Teaser for Solar Opposites, New Show From Creator of Rick & Morty

Dig Old Bicks Solar Teaser
(YouTube/Hulu)

Despite some new movies being made available to stream, most of the content being released on various platforms is old stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it’s admirable that these companies are doing what they can to help get us through the Coronavirus quarantine, and when you have kids, it’s super helpful, even if the content is stuff everyone has likely seen before.

But it’s also nice to get some brand new content. Which is just one of the reasons we can’t wait for May 8th. That’s when Solar Opposites hits Hulu. Solar Opposites is an animated show about four aliens who crash land on earth and have to start new lives. Oh, and it’s from the guy who created Rick & Morty.

Got your attention now?

Justin Roiland, who co-created Rick & Morty with Dan Harmon (Community), is the man behind this new show, which drops every episode in early May. Hopefully, after we’ve all gotten out of confinement! A teaser for the show was just released.

“Solar Opposites is coming! We can only show you the teaser right now, but the whole season will be out in a matter of weeks! Stay inside and stay healthy so you can watch and love this show and call us geniuses and all that shit.”

The short description of the show reads: From Justin Roiland, the co-creator of Rick and Morty comes a series about a family of aliens trying to fit in on this human-infested crap-hole of a planet called Earth.

That doesn’t say much, but the teaser helps fill in the blanks. It’s obvious this show is from the guy Rick & Morty based on the style of the jokes and the sci-fi trappings. It surely won’t be long before it develops an insanely loyal cult following (and snacks) like its predecessor.

Check the teaser:

Balloon Artist with Autism Makes Sculptures to Honor Essential Workers

Balloon Artist with Autism Makes Sculptures to Honor Essential Workers
(Facebook/Ausome Balloon Creator)

Essential workers have been the glue holding society together since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. People around the world have been looking for ways to thank essential workers for their service, whether that means offering them free shoes, or creating a collection of action figures in their honor.

Eddie Lin, a 22-year-old from New Jersey, came up with an idea to thank essential workers that is bursting with creativity. Eddie was diagnosed with Autism at 3 years old, and with the support of his loving parents, learned to do many things that we take for granted. Eddie has a great relationship with his mom, who is usually his caretaker, and his two siblings. But Eddie and his dad, James, share a very special bond.

“Shaving with real blades and white bubbles is their special bonding time,” Eddie’s mom, Jenny Lin, explained. “When Eddie went to prom, he said, ‘ONLY Daddy helps me with the suit and tie and my hair. NOT Mommy’”.

At a young age, Eddie developed a fascination with balloons. At first, he used Youtube videos to teach himself how to turn them into sculptures. Because of the loving support of his parents, Eddie was able to take his passion for creating balloon art to the next level. Eddie’s family comes from Taiwan, and his dad’s side of the family is still there. In 2014, Eddie went on two very special trips to Taiwan – one with his mom, and one with his dad. Not only did he get to visit family, but Eddie’s parents enrolled him in professional balloon classes to improve his unique skill set.

Eddie and James
Eddie Lin and his Dad James prepare for Eddie’s first official gig in 2014 (SUPPLIED)

Eddie (aka the “Ausome Balloon Creator”) has always loved superheroes, but his love of heroes expands way beyond the ones we see in movies – Eddie wanted to honor the heroes we encounter every day. The idea first emerged when a friend’s mom, a grocery store manager, expressed that she was very stressed at work. In typical Eddie fashion, he decided to cheer her up – his way.

Eddie also made a balloon sculpture for his mailman,

 

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Some of you might have read that our balloon postal worker made it into the hands of an actual postal worker! Meet Maganbhai Patel! Being a postal worker is actually a family affair. His kids also work for the post office and gave the now famous balloon postal worker to their father. Maganbhai is 79 years old and has worked for the post office in Plainfield for 32 years! He’s going to retire this year. In early April he contracted COVID-19. Fortunately he was able to make a full recovery and got clearance to go back to work. We’re so glad we could be any part of his journey with the postal service. And to top it all off, it’s his 52 wedding anniversary today! Congrats to the whole family and thank you for your service as essential workers!

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And medical workers.

Eddie’s mom told CNN, “In his head, people who go above and beyond, those are heroes.”

We think you’re a hero too, Eddie. Thank you for making the world a little brighter.

“No Drama Llama” Joins Peaceful Protest in Portland

There’s a famous quote from Mr. Rogers about times of tragedy and crisis.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Rogers said, “my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Sometimes, they’re not even people.

All over the country, protests are in support of justice for the murder of George Floyd. People of all stripes are coming together to make their voices heard and take a stand against racism and police brutality, and some of them are even bringing their animal friends.

Tuesday night, in Portland, Oregon, local celebrity Caesar, the ‘no drama’ llama, was one of them.

Owned by Larry McCool, from the Mystic Llama Farm, Caesar is well-known in Portland, and his presence at the protest was welcomed, cheered, and even used as an example.

The llama helped make Portland a good example of how to hold a peaceful protest.

Caesar even has his own Twitter account, where he responded to people who caught wind of his presence.

His twitter bio describes Caesar as a “Therapy/Charity #llamactivist protecting & promoting civil rights for all.”

Nice to see him putting his money where his mouth is!

Bus Drivers Give a Unique Congratulations to the Class of 2020

Bus Drivers Give a Unique Congratulations to the Class of 2020
(lovelandschools.org)

This year’s graduates have not had it easy. Spending their final months of school away from friends, missing out on irreplaceable milestones like prom and graduation, honestly, it sucks. People around the world are trying to find safe and memorable ways to give graduating seniors some kind of silver lining. John Krasinski hosted a virtual graduation for seniors, which had the additional benefit of eliminating the fear of tripping on stage while accepting your diploma. This crafty dad built an entire graduation stage to give his daughter the graduation she dreamed of (well, close enough). Now, bus drivers for the Loveland City school district in Ohio have come up with their own creative way to celebrate their driven, hard-working seniors.

The incredible result was shared in a viral video, congratulating the 392 graduating seniors. It’s a simple idea, really – you can do it at home to celebrate your own graduate. All you need is a drone, seven drivers, 3 ½ hours, 22 school buses, and Lisa Moorhead to coordinate.

Moorehead has been driving buses for 23 years and has witnessed firsthand year after year the bustling excitement that surrounds high school graduation. Moorehead had taken these seniors to school every single day, through difficult times and incredible successes.

Moorehead told Today, “We didn’t have our last days with any of the kids in district,” she said. “We thought (school closing) was going to be three weeks, but it turned out to be the rest of the year. As bus drivers, we bond with our kids. We’re the first ones they see in the morning and the last ones before they go home.”

She knew she had to honor their hard work somehow. With a little help from her friends, Moorehead was able to give the Loveland City school district seniors an incredible surprise. The crew of dedicated drivers worked for hours to complete the tribute to the graduating class, aligning their buses to spell out an enormous “2020”. They weren’t sure they had done it correctly until the art teacher sent up a drone to check their work.

“To us down on the ground, it looked like a maze,” Moorehead explained. “When Jim Barrett … took (the drone) up, there were tears and screams. We were so excited we’d done it.”

We see you, Loveland City school district bus drivers. Thank you for going extra mile for your students.

15 Impactful Moments From Peaceful Protests Across the Country

Peaceful Protests Moments
(Twitter/RexChapman/GSVarley)

Many images in the news over the past several days have been ones of chaos, violence, and destruction. The grief and anger in response to the unjust killing of George Floyd is palpable. Floyd’s brother Rodney spoke to CBS news, and shared a powerful message with protesters on behalf of his brother. Rodney stated, “I’m asking for peace the same way my brother would ask us to if he could see the situation, if he was here. Peace. Peaceful protests. It is the best option we have to bring justice.”

So this is for you, Floyd—a collection of powerful, peaceful moments from protests across the country.

There was this enormous gathering in Chicago, with residents marching side by side.

Protesters in Augusta, Georgia held signs and embraced.

Long Beach residents sat peacefully in protest of Floyd’s murder.

In El Paso, Texas, protesters held signs with messages like “All lives don’t matter until black lives matter.”

San Diego protesters ask for justice.

Harlem protesters marched for eight peaceful miles.

Brooklyn streets were filled with nonviolent protesters.

David Holt, mayor of Oklahoma City, joined protesters. Perhaps more importantly, he listened.

A diverse group of Sioux Falls, South Dakota protesters unite, powerfully and peacefully.

These LA protesters are even practicing social distancing.

Protesters in Floyd’s home state protest his death peacefully, as he would have wanted.

Elmira, New York protesters carry signs, side by side.

Downtown Indianapolis protesters link arms as they face police officers.

Baltimore protesters take a knee and raise a fist for George Floyd.

And finally, this protester in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ending a long day of peacefully protesting by giving water to the police. He states, “I’m not mad at you.”

Father Figures: Blessed

“Being a dad is the best job in the world.

I’m a firefighter and am exposed to the harsh reality of the real world through death, sickness, and other unfortunate situations. Being able to hug my kids and wife allows me to humble myself through any hard times we may go through, because I am blessed that we are a healthy family with a roof over our heads.

The real world isn’t known to many, nor is it an absolute to those living in it. As long as I can make a difference and teach my children that they are blessed and therefore owe it to society to be a better person and help others, I can sleep at night.

Being a dad is truly the best job in the world.”

– Johnny Gray III

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

This Star Wars Cantina-Themed Bar Is the Ultimate Nerd Palace

Star Wars Cantina Bar
(Instagram/scumandvillainycantina)

We all need something to look forward to. Especially now. Even as some states start reopening at reduced capacity, there are plenty of cities that are still on total lockdown. And let me tell you, when your city is on total lockdown and you discover that there is a Star Wars Cantina-themed bar within walking distance of your home, time starts moving very, very slowly.

 

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Have you ever danced with a droid in the pale cantina light? . . #scumandvillainycantina #scifisafehouse

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This LA establishment is called Scum and Villainy Cantina (of course) and it is a self-proclaimed “friendly neighborhood geek bar.” Before you start having kittens because you clicked on the website and saw a guy gesturing at you to ‘live long and prosper,’ know that this bar caters to all geeks, not just the Star Wars variety. That’s right, this is a place where Trekkies, Star Wars fans, Battlestar Galactica fans, and every fan of niche nerdom can come together and live (and drink) in harmony. Vulkans can rub shoulders with Jawas and Cylons can shoot pool with Dr. Who. You are encouraged to dress up and they even host geek-themed tournaments for a variety of properties:

Some of their cocktails include The Mind Trick, Gold Bourbonkini, The Starbuck, Witness Me, Furiosa, I Aim to Misbehave, and the Dumbledore Special. Wondering what blue milk tasks like? This place has got you covered—and they’re even doing curbside pickup for those of us who can’t wait until the quarantine is over:

Just listen to how they describe themselves on their website:

Scum and Villainy Cantina is an intergalactic bar nestled deep within the wretched hive of Hollywood, CA. Inspired by the best drinking establishments from your favorite sci-fi and fantasy movies, Scum and Villainy is the geek bar you’ve been looking for.

Costumed bartenders join in the debate while mixing cocktails from a themed menu. Our laid-back atmosphere and strict “no bullying” mission creates a #ScifiSafeHouse not just for casual and mega-fans alike, but for anyone looking for a change of pace from the typical bar scene. Flying solo? Searching for your tribe? We definitely serve your kind here!

I will wait for you Scum and Villainy Cantina. I will wait for you as long as it takes.

Boy with Cerebral Palsy Completes Marathon, Raises Over 50k for Charity

Boy with Cerebral Palsy Completes Marathon, Raises Over 50k for Charity
(Facebook/Tobias’s Marathon Challenge)

Getting any kind of physical activity during quarantine is a struggle. Maybe you made the mistake of building everyone in your family a kickass Millennium Falcon bed and nobody has gotten up in weeks. At this point, even the couch I got at Goodwill feels safer than dealing with all of the unknowns happening in the world. Some people are turning to video games to stay fit inside, but not everyone has the money for expensive gaming consoles. 9-Year-Old Tobias Weller from Sheffield, England proved that all you need to get moving is your own body, and in his case, his trusty walker.

Tobias Weller has cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder that can cause weakness, stiffness, involuntary movements, and problems with posture. Symptoms vary from person to person, but in Tobias’s case, it meant that before quarantine began he was unable to walk more than 50 meters a day with the assistance of his walking frame. Early on in quarantine, Tobias saw news of Tom Moore, a 100-year-old WWII veteran who set out to raise money for COVID relief by walking laps around his home. This absolute beast of a man blew his $1,200 goal out of the freaking water and raised nearly $40 million dollars to date. Tobias watched “Captain” Tom Moore, slowly, carefully, holding onto his walker, putting one foot in front of the other as he circled his garden. Tobias looked down at his own walker and had an idea. If this man can do it, why can’t I?

So he did.

Every single day, Tobias began to walk. 50 meters at first, and then a bit more. Tobias walked through the pouring rain, powerful winds, and if he got lucky, a bit of sunshine. Initially, Tobias planned to walk 1 km, a truly lofty goal when your daily limit is supposedly 1/20th of that. Much like his hero Captain Tom, though, Tobias blew his goals out of the freaking water. Not only did Tobias end up walking up to 750 meters a day, but he also completed a whole. Dang. Marathon. 26 miles since he began his journey on March 21st. Friends, neighbors and even local police came to cheer for Tobias on his daily walks, beaming with pride at his determination.

Tobias stated during his appearance on This Morning, “I love it when I walk up and down my street every day because my neighbors come out and cheer for me – some of them even say, ‘We salute you, Tobias,’”.

Tobias’s campaign has raised over $50,000 so far for his chosen charities, Paces School where he attends classes, and Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Tobias has proven to us that all you really need to accomplish your goals is the willingness to put in the work, and the determination to keep pushing when things feel insurmountable.

We salute you, Captain Tobias.

Quentin Tarantino Calls ‘The Social Network’ the Best Movie of the Decade

The Social Network
(Columbia Pictures)

One of the fun things about pop culture is all the material it provides us, not merely to consume, but to discuss, interpret, and argue about. Talking about movies and TV is a fun distraction, and sometimes we can really use one. Like right now.

There are no mathematical equations to measure whether The Godfather II is better than Casablanca, or if Sgt. Pepper’s is better than Exile on Main Street. That lack of empirical truth allows for infinite takes, and for people who are interested in arguing, there is endless fodder for debate.

Sometimes, even the people making the art join in.

That’s what director and cinephile Quentin Tarantino did recently when he spoke to France’s Premiere magazine about the best movies of the decade.

He was pretty definitive about his answer too. “It’s ‘The Social Network,’ hands down… It is number 1 because it’s the best, that’s all! It crushes all the competition,” QT said, christening David Fincher’s movie about Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook as his favorite film of the decade.

The Social Network hit theaters in 2010 and was roundly acclaimed from the start, for Fincher’s direction, Aaron Sorkin’s snappy, pithy dialogue, and Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of the vindictive Zuckerberg. It’s not quite a left-field choice, having been nominated for 8 Oscars and winning three (Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Original Score), but not everyone agrees. Which is fun!

Twitter was quick to respond, with users citing their own favorites instead, like Moonlight, Inception, Fury Road, and more.

A few people had some fun with their suggestions.

Tarantino cited Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk as his second-best movie of the decade. Originally he had it on 7th on his list until he watched it a third time. “It wasn’t until that third time where I was gauging it for [my best of the decade list], that I could finally see past the spectacle into the people, into the people of the story. I could finally see the forest for the trees,” he explained.

What’s your favorite movie of the past 10 years?

The Dad Of The Month, May 2020: Andy Salamone

(Photos courtesy of Pier Reiter)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for May, 2020: Andy Salamone. Andy, who lost his eyesight at an early age, is an example of a man who has beaten the odds over and over again to exemplify exceptionalism, not only in his career, but in his role as a father. His brother, Pier, bragged up-and-down about Andy in his nomination:

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“Andy is my older brother. He is totally blind after losing his sight in both eyes to the cancer Retinoblastoma at the age of 3. Andy never lets anything get in his way – he was on the high school and college (division 1) wrestling teams. He took his 1st government job in Pearl Harbor—far from family and the familiarity of Pennsylvania. After that, he settled in Washington DC and is now working for Defense Intelligence Agency.

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“He and his wife also have a 9-year-old boy, Michael. Andy slid into the role of ‘dad’ without missing a beat – changing diapers, giving bottles, cooking meals, etc. As the years went on and Michael grew, Andy never let his vision slow his abilities & activities as a dad. Most recently Andy has embarked on numerous Boy Scout trips with Michael that include skill activities, hiking, and overnight camping trips.

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“Andy is there for Michael in every way he needs whether it’s help with homework, someone to have a lightsaber battle with, someone to construct the LEGO kits with, or just someone with whom he can be emotionally open when needed. Andy not only demonstrates all these amazing dad qualities to his own son, but to my two young daughters and our other young nephew.

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“It is also worth mentioning that he is a phenomenal cook (minus the time he lit a box of cereal & his oven mitt on fire) and can still beat me in a game of HORSE in basketball. Andy has defeated the odds and overcome discrimination as a blind man and never let anything get in his way. Yet, despite his work and extracurricular accomplishments, if you ask him what his favorite and most rewarding job is, he will say being Michael’s dad.”

To honor Andy and his unwavering dedication to killing the dad game, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Thanks for showing us what outstanding fatherhood in the face of adversity looks like, Andy!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.