Poppy-stealing pigeon offers poignant reminder of war anniversary

A pigeon builds a nest with collected poppies at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia in this recent undated handout photo. The Australian War Memorial via REUTERS

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A pigeon has been pinching poppies from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Australia’s national war memorial in Canberra and using them to build a colorful nest in the lead-up to Remembrance Day commemorations.

The pigeon has created the nest with the red flowers under the soft light of a stained glass window at The Australian War Memorial, the West Australian newspaper reported.

The poppy is a symbol used by Commonwealth countries to recognize the sacrifice made by armed forces members who have died in the line of duty.

“The wounded soldier symbolizes the defining quality of endurance, and the nest of poppies nearby is a poignant reminder of the powerful bond between man and beast on the battlefield,” a War Memorial spokesperson told the West Australian.

Remembrance Day is commemorated on Nov. 11 each year.

Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Angus MacSwan

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Tracee Ellis Ross Offers Details on MTV’s new ‘Daria’ Spinoff

Actress Tracee Ellis Ross talked to Vanity Fair about the upcoming spinoff of beloved ’90s animated series Daria. The three-time Emmy-nominated actress Ellis Ross (Black-ish) told the publication that she jumped at the chance of developing a reboot seen through the eyes of Daria’s friend Jodie Landon for MTV. “I was in before we even sat down,” she said. “They felt that I would be the right voice to being Jodie to life, and I was like, whaaaaaaat? It was the perfect mash-up of all of the things that I want represented in the world.”

The new series, which will be called Jodie is the first spin-off planned by the cabler by MTV, which itself was a spin-off of Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head. “MTV was getting a lot of flak for not really representing women on the air, outside of Spring Break,”  says Tracy Grandstaff, the actress and writer who voiced Daria during its run.

At the end of the original run of Daria, Jodie decided to attend a historically black college instead of an Ivy League university.“ Jodie was woke before woke was a thing!” added Ross noted. “To have the sidekick character move to the forefront is a real metaphor for what is happening in our culture,” Ross said. The actress also pointed out that there hasn’t been an adult animated show centered on an African American female character for more than a decade. “Allowing in those voices that have been pushed to the fringes, that have lived full and extraordinary lives on the edges of what culture has deemed as popular—it feels exciting and apropos.”

Jodie is created by Grace Nkenge Edwards (Insecure, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) who also serves as head writer of the show, which finds the main characters entering the working world after college. Ross noted, “Jodie will navigate through all of these different areas, from tech culture to call-out culture to how race and identity makes its way into the workplace and how you start to explore identity when you are becoming an adult, when you’re no longer in the safety of your parents’ home.”

MTV’s president Chris McCarthy mentions that fans can see Daria and other familiar faces from the Daria-verse showing up on the new show. “There will definitely be cameos,” Ross promised. “We have definitely discussed the idea of Daria making her way through. With Grace and Tracee, we have an incredibly powerful team here to reinvent this franchise.”

Animation Magazine

Toon Boom Launches Harmony 17, Offers Special Sale

Top animation and storyboarding software company Toom Boom has launched Harmony 17, the latest version of its popular tool for traditional digital animators and production artists. The two-time Emmy-winning company is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and is offering a special 25 percent sale on annual licenses for Harmony and Storyboard Pro, from June 11 to August 31st.

“Traditional digital animators will not want to miss Harmony 17,” says Marc-Andre Bouvier, product manager at Toon Boom Animation. “With an improved drawing engine and new features focused on hand-drawn animation —including drawing stabilizers, adjustable pen sensitivity settings and curvilinear perspective guides for large panning backgrounds— artists have more precision and control available to them than ever before.”

Harmony gives students, freelancers and independent artists access to the same production pipeline that major production houses rely on for demanding television productions. Packed with 40 new-and-improved features, including upgrades to the software’s core drawing engine, Harmony 17 can help animators bring their next project to life like never before.

You can try the free 21-day trial at

Customers who chose Toon Boom animation software for the development and creation of their productions include Disney Television Animation, Amazon, Fox Television Animation, Nelvana, Ubisoft, Toei Animation, The SPA Studios, Xilam and Boulder Media. The technology is currently available in Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. For more information, visit

Toom Boom

Toom Boom

Animation Magazine

New Blockchain Service Anique Offers Unique Anime Artwork

A new service from Japan-based Anique ( is offering fans the opportunity to become the sole owners of unique artwork from some of the best Japanese titles across anime, manga and games, utilizing blockchain technology. The first round, 26 pieces of digital art inspired by global hit Attack on Titan officially sponsored by Kodansha, went live earlier this month. Visit the campaign page to enter the purchasing lottery for your favorite piece before May 20.

Using NFT (Non-Fungible Token) technology, Anique can grant three special privileges to the only person in the world who owns one of its pieces. The first is that their name will be engraved as an owner throughout history due to the blockchain technology, even after the artwork is resold. The second is that owners will be able to purchase a physical copy of the artwork, printed like cel animation, during their ownership. Finally, owners will be able to sell and purchase the artwork on the platform. Some of the proceeds from the sale will go back to the original artists.

The Anique digital artwork collections won’t be limited to currently popular titles. They will also feature “sleeping treasures” — titles that have finished airing or have been taken off the market. Anique aims to increase the circulation of Japanese content around the world and create a new revenue stream for creators through a business model for the new era.

Winners of the first round Attack on Titan purchasing lotteries will be announced on or after May 27. Each piece is 10,000 yen (excluding tax) for ownership of the digital artwork; or 60,000 yen (excl. tax and shipping) for the digital + framed cel art option.

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan

Animation Magazine

State Offers Print-Your-Own Vaccine Exemptions

FRIDAY, April 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — An education requirement for non-medical vaccine exemptions in Oregon does little to persuade parents from seeking such exemptions.

Of the more than 31,500 non-medical vaccine exemptions submitted last year, nearly 30,000 were from parents who viewed an online education video and then printed out a do-it-yourself form, Oregon Health Authority data show.

Another option — talking to or getting a signature from a health care provider — was selected by fewer than 2,000, Kaiser Health News reported.

Oregon has had an education requirement for non-medical vaccine exemptions since 2013, but it’s “obviously letting too many people off the hook,” said state Rep. Mitch Greenlick, a Democrat who has proposed a bill to eliminate non-medical vaccine exemptions.

In the 2017-18 school year, 7.6 percent of kindergartners were exempt from one or more vaccines, Kaiser reported.

So far this year, at least 387 cases of measles have been reported in 15 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly all cases have occurred in unvaccinated children, officials said.

Oregon is one of 17 states that permit vaccine exemptions based on religious or medical reasons. Only three states — California, Mississippi and West Virginia — ban all non-medical exemptions, Kaiser reported.

Research shows that making it more difficult to get a vaccine exemption reduces the rates of opt out.

“The ease of exemption is a big predictor,” Dr. Saad Omer, a vaccine and infectious-disease expert at Emory University in Atlanta, told Kaiser.

One way to reduce vaccine exemptions is to require counseling by a health care provider.

Along with making it more difficult to get an exemption, parents get “the most trusted source” of information, Omer told Kaiser.

WebMD News from HealthDay

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