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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.

Apr 26, 2007

"Acqua alle funi!". It's Italian for "water to the ropes", and it's taken from a story about taking a courageous stand and speaking up when everyone else is afraid. It's a tale rather similar to The Emperor's New Clothes, but this one is true.

It happened in the Sixteenth Century in Rome, when Pope Sixtus the Fifth decided to have an enormous obelisk moved to a new location in St. Peter's Square, under the direction of architect Domenico Fontana. A worker named Bresca di Bordighera exhibited a great deal of courage and perhaps saved many lives. His descendants are still honored today.

We learned of this story while visiting Fermilab in Batavia, Ill., just outside Chicago. Founded in 1967, Fermilab (named after Nobel Prize winning Italian physicist Enrico Fermi) is a huge research complex dedicated to studying the composition of matter with the aid of "particle accelerators", which smash subatomic particles so scientists can get a look at their innards.

Fermilab occupies 10 square miles formerly occupied by farms, and by the defunct village of Weston. Some of the barns and other buildings have been preserved to use for storage and social events.

Also in Chicagoland, we visited Ahlgrim Acres, a funeral home in Palatine. Wait a minute? Why on earth would we go to a funeral home? Why, to play miniature golf, of course. No joking; for the past 42 years, the basement of this establishment has featured a 9-hole miniature golf course, as well as shuffleboard, ping pong, pinball and other amusements. All open to the public, free of charge! And it's a very challenging and fun golf course, designed in a haunted house motif, complete with spooky sound effects.

Happy Listening!
Dennis (Domenico Fontana), Zephyr (Bresca) and Pope Kimberly the First and Last.