Movie Theaters To Screen 1984 In Protest Of Trump

More than one hundred movie theaters across the U.S. will screen George Orwell’s “1984” on April 4 in protest of the Trump administration. The organizers chose this date because Winston Smith, the main character in the book — which is officially entitled “Nineteen Eight-Four” — starts writing a forbidden diary, which is viewed in the novel as a significant act of resistance.

“The goal is that cinemas can initiate a much-needed community conversation at a time when the existence of facts, and basic human rights are under attack,” The United State of Cinema, the event’s sponsors, wrote in a statement. “These screenings are intended to galvanize people at the crossroads of cinema and community, and bring us together to foster communication and resistance against current efforts to undermine the most basic tenets of our society.”

Theaters in 79 U.S. cities and 34 states, including three in Canada, will screen the film, including New York’s IFC Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, and Arizona’s Alamo Drafthouse.

The protest is also intended as a show of support for the National Endowment for the Arts, which is included in President Donald Trump’s list of targets for funding cuts to curb domestic spending. “Any attempt to scuttle that program as an attack on free speech and creative expression through entertainment,” the organizers said.  

Orwell’s dystopian classic from 1949 about resisting an oppressive government regained popularity after Trump became president for its parallels with the current administration. Sales of the book surged again after presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway’s statement about “alternative facts,” a term that is echoed in the book’s concept of “newspeak” where political thought is eliminated, and “double speak”, the ability to hold two truths at once.

In January, the book rose to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list which prompted the publisher Penguin to issue a reprint of 75,000 copies.

Here’s Why George Orwell’s ‘1984’ Is Currently The Bestselling Book On Amazon

When novelists write dystopian literature, their sentences both hint at and exaggerate a state of their current reality. In some cases, they are a what if? played out, extending trends these writers fear might spell doom. But what happens when those fictional nightmares seemingly become current reality?

Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to President Donald Trump, reflected that possibility after offering the distinction of “alternative facts.” Conway uttered this phrase when questioned regarding Trump’s record attendance numbers at his inauguration.

The idea of “alternative facts,” it seems, reminds many of George Orwell’s classic 1984, which has sits atop Amazon’s bestseller list following Trump’s inauguration and Conway’s phrasing. 1984 features “newspeak,” a type of propaganda that clouds facts and distorts any sense of foundational truth through mixed messaging and overwhelming surveillance.

Via CNN Money:

We put through a 75,000 copy reprint this week. That is a substantial reprint and larger than our typical reprint for 1984,” a Penguin spokesman told CNNMoney Tuesday evening.

[…]

According to Nielsen BookScan, which measures most but not all book sales in the United States, “1984” sold 47,000 copies in print since Election Day in November. That is up from 36,000 copies over the same period the prior year.

Two other editions of 1984 are in the bestseller list, though Orwell is not the only author whose work has seen a recent resurgence. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, another dystopic society where truth is obscured, and Upton Sinclair’s It Can’t Happen Here, which involves the election of an authoritarian president, have entered the top 100 of Amazon’s bestseller list.

Other novels to jump into the bestseller list since Trump’s inauguration: Orwell’s Animal Farm, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism.

Thirsty Thursday: Where Bartenders Drink Is The New Bible On Bars

There’s a lot of bars out there, Phaidon’s latest guide joins “Where Chefs Eat” and “Where to Eat Pizza” with a must-have guide on the best bars in the world:

“Where Bartenders Drink is THE insider’s guide. The best 300 expert drink-makers share their secrets – 750 spots spread across 60 countries – revealing where they go for a drink throughout the world when they’re off-duty. Venues range from late-night establishments and legendary hotel bars to cosy neighborhood ‘locals’ – and in some surprising locales. The 750 expert recommendations come with insightful reviews, key information, specially commissioned maps, and an easy-to-navigate geographical organization. It’s the only guide you need to ensure that you get the best drinks in the most memorable global locations.”

The Old Farmer’s Almanac Is Full of Crazy Predictions For 2017

To help farmers plan out a successful harvest, the Old Farmer’s Almanac has some handy guidelines on the best time to prune the crops. According to the American publication that’s been delivering pseudo-scientific weather predictions and strange cultural projections since 1792, it’s best to tend to the plants during the year’s time periods that fall under the Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius astrological signs. And don’t dare do it when the moon is waning — that’s one sure way to stunt growth.

Sounds pretty wacky, right? Well that’s because the Old Farmer’s Almanac is rife with absurd tips on how to go about various facets of life. It makes sense considering its dated methodology for formulating these predictions. And as totally wrong it might be, the book serves as a cultural relic people just can’t let go.

Among other novelties, the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that people are going to start adopting “his and hers” houses, with “separate entries, bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms.” You know, classic separate but equal housing in “cute” hipster form. The Almanac also forecasts people will be moving into “partially submerged floating homes,” whatever that even means.

The Almanac, predictably, has a Twitter page.

It’s not clear what’s happening in that picture. It looks like the turkey is set to take a nice bite out of Little Susie Redcoat’s abdomen. That is, if she doesn’t fall off that pumpkin first. Maybe it’s another prediction. Maybe the Almanac was trying to say that turkeys are going to fight back this year.

But the Almanac’s main selling point, shockingly, isn’t its bold, forward-thinking predictions that people are going to start using chromotherapy bathtubs where the water changes color (admittedly, that does sound kind of cool). No, the Old Farmer’s Almanac was made famous by the long-term weather predictions given each year of its publication. They are designed to make farmers aware of deviations from average weather patterns so they can plan their ahead with their agriculture.

For example, in 2008 the Old Farmer’s Almanac said the planet was about to enter a period of global cooling? If only that hadn’t turned out to be totally batshit, the world would be enjoying much nicer climate right now. And that’s the thing: The Old Farmer’s Almanac is in no way accurate with its weather predictions. Shockingly, it’s patented mix of meteorology, Zodiac signs, and moon phases doesn’t make for quality forecasts.

That’s bad news for farmers, right? Wrong. See, real farmer’s don’t actually use the thing because they know it’s bunk and they can get better, more immediate, and more reliable information elsewhere. Lindsay Lusher Shute, executive director of the National Young Farmer’s Coalition, told Modern Farmer that she “and her husband, Ben, who runs a 70-acre vegetable farm in Clermont, New York, mostly rely on forecasts from the National Weather Service, Weather Underground, and their own personal weather station (when it’s working).” The Almanac is hardly even applicable to farmers like the Shutes. It turns out that the weather forecast for three months from now for an entire region, like the Northeastern United States, isn’t that useful when all you really care about is whether it’s going to rain in Clermont tomorrow.

All of this naturally raises the question: How is this still a thing? The answer, it seems, is cultural significance. Like daylight savings time, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is an institution unto itself. It’s stuck around this long because, well, that’s the way it’s always been. The 2017 issue, the 225th if you’re counting, ran letters from U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, each praising its longevity and cultural impact over the years. But why? It’d be foolish to think that Obama and Trudeau actually curl up with a blanket and read this thing.

That’s the power of tradition. It gives outmoded things an excuse not to die so they can continue to please the ever-shrinking group of people who actually partake in them. The onus, then, is on the rest of us, those who (correctly) think partially submerged floating homes are a terrible idea, to ignore them into extinction.

Scary Stories Are Actually Pretty Beneficial for Kids

In an effort to protect their kids, some parents will keep them away from books, TV shows, and movies that might be too scary. But to a certain extent, scary stories help children learn how to deal with fear in real life.

As Cari Romm at Science of Us explains, scary stories, and even nightmares, are dress rehearsals for real-life fear. And according to sociologist Margee Kerr, scary stories are a helpful tool for developing confidence. Think about it. When you make it through a scary movie, haunted house, or roller coaster ride, you end up feeling accomplished—like you made it through something. This little self-esteem boost carries over and teaches kids that, while things might be scary sometimes, it’s possible to make it through and they’ll be better off for it.

No, you shouldn’t be trying to scare the crap out of your kids, but it’s okay for them to read some ghost stories or get scared of the boogeyman every once in a while. They’ll learn how to cope with fear in a low-stakes setting and be more prepared for the many real obstacles they’ll face in life. Kids develop bravery and confidence, they’re not born with it.

We’re Getting Three New ‘Harry Potter’ Stories from J.K. Rowling This Autumn

In 2007, many Harry Potter fans were prepared for the final book to be “The End,” even with the series’ author, J.K. Rowling, stating the story would conclude with book seven, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Since then we have seen a number of stories on the companion website Pottermore, a real-life version of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, an upcoming Potter-world film trilogy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and a new play titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The latter was not written by Rowling herself, but the script turned novel was released this past July.

Announced on Wednesday, fans can now expect three new e-books about Hogwarts to be released this September 6 which will include, Politics, and Pesky Poltergeists; Of Heroism, Hardship, and Dangerous Hobbies; and Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide. However, after the Cursed Child, Rowling states the book will explore characters other than the boy wizard Harry.

“He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done. This is the next generation, you know… so, I’m thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”

J.K. Rowling Releases a Series of Stories About the History of Magic in North America

Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling has written a series of stories about the history of magic in North America and released them on the Pottermore site. The four stories will be released on the site daily beginning on March 8, 2016.

The stories lay the groundwork of magic in North America for the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is set in North America as part of the Harry Potter universe. They will cover the ways magic influenced different notable periods of history and the formation of the Magical Congress of the United States of America.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be released on November 18, 2016.

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McDonald’s Swapping Toys with Books in Happy Meals

Would you like a side of children’s literacy with your burger?

Now through Feb. 15, McDonald’s is offering slightly less guilt-inducing Happy Meals that come with books instead of toys. McDonald’s hopes to distribute 17 million books to kids over the course of the program.

The books will vary by date and location, but most stores will give away one of four books with each meal including the Valentine’s Day themed books, “Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day is Cool” by Kimberly and James Dean; “Clark the Shark Takes Heart” by Bruce Hale; and “Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!” by Laura Numeroff; as well as the classic children’s story “Paddington” by Michael Bond.
The books are conveniently sized to fit inside the Happy Meal box and Spanish language versions will be available at most stores.

In addition to the books McDonald’s is putting in the kids’ meals, the fast food giant announced plans to donate 10,000 books to the children’s literacy group Reading is Fundamental. Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of Reading is Fundamental, expanded on the benefits of the program in an interview with Fox News.

“There’s magic in books, and the simple act of reading with our children has a profound impact on their educational development,” she said. “By giving them choices and increasing access to books, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of those who need us most.”

There has been some fallout on social media from parents complaining that McDonald’s should just let “kids be kids,” and keep the toys in the box. But for the most part, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, with most parents realizing that there is no better way to let a kid be a kid than to offer up a cozy lap, a good book, and a snuggly reading session with mom or dad.

Amazon to Open Hundreds of Physical Bookstores Across the United States

Amazon’s University Village bookstore in Seattle won’t be a one-off after all. After opening the location back in November of last year, Amazon now plans to open hundreds of additional bookstores across the United States. As reported by CNBC, the news comes from a mall CEO who revealed to Dow Jones that the stores will be a “physical extension of Amazon.com” and stocked based on customer ratings and sales from the e-commerce site. Interestingly, Amazon plans to offer the books at the same low prices that can be found online.

There are currently few additional details, but between 300 and 400 Amazon Books stores are expected to open in all.

WHERE TO EAT PIZZA Book Gives Tips and Recipes to the Best Pizza

It’s the year 2016 and people are still on the relentless pursuit of the perfect slice of pizza. Acclaimed London-based food critic Daniel Young is coming out with a new book for the pizza lovers that will be comprised of insider tips and advice for finding and making the perfect slice of pizza. Titled WHERE TO EAT PIZZA: The Last Word on the Slice, the hardback novel will provide inside scoop to the popular food including recipes to special sauces and perfect crusts with secret ingredients from over 1,000 food experts from around the world. Guides also include reviews and information to pizzas on global city maps with over 1,700 pizzerias, pizza joints and parlours.

WHERE TO EAT PIZZA: The Last Word on the Slice is now available for pre-order over at PHAIDON for about ($25 USD), with shipping beginning April 25.