Showing posts with label Campaigns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Campaigns. Show all posts

23 July 2021

#PodsPollute! - New Study Shows That Detergent Pods Are Contributing To Plastic Pollution

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#PodsPollute! - New Study Shows That Detergent Pods Are Contributing To Plastic Pollution
Laundry and dish detergent pods are polluting the environment. (Infographic: Charlie Rolsky and Plastic Oceans International)
A recent study by Plastic Oceans International and Arizona State University reveals that washing machine and dishwasher detergent pods are contributing to the plastic pollution problem, leaking large amounts of untreated PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) into the environment, and possibly into the human food chain.

  • The study stands as a clarion call to not only question how these products are marketed, but also how we legally define such terms as biodegradable and eco-friendly.
The objective of this study was to estimate the US nationwide emissions of PVA resulting from domestic use of laundry and dish detergent pods. Via extensive literature review, researchers Dr. Charlie Rolsky and Varun Kelkar, concluded that as much as 75% of PVA from these detergent pods goes untreated in the US. That's over 8,000 tons per year entering the environment.
"Because of water solubility, PVA turns into a solution, then goes down the drain, where the chances of it fully biodegrading are very low," said Rolsky, who serves as the Director of Science for Plastic Oceans International. "The pods can easily pass through wastewater treatment plants and travel to ecosystems beyond."
It is still not fully known how PVA behaves as a pollutant, but current research suggests that PVA particles can sequester heavy metals and alter gas exchanges, potentially causing dangerous shifts of oxygen or carbon dioxide – which could negatively impact ecosystems. Ethylene, contained within the chemistry of PVA, could interfere with crop yields, as many plants utilize it as a hormone, which influences diverse processes in plant growth, development and stress responses throughout the plant life cycle.

Preliminary findings of this study show that strict conditions must be met for PVA to fully biodegrade. This means these products are not fully capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms, and thus they cannot naturally return to the environment. The ongoing public perception is that the pods are eco-friendly and fully biodegrade, as is often claimed by their manufacturers.

#PodsPollute! - New Study Shows That Detergent Pods Are Contributing To Plastic Pollution
New Study Shows That Detergent Pods Are Contributing To Plastic Pollution (Image via Plastic Oceans International)
"This is an issue of truth-in-labeling," said Julie Andersen, CEO of Plastic Oceans International. "We recognize the rise in use of PVAs as a marketed 'eco friendly' and/or 'biodegradable' solution to other plastic polymers causing more harm. However, based on current research, we must question these claims of biodegradability and eco friendliness in order to prevent further environmental harm and to ensure that consumers are provided with factual product information."
  • As Andersen points out, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) clearly addresses marketing misinformation, including those that are directly related to false claims of environmental benefits.
The FTC Act states that the law "... acts in the interest of all consumers to prevent deceptive and unfair acts or practices. The Commission has determined that a representation, omission or practice is deceptive if it is likely to mislead consumers and affect consumers' behavior or decisions about the product or service. Marketers may make an unqualified degradable claim only if they can prove that the entire product or package will completely break down and return to nature within a reasonably short period of time after customary disposal."
#PodsPollute! - New Study Shows That Detergent Pods Are Contributing To Plastic Pollution
PVA pods are making into the environment and the food chain. (Photo: Shutterstock via Plastic Oceans International)
The study provides data needed in order to demand a closer look at how manufacturers are marketing their products to consumers. That's something we can act on now, but more is to be done on the research end. Dr. Rolsky says the next steps are to study the actual impact that PVA is having on the environment, better quantifying levels found in various ecosystems and identifying the consequences related to them, in addition to exploring how closely PVA behaves relative to more traditional plastics.

About Plastic Oceans International:

"A US-based non-profit organization working to end plastic pollution and to foster sustainable communities worldwide. We operate with the belief that we can and must act locally in order to create change globally, and we do so through the power of film and other content to empower and globalize community actions."

10 June 2021

"Procession", An Augmented-Reality Artwork Of Our Not-So-Distant Future, Debuts At The Tribeca Festival [Trailer Included]

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"Procession", An Augmented-Reality Artwork Of Our Not-So-Distant Future, Debuts At The Tribeca Festival [Trailer Included]
Procession (Tribeca Festival Poster)
Dustin Yellin, in collaboration with the National Wildlife Federation, Droga5, Squint/Opera, Q Department, Mach1 and Vrai Pictures, has announced the launch of Procession, a new interactive artwork that lets anyone in the world place a Dustin Yellin sculpture in their immediate environment and bring the art to life through complete explorative immersion, revealing hundreds of narratives within the piece. 

Set to debut globally at this year's Tribeca Festival, Procession is a groundbreaking augmented-reality (AR) app experience set in a utopian world where human-created climate change wreaks havoc as you watch.
Procession is one of the first fine-art AR projects based on a realized sculpture to combine animation, collage and archival footage into an explorative interactive soundscape. It presents our near future, a period of global unrest and environmental destruction, spurred by raging flood waters and massive wildfires. Humanity is faced with a choice: living in ignorance or uniting to preserve what's left of our planet.

"Procession", An Augmented-Reality Artwork Of Our Not-So-Distant Future, Debuts At The Tribeca Festival [Trailer Included]
Procession (Screengrab)
"My goal has always been to democratize art and create a living, breathing canvas that can be affected by every participant who touches it. Procession presents our near future, a period of global unrest and environmental destruction, spurred by raging flood waters and massive wildfires," said Dustin Yellin.
Through the accessibility of its art, Procession unites people in taking action to preserve our natural environment. Through education, awareness and a directive that links to National Wildlife Federation's nonprofit climate initiatives, Procession joins the fight to preserve our delicate ecosystem before we lose it.

"Procession", An Augmented-Reality Artwork Of Our Not-So-Distant Future, Debuts At The Tribeca Festival [Trailer Included]
Procession (Screengrab)
"The experience of becoming part of Dustin's art makes it clear that each of us has an impact on our planet and when we choose to take the steps necessary to protect wildlife and the natural world, we will be able to create a more equitable and sustainable planet for everyone," said Carey Stanton, Head of Innovation Partnerships for the National Wildlife Federation. "We are thrilled to be the wildlife conservation partner for Procession."
  • Procession was created in a unique collaboration of established creative and production partners including global creative agency Droga5, creative studio Squint/Opera, music studios Q Department and Mach1, and immersive design studio Vrai Pictures.
"Procession", An Augmented-Reality Artwork Of Our Not-So-Distant Future, Debuts At The Tribeca Festival [Trailer Included]
Procession (Screengrab)
"We've been working on this collaboration for quite some time, and it's a pleasure to see the work of Dustin, Droga5 and our partners finally realized in such a pure, impactful way," said Director of Innovation at Droga5 Justin Durazzo. "We're really excited to deliver this interactive art piece in our rapidly evolving tech and climate landscape and hope everyone—regardless of their age, beliefs or background—will relate to it."
"The partnership was driven by our desire to make this world more intricate and immersive, more fun and educational. Technology allowed us to add animation and special effects, social interactions and gaming achievements to create a brand new artwork that truly leverages the medium it is made with," said Director of Technology at Squint/Opera Elie Zananiri. "We are very proud of this collaboration and how the AR experience turned out."

Procession - The Trailer:


  • Procession is available on Apple iOS and Android (listed as Procession AR). To download the experience, go to Procession.World.

About Dustin Yellin:

Dustin Yellin is an artist who lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is the founder and director of Pioneer Works, a multidisciplinary cultural center in Red Hook, Brooklyn. His work has been exhibited at Amorepacific Museum, Brooklyn Museum, City Museum, Colección Solo, Corning Museum of Glass, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Museo Del Palacio de Bellas Artes, SCAD Museum of Art, Tacoma Museum, and with Creative Time, amongst many others. Yellin is often featured in diverse media ranging from the New York Times, to Artforum, Vanity Fair, and TED. He holds an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

About National Wildlife Federation:

The National Wildlife Federation is America's largest and most trusted conservation organization, uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. 

About Droga5:

Droga5, part of Accenture Interactive, is a creative agency with offices in New York, London and Tokyo. From integrated communications and experience innovation to business design, Droga5 exists to build and sustain the most influential brands of the 21st century through creativity. Droga5 was founded in 2006 and has been recognized as Agency of the Year more than 25 times and was named both Ad Age and Adweek's Agency of the Decade (2010–2019). Droga5 clients include Allstate, Amazon, Biofreeze, Chase, Essentia, The Hershey Company, IHOP, Kerrygold, Kimberly-Clark, lululemon, LVMH, Maserati, Mattress Firm, The New York Times and among others. 

About Squint/Opera:

Squint/Opera is a creative studio that brings together storytelling, media production, technology and design. The studio specialises in digital media and works with ambitious partners to communicate big ideas. With studios in London and New York, they have an international portfolio of clients, including the Empire State Building, V&A, The Metropolitan Museum, Battersea Power Station, Bordeaux Wine museum and Museum of Irish Literature.

About Q Department:

Q Department is an award winning sound production studio focused on bringing Hollywood production value to XR through our proprietary, patented Mach1 sound technology.

About Vrai Pictures:

Vrai Pictures is an XR design studio that seeks the truth in immersive media. We leverage emerging spatial computing technologies to explore the evolution of human-data interaction in order to build emotional, inclusive, and impactful experiences.
SOURCE Dustin Yellin LLC

5 May 2021

#BlackTransPrayerBook - Black Trans Artists Say This Film Will End Anti-Trans Violence

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#BlackTransPrayerBook - Black Trans Artists Say This Film Will End Anti-Trans Violence
Dane Figueroa Edidi (L) J Mase III (R) photo by Michael J. Eckert
Transphobia is rooted in white supremacy. This is what J Mase III & Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, executive producers of the forthcoming documentary, the Black Trans Prayer Book, continuously remind their audiences. 
At a recent workshop for Syracuse University, the two went through a timeline of ways that Trans & Non-Binary individuals have been targeted in North America since the 1500's. Dane spent some time sharing with the audience a poem for one of her biggest inspirations, Mary Jones, a Black Trans ancestor from the 1800's that lived in New York City; Mase did a call and response piece that moved the virtual room through a legacy of Black & Brown Trans experiences via the lens of a platypus. 

As performers and educators, the two have been skillful at combining a robust stage presence with insightful historical analysis and humor. Having co-edited a book published last year, the Black Trans Prayer Book, they have set their sights on producing their first feature length documentary using this text as a framework.

#BlackTransPrayerBook - Black Trans Artists Say This Film Will End Anti-Trans Violence
'The Black Trans Prayer Book' - The Book (image via theblacktransprayerbook.org)

About 'The Black Trans Prayer Book' - The Book:

The Black Trans Prayer Book is an interfaith, multi-dimensional, artistic and theological work that collects the stories, poems, prayers, meditation, spells, and incantations of Black Trans & Non-Binary people. Often pushed out of Faith spaces and yet still deeply connected to a historical legacy of spiritual essentiality, Black Trans People face unprecedented amounts of spiritual, physical, and psychological violence. The Black Trans Prayer Book is a tool of healing, and affirmation centered on uplifting Black Trans & Non-Binary people and celebrating our place within faith.

What does it mean to have a faith practice that simultaneously challenges white supremacy and transphobia? Where is there a theological framework that centers the most marginalized and creates pathways towards an active spirituality moving alongside social justice? How might a spiritual practice not in tune with these questions cause harm? The #BlackTransPrayerBook, is holding these very questions.
  • Having launched a GoFundMe to call attention to this daring project as well as raise funds for its completion, these two have begun production all while keeping COVID safe. 
When asked what they imagine this film will do, Dane shared she believes it will, "Help build a world free from oppression." While Mase views it as, "the first film of its kind to connect white supremacy to transantagonism, by centering the experiences of Black Trans people."
SOURCE The Black Trans Prayer Book

27 April 2021

Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port [Documentary Video Included]

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Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port [Documentary Video Included]
Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port: Port of Newcastle (Screengrab)
Alley Cat Allies has launched a special investigation into a ghastly mass-shooting of feral cats, also called community cats, directed by the Port of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, that left at least 12 cats dead, maimed or missing. Becky Robinson, the president and founder of Alley Cat Allies, is calling on the Port's leadership to immediately end all killing and instead embrace humane, nonlethal management practices for cats.
"The Newcastle Port Authority called this a 'cull,' but there is no whitewashing the fact that this was a massacre, plain and simple," Robinson said. "Cats are sentient creatures who feel pain, and the cats who were the victims of this late-night hunt by the Port Authority endured horrific injuries and tremendous suffering. Killing cats does not have a rightful place in conservation strategy. The Port Authority must stop shooting and killing cats and needs to make a public commitment that it will never happen again. We demand that they adopt sane, humane, effective methods centered on spay and neuter, also known as desexing."
Alley Cat Allies, in collaboration with supporters in Australia and the Animal Justice Party of Australia, learned that the Newcastle Port Authority hired a contract killer to hunt down and shoot sterilized cats at the Stockton Breakwall, a public beach jetty, in December 2020. The next morning, devastated caregivers for the cats discovered a bloody, disturbing scene.

Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port [Documentary Video Included]
Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port (Screengrab)
  • One cat, Rosie, was shot in the eye. The attack left another cat, Lily, blind and with a hernia. As many as eight cats are missing and presumed killed. Some surviving cats still suffer from their gunshot wounds as caregivers scramble to trap them. The caregivers and local veterinarians have grave concerns that these powerless, wounded cats remain in danger.
The Port Authority's attack came despite the fact that the cats were sterilized, vaccinated and cared for through a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program practiced by compassionate caregivers. TNR successfully reduced the number of cats at the Port from 100 to approximately 40 in recent years. These caregivers were neither warned about the hunt nor told that the Port took issue with community cats in the area to begin with.

Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port [Documentary Video Included]
Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port (Screengrab)
  • Killing cats is not an effective means of population control because of a well-documented scientific phenomenon known as the Vacuum Effect. When cats are killed, new cats move in to take their place.
"The Port's actions serve as a reminder that in far too many places around the world, including in Australia and the United States, there persists an archaic mindset that killing cats is viable and necessary," Robinson continued. "Humane, nonlethal sterilization is being utilized all over the globe because it works. Killing does not work. The Newcastle Port Authority needs to wake up to the reality that hunting cats is not acceptable and join the rest of civilized society with a lifesaving policy for its cats."
The Alley Cat Allies investigation has prompted international condemnation of the Newcastle Port Authority's actions. Alley Cat Allies has posted a short documentary film with the findings from its investigation at alleycat.org/StocktonBreakwallCats, where it will continue to post more information from the case as it becomes available.

The Documentary:

About Alley Cat Allies:

Alley Cat Allies is the leader of a global movement to protect cats and kittens. Now in our 31st anniversary year, we are joined by more than 650,000 supporters worldwide.

Alley Cat Allies believes every cat deserves to live out his or her life to the fullest. We exposed an entrenched system in which animal control agencies and shelters have been killing millions of cats for over a century. Today, the programs we introduced in the United States are mainstream.

To achieve our goals, we collaborate with grassroots advocates, animal shelters, municipal managers, and lawmakers to replace deadly laws and policies with ones that protect cats. We defend all cats by offering cutting edge education online, in person, and through one-on-one dialogue. We advance lifesaving innovations such as Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR), high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter, microchipping, anti-declawing legislation, and any program that best serves the interests of cats.

SOURCE: Alley Cat Allies

29 March 2021

AAPI Celebrities Rally Community for Social Change in #StopAsianHate Music Video [Video Included]

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AAPI Celebrities Rally Community for Social Change in #StopAsianHate Music Video [Video Included]
AAPI Celebs Dante Basco, Lisa Ling, Simu Liu Stand Strong with Director Johnny Lee in New Music Video "Tonight #StopAsianHate" to Unite Community
Asian American artist Johnny Lee hopes his latest music video inspires Americans to stand together again. Lee last directed "Stand Up/Stand N Rock #NoDAPL," earning him an MTV Video Music Award in 2017 for "Best Fight Against the System." Now, the message in his latest music video hits even closer to home.
Following a weekend of nationwide rallies in support of Asian American Pacific Islander communities, Lee's music video "Tonight #StopAsianHate" showcases solidarity for AAPI, BLM, and LGBTQIA+ lives. Joining Lee in this #StopAsianHate anthem and calling for racial unity and social change are notable AAPI personalities, including journalist Lisa Ling of CNN and actors Simu Liu, Dante Basco, Kelly Hu, and Hayden Szeto.

AAPI Celebrities Rally Community for Social Change in #StopAsianHate Music Video [Video Included]
"Tonight #StopAsianHate" (screengrab)
"There's a long history of Asian discrimination in America, but there's an equally long history of Asian American activism," said Liu, known for his role as "Jung Kim" in Kim's Convenience and appearing next as "Shang-Chi" in Marvel Studio's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. "It's our responsibility to continue that fight and that legacy."
Basco, whose recent film "The Fabulous Filipino Brothers" premiered at SXSW, noted, "The song 'Tonight' is a reminder to stand together, tonight and every night, against fear, hate, and violence."
Also appearing in the music video are young actors Michael Campion, Christian Isaiah, and Cade Michael, musicians Henry Fong, KLAXX, and Kaleena Zanders, youth dancers of Mighty Shock L.A., reality TV's Kevin Kreider, Kelly Mi Li, and Kane Lim of "Bling Empire," and members of Lee's family.

AAPI Celebrities Rally Community for Social Change in #StopAsianHate Music Video [Video Included]
"Tonight #StopAsianHate" (screengrab)
In response to the staggering increase of anti-Asian sentiment and violence in the last year, Lee hopes all people will speak out. The music video shares community resources and ends with a call-to-action to report all hate crimes or incidents.
"What began as an anthem to support #BlackLivesMatter has evolved into uplifting the AAPI community and the LGBTQIA+ community – really, empowerment for all people," said Lee, who wrote, recorded, and performed "Tonight" as one half of the DJ/EDM duo The Hotel Lobby.
Developed and produced by an Asian American team, "Tonight #StopAsianHate" is directed and edited by Johnny Lee with producers Jessica del Mundo, Gilbert Le, and David Christopher Lee

  • All proceeds from digital purchases of "Tonight" will go towards StopAAPIhate.org.

 "Tonight #StopAsianHate" - The Video:

About Johnny Lee:

Johnny Lee is a Vietnamese American artist with decades of experience in the entertainment industry as a composer, musician, and award-winning director. In 2017, his work as director of "Stand Up/Stand N Rock #NoDAPL" by Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, featuring Shailene Woodley and the "Magnificent Seven" Native American artists, earned him an MTV VMA in the cause-related category of "Best Fight Against the System." Lee appears in "Tonight" with A'shanti as DJ/EDM duo The Hotel Lobby. 
AAPI Celebrities Rally Community for Social Change in #StopAsianHate Music Video [Video Included]
"Tonight #StopAsianHate" (screengrab)
SOURCE: Johnny Lee

10 March 2021

85% Of Women Have Witnessed Harassment & Online Violence, Finds New Research From The Economist Intelligence Unit

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85% Of Women Have Witnessed Harassment & Online Violence, Finds New Research From The Economist Intelligence Unit
85% Of Women Have Witnessed Harassment & Online Violence, Finds New Research From The Economist Intelligence Unit (PRNewsfoto/The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU))
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released a new study supported by Jigsaw, a unit within Google that forecasts and confronts emerging digital threats, delving into the prevalence and impact of online violence against women on a global scale. "Measuring the prevalence of online violence against women" reveals that nearly 40% of women surveyed have been harassed online whilst the vast majority (85%) have witnessed harassment or other forms of online violence.
Undertaken to enable informed decision-making on the issue of online violence, to better understand women's experiences online, and to measure the tactics and trends of online violence, the research also demonstrates the impact of online violence in silencing female voices. 

  • Half of women surveyed said that the internet is not a safe place for them to express their thoughts and opinions. 32% of women reconsidered posting a comment online, 30% reduced their online presence, and 20% stopped using that online platform entirely.
"Measuring the prevalence of online violence against women" further found that online violence against women should be seen on the same continuum as offline violence, with more than half of women (54%) knowing their online attackers, and nearly three-quarters (74%) expressing particular concern about online abuse escalating to offline threats.

According to the results, underreporting likely hides the real numbers with only 1 in 4 women reporting abuse to the platform(s) on which it occurred and only 14% reporting it to an offline protective agency. 78% are often unaware that options exist to report harmful online behaviors. This trend is underpinned by the fact that 6 in 10 women surveyed indicated a sense of helplessness, as little is done to combat the issue. The evidence base supports this, in 64 of 86 countries studied in The Web Index, law enforcement agencies and courts appear to be failing to take appropriate corrective actions to address online violence against women.

Key highlights:

  • 38% reported personal experiences with online harassment
  • 65% reported knowing women in their network who had been targeted online
  • 85% have witnessed online violence against other women (including from outside their networks)
  • Younger women are more likely to have experienced online violence: 45% Generation Z and Millennials versus 31% for Generation X and Baby Boomers
  • Only 1 in 4 women reported online abuse to the platform(s) on which it occurred, and only 14% reported it to an offline protective agency
  • 54% of women who experienced online abuse knew their attackers, and nearly 74% expressed particular concern about online abuse escalating to offline threats
  • 6 in 10 women surveyed indicated a sense of helplessness as little is done to combat the issue
  • 35% of women reported mental health issues as a result of experiencing online violence
  • 92% of women reported that online violence harms their sense of wellbeing
"The internet can provide a vital space for women seeking expression and opportunity but this report shows that the high prevalence of online violence against women is forcing self-censorship, and limiting women's representation in societal, political and economic discussions and decisions. The covid-19 pandemic has led to significant increases in internet use, further exacerbating the situation. Through this granular measurement of the prevalence of online violence against women, we aim to enable timely, synchronised multi-stakeholder action on the issue" said Vaibhav Sahgal, senior manager, The Economist Intelligence Unit.
85% Of Women Have Witnessed Harassment & Online Violence, Finds New Research From The Economist Intelligence Unit
85% Of Women Have Witnessed Harassment & Online Violence, Finds New Research From The Economist Intelligence Unit
The results were compiled from a survey undertaken by The EIU in the year between May 2019 to May 2020. It included 4,561 women, across 51 countries, using an innovative prevalence-estimation modelling methodology. The complete methodology can be downloaded here. The study assessed prevalence across nine threat tactics often used in combination by online attackers: misinformation and defamation, cyber-harassment, hate speech, impersonation, hacking and stalking, video- and image-based abuse, doxing, violent threats, and astroturfing. The prevalence of each tactic was measured at three levels: personal, community and witnessed.

About The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU):

The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU) is the world's leading resource for economic and business research, forecasting and analysis. It provides accurate and impartial intelligence for companies, government agencies, financial institutions and academic organisations around the globe, inspiring business leaders to act with confidence since 1946. The EIU products include its flagship Country Reports service, providing political and economic analysis for 199 countries, and a portfolio of subscription-based data and forecasting services. The company also undertakes bespoke research and analysis projects on individual markets and business sectors. 

SOURCE: The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)

8 March 2021

Nathan's Famous And Andy Cohen "Get Along Famously" In New Video Campaign [Video Included]

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Nathan's Famous And Andy Cohen "Get Along Famously" In New Video Campaign [Video Included]
Andy Cohen shows fans how Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs can help bring people together in new “Get Along Famously” video campaign
Earlier this year, Nathan's Famous, the iconic New York-based hot dog brand, teamed up with another pop-culture icon from the Big Apple, Andy Cohen, to star in the Get Along Famously Stranger Stand campaign – a series of dynamic short videos showcasing how the one and only taste of Nathan's Famous 100% Beef Franks can help bring people together and foster genuine moments of connection.
Throughout the eight episodes, Cohen, a TV host known for interacting with famous faces and settling heated debates on his reunion shows, can be seen taking to the streets of a residential neighborhood to set up a Nathan's Famous hot dog stand. Along the way, he encounters strangers passing by – cliquey high schoolers, bickering siblings, a very friendly pack of dachshunds and more – who are having trouble seeing eye-to-eye and finding common ground. But Andy, using delicious Nathan's Famous Franks and his expert connection skills, helps them reach a mutual understanding and eventually 'get along famously.'
"At Nathan's, we strive to provide a unique taste experience with our original 105-year-old recipe that can bring together individuals from all walks of life, no matter what age, where they live, or who they are, and turn strangers into friends," said Bethany Gurecki, brand manager for Nathan's Famous. "There's no denying that Andy Cohen also knows a thing or two about bringing people together – including feuding A-listers – which is why he was the perfect fit for our Get Along Famously Stranger Stand video campaign."
This past weekend, Cohen posted one of his favorite episodes on Instagram, Episode 3: Capitalistic Beef. In the endearing clip, Cohen manages to 'get along famously' with the kids who strategically set up a lemonade stand next door. 


The entire collection of videos can be found on Nathan's Famous' YouTube channel, including:
  • Episode 1: Dog Thoughts
  • Episode 2: Like Father, Like Son
  • Episode 3: Capitalistic Beef
  • Episode 4: Gamer Headset
  • Episode 5: Bike Security
  • Episode 6: High School
  • Episode 7: Virtual Wedding
  • Episode 8: Sibling Rivalry
Nathan's Famous And Andy Cohen "Get Along Famously" In New Video Campaign
Nathan's Famous And Andy Cohen "Get Along Famously" In New Video Campaign (screengrab)

About Nathan's Famous:

Nathan's Famous is a Russell 2000 Company that currently distributes its products in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and 16 foreign countries through its restaurant system, foodservice sales programs and product licensing activities. Last year, over 700 million Nathan's Famous hot dogs were sold. 

Smithfield Employees, Local Volunteers Serve Hot Meals to More Than 2,500 'Hometown Heroes' Across Southeast North Carolina
Smithfield Employees, Local Volunteers Serve Hot Meals to More Than 2,500 'Hometown Heroes' Across Southeast North Carolina (PRNewsfoto/Smithfield Foods, Inc.)

About Smithfield Foods, Inc.:

Headquartered in Smithfield, Va. since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Our 40,000 U.S. and 15,000 European employees are dedicated to producing "Good food. Responsibly." and have made us one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including many industry firsts, such as our ambitious commitment to cut our carbon impact by 25 percent by 2025. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our neighbors in need. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield, Eckrich and Nathan's Famous, among many others.

SOURCE: Smithfield Foods, Inc.

19 February 2021

Over 200 Dogs From China Saved From Slaughterhouses, Dog Meat-Trade, Abuse & Neglect Will Soon Arrive in the U.S. on Their Way to Their Forever Homes

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Over 200 Dogs From China Saved From Slaughterhouses, Dog Meat-Trade, Abuse & Neglect Will Soon Arrive in the U.S. on Their Way to Their Forever Homes
Dogs in China awaiting to be adopted by a forever family in the United States.
China Rescue Dogs, an organization committed to rescuing and saving dogs from China and adopting them into homes in the U.S., is calling on the public to help them save over 200 additional dogs.

One hundred forty-five (145) newly rescued dogs will arrive via three cargo planes on March 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2021 at (JFK) John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. An additional sixty (60) will, hopefully, arrive in the United States at the end of March -- but it all depends on donations.
  • These dogs were saved from the inevitable. Many were saved off meat trucks, from slaughterhouses and rescued from abuse, and neglect.
"What was once the end of their lives, is now a new beginning for these beautiful babies," said Jill Stewart, President and Founder of China Rescue Dogs. "They all have been quarantined, micro-chipped, and received all the necessary vaccinations. Now, it is time for them to live the rest of their lives being safe and happy with their forever families."
China Recue Dogs is a 501c3 organization founded by Jill Stewart, an ardent advocate of animal rights worldwide, and especially in China. Their global mission is to rescue and rehabilitate dogs from China and provide them with loving forever homes in North America.

Stewart, along with her small team of volunteers are calling donors and fund-raising for this new life saving project. They now need to raise an additional $30,000 so they can bring in all two hundred (200) dogs and not have to turn any away.

Over 200 Dogs From China Saved From Slaughterhouses, Dog Meat-Trade, Abuse & Neglect Will Soon Arrive in the U.S. on Their Way to Their Forever Homes
Jill Stewart, President & Founder of China Rescue Dogs, welcomes a flight of dogs into JFK airport in January.
"Funding is crucial," admits Stewart. "We never say no to any dog -- mixed breeds, banned breeds, disabled dogs and seniors. We try to rescue them all. Unfortunately, we cannot do that without the public's continued support."

About China Rescue Dogs:

China Rescue Dogs is a 501c3 rescue with the purpose of rescuing dogs from the meat trade, abuse and neglect in China and providing them with loving homes.

SOURCE: China Rescue Dogs

17 February 2021

The Hero's Journal Team Releases New Journal, Istoria Magic Academy, on Kickstarter [Video Included]

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The Hero's Journal Team Releases New Journal, Istoria Magic Academy, on Kickstarter
The Hero's Journal - A filled out journal
The team behind the popular The Hero's Journal today announced that its newest offering, The Hero's Journal: Istoria Magic Academy, is now live on Kickstarter, where they reached 100% of their funding goal in under 9 minutes.
The Hero's Journal
launched in 2019 via a successful Kickstarter campaign. Over the past two years, a vibrant community of journalers has formed organically on social media to share stories and seek advice.
"Thanks to our first Kickstarter, The Hero's Journal quickly transformed from a simple idea to a community of 25,000 journalers," said Nick Vitellaro, the 27-year-old co-founder.
He added: "During the past year, we learned a lot about what our fans like about the Journal and how it helps them achieve their goals. Today, we're excited to go back to Kickstarter, where it all started, to release a new edition that incorporates feedback and suggestions from our amazing community."
During 2020, the team witnessed firsthand how the Journal is helping people cope during the pandemic. For example, one community member commented: "I've been feeling pretty scatterbrained since quarantine started, but this journal has really helped create more structure in my daily life, in the most fun and thoughtful way."
The Hero's Journal Team Releases New Journal, Istoria Magic Academy, on Kickstarter
Daily Artwork Helps Inspire the Imagination and Make Every Day of Journaling Unique
The Hero's Journal: Istoria Magic Academy is based on a story about magic. The process of learning something new, working through failure, and discovering the ordinary magic of changing the world around you through words and actions.
"We expect that the new edition will resonate with our current community as well as with a new group of journalers who are looking to embark on a new adventure during a uniquely challenging time," said Nick.

The Video:

About The Hero's Journal:

Stories are the oldest form of human communication. From the earliest books ever written to the latest box office hit, humans are hardwired to communicate in the form of narrative. And there is no narrative more important to the core of each of us than the story we tell about ourselves. We set out to create a journal that would combine the power of self-narrative with the psychology of goal setting. The result? The Hero's Journal—now used by thousands of heroes around the world. From brainstorming the journal in 2018 to launching a kickstarter in 2019 to quitting our full-time jobs in the beginning of 2020, we've been blown away by the support of a community that keeps selling out every single one of our production runs. 

SOURCE: The Hero's Journal

11 February 2021

Hip Hop Public Health Launches #CommunityImmunity Vaccine Literacy Effort

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Hip Hop Public Health Launches #CommunityImmunity Vaccine Literacy Effort
Hip Hop Public Health Launches #CommunityImmunity Vaccine Literacy Effort (PRNewsfoto/Hip Hop Public Health)
Hip Hop Public Health (HHPH) the national nonprofit organization dedicated since 2004 to fostering positive health behavior change through the power of science and hip hop music, today launched Community Immunity: A Rap Anthology about Vaccines. A suite of free resources aimed at increasing COVID-19 vaccine coverage in communities of color by fighting fear with facts, this animated rap anthology deconstructs vaccine literacy in a series of five animated videos, beginning with What Are Vaccines and Why Do They Work?. Featuring the voice of Grammy-winning rapper and HHPH Advisory Board member Darryl DMC McDaniels of Run-DMC, with award-winning producer Artie Green and singer-songwriter Gerry Gunn, Community Immunity: A Rap Anthology About Vaccines is the latest COVID-19 public information campaign from Hip Hop Public Health. The organization's trilogy of high-impact music video PSAs – 20 Seconds or More, 20 Segundos o Más and Behind the Mask – have been viewed and shared by millions, and become a part of the vernacular around the coronavirus with universal messages of love and safety since launching at the height of the pandemic in New York City in spring 2020.

What Are Vaccines and Why Do They Work? - The Video:


Each 60-second video in the Community Immunity anthology features a common underlying hip hop track with a unique rap verse that incorporates vaccine literacy content and a universal hook about the benefits of community immunity, which is repeated and sung in each video. The goal of the series is not only to inform, but also to turn receiving the vaccine into a social norm. 

  • Each video in the series will be launched over the next several weeks through March 2021, beginning with What Are Vaccines and Why Do They Work? (launching 2/11), followed by Are Vaccines Safe and How Do I Know This? (launching 2/18); What are the Common Vaccine Myths, Misperceptions? (launching 2/25); What Can I Expect if I Take the Vaccine? (launching 3/4); and, Getting a Vaccine is Better than Getting Infected with COVID-19 (launching 3/11).
"COVID-19 is the most urgent global challenge we face today, and if we can encourage 80% of the population to get vaccinated, we can achieve the community-wide immunity we need for social activities to return to normal" says Dr. Olajide Williams, Founder of Hip Hop Public Health, tenured Professor of Neurology at Columbia University, and Chief of Staff of the Department of Neurology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. "As the coronavirus continues to ravage communities of color, the long-standing distrust that many feel towards medical science has proven to be an even greater challenge. Our goal with the Community Immunity anthology is therefore to increase vaccine literacy by demonstrating three critical points of fact: one, the vaccine is safe; two, no scientific shortcuts were taken in the development of the vaccine; and three, being vaccinated is an act of community service."
"While we must work to fill knowledge gaps, we also recognize that knowledge alone does not motivate behavior change. To meet the challenge of COVID-19, we need to truly connect, culturally and emotionally," adds Dr. Williams. "This is why HHPH developed the Multisensory Multilevel Health Education Model, which leverages the power of culture and art to motivate people to live healthier lives."
"Hip Hop Public Health is committed to providing accessible, culturally relevant resources, free of charge to empower underserved communities about critical health issues ," says Lori Rose Benson, Executive Director and CEO of Hip Hop Public Health. "With recent studies showing that more than half of African American adults are hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine, it is essential that we create and widely disperse messages to dispel myths and reduce anxiety around the vaccine with the goal of creating Community Immunity as the ultimate act of love – love of self, love of family and love of the community – to inspire and drive action."
A recent national study (Szilgayi et al, JAMA December 2020) revealed that the self-reported likelihood of getting a COVID-19 vaccine declined from 75% in April 2020 to 56% in December 2020, despite extensive media coverage beginning in November showing high efficacy for both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The lowest likelihood of vaccination was found among Black individuals and those with lower educational backgrounds, two groups that bear the highest burden of illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. The APM Research Lab has found that Covid-19 has killed 1 out of every 645 Black Americans, and according to the journal PLOS Medicine, Black people, ages 35 to 44, have been dying at nine times the rate of white people the same age.
"These findings make HHPH's novel approach to vaccine hesitancy a critical item on the menu of initiatives designed to increase vaccine coverage," Dr. Williams concludes.
Hip Hop Public Health Launches #CommunityImmunity Vaccine Literacy Effort
Hip Hop Public Health Launches #CommunityImmunity Vaccine Literacy Effort

Plans to roll-out Community Immunity include a series of community mobilization events in partnership with the State of New York's Vaccine Equity Taskforce, HeartSmilesMD, The New York City Department of Education's Office of School Wellness Programs, and others. 

The videos will also be widely distributed across multiple social media channels in collaboration with local faith-based organizations, community media outlets and national and local radio platforms. In addition, Community Immunity will be part of a larger program used in company settings as a tool to educate essential workforces and answer pointed questions about the vaccine. In partnership with 40 West Advisors, HHPH's innovative and customized tools will allow direct access to the answers employees need to make informed decisions about the vaccine. Finally, the public is invited to engage directly with Dr. Williams and Dr. Monique Hedmann-Maxey, HHPH Advisory Board member who also appears in the videos, through #AskTheHipHopDocs. This interactive social media initiative is designed to answer questions and help dispel misperceptions when tagged in real-time. 
"Communities of color carry the heaviest burden from the pandemic, and in order to stop the virus in its tracks, we need to increase vaccine literacy, change behavior and get vaccinated," says Darryl DMC McDaniels. "By harnessing the power of hip hop, we hope to connect with communities of color in a way they can relate to and encourage folks to get vaccinated. I am honored to lend my voice to this vital campaign – get the shot y'all!"
Hip Hop Public Health Launches #CommunityImmunity Vaccine Literacy Effort
Hip Hop Public Health Launches #CommunityImmunity Vaccine Literacy Effort (screengrab)

The five videos in the Community Immunity series are focused on the following topics:

  • What Are Vaccines and Why Do They Work? Highlights the power of vaccines, which have all but eliminated diseases that once sickened, crippled or killed millions of people every year, including smallpox and polio. The two current COVID-19 vaccines are more than 90% effective at protecting the recipient (9 of 10 people won't get sick if they get both doses of the vaccine).
  • Are Vaccines Safe and How Do I Know This? Despite the speed of vaccine development (which has prompted many to question whether a vaccine for COVID-19 is safe and effective), very strict science, regulations, and transparency was enforced during vaccine development and data safety monitoring. Even after a COVID-19 vaccine is approved, the FDA, CDC, healthcare systems and vaccine developers will continue to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for years.
  • What are the Common Vaccine Myths, Misperceptions? Addresses misinformation and how this has affected people's trust, and addresses fears with facts. "This is not just a moment of truth; it is a moment for truth."
  • Getting a Vaccine is Better than Getting Infected with COVID-19 Which puts you at risk of severe infection, protracted illness, and death. This video also emphasizes that one of the most important tools to save Black lives right now is vaccination.
  • What Can I Expect if I Take the Vaccine? Describes transient reactions to vaccination and emphasizes the importance of returning for the second shot (for the two currently approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the United States) for community immunity. Defines herd immunity as community immunity. Getting both shots is not just about me, it is also about us.
"We have been locked in a life or death battle against COVID for nearly a year, and with the vaccine now in hand, we finally have the weapon that will win this war, but it will only be as effective as our willingness to use it," said New York Secretary of State and Co-Chair of New York's Vaccine Equity Task Force Rossana Rosado. "The sad truth about COVID is it hasn't only attacked our health, it's brought to light the structural racism, injustices and inequities that have contributed towards the distrust and skepticism people feel towards the health care system and the vaccine itself, especially in communities of color. The fact is it is safe, it is reliable and if we are truly to get back to normal, we need everyone to have confidence in it – that's why the work Hip Hop Public Health is doing is so important. By finding new and creative ways to instill confidence in the vaccine, they are getting information about the vaccine's efficacy to those who need it in an easily digestible and understandable format. Hip Hop Public Health has been a tremendous partner to New York's Vaccine Equity Task Force from the very beginning and on behalf of Governor Cuomo and all New Yorkers, I thank them for this critically important public service."
The Community Immunity: A Rap Anthology about Vaccines series was produced by Artie Green. The video animation was created by Mylo The Cat and Cartuna. Medical oversight was provided by HHPH Founder, Dr. Olajide Williams, Dr. Melissa Stockwell and HHPH Advisory Board member Dr. Monique Hedmann-Maxey. Philanthropic support for the initiative has been provided by The Skoll Foundation, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Dalio Center for Health Justice at NewYork-Presbyterian, and Columbia Community Service. 

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About Hip Hop Public Health:

Based in New York City, Hip Hop Public Health was founded in Harlem in 2004 with the mission to empower youth around the country – and the globe— with the knowledge and skills to make healthier choices, reducing preventable health conditions and the rising tide of childhood obesity.

Through a research-driven developmental process created by Columbia University Neurologist Dr. Olajide Williams (a.k.a. the "Hip Hop Doc"), Hip Hop Public Health works with socially conscious artists and musicians to create scalable, highly engaging, culturally relevant music and multimedia "edutainment" tools designed to improve youth health literacy and promote health equity. HHPH used validated models of behavior change and evidenced-based research to develop original content and are committed to an iterative cycle of program evaluation, academic research and resource refinement. We aim to make the healthy choice the cool choice.

The Hip Hop Public Health team, led by physical education veteran and public health leader Lori Rose Benson, is a collective comprised of not only health and education professionals (including nutritionists, public health researchers, teachers, physicians, behavioral scientists, and a student advisory board), but also proven-successful multi-media professionals and A-list iconic rap stars and pop artists including Doug E. Fresh, Chuck D, DMC of Run DMC, Ashanti, Jordin Sparks, as well children's television writers/producers (formerly of Sesame Street).

HHPH is proud to partner locally, regionally and internationally to empower health focused organizations and stakeholders to adopt and adapt Hip Hop Public Health resources and infuse them into youth health and wellness programming and initiatives. All HHPH music, videos, comic books, video games and guidance documents are available for free and can be accessed on its online resource repository.
SOURCE: Hip Hop Public Health

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