December, 2012

A Holiday Wish from our Publisher

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

I want to thank all of our writers and contributors who have made this year’s publication of The Arts and Entertainment Magazine and THE EERIE DIGEST possible. Our magazines are geared to be instructional and entertaining for all the students, and those looking for words of wisdom towards their chosen careers, to follow. Without their support and contributions, so many of our readers world-wide may not find an equal source of first hand experiences.

I also want to thank our many readers who follow our publication for your loyalty, and we hope to continue our work for your enjoyment. We are coming into a trying time and we look to give our readership the hope and great reading far into the future. As the publisher I therefore wish every one of you a…….

Happy Holiday and Hopeful New Year !

TAEM J&J movie review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

  We had the pleasure of reviewing Peter Jackson’s rendition to his fabulous series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. This was the prequel that was long awaited for. It was also the inspiration for the senior member of our team to take up writing over thirty years ago.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is an brilliant undertaking of Director Peter Jackson that helped fill in all the holes, nooks, and crannies that existed in Tolkien’s work, and laid the basis for the series that followed. Many of Gandalf the Grey’s disappearances in the author’s story are now well explained and tie in to the Ring trilogy beautifully. (more…)

TAEM interview with Dr. Harold A. Geller of GMU

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

TAEM- We recently had the pleasure of a guided tour of the telescope observatory at George Mason University by Dr. Harold A. Geller, the observatory’s director. We decided to learn a little more about him and were astonished about what we uncovered. Harold, please shed some light on your educational background and its long standing connection with George Mason University.

HG- The academic path to my doctorate was anything but straight.  After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, I returned to academia as a graduate student at George Mason University (GMU).  At that time, GMU was a medium sized liberal arts commuter-type college.  Not having a graduate degree program in my discipline interest, I designed my own program through the university’s master’s program in interdisciplinary studies.  I completed my master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in astronomy and informatics.  As I was working for a university consortium, I naturally maintained ties in higher education.  I applied for and received a Commonwealth Fellowship from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.  I initially sought to complete a PhD in Physical Sciences.  Ultimately, I switched to the doctoral program in education.  I also taught at the Northern Virginia Community College, Manassas Campus, for 4 years while I continued to work toward my doctorate in education.  Ultimately, I was offered a full time position at George Mason University, and chose to enter academia on a full-time basis.  I had been a part-time instructor in physics and astronomy for seven years prior to joining GMU as a full-time faculty member. (more…)

Travel Time with Roger Tweed- Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks (part 3)

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Travel Time with Roger Tweed

On Friday, our fourth and final full day in the parks, we had a full day scheduled.  First, it was back to Lodgepole to hike to Tokopah Falls, then back to the Giant Forest to see the General Sherman Tree (the largest tree by volume in the world) and hike the Congress Trail.  Later in the afternoon we were scheduled to tour Crystal Cave.  And finally, if time permitted, we’d visit Moro Rock.

Lodgepole has a very large year-round campground and we drove through most of it as we searched for the trail head for Tokopah Falls.  The trail to the falls is about 2 miles with a little bit of a climb.  Bugs were not quite as bad as earlier in the week.  You are hiking alongsisde the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River.  At 1200 feet, Tokopah Falls is the highest falls in the park and one of the highest falls in California (outside Yosemite).  As you approach the falls the trail becomes mostly granite rocks, and that makes it a bit tricky.  Yellow Bellied Marmots are said to live in these rocks near the falls, but we didn’t see any.  And unfortunately for us, we didn’t see the falls either.  Mid September was too late in the year to see any falls or cascades, at least it was this year.  You can see where the cascades and falls would be, and some of the rock faces were wet, but no falls on this day.  If you go online you can see pictures taken in the spring.  (more…)

A new science challenge from our publisher, Joseph J. O’Donnell

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Joseph O’Donnell

Recently I had seen a story in another media publication stating that NASA was ‘Lost in Space’. Their article said that NASA has no set objectives for further space exploration because they lack guidance from the government and the public. I thought the statement was absurd, but as our economy is going into a grey area, and politicians are behaving….well political, I can partially understand their statement. With impending budget cuts possibly cutting into programs it gives a little more solidity to the media article’s reasoning.

This past September I offered two challenges to the Scientific community (see the Sept.2012 Science section) and now I am about to offer a third challenge. I am asking the science community, university faculties and students, and the private sector to rise up in a ‘Grass Roots Movement’ to offer suggestions, and support, to NASA. I will also seek further support for Space Exploration from European and Asian Space Agencies as well. This must be a ‘team effort’ by scientists, academics, and enthusiasts from around the world. After all, this will be an adventure for all of mankind and will benefit the entire human race.



TAEM News Flash: Past Authors in the News!

Saturday, December 15th, 2012
Jeremy Shipp

Jeremy Shipp

The Arts and Entertainment Magazine and THE EERIE DIGEST has just been informed that two authors that we had the honor of interviewing in our past issues have published new novels. Author Rick Chesler whom we interviewed in our June 2010 issue, and Jeremy Shipp who appeared in our March 2010 edition both have produced new work to the delight of our readership.g

Attic ToysAttic ClownsAuthor Jeremy Shipp has two new books on Amazon for our readers. The first is Attic Toys, a collection of 19 Tales of Fantasy by masters, and rising stars, of horror and dark fantasy. This book will keep our readers glued to their seats. His second book is Attic Clowns which he guarantees to cause our readers to bite their nails. Jeremy has always been at the forefront of tales for late at night and is well loved by horror story lovers everywhere. You can click on the book titles to discover their links to Amazon for their purchase. (more…)

An Expression of Dissatisfaction by guest author Glenn James

Saturday, December 15th, 2012
Author Glenn James

Guest Author Glenn James

(Or “In Loving Memory”)

T’was a tough time of year to be contemplating a burial, but there you go.  At least it wasn’t Mansell’s job to have to hack a hole 6ft down through the unforgiving frost, and the rock-hard flinching soil, but that’s what the grave diggers are paid for.  He was wondering if they’d have to use dynamite, the weather was so unseasonably brutal.  But if someone has the discourtesy to go and fall off the perch in the dead of winter, and leave instructions to be buried on Christmas Eve, what do you expect? It would help if the dear departed had been decent enough to leave a little gratuity, whereby the members of the profession so inconvenienced might perhaps drink to his everlasting peace.  But no, the man had been as tight as a ducks arse, and the job was being done on the cheap.  And a Merry Christmas too you, too, my lords and masters, with knobs on. (more…)

TAEM J&J movie review of ‘Lincoln’

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

    This movie is based upon Abraham Lincoln’s personal struggle during the American Civil War. One of the two issues portrayed in the movie involved his quest to abolish slavery by passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. The other issue revolved around his personal life.

The difficulties in passing the bill that might change the future of the country and the history of the world was the main theme. These difficulties were brought about by those who were opposed to change and was further hampered by the conflict between the States. There were only those who would accept the bill’s passage, some for personal gain, and others who wished to reconcile with the Confederacy first. Personal prejudices of many voting on the bill was also a factor holding up it’s passage. Lincoln believed that the Amendment was the essence of the Constitution in that all men were created equal. He used his cunning and oratory skills to convince people to vote in favor of the bill, without changes that might hinder it’s true purpose. (more…)

TAEM Visits NOVAC and George Mason University

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

This past month The Arts and Entertainment Magazine attended the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club (NOVAC) held at George Mason University, in Fairfax Virginia. The event displayed some of the many telescopes that club members own as well as ‘lender scopes’ that are available for use. In attendance were visitors from a nearby Northern Virginia Planetarium, and a Geophysics expert, Dr. Linda Schaffner, whom we’d like to introduce in future issues.

NOVAC–  Paul Derby is the president of the club and explained to us that membership tops 1,100 people, making it the largest club of its type in the world. The membership includes teachers, students, astronauts, and professional observers as well as armatures. The club also sets up at sites in Northern Virginia to view the night skies. These ‘star parties’ are very popular and many of the members are on hand to demonstrate the telescopes and explain the universe to the viewers that attend. (more…)

TAEM interview with Dr. Michael Summers of GMU

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

TAEM-  We recently toured George Mason University in Northern Virginia and was graciously guided by Harold Geller who is the Associate Dean and Director of the Telescope Observatory there. Dean Geller has introduced Professor Michael Summers to us to shed some light on the great work that the University does.

 Professor Summers is a planetary scientist who specializes in the study of structure and evolution of planetary atmospheres. Professor, please tell our readers about the subject of your work.

MS- My research concerns the chemistry and dynamics of planetary atmospheres.  I’m particularly interested in how planetary atmospheres develop, evolve over time, and in the case of the Earth how humans impact the atmosphere. I’ve had the good fortune to work with several robotic space missions in my career, including the Pluto New Horizons mission which is now on it’s way to a 2015 encounter with Pluto and its system of moons.  I’ve also worked on the possibly of using atmospheric trace gases as biomarkers of life. On Mars there is evidence of methane in the atmosphere, which could provide indirect evidence of life below its surface. That would be quite an astounding discovery. I’m also working with several of my students on the structure of atmospheres around a small group of recently discovered extra-solar planets. (more…)

Travel Time with Roger Tweed: Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks (Part II)

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Travel Time with Roger Tweed

Day 3 (Thursday) in the parks had us traveling into Sequoia National Park for the first time.  We departed Grant Grove early (a bit too early as it turned out) and headed through the Sequoia National Forest/National Monument (you can collect sequoia cones for personal use in the National Forest but not in the National Park) to Lodgepole Village where we wanted to eat breakfast and check in at the visitor center to plan our hikes for the next two days.  Along the road through the National Forest you pass the Montecito Sequoia Lodge and the Stony Creek Resort (the only place you can get gasoline).

Lodgepole has the largest market in the parks along with a snack bar, and we were planning on getting lunch provisions and eating breakfast.  We arrived a little after 8 am, and the market did not open until 9.  Worse still, the snack bar was closed for the season.  So, Bob and I availed ourselves of the visitor center conferring with the rangers about local hikes.  We also bought our tickets for the 3:00 pm Crystal Cave tour on Friday (tickets must be purchased a day in advance).  After conferring with a ranger, we decided that we would drive down to Crescent Meadow and hike the High Sierra Trail about 4.5 miles to the east toward Bearpaw Meadow (11 miles east) and determine how far we wanted to go before turning around.  After that hike and lunch, we would park at the Giant Forest Museum (formerly the Giant Forest Market) and hike the Alta and Huckleberry Trails up to where Alta meets the Congress Trail, making a loop that would take us past several meadows and named Giant Sequoias.  (more…)

TAEM interview with Actress Vida Ghaffari

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Photo courtesy of CBeckett Photography

TAEM- The Arts and Entertainment Magazine is constantly on the hunt for acting talent to display for our readership. We recently discovered actress Vida Ghaffari, who has a strong background in indie films. Vida, how did you originally get started in films ?

VG-When I first moved to LA to pursue more opportunities in journalism, I was cast as a wacky, over the top tabloid-type reporter in a short film and realized that I enjoyed playing a reporter more than being one. I actually got my start in journalism writing for the school paper in college (University of Maryland, College Park) as well as being a DJ on my campus radio station, WMUC. I loved interacting with guests and being on the air. In retrospect, I think that really helped me with my voiceover career as I’ve always been really comfortable with a mic. A lot of actors have problems going from on-camera to voiceover work as their bodies are their instrument, but it was a really seamless transition for me and I go back and forth between the two mediums quite easily. As for acting, I got my start in the theatre where I had acted in some plays. I did tons of sketch comedy and was in a couple of troupes. That lead to work in many short films and indie features. I’ve even acted in a lot of student films, so I’ve really paid my dues.  (more…)

TAEM Newsflash- Actor Adrian Bustamante in New Role!

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

   Actor Adrian Bustamante, who we interviewed in our June 15, 2012 issue, has landed a new role as a chef on a popular You Tube channel. The show, Food Deconstructed, takes a culinary classic and breaks it down into its basic elements and reconstructs it in four unexpected exciting ways.

Adrian, who grew up in the rich culinary landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area, has always had a passion for cooking. He had attended a culinary school and worked at various restaurants. Now Adrian will share his daring creations that are inspired by traditional dishes. See Food Deconstructed on YouTube and prepare for an appetizing adventure.