51. John Travolta And Sylvester Stallone

Column Opening

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. Teachers from throughout the area have contributed creative lessons and book talks to the site, also.

Movies…Sylvester Stallone’s new movie Bullet To The Head is now in theaters. Stallone is a hitman whose partner is killed. As he searches for the killers, he is forced to team up with a detective whose partner was, also, murdered. The role is his typical tough guy battling whoever is around. He has four new movies that are coming out in 2013: Reach Me, The Tomb, Grudge Match, and the Expendables 3. He continues to be one of the hardest working and best-paid actors in Hollywood.

Alive IAlive III

In researching Stallone’s biography, a little gold nugget appeared. Sylvester Stallone directed John Travolta in Staying Alive (1983). This movie followed the classic Saturday Night Fever and had Tony Manero (Travolta’s character) heading to the Broadway stage to become a dancer there. It was brilliantly staged but to far from Travolta’s disco character to find a similar audience. The dance scenes with Travolta, Cynthia Rhodes, and Finola Hughes were mesmerizing, even though, the play they were creating was hard to embrace. Cynthia Rhodes went on to star in Flashdance, then Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze.

Alive II

Finola Hughes won the Dame Alicia Markova Dance Award for her work with the Northern Ballet Company. Finola was in the original cast of Cats. She is best known for playing a police captain on General Hospital. She won an Emmy in 1991 for this role and is now a returning star on General Hospital, All My Children, and other shows. Her Style Network show explores the world and fashion and design.


Movies II…Just when you thought Kevin Costner the two-time Academy Award winner has appeared in everything, he returns to the screen as Superman’s father in Man of Steel. It is a minor role, but the supporting cast reads like a who’s who in movies: Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Diane Lane, Henry Cavill, and Laurence Fishbourne for starters. The movie’s June release has Superman trying to save the world, if he can only escape from his kryptonite handcuffs.

Superman I

Travel…Al Minetola recommends Peru and South America. Here is what Al said in a brief note on his return:

Machu Pichu IMachu II

I’m back from South America. Peru was awesome. When asked to describe my trip to Machu Pichu and the Amazon, one word says it all, unbelievable. The Incas were a hardworking, inventive, and creative tribe of Native Americans. I was going to write a poem, but my mind is still recovering. I missed the daily poetic inspiration as Internet reception was iffy most days. Later.

We are hoping that Al will share some of his photos and discoveries in future issues.

Columnist’s Note…Each day this section of the column features a poetry activity, creative writing exercise, or critical thinking puzzle. These three challenges should be kept in a portfolio or diary. They are designed to activate both sides of your brain. They, also, will prove everyone has a poem or a story they can write with a little encouragement.

Poetry…The Alphabetical Couplet will challenge your writing skills, though we say that about every poetry challenge that is introduced in this column to expand your mental power and broaden your writing skills.

An alphabetical couplet is a poem that uses three consecutive letters of the alphabet and a sports, historical, scientific, or musical theme.

Historical theme example:

A is for Adams, B is for Bush,
C is for Coolidge who needed a push.

Food theme example:

A is for apple, B is for beet,
C is for custard a great dessert treat.

Sport theme example:

E is for Elway, F is for Flacco,
G is for Gehrard who can’t make a tackle.

Pick two different themes and three consecutive letters of the alphabet and see if you can construct an alphabetical poem.


Wednesday Puzzle Patter…The answers to yesterday’s Helpless Words’ puzzle appear below. If you haven’t completed the puzzle, please go back to yesterday’s column 50, complete the puzzle, and then return to this page to check your answers.

Tuesday’s Puzzle Challenge (Answers)…

Helpless Words

The ability to find a smaller word contained in a larger word often will help you pronounce the larger word.  Such is not the case for the words below.  When you combine the answers below, their sounds are altered and will not help you pronounce the new word.  Sort out the clues, then combine the clue words and you’ll create a unique word. Answers will appear in tomorrow’s column.

Clue A        Clue B                  A                B                A + B

EX.  Father’s Boy/Fish Catcher          son             net              sonnet

1.  Hearing organ/Bird’s home            ear     nest    earnest

2.  Baseball hitter/Opposite of off         bat     on      baton

3.  Colony insect/Upturned dress part  ant     hem   anthem

4.  Opposite of on/Frozen water          off     ice     office

5.  Donald shortened/Follows either     don    or      donor

6.  Sewer rodent/Negative particle       rat     ion     ration

7.  Thin’s opposite/Opposite of his       fat      hers   fathers

8.  An accomplishment/Opposite of his   feat hers   feathers

9.  A___not happy/To put into action     am  use     amuse

10. To remove earth/What time is__?      dig  it       digit

*11. Cleopatra’s snake/Anger                asp  ire      aspire

*12. French boyfriend/Cravats               beau         ties     beauties

13. Opposite of his/Opposite of off          her  on      heron

  • = Supers


Wednesday’s Puzzle Challenge…

Sound Reasoning

Today’s challenge is called Sound Reasoning. It takes a simple concept like the homonym and electrifies it in a puzzle. Each hint below will generate a pair of homonyms. Analyze the clues and then select your answer pair. How many of the problems below did you solve by getting the second word before the first word. This is a mental technique called working backwards.

Examples:    Just price – Fair fare

Single victor – One won

A light colored sand toy – Pale pail

Restaurant table request – For four

An island walkway – Isle aisle

A forbidden musical group – Banned band

Sea journey for ship members only – Crews cruise

A hurled king’s seat – Thrown throne

1.  Cherished forest creature               _____________    _____________

2.  damaged vegetable                       _____________    _____________

3.  hairless hibernator                        _____________    _____________

4. A giant sea creature’s cry               _____________    _____________

5.  unadorned aircraft                        _____________    _____________

6.  a time dear to us                          _____________    _____________

7.  a rabbit’s fur coat                         _____________    _____________

8.  a well-liked tree                           _____________    _____________

9.  main school head                          _____________    _____________

10. a dragged frog                            _____________    _____________

11. hurting window part                    _____________    _____________

12. one of Henry VIII’s wives             _____________    _____________

13. popular/frequented hotel               _____________    _____________

Answers to Sound Reasoning will appear in tomorrow’s column.

Ten is an excellent score out of the thirteen challenges.


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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