Categories
HT Celebrity Corner

Hometown Hall Opening Stellar HI-TECH Premium Workspaces in Chandler & Scottsdale AZ

Troy Warren 

 

The future of workplace is evolving as technology frees workers from their desks, collaboration increases and millennials seek out amenity-rich, inspiring and connected environments.

Hometown Hall is intentionally creating a premium workspace where members enjoy comfortable, modern furnishings, beautiful and inspiring design, and rich desirable amenities. Corporations recognize the value that the Venture X workplace has in attracting and retaining the top talent they seek for their businesses. The design provides the flexibility for businesses to expand within the space as their companies grow, saving them the expense of relocating.


 

Technology is equally as important which is why we have aligned with essensys, a leading provider of software to the global flexible workspace industry. It’s proprietary software and mobile-ready technology deliver a comprehensive solution.


 

Both Chandler and Scottsdale AZ locations will be opening in the Fall of 2021.


 

Categories
HT Update

Hometown Hall Opening HI-TECH Premium Workspaces in Chandler & Scottsdale AZ

Troy Warren #update-all 


 

The future of workplace is evolving as technology frees workers from their desks, collaboration increases and millennials seek out amenity-rich, inspiring and connected environments.

Hometown Hall is intentionally creating a premium workspace where members enjoy comfortable, modern furnishings, beautiful and inspiring design, and rich desirable amenities. Corporations recognize the value that the Venture X workplace has in attracting and retaining the top talent they seek for their businesses. The design provides the flexibility for businesses to expand within the space as their companies grow, saving them the expense of relocating.


 

Technology is equally as important which is why we have aligned with essensys, a leading provider of software to the global flexible workspace industry. It’s proprietary software and mobile-ready technology deliver a comprehensive solution.


 

Both Chandler and Scottsdale AZ locations will be opening in the Fall of 2021.


 

Categories
HT Local News HT Movie TV

Anne Douglas, widow of late actor Kirk Douglas, dies at 102

By The Associated Press

Troy Warren #reviews-all #local-all


 

Widow of Kirk Douglas, stepmother of Michael Douglas has died in California.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Anne Douglas, the widow of Kirk Douglas and stepmother of Michael Douglas, died Thursday in California. She was 102.

Douglas died at her home in Beverly Hills, according to an obituary provided by spokeswoman Marcia Newberger. No cause of death was given.

Kirk Douglas, the Hollywood legend who starred in “Spartacus,” “Lust for Life” and dozens of other films, died in February 2020 at 103.

He married Anne Buydens in 1954 after they met in Paris while he was filming “Act of Love” and she was doing publicity. They had two sons, Peter, a producer, and Eric, an actor.

“I often wonder what would have happened to me if I hadn’t married Anne. I might not have survived without her business acumen and her finely honed instincts,” Kirk Douglas once said.

In 2017, the couple published “Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood.”

“She brought out the best in all of us, especially our father. Dad would never have had the career he did without Anne’s support and partnership.”

– actor Michael Douglas

The Douglas Foundation, which Anne and her husband co-founded, has donated millions to a wide range of institutions, from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to the Motion Picture & Television Fund.

Michael Douglas said his stepmother “will always be in our hearts.”

“She brought out the best in all of us, especially our father. Dad would never have had the career he did without Anne’s support and partnership,” the actor said in a statement.

Kirk Douglas’ first wife and Michael’s mother, Diana Douglas, died in 2015.


 

Categories
HT Classic Cars

Hometown Hall Classic Car of the Day April 30

Troy Warren #carnews-all


 

Categories
Travel News

Disney Cruise Line Unveils More Details on New Disney Wish Cruise Ship

LAUREN BOWMAN | TravelPulse.Com

Troy Warren #travel-all

 

The Disney Wish is Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship set to sail in the Summer of 2022. Bookings will be available to all by May 27, 2021, and even earlier for Castaway Club members (May 17-May 26 based on membership level). 

This innovative ship is designed to be its own ‘Castle on the Sea’ with all-new experiences and entertainment.

“With the Disney Wish, we’re continuing our tradition of delivering the most magical and relaxing vacations at sea, combining legendary service and entertainment with imaginative storytelling and all the care you expect from a Disney vacation,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products in a recent statement. “Our newest ship will celebrate everything that families love about sailing with us, from the incredible dining experiences and character interactions to dazzling shows and the crew’s thoughtful attention to detail. We can’t wait to welcome our guests aboard the Disney Wish as we expand the reach of our world-class fleet.”


 

Grand Hall

Guests will enter through the Grand Hall which is the heartbeat of the ship.

Decorated with an elegant grand staircase, a gold Cinderella statue, a Wishing Star chandelier and a newly designed theatre space that is unique to the Disney Wish, every detail is rooted in the theme of ‘Enchantment’.


 

Upper Deck

Kids of all ages will get to enjoy the first-of-its-kind, Disney attraction at sea, the AquaMouse. With themed Mickey and Minnie shorts much like on ‘Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, riders will travel along 760 feet of audio and visual immersion of ‘splashtastic fun’.

Located in the main portion of the upper deck are six separate pools where friends and family can mingle and play.

Little ones will enjoy the Toy Story-themed aqua park, and adults will have their own area at the back of the boat called the Quiet Cove. Here there will be an infinity pool that will overlook the sea and those over 21 can relax at the bar area.


 

Dining Experiences

The Disney Wish will host three family restaurants with immersive experiences: an Arendelle themed restaurant with Nordic-inspired offerings, a 1923 Hollywood-style restaurant, and a Marvel restaurant with menu items inspired by Wakanda, Eastern European Sokovia and New York City. It’s expected that guests will get to enjoy all restaurants on a rotational basis like they can on other Disney Cruise Line ships.

There will also be two adults-only restaurants – Palo Steakhouse and Enchante which will feature elevated dining experiences.


 

The Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge is already gaining prestige as guests are anxious to travel through their signature cocktails to Batuu, Tatooine and Mustafar.

Additionally, the ship is expected to have quick service options located throughout just like with other Disney Cruise Line ships.

Staterooms

There will be a total of 1,254 staterooms onboard the Disney Wish with 70 percent of them having a verandah. Over 900 staterooms will also have connecting doors for larger parties traveling together.

The Disney Wish will even offer a select few staterooms that are located above the bridge of the ship for the first time ever. These will stun guests with floor-to-ceiling windows, and those opting for concierge service will also be treated to a private lounge area with its own sun deck.

There will also be four royal suites with two of these even being two-storied.

Every stateroom is expected to give guests ample room to make themselves at home with modern bathrooms that include a tub.

Kids Club

Kids aged 3 to 12 can enjoy all the Kids Club has to offer like the Marvel Superhero Academy, Fairytale Hall and even what it’s like to be a Disney Imagineer. There’s even a special slide entrance into the Kid’s Club from the Grand Hall – unfortunately, adults will have to use the door.

Entertainment

Each Disney Cruise Line ship is known for its special entertainment options. And while we do know that ‘Aladdin’ will be performed in the Walt Disney Theatre, two new shows are also being developed especially for the Disney Wish but are currently being kept under wraps.

Sailings

The Disney Wish is expected to leave out of Port Canaveral starting the Summer of 2022, with three- and four-night cruise itineraries. Its maiden voyage is scheduled to stop at Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay, but other sailings have yet to be released. Guests can book through their travel agent or at DisneyCruise.com.


 

 

Categories
Technology News

Amazon Says “Over 175 Million” Prime Members Streamed Movies and Shows in Past Year

by Alex Weprin | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren

 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos added that “streaming hours are up more than 70 percent year-over-year.”

Amazon is finally shedding some light on how many of the company’s users watch Amazon Prime Video programming.

In its first quarter 2021 earnings report, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that “as Prime Video turns 10, over 175 million Prime members have streamed shows and movies in the past year, and streaming hours are up more than 70 percent year-over-year.” Bezos went on to note the critical and award success of Amazon’s programming, and the success of Amazon Web Services, which now has a $54 billion annual run rate. “We love Prime Video and AWS, and we’re proud to have them in the family,” he said.

The comment from Bezos suggests that the vast majority of Prime members watch at least some Amazon content, which includes series like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and films like One Night in Miami. Amazon also streams the NFL’s Thursday Night Football. The company revealed earlier this month that it now has more than 200 million paying subscribers.

For comparison, Netflix had about 204 million worldwide subscribers at the end of 2020, with Disney+ now above 100 million.

Overall for the quarter, Amazon revenue surged above $108 billion, up more than 40 percent year-over-year.

The company also touted its sports offerings, noting that it will get exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football beginning in 2023 (and WWE president Nick Khan told analysts last week that he believes Amazon is trying to secure earlier exclusive access), as well as a handful of New York Yankees games, which will stream for free to Prime members in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

On Thursday, Amazon also announced a new global head of sports marketing, Marc Patrick. “He will be responsible for developing breakthrough multimedia entertainment campaigns for our live sports offerings and will work closely with the NFL as the marketing lead for Thursday Night Football on Prime Video. Marc will also partner with Studios on sports docuseries and sports-themed content,” wrote Amazon Studios CMO Ukonwa Ojo in a note to staff.

Amazon also touted its work on building the backbone of the entire streaming ecosystem. Even as Prime Video competes with the likes of Netflix and Disney+, Amazon announced that “The Walt Disney Company [is] working with AWS on the expansion of Disney+ to more than 100 million subscribers around the world.”


 

 

Categories
HT Foodie HT Movie TV

Guy Fieri, Fired Up: The Food Network King, With a Massive New Deal, Pushes for More Restaurant Relief

by Mikey O’Connell | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren #foodie-all #reviews-all

 

Once mocked by white-tablecloth elites, Fieri just signed a landmark pact for a TV chef as he steps into a respected elder statesman role in the food world — raising millions for workers unemployed due to COVID-19: “I was pissed.”

Guy Fieri’s 1968 Camaro is conspicuously absent from the lineup of vintage wheels abutting his Windsor, California, ranch in Sonoma Valley wine country.

The cherry-red convertible seen in 400-plus episodes of the star chef and car collector’s culinary travelogue Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is en route from points east, where production resumed this past winter, but the platinum blond is spending a few days at home between shoots. Like most people, Fieri is taking baby steps in the return to normalcy — though his pre-pandemic status quo meant supplying Food Network with a dizzying 80 annual hours of original programming. Fieri was among the first to film remotely in 2020, appearing on air within a week of nationwide lockdown orders, so he naturally was back on the road as soon as he was allowed.

“Here’s my research for Hawaii; we’re getting ready to go shoot there next,” says Fieri, sliding a spiral-bound agenda of eateries across the table that separates us. Some businesses anointed by his Midas touch have seen sales climb fivefold after Fieri scarfs their creations on TV, a stat that carries new significance for the host given the calamitous effect of the downturn on the restaurant business. “Then I’m trying to finally put Puerto Rico together,” he adds, grabbing another binder. “They need some love.”

This March afternoon at Fieri’s home isn’t unlike catching up with a busy friend who just happens to have an Emmy statuette and a few bottles of the tequila brand he owns with Sammy Hagar on the kitchen island. One of three wine country properties Fieri keeps in his native Northern California, this has been where he, Lori, his wife of 26 years, and sons Hunter and Ryder have spent most of the past year with their three dogs. The smallest, a Chihuahua named Smokey, is Fieri’s favorite — as the handmade “Enter slowly please; small dog” sign at the end of his long driveway suggests.


 

Where Fieri, a volcano of enthusiasm on camera, subverts expectation is in his almost subdued hospitality. Not a nacho, battered chicken thigh or jalapeno popper in sight, the man synonymous with on-camera caloric intake instead pulls me a double shot of espresso. “I got really good at this over the last year,” he says, nodding to the coffee machine.

Fieri sharpened this skill while also in the past year raising more than $25 million for food workers left unemployed by COVID-19 closures. He is now devoting most of his energy and, under a landmark new TV deal, his creative output into rebuilding the industry that once poked fun at his unrefined aesthetic and bacon-bedazzled menus. These days, it’s hard to not take Fieri seriously. As he plans to beat the drum for restaurant relief even louder — and as those hardest hit by America’s selective recession start to fall out of the news cycle — the goateed gastronomist’s sense of purpose may be the thing to finally eclipse his brash persona.

“Nothing can replace what this kind of recognition, appearing on TV, can do for these people and their businesses … for their lives,” he says, taking a sip of coffee. “I need to keep doing this because it just needs to be done.”

***

Thirteen months ago, as the pandemic began and the country’s collective anxiety skyrocketed, Fieri was not scared or nervous. He was too angry. “I don’t get pissed or lose my shit,” he explains. “But I was pissed.”

Restaurants were closed from coast to coast, and, by Fieri’s estimation, most — the types of mom-and-pop places featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives — maybe had a 10-day runway before the money dried up. It was mid-March 2020, and he was on his elliptical machine — Fieri comes up with a lot of his ideas during cardio — when he decided to ask his business manager for contact info for CEOs of major corporations. He drafted personal emails to power brokers like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, soliciting donations for an emergency relief fund that would ultimately award more than 43,000 grants — of $500 each — to out-of-work line cooks, servers and other restaurant professionals.

Today, in a crisp black button-down, Fieri opines on the crisis with an undiminished passion. “I’m not into shaming people and telling who didn’t donate, that’s not my style,” Fieri says, as he credits getting huge sums of money from PepsiCo, Uber Eats and Procter & Gamble before taking a pause. “Jeff, by the way, didn’t help us,” he shares.

“There is no better salesman than Guy,” says Food Network president Courtney White, whose most bankable talent has fronted 14 series on her network. “There’s a power to his enthusiasm. It gets people to rally around his vision, whether it’s a pitch for a show or in raising all that money.”

While he was hitting up Fortune 500 companies for donations, Fieri sold White on making the Discovery-owned network’s first feature-length documentary, Restaurant Hustle 2020: All on the Line. Co-directed by Fieri, the doc follows four chefs trying to stay in business at the height of the pandemic. It premiered in December, and a follow-up is in the works for this summer. Fieri also pivoted the recent season of Food Network’s chef-competition show Tournament of Champions — his first project back in a studio after shooting at-home versions of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy’s Grocery Games — to redirect all its prize money (more than $210,000) to struggling restaurateurs.


 

His philanthropy long has been known in Sonoma County, where he’s fed frontline workers and displaced neighbors impacted by area wildfires. But this latest crisis is playing out on a much larger stage and finds Fieri, who turned 53 in January, moving into the type of elder statesman role previously reserved for white-tablecloth ambassadors like José Andrés and Tom Colicchio.

Tally the long line of show credits and the millions in contributions, and it becomes challenging to reconcile the Fieri of 2021 — emergent folk hero — with the Fieri who first materialized on American TV in April 2006, newly crowned winner of a nascent reality competition (The Next Food Network Star). In that first year, he went from anonymous restaurateur to making less than $1,000 an episode on his first cooking show (Guy’s Big Bite) to launching the career-defining Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

“We built a five-year plan for him, and he blew through it in, like, three,” says longtime agent Jason Hodes, partner at WME, whose colleagues used to tell him to “hug the rocket” as Fieri accumulated series and licensing deals. “He’s a true household name, just one that people can’t seem to pronounce correctly.”

Despite opening most every show with a familiar “Hi, I’m Guy Fieri,” swapping out the “r” in his last name for an Italian flourish that sounds more like “Fiedi,” his preferred pronunciation eludes most of his huge audience. An average 73 million viewers, per Food Network, watch at least one piece of Fieri programming quarterly. And while he hasn’t worked full-time in a kitchen for two decades, he’s involved with more than 85 restaurants globally and recently partnered with Planet Hollywood CEO Robert Earl on an ambitious delivery-only concept, Flavortown Kitchen. If you live in a major U.S. city, chances are you can have a Fieri-sanctioned Bacon Mac N Cheese Burger delivered in the same time it takes to watch an episode of Guy’s Ranch Kitchen.


 

 

Categories
Health And Wellness

A single protein might be key to slowing the aging process

By Nancy Clanton, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren 

Researchers have known neurodegenerative disorders, like Parkinson’s disease, are more likely to develop as we get older, and Parkinson’s affects men more than women. What they haven’t known is why.

That might change soon, thanks to a study from the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences.

Age is the greatest risk factor for Parkinson’s disease, which causes progressive loss of dopamine neurons, with males at greater risk than females, the researchers wrote. The Parkinson’s Foundation reportsmen are 1.5 times more likely to have Parkinson’s disease than women.

According to their paper, published Thursday in the journal Aging Cell, the neuroscientists discovered a single protein — a glutamate transporter on the membrane of vesicles that carry dopamine in neurons — is key to “regulating sex differences in the brain’s vulnerability to age-related neuron loss.”

The protein — vesicular glutamate transporter, or VGLUT — “was more abundant in dopamine neurons of female fruit flies, rodents and human beings than in males, correlating with females’ greater resilience to age-related neuron loss and mobility deficiencies, the researchers found,” the university wrote in a press release.

The researchers found that when they reduced VGLUT levels in female flies, it lowered the flies’ protection from neurodegeneration associated with aging.

“From flies to rodents to human beings, we found that VGLUT levels distinguish males from females during healthy aging,” said Zachary Freyberg, M.D., Ph.D., the study’s senior author and assistant professor of psychiatry and cell biology at the University of Pittsburgh. “The fact that this marker of dopamine neuron survival is conserved across the animal kingdom suggests that we are looking at a fundamental piece of biology. Understanding how this mechanism works can help prolong dopamine neuron resilience and delay aging.”

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, nearly 1 million people in the United States are living with Parkinson’s, with nearly 60,000 diagnosed each year. Although your risk increases with age, about 4% of those diagnosed are younger than age 50.

“We are entering an epidemic of Parkinson’s disease, and we need to understand how to make our neurons more resilient,” said Freyberg. “VGLUT is a tantalizing new target that is key to not only understanding the fundamental biology at the core of dopamine neurons’ survival, but ultimately for developing new therapeutics.”

To get specialized news and articles about aging in place, health information and more, sign up for our Aging in Atlanta newsletter.


 

 

Categories
HT Photo

Hometown Hall Photo of the Day April 30

Troy Warren #photos-all


 

Categories
COVID-19 Updates

Hometown Hall United States COVID-19 Update April 30

Troy Warren #covid-all