45. Black Widow, Red Widow


New Visitor’s…Please read the two paragraphs at the end of this column before beginning your explorations in theater, poetry, children’s literature, movies, television, books, and the Arts. It will say New Visitor’s Greeting and be in boldface.

Educational Website…
Please, also, check out my educational website at aimtjp.wikispaces.com. No www. is needed. If you have any teachers or children in the family, they will enjoy it immensely. There are tons of immediately ready to use ideas in reading, children’s literature, Internet explorations, problem solving, and poetry on the opening screen and in the Public Dropbox.

Black Widow


Red Widow


Now You See Me


Movies…The movie trailer and its benefits can be debated with a wide range of viewpoints being offered. If it is good trailer it encourages you to see something previously not on your viewing schedule. If it is bad, you sit there in the theater and say to yourself: “I’ll pass on that one.”

Many movies are showing as many as three different versions of their movie trailer. They are trying to stem and have you re-evaluate the “I’ll pass” comments. Television shows are now being advertised in the movies. Many movie fanatics come ten minutes early to see the new television shows being announced before the normal movie trailers and their rating are shown.

Two impressive trailers this week advertised the two-hour premiere of Red Widow on ABC this Sunday and the new movie in theaters next week Now You See Me. To get in the mood for the two new offerings revisit Black Widow with Debra Winger and Teresa Russell. Teresa marries them and then kills them. Winger is on her trail but makes the mistake of befriending her to get closer. Black Widow can be found on all the commercial free stations that come with your service.

Hoping Sunday’s Red Widow follows a similar theme may be stretching it! The movie for television seems to be about revenge…maybe kissing and killing follows? Radha Mitchell stars in this fast pace crime drama. Her father’s death has to be avenged. Payback most cold, does not seem to be waiting in the wings in the trailer. Radha was previously reviewed with Denzel Washington for the movie Man On Fire.

Now You See Me combines magic, mystery, and thievery. Jesse Eisenberg (Facebook), Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine, Isla Fisher, and Woody Harrelson star. A team of magicians pulls bank robberies. They do this as they are performing their magic act. The audience is, then, given the money from the bank heist in streams of cash shot into the air. The thieves claim to take from the rich and give to the poor. Sounds like a takeoff of Paul Bunyan to me…or were you thinking someone else? The FBI thinks different.

Poetry And Emily Dickinson…Today’s poetry challenge mimics the style of Emily Dickinson. Storms, tempests, and hurricanes are familiar to all of us. We admire their fury, but relish the sun and quiet when they disappear. See if you can model Dickinson’s ‘An Awful Tempest Mashed The Air poem’ with your storm experiences in poem form. You can follow Dickinson’s format or create one of your own. What else can mash the air that you can develop in Dickinson’s poetic style? Write one unique idea with a substitute for ‘black as a spectre’s coat’ and one poem using your own writing elements.

An Awful Tempest Mashed The Air
By Emily Dickinson

An awful tempest mashed the air,
The clouds were gaunt and few;
A black, as of a spectre’s cloak,
Hid heaven and earth from view.
The creatures chuckled on the roofs
And whistled in the air,
And shook their fists and gnashed their teeth,
And swung their frenzied hair.
The morning lit, the birds arose;
The monster’s faded eyes
Turned slowly to his native coast,
And peace was Paradise!

(Example 1_A Fire)

An awful smell mashed the air,
The soot was dark and new:
A black, as of an undertaker’s hat,
Hid sky and sun from view.

(Example 2_Gossip)

An awful rumor mashed the air,
The words were harsh not true;
A black, as of a liar’s tongue,
Hid an innocent we all knew.

(Example 3_Football)

An awful pass mashed the air.
The direction was all askew;
A black, as of a failure’s heart,Hide a star from his due.

Write and illustrate your ideas in a style similar to Dickinson’s style In A Tempest Mashed The Air. Put your work in the writing portfolio you have been developing while following this column.


The Cinematic Arts And Dan Frantz…Dan Frantz, a native of Downingtown, PA, was named 2012 Presidential Scholar in the Arts for Cinematic Arts. Dan was the only Cinematic Artist in the national to earn this award. He was given the prize at a ceremony in Washington D.C. in the summer of 2012 by Arne Duncan, National Secretary of Education. Dan’s work was on display in the Smithsonian last summer. Attached is a link of an article Dan wrote about his experiences filming a documentary in Africa.


Dan is currently a freshman at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design).


Children’s Literature I…Take Me Out Of The Bathtub (and other sill dilly songs) by Dan Katz takes familiar tunes and changes the verses to cover a wide range of goofy spoofs. Think of what you would take out of the bathtub if you were a young child with a large amount of wash-time playthings. How would you shape these items into the previous spots held by peanuts and crackerjacks? The follow-up book covers even more song titled spoofs. My students do choral reading with the ideas. They have a greater ear for these renditions than I do.


Motherhood Attacked Again…Ten percent of the American workforce works at home. A large amount of these workers are mothers taking care of children or their elderly family members. Google, one of the country’s premier and free-thinking employers, has called all their at-home workers back to the office building. A firestorm of debate has ensued. Are workers more productive working at home or in teams at the office? Is the office more distracting or more productive. It is a simple question with a simple answer. Evaluate that person’s work compared to what happens at the office and make the decision person by person. This is the iChat, iPhone talk, text-talk, and Skype linked generation. Team meetings can easily connect the at home worker with the office staff using any number of devices. Picket Google moms! You will not be allowed to have babies next, if Google had their say!

New Visitor’s Greeting…Welcome to Let’s Talk, a freewheeling column on movies, theater, television, books, educational practices, current events, and the Internet. If you are a first time visitor to the column, I recommend that you start with the About topic in the Index Bar at the top of the page. Follow About with the Let’s Talk column in archives. It was the first column of the New Year. Proceed to Let’s Talk II and then work your way up to today’s column. These columns will introduce a plethora (a better word choice than myriad) of new ideas and old delights you may have missed. It will give you a strong foundation for some of the issues we are introducing and following up in newer columns.

New visitor’s comments are welcome, too. They are immediately placed on this page in the contributor’s comment section or are shared with the column’s readers on Sunday. You are welcome, also, to suggest topics for discussion or enlist help from the site’s family of readers. I am a compendium of useless information. Challenge me, please, with great theater, travel, history, books, movies, and educational issues that would interest a wide audience of readers. The “compendium comment” was stolen from Orson Bean. Bean used the quote many times on television talk show interviews. Please recommend my column to your friends and other lovers of discussion.


About tjpalumbo

Tom Palumbo is a nationally known and award winning author, teacher, technology designer, administrator, and grant writer. He has taught for thirty-five years in preschool through 12th grade classrooms throughout the quad state area. His ideas have made a difference in the way thousands of teachers, parents, and children read, write, do mathematics, use technology, and think creatively and critically. Tom’s twenty books on reading, writing, critical thinking, and mathematics have won four national book awards. 5,000 teachers and home schooling parents have matriculated through his graduate courses/lectures. 12,000 have signed up for his website. As Director of Pennsylvania’s Parent Information Center and New Jersey’s Citizen’s For Better Schools Resource Center, Tom received over two hundred commendations for his presentations to thousands of teachers, parents, and administrators throughout the Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland area. Workshop participants receive idea loaded CD’s, access to hundreds of videos, PowerPoints, curriculum links, games, and lessons on his website, and an activity booklet filled with common core curriculum in line with local, state, and national standards. Instruction, on each of these resources, is presented during his presentation. Mr. Palumbo has over two hundred learning centers, bulletin boards, and project developers in reading, writing, poetry, literature, and math in make-it/take it item format that can, also, be part of any workshop program. Call or email Tom to set up a workshop for your organization. Tom Palumbo tjpalumbo@aol.com 215-262-9986 aimtjp.wikispaces.com
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