Disney legends Betty Taylor, Wally Boag die within a day of each other

Disney legends die within a day of each other

By CHRISTOPHER WEBER, Associated Press
Sun Jun 5

ANAHEIM, Calif. – They shared a stage at Disneyland five days a week for nearly three decades and died within a day of each other.

Betty Taylor, who played Slue Foot Sue in Disney's long-running Golden Horseshoe Revue, passed away Saturday — one day after the death of Wally Boag, who played her character's sweetheart, Pecos Bill.

The 91-year-old Taylor died at her home in Washington state, Disneyland announced on its web site. Boag, who was 90, died Friday. He was a resident of Santa Monica, Calif.

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The causes of death were not announced and attempts to contact relatives for comment were not immediately successful.

"Betty's role as leading lady in Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Revue helped turn it into the longest-running stage show in entertainment history," George Kalogridis, the president of Disneyland Resort, said in a statement. `'It is a tragic coincidence that her passing comes just one day after the death of longtime co-star Wally Boag."
Boag, a former vaudeville performer, signed a two-week contract with Walt Disney in 1955. He originated the role of Pecos Bill in the revue, taking the stage three times a day and logging nearly 40,000 performances before retiring in 1982.

Most of those shows were alongside Taylor, who joined the revue a year after Hoag. Her run on the show — which closed in 1986 — lasted nearly 45,000 performances.

The Golden Horseshoe Revue is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running stage production in show business history.

"Wally was instrumental in the development of live entertainment during the early years of both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney World Resort," Kalogridis said. "His characters will continue to live in the hearts of our guests, while his larger-than-life personality will forever make him the true Clown Prince of Disneyland."

Boag's comedic timing influenced generations of performers, including actor Steve Martin, who called Boag his "hero." Martin tweeted Saturday that Boag was "the first comedian I ever saw live, my influence, a man to whom I aspired."

Boag and Taylor both appeared on television in "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color."
And before joining Disney, Boag appeared in a number of films during the 1940s, including "Without Love," starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, and "The Thrill of Romance," with Esther Williams.
He later appeared in Disney films such as "The Absent-Minded Professor," "Son of Flubber" and "The Love Bug."
Born in Seattle, Taylor began taking dance lessons at age 3. At 14, she sang and danced in nightclubs across the country, and by 18, led her own band called Betty and Her Beaus, which included 16 male musicians and appeared regularly at the Trianon Ballroom in Seattle.

In 1956, while living in Los Angeles and performing as a drum player with a musical group, Taylor heard about auditions for a song-and-dance job at Disneyland. She got the gig, which she held for 30 years, leading to appearances on a USO tour of Greenland and Newfoundland and a show for President Richard Nixon and his family in The White House.

She performed at the park until 1987, but continued to appear in special events, such as Walt Disney's Wild West, a 1995 retrospective at the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles.

Officials: US missiles kill 16 in Pakistan

Officials: US missiles kill 16 in Pakistan

By ISHTIAQ MAHSUD, Associated Press

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan – The United States fired missiles at three suspected militant targets near the Afghan border Monday, killing 16 people and keeping the pressure on insurgents days after a strike was believed to have killed an al-Qaida commander, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The identities of the dead in the unusually intense volley of drone-fired strikes in the South Waziristan tribal region were not known. Several Arabs were said to be among the victims of one of them, according to the officials, who did not give their names in line with agency policy.

Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters remain in South Waziristan, despite a Pakistani army offensive launched there in 2009.

Since the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2 in northwest Pakistan, missile strikes have picked up pace from a relative lull in the year's first half. But anger at the bin Laden operation, seen here as a violation of Pakistani sovereignty, has led to fresh calls on Washington to stop the attacks.

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Pakistani authorities said Sunday that they were increasingly sure that a Friday missile strike in South Waziristan killed Ilyas Kashmiri, a top al-Qaida commander rumored to be a longshot contender to replace bin Laden as the terror network's chief.

Getting definitive confirmation about who died in the missile strikes is difficult, especially if no body is retrieved. U.S. officials have not confirmed the death of Kashmiri, who was wrongly said by Pakistani and American officials to have been killed in a missile strike in 2009. Pakistani officials declined to comment on whether they had assisted the U.S. in the strike.

Before dawn, one set of missiles hit a compound in Wucha Dana village, killing seven people. The second set landed at about the same time at a Muslim seminary there, killing five people, two Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The intelligence officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.
They said several Arab men were believed to be among the dead.

Later Monday, missiles hit a vehicle traveling in Dra Nishter village elsewhere in the region, killing four, officials said.

Washington says the missiles have killed hundreds of militants, including several top al-Qaida commanders since they began in earnest in 2008. More than 30 have struck this year, compared to last year's tally of about 130. Some experts question their legality and the secrecy under which they operate. Transparent investigations of alleged civilian casualties are not carried out.

Pakistani intelligence is believed to provide the U.S. with targeting information for at least some of the strikes. But its civilian and military leaders publicly protest the strikes and say they create more enemies than they kill. It would be politically toxic to acknowledge collaborating with the U.S. in attacks unpopular among many Pakistanis.
Also Monday, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for a bomb that killed 18 people at a bakery in an army neighborhood in the northwest town of Nowshera the previous night. The militant group said the attack was vengeance for Pakistani army actions against them in the nearby Swat Valley.
Associated Press Writer Rasool Dawar in Peshawar contributed to this report.

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教育城網上中學文憑試題庫 用戶增兩倍

教育城網上試題庫 用戶增兩倍
 (星島)2011年6月6日 星期一 

(星島日報    報道)首屆中學文憑試將於明年三月舉行,為配合學生應試,教育城自○九學年起開拓「網上試題學習平台」,與香港考試及評核局    合作篩選適合文憑試程度的歷年會考試題,存入網上試題庫。平台推出兩年,中學用戶增加近兩倍,由二十五所增至七十所。另外,教育城計畫與考評局    商討,新學年加入文憑試的模擬試題,供師生使用。

  網上試題學習平台現有超過五千條試題,主要來自三間機構,包括考評局、牛津    出版社和教育圖書出版社;當中主要收錄考評局過去十五年的會考試題,由於教育城已向考評局購買試題版權,老師和學生亦可自行免費影印試題。平台試題現僅限於數學、生物、化學、物理及經濟科,題目類型亦只有多項選擇題。




  已購買平台服務的筲箕灣    東官立中學生物科教師高家浩表示,以前教師要根據教學進度,剪裁及影印歷屆試題供學生做練習,使用平台後毋須再煩惱,「用平台省時省紙,又可照顧學習差異」。