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Disney to launch new streaming service called Disney+ and pull content from Netflix in 2019

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Disney's new Netflix rival will be called Disney+ and launch late 2019
Disney's new streaming service, Disney+, will be a home for its past titles and original series, including new content from the Marvel and Star Wars franchises.
The company will pull its content from Netflix in 2019.

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Photo courtesy CNBC

Incredible photos: majestic swan family of nine at sunrise; "Born To Explore" producer and host participates in a swan rescue


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As the sun rises through the mist, a pair of swans and their seven cygnets glide majestically along in a scene that evokes the end of the hottest summer on record.
The stunning photograph was taken by James MacDonald on his smartphone when he spotted the birds’ stately, single file procession during a morning run in Bushy Park, south-west London.

Mr MacDonald, 40, a mapmaker for DK Travel guides who lives near the park, said: ‘They were on the move along an inlet from a small pond to a larger lake. I’d seen swans with their young in the park earlier in the year, when the parents are still very protective and won’t let you get near, so it was nice to be able to get close enough to take a picture of these now they are bigger.’

Richard Martin-Barton, of forecasters MeteoGroup, said: ‘It will feel a little bit Mediterranean, thanks to slightly warmer air moving in from Northern Spain. But it’s going to be a case of enjoy it while you can if you live in south-east England because – by the middle of next week – they will see the cooler, wetter conditions the rest of the country will be having.’

Emmy-winning 'Born To Explore' shares passion for adventure
Richard Wiese travels to Windsor, England to participate in a swan rescue for an episode of the Westport-produced travel program, "Born To Explore." The program, which airs Saturdays on ABC, recently took home an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Single Camera Photography.  read more »

Bravo! People love it - the last Blockbuster store in US stands strong after 9000 stores (employed 84,000) quit

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There is only one Blockbuster still surviving in the entire United States. Employees mourn the closure by leaving candles outside the store: Alaska’s last two Blockbuster video rental stores are closing this weekend -- leaving only one Blockbuster store open in the United States. 7/13/2018 Alaska’s last two Blockbuster stores — community gathering spots and nostalgic tourist attractions that got a big plug from HBO’s John Oliver — are shuttering. That leaves just one of the once ubiquitous video rental hub open in the entire U.S. The franchises in Anchorage and Fairbanks will close for rentals after Sunday night and reopen Tuesday for video liquidation sales through the end of August, said Kevin Daymude, general manager of Blockbuster Alaska.

7/18/2018 "Making the trek to this "last standing" Blockbuster Video Store is a must do!" (Yelp review)
Oh my how the blue and yellow Blockbuster Video Storefront has changed since 2004 when there were 9,000 Blockbuster outlets. By 2013, all corporate-owned stores closed and fast forward to July 18, 2018 -- this family-owned Bend, Oregon store has earned the distinction as the last Blockbuster in operation since the two remaining Alaska stores closed their doors this week.  read more »

Simon Cowell's mobile phone has been turned off for 10 months - and "it has absolutely made him happier"

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Simon Cowell confessed he switched off for the sake of his mental health
In an astonishing confession, the television mogul revealed he had become so distracted and irritated by his phone that he made himself uncontactable for the sake of his mental health and happiness.

He told The Mail on Sunday: 'I literally have not been on my phone for ten months.

'The difference it made was that I became more aware of the people around me and way more focused.

'The thing I get irritated with is when you have a meeting everyone's on their phone - and I was probably in that place too. You can't concentrate.

'It has been so good for my mental health. It's a very strange experience but it really is good for you and it has absolutely made me happier.'

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Photo courtesy REX / Shutterstock

Great mind: George Lucas, father of Star Wars, gives $4bil to education; 22yo student hero stopped campus shooting awarded medal

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George Lucas, father of "Star Wars", is a pioneering filmmaker who redefined how films are made. Lucas wanted to make a movie that would teach children the central ethic of right and wrong, good and evil. “I want[ed] to see if I can bend their lives at a particular point in time when they’re very vulnerable,” he recalls, “and give them the things that we’ve always given kids throughout history. The last time we had done it was with the Western. And once the Western was gone, there was no vehicle to say, ‘You don’t shoot people in the back’ and such.”

He’ll receive a Kennedy Center Honor this weekend for his blockbuster work in movies and film technology, but he’s quick to point out that he’s the only recipient this year who isn’t technically a performer. The Honors are being held a mere 12 days before the intensely anticipated release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the saga’s seventh episode. Harrison Ford said: “George has been amazing to me. He’s been the author of the early chapters of my life and given me the opportunity to have a really extraordinary life.”  read more »

Jimmy Fallon: "genius comedian and actor Robin Williams...He's one of a kind. He's one in a million. He's unbelievable"

August 13, 2014 Jimmy Fallon Pays Tribute to Robin Williams to honor the late comedian, choking back tears, before doing his best impersonation of the legend -

*update* Mashable 02 March 2016 (Wednesday): A tunnel with rainbow arches that connects the Golden Gate Bridge to greater Marin County has officially become the Robin Williams tunnel. The tunnel was unofficially known as the Waldo Tunnel. The California State Senate last year approved a resolution to change the tunnel's name to honor the late actor and comedian. Williams grew up and lived in the Bay Area. The two signs — one for each side of the tunnel — cost $3,000 that was paid for using private donations.

*update* 21 August 2014 Robin Williams's Ashes Scattered in San Francisco Bay near his home just one day after his death, per his official death certificate

*update* 20 August 2014 2014 Emmys: Billy Crystal to pay tribute to Williams, his longtime friend and fellow comedian, at next week's Emmy Awards. At 2013 Emmys, Williams honored his friend and mentor Jonathan Winters.

Unbreakable bond. Christopher Reeve: the greatest gift from Robin Williams is laughter

 read more »

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