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Forward thinking

By COLETTE BANCROFT
Published May 21, 2007


A STOP On the campaign, er, book tour trail

Whatever political side you're on, you'll find interesting reading in bookstores on Tuesday. In Al "No, Really, I'm Not Running" Gore's new book, The Assault on Reason, he shifts focus from the environment to what he calls the political climate of secrecy and fear, and examines its impact on democracy. The Reagan Diaries offers insight into the personal side of the late Ronald Reagan, the president all the current Republican presidential candidates mention the most.

Good prep for IRS forms, though

The Senate will buckle down this week to debate the immigration bill announced on Thursday. It sets out paths for citizenship and emphasizes job skills to qualify immigrants, but the rules, at least as they're proposed, are so complex we wonder how many current American citizens could figure them out.

After this, we'll be lost until January

Lost has lost viewers since its midseason hiatus, but for our money, those who dropped out are missing one of the show's best runs. The two-hour season finale, at 9 p.m. Wednesday on ABC, has the Losties bracing for invasion by the Others. It also has many questions to answer: Will wounded Locke, above, make it out of that skeleton-filled pit? Is Jacob an escapee from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride? Are the rumors about five more characters being bound for seaside graves true? And is Walt really coming back, and just how tall will he be?

A festival about Florida, unplugged

Organizers will be hoping the smoke blows the other way from White Springs when the Florida Folk Festival kicks off its 55th year Friday. The three-day celebration of old-school Florida features more than 200 concerts each day, with a wide variety of music that includes folk, bluegrass, blues, swing, norteno and Haitian pop. There are craft and music workshops and lots of down-home cooking; the folklife feature this year focuses on cattle ranching. For information, go to www.floridastateparks.org/folkfest.

Cake for ogres, wizards and octopi

It's birthday week for three actors who have played not-exactly-human characters in hit films. On Thursday, Alfred Molina Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2 turns 54. On Friday, Mike Myers (who voices Shrek) will be 44, and Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Magneto in the X-Men movies) will be 68.

By Colette Bancroft, Times staff writer, (727) 893-8435 or bancroft@sptimes.com.

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