Friday, October 15, 2010

“RSVP for State Museum movie tonight - Times Union” plus 2 more

“RSVP for State Museum movie tonight - Times Union” plus 2 more

RSVP for State Museum movie tonight - Times Union

Posted: 14 Oct 2010 06:45 AM PDT

ALBANY -- Joan Gaudet was called back to service at age 70.

In the fall of 2003, a friend invited the mother of eight to Bangor International Airport in Maine, where a group of retirees meet at all hours, and even camps out, to greet service members flying to and from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gaudet had spent most of her life caring for her large family in Old Town, Maine, and worked more than 20 years as a nurse's aide. She stopped going places other than the market after the death of her husband. But Gaudet followed her instincts and agreed to go to the often-snowy airport, known as a trans-Atlantic refueling station for military flights.

Seven years later, Gaudet is a changed person. She drives 12 miles to the airport almost daily to welcome service members home from war, or wish them well. Bangor senior citizens and World War II vets have greeted more than 1.1 million service members, including hundreds from the Capital Region, from some 5,400 flights.

"You could just feel their care and concern," said Army Capt. Amy Bonanno of Clifton Park, who spent time with the greeters on her way to Afghanistan in April 2008. "They were the final Americans I saw before we went, the last memory I had of the states for nine months."

On Thursday, Bonanno and several other New York Army National Guard soldiers will form a reception line in the State Museum on Madison Avenue to welcome Gaudet and her son, Aron, to Albany. They are arriving for a screening of the documentary "The Way We Get By," an award-winning movie about the Maine troop greeters created by Aron Gaudet, a former newsman from Manhattan, and his wife, Gita Pullapilly. They shot the film over more than three years beginning in December 2004. It premiered last March.

It's a story about how an act of giving, in this case a handshake or hug, can be extremely meaningful and mutually beneficial.

The 80-minute film moves unexpectedly from patriotic scenes to the private lives of the greeters, capturing their battles with aging, loneliness and mortality. It juxtaposes an older vet battling prostate cancer, another who lost a child, and Joan Gaudet dealing with the news that two of her grandsons were going to deploy with the joy they feel from being with much younger uniformed men and women.

"It's a movie about growing old, service and having a purpose in life to keep you going, but it doesn't sugarcoat anything," Aron Gaudet, 36, said. "It's a heavy subject matter, but hopefully by the end, it also lifts you up and shows hope."

Troops are kept occupied at Bangor while their planes get gassed up. Greeters offer service members coffee, food, cellphones, and, perhaps most importantly, an ear for listening. Bonanno said she spent about three hours with a former state senator from Maine at the airport.

The show of support is a long way from the Vietnam War years, when soldiers were often told to take their uniforms off before entering American airports so they wouldn't be subject to protests.

At the Albany International Airport, the Capt. John J. McKenna IV Military Courtesy Room opened in April. The small space, located on the facility's third level, was made so military members can relax, get a bite to eat and watch some television or play a video game in the event of a delayed flight. If they get stuck in Albany, volunteers led by McKenna's father put them up in a nearby Comfort Inn.

More than 2,200 soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen already have used the facility, John McKenna III of Clifton Park said. His son, a Marine, was shot and killed by a sniper in Iraq in 2006.

"I get to know the forces that are pulling these kids apart," McKenna said. "You can see it in their faces, expressions and body language. They want to be with their families, but also with their soldiers in the field. We just want to make a welcoming environment."

Thursday's 6:30 p.m. showing of "The Way We Get By" is part of the State Museum's Citizen Soldier exhibit, which chronicles the history of the New York Army National Guard. The Gaudets will answer questions after the movie, which is free and open to the public.

Aron Gaudet decided to undertake the documentary after noticing changes in his mother, and joining her at the airport to greet a 2 a.m. flight. All three of the greeters profiled are still alive.

At age 77, Joan Gaudet has a harder time making it to the airport during stormy winter nights. The grandmother with a strong New England accent says that she got hooked on greeting service members. "You come away feeling like you really did something good for somebody," she said. "And it beats staying home."

Dennis Yusko can be reached at 454-5353 or

Film screening

What: "The Way We Get By," documentary about greeters of military flights at airport in Maine. Features discussion with greeter Joan Gaudet and filmmaker Aron Gaudet.

Where: State Museum, Empire State Plaza, Albany

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday

Admission: Free

Info: Call 474-0076 to RSVP

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US porn movie shutdown grows after HIV scare - YAHOO!

Posted: 14 Oct 2010 02:08 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – More US adult film companies suspended production Thursday after a porn actor tested HIV positive, in a growing scare gripping the multi-billion dollar porn movie industry here.

At least two more pornographic movie makers said they had stopped filming, following two major producers on Wednesday who suspended shoots as doctors scrambled to check if anyone else has been infected.

Meanwhile the clinic at the center of the scare -- which comes six years after up to 14 actors tested HIV positive forcing several film firms to close -- said it would take up to two weeks to say who else might have been infected.

On Wednesday Vivid Entertainment and Wicked Pictures, based in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, the home of lucrative adult movie industry, announced they were suspending production.

On Thursday they were joined by Hustler Video and Digital Playground, and more were expected to follow suit.

"We've halted all productions until we can do whatever we can to find out who this actor has been in contact with," chief executive Samantha Lewis told AFP, adding: "There probably will more companies coming on board."

She added that the infected actor was male and had not worked on any Digital Playground's films -- adding that she believed he was not infected on a movie set, where checks are made regularly.

"We're hearing that it came from a completely non-industry related situation. We're hoping that that does prove to be true and that we have no worries," she said.

The HIV case, the first in more than a year in the lucrative industry based in the San Fernando valley north of LA, has fueled calls for film companies to force actors in their movies to use condoms.

"How many more people have to be infected with HIV before Los Angeles County steps in to do its job and protect performers' and the public's health?" asked Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

The clinic which carried out the HIV positive test as part of its serving caring for porn industry workers, the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM), meanwhile said it was working as quickly as possible.

"At this time, it is impossible to know if the patient acquired the HIV virus from private conduct or on-camera activity," it said in a statement.

"The industry is behaving responsibly and cautiously, as it always has, by placing a moratorium on filming any person one or two generations removed from sexual contact with the current patient.

"Upon completion of testing that cohort, in about 10 days or two weeks... the nature of the exposure will be determined."

The clinic also lashed out at people it said were using the scare to promote political ends, and also insinuating that the clinic had failed in its duties.

"The current round of crudely defamatory and baseless criticism is unrelated to genuine concerns about the patient's well-being or the health and welfare of the community," it said.

Lewis insisted the porn movie industry was very safe, while acknowledging actors could not be forced to use condoms.

"A lot of the performers prefer not to use condoms because of the comfort. Whatever their reasons are, it's hard to really force them to make that decision."

And she voiced hope that the current scare would be resolved soon. "It does look like they're doing their homework and they're ruling him out from most the major companies.

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Facebook Movie underscores Cultural Phenomenon - Manila Bulleting Online

Posted: 02 Oct 2010 08:13 PM PDT

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook now counts one of every two Americans as a user, would rank behind only China and India in population if it were a country and has an estimated value of more than $30 billion, larger than that of Starbucks.

What could possibly be next for a website that was created in a Harvard dorm room six years ago? Try a Hollywood film, "The Social Network," that opens nationally on Friday and is already prompting discussion of Academy Awards.

Many of the film's details are contested. But the very notion that average moviegoers will go to a film built around the history of a tech company underscores the extent to which Facebook has become a cultural mainstay.

"Facebook is more than just a geek phenomenon. It's very mainstream," said Dave McClure, a former executive at Web payment company PayPal and now an investor in tech start-ups.

The world's largest social network, Facebook allows people to connect with their real-world friends and acquaintances online and do everything from sharing baby photos and personal news to playing electronic versions of Scrabble.

Grandmothers, politicians and rock stars are among the more than 500 million people using the service worldwide. That helped it surpass Google Inc as the website on which Americans spend the most time every month.

Facebook taps into a basic need that people have to connect with each other, said David Weinberger, a researcher at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

"Humans are an innately social species," said Weinberger. "We flock to social networking sites as it if was natural, because it is natural."

Under the direction of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's 26-year-old co-founder, the company has grown from a service available only to college students into a Web powerhouse, navigating a series of sticky privacy issues along the way.

It has become so big and popular, say industry analysts, that it poses a financial threat to established Internet businesses like Google and Yahoo Inc.

Still privately held, the company will not sell stock to the public any sooner than 2012, Facebook board member Peter Thiel said recently. A brisk market in private shares of Facebook already exists, with the company valued at more than $30 billion, according to recent trades on Sharespost, one such secondary market.

Thiel believes the new movie -- which he said "contains a lot of inaccuracies and petty lies and distortions" -- will nonetheless add to Facebook's influence.

"It is actually going to encourage young Americans to move to Silicon Valley and to try to start great new companies. So I think the movie will do a lot more good than evil," he said.

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