101. Ginnifer Goodwin, Julia Roberts, And Once Upon A Time

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I. Essential Questions: The Weekly Five Need Answers!

A. If chocolate were declared a vegetable, would we eat as much and would it taste as good?
B. Has anyone that has visited a convenience store also visited an in-convenience store?
C. If something were invaluable, would you buy it?
D. If vegetables were given names like: yes, zoom, wow, and zing instead of broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and asparagus, would more children eat them?
E. What would Friendly’s and Best Buys counterparts be named?


II. Television: Once Upon A Time

If your family, friends, doctor, butcher, golf buddies, graduate and elementary students recommend a show for your column and you stubbornly refuse to watch it, is that a violation of the Star Trek prime directive?

If after three years you finally watch the program and fall in love with it, is it a violation of the Star Trek prime directive not to tell everyone they were right?


The town is Storybrooke and the show is Once Upon A Time. Henry, a ten-year old orphan, believes in fairy tales, curses, strange beasts, the price of magic, true love, and love’s first kiss. He thinks his town is enchanted with every character and creature you have ever heard of in children’s literature.

Some of the characters, like in the original stories, are good…some bad! The war between good and bad is still going on in the past and has now been brought to Storybrooke. They are presented as parallel stories in ABC’s Once Upon A Time. The play Wicked tells a similar twisted (in a good way) story.

Being thirty-nine episodes behind as the new season starts is a major problem. That is a lot of Netflix watching hours to catch up. How many hours are there in a day?


Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas, Jared Filmore star. Their clashes as characters in the past and present are epic and well dialogued. They, also, teach stories that haven’t been told in years.


A Side Comment About Love…If You Believe In Love’s First Kiss?

Romeo and Juliet starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad has returned to Broadway after a thirty-six year absence. Orlando Bloom’s excitement about the production and the honor of bringing Shakespeare back to Broadway are infectious. Google a search of Bloom’s name with Romeo and Juliet to see and listen to Bloom’s multiple interviews.


III. Hispanic Heritage Month

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Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15th to October 15th. Two unique ways to join the celebration might be:

  1. A.   In The Heights is a celebration of Hispanic culture and features the dreams of New York’s Washington Height’s Dominican residents. It is their story told through rap, dance, and conflict. In the Heights is a musical with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The play was nominated for thirteen of Broadway’s Tony Awards. Heights won four Tony’s. The awards were for best musical, score, choreography, and orchestration. The play was a 2009 nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. It is playing at the Walnut Theater in Philadelphia for Hispanic Heritage Month. The Walnut is America’s oldest theater.

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  1. B.   The Pura Belpre Award For Latino Literature (1996-present) is named after Pura Belpré. She was the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award is presented each year to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, and embraces the Latino cultural experience. The book can be an outstanding work of literature for children or for  youth.

Order an award winner or runner-up winner and embrace the spirit of Pura Belpre or as a fitting tribute and salute for Hispanic Heritage Month.

The Goodreads’ website, along with the American Library Associations and Book Page sites are additional outstanding research sites for your Hispanic book selections.


IV. New Authors…Don Bruns

Rose Mallinson from last issue’s trip to Budapest suggestion recommends this new author. Here is what she said:

I met an author from the Fort Myers area. Check him out. He writes enjoyable Caribbean mysteries. It is easy read and they make me laugh. His name is Don Bruns and he has a website. http://www.donbrunsbooks.com.  

About this author:

Don Bruns is a writer, novelist, musician, songwriter, painter, cook, advertising executive, and standup comic who has no idea what he wants to be when he grows up. He’s the author of nine books and was editor of the mystery and music anthology A Merry Band Of Murderers.

Don’s published novels cover two series. The first is a Caribbean thriller collection. The second is called the “Stuff Series.” It is the humorous look at two twenty-four year old guys in South Florida who start their own detective agency. This causes them to immediately end up neck-deep in trouble…most assuredly the type of “neck-deep” trouble that makes enjoyable and light
Jamaica Blue, Barbados Heat, South Beach Shakedown, St. Bart’s Breakdown, and Bahama Burnout make up the Caribbean books. The “Stuff Series” consists of Stuff To Die For, Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, Stuff To Spy For, and Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.



V. Strawberry Fields And John Lennon’s Statue

Strawberry Fields is a 2.5-acre beautifully landscaped section of New York‘s Central Park. This deemed “quiet section” of the park is dedicated to the Beatles’ John Lennon. Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono lived in the Dakota Apartments across from this area of the park.
An Imagine Plaque in a central concourse commemorates John Lennon. This special area is visited by thousands of travelers. Many of these visitors want to remember John Lennon, pray, dream of peace, imagine, and redefine their lives. An impromptu music and presentation fest performed by local and not so local musicians and poets is always not far from this quiet area.


VI. Staying On The Topic Of New York…A $2,000 New York Camp-out Is The Next New Thing!

New York City’s latest hotel draw is the ‘roof-top’ camp out. It was started by AKA Central Park and provides you with a penthouse tent, barbecue, and luxurious accommodations both in your tent and in your suite. Combining this very different treat with a museum, theater, or John Lennon visit sounds like a great tourist trifecta for New York.


Remember when you were asked about camping out and you said the only place you would camp out is in your living room, a local Marriott, or Holiday Inn. Someone has heard you! You probably weren’t thinking of a two thousand dollar ($2,000) a night sleepover plus another thousand for New York parking, though. Sorry New York City Chamber of Commerce! The truth is the truth! Our backyard tent is available for one hundred dollars plus morning muffins.


VII. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

The Toronto International Film Festival is two weeks of great movies and television. It has just concluded in venues throughout Toronto. Friends living in Toronto voiced that the city was massive gridlock. Every hotel area was surrounded with those looking to grab a glimpse of their favorites. Toronto’s theaters and movie houses were packed. Movie buffs and critics from across Canada and the globe couldn’t get enough of this yearly experience.


The top five movies were:

  1. Twelve Years A Slave
  2. Gravity
  3. Blue Is The Warmest Cooler
  4. The Double
  5. Enemy


The importance of this festival is far reaching. It is six months before our Academy Awards. For the last five years, the winner at the festival has won our Academy Award for Best Film. 12 Years A Slave was this year’s best film choice by audiences and critics in Toronto.


12 Years A Slave stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams, Michael Fassbender, and Brad Pitt. Ejiofor (Solomon Northrup) is a free man living in pre-Civil War Saratoga, New York. He gets kidnapped and sold into slavery. His 12 years on a Louisiana plantation is chronicled in his autobiography and brought to the screen by Steve McQueen.

The movie opens in the United States in the second week of October. Your opinion and vote does not count in Toronto!

The movie and actors grabbed the headlines, so did Julia Roberts’ red dress. It covered the complete front page of a leading Toronto newspaper. Some called it trend setting others did not have pleasant things to say about the dress. The dress is featured here to test your fashion sense!


VIII. Catching Fire And Coldplay’s Atlas For The Hunger Games

Coldplay is doing the soundtrack for the second Hunger Games’ movie.
Catching Fire is the least exciting of the three books in the trilogy. However the second movie looks far more fast-paced and impressive than the first movie.

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If you like creative multi-media…Atlas the lead song in the movie has its lyrics presented in constellation form. It is a good rival to Bruno Mars’ cassette tape forming his themes in his last album.


IX. Children’s Literature: Ellington Was Not A Street


The Coretta Scott King Literary Award is a wonderful research topic. Ntozake Shange’s Ellington Is Not A Street is the perfect combination of story and illustrations. One leading critic said you should read the book twice…once for the words and once for the illustrations. The story won the Coretta Scott King Award in 2006.


Ntozake Shange creatively presents a dinner party attended by famous black men and a black woman. The party he portrays is very much like the meetings he witnessed as a child in his home. This is a great writing project for a junior and senior high school classroom. Students pick six dinner invitees and then explain their contributions and the writer’s reasons for selecting each character. Illustrating a story about these new characters is another creative challenge for the classroom or home.

Here are some of the new businesses that have sent us write-ups and photographs, so we can highlight their businesses and expand the reach of this column.


The Arden Theater Rocks, Once Again

September 26th is the opening of Parade at the Arden Theater in Philadelphia. It is a strange topic to put into a musical format. The year is 1913. The location is Atlanta, Georgia. Leo Frank is a factory worker. He is accused of murdering a young girl.


Leo is Jewish. Frank’s friends and the town refuse to support him. His wife, Lucille, is the only one that believes in him. Parade is based on a true story. Ben Dibble and some of Philadelphia best performers bring this exceptional musical to life. Mark this one in your visit Philadelphia schedule. The Barnes Museum collection is another suggested stop before your theater sojourn.


Multiple Award Winning Educational Resources

Don’t forget to review aimtjp.wikispaces.com and catapultintopoetry.wikispaces.com for all your back to school creative ideas. These sites are filled with word for word lessons, creative PowerPoints, book talk videos, and links to the best sites to help students in the classroom or those home schooled with their research and Internet investigations.

100 more of this year’s best book and movie reviews appear at thomasjpalumbo.wordpress.com. Drop your email in the follow box and join the discussion.


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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3 Responses to 101. Ginnifer Goodwin, Julia Roberts, And Once Upon A Time

  1. Sharon Funk says:

    Re: Julia Robert’s dress- Love her, not the dress! Know this isn’t profound, but that the way it is!

  2. Sharon Funk says:

    Once Upon A Time- Have been watching since the inception. High School friend’s daughter is the evil queen!

  3. Rose says:

    Thanks Tom. This is cool. Rose mallinson

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