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Yo Yo

November 18, 1989
Bernard (Bernie) Akers, 80, one of the nation's original yo-yo enthusiasts. Akers' uncle, Donald F. Duncan, popularized the toy in America during the Great Depression and set up an exhibition schedule with dozens of men traveling from town to town, telling stories and selling yo-yos. Akers became the best known of these men and used to give a history of the yo-yo, telling how ancient vases discovered in Greece show wooden knobs suspended on strings.
July 7, 1997 | From Associated Press
The yo-yo is like disco: Both keep coming back, again and again. "There seems to be a yo-yo craze going on," says Sarah Lawton, who works at the Game-a-Lot toy store here. "We've been told that you can't get a yo-yo anywhere because they're so popular."
October 17, 1999 | Associated Press
It was the day the music almost disappeared. Musician Yo-Yo Ma forgot his $2.5-million, 266-year-old cello in the trunk of a taxi Saturday, but police tracked it down at a garage in Queens in time for his evening concert. "I did something really stupid," Ma said sheepishly after he got the instrument back. "I was in such a rush, I was so exhausted, I'd given a concert at Carnegie Hall last night. I just forgot."
January 14, 2006 | Reuters
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma will soon become a United Nations peace envoy, but actor Brad Pitt is not yet on the list to get the same honor as his Oscar-winning friend Angelina Jolie. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Thursday met Ma, considered to be among the world's greatest cellists, and confirmed to reporters that, "Yes, he will be a peace envoy." Asked if Pitt would become a U.N. goodwill ambassador, Annan laughed and said, "I will consider it, and I will let him know you recommended him."
November 22, 1993 | WILLSON CUMMER
When a yo-yo professional demonstrated his craft to a large group of grade school students last week, he was preaching to the converted. "I'd say about 80% of the boys have them," said teacher Paul Hart, after his class watched Daniel Volk perform more than 40 yo-yo tricks--sometimes whirling two yo-yos at the same time. Volk was the yo-yo champion of Cleveland when he was 13 and is now a professional yo-yo entertainer.
November 21, 2003 | Chris Pasles
Yo-Yo Ma will perform the premiere of a cello concerto by Chen Yi as part of the Pacific Symphony's annual "American Composers Festival," Feb. 28-March 21, in several Orange County venues. Under the theme "Trade Winds From China," the festival will look at the Chinese Cultural Revolution and its impact on Chinese culture as well as Western influences on Eastern art and music. It will be the first of three festivals planned to focus on non-European music.
June 6, 1992
The Labor Department's acknowledgment of an undercount in job losses confirmed the worst suspicions of California officials, who had been questioning the federal data since last fall. The agency underestimated job losses during the recession by more than 25%, but it is unable to fully explain how that happened. So that leaves grave questions about the way data is collected. And if the data is not accurate, then the possibility of misreadings on the state of the economy are likely.
August 10, 1995 | RUSS PARSONS
Remember a month ago, when tomatoes cost roughly the same as they had in mid-January? Growers predicted then that the market couldn't last. And it didn't. Tomato prices dropped so low last week that many growers across the San Joaquin Valley stopped picking. "When you're only getting $2 a [25-pound] box [at wholesale], you're not even covering the cost of picking," says Tim McCarthy of Merced's Central California Tomato Grower's Co-Op. "There were a lot of red fields."
June 26, 2001
Remember the state's economic boom way back in 1998-2000? Because of those flush times, Californians are enjoying a nice sunny-day bonus this calendar year: a quarter-cent cut in the state sales tax. Didn't notice? Well, the cut will save each person only about $31 a year. But that adds up to $1.2 billion in state revenue. And now that gloomier economic times are here the state needs every quarter-cent it can get to avoid making deep cuts in programs such as health care and education.
March 1, 1998 | Mark Swed, Mark Swed is The Times' music critic
The great Johann Sebastian Bach is often called the most universal of all the classical composers. And there is evidence to bear that out. Bach translates effortlessly into just about any culture or genre. Jazz composers have updated his music. Beatniks grooved to him; hippies switched on synthesizer Bach. The Swingle Singers made a career of Bach scat. And over the years we've all laughed at P.D.Q. Bach.
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