It was a rough week for movie fans.
First, comedian Robin Williams died after suffering from severe depression for many years. His death sent the world into shock and prompted moving tributes from fellow comedians Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal, describe the loss, and from President Obama, who made a nod to Williams’ debut as an alien on the TV show "Mork and Mindy:" “He arrived in our lives as an alien -- but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.”
The next day, actress and Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall died at the age of 89. With her debut in the 1944 film “To Have and Have Not” alongside the man who would become her husband, Humphrey Bogart, Bacall projected “an indelible screen persona: that of the tough, quick-witted American woman who could fight the good fight alongside her man,” noted The New York Times in its obit.
Everyone has their favorite movies and favorite moments from these two very talented stars. Here are my picks (with a big thank you to YouTube):
1. Hello! Yes, cute animal photos on the web aren't anything new. But we just couldn't resist this snap of a trio of pandas born in July to giant panda Juxiao taken inside an incubator at the Chimelong Safari Park in Guanhzhou, Guandong province in China. As numerous news reports have noted, panda populations are dwindling so every new panda birth is considered a "miracle." Triplets, as you would expect, are rare, and these three are all expected to survive. If that photo isn't enough cuteness for you (what can the one on the left be thinking?), you can check out this video of the babies produced by the Associated Press. They weighed just a few ounces at birth and were about the size of your palm, in case you're wondering.
2. Beauty in Numbers. Maryam Mirzakhani of Stanford has become the first woman to be awarded the Fields Medal, the highest honor in mathematics. I would love to explain to you exactly what she won the medal for, but…. According to a citation released by the International Mathematical Union, Mirzakhani won the prize for her "outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces." The Guardian describes her work as breathtaking in scope, “technically superb, and boldly ambitious.” Sure makes me wish I understood that part about Riemann surfaces.
3. Oops. It’s hard to think of a brand with a more wholesome image than Lands End. Which makes it all the more perplexing that some of its customers were recently complaining that soft-core porn had landed in their mailboxes thanks to the retailer. As a gift to its some of its customers, Lands End has long sent them free copies of magazines. In the past, these have included Self, Vogue, and Glamour. In an effort to send a freebie to its male customers, Lands End recently sent along issues of GQ. This particular issue featured a cover photo of actor Emily Ratajkowski, wearing only a lei. The near-universal sentiment among those who complained: Thank goodness my young son didn’t bring in the mail.
Photo courtesy of Reuters