Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Who’s Who of ‘Genius’

The cast of 'Genius'
The cast of Genius (National Geographic Channel)


National Geographic Channel premieres its first scripted series about the life of Albert Einstein in Genius this Tuesday, April 25. Executively produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Genius was filmed in Prague, Czech Republic, where Einstein lived and taught early in his career. The story begins with the young, imaginative and often rebellious thinker struggling to be recognized by the establishment through his rock star-like celebrity states as the man who came up with the theory of relativity. However, the series doesn’t intend to sugarcoat any aspect of this life and instead, will bring to light his difficulties dealing with those closest to him including his children, his two wives and even his mistresses.

Jumping back and forth in time about the life of a younger and older Einstein, keeping track of all of the characters in Genius can get a little confusing. Here’s a “who’s who” provided by National Geographic Channel to help you keep them all straight.

The cast of "Genius"

Professor Einstein/Younger Einstein
Played by Geoffrey Rush/Johnny Flynn

Generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century, Albert Einstein was a German-born scientist who developed the special and general theories of relativity. He was also an eternally curious, sexually charged, impudent rebel who bristled against authority.

This Day in Pop Culture for April 22

The 1964 World's Fair Opens

The 1964 New York World’s Fair opened its gates for the first time on this day. The fair featured over 140 pavilions and 110 restaurants. A total of 80 nations were represented and hosted by 37, 24 of the United States were featured along with over 45 corporations all spread out on 646 acres. The fair's theme was "Peace Through Understanding," was dedicated to "Man's Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe” and was symbolized by a 12-story-high, stainless-steel model of the earth called the Unisphere. It was built on the foundation of the Perisphere from the 1939 World’s Fair. Disney fans know that some of Disneyland’s earliest attractions had their start here including It’s a Small World (which was a salute to UNICEF and was featured in the Pepsi pavilion), The Carousel of Progress (then known as Progressland and sponsored by General Electric), Ford’s Magic Skyway (used as a prototype for the PeopleMover ride system and the large dinosaurs featured on the attraction are now part of the Primeval World diorama seen when riding the Disneyland Railroad) and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln which appeared in the Illinois pavilion. It is said that the fair also provided many guests with their first interactions with computer equipment.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Cast of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ to Reunite at ATX Television Festival

"Battlestar Galactica" will reunite at the ATX Television Festival.
The cast of Battlestar Galactica (ATX)


The cast of Battlestar Galactica will reunite for the closing night festivities at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas on June 10, 2017. Presented by Entertainment Weekly, a special reunion of the critically acclaimed, Emmy nominated and Peabody Award-winning series reunion will feature creator/executive producer Ronald D. Moore (Outlander), along with cast members Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff, Grace Park, Michael Trucco and Michael Hogan.

This is the sixth year of the ATX festival which runs from June 8-11, 2017. While there, EW will also host “After Dark” happy hours celebrating select casts who will be attending ATX, along with hosting and moderating panels throughout the weekend with casts and creators.

NeedToBreathe and Fans Help Open Medical Clinic - Video of the Day


"Through partnership with OneWorld Health, NeedToBreathe and their fans have raised nearly $1 million to provide access to quality healthcare for those whom need it most!"

Branan Murphy Creates ‘Conscious Pop’ Music

Branan Murphy has released new single, "All the Wrongs Things."
Branan Murphy (Sony/Provident)


Sony/Provident’s Essential Records has announced that they have signed Branan Murphy as he releases his debut single "All the Wrong Things" which features Koryn Hawthorne, Season 8 finalist of NBC’s The Voice. Murphy says that his music is a little different saying that his brand is “conscious pop” and likes to write songs about what it means to be human.

“We are all complex people. We have struggles. We have contradictions. We have deep desires. We are all seeking to be loved, understood and satisfied. My songs attempt to capture those deep emotional, even spiritual, yearnings we have as human beings. The bottom line is that I want to make great art, but most of all I want to be honest. I want to sing about what people are really going through.”

Branan Murphy has released new single, "All the Wrongs Things."
Murphy began writing songs and singing for his church while still in high school and by the age of 18, he knew he had found his career in music. He spent the next several years performing in various events across the U.S. and releasing two independent projects. In 2011, he released a “mixtape” that showed off his skills as a vocalist, rapper, songwriter and producer. His name is still fairly unknown to many but that is about to change.

"I'm so excited for the world to finally hear Branan's music," says Jason McArthur, Vice President of A&R for Sony/Provident. "Branan Murphy is a spectacularly talented singer and songwriter. His songs are wildly infectious, and his vocal ability is incredible. But what I like most about him is that he has a strong, positive purpose in making his music. His songs dare to engage and challenge listeners in a very real way."

Here is Murphy’s new video for “All the Wrong Things.”

This Day in Pop Culture for April 21

Gerald Rivera found nothing in Al Capone's vaults on April 21, 1986.

Geraldo Rivera Opens Al Capone’s Vaults and Finds Nothing

Notorious and “most wanted” gangster, Al Capone, began his life of crime in Chicago in 1919 and had his headquarters set up at the Metropole Hotel and then later moved to the Lexington Hotel where he ran things until his arrest in 1931. He later died in 1947. Fast forward to the 1980s when renovations were being made at the Lexington Hotel, a renovation team discovered a shooting-range and series of connected tunnels. One tunnel was connected to Capone’s medicine cabinet. The tunnels led to taverns and brothels making for an easy escape should there be a police raid. Rumors were spread that Capone had a secret vault hidden under the hotel. Meanwhile, in 1985, news reporter Geraldo Rivera has been fired from ABC after he criticized the network for canceling a report made about an alleged relationship between John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. It seemed like a good time for Rivera to scoop a new story to repair his reputation. It was on this day in 1986 that his live two-hour syndicated TV special, The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults, was aired. After lots of backstory, the time finally came to reveal what was in Capone’s vaults which turned out to be empty. After the show, Rivera was quoted as saying "Seems like we struck out.”

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"Do You Need a $400 Juicer?" Asks Bloomberg - Video of the Day


So, according to Bloomberg, the person who has everything apparently needs one less thing.

Disneyland Resort Features ‘Summer of Heroes’ and Space Mountain

Guardians of the Galaxy (Disney)


We’re about a month away from Disney California Adventure Park’s “Summer of Heroes” blasting off on May 27. The event is headlined by the highly anticipated grand opening of the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! “This new adventure blasts you straight into the “Guardians of the Galaxy” story for the first time ever, alongside characters from the blockbuster films and comics,” reports Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director for Disneyland Resort.

Disney says that Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! will take guests through the fortress of The Collector, who is keeping the Guardians as prisoners. Instead of the Hollywood Hotel elevator used in the former Tower of Terror ride, guests will now board a "gantry lift" where they will meet up with Rocket in hopes of freeing his fellow Guardians. "As guests join Rocket in his attempt to bust his pals out of The Collector's Fortress, they will experience randomized ride experiences complete with new visual and audio effects and music inspired by the popular film soundtracks."

Watch the sneak peek for the summer below:

(Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort) 
Other events featured at the park this summer include:
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! - This old-school dance party will play out on the Disney streets of Hollywood Land with Star-Lord kickin’ off tunes from his boom box.
  • Super Hero Encounters - New costumed superheroes will begin to roam about the park including Groot, Captain America and Spider-Man.
  • Avengers Training Initiative - Other Marvel superheroes, Black Widow and Hawkeye will be on hand to train young recruits to see if they have the necessary skills to become a member of The Avengers. I have a pretty good idea that most who try out, will.
  • Heroic Encounter: Black Widow - Black Widow will also be making the rounds in an armored Avengers vehicle for her “heroic encounter with park guests.”
“Summer of Heroes” will continue through September 10.

Then, in celebration of the theme park’s 40th anniversary (gasp), the classic version of Space Mountain will return to Disneyland beginning on June 1. “A variation of a concept Walt Disney developed in the 1960s, Space Mountain first opened at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in 1975, and construction on Space Mountain at Disneyland park began soon after,” says Glover. “The attraction went on to become a guest favorite, seeing special themed versions such as Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Hyperspace Mountain.” Here’s the original 1977 TV commercial for the ride: