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Archive for March, 2010

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

The singer and songwriter Ricky Martin has finally come out of the closet. But really, was it any surprise?

For years, Martin had girls drooling with his over the top sexuality. From his videos to his song lyrics, much of his content was made of pure sex. (Remember the video for Livin’ La Vida Loca?) Something always felt a little off though. It was just too much. And talk about metrosexual…

According to the Yahoo! Music Blog, Martin announced “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.”

Well, good for him. Now he can finally be at peace with himself and get on living his life without a dark cloud hanging over his head. All those girls who had mondo crushes on the singer will have to find another pseudo masculine figure to dream about.

At least he’s already got kids.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I can’t say that I’m a tremendously huge fan of Harry Potter. I’ve read two and a half books and haven’t seen any of the movies. But when I heard there was going to be a Harry Potter theme park opening in Universal Studios, I decided I would be more than excited to go.

The park, which will feature a virtual robotic ride over Hogwarts Castle, will open on June 18 in Orlando, Florida. It will be dubbed ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ and will leave plenty of room for every Harry Potter fan. It will take up 20 acres, after all. Besides the main ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, other rides will also be featured, like the Dragon Challenge, and the Flight of the Hippogriff.

Some of the more interesting aspects of the new theme park lie within its eating establishments. As all fans of the book know, there are some very unique foods that present themselves to characters in the stories. The main restaurant, called Three Broomsticks, will feature butterbeer, a drink that tastes like shortbread cookies and butterscotch.

MTV News reports that they will also serve Rotisserie-smoked chicken, chargrilled ribs and turkey legs, as well as British pub staples like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and Cornish pasties. Of course, some other tasty treats include pumpkin juice, chocolate-y cauldron cakes, treacle fudge and a Scottish ale called Hog’s Head Brew.

For those of you who couldn’t get enough of the cool stores in the Harry Potter books, you will actually be able to visit them. Visitors will have shopping opportunities in stores like Dervish and Banges, Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods, Honeyduke’s Homemade Sweets, Ollivanders, Owl Post, and Zonkos.

Click here to see a slide show of pictures from the new theme park. Looks pretty nifty to me!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I have a little something for you today that your taste buds might enjoy…

With the warm weather finally showing us a glimpse of spring, barbecuing comes to my mind. I can’t wait to get my hands on that grill! Cold summer salads are also a favorite for the season, too. Especially healthy ones. That’s where today’s recipe for black bean, corn, and wheat berry salad comes into play.

If you recall, I introduced you to the wheat berry some time last year, giving you a recipe for my perfect protein salad. This is another opportunity for you to experiment with the healthy, full-of-fiber wheat berry.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried black beans (or 1 cup canned will do the trick)
  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 2 cups cooked corn niblets
  • 2 sweet roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro OR 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Step one: If you’re using dry black beans, you will need to soak them in cold water for a few hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. Rinse and drain them well. Then cook until tender (about 1 1/2 hours).

Step two: Place wheat berries in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by about 4 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until tender. Drain well. They should be chewy, but still tender — never soft.

Step three: Combine with beans. Add corn, peppers, jalapeno, cilantro, basil, mint and chives to salad ( or whichever herbs you’ve chosen to use).

Step four: Make the dressing. Whisk together vinegar, pepper, garlic, salt and oil. Toss dressing with salad. If you need to, you can adjust the seasonings to fit your liking.

For my salad, I used cilantro and scallions. The original recipe for this salad suggests the addition of arugula or watercress.  You can add whatever makes you happy! Enjoy!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

OK. So I think we can all agree that seeing movies in 3D is pretty cool. You get to sit in a dark theater with buddy holly glasses on and watch various objects pop out from the screen right to the tip of your nose. What a viewing experience. But how far are you willing to go to have this experience? Is it worth paying extra money for?

Today, theaters nationwide will be raising their prices for 3D shows and even regular movies, too. The main companies affected by the price increase are AMC Enertainment, Inc., Regal Entertainment Group, and Cinemark Holdings, Inc.

Prices will vary from theater to theater, but the Wall Street Journal reports that some ticket price sales will jump to as much as an extra $5 per ticket. You could be paying close to $19 to see a 3D movie!

And get this, theaters aren’t responsible for announcing the increase. So the next time you go to see a 3D movie, you might be in for a bit of a shock.

Of course, the newest trend is making every movie in 3D. In the next year, there are numerous films to be released that will fall into that category. Harry Potter, Phish 3D, and Toy Story are among those. Is it me, or is someone trying to steal your money here?

The last time I checked, the American economy wasn’t doing so well. I seriously doubt that raising the price to see a movie will help the situation. It is now up to the consumer to decide if they MUST SEE that new 3D movie in theaters or wait for it to come out on DVD. In some cases, it might be a decision between that and dinner.

I choose dinner.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Over the years, we have seen some amazing, groundbreaking musical performances. Some will go down in history. Others will hold a special place in our hearts.

Throughout quite a few of those performances, rock ‘n roll photographer Jim Marshall was there, taking pictures of some of the most famous faces in music entertainment. With his recent death at 74 years old, we remember his life and his images.

Marshall, who died in his sleep on Tuesday night, focused on the unique personalities of the human beings in his photos. His black and white images cut to the core of some of the well-known musicians from the 60s and 70s. Some of the photos were taken during musical performances, while others focused on musicians offstage.

According to the New York Times, his most famous pictures were of Jimi Hendrix setting his guitar on fire. He captured a raw energy coming from Jimi as he doused the instrument in gasoline. Others include the famous image of Johnny Cash giving the middle finger and Janis Joplin backstage with a bottle of Southern Comfort.

View a slide show of his photographs here.

Because of his reputation he was able to get access to many of the most prestigious shows. In some cases, he was the only photographer allowed in certain venues.

That being said, we thank him for his historical journey into the lives of famous musicians. We now have great rock ‘n roll images that we will never forget.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

No, not to Pamela Anderson, unfortunately.

Sacha Baron Cohen has finally tied the knot with his sweetheart Isla Fisher. The two have been together for quite some time now — about 10 years — and, apparently, things are going well for them.

As reported on Indyposted.com, they got hitched in a very secretive, small ceremony in Paris. It better have been worth it for Fisher. She spent the better part of three years converting to Judaism so that she would gain the approval of Cohen’s parents. How traditional…and sweet.

Of course, Cohen has been in movies like Borat, Ali G Indahouse, and the latest screen gem, Bruno. (That last part was sarcasm, if you didn’t pick up on it.) You might know Fisher from movies like Confessions of a Shopaholic and Wedding Crashers.

It’s hard for me to picture these two together, but you know what they say…opposites attract. The fact that they’ve been together so long says worlds about their strong relationship. Congrats!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

No, not food a robot might eat. I mean food that’s been cooked by an actual robot. Would you eat it?

Technology has taken us to far and wide places. We have come up with some amazing machines that have done wonders for our society. But when robots become involved, it’s hard not to think about futuristic movies you may have seen where robots take over the human species.

Chinese engineer Liu Changfa has just created a robot that will cook you dinner. When you get home from work and you’re too tired to start stir-frying or baking in the oven, this machine will do the work for you. According to Oddity Central, the robot takes orders via a laptop and cellphone, which let diners choose preset menus or program it to cook certain dishes.

All the seasonings you would ever need are kept in the robot’s chest, and it can access those herbs and spices anytime you decide you need them added to a certain dish. The majority of the cooking is done in its belly, where there is a pressure cooker installed. The diner needs only to add raw ingredients and program the robot to cook what he wants to eat.

Changfa says a few chinese restaurants will be trying out the robot in their kitchens and even serving some of the dishes. He hopes that the idea will catch on and more places will soon be using the machine.

Good idea, but I think I’ll keep making my own food for now.

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