FRIDAY, Oct. 11, 2019 — More than 2 billion people worldwide suffer vision problems that range from impairment to blindness, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO).
And at least 1 billion of those people have problems such as short- and far-sightedness, glaucoma and cataracts — all of which could have been prevented or have not been treated.
“Eye conditions and vision impairment are widespread, and far too often they still go untreated,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said in a news release from the organization.
“People who need eye care must be able to receive quality interventions without suffering financial hardship. Including eye care in national health plans and essential packages of care is an important part of every country’s journey towards universal health coverage,” he said.
Aging populations, changing lifestyles and limited access to eye care — particularly in low- and middle-income countries — are among the main reasons for increasing numbers of people with vision problems, according to the report released Tuesday in advance of World Sight Day on Oct. 10.
“It is unacceptable that 65 million people are blind or have impaired sight when their vision could have been corrected overnight with a cataract operation, or that over 800 million struggle in everyday activities because they lack access to a pair of glasses,” he added.
Eye conditions and vision impairment tend to be much more common among people in rural areas, those with low incomes, women, older people, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and indigenous populations, according to the WHO’s first report on vision worldwide.
Untreated distance vision impairment in low- and middle-income regions is about four times higher than in high-income regions, and $ 14.3 billion (U.S. dollars) is needed to treat the 1 billion people with vision impairment or blindness due to cataracts, and short- and far-sightedness, the report said.
According to Alarcos Cieza, who leads WHO’s efforts on blindness and deafness prevention, disability and rehabilitation, “Millions of people have severe vision impairment and are not able to participate in society to their fullest because they can’t access rehabilitation services. In a world built on the ability to see, eye care services, including rehabilitation, must be provided closer to communities for people to achieve their maximum potential.”
THURSDAY, April 18, 2019 — You might be surprised to learn that food allergies can start in adulthood and involve a food you’ve eaten without a problem for your entire life.
For adults as well as kids, the top — but not the only — food culprits are eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish, wheat and soy, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Just as with childhood food allergies, you’ll need to do your best to avoid these foods and be prepared in case you inadvertently come into contact with one of them.
Signs of a Severe Allergic Reaction
Hives or pale/bluish skin tone.
Cramps and/or vomiting.
Trouble swallowing or swelling of the tongue.
Feeling dizzy or faint.
Shortness of breath, wheezing or coughing.
Inability to breathe, and drop in blood pressure.
The most serious reaction is called anaphylaxis, an extreme inability to breathe that can lead to shock. It is a life-threatening emergency. Keep in mind that allergic reactions can be unpredictable. Most happen within a few hours of contact, but some are instantaneous. It could take only a small amount of the allergen to cause swelling, hives or anaphylaxis. Also, your body could experience more than one type of reaction — your skin, gastrointestinal tract, heart and/or breathing could be affected.
So it’s important to call your doctor and ask about testing after any out-of-the-ordinary reaction to a particular food. If possible, write down what you ate, how soon afterward symptoms started and how long they lasted.
Allergy testing usually involves a combination of skin pricks and blood tests. Sometimes there may be a workaround. For instance, if a raw fruit or vegetable causes a reaction, you may be able to eat the food cooked because, for some people, heat neutralizes the allergen.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has more on food allergies and how to manage them.
The critically acclaimed, top-grossing mobile game My Singing Monster is looking to build on its 70-million-player success in the L&M sphere later this month, when Big Blue Bubble, Wind Sun Sky Ent. and Skybound Ent. will sing the praises of the property to potential partners at the 2018 Licensing Expo in Las Vegas (May 22-24).
The award-winning, free-to-play title for all ages takes players into rich and intriguing worlds full of discovery, creativity and delight as they breed and feed lovable singing monsters to create unique communities of melody.
A franchise expansion that will include animated series content is in the works with Wind Sun Sky and Skybound (founded by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and producing partner David Alpert), to be lead by Wind Sun Sky’s Catherine Winder (The Angry Birds Movie, Star Wars: The Clone Wars).
Alita’s Brand Bar, global licensing agent for My Singing Monsters, is scheduling meetings for the 2018 Licensing Expo to take place in the Skybound booth #B115.
A Phoenix television anchor is claiming that the #RedForEd movement of striking teachers is actually an underhanded maneuver to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona.
On Tuesday, Fox 10 Phoenix (KSAZ-TV) host Kari Lake tweeted an image of a T-shirt to back up her idea. The shirt showed a marijuana leaf overlaid on the state of Arizona and the words #GREENforED. A version of the design that Lake tweeted is for sale on the independent T-shirt marketplace Teepublic.
“What did I say?!” Lake wrote on Twitter. “#RedForEd is nothing more than a push to legalize pot.”
The existence of this T-shirt proved that her theory was right, Lake said in her tweet.
“This is a big push to legalize pot and to make it more savory by tossing teachers a bone with a substantial raise,” she wrote.
She added a hashtag: “#IHateTheDishonesty.”
By Tuesday evening, Lake’s tweet had been deleted amid a slew of backlash. In the replies to Lake’s tweet, people criticized her for using a single T-shirt design to draw sweeping conclusions about the grassroots push to raise teacher pay.
“That’s it?” replied Ian Schwartz, a local meteorologist at 3TV/CBS5. “lol One t-shirt to make that claim?”
Teachers in Arizona will go on strike tomorrow over low wages and school funding, a move spearheaded by the #RedForEd movement which began in early March.
A ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona was defeated in 2016. Medical marijuana, however, is legal.
Lake, who co-anchors the evening Fox 10 news programs, was unavailable for comment, according to a Fox 10 representative. Emailed questions to the newsroom were not returned.
Before deleting her tweet, Lake wrote back to some of the commenters. Lake said that she is “pro-teacher” and wants them to get a pay increase, but added that “raises shouldn’t come at the expense of legalizing a substance that could very easily get into the hands of our kids.”
Earlier on Tuesday morning, Lake had floated the teacher-marijuana conspiracy on her Facebook page, where she surmised that marijuana-legalization proponents are funding #RedForEd.
“Keep hearing calls for legalizing pot to fund teacher raises. Starting to think that has been the end-game all along,” Lake wrote. “How much Legalize-Pot $ $ is being poured into Red For Ed? Or are the legalize-pot-folks just piggybacking on the teacher pay issue? Either way, it seems unsavory.”
When teachers announced on April 19 that they would walk out of schools, Lake also raised doubts about their intentions. “The elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about is the impending governor election,” she wrote on Twitter. “How much of the teacher strike is politics?”
“I made an incorrect conclusion in my tweet, and for that, I’m sorry,” Lake said. “I respect teachers deeply and I’m concerned that some are trying to use the teachers’ fight for higher pay to move forward with their own separate agendas.”
Her Facebook post about the conspiracy, however, was still live as of 10:30 a.m. Thursday:
VIZ Media and Verizon Communications have forged a content distribution agreement that will bring some of the anime/manga powerhouse’s titles to streaming platform go90. The VOD app is available for iOS and Android devices as well as through go90.com.
The deal includes Accel World (24 episodes, subtitled & dubbed), Death Note (full 37 ep. series; sub & dub), Hunter X Hunter (104 ep., sub), Infini-T Force (complete 12 ep. series, sub), Inuyasha (seasons 1 & 2 – 54 ep.,sub & dub), JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (S1-3 – 113 ep., sub), classic Naruto (S1-5 – 220 ep., sub), One-Punch Man (complete 12 ep. series, sub) and Vampire Knight (S1-2 – 26 ep., sub & dub).
“We’re excited to partner with VIZ Media to bring some of their most popular anime series’ to our viewers,” says Ivana Kirkbride, Head of Digital Content for Verizon. “The launch of these titles adds an exciting new dimension to our go90 programming, and we can’t wait for the public to experience and/or rediscover these groundbreaking titles.”
“Verizon’s go90 is a leading source of entertainment for anywhere, anytime mobile access, and we look forward to go90 viewers enjoying these episodes with all of the flexibility and portability the service offers,” says Brian Ige, Vice President of Animation, VIZ Media.
Verizon’s go90 is a free social entertainment platform that makes it easy to discover, view and share content from the most beloved networks, distributors and brands in digital entertainment across every screen. Viewers can stream original shows, live sports and more, with over 1,500 hours of go90 originals and 25,000 of live and linear programming.
More information on anime, manga and graphic novel titles available from VIZ Media at viz.com.
DHX Media netted a large-volume global content deal with Amazon Prime Video for 13 DHX kids’ shows. Covering more than 200 countries and territories with content to be offered in 15 languages, the agreement marks the largest between the two companies to-date.
New titles coming to the international SVOD under the deal include animated favorites Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Caillou, Johnny Test and the classic Inspector Gadget, as well as other popular children’s titles such as Yo Gabba Gabba! and In the Night Garden, beginning this fall.
“Leading global SVOD services are forecast to collectively spend approximately USD$ 19 billion on content through 2018,” noted Dana Landry, CEO of DHX Media. “This far-reaching agreement announced today with Amazon Prime Video reinforces DHX Media’s position as a ‘go-to’ provider of kids’, multi-language content to this robust market.”
This agreement follows a recent deal between the two companies that grant Amazon exclusive SVOD and AVOD rights to the animated kids’ sci-fi comedy Looped in the US, as well as other pick-ups for kids’ content in the UK, Germany and India.
“Great animation and stories resonate with kids regardless of language or location,” said Wiebke Hoefer, DHX Media’s Senior Director of Sales (Germany, Switzerland, France, UK Digital and Multi-territory Digital). “We are thrilled that kids worldwide are now able to enjoy original and classic DHX Media shows on Amazon Prime Video.”
FRIDAY, Sept. 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Judi Hudek and David Clevinger braved Hurricane Irma at a friend’s home in Florida rather than a shelter for one reason — their three cats.
They had planned to huddle in a nearby hurricane shelter, but when they arrived they found that the cats would be forced to stay in a small room with a group of loud, barking dogs.
“It was maybe the most difficult decision I’ve made in my entire life,” said Clevenger, 47, who lives with Hudek, 48, in Bradenton, Fla. “I had the choice of either putting our three cats through that, or sheltering with our friends and hoping we could withstand the storm.”
Their dilemma is all-too-common. Pet owners facing a natural disaster often have to compromise their own safety to make sure their furry friends are safe, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Unfortunately, a new ASPCA study reports that many states and counties do not have adequate emergency response plans for the care of animals during a natural disaster.
Fewer than a third of U.S. counties that regularly face natural disasters have an animal response team in place to help address the needs of pets, farm animals and their owners in an emergency, said lead author Vic Spain, an epidemiologist and consultant for the ASPCA.
A significant number of counties also don’t have plans in place for emergency shelters where people can either stay with their animals or shelter their animals elsewhere in the facility, the study found.
These plans can be the difference between life and death in an emergency, Spain said. About 56 percent of homes have at least one pet, and most people don’t want to leave their furry family members behind.
“From previous studies, we know that people with pets are more likely than people without pets to refuse to evacuate in an emergency situation — putting their lives, as well as the lives of the people sent to rescue them, in danger,” Spain said.
Hudek and Clevinger decided a couple days before Irma struck Florida this week that they would ride out the storm at home. They were worried they would run out of gas while evacuating the state, and be trapped in their car with their cats.
But then Irma changed tracks. Instead of coming up Florida’s east coast, it instead veered to the west coast. “We realized the storm tracker had Irma coming through our neighborhood as a category 4 hurricane,” Hudek said.
The couple made arrangements to stay at a shelter in a nearby elementary school. On Sunday morning, as the storm began its march up Florida, they packed their cats into carriers and headed to the shelter.
Once in the shelter, they found that all the pets people brought were being put in one small room. Their cats would not be able to get out of their carriers to eat, drink or use the litter box, and they would be subjected to loud barking from stressed-out dogs.
“We thought we’d be able to stay with our cats and sleep with our cats, and that’s just not how it is,” Hudek said.
So the couple instead decided to stay at a friend’s house, even though they were worried it would not be as safe as the shelter. They found an interior bathroom, and they and their pets huddled there until the storm’s fury subsided.
They and their pets made it safely through the hurricane, but others in earlier storms were not as lucky.
More than 15,500 pets in New Orleans needed to be rescued after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the ASPCA said. Four out of five of the animals were never reunited with their owners.
State and local governments have been urged in the years since Katrina to include animals in emergency planning, but Spain and his colleagues found serious gaps in response plans:
Only 30 percent of counties with a regular track record of disasters — more than 30 emergencies within the past six decades — have an animal response team in place.
Only 48 percent of large counties and 23 percent of small counties in the U.S. have an animal response team for disaster preparedness.
Half of small counties do not have plans for emergency shelters that can accommodate people and their pets, compared with 20 percent of large counties and 27 percent of states.
Only two out of five small counties have set aside a cache of supplies for managing dogs and cats in an emergency, compared with nearly four out of five large counties.
“Organizations at the county or city level are critical for emergency response to occur quickly enough to prevent animal emergencies,” Spain said. “It is important to remove barriers to evacuation.”
“In our experience with Hurricane Sandy, residents were more likely to comply with evacuation orders when pet friendly emergency shelters were available, their presence was known to local residents, and pet-friendly transportation to the shelters was offered,” Spain continued, referring to the 2012 superstorm that ransacked the northeastern United States.
Why aren’t better plans in place? In some cases, local emergency preparedness staff may not be aware of the need to include pets and livestock in their planning, Spain said.
Some counties also reported that they didn’t have enough money to cover planning for animals in an emergency, Spain continued. Other locales may have become complacent because they’ve gone a long time without a disaster occurring in their area.
The Gulf Coast Humane Society is a part of Florida’s animal response team network, and the help it provided pet owners prior to Irma revealed the value of planning, executive director Jennifer Galloway said.
Just before the storm, the Fort Meyers animal welfare organization made available 200 pet crates for anyone to take, whether or not they left a donation, Galloway said.
“They were gone within hours,” Galloway said. “I think what people are seeing after Katrina and Harvey is they want to be with their pets. They want to keep their animals safe.”
Although planning is important, Galloway isn’t sure that the situation Hudek and Clevinger faced at their shelter can always be avoided.
“It’s probably always going to be an issue, because at the last minute people are scrambling to open up shelters,” Galloway said. “While it might not be ideal for cats and dogs to be in the same room, at least they’re safe.”
The ASPCA study appears in the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Organizers of the 2017 Cartoon Forum have responded to a general strike announcement by French trade unions by moving the dates of this year’s event up a day. To avoid the September 12 strike, attendees will now arrive in Toulouse on Sept. 11, with the TV animation co-production forum running Sept. 12-14.
The strike was called by the CGT (General Confederation of Labor), the largest union group in France in terms of votes and the second-largest in terms of membership at about 710,000. The strike is planned as a show of resistance to labor market reforms proposed by recently elected President Emmanuel Macron.
Cartoon Forum’s general director Mark Vandeweyer and his team have stated that while it is possible the trade unions may cancel the strike, they are cementing these new dates and the decision is final in order to avoid the potential impact of a general strike on air and rail travel. Participants are encouraged to update their hotel bookings and meeting schedules accordingly.
This year’s forum has selected 83 projects, representing a combined budget of about 285 million euros for 470 hours of programming. These will be pitched to 900 broadcasters, investors and producers seeking partnerships from 30 countries. Since the first edition in 1990, Cartoon Forum has facilitated the financing for 700 TV series, representing a total budget of 2.4 billion euros.
More information about Cartoon Forum 2017 available here.
Shout! Factory and DHX Media have teamed up to bring Grammy winner Gwen Stefani’s music-driven, street fashion-inspired animated series Kuu Kuu Harajuku to the North American home entertainment market. The deal was announced by Shout! Factory founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos; and Mark Shoeman, Territory Manager at DHX Media.
The multi-year agreement grants Shout! exclusive home entertainment distribution rights (DVD and Blu-ray) in the US and Canada to all 26 episodes of the series. A strategic rollout is planned for 2017 through kids & family imprint, Shout! Factory Kids.
“The US market is a huge territory for us and one where Kuu Kuu Harajuku is proving to be widely popular with its audience on Nickelodeon, so it was crucial for us to appoint a strong home entertainment company in the region,” said Shoeman. “Shout! Factory understands the market, and importantly for us, the kids’ sector, and we feel they are the ideal company to take this highly original series beyond broadcast into DVD.”
Kuu Kuu Harajuku follows the fun-loving bandmates of HJ5 — Love, Angel, Music, Baby and G — as they encounter magical adventures in a super cute world full of music, fashion and style. The concept was born out of Stefani’s desire to create an animated series for girls that encourages creative self-expression, imagination and individuality, and is inspired by the street fashion and creative youth culture of Tokyo’s Harajuku district.
Airing on Nickelodeon in the US and Family Channel in Canada, the series is co-created and produced by Moody Street Kids (Australia), Vision Animation (Malaysia) and Gwen Stefani; and commissioned by Network Ten with investment funding from Film Victoria (Australia) and MyCreative Ventures (Malaysia). DHX Media handles international distribution.
WEDNESDAY June 29, 2016, 2016 — Add water polo to the list of sports where concussions are common.
A recent survey of more than 1,500 USA Water Polo members found 36 percent had suffered at least one concussion during games or practices. The average was just over two concussions per person, and concussions were more common among females than males.
Goalies had the highest rate of concussion, with 47 percent saying they had suffered at least one concussion. The average rate was 2.5 concussions per goalie, the survey findings showed.
“These numbers suggest that playing water polo carries a significant risk of concussion,” said study co-author Dr. Steven Small, chair of neurology at University of California, Irvine.
“Our results speak to the need for systematic concussion reporting in water polo. Particularly important is reporting for individuals at the college level, who have the highest prevalence of concussion,” he added in a university news release.
Football is the most talked-about cause of sports-related concussions, but these head injuries are also of concern in ice hockey, soccer and lacrosse and, now, water polo.
The sport features aggressive play with head butts, elbow jabs and the ball flying at high speeds, Small’s team noted.
Among water polo players whose highest level of competition was high school, 31 percent reported at least one concussion. Among college competitors, 51 percent said they’d had one or more concussions, as did 43 percent of players at the masters club level. College and masters players averaged more than two concussions per player.
Since goalies are at greatest risk for concussion and their risk is highest during practices, wearing better head protection during practices might be a good idea, Small suggested.
The findings were published online June 27 in the journal Frontiers of Neurology.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on concussion.
This postal strike has massive implications for Canada’s medical marijuana patients. In our recent coverage of the dispensary raids in Toronto, the big debate that sprung forth beyond the excessive force of police was whether or not mom and pop weed shops are wanted or even needed on the Canadian marijuana landscape moving forward. Dispensary […] Marijuana
DHX Media and Dentsu Entertainment USA has signed a global deal to develop, co-produce, distribute and jointly manage licensing for a brand new Mega Man animated series, based on the classic Capcom video game character. The deal was announced Thursday by Yuichi Kinoshita, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc., and by Asaph Fipke, Chief Content Officer of DHX.
Dentsu Ent. USA and DHX will manage all global rights. DHX will take on distribution and licensing in the U.S. in collaboration with Dentsu Ent. USA. Parent company Dentsu Inc. will manage distribution and licensing in Asia, and DHX will handle all other territories.
Aimed at kids 6 to 9, (and their gamer parents), the show will feature exciting new technologies and robots, as well as the introduction of Mega Man’s alter-ego, Aki Light, a normal, upbeat, schoolboy robot. When activated, his skin re-forms into a suit of impenetrable nanocore armor, including the iconic Mega Buster arm cannon and helmet. Beloved characters like Rush will return, while new characters, like Mega Mini, will make their debut! The new Mega Man is slated for 2017, coinciding with the franchise’s 30th anniversary.
Man of Action Entertainment (creators of Ben 10, Generator Rex and original Big Hero 6; executive producers/writers for Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel’s Avengers Assemble) will executive produce the all-new Mega Man.
Read more about this project in the June/July 2016 issue of Animation Magazine (#261), out soon.
Shout! Factory and Planeta Inform Film Distribution have entered a deal to distribute the animated comedy feature Quackerz in the U.S. and Canada. Shout! has secured all distribution rights to the film, including theatrical, broadcast, VOD, digital and home entertainment. A strategic rollout across major platforms and in packaged media is planned for this year through the Shout! Factory Kids imprint.
Set on a faraway island, Quackerz centers on Longway, the son of the Mandarin duck Emperor and a next generation Sun Duck, who unknown to him possesses the fantastical power to control the energy of the sun. The emperor strives to protect Longway from danger by keeping him ignorant of his abilities. But when an evil witch discovers his secret, Longway and his new charming friend Erica must unite all the ducks and defeat her in her mission to destroy the sun.
Directed and co-written by Victor Lakisov and produced by Rome Animation & Film Studio and A-VFX Studio, Quackerz is a CG comedy adventure featuring the voices of Robbie Daymond, Michael Gross, Enn Reitel, Alanna Ubach and Andrea Becker. The project is an international coproduction between Russia, U.S. and China, with outsourced work performed in Estonia, Canada and Spain.
Lakisov co-wrote Quackerz with Bob Underwood, John Mickevich and Vadim Sveshnikov. Vsevolod Zorin, Ruben Atoyan and Oksana Brovchenko were producers on the project.
The Jim Henson Company and Cyber Group Studios have finalized a first-time agreement to co-finance and co-produce two new children’s series: Jim Henson’s Enchanted Sisters and Cyber Group Studios’ Boubouh! The announcement was made by JHC’s EVP of Children’s Entertainment Halle Stanford and EVP of Global Distribution and International Consumer Products Richard Goldsmith, and Cyber Group’s Chairman and CEO Pierre Sissman. Animation for both series will be done at Cyber Group, with JHC’s CEO Lisa Henson and Stanford serving as exec producers.
Based on the books of the same name, Enchanted Sisters is a comedy-adventure aimed at kids 5-8 which features the Sparkles: Spring, Winter, Summer and Autumn — four sisters who come together every three months to join their Mother Nature in a ceremony that changes the seasons. Their world is magically different from our own, yet the Sparkles are relatable characters who are never afraid to be themselves. Elise Allen (Sid the Science Kid, Dinosaur Train) is writing the series.
Boubouh! is based on the book written by Ingrid Chabbert and illustrated by Amandine Duggon and stars a typical monster — a hairy, squint-eyed, toothy beast — who has the not so typical monster problem of being terrified of kids. After coaching from a wise teddy bear named Glups, Boubouh befriends adventurous six-year-old Lucas, but still struggles to balance his two very different lives among his fellow monsters and humans.
Microsoft today announced Halo: Spartan Strike, a spiritual successor to 2013’s Halo: Spartan Assault. Like the original, Spartan Strike is a top-down, twin-stick shooter.
The $ 6 game launches December 14 for Windows platforms (desktop, Surface, and Windows Phone) and one purchase gets you access to the game across all Windows systems. The game is also coming to Steam. What’s more, unlike Spartan Assault, the new game does not feature any microtransactions. Everything in-game can be purchase via credits you unlock through gameplay.
Concerning story, Spartan Strike is set during the events of Halo 2, though that’s the extent of the information provided in the game’s announcement today on IGN.