Film's Writer-Producer Explodes 4 Myths About Bodybuilding

Myths abound about the subculture of bodybuilding, a sport that took off with the explosion of the health-and-fitness industry in the 1970s.

Back then, the public knew even less about these extreme and dedicated athletes until the release of a breakthrough docudrama in 1977, "Pumping Iron," produced by Jerome Gary and featuring a champion named Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The film has long fascinated Vlad Yudin, writer, director, producer and principal of The Vladar Co. He has been busy on multiple film projects this year, but right now his focus is the Sept. 20 release of "Generation Iron," created with "Pumping Iron" producer Gary and narrated by Mickey Rourke. (Visit to watch the trailer and get showtimes.)

Yudin spent months with the seven bodybuilders featured in the docudrama as they prepared for the Mr. Olympiad contest. He says he came away with an appreciation of how little the public still knows about the sport and the athletes who so compulsively pursue physical perfection.  For one, many people believe bodybuilding is about size - not true.

"It's about developing symmetry," he says.

Here are four myths he says are rampant in literature about bodybuilders, and why they're not true.

• Myth No. 1: Bodybuilders suffer from "negative body image," or "reverse anorexia." Many observers have written that bodybuilders are driven by an eating disorder known as reverse anorexia: No matter how big they get, when they look in the mirror, they still see a skinny wimp. Not true, says Yudin. "The whole point of this sport is to perfect the physique - the goal is to develop perfect symmetry, not to get as big as you can be. These guys are striving for a perfect score in competition. If they see a weak spot, they're going to work on building that up."

• Myth No. 2. Bodybuilders depend on steroids to achieve results. Steroids do not make champions, Yudin says. Bodybuilding champs are athletes so dedicated to constantly consuming the right nutrients on the right schedule and to working out, it becomes a lifestyle. "People think they're just pumping themselves up with steroids, but bodybuilding is a science that requires effort 100 percent of the time, Yudin says.

• Myth No. 3: Bodybuilders have low self-esteem. For some, this may have been true at one point in their lives, Yudin says. Some experienced bullying; others had acceptance issues. But most now have a healthy, even robust, sense of self-esteem. "You can see it in how they carry themselves. They don't do this because of a lack of confidence," he says. "If they did, they wouldn't be able to go on stage and be judged with such intense scrutiny on their physique. They've put in a lot of work and they know they look good." He gives the example of Phil Heath, one of the seven men featured in his film. Heath grew up as a talented athlete and played basketball for the University of Denver. "He started hitting the gym more to train, and became more interested in bodybuilding than basketball," Yudin says. The two-time Mr. Olympia knew he had talent from the get-go and took advantage of it, he says.

• Myth No. 4: Body builders are socially isolated. They get a rap because they dedicate their life to the gym and their diet, Yudin says. They eat every two to three hours and they're in the gym two to three times a day. You just don't see them out and about very often. "But four of the seven men we featured are married. A fifth lives with the mother of his children, and a sixth got married after we stopped shooting. Their family lives are a big part of the film," Yudin says. While he concedes bodybuilders have to be selfish to a degree in order to maintain their grueling schedule, that doesn't mean they're loners who avoid others.

"Branch Warren is a devoted family man who brings his daughter to competitions," Yudin says. "In the film, you see him carrying his daughter through the back stage."

About Vlad Yudin: Vlad Yudin is the principal of The Vladar Company, a media and entertainment production company. IMDb Profile:

Michel Shane, executive producer of Catch Me If You Can and I, Robot, has forged an unusual collaborative alliance with the Chinese government, artists, investors, and Japan's Genco Inc. and Flamingo Features to produce an epic television series based on The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

Filming will commence July 14 in historical locations throughout China under the direction of Executive Producer Hu Mei (Confucius), one of that nation's leading filmmakers.

"This will be the first time The Art of War has ever been done in the West as a film or TV series, and it's unique in that the complete series is being shot in China," Shane says.

Adds Taro Maki, founder of Genco Inc., a Japanese studio best known for its anime productions: "Our full-fledged multinational collaboration stems from a mutual respect for Sun Tzu and his masterpiece. Here is an undefeated general whose lessons remain as important today as they were 2,500 years ago. We want to honor his story and share his wisdom."

Sun Tzu, considered the greatest military commander in history, penned The Art of War around 525 B.C. It is one of history's most enduring texts and today is required reading in the curricula of military, business, economic and political science classes around the globe.

The series will cover the life of Sun Tzu, his contemporaries and their exploits, and explore the events that may have provided the foundation for lessons shared in The Art of War. Following the timeline of the final war between Wu and Ch'u, each episode will take the viewer farther across the battlefields of ancient China as Sun Tzu leads his outnumbered army to victory after victory. The life stories of Sun Tzu and those who influenced him will interspersed in the form of memories.

The Municipal People's Government in China has created a government board to oversee production matters, and each episode will be directed by various internationally acclaimed directors.

"This marks a new day," Maki says. "We're entering an era of true co-production, which holds tremendously exciting potential from many perspectives -- cultural, economic and political."

About Michel Shane: Michel Shane is a filmmaker, producer and co-founder of Hand Picked Films. He's best known as the executive producer of "Catch Me If You Can" and "I, Robot," along with his business partner Anthony Romano. One of motion pictures' premier independent producers, he specializes in financial structuring and feature film development. In recent years, he has worked with Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Will Smith, among others.

About Tari Maki: Tari Maki is president of Genco, Inc., a Japanese anime production studio established in 1997 in Tokyo, Japan. Genco has produced more than 100 titles of animation TV series and films including Sword Art Online, Elfen Lied and Tokyo Godfathers. From financing, studio booking to merchandising, Genco provides a wide range of production service for audiovisual projects.

About Flamingo Features: Flamingo Features has played a crucial financial and creative role in nearly 100 film, television and documentary projects throughout Asia. Flamingo Features manages content distribution rights for video on demand (VOD) and multi-media platforms to more than 70 million subscribers in Latin America and Japan. The company manages an active International Film Fund of nearly $1 billion dollars.

The Rock Island Library has partnered with the University of Illinois Extension on an opinion survey to learn how we can better serve you as residents of the Quad Cities region. The purpose of the study is to gain a better understanding of how the public accesses library services, determine what services are of interest, and understand public perception about our organization.

If you've previously taken a City of Rock Island survey, please note that this is a separate study, one that focuses on library questions and perceptions only. We would appreciate a few minutes of your time on these questions as well.

Individual survey responses are anonymous and confidential and will be viewed only by University of Illinois Extension staff. Results of the survey will be available to you. Please complete the survey by  Oct. 5, 2013.

To complete the survey online,copy and paste this link into your web browser: visit our website, and click on the Rock Island Public Library Opinion Survey link.

If you prefer to take a paper copy of the survey, it is attached to this newsletter email.  Please print the survey, fill it out and  return it in a sealed envelope to any of  the dropboxes at  our three library locations (Main, 30/31 and Southwest Branches.)  You may also pick-up a blank copy of the survey at our Information Desks.

Thanks for letting us know what you think! Angela Campbell, Rock Island Library Director

Survey development funded by Rock Island Community Foundation.

This newsletter will bring you up to date with new services, events and people at your Rock Island Public Library. Want to know more? Check out our online calendar or pick up a printed monthly calendar at Rock Island Libraries.

Library Lines Fall 2013 (PDF)

Thanks to an extensive new partnership with WVIK-Augustana Public Radio, this season's Signature Series has expanded to five concerts. Each concert is to be performed in Augustana College's Wallenberg Hall and rebroadcast on WVIK the following Sunday.


Tickets for these concerts can be purchased online at, at 563.322.QCSO (7276), or at the door.


Sunday, September 15, at 3:00 p.m.

Rachmaninoff Sonata for Piano and Cello
Saeunn Thorsteindottir, cello; Benjamin Loeb, piano

Sunday, November 10, at 3:00 p.m.
Sponsored by The Planning Center
Quad City Arts Visiting Artist

Sunday, January 26, at 3:00 p.m.
Mozart Woodwind Quintet
Christine Bellomy, clarinet; Benjamin Coelho, basson;
Mary Neil, piano; Andrew Parker, oboe; Marc Zyla, horn

Saturday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m.
Amadeus Trio
Sponsored by Wheelan-Pressly Family of Funeral Homes
Quad City Arts Visiting Artist

Sunday, May 18, 3:00 p.m.
Bartok Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano
Naha Greenholtz, violin
Kyle Knox, clarinet
Benjamin Loeb, piano

"American Graduate Day 2013," Live National Multiplatform Event to Keep Students on the Path to Graduation,

Premieres September 28 on WQPT

Featuring local and national programming, community partners, and celebrities focused on solutions to the nation's high school dropout crisis

Local Broadcast to Showcase WQPT's Efforts to Address the Needs of At-Risk Kids

MOLINE, IL -- "American Graduate Day 2013" will premiere live at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 on WQPT, marking a long-term commitment to helping communities tackle the nation's dropout crisis and preparing students for success with a high school diploma. Through the power and reach of public media, communities across the county will be invited to take an active role and become an "American Graduate Champion" for local youth by volunteering their time, talent, or other resources.

"American Graduate Day 2013," a multi-platform event featuring local and national programming, community partners and celebrities focused on improving the high school graduation rates in America, will be broadcast and streamed live from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City. "American Graduate Day" is part of the public media initiative, "American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen,"made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). WQPT will spotlight local organizations and individuals and the work they are doing in the community to help students graduate from high school.

The key component of the event is the participation of the community-based organizations, including such groups as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, City Year, Horizons National and the United Way.


"'American Graduate Day 2013' offers WQPT the opportunity to build upon our work with the United Way and Achieve Quad Cities.  We want to keep the spotlight on the drop-out crisis and all of the ways we can help to turn it around," said Mary Pruess, General Manager.

American Graduate Day 2013 features a seven-hour "call to action" marathon focused around critical themes: expanded learning time and after-school programs, early education, mentoring, career readiness and college completion, STEM programs, family support and drop-out re-engagement and prevention. Hosted by on-air personalities from PBS, WNET and other media organizations, the broadcast and online event will be divided into 14 half-hour blocks featuring a mix of live breaks and pre-taped partner segments showing how community organizations provide support, advice, and intervention services to at-risk students, families, and schools. Within each of these half-hour blocks, WQPT will customize the national feed with a locally-produced live or pre-taped seven-minute segment.

On, the event will include live viewer-generated video content submitted in response to questions such as "How has your life changed, or been changed by the power of volunteering?"

Throughout the day, viewers and online users will be invited to become American Graduate Champions by connecting with WQPT and the featured local community organizations. Viewers will be encouraged to participate in the event by asking questions and sharing ideas before and during the broadcast on Twitter using the hashtag #AmGrad and on Facebook. Those interested in becoming an "American Graduate Champion" can also call the toll-free number on the day of broadcast or log on to to find out more about the national and regional organizations.

Visit the "American Graduate Day" at for more information.


About WQPT

WQPT is celebrating 30 years as the local PBS station for eastern Iowa and western Illinois.  WQPT is the media service of Western Illinois University located in Moline, Illinois.


American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen is helping local communities identify and implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. American Graduate demonstrates public media's commitment to education and its deep roots in every community it serves. Beyond providing programming that educates, informs and inspires, public radio and television stations ? locally owned and operated ? are an important resource in helping to address critical issues, such as the dropout rate. In addition to national programming, more than 75 public radio and television stations in 33 states have launched on-the-ground efforts working with community and at risk youth to keep students on-track to high school graduation. More than 1000 partnerships have been formed locally through American Graduate, and CPB is working with Alma and Colin Powell's America's Promise Alliance and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.



MOLINE, IL - The WQPT-PBS Ambassadors have been selected to receive the Grassroots Advocacy Award for 2013 from the National Friends of Public Broadcasting (NFPB). A part of the mission of NFPB is to showcase outstanding public broadcasting volunteers, volunteer-led programs, and volunteer program managers from across the nation.

The WQPT-PBS Ambassadors, which is in its ninth year, is a student-oriented program focused on community outreach efforts, as well as fundraising support. The 2013 ambassadors are from Western Illinois University, Augustana College, Black Hawk College, Monmouth College, St. Ambrose University, University of Northern Iowa and St. Francis College of Nursing.

"We understand the importance of being active in our community, but sometimes that can be difficult with a small staff," said Bea Brasel, WQPT special projects coordinator. "We rely on our student ambassadors to represent WQPT in the community to help build reading, science and math skills through our programming. We are delighted that our WQPT-PBS Ambassadors have received this national honor."

The ambassadors will be honored at a ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Riverfront campus.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University located in Moline, Illinois.


A beloved TV news anchor who got tired of being "the mouthpiece for the daily human tragedy" and a popular international speaker are the hosts of a unique new TV series, "Angels in the Neighborhood."

Beverly Kidd left TV news two years ago and launched a successful career in real estate. Robert Van Arlen is a keynote speaker, emcee and concert pianist who volunteers his talents for several charities. The two just wrapped production of the show's pilot, said series creator and co-executive producer Jim Lindsey.

"We're telling true, compelling stories to introduce the American public to the real human angels in their neighborhoods," says Lindsey, who has developed numerous primetime TV specials, network series and major motion pictures while serving as vice chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide. "But that's just one aspect of this project. We want to create a grassroots movement of Angel copycats, if you will. We also plan to donate10 percent of profits from the show to the Angels we discover."

The production is inspired and funded by John Shimer, a director of the charitable corporation Fortune Family Foundation.

"Angels in the Neighborhood," produced by Angel Wings Entertainment of Los Angeles, answers a prayer for co-host Kidd.

"For 10 years, I read the evening news in Phoenix and realized that I didn't want to be the mouthpiece for the daily human tragedy," she says. "So in 2011, I left my job and went into real estate. I didn't think I'd work in TV again because it wasn't fulfilling."

When she was invited to co-host "Angels in the Neighborhood," she immediately said yes.

"I love the idea of creating not just a TV show but a culture, a movement of people helping people. I can't tell you how many people used to ask me, 'Why can't you tell positive stories on the news?' This is what viewers have been asking for."

Van Arlen, meanwhile, says the show aligns perfectly with his core values.

"I believe in building inspirational communities one person at a time," he says. "This is an amazing opportunity to inspire others to get involved with local charities all over the country."

The company invites the public to submit nominations for Angel candidates by visiting

Visit; find it at or follow on Twitter, @AngelWingsTV.

MOLINE, IL -- If you want "real" reality television, look no further than WQPT and PBS.

CHI & Partners, a New York marketing and advertising agency, created a series of fake reality television trailers for public television, comparing absurd reality TV with the quality of public television programming. WQPT will air these trailers throughout October.

At the end of these trailers a plain and simple message is revealed, "The fact that you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV." According to WQPT General Manager Mary Pruess, the trailers are intended to make people realize that although they might occasionally indulge in reality-style programming, it's also important to support a public broadcasting station, which doesn't have a giant marketing force behind it and relies on its members to keep running.

"We saw these spots and thought they were very funny. We asked WNET in New York if they would be willing to allow us to share them with our audience," Pruess added. "While the message is intended as tongue-in-cheek, we want people to stop and think about the value that our public television station delivers to our communities, at no cost. We hope these spots will start a vibrant conversation about quality television and remind viewers why they should support local public television."

The trailers can also be viewed at and at

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University located in Moline, Ill.


Public Invited to Tour Unique C-SPAN Bus, Meet C-SPAN Representatives

Davenport area residents are invited to step aboard the C-SPAN Bus and take a FREE TOUR of a unique, interactive multi-media center.  

Thursday, August 22

11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Parked outside CASI  -- 1035 West Kimberly Road  --  Davenport

With a fresh new look, the C-SPAN Bus is kicking off a new tour season - bringing its digital Video Library and public affairs resources to Davenport.  Teachers, students and the public will enjoy this tour of a 45-foot bus that is unlike anything else - state-of-the-art digital media technology on wheels.  Learn about the First Ladies series or how to follow Washington Your Way - encourage students to participate in StudentCam (Iowa students earned national recognition in recent contests). Door prizes and great information for all visitors.   FREE & open to the public.

Mediacom is proud to sponsor C-SPAN's Iowa tour, with visits in Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Mason City.  C-SPAN is a non-partisan, non-profit cable network founded and funded by the cable industry.  Mediacom customers will find all THREE C-SPAN channels on local channel lineups.  Special thanks to the Center for Active Seniors, Inc. (CASI).

For more information, visit: or contact Mediacom's community relations office at 515-707-7148.

There were few settlers in the west until after the Civil War. When they arrived one of the first things they did was build a schoolhouse made out of logs. Soon rural education districts were developed and the need for teachers grew dramatically. The struggle to provide those teachers grew as rapidly. The story of education in Minnesota  followed along that line and Steve Grineski captures it in his new book We Were Pretty Darn Good.

Teddy Roosevelt said that the farmer was the back bone of America and the need for education was absolutely necessary. His words and subsequent Country Life Commission in 1909 spurred an impetus. Soon chalk and blackboard became common place in schoolhouses in countryside America and progressive education was underway. .The story is in Steve Grineski's new book We Were Pretty Darn Good recently published by History Publishing Company.

Paul Theobold, Dean of Education at Buena Vista University, knows a great deal about history and education and said of Steve Grineski's new book that "Utilizing sources ignored by the vast majority of historians who rush to document America's urban experience, he demonsrates that there was a time in America when the countryside mattered, when genuine efforts were made to tailor rural education to the circumstances of life."

Author Steve Grineski has documented those efforts and  uncovered a virtual  mother lode of information and fact that brings alive a remarkable time in America  adding to the legacy of the world of education and the nostalgic world of countryside America that added immeasurably to the  growth of the United States.

Steve Grineski started his teaching career in 1975 as an elementary teacher. In 1984 he joined the Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) faculty and in 1989 earned his doctorate from the University of North Dakota. We Were Pretty Darn Good 9781933909523 was published by History Published Company in May, 2013. It is also available in e-book 1-933909295.It is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble Booksellers, and fine bookstores everywhere.