Lunchtime Links: February 2, 2010

Punxatawney Phil, the world’s most famous groundhog, predicted six more weeks of winter this morning when he saw his shadow.

“Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” both garnered nine Academy Award nominations this morning to lead the pack for the 2010 Oscars field. “The Blind Side,” a film with Christian overtones about the childhood of an inner-city football player, earned nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress for Sandra Bullock. The ceremony will be held March 7.

The new film “Extraordinary Measures” with Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford features the remarkable story of John and Aileen Crowley and their search for a cure to their children’s degenerative muscular disorder known as Pompe Disease. If it were a piece of fiction the story would still be worth telling as Fraser – playing Crowley — uses his business acumen to cajole Ford’s biological researcher character into developing a life-saving treatment.

A Baptist group from Idaho is being detained in Haiti and facing possible child trafficking charges. Haiti’s prime minister said Monday the 10 Americans did not have the necessary documentation and were trying to sneak a busload of children over the border with the Dominican Republic.

The success of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and rise in the interest of mixed martial arts has led to a growth of churches and ministries which use the brawling bout as a drawing card for young men.

The Indianapolis Colts are preparing for a major subtraction from their defense Sunday in Super Bowl XLIV as defensive end Dwight Freeney will likely see limited action due to torn angle ligaments. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints claim they remain calm, cool and collected facing the franchise’s first appearance in football’s ultimate showcase.

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