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Wednesday, 20 March 2019 12:27

Play ball! A 2019 MLB Preview

Written by Allen Adams

It might be hard to believe, considering how much snow we’ve seen recently, but spring is here. Whatever the weather says, the truth is that baseball season is just around the corner! Spring training is coming to a conclusion – we’re on the verge of seeing games that count!

There’s plenty to be excited about in 2019. The biggest contracts in the history of the game have been signed. The stars are poised to pick up where they left off; reigning MVPs (Mookie Betts and Christian Yelich) and Cy Young winners (Blake Snell and Jacob deGrom) and Rookies of the Year (Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto) are all ready to get back to work. Meanwhile, new faces like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Eloy Jimenez are almost here. Plus, there are the names that we don’t know well (or at all) yet, but who will capture our attention before the season is through.

There are going to be a lot of home runs and a lot of strikeouts. There will be stars who perform to expectations and unknowns who shock the world. There will be delightful highs and unfortunate lows. There’s no way to say for certain what will go down on the field in 2019.

But let’s give it a go anyway.

BANGOR – Too often, we think of science as SCIENCE, some far-removed thing that has little connection with most of our everyday lives. We allow ourselves to be intimidated by this notion that science is something far too complex for any but the most specialized among us to truly understand it.

And nothing could be further from the truth.

Science is EVERYWHERE, a fact that is celebrated annually by the Maine Science Festival. This year’s MSF – which marks the fifth year of the event – takes place March 13-17 at locations all over the greater Bangor area. Scores of events aimed at bringing science to joyful, relatable life – as well as finding those connections to the world we live in everyday – are happening over that span.

And at the risk of sounding cliché, it really is fun for all ages. There will be plenty to do and to learn for young children, teenagers and adults alike. Seriously – if you have even the slightest bit of curiosity, you’ll find something to fascinate you at the Maine Science Festival.

Oh, and the vast majority of events are absolutely free.

You can find more information and a full schedule at www.mainesciencefestival.org. And you should absolutely do that, because any effort on my part to convey the vast and varied sweep of offerings over MSF weekend would be lacking. There’s just SO MUCH SCIENCE.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Kate Dickerson is the Director of the Maine Science Festival and one of the driving forces behind turning it into one of the most anticipated events on the cultural calendar. She was kind enough to engage with The Maine Edge via email for a Q&A that was not only incredibly informative, but also illustrative of the passion she carries for this project.

Stages all over the state are being prepped for the largest scholastic drama weekend of the year.

The Maine Drama Festival has been a going concern for nearly a century, giving high school students all over the state an opportunity to take to the stage and encounter like-minded students in a competitive, yet supportive environment. Under the auspices of the Maine Principals Association, schools from across Maine come together to present the theatrical work that they have produced.

Memories of the hardwood might still echo following the recent high school basketball tournaments – memories of hard-fought, hard-won games. But it’s a different sort of scholastic competition playing out next weekend in venues across the state - a competition whose players are just as devoted and just as passionate as any who took to the floor at the Cross Insurance Center, the Augusta Civic Center or the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The regionals of the 2019 MPA One-Act Play Festival are set to play out over nine different stages this weekend. Some 80 different high schools sent their thespians out to tread the boards, playing their hearts out and offering a pure love for and devotion to the power of the theater.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019 13:57

A hack day’s night – Hack AE hits UMaine

Written by Allen Adams

ORONO – The University of Maine is preparing to play host to a unique weekend of problem solving.

UMaine is the site for America East Hackathon 2019. Known as Hack AE, the event takes place March 2-3 on the University of Maine Campus in Orono. Scores of students from all over the country will be landing in Orono, primed to use their myriad skills to find unconventional solutions to specific problems.

It’s Oscar time again!

This year marks the 91st Academy Awards. 91 years of Hollywood’s biggest night of self-celebration and self-congratulation. Nearly a century of dazzling gowns and dapper tuxedos and impactful acceptance speeches and inane interviews on the red carpet. Generations of excitement and disappointment.

As someone who loves the movies, I love the Oscars. Yes, they’ve grown increasingly out of touch over the years, but so what? There’s something exciting about rewarding the best of the best – even if what seems like the best of the best today might not seem so great later on down the road.

This marks the 12th Oscar preview I’ve written for The Maine Edge. I’ve been doing this for a dozen years. You might think that means I know something. And maybe I do … but not that much. While I’ve gotten pretty good at determining just who is going to win, the reality is that there are always going to be some surprises. That’s the joy of it – you just never know.

Here’s a look at my predictions for the 2019 Academy Awards. I've included write-ups for the big ones - the four acting categories, director and Best Picture - and just picked the winners for the rest.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 19:10

Modest proposals: The road to ‘I do’

Written by Mike Dow

I’ve had the extraordinary opportunity to play a role in the wedding of hundreds of wonderful couples over the last 30-plus years.

I was the DJ. It was my job to set the tone by playing music during the reception, and sometimes during the ceremony, and handling announcements, including the introduction of the wedding party and generally keeping guests informed and entertained.

Every wedding that I worked on was different, thanks to the hundreds of wonderful couples who trusted me to assist in making their day a memorable one.

During my initial meeting with each couple, I would always ask about how they met in addition to details related to the proposal.

If the bride and groom agreed, I would share the story with their guests at some point during the reception.

It might sound like a small thing, but that story segment was a big hit. To this day, I meet people who remind me about specific stories related to a certain wedding they attended where I shared those personalized details of a couple’s coupling.

I recently reached out to some of those couples and asked permission to share part of their story with you. Three of the couples profiled are part of a large group of friends for whom I've been called up for many memorable receptions.

Additionally, our resident genius assignment editor, Allen Adams, shares the proposal story between he and his lovely wife, Sheridan.

(Editor’s note: That’s “Super Genius” to you, Dow. And yes, my wife is indeed lovely – lovelier than I deserve.)

Wednesday, 06 February 2019 13:35

Todd Parker hits up literary love stories

Written by Todd Parker

(Editor’s note: An email showed up in my inbox a couple of days ago without any prior notice. In the subject line was “You Suck” and the entire body of the accompanying e-mail read “Here’s something actually good to print in that rag of yours.” Attached was the following.)

What’s up losers? Miss me?

That’s right – the main man Todd Parker has made a brief return from his extended hiatus (said hiatus taking place due to reasons that, upon the advice of his attorneys, I will not be discussing) in honor of Valentine’s Day.

I’ve returned to shower you lamewads with some love. However, since what’s-his-name, the guy in charge of this whosit, hasn’t been active in soliciting letters from the reading public, I don’t have any real-world advice to give.

(Note: You know very well what his name is.)

However, Todd Parker would not leave you hanging. I decided to revisit this all-timer of a Maine Edge classic where I offer my sage counsel to lovelorn literary figures in an effort to help them work out all of their crap.

As you might expect, the resulting work is utterly masterful.

Back in September, 32 NFL teams began a journey that they hoped would end with a trip to Atlanta and an opportunity to lift the Lombardi Trophy as the victors in Super Bowl LIII.

After 16 games in the regular season and some hard-fought contests in January, the field has been whittled down to just two. The New England Patriots – back for the third year in a row and for the ninth time in the 21st century – are set to face off against the Los Angeles Rams, who haven’t been to the big game since they lost to these same Patriots back in 2002.

This rematch is to be played 17 years to the day after that one, a New England victory that would prove to be the first championship of the team’s dynastic run.

Obviously, these aren’t the same teams that faced off on February 3, 2002. However, two very important figures from that long-ago Patriots squad remain. Quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are still here, continuing to build on the astonishing legacy (nine Super Bowls, eight straight AFC Championship appearances and 13 total) that they’ve spent the past two decades burnishing.

On the other side, we have the Rams, representing the new guard in the NFL. Head coach Sean McVay is just 33 years old – half the age of his opponent. Quarterback Jared Goff is 24 years old and in his third season; he was just six years old when Tom Brady entered the NFL. They’re a young and hungry group predicted by some to be the successors to the Patriots atop the football world, but they haven’t won anything yet.

So what’s going to happen?

While I’m not one to give too much credence to the necessity of experience, the reality is that this Patriots team has been in this spot A LOT. Meanwhile, just about everybody on the Rams sideline is new to this kind of big game pressure. Will that make a difference? Almost certainly. The amount of difference will likely determine who ultimately comes out on top here.

Still, it’s all about the matchups on the field. Let’s have a look.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019 20:25

Opening up ‘The Box of Oddities’

Written by Mike Dow

This story could be subtitled “When two freaks meet,” because that’s as good an explanation as any for why and how a little show recorded in the woods on the outskirts of Bangor has become one of the most listened-to podcasts on the web, and a haven for its expanding army of listeners – routinely referred to by the hosts as “beautiful freaks.”

Wednesday, 16 January 2019 13:47

Gaming turned up to 11 - SnowCon marks 11th year

Written by Allen Adams

BANGOR – For 11 years, gaming enthusiasts of all stripes have descended on Bangor in the throes of winter to come together in celebration of their passion. For 11 Januarys, people have come to our area with the sole intent to play games for a weekend. Board games, role playing games, you name it – if it’s a game, you can find someone with whom to play it.

The eleventh SnowCon is nigh.

For the uninitiated, SnowCon is an annual celebration of all things gaming. It is devoted to the enjoyment of games of all stripes. No matter what sort of game you’re into, you’ll almost certainly find some kindred spirits wandering the wilds of SnowCon.

The gaming convention will once again take place at the Cross Insurance Center on January 19-20, with the delightfully (and aptly) named “So You Meet in a Tavern” kickoff event taking place on January 18.

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