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Oct. 17th, 2012


[sticky post] We have a dream: A Social Network for RPers

It's getting so you can't escape yourself online anyone. Everywhere you go, Facebook, Google, LinkedIN, they encourage if not require that you use your real name and information or risk being deleted. This is sad. There are times, particularly after a bad day or two, when I really don't want to be me. I think a lot of people feel the same.

It also goes against the conventional wisdom many of us "grew up" with. Some people may not recall this, but there was a time, and it wasn't that long ago, when we were told NEVER to put our real information online. No names, contact information, birthdays...in short nothing that could be used to discover our offline identity. This wasn't a privacy thing, it was a safety thing. For some of us, notably women, it still is. For many role players, however, it is an issue of privacy and performance. When we role play, we are performing and somehow it ruins the illusion if everyone knows that sexy guy or gal is really a 40-something accountant or housewife from the middle of nowhere. Further, there are some careers where such creativity is frowned upon. For instance most people would hesitate to take financial or medical advice from someone who spends their free time pretending to be a werewolf, vampire or fairy.

There are a few havens. Twitter. Live Journal. MySpace. Tumblr. Places that don't require you to be you. Places where you can be whoever you want. 

As great as these places are, the inescapable fact is they were created with real people in mind. They can, and are, used for role play and by artists, writers, performers and gamers using pseudonyms, however, they weren't really designed with them in mind. As a result, while there are many great things about these social networks, none of them is really perfect for RP.

The Preternatural Post intends to change that. We have embarked on an adventure to create a social network just for RP and RPers. Most importantly, this is a social network designed by RPers, not just some mundane business type looking to make a buck. We, like you, our audience, are active role players on a variety of different platforms. So we have some opinions about what the "perfect" RP social network looks like. We are the first to admit, we don't role play everywhere. So  we are asking for your help and support. 

Tell us what the perfect RP social network is to you. If you aren't sure, tell us what you love about the social networks you RP on...and what annoys the heck out of you. Give us your wish list. Talk to us about the things that turn you off the instant you see them. Reveal what keeps you playing long after you should be in bed or focusing on something else. Share your experiences, good, bad and mediocre. Because our goal is to create a social network for you. One you want to use. One you enjoy using. One that works the way you want and expect it to. 

Thank a DreamerWe aren't going to lie. This is not something we can pull off on a shoestring budget. It's going to cost some serious cash and take a significant amount of effort. We think you, and your characters, are worth every penny and every minute we invest. If you agree, please support our efforts by donating to the Preternatural Post. Any amount will help us all get a step closer to our dream RP haven. We are also seeking volunteer writers, artists, producers and others willing to contribute their time and skills. Remember, the Preternatural Post is entirely reader, viewer and listener supported.

We aren't on this adventure alone. Won't you donate and join us today?

Nov. 17th, 2012



As though I don't have enough on my plate, I'm creating a profile on the Steam community. I'm GhostGrrl and you can find me at http://steamcommunity.com/id/PreternaturalPost/ at least I think you can.

Anyway if you are playing over on Steam, give me a shout. I'm always on the lookout for new friends and potential game reviewers!

Nov. 10th, 2012


Princess Leia is NOT a Disney Princess

The news that Lucasfilm has been sold to Disney last week was big news among Star Wars fans and the preternatural community. As a franchise, Star Wars has spawned numerous role play story lines, characters, fan made videos and fan fiction novels as well as the plethora of sanctioned books, films, video games, graphic novels and other products than almost any other universe ever created. So this sale is much like God turning to Lilith or the Virgin Scribe and handing over the Earth. Sure, the Star Wars fandom will keep turning but at what cost?

Of all the possible scenarios addressed in the geek and popular press, I like this treatment by Bitch Flicks the best because it expresses my own very ambivalent feelings about the situation. 

On the one hand, it would be nice to see the female characters of the franchise shine and Disney has a reputation of putting princesses like Leia and Padme front and center. On the other hand both Lucasfilm and the House of Mouse were the creations of men. Very singular men, to be sure, who not only had a dream but also the tenacity to make their dream real. In many ways they are cults of personality with very different personalities. I'm not sure you can shoehorn together two dreams that are so very different. And that's before you ask them to put on high heels. 

If there truly is a silver lining to this union, it is that at least Disney has a habit of creating more opportunities for fans to interact with their favorite universes and characters. Unfortunately, they also have a habit for being control freaks and not allowing let alone encouraging fans to use their recognizable cash mice in ways Disney does not authorize and approve of. Just look at the retroactive extension of copyright terms to protect Mickey, if you don't believe me. 

I'd like to take the high road and think this will be the positive opportunity both George Lucas and the Disney media relations corps are painting it to be. The truth is I'm not convinced. So, like everyone else I will just have to wait and see whether Disney becomes the new Imperial force or allows the Republic to return. One thing I am pretty sure of is that the Mouse will change Star Wars, Star Wars won't change the Mouse which I think means Mickey is the next Sith.

Nov. 5th, 2012


Driving the Justice League

Originally published at The Preternatural Post. Please leave any comments there.

If vampires drive Volvos, ever wonder what superheros (or their secret identities) drive? Turns out, the superheros that make up the Justice League drive Kias. Of course, these aren’t just your everyday Kias. These are five radical, one-of-a-kind rides inspired by superheros, built by West Coast Customs, RIDES and Super Street and featuring custom artwork by DC Entertainment co-publisher and legendary comic book artist Jim Lee. They debuted at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show this past weekend in Las Vegas, NV, USA.

“It was a thrill to see custom cars based upon my Justice League artwork and sketches revealed at SEMA,” said Lee. “I have to tip my hat to the teams at West Coast Customs, RIDES and Super Street on their innovative work creating cars that represent iconic characters like Green Lantern, Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash — all to benefit a great cause We Can Be Heroes, and I’d like to thank Kia Motors America for supporting We Can BeHeroes.” 

Each Justice League Character was assigned a specific Kia vehicle based on personality and key attributes to create these five Iconic Works of art on wheels. The Flash Forte Coupe, Aquaman Rio 5-door, Cyborg Forte 5-door, Green Lantern Soul and Batman Optima are intended to raise awareness for DC Entertainment’s We Can Be Heroes giving campaign to help fight the hunger crisis int he Horn of Africa.

superhero kias 300x200 Driving the Justice League

The Flash Forte Koup

The Flash is known for his speed, drive and commitment to fighting crime, so it’s fitting that he’s been paired with the sleek and speedy Forte Koup, a vehicle that’s actually shown it’s mettle and demonstrated some serious speed in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. This speedster was built by West Coast Customs with an orange, red and yellow airbrushed exterior matching The Flash’s signature costume. The Scarlet Speedster’s logo has been incorporated into the hood cutouts, giving fans a chance to observe the inner workings of this speed machine…if they look fast!  West Coast Customs also installed two ten-inch subwoofers and two sets of coaxial component speakers with a Quart four-channel amp and a pair of Rosen Entertainment seven-inch monitors plays a We Can Be Heroes video in the front headrests assuring occupants they will be heard.

Aquaman Rio 5-Door

No, this isn’t a car that turns into a submarine. It is, however one of the most eco-friendly vehicles on the road today, making it an ideal choice for Aquaman, the superhero protector of the environment. West Coast Customs went to town with special gold, green and orange exterior paint and custom-fabricated fins (hey, it is the car for Aquaman, you know there had to be fins somewhere!).

The Aquaman logo is stitched into the back seats from which occupants can also watch the We Can Be Heroes video on two seven-inch Rosen Entertainment monitors. Meanwhile, a very special surprise awaits in the Rio’s trunk. The customized enclosure features Aquaman comic book art and a unique polycast cutout lit with Oracle LED lighting that creates an amazing underwater scene so even if you can drive on the ocean floor, you can fell like you are.

Green Lantern Soul

Super Street magazine takes on the transportation challenges of intergalactic peacekeeper known as the Green Lantern. What they came up with was a wide-body Soul with welded shut rear doors and a green and black two tone exterior. Blacked out headlights featuring glowing green projection beams coupled with customized Green Lantern fog lights and green LED lighting only add to the mystery and other-worldliness of this unique vehicle. For those who haven’t memorized the Green Lantern oath, you’ll find it etched into a clear panel lit by LEDs in the custom-built rear compartment.

Cyborg Forte 5-Door

Cyborg was already a half human/half machine superhero so it might seem like RIDES magazine didn’t have far to go to develop his dream machine. The 5-door Kia Forte they created however embodies not just Cyborg’s mechanical nature but also his communications prowess, power and endurance in one agile and athletic package. This robotic road monster features coilover suspension and widened custom metal fenders inspired by Cyborg’s ability to mechanically morph to face any challenge. The Aztec silver paint job enhances fluid lines while the vented air scoop on the hood and side ports grab attention with red LED lights.  Inside the tablet in the center console satisfies this superhero’s need to stay plugged in and be a hub for communication and information.

Batman Optima

Move over Batmobile, the caped crusader has a new ride. DC Entertainment, Kia Motors and RIDES magazine worked together to transform this Optima with a matte- and piano-black exterior paint scheme, muscular ground effects kit and custom-designed 20-inch black wheels with one-of-a-kind Batman-logo center caps. The custom batwing-shaped front grill took over 40 hours to create. Oh, and Gotham won’t need to rely on the rooftop bat signal anymore, this beauty has it etched into the HID headlamps.

 ”Working together with DC Entertainment, West Coast Customs, RIDES and Super Street to create a fleet of superhero-inspired machines has been an incredible collaboration and the end result is five one-of-a-kind Justice League cars that bring each of these legendary comic book superheroes to life,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice-president, marketing and communications, KMA. “We are proud to be raising awareness for the We Ca Be Heroes giving campaign and look forward to unveiling three more crime-fighting Kias at future auto shows and comic conventions as our ten-month partnership with DC Entertainment continues.”

Nov. 4th, 2012


Regal Theaters host Twilight Saga one-day marathon

Originally published at The Preternatural Post. Please leave any comments there.

“On this one day, Twilight will begin before noon and last past midnight as fans savor every moment of the saga at their favorite Regal Entertainment Group Theatre,” state Ken Thewes, Chief Marketing Officer at regal Entertainment Group. “The conclusion of The Twilight Saga is one of the most anticipated movies of the year. And Regal is pulling out all the stops, celebrating the Twilight phenomenon with an epic one-day-only event showcasing all five films for the ultimate fans.”

That’s right Twihards, this is your chance to experience The Twilight Saga from Bella Swann’s arrival in Forks through her complex relationships with Edward Cullen and Jacob Black to becoming a wife, mother and vampire herself to the final showdown with the Volturi on the big screen at any of 450 participating Regal Entertainment Group theaters across the United States. You read that right. This amazing one-day event features showings of all five films, including the premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.

RGC Twilight Marathon Poster Art   Image   FINAL 202x300

Image courtesy of Regal Entertainment Group.

Tickets are already on sale for this celebration of The Twilight Saga. Fans can purchase The Twilight Saga one-day marathon tickets online or at participating Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theatres.  Admission is $20 for all five films unless you’re a member of the Regal Crown loyalty club.

Regal Crown Club members purchasing tickets in person at the box office can enjoy an exclusive offer on both tickets and snack purchases.  Admission for loyalty club members is only $15 for all five films. In addition with each $15 ticket sold, members will receive a coupon good for a Twilight Saga combo of a medium popcorn and medium drink for only $5.

Everyone attending the marathon will receive a commemorative lanyard to remember the event (while supplies last).

Regal Twilight Saga Marathon Showtimes are:

  1. Twilight 11:25 a.m.
  2. Twilight: New Moon 2:00 p.m.
  3. Twilight: Eclipse 4:45 p.m.
  4. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 7:20 p.m.
  5. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 10:00 p.m.

Nov. 3rd, 2012


Paranormal professions for role play and “real”

Originally published at The Preternatural Post. Please leave any comments there.

During the 2012 Presidential election year, Americans and the world have heard a lot of talk about jobs and the economy. Although the latest jobs data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows the economy added 171,000 nonfarm jobs in October 2012, that wasn’t enough to budge the American unemployment rate which remains at 7.9. With the traditional job market seeming stagnant, we thought we’d take a look at some nontraditional jobs and paranormal professions that might appeal to people (or role play characters) with an affinity for the preternatural.

According to the folks over at CareerCast.com, the most popular paranormal professions include:

  • Ghost Hunter – A specialized type of paranormal researcher who focuses on locating and discovering the reasons spirits or energies exist in specific places or affect specific people.
  • Medium or Parapsychologist –  A person who communicates with the dead.
  • Metaphysicist – Metaphysics is a philosophical outlook that strives to resolve the unexplained mysteries of the world.
  • Broadcast and sound engineer – Electromagnetic phenomena is captured on digital recording devices and then analyzed on computers.
  • Photojournalist – Camera work is a vital component of the paranormal research field. Technological advancements require you to know your way around wide spectrum, high definition and thermal imaging cameras.
  • Historian – Understanding the history of a region helps tap into the possible paranormal footprint.
  • Forensics Analyst – The ability to collect and break down evidence from the scene of a possible paranormal event is essential but requires the skills of a scientist.

Delving into the unexplained whether by conducting fieldwork, historical research, laboratory experiments, data collection and analysis or other case studies can offer those interested in legendary creatures from ghost to shape shifters and even vampires some unusual career opportunities. These professions may be popular but it’s difficult to guage whether or not they all represent real long term career opportunities Before you jump into any of these on a full time basis however, you may want to do some research to discover what you are really getting yourself into.

MP900442363 150x99 Paranormal professions for role play and realUnfortunately, not all of these paranormal professions are recognized by mainstream society. The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook doesn’t even list some of these professions. Those that are listed, like historian, photojournalist and forensic analysts are considered in a much broader sense than just their role in paranormal investigations. For instance, the demand for historians across all industries is expected to see a small increase through 2020 as they are needed to research, record and preserve history whether as sites or artifacts as well as making history accessible to the general public. Opportunities for forensic science technicians is also expected to increase slightly through 2020 primarily through the increased us of forensic evidence in criminal proceedings. In contrast, career opportunities are expected to decline slightly for photographers and camera operators (collectively considered photojournalists) in the newspaper and television broadcasting industries as automated cameras and an increasing number of freelancers are utilized.

Despite the stigma some of these professions have of not being “real” jobs, their increasing popularity bodes well for those seeking to find a job which utilizes their interest in the paranormal and preternatural. These professionals also have an important role in changing the public perception not just of these jobs but of the preternatural as a whole.

“A focus in the paranormal, spirits, strange phenomenon and other instances of the unexplained has grown, thanks to the success of television programs like Ghost Hunters, Beyond Belief and The Dead Files,” explains Tony Lee, Publisher of CareerCast.com. ”Those who enter paranormal professions help differentiate the real thing from the dramatized.”

Nov. 2nd, 2012


Official Follow Friday – The Twilight Saga Volturi and Associates

Originally published at The Preternatural Post. Please leave any comments there.

With the world-wide premiere of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 in November 2012, we at the Preternatural Post thought it would be a good time to bring you up to speed on the “Who’s Who” of vampire royalty that Twilight fans have a love/hate relationship with: the Twilight Saga Volturi.

This sometimes brutal, always ruthless group leads the vampire community of the Twilight Saga with a firm and harsh hand. Whether you love them, hate them or a combination of the two, the cast of the Volturi is a talented group and an acting force to be reckoned with.  We encourage our readers to follow these cast members, who surely have an exciting career ahead of them beyond the conclusion of the Twilight Saga.

Twilight Saga Volturi Official Follow Friday   The Twilight Saga Volturi and Associates

The sleuths at the Preternatural Post have rooted out where the Volturi cast members of the Twilight Saga can be found on the internet and social media.

The Volturi

The leaders of vampire society in the Twilight Saga value their privacy. None have verified social media accounts.

Michael Sheen

Portraying Aro, who seems to be the top dog of the Volturi, can hypothetically be found at @michaelsheen on Twitter (the account is not verified however @Twilight follows him).

Christopher Heyerdahl

Brilliantly playing Marcus, weary of immortality, has no known Twitter, Facebook or official website.

Jamie Campbell Bower

Who also had links to another popular saga, Harry Potter and plays Caius in The Twilight Saga, can be found at @jamiebower (again, not a verified account but @Twilight follows him).

The Volturi Coven and Guard

Ruling the vampire world, even as loosely as the Volturi do isn’t a job for just three people. Especially when they are semi-reclusive and rarely leave Volterra. Fortunately, Aro, Caius and Marcus have a strong support network and numerous flunkies and sychophants to do their bidding. They include:

Cameron Bright

His character, Alec, is a twin brother to Jane, but doesn’t have her tortuous power. He can be found @cameronbright. He lists a fan site, camfans.org as his official website in his Twitter bio. He may also have a Facebook Page associated with that website.

Ali Faulkner

Playing Bianca, she has the most social media contacts. Her official website at alifaulknerofficial.com lists a Facebook Page and an unverified Twitter account at @thealifaulkner.

Daniel Cudmer

The impressive actor playing Volturi enforcer Felix is also fully connected with social media as @danielcudmore on Twitter and he has a Facebook Page.

Justine Wachsberger

The actress playing the receptionist Gianna at Volturi headquarters in Italy is on Twitter at @jwachsberger

Tammi Arender

She may just be one of Aro’s unnanmed witnesses but she also tweets as @tarender (unverified account) and has a website at tammiarender.com.

Ashley Hebert

Ashley didn’t get credit for being one of the Volturi guards but you can still follow her as @ashebert on Twitter. She also has a website and a Facebook Page.

Casey Unterman

Another uncredited Volturi guard he has an unverified Twitter account as @caseyunterman, is on Facebook and has a website.

Nov. 1st, 2012


Why do some monsters endure?

Originally published at The Preternatural Post. Please leave any comments there.

“I would argue that monsters in literature, in general, are almost always indicative of things we fear in a sort of collective sense,” said Cajsa Baldini, a senior lecturer in the English Department of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.

Whether it’s the classic monsters for 19th century literature, the alien creatures of 1950′s era science fiction or today’s vampire and werewolf fads, preternatural creatures play a significant role in both society and our psyche. Hollywood, of course, is quick to cash in on the popularity of particular types of monsters, making it easy to dismiss them as fluff rather than encouraging audiences and role players to take a serious look at what the prevalence of certain types of monsters says about what’s going on in our society. As role players, writers, artists and fans, we tend to follow the trends without really thinking about why we choose the preternatural beings we choose to pour our creativity and passion into.

monstermash 300x158

Sometimes monsters represent our fears about external forces such as science and technology. They reveal society at its worst even when that masquerades as its best. At other times, our monsters personify internal fears and the worst aspects of being human.

Technology, Science and Control

“I think that’s what it’s about — to be confronted with our creations,” Baldini explains. “What responsibilities do we have to what we create? It essentially posits the question, do scientists have ethical responsibilities, or is the only responsibility towards further discovery?”

Monstrous tales like Frankenstein and The Island of Dr. Moreau are steeped in themes of out-of-control technology. And that’s one external fear that hasn’t vanished since the 19th century when Mary Shelly and H.G. Wells were writing. A more modern take to the theme of technology getting out of control can be found in Jurassic Park and Terminator.

Losing control of technology isn’t our only fear. Society is also afraid of what happens when we are confronted by what we have created though science and technology. What do we say to Frankenstein’s monster or Sonny, the human-like robot of I, Robot asks why they were created or what their fate will be? How do we explain what we have created, be it a monster or society in general?

This theme also deals with the results and consequences of technology and science. Post-apocalyptic tales like The Hunger Games and invasion stories like or Invasion of the Body Snatchers reveal deep-seated fears about where we are headed as a planet, not to mention our fears of each other.

Society’s Ills

When it comes to embodying what is wrong with society, vampires and zombies are two sides of the same coin. Vampires tend to reflect our fears of society’s elite, however we describe that. Zombies, on the other hand, seem to represent what we fear about society as a whole.

Throughout their history, vampires have been depicted as elite and superior in some way. Originally they were aristocrats like Count Dracula. Modern vampires may not come with titles, however, they usually do have money and are often depicted as if not glamorous, then at least as attractive and desirable. Of course, with or without titles vampires are uniformly evil because they prey on human beings.

“They are separate and set apart — not everyone can be them,” Baldini points out. “And also whoever they seek out as their victim, even though it’s violent and it’s deadly, there’s a sense of being the elect — vampires don’t just go for anyone. I think this is part of the attraction the erotic appeal of the vampire.”

Zombies at at the other end of the spectrum. If vampires are desirable, zombies definitely are not. Unfortunately, it isn’t hard to become a zombie either.

“The zombie is the underdog of the monsters, sort of the underachiever of monsters as well,” said Baldini. “You don’t have to do much to become a zombie. You’re bitten by one and you become one. There’s minimal grooming involved. It’s the blue-collar monster.”

Which may explain why zombies are popular in films and on television but not extremely popular among role players unless they are just targets to be destroyed. At the same time, hundreds and even thousands of people turn out for zombie events. This contradictory attitude towards the living (and walking and running and…) dead might be an expression of our contradictory attitude towards the society we live in.

“We’re looking at a monster that’s a collective body that consumes everything,” Baldini explains. “That’s western culture that’s what we are. We have over-consumed throughout the 1990s. We over-borrowed on credit, we took all the equity out of our homes and then some, we consumed indiscriminately, we didn’t think, because, like zombies, we don’t think. We just followed the herd in consumption. I don’t think people sit around and think about this, but I think on some level, the zombie is relatable in this particular time in history.”

Monsters Within Us

“When ideas get out of control, you get monsters,” explains Paul Cook, principal lecturer in the English Department of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. “Monsters, as an archetype, are simply a reflection of some aspect of our human nature greatly magnified to the level of destruction. That is where you get the werewolf, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or the Hulk — something that’s inside of us that comes out.”

Some might say these types of monsters are expressions of humanity’s desire to rise above our instincts and the forces of nature. As individuals and a society we can choose how we act but the fact is those choices do not change our basic nature. Those base instincts are still inside of us and will be for generations to come.

Take the modern werewolf. In True Blood and the Twilight Saga they can control when they change, at least to some degree. The full moon or strong emotions may bring on the change whether the individual chooses to shift or not. But they may have some level of control about the when and where because otherwise the world would know they existed.

“I think the werewolf is more of a psychological monster,” Baldini said. “Like any monster, it has to be reflective of us to be interesting. I think it’s about the animal within, the aspects of us we think we’ve grown away from that we don’t want to acknowledge we ever had.”

 Why monsters?

Ultimately, the kind of monster we choose to play, write about or draw says something about who we as people are. Maybe it reveals what we fear most. Or maybe it shows us what we fear least and think we have some control over. One thing role-playing a monster almost certainly does is point out the flaws in our world, our society and ourselves. After all, that’s why we create monsters and why they endure because they help us face and overcome our fears.

“I think it’s most interesting in the way it serves to critique society in a way that seems perhaps innocuous — ‘Oh, it’s just horror’ — but which in fact is incredibly subversive and critical,” Baldini concludes.



Film Independent auctions ultimate Twilight Saga premiere experience

Originally published at The Preternatural Post. Please leave any comments there.

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with Summit Entertainment and director Bill Condon on this amazing auction for fans of The Twilight Saga,” said Josh Welsh, Co-President of Film Independent. “This ultimate premiere experience was designed to give true fans the night of their lives. Thanks to Rob Friedman, Patrick Wachsberger and his entire team at Summit, the funds raised will benefit our non profit efforts to support independent filmmakers in achieving their cinematic vision.”

BD2 Run poster 202x300 Film Independent auctions ultimate Twilight Saga premiere experience

Image courtesy of Summit Entertainment via epk.

There are six days remaining for fans to bid on a VIP package offering the winning bidder and three friends exclusive access to the world premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 on 12 November 2012. The night begins with a pre-reception hosted by Film Independent. Director Bill Condon and Twilight Saga cast members are scheduled to attend. After the reception, the winner and their guest will be escorted to the Nokia Theatre where they will take their VIP seats for the world premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Following the screening, they will attend the official after party where the film’s cast will be celebrating the arrival of the final Twilight Saga film to movie houses on 16 November 2012.

Film Independent is a nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and Los Angeles Film Festival.  In addition, Film Independent helps support artists who embody the diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision in independent film.

Bidding for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 world premiere package began on 30 October and concludes 7 November 2012. The highest bidder will receive confirmation and instructions on how to claim their prizes. The funds raised will go towards supporting Film Independent’s mission and year-round programs, including Project Involve, which is dedicated to increasing diversity in the film industry by cultivating the careers of under-represented filmmakers.

“As a longstanding member of Film Independent and current Chairman of its Board of Directors, I’m always looking for ways to raise awareness of the organization,” said Bill Condon, director of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Parts 1 and 2. “I hope that by providing a one-of-a-kind fan experience for the final Twilight film we’ll be able to support the goals of Film Independent.”

Oct. 31st, 2012


Halloween is Deadliest Day for child pedestrians

Originally published at The Preternatural Post. Please leave any comments there.

MP900422716 2 300x199 As kids take to the streets tonight in search of Halloween treats, neither they nor their parents may realize they are twice as likely to be fatally injured by a car today than on any other day of the year. Cars aren’t the only hazards out tonight, either. Many emergency rooms see heightened activity on Halloween night. Fortunately, many of the Halloween-related injuries seen in emergency rooms are not life threatening. In fact the abrasions, lacerations and broken bones are commonly related to falls.

Deadliest Day

Bert Sperling of Sperling’s BestPlaces analyzed data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) collected between 1990 and 2012 for children under the age of 18. What he discovered was frightening.

On average, 5.5 children die each year as a result of pedestrian accidents on Halloween. That’s more than double the 2.6 fatalities of every other day of the year. Nearly a quarter of those fatalities occurred between 6 and 7 p.m. local time on 31 October. More than 60 percent of fatal Halloween accidents occurred between 5 and 9 p.m. Children between the ages of 12 and 15 were most likely to be involved in a fatal accident followed by those between the ages of 5 and 8. Less than 30 percent of all fatal Halloween accidents occurred in an intersection or when children were using designated crosswalks.

Behind the wheel, young drivers (age 15 to 25) posed the greatest threat to trick-or-treaters accounting for nearly one-third of all fatal accidents involving child pedestrians on Halloween.  Drivers between the ages of 36 and 40 and 61 and 65 posed the least risk to child pedestrians. Together these two age groups accounted for only 8 percent (or nine fatalities) during the 21 years studied.

“State Farm wants children to be safe every day of the year whether they are inside or outside of a car,” said Kellie Clapper, assistant vice president of Public Affairs at State Farm. “The analysis of this data highlights the particular need for parents to be especially alert during Halloween.”

The message is apparently getting out. Since 2005 the average number of Halloween child fatalities as fallen to 5.5 annually. To help reduce the number of child pedestrian fatalities further, parents should teach their children to walk, never run on Halloween. Children should also be told to stick to sidewalks and use crosswalks as well as always looking both ways when crossing the street. Traveling in well-lit areas is also safer for children and drivers.

Bumps and Bruises

“The types of injuries we tend to see [in the emergency room] are related to costumes that are not age appropriate,” explains Thomas Abramo M.D., Director of  Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s hospital at Vanderbilt University. “Parents should anticipate tripping is the child has a costume with a lot of appendages.”

To prevent falls and Halloween falls and trips to the ER, children should always wear well-fitted costume and shoes that are easy to walk in. Masks can also prevent children from seeing where they are going. They can be especially hazardous for younger children who haven’t fully developed depth perception. Face paint and cosmetics can be a safe alternative provided the child is not allergic to them.

Homeowners can do their part by turning on as many outdoor lights as possible to illuminate walkways. Pets should also be secured. Clear the yard and sidewalk of anything children might trip over from branches to garden tools to hoses to decorations.

By taking a few extra minutes you can help insure the Halloween 2012 will be more trick than treat for children everywhere.

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