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Thursday, Jul 17, 2014
When you live in a cutting-edge state where marijuana is legal, it’s easy to forget how far behind so much of America still is.
Photo courtesy of Gregory M. Schwartz


With marijuana having been legalized in Colorado and Washington state, there were activists who decided it was high time to go for legalization in the nation’s capital. Hence, the D.C. Cannabis Campaign was launched this spring to collect the signatures to get Voter Initiative #71 on the fall ballot in the District of Columbia.


When members of the campaign feared that they might not obtain the 22,373 valid signatures from registered District voters by the 7 July deadline, organizers sought to bring in reinforcements from afar. A handful of activists from California and other distant states soon took up residence at the campaign’s headquarters on Embassy Row to help push the initiative over the top.


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Friday, Feb 21, 2014
With the release of The LEGO Movie, one can make a case that the brand understands the limitations of creating specific scenes and sets but hasn't given up on a child's imagination.

With their movie at the top of the box office two weeks in a row now, LEGO debuted their Ghostbusters themed set at Toy Fair 2014 this past week and also had their set based on The Simpsons on display. The former is possibly a one-off product in the license as it in the CUUSOO line, a consumer voted on project whose last set was Back to the Future related, while the latter is expected to be bigger given that Milhouse appears in The LEGO Movie and the 550th episode of The Simpsons to air in May will be animated using the “highly sophisticated interlocking brick system”. According to EW, in the episode entitled ““Brick Like Me”, Homer wakes up in a world where his family and everyone in Springfield are made of Legos.”


While you wait for the episode, you can view some of the new toys below, including a Star Wars Rebel line. We unfortunately couldn’t get pictures of figures related to the Michael Bay TMNT movie or Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy or Minecraft, but expect those to be on the way in the near future.


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Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012
The biggest pop culture gathering in North America kicks off Wednesday night. How has Comic-Con responded to last year's problems, and what are the most interesting events taking place at this year's show?

Hollywood invaded Comic-Con International (the official name of the San Diego Comic-Con) back around the turn of the 21st century, bringing in movie stars to promote upcoming genre films. But it wasn’t until the opening of the 6,500-seat Hall H in 2004 that the show truly arrived as the center of the pop culture universe. The convention was already in the middle of an attendance explosion, but Hall H and the major movie studios helped drive it to its current overstuffed situation, where 130,000-plus squeeze into the San Diego Convention Center every July.


Comic-Con’s status as the biggest pop culture gathering in North America brought with it a host of problems that it didn’t face when it was merely the biggest comic book show in North America. They’ve had to address things like how to deal with thousands of people trying to get hotel rooms at the same time, how to move tens of thousands of people through the registration process quickly, and where to situate the lines for the various panel rooms without blocking hallways or running into other lines. To the convention’s credit, they’ve worked hard to deal with these issues as they’ve arisen. Usually, they aren’t the sort of things that can be fixed on the fly, so longtime attendees eagerly look forward to the release of the Comic-Con schedule (around two weeks before the show) to see what’s changed for the upcoming convention. And yes, also to plan what awesome stuff we’re going to see at the show.


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Monday, Mar 22, 2010
Demand for access to artists and their SXSW playground seems to have reached an all-time high.

What was the going rate for an all-access artists wristband at SXSW?  A couple of hundred bucks, maybe? Four hundred dollars—the going rate on Craigslist Austin at the beginning of the week? Or, how about this: one wristband in exchange for performing emergency root-canal surgery? It was, perhaps, the last fair deal to have gone down in Austin.


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Sunday, Mar 21, 2010
Label reps and video distributor executives share their hopes about the potential of music videos, everywhere and anywhere: monetize, monetize, monetize.

Thursday’s “The Future of Online Music Videos” panel, featured Nick Stahl of Brightcove, an “Internet TV service that provides everything you need to add video to your website”; Alexander Kisch, who is responsible for all incoming content and its syndication at VEVO, a video and entertainment site, owned by Sony, Universal Music Group, and Abu Dhabi Music Co.; John Sasso who heads advertising for all Sony sites, artists and labels; Eric Snowden, who defines and scopes Atlantic Records’ digital product; and William Wilson from the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), which is a think tank for standardizing the streaming of digital content.  There were no music artists or video makers on the panel.


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