Friday, August 28, 2015

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS - A Sneak Peek

A video posted by Star Wars (@starwars) on
For those of you anxiously awaiting all things Star Wars, A promo sneak peek was posted on the Star Wars Instagram account. This was also a great first look at Instagram's New landscape orientation mode. 
Star Wars: The Force Awakens” releases in U.S. theaters on Dec. 18th 2015

Pixar in a Box – Free Online Curriculum


If your as big of Pixar Animation Studios fans as we are I have some exciting news for you. Khan Academy has launched Pixar in a Box. This is your chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at Pixar Animation Studios’ creative process.

“Our mission at Khan Academy is a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere,” said Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of the not-for-profit Khan Academy. “Sparking student interest in math and other academic fields is a key part of that, and we’re delighted to collaborate with Pixar to achieve this goal. Pixar in a Box gives students a new way to engage with key academic concepts and see how creative these concepts can be.”

Students can access Pixar in a Box and learn:
·       How combinatorics are used to create crowds, like the swarm of robots in WALLŸE.
·       How parabolas are used to model environments, like the forest in Brave.
·       How weighted averages are used to create characters, like Buzz Lightyear and Woody.
·       How linear and cubic interpolation are used to animate characters.
·       How trigonometry is used to create the worlds in which Pixar stories take place.
·       How simultaneous equations are used to paint all of Pixar’s images.

 “While the first year focuses on math, future Pixar in a Box lessons will explore science, computer science, arts, and humanities.” 

I can't wait to check out the free lessons with the little guys. Who in your family will be most excited about Pixar in a Box? Let me know in comments below.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Peek At SUFFRAGETTE


Today is Women’s Equality Day in the United States. This Day Marks the 95th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the Constitution.This amendment gave woman the right to vote. Because of this, I can't think of a better day for the official exclusive new poster for the movie SUFFRAGETTE to debut.
The Movie SUFFRAGETTE, stars Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, and Helena Bonham, and is a historical drama about the fight for women to vote in 20th century Britain. 
Suffragette will open in New York and Los Angeles on Oct. 23 before expanding nationwide Here is a look at the official movie trailer.


Suffragette will open in New York and Los Angeles on Oct. 23 before expanding nationwide.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Verizon Wireless Dumps Two Year Contracts

Disclaimer:
Although I am often given product by the wonderful people of Verizon
 Wireless in exchange for posts, all opinions expressed are my own. 

Verizon Wireless has made some big changes in the way they are doing things and it's shaking up the internet. The first change is they are doing away with their two year contracts. For new customers this means they will no longer be offered cheaper phone prices in exchange for a contract. They will either have the option of buying the phone outright, or make smaller payments on the full priced device. If you are a current customer you have the choice of keeping your current plan or switching to the new plan.


The folks at Verizon decided to make things easier for you. Instead of the dozen or more different plans, Verizon will now charge $20 per smartphone. Then the customer has the choice between four data plans.  


 1 GB for $30/month
 3 GB for $45/month
 6 GB for $60/month

    12 GB for $80/month 
Data may be shared between devices so you can choose which plan is best for your family.

Verizon explains it like this:

"“This new approach will keep our plans competitive and future proof because of their flexibility. Customers can decide at any time whether they want to move to a S, M, L or XL plan. And they can add devices at any time and share data among up to 10 devices,” she said.
For a family of four who own their smartphones and need 3 GB of data a month, the cost is $125, excluding taxes and fees."
Current customers will want to look over the plan they are on now and decide which will save them more money. If you decide to stick with your old plan Verizon will offer you a $200 voucher to spend on a new device every two years. 

Excitement at the D23 Expo

Have you heard of the D23 Expo? If your a die-hard Disney fan, like myself, I'm sure you were following it on social media this past weekend. If not, the D23 Expo is a huge 3 day event featuring all things Disney, In a huge way. An event for loyal Disney fans, the expo presents magical experiences, including introductions to new films being released by both Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. 
About D23
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold and General Membership levels at D23.com and at DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.

This year several films were introduced. In the next couple weeks I will be telling you about them. Right now I have a little info about the one I am most excited about. 

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

With 3 generations of Pirates of the Caribbean fans under the same roof, we are beyond excited to see another coming out, even if we have to wait til 2017.



"Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea...including him. Captain Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

The film is directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning and stars Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kevin R. McNally, Kaya Scodelario, Golshifteh Farahani, Stephen Graham, David Wenham and Geoffrey RushJerry Bruckheimer is the producer and Chad Oman, Mike Stenson, Joe Caracciolo, Jr. and Brigham Taylor serve as executive producers. Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay.PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES releases in U.S. theaters on July 7th 2017."

Time for School and MobileArq


Disclaimer: 
Although I will be compensated by MobileArq, all thoughts expressed are my own.

Where did the summer go? It's hard to believe it's time for the little guys to head back to school. When asked to check out the MobileArq I was curious how helpful it would be in our little public. The answer came quick when I watched the above video. 
Meant to connect PTA, parents and teachers, MobileArq makes the job of setting up a parent teacher directory easy. The directory is then provided both online and offline through a secure network that is set to private and not able to be found through search engines. 
You may ask what the advantage is of an online directory as opposed to the paper directory. First is ease of use. Instead of thumbing through page by page looking for the info you need, MobileArq is set up to make finding the info you need easy. See example in the image below.
This app is a great tool for the PTA. A message sent out to all parents the night of meetings can mean increased membership. No more needing to print out newsletters, just post it on your mobile PTA website and all will see it. The PTA can set up the Directory Lists and contact your local businesses to advertise around the directory and you have the perfect PTA fundraiser. 

Teachers benefit from the app by setting up a class group. This way info about nightly assignments make it home. Teachers can send out a list of items needed for the classroom for their next project. The app also makes it easy for teachers and staff to keep in touch with each other. 

Imagine how much handy MobileArq is for parents. If you need to get in touch with a parent of a classmate their contact info is a touch away. Running late to pick up your child? Contact the school office to let them know. Your child's school Calender and Newsletter is now just a click away, not hanging on your fridge at home.

After reading the info on MobileArq I sent it on to those in charge at the little guys school. I can't wait to see it used there this year.




Wednesday, August 12, 2015

#DonorNation Comes to Fenway Park

One Organ donor can save 8 lives.

This Friday, Aug.14th Fenway Park is joining the folks at Organize to bring us Organ Donation Awareness Night. 120K people are on the organ donor list. I, like many people, was listed as an organ donor on my license. The problem is the 52 state-based registries are not technologically interoperable. Organize is a single centeral registry that gives all states the info on people who want to be organ donors.

 Rick Segal will be throwing out the first pitch on friday.
 A note from Greg Segal, co-founder of ORGANIZE:
Rick Segal was born in Brookline, MA and grew up as a die-hard Red Sox fan, even though he has lived his entire adult life in NYC
He’s such a Red Sox fan that in 1986 he planned to name his 3rd son Benjamin Roger Segal (BRS for Boston Red Sox, Roger for Roger Clemens) if the Sox won the series. He was born the night of the Buckner game, and they left him unnamed until the Series ended – at which point my dad gave up and told my mom to just name him herself (she chose Thomas Benjamin).
In 2004 he got really sick from one day to the next. He had been an avid runner with no signs of sickness, and then one week he was having trouble with his daily run – getting winded earlier and earlier until one morning he couldn’t make it to the end of the driveway. He was rushed the hospital, where he was told that, had he not come in that day, he might have passed away overnight.
Rick waited 5 years for a new heart. He had 3 open-heart surgeries, including having a Left Ventricle Assist Device (LVAD) and a defibrillator implanted, which he lived with for almost a year. During that time his condition worsened until his heart was pumping at just 8% capacity.
At the very last possible moment, and a extremely terrifying time for the family, we received a call from NY Presbyterian Hospital that a heart was ready for him. The donor was a 26 y/o male from Boston.
After my dad’s transplant, when we told him the donor was from Boston his first question was “So, I’m still a Red Sox fan?”  

Why deciding to be a Donor is important

Kylie: Organ Donor recipiant
#DonationNation

Kylie is a very busy, soon to be, 11 years old. She loves sports, and participates in soccer, basketball and softball. She like to sail, hike, ride bikes and draw. She also spends the year gathering donations of food, toys and pull tabs for the Ronald McDonald house. She has done so much for them that both the RMH house and her Dr, have donated a brick in her name.
Kylie with toys she collected to donate to Ronald McDonald House
You would never know to look at her that she spent 7 years fighting for her life. When her mom, Paula, was pregnant Drs. Discovered there was little amniotic fluid, which sent up a red flag. After further testing it was discovered she had a blockage that wasn't draining. This blockage backed up into her kidneys and damaged them. Kylie underwent her first surgery inutero.

Kylie was born with Dysplastic Kidney, which is a condition resulting from the malformation of the kidney during fetal development. When she was 7 her kidney function was at 11%. They listed her on the transplant list in January and in March, the brave little girl was given a kidney transplant, and an new lease on life. Without this she would have faced Dialysis or much worse.

Kylie will go on to do great things in her life because of someone's decision to donate. If you need a reason to choose to be a donor, here is a great one!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Toy Story That Time Forgot on Blu-ray , Digital HD and DMA November 3rd



If your Family is like ours, and loves Disney Pixar's The Toy Story, you are going to love this news.

Disney•Pixar proudly presents a hilarious new animated adventure,TOY STORY THAT TIME FORGOT, Join Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and the gang for an unforgettable tale packed with family fun and a must-have for every Pixar fan’s collection! During one of Bonnie's post-Christmas play dates, the “Toy Story” crew find themselves in uncharted territory when the coolest set of action figures ever turn out to be dangerously delusional.  It's all up to Trixie, the triceratops, if the gang hopes to ever return to Bonnie's room. Available for the First Time on Blu-ray™, Digital HD  and Disney Movies Anywhere on November 3rd.



Loaded with All New Never-Before-Seen Bonus Features Including Behind-the-Scenes, 
Sing-Alongs and Over 10 Minutes of Deleted Scenes!

Synopsis: Disney•Pixar proudly presents a hilarious new animated “Toy Story” adventure. During one of Bonnie's post-Christmas play dates, the “Toy Story” crew find themselves in uncharted territory when the coolest set of action figures ever turn out to be dangerously delusional.  It's all up to Trixie, the triceratops, if the gang hopes to ever return to Bonnie's room.  “Toy Story That Time Forgot” is an unforgettable tale packed with family fun and a must-have for every Pixar fan’s collection!