103. Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, And Langston Hughes

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1. Enough Said!…James Gandolfini Joins The Great Lovers That Have Been Highlighted In This Column!


Every columnist wants to share the secret of love and romance with his or her readers. Their reading audience will swell ten times if they get this mystery right. Forty-five percent of America’s couples get it right. It is common sense, then, that their secrets are right in front of us.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a divorcee that wants to get it right this time! Her problem is that she needs dating support from all her casual acquaintances, friends, and family. They have to like her dating choice. Their opinions are more important than hers.


James Gandolfini is a divorcee that now thinks he has his life right. He is easy going, good company, and an outstanding lover. Bringing someone new into his life, in his opinion, would be easy. Like many, he does not want to change. He is open to change, though!
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is change!

Gandolfini and Louis-Dreyfus are mismatched lovers. She is a stick and he has enough meat on him to equal a number of sticks. He is a minimalist and not that sloppy. She is meticulous. They love each others’ company, doing things together, conversations, and bedtime. So, what is the problem? This movie, Enough Said, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Toni Collette, and Catherine Keener might have this answer and a few more about dating.


If not, it is still a pleasurable evening at the movies.


2. Movies…Gravity With Sandra Bullock And George Clooney

Sean Gallagher is “The Count Of High School Film Critics.” After reading his write-up of George Clooney and Sandra Bullock’s new movie Gravity, you will run to your local theater to enjoy the cinematography and acting.

Here is Sean’s Review:


Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity is an incredible cinematic experience. The film’s special effects are nothing short of breathtaking. I was utterly convinced from the first minute that the two main characters, played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, were in space. Cuaron has crafted a technical masterpiece of stunning beauty. He is able to immerse the viewer into the haunting loneliness of space, capturing this feeling through the use of long takes. The film’s patient cinematography adds weight to its themes of isolation and mortality.

Sandra Bullock gives the performance of her career as Dr. Ryan Stone, a woman who must fight for her life in space. George Clooney plays the seasoned veteran Kowalski. His expected charisma and self-assured nature make him ideal for the part. The first 15 minutes of the movie quietly introduce the viewer to these characters. The audience becomes acclimated to the silence of space. Before long, Kowalski and Dr. Stone are caught in the middle of a horrendous accident caused by debris. This disaster claims the life of the rest of their crew. From this moment on, the film is a proper, white-knuckle thriller until the credits roll.


Gravity does not overstay its welcome for a second longer than it needs to. At 90 minutes, it’s an efficient, emotionally driven, harrowing suspense film, the likes of which I have not seen this year. Every chunk of debris thrown Bullock’s way is a believable threat to her life. Every hurried breath she takes seems like it could be her last. I found myself gripping the edge of my seat almost constantly as I watched her struggles play out.

Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her performance in The Blind Side, but that film is Batman and Robin compared to Gravity. Bullock deserves a second Oscar for her heartbreaking performance in this film.


As the movie goes on, we get to know the tragic details of Dr. Stone’s personal life. Bullock goes to some extreme emotional places towards the third act, which I was not prepared for. I was touched by the honesty and simplicity of her acting. Tears did indeed stream down my face more than once.

If there’s any fault to be found in Gravity, it’s that some of the dialogue falls flat. Certain attempts at levity are obviously inserted to relieve tension from the audience. Occasionally, awkward dialogue will take away some of the impact of an otherwise pulse-pounding scene. These are minor quibbles to be sure; the rest of the film is pretty much flawless.

Gravity is a film that demands to be seen on the big screen. Cuaron’s poetic imagery should be seen in IMAX if possible. However you watch it, Gravity is a nail-biting, emotionally powerful piece of art that will grip audiences everywhere. Gravity is one of those movies that makes me happy to be a film critic. It’s the best movie I’ve seen all year. Alfonso Cuaron has restored my faith in the future of cinema.

3. Movies…Happy 80th Anniversary Drive-In Theaters

Philadelphia’s Finest…The Drive-in Movie

It is impossible to share the “rite of passage” surrounding the drive-in movie experience with a class of high school seniors. They are too worried about keeping their cars clean and viewing their favorite movies in IMAX surround sound and 3-D. Piling 14 people in a car on One Price A Carload Night doesn’t sound like fun to today’s high school student. Their parents have never even owned a car with a rumble seat!


However, we might be trading a week of ‘no homework’ for a class meet-up at Philadelphia’s drive-in festival. Seniors know how to drive a hard bargain.

To mark the 80th anniversary of the drive-in movie, Philadelphia is creating the ultimate drive-in movie experience at Eakins Oval with five weeks of B movies. The movie fest will run for five Fridays this fall with classic movies, unheard of double features, food trucks, and food girls on skates. My seniors will have a chance to travel back in time this fall with an event called “The Awesome Fest.”


Every Friday night from October 18 and November 22 (with the exception of November 15), the ‘Awesome Fest and Enterprise CarShare’ will present double features beginning at 7:30 p.m. If my seniors miss this chance, there are still over two hundred drive-ins around the United States that they might one day visit….and try to explain the concept to their children while riding in their electric hover cars.


4. Art…Kerry Dunn…Realism

The battle between realism and expressionism rages on. This week, it has been won by Kerry Dunn. Three pieces of his work are featured with this write-up. Here is what Kerry shared:

Hi Thomas,

Please find attached 3 images, all portraits. Two of which have won a best of show award in a national competition. Let me know what else you need.

You handed me your card as I was looking for parking for my motorcycle this morning. I am an artist and I trained and now teach at a small realist painting school located in the Wolf Building in Philadelphia. Realist painting has been experiencing resurgence over the last 15 years of which I am of that generation of students. Quite a number of small schools, each under it’s own master have sprung up across the western world. Here are both my website and the website of the school where I am affiliated. If you have any questions and/or are interested in creating a blog post please do not hesitate to ask.




5. Entertainment…The Fight For Most Entertaining City!

Delray Beach was voted America’s Most Entertaining City by Entertainment Weekly. Philadelphia was in tenth place in the standings. Cities throughout the United States are trying to recreate Delray’s formula. Two weekends a month, Delray has some type of citywide festival. The titles are a ‘who is who’ in nationalities (Italian Fest, Greek Fest), foods (Chili Challenge), books, (author and illustrators meet and greet), art (photography Fest), and craft fairs with every name imaginable. Each bring thousands of visitors into town, Here is a new twist that Philadelphia has for entertainment.


Didn’t Harry Potter Die In The Movies?

The answer is apparently not!
He is hosting a weekend in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania again this year.
Here is what their advertisement looks like:


Harry Potter Weekend in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania – October 18-19

The super popular Harry Potter Weekend is set to return to Chestnut Hill. Are you ready for a Potter Pub Crawl, Butter Beer, a Quidditch tournament, a Horcrux Scavenger Hunt, movie screenings, and much more.


6. The Writing Challenge…Pangram Creations

This week’s writing challenge seems like an easy one. It is not!

A pangrammatist is a person who writes verses and sentences that contain every letter in the alphabet. When you take a computer course and are asked to improve your typing, you will probably be given these two sentences to familiarize yourself with the computer keyboard:

Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs. (32)*
The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog. (33)*

*The number in parentheses indicates the total number of letters used in the sentence before all twenty-six letters of the alphabet were exhausted.


Can you arrange three ‘Pangrammatical Sentences’ in the spaces below? Remember to record how many total letters you had to use before all the letters of the alphabet were used in each of your creations.

1. _________________________________________________Score_____

2. _________________________________________________Score_____

3. _________________________________________________Score_____

What type of ‘Pangrammatical Poem’ can you create? Use your computer highlighter’s colors to emphasize where you used each letter.


7. Authors And Poets…Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes died in 1967. He was given the title of “America’s Black Poet Laureate.” His poem ‘My People’ is an excellent model to analyze and then rewrite with similar and dissimilar themes.

Hughes (author, poet, novelists, and dramatist) has a simple style for introducing and explaining some light weight and serious topics. Here are some of our favorite from his creative pen. They are excerpts from a larger poem. Please visit www.biography.com for some amazing videos of Langston Hughes and his work.

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On Love And Heartbreak…Life Is Fine

So since I’m still here livin’,
I guess I will live on.
I could’ve died for love—
But for livin’ I was born

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry—
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
if you gonna see me die.

On Change For The Better…I, Too, America

I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.


Words Of Wisdom…Mother To Son

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—


8. Poetry…James Jackson

James Jackson, a Tampa, Florida poet, has just finished his first self- published poetry book. Here is one of his poems and what James shared about his work. The poem below is from my own self-published work “If I Told You” ……Website: https://www.createspace.com/4342338

James shared…..”This book is a collective of poems that I wrote in my spare time. These poems reflect different aspects of my worldview. And then there are those that are just for fun. I have fifty poems in this book that are of my very own accord. Thank for your help in getting the word out about my work.” ……James Jackson


Words with Romance By James Jackson

Words with romance
Are used to enhance
One’s feelings for another
Bringing people closer together

Without words of romance
There would be no need to dance
No romantic movies
Or romantic comedies
Or romantic novels
With romantic music remedies


Words with romance
Creates the vibe essence
Without it
The light of the heart isn’t lite

Words of chance
To break the ice
Words of romance
Tell to someone nice.

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10. Music…Icona Pop For Those Missing ABBA.

Icona Pop is the newest recommendation from my students. It is a very long way from their normal recommendations. Pop is a Swedish pairing that got together in 2009. Their songs integrate electro house, punk, and indie pop music. They sound somewhat like the new ABBA. The group is comprised of Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo. They both grew up in Stockholm.

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The girls said they wanted to create music that would make you laugh and cry. Listen to them on YouTube and let us know if you laughed or cried! Robin Thicke of Blurred Lines fame has appeared with Caroline and Aino in a number of venues. This partnership gave their career a gigantic jump. Thicke does a unique cover for their song I Love It.


10. Saluting Local Businesses, Artists, Photographers, And Writers

This invite was sent out to 1600 readers. They were asked to contribute something to this weekly column. Hopefully you have something you can share similar or quite different from the items you have read in this column.

Our Invite Went Like This……..

The Best Advertising Is Free Advertising

Tom Palumbo, nationally known author (24 books) is offering FREE space on his column for educators, businessmen, artists, photographers, media specialists, entrepreneurs, and writers. It gives his column a more national flavor as he writes about educational and business issues, movies, books, gaming, technology, creative thinking, and the arts.

Mary Higgins Clark, America’s top author, and J. L. Witterick, Canada’s top new author, took time out from their busy schedules to discuss their new books with Tom and pose for photos (see column #30).


10,000 new LinkedIn eyes and 10 relisting sites will help any business or organization. Maybe you, too, have something to share in the form of:

  1. a business write-up
  2. a new book review
  3. some great artwork
  4. your photography
  5. a product up-date
  6. travel tips
  7. restaurant suggestions
  8. the next great play
  9. a can’t miss movie
  10. 10.  another promotion and shout-out we haven’t featured?

Send a two paragraph write-up and some your best photos to: tjpalumbo@aol.com.

Scott Kaplan, Esskay LLC, sent the perfect business overview of his work (see column #102). It contained his picture, one of his webpage, contact information, and information everyone could use in their work and business. His soft sell format worked perfectly and showcased my column even more.

10A. Women’s Health…Helping Women With Fannypants Smartwear

Dear Mr. Palumbo,
Herewith is my short write up featuring a local female entrepreneur who breaks through conventional fashion designs and technology to help women with incontinence apparel.


Fannypants Smartwear is a manufacturer of high technology active wear for women!  Our mission is to provide apparel that promotes living a healthy and active lifestyle.  Fannypants Smartwear is a strong advocate for women’s wellness, active lifestyle and boosting their confidence throughout the day.

Our apparel provides solutions to women who experience occasional incontinence.  To give comfort all day long, our apparel is leakproof, washable and reusable.  One of the key features of our apparel which differentiates us from other apparel is our patented style of removable pads which keep our customers happy and dry all day long.  In other words, you can safely say, we have what you say is “the panty I can trust.”


Thank you for including my advertisement in your forum.  Is it possible to include my website www.fannypants.com, and facebook.com/fannypants for your women readers if they want to read more about us.

Your input and your support in getting our new brand out to your women readers across the country might surprise us!

Sophia Parker


11. 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.


11. 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.

12. 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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One Response to 103. Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, And Langston Hughes

  1. Dr Finkelstein Leonard says:

    informative – when do we get together next for a tutorial on all of this?

    too informative?


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