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The Chicago Tribune Names First Lady Michelle Obama One of the 2010 Good Eating Award Winners

Post by: Audiegrl

Children from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. help First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Vegetable Garden, April 9, 2009.  (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Children from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. help First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Vegetable Garden, April 9, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Chicago Tribune~There’s a 1,100-square-foot organic vegetable, fruit and herb garden on the South Lawn of the White House. That patch of earth planted in March — the first time vegetables have been grown at the White House since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency in the ’40s — has yielded 700-plus pounds of lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, collards and more for meals at the White House and a nearby homeless shelter.

That garden, first lady Michelle Obama told reporters, is “one of the greatest things that I’ve done in my life.” It also signaled the first lady’s efforts to improve America’s eating habits, tackle childhood obesity and encourage fitness. She began by bringing those efforts to her new home, where chef-working mom Cristeta Comerford runs the White House kitchen, by adding chef Sam Kass (whose track record includes work at Avec) to mentor her local-sustainable efforts.

2010 Good Eating AwardOther first ladies have urged healthy eating at the White House ( Hillary Clinton pushed for a low-fat menu, while Laura Bush encouraged organic foods). But Michelle Obama has, in her first year, moved food and nutrition issues front and center. Her efforts dovetail with our appetite for the food-tube (she kicked off this year with an appearance on “Iron Chef America“) and America’s awareness that what you eat plays a major role in your health.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under Barack Obama, Charity, Childhood Obesity, Children, Culture, Education, First Lady Michelle Obama, Green, Health, Hunger, Media and Entertainment, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Pop Culture, Presidents, Students, Teachers, Washington, DC, Women's Issues, Young Men, Young Women

Academy Award® Nominated: Up In the Air

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, BuellBoy and Ogenec

Up in the Air
From Jason Reitman, the Oscar®-nominated director of Juno, comes Up in the Air, the timely odyssey of Ryan Bingham (Oscar® winner George Clooney), a corporate downsizer and consummate modern business traveler who, after years of staying happily airborne, suddenly finds himself ready to make a real connection.

Ryan has long been contented with his unencumbered lifestyle lived out across America in airports, hotels and rental cars. He can carry all he needs in one wheel‐away case; he’s a pampered, elite member of every travel loyalty program in existence; and he’s close to attaining his lifetime goal of 10 million frequent flier miles – and yet … Ryan has nothing real to hold onto.

When he falls for a simpatico fellow traveler (Vera Farmiga), Ryan’s boss (Jason Bateman), inspired by a young, upstart efficiency expert (Anna Kendrick), threatens to permanently call him in from the road. Faced with the prospect, at once terrifying and exhilarating, of being grounded, Ryan begins to contemplate what it might actually mean to have a home.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jason Reitman
Screenplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sheldon Turner
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Walter Kern
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ivan Reitman, Daniel Dubiecki, and Jeffrey Clifford
Executive Producers .Tom Pollock, Joe Medjuck, Ted Griffin and Michael Beugg
Production Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Steve Saklad
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dana E. Glauberman, A.C.E.
Costume Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Danny Glicker
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rolfe Kent
Music Supervisors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Randall Poster and Rick Clark

The cast includes: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Danny McBride, Jason Bateman, Melanie Lynskey, Amy Morton, Sam Elliott, J.K. Simmons, Zach Galifianakis, and Chris Lowell

44D’s Reviews

Ogenec
Up In the Air is cool, old school film-making at its very best. Yes, I love watching mindless action movies as much as the rest of the gang. But I also appreciate movies with layers and layers of dialogue. Unfortunately, unless you subscribe to TCM, such movies are hard to come by. Especially in major studio releases. So I don’t know how Jason Reitman got this movie made, but bless his soul, he did. (A little movie called Juno probably had something to do with it.)

It’s hard to come up with a short list of the things I loved about this movie, but I’ll try. I’ve already mentioned the dialogue. But calling it dialogue is a huge disservice; more accurately, it’s repartee. And executed by two of the finest actors in Hollywood — George Clooney and Vera Farmiga. George is a man of many talents, but he is never more impressive than when he is channeling his inner Spencer Tracy. (See Out of Sight for another stellar example.) But I think he met his match in Vera Farmiga, who, as far as I am concerned, is the Meryl Streep of her generation. Except sexier. 🙂 Man, you have got to check out the scene in the airport lounge. The banter, the sexual tension, the double entendres… I was ready to light a cigarette right there in the theater. We need to see more of these two together, stat!

I’m running out of space, so I’ll briefly mention other highlights of the movie for me. It deals in a very deft way with the conundrum that, even as the world gets more interconnected, many of us feel so alienated and alone. It is very timely in its depiction of the horrible state of the economy, and how no industry — even one dependent on an economic downturn — is immune. And finally, it deals with the importance of love, and of family as an anchor in turbulent times. In so doing, the movie perfectly illustrates this saying by my favorite poet, Robert Frost: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Wonderful movie, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Did You Know?

With the exception of the famous actors, every person we see fired in the film is not an actor but a real life recently laid off person. The filmmakers put out ads in St. Louis and Detroit posing as a documentary crew looking to document the effect of the recession. When people showed up, they were instructed to treat the camera like the person who fired them and respond as they did or use the opportunity to say what they wished they had.

While at Lambert Field in St Louis, Ryan tries to make an impassioned speech to Natalie about Charles Lindbergh’s plane The Spirit of St Louis. Officially, Lindbergh’s plane was a Ryan NYP (New York to Paris) so the two share the same name.

When the character Bob, played by J.K. Simmons, shows Ryan a photo of his two children, it is a photo of Simmons’ real children.

Six Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Director
Best Actor (George Clooney)
Best Supporting Actress (Vera Farmiga)
Best Supporting Actress (Anna Kendrick)
Best in Adapted Screenplay

Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Actor, Best Adap Screenplay, Best Director, Best Picture, Best Sup Actress, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

First Lady Michelle Obama Appeared on The Today Show

Posted by: Audiegrl

It’s been a little over a year since First Lady Michelle Obama stepped into her role at the White House, and she sat down today with Matt Lauer from the Today Show on Wednesday, February 3, and reflected on her time so far and her future goals.

She noted that she would like to look back and feel like she affected somebody’s life because she was here, which brings on her new initiative on childhood obesity, an increasing problem in the nation, since statistics show that one in three kids is obese. “The most shocking sort of reality that really hits you is that the young generation is on track for the first time in this nation’s history of being less healthy, having a shorter life span than their parents.” The First Lady said the problem is solvable, and they will be striving for attainable goals, but the broad vision is to “change the health status of an entire generation.”

On balancing her work with being a mother: “I find a level of comfort in that role.” She acknowledged that there are challenges, but that she remains the same person she was before she entered the White House. “What people have seen over the course of the year is really Michelle.” She maintained the same for the President, who she says despite challenges that face the nation, “handled the pressure with that same level of grace that he came here with.”

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Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under Children, Culture, Entertainment, First Lady Michelle Obama, Media and Entertainment, NBC, Networks, Politics, Pop Culture, Television, The Today Show, TV Shows, Women's Issues

HBO’s True Blood: Our Guiltiest Pleasure

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In the not-too-distant future, vampires have “come out of the coffin”. Thanks to the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood, vampires no longer need humans for their fix and can walk freely, if not yet comfortably, among their living counterparts – though they can still come out only at night.

Meanwhile, in the backwoods Louisiana town of Bon Temps, Sookie Stackhouse works as a waitress at the down-home bar Merlotte’s. Though outwardly normal, she has unusual qualities of her own: Sookie can read minds, which complicates her world in endless ways. But Sookie’s life becomes a lot more interesting when Merlotte’s gets its first vampire patron – the 173-year-old Bill Compton – and the two outsiders are immediately drawn to each other.

True Blood is HBO drama series created and produced by Alan Ball. It’s based on the The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris. It premiered on September 7, 2008.

Ball and Harris use vampires as a on-screen metaphor of the Gay communities quest for rights and equality. Through out the show the parallels can readily be seen. During the opening credit sequence there is a lone highway sign reads “God Hates Fangs”, vampires are said to “come out of the coffin”, and it’s mentioned that Vermont was the first state to legalize marriage between humans and vampires.

True Blood mixes horror, drama, comedy, sex and all other genres in an occasionally uneven but always entertaining show. Just think of it like this…True Blood is like Twilight for grown-ups…~~Audiegrl

True Blood Characters

sookie

Sookie Stackhouse

Portrayed by Anna Paquin
Raised by her grandmother alongside her brother Jason after her parents were killed on a bridge in a flash flood. Grew up with people thinking she was crazy, when really she just couldn’t handle hearing everyone’s thoughts all the time. Her parents once sent her to a therapist as a child. Though Sookie tried to explain she could hear people’s thoughts, the therapist convinced herself and Sookie’s parents that Sookie could just naturally interpret people’s body language. Never really dated anyone because she could always hear the crude, sex-crazed thoughts of her dates. Lived her entire life filtering out people’s thoughts until she met vampire Bill Compton whose vamp mind she couldn’t hear at all.

Best Line: “You might be a vampire, but you will respect me and treat me like the lady I am

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bill

Bill Compton

Portrayed by Stephen Moyer
Bill was born in April 9, 1835. He lived in Bon Temps, Louisiana and fought for the South during the Civil War. He was a married farmer with three children. In 1868, on his way home from the war, he was made a vampire by Lorena, with whom he had a long and stormy relationship. His return to his ancestral home of Bon Temps has been anything but tranquil. In love with Sookie–and struggling to reconcile their complicated lives–Bill also finds himself warding off threats from a growing cadre of powerful vampires. Throw in the responsibilities of his newly turned fledgling Jessica, and its almost enough to make Bill yearn for the good old days of lurking in the shadows.

Best Line: “You are different. The beauty and the tragedy of it is you don’t know how different you are.”

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eric

Eric Northman

Portrayed by Alexander Skarsgård
Born in 1046, made Vampire in 1077. As a teenager in Ninth century Scandinavia, Eric joined with a rogue band of warriors who refused to swear allegiance to any kingdom because, in his own words, “My destiny is to answer to no man.” Eric quickly became the leader of the group, which was briefly infamous for marauding on the coast of what is now Germany and Poland, until they mysteriously vanished after a battle in 1077. Eric did not speak about how he was made Vampire, or who made him, but has recently revealed that Godric is his Maker. Eric is of Norse “Viking” descent. He “made” Pam and she has been his friend & coworker numerous times over the years. He owns the tourist-y gothic vampire bar called Fangtasia in Shreveport.

Best Line: “You know how you feel with my blood inside you? Well, being a vampire is like that… times a million.”

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Jason Stackhouse

Portrayed by Ryan Kwanten
Jason Stackhouse is Sookie’s older brother. He’s the handsome philanderer of Bon Temps. His best friend is Hoyt Fortenberry.
Jason was accused of murdering four women. The first two, known as “fang-bangers,” were Dawn Green and Maudette Pickens. The other two were the “V” addict and short-time waitress at Merlotte’s, Amy Hurley, and his own grandmother, Adelle Stackhouse. However he got out of jail after the real killer, Rene Linier, was caught, who was one of his good friends. Jason was a briefly a member of the Fellowship of the Sun Church, a cult that believe vampires are abominations and all deserve to burn in hell.

Best Line: “I need something stronger, not true blood something better. You know something more like the color of the walls in here

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sam

Sam Merlotte

Portrayed by Sam Trammell
Ever since vampires arrived in bon Temps, manning the local bar has felt a lot more like running an asylum. Amidst the commotion, Sam has yet to come to terms with his own crisis–that he’s a shapeshifter living secretly among humans. Sam was adopted. When his adopted family started realising that there was something different about Sam they started distancing themselves from him. His Stepmother witnessed Sam shape-shifting into a dog as Sam ran into the woods. One day Sam returned home to an empty house. His adoptive parents had left. He had been abandoned. And as long as he keeps running from his past and hiding the truth from those he’s closest to, it will continue to haunt him.

Best Line: “I’m a social animal

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tara

Tara Thornton

Portrayed by Rutina Wesley
Ever the sharp wit, Tara can tell something is fishy about her new living arrangements with Maryann Forrester and company. But after being kicked out, condemned and disowned by a mother who’s done nothing but abuse her, Tara has no intention of hunting down more troubles. Though she won’t win any congeniality awards, Tara has been Sookie’s loyal best friend since childhood. She’s built up a tough exterior by taking care of her alcoholic mother at home, but the stress can make her quick to anger. She may have found her perfect job at Merlottes Bar, where she can turn her temper to keep unruly customers in line. Still, she has a soft spot in her heart for Sookie and her brother, Jason.

Best Line: I’m an excellent driver. But you can not prepare for a naked lady and a hog in the middle of the road!

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charlaineharrissm

NYT Bestselling Author Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over twenty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Now she lives in southern Arkansas with her husband, her three children, three dogs, and a duck. The duck stays outside.

Harris decided to write the book she’d always wanted to write. Not a traditional mystery, nor yet pure science fiction or romance, Dead Until Dark broke genre boundaries to appeal to a wide audience of people who just enjoy a good adventure. Each subsequent book about Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic Louisiana barmaid and friend to vampires, werewolves, and various other odd creatures, has drawn more readers. The southern vampire books are published in Japan, Great Britain, Greece, Germany, Thailand, Spain, France, and Russia.

Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries

Dead Until DarkLiving Dead in DallasClub DeadDead to the World
Dead As a DoornailDefinitely DeadAll Together DeadFrom Dead to WorseDead and GoneA Touch of Dead

True Blood Rocks the 2009 Scream Awards

The Scream Awards is an award show dedicated to the horror, sci-fi, and fantasy genres of feature films. Originally only having Scream Queen and Heroic Performance awards for actors, the personnel awards have expanded to include actors and actresses of all three recognized genres.

This year True Blood walked away with four awards.

    Best Horror Actor~~Steven Moyer
    Best Horror Actress~~Anna Paquin
    Best Horror Villain~~Alexander Skarsgård
    Best Horror TV Show~~True Blood

True Blood Fan Sites

HBO: True Blood

True Blood Fan Wiki

Loving True Blood in Dallas

Official Charlaine Harris Website

True-Blood.net

citrouillesmall

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