It’s Almost Game Day!

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or haven’t watched a game all season, Super Bowl Sunday is a great excuse to get together with friends, take a break from homework, and, let’s be honest, eat. A lot. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, here are some tips and fun facts from the UGL to get you ready for this year’s game.

The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks will face off this Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. If you follow the NFL, you may have strong feelings on the match-up, as the league’s best teams go head to head. What you may not know is our own Big Ten Conference will be well-represented on Super Bowl Sunday. Thirteen former Big Ten student-athletes and nine coaches with conference ties will vie for the title, including Bronco’s running back Montee Ball and Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson, both former Wisconsin Badgers.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks QB and former Wisconsin Badger. Photo courtesy of Football Schedule via Flickr

For many, the football game simply interrupts the true entertainment featured on Super Bowl Sunday: the commercials. Between mouthfuls of nacho dip, watch out for Illini alumnus Jim Coates (AM ’73), who is featured in “Time Machine”, one of the top 5 commercials competing in the Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” Contest.

Mmm…nachos. Photo courtesy of jeffreyw via Flickr

If Super Bowl Sunday is simply an excuse to hang out and eat, join the club. The UGL has your back with tons of cookbooks to help you prep the perfect appetizer, like Bobby Flay’s Throwdown. Are you vegan, gluten-free, or just on a budget? We’ve got you covered. Check out our Pinterest page for more staff suggestions and get cooking!

Whip up a delicious app with the Cheesy Vegan!

Now that the football season almost over, check out more gridiron greats in the UGL collection to keep you entertained until kick-off next season.

We already can’t wait until next season.

 

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Halloween Books and Movies

Fellow UGLers, Halloween is here! Are you ready to dress up and stuff your face with candy? If you’ve decided to stay in, the graduate assistants of the UGL have provided a list of their favorite movies and books for the season. We’ve compiled the list here and hope that it serves as a guide for your Halloween night festivities.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Movie

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Zoe recommends The Nightmare before Christmas. An animated movie directed by Tim Burton, this has been a popular one since its release in 1993. It is the story of the quirky and lovable pumpkin king who decides to bring the Christmas spirit to Halloween Town. A great movie for those who want to combine Halloween and the upcoming holidays. Grab your friends and some popcorn and spend the evening with the pumpkin king.

The Exorcist Movie

The Exorcist. Sure to give you a chill down your spine

If you want a good dose of fear this Halloween, Quetzalli recommends The Exorcist. This classic 1973 movie scared audiences all over the world. For those of who have not yet seen this classic film, based on a true story, it is the chilling story of a girl who becomes possessed and causes several gruesome deaths during her exorcism. Beware Club UGL, this movie is not for the faint-hearted.

 

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Are you in the mood for some rock opera, awesome costumes, and a good ole horror movie? Holly’s favorite is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. After a couple of kids have car trouble, they are left stranded at the door of a Gothic mansion. They meet a host of strange characters, including Dr. Fran-N-Furter from the planet Transsexual. Whether it’s your first time watching this movie or you’ve already seen it a million times, this movie is a good excuse to sign along at the top of your lungs.

The Haunting of Hill House Book

Looking for a good read this Halloween? The Haunting of Hill House is just the book for you

For those who want a quiet Halloween, but still feel the urge for a scary evening, Tad recommends The Haunting of Hill House written by Shirley Jackson. Hill House receives four visitors who are curious about the unexplained phenomena happening at the house. Some are there seeking knowledge and others want an adventure. Little do they know that Hill House has other plans for them.

For a quick, but fun read, Tad also recommends Halloween ABC. For each letter of the alphabet, a poem about Halloween and its festivities.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Movie

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Some of us are not fans of this scary holiday, but don’t worry, Lily has a recommendation for you! The Disney movie, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is the choice for you. This movie recalls two famous stories, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.

From the Dust Returned Book

From the Dust Returned

For those who want to enjoy a good book by the fireplace (or in college students’ case, the heater) while sipping on some hot chocolate, Christina recommends From the Dust Returned written by Ray Bradbury. It’s a story about the Eternal Family, who live in a legendary and mysterious house in upper Illinois. They are rarely seen during the daylight hours and are not like the other Midwesterners in the area. The house is being prepared for a family reunion that will bring together a mix of extraordinary and odd members.

Batman: The Long Halloween

Batman: The Long Halloween

For those who will be drowning in homework on Halloween, you can take a quick break and grab a comic book. Angeline recommends Batman: The Long Halloween. A serial killer nicknamed Holiday is on the loose. He’s killing once a month, but only on the holidays; Batman tries to stop this maniac.

Whatever your plans on Halloween or your interests, you have a variety of choices in front of you. In the mood for a movie? Grab a friend and make a night of it! Feeling like a night in? A good book and some candy corn just might be what you need this Halloween. Either way, have a safe and happy Halloween!

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Indian Cinema at 100: Film Festival

As you’ve probably noticed, the glass display case at the entrance of the UGL has changed (if you haven’t noticed, go take a look!). Hopefully it’s caught your eye and if you’ve taken a closer look, you’ll see it’s for the Indian Film Festival.

Film Festival Display

Film Festival Display Photo attribution: Courtesy of Quetzalli Barrientos

So, what exactly is the Indian Film Festival? The Indian Film Festival is about observing 100 years of Indian cinema. The purpose is to “examine the origins, evolution, growth, and productivity”. With a showing of eight films, there is a variety for everyone. This is not your typical “Bollywood” movie. They are films that explore social issues through cinema. Issues such as arranged marriages, homosexuality, war, and other culturally dominant beliefs are shown in these films.

For a complete list of films and showing times and other information, visit the official website, Past.Present.Future: Indian Cinema at 100.

All of the films will be screening in the Knight Auditorium at the Spurlock Museum. Since we are all poor and struggling college students, you should know that all the showings are free! Aside from movie showings, there will also be a few other events going on through December 1st.

The symposium will be on October 31st from 1 to 5 PM at the Coordinated Science Laboratory, which is located right on the engineering quad. This symposium will consist of distinguished professors from all over the country, and the guest of honor is Onir, the director of “I am” and “My Brother…Nikhil”. For those who are unfamiliar with Onir, he is a director, editor, producer, and philanthropist. His film, “My Brother…Nikhil” became the first mainstream Indian film to deal with the issue of AIDS and same-sex relationships.

Onir smiling on a staircase

Director Onir. Photo Courtesy of “Bollywood Hungama”

For those who cannot make the symposium, the next night, November 1st at 6:00 PM, there will be a reception with director Onir as the guest of honor. After the reception, there will be showing of his movie, “I Am.”

We encourage you to go to any movie that interests you and if you enjoy them, you might also want to attend the Corey Creekmur talk which will take place on December 9th at 8:00 PM. This talk will take place at the second floor of the Levis Faculty Center. The speaker, Corey Creekmur from the University of Iowa, will be speaking about historical Hindi colonial  films.

This film festival is a great opportunity to go out and see new films, learn more about another culture, or find out more about the issues portrayed in these films. So, grab a friend and make it a movie night!

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Celebrating Inclusive Illinois: Latin America and the Caribbean

Next Wednesday may be Inclusive Illinois Day (which you can read more about here), but no matter what day it is, it’s always enriching to learn about people, especially all the different cultures and histories that they can represent. If you’ve been wanting to learn more about Latin American and Caribbean cultures, you’re in luck – there are tons of events and resources available from the library and elsewhere in the CU that can expose you to new knowledge.

If you’ve never been to Champaign’s  Art Theater Co-op, you’re missing out. They show great movies, and you can get a student discount for most movies if you show your I-Card. Starting this Friday, in collaboration with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, they’re holding the annual Latin American Film Festival. There are seven different Latin American documentaries and films to choose from, playing over the entire weekend – or you can go see them all! Check out the trailers on the Art’s website.

You can also tune in on the small screen (a television, if you have access to one) to watch ‘Latino Americans,’ PBS’s original miniseries celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs September 15th through October 15th. A new segment airs every Tuesday night.

Too busy with homework to go see a movie or watch TV? If you’re studying in the library, you can always take a short study break to check out the Unity in Diversity exhibit on the first floor of the main library, curated by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Library. It features just a few of the wide-ranging resources that the library contains on Latin American studies. Or, if you have an afternoon free, mosey over to the Spurlock Museum to check out their Folk Art of Latin America exhibit.

And if you still can’t get enough, you can grab one of these movies or books by and about Latin American or Caribbean people on your way home from the library. Opportunities abound!

A Tree Within by Octavio Paz

A Tree Within by Octavio Paz (translated by Eliot Weinberger)

fruit of the lemon by andrea levyFruit of the Lemon by Andrea Levy

At the Bottom of the River by jamaica kinkaidAt the Bottom of the River by Jamaica Kincaid

Vivir para contarla by Gabriel Garcia MarquezViva para Contarla (Living to Tell the Tale) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Country Under My Skin by gioconda belliThe Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War by Gioconda Belli

Collected Fictions by jorge luis borgesCollected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges (translated by Andrew Hurley)

La Sirga cover

La Sirga directed by William Vega

The Devil's Backbone coverThe Devil’s Backbone directed by Guillermo del Toro

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Go 4th and Celebrate

This coming Thursday is July the 4th, also known as Independence Day. There are lots of fun ways to observe this US national holiday – here’s a round-up of resources to help you make the most of your celebration.

Just a quick note about hours – due to the holiday, all campus libraries will be closed on Thursday, July 4th. So if you want to check out a book or movie to get in the spirit of things, make sure you do it before Thursday! We’ll be back on Friday, July 5th for our regular summer hours.

Historical and Educational Resources
July 4th is a celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the full text of which can be found online via Credo Reference. There’s also an entry in the Encyclopedia of American Studies on the Fourth of July itself. For more information about the Declaration of Independence, the people who developed it, and the American Revolutionary War in general, you can check out some of the following books:
The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89 by Edward S. Morgan
Revolutionary America, 1763-1815 : a Sourcebook edited by Francis D. Cogliano
The Invention of George Washington by Paul K. Longmore
The Women of the American Revolution by Elizabeth F. Ellet
“Strong and Brave Fellows” : New Hampshire’s Black Soldiers and Sailors of the American Revolution, 1775-1784 by Glenn A. Knoblock
Founding Friendship : George Washington, James Madison, and the Creation of the American Republic by Stuart Leibiger
The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood

Cookbooks
As with many holidays in the US, food is a major part of July 4th celebrations. Grilling food outside and cooking over open flames are especially appropriate for the midst of summer – check out one of these cookbooks to get fired up about your July 4th feast. Just remember to be careful and observe fire safety rules!

Kentucky BBQ book in library catalog America's Best BBQ book in library catalog Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction book in library catalog One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking book in library catalog 30-Minute Vegetarian Grilling book in library catalo Grilling Vegan Style book in library catalog Great Grillin' Cookbook book in library catalog

Films
After you’ve got your plate heaped with food, you might want to kick back with a movie, whether it be related to American history, takes place on the 4th of July, or is just about baseball, America’s pasttime. The movies below all fall into at least one of these categories. If you took advantage of any of the books above, maybe you can spot some inaccuracies in the historical films.
1776 movie in library catalogNational Treasure movie in library catalogJohn Adams movie in library catalogJaws movie in library catalogBorn on the Fourth of July movie in library catalogA League of Their Own movie in library catalogEight Men Out movie in library catalogBad News Bears movie in library catalog
And of course, don’t forget the best July 4th movie of all time: Independence Day.

Local Information
If you’re not throwing your own party, there are plenty of local events for you to attend instead. July4th.net is the online home of the Champaign County Freedom Celebration, which has information about a parade, an evening entertainment lineup, and a fireworks display. The Champaign County Park District will also have 4th of July festivities at the Sholem Aquatic Center, including face-painting and a watermelon eating contest. If you’re willing to travel a little, the Champaign County Forest Preserve is also having a Freedom Fest in Mahomet, Illinois.

Going to a public display is the best way to enjoy fireworks on the 4th of July – be safe and remember that using fireworks on your own could get you into a lot of trouble.

We hope this collection is helpful to you in your celebration! If you have any other ideas for ways to enjoy the holiday, feel free to share them in the comments, and have a wonderful Independence Day.

 

 

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Good Times

There’s a time and place for everything, and summer on campus is the time for (among other things) relaxing with some movies from the UGL media collection. If you find yourself with time to kill between your summer classes, why not try watching a film on the theme of time travel? Here are a few we’ve picked out – let us know if we missed any good ones!

DVD cover: some men have built an ominous box

Primer
This movie focuses on the consequences of time travel and how difficult it might be to navigate the ethics of time travel. It’s written, produced, and directed by Shane Carruth, who also plays one of the main characters, and who also was formerly an engineer, so I think we can trust his technological insights. The movie won big time at the 2004 Sundance film festival.

 

 

 

DVD cover: Jean Claude Van Damme has a futuristic gun
Timecop
For those that prefer their time travel to be heavy on the action, this 1980s flick might hit the spot. Set in the distant future year of 2004, it follows a government agent tasked with combating time crime. He races back and forth through time periods, unraveling political intrigue and avoiding the schemes of the perpetrators. It might have some plot holes, but it could still be worth your time if you’re looking for pure entertainment.

 

 

 

 

DVD cover: young Keanu Reeves and friends in a telephone booth
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Two high schoolers travel back in time in a phone booth and meet famous historical figures in an effort to pass a history class. Should they fail the class, their fates will be altered and the future Utopian society based on their leadership will never happen. This is why you should spend your time wisely, and study.

 

 

 

The Time Machine DVD cover: a scientist looks distraught as a monster assaults a person
The Time Machine
H.G. Wells’ novel The Time Machine is the origin of the popular term…”time machine.” It’s a classic of science fiction that has stood the test of time and inspired countless derivative works and sequels. This film version is from 1960, and won an Academy Award for Visual Effects for its time-lapse photography.

 

 

 

 

 

The Time Traveler's Wife DVD cover: people are snuggling sideways
The Time Travelers’ Wife
Most movie time travelers make use of technology or magic to move through time, but the protagonist of this story travels due to an unexplained genetic condition. He is unable to control when and where he ends up, his love life suffers many unpredictable consequences. The film is based on the novel of the same title by Audrey Niffenegger, which you can also check out.

 

 

The Fountain DVD cover: figures perched on sci-fi landscape
The Fountain
The characters in this film may not actually travel through time themselves, but the viewer is transported to many different time periods, connected by a narrative thread: a couple in love try to cope with the reality of death. Heavy stuff, but it’s worth reflecting on how to cope when your time is up.

 

 

 

 

That’s all we have time for right now – pick these up from the UGL if they interest you, or let us know in the comments what time travel movies you prefer!

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Remembering Roger Ebert

If there’s one thing we think esteemed alum Roger Ebert might’ve appreciated about the updates to the UGL, it’s the expansive film collection on the lower level. This weekend marks the 15th Annual Ebertfest Film Festival in Champaign, and it’s the first without its namesake, following Ebert’s passing on April 4.

Aside from his renowned writing style and deep love for the movies, Ebert was also dedicated to his hometown of Urbana and his alma mater, the University of Illinois. Check out the moving blog brought to you by our friends at the other end of the tunnel, the University Archives. Not only do they have a great collection of Ebert’s papers and correspondence, they also have interesting info on his life and time as a student at Illinois, including his tenure as editor of the DI.

If you’re looking for more information about this ground-breaking (and oft-controversial) film critic, devotee of the motion picture, and proud U of I journalism student, the library has plenty of his books:

Awake in the Dark book cover links to book in catalog Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert, Forty Years of Reviews, Essays, and Interviews

Scorsese By Ebert

I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie

Life Itself: A Memoir

Roger Ebert’s Four-Star Reviews: 1967-2007

An Illini Century: 100 Years of Campus Life

image of flaming film reels links to "A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length" book in library catalogThe Perfect London Walk

A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length: More Movies that Suck

For other books by Ebert, head to the online catalog. Type Ebert, Roger (the best format when searching for authors) in the search box, and change the drop-down menu from “Keyword” to “Author.” Happy reading and hats off to an admirable man and friend of the University, library and the fields of journalism and film.

 

 

 

 

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Relax, refresh, recharge

You may not be traveling somewhere exotic for Spring Break, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy your week off from class to relax and refresh. If you find yourself wanting to live vicariously through some summer-loving films, the UGL has you covered.

If you want to laugh . . .

National Lampoon's European Vacation movie in library catalogAdventureland movie in library catalog

The Big Bounce movie in library catalogHeavyweights movie in library catalog

Also try: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Old School

If you want to party . . .

The Hangover movie in library catalogAmerican Pie 2 movie in library catalog

 

Also try: Project X, House Party, Dazed and Confused

If you’re in the mood for romance . . .

Where the Boys Are movie in library catalogGirl Happy movie in library catalog

Blue Crush movie in library catalog Grease movie in library catalog

 

Also try: Dirty Dancing, Dear John, (500) Days of Summer

You need time to recharge, and UGL’s media collection has some great picks to help you escape (if only for a few hours). If you are planning on hitting up a warmer and sandier locale over break, stay safe and stay smart (and consider checking out a new book for your trip)!

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Presidential Picks

Presidents carved in stone.

Mount Rushmore photo courtesy of fotopedia

Because we’re all about celebrating holidays here in the UGL, we’d like to draw your attention to Presidents’ Day! Celebrated this year on Monday, Feb. 18, the holiday was originally established to honor George Washington’s birthday, but it’s since morphed into a standard federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February. Either way, we think it’s a great excuse to showcase some of our resources for researching the U.S. presidency.

Finding Background Info

  • The American Presidents
    Provides an overview and additional reading for each administration from George Washington through Bill Clinton
  • Encyclopedia of American Parties, Campaigns and Elections
    This online encyclopedia has entries on contemporary American politics, including explanations of many of the most commonly used political terms and jargon
  • The Presidency A to Z
    Contains more than 300 entries related to the U.S. Presidency
  • American National Biography
    Contains 17,435 biographical articles on deceased Americans and includes men and women that were significant in politics, scholarship, science, sports, business, theater, film, and activism

Subject Guides

  •  History of the U.S. Presidency
    This subject research guide contains information on find background info, stats, journal articles and more for any research related to the U.S. President and the Executive Branch
  • Presidential Campaigns and Elections
    This subject research guide has loads of information for researching presidential campaigns, campaign history, election reform and more

Movies
Doing research on the presidents not your thing? Don’t worry—Hollywood is more than adept at glamming up the Executive Office for film and TV. Why don’t you kick back and celebrate the holiday with one of the famous leading men (and one woman!) who played Commander-in-Chief instead? Just a partial list to get you going…

All the President's Men DVD cover: Dustin Hoffman is shorter than Robert Redford, but they are both serious.All The President’s Men
What’s better than a couple of enterprising reporters breaking open one of the biggest scandals in Presidential history? Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman playing said reporters, of course.

Battlestar Galactica
In this sci-fi space odyssey, the last remaining members of humanity must protect themselves from the evil Cylons—all under the fearless leadership of Madame President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell).

Deep Impact
While the other meteor-will-destroy-Earth movie from 1998 was much more entertaining (Armageddon, for those of you keeping score at home), Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of President Beck in Deep Impact was harder-hitting. (Pun intended.)

Frost/Nixon
Frank Langella does his best “I am not a crook!” impersonation of President Nixon in this Oscar-nominated version of the famous post-Watergate interview between Nixon and British TV host David Frost.

Independence Day
Bill Pullman kicks some serious butt as President of the U.S.A. (and, really, all of the remaining world) after aliens decide to destroy Earth. Between President Thomas J. Whitmore and Will Smith, we’re pretty sure we can take whatever E.T. can dish out.

JFK
Who killed JFK? In Oliver Stone’s classic conspiracy theory flick, District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) tries to find out.

The West Wing
Martin Sheen plays President Jed Bartlett in Aaron Sorkin’s fast-paced, sharp-tongued take on the American White House in the late ’90s/early ’00s.

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Things We Know For Certain

We live in uncertain times. Not even something as mundane as the weather seems to follow a predictable pattern anymore. Is it still winter? Or is spring in the air? These questions stump us so completely that we turn to groundhogs to answer them, and not even the groundhogs can agree. What seems to be truth changes as frequently as the wind blows.

There’s one thing you can always count on, however–you can always come to the UGL to find great books to read and great movies to watch in your downtime. You may not know how you did on that test, but while you wait to find out, you can always find a good distraction here. We’ve compiled a list of new arrivals from the UGL shelves to help you explore and cope with the indefinite nature of modern life.

book cover: a dog looks curious as to its purpose in the worldWhat’s A Dog For? The Surprising History, Science, Philosophy, and Politics of Man’s Best Friend
by John Homans
There’s no doubt that dogs are wonderful to have around, but what is their true role in our society? The way we treat our canine companions has changed greatly over the last few centuries, and this book explores that ever-evolving relationship. Incorporating personal anecdotes and scientific studies, it may make you view your fuzzy friend in a new light.

 

 

DVD cover: people and robots looks hardboiled with some futuristic buildingsBlade Runner
directed by Ridley Scott
Are the people you know really people? Or are they merely beings genetically engineered to look like people? What does it really mean to be a person, anyway? And do androids ever have that dream where you have a test in a class you haven’t been to all semester? Feel Harrison Ford’s confusion as he grapples with these questions.

 

 

 

 

The Knowledge of Good and Evil book cover: light shines down into a religious buildingThe Knowledge of Good and Evil
by Glenn Kleier
Ian’s parents died in a plane crash when he was young, and, though once a religious man, he is no longer certain if he will see them again in the afterlife. He and his wife, Angela, search for the lost journal of a dead theologian who might have the answers, but their quest is hindered by a mysterious cult. Will anything go right for them, and will they find the peace they desire? You’ll have to read to (maybe) find out.

 

 

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness book cover: a black and white image of a young person and a cityscapeBrain on Fire: My Month of Madness
by Susannah Cahalan
If you’ve ever watched an episode of House, you know that medical mysteries can be some of the most tense and unsettling mysteries of all. This real-life medical drama chronicles the harrowing experiences of a young woman whose sudden bizarre symptoms are misdiagnosed as psychiatric problems, and whose memories disappear from an entire month of her life. The correct diagnosis is made clear in the end, but Susannah is left unsure of how to deal with her missing time and fractured identity.

 

 

Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America book cover: two-color 3D glasses represent divsions

Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America
by Morris P. Fiorina
Sometimes it can seem as if there are actually two Americas that disagree with each other deeply, instead of the fabled E Pluribus Unum. But are differences of political opinion among Americans really as great and divisive as they are often portrayed? What on Earth is the political climate really like? Author Morris Fiorina has some polling results and narratives that may help shed some light on the issue.

 

 

Will you have time to enjoy all these recommendations with all the other stuff you have to do? We’re not sure, but we’ll do our best to stand at your side while you figure it out.

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