Director Jon Favreau Gives Garry Shandling a Part in The Jungle Book

Fans will have one more chance to see Garry Shandling’s work onscreen in The Jungle Book, weeks after the actor unexpectedly died at aged 66 on March 24.
Shandling voices a scene-stealing porcupine Ikki in The Jungle Book. It’s a small, but very memorable part in the Jon Favreau-directed live-action film opening April 15.
Favreau was a friend and fan, calling Shandling a “genius.” The two worked together when Shandling played Senator Stern in 2010’s Iron Man 2, which Favreau directed.
Shandling was someone whom the director counted on to lend his great comedic brain to help most any project. Shandling didn’t need to be involved to help.
“He’s always been a friend, not to just myself, but to many people in the filmmaking community. He’s quietly been a mentor to so many people. You’re only seeing it now with the outpouring of affection, you’re seeing how many people’s lives he actually touched,” Favreau tells USA TODAY.
“He was someone, even when he wasn’t in my movies, who was one of the first people I’d show my work too. He was a genius who knew how to offer advice without ever bruising you at your most vulnerable moments. He was just a very generous and thoughtful person…Even on ‘Iron Man 2’ he would show up to offer joke punch-ups.”                      Favreau says Shandling just liked to help out. Mostly with strong advice, not always on camera. But Favreau convinced Shandling to take the porcupine role in The Jungle Book. The hilarious Ikki character was not in the 1967 animated Disney Jungle Book.
“It would take a lot of doing to get him to do something. He tended to want to operate behind-the-scenes,” says Favreau. “I got him to do this role. I told him it was a porcupine. He thought it implied a certain emotional point-of-view where he was protective, defensive and scared of hurting others. He brought this really interesting take to this character that wasn’t in the 1967 film, but was actually one of the original characters from Rudyard Kipling.”Long after Shandling recorded his part, he called Favreau and wanted to do even more with it.
“We recorded together. And he even popped into other (voice) sequences and offered advice. So he would stick around,” says Favreau. “He did that role. He did a great job. And I spoke to him later and he said, ‘Do you mind if I come back in? I have some new ideas.’ I said the scenes were really complete now. He said, he’d loop into the lip sync so I would not have to change anything.”                                                                                            So weeks before Shandling’s unexpected death, he recorded new jokes for his porcupine character Ikki.”We brought him in. I’m very happy we did. He completely plussed up the scene and he added more humor. Which is amazing. I didn’t know there was that potential. But he was that kind of perfectionist.”
More importantly, Favreau got to show Shandling an early version of The Jungle Book. It not only makes an unforgettable memory, but it helped Favreau before the rave-reviews started coming in (The Jungle Book currently has a 100% rating critical score on RottenTomatoes.com).
“I got to show him sequences of the film that were completed. And I got to see his reaction, which will always be a fond memory,” says Favreau. “He was very generous with his enthusiasm. For a person who was such a genius to be that generous, it’s a rare combo. He gave me confidence at a time when you’re feeling very self-conscientious and very insecure.

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Kansas City Royals Opening Day Flag Raising and Downing New York Mets Again

Kansas City has been on fire the past few years. The Chiefs have had a winning record that past three seasons beginning in 2013 after going 2-14 in the 2012 season. Sporting Kansas City Soccer won last years US Open Cup, claiming their third Lamar Hunt trophy after their 2012 win; the women’s team FC Kansas City won back-to-back National Women’s Soccer League championships. But beyond all those the Kansas City Royals proved they, among the other teams of the city, are no fluke after winning the 2015 World Series over the New York Mets. That momentous occasion came after a devastating close game 7 loss to the San Francisco Giants in their first World Series appearance since their first World Series win in 1985. The redemption was that much sweeter after reaching the world series back to back and claiming their second ever world championship 30 years after they beat the Cardinals in 1985.

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A Light in the Dark

Growing up, I always looked forward to visiting Walt Disney World every few years. It was a trip that I would spend months looking forward to and constantly asking my parents, “How many more days until Disney World?” It’s no surprise that when I chose to attend UCF, I wanted to make sure I made Disney a regular part of my life.
Since I’ve moved down, I’ve visited Disney World at least once per week. It’s become the thing that gets me through all of my stress and troubles that school puts on me throughout the week. Being a frequent visitor, I’ve encountered so much magic and kindness.
Earlier this week, a post went viral about a mother who visited the Fairy Godmother. Her daughter had died soon after birth earlier this year. She brought her daughter’s ashes in a teddy bear. When she met the Fairy Godmother and told her about her daughter and the teddy bear, Fairy Godmother loved on her daughter like she was any other child in line that day. She made the little girl’s mother so happy because she cared. She cared when many people probably didn’t.
The mother made a Facebook post about her meet and it has been shared over 25,000 times since Monday. When I saw this in the news, it really inspired me. It made me realize just how precious life is and that you must always treat others with respect and love because you might never know what life has been like for them.
As for Disney, I’m blessed to be able to experience that magic and love as often as I do. The characters and their friends are some of the most selfless individuals that I’ve ever met. Stories like this one stand out as a light in such a dark world.

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Rise of the far right in Europe for the better or worse?

Nearly all of Europe has seen a rise in Syrian refugees in 2015 and 2016. With this rise we are seeing what is called “Islamophobia” from the far right in Poland, Germany, UK, Russia, Sweden and Greece.  Poland recently elected a new far right government that will not allow any more immigrants due to the fears of terrorism and Poland’s financial status. With the rise of the far right from groups like p.e.g.i.d.a. which stands for “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West” has caused a far left socialist group called the Revolutionary Front to form mainly out of Sweden but the group is sweeping across Europe.

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Coors Family’s Ceramics Company, CoorsTek, Makes Them More Money than Their Beer Business

CoorsTek is making the Coors family more money than its famous beer business. This Coors owned private company is the biggest engineered-ceramics manufacturer in the world with $1.25 billion in sales and an estimated cash flow margin of 27 percent. Many large American manufacturers buy CoorsTek parts including General Electric, IBM, General Dynamics, Ford, and Halliburton. The reason for this is simple. Plastics get old and break, and metals heat up easily and rust. Engineered ceramics are more expensive but are worth the price because they almost never wear out, and depending on how they are cooked, they can be almost as hard as diamond. CoorsTek has taken advantage of this superior durability and is reaping the benefits from selling a huge variety of different products to many manufacturers.

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“Justice” at The Box Office

Batman v Superman: Dawn of justice premiered on March 24th and everyone was waiting in line to see this new movie. This movie was one of the most anticipated movies of 2016 especially since a recast and new comer to the superhero franchise, Ben Affleck was going to play the iconic Batman. How well did Ben Affleck do? Pretty good actually, i was very impressed by his performance. He was able to bring forth a type of Batman who was damaged and suffering from all the death.  His acting was wonderful and along side the excellent acting of Henry Cavill, who played the Man of Steel, and the beautiful and excellent Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman, the movie pushed the boundaries of excellence.

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Music and My Mind

I love whenever I learn something at school that I can actually use in my everyday life. Honestly, that doesn’t happen all that often. Usually we learn things just to take a test and forget them soon after. However, being a broadcast journalism major has served me well in that it has helped me learn more about how the world around me works.

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Baseball Season is back and I’m hoping my Chicago Cubs can bring home a World Series Championship for the first time since 1908

It is very hard being a Cubs fan. I have never seen the Cubs play in a World Series and I have been a die hard fan since 1997. I can only imagine the people who have been watching the Cubs lose every season since the 40’s or even longer. I’m sure there are plenty of 70+ year old fans have been much more disappointed than me over a much longer period of time.
With all that being said I do believe the Chicago Cubs have the best team in baseball this season. That does not mean they will bring home the title, that simply means they have the best players and Head Coach in the game right now. But, if you know baseball then you know it is the streakiest sport out there and often times the team that gets hot in the playoffs usually wins the World Series and not always the team with the best players. Vegas gave the Cubs 4-1 odds to win it all this year, which is more than two times better than the next best team at 9-1. This makes me very nervous because that is huge expectations for a team that has been without a title since 1908.
Jake Arrieta is the Cubs ace pitcher who won 22 games in 2015 and won the Cy Young award for best pitcher in the league. They added outfielder and a big time hitter Jason Heyward this off season along with utility infielder Ben Zobrist who was a key player for the 2015 World Series champs The Kansas City Royals. These additions among others add to an extremely talented and young roster with players such as 2015 NL rookie of the year, Kris Bryant, big hitting 1st baseman Anthony Rizzo, along with the power hitting catcher Kyle Schwarber and plenty of other key players such as Veteran Pitcher John Lackey make the Cubs a big time favorite. They won 97 games in 2015 and made the wild card playoff spot coming in 3rd place in an NL Central Division with 2 of the other best teams in baseball (Pirates and Cardinals). They beat the Pirates in a 1 game playoff then beat the Cardinals in the Divisional round before being swept by the Mets in the NL Championship Series. The entire Cubs nation says it every year but this really could be “our year”, let’s take the title back to the north side of Chicago boys!

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Safe Haven or Dangerous Dorm?

Spring of Tampa is a woman’s shelter in Tampa that helps beaten and battered women. This is a safe haven for women and children that live in dangerous living conditions or at least it is supposed to be.

There has been many issues of violence reported, that have happened at this “safe haven”. Woman fight over beds, the tv, and personal items that have gone missing.  Residents have filed reports but they would stop abruptly when the police try to contact the shelter. The shelter is under secrecy and cannot give any of the women’s names for “their protection”. Violence at the domestic violence shelter?! The irony, I know. However, that is not the worst part.

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Wrestlemania 33 to take place in Citrus Bowl: Orlando, Fl

The biggest professional wrestling event is returning to the sunshine state in 2017.The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has confirmed that Wrestlemania 33 will take place at the citrus Bowl in Orlando Florida next year in late march or Early April.
This years wrestlemania takes place in AT&T stadium in Dallas Texas where WWE looks to break the sporting event attendance record of 93,173 set by Wrestlemania 3 on March 29th 1987 Headline by a Championship Match between Hulk hogan and Andrew The Giant.The state of Florida is no stranger to to Pro Wrestling’s biggest stage.Orlando’s Citrus Bowl was the home to Wrestlemania 24 back in 2008 headline by Wrestling Legend The Undertaker defeating Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship in front of a crowd of 74,635,a feat that is still a Citrus Bowl Attendance record. Likewise, Miami’s Sun-life Stadium playing host to Wrestlemania 29 in 2012 Headlines by a the first ever encounter of suoerstars John Cena vs The Rock that drew a crowd of 78,363.
WWE Owner & Chairman Vince McMahon stated that after the success of Wrestlemania 24 that they would return to Orlando Sooner then later, add to the fact of the renovations done to the Citrus Bowl Since 2008 made this decision an easy one.Reports have said the other possible choice for the event was in Minneapolis Minnesota in the still under construction US Bank Stadium, future home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. it was also stated that US Bank Stadium is still a very liking candidate for future wrestlemania events.While this event is still a year away and the matches are not yet known it is safe to say wrestling fans from all over the country and even the world will flock to Orlando Florida Next year to witness Wrestlemania 33.

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