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Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog is a German film director, author and opera director. Herzog is a figure of the New German Cinema, his films feature ambitious protagonists with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals who are in conflict with nature. Werner Herzog made his first film in 1961 at the age of 19. Since he has produced and directed more than sixty feature films and documentaries, such as Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Heart of Glass, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Lessons of Darkness, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, My Best Fiend, Grizzly Man, Encounters at the End of the World, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, he has published more than a dozen books of prose, directed as many operas. French filmmaker François Truffaut once called Herzog "the most important film director alive." American film critic Roger Ebert said that Herzog "has never created a single film, compromised, made for pragmatic reasons, or uninteresting. His failures are spectacular."He was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2009.

Herzog was born Werner Stipetić in Munich, to Elizabeth Stipetić, an Austrian of Croatian descent, Dietrich Herzog, German. When Werner was two weeks old, his mother took refuge in the remote Bavarian village of Sachrang, after the house next to theirs was destroyed during an Allied bombing raid in World War II. In Sachrang, Herzog grew up without a flushing toilet, or a telephone, he never saw films, did not know of the existence of cinema until a traveling projectionist came by the one-room schoolhouse in Sachrang. When Herzog was 12, he and his family moved back to Munich, his father had abandoned the family early in his youth. Werner adopted his father's surname Herzog, which he thought sounded more impressive for a filmmaker; the same year, Herzog was told to sing in front of his class at school, he adamantly refused, was expelled. Until he was age eighteen, Herzog listened to no music, sang no songs, studied no instruments, he said that he would give ten years from his life to be able to play the cello.

At an early age, he experienced a dramatic phase in which he converted to Catholicism, which only lasted a few years. He started to embark on some of them on foot. Around this time, he knew he would be a filmmaker, learned the basics from a few pages in an encyclopedia which provided him with "everything I needed to get myself started" as a filmmaker—that, the 35 mm camera he stole from the Munich Film School. In the commentary for Aguirre, the Wrath of God, "I don't consider it theft, it was just a necessity. I had some sort of natural right for a camera, a tool to work with". During Herzog's last years of high school, no production company was willing to take on his projects, so he worked night shifts as a welder in a steel factory to earn the funds for his first featurettes. After graduating from high school, he was intrigued by the post-independence Congo, but in attempting to travel there, reached only the south of Sudan before falling ill. While making films, he had a brief stint at Munich University, where he studied history and literature.

Herzog lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after he won a scholarship to Duquesne University, but lasted only a few days. He earned money by participating in pre-production of a documentary for NASA with KQED. Summoned to the immigration office because of a violation of his visa status, he chose to flee to Mexico. Before leaving school, he bought a house in the UK, in what was the Moss Side area of Manchester. There he learned to speak English, he made his first short film, Herakles, in 1962. In school there was Greek, languages that he continues to read to this day. In 1971, while Herzog was location scouting for Aguirre, the Wrath of God in Peru, he narrowly avoided taking LANSA Flight 508. Herzog's reservation was cancelled due to a last-minute change in itinerary; the plane was struck by lightning and disintegrated, but one survivor, Juliane Koepcke, lived after a free fall. Long haunted by the event, nearly 30 years he made a documentary film, Wings of Hope, which explored the story of the sole survivor.

Herzog, along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Volker Schlöndorff, led the beginning of the West German cinema movement. The West German cinema movement consisted of documentarians who filmed on low budgets and were influenced by the French New Wave of cinema. Besides using professional actors—German and otherwise—Herzog is known for using people from the locality in which he is shooting. In his documentaries, he uses locals to benefit what he calls "ecstatic truth", he uses footage of the non-actors both playing roles and being themselves. Herzog and his films won many awards, his first major award was the Silver Bear Extraordinary Prize of the Jury for his first feature film Signs of Life. Herzog won the Best Director award for Fitzcarraldo at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival. In 1975, his movie The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser won the Grand Prix Spécial du Jury at the Cannes Festival. Other films directed by Herzog nominated for Golden Palm are: Woyzeck and Where the Green Ants Dream, his films have been nominated at many other festivals around the world: César Awards, Emmy Awards (Li

Joey Deacon

Joseph John Deacon was a British author and television personality. Joseph "Joey" Deacon was born with severe cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that left him with a neuromuscular "spastic pattern" that afflicted his arms and legs. Deacon's condition resulted in significant muscular tonus, a tendency for muscular flexion of arms and extension of legs; this prevented fine motor control in his hands and legs. Although Deacon could walk with assistance, he used a wheelchair. Deacon's speech was unintelligible to most, bar his closest friends. Deacon was institutionalised as a child and made shoes in sheltered accommodation; as he was unable to communicate he was mistakenly perceived to be "mentally subnormal" by some peers. However, with the help of his friends Ernie Roberts, Tom Blackburn and Michael Sangster, Deacon was able to write an autobiography, entitled Tongue Tied, published by the charity Mencap as part of their Subnormality in the Seventies series; the book provided insight into the lives of those with physical disabilities.

With royalties raised from book sales and donations and his friends purchased a home that they would be able to reside in. Always believing him to be mentally normal and intelligent, his mother would ask him to count the motor cars passing at the front of their house, to which Joey would respond by blinking for each car that passed. During his childhood in the hospital, he proved his intelligence several times in tests, using non-verbal communication such as blinking or pointing with his nose. Deacon had a number of leg surgeries at St Childe's Hospital when he was around four, but these were not successful. At six, his mother died of tuberculosis and Joey was raised by his grandmother. At eight, following several more operations, he was admitted to Queen Mary's Hospital in Carshalton transferred six months to Caterham Mental Hospital, where he remained for the rest of his life, he remained in close contact with his father until his father's death. In 1970, Deacon began to write his autobiography with three friends.

Ernie Roberts, who had cerebral palsy, had been in hospital since the age of ten and was able to understand Deacon's speech. Roberts listened to Deacon's dictation and repeated it to another patient, Michael Sangster, who wrote it down in longhand. After proof-reading by Chris Ring, a student who visited the team each week, it was typed by a fourth member of the team, Tom Blackburn, unable to read or write but taught himself to type in order to help; the forty-four page book took fourteen months to write. BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour ran a feature on Joey and his manuscript and the resulting publicity led to the BBC TV documentary; the four men formed an inseparable friendship in the hospital for decades, in 1974 their relationship was the subject of a Prix Italia and BAFTA award-winning drama documentary for British television's Horizon written by Elaine Morgan and directed by Brian Gibson, entitled Joey. This was followed by a second documentary made for Blue Peter; as soon as Tongue Tied was completed, the team started work on a second book.

Joey wanted to write a work of fiction: a novel about a disabled man, desperate to learn to walk so that he could walk up the aisle and marry his girlfriend. It was never published. Royalties from Tongue Tied and donations raised enough money for the four to move to a bungalow on the Caterham hospital grounds in 1979, where they were able to live more independently. After Deacon died two years at 61, Blackburn and Roberts moved to a house outside the grounds, where they lived with the assistance of support workers. In 1981, during the last year of his life, Joey Deacon was featured on the children's magazine programme Blue Peter for the International Year of the Disabled, he was presented as an example of a man. Despite the sensitive way in which Blue Peter covered his life, the impact on the public was not as intended; the sights and sounds of Deacon's distinctive speech and mannerisms were picked up on by children and he became a figure of ridicule in school playgrounds across the country, the term "Joey" being used as an insult for a person perceived to be stupid.

In 1982, Deacon's story was the subject of a paper by D. Ellis in the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, describing how after fifty years' residence in an institution for the mentally disabled, a new strategy was devised by which Deacon's intelligence could be assessed. Deacon, Joey. Tongue Tied. Fifty years of friendship in a subnormality hospital, Nat. Soc. for Mentally Handicapped Children, ISBN 0-85537-017-3 Deacon, Joey. Tongue Tied. Fifty years of friendship in a subnormality hospital, Mencap Publications, ISBN 0-85537-077-7

USNS Huntsville (T-AGM-7)

USNS Huntsville was a Watertown-class missile range instrumentation ship acquired by the U. S. Navy in 1960 and converted from the SS Knox Victory Victory ship cargo configuration to a missile tracking ship, a role she retained for a number of years before being struck from the Navy List in 1974; the second ship to be so named by the Navy, Huntsville was laid down under U. S. Maritime Commission contract as Knox Victory by Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation, Oregon, 2 March 1945. During the remainder of the war she operated as a merchant ship under charter to Olympic Steamship Company, she continued merchant service under bareboat charters from the Maritime Commission and the Maritime Administration until 1958 when she entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Olympia, Washington. Knox Victory was acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Administration 11 August 1960 and assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service, she was renamed Huntsville and designated T-AGM-7, a missile range instrumentation ship, 27 November.

After conversion to a special projects ship by Inc.. San Francisco, Huntsville began duty as a range tracking ship in 1961. Manned by a civilian crew, Huntsville operated out of Port Hueneme and Honolulu, while assigned to special duties in the Pacific Ocean. During the next 4 years she made intermittent "on station" patrols in the Central Pacific, extending from the coast of Mexico to Wake Island and the Marshall Islands, she continued these patrols, which contributed mightily on America's space programs, until the spring of 1965. Westwego, Louisiana, 2 June 1965 for conversion, completed 30 October 1966. Two other ships were reconfigured in to this new class, Watertown-class missile range instrumentation ship, the USNS Watertown and the USNS Wheeling. In June 1967 Huntsville returned to the Pacific; as an improved sea-based tracking station, she provided an important link in communications during the scheduled "Apollo" moon shots, which were designed to send American astronauts to the moon and back.

Huntsville was placed out of service on an unknown date, was struck from the Navy List on 8 November 1974. She was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet and sold by MARAD on 17 July 1995, her subsequent fate is not known. This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships; the entry can be found here. NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive - T-AGM-7 Huntsville