 my husband took his own life,” she tweeted. “Suicidal thoughts were there, but you’d never know.”

The grieving wife has taken Chester’s death incredibly hard, as he left behind not only her, but their three young children as well.

“I lost my soulmate and my children lost their hero—their Daddy,” the 40-year-old widow told PEOPLE one week after the tragedy. “We had a fairytale life and now it has turned into some sick Shakespearean tragedy. How do I move on? How do I pick up my shattered soul?”

But she now aims to redirect her pain to help others who are silently suffering from depression behind the mask of a happy face, making her life mission to “rise by lifting others.”

“May God Bless us all and help us turn to one another when we are in pain,” said Talinda in a public statement. “Chester would’ve wanted us to do so. Rest In Peace, my love.”


If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental illness, please know you are not alone. Suicide is completely preventable. There is hope. PLEASE reach out if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, or fear that someone you love might be.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or text “START” to 741-741.

Read more: http://faithit.com/chester-bennington-wife-shares-video-laughing-before-suicide/

10-year-old rape victim gives birth after being denied abortion

BTW

A 10-year-old rape victim was forced to give birth after she was denied an abortion by India’s Supreme Court.

The young girl delivered at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh, after doctors operated on her through a Caesarian section. Dr. Dasari Harish reports that the 10-year-old and her child are both in stable condition.

The girl’s family previously found out she was pregnant after she began feeling stomach pains. She later told her mother that her uncle had sexually assaulted her multiple times, leading to his arrest. However, India’s Supreme Court rejected the family’s plea for an abortion, after calling on eight doctors and a medical examination of the young girl. Her parents decided instead to tell the young child that she had surgery for a kidney stone issue, and told medical professionals that they were not allowed to tell her daughter she was pregnant with her uncle’s child.

India’s Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act outlaws abortions after 20 weeks, save for explicit permission given from the court. The 10-year-old girl was already pregnant for over 25 weeks when her pregnancy was finally brought to authorities’ attention, ultimately leading to the court’s decision to deny the young girl an abortion.

H/T CNN

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/irl/rape-victim-birth-indian-court/

RIP Juicero, the $400 venture-backed juice machine

It sounds like America’s favorite $400 juice machine will be no longer.

“After selling over a million Produce Packs, we must let you know that we are suspending the sale of the Juicero Press and Produce Packs immediately,” reads the company blog post.

Juicero will also be giving people money back. “For the next 90 days, we are offering refunds for your purchase of the Juicero Press,” according to the note.

Founded by Doug Evans, San Francisco-based Juicero had raised more than $118 million in funding from prominent VCs like Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins. Carmelo Anthony also invested through his Melo7 Tech venture fund. Even The Campbell Soup Company threw money at it. Juicero started raising funding in 2013 and launched 16 months ago.

The company was subject to mockery, particularly after a Bloomberg piece showed that the juice packets could be squeezed by hand and did not require a fancy machine. 

After that, Juicero promised to lower prices, but apparently found that to be too difficult. Now the startup is hoping to find a buyer.

“We are confident that to truly have the long-term impact we want to make, we need to focus on finding an acquirer with an existing national fresh food supply chain who can carry forward the Juicero mission,” reads the blog post.

Inspired by the popularity of Keurig coffee cups, some venture investors have been looking for other kitchen appliances that could gain significant traction. “Juicing” is very popular in some parts of the United States, and the idea was that this would make it easier for people to make juice at home. But the upfront cost of the machine was high and people had to pay an added cost for the refillable packets.

Unfortunately, the machine, which was once priced at $700, was met with derision from the get-go. It became symbolic of Silicon Valley’s out-of-touch elites.

I tried the juices and can confirm they were tasty. RIP.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/01/rip-juicero-the-400-venture-backed-juice-machine/

Med School Grads Go to Work for Hedge Funds

Matthew Alkaitis, a third-year student at Harvard Medical School, is calm, friendly, and a good listener—the kind of qualities you’d want in a doctor. But though he spends 14 hours a day studying for his board exams, the 29-year-old isn’t sure how long he’ll be wearing a white coat. In September, Alkaitis, who also has a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, will be starting a two-year fellowship at McKinsey & Co., where he’ll be advising clients in the health-care field. “I really hope that my career involves a period of dedicated time taking care of patients,” he says. “But I also have this competing goal to one day start or help build out a company that really adds something new and interesting and innovative to the medical system.” 

Like Alkaitis, more people are coming out of medical school and choosing not to practice medicine. Instead, they’re going into business—starting biotech and medical device companies, working at private equity firms, or doing consulting. In a 2016 survey of more than 17,000 med school grads by the Physicians Foundation and health-care recruitment firm Merritt Hawkins, 13.5 percent said they planned to seek a nonclinical job within three years. That’s up from 9.9 percent in 2012. A separate Merritt Hawkins survey asks final-year residents: “If you were to begin your education again, would you study medicine or would you select another field?” In 2015, 25 percent answered “another field,” up from 8 percent in 2006. Among the reasons they cited: a lack of free time, educational debt, and the hassle of dealing with insurance companies and other third-party payers.

The trend is worrying, as the U.S. already suffers a shortage of doctors, especially in rural areas. “If you have a large number of people out training to see patients and taking care of people in our communities, then all of a sudden deciding not to, that’s a concern,” says Atul Grover, executive vice president of the Association of American Medical Colleges. The AAMC projects a nationwide deficit of as many as 100,000 doctors by 2030. 

“I think that we are at a crossroads,” says Dr. Kevin Campbell, a cardiologist in Raleigh, N.C. “I trained in the early ’90s, and back then you definitely were thought of as a sellout or a second-class citizen if you weren’t going into clinical medicine.” 

Medical students have more options nowadays. Medical and business schools are teaming up to offer joint degrees. There were 148 students enrolled in M.D.-MBA programs in 2016, up from 61 in 2003, according to the AAMC. At Harvard Medical School, in a class of about 160 students, about 14 will pursue the joint degree, and an additional 25 or 30 will do master’s in other areas, such as law and public policy. “We have some students who want to go back to the Midwest and practice in a community setting,” says Dr. Anthony D’Amico, a professor of radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School and an advisory dean. And then there are those “who want to implement skill sets they’ve been blessed with and apply them on a broader scale.”

Dr. Rodney Altman of San Francisco says the time he spends treating patients in the emergency room informs his work as a managing director at Spindletop Capital, a private equity firm that invests in health-care companies. “I really wanted to practice health care on a macro level,” says Altman. “For me the one-on-one interaction with patients, while important and rewarding, wouldn’t have been as rewarding as being able to impact a larger number of patients.”

Altman says his mentors and colleagues had mixed feelings when, after a decade of practicing full time, he decided to dial back his hours in the emergency room. “Most people were supportive, a lot were envious, and some appropriately cautioned me about the risks I would be taking,” he says. “Out in the business world, you’re subject to the whims of the capital markets and to a lot more that is out of one’s control. I think medicine is quite safe and secure in that way.”

Some consulting companies are also stepping up hiring of doctors. Steffi Langner, a spokeswoman for McKinsey, says her firm is actively recruiting doctors because the analytical skills necessary to be an M.D. are similar to the problem-solving skills a consultant needs.

Dr. Jon Bloom trained as an anesthesiologist and practiced for three months, then enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. He says he was inspired by other doctors he knew who were inventors and entrepreneurs. One reason more are choosing that path is that investors are willing to fund them. Figures compiled by the National Venture Capital Association show that investment in medical-related startups climbed from $9.4 billion in 2007 to $11.9 billion in 2016.

Bloom is co-founder and chief executive officer of Podimetrics, a startup in Somerville, Mass., that has developed a mat device that predicts and prevents diabetic foot ulcers. He says that even though his invention is now on the market after receiving approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015, he’s still living the startup life. “I definitely don’t make nearly as much as what a doctor makes. That wasn’t really important to me,” he says. “My friends who graduated residency many years ago, they have multiple cars, fabulous houses. They did OK. I still occasionally eat ramen noodles,” he chuckles.

    BOTTOM LINE – A U.S. deficit of doctors may worsen as a growing minority of medical school grads are choosing other professions.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-05/med-school-grads-go-to-work-for-hedge-funds

    Python found lurking in bathroom toilet in Southend – BBC News

    Image copyright Laura Cowell
    Image caption The toilet had been “blocked for several days”, but the family had no idea why

    A five-year-old boy was shocked to discover a python inside his toilet when he lifted up the lid.

    He was “frantic” when he found it in the bathroom at home in Southend, Essex, his mother Laura Cowell said.

    Specialists from pet shop Scales and Fangs came to the rescue, removing the harmless 3ft (91cm) baby royal python.

    “It smelt of bleach and a bit toilet-y,” Ethan Pinion from the store said. The snake “most likely came up the u-bend” and is expected to recover fully.

    Image copyright Laura Cowell
    Image caption Royal pythons can grow to about 150cm (5ft) but this is “a baby”, rescuers said

    Mrs Cowell said the toilet had been “blocked for several days and the water wasn’t draining well”, but at the time, she did not know why.

    Her son discovered the unwelcome visitor when he went to use the toilet on Wednesday.

    Slither this way for more news from Essex

    “He was frantic, and shaking, and I could tell something was wrong, but that was not what I expected,” she said.

    “I had to use a broom handle to lift the lid, then out popped its head and its tongue came out as well.”

    Image copyright Laura Cowell
    Image caption The snake was taken away safely by a reptile specialist

    After phoning several potential rescuers, Rob Yeldham, who owns the Leigh-on-Sea store, came to help.

    “I’ve done many snake rescues in my 10 years, but I’ve never had one in a toilet before. It’s definitely a first for us,” he said.

    Mr Yeldham said some neighbours of Mrs Cowell had recently moved and old vivariums were left outside with the rubbish.

    “I think the snake probably escaped and went down their toilet, and ended up in this one, as all the sewers are connected,” he said.

    It was unlikely it had been there long as it was healthy and not underweight, although it is suffering from scale rot, “probably from the bleach”.

    The snake is being treated at the store and once “in perfect health” will be “rehomed with someone reputable so he won’t end up in a toilet again”.

    Image copyright Scales and Fangs
    Image caption The snake is being cared for by a local pet shop

    Mrs Cowell said she was “petrified” and put weights on the toilet lid for several days after the experience.


    Royal pythons:

    • Originate from West Africa, from countries including the republics of Ghana, Togo and Benin
    • Grow to up to 150cm (4ft 9ins) and can live more than 20 years in captivity
    • Typically “docile” in nature, and curl into a ball when threatened
    • Require a diet of defrosted mice and rats

    Source: RSPCA


    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-41122975

    Everything we expect to see at Apple’s big iPhone 8 reveal

    Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Apple’s next iPhones are almost here.

    We’re just days away from what will be Apple’s most anticipated reveal in recent memory. On Tuesday morning, CEO Tim Cook will take the stage at the company’s Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino and show off three new iPhones. 

    We’ll also get our first look at the next Apple Watch, Apple TV, and hear the latest updates on iOS and macOS High Sierra.

    Beyond that, the event carries special meaning for Apple. Not only is it the company’s first public event in the theatre named for its storied founder, it’s also the 10-year anniversary of the original iPhone launch. Given that extra significance, we could be in for a tribute to that original launch or to Jobs himself. 

    iPhone 8 or iPhone Edition?

    There’s no question this is Apple’s most anticipated iPhone yet. The company’s been trying to keep its exact details under wraps, so of course we have a pretty solid idea of what it’s going to look like, thanks to a never-ending stream of leaks and rumors.

    Physically, it’s expected to be about the same size as an iPhone 7, but with an edge-to-edge OLED display that’s bigger than what is currently on the iPhone 7 Plus. It won’t have a home button or Touch ID, and will likely use some kind of facial recognition tech to unlock.

    A mockup of a new ‘copper gold’ color Apple is rumored to be introducing for the iPhone 8.

    Image: mashable/raymond wong

    Wireless and rapid-charging will be supported, and it will have dual rear-facing cameras — likely equipped with a depth sensor to better enable all those new augmented reality apps. It will probably come in a new color and cost at least $1,000, maybe much more

    One thing we still aren’t sure of, though, is the name. 

    Though most people, us included, have been calling it the iPhone 8, there’s a good chance Apple will eschew its typical naming conventions given that this phone marks the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone. iPhone X, iPhone Edition, and iPhone Pro have all been posited. 

    As we get closer to the reveal, iPhone Edition is looking more and more likely but, as with so many Apple rumors, it’s hard to say with any certainty (my favorite dark horse candidate is still, simply, iPhone.) 

    iPhone 7S + iPhone 7S Plus

    Again, we can’t be sure of the name as some reports have indicated the iPhone 7’s immediate successor will be called “iPhone 8.” Regardless of what it’s called, this pair of phones will be much closer to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

    The iPhone 7S and 7S Plus are expected to look much like the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus .

    Image: Aflo/REX/Shutterstock

    The displays will likely be the same as the iPhone 7 line — no edge-to-edge display here. Though it’d be tempting to think of these phones as the compromise buy compared with the third ultra-premium iPhone, there will be some noticeable improvements.

    The 7S and 7S Plus are expected to ship with the same rapid and wireless charging as the iPhone 8, but other than that it’s unlikely to be a major departure from the iPhone 7. It will have an LCD display, a home button, dual rear-facing cameras, and a starting price similar to that of the iPhone 7. 

    It probably won’t come in any new colors, and may not even be available with a rose gold or jet black finish.

    Apple Watch Series 3

    While the three new iPhones will likely hog much of the spotlight on Tuesday, there’s other new hardware to look forward to, including what is likely a new Apple Watch. While it’s not usually the company’s sexiest product, Series 3 sounds like it’s set to be a big revamp.

    Series 3 sounds like it’s set to be a big revamp

    Most significantly, Apple is expected to add LTE connectivity to its wearable, marking the first time the Apple Watch can truly be independent of your iPhone. This could also have big implications for its fitness-tracking abilities, which we learned more about when Men’s Health visited Apple’s testing lab.

    Apple will launch watchOS 4 alongside its new wearable, and it features a new mode for high intensity interval training. The new OS will even be able to connect directly to some types of gym equipment. 

    On the outside, the new Apple Watch could have a new screen design, if Apple-watcher John Gruber’s sources are to be believed (Gruber himself says he “wouldn’t bet the house” on the rumor, so, grain of salt). But if turns out to be correct, it’d be the first major redesign since Apple first launched its watch in 2015.

    4K Apple TV

    As if a new Apple Watch and three-piece set of iPhones isn’t enough, we’re also due for a new Apple TV. Here, it’s not the design of the set-top box that has us excited (though expect it to at least be slimmer and speedier than the current 4th gen model released back in 2015).

    The latest box will finally add support for 4K and HDR content. Given that there’s more 4K content available than ever (and HDR is slowly gaining ground), this will be a very welcome (and, frankly, overdue) update.

    macOS High Sierra and iOS 11

    Apple’s fall launch isn’t all about the hardware. MacOS High Sierra, which comes with a nicely revamped Photos app and a ton of under-the-hood improvements, will likely make its official debut.

    Likewise, it looks like iOS 11 will finally be ready for everyone. We know most of what’s in the update, thanks to months of beta builds, but there are still a few unknowns. Apple has yet to reveal the specifics of its P2P messaging service for its Messages app, beyond what we briefly saw on the WWDC stage. 

    Apple’s new P2P payments feature for Messages.

    Image: apple

    And while we we’ve seen a lot of ARKit-enabled augmented reality apps, there’s still a lot we haven’t heard about yet. Exactly how the new iPhone cameras will enhance iOS’ augmented reality features is also unclear. 

    As always with Apple, nothing is certain until Tim Cook steps onto that stage. A few surprises are always on the table. Check back this Tuesday for Mashable’s live coverage from Cupertino.

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/09/apple-iphone-8-event-what-to-expect/

    New York City has the biggest school system in the country. It just made lunch free.

    Thousands of New York City public school students are about to find out that there is such a thing as a free lunch.

    Carmen Fariña (left) with city first lady Chirlane McCray and New York City public school students. Photo by Susan Watts-Pool/Getty Images.

    At a Sept. 6 press conference, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced that the city’s “Free School Lunch for All” program, currently available to 75% of New York City public school students, will be made available to every student in the system beginning this academic year.

    “Free School Lunch for All will provide financial relief to families and ensure all students are receiving nutritious meals so that they can succeed in the classroom and beyond,” Fariña said.

    The expansion in the country’s largest public school system means an additional 200,000 students will be able to eat for free.

    New York City joins Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and other major municipal school districts that have begun offering universal free lunch in the last five years, thanks to the Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision, which collects system-wide data to determine need for subsidized meal options, preventing individual families from having to apply.

    Food insecurity is often hidden in plain sight in wealthy New York City, affecting up to 37% of residents in some neighborhoods.

    A 2014 report found the average South Bronx resident involuntarily missed more than 35 meals per year.

    “For so many students, school is the only place where they have access to a nutritious meal,” New York Assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal said in a press release. “Providing free lunch to the City’s 1.1 million public school students will ensure that their bodies are fed so that their brains can be nourished.”

    Better access to nutritious food has been found to increase school performance.

    Studies of subsidized school breakfast programs, which have been around in various forms since the 1960s, have found that participating students demonstrate improved behavior and concentration and are less likely to repeat a grade. An August 2017 study found that improving the nutritional content of school lunches led to a small increase in test scores.

    “While adults may be able to focus and concentrate better with poorer nutrition, with kids, they cannot necessarily control that, and they might be more distracted and less able to sit and learn if their basic needs such as sleep and nutrition aren’t getting met,” Tanya Altmann, spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, told CNN in a March interview.

    The city is inviting those kids to chow down — without having to ask.

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo by Susan Watts-Pool/Getty Images.

    “This helps New York City’s working families who struggled to pay $300 a year for school lunch, and it eliminates the stigma that we know kept some children from eating,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.

    Even on Taco Tuesday.

    (Especially on Taco Tuesday.)

    Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/new-york-city-has-the-biggest-school-system-in-the-country-it-just-made-lunch-free

    Jerry Lewis, comedian, dies at 91

    (CNN)Jerry Lewis, the slapstick-loving comedian, innovative filmmaker and generous fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, died Sunday after a brief illness, said his publicist, Candi Cazau. He was 91.

    Cazau would not elaborate on the illness from which Lewis was suffering.
    Lewis first gained fame for his frenzied comedy-and-music act with singer Dean Martin. When that ended in the mid-1950s, Lewis went solo, and by the early ’60s, he had become a top draw in movies such as “The Bellboy,” “The Nutty Professor” and “The Patsy.” Along the way, he pioneered the use of videotape and closed-circuit monitors in moviemaking, a now-standard technique called video assist.
      He first helped raise money for muscular dystrophy in a telethon in 1956. He was so successful, and so devoted to the cause, that children affected by the disease became known as “Jerry’s kids.” The telethon, long known as “The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon,” began airing on Labor Day weekend in 1966, and Lewis served as host until 2011.

      Loved and criticized

      Despite his success, Lewis also was a controversial figure. A number of people suffering with muscular dystrophy claimed Lewis presented victims as childlike and worthy of pity, rather than as equal members of society.
      Lewis lost some fans when he criticized women doing comedy — “I think of (a female comedian) as a producing machine that brings babies in the world,” he once said — and when he lashed out at MDA critics. “You don’t want to be pitied because you’re a cripple in a wheelchair? Stay in your house!” he said in 2001 on the “CBS Morning Show.” He later apologized.
      When Lewis was one of America’s leading box office attractions, critics mocked him for the broadness of his comedy — and took more shots at him when he became a renowned figure in France. In 1984, the French awarded Lewis the Legion of Honor, the country’s highest tribute.
      He was emotional, big-hearted, eccentric — once successful, he never wore a pair of socks twice — proud and forever playing to the back row.
      He seldom apologized for it.
      “Let me tell you that probably 50% of the film community plays a game and does their thing because they’re prominent and they’re making a lot of money. And what they do is they give up a piece of their soul … and for them, they’re comfortable, and they feel that’s fine,” he told CNN’s Larry King in 2000. “It was never fine for me and I wouldn’t go there. I told (legendary Hollywood gossip columnist) Louella Parsons I thought she was a fat pig, because I thought she was. I had an opinion.”
      The controversy Lewis stirred up over the years did little to dampen his peers’ and successors’ appreciation of his art. Several celebrities took to social media to share their sadness over his passing.
      Comedian Jon Lovitz called Lewis an “amazing talent,” while “Star Trek” actor George Takei thanked him for “the laughs and the feels.”
      “I sincerely hope his afterlife is a warm, peaceful… …haven,” actor Patton Oswalt wrote.
      Wrote Public Enemy frontman Chuck D: “Earth is less funny today.”

      A lonely boy

        Jillette: Jerry Lewis was the king of comedy

      Joseph Levitch — he changed the name to Lewis as a teenager — was born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 16, 1926. Entertainment ran in the family: His father was a vaudeville performer, his mother a piano player. Lewis occasionally performed with his parents, and by the time he was a teenager he had developed his own act. He was a regular in New York’s Catskill Mountain resorts, popular summertime retreats for area Jews.
      But Lewis was also a lonely boy, essentially raised by his grandmother. Lewis told King that his comedy was rooted in hurt.
      “I found (the comic) through pain. And the pain was that I couldn’t buy milk like the other kids in school at recess time,” he said.
      He met Martin at a club in 1945 where the two were performing as soloists. The next year they premiered as a duo in Atlantic City, New Jersey. According to show business lore, their first show flatlined and the team was warned by the club manager to improve or be fired. For the second show, the two went wild with a no-holds-barred mix of comedy and music. It was a hit.
      Within four years, they were headlining and breaking records at New York’s Copacabana club. Lewis later wrote that they set off Beatlemania-type reactions among fans — especially female fans — long before the term Beatlemania was coined.
      Martin played the romantic, crooning straight man, and Lewis was the anything-for-a-laugh comedian of chaos. (Some observers called them “the organ grinder and the monkey.”) The act often featured a stint of Martin chasing Lewis around the stage. They appeared on the very first “Ed Sullivan Show” (then called “Toast of the Town”) and shrewdly negotiated control of their various appearances, earning them millions.
      But over the course of a decade — a period that included 17 movies, beginning with 1949’s “My Friend Irma” — the two grew apart. Toward the end, Martin told Lewis he was “nothing to me but a dollar sign.” Martin’s last performance with Lewis — also at the Copa — was on July 25, 1956.

      Big life post-Martin

      Despite the acrimonious breakup, the two eventually reconciled, and Lewis and James Kaplan released a book in 2005 with a title that explained how Lewis saw the relationship: “Dean and Me (A Love Story).”
      Upon their breakup, Martin was expected to be the greater success. He was an established singer and was beginning to make inroads as a respected actor, including performances in two 1958 films: “The Young Lions” (opposite Marlon Brando) and “Some Came Running” (with Frank Sinatra, with whom Martin would become longtime pals as part of the Rat Pack).
      Lewis, on the other hand, was considered a lightweight, if crowd-pleasing, clown. His early solo films, such as “The Delicate Deliquent” (1957) and “Rock-a-Bye Baby” (1958), made under a longstanding contract with producer Hal Wallis, were more of the same.
      But upon the end of his Wallis contract, in 1959, Lewis set out to take greater control of his work. He signed a huge contract with Paramount, a seven-year deal promising him $10 million and 60% of the profits for 14 films, according to his agency biography. He starred in “Cinderfella,” written and directed by the noted comedy director Frank Tashlin, and — when that movie was held for release — came up with “The Bellboy,” a silent-film-style story of pratfalls and adventures that Lewis wrote, directed and starred in.
      It was for “The Bellboy” that Lewis first used video assist, so he could monitor his performance as he directed. He received a patent for the invention.
      “The Bellboy” was released in July 1960 and was a hit, helping establish Lewis as an auteur. He exercised similar writing-directing-starring control over several successive films, including “The Errand Boy” (1961), “The Nutty Professor” (1963) and “The Patsy” (1964).
      “The Nutty Professor” was perhaps the prototypical Lewis vehicle. A twist on Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” the film starred Lewis both as nebbish professor Julius Kelp as well as smooth-talking boor Buddy Love, the man he turned into after drinking a strange potion. (More than one commentator has compared Love to Martin, Lewis’ former partner, but the filmmaker regularly denied Martin was the basis for the portrayal.)
      Lewis considered it his best film, and the American Film Institute ranked it as the 99th-best American comedy of all time. Eddie Murphy remade the film in 1996, and Lewis brought a musical version to the stage in 2012.

      ‘Mozart of humor’

      In 2015, the Library of Congress announced it had acquired a huge collection of films and documents from Lewis, including copies of his most popular films, home movies and spoof films made by Lewis at home, which sometimes starred neighbors such as Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.
      “For more than seven decades I’ve been dedicated to making people laugh. If I get more than three people in a room, I do a number,” Lewis told the library. “Knowing that the Library of Congress was interested in acquiring my life’s work was one of the biggest thrills of my life.”
      Though Lewis’ humor sometimes left reviewers cold, he had a sizable fan base.
      “My generation, we grew up on Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. They were our heroes,” said the late British funnyman Marty Feldman, crediting Lewis as one of the reasons he became a comedian. “Jerry Lewis actually has genius.”
      “Lewis is the Mozart of humor,” wrote Agnes Poirier of the UK newspaper The Guardian in 2006. “You can keep sneering. I don’t care.”
      Lewis remained a box office attraction during the 1960s, but his popularity waned with changing tastes in comedy and some dismal films, such as “Way … Way Out” (1966) (“About as funny and unusual as the daily trip on the subway,” wrote The New York Times) and “Which Way to the Front?” (1970).
      One attempt at an early-’70s film comeback, “The Day the Clown Cried” — intended to be Lewis’ first serious film — became Hollywood legend.
      In the rarely seen film, Lewis plays a circus clown, Helmut Doork, who ends up entertaining children at a concentration camp — and eventually leads them to the gas chamber. The movie was never released but has been viewed by a select few, including comedian and “Simpsons” star Harry Shearer, who was blunt in his assessment.
      “This movie is so drastically wrong, its pathos and its comedy are so wildly misplaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it really is,” Shearer told Spy magazine in 1992. “‘Oh, my God!’ that’s all you can say.”
      Lewis rarely lacked for activity or money — he performed regularly, including an annual Las Vegas gig that paid him well — but he struggled to remain relevant. His 1980 comeback comedy, “Hardly Working,” was given zero stars by Roger Ebert, who said it was “one of the worst movies ever to achieve commercial release in this country.” (But it was a smash hit in Europe.)
      In the 1980s and ’90s, Lewis picked a handful of serious roles that earned him positive reviews. He played a kidnapped talk show host in Martin Scorsese’s 1982 film “The King of Comedy,” earning a BAFTA nomination for best supporting actor. He was a clothing business owner in a plotline on the late-’80s show “Wiseguy,” and he played a wise comedy legend in the 1995 British film, “Funny Bones.”
      Lewis stayed active, touring and working periodically in TV and films. In 2013 he starred in the drama “Max Rose,” and in 2016 he had a role in “The Trust,” which starred Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood. Both films were flops with critics, but RogerEbert.com’s Glenn Kenny, in reviewing “Max Rose,” said Lewis’ performance was “full of virtues: He’s committed, disciplined and entirely credible.”

      He helped raise billions

      For many years, Lewis was most known for his work as the fundraising face of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
      He started his activity with MDA in 1951, according to his agency biography, although why he got involved has remained a mystery over the years. In 1956, he and Martin hosted an MDA telethon that raised $600,000. The first Labor Day Telethon, which was held in 1966 and aired only in the New York market, raised more than $1 million.
      By 1973, the year the telethon moved to Las Vegas, it had a network of more than 150 stations and was raising more than $10 million.
      The annual telethon, which aired live and ran for as long as 21 hours, was filled with traditions. “Tonight Show” co-host Ed McMahon joined Lewis for many years and would cue up the band when the tote board hit another big number. (McMahon died in 2009.) Lewis welcomed hundreds of guests, including the entertainment flavor of the month, surprise stars — John Lennon dropped by in 1972 — or old friends: In 1976, he reunited with Martin, thanks to the intercession of mutual acquaintance Frank Sinatra.
      And he was defiantly Lewis: clowning, raving, doing impromptu soft-shoes with the tie of his tuxedo undone. He traditionally concluded the broadcast with the Broadway standard “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
      In 2011, Lewis and the Muscular Dystrophy Association announced they were parting ways, and in 2015 MDA announced that there would be no more telethons, although Lewis worked with MDA in 2016 on a promotional video.
      The “Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon” raised more than $2.4 billion, Lewis told the Las Vegas Sun in 2010. Lewis was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Motion Picture Academy in 2009.

      Success as a ‘total idiot’

      Lewis wasn’t the picture of health. He survived prostate cancer and underwent open-heart surgery. He once smoked five packs of cigarettes a day, and — because of medication — once tipped the scales at close to 300 pounds. He developed dependencies on painkillers, which was related to a 1965 spinal injury suffered during a pratfall.
      He also never lost his edge. Asked by “Inside Edition” in 2010 what he thought of troubled young Hollywood stars such as Lindsay Lohan, he let fly.
      “I would smack her in the mouth if I saw her,” he said. “And I would be arrested for abusing a woman.” He added that he’d be happy to “put her over my knee and spank her.”
      Last year he engaged in such a bizarre interview with The Hollywood Reporter that the publication headlined its article, “The most painfully awkward interview of 2016.” Video of the exchange, in which a sullen Lewis rarely used more than three words to answer a question, went viral.
      He could also be a soft touch, donating time and money to organizations such as the March of Dimes.
      Lewis had six children, five sons and a daughter, by two wives. One son, Gary, became the lead singer of the 1960s pop group Gary Lewis and the Playboys.
      Through it all, he never lost his outlook. “I’ve had great success being a total idiot,” he once said, combining both ego and self-deprecation.
      “You’re still 9, right?” asked King in 2000.
      “Oh, yes,” replied Lewis. “I will cut your tie some night with a scissor.”
      Correction: An earlier story misstated the name of the deceased. Comedian Jerry Lewis has died at age 91, according to his publicist.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/20/entertainment/jerry-lee-lewis-dies/index.html

      Fire destroyed their home during Harvey. But a Virgin Mary statue survived

      (CNN)It wasn’t just wind and rain that caused damage when Hurricane Harvey blasted through the Texas coast. Fires did their share too.

      But they also found something in the ashes that they say gave them hope — an intact statue of the Virgin Mary.
      “Some may blame God and some may blame the hurricane but the only thing standing were holy things,” Natali Rojas told CNN affiliate KRIS. “As you can see this statue is the only thing that survived. I dug in there for things and all I found is a Virgin Mary.”
        The family said the Robstown Fire Department battled the flames even as the hurricane raged.
        “I wanna thank the Fire Department of Robstown for courage to show up in the storm while the tremendous power, the wind, the rain were going and they were still out here trying their best. It was incredible,” said Jesus Rojas, Natali Rojas’ father.
        The family is taking the statue’s survival as a sign that they can make it, too.
        “Appreciate what you have, listen to the warnings, hug your children and thank God for today and yesterday, and pray for a better tomorrow,” Natali Rojas said.

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/28/us/harvey-fire-statue-trnd/index.html