Entertainment

Beauty personified

July 24, 2014

Six women will vie for the title of Miss Universe Bahamas and seven will compete for the Miss World Bahamas crown during double-header pageant on Saturday, August 3 at the Grand Ballroom at the Atlantis Resort.
The contestants were revealed at a pageant launch event on Sunday, July 20 at the John Watling's Distillery for the event that is being held under the theme Beauty Personified.
With girls representing different islands to give the pageants a national appeal, Miss Bahamas Organization (MBO) Director of Media Relations Jerome Sawyer, says the quality of contestants has improved.
"We've always been happy with the contestants that we've gotten, but they're now coming from a broader cross section of the country," said Sawyer.
District directors within respective islands selected two contestants with ties to their district to enter the pageant, which Sawyer said took the pressure off the MBO in terms of recruiting.
With the addition of the district directors to the organization, Sawyer said the contestants now have a better support system, other than just their sponsor and families.
The MBO director of media relations said he also found it interesting that more contestants opted to enter the Miss World Bahamas pageant over the Miss Universe Bahamas pageant which spoke to just how much the Miss World Bahamas brand had grown after they took the pageant under the MBO umbrella.
"I think the public will be pleased with what they see in the preliminaries," said Sawyer.
The women will compete for "lavish" prize packages, including representing The Bahamas at the Miss Universe and Miss World pageants, a wardrobe, with designer Ashley LaurenKerr leading the way, jewelry, airline tickets and spa packages.

Miss Universe Bahamas Contestants

Toni Bethel -- Eleuthera
Height: 5-7
Age: 25
Toni, who has a degree in Criminal Justice, has always had a passion for Bahamian culture. This down home girl loves to fish, and is very close to her family and friends. Toni also enjoys public speaking, reading, cooking, acting and traveling.
Favorite things
Color: Black
Food: Sushi
Sport: Softball/soccer
Fun facts: Toni took part in Youth in Parliament in 2007, and can speak Spanish.

Tomacina Culmer -- Grand Bahama
Height: 5-11
Age: 22
Tomacina, who is affectionately called "Tomi" by friends is no stranger to the modeling world, having won the second season of the Campari Caribbean Poster Girl competition. However, she is also a down to earth tomboy-of-sorts, who studied carpentry and joinery in high school, and later went on to study automotive technology at BTVI. Tomacina also enjoys playing flag football, sewing, and singing, and is the lead singer in the band, B12. In her free time, she is also a Brownie volunteer at the Freeport Primary School
Favorite things
Color: Purple
Food:
Sport: Flag football
Fun Fact: Tomacina once did a photo shoot where she was dressed as a construction
worker.

Ominique Burrows -- Long Island
Height: 5-8
Age: 24
Ominique is not one to blend in with the crowd, and believes in always being herself and having her own unique style. Not only is she an entrepreneur with her own pastry business called, Sea Treats, but Ominique can also speak Spanish, and is also an experienced flute player, who loves fashion and reading.
Favorite things
Color: Purple
Food: Anything home cooked
Sport: Tennis
Fun fact: Ominique was the winner of the "Beauty Schools of America Model
Competition" in 2009.

Gabrielle Wong -- Ocean Cay
Height: 5-9
Age: 21
Gabrielle is a beauty with brains and brawn. She not only graduated as valedictorian of her high school graduating class, but she was also an accomplished track and field athlete. She has since put down her cleats, but she is still a big dance and Junkanoo fanatic, and is a member of the Culture Junkanoo Group. Gabrielle is also very active in her church, and in her free time, she enjoys writing poetry, reading, song writing, and modeling.
Favorite things
Color: Pink
Food: Chicken Alfredo with Mushrooms
Sport: Gymnastics
Fun fact: Gabrielle was her high school's head girl and has visited China.

Rokara Hepburn -- New Providence
Height: 6-2
Age: 21
Rokara comes from a family of statuesque beauties. Her cousin, Walteia Rolle was the first Bahamian to be drafted into the WNBA, and she is determined to make her mark on the world. An avid gardener, Rokara also loves to sing, jog, write poetry, and model. In 2012, she was also named the face of Nu Woman magazine.
Favorite things
Color: Red and black
Food: Shrimp alfredo
Sport: Volleyball
Fun fact: Rokara goes jogging every day.

Diandra Brown -- Paradise Island
Height: 5-9
Age: 26
Diandra is a model and actress who has appeared in the Bahamian film "Hurt people, hurt people". She is also a singer who has recorded two songs with the group Breakthrough. Diandra is a preacher's kid, and is very active in her church. She is passionate about health and wellness through proper eating.
Favorite things
Color: Blue
Food: Fish
Sport: Soccer
Fun facts: Diandra is handy with handicraft. She's very good at creating arts and crafts products.

Miss World Bahamas contestants

Pylara Russell -- Andros
Pylara is studying medicine at the College of The Bahamas and aspires to become a gynecologist with the goal of one day opening her own private practice. She is active in her church where she is a member of the dance troupe. She'd like to one day meet Naomi Campbell whom she describes as an inspirational woman of color.
Height: 5-3
Age: 18
Favorite things
Color: Black
Food: Pasta
Sport: Track and field
Fun facts: Pylara is pretty good with a sewing machine and even won a national award for clothing construction.

Cymphony Lockhart -- Bimini
Height: 5-3
Age: 17
Cymphony graduated valedictorian of her class, and hopes to one day become a behavioral analyst, psychologist or counselor. She describes herself as a quick learner who is determined to achieve her goals. Cymphony enjoys singing, and was part of a gospel group which captured first place at the National Arts Festival. When she's not singing she enjoys a challenging game of ping pong.
Favorite things
Color: Green
Food: Lobster
Sport: Volleyball
Fun fact: The most unusual thing Cymphony has ever done was randomly breaking out into a song and beat box routine for a group of strangers.

Krishanna Culmer -- Eleuthera
Height: 5-7
Age: 22
Krishanna is a pageant veteran who comes from a family of beauty queens. Every female in Krishanna's family, including her mother, has participated in pageants. She placed first runner up in the 2009 Miss Teen Bahamas Pageant and has also competed in Miss Earth Bahamas, and Miss Global Bahamas. Her ambition is to become a lawyer.
Favorite things
Color: Black and red
Food: Steamed fish
Sport: Volleyball
Fun fact: As a child, Krishanna was intrigued by the movie Mary Poppins, and even tried to emulate the fictional character. One day she went on the roof of her home with the umbrella and jumped off. Krishanna describes herself as "peppy" and says she never lets anything dampen her spirit.

Rosetta Cartwright -- Grand Bahama
Height: 5-10
Age: 19
Rosetta hails from Sweeting's Cay, a small cay near Grand Bahama Island. She is a Dean's List student at the College of the Bahamas. She is passionate about inspiring others to remain positive in the face of difficulties. She would like to meet Lupita Nyong'o, whom she says inspired her not to give up on her dreams.
Favorite things
Color: Black
Food: Cracked lobster
Sport: Basketball
Fun facts: Rosetta loves watching cooking shows and is convinced that she is a master chef. Her mother disagrees. Rosetta is not afraid of getting physical if need be. She once had to help free a boat that became stuck on a sand bank while trying to get home. Rosetta is known to serenade her friends as her way of trying to brighten their day.

Shanae Strachan -- New Providence
Height: 5' 10"
Age: 22
Shanae Graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor's of Business Administration in Hospitality Management at the age of 19. She is passionate about the development of women and girls as they strive for equality, nationally and worldwide. Shanae has travelled extensively, and has volunteered in Bulgaria, Peru, and Uganda.
Favorite things
Color: Green
Food: Anything Thai
Sport: Basketball
Fun facts: Shanae has been modeling since the age of 8, and has walked the runway of hundreds of fashion and designer shows. Shanae is a trained fire dancer and has rushed with the Saxons Superstars Junkanoo group for the past eight years. While living and studying abroad, Shanae worked for U.S. Congressman Charles B. Rangel.

Chantel O'Brian -- Ocean Cay
Height: 5' 7"
Age: 20
Chantel is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Marketing at the College of The Bahamas. She is an accomplished model, and has appeared as the face of several campaigns. Chantel has also competed in several pageants, including the 2013 Miss World Bahamas pageant where she placed 1st runner up. She is very close with her mother and says she wants to continuously make her proud.
Favorite things
Color: Red
Food: Chicken fettucine
Sport: Basketball
Fun facts: Chantel has a famous face. She has served as the Face Of Eye Candy Makeup Co.; the Face Of Roses From Concrete; and the Face of Adele 13 Crotchet and Swimwear Accessories.

Rontre Rolle -- Paradise Island
Height: 5' 10"
Age: 20
Rontre's philosophy is life is a journey, and the only way out is to move forward and not look back. She says her proudest moment was going to college because she was able to prove wrong the people who doubted her abilities as a child. She loves to sing and dance, and is an active volleyball and softball player.
Favorite things
Color: Purple
Food: Ham
Sport: Volleyball and softball
Fun fact: Once while in college, Rontre stood in the middle of the main floor and sang to everyone who walked by.

Events Calendar
Friday, July 25 -- Top Model
Where: British Colonial Hilton, Bay Street
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $35

July 26 - National Dress/Costume
Where: Pompey Square, Bay Street
Time: 4 p.m.
Admission: $15

July 27 -- Swimsuit
Where: John Watlings Distillery, Delancey Street
Time: 6 p.m.
Admission: $35

August 1 -- Evening gown/talent
Where: St. Joseph's Hall, Boyd Road
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $50 VIP, $35 general

Finale double header
August 3 -- Miss World Bahamas, Atlantis Grand Ballroom
Time: 3 p.m.
August 3 -- Miss Universe Bahamas, Atlantis Grand Ballroom
Time: 7 p.m.
Tickets: $75 VIP, $50 deluxe, $35 preferred

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'The Purge: Anarchy' is ... tolerable

July 24, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy (Rated C)
Cast: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford
Genre: Action horror thriller
Dwight's Rating: 2

Sucking on sour candy, sniffing and sampling gourmet cheese, or driving by a fatal car crash, you know you probably shouldn't taste or smell or look, and you know doing so will probably leave you feeling a bit odd -- but you go and do it anyway.
Consider "The Purge: Anarchy" the film equivalent. It's a reproachable piece of "torture porn" -- as one of my friends likes to put it, but it's not a totally awful experience, although certainly not one that can earn an unreserved recommendation or endorsement.
Just a little over a year after the original "The Purge", here we go again! Is this the new annual "Saw" franchise?
As we learned in the previous film, in a futuristic United States the government has decided that the best way to tackle crime is for all crime -- including theft, rape and murder -- to be legal one night a year for 12 hours. This results in crime and unemployment reaching record lows, as citizens are encouraged to "purge" themselves of all these antisocial behaviors. But not everyone wants to be part of this exercise, and many people try to barricade themselves away from the madness.
On paper, this is an interestingly provocative premise. "Anarchy" is more compelling, exciting and fast-paced than the original, however, the execution of both these movies leaves a lot to be desired. The main problem is that there's a pervasive sense of inauthenticity.
"Anarchy" is masquerading as an examination of our violent society. Compared to the original, it delves a bit deeper into social class issues, and how the "purge" process has become corrupted by evil, rich people who use the opportunity to prey on the poor and desperate.
But while it appears to want us to believe it condemns these ideas, it also seems to revel in this sickness. Director/writer James DeMonaco is far too thrilled to depict gun violence, or people being set on fire and tortured. As such, halfheartedly try as it might, "Anarchy" is never quite able to transcend "slasher flick" status.
Then, the film begins to drift into the ridiculous, taking on airs of "Crash" -- not one of my favorite movies. The group of misfits struggling to stay alive on this crazy night are constantly pulled into some very unusual and often laughable situations.
However, often while watching it, questioning why I was sitting through this nonsense, and just at the point when I would be tempted to walk out, something would happen onscreen that would make me want to see what was going to happen next. I wouldn't quite say I was on the edge of my seat, but I couldn't look away from the screen either.
So, as I've said before about some other summer releases, if you've got some time to kill (pardon the pun), there are many worse things than being in an air-conditioned theater with this trash. I can't say I liked it, but I also don't feel I necessarily threw away a few hours of my life -- an impression I've walked away with after viewing quite a few films this year.
Hey, a little sour candy once in a while never hurt anybody!
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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Peter Maillis' crew out-spears the competition

July 24, 2014

Peter Maillis' crew out-speared six other teams, capturing 110 lionfish to walk away as the big winners of the recent Out West Hospitality Group's Lionfish Tournament and tasting event.
The Maillis team cruised away from the competition with an electric scooter, $800 and $400 in Out West Hospitality gift certificates redeemable at Traveller's Rest, the Beach House and Island Smokehouse.
Andrew Pike's crew captured the biggest and longest lionfish at 16.5 inches. They walked away with $800 and $400 in gift certificates redeemable at any Out West Hospitality restaurant.
In a surprise twist to the competition, John Andrew McKinney boosted the prize money by donating an additional $500, giving $300 to the second place team and $200 to the third place team.
The main objective of the lionfish tournament and tasting event was to familiarize the public with the fact that lionfish is good eating, and to have people do their part to rid Bahamian waters of the lionfish, an invasive species that is causing havoc in Bahamian waters.
Over 200 lionfish were speared during the tournament.
The Out West Hospitality Group wanted to educate the public on the numerous ways to help control the nuisance. Hundreds of Island Smokehouse guests also enjoyed nine varieties of dishes for the public to sample and vote for their favorite dish. The fan favorite on the day was lionfish prepared in lemon capers. Another crowd favorite was the lionfish peas and grits.
Other variety of lionfish dishes showcased on the day, included beer battered, smoked, broiled, curried, Cajun, and lionfish cakes.
BREEF (Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation) was on hand to demonstrate proper handling and cleaning of the lionfish.

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What you look for you get

July 24, 2014

The title of this article is quite a simple statement in a way, and yet it's packed with important information relative to the results we get from life. I'm sure that just about all of my valued readers have heard someone say to them at one time or another, "Don't go looking for trouble." Now as simple a statement as that appears to be it is chock full of excellent advice for as we all know, if you go looking for trouble, chances are that you'll find it. Here's another example of how what you look for you get.
If a young person were to grow up in a family atmosphere where both parents were extremely critical of the neighbors, always stating that they are trash and that no one who is any good lives in the neighborhood, well then, obviously everywhere the children go in the neighborhood they will keep on coming across no good people because that's what they are expecting to find, that's how they've been programmed by their parents.
As I have emphasized on many occasions in the past in these articles, the mental conditioning that we obtained in our young, formative years, plays a very big part in how we think and act as an adult. So when parents consistently tell children what they'll encounter, they tend for the most part to accept what they've been told to expect, until such time as they begin to mature and become independent thinkers, who can perhaps drastically change their initial mode of thinking.
So instead of always looking for negative people and events, they can do a 180-degree turn in their overall thinking, so that they now see good instead of bad, positive instead of negative.
Dr. Denis Waitley author of the bestseller "The Winner's Edge" states, "We get in life, not what we idly hope for, but what we expect." And the universal law of attraction states as follows, we attract toward us people, circumstances and events in accordance with our thinking. So this surely backs up my argument here today, which is what you look for you get.
So my friend, in conclusion, make sure that you're looking for success, for excellent health, for a great job, for prosperity, peace of mind, and a world full of wonderful people and exciting events day after day. Yes it is indeed true, that as a person thinks so are they. So always look for the very best, and that's what you'll inevitably find. Believe me!
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 honors Freedom and Celebrates Family fun with its August features
HBO honors Freedom and Celebrates Family fun with its August features

July 24, 2014

Next month, HBO brings viewers more reasons to tune in...

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5,000 in prizes up for grabs at lionfish tournament

July 18, 2014

Fishermen start your engines, because with over $5,000 in prizes to be won, simply for removing a few invasive lion fish species from Bahamian waters, gassing up the boat will be more than worth it.
As the fishermen do their part, members of the public who aren't able to catch any lionfish can remain on the shore and sample delicious
lionfish offerings that will be prepared by Island Smokehouse. Topping it all off, the evening will conclude with a performance by Willis & The Illest, a conscious roots dub-style reggae band that fuses rock, hip-hop, jazz and other genres into their musical sound.
"The main objective of the lionfish tournament and tasting is to familiarize the public with the fact that lionfish is good eating," said tournament director Jenny Pinder. "One person described the taste as if a grouper and crawfish had a baby, so we're getting the public aware that it's good eating and doing our part to get rid of them, because the lionfish is destroying the marine life and Out West Hospitality Group just wants to do its part with the community to try and rid our waters of this invasive species that is causing havoc in our waters."
Fishermen can head out at the crack of dawn on Saturday, July 19 to engage in Hawaiian sling fishing (spear fishing) for the lionfish, anywhere in Bahamian waters that they want to fish, but they need to be back to the marina at Island Smokehouse at Elizabeth and Bay Street by 3 p.m. for their fish to be counted and weighed between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
"If fishermen want to, they can bring their boat to Elizabeth and Bay, or they can drive their fish catch in if they're, say, out at Lyford. But they just need to be there by 3 p.m." said Pinder.
The fisherman catching the most lionfish will take home $800, an electric scooter and $400 in gift certificates redeemable at any Out West Hospitality restaurant including Traveller's Rest, The Beach House and Island Smokehouse.
The person catching the biggest lionfish will walk away with $800 and $400 in restaurant gift certificates.
As patrons wait for the fishermen to return with their catch, they can indulge in lionfish dishes prepared by Island Smokehouse like sliders, ceviche and tacos, with all the popular Bahamian sides.
BREEF, BASRA and the Bahamas National Trust will also have a presence at the event. Demonstrations on the proper way to handle lionfish and their cleaning will also be done.
With bouncy castles to keep the children entertained, Pinder said the lionfish tournament and sampling event should amount to a fantastic day for adults and the littlest members of the family.
"It's going to be a great day by the bay, not to be missed," she said. "The general public will pay $10 dollars to sample and be educated on how to handle, clean and cook the delicious fish. Included in the cover charge, patrons will be able to enjoy scrumptious lionfish dishes, Bahamian sides, a cash bar and vote on their favorite lionfish dish."
Willis & The Illest caps off the day's activities with a performance at Island Smokehouse, starting at 9 p.m., and patrons will be in for a treat from the group fronted by lead vocalist Willis Knowles, as the band bridges the gaps of music, people and culture through their energetic performances representing love, peace, unity and positive vibes.
Fishermen have to sign up with Jenny Pinder to compete in the lionfish competition, by emailing jennypinder@me.com or telephoning 427-1542.

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Come one, come all -- St. Martin's Monastery steak-out on tap for the weekend

July 18, 2014

Steak-outs are a dime a dozen around the island -- on any given weekend when driving around, you are certain to pass one -- but there's one steak-out that has become so popular that people eagerly anticipate the once-a-year-event. They gladly shell out the price for a steak or chicken meal at the annual St. Martin's Monastery steak-out.
Described as some of the best steak-out food to be had bar none, people eagerly snap up the tickets to ensure that they can pick up a meal. In its fourth consecutive year the steak- out will be held on Saturday, July 19 between 12 noon and 6 p.m. at the monastery grounds on Nassau Street.
Besides the meals, goodies that will be available for purchase on the day include the monastery's mouthwatering coconut, pineapple and pina colada tarts -- which had Sister Annie Thompson, the chief tart and cookie maker, and her helpers "knee-deep" in flour baking up a storm. And it didn't help that they also had to produce the monastery's much loved "fork cookies" and oatmeal and raisin cookies that people can't seem to get enough of. Conch fritters, cakes, snow-cones and soft drinks will also be on sale during the event.
Funds raised from the steak-out go towards assisting with the renovations to the monastery, which is a historical building.
Steak-out coordinator Sister Cecilia Albury said for the past three years, on the day of the event there was rain early on in the day, that always went away prior to the midday start, but she said the event's organizers are praying that rain won't be a problem this year.
"We appreciate all the love and concern that people have for us, and we pray for our benefactors, those living and deceased who have gotten us this far," said Sister Cecilia. "And we pray that everything will be beautiful on Saturday."
And if you happen to have been one of those unlucky people that didn't purchase a ticket in advance, you may be lucky to be able to walk up and purchase a meal, because the sisters always make provisions for walk-ins. But like the adage says, the early bird catches the worm and you will have to go early, because people are usually asking for extras after their first taste of the food. And the steak-out is usually a sold-out affair.

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Jayne Doh to rock Miss Bahamas Pageants with 'Cover Girl' crowning song

July 18, 2014

The Miss Bahamas World and Miss Bahamas Universe pageants are about to get rocked by Bahamian singer, Jayne Doh, who will perform her new single "Cover Girl" live at the double-header pageants.
Jayne, lead singer of The Bahamas' number one rock band, Avante Guarden, said she is excited to be performing the official crowning song at both pageants. "Cover Girl", a female empowerment anthem produced by Cyeon Fox, ties in perfectly with the 2014 pageants' theme of "Beauty Personified".
The Miss Bahamas pageant finales will take place on August 3 at Atlantis resort. Miss Bahamas World will take place at 3 p.m., and Miss Bahamas Universe will take place at 7 p.m.
The contestants will be officially unveiled at the John Watling's Distillery on July 20 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 and will include two drinks.
Other preliminary events include the Miss Bahamas Top Model Competition on July 25, the Miss Bahamas World national dress competition and Miss Bahamas Universe costume competition on July 26, the Miss Bahamas swimsuit competition on July 27, and the Miss Bahamas evening gown and talent competitions on August 1.
All-inclusive tickets start at $125 and individual event tickets start at $35.
Tickets for the Miss Bahamas official unveiling and other Miss Bahamas events can be purchased from Tripoint Communications on Nassau Street, or online at www.quictick.com. Tickets for the Miss Bahamas finales can also be purchased from the Atlantis Box Office.

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All hail Caesar, he's not monkeying around

July 18, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Rated T)
Cast: Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke
Genre: Science Fiction
Dwight's Rating: 3 1/2 stars

One of the year's greatest film performances comes from an ape!
Well, a computer-generated ape, patterned after a man who has made a career of what is called performance or motion-capture acting.
Andy Serkis plays the ape Caesar in "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" and in its prequel "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" of 2011. He also performed as the memorable Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and the "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", and as "King Kong" in the 2005 remake.
Serkis has for years, but especially here, delivered some award-worthy work. And if the Academy Awards aren't prepared to nominate him in any of the major acting categories, then it's definitely time to create a special category for performance or motion-capture acting and computer-generated characters. This is bound to become increasingly more common in this digital-obsessed era.
Many of you are probably wondering what I'm running on about --
a digital ape in an award-worthy performance? Trust me, few human actors so far this year, have had this kind of screen presence. In fact, all the digital apes in the movie do an amazing job, with the major ape characters being well defined (some might say even better than the humans). Nevertheless, Caesar is a revelation.
Caesar is charismatic and dynamic. He has warmth and is compassionate. He communicates powerfully through just his eyes. And while he's a man...err...ape of few words, when he does speak, he's a commanding presence with many of the characteristics many of us would like to see in our world leaders.
Picking up where "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" leaves off, Caesar is the leader of a growing nation of genetically-evolved apes, a number of whom are able to speak.
In the movie, the human population has been nearly wiped out by a devastating virus, unleashed a decade earlier. The apes find themselves threatened by a band of human survivors. And both sides are on the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species.
In the brewing battle with the surviving humans, it's hard not to root for the apes. Those pesky humans are rightly portrayed as selfish, violent, gun-crazy, war-loving maniacs. And many of the older apes are still bitter after years of being kept in cages by humans or used in scientific experiments.
"Dawn" is much subtler than the original "Planet of the Apes" in its messages about racial prejudice and hatred. The focus here is more about avoiding the human predisposition toward violence.
Just by delving into all of these issues, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" proves that summer blockbusters don't have to be dumb, loud and unemotional. Writers Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, and Director Matt Reeves, make some bold choices; the apes mainly communicate through sign language, and a good portion of the film has sub-titles (Don't forget your glasses!). A very bold summer blockbuster choice indeed!
But this is a total-package movie, with something for everyone. You want fighting and war and guns and explosions? Step right up! It is visually spectacular, building on the mind-blowing standards of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes". Don't expect any humans in ape costumes here. These computer images are so life-like it's frightening. And the special effects are astounding.
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" was a wonderfully enjoyable surprise. But "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" can be added to the growing list of sequels in the past few years that are actually better than their predecessors. And while the original "Planet of the Apes" of 1968 is regarded as a science fiction masterpiece, a case can be made that "Dawn" is the very best in this franchise.
In the same vein, few who've seen Charlton Heston as astronaut George Taylor in the original will ever forget his performance, and his classic lines. But ultimately, it's the ape Caesar that's proving to be the franchise's most compelling force and greatest hero!
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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Discover and recover

July 18, 2014

Nothing is more certain than the fact, that we will all experience problems from time to time in both our personal and professional life -- this is just a fact of life. However, the main point that I wish to make here today is this -- when we encounter these everyday problems, we must never give up pursuing our dreams. Instead, we need to realize, that as Dr. Denis Waitley put it in his book "The Psychology of Winning" problems are normal. Yes indeed they are, problems are an integral part of everyday living for us all. So we must never allow them to deter us from continuing to move forward in pursuit of our goals and objectives.
Webster's dictionary defines a problem as a matter proposed for solution. So in other words, all problems have solutions. Yes they do. So this is where today's important lesson comes into play, for it's all about solving our problems. The first thing which we need to do when confronted with a problem is to simply define it in great detail thus we will discover what the root of the problem really is.
It's important for us as we attempt to fully define and discover what the actual problem is, to write it out in great detail. As Charles Kettering once said "A problem well stated is half solved." And that is indeed absolutely true. So we've dealt with the first word in today's title "discover" as we now know exactly what the problem is and how to resolve it.
So, let's move on to the second word in today's title, "recover". How exactly do we recover from the present situation that the problem has landed us in? In other words, we now start to draw up a plan of action which when implemented will completely eliminate the factors which caused the problem in the first place.
Yes my friend, problems are indeed a very normal part of everyday life for all of us. So we should never fear problems, but instead tackle them in a most positive, and forthright manner thus solving them thereby turning them into golden opportunities to advance along the road of life toward the target, which is of course success city.
o Think about it!Z
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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Barz Noble Snags Six Nominations at Caribbean Music Awards For Hip Hop Album

July 16, 2014

In the midst of ‘artistes’ who rely on the calypso, soca, reggae and rake ‘n’ scrape sounds of their...

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8th grade band with major record deal fueled by wild imagination
8th grade band with major record deal fueled by "wild imagination"

July 15, 2014

Unlocking the Truth is a metal band made up of three friends who have known each other since pre-school...

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A night to honour a sporting icon

July 14, 2014

MORE than 400 guests turned out at the Bahamian Icon Awards at Atlantis on Saturday evening to see standouts in areas ranging from education, sports and fine arts bestowed with the honour of being named an icon...

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The culture commandos
The culture commandos

July 14, 2014

THE Junkanoo Commandos are showcasing 'the number one cultural expression of the Bahamas' in Scotland and England this month, performing at the Edinburgh Carnival and this weekend at the Brouhaha Liverpool International Carnival Festival...

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Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry, Dierks Bentley and Jewel to rock the Atlantis LIVE stage

July 10, 2014

At first it was Rascal Flatts, the most awarded country music group of the past decade, multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley and platinum selling trio the Band Perry comprising the line-up for the unforgettable experience known as the Paradise Music Festival (PMF) that will be presented by HGTV over the American Labor Day weekend, at Atlantis -- and that was a line-up that was hot in itself -- but Atlantis had always promised more and the names are starting to come in, with singer Jewel, American Idol Casey James, Striking Matches and Deejay Silver added to the festival that promises to be three days of amazing music.
The upcoming August 29-31 music festival promises to kick up the much-anticipated Atlantis LIVE concert series a few notches, as another component to the event will be the Country Music Association (CMA) Songwriters Event with Kristian Bush of Sugarland and Brett James.
The festival will be emceed by HGTV and DIY Network star Allison Victoria.
PMF kicks off Friday, August 29 in Atlantis' Imperial Ballroom with multi-Grammy, Academy of Country Music (ACM) and Country Music Association (CMA) nominated artist Dierks Bentley, the award-winning country music star who released his critically acclaimed new album, "Riser" in February and is currently headlining his 2014 Riser Tour.
Jewel headlines in the Imperial Room on Saturday, August 30, with Striking Matches. The CMA will present a songwriters' workshop on the day, as part of a special CMA Songwriters Series 10th anniversary show at Atlantis' newest venue, Ocean's Edge at The Cove. The CMA Songwriters Series intimate experience will expose fans to the artisans who through their craft, pen hits that touch the lives of millions of music fans
The festival concludes on Sunday, August 31 with a number of top-tier artists, including Country Music Television (CMT) and ACM Best Vocal Duo nominated Dan+Shay, the reigning ACM Vocal Group of the Year the Band Perry, fan favorite Rascal Flatts which has had 15 number one singles since 2000 and Deejay Silver. The performances will take place at Atlantis' outdoor Paradise Harbour venue.
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 Country Albums chart. The achievement garnered them 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 their musical introduction in 2000, they have sold over 22.5 million albums and over 29 million digital downloads. Their 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 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, they reached a new career milestone with over seven million concert tickets sold and recently kicked off their 35-city REWIND Tour 2014, featuring special guest Sheryl Crow with opening act Gloriana.
The Band Perry has skyrocketed into the mainstream since releasing their 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), platinum "You Lie" and gold "All Your Life" (number one Country). Fronted by Kimberly Perry and rounded out by her younger brothers Reid and Neil, the band has sold over 11.3 million tracks from their debut and gold-certified sophomore album, "Pioneer", which debuted at number one on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and number two All Genre. "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 "Better Dig Two" and gold "Done", which earned Reid and Neil their first chart-topper as songwriters. "Chainsaw", their thunderous new single, is already Top 15 and climbing on the country radio charts.
The Band Perry enjoyed sold-out headlining dates and recently finished their first global headline tour, the We Are Pioneers World Tour, in March. This summer, the trio will hit the road with Blake Shelton on his Ten Times Crazier Tour, and they recently joined Blake as the guest advisors for his team during Season 6 of "The Voice". In the past year, The Band Perry has taken over the American television airwaves with unforgettable performances on 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. They 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", Bentley's first album since the death of his father and the birth of his first son. 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.
One-of-a-kind HGTV experiences and three days of country's best will all be at one amazing location. The Paradise Music Festival is an experience that should not be missed. Atlantis LIVE's Paradise Music Festival will be the best way to wrap up summer. You will be serenaded by the most popular names in music at Atlantis.
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.
Friday, August 29
Artists: Dierks Bentley
Where: Imperial Ballroom
Time: 8 p.m.
Tickets: $115 gold, $95 silver
Saturday, August 30
Artists: Jewel and Striking Matches
Where: Imperial Ballroom
Time: 8 p.m.
Tickets $115 gold, $95 silver
Sunday, August 31
Artists: Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry and Deejay Silver
Where: Atlantis' outdoor Paradise Harbour venue
Time: TBA
Tickets: $225 gold, $170 silver
Three-day all access tickets are $425 gold and $350 silver includes CMA songwriters workshop on Saturday

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Tammy misses the funny bone

July 10, 2014

Tammy (Rated C)
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates
Genre: Comedy
Dwight's rating:

What do you get when you take a scene-stealing actress from the beloved comedy "Bridesmaids", cast her as a lead character who's remarkably similar to the lead character in "Bridesmaids", and then drop that character in a movie that's just like "Bridesmaids" but without the wedding, and with only half (if not just one-third) the laughs? You get the new film, "Tammy".
Melissa McCarthy is that scene-stealing actress from 2011's "Bridesmaids", and actually earned an Academy Award nomination for her uproarious work. And following last year's amusing "Identity Thief" and especially the hilarious "The Heat", McCarthy could rightly lay claim to the title "funniest woman In movies today". Sadly, there are very few signs of that in "Tammy".
In what could be the greatest example of false movie advertising this year, "Tammy" is not the rollicking, slap-stick female "Dumb & Dumber" movie one might have expected. Previews for the film have been dominated by clips of some of the movie's zaniest scenes, but while these may actually be the funniest parts of the movie, they are very few and far between.
McCarthy's character Tammy is down on her luck, lost in life, and not certain of what direction to take. Sound familiar? She's a lot like Kristen Wiig's character in "Bridesmaids", or like most of the characters Ben Stiller plays in his movies. There are also far too many similarities to McCarthy's "Identity Thief" role.
Tammy, the character, is all over the place. At once, she's a dim-witted moron, then she's the most sensitive and rational person around. After losing her job, Tammy hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother Pearl (Sarandon). At first Pearl seems to be the one filled with the "pearls of wisdom". Then suddenly, Tammy's the level-headed one.
Featuring an all-star cast, including Oscar winners Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates, Emmy winners Allison Janney and Sandra Oh, and Toni Collette and Dan Aykroyd in cameos - "Tammy" feels like a small, independent film that should be playing later in the year and not in the middle of blockbuster season. Unlike most of those type of flicks, however, "Tammy" is confused about what it wants to be. Is it a goofy slapstick? Is it a mother-grandmother-bonding buddy-comedy? Is this a coming of age dramedy?
Truth is, it's all of the above. But it does none well at all. McCarthy is partly to blame for the problems here -- not because of her acting, but because she co-wrote the screenplay (along with her husband Ben Falcone, who also directed and has a cameo). The very uneven storytelling and frequent changes in tone are beyond strange. And more often then not, it feels the movie is supposed to be about Grandma Pearl, as Sarandon's better-defined character frequently threatens to steal the show.
It's not a completely awful experience, just an odd and very disappointing one -- most importantly though, it's simply not funny enough. For a far better reflection of McCarthy's talents, revisit last year's excellent "The Heat", or go back to "Bridesmaids" -- the movie "Tammy" tries so hard ... but ultimately miserably fails to emulate.
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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Bahamian culture taken to the world

July 10, 2014

The Edinburgh Jazz Festival, the Edinburgh Carnival, the Fife Carnival as well as the Brouhaha Festival in Liverpool, England will never be the same again after performances by the Junkanoo Commandos, who will showcase Bahamian culture at these United Kingdom (UK) events throughout July.
Members of the group left New Providence on July 3 for the performances that will run through July 21. They will also host a number of introductory workshops on the various aspects of Junkanoo for the people of England and Scotland.
"I am very proud and excited about the possibilities that the Junkanoo Commandos have to showcase the number one cultural expression of The Bahamas to quite possibly hundreds of thousands of people during their time in the UK," said Angelique McKay, Junkanoo Commandos project manager.
The Junkanoo Commandos is comprised of members from several Junkanoo groups.
"We are made up of a little piece of everyone collectively and are trying to put our best foot forward at all times to showcase our cultural expression," said McKay.
Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Danny Johnson commended the organization for representing the culture of The Bahamas through Junkanoo.
Minister Wilchcombe said that the group's international performances were important and congratulated them on their 2014 UK tour.
"We saw their performance [on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. that was carried live via satellite around the world] in the United States last year, when the prime minister spoke on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's 'I Have A Dream' Speech. The truth is we saw an incredible performance," said Wilchcombe.
Johnson said the Junkanoo Commandos performances at international carnivals and festivals shows the country's commitment to the Festival model that the government is encouraging in The Bahamas.
"It shows that heritage is a big part of these events and so the Commandos are great cultural ambassadors who are all around the world spreading the word about what Bahamian culture is all about," he said.
"They are demonstrating the vibrant colors, the dance, the music [and] some poetry. They give people a taste of the culture and are really inviting people to come and see what we have next."

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Submissions For 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® Nominations Are Now Open

July 08, 2014

SAG Awards® Nominees Will Be Announced on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014 and the SAG Awards® Ceremonies Will Be Simulcast Live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015...

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A summer street party

July 04, 2014

With six major groups and six "B" groups participating in the Junkanoo Summer Festival activities, for the next four weekends it's going to feel like Christmas in July as the Ministry of Tourism showcases the best of Bahamian culture and heritage at the festival. Whether you are in New Providence or you visit festival sites in Grand Bahama, Marsh Harbour, Abaco, or Georgetown, Exuma, it's an event that is the not to be missed event of the summer.
The Junkanoo Summer Festival will blend art, culture, music and Junkanoo in the heart of the island, downtown Bay Street, starting today for the next four weeks between 7 p.m. and 12 midnight.
The festival, that runs every Friday and Saturday through July 26 on Bay Street, is designed to capture the competitiveness and excitement of Junkanoo for eight days during the month of July.
"It's going to be like Christmas in July," said Charity Armbrister, director of events in the Ministry of Tourism. "And knowing Bahamians, once there's Junkanoo we know that they will come and participate."
The rushing will take place on Bay Street in a pretty short rush area. Each group will have 45 minutes to rush between Frederick Street and Rawson Square.
Armbrister said this year's festival is designed to capture the competitiveness and excitement of Junkanoo over the eight days. Each weekend, bragging rights will be fought for, kicking off with the choreographed dancers this weekend. Next week, the musicians will go at it during the second week of the festival, with the groups all coming together at center stage for the big clash during the festival's third week. A Junkanoo Summer Festival king and queen will also be selected based on the results of their dancing and costuming.
"It's not just showing off Junkanoo groups, it's also about competition," said Armbrister. Competing "A" groups will be Roots, Valley Boys, Prodigal Sons, Music Makers, One Family and Saxons Superstars. The "B" Group competitors include Colours, Body of Christ, Conquerors for Christ, Red Land Soldiers, Fancy Dancers and the Original Congos.
The incredible splash of colorful costuming splendor and the rhythmic blending of the sounds of goatskin drums, cowbells and whistles will entice people to want to jump in and enjoy the rush. Understanding this, organizers have organized a rush just for the people, dubbed the Tourism is Everybody's Business Scrap rushout, that will take place on Friday, July 25 at 7 p.m.
There will also be every kind of Bahamian food imaginable to partake in during the festivities. The 40 food stalls have been over-subscribed, with people waiting to get their foot in the door if someone drops out at the last minute. The vendor stalls have been set up along Parliament street north and south.
Entry into the festival is free. Armbrister says it will be a great family event.
A float parade will take place on Saturday, July 26 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. The parade departs from Arawak Cay, Bay Street onto Mackey Street to Wulf Road and Nassau Street back to Arawak Cay.
On the last night before the festival there will be a concert featuring the top Bahamian musicians in the country. A deejay will play the downtown area. During festival days, Bay Street will close to vehicular traffic at 4 p.m.

The schedule
New Providence
Rawson Square -- 7 p.m. to midnight
New Providence
July 4-5: Street dancing: Choreographed dancers from A and B groups compete in a massive street dance competition.
July 11-12: Category A and B groups compete for the best music crown.
July 18-19: Dance, music and a spectacular showing of costumes as Category A and B groups bring dance, music and costumes to compete on Bay Street.
July 25: Tourism is Everybody's Business Scrap rushout. It's an opportunity for the community to celebrate the culture by binding together on Bay Street.
July 26: Junkanoo Summer Festival finale: Corporate and civic organizations participate in a tourism float parade.
Abaco
July 11-12 -- BAIC Grounds, Marsh Harbour, 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Bimini
July 26 -- Administrator's Complex, Alice Town, noon-until
Eleuthera
July 16 -- Bay Front Park, Governor's Harbour, 5 p.m. - midnight
July 26 -- Ocean Hole Park, Rock Sound, noon - midnight
Exuma
July 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26 -- Fish Fry, George Town, 7 p.m. - midnight
Harbour Island
July 5, 25 -- Bay Street, Harbour Island, noon-until
Long Island
July 18 -- Regatta site, Salt Pond, 5 p.m. - until
July 19 -- Regatta site, Salt Pond, 2 p.m. - until
North Andros
July 19 -- Morgan's Drive, Nicholls Town, 5:30 p.m. - until
July 26 -- Queen's Park, Fresh Creek, 5:30 p.m. - until
South Andros
July 4 -- Mangrove Cay, Andros Government Complex, 8 p.m. - until
July 10 -- South Andros, Government Complex, 8 p.m. - until
San Salvador
July 18 -- Airport Park, 6:30 p.m. - until
July 19 -- Long Bay, noon - until

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Tonesha Smith and Gabrielle Stubbs win BTC Starmaker 5

July 04, 2014

Tonesha Smith and Gabrielle Stubbs were crowned the new BTC senior and junior winners respectively of Starmaker 5.
Smith, a 21-year-old recent graduate of The College of The Bahamas, and a New Providence resident was ecstatic about winning the senior category.
"Winning feels great. It is hard to put into words. I feel good, wonderful, great! I'm still in shock, and it hasn't fully hit me yet. I would just like to thank BTC for every single opportunity that they have afforded me as well as all of the other contestants."
Smith also received the most popular award.
Stubbs, the junior winner also took home the photogenic and congeniality awards. She too was shocked by the results, and said she was grateful she was able to win over the judges during the show's later challenges, where her personality was able to shine.
"When I got the check, and heard that I won, I was just aflutter with emotion. I hope that the next year will have lots of opportunities, [and] connections for the future, and will help me to reach all of my goals."
Daniella Joseph and Leroy Armbrister were first runners up.
The finale was held at the British Colonial Hilton at which Taylour Paige, who stars as Ahsha Hayes on VH1's "Hit The Floor" spoke to the contestants about her struggle to make it in Hollywood and the perseverance it took for her to land her breakthrough role.
Paige encouraged the contestants to never give up and to fight for what they want out of life.
"Dream big and remember that life is wonderful," said Paige.
Stacia Williams, the competition's head judge, said choosing the winners was ultimately a difficult decision, but that the judges choice came down to attitude, potential, confidence and the contestant's growth during the competition.
"The judges were looking for someone who was articulate, someone who had excellent interpersonal skills -- the wow factor, the confidence and everything it takes to be a star. We chose Tonesha and Gabrielle because I don't think anyone can dispute that they will represent BTC in a good and positive way." said Williams.
During the finale, the contestants also made a $1000 donation to the Demetrius Home For The Aged, which was featured in an episode of the television show and presented the Bahamas AIDS Foundation with $2000, the proceeds of the contestant's second challenge.
The show's executive producer Carol Barnett, said it was important for the contestants to understand the importance of giving back to their communities, and fostering a social responsibility within them.
"At BTC, we give back to the Bahamas in various ways, and it was important for the contestants to be able to do the same. We are happy with the judges' decision and we look forward to working with Tonesha and Gabrielle and helping them become true BTC stars."
Colombian Emeralds presented each of the six finalists with a gift and various awards were presented to a number of the contestants. Joseph, received the award for most improved contestant as well as the Yodephy Dance Studio award. Kai Jah Higgs received the award for having the most Facebook fans.

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