Monday, April 30, 2012

Burger King Switches to Cage-Free Eggs, Pork by 2017

Good news!

In a move lauded by the Humane Society, Burger King has announced that all of their egg and pork products will come from cage-free facilities by 2017. While other chains like Wendy's and McDonald's claim to be making the switch, as well, no one else has put a date on it.

Obviously, a main concern for the future will be to hold Burger King, and the rest of the fast food industry, to this date and these goals. Once they are achieved, we must broaden our scope to ensure that all livestock are treated humanely and justly. We sacrifice these creatures to nourish ourselves. For that alone, they deserve our respect and care.

[via Gawker]

ScriptShadow Interview: Kelly Marcel

Carson Reeves over at ScriptShadow conducted a fantastic interview with UK screenwriter Kelly Marcel about, among more important cake-and-dog-related things, her upcoming film, "Saving Mr. Banks."

It's a really great interview. Almost as much fun as his review of "Saving Mr. Banks" which he pretty much flipped an S over (he put it in his Top 25 Scripts List). Now I really want to read the script, AND I can't wait to see the movie, especially since I don't even need a reason to get excited about a Tom Hanks film. He's always a delight.

If you have three minutes, you should definitely give it a read, even if you just skip to the extra-vital bits about dogs and cakes, two subjects both near and dear to my heart.


Kickball! or Sharks Need Water

SVA student Dana Terrace's third-year animation project:

No wonder that adorable shark has asthma, he needs water to breathe! His inhaler better be full of H2O. Also, those are some darn cute animal critters. I could totally see this as an animated TV show on Cartoon Network or Nick, Jr.

[via Neatorama]

Dog and Cheetah are Friends

A new addition to my ongoing series, Dog and Horse are Friends...

[via Neatorama]

A Love Story, Told by Moles

When illustrator Ronald Searle's wife was sick with breast cancer, he drew her these pictures of her as a wide-eyed mole in love with the beauty of the world to remind her of what she would soon be returning to when she became healthy again. As Ronald said, “to cheer every dreaded chemotherapy session and evoke the blissful future ahead.” Ronald and his wife passed away last year, and now we can all share the beauty of their love.

[via Neatorama]

Weirdest Game Show Moment

UK game shows are apparently filled with much more interesting personalities than over in the U.S.

What a nut, am I right? Or do you think he was the wisest of all?


A Classical Dogsmorph

This super trippy, but still somehow adorable video morphs images of dogs painted throughout art history. I could only watch for about a minute before my eyes and brain told me to stop, but it was pretty cool up until then. Also, I'm sure it's great if you're on some mind-altering substance. Unfortunately, the Claritin I took this morning wasn't enough to get me through it.

[Dog Art Today via Neatorama]

DuckTales Rock Out

I had the DuckTales theme song stuck in my head yesterday apropos of nothing.

Then, with no searching or prompting from me, this popped up on my Google Reader:

I love you, Internet.

[via Neatorama]

Happy 100th Birthday, Universal!

A lady never reveals her age, but Hollywood is so sexist, Universal's probably a dude anyway, so let's all give it up for Universal for reaching one hundred today!

Mental Floss posted eleven Universal trivia tidbits to commemorate the occasion.

My favorite: "In Field of Dreams, both Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are among the thousands of extras in the Fenway Park scene."

But the fact that the F bomb is dropped in "The Big Lebowski" almost three hundred times is pretty f'ing neat, too.

[see more at Mental Floss]

Life (Still) Has Meaning

This picture makes me so happy.

As Videogum puts it: "Somewhere all of your dreams are realities... Hogwarts exists. Somewhere." And apparently that somewhere has terrible wood paneled walls. Fine with it!

Bubbles in Space!

Astronauts create bubbles within bubbles within water balls, totally blowing your stoner friends' minds.

My favorite part of this video is the commentary. Astronauts are such nerds! Baddass, brave nerds.

[via Neatorama]

Stoat Tries to Shove Round Roll through Rectangular Vent

Sometimes the answer is staring you right in the face: EAT IT ALL NOW!! But, of course, this wise stoat didn't want to succumb to gluttony. Instead, he succumbed to the laws of physics.

[via Gawker]

PS. Lots of animal videos tonight. Not sure, but I'm rolling with it and you should, too!

Animated Music Video: Pree- Te Koop/A Vendre

Below is the paper animation-style (looks like CGI made to look like paper, but there may be a mix of both) music video for the band Pree's song "Te Koop/A Vendre" It's short and sweet and doesn't get into the creepy weird mode that a lot of animated music videos dive into. Hooray!

The forest animals are particularly adorable. Even when being eaten by other adorable forest animals!

[via Neatorama]

Further Proof

Watch until the very end. Then you will see. Dogs are the best!

The final music choice also made me really happy.

[via Gawker]

Proof that Dog's are the Best

Look at how much fun Copper's life is!

Just goes to show you how being adorable and friendly will take you far in life... especially when you are dog, which also proves that dogs are the best!

[via Neatorama]

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Kidney Successfully Transplanted Twice after Initial Damage

One of the worst things that can happen to a transplant patient is to be so lucky as to receive a transplant, but then have the organ react poorly in the new body. 

For Ray Fearing, who has suffered from a kidney-toxic disease his entire life, that nightmare came true shortly after he received an organ from his sister. The specific disease he has, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, can sometimes grow in transplanted kidneys, causing even worse problems than just having it in the native kidneys. Once doctors realized that Ray was doing worse after the transplant than before, they knew they needed to remove the organ as soon as possible. 

The difference was that before they did it, they asked Ray if he would be willing to give the organ to another patient in need. Without hesitation, Ray agreed. Hours later, the kidney was in a new recipient (a heart surgeon with grandkids, no less!) and free of the destructive disease. 

While Ray continues to struggle with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, at least he knows that his sister's infinitely kind gift did not go to waste. I hope that provides him and his sister some comfort during this trying time. Best wishes to you both.

[via CNN]

Disney/Pixar News! There's Tons of It!

First, Pixar. The most exciting news is that the plot for the new film directed by Lee Unkrich (also what I call my rich uncle, hiyo!) of Toy Story 3 fame will center around Mexico's Dia de los Muertos. I'm guessing that most of the characters will be skeletons voiced by white American actors, but a girl can dream of the day that films about non-white cultures star/are written/directed people of non-white cultures in them, right ("Brave" counts a little tiny bit for having Scottish actors, but Scotland is still a super white culture)? Until that day comes, I hope that at least some of the actors will be Mexican and that they hire some badass new Mexican animators and storyboard artists (who are essentially writers) to help with this film. I don't think that's unreasonable! Of course I should also say that I'm super happy that Pixar is making a film about such a colorful, fun holiday about death so unlike anything American. Dia de los Muertos is so different than Halloween, and so much cooler and more mature in so many ways. It's a great subject for an animated film, and I'm really happy they're doing it! I wish them the best of luck.

In other Pixar news, the "Untitled Pixar Movie About Dinosaurs" is now called the super-boring "The Good Dinosaur." This really says nothing about the quality of the film, though, since most Pixar movies have super boring names. More importantly, it will be about a world in which dinosaurs never went extinct. Presumably, hilarity and heartwarming will ensue.

"The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind" will be released on June 19, 2015. No new information besides that, but a release date is always a vote of confidence, and I'm extra excited about this one so that's good.

I should also note that besides "Monsters Universtiy" these upcoming films are all originals (unless they're book adaptations, but at the very least they're not sequels) which is both great news and a relief - a nice affirmation that the studio is still on track.

Now, Disney. The most exciting news is that Henry Selick ("Coraline") will be directing an adaptation of Neil Gaimans' "The Graveyard Book". The cover looks super creepy, so this could be really fun, or I could be covering my eyes the whole time. Either way, I'll probably be happy.

Disney also released some artwork from their new short, "Paperman" which will blend traditional 2D and 3D animation. It's pretty neat.

On the business side, Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross has stepped down from his position, stating that he no longer feels like he's a good fit professionally for the job anymore. It's unclear whether his move was entirely voluntary, especially after the high-profile failure of "John Carter" which, though not greenlit by Ross, was certainly guided and marketed by him. The buck had to stop somewhere on that one. Because Ross was brought in to focus Disney on more large tentpoles like "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "John Carter" was such a flop, it'll be interesting to see if the new hire will return to focusing on Disney's strengths in animation and smaller-scale, heartfelt live-action films. With the addition of Henry Selick and this New Gaiman book, that could very well be the case!

[via /Film, /Film, /Film]

"Unite Women" Events Held Today

Ok, I'm a little late to this boat, but apparently there were some massive demonstrations today against the War on Women, headed by the "Unite Against the War on Women" group, at

As a women-person-American, I'm pretty staunchly against the ridiculous, expensive, and unconstitutional laws that have been passed or nearly-passed in the House and in states across the country recently. GOP policy has taken a hard stance against over half of the population, and that majority needs to fight back to regain their status as equals who have the right to choose how to live their lives and make their own decisions about their bodies.

Were any of you there? What was the press like? How did it go? I hope they went well!

[via Gawker]

I have Done Nothing with my Life and this Kid's a Piano Man

He's no singer, but he's a darn good pianist! He looks like he's too young to read, but that sheet music's no trouble for him at all. Meanwhile, I can barely play the opening five notes for Ben Folds Five's "Brick" on piano and "Hot Cross Buns" on my recorder. Even though I took flute for four years, I can't remember where all the notes are, much less any actual songs.

Clearly, this kid has achieved more in his five years than I have in my twenty-five, except having a quarter-life crisis, of course.

[via Neatorama]

Affordable Care Act to Close Pervasive Gaps in Insurance, Study Confirms

In addition to giving over two million young adults insurance (including me!) and ensuring that people with pre-existing conditions (like me!) are able to find affordable insurance, or even insurance at all, outside of their jobs starting in 2014, a recent study by the Commonwealth Fund confirms that that the ACA will assist about 25% of Americans in covering their gaps in insurance when in between work or starting new jobs that lack insurance upfront.

Via the creation of the state-based insurance exchanges, the ban on pre-existing condition discrimination, and the expansion of Medicaid, the ACA will make health insurance affordable and available to those who need it, even for just a few months before obtaining a new employer.

The Commonwealth Fund tracked individuals who shopped for private insurance. Over half (55%) of those individuals opted not to buy insurance at all because of the high premiums. As stated above, the ACA will make those premiums affordable and reasonable, giving everyone the freedom and security of having health insurance.

Just one of millions of reasons for the Supreme Court not to strike down the individual mandate or the law as a whole.

Also, 122 Americans with pre-existing conditions spend $4, 844 per year more for healthcare. "Hypertension was the most commonly reported medical condition among adults “that could result in a health insurer denying coverage, requiring higher-than average premiums, or restricting coverage.”"Just saying.

[via The Hill, Think Progress]

Francis Lawrence to Direct "Hunger Games" Sequel

It was definitely a letdown finding out that Gary Ross wouldn't be directing "Catching Fire" after he did such a great job with "The Hunger Games." While some top-tier names were bandied about as possibilities for his replacement, the job's gone to Francis Lawrence, of "Constantine," "I Am Legend," and "Water for Elephants."

I've only seen "I Am Legend" and "Water for Elephants" and he did a fine job with both. Unfortunately, considering all the second book's flaws, I am concerned that this more conventional pick, plus the short shooting schedule, may make for a disappointing second feature in the trilogy.

I was also disappointed that they didn't even put any female directors in their top contenders, "dream picks" list. Why not at least include Patty Jenkins, since we know she can handle the material? Oh, well, maybe they'll shape up for "Mockingjay." That one's the weirdest of them all, so whoever is in charge of it will really need to have their stuff together.

That being said, the first book in the "Hunger Games" series was my favorite, and they got that one right, so that's enough for me as a fan. Plus, they've got the writer of "Slumdog Millionaire" (Simon Beaufoy) writing with Suzanne Collins, so that's solid.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Energy Wars at their Best

These are the kinds of energy wars I like: the ones between the Department of Energy and IBM to create the most efficient, safest, and longest-lasting batteries for electric vehicles first.

The competition started in 2009, when the DOE gave out $2.9 billion in research grants to develop better low-cost, high-range batteries for electric vehicles, but didn't give any of those grants to IBM. To counter them, IBM began their own internal project, the Battery 500 Project, to develop an electric car battery that can travel 500 miles between charges.

The competition has sparked major advancements, ones that could lead to a fantastic new fleet of electric vehicles that could put a major dent into our addiction to carbon-based fuels as early as 2020.

Pretty exciting stuff, right? Why isn't the Obama administration touting this victory: a project that the government began has fueled (pun intended) innovation in the private sector. It's a great marriage between conservative and progressive ideals. I love it!

New Matthew Perry Series to Be Awesome

I got a chance to read the Scott Silveri-penned and Matthew Perry-starring NBC pilot "Go On," which recently was given a full series order. I've got great news (that apparently NBC has already realized): it's great. It was a fantastic read, and I cannot wait to watch the show when it airs.

This post is spoiler-free, so I'm not going to go into the content of the pilot, but I feel like it was one of the few pilots I read that gave voices to several groups of people that we don't hear from very often on TV and that we need more of. The fact that it will be helmed by a very funny, veteran comedic actor in a role I'm sure he'll be comfortable playing and a former 'Friends' writer certainly couldn't hurt.

The show is a classic example of the Hollywood mantra, "similar but different" and I cannot wait to watch it!

Tricked Out Corgi

Even though Lance the Corgi's tricks mainly consist of walking backwards or crossing his paws, this YouTube video is still almost three whole minutes of unadulterated corgi time. You gotta love that.

Too cute!

[via Gawker]

New 'Brave' Trailer


The new 'Brave' trailer is filled with spoilers, so while it's pretty good, if you want to be surprised come June, I would avoid it.

That being said, for those who don't mind a little spoiling action...

What do you think? This feels like a mashup of the TV spot and the last 'trailer' (which, let's be honest, was just an extended clip) with a few moments of new footage. I kind of wish I had unseen it, but that's ok. I'm still super psyched to go see it once it premieres!

In Memoriam, and Life: George E. Schreiner

George E. Schreiner was a pioneer in the field of nephrology and helped found the National Kidney Foundation (among other nephrology associations). He spearheaded the incredible legislation (signed by non other than President Nixon) that ensured Medicare coverage for all ESRD patients and kidney transplant recipients, regardless of their ability to pay. This legislation has helped save and extend innumerable lives. We all owe Dr. Schreiner a great debt.

During his term as President of the NKF, one of the greatest struggles in organ donation was overcome: the Uniform Donor Card became recognized as a legal document for the donation of organs for transplantation after death. Amazing.

He passed away on April 12, 2012 at the age of 89. You can read more about the life that he gave us here.

How fitting then, that this months is Donate Life month, when those still living are encouraged to sign up to be an organ donor when they pass away. Lean more about helping give others the gift of life at You can help them reach their goal of registering 20 million new organ donors in 2012.

Also, this.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy 25th Birthday to ME!

I turned twenty-five last week!

For my birthday, the internet gave me Pottermore (Hufflepuff! I think because I love animals? I got a lot of animal-related questions) and this video of a corgi getting vacuumed (affirmation of animal love):

Best birthday ever!

Garfunkel and Oates: My Apartment is Very Clean (and Very Sad!) Without You

This is the saddest song involving animated kittens wearing colorful underwear ever.

Love it. G&O forever!

[via Neatorama]

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hoppy Easter!

Please enjoy these puppies, chicks, and bunnies as they wonder why they were all tossed together:

Pretty darn cute.

[via Neatorama]

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sneak Peek from 'Brave' Creates Positive Buzz!

Alright, Pixar, I'm still skeptical, but now I'm more excited about 'Brave' ever since I read Big Screen Animation's roundup of the Twitter reactions from film bloggers who watched a special half-hour preview from "Brave" this week. I was especially pleased to see that Germain Lussier of /Film gave it a positive (pre)review.

I have exceedingly high expectations for "Brave" considering it's the first Pixar film with a female protagonist (and once-director), but that also means if they mess it up, I will be that much more upset.

These initial reactions support my high hopes. Pixar's best films start strong (WALL-E, Up, Incredibles, etc), so this bodes well.

Keeping my fingers crossed until June!