Health benefits to watching movies

It’s been a long day.  All you want to do is craw into bed, put on some sweatpants, and watch a movie that has been on your Instant Queue for a couple months.  There is something so therapeutic about that scenario.  Why is that?

There are different emotional and physical effects from watching certain genres of movies.  For instance, according to the University of Manchester in the UK, one can burn up to 180 calories from watching horror movies such as The Shining, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Exorcist.

According to New York Daily News, one can burn 184 calories from watching The Shining.  This is mainly caused by the increase in heart rate and the increase of adrenaline.  The surge in adrenaline produces short bursts of stress, which can lead to a lower appetite that then increases the metabolism rate in the body.

Other movies that had the most calories burned were:

Jaws– 161 calories

The Exorcist– 158 calories

Alien- 152 calories

Saw- 133 calories

Nightmare on Elm Street- 113 calories

According to the Chicago Tribune, comedies can also help with lowering stress levels and help your immune system.  Numerous studies have proven that laughter has many benefits such as decrease stress hormones therefore having a healthier immune system.

Researchers at the University of Maryland have found that laughing in a comedy can dilate blood vessels by 22 percent.  Dilating blood vessels creates more blood flow resulting in lower blood pressure.

“Comedies can also relieve anxiety as well as reduce aggression and fear”, said Dr. Michael Miller, director of the University of Maryland’s Center of Preventive Cardiology.

Some great comedy suggestions are The Big Lebowski, Bridesmaids, Hangover, Animal House, Airplane, Knocked Up, Superbad, and Anchorman.

Romantic movies also have a similar health benefits as watching comedies, but provide a psychological aid.  Main characters in romantic movies are depicted as being flawed and are uplifted and forgiven for their mistakes.  People who watch these movies can identify with similar issues and see how their mistakes can be forgiven.  It can be extremely therapeutic for movie-watchers to see this and parallel it to their own lives.

Romantic movies also have a tendency to have watchers become emotional.  Crying also can act as a stress reliever because it helps balance the chemical imbalance in your body caused by stress.  It also acts as a “purifier” to the body by getting rid of toxins in the body.

Some great romantic movies include Pride and Prejudice, Love Actually, Ghost, Notting Hill, Casablanca, and When Harry Met Sally.

 So prescribe yourself a well-needed movie after your very long day, whether it is a horror, comedy, or romantic films, and watch knowing that it is benefiting your emotional and physical state.


Technology in education

It’s the first day of school.  Many children across the country have spent the past week preparing by buying fresh school supplies, a new backpack, some new clothes, and their required e-books.

That’s right, e-books.

Technological advances have been evident everywhere, especially in public classrooms.  According to the Huffington Post, 72 percent of children under the age of eight have an access to a computer with Internet.  So what does this mean for the future curriculum?

Kindergarteners walk in to their first day of school already having a great sense of “instant gratification” thanks to smartphones and tablets.  Children know any game is accessible with a touch of a button, therefore have a lesser sense of having to wait.  Grabbing children’s attention before this “technological revolution” was hard enough let alone having them have a preconceived notion about how the world is always instant.

The smartphone revolution has also created a more visual audience.  Newspapers around the country are trying to make ends, yet YouTube continues to advance in numbers globally.  Teachers have found that creating a Powerpoint slideshow produces better grades than in an audio lecture.

Because the way our children learn is changing, the style of teaching has to change as well.  It makes sense for public schools to switch from hard cover books to e-books.  They are lighter, cheaper, and more convenient to purchase especially in this Internet age.  Yet people still are apprehensive to make the switch because it is against tradition.  Holding a tactile object has learning benefits, yet there is something to be said about following the technological evolution curve.

Technology is a factor that is constantly changing and evolving.  One does not regress in technology; it is something that always improves.  A decade ago someone would have thought that in the future there is a device that can take photos, send messages, make calls, use Internet, and only be the size of one’s hand would sound absurd. We are now in a time period where people cannot imagine going without Internet for more than three days.

Embracing technology is how humans evolve, and it is how continue creating bigger and better things.  This can be done by including more visual elements in a classroom setting, including e-books, having professional social media accounts, and having to work on projects that require Internet.

People often fear the “technology monster”, yet after learning how to work the devices it can be a difference from receiving a higher paying job.  Children in K-12 need to be taught how to manage the Internet so they can have a brighter future.

How to be cultured on a budget

The mecca that is the movie theatre: the iced cold air conditioning, the scent of buttery popcorn, the plushness of chairs, and the excitement of spending the next two hours engrossing yourself in the building blocks of pop culture. 


Many students rarely experience the beauty that is the local movie theatre because why spend ten dollars on a ticket when you could buy five double cheeseburgers at McDonalds? 


So how does one get the joys of going to the movies without the pains of being horribly broke?


Netflix Instant

For those who live under a rock, Netflix Instant is a streaming web site where one can watch unlimited amount of movies and television shows for eight dollars a month.  Whenever students hear “monthly charge” they run away in fear, but fear not, this is one hundred percent worth it.  Netflix also is creating its own television show series that are becoming critically acclaimed therefore increasing the overall worth of the company. Other sites such as Hulu Plus are also a great source, but I personally like the selection of Netflix. Also, if you are living with multiple roommates, everyone can split the cost.  Overall, It’s worth biting the bullet and getting.   


Student discounts

Many theatres offer student discounts when presented a student I.D.  Be sure and either call ahead or look at their web site to confirm.  Apps such as Four Square and Groupon have special offers specific to your current location.  Users can save up to forty percent off of restaurants, theatres, and other activities. 


Borrowing from friends

I know it sounds like simply information, yet students seem to forget that people (cough cough me) have an abundant movie collection.  Because everyone has different favorite movies, the combinations are endless.  Just don’t be those people that I have to hunt down because you borrowed my prized Godfather trilogy on Blu-Ray for two months. 


The gift of the $5 movie section of Target

You have not truly lived if you have not gone through the discounted movie section of Target or Walmart.  Maybe that is the movie nerd within me, but seriously it’s like a new fun game.  Many times one can get some classic gems like Bridesmaids, Annie Hall, Sandlot, and tons more which is perfect for borrowing with friends (see above “Borrowing from Friends” section)

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

This has been on my “To-Read” List for a long time now, and I thought that a fourteen hour drive would be a good time to listen to the audiobook.  Bel Canto is a beautifully written tale about how a group of terrorists take control of a party in an opera house in South America.  This party is stock full of ambassadors, diplomats, and other high political officials.  Patchett does a superb job of describing the social changes that happen during the capture in every characters’ position from the rebels to the famous opera singer.  The beginning and end were extremely captivating, yet the middle was a little draggy.  This of course can be because I was listening to it in a drive through Missouri, so I’m giving Patchett the benefit of the doubt.

This would be an excellent book club selection because of its complex writing style, filled with metaphors, irony, and overall deeper meaning, and because if its interesting psychological development between the characters.

This is required reading for sophomores at my old high school, so anyone 15+ should be able to read it.


My apologies…

so sorry that I have not been keeping up with the blog lately.  I have been in the process of moving across country, AND to top it all off I did not have internet at my current location for about four days.  So starting now I will be more adamant about updating.  

Why We Broke Up by David Handler

Available everywhere in the U.S.

I listened to the audiobook version of this because A) it’s often faster than reading and B) it’s perfect for when you are driving, cleaning, cooking, etc.  The YA (young adult) novel is about the reasons why Minn Green broke up with her ex-boyfriend Ed Slaterton.  Thankfully the audiobook had a PDF for all the illustrations that are seen in the novel because they were so perfect with the tone of the novel.  I enjoyed the beginning and ending of this book, but found myself a little bored throughout the middle.  Green also annoyed me at times in the middle, but I found myself yelling out loud at the “twist” in the end.  Granted this could definitely be because I was driving and listening as opposed to reading a hard copy, so I could have definitely lost some of the tone of the novel.  The style is very similar to Thirteen Reasons Why.  I did enjoy this realistic fiction YA novel.

Age range: 15+ (some language and sexual content)