Tag Archives: life

Gyllenhaal Gives Great Performance in Sci-fi Horror Flick

 

Life,  Blu-Ray Review, Kam Williams, outer space adventure, alien force, international space station, claustrophobic thriller, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan ReynoldsLife

Blu-Ray Review by Kam Williams

Gyllenhaal Gives Great Performance in Sci-fi Horror Flick

In recent years, Hollywood has started serving up some outer space adventures, a la The Martian (2015) and The Space between Us (2017), suggesting that the Red Planet is basically a benign environment free of any hostile creatures. But just when we thought it was safe to visit Mars again, along comes Life, a cautionary horror flick unleashing a terrifying alien force aboard an international space station.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), the claustrophobic thriller co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds as Dr. David Jordan and Roy Adams, respectively, the Pilgrim 7’s  flight engineer and chief medical officer. The balance of the six-person crew is composed of Center for Disease Control quarantine specialist Dr. Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson), systems engineer Sho Kendo (Hiroyuki Sanada), eco-biologist Dr. Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare) and the spaceship’s captain, Katerina Golovkin (Olga Dihovichnaya).

As the film unfolds, we learn that their appointed mission is merely to deliver a single-cell organism arriving via space probe from the surface of Mars. It all sounds easy enough as the disarming plotline initially devotes itself to developing the characters’ back stories, like how David is a disenchanted, Iraq War vet.   

Upon retrieving the capsule, they celebrate the discovery of the first incontrovertible proof of life beyond Earth. They even allow Sho’s daughter to give the ostensibly-innocuous substance a cute, cuddly name, oblivious of the danger lurking just over the horizon.

The plot thickens when “Calvin” begins reproducing via mitosis, and every cell of its luminescent ectoplasmic mass proves to be an irrepressible mix of brains and muscles. By day 25, the sentient creature develops proto-appendages and becomes strong enough to breach containment.

Initially, it nibbles on a finger of Hugh’s, who somehow discerns that “Calvin doesn’t hate us, but he’s got to kill us to survive.” Great. What ensues is a desperate race against time to return to Earth before the mushrooming monster devours them all, one-by-one.

Though reminiscent of such sci-fi classics as Alien (1979) and Species (1995), Life is a worthwhile addition to the extraterrestrial on the loose genre. Substantial credit in this regard goes to the ever-underappreciated Jake Gyllenhaal who turns in the latest in a long line of impressive performances which includes outings in Nocturnal Animals (2016), Southpaw (2015), Nightcrawler (2014) and Prisoners (2013), to name a few.

Strap yourself in for a cardiovascular screamfest that’ll keep you squirming from beginning to end.  A riveting reminder that it still ain’t smart to mess with Mother Nature!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for violence, terror and pervasive profanity

In English, Japanese and Chinese with subtitles

Running time: 104 minutes

Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Blu-ray Extras: Deleted scenes; Astronaut Diaries; Claustrophobic Terror: Creating a Thriller in Space; Life: In Zero G; and Creating Life: The Art and Reality of Calvin.

                                                                 

To order a copy of Life on Blu-ray, visit  https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06XT9C1C9/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Source:  Baret News

 

Author Expounds on Labor of Love

 

Peter Brav

The “331 Innings” Interview

with Kam Williams

Author Expounds on Labor of Love

Peter Brav is not much of a baseball player but he’s written three novels where the diamond provides a setting for triumph over adversity in one way or another. Sneaking In (set during the 1999 Yankees championship season), The Other Side Of Losing (set during a Chicago Cubs championship season) and now 331 Innings (set in a small Nebraska town). Add in Zappy I’m Not, a memoir of a cranky middle-aged man reincarnated as a small dog, and you have a literary celebration of all manner of admirable underdogs.

Peter Brav, 331 Innings, Interview, bullying, war, life, Lincoln, Nebraska, Princeton, NJPeter has written several plays including South Beach, African Violet, Later, The Rub, Good Till Cancelled, and Trump Burger which have all been performed in staged readings. A a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School, he resides in Princeton, New Jersey with wife Janet and three Papillons.

Kam Williams: Hi Peter, thanks for the interview.

Peter Brav: Totally my pleasure, Kam.

KW: What inspired you to write 331 Innings?

PB:Well, first of all, it’s not a baseball book. That plays a very small part of it. It covers ground I’ve become comfortable with. Trying to understand why we’re all here for such a relatively short time and yet make it harder on each other and ourselves than it should be. I was thinking about bullying and war, specifically, and how they’re linked. And what a better world we’d have, if we could minimize both of them.

KW: How would you describe the novel in 25 words or less?

PB: It’s a pretty powerful 16th year in the life of John Schram, an undersized, underappreciated underdog. Anger’s getting the best of him and he’s most certainly heading in the wrong direction. Hopefully, he’s going to turn things around before it’s too late.

KW: Was the book’s narrator, Jack Schram, based on a real-life person?

PB: John’s Uncle Jack is a fictional 84 year-old lifelong Nebraskan. But Jack’s an amalgam of many older people I’ve met, whether they be relatives or folks at my father’s assisted living center. Like Jack, they’ve made livings, raised families, fought in wars, and watched loved ones and friends pass on. And if they’re like Jack, they marvel at how the younger generations around them keep making the same mistakes they did. I’ve always felt comfortable with older people, perhaps an old soul and all that. It remains to be seen whether that continues now that I’m getting there more rapidly than I’d like.

KW: How much research did you have to do in order to set the story in Nebraska?

PB: I drove through Nebraska four years ago and spent a wonderful week in Lincoln. I know there are significant differences from the Northeast and they’re highlighted on a daily basis on CNN with red and blue colors. But for my time there, on a closeup and personal level, I encountered nothing but personal warmth. And beautiful landscapes. The story wrote itself when I got back.

KW: What message do you want readers to take away from the novel?

PB: Well, some of what I just alluded to. We’ve got no shortage of underdogs in this world, battling whatever adversity comes their way to try and make a good life for themselves and others. What we could use a little more of is leaders, let’s call them overdogs, with a conscience. And that’s pretty much what happens near the end of the novel. Something brings the high school in-crowd and outcasts together, for one really long game anyway, and the rest of the world comes along for the ride. In my 2009 Chicago Cubs fantasy, The Other Side of Losing, I had a very protracted week-long rain delay during the World Series where people come together. This is a bit of the same thing, taking a break from “winning” to maybe show a little love.

KW: Are you already working on your next opus?

PB: Well, as you know, this lawyering thing keeps getting in the way, especially in the spring and summer. But I’ve finished a play called Propriety I’m hopeful about and I’ve started a new play set in the pre-war tumult of the late Thirties.

KW: AALBC.com founder Troy Johnson asks: What was the last book you read?

PB: Great question, Troy. I wish I had more time to read but I’m getting better. I’ll mention two. The Berlin Boxing Club, a great young adult novel by Robert Sharenow.

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/006157970X/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

And I’m just finishing War Against War, a terrific nonfiction book about the years before World War I by Michael Kazin.

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1476705909/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20 

KW: Ling-Ju Yen asks: What is your earliest childhood memory?

PB: Thanks, Ling-Ju. My beloved mother Adele, a survivor of the Holocaust who passed away two years ago, schlepping my sister and me on subways to see a matinee of Carousel in Manhattan. I believe I was 4 years-old.

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

PB: Cooking’s never been one of my strong suits, Kam. But my kids would say my scrambled eggs are perfectly edible.

KW: Craig Robinson asks: What was your last dream?

PB: Hi, Craig. My night dreams are gone shortly after I wake up. There are nights I’m pretty dream-prolific, too. But my daydreams hang around forever; they’re in 331 Innings.

KW: Sherry Gillam would like to know what is the most important life lesson you’ve learned so far? 

PB: That’s such a good question, Sherry, and I want you to know I learned it very early on. It’s to evaluate everyone I meet on the basis of individual character only. No wealth, race, religion, nationality, age, popularity considerations, or anything else. And I’ve been the beneficiary of that lesson, with a diverse group of friends enriching my life on a daily basis.

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

PB: I don’t know, give me a minute, and I’ll get back to you with a quite pained response. I see someone super blessed to have had the love and encouragement of my incredible wife Janet and the rest of my

family and friends.

  

KW: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

PB: I’m going to assume you mean intentionally. Most of the “crazy” things I did only look that way with hindsight. But I’d say naively taking my MGB without snow tires into the mountains of Vermont in the winter of 1981 ranks right up there.

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?

PB: For the powers that be throughout the world to have a collective Moment of Zen, to borrow from Jon Stewart, in which they realize they have more power and wealth than could be consumed in multiple lifetimes. And then actually do something about it to reduce war, oppression, inequity, ignorance, and the planet’s deterioration. It shouldn’t take the arrival of a worse species as happened in Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! to bring people together.

KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered?

PB: That’s tough since most of us will be remembered by very few. But I hope it’s for more than those scrambled eggs.

KW: Finally, what’s in your wallet?

PB: The usual I’m sure. Five dollars and a completely illegible idea for a new novel scrawled on a napkin.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Peter, and best of luck with the book.

PB: Thank you, Kam, I hope folks enjoy it. Writing it was a joy for me.

To order a copy of 331 Innings, visit: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1544237944/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

Read more of Peter’s work at www.peterbrav.com

and follow him at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3299307.Peter_Brav

and: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPeterBrav/

and: https://twitter.com/PGBistroPG

 

Source:  Baret News 

Microscopic Martian Matter Morphs into Monster in Outer Space Screamfest

 

Life

Film Review by Kam Williams

Microscopic Martian Matter Morphs into Monster in Outer Space Screamfest

In recent years, Hollywood has started serving up some outer space adventures, a la The Martian (2015) and The Space between Us (2017), suggesting that the Red Planet is basically a benign environment free of any hostile creatures. But just when we thought it was safe to visit Mars again, along comes Life, a cautionary horror flick unleashing a terrifying alien force aboard an international space station.

Life,  Film Review by Kam Williams, Daniel Espinosa, proof of life beyond Earth, cardiovascular screamfest
Rory Adams (Ryan Reynolds) in Columbia Pictures’ LIFE.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), the claustrophobic thriller co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds as Dr. David Jordan and Roy Adams, respectively, the Pilgrim 7’s  flight engineer and chief medical officer. The balance of the six-person crew is composed of Center for Disease Control quarantine specialist Dr. Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson), systems engineer Sho Kendo (Hiroyuki Sanada), eco-biologist Dr. Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare) and the spaceship’s captain, Katerina Golovkin (Olga Dihovichnaya).

As the film unfolds, we learn that their appointed mission is merely to deliver a single-cell organism arriving via space probe from the surface of Mars. It all sounds easy enough as the disarming plotline initially devotes itself to developing the characters’ back stories, like how David is a disenchanted, Iraq War vet.   

Upon retrieving the capsule, they celebrate the discovery of the first incontrovertible proof of life beyond Earth. They even allow Sho’s daughter to give the ostensibly-innocuous substance a cute, cuddly name, oblivious of the danger lurking just over the horizon.

Life,  Film Review by Kam Williams, Daniel Espinosa, proof of life beyond Earth, cardiovascular screamfest
David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson) in Columbia Pictures’ LIFE.

The plot thickens when “Calvin” begins reproducing via mitosis, and every cell of its luminescent ectoplasmic mass proves to be an irrepressible mix of  mix brains and muscles. By day 25, the sentient creature develops proto-appendages and becomes strong enough to breach containment.

Initially, it nibbles on a finger of Hugh’s, who somehow discerns that “Calvin doesn’t hate us, but he’s got to kill us to survive.” Great. What ensues is a desperate race against time to return to Earth before the mushrooming monster devours them all, one-by-one.

Though reminiscent of such sci-fi classics as Alien (1979) and Species (1995), Life is a worthwhile addition to the extraterrestrial on the loose genre. Substantial credit in this regard goes to the ever-underappreciated Jake Gyllenhaal.who turns in the latest in a long line of impressive performances which includes outings in Nocturnal Animals (2016), Southpaw (2015), Nightcrawler (2014) and Prisoners (2013), to name a few.

Strap yourself in for a cardiovascular screamfest that’ll keep you squirming in your seat.  A riveting reminder that it still ain’t smart to mess with Mother Nature!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for violence, terror and pervasive profanity

In English, Japanese and Chinese with subtitles

Running time: 103 minutes

Distributor: Columbia Pictures

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Source:  GIG News                   

Travel to Remote Summer Locations & Enjoy the Luxury

 

Travel to Remote Summer Locations & Enjoy the Luxury

by Amy Lignor

 

Weather’s warm, skies are sunny, and school is basically all sewn up for the year. It is summertime and time to travel. But, for many, they are still looking for that summer getaway located far, far away from children who want to scream and yell on those fun amusement park rides out there, and from those families who look more exhausted after they Summer travel, Enjoy, Life, Brazil, Israel, Greece, Canada, Iceland, Caribbeanvacation than before. Well…for those who are looking for that serenity, that utter relaxation found in an exquisite locale where a vacation really is a break, below you will find some highly sought after places you can take off to!

 

Let’s start in Brazil. At the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, which is located inside Iguazu National Park just a short distance from the stellar and iconic Iguazu Falls, vacationers will be able to sit back and enjoy absolute beauty. Luxury is the key word for this location. Resembling a colonial Portuguese residence, the rooms are a mixture of bright art and deep, rich wood furniture. And for those who wish to partake in a little ‘Indiana Jones’ adventure while there, everything from helicopter rides to jungle paths are available.

 

If the Belmond is full, set on twelve thousand acres of a nature reserve in Toledo, Belize, the Belcampo Belize is there waiting high up in the hills. Views of tropical rainforests, stunning gardens – even a private tram is available to guests who wish to hit the serene lakes to take up the paddles and go kayaking and canoeing in the unforgettable surroundings.

 

In Israel, in the Negev desert where the Ramon Crater rests, is the Beresheet Hotel. Perched on the edge of the cliffs there, private villas with private pools, balconies and amazing desert views can be found.

 

Perhaps another mountain chain? In the splendor of Greece, high up in the Pindus Mountains, sits the Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas. This is all about nature and shedding the ‘real’ and ‘noisy’ world in order to truly get away. Hiking this area will be burned on the memory for all time, and the suites and villas available to guests are equally as beautiful as the land they sit upon.

For the nature lover looking a little closer to home, Canada also offers some amazing picks. At the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (to be found in Banff National Park, Alberta), outdoorsmen and women, as well as alpinists, have loved this locale for more than a century. Surrounded by mountains and the Victoria Glacier, this is one place offering entertainment all four seasons. From the lover of skiing to the mountain biker wishing to explore right now, this is the place to head to.

 

At the other end of Canada on Vancouver Island in B.C. is The Wickaninnish Inn. The ocean is everywhere you look there. The hotel offers fresh seafood at their highly reviewed restaurant and the panoramic views and natural locations instill absolute enjoyment.

 

Are you that winter lover? No place like Iceland, wouldn’t you say? Just an hour away from the capital of Reykjavik travelers can find the ION Luxury Adventure Hotel. And the name most definitely fits. This place is all about adventure; from trekking over glaciers to fly-fishing in freezing rivers, at night the traveler can sit back in the luxury, have a drink, view the Northern Lights, and plan for their next adventure when the sun comes up.

 

One of the coolest places for winter fiends to stay at is the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort located in the Finnish Lapland. Just 250 kilometers north of the Arctic, this place is perched right at the edge of the wilderness near Urho Kekkonen National Park. The hotel is magnificently unique; the architecture is that of actual glass igloos from which the traveler can observe those breathtaking Northern Lights. Log cabins, snow igloos and suites are also available.

 

From cold to warm, the Anse Chastanet Resort on St. Lucia’s Caribbean coast is the place to choose if wanting the sun. The rooms include infinity pools where one can relax and look up at Jade Mountain rising behind them. This 600-acre beach front resort has a wealth of scenery, from manmade buildings to the natural world. Built on the philosophy of architecture working in perfect harmony with the Caribbean views, individual bridges, sanctuaries and rugged stoned-faced columns make this particular vacation choice a mesmerizing experience.

 

So…if you’re ready to take some time off and enjoy nothing but luxury and beauty—well-earned after all the work you’ve done—get on the internet and check on the availability of these (and other) remote spots to travel where you can enjoy absolute peace.

 

Source:  Baret News

Heroes Never Wore a Mask

 

Heroes Never Wore a Mask

 

Although there are a few Marvel characters that donned the mask in order to hide their true identities, from their girlfriends, usually – the real heroes of this world go without one. You see, heroes are fighting for something. Whether you believe in their fight or not, they face the battle head-on, with their identities out there for the world to see.

 

eye-626870_640It is impossible to ever say that this world will not see another war. Everyone seems to want to fight for something, even though most of the ‘causes’ have grown meek. Greed, the wish for power, the belief that they are gods, the fight to be the industry’s best by going back to the times of robber barons…these are ‘causes’ that mean nothing and are only single pursuits that, by the way, fail.

 

Generation after generation has faced their enemies. We all know this. The uniforms changed, bringing forth a new rival that the opposite “side” could discern as the enemy. Take it back to the beginning of time, or before, when medieval men fought or when men in tunics followed Caesar. Yes, back then there were men who believed they were gods, as well – living on top of an acropolis surrounded by gold statues that depicted names, such as, Athena or Zeus. Oddly enough, however, they still did not cover their faces. Knights on horseback did, although they used the masks as armor, and always made sure that their enemy knew who they were battling.

 

Who knew generations would grow so angry that mere children would walk into grade schools with guns and shoot their friends? Some even then commit suicide. Children. In the recent past, grandparents who worried about their grandchildren being able to succeed in life, now fear if they will live long enough to succeed.

 

Politics certainly brings about battles. Debates, whether idiotic or intelligent, are held all the time. They debate to tell you what you either want to hear in order for them to take a chair of power, or tell you what they truly believe whether you like it or not, because they wish to change the world – for right or for wrong. Yet they wear no masks. Only silly smiles that humans can see through, if they would just look hard enough.

 

No one should have a gun set in their hands that has no understanding of what it does or the pain it can cause. “Rights” are fought for, without the end result being taken into account. And now, whether you wish to take 9/11, or the Paris tragedy from this past week, or a myriad of other horrors – masks were worn.

 

In someone’s mind they may be “following” others that fight for something important. Perhaps they are the “leaders” of those others telling them the fight is worth their lives and the lives of innocent others. And do not even claim these people who die are not innocent. When someone is going to work, or sitting at a concert, or having a meal with their children – they are innocent. When someone comes along and starts shooting, those victims remain innocent. They are not in positions of power that harm anyone else. They are people, families, children who really do wish to live to see themselves succeed.

 

This is not a political statement; it’s a belief, a question, a confusion, a need to understand why the world is doing what it’s Globe_hands2doing. Nothing changes with these actions. Only body counts rise. So, why? What are you proving?

 

A true hero will never wear a mask. A cover does not show strength, power, and it certainly shows no courage whatsoever. It shows only that you are a coward.

 

Sincerely,

A Grandparent

 

 

Source:  Baret News

Stewart is Necessary to Continue

 

Stewart is Necessary to Continue

~ Amy Lignor

 

There are times in life where a person you see on the big screen, or one who comes into your living rooms on the small one, decides that their career is headed down another path. Yes, they have the right to say that. They have the right to go wherever they wish to go…they’re human, after all. But then there are some who make the choice and literally leave a hole in society that no one is going to fill.

Jon Stewart, America, 9/11, humor, life, news

For sixteen years, Jon Stewart has been the voice of reason. When the country was angry about 9/11, or really upset when Obamacare came along and it took longer to get on it than it did to build a house, he was there. When everyone needed help understanding why the heck this country would choose the things they chose – why certain political figures who were so dumb were able to sit in their seats of power with our lives in their hands and play with them like they would a toy, Stewart agreed with us and did his absolute best to keep the sanity that America seemed to be tossing aside.

 

Jon Stewart went from a person we loved to watch because he would tell jokes, and his eyes would grow wide, or his head would fall into his hands as he showed the world clips that were, unfortunately, real, of the people we put in charge. He went from that man who made us laugh to the man who made us really think, wonder, and sometimes get so seriously mad at the garbage happening on a daily basis that it brought us together. We wanted to stand up and protest…even though no one would possibly listen.

 

Jon Stewart, the “joke” news, became the real news. Why? Because it was the truth. It was also like sitting in our living rooms talking to an extremely intelligent, emotionally-charged person who wanted to make things right. He wanted to discuss the issues, and wanted to help us smile in times that didn’t call for one.

 

9/11: Jon wept on TV. He told the slime out there that anyone can destroy (a trend that continues). But he also spoke about the view from his window. What was once the World Trade Center, a symbol of human ingenuity, had become the Statue of Liberty with the attack, and that was the point! Enough said. America was America – and even with all the bad, sick, and downright stupid, America survived because the people stood up and cared for one another. Even if it was for just a moment in time.

 

Yes, Jon flayed adversaries, and he pointed out flaws. But he never hid afterwards (like a lot of our power hungry do). He would speak and then face the music. He would debate the people who were so mad at him for showing the world their flaws, yet respected him for doing it. Jon talked about books that changed nations and helped people think. And then…he had a cast of “Newspeople” who stood by his side and literally received careers because of the help and mentorship he gave them.

 

The fantastic and beloved Colbert. Ed Helms. Steve Carrell. We know these people. They make us laugh. But they will always be a part of that “Jon Stewart” imagination and creativity that we will miss so much it is NOT funny.

 

We face a new presidential race coming up, and we’re all sad because it is already so ridiculous that not having Stewart at the helm, walking us through it, will be heartbreaking. God knows Stewart and his writing crew would never have lacked for material with this one coming up, and without him joining us in the rolling of the eyes, it’s not going to be funny…it’s going to be downright sad.

 

The fact remains that this country needed Stewart and still does. Life will not go on the same way. This is a fork in the road that will be a very hard turn for any of us to make. “We’ll be Right Back…” is your line, sir. And I, for one, hope you will be ASAP.

 

Source:  Baret News

The Home is Back to Being the Castle

The Home is Back to Being the Castle

by Amy Lignor

 

There are so many different lifestyle choices nowadays, it’s hard to pick just the right one that will add to the peace and serenity of your own life. But when it comes to the house, the “castle” you own is your castle, whether it be Buckingham Palace or the cabin in the woods with the lovely scene of wildlife all around. In 2015, however, one of the things that make
the castle the best it can be comes from the outside, not the inside. Gardening and landscaping have jumped to the top of 6277419029_2d4c580eecthe list when it comes to talking about home redecoration or renovation. Not only because it helps to sell the house in the future, adding more ‘finery’ to grab more money from the potential buyer, but also because the owner wants a place where they can go to sit, relax, and love life.

 

Whether you have the kids in the backyard that want a huge, safe place to play while you watch them from the deck; or you have that stunning front yard that everyone can see when they pass by and look in awe at the beauty that you have chosen to decorate it with, the outside of that castle has become a huge part of daily life.

 

It is true that any real estate person will tell you that landscaping is the first thing a buyer sees, and it is the framing that shows your house off to its highest potential. If the frame of the picture isn’t right, then the picture within looks shoddy and poor, which is not something you want to see. Choosing the right landscaping is a tough job. After all, there are a million things you can do to the front or backyard, from putting in that pool you always wanted, to putting in the perfect garden for you to enjoy through all seasons…the yard is something that not only helps the house, but allows you to get outside and actually enjoy it.

 

One dynamic feature comes with a tree. Now, there is a belief out there that only Nature, herself, can create a tree. However, that’s not exactly true. You can put in trees. Maybe not the 100-year-old oak that has stood magnificently on a property, but you can add smaller that will bring about so many benefits, including the absolute beauty of being able to look at it on a daily basis. The benefit list is long when it comes to having trees on the property: from the storm water runoff, where trees, of course, draw up water run-off stopping pollutants to the energy savings they bring. Trees cool homes in summertime, as well as working as windbreakers during the winter.

 

When it comes to beauty, it is lovely to have a rose bush – the colors are startling, BUT, it is far better to have the native shrubs, plants and flowers to your area simply because they thrive at all times. Indigenous plants do not need the constant time and money that has to be put into foreign plants, because they are already in their natural habitat. And the help they give to the surrounding wildlife cannot be measured. Even The National Wildlife Federation supports this so much that they award a special certification to homeowners who create natural habitats that allow for birds, and other animals a place to feed, live, and enjoy life by keeping the natural world intact.

 

On ‘to-do’ lists when it comes to increasing the beauty of your castle are everything from rain gardens that filter and distribute runoff underground, and prevent storm water from flooding basements, as well as the beauty of fencing.

 

Putting up the right fence is part of the new lifestyle of the castle you want to live in. Fencing can come in all forms, from stone terracing to the beauty of natural wood. Fencing always adds safety to the home and, if placed in correctly, can not only help the backyard but also the front. Curb appeal can be increased if just the right type of fencing is added so the frame around the castle is elegant and/or charming.

 

And never bypass that outdoor lighting that can truly be stunning, casting brilliance on the castle that is all yours.

 

Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/65978013@N03/6277419029

Source:  Baret News Wire

Fast-food, fast death… Oh my!

 

Fast-food, fast death… Oh my!
Witt of Will ~ The Daily Scream

 

I’m Will Roberts, and this is the daily scream, ahhh, here we go!

 

I was reading the newspaper today and apparently the fast food companies have figured out a new marketing gimmick, angle, scheme, idea to make their food more healthy.
Now, I’m not sure if their doing this because Americans have figured out that getting 20 burgers, 10 fries, and a gallon of Coke for 99 cents is too good to be true. OR, it’s because were the largest country in the world via body mass, but they’re changing.
Kraft mac and cheese said no more yellow and orange food coloring, gee; I’m gonna miss that one. Micky D’s said they are simplifying their chicken recipe by taking out something called Maltodextrin. Look, if you have something in your food that sounds like something you’d take if you were poised by that food, it shouldn’t be in the food.
Fast food folks have taken on the Pimp my ride philosophy. Add more and more, super size it, anything to make you feel like you are living the high life and a low price. But putting $5000 of accessories on a $500 car, only makes it look like a deal until you drive it.
Fast-food companies, if you want to increase your profits over time, keep your customers alive longer.

 

Get my cartoons at WillSays.com
Will Roberts

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

SPRING TOO

SPRING TOO

by Peter Brav

robin egg
 

Back at the table to negotiate

Warm blue sky running few weeks late

One groundhog dropped

Another one dead

Give me one reason to get out of this bed

Thin blood, thin patience

Crazy texting drivers on all that black ice

Weather and traffic every seven minutes

No news here but it is never nice

Robins voice enough is enough

Three ounce songbirds can handle rough

Yellow sprouts in fog of gray

Galoshes hung and children play

There’ll be no stopping it soon

April hurtling through May and into June

Impatiens planted, even weeds look pretty

Replacing oil blackened slush of a major city

Blues, greens, yellows, reds

Life springs again from beneath deathbeds

Every year the struggle grows

Every interminable frost seems our last

Then magnificent spring arrives

Its budding color glory

Consigning hopelessness to the past

 

Peter BravSource:  Baret News Wire

 

Laugh Until You Cry

Laugh Until You Cry

~ Amy Lignor

I was a kid. I had the best family imaginable, yet I felt out of place. The only thing I could really do well was make up jokes when others weren’t feeling all that good. Even today, as my Mom struggles with retirement and getting older, she’ll cry at times because she feels like a burden (which, by the way, she is not).
But even at those times, I can tell a joke, or change my voice in such a way that makes the tears go away and she laughs again, forgetting that feeling of sadness that she had just a moment before. I love that gift. I also love writing characters in books that are sarcastic, and can throw out a line that makes you laugh even at the most suspenseful moments. I like that because I truly believe, that ‘laughter is the best medicine’. I don’t like tears, unless they come when you have laughed so hard you can’t stop crying; those are great tears – the tears that happen when your abdomen hurts and you can’t catch your breath because of the laughter. I know tears are necessary for some – they make you feel better. But I never felt that way. Having a laugh actually does eject the bad – it’s almost like the bad can’t touch you as long as you’re smiling back at it.

Robin Williams poses for Mork & Mindy.

When I was a kid I suffered from depression. Although, back then, the doctor stated I was just trying to get out of going to school. But there was a face, a voice, a presence that made me pull out of that darkness, and that was Robin Williams. I was young. I had no idea he was addicted to anything, nor would I have cared. He made me become addicted to laughter – to caring about others and pulling them out of their sadness so they could enjoy the day. Growing up, whenever I got down on myself or felt the weight of the world on my shoulders, all I had to do was watch some old ‘Mork & Mindy’s’, or ‘Comic Relief’, or the stand-ups that I had purchased on DVD. I watched them over and over again – knowing the jokes by heart, but still laughing every single time.

 

I’m not going to preach or tell you I know anything about addiction. I believe that only the ones who have to deal with it every day can speak about it – no offense to these so-called T.V. experts and celebrity doctors who wish to constantly talk about something they’ve never battled. I can speak to the weight of Robin_Williams_2011a_(2)depression, and the feeling that even though everyone around you is laughing, and you did your job for the ones you care for, that there’s a darkness inside you that won’t go away.

 

Robin Williams helped me with that, and thanks to the world of media he will continue to. His caring and out of this world ability to make people laugh until

they cried is something no one else does – or will ever do. His shoes cannot be filled; and shouldn’t be. When you have been in the presence of the master, no one else could do his job justice.

 

I write this because I, like millions of others, will miss Robin Williams more than anything. We will miss the excitement that occurred when he took the stage, because you knew he was going to outshine everyone and the laughter he was about to provide you would be a precious thing to hold onto. He was the most caring soul, attempting to help one and all and making it his job to bring back the smile that had left our faces for a while.

 

It will not surprise me if the weather is rainy; it won’t surprise me if there’s flooding. Robin Williams is now standing in Heaven – hopefully smiling himself and not worried anymore. And it is a given that he will be telling joke after joke…until everyone ‘up there’ laughs so hard, they cry.

 

Rest in Peace, Sir. And thank you for the peace you gave me.

 

Until Next Time,

Amy

 

Source: Baret News Wire