The Marvel Experience Is Simply Out Of This World

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(PCM) Immersing yourself in the world of Marvel, pretending that you are a beloved super hero and battling the bad guys could just be the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon.

That’s what Marvel comic book lovers and movie fans, gamers, families and others are doing when they head to the Philadelphia tour of “The Marvel Experience: The World’s First Hyper-Reality Tour,” at Lincoln Financial Field through Sunday, July 5.

The creative brainchild of Hero Ventures’ Doug Schaer and Rick Licht, The Marvel Experience is an immersive, attraction, that features the world’s first-ever traveling 360-degree, 3-D stereoscopic full-Dome theater.

There is also a state-of-the-art motion ride, rock climbing wall, a laser maze, motion rides, holograms, and a “training course” that offers the opportunity for Marvel fans to actually feel like they are part of the adventure. All of this is done at the visitor’s own pace.

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Of course, Marvel comics, is 100 percent the experience. “They saw the vision in what we presented and made sure that we captured the essence of these characters,” he said. “They are extremely protective of everything that bears the Marvel name.”

“The three words that are most used during our exit pools are fun, overwhelming and awesome, and we couldn’t ask for three better words,” Licht explained during the recent event opening. “I want this experience to encompass all three for everyone.”

According to Licht, once the technology for the show emerged the next step was to create a story to enhance it.

“When I first talked about this with friends and business associates, they thought I was a bit crazy. Flash forward a few years, and I had 28 family members and friends at the Dallas opening and 30 in San Diego and I could feel the love in the room.”

As agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in training, guests of The Marvel Experience can swing with Spider-Man, smash with Hulk, fly with Iron Man, and assist Captain America and Black Widow, and others, all in preparation for an epic battle alongside Marvel’s biggest super heroes in a fight against Red Skull, M.O.D.O.K. and an army of evil Adaptoids.

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The Marvel Experience incorporates next-generation interactive technology including augmented reality and multi-person gaming so that you can see yourself in action. Everything happens with cutting-edge technology and advanced computer animation. There’s nothing else like it. Not only do the members of audience get to join the adventure, in the end they may even become heroes themselves.

Hero Ventures, of L.A., has brought together top-notch creative and business minds in animation, and interactive technology to create dynamic live entertainment experiences to share with world-wide audiences in unique and unprecedented ways.

Doug-marvelHere is a recent chat with 43-year-old Doug Schaer:

Q: Please tell me the history of The Marvel Experience.

Doug Schaer: We’ve been working on this show for more than four years. We have hosted the [preview] shows in Phoenix, Dallas and San Diego for a total of 54 days.

Q: What are the highlights of this show?

DS: For me its just a fun show. Every single person who goes through this show has something that they like and it’s always different. The key here is to make people smile.

Q: What was the idea behind the show?

DS: To leverage technology to bring enjoyment for everyone. I experienced this with my dad, who is now 71, and my children, my five-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter, and all of us had a great time and a different favorite.

Q: What is the challenge with this?

DS: The most challenging thing is to create something for everybody – that’s what every marketer wants to do, and they want it to be the next generation. There are fans of The Avengers movies, gamers, comic book lovers and more. This is basically a house of ideas. It’s all about the narrative and the story telling – and that has to be accessible to everybody. Our aim was to create the most complex and cool show that is a great deal of fun and had something for everyone.

Q: What else is involved?

DS: We are not a theme park and we are not a tech company, so we can be an introduction to the Marvel Universe, there are treats a plenty for the hard core fan boy, movie lovers, several generations of family members, and everyone in between.

Q: So are you the coolest dad on the planet?

DS: Good questions. My children don’t know any differently; they assume that everyone gets to play with superheroes all the time.

Q: But they must be thrilled by all of this?

DS: Yes. They love superheroes and super heroines. And I often hear; ‘So dad, where are the domes going next?’

Q: So far what has the feedback been?

DS: I hear people say they took their children, they went with their college buddies, went for costume night, and we all had a great time. I don’t want to hear, ‘I munched popcorn and watched my kids play.’ I want it to be an interactive and immersive experiential time for everybody who comes.

Q: What else comes to mind.

DS: This is exciting because you are literally dropped into this Hollywood scripted adventure. It will propel you though this two hour narrative and you can touch it and feel it. It’s not a museum, a Comic-Con, or theme park — the interactives are meant to be accessible to everybody.

Q: What do you want the take-away to be?

DS: I am looking for the audiences to think it was fun, that it is a good value based on the ticket prices, and that they will tell their friends about it. For a show to succeed, especially since we are only in town for a short time, there has to be word-of-mouth.

Q: What’s personally exciting for you about the Philadelphia show?

DS: I am coming home. I am a Jersey boy from Bergen County, and I have spent hundreds of great nights in Philly. I love it there – the sports, the food and everything else. Capt. America has to come there; he can be the stanch defender of The Liberty Bell.

The Marvel Experience schedule includes the following dates:

· Chicago, at McCormick Place: Saturday July 11 to Sunday August 2

· New York, NY at The Park Avenue Armory: Thursday August 13 to Sunday August 30

· St. Louis, at America’s Center Convention Complex: Saturday September 5 to Sunday September 20

For tickets go to www.ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000. For a complete schedule go to: The Marvel Experience website: www.themarvelexperiencetour.com.

The post The Marvel Experience Is Simply Out Of This World appeared first on The World Of Pop Culture.

Keep Off Of Australia’s Famed Wedding Cake Rock

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(PCM) Australia’s National Parks and Wildlife Services department has issued an important warning for tourists that urges them to please keep off of the famous Wedding Cake Rock located along the Royal National Park Coast Walk. The NPWS warns that the rock could collapse at any moment leading to serious injury and/or death.

Standing on top of the rock, which closely resembles a slice of layered wedding cake, has become an incredibly popular tourist destination and photos of people posed on top of the rock have surfaced all over social media in the recent years.

Wedding Cake Rock got it’s name due to its’ milky white sandstone and squared off layers, however the NPWS warns that the color is due to the rock formation being leached of iron over time. which is actually weakening the formation. The vertical fractures that make it look like layer cake are actually areas where the rock formation will eventually break off and plummet into the sea below.

NPWS says they are concerned about the number of tourists standing on the rock shelf very close to the edge knowing that it could give way at any time. NPWS says that they do not want to close the site, however they are currently working out a plan to make it safer for tourists to visit. As of right now, temporary fencing and signs have been put up warning tourists to keep off. NPSW plans to create a safer viewing area further back from the edge of the rock formation.

The post Keep Off Of Australia’s Famed Wedding Cake Rock also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

A Raccoon Riding An Alligator? We Couldn’t Believe It Either!

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(PCM) If you never thought that you would see an image of a raccoon riding on the back of an alligator, think again, because it has happened and there is photographic proof. 

Richard Jones and his family were out on the search for alligators along the Oaklawaha River in Ocala, Florida when they caught the amazing spectacle right before their eyes. Jones’ son startled a raccoon that was hiding the the brush and it then proceeded to hop on the back of an alligator and take a little journey to escape. 

Jones was able to capture a photo of the incident, which has quickly gone viral, before the raccoon quickly hopped off the gator. Glad he was a quick with photo capture, as it is truly a sight to behold! 

The Oaklawaha River is located within the Ocala National Forest near Central Florida. It also happens to be the second-largest nationally protected forest in the state of Florida.  

A Raccoon Riding An Alligator? We Couldn’t Believe It Either! was contributed by a Myth

Mount Kinabalu “Nudists” Set To Return Home After Arrests

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(PCM) Several of the “nudists” who were arrested after snapping naked pictures of one another atop Mount Kinabalu have been released after a three day imprisonment in Malaysia. All admitted to public indecency and also faced a fine that equaled out to about $1,300 for committing an obscene act in public. 

It seems that it was on a dare that the individuals took off their clothing to pose for pictures on top of the sacred mountain, as they had originally made the climb to simply enjoy the early morning sunrise. The ill-fated climb and nude images caused huge offense in the region and it is being pinpointed as the cause of the magnitude 5.9 earthquake that shook the region near the sacred mountain back on June 5th.

The earthquake was devastating to the area killing 18 people including five children, and the Sabah state deputy prime minister claimed the earthquake was caused because the “travelers showed disrespect to the mountain”.

Mount Kinabalu is considered incredibly sacred because Sabah’s Kadazan Dusun tribe believe the mountain houses the spirits of their dead ancestors and the name Kinabalu is derived from the tribe’s phrase “Aki Nabalu”, which means resting place of the dead. 

 

Mount Kinabalu “Nudists” Set To Return Home After Arrests was contributed by a Myth

Locks on the Seine: Love or Litter?

By: Michael Saint James

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Love in Paris, the city of love: two sweethearts on a bridge over the Seine. They write their names on a padlock. They hook it to an available spot in the bridge’s wire-mesh parapet, the railing that runs along its edges, and fasten the lock, securing it— and, they hope, their love—forever. They throw the key in the river.

While spending months photographing the bridges on the Seine for my new book, Bridges of Paris, I frequently witnessed this ritual. I was helplessly charmed every time. After the key is tossed in the Seine, most lovers kiss, hug, and linger at what has now become their favorite spot in the city. Many photographs are taken. One couple even had a video camera on a tripod documenting them taking their selfies.

The lovers wander off, holding each other, slightly punch-drunk and staggering, to their next destination, perhaps their hotel room or a bar. Their lock will surely persist for all time. Or at least until the fence, under the weight of hundreds of heavy locks, rips free of the bridge and tumbles into the Seine.

Railings were originally put on the bridges to prevent children from falling into the river. Now the danger comes more from the risk of a lock-heavy fence falling onto a boat full of tourists.

“I heard one of Paris’s bridges collapsed!” a friend emailed me from the States in June 2014. When I arrived on the bridge, the Pont des Arts, I found only one small section of the chain-link railing, filled with locks, hanging over the Seine. It didn’t fall entirely but hung there until city workers removed it. Plywood had been put up to cover the gap. The bridge’s integrity was never in question.

When the Pont des Arts’ railing collapsed, however, Parisians lost their tolerance. The love-lock ritual may fuel the French capital’s reputation as the “City of Love,” but not everyone finds it charming.

Love locks arrived in Paris in 2008. Today, an array of locks—antique locks, bike locks, chain locks, handcuffs, and other tokens of devotion are attached to bridge railings, lamps, sculptures, signs, grates—anything that can be fastened upon. Some couples have planned ahead and arrive in Paris with a personally-engraved lock. A few choose combination locks, which certainly have their advantages.

The Pont des Arts was the city’s first love-lock bridge. When the municipal government cleared the locks off the bridge in 2010, the tradition continued on the Pont de l’Archevêché (Archbishop’s Bridge), with its romantic view of Notre Dame. Both bridges were targeted because it is easy to fasten locks around their chain-link railings. Once these bridges were choked with padlocks, the ritual went viral and spread to other bridges.

On my visits to Paris, beginning in 2010, and then during my year-long photographic sabbatical there in 2014, I watched the lovers’ ritual display an increasingly dark side. Bridges that were once artfully cluttered had turned into sickening masses of tumorous metal.

The advent of love locks is part mystery, part cultural phenomenon. One catalyst was Italian author Federico Moccia’s teen novel, Tengo ganas de ti (I Want You), published in 2006. Two young Roman lovers immortalized their bond by securing a lock inscribed with their names to the Ponte Milvio, the oldest bridge in the Eternal City. They then threw the key into the Tiber.

But the tradition pre-dates I Want You. A tale from the First World War tells the story of Nada, a young schoolteacher in the Serbian spa town of Vrnjačka Banja. Her soldier sweetheart leaves for the front and, having arrived in Greece, falls for a local woman. Nada dies of a broken heart.

Young women in the spa town, fearing a similar fate, began fastening locks with their and their lover’s names on the city’s Most Ljubavi (“Bridge of Love”), where Nada and her fickle boyfriend used to meet. Decades later, the tale was popularized by Desanka Maksimovic’s poem, “Prayer for Love.” Today, the Most Ljubavi swarms with as many love locks as any of the Paris bridges.

Padlocks themselves have been used for thousands of years both in Egypt and China. Love-locks on the Great Wall of China, in Taiwan, and in South Korea continue a supposedly ancient tradition.

Meanwhile, love locks have sprouted all over the world, including London, Budapest, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Charles Bridge in Prague. Love-lock “trees” now provide an alternative on the Luzhkov Bridge in Moscow and the North Seoul Tower in South Korea. Websites offer metal trees and lock-dispensing vending machines to make things more convenient.

The tradition also spread to the wild-west mining town of Lovelock, Nevada, named for Welshman George Lovelock, who founded it in 1868. In Lovers Lock Plaza, behind the town Court House, couples can attach their love locks to an “endless chain.” The “tradition” began on Valentine’s Day, 2006, the same year the Italian teen novel was published.

Trash or treasure? In Paris, the locks are now considered “visual pollution,” a blight on the city’s architectural history. The heavy metal locks not only weigh down the bridges but damage their railings, lampposts, and sculptures. Tossed keys litter and pollute the river.

There is also a symbolic risk here, one perhaps more at the heart of Parisians’ objections. Love, like life, is a transient experience, always flowing, always changing.

“Love flows like the Seine through Paris, it can never be locked.” one local told me. But fear of change and anxiety over life’s impermanence create the urge to try to create stability and lock things down.

Contemporary French philosopher Alain Badiou has written that love implies constant risk. Love is happily-ever-after only in fairy tales. Believing that a commodity such as a metal lock can secure two people’s love forever is a possibly dangerous fantasy. A lock is far from a perfect symbol of love, which is not a prison or possession. True lovers protect each other’s freedom.

According to tradition, as long as the lock remains fastened, love will endure. This may be bad news for all those who have locked their love to the bridges over the Seine. Except perhaps, for those who wisely chose a combination lock.

Paris has now launched a “No Love Locks” media campaign. As new love often replaces old, lock-filled grates are being replaced with lock-proof clear acrylic panels. A grassroots “No Love Locks” movement was started, unsurprisingly, by two American women who now reside in the city. Although many love-struck tourists are still resisting such restraints on the expression of their affection, the tide is turning.

The love-lock fad will fade away as surely as love will always triumph in Paris. The beautiful crossings over the Seine will regain their classic architectural beauty. Lovers will always meet on Parisian bridges, hold hands, kiss, and gaze into each other’s eyes. They will always make commitments beyond their understanding, just as the waters beneath continue to flow ever onward.

When the time comes, I’ll go back to take photographs for the second edition of my book: Bridges of Paris Sans Serrures (“Without Locks”).

About the author:

Michael Saint James’ artistic pursuits include award-winning book design, film editing, and sound recording, as well as his first love, photography. Saint James is a world traveler, having visited more than 50 countries – doing everything from photographing penguins in Antarctica to trekking the Himalayas. As an educator with California teaching credentials, he has taught media production and technology arts as well as photography, art history and visual storytelling. He is an expert speaker on Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. Indeed, he walked in Vincent Van Gogh’s footsteps through the Netherlands, Belgium, and France in order to immerse himself in that troubled master’s vision. The father of two grown children, Saint James once owned a café in Berkeley, California. He has bicycled from Las Vegas to Washington, D.C. and is rumored to play a mean blues harmonica.

Learn more about the book at www.bridgesofparis.com or check out the book trailer here!

The Bridges of Paris is now available in hard copy from Citron Bay Press, Amazon.com and select independent retailers.

The post Locks on the Seine: Love or Litter? also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

NASA Reveals Plans To Test A Flying Saucer

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(PCM) NASA has revealed plans to test a flying saucer-shaped craft on Thursday of this week. If all goes according to plan the special saucer-shaped craft would be a key component in setting up the very first human mission to the planet Mars. 

CNN reveals that a test flight for the craft was originally set to take place on Tuesday of this week, however inclement ocean conditions led to their decision to postpone the testing until later this week. Those who reside in certain areas of Hawaii should be able to see the test flight as it takes place on Thursday morning at 7:30a.m.

CNN further details that if the weather conditions are considered favorable at the time of the test flight than an large balloon will lift the test saucer called a  Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, or LDSD, to a height of 120,000 feet, or more than 20 miles (32 kilometers), above Earth. There will also be a live video feed from inside the saucer from which NASA scientists will be able to pioneer the craft, however people will also be able to visit NASA’s website to view the footage live as well. 

A similar mission was put to the test several years ago, however the deployment of a parachute attached to the saucer did not work as anticipated. The new LDSD will be equipped with a Supersonic Ringsail Parachute which has already been tested for use on Mars. 

In order for human exploration to take place on Mars a spacecraft needs to be able to safely land on the planets’ surface, the parachute attached to the saucer-shaped craft would create enough atmospheric drag to slow down the craft and allow it to land safely and stay for a longer period of time.

After the upcoming test flight this week, NASA says that they are planning for a third test flight which will take place sometime during the summer of 2016.  

NASA Reveals Plans To Test A Flying Saucer was contributed by a Myth

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