128. Maya Angelou, Charlize Theron, And Don Johnson

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1. Sad Events…Maya Angelou…The Soul Of American Poetry!


We apologize that our words aren’t elegant and eloquent enough to commemorate your life and life’s work. You deserve far better!

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Maya Angelou’s death and life have been honored in hundreds of publications worldwide. She was truly ‘the civic engagement center’ for current issue and fairness. Her poetry, writing, public appearances, and movies have been and will continue to be embraced by millions for many years to come.

Maya Angelou has always been the queen of the poetry class and the foundation of poetry in the American classroom. Emily Dickinson is second in the ‘poetry royalty’ of the creative teaching pantheon. A small vignette like this can’t express how many students eyes and hearts finally opened after hearing Ms. Angelou’s simple but stirring words and then researching Maya’s life. Been there! Seen it many times!

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After hearing all the movie stars, friends, and the literary famous talk about their favorite poem by Angelou, take time out, look through her poetry, and try to find your favorite. This ‘time taking’ will be a small but fitting tribute to her magnificent life and legacy. Woman Work and Phenomenal Woman remain our two Angelou favorites. In poetry and writing class students are given every other line of the Woman Work poem below to complete a new poem with their new imitative versions. How would you write every other line of Woman Work?:

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I’ve got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I’ve got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The can to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

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Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
‘Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You’re all that I can call my own.
Maya Angelou


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2. Music…The Happenings…Bob Mirandi, George Rizzi, Bob Kulik, and Bob Payne…The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Sound

The office fight concerning the top ten All-Time Songs of Summer continues to rage onward. Picking ten songs should have been easy. The only song that young and old staff members (each nominated five) could agree on was See You In September. It was recorded first by The Tempos and then made famous by The Happenings.

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See You In September is the story of two lovers who are leaving each other for the summer. It was amazing how many staffers had this experience. The See You In September share-out during the selection process was both cute and endearing.

The Happenings are still recording and performing. The song See You In September is joined by Go Away Little Girl and I Got Rhythm in our Golden Oldie’s recommendation file. Check The Happenings website out for a concert information in your area (www.thehappenings.com).

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3. Movies…Cold In July…Don Johnson Part 2 of 4!

Testosterone supplements come with a list of negative effects that would scare Superman and Spiderman even on their best day. Cold In July is a great testosterone substitute without any side effects. Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, and Michael C. Hall from the Dexter television series, are a mega-sized bottle of male supplements as they butt heads then work together in this Indie detective and NoireMystery. We have no idea what a Noire Mystery would have as its basic tenants. Noire Mystery was just used to impress our not easily impressed readers.

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A house invasion, intruder killing, and a substitute body replacing the murdered home intruder has you guessing from beginning to end in this one.

This is Don Johnson’s second of four movies that he is starring and minor starring in this year. Johnson has been labeled the face of the eighties by starring in Miami Vice and Nash Bridges. He appeared everywhere with Melanie Griffith and then a slew of celebrities. Miami Vice is ageless andstill remains in the top ten of television detective series rentals. Melanie Griffith’s minor role in Hawaii 50 would be special if Johnson were inserted in the story in some form. Their daughter Dakota Mayi Johnson would make a good third wheel, too. Think on it creative television series’ writers! We know stuff!

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4. Movies II…A Million Ways To Die Is Not Making Millions!

Seth MacFarlane, writer and costar of A Million Ways To Die In The West, knows Charlize Theron is twice Annie Oakley and Dale Evans in the cowgirl and other departments. Where American movies make twice the box office in Europe as they do in the US, this is not so for cowboy movies. Europeans just don’t have the background that we do with the Old West…except for the Spanish who know Clint Eastwood and the early western films he starred in in Spain.

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Seth MacFarlane’s movie Ted made 400 million dollars worldwide. Millions has only made 20 million in the United States and only ten million in Europe. It is early so the themes of cowboys, sheep ranching, and humor may catch on before the summer ends. Theron’s match-up with Sean Penn should keep her and the movie on the front pages of the tabloids for a while. This will help put additional movie goers in theater seats. Kiss on newest Hollywood couple!

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  1. Television…Sleeper Cell And The Americans
                         Comparative Television                                                                                                                                                  Believe it or not…television can be mind developing. We said it first here! The Showtime Network in 2006 developed the Sleeper Cell series. All episodes were released at the same time. It was a one-hour show that aired on eight consecutive nights in 2006 and then in the same consecutive presentation format in 2007. This was a first in television history and Showtime’s development of new presentation structures for the small screen. Sleeper Cell looked at the modern day conflict of Islam and America. ‘Can’t we all just get along‘ is our playground cry! The US needs a similar plea.

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Terrorism in Los Angeles and throughout the world was the show’s jumping off point.  Michael Ealy is a veteran, devout American Muslim, and undercover agent. His character follows the teaching of the Koran while working with and exposing extremists. The dichotomy of religion and its tenants are challenged throughout the episodes.

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The Americans (Keri Russell/Matthew Rhys), in its second year, is a present day show that chronicles the late 1900’s conflict between Russia and America. Russell and Rhys are deep cover Russians spying on America. The comparisons are eerily similar as Sleeper Cell has deep cover terrorists operating in present day Los Angeles.
Spy on the two shows on your local networks and make your comparisons! They are great brain television show comparison candy!

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6. Brain Games…Words With Doubles, Words Without Doubles!

Each issue of Let’s Talk introduces some thinking exercise for all thinking levels. Our games and puzzles are designed to stimulate both sides of your brain. Your first have to solve our problems using one side of your brain. Second, using the other side of your brain, you have to analyze the problem and create an exercise similar or quite different from the one you just completed in our design layout.

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A Doubles Delight!

The two clues below will first identify a word that has double letters and then secondly reveal a new word when the double letters are removed. The first clue given identifies the starting word while the second clue gives a new word sans the doubles. Sometimes you will solve the clues forward sometimes in reverse order.

Solve all the clues below and you get to play doubles with Andre Agassi and Maria Sharapova at the U.S. Open on Labor Day Weekend.

Clue 1/Clue 2         First Answer…Same Letters Without The Doubles

1. Father/24 Hours…Daddy/Day
2. Castle Royalty (M)/Castle Royalty (F)…
3. Masked Hero/City Animal Habitat…
4. Flower Part/Flower Event…
5. Fights During Wars/Hay Choice…
6. Beautiful/Hunted Animals…
7. Calm/Cat Sound…

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8. A Fruit/Alternative For Beer…Apple/Ale
9. Greatest Braves Home Run Hitter/Guidry Of The Yankees…
10. Ping Pong Equipment/Sickly…
11. To Happen/Belonging To Us…
12. Happy/A _____ To Behold…
13. A Mountain’s Top/Formal Dress For A Man…
14. A Group Of Geese/A Strong Wind…
15. To Tell On/A Tall Story…

Today’s quiz answers will appear in next week’s column. Last week’s answers are listed at the end of today’s column.

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7. Americana…The Ageless…America Counts!

The following two-paragraph space has been loaned to Meaghan our office researcher. Meaghan lives and breathes statistics. Her translations are transforming. She claims that America and all of us are getting older. You can see from her statement that we only hire the best and most intuitive professionals.

Here are Meaghan’s two most revealing statistical shares for this week. Be on notice that she bakes great cakes. More column space may be allotted to her ideas in the future:

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1. For the first time in history, 50% of the American population is over forty years old. Florida, California, and Maine lead with the median ages of its residents passing 43 years. It seems that the older you get, the more likely you will migrate west, southeast, or northeast.

Meaghan insists this will greatly affect the product advertising campaigns of a large number of companies. Real estate approaches and a boatload of other business approaches will be altered. Health and human service jobs will be greatly affected, also.

2. For the first time in US history the death rates of the largest ethnic groups outnumber the birth rates. Meaghan insists, if this continues, the ethnic make-up of the world will be reversed in 1,000,000 years. Boy is she smart!

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8. Saluting Local Businesses And Entrepreneurs

Each week we feature the areas top entrepreneurs, educators, artists, photographers, and idea people. Here are three unique individuals who have thinking concepts and unique work ideas that you will surely enjoy.

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Writora…Benjamin Reich…Collaboration Made Easy!

Ben has some good ideas for formats groups can use to complete a large-scale or small-scale project. His creation allows multiple users in different locations to collaborate on a project. It, also, allows a team to see each person’s contributions on the working and completed document. It sounds like a collaboration device we can all use. Here is what he said about his new company.

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“As I mentioned, my startup, Writora, is a tool to help authors, editors, and illustrators to collaborate on a document, and to see the complete history and evolution of the document.  It includes the ability to view all changes made to a document in that version or any prior version in that document’s history.

In addition, in order to manage the publication process, Writora has Writora Workflows, which are custom processes which can be designed around the document. Writora Workflows can be used to manage the publication life cycle, from idea, into contracting, through writing, and into production. I would value the opportunity to get your insight into how to position Writora to be a tool of choice for authors.”

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Technology…Software Design…James Alesi Has Skills!

Tom…Thanks for introducing yourself this morning. I’m a system and software engineer looking for interesting software projects to work on.  I have experience with C++, Java, Python, Android, Matlab and LabVIEW.  I enjoy designing and writing code and I’m interested in analytics and big data.  I’ve attached my resume for reference.  Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help you out with anything. Please give James a shout-out at his email: jfalesi@hotmail.com. His resume is very impressive.

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The Psychology Of Teamwork…Dr. Janet Presser

Janet Presser is a very interesting quantifier of creative ideas in the workplace and the new privacy issues running across the news and Internet. Her analysis of workplace success and forging teams to achieve this success are in a large number of articles found @drjanice. See if her ideas will change the way you think about work and your personal information. We like her office “big seven” questions listed below. It helped us re-think our office:

The ‘Teamability® 7 Survey’:

  1. I know the vision, purpose, and/or goal for everything I do at work.
  2. When problems arise – of any kind – they are usually resolved in a reasonable and efficient way.
  3. My job responsibilities are aligned with my desire to serve my team and my organization.
  4. I get respect and recognition from others in a manner that is meaningful to me.
  5. My manager ‘gets’ me – consistently listens to me, values me, and encourages me to grow.
  6. My coworkers feel like a real team to me. We share the load, we support each other, we have fun together, and we get the job done.
  7. I may not have the most important job in the company, but I know that I make a significant contribution.

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9. Answers To Last Week’s Challenge

Each issue of Let’s Talk introduces some thinking exercise for all thinking levels. Our games and puzzles are designed to stimulate both sides of your brain. Your first have to solve our problems using one side of your brain. Second, using the other side of your brain, you have to analyze the problem and create an exercise similar or quite different from the one you just completed in our design layout.

Every magazine from Teen to People to AARP has been expounding on the importance of life-long mental exercises from ages 2-100. Luminosity through its convincing advertising campaign is making millions of dollars on challenges you can get for free all over the Internet. Go back through past Let’s Talk columns and take some of our challenges. Our index bar also has some unique mental exercises. You will live longer, healthier, and happier by doing so. We promise for the tenth time in this column!

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Here is an easy starting activity that you can build into a mind spinner with your creative additions. Each clue below will lead to an answer that has the letters E-A-R in them in exact order. After finding our answers, see if you can create a similar or more challenging activity. In the school classroom we determine what fraction, decimal, or percent (choose one) of the final answer is made up of vowels.

E-A-R Search Network

What E-A-R is?

  1. An animal…Bear
  2. A position of English royalty…Earl
  3. What ghosts do in your dreams…appear
  4. A machine part…gear
  5. The opposite of foggy…clear (2/5) (40%) (.4)
  6. Sincere…earnest
  7. A swimming device…earplug
  8. Facial water…tears
  9. The back…rear
  10. A fruit…pear
  11. A letter starter…dear
  12. Types of risers…early
  13. A feudal weapon…spear
  14. A Shakespearean play…King Lear
  15. An attribute of a daredevil…fearless
  16. One of the senses…hearing
  17. A meat cooking option…sear
  18. A battery company…Dearborn
  19. These fill a decade…years
  20. Ear protector…earmuffs

10. Our June Contributor’s Call Out For Creative Ideas Continues!

Join our yearlong, 20th Anniversary celebration of writing and creative discussion by contributing a story suggestion, book review, movie write-up, art piece, award notice, photography portfolio, game grabber, business join-up, multimedia purchase, travel tidbit, or theater ‘can’t miss’ for our Let’s Talk column.

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Your ideas and suggestions should be sent to Tom Palumbo at tjpalumbo@aol.com. Please send a photo or two with your two-paragraph contribution. We’d love to display your art and photography on Let’s Talk over our discussions. Thank you for adding your work and expertise to this column! Your varied ideas, experiences, products, and insights will surely bring a larger audience to the column and make the column’s content more interesting and far reaching. We subscribe to the concept of reflected glory! Ask your friends to drop their email in the follow box in the bottom right hand corner of the opening page.

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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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