Showing posts with label Miscellaneous. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Miscellaneous. Show all posts

16 April 2021

Selena Photos Acquisition Commemorates Iconic Tejana Singer's 50th Birthday [Rare 1994 Interview Included]

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Selena Photos Acquisition Commemorates Iconic Tejana Singer's 50th Birthday [Rare 1994 Interview Included]
Selena Photos Acquisition Commemorates Singer’s 50th Birthday (photo via americanhistory.si.edu)
The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has acquired 18 images of the iconic Tejana singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez (1971–1995) to add to its collection of photographs taken by San Antonio, Texas-based photographer Al Rendon
  • It will also release an educational video April 16 highlighting objects about, and images of, Selena in the Smithsonian's collections to share her story on what would have been her 50th birthday. One of Selena's performance costumes was gifted to the museum by her family in 1998.
These recently collected photographs depict Selena in concert, interacting with fans and professional headshots. A purchased acquisition, the images are part of the museum's Photographic History Collection and join images of Selena taken by Rendon and donated in 2015 as part of the museum's collecting initiative around Hispanic advertising history. 

In addition, the museum is publishing several digital resources to help audiences learn about Selena's legacy, including the final installment in the Smithsonian's "Latinas Talk Latinas" video series, produced in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino CenterThe video was filmed in spring 2021 in her home state of Texas and in Washington, D.C. An educational Learning Lab featuring Selena in the Smithsonian collections will accompany the video, and the museum will publish blog posts and social media content.

Selena Photos Acquisition Commemorates Iconic Tejana Singer's 50th Birthday [Rare 1994 Interview Included]
Curator Mireya Loza holding one of the newly acquired photographs (photo via americanhistory.si.edu)
Selena was an American singer-songwriter who became known as the "Queen of Tejano Music," a popular form of music originating in Texas that takes influences from polka, rock, conjunto and mariachi. She rose to fame in the late 1980s among Mexican Americans and Mexicans, and her popularity quickly grew across U.S. and international Latino markets. She went on to sign with a major record label and served as a regional spokesperson for Coca-Cola from 1989 until her death. Selena played for crowds of 80,000 and won a Grammy for the best Mexican American album in 1994. At the time of her death, Selena was recording her first album in English, her native language, and had opened several fashion boutiques. She was killed March 31, 1995, by the president of her fan club, who also managed her clothing stores.
"Selena's music continues to animate family BBQs and celebrations such as quinceañeras, as her music and story continue to inspire, resonate and connect across generations and communities," said Verónica A. Méndez, curator at the museum. "Almost 30 years after her tragic death, she remains one of the most influential Latina artists of both the 20th and 21st centuries, with a growing fan base introduced to Selena by the 1997 namesake movie starring Jennifer Lopez, one of the best-selling cosmetics celebrity collaborations in 2016 and the recent 2020 Netflix series."
The museum's "American Enterprise" exhibition displays Selena's black leather jacket and black satin bustier that she wore between 1990 and 1995 for performances in the U.S. and Mexico to illustrate the story of Hispanic Advertising. It is the same outfit in which she is depicted at the Selena Memorial statue in Corpus Christi, Texas, and in several of the newly acquired photographs. 

Selena Photos Acquisition Commemorates Iconic Tejana Singer's 50th Birthday [Rare 1994 Interview Included]
Photo transparencies of Selena by Rendon for Coca-Cola advertisements (photo via americanhistory.si.edu)
The exhibition also features transparencies of Selena from a Coca-Cola photo session taken by Rendon, some of which were never published, and an image from the 1994 Coca-Cola ad developed by Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates. In addition, images of Selena are featured in the museum's new "Girlhood (It's Complicated)" exhibition.

A rare video of an interview with Selena on the program "Tejano USA" was discovered as part of a separate donation to the museum's Spanish-language television project by Univision, the parent company of San Antonio's KWEX-TV, Channel 41

  • The interview, with footage of Selena from 1994, has been viewed almost 4 million times.
Selena's costume is part of the museum's entertainment collections in the division of Cultural and Community Life. Other Mexican American artists whose costumes are in that collection include Lydia Mendoza (1916–2007) of Texas, who was known as the "La Alondra de la Frontera" or "The Lark of the Border," and "San Antonio's First Lady of Song" Rosita Fernández (1918–2006), who was best known for her corridos or ballads.


SOURCE: Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

14 April 2021

'Progression: Glory Days, Pt 2' - Vic Santoro Delivers The Second Instalment of His 2021 Trilogy

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'Progression: Glory Days, Pt 2' - Vic Santoro Delivers The Second Instalment of His 2021 Trilogy
Vic Santoro delivers second instalment of his 2021 trilogy - 'Progression: Glory Days, Pt 2'
South London rapper Vic Santoro returns with energetic new mixtape Progression: Glory Days, Pt 2, out today via American, Austin-based label Big Indie Records.
Following on from the hard-hitting, introspective vibes of Pain: Glory Days Pt. 1 in February, Progression: Glory Days, Pt 2 sees Vic reveal his endeavours to break away from the hardships of his life, and to shape a better future for himself. It marks the second instalment of his trio of mixtapes, made up of some of the 100+ songs Vic has recorded over the past few years.

Things open with 'No Regrets', the focus track of the project that pairs motivational lyrics of levelling up with an idyllic, blissed-out production. 
Speaking on this tune, Vic says, "No Regrets is about finally taking that leap to enter the next phase in your life. Being able to assess your journey thus far and highlighting the lesson."
Next up is recent single 'Came And Saw', with Vic in a nostalgic mood as he reflects on how far he has come, setting his intentions for how he means to go on. Produced and directed by Vic himself, the slick, monochrome official video perfectly captures the essence of his triumph over his struggles.

'Slipped Up' and 'Represents' are then characterised by lucid social commentary documenting his life on the streets and during his 11 year stint in prison, making for a more reflective listen. 

'Top 5' closes things out featuring emotive vocalist Elle Cato, with Vic reflecting on his time in prison and vowing to never return to that life as he raps honestly amidst a funk-laden, gospel-inspired production.
Speaking on the overall project, Vic explains, "Glory Days Pt. 2 is a continuity of my journal. On Part 1 I spoke on my trials and tribulations and on this one I speak on the tools I used to make it through difficult moments. This is the part in the movie where the main character recovers from a tragedy and goes on to be triumphant in his endeavours."
'Progression: Glory Days, Pt 2' - Vic Santoro Delivers The Second Instalment of His 2021 Trilogy
To celebrate the release of 'Progression: Glory Days, Pt 2', Vic Santoro partners up with Morley's to #FeedTheVillage
Born in Cameroon before moving to the concrete jungle that is London, Vic Santoro found solace in his creativity during his teenage years, reading and reciting poetry, studying English literature before being turned onto the revolutionary teachings of rap's greatest poet Tupac Shakur.

A supremely talented street poet, Progression: Glory Days, Pt 2 is destined to further bolster the ever-growing reputation of Vic Santoro.


SOURCE: Vic Santoro

12 April 2021

Transgender & Non-Binary Youth Influencers Launch Book Collection with Kids Media Disrupter 'A Kids Book About'

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Transgender & Non-Binary Youth Influencers Launch Book Collection with Kids Media Disrupter 'A Kids Book About'
The GenderCool Project has teamed up with A Kids Book About to create a collection of books hoping to bring clarity and positivity to a national conversation that’s in need of support.
While many teens took e-learning as an opportunity to level-up their gaming skills, a group of young people chose instead to write a collection of books about their lives.
The GenderCool Project, a storytelling campaign turned global movement led by 18 young people known as the "Champions," has teamed up with A Kids Book About, the company making kids media that matters, to create a collection of books hoping to bring clarity and positivity to a national conversation that's in need of support.

There are three books in the collection:

  • 'A Kids Book About Being Transgender' by Gia Parr
  • 'A Kids Book About Being Non-binary' by Hunter Chinn-Raicht
  • 'A Kids Book About Being Inclusive'  by Ashton Mota and Rebekah Bruesehoff
Launching on preorder today, and shipping in June for Pride celebrations across the globe, the collection aims to open conversations about topics that are complex and important, a hallmark of A Kids Book About that helped land 10 of A Kids Book About's titles on the coveted Favorite Things 2020 list in the December issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.
At a time when the American nation is seeing an unprecedented level of harmful legislation targeting transgender and non-binary youth, this book collection will help bring to communities everywhere the real stories of Gia, Hunter, Ashton and Rebekah, written by these young people who are thriving.
"The GenderCool Project will be our first-ever non-profit partner on a themed collection; we felt it was critical to help bring these topics to kids everywhere in a relevant and honest way," said Jelani Memory, co-founder and CEO of A Kids Book About. "Our unique publishing model and writing process will elevate the underrepresented voices of transgender and non-binary teens with real, lived experiences, to spark productive and positive conversations around this topic a priority for kids and grownups everywhere."
Gia Parr (screengrab)
Gia Parr (she/her), age 17, author of A Kids Book About Being Transgender, said, "It's been a dream of mine to return to my elementary school and be able to read a book that I wrote to help my school and its students understand who transgender kids are, and show the younger kids coming out that their lives can be great!"
Hunter Chinn-Raicht (screengrab)
Hunter Chinn-Raicht (they/them), age 15, author of A Kids Book About Being Non-binary, added, "It's awesome to be able to help grownups and kids have conversations about re-imagining who human beings truly are. Not all people are binary, which is a fancy way of saying 'one thing or the other.' For me, I am able to express myself outside of the pink and blue stereotype. I am grey, white, and all the colors mashed up into one!"
Ashton Mota (screengrab)
Ashton Mota (he/him), age 16, co-author of A Kids Book About Being Inclusive with his Champion peer Rebekah Bruesehoff (she/her), age 14, hopes people will understand how important it is to embrace and celebrate each other's differences. 
He said, "My life as an Afro-Latino kid growing up is totally different than Rebekah's. When we wrote this book, we learned so many new things about each other. It brought us closer together as friends."
 
Rebekah Bruesehoff (screengrab)
Rebekah added, "I've always wanted to be an author. For me, stories are bridges to empathy, courage and hope."
GenderCool co-founders Jen Grosshandler and Gearah Goldstein believe this collection is an organic evolution of the work GenderCool has done since launching in 2018. "We waited for the right opportunity to partner with a publisher who believed in the power of young people to drive change in the world," said Grosshandler. "We are proud to partner with A Kids Book About. They are the future of what kid content should be."
Goldstein added, "These beautiful books will help people replace their opinions with real, positive experiences learning about our Champions who are thriving throughout the country with the love and support of their family, friends and community."

About The GenderCool Project:

The GenderCool Project is a youth-led movement replacing misinformed opinions with positive, powerful experiences meeting remarkable kids who identify as transgender and non-binary. Our movement is creating positive change by influencing understanding, business and culture. 

 About A Kids Book About:

A Kids Book About is a media company that created the industry's first direct-to-consumer kids book brand and publishing company. On a mission to make kids media that matters, A Kids Book About works with authors and creators from all kinds of backgrounds and identities.

With two book series for kids ages 5-9 and 0-4 respectively, and a flagship podcast that launched in 2021, A Kids Book About explores themes like racism, feminism, disabilities, death, community and belonging. 

[Blog Tour] 'Songbird' (The Tudor Court, Book I) By Karen Heenan #HistoricalFiction

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[Blog Tour] 'Songbird' (The Tudor Court, Book I) By Karen Heenan #HistoricalFiction
'Songbird' - Tour Banner

The Book:

Songbird
(The Tudor Court, Book I)
By Karen Heenan
  • Narrator: Jennifer Summerfield
  • Publication Date: November 3, 2019
  • Publisher: Authors4Authors Publishing Cooperative
  • Page Length: 300 pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

The Blurb:

She has the voice of an angel...

But one false note could send her back to her old life of poverty.

After her father sells her to Henry VIII, ten-year-old Bess builds a new life as a royal minstrel, and earns the nickname "the king's songbird."

She comes of age in the dangerous Tudor court, where the stakes are always high, and where politics, heartbreak, and disease threaten everyone from the king to the lowliest musician.

Her world has only one constant: Tom, her first and dearest friend. But when Bess intrigues with Anne Boleyn and strains against the restrictions of life at court, will she discover that the biggest risk of all is listening to her own stubborn heart?

Buy Links: 

Audio Buy Links: 

Narrated by Jennifer Summerfield
[Blog Tour] 'Songbird' (The Tudor Court, Book I) By Karen Heenan #HistoricalFiction
'Songbird' - Front Cover

'Songbird' (The Tudor Court, Book I) - Excerpt:

Setup: Spring, 1517. Bess Llewelyn, sold to the king by her father, has been with the court for several months. She has undergone intensive training and is about to sing for the king and court for the first time. Her future rests on the success of her performance.

***

The still morning air was shattered by the winding of the horn as the hunt thundered from the stables. The sky was pink-tinged, the grass soaked with dew.

I watched as the horses streamed up the slope of Shooter’s Hill, the gaily dressed riders looking like figures from a tapestry. Despite their pace, the attitude was leisurely; everyone knew there would be no real sport. King Henry was at the head of the field, splendid in Lincoln green velvet, a jaunty plume in his cap. He kept a close hand on the reins of his black horse as it twitched and bounded with contagious excitement. I clapped my hands when he stood in the stirrups and let the horse have its head and prance along. After everyone had admired his prowess, the king pulled his mount back to ride alongside the queen’s well-mannered gray mare.

The murmur of voices behind me ebbed and flowed like the Thames, but I was all impatience like the king’s horse and turned from the window. “Mistress, are we leaving?”

“Does it appear that we’re moving, Bess?” came the reply from across the chamber. “Don’t fuss. You’ll spoil your gown.”

Mistress Keith, rounded and glowing like an apple, placed a circlet of leaves and gillyflowers on my head. “You’re lovely,” she said with a pat of approval. “You look like a young lady in that gown.”

I thrilled to her words, for hadn’t I thought the same? I didn’t often care how I looked, but this gown was beautiful, and I felt more tolerant than usual of the girlish chatter of slippers and sleeves. The heady scent of the wreath made me sneeze, and I did so stiffly, careful not to disturb the ornaments sewn to my willow-green bodice and skirt.

The performers left in a series of carts, traveling along the worn roundabout path. We arrived ahead of the hunting party and were hidden away when we heard the horn. Henry Guildford, dressed as Robin Hood, shouted a challenge to the royal party to join his merry men.

I experienced a moment of disbelief that I should be a part of such a world and felt in my stomach a fluttering much like the wings of the captive birds netted for the occasion. I prayed I would not disgrace myself when the time came.

Soft music filtered through the trees as the king and queen were led to the dais inside the vast silken tent. I stayed hidden behind my tent-flap, dreamily watching the grand spectacle, wishing it was what the king pretended it to be: an innocent hunting-party overtaken by robbers and whisked into the forest.

The outlaws served the party with course after course of sumptuous fare carried apace from the palace kitchens. I lost count of the number of peacocks, cooked and reunited with their feathers, their beaks and claws turned to gold. There were courses of fish and fowl, lark, and pheasant, and a special dish of stewed lampreys, the king’s favorite. There was much wine and laughter, until I thought the performances forgotten, but at last, Guildford rose and bowed before the king.

“Your Grace, if a poor man may make so bold as to attempt to please his sovereign, I would offer you a little entertainment.” He flung his arms wide, and three musicians entered. Harry and Gilbert looked well in their outlaw garb, but I was most proud of Tom, who was tall and fine in green hose and a leather jerkin over a soft white linen shirt.

Their music was gay and light and rang out marvelously in the enclosure. I judged no one need strain to hear and would pitch my own voice accordingly. When the trio began the last of their songs, joined this time by a group of girls in white flower-bedecked dresses, I readied myself for my entrance.

The king shouted his approval, and Gilbert and Harry bowed their way out of the tent, while Guildford took the stage again, his handsome, fleshy face smiling at the success of the entertainment thus far. “I would offer another treat for His Majesty,” he said. “A small sprite, found in the wood. Fairies, as Your Grace knows, cannot be tamed, but this one has consented to sing for us.”

Someone pushed me forward, and in small, springing steps, I joined Tom before the king and queen, dropping into the low curtsy that was now second nature. Master Fayrefax’s tune emerged from lips and lute as perfectly as it had sounded in the composer’s mind when he wrote the piece. I knew it without vanity, knew it as well as I knew Tom’s songs were better.

There was silence as we performed, and when we finished, King Henry broke into hearty applause. Tom put his hand on my shoulder, and we made our bow together, then retreated to let the next performers come forward. Before we ducked out of the tent, I heard the king say, “Methinks I have heard that sprite before. She sings exceeding well.”

I threw my arms around Tom. “He liked it!”

“Of course, he did.” Laughing, he pulled me loose and set me down on a felled tree, gently, for fear of my gown. “You’ve an angel in your throat, Bess, and King Henry is too much a musician not to know it.”

I leaned back and looked up at the sky, seeing it only as chinks of bright blue through the thick trees. “I would not sing so well were anyone else to play for me.”

“Silly child,” he said, kneeling and brushing grass from my skirt. “I can’t play for you forever, Bess. They won’t allow it. You must learn to stand on your own.”

[Blog Tour] 'Songbird' (The Tudor Court, Book I) By Karen Heenan #HistoricalFiction
Karen Heenan

Author Bio:

Karen Heenan was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. She fell in love with books and stories before she could read, and has wanted to write for nearly as long. After far too many years in a cubicle, she set herself free to follow her dreams—which include gardening, sewing, traveling and, of course, lots of writing.

She lives in Lansdowne, PA, not far from Philadelphia, with two cats and a very patient husband, and is always hard at work on her next book.

Connect with Karen:

[Blog Tour] 'Songbird' (The Tudor Court, Book I) By Karen Heenan #HistoricalFiction
'Songbird' - Tour Schedule

9 April 2021

The New Hit Animated Comedy TV Pilot 'Daddydelphia' Awarded Its Sixth Festival Win and 25th Official Selection [Trailer Included]

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The New Hit Animated Comedy TV Pilot 'Daddydelphia' Awarded Its Sixth Festival Win and 25th Official Selection [Trailer Included]
“Daddydelphia” Awarded Numerous Festival Wins and Nominations, Including “Best Series Pilot,” “Best Comedy Short,” “Best Web/TV Series,” and “Best Animation Short”
The critically acclaimed animated comedy television pilot, Daddydelphia, was recently awarded its sixth festival win and 25th official selection—all within one month of the pilot premiere. 
  • The newest additions to this winning tally include the New York International Film Awards and Oniros Film Awards, which awarded the new half-hour comedy the title of "Best Series Pilot." Other wins include "Best TV Series" by the Imagine Rain Independent Film Awards, "Best Animation Short" by the New Jersey Film Awards, and "Best Comedy Short" by both the New York Independent Cinema Awards and Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival.
The New Hit Animated Comedy TV Pilot 'Daddydelphia' Awarded Its Sixth Festival Win and 25th Official Selection [Trailer Included]
'Daddydelphia' (screengrab)
The Daddydelphia cast and team certainly have quite a lot to be proud of. In its announcement of festival winners, the Imagine Rain Independent Film Awards described the pilot as "fantastically funny" with animation "similar to that of early Simpsons or Family Guy." 

Digitally accepting these awards was actor, producer, and show creator, Harold Eric (known for appearances on Search Party and Gotham), who critics have referred to as the "millennial Seth MacFarlane." 
Regarding these recent wins, Harold Eric stated, "Daddydelphia began simply as an opportunity to foster some form of levity during peculiar times. However, as the show developed from concept to completed production, it became increasingly apparent that there was something special about this pandemic-prompted creation. Our New York-based cast and international team—which include veteran talents and newcomers alike—couldn't be happier about the wonderful public reception and recent critical acclaim we've received."
The New Hit Animated Comedy TV Pilot 'Daddydelphia' Awarded Its Sixth Festival Win and 25th Official Selection [Trailer Included]
Harold Eric (image via IMDb)

Daddydelphia, which was written, directed, and produced by Harold Eric, focuses on five twenty-somethings who become lost while on a road trip to a weekend getaway due to their navigator's alcohol-fueled gross negligence. As a result, they become relegated to life in a small, peculiar town filled with inhabitants who hold mysterious beliefs, strange traditions, and a determination to burn them at the stake. 

  • Originally intended for a January 2022 public release following completion of a full festival run, Daddydelphia instead premiered publicly during March 2021 in an effort to offer new content to a pandemic-stricken populace. 
On the decision, Harold Eric noted, "Although we recognize that public availability limits our festival eligibility to a certain extent, this pilot wasn't created for critical acclaim—more than anything, it was created to make people laugh. That's a tradeoff I'll make any day."

The Trailer:


  • Daddydelphia is currently streaming online for a limited time. To learn more about Daddydelphia, visit daddydelphia.com.

SOURCE: Cityledge

Finding Her Voice: New Documentary Sees Danielle (Nolli) Waterman Speak out on Gender Equality in Sport and Her Experience of Online Abuse [Video Included]

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Finding Her Voice: New Documentary Sees Danielle (Nolli) Waterman Speak out on Gender Equality in Sport and Her Experience of Online Abuse [Video Included]
HSBC, title partner of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, releases its latest sports documentary, Finding Her Voice, with Danielle Waterman
HSBC, title partner of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, releases its latest sports documentary, Finding Her Voice. This film captures the reality of being a female in the sports industry. Danielle 'Nolli' Waterman is arguably one of rugby's greatest ever fullbacks, a former world champion and a pioneer of the women's game.
  • In the documentary, Nolli speaks about her experience of swapping a rugby ball for a microphone to forge a new career in the world of sports commentary. Nolli takes us on an emotional journey, sharing the highs and lows of being a woman working in sports media.
Nolli said: "When HSBC first asked me if they could share my story in a documentary, I never imagined that they would invest so much time and energy in creating something so awesome. It was quite emotional watching the final edit for the first time and although it was a little overwhelming, it has been a real privilege to tell my story and be open about the highs and lows I have experienced along the way.

When people ask what should be done to improve the opportunities for women in sport, for me it's things like this documentary. It provides the opportunity to help bust myths and begin to change the narrative of what is possible
."
Finding Her Voice: New Documentary Sees Danielle (Nolli) Waterman Speak out on Gender Equality in Sport and Her Experience of Online Abuse [Video Included]
HSBC, title partner of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, releases its latest sports documentary, Finding Her Voice, with Danielle Waterman
HSBC has been a partner of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for over 10 years and in that time, has been committed to driving meaningful change across the series, playing a crucial role in the coming together of the men's and women's series to position rugby sevens as a leader in gender equality in sport. The global rugby grassroots programme has opened up opportunities for tens of thousands of girls to pick up a rugby ball and play the game, often for the very first time.
Jonathan Castleman, Group Head of HSBC Brand and Brand Partnerships commented: "Opportunities should be available to everyone, regardless of gender, race or background. This remains at the very heart of our business and we're proud to be able to help Nolli tell her story. Like Nolli, our ambition through our partnerships is to inspire the next generation of girls and women to believe they can follow in her footsteps, and we remain committed to supporting a greater voice for women in sport to help drive positive change."
The documentary was produced by female sports journalist and producer Laura-Jane (LJ) Jones, CEO of Blonde Ambition Media. LJ commented: "I truly believe the themes and topics in the documentary will resonate with so many women, and the balance with which Nolli delivers it will only help to educate as well."

Finding Her Voice - The Video:

The film was produced for HSBC by the Sports department at H+K Strategies, one of the UK's leading Public Relations agencies and Blonde Ambition Media.
  • To learn more, follow @HSBC_Sport on Twitter and Instagram and HSBC Sport on Facebook.
SOURCE: HSBC

8 April 2021

New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties [Infographic]

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New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties [Infographic]
New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties (Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko)
L.O.L. Surprise! has new research showing more US families have turned to kitchen dance parties with 65 percent of households enjoying more in-home discos - complete with dad-dancing and wooden spoons for microphones - over the last year than ever before and 49 percent of the 2000 Americans polled saying a kitchen disco is now a regular weekend occurrence.

The new research celebrating the launch of the new L.O.L. Surprise! Dance Dance Dance toy line reveals several interesting details about these at home discos:

  • Saturday night at 6pm is the most popular time for families to shake their booties.
  • The number one song on the kitchen disco list is Queen's iconic anthem, Bohemian Rhapsody (35 percent).
  • In second place is Justin Timberlake's funky Can't Stop the Feeling (33 percent), followed by the uplifting Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye (30 percent)
  • 89 percent of households confess they can't get enough of dancing together in the kitchen during the weekend.
  • 29 percent admit that they try to keep their parents up to date on the latest music and how to bust a move - but it's just no use.
  • Three in 10 parents are being introduced to the wonders of TikTok, with U Can't Touch This by MC Hammer the number one dance taught to parents by their children (33 percent), followed by Savage Love by Jason Derulo (32 percent), and Toosie Slide by Drake (30 percent).
Isaac Larian, CEO and Founder of MGA Entertainment, conducted the research as part of the L.O.L. Surprise! Dance Dance Dance toy launch, said, "Dancing is always something that has brought people together from around the globe. We love that our toys have inspired our fans, parents and children, to find escape and joy together in kitchen disco parties, and that they have embraced dance as a way to connect no matter what is happening in the world around them."
New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties [Infographic]
New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties (Photo by cottonbro)
The survey found that 42 percent of kids still think dad's moves are embarrassing and 37 percent claim mom's moves are just as bad. However, 67 percent say that despite this, they still love to have a dance with their parents at home, although 26 percent wouldn't be caught dancing with them in public.

As for the parents, two thirds (64 percent) said dancing with their kids had lifted their spirits over the last year, with 82 percent agree being able to bust some moves together always cheers them up and helps improve their mood, and over half having used dance parties as a fun way to let off steam (55 percent). 


  • Plus, 26 percent of families are taking things to the next level and have pulled out all the stops to turn the kitchen into a home disco, complete with flashing lights and decorations to bring the party to life.
New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties [Infographic]
New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties (Photo by KoolShooters)

The 20 Greatest Kitchen Disco Songs Of All Time According To Americans:

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen (35%
  2. Can't Stop the Feeling - Justin Timberlake (33%)
  3. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye (30%)
  4. Happy - Pharell Williams (28%)
  5. Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars (28%)
  6. Shake If Off - Taylor Swift (27%)
  7. Crazy in Love - Beyonce (26%)
  8. Hey Ya - Outkast (25%)
  9. Dancing Queen - Abba (23%)
  10. I Want to Dance with Somebody - Whitney Houston (23%)
  11. Believe - Cher (21%)
  12. Wannabe - Spice Girls (20%)
  13. I will Survive - Gloria Gaynor (18%)
  14. Don't Worry Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin (18%)
  15. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns and Roses (18%)
  16. Buffalo Soldier - Bob Marley and the Wailers (18%)
  17. My Name is - Eminem (18%)
  18. Gin & Juice - Snoop Dogg (18%)
  19. Toxic - Britney Spears (16%)
  20. Staying Alive - the BeeGees (15%)

The Infographic:

New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties [Infographic]
L.O.L. Surprise! shows US families are turning to kitchen dance parties celebrating post-COVID!


7 April 2021

[Blog Tour] 'A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, The Aragon Years' (Book one of The Henrician Chronicle) By Judith Arnopp #HistoricalFiction

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[Blog Tour] 'A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, The Aragon Years' (Book one of The Henrician Chronicle) By Judith Arnopp #HistoricalFiction
'A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, The Aragon Years' - Tour banner

The Book:

A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, The Aragon Years
(Book one of The Henrician Chronicle)
By Judith Arnopp
  • Publication Date: February 2021
  • Publisher: Feed a Read
  • Page Length: 335 pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
[Blog Tour] 'A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, The Aragon Years' (Book one of The Henrician Chronicle) By Judith Arnopp #HistoricalFiction

The Blurb:

‘A king must have sons: strong, healthy sons to rule after him.’

On the unexpected death of Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales, his brother, Henry, becomes heir to the throne of England. The intensive education that follows offers Henry a model for future excellence; a model that he is doomed to fail.

On his accession, he chooses his brother’s widow, Catalina of Aragon, to be his queen. Together they plan to reinstate the glory of days of old and fill the royal nursery with boys.

But when their first-born son dies at just a few months old, and subsequent babies are born dead or perish in the womb, the king’s golden dreams are tarnished.

Christendom mocks the virile prince. Catalina’s fertile years are ending yet all he has is one useless living daughter, and a baseborn son.

He needs a solution but stubborn to the end, Catalina refuses to step aside.

As their relationship founders, his eye is caught by a woman newly arrived from the French court. Her name is Anne Boleyn.

A Matter of Conscience: the Aragon Years offers a unique first-person account of the ‘monster’ we love to hate and reveals a man on the edge; an amiable man made dangerous by his own impossible expectation

[Blog Tour] 'A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, The Aragon Years' (Book one of The Henrician Chronicle) By Judith Arnopp #HistoricalFiction
 'A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, The Aragon Years' - Front cover

'A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, The Aragon Years' - Excerpt:

1527 – Henry’s courtship of Anne Boleyn gathers pace

We are in the garden when she accidentally dislodges her hood. I pick it up, but before offering it back to her, I reach out for a glossy, dark strand that is not as dark as I first thought. She stands, stock still beneath my touch and does not move when I untie her coif and bare her head.

“Beautiful,” I breathe, running my hands over her hair, barely touching yet making her hair crackle and rise magically to meet my palm. It is not raven black nor merely brunette but a mixture of shades: enlivened highlights of red and gold.

“George says it looks Rusty,” she says, in her dismissive way.

“No, he is wrong. Shall I have him thrown in the tower, just to please you?”

When she laughs, she throws back her head, and my greedy eyes fasten on her throat, so long and white. I want to kiss her Adam’s apple, nibble the softness between neck and shoulder, inhale her fragrance, and tangle my fingers in her hair.

Instead, I chastely kiss her knuckles, clutch her hand close to my heart.

“Mistress Anne, would you …”

She withdraws her hand and places it on my chest as if it is a defensive rampart keeping me from her.

“Sire, please … do not ask it of me. I can never be your mistress.”

I blink in surprise. “It – it is usually considered an honour.”

“I know, I know it is, Your Majesty, a great honour and I love you above all others but I – I have a dream of marriage, children, a house in the country. I would marry for love.”

“Surely you are not still pining for Percy.”

The name issues in a sneer, as if he is some peddling player and not the son of the most powerful magnate in the north. She shakes her head with a pained expression.

“No, no. I am quite recovered from that but …I still harbour hopes of a loving marriage.”

Silence falls. I wonder if he had her. Shortly after she arrived from France her name was linked with Northumberland’s son but Wolsey, who had other plans for Anne, put paid to that as I later put paid to his plans for her marriage with Ormonde.

I watch her pluck a leaf from the hedge and begin to shred it with her nails. I had not expected a refusal, even from her. Nobody ever denies me. I frown, clear my throat, to explain it further.

“As my official mistress, you’d be the highest lady at court, bar the queen.”

“I’d be a whore, Your Majesty. A royal whore but a whore nevertheless.”

She spins away, repeating the word over and over as if to offend me but surely …even Anne would not go so far as to purposely goad me.

I am never sure what she will say or do next; perhaps that unpredictability is her charm. I follow her along the path.

“Not a whore, a royal companion, a helpmeet. Think of the good you could do, the people you could help, the scholars you could encourage…”

She halts, turns back.

“What do you mean? Scholars?”

She thinks I know nothing of her Lutheran leanings but there is little that escapes me in this court. My spies are everywhere, and I have discovered there are already many who resent Anne for her radical ideas.

“I know you are curious about the new learning. You could meet some of the best scholars in Europe face to face. Tindale is here in England now, you know.”

She frowns, shakes her head.

“But that would be against the law … your law!”

“I know.” I snatch up her hand again. “I’d be prepared to turn a blind eye if you were to become my mistress.”

I should not have to stoop so low. In truth, I do not mean it. It is a snare to know her price, to test if she can be bought.

I kiss her fingers, one by one, my ardour increasing each time my lips meet her flesh.

“The queen would never let that happen,” she says, and she is right. Kate detests the new learning; Heresy, she calls it and for once we are in agreement.

“The queen,” I lie softly. “Does as she is told.”

Anne’s laughter is high and mocking.

“She’d never meekly accept an official mistress endorsing the new religion, Your Majesty. Every one of her ladies that have ended up in your bed have ceased to enjoy the queen’s favour. I have no doubt that no sooner had you bedded me, I’d find myself sent back to Hever in disgrace.”

“But Anne …”

I follow her along the path, back toward the hall. At the door we encounter Brandon and my sister, arm in arm, about to take the air. They halt, bow their heads.

“Your Majesty. A lovely day,” Brandon says, while I kiss my sister.

“You know this lady, Mistress Anne Boleyn?” I open my arm to draw her forward and while Brandon bows stiffly over her hand, Mary sniffs and looks the other way.

“Yes,” she says, as if I am introducing her to a snake. “I have had that pleasure. A fine day.”

[Blog Tour] 'A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, The Aragon Years' (Book one of The Henrician Chronicle) By Judith Arnopp #HistoricalFiction
Judith Arnopp

Author Bio:

A lifelong history enthusiast and avid reader, Judith Arnopp holds a BA in English/Creative writing and an MA in Medieval Studies.

She lives on the coast of West Wales where she writes both fiction and non-fiction based in the Medieval and Tudor period. Her main focus is on the perspective of historical women but more recently is writing from the perspective of Henry VIII himself.

Her novels include:
  • A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, the Aragon Years
  • The Heretic Wind: the life of Mary Tudor, Queen of England
  • Sisters of Arden: on the Pilgrimage of Grace
  • The Beaufort Bride: Book one of The Beaufort Chronicle
  • The Beaufort Woman: Book two of The Beaufort Chronicle
  • The King’s Mother: Book three of The Beaufort Chronicle
  • The Winchester Goose: at the Court of Henry VIII
  • A Song of Sixpence: the story of Elizabeth of York
  • Intractable Heart: the story of Katheryn Parr
  • The Kiss of the Concubine: a story of Anne Boleyn
  • The Song of Heledd
  • The Forest Dwellers
  • Peaceweaver
Judith is also a founder member of a re-enactment group called The Fyne Companye of Cambria and makes historical garments both for the group and others. She is not professionally trained but through trial, error and determination has learned how to make authentic looking, if not strictly HA, clothing. You can find her group Tudor Handmaid on Facebook. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

[Blog Tour] 'A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, The Aragon Years' (Book one of The Henrician Chronicle) By Judith Arnopp #HistoricalFiction
'A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, The Aragon Years' - Tour schedule

4 April 2021

IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]

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IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]
IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong"
IMAX scored its biggest domestic opening weekend in more than a year as "Godzilla vs. Kong" earned $4.5 million on 284 screens. Over 1,000 domestic IMAX shows were sold-out over the 5-day opening, nearly 25% of all IMAX showtimes over that period. 
  • Globally, the Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures' monster hit continued to smash expectations, earning $13 million this weekend across all markets.
IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]
IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" (screengrab)
"'Godzilla vs. Kong' has emerged as a symbol of the enduring strength of the theatrical experience for blockbuster filmmaking, delivering great box office even with many theatres still closed and significant capacity restrictions," said Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. "Make no mistake — this film has become a global event because it received a global theatrical release, and the phenomenal pipeline of tentpole films ahead have the chance to capitalize on the same opportunity."
Despite capacity limitations of up to 25% in North America, a particularly challenging environment for IMAX given its theatre design, and a day-and-date release on streaming, "Godzilla vs. Kong" now stands as IMAX's best domestic opening since January 2020. IMAX screens accounted for 9.3% of the overall weekend box office domestically. Notably, many capacity restrictions including the 25% limit in California are planned to be eased in the coming weeks.

IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]
MAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" (screengrab)
The film continued its success globally, earning another $6.5 million since Wednesday in China while reaching a 10-day cume of $18 million, over 13% of the nationwide box office and the highest 10-day cume of the Godzilla and Kong franchise ever for IMAX in China. The China cume to-date is already nearly double the final IMAX China box office for "Kong: Skull Island" and "Godzilla: King of the Monsters".

The impressive results follow a pandemic-best opening internationally for the film last week, with some markets increasing their IMAX box office over last weekend's openings. IMAX has earned $28 million across all markets globally for the film to-date, 10% of the overall total.

TheTrailer:


  • "Godzilla vs. Kong" will continue its run in IMAX through April 21 in domestic markets and mid-to-late April in most international markets including China, with openings in Brazil and Japan, scheduled for April 29 and May 14, respectively.
IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]
MAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" (screengrab)

About "Godzilla vs. Kong":

"With the world still shaken from the battle between Ghidorah and Godzilla, humanity has begun to try and co-exist with the Titans. But after Godzilla begins his own reign of terror, humanity must call on another legend to stop him: Kong. Not everything is as it seems when Monarch travel to Skull Island, where a mysterious young girl known to communicate with Kong must warn him of the impending danger. As Godzilla rages across nations, destroying everything in his path, the fate of the world in the hands of these two legendary Titans as both Kong and Godzilla battle for the right of King, and to stop the real threat that faces them..."

3 April 2021

7 Reasons Why Raising your Self-Worth is Important [Video Included]

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7 Reasons Why Raising your Self-Worth is Important [Video Included]
7 Reasons Why Raising your Self-Worth is Important (Photo by Matilda Wormwood)
Having a healthy sense of self-worth can change the way you feel about your life. Positive self-worth sets you up to have the energy and confidence to be your best you, to take on challenges and seize opportunities when they come up. Self-worth means you can have your best possible life.
The basis of self-dignity is an honest appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses. That allows you to capitalize on your strengths and to be objective, not defensive about your weaknesses. It gives you the tools to take control of your life.

Having a happy, successful life and feeling good about yourself is not a matter of luck. Positive self-worth is a fundamental part of the Law of Attraction - if you feel good about yourself and believe you deserve to be happy or wealthy or have good relationships, you will attract those things into your life. The experiences we’ve had in our lives, starting from a very early age, alter our self-dignity, either improving it or eroding it.

  • The good news is we can do something about it if we want to have a stronger self-worth. Although it isn’t always pleasant, it’s well worth the time and effort to raise your self-worth.
7 Reasons Why Raising your Self-Worth is Important (Photo by Matilda Wormwood)

Here are some key aspects of the positive role self-worth can have in your life:

  1. You will be more satisfied with life because you will naturally see the good things in life, rather than focusing on the things that are disappointing.
  2. You won’t be undermining yourself with negative self-talk. The Inner Critic will always be there, but you will know how to keep it in check and how to harness that analytical capability to keep increasing your self-awareness.
  3. Self-knowledge is a key part of good leadership. You are more likely to be successful at work when you have a healthy sense of self. You will be able to deal with problems before they get out of proportion, for example.
  4. You will be less needy, less reliant on other people’s good opinion of you. You will be strong enough in your self-worth not to compare yourself with others.
  5. Your relationships will be stronger and more fulfilling because you'll be building them with honesty and self-knowledge.
  6. It will be easier for you to be flexible when situations change. The result is that fewer external circumstances impact your happiness.
  7. You will be more compassionate with yourself and others. When you make mistakes, you’ll be able to view them as lessons rather than failures.

The Video:

31 March 2021

'Star Trek' Production Illustrator John Eaves to Receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 25th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards

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'Star Trek' Production Illustrator John Eaves to Receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 25th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards
Production Illustrator John Eaves to be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Art Directors Guild at the 25th Annual ADG Awards on April 10, 2021.
Concept Artist John Eaves, known for his iconic illustrations and designs for the Star Trek series and for the numerous science fiction realms he created, will receive the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illustrators and Matte Artists (IMA) at the 25th Annual ADG Awards

Herman Zimmerman, Emmy-nominated Production Designer for the Star Trek franchise, will be presenting the award to Eaves. 
  • The event will celebrate Eaves' artistic contribution to the many space vehicles, sets, and concepts that have become classics in the Marvel, Star Trek and Sci-Fi worlds that we know today.
The Awards ceremony, set for Saturday, April 10, 2021, will break with tradition in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be presented on a virtual platform, streaming to a worldwide and more inclusive audience. This is the final of four Lifetime Achievement Awards to be announced by the Art Directors Guild. 

  • The event is free to everyone, but registration is required at adgawards25.com.
"For the past 36 years, John's work as a Production Illustrator has been an integral part of over 100 films and television shows. From props, to sets, to vehicles, to gadgets, and, most prominent and recognizable, a small fleet of starships for the Star Trek franchise, John has inspired many and left an amazing mark on our industry. We celebrate his creativity, talent, and contributions to the Craft and honor him with this year's Lifetime Achievement Award," said Tim Wilcox, ADG Illustrators & Matte Artists Council Chair.
John Eaves has worked as a concept artist on many of Hollywood's most successful franchises, creating iconic Sci-Fi images of futuristic worlds, vehicles, spaceships, and otherworldly designs that have become the foundations and concepts of over 100 award-winning motion picture franchises. These include four Star Trek movies; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Spider-Man: Homecoming; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Iron Man 3.

His talented prop designer and diverse model maker skills are on display in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Ant-Man and The Wasp, Ant-Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 2, Batman Forever, Toys, Die Hard 2, RoboCop 2 and The Hunt for Red October, among many others.

Eaves' groundbreaking work has garnered him numerous awards, including four previous ADG awards. As a child, John was fascinated with aircraft and science fiction and how films came together, a fascination that continued into adulthood and which led to a highly successful 36-year career and still counting.

'Star Trek' Production Illustrator John Eaves to Receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 25th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards
The event is free to everyone, but registration is required at adgawards25.com
As previously announced, Ryan Murphy, one of television's most successful award-winning writers-directors-producers whose shows have consistently reflected the highest quality of production design, will receive the esteemed Cinematic Imagery Award, presented by actor Matt Bomer, star of Ryan's "American Horror Story," "Glee," "American Crime Story," "The Normal Heart" and, most recently, "The Boys in the Band."

Academy Award- and Emmy-winning Production Designer Stuart Wurtzel, ADG, known for his work on Hannah and Her Sisters and "Angels in America," will receive the ADG Lifetime Achievement Award from the Production Designers and Art Directors Council (AD). Martha Johnston, ADG, dynamic artist best known for her over 60 movie and television design credits, is set to receive the ADG Set Designers & Model Makers (SDMM) Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Scenic Artist Patrick DeGreve, ADG, best known for his prolific backings, sets and props for shows created at CBS TV City over the past 45 years, will receive the ADG Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scenic, Title & Graphic Artists (STG). 

  • A complete list of past honorees can be found on ADG's website. #iwillbethere #adgawards
  • Producer of this year's ADG Awards (#ADGawards) is Production Designer Scott Moses, ADG. 
Final online voting will be held through April 7, 2021, and winners will be announced at the virtual gala ceremony on Saturday, April 10, 2021. ADG Awards are open only to productions when made within the U.S. by producers signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions. 
'Star Trek' Production Illustrator John Eaves to Receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 25th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards
The Invite - Art Directors Guild (IATSE, Local 800)

SOURCE: Art Directors Guild (IATSE, Local 800)

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