105. Ryan Reynolds, Miley Cyrus, And Benedict Cumberbatch

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Movies…FoolProof…The Heist Caper

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David Baldacci’s original books introduced the crime-fighting group called The Camel Club. The club met in The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The Camel Club was a small cadre of mismatched friends. These mystery loving friends tried to solve crimes that were both major and minor. Each person brought a different skill to the weekly crime discussions. Members then went into the field and tried to make a difference where the police and government could not. Baldacci creatively framed this crew’s work in a number of interesting stories and books.

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Foolproof (2003) is a dated movie that introduces a crime club of a different ilk. The ‘Foolproof Group’ (their name for themselves) stages make believe bank, jewelry store, home, and business heists. The three members of the team are Ryan Reynolds (in one of his first movies), Kristin Booth, and Sean Sullivan. Their technology, surveillance, research, safe-cracking, security, and karate skills have been honed and enhanced since they were in college together. Their imaginary crimes are meticulously thought out and staged in the real and virtual reality worlds.

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When The Foolproof Group’s computer and notebooks are stolen and enacted upon by the real criminal element in a jewelry theft, the police and the local crime boss come a-looking. The crime boss blackmails the team into working for him on additional capers, while the police are trying to nab (a piece of police jargon) Foolproof for the original jewelry heist.

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If you have run out unique movie stories and crime escapades to watch, this first work of Ryan Reynolds is worth researching and viewing. The story is a challenge for a mystery-solving enthusiast. Like many of our other suggestions, you can find the movie in your On Demand channels, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu choices. Give yourself extra stars if you figure this one out!!!


Movies II…The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate with Benedict Cumberbatch was supposed to be the lead in this issue of Let’s Talk. Then, the new Time Magazine (October 28th) and its five-page article on Cumberbatch star of The Fifth Estate and other recent classics (his Sherlock Holmes) appeared in the mailbox. Very little was left to say: but…….


The Fifth Estate is the story of Wikileaks and whether the truth is the most important concept in journalism and life. Wikileaks.org says that:
Our goal is to bring important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure, and anonymous way for sources to leak information to our readers.

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For the last five years this organization has leaked important and damaging information about banks, foundations, companies, rulers, environmental hazards, and governments. The have tumbled the big and powerful at a cost. Leaking tens of thousands of United States most confidential and controversial documents and the repercussions for this act is the keystone of the movie. Can Wikileaks be defeated by the United States government? If so, the movie contends, then there are no safe places for the whistleblower!

The movie keeps stressing that commitment takes huge sacrifices. The general public has to decide after viewing this true story if those sacrifices mean forgetting co-workers, everyday people, families, friendships, and trust…….And will truth win out without whistleblowers?


Movies III…Captain Phillips By Sean Gallagher

Here is Sean Gallagher’s review of Tom Hanks new movie Captain Phillips. We have featured the first section of his review in order to encourage you to investigate Sean’s column at (seangallagherlovesmovies.wordpress.com) and see the rest of the review. Sean knows movies and the people that make movies. You will like his creative discussions and cinematic insights.


Sean Says:

Recently, there has been a slew of stories in the press that question the heroism and integrity of Captain Richard Phillips. I’m here to tell you that these stories don’t matter whatsoever in relation to the new movie CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. I don’t care what happened in real life because CAPTAIN PHILLIPS is just too good to dismiss. Director Paul Greengrass (THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, UNITED 93) has crafted a relentless thriller that puts us right in the middle of Captain Phillips’ ordeal.


Tom Hanks is the best he’s been in years. He deserves an Oscar nomination for his understated and genuine performance. His acting, particularly in the last few minutes of the film, is raw and horrifying. Hanks shows us an unfiltered portrait of shell-shock. It’s an unforgettable scene and definitive proof that Tom Hanks is the great actor we remember him to be.

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A great performance is one thing, but CAPTAIN PHILLIPS wouldn’t be as powerful without director Paul Greengrass. In the hands of Greengrass, the film is carefully controlled chaos. He is able to build the tension early on with the use of handheld cameras, to create a documentary feel. Usually, excessive shaky cam in movies is just a sign that the director can’t direct action. In this case, it’s just the opposite. Through the use of quick cuts, camera zooms, and close ups, viewers feel as though they are on the ship with Captain Phillips.

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Art…Picasso’s Top Hat For $167

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Sotheby’s is auctioning off a 1914 Picasso called Top Hat for $167. It really isn’t an auction. It is a lottery and tickets for the Picasso are being sold for $167. Giant groups and foundations are buying massive blocks of tickets. We are hoping some freshman from the University of the Arts is the winner with his or her one ticket purchase. Can you image visiting their dorm room to see a six million dollar Picasso on the wall. It could happen as this column often says!


Music…The Joan Jett Influence (Revisited)

As mentioned before in this column, Joan Jett is the ‘Black Jacket Marlon Brandon’ of rockers. Everyone is dissing Miley Cyrus for having her tongue out in everything she does. Joan Jett and Michael Jordan were ‘tongue out’ long before Miley Cyrus came on the scene. Joan and Miley performed Hate Myself For Loving You, Bad Reputation, and Cherry Bomb on Oprah to make their ‘I love rock and roll’ points. Here are the Joan Jett ‘pick five’ for this weekend.

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I Need Someone
Love Hurts
Dirty Deeds
Have You Ever Seen The Rain
Love Me Two Times

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Music II…J. Cole And The TLC Movement

J. Cole is the most performed and emulated rapper in Philadelphia’s high school hallways. The language in his songs is always toned down when a teacher passes, though.


His collaboration with TLC has filtered a great deal of the language in his new songs, but not that much. TLC’s Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls is on everyone in the inner city’s “songs we’ll remember for all time” list. Check out his Can’t Get Enough (the clean version) to understand what is influencing your high school student. Then worry!


Television…Nurse Jackie!

If you have been in the viewing audience that has seen every medical show from Dr. Kildare to Ben Casey to Doogie Howser to General Hospital to ER, you may have seen everything in the world of medicine and its keepers. Even if you have seen everything, Nurse Jackie will greatly add to your list of “enjoyed medical shows” on regular television and cable.


Nurse Jackie, starring Edie Falco as a New York hospital’s drug addicted head nurse, has just completed its fifth award-winning season on Showtime. The addition, this year, of Morris Chestnut added immensely to the quality of the hospital staff and to the new directions for the show’s many story lines.


The police drama Hill Street Blues was one of the first television shows that featured five storylines at one time. Nurse Jackie uses this format to heighten interest as you are following patients, doctors, nurses, and hospital staff through a multiple crisis and intimate story format. Troubles on the home front (divorce, dating, teen angst, the aged, commitment) play a big role each week and complement the hospital humor and the staff’s interactions with the hospital’s needy and kooky patients. This is a Showtime feature. There are naked body parts on the hospital gurneys and exposed bodies in the resident’s bedrooms. The re-listing channels have taken these pieces out for your viewing enjoyment. Try Nurse Jackie at the halftime of ER. You will become a fan!


Television II…This Week’s Amazing Viewership Statistic


For the first time in television history, the viewership at over 50 percent of the major television shows is greater after the actual show is over. This means more people are recording the show or watching it on reviewing channels than actually watching it at its initial showing. Another new format is that the major stations are offering you their online streaming websites to see the shows you have missed. We have included a picture of what your computer desktop might look like if you are watching CBS, NBC, ABC, TNT, and The CW through their free computer ‘after the fact’ applications.

This means that you can watch the present episode of Once Upon A Time, Ironsides, Scandal, Elementary, or Nashville the week after the show is shown. These shows are then archived and some of the channels offer every show from this year and past years. Isn’t the Internet amazing (said for the seventh time in this column)?


Poetry…M.C. Escher…The Drawing Hands

Here is an easy way to integrate poetry with art.
Pick two of your favorite pictures and bring them to life in poetry form.


This truly is The Amazing Race,
How will we know they’re done?
When we wager on a winner,
How will we know who won,
The contest.

Poetry II…Healey…Lincoln


The fate of a nation rested on his shoulders,
Was this a happier and earlier pose.
It shows the thoughts of a private man,
Family tragedy, great decisions…the legend grows.


Puzzles…The Nothing Left Challenge

Not many puzzle enthusiasts are able to get every answer below.
Walk proudly if you do!

Nothing Left Cross-Out Letters

There are a group of words in the English language that have the peculiarity of being composed of only letters that appear twice. In the word NOON, if you cross out the n’s and o’s (both double letters), nothing is left. Each clue below will generate a “nothing left” word. See how many you can determine from its clue.

CLUE                                      WORD           SCORE (VOWELS/TOTAL LETTERS)

EX.  Title to land                              DEED                                    2/4

1.  Car horn sound                            _________           __________
2.  A baby bird sound                        _________           __________
3.  Cartoon character “Little__?__”    _________           __________
*4. Comparative of red                      _________           __________

**5. Largest part of the body            _________            __________
*6.  Lack of fruit disease in sailors       _________           __________
7.  A soft low sound                          _________           __________
***8. Makes calm, satisfies, quiets       _________           __________

9.  A clumsy, non-flying extinct bird    _________           __________
10. Looks at, be aware of by sight       _________           __________
11.  A girl’s name                             _________           __________
12.  A boy’s name                   _________           __________
*13. French candy                   _________           __________
Can you add two four letter, six letter, and eight letter words to our list?


Saluting Local Businesses, Artists, Photographers, And Writers

The invitation that follows 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 (Any New Takers)?


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.  another promotion and shout-out we haven’t featured?
    Send a two paragraph write-up and some your best photos to:

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.


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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