Keeping Feb. 14th in my own way…

Full disclosure: back in college I had a great idea. Make and sell sarcastic and cynical Valentine cards. I wrote a series of poems with a bit of a “bite” to them and e-mailed them to my buddies who got a good laugh. One friend of mine, who was a business major, didn’t think there was a market for them as people would rather print them up and give them away for free.

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Blog Series IV: Star Wars #2: Padmé Amidala

When it came to Luke Skywalker’s back-story, all we knew of him in Star Wars was that he was an orphan who lived with his aunt and uncle on some backwoods planet in the middle of nowhere. What he knew of his father was only bits and pieces and any other information as withheld. That is until he met Obi-Wan Kenobi and began his journey towards becoming a Jedi. Along the way, not only did Luke learn that his father Anakin Skywalker had become Darth Vader, but he also discovered that the beautiful Princess Leia was his twin sister.

It was in that moment in Return of the Jedi when he revealed to Leia who his father really

Padmé  Amidala

Padmé Amidala

was and of their relation that we first heard even the slightest hint at the mother of the Skywalker twins. He asked Leia, who presumable told him sometime during their many adventures that she had been adopted, what she remembered of their mother. All Leia could tell him was,


“All I remember are thoughts, really emotions. She died when I was very young. She was very kind…beautiful…but sad.”

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Blog Series IV: Star Wars #1: Darth Vader

In the history of cinema few villains capture the imagination like Darth Vader. While the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz burst onto the scene cackling and shrieking madly in a puff of flame, Darth Vader slowly emerged from the shadows in the opening scenes of original Star Wars film, saying nothing and analyzing the scene before him. He didn’t even have to say or do much to be intimidating. There was just something about him that whispered “evil”. It was as though our cultural fear of death had somehow manifested itself on the big screen and managed to get James Earl Jones to dub his voice.

Darth Vader

Darth Vader

While no one knew what to expect with Star Wars before it opened, actor David Prowse who wore the body armor, wisely chose to take the roll of the villain when George offered him the choice being either  Vader or Chewie. He had stated in many interviews since then that he knew that the villains were always the most memorable characters in a film, and with Vader that was excellent hindsight. Because of his booming voice and his instantly recognizable appearance, Darth Vader has become a cultural touchstone, and his name is nearly synonymous with evil.

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2014 in review…and my 100th POST!

Well, dear readers, another year has come and gone, and with it another year in review! The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 60 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Getting Children Into Reading

Perhaps one of the most daunting tasks that both parents and educators face these days is the once simple task of getting kids interested in reading. Let’s face it; there are numerous distractions these days that kids have to draw them away from books. Between the latest app on the iPhone, to the latest video game, to movies and TV there are just some of the many things kids find more enjoyable than reading a book. How can a book compare to a game of Angry Birds?

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Coming Soon to This Blog…

First, he led you on a Countdown to the Avengers with a look at the heroes of the Marvel Universe, then he took you on the Road to Rises with a look at the heroes of  DC Comics, then he treated you to an Unexpected Blog-Series with The Hobbit. Now, Jonathon D. Svendsen will bring you another exciting blog series that celebrates another pop-cultural mythology.

It really needs no introduction. Just watch the video bellow…

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Always Winter, Never Christmas


In CS Lewis’ beloved classic, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the four Pevensie children discover the land of Narnia trapped under the icy rule of the evil witch Jadis who has made it so it is “always winter, but never Christmas.” Well, here we are New Years Eve on December, 31st, 2014, and while Christmas was only a week ago, it certainly feels that way. Between all the activities that we tend to have in December, to the stress of the holidays December seems to fly by the fastest of any other month in the calendar year. We’ve barely even taken out our new calendars and stores are already marking Christmas stuff down to 70%. Continue reading

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