The exhibit, which focuses on the global impact of snow on climate and human culture, has 12 interactive learning opportunities.
Ours faves were a digital wall where you can “catch” crystals during different kinds of snowstorms; watching marbles fall down a mountain comparing the impact of rain versus snow and the impact that water has on climate at different times; solving a matching puzzle of snow crystals; making our own paper snowflakes; and building (and knocking over) a snowman.
It’s Mental Health Awareness month. During the pandemic, there’s been a growing demand for mental health services including telehealth — virtual appointments via technology including video, phones and apps. My Mediaplanet article explains the benefits of this high tech approach to mental health.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Even before the pandemic, getting access to good mental healthcare in a timely manner could be really challenging,” says Dr. Shore, noting patients can wait six to 12 weeks for their first appointment, making it tough for those who want help right away.
Factors impacting the ability to get an appointment can include if the provider has availability, if they’re accepting new patients, or if insurance covers the provider’s services.
Telemedicine may help reduce some patients’ barriers to care, including lack of transportation, convenience if they can’t take time off from work, or if they have family responsibilities.
Fans know Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. from their soul and pop music, especially with the 5th Dimension.
For this Mediaplanet article, I had the opportunity to interview the married duo about their career, social justice, philanthropy, and their lifelong commitment to giving back to the Black community.
Here’s an excerpt:
The couple — known for hits like “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” and “Up, Up and Away,” with their group, The 5th Dimension — have been married for more than 50 years. They’re lifetime advocates for health education, and disease prevention and treatment, with a special emphasis on the unique needs of the African American community.
I remember the first time I saw “West Side Story.” I watched the 1961 film during class at my Catholic elementary school decades later — on a square TV on a rolling cart — and it was transformative. I immediately loved the music, choreography, dancing, characters, and storytelling. I watch that version from time to time and it never gets old.
The new “West Side Story” will likely be one that I watch over and over too.
I saw the new film a few days ago at a VIP preview screening and I’m still thinking about it. The musical is dreamy, endearing, dramatic, poignant, and more.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, “West Side Story” sticks close to the storyline of the 1957 Broadway show and the movie that followed a few years later. The plot: rival groups, the Jets, white street rats in New York City, are battling turf wars against the Sharks, Puerto Rican newcomers to the neighborhood. What happens when a love story sparks between a girl and guy from the different groups?
One of my favorite scenes is when leading man Tony (Ansel Elgort), who used to be a Jet, spots leading lady Maria (Rachel Zegler), sister of a Shark, at the dance. When the two see each other, they lock eyes and form an immediate connection.
Spielberg’s “speed up” effect at the dance shows everyone dancing fast and everything happening quickly — except time seems to stand still for Tony and Maria. Even in a crowded room, they’re the only ones.
There’s so much to love about this new version of the classic doomed love story. Like the original film, the music, choreography and dancing are delightful.
The casting is amazing too. Scenes with Maria and Tony are filled with emotion. Their chemistry is palpable and even though the characters have known each other for only a few days, you really feel they’re meant to be together forever. I particularly enjoyed Elgort’s version of “Maria” and Zegler’s, “I Feel Pretty.” Their duet, “Tonight” is stunning.
I love Rita Moreno (Anita in the 1961 film) in a grandmotherly role as Valentina, the candy store owner and Tony’s boss. Her singing performance of Somewhere” showcases a lot of emotion, including longing for what could be.
Current Anita (Ariana DeBose) is a powerhouse who sings, dances and exudes confidence. Don’t miss her singing and dancing to “America.” Mike Faist is fun to watch as Jets’ leader Riff, a tough guy who’s full of personality but lacking direction in life. Fernano (David Alvarez), leader of the Sharks, is a boxer who’s proud of his Puerto Rican roots but overly protective of his little sister, Maria.
This new musical, which runs two and a half hours, stands on its own. It’s more of a companion to the original film than a competitor.
At a time when we’re all used to watching movies on TV, tablets and even phones, “West Side Story” is meant to be seen in theaters. It comes alive with engaging music and amazing colors. It looks and sounds incredible on the big screen.
West Side Story opens in theaters on December 10, 2021.