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Moby Dick + Wild Things + The Matrix = WTF

February 14th, 2019

One of the most valuable things in life is honesty; particularly, the honesty of someone calling out your bad ideas. When someone cares about you on a personal or professional level, they’ll do their level best to pull you back from the brink. I cannot emphasize how important that is, but let me explain with my own idiotic example. I do screenwriting on the side. Years ago, I was batting about script ideas with my writing partners. As we kicked around ideas, I was struck by the Bad Idea Fairy. “Guys, guys, so there were gold reserves in the sub-basements of the Twin Towers. What if, in the... Read More

Five Tips for Eating Healthy Without Breaking the Bank

February 14th, 2019

Did you resolve to eat healthier in 2019?  Eating healthy is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, right up there with “spend less money” and “exercise more.” Healthy eating can be expensive if you’re on a tight budget, but it can be done with a little thought and creativity.  Here are some easy tips for eating healthy on a budget: Plan your meals. If you plan your meals, build a shopping list, and only buy what’s on the list, you’ll spend less on stuff you don’t need.  You can save even more if you take a look at what’s on sale at your grocery store... Read More

A Million Shattered Pieces

February 14th, 2019

Movies aren’t for everyone, though people think they are. A bunch of years ago, my wife and I caught the very good film Adaptation in the theaters. If it’s been a minute since you’ve seen or thought about it, Adaptation is about a lonely screenwriter struggling to adapt a book about an orchid thief. It’s got strong performances by Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, and a great deal to say about the creative process. Joining us in our cinematic excursion was an Unnamed Member Of Our Extended Family. He’s a great guy, but the film tastes of the aforementioned UMOOEF, as he will be known going... Read More

Access to Green Space is a Predictor of Well-being

February 14th, 2019

People often struggle to find ways to preserve health and happiness when they live in stress-inducing urban environments. Recent research suggests parks have a unique capacity to enhance physical health and foster a sense of community for city dwellers. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, used information from the Gallup-Healthways Well-being Index, the U.S. Census Bureau, and a variety of other sources and combined this analysis with city-level data on park quantity, quality and accessibility... Read More

It’s Natural to Crave Sugar! – 4 Tips for Managing Sugar Intake

February 14th, 2019

Sugar is both a delightful treat and the bane of our existence because, while it is delicious, it also seems to be addictive. Scientific evidence is mounting to suggest that too much added sugar in our diets could lead to true addiction. Sugar is linked to addiction because when we eat it, dopamine and opioids are released into the bloodstream. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that creates a reward associated with addictive behavior. Once dopamine is released into the system, it gives us a pleasurable “high.” Why do we crave sugar? The main natural source of sugar is fruit. Thousands of years... Read More

The Review With the Unnecessarily Long Title

October 5th, 2018

There’s this friend of mine — we’ll call her Polly — who absolutely despises horror movies. Can’t handle them. Not only does she see no artistic merit to them whatsoever, but she also doesn’t enjoy the cinematic experience of being scared. Those intense feelings toward horror cinema have been transferred to Polly’s oldest son. Not only does she refuse to let him watch scary movies, she won’t let him view content with even a hint of the macabre. Let’s be clear, I’m not suggesting she should gather the family around the TV for a double feature of The Exorcist and The Shining.... Read More

The Most Terrible Poverty is Loneliness – Local Movie Reviewer Takes on A Simple Favor

October 5th, 2018

What’s the point of consistently stepping outside our comfort zones? It’s healthy to stretch yourself. Most of us have been encouraged/yelled at by our parents to try new experiences, eat new delicacies, go to new places. By doing that, we get smarter, more empathetic, more sophisticated. When filmmakers stretch themselves? That’s the good stuff. That’s when you have the chance to see something unique. Take Adam McKay for example. As a close friend of Will Ferrell’s, his directorial career began with films like Anchorman and Step Brothers, comedies that walked a fine line between surrealism... Read More

Procrastination May Be Hardwired into Your Brain

October 5th, 2018

Are you putting off until tomorrow what you could be doing today? If that’s you, it might not be just a personality trait. A study of over 250 men’s and women’s brain scans revealed that a brain region involved in motivation tends to be larger among people who put things off, while communication between that part of the brain and another involved in taking action appeared to be weaker. This study is the first to scan the brain to identify a neural basis for procrastination. Participants in the study were between the ages of 18 and 35 with no history of neurological or psychiatric disorders.... Read More

3 Reasons to Read Food Labels

October 5th, 2018

Recently, I had dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant.  Usually I get a meal and don’t have room for the sopapilla that comes with it, but this time I took the sopapilla home to eat later. When I was ready to eat it, I was surprised to see that the “honey” for the sopapilla was not honey at all. It was fake honey made with corn syrup. I happened to have some locally source honey at home and used that instead of the faux honey. This is just one of the reasons it’s important to read labels. If you’re trying to change your life by eating fewer processed foods, less sugar, or any number... Read More

Why? Because They’re Dumb – Local Movie Reviewer Takes on Predator

October 5th, 2018

On the cinematic Venn diagram, there can be an awful lot of overlap between a great movie and an awesome movie. Before we go too much further, let me stake out what I mean by that. A great movie is one with impressive production design, acting, screenwriting, and direction — essentially all the ingredients have been baked in to give us a film of quality. Apollo 13 is a great movie, as is Monster and Deliverance. An awesome movie, on the other hand? That’s a movie that directly tickles our reptile brain, delivering a thrill, a joke, something purely designed to elicit an immediate response.... Read More