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Best film of all time, I think not

Maybe it was because I went into this film with exceedingly high expectations, knowing it has been recognized as one of the best films of all time, that I did not particularly like it, and I say this coming from a pure entertainment aspect.

Overall, I found the film to be long and disengaging with respect to the characters, especially regarding Mr. Charles Foster Kane. I simply didn’t feel the story enough behind Kane, didn’t really build up the sympathy required by an audience member to put myself fully into it, which produced a lacking force when it comes to my opinion on it. In the end (literally), I just didn’t feel sorry for Kane. If I did, I think I would have enjoyed the film more.

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Jon and Kate Plus 8 Divided by 2

A common theme for my topics lately seems to be entertainment, and this is a nice little addendum to the story I recently wrote about the criticism in discipline about this highly overrated TV couple.

June 22, 2009 is a day that will go down in TLC infamy.  It is the day its cash cow (and the only show that people really tuned in to watch instead of accidentally stumbling upon something interesting during a boring night) may have started its trek toward a fiery demise.

Jon and Kate Gosselin filed for divorce in the Bucks County Courthouse, creating a gossip columnist’s wet dream for the next few days.  The stories that have flooded the news about this couple have ranged from various bouts of infidelity with teachers and bodyguards, attending events separately to being extremely hostile toward one another (exactly what the show had displayed in body language as their relationship deteriorated).

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Mass media makes a mockery of parenting

There has been a slew of news material since the start of the year about the parenting and child care choices of our sometimes questionable ‘celebrities.’  We’ve had the octo-mom and her welfare lifestyle even prior to giving birth to the human version of a litter.  All of the possible exploitation of her kids and trying to secure a reality TV show and other possible ways of raising her pack of future voters when she decides to run for mayor.

Then there’s the countless adoptions of Angelina Jolie and the new births of kids named Apple, Martini, Dewdrop, Lollygag, and whatever else the Hollywood folk can deem to punish their unwitting children before they learn to speak.

But what perhaps is the biggest mockery of the celebrities and their somewhat questionable habits is one that isn’t questionable at all.  Kate Gosselin, from the first successful venture in a real life Brady Bunch family setting, Jon and Kate Plus Eight, was caught on camera spanking one of her kids by the paparazzi.  The child was blowing a whistle while her mother was on the phone and was asked to stop, but continued anyway.  Doing what parents have been doing up until recently when children began to receive more rights than educated, well-meaning adults, she disciplined the child.  There is a saying: “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”

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Ideas to change America and the world

Everyone always says that we’re all looking for the “quick fix.” The connotation is almost always negative, but what if it didn’t have to be? The July/August edition of The Atlantic has suggested 15 ideas on “How to Fix the World.”

These 15 ideas, submitted by different contributors, suggest some ideas that seem crazy but just might work. Their 15 include:

1. Renting out your home instead of watching it go into foreclosure.
2. Deploying private military companies to act as “peacekeepers” throughout the world.
3. Giving up on Afghanistan ever having a democracy.
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FDA steps in on homeopathic nightmare

Could the homeopathic drugs you’re taking actually be hurting you?

Well, apparently they can.

Take, for example, the beloved cure-all Zicam. On Tuesday, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) told Zicam to stop marketing two of its products. The reason behind the demand is that hundreds of people have filed lawsuits claiming that these products have caused them to lose their sense of smell.

The two products in question are Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel and Nasal Swabs. According to the Associated Press (AP), the FDA plans to test the safety of these two drugs before they’re allowed back on the market… if they’re ever allowed back on the market.

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Top 10 “do not miss” places in Tampa, Fla.

Tampa, on the West coast of Florida, typically is overshadowed by its eastern neighbor Orlando, which is home to Disney World. This town is full of history, diversity and some really good food. If you’re ever in the area, here are the top 10 places to check out.

1. Kaleisia Tea Lounge – Located at 1441 East Fletcher Ave. Suite #133, this community-oriented tea lounge offers loose leaf teas, smoothies and vegan food options. While close to the University of South Florida, it promotes a “tea community” and welcomes anyone. Owners Kim Pham and Lan Ha are dedicated to customer service and love helping people learn more about tea and Asian cultures.

2. Dunderbaks – Located at 14929 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., this German bar and restaurant offers delicious, authentic food and hundreds of draft and bottled beers from all over the world. With more than 50 beers on draft, there’s a beer for everyone and a size for everyone including Das Boot. If you get really lucky, maybe you’ll get to see the accordion player who sings underneath the gazebo some nights.

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Affordable summer fun not found in Florida

We rounded the next bend and that’s when I saw it for the very first time. From left to right my eyes slowly scanned; my lower jaw hanging in disbelief, my eyes unblinking at the sight of them one right after the other. Red, blue, green, yellow, orange…the rocky, white sand coastline was absolutely covered in roller coasters. Even at that distance, a good mile away, it took me two shots with my digital camera to capture the whole stretch.

“There it is, Dad!” I almost screamed.

“That’s why they call this ‘America’s Roller Coast,’” he responded with a smile.

It’s true that my dad and I drove a solid 18 hours from our home in Clearwater, Florida, a more than 1,100-mile trip through seemingly endless cornfields, tired farm towns and broken roads to visit what is arguably the top-rated thrill park on the planet, but I had no idea how fitting the extreme version of our trip just getting there actually fit the thrill power of this attraction….

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Social and personal problems, know the difference

Somewhere in the United States, a young mother is forced to choose between providing food or healthcare for herself and her children because she can’t afford to do both.

Meanwhile, a group of gang members decides to make a drive-by shooting in a rival gang’s territory, killing three innocent victims and wounding others.

In another portion of the country, a man is being sent to death-row, to the electric chair, for a crime he did not commit.

Still, somewhere else, a woman is denied employment because she’s black, not white.

Poverty, violence, justice, human rights, equality and crime are all examples of solid, contemporary social problems that can easily be found within the society we call our own here in the United States.

Only when a problem is recognized by the majority of society as threatening or harmful to the lives and commonly established values of the people, and that action should be taken against it, is the issue elevated to social status.

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A social stance on Proyas’s “The Crow”

One year after the brutal murder of Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and girlfriend Shelly Webster (Sofia Shinas), Eric is brought back from the grave by a crow, a legendary creature that it is told can shatter the barrier between the living and the dead to bring back a life for the sake of love. The crow aides Eric in a righteous mission of vengeance as Eric seeks out the perpetrators of his and Shelly’s death.

“The Crow,” directed by visionary Alex Proyas, is set in the slums of an unnamed inner city where the sirens of police cars feel incessant and the flashing of red and blue lights is commonplace. Various gangs bully the city’s inhabitants for greed and mere amusement. Homeless people litter the streets and police patrol in fear. Children desperately search for food while their parents spend what little money they have on drugs such as cocaine and morphine.

This film is strewn with blatant depictions of big time social issues, including poverty, gang violence, homelessness, child abuse/neglect and drug addiction.

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Kitty killer = Satan, serial rapist = not so bad

News media really is incredible. I mean, there’s nothing like having a wonderful day and turning on the 6 o’clock news to lose your faith in humanity.

Sure, for many of us what we see on television doesn’t come as a surprise. We’re all pretty well aware of what’s going on in the Middle East. We know that the economy is in the toilet. Yeah, yeah, yeah…

As I watched the news last night, I wasn’t surprised to see the same old stuff: shooting, robbery, fire, economy, Obama, missing person, rape, cat serial killer.

Cat serial killer?

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