The Dream Vacation Tour for Beatlemaniacs

If you were one of the 73 million Americans who tuned in to “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964 as the Beatles irrevocably changed rock ’n’ roll, prepare yourself for perhaps the perfect vacation idea.

Did you embrace Beatlemania and never look back? If the answer is an enthusiastic “Yes,” the CIE Tours’ “Icons of Britain” may knock your Paul-loving socks off. While it’s not quite All Beatles, All The Time, the tour has several other must-sees in London, Scotland and Wales. One big draw is seeing where the Fab Four got their start and recapturing what’s described as “the fevered feel of the early ’60s in Liverpool.”

Explore Personal Style With Home Decorating Tips From an Artist

Decorating can be one of the most exciting times during your experience as a homeowner. Not only are you creating the essence of your home, you are also adding your very own personal touch and style.

One of the easiest ways to add unique spice to an ordinarily drab room—incorporate exceptional artwork .

“Many of my clients are simply amazed at how effective a colorful painting can be at bringing new life to a room that has become tired,” says Matthew Johnston, an artist known for his vibrant Tall Tulips paintings (

Raise Your Spirits With The Pool Boys

You know what’s even more contagious than a cough or sneeze? A deep, rumbling belly laugh that leaves your sides aching and your eyes streaming. Laughter isn’t only the best medicine, it boosts immunity, lowers stress hormones and helps prevent heart disease.

If laughter is what the doctor ordered, patients must start getting in line to see the latest film from the creators of the uproarious American Pie franchise, “The Pool Boys.” As encouraged by the magazine Scientific American Mind, laughter actually reduces stress by easing tension and relaxing muscles, which keeps you more focused and productive. Your daily dose of laughter is as important as your dose of fiber or vitamin C.

Sex Sells in New Comedy The Pool Boys

For adult-rated movies, sex and comedy go together like football and cheap beer. You can have one without the other, but each feels slightly incomplete without their counterpart.

Sex comedy  is a popular subgenre that originated in the 1980s with classic films like “Caddyshack” and “Risky Business.” Both movies were career-starters that overflowed with raunchy humor. Recently, director Judd Apatow has laid some claim to the category with his blockbusters, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up.” But it’s hard to think of sex comedy without thinking of a certain father-son duo and a severely molested apple pie.

“The Pool Boys” Comedy Highlights Difficulty of Paying for College

College tuition rates have been on an upward climb since the late 1980s, but neither average income nor the amount of financial aid available is able to keep up. As a result, lower- and middle-class families are having a tougher time forking out the cash for tuition.

The increasing disparity between income levels and the price of higher learning has led to incredible amounts of student debt. Families are encouraging students to look at two-year degrees and community colleges to cut costs. According to the Department of Education, enrollment in two-year colleges has risen over the past decade, while enrollment in four-year institutions has dropped.

Adult Comedies Are Ripping Up the Box Office

The box office has recorded the results repeatedly – adult-rated comedies are making a comeback. Rated R comedies of the “bromance” variety in particular have been upstaging other films each year. The trend started in the late ’90s and has permeated the industry ever since. After “The Hangover Part II” recently dominated theaters nationwide, could “The Pool Boys” be next?

“American Pie” established the formula for raunchy, male bonding comedies in 1999. The original was a smash hit, followed by hugely successful sequels. The latest rumor is that an “American Pie 4” is in the oven at Universal Studios. Although it’s slated to be a theatrical release, audiences will simply have to wait with hungry anticipation.

Archaeological Delights on American Soil

What do Newark, Ohio, Epps, La., Marquette, Iowa and the state of Illinois have in common? They are all sites of some of the most impressive archaeological wonders found anywhere in the world–and most seasoned tourists have no idea.

Native American mounds and earthworks are one of the more underappreciated archaeological treasures in the world, but a new “Top 10” list is now highlighting these attractions. The list of America’s Indian mounds and earthworks was formed from the authoritative book “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Native American Mounds & Earthworks” and has been widely quoted by travel sites.

“Mickey Mouse of Japan” Goes Stateside

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Japanese imports like Pokémon and DragonballZ have been entertaining American children for over a decade, but Japan’s most iconic manga character — a child robot known as Astro Boy — has only recently been rediscovered by American audiences.

Often called “The Mickey Mouse of Japan,” Astro Boy was created in 1952 by Tezuka Osamu, Japan’s most influential cartoonist. Tezuka’s characters, with their large eyes and expressive faces, established the drawing style used in all anime today.

But it was Tezuka’s storytelling that made Astro Boy resonate with audiences around the world. Astro Boy reimagines the story of Pinocchio in a futuristic setting. Although Astro Boy is a powerful robot with components that help him protect the Earth — including twin machine guns in his butt -; he is, at heart, a little boy with an innocent worldview. Running themes include respect for life and a clear anti-bigotry message. But the morals go down with a spoonful of sugar, or, in this case, whimsy and some seriously fun butt-kicking.

Children today can experience Astro Boy outside of manga and anime. For example, D3Publisher of America, Inc. has created a video game that allows children to become Astro Boy. Available on Wii, DS, PS2 and PSP, Astro Boy: The Video Game combines entertaining gameplay with immersive storytelling. Players of all ages can use Astro Boy’s iconic weapons to battle enemies and unlock different versions of the eponymous character. Based on the 2009 full-length CG film, the video game features the voices of Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell and allows players to explore environments from the movie.

Astro Boy emerged from post-war Japan, when instability and the fear of technology played a major role in popular culture. But while other contemporary Japanese movies involved giant monsters decimating Toyko, Tezuka created a more reassuring vision. As Tezuka once said, “‘Love all the creatures! Love everything that has life!’ I have been trying to express this message in every one of my works.”

As America finds itself fighting overseas and experiencing an economic downturn, Astro Boy’s inspiring story of redemption and triumph will certainly resonate with new generations.

For more information, visit

Talking Through Teens’ Growing Pains

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Pop culture tells us that teenagers inevitably transform into hungry, rebellious, secretive monsters. But while it is true that teenagers seek autonomy, it’s not impossible for parents to keep the lines of communication open.

It might seem that you and your teenager have nothing in common — you cringe at their music and wince at their choice of clothes. And yet, with a little effort, you can find activities that will allow you to bond with your teenager. The first step? Accepting that your teen doesn’t want to listen to classical music or putter about in the garden.

“Find out what they want to do,” says Karen Deerwester, the author of “The Entitlement-Free Child,” in an interview with SUCCESS Magazine. “It’s not about what you want to do. With teenagers, it’s about getting into their world.”

Find out what your teen likes, then propose activities centered around that interest. A budding actress might want to see a play, while a sports enthusiast would prefer tickets to a game. If your teen likes your idea, let him or her plan out the details, like what play you will see. Teens need to feel that they have a voice in planning activities.

Actually bonding during that activity might be a little more challenging. Turn off the parenting voice, but don’t try too hard to be their friend — teens want to “hang” with their peers, not mom or dad. In fact, it might be a good idea to allow them to bring a friend. That way, teenagers enjoy their friends’ company while also spending time with their parents.

If activities spark discussion, let your teen talk first. Listen to what they say before you respond, and try not to fix their problems for them. Teenagers need to explore their own interests and face the consequences of their decisions, whether they be good or bad. If teens believe that they can’t talk to their parents, they will lie or manipulate to get what they want.

And do accept that teenagers will need time away from you. “We want to spend more time with them than they do with us, and we have to be respectful of that.” says Ann Corwin, a parenting consultant, child-development educator and the creator of “The Child Connection” DVD. “Try not to take it personally.”

To hear from more experts and get ideas for teenager-parent bonding activities, visit

Psychologist By Day, Jesus By Night

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – By day, Andreas Richter, 32, works as a psychologist. But starting in 2010, he will lead a cast of 1,000 actors in the role of Jesus Christ, opposite a flight attendant playing Mary Magdalene and a public administrator playing Judas.

And this isn’t amateur theater. Richter and his castmates will endure rigorous training and rehearsals, not to make it big, but to carry on their hometown’s 375-year-old tradition. Every 10 years, almost half of Oberammergau works together to put on a Passion Play depicting the last weeks of Christ’s life, his death and his resurrection. And they’ve been doing it since 1633.

How did such a thing get started? In the autumn of1632, the plague struck Oberammergau, killing 84 people by the end of that year. No one knew about rats and fleas or how the plague was spread — the common theory was that God had decided to punish his people with pestilence. Making an appeal to God was only the next logical step.

So in 1633, Oberammergau’s leaders went to the local church and vowed that they would perform a Passion Play every 10 years. And from that day on — it’s on historical record — no Oberammergau citizen ever died of plague.

At the time, Passion Plays were common throughout Bavaria. But Oberammergau’s unique in having kept up the tradition. And in performing the Passion Play on such a large scale — the town’s theater sits 4,700, there can be a 1,000 actors on stage at once and about 2,500 of Oberammergau’s 5,300 citizens will participate in one way or another. And of course, this massive, one-of-a-kind event only takes place once a decade. No wonder tickets sell out long in advance.

The dedication the actors display is astounding. Both men and women grow out their hair before the play. Eva-Maria Reiser, the flight attendant playing Mary Magdalene, is taking a summer off, without pay, to play her role.

No one can participate in the play unless they are native to Oberammergau or have lived there for at least 20 years. Both the director and the composer can trace their families back to 1633 — their ancestors made the original vow. Talk about a family tradition.

For more information and to get tickets for the 2010 Oberammergau Passion play (it won’t be held again until 2020), visit