85. Michael Fox, Dracula, And Beyonce

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Television…What Is The Motive For The Motive


This week is the kick off for television’s new summer show season. The new line-up is impressive. Last year’s favorites will be joined by seventy-five new hopefuls with a wide variety of themes. Some you have heard before and some will catch your imagination.

Our imagination and creativity genes point to Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Dracula. This new television adventure has caused us to rub our necks a couple of times as Dracula seeks revenge on Victorian England for past discretions in this new series.


The first show out of the starting blocks was The Motive. Monday night was the preview of The Motive. Tonight (Thursday) is the preview of The Motive. It is confusing. By next week’s show, we will have it sorted out and be ready to share some stirring additional insights.

The Motive is a Canadian series recruited by ABC. It takes place in Vancouver. In this series you know the murderer and the victim at the beginning of the show. A sign with the words murderer and a sign with the words victim come up when these people appear on the screen. The word murderer was in red. You are supposed to be intrigued and want to know what the reason for the murder happened to be.


The series stars Christine Lehman a face you will quickly recognize. She has been in over thirty American and Canadian television series since she first appeared in The Commish in 1995. She has Lauren Holly and a bearded Brendan Penny helping her solve each case. She could save 44 minutes by just calling us when the show begins. We will tell her who the victim and who will murder that individual. Our answers won’t be in red, though.


Television II…The Michael J. Fox Show

In this comedy, Michael J. Fox will be leading a family of five with Betsy Brandt (wife), Conor Romero (teen), Juliette Goglia (teen), and Jack Gore (youngster) playing his family members. Jack Gore the youngest will steal the show as he interacts with dad.

The show chronicles his life as he is forced to leave the news’ show he has starred in because of Parkinson’s disease. It is years later and the family can’t wait to get him out of the house. A chance meeting (arranged by the family) with his old director has him ready to get back to work.


The whole television, movie, and health community are wishing MJF gigantic mounds of success with this show. He has been and will continue to be that example of perseverance through hardship. He is on Thursday night (NBC) at 9:30. NBC.com has a great three minute and eighteen second trailer of the show that must be watched.

Of Michael Fox’s past successes, which is your favorite? Was it Back To The Future, Sin City, The American President, or Family Ties? Our pick is Doc Hollywood (1991). Like Rachel Bilson as Zoe Hart in Hart of Dixie, Fox plays a big city doctor stranded in a country town. He wants out but has ‘community doctor service’ to do before he leaves.


Julie Warner from Nip/Tuck and other shows is the town beauty that can’t be caught by the city slicker. A pig of all things plays a big role in the movie, too. Watch it on your On Demand channel tonight before watching Michael J. Fox. It will make you smile like his work has done so many times before.


Television III…Liv Schreiber As Ray Donovan…Showtime

Liv Schreiber has been an X-men fighter in X-Men Origins: Wolverine with Hugh Jackman and a Nazi Fighter in Defiance with Daniel Craig. In Ray Donovan he is not fighting, he is fixing. He is fixing the problems of those people in Los Angeles that need fixing. The fixing will help the rich, very rich, and famous. Naturally he is good at fixing others problems but not at fixing his own.

It seems that every Superman has his Kryptonite and Ray has a basketful.


Travel…Beyonce and Philadelphia

Philadelphia shimmered and shook for two days with Jay Z’s Music Festival last year.

This year’s turnout featuring Beyonce is billed to be even better. Made in America is scheduled from August 31st to September 1st. Mark your calendars now and research the line-up to see when your favorite star is performing.

Image  Underwood

Travel II…Carrie Underwood and Nashville

No one throws a music festival like Nashville. Nashville is hosting the CMA Music Festival from June 6th through June 9th. The lesser stars include Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, and Kelly Clarkson. Who are the major stars, then?


Every bar and club in Nashville will have their best headliners. Don’t forget to put a few steps down at The Crazy Horse Saloon. They have dance lessons three times a day. Nashville has far more than just country music. There are great venues for rock, bluegrass, soul, Beethoven, and rap. Camper Van Beethoven is a great group from San Francisco but has their own fest that week.


Music…Natalie Maines…To Dixie Chick Or Not To Dixie Chick

Natalie Maines appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 2006 with the title Radical Chicks. She is back in the news with her new single album Mother and once again on Time Magazine’s last page called Ten Questions.


Philadelphia’s WHYY has a great NPR eight minute music review of Maines’ life and the songs on her new album. It is called A Country Music Rebel Rocks On Her Own. Fresh Air has a number of additional discussions of the music and art world that you will enjoy after the piece on Maines.


The new album takes songs from everywhere and reconstructs them in Natalie’s style. The key song Mother is a classic remake of a Pink Floyd song. Reviewers of the album say Maines is trying to capture some of her Dixie Chicks’ fans with her new rock image. This does not seem to be a goal of a person that sails her own course and doesn’t mind crashing into some obstacles. There are some great narratives of her stand up nature even back in high school that have to be read. Her interviews on YouTube are a great stopping off point, also.


Games And Puzzles…Forceful Sentences

Forceful Sentences


After practicing your normal sentence work, you might enjoy Forceful Sentences. Each grid below should be completed with a five word sentence. This sentence is written across the grid (horizontally). The challenge is that the same word has been given to you in a different position in each sentence that you are composing. See how many different types of punctuation you can use to end your sentences for an added challenge. Try this with your own word. Write the key word in color or if you are using a computer change the text color of your key word to enhance the visual presentation of your sentences. There are a number of variations you can use with this activity. For Mother’s or Father’s Day students write “I really love you mom” in red diagonally down across the grid and fill in each sentence across with endearing comments about their mother’s. This also works with love poems for boyfriends or girlfriends that the upper graders explore.






 Helping The Community, Entrepreneurs, And Local Artists


The Brodhead Watershed Association (BWA)

The Delaware Estuary Conservation group gave my classroom three thousand dollars to build them a website highlighting their work. You can see their work at (aimtjp.wikispaces.com) in the virtual tours at the top of the page. While the Delaware Estuary Group works in the Philadelphia area, The Brodhead Watershed Association (BWA) does similar work in upstate Pennsylvania. Here is what Teresa said about their group and work.


Hello Tom!

Thank you for thinking to include us in your in your column!  I may be giving you TOO much information but there really is a LOT to tell!

The Brodhead Watershed Association (BWA) is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to protecting water resources in our local watershed. We accomplish this by providing public programs that enhance public understanding of water issues, data collection , community activism and legislative review.

Some of our activities include annual events, like the River Ramble, http://brodheadwatershed.org/Ramble2011.html which get folks out on the streams with local naturalists to teach them about their water resources. Our 20 year old StreamWatcher Program http://brodheadwatershed.org/streamwatchers.html is an all-volunteer stream quality monitoring program that enlists the aid of 75 residents checking on nearly 100 sites throughout the year. We conduct studies, host workshops and even fund student research projects http://brodheadwatershed.org/StewardshipResearchGrants.html


There is much more to learn about all that we do on our website (http://brodheadwatershed.org).

Thanks again!



Educational Companies…Learning Liaisons

Here is what Jason said about his new educational company.

Dear Tom,

I am writing you because I think you might be very interested in sharing my brand new company I just started. I began an online tutoring company which only staffs state certified teachers and professors. We utilize Adobe Connect for our virtual classrooms & tutor all grade levels, including the college level. It is called, The Learning Liaisons, Inc. I am trying to get the word out to fellow educational professionals across the country.

I find that most parents enjoy the comfort of having a highly qualified educator tutor their children, in addition to the fact that one can get tutoring services from the comfort of their own home. This helps to alleviate the stress & anxiety that some learners face in the classroom. We strive for a safe online learning environment where learners can receive the one-on-one instruction they need to reach their highest potential!

Check out our site at www.TheLearningLiaisons.com . This is almost one year in the making. I resigned after almost 10 years in the classroom to make my vision a reality!

I am very excited for the future!

View our newest commercial: http://youtu.be/OTNTGVHiB8g
Our Website: www.TheLearningLiaisons.com
Our Face Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheLearningLiaisons
Our most recent newspaper article: http://www.seminolechronicle.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2013/03/14/5140d1c6cd28b#feedback

Talk to you soon!
Jason Ampel, Ed.D
The Learning Liaisons, Inc.

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 I 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 then following up in newer columns.


New Visitors…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 creative 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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2 Responses to 85. Michael Fox, Dracula, And Beyonce

  1. Sharon Funk says:

    I find it amazing that you are such a wealth of information. How do you find the time for all the research you do? Thank you so much for your new TV show explanations — and for your blog!

  2. If you only sleep four days a week, it is amazing how much work you can get completed.

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