ENTERTAINMENT – Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Can’t Be Planning This for Archie’s First Birthday, Right?


Reprint from She Knows


Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
Image: Rupert Hartley/Shutterstock.

Right now, those of us planning to get married or celebrate a birthday in the coming months are scrambling to cancel and rearrange plans. So when we heard about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s plans for Archie’s first birthday, we were a little confused. Royal baby Archie turns one on May 6, and the Sussex couple has apparently been planning a special trip to Scotland with Queen Elizabeth II. We have to assume that our current state of affairs will deter this trip — but could Harry’s desperation to see his family win out?

According to Us Weekly, a source claims that Meghan and Harry plan on “celebrating at Queen Elizabeth II’s Scottish estate, Balmoral” and “have talked to the queen about having a picnic on the grounds.” The Queen hasn’t seen great-grandson Archie since last summer, and is reportedly greatly looking forward to the trip.

Just this week, however, we’ve learned that Harry’s father Prince Charles tested positive for COVID-19, and is currently self-isolating at the same Balmoral Estate where this gathering was meant to happen. Meghan has reportedly banned Harry from traveling back to the UK to visit his father, in accordance with official guidelines, but we’re sure that Harry is eager to reconnect with his family as soon as possible. Sadly, no one can say when that time will come.

While Archie’s trip to Scotland may fall through, the source had some other information on how he might spend his big day. “Archie loves being outside, and you can already tell he’s inherited [Prince] Charles’ passion for nature,” the source shared. “Now that he’s just walking, he’s into everything — he’ll often end up covered in mud!” So, seems like a (socially distanced) muddy birthday walk may be in order.

And as for his gifts? We know that the Queen has already picked out a very handsome rocking horse, but we’ve now learned what Meghan intends to give him too. She’s reportedly planning to give him a copy of her own favorite children’s book, Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, and she’ll be baking him cupcakes with animals on them.

“He squeals with excitement when he sees horses,” the source said of young Archie (sounds like the Queen knows him well!). We hope Archie’s birthday is filled with long, muddy walks, horse-covered cupcakes, and Zoom calls from relatives who love him. But Balmoral may have to wait for birthday #2.

Balmoral is one of the royal family’s favorite vacation spots —  click here to see their other summer homes.



ENTERTAINMENT – Meghan Markle Narrating Disney Plus Nature Documentary ‘Elephants’

Reprint from Variety

Meghan Markle will narrate the Disneynature documentary “Elephant,” which is set to debut April 3 on Disney Plus, the studio announced Thursday. It will mark the first project for Markle after she and her husband, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, officially step away from their roles within the British Royal Family on March 31.

In support of “Elephants,” Disneynature and the Disney Conservation Fund are donating to Elephants Without Borders, an organization working to protect the elephants living in Botswana.

Earlier this year, news broke that Markle had partnered with Disney on an unspecified project after she and her husband Prince Harry revealed they would be stepping back from their royal duties.

Notably, Disneynature’s announcement credits Markle as “Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex,” rather than including her previous royal title of “HRH.”

“Elephant” will premiere on Disney Plus the same day as the previously announced Disneynature documentary “Dolphin Reef,” which will be narrated by Natalie Portman. “Penguins,” which opened in theaters in 2019, will also debut on the streaming service that day.

Mark Linfield, who’s directed previous Disneynature projects including 2012’s “Chimpanzee” and 2015’s “Monkey Kingdom,” is helming “Elephants,” with co-directors Vanessa Berlowitz and Alastair Fothergill.

The film follows an African elephant named Shani and her male child Jomo as they migrate with their herd and its matriarch, Gaia, across the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. A press release from Disney Plus noted that the elephants face “brutal heat, dwindling resources and persistent predators, as they follow in their ancestor’s footsteps on a quest to reach a lush, green paradise.”

Watch a trailer for “Elephant” and “Dolphin Reef” below:



ENTERTAINMENT – Hollywood Braces for Coronavirus Financial Hit That Could Change the Industry Forever

Reprint from Variety

Now that the gravity of a growing coronavirus pandemic has settled in and people are looking to safeguard their health and their livelihoods, the entertainment industry is grappling with three essential questions: How painful will the toll of shutdowns be on the industry’s lowest-paid workers? How high will the financial losses climb? And how will the business handle the unprecedented domino effect on Hollywood’s traditional calendar? The avalanche of hasty cancellations and delays to events and premieres that fuel the industry’s engines of commerce will spread the impact of the COVID-19 catastrophe well past 2020. The likelihood that a recession is looming in the U.S. will magnify the pain for major media conglomerates. Industry observers say the freefall of the Dow Jones into bear market territory has put an instant chill, at least temporarily, on acquisition and investment pacts.

In fact, top executives privately say that the one certainty on the horizon is that only the strong will survive the fallout. Weaker businesses and industry traditions that were already past their prime — notably a host of conferences and trade shows, film festivals and the springtime ritual of the network upfronts — will have a hard time enduring the blow of a sudden shutdown. And with dozens and dozens of productions forced to go dark unexpectedly, including at least two dozen pilots for the 2020-21 broadcast TV season, industry insiders predict the bubble on the Peak TV phenomenon may finally burst.

“This may have the effect of reining in a lot of things that have been out of control for a long time,” says a veteran studio executive. The immediate casualties of the unexpected business disruption are, as ever, frontline employees who are no longer clocking in hours, like those at the shuttered theme parks operated by Disney and NBCUniversal, or the 50 employees of SXSW who got pink slips instead of paychecks earlier this month when the annual festival in Austin, Texas, was canceled.

ENTERTAINMENT – All Disney Theme Parks, U.S. Universal Studios Closing Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Reprint from Variety


By Monday, all Disney theme parks worldwide and both Universal Studios in the U.S. will be closed in an effort to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

The announcements came in quick succession Thursday, not long after California Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press conference to address the state’s prevention and containment efforts. He outlined the new guidance to cancel or postpone gatherings of 250 people or more in California, but noted that he had spoken with Disney executive chairman Bob Iger on Wednesday, and that casinos, card rooms, theaters, and large parks like Disneyland would be exempt from the recommendations due to “the complexity of their unique circumstances.”

Less than two hours after the presser ended, however, Disney announced that it would temporarily shutter Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure starting Saturday, March 14 through the end of the month, a move that Newsom hailed as a good decision.

“Late last night, California put out a new policy on mass gatherings and engaged in deep conversations with Disney and other companies about how to meet it,” he said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “Using that policy, Disney made the right call in the interest of public health and agreed to shut down their California parks. Expect more announcements like this shortly.”

And the announcements did come shortly. Universal Studios Hollywood issued a statement that it would close beginning Saturday, March 14, with an anticipated re-opening on March 28.

By evening, Walt Disney World in Florida, Disneyland Paris and Universal Studios Orlando said they would shutter by close of business Sunday, March 15, and remain closed through the end of the month.

The Disney Cruise Line is also suspending all new departures beginning Saturday through the end of March. The Walt Disney Company will pay its cast members during that closure period.

Disneyland Resort hotels will remain open until March 16 so guests can make necessary travel accommodations. The hotels at Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain open until further notice, as will the retail and dining complexes, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World and Disney Village at Disneyland Paris.

Universal CityWalk remains open, as do Universal Orlando’s hotels. Universal Studios Hollywood expects to reopen on March 28, while Universal Studios Orlando will be closed through the end of the month.

“The health and safety of our team members and guests is always our top priority,” said a Universal Studios spokesperson, adding that they would monitor the situation and “provide timely updates as conditions evolve.”

Disneyland Resort foresees opening its doors again at the end of the month. It is only the third time in history that the theme park and resort in Anaheim, Calif., has fully suspended operations. The other instances were the Sept. 11 attacks and the national day of mourning after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

“While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California’s executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month,” Disney said in its initial statement. “The Hotels of Disneyland Resort will remain open until Monday, March 16 to give guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements; Downtown Disney will remain open. We will monitor the ongoing situation and follow the advice and guidance of federal and state officials and health agencies. Disney will continue to pay cast members during this time.”

The company added, “Disneyland Resort will work with guests who wish to change or cancel their visits, and will provide refunds to those who have hotel bookings during this closure period.”

Per the California Dept. of Public Health on Wednesday, the new guidance is as follows through the month of March:

The California Department of Public Health finds the following:
  • Large gatherings that include 250 people or more should be postponed or canceled.
    • This includes gatherings such as concerts, conferences, and professional, college, and school sporting events.
  • Smaller gatherings held in venues that do not allow social distancing of six feet per person should be postponed or canceled.
    • This includes gatherings in crowded auditoriums, rooms or other venues.
  • Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people.
    • This includes gatherings such as those at retirement facilities, assisted living facilities, developmental homes, and support groups for people with health conditions.
  • A “gathering” is any event or convening that brings together people in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, cafeteria, or any other indoor or outdoor space.
This applies to all non-essential professional, social, and community gatherings regardless of their sponsor.

Disney was slow to close the doors to its theme parks, despite cancellations of major entertainment industry events like South by Southwest and Coachella. The NBA suspended its season Wednesday night after a player tested positive for coronavirus. More…

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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS – ‘No Time to Die’ Postponed Due to Coronavirus Outbreak


Reprinted from Variety

CREDIT: Courtesy of MGM/Nicole Dove











No Time to Die” will be postponed until November, the James Bond sequel’s backers announced on Wednesday.

The film was originally supposed to be released internationally on April 2 and in the U.S. on April 10. However, the spread of coronavirus has led to closures of theaters in major markets such as Italy, South Korea, China and Japan. That could have been a major blow to “No Time to Die,” which cost more than $200 million to produce and millions more to market. Given that hefty budget, the film will need to perform well in international markets if it wants to make a profit.

“No Time to Die” will be released in the U.K. on Nov. 12, with worldwide release dates to follow, including the U.S. launch on Nov. 25, 2020. MGM and EON produced the film. Universal is handling the international rollout.

“No Time to Die’s” decision could disrupt the release calendar. Other major tentpoles may now consider delaying their releases until coronavirus has been contained. Insiders said theater closures are having a huge impact on their bottom line, with revenues in places like Hong Kong and Taiwan plummeting nearly 50% and the box office drying up in Italy. More…

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Vela Kurv is Captivated by the “State of Flux” Aboard Ship on Star Trek Voyager

Vela Kurv Academy School Log

From the sublime to the ridiculous? From Captain Picard’s inability to interfere on the episode “Haven” for Star Trek TNG to Captain Janeway’s requirement to intervene on Voyager because of what looks like treason by her crew officer Seska in this episode “State of Flux”. Seska betrays her Voyager crew by providing technical information to the Kazon-Nistrim, an enemy of Voyager in order to garner favor and use them as protectors to escort Voyager through this unknown quadrant of space in the Delta Quadrant. Unfortunately Janeway is unable to stop Seska from escaping before she flees and finds refuge with the First Maje Jal Culluh aboard the Kazon ship.

Janeway’s pursuit of Seska, the trader, was detailed and relentless. Janeway is now confronted with many unknowns because her merged crew is still new to her. She finds out quite by accident that Seska has been surgically altered to look like a Bajorian but indeed was a covert Cardassian spy known to have infiltrated some Maquis renegades in the past. Janeway takes a hit on this lesson. She loses an agent who was successful at infiltration and garnering Starfleet technology to a declared enemy, the Kazon-Nistrim. Much of her investigation will most likely continue even after Seska’s escape. She will have to find another avenue to “settle-up” with her in the future. Betrayal is not an unknown concern for any commander, navigating with command threw it though, I believe will always be a new experience, and on a positive note new tricks can also be fostered as counter-intelligence.


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