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Act!vated Stories
Family friendly folktales and travel tales
Act!vated Stories is presented by Act!vated Story Theatre a national touring theatre troupe for children and their families. Since 1988, the Act!vated Actors have toured the continental US and beyond, bringing live educational theatre to students at schools and libraries. Podcasting comedic folktales to you from somewhere on the road once a month or so since 2006.

Oct 4, 2007

Traditionally, Native Americans have enjoyed telling myths about how various natural phenomena originated. And "naturally", the members of the Seneca Tribe (part of the Iroquois Confederation) were greatly impressed by Niagara Falls, as millions of visitors have been in more recent times.
Niagara Falls
This week, we bring you our wacky version of the tale we call "Niagara", which is perhaps the best-known account of how this majestic landmark came to be. It's certainly more poetic than the scientific version of a huge glacier trucking through 10,000 years ago, and it also features an important theme about the hazards of greed and the importance of revering nature. Niagara apparently comes from a Seneca word, but nobody's certain which word or exactly what the name means -- our favorite version is "thundering water". Originally located about 7 miles north, near Lewiston, NY and Queensland, Ontario, Niagara Falls moved southward to its present location over the years due to erosion. (Yes, you read that right: these waterfalls are nomadic, just like us!) There are three waterfalls in all, although the smallest one, Bridal Veil, is the Cinderalla of the group, tucked behind an island where most people don't even see it. There's Horseshoe Falls, which is 173 feet high and 2600 feet wide, and American Falls, which is 70 feet tall and about 1100 feet wide. (American Falls was taller until 1954, when a massive rockslide deposited some enormous boulders at its base. Hmmm... it was sort of like the Native American story.) Fed by the 35-mile long Niagara River -- one of the few rivers on this continent to flow north -- Niagara Falls drops 100,000 cubic feet of water per second over the cliffs in peak season. We reminisce about our past visits to this splendid sight, including our first time during a very harsh winter, when the falls were surrounded by ice and snow.
Maid of the Mist
And we talk about our excursion this time on a Maid of the Mist boat, one of the vessels that have been taking tourists out to the bottom of Horseshoe Falls since 1846. In 1960, one of these boats rescued a 7-year-old boy who was swept over the falls, the first person ever to survive such a fall without protective gear. Other foolhardy folk have made the plunge over the years in barrels, and some have survived -- one 63-year-old woman did so in 1901. One man survived the feat, spent 6 months in the hospital recovering, and later died from injuries sustained when he slipped on an orange peel in the street. On this podcast, we also discuss Zephyr's latest jaunt to North Carolina to perform with his band; and how in his absence mom and dad took a bicycle ride to Canada.
Happy Listening!
Dennis (Water Spirit); Kimberly (Girl) and Zephyr (Old Man)

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