Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fans attending IMAX midnight release of 'Iron Man 3' are appreciated

If you're planning to stand in line for the IMAX midnight release of Marvel's "Iron Man 3" you will be rewarded. 

Exclusively for IMAX fans as part of the IMAX 12:01 program, those attending the midnight showing in the first hours of May 3rd will receive a limited edition IRON MAN 3 print featuring original artwork by renowned artist, Jock.

This artwork is a collaboration between Marvel Studios, IMAX and Mondo, and will be the last print in the IMAX 12:01 series.

Iron Man 3, rated PG-13, opens in theaters May 3.

Friday, April 19, 2013

HOMEWORKS: A flower pot for Mums

Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts

While browsing through a stack of press releases about Mother's Day gift ideas, I was reminded of the cool broach that I bought my mum one year. I don't remember how old I was or where I purchased it. It's possible I picked it up during a trip with my dad to Ray Robinet's Hardware in Tecumseh, Ont.
That place was amazing. Whatever you needed for the home - from paint and teapots to drill bits and bicycles - they carried it all. And if they didn't, Mr. Robinet would see about getting it ordered.
The second I saw it I knew she would love it and she did. It was silver, she always seemed to favor that over gold, and covered with rubies.
She was so surprised.
It wasn't until years later, while she and I were sorting out her old jewelry, that we eyed the broach again - this time with disgust - followed by a hearty chuckle.
What was I thinking? What woman in the world would want to wear a nest of slithering snakes with evil red eyes? The same kind of woman who hugs a child for giving her a bouquet of weeds or a sun-baked mud pie?
When it comes to gifts from their children, it is truly the thought that counts for moms. That being said, here is a project created by the designers at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores for children (and adult helpers) who want to make their own gifts for Mother's Day.

Supplies needed:
Red clay flower pot
Saucer to match pot
Blackboard spray paint
White paint pen or chalk
Ribbon – width to match
the size of the pot rim
(color of choice)
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Potting soil
Herbs or plant of choice
1. Clean the pot and saucer.
2. Using the chalkboard paint, spray the exterior of the pot and saucer. No need to paint interior if the pot is being used as a planter.
3. Set aside to dry (about 3 to 4 hours).
4. Attach your ribbon to the rim of the pot using hot glue gun.
5. Pour potting soil into the pot and add your plant before filling in the rest to the top.

Supplies needed:
Red clay flower pot
Gesso spray paint
Non-toxic poster paint
Small paintbrush
Spray fixative
Potting soil
Plant of your choice
1. Begin by wiping the clay pot clean to remove dust or debris.
2. Spray the exterior of the pot with gesso spray paint and set it aside to dry. If you're making a flower pot, there is no need to paint the pot's interior.
3. Using the small brush, paint the rim of the pot with the poster paint color of your choice and set it aside to dry.
4. Decorate the body of the pot with poster paints too. Be creative. A handprint or footprint is interesting and unique. Spray the pot with fixative once the poster paint is dry. Set it aside to dry.
5. Fill your Mother's Day creation with potting soil and add your favorite plant.

Gina Joseph is a reporter and columnist for The Macomb Daily. Send comments to gina.joseph@macombdaily.com, follow her on twitter @ginaljoseph and visit her blog at macomblife.blogspot.com.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Homeworks: Habitat for Humanity pins hopes on bowling fundraiser

Hoping to strike out poverty housing and homelessness, Macomb County Habitat for Humanity presents its annual bowling fundraiser, Raise the Roof and Lift Some Spirits.

The event begins at 7 p.m. April 26 at Continental Lanes in Roseville.

"It's a riot and it really helps out," said Terri Benson, events manager for Macomb Habitat. "Last year we raised $10,000 - which was almost double from the year before. Obviously, we're looking to double it again."

What's great about the event is everyone can get involved -- family, friends and coworkers. Those who wish to bowl can sign up individually or as a team (five members). There is no cost for bowling in the fundraiser. Instead participants are being asked to collect pledges; minimum amount for adults is  $50 and $20 for children 12 and younger.    

Each bowler will have the opportunity to bowl three games. It's nine-pin no-tap which means bowlers are awarded a strike if they get down nine pins with their first ball.

To move things along and to make the night a little more interesting, a couple of the games will be slightly different - even wacky.

"Wacky bowling is where bowlers may be asked to throw the bowl through their legs or backwards," Benson said. 

One game of cosmic color bowling is also on the agenda. The game is played under special lighting designed to add color and animation to the game. However, these variations of the game are optional. "If someone just wants to bowl a regular game they can do that too," Benson said.

No matter what everyone is playing, the evening is expected to be lots of fun.

"Bowlers get free pizza and pop," said Benson. "There's also going to be door prizes and a drawing for a compound miter saw and a smoker donated by Lowe's in Clinton Township and a 50/50 raffle."

The proceeds from the event last year went to support the construction and closing costs on more than 25 homes.

"We seek to develop homes and communities in which people can live and grow. As a community, we have many opportunities to accomplish our mission," said a report by Benson. "Habitat invites people from all walks of life to work together in partnership to help build and rehab houses with families that need a 'hand up' not a 'hand out.' By participating in our bowling event, you help to bring awareness of our important mission."

Those who cannot participate in the bowling event can still support the cause by making a pledge.

Preregistration is required for the bowling event. To register and receive a pledge sheet, and for information on donations, contact Terry Benson, events manager at 586-263-1540 ext. 120 or tbenson@macombhabitat.org; Ruselda Johnson, director of financial resources at ext. 102 or rjohnson@macombhabitat.org.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Sadly, my chance to interview Lady Thatcher is gone

AP file photo

It was with great sadness that I drove to work today. Like a lot of writers, I have a wish list of people who I would love to interview. Margaret Thatcher, 87, who died this morning following a stroke, was one of them.

She was the most dominant British prime minister since Winston Churchill (imagine what it would have been like chatting with him) and a global champion of the late 20th century free market economic revival. As the United Kingdom's first female prime minister - elected on May 3, 1979 – she also was a role model.

“This is a sad day for economic freedom,” said Lydia Miljan, arts and science program chair and associate professor of political science at the University of Windsor, Ont., who met Thatcher on two occasions. “The first time was 20 years ago just after she left politics. I was with the Fraser Institute (think tank in Canada) at the time and we hosted her for a speech in Toronto. She was very formidable. She had been very well prepared to discuss Canadian issues. I believe that she had read all the Institute's materials and was ready to debate key points with our Executive Director. She was also very generous, signing her books for all attendees and agreeing to be photographed with the staff.” 
A few years later Miljan met Thatcher at another event in Vancouver where Thatcher did a Q&A for the audience. “She was very insightful and had not lost any of her intellectual acumen,” Miljan said.

Her appointment was no fluke, either. She won a second and a third term - becoming Britain's longest continually serving prime minister of the 20th century. 

Then there are her achievements during the Cold War era.

As the Telegraph reported this morning, "The Iron Lady proved a significant cold war ally of U.S. president Ronald Reagan in the final showdown with the Soviet Union, which broke up under reformist pressures led by Mikhail Gorbachev, a Kremlin leader with whom Thatcher famously declared she could 'do business.'"

Had I been given the chance to chat with Lady Thatcher over a hot cup of Lady Grey, I would liked to have discussed a few of these milestones from her life and career:

  • Born Oct. 13, 1925 in Grantham, central England. What was it like for her growing up? Who encouraged her to speak up and take an interest in the world around her?
  • Graduated from Oxford University with a chemistry degree in June 1947. Why chemistry? What changed her mind about following her passion for science?
  • Dec. 13, 1951, she married the love of her life, Denis Thatcher. *** She and the wealthy oil executive were together more than 50 years. Sir Denis Thatcher died June 26, 2003.
  • Becomes a lawyer, June 1, 1954.
  • Elected to Parliament: Oct. 8, 1959.
  • Takes position of education secretary: June 20, 1970.
  • She and Denis become parents to twins, Mark and Carol, Aug. 15, 1953. How chaotic was that? Did she struggle with the choices of staying home or heading to the political hill?
  • Chosen to be the leader of Britain's Conservative Party, Feb. 11, 1975.
  • Wins the national election to become Britain's first lady prime minister, May 3, 1979.
  • June 9, 1983: Wins second term.
  • June 11, 1987: Wins third term.
  • Makes history as Britain's longest continuously serving prime minister of the 20th century, Jan. 3, 1988. 
  • Nov. 22, 1990: Lady Thatcher announces her resignation -- after being overthrown by an internal Tory party coup and rioting in Trafalgar Square induced by her promotion of the poll tax.
  • Six days later: John Major becomes Britain's Prime Minister. What did she think of Major?
  • June 26, 1992: She becomes Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven, and a member of the unelected House of Lords with a lifetime title.
  • March 22, 2002: After suffering a series of small strokes, she retires from public speaking.
  • April 8, 1913, Lady Thatcher dies of a stroke, 10 years after her husband.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.