Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, in VOA Special English.
I'm Doug Johnson. On our show this week:
We hear some music by two sisters known as Mary Mary …
Answer a question about the International Spy Museum …
And report about an award-winning and popular television show.
(MUSIC FROM SHOW)
Last week, the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presented its Emmy Awards for the best television programs of last season. The program “Lost” won the award for best dramatic series. “Lost” is one of the most popular television shows in the world. Barbara Klein has more.
BARBARA KLEIN: “Lost” follows more than forty survivors of an airplane crash on what appears to be an island in the Pacific Ocean. The strangers must work together to stay alive and find help to rescue them. Every week, the program shows more information about each survivor before the crash. And every week, they form new relationships.
The survivors include an American doctor named Jack and a criminal named Kate. Others include a Korean husband and wife, a former Iraqi soldier and a British rock musician.
Critics say “Lost” is popular because of the mysteries the survivors find on the island. For example, last season, a huge unknown animal killed the pilot of the plane and continued to terrorize the survivors. A strange French woman who lives alone on the island stole the newborn baby of one of the survivors. The survivors discover another group of people on the island who they call “The Others.” And one of the survivors who could not move his legs before the plane crash is able to walk normally on the island.
That man’s name on the show is John Locke. He and the doctor at times appear to be competing for leadership. In the first show of the new season last week, John decides to take action and explore a strange covered hole in the ground. The doctor questions his decision:
JACK: "John, what are you doing?"
JOHN: "I’m getting some cable."
JACK: "What for?"
JOHN: "It’s for the hatch. I’m going in."
JACK: "Do you think that’s the smartest thing to do right now, John?"
JOHN: "I doubt it. In fact, you’re right. The safest thing is to stay here, wait for morning. Wait for these others to see if they ever show up. Wait for the brave folks on the raft to bring help. But me? I’m tired of waiting."
In May, fans of “Lost” criticized the show for withholding the secret of that hole until the beginning of the second season. People watching the show in the United States now know what is down there and if it will help or hurt the survivors. But we are not going to tell because some of you may not have seen that story yet. To find out, you will just have to watch “Lost.”
International Spy Museum
HOST: Our VOA listener question this week comes from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Mister Kamruzzamamn asks about the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.
The International Spy Museum opened in two thousand two. It presents information about the men and women who worked as spies for countries around the world. The museum has the largest permanent collection of international spy material on public display. This includes photographs of many spies and hundreds of pieces of equipment that they used. For example, visitors can see different kinds of radios that spies used to send and receive information during World War Two. They can see special cameras used to take secret photographs. One of these cameras looks like a package of cigarettes.
The museum also has a collection of weapons used by spies. One gun looks like a man’s leather glove that fits over the hand. The museum also shows the many kinds of technology used by spies, from planes to satellites.
The museum teaches about the history of spying, too. One example is called “The Sisterhood of Spies.” It tells about some female spies from the American Civil War in the eighteen sixties through the beginning of the twentieth century.
The museum explains that a spy may be considered guilty of treason in one country and a hero in another country. The museum also shows that spying is a very dangerous job. It tells what happened to some spies who were caught. One of these was a woman known as Mata Hari. She was found guilty of spying for the German government and executed during World War Two.
A new exhibit is opening at the spy museum next week, and will continue until the spring of next year. “Spy Treasures of Hollywood” will include thirty-five of the most famous objects from movies and television shows about spies. These include the gun used by the movie character James Bond in the series of spy movies.
Hollywood filmmaker Danny Biederman lent the museum objects from his private collection. Mister Biederman owns the world’s largest collection of movie and TV spy material – four thousand objects. Museum Director Peter Earnest says the objects are a perfect addition to the real spy devices at the International Spy Museum.
The gospel singing group Mary Mary is made up of two women. They are sisters, but neither is named Mary. Pat Bodner explains.
PAT BODNER: The group Mary Mary is Erica and Tina Campbell. They come from a family of religious singers. Erica and Tina chose the name Mary Mary for their group in honor of two women in the Christian Bible. They are Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene.
In two thousand, Mary Mary released its first album, “Thankful.” It won a Grammy Award. The song “Shackles” was a hit on gospel, soul and pop radio stations.
Mary Mary is known for combining hip-hop and soul with gospel music. Music critics say the group’s success extends beyond gospel listeners. They say songs such as “Biggest, Greatest Thing” show the sisters’ ability to sing different kinds of music. “Biggest, Greatest Thing” sounds like a swing song from the nineteen thirties.
The sisters have written songs for their own albums and for other singers. The group released its third album recently, called “Mary Mary.” Some of the songs on the album are about experiences from the women’s own lives. In the song “Believer”, Erica Campbell sings about how her family’s home caught fire but no one was hurt. Tina Campbell sings about her involvement in a serious car accident.
We leave you with that song by “Mary Mary,” “Believer.”
HOST: I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program.
Our show was written by Lawan Davis and Nancy Steinbach.
Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.