108. Multiple Murders Most Foul And Kevin Bacon

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Movies…About Time…The Rachel McAdams’ Experiment!

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Movie producers usually have two choices when creating a new movie. Their first choice is that they can run with a completely new idea and take their chances generating a new audience. The producer’s second choice is to take an old proven idea and give it a twist to grab the attention of an audience that has liked a similar concept in a previous feature.

While watching About Time a number of movies come to mind. Domhnall Gleeson (the Harry Potter co-star) is a time traveler. He is in love with Rachel McAdams. He has no female interaction skills. None whatsoever! He does, conversely, have the ability to correct past mistakes with her by going back in time and recreating the event. He becomes a better listener, kisser, and lover by doing this! These ‘time testing’ adventures of his are sometimes sad and sometimes comical.

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No! Gleeson is not stuck in the same day again and again until he gets it right. He has to get it right in a great number of days, times, and in a variety of situations. Having this skill is great for the time traveler but what about the woman (McAdams) that is part of his learning experiment? Will he tell or or will she find out? Disappointment? Maybe!

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Bill Nighy is Gleeson’s father and secret revealer of this well-meaning family trait. Nighy plays in a comedy, a love story, and a vampire epic with a grace and fierceness that are surely opposites that everyone wishes to have the ability to create in their acting profession. Be ashamed if you haven’t seen Love Actually! Save it for the holidays! You can pass on his three part Extinction and Underworld vampire series unless you really like Rhona Mitra. The girl has Lycan and Vampire skills as Nighy’s conflicted daughter! Her boyfriend is a Lycan (werewolf). She is a vampire. That is worse than a Yankee fan marrying a Red Sox fan! The conflicts between father and daughter are dark…

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Music…Lionel Richie And Friends In Concert (2012)

VeVo has just released the above mentioned Lionel Richie CBS Concert. It is exceptional for its musical presentations and its introduction of where musical ideas and lyrics originate. Just search Lionel Richie and Friends. Voila! It is an hour and a half and America’s greatest country and rock song creators singing Lionel’s fantastic songbook and greatest hits. The presentation throughout the show were all memorable and a music class must share. Richie never sounded better as he soloed and sang with a host of stars. You will have a tough time picking a favorite duet. Ours was with Kenny Rogers.

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Plug in your earphones and work on your latest computer project. Take care of your email. The time will just fly by on this awesome listen!

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Richie’s new album, Tuskegee, features the meshing of his forever romantic ballads with a new country influence. Darius Rucker was the key production influence on the album.  Their joint interview was revealing as they reviewed the reasons why Richie would go down the country trail. Richie calls his effort as recording Nashville style. The album is an outstanding addition to your music library and a great birthday or upcoming holiday present. The album went to number one on the country charts.

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Television…Netflix Versus HBO

Netflix has reached one of its top goals. Its subscription service has now passed Home Box Office (HBO) by 1.1 million subscribers. Netflix now has 29.9 million paid U.S. subscribers. This is a great coup for the new broadcast icon. It is a pronounced first step. However, HBO’s worldwide domination numbers are miles from Netflix’s reach at present. HBO has 119 million subscribers outside the US borders compared to Netflix’s 9.2 million.

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Netflix’s initial ‘mail you a DVD’ concept did not catch on around the world. This original failure is holding back their streaming to your television and other device’s programming. One certainly does not relate to the other except in unknowing minds.

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Television II…The Following…Kevin Bacon Does Not Dance In This One!

If you enjoy good acting and sixty of the most gruesome murders you will ever see on television in the form of stabbings, hangings, lethal injections, assorted immolations, shootings, suffocatings, and garrotings, you will enjoy The Following.

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The new show stars Kevin Bacon, as a defrocked FBI agent, and James Purefoy as a serial killer extraordinaire. Purefoy has recruited other serial killers as his Following. Purefoy, a college professor and Poe fanatic in the show, probably could have killed all sixty victims by himself. Nonetheless, having a cult following of killers has made his job easier. Natalie Zea, Purefoy’s ex-wife and their son, are fleeing Purefoy’s grasp in all 15 episodes. Kevin Bacon and 1,000 law enforcement individuals are trying to protect them.

The show is a call-out to the 300 serial killers reputed to be roaming the United States. It says killing is a good thing and it will purify your soul. The show, also, depicts local law enforcement, the FBI, homeland security, and the CIA as organizations with no capabilities of capturing or holding a serial killer. This is a very bad message that the Fox Network is sending.

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Netflix has all fifteen of The Following’s first year’s episodes. They are commercial free. You watch and judge for yourself, though. You might have to suspend your gruesome murder and disbelief function, too, for the following reasons:

  1. If you believe the United States’ most wanted serial killer is able to escape in his lawyer’s trunk from the top maximum-security prison in the country, then The Following is for you.
  2. If you believe the United States’ most wanted serial killer has unsupervised and unmonitored computer and Internet access while in prison, then The Following is for you.
  3. If you believe a house surrounded by 200 agents from every branch of law enforcement would forget to cover the back door that captors might flee through with a kidnapped child, then The Following is for you….Please, forget there were no road blocks set up, either!
  4. If you believe a law enforcement agent with gun in hand when confronting a known mass murder thirty feet away would say stop, stop, until he is stabbed to death by the murderer who slowly walks to him (no shots fired), then The Following is for you.
  5. If you believe that it is stupid to disable the car of the armed killers you are following before you pursue them (and a friend they are holding captive) into a warehouse, then The Following is for you.
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    There are ten more, but this issue of Let’s Talk has other subjects to introduce.
    Maybe Kevin Bacon should dance in this show! You decide!
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    Books…The Snowy Day…Ezra Jack Keats

As teachers and parents ask for book recommendations that will bring in the winter season for young children, Ezra Jack Keats’s Snowy Day comes to mind. Keats won The Caldecott Medal (best children’s illustrated picture book) for the storybook in 1963. It is an enduring classic. Ezra was Snowy Day’s author and illustrator. It was the first time he did both after previously only illustrating a large number of stories and works created by others.

The book was groundbreaking. It featured black children from the inner city. Keats claimed pictures in a 1940 Life Magazine were the impetus for his work. Nothing like it was created before this work. Snowy Day was an important impetus and inroad in 1963’s ever-growing civil rights’ movement. The book represented much-needed changes in book authorship, as well as, in society.

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Another unique feature of this book is that Peter the primary character who is enjoying the city on a snowy day grows up in Keats’s next five books. He goes from young child to girl struck, ten year old, letter writer in A Letter To Amy. This is a great companion book to Dear, Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary. Students love learning how to write letters along with characters in the books they are reading.

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It has been thirty years since Keats died of a heart attack in 1983. His multiple book creations and everlasting story legacies are read in classrooms across the world. At the time of his death, Ezra Jack Keats had illustrated over 85 books. He has written and illustrated 22 children’s storybook standards. Picking up any of his books will give you a glimpse into a great talent! You will enjoy these books as much as the child who is listening to you read Ezra’s enjoyable and interesting character laden creations.


Games And Puzzles

This Words Containing Words challenge is not difficult. It will, however, give you some creative insights into word construction. Integrating language arts and mathematics is another key feature in this activity. Can you change this to an addition or fraction developing quest?

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Words Containing Words
The Games And Puzzles’ Network

Letters can be rearranged in most of our words to form new words of varying sizes. You can take the word MEAT and form TEAM-ATE-TAME-MATE and more. You can, also, examine MEAT and see that it has numerous words in it without changing the order of the letters in the original word ME-EAT-A-AT. See how many words you can find in each science and vocabulary word below without changing its original order. Multiply the number of words you find in times the letters in the original word to find your score. Compare your word finds to a classmate’s list. Now team up with your classmate. See what math words like subtraction that you can find. How many new words in exact order did your words contain? List your best ones on the lines provided for you below.

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Original Word       Words In Order In Original Word                          Score

1. kindergarten
2. subtraction
3. pollution
4. message
5. replacement
6. hearts
7. streams
8. farmland
9. knowledge
10. yearling
11. breads
12. steamship
13. crated
14. sewerage
15. attended

What math words did you find in your explorations that contain words in exact order in them? Try this technique with city, state, and country names. Will this work with a person’s full name? Try your own name?

  1. ________________________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________________________

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Poetry And Creative Writing…Snow Already!

The flakes have just appeared across Pennsylvania. It is time, once more, to give Snowflake Poetry its first dusting. Apologize for that ‘dusting reference’. It sounded right the first time it was written. Maybe it is time to reconsider the “dusting” word usage in this write-up?

Snowflake Poetry

Every language arts and reading teacher across the United States teaches lessons on Acrostic Poetry. This acrostic poetry technique is taught in many forms. Our acrostic poetry lesson has a little twist to what is normally taught. Not only must you create a phrase starting with each letter in snowflake, but every two lines in your poem must, also, rhyme. Remember, please, from your studies, that two consecutive rhyming lines are called a couplet.

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S       Silently falling to the ground,
N       Now you see the whiteness all around
O       Open the window and stick your tongue out,
W      We’ll welcome winter with a big shout.

F       Fresh snow piling up so high,
L       Lie on your back and face the sky.
A       All the flowers asleep in their bed,
K       Kids go zooming on a swift sled sled.

E       Everyone likes the flakes and the snow,
To a beach is where I’d rather go.

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Pick a descriptive ‘even letter’ word that you can develop in this rhyming acrostics format. Illustrate your poem and design a bulletin board for your poem and those of your classmates. Try the word SUMMERTIME on a piece of notebook paper for your next critical thinking challenge.

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Column Reminders:

Don’t forget to check out aimtjp.wikispaces.com and www.portaportal.com (tjpalumbo is your guest access code) for some great research and resource activities.

Here is what we shared with 55,000 LinkedIn members about these sites:

Today’s number #1 topic for businessmen, entrepreneurs, technologists, educators, artists, writers, communities, students, and parents is grant writing. It is a skill everyone should have on their resume to attract employers. If an employer hires you, they will realize the skills on your resume and they will get the extra bonus of your ability to bring extra money into their organization.

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Introduction Grant Writing and Grant Development Strategies at the graduate level and at the staff development level are the two most attended and asked for topics of my educational consultant business. I have set up a FREE grant writing resource site at (www.portaportal.com). When the site opens, type in (tjpalumbo) in the guest access box in the lower right hand corner of the opening page. I have created an invaluable research site in all subject areas! You will see an open grant portal highlighting where to find grants and how to write them. The sites are the best of what I have researched and the easiest to navigate. Sign up for the newsletters of the agencies where I put newsletter next to their name. You will always be kept abreast of what is available in grants in every area.


Send me an email at tjpalumbo@aol.com if you need any assistance with finding a grant, help writing your grant, or tweaking your grant.





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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