Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dipping Smartly into Blueberries

Sweet, I was published again today: The doors of Pearisburg Theater open again

Worked on the annual report for Marshall some more today. Actually, I've got a scoop. I can't stand those journalists who refuse to embrace Web 2.0, by the way. I am not totally sure I would refer to a blogger as a journalist, as there is a level of training and knowledge that comes with going to journalism school, but more and more journalists find good stories on blogs that are often credible. Well, here is one such story. I searched the Web, Marshall news releases and The Herald-Dispatch and other local media around Huntington, W. Va., and no one has done anything about this yet.

In fact, officials at the university told me this story has yet to receive any press. I'm sure it's OK to put this out there before the annual report publishes because the event takes place in late July and will likely receive press by then. But as an alumnus, and as someone who is helping with the annual report (and therefore should also be committed I think to getting the word out about the growth at the university), I think it's my duty to get the word out about this. I think this upcoming project is really interesting, especially for anyone concerned about the environment. Basically, this is an environmental replenishment project. Every summer, high school students from across the state come to Marshall's College of Science to participate in the Hodges Summer Scholars program. This summer, beginning in late July, the students will work on the Blueberry Project. Dr. Mike Little from the Integrated Sciences Department has determined that blueberry bushes are perfect for the barren, scarred, unsuitable-for-vegetation wastelands left by mountaintop removal from coal mining. So, the students will begin planting these bushes and using bees to pollinate them, hopefully restoring some of these areas throughout West Virginia. Sure, maybe not the big story you expected, but this is first place I can find that it's made it to the Web, and I think it is very exciting and another example of the creativity and innovative growth taking place at Marshall.

Well, waiting on calls and e-mails to be returned now... the worst part of working in any vein of media, I think. I could put out a story every 30 minutes if I could get the quotes and info I needed instantaneously. Bleh.

In other news, I got to shoot b-ball yesterday AND eat some Moe's (he does, after all, know burritos). Got a little artistic at Moe's (as today's banner and this pic prove)...

Also talked to some horses on campus...

And... Shari finally got a flower to grow! Hopefully, more of them will follow suit.

I also saw Get Smart last night (the new movie, not the old TV show). Here's my review:

Get Smart (PG-13)

Summary: A desk jockey wants to become a field agent, but he'll need the opportunity of a lifetime to come knockin' if he ever wants to see action. Well, the miracle happens, and he finds himself in the middle of a nuclear arms crisis.

Acting: Steve Carell plays this part exactly like he plays his part in The Office. However, that's not a bad thing. There are no surprises in his acting, and it's uniquely funny. They probably could have just let him improv the whole thing with no script, and it would have been even funnier. Anne Hathaway's hotness factor increases even more with this movie. But she's a genuinely believable actress also, she's funny, and her chemistry with Carell, who looks a good bit older, is still very good. Dwayne Johnson is the same as he's been in every other film — likable, funny, but not capable of pulling off a real serious role. The villains in this film don't include anyone worth mentioning, and they are all pretty generic, and so is their acting. Bonus points for a Bill Murray cameo. (3.5 out of 5 overall, 5 out of 5 for Carell)

Story: This does the old show justice (I mean, it wasn't quite that great of a show anyway) with some nods, but not too many to make it cheesy. Expect to see the old cars, some of the old lines (missed it by THAT much) and some of the old gadgets. But the storyline itself is pretty decent, however not that original. We've seen the bait-and-switch double agent stories a hundred times, and nuclear arms crises are nothing new either. Let's face it, this movie doesn't cut it on storyline, but you're not watching it for the story as a whole — you're watching for each individual scene to see what you'll laugh at next. (3.5 out of 5)

Music: Nothing special, but definitely not bad. You'll hear some familiar remixes and some good symphony tunes. (3.5 out 5)

Attributes: Surprisingly, this movie had lots of action. It wasn't as well-done and expensive-looking at something from a Steven Spielberg film, but it wasn't noticeably bad either. It entertained, at least. And best of all, the action was balanced so that it didn't override the humor, and the humor actually happened during the action in some cases. There was even some romance intertwined into this movie, and it didn't go overboard either, but what it did do was help develop the characters more. Hands down, this is more comedy than anything else, and it does that well. (4.5 out of 5)

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5!

See It/Don't See It/Buy It/Rent It: If you've got the extra time and money, see it in the theaters. It's not an epic like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, or other movies that are must-see-in-theaters flicks, but worth it if you get around to it. I think for anyone who is a fan of Carell, Hathaway or laughing uncontrollably, you'll want to own this one when it comes out on DVD so you can share the laughter with friends who haven't seen it. At least see this once at some point — laughter is good for your health!

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