Tech PRose

May 3, 2010

Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

Filed under: Donna Gaidamak,Reviews — techimage @ 8:46 am

Listening to this NPR radio show on Saturday mornings is a hilarious, wit-filled way to wake up. But if you can’t make it out of bed before 10 a.m. to listen in, don’t worry – you can replay the show at anytime off the NPR website.

Wait Wait is an oddly-informative news quiz show that takes a fast-paced, irreverent look at global events, including the very whacky and very weird. It’s co-produced by NPR and Chicago Public Radio. In the Chicago area, you can hear it on WBEZ, 91.5 FM. Hosted by Peter Sagal and produced by Carl Kasell, the show’s typical panelists include Paula Poundstone, Mo Rocca, Tom Bodett and P.J. O’Rourke.

Panelists are put through the paces in a series of quizzes and games that test how well they paid attention to the week’s news. Lucky listeners who are selected play a game called “Bluff the Listener.” Each of the three panelists shares a news story and contestants have to identify the real one from the fakes.  Winners receive a suitable prize: Carl Kasell records a greeting on their home answering machines.

It’s a fun way to test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what’s real and what’s not

The show is recorded before a live studio audience on Thursdays in Chicago. Tickets go on sale six weeks before each show and routinely sell out. I just got tickets for a show in June and can’t wait to see this up close and personal!

These folks are well-read, quick-thinking, and extremely funny. Most everything is fair game for their jokes, including themselves. Though it’s hard to believe, once in a while a caller manages to outwit the on-air talent, generating great awe and admiration from the audience.

Pay attention to this week’s news and get ready to laugh.

— Reviewed by Donna Gaidamak

March 29, 2010

What’s So Nice about Rice?

Filed under: Donna Gaidamak,Reviews — techimage @ 5:49 pm

“Rice is the best, the most nutritive and unquestionably the most widespread staple in the world.” – Georges Auguste Escoffier, October 28, 1846 – February 12, 1935

Free Rice

As someone who works at a tech PR firm, you’d think I know everything about digital media. Think again. I come from the era of Pac Man and playing Solitaire on the computer.

I’ve been exploring all things virtual and I’m addicted to the website http://www.freerice.com/index.php. It’s a great place to test your vocabulary, quiz yourself on a variety of subjects and help feed hungry people – all for free. Free Rice is a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Program. For every question you answer correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated by their sponsors. It may not sound like much, but the grains add up quickly. I spent less than 15 minutes on the site, testing my Spanish vocabulary. As a result, 3,000 grains of rice were donated and I learned a few new words.

You can test yourself on Art, Chemistry, English, Geography, Foreign Languages and Math. You’ll realize how brainy you really are, learn a few new things and help feed people all at the same time.

What are you waiting for? Rice is nice!

— by Donna Gaidamak

February 1, 2010

La Humita Restaurant Review

La Humita
Neighborhood: Old Irving Park
3466 N Pulaski Rd.
(between Cornelia Ave & Newport Ave)
Chicago, IL 60641
(773) 794-9672
http://www.lahumita.com

 

What a find! La Humita is one of those out-of-the-way places with good service, great food and personality.  If you're feeling adventurous and willing to travel west of I-94, La Humita is well worth the journey.  This cozy and quaint Ecuadorian restaurant reflects the pride of its owner, Nestor Correa. 

The food is fresh and tasty, and they have a full bar. Entrees, which include soup and sides are reasonably priced between $10 and $15. To our pleasant surprise, we learned that all meals are $9.95 on Sundays. Of small but important note: the bathrooms are very clean and nicely decorated.

We took our kids on the trek back to the ‘burbs after a recent visit to the Shedd Aquarium (skip the Fantasea show – fodder for another blog.) 

Among the four of us, we tried “Arroz con Menestra”, a flavorful grilled steak served with lentils and fried plantains; “Lomito saltado”, sauteed steak strips diced onions with peppers (a little spicy!) and tomatoes, served with rice and French Fries; and “Arroz con camarones,” jumbo shrimp with garlic and olive oil, served with rice, peppers, onions and coconut milk topped with naranjilla (a rare Ecuadorian fruit with an orange-like taste) butter sauce. 

If we hadn’t been in such carnivorous moods, we would have tried the tempting vegetarian dishes, such as the house specialty, humitas. It’s a mixture of freshly ground corn and cheese, steamed in a corn husk. There’s plenty to choose from, including pork, chicken and fish dishes. We were too full to bother with dessert – and that was the one part of the menu that didn’t thrill us.

If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Latin America, you don’t have to update your passport for this one!

–Reviewed by Donna Gaidamak

December 10, 2009

Blind Side

Blindside

I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. It held the interest of 2 people in their mid-40s, a 10-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy, who deemed the movie “something to think about” and “inspirational.”  I’d normally write off a movie like this as Hollywood fluff – but it’s based on the real-life story of NFL rookie, Michael Oher. It’s an amazing account of a young man’s transformation all because of a chance encounter with a big-hearted woman and a family with loving, open arms.

A product of the crime-ridden Memphis projects, “Big Mike,” played by Quinton Aaron, is a gentle giant who bounces from one foster home to another. He has no idea who or where his father is and hasn’t seen his drug-addicted mother for years. Mike winds up at a private school on the other side of the tracks and his new life begins when he crosses paths with the Tuohys.  If it wasn’t for them, Mike would be right back where he started, instead of graduating from the University of Mississippi and playing for the Baltimore Ravens.

Sandra Bullock outdoes herself as real-life Memphis mom, Leigh Anne Tuohy – a woman whose family is turned upside down when she spots a boy with no where to go and not much more than the shirt on his back. The family takes Michael into their hearts and home, where his lives and theirs, are changed forever.

Without giving away the details, Bullock’s portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy as a kind-hearted, head-strong woman is spot-on. The children, particularly son S.J., enthusiastically welcome Mike into their home. There are funny moments, sad moments, but mostly inspiring ones. It’s a great choice if you want to get in the true spirit of the holidays.

–Reviewed by Donna Gaidamak

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