Readers Digest

Readers Digest

There is one magazine that I have read since I was old enough to understand what is printed inside, and if I see a Readers Digest today, I have to pick it up and read it. I don’t know why this is, but I have always loved to read them, and I think it might be perhaps it is such a good slice of life, with just the right amount of humor thrown in. I read a lot of the women’s magazines my grandmother had when I was younger, but nothing could ever compare to the Readers Digest.

I haven’t had a subscription in a long time, but I still read it. A friend often gives me his old magazines, and he usually gives me the Readers Digest from the month before. When I did have a subscription, however, I was very pleased with the price. Back then, I got it for under ten dollars a year, and I think the price might be just about the same today, though I am not sure. Usually if I buy one new today, I spend the money to buy it off the news shelf.

The humor sections in Readers Digest are by far my favorites. This is probably because for the most part, these clips are things that have happened to real people, and for the most part, the quips are witty and smart. These often are the first things I read when I get a Readers Digest, and then I go back and read the articles that interest me. I have a feeling there are a lot of people that do this. They are great in the doctor’s office waiting room too, because you don’t have to stop in the middle of a long article when it is time for your appointment. If you just read the humor clips, you can easily put it down when it is time to go.

Don’t forget that Readers Digest will pay you for your own silly moments. The money they offer is not bad either. You don’t have to be a writer to submit your moments to them, you just have to be able to tell the story, and it does have to be funny. Readers Digest also accepts jokes to some degree, as long as they are funny, and are for the most part tasteful. If you have had something hilarious happen that you think many can relate to, submit to the magazine. You may see your story in print, and have a nice little check to go along with it.

Celebrities On Reality Tv

Celebrities On Reality Tv

Is it me or are we seeing more and more former celebrities and celebrities on the C or D list on television nowadays? Practically anywhere you look on television you can find former stars trying to make a comeback.

Do you like heavy metal musicians from the 70’s and 80’s? Check out Gene Simmons from KISS on VH1, Tommy Lee (the drummer from Motley Crue) going to college on NBC, or the lead singer from Warrant on Celebrity Fit Club. Like hip-hop? Bobby Brown has his own show on Bravo. Boy bands more your thing? Joey McIntyre danced up a storm on Dancing with the Stars.

How about aging sports stars? Jose Canseco is one of the housemates on The Surreal Life 5, and we all got to see Evander Holyfield strut his stuff on ABC this summer. Hulk Hogan has his own show on VH1.

We also have the opportunity to see television stars from previous decades – remember Balki on Perfect Strangers? He’s also one of the roommates on The Surreal Life 5. Willie Aames from Charles in Charge and Eight is Enough is on Celebrity Fit Club. Who didn’t love John O’Hurley (of Seinfeld fame) on Dancing with the Stars?

Comediennes also have a place on reality television. Victoria Jackson was great on Saturday Night Live – now she’s trying to lose weight on Celebrity Fit Club. Kathy Griffin has her own show on Bravo titled, interestingly enough, My Life on the D List.

Reality television is even going so far to have the children of rich and famous people star in their shows. E! has a show called Filthy Rich Cattle Drive, where the children of the rich and famous have to rough it on a ranch.

I don’t know about you, but my favorite reality shows are ones where the stars are real people. I think it’s great to see someone considered a regular person (or average) succeed with a record contract or with a large cash prize. It’s sometimes hard to route for the rich and famous – I’d rather see the poor and unknown person succeed on reality tv.

Top Artists Join Music Project To Benefit The California Schools

Top Artists Join Music Project To Benefit The California Schools

Over the past decade, music has been severely declining within the California schools. A recent study showed that within the past five years there has been a 50 percent decline in student participation in music programs. Additionally, it showed that one third of all music teachers have lost their jobs within that same time frame. The study predicts that music education will be eliminated from the California schools within the next ten years, unless dramatic changes occur. Music within the California schools system is at a critical juncture.

Singer Bonnie Raitt said, “It’s a shame we are depriving so many California children of the benefits of music in schools.” She stated that every child deserves the chance to develop their fullest with a well-rounded education, including the arts.

To that end, the California Arts Council spearheaded the California Music Project (CMP), a 401(c)(3) nonprofit, long-term initiative. The California schools, music industry executives, and the council will work together through the CMP to bring much needed revenues and music programs back into the California schools. The goals of the CMP are to:

• Provide grant funding to music teachers, music professionals, and the California schools to bring more music leaning to students;

• Develop joint ventures with universities, businesses, foundations and music-focused organizations to fund, pilot and expand music programs within the California schools; and

• Serve as an advocate to both the public and private sectors to further music as a core discipline, so that every California schools students has equal access.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed and approved a state budget with the California schools slated to receive an estimated $105 million in ongoing funding for arts education. That is an estimated $17-18 per student. Included is a one-time allocation of $500 million for arts, music and physical education equipment. Yet, it will not be enough to reverse the tremendous, almost ten-year decline of music education within the California schools. The California schools remain underfunded and understaffed in music education.

The CMP plans to heighten awareness and raise funds through all-star music CDs with top California performers, special events, and concerts around the state.

The first CD is scheduled for release in late October. Artists, publishers and labels donate all the songs and performances, with proceeds going to the CMP. It features a variety of genres from 18 California singers, musicians and bands. Included are: Los Lobos, Leela James, Beck, Dwight Yoakam, Warrne Zevon, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and others.

The artists are very passionate about their work and want to see California schools students get some of the same attention they received while growing up around music. Working with the CMP, the artists may get their wish.

How Much Is Your Popcorn Worth?

How Much Is Your Popcorn Worth?

Could buying popcorn in a theatre be a ‘conditioned’ response? Could it be that people are ‘trained’ to believe that movies and popcorn go ‘hand in hand’ – and that one without the other is…."incomplete?" And, therefore, price is just not an issue at all?
What a powerful place to be as a marketer, wouldn’t you agree?
Of course, there are some customers who fall in the above group yet still aren’t completely happy with the experience. They still end up buying the popcorn because the desire to have popcorn with their movie outweighs the pain of having to pay the higher price.
Here are more answers that I received…
"It is marketed as all part of the movie going experience! And they’ve got a captive audience – you can’t get it in there unless you buy it from them. So if you want to experience the movie it it’s fullest extent, you need to get the popcorn, and it needs to be their popcorn."
And another…
"First off may I say it is the conditioning that the movie theatres, producers etc have done. Movies and popcorn go hand in hand. The movie goer has been conditioned all throughout life, so that is what is on their minds when going to a movie. Once at the movies the smell of popcorn cooking, the power of the senses reinforces the thought of movies and popcorn. Once at the movies you are a captive audience."
Yep. As, you can see, there’s more than one marketing principle at work here. Stacked on top of each other, these strategies produce the overall result that’s very powerful and very effective.
I’ll go over each one below. And…I’ll also cover one big mistake movie theatres are making.
Let’s discuss the various marketing principles that are involved in "popcorn marketing":
1. Conditioning and Programmed Responses
Since childhood, people have been ‘conditioned’ to associate popcorn with movies. Growing up, many of us enjoyed popcorn with our favourite movies, and we now see a bag of popcorn as an addition to the "overall" movie-enjoying experience. Some of us even see it as a ‘requirement’ to watching a movie.
Here’s how one of my smart subscribers explained it…
“I think cinemas are relying on a very strong emotion — nostalgia. Many of our happiest memories from childhood probably involve experiencing wonderful movies, maybe Bambi or Mary Poppins. It is likely that popcorn accompanied these life-changing events. Whenever we go to see a movie, popcorn will be linked with some of our happiest memories. I’m surprise they can’t get away with charging more!”
Bingo! We have been conditioned and ‘trained’ to believe that movies and popcorn go hand in hand. Watching a movie without having popcorn somehow doesn’t seem ‘complete.’
Eating popcorn by itself may or may not do anything for people. But, having popcorn while enjoying a movie is the "icing on the cake." It enhances the movie-going experience.
Yet, others are conditioned to want to munch on ‘something’ while they’re watching a movie, be it popcorn, a hotdog, or any other snack. Because of this conditioning, they will buy something from the concession stand, despite the high prices.
But here’s what’s really interesting… movie theatres didn’t create this demand or ‘conditioned’ response. They simply aligned with an ‘existing’ demand, an existing ‘conditioning’ and fulfilled it.
What are the other demands and ‘conditioning’ mechanisms that exist around you which you could tap into and profit from? Look around. I’m sure you’ll start to see many of them once you shift your focus towards that.

Am I Really A Stroller-Monger?

Am I Really A Stroller-Monger?

I was reading "A Modern Infant Armada", a humor column in Maclean’s Magazine written by a fellow humor columnist. Writing about it now is a bit like a painter painting another painter or a singer singing about another singer (but it not like a cook cooking another cook.).
David Russell (yes, another humor columnist named David) laughs at his neighbor for parking both cars in the driveway to make room in the garage for four strollers for just one child. I laughed with him. Four strollers for just one baby is ridiculous, right?
However, David Russell becomes a parent himself, a condition that afflicts many unsuspecting homo sapiens, and he concludes that a call to his neighbor is warranted: "I need to see if he can help me get a fleet rate."
"Traitor!" I cried out. "Stroller monger!"
"Who’s a traitor?" my wife asked as she walked in the room. "And just what is a stroller monger."
I resisted the obvious answer – that a stroller monger is somebody who mongs strollers. "David Russell. He says that one stroller is enough for any child, but then he decides to buy an entire fleet."
"Say, we could have saved a bundle if we had applied for a fleet rate," my wife mused.
"What? We don’t have four strollers."
My wife smiled. It was a sweet smile you could just fall in love with…if you did not know that it meant, "Oh yes we do!"
"We do not."
"My wife took out her counting fingers. "First there is the car seat," she said, pressing down the first finger. "We snap it into the stroller base whenever we go anywhere."
"OK, that’s one."
"Then there is the SUV," she said, pressing down on a second finger. The "SUV" is a full sized stroller. We bought it when we were still squeezing it on a downtown apartment. With no storage space, it stood in the entrance area, blocking our path to the kitchen and any hope of escaping if the place caught fire. The SUV is the Hummer of strollers.
"OK, that is a stroller, I will grant you. But that’s just two."
"We also have the fold-up stroller," my wife said, pressing down a third finger.
"But she’s not even using it yet."
"She will soon and we have it now," my wife pointed out. "Then there is the old fold-up stroller we kept as a backup. That makes four."
"You can’t count duplicates. That’s double counting."
"It takes double the space," my wife insisted. "We have four strollers.
I stared in silence. Slowly it sunk in. Yes, there were two Davids who were humor columnists, but there were also two Davids who were stroller-mongers.
Uh-oh. My wife was smiling again. She was watched for just the right moment to strike. "Our baby has more seats in this house than anybody else has."
"That’s ridiculous." No sooner had the words left my mouth than I remembered the boomerang rule. Words like ridiculous, ludicrous, silly, stupid and big mouth usually apply only to the person who speaks them.
My wife rhymed off our seats, "Three on the couch, two chairs in the living room, six in the kitchen, one in the bathroom and one at each of our desks. Plus the three red chairs Little Lady has in the living room. That makes 17."
"Ha!" I knew it couldn’t be true.
Then came that deadly sweet smile again, the smile that said, "Take my hand while I lead you around the house to see why you should think first and shout ‘Aha!’ later."
In the kitchen stood the high chair and the sit-in play saucer. In her office sat the rocking chair that never rocked and the bouncy chair that never bounced. There was the swing seat, and there were two cushion seats for sitting upright on the floor. She opened the door to the enclosed porch, and there were the four strollers and the car seat she would soon be using.
"That makes 12," my wife tallied. "We each have fewer than six."
I thought really hard. "Aha!" I said again, proudly pointing out that this time I had thought first and shouted ‘Aha!’ later.. "We have three chairs on the balcony, and six on the patio. There are also six folding chairs for the fire pit."
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and there was no reason to forget all the outdoors furniture at a time like this. Unfortunately, there was no reason to forget arithmetic, either. Our baby still had the most seats in the house – and outside the house, too.
"Uh, do toilet seats count?"
My wife smiled her sweet smile again, a smile that could only mean, "So, stroller monger, what do you have to say for yourself now?"
I knew that another humor columnist named David had just been labeled a traitor. Meekly, I mumbled. "Lawn tractor seat?"

Celebrities Tear Up The Track For Kids Charity. 30th Anniversary Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

Celebrities Tear Up The Track For Kids Charity. 30th Anniversary Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

For the past 29 years, celebrities from film, television, music and sports have taken their spots on the starting grid behind the wheel of a revved-up Toyota sports coupe while racing through the streets of Long Beach, California as part of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. Over 370 fan favorites such as Cameron Diaz, George Lucas, Ashley Judd, Lil’ Kim, Sean Astin, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Gene Hackman, Clint Eastwood, Woody Harrelson, Karl Malone, Kelsey Grammer, Jay Leno, Matt LeBlanc, Queen Latifah, Joe Montana, Patrick Dempsey, John Elway and dozens of others have tested their skills racing through 10 laps of heart-pounding, action-packed turns at over 100 mph-all for the benefit of children’s hospitals.

A highlight of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is the longest-running corporate-sponsored event of its kind.

Stars competing for the checkered flag show up race weekend with much more than a camera-ready smile. Participants commit to eight days of charity involvement, car preparation and actual racing, including an intensive four-day training session that teaches stars how to properly handle the vehicles and how to manage the complexities of the track. After completing training, they hit the street course in Long Beach for a practice session, followed by the actual race (April 8), which rips and roars to a cheering crowd of tens of thousands, as well as on national television.

"The excitement and competition is fierce," said Les Unger, national motorsports manager at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. "Celebrities sign up thinking this race will be a friendly competition for a good cause. Come race day, rivalries and friendships have developed, setting the stage for an exciting and dramatic display of adrenaline. It’s fun to watch the transformation from celebrity to race car driver."

After competing in the 2005 race, Patrick Dempsey, who plays Dr. Derek Shepherd on ABC’s "Grey’s Anatomy," now dabbles in professional racing as a hobby and will be classified in the "pro" category for the 2006 race. "Toyota puts on a great event that’s a lot of fun, very competitive and most importantly for a great charity cause. I had such a great experience last year that I jumped at the chance to be involved again," said Dempsey.

In addition to learning the tricks and trades of competitive racing, the star-studded group raises money for "Racing for Kids," a national organization benefiting children’s hospitals. Each year, the celebrities visit Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach to spend time with sick and recovering children, evoking smiles, laughter and inspiration. Since 1991, the race has raised more than $1.3 million for charity. Donations are split equally between Miller Children’s and Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

The 2006 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race will take place on Saturday, April 8 through the streets of downtown Long Beach, California and will be broadcast nationally on SPEED.

A highlight of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is the longest-running corporate charity event of its kind.

How to Get Free Legal Music Downloads – Really!

How to Get Free Legal Music Downloads – Really!

A question that is often asked from online music fans is how to get <b>free legal music downloads</b>. The good news is that it is possible, if you know where to look.

Many people search the Internet looking for alternatives to pay legal sites. But when searching online for Rhapsody, iTunes and Napster sites, you’ll get millions of results which can become frustrating. Furthermore, when searching online for music download sites, it can be very hard to tell the difference between legal sites and file sharing sites.

P2P file sharing sites are confusing for many people because they make clear that they provide a legal service – which is true. But although P2P file sharing networks are still considered legal, it’s how these P2P file sharing networks work that have gotten some people in serious trouble with the RIAA and MPAA.

Basically, anyone who is caught downloading or sharing copyrighted material could be sued by the RIAA or MPAA. And in more recent news, P2P file sharing companies, and individuals that encourage illegal downloads of music and movies, are now also being sued.

Furthermore, few people fully understand the hidden dangers and security risks of getting free MP3 downloads using P2P file sharing networks. These risks includes; adware, spyware, viruses, hackers and online privacy risks.

So how do you get free legal music downloads online? There are a variety of legal music sites that give you free mp3 downloads of cutting edge music, Indie music and up and coming new music stars.

<b>Here Are 4 Popular Free Legal Music Download Sites:</b>

<b>1)</b> – Epitonic works mostly with small, independent record labels. Epitonic provides high-quality music downloads and a searchable database of "Cutting Edge Music" in a variety of genres including; Rock, Folk/Acoustic, Hip Hop, Pop and Jazz.

<b>2)</b> – is a top independent music distributor and they feature popular free indie music. The site has thousands of Independent songs in their database that you can listen to, download and review. GarageBand’s top songs are promoted by 1,000 radio partners and they featured music from Bo Bice (an American Idol finalist) before he was a big star.

<b>3)</b> – Although the subscription service is not free, with eMusic you can download free legal music when you sign-up for the free eMusic download trial. Emusic features over 600,000 tracks and hi quality digital music fidelity. Emusic provides the hottest legal music download trial online by giving you 25 legal MP3 downloads for free.

<b>4)</b> – Amazon provides free legal music downloads of today’s top musicians. And it’s easy to start downloading, just go to and click on the "Free Downloads" tab where you can browse from a wide variety of music selections and popular artists.

Because new music downloads are usually always copyrighted, the sites above will most likely not have the latest new song downloads. However these sites provide a huge variety of free legal music downloads for you to choose from.

What is movie and movie history

What is movie and movie history

Movie is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of movie as an art form, and the motion picture industry. Movies are produced by recording images from the world with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or special effects.

Movies are cultural artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Movie is considered to be an important art form, a source of popular entertainment, and a powerful method for educating — or indoctrinating — citizens. The visual elements of cinema give motion pictures a universal power of communication; some movies have become popular worldwide attractions by using dubbing or subtitles that translate the dialogue.

Traditional Movies are made up of a series of individual images called frames. When these images are shown rapidly in succession, a viewer has the illusion that motion is occurring. The viewer cannot see the flickering between frames due to an effect known as persistence of vision, whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Viewers perceive motion due to a psychological effect called beta movement.

The origin of the name "film" comes from the fact that photographic film (also called film stock) had historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion picture, including picture, picture show, photo-play, flick, and most commonly, movie. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen, the silver screen, the cinema, and the movies.

Speak With E’s Part 3

Speak With E’s Part 3

“Educate, Energize, Entertain, and provide an experience for your audience”
1. Use direct eye contact. You can focus on one person when making a point… and everyone else in the audience will think you are speaking to them, too.
2. Don’t just stand behind the lectern move around, gesture. Be animated. (Fifty-five percent of how people perceive you is by body language; 38 percent by your voice; 7 percent by your words.)
3. If you are telling a story, assume the posture of the character you are acting out. For example, if you are talking about babies then look like one and sound like one.
4. Humor helps. Humor especially if it is self-deprecating, often wins over an audience. Example: When president Kennedy was asked how he became a war hero, he responded, “It was involuntary. They sank my boat.”
5. When appropriate smile a lot. Be enthusiastic about what you are saying. Make it fun. Learning is directly proportional to the amount of fun your audience is having. Laughter is like internal jogging. Aren’t adults just grown up kids?
6. Use visual aids to increase audience retention of your message. But never become a master of ceremonies to your overheads. Toys create humor and playfulness.
7. Be creative. Include music, poetry, games, songs, dance, brainstorming, and role playing.
8. Dress appropriately. Always be a step above the audience. If it’s “business casual,” be a little dressier than casual. You are your best visual aid!
9. Have strong closing remarks that include a summary that reviews the main points. (People have short attention spans.) Or, make a statement or tell an anecdote. Call for action.
10. Start and stop on time. Be flexible and able to cut the talks short if asked. Be in control. Leave time for Q&A.
11. Use an evaluation form. This will provide you with feedback and confirm your value to the participant. Ask what they liked most and what they liked least about your presentation. Ask for referrals. You might ask the attendees who else they know who would benefit from your program.
12. Send a personalized thank-you note. Ask the program chair for a testimonial in writing.
13. Create “BOR” (back of the room) products. Sell your books, e-books, and booklet(s). Create audiotapes, videotapes, and CD-ROMs. Having products will catapult your speaking career and make you more valuable to your clients. This “passive” income is frosting on the cake.