May 24, 2015 05:06 UTC

Entertainment

Discover America with American Mosaic!

Read, listen and learn English with this story. Double-click on any word to find the definition in the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary.

Green Day performing in Las Vegas last September
Green Day performing in Las Vegas last September

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
  • Green Day; Emancipation Proclamation; Movie: 'The Impossible'

Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.
 
I’m June Simms.
 
On our show this week, news on Lady Gaga, Green Day and other stars of the music industry…
 
We tell also tell about “The Impossible,” a new movie about the disastrous Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.
 
But first, we take a rare look at one of the most important documents in American history.
 
Emancipation Proclamation Exhibit
 
This week, the United States marked the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The document freed slaves in the southern states that were fighting to secede --- to separate from the United States. President Abraham Lincoln signed the document on Jan. 1, 1863.
 
The federal government held a public exhibition of the Emancipation Proclamation this week in Washington. Christopher Cruise tells about the rare showing.
 
The National Archives put the proclamation on display for just a few days. It is a rare copy because it is signed by President Lincoln, and because it has the presidential seal, although the years have destroyed much of the seal.
 
While it did not immediately free slaves in all of the United States, the Proclamation did lead to the approval of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. That measure ended slavery in the United States. The fight over the 13th amendment is the subject of director Steven Spielberg’s current movie “Lincoln.”
 
Reginald Washington is an expert in African-American documents at the National Archives. He says the document changed the debate about why the Civil War was being fought.
 
“The proclamation, however, did bring about a fundamental change in the character of the war. With a stroke of Lincoln’s pen, a war to preserve the union had overnight become a war for human liberation. For the nearly 4,000,000 slaves held in bondage, it was a symbol of hope. It gave confirmation to their beliefs and insistence that the war should be -- and was for them -- a war to secure their freedom.”
 
Mr. Washington says many historians and scholars believe the Emancipation Proclamation is one of the greatest documents in human freedom. He says some historians believe it is as important in American history at the Declaration of Independence.
 
The National Archives has produced a free e-book on the Emancipation Proclamation. The one hundred fifty year old document was not well cared-for in the past. To protect it from further damage, officials permit its display for only 30 hours a year. However, the National Archives is considering the proclamation’s display in other parts of the country this year to celebrate its anniversary.
 
“The Impossible”
 
Eight years ago, huge deadly waves hit the coasts of several Indian Ocean countries. 230,000 people were killed in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Thailand. A new film explores the horrific experience of one family on the Thai coast when the waves arrived.
 
“The Impossible” stars Naomi Watts as Maria and Ewan McGregor as Henry, her husband. The couple is on vacation with their three boys. The tsunami waves separate Maria and Lucas, the oldest son, from the others. Maria is severely injured.
 
Henry and the two younger boys desperately search for her and Lucas.
 
“The Impossible” recreates a very realistic version of a powerful wave that crushes everything in its path. The film shows the disorder and suffering in the period that followed the tsunami. But it also depicts the caring, love and help people provide in a crisis.
 
Juan Antonio Bayona directed “The Impossible.”
 
“I really believe it’s an experience. I left it open so that the audience could leave the theater with something to think about.”
 
Ewan McGregor left, Naomi Watts and J.A. Bayona last month at the screening of Ewan McGregor left, Naomi Watts and J.A. Bayona last month at the screening of "The Impossible" in New York City
x
Ewan McGregor left, Naomi Watts and J.A. Bayona last month at the screening of
Ewan McGregor left, Naomi Watts and J.A. Bayona last month at the screening of "The Impossible" in New York City
Watts, McGregor and young actor Tom Holland provide deeply moving performances. But, no film can perfectly represent the pain and sadness of those people who lost loved ones in the tsunami.
 
Like reporter Murizal Hamzah. He was living in Banda Aceh, Indonesia at the time. He lost his sister and mourns her to this day.
 
“On average, most people in Banda Aceh lost at least one member of their family in that disaster. When the tsunami hit my place my sister and I were separated. I went to an empty house and she run to the other way with some friend. I lost some relatives too who lived in the next village.”
 
Some critics say the filmmaker was wrong to tell the story of one European family, while hundreds of thousands of Asians died. But, others say “The Impossible” is a memorial to all the victims.
 
Music News

A lot happened in the music world during the past few days. There was good news and bad. Jim Tedder tells us about the recent happenings.
 
The punk rock band Green Day is going back on the road. The group announced on Monday that it would re-launch its concert series in March.
 
Green Day cancelled performances last year because its leader, Billie Joe Armstrong, was seeking treatment for drug abuse. Armstrong placed a message about his recovery on Instagram. He thanked his supporters and said “I’m getting better every day.”  In his words, “the show must go on.”
 
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at an NBA basketball game last monthKim Kardashian and Kanye West at an NBA basketball game last month
x
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at an NBA basketball game last month
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at an NBA basketball game last month
Rapper Kanye West also announced major news this week. He told concert goers in Atlantic City that he was expecting a baby with reality show entertainer Kim Kardashian. The two stars starting dating in April.
 
Kardashian confirmed the pregnancy, saying she and Kanye feel lucky to be starting a family.
 
Kardashian is in the process of divorcing her husband, professional basketball player Kris Humphries. They separated after seventy-two days of marriage in two thousand eleven.
 
The famed soul singer Bobby Womack has Alzheimer’s disease. Womack told the BBC that he is suffering from memory problems. He said his doctor told him that the condition was not bad yet but would worsen.
 
Doctors discovered that Womack had colon cancer last year. After treatment he announced he was cancer-free.
 
Last June, the sixty-eight year old entertainer released his first album in 18 years. “The Bravest Man in the Universe” was noted on many critics' lists of best albums of 2012.
 
Lady Gaga's Born Brave tour busLady Gaga's Born Brave tour bus
x
Lady Gaga's Born Brave tour bus
Lady Gaga's Born Brave tour bus
Finally, Lady Gaga plans to provide mental health help for fans during her Born This Way Ball concert series. The singer plans to open her Born Brave tour bus before shows to people seeking assistance with mental health problems like depression. There are to be group and private discussions of issues including bullying, problems with friends and other social pressures.
 
Lady Gaga says the Born Brave Bus will be a place people can seek advice without being judged.
 
Lady Gaga also just announced that she will stop smoking marijuana during the recording of her next album, “Artpop.” The artist has been very open about her love for the drug.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Johnson Okwu Kamalu from: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
01/06/2013 8:46 PM
Bobby Womack is one of my great and favorite soul singers. I would like you to play some of his great songs on one of your shows. I wish Bobby well!


by: Abbas from: Kurdistan-Villige
01/06/2013 7:27 PM
please what doest mean (cancer - free)
and what its part of speech??
please


by: Abbas from: Kurdistan-Villige
01/06/2013 7:27 PM
please what doest mean (cancer - free)
and what its part of speech??
please


by: BIJU.P.Y. from: SOUTH INDIA
01/06/2013 4:27 PM
It is a pity that you don't publish our comments recently. Comments published is ofcourse a good spur to bring out much more interesting comments. And appreciation by the programmer himself is a much coveted award. We are always on the outlook for our comments published. And appreciation by American people is far more exciting. Thinking positively and thanking you.


by: niramon from: Thailand
01/06/2013 12:50 PM
Lady Gaga openly said she smokes marijuana. I wonder whether the drug is not illegal in America and feel worried about imitation by teenagers or her fans around the world. What does the police take action ? Do American people think this is all right?


by: BIJU.P.Y. from: SOUTH INDIA
01/05/2013 12:01 PM
' The impossible' is a loving memorial to those weeping public whose loved ones have been snatched away by the cruel and violent waves. They must be experiencing such an intense pain that is neither to bear on nor to throw off. Let us pray for their souls. The roaring waves have shaken the world to its roots. It indicates that nature may have an upper hand on man sometimes. Bye the bye, the music played here is really moving. It virtually took hold of my mind and catapulted me to the serene land of ecstacy. Thank you.


by: Ho Sui from: China
01/04/2013 8:50 PM
"For the nearly 4,000,000 slaves held in bondage, it was a symbol of hope. It gave confirmation to their beliefs and insistence that the war should be -- and was for them -- a war to secure their freedom. It is bad to be in framed. Freedom is a new reality.

Learn with The News

  • Pin Phunam a contortionist in Phare, The Cambodian Circus

    Video Cambodia Circus Offers a Better Life to Young Performers

    Many young people in Cambodia dream of joining the circus. For some needy and underprivileged youths some are given an opportunity at the Phare Ponleu Selpak school or PPS to learn circus skills that may help change their lives for the better. More

  • Team Grin plans to race to Alaska in this Etchells 22, currently moored in Port Townsend, Washington. (Tom Banse/VOA)

    Audio Sail, Row, Paddle, All The Way To Alaska

    In less than three weeks the first-ever Race to Alaska will be an exciting and challenging journey for anyone brave enough to enter with their non-motorized boat. One can only race by sailing, rowing, paddling, pedaling or a combination of those activities. More

  • Video Learning at the Laundromat

    College students teach mathematics and English to poor, immigrant children at a coin laundry near Washington, DC. At the same time, the students are helping the owner of the business become more profitable. The tutoring is part of the business plan they have created. | As It Is More

  • Audio Islamic State Militants Capture Two Major Cities

    The Islamic State seized control of the Syrian city of Palmyra on Thursday. The fall of Palmyra reportedly left the militants in control of half of Syria. Last Sunday, the militants took control of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar Province.| In The News More

  • Fiery Cross Reef, Spratly Islands

    Audio China Warns US Spy Plane in South China Sea

    China's navy is reported to have issued eight warning messages to a U.S. military spy plane over several man-made islands. Boats with Rohingya migrants accepted in Indonesian waters. U.S. and Cuba continue talks toward diplomatic ties. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Hold Your Horses!

    Horses are part of the history and romance of the Old American West. These days, they are popular for sport and entertainment. So, it is easy to understand why we Americans use so many horse expressions. Learn some of the most common and try to answer our horse riddle! More

  • Audio Everyday Grammar - Introducing Conditionals

    In everyday conversation, English speakers often talk about things that are not true. Or, they talk about things that only happen if something else happens. Learn how to correctly use these conditional forms in English. If you write to us, we will let you know if it is correct. More

  • Discover Debate

    Audio Successful Debate for New Learners and Large Classes

    Many students of English engage in debate as part of their training. In Part Two of our Successful Debate series, we learn the kinds of debate topics that work well for English learners. An expert shares tips for organizing a debate in a large class and for answering arguments. More

  • Nina Marranca looks at her phone, June 25, 2013.

    Audio Deaf-Blind Woman First to Use Braille Phone

    New technology allows deaf and blind people to use the telephone. The tests are underway in Australia and the U.S. It could help end isolation that people who cannot see or hear say they feel. Learn about this exciting new technology as well as words like "Braille" and "parallel testing." More

  • Video Resounding Earth: Creating Music from Metal

    "The title “Resounding Earth” on the one hand, we are talking about resounding earth. The earth is full of metals that all of mankind has turned into instruments. We are going to play them from all around the world together on one stage." More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs