Free Printable Muppet Show, Muppet Babies Coloring Pages, Muppets Most Wanted

Jim Henson's muppets are his legacy. From Sesame Street, to the Muppet Show to the Muppet movies: The Muppet Movie, A Muppet Christmas Carol (Michael Caine as Scrooge) and Muppet Treasure Island (with Tim Curry as Long John Silver).

Then there were cartoon Muppet Babies, during the cartoon baby craze of the early 1990s. My kids liked Baby Piggy and Baby Kermie. Then there was eccentric Gonzo and his chicken Camilla, wise-cracking Fozzie Bear, Rizzo the Rat and Rowlf the jazz playing pooch. Sargent Floyd Pepper, Zoot, Dr. Teeth, Janice and the Muppet band The Electric Mayhem is priceless. Animal the crazy drummer has become a cult icon. My favorites were the Swedish Chef and Beaker who lived in fear of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's quack experiments.

I've been on a quest for 1980s retro coloring pages this summer and I'm pleased to bring you links for free printable Muppets coloring pages. Free Printable Muppet Show and Muppet Babies Coloring Pages

Free Printable Easter Bunny, Peter Rabbit, Velveteen Rabbit Crafts

Easter is probably the most quintessentially preschool holiday of all. Easter baskets, candy hunts, egg decorating, bunnies, baby animals, spring--for young and young at heart, here are free printable Easter bunny crafts. I've included printable activities based on my two favorite bunnies, Peter Rabbit and the Velveteen Rabbit, too. Parents and teachers, you'll want these for preschool classroom fun. Free Printable Easter Bunny Crafts for Preschool

Disney's 'Frozen' Party Treat Recipes

 If you see one movie this winter, make it "Frozen." It's an arctic adventure like Hans Christian Andersen's "Fairy Snow Queen." Disney's Frozen is a perfect theme for a winter birthday or just-because party. Here's a menu of Frozen-inspired snacks kids will love. Disney's 'Frozen' Party Treat Recipes, Winter-Themed Snacks for Kids

Mister Rogers Says There Are Many Ways to Say I Love You

I've had that Mister Rogers song stuck in my head today. "There are many ways to say I love you. Many ways to say I care about you. Many ways, many ways, many ways, to say....I love you." He proceeds to list nice things children and adults do to share love. Just a simply, kiddie ditty. Nothing fancy-schmancy. But that's how Mister Rogers taught his pearls beyond compare--in the PBJ sandwiches of childhood.   There Are Many Ways to Say I Love You

Downton Abbey Has Some Bright Spots

Downhill Abbey, erm, Downton Abbey season four is done. Put out of its (our) misery, mercifully. For such critical acclaim, superlative casting and lofty ideals, I wanted more than lo budget soap opera. And not low. Highclere, top billed actors, period authentic costumes, props, vehicles--steep price tag. Having said that, I'll that Downton does have some bright spots. And it could be use, judiciously, in high school history classes, to give an idea of life in Edwardian England. Read on.   Downton Abbey Mostly Downhill Abbey, with a Few Exceptions

Toddlers and Tiaras, Discuss. Schadenfreude or Child Endangerment

 My daughter is watching "Toddlers and Tiaras" on her laptop. I'm so sick of it I could scream

. If I wasn't working, I would be tempted to pull the router cord. She says she needs schadenfreude. And steeped in homework for her honors classes, maybe it scratches some itch. Like that train wreck you can't look away from. And I want to know. Is this show crazy or am I? Toddlers and Tiaras, Discuss

Sherlock Season 3 Good Comparison Contrast with Old Sherlock Holmes Versions

At first I didn't watch Sherlock (with Benedict Cumberbatch) on matter of principle. I'm a real Sherlockian purist and was convinced modernizing would ruin the aura. I'm really partial to period drama and I feel like it's unfair to the author to change it up so much. I hated the Americanized Sherlock with Robert Downey Jr. Now I have come to love modern version. This would make a great comparison-contrast lesson for literature classes. Compare original and new to find metaphors, adaptations, etc.  Sherlock Season 3 a Tad Disappointing

Downton Abbey Season 4 Should be Called Downhill Abbey

No spoilers here, but can I just say that Downton Abbey is signally failing to impress? It should be called Downhill Abbey. That's where it's going fast. For all, that I would recommend it for high school history classes. It's a good look at the feudal system, Edwardian attitudes and the impact of WWI and progress on society.

For drama class, no. I came late to the Downton fellowship. Being a lover of vintage Brit drama, my friends assumed I'd be the first to watch. But after being wowed for so long, my standards are pretty high. It takes more that an tarted up old house and 20s costumes to get me enthused. The acting has to be above reproach. Downton Abbey had some good actors. Had. The better ones "died" or were written out of the script.   Downton Abbey Season 4 Should be Called Downhill Abbey

Educational Movies for Chinese New Year 2014 Year of the Horse

Chinese New Year 2014 begins January 31. It's Year of the Horse. Here are best movies and films based in China to explore Chinese New Year. "Mulan: Based on the story of Hua or Fa Mulan, a young Chinese girl who impersonates her father and leads her people in battle against the Mongols. The Disney movie is based on the Ballad of Mulan. Here are activities based on the Ballad of Mulan. Here is a transcript of the Ballad of Mulan in Chinese.

If you're not watching with kids, I recommend "Snow Falling on Cedars" and "Memoirs of a Geisha." Read on...Best Movies and Films to Watch for Chinese New Year

"Blackfish" Orca Whale at SeaWorld Steals Show

Sundance film "Blackfish" is stealing the show, says CNN. Blackfish exposes SeaWorld's dark past and explores the story behind Tilikum, SeaWorld's killer orca whale and other sea mammals in captivity.
Blackfish was number one in cable news and highest-rated on CNN Films.

"Blackfish " shows how Tilikum was stolen from his mother by whale hunters. Several orcas were killed. He was sold to a now-defunct marine amusement park. In 1991, Tilikum killed a trainer. Later, a man snuck in to the pool at night and was found dead on Tilikum's back. That park finally closed and Tilikum was bought by SeaWorld says Higher Grounds for Animals. SeaWorld said he'd only be used for breeding. "Blackfish" SeaWorld Killer Orca Whale Tilikum Steals Show

Free Disney Printables for Frozen Movie

I've written articles on free printable kids crafts since 2007, often linking to the Family Fun website (from Family Fun magazine. Family Fun partners with Disney and provides lots of Disney-themed crafts. Family Fun now has a new website Spoonful. Besides regular Family Fun goodies, Disney crafts can be found there too.  Free Disney Printables

Watch Poirot Season 13 Free Online

I am an Agatha Christie addict, a Poirot-o-phile and Marple-ian. Read all the books cover to cover, watched every film adaptation I can find. We were getting new Marples and Poirots with Geraldine McEwan/Julia McKenzie and David Suchet from BBC regularly then, poof. In 2011, nada. The Christie train stopped. We were tantalized with rumors of new Poirots, but none materialized. Then ITV released David Suchet's "The Big Four" "The Labours of Hercules" "Dead Man's Folly" and "Curtain." I found places to watch all of these free online for those not in the UK. This article tells where  Watch Poirot Season 13 Labours of Hercules, The Big Four Free Online. Since writing, I found the last two at

Bottle Shock Movie Review and Wine Musings

I'm very much a neophyte wine connoisseur, nowhere near sommelier. I like certain wines a lot. And that isn't always good. I'll enjoy one variety past the saturation point. This can be a hindrance in developing a discerning palate. To counterbalance, I'm quite finicky about which varietals. I'm learning wine culture.

So I loved the movie "Bottle Shock" and learned a great deal about production, tasting and rating. But the best part was the epic coup de grace of a plebeian American viniflorist/winemaker over the haute vintners of Europe, in what would become the 1976 "Judgement of Paris." Chateau Montelena's win ignited the California and entire US wine revolution. Nixing an obligatory sex scene, this film would be interesting for light relief in high school chemistry or science classes. Bottle Shock--Malbec 2013 Almost as Good as 2011

Free Doctor Who Printables and Games

We stumbled on Doctor Who in 2005, when my then 7-year-old saw previews on PBS. She was intrigued by the Who music and Tardis time machine commercials. This was before Doctor Who hit big in the U.S. I always brag my child started the Who-volution here!

I'd never watched Doctor Who as a kid. It came on too late at night. All most of us knew was that is was some creepy Brit sci-fi show. Being concerned but open-minded parents, we let our child watch but watched with her. We felt a little weird letting this tiny girl watch a scary show. But she loved it!  All Doctor Who fans, you'll want these free printable coloring pages, crafts and Halloween masks. You can play gobs of games with the doctors and even man the TARDIS! Picture is the creepy Peg Doll episode.
Free Doctor Who Masks for Halloween Costumes--Creepy!

Tech Help Needed How Do I Reselect File Drive?

Any tech wizards available? I need computer help. I bought a new HP laptop with Windows 8 pre-installed. I bought the recommended thumb drive and backed up programs.

Ever since I started using I started using it, a red flag pop up message keeps showing in my notifications window saying "reselect file drive."

Then it shows a list of drives to choose from and my computer isn't listed. It prompts me to add a network. When I click on the icon of my network as I named it, it says "no items match." Then it says the network can't be opened from that location and to try another location.  Tech Help Needed How Do I Reselect File Drive?

Albert Nobbs Film Exposes Women's Issues

I watched "Albert Nobbs" (starring Glenn Close) this weekend. And I'm still shaken. It was incredibly poignant. It gave the struggle for women's rights startlingly clear historical context. The film is based on a novella written by George Moore in the 1800s. I think it's interesting that Moore, a man, was able to write about women's issues, with such passion and in real time.

Nobbs is the perfect butler/waiter in Victorian Ireland. Deft, unobtrusive, obsequious, blind to faults of the upper echelon. He's everything the bourgeois could want. Except he's a she. Albert Nobbs Should Be Required Viewing for History Classes

TED Talks Provide Divergent Thinking Opportunities for Students

I've just found a great source for educational films, besides PBS POV, Independent Lens and others.TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks. These satisfy my need for cerebral stimulation. Or more correctly, they don't--they whet it. I find my thinking refined like grain in gristmill. TED talks provide divergent thinking practice for students. They learn to think beyond the textbook to the world around them.  

I liked TED's premise--"Ideas are not set in stone. When exposed to thoughtful people, they morph and adapt into their most potent form." I like to think of thought as plastic--moldable but also reshapable. We can reframe our minds. Knowledge is fluid. Concepts are bigger than our tiny, possibly closed-ended view of them. For more on TED and my most recent find there, read  more TED Talks, Moonies, Cultism--My Newest Cerebral Addiction (image is TED woodmark SVG from Wiki Commons).

Man of Steel, Bryan Cranston, Coming to Detroit, Thanks to Film Tax Credits

Batman, Superman, and Optimus Prime take to the streets of Detroit. Well, in film, anyway. Blockbuster movies are being shot in the Motor City. Movie producers are starting to take Michigan, specifically Detroit, seriously, thanks to state film tax incentives. First up--Man of Steel and Caped Crusader  -Superheroes Coming to Detroit, Thanks to Film Tax Credits

Best Labor History Movies

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, celebrates the achievements of organized labor unions in protecting workers' rights.Labor Day isn't just about BBQs and the last summer holiday. Here are labor union movies to watch for Labor Day. I wrote this several years ago and have since seen "Harlan County War" and "The Wobblies" (available on Youtube). I would add these two to the list.

When labor wins a victory it helps everyone. We have organized labor unions to thank for better healthcare benefits, unemployment benefits, safer working conditions, womens' right, racial unity, overtime pay, paid holidays and sick days, child labor laws and many other benefits that workers now take for granted. Watch these movies to understand more about how labors unions have impacted our lives.  Best Labor Unions History Movies to Watch for Labor Day

The 12th Doctor Who is In -- Peter Capaldi

The Doctor is In. BBC One has finally announced the actor that will play the 12th Doctor Who. And the Time Lord is...Peter Capaldi. I didn't see that one coming. From a string of youngish Time Lords, the 55 year old actor will be a departure. Doctor Who had an epiphany in early 2000, beginning with attitudinal, hit-man-esque Christopher Eccleston (the 9th Doctor). Then came quirky, neo-punk David Tennant (the 10th Doctor). And lastly, nerdy, lanky Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor.   The 12th Doctor Who is In -- Peter Capaldi

Rivals of Sherlock Holmes Vintage Mystery Done to Perfection

I'm a anglophile mysterati. I love vintage British mystery. Murder, preferably from the 1920s-1940s, is my favorite. But I don't insist upon it. It could be theft, locked room, arson, kidnapping, assault--any nice juicy whodunit will do. I've read all the Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ellis Peters, Dorothy Sayers and many others. I've watched every movie and TV adaptation I can get my eyes on. If you share my predilection, you'll love this series from the 1970s "Rivals of Sherlock Holmes" available on Youtube at the link provided. No unsavory elements, no obscenity, no pornography--just good clean mystery, grilled to perfection.Rivals of Sherlock Holmes Vintage Mystery Done to Perfection

'Detropia' Film Explores Detroit's Fall and Possible Comeback

There's been a lot of discussion lately about what Detroit needs. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Kevyn Orr emergency manager over Motown several months ago. If Orr can't get the books in order in the next six weeks, the city faces possible bankruptcy, reports Reuters. Why is the once-glorious birthplace of the automobile in so much trouble? On Monday, May 27, PBS Independent Lens airs an important film, "Detropia," that explores the crisis in Detroit. Here are some issues presented in the documentary.'Detropia' Film Explores Detroit's Fall and Possible Comeback

Free Printable Disney Cars Movie and Vehicle Coloring Pages

Raise your hand if you're excited about Disney Pixar's new movie "Cars 2"? June 24, 2011 Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, Luigi, Ramone and all your friends from Radiator Springs, blast into local movie theaters for high-octane fun. Want free printable coloring pages to keep you company until the movie?

This list includes free printables from Disney "Cars" and "Cars 2", along with other vehicles and general car coloring pages. I've included links for other free printable car movie coloring pages, like Herbie the Lovebug, too. These links have free printable Indy 500 race cars, formula cars, stock cars, dragster and NASCAR also. Free Printable Disney Cars Movie and Vehicle Coloring Pages

Literature-Based Movies for Health Class: Documentaries, Books, Films

Here's a list of movies to watch for health class. Topics cover obesity, nutrition, addiction, substance abuse, mental health, environment and more. Supersize Me (Morgan Spurlock) Although this film won the 2004 Oscar for Best Documentary, Supersize Me has been all but forgotten in many schools. After a lawsuit by two teenagers against McDonald's restaurants accusing the Golden Arches of causing their obesity, Morgan Spurlock decides to eat only McDonald's three meals a day for a month to see what happens to his health. Morgan is determined by a team of doctors to be in perfect health prior to the experiment and so any health trouble can be attributed to his diet. He eats only normal portion or meal sizes, but if asked, he must supersize the meal. He also limits the amount of exercise he gets to 2300 steps a day, the average amount of daily exercise that most Americans get. He journals the experiment and the results are astonishing. You must watch to believe.  Literature-Based Movies for Health Class: Documentaries, Book, Films

Ryan Gosling to Film in Detroit: How Do Film Tax Credits Impact Michigan?

Hollywood A-lister Ryan Gosling is back in Detroit to film "How to Catch a Monster." Gosling is seeking local toddler talent to play "Frankie," a feral child character in the film, says MLive. The superstar director picked Detroit as a location despite backer concerns over the stability of Michigan's film tax credits, says the Detroit Free Press. Thanks to hefty tax incentives, Michigan is fast-becoming the Midwest's movie-making hub. Other films, like Disney's "Oz: The Great and Powerful," which premiered in March, have been heralded as much-needed economic boosts for Michigan. But do film tax credits really benefit the state? Ryan Gosling to Film in Detroit: How Do Film Tax Credits Impact Michigan?

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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