By Andrea Davis, Rick Savage, Jill Fink, John Sotomayor, and Colt Gatzemeyer


Pop Culture Takeover
By Andrea Davis

Every year there is something new that is introduced in the world of pop culture. 2018 had some hard to beat trends but this is the forecast for what could be our biggest trends of the 2019 year.

Glass- Releasing January 18- This Sci-Fi/Mystery film stars Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy.
Avengers: Endgame- Releasing April 26- Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and more star in this continuation from Avengers: Infinity Wars.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters- Releasing May 31- This Action, Adventure and Fantasy film where Godzilla takes on other monsters including his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah starring Millie Bobby Brown, Sally Hawkins and Kyle Chandler.
47 Meters Down: Uncaged- Releasing June 28- Five divers exploring underwater ruins quickly learn that they are not alone in this Adventure, Drama and Horror film starring Nia Long, John Corbett and Sophie Nelisse.
Star Wars: Episode IX- Releasing December 20- The conclusion of the most recent Star Wars trilogy starring Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, and John Boyega along with other favorites such as Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and others.

TV Shows:
Game of Thrones- Nine noble families fight for control over the Lands of Westeros as an old enemy, the White Walkers, arrive to take claim the land as theirs. The popular series final season is expected to be the biggest hit of 2019.
The Titan Games- This reality-tv type show is hosted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. This show is full of athletic competitions that show based off Johnson’s belief that everyone has potential for greatness. Set to premiere January 2nd.
Snowpiercer- Based off the French graphic novel, “Le Transperceneige” the series focuses on a group who are the last survivors of the planet. They live on a train called “the Snowpiercer” that travels around the globe. This show is expected to premiere in June.
Tell Me Your Secrets-. This show follows a trio of characters, each who comes with their own mysterious and troubling past. One is a young lady who once looked into the eyes of a dangerous killer, another is a serial predator desperate to find redemption and the last is a grieving mother obsessed with finding her missing daughter. Set to premiere in June.
Deadly Class- Set in the late 1980’s counterculture, which follows a disillusioned teen recruited into a storied high school for assassins. This show is expected to premiere on January 16th.

For those that enjoy a good read, take a book from our reading list.

From our local authors:
Amy Mangan- This Side Up: The Road to a Renovated Life– This book is a home and garden editor’s story written with candor, humor and grace, shares the story of a life constantly under construction. As Amy is faced with crisis after crisis, she discovers how to cope, hope, rebuild and move on to a stronger way of life. Her story touches base on job loss, financial shame, home displacement, marital discord, illness and caregiving. Mangan currently has a column that appears in the Ocala Star Banner and has been published in Better Homes and Garden magazine. She will appear at the Headquarters-Ocala Public Library in Meeting Room “C” on January 6th at 2 PM with her book signed and available for purchase.

David Cook- The Way It Was– This book started out as a column in the Ocala Star Banner where David Cook used to work. He spent his time writing about the history of Ocala from the visiting of important people like Elvis Presley to remembering a restaurant called the Brahma. Some of the articles published in his column have been conducted into the book telling tales and memories of Ocala. This book is compiled of over 50 columns and many photographs all telling over 175 years’ worth of Marion County History. As a tribute to Cook, a retired Star-Banner editor and columnist, along with noted historian, the Ocala chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association has recently presented to him its first Lifetime Achievement Award.

Some other books that are expected to be hot on the list are:
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo- A book about a young king who must form new alliances, refill Ravka’s coffers and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.
The Wicked King by Holly Black- The first lesson is to make yourself strong. After the realization that she is the heir to Faerie, Oak must keep her brother safe by bounded herself to the wicked king and make herself the power to the throne.
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare- When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia, and their friends plunge into a wild adventure that will reveal dark and incredible powers, the true cruel price of being a hero and falling in love.

Here are some tunes that hopefully become hot and not flop (as picked by Dean Blinkhorn, Director of Talent Development for the Ocala/Marion County CEP and Editor/Publisher of Good Life Publications):

“The big news for 2018 were rappers that put out samples and demos on YouTube and other social media sites that ended up going viral.” said music and talent development expert Dean Blinkhorn. “I have to think that that trend will continue as we go through the next year as social media is widespread, and it is the way to reach the audiences better.”

The ones to watch for the upcoming year:
Meghan Trainor who has delayed her new album “Treat Myself” until this year which is expected to release January 25.
Maggie Rogers with her new album that will be releasing called “Heard It in A Past Life” on January 18.
Avril Lavigne with her new album “Head Above Water” which will be releasing in February.
Dido with the release of album “Still on my Mind” set to release March.8th
Weezer with the release of their “Black” Album in May



Honoring Greatness

Football highlights for 2019.
Complied by John Sotomayor

Scot Brantley Trophy Final Four
The Ocala Quarterback Club has announced its finalists for the most outstanding football player/student/citizen for The Scot Brantley Trophy in a six-county North Central Florida area: Marion, Lake, Sumter, Levy, Alachua, and Citrus Counties. The winner will be revealed in February.

Brantley was a member and leader on two Ocala Forest High School state championship teams, an All-SEC linebacker for the Florida Gators, and 10-year veteran of the Tampa Bay Bucs.

The winner will be chosen by a blue ribbon committee on the basis of these qualities which defined Scot Brantley‘s career: On-field excellence, athleticism, academics, leadership, commitment & recommitment, goal orientation, character, faith and conscience.

The Scot Brantley Trophy honoree will be presented by the 62-year-old Ocala QB Club and handed off by the former Florida Gator/Tampa Bay Buc/Forest High School Wildcat star himself at the awards dinner to be held at the The Reilly Arts Center in Ocala in April 2019.

The four finalists are:

Brian Dillard – Lake Weir High School (Ocala)

  • Named 6A Player of the Year from the Florida Athletic Coaches Association District 7.
  • Offense: 55 catches, 1230 yards, 11 TDs
  • Defense: 71 tackles, 13 TFL, 1 INT
  • Verbally Committed to University of South Florida.

Brian Maurer – West Port High School (Ocala)

  • Finished season with Marion County’s single season passing yardage record
    and career passing yards.
  • Season Stats: 280/428, 3,572 yards passing, 34 TDs, 12 INTs
    40 carries, 466 yards rushing, 6 TDs
  • Verbally Committed to University of Tennessee

Kimo Clarke – Vanguard High School (Ocala)

  • Season Stats: 120 carries, 979 yards rushing, 19TDs
  • Verbally Committed to Florida Atlantic University

Trent Whittemore – Gainesville Buchholz High School (Gainesville)

  • Season Stats: 41 receptions, 701 yards receiving, 9 TDs
  • 50 Tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 7 pbu’s
  • Verbally committed to University of Florida

Gator Grab
The Florida Gators expected to climb into Top 15 by National Signing Day in February. According to Bud Elliott for SBNation, Florida already has “18 commitments that include 10 four-stars, but it’s who the Gators might add make them attractive.” They include: IMG five-star running back Trey Sanders, four-star Bellflower CA cornerback Chris Steele, Palm Beach FL four-star cornerback Kaiir Elam, and Lakeland FL High School four-star trio DE Lloyd Summerall, TE Keion Ziperer, and OL Deyavie Hammond.

“If the Gators keep their current crop, and add five of the six above, there’s even a shot to climb into the Top 10,” said Elliott.



The Institute of Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) continues with unique science and technology programs in 2019 for Ocala/Marion County
By: Laurie Zink

Cyber Theater coming to IHMC Ocala 2019
Cyber Theater is a space adapted from the concept of black box theaters to test the tradeoffs that come from different levels of physical and network access. The cyber theatre will give insight into potential vulnerabilities for operating systems, hardware applications, internet of things, devices, and anything else that runs in your computer. The cyber theatre can also be used as a demonstration space to show how computer forensics can reveal the digital footprints we leave behind.

UWF Partners with IHMC to Develop First Intelligent Systems and Robotics Ph.D. in Florida
The University of West Florida has partnered with the Institute of Human and Machine Cognition to develop a doctoral program in intelligent systems and robotics. The program will be the first of its kind in Florida and one of only a few in the nation.

“We are very excited about this new doctoral degree program,” said UWF President Martha D. Saunders. “The program brings together the strengths of UWF engineering and computer science programs with the expertise of a word class research center, IHMC. It’s a game-changer.”

The new doctoral program aligns with the university’s strategic vision for research that impacts Florida’s economic development and technology enterprise. It will serve the manufacturing, health-care, defense, and other high-tech industries, providing critical support to high-demand career fields.

“I’ve envisioned a program like this for a long time,” said Ken Ford, director and co-founder of IHMC. “It will attract top young talent from around the world. This is such a great move not only for UWF and IHMC, but also for the state.”

According to a 2012 study by the National Robotics Initiative, robotics technology holds the potential to transform the future of the U.S. and is expected to become as ubiquitous over the next few decades as computer technology is today. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook projects a 19% growth rate for computer and information technology research scientists over the next 10 years.

IHMC STEM-Talk Podcast
STEM-Talk is an internationally acknowledged destination for top research scientists to share their findings in a long discussion format. STEM-Talk, with more than 1.5 million downloads, has consistently been in the running for major podcast awards and currently is ranked in iTunes Top 5 in Science and Technology. Beginning its 3rd season in 2019, STEM-Talk will hit its 100th episode later in the year. This spring, Dr. Ken Ford will participate in IHMC’s first Ask-Me-Anything podcast. If you’d like to tune in for conversations with some of the most interesting people in the world of science and technology, you can listen at http://stemtalk.us

IHMC and NASA Develop the Next Generation of Exercise Equipment
The IHMC Robotics Team has partnered with NASA on an exercise machine for long-duration deep-space missions. Now that NASA is seriously considering a manned mission to Mars, the agency is figuring out how to help astronauts maintain their bone density and prevent muscle loss.

“Astronauts who spend extended time in space show signs of accelerated aging,” says Ken Ford, IHMC’s director and co-founder. “But what’s really exciting is that if we find more efficient exercise methods for astronauts in space, these methods are also likely to be helpful to an aging population here on Earth.”

The IHMC team has begun to see that this device could provide a new way to perform resistance training on Earth. IHMC has hired Joe Gomes, the former strength and conditioning coach for the Oakland Raiders, to assist in understanding the science and practice of strength training and conditioning, and to ensure the device can be utilized by all people.

Robot arms pave the way to future productivity
By: Rick Savage

The Latest—Modular Prosthetic Limb
Johnny Matheny of Port Richey, Florida is the first ever to try a mind-controlled arm of the future. It has been developed by the John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab and funded with $120 million from the US Government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. He controls the arm with his thoughts, sensors on his stump read muscle movement and then commands are sent to the prosthetic arm via Bluetooth. The arm was delivered December 2017 and he had all of 2018 to try it out.

Industrial Servo Arm
FANUC is a world leader in industrial computer numerical control (CNC), robotics, and factory automation. It got its name from the acronym Fuji Automatic NUmerical Control. The College of Central Florida in Ocala has four of them to train the workforce of the future. The college offers two college credit certifications that aids in robotics: Automation and Mechatronics.

Consumer Robotics
Advancements in technology that are driven by the Federal Government and large businesses usually benefit the mass consumer market in the long run. According to the International Federation of Robotics they expect a boom in 2019 for robotics spending. For parents who want to start their children off early the Cornerstone School has numerous STEM initiatives including robotics. Their robotics program covers the age range from kindergarten to the eighth grade. Their two annual robotics tournaments include Robopalooza and Robofest. Robopalooza is January 5th from 8:30am to 4:30 pm.



Motoring Off the Line
By Andrea Davis

Vehicles make things a lot easier from doing household chores to entertainment choices. 2018 had some great options but look at what’s motoring its way off the line for the upcoming year.

A new Porsche 911 has been revealed for the 2019 auto year. It has the same familiar shape that we all know and love but has added a heavily revised range of six-cylinder turbo petrol engines that are more powerful than before. It features a new platform structure with more aluminum in the rear which improves weight distribution. Add in the new rear-wheel steering in the Carrera and Carrera S models for the first time provides the 911 with more agility and an improved high-speed capability.  This model of Porsche offers a 10.1 touch screen informant along with a newly designed center console which provides a newly-designed gearlever, electronic handbrake switch, and a combination of touch-based and toggle-style switchgear for ancillary functions right at the touch of a fingertip.

A new Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is under the curtain for the new year. This new model is 450 lbs. lighter than its predecessor and brings with it a new design from the ground up with eight new models and six different engine and transmission choices. Though larger in almost every dimension, this new truck enables more cargo and interior space. The all-new durabed offers best-in-class volume measuring at more than 20 percent of that of its competitors. Select packages on this vehicle will include additional safety features such as front and view park assist, lane change alert with blind zone alert, rear cross alert, and a following distance indicator.

An all-new 2019 Ram 1500 called the Rebel 12 has just been revealed for 2019. This vehicle goes even further with the interior loaded up on more premium features than would be expected in a rugged high-performance truck. Along with premium features, comes a new exterior with sculpted design of high-strength steel as a frame, smart cargo management and advanced technology both inside and out. The new Ram also provides safety features such as guided parking, smart cruising, and eyes all around viewing provided by a 360-degree surround view camera to provide an all-around vehicle picture to make parking, loading and unloading much safer.

A brand-new Ford Ranger is being released, this time tested under conditions more extreme than one would ever encounter. The new Ford Ranger comes with it a potent 2.3L Eco boost which is expected to surpass its competition of other gas-powered trucks in its class. When purchasing this vehicle consider the off-road package, a new feature that when activated, the electronic-locking rear differential locks the axel completely at both wheels delivering the traction needed for that off-road feel. Select models will even assist you with a new feature called Ford Co-Pilot 360 which helps one navigate through increasingly crowded roads and highways. Such features involved with the Ford Co-Pilot 360 include Lane Keeping System, Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic alert, Rearview Camera, and Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking.

The Toyota Yaris sedan has a fuel-efficient performance that just cannot be swayed. With a new lightweight body, agile handling and an estimated 40 mpg on the highway this vehicle is ready to prove its efficiency can go a long way and shouldn’t be taken for granted. The Yaris comes stocked with a Low-speed Pre-Collision System and an active safety system so that one never needs to worry about safety while out and about. The Yaris also comes with auto turn on LED lights, heated mirrors with LED turn signals, a 7-inch informant screen, on steering wheel controls along with voice recognition for access to all your tunes.

The new Hyundai Veloster has been redesigned both on the inside and the outside for the 2019 year. It maintains its unusual one-plus-two door layout but now also features a larger door on the driver side and two smaller doors on the passenger side. Using the same type of engine as the Elantra, this 147-horsepower, 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine gives it slightly more edge than its Elantra cousin. Slightly longer than the 2018 model, the new Veloster comes with LED headlights, a 7-inch informant touch screen, the option to upgrade to larger wheels, a rearview camera, lane keep assist, and emergency braking.

While these are not all the vehicles that will be put forth on the market for 2019, these are just a few that expected to make a top notch in sales in the new year.



Food Moods
R. Jill Fink, MFA

Almost everyone in the United States has been on some kind of “diet” in their lifetime, but an increasing number of people are making mealtime choices part of a permanent lifestyle change instead of a temporary switch. Fitness awareness, a need for healthy digestive systems and environmental factors are the trends driving these changes. For instance, vegan fare, herbal drinks and probiotic diets are becoming increasingly popular among adults as well as many teenagers.

Here are five food trends shaping the way Ocala eats.

Veg Out
One of the largest grocery chains in the south, Kroger, recently issued a statement that “More consumers are purchasing better-for-you products and subscribing to different eating styles, from vegetarian to flexitarian to keto and paleo.” Plant-based diets are gaining traction due to the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle trend being on the rise as many of us are opting to reduce our overall meat and dairy intake throughout the week. Whether your choice is to participate in Meat Free Mondays, Flexitarian Fridays or going meat- and dairy-free altogether, many dieticians agree that our bodies appreciate and benefit from the change.

Kava is King
The development and consumption of healthier drinks is on the uptake as well. More people are trying kava and kratom in liquid form; these herbal drinks have been used for hundreds of years in other parts of the world, but are fast becoming popular in America. Kava possesses natural compounds that are known to reduce anxiety and stress, relieve muscle tension and help with physical pain. Kratom, indigenous to Thailand and nearby countries in Southeast Asia, can work as a stimulant or a sedative, depending on the type and dosage consumed. Organic kombucha, a fermented tea rich in probiotics and antioxidants, can now be found in flavors such as blueberry ginger and raspberry hibiscus. You can find all three of these drinks and more information on them at Ocala’s first and only kava bar, called Muddy Lotus. Read more about them in this issue.

Low Sugar
Greek yogurt and probiotic, low-fat milk fit into the digestive health regimen, but vegan milks like coconut, rice, almond and oat are making strides on replacing animal-sourced dairy products. Consumers are also demanding low-sugar products or those sweetened with natural, low-carb additives. Honey and agave are increasing in popularity, but coconut sugar, monkfruit and stevia are touted as healthier alternatives; most of which don’t affect the glycemic index of our food intake as much.

A “healthy gut” means great digestion of whatever you eat or drink. Since gastrointestinal issues have become a concern for millions of Americans, going gluten-free is sometimes a choice to avoid minor stomach upset, but for some, it’s a serious necessity due to neurological factors. An increasing number of restaurants in our area provide a gluten-free menu and vegan (or at least vegetarian) choices. Peruse the aisles of Publix or local health food stores such as Earth Origins or Earth Fare to find a growing selection of gluten-free, probiotic and antioxidant rich “superfoods” that fit well into almost every dietary need one might have.



Trends in Training
By Colt Gatzemeyer

The three health related concepts listed below are not new to 2019, however they are increasing in popularity and will provide the user a new stimulus to what they are currently doing. These will be more of a, “next level training” as opposed to a beginner level training.

Intermittent Fasting:
Intermittent fasting is the process of cycling in and out of periods of eating and not eating. Although people do experience weight loss with intermittent fasting, it is less of a diet plan and more of a lifestyle choice to reap some incredible health benefits.

There are different intermittent fasting methods. These are:

  • Eat normally five days a week. The other two days are your fasting days, although you do still eat. Just keep it between 500 and 600 calories.
  • Eat-stop-eat: With this one, you restrict all food for 24 hours, once or twice a week.
  • You eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period — typically 6 to 8 hours — and fast for the remaining 14 to 16 hours. You can do this every day, or a few times a week

Fascia Stretch Training (FST):
It is based on the theory that the potential amount of muscle that you are going to build depends highly on your genetic make-up and the thickness of the fascia surrounding the muscle belly. Performing 7 sets of 8-15 repetitions at the conclusion of your training is thought to stretch that fascia tissue, allowing maximum muscle growth.

Occlusion Training:
Commonly called Blood Flow Restriction training or (BFR). Occlusion training is essentially using a band around your arm or thigh to restrict blood flow, perform 2-3 sets of an exercise with higher repetitions. Then release the band to provide the muscle with a massive amount of fresh oxygenated blood. Om

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