November 11, 2014

Business, Education, Entertainment, Trends

Trends, Travel, Film, History and Books provide readers with information that might be off the beaten path of their traditional news sources.   Whether its innovation, unique travel, classic or new age films and documentaries, looking at history from a different perspective or discovering new and established authors, it brings a fresh look to things that are either old or new again.

Paranormal Niagara: The Worst Fear Is That Of The Unexplainable

SOURCE:  Ascot Media

NYC, NY, November – Dr. Peter Sacco, host of the TV series ‘Niagara’s Most Haunted,’ offers many true, spine-chilling tales from the grave in his book, Paranormal Niagara: Cases of the Mysterious and the Macabre. These stories focus on a number of bizarre cases that have haunted the Niagara region for decades – including the world-famous 1970’s Poltergeist Case in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Ed (now deceased) and Lorraine Warren were paranormal investigators whose work has inspired some of the scariest movies of our time – The Amityville Horror, The Conjuring, A Haunting in Connecticut – and now, Annabelle – perhaps the most frightening of all! Peter applied Ed’s findingsParanormal-Niagara and reasoning from Annabelle and The Conjuring to the Poltergeist Case of St. Catharines, asking the question: ‘Was it really a poltergeist or rather a demonic possession?’

Supernatural phenomena aren’t seen only on the big screen – they may be happening in your own hometown, and they’re getting the spotlight in mainstream media. In fact, in the case in St. Catharines, for a complete lunar cycle (28 days), a family and their friends were tormented and police, priests, and other high-ranking officials became part of this case. It became so widely known that Johnny Carson mentioned it years ago on ‘The Tonight Show.’ Investigators studied the area to try to put the rumors to rest – but what they found prompted even more supernatural intrigue!

We don’t have to experience unexplainable events to know that supernatural phenomena exist. If they don’t, why do the Warrens’ have Annabelle locked in a special case built for the doll in their Occult Museum – could it be because it escaped several locks in its first few weeks at their house?

Pure evil does exist. Just ask Pope Francis. The beloved pope seems to be as serious about his Exorcism rituals as he is about eliminating poverty. In fact, he seeks to rekindle the Devil as a possible supernatural explanation for many of the world’s ills today.

Peter Andrew Sacco is a former adjunct psychology professor at Niagara University, Lewiston, NY, in the teacher education program. Creator and instructor of the Criminal Psychology Program at Niagara College, Canada, he is also an instructor at McMaster University in the Addiction Studies Program and Police Foundations Study. He has had over 700 articles published in newspapers, magazines and journals, and is the author of many bestselling books, including What’s Your Anger Type, Penis Envy, and Why Women Want What They Can’t Have. In addition to hosting the new fun TV series, ‘Niagara’s Most Haunted,’ he hosts a weekly radio show, ‘Matters of the Mind,’ and Peter’s documentary film, Haunted Niagara, was seen at film festivals across the nation and in Canada.



Silver Spring, MD — RLJ Entertainment Inc., (NASDAQ: RLJE), created by Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) and The RLJ Companies and Chairman of RLJ Entertainment, today announced the launch of UMC – Urban Movie Channel (“UMC”), RLJE’s proprietary digital channel. UMC will feature urban-themed movies as an alternative to conventional subscription-based channels by showcasing the best drama, documentaries, comedies, horror, and stage plays.

Commenting on UMC’s launch, Robert Johnson said, “As founder of BET, I have gained a deep understanding and knowledge about the African-American and urban consumer and the entertainment content that appeals to them. UMC was designed so that the African-American and urban creative community could directly reach consumers in a way that removes many of the restrictions associated with the legacy content development and distribution models. As more video is consumed over broadband, we believe that we can quickly become the preeminent provider of quality urban entertainment to what has largely been an under served, yet highly engaged audience. I am convinced that urban consumers will gravitate to the economic and entertainment value proposition of UMC and that the creative community will embrace UMC as the best way to reach their loyal fans and benefit financially from showcasing their outstanding work product.”

Programs previously released by RLJE under the One Village brand will be incorporated into UMC’s library, which will also include titles from RLJE’s existing Image independent feature film line. UMC will launch with a free trial period for subscribers through February 4, 2015 and with a suggested retail price of $4.99/month or $49.99/year thereafter, but with a special limited time introductory pricing of $2.99/month or $29.99/year to start.

Miguel Penella, CEO of RLJE stated, “As one of the largest independent distributors of entertainment content with nascent propriety streaming channels like Acorn TV, we are uniquely positioned to fulfill the vision of our chairman and deliver to the urban audience an unprecedented library of high quality video content. We are confident in RLJE’s ability to acquire, distribute, and monetize existing and original content that will appeal to the urban community across the growing number of distribution platforms.”

Among the titles launching are live stand-up performances featuring Kevin Hart, Jamie Foxx, and Charlie Murphy; documentaries Dark Girls and I Ain’t Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac; the feature films All Things Fall Apart starring 50 Cent, Mario Van Peebles, and Ray Liotta; and The Suspect starring Mekhi Phifer.  Bestsellers include the stage play production of What My Husband Doesn’t Know by David E. Talbert. UMC can be found at:

Traci Otey Blunt joins RLJE as Corporate Executive Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs and will oversee the company’s marketing, public relations and investor relations, as well as the promotion of the UMC channel. For the last six years, Traci served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at The RLJ Companies, the holding company which formed RLJ Entertainment. Prior to RLJ, Traci served as a national deputy communications director and director of African-American media for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign.

“Traci has been with The RLJ Companies since 2008 and has been responsible for all corporate communications, public relations and government affairs,” said Johnson. “She has proven to be an invaluable executive in promoting and executing the business goals and objectives of The RLJ Companies and its portfolio companies, and I believe appointing her to RLJE as Corporate EVP to perform these functions, as well as focus heavily on the marketing and promotion of UMC is an ideal fit.”

“I am confident that with Traci joining the RLJE management team, her expertise will be beneficial to the company as a whole and help our strategic launch of UMC,” said Penella. “She will promote the channel and grow its subscriber base by building new and cultivating existing relationships which will ultimately have a strong impact on RLJE’s digital platforms,” he concluded.

RLJ Entertainment is a leading creator, owner and distributor of media content across digital, broadcast and physical platforms.  The Company leverages its branding expertise, access to content and direct to consumer skills to optimize the value of its programs for distinct audiences.

RLJ Entertainment is focused on driving growth through the development of interest-based entertainment services for targeted audiences in niche genres including British television, urban, action/thriller, horror, comedy, and fitness, by using new technologies to deliver that content to consumers.


"Dark Girls" by Bill Duke, Shelia P. Moses, and Barron Claiborne.  Photo Courtesy:

“Dark Girls” by Bill Duke, Shelia P. Moses, and Barron Claiborne. Photo Courtesy:

Actress Lupita Nyong’o Graces Cover of “Dark Girls” Book By Legendary Director Bill Duke


Nationwide — In the tradition of the New York Times bestselling I Dream a World and Crowns comes DARK GIRLS, an inspiring and groundbreaking photo book that celebrates the beauty of dark-skinned women, created by legendary director Bill Duke.

DARK GIRLS began as a documentary of the same name that aired on the OWN Network and became its highest-rated show with more than two million viewers. The women in the film told of their experiences being dark-skinned, and the awful prejudice they faced as girls and as women. The show was highly emotional and moving – colorism is a passionate subject amongst women of color throughout the world.

Bill Duke knew he wanted to address these women with a book. Rather than a non-fiction book on the topic of colorism, he produced DARK GIRLS, a magnificent collection featuring accomplished dark-skinned women from all walks of life. In the book, celebrities such as Lupita Nyong’o, Vanessa Williams, Loretta Devine, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Judge Mablean Ephriam, Brandi and Karli Harvey, and over seventy-five other outstanding women share intimate insights into what their dark skin means to them.

Filled with gorgeous photographs and moving interviews with darker-skinned women by award-winning writer Shelia P. Moses, this thoughtful, sophisticated, alluring, and uplifting collection captures the elegance of dark skin – joyfully showcasing that people truly are beautiful for who they are.

Author Bios:

Director, producer, and writer BILL DUKE is the godfather of African-American cinema. He was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Tribute from the Directors Guild of America, placing him in the company of directors like Stephen Spielberg and Clint Eastwood. Duke’s productions include “Miami Vice,” “Cagney & Lacey,” “Sister Act 2,” “American Gigolo,” “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” “A Rage in Harlem,” “Predator,” and many more. He has degrees from Boston University, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and the American Film Institute.

SHELIA P. MOSES is the author of fourteen books, including The Legend of Buddy Bush, which was a National Book Award finalist and a Coretta Scott King Award winner. Joseph was nominated for the 2009 NAACP Image Award. In 2000, she co-wrote Dick Gregorys memoir Callus on My Soul and directed his tribute at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

BARRON CLAIBORNE’s work has appeared in numerous publications including Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Interview. His photos are featured in museums and private collections throughout the world.

#BillDuke #DarkGirlsBook


Entertainment Business’ “Official Deal Maker” Helps New Generation of Musicians Avoid Being Broke and Unknown, In Raw & Honest New Book


Atlanta, GA — As a visionary and thought leader in the music industry, Robert Terell has helped hundreds transform from struggling artists into unstoppable entertainment ‘machines’. But he admits that achieving the harmony of fame and riches is now more out of reach than ever, due to an industry that has replaced its willingness to nurture new musicians with a requirement for them to sign their first contract “spotlight ready”.

Thanks to Terell’s new book, the 43 million clueless unsigned artists around the world can develop the vision, focus and discipline they need to execute a profitable career. Broke & Famous: The Music Game pulls no punches when exposing the cold hard truths of making it in today’s competitive music jungle. Those turning down the opportunity to soak up Terell’s wisdom will likely fail to find the limelight forever.


After 16 years of blood, sweat, and tears in the music industry! I evolved from struggling intern to a real

Having unknowingly attended what he calls 'Adversity University', Robert Terell has excelled from the streets of New York to become the founder of Wealth Nation Entertainment and a world-renowned entertainment business manager coined the "official deal maker". In his new book, "Broke & Famous: The Music Game" Terell cuts through the rapidly-evolving industry to teach aspiring artists how to not go broke and develop the business acumen required to succeed where so many others fail  Photo Courtesy:

Having unknowingly attended what he calls ‘Adversity University’, Robert Terell has excelled from the streets of New York to become the founder of Wealth Nation Entertainment and a world-renowned entertainment business manager coined the “official deal maker”. In his new book, “Broke & Famous: The Music Game” Terell cuts through the rapidly evolving industry to teach aspiring artists how to not go broke and develop the business acumen required to succeed where so many others fail Photo Courtesy:

entertainment executive. Unknowingly, I enrolled and attended classes at Adversity University the unofficial school of the music business. During that point in my career the landscape in the music game was drastically changing and so were the rules for winning. Today’s music business is about a different kind of hustle. With the rapid advancement of technology, social media platforms, and a wide variety of brokering services, you will become as relevant or irrelevant as your level of understanding the game. Your ability to elevate and transform your thinking about the dynamics of the new music game will determine how much money you’ll make, how much you’ll keep, and ultimately how successful you’ll be. In the final synopsis the dream is still real….but the hustle is sold separately. So that means your career will either be a very expensive hobby or a profitable business venture at the end of the day. In today’s music world there are no A&R’s or labels willing to spend money to develop you for the next 2 or 3 years before they make a profit. As of today, the music game, is about manufacturing and producing your own machinery. These self-made machines are designed and created with the sole purpose of the artist winning. Join me as I endeavor to enlighten the blind, quench the thirsty, and reveal the wicked plots of industry predators disguised as legitimate record executives but are worse than your average stick up kid. After reading my book series your career will fit nicely into one of the following categories: “Broke & Famous”, “Broke & Unknown” or “Rich Forever”. You make the choice, or the industry will make it for you!

“The first thing people need to understand is that they have to be in this business for the right reasons,” explains Terell. “That, of course, is for the music but it’s also vital to self-manage’ the business side of your career, and this is where most crash and burn. My book covers these little-told strategies to success, such as surrounding yourself with top people, managing your finances properly and understanding why so many artists go broke and declare bankruptcy. Many existing books only teach how to seek out high-level contracts, but unless you arrive at the doorstep with the correct business acumen, you’ll never have an opportunity to put pen to paper. This book will prepare you holistically; it’s a true game-changer”.

Continuing, “By streamlining your vision and discipline, you can build an instinct for when to accept a deal and sniff out the ones that really are too good to be true. By weeding these bad opportunities out, you can avoid 95% of the reasons artists fail in the first few years of their professional careers. I’ve spent almost two decades making global deals for some of the industry’s biggest names and, after reading this book, you can be next!”


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