Gruesome Beheading Not a Halloween Prank

Patricia Ward, 66, a beloved language arts professor, was brutally murdered by her son in her Farmingdale, N.Y., home late Tuesday.

Onlookers thought it was a Halloween prank when they saw 35-year-old Derek Ward drag his mother’s headless body into the street before kicking her severed head about 20 feet away. He killed himself a short time later by jumping in front of a Long Island Railroad train. His body was found a mile down the track.

In addition to having been arrested previously for criminal mischief and gun possession, Nassau County police sources said Derek Ward had a 10-year psychiatric history and an apparent drug problem. The motive for the killing is unknown.

Patricia Ward, a longtime professor at Farmingdale State College, was a popular and well-respected instructor. I didn’t go to school there, but one of my buddies named Christian did, and I think he may have even had a class with her. The school is providing counseling for students and faculty members, and considering how to memorialize her.

Police do not believe there is a terrorism connection despite the many beheadings in recent news.

Middle School Boys Raised in Africa Beaten and Called Ebola

This week in the Bronx, Sam Tabar told me two young boys were beaten by fellow students at their middle school, I.S. 318. The reason? Bullies claimed they had Ebola. The boys and their father are recent immigrants from the African nation of Senegal.

Being from Senegal, the brothers had only ever learned to speak French, and their abusers used this to their advantage. Bullies and cruel classmates used both the current Ebola scare striking the U.S. and the language barrier present in order to taunt the brothers. However, these schoolyard insults quickly turned into physical violence. The boys were beaten badly by their tormentors, and were rushed to the hospital by their concerned father.

The attack of two young innocents should immediately raise questions not only about a school system that allowed the situation to reach such a violent and dangerous point, but also about the media’s portrayal of Ebola. Was this merely “kids being kids”, or can this be attributed to the current wave of fear-mongering media coverage in relation to the Ebola outbreak?

A New Terminator Movie And A New Timeline

While newly released photos from the “Terminator: Genisys” set do not feature The Arnold, we do know a few important plot details about the upcoming first film in a new trilogy.

What we now know is the timeline of the new series has been altered. We are going to gat a glimpse into an alternate reality of the Terminator series. In this one, Sarah Conner was orphaned at the age of 9. To protect her, an original Terminator T-800 will act as her guardian. To explain why the Terminator has aged, we find out that, well, Terminators’ exteriors due age since they are flesh and blood. It is what’s inside that counts anyway and, in this case, the inside of a Terminator is a robot.

A number of changes to Sarah Conner have also been made. Since the Terminator acted as her father, she grows into an adult with no emotion and a wantonness for killing.

All of this gets complicated when the Reese from the original timeline shows up to protect her from a rising threat.

The film comes out in 2015 and I’m excited. I know Tom Rothman’s been working on this production for years, and it’s much appreciated by us Terminator fans.

Batman V Superman: Batman Lowdown

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is the highly-anticipated team-up in the same world as Superman’s Man of Steel. Ben Affleck’s casting as the character of Batman took some time to be accepted by fans, but many have moved on to the details surrounding the Dark Knight.

At the San Diego Comic-Con, the SDCC trailer revealed that Batman would be using at least two suits throughout the movie. Viewers can expect the traditional cape and cowl. However, also be ready for a heavy-duty suit of armor. Rumors have it containing kryptonite for the showdown with Superman and possibly a projectile weapon, I just hope that kryptonite doesn’t become a crutch.  Alongside friends like Gianfrancesco Genoso I’ve always argued that Superman is a great character, and you don’t need to rely on kryptonite being the only thing that can stop him.

Further news, or rather opinion, comes from Ben Affleck’s wife. Jennifer Garner has spoke about Batman’s voice, assuring fans that it is a spot-on growl coming from Affleck. The criticism launched at Christian Bale for his Batman voice makes it clear how much the voice makes the Batman.

For those that didn’t attend Comic-Con and didn’t get that precious sneak peek, it’s been confirmed that a teaser trailer will be released as an attachment to The Hobbit. That means December 17 is the day for Hobbit, Batman and Superman fans to head to the theaters for a treat.

Movie Star Chadwick Boseman

Just a few months back, Kevin Feige noted that Marvel Studios had been paying attention to fan requests for an adaptation to Black Panther. Up until that point, everyone from Denzel Washington to Stan Lee to my Marvel expert friend Sam Tabar has been discussing the possibility of this project. However, we now know for certain that the project will be brought to life. And yesterday, Feige announced the studio’s Phase 3 slate at a public event.

Amongst the announcements made regarding the upcoming film project was the news that Chadwick Boseman will bring the character of T’Challa alive. To mark the occasion, Boseman appeared on stage with Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. During the proceedings, Feige informed the public that the T’Challa charcter will debut in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.

In reporting on Boseman’s upcoming film engagements, Chris Agar notes that the actor is scheduled to complete a five film contract with Marvel. The deal will begin with Captain America 3 and also includes Black Panther. However, the three other films that the star will appear in are thus far unknown.

There Were Some Awesome Easter Eggs in Constantine’s Pilot Episode

If you saw Constantine last Friday, you were treated to one of this season’s most promising new comic based shows. But there was also a ton of fan service, for faithful readers of the Hellblazer comic series as well.

Some were easy to spot, like Susan McGalla’s personal favorite the Helmet of Fate. But there were also some other easter eggs that I missed. Like Pandora’s Box for example.

You can see the full list here. 17 in all that they’ve found so far. Some pretty cool stuff. Love when they do the fan service for people that have been fans of other DC Comics related media.

“The Purge” Up for Third Installment

The Purge turns an interesting spin as producers gear up with the development of a third installment. The plan came after the box office success of the horror film The Purge and its sequel The Purge: Anarchy.

James DeMonaco, the writer of the two The Purge sequels, was surprised with all of the positive public reception that turn up for his films, expressing the plan for another installment. The two The Purge films earned a combined gross income of $200 million worldwide from their combined budget of $12 million.

“I never imagined that The Purge would become the phenomenon it has become…and I am thrilled to continue my collaboration with Brian Torchin, Blumhouse, Sebastien Lemercier, Platinum Dunes and the great team at Universal in building The Purge into a worldwide franchise,” DeMonaco said in a story published at the magazine website Deadline.

Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions and Platinum Dunes will once again produce the new installment.

The Purge, the first installment, focused on a family who struggled to survive the night. The Purge: Anarchy, the second installment, focused on different people and touched the story arc of how the society’s relationship with the annual Purge has evolved.

A post on the movie and television website Screenrant explores the possible storyline of The Purge 3, which they think may pick up from the revelation at the end of the second installment, about the real reason why the government created the activity.

Meanwhile, there are rumors circulating that the The Purge 3 will be a prequel of the first two films, and is set to be released in 2015.

Robin Might Be Female In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

There are an increasing amount of rumors suggesting that Hunger Games star Jena Malone could be the new Robin in the upcoming Batman v Superman movie. It’s widely theorized that Robin will be a part of the world, and several of the Hollywood movie websites are reporting Malone’s involvement.

But it would make sense. Zack Snyder said that the inspiration for the Batman in his DC Cinematic Universe is Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns storyline.

In that story, there is indeed a Robin that helps Batman, and she does happen to be female. So through the power of deduction, if these rumors about Jena Malone are true, then it makes sense she would be playing Robin.

Not to mention the fact that she posted a cryptic image of her current hair color, which has recently been dyed a bright red. Very reminiscent of Frank Miller’s Robin:

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Drastic times call for drastic measures.

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I for one am a big fan of hers, and it’s great to see the career resurgence she’s experienced in the last few years. Can’t see how she wouldn’t make an amazing Robin.

Teachers Are Using Minecraft To Help Children Read

One of the biggest difficulties when a child first learns to read, is motivating them to keep reading. Finding unique ways to spark an interest, and help them want to read new material. That’s what Minecraft is doing, with the new line of books that have been released.

Designed in a children’s book format, Minecraft has released several guides that help users understand and play the game. These guides cover everything, from mining, to building, and crafting various materials in the game world.

Minecraft is also remarkably popular with kids. It’s really an all ages simulation, and provides endless opportunities to be creative with your building projects, or just to spend hours exploring a rich world full of different things to explore.

Books like the Minecraft Redstone Handbook, and The Ultimate Players Guide to Minecraft are sparking an interest in children like never before. Providing the perfect venue for teachers to foster that creativity and interest, and inspire them to keep reading.

Have to say, I’m with Keith Mann on this being a great positive story about gaming. With all the drama of GamerGate going on right now, it’s nice to see the best of video games, and how they can be a force for good in the lives of many.

Stephen King Reveals Details of The Stand Adaptation

Stephen King, writer of numerous bestselling novels and short story collections, dropped the bomb about the movie adaptation of The Stand while promoting his short-story-turned-film, A Good Marriage. The writer thinks The Standshould not be just one movie.

In an interview with MTV to promote his movie A Good Marriage, King hinted that the adaptation of The Stand will be different and innovative. The bestselling author, whose works are adapted to both television and film, said that the movie will push through, courtesy of director Josh Boone, the same director who brought The Fault in Our Stars to the silver screen.

Aside from directing, King revealed that Boone will also write the script for the adaptation. He’s also in talks with Tom Rothman and Sony/Tristar about a production deal. And as rumors spread that Boone plans to make a one movie run for the entire story of the popular novel, King believed that his masterpiece should not be just one movie. Despite this, he had the assurance that someone as creative and talented as Boone will give the movie justice.

The Stand is a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel that starts after a lethal plague kills a large percentage of the world’s population. The survivors were split into two groups, and a face-off between them becomes a battle between good and evil. The book had previously been adapted to television, in a multi-part special.

Meanwhile, A Good Marriage, which opened October 3, is about a woman who discovers that her husband has a sinister secret. This discovery puts her on a roller coaster ride of horror and thrill. The movie is based on King’s short story from the collection Full Dark, No Stars.