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  • gilwilson 3:19 PM on February 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Photograph 51” By Anna Ziegler 

    photo51“Photograph 51”
    By Anna Ziegler
    Performed by: Matthew Arkin, Maxwell Caulfield, Miriam Margolyes, Jon Matthews, Darren Richardson, Nick Toren
    Length: 1 hr and 58 mins
    Release date: 11-22-11
    Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

    Once again I become cultured for a couple of hours and attend a live play production.  Okay, this one is in the mind thanks to the audio productions of L.A. Theatre Works.  LATW’s releases of theatrical performances in audiobook format are pure genius and a delight to hear.  The performances are always great and the production put in to each one places the listener smack-dab in the middle of the audience.

    This time around I was enlightened with the story of Rosalind Franklin whose x-ray photographs proved the helix shape of DNA, unfortunately for Rosalind, Watson and Krick got all the credit.  But after listening to this Ms. Franklin didn’t seem to concerned with who got the credit, just so science advanced with research to help humanity.

    The real eye-opener of this production was the ill-treatment of female scientists back in the day. It was as though women didn’t have the brains to be scientists.  Yet women such as Rosalind Franklin have/had just as much to contribute (if not more) than any man.  I love how this play does not sledge hammer that point but only subtly points it out.

    This is a must hear for any one that knows of or is a woman seeking a career in the scientific field.  (I’d also venture to say that this is a must hear for anyone.)

    Publisher’s Summary
    Rosalind Franklin was a gifted research scientist who was part of the race to uncover the secrets of DNA in the 1950’s. Her more famous contemporaries Watson and Krick took all the kudos for the discovery of the molecule’s double helix structure – yet it was Franklin’s skill with X-ray diffraction that first uncovered what’s called “the secret of life”.

    Includes an interview with Brenda Maddox, the world’s foremost biographer of Rosalind Franklin and author of Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA.

    Also includes and interview with Dr Pamela Björkman, the Max Delbruck Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology, and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

    An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring:

    Miriam Margolyes as Rosalind

    Matthew Arkin as Caspar

    Maxwell Caulfield as Wilkins

    Jon Matthews as Watson

    Darren Richardson as Gosling

    Nick Toren as Crick

    Directed by Michael Hackett. Recorded at the Invisible Studios, West Hollywood.

    Photograph 51 is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.”

    ©2011 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2011 L.A. Theatre Works

     
  • gilwilson 2:01 PM on February 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Once” Felix and Zelda, Book 1 By Morris Gleitzman 

    once“Once” Felix and Zelda, Book 1
    By Morris Gleitzman
    Narrated by: Morris Gleitzman
    Length: 3 hrs and 6 mins
    Release date: 02-02-06
    Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

    Every once in a while we need to view the world from a child’s eyes.   That is exactly what Morris Gleitzman has done with “Once.”  The sad part is that it is a view of one of the most horrific events in the history of our world, the Holocaust.  But the view of the Holocaust through the eyes of actually give you a feeling of hope.

    Felix was take to an orphanage by his parents with the promise that they will be back to pick him up.  When they do return he will know because they will give him a carrot.  One meal Felix looks down in his soup bowl and sees a carrot.  This is highly unusual in that the only chunks found in the orphanages broth are chunks of ceiling plaster.  Felix knows his parents have come for him.

    After searching the grounds he sees no parents, instead he finds Nazis burning Jewish books and yelling at the nuns in the convent.  Jewish books are in danger and Felix’s parents own a bookstore which sells Jewish Books.  Now he must warn them.  Felix sneaks away from the orphanage to find his parents.

    The adventures from there are very dark and sinister, as the Holocaust was, but through the mind of young Felix he just thinks the Nazis hate books.  The atrocities committed by the Nazis through Felix’s eyes are told by the author in such a way that one can appreciate the and love the naivete of young Felix, and keep rooting for him along the way.

    Soon Felix finds Zelda who doesn’t know her parents are dead.  He knows he must protect her and he brings her along on her journey.  The find a man who is struggling to keep a group of Jewish children alive and safe while the Nazis destroy poland.

    From the orphanage to making a Nazi with a toothache laugh to being rounded up and placed on a boxcar Felix is always doing his best to keep people happy.

    This story will soon be one of your favorites.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Felix lives in a convent orphanage high in the mountains in Poland. He is convinced his parents are still alive and that they will one day come back to get him. When Nazi soldiers come to the orphanage Felix decides to escape and make his way home. The journey to find his parents is a long and difficult one, as all of Poland is occupied by the Nazis and a dangerous place for a Jewish boy. Felix manages to live and look after himself and another orphan, Zelda, with the help of a kind dentist, Barney, who is hiding and looking after a number of Jewish children. When the Nazis discover them, Barney makes the ultimate sacrifice for the children, electing to go with them on the train to the death camps, rather than taking the option of freedom offered by a Nazi soldier, one of his grateful patients.
    ©2005 Morris Gleitzman (P)2005 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

     
  • gilwilson 3:37 PM on February 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “On Two Feet and Wings” By Abbas Kazerooni 

    2feet“On Two Feet and Wings”
    By Abbas Kazerooni
    Narrated by: Abbas Kazerooni
    Length: 4 hrs and 35 mins
    Release date: 10-21-14
    Publisher: Brilliance Audio

    To an adult having the task of going to another country getting a taxi to go find a hotel, and then go to the British Embassy to apply for a visa doesn’t sound too bad.  But think of a 9 year-old doing this.  That’s exactly what needs to happen to young Abbas.  In his memoirs, Abbas Kazarooni, takes us on a journey in his world where he was forced to go to Istanbul, Turkey (where he doesn’t speak the language) to avoid being shipped off to fight the Iran/Iraq war.

    The Ayatollahs have lowered the draft age to 10 years old and Abbas’ parents, who were once upper class during the Shah’s regime, don’t want to lose their son to the war and would rather take him to England where he can get an education instead of dying.  The family sells everything they own to go on this sudden trip.

    Once the family arrives at the airport the officials stop Abbas’ mother from leaving the country.  This seems to be only politically motivated to punish Abbas’ family and to keep them from leaving.  Instead the family makes one of the most difficult decisions one would ever have to make.  They decide to send their 9 year old son (soon to be 10) on the trip.

    Young Abbas already has a bit of a reputation of being able to work with what he’s given, and this trip is about to test his spirit.  Carrying with him thousands of US dollars (they are better for converting to local currency), Abbas must first find a hotel where he can stay.

    The cab driver at the airport feels for young Abbas and helps him to secure a hotel room where he won’t get ripped off.  Abbas also finds a friend in the Hotel manager/owner that helps along the way.

    Abbas then has to find a black market money exchange (black market because of better rates).  This has to be done with caution because a 9 year old can be easily ripped off or worse in the city of Istanbul.

    Then to top it all off he has to go to the British Embassy in Istanbul to apply for a visa.  This all takes place within a couple of months.  Abbas makes some friends, creates opportunities for himself and even has a few bad scrapes, but the adventure is the day to day struggle of a young boy navigating a foreign land.

    This book will not have you feeling pity but rather amazement for what a young boy or rather THIS young boy can do.

    Publisher’s Summary
    He is in a foreign country, he is alone, and he is just a boy.… Abbas Kazerooni is not yet 10, but he’s suddenly forced to leave his parents, his friends – his entire world – and flee Tehran. The Iran-Iraq war is at its bloodiest, and the Ayatollahs who rule Iran have reduced the recruitment age for the army. If Abbas doesn’t escape, it’s almost certain that he will be drafted and die fighting for a regime that has stripped his family of all they have.

    On his own in the strange, often frightening city of Istanbul, Abbas grows up fast – with little more than his wits to guide him. He must conquer difficult things: how to live on his own, how to navigate a foreign city and culture when he doesn’t speak the language, and, most importantly, how to judge who is a friend and who is an enemy. Facing the unexpected as well as the everyday challenges of life on his own, Abbas walks a tightrope of survival – yearning to please the demanding father he has left behind, yet relishing his new found independence.

    His quick thinking, entrepreneurial spirit, and the kindness of strangers allow him to make the best of his dire situation in surprising ways. Does he have what it takes to not only survive against these challenging odds but achieve his parents’ ultimate dream for him: a visa to England, and the safety it represents?

    This compelling true story of one young boy’s courage provides a powerful child’s-eye view of war, political tumult, and survival.

    ©2011 Abbas Kazerooni (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

     
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