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Archive for April, 2010

 Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

It’s a good thing our soldiers over in Afghanistan still have a sense of humor and enough spare time to entertain themselves…

There’s not a whole lot I can say about this. I just read about it and, well, it’s been amusing me. This video has over 427,000 views. Way to go, guys!

What do you think?

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 Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Everyone likes going to the zoo. It’s a chance to see exotic animals that you might not run into in your every day life. It’s also a chance to raise awareness for these special animals, especially those that are endangered.

The Philadelphia Zoo has recently opened a special exhibit called ‘Creatures of Habitat: A Gazillion-Piece Animal Adventure.’ Instead of having real animals in their habitats, the zoo is featuring 10 habitats with animals made out of legos instead, including penguins, polar bears, and tamarins. All the lego work has been done by Sean Kenney, a certified lego professional.

The zoo hopes that by presenting this kind of exhibit, it will give people more of a focus on just how fragile our environment is and bring awareness to the fact that we need to protect out Earth.

From the Philadelphia Zoo website: “Creatures of Habitat extends and expands upon our important conservation work that has gained focus and impact through our 150th anniversary celebration.” says Vikram H. Dewan, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Zoo. “Every child – and adult for that matter – can relate to the universal desire to protect our planet, this place we all call home. A key principle of this exhibit is to show how our world fits together and we all connect with it. Our goal remains simple: ensure we never see the day when a child’s only connection to these species is through history books.”

If you can’t make it down to the zoo, you can take a peek at the exhibit over the internet. All you have to do is log onto to philadelphiazoo.org and complete a Personal Sustainability Plan, which will guide you through what you can do to protect our most precious wildlife. 

The exhibit will be featured until October 31 of 2010. To see more pictures of the exhibit, visit treehugger.com.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Kids love Happy Meals. Not only are they getting the delicious, fatty, indulgent food they’ve been begging Mom for over the past two hours, but they also get a cool toy! The best part is that there’s usually a toy for girls and a toy for boys so no one gets left out.

All of that is about to change in Santa Clara, California.

For years the debate has been brewing about fast food and today’s children. It has been noted that childhood obesity is on the rise, and it may just have something to do with all those Happy Meals they’ve been eating. In order to fight this childhood obesity, a group of elected officials in the California county have passed an ordinance that will remove all toys from Happy Meals, discouraging kids to eat the unhealthy food.

In an article from Yahoo! News, county supervisor Ken Yeager said, “This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children’s love of toys to peddle high-calorie, high-fat, high-sodium kids meals.” The county’s public health officials agree.

Of course, the ordinance is spreading hatred from fast food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King. It be put into motion in 90 days, unless the restaurant owners can think up a better solution to lure kids into their eating establishments.

Check out this video, which was made just before the ordinance was passed:

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

How about some good old-fashioned chocolate chips? And bananas, of course.

Today is a celebration of two of the best paired foods. To give you a taste, I will give you the sweet, scrumptious recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Squares.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 6 ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 chopped walnuts (optional, but recommended)

Step one: Grease a square or rectangular baking pan and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter or margarine, along with the sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined.

Step two: Add egg, bananas, and vanilla until combined. Then add the flour. Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. You can do all this with an electric mixer or by hand. Either one will work.

Step three: Spread in baking pan. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes (or until golden brown) at 350 degrees. Cool on a wire rack, then cut into squares. Makes 36 squares.

The last time I made these little bite sized wonders, everyone had them eaten in about 10 minutes! They’re a huge hit for small get-togethers and family gatherings. And it’s a sweet treat to cure any chocolate craving.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

It’s always interesting to see what kinds of new fashions will pop up when it’s time to send the kids to prom. Most times, high schoolers will do anything they can to outdo each other. Girls who have the best dresses, and sometimes the skimpiest, are the envy of all their friends.

One of the finalists from a duct tape prom outfit contest.

But what about dresses that are made out of gum wrappers or duct tape?

A craze has seemingly swept a certain portion of our teenagers. After checking out pictures from Oddity Central, I was amazed at what some of these kids could do with only duct tape and a little imagination. In the case of those pictures, the prom fashionistas were awarded money for their time and effort. But what an amazing job!

Not only did they inspire each other, but they also got creative juices flowing for Iowa teenager Elizabeth Ramouson. After viewing pictures of the duct tape dresses, she made a dress out of gum wrappers.

Ramouson says she started collecting the gum wrappers about a year ago. Her boyfriend, who also dons a matching vest made out of the same colored gum wrappers, says she would buy a ton of gum, hand it out to her friends, and then collect the wrappers from them later. Her mother is so proud.

Here is a video of Ramouson’s dress:

Either way you look at it, these young kids certainly had their work cut out for them. It must have taken hours of painstaking work — not to mention working with all that duct tape or gum wrappers! This just proves that a little creativity can go a long way.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

“If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding!”

I like pudding. Apparently so does Roger Waters. He has just announced that he will be doing a solo tour, performing songs off the famous Pink Floyd album ‘The Wall.’ It’s going to be just like the old days….aaah. Refreshing.

The tour will run for thirty six shows. It will begin in Toronto, Canada on September 15 and finish up on December 13 in Anaheim, California. According to the New York Times, each performance of ‘The Wall’ will feature a 35-foot-tall, 240-foot-wide wall on stage. It will also have a full band and some intense videos.

Some people have been asking themselves why Roger Waters is doing this tour. On his website, he writes a letter to his fans: “This new production of  The Wall is an attempt to draw some comparisons, to illuminate our current predicament, and is dedicated to all the innocent lost in the intervening years.”

For tour dates and all other information on ‘The Wall’ tour, visit Roger Water’s website.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

The Addams Family, a tv show that goes way back in cable viewing history, has taken on many forms. Of course, it started as a black and white sitcom of sorts, then was transformed into a movie and a sequel (were there more than two?). But now, it has taken on a whole new face…a musical production on Broadway.

One would think that there would be much for theater artists to create, what with the morbidity and dark humor that oozes from the characters. I would picture a dark set with dark props…overall, very dark. Indeed. But what about the characters?

Critics who have seen it were let down by the new Broadway show.

‘”You’ll laugh a lot, though never during the unmemorable songs, which are supposed to be funny but aren’t,” said The Wall Street Journal. “You’re more than likely to spend a considerable part of the evening wondering how much the set cost.”‘

Ouch. That has to hurt for actors Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth, who play Gomez and Morticia Addams, respectively.

According to ABC News, ‘The New York Times said: “Being in this genuinely ghastly musical … must feel like going to a Halloween party in a strait-jacket or a suit of armor.”‘

Geez, it must be pretty bad to spark such hatred. If you still have the urge to see this musical, be my guest. But make sure you tell us about it. I hear Nathan Lane was the lesser of all evils throughout the entire play. Check out the Addams Family Musical Website for more.

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