Category Archives: Articles & Reviews – podcasts, apps, websites, recipes, videos, photography

Articles & reviews about podcasts, apps, websites, recipes, videos, photography

Movies | Zero Dark Thirty – the script and intriguing tales about the production, director, writer, cast

Mark Boal was the screenwriter for Zero Dark Thirty. The movie received five Oscar nominations including best picture, best original script, best actress for Jessica Chastain, and it was directed by Kathryn Bigelow.


For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. “Zero Dark Thirty” reunites the Oscar® winning team of director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal (“The Hurt Locker”) for the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man.

Zero Dark Thirty movie trailer

About The Film

The hunt for Osama bin Laden preoccupied the world and two American presidential administrations for more than a decade. But in the end, it took a small, dedicated team of CIA operatives to track him down. Every aspect of their mission was shrouded in secrecy. Though some of the details have since been made public, many of the most significant parts of the intelligence operation––including the central role played by that team––are brought to the screen for the first time in a nuanced and gripping new film by the Oscar®-winning creative duo of Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal.

Zero Dark Thirty movie - kyle_chandler_as_joseph_bradley_and_jessica_chastain_as_maya

Zero Dark Thirty movie – Kyle Chandler as Joseph Bradley and Jessica Chastain as Maya

Their account of bin Laden’s pursuit and capture, vivid yet faithful to the facts, takes the viewer inside the hubs of power and to the front lines of this historic mission, culminating in the special operations assault on a mysterious, suburban Pakistani compound.

But it is the lead-up to the raid that truly distinguishes Zero Dark Thirty from other accounts. The quest to find bin Laden was fraught with danger from the start, and not every U.S. operative survived. Some intelligence experts came to believe that the assignment was impossible to carry out, but on the ground a determined team of analysts and interrogators defied the odds and proved them wrong. For the first time, their struggle to find Osama bin Laden is told on the screen in electrifying detail. Continue reading »

Recipes | Panera Bread broccoli cheese soup – with how-to videos

Panera Bread broccoli cheese soup recipe with chopped broccoli, shredded carrot and select seasonings simmered in a velvety smooth cheese sauce. How-to videos for the soup recipe and baking bread for the bread bowl.

Panera Bread broccoli cheese soup recipe shows soup cooked in bread bowl tDelicious, healthy and easy recipe. Yumm! This was my first time ever making any type of restaurant soup and it turned out great! Family couldn’t get enough. The key with this soup is making sure that you DO simmer it for 20-25 minutes, multiple times. Before and after you add the veggies. That way, if gets a chance to thicken, mix well, and the veggies get to soak in all that good flavor!

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Podcasts | Science Friday – science, technology, health, environment news

Science Friday is a weekly discussion of the latest news in science, technology, health, and the environment hosted by Ira Flatow.

Science Friday podcast logo w sunScience Friday is broadcast over public radio stations nationwide as part of NPR’s ‘Talk of the Nation’ programming. Each week, they focus on science topics that are in the news and try to bring an educated, balanced discussion to bear on the scientific issues at hand.

Panels of expert guests join Science Friday’s host, Ira Flatow, a veteran science journalist, to discuss science – and to take questions from listeners during the call-in portion of the program.

Science Friday video – Art Meets Geek in Toni Dove’s Studio

Toni Dove takes a high-tech approach to art—her mixed-media performances star cyborgs and robots and employ mechanical three-dimensional projection screens. Performers animate video puppets through custom-built motion-sensing software (easier seen than said). With some operatic singers thrown in, a visit to Dove’s studio feels like a trip into a futuristic Wonderland.    Continue reading »

Apps | 10 you need to assist your workday productivity

These 10 apps perform both simple tasks, such as managing your to-do list, and complex ones, such as allowing you remote access to your computer.

LogMeIn features mobile apps , allow you to access your computer's desktop through your smartphoneIf you’re looking to boost your workday productivity, that smartphone in your pocket can help. The mobile app revolution has produced hundreds of apps to help ease the stress of everyday life. The 10 apps here will get the work done.  by Fran Berkman


1. Wunderlist

Wunderlist is a free app that will help you manage your daily tasks. It acts as a digital to-do list. The app is not just for lists, but also setting reminders, making notes and sharing events. It is cloud-based, so your data easily syncs across all of your devices.1 Wunderlist is a free app that will help you manage your daily tasks. Continue reading »

Recipes | Starbucks Eggnog Latte – with how-to video

With this Starbucks eggnog latte recipe, you can savor the holidays with a rich espresso beverage that’s complemented with subtle holiday spices, steamed milk and topped with nutmeg.

Starbucks-eggnog-latte-recipe-in-mug-and-hot-t Winter conjures up memories old and new, cold and bright and, of course, the holidays. With friends and family coming together this time of year, here’s your chance to enjoy the season and reconnect with a classic treat that will keep you warm and fuzzy all season long.

Whether your winter is snowy, rainy or just plain cold, this classic Starbucks latte has been keeping fans warm since 1986. And now, you can enjoy the tradition too.    Continue reading »

Websites | Animal Wellness Foundation – health care & homes for dogs & cats who need them

Since my wonderful vet started this foundation, I can personally vouch for it’s stupendousness. If you don’t have time to read about them, just click HERE and your Facebook “like” is magically transformed into a $1 donation by a supporter. Fast, easy, free–please do it!

los-angeles-animal-rescue-group-with-cat-at-adoption-centerThe Animal Wellness Foundation was started by my fantastic veterinarian, Dr. Annie Harvilicz, thus I can tell you from personal experience that there’s a lot of wonderful wellness going on there. Besides witnessing expert care given to the animals, I’ve also witnessed the abundance of warmth, heart and soul Dr. Annie and her staff can’t help but lavish on the critters.

Speaking of critters, here’s one speaking his endorsement…

Loosely translated, my dog Enzo said “Dr. Annie’s real nice, takes good care of me and smells good too. Gimme more jerky.”    Continue reading »

Apps | IMDB – excellent app for movie showtimes, reviews & more

One of the best movie apps is from the Internet Movie Database. Among its entertaining functions, like listing an actor’s filmography and movie trivia, IMDB has a very good showtime section. 

The smartphone might be a moviegoer’s best friend. With a phone and an array of apps, showtimes and reviews are never far away. The app is free on both iOS and Android.

On the iPhone version, showtimes are listed prominently upon opening the app. This section is ready with default data, including the movies showing that day at local theaters. The user interface couldn’t be simpler.

IMDB movie app review

The films are split into new releases and “also playing” films, and the showtimes are sortable by movie or by theater.   Continue reading »

Recipes | Cheesecake Factory – pumpkin cheesecake & cheesecake pops

Here’s a great recipe for the Cheescake Factory’s classic pumpkin cheesecake, and one of their fine chefs also reveals his secret recipe for pumpkin cheesecake pops.

Here’s a recipe for the original classic cheesecake with delicious spiced pumpkin filling, a graham cracker crust and finished with whipped cream rosettes and chopped pecans. A how-to video from Cheesecake Factory chef, Scott Pickering, and one from an 8 year old girl, makes it easy to create these wonderful treats in time to make you the dessert holiday hero.    Continue reading »

Essay | My fun time hanging out with a “serious” Oscar-winning director

Hanging out with Oscar-winning director Errol Morris, I learn the “serious” filmmaker is actually a fun goofball. Morris has been my doc hero for many years and his latest film, TABLOID, is superb.

Errol Morris sure fooled me. If you’re familiar with this filmmaker’s serious-minded work, it’s logical to anticipate meeting a somber, reserved, deep thinking, perhaps even a somewhat humorless fellow. Nope. The guy I shook hands with is a combination of goofy Mel Brooks with a sprinkling of Steve Carrel silliness who’s powered by the hyper and mischievous energy of a quirky kid sputtering out of a hunkering six foot plus frame.

And I mean all that in a nice way. Because Morris is also quite a pleasant and down-to-earth guy who was a joy to hang out with. Although he was funny and playful, speaking with him, one could not help but also notice his grey head housed a keen, deep-thinking mind which was always percolating.

Roger Ebert has said, “After twenty years of reviewing films, I haven’t found another filmmaker who intrigues me more…Errol Morris is like a magician, and as great a filmmaker as Hitchcock or Fellini.” Ebert has placed Morris’s first feature GATES OF HEAVEN on his list of the 10 Best Films of All Time. Recently, the Guardian listed him as one of the ten most important film directors in the world.

So there you go, it ain’t just me. I’ve been a big fan of Morris going back 25 years, since the time I saw his first feature documentary GATES OF HEAVEN.

This night I was hired to shoot Morris at a screening of his latest film TABLOID. I was also paid to consume copious amounts of delicious food, champagne, hobnob with celebs, and relax in CAA’s most comfy and superb theater and watch a fine movie. Sometimes my jobs are such a hardship.

Tabloid movie trailer

First off, being the sophisticated film reviewer that I am, I have to tell you the rating I give TABLOID is my top “gotta-gotta-see”! Yes, that’s a rare, double-gotta rating. This true-story documentary was hilarious and made me laugh out loud more often than any Hollywood comedy concoction has in years. Continue reading »

Recipes | Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup – tasty and easy with how-to video

This delicious recipe for Olive Garden’s chicken gnocchi soup  is made with roasted chicken, traditional Italian dumplings and spinach. 

Olive Garden’s chicken gnocchi soup is a rich, thick soup that can serve as a full meal.

The excellent how-to video below makes it extra easy to put together.    Continue reading »

Recipes | Red Lobster maple-glazed salmon and shrimp with how-to video

This recipe for Red Lobster maple glazed salmon and shrimp is a Pacific Northwest-inspired combination of fresh salmon and skewered jumbo shrimp, fire-grilled and topped with a maple and cherry glaze.

Putting a new spin on traditional surf-and-turf entrees, Red Lobster’s Maple Glazed Salmon and Shrimp is a surf-and-surf meal featuring salmon fillets topped with shrimp skewers.

Seafood fans who are searching for a new flavor might enjoy learning how to make this Red Lobster Maple Glazed Salmon and Shrimp recipe for dinner. The glaze combines the taste of maple syrup, dark cherries, and lemon.

Red Lobster uses bamboo skewers for the shrimp. You can substitute thin metal skewers if you can’t find bamboo ones. If you are using bamboo, soak them for 10-15 minutes before inserting into the shrimp. This will help prevent the wooden skewers from burning while the shrimp are grilling.    Continue reading »

Recipes | CPK Thai Crunch Salad – healthy, quick, easy with how-to video

This recipe for California Pizza Kitchen’s delicious Thai Crunch Salad, with how-to video, contains shredded Napa cabbage and authentic Thai peanut dressings.

California Pizza Kitchen’s delicious Thai Crunch Salad

This quick and easy recipe combines shredded Napa cabbage, chilled-grilled chicken breast, julienne cucumbers, edamame, crispy wontons, rice sticks, peanuts, cilantro, julienne carrots, red cabbage and green onions tossed with lime-cilantro and authentic Thai peanut dressings. Los Angeles photographer shoots recipe photos and other delicious food art.

Describing the Thai Crunch Salad served at California Pizza Kitchen as “probably the best salad I have ever had,” she offered a few details. “The blend of items in the salad is a delicious combination. But the peanut dressing combined with the lime dressing is what makes the salad,” Deborah wrote.

“A friend and I tried to figure out the ingredients, but didn’t get it quite right,” she reported, ending with, “If you could get this recipe, I would greatly appreciate it.”    Continue reading »

Apps | Layar & Junaio – “augmented reality” apps add digital information to the real world around you

Augmented reality covers the many ways of adding digital information to the real world around you, using a smartphone’s camera.

By Kit Eaton

It’s clever and very futuristic, but you can still try it out now easily with the Layar and Junaio apps. A relaxed late evening stroll along the esplanade in my seaside hometown may not seem like the ideal opportunity to test out what may be the cutting edge of mobile app technology, but it was this week.

On the walk I’d noticed an enormously large cargo ship, with giant cranes on its deck, floating in the sunset haze a few miles out at sea, and I was curious what the ship was named and where she was from. Fortunately there was an app for that. An augmented reality app.

Apps That Present Highlights of the World in Front of You

Layar – Innovative AR and Interactive Print Solutions

Print comes to life with Layar, Scan magazines, newspapers, posters and other print materials enhanced with Layar and then watch as extra digital content appears. Layar allows you to interact with print in a whole new way! Continue reading

 Layar – mobile Augmented Reality browser app

Continue reading »

Websites | Harvard Business Review – informative, thought provoking essays that ain’t boring

The Harvard Business Review site has an excellent blog stuffed with fine articles, breakthrough ideas and commentary from the leading thinkers in business, management and humanity.



After a friend sent me a link to an excellent article, The Best Strategy for Reducing Stress (below), I discovered the Harvard Business Review Blog Network. And I was surprised to discover I liked it. It isn’t just about the business of business–it incorporates the business of being human in a complex society.

Harvard Business Review is a research-based magazine that focuses primarily on management techniques and breakthrough idea and its primary customer segments are new managers, emerging leaders, and experienced leaders. It has been the frequent publishing home for scholars and management thinkers such as Clayton M. Christensen, Peter F. Drucker, Michael E. Porter, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, John Hagel III, Thomas H. Davenport, Gary Hamel, C.K. Prahalad, Vijay Govindarajan, Robert S. Kaplan, and others.

Management concepts and business terms such as “Balanced scorecard,” “Core competence,” “Strategic intent,” “Reengineering,” “Globalization,” “Marketing myopia,” and “Glass ceiling” were all first given prominence in HBR.

Harvard Business Review

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Recipes | Applebee’s Mozzarella Sticks – less calories with this low-fat version but full deliciousness

This recipe for Applebee’s mozzarella sticks is a delicious and healthier version that cuts the fat and calories by baking instead of frying. Delicious meets healthy.

About This Recipe

Recipes for the Dr. Oz Show. Cooking time includes freezing time. Todd noted “I originally created this recipe for an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show in a segment about healthier clone versions of popular restaurant appetizers.

This formula duplicates the taste of Applebee’s Mozzarella Sticks but the fat and calories are cut significantly by baking the sticks rather than using the traditional frying method. Prepare these ahead of time since the sticks have to sit for at least 2 hours in your freezer before you bake them.”    Continue reading »

Funny Dog Video | dog riding bike w chorus line of dogs behind

Dog Riding Bike With Dog Chorus Line

Crazy video of dog riding bike with chorus line of dogs behind him. Well I was impressed enough by the clip of the big Briard beast, Norman, who rode a bike pretty well and has appeared on TV numerous times and has a viral video. Then I accidentally came across this “nobody” dog from who-knows-where, and he does the same feat as famous Norman–plus he leads a chorus line of other dogs.

Video-of-dog-riding-bike-with-a-chorus-line-of-walking-dogs-behind-him. (1)

Funny Animal Video-dog-riding-bike-with-a-chorus-line-of-walking-dogs-behind-him

Apps | Parker-finds parking spaces, can pay & reserve spots

Tired of driving in circles? Have a meeting downtown and can’t find parking? Want to reserve a spot ahead before heading out to your favorite restaurant? Wish you could pay for parking with your phone? Now you can with the Parker app.

Parker app finds and pays for parking spacesWant your navigation system to give directions, traffic, and show you where to park? Now, you can! With Parker, you can find everything you wanted to know about where to park all in one place. Just start up Parker via your smartphone, tablet, the web, and in-car navigation system, and Parker will help you:


Video tutorial on the use of the Parker app

  • Find a place to park on-street and off-street with real-time and static information
  • Voice guidance – let’s you know where parking is nearby
  • Search by points of interest or address    Continue reading »

Podcasts | Manners For The Digital Age – helping you navigate the etiquette of new technology

Is it stingy to use a Groupon coupon for your share of a check? Should I nix a former in-law from my Facebook page after a divorce? What to do when a colleague steals your job title and description for her LinkedIn profile? These are the kinds of dilemmas that Manners For The Digital Age podcast tackle for you.

Podcasts - Manners for the Digital age slateWith smartphones appearing in millions of pockets and computer screens mediating more and more of our interactions, the question of what’s rude has rarely been in greater flux. Technology and social media have connected us in astounding ways, but they’ve also given rise to etiquette dilemmas Emily Post never could have imagined.

Manners For The Digital Age podcast episode – By Andy Bowers

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As we were developing Slate’s new podcast “Manners for the Digital Age,” we realized that in such a fast-changing social environment, the manners column needed an update, too. We think the best etiquette advice is no longer just one person’s opinion but a debate between two writers with very different perspectives on digital culture.    Continue reading »

Recipes | Starbucks Classic Coffee Cake – with how-to video

It takes a lot to qualify as “Classic Coffee Cake” at Starbucks and as this recipe shows, only the softest, moistest, most scrumptious cake will do.

Starbucks classic Coffee Cake Recipe Each slice has a layer of cinnamon streusel swirled within it and a crumble top that deliciously balances sweet cinnamon spice with crunchy goodness. Starbucks Classic Coffee Cake recipe will thrill your pastry taste buds.

I have found three Starbucks Classic Coffee Cake recipes! You may find slight variations of the cake at different Starbucks locations. Sometimes there is a ribbon of cinnamon running through the middle of the cake, and sometimes the cake is dusted with a bit of powdered sugar. You’ll also find some versions with a few chopped pecans in the topping; and that’s the version here.    Continue reading »