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Famous Name Changes

They start out life just like the rest of us, often with ordinary names and ordinary lives. Somewhere along the way they decide, or are convinced, that a new name will give them a new lease on their professional career. So Reginald Dwight became Elton John, Demetria Guynes became Demi Moore and Anna Mae Bullock was reborn as Tina Turner. And you'll find plenty more in various fields, including religion, sports and more.

My Global Adventure

Anastasia (Asia) Nelson recently won a competition to become the "host" of My Global Adventure, a trek that will see her visit 24 countries in eight months. The entire adventure will be Webcast on the Internet and will eventually wind up on TV as well. The catch is that Internet viewers will be able to help her choose from various adventures along the way. In the first week, viewers can vote for Asia to paraglide, rock climb or have a mud bath in the Czech Republic.

Use of U.S. Forces Abroad

The information here was created by Ellen C. Collier, Specialist in U.S. Foreign Policy, and is subtitled Instances of Use of United States Forces Abroad, 1798 - 1993. The tone is boastful as it works its way through the "234 instances in which the United States has used its armed forces abroad in situations of conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes." But 234 instances are a lot of instances even if some of them were justified. Interesting reading indeed.

Apocalypse Then, and Now

It was a movie that became what it had portrayed, a sprawling, overextended money-pit that some feared would never end. The war in Vietnam did finally end, and Francis Ford Coppola's movie Apocalypse Now was delivered to audiences worldwide to mass acclaim, but Mr. Coppola was not content, regretting that he had had to make too many concessions just to get the movie out. Now he has been given a chance to take another kick at the can and a new version of the film, replete with over 50 minutes of additional footage, has become the talk of the Cannes Film Festival. "Apocalypse Now Redux" will hit theaters in August but in the meantime read this wonderful overview from The New York Times.

John Hartford

Sad news is making its way across the Internet in regards to the health of one of America's true innovators, John Hartford. Known at the beginning of his career as the composer of "Gentle on My Mind," Hartford went on to become a pioneer of "new" bluegrass and country on albums like "Aero-Plain" and "Morning Bugle," combining the traditional with modern in a way that has never been duplicated. In later years he became a licensed riverboat captain and an inspiration to new artists like Mark O'Connor. He will be missed but his music will truly live on.

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