In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 16, 2007 / 26 Adar, 5767

Caution: geniuses at work

By Barry Koltnow

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "What were they thinking?"

How many times have you asked yourself that as you walked out of a movie theater?

The mind reels when you try to figure out the Hollywood brain trust. You have to wonder sometimes whether these guys are all nuts. What are their thought processes? What are their motivations? What factors, if any, do they use in determining which movies get made?

Well, I think I may have an answer for you.

It's not often that we get to be a fly on the wall at one of these studio meetings, but the crack investigative team at Radio Free Barrywood has come into possession (that's a legal expression that means stole) of a transcript of the minutes from a meeting at which two high-ranking studio executives came up with the idea for what would become last week's No. 1 movie.

We have withheld the names of the executives to protect us from frivolous lawsuits, but we felt that even with unnamed sources, this was too important a document to ignore. The following conversation not only reveals how Hollywood thinks, but it also well, I guess that's all it does. But that's important.

EXECUTIVE NO. 1: I have an idea for a movie.

EXECUTIVE NO. 2: Great. What's it called?

NO. 1: "Four Amigos."

NO. 2: It's a sequel to that stupid Chevy Chase movie?

NO. 1: No, it's a stupid movie all by itself. But it's the same basic idea as "Three Amigos," with a group of poseurs played by well-known actors who ride off on an adventure, get into a fight with a gang of bad guys and save a small town.

NO. 2: You know how much I love movies that are the same basic idea as other movies?

NO. 1: I know. I know.

NO. 2: But why "Four Amigos"?

NO. 1: I thought we could sucker people into theaters if they thought it was a sequel. You know how much people love sequels? They'll even go to see bad sequels.

NO. 2: Hey, you don't have to tell me. I put three kids through college on the money I made from bad sequels.

NO. 1: Listen, I'm not wedded to "Four Amigos." I could be persuaded to change the title. You could call it "Wild Hogs" and I wouldn't care.

NO. 2: Hmmm. "Wild Hogs?" I like it, but we'd have to use that name somewhere in the movie.

NO. 2: The gang could be called the Wild Hogs.

NO. 1: No, that's too dark. Why don't we call the heroes the Wild Hogs, so it'll be like a joke name so it won't scare parents?

NO. 2: You're a genius.

NO. 1: I know.

NO. 2: What else do we put in this movie?

NO. 1: All the things that make people laugh.

NO. 2: This is Disney, mind you. I don't want another "Borat."

NO. 1: Don't be silly. The grossest thing in this movie will be Tim Allen's bare chest.

NO. 2: I like the sound of that. What else do you have?

NO. 1: All the usual suspects - gay jokes, flatulence jokes, sex-organ jokes, kicks in the groin, a nagging mother-in-law, a midlife crisis and, of course, girls in bikinis.

NO. 2: I hope you have a lot of gay jokes.

NO. 1: One right after the other.

NO. 2: This is why they pay you the big bucks. Anything else?

NO. 1: Are you kidding? I have a surprise guest that will blow the baby boomers' minds.

NO. 2: Why do I care about baby boomers? I only care about the teen audience.

NO. 1: This is a movie that appeals to baby boomers. They're starved for comedies.

NO. 2: I'll trust your judgment. Any other surprises?

NO. 1: Get this. As the final credits roll, I've got a blatant commercial tie-in to a TV show that we own.

NO. 2: You should be nominated for a Nobel Prize. What about casting?

NO. 1: As you know, Tim will do anything we say. But John Travolta in on board, and so is Martin Lawrence.

NO. 2: This is starting to sound like "Oceans 11."

NO. 1: I know. I've got goose bumps, too.

NO. 2: Who's the fourth guy?

NO. 1: William H. Macy.

NO. 2: Who?

NO. 1: William H. Macy.

NO. 2: Isn't he a real actor?

NO. 1: One of the best.

NO. 2: Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of a dumb comedy?

NO. 1: No, it's called deceptive casting. It worked great in "Airplane!" Who would have thought that Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges and Peter Graves would be so funny?

NO. 2: I suppose it could work.

NO. 1: Trust me, It'll do almost $40 million its first weekend.

NO. 2: I'm calling the Nobel committee right now.

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© 2007, The Orange County Register; Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.