Entertainment

Bahamas Salsa Social Network

August 28, 2014

Bahamas Salsa Social Network ...

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Bid to strengthen support systems for LGBT community
Bid to strengthen support systems for LGBT community

August 28, 2014

FOUR days of pride celebrations will kick off this weekend in a bid to strengthen existing support systems for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community...

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Season One of HBO's The LeftOvers Comes to an End
Season One of HBO's "The LeftOvers Comes to an End

August 27, 2014

The HBO original drama series The Leftovers wraps up its first season with the episode titled “The Prodigal Son Returns...

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iCreate Music All Acces Seminar returns to Nassau September 20th & 21st

August 26, 2014

Founded and launched in 2011, the iCreate Music All Access Seminar is set to go down on September 20th & 21st at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island...

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HBO offers a month of thrills with its September Movie Lineup in The Caribbean
HBO offers a month of thrills with its September Movie Lineup in The Caribbean

August 25, 2014

No other channel brings viewers more of the excitement and adrenaline rush of the biggest Hollywood hits than HBO, offering subscribers in the Caribbean...

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Country music set to invade Atlantis

August 21, 2014

It's going to be a country music invasion next weekend when Rascal Flatts, Dierks Bentley, the Band Perry and Jewel have the Atlantis stage rocking for three consecutive days.
The three days of amazing music, known as the Paradise Music Festival (PMF), takes place August 29-31. It is a part of the Atlantis LIVE concert series, presented by HGTV.
Kicking off the concert on Friday night in Atlantis' Imperial Ballroom will be multi-Grammy, Academy of Country Music (ACM) and Country Music Association (CMA) nominated artist Dierks Bentley, with a special performance by Casey James.
Jewel, a four-time Grammy nominee who rose from a remote ranch in Alaska to achieve international stardom, continues the party on day two, along with special performances by Striking Matches.
A CMA songwriters series will take place ocean side as the sun sets on day two, with performances by Brett James, Kristian Bush, Caitlyn Smith and Bobby Pinson.
Bringing the three-day weekend to its climax will be Rascal Flatts, the most awarded country music group of the past decade, who are also ACM's top vocal group of 2013; with special performances by the Band Perry, the 2014 ACM vocal group of the year; Dan + Shay (ACM's best vocal duo nominee) and Dee Jay Silver.
The festival will be emceed by HGTV and DIY Network star Allison Victoria.
The CMA songwriters' workshop will be a part of a special CMA Songwriters Series 10th anniversary show at Atlantis' newest venue, Ocean's Edge at The Cove. The CMA Songwriters Series will expose fans to the artisans who through their craft, pen hits that touch the lives of millions of music fans.
Superstars Rascal Flatts (Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney) have once again proven why they are the most awarded country group of the past decade, with the release of their ninth studio album "Rewind" debuting at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. The achievement garnered the group the distinction of being one of only four acts during the SoundScan era to have eight consecutive studio albums debut in the top spot. Since its musical introduction in 2000, the group has sold over 22.5 million albums and over 29 million digital downloads. Their latest album's chart-topping title track marks Rascal Flatts' 15th number one hit single. Spearheaded by Jay DeMarcus, members of Rascal Flatts co-produced more than half of the album, with acclaimed producers Howard Benson and Dann Huff contributing to several of the tracks. The Target deluxe album includes "Compass", which is featured in the Sony Pictures film "Heaven Is For Real", based on the number one New York Times best-selling book of the same name. Now the most awarded country group of the past decade, Rascal Flatts has earned over 40 trophies from the ACAs, ACMs, AMAs, CMAs, People's Choice Awards and more. In 2012, the group reached a new career milestone with over seven million concert tickets sold and recently kicked off its 35-city REWIND Tour 2014, featuring special guest Sheryl Crow with opening act Gloriana.
The Band Perry has skyrocketed into the mainstream since releasing its platinum-certified, self-titled debut album in 2010, which scored the sibling trio a string of hits, including the quintuple-platinum "If I Die Young" (number one on Billboard's Country and AC charts), the platinum-certified "You Lie" and the gold-certified "All Your Life" (number one on Billboard's country chart). Fronted by Kimberly Perry and rounded out by her younger brothers Reid and Neil, the band has sold over 11.3 million tracks from its debut and gold-certified sophomore album, "Pioneer", which debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart. "Pioneer" alone has garnered more than 3.3 million single downloads. In addition to acclaim from top critics across the country, "Pioneer" has produced two consecutive number one country smashes - the platinum-certified "Better Dig Two" and gold-certified "Done", which earned Reid and Neil their first chart-topper as songwriters. "Chainsaw", their thunderous new single, is already climbing on the country radio charts.
The Band Perry enjoyed sold-out headlining dates and recently finished its first global headline tour, the We Are Pioneers World Tour, in March. Over the summer, the trio hit the road with Blake Shelton on his Ten Times Crazier Tour. In the past year, The Band Perry has taken over the American television airwaves with unforgettable performances at the ACM, CMA, Grammy and Billboard Music Awards as well as American Idol, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Ellen, The Talk, The Arsenio Hall Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman. The band also appeared on a banner episode of "CMT Crossroads" with rockers Fall Out Boy and performed as part of the Super Bowl XLVIII NFL Tailgate Party on Fox. They recently took home the 2014 ACM Award for "Vocal Group of the Year", adding to their host of ACM, CMA, ACA and CMT Music Awards. The Band Perry have also amassed Grammy, Teen Choice, AMA, and Billboard Music Award nominations, cementing the sibling trio as one of the hottest acts in recent history.
Dierks Bentley is seven albums into one of country music's most respected and most unpredictable careers, and the award-winning singer/songwriter continues to grow. His latest evolution comes in the form of his number one and critically acclaimed "Riser". Throughout his career, Bentley has mixed elements of modern country, classic country, bluegrass and rock, maintaining an unmistakable identity while constantly reinventing his sound. Riser's lead single "I Hold On" has topped the radio charts, marking 11 career number one songs for Bentley as a singer and songwriter. His six previous studio albums have sold more than five million copies and earned 11 Grammy nominations, countless CMA, ACM and CMT nominations and membership at the Grand Ole Opry.
Atlantis LIVE's Paradise Music Festival will be an experience that should not be missed, as it will be the best way to wrap up summer.
The Atlantis LIVE event series is known for hosting some of the most popular names in entertainment, with previous performers such as Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys and Carrie Underwood.

Day 1, Friday, August 29
Artists:
Dierks Bentley
Casey James
Where: Imperial Ballroom
Time: 8 p.m.
Tickets: $115 gold, $95 silver

Day 2, Saturday, August 30
Artists:
Jewel
Striking Matches
Where: Imperial Ballroom
Time: 8:30 p.m.
Tickets $115 gold, $95 silver
CMA Songwriters series: A special ocean side sunset performance featuring Brett James, Kristian Bush, Caitlyn Smith and Bobby Pinson.

Day 3, Sunday, August 31
Artists:
Rascal Flatts
The Band Perry
Dan + Shay
Dee Jay Silver
Where: Atlantis' outdoor Paradise Harbour venue
Time: 4 p.m.
Tickets: $195 gold, $150 silver, children 6-11 $95 and 5 and under free
Three-day all access tickets are $425 gold and $350 silver includes CMA songwriters workshop on Saturday.

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Island talent showcased for the world

August 21, 2014

The Music, Model & Talent Showcase of the Islands got off to a successful start as scores of Bahamians lined up to audition in the hopes of becoming the next big star of the Caribbean.
The casting call was held on Saturday at Mario's Bowling and Entertainment Palace on Tonique Williams Darling Highway, where applicants filed in long before the designated starting time of 11am, eager to impress a panel of local judges.
Prior to the auditioning sessions, Pia Glover-Rolle, CEO/founder of MMTS encouraged applicants to do their best and assured them that they could depend on her experience in the modeling, music and talent world.
"The region is ripe because it is the first and only showcase of its kind, specifically for the Caribbean and agents are anxious to see the talent here in The Bahamas and the region," she said.
"They are ready to sign the next Rihanna, Naomi Campbell, the next Tyson," said Glover-Rolle. "Agents are ready to give you their undivided attention. This is a once and a lifetime opportunity. You have to give your best and be ready. The rest is up to God."
The applicants were judged on their abilities that included modeling, singing, acting, music production and song writing.
Judging the initial call was Gregory Collie II, music producer; Sonovia Pierre, singer and vocal coach; Darron Turnquest, director of youth in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture; Barry Williams, photographer; Zhivon Young, Miss Bahamas Organization; PJ Douglas-Sands, branding strategist, DS3 Group; and Glover-Rolle, who is also the president and founder of PTG Modelling Agency.
Although 213 people registered, there were 133 people who came out to audition and 77 were successfully called. The successful applicant will be assigned a coach who will engage them in mandatory pre-conference training for the inaugural week-long conference, scheduled for July 13 to 19, 2015 at the Melia Nassau Beach Resort.
There is great anticipation that the next big "star" will be discovered at MMTS 2015.
And some 34 countries including the Caribbean and The Bahama Islands have confirmed their interest and participants, as MMTS is being billed as a one-of-a-kind event for the islands, and is the only modeling and talent showcase in the world specifically targeting the Caribbean market.

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'Let's Be Cops' is largely predictable

August 21, 2014

Let's Be Cops (Rated C)
Cast: Damon Wayans Jr., Jake Johnson, Rob Riggle
Genre: Comedy
Dwight's Rating: 2.5

During the heyday of the so-called Golden Age of television of the 1950s and 60s, it would have been unthinkable for a bankable movie star to even consider headlining a television series. And conversely, it would have been nearly impossible for even the biggest TV star to land the top role in a major motion picture. Things just didn't work like that.
But today all the lines are blurred. We have Oscar-winning film stars in TV dramas and comedies, nearly everybody has a music album or a reality show or both, and the stars of still-in-production TV shows have received top billing in some of the biggest theatrical hits in this past decade.
So, to most people today, the fact that two stars of a middling-rated, still-on-the-air TV sitcom are starring in a wide-release comedy in the middle of summer would seem like no big deal. A pair of such stars -- Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson -- headline the new film "Let's Be Cops".
The two are regulars on the TV sitcom "New Girl", in which they are playful man-children in their early 30s struggling with their adult lives, relationships and responsibilities. Wayans was also on the short-lived and remarkably similar, "Happy Endings", which, before its cancellation in 2013, ran concurrently with "New Girl" on another network, and even more confusingly, ran directly against it in the same time slot at one point.
Why is it important to mention those two sitcoms? Well, primarily because in "Let's Be Cops", Wayans and Johnson seem to be playing variations of their own characters or other characters from those shows. Fans of "New Girl" and "Happy Endings" may feel they are witnessing extended versions of the programs. While this familiarity will be comforting and a draw to the movie for some fans, it may be tiresome for others.
In the film, the two play best friends struggling in their careers (or lack thereof) and personal lives. Sound familiar? Following a series of events, the two decide to pretend to be police officers. That gets them tangled up in big trouble with mobsters and real police officers.
In terms of being a buddy comedy, there's absolutely nothing original here. It all feels very familiar and similar to recent hits like "21 Jump Street" or especially "The Hangover" -- though not as raunchy and explicit as the latter. It is largely predictable, and certainly not earth-shatteringly groundbreaking. But it is relatively funny, with numerous laugh-out-loud moments.
But on this weekend before television's Primetime Emmy Awards -- an event which in recent years has been looking more and more like the Oscars in terms of the names of actors up for awards -- it does seem that the path to success for thespians moving from television to the movies is much less assured than for those doing the reverse. Television seems to be in the middle of a new Golden Age, arguably even stronger than the original. The film industry, on the other hand, has for years been stuck in a mire of recycling, imitation and unoriginality.
While "Let's Be Cops" is not an unpleasant experience, Wayans and Johnson -- two talented funny men with undeniable comedic chemistry -- may garner some more notice and attention for their film endeavor. But they are more than likely bucking the wrong trend, and if they continue on this path, would be heading away from the hotter medium today.
o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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Genetics, environment, thinking

August 21, 2014

Back in the late 60s, I went to Chicago to meet my mentor Earl Nightingale who at that time was affectionately known as the dean of personal motivation. His daily radio program "Our Changing World" upon which I modeled "Time To Think" was being aired on some 1,200 radio stations around the world, and Earl was in fact the most listened to radio personality in the world. I joined his organization, The Nightingale-Conant Corporation as a distributor of Earl's motivational cassette training programs, and later became regional director for The Caribbean, Central and South America for The Nightingale-Conant Corporation. I thank God for the day I joined Earl's organization for I learnt so much from Earl's teachings.
Now one of the most important things I learnt from Earl Nightingale was that three major things contribute in large measure to the person we eventually become, and these three things are as stated in the title of today's article "Genetics, Environment, Thinking".
So, let's first deal with genetics. As Earl put it, each of us is the confluence of a genetic pool that goes back for thousands and thousands of years. So, in a nutshell, there are certain factors in our genes, our DNA, which contribute toward the person we eventually become.
Next, the environment in which we are brought up in influences the way in which we think and act when we grow up. We listen to and observe those nearest to us, our parents, relatives and friends, and what we see them do and how they act in a variety of different situations tends to have a very powerful effect on our thinking and subsequent actions. However, there's a third, most powerful element that finally shapes us into who we eventually become, and that's our thinking.
To explain how important the third element, how we think is, and how it can actually override so to speak, our genes and environmental conditioning, let me give you my valued readers a personal example. I'm Irish, and believe me it was most definitely in my genes to become an alcoholic. My environmental conditioning when I was young led me to love and consume large quantities of alcoholic beverages, that's what everyone who surrounded me did.
So I was indeed destined to become an alcoholic until one day I awoke with a terrible, sickening hangover, looked at my sad, flushed face in the mirror and vowed to stop drinking alcohol from that day, which thank God I did. So, in conclusion, our thinking can indeed override our genetic programming and our environmental conditioning.
o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Debbie Reynolds to be Honored with 2014 SAG Life Achievement Award
Debbie Reynolds to be Honored with 2014 SAG Life Achievement Award

August 18, 2014

51st Annual Accolade to be Presented During the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® Simulcast Live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 25, 2015...

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Aftern Seven Seasons and 80 episodes, The Vampires of HBO's TRUE BLOO say goodbye to the small screen
Aftern Seven Seasons and 80 episodes, The Vampires of HBO's TRUE BLOO say goodbye to the small screen

August 18, 2014

One of the most sensual, frightening and successful HBO series comes to an end August 24th...

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Education is key for new Miss World Bahamas

August 15, 2014

She's a beauty with a purpose -- who wants to raise awareness of the importance of obtaining an education -- and become the first Bahamian to capture the Miss World crown.Almost two weeks after capturing the Miss World Bahamas title in her first time entering a pageant of any sort, Rosetta Cartwright is already entrenched in training to represent The Bahamas at the Miss World Pageant in London on December 14. Rosetta, who had zero interest in beauty pageants, entered the Miss World Bahamas pageant at the urging of someone who saw her at a fashion show. Rosetta, who stands five feet, 10 inches went through the screening process. They told her about the pageant, and she did research on her own to find out what it was about. The humanitarian work contestants engage in, and the relatable girl-next-door beauty with a purpose pageant piqued her interest.Rosetta, 19, from Sweeting's Cay, off Grand Bahama, went from disinterested to stepping away with the ultimate prize on Sunday, August 3 -- Miss World Bahamas in her first pageant ever. The platform gives her the avenue to push her agenda to raise awareness about the importance of education."I said okay, I get the best of both worlds. I could do this pageant and bring awareness about education, something that's important to me, and letting children in The Bahamas know how important it is to have a good education," said Rosetta who has completed two years of her business management studies with a minor in tourism at The College of The Bahamas. "For me to see some children not take their education seriously ... and they can get free education through twelfth grade, and in some cases through college with scholarships, that really drove me. I had a message and wanted to tell my story."Rosetta's story is of being raised in a single parent home by her mother Joan Davis after her father went missing when she was seven years old, and a young girl who from an early age ascribed to the importance of her studies and earned her way onto the honor/distinction roll throughout primary school.It's of a young girl who skipped ninth grade after sitting six Bahamas Junior Certificates (BJCs) in eighth grade. She got A and B grades. She found herself a 13-year-old in tenth grade. She graduated high school with five Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) national exams.She also recalled on the morning of her high school graduation telling her mother, Joan Davis that she would never have to spend a dime on her education, except maybe for books. When Rosetta enrolled in COB, her mother did not have to spend a penny. Rosetta had gotten all of her scholarships herself, and she excelled at COB -- president's list the first year, dean's list the second year -- that she now has a $30,000 bursary to pay for her education. "Winning the Miss World Bahamas, and when I win Miss World would definitely open a door for me, to bring awareness to my platform that education is key. This will allow me to tell my story and spread the message, and if there is only one child I can help, I would look back at it and say I did it well," she said.Rosetta said she loves it when people tell her that she can't do something. She said that negativity pushes her to prove them wrong to achieve the goal."I plan on going abroad to college and everyone I know asks me how I'm going to do that, but I say don't worry about it. I may not see how it's going to happen now, but I guarantee you I'm going to be leaving -- I'm going to go, and it's going to fall into place. You just have that drive and determination to never give up until you accomplish your goals. "Coming from Sweeting's Cay, no one would ever dream that I would be Miss World Bahamas. People think that's impossible. My friends always tell me I have these huge dreams, and I always tell them I don't know how they're going to happen, but they're going to happen."Two things that the new Miss World Bahamas took away from the pageant were the friendships she made and lessons learnt during the pre-pageant sessions."The sessions surprised me, because me having the opinion that the only thing to pageants was having a pretty walk, a pretty dress and a nice smile, and then finding out that this was actually a program and you had to go to sessions that were about finding ourselves, building who we are and figuring out where we want to go in life. Even though the other contestants may not have won the crown, they still won something in the end, and those are lessons you can't get anywhere, and you can take with you for life. So if I had not won, in my mind and in my heart I knew I had won. I gave it my best and I walked away with those lessons."And she won despite so many things that were not in her favor. It seemed that everything that could do wrong did -- on the float parade her car stopped working, she had to ask someone to use their car; her dress arrived the day before the evening gown competition, she couldn't fit it and she literally had to get cut out of it and had to have a dress made in about six hours; the airline lost her bag that held her talent costume, she had to find a costume to replace the original which was found after the competition. Looking back, Rosetta said she remembered telling herself that God would not have allowed her to go through all that she had for nothing.And when she realized she had won, she said the only thing she did not want to do was cry.

"I have like the worst cry -- beyond Kim Kardashian horrible cry," she said. But she immediately started crying anyway.When she travels to London for the Miss World pageant that would be the most exotic locale she would have visited so far in her life (if she doesn't travel to other countries beforehand). She says she's eager to experience new cultures and different cuisines. She's also now obsessed with Bamboo Shack, which she enjoyed for the first time when she came to New Providence about a month before the pageant. (As she's in training, she said she's put that new indulgence on hold.)Besides loving food, the new Miss World Bahamas describes herself as a nerd and says she could spend all day reading a book or watching fascinating historical documentaries on television. She also loves fashion and loves to dress. Rosetta plans to relocate to New Providence for her reign as she said it would make fulfilling her duties as queen easier.

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Made-over 'Turtles' not all that bad

August 15, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Rated B)

Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fitchner

Genre: Action Adventure

Dwight's Rating: 2.5 stars

Teenagers, mutants, ninjas and turtles; with the possible exception of turtles, one imagines that an assemblage of any of these individual groups could have the potential to get really annoying. So one would not be faulted for suspecting that if called upon to imagine a grouping of turtles that were not only teenagers but also mutant ninjas that it would end up being something in line with what the kids these days call "a hot mess". Add to that the fact that this bizarre premise is based on a comic book and popular TV cartoon series that peaked in popularity way back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and you would be well within reason to question the sanity of the person who decided to bring this franchise back from turtle purgatory.Yet, here we are, in 2014, with a new version of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT)". And bigger than the shock of its return to movie theaters, is that it's not all that bad. In this era of abundant comic book-based films mostly aimed at very adult audiences, and with astonishing levels of violence, "TMNT" takes a different track, aiming to create a new, much younger audience for the franchise.While the original comic book series and the original theatrical release in 1990 were much darker in tone, this new movie (a sequel is already in the works for summer 2016) more closely follows the lighter, more comedic fare we all remember from the TV series. New York City -- Hollywood's favorite punching bag, is overrun by criminal mastermind Shredder and his evil Foot Clan -- the only hope for the city and its citizens rests in the "hands?" of four turtles who happen to be human-like mutants with ninja skills.They acquired said skills from their fellow mutant trainer and master, a rat named Splinter. And as you may recall, the turtles are all named after Renaissance-era painters: Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo and Donatello. Very early on, you realize this is not going to be "The Dark Knight". The emphasis is on whimsy. In addition to acting lightweight Megan Fox as news reporter April O'Neil, we have comic actors in the other major parts, including Will Arnett, and Whoopi Goldberg in a cameo. However, most of the humor comes from the wisecracking turtle, Michelangelo, who is blessed with some of the better one-liners and asides.Unlike the last few times we were treated with a "TMNT" movie (the original spawned sequels in 1991 and 1993), when the actors wore turtle suits from muppet master Jim Henson's workshop, advances like motion-capture technology allow for the reptiles to have a slightly less goofy appearance (Just slightly!) As is typical these days, this is a special effects feast, particularly during action sequences. A few of those scenes seem to drag on a bit longer than necessary -- never dull, just overly lengthy. Otherwise, the pacing is spirited.

While there's lots of fighting, it feels nowhere near as violent as most recent comic-based movies, with none of the decapitations, blood squirts or spurts that have become de rigeur.So for those in their 20s, 30s and 40s, nostalgic for the days of their carefree youth, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" may possibly rekindle a few memories. But it's clear this once omnipresent entity is less for this crowd, and more for their own preteens and teens -- a group likely to enjoy it immensely.

o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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The Hook Up

August 15, 2014

New Providence

CONCERT: Jah Cure, Richie Spice, MDeez and Chevaughn will be in concert on Saturday, August 16 at Luna Night Club. Tickets are $35 general, $60 VIP and $100 platinum.

LIONFISH DERBY: A lionfish derby will be held Saturday, August 16 at Green Parrot on East Bay Street. Registration is $50 per boat. Weigh in is at 4 p.m. Categories to be contested included smallest fish, biggest fish and most fish. All proceeds go to Bahamas National Trust research. Lionfish samples will be available on the day. Demonstrations on lion fish cleaning and prepping will also take place.

GOSPEL THEATER: The Pond Productions presents Theater of The Gospel Jesus vs. Satan, a one-man show by Dorsey McPhee. The play takes place on Saturday, August 30 at the Dundas Center for the Performing Arts on Mackey Street at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts or St. Matthew's Anglican Church.

FANTASTIC FRIDAYS: Visage will rock the house at the popular last Friday in the month event known as Fantastic Fridays at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel. The happy hour social event kicks off at 5 p.m. with Visage taking to the stage at approximately 6:30 p.m. and playing through 10 p.m.

CHANGING OF THE GUARD: The changing of the guard, a display of Bahamian music and military exercise, takes place each month on the last Thursday and Saturday at 10 a.m. at Government House. The changing of the guard has been a tradition since 1958. The ceremony features the world-renowned Royal Bahamas Police Force Marching Band and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force guards.

JAZZ AT THE HILTON: Jazz group Vice Versa, featuring vocalist Naomi Taylor, performs every Tuesday and Thursday at British Colonial Hilton at 6:30 p.m.

Grand Bahama

SEA FEST: High Rock's Sea Fest homecoming festival celebrates the bounties of the sea. Party the night away with live band performances, a Junkanoo rush-out and indulge in culinary delights. The venue is the High Rock Primary School grounds, in East Grand Bahama.

SWIM RACE: BASRA Bernie Butler Swim Race takes place on August 16 at Coral Beach in Lucaya. The annual swim race and beach party raises funds for the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association.

CULTURAL FEST: Great Harbour Cay's Cultural Fest takes place on Saturday, August 9. The event in its second year celebrates the island's diversity and culinary delights.

FESTIVAL: Forbes Hill Homecoming Festival takes place August 7-10 in Forbes Hill. The annual event includes a weekend of activities for people of all ages, with a souse-out on Thursday and a fair on Friday and Saturday. The weekend culminates with a church service and beach picnic on Sunday.

o To have your event listed in The Hook Up, email your information to shavaughn@nasguard.com.

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Choose your thoughts carefully

August 15, 2014

Whether we're aware of it or not, we are making choices all day and night long for everything is in fact about choice. As Dr. Myles Munroe once put it to me in an interview I conducted with him for my "Success Files" series, "Our life is a result of the sum choices we have made to date." This is indeed so very true. Now we all understand, I'm sure, that all actions are indeed preceded by thoughts. In other words, we think about what we intend to do, before we actually carry out the action, whatever it may be. So it therefore logically follows, that we need to do as today's title instructs us to do, and that is to choose our thought carefully.I read the following in Creative Thought Magazine a few days ago which is significant relative to our theme for today. "I know my thoughts, feelings and words create my life. As I keep the high watch on these forming elements of my experience, I create a life filled with joy, happiness, love, peace and success. I choose to think, feel and speak in alignment with the highest and best for all concerned. Whenever I recognize thoughts or hear my words that do not come from principle, I stop, reflect, and change my thinking and speaking. I state my intention to be clear about what I want, think and say. In this way, I know my life unfolds in perfect action."That short passage from Creative Thought Magazine is a wonderful, practical lesson for all of us today, including incidentally, yours truly, on how to choose our thoughts real well, for they are in fact what cause us to act in certain ways throughout each and every day.Let's face it -- no matter how positive a frame of mind we leave home in each morning, all sorts of negative people and events are going to inevitably cross our path. However, it's how we choose to react to these people and events that will actually determine in the end the ultimate outcome of our day. When someone is negative, we have a choice to act in kind and thus descend to that person's level, or we can choose to remain positive and upbeat in spite of all of the negativity permeating the atmosphere in which we have to operate.As Dr. Denis Waitley puts it, "It's not what happens that's important, it's how we react to what happens," and of course, that's a choice. So in conclusion, always choose your thoughts carefully, and you'll have a wonderful day, and a successful life. I guarantee it!

o Think about it!

Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.

Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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HBO Renews The Leftovers for a Second Season
HBO Renews "The Leftovers" for a Second Season

August 14, 2014

Created by Damon Lindelof, the original drama series stars Justin Theroux...

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TRIBUNE POLL: Readers say 'no' to carnival

August 12, 2014

THE majority of voters in The Tribune online poll say they are NOT in favour of the Government's controversial decision to host a Carnival in the Bahamas...

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Tomii Culmer's destiny

August 07, 2014

Tomacina "Tomii" Culmer was destined to wear the Miss Universe Bahamas crown. She believes her destiny was already written and that it was just for her to carry it out and make the people that she loves proud. If you go with that theory, then it was already in the cards for this Grand Bahama native to wear the Miss Universe Bahamas crown and she simply had to make it happen. And she certainly did when she won.
Tomii, 22, as she likes to be called earned the right to represent The Bahamas on the Miss Universe stage after winning the title the second time she entered the pageant. She entered in 2011, but withdrew after the contestants were revealed. After going through the sessions and seeing how much work went into being a queen and the requirements, she realized a lot would be required of the winner and that she had to be willing to do them if she wanted to make a difference. At the time she realized that the pageant world was not for her. Three years later, a more mature Tomii said she had grown into herself and realized that she wanted to leave a legacy behind. She wanted people to be inspired by her years after she's gone, and that she wanted people to talk about her (in a good way of course).
"From 2011, I've really been digging deep and trying to add another layer," said the five-foot, 11-inch stunning beauty. "For me, entering the pageant again was more of 'I need confirmation to know that I'm on the right path to be a better-known ambassador'," said Tomii who also models. "I travel a lot and when I meet people I'm automatically an ambassador, but I wanted the support of everything that comes with Miss Universe Bahamas -- the national support of being the ambassador. I got it and now I'm ready to work with it."
As she was declared Miss Universe Bahamas, Tomii buried her face into the shoulder of Rokara Hepburn who went on to become the first runner-up. The only thing she could recall going through her mind at the time was that she told herself not to have an ugly cry. Tommi said if she had heard Rokara's name called as the winner, that she would have been okay with the result because as far as she was concerned it was all destiny.
"We told each other right before we got on [stage] that what's supposed to happen is going to happen," she recalled. "I tell people all the time that destiny has been written a very long time ago, it's now playing it out, so you don't really have to stress about anything because it makes no sense," she said. "Either way it went I was going to be happy because I'd built a relationship with Rokara, and I told her to not give up until they call her name and that even after that she can't give up because so many opportunities are going to come because she's tall and beautiful."
Sinking in
It's still less than a week since she was crowned, but Tomii says the realization that she is now her country's beauty ambassador sinks in a little more daily. She thinks it will really hit home for her when she starts her training for Miss Universe and when she gets on the plane to fly to the as yet to be determined host country.
"I took a selfie with my sash and told my brother (Alfred Anderson-Lewis, who is not blood related) that I almost feel like this doesn't belong to me, like someone's playing a joke on me." And of course her friends aren't letting up. These days her day gets started by them saying "Good morning your highness" which Tomii finds "lame," but laughs off. Her focus she says is on being an inspiration, especially to little girls.
"My personal mission statement in life is to inspire, nurture and encourage inner peace and self-worth because I feel that's the base of any successful being, the base of anyone who wants to be positive in life," said Tomii. She said she was someone who once did not have inner peace and didn't feel she was worthy of a lot of things.
In July she shaved her head and started on a journey of really loving herself to contradict society's dictates that you have to look a certain way to be considered beautiful and you feel pressured by it. She wants to help as many girls as she can to not feel that pressure. She currently mentors a Brownie troop at Freeport Primary School and encourages the girls to love themselves.
"Some of them don't focus because people tease them about their hair, or their size, the way they look ... their skin color. I showed them a series of my modeling photos -- from by shaved head to wearing an Afro puff, and a Brazilian Remy, and they were all like, 'Miss Tomii, I can't wait for my hair to look like that' -- the long, straight hair, and I had to sit down and talk to them. They are girls that are seven, eight years old, and they understand and you take it so lightly. When they're that young, that's when you instill the values that affects their character and the way they feel about themselves and the way they pay attention."
Tomii has talked to the Brownie members about ladies being seen and not heard, and she says when she now goes into the classroom she meets the little girls with crossed ankles. She also said there is less teasing and bullying among the girls because she told them that as sisters, they should not subject each other to demeaning behavior.
Her one-year reign is just starting out, but Tomii knows how she wants to be remembered -- and that is as someone who set a standard for other people to emulate or strive to better.
"I want to be that queen that gets the prestigious Miss Universe Bahamas title back to that place where everyone wants to be behind it and everyone wants to support not only the queen, but the [Mis Bahamas] Organization. People just see the final night and the preliminaries, but they don't see the amount of work that goes into sessions and etiquette classes and presenting yourself," she said. She would also like to see pageantry supported, not just for her, but, for every queen in the future.
She said in the future all women entering the pageant should go into it with an open mind and wanting to leave with more than just a crown.
Take away
"I went into the pageant wanting to be more than just Tomii the model, I wanted to be Tomii the role model, but a lot of people didn't know that. And someone sent me a Facebook message and said 'I'm inspired by you. I don't look at you any longer as just Tomii the model, I look at you as Tomii the role model' and I just sat back and said if I win, I win. But for somebody that did not know my goal to just blatantly say it straight out, I felt like I won a long time ago, and not the crown."
Tomii says she came out of the recent pageant more refined with a clearer sense of her purpose and the journey she must take.
While she has yet to find out what fabulous country she will step onto the world stage for Miss Universe, she knows that she will start physical training next week at MacFit 360 and with pageant coach Grace Fontecha in October.
And whatever the outcome on the world stage, Tomii said it's just the beginning of her legacy and that she intends to further her personal mission statement.
"Destiny has already been written, it's just now for me to carry it out and make everyone proud. I've already made my mom, Jackie Frazer extremely proud. I have brothers and sisters who are blood and I love my family, but there are people who have been brought into my life who are like brothers and sisters to me because we're so close. We're all going down a similar path so we inspire each other. I've been blessed to have such great friends and such great energy around me for the past few years and it just adds to my family."
While she's been in New Providence since her crowning, she has friends and family that are eager for her to return to Grand Bahama to wish her well, before she moves to the capital for her reign.
Tomii may be Miss Universe Bahamas, but she wants you to know that she's approachable. She loves food. She enjoys carpentry and joinery -- actually she loves to work with her hands because she loves to be creative. She describes herself as more of a practical learner. And of course she likes hanging with her Brownies. Tomii also sings and was in a band called B12 in Freeport.

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Grand Bahamian queens win Miss Universe and Miss World Bahamas pageants

August 07, 2014

For the first time in the history of the Miss Bahamas Organization (MBO), two Grand Bahama queens won both the Miss Universe Bahamas and Miss World Bahamas crowns. Tomii Culmer and Rosetta Cartwright took home the Miss Universe Bahamas and Miss World Bahamas crowns, respectively, on Sunday, August 3, during the Miss Bahamas double header pageant at the Atlantis Resort.
Miss World Grand Bahama, Rosetta Cartwright, bested six other competitors to win the coveted Miss World Bahamas title. Cartwright also won awards for most photogenic, best talent, and the people's choice award.
Shanae Strachan, who also won awards for best national dress and best evening gown, was first runner up. Chantel O'Brian took home the BTC multi-media and beauty with a purpose awards, and was second runner up. Rontre Rolle was third runner up, and won the Miss Congeniality Award, as well as best swimsuit.
Miss Universe Grand Bahama, Tomii Culmer, was announced the winner of the Miss Universe Bahamas Pageant. Culmer bested five other contestants to win the pageant, in addition to awards for best evening gown, best costume, and best swimsuit.
Miss Congeniality and people's choice winner, Rokara Hepburn, was first runner up. Ominique Burrows was second runner up and the winner of the most photogenic award. Toni Bethel rounded out the top four, and won the BTC multi-media award.
"We are very pleased with the results," said MBO President Michelle Malcolm. "It was an extremely tight competition this year, but we are confident that Rosetta and Tomi will represent not only the Miss Bahamas Organization well, but also The Bahamas, and of course the Grand Bahama Community."
The newly crowned Cartwright said that she was "speechless and still in shock" but expressed her gratitude to her sponsor, Conch and Kalik Restaurant, as well as her district directors, the MBO, her fellow contestants, and her family and friends.
Culmer said that she was looking forward to sharing her Miss Universe Bahamas win with the little girls of the Brownies troop that she mentors.
"I promised them that I would bring home the crown, and I am ecstatic that I am able to do just that," said Culmer. "It is so important for little girls to love themselves. When I was younger, I didn't like what I saw in the mirror, but, thanks to a number of supportive people in my life, I grew to love myself, and I want to be that person who can help build young girls' confidence, and teach them to love every single aspect about themselves."
Model, entrepreneur and television star Nicole Murphy, was a judge for the Miss Bahamas Universe Pageant. She said it was a tough job to choose a winner, but Culmer's confidence set her apart from the other contestants.
"The way she spoke, her presence, what she spoke about, the way she answered her questions -- her gown was absolutely stunning! She just took over the stage," said Murphy.
Jerome Sawyer was the host for the evening, and was joined by model and former Miss Bahamas winner Braneka Bassett, for the Miss World Bahamas Pageant, as well as business woman and former beauty queen Leslia Miller-Brice for the Miss Universe Bahamas Pageant.
Bahamian singer, Jayne Doh, performed the official Miss Bahamas crowning song, Cover Girl, during both pageants, in addition to her single "Bounce" at the Miss Universe Bahamas Pageant. Angelique Sabrina performed in both competitions while Chase Fernander performed during the Miss Universe Bahamas Pageant.

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Guardians of the Galaxy manages to surpass my expectations

August 07, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy (Rated T)
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Batista
Genre: Action Adventure
Dwight's Rating: 3.5
Sometimes having low expectations can be a very good thing!
The previews for "Guardians of the Galaxy" left me cold and uninterested in the film. Commercials made the characters look like laughable rejects from the "X-Men". And it seemed this would be another dud of a movie that only comic book fan boys familiar with these Marvel characters would even care about.
But after learning of its massive success in its opening weekend in the United States (it was the largest ever August release in history), my interest was peaked. And not only did it exceed box office expectations, but it managed to exceed mine as well -- and in a way as big as our galaxy is vast.
In the film, brash adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits: Gamora (Zoe Saldana); Drax the Destroyer (professional wrestler Dave Batista); Rocket, a genetically enhanced, gun-toting, talking raccoon; and Groot, a verbally challenged, tree-like humanoid. The galaxy's fate rests in the hands of this motley crew.
Yes, you read right. There's a talking raccoon, and a walking-talking tree, among many other oddities. Nevertheless, one can apply just about any and every positive superlative to this superlative movie. It is the funniest and most fun film so far this year!
No comic-based movie has felt this refreshingly humorous since the original "Iron Man". And the humor comes at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. The main sources of the laughs come from some of the characters that initially had me most skeptical about the film -- which greatly contributed to those low expectations. But Drax, Rocket the Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and the tree, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), are the life of the party, and at the center of the movie's snappy dialogue and overall spirited pacing.
And who knew Chris Pratt -- a supporting player on TV's "Parks and Recreations" -- had it in him to be the next great leading man? There have been little hints here and there, including with his small role in the film "Zero Dark Thirty". But it's certainly cemented here. He demonstrates extreme versatility, with a classic leading man combination of comic timing, action ability and capability, and romantic chemistry with Zoe Saldana.
She, too, is arguably better here than in pretty much anything in which I've ever seen her, including "Avatar" -- the last blockbuster in which she played an oddly colored alien (this time she's green instead of blue).
Lest one assume it's all fun and games, there are scenes of sensitivity and emotional depth. Each one of the core characters has a touching back-story and is overcoming some form of loss or pain in their lives. These elements could have easily derailed everything into one giant, cheesy mess. But in the deft hands of Director James Gunn, who co-wrote the screenplay along with Nicole Perlman, these moments are skillfully managed and not overdone or overbearing. Instead, we are treated to a clever and witty balance of exuberant humor and spectacular action.
All of this high praise and buzz might now lead you to have overly great expectations for the film. But "Guardians" is unlikely to disappoint. I was tempted to give it my top four star (excellent) rating, but I've settled on three-and-a-half (very, very good). It is not for everyone; I'm pretty sure my mom would not appreciate all the weird aliens, talking raccoon and fighting tree. But it is more accessible and palatable than many movies of this genre, even some regarded as classics.
This movie sets up a sequel (scheduled to be released in 2017), and possibly the next, long-running movie franchise. While that's an exciting proposition, it comes with a bit of trepidation too. As we've seen before with "Iron Man", often the bar is set so high with the original that it makes it exceptionally difficult for any subsequent movie in the franchise, or even in the genre, to fill the galaxy-sized shoes. Great expectations, indeed!
o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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