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Mitch’s Product Review: Post Honey Bunches of Oats cereal

The box of Post Honey Bunches of Oats was there, sitting in the pantry for me to try one morning as I mulled breakfast options before work. I was in a hurry, so cooking was out of the option. Cereal it was – Post Honey Bunches of Oats, that is. It was my first time sampling it, so I was intrigued by the 10 grams of Whole Grain and 9 essential vitamins and minerals named by Post. It was certainly tasty, as I had the Honey Roasted flavor, which contained only 6 grams of sugar. My husband certainly liked the Whole Grain factor.

I must say I was sufficiently satisfied, and after eating, I was soon out of the door to enjoy the rest of my day. For more information, check out the Honey Bunches of Oats on Facebook at There you can get a $1 off coupon and interact with other breakfast lovers there. Ciao! 

Editor’s Note: Post provided a free sample of their Honey Bunches of Oats – Honey Roasted for this post. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own, and participation was voluntary.

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Mitch’s Book Review: “Gamification by Design” by Gabe Zichermann and Christopher Cunningham

Gamification by Design (O’Reilly Media, $24.99) provides the design strategy and tactics the reader needs to integrate game mechanics into any kind of consumer-facing website or mobile app. For example, learn how to use core game concepts, design patterns, and meaningful code samples to create a fun and captivating social environment.
“Gamification is fundamentally changing the way we design products, consumer interactions, and marketing strategies,” says expert author Gabe Zichermann in a news release. “Harness the power of Foursquare, Farmville, Nike+, and hundreds of other apps and games with the proven methodologies in Gamification by Design.”
The author presents examples that are well-written and easy to understand. It does a good job of presenting the key ideas of Gamification. The use of real world examples showing what people have done is great. There’s even some real code showing how a forum being enhanced with Gamification. The code examples and examples of interactions with gamification services complete a good book.
As great as this book seems, it would be more intriguing to game designers versus an ordinary reader just wanting to understand what gamification means in the marketplace today.

NOTE: Review copy was provided to Mitch’s Muse by O’Reilly Media Inc. 

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Mitch’s Book Review: “A Dangerous Woman: The Life, Loves, and Scandals of Adah Isaacs Menken, 1835-1868, America’s Original Superstar” by Michael Foster and Barbara Foster

Michael Foster, author of the novel Freedom’s Thunder, and Barbara Foster, an associate professor at the City University of New York who specializes in women’s studies, have written an interesting account on actress and poet Adah Isaacs Menken.
A Dangerous Woman: The Life, Loves, and Scandals of Adah Isaacs Menken, 1835-1868, America’s Original Superstar details the life of Menken, who was born in New Orleans to a Jewish, “woman of color” and a father whose identity is debated. 

Menken eventually moved to the Midwest, where she became an outspoken protégé of the rabbi who founded Reform Judaism. In New York City, she became Walt Whitman’s disciple. During the Civil War, she was arrested as a Confederate agent — and became America’s first pin-up superstar. Menken married and left five husbands. Ultimately, she paid dearly for success — she mysteriously died at age 33.
The authors have done a remarkable job of chronicling Menken’s life with information generated from special collections in the United States, London and Paris, books, periodicals, and photography. It was mentioned that Menken, until her death in 1868, was the prime suspect of the first celebrity photography, Napoleon Sarony. 
The authors show that her star power inspired poets like Walt Whitman and writers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who used Menken as the basis for the classic Sherlock Holmes supporting character of Irene Adler. Her popularity was fueled by a new advent of the period, mass circulation newspapers. Their reporters couldn’t wait to write about her latest adventure, according to biographers Michael and Barbara Foster, who call her the originator of the modern celebrity femme fatale.
A Dangerous Woman is an interesting read for those interested in women’s history, the roots of modern-day American Judaism, and African-American history.

NOTE: Review copy was provided to Mitch’s Muse by News and Experts.

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Mitch’s Reflections: Lucinda Moore “Blessed, Broken & Given”

What an incredible worship experience! Gospel vocalist Lucinda Moore draws in listeners with her sophomore CD “Blessed, Broken, & Given” (Tyscot Records). Moore doesn’t just project heartfelt praise; she is a living testimony that God can mend broken hearts. Once the listener starts to tune in to the songs on this CD, there is the realization that not about Moore, but it’s about giving praise and honor to God.
However, on the 15-track compact disc, Moore shares her story through inspiring ballads regarding deliverance from the pain of her past — childhood abuse, depression over her father’s death and a failed 16-year marriage to someone she says “never loved me.” Moore says of the first single “Blessed, Broken & Given”: “This is my testimony of what God did for me. He’s blessed me with a voice, but he had to break some things in me in order for me to be given to the nation.” She penned the song as she was going through a divorce.
“I’m doing it to help other people come out of what they are coming out of,” Moore said in a news release. “You don’t have to be unhappy and sit in abuse. This is the happiest time of my adult life.”
Moore is accompanied by the Elizabeth Baptist Church Mass Choir of Atlanta, Ga., background vocalists Donica Johnson, Natasha Cobbs, Claudius Craig, Trevon Davis, Tesha Lockley and Kim Edwards, as well as a host of musicians and band leader Natalie Ragins.
Stand-out track: “There’s a River.” There is a healing in the anointing, and this song makes you want to replay it. The “Bishop’s Prayer”  (Dr. Kevin A. Williams) follows, continuing the worship experience.

Editor’s note: Review CD supplied by Capital Entertainment.

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Mitch’s Reflection: The Whispers “Thankful”

Legendary R&B group The Whispers release their first gospel project “Thankful” this week on Kingdom Records. Grammy-winning gospel artist Fred Hammond lends his creative production skills to the project, along with the songwriting and vocal skills of Magic of Magic Muzik Productions Inc., Ralph Hawkins of ND Hawk Entertainment and Nicholas Caldwell of Heavens Gate and Unified Tribe.

“Working with The Whispers was truly a dream come true,” Hammond said in a news release. “I grew up listening to The Whispers and patterned a large part of my personal vocal style after, who have now become affectionately known as, uncles Scottie and Walker.”

The Whispers’ perfect, harmonious style is prevalent throughout the 10-track CD. Fans will appreciate up-tempo tracks such as “Praise His Holy Name” and the soft disco rhythm track of “In the Name of Jesus.” For a bit of Quiet Storm, The Whispers offers the track “For Thou Art With Me,” now viewed as a hit for Urban AC and gospel radio formats.

With almost 50 R&B chart singles, The Whispers are one of the most successful vocal groups in soul music history. The Grammy and American Music Award nominated ensemble has earned seven gold or platinum singles/albums, a 2002 NAACP Image Award and an induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003.

Editor’s Note: Review CD was provided by record label.