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Articles by Diana beechener

A bigger budget means louder, not scarier, thrills in this horror prequel

I don’t think of myself as a horror wimp. I’ve seen it all, and I’ll watch the sequels. That said, the first Paranormal Activity creeped me out. Days later an unexplained noise or a movement in my peripheral vision would cause me to tense and search for its demonic origins. Paranormal Activity 2 is a worthy step in the series, but it nowhere nears the original’s scare-power.

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AAA finds that careful driving has gone to the dogs

 

It’s now illegal for Marylanders to drive with their hands on their phone, but according to a AAA study, we’re still likely to fall victim to another driving distraction: our animal companions.

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Life stinks for Marylanders

The brown marmorated stink bug has made itself Maryland’s least welcome invader of 2010. Fat from feasting on orchard and soybean crops, flocks of the Asian alien have invaded homes and gardens, causing more than a foul odor.

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Calvert Marine Museum’s snakehead settles into life in solitary confinement

 

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In the war against the vacuum, Lothian’s Juanky is declared top dog

The  war between pets and vacuum cleaners is long-standing and seemingly inexplicable. Maybe it’s the noise. Maybe it’s the aggressive suction coupled with a rolling machine. Maybe pets just don’t like clean carpets.

Eureka Vacuums, however, sought an armistice between their cleaners and your furry friends, inviting pet owners around the country to enter Fido’s Fight or Flight contest with videos of their pets reactions to the vacuum.

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A Bah-ston robbah tries to go straight in this engaging and pulpy crime tale

 

In the first five minutes of The Town, a group of precision criminals, donning skeleton masks, knock over a bank. Everything is going smoothly until someone triggers the silent alarm. The slick crew devolves quickly into violence and kidnapping as they make a sloppy getaway with the loot and terrified bank manager Claire (Rebecca Hall: Please Give).

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An action film with a message fails to deliver either.

Danny Trejo (Predators) is a badass. His 20-year career is based on the fact that he is the most intimidating man in just about any room. Trejo’s visceral presence inspired filmmaker Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids) to make his frequent collaborator an action movie star. At 66, however, Trejo is rapidly moving from grizzled action hero to curmudgeon.

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The Humane Society International successfully tests elephant contraception

In African game reserves, elephants were eating themselves out of house and home. So the Humane Society International found a way to control the growing elephant population in South African reserves without resorting to cruel practices: elephant contraception.

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For Pride of Baltimore II, every vote counts

The Pride of Baltimore company’s Pride II historic tall ship is sailing into the world of grants. The clipper ship is attempting to beat out 1,000 other candidates for a $50,000 grant from Pepsi.

Pride II wants the money for boating-safety courses to teach under-served students in American port cities. The grant will fund supplies and travel.

To pay for all that good work, Pride II needs your vote.

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In the backwoods of Depression-ravaged Tennessee, grizzled hermit Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) emerges after 40 years of solitude. Though he’s lived with only mules and dogs for company, the town rumor mill has already invented stories of Felix that range from him killing men in fights to shooting trespassing children. But Felix doesn’t want to kill. He wants to party.

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