2 Hands + 1 Puppet = Endless Possibilities

What is it about puppets that so fascinates us? From an early age, we come into contact with finger puppets, marionettes, or possibly even sock puppets. They introduce us to speech, interaction, and imagination. It’s no wonder they’ve been around since ancient times.

After a time, they are still amusing (just look at the popularity Jim Henson’s Muppets still carry), but we move on to other forms of entertainment. In this digital age, it is so easy to overlook those simple hand-operated characters that once held our attention indefinitely. Still, every once in a while, we see an innovation that sparks that old, child-like sense of wonder.

Meet Barnaby Dixon, YouTube host, animator, and, yes, puppeteer. Barnaby’s interest in animation started back in 2003 when a media center opened near his home. He focuses mainly on stop-motion animation, inspired by films such as The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wallace and Gromit, or The Nightmare Before Christmas. When he couldn’t get the shots he wanted, he knew he needed something to make the job easier. Thus, a puppet was born.

“It took some time to refine, and alterations may still be made,” he states on his YouTube channel. “But it’s at a stage now that I’m happy to show y’all.”

As you watch this, or one of his other videos, it is easy to see why he is passionate about his creations. The fluid movements of his puppet are quite mesmerizing. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and this maxim clearly holds true for Barnaby and his sidekick.

Be sure to SHARE this fascinating video with your friends.

H/T: barnabydixon

Read more: http://www.wimp.com/2-hands-1-puppet-endless-possibilities/

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‘Roots’ Producer: Being A Black Man In America Is ‘Still A Dangerous Experience’

Despite John Amos and Snoop Dogg’s strong disapproval of The History Channel’s remake of “Roots,” executive producer LeVar Burton says the reboot still resonates with today’s social issues.

In this week’s issue of People magazine, Burton says though it was “a different time” when he starred in the original 1977 series as Kunta Kinte, he’s “acutely aware” of the social implications of airing a remake in 2016, and hopes the show will create a deeper dialogue.

“I’m hoping we can create a conversation about race that is absent fear, anger, guilt and shame, and just deal honestly with what continues to hold us back.” he told the magazine. “This is an opportunity.”

Among those onboard to support Burton’s mission is Rev. Al. Sharpton, who has used his public platform — ranging from his national syndicated radio show to his MSNBC talk show, “PoliticsNation” — to help advance the conversation on the importance of “Roots” with viewers and listeners.

“If we can create the conversation, [Roots] will not only get a wide viewership, it will evolve the discussions about race,” Sharpton told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month. “Hopefully, from yelling at each other to really talking about the pain and what we’re going to do in the post-Obama era.”

For Burton avoiding the implications of racial profiling by law enforcement is a much needed skill he has shared with his son.

“I roll down my window, take my hands and put them on the door of the car, because I want that approaching officer to be as relaxed and comfortable as he can be,” Burton told People, “It’s a survival skill. Being a black man in America is still a dangerous experience. That’s simply a reality.”

To read more of LeVar Burton’s interview, head over to People.com.The History Channel’s four-night series event of “Roots” will continue to air tonight, and simulcast on A&E and Lifetime.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/05/31/levar-burton-roots_n_10226380.html

I Know We Wont Be Forever, But Ill Take A Little While

I know we cant be forever, but that doesnt mean I wont take a little while. We can get lost in cars, on highways in distant states far from where we know to be home. We wont be scared, though. My hand will be in yours and your hand will be in mine. Being lost is always a little more fun when you have someone along for the ride.

And in our little while, I wont need fancy dates. But I will need lots of laughter.

Im talking the side splitting stuff, the kind that leaves you and me on the floor in your room with no one else in on the joke but you and me.

We can get day drunk on beer and sun, the kind of buzz that lasts well into the night as we dance our way to a local dive bar. Well stay up late, getting diner food and watching all the other night owl patrons. Well have a favorite table, too. Itll be the one well dash to every Saturday night. A window seat right in the back corner where we can see everything going on, but be seen by no one, just the way we like it.

Youll recommend movies and Ill give you books. Well learn about each other in the dialogue of the film, through the bounded words of the pages. Well discover what makes one another cry, what makes one another mad. Ill make fun of your morning bedhead. Youll tease me about my stumbled speech when Im falling in love.

Because falling in love is the aim of the game, isnt it? If it doesnt end in wedding rings, were advised not to bother.

Were constantly told that certain people arent worth our time, worth our heartache if together doesnt end in forever. But Im starting to disagree.

Because not all love is made for longevity, and thats perfectly okay. Some of our lovers are merely encounters, fleeting shots at forever that well never make. But well learn and grow together just the same, and while sometimes it ends in heartbreak, I hope ours wont end bitterly. Im crossing my fingers that ours will end with the sweet realization that forever was never meant for us, but we were still perfectly happy during our little while.

Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/molly-burford/2016/05/i-know-we-wont-be-forever-but-ill-take-a-little-while/

Television sitcom writer Carla Lane dies, aged 87 – BBC News

Media captionNick Conway, who played Billy Boswell in the sitcom Bread, pays tribute to Carla Lane

Television writer Carla Lane, who created shows including 1980s Liverpool sitcom Bread, has died aged 87.

Lane, who was born in Liverpool and later became known for her animal rights activism, also wrote Butterflies and co-wrote The Liver Birds.

She died at Stapely Care Home on Tuesday, her family confirmed.

They paid tribute to her “quick wit, determination and passion” which “brought Liverpool to life on screen for others to share”.

The family said: “With heavy hearts we said goodbye to our darling Carla today.

“But with smiles on our faces we also take this opportunity to reflect on her incredible achievements all of which make us so unbelievably proud to be part of her family.”

Image caption Lane first became known for co-creating and writing The Liver Birds

Lane first became known for The Liver Birds, a sitcom which focused on the lives of two women who shared a flat together in Liverpool, co-writing and creating the programme with her friend and fellow Liverpudlian Myra Taylor.

The programme aired from 1969 to 1979 and returned for a one-off series in 1996.

Her next sitcom, Butterflies, which aired from 1978 to 1983, focused on the lives of the Parkinson family and helped launch the career of actor Nicholas Lyndhurst.

Lane then created and wrote Bread, which focused on the working class Boswell family as they struggled through the city’s high unemployment and poor prospects in the late 1980s. It aired for seven series between 1986 and 1991.

Much of her work focused on women’s lives and featured frustrated housewives and working class matriarchs.

She received an OBE for services to writing in 1989 but returned it to the then Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2002 in disgust at animal cruelty.

In 1995, Lane was given a Royal Television Society award for her Outstanding Contribution to British Television.

Image caption Bread focused on the lives of the Boswell family

Lane later became known for looking after hundreds of rescue animals – running an animal sanctuary from her mansion in Horsted Keynes, Sussex, until 2009 – and was a close friend of Sir Paul McCartney’s late wife Linda.

Speaking to the Observer in 2008 about their friendship, Lane said: “She had a lot of good friends, but we were friendship-struck from moment one.

“We used to sit on the lawn with our two puppies, kicking leaves, and looking at them. We were like two scientists trying to find out why people don’t like animals, and what we’d do to them, if we only could.”

Lane also had an animal sanctuary named after her.

Fran Ellis, founder and trustee at the Carla Lane Animals in Need Sanctuary in Melling, Merseyside, paid tribute to a “champion of animal welfare”.

“We changed the name of our charity to recognise the work done by this special lady. Her name will live on in all we do,” she said.

BBC entertainment correspondent Lizo Mzimba said Lane was someone that “understood people and that’s why she was able to write them so well… there was a real degree of honesty”.

Tributes have been paid to the comedy writer on Twitter.

Actress Melanie Hill, who played Aveline in Bread and starred in long-running school TV drama Waterloo Road, tweeted: “Very sad to hear #CarlaLane has left us. Writer and creator of many fantastic shows @BBCOne #bread #Aveline.”

Piers Morgan tweeted: “RIP Carla Lane, who made us all laugh.”


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Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36421543