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Published: 01/4/11

Will Arabs and Israelis Unite in Their Fascination With UFOs?

By  Lee Speigel - AOL News
Will Arabs and Israelis Unite in Their Fascination With UFOs?

While presidents and military leaders have never successfully bridged or solved the political and cultural problems of the Middle East, can UFOs and zombies bring Israelis and Palestinians together? That's the vision of many filmmakers, including Israeli director David Gidali, who, along with cinematographer Itay Gross, just won the top prize in the "Jerusalem 2111" film competition. The contest was sponsored by the Israel-based Association of Planning and Conservation, which creates architectural models of Jerusalem. Filmmakers were invited to submit their futuristic sci-fi visions of...

Published: 10/7/10

Birth, 2.0: Many Babies Born Online Before Real Life

By  Dave Thier - AOL News
Birth, 2.0: Many Babies Born Online Before Real Life

(Oct. 7) -- In Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher's "The Social Network," a cocaine-addled Sean Parker, played by Justin Timberlake, rattles off a vision of the future that, depending on your point of view, is either dystopia or utopia. "We lived on farms, we lived in cities," he says. "Now we'll live on the Internet." For many American children, that's becoming the reality they are born into. Internet security firm AVG recently did a study on the digital information available for the youngest citizens of some of the world's most wired (or, really today, wireless) countries, including the U.S.,...

Published: 09/29/10

George Lucas Will Re-Release 'Star Wars' in 3-D (Yawn)

By  Paul Wachter - AOL News
George Lucas Will Re-Release 'Star Wars' in 3-D (Yawn)

(Sept. 29) -- George Lucas can't help himself. Critically, and arguably artistically, it's been all downhill for the "Star Wars" franchise since the second installment, "The Empire Strikes Back." But the money kept pouring in, even as Lucas introduced such awful characters as Jar Jar Binks, while the dialogue, never great to begin with, suggested self-parody. Of course, it was only a matter of time before Lucas jumped on the 3-D gravy train, and now all six "Star Wars" films will be re-released in 3-D. Lucas said that "Avatar" convinced him the technology was up to snuff, reports The...

Published: 08/20/10

Roger Corman Celebrates 'Piranha' 32 Years Later

By  David Moye - AOL News
Roger Corman Celebrates 'Piranha' 32 Years Later

(Aug. 20) -- Folks in Hollywood used to say that filmmaker Roger Corman was the only guy in Tinseltown who could negotiate a deal in the booth, use the booth as a set and finance the film using the change in the coin slot. Of course, that was when phone booths were still common. These days, it's hard to find a phone booth, but Corman, 84, is still around and still making the type of movies that would be perfect at drive-ins -- if those weren't disappearing. Michael Buckner, Getty Images for EW Director Roger Corman has been making movies since 1953 and is known for both his tireless efforts...

Published: 08/13/10

Marching Bands Go Gaga for Lady Gaga

By  David Moye - AOL News
Marching Bands Go Gaga for Lady Gaga

(Aug. 13) -- As a genre, marching band music hasn't topped the charts since the days of composer John Philip Sousa, but it's still a good way to get the beat of what's big in pop culture. If that's the case, then Lady Gaga's music should be heard as much on football fields as it is in dance clubs this fall. According to Michael Sweeney, the director of band publications for Hal Leonard Music, the country's largest publisher of marching band music, the most requested songs from high school bandleaders are Lady Gaga's biggest hits: "Bad Romance," "Poker Face" and "Just Dance." "Those songs...

Published: 08/2/10

2010: A Space Odyssey to Find Earth-Like Planets

By  Lee Speigel - AOL News
2010: A Space Odyssey to Find Earth-Like Planets

(Aug. 2) -- Space, the final frontier. This is the voyage of the spacecraft Kepler. Its four-year mission is to seek out new worlds, boldly going where no one has gone before -- and early analysis shows it may have found many cousins to our home planet. Kepler, NASA's deep-space probe, has located hundreds of objects orbiting distant stars, raising hopes in the scientific community of possible Earth-like planets, and fueling speculation that there may be life outside of our solar system. During a recent lecture given at a TEDGlobal conference, Kepler mission scientist Dimitar Sasselov...

Published: 07/30/10

Long Gone From Theaters, 'Avatar' Plays On as Protest Symbol

By  Dave Thier - AOL News
Long Gone From Theaters, 'Avatar' Plays On as Protest Symbol

(July 30) -- James Cameron's 3D sci-fi blockbuster "Avatar" has crossed the threshold into the real world again this week in a London protest featuring blue-painted activists railing against a proposed mining operation by a British company that would displace hundreds of native Indians from their ancestral homeland (in India). While some criticized the movie for having derivative characters and an unoriginal plot, that same broad, quasi-mythical presentation seems to have made it a touchstone for activism that still resonates eight months after its release. Cameron himself has explicitly...

Published: 07/28/10

Panasonic's New 3-D Camera, for the James Cameron in All of Us

By  Paul Wachter - AOL News
Panasonic's New 3-D Camera, for the James Cameron in All of Us

(July 28) -- It didn't take long for James Cameron's "Avatar" to transform the Hollywood action epic. Soon after its release, studios were converting every planned summer blockbuster into 3-D (often with poor results). But who knew "Avatar" would change the home camcorder market as well? Panasonic's new $2,000 3-D camera, to go on sale Aug. 20 in Japan, will allow families to give the "Avatar" treatment to weddings and children's soccer games. The camera, and others like it soon to follow, works in conjunction with 3-D televisions, and viewers will have to wear 3-D glasses to see the...

Published: 06/2/10

Gulf Oil Spill Update: Maybe James Cameron Can Fix It!?

By  Paul Wachter - Politics Daily
Gulf Oil Spill Update: Maybe James Cameron Can Fix It!?

It's not a good sign that federal officials overseeing the effort to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil spill are turning to Hollywood for answers, but that's what happened on Tuesday, when the Environmental Protection Agency included director James Cameron in a brainstorming session. Then again, "Avatar" and "Titanic" are better training for plugging a leaking deep-water well than you might think: "The Canadian-born Cameron is considered an expert on underwater filming and remote vehicle technologies," the Associated Press reports. Earlier, BP tested oil-scrubbing devices invented by fellow...

Published: 04/22/10

Earth Day Avatar? Sigourney Weaver's Environmental Lesson in Brazil

By  Justine Jablonska - Politics Daily
Earth Day Avatar? Sigourney Weaver's Environmental Lesson in Brazil

"Avatar" star Sigourney Weaver traveled to Brazil this month with the film's director, James Cameron, co-star Joel David Moore and an environmental group that's working to halt the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the Amazon. That group and others say the dam will destroy parts of the rain forest and displace its indigenous communities. The Brazilian government says the dam will provide necessary clean energy for the country. "Avatar," now the highest-grossing film of all time, is rich in environmental themes that dovetail with the visit to South America, and with the 40th anniversary...

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3/14/11 at 11:00 PM

French Comedy 'Potiche' Mixes Laughs With Social Message

By  Eleanor Clift

For women, and men too, weary of nuance and...

3/14/11 at 8:27 AM

Can the Girl Scouts Help Balance Georgia's Budget?

By  Joanne Bamberger

If Georgia lawmakers get their way,...

3/13/11 at 1:30 PM

Mom Has Cancer. Her Son Reacts.

By  Donna Trussell

My friend Julie Levine had everything I...

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