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Country: Europe, NL, Netherlands

City: Amsterdam, North Holland

  • James A. Vedda - A welcome opportunity to get to know a quiet genius

    I've enjoyed Jim Henson's creative output for decades, but prior to reading this biography I had not investigated the inside story of this phenomenon or the circumstances of his sudden, early death. This book fills that gap superbly. By the end, I felt saddened by the premature loss of his genius, but enriched by a better appreciation for a man who became a household name while still remaining a mystery to the public.
    As with many biographies that begin with the subject's childhood, the story starts out rather slowly. Henson's youth wasn't anything special given the time and the places where he grew up. The author tries to make it interesting, even tracing relatives back to the mid-19th century. (A little too much material from an ancestry website, perhaps?) But once Henson reaches college and gets his first TV job, the story picks up a frenetic pace that endures to the end of the book, reflecting the motivated, high-energy character that was Jim Henson.
    A love of TV and its possibilities (not necessarily involving puppets) was the initial motivating factor. In a quote from 1970, Henson remarks, "Family, school, and television are the most important factors in raising children. Of these, television has the least sense of responsibility." He strove to change that with his work on Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and various special storytelling projects. He also explored new avenues for pure entertainment with The Muppet Show and several movies.
    The book appears to be extremely well researched. It satisfies on a variety of levels, for example: a look inside the life of a man who achieved international fame, a perspective on the evolution of television, and a lesson in coping with the ups and downs of the unforgiving entertainment business. A very worthwhile read - 500 pages will go faster than you think.

  • RAE Multimedia - High Quality Heating Pad!

    My doctor prescribed a heating pad for lower back pain, and I selected the Sunbeam 2013-912 XpressHeat Heating Pad, Extra Large (12" x 24"), which was an excellent selection.

    It is well made and has plenty of heat, plus it automatically switches to "idle" mode after a while, which is handy in case you fall asleep.

    This is a high-quality unit, and I recommend it, for sure.

    For sure!