Book Review: “A Professor’s Guide to Writing Essays: The No-Nonsense Plan for Better Writing” by Dr. Jacob Neumann

Many students feel too overwhelmed with their curriculum to do any additional reading. It’s understandable as they have millions of tasks that need urgent focus, so fiction and non-fiction genres are left in their past, freer life — as long as they aren’t assigned them in college or uni. This trend is depressing since reading is essential in many ways, from cognitive to social. Researchers from Psychology Today Schwanenflugel and Knapp confirm that reading improves brain function and helps in studies. Interestingly, it might happen both directly and indirectly.

 “A Professor’s Guide to Writing Essays: The No-Nonsense Plan for Better Writing”written by DoctorNeumann is a non-fiction book with the power to bring benefits in two ways at once. First, it’s deeply engaging and stimulating. Second, it’s essential for studies because regardless of whether you are still in high school or if you’re tackling complex uni challenges, writing essays is a task that will follow you everywhere. Knowing how to do it will save you tons of time.

The Content of Neumann’s Book and What Makes It Stand Out

DoctorNeumann has worked as a professor in many areas and on different educational levels. He’s seen the struggles his students face with crafting their essays personally, and it encouraged him to write a book that would help them improve their writing. So, Neumann’s book explores the concept of academic essays and provides useful tips on how to structure ad compose them. He raises such topics as the creation of helpful outline, effective introduction, strong thesis, and logical paragraphs. Neumann also explains how to avoid plagiarism, which is essential since unless your paper is 100% unique, you risk facing a disciplinary hearing and even suspension. This way, his book presents a complex of suggestions aimed at facilitating your writing.   

But what makes this book special? Neumann discards the idea of each essay type differing from one another. Instead, he promotes the idea that writing principles stay the same in all cases, claiming that if you get a grasp on them once, you’ll be able to apply them over and over again.  He uses practical demonstrations and builds excellent and relevant associations that stay in the memory of his readers for a long time. For example, when explaining transitions and their role in the structuring of the paragraphs, Neumann draws the comparison with road signs. Such vivid examples help demonstrate the rules much better than long theoretical explanations.

The Audience Neumann’s Book Targets

Published in 2016, Neumann’s book has quickly gained popularity because of how relevant and useful its central topic is to different groups of people. Since it revolves around academic writing, all people involved in this sphere can benefit from reading it. There are four specific groups that can be seen as its target audience.

·         The youth. Young people of all ages study in schools, colleges, or universities, and all of them have to inevitably write essays. Nearly all of them face problems on their way to a good grade, so Neumann’s book is perfect for them. They’re the primary audience since it’s students who inspired the author to write his guide.    

·         Professors. Teachers are also an important audience since they might grow frustrated with having to explain the rules of writing to their classes repeatedly. With Neumann’s book, they have a chance to save their time and make explanations rich and on-point. 

·         Academic writing professionals. The area of academic writing is fast, and many specialists are joining it daily to help students with their tasks. Some essay structure nuances might be a novelty to them, which is why Neumann’s book is a recommended reading in such places. To understand the rules intimately, people working for admission essay writing service from EduBirdie all read this book thoroughly before they start working. This helps them avoid mistakes and achieve the best results for their clients.   

·         Adults entering the education sphere. Many adults who didn’t have a chance to graduate go back to school or get jobs where knowing how to write academically is essential. Neumann’s book targets them as well. It’s written in a way that will be engaging to people regardless of their age, so they will all find it worth their time. 

The Best Kind of Books: Easy and Beneficial Reading

Best books don’t underwhelm you — they stimulate and relax you at the same time, capturing your interest and teaching you something useful. “A Professor’s Guide to Writing Essays: The No-Nonsense Plan for Better Writing”by Neumann is a great example of such books. Dunn from Psychology Today mentioned how academic writing doesn’t have to be boring or stuffy, and Neumann has met this particular goal brilliantly. If you wonder how to cope with your essay tasks, just give it a try. It’s short but extremely illustrative.

Biography

Robert is a writer from Edubirdie who unwaveringly stays in touch with the modern content market. He understands the reasons underlying the popularity of books or research and the uniqueness of their creation. The world of literature is diverse, and Robert strives to make it brighter by adding his own contributions to it.  

A guide to the UK’s North West for film lovers and TV buffs

Often those visiting the UK will typically head firstly towards the capital city of London, for its massive tourist draws and points-of-interest, not to mention its influence on pop culture and cinema – with unique attractions from its Secret Cinema experience to the London Design Museum, which recently held an exhibition dedicated to the revered director Stanley Kubrick and his works.

However, northern cities such as Liverpool and Manchester offer a strong alternative. They are often the go-to filming destination for big Hollywood films, due to their accommodating nature for production companies, and stunning, historic architecture that can stand in for many iconic locations, from London to New York.

Thinking of visiting? Here is the low down on some of the best places to visit for film buffs in the North West.

Liverpool

Liverpool is an extremely popular filming destination for both independent cinema and big blockbusters alike, and often doubles up as locales to suit fantasy and period dramas.

If arriving in the city by train you might immediately notice a location in Lime Street Station. Those who have seen the recent summer blockbuster Yesterday, from Trainspotting director Danny Boyle will know that this featured prominently in a poignant scene from the film.

Liverpool’s Littlewood’s building, once used during World War II to manufacture parachutes, will bring a state-of-the-art Hollywood-grade studio to Edge Lane in the coming years, sure to produce many great films for the future. Unfortunately, the site suffered setbacks due to a fire this time last year, but the £60m project is set to not only boost the cities’ economy, but also provide the potential for careers in staging, sound engineering and lighting.

This is not the only development ongoing in the city, and many other aspects are also building, in preparation for the future as the area swells in popularity. For example, not only has development in-and-around Liverpool Football Club’s famous Anfield stadium spelled economic growth, but in the Baltic Triangle sector of Liverpool, what has now become a creative and digital hub for business, bars, restaurants and homes are quickly popping up as an alternative destination to the city centre. Property specialists RW Invest state that the area is one of the most demanded in the country currently for students and young professionals, and will continue to grow rapidly in the years to come.

Manchester

Pride of the north and one of the biggest student cities in the UK, Manchester is another city with plenty of destinations worth visiting if you’re a film fan. Again, there’s a variety of things to do here, from walking tours showcasing locations used in the city, to galleries and cinema centres with unique offerings such as HOME.

The walking tour of Manchester features one of its most recognizable landmarks, the Manchester Town Hall in Albert Square. The Victorian and Gothic-esque architecture was used as a filming location for the most recent adaptation of Frankenstein, starring Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe, and James McAvoy of Split/X-Men fame.

MediaCityUK in Salford is another factor that solidifies Manchester’s place on the map for film and TV production influence. The hub for many of ITV and BBC’s studios, the network of buildings employ thousands of people and have done a lot for the city’s economy. Those visiting can go on many different tours of the different sets and blocks, and you could even get yourself into the live audience of one of the many shows filmed there.

Guide to Online Coupon Codes & Perfect Keto Discount Deals

We’ve all been there.

You’re about to complete an online purchase –the shoes you’ve been eyeing, the electronic gadget that was just released, or perhaps a delivery order to fill your grumbling stomach — and you see the“Promo Code” box, or whatever the equivalent is on your site of choice.

Sometimes, you have a code handy. Perhaps it’ seven why your there in the first place. But other times, you don’t have a code, and yet, you want one.

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely searched a maze of websites looking for your next code to save a few — or more — bucks. If so, you still may find some new tidbits within.

And if you haven’t been involved in the world of online couponing, well, welcome. Enjoy this Coupon Code Day site guide and start saving immediately!

The Basics

Let’s quickly touch on the basics, just to get everyone up to speed.

There are a variety of types of coupons and discounts you’ll find, from free shipping (a common one among online merchants)to percentages or dollar amounts off. You’ll learn how these types of codes are typically structured; for instance, anything with “FREESHIP” in the code will likely be free shipping, of course.

Some of the sites that you might find these codes on will spell out what they’re supposed to be fore next to the code, but other times you’ll need to use your couponing intuition.

Of course, the easiest way to find out for sure what the code is for is copying and pasting (or screen shotting the code if it isn’t able to be highlighted in your browser) directly into the form on the checkout site for your preferred merchant and be sure to hit “submit” or“apply.”

Verifying that the coupon has been accepted

In most cases it should be very clear what,exactly, your discount is, and if the code is rejected, you’ll see that communicated clearly as well.

It depends greatly on the website, but there is usually a breakdown of the pending sale that includes the dollar amount saved.If it was easy to grab your promo code and input it, consider trying a couple additional codes to see if you can find one that saves you more money.

For instance, free shipping may not always be the best deal available, especially if you have to convince yourself that you need just one more sweater or pair of jeans or whatever to meet a required minimum. (Side note: pay attention to minimums, as many sites will require you to meet a minimum subtotal of your purchase before the coupon will be applied.)

What to do if the coupon isn’t working

Well, the first thing is obviously to make sure that it was input correctly, especially if you had to type it manually from a screenshot because copying and pasting wasn’t an option.

The second thing to check is what was mentioned above: is there a minimum purchase required? If so, and if you still think you’ve met it, check and make sure that the subtotal (before tax and shipping)is an adequate amount. If you were looking at the grand total, then get back in there and find some more merchandise to hit your minimum.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of coupon sites out there, and plenty of codes that do (and do not) work.

Trial and error are your best friend here;there’s no reason to not try a bunch of codes. It can be frustrating, of course, as merchants often change their codes — for obvious reasons. But try a few different things in a few different ways and you’ll likely be rewarded.

Happy couponing!

CBD Treats for Dogs & Pets Buying Guide & Review

If you’re here, you’re no doubt a dog lover that absolutely adores your Fido. You also probably know a little bit about CBD, or cannabidiol.

If the latter isn’t true, however, that’s just fine. This guide will be a quick primer on what CBD is, how it can help your beloved pet, and what to look out for when you’re considering purchasing Simply Pets CBD Biscuits.

First, let’s talk about what CBD is all about and why it works so well.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the compounds within the cannabis plant.

First off, it’s important to not confuse CBD with THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the compound that has psychoactive effects and is known for creating a feeling of “highness”. For the record, hemp itself has very low levels of THC. While CBD derived from the marijuana plant will have higher levels, all legitimate pet products that are derived from the hemp plant will carry a note regarding THC levels, which are regulated down to a practically non-existent presence.

CBD is beneficial to dogs,cats, and humans alike. It’s a nontoxic, completely natural solution to a variety of ailments, which we’ll get to in a moment.

What can CBD do for my dog?

The most common reason that pet owners choose a CBD product to give to their pet is general pain or anxiety.

Especially for dogs with significant chronic pain, CBD can be a game changer. This could include neuropathy or nerve-related pain, as well as joint and bone issues. The biggest benefit is related to potential inflammation, which CBD is known for helping to reduce.

Of course, less inflammation invariably leads to less overall pain. And reducing inflammation is the No. 1 thing that CBD products work to do in pets. It isn’t just joints, bones, and external issues,either, but CBD can help with internal organs and other parts of the dog’s body that might be inflamed.

There is even quite a bit of research to suggest that CBD could help fight cancer, and while this hasn’t yet been proven definitively, there are plenty of ancillary benefits.

What should I look for in CBD dog treats?

The majority of CBD dog treats that you’ll find on the market are 100 percent natural, and that’s the first thing to look for as you’re exploring your options. If it isn’t promoted as completely natural, then you’re probably looking at a product that was exposed to pesticides and things of that nature.

You’ll also want to ensure that the product you select has been lab tested. As mentioned earlier, knowing the THC content is vital, too. Make sure that nothing you’re giving your dog has high contents of THC.

And again, the majority of CBD dog treats will have the above traits noted on the packaging but be sure that you’re paying close attention to it.

Are CBD treats the right choice for my dog?

Probably! Of course, these types of decisions are entirely up to you as the pet parent, but there isn’t any research to suggest that CBD dog treats or other CBD products could be harmful to your dog, so why not find a natural, holistic solution to whatever ails your beloved puppy?

Make sure to do all of the research mentioned above and go ahead and get to helping your dog feel better!

Review Guide to Growing Taller & Best Height Growth Pills

Who wouldn’t want to grow taller?

Of course, the best way to go about growing taller is to go through puberty, when your pituitary gland releases those wonderful growth hormones into your bloodstream and you grow taller by entirely natural means.

But if you’re past puberty and still want to augment your height, or even if you’re still going through puberty and want to make sure that you’re maximizing your growth, then we’ve put together this handy guide, just for you!

First, we’ll talk about some relatively easy,natural things you can tweak in your daily routine that will ensure that you’re giving your body every possible opportunity to grow. From diet to posture to exercise, there are probably more things that you can start doing tomorrow to help you get taller than you’d expect.

Then, we’ll look at grow taller pills from an organization helping people increase height, which are supplements that just might help give you that final boost.

What to change tomorrow that will encourage maximum growth

First and foremost, you must do a complete diet audit. While the importance of eating healthy is painfully obvious, there are af ew vitamins and minerals that contribute to creating the best possible environment for your body’s growth hormones to take action.

Vitamins such as vitamin B1 and vitamin D are the two most prominent examples, as well as minerals including calcium,phosphorus, and zinc. Make sure that your diet includes plenty of those — plus eat healthier in general, of course — and you should be in a good spot from a diet perspective.

Exercise is also extremely important, but in addition to just being in better shape and improving your overall health, there are specific exercises that can help accentuate your height and even encourage growth.

From more typical forms of exercise such as swimming that will stretch out your spine to specific stretches aimed at lengthening both your backbone and limbs, including hanging exercises,“superman” stretches, and more, there are plenty of options. In short, just be sure to be intentional with your workouts.

Also, be cognizant of your day-to-day posture. If you sit all day at a desk for school or work, make sure that your challenging yourself to sit up straight with good posture, as well as taking the opportunity to stand and stretch out as much as possible.

Lastly, ensure that you’re getting the adequate amount of sleep. While important at any age — and for a variety of reasons –sleeping at least seven hours per night will help your body release plenty of growth hormones to aid in growth.

Grow taller pills and other supplements to consider

All of the above are potentially swift changes that you can make to your daily routine. If that’s still not enough, you can absolutely look at the variety of supplements available.

Most supplements are recommended only for those over the age of 18, and it’s important that you look closely at what each pill claims to do. While there are many great options out there that suggest that their product generates fantastic results, make sure that you’re making the decision that’s right for you.

Final Thoughts

Contrary to popular belief, there is always something you can do to make yourself appear taller, from diet to exercise to sleep habits to supplements. Good luck out there, and we’ll see you at the top.

Best CBD Oil Beginner’s Guide – Top Cannabis Oil Reviews

If you’ve heard about CBD and are unsure exactly what it is, or perhaps if you live in one of the many states that recently approved the legal use of additional CBD products, then don’t wait any longer to read up on the numerous benefits.

Of course, CBD products derived from hemp oil –more on this later — are legal in most places in the United States, but there are some states with tricky legal language to navigate. But we’ll cover all of this and more in the article.

First, let’s talk about what CBD is, what it does, and why it works so incredibly well for such a wide array of ailments and medical conditions. Then, we’ll get into some of the legality questions about CBD products.

What is CBD?

Let’s start with the basics. CBD is short hand for cannabidiol, which is a compound that is found inside the actual cannabis plant.

It’s an entirely different compound than THC –the component in cannabis that is used to achieve a feeling of “highness”, as it is a psychoactive compound. CBD, on the other hand, is not.

The most exciting thing about CBD and why it’s so well-received by the human body is that your body is actually pre-programmed to accept the compound.

Your body’s endo cannabinoid system

Believe it or not, your body is fully prepared to accept cannabidiol. The human body has been found to have what are known as CB receptors which allow you to absorb cannabidiol, or CBD. This is all part of the endo cannabinoid system.

Your body has two CB receptors, dubbed CB 1 and CB 2. Each has its own express purposes: CB 1 is all about pain, cognitive function, coordination, and emotional state, while CB 2 impacts the immune systems and assists with inflammation and pain.

People have been using hemp to ease ailments for centuries, but the above details — exactly how and why hemp is beneficial –weren’t known until the last couple of decades. Now that we know more about hemp and CBD, companies have done a great job customizing CBD products to assist in a variety of ways.

The CB receptors are part of the ever-important cannabinoid system, which is key to maintaining your body’s homeostasis, or the balance between interdependent elements within the body.

In other words, CBD products can do a whole lot of good in a whole lot of different areas.

Is CBD legal?

There isn’t necessarily an obvious, straight-forward answer to this question, but we can give a pretty quick and simple overview.

Things are much different now than they were 10, 5, or even two years ago. Cannabis as a whole, including hemp and CBD products, are much more widely accepted now than they have been for much of time. That also means that laws and regulations are changing rapidly, so it’s important to stay as up-to-date as possible on them if you’re looking to start using CBD products.

Our best advice is to check your state’s regulations, but in many states across the U.S., CBD products and cannabis used for medical purposes is legal if it is acquired by legal means. But again, do your own research and be sure that you’re getting the right answers from a reputable source.

You’ll find a variety of CBD products out there and available if you choose to go that route, so do some additional research and find the product that is the best fit for you. Whatever you choose, it’s likely that you’ll find a CBD product that fits your needs perfectly!

 

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The Ultimate Guide To Decorating Your Man Cave

Every man needs some “me-time” every now and then, to just relax and rewind and deflate from all the stress and pressure of life. Some decide to go on a long drive, some just spend the day sitting lazily at home and others go out to a pub with the guys for a cold one. But according to most, the best solution to have a good and relaxing time of either solitude or togetherness with the best buds is to have a man cave.

But how would you go about decorating the perfect man cave?

1. The Type

The first thing to decide what type of man cave you want. Some prefer to have a small place to sit comfortably and read, others want a nice and cozy place to relax and watch their favorite flicks, And some like to have a good time with friends in the comfort and privacy of their man cave. Depending on the subjective choice, the first thing to do is to have a basic idea for the purpose of a man cave.

2. The Theme

Another purpose of having a man cave would be to pay homage to your favorite rock-stars, movies or any pop culture that you might be a fan of. Most Star Wars fans love to hang up posters of the movies and keep memorabilia on display in shelves and showcases. Queen fans like to put up photos of Freddie Mercury and have a jukebox which has all their songs loaded in it. Metallica followers prefer to have a guitar or two on display along with a drum set, an amplifier and a synthesizer kept, to play at their heart’s desire.

3. The Furniture

This is the most important part of creating a man cave. For the voracious reader, a small room with one wall covered by a bookshelf containing the most compelling pieces of literature alongside a cozy and snug chair would be a necessity. But, for a movie-addict, a large 50″ HDTV paired with a proper set of speakers and a large sofa beside a small refrigerator to keep the soda cold is just perfect. A gamer may have a similar setup, then having the only addition of an XBOX or a PlayStation.

Although there are some who like to spend time with their best friends and for such an inclination, a large home game room having either a Foosball table or a pool table with a big refrigerator holding a few packs of beer and some leather couches or bar stools would be proper. The addition of a couple of arcade games would make it excellent.

4. Additional Tips

Painting the man cave is essential to make it look perfect in every aspect. Addition of small decor like using special light fixtures to match the theme will make the cave absolutely impeccable. To remove any remaining imperfections, it would be best to take suggestions from friends and others who share similar inclinations.

At the end of the day, the man cave belongs to you and it is you who must decide how to decorate it. This is just a guide to help you along the way. Yet, keep in mind not to spend too much money on it as it is a commodity that is not easily got and must be saved wherever possible unless you’re a millionaire!

2018 Holiday Season Gift Guide Kick Off!

Now is the time to start the holiday shopping for the 2018 season! I always like to try and be done before Thanksgiving that way we van enjoy the holidays and get to relax. At Media Mikes, we try to find the newest and coolest items to help you get the best gifts during the holiday season. 2018 is shaping up to be one of our busiest years to date with product coverage. Check out below for just a few of the must-own  products this year!

One of this year’s top items to keep an eye out for would be the MIQRO vaporizer. Da Vinci has already delivered amazing products and the MIQRO has an all zirconium ceramic vapor path and mouthpiece which allows you to draw the purest vapor you’ll ever taste in a vaporizer. What makes Da Vinci stand out is that these vaporizers they stand behind their legacy on perfecting the purest flavor. This vaporizer is 33% smaller than its predecessor and with a fully functional adjustable oven, this small vaporizer is sleek and simple!

While you are using your amazing MIQRO, would better way to relax than to kick back with a screening of “The Big Lebowski”. Well, get ready for this holiday season because there is an amazing 20th Anniversary Limited Edition debuting for the first time ever on 4K Ultra Combo Pack that also includes Blu-ray™ and Digital via the digital movie app Movie Anywhere on October 16, 2018, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The Big Lebowski 20th Anniversary Limited Edition is the perfect gift for any fan and the exclusive set includes a collectible bag, bowling ball pencil holder, polishing cloth and sweater packaging offering delivering the perfect gift for any fan.

Now if you want to win the holiday season, head over to Forever Collectibles (FOCO) because they  just released their first series of Bluetooth enabled ugly Christmas sweaters… That’s right I said, Bluetooth Ugly Christmas Sweater.Now if a sports fan, get ready to make that purchase because the time is now! The officially-licensed knitted NFL team light-up Bluetooth sweaters for the 2018 holiday season are a must have for all sports fans there are a ton of amazing professional and collegiate sports to choose from. I know the point of the “ugly sweaters” is to be ugly but these shirts look amazing as well as add a little extra cheese factor. The Bluetooth lighting is an amazing addition to the ugly sweater tradition. You are able to display blinking lights on front so you can light up the room and keep the party going all night!

Since the season is just starting off, this piece is only the beginning for us here at Media Mikes, we will have many more gift guides for you to check out this holiday season. Don’t get caught out of time and without a gift. Hopefully this gift guide allows you to get a jump on the shopping this year and makes your loved ones very happy in return!

 

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Men’s Gift Guide: What to Get the Guy Who Has Everything

Who’s more difficult to find a gift for: your mother-in-law, or the guy who has everything? Okay, so both are pretty hard. But honestly, just get your mother-in-law a photo album and a subscription for a fresh bouquet every month, and you’re golden. As for the impossible guy, the whole gift-giving world is your oyster. That’s right—there’s actually a whole treasure trove of gifts out there you can choose from for that extra-picky man you want to impress.

A Donation

Sometimes, a graceful way to show someone you care about them is to make a charitable donation in their name. This is such a win-win because you both get those warm-fuzzies that come from selfless giving, and your guy doesn’t have to worry about accruing more stuff that he doesn’t want or need. Plus, if he’s already involved in charity work, you can donate to the organization that’s close to his heart. Even the guy who has everything can’t get enough of giving back to a cause he’s passionate about.

A Dedication

Similar to a donation, there are countless adoption/dedication programs to choose from. You can get your guy anything from a star in the sky, a tree in the Amazon, or a snow leopard on the endangered list. Many of these programs provide periodical updates or facts about the object or creature you’re helping support—plus they usually come with fun little goodie bags. This is a nice, wholesome way of showing how much you care and how well you know him without having to get him another gadget he’ll only use once.

A Timepiece

Is there anything classier than a well-dressed guy with a slick new watch? No, there is not. If you absolutely have to get your everything-man something wearable, please let it be a watch. Look no further than these classic men’s watches from MVMT—their elegance will certainly delight the high-class tastes of your man. A sophisticated watch will help him get to all his appointments on time, but the best part? He’ll always think of you when he checks the time so you’re never far from his thoughts.

Nostalgia

Perhaps the solution is right in front of you. There’s no one in the world who doesn’t appreciate a thoughtful gift from the heart meant to remind you of happy times. The possibilities are endless. Yes, a photo album is always a crowd pleaser, but who says it has to be cute? It can be all funny pictures, embarrassing moments, or selfies (it is 2018, after all). But, photos are not the only way to a sentimental man’s heart. You can find a vintage hoodie from his alma mater, a pair of sunglasses that look just like the ones his grandpa used to wear, or some old baseball cards from when he used to trade them around with friends. Get creative, and do some digging. You can find some real treasures when you make an effort to remind your impossible-guy of the good ole’ days.

A Vacation

Don’t worry, there’s no need to plan a luxury trip to the Maldives for two weeks. A weekend trip is a great gift to share together that will spark plenty of new memories. Maybe you could take a little road trip or even opt for a staycation in your own city. Splurge for a nice hotel, get a reservation at that restaurant you keep talking about, book massages, and check off those touristy things you’ve been meaning to do for years. A lot of times, the best gift is just good company and happy memories to be made.

A New Hobby

Guys that have everything usually love to try new things and expand their horizons– otherwise they wouldn’t have so much cool stuff. Ask him about his interests and his schedule, and then do some research on classes in your area. Maybe it’s a cooking class, or he can learn how to brew beer, or maybe even a dance or art class. Trying something new is always exciting and gives you an excuse to get out together.

The man who has everything can be hard to shop for, but with a little creativity and thoughtfulness, you’re bound to find a gift that he’ll cherish for years to come.

 

Interview with “Survivors Guide to Prison” filmmaker Matthew Cooke

Actor/filmmaker/activist Matthew Cooke has long taken in an interest in looking out for the little guy.  His last film, the tongue-in-cheek documentary “How to Make Money Selling Drugs,” was well reviewed and opened a lot of eyes to the drug problem facing this country.    His newest documentary, “Survivors Guide to Prison,” looks at the current state of the judicial system and how it failed two very different men.  As the film begins it’s run across the country (it’s both in theatres and available on Video on Demand), Mr. Cooke took some time to speak with me about his goals and what he hopes to achieve with his work.

 

 

Mike Smith:   What inspired you to do this film?

Matthew Cooke:  I think we have a very large problem.  It’s like when you see a bad car crash or someone has fallen down a well.  You can’t ignore it.  You have to stop and try to do something.

MS:  Was there any one thing that made you tackle this subject?

MC:  Human beings are funny things.  We can walk by homeless people and ignore them.  We have a tendency to become numb.  But sometimes you look into a topic enough that you go, “Oh my God!”  You begin caring about it.  I really don’t think there’s another explanation I can give other than I finally became aware that human beings are being held in solitary confinement FOR YEARS and they don’t need to be there.  In a way it’s like being tortured.   I became aware that, the system that we have in place now, has an 80% failure rate.  That means that 80% of the inmates that are released from prison end up returning within 5 years.  Yet here we are, spending millions of dollars, putting more people into prison.  The U.S. has more people in prison than any other country in the world.  And it’s not effective.  We don’t help the victims of crime heal.  We don’t create more harmony.  We don’t create well-being.  To what master does this monstrosity serve.  And it’s money.  And when you finally learn about something it becomes personal.  “There but by the grace of God go I.”  I could be in this film.  I’m not trying to be overly dramatic but I couch-surfed for a while when I was out on my own.  That could have easily been the road for me.  That could have been me.

MS:  How did you come upon Bruce and Reggie’s cases? (NOTE:  The film follows two men, Bruce Lisker and Reggie Cole, who were imprisoned for murders they did not commit.  Lisker was 17 when he was arrested for the death of his mother.  Cole 23 when he was accused of a neighborhood killing).

MC:  I met Bruce when he was speaking at a fundraising dinner.  I heard his story and thought, “this guy’s story is incredible.  It would make a hell of a movie.”  Reggie Cole I met through the California Innocence Project.  And I just thought that these two stories were so heart wrenching.  And they are both poets.  I think Reggie is one of the most articulate, poetical people around and no one could describe the horrors he endured the way he has.  Between he and Bruce, I just decided that these two guys’ stories are it.    I mean, there can really be nothing more horrifying than being put in prison for something you didn’t do.  This is a fear we all have.

MS:  One thing I noticed in the film is that you shot all of your narrators close up and make-up free.  Every blemish visible.  Was that intentional?

MC:  Yes.  I wanted them to be raw.  I tell people it’s not really a movie.  It’s a film because of the media used but it’s really a public service announcement.  A bunch of us coming together to tell you what’s going on.  I didn’t want it to be polished.  I adore every aspect of film making but I didn’t want to make anything that was purposely beautiful that would take away anything from the informational aspect.  I wanted it to be very, very raw and very up-close.  Really almost claustrophobic.  I didn’t want audiences to enjoy it as if it was exploitative.  Sometimes we make films that are so pretty that we enjoy them too much.  I really wanted this film to be visceral…in your face.   I want the film to be memorable.   It’s my hope that it delivers an educational and raw, unbridled education and that it achieves it’s goal.   Where we no longer think of prison anymore as the answer.

MS:  Have Bruce and Reggie received any compensation?

MC:  Yes they have.  I don’t have the exact figures off the top of my head.  And I’m also of the opinion that financial compensation is no substitution for time.  (NOTE:  Bruce Lisker received $7.6 million after spending 26 years in prison.  Reggie Cole received $5.3 million for his nearly 15 years behind bars, the last 10 in solitary confinement.)

MS:  What’s next on your plate?

MC:  What’s next?  I want everyone to see “Survivors Guide to Prison.”  We worked five years to construct something that is really worth 100 minutes of peoples’ time.  Getting the word out.  I’m all about that right now.

Film Review – “Survivor’s Guide to Prison”

 

SURVIVOR’S GUIDE TO PRISON

Starring:  Danny Trejo, Matthew Cooke and Susan Sarandon

Directed by:  Matthew Cooke

Rated:  Not Rated

Running time:  1 hrs 42 mins

Gravitas Ventures

 

 

 

 

When I sat down to write this review, I tried to think of a film that, upon its release, found itself on the front page because of the subject matter it covered.  All I could come up with was “The China Syndrome,” which was released in March 1979.  12 days after it opened, events unfolded at Three Mile Island which nearly mirrored the film.  Recently here in Kansas, a man named Lamonte McIntyre was released from prison after serving 19 years for a crime he didn’t commit.  That theme is repeated in filmmaker Matthew Cooke’s latest project, “Survivor’s Guide to Prison.”

 

The film introduces us to two very different people with one thing in common:  innocence.  Bruce Lisker was a white 17-year old boy when he came home one afternoon to find his mother dying from multiple stab wounds.  He called 911 but when the police arrived they took him into custody “for his protection.”  He would not see freedom again for 26 years.  Reggie Cole was a young black man who was also arrested for murder.  He was lucky.  He only had to fight for 16 years for his freedom.  Both men were the victims of shoddy police work, ineffectual representation and this country’s eagerness to throw people in prison.  And it’s not getting any better.

 

Narrated by a host of celebrities, among them Trejo, Quincy Jones, Danny Glover, Sarandon, Ice T and director Cooke himself, the film is a step-by-step, by the numbers guide on how to do whatever it takes to keep yourself out of prison.  As they tick through the bullet points – “Be Polite” is first and foremost – it’s almost humorous to see people like Trejo, his face weathered from having spent over a decade himself in prison, offer reminders on how to stay clean.  But the more they speak, the more you realize you’d better pay attention.  It is revealed that with all of the new and various laws being passed constantly, the average American can commit three felonies a day without knowing it.

 

As we learn more and more about life behind bars, the film also revisits Lisker and Cole, and they’re own struggles.  The true definition of irony comes when, five years into his sentence, Cole kills a man in self-defense.  Because of the circumstances that put him behind bars for murder, an innocent man is NOW a murderer.  Hidden camera and surveillance footage show the brutal way of life that is a constant for those incarcerated.

 

A sobering look at a life any of us, if enough things work against us, could find ourselves living, “Survivor’s Guide to Prison” is a film that should not be missed.

Video Poker Guide

The game of Video Poker was first introduced in casinos (by Si Redd) in the mid-1970s when computers and monitors were first combined to form personal computers. The 5 card poker game has gained popularity across the world over the past years thanks to the latest mobile technology that allows gamblers to play real money video poker from the comfort of their homes.

Other than the simplicity and fun that accompanies this card game, players also enjoy hundreds of game variations, betting options, and low house edge.

Currently, there are numerous video poker variations both land-based and online casinos, hence, you must read and master the variation you want before diving in to play. Nonetheless, our guideline will help you to choose the best card variation, how to play it, how to win and where to play.

How do I play?

The logic of playing not hard to grasp as every player is given 5 cards. The player must choose which cards to play with by clicking on them on the monitor, the ones that are not used are discarded. Once you placed your betting stake (from $1-$5), you select a number of coins you want to wager on a hand. It is recommended to start with max coins because the chances of winning are high (payout of 800:1).

Alternatively, you can scale down to the quarter machine if you want to place low stake bets which offer as low as $1.25 per hand.

What is a Pay table and how does it work?

Winning in this card poker game is determined by the strength of your hand on the pay tables. Every pay table has 5 columns representing the total cards/credits used for winning. You will notice that all payouts are uniform irrespective of the number of coins selected except for Royal Flush which offers a payout of 250:1 on all bets, less 5 coins. The following is the standard pay table that you will find in how each hand is paid.

Explanation of Poker Hands

Sequential Royal: this is the highest paying hand in this card poker and it occurs when royal flushes appear in an order across the monitor e.g. from left to right.

Royal Flush: This is a straight flush but with the highest paying cards like 2, 8, 6 and 10 and it plays the role of the jackpot.

Straight flush: this hand is both a straight and a flush. It includes J, 10, 8, and 9.

Straight: this hand has consecutive ranks like 9 and 6.

Flush: this hand includes all identical cards like Q, 4 and 6.

What are the variations in this card poker game?

There are a number of variations you will find in this game like Tens or Better, Deuces wild, Jacks or Better and Double Bonus, but with Jacks or Better is the commonly used variation in casinos. In no particular order, this is the description of the variations;

Jacks or Better

This is the most played variation with giant winning chances to the gamers. Players in this game must hit a pair of Jacks for it to count as a win. On the other hand, you can opt to play 4 lines Jacks or Better where you will have 4 rows and you can bet concurrently to win handsomely.

Tens or Better

This is a variation of jacks or better whereby you win when you get a pair of tens or better.

Deuces wild

In this poker variation, Deuces wild can substitute any card to achieve a stronger winning hand with a high payout.

What is the Winning Strategy in this game?

Since video poker game is more or less like Blackjack, it is easy to come up with a plan that will guarantee you a win on every single hand. Nevertheless, it is good to remain faithful to your instincts and gut because, despite the strategy, gambling is based on chance.

Target the Max Coins

Playing with Max coins will give you a Royal Flush hand whereby you stand a chance to get a payout ratio of 800:1 whereas Min coins will grant you a low payout of 250:1.

Practise before real gambling

There are free demo games available on the internet today. It is recommended that you do some practice before starting real money gambling. This will help you to familiarize with the pay tables and other rules of the game.

Play within your limits

Money is sweet and if you don’t set your limits in gambling, you might end up bankrupt. If you play and loose consecutively, simply log out and live to fight another day.

Avoid Alcohol

Do not be fooled by Hollywood scenes where you see rich guys drinking expensive liquors while gaming. All winning strategies are bred in your brain. Stay sober and you will hit the jackpot.

Where can I play Poker Games?

Online casinos have become so many today and this can be dangerous to beginners who want to make some good money from the comfort of their homes. Some of these casinos are legit while others are mere online scams. Fortunately, our https://best10casinosonline.co.uk/ has top certified, safe and secure online casinos for both beginners and experts. These casinos offer video poker games together with other countless casino games you can imagine.

Verdict

This 5 card poker game has great opportunities for generating good income, although it is not for every Tom, Dick, and Harry. If you cannot withstand the pressure of making decisions that will determine your chance of winning, we suggest you stay away from Video Poker.

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Film Review “Scouts Guide to the Apocalypse”

Film review by Jeremy Werner
Starring:
Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller and Joey Miller
Directed By: Christopher B. Landon
Rated: R
Running Time: 93 minutes
Paramount Pictures

Our Score: 2 out of 5 Stars

Among the four credited writers for “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse”, one must have known what they were doing. One of those writers must have grown up watching movies like “Dead Alive” and “Return of the Living Dead” on late Saturday nights. For every hilarious scene “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” conjures up, there’s at least two or three that don’t even nip at the funny bone.

Ben (Sheridan), Carter (L. Miller), Augie (J. Miller) are the last of a dying bunch, the scouts. Ben and Carter realize that the scouts are the lowest part of the social totem pole at high school. They can’t even get an AV geek to join their ranks. Augie however, lives and dies by the scout code. Ben and Carter are only in it because they’re still friends with Augie and they know it means a lot to him. So Ben and Carter decide to humor Augie for one more overnight in the woods.

Ben and Carter, hoping to salvage their adolescence, plan to sneak out during the overnight and head to a party across town. Meanwhile, an unexplained virus breaks out of a lab, and slowly seeps into town. Within that time frame of our three heroes going out for the night and Ben and Carter sneaking off, the townsfolk are turned into zombies. The build up is expected, but it still takes it sweet time before the carnage starts.

Once the carnage does start though, it seems a bit tame. There are some decent zombie kills, but nothing that hasn’t been done before. As for the jokes, they’re small hits or wide misses. A lot of jokes come too quickly to be enjoyed and those that linger are clearly taken out of someone’s better written script. While “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” is rowdy, it’s not rowdy enough for the full 93 minutes.

For every inspired moment of comedy or gore, there’s a really long waiting time for something to happen. It doesn’t have a strong enough character presence like “Zombieland” to carry the story. It’s hard to relate with teenagers who individually represent horny, courageous, and heartfelt. It’d work better if all three he had these qualities. There’s also a couple of weird loose ends that never go anywhere, like the fact that zombies will sing if they hear their favorite song.

“Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” may suffer from peak zombie in pop culture. We’ve nearly seen it all and while the title is cool, there’s not much else that we haven’t seen in other movies. For those looking from the bleak pessimism of “The Walking Dead” this weekend, “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” may come as a pleasant surprise. For seasoned horror and zombie fans, it’s disappointing this couldn’t have been more.

Book Review “The Hobbit Motion Picture Trilogy: Location Guide – Hobbiton, the Lonely Mountain and Beyond”

Author: Ian Brodie
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Harper Design
Release Date: November 11, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

New Zealand is a country that I would never think that I would ever want to visit…that is until “The Lord of the Rings” and “The HobThe HobbitThe Hobbit” films came along. Since those films have come out, people all over the world have flocked to New Zealand in order to visit the the “real” Middle-earth. “The Hobbit Motion Picture Trilogy:  Location Guide – Hobbiton, the Lonely Mountain and Beyond” delivers you the locations where the new trilogy was shot around New Zealand from the author of the international bestseller “The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook”. The book also comes with a foreword by Sir Peter Jackson and contributions by Andy Serkis, Jared Connon, and Dan Hennah.

After reading this book, I literally wanted to pack up and plan a trip to New Zealand. The locations in these films are so visually stunning that they literally jump off the pages. Luckily, Harper Design delivered us a beautiful book with extremely crisp and high quality original landscape photography. This book exclusive movie images and location photographs, specialty maps and directions, GPS references, touring information and even helpful Internet addresses. If you are a hardcore “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” and you read this book and do not seriously consider a trip to New Zealand then I might suggest that you might not be as big of a fan as you think. Well if you take the trip or not, this is a must own for any fan certainly.

 

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Book Review “Disney Infinity: Prima Official Game Guide (2014 Revised Edition)”

Author: Howard Grossman
Series: Prima Official Game Guides
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Prima Games
Revised edition
Release Date: March 11, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

I have been playing “Disney Infinity” since the first game it was released and it is so much fun. But to be honest, I probably would have enjoyed it as much without reading the Disney Infinity: Prima Official Game Guide. The book was jam-packed with everything you need to know about the game. Well, since this game is ever-expanding it is only expected that the book should as well. Prima Games released an updated 2014 Revised Edition with over 175 new pages included. I was hesitant at first since I already owned the original guide but this one is a must own for anyone playing Disney Infinity, no question!

This book features easy-to-follow walkthroughs for all ages. Are you stuck on a specific puzzle, mission or quest? If so this book really lays it out for everyone to be able to follow and get the most out of the game. Since the release of the last book, Disney Infinity has released tons of new characters and play sets including “Toy Story in Space”. Included inside are exclusive maps cover every play set with detailed locations of hidden areas, items, and collectibles. If you are looking to max out your new characters like Jack Skellington, Phineas, Agent P, Sorcerer Mickey, Rapunzel, Anna & Elsa and many more you can find out how to unlock their powers and gadgets along with details on the entire power disc collection.

Most importantly if you are a fan of “Disney Infinity” then you enjoy to play in the Toy Box mode. You are able to learn how to build and customize your own virtual world with the detailed guide given on the variety of Disney characters, powers, gadgets and accessories. This new revised edition also comes with free mobile access to the eGuide. This will allow you access your guide from PC, Mac, tablet and smartphone devices etc. I found this really handy when I didn’t have the book right in front of me. So if you are playing “Disney Infinity”, I cannot recommend this guide from Prima Games anymore!