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Mardi Gras
Flickr User DoctorWho
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Know Your Mardi Gras History [VIDEO]

Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday," a reference to the binge eating a lot of Catholics do before Lent. As is often the case with holidays, the Christian roots are intertwined with earlier pagan practices. It was very common for early church fathers to integrate elements of pagan ritual in an attempt to attract potential converts.

Mardi Gras itself originated in the Middle Ages and was brought to the U.S. by the French explorer Iberville. In 1827, Parisian-style masked balls were legalized in New Orleans after a long period of prohibition. The celebration soon became known for its celebrants' raucous behavior during fanciful parades.

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Oscar Winners
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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The King’s Speech Wins Big At Oscars

There weren't a whole lot of surprises at the 83rd Academy Awards -- as expected, "The King's Speech" took the big prize as Best Picture. The film about King George VI overcoming his stutter also garnered a Best Actor statue for Colin Firth and a Best Director win for Tom Hooper.

"King"'s four statuettes tied "Inception," which also nabbed four awards in technical categories, for the most Oscars.

Oscar favorite Natalie Portman also took home the Best Actress statuette for her role in "Black Swan," and Melissa Leo and Christian Bale of "The Fighter" cleaned up in the supporting role categories.

See the full list of winners after the jump:

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The Oscars' 'Inception'-Style Opening Sequence
ABC
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The Oscars’ ‘Inception’-Style Opening Sequence [VIDEO]

This year's opening sequence of the Academy Awards featured hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway trying to tap Alec Baldwin's dreams for Oscar hosting advice.

The skit featured a bunch of this year's nominees for best picture, and a surprise appearance from an iconic film of yore.  Read on to check it out.

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Channing Tatum
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
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Story At The Movies: The Eagle

When you go to see an action movie starring the Hunk-of-the-Month Channing Tatum as a Roman commander trying to bring order to 2nd century Britain along with his faithful, um, British companion, Jamie Bell, and featuring "guest star Donald Sutherland," you aren't expecting 'Hamlet" or a good movie of any kind. Just your basic smash-em bash-em actioner. Was I surprised. "The Eagle" is a very well-thought-out and researched tale of the lost Roman legion of 9000 men that marched into ancient Scotland and disappeared without a trace about 1900 years ago. Our two heroes are after the lost symbol of that legion, a golden eagle. They have more than a few adventures on their way to glory. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times was like-wise somewhat surprised at the quality of this film that comes out of left field:

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Natalie Portman
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
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Story At The Movies: Black Swan

Welcome to the return of a movie review feature I first launched nearly 35 years ago on another radio station, but which now will form part of WGBF's new blog content that will be a regular feature of this site from now on. "Story at the Movies" will be here occasionally when I happen to see a new movie I love, whether in a theater, on dvd, cable or Netflix. However, today I'd like to comment on a film everyone else seems to love and I loathed:  "Black Swan,"

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George Clooney
Alex Wong/Getty Images
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This Week’s DVD Releases

Each week, NewsTalk 1280 will highlight some new releases out on DVD. For this week, we have a George Clooney flick, a drama on a historic gangster and many more. Check out this weeks releases below.

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