Monday, November 30, 2009

AC is in the House

The Monday edition of AC360 found Anderson Cooper back from vacation and Keeping Them Honest about Maurice Clemmons. Clemmons is suspected of killing 4 police officers in Seattle this weekend. Joe Johns reported that Clemmons has a very long rap sheet and was pardoned from a 100 year sentence in Arkansas by former Governor Mike Huckabee.The follow up discussion/interview was with Judge Marion Humphrey from Arkansas. He said of course in hindsight he regrets releasing Clemmons but says we are a nation who believes in forgiveness. Cooper got a bit feisty with the Judge when he couldn't get a straight answer to his questions.Next up was Randi Kay's report on the Tiger Woods drama. I have absolutely no interest in this story so forgive me for not relaying the details. Jeff Toobin and Christine Brennan (USA Today sports columnist) joined AC in the 360 studio to do the follow up. Toobin said that Tiger has a public relations problem not a legal problem. The media is not going to let this drop and I'm sure AC360 won't either.The White House party crashers story was reported on by Ed Henry. Another story I'm tired of but at least Henry's slant on the story made it more than just idle gossip. It is important to know just how this couple has gained access to events attended by the President and other top ranking officials. I'd bet they aren't the sharpest crayons in the box so if they can get by the Secret Service then other, more dangerous, people can too.

Anderson did interviews with Kayla Williams (former Army Sgt.), Vernice Armour (1st AA female combat pilot) and Dr. Heidi Kraft (Navy psychologist) and discussed problems of military women serving in combat areas. The talk ranged from where you sleep and change clothing to feeling the burden of carrying the standard for other women. They also discussed feeling invisible as veterans. I enjoyed this segment, it's not something that I've seen a lot of time devoted to by the media.Anderson read the email that Chelsea Clinton sent to friends and family this weekend announcing her engagement to Marc Mezvinsky. Erica Hill did a follow up piece on Chelsea growing up in the public eye and also on Mezvinsky and his political parents. The wedding is planned for next summer.Erica Hill and the 360 News and Business Bulletin:
• The Supreme Court has told a lower Court to reexamine its decision to release detainee photos
• H1N1 seems to be affecting fewer people in fewer States
• The Dow rallied late on Monday
• The 12 Days of Christmas costs more than $87,000 this year
• Roman Polansky remains in a Swiss jail
• Serena Williams has been fined $82, 500 for her outburst at the US Open

Now onto a few random ramblings since I have no extras for you today.

When AC held up the letter about Clemmons' clemency did you notice that someone forgot his cuff links again?

Like may of you I spent my Thanksgiving weekend shopping and getting started on my Christmas decorating. When I got home from my Black Friday adventure I found my dear husband had hauled out the artificial Christmas tree and plopped it in its usual spot. I spent the better part of Sunday unwrapping ornaments and placing them on the tree. When I was done I just couldn't get interested in stringing the usual garland around the tree and decided to opt for something different. I have never, in my entire life, put tinsel on a Christmas tree. In fact I find it rather tacky and have always turned my nose up at it. But I, for some unknown reason, decided I could not live without tinsel on my tree this year. So off to Target I went this morning to buy 2 49 cent packages of tinsel. I now have tinsel on the dog, tinsel on the furniture and tinsel on the carpet.....but not that much on the tree. And I cannot believe how much time I have devoted to failing in my first tinseling attempt. So if any of you wonderful readers have tinsel tips I would be grateful for your help. At this point I am thinking that tinsel knows I have spoken badly about it for years and this is its retribution. ~Phebe

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

All Things Anderson is a blog dedicated to CNN's AC360 and its host Anderson Cooper.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

William Henry Vanderbilt

Click to Mix and Solve

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This is the second in a series of articles about Anderson Cooper's family tree. This week we take a look at William Henry Vanderbilt, Gloria Vanderbilt Cooper's great grandfather. Again thanks to Viewer in Virginia for penning the series for us and to Em for the puzzle. ~Phebe

Cornelius and Sophia had twelve children, eleven of whom survived to adulthood. The first three were girls; Phebe, Ethelinda and Eliza. The fourth was a boy, William Henry. He was frail and sickly and no doubt this affected the way his healthy and vigorous father perceived his eldest son. Appearances can be deceiving, as we shall see.
As it did not appear that William would be much help in running the expanding shipping and rail business, Cornelius sent him to Staten Island to run one of the family's farms. Lo and behold, the son turned the farm around, reorganized it and made money. This pleased the father so much that he put William in charge of the newly acquired Long Island Railroad. Once again, he proved to be his father's son, and made the once bankrupt line into a money maker.Cornelius, now more certain he had a worthy heir, gave his son more responsibility running the railroad portion of the company. By the mid 1860's, Cornelius had abandoned shipping to concentrate on the railroads. He and William successfully merged five rail lines in the New York area into one large one, the previously mentioned New York Central Railroad.
William became the sole manager of the Vanderbilt holdings when Cornelius died in 1877. The father died knowing his life's work was in capable hands. William expanded the rail operations into the Midwest-- as far as St. Louis MO and as far south as Cincinnati, OH. Like his father had done many years before, he used rate cuts to get and keep customers, to the detriment of competitors. He also fought federal regulation of the railroads.On the personal side, he married at age 19 to Mary Louisa Kissam. They had eight children, the eldest, a son, was Cornelius Vanderbilt II, the great-grandfather of Anderson. Going to the Opera (depicting William Henry Vanderbilt family) by Seymour Guy 1873

William was very different from his father in one way, though. He was generous with his money--he continued to give to Vanderbilt University, to Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He could afford to be equitable and generous, as he had doubled his father's fortune and did it in the space of ten years. He retired early (compared to his father) because of his poor health and died at age 64. The Vanderbilt businesses were worth, in our dollars, 52 billion. Perhaps because he was sickly and frail, his perspective on earthly goods and money was different from his parsimonious father who was only interested in making money. William made many bequests to organizations in New York, and divided the fortune amongst his siblings, children and others more fairly than his father had.

These two, Cornelius and William, founded the largest personal fortune ever in American history. They were two men in the right place at the right time. Cornelius realized the value of moving people and goods efficiently and cheaply, and invented a business model that had never been seen before. William learned and expanded his father's innovations (some not all good, of course). What they accomplished was original and the ripples are still coming down through history. One other result of the astounding wealth the first two Vanderbilt men accumulated: their offspring contributed to the period of the late 1800's known as The Gilded Age, when money was literally no object and its use as both an indicator of status and privilege brought to the American consciousness the difference copious amounts of money made in life. ~Viewer in Virginia

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

All Things Anderson is a blog dedicated to CNN's AC360 and its host Anderson Cooper.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Anderson's Hero - Gordon Parks

Gloria and Gordon Parks

The pic was in a July 2000 New York Times article about the two.

Wonz found a little segment CNN posted with Anderson talking about Gordon Parks being his hero. Anderson says, "He is the person that probably put the spark in me about reporting." Here is the clip.

The above pic is of Gloria and Anderson waiting in the wings at the Gordon Parks Foundation Awards in 2007. When Parks passed away a couple of years ago Anderson did a blog post about him saying "Thankfully, his work, his art, his example -- those are things all of us still have to hold onto."

Aruna sent us this March 2008 article about a school in St. Paul, MN being named after Gordon Parks. Here is a snippet from the article:

"The new $7.5 million Gordon Parks High School is the new home of St. Paul's alternative learning center, meant for at-risk kids and dropouts, just like Parks. It serves about 300 students. Parks probably would have been right at home among them. When his mom died in 1927, he was sent to Minnesota to live with his sister. Parks argued with his brother-in-law and got thrown out of the house.

At the age of 15, he survived by playing piano in a brothel, sleeping on streetcars and sweeping out a pool hall. It's the kind of struggle all too familiar to kids at the new school, said Principal Steve Lindberg. "Gordon Parks is a really, really tremendous role model for our students, because of some of the things he came through as a youngster," said Lindberg. "Being homeless. Coming to St. Paul. But that attitude of never giving up and becoming that man that he was, that renaissance man."

Parks wrote eight books and shot pictures for the cover of Life and Vogue magazines. He played semi-pro basketball and became the first black director of a major Hollywood movie.

And finally, if you missed AC360 Wednesday night they showed a behind the scenes look at the Heroes taping.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.
All Things Anderson is a blog dedicated to CNN's AC360 and its host Anderson Cooper.

Friday, November 27, 2009

From the ATA Archives

I hope you all survived Black Friday and still have a few dollars left in your checking accounts? Since I'm sure I'll be all tuckered out from my day of retail therapy I preloaded a vintage clip from the ATA archives for your enjoyment. Here's an interview Anderson did, with Bill Maher, while AC was covering the aftermath of Katrina from Biloxi, Mississippi.

Have a great weekend everyone and hopefully both Anderson Cooper and I will be back on Monday! ~Phebe

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

All Things Anderson is a blog dedicated to CNN's AC360 and its host Anderson Cooper.


This just in......


Love, your friends,
Tedi B, Quitty, Em, Julie & Wonz

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

All Things Anderson is a blog dedicated to CNN's AC360 and its host Anderson Cooper.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

CNN's Heroes for 2009

all images courtesy of CNNIn a star-studded award ceremony held on Saturday, November 21st at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, Efren Penaflorida of the Philippines was named the 2009 CNN HERO OF THE YEAR, after nearly three million votes were cast at Actress Eva Mendes introduced Penaflorida (pronounced Pen-ya-flow-REE-duh) as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes; host Anderson Cooper announced Penaflorida as the CNN HERO OF THE YEAR at the end of the evening, after a powerful performance by Grammy Award-winning recording artist Carrie Underwood.
Penaflorida was voted CNN HERO OF THE YEAR from among the Top 10 CNN HEROES, who were all honored at Saturday’s event. Celebrity presenters included Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Neil Patrick Harris, Pierce Brosnan, Dwayne Johnson, Eva Mendes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Randy Jackson. Underwood, Leona Lewis, and Maxwell each performed.CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE, hosted by Cooper, aired globally on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Espanol on Thanksgiving, November 26, at 9 pm. The CNN HEROES gala is the only awards show of its kind – featuring celebrities honoring everyday people who have made an extraordinary difference in their communities and beyond.Ten years ago, Efren Penaflorida faced a choice so many impoverished teens in the Philippines confront: life in a gang. When a gang member challenged him to a fight, Penaflorida walked away and embraced his education, promising to create a positive alternative for other children to build a better life. Through his organization, Dynamic Teen Company, Penaflorida created a pushcart classroom to bring education to the most forgotten children in the country. The gangs start recruiting early and so does Penaflorida. Every Saturday, he pushes the cart to different sites across the city: the cemetery, the municipal trash dump, and the deplorable housing conditions. He brings reading, writing, and arithmetic to the children. He gives them a place to sit and learn in peace. He teaches them basic hygiene – washing their faces and brushing their teeth.
Since 1997, he has taught more than 1,700 students with nearly 12,000 members in his organization, showing the youngsters that they, too, have a choice. They can reject the gangs, embrace their education and “be the change that they dream.” PeƱaflorida hopes to create an international movement for pushcart classrooms in underdeveloped parts of the world.The CNN HEROES initiative, which began in 2007, garnered a record number of submissions this year (over 9,000) as well as a record number of online votes (nearly 3 million). The Top 10 CNN Heroes were selected by an esteemed Blue Ribbon Panel, which included Colin Powell, Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Turner, Shakira, Rosanna Rosado, Mariane Pearl, Malaak Compton-Rock, and Sir Elton John, among other humanitarians.
Here are two candid shots of this year's nominees:

Here are a few images of CNN's 2009 Heroes with their celebrity presenters:

And some candid shots of the evening:

Congratulations to Efren Penaflorida and to the CNN Heroes and to all who strive to make a difference.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

All Things Anderson is a blog dedicated to CNN's AC360 and its host Anderson Cooper.