Six Reasons Not to Hate Epcot’s “Guardians of the Galaxy — Awesome Mix Tape Live!”

first_imgShare This!According to legend, as Walt Disney was lying on his deathbed, he stared at the ceiling tiles and mapped out his vision for Walt Disney World’s EPCOT, a forward-thinking community where people from all nations could gather together, share their culture and technological innovations, and enjoy classic pop songs performed by comic book characters. Okay, we’re pretty sure that last part wasn’t part of Walt’s original “Florida Project” plans, but that hasn’t stopped the modern-day Disney company from dropping Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Tape Live! into Epcot’s American Gardens Theater to entertain the summer crowds.This is far from the first time that World Showcase’s premier amphitheater has tried to beat the heat with vintage tunes; the Sounds Like Summer cover band concert series ran there for several years before being canceled in 2017. But this time around, Epcot’s entertainment team has cut out the middlemen by building their own classic rock group, and fronting it with two fan-favorite Marvel heroes: Peter “Star-Lord” Quill, and Gamora. The show’s paper-thin premise is that a Xandarian Chamber Orchestra has been sent to Epcot as cultural outreach ambassadors. Star-Lord soon arrives with a sword-swinging Gamora in tow to teach them how to play retro hits from his home planet Earth, instead of their usual atonal alien intonations.Epcot’s new ‘Guardians of the Galaxy — Awesome Mix Tape Live!’ show may be the surprise sleeper hit of the summer.Despite their box office popularity, the Guardians of the Galaxy seem to be developing a history of making Disney diehards hyperventilate. The conversion of Disney California Adventure’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! was bemoaned by many… at least until the reimagined ride reopened, and quickly rose to the top of Disneyland Resort’s guest satisfaction surveys. Similarly, when Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Tape Live was first announced, you could practically hear the eye-rolling from old-school EPCOT admirers, who predicted the show would be the worst shoehorning of an intellectual property into World Showcase since 1994’s Magical World of Barbie.Well, get ready for a twist more shocking than the end of Infinity War, because it turns out that the Guardians of the Galaxy know how to throw a pretty great party. The thematic justification for the venue is vaporous at best, but taken on its own terms, Awesome Mix Tape Live turned out to be far more entertaining than anyone could have predicted. We’re not saying anyone should skip their Soarin’ FastPass just to see it, but if you aren’t on a tight touring plan, it’s worth stopping in for a performance while in the back half of World Showcase.Rocket Raccoon doesn’t appear on stage during Awesome Mix Tape Live!, but you might spot him in the sound booth.Here are six reasons why Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Tape Live is unexpectedly non-awful:1. The SetlistWisely, this show is all about the songs, and the selections include the cream of the crop from both Guardians of the Galaxy movie soundtracks. It kicks off with Blue Suede’s Hooked on a Feeling, whose iconic “Ooga-Chaka” intro is indelibly linked to the first film’s trailer; we were disappointed when the tune wasn’t picked as one of the random options in the Mission: Breakout ride, so it’s great to hear it here. That’s followed by Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love,” Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” and Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” with “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 capping off the twenty-minute set. Every song is a certified crowd-pleaser, and there are no down-tempo numbers to sap the show’s momentum.2. The MusiciansDisney probably could have gotten away with a glorified meet-and-greet using pre-recorded music (like the Guardians of the Galaxy dance party in DCA), but instead they went all out with a six-piece live band, consisting of a keyboard player, drummer, bass and lead guitarists, and a pair of horn players. That’s more instrumentalists than some Broadway touring companies employ these days. Better yet, this band really rocks, and their energy elevates what could easily have otherwise been cosplay karaoke. Kudos also go to the sound crew, who give the mix just enough bass to make you want to bang your head, without blowing out the vocals.3. The SingersThose vocals are delivered by a lead male vocalist with silvery cybernetic makeup; he’s backed up by a pair of purple females who do the heavy lifting by harmonizing, and occasionally take the spotlight. There are two rotating casts, and their vocal talents range for “pretty good for a theme park” to “why aren’t you famous yet?” In fact, actress Michelle Knight was in the Broadway cast of Jersey Boys, and starred off Broadway in Disenchanted. Legends like Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury are hard acts to follow, but this cast has the professional pipes to do their songs justice.4. The Production ValuesFor a short-term production, Disney apparently invested a surprising amount of money, starting with the wall of supersized LED screens behind the stage, which display adorable new animations of Baby Groot. Then there’s the pyrotechnics, which range from blasts of fog and fire to spinning sparklers and roman candles. And don’t overlook the movie-quality costumes and makeup for the cast and crew. Awesome Mix Tape Live has been dismissed by some as nothing but a quick cash grab, but the superior stagecraft suggests otherwise.5. The ActorsStar-Lord and Gamora don’t sing during the show, and they don’t do stunts, though Gamora gets in some martial arts acrobatics during a girl-power moment. But they do bind the production together with their between-song banter, and these performers do a fine job embodying their character’s cinematic personas. The actors playing Peter Quill have to work particularly hard, since their hairpieces are fairly hilarious – though vastly improved over the wigs used at previous meet and greets – but these guys manage to pull off Chris Pratt’s charming schmuck shtick to a T. And if you were a fan of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, you may recognize P.J. Gajda from his years playing Bill S. Preston in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure.6. The WritingSpeaking of Bill & Ted, you might detect an echo of their banter in the back-and-forth between Star-Lord and cohorts. That’s because new Guardians show was written and directed by J. Michael Roddy, who was a writer for Universal’s parody show during the late 1990s. This show’s style will also seem familiar if you’ve had the good fortune to sail on a Disney Cruise with a Marvel or Star Wars day at sea, since Roddy has helmed the theatrical productions for those as well. Sure, the storyline isn’t exactly Shakespeare, but the dialogue does a credible job of capturing the characters’ voices without becoming inaccessible to viewers unfamiliar with the franchise. And Star-Lord manages to land a couple pop-culture punchlines that made us laugh out loud.Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Tape Live is currently being performed five times each day, and is scheduled to run through August 19. The first show of the day at 1:30 p.m. is the least crowded, followed by the last at 8 p.m. Seats in the front are shaded from the elements, but benches further back give a better view of the screens and stage effects.If you can’t see the show in person, we recorded a livestream of a recent performance that you can replay of below:Finally, if you’re still not convinced that the Guardians of the Galaxy belong in Epcot, our advice is to start getting used to it. Because as you can tell from this photo of their roller coaster’s massive new show building (as seen from the parking lot), you’re going to be seeing a lot more of them in the future.Epcot’s Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster (some assembly required).last_img read more

Columbus Catholic baseball blasts Gilman

first_imgBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterGILMAN – Marshfield Columbus Catholic scored 13 runs in the first two innings and went on to crush Gilman 16-1 in a Cloverbelt Conference East Division baseball game Friday at Gilman High School.The Dons scored five times in the first inning and added eight more in the second to roll to their second-straight win and improve to 2-1 overall and in the Cloverbelt East.Billy Young went 3-for-3 with four RBIs, and Tyler Fuerlinger and Charles Payant each had two hits for Columbus Catholic.Jeremy Binder threw three shutout innings to earn the victory for the Dons.Columbus Catholic’s next game is Thursday at Neillsville.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Dons 16, Pirates 1Columbus Catholic 580 21 – 16 14 0Gilman 000 10 – 1 4 5WP: Jeremy Binder. LP: James Copenhaver.SO: Binder (3 inn.) 5, Billy Young (2 inn.) 3; Copenhaver 5. BB: Binder 1, Young 0; Copenhaver 6.Top hitters: CC, Matthias Gouin 3B; Tyler Fuerlinger 2×3, 2B; Young 3×3, 4 RBIs; Charles Payant 2×2. G, Chase Rosemeyer 2B; Logan Anderson 2B.Records: Columbus Catholic 2-1 overall and Cloverbelt East; Gilman 0-2 overall and Cloverbelt East.last_img read more

MH370: Ocean Infinity says search start is imminent

first_imgThe Hugin autonomous underwater vehicles being deployed to search for MH370. Photo: Ocean Infinity. Deep sea search company Ocean Infinity has confirmed it has inked a deal to continue the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and says the search will start “imminently” in the  zone identified by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.The company said the project’s sophisticated surface vessel,  Seabed Constructor,  was now close to the search area and the “no find, no fee” sweep, which was expected to last 90 days.“We are pleased that our offer to continue the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has been accepted by the Government of Malaysia, who I would like to thank for giving us the opportunity,’’ OI chief executive Oliver Plunkett said.“Whilst there can be no guarantees of locating the aircraft, we believe our system of multiple autonomous vehicles working simultaneously is well suited to the task at hand.“I wish our team the best of luck in their endeavours and sincerely hope that we will be able to play a part in providing some answers to the many people affected by this tragedy.”The company also confirmed it would use up to eight Hugins autonomous underwater vehicles capable of operating to depths of 6000m and already tested to just above that limit.The company did not give any details of the agreement but Channel News Asia reported earlier today that it was a tiered arrangement that would see the company paid up to $US50 million if it is found in the ATSB search area and $US70 million if it is found beyond that.The report said the it would be paid $US20 million if the plane, which went missing in 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board, was found in first 5000 sq. km.The search will begin in a 25,000 sq. km area designated by experts in 2016 as the most likely crash site.Drift modelling and analysis of satellite imagery significantly boosted confidence among Australian experts that the wreckage of the Boeing 777, which went missing in March 2014, is in the southern half of a 25,000 sq. km.Scientists identified a location at latitude 35.6°S and longitude 92.8°E, near the seventh arc defined by satellite data, as the most likely location for the missing plane.However, if the wreckage is not found in the 25,000 sq. km search area the vessel will head north to  areas proposed by other experts.Ocean Infinity said the use of “free flying AUVs” meant they were not tethered and could collect higher quality data.The AUVs are equipped with side scan sonar, multi-beam echo sounder, sub-bottom profiler, HD camera, conductivity/temperature/depth sensor, self-compensating magnetometer, synthetic aperture sonar and a turbidity sensor.They can scour up to 1200 sq. kms a day, meaning the initial search area could be covered in about three weeks.The discovery of the wreckage will leave the Malaysian Government facing the question of how to retrieve the debris and particularly the crucial flight data and cockpit voice recorders.The quickest way to start the process would be to use the Seabed Constructor.MH370 Seabed Constructor Ocean InfinityThe Seabed Constructor. Photo: Swire Seabed.Sources have told AirlineRatings the sophisticated vessel  is carrying remotely operated vehicles and a 6000-metre rated recovery winch capable of retrieving debris at the kind of depths at which it is likely to be located.They also saw the  Seabed Constructor as the “asset of opportunity” if the wreckage is located before the winter weather sets in.Crucially, the ship is equipped with a dynamic positioning system that allows it to stay on station above the tethered robots as they work.Also on board to assist with analysis of sonar data are staff from Deep Ocean Search, a company which focuses on “ultra-deep water services” in depths of up to 6000m.DOS was instrumental in finding the SS City of Cairo, sunk by a German U-boat in 1942 while carrying 100 tonnes of silver coins from Bombay to England.Under contract to the UK government, DOS and recovered tons of silver coins from a depth of 5150m, a world record at the time and more than 1300m deeper than the Titanic.DOS told AirlineRatings it was unable to answer questions because it had signed a non-disclosure agreement with Ocean Infinity.But its website indicated operating at extreme depth was not without “serious technical difficulties’ which resulted in multiple breakdowns but were eventually resolved.ROV’s differ from the torpedo-shaped autonomous underwater vehicles being deployed in the search in that they are tethered to the ship by a cable and operated in real-time from consoles.They have cameras and often come equipped with sonar as well as thrusters and often manipulating armsSensitive electronics and data storage on deep water ROVs are protected in titanium vessels and  an  expert said every connector, cable and device had to withstand the pressure.He said there were many ROVs designed to run at a depth of about 3000m but very few work class ROVs rated for 6000m.However, he said the technology for deep dives was mature.“The ones around that can be used for this sort of thing are typically designed for something other than the oil and gas industry,’’ he said.Much deeper dives were conducted by the bathyscaphe Trieste in 1960  and by movie director  James Cameron in 2012. Both dived on the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench  and reached depths of almost 11,000m .A Japanese remotely operated underwater vehicle called Kaiko established a depth record for umanned probes in 1995 when it reached the bottom of the Challenger Deep. Others to explore the abyss were Japan’s ABISMO, the US hyrbrid ROV Nereus and China’s Haidou-1.last_img read more

Why HD DVD Will Beat Blu-Ray: A Better Name For Mere Mortals

first_imgI was recently shopping at BestBuy with my wife, Kirsten.  She’s close to the opposite end of the tech-geek spectrum as I am (she uses a computer every day, but mostly for useful things and is not particularly concerned about some of the religious debates around technology and the relative merits of one thing vs. the other.  She’s not going to be running out to buy an iPhone as soon as it launches (I likely will be). I’m currently in the market for a new DVD player at home.  I’m generally not big on DVDs as I find the whole notion of moving data bits around using atoms organized into shiny disks someone quaint.  My parents are visiting us from India, and there are some things they want to watch that are not “in the cloud” somehwere — only on DVD.  But I digress. What do you think? How important is a simple name in helpling customers make a decision? So, my question is this:  Of the thousands of mere mortals (i.e. not tech-geeks) that will make the DVD player buying decision in the coming months and years, how many times will this story repeat itself?  How many people will walk out the door with an HD DVD player simply because they think it’s the “natural” choice”?  How many of these decisions will it take for HD DVD to become the prevailing standard not on technical merit, but just because of the name?  If we think back to the VHS vs. BetaMax debate, I find a bit of similarity.  VHS (when people asked) stood for “Video Home System”.  BetaMax didn’t stand for anything.  Will history repeat itself? Originally published Jun 6, 2007 10:43:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 So, we are in the market for a DVD player.  I’ve been following the HD / DVD Blu-Ray debate for a while — primarily as a curious bystander, because it didn’t really affect me all that much — until now.  As I was walking down the DVD player aile in the store with Kirsten, she paused and pointed to one and said “why not just buy this one”.  (It was an HD DVD player).  I asked her why that particular one had caught her eye.  Her response:  “Well, it’s an HD DVD player.  Aren’t you all over that whole HD thing?”  She basically thought HD DVD was what connected to our HDTV and that was that.  The whole notion of Blu-Ray with all it’s technical merits never crossed her mind.  It just made sense to her that an HD DVD went along with an HD TV.  In her mind, Blu-Ray wasn’t even in the race.  Decision made. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

HubSpot TV – Listen to Your Fans, Friends & Followers with Scott Kirsner

first_imgEpisode #39 – May 8th, 2009 Marketing Takeaway Intro How to interact on Twitter: @ Closing @ On next week’s episode (May 15th, 2009), Mailbag will be on HubSpot TV  http://itunes.hubspot.tv Originally published May 10, 2009 7:37:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Boston Globe article: Products that might not be social at first glancemight be able to become social, giving them more inbound marketingpower. Optimize your website to get found by more prospects and convert more of them into leads and paying customers with HubSpot’s inbound marketing system. Recent The Future of the Boston Globe and Content in General Start your trial now! Miss last week’s episode?: If Twitter indexes not only Tweets, but also links, would it have more real time news information than Google? Boston is the Hub of Inbound Marketing Richie Hawtin created a system to live post what he was playing to his Twitter stream which used Traktor Pros system Marketing Tip of the Week Marketing Takeaway Twitter Competing with Google? Scottsdale Police Department Tweets Bank Robber’s Picture on Twitter @ScottsdalePD Marketing Takeaway: Scott Kirsner HubSpot TV Guest: mvolpe Great example of innovation based on your top users as well as using inbound marketing within your productcenter_img HubSpot Free Trial : Produce more content and in multiple formats to suit all of the audiences you serve. Richie Hawtin launches Twitter app for Traktor Headlines Do Press Releases count as content creation? Remember to subscribe in iTunes: : Promote the content you publish in social media to attract more visitors and links. Make sure you are listen to your most sophisticatedcustomers and understand how they are pushing, adapting and enhancingyour product. Cinema Tech (May 1, 2009) Boston Globe Still Strong Online @scottkirsner Doing it Right Traktor Pro added the functionality into the next release of the product BonusMarketing Takeaway: Boston Globe Journalist New book: Make sure you are listening to your customers to find new product innovations. karenrubin Twitter Plans to Squash Google’s Spider? Innovation Economy HubSpot TV – Ahh Choo! Marketing and Swine Flu Scottsdale PD Tweets Bank Robbers photo: Chris Brogan Newspapers Use Kindle to Boost Subscribers (Length: 27 minutes, 59 seconds.) Fans, Friends & Followers DJing Social Media & Inbound Marketing From PRSA Conference: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more