Warrior: Coming Soon

I’m really excited about Warrior, an upcoming movie on which I recently worked. I developed the story, which was written by Martin Dugard. The film stars Twilight Saga actors Kellan Lutz (Twilight’s Emmett Cullen) as Conor Sullivan and Ashley Green (Twilight’s Alice Cullen) as Conor’s love interest, Brooklyn. It also stars Burn Notice star Gabrielle Anwar as Conor’s mother, William Mapother (Lost), and Adam Beach (Big Love).

Warrior tells the story of Conor Sullivan, a high school lacrosse star who moves to a difficult new prep school and loses his father in Iraq soon after. Following his father’s death, Sullivan becomes angry and self-destructive until he befriends the Marine his father died while saving. The Marine, Duke, is a Native American who takes Conor under his wing at a wilderness lacrosse camp, where Connor begins to overcome his pain while learning the true meaning of sportsmanship, manhood, strength, and loss.

A production of Family Pictures LLC and James Patterson Entertainment, Warrior was directed by Michael F. Sears. Executive producers include Marc Spizzirri and Martin Dugard. The film is scheduled for big screen release in 2011.

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The Early History of Ducati, by Jim Yount

Ducati prides itself on representing the tradition of forward-thinking Italian engineering. Its history extends to 1926, when the Ducati family founded the Società Radio Brevetti Ducati in Bologna. During these early years, it focused on radio components that were designed from Adriano Ducati’s patents.

1920s_Ducati_logo

In 1935, the Ducati organization expanded its operations. Along with creating a factory in Borgo Panigale, it opened offices in London, New York City, Paris, and other major cities. It achieved success during the first two decades, but World War II brought hardships to Ducati, including the destruction of its Borgo Panigale facility. However, the Ducati brothers spent the war years studying ways to enhance their company. In 1946, they introduced an auxiliary motor for bicycles, which led to the development of the Cucciolo, a miniature motorcycle that turned Ducati into a world-class vehicle manufacturer.

About the Author:
A fan of rock climbing, baking, running, and weight lifting, Jim Yount earned his Bachelor’s degree from Drury University while becoming a 21-time All-America swimmer. Additionally, Yount drives a Ducati GT 1000.

 

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The Benefits of Paddleboarding

By James Yount

I have enjoyed aquatic sports since my childhood, taking up swimming at age five and competing as an All American swimmer at Drury College in Springfield, Missouri. I have recently taken up paddleboarding at Laguna Beach in California, where I also enjoy training for 10K running events. Paddleboarding is a fast-growing sport that requires a minimum of equipment and can be pursued anywhere a sizable body of water exists. This includes the coast, lakes, rivers, ponds, bays, and estuary environments. While paddleboarding has a connection to surfing, it is a distinctly modern creation. In the late 1920s, Thomas Edward Blake drew his inspiration for the paddleboard from a group of historic surfboards he was restoring at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu. This museum continues today as the designated Hawaii State Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Creating a redwood replica of a historic board of Hawaiian royalty, Blake hollowed it out, creating the world’s first paddleboard. Surf contests of the late 1920s integrated the paddleboard and in 1932 Blake won the first mainland-to-Santa Catalina paddleboard competition in Southern California. Relegated to a footnote in surfing’s history as the decades passed, the paddleboard witnessed a resurgence in the 1980s. In particular, the 22-mile Point Dume-to-Malibu race inspired full-scale production of a high quality “Waterman” line of paddleboards.

A key reason for paddleboarding’s surge in popularity in recent years has to do with the excellent full-body workout it provides. Skiers, snowboarders, and runners alike utilize the sport for cross training purposes, ensuring that all the major muscle groups benefit from regular workout. Paddleboarding is also, quite simply, a lot of fun. It gives people a chance to connect with the ocean and with the force of waves without the same level of effort and wear-and-tear as surfing. While paddleboarding may appear easy, standing up on the board with a paddle, particularly in moderate to heavy surf conditions, requires athleticism. Beginning paddleboarders benefit from calm waters and sustaining a kneeling position on the board before attempting to stand. As paddleboarders progress, they frequently shift from broad, flat boards to narrower models that allow for better handling and require advanced balance. With over 3,000 paddleboards produced each year, I rely on Stand Up Paddle Company as the provider of my boards.

About the Author: With nearly 20 years of experience in the financial sector, James Yount holds a number of securities licenses through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Tom Clancy (1/2)

by James Yount

One of my favorite authors, Tom Clancy is a master craftsman specializing in the genre of technologically detailed crime, espionage, and military science thrillers. Best known for penning a litany of bestselling novels, including The Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, and The Sum of All Fears, Clancy boasts distinction as one of the most successful writers of the modern era, his novels serving as the inspiration for a number of highly profitable big-budget Hollywood films. Also penning several non-fiction books focusing on the United States armed forces, Clancy exhibits a capacity for translating extremely complex subject matter into layman’s terms. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Tom Clancy enrolled at Loyola College, earning a degree in English Literature in 1969. Following the completion of his undergraduate coursework, Clancy set out to pursue his long-held dream of joining the United States military. Rejected after failing a mandatory vision test, Clancy reprioritized his career goals, entering into the insurance industry. For over a decade, Clancy devoted his professional energy to his insurance agency, concurrently developing the framework for his first published novel, The Hunt For Red October. Released in 1984, The Hunt For Red October introduces Jack Ryan, a fictional CIA agent who appears in several of Clancy’s other books. Several years after it landed on bookstore shelves, Hollywood optioned the rights for the literary smash hit, filming a big screen adaptation starring Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery. Written prior to The Hunt For Red October but published three years later, Patriot Games garnered accolades for its exciting and engrossing plot, the storyline following Jack Ryan as he thwarts an assassination attempt targeted at the Prince and Princess of Wales. The film version of Patriot Games stars Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan with Samuel L. Jackson in a supporting role. In the years that followed, Clancy went on to pen many other popular books including The Cardinal of the Kremlin, Clear and Present Danger, The Sum of All Fears, Debt of Honor, Rainbow Six, The Teeth of the Tiger, and Red Rabbit.

Tom Clancy (2/2)

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J.D. Salinger

by James Yount

One of my favorite authors, J.D. Salinger died earlier this year at the age of 91. Salinger had lived outside of the media spotlight in his Cornish, New Hampshire, home for several decades before losing his life to natural causes. Born in New York City, Salinger showed remarkable promise as an actor during his early high school career, but was discouraged from pursuing his interest in the arts by his father. After finishing his final two years of high school at the Valley Forge Military Academy, where he first began to write extensively in his spare time, Salinger enrolled at New York University. He dropped out of college at the end of his freshman year and briefly moved to Europe before returning to the United States and continuing his education at Ursinus College. Again, Salinger decided against formal higher education and instead took evening writing courses at Columbia University. He subsequently published his first short story, The Young Folks, in 1940. Over the next few years, Salinger worked odd jobs and continued writing, unsuccessfully submitting a number of stories to The New Yorker. When the United States entered World War II, Salinger was drafted into the Army, where he befriended Ernest Hemingway, who was already a wildly popular author. During the war, he primarily worked with counter-intelligence divisions as an interrogator. Although none of his later stories dealt directly with the war, its influence on them is often highly apparent. Salinger’s major break came in 1948 when The New Yorker accepted “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” for publication and offered him a contract for the right of first refusal on his future stories. As a result, almost all of Salinger’s work was first published in The New Yorker. “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” introduces the Glass family, who became the central focus of most of Salinger’s published work. The Catcher in the Rye, likely Salinger’s most popular work, was published in 1951. The semi-autobiographical novel follows the exploits of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield after he is expelled from an exclusive New England boarding school. Two years later, Salinger published Nine Stories, which featured seven works from The New York and two previously unpublished stories. In the 1960s, Salinger published Franny and Zooey, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, and Seymour: An Introduction, all of which revolved around the Glass family. Although these novellas were his last published work, Salinger apparently wrote extensively during his years of isolation in New Hampshire. His death is certainly a terrible loss for American literature, but hopes remain high that a great deal of his unpublished work will soon be found in bookstores around the nation.

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The Active Kid becomes an Active Adult

by James Yount

Physical activity has always been a big part of my life. I was an energetic kid and I was lucky enough to be able to channel that energy into sports at an early age. I started swimming when I was five at a day camp near my home, and I’ve been competing in water and on land ever since. In high school, I was an All-American swimmer, and when I was a sophomore in college, I held the national record for the 200-yard freestyle. I continue to stay active; I find that physical activity is also a great form of entertainment. I’ve run at the beach in California and around the Central Park Reservoir in Manhattan, and I’ve been lifting free weights since right after college. The activity helps me to stay in shape for the things I really love to do: rock climbing, hiking, and paddle boarding. Not only does rock climbing take my mind away from the bustle of daily life, it also releases stress. When I climb, I have no choice but to focus on the six-foot square in front of me. It’s a great break for me. Although I love my job, I need to spend time doing other things in order to perform my best. I imagine I will continue to be just as active in later life as I have been since I was five years old. It’s a big part of who I am, and it will continue to play a role for many years to come.

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