Dr. W. Scott Westerman Jr. to Speak on No Child Left Behind

Dr. Westerman

Dr. Westerman will speak Tuesday, January 24, at 7:00 p.m. in the Downtown Library Multi-purpose Room. Please come to learn about the No Child Left Behind Act.

For further reflections on this legislation, consult these books:

America’s Failing Schools: How Parents and Educators Can Cope with No Child Left Behind by W. James Popham
Leave No Child Behind: Preparing Today’s Youth for Tomorrow’s World by J. P. Comer
Many Children Left Behind: How the No Child Left Behind Act is Damaging Our Children and Our Schools edited by Deborah Meier and George Wood
Saving Our Schools: the Case for Public Education: Saying No to “No Child Left Behind” edited by Ken Goodman
What Every Teacher Should Know about No Child Left Behind by Nathan Essex

Venice Shines in Films

The recently released movie Casanova was made even more enjoyable by its luscious setting in Venice, Italy. Of course, Venice has been used as a setting in numerous films. Some of the most memorable are Death in Venice, Summertime, Wings of the Dove, Bread and Tulips and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Venice also appears prominently in less 'arty' films ranging from the James Bond vehicle Moonraker to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Are there others that appealed to you? What's your favorite Venice film?

The Play Ground

Even The Play Ground has to venture outside once and a while in the winter. Put on your long underwear for the 24th Annual Plymouth International Ice Sculpture Spectacular. Professional, hobby and student ice carvers display their work in this family friendly extravaganza that draws about a half a million visitors each year. Light show begins at dusk. Kellogg Park in downtown Plymouth. It's a lot closer than The Snow Show in Lapland.

Detroit soul singer Wilson Pickett dies at 64

Legendary Detroit soul singer Wilson Pickett died yesterday. Pickett was best known for his one-of-a-kind, gravelly R&B delivery of such soul classics as "Mustang Sally," "Land of 1000 Dances" and "In the Midnight Hour." Fellow Detroiter Aretha Franklin called Pickett "one of the greatest soul singers of all time." Pickett died of a heart attack. Read the obituary at CNN.

Sundance Film Festival – January 19-29, 2006

Today marks the beginning of the Sundance Film Festival, one of the most well known celebrations of American and international independent film. The Sundance Institute was founded by Robert Redford in 1981 in Park City, Utah. To learn more about the institute and the festival, check out their website.

I know I always look forward to watching the films that gain recognition through Sundance. Check out some of the past winners:

Grizzly Man – Best Documentary Feature, 2005

American Splendor – Grand Jury Prize, 2003

Sir Anthony Receives Golden Globe for Lifetime Achievement

Sir Anthony Hopkins recently received the Cecil B. DeMille Golden Globe Award for lifetime achievement. Throughout his career Hopkins has impressed audiences with his intensity and range by playing characters such as a butler, a swashbuckling hero, a classics professor, a grieving theologian, a fallen president, an abolitionist, a painter, and, of course, a cannibal. More recently, he's received praise for his role in The World's Fastest Indian.

Brokeback Big Winner at Golden Globes

Brokeback

"Brokeback Mountain" won best drama at the Golden Globes last night, and its director Ang Lee and screenplay writers Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana also took home awards. Heath Ledger lost to Philip Seymour Hoffman's "Capote", and Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon took home awards for their portrayals as Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line." Lost won best television drama and Empire Falls won best TV miniseries or movie.

Favorite TV Shows this Season

Lost

I just finished watching 24, did any one else see that? I've never watched it before, but after watching the the beginning of this season, I am seriously considering getting the earlier seasons from the library.

I know there are also a lot of Lost fans out there, and just so you know, we have the first season. If you have any thoughts or theories on this season's shows, this is the place to add them.

Falling into a Million Little Pieces

James Frey admitted last week that he fabricated parts of his best-selling memoir A Million Little Pieces. His publisher didn't mind. Oprah didn't mind (Frey's book was recently chosen for Oprah's Book Club). And during an appearance on Larry King, Frey suggested that fabricating personal history is an accepted American literary tradition in the manner of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Bukowski and Keruoac. Do you agree? If not, are you still planning to read the book or will you be canceling your hold?

Shelly Winters: 1920-2006

Winters was best known for playing the blowsy woman the leading man would prefer to leave behind--from the wrong (and seriously wronged) woman in 1951's A Place in the Sun, for which she earned an Oscar nomination, to the mother in the way of James Mason's crush on Lolita )(1962). Check out her filmography at the Internet Movie Database.

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