Showing posts with label Family Fun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family Fun. Show all posts

22 October 2020

Sesame Workshop's First-Ever Animated Sesame Street Special 'The Monster at the End of This Story' Launches On HBO Max On October 29

Sesame Workshop's First-Ever Animated Sesame Street Special 'The Monster at the End of This Story' Launches On HBO Max On October 29
Sesame Workshop's First-Ever Animated Sesame Street Special 'The Monster at the End of This Story' Launches On HBO Max On October 29 (image courtesy of Sesame Workshop)
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind half a century of award-winning children's television, will launch its first-ever animated Sesame Street special "The Monster at the End of This Story" on Thursday, October 29 on HBO Max – and its star, Grover, is begging fans not to watch!
A reimagining of Sesame Street's all-time best-selling picture book "The Monster at the End of This Book," the special follows Grover's reluctant journey to the end of the story, where, based on the title, he believes a monster awaits. 

Drawn in the unmistakable style of the beloved book first published in 1971, the special adds new sequences, songs and surprises, and introduces other familiar Sesame Street characters, including Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster, and Rosita, to the tale.
"After nearly 50 years, the lesson in 'The Monster at the End of This Book' remains timeless: It's okay to feel afraid, but also important to have courage and keep moving forward in spite of those fears," said Kay Wilson Stallings, Sesame Workshop's Executive Vice President of Creative and Production. "We brought this classic story from page to screen in a way that will feel familiar to longtime fans and exciting and engaging for young viewers. By expanding the original narrative and adding new layers, we share a strong lesson in friendship, showing how Grover learns to manage his fear with the support of his friends."
In celebration of the upcoming special, Sesame Workshop today released a new video of "The Monster at the End of This Book" being read aloud by celebrities Kelsea Ballerini, Sofia Carson, Ciara, Stephen and Ayesha Curry, Josh Groban, Mykal-Michelle Harris, Lil Nas X, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Maggie Rogers, Jordin Sparks, Hailee Steinfeld, Jason Sudeikis, Jonathan Van Ness, and Olivia Wilde

"The Monster at the End of This Story" is the official special of Sesame Street's 51st season, set to launch on HBO Max later this fall.

This special caps off the release of Sesame Workshop's series of "Monster"-themed content, digital activities, and product releases, which to-date have included an interactive "The Monster at the End of Your Story" video on Sesame Street's YouTube page (watch below), a "Monsterize Me!" avatar creator, the release of new editions of "The Monster at the End of This Book," and more. 

About Sesame Workshop:

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We're present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. 

For more information, please visit
SOURCE: Sesame Workshop

25 September 2020

#HalloweenIsHappening: The Story of Halloween in the Year 2020 [Video Included]

#HalloweenIsHappening: The Story of Halloween in the Year 2020
#HalloweenIsHappening: The Story of Halloween in the Year 2020
The story of Halloween 2020 is shaping up to be one for the record books. From PVC pipe candy slides going viral on social media to major, thought-leading media outlets and prominent elected officials declaring that Halloween is happening, creative and safe approaches are driving the national narrative in a way that showcases consumer optimism for a fun and unique Halloween season.
"There's no question that Halloween will look different this year, and innovative approaches endorsed by the CDC like outdoor, one-way trick-or-treating can bring a little fun to the fall," John Downs, president & CEO of the National Confectioners Association, said. "Hyperlocal decision-making will determine whether this Halloween season means trick-or-treating with the appropriate safety precautions, more candy bowl moments at home with family and close friends, or just more time for celebrating the season in October."
#HalloweenIsHappening: The Story of Halloween in the Year 2020
#HalloweenIsHappening: The Story of Halloween in the Year 2020

Americans are ready for Halloween:

  • 80% of people believe that they will find creative and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season this year. This is up from just 63% two months earlier in July. (NCA, Morning Consult)
  • 66% of people say they will trick-or-treat this year, whether handing out the candy or going out with their children. (NCA)
  • 74% of millennial moms and young parents say that Halloween 2020 is more important than ever. (The Harris Poll)
  • 80% of the general public and 90% of millennial moms and young parents say they can't imagine Halloween without chocolate and candy, and that trick-or-treating is irreplaceable. (The Harris Poll)

Public health experts and top opinion leaders – Halloween is happening!

Governors from several states have joined a growing wave of approval and support for a safe and creative Halloween 2020 – including public health experts like the CDC, community leaders, newspaper editorial boards and columnists who say that we can prioritize safety and still enjoy this fall with Halloween celebrations that last all October long. Recent guidance from the CDC reinforces that Halloween is happening and provides inspiration for creative and safe approaches to celebrating the holiday throughout the month of October.

Halloween candy sales are up:

NCA recently released data that shows Halloween chocolate and candy sales are up this year. For the latest four weeks ending September 6 versus the same period in 2019, total Halloween chocolate & candy sales are up 13% - growth that is driven by Halloween chocolate, which is up 25.3%.

The Video:

A Halloween History Story:

(via Halloween Central)
The origins of Halloween date back to pre-Christian times to Celtic groups in areas now known as Ireland, Scotland and Wales. According to most scholars, a great fire festival called Samhein signaled the close of the harvest and the initiation of the cold and dark season of winter. A variety of folklore and customs became associated with the celebration.

Folk custom claimed that on this night, the doors between the world of the dead and the world of the living opened. All the spirits of the people who died during the previous year were thought to be traveling from their resting place on earth to their final resting place in the next world. The Celts placed food and drink out to sustain the spirits, and people concealed their identity with disguises to escape harm while they walked from house to house to enjoy food and drink (much like trick-or-treating today). Many people also carved turnips to represent faces, marking the origination of today’s jack-o-lanterns. When Christianity took root in northern Europe, these folk customs were incorporated into a Christian framework. The celebrations in Ireland, Scotland and Wales eventually became All Saints’ Day, a day to commemorate all dead saints and martyrs. All Saints’ Day was sometimes known as All Hallows’ Day, and the night before was called All Hallows’ Eve, or Hallowe’en, which we today call Halloween. Although the celebrations did acquire a distinctly religious tone, many folk customs were still observed.

Settlers and immigrants from these regions brought their folk customs to America, where they took root and evolved over the years. Halloween was originally celebrated in America as a harvest festival. Carved turnips became carved pumpkins, which grew in abundance in America. Colorful costumes replaced disguises, and trick-or-treating evolved from presenting food and drink to the wandering spirits. [...]

#HalloweenIsHappening: The Story of Halloween in the Year 2020
#HalloweenIsHappening: The Story of Halloween in the Year 2020

About Halloween Central: hosts inspiration for celebrating a socially distanced but not socially awkward Halloween season.

About the National Confectioners Association:

The National Confectioners Association is the trade organization that advances, protects and promotes the unique role of chocolate, candy, gum and mints in a happy, balanced lifestyle and the companies that make these special treats. 

22 September 2020

New UNICEF Canada Campaign Keeps Halloween Spirit Alive for Kids Across the Country [Video Included]

New UNICEF Canada Campaign Keeps Halloween Spirit Alive for Kids Across the Country
UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon: Walk your hood, do some good. (CNW Group/Canadian Unicef Committee)
UNICEF Canada, long-associated with fond trick-or-treating memories for many Canadians, is launching a new reimagined initiative for celebrating Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic—the UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon
The campaign encourages families across Canada to turn their trick-or-treating steps into a safe, socially distanced walk-a-thon throughout their neighbourhood during the Halloween season. It also reintroduces a digital version of UNICEF's iconic orange box to enable children to celebrate and raise money in a physically distanced way.

  • Like all major celebrations in 2020, Halloween will look and feel a little different this year. In addition to school closures, games cancelled, birthdays with no parties, a new survey commissioned by UNICEF Canada reveals that only one third of Canadian parents plan to send their kids trick-or-treating this year, and less than half plan to give out candy.
Children across the country have missed many childhood milestones to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but parents are continuing to look for ways to keep hope—and fun—alive. In fact, 6 out of 10 Canadian parents said they are looking for safe, socially-distanced Halloween activities this year.

New UNICEF Canada Campaign Keeps Halloween Spirit Alive for Kids Across the Country
GFORCE (image via UNICEF Canada)
To keep the Halloween spirit alive, UNICEF Canada's Halloween program has adapted by encouraging children to dress up in their costumes, walk their neighbourhood with their families or bubble and thrill their community while supporting kids in need around the world. The safe, socially distanced walk-a-thon can take place throughout their neighbourhood on Halloween or any time during October.
"Kids have sacrificed some of their childhoods to help stop the spread of COVID-19. They've missed school, sports, graduations, and other milestones of being young," said Rowena Pinto, Chief Program Officer at UNICEF Canada. "The UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon offers families a safe, unique opportunity to celebrate Halloween while helping protect the world's most vulnerable children from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows kids to help other kids—but also allows them to just be kids themselves."
New UNICEF Canada Campaign Keeps Halloween Spirit Alive for Kids Across the Country
Johnny and Lauren Orlando (image via UNICEF Canada)
UNICEF Canada is also excited to announce its newest Halloween Champions, singer-songwriter and pop superstar Johnny Orlando—who just dropped his latest smash single 'Everybody Wants You' off his upcoming sophomore EP, scheduled for release this fall—and actor and social media influencer Lauren Orlando. 

They will join GFORCE, a musical group of young girls from the Toronto area who made it all the way to the quarterfinals on America's Got Talent in supporting UNICEF's Halloween Walk-a-thon.
"Kids have the ability to make the world a better place. I'm excited to join the UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon to provide a safe, socially distanced activity that not only keeps the spirit of Halloween alive, but empowers kids to make a difference," said Johnny Orlando. "I'm encouraging my dedicated fanbase, which includes millions of empathetic and engaged kids from around the world to embrace their ability to defend the rights of other kids to grow up happy and healthy."

The Video:

How can Canadians participate in the UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon? 

Children, families and adults can become Halloween Heroes by joining our walk-a-thon and setting up their own fundraising page at Participants who sign up by 9 October 2020 will receive a walk-a-thon package in the mail, including an exclusive Halloween Hero Card with a QR code to help collect digital donations—a new digital form of UNICEF's orange box. Money raised goes towards providing essentials like water, nutrition, education and health care to children in need around the world.

Bonus Video:

Creative agency Juniper Park\TBWA partnered with UNICEF Canada to develop the UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon campaign. PHD Canada, a communications planning and media buying agency, is providing marketing support.
New UNICEF Canada Campaign Keeps Halloween Spirit Alive for Kids Across the Country
Sophie Nélisse (image via UNICEF Canada)

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

18 August 2020

Jigsaw Explorer Defeats Home Isolation with Multiplayer Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw Explorer Defeats Home Isolation with Multiplayer Jigsaw Puzzles
Screenshot of a web-based jigsaw puzzle at Jigsaw Explorer
Jigsaw Explorer, a leader in online jigsaw puzzles, announced availability of its new multiplayer feature for all of its online jigsaw puzzles. Jigsaw Explorer has been providing jigsaw puzzles that can be played directly in the web browser for 10 years, but until now playing online jigsaw puzzles has always been a solo activity. 

The new multiplayer feature allows friends and family to collaborate on the assembly of the same jigsaw puzzle while connected over the internet. The idea is similar to a family gathering around a cardboard jigsaw puzzle at the kitchen table, but now the puzzle is online and the people playing that puzzle can be at different locations anywhere in the world.
"Our web-based jigsaw puzzles were already popular, but when the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders went into effect in the spring it created new demand for those puzzles," said Jigsaw Explorer's founder and owner, Bob Flora. "We knew there was also a new need to allow friends and family to play these puzzles together over the internet as a way to socially connect and engage with each other at this time when there are significantly less in-person interactions due to concerns related to the pandemic. That realization led us to immediately begin work on a multiplayer feature for our puzzles."
Jigsaw Explorer Defeats Home Isolation with Multiplayer Jigsaw Puzzles
Screenshot of a web-based jigsaw puzzle at Jigsaw Explorer
Jigsaw Explorer provides all of their 7500+ jigsaw puzzles free of charge, including use of the new multiplayer feature. Players simply choose a puzzle subject they like and click the multiplayer button to switch the puzzle to multiplayer mode. The player is then shown a web link that can be sent via email or social media to the friends and family the player wishes to invite to participate in the assembly of the puzzle. When recipients receive the game link and click it, their web browser joins them to the game. The joined players can see the puzzle piece movements of all of the other players on their screens. If the players leave the puzzle unfinished, they can use the game link to return to it later and complete it.

SOURCE: Jigsaw Explorer

18 July 2020

How To Take Part In Comic-Con@Home July 22-26, 2020

Comic-Con@Home Badge Sponsored by Amazon and Prime Video
San Diego Comic Convention (Comic-Con), the world's premier event of its kind, today announced details of its first-ever virtual event, Comic-Con@Home.

For the first time in its 50-year history, Comic-Con organizers were forced to make the heartbreaking decision to cancel the annual celebration of comics and pop culture. Soon after the cancelation, they announced an online version to launch July 22, the official start date of the originally scheduled convention. 

"We're very excited about bringing Comic-Con online," said David Glanzer, spokesperson for the nonprofit organization. "And it couldn't have been achieved without the help and support of so many of our usual friends, and some new ones too."
The virtual event will exist on the website which, at 9:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, will transform to Comic-Con@Home. The redesigned Home Page will be the means by which participants can access programming, the Online Exhibit Hall, and various events and interactive elements, as each will be supported by a variety of different platforms. While programming for each day will be available on the website, Comic-Con is working again with for those who would like to create their own daily schedule.

Joining in the fun is the Comic-Con Museum which has long planned an interactive component to their efforts. They began offering activities through Comic-Con Museum@Home earlier this summer which will continue through the Comic-Con@Home weekend and beyond.

  • YouTube will host over 350 panels and programs as well as the 2020 Eisner Awards. 
  • The Online Exhibit Hall, with approximately 700 exhibitors, will exist on the GoExpo by Community Brands page. 
  • And for fans of Gaming, those activities will live on the Discord platform.
How To Take Part In Comic-Con@Home July 22-26, 2020
ComicCon@Home 2020 Currently Attending Window Sign (image via
Fans will be excited to learn that DC Comics, longtime supporters of Comic-Con, will again provide exceptional artwork for the official event T-shirt. The event T-shirt will be accompanied by an assortment of official Comic-Con-related and Comic-Con Museum-related merchandise available on the Merch store page on the Comic-Con website.

Amazon and Prime Video are official sponsors of Comic-Con@Home and will be treating fans to additional activities from a variety of Amazon-owned platforms through their Amazon Virtual-Con portal. Prime Video is also the official sponsor of the Comic-Con 2020 print-at-home badge, which will allow participants to print and wear the free badge and take part in many fun, yet to be announced, interactive challenges.

Collaborator and sponsor IGN will stream roughly 34 Comic-Con@Home panels as well as produce extensive hosted shoulder content, hosted interviews and more, all in support of the online initiative.

Tumblr will serve as the platform for both the Comic-Con Art Show and the always popular Masquerade. The 46th annual Masquerade will open for viewing Friday, July 24, and winners announced on Saturday, July 25.

Films and anime have long been popular elements at Comic-Con. This tradition continues as both will employ the Scener Watch Party Platform, Funimation will exclusively host all of the anime watch parties including Black Clover and Fruits Basket. Scener is a Chrome browser plug-in that will allow fans the ability to simultaneously watch and discuss movies and anime.

Anyone who has visited Comic-Con is familiar with and may have participated in the outside activations (immersive experiences). Even they will be represented as FX will unveil the digital experience: FX UNLOCKED- where fans will engage with virtual activations for American Horror Story, What We Do in The Shadows, Cake and DAVE.

FutureTechLive! returns for a fifth year to present the virtual "World Builders" activation, featuring content by a global community of creators. In this unique experience, participants can explore new worlds in mixed reality, and unleash their imagination to create some of their own!

If that weren't enough, there will be a number of activities including portfolio review, gaming, a SideWalk Art Challenge, a Cosplay Challenge, the SuperVolunteer Challenge, and even some shared recipes should you need a break and a little sustenance during the Comic-Con@Home weekend.

Comic-Con will also be offering an online version of its Souvenir Book, which will be available as a free, downloadable PDF, starting on Wednesday, July 22. The 260-page book contains new art and articles celebrating various anniversaries, including the 100th birthdays of Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen, plus celebrations of EC Comics, Moomin, Jack Kirby's Fourth World comics, and more. This year's cover is by William Stout.

"This type of online event is a first for us," Glanzer continued, "and we are grateful for the support of all involved. Our hope is that Comic-Con can provide a small respite from the confines of various stay-at-home orders. While we can't be together in person, we can be together online."

7 July 2020

New Artwork by Gary Larson Debuts on

New Artwork by Gary Larson Debuts on
New Stuff – It's Here on!
Fans welcomed the December 2019 debut of with tremendous enthusiasm: more than one million visitors were thrilled by the launch of the official online destination during its very first week. A mere five months later, it was awarded the 2020 Webby People's Voice Award for Best Humor Website

The site, featuring a "daily dose" of The Far Side cartoons and previously unseen sketches by creator Gary Larson, also tempted fans with a promise of Larson "slipping in some new things every so often."

Today, Larson, who retired the daily syndication of the cartoon in 1995, delivers on this promise, and not a moment too soon. On the New Stuff page of the site, Far Side fans can enjoy the release of some new artwork offering a look at Larson's foray into digital painting. 

Adept at celebrating the inherent humor in the most ludicrous sides of humanity, the secret genius of animals, and the brilliance of the scientific, Larson will continue to surprise by periodically featuring new artwork on the site.

And there's more news from The Far Side, as Larson provides a much-needed reason to look forward to 2021. After two interminable decades, a Larson Off-The-Wall calendar returns! 

The all-time bestselling calendar is being reissued with 365 days of irreverent, brilliant cartoons from The Far Side and a different theme featured each month in The Far Side Theme-a-Month 2021 Off-The-Wall Calendar

Adding to the excitement: The new The Far Side After Hours 2021 Wall Calendar will grace the world's vertical surfaces with new Larson art and includes some never-before-seen images by Larson.

New Artwork by Gary Larson Debuts on
Uncommon, unreal, and unfrozen – is online
Unparalleled in its brilliance, The Far Side is without peer. The continued enthusiasm for and the anticipation of the forthcoming calendars continue to illustrate its preeminence around the world. Andrews McMeel Universal is thrilled to continue to share the remarkable talent of Gary Larson in a whole new way in our brave new world.

More about The Far Side:

  • With over 40 million books and 77 million calendars sold, The Far Side is an unprecedented cartoon phenomenon.
  • The Far Side Off-The-Wall series was the world's bestselling calendar for 18 consecutive years.
  • won the 2020 Webby People's Voice Award for Best Humor website, a remarkable accomplishment after just a few months in existence. It was selected from more than 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 70+ countries, with 2.5 million votes cast by 600,000 people.

SOURCE: Andrews McMeel Universal

5 March 2020

Canada: Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition Open Through Mid-April at Kean University [Video Included]

Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition
Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition (PRNewsfoto/Kean University)
From middle school students sketching copies of famous artworks, to senior citizen groups and others marveling at "flying machines," thousands of visitors have toured Da Vinci—Inventions since it opened at Kean University's Liberty Hall Academic Center & Exhibition Hall (LHAC) in January.

The soaring exhibition features full-scale models of dozens of Leonardo da Vinci's most inventive creations, from a diving suit to a catapult to a hang glider. 

Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition
Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition (image via Kean University)
Also on display are exquisite, artisan-crafted reproductions of the Mona Lisa and other da Vinci paintings, made with the techniques Leonardo da Vinci himself used, and hand-crafted reproductions of some of the 6,000 pages of notes he left behind.

The exhibition is open every day until April 12, with special pricing offered on select days and free admission to school groups.
"I think it's a great experience. It's a really active experience for our students," said Scotch Plains middle school teacher Carmela Lambert while chaperoning a group of nearly 100 seventh-graders who visited the exhibition as part of their studies of Italian. "When we got the flyer at our school, we thought it would be a great way to teach across curriculum."
Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition
Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition (image via Kean University)
Leonardo da Vinci, a brilliant Renaissance artist and inventor, dreamed of inventions ranging from military equipment to an ideal city. Most of his ideas remained drawings on paper. But recreations in the exhibit bring his visions to life for a modern audience.
"You come here thinking he's an artist, and you walk away thinking he's an engineer; he's a physicist. He was just a brilliant mind," said Lynnette Zimmerman, LHAC executive director.
The world-class traveling exhibition, which was created by Grande Exhibitions and has appeared around the world, also ushers in a new phase for Kean.
"It really creates a cultural center for Union County," Zimmerman said. "Special events, such as a social media influencer gathering, are being planned for the da Vinci exhibit and other exhibitions will be coming in the future."
Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition (image via Kean University)
Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition (image via Kean University)
The exhibit was a lively hubbub of voices one recent morning as teachers and students from Scotch Plains' Park Middle School fanned out through the gallery. As part of their study, students were assigned to envision themselves as Leonardo da Vinci's students, and sketch his art and drawings.

Teacher Angela Cammilleri said the students were impressed by da Vinci's diving suit invention and ideal city.

LHAC Program Coordinator Keyaira Boone said while the exhibition is wonderful for school groups, everyone is welcome to enjoy it.

"You don't have to be a Kean alumnus or a student to see it; you can just come," she said. "It's fascinating for people of all ages."

The Video:

  • Special ticket prices are now being offered to Da Vinci—Inventions. Children 12 and under are admitted free on Friday-Sunday, March 6-8; Wednesday, March 18; and Friday-Sunday, April 3-5.
  • In addition, two-for-$20 general admission tickets are available on Saturday, March 21, and Thursday-Sunday, April 9-12; and patrons are welcome to "pay what you wish" to enjoy the exhibition on Sunday, March 15.
  • Admission is free for school groups.

11 February 2020

Moutai Group Celebrates Chinese Lunar New Year in Manhattan's Chinatown [Video Included]

Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated in Manhattan’s Chinatown
Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated in Manhattan’s Chinatown
The Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival were held in Manhattan, New York on Sunday, February 9 in honor of Chinese Lunar New Year. The festivities featured a parade, lion dances, and cultural performances.

The first float was sponsored by Moutai Group. A giant bottle of Moutai and colorful balloons on the float sparkled with the flashes of the parade-watchers' cameras. On the float, a banner reading "Stay Strong, Wuhan" sent well wishes to the people of Wuhan, China, which is currently battling a novel coronavirus epidemic. The banner represented the wishes of Chinese people all over the world.

In featuring this message on their float, Moutai Group expressed the sincerity of their feelings for the people of Wuhan, as well as their dedication to help. As the first thing anyone would see in the parade, this float's important message could not be missed.

Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated in Manhattan’s Chinatown
Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated in Manhattan’s Chinatown
The Year of the Rat officially kicked off last month. However, this year's lunar new year was more challenging than usual. The outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia is being addressed by the efforts of all of China.
"Actually, I am not that scared of Coronavirus. It is just one of many things we deal with globally," a woman in the parade said.
A young girl in the parade expressed her wishes to Chinese people: "I'm sorry that people are going through that. Stay strong, it'll pass. Be strong Wuhan. Be strong China!"
Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated in Manhattan’s Chinatown
Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated in Manhattan’s Chinatown (screengrab)
Chinese Consul General in New York Huang Ping, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio, Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul, and others attended the event, where they extended their best wishes to the public.

The Video:

SOURCE: Moutai Group

22 January 2020

"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" to Open in China [Video Included]

"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" to Open in China
"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" to Open in China
Cityneon Holdings has announced that Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition will be making its first-ever appearance in China, starting with Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, on the first day of Chinese New Year on 25 January 2020.

Set to be launched at the iconic Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, special guests from the media and tourism industry were invited to an exclusive preview into Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition on 20 January 2020.

This preview event was also attended by strategic partners that made this exhibition possible, including Mr. Ron Tan, Executive Chairman and Group CEO of Cityneon Holdings, Mr. Michael Silver, Universal Parks & Resorts' President for Global Business Development, , Mr. Liu Xiaobin, Vice President of Wanda Film Group and Executive CEO of Wanda Film, Ms. Zhou Haiyan, Deputy Governor of Chenghua District and many other distinguished guests. The official signing ceremony was held earlier this month (5 January 2020) at the Wanda Cinemas in Chengdu Mid-Town.

"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" - Opening Ceremony held on 20th January 2020 in Chengdu
"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" - Opening Ceremony held on 20th January 2020 in Chengdu
This exhibition spans a total area of approximately 30,000 square feet and is poised to bring the ground-breaking film franchise Jurassic World to life. Visitors will feel as if they have entered the films as they walk through the world-famous Jurassic World gates and explore the experience through an interactive journey. Guests will come face-to-face with a Velociraptor, step behind the glass into The Hammond Creation Lab; and be able to imagine what it would have been like to walk among these breathtaking animals as they visit a majestic and family-friendly Brachiosaurus, and get a rare up-close look at the most vicious dinosaur of them all, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition"
"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" (screengrab)
The Jurassic World franchise has been entertaining audiences around the world with powerful stories and characters for more than 25 years -- from film to TV to video games and toys to rides at Universal theme parks. In fact, Universal Beijing Resort is scheduled to open in 2021 as Universal's newest theme park destination and will feature seven highly themed and immersive lands -- including Jurassic World Isla Nublar. Guests of all ages will be able to explore Isla Nublar, an island of wonder and thrills where dinosaurs roam the Earth again.
Speaking at the event, Universal Parks & Resorts' President of Global Business Development Mr. Michael Silver said, "I am indeed excited to see Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition opening here in Chengdu. We strongly believe that this exhibition's first foray into China is only the beginning, and we are confident that Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition will be presented in many other Chinese markets in the future. We are delighted that our licensee Cityneon Group, together with Wanda Films, are presenting such a world-class exhibition that is such a credit to the iconic Jurassic World franchise, and we are pleased that the many Jurassic World fans in China will have the opportunity to experience this wonderful exhibition."
"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition"
"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" (screengrab)
Adding to that, Cityneon's Executive Chairman and Group CEO Mr. Ron Tan said, "We are honoured and thrilled to have forged strong and strategic partnerships with Universal and Wanda to bring Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition to Chengdu, our first stop in China. We are highly encouraged by the committed ticket sales of 300,000 tickets even prior to the start of the exhibition and deeply hope that this exhibition can bring the same excitement to the Chinese audiences here as well."
Reiterating his commitment to create high-quality and unforgettable experiences, Mr. Tan added, "We will continue to leverage on our expertise, credentials and relationships with existing and new partners to deliver more unique exhibitions and compelling experiences in markets with high growth potential."
Wanda Film Group and Wanda Film's CEO Mr. Zeng Maojun, said, "We are very impressed with Cityneon's licensed portfolio of leading global IPs and its iconic exhibitions that captivate audiences around the world. It is our great pleasure to collaborate with them to bring this exclusive exhibition to China. We are confident that the audiences will be wowed by the magnificence and interactive experiences, leaving them with unforgettable unique memories like never before, especially during this festive Chinese New Year."

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SOURCE: Cityneon

14 January 2020

New Patent To Transform Entertainment Industry -- Holograms Can Now Move Into Restaurants, Private Events And Our Homes

Donald Spector, Inventor
Donald Spector, Inventor President Lisa Pamintuan announced patent #10,536,496 has been issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office to Donald Spector, one of the world's most prolific inventors.
"Spector has opened several billion-dollar industries in the past and we believe this addition to our world class patent portfolios will change the landscape of the entertainment industry forever. With lower cost and our new patented holographic streaming system, the equipment can be set up in venues as small as a restaurant or home and broadcast visuals and sounds indistinguishable from live entertainment! Previously holography has been used in large scale auditoriums and concert venues. Our patents will now allow streaming holography to go mainstream."
Gary Salzman, President of Big Management says, "I've seen this technology in action and it's absolutely amazing. This is truly the future."
"The entertainment industry and the public have been waiting to see and do more with Holography. Audiences love holograms that they have seen at concerts and trade shows throughout the world. With HoloRama, our new technology, the audience will not know what is live or what is a hologram until sets come alive, acts appear and disappear and dancers pop out of thin air," Lisa Pamintuan explained.

"HoloRama can do the impossible for artists and producers; it can have higher production value at venues of all sizes with lower costs, and be indistinguishable from reality. Our newer patents now are being developed for one of the fastest growing fields at the juncture of sports and entertainment, E-Sports."
Donald Spector added, "Having been an executive producer on Broadway, the excitement of working with this new venture is the most exciting of my life. Live events are great, but they have not been able to compete with the higher production value of movies. This technology gives the best of both. The economics of having a superstar perform at private events has been reserved for the super-rich or large corporations. This technology provides world class entertainment by allowing headliner acts to perform almost live in intimate venues and gives the audience a close-up experience with their favorite artist. The general public can now afford to pay for a star to perform in HoloRama at almost any social event including weddings, birthdays and anniversaries."
Hologram Records will be selecting artists to be featured on its tours that can perform around the world simultaneously. Hologram Records will also be producing synthetic acts.

Additionally, this new technology will be able to offer holograms of special effects like waterfalls, giant pop out cakes and Christmas trees in HoloRama as indistinguishable new screen savers, when not being used for performances. Karaoke will change as singers will be able to have famous singers perform with them at parties and nightclubs.

  • The company is planning a virtual traveling pop up tent circus that can set up at county fairs and events everywhere.

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