Army Wives, Army Lies

With the wars raging in Iraq and Afghanistan we really pray for those troops. We know they are fighting for their country and they proudly represent the USA. The story that is never really told is that of the wives left behind with one, two, or even three or more children. She is left behind with the burden or responsibility of carrying on life to some form of “normal”. Do not know get me wrong I would never blame the soldiers for their choice of enlisting or even volunteering. Some go because they are told; while others want that feeling that they made a difference in this crazy war.

However, whatever the reasons the soldier join the spouse, fiancé, or girlfriend seem to have to take on the role of both parents. I’ll admit being a soldier’s wife is not easy. My husband is serving his second tour of duty, with the first being Iraq and now Afghanistan. I thought since he had already been deployed before it would be no different this time. I knew what the feeling of going without a phone call felt like and constantly watching the news and CNN to make sure I was kept up to date with what was going on. Although, this time I had another child instead of the one I had when he was first deployed to Iraq. Two children is still considered not a lot to most people but trying to find a babysitter to go to an appointment or even to have some down time is difficult. I manage as best as I can and count down the days in the year until he returns.

When he first enlisted I honestly never thought that he would be deployed, not only once but twice. One of the many lies of ”it could happen”, turned into it did happen, although, numerous deployments are not mentioned when enlisting in the service. This war seems to be never ending, but all wars come to an end like the ones before them. Whether by treaties or total murder of a people, they do end. The only thing a soldier’s wife can hold on is to hope that their spouse will come home. The prayer is that he comes home with a sound mind and not having flash backs of those horrible days. The media does not seem to make it any easier with everyday seeing the countless deaths of soldiers. Some so young that their pictures make them look like kids in a uniform.

One good thing is that a new television program comes on Lifetime each Sunday that is called “Army Wives”. I watched this program to see if it could live up to the truth and also tell the real dirt that I have seen while being an army wife. I have dealt with being the new wife in the group and trying to fit in to the pre-made clicks. Dealing with the ranks issues (special treatment for some) and having the hard time of making friends with the wives but having their husbands being higher ranks. The show started off with jumping into great scenarios, which included a couple just getting married after knowing each other a few days and also a wife having her husband being deployed for three months, while being left at home with her abusive teenage son. I was very impressed and recommended the show to a few of my friends. I guess it was nice having people watch a program that could really show the truth about what goes on behind the scenes when husbands deploy and the base being a ghost town. The women who are faithful stick it out but there is always those few who cannot wait till there husbands leave so they can begin their year of fun. The show has only begun to scratch the surface and I look forward to watching more of it to see if it will live up to the title of representing Army Wives.

Everyday is a day closer that they will be coming home. Each woman left behind deals with their own issues and grow just as their husbands grow. The hope is that once they get back together and life is getting back to normal they will be able to pick up where they left off. The key thing to remember is that things will take time for both and that kids will have to readjust as well. They will have to realize that there are two parents to obey and listen to again instead of just one. I can honestly say that with patience you can make it through it but be ready for little things that might have changed and be willing to make compromises and don’t just give up because you feel different. That person you love is the same one you fell in love with just keep that in mind while you think of how proud you are to be an Army wife and just forget about the lies.

by Sherita Smedley


The Importance of Diligence with Personal Finances

There have been many articles written regarding getting personal finances under control. From putting money away every week, to using the envelope system for bill payment, to creating a budget there are many avenues that can be taken. One thing that does not seem to be stressed enough is why it is so important to get finances under control. Sure there are numerous ways to do it, but what is the point?

One of the main reasons to get finances under control basically boils down to the milestones that are reached in everyones life. If the money is not properly attended to then reaching such milestones could be delayed or not happen. Some of these milestones can include living away from the birth home, being able to actually go out and do things while attending college, and retiring at some point in the future.

Another reason to become disciplined with money has to do with the desire to purchase items of enjoyment. Some items are considered small-ticket purchases and these include buying electronics, entertainment systems, and dinners out. Other items can be considered big-ticket merchandise and include vacations, boats, or expensive cars. When making some purchases this can be done using credit.

To obtain credit many places will review the buyer’s credit history and look at their credit score. This score is a measure of the buyer’s credit worthiness and gives the seller a chance to look at the buyer’s past habits. If the buyer has been good with their money, paying bills on time and using credit wisely, the score will reflect this and show the seller that they are a good risk.

A final reason to become diligent with finances is simply for stress relief. When it is known where the money is coming from and where it is going then plans can be made and target dates can be set for goal achievement, whatever that may be. By understanding how much money there is and what areas will require payment then there will be a clear understanding of how much is left or not left. If it is found that more money is going out than coming in, this is a wake up call that something needs to change. If nothing changes then a hole will be dug from which it could be too deep to recover.

By Catherine Monreal

Catherine received her B.S. in Finance in 2006 and is currently pursuing her M.B.A. in Finance.


How Do You Know What Is The Right Thing To Do?

With all of the books, tapes, seminars, and lectures regarding money and finances, how does one decide what is best? First and foremost, it is important to formulate some goals regarding your money. These goals should encompass the long-term as well as the short-term. Are there kids to put through college? Is there mortgage to pay off? Is the Caribbean calling, or is it simply time to increase the amount put into retirement or savings? Yes, all of the books and tapes, etc. available might seem enticing, but if it is not in line with goals you have created then it will just be a waste of money.

Time and time again it has been stated that goals should be many things. Among these they should have the ability to be measured, be able to be achieved, and most importantly, the goals should be realistic. Another important fact regarding goals is that they should be written down somewhere. Writing them down, or just saving them somewhere, makes goals more concrete and allows the ability to review and update as needed.

After goals are established and a path is created then, if further research is desired, books, tapes, seminars, and lectures can be scrutinized. Any information that can be obtained with little or no money is good as long as the information is coming from a reputable source. It would be wise to shy away from deals that promise any type of get rich quick scenario. Furthermore, some seminars might be free on the outset, but once there it is found that money must be spent to find out the rest of the story. All of this will just come down to understanding the motives behind the products. Is it really to help you out or is it more to help their wallet?

Knowing the right thing to do comes down to knowing yourself and understanding your abilities and limitations. Limitations can be changed through educating oneself in the importance and power that money holds. Additionally there are many competent professionals available to answer questions and offer guidance.

By Catherine Monreal

Catherine received her B.S. in Finance in 2006 and is currently pursuing her M.B.A. in Finance.


When Couples Ponder on the Reason for Infertility

Hundreds of thousands of married couples feel driven to learn why they seem unable to start or enlarge a family. Hundreds of thousands of married couples ponder on the reason for infertility problems, the unwanted “guest” in their bedroom.

When a couple already has one or two children, the most likely reason for infertility problems is age. Statistics show that the percent of complete pregnancies declines as a population ages. An older woman must accept an increased likelihood that her egg might not survive the long trip down her fallopian tube to her uterus.

Still, the reason for infertility problems should never be automatically attributed to a female partner. For about 40% of couples with infertility problems the cause lies in a failure of the woman’s reproductive physiology. In another 40% of such couples a problem with the man’s physiology has caused the couple’s infertility problems.

Sometimes a couple’s infertility problems derive from a combination of male and female problems. At other times the reason for infertility problems remains a mystery to the most knowledgeable health professionals. A medical history does not always reveal sufficient evidence to support a suspected case of male or female infertility.

One medical history suggests that a later marriage can, in some cases, decrease chances that a couple might need to hear about the suspected reason for infertility problems. One young woman with menstrual problems delayed marriage until a time when those problems had become a quickly-forgotten concern. Having normal periods at the time of her marriage, that woman faced no infertility problems.

Had that woman chosen to become a younger bride, she and her husband might have been forced to ponder about the reason for infertility problems. The medical history of that woman suggested an earlier failure to produce gonadotropin releasing factor. When the woman’s hypothalamus failed to produce that factor, her pituitary gland failed to produce an adequate amount of lutenizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).

The low amount of FSH and LH in the woman’s bloodstream prevented production of estrogen. As a result, that woman went a number of years without a period. Neurosurgery eventually corrected the problem. That woman was later able to bear two children.

The above story offers specific details about one possible reason for infertility problems. Other couples with infertility problems will no doubt discover yet another possible cause for the failure of a couple to have children.

A woman might, for example, have a blocked fallopian tube. That would prevent an egg from reaching the uterus. A woman might have endometriosis. Cells lining the endometrium of such a woman would demonstrate a strange behavior; they would, at times, migrate to various locations within her pelvic cavity.

In order to eliminate infertility problems caused by the male partner, fertility experts usually examine the man’s sperm. They make sure he is able to produce a sufficient number of sperm. They also look for misshapen sperm, or sperm that show signs of weighing either too much or too little.

by Sue Chehrenegar
Sue has an MS in Biomedical research along with 30 years of experience in her field of study.


The Need to Know On Care Packages for Soldiers

With today’s society thrust into a war that has seemed to wear on and not end, families have to deal with things like deployment. Deployments are tours of duty where a person can be sent to hostile territory and be gone anywhere from 4 months to 18 months. A person can see this everyday as they stand in line at the post office and see a woman come in with two or three small children lugging a big box with a very unusual address on it. She fills out a white custom form and hands it to the attendant. She usually sends it priority mail because that means it will get there in about 6 to 7 days compared to two weeks or so. She has learned to have everything written right and to come at the time when there is hardly a line and the post office is not very busy, she is a military wife.

For family members who are not as knowledgeable about how to send packages they have to look on the web or even try to call to see what not to pack or even what could last the long journey that might be extremely hot or cold. Well enclosed is a “how to list” of things to send your soldier so that he/she feels loved and missed.

Things you can send:
Calling cards, batteries, envelopes/notepads, puzzle books, travel sewing kits, hand held games, books, cameras (disposable), NERF toys, playing cards, postage stamps, small battery operated fan, toy squirt guns, cordless electric razor, sun block, handheld stress balls, lotion, tooth brushes/paste, soap, wipes, hand cleaners, chap stick, razors, foot powder, towels, tissue paper, dental floss, odor eaters, playing cards, t-shirts, extra underwear & socks, glade stickups or plug-ins, blanket from home, eye drops, eyeglass cleaner/wipes, mouth wash

These are a few items that will make your soldier feel loved and also will help him not miss home so much. Also remember that they might not have everything they may need to prepare some items so be mindful that some things like kool-aid may need sugar so send drink mixes like tang or lemonade with sugar already combined. Remember when sending candy that even some solid candy such as gummy bears have even been known to melt. If your soldier needs these items or really wants them make sure to send them in a separate baggy so they won’t destroy anything more precious that you are sending. Photos of family and the kids doing everyday activities are a great way for them to keep up with how things are changing and how the kids are growing.

Things you cannot send:
Obscene articles, prints, paintings, cards, film, horror comics, nude or seminude persons, pornographic material, religious materials, pork or pork by-products, alcoholic beverages, fruits, living plants, firearms, explosives, including fireworks, illegal substances

These items are not a good idea to send because they could get open in public and could cause your service member to get into some serious trouble, which no one would want. With everything use wisdom and make sure that what you are sending is going to be something of use and not trash which they will throw away or even give away. Remember to always keep an eye out for free boxes or even order them online from the USPS, for priority shipping boxes only. Have fun with surprising them and sending them things that you know they will love and cherish because this is the only piece of home they have until they return.

by Sherita Smedley

Things you cannot send:
Obscene articles, prints, paintings, cards, film, horror comics, nude or seminude persons, pornographic material, religious materials, pork or pork by-products, alcoholic beverages, fruits, living plants, firearms, explosives, including fireworks, illegal substances

These items are not a good idea to send because they could get open in public and could cause your service member to get into some serious trouble, which no one would want. With everything use wisdom and make sure that what you are sending is going to be something of use and not trash which they will throw away or even give away. Remember to always keep an eye out for free boxes or even order them online from the USPS, for priority shipping boxes only. Have fun with surprising them and sending them things that you know they will love and cherish because this is the only piece of home they have until they return.

by Sherita Smedley


What is it about these words that conjure such excitement? Is it the rich, the quick, or the fact that there is the opportunity for both? Just thinking about it makes my pulse quicken. So, if this is possible why is this not happening for more people? If all I have to do is just pick up the phone and attend a seminar on such a wonderful product, why are more people not insanely rich?

There are many infomercials available that offer training and all one has to do is register for a free seminar that will be coming to their area soon. After attending the seminar then participants will be well on their way to becoming rich individuals and will hold the elusive status of financially independent. I find it interesting that there is usually no mention of the free seminar being a pathway to actually offering pay services. There are lofty messages stated and wonderful success stories touted that show what a great system it is and the potential results that can come from its successful use.

People who have attended the seminar praise the wealth of information that is offered and how after a short time after following the system they were well on their way to early retirement. They never really mention how much money they spent to acquire the knowledge, tools, website access, or any other extra that I am sure they had to pay for. They also usually fail to mention the fact that there could be monthly costs associated with any system and of course there will always need to be further education to continue the program’s success. Additionally, there is no mention of how much initial time was needed to ensure the system was working correctly and how long it took to get comfortable with everything.

I guess there are reasons for this. If one were to find out that the “free” system actually costs thousands of dollars in initial start up and hundreds of dollars monthly, they might become turned off by the prospect. Furthermore, if they learned that the easy system was actually rather complicated, this too might sour them on the prospect. Now, if I am offering such a product would I really want to sour people before they had a chance to come to my free initial information seminar? Honestly, after I already have them there I am sure it would be easier to sway them to how great my product is and how the initial start up will be returned many times over in no time.

So, why don’t you just attend one of my free seminars, give me your credit card number and I can share with you ways to make huge profits?

Oh, you have already caught onto my plan? I guess my work here is done.

By Catherine Monreal

Catherine received her B.S. in Finance in 2006 and is currently pursuing her M.B.A. in Finance.


Treebeard Moves!

Soon after its publication, JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings outgrew its popular fiction status. Lord of the Rings is a cultural event. With the motion picture, similar in genius, the meaning is further extricated from its origin. This phenomenon is hardly novel, but in respect to the profound cultural and philosophical significance of Lord of the Rings it is terribly useful to compare the movie with the book.

Of course from book to screen there is a revision. Deletions are especially obvious, but what is done to the overall meaning is less obvious. Also, in the change from literary to motion picture there are stylistic imprints.

The most significance difference is that not only did Tolkien take more time to construct the story, he also took more time within the story.

JRR Tolkien originated the work over decades, drawing it within a written tradition while favoring Anglo-Saxon and including invented languages. Peter Jackson’s movie involves a huge amount of things. Innumerable items, such as buttons, were made to two different scales to accommodate the shift in scale from human to hobbits. Converse to the quotidian is the use of satellites to coordinate all the elements working in different parts of the globe. As film is a kind of language, the innovations in special effects can be likened to Tolkien’s invention of language.

But apart from those differences in form, we think most of “Why did that get put aside?” “Why was that added?” and then “Why keep that?”. Those questions conceal the most important revision of all: Jackson’s portrayal on a smaller landscape, in a smaller scale in time.

Watching the DVD’s, there are many contractions in space from the point of view of the characters. Frodo’s view from Emyn Muil and Gandalfs view from Minas Tirith are not correct in proportion and proximity to Tolkien’s map, but perhaps spatially accurate in respect to Jackson’s requisite contraction of time and space. Overall, the space of middle earth seems contracted when it is compared to the landscapes and distances in Tolkien. These contractions in space automatically contract the story in time.

Tolkien scope of time is abnormally wide. Saving the world and global transformations are all cosmic events, but there is also a more humble, human scale in comparison with the motion picture as well.

Perhaps the first clue to this occurs at the beginning, in the discovery of the ring of power is in the hands of a Shire folk. Gandalf arrives, confirms that this hobbit does indeed possess the ring of power, and then this is put aside for weeks. In the movie they hustle out of the Shire. Is it just armchair, professorial pace here?

Tolkien goes on with interruptions not seeming essential to the plot. Or are they? The story’s time is near half a year. In the movies the transitions in time seem unremarkable.

Chase scenes and fights and romantic chases: movie time is popular, and it is by it own nature set, for the most part, in real time. It seems merely customary to delete scenes that delay the action in order to streamline or tighten the story dramatically.

Maggot, Bombadil, The Scouring of the Shire: deleted. But not just for the streamlining, but for the nature of the storytelling, do we lose the starting and stopping and starting again, of a story within a story. These deletions eventually weaken in sequence the progression of the movies. In that starting and stopping is a kind of charm, induced by a more comfortable use of time. At first glance, we develop care about the characters before the main event. It makes us identify strongly with the hobbits. But more important is the idea that is not so obvious, creating heterogeneous time.

Heterogenous time means a variety of different times, past, present, future, beginnings, middles and ends, stories within stories, back-story, fate, destiny, foreshadowing. This puts emphasis on character, or the character driven story.

This kind of time is very different in the movies. Not just that the movie must be shorter and in removing elements meanings change. Though there are a number of storytelling techniques within film narrative; flashbacks and ‘flashforwards’, dreams, parallel storylines, exposition with voice-over, repetitions, even fade outs and dissolves…the underlying aesthetic power of motion pictures is that the ‘now’ is overpowering.

The heterogenous time of disconnected or circumstantially connected events has been simulated in Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise by the inclusion of black frames, simulating a kind of ambiguity to where in time and space each successive scene is, but such a technique would not be applicable to the Fellowship of the Ring.

Heterogenous time, in this case a kind of stumbling from event to event, is necessary to create an overall feeling of the time of innocence. Such is the world of the Shire, despite Sackville-Baggins’s, and rings of power stashed in wooden chests. Such a world is necessary to contrast with the burden of contemplating one’s destiny and the cosmos. Thus we feel a hobbit as something in our own experience, going from carelessness of Arcadia to the release of the Grey Havens.

Motion picture techniques with time: introductions, flashbacks, narratives within narratives, are too useful to not use frequently and liberally. This could be confused with heterogenous time, but it is not. Such techniques, being used here and there for purposes of expediency, do not emphasize a contrast, or create larger scales of transitions from one kind of time to another, as occurs in the trilogy. In Tolkien’s narrative, heterogenous time changes into a quest that unravels into multiple storylines, whose threads then converge at the Crack of Doom. There is a compression of tense.

The Grey Havens is not equal in poignancy between book and DVD. Jackson sought to include the world weary tone that ends Tokien’s Lord of the Rings, but somehow, as the grinding pace of the Return of the King is ending there is more relief than a reluctance to let go.

Apart from the “necessary” deletions, weakening of the grip of the story can be attributed to Peter Jackson’s film style: his camera work is kinetic. It jumps, hovers, jiggles, leans, kants. It follows arrow-flights. It makes the impression of being hasty. It undermines the overall tone of seriousness, but it does add a value of greater intimacy.

The camera moves more than most other directors. It is essential to have a distinctive style as a director. Directing a film is a negotiated form of authority: others contribute much and a director is pressured to show vision. It is part of the economics, for a signature style, if successful, will encourage audiences to buy tickets again!

Jackson’s signature tendency is more controlled in Lord of the Rings, yet harkens to his hasty pace in a plethora of camera angles and in such gags as following the paths of arrows.

Perhaps the weakest shots are the sweeping aerial landscapes: they occur too fast and are felt as secondary. The sense of Middle Earth as a place is impossible to duplicate, not just because Tolkien put stories within stories, but because Tolkien describes nature and landscape with a particular genius.

Jackson’s style can feel artificial, sometimes self- conscious. Moving the camera about excessively brings attention to the effort. Though…there is masterly sensitivity to the story and character as the cameras is used. It moves more than average, but just right for the scenes.

Even though this kind of camera style detracts from the grandeur and seriousness of an epic spectacle, the mastery creates greater intimacy: our own view through our eyes is similar in dynamism. So it adds a personal touch that is lacking in the gap between film and fiction. Fiction talks to you, whispers in your ear, while film is presented to you on a screen somewhat distant. Jackson’s style goes one step in closing this gap.

Jackson has other idiosyncrasies. He will go for a gag; the dwarf tossing and excessive hobbit antics, for instance. Of course, Hobbits as not-spectacular-people enables comic charm. These are cheap shots, akin to the vaudeville sequence at Kong’s perch, with Ann Darrow attempting to amuse the great beast (Kong disapproves), but it also provides the audience with a sense that this is only a movie. There is a director who is to provide entertainment, not slavish imitation of a great author.

JRR Tolkien makes self-conscious references as well. However, his are really incidental, too subtle to really add to the structure of the narrative. The Lord of the Rings is ‘written’ by the characters. This is related after the adventures are over. Jackson dramatizes this, but its even more irrelevant in that the movie one sees is not made by the characters in the movie!

Such frames within frames is a self conscious device, actually bringing the author closer by putting a person between themselves and the audience.

This is not an important element of Tolkien’s work, but it in is Jackson’s, as a cumulative effect of a distinctive, hasty camera style and a nod to the audience.

Tolkien makes uses his idiosyncrasies as well. For example there is the delay in the narrative with Farmer Maggot. These starts and stops tactically encapsulate the sense of a boy’s adventure in tone, a tone which is to be destroyed, but strategically they contribute to the effect of heterogenous time.

Like Farmer Maggot, Tom Bombadil serves the reader as reminder that this is just another story. Yet his peculiarities go beyond the boys adventure story to something more cosmic. This is the peak, or strongest event in the development of the heterogenous time.

Why does Tolkien have Bombadil in the story? Bombadil is immune to the ring, and this would seem to undermine the risk. But Bombadil serves as subtle foreshadowing, as well as a sense of a local haven just around the corner. It is amusing to think that Doctor Tolkien is whispering ‘this is not going to hurt very much at all’, meaning, this is going to hurt, be prepared, but don’t be frightened, it is just a fairy story.

Jackson hastiness, naturally in the transition from book to screen and by Art in his camera style, undermines the final movie. The Return of the King, has a clunky, rushing feeling.

The material suffers because each of these sequences; Pelannor Fields and Black Gate, Shelob, the Orc tower and the Crack of Doom, feel like a regular thirty minutes apiece, again and again.

There is feeling that it is not an organic shape, but a mechanism. What is lacking?

That we do not have the same time stretching as in Tolkien’s undermines this sequence of events in the movie. Wherein, in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, the battle after battle does not seem interminable, but to be picking up the unraveled threads of the story’s multiple plots and spinning them into a final thread. This is the narrative payoff of having heterogeneous time earlier in the story.

Fran, Peter and Phillipa’s revision takes us away from the serious tone of the literary Epic (although Jackson’s dominant style takes us away from Epic to intimacy in a large way) while connecting the story to a wider tradition of fairy tales.

In fitting the earlier audience into a tradition, Tolkien takes us away from fairy tale, with Goblins and Elves and Dwarves, into Epic.

Clearly, one important thread is the story of rival people’s, with a siege of a great city, all over a most precious thing, like the Illiad. And both stories charts a vast territory filled with monstrous beings, all in hope of returning home, like the Odyssey.

The comparisons go deeper, but the idea is in picking out where in our collective imagination the two works rest, for the film and the book make us experience a incredible and similar story through different medias.

This comparison is forced, but when considering the movie, the force goes too far. Why?

The epic is literary, poetic in fact. While Tolkien synthesized fairy and epic, his concern went more to geopolitics, war and to devastated personalities. Included are dynastic successions and a simulation of history…something we enjoy about Epic for history is an epic.

But, to some degree he marginalized an important Fairy theme. This theme is terribly personal for Tolkien, inspired as he was by the story of the love between elf and man. Lord of the Rings does not develop that story at all. It is a brief appendix.

But this theme is the greatest revision of the story by Jackson, Fran and Phillipa. It changes the tone and characterization of Aragorn and Arwen.

And it is the great success of the film. It is more effective as story between the love of Elf and Man, which is a more pleasingly intimate enchantment. It redeems the movie in that it is not just a narrowing of the material for the convenience of the format, but enlarges the story into, and in a way, closer to its origins.

The story harkens back to earlier times, seeking to bolster the difficulty film will have in doing so; again, it is motion picture’s nature to be immediate.

Gollum debating himself could not be as dramatic as a literary moment, and also punctuates the originality of the filmmakers. But it is an incident to the overall plot.

While the love story between Elf and Man is a great liberty taken by the filmmakers, Tolkien’s greatest theme, the collusion of psychological and environmental devastation, is dropped. This is one reason why the aireal scenery falls so flat. We expect an epic landscape, but this kind of landscape is perhaps Tolkien’s greatest effect. Tolkien’s epic landscape excels in comparison to all of literature. It is perhaps unequalled, but that is another essay.

Most of all, this detracts from the characterization of Treebeard. That Treebeard moves is great drama in the books. In the film, it is expected, and not nearly so significant. It is not because our imaginations create a better Treebeard that can be simulated. It is because the long descriptive passages about Nature converge on the meaning of Treebeard’s existence. Ents move only in regard to global events.

The meaning of Treebeard is further degraded in showing the destruction of Isengard as a spectacle of rampaging Ents. Jackson knew that the audience would demand to see such a spectacle.

But Tolkien did not dramatize the event. Tolkien is not inclined to dramatize mayhem,

but more important to the overall structure of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, dramatizing, or making a spectacle of the destruction of Isengard would celebrate the destruction of Saruman, ruining the delicate tone of a fallen, yet possibly redeemable hero.

The storyline of Saruman is directly connected as anti-thesis to the long intimate passages describing Nature. This is the most important cultural effect, lacking in the movie. One could say it is impossible to film, but it can be voiced.

If one were quick to dispute, the origination of an entire industry of epic fantasy is certainly a phenomenon. But this is not as far reaching as the global turning of industry to greater environmentally responsible. JRR Tolkien’s story of the devastation of human personality is inextricably linked with environmental degradation. Tolkien’s voice is at the forefront of this global issue.

Monuments? It is too neat to say that Jackson’s innovations in special effects, enabling and excelling in the visualizing of Lord of the Rings in three dimensions, balances with Tolkien’s own invention and care to tradition. But in way, it does.

These two works, Jackson’s being the sub-sub creation, are works to which Art History will refer. For in both cases the mighty scale of conception and the excellence in execution are rarely equaled.

Lord of the Rings will be produced again. In departing from Jackson’s Lord of the Rings, there should be a more faithful use of tense. Perhaps six movies, for whatever length of time needed (the standard two to three hours in length is diminishing as a convention) following the value of preservation and the tone sadness in the books with greater fidelity.

It may not be so entertaining as Jackson’s. However, what is Entertainment changes quite profoundly from generation to generation.

by Odilon Ross


The Cancer Fighting Gadget

Do you have a tool that you count on for many different household repairs? If you have such a gadget in a tool box or a drawer, then you can appreciate the value of the chemical indole-3-carbinol, also called 13C. This phytochemical, a key part of the chemical make-up of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables has been shown to be a natural way of preventing certain cancers. Prostate cancer is one of two cancers that will decline in incidence when subjects eat a diet rich in 13C.

The versatile 13C uses not one, not two, but three different methods for delivering its healthful effects.

1) 13C interrupts the cancer cell cycle;

2) 13C prevents formation of the blood vessels that tumors need;

3) 13C triggers cell death

This special chemical somehow cuts-off from the growing cancer cells the key ingredients that those malignant cells need for maintenance of their high metabolic activity. Without such ingredients, the cancer cells die.

The greatest value of 13C stems from the expected product produced once an individual has eaten a diet rich in 13C. Normally, the human body converts 13C into DIM. Dr. Fazul Sarkar, a researcher at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit , has found that DIM can remain biologically active in the human body for a longer period of time than can 13C, the compound from which the DIM originates.

The action of DIM gives mothers all the more reason to tell their children to eat more broccoli.

by Sue Chehrenegar
Sue has an MS in Biomedical research along with 30 years of experience in her field of study.