Best Baked Goods with a Twist on Presentation

 

When you serve a variety of desserts after a good meal, your guests get excited. Oh, which one should I try first? A really fun and unique way to showcase dessert is to offer a sampling of each in small glasses. Adding a cool visual presentation prior to eating, adds to the enjoyment of taste. Pictured here are five favorite choices to serve and all are easy to bake.

Everybody loves chocolate. Turn a simple brownie recipe into a "mini sundae" adding chocolate sauce, whipped cream and a cherry and you've got a winner.

This week is National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day and it is a favorite. Try adding fresh, frozen or dried cranberries to the cake. The sweetness of the pineapple and the tartness of the cranberry make this cake another great selection.

Key Lime Pie is a real favorite. The pie goes with meat or fish and its tart and creamy texture will bring smiles.

Strawberry short cake is always special on a dessert list. When strawberries are in season and paired with a delicious cake and a dollop of cream, it is usually the first chosen. Just bake your favorite yellow cake mix and the dish is easier then you think.

Round out this great selection with a Pecan Pie. It is kind of retro and the combination of a buttery crust mixed with sweet and gooey pecans conjure up visions from the past on your palate.

Just spoon a small portion of each dessert into a small container and display all on an attractive serving platter. It is not only a cool, different and visually enticing way to serve dessert, but the selection is sure to garner raves from your guests.

Free Seats for London's Theatre, Music & Movies: Cheap or Complimentary Tickets for British Capital's Cultural Events

 

The price of tickets for music, film or theatre has rocketed in recent years. A couple can easily spend £100 seeing a play and that's without the cost of dinner. Music is no different, and even small venues are charging over £20 a head. Yet all these events are chasing a similar audience and there simply aren't enough people to fill every venue. Now, for a performer, there's nothing worse than playing to an empty theatre or concert hall, so management have now taken steps to remedy this. It's a well kept secret that tickets are given out for free at the last minute. And it’s particularly galling if you've paid £60 for your seat, but the person next to you has paid almost nothing.

How to Find Free Events in London

Time Out and free newspapers, like Metro and the Evening Standard, list some free events, but they’re not at all comprehensive. Many events are only advertised through the relevant organization’s website so you have to let your mouse do the walking and browse their sites. Fortunately many also allow you to sign up to an email list and they will update you on what’s coming up.

Many Museums Offer Free Talks and Films

Entry to major museums in London is free and is one of the best bargains in town. But they also stage free events. Good bets are the British Museum, the National Gallery, Courtauld Institute, Tate Britain and Tate Modern, and the British Library. It’s mainly lectures and films but sometimes there’s music.

London’s Churches Host Lunchtime Concerts

This is a real gold mine. Free lunchtime concerts are everywhere, mainly in the City but also in churches like Westminster Abbey, St Martin in the Fields and St James Piccadilly. Details of City of London church concerts can be found here.

Foreign Embassies are Home to Music and Poetry Recitals

Foreign embassies regularly stage free recitals of music, poetry or both, featuring artists from their countries. The Italian Embassy is particularly good at this and events are held in beautiful surroundings of their building in Belgravia. Other countries who put on gigs inside their embassies include Romania, Norway and Brazil and often free refreshments are an added bonus.

London Colleges Provide Venues for Students to Play

Music students are aspiring performers so many colleges provide them with an outlet. The Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama have regular performances by tutors and students alike, and often host guest musicians. SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies, has a world music programme and its Jewish Music Institute also stages music workshops.

SeeFilmFirst Hands Out Free Tickets to Movies and Concerts

SeeFilmFirst is dedicated to giving away tickets. You have to register on their website but they'll then email you codes for free movie previews and also concert performances. You have to be quick, but everything is completely free.

Better Than the Half-Price Ticket Booth in Leicester Square

Everyone knows the half-price ticket booth in Leicester Square where theatres offload the seats they can’t sell on the day of the performance. It’s not such a great deal, however, since the tickets are usually the most expensive and they add a service charge of £2.50 for each one sold.

But, there’s another avenue open to the dedicated freebie grabber and that’s membership of the "Giveaway Networks". It’s an actor’s or musician’s nightmare to perform to an empty house and theatre managements and concert promoters must pack their venues. At the last minute, they offload their unsold tickets to these "Giveaway Groups", which are often no more than a network of friends. They’re highly secret and access is by invitation only.

Once you're accepted, they send daily email updates and you just respond with the number of tickets required. Usually you have to pay a small fee to cover administration but it's a real bargain. And it's not just the turkeys that nobody wants to see. In the last year there’ve been tickets for Beckett, Stoppard, and Shakespeare at places like the Old Vic, Regents Park Open Air Theatre and the Coliseum. How do you subscribe? Well that's a closely guarded secret…

Freebie Addicts Enter a Brave New Cultural World

Once you’ve started getting everything for free then it becomes much harder to pay full price. A dedicated freebie addict will miss out on some great performances just because it costs money. But it does open up a whole new cultural world. Plays you thought you couldn’t stomach suddenly become enthrallling and music you’d dismissed as a dreadful din gets new life when you hear it live. Gone are those nights in front of the TV trying to save money. Suddenly you’re out on the town, in one of the most vibrant capital cities in the world, sampling cultural delights beyond your wildest dreams.

The Beatles Remastered CDs – Stereo & Mono Box Sets Out on 999

 

1987: The Beatles Albums Are First Released On CD

CDs were still pretty new technology at this time and so it shouldn't really be too surprising that the original mastering job done for The Beatles albums first release on CD wasn't particularly good. In fact it's now seen by most experts as a downright lousy job. The packaging for these CD releases wasn't particularly good either.

September 9, 2009: The Beatles Remastered

On 9/9/9 (a cool reference to "Revolution #9") all of The Beatles albums are being re-released on CD in both stereo and mono. This is significant because these CDs are all newly remastered and should sound better than ever before. It's also significant because this is the first time that the original mono mixes of The Beatles albums are being released on CD.

The stereo albums will be available both for individual sale (they will be the new standard Beatles CDs) and as part of The Beatles Stereo Box Set. This box set will include a remastered stereo mix of every single song The Beatles officially released from 1962 through 1970!

The mono mixes will not be available for individual, but only as a part of the special limited edition Beatles Mono CD Box Set. This set includes all 10 of The Beatles albums which were originally mixed in mono (that's 1962's Please Please Me through 1968's self titled double album which is best known as The White Album.) It does not include their final three albums (Yellow Submarine, Let It Be, & Abbey Road) because those albums were never mixed in mono in the first place. Like the stereo mixes, the mono mixes are also newly remastered and they should sound fantastic.

The Significance Of The Mono Mixes

As I mentioned previously, this is the first time that the original mono mixes of The Beatles albums are being released on CD.

It may be hard for some people to understand why anyone would want to hear mono mixes of The Beatles albums. After all, isn't mono a very outdated way of listening to music? Well certainly it is. There's a good reason nobody is recording or mixing albums in mono these days. But you must understand the context of the original recordings in order to fully appreciate the importance of these original mono mixes finally being available on CD.

For most of the 1960s (up until about 1968) mono was the standard way that people listened to music. Because of this it makes sense that the band's producers (George Martin, Norman Smith, & Geoff Emerick) and the band themselves (who were increasingly involved in the production of their albums over time) were focused primarily on the mono mixes.

They would spend many hours getting the mono mixes "just right" and then just throw together the stereo mixes very quickly. Simply put, the stereo mixes were little more than an "after thought" in comparison with mono. It's because of this that many hardcore Beatles fans now believe that these original mono mixes represent the "real" Beatles albums. It's why they are so excited that these mono mixes are finally going to be available on CD in the Mono Box Set.

Some Claim Mono Beatles Albums Sound Better

But it's more than simply a matter of historical accuracy that excites Beatles fans about these new mono Beatles CDs. It's also the fact that many have claimed over the years that the mono versions of the albums (in particular Sgt. Pepper) sound better than the stereo! In a way that makes sense. They spent so much more time on getting the mono mixes right, so it makes sense that they would sound better. Plus stereo mixing in the 1960s was a very experimental new thing and a lot of the stereo mixes of The Beatles songs sound downright "weird" today.

Among those who have claimed that Sgt. Pepper sounds better in it's original mono was none other than John Lennon himself.

Hear Clips Of The Remastered Beatles Songs

If you've already got all of The Beatles stuff on CD, you may be wary about buying it all again. But the cool thing is you can hear clips of the remastered Beatles songs online to see what all of the fuss is about before you make your decision on whether you want to splurge on 9/9/9.

Cigar, Pleasantly Perfect in Dubai: Two USA Horses Won Titles in Breeders' Cup Classic and in World Cup

 

The brilliant Cigar and the perfectly pleasant Pleasantly Perfect are the only two horses who have excelled in the American sponsored Breeders' Cup Classic, then traveled half way around the world five months later to score in the richest Thoroughbred race in the world, the Dubai Classic in the World Cup race festival held in the UAE (United Arab Emirates).

Both prestigious races feature world competition for three-year-olds and up.

Cigar, the Streaker

In 1995, Cigar was in his second year of invincibility and on his way to winning 16 consecutive races under the skillful hands of Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey. Only one other horse before Cigar had won 16 straight contests. His name was Citation.

Cigar beat out the Breeders' Cup Classic competition in 1995 on a muddy track in the fastest time (1:59.58) ever recorded to that point. Five months later, in the spring of 1996, he went to Dubai and scored over Californian Soul of the Matter to win the inaugural World Cup Classic.

Pleasantly Perfect turned the same trick in 2003 and 2004, winning the Breeders' Cup Classic over rival Medaglia d'Oro, then turning back the same competitor in a stirring finish in the Dubai Classic.

Who Is Almutawakel?

American Thoroughbreds have done well in Dubai, bringing home five Classic championships. The biggest upset winner over an American favorite was 1999's Almutawakel.

America's Kentucky Derby winner in 1997, Silver Charm, finished second in that year's Breeders' Cup Classic, where Swain, an Irish-bred, placed third. In Dubai's 1998 Classic, Silver Charm claimed the title over Swain. Silver Charm returned to Dubai in 1999 to try to achieve back-to-back titles in the World Cup, a feat which would have assured him a place alone in American Thoroughbred history. His chief rival in the '99 Dubai field was Epsom Derby champion High-Rise. It marked the first time that a Kentucky Derby winner and an Epsom Derby victor squared off for a title.

In the way of the epic battle was a fellow named Almutawakel. A huge longshot, Al was a Godolphin Racing entry, and he came home with the bacon to even up the world scoreboard at two wins each for the USA and the UAE.

The Competition Heats Up

 

Dubai Millennium, son of the USA's Seeking the Gold, delivered for Godolphin in 2000.

In 2001, Captain Steve carried the red, white, and blue into the contest and was given favorite status. He had finished third in the previous fall's Breeders' Cup to the great Tiznow. In Dubai, he came in with his game face on, and the scoreboard was even up again at day's end — USA, 3; UAE, 3.

Ironically, the following year, Jerry Bailey rode Godolphin's Irish-bred Street Cry to the Classic title. Street Cry soundly beat his own favored stablemate, Sakhee. Either way, it was a win for Godolphin. The next year, Moon Ballad gave the UAE a 5-3 advantage.

Then came Pleasantly Perfect with his perfect stride to the wire in front by a half length. UAE, 5; USA, 4.

Roses in May came on in the stretch to put everyhoof behind him in 2005, cleanly, concisely. USA, 5; UAE, 5.

Electrocutionist regained the overall lead for Godolphin in 2006, but in 2007 a twist of fate evened the score again. Shadwell Stable, based in the USA, but owned by the brother of Godolphin Racing, fielded the nearly unbeatable Invasor. The Al Maktoum brothers brought the Thoroughbred world to a 6-6 tie as Invasor took center stage.

On March 29th, the tie will be broken. Will 2007 American Horse of the Year Curlin prevail? Or will Godolphin Racing beat him to the line?

Presentation Makes All the Difference

 

How do you present things to your kids? Are you demanding, or do you actually try to have a conversation with them about an issue? Your kids might do as you tell them when you simply give them directions, but you can present things in a way that allows them to see the topic from their perspective without fear of persecution. Children who are allowed to share their perspective will learn to trust themselves. If a child can’t trust himself, how will he be able to make decisions from himself?

Guide them to ideas. I could have simply told my child to clean his room. He would have taken all day and the air would have been tense. He would have done what he was told, but that would be one day that would not have been as pleasant as it could have been. Instead of just telling him to clean his room, I handed him a Shop-Vac and introduced it as a tool of men. He couldn’t wait to use it and I didn’t even have to ask him to clean his room because he wanted to do it. In the end, he was pleasant about getting it done and he was proud of himself for taking some initiative.

Ask for opinions. Start by telling your child what you want to accomplish. Let them come up with ideas as to how the task can be completed. You might be shocked when your child has ideas that you want to use. Rather than letting your child feel as if they have no opinion, this allows him or her to feel some pride and involvement.

Put those skills to use. We all like it when our skills are acknowledged. Kids are no different. In fact, they need the praise more than adults do. The problem is that sometimes when parents compliment children, the children don’t take it seriously and think you might be saying it just because you are the parent. Ask your child to help you by using his or her skills. For instance, I have horrible aim when throwing a ball. My son does not. I needed some pictures hung, so I asked him to do it by insinuating that my lack of ability to aim might be reflected in my use of the hammer. I can actually hammer just fine, but he needed to do it more than I did.

How to Help Cousins Get Along at Family Events: Suggestions for What Parents Can Do so Cousins Will Become Friends

 

When cousins do not see each other often, conflicts can arise when they are thrown together at family gatherings and expected to get along. Here are some suggestions for ways to encourage cousins to play nicely together and form good friendships with one another.

Prepare Children, But Do Not Pressure Them

Smart parents prepare children ahead of time to meet their cousins, especially if the children either have not met the cousins before or have not seen the cousins for a long time. Thoughtful mothers and fathers should take a moment before a family visit to share pictures of and talk about each cousin that will be present, mentioning details such as the cousin’s age and interests. By describing ways that cousins might all play together and mentioning some fun activities they might do, parents help children visualize how they can have a good time with their cousins.

Parents should not, however, put too much pressure on their children by lecturing them about the importance of getting along or threatening punishment if children do not interact well with their cousins. Kids may rebel under this pressure and behave badly on purpose or feel stressed out about living up to expectations that have been set too high.

Be Aware of All Inter-family Relationships

Cousins who live far away from the rest of a family may feel excluded by the closeness of the relationship between grandparents and cousins that live near to each other and see each other all the time. In turn, the cousins who live closer to grandparents may feel possessive and view visiting cousins as trespassers.

Caring grandparents can help this situation by refusing to play favorites and making themselves equally available to all cousins. Make sure no one feels excluded. Respect and acknowledge the feelings of cousins who are used to having grandparents all to themselves, but be clear to them that they must share the grandparents now visiting with cousins who are not lucky enough to see them all the time.

Avoid Making Negative Comparisons Between Cousins

Sensitive adults understand that all children mature at different rates, excel in different areas, and have different interests. Where one cousin might have walked early, another might have talked early or learned to read first. Parents who care about the feelings of their children and their siblings’ children will refrain from making comparisons between cousins or, worse, pitting them against each other.

Tip: If a grandparent or other relative does compliment one cousin at the expense of another, the parent of the complimented cousin should be sure to then point out something nice (and true!) about the overshadowed one.

Assign Cousins Different Roles to Play

Make sure no cousin feels neglected at a family gathering in favor of other cousins. Give all cousins special jobs and responsibilities during holiday celebrations or general get-togethers. In The Successful Child [Little, Brown and Company, 2002], Dr. William Sears, M.D., Martha Sears, R.N., and Elizabeth Pantley describe different roles parents can assign to siblings to encourage good sibling relationships. The same roles can be adapted and assigned to cousins:

  • Protector role: Have older cousins be responsible for looking after younger ones. Remind older cousins to model good behavior and show younger ones how to act.
  • Helper role: Older cousins can help younger ones stay safe, and younger cousins can be assigned to help older ones with simple tasks such as setting the table for a family meal or playing with a goal-oriented toy such as a puzzle or building blocks. See Activities to Keep Cousins Busy at Family Events for other project suggestions such as making a family tree together.
  • Teacher role: Older cousins might enjoy demonstrating for younger ones how to master a skill or learn new knowledge. Bring toys and games to family gatherings that foster this sort of interaction.
  • Adviser role: Encourage cousins to confide in each other, share their experiences, and offer each other advice about problems or issues they face in their lives. Later in life, as cousins grow older, they will appreciate the lines of communication established in childhood and be able to rely on each other as a support network.

Tip: Grownups should allow cousins space to interact and work through personality conflicts without adult interference. At the same time, parents should also check on cousins from time to time to make sure no child is being neglected or hurt.

With a little preparation and sensitivity, parents can set the stage for cousins to establish and maintain good relations with one another.

Beautiful and sweet baby shower!!

 

Touches of personalized decor will add a joyful and cheerful tone to any party celebration. When you think about a baby shower, those little details like flowers, baby items, and banners are those that make a perfect complement to this event. Family and friends of the mom to be, hosted a beautiful sweet baby shower to welcome baby Connell. The soft touches of pink and lime green were a great color palette to tie in with the butterfly theme chosen for this baby shower. MLC was happy to be a part of this event by adding a butterfly backdrop with paper fans, mini cupcakes, banner and menu design.

Happy Baby Shower to Joy and Joel!

What Combination of Cigars + Booze = Pleasure?

 

The moment you puff on a cigar, the effect is potent. Your taste buds react powerfully. A cigar’s piquancy loiters on your palate for hours, influencing whatever you are drinking. If you plan to drink while smoking a cigar, it is worth the effort to make sure you choose an appropriate beverage that will compliment the cigar.

Many cigar lovers find that strong drinks with a high alcohol content are the best thing to pair with a cigar. A handy guideline is to choose a beverage with similar weight and body as the body and strength of the cigar. But rules are made to be broken. While aficionados wouldn’t consider sipping a glass of Cabernet or champagne while puffing a cigar, others have found pleasure pairing a light cigar with a flute of Dom Pérignon.

The typical accompaniment to a great cigar is rum, brandy, whisky, or port.

 

  • Rum

Tobacco is used for both items so pairing rum with cigars is a natural fit. And rum is made with sugar which goes with a smoky cigar like almonds covered in chocolate. The fact that rum can be easier on the wallet than some other hard liqueurs is another attraction. A note of caution – there are no standards for rum quality so beware of inferior bottles of the libation.

Straight or on the rocks, a cigar paired with a glass of high-quality rum is a relatively safe bet.

  • Brandy

If we went by tradition alone, Cognac is the choice of accompaniment for cigar smokers. As Cognac is often served after dinner and cigars are frequently smoked after a meal, the two may have come together out of opportunity. Cognac comes in three types – VS (very superior), VSOP (very special old pale), and XO (extra old). Most taste buds will love the combination of a full-bodied cigar and an XO Cognac. If you are smoking a light cigar, a panatela perhaps, a VSOP is a good choice. Cognac has established itself as one of the finest types of brandy but don’t discount ones made in southern France or even California.

With the rising popularity of cigar smoking while enjoying a brandy, bottles of the fine liquid have appeared on store shelves that are created specifically for imbibing while enjoying a cigar. Some common choices include Hine Cigar Reserve Cognac, Davidoff Classic Cognac, Davidoff Extra Cognac, Pinar del Rion, A. de Fussigny Cigare Blend, the Cigar Blend from Germain-Robin, and Pierre Ferrand Cogare Blend Reserve Havana, among other choices.

  • Whisky

Some cigar connoisseurs consider a glass of single malt scotch to be the ultimate partner for a weighty cigar. Purists say the scotch is best served straight or with a splash of pure spring water, never ice which can dull the taste and aroma. Eighty to one hundred proof is ideal. Other single malt whiskeys and Irish whiskeys are also popular.

  • Port

Port is a perfect cigar accompaniment due to its sweetness. The silky, smooth wine coats your tongue and throat and cleanses your palate, eliminating the chance of your cigar overpowering your taste buds. Make sure you choose a fine vintage for maximum effect. A tawny port is usually well aged and its thickness is what encompasses your tongue, leaving a sensation like no other.

Beer?

What about beer? While beer is not the usual drink people think to order when puffing on a cigar, it does have its fans. Not long ago you wouldn’t see any self-respecting cigar smoker chugging a beer but nowadays, pubs and beer festivals are holding stogy sessions in their cigar rooms. If you want to try a beer with your cigar, aim for a dark, strong beer with robust flavour; few lighter beers are able to hold its own against a cigar. With a spicy cigar, try a fruit-tinged beer. Of course taste is subjective so whatever you like best, go for it! If a bottle of Budweiser is what you love with a classic Cuban, do it.

There are a slew of other drinks you might want to consider, depending on what your cigar-smoking taste buds prefer. Consider a glass of Bailey’s on the rocks, a dry martini, a margarita, coffee laced with Irish Cream, a Kahlua of some sort, a dark barley wine, or even a Mai Tai. Ignore what drink is the most socially correct one with your cigar; go with what gives you the most pleasure.

For those who like a non-alcoholic drink with their cigar, coffee is the usual choice. A complex coffee or a cup of espresso, with its preponderance of flavours, can make your taste buds sing. For some people, the combination is as pleasurable as a cigar and a good Cognac or the perfect glass of port.

The type of cigar you are smoking is a deciding factor in what drink to enjoy. Smoking a $20 cigar rolled on the thighs of virgins calls for a different drink than a cigarillo sold for $1.99 in a cellophane packet. Even the time of day can influence your cigar plus drink choices. A cigar smoked after an evening meal will be different than one you smoke as the sun rises.

The only way to figure out what cigar and booze combination you like best is through experimentation. Keep in mind that a cigar should never overpower a drink and a drink should never overpower a cigar. Through trial and error you will learn what makes your palate smile so get busy!

Cigar Guy Captivates Thousands

 

It's the Ryder Cup and Tiger Woods is up for his shot. The golfer slices the ball, shooting straight at sports photographer Mark Pains camera lens. The photographer gets a great shot of the ball heading straight for him before it shatters the lens, bounces off his chest, landing at his feet. Mark Pain is okay, but he got one of the best photographs of all times, at least in some fans minds.

Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No! It's Cigar Guy!

Everyone is standing around Tiger while he makes his shot. Nothing out of the ordinary. But to the right of Tiger, stands a man wearing a turban, sporting a large cigar from the side of his mouth. The man has now become known as "Cigar Guy" by all the photo shop fans around.

 

Cigar Guy is now seen in the same photo, but with a twist. Everyone around, including the ball looks like Cigar Guy. It has become an overnight sensation, especially among the photo shop "groupies" out there.

Cigar Guy was in the original photo watching Tiger, but appears elsewhere too, thanks to photo shop. He appears as Muhammad Ali, still wielding his stoggie. Another photo of him appears on the cover of a magazine, displaying the great Wayne Gretzky. Wayne's face has been replaced by Cigar Guy. A young blonde woman, standing in a robe is beside him, with a cigar hanging from her mouth.

He appears on the album cover of The Beatles; Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Led Zepplin's Runes cover. The cover of The Clash, London Calling, and even with the great Hank Aaron. Cigar Guy seems to be making his way around, claiming fame in a very short period of time. For doing what? Standing on a golf course, watching the number one player in golf. Now he's everywhere, including in the stands as Steve Bartman makes a great catch. Or with the famous Pink Floyd band, on the cover of "Wish You Were Here".

Cigar Guy is bigger than Waldo. Where will he pop up next? In what photo? With what celebrities? What will the real Cigar Guy do when he sees his picture floating around in web space? If he hasn't seen it or heard about it yet, what a surprise when he does! Maybe the Steve Martin looking fellow next to him will let him in on the big "secret".

So, who is Cigar Guy? Not sure, but I don't think the photo shop fans are dying to find out. They enjoy the unique look of his face and the comical appearance in various photos they have altered. Mark Pain should be able to collect some money for his famous photo. After all, he took two shots; one of Tiger and Cigar Guy, the other in the kisser.

 

FlashForward!

 

ABC's hot new sci-fi series "FlashForward" began last night and people are already talking about it! If you missed the show, ABC will be running an encore presentation, but more on that in a second.

For those unfamiliar with the premise for "FlashForward," it is a show set in the present with the premise of everyone in the world simultaneously experiencing a "blackout." As the show progresses (without giving any "spoilers" away…) it is discovered that people were not actually blackout, but rather apparently seeing glimpses into the future. Many died (especially those who were flying or driving), but everyone who didn't snapped back into the present two minutes and seventeen seconds after the "flash fowards" began.

At the end of "FlashForward," the viewers are given a cliffhanger that is sure to have them asking "Who is that and why…" (No spoilers!). Many viewers will be eagerly awaiting next Thursday to start finding out the answers to all the questions this show raises, and there are definitely a lot of those!

Robert J. Sawyer fans will already know this, but "FlashForward" is loosely based on his 1999 novel of the same name. The early success of the show might bring renewed interest into Sawyer's book, but don't expect it to be exactly the same as ABC's series. This is similar to the manner in which Charlene Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels have been liberally altered to become HBO's hit series "True Blood." Those who have turned to the books are surprised to find characters from the show missing in the novels, and vice versa.

"FlashForward" is sure to captivate fans of the sci-fi genre, but has the potential to reach out to other audiences, as well. Given the fact that it was a worldwide phenomenon, there are a multitude of potential storylines. As one of the characters in "FlashForward" noted, the experience is one that was shared by everyone who survived. The simple question "What did you see?" essentially transcends gender, religion, or any other kind of social divisions.

ABC seems to have a surefire hit on their hands and the reaction is already rather favorable. The network was looking for a current companion, and eventual successor, to its mega-hit "Lost" and ABC just may have found one in "FlashForward."

If you didn't catch it the first time around, ABC will be showing an encore presentation of "FlashForward" on Friday, September 25th at 8 pm EST / 7pm CST. Make sure you check this one out!