I want to see Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Right Now! Darn you, actual release date!

I have to admit that I am not a big fan of Wes Anderson, but I love the pastel look of his latest works such as The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom. Then there is his animated masterpiece of Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I feel is so under-appreciated.

If you haven’t seen Fantastic Mr. Fox, it has an all-star cast and a unique style of animation which features a lot of fur and an odd frame rate. Also, if you haven’t see it yet, then you should.

Looks like Mr. Anderson is up to his old and new tricks with Isle of Dogs. The first trailer popped up today, and it is a film that Disney and Pixar would not touch unless there is some post-apocalyptic future that I don’t know about.

Yeah, this film feels very dark, with it taking place 20 years in the future as a mysterious dog flu hits Japan, forcing the government to banish all dogs to Trash Island. From there, it is about a young boy who journeys to the canine penal colony to find his doggie, because I would do that as an adult.

Of course, I am going to have to wait March 23rd, 2018 to see it, and I’m not certain if I will take my kids to see it. According to W magazine, it features “Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Liev Schreiber, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Ken Watanabe, Courtney B. Vance, Bob Balaban, and several Japanese stars including Akira Takayama as well. The only surprise is that Anderson didn’t find characters for Angelica Huston and Jason Schwartzman to voice, as well”.

Amber Cantorna’s “Refocusing my Family” Tour and Release Date

Amber Cantorna was a daughter raised in a Christian home. Not just any Christian home, though. Her father was part of the Focus on the Family team- an executive for 30 years. When she came out to her family at the age of 27 as being gay, her family was torn apart. Amber has written a book called “Refocusing my Family,” which details her struggles coming out, being disowned by her family, and rediscovering her relationship with God.

In an interview with the Denver Post, Amber talked about her struggles with her faith and being a gay Christian.

” I think right now I’m at a point where I’m questioning more. All that I’ve seen Christians do in the name of God is so disheartening. I think I’ll always be a person of faith and have a relationship with God. But it’s embarrassing to call yourself a Christian with the way that so many people are treating others in the name of God. I still identify as a Christian but very much more on the progressive side.

There are still things that I’m working through and processing. Well what does that mean? Do I believe this still? Do I need to look at this differently?

But in a way, it’s also very freeing. I don’t feel like I need to have all the answers like I used to. Growing up, we had to have the answers. You couldn’t be wrong. There was no room for doubt.

What I love now about my faith community at Highlands is that there’s so much room to question and to doubt and there’s no fear in that. I feel very comfortable living in a space of mystery where I don’t know and I don’t feel like I have to know to be a Christian as long as I have my faith in God. A lot of these other things really don’t matter as much as people make them out to matter.”

Amber’s book is available on Amazon now, and she will be doing a book tour- with her first release event in Denver, Colorado on October 1st. To find out more about her events, you can visit her site.

For those LGBTQ+ people struggling with their own navigation of who they are and coming out process, Amber Cantorna has a non-profit called Beyond.

The Top 5 Worst Ad Campaigns, Because You Just Got to Read This Obvious Clickbait!

Yeah, there are some days where I just write what I want to write, and so I wanted to write about ad campaigns that I am just sick of. Now, I am certain that there are some people who like these ad campaigns, but for me, some are so bad that I would not buy the product even if it were given to me for free.

5. The Kia Hamster Soul/Turbo Ads

As far as I can tell, this ad campaign started in 2009, as this one that I found on YouTube seems to show. The idea of hamsters spinning in their wheels while another pulls up in a Kia Soul makes its point pretty well, actually.

I think the one that most people remember is the one where the hamsters are dancing to the “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO, and this one came out in 2012. It features the hamsters showing up in the middle of what looks like to be a video game like Halo and dancing to the tune.

There is now one for the Kia Turbo with a hamster in diapers. Not only that, he is trying to escape from a hospital, and jumps off the roof of it. However, he saves himself by opening a piece of cloth as a chute. Yeah, here it is, and man, it’s terrible, and it’s over 1:40! What the hey?

Why do I hate these ads? Because I find these little hamsters to be simply creepy, not cute. I actually think that they have made several ads by now, with one per year, and they aren’t worthy of being the Energizer bunny for Kia.

Check out numbers 1-4 after the jump.

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The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman on National Geographic; Air Date and Time

Last year, we watched as Morgan Freeman traveled the world, finding out how different beliefs about religion came about, and how religion has shaped many in the world. The Discovery Channel is bringing Freeman back- this time in a documentary to discover the common binds that define humanity in The Story of Us.

According to the National Geographic press release:

“At a time when global events seem to be driving cultures apart, The Story Of Us aims to uncover the fundamental forces that keep our societies together, and to reveal the common humanity that lies inside each one of us. Each of the six hourlong episodes will explore a single fundamental force or topic, including love, belief, power, war and peace, rebellion and freedom.”

Morgan Freeman’s smooth voice makes him the perfect narrator. I would love to have him be the voice on my GPS navigation.

Tim Pastore, president of original programming and production, National Geographic says about Freeman, “It is no surprise that our global audience has warmly embraced Morgan as part of the National Geographic family. The beauty of this franchise is that Morgan represents all of us on his personal quest to understand these topics.”

The first and second episodes will contain an episode with Morgan Freeman interviewing former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, according to Entertainment Weekly. The season will premiere Wednesday, October 11th on the National Geographic Channel.

Rumor Has It- Lies,Rumors and Internet Myths in the Wake of Hurricanes

 

 

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When I first saw the picture of Donald Trump carrying two cats, and the caption, “More Trump heroism that’s being willfully ignored by the mainstream media!” It was in a post warning that it was a fake picture. I kind of scoffed at it, thinking,”Who would believe that picture is real? I don’t see the physique matching that of Trump, and the skin tone is a bit off.”

Low and behold, a couple of weeks later I see a very sincere person sharing it on their timeline.

The picture on the right was taken by David Greedy in June of 2008, and was posted on Getty Images.

This is not the only fake photo floating around the internet after hurricanes Harvey and Irma, though.

Red Cross Meal?

This picture has been floating around Facebook as a meal that Red Cross served to hurricane victims. The actual source of this is a school lunch served in Oklahoma in 2014. Many other rumors about the American Red Cross have been spread, as well.

The American Red Cross posted on Facebook on Tuesday, urging people to stop the “onslaught of baseless claims, rumors or outright lies that do nothing more than undermine our critical relief efforts.”

“On this page, we embrace the exchange of different ideas and points of view. And during times of disaster, we know that emotions run high and misinformation is quick to spread. But these accusations (theft, charging for services, denying assistance) not only derail the efforts of so many workers providing aid, they divert resources away from our core mission: to deliver relief. The countless hours spent addressing malicious falsehoods ultimately risk hurting those we’re trying to serve.

So for those of you who doubt our credibility, we have one thing to say to you: Join us. Sign up. Put on a Red Cross vest and volunteer at one of our shelters, blood drives or events. We welcome your service.”

sharkswim

This picture has circulated through many hurricanes and other flooding since 2011. This is fake news, and has not happened ever. It’s a digital composite.

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This photo, while it did happen, did not happen in shelters after the hurricanes. It was taken during an event in November of 2015 when he served Thanksgiving dinner to homeless veterans.

So, friends, before you share something because it fits your narrative, take a little bit of time to research the photo. If you see it on Facebook, click on the picture from the source it was shared, and many times you will see that the photo/meme has been debunked. Check Snopes or other fact checking sites to see if something has been said. Numerous people have told me that they don’t care when they’ve been called out on their erroneous sharing. Some even get upset. If you’d like to be taken seriously in other things, it really is imperative that you pay attention.

Reverend Robert Wright Lee IV’s Amazing Sermon on The View

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock (9028016bw) Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV MTV Video Music Awards, Press Room, Los Angeles, USA - 27 Aug 2017

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock (9028016bw)
Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV
MTV Video Music Awards, Press Room, Los Angeles, USA – 27 Aug 2017

The great, great, great, great nephew of General Robert E. Lee, Reverend Robert Lee IV, spoke up at the VMA’s after the riots in Charlottesville in relation to people wanting to preserve the monument of his ancestor. He received much hate and threats from fellow Christians, and so he stepped down as pastor of his North Carolina parish.

He told the ladies of ABC’s The View that he had to speak up because,”If you are silent in these issues, you are complicit in these issues.”

One of the hosts, Sarah Haines, expressed her confusion that Christians were rejecting him when they should be applauding him.

“White Christianity is having trouble dealing with what’s going on in our nation today. We’re having problems talking about these issues of race, of reconciliation, of reparation, of redemption. We have trouble coming up with the vocabulary to speak about these issues.”

He went on to talk about why monuments and other tributes to  Robert E. Lee needed to be removed because of the significance of what they stand for- the white privilege and white supremacy.

This whole segment was very moving, and what really needs to be said, as he stated,”We need to treat each other with respect and dignity, and if we can’t do that, then we’re not being Church at all.”

Whoopi told him that she could almost go back to church because of him.

Sunny Hostin said that Christianity has become a bad word today, to which the reverend replied that we have done it to ourselves, and that we have to say that,”This is not the Church that I know. I know a Jesus that is liberating, and offering us hope.”

Here is the thought provoking discussion:

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma- Here are Ways to Help

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Thoughts and prayers are all well and good. They often offer a sense of doing something in a time of not knowing what to do. When people are trying to rebuild after a natural disaster of this magnitude, however, thoughts and prayers aren’t going to help them. So now is the time to help. What can you do? What are scams to look out for, and what should you NOT do?

There are many charities accepting donations. American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and United Way are probably the more well-known charities. They have made it easy for people to donate.

To donate through American Red Cross, you can simply text HARVEY to 90999, and $10 will come out of your next cell phone bill. Redcross.org allows you to donate on their website as well, or you can call  1-855-999-GIVE. Of course, they are always taking blood donations as well, which is needed during these kinds of disasters.

You can also text UWFLOOD to 41444 to donate to the United Way Flood Relief Fund, and donations to support The Salvation Army’s hurricane relief efforts can be made at helpsalvationarmy.org.  1-800 SAL-ARMY is the number to call for them.

Be careful of scams, though. E-mails should be approached with caution, and there are chances of getting viruses from visiting websites. Scams can also come over the telephone. Find the reputable ways to give through sites that rate charities such as Charity Navigator, GiveWell, and Better Business Bureau.

Many charities prefer that you send money, as opposed to donations of clothes and such- as it can tie them up in sorting things out, and they have a better idea of what is needed. Some charities may have lists of items that they are accepting, so check with them before giving actual items.

If you are able, check local charities for ways to volunteer and give physical help- as that is always needed.

Tonight on all the major network channels such as ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, and even Premium channels like MTV, Oxygen and HBO, a one hour telethon will be happening to benefit the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Guest appearances from celebrities include: George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Julia Roberts, Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx,  Rob Lowe, Matthew McConaughey, Dennis Quaid, Oprah Winfrey, Blake Shelton, Reese Witherspoon, Karlie Kloss, Matt Lauer,  Norah O’Donnell, Kelly Rowland, Adam Sandler, Ryan Seacrest, and Michael Strahan. Check your local listings for start time.

Why are Critics and Audiences Split Over Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville

Orville 1Last Sunday night, FOX aired The Orville, a science-fiction comedy show created by the one-and-only Seth MacFarlane, much more famous for Family Guy and American Dad. What is strange is how divided critics and audiences are split on this particular show. The Rotten Tomatoes score is 17 percent, which is quite low and would usually signal a definite cancellation. However, it has a 90 percent love from audiences. How in the world can this happen?

Is The Orville Pilot Recap

I guess since I write online, this makes me a critic. I will have to say that I was less than thrilled at Seth MacFarlane’s foray into space fiction, but I do think that 17 percent is too low of a grade. I would at least give it a passing grade, and yes, that would be a D, something in the 50-65 range.

The Orville opens by showing the New York of the future of 2147, and the world looks very lush and green. I will have to commend the special effects on this from the get-go.

Ed Mercer (MacFarlane), the main character, comes home and discovers his wife, Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), in bed with an alien. The alien is ugly and blue, and spews blue liquid from his head because…it’s Seth MacFarlane, and he is known for pushing the envelope, and why wouldn’t you want to see how an alien has an orgasm?

This is the tone set at the opening, but really fails to deliver for the rest of the episode. The issue is that I am glad, because I would rather see a lot of great science-fiction action rather than MacFarlane’s normal gross-out humor. The rest of the episode is essentially a better-looking episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In fact, after Mercer receives the command of the Orville, which looks to be a brand-new vessel, the crew is introduced rather lazily. By lazily, he just gets his senior officers together and essentially talks to them about their positions. It isn’t very exciting, and it is more tell than show.

The first mission of the Orville sends them to a planet for a supply mission. As it turns out, this planet has some new technology that can age something or someone 100 years in a few seconds. As it turns out, this weapon is wanted by the Krill, a race who travels in green spaceships like the Romulans and look like Klingons.

There’s an interesting way where they stop the villains, which is a mix of technology and strategy. I’m not going to spoil it, but during the credits promises a lot of episodes with a lot of space action.

Is The Orville Worth Watching?

Yeah, the Orville feels like Star Trek, which is the point, apparently. In fact, the only “original” plot point comes from finding our that Mercer’s second-in-command is his ex-wife, creating awkward tension. The problem is that a similar awkwardness was done on Other Space, where the captain had his sister be the second-in-command.

Even the commercial breaks, effects, and music seem ripped off from the late-eighties/early nineties Star Trek era. It doesn’t seem to succeed as a comedy, as there are only a few jokes, and many of them don’t work. If MacFarlane was going for Star Trek parody, it was kind of already done with Galaxy Quest back in 1999, which parodied both Star Trek and its fans.

The Orville feels like a copy, and even though everything looks better, it is not even an superior copy. It feels like The Orville is a vanity project from MacFarlane, who has a track record of success with animated shows like Family Guy, American Dad, and not The Cleveland Show. He also has success with Ted, Ted 2, and not Eight Million Ways to Die in the West. It’s very clear that he is a huge Star Trek fan, and that’s probably good, because who doesn’t like Star Trek?

The answer is a lot of people. Sure, it is a show that probably invented the term “fanbase”, but some think it is only for Trekkie nerds. If that is you, then you will hate The Orville.

So Why Are Critics and Audiences So Divided on The Orville

So what is with the schism between critics and audiences? Perhaps fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation remember that the first season was terrible as that show had to establish its characters and world. The Orville seems to have its characters and setting established with a simple Copy and Paste, and perhaps audiences enjoy what has become Seth MacFarlane’s trademark lazy writing.

In other words, perhaps the audience might like the concept of The Orville rather than its execution, at least until Star Trek: Discovery comes out. Personally, I think MacFarlane is best at parody, which is visible in his Family Guy Star Wars episodes. There was also a parody of Die Hard on The Cleveland Show which was easily the best episode in the short-lived series. Maybe audiences realize that and can’t help but like it, which can be the only explanation that I can think of.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma- Is it Climate Change?

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

A couple leave their flooded home in Fort Myers the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the state on Sept. 11, 2017

There has been a lot of talk about climate change in the wake of the two category 4 Hurricanes we have seen in the U.S. within just a couple of weeks of each other. Hurricane Harvey caused at least 70 deaths in Texas, and a lot of destruction of homes and other buildings. While people are still struggling to recover there, Florida is being hit hard as well. This is the first year that two hurricanes of this magnitude have made landfall in the same year in the United States in 166 years of weather reports.

People are joining in the debate whether this is related to climate change, which some are saying is insensitive to do at this time. Scott Pruitt, the head of US Environmental Protection Agency, has said in an interview with CNN that, “To have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm; versus helping people, or actually facing the effect of the storm, is misplaced.

The mayor of Miami, Tomás Regalado, is not in agreement with Pruitt.  He told The Miami Herald that “This is the time to talk about climate change. This is the time that the president and the EPA and whoever makes decisions needs to talk about climate change.” Regalado might have a voice in this since his city is partially underwater because of Irma. If this isn’t climate change, I don’t know what is. This is a truly, truly poster child for what is to come.”

According to CNN in an interview today, the White House Homeland Security Adviser, Tom Bossert, said,”Causality is something outside of my ability to analyze right now,” and that it was too early to tell. He spoke of cyclical seasons and commented that they would do a trend analysis at a later date.

Bringing it to religion- Pope Francis says in the wake of these hurricanes:

“If we don’t go back we will go down. That is true. You can see the effects of climate change with your own eyes and scientists tell us clearly the way forward. All of us have a responsibility. All of us. Some small, some big. A moral responsibility, to accept opinions, or make decisions. I think it is not something to joke about.”

“Those who deny it (climate change) should go to the scientists and ask them. They are very clear, very precise,” the Pope stated the other day during a press conference.

“A phrase from the Old Testament comes to mind: ‘man is stupid, a stubborn, blind man’,” he added.

Should we be thinking about climate change? Is it our responsibility to take care of the earth that we have been given? Can the political parties come together to make decisions that might benefit us all? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

 

Earin True Wireless Earbuds Review

Only_Buds_front-620x400With all the activity we do, it’s great to not to have to be tied down to something. Many earbuds have you hooked up to a line trailing down your arm, neck , back, or leg. There’s an option, though, for those who don’t want strings to hold them down. We were sent these wireless EARIN earbuds to review, so here we go.

Coming from a Swiss startup, these Bluetooth- enabled earbuds come in a nice package. The box that holds them looks like a cardboard box, but it opens and closes magnetically, and the magnets also attract the earbuds so that they don’t fly out when you open the box. We still recommend that you carefully open the box because there still is a chance for them to fly out, and those little guys are miniscule and round, and they roll.

The box contains the wireless earbuds, a charging capsule reminiscent of the flashy-thing in the Men in Black movie, a micro USB cable to charge the flashy-thing, stabilizers to make extra sure they won’t come out of your ears with heavy activity. There’s also the Comply foam tips that give a tight seal, or if you would rather, there are Silicone tips.

The case, or flashy-thing, will hold the earbuds as they charge, and you had better be sure to put these earbuds in the case when you aren’t using them, as that is the only way to turn them off. If you just put them in your pocket, the battery will drain on them, so it’s best to keep them in the case. It will likely be a safer place to keep them anyway. A simple light will turn on while it’s charging the earbuds, another light on top indicates that the case is charging itself.earin-true-wireless-earbuds-with-charging-case-and-aweni7-5

There are complaints that sometimes the right ear bud will cut out, and there is sometimes lag when watching videos. The left ear bud is the one that connects to your device, and the right one is a slave, so it’s not always as reliable as the left.

Other wireless earbuds on the market might run less expensive on price, but we haven’t been able to compare the sound quality of them. We have reviewed the Jabra wireless earbuds, and they are about $100 more, though the Earins used to be the same price, and the Jabra had the addition of being able to take calls because of the microphone. You can’t take calls on the Earins. You can also check your heartrate with the Jabra pair.

Earin does have a special app that you use on your phone to control the bass boost, the balance of volume in each ear, and you can see how much battery life you have left in them. Speaking of battery life, there is about 3 hours of battery life in them, and you can charge them up to 3 times in a fully charged capsule.

Earin is coming out in the future with the M-2 earbuds. These look to be more advanced with a microphone and a way to control them with touch interface on the earbuds. The question will be whether they are comparable in price and quality to the other wireless earbuds out there. Still, at $149, the M-1 might be what you are looking for.