Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC -- a VOA Special English program about music and American life. And we answer your questions.
This is Doug Johnson. This week – music from the group Linkin Park. And a listener wants to know about a movie actor named Gordon Mitchell.
But first – we tell why millions of Americans will get an extra hour of sleep this weekend.
This Sunday, most of the United States will make the yearly change from daylight saving time to standard time. Shep O’Neal explains.
Standard time is a worldwide system of time keeping based on longitude. Longitude is the distance around the earth measured east or west of the first longitude line in Greenwich, England. In the system of Universal Time, when announcers talk about "zero hour," that is midnight local time in Greenwich.
The earth is divided into twenty-four areas, called time zones. Each one is fifteen degrees longitude wide. Under standard time, the time kept in each local area is that of its central longitude line. These lines fall fifteen degrees, thirty degrees and so on east or west of Greenwich. The difference in time between each zone is one hour.
About seventy countries use daylight saving time in some way. Most Americans move their clocks forward one hour to use daylight saving time during the summer months. The only states that do not are Hawaii, Arizona and most of Indiana.
Daylight saving time provides an added hour of daylight in the early evening. This saves energy. It reduces the use of electricity for lighting. Many countries first used daylight saving time during wars. Britain, for example, went on this system during World War One. So did the United States, which used it again during World War Two.
After the war, many American states established some kind of daylight saving time. But this became confusing. So, in nineteen-sixty-six, Congress established a system for the nation. The time change began the last Sunday in April and ended the last Sunday of October.
Then, in October of nineteen-seventy-three, Arab nations reduced oil exports to the United States during the Arab-Israeli war. Americans faced shortages of fuel. So Congress extended the period of daylight saving time for two years.
In nineteen-eighty-six, new legislation changed the start of daylight saving time from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday. But standard time still returns on the last Sunday in October. So this is why most Americans will set their clocks back one hour before they go to sleep this Saturday night.
A listener in Iran named Abderrahim sent us an e-mail about Gordon Mitchell, an American movie actor who died last month at the age of eighty. The listener was very sad. He wanted to know why we did not report about the death in our news. So we decided to tell about the life of Gordon Mitchell.
He was born Charles Pendleton in nineteen-twenty-three in Denver, Colorado. His parents ended their marriage when he was young. His mother moved the family to Inglewood, California. Gordon Mitchell became interested in bodybuilding and developed large muscles. He served in the Army during World War Two. After the war, he got a college degree in guidance and counseling. Then he became a high school teacher.
In the early nineteen-fifties, Gordon Mitchell was one of a group of good-looking bodybuilders who gathered at Muscle Beach, in Los Angeles. Film star Mae West saw him there. She invited him to join several other handsome men in her musical show.
Gordon Mitchell began to appear in movies in the nineteen-fifties. He had small parts in some famous ones. One movie was “The Man With the Golden Arm” which starred Frank Sinatra. Another was “The Ten Commandments” starring Charlton Heston.
In the early nineteen-sixties, movie producers from Italy began to look for large, handsome men to appear in films about heroes from ancient times. These were called “sword and sandal” movies. Gordon Mitchell moved to Italy to star in “Atlas in the Land of the Cyclops.” He did not speak Italian. So he spoke in English, and later another actor recorded the words in Italian. Gordon Mitchell made most of his movies this way.
He lived in Italy for almost thirty years. He returned to the United States in nineteen-eighty-nine. During his forty years as an actor, Gordon Mitchell appeared in more than two-hundred films. He died at his home in Marina del Rey, California.
The group Linkin Park has a new album. These six young men formed their band in Los Angeles in nineteen-ninety-six. Faith Lapidus tells us more.
Linkin Park released its first album in two-thousand. "Hybrid Theory" sold almost five-million copies. One member of the group says the album dealt with a young person’s feelings of anger, fear and confusion. One of the most popular songs was “In the End.”
The second album from Linkin Park is “Meteora.” It is also dark. It mixes hard rock, hip-hop and pop. But there are more hopeful messages about the need to need to change for the better. Here is “Breaking The Habit.”
Many fans like the honesty they hear in the music of Linkin Park. We leave you with another song from "Meteora," the new album by this Grammy-winning group. This is “Somewhere I Belong.”
This is Doug Johnson. Send us your questions about American life! Our e-mail address is email@example.com. If we use your question, we'll send you a gift. So make sure to include your name and mailing address. Our postal address is American Mosaic, VOA Special English, Washington, D.C., two-zero-two-three-seven, USA.
Our program was written by Shelley Gollust, Chi Un Lee and Nancy Steinbach. Our producer was Caty Weaver. And our engineer was Vasco Volaric.
I hope you enjoyed AMERICAN MOSAIC. Join us again next week for VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.