118. Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, And Jay Leno

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1. Movies…The Wolf Of Wall Street…Leonardo DiCaprio

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Leonardo DiCaprio plays the lover (Titanic), the billionaire (The Great Gadsby/The Aviator), the musketeer/king (Man In The Iron Mask), and the imposter (Catch Me If You Can) with a great likable flair. He makes you like even the most despicable characters that he brings to the screen. You like and root for him…not thinking about the person he is really playing.

In The Wolf of Wall Street, a mostly true story, DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort a financier that stole millions of dollars from teachers, firemen, widows, widowers, retirees, nuns, and orphans. Belfort stole even more from people with money. At one time Belfort had 1,000 stockbrokers working for him. That has to equate to billions of dollars in salaries and stolen investments!

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In WOWS the drugs, sex, and the debauchery that goes along with these horrific thefts has you rooting for Leonardo DiCaprio against the FBI, the common man, and the rich…Something about that just ain’t right!

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The movie is nominated for five Academy Awards including direction, production, and lead acting. The supporting cast of Mathew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, small people, and scantily clad women makes for a fast three hours if you approve of these themes.

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2. Creative Writing…Understanding

Understanding by Nick Kenny is always the first share of the New Year. This year’s office vote was originally 3-2 against. Now the 3-2 has been reversed. Thanks Jennifer for changing your vote. Flowers, perfume, jewelry, and Flyers box seats did not influence Jennifer in any way. She can’t be bought!

There are grander wishes, but the wish for understanding is a good one.

Understanding By Nick Kenny

The troubles that beset us,
Along life’s winding road,
Are sent to make us stronger,
To share another’s load.

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We cannot share a sorrow,
Until we have grieved awhile,
Nor can we share another’s joy,
Until we have learned to smile.

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Sweet mystery of music,
Great Masters and their art.
How well we understand them,
When we have known a broken heart.

Let tyrants lust for power,
Let sophisticates be wise.
Just let me see the world, dear God,
Through understanding eyes.

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3. Television…The Good Wife…Julianna Margulies

Julianna Margulies is an Emmy Award winner for her role as mother and attorney in the fast paced law and politics series The Good Wife. CBS is featuring all of this year’s episodes of The Good Wife in what they are calling their Catch Up Marathon.

Every television station has a free application that you can upload to your computer or phone. This application lets you watch all the shows you have missed in a time frame that fits your daily schedule. The re-watch feature of these offerings provides viewers with the channel’s specials and basic shows, as well as, complete series. In addition, extra features, from the shows musical score to interviews with actors and writers, make these applications enticing. Fewer commercials help, too, to lure after the fact viewers.

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Chris Noth and Josh Charles are two corners of the love triangle, one the husband, two the college lover and law firm confidant. Christine Baranski is the law partner that Margulies is trying to break away from with half the firm’s lawyers. Archie Panjabi and Alan Cummings are the frenzied supports not counting the kids and grandparents. The acting and new styled law cases separate this from other law shows as you anxiously await the best law show on television. The new season of Suits with Gabriel Macht, Gina Torrez, Patrick Adams, Meghan Markle, Sarah Rafferty, and Rick Hoffman is just around the television corner.

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4. Television…Jay Leno…The Power Of Laughter

There is something about pre-sleep laughter at 11:30 at night. Someone should do a study of jokes presented at this time and those same jokes presented at 2PM. They are undoubtedly funnier at 11:30.


Jay Leno comes from a whole line of late night funny from Jack Paar to Johnny Carson. His twenty-two year run (with a short break to an earlier time slot) is ending next week. Jimmy Fallon will be moving into his spot from Fallon’s Late, Late Night Show. The New Tonight Show will be brought back to New York from its California setting. 

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Billy Crystal, Jay Leno’s first guest 22 years ago, will join Leno on his final show. We are still waiting for the release of his additional guest list. We are assuming there will be a large number of walk-ins. Leno is having Jimmy Fallon visit his show this week to smooth the transition. It was sad to find out that Johnny Carson refused to appear on The Tonight Show while Leno was hosting the show.

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5. Music…How Do You Keep The Music Playing?

You Tube has added some new features. There are thousands of complete albums and thousands of complete musical shows (concerts/television) for anytime viewing and listening. They are a “perfect listen” while you are typing that term paper or report for work. Their lyric videos are perfect for memory work and karaoke performances. Step back http://www.elyrics.com.

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Another feature for the musical fan is its multiple listing of the same song with multiple singers. The song is presented with different styles and acoustical supports in the right hand index bar. It is a treat to see Frank Sinatra with one of the original versions then Tamia with a more soulful rendition. How Do You Keep The Music Playing is the story of how you keep a relationship fresh and vibrant (better relationship words could have been inserted here).

Tamia Hill and James Ingram have one of the few duets of the song. Tamia Hill is this week’s music discovery. She is rhythm, blues, and soul for the dance floor and the car. Tamia is Grant Hill’s wife. Grant Hill has been a National Basketball Association (NBA) all-star multiple times. It is a toss-up whether she sings better than he plays. Their two children voted for mom’s singing.

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6. Best Lines Of The Week

From The Grocery Line

I hate cellphones. They are only good for calling people and emailing.

From An AOL News Article

Texas will continue with their lethal objection protocol despite protests from executed inmates.

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7. Brain Power…Luminosity And Friends

The three largest game sites on the Internet are Prongo (www.prongo.com), Gamequarium (www.gamequarium.com), and Luminosity (www.luminosity.com). Luminosity claims that they will improve your brain’ cognitive function, delay Alzheimer’s and dementia….and only take a little bit of your money each month for their original training tasks.

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Going back to FREE college or joining a book or library group might be cheaper. The reviews are mixed. Technology Tell says neuroscientists are reporting Luminosity’s claims are bunk. Here is the link and excerpt from their findings. Read the whole column for an in depth review of this new craze.

Hopefully our free brain benders and challenging activities are keeping you mentally awake each week as “homographs” will do for you below.

The Technology Tell link is provided below:

“A 2010 study by actual neuroscientist (as opposed to the founder of Luminosity, who dropped out of his degree) found that, through tracking 11,000 adults over a period of 6 weeks, that cognitive function didn’t approve and that they didn’t demonstrate any general advantages in their day-to-day life. They did, however, improve at the tasks designed to improve “neuroplasticity,” whatever the hell that is.

Essentially, people that repetitively played brain training games, got better at them. In layman’s terms, they realized that practice makes perfect; a great way of creating an illusion of becoming smarter. Truthfully, if you do anything over and over, you will get better at it. We’ve known that for ages.”
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8. Brain Benders…Homographs

A homograph is a word that can be pronounced two different ways though the word’s spelling does not change. It, also, has a different meaning each way it is pronounced. Review the sentences below. It will take your brain a few seconds to assimilate the words. You will probably pronounce a few words the wrong way. That is a homograph’s uniqueness. Please challenge yourself to write a new sentence under each one already given and structure your sentence to show clearly the word’s two meanings. The Dove Dove, a book, by Marvin Terban is an excellent example of how you might use this homograph pronunciation concept in story or puzzle form.

1.  The bass jumped in the lake like a bass players fingers on the strings.
2.  If you read anthologies you will be much better read.
3.  The bow in her hair fell in the middle of her bow.
4.  I would like to present you with this present.
5.  The tear in her dress brought a tear to her eye.

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6.  What type of polish did the Polish singer put to his song?
7.  I live for live television musicals like Sound of Music.
8. When you get close, I will close the house and meet you in the drive.
9. It won’t take more than a minute for the minute particle to dissolve.
10. Jim moped around before he moped the floor.

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9. Tributes…Oprah Winfrey…For Good

As we were looking for information about Jay Leno’s send off, we came upon an awesome find concerning Oprah Winfrey. For her Twenty-fifth Anniversary in show business, they presented a massive gala called The Men of Morehouse College. Oprah, over the years, contributed the funding so 64,000 men could go to college. The testimonials and the ten thousand people in the audience were a stirring tribute to her work. One thousand men who received full scholarships from her formed a candlelight procession in her honor. Stars from Tom Hanks to Maria Shriver introduced the speakers and performers. During the candlelight procession, Kristin Chenoweth who has performed the song For Good from the play Wicked five thousand times sang this song to Oprah. Oprah couldn’t stop crying. You will tear up, too. This performance is on all the re-listing channels including You Tube.

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Morehouse College is the only all male black institution of graduate and under-graduate learning in the United States. It is in Atlanta, Georgia. Oprah has done the men proud for a long time! What a great tradition!

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10. History…Reign…Mary Queen Of Scots

Reign, a previous You Have To Watch is history that the whole family can enjoy without seeing x-rated body parts and beheadments flying across the screen. We still love you Game of Thrones! Adelaide Kane is the fifteen-year-old Mary Queen of Scots and Megan Fellows is Queen Catherine of France. Their battles are as well crafted as the battles between Richard Burton (England’s Henry The Eighth) and Geneviève Bujold (Anne Boleyn) in the movie Anne Of A Thousand Days.

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In season two of the CW’s Reign, Mary is no longer the shy stranger to the intrigues of court and the power struggles between countries (England, Scotland, France) and entities (The Vatican). It is a pleasure to see her character development and how she is, now, the leader in forging alliances and what is best for herself and Scotland. Take a peek at Reign. You will relish it more than being invited to an old Scottish Highland Inn.

Biography.com (www.biography.com/people/mary-queen-of-scots-9401343) calls Mary Queen of Scots one of the most fascinating women in history. Elizabeth I, who was supposed to protect her, had Mary beheaded at age 45. She thought this would stop her from possibly ascending to the English throne. Biography has some great movies and mini-talks about this period in history.


11. Health…Health Magazine And Health.com

Here is some of the new news from Cameron Diaz’s new health and wellness book (The Body Book) and the new issue of Health Magazine. The Health site (www.health.com) is filled with new discoveries, helpful hints, and the research behind the new health claims zooming worldwide from Fiji to Dr Oz to Cameron Diaz.

We are testing the following suggestions in the office:

Tart Black Cherry Juice…Better Night Sleep
Fiji Water…Osteoporosis Alleviation and Aluminum By Product Blocks
Black Rice…Stamina and Energy Boost
Honey…Blemish Removal
Vodka…Happiness Restorer

12. For New Readers Only

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The 20th Anniversary Of Let’s Talk

This year (2014) is the 20th Anniversary of Let’s Talk. What once was a newsletter shared in University Of The Arts’ lectures and classes, professional development presentations up and down the east coast, and in book publications for Good Apple Publishing is now a Word Press column that is read across four continents and Philadelphia. Let’s Talk is distributed through multiple re-listing sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. 475 readers subscribe to the column. The good sisters at St. Mary’s read it, also.

Join the yearlong celebration of writing and creative discussion by contributing a story, book, movie, art piece, award notice, photography, game, business, multimedia, travel, or theater write-up for the column. Your ideas should be sent to Tom Palumbo at tjpalumbo@aol.com. Please send a photo or two with your two-paragraph contribution. Thank you! Your varied ideas, experiences, and insights will surely bring a larger audience to the column and make the column’s content more interesting and far reaching.


13. Let’s Talk’s Educational Website

Please check out our FREE educational website at aimtjp.wikispaces.com.

No www. is needed. If you have any educators, creative writers, entrepreneurs, teachers, or children in the family, they will enjoy the information immensely. There are tons of immediately ready to use ideas in reading, children’s literature, Internet explorations, research, problem solving, games, and poetry on the opening screen and in the Public Dropbox.

The creative ideas on the site are in PowerPoint, video, worksheet, and QuickTime talk formats. Teachers from throughout the area have contributed creative lessons, creative games, and book talks to the site. The Public DropBox has extensive files from twenty years of book authoring and graduate courses.


14. Let’s Talk Poetry

Let’s Talk’s poetry site contains audios, videos, PowerPoints, Internet resources, and worksheets in both poetry and creative writing. It can be found at: (catapultintopoetry.wikispaces.com). Thousands of parents and teachers use the website and its creative resources.



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 118. Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, And Jay Leno

  1. Jenny Witterick says:

    Totally so true about how The Wolf of Wall Street glamorizes stealing. No where in the movie were there scenes of people not being able to pay for their mortgage because they lost their money, or not being able to send their kids to school etc etc. Just plain wrong.

    The poem is lovely…just lovely. Jenny

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