National Geographic Presents IMPACT

National Geographic Presents IMPACT with Gal Gadot premiers Monday, April 26, 2021 and is a short-form documentary series that follows the powerful stories of six women making an extraordinary impact on their communities around the world. Despite living in area marred by violence, poverty, trauma, discrimination, oppression, and natural disasters, these brave women remain undeterred as they dare to dream, stand out, speak up and lead. National Geographic Presents IMPACT with Gal Gadot is one series that will give you all the feels.

Ice Breakers

Premieres Monday, April 26

Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.: Follow the story of Kameryn, a 20-year-old figure skating coach who has dedicated her life to coaching young girls of color to empower them both on and off the ice.

My thoughts about Ice Breakers from National Geographic presents IMPACT

Knowing the backstory point of this docu series, and being someone from Detroit I was bummed to see Detroit lumped under the category of “Despite living in area marred by violence, poverty, trauma, discrimination, oppression, and natural disasters…”. Detroit has come along way, and while we may not be where we need to be, I am pretty proud to be apart of a community making an amazing comeback.

I was actually nervous to watch Ice Breakers. How would Detroit be shown, how would this story be told, what would be the positive impact it makes. I am happy to report back, that this story will touch your heart. Not only does it hit the topic of when Detroit was in a dark place, but it talks about Detroit being the comeback kid, and that is what I think is important for people to know.

I heard about this figuring skating coach, and how she is giving young girls of color the power to have a voice, get out and do what they love and just being the beautiful beings they are. Being a huge advocate of the city I love, I am 100% biased, but Ice Breakers is my favorite in this documentary series. I can’t wait for you to watch this one and all the rest of the wonderful and amazing stories that truly empower women in National Geographic’s amazing docu series IMPACT.

Surf Sisters

Premieres Monday, May 3

Half Moon Bay, California, U.S.A.: After losing her twin sister to COVID, Kelsey is driven by two passions: surfing and helping people through grief and trauma.

The Ripple Effect

Premieres Monday, May 10

San Juan, Puerto Rico, U.S.A.: Discover the inspiring story of Arianna, a 19-year-old woman leading a team of college students who invented a water filtration system.

Coming Home

Premieres Monday, May 17

Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.: Meet Kayla, who has dedicated her life to helping homeless transgender women of color.

Killer Red Fox

Premieres Monday, May 24

Grand Caillou/Dulac, Louisiana, U.S.A.: Meet Chief Shirell, the first female chief of her southern Louisiana tribe. Her ancestors have lived on the land for hundreds of years, and they are now expected to be among the United States’ first climate refugees.

Na Ponta dos Pés (On Pointe)

Premieres Monday, May 31

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil: Witness the inspiring story of Tuany, a 23-year-old ballet dancer who started a dance company for young girls in the middle of one of Rio De Janeiro’s most dangerous favelas.

Doug Unplugs

all images provided by Apple TV+

Have you heard of the super cute kids show on Apple TV+ called “Doug Unplugs”? “Hailing from DreamWorks Animation and based on Dan Yaccarino’s popular Doug Unplugs book series, six new episodes premiered Friday, April 2 exclusively on Apple TV+.

“Doug Unplugs” follows a young robot named Doug who senses there’s more to life than just the facts. While other robots plug in for their daily download, Doug unplugs and journeys into the human world with his best friend Emma to experience its wonders firsthand.“Doug Unplugs” is executive produced by Jim Nolan, Aliki Theofilopoulos and Dan Yaccarino, and stars the voice talents of Brandon James Cienfuegos, Kyrie McAlpin, Eric Bauza, Mae Whitman, Leslie David Bakerand Becky Robinson.

To help keep your kiddos busy, “Doug Unplugs” released a couple of activity sheets and I had to share them with you!

Earth Day Eve Celebration with National Geographic

Image courtesy of National Geographic

National Geographic is inviting the world to kick off Earth Day 2021 with a star-studded Earth Day eve Celebration, and let me tell you it’s sure to be out of this world.

The event features musical performances by Angelique Kidjo, Aurora, Jose Gonzalez, Maggie Rogers, My Morning Jacket, Rostam, Valerie June, WILLIE NELSON, Yo-Yo Ma and Ziggy Marley!

Earth Day Eve Celebration with National Geographic

When: Wednesday, April 21, at 8:30 p.m. EDT

Where: The concert will premiere exclusively on the National Geographic YouTube channel and at NatGeo.com/EarthDayEve.

National Geographic’s Earth Day Eve virtual concert will be streaming Wednesday, April 21 at 8:30 p.m. EDT, and available exclusively on the National Geographic YouTube page or at http://natgeo.com/earthdayeve.

This fun virtual celebration is hosted by travel expert Jessica Nabongo and features world-renowned ethologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall (so you know it’s going to be good).

This year, National Geographic will offer multiple ways for people to celebrate Earth Day with a lineup of activities that will meet people wherever they are, kicking off with an Earth Day Eve virtual celebration. The lineup of musical artists from places of importance to them around the world and appearances by National Geographic Explorers will take viewers on a virtual journey when it’s needed most. Hosted by travel expert Jessica Nabongo, Nat Geo’s Earth Day Eve 2021 will feature performances from Angélique Kidjo, AURORA, José González, Maggie Rogers, Rostam, Valerie June, Willie Nelson, Yo-Yo Ma and Ziggy Marley, as well as a world premiere new music video from My Morning Jacket.

As viewers join in the musical event remotely from around the world, they will be introduced to extraordinary National Geographic Explorers, including world-renowned ethologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall, carnivore ecologist Dr. Rae Wynn Grant, environmental journalist Lillygol Sedaghat and biologist Dr. Lucy Hawkes. A highlight of the event will include National Geographic Explorer and photographer Brian Skerry, one of the world’s leading marine photographers, as he previews the new four-part Disney+ original series, Secrets of the Whales, from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer at Large James Cameron. Narrated by award-winning actress and conservationist Sigourney Weaver, the series from National Geographic takes viewers deep within the epicenter of whale culture to experience the extraordinary communication skills and intricate social structures of whales. The series will anchor National Geographic’s activities on Earth Day and becomes available on Disney+ at 12 p.m. PDT on April 22.

The event will also include a number of exciting announcements and be followed by a virtual afterparty on the new National Geographic TikTok account at 10pm EDT. In National Geographics first-ever TikTok Live, viewers will be invited to drop by to hear Jayda G. spin an original set accompanied by stunning visuals from the new Disney+ series, “Earth Moods.” In the meantime, National Geographic has published a newly created Spotify playlist that’s the perfect soundtrack for Earth Month.

“For over 133 years, National Geographic has strived to inspire people to care more deeply for the planet. This Earth Day, we hope to provide that inspiration with a one-of-a-kind celebration that invites audiences everywhere to unite around the power of music,” said National Geographic Chairman Gary Knell. “Our Earth Day Eve event — virtual and accessible to everyone — will showcase environmentally passionate artists from around the world together with some of National Geographic’s most extraordinary Explorers. From AURORA’s forest performance in Bergen, Norway, to Jane Goodall’s greeting from her home in England, the celebration will give us even more of a reason to fall in love with the place we all call home — and empower us to act to protect it.”

Who is performing at National Geographic’s Earth Day Eve?

Angélique Kidjo
AURORA
José González
Maggie Rogers
My Morning Jacket
Rostam
Valerie June
Willie Nelson
Yo-Yo Ma
Ziggy Marley

Hosted by Jessica Nabongo, travel writer, entrepreneur and the first documented Black woman to have traveled to every country in the world.

Event art by Cachetejack, whose colorful illustrations and playful style perfectly bring the music of National Geographic’s Earth Day Eve 2021 to life. Nuria Bellver and Raquel Fanjul of Cachetejack are a Spanish freelance illustration duo working together since 2011 to bring an irreverent and playful style to their work that honors their ancestors.

Movie Review: The Courier

Secrets and spies, oh my! The Courier, a true life-based Cold War spy thriller is set in the early 1960s and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a salesman-turned-secret agent.

The Courier will be available on Premium Video on Demand (PVOD) Friday, April 16, 2021.

Save the date: Friday, April 16 for $19.99, On Demand platforms such as Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, VUDU and cable providers let you bring this Cold War espionage thriller to the comfort of your living room.

Based on the true story of British businessman Grenville Wynne and the daring acts of espionage he undertook during the Cold War, The Courier features a desaturated color palette which definitely set the scene for the movie.

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Wynne, a happy-go-lucky English businessman who is married to Sheila (Jessie Buckley) and the father to Andrew (Keir Hills). Wynne is invited by acquaintance (Angus Wright) to have lunch with an American “consultant”, where he is pressed into “service” for Great Britain, and by the line “I can’t believe I’m having lunch with spies” you can tell he is shocked.

Wynne’s mission, should he accept it (let’s be honest, there isn’t much of a choice) is to travel to Moscow and collect images from Col. Oleg Penkovsky, a high-ranking Soviet officer who has grown wary of Nikita Khrushchev’s threats of nuclear war. Willing to betray his country to save his family and the world, risking it all—can you image the brutal death if he’s caught? Yikes

While at first I loved the desaturated color scheme, and was excited that it was genre-appropriate over the course of the movie the gray color scheme became depressing to look at. The muddy hues of people and buildings just wasn’t something that was attractive throughout the movie.

Overall, the movie seems like your typical spy movie with some twists, turns and danger. However, the fact that it is in fact a true story is what helped keep me captivated.

Synopsis

In this true-life Cold War spy thriller, unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) becomes entangled in one of the greatest international conflicts in history. Recruited by MI6 and a CIA operative (Angus Wright and 2018 Primetime Emmy® and 2018 & 2019 Golden Globe® winner Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Best Actress in a TV Comedy Series), Wynne forms a covert partnership with Soviet officer Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze), and both men risk everything in a danger-fraught race against time to provide the intelligence needed to prevent nuclear confrontation and end the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Cast

Benedict Cumberbatch Doctor Strange, Avengers: Endgame, The Imitation Game
Merab Ninidze “Homeland,” “Freud,” “McMafia”
Rachel Brosnahan “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” I’m Your Woman
Jessie Buckley “Fargo,” Dolittle, “Chernobyl”
Angus Wright “Cobra,” “Flowers”, The Witches

Written by Tom O’Connor (The Hitman’s Bodyguard); Directed by Dominic Cooke (On Chesil Beach)Open document settingsOpen publish panel

30 Things to Do in April (Quarantine Edition)

 

30 Things to Do in April
 
Spring is officially here, and while we’re waiting on April showers to bring May flowers—I’m sharing 30 things you can (safely) do this month. I hope this list inspires you to get the most out of the month. 

 

1. Start your garden indoors. I have already started a variety of seedlings, and cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs have started to sprout.

2. Easter is right around the corner (literally it’s the 4th), now is your chance to whip up some delicious Easter treats.

3. Try a new recipe for easter. I have been looking up recipes on Pinterest and I think I need a dark chocolate raspberry mousse cake in life. 

4. Happy Easter! Whether you’re spending the day alone, with family or friends. I hope you have an amazing day and it’s filled with plenty of delicious food.
 
5. It’s time for spring cleaning. Make a list of everything you have to do and accomplish a couple things a week, that way your list will seem less overwhelming. 
 
6. Everything is starting to wake up from hibernation here in Michigan, which makes it the perfect time to hit the trails and watch things bloom and animals roam.
 
7. Celebrate National Walking Day by getting outside and exploring a local park, trail or neighborhood. It’s also the perfect time to pick up a new pair of kicks for spring/summer.
 
8. Happy National Zoo Lovers Day! Take a trip to your local zoo. The zoo is a great outing to meet up with friends or family safely. I’m off to the Detroit Zoo for the day!

9. Daffodils and tulips are in full bloom. Elevate the aesthetic of your home by grabbing some for various rooms of your home. 

10. It’s National Farm Animals Day, head to a local farm and check out the local animals. You can even stop at a Tractor Supply store to take a peek at the baby ducks and chicks. 
 
11. Get out in nature. I have been trying to discover a new trail each weekend, and it’s been really fun discovering some beautiful trails and some duds. 
 
12. Take a moment for yourself. Light some candles, listen to soft sounds and just enjoy the moment. 
 
13. The weather is finally getting nice so why not grill outdoors? From shish kabobs to grilled pineapple the possibilities are endless. 
 
14. Head out biking. No matter where you live, you’re sure to find plenty of trails to hit. 

15. I am big fan of spontaneous road trips—it’s the perfect time to hit the open road and see where it takes you.

16. It’s Mushroom Day! I’ll be celebrating by making a flatbread pizza with green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and a balsamic glaze. Bonus points if I can find some morels. 

17. Chalk your walk! Write inspirational quotes or draw happy pictures to bring a smile to someones face. 
 
18. Visit and support a small business near you.
 
19. Head to a nearby town you’ve never been to before, grab dinner and explore. 
 
20. Give yourself a springtime pedicure or go and get one done. 
 
21. Have you tried a new recipe lately? Now is the perfect time to experiment. I am thinking about amplifying some Caesar salad and grilling the romaine. 
 
22. Happy Earth Day! Pick up trash at a local park, plant a tree—however you choose to celebrate Earth Day, just make sure you keep it up the rest of the year. 
 
23. Happy National Picnic Day! Pack a picnic and visit a new park, or spread a blanket on the floor inside if it’s raining.
 
24. When it rains, dance in it!
 
25. Eat outside! 

26. Bird watching has become one of my favorite things to do, and I think you’d enjoy it too. The coolest birds I recently spotted are Osprey and Bald Eagles. 

27. Time to head out onto the water and go kayaking. Metro Parks and State Parks are great places to start. 
 
28. Make a dandelion wish. 
 
29. Start thinking about what herbs and flowers you want to plant in your garden. 
 
30. Play frisbee golf.