Owners present pets to Philippines priest for blessing

A pet dog dressed as a crowned Miss Universe is photographed at a pet fashion show celebrating World Animals Day in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, October 6, 2019. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

MANILA (Reuters) – Elaborately dressed cats and dogs and even a palm-sized sugar glider were among the animals blessed outside a Philippine mall on Sunday in celebration of the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and World Animal day.

Pet owners raised their furry friends as a priest sprinkled holy water on the menagerie.

“They are like humans to us, so we need to have them blessed and make sure they do not get sick, and continue being with me,” said Filipino dog owner Ram de Castro, while carrying his pet dressed in Miss Universe-inspired red evening gown.

More than 100 pets were brought in for this year’s religious and blessing ceremony.

Anna Padrilao, a cat owner, said it was only right that her pet gets blessed because he is also a creation of God.

“Animals should be treasured the same way as humans”, she said.

World Animal Day, a day of action recognized worldwide for animal rights and welfare, is celebrated on Oct. 4, the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Reporting by Peter Blaza; Writing by Karen Lema; Editing by Alison Williams

Reuters: Oddly Enough

The Past, Present and Future of Cannabis: An Interview with Mel Frank

After attending the opening of Mel Frank’s, “When We Were Criminals,” I was eager to learn more. The exhibition is at M+B Photo in Los Angeles and it captures the life and times of cultivators and the development of cannabis across decades, throughout the United States. Read: ‘“When We Were Criminals,” a Cultivator’s Gallery by […]

Women in Animation Present Short Films at Animation Is Film Festival 2017

Grandpa Walrus

Grandpa Walrus

Women in Animation (WIA) has announced that a showcase of short films created by female animators from around the world will screen at the Animation Is Film festival this month. Entitled “Songs of Love and Death,” each short film tackles the subjects of love and death from the perspectives of women from different cultures and backgrounds. Scheduled to debut on the festival’s closing night, October 22, the program is aimed at adult viewers who want to support global animation from women.

WIA’s Chair of Shorts, Chris Waters, states:

“As part of our ongoing mission to advance women in the field of animation, WIA is proud to be collaborating with Animation Is Film to showcase this diverse, amazing lineup of films from an inspiring group of women directors from all over the world.”

Animation Is Film Festival founder Eric Beckman adds:

“As a longtime lover of short films, it has been very exciting to get to work on this program together with Women in Animation. This collection showcases some of my favorite short animation from around the world and exemplifies the kind of filmmaking our festival champions.”

The program runs for 75 minutes and is recommended for audiences 14 and older. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. Films featured include Airy Me by Yoko Kuno from Japan, as well as the Neil Gaiman adaptation Hate for Sale by Anna Eijsbouts from the Netherlands.

The shorts scheduled are as follows:

Yoko Kuno, Japan, 2013, 5.5 min
In a hospital, an ethereal connection between nurse and patient triggers a strange transformation.

Sandra Desmazieres, France, 2011, 11.5 min
Bao loves taking the train with his sister. It’s the highlight of his day.  But after today, nothing will ever be the same.

Celeste Lai & Peyton Skyler, USA/Taiwan, 2014, 3 min
A short animation about the meaning of life.

Lucrèce Andreae, France, 2017, 15 min
On a windy and cloudy beach, granny is praying, mum is shouting, the sisters don’t care and Lucas is alone. Grandpa was a weird guy, and now he’s dead.

Anna Eijsbouts, Netherlands, 2017, 2.5 min
A stop-motion cutout animated film about the world we live in. Based on an original poem by Neil Gaiman.

Kirsten Lepore, USA, 2017, 3 min
It’s okay, you can look at my butt.

Iria Lopez, Spain, 2012, 8 min
As the only pig in a human family, José has trouble fitting in. But after an encounter with the neighbor next door, he begins to come to terms with who he really is.

Alexandra Hetmerova, Czech Republic, 2013, 11.5 min
Single mom Medusa is dating a creepy Satyr, while little Minotaur makes friends with a sweet-hearted Cyclops.

Sarina Nihei, Japan, 2017, 4.5 min
A story about a society of two rival groups; sinister cloaked men and neutralist rabbits with human-looking bodies who live underground.

Lucette Braune, Netherlands, 2013, 8 min
A young woman struggles through the crowd on the way to the store. As she passes these strangers some leave a mark –  but only one leaves a mark that sticks.

WIA is an organization dedicated to gender equality in the animation field through networking, resources, and education efforts all over the world. Animation Is Film is an annual film festival founded in collaboration between GKids, Annecy International Film Festival, ASIFA-Hollywood, and Variety. It carries the goal of showcasing the best international animated films and establishing itself as a hub of the most respected artists in the animation world.

Tickets for Songs of Love and Death are available at www.animationisfilm.com

Grandpa Walrus

Grandpa Walrus

Animation Magazine

Delaware Receives Early Christmas Present: Marijuana Is Officially Decriminalized

Merry Christmas Delaware! Congratulations on your newest gift of marijuana decriminalization.

As of 12 AM this morning, the personal possession of up to an ounce of pot will no longer be considered a criminal offense for those adults 21 or over in the Blue Diamond State – thanks to today’s implementation of House Bill 39.

Delaware decriminalized marijuana

Delaware decriminalized marijuana

Casting aside the odious penalties of the past, HB 39 stipulates that individuals over the age of 21, caught with less than an ounce of marijuana in Delaware, will no longer face the ugly reality of doing time behind bars. Instead of facing up to 90 days in jail, as the law previously sanctioned, the new penalty will be a fine of no more than $ 100.

First planting the seed of decriminalization last June, the Delaware state legislature passed the bill eradicating punitive criminal sentences for the minor possession of less than an ounce of weed.

While great news for most, there are still a few ways under Delaware’s new law that individuals can attract the unwanted attention of the local police – such as firing up in public. Under HB 39 smoking pot in public is still considered extremely poor etiquette, and a misdemeanor that’s punishable by up to a 12 months in jail.

While the application HB 39 is expected to help the state save millions in reduced enforcement costs, Delaware’s timely move on decriminalizing the herb of choice for many comes at a critical time for marijuana policy reform. As the seeds of legalization germinate from coast-to-coast, California, Nevada, and Massachusetts stand the best chance of seeing marijuana fully legalized by Christmas, 2016.

(Photo Courtesy of WeedMaps)


Russia’s past and present collide at ceremony to honor former leader

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday inaugurated a museum dedicated to Boris Yeltsin, the former president whose legacy, many former Yeltsin associates say, Putin has spent the past 15 years dismantling.

When an ailing and unpopular Yeltsin announced on New Year’s Eve 1999 that he was stepping down, he anointed Putin as his successor but since then the Russian leader has distanced himself from his predecessor.

The ceremony to inaugurate the museum threw up some awkward moments when memories of the Yeltsin era — a period of dismantling Soviet rule, embracing the West and rushing headlong to a market economy — rubbed up against the different realities of Putin’s Russia.

The museum, to be called the Yeltsin Centre, is in the Ural mountains city of Yekaterinburg, where the former Russian leader spent much of his life.

In a speech at the museum, Putin said the years of Yeltsin’s rule had been “contradictory,” marked by major achievements but also by mistakes.

Putin has in the past called the dismantling of the Soviet Union, a process in which Yeltsin was the driving force, the greatest geo-political tragedy of the 20th century.

He said though that Yeltsin has Russia’s best interests at heart.

“Boris Nikolayevich (Yeltsin) wanted our country to be strong, flourishing, happy,” Putin said in front of an audience that included Yeltsin’s wife and daughter, and many former Yeltsin associates who now accuse Putin of rolling back democratic freedoms.

“We’ve already made a lot of progress toward achieving those goals, we’ve overcome a lot of difficulties, and we will definitely resolve the challenges that remain.”

(Writing by Christian Lowe)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Blizzcon reveals Overwatch, shows Blizzard's eye for past and present

It was a good weekend to be a Blizzard fan. The eighth Blizzcon held reveals for nearly every one of the studio’s treasured franchises along with the announcement of Blizzard’s first all-new intellectual property in 17 years. And if you were paying attention, the conference put Blizzard’s long-term strategy of honoring its legacy and loyal fans while keeping a close eye on external trends in clearer relief than ever before.

First, about that new project: Overwatch is a team-based shooter that sets a dozen characters (so far) with unique abilities against one another across several maps and modes. Like a typical Blizzard game, it was revealed with a super-slick CGI trailer (seriously, the thing looks like a cross between Frozen and The Avengers) that set up the charismatic heroes and their place in the futuristic world. Unlike a typical Blizzard game, it was available for play minutes after said trailer concluded, and our friends at PC Gamer approve of what they have played.

If you’re upset that Blizzard’s first new franchise in almost two decades cribs liberally from Team Fortress 2 and MOBA character design instead of blazing new trails, you should have been paying more attention to all of the company’s other products – WarCraft and StarCraft, which were, uh, liberally inspired by Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, just as a few examples.

Blizzard didn’t specify a business model for Overwatch, but it’s hard to imagine the game as anything but free-to-play, given its direct competition with TF2 and its cast of characters that could easily be purchased a la carte. Speaking of a la carte heroes, Blizzard revealed a few new characters for Heroes of the Storm (including Jaina Proudmoore and The Lost Vikings of the eponymous SNES adventure series) and a beta planned for January. Smash-hit F2P card game Hearthstone will receive a 120-card expansion, titled Goblins vs. Gnomes, in December–its first big boost since the introduction of the Naxxramas single-player adventure over the summer.

Ok, so that’s all fine for fans of Blizzard’s trendy new stuff, but what about all that legacy-honoring business I mentioned before? Well, the last chapter of StarCraft 2’s trilogy (finally) approaches, with beta sign-ups now open for Legacy of the Void and a brand-new cinematic trailer introducing the Protoss-centric narrative. And significant planned revisions for Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls show the company remains committed to existing products that don’t yield subscriptions or microtransactions, which is heartening. Last but not least, Blizzard and Legendary Pictures revealed the cast list and an exclusive trailer for the Warcraft movie.

Blizzcon 2014 held a little something for almost all Blizzard fans (including some awesome cosplay). It’s tough to say where the company’s priorities will lie in five years, whether they’ll shift further toward free-to-play online titles or if we’ll be looking forward to the premium, single-player campaign of Warcraft 4. But this year, at least, the balance of old coolness and new hotness felt just right.

GamesRadar – Xbox News

Bakshi, Kaplan to Present at SVA Dustys


Filmmaker Ralph Bakshi and acclaimed producer Yvette Kaplan are among the animation and movie making professionals set to present awards at the 25th annual Dusty Film & Animation Festival and Awards.

The festival presents films made by students in the School of Visual Arts’ animation, film and video programs, with the awards going to the festival’s best. Kaplan will present the Outstanding Animated Film Award.

Kaplan, an SVA alumni whose credits include Ice Age, King of the Hill and Beavis and Butt-head, also will be receiving one of two inaugural Dusty Alumni Awards, along with producer Randall Emmett, whose credits include Lone Survivor, End of Watch and Two Guns.

Bakshi, whose long career includes directing the animated features Fritz the Cat, Wizards and The Lord of the Rings, will present the awards for outstanding achievement in character animation and production design.

Additional awards presenters include:

  • Michael Moore (Roger & Me, Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11), who was a presenter at the first Dusty Awards 25 years ago, presenting the Outstanding Documentary Award;
  • Michael Cuesta (Homeland, Dexter, Elementary) presenting the Outstanding Achievement in Directing Award;
  • Frank Prinzi (The Blacklist, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Night of the Living Dead) presenting the Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography Award;
  • Three-time Oscar winner Chris Newman (The Exorcist, Amadeus, The English Patient) presenting the Gotham Sound Grants;
  • New York Women in Film & Television President Alexis Alexanian (Pieces of April, Tadpole, Chelsea Walls) presenting the New York Women in Film & Television Award;
  • Media personality Valerie Smaldone, returning to emcee the ceremony.

The festival runs May 10-13 with the awards set for May 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the SVA Theatre at 333 W. 23rd St., New York City. All festival screenings are free and open to the public.

This year’s Headlining Sponsors include: AbelCine; Act Zero Films; Adorama Rental Company; Animation Magazine; B&H Photo; Bryan Singer; Carlos Saldanha/BottleCap Productions; Channel Frederator Network; Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films; Feature Systems/Kits and Expendables; Foto Care; Gotham Sound & Communications, Inc.; Independent Filmmaker Project; New York Women in Film & Television; Nice Shoes; Rota6; SCS Agency, Inc.; Squarespace; SVA Campus Store; and Technicolor-PostWorks New York. One hundred percent of the sponsors’ donations will benefit thesis students in the form of grants and in-kind awards.

For more information, visit: dusty.sva.edu.

The 25th annual Dusty Film & Animation Festival and Awards

The 25th annual Dusty Film & Animation Festival and Awards

Animation Magazine

Nippon Ichi Software: Past, Present, Future

If you’ve become a fan of Nippon Ichi Software’s work over the past decade, you definitely have Sohei Niikawa to thank for that. The president and CEO of the Gifu, Japan-based developer is also the producer and chief writer on nearly all of their most well-known games, including the Disgaea series and off-kilter PS1 classic Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure.

Being in this position had been Niikawa’s dream pretty much his whole life, although he wasn’t expecting it to turn out like this. “I applied for work [at NIS] as a game project planner,” he recalled in an interview published in this week’s Famitsu magazine. “I don’t know how to program, and I can’t draw or write music, so I really didn’t have any technical skills to show off. What I did have, though, was this intense, long-building desire to make games. NIS was only recruiting programmers and designers at the time, and I still wanted to go on as a planner, but in the end I wound up joining the company’s sales and PR division.”


NAB and HRTS Partner to Present “Glee” Super Session at 2011 NAB Show

and president of Ryan Murphy Productions, will sit down with Kevin Beggs, president of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society (HRTS) and president of Lionsgate Television Group, for an in-depth exploration of FOX’s “Glee” at the 2011 NAB Show. With
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Heartland Bank, 104.9 The River and ABC 6/FOX 28 Present the Fourth Annual Free Financial Summit

CVCO, Inc.) About ABC 6/FOX 28 Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. is one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the country today. Sinclair owns and operates programs or provides sales services to 58 television stations in
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Entravision Communications Corporation to Present at Deutsche Bank 2011 Media and Telecommunications Conference

site at www.entravision.com. Entravision Communications Corporation is a diversified Spanish-language media company utilizing a combination of television and radio operations to reach Hispanic consumers across the United States, as well as the border
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DIRECTV Latin America to Present at the Credit Suisse Global Media & Communications Convergence Conference

DIRECTV Latin America Webcast: www.directv.com/investor DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV – News) is the world’s most popular television service with more than 28 million subscribers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in the United States, Brazil,
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