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Growing up in a military family can be difficult. I remember, all too well, the long absences, the sudden and often uprootings and saying goodbye to newly made friends. The only certainty in a military family is uncertainty. And when a loved one goes off into harm’s way everything is amplified. When they don’t come home the world changes forever. Heading into the long Memorial Day holiday weekend we will do our best to remember the promise we made to those who gave everything they had in service to their country…the promise that we will never forget. In the quarter of a millennium this country has existed more than 1.3 million American lives have been lost in combat. The number is still growing.
This weekend I will be flooded by memories of my father. I will thank him for my life and I will thank all those who died to protect our freedom. I will also celebrate and salute those who return safely into the warm and welcoming arms of their family and friends. It is in that moment they begin to breathe again. That is a certainty.
Thanks to the U.S. Army Children, Youth and School Services (CYS), CYS for supporting the Army Family Covenant by reducing the conflict between mission readiness and parental responsibility, and for providing a compilation of military homecomings. The joy on the faces of the children says it all.
In Field of Dreams the voice said, “If you build it he will come.” Dwayne Wade tweeted, “…never be scared 2 ask.”
A high school senior got the surprise of a lifetime when NBA and Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade arrived at her prom. Nicole Muxo, a senior at Archbishop Coleman Carroll, posted an elaborate video she created on YouTube asking Wade to be her date, but she says she never expected him to actually show up. Just before 9:30 p.m., the Heat star arrived. He said it wasn’t the first time she’d asked him to a dance, but this time her persistence paid off.
Dwayne and Nicole at the prom and on Instagram
“She continued to go for it no matter how many times I told her I’m going to be busy, but she continued asking if I’m going to come,” he said. As it turned out a break in the playoffs would work to his advantage. The entire crowd cheered as Wade arrived on the dance floor. “I was so surprised. I didn’t expect it at all,” said Nicole. They took pictures together and danced. Her date, Laurent Chaumin, was a good sport about the whole thing and joked and posed with Wade. “At least we both know how to dress,” he said.
That left the superstar happily tweeting that he was a “third wheel” and “both of their dates,” though he was apparently glad just to make a difference for a group of Miami teens, particularly the one who mustered up the courage to ask him to show up. He made that much clear on his Twitter feed shortly after leaving the event. “I had a blast at Prom. Never be scared 2 ask.”
Nicole says the night was unforgettable. “I’m going to remember it forever. This was definitely the highlight of my senior year.” Who said celebrities are out of touch?
I had a happy little post all set to go. But in the wake of the Oklahoma tragedy I decided to put it on hold for a day. Watching the events of the Moore tornado was tortuous drama. As it unfolded it struck me how quickly everyday life and lives can be turned upside down and inside out. How would I handle having near and dear family members ripped away in the blink of an eye? What would I do if my friendly, cozy and solid little home shredded into splinters in the space of a heartbeat? Would I be able to move on knowing the neighborhood children were never coming home again? Would I survive an unending nightmare? Would I be brave enough? These are questions we all ask ourselves.
But out of the rubble comes stories of courage, tales of heroism, and a heavenly miracle or two. We are Americans and we are always at our best when things are at their worst. A community of first responders converged quickly on the scene. Red Cross quickly began to mobilize. State and Federal relief agencies are now on hand. Food, water, clothing, and money will begin pouring in to the stricken community. Shelters will be erected. Blood drives will flourish and people from coast to coast will donate what they can. Broken hearts may never be mended and folks will never forget, but love and support will always be available for those who need a strong shoulder on which to lean. The town will rebuild and flourish again. It’s the Oklahoma way, it’s the American way. When push comes to shove that strength is always there. God bless Moore, God bless the children, God bless us one and all.
It’s just not summer without car chases, caped crusaders, pyrotechnics, zombie invasions and explosive fighting. Action and superheroes are dominating the hottest season once again, and seriously, would we have it any other way? Throw in some bikinied kung-fooers, clueless sophomores, bromances, gal pals, road trips, minions, smurfs, penguins, and Johnny Depp doing something strange and wonderful and we’ve got ourselves a movie! Sooner our later it’s going to get really hot outside and the cool, dark Cineplex will beckon us inside for a couple of hours of sweet relief. Have you ever noticed that candy and popcorn taste better in at the movies? Here’s the upcoming summer line-up, courtesy of Movie Insider. Just click on any title to see trailers, stills, production notes, polls, ratings, cast and more. Release dates are subject to change and some films may go straight to pay-per-view and DVD.
May 2013 65 movies
June 2013 52 movies
July 2013 31 movies
I love summer. A recent stretch of nice weather has me restless and itchy for the real thing. I can’t wait to hook up with my pirate mates for some new adventures. In summer the heart is unbound and carefree. Shorts and flip flops, sunglasses and beach days, outside barbecues and happy hours, fireworks and amusement parks, summer reads and summer loves, concerts and baseball, weddings and starry nights, romance and full moons. It’s all good. I found this lovely tribute to the sunny days ahead by teenager Olivia Taylor on TeenLink and wanted to share. I think it blends perfectly with the celebratory video, Samuel Ebat’s 270 Seconds of Summer, shown below. The countdown to the best time of the year has begun and I’m sooo ready! Are you?
Ode To Summer
, Lapeer, MI. The author’s comments
: “I wrote this piece for my creative writing class. I really enjoyed this assignment and I loved writing about the summertime.”
More by this author
How I love your blistering days
And warm wonderful nights.
The taste of your air is like candy sweet.
The most amazing feeling of your burning sun
Just gently kissing my shoulders.
Lightening my hair and oh, that gorgeous brown skin.
You leave no need for make-up.
Bathing suit, sundress, and I’m on my way.
The delicious smell of your sun block
Smeared all across my face.
Your fire hot afternoons
Give me a reason to be lazy and lounge.
Snuggling into the sand of your flawless beaches.
Running fearlessly into the your shimmering ocean.
Tan skin, late nights, hot sun, loving life.
How I love you summer.
You get me through the rest of the year.
Some days I miss her, but I do not mourn. You see, she still lives inside of me. She shaped and filled my heart with all her hopes, and dreams, and best wishes. There is one thing in this life that never dies – it is a mother’s love for her child. It follows you throughout your life, across the universe and to the ends of eternity. I love you right back Mom!
A year ago Michael Marantz went around New York City asking real people on the street to say thank you to their mothers. There were many terrific responses, some unexpected, some adorable, and all brought big smiles. The piece was commissioned by thanksfa.com…a terrific site where everyone can say thanks to others for their wonderful deeds. The San Pico Pirates would like to thank our moms and all the moms in our extended family and wish everyone a most heartfelt Happy Mother’s Day.
Get a new mobile device and what’s the first thing we do? Start downloading apps! There’s a bazillion of them and we all want our fair share. We stuff them into our little 3 x 5′s and 9 x 7′s until they are bloated and hemorrhaging. There they sit, mostly unloved and unused, sulking and stewing until they renounce us and start leaking our personal info to someone named Zho Xing 5000 miles away. Sad. But now there’s an app finally worth its digital weight that will turn every family gathering and dorm room soireé into a par-teé.
On her talk show, Ellen DeGeneres plays a game with celebrity guests where she holds a card up to her forehead showing a word or famous name. The guest then gives clues to Ms. DeGeneres to help her guess the word. It’s a game we’ve all played. Some call it Celebrity; others Charades or Password. So why not turn this into an iPhone game? That’s the idea the producers of the Ellen show came up with last October. They hired an iPhone app development studio and released it a week ago in Apple’s App Store. In hours it was #1.
In Heads Up!, you pick a category like movies, animals or music. Then you hold the iPhone up to your forehead with the screen showing the word, and your friends shout clues at you. After you guess correctly, you put the phone face down and hand it to the next player, who gets a new word. Players pass the phone around, guessing as many words as they can until time runs out. Unknown to most new players, the front-facing camera on the iPhone is recording a video of the whole game session. The players can save the video, share it on Facebook or even Send to Ellen, where producers will select favorites to play on the television show. It’s only a buck for a bucket of fun.
In the digital age where does reality lie? Somewhere between the 1′s and 0′s? The demarcation has blurred, altering our brains ability to distinguish between what is real and what is imagined.
Wow your brain with the camera trickery behind SCREENGRAB. By day Willie Witte is a documentary filmmaker working on a PBS series, but he uses his evenings to experiment with analog visual techniques. His latest endeavor with accompanying sound aid from Kevin McAlpine is, in his own words: “An experiment in transitions. None of the effects are computer generated. All the trickery took place literally in front of the camera.”
See if you can keep up with this show of hands imbued with an amazing transitional technique…mind blowing!
And you, of tender years
Can’t know the fears
That your elders grew by
And so please help them with your youth
They seek the truth
Before they can die.
(Can you hear and do you care
And can’t you see who must be free
To teach our children what you believe in
Make a world that we can believe in.) - Graham Nash
Her name was Miss Taylor. I don’t know if she was married or not. She seemed old but I was 11 and everyone over the age of 14 seemed ancient. She was my sixth grade teacher and, of all of them, I remember her best. They passed through my educational life one by one, concerned and caring and mostly wonderful, but no one had the impact of Miss Taylor. She ignited my passion for learning and set me on a generally productive path, far removed from the chaotic road of self-destruction. Sometimes, one great teacher is all it takes.
A landmark new research paper underscores that the difference between a strong teacher and a weak teacher lasts a lifetime. Having a good fourth-grade teacher makes a student more likely to go to college, the research suggests, and less likely to get pregnant as a teenager or gravitate towards criminal behavior. Each of the students will go on as an adult to earn, on average, $25,000 more over a lifetime — or about $700,000 in gains for an average size class — all attributable to that ace teacher back in the fourth grade. That’s right: A great teacher is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to each year’s students, just in the extra income they will earn, not to mention productivity and good citizenship. The study, by economists at Harvard and Columbia universities, finds that if a great teacher is leaving, parents should hold bake sales or pass the hat around in hopes of collectively offering the teacher as much as a $100,000 bonus to stay for an extra year. Sure, that’s implausible — but their children would gain benefits that far exceeds even that sum.
National Teacher Day is this Tuesday during Teacher Appreciation Week. A good time to say thank you and a good time to remember we are all teachers. Perhaps you can convince your company to commit to the educational community as Manpower has done. It benefits everyone and pays dividends far into the future. As Paul Tudor Jones, founder of the philanthropic organization the Robin Hood Foundation says, ‘the only way to kick poverty in the ass is through higher education’ and that begins with a wizard teacher early on.