TIME Appreciation

Mara Wilson Pens a Beautiful Tribute to Her Mrs. Doubtftire Dad Robin Williams

Kobal
Twentieth Century Fox

"Robin Williams, as I knew him, was warm, gentle, expressive, nurturing, and brilliant"

Former child star Mara Wilson, who memorably played Robin Williams’ daughter in Mrs. Doubtfire, said she was too devastated last week to talk openly about the actor’s shocking death. Three days after the fact, she posted a “quick update” on her blog, briefly explaining that she was felt “shocked, confused angry, regretful, and above all, sad.”

Now, having had a week to process her emotions a bit more, the 27-year-old has posted a beautiful, thoughtful tribute.

“He always reminded me a little of my father,” she begins. “Robin Williams, as I knew him, was warm, gentle, expressive, nurturing, and brilliant. While it can be hard for me to remember filming Doubtfire, I’ve been flooded with memories in the past few days.”

She recalls his brilliant comedic mind and his ability to relate to kids without ever being patronizing or condescending. But she also remembers seeing a more vulnerable side of his personality:

Robin was so on so much of the time that I was surprised to hear my mother describe him as “shy.” “When he talks to you,” she told her friends, “he’ll be looking down at his shoes the whole time.” I figured he must have been different with grown-ups. I wouldn’t see that side of him myself until a few years later, when I was invited to be part of a table read of What Dreams May Come. … Robin crossed to me from across the room, got down to my level, and whispered “Hi, how are you?” He asked how my family was doing, how school was, never raising his voice and only sometimes making eye contact. He seemed so vulnerable.

Read Wilson’s full blog post here.

TIME Appreciation

Pizza Place Honors Robin Williams With Awesome Themed Specials

For example: the Pork & Mindy pizza and the Good Will Hotwing

People around the country have been finding all kinds of ways to honor Robin Williams following his shocking death Monday. In Brooklyn, the employees of Vinnie’s Pizzeria created a tribute that was a bit tastier than the rest. They named their specials after some of the actor’s most memorable works and displayed them on a whiteboard next to some lovely illustrations:

Vinnie’s is known for its pop culture-themed specials and corresponding illustrations — seriously, check these out, because they’re really great — but this one definitely stands out as a lovely tribute to a fallen star.

(h/t Grubstreet)

TIME celebrity

Cast of Broadway’s Aladdin Pays a Special Musical Tribute to Robin Williams

Remembering Williams' classic role as the Genie in 1992

On Wednesday, Broadway theaters across New York City dimmed their lights to honor to Robin Williams. But the previous night, one particular group of Broadway performers paid a much livelier tribute to the actor, who died Monday at 63.

After their performance, the cast of the musical version of Aladdin took a moment to pay their respects and then lead the audience in a singalong rendition of “Friend Like Me.” Williams, of course, sang this song when he played the Genie in the 1992 animated Disney movie.

James Monroe Iglehart, who plays the Genie on Broadway, also spoke a bit about Williams’ incredible talent and influence, calling him “one of the greatest — not comedians — but one of the greatest entertainers of all time.”

 

TIME Appreciation

Top 10 Lefties

As the world celebrates International Left-Handers Day — or at least as roughly 1 in 10 of us does — a look at some of history's most notable southpaws

  • Barack Obama

    Jewel Samad—AFP/Getty

    In the past hundred years, the U.S. presidency has veered more and more to the left — not in policy, but in handedness. Barack Obama is the latest to join a long list of left-handed presidents from the 20th century: James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Henry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were all southpaws.

    What makes lefties so electable? Some experts think left-handed people have a greater aptitude for language skills, which may help them craft the rhetoric necessary for political office. And as for the bout of recent left-handed presidents, some think it’s because teachers only recently stopped working to convert lefties to righties at an early age.

  • Bill Gates

    Andrea Comas—Reuters/Corbis

    Claiming the nation’s richest man among their number is a source of considerable pride for America’s society of southpaws. In fact, the Microsoft titan and philanthropist is one of a surprising number of U.S. business moguls to be left-handed, including Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller and former IBM head Lou Gerstner. But the club seems to be a guys-only fraternity — research suggests that while left-handed men tend to earn more than their right-handed colleagues, there is no similar advantage for women. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research floated the idea that left-handed men favor “divergent” thinking, a form of creativity in which the brain moves “from conventional knowledge into unexplored association.” Maybe that’s what it takes to develop a net worth estimated at $57 billion.

  • Oprah Winfrey

    Fred Prouser—Reuters/Corbis

    The talk-show queen doesn’t need much more to set her apart from the rest — what with her estimated $2.9 billion fortune and a magic ability to sell books just by glancing at them — but she also has the distinction of being a member of the left-handed club. Since men are more likely to be left-handed than women, that makes Oprah doubly impressive. She’s in good company: Other show-biz ladies of the southpaw persuasion include Whoopi Goldberg, Julia Roberts and Angelina Jolie (live-in boyfriend Brad Pitt is also a lefty).

  • Babe Ruth

    Bettmann/Corbis

    Even casual baseball fans — heck, even your grandma — are familiar with the Sultan of Swat and his 714 home runs. But fewer people realize that early in his career, Ruth was also one of the game’s élite pitchers. Between 1915 and 1919, he won 85 games (plus three World Series contests) while notching an ERA of 2.02, before the Boston Red Sox decided he’d be more valuable at the plate.

    But while Ruth is baseball’s most decorated left-handed player, he’s hardly the only Hall of Fame southpaw. It’s almost impossible for lefties to thrive in certain positions — including catcher, shortstop, second and third base — because they are required to throw awkwardly across their bodies to make plays in the field. But southpaws have distinct advantages on the diamond. Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, Warren Spahn and Steve Carlton are among the left-handed pitchers who have frustrated hitters. Lefty batters also do better at the plate: they do better against right-handed pitchers and stand a precious step or two closer to first base, advantages that sluggers from Ty Cobb and Stan Musial to Ted Williams and Barry Bonds have clearly used to their benefit.

  • Napoleon Bonaparte

    Francis G. Mayer—Corbis

    Legend has it that Napoleon objected to the time-honored military practice of marching on the left side of the road with weapons at the ready in the right hand: it put lefties like him at a strategic disadvantage. Once in power, the story goes, the French emperor — whose queen, Josephine, was also a southpaw — ordered his armies to switch sides. Civilians in countries he conquered had to do the same. Hence, supposedly, the rules of the road as we know them were born, which also explains why the British (who, along with the Prussians, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo) still drive on the left.

  • Leonardo da Vinci

    Bettmann/Corbis

    Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most brilliant men in history, took his sinistrism to an extreme: he wrote from right to left. Historians have plenty of creative theories to explain this so-called “mirror writing” — named because you had to hold it up to a glass to read it. For example: perhaps he was trying to make it harder for people to sneak a peek at his notes and lift his ideas. One argument, however, is less fanciful but perhaps more logical: writing in ink from left to right was too messy because Leonardo was a southpaw. Some historians have suggested that da Vinci’s left-handedness added to his genius, because it forced him to think and see in an extraordinary way. (If so, he wasn’t alone: fellow left-handers include rival Renaissance titans Michelangelo and Raphael.)

  • Marie Curie

    Bettmann/Corbis

    Not only was atomic scientist Marie Curie left-handed, but she was the matriarch of a whole family of accomplished, southpaw scientists. Curie, who discovered the principles of radioactivity and won two Nobel Prizes, was married to fellow lefty Pierre Curie, who was instrumental in helping Marie’s atomic research and shared one of her Nobel awards. Historians believe their daughter, Irene, was also left-handed. Irene went on to win a Nobel Prize of her own with her husband — who, you guessed it, was also left-handed.

    Lefty scientists are hardly unusual. In addition to the Curie clan, Einstein, Newton and Alan Turing — founder of modern computer science — all were left-handed as well.

  • Aristotle

    Bettmann/Corbis

    Some of the earliest works of western philosophy and science were written with a left hand. Aristotle, he of the scientific method, early physics, astrology, meteorology and ethics, penned an exhaustive list of works that laid the foundation of much of modern science. And his philosophical musings influenced a much later, left-handed thinker: German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche.

  • Ned Flanders

    Fox

    Ned Flanders is left-handed, devoutly religious, and has a surprisingly chiseled physique. Oh, and he’s fictional.

    In Season three of The Simpsons, Homer Simpson’s next door neighbor uses his life savings to open the Leftorium, a store that specializes in products for left-handed people. Homer Simpson sends the store out of business but feels guilty about it and helps revive it. Although the store only appears in one episode — “When Flanders Failed” — Flanders occasionally references it throughout the series, so we know it’s still around. According to Springfield’s most religious lefty, the Leftorium is suffering now that a left-handed megastore, Left-Mart, opened up nearby.

  • Jimi Hendrix

    Elliott Landy—Corbis

    Jimi Hendrix played guitar upside down and backwards, and to his devout fans’ parents, it probably sounded like it. The six-string revolutionary favored a right-handed Fender Stratocaster, slung upside-down across his shoulders, that didn’t even need to be restrung: Hendrix taught himself how to hit the strings in reverse order, producing a unique sound and allowing him to alternate between left- and right-handed playing if he so desired. (He could play right-handed but generally preferred not to).

    Hendrix learned to play in Nashville blues clubs before touring as a back-up musician for the Isley Brothers and Little Richard. He broke out on his own in 1966, but his career was cut short by a drug overdose in August 1970. Hendrix’s use of distortion and wah-wah effects warped and extended notes in ways no other player could quite achieve; for years, right-handed guitarists have tried to emulate his sound, going so far as to put left-handed necks on their own guitars.

    There was one technique not impacted by Hendrix’s lefthandedness: setting his guitar on fire. For that, he used both hands.

    This article was originally published on Aug. 13, 2009, and has been updated with the latest relevant figures.

TIME celebrity

Watch Robin Williams’ Funniest Moments From That Time He Was on Whose Line Is It Anyway?

The Comedy Awards 2012 - Show
Comedian Robin Williams accepts an award onstage at The Comedy Awards 2012 at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 28, 2012 in New York City. Gilbert Carrasquillo—FilmMagic / Getty Images

He appeared on the improv comedy show back in 2000

Robin Williams, who died yesterday from an apparent suicide at 63, is known for so many incredible movie roles — from the hilarious and erratic to the occasionally more somber and serious. But we’d like to take a moment to appreciate one of the smaller, quieter moments in his impressive, loud career: an appearance on the improv comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? back in 2000.

The show’s wacky, anything-goes style proved to be the perfect platform to show off Williams’ signature manic comedy. He managed to light up the room without upstaging his fellow performers, helping create a memorable and delightfully entertaining episode. Check out some of his best moments below.

As a party guest who rounds up citizens for committing crimes against fashion:

As a paranoid superhero, an interpretive dancer and Carol Channing:

As a cheerleader, Cruella de Vil and more:

As an emphatic gospel singer:

 

TIME Appreciation

The Trailer for the Batkid Documentary Will Make You Cry

The IndieGoGo campaign is halfway to its funding goal

Here’s the trailer for Batkid Begins, a documentary about the time San Francisco became Gotham for a day to fulfill 5-year-old cancer survivor Miles Scott’s dream of becoming Batman on November 15, 2013. The campaign was created to raise money to produce a soundtrack and special effects for the film, directed by the Emmy Award-winning director Dana Nachman. The crowd-funding effort is about half way to its funding goal before the funding period ends on August 19, 2014.

MORE: On The Scene with Batkid, The Most Adorable Superhero The World Has Ever Known

WATCH: The Inspiring Make-A-Wish Recap of #SFBatKid

TIME Appreciation

Watch a 6-Year-Old Kid Rollerskate Under 39 Cars

Yes, really. It's called limbo skating

For the past several years, this ridiculously flexible kid has been honing some pretty impressive rollerskating skills. He’s 6-year-old Gagan Satish from India, and he might have just broken a world record by skating under 39 SUVs.

But to him, 39 is nothing. His next goal is to glide under 100 cars. We have complete faith in him. (Seriously though, how? How does he make his body do this? What is happening?)

TIME Appreciation

Best Dad Ever Builds Spiderman-Themed Treehouse in His Son’s Bedroom

Coolest parent ever

Since it was once his childhood dream to have an indoor treehouse, this guy decided to make the dream a reality for his 5-year-old son. He gathered a bunch of wood and then got to work, sharing pictures of the process on Reddit with the very appropriate username d4ddycool.

Here are some shots of the early stages and then, finally, the finished product:

He explained that he built in some storage space but, ultimately, was “building stuff with no real plans in mind.” Because none of his house’s walls are perfectly straight, he struggled with alignment and went through a good amount of trial and error. From the looks of it, it turned out pretty well.

TIME Appreciation

The World’s Fastest-Talking Woman Will Impress You But Also Stress You Out

Watch here as she reads 'The Three Little Pigs' in 15 seconds flat

Fran Capo has held the Guinness World Record for the fastest-talking female for more than two decades. On average, she can spit out 11 words a second.

Capo, who’s from New York City (obviously), has recorded a new video to remind us all just how quickly she can spew out words. Watch here as she recites “The Three Little Pigs” in a breezy 15 seconds, but let us warn you: this will stress you out in a major way. Be sure to take plenty of deep breaths.

TIME Appreciation

Turtle vs. Dog Is the Best Soccer Match You’ll See During the World Cup

You’ll never guess who wins the closest thing the World Cup has to the Puppy Bowl

The World Cup this year has been even more packed than most with high-intensity, hair-raising games, but none of them holds a candle to this matchup for the ages: turtle v.s. dog.

Posted to Facebook under the title “Italian soccer :) ( a.k.a. also a turtle and a dog can manage …” by Valeria D’Innocenzo Carlantoni in Civitavechia, Italy, a small town near Rome, this 1:17-long clip features some surprisingly cheeky touches and fancy footwork. The aggressive tackle at the end is exceptional, though it’s a miracle no one got carded.

If you’ve been rooting for the U.S., soothe your broken heart (which should still be celebrating the OMG-mind-blowingly awesome performance of U.S. goalie Tim Howard) with this clip.

Try and watch this video without, at least in your head, narrating the action in a game announcer voice. This needs to be the World Cup’s version of the Puppy Bowl.

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