Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 28, 2010

Just a few days remaining in the year? What will you blog about. Here are some ideas.
  • 65 years ago the United States congress officially recognized The Pledge of Allegiance (1945)
  • 10 years ago retailer Montogomery Ward officially announced it's going out of business (2010)
  • 154 years since the birth of 28th President Woodrow Wilson
  • American comic book legend Stan Lee turns 88 (born 1922)
  • Actress Dame Maggie Smith turns 76 (born 1934)
  • Musician John Legend turns 32 (born 1978)
  • American Idol runner-up David Archulete turns 20 (born 1990)
  • In the tradition of celebrating the 12 days of Christmas, today is the fourth day of Christmas

Available on DVD: December 28, 2010

The American (staring George Clooney)
Resident Evil: Afterlife (staring Milla Jovovich and Wentworth Miller)

Jersey Shore: Season 2

Saturday, December 25, 2010

New Film Releases - Christmas Day - December 25, 2010

Gulliver's Travels (Fox)

The Illusianist (Sony Classics)

The King's Speech (Weinstein Company)
Rabbit Hole (Lionsgate)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mid-Week Film Releases - Wednesday December 22, 2010

Wide Releases
Little Fockers (Univeresal)
True Grit (Paramont)

Limited Releases
Country Strong (Song/Screen Gems)
Somewhere (Focus Features)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Available on DVD: December 21, 2010

New to DVD
  • Devil
  • Easy A
  • Salt
  • Soul Kitchen
  • Step Up 3-D
  • Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thinking Christmas: Taking Pictures

It's Monday, and Christmas is less than a week away.

This week is a great week to blog about the holidays. Perhaps you've been blogging for a few years and need some fresh "holiday ideas."

Today's post is about some personal holiday-related pictures you can take to share with your blog readers to make you and you're holiday experience come alive:
  • "Wrapping: Amateur or Expert?" - are you an expert or do you flounder. Share some examples of your best or worst present wrapping.
  • "Present Wrapping Room" - show off the skeleton's in your closet when you get down and dirty (or perhaps neat and organized) in your present wrapping schemes. My guess is this area of your house will have a significant clean up before the guest arrive.
  • "Something Old, Something New" - Christmas decorations seem to get passed down, boxed up for years and put out again and again. What's the oldest holiday decoration that dresses your home? Similarly what's the newest thing you've added this year?
  • "Making a List, Checking It Twice" - The holidays are busy, so that means lists. Food lists, gift lists, to do lists, party lists. If you have one of these lists share your chaos or organization by snapping a picture of your lists and what your lists says about you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December 19, 2010

  • 69 years ago Adolf Hitler became Commander-in-Chief of the German Army (1941)
  • 27 years ago the original FIFA World Cup Trophy (the Jules Rimet Trophy) is stolen from the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation in Rio De Jeneiro. The trophy has never been recovered (1983)
  • 111 years since the birth of Martin Luther King, Sr. (born 1899, he died 1984)
  • Jake Gyllenhaal turns 30 (born 1980)
  • Anniversary of the death of Emily Bronte (died 1848)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

1 Year Since US Premier of Avatar

Avatar premiered in United States December 18, 2009.

The film earned $27 million on opening day in the US, and $77 million it's first weekend.

Dollar for dollar Avatar is the highest grossing film in the US and Worldwide with a domestic gross of $760,478,635 and a worldwide gross of $2,777,461,400.

Although, adjusted for inflation BoxOfficeMojo's data shows Avatar as the 14th highest grossing film of all time (source).

Avatar is reported to have had a $237 million dollar budget.

The film broke records as the top selling Blu-Ray release of all time.

Avatar would win 3 Oscars (Art Direction, Cinemotography, Visual Effects). Other nominations included Directing (James Cameron), Editing, Original Score (James Horner), Sound, Sound Editing, and Best Picture.

Friday, December 17, 2010

This Weekends New Films - December 17

Tron Legacy (Buena Vista)
Yogi Bear (Warner Bros.)
How Do you Know (Sony/Columbia)

The Fighter (Paramont)

Rabbit Hole (Lionsgate)
Casino Jack (ATO Pictures)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 14: Monkey Day

December 14 is Monkey Day (the official website is here).

The official observation is as unorganized as you can imagine for a day with such a title, with a purpose that spans from general appreciation of monkeys, evolution, to advocacy and protection.

That being said, I suppose that gives you the freedom to celebrate Monkey day how ever you see fit, here's some ideas:

  • Monkey Day origins: Started in 2000 by comic book artist (Fetus-X), Casey Sorrow
  • Peter Jackson's King Kong legitimized the day in some ways with it's release in 2005 on Monkey Day
  • Monkey Day seems like the perfect day to write about your famous monkeys
    ◘ Gordo, the space traveling monkey
    ◘ Ramu, the imprisoned monkey in India who wildlife activist are trying to have freed
    ◘ Maggie the Monkey, the Canadian monkey known for predicting the Stanley Cup winners
  • Or there's the fictional monkeys
    ◘ Curious George, the little guy who was brought back from Africa by the Man with the Yellow Hat
    ◘ The Winged Monkeys, those scary creates from The Wizard of Oz
    ◘ Abu, Aladdin's buddy in the Disney film
    ◘ Mojo, Homer's helper monkey on The Simpsons
  • Monkey-related nonprofits:
    Chimps, Inc
    Primate Rescue Center

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010 - Celebirty Birthdays

  • Musical Starlet Taylor Swift turns 21 (born 1989)
  • Tom DeLonge (guitarist of Blink-182, Angels and Airwaves) turns 35 (born 1975)
  • University of Nebraska College Football coach Bo Pelini turns 43 (born 1967)
  • Musician, Actor, Oscar winner Jamie Fox turns 43 (born 1967)
  • One of the Coen Brother's favorite actor Steve Buscemi turns 53 (born 1957)
  • Actor Christopher Plummer turns 81 (born 1929)
  • Actor/Comedian Dick Van Dyke turn 85 (born 1925)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December 12, 2010: Women In Church Leadership

On this day, 60 years ago in 1950 Paula Ackerman became the first woman in the United States to lead a Jewish congregation in the United States.

When her husband Rabbi William Ackerman died November 30, 1950 she took up the post of leading her husband's congregation, Temple Beth Israel in Meridian, Mississippi.

She served in this role until 1953, never being ordained or going through the traditional school experience of one who leads a Jewish congregation.

Ackerman again later in her life would serve for 9 months in her home town of Pensacola, Florida.

Ideas for blogging:

1. What's your thoughts on women in church leadership?

2. How has your thoughts changed or stayed the same in your lifetime?

3. How do gender roles positively or negatively impact spiritual life?

4. What female spiritual leader do you find inspiring (examples could be: Joan of Arc, Joni Earekson Tada, Beth Moore, Elizabeth Dole, Selina countess of Huntingdon, Sarah Crosby, Catherine Booth, Lottie Moon, Ester Johns, Corrie Ten Boom, Anna Frank, Golda Meir).

Friday, December 10, 2010

This Weekends New Films - December 10, 2010

Wide Release
The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Fox)
The Tourist (Sony/Columbia)

The Fighter (Paramount)
The Tempest (Miramax)

Black Swan (Fox Searchlight)
I Love You, Phillip Morris (Roadside Attractions)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7, 2010

  • The anniversary of Cicero's assassination (43 BC)
  • 80 years since the first television commercial, an ad for I.J. Fox Furries who sponsored the CBS TV broadcast of the The Fox Trappers (1930)
  • 69 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during WWII (1941)
  • 100 years since the birth of "The King of Swing:" Popular swing, big band, and lounge act Louis Prima (born 1910, died 1978)
  • International Civil Aviation Day (as created by the UN General assembly in 1994 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation).

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6, 2010

  • 4 years ago since NASA revealed pictures from Mars Global Surveyor indicating that there may be water on Mars (1996)
  • Ulf Ekberg, founding member of Swedish 90s sensation Ace of Base turns 40
  • Christkind, a day in central Europe that is a gift giving day with the view that the baby-Jesus-like-sprite brings gift to children
  • The main feast of St. Nicholas for whom the Santa Clause tradition is based. Saint Nicholas day is celebrate December 6 in many parts of Europe through gift-giving.
  • The 2nd "season" of NBC's television show The Sing-Off premiers. The five episode show is a reality competition game-show that features accapella vocalist

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 5, 2010

  • Today the BCS bowl announcements will pave the way for the big college football games over the holidays.
  • The first round of film awards came out, including the prestigeious National Board of Review awards (full list here).
  • Washington Post tells different messages about the film Fair Game. The movie reviewer says it's great, but the op-ed tells people to stay away from lies (foxnews story here).
  • Today's the day of the Las Vegas Rock N' Roll Marathon

Friday, December 3, 2010

This Weekends New Films - December 3, 2010

Wide Release
The Warrior Way (Relativity)

Limited Release
Black Swan (Fox Searchlight)
Dead Awake (New Films Cinema)
I Love You, Phillip Morris (Roadside Attractions)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Compare & Contrast: Religion & Public Funds

Two stories I've heard recently both use some similar sounding arguments in some similar but inconsistent ways.

I think most people can sound off on one of these stories or the other, but I think a true blog-craftsman could weave these together in an interesting ways. Use the best logic you have in defending or critiquing one of these stories and use the same logic in the next, or explain why similar logic isn't needed.

Story #1: Nativity Scene at the Colorado State Capital Building and Protest Billboards
The organization Boulder Atheist will be placing Billboards up in the vicinity of the Colorado State Capital protesting the nativity scene that is included as part of the state's holiday display. The billboards will read: " "Stop government support of religion. Move this Denver nativity scene to a church." The state says it will not remove the nativity scene which has been part of it's display for 40 years. Read the story and watch the video here at

Story #2: Controversial Art of Jesus in Government Funded Art Gallery
The Smithsonian has removed a portrait from it's exhibit Hide/Seek featuring the art of homosexual artists portraits. The art removed is a video by David Wojnarowicz called A Fire In My Belly, which was removed after political pressure about government dollars funding art that depicted Jesus on a crucifix covered with ants. The NPR story can be found here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 30, 2010

  • 70 years since Lucielle Ball married Dezi Arnez (1940)
  • 15 years since the official end to Operation Desert Storm (1995)
  • Billy Idol turns 55 (born 1955)
  • 110 years since the death of Oscar Wilde (died 1900)
  • Today is Cities for Life Day which celebrated by cities and countries that are opposed to the death penalty. The date is marked by the abolition of the death penalty by Joseph of Habsberg-Lorraine in 1786 for his grand Dutchy of Tuscany. Cities that participate mark the occassion typically by illuminating symbolic statues or building.

Available on DVD: November 30, 2010

New Movies
Knight & Day
Vampires Suck

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November 28, 2010

  • College Football/BCS: Today the BCS rankings will reveal which Big 10 team is the division champion and will go to the Rose Bowl since there is a three way tie (Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State)
  • College Football/BCS: Similarly today's rankings will reveal which team in the Big 12 South will go on to play Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship next week for the opportunity to play in the Fiesta Bowl (3 way tie between: Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M)
  • American Actor Ed Harris turns 60 today (born November 28, 1950)
  • 35 years ago East Timor declared it's independence from Portugal
  • Other countries celebrating their Independence today include Albania (independence from the Ottoman Empire, 1912) and Mauritania (independence from France, 1960)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November 27, 2010

  • 5 years ago the first partial human face transplant is performed in France by Dr. Bernard Devauchelle (2005). [note: earlier this year (March 20, 2010) the first full face transplant was performed by 30 spanish doctors, a second similar surgery happened later this year in July]
  • If Bruce Lee were still alive, today he'd be 70 (born Nov 27, 2010). He died at the age of 32 (July 20, 1973)
  • 915 years ago Pope Urban II declares the start of the First Crusade at the Counsel of Clermont (1095 AD)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Coversation Starters

I'm sure there will be plenty of blog post about Thanksgiving memories or pictures of golden baked turkeys today.

But maybe more than blog topics you might even need some Thanksgiving conversation starters? Here's some ideas for blog post, or conversations.

• Family - Why our you and your siblings different. Here's some ideas from a unique news story from NPR this week: Siblings Share Genes, But Rarely Personalities.

• Sports - Some big college football rivalry games over the long weekend, including a struggling Texas vs a strong Texas A&M; Nebraska vs. Colorado (to Big 12 teams leaving the conference in opposite directions); Florida vs. Florida State; Mississippi vs. Mississippi State; Virginia vs. Virginia Tech; South Carlonia vs. Clemson; Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State.

• Food - Discuss your favorite "trendy cook" and which cookbook you'd adopt as your kitchen bible (Ina Garten: The Barefoot Contessa, Rachel Ray: EVOO-loving Quick & Easy Chef, Ree Drummond: The Pioneer Woman, Bobby Flay: Mr. Throwdown, or someone else)

• Politics - South Korea/North Korea: Is it time to be agressive or is this the last thing that the world's economy and political stamina can handle?

• Movies & Comics - Want to discuss the new preview for Green Lantern but don't know where to start, the m0vie blog presents a nice 101 course in all things Green Lantern.

• Shopping/Trends - Black Friday seem different this year - maybe earlier, maybe more spread out, maybe a little extra 3 am-ish? LA Times has a good article on the subject: Black Friday becoming a week of discounts and extended hours

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Film Release - Wednesday Before Thanksgiving - November 24, 2010

Love and Other Drugs

The Nutcracker in 3D

**Out on Friday November 26, 2010: The King's Speech

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Available on DVD: November 23, 2010

New Movies
Countdown to Zero
Eat Pray Love

The Expendables

Special Edition
Beauty and the Beast (2 Disk Diamond Edition)

November 23, 2010

  • 30 years since the Italian Earthquakes that killed 5000 people (1980)
  • Miley Cyrus turns 18 (born 1992)
  • Previous performances continue to get new life, The Doors release a "new" CD: The Doors - Live In Vancouver 1970 (2CD)

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010

  • Anniversary of the founding of Denver, Colorado (1858)

  • 66 years ago the Humane Society was founded (1954)

  • 47 years since the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas (1963)

  • 15 years ago Toy Story is released, and is the first feature length film using entirely computer generated imagery (1995)

  • 5 years ago Angela Markel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany

  • Shawn Fanning, Napster developer turns 30 (1980)
  • 30 years since the death of silver screen actress Mae West (1980), she was 87 at the time of her death.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Travel & the News

Holiday travel offers it on joys and inconviniences, mostly inconviences. Here's some recent news stories that could offer plenty of blog-conversation:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November 20, 2010

  • 25 years ago Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released (1985)
  • Vice President Joe Biden turns 68 (born 1942)
  • Today, a very unique football game at Wrigley Field where Northwest and Illinois will be playing using only one end zone for offensive plays (here's the link for more info) expect this to be a famous game discussed today, in the future, and in trivial pursuit games for many years to come.

Friday, November 19, 2010

World Toilet Day: November 19, 2010

World Toilet Day (Nov 19, 2010). Yes, World Toilet Day. Here's the link to the event information and the purpose of event as sponsored by World Toilet Organization.

UNICEF reports that 1.8 million people, mostly children die of diarrhoea each year.

It's not too late to submit your video (or vote on a video) in the Support a Movement video competion (deadline Dec 2, 2010) for the $500 prize for a poop video.

Random toilet fact 1: The first public toilets were believed to be popularized The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park London where people were charged a penny to use the toilets and attendents were dressed in white.

Random toilet fact 2: The first US patent for a toilet was granted in 1857.

This Weekends New Films - November 19, 2010

Wide Release
Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows - Part I (Warner Bros)
The Next Three Days (Lionsgate)

Limited Release
Heartless (Sci-Fi Horror, IFC)
White Material (Foreign, IFC)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Questions of The Day: The General Motors IPO

*Blog about today's question, and let me know either by placing a comment on this post or e-mailing me and I will place a link to your related blog post on this post**

Today (November 18, 2010) GM's stock has it's big inital public offering (IPO) coming out of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

The new GM will be selling 412 million shares at $33 a piece.

Many see this as the beginning of GM's comeback, as well as an opportunity for tax payers to recooperate from losses from the bailout (the government will retain a a one-third ownership in the company if all 412 million shares sell, which they plan on selling off as the stock price presumably rises).

So today's questions that might inspire an "Idea 2 Blog":

1. Smart Pants Question: GM has reformed their company in the past 9 months making huge adjustments to compensation packages, union agreements, and debt, but are these changes enough to make consumers trust this new company?

2. Memory Road Question: What was your first car you owned, was it General Motors family (GMC, Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac)? Whether it was or not, how much did the brand of the car influence your perception of this car?

3. Green Question: Many would suggest much of GM's near term success is in the Chevrolet Volt which launches later this month, what's your thoughts on this hyped plug-in hybrid?

November 18, 2010

  • 70 years ago New York Cities "Mad Bomber" places his first bomb at a Manhattan office building (1940). The Mad Bomber (George Metesky) would continue to terrorize New York City for the next 16 years.
  • George Bernard Shaw refuses to accept Nobel prize money with the famous quote " "I can forgive Alfred Nobel for inventing dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize." (1926).
  • Today the post-Bankruptcy General Motors IPO goes public at $33 a share.
  • Owen Wilson turns 42 (born 1968).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 17, 2010

  • 10 Year Anniversary of the release of the movie How The Grinch Stole Christmas, the top grossing film of 2010 (US Gross $260,044,825) (2000)
  • 210 Years since the United States Congress held it first session in Washington DC (1800)
  • 40 years since Douglas Engelbart receives the patent for the first computer mouse (1970).
  • 100 years since the first American airplane fatality. Pioneer pilot Ralph Johnstone dies in Denver, Colorado crash. (1910)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November 16, 2010

  • 20 year anniversary of the film release of Home Alone. Home Alone was the top domestic grossing film of 1990 ($260,044,825) (1990)
  • 20 years ago, Bill Clinton Visits Vietnam, becoming the First US President to visit Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War (1990)
  • International Day of Tolerance as declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESECO) in 1995.

Available on DVD: November 16, 2010

New Films
Best Worst Movie
Cats & Dogs the Revenge of Kitty Galore
Disney's A Christmas Carol
The Kid's Are All Right

The Last Airbender

New Special Edition
Avatar (Three Disk Extended Collector's Edition)

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

  • 65 years ago (1945) Venezuela joins the United Nations
  • 20 years ago (1990) Racehorse Alydar dies
  • The beginning of Winter Lent (or the Nativity Fast) for Eastern Orthodox which last 40 Days from November 15 until December 15
  • Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 released today (2010)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November 14, 2010

  • 20 years ago, November 14 2010 a treaty confirmed Oder-Neisse Line as the border between Poland and Germany
  • 40 years ago (1970) Southern Airways Flight 932 crashes near Huntington, West Virginia killing 75 people including members of the Marshall Univeresity football team.
  • World Diabetes Day, November 14 (as introduced in 1991 by the International Diabetes Association). The Day was chosen because it is the birthdayday of Fredrick Banting (1922) who with Charles Best conceived the idea that led to insulin
  • TLC premiers the 8 episode TV show Sarah Palin's Alaska tonight

Saturday, November 13, 2010

November 13, 2010

  • 300 Years since the birth of French Dramatist Charles Simon Favart
  • 100 Years since the birth of American journalist, screenwriter, novelist William Bradford Huie
  • The Christian feast of Saint Homobonus, patron saint of Business People, Tailors, and Shoemakers
  • World Kindness Day (Introdcued in 1998 by the World Kindness Organization as part of the World Kidness Movement

Friday, November 12, 2010

This Weekends New Films - November 12, 2010

Wide Release
Morning Glory (Paramont)
Skyline (Universal)
Unstoppable (Fox)

Limited Release
Cool It (Documentary by Road Side Attractions)
Tiny Furniture (Comedy by IFC)