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Brittney Elkins

Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss Everdeen

She may think she was the wrong girl for the role, but the world begs to disagree.

Jennifer Lawrence is hot as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.

Jennifer Lawrence told David Letterman Tuesday that she and her brothers used to roughhouse a lot growing up.

“I’ve got scars all over my body. The best part—they would fight each other over who could fight me,” Jennifer Lawrence said.

Sounds like Jennifer Lawrence has been preparing for a role as Katniss Everdeen her entire life.

Jennifer Lawrence will bring Katniss Everdeen to life this weekend in the premier of The Hunger Games. Katniss is a hunting, tomboyish 16 year-old girl who wields Diana’s bow and can kill a squirrel with an arrow through the eye… Not to mention a fellow Tribute in The Hunger Games.

Jennifer Lawrence has been praised for playing Katniss as if the character has no future, and throughout the film it is unclear whether or not she does. Jennifer Lawrence manages a sincere look of terror as she enters the Capitol on chariot, and the anger with which she shoots an arrow just to stick it to the 1% is palpable.

Fans have cheered and applauded at the screenings of The Hunger Games so far, but Jennifer Lawrence is convinced that she wasn’t the right girl to play Katniss Everdeen.

“I am a troll. I hate myself. I think the movie is great, but their biggest mistake was casting me,” Jennifer Lawrence told David Letterman.

Well Jennifer Lawrence may hate herself, but the rest of America seems to love her. This weekend she’ll go down in cinematic history as “the girl on fire” and she’s just going to have to deal with all the love.

Casey Anthony wants to see Caylee in Heaven

Casey Anthony is planning to be baptized later this month

Casey Anthony is planning to get baptized.

Casey Anthony, America’s most hated mother, was acquitted in the murder of her 2 year-old daughter Caylee Anthony last year. Now it seems Casey Anthony has turned to God.

Sources told radaronline.com that Casey Anthony wants to start a fresh life and that getting baptized will be the first step in a new chapter.

Casey Anthony reportedly believes Caylee is with God now and wants to ensure her own salvation so that she’ll see her daughter again someday.

Last July, Casey Anthony was found not guilty in the murder of her daughter, to the surprise of most of America. Despite lying to police about her daughter’s whereabouts and never being completely forthright about the events leading up to Caylee’s disappearance, a jury decided they just couldn’t pin the murder on Casey Anthony.

Casey Anthony has been hiding out since the trial, and is believed to be living in a church.

A video diary released in January is the only public appearance Casey Anthony has made since the trial. In the video, she doesn’t mention her daughter, parents, or anything about the trial.

She did introduce her new puppy and said, “I’m just really starting to feel good about a lot of things. It’s about time. I’m really starting to like the way things are going. I’m just so happy. I’m really happy.”

Well, good for Casey Anthony. In one year she was acquitted of murdering her child, whose murder is still unsolved, doesn’t appear to harbor any ill-will towards whoever did kill her child, and has decided to give herself to God. Casey Anthony must have a very big heart.

Bent on Wednesday nights

NBC’s new rom-com may have been dead on arrival.

Bent premiered Wednesday night as NBC’s new romantic comedy.

Bent, starring Amanda Peet and David Walton, ranked fourth in the 9 p.m. hour Wednesday night. A Modern Family repeat beat it out for a higher-ranking spot.

Bent, the new half-hour rom-com from NBC, stars Amanda Peet as Alex Meyers. Meyers is a recently divorced lawyer who is a stark contrast to her contractor, a sexy surfer named Pete Riggins (played by David Walton).

Of course Riggins is just a friend, so you can definitely expect flirtations, hurt feelings, broken hearts, and romances between the two.

Even though Bent didn’t rank high among its peers (American Idol is always a tough hand to beat, and Modern Family is a new institution in American television) many viewers were “charmed” by the show. Unfortunately for them, NBC may not be quite as thrilled.

Bent aired with two back-to-back episodes Wednesday night, and it looks like they may be trying to use up what they already have. In the next two weeks NBC will premier back-to-back episodes again, quickly burning off all six episodes of Bent.

NBC released Bent mid-season with very little promotion, so maybe they weren’t expecting it to do well in the first place. Sure, Bent isn’t the most original show to grace the Wednesday night line-up, but it looks like it was dead before it had a chance.

Perhaps NBC will have a change of heart and bring Bent back in the fall for a new season. But for now, the future of Bent is as promising as its title.

The Hunger Games sets box office records on fire

If you haven’t already bought your tickets for this weekend, good luck!

The Hunger Games opens in theaters Friday, but it’s already raking in millions.

The Hunger Games has already brought in $15 million in advance ticket sales, with more than 2,000 show times already sold-out.

Fandango’s top five all-time advance ticket sellers list has been shattered, with The Hunger Games passing the 7th movie in the Harry Potter franchise and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and is expected to pass up The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 by Thursday to claim the number three spot.

The advance ticket sells have given cinema and studio stocks a huge boost. It’s not clear whether the boost is sustainable, but ticket sales for The Hunger Games are critical. It is the first in a three-part book series that will likely turn into a four-part movie franchise, if it is anything like its predecessors the Harry Potter series and the Twilight saga.

But people aren’t going to see The Hunger Games to help the numbers. They’re going because The Hunger Games isn’t like anything else we’ve seen for awhile.

The Hunger Games isn’t the next series geared towards love-struck teenagers. It has its share of handsome men, but they aren’t really the true heroes of the flick.

Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is the heroine here, and the social commentary of the film goes way beyond mythical creature vs. mythical creature.

The film takes place in the near future in what “used to be” North America. Twelve districts are ruled by one heartless, self-righteous Capitol. The Hunger Games is an annual event in which 24 of the nation’s teenagers are chosen at random, one boy and one girl from each district, to vie for their lives. Only one can win.

The rest of the nation is forced to watch The Hunger Games on television, and like any good reality show there are plenty of behind-the-scenes manipulations to make “reality” seem a little bit more exciting.

Sure, there is a love triangle. But that’s really not the point of the film.

Katniss Everdeen, the fearless no-nonsense girl from District 12, volunteers as the Tribute in her sister’s place, and has to leave behind her home and a best friend for whom she may or may not have feelings. The male tribute is the boy that saved her life as a child. You can probably make the connections of the love triangle from there.

The bloody battles, man-made death traps, apocalyptic dystopian society, and totalitarian government make The Hunger Games the darkest social commentary geared towards teens, at least in recent history.

The Hunger Games can only be described as something you have to see, and read, to fully understand. You’ll have your chance this weekend: that is, if you bought your tickets in advance.

Billy Joel isn't The Stranger on American Idol stage

We’re all in the mood for a melody, and you’ve got us feeling alright.

Billy Joel songs were the highlight of American Idol this week as the contestants performed songs by the original Piano Man.

The Top 10 contestants battled to stay on the show another week by taking pages from the songbook of Billy Joel.

“If you can’t sing Billy Joel, you can’t sing at all,” Judge Steven Tyler said.

Contestant DeAndre Brackensick performed Only the Good Die Young, and even though he never quite hit the mark, the judges considered it a great way to begin a night of Billy Joel.

Erika Van Pelt got into A New York State of Mind, while Joshua Ledet sang She’s Got a Way.

The very country Skylar Laine performed Shameless, obviously a Billy Joel song, but told the judges that she had modeled it on Garth Brook’s version.

And why not? Country singers seem to do well on American Idol.

Elise Testone opted for a lesser-known Billy Joel song Vienna Waits for You, despite being warned that she could end up with low scores if she sang something the audience didn’t recognize. She nailed the song, and the judges gave her a standing ovation before pleading with America to keep her in the competition.

Moving Out, Honesty, My Life, Everybody Has a Dream were also performed, and what would a Billy Joel retrospective be without Piano Man?

Billy Joel wasn’t the only star of American Idol this week. Diddy—yes, as in Mr. Sean Combs—and Tommy Hilfiger also showed up to dish out advice. Unfortunately, Tommy Hilfiger quickly became the most ignored man in America after giving fashion advice to each contestant, just to see most of them perform in whatever they felt like wearing.

Thankfully, no one completely butchered their tribute the legendary Billy Joel, so America will allow nine of them to perform another day.

Romney and the Etch A Sketch

If you shake him hard enough, does he disappear?

Romney and the Etch a Sketch. It was one topic Romney was hoping to avoid after his big win in Illinois Tuesday.

But unfortunately the GOP candidate Mitt Romney and the Etch a Sketch are eternally linked thanks to campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom’s comments comparing Romney and an Etch A Sketch.

Yes, the Etch A Sketch. That classic red-framed toy with the two little knobs. Draw anything you like, and when you’re done just shake it and you have a blank screen again.

There are so many problems that go along with comparing Romney and the Etch A Sketch that if the other GOP candidates don’t use it against him, the Democrats definitely will.

Eric Fehrnstrom compared Mitt Romney’s situation in the primaries to an Etch a Sketch. During a CNN interview, Fehrnstrom was asked whether Romney has had to tack so far to the right it could hurt him in a general election against President Obama in the fall.

In response, Fehrnstrom compared Romney and the Etch A Sketch.

“Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again,” Fehrnstrom said.

Now conservatives and liberals alike are worried about the fall campaign.

Will Romney hit the reset button? Romney has worked hard to paint himself as the social conservative in the primary campaigns. If he becomes the GOP nominee and goes up against President Obama in the fall, conservative are worried that he’ll start to take a more moderate stance on the issues. Democrats are worried that this tactic could help Romney take the swing states.

Fehrnstrom’s comment about Romney and the Etch A Sketch forced Romney to state publicly that he would not be “shaking the Etch A Sketch” to clear his slate in the fall.

“The issues I’m running on will be exactly the same. I’m running as a conservative Republican,” Romney said.

Romney’s campaign is trying to move on from the Etch A Sketch comments, but in this social media age it seems like Romney and the Etch A Sketch will be one of those political moments—like Howard Dean’s yell in 2004, or basically any Sarah Palin interview—that sticks with the public long after the race is over.

Romney is the frontrunner in the GOP race, so like an Etch A Sketch, he still seems to be a favorite.

Mister Rogers will be remembered with a new documentary on his birthday today

Fred Rogers would be 84 today.

Mister Rogers would have been 84 today.

To celebrate Mister Rogers, PBS will be airing a documentary called Mister Rogers & Me.

Mister Rogers was a television pioneer who really cared for children. He wanted us to be who we are, and not try to be like anybody else. Plus, he wore cardigans way before Daniel Tosh dedicated a season to them.

Mister Rogers was known for his ability to put big ideas into a few words that kids could understand. “Deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex,” Mister Rogers once said.

It’s an unlikely match when a PBS star who urges us to be careful crossing streets meets up with an MTV producer. But Mister Rogers, whose first name is Fred by the way, met up with Benjamin Wagner of MTV when they were both vacationing on Nantucket Island.

Benjamin Wagner was the person Mister Rogers told about the idea of being deep and simple. The phrase stuck with Benjamin Wagner and inspired Mister Rogers & Me. It has been 10 years since that meeting, and now we can all view the documentary and remember the lessons we learned from Mister Rogers.

Mister Rogers told us through song that he liked us for who we are and that we are still ourselves no matter what we wear, or where we go. It’s pretty cool that a man could make generations of kids feel so special. So on his birthday remember why Mister Rogers was special, and why he was everyone’s favorite neighbor.

Ostara is a celebration of the vernal equinox

Ostara welcomes the season of rebirth

Ostara, or the vernal equinox, is upon us and night and day are in perfect balance.

Ostara is just one of the names given to the celebration of the spring equinox. The word Ostra derives from Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility, whose festival at the spring equinox celebrates rebirth.

Ostara is associated with the coming of spring and the dawn, and Eostre’s festival is celebrated at the spring equinox because she brings renewal and rebirth from the death of winter.

Many symbols are associated with Ostara, including colored eggs and, what else? Rabbits.

If you haven’t already recognized the similarities, Ostara and Easter occur around the same time and a lot of the customs we celebrate today as part of Easter “tradition” actually have roots in Pagan customs.

Wiccans, Heathens, and modern Pagans celebrate the vernal equinox as Ostara, Lady Day, Shubun-sai, or the spring equinox as a time of renewal and rebirth.

The spring equinox welcomes celebrations from all walks of life, religious beliefs, and even just some crazy balancing acts that should be just as possible every other day of the year.

People try to balance eggs and brooms on their ends at this time of the year. Is it really easier to balance things on end during the equinox? No. But today you’re more likely to see your roommate sitting in the living room with a carton of eggs and a furrowed brow. It’s just as likely that an egg will balance today as it will two months from now.

Whether you are celebrating Ostara, Easter, Nowroz, or Let’s Balance an Egg Day, the season has arrived. Spring is in full swing, flowers are budding, those crazy march hares are out of hibernation and at their favorite task, and if you follow Ostara, it’s all because of Eostre.

Kirk Cameron stands by his comments about homosexuality

And he’s not going to say he’s sorry.

Kirk Cameron loves “all people.”

Kirk Cameron hates “no one.”

Kirk Cameron is surprised that his previous remarks condemning homosexuality became such a hot topic for debate.

Earlier this month, Kirk Cameron made some pretty damning remarks on Piers Morgan Tonight in regards to homosexuality and gay marriage. The stir resulted when he said that he did not support gay marriage and that homosexuality was “destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”

Tuesday, Kirk Cameron faced Ann Curry in the interview chair. Ann Curry, of the Today show, asked Kirk Cameron whether or not he meant to speak in such hate-speech terms.

“Absolutely not,” Kirk Cameron said, “Of course not. I love all people, I hate no one and, you know, when you take a subject and you reduce it to something like a four-second sound bite and a check mark on a ballot, I think that that’s inappropriate and insensitive.”

The former Growing Pains star continued by saying, “I was surprised, frankly, that people were surprised by the things that I’ve said. I have been consistent for 15 years as a Christian. I’m a Bible-believing Christian. What I would have thought was more newsworthy is if I had said something that contradicted the word of God, if I had contradicted my faith.”

Despite blaming the media for twisting and editing his words into a “four-second sound bite,” Kirk Cameron is standing by his words.

“I don’t change my feeling about the comments,” He said in an interview with Fox and Friends.

Some people have applauded Kirk Cameron for not trying to hide behind diplomatic rhetoric and for standing up for his beliefs, but organizations like GLAAD and several of Kirk Cameron’s Growing Pains co-stars spoke out against his anti-gay remarks.

Kirk Cameron didn’t apologize for the comments, and he still stands by them, but he did clarify some of his beliefs for the Today viewers.

“Nobody should mistreat anybody—homosexuals should not be mistreated, heterosexuals should not be mistreated, bisexuals should not be mistreated. All of us who really think deeply about social issues like gay marriage and abortion and homosexuality have convictions on issues, and we all have our convictions formed by different things, and mine are formed by my faith, they’re informed by the word of God, and I found that to be an anchor for me, a compass and a guide for me,” Kirk Cameron said.

“When people start bullying each other and calling each other names for those different convictions, then you get into problems.”

Kirk Cameron is right about that last sentence, but the rest is sure to add fuel to the already heated debates.

Illinois primary polls open with a slow start

Voters have the chance to change the political landscape in Illinois, and the fate of the GOP race. Where are they?

Illinois primary polls opened Tuesday, giving voters the chance to weigh in on a presidential nomination race that has been neck-and-neck so far.

Illinois primary voters will also have the chance to choose candidates in congressional and legislative races that could shape state politics for years to come.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Republican U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo are battling for the only open Illinois’ U.S. House seat.

The Illinois primary will play an important role in the ongoing battle between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum for the GOP nomination.

Romney has been chastised as the “moderate” Republican, but many have questioned whether Santorum can win in any but the most conservative states.

Both candidates campaigned hard on Monday throughout Illinois. A poll released Monday showed Romney as the likely candidate for Illinois, but Santorum went all out with radio and television appearances to gain momentum.

Voters in the Illinois primary will help solidify the race for the GOP nomination.

Despite the profound consequences of the Illinois primary, election officials reported very light turnout in the first few hours after polls opened.

It is too early to tell what the outcome of the Illinois primary will be, but Tuesday night’s news coverage will put a clearer lens on the currently blurry future of the GOP race.