Thursday, April 28, 2011

Top 10 Most Anticipated Summer Blockbusters

With Fast Five, aka The Fast & The Furious 5, The Summer Movie Season officially kicks off this weekend. Summertime is when the studios release their biggest blockbusters in an effort to capitalize on the kids being out of school and people on vacation who are looking for an escape. Here are the 10 movies I'm most looking forward to this summer.
  1. HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 - The Harry Potter movie series officially comes to a close on July 15. In my opinion these movies have gotten better and better since Harry Potter and The Sorcerers Stone debuted in November of 2001.
  2. SUPER 8 - It appears this movie is about an alien on the loose in a small Texas town. It comes from J.J. Abrams who brought us such great TV shows as Alias and Lost and popular movies like the Star Trek reboot and Mission Impossible 3. Oh yeah, and some guy named Steven Spielberg is producing. The Film opens June 10.
  3. THE HANGOVER 2 - Can the sequel really be as funny as the first movie? Well, if it's even half as funny it's still money well spent in my book. Opens May 27.
  4. XMEN: FIRST CLASS - This film tells the origin story of the two mutants who started it all: Professor X and Magneto - Best friends who became bitter enemies. Opens June 3.
  5. THOR - So far this comic book movie about the ancient God is getting rave reviews. Plus its got Natalie Portman. Opens May 6.
  6. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES - Johnny Depp returns as Jack Sparrow. These movies are fun and that's all we're really looking for in the summer - fun! Opens May 20.
  7. COWBOYS AND ALIENS -From John Favreau, the guy who directed Iron Man, comes a film that mixes two of my favorite film genres - Westerns & Aliens. Plus its got Harrison Ford. Opens July 29.
  8. CAPTAIN AMERICA - Apparently Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Thor are all tied together by Captain America who is referred to as The First Avenger. This movie reportedly sets the stage for The Avengers movie set to open in the Summer of 2012. This one however, opens July 22.
  9. RISE OF THE APES - This film is sort of a prequel to the original Planet of The Apes films of the 60s. It stars James Franco and allegedly tells the story of how the primates became super intelligent and eventually took over the earth. Opens August 5.
  10. THE SMURFS - The cartoon from the 80s was my favorite animated show as a kid. This is a bit of nostalgia for me and the fact that Katy Perry is providing the voice of Smurfette doesn't hurt either. Opens July 29.
Did I leave off a movie you are looking forward to? E-mail: or leave a comment below.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds

I've been a dog owner for almost two years. I own a five year old Puggle (beagle/pug) named Andy. For the most part he's pretty smart and when he doesn't listen I truly believe it's because he doesn't feel like it. According to a slew of doggie websites here are the top 10 smartest dog breeds. And by smart, I figure they mean easiest to train.
Do you have a smart dog that is not on this list? E-mail with comments or leave one below.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Top 10 Easter Candy & Treats

While a lot of you reading this may not receive Easter candy anymore I'm sure, like me, you still remember getting it as a child. And, as parents you may be purchasing some to give to the kiddies on Sunday and then maybe picking at it while they are not looking. Here are my Top 10 Easter Candy & Treats.
  1. PEEPS - The signature treat in any Easter basket.
  2. CADBURY CREAM EGG - A chocolate egg with a creamy center. It's messy but it tastes great.
  3. JELLYBEANS - Buried at the bottom of any Easter basket. Simple but necessary.
  4. ROBIN EGGS - Like jellybeans, these multi-colored chocolate covered eggs are essential to the bottom of every Easter basket.
  5. CHOCOLATE BUNNY - With a Chocolate Bunny, size does matter and your child will notice if this isn’t towering over everything in the Easter Basket. Don’t skimp out on this treat or else!
  6. REESE'S PEANUT BUTTER EGG - It's basically a peanut butter cup but it's shaped like an an egg and a little softer.
  7. CHOCOLATE EGGS - Along with the chocolate bunny the eggs are essential.
  8. THE CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW EGG- It's Easter and you can never have enough chocolate
  9. CADBURY MINI-EGGS - Similar to the Robin Eggs but trust me, kids will know the difference.
  10. PLASTIC EGGS - They sell multi-colored plastic eggs that we as adults are required to fill with various treats. I prefer Starburst, Skittles, or actual money.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top 10 Reasons NOT To Give Live Animals As Easter Gifts

Believe it or not, rather than give marshmallow chicks or chocolate bunnies some people actually give kids real live rabbits and chickadees as Easter presents. While this may seem like a great idea here are 10 reasons you should stick to candy on Easter.
  1. While adorable, these young animals mature quickly into adults
  2. They need daily care for the rest of their lives
  3. Baby chicks and rabbits have complex nutritional and social needs
  4. The animals can not be continuously caged or relegated to the basement or garage
  5. In some areas selling and keeping chicks as pets is actually illegal
  6. If people can no longer care for the animals they are sometimes brought to shelters where they will unfortunately be euthanized if they can't find proper homes.
  7. If someday released into the wild these now domesticated animals will be unable to fend for themselves and may fall victim to starvation or other predators.
  8. Caring for exotic pets can be expensive
  9. Your kids may start expecting these kinds of gifts every year
  10. How do you tell your kids that you have to give their bunny away because Mommy and Daddy made a bad decision?
Do you have thoughts on this issue? Have you ever gave or received an exotic pet as a gift? E-mail or leave a comment below

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Top 10 Unsolved Mysteries

I've always been fascinated by the unexplained. Things that have happened but make no logical sense. Things that no matter how much they are studied, researched and scrutinized cannot be explained by science or good old fashioned police work. Whether it be a murder, a strange light in the sky, a missing person or an odd disappearance, I've been hung up on a good mystery since my childhood days of watching Scooby Doo. Here are my 10 Favorite Unsolved Mysteries

  1. THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE - Ships and airplanes have mysteriously disappeared from this area in the North Atlantic Ocean over the years. Theories include Aliens, time warps, and of course, bad weather.
  2. THE LOCH NESS MONSTER - For a century locals in Scotland along with many tourists have claimed to see some sort of sea creature swimming about in the Scottish Loch.
  3. BIGFOOT - Some say there is a species of half man, half ape-like creature roaming about woodsy locations throughout the United States. People have snapped photos of the alleged beast while others have claimed to have found footprints. Many of these findings have been proven to be hoaxes but some evidence can not be explained and dismissed.
  4. THE MARY CELESTE - In 1872 the Mary Celeste ship along with 11 passengers and 1,700 barrels of cargo set sail out of New York bound for Italy. The passengers were never seen again. The ship was found floating in the middle of the Strait of Gibraltar. There were no signs of struggle on board and all documents except the captain’s log were missing.
  5. DB COOPER -He is an unidentified man who hijacked an airplane in 1971. He extorted $200,000 in ransom and then parachuted to an uncertain fate. He was never found.
  6. TRAVIS WALTON - Travis Walton went missing for five days while working as a logger in Arizona. He, along with his crew members, claim he was abducted by a UFO. Even though the men all passed lie detector tests officials say it was just a hoax put on by the men for attention.
  7. THE ZODIAC KILLER - The Zodiac killer was active in Northern California for ten months in the late 1960s. He killed at least five people, and injured two. He is popular for using the news media to taunt police who couldn't catch him. To this day the Zodiac murders remain unsolved.
  8. AREA 51 This is supposedly a military base in Nevada where aliens are kept and studied. A space craft allegedly crashed in Roswell New Mexico in 1947 and the wreckage along with alien bodies were brought to this base according to UFO enthusiasts.
  9. JACK THE RIPPER -A serial killer who terrorized England in 1888 by murdering and mutilating women. Some say he was a crazy mental patient while others claim he was a member of the Royal Family. Regardless he has never been caught.
  10. THE SHROUD OF TURIN -A cloth with the face of Jesus on it? The cloth definitely exists and there appears to be a face on it. Most Catholics consider it to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ.
Did I leave out your favorite mystery? Do you know of any good ones? Drop me an e-mail at or leave a comment below.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Top 10 Random Facts About Abraham Lincoln

This weeks marks the 150 year anniversary of The Civil War. April 15 marks the anniversary of Lincoln's assassination. Also on April 15, a new film directed by Robert Redford, "The Conspirator", opens, detailing conspiracy theories surrounding Lincoln's death. Almost everyone knows Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States and that he guided the country during the Civil War, appears on the penny and $5 bill and was killed by John Wilkes Booth while watching a play at Ford's Theater with his wife Mary Todd.

Here are 10 facts about Honest Abe you may not know.
  1. Abraham had four children, Robert Todd Lincoln, Edward Lincoln, Willie Lincoln, Tad Lincoln. Only Robert Todd Lincoln survived into adulthood.
  2. He created a national banking system with the National Banking Act in 1863, resulting in a standardized currency.
  3. He was the first president to be assassinated.
  4. He had deep depression, even though he would frequently tell stories and jokes to friends and family.
  5. Even though he was strong, a talented wrestler, and proficient with an axe, Lincoln disliked killing and harming animals, even for food
  6. He was the first president to have a beard.
  7. At 6 ft. four inches, he was the tallest president
  8. One week before his death, Lincoln had a dream of someone crying in the White House. When he found the room he looked in and asked who had passed away. The man in the room said the President. When he looked in the coffin it was his own face he saw.
  9. He ran a store in New Salem.
  10. Steven Spielberg has cast Daniel Day Lewis to play Lincoln and Sally Field to play his wife Mary Todd in his latest film scheduled for release in 2012.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top 10 On TV Right Now

Like me you may miss the artistic violence of The Sopranos, the layered mysteries of Lost or the hilarity of Seinfeld. Those shows will live on forever though, in re-runs and on DVD. However, even though some of the best TV in history is gone that doesn't mean there is nothing to enjoy now. With that, I give you the 10 Best Shows On TV Right Now:

  1. MAD MEN - I tried to get into this show when it debuted in 2007. I couldn't get past the first two episodes. Three years later, after numerous Emmy awards and raves by friends I decided to give it another shot. I'm glad I did. The show about an advertising firm in the early 60s is truly deserving of the accolades it has been given.

  2. SONS OF ANARCHY - This show fills the Sopranos void rather nicely. It's the story of a motorcycle gang where the majority of its members are dealing with personal issues and inner demons while trying to stay loyal to the club and make a quick buck. There's violence, action, storyline and heart.

  3. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS - It's not a series about a football team. Its a series about a group of people who play and coach football. You don't have to be a sports fan to appreciate this fantastic show.

  4. BREAKING BAD - Perhaps the finest acting on TV today is showcased on this show. Bryan Cranston masterfully plays Walter White, a teacher turned meth dealer. Aaron Paul plays Jesse, his delinquent former student and now drug partner. These are awful human beings yet you can't help but love them.

  5. THE WALKING DEAD - So what if it's a show about zombies. It works!

  6. WEEDS - The funniest show on TV about Nancy Botwin, a single mother who sells marijuana to support her family. This is actually the perfect companion show to the aforementioned Breaking Bad.

  7. TRUE BLOOD -Vampires, Werewolves and Demons, oh my! It's sexy and, unlike the Twilight Series, not for the kiddies.

  8. ENTOURAGE -Every show feels like a little party. Fans of this show have been following Vince Chase for seven years now as he and his crew live it up in Hollywood while he pursues his dream of becoming the greatest actor on the planet.

  9. DEXTER - He's a loving father, a dedicated blood-spatter expert and....a serial killer. It can only end badly for him but we watch anyway.

  10. RESCUE ME - Yeah, maybe the show about a NYC fire department led by Dennis Leary has worn out its welcome a bit. Yet we still can't turn away. The acting is still great and as the show winds down in preparation for its finale, set to air on the 10-year anniversary of September 11, we can't jump off the truck now.

Do you agree with my list? Did I leave off your favorite show? Is there something out there I should be watching?

E-mail me with questions or suggestions at or leave a comment below

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Top 10 Court Cases

I figured my first Top 10 List should be directly related to my actual job at the Press, which is covering the court system. I began my beat as court reporter in October of 2009 and to say I've seen it all would be an understatement. Here are the Top 10 Court Cases I've covered in my nearly two years in Middletown

  1. Antonio Inglis Murder Trial - This was actually my first trial ever. It was emotional for everyone involved and I'll never forget it.

  2. Tot Smokes Pot On Video - This was a crazy story and received national coverage.

  3. HILL NOT GUILTY OF MURDER - The defendant was convicted of a lesser charge after a jury deliberated for nearly three days. I thought the murder charge was a slam dunk -jury thought different.

  4. John Belanger Charged With Wife's Murder - The victim reportedly named her attacker with her dying breath.

  5. Murdered Over A Cello? - A disturbed man considered killing a fellow classmate rather than admit that he lost the cello she let him borrow.

  6. Price Chopper Stripper - A Cromwell man stripped down to his underwear while dancing outside the popular supermarket.

  7. Man Survives Point Blank Shooting - I don't know how the victim survived but thankfully he did.

  8. Distraught Man Sets House On Fire - He was going through a divorce and allegedly burnt his home to the ground rather than let his ex-wife have it.

  9. Woman Steals Co-Workers Identity - If what the police say is true, the lengths she allegedly went through to ruin her co-workers life are unbelievable.

  10. Woman Sent To Jail For Negligent Homicide & Burglaries - A tragic story of a seemingly good person driven to crime because of her addictions.
If you would like to comment on this list or have suggestions for a Top 10 please e-mail

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 8, 2011

Top 10 things posted here!

Welcome to our new blog: Top 10 things in Middlesex County. Here, the Press staff, spearheaded by court reporter Walt Gogolya, will publish a local Top 10 list each day, Monday through Friday. Your suggestions for topics are welcome. Leave a comment below or email