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20 September 2020

Genovation Cars Announces Design Competition Winners

Genovation Cars Announces Design Competition Winners
Genovation Cars Announces Design Competition Winners (Credit: Job Skandera)
Genovation Cars Inc. in collaboration with the College for Creative Studies, announces the scholarship winners and their designs of a reimagined exterior for Genovation's GXE all-electric supercar, currently holding the world speed record of 211.8mph which was witnessed and certified by the International Mile Racing Association (IMRA).


  • First Place: $3,000 – Job Skandera
  • Second Place: $1,000 – Raymond Gonet Jr.
  • Third Place: $750 – Benjamin Treinen
  • Honorable Mention: $250 – Dane Hamilton
  • Honorable Mention: $250 – Ali Shoghimojarad
Genovation Cars Announces Design Competition Winners
Genovation Cars Announces Design Competition Winners (Credit: Job Skandera)


  • The winning design were judged based on these criteria:
  • Defines a unique American exotic supercar
  • Avoids encumbering high performance aerodynamics
  • Reflects Genovation's commitment to innovation, creativity, and cutting-edge electric vehicle technology


  • Andrew Saul, CEO of Genovation Cars, Inc.
  • Julie Barnard, President of Centigrade Inc.
  • Ken Lingenfelter, Owner and President of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, Lingenfelter Motor Sports, and the Lingenfelter Collection
  • Gordon Platto, Design Director, NA Ford Cars and CUV's
  • Ed Welburn, General Motors Vice President of Global Design (retired), Movie Executive Producer, Member of the CCS Board of Trustees
Genovation Cars Announces Design Competition Winners
Genovation Cars Announces Design Competition Winners (Credit: Job Skandera)
"I am honored to be a part of this extraordinary opportunity from Genovation Cars and The College for Creative Studies. This design challenge has helped me grow immensely, and I'm looking forward to learning more in continuing through development," said Job Skandera. "I want to thank Genovation and CCS for the scholarship and the recognition. All the glory belongs to God, who's hand gives every beautiful and perfect thing."
"The Genovation Team was extremely impressed with the submissions," said Andrew Saul, CEO of Genovation Cars, Inc. "The high level of creativity is a credit to the student's design sense and the role The College for Creative Studies played in mentoring these talented individuals. It was a great honor to be on a judging panel with such automotive luminaries. We very much look forward to future collaborations."
"The College for Creative Studies Transportation Design Department wishes to extend their gratitude for this competition offered by Genovation. The brief, based on adherence to an existing platform, was a significant real-world experience for our students and recent graduates. I am proud to say they rose to the challenge. Also, many thanks go out to the panel of prestigious judges that brought so much richness to the experience. In addition to becoming a valuable portfolio piece for these rising stars, having the opportunity to present to you and receive your valuable feedback was an honor they will hold in their hearts as they transition into their professional careers." 
Paul Snyder, Paul & Helen Farago Chair of Transportation Design.
Genovation Cars Announces Design Competition Winners
Genovation Cars Announces Design Competition Winners (Credit: Job Skandera)

About Genovation GXE

The GXE was designed from the ground up to have a low center of gravity and near 50/50 weight distribution: a true driver's car. The GXE also comes equipped with a programmable active suspension, carbon ceramic Brembo® brakes, state-of-the-art carbon fiber wheels supplied by Carbon Revolution, ultra-high fidelity 10-speaker JBL stereo, a 10.4-inch custom high definition center console touchscreen and bespoke exterior and interior. The all-electric supercar comes available with either a 7-speed manual – an all-electric supercar category exclusive – or an 8-speed paddle shift automatic transmission.

In normal driving operation, the Genovation GXE delivers a range of more than 175 miles on a full battery charge, imperative to ultra-high performance and efficient daily-driver convenience.

The Genovation GXE will be produced in a limited-edition run of 75 units, with initial customer deliveries scheduled in 2021.

Genovation Cars Announces Design Competition Winners
Genovation Cars Announces Design Competition Winners (Credit: Job Skandera)

About College for Creative Studies

Located in the heart of Detroit and ranked third among U.S. art and design colleges by LinkedIn for alumni success, the College for Creative Studies (CCS) is a world-class institution that educates artists and designers to be leaders in the creative professions. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls more than 1,400 students pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees.

Students in the BFA program can major in Advertising Design, Communication Design, Crafts, Entertainment Arts, Fashion Accessories Design, Fine Arts, Illustration, Interior Design, Photography, Product Design, and Transportation Design, in addition to a dual major Art Education program. Students in the MFA program can major in Color and Materials Design, Interaction Design, Integrated Design, and Transportation Design.

Genovation Cars Announces Design Competition Winners
Genovation Cars Announces Design Competition Winners - First Place: Job Skandera (Credit: Job Skandera)

19 September 2020

Signs You Need Healthier Personal Boundaries

Signs You Need Healthier Personal Boundaries
Signs You Need Healthier Personal Boundaries (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)
You have boundaries, but they don’t seem to be working. You still feel like people are taking unfair advantage of you. Your self-esteem is taking constant hits, and the criticism is unending. What gives?
Chances are you need to take a hard look at your boundaries. Perhaps the ones that used to work, don’t anymore because you aren’t the same person. Or it’s time for a tune-up so that you can not only strengthen the boundaries you have but make them healthier at the same time.

What are (some of) the warning signs that your boundaries need work?

  • When someone bullies you, and you stay silent.
  • You agree to things you don’t agree with (such as political opinions) to avoid ‘rocking the boat.
  • You suffer from guilt anytime you do something for yourself
  • You feel invisible.
  • You constantly say ‘yes’ even when you want to say ‘no’ when people ask you to do things.
  • You’re the one who does all the giving in your relationships.
  • You give your time to people who don’t deserve it. 
  • When someone is in your personal space, you don’t say anything, despite how uncomfortable you feel. 
  • You don’t speak up when the joke isn’t funny - and it’s at your expense. 
  • People bully you, but you do nothing about it. 
  • You’re always playing the victim. 

  • People take you for granted. 
  • You worry all the time about what people think of you. 
  • When someone tells you to ‘do something for yourself’ you have no idea what to do. 
  • You over-share when talking to others about yourself. 
  • You take on other people’s guilt as though that will absolve them somehow. 
  • You’re in a career that was chosen for you, rather than in one that you want to do (such as working in a family business you had no desire to be part of)
  • You don’t speak up when someone touches you physically even though you don’t want to be touched. 
  • You wind up in relationships with controlling individuals. 
  • You see yourself as the ‘sacrifice.’ 
  • You feel like people won’t like you if you don’t do things for them. 
  • You use actions as currency with people by doing things in hopes that they will someday do something for you in return (that day never comes, does it?
  • You tend to manipulate people to get your needs met 
  • Reading this list is making you uncomfortable because you’ve already recognized more than one thing on it that sounds like you.
It is a daunting list.

The good news is, there is room for you to change. Remember, boundaries are always a good idea. Making sure that the boundaries are healthy is crucial to your development into the individual you’ve always been meant to become. 

Signs You Need Healthier Personal Boundaries
Signs You Need Healthier Personal Boundaries (Photo by Naveen Annam from Pexels)
  • By checking your boundaries periodically, you will likely see places that need work. But you’ll also see where you can do things to keep them strong and healthy enough to serve you going forward. 
It might seem like a lot of effort on your part, but in the end, don’t you think you’re worth it? With that in mind, it’s time to get down to work. You’ve got this!

18 September 2020

David Oyelowo, Olivia Washington, Barry Pepper And Jimmie Fails To Star In 'Solitary'

David Oyelowo, Olivia Washington, Barry Pepper And Jimmie Fails To Star In 'Solitary'
David Oyelowo, Olivia Washington, Barry Pepper And Jimmie Fails To Star In 'Solitary' (image via BRON Studios)
BAFTA, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo (Selma), Olivia Washington (The Butler), Emmy award winner Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan) and Jimmie Fails (The Last Black Man in San Francisco) will star in writer/director Nate Parker's next feature film Solitary from BRON Studios. 

  • The film begins production next week in Vancouver, British Columbia.
After a wrongfully imprisoned man (Oyelowo) endures the mental torture of seven years of solitary confinement he is released into a world in which self-isolation is the new normal. As he tries to rebuild a life with his fiancé (Washington) and son, he is plagued by deep-seated trauma which creates unimaginable danger for both him and the family he's battling to protect.
Solitary is the latest project from BRON in their continuing mission to bring socially conscious and underrepresented stories to the forefront of cinema. BRON believes that these narratives must be captivating and compelling while also empowering, so that we may shape our communities and our future for the better.

David Oyelowo, Olivia Washington, Barry Pepper And Jimmie Fails To Star In 'Solitary'
David Oyelowo (Photo Credit: Kevin Scanlon)
David Oyelowo's credits include Golden Globe nominated performances in Selma and the HBO drama Nightingale. Additional credits include the mini-series Les Misérables, The Queen of Katwe, and Lee Daniels' The Butler

  • His feature directorial debut, The Water Man, premiered at this year's Toronto Film Festival to critical acclaim.
David Oyelowo, Olivia Washington, Barry Pepper And Jimmie Fails To Star In 'Solitary'
Olivia Washington (Photo Credit: John Keon)
Olivia Washington was most recently in The Public Theater's presentation of Much Ado About Nothing. She is also known for her work in Lee Daniels' The Butler and guest performances on Empire, Madoff, Mr. Robot, and Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It

  • She will next been seen in Joel Coen's upcoming Shakespeare adaptation, The Tragedy of Macbeth, from Scott Rudin and A24, as well as the John Lee Hancock thriller The Little Things from Warner Bros.
David Oyelowo, Olivia Washington, Barry Pepper And Jimmie Fails To Star In 'Solitary'
Barry Pepper (Photo Credit: Matt Sayles, AP)
Barry Pepper has a history of taking on courageous and dramatic roles such as those in Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile and True Grit. He received an Emmy for his portrayal of Bobby Kennedy in The Kennedys and a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Roger Maris in the HBO sports drama 61*. 

  • Pepper can recently be seen in the disaster horror film Crawl.
David Oyelowo, Olivia Washington, Barry Pepper And Jimmie Fails To Star In 'Solitary'
Jimmie Fails (Photo Credit: Adam Newport-Berra)
Jimmie Fails starred in the critically acclaimed film The Last Black Man in San Francisco, which he co-wrote with his best friend and longtime collaborator, Joe Talbot. The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and won both the Directing Award and the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award. 

  • Fails can next be seen in acclaimed director Kornél Mundruczó's Pieces of a Woman, which recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival and was swiftly picked up by Netflix.

Nate Parker (The Birth of a Nation) is set to write, direct, and produce the feature with Aaron L. Gilbert (Bombshell) of BRON Studios, Christina Lee Storm (The Least of These) on behalf of Yoruba Saxon Productions and David Oyelowo (The Water Man). Jason Cloth (Joker) of Creative Wealth Media is executive producer.

The casting directors are Mary Vernieu (Knives Out, Looper, Silver Linings Playbook) and Michelle Wade Byrd (Bird Box, Girls Trip). The production designer is two-time Oscar nominee Jan Roelfs (Gattaca, Orlando). The director of photography is Elliot Davis (Out of Sight, The Birth of a Nation). The costume designer is Emmy nominee Christopher Hargadon (Once Upon a Mattress, The Umbrella Academy), and Kate Weiss (Shooter) has joined as first AD.

About BRON:

BRON is a worldwide media and entertainment company committed to furthering the art and craft of meaningful commercial storytelling. Focused on the strategic development, production and financing of original live-action and animated features, television and digital media content, BRON has been instrumental in more than 100 productions and has built a robust slate of upcoming projects across all platforms. 

The company's filmmaker-first approach, built on inclusion, innovation and respect, has helped BRON solidify creative relationships with elite talent from an array of backgrounds. 

The company's full roster of acclaimed releases includes Academy Award® winning films such as Bombshell, Roman J. Israel Esq., Fences, and the box-office record-breaking film Joker as well as Clint Eastwood's The Mule, Leave No Trace, The Willoughbys, Queen & Slim, The Way Back starring Ben Affleck, Greyhound starring Tom Hanks and Jason Reitman's The Front Runner and Tully, among others.

Upcoming film releases include Barry Levinson's Harry Haft, starring Ben Foster; Taylor Sheridan's Those Who Wish Me Dead, starring Angelina Jolie; David Lowery's The Green Knight, starring Dev Patel; Jordan Peele's Candyman; the Aretha Franklin biography Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson; Judas and the Black Messiah, starring Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the third collaboration with Jason Reitman.

BRON recently wrapped production on Måns Mårlind's 8-episode series, Shadowplay, starring Taylor Kitsch and Michael C. Hall.

Founded in 2010 by Aaron L. Gilbert and Brenda Gilbert, BRON Studios is headquartered in Vancouver, with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto.

17 September 2020

According to New Survey, 85% of Cat Owners Experience Therapeutic Benefits from Their Cat

Purina Cat Chow is donating $30,000 to Pet Partners to encourage the training and registration of therapy cat teams like Tommy the blind cat and his owner Christy.
According to a recent survey conducted by Purina Cat Chow, 85 percent of cat owners agree that they have had therapeutic benefits from their cats and that becoming a cat owner has improved their quality of life (86 percent). While three-fourths of cat owners agree that society does not understand the benefits of having a cat, nearly all (94 percent) agree that many people can benefit from spending time with cats.

Purina Cat Chow recognizes the benefits of cats as therapy animals and like Pet Partners wants to improve health and well-being through the human-animal bond, a mutually beneficial relationship that improves the physical, social, and emotional lives of both animals and people who interact with them regularly.
"While most people tend to associate therapy animals with dogs, cats also provide a variety of mental and physiological benefits," said Dr. Annie Valuska, Ph.D., senior pet behavior expert at Purina Cat Chow. "Cat owners often have lower stress levels than non-pet owners, which can improve blood pressure and cardiovascular health over time. Cats can also boost our mental health, decreasing feelings of loneliness and increasing a sense of purpose."
Purina Cat Chow's recent survey confirmed that while most (94 percent) pet owners associate dogs with animal-assisted therapy, only 41 percent of pet owners associate cats with therapy animals. 

  • However, more people, especially cat owners, understand the special benefits cats provide, with 72 percent of cat owners believing cats could be effective therapy partners and 60 percent interested in learning more about how their cat could potentially improve others' lives.
Cats of all kinds can become great therapy animals. Take Tommy the blind cat for example. Even after losing his sight, the eight-year-old tabby passed his therapy pet evaluation with excellence. Now, as a registered therapy cat with Pet Partners, he loves helping people of all ages with his handler, Christy Santoro.
"For pet owners seeking to keep their therapy cats healthy and prepared to serve their communities, it is important to ensure their cats receive balanced nutrition, like that found in Purina Cat Chow, in addition to plenty of rest between visits. It's also key for owners to keep the bond strong with their cats, prioritizing time for play and affection," adds Valuska.
According to New Survey, 85% of Cat Owners Experience Therapeutic Benefits from Their Cat (image via Catster)
As people spend more time at home with their cats, Purina Cat Chow and Pet Partners encourage cat owners to learn how to become a therapy animal team with your cat. Thanks in part to Purina Cat Chow's donation, Pet Partners is offering online training courses and discounted registration of therapy cat teams. Cats and cat owners can give back without even having to leave their homes. Together, Cat Chow and Pet Partners are working to enhance the well-being of local communities with the help of cats.

About Pet Partners:

Pet Partners is the national leader in demonstrating and promoting the health and wellness benefits of animal-assisted interventions. Since the organization's inception in 1977, the science proving these benefits has become indisputable. With more than 13,000 registered teams making more than 3 million visits annually, Pet Partners serves as the nation's most prestigious nonprofit registering handlers of multiple species as volunteer teams. Pet Partners teams visit with patients in recovery, people with intellectual disabilities, seniors living with Alzheimer's, students, veterans with PTSD, and those approaching end of life, improving human health and well-being through the human-animal bond. With the recent release of its Standards of Practice for Animal-Assisted Interventions and international expansion, Pet Partners is globally recognized as the industry gold standard. 

About the Survey:

This survey was conducted by Dynata on behalf of Purina Cat Chow. The survey was conducted among a sample size of 2,500 pet owners across the U.S. Data was collected between August 14-24, 2020 and was carried out online. These online surveys are not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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SOURCE: Purina Cat Chow

16 September 2020

Master of Horror Mick Garris Gets New Life in his Book 'These Evil Things We Do' with a Little Help from his Friends

Master of Horror Mick Garris Gets New Life in his Book 'These Evil Things We Do' with a Little Help from his Friends
Mick Garris' Those Evil Things We Do book cover
Prolific author/writer/director and horror icon, Mick Garris has released a collection of five spine-tingling tales. From a plastic surgeon with a uniquely disturbing approach to his job to a deranged child genius obsessed with his teacher, These Evil Things We Do: The Mick Garris Collection explores mankind's capacity for limitless evil—and how often that evil hides in plain sight.

For more than three decades the award-winning filmmaker, podcaster, writer and Founder of Nice Guy Productions has been behind countless memorable projects for both the big and small screens including Hocus Pocus, Sleepwalkers, The Fly II, *batteries not included, Riding the Bullet, Psycho IV, Critters 2, Nightmare Cinema, Tales from the Crypt, Amazing Stories, Freddy's Nightmares, The Stand, Masters of Horror and so many more.

He recently received some high praise from many of his legendary friends which had glowing things to say about his book. Those quotes include:

"When he's yearning about the tarnished tinsel underbelly of the town he knows (and clearly loves) the best, Mick Garris writes like a combination of Robert Bloch and James Ellroy, hardboiled noir with a ghostly little prink of the Devil's own pitchfork." -- Stephen King
"Mick's book speaks from a new place. He has found a voice and a vision which is both beguiling and gut-wrenching. Its confrontations with death and its cold methodologies perfectly placed in narratives in which nothing is what it seems, not even our own reflections. You have been an under-valued, under-celebrated literary presence for too long. Surely the time has come for your superb body of work to be seen for the unique achievement that it is. It will happen, of that I am sure." -- Clive Barker
"Mick Garris's well-written stories are all killer and unique and I recommend his collection, These Evil Things We Do, highly and without reservation. Gird your loins and bring a light snack, you'll be here a while, but it'll pass so quickly you'll be crying out for more. I wish there were a dozen more books of his stories, and so will you." -- Joe R. Lansdale
 "Mick Garris's creepy, claustrophobic tales feels like sitting in on a group therapy session with some of L.A.'s most damaged souls, each one whispering their own precisely detailed roadmap to their personal circle of hell right into your horrified ears." -- Grady Hendrix
"This excellent and disturbing collection from one of the singular talents in modern horror storytelling (across many platforms) finds Mick in a uniquely dark and cynical mood, with a pulp gallery of frustrated artists or one stripe or another who meet their doom in any number of macabre ways. Don't read just before bedtime!" -- Joe Dante, director of GREMLINS
Master of Horror Mick Garris Gets New Life in his Book 'These Evil Things We Do' with a Little Help from his Friends
Mick Garris
Previously only available in limited print-runs, this collection brings together four of Garris' works for the first time in a single volume, along with a brand new novella, so indulge your own inner monster and come along for these five fearsome tales of human wickedness… just don't be tempted to commit any evil deeds of your own.
SOURCE: Nice Guy Productions

Slot Machine Cheats That Don’t Work


Slot Machine Cheats That Don’t Work (Photo by Longxiang Qian from Pexels)

Unfortunately the history of gambling has always been marred by various opportunists who have tried to cheat their way to a win at every opportunity, something that is doubly annoying because it means there is less cash for the genuine gamblers in the world to compete for too. Whilst casino cheats in general are frustrating, it actually isn’t all bad when it comes to these miscreants, because they have helped the overall industry in certain ways too. 

You see, casinos have historically had to make sure they are cheat proof over the years, and that is more difficult than you might think if there is nobody actively trying to cheat. Take the world of slot machines, for example, these incredibly popular gambling games did have a profound problem with slot cheats back in the day, however it simply galvanised developers to make doubly sure that their games at Thor Slots were uncheatable. 

The coin on a string slot machine cheat 

One of the most famous slot machine cheats from back in the day that no longer works was the coin on a string slot machine cheat. As you might expect from the name, this involved drilling a hole through a coin and threading a piece of string through it, something that then resulted in the coin mechanism being able to be tricked. 

As soon as slot machine developers caught on to this trick they took steps to make it an option no more, something that was achieved by making the coin feeder mechanism more complex. 

The electro-magnetic slot machine cheat 

Another famous slot machine cheat that no longer works because of the good work done by developers is the electro-magnetic slot machine cheat. This involved using powerful electro-magnets to manually spin the metal reels in place to make winning combinations, something that was possible due to the thin plastic protecting the reels at the time. 

All slot machine engineers really had to do to combat this was to install thicker protective layers covering the reels, and when video slots arrived there was no need to worry about the problem anymore. 

Slot machine cheating from the inside 

One of the weirder and hopelessly ambitious old slot machine cheats actually involves climbing into the mechanism of the slot machine itself, hoping to either spin the reels into a winning combination, or simply make a smash and grab with the money already in the machine. 

And yes, this actually happened, with a woman once being found trapped inside a Las Vegas slot machine. Needless to say, this isn’t a cheat that actually works… 

The fake coin slot machine cheat 

Another popular way of trying to cheat a slot machine coin feeder mechanism was to use fake or foreign coins, something that delivered a fair amount of success with slots cheats, mainly because it was a very inconspicuous way of cheating. 

But you cannot hide these things forever, and it wasn’t long before slot engineers noticed the problem and took steps to rectify it.

15 September 2020

How To Be Daring and Stand Up to Others

How To Be Daring and Stand Up to Others
How To Be Daring and Stand Up to Others (Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels)
Were you ever bullied as a child? If so, it could be something that you carry with you into your adult years. You may yield to those who bark louder, so to speak. But, there are times when you need to stand your ground. These are the times to be daring and stand up to others.
  • You may feel like you are an easygoing person. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you are a person who would defer to others because you don’t want to make waves, this can be okay, in the right circumstances. But, if you do this all the time, you eventually will get trampled on with more important issues.
  • You do need to pick your battles. If you become the stronger person in your group, you run the risk of becoming bully-like yourself. In fact, this is something that can happen when people stand up to others for the first time. They take on the strong-willed persona and become that person they used to fear. The key is to be strong when it’s important and let the little stuff go by.
  • Also, let others have some wins. This shows strength and leadership. You will win people to your way of thinking as they won’t feel threatened by your presence. When you show your willingness to cede to them, you can develop a great working relationship going forward.
How To Be Daring and Stand Up to Others
How To Be Daring and Stand Up to Others (Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels)
  • When you do take a stand, make sure that you do it respectfully. If you don’t, you risk losing respect from everyone around and not just the person you are going up against. Whenever possible, try to find an arrangement where both you and the other party wins. The person will see that they can’t take advantage of you, while at the same time, they don’t lose out in the interaction.
  • Not everyone will take your newfound strength well. That’s okay. As long as you do everything you can to try and work with them, you will be the bigger person. He or she may have issues with you, but at least they know you aren’t willing to back down on the bigger issues. You also will find people need time and may come around after a while. Your relationship won’t be the same, but that could be for the best.
  • Try to keep anger out of the picture because it makes people react in ways they later regret. It’s okay to be firm when dealing with others, but there’s no reason to elevate the situation to the point where you start getting personal.
How To Be Daring and Stand Up to Others
How To Be Daring and Stand Up to Others (jmage via Pexels)

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14 September 2020

Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Goes Global to Help Orphan Pets [Video Included]

Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Goes Global to Help Orphan Pets
Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Goes Global to Help Orphan Pets (image via Helen Woodward Animal Center)
Despite the pandemic's effect on all regularly scheduled frivolity this year, Helen Woodward Animal Center held its signature event, the Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon sponsored by Blue Buffalo, this past Sunday, September 13th. 

The 15th annual competition looked a bit different in 2020, with the necessary kibosh placed on a gathering that unites thousands of fans and participants at Del Mar Dog Beach each surf season. However, a new, on-line twist to the competition revealed an exciting silver lining – over 80 paw-some participants (from San Diego and as far away as New York, Honolulu, Japan, England, and Brazil) came together to reveal their love for surfing pups and to support orphan pets. 

  • Starting early August, Helen Woodward Animal Center's Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon PAWticipants took to the beach with their favorite humans. 
  • Registered in one of five weight classes for the virtual surf contest, sponsored by Petco Foundation, comPETitors submitted videos of their best wave (filmed between 8/6-9/6).
  • Last week, a panel of judges including Sunshine Makarow, long-time Surf Dog judge, former US surf team member and Founder/Publisher of Surf Life for Women magazine; Mark Richards, life-long surfer and proud rescue dog owner; and Lisa Scarpa, surf aficionado and dog mom to HWAC alum Max, analyzed the surFUR "best wave" videos for length of ride, wave technique, and enthusiasm and confidence on the board. 
  • Titles were given to the best surFUR in each weight class, with the top competitors in each weight class given a second viewing by surf judges for the "Best Overall" titles. 
 All video footage was compiled into an official Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon video, which premiered yesterday morning with winners announced.
Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Goes Global to Help Orphan Pets
Rescue Sugar takes this year’s title of “First Overall” in Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, sponored by Blue Buffalo.
  • Leading the pack of phenomenal surfing-Fidos this year was rescue-dog Sugar, who has 25 surfing awards to her name and claimed this year's title of "First Overall." 
  • 5-year-old Labrador Charlie Surfsup came in "Second Overall," 
  • and TV and Instagram famous Surf Gidget the Pug came in "Third Overall."
5-year-old Labrador Charlie Surfsup wins “Second Overall” in Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, sponored by Blue Buffalo.
The surFUR competitors' "best wave" videos also received on-line votes from the viewing public to select their favorite surfing dog. Surf Gidget the Pug, with over 4,000 votes, scored highest for the "People's Choice Surfing Dog" award. 

Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Goes Global to Help Orphan Pets
Surf Gidget the Pug wins “Third Overall” in Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, sponored by Blue Buffalo.
  • Petco's Free Style surf competition (where costumes, flair and creativity points weigh in beyond mere athleticism) was another way SurFUR pups could compete in this year's Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon. Freestyle surf winners included: The Seven Pupmariners (Brandy the Pug, Carson Surf Dog, Derby California, Faith Surfs, Flofy Tiny Surfer, Rusty the Surfing Min Pin and Team Tristan) in 1st Place; Oak, Koa, Lee and Asako in 2nd Place; and Myriam & Rafael from Honolulu in 3rd Place.
For our land-loving pups, the competition was adorably "ruff" in the Couch Surfing Photo Contest, sponsored by Naturally Fresh. Entries came in from as far away as London, Brazil, New Orleans, Washington, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. 

Couch Surfing Photo Contest Judges included actress, Kristin Bauer, cartoonist and author, Patrick McDonnell, media personality, Larissa Wohl, and producer, Michael Levitt. 

  • Top winners included Frankie in a "Surfing through Dozer's Book" costume in 1st Place, Flofy Tiny Surfer from Brazil with her "Shark Surf-A-Thon Week" costume in 2nd Place, and Blackie with his "Couch-A-Bunga" costume in 3rd Place.
Of course at the heart of the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon is the cause. Thousands of dollars were raised by participants and surFUR fans with all proceeds supporting the pets and programs at Helen Woodward Animal Center. Topping the fundraisers was surfing-Bulldog Rothstein owned by John Garcia.
Perhaps most heartwarming of all, however, is the way these surFUR pups united people across the world at a time when "social-distance" has kept so many apart. It also serves to remind us that "man's best friend" can do phenomenal things.

The Video:

  • For more information on the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon visit or call 858-756-4117. You may also stop by Helen Woodward Animal Center at 6461 El Apajo Road, Rancho Santa Fe in Rancho Santa Fe.
SOURCE: Helen Woodward Animal Center

13 September 2020

How to Handle a Bully [Video Included]

How to Handle a Bully
How to Handle a Bully (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)
It’d be nice to think that once you’re out of school, you’d be done with bullies for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, that can be far from the truth, as anyone who’s ever had a bullying boss, co-worker or friend can attest.
We all know what bullying looks like as a kid: name calling, pushing, meanness, just to name a few. But how do you know that someone is an adult bully?
Often, in the name of security and keeping the peace, we may let bullying just roll off our back. But if someone you know is a bully, they may take subtle actions such as:

  • Ignoring you - This is a form of disrespect, and aims to control you by keeping you guessing and never knowing. You make a request or ask a question, and don’t get a response.
  • Being late, or not showing up at all - Again, this is another form of disrespect, but it can sometimes have more serious consequences, such as missing an important appointment or being late for a meeting.
  • Starting rumors - The bully that starts untrue rumors is seeking to sabotage you and your reputation. Seeing you react (or overreact) to hearing lies told about yourself is what they thrive on. 
  • Passive-aggressive behavior - Backwards compliments, deliberate procrastination, having to have the last word... these are all examples of passive-aggressive behavior that a bully might exhibit.
These are only a few examples of how a bully might act as an adult to control a situation. How you handle each situation is the key to taking away the bully’s power.
How to Handle a Bully
How to Handle a Bully (Photo by Josh Hild from Pexels)
First and foremost, if you find yourself being bullied a lot as an adult, take a close look at whether you’re playing the victim. Due to your upbringing, you may not even realize that you’re doing it, but often, a bully will instinctively aim for the person who already has a victim mentality. If that’s you, you’ll need to learn to stand up for yourself and become more assertive in the face of the bully.

If all else fails, simply separate yourself from the bully. This may be more difficult to accomplish in a work situation, but be creative, and try to create space between you and the bully. The less you are around them, the less harm they can do.

Also, try to remember that most bullies end up that way because of low self-esteem and a fragile sense of self-worth. By asserting yourself, you take away the bullies power, and maybe... just maybe... you’ll show them that they don’t have to be that way.

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9 September 2020

'Apocalypse Love Story' is a Film the World Needs Today [Trailer Included]

'Apocalypse Love Story' is a Film the World Needs Today
"Apocalypse Love Story" trailer released by award-winning director Justin Wilder Neese
Award-winning director and producer Justin Wilder Neese has released the trailer for his upcoming independent feature film "Apocalypse Love Story."
The story revolves around two 8-year-old children – a Caucasian girl and African American boy, who are the sole survivors of an ecological worldwide apocalypse. Their struggle to survive and dependence on each other sets them on a journey of self-discovery, friendship and love.
Sam was the daughter of a survivalist father, possessing the knowledge and skills to survive on her own. James is the survivor of domestic abuse. Despite his kind, brave heart, he lacks any survival skills. Each character battles the overwhelming loneliness of this desolate world – until one fateful day they meet.

Sam is played by 11-year-old actress Kayden Tokarski with 10-year-old actor Byron McCray in the role of James. The movie also features cameos by actress and model Jena Sims, celebrity trainer Corey Calliet, and actress Sage Kirkpatrick. 

'Apocalypse Love Story' is a Film the World Needs Today [Trailer Included]
'Apocalypse Love Story' - Two kids are the sole survivors of an ecological worldwide apocalypse
"Our protagonists are children whose journey is essentially an uplifting and inspiring tale: One where there is no prejudice or hate – only the harsh environment around them and a growing reliance on each other," said Director Justin Wilder Neese. "Their minds are uncynical and unbiased … children see each other like we should see each other – as equals. This film tells a story that is full of hope, something today's society is clearly desperate for, and it's message is one the world needs right now."
  • Los Angeles-based Neese is the award-winning director of "Hummingbird" and "Glass of Scotch."

The Trailer:

  • "Apocalypse Love Story" is set to be released by early January 2021.

Bonus Video:

  • For more information follow Apocalypse Love Story on Instagram at @apocalypselovestory and Twitter at @apocalypseloves.
SOURCE: Justin Wilder Neese

6 September 2020

"My Brothers' Crossing" - A Faith Based Film On Racial Reconciliation - Premiers In US Theaters Despite Covid-19 [Trailer Included]

"My Brothers' Crossing" - A Faith Based Film On Racial Reconciliation - Premiers In US Theaters Despite Covid-19
"My Brothers' Crossing" official movie poster. It features Daniel Roebuck, James Black, Marsha Dietlein, Joe Estevez and Eliza Roberts.
"My Brothers' Crossing" is a spiritually uplifting film that depicts a true story about a black pastor that unintentionally has a head on collision with his car into a motorcycle killing a white couple shortly after the Missouri riots in August 2014. 
My Brothers' Crossing is based on the book, "In the Blink of an Eye: Forgiveness in Black and White" and tells the story of the tragic death of motorcycle bikers Bobby and Pam Clark. The story unfolds from the perspective of Bobby's brother, J.T. Clark, of whose on-screen character is played by award-winning actor Daniel Roebuck (The Fugitive, Getting Grace). Clark eventually forgives C.J. Martin, the black man who killed his brother and is played by veteran actor James Black (Godzilla, Days of our Lives).

The story dives deeper than just forgiveness, it also chronicles the journey of J.T.'s salvation during the turmoil of losing his brother. Clark stated that it's like one of those stories you wouldn't believe unless it happened to you.

  • Movieguide gives the movie 3 out of 4 stars and says it's an inspiring story about the power of forgiveness, loving your neighbor and the importance of God.
The movie transcends human forgiveness and redemption, a much needed story amidst the current coronavirus pandemic, protests and economic chaos currently in the US today. Film director Ricky Borba says the film couldn't have come out at a better time.
"The film was initially set to premiere in theaters last fall, but we are very thankful it was delayed and is hitting theaters now when this country so desperately needs healing across all racial lines." Borba went on to say, "I really believe God saved the film to premier for such a time as this."
  • Actor Black was moved by not just the forgiveness element of the story, but also said, "the fact that after the Clark family forgave the Martin family, they loved them unconditionally."
Borba said that he only had about two weeks to prepare for the directing of the movie, where his prior directorial debut faith based film, "The Talking Tree", he had 18 months to prepare. Having such a short period of time to prepare created a unique set of challenges but he said it also created an incredible bond among the crew to work together as a team. Borba beamed that he couldn't be more proud of the performances on screen and behind the scenes.
One thing he couldn't foresee was how many life-saving doors God would open on such short timing during the shoot. Borba's favorite example was when the production crew needed to film at the local courthouse on short notice, and thankfully, the court allowed the crew to use the courthouse without interruption for the day. That allowed them to stay on their shooting schedule without delay. Borba was thankful to the Lord.
The movie was produced by Tony and Edna White, and executive produced by Reverend Samuel Rodriquez, who co-produced the film "Breakthrough" in 2019. Rodriguez says the story of forgiveness is timely in a way that cannot be mere coincidence.
"Especially at a time when we are confronted with the unresolved problem of racism in America, our nation needs to remember that forgiveness can eclipse our racial divisions and heal even our deepest wounds." Rodriquez continued, "I am honored to be part of such a powerful and compelling film, one that shares the hope of transformation for individuals and entire communities through the power of Jesus Christ."

The Trailer:

  • My Brothers' Crossing is being distributed by Atlas Distribution and will open in several hundred Regal and AMC theaters across the US starting Thursday September 3rd.

Tickets for the film can be purchased here:

SOURCE: Ricky Borba

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