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Cecil the lion dies at the hands of a cowardly dentist

Cecil the Lion's Brother, Jericho, Shot and Killed by Hunter in Zimbabwe (ABC News)

Cecil the Lion’s Brother, Jericho, Shot and Killed by Hunter in Zimbabwe (ABC News)

With the recent backlash over the death of beloved Zimbabwean lion, Cecil, many questions have been brought up in the media. Should the Minnesotan dentist be extradited to Zimbabwe? Should he be hanged as animal-rights group, PETA, recommends? Furthermore, why is there so much coverage over the death of a lion when there are so many Americans that tragically die on a daily basis and never garner any media coverage, let alone anger from the American population. Read More…

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Should the movie premiere of “The Interview” have been cancelled amidst death threats?

By now most of you know that the release of “The Interview” starring Seth Rogen and James Franco has been cancelled. For those not privy to the latest Hollywood scandal now turned FBI investigation I will sum up what’s been going on during the past few weeks. Sony Pictures, a multi-billion dollar corporation, was hacked by most likely North Korea. Sony planned to release a comedy starring Franco and Rogen as secret agents tasked to go to North Korea and murder the communist leader, Kim Jung Un (during their scheduled interview with him). Read More…

Book Review: Shadow and Bone

Cover of "Shadow and Bone (Grisha #1)" by Leigh Bardugo

Cover of “Shadow and Bone (Grisha #1)” by Leigh Bardugo

Fresh off ending my love affair with Cassandra Clare’s shadowhunters, I needed a new fantasy to get lost in this summer (although it was hard to say goodbye). Although I’m a little late to the party, Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy was just the ticket, taking me on a journey through Ravka, a fictional Russian-esque land torn in two by an ominous “swath of near impenetrable darkness” where carnivorous monsters dwell called the Shadow Fold.

An action-packed page-turner, Shadow and Bone takes some common YA themes–isolation, trust and betrayal, self-acceptance, and even love triangles–to a deeper level. The story opens with a girl and boy at an orphange being tested for powers by the Grisha, Ravka’s “magical elite.” Neither are found to be very promising. Fast forward a dozen or so years and our orphan heroine, Alina Starkov, is an all-grown-up but lonely mapmaker in the Ravkan Army. Her best friend, Mal (Malyen Oretsev), has grown into a handsome and well-liked tracker, who also happens to be very popular with the ladies. (Womp, womp for our leading lady.)

While entering the Shadow Fold, their regiment is attacked by the volcra (monsters), and Mal is hurt. In response, Alina unknowingly unleashes pillars of light to fight off the volcra, giving the regiment enough time to retreat. Turns out Alina’s power is unique. She is then taken to the Darkling (what’s in a name, indeed), the leader of the Grisha. He tells Alina he wants her help in destroying the Shadow Fold and the volcra, and decides to send her to the Ravkan palace to train with the other Grisha.

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Melissa McCarthy’s Elle cover sparks controversy

Melissa McCarthy Elle MagazineMelissa McCarthy’s recent cover on Elle magazine has ignited debate as to why the comedic actress donned a long coat on the cover.  Many dissenters accused the magazine of covering the actress up because of her figure.  They point to previous covers of other starlets who wore more scantily clad attires.  They are convinced the magazine decided to mostly cover Melissa because she was too “fat.”  Read More…

The Ellen Show: Andy and Amy’s Haunted House

English: The Ellen DeGeneres Show logo

English: The Ellen DeGeneres Show logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since Halloween is just around the corner this week’s “viral video” is from the Ellen Show.  Every year, host Ellen DeGeneres, sends an employee to a Haunted House.  This year she decided to send Andy alongside Amy.  The end product was pretty funny.  Enjoy! Read More…

To intervene or not to intervene. (That is the question.)

I’ve generally withheld my opinion on US involvement in Syria for mostly this reason: How can government officials support American intervention if it’s done “narrowly,” but claim they don’t want to actually be involved in regime change? How does that even make sense?

This is exactly why intervention in the Middle East and the Maghreb/North Africa has been such a debacle. We aren’t even sure how much we *want* to be involved, and we certainly don’t want to be dragged into another decade(s) long conflict. Not that I blame members of Congress for caution; certainly in the face of mixed international support, it makes perfect sense. In many ways, the US is the boy who cried wolf when it comes to Arab countries. (Check out Rachel Maddow’s thoughts on the Iraq War Architects weighing in on Syria.) We burned ourselves with Iraq, selling ourselves and the rest of the world a false bill of goods, and it hasn’t done anyone much good. Now when intervention seems to actually be more appropriate, we’re gun-shy and so is everybody else (except the trigger happy people, of course).

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It’s Not All About the Numbers

numbersYesterday, marked one year since the inception of this blog. When Mariam and I created Real Talk we wanted to create a forum where fair-minded individuals could “debate” wide-ranging issues. Although the concept of a more typical debate between myself and Mariam has yet to regularly come to fruition, I can confidently state that there have been many great discussions via this forum.

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Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)

Forest WhitakerLee Daniels latest movie chronicles the 34-year-old career of Eugene Allen as a butler for the White House.  The historical drama is inspired by Allen’s real life.  In the film he is called Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker).  Cecil served as a butler for eight presidents from 1952-1986.  His wife Gloria is played by Oprah Winfrey.  The couple has two children, Louis and Charlie.  Read More…

We’re the Millers (2013)

Casey, David and Kenny MillerWhen low-level drug dealer David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) is robbed of his marijuana and cash he is forced by his boss (Ed Helms) to smuggle drugs across the Mexican border.  He quickly realizes that alone he looks very suspicious.  After seeing a prototypical happy family in an RV he plots to cross the border with a make-shift “family.”  His “wife” is Rose (Jennifer Aniston) his stripper neighbor, his “daughter” Casey (Emma Roberts) is the homeless teen outside his apartment and his “son” Kenny (Will Poulter) is the 18-year-old virgin neighbor. Read More…

Top 10 Pizzas

I love pizzaThis week I am sharing my favorite pizzas.  I have included both freshly delivered and frozen pizzas.  Pizza is a guilty pleasure of mine (I can’t just say no).  I think pretty much everyone likes pizza.  Hopefully by the time you finish reading this list you will crave some “pies.”  If that’s the case then I’ve done my job 🙂

Please share your favorites with me and which topic you think I should consider for next’s week “Top 10.” Read More…