Sunday, November 25, 2012

"60 Minutes" covers a "Free the Children" We Day, ballet, and the Jouberts still filming lions


CBS “60 Minutes” aired three important reports Sunday Nov. 25.

First, the show reported (by Scott Pelley) on Craig Kielburger, who started the charity Free the Children after getting involved opposing child slavery at the age of 12 in the third world after a particular egregious death of a child who had escaped.  The broadcast started with an excerpt from a “We Day”. The CBS link on "kids helping kids" is here

The charity is offering a chance to “win a trip to Kenya” for a volunteer experience, here

But some of these countries, like Uganda, sound truly dangerous, given news reports.

It’s sometimes hard for me to deal with the idea of being “recruited” to belong to a "We". .

The YouTube channel shows that Kielburger's group has been active in Haiti. 


The second segment concerned Peter Martins of the New York City Ballet, and the rigid training of ballet students, and an examination of whether ballet is losing popularity compared to other kinds of dance (“Dancing with the Stars”).  For comparison, see “Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance” on my movie reviews blog Jan. 28, 2012.

The last segment (Lara Logan) updated the work of Beverly and Dereck Joubert, who have spent their lives in Africa filming big cats, especially lions.  (See my review on the movies blog March 6, 2011 of their National Geographic film “The Last Lions”; see also review on this blog of “Eye of the Leopard”  July 17, 2008).  Today, 60 minutes showed their palatial hut and bedroom on the savannah., and then some of their new footage of lions, such as pride attacking an elephant, which lets them go, as well as a lioness abandoning a cub with a broken back after showing obvious grief. They also showed a new breed of superlions that are 15% larger and like to swim.  But overall, the numbers of big cats in the wild is rapidly decreasing and threatening extinction.

In the 60 Minutes episode, the lions seemed comfortable being filmed and seem to respect the humans consistently caring about them.  Big cats do have a lot of social capabilities that humans take further.  

The episode seems timely given the impact of the recent film "Life of PI" (movies blog, Nov. 21, 2012). 

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