82. Sophia Helin: A Scar Overcome

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Television…To History Or Not To History

The major channels ABC, NBC, and CBS are complaining about declining viewership and the declining advertising revenue streams that are a result of this trend. Why would someone leave the programming they spent years following and pay for alternative programming? We don’t have all the answers, but in one instance, the answer is history. There is a complete absence of it on any of the major networks. Not a single series has an/a historical setting from any time period.


HBO’s Game of Thrones with its historical fantasy themes is set in the Seven Kingdoms and features intrigue upon intrigue. The staging is elaborate and the plots are involved. The series is based on the high fantasy series that was written by American author George R. R. Martin. It has an audience of 5 million viewers.

Showtime has The Borgias and its 16th Century Renaissance themes and The Tudors depicting England at its finest and not so finest, if that is correct English. Both set Showtime audience records. Spartacus is still attacking Rome as we type. When The Lone Ranger comes out on July 3rd, the networks will be asked to increase the cowboys and Indians in their schedules.

The Vikings a Norse classic with Gabriel Byrne is on the History Channel.

Lincoln, Jackie Robinson, and The Conspirator at the movies did big numbers. Someone has to realize that if you grab the history buff for one hour, they may be interested in staying for the show or shows that follow.


If you haven’t had your fill of history yet, try Arn: The Knight Templar on any of your relisting or On Demand channels. Netflix has it and you can watch some of the six episodes on various YouTube links. This Swedish series (with English and subtitles) is based on the trilogy of books written by Jan Guillou. It is historical fiction from the time of the Crusades 1177AD.


The action runs from Jerusalem to Sweden and back again. It features two wars. The first has Saladin and his Saracens battling The Knight Templars for the control of Jerusalem. The second war is the one in Sweden between the Kings of Sweden and Denmark. Arn, the hero, and his family are in both wars.

Like Annika Bengtzon: Crime Reporter, the Swedish crime drama we recommended earlier in the year, Arn’s production values add to the movie experience. Saladin did live during this time and reclaimed Jerusalem in battle. Saladin controlled much of the Middle East and Africa with his armies and his rule. Following his history will give the researcher vivid insights into why the Sunnis, Kurds, and other tribes are still fighting today.

The Knight Templar’s cast includes Joakim Natterqvist, Sophia Helin, Stellan Skarsgard, and Michael Nyqvist of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

 Helin Scars

The story of how Sophia Helin received the scars on her face and body and thought her acting career was over before it began is an emotional one. Her overcoming injury story makes for great reading and shows what one can surmount on the way to success. Ms. Helin has a crime drama hit on Swedish television titled The Bridge. It will soon make its way to American television and our reviewing channels.


If you have some spare time Google or Bing the 25 top Swedish movie stars. You will be amazed at the list as it runs from Ann Margaret to Greta Garbo and more.


Movies…Iron Man 3 Is The Man Of Steel At The Box Office

Holy Batman! A one hundred and eighty million dollar first weekend take in the United States and a similar number in Europe puts Iron Man 3 in second place for opening movie revenues of all time. Robert Downey, Don Cheadle, and Gwyneth Paltrow, once again, fight the forces of evil in spite of Downey’s plea to be just left alone in the movie. He’s tired of saving people as Superman is in his upcoming movie. Sure! Downey is already thinking of a theme for number four and what he can save in that one.


The villain is Guy Pearce with the help of Ben Kingsley. Let us think. World domination or a Rita’s Water Ice franchise drives the evil-doers. The special effects and gadgets are better than James Bond, The Transformers, The Avengers, and Bambi. That is the tenth time Bambi has been mentioned in this column this year. The epic is a quick thrill ride for any comic book reader and fan of world-wide destruction. Two tulips up for this one!


A Day In The Life…May 4th Was Star Trek Day

The best and scariest time that you will ever have in your life is on May 4th at a Star Trek Convention or Salute Fest. Every time you step into an elevator you will jump back from the Storm Troopers, RD 9’s, and Chewabacca’s. More weddings are performed at these meets than at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in June. If you like dress-up, write this date on your ‘things to do’ calendar for next year. The Meadowland’s Hilton usually has a later in the year Star Trek convention, also.

Two weeks until Into The Darkness opens as the next adventure in the Star Trek saga.


Music…The Rolling Stones And Aerosmith

Mick Jaggar and Steven Tyler are taking their bands on the road for like the 90th time. Quality remains long after price is forgotten. By the way, Jaggar is the fifth leading moneymaker of all time of all male lead singers. Here is another of our top ten lists in this category.


1: Paul McCartney Net Worth – $800 Million (The Beatles)
2: Bono Net Worth – $600 Million (U2)
3: Jimmy Buffett Net Worth – $400 Million
4: Elton John Net Worth – $320 Million (Solo)

5: Mick Jagger Net Worth – $305 Million (The Rolling Stones)
6: Sting Net Worth – $290 Million (The Police, Solo)
7: Phil Collins Net Worth – $250 Million (Genesis, Solo)
8: Dave Matthews Net Worth – $250 Million (Dave Matthews Band)
9: Prince Net Worth – $250 Million
10: Dave Grohl Net Worth – $225 Million (Foo Fighters, Nirvana on drums)


Games…Matt Witterick Is The Gamer’s Guru

Let’s talk single player games that the new gamer should explore. Bioshock Infinite and Dishonored are single player campaign games in which you role-play in first person the entire time. These games have amazing artwork and graphics but aren’t as competitive or as challenging to me as playing with other people in warlike, sport, or everyday settings. Call of Duty Black Ops 2 is the 9th edition of the Call of Duty series and is still very popular. It has a large fan following and a good group of new enthusiasts, too.


League of Legends and Dota 2 are pretty much the same games with minor changes. In Legends your champions go through all types of challenges and situations. They involve 5 players on each team (2 teams). The task is to destroy the opposing teams base using weaponry and cunning. The graphics are poor but there is a lot of strategy involved while playing the game. This is very appealing to a lot of people, especially the hardcore gamer.

All these game have national and world-wide contests. Here is what the League of Legend’s website said about their world championships at the end of May: The 2013 League of Legends All-Star Weekend takes place in Shanghai from May 24 to May 26. Five teams representing the pro leagues in North America, Europe, China, Korea and Southeast Asia/Taiwan will clash at the Shanghai Grand Stage.


Creative Writing…Vocabulary And Fun For All

Teachers and parents are continually looking for ways to make spelling and vocabulary more interesting. In addition they would like to create projects to show good spelling and vocabulary will give you more staying power than multi-vitamins. Here are ten suggestions for bringing spelling and vocabulary into a more creative sphere of thinking. Take a spelling list or a word of the day list and try some of the challenges that follow:

1. Place one of your vocabulary words after Mr., Miss, or Mrs. and describe your personal life, appearance, and personality. An example for your write-up’s title would be: Miss Concerned Doesn’t Care/Mr. Benefit Donates To Orphanage/Mrs. Blameless Lands In Jail/Ms. Infinity Journeys To Deep Space/Mrs. Nonetheless Stranded/Mr. Doubtful Might Get Married.

2. Create a poster pointing out that if there were only one word in the world, this would be your choice. Take a class or family survey of your word choices and their selection reasons.

3. Design song titles using your vocabulary words in the titles. Use real or make-believe artists as the performers. Pick the ten songs in your favorite recorder’s (Beyonce, Reba, Clash, Dr. Dree, Bon Jovi, GreenDay, Usher, Keys) new album using your vocabulary list. Replace a word in each of their songs with a vocabulary word.


4. Give a famous wrestler, ball player, or skater one of the words as her/his title. Describe how he acquired this title. Illustrate his outfit’s appearance in a wrestling/sport scene.

5. Many people give their boats unique names based on their life or famous event. Incorporate one of the words in the word list in your boat title. Describe its significance in your life and the reason for naming the boat in such a way.

6. Pick five words that would be appropriate for a pet. Describe the pet and why this particular word choice is meaningful. Try to pick exotic pets or pets that aren’t as common as a dog and a cat. Design a new kind of Pet Shop. Use a vocabulary word in your pet shop’s title.


7. Write a radio commercial using five of the words from your list. Have a classmate time your presentation. It must be exactly thirty seconds long.

8. Can you think of five crazy, way-out ideas to help people remember new words? An example would be a soup like alphabet soup. This soup has words floating in it that you need to know for class. When you bite into each word, it gives you its meaning and it is unforgettable from that point on.

9. Design a beach towel and surfboard that features two of your vocabulary words. Explain why these words will attract people to your two products. Can you do another beach product the same way? T-shirt, Hat, Chair, Lotion??

10. Design a poster attracting people to your town or city. Use five words from the word list as part of your promotion. Design a radio spot, also.

 Community Service And More…

Helping Local Businesses And Individuals

Sports…The Play Is The Thing


Here is what Brey Barrett said about his June play. It sounds like every Philadelphia sport fan would enjoy this show and evening of entertainment:

Dear Thomas,

Greetings! Theatre Exile would like to announce our revival production of Bruce Graham’s The Philly Fan. Preview evening will be June 11, 2013 at 8pm and the run will begin June 12, 2013 at 8pm at Theatre Exile’s Studio X (13th and Reed Sts.).

Directed by Exile’s Producing Artistic Director Joe Canuso and featuring two-time Barrymore winner Tom McCarthy. The Philly Fan will run from June 11-23, 2013.

Attached and within the body of this email you will find the press release for Theatre Exile’s revival of The Philly Fan which includes cast and crew listings, a performance schedule, and a logo.


The Philly Fan is a one man tour-de-force where two time Barrymore Award winner Tom McCarthy takes audiences on a hilarious journey through the last fifty years of Philadelphia’s sports history, and the frustrations therein. Hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as “a theatrical love letter to the knowledgeable, unapologetic, demanding but ultimately forgiving [Philly] fans.” This production is an in-your-face, tell-it-like-it-is romp through the eyes of a hard core sports fan, who is accustomed to seeing sure-thing victories turn into “oh-my-God-they-blew-it” defeats.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or comments. Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


Brey Barrett, Public Relations Associate
Theatre Exile
1340 South 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Office: (215) 218-4022
Web: http://theatreexile.org/

New Visitor’s Greeting…Welcome to Let’s Talk, a freewheeling column on movies, theater, television, books, educational practices, the arts, 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.

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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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One Response to 82. Sophia Helin: A Scar Overcome

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