Monday, January 30, 2012


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Friday, January 27, 2012

2012 End of the World

2012; end of the world; is it? If it is, will you be prepared? I saw the movie and I have to say that my first reaction was one of awe at the special effects of the movie. I thought it was great entertainment. I didn't really give it too much more thought until the earthquake hit Haiti. After the earthquake in Chile, I really started to think about it.

Whether the 2012 end of the world predictions happen or not, shouldn't we all be prepared at least in some basic sense. I live in the Great Northwest. We get many windstorms and because of all the trees, many of them fall and break power lines. We are left without power, sometimes for days at a time.

Can you imagine the turmoil that would follow if we lost power nationwide? Before you say that it couldn't happen here, in 1859 there was a solar storm that melted the telegraph lines and disrupted that communication media. Now that was back in 1859.

In 1859 there were no power lines stretching across the land from East coast to West coast as there is now. There were no cell phones, no computers or internet. There were no electronic ignition automobiles

The prestigious NEMA (National Electric Manufactures Association) is very concerned about solar storms, "During previous solar storm cycles, operators found some metallic power equipment glowing red hot." They claim that the effects of a severe solar storm could take years to repair and rebuild our network of electrical transmission lines. For a nonprofessional like me that is a scary prospect.

I don't want to be crying wolf here, but can you guess what is predicted for 2012? Yep, you guessed it, a large solar storm. This solar storm will be 30%-50% greater than the last one. Scientists forecast, not predict, the potential for extremely high solar storms. What has me concerned is that this is a forecast, not a prediction. That means it is not a matter of "if". This solar storm is going to happen. The "when" is the year 2012.

I don't know about you, but I want to be ready. Regardless of whether or not the predictions of the doomsday soothsayers come to pass or not, I want to feel secure in knowing that I am prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at me. You and I both know that you cannot prepare for every little bump in the road.

Nevertheless, there is no excuse for us not to have a store of basic necessities available in the event of any catastrophe be it windstorm, flood, earthquake, or 2012.

Solar Storm

If a Solar Storm of that magnitude were to hit the earth today, it could cripple our culture and in effect send us back to a simpler time...such as in 1859. Satellites would be wiped out, whole power grids could go down, entire continents could have their lights go out. Governments might collapse if they can't communicate and coordinate.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Taylor Swift Biography

The Taylor Swift biography begins on December 13, 1989 when she was born in Wyomissing, PA. Her father was a stock broker and her mother stayed at home with Taylor and her younger brother Austin.

Her first taste in fame came in third grade when she won a national poetry competition with a three page poem called "Monster in My Closet." Poetry morphed into songwriting and by age 10, she was writing songs, singing in karaoke contests, and performing at various festivals and fairs.

She was picked up by the sketch comedy group TheaterKids Live! But the mother of the show's producer, Kirk Cremer, saw her sing Karaoke at a cast party and suggested that she would have even more success as a singer rather than an actress or comedian.

Cremer rented venues such as mall space and also lined Swift up to perform in various contests.

When she was 11, Swift traveled to Nashville to hand out copies of her work to country music producers. She was rejected by the producers and ridiculed by her peers. But she was not deterred.

She went back to Pennsylvania and learned the 12 string guitar. She continued to travel to Nashville to stay connected with the producers she had met. To minimize the travel, when she was 14, the whole Swift family moved to the Nashville suburbs.

This finally paid off when Scott Borchetta signed her to his new production company Big Machine Records.

She released her first single in 2006. By the end of that year, she released a self-titled album "Taylor Swift" which debuted at no. 19 on the Billboard chart. It also spent 8 consecutive weeks on top of the Country Music chart.

The Taylor Swift Story

Born on December 13, 1989 in Pennsylvania and named Taylor Alison Swift, this beautiful young lady started performing in her hometown of Reading at the age of 10. She would sing at fairs, festivals and at karaoke contests. By the time she was 12, she started writing songs and her parents got her a guitar. She loved the country music style of music; especially admiring those had gone before like Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton.

Taylor's mother and father traveled to Nashville and through her determination, Taylor was the youngest songwriter to sign with Sony/ATV. Her parents then moved to Hendersonville, Tennessee to support her with her music. A talent scout, Brochetta, discovered her at the Bluebird Café and her career was born.

The song "Our Song" was written by Taylor for a talent show in the ninth grade. She humbly admits she never thought it would be such a success.

Her MySpace page gained a huge following early in her career. She would personally connect with her fans until she surpassed over 40 million streams and became the No. 1 Country artist online. She has always been so good to her fans, even letting them pose with the CMT Video award that she won in 2007.

She now plays a 12-string guitar and has a passion that shows through in her songs, one of which is a Top 20 hit. Most of the songs she has written are taken from her personal life experiences. Her first album has sold over 3 million copies.

Upon winning the CMA Horizon Award, Taylor Swift was quoted as saying "This has definitely been the highlight of my senior year!"

Taylor gives tribute to her grandmother, who was an opera singer, Garth Brooks, LeAnn Rimes, and Tim McGraw. She says that Garth Brooks was the inspiration of how she should treat her fans.

Film Blog Calendar About Taylor Swift Story. Thanks For Visit My Blog.

How To Get Taylor Swift Updo Hairstyles 2012

Taylor Swift is one of the most popular pop, country musicians of today. In addition to being known for her music, she is also known for her sense of style and her hair. If you are interested in getting Taylor Swift updo hairstyles. Film Blog Calendar About Taylor Swift Hairstyle in 2012.

Misspelled Celebrity Tattoos

Film Blog Calendar About Misspelled Celebrity Tattoos Design.

84th Annual Academy Awards - Nominations

84th Annual Academy Awards Nominations.Samuel Goldwyn Theater, AMPAS, Beverly Hills, CA.January 24, 2012. Thanks For All.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 Oscar Nominees

Hollywood rolled out of bed early Tuesday morning to find out who was nominated for the most prestigious movie awards on the planet. See the nominees inside in My Blog.

With 'The Artist' nominated for 10 Academy Awards, Michel Hazanavicius is a name American audiences are going to get to know very well. We sat down with the director to discuss his great silent film and his Oscar hopes. Thanks For All.

The Oscar Picture as it Looks Now

Alrighty. It has been a big week in terms of Oscar, with the Golden Globes ceremony the other day and the BAFTA nominations coming out yesterday. I'm not going to make a list of the GG winners or BAFTA noms because you've already seen them. What I am going to do is give the lowdown on what these things mean for the Oscar scene, category by category.

Best Picture
This is basically the same thing that it was after the Critics Choice. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy got just as many nominations as The Artist (12). I sort of expected that because the BAFTA always look after their own first. This always happens because they obviously have more of a chance to campaign in their own country. (Australia is the same way). Anyway, The Artist won the Golden Globe for Best Picture - Musical/Comedy and it the still the favourite for the Oscar. My previous assertion that Hugo was the favourite for Best Picture was wrong and there are only a few more possibilities left. The only question is: will Tinker Tailor ride this BAFTA boost to an Oscar presence?

Best Director
This is where I think it gets interesting. The Director race is open. Both the Golden Globe and BAFTA have proved that there is more love for Scorsese as a director than there is for Hugo as a film. Thats a no brainer. What I am proposing is that Martin Scorsese is now the favourite to win the Best Director Oscar. I can hear you yelling "what about Hazanavicius?" and I have some facts to share with you. Hazanavicius is an unknown director. Sure he is getting attention now because of The Artist but he was unkown to everyone a year ago. The last time an unknown director won the Oscar was Sam Mendes for American Beauty in 1999. Also, I think Fincher and his Dragon Tattoo may be making an Oscar splash; but I will get to that later in the week.

Best Actress
Meryl is now the favourite. She knows how that feels. I was really quite surprised when she won the Golden Globe. I had prepared myself for a Viola victory and for to burst into tears (there is just something about African American women that makes me emotional when they succeed) but Meryl really does deserve it for The Iron Lady. She is outstanding and it looks like she will FINALLY win her third. BAFTA will surely give it to her because she is in a British film playing a famous British person (see Geoffrey Rush last year) and if the SAG rewards her as well, it is in the bag. Viola is the only one that could push her off the purch. And again, will Rooney Mara sneak in? After Viola, Meryl and Michelle, this category is wide open. People are even whispering Wiig. Could you imagine?

Best Actor
I am actually quite distressed that George Clooney looks to be in the lead over Brad Pitt. I just think that Pitt pulled out a better performance. Anyway, Clooney is the favourite to win with Pitt maybe sneaking in (depending on what the SAG have to say). What I am still trying to figure out is who will take that last place. I think we're looking at Clooney, Pitt, DiCaprio and Dujardin. They all got Golden Globe & SAG nominations, but Leo missed out on a BAFTA nod. What does that mean? That means that Fassbender and Oldman (who both got BAFTA nods) are both waiting in the wings to push him out of the nomination pool. I've got this weird feeling that BAFTA is going to give Best Actor to Gary Oldman. It wont make much of a difference though. Clooney is sort of on a roll.

Best Supporting Actress
Octavia is (deservedly) the favourite to win. She will probably win the SAG and probably win the Oscar. It's not definite but thats the way it's looking at the moment. I've heard whispers that Melissa McCarthy is in trouble and may not get a nomination. She has won almost as many guild awards for her performance as anyone else. How could she be in trouble? The SAG nominated her, the Critics nominated her, the BAFTA nominated her. The Golden Globes didn't, but thats never stopped anyone before. So there's that. I also think that McTeer is going to slip. Close is not getting the love everyone thought she would, and the films has slipped out of every other category. It looks like to me that she is next. Woodley may slip in due to the film's love and Chastain & Bejo are also basically locks. The 5th spot is open.

Best Supporting Actor
Unless the Actor's branch of the Academy is smoking something and have not been paying attention or have seen Beginners, Christopher Plummer is going to win this. It is a sure thing. Although Albert Brooks has won one or two more critics orgs than him, the fact that he did not get a nomination for the SAG means to me that he does not have the support in the branch that Plummer does. Brooks will most likely be nominated but he will not win. The only thing that is not almost 100% in this category is the 5 nominees. Other than Plummer and Brooks, there is Branagh who is also a lock for a nomination. That leaves two spots open for Nick Nolte (Warrior), Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Viggo Mortensen (A Dangerous Method), Armie Hammer (J. Edgar), Patton Oswalt (Young Adult), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Ides of March), Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris) and Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of The Apes). RIGHT? This category is wide open. Expect some surprises on nomination morning.

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Oscar Nomination Predictions

Predicting the Oscars is not really that difficult of a task to do each year. So many of the spots in each category are shoo-ins, with usually only the last spot up for grabs - even if that one. The problem with predicting this year's Oscar race comes in the form of predicting just how many Best Pictures nominees will be announced on Tuesday morning. After upping the BP category to ten nominees a couple of years ago (from the previous amount of five - which in my not-so-humble opinion is the perfect amount) the Academy has announced that this year there will be between five and ten nominees for the top prize. There is a whole set of convoluted rules that go with this decision, reading like one of those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, but I will not bother you with trying to explain them. This of course makes it a bit more difficult, but who am I to complain. Anyway, on with the show. Below are my nomination predictions, with each category ordered in probability of nomination.

Best Picture
  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Hugo
  • The Help
If it goes further (my guess is seven nominees)
  • Moneyball
  • The Tree of Life
And if it goes even further (still in order of probability)
  • War Horse
  • The Ides of March
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Dark Horses: Bridesmaids and/or Harry Potter 7.5

The first three are shoo-ins. As for the next two, either one could be bumped for the two after that. It would give me such delight to see The Tree of Life get in there. Some little guy in the back of my head wants me to place the films in that top five, but that is just wishful thinking. Hell, placing it in the seventh spot may be a bit of wishful thinking as well. As for those last three, I do not think it will go that far, though number eight could replace The Tree of Life (egads no!!), but just in case, there they are. As for the dark horse choices, they may seem a bit silly, but it would not surprise me to hear either's name called on Tuesday morning. I guess there is always the possibility of something like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Drive (I would love that), My Week With Marilyn, J. Edgar or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close sneaking in there as well, (the latter of which had plenty of Oscar buzz early on but not so much these days) but these are unlikely.

Best Director
  • Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
  • Martin Scorsese for Hugo
  • Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris
  • Alexander Payne for The Descendants
  • Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life
Dark Horse: David Fincher for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

I think the top four are pretty much locks for the nomination. The number five spot is a killer though. Again, this may just be wishful thinking on my part, but I believe that even if his film is left out of the eventual nominees, Malick will get that fifth spot. Of course there is always the possibility of Tate Taylor or Bennett Miller grabbing that spot for either The Help or Moneyball respectively. These, especially Miller, are more likely scenarios but I must go with my heart here. Then again, we could always see Spielberg's name pop in there, even if he was snubbed (rightfully so, his film is typical Oscar dreck) by the DGA. They also snubbed (unrightfully if you ask me) Malick but let's just ignore that. As for the dark horse choice, a second possibility, though less likely (but more desirous) is Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive. Yeah, right.

Best Actor
  • George Clooney in The Descendants
  • Jean Dujardin in The Artist
  • Brad Pitt in Moneyball
  • Michael Fassbender in Shame
  • Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Dark Horse: Michael Shannon in Take Shelter

The first three are locks (with Clooney a near lock for the actual Oscar - for now) and I think the number four spot is close to a lock, as long as the AMPAS voters can get past the NC-17 rating (and possible jealousy over the rather enormous size of the actor's schlong). The number five spot is a bit trickier. Leo DiCaprio was a seeming lock when the awards season first kicked off, but after such mediocre reviews for his film, his Oscar buzz has dropped significantly. Still though, he is Leo DiCaprio and therefore is a possibility. Dropping Leo and adding Oldman as the fifth spot may not be a sure thing though. Oldman, who strangely enough has never been nominated before, gives a solid performance in the retro spy thriller, but it is one of those strong quiet performances that tend not to get noticed. But then the Academy does like to correct past errors and Oldman's lack of nominations could help him get that notice. Then again, Michael Shannon (the dark horse choice) has been the critical darling so him getting that fifth spot is quite possible. Of course I would love to see Ryan Gosling get nominated. Preferably for Drive, but more likely for The Ides of March. Perhaps the Gosman should be my dark horse.

Best Actress
  • Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady
  • Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn
  • Viola Davis in The Help
  • Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs
  • Charlize Theron in Young Adult
Dark Horse: Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin

The first three are locks, and I believe they are also the three that will battle for the win. Davis won the Critic's Choice Award while Streep and Williams split the Golden Globes (Drama and Comedy respectively). Personally I think with Octavia Spencer being the frontrunner for Supporting Actress (voters like spreading the wealth in the acting categories) and the less-than luke warm response that The Iron Lady has received (everything about the film sans La Streep's performances has been much criticized) that Williams' portrayal of Marilyn Monroe (the Academy loves actors playing other actors) could pull off a relatively shocking surprise come Oscar night. But that is speculation for another time. Right now I am just predicting the nominees, and all three of these ladies are going to be among them. I think the number four spot is pretty much a forgone conclusion as well. Not many people out in Peoria have seen the film yet but Glenn Close is highly respected and should be able to procure a nomination. Then (like in most categories) you have that fifth spot. This spot is pretty much a battle between Theron and the dark horse Swinton. It could pretty much go either way really. One other possibility (though not a strong one) is Elizabeth Olsen for her turn in Martha Marcy May Marlene. Earlier on she seemed like a shoo-in, but all that buzz has long gone away. Even Kiera Knightley or Rooney Mara could surprise but that is highly unlikely.

Best Supporting Actor
  • Christopher Plummer in Beginners
  • Albert Brooks in Drive
  • Kenneth Branagh in My Week With Marilyn
  • Jonah Hill in Moneyball
  • Nick Nolte in Warrior
Dark Horse: Patton Oswalt in Young Adult

The first three are locks, with Plummer as the frontrunner to win it all. Number four will sneak in there as long as Moneyball grabs enough attention - which I think it will (obviously). As for the fifth spot - as has been the case pretty much every time around - it is a veritable free-for-all. Early on it looked like Viggo Mortensen's performance as Sigmund Freud in A Dangerous Method would be a shoo-in, but pretty much all the buzz from that film has died. Patton Oswalt, our humble dark horse, had some buzz going for a while, but that has tapered off a bit. Ben Kingsley has a shot, especially with Hugo being so big in the awards world right now, and I almost went with him, but ended up going with Nolte for his role in the otherwise maligned Warrior. This culd end up being a mistake but there you have it anyway. One last possibility is Max von Sydow for Extremely Close or Loud or whatever that movie is called.

Best Supporting Actress
  • Octavia Spencer in The Help
  • Bérénice Bejo in The Artist
  • Shailene Woodley in The Descendants
  • Jessica Chastain in The Help
  • Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids
Dark Horse: Carey Mulligan in Shame

The first three are locks and I suppose number four is close to a lock as well. After all, since Chastain was in pretty much every movie made this past year, she should get a nomination for something, right? Of course this supersaturation could split any votes she gets and end up putting her on the proverbial cutting room floor. That fifth spot however (here we go again) is another free-for-all. Janet McTeer in Albert Nobbs, the great Vanessa Redgrave for Coriolanus or Carey Mulligan in Shame (our dark horse) could all take that spot, but with the campaign for Bridesmaids, it looks as if McCarthy will nab that spot after all. One last note: I would love to see Marion Cotillard sneak in here for her role in Midnight in Paris. Unlikely though.

Best Original Screenplay
  • Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris
  • Michael Hazanavicius for The Artist
  • Diablo Cody for Young Adult
  • Annie Mumalo and Kristen Wiig for Bridesmaids
  • Tom McCarthy for Win Win
Dark Horse: Asghar Farhadi for A Separation

The first two are definites. Woody is bound to get his sixteenth writing nomination (and third win). The Woodman already broke Billy Wilder's record with his fifteenth nod. As for number two, The Artist did not grab a coveted WGA nomination and may have limitations due to it being a silent film, but the sweep that is likely to happen on Tuesday morning (my predix - 10 nods for The Artist) will surely include this category. The third is highly probable - she is already an Oscar winner. The fourth is pretty likely as well. The fifth spot will go to either Win Win or 50/50 (both WGA nominees). I could easily switch the fifth choice between either of these, but I think Win Win has the slightest of edges. Of course our dark horse could just as easily sweep in grab the last minute nod. Then again, we should not count out J.C. Chandor for Margin Call.

Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian for Moneyball
  • Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for The Descendants
  • Tate Taylor for The Help
  • John Logan for Hugo
  • Bridget O'Conner and Peter Straughan for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Dark Horse: Steve Zaillian for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The first three are pretty much locks, with number one being a screenplay (the likely winner I think) written by the two best damn writers in Hollywood. Meanwhile number four is a rather sure bet as well, and number five is a fairly respectable choice as well, but since it did not receive a WGA nod it could easily be replaced by our dark horse, which incidentally did receive a WGA nod. I think the thing that will put TTSS in over TGWTDT is the fact that voters will most likely choose one or the other Steve Zaillian scripts, but probably not both. Then again, what the hell do I know. We could also see War Horse surprise, but I think only if it grabs a lot of nominations, which I do not think it will do.

Well, I think I will stop here. Sure, I could go on and say how The Tree of Life and The Artist are shoo-ins for Best Cinematography, Hugo and Harry Potter are locks for Art Direction, Moneyball and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will get Film Editing nods and The Rise of the Planet of the Apes will most likely win the Best Visual Effects Oscar - but I will not. I am just going to leave it at the big eight categories. Anyway, it helps my eventual winning percentage if I do. And speaking of winning percentages - I had an 87% accuracy rate last year, dipping down slightly from the 89% I scored in 2009. Here's hoping I can break into the ninety percentage range come Tuesday morning.