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Long before there were movies, we're talking the mid-1800s, shows would travel the country offering entertainment, lectures, snake oil cures, and more. Mo Rocca this morning has the story of one of those attractions with a legacy that lives to this day. Oh my gosh, look at him. I'm at a family reunion in Mount Airy, North Carolina.
No, it's not mine. Are you on the Chang or the Ang side? Chang. I'm a great granddaughter. Descendants here are connected to the original Siamese twins, Chang and Ang. You should be so proud of the fact that you come from the Siamese twins.
Later on Sunday morning, the story of how these conjoined brothers made it in America and left behind quite the legacy. Plus we'll have something unquestionably cheesy from our Martha Teichner. With thousands of different cheeses competing.
How does a team of judges figure out what's the best one in the world? Smells good. Never mind apples and oranges. They're comparing Colby and Emmentaler, American and string, Gouda. Marika Penderman knows something about that. How many cheeses do you have in the competition this year?
Well, if you don't tell my husband, we have about 30. Ahead this Sunday morning when cheesy is a good thing. With Steve Hartman, we make three wishes.
We'll tell you about St. Judy, a Los Angeles attorney who has become the patron saint of some women immigrants and bestselling author David Sedaris makes his debut as our newest Sunday morning contributor and more all coming up when our Sunday morning podcast continues. The winner and undisputed big cheese stands alone at the end of the competition Martha Teichner paid a visit to. This is a cheesy story that takes place in the cheesiest state in the Union, Wisconsin. Our story begins in the town of Thorpe where you can't miss the Penderman farm. Marika and Rolfe Penderman's dream farm where their 400 dairy cows are contented. Loretta is very sweet.
She is. And have names and their five children run free. The Pendermans immigrated from Holland and never looked back except that Marika missed Dutch cheese, specifically Gouda. One evening I was tossing and turning and I'm like we have the good Wisconsin milk right here on the farm. So I woke up my husband and said hey Rolfe I think I know what we should do. I think we should start making our own Gouda.
Which is exactly what they did. Just four months after making her very first cheeses in 2006, to her amazement Marika won an award. And then in 2013 one of her aged Goudas won best cheese in America at the U.S. Cheese Championship.
A huge deal with immediate dividends. My immigration lawyer called and he says Marika I think we could see how the extraordinary ability route would go. Right up there with Nobel Prize winners and movie stars.
The extraordinary ability visa only goes to people whose achievements are internationally recognized. He thought well you just became the best cheese in the United States and we got approved and that's how I also got my green card. Yes a green card for cheese making. Marika now makes 330,000 pounds of cheese and welcomes 150,000 visitors to the farm each year. Her walls are lined with awards so if there's anyone who knows the value of winning them it's Marika Penterman. And how many cheeses do you have in the competition this year?
Well if you don't tell my husband we have about 30. So this is where the Gouda and parmesan meets. We first met Marika Penterman at the 2018 World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, Wisconsin. Are you excited? I'm super excited yeah I mean this is where I kind of live for.
This is the granddaddy of them all. It's a nice piece of cheese. I'll see how the flavor is.
With more than 3,400 entrants from 27 countries competing in 121 categories. Smells good. Some pretty esoteric. This has got a particular yeast on it called geotrichum candidum. Others, well you wouldn't expect to see them in the running for best cheese in the world.
They should be springy and stringy. How many cheeses can you taste in a day without having no taste at all? Well you can taste as many cheeses as you like in a day. That doesn't matter it's your mind that you need to keep control of. Imagine a cross between a wine tasting.
Top mint note. And a dog show. And you get a sense of what this three-day event is like.
They take their work very seriously. That's not legal. No. In theory these cheeses are the best of the best. No one can tell me what this is. You don't know whether it's cow. We don't know what if it's even cheese.
Which is why this one confounded the judges. Have you ever seen cheese like that? We haven't. You don't like it do you?
I do not like this cheese at all. Robert Aschebrock was chief judge at the competition. We start at 100 points and then we start deducting. Flavor is the priority. It sounds like the Olympics. Yes.
A lot of these classes are decided by one-tenth of a point. Pretty uniform. Yes. Knowing that, Marika Penderman watched as her cheeses were judged. We ate it.
In Wisconsin, cheese judging is a spectator sport. Thank you. Sampling is definitely part of the attraction. If you haven't tried it, try that one.
I feel like I would have really liked that one. Oh man. So how do judges endure dozens of blow your head off hot pepper cheeses? My lips are tingling. Really? It's that hot. It's hot. There's a trick.
Whoa. After each one, they drink half and half. Just imagine these judges tasting their way through thousands of cheeses in two days. These guys really love cheese. At the end of the day, what we want the most is a cheese sandwich. So this is the final round.
We're looking for a champion. On day three, water buffalo milk. Open-class hard cheeses. They narrowed the contenders down to 20.
This is like poker, watching people's faces. Would a made in America cheese, a Wisconsin cheese, be named best in the world? The winner of the 2018 World Championship Cheese Contest.
Actually, no. One, two, three, cheese! A sheep's milk cheese from France won. How did Marika Penterman do? Five awards.
Hardly cheesy. But for a woman who's already won best cheese in America, best in the world would be an awfully nice next step. In the Catholic Church, St. Jude is the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes.
But who then is St. Judy? As Lee Cowan explains, her commitment is a work in progress. When it comes to steamy, there are few screens Michelle Monahan hasn't fogged up. Whether it's with Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr., or Matthew McConaughey. But her Golden Globe nomination for that role in True Detective proved to everyone there's more there than just her skills of seduction.
We are closed. In fact, the only romance in her latest leading role. You must tell your story. Is her character's love of the law. Your Honor, counsel should not be allowed to argue that my client on the one hand was injured at the demonstration and then on the other that the demonstration never happened. Do you have an objection? My objection is logic.
That is not a legal objection. What was it that popped out at you? Well, I guess her tenacity. Let's just say that.
That's one word for it. First and foremost, her tenacity. Hello, this is Judy Wood. I'm Judy Wood. Judy Wood. Judy, I have some friends. Judy Wood is St. Judy in a new movie, the true story of a crusading immigration lawyer who used the courts. You know, even if you win, you lose.
To help make it easier for women to seek asylum. Everybody, everybody is going to want a miracle from you. You can't save them all.
I can try. Had you heard about Judy Wood before this whole project came along? No, I hadn't heard anything about Judy Wood and I was quite nervous to meet her.
Because what? She's a force to be reckoned with. This is the real Judy Wood. Did you ever imagine that somebody would be making a movie of your life?
I thought about making films about some of my cases, but I never thought about making a movie of myself as an attorney. Many of these people are not believed. At 72, she's well known in downtown LA.
She's been practicing immigration law here for over 30 years. And yet, she denies that saintly title that some have bestowed upon her. Sometimes clients come in and they say, oh, we want you to save us. I tell them I can't save you. I'm not God. I'm just your lawyer. Well, she may not consider her work particularly angelic. We have to do a change of venue for Mercado.
Okay, got you. Though she's helped, find it hard to see otherwise. For me, Judy is an angel.
She is my angel. After living in the U.S. for more than 20 years, Hilda Mualmi was about to be deported, ripped from her kids and her husband and sent back to Mexico. I wanted to die because they say my family lives here. My kids live here. They want to take us away from the from our kids.
Judy gave us back our life. That's how you see it? Yes.
This is the one I'm looking for. Wood's office handles some 6,000 immigration cases at any one time. Boxes and filing cabinets are overflowing with cases others refuse to take, says Wood's associate attorney, Greg Russell. So what makes her so good? In my opinion, she's a former actress. You think?
Seriously? She is. She has a flair for the dramatic? She has a flair for dramatic. She knows how to pull on the heartstrings of the judge.
I am ready to rule. It was a former intern of Wood's who actually wrote the screenplay, basing it on the real case of a 39-year-old teacher from Afghanistan, played in the movie by Lim Lubani. I was arrested because I wanted everyone to know that girls should think for themselves. She had been imprisoned by the Taliban in the early 90s because she disagreed with its brand of fundamentalism. She was kidnapped, beaten and tortured before finally making it to the U.S. in hopes of being granted asylum. But as the movie shows, the lower court ordered she be deported instead. I wish I could grant your plea of asylum, but my hands are tied by the law.
The law of asylum does not recognize women as a protected class. So Judy took the case here. This is the courtroom.
To the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena. And you were a little nervous? Oh, very nervous, but I was ready.
I was definitely ready. She argued sending her client back to Afghanistan was almost a death sentence, especially because she's a woman. Women go through a lot of tragedy, a lot of hardship, and it's not the same kind of hardship that men go through. The persecution of women takes on this invasive nature, not only of their body, but their soul. The appellate court agreed, ruling there would be a clear probability of persecution if she were deported, and reversed the lower court's decision.
Since then, what has championed the cause of other women with similar harrowing tales all over the world? How big is the backlog of cases that are waiting? It's outrageous, outrageous. If you went to court today, if you were an immigrant, and I'm your lawyer, we go to the judge. Okay, I'm sorry, my docket is full. I'm resetting it to April 30th, 2022.
Come back then. And how many of those cases involve women? Oh, more than half, maybe 75%. For Michelle Monahan, the issue is clearly topical, but that doesn't make the movie political. The timing of it makes it seem political. Oftentimes, we make things political when they're not, when they're just truly of the heart, and it was her heart's mission to do that. The one thing everybody says about Judy Wood is that she never gives up. Maybe she's no saint, but she certainly seems to have found her calling. If you have faith, and you do what's right, and you keep doing it, and you give your life to it, you will succeed.
You will change the nature of life on the planet. I really believe that. I mean, he could play any instrument.
He could dance like a maniac. To the founding father, who just doesn't seem to get much respect. This guy did everything wrong. So there's no statue.
There's no signature on the Declaration of Independence. You'll learn new things about people you thought you knew. Were you aware that the day of your inauguration, Audrey Hepburn died?
No. You'll learn about people who aren't real. They did not have room in the writing for the older brother, because the Fonz became the older brother. So join me this premiere season of Mobituaries. Of course, we know better, but before they were called conjoined twins, they were known as Siamese twins.
Ever wonder why? This morning, Mo Rocca tells us the fascinating story of Chang and Eng, the twins from Siam. Welcome to the, I believe, 29th annual Bunker Reunion.
At the Bunker Family Reunion in Mount Airy, North Carolina, barbecue's not on the menu. This is a sticky rice with coconut milk. And this is one reunion where relatives take sides. Are you on the Chang or the Eng side? Chang. Excuse me, are you on the Chang or the Eng side? Chang. And are you a descendant?
I am. I'm a great granddaughter of the Eng. The folks here are descendants of the conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker.
Two were the most popular entertainers of the early 19th century. They were portrayed in a very exotic way, dressed always identically, same suit, same shirt. The boys were born in 1811 on the other side of the planet, in what's now Thailand, and was then called Siam. Ever heard the term Siamese twins? It started with them.
They were perfectly healthy and normal, except for a four-inch long band of flesh and cartilage that connected them. Chang was the more irritable and Eng was the more moderate and the wiser. In his book, Inseparable, author Yunta Huang describes how a couple of Westerners saw Chang and Eng as a couple of lottery tickets, essentially purchasing the 17-year-old boys and bringing them by ship to America. During their four-month voyage, the twins learned to speak English, to play chess, and more.
The boys can do backflips together. Okay, we have to stop there for a second because that's not incidental, that's a big deal. It is a big deal, yes. They arrived in 1829 and took the country by storm, objects of fascination for a public that didn't know what to make of them. Were they seen as monsters in their lives?
Certainly, when the paying viewers flocked into the tents or the rooms, those people definitely look at these boys as freaks or monsters. They were mistreated too, barely seeing any of the money they brought in. So when they turned 21, they decided to split from their owners. They eventually wrote their own version kind of Siamese decoration independence. After seven more years of exhibiting themselves, they retired here in Mount Airy.
The surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains reminded them of Siam. They adopted the surname Bunker and became farmers. What do you got here?
They called it the Bible. And it's been in the family ever since. Today, family members say there are about 1,500 descendants of Chang and Ang. He must be the youngest bunker here.
Oh my gosh, look at him. This is my grandmother Adelaide's rose bush that she planted probably 150 years ago. This is the house that Chang built and where his great-granddaughter Alex Sink grew up. And then the outhouse for the house. And then the outhouse was down the hill. Do we know what the outhouse looked like? You know, we know it was a two-holer. She's one of the more prominent descendants.
She was the Democratic nominee for Florida's governor in 2010. But Sink remembers that as a kid, she stood out in town for what she says were her distinctive looks. I remember walking down the streets of little North Carolina and going into a store and somebody would look at me and say, you must be one of those bunkers. But I have to give credit to my father because he said, you should be so proud of the fact that you come from the Siamese twins. Which is why a group of 10 descendants made a recent trip to Thailand to the village where Chang and Eng's story began. I'm where I came from. My ancestors were here. They didn't make it back, but I did. That's Eng's great-great-granddaughter Robin Craver. A lady was brought to tears from meeting me.
I'm just little old Robin Craver from North Carolina. And this is her cousin Zach Blackmon Jr. who organized the trip. It's unbelievable the respect they have for two young boys that came to America. They had their physical disabilities, but they lived the American dream. But as it turns out, a complicated American dream. If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
And what if someone could make them come true? Here's Steve Hartman. At a nursing home in northwest Arkansas, we found a gem named Ruby. Eleven-year-old Ruby Chitzy likes to go to work with her mom. Amanda is a nurse who travels to several nursing homes in the area. And it was on one of those visits that Ruby started going to residents with her notepad. If you could have any three things, any three things, what would they be?
What would you want? She came up with this idea, these questions. Yes. With the intention of what? I don't think she had an intention really. Ruby says she was mostly just curious what they'd say. Were you surprised?
Yes, I was very surprised. I thought people'd say like money, houses, Lamborghini. But instead, here's what she got. Electric razor, new shoes, Vienna sausage. For some reason, a lot of people asked for Vienna sausage and other really basic items.
Like that's all they wanted. And I really decided that I needed to do something. So she started a charity called Three Wishes for Ruby's Residents. I'm going to sit right beside you.
Now, while her mom is caring for patients, Ruby goes room to room. I love cheese. I do too. Jots down wishes.
Avocados. And then sets out to grant those wishes. Thank you sweetheart. You're welcome. Ruby has a GoFundMe to cover costs. But again, no one is asking for a sports car here.
Her expenses are minimal, especially compared to the rewards. It really lifts you. It really does. It's just so beautiful.
It really does. On this day, she came back with a wheelchair full of sausages and other grocery items. You have this huge chocolate pie that you can eat all by yourself. But make no mistake, this isn't about food. Watermelon and oranges.
No one has this kind of reaction over fresh fruit alone. It's okay. Thank you so much.
I can't believe it. Whether she knows it or not, Ruby is satisfying some much more basic human needs here. To be remembered. To be cherished, especially by a child. That is what our seniors are truly hungry for. And that is what Ruby brings every time she sets foot in a nursing home. Who needs a Lamborghini? You know, I'm a hugger. When you've got home delivery of all the happy you can handle. You're in for a treat this morning.
Best-selling author David Sedaris makes his debut as our newest contributor. Today, thoughts on 21st century gallantry. I was on a crowded bus recently, standing, because I just surrendered my seat. I'm not tooting my horn. You don't get extra credit for doing what's right. The only real joy in giving up your seat is lording it over the guy who didn't. What would your mother think if she'd seen you sitting there playing a child's game on your phone while a tired pregnant woman stood in front of you, I thought, glaring and realizing the woman I'd given my seat to was most likely not pregnant, but just wearing an oversized blouse.
It's best not to make a show of your offer. Rather, you should act like you're getting off of the next stop and would be standing up anyway. That saves the old or pregnant person, or in this case, young and not pregnant, any embarrassment. Years ago in Mexico, I stood for an elderly woman who thanked me and then turned the seat over to her husband. The bus was going from town to town rather than street to street, so I wound up standing for two and a half hours, this while the man stared dumbly out the window, not even offering to hold his wife's bag on his lap.
I was young at the time, 30, and they were the age that I am now, right around 60, which seemed ancient to me then. As I get older, I find that my standards change a bit. Of course, I'd give up my seat to a woman who's visibly pregnant or wounded, but what if she has a swastika tattoo? In that situation, can't I just look the other way? What if it's not a tattoo, but just a t-shirt supporting someone I didn't vote for?
What if she's talking on her phone too loudly, saying my least favorite word a lot, awesome? On buses in Paris, I was frequently ordered out of my seat by blonde women who'd had facelifts and wore short skirts with fishnet stockings. Is it fair to be artificially young-looking and then reclaim your age when your feet get tired? One day, I decided, no, if your hair is not gray or white, you cannot order me to stand up. I can decide to, but it has to be my idea.
Of course, now my hair is gray as well, and that complicates things further. Please, someone said to me on the Tube in London last year, take my seat. I insist. I did.
But strangely, I hated him for it. Sometimes the noise of news reporting can numb the significance of a story. For example, the ongoing talks with North Korea over its nuclear arsenal, the fury and force of a nuclear bomb, something we all hope we'll never experience, truly has to be seen to be believed, which brings us to this report from David Martin.
Miles back, observers from all services and several allied nations stand by for the first daylight tower shot. The terrible swift power of nuclear weapons has to be seen to be believed. This is a really big fireball.
It'll be about two miles across. Now, thanks to a project headed by Greg Spriggs at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, the public can see them as never before. It's unclassified.
It's not a threat to national security. Starting in 1945, the U.S. conducted 210 nuclear tests above ground, all of them recorded on film from as many angles as possible. I now declare that the United States does not propose to conduct nuclear tests in the atmosphere so long as other states do not do so.
That ended in 1963 when, for the good of the planet, the U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to stop testing in the atmosphere. Let's play this in fast motion and you can see that mocks them crawling up. Unlike most of us, Spriggs understands the physics that produces these spectacular images. Temperatures can reach anywhere from about 10 million degrees up to about 15 million degrees initially.
Degrees Kelvin, very hot, very hot. At the outer edge of the fireball is a shockwave. But the fireball doesn't vaporize, the shockwave crushes.
See those tiny objects in the foreground? Those are tanks about to be hit by the shockwave. When it first starts off, it's moving at Mach 100, 100 times the speed of sound. And then there is the mushroom-shaped cloud which climbs into the sky spewing radiation. That's directly tied to the nuclear fallout which was very, very sensitive to the cloud height. Using a computer to measure the cloud from one blast, Spriggs discovered the original calculations made 50 years ago were off by a full mile. Instead of 35,000 feet, it was something like 40,000 feet and it was because of the way they measured it. That made him wonder if calculations from all the other blasts were wrong as well. It was more than just academic curiosity. Those calculations are used to predict the performance, what Spriggs calls the yield of today's weapons.
If you measure the shockwave radius and you're off by one percent, you will be off by five percent in the yield. So Spriggs set out to re-analyze and then release to the public the estimated 9,000 rolls of film that had been shot. He found most of them in the archives at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, birthplace of the atom bomb. Untouched for decades, a vast scientific treasure trove left to decay. I've had a challenge with some cans, just getting the can open. Jim Moy is one of this country's foremost film preservationists.
Once entrusted with the Zapruder film of President Kennedy's assassination, he now has the job of retrieving the only visual record of America's most fearsome weapons. I want to first, once I open a can, determine the condition of the film and one way is by smell because any acetate-based film, as the base that carries the image starts to decay, it will put off an odor, which is called vinegar syndrome. Smells like vinegar. It does, exactly.
It sounds like basically it's a race against time. It really is because until those cans are opened, you don't know the condition. Some of the film has been lost forever, but Moy was able to restore most of it, using a scanner to convert each frame to a digital file. Here we're able to analyze all the fireball films in an automated way. Digital technology allowed Spriggs to analyze the films with much greater precision.
Those are high energy x-rays running down the cable and vaporizing the cable. And he found that the measurements made decades ago over the Pacific Ocean and Nevada desert were inaccurate. The best they could do in the 50s was on the order about plus or minus seven, maybe ten percent. So we're talking maybe plus or minus a hundred kilotons for a one megaton shot. A kiloton is an explosion equivalent to 1,000 tons of TNT. 100 kilotons is about six times bigger than the bomb which leveled Hiroshima, killing a third of the population.
The Pentagon would not tell us if the new data from the old tests had forced any change in current nuclear targeting plans. But that does not change the impact of simply looking at images like this, frozen for one millionth of a second from two miles away. This fireball truly looks like an alien come to devour the earth.
What do you hope the public gets out of? Well I hope they appreciate just how horrific these weapons are. This is something that can kill millions of people in the blink of an eye. Spriggs is one of the few nuclear weapons designers old enough to have actually witnessed a nuclear explosion. The 1962 weapon effects testing operation fishbowl. High altitude nighttime blast over the Pacific.
This guy lit up like it was noon, no matter what direction you were looking, it just lit up and it took about 15 minutes for all the colors to fade away. How does the real thing then compare with the film? It's amazing the difference between what occurred out there and what's on the film. As majestic and fearsome as those photos appear, they don't come close.
Not even close to what you see in real life. I'm Jane Pauley. Thank you for listening and please join us again next Sunday morning. of taking a democratic seat away. Nevada, New Hampshire. Not Georgia. Well, Georgia's right up there, but New Hampshire is a surprise. In New Hampshire, people really just kind of don't like Maggie Hassan. For more from this week's conversation, follow the Takeout with Major Garrett on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
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