Posts tagged with "April"

Allison Christensen for use by 360 Magazine

April Top Stories

With Covid rates remaining stagnant and Russia continuously attempting to invade Ukraine, the world is in a very odd place as we enter April. Here are the top news stories of the month.

Sacramento Shooting

Twelve people were injured, with six dying, as a result of two gunmen in Sacramento, California. Dandrae Martin was arrested on April 4th for his alleged connection to the crime. Police expect more suspects to surface as massive amounts of video footage and physical evidence are examined.

360 NFT

On April 1st, 360 Magazine launched its very own NFT collection, Animal Series. Despite the date of release, the NFT is no joke. There are four animal themed NFTs currently on the market, which will be available to bid on until May 1st. Head to OpenSea to secure an animal of your own.

The Grammys

The 64th Grammy Awards were held on April 3, giving well-deserved wins to artists like Olivia Rodrigo, who went home with three Grammys (one of which she broke). Lil Nas X performed “Industry Baby” with Jack Harlow and Billie Eilish performed “Happier Than Ever.” Other highlights include a message from Ukrainian President Zellenskyy in which he discussed the importance of music during these troubling times. Find more information HERE.

Fashion Week Brooklyn

Fashion Week Brooklyn is now underway. For Rick Davy, founder of the 501c3 non-profit BK|Style Foundation (BK|SF), sponsorships and partnerships have been key factors in ensuring the success of the esteemed showcase. This year’s series of runway shows and events kicked off April 2nd with kidswear at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum with events across the borough and a finale at Socceroof on April 10th.

Urban Beauty TV is partnering with BK|Style Foundation to highlight the April 8th Denim show. This program will air during season two, slated for premiere in August (National Black Business Month). Coverage includes onsite interviews with the founder(s) of Fashion Week Brooklyn, featured designers and behind-the-scenes footage. Host of Urban Beauty TV, Midori Amae, will present the segment filmed backstage. A teaser will be released shortly after production via social media.

Oklahoma Abortion Ban

Oklahoma recently passed Senate Bill 612 that bans abortion except in the case of a medical emergency. Rape and incest are not causes for abortion, with Republican Sen. Jim Olsen stating that the baby “should not be liable for the sins of the father.” Those attempting to perform an abortion will be subject to a $100,000 fine or 10 years in prison.

This bill is especially troubling for Texans, as many fled to Oklahoma for their operations because of the state’s ban. Now many are left without options.

Smiley Martin Arrested in Connection with Sacramento Shooting

With Dandrae Martin arrested April 4th, another individual has been detained in relation to the six murders: Smiley Martin, Dandrae’s brother. A fully-automatic machine gun converted from a pistol was also recovered.

Smiley was convicted in 2016 after beating the mother of his two children. He was attempting to force her into prostitution.

Judge Jackson Confirmed

Despite an extensive confirmation process, the Senate has officially confirmed the nomination of Ketanji Brown, making her the first Black woman to serve. In a close 53-47 vote, three republicans joined the democrats. Only five women have ever been on the Supreme Court prior to Jackson, and this move will greatly broaden the diversity of the Supreme Court.

Britney Spears Teases Pregnancy

April 11, Britney Spears took to Instagram hinting at a pregnancy. The caption to a photo of a pink tea set and flowers left fans a little confused, while others began congratulating her. Britney teased about being “food pregnant,” but then states, “So I got a pregnancy test … and uhhhhh well … I am having a baby …”

Further on in the post, Britney speaks about the depression she experienced with her past pregnancies stating, “I obviously won’t be going out as much due to the paps getting their money shot of me like they unfortunately already have … it’s hard because when I was pregnant I had perinatal depression … I have to say it is absolutely horrible … women didn’t talk about it back then …”

New York City Shooting

Tuesday morning a shooting reportedly broke in Brooklyn upon the subway. There has been 13 people reported injured after the gunman threw smoke bombs into a subway car and began shooting on the southbound R train. The gunman has not been identified, but was seen wearing a construction vest and gas mask. Schools in the area went into lockdown as the NYPD and FBI began their search for a suspect.

Frank James Arrested in Relation to Brooklyn Shooting

Frank James was arrested in connection to the shooting in the Brooklyn subway. Reports have suggested that he was a lonely and angry man, very active in politics, and had a YouTube channel where he discussed current events. Police have not yet released a motive.

Video Footage Released from Patrick Lyoya Police Shooting

On April 4, Patrick Lyoya was fatally shot by a Grand Rapids, Michigan police officer after being pulled over. Video footage was captured from varying angles, including from a police bodycam point-of-view, a police dashcam, cell phone and home surveillance footage. The video shows the police officer, whose identity has been kept private, shooting Lyoya in the head and killing him. An investigation is underway.

DJ Kay Slay Passes From COVID

New York City graffiti artist and hip-hop musician DJ Kay Slay passed away at 55 on April 17 after a longstanding battle with COVID-19. After being hospitalized with the virus in December, as the Sun reported, he was placed on a ventilator and has been dealing with health problems since.

Highest Gymnastics Championships Viewership

The NCAA announced that this year’s Women’s Gymnastics Championships brought in a record 922,000 viewers. This championship has an 11% higher viewership compared to 2021. Oklahoma’s Trinity Thomas recieved a perfect 10 and won gold.

South Africa Suffers Fatal Floods

Flooding across South Africa’s eastern KwaZulu-Natal province has shocked the country, with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa affirming a state of disaster. A total of over 440 people were killed, with around 40,000 people homeless. With little water, food or housing, $68 million for cleanup was dispersed from the national government after the natural disaster hit South Africa.

Airlines Lift Mask Mandates

Many US airlines have discontinued mask mandates that have been in place for almost two years. The lift came after US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that the CDC’s travel mask mandate was unlawful. Said airlines lifting their mask mandates include Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Spirit and JetBlue.

Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard Defamation Trial

Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard took to a Fairfax, Virginia courtroom to battle out their defamation trial. The lawsuit filed resulted from Heard’s reported allegations of abuse during their marriage. Having divorced in 2016, an op-ed written for the Washington Post by Heard in 2019 alleged she was a victim of domestic violence. The trial took to the courtroom on April 11.

Syracuse Police Scrutinized Over Treatment of 8-year-old Boy

An investigation went underway surrounding a video that went viral of an 8-year-old boy being placed into the back of a police car by Syracuse police offers. The boy allegedly stole a bag of chips, and the video shows him crying while officers put him into the car. In the video footage recorded by Kenneth Jackson, he offered to pay for the bag of chips and walk the young boy home.

The young boy was not handcuffed or arrested, and officers drove him back to his father’s house. The child’s father, Anthony Weah, spoke to ABC News when recalling “that police knocked his son off his bike and slapped him on the back, according to his son.”

Biden Announces Additional Ukraine Assistance

Thursday April 21, President Joe Biden declared that the United States would be sending $800 million in military aid to Ukraine amidst the ongoing against Russia. He also made announcements that the US would ban all Russian-affiliated ships into the nation’s ports. Included within the package of assistance is “heavy artillery weapons, such as 72 155-mm howitzers, 144,000 rounds of artillery and dozens of tactical drones.”

Shanghai COVID Lockdown

In late March of this year, Shanghai endured their largest COVID-19 outbreak to date since the onset of the pandemic. Since the outbreak, strict lockdowns were set into place, significantly affecting businesses. There has been a push from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to reopen major businesses, but labor shortages affect the likelihood of returning to work.

Mike Tyson Punches Plane Passenger

Video footage of Mike Tyson depicts the former heavyweight champion boxer getting physical with another passenger aboard a plane at San Francisco International Airport. Said passenger seemed to annoy after taking a photo with him, and Tyson ended up punching the man, leaving him with a slightly bloody head.

Marjorie Taylor Greene Testifies

Republican Congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia undergoes a disqualification hearing based off her involvement with the January 6 uprising on Capitol Hill. Some of her involvement on social media involving the insurrection has raised questions. Regarding the pro-Trump protest, Green stated while testifying, “I only believe in peaceful demonstration… I do not support violence.”

There has, also, been evidence from Greene’s socials depicting “support for executing prominent Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019 before being elected to Congress in 2020.” Greene rebutted by claiming she has a lot of people running her socials, so she doesn’t know who liked said posts.

Washington DC Shooting

Friday April 22 a shooting erupted in Northwest Washington DC. A suspect has not been identified yet, while three adults and one child were reportedly injured. The suspected gunman is Raymond Spencer, a man who was updating a Wikepedia page for the school across from where the shooting took place.

The Washington Post reported that Spencer wrote, “A gunman shot at the school on April 22, 2022. The suspect is still at large,” with another post on 4chan stating, “Dear God please forgive me,” and “Waiting for police to catch up with me.”

The shooter reportedly committed suicide, and it is unknown if Spencer is the confirmed gunman.

Air Force General Receives First Court-Marital Conviction

Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley of the US Air Force was found guilty of one of three abusive sexual contacts. This court-marital trial and conviction became the first of a general officer in the Air Force to ever be found guilty. The incident dates to 2018 in which Cooley has been found guilty of “the first specification, ‘kissing (the victim) on the lips and tongue, with an intent to gratify his sexual desire.’”

Will Smith Endures Oscars Backlash

Following the Oscars held in May of this year, Will Smith continues to suffer consequences after slapping Chris Rock during the award ceremony. Two of his upcoming films have halted production, with one being cancelled altogether.

Netflix’s Bright 2 has officially been rescinded, with Netflix stating that the cancellation has nothing to do with Smith’s Oscars turmoil. National Geographic has postponed filming for Pole to Pole, which followed Smith as he traveled from the North and South Pole.

Elon Musk Buys Twitter

Coming in at a whopping $44 billion, Elon Musk is set to close a deal on buying Twitter. The venture began when Musk became one of the platforms largest shareholders, swiftly being offered and turning down a set on Twitter’s board to finally bidding to purchase the site.

Regarding the acquisition, Musk stated, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated, […] Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

Oldest Living Person Passes Away

A Guinness World Record holder, Kane Tanaka of Japan has passed away at the age of 119. Tanaka held the record for the eldest living person and was confirmed on March 9, 2019. Her family released a statement in Tanaka’s words, in which she stated, “I was able to come this far with the support of many people. I hope you will continue to have fun, [and be] cheerful and energetic.”

Footage Following “Rust” Shooting Released

Video footage taken after the deadly shooting on the “Rust” movie set has been released. The shooting occurred onset of the Western movie, in which Alec Baldwin allegedly shot a prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and struck director Joel Souza.

Footage has been made public depicting Baldwin debriefing with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office, as well as officers speaking with Souza in a hospital room after the shooting.

Kamala Harris Tests Positive for COVID-19

April 26 Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID-19. She released the following statement via Twitter, “Today I tested positive for COVID-19. I have no symptoms, and I will continue to isolate and follow CDC guidelines. I’m grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted.

Willow Pill Wins Rupaul’s Drag Race

Willow Pill, the underdog of season 14, surprised many by winning the season 14 crown. The “twisted little doll” from Denver, Colorado and drag sister of season 11 winner Yvie Oddly had a sweet personality and dark, eccentric style of drag. She became the first trans contestant to win a regular season of drag race. Many remember Willow for her runway looks, like her all-white, early ’00’s inspired entrance outfit and her white with red spots mushroom getup. Fans loved her talent show, her roast and her direction in the Girl Group episode. Despite her constant battle with cystinosis and only receiving one challenge win, she won the hearts of many—and the crown.

US Marine Returned Home from Russia via Prisoner Exchange

Russia and the US engaged in a prisoner exchange to return home previous Marine Trevor Reed. Reed was jailed in Russia during the summer of 2019 after allegedly assaulting a Russian police officer. The trade also brought Russian drag trafficker Konstantin Yaroshenko back to his country after being sentenced 20 years in prison in 2010.

Reed’s family made a statement to the public, in which they expressed, “Today, our prayers have been answered and Trevor is safely on his way back to the United States, […] While we understand the interest in Trevor’s story – and as soon as he’s ready, he’ll tell his own story, we’d respectfully ask for some privacy while we address the myriad of health issues brought on by the squalid conditions he was subjected to in his Russian gulag.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci States US is “Out of the Pandemic Phase”

When sitting down with PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff to discuss the state of the US, Woodruff asked Dr. Anthony Fauci questions about the pandemic and the status of the country.

Woodruff raised the question of when we would see the closing of the pandemic, in which Fauci replied, “We are certainly, right now, in this country out of the pandemic phase, […] Namely, we don’t have 900,000 new infections a day and tens and tens and tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. We are at a low level right now.”

Disney and Florida Battle Ongoing Dispute

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has thrown out Disney World’s special tax status that has been in place since 1967. The status allowed the corporation to operate as a self-government, which includes making decisions about construction on properties, reducing taxes and creating electricity, which saved millions of dollars for them.

The repeal comes after the newly passed is the “Parental Rights in Education” law, commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Disney’s chief executive Bob Chapek has publicly shown his disapproval for the bill, in which DeSantis countered via a fund-raising email to supporters, “If Disney wants to pick a fight, they chose the wrong guy.”

Disney has not released a statement regarding the loss of their exclusive rights.

Southern California Drought Controls

The state of California has experienced its driest conditions in state history throughout the course of the past three years. 2022 has already revealed extremely dry conditions through in the state in just the early first three months, which are times in which California typically obtains half of its precipitation totals. Because of this, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declared a Water Shortage Emergency, and have limited outdoor watering to only one day per week in certain regions.

Biden Proposes New Ukrainian Aid Bill

President Joe Biden has asked Congress to pass a $33 billion bill to help provide relief to Ukraine throughout the war with Russia. The bill is set to provide $20.4 billion in military/security aid, $6 billion towards the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and $4 billion towards the State Department’s Foreign Military Financing Program.

About the bill, Biden stated, “The cost of this fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen. We either back Ukrainian people as they defend their country, or we stand by as the Russians continue their atrocities in Ukraine… We need this bill to support Ukraine in this fight for freedom.”

Moderna Submits COVID-19 Vaccine for Younger Children

Moderna submitted their request for granted emergency use authorization (EUA) regarding new COVID-19 vaccines for children under the ages of six to the Food and Drug Administration. Currently, children above the age of five are able to be vaccinated in the US.

Regarding the submission, Moderna’s chief executive officer Stéphane Bancel stated, “We believe mRNA-1273 will be able to safely protect these children against SARS-CoV-2, which is so important in our continued fight against COVID-19, and will be especially welcomed by parents and caregivers.”

Naomi Judd Passes Away at 76

Naomi Judd, one half of the mother-daughter Grammy award winning duo The Judds, passed away. The singer, mother to her bandmate Wyonna and Ashley Judd, was dealing with mental illness as reported by her children through a statement released on Saturday April 30.

“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the daughters stated, “We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.” 

Cryptocurrency by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Bitcoin miners generate $1.4 billion despite 36% BTC slump

Bitcoin miners generate $1.4 billion in May’s revenue despite 36% BTC slump

With bitcoin experiencing a price correction of almost 50% in May from the all-time high, mining revenue was expected to take a significant hit. However, contrary to expectations, the revenue has shown resilience.

Data acquired by Finbold indicates that bitcoin miners earned $1.45 billion in May, dropping only 15.01% from the April figure of $1.7 billion. The revenue dropped slightly considering bitcoin suffered a significant price correction of about 36% in May. Between March and April, the revenue slightly plunged 2.5% from $1.75 billion to $1.7 billion.

Over the last three months, the highest daily bitcoin mining revenue was on April 15th at $77 million. The lowest returns were recorded on May 29th at $26 million.

Continued crackdown likely to impact bitcoin mining revenue

In May bitcoin faced increased scrutiny over the carbon footprint debate, something that was expected to significantly impact mining revenue. According to the research report:

“The bitcoin mining revenue is encouraging considering that the industry has witnessed a decline in profitability over recent years. However, with the regulatory crackdown on mining, the industry risks slowing down on revenue since large-scale miners are mostly targeted by authorities.”

The focus on bitcoin’s energy consumption can potentially lower the interest from institutional investors who want to meet the needs of environmentally cautious investors. However, the emergence of renewable energy sources might tilt the tide. The research report notes that:

“With the increased focus on renewable energy for bitcoin mining, the asset might attract more institutions potentially sparking an increase in value and consequently the mining revenue.”

Regions like North America are taking the lead aiming to establish a bitcoin mining hub that relies on renewable energy.

Read the full story with statistics here.

Hot Wheels illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Hot Wheels Legends Tour

The Hot Wheels Legends Tour Kicks Off First North American Stop

Live Virtual Event on April 29

  • Presented by Mobil 1 and in partnership with throtl, premiere car culture livestream will take place on the Hot Wheels Facebook page and on throtl YouTube channel beginning at 5:00 p.m. PDT on Thursday, April 29
  • Hundreds of custom car creations have been submitted  
  • The winner will go on to compete for the chance to become the next Hot Wheels Garage of Legends inductee and have their custom car creation immortalized as a 1:64 Hot Wheels diecast toy

On Thursday, April 29, the global hunt for the 2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour winner continues with the first North American stop. Now in its fourth year, the world’s largest traveling car show resumes as a live virtual event that will take place on the Hot Wheels Facebook page and throtl YouTube channel beginning at 5:00 p.m. PDT. Hundreds of cars have been submitted by custom car builders across the United States and Canada, all competing to become the next Hot Wheels Garage of Legends inductee and have their ride turned into a Hot Wheels die-cast vehicle that will be sold–and played with by kids of all ages–around the world.

To watch this premiere automotive livestream event which will bring together every part of car culture, visit the Hot Wheels Legends Tour Facebook page or the throtl YouTube channel.

The 2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour is bigger than ever with stops spanning 13 countries and 5 continents. Presented by Mobil 1 and sponsored by Dynacraft and Milestone S.r.l., the first North American event continues this year’s first virtual stops in New Zealand (April 15) and Australia (April 22). Judging will take place live throughout the virtual event by known auto enthusiast personalities, including automotive YouTube sensation and builder TJ Hunt, throtl co-founder Mickey Andrade, motorsports ambassador Jarod DeAnda and top motorsports athlete Collete Davis, as well as Bryan Benedict, Director of Hot Wheels Die-Cast Design, Ted Wu, Global Head of Hot Wheels Design and Mobil 1 special guest and professional drifter, Ryan Tuerck.

“While we look forward to the Hot Wheels Legends Tour returning to in-person events, the virtual contest format has created opportunities for more fans across the United States and Canada to share their passion projects,” said Ted Wu, Global Head of Hot Wheels Design at Mattel. “With so many submissions already in North America and immensely popular events in Australia and New Zealand earlier this month, we’re confident this year’s competition will be fierce.”

Dates for future stops will be announced soon, and fans may register or learn more about the Hot Wheels Legends Tour by visiting Hot Wheels. Livestreams will be available to view on the Hot Wheels Facebook page, on Walmart and through automotive media partners in specific countries. Live events will be returning to U.S.-based Walmart stores this summer.

For further information and to register for an upcoming event, please visit the Hot Wheels website.

Covid-19 illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

National Minority Health Month

National Minority Health Month: 
Working Together to Help Communities Become Vaccine Ready

April is National Minority Health Month, and this year, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) and national, state, territorial, tribal and local partners will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minority and American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Together, we will underscore the need for communities at higher risk of COVID-19 to get vaccinated as more vaccines become available.

The theme for National Minority Health Month is #VaccineReady and observance activities will support helping vulnerable communities get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines, share accurate vaccine information, participate in clinical trials, get vaccinated when the time comes, and proactively practice COVID-19 safety measures. 

“Since the start of the pandemic, data show that racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to test positive for COVID-19, more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to non-Hispanic whites,” said RADM Felicia Collins, MD, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and OMH Director.  “While there appears to be light at the end of the long pandemic tunnel, it is important for all of us to be vaccine ready and to continue the public health precautions while we wait our turn to get the vaccine – wearing a mask, watching our distance and washing our hands.” 

Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping people from getting COVID-19 and the CDC recommends that everyone get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. As more vaccines become available, there are steps individuals can take to protect themselves until they can get vaccinated:

  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others and stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from others who do not live with you.
  • Avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19.

Fully vaccinated people should continue to take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask, maintaining physical distance from unvaccinated people or people whose vaccination status you do not know, and practicing other prevention measures as recommended by the CDC

To learn more about National Minority Health Month, find resources, events, and information in English and Spanish, visit the Office of Minority Health website. Follow OMH on Twitter or Twitter in Spanish, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube

Wine illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

California Wines × Down to Earth

California Wines Livestream & Video Series Celebrates Down to Earth Month in April

Facebook Live & Instagram Events Share Tips on Enjoying Sustainably Grown & Produced Wines

For “Down to Earth Month” in April, California Wines is celebrating the state’s global leadership in sustainable winegrowing with a series of fun and informative virtual events and videos on Facebook Live and Instagram. Throughout April, the free livestream events and videos will present a variety of discussions, cooking demonstrations, and virtual wine tastings focused on sustainability.

Hosts for the Facebook Live events include Napa Valley sommelier Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant and Aida Mollenkamp, Food Network personality and founder of Salt & Wind Travel.

Videos shared on the California Wines Instagram channel will demonstrate recipes, how to pair and enjoy California wines, and what makes a wine sustainable. Programs will feature food and beverage influencers, including Meg van der Kruik of This Mess Is Ours, Jerry James Stone of the Jerry James Stone blog, Britney Brown Chamberlain of Britney Breaks Bread, and Sarah Gim of The Delicious Life.

To view details on all Down to Earth Month events, visit California Wine’s website.

Facebook Live: Thursdays, 10 am PST

Livestream hosts Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant and Aida Mollenkamp of Salt & Wind taste and discuss sustainably grown and produced California wines. Event replays will be available on the site for later viewing.
 
April 1 – What Is Sustainable Wine?
It’s time to clear up the confusion around what defines sustainability! Participants will learn what sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices are and get the inside story on California’s sustainable certification programs, including the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) program.
 
April 8 – What Are Biodynamic and Organic Wines, and How Are They Sustainable?
Explore the differences between organic and biodynamic practices and learn how they fit into the sustainability equation.
 
April 15 – Why Is There a Chicken in the Vineyard?
Chickens, sheep, and goats don’t just look adorable in California vineyards—each has an important job to do. Learn how animals are helping California vintners in their sustainable farming efforts.
 
April 22 – How to Look for Sustainable Wines
Finding sustainable wines is easy—if you know what to look for. Participants will learn about the sustainable certifications, logos, and terms to look for on wine labels.
 
April 29 – How California Is a Leader in Sustainable Wines & Sustainable Farming
California is not only a world leader in sustainable winemaking and winegrowing practices, but producers also embrace sustainability in dairy and other agricultural areas. Learn about California’s innovative farming practices and how the state leads in sustainable wine and food.

IGTV Videos: Tuesdays 10 am PST

Every Tuesday in April, videos from well-known food and beverage influencers will be shared on the California Wines Instagram channel, each demonstrating a recipe inspired by the Wine Country Table cookbook paired with sustainably made wines from California. Recipes and information about sustainability will be shared on each influencer’s website and social media platforms.
 
April 6 – Meg van der Kruik of This Mess Is Ours
 
April 13: – Jerry James Stone of the Jerry James Stone blog
 
April 20 – Britney Brown Chamberlain of Britney Breaks Bread
 
April 27 – Sarah Gim of The Delicious Life
 

Esophageal Cancer Awareness

April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness month. According to the American Cancer Society, the 5 year survival rate (all stages combined) is 19%. As the seventh most common cancer amongst men, it is estimated that over 16,000 deaths will occur from it in 2019. Men are 3-4 more times likely to develop esophageal cancer than women.

 Ron Coury’s story offers an uplifting and inspiring survival story in time for  Esophageal Cancer Awareness.

In November 2005, I went to Santa Barbara for my annual physical with Dr. James Murray, a practice I’d begun 20 years earlier. I was in great shape, weighing in at 185 pounds at 53 years of age. I regularly ran three to five miles around the lake adjacent to my house in Las Vegas, and enjoyed full workouts and lifting weights. Still, my dad had fought cancer for more than two decades, eventually losing his battle in 2002. Deep inside, I always felt cancer would find me.

As usual, my physical began with an hour-long meeting with Dr. Murray. During our conversation, I mentioned one small oddity.

“When I eat or drink, it seems like I have to clear my throat for the first hour or two. Does that mean anything?”

“Let’s find out.”

Among a battery of tests, he ordered a barium swallow. When I was done, I headed back to Dr. Murray’s office expecting to get another glowing report. However, this time there was a glitch.

The radiologist noted that during my swallow test, it appeared that the barium passed over a small bump at the base of my esophagus. Probably just a food fragment stuck to the wall, but the doctor ordered a procedure to play safe. Unfortunately, it revealed a tumor. And a malignant one at that.

It was hard to accept, because other than the need to clear my throat, I felt fine. Hell, I felt invincible! Still, I answered with a voice so calm it surprised me. “Okay, we’re going to war. What do we do now?”

Dr. Murray recommended a surgeon at USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, Dr. Tom Demeester, who specialized in esophageal cancer. He explained that even if I qualified for surgery, only eight percent of people diagnosed with esophageal cancer survive it.

When the doctor stepped out of his office, I looked out the window and said, “Well, Dad, I guess I’ll be seeing you soon.”

Luckily, the tumor was caught early in its development. And I was an excellent candidate for surgery, an ordeal that could take up to 12 hours.

The bad news? This type of tumor was highly invasive. The surgeon would have to remove a perimeter around the tumor, as well as nearby lymph nodes and upper stomach, take out the majority of my esophagus, then connect what was left between my throat and stomach.

He explained that life would change for me in major ways. I could never lie flat again, because without an esophagus, whatever was in my stomach could come up my windpipe and choke me. Also, I could only eat small meals from that point on.

I returned home and got my affairs in order, pre planning my funeral if the surgery didn’t go well. The last thing I wanted was to put my wife and kids through this. One of the hardest parts was calling my friends and telling them, “There’s a pretty good chance I won’t survive. So, I just want to say, I feel like I had a great run and I love you.”

Finally, the moment of truth arrived: December 5, 2005. My friend and workout partner, Mark Beckerle, had driven to the hospital the day before to see me. A spiritual type, Mark said he believed that people undergoing surgery see a bright white light. If they walk to it, they die on the table. “Buddy,” he said, “if you see a white light, run the other way!”

During my surgery, I did see just such a light. As if watching the doctors and nurses from above the operating table, I saw myself facing the light. Remembering Mark’s words, I turned and did, in fact, run. Was it real or a dream? Did it happen when I was bleeding out from my spleen, which got pierced during the operation? I’ll never know.

My next conscious thought came when I woke up in post-op. The first night was brutal and the pain was really rough, but I was alive!

Things turned bad quickly. I was in ICU for several days after developing the dreaded staph infection, MRSA. Next came blood clots in both of my legs. And a collapsed lung. Finally, they moved me into a regular hospital room where I remained for a month.

By the time I was cleared to return home in January, I still had a drain in my side, and a feeding tube remained in place.

Over the course of 2006, I gradually grew stronger and I was finally allowed to start eating small amounts of solid food. As I’d been warned, the pain was through the roof. But I was thankful to resume a reasonable facsimile of normal life.

Since the surgery, I undergo a PET scan each year, which is the best cancer-screening test available. Between scans, every ache or pain would make me think, “Uh-oh, is that a tumor?” Thankfully, year after year the reports have come back, “NO CANCER!”

After the fifth PET scan, Dr. Demeester declared me cancer-free. I’ll never forget him for the life-saving surgery he performed. Nor will I ever be able to adequately thank Dr. Murray for discovering the tumor so early.

I lost over 40 pounds during my month-long hospital stay, along with a great deal of muscle mass. A few years later, I’d gained back 15 pounds, but I was maxed out. These days, I can’t eat enough to exceed the calories I burn through ordinary activity.

Ultimately, tenacity and stamina carried me through my toughest battle. As I learned more about esophageal cancer, I found out that approximately 13,500 Americans contract it annually and 12,500 are dead within a year. I’m certain that my excellent physical condition enabled me to beat the odds, not to mention the best medical team on the planet, and the love and support of family and friends.

And remember, regular physicals and early detection really do save lives.  

About Ron Coury

Ron Coury is the author of Tenacity: A Vegas Businessman Survives Brooklyn, the Marines, Corruption and Cancer to Achieve the American Dream: A True Story.

ALMA Releases New Single & Music Video for “When I Die”

Finnish pop powerhouse ALMA releases new single and music video for “When I Die” via Casablanca Records / Universal / Warner / Virgin EMI & PME today.  Listen HERE.  Watch HERE.

Produced and written by ALMA, Justin Tranter, and Mike Sabbath “When I Die” is the second installment from her highly anticipated debut album Have You Seen Her? set for release on the 5th of April 2019. It also marks the start of a period of continuous activity, which will see fans receive a new track with accompanying visual episodically into its release.

Shot in her native Finland and directed by celebrated Finish director Miikka Lommi, the video for “When I Die”depicts a gothic last supper scene and ALMA digging her own grave. “This song was born from a big conversation about when and how we leave the world is so out of our control. We spend so much time worrying about things out of our control, we’re always trying to be better, richer, more successful. We rarely appreciate the moments in front of us. Go to the party, blow your money (even if you have work tomorrow) you will survive!” says ALMA. “I wanted the video to look like our last party, what might the night look like if we knew this was it.” 

“When I Die” highlights ALMA’s unique voice as a writer; honest, brave and fresh. As she says, “I’ve spent a lot of my life being told who to be, what to say or how to behave by the world. There’s constant pressure on us all to fit in and my music is about exactly the opposite. I want my fans to feel like they can be whoever, say whatever and look however when they listen to my music. Here you are accepted no matter what.”

ALMA – a 23-year-old with neon green hair, a magnetic punk attitude and a voice that could demolish buildings is part of a new wave of female powerhouses that have something say. Engaged and opinionated on issues from women’s rights to body positivity and sexuality ALMA is forward thinking and making a change.

Following her critically acclaimed EP “Dye My Hair” with platinum single “Chasing Highs”, smash track “Phases” FT French Montana (including an exclusive Charli XCX directed video) and her 2018 mixtape Heavy Rules;  ALMA has garnered over 350 million combined Spotify plays and topped iTunes charts around the world.

ALMA’s worked extensively with her friends Charli XCX, Tove Lo, Zara Larsson, Dua Lipa, Halsey, and Miley Cyrus but to name a few, both live and in the studio and garnered support the world over.

Wrapping up 2018 on the road with long term collaborator and friend  this year’s headline dates promise an entirely new show, new music and some very special surprises along the way.

Nicky Jam officially announces his new concert tour

Nicky Jam announces his “Intimate Tour 2019”, this is his next concert tour in the United States, where the most prominent urban singer-songwriter of recent times hopes to surprise all his followers with his extraordinary show, many surprises and a constant evolution. The concert tour had an excellent campaign of expectation that managed to engage and captivate the attention of all the followers of the artist, who through social networks made themselves felt, expressing many things and today finally managed to know the reason; it is the new concert tour of the interpreter of the urban genre, which bears the particular name of “Intimo Tour 2019”. “Intimate Tour 2019” will have its opening concert on April 11 in Chicago, Illinois, to then visit the cities of Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, New York, among others. The artist will be making a total of 13 concerts in the most important stages of the United States, extending until the month of May. Tickets will be available from February 1 to 10AM Eastern time. Additionally, the exponent of urban genre, who has also stood out as an actor including his biographical series “The winner”, will now join the cast of the renowned film sequel “Bad Boys” in his third installment called: “Bad Boys for Life” , working directly in Hollywood with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

The Tonight Show & Cover Room

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” presents another installment of the Emmy nominated “Cover Room” series featuring soul singer Leon Bridges performing Neil Young’s “Helpless” backstage in the show’s music room.

Link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeeCYNVMbg4

As the #1 late night show across digital and the #1 most viewed late night show on YouTube, “The Tonight Show” continues to innovate online and offer the best in music. “Cover Room” is a digital-only music series featuring artists performing covers of favorite songs. It is shot in the same location each episode to illustrate how one space can be transformed to create a new, one-of-a-kind experience.

“Cover Room” was recently nominated for a 2018 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Short Form Variety Series category and in April, received a Webby Award for the webisode featuring Kesha’s performance of “The House of the Rising Sun.”

Provided is the current playlist if you’re interested in checking out other videos:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLykzf464sU99yQ6FGxqFm67e3njFEvHKD

“The Tonight Show” airs weeknights at 11:35pm ET/10:35pm CT.

‘That Feeling When’

Critically acclaimed Norwegian pop art-songstress Dagny is back with her brand new single “That Feeling When” today.

Get it HERE via Republic Records and check out the video HERE!

Underscored by buzzing electronics and dancefloor-ready energy, the track slips from hypnotic verses into a seismic refrain that’s impossible to shake. In addition, the official video for “That Feeling When” is Dagny’s most personal video to date as it was shot in Dagny’s hometown of Troms and the live performance footage was taken from a special performance in Oslo. The video premiered with Billboard.com who called it “beautiful & breathtaking.” Check out the premiere here.

On the new song Dagny said That Feeling When’ is my first single in 2018. The song shows another side of me as an artist, with a more melancholic, epic and atmospheric sound. It was written on an early autumn day in the studio, on my favorite instruments, the Omni chord. The inspiration for the song came from the hashtag #ThatFeelingWhen, and was written from my personal histories of not only falling in love, but also sorrow. It will be the first of two singles that will be released before the summer, and I hope that ´That Feeling When´ can create a different feeling for the listeners than my previous songs.”

In tandem with the song’s release, she hit the road on a short sold out North American tour. It kicked off April 22 in Toronto, Ontario at Adelaide Hall and rolls through select major markets before closing out May 4 at Popscene in San Francisco, CA.

Check out the full itinerary below!

With a singular sound, style, and spirit, Dagny is quietly ascending to the forefront of pop just under the radar. She recently guested on Seeb’s new track “Drink About” which has gone viral with nearly 14 million streams worldwide and hit Top 5 on Spotify charts in Scandinavia. Check out “Drink About” here!

2017 saw Dagny star in a high-profile Target campaign covering Andrea True’s 70’s Classic “More More, More” in addition to supporting LANY on tour in between her own tour dates. Last year, VEVO also touted her among its “Ones to Watch” as the single “Wearing Nothing” surpassed over 13 million Spotify streams.

Post a high-profile Beats 1 premiere by tastemaker Zane Lowe, 2016’s “Backbeat” transformed into a veritable smash, racking up a staggering nearly 33 million Spotify streams as Apple, Spotify, and Tidal pegged her as an “Artist To Watch” and Interview Magazine, NME, Nylon, Forbes, and more lauded her. She teamed up with BØRNS for “Fool’s Good,” which hit nearly 10 million streams and highlighted her Ultraviolet EP [Republic Records].

TOUR DATES

5/4                   San Francisco, CA               Popscene