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Harry Potter Gryffindor Juniors Polo Shirt
Harry Potter Gryffindor Juniors Polo Shirt

Harry Potter Gryffindor Juniors Polo Shirt

Join the house of Gryffindor as a superhero wearing this fun Harry Potter shirt in junior sizes! The Harry Potter Gryffindor Juniors Polo Shirt is gray with a red, Velcro-attached cape and a tie. The front is embroidered with the “golden lion” crest of Gryffindor, a house of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter series. The tie features the Gryffindor colors, crimson and gold!

The Rocketeer Reboot Is Coming!


The Hollywood Reporter has the full story.

When the pic was released, it grossed only $46.6 million and came in fourth in its opening weekend (it was pummeled by Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, City Slickers and Dying Young). Its performance was considered a disappointment by the studio and its creative team.

But a rare thing happened: The film took on a life of its own, engendering a massive following who loved its un-ironic, bright and straightforwardly heroic take on its characters, all abetted by a score by James Horner.

When Disney hosted a 20th anniversary screening of the movie at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre in 2011, fans — many in Rocketeer costumes — lined up for blocks.

It was around that time that the studio began mulling a reboot of the movie, but sources said it sought a way to differentiate it from another rocket-propelled flying hero: Iron Man.

The new take keeps the story in a period setting and offers a fresh view on the characters. Set six years after the original Rocketeer and after Secord has vanished while fighting the Nazis, an unlikely new hero emerges: a young African-American female pilot, who takes up the mantle of Rocketeer in an attempt to stop an ambitious and corrupt rocket scientist from stealing jet-pack technology in what could prove to be a turning point in the Cold War.

What Your Favorite Band Tee Says About You

Being a fan of musical artists is an active experience. You are never simply just a fan. Rarely do you simply sit there and mindlessly listen to their songs, bobbing your head along as you leave their albums on in the background while you write that paper or clean your apartment. If you love a band enough, you follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even Snapchat. You breathlessly await concert tickets to go on sale so you can snap them up the minute they are released.

And, of course, you buy their t-shirts. There are a myriad of different ones sold by various artists. The ones you choose to buy, no matter who you are, make a statement. Here are just a few of the most popular artists, and what wearing their band tees says about you!

The Bands and What They Tell Us About You

I <3 Britney,” your shirt says? Well, “I’m an old-fashioned party girl who isn’t afraid to embrace my love of pop,” it says about you. Let’s be perfectly honest; everyone loves Britney Spears – but it takes a special kind of person to own up to their love enough to put it on a t-shirt and wear it proudly.

From her late nineties hits (that we still love to blast on road trips!) to her sultrier, more mature hits from the late 2010s, Britney Spears is the secret true love of all pop fans. A Britney baby tee is the perfect aesthetic to help you unashamedly own your love of one of this century’s most beloved singers.

  • Johnny Cash Original T-Shirt

johnny cash tshirt

This particular t-shirt is officially licensed, and there are a multitude of personas one can adopt with this shirt. The person who owns this shirt owns their love of country music: The kind of music that throws back to the original greatness of American living, rather than super stylized twangs catering to a teenage southern audience.

Cash is one of the greats, and it is time the world recognized it – or rather that it recognizes that you know it. On the other hand, maybe you simply grew up listening to Johnny Cash with your parents and are embracing your love of an old childhood favorite.

  • Beatles Flag T-Shirt

beatles tshirt

We like to think of the Beatles as the original “British Invasion.” To be fair, there have been many after them in the realms of music, film, and television, so it is more of a continual colonization rather than a one-time invasion.

Featuring an understated version of the original 1964 Hard Days Night album cover with the British flag placed in mosaic form over it – and “The Beatles” stitched off to the left. This shirt is the perfect way to declare your love of one of the most famous bands of all time without being flashy about it. This shirt is for the Beatlemaniac who does not feel the need to proclaim all they listen to is “real music.”

  • Journey Escape T-Shirt

Officially licensed by Journey, this particular t-shirt screams “I Love Karaoke” – but only if you look closely. Emblazoned with an official screen-printed Journey logo and image, the logo is tough to make out. “I love Journey, but I do not want people to know it right away.” Its “Don’t Stop Believing” stitched at the bottom outs you as someone who loves to scream ‘80s hits into the karaoke machine after a few drinks. This is the perfect t-shirt for those who want to proclaim their membership of the Journey fandom as subtly as possible.

Avenged Sevenfold is one of the most popular metal bands around and, again, one that, for whatever reason, many metal fans will shame you for liking, simply because of their mainstream appeal. This understated tee features the official Avenged Sevenfold skull and wings logo in white against a black background. The wearer of this shirt could not care less what so-called “true metal fans” think!

Paired with a cool leather jacket, you can subtly declare your love for one of the most beloved metal bands of the century. Also, wearing it as a snug baby tee adds to its appeal; you are not just wearing another band t-shirt, but one that is designed to look as good as anything else you might pick out to wear for yourself.

Whether you like it or not, the bands you represent with your t-shirts say a lot about your personality. But how you elect to present those bands – in other words, the specific t-shirt you choose – can say even more.

The Copa America Story

The Copa America was founded back in 1916 under the name “South American Football Championship.” In the beginning, this competition was held in one of the four nations competing: Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, or Brazil. The first tournament was held to commemorate Argentina’s Independence Day, which occurs on July 9th. The tournament would eventually expand to include more South American countries, and then in 1975 the name was officially changed to the Copa America.

The Tournament

There was no set pattern for when the tournament would occur. Sometimes it would be held every year, but there are instances of the tournament not being held for three, four, or even eight years. In 1975, along with the name change, it was made clear that nine teams would participate, the previous winner receiving a bye, and the tournament would be held every four years. These changes lasted until 1987, when it was decided to host the tournament in only one nation and to change it so that the tournament would be held every two years.

Beginning in 1993, North American and Asian countries were invited to join the competition. To this day, many of the countries in North America and Asia decline invitations due to player conflicts or security concerns, leading to a mostly South American tournament. The tournament held in 2016 marks both the first time the Copa America has ever taken place outside of South America, as well as the 100 year anniversary of the tournament.

Winners and Favorites

Since 1916, the Copa America has had eight individual winners, with Uruguay winning the most at 15 titles. Other winners include Argentina, with 14 titles, Brazil, with eight titles, Paraguay, and Peru, with two titles each, and Chile, Colombia, and Bolivia, with one title each. One surprising fact is that the host nation has won every Copa America tournament held in either Brazil or Uruguay.

This year, the United States is hosting the tournament, the first time any nation outside of South America has ever hosted. The favorites to win are the International powerhouse Argentina, led by five-time ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi. Close behind are the teams Columbia, led by James Rodriguez; and Chile, led by Claudio Bravo. Two other teams ranked within the top ten nationally that are competing in the Copa America are Brazil and Uruguay.

The host nation, the United States, is ranked 31st. Sixteen teams have entered their names to compete in the competition of 2016. Of the 16 teams competing, ten of the teams are from South America, and the remaining six are from North America. The ten teams from South America include:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

The six teams from North America are:

  • Costa Rica
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • The United States of America
  • Panama
  • Haiti


copa americana tshirt

Fans of soccer have always been fiercely loyal, especially South American fans. With Argentina ranked the number one team in the world, many people expect them to be victorious in the tournament, but just last year the tournament was held and in the final Argentina was defeated by Chile, a team that many believe will win again.

Although the Copa America is being held in both 2015 and 2016, it is not held every year. In fact, the competition has not been held on two consecutive years since 1946 and 1947. There still is no agreement on how long the break should be between the tournaments, and the next two are scheduled for 2019 and 2023, one of those being three years after the previous competition and the other four years.

Fans of the tournament can find merchandise online, and support their home country. Many fans will obtain tickets to watch the event live and support their favorite country in person. If you are unable to travel to the stadium, you can wear your gear at home and watch the games live on television along with millions of other viewers around the world.

Reason to Celebrate

The Copa America is a great reason to bring friends over and hang out to watch the game. Supporting your home country builds national pride, and you may get to witness some great goals or other exciting events.

Soccer is the world’s most renowned sport. People can go almost anywhere in the world, and the locals will understand the game, usually called football elsewhere. This world status is what makes international tournaments so great. Every country knows the rules, and every country will battle for victory. Put on the gear to support your country, grab some snacks, and celebrate the Copa America with the rest of the world.

The Universe’s Latest Nightmares: Rick and Morty

Horror is one of the most popular genres in any artistic work, such as literature, film, and television. In the golden age of television, there are about 450 shows aired across all platforms. It is difficult finding new ideas to engage viewers and make a hit show. Rick and Morty employ the classic horror genre and add a cosmic twist, making it the hottest new show in adult animation. Created by Justin Rolland and Community genius Dan Harmon, Rick and Morty follows the misadventures of Rick and his grandson Morty as they explore the infinite multi-verse.


Rick and Morty

Loosely based on Back to the Future’s Doc and Marty, Rick and Morty spend each episode exploring their own and parallel universes. The show pays homage to cultural classics like Doctor Who, The Twilight Zone, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Nightmare on Elm Street.

The show is the epitome of cosmic horror, often subjecting characters to the unknown and frightening mysteries of the universe, like a monstrous alien that only feeds on babies. In episode “Rick Potion No. 9,” Rick accidentally transforms the population of earth into Cronenberg-like creatures, in reference to Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg known for his work in depicting horrific creatures.


What makes this witty show unique is the contentious dynamic between Rick and Morty. Rolland and Harmon describe the pair as the perfect personification of bi-polar disorder. Rick Sanchez is an eccentric and alcoholic mad scientist. Aware of the futility of human existence, Rick eschews normal human practices like school and marriage. He often expresses his intellectual superiority to his family, especially to his unemployed son-in-law, Morty’s father, Jerry.


Morty, on the other hand, is a good-hearted 14-year-old. Employed by Rick, Morty accompanies him on his various adventures. Morty often conflicts with the morally questionable nature of the adventures Rick supports. In one episode, Rick explains to Morty that the reason he brings Morty with him everywhere is because Morty is so unintelligent that his brain waves counteract Rick’s genius brainwaves, acting like a cloaking device. This stealth allows Rick to hide from the many authoritative figures out hunting him.

Central Theme

Both characters highlight the show’s theme of self-existentialism. Viewers are constantly reminded that human existence is microscopic in comparison to the magnitude of the universe. Life is futile because, in an infinite number of dimensions, there is an infinite number of possibilities that could occur, and some live almost the same life.

This question of the meaning and purpose of life is also highlighted in the “Meeseeks and Destroy” episode in season one. Meeseeks are sci-fi like creatures created to serve a singular purpose. Once their purpose is served, their lives expire, and they vanish into thin air. Their willingness to help others comes from the fact that existence is painful to Meeseeks.

When Jerry, Morty’s incompetent father, asks a Meeseek to help improve his gold stroke, he sends his Meeseek into a state of desperation and agony. In turn, the Meeseek summons other Meeseeks to help out. When it becomes clear that Jerry’s golf skills will never improve, they turn on him and seek to kill him. It is Jerry’s wife Beth who gets him to better his posture and take a stroke off his golf game. Once the Meeseeks see this, they immediately begin to perish blissfully.


What makes the show relatable is Morty’s dysfunctional family. His parents Beth and Jerry are constantly trying to find ways to sustain their marriage. Beth is an equine heart surgeon, while Jerry is an unemployed marketing professional. Beth, who is dissatisfied with her life, struggles with Jerry’s defiance of his mediocrity. They bicker and argue, but discover they were meant to be together in episode “Rixty Minutes.”

Summer is Morty’s 17-year-old sister. She is conventional like her parents and is only concerned with improving her status among her peers. This otherwise ordinary family is always facing the consequences of Morty’s intergalactic travels and dealings. Viewers identify with Morty’s family and find it fun to see how the characters react to conundrums presented by the dark depths of the universe.

Final Thoughts

Since airing on Adult Swim in 2013, the show has gained a large cult following, and critics acclaim it. The wacky, dark nature of the show allows it to be light-hearted, like a cartoon with depth, by challenging human nature about existence. Harmon and Rolland have teased fans by announcing the third season will probably not be released until next year, though in a recent Comic Con panel, Harmon suggested fans might be surprised at the end of 2016. All we can do is wait for this modern American classic to come back in full gear with more ethically dubious escapades in the multi-verse.

Fun Star Trek Facts

At 46 years old, Star Trek is one of the oldest and longest-running television shows in history. Each new generation and iteration of the show has spawned tons of awesome merchandise,  and brings together millions of fans around the world, some who have been Trekkies since the beginning, while still others are only just discovering their love for one of the most progressive and entertaining shows in television history.

For even the most diehard fans out there, there are still some hidden gem facts behind both the show and the movies that have escaped notice. The following are just a few fun facts about Star Trek that you probably didn’t know until now!

  • What should I tell my landlord? Years ago, when the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation banded together to ask their producers for a higher salary per episode, actor Wil Wheaton was the first to receive an offer but not in payroll. The executives offered to have the rank of his onscreen character promoted to Lieutenant! Wheaton’s response? “So what should I tell my landlord when I can’t pay my rent? ‘Don’t worry; I just made Lieutenant’?”
  • Flicker me not. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was tricky to film, and not least because of the constant struggles related to its special effects. On the more technical side of things is a fun fact that many Trekkies may not be familiar with: On the set of the film, all of the screen displays were machinated primarily through film projectors that were looped and attached behind the set walls.

This was because most normal video monitors retain a refreshing rate that vastly differs from the rate at which film would operate in the cameras, releasing flickers of light that would ruin the “movie magic.”

  • Star Trek featured the first interracial onscreen kiss in 1968. It does not take a hardcore fan to know that Star Trek has always been at the forefront of human rights, often tackling hard questions and social justice topics light years ahead of its time.

The kiss between the traditionally white Captain Kirk and black Lieutenant Uhura did not stir as much controversy as one might expect, given the time frame. Even the most problematic responses were favorable.

Many critics applauded Star Trek for its willingness to portray an interracial couple, and one fan even wrote a letter to the producers saying, “I am totally opposed to the mixing of the races. However, anytime a red-blooded American boy like Captain Kirk gets a beautiful dame in his arms that looks like Uhura, he ain’t gonna fight it.”

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. was a huge fan of Star Trek. Sounds a little hard to believe, doesn’t it! Nevertheless, Dr. King was, in fact, one of the most famous fans of the series.

Such a big fan, in fact, that when Nichelle Nichols – the original actor who played the Lieutenant Uhura – told him that she was thinking of leaving the show, Dr. King convinced her to keep her role.

  • William Shatner wore “Spanx” onscreen. Yup, you read that right. The original Captain Kirk’s signature wraparound green outfit was introduced to hide Shatner’s belly due to some inconvenient weight gain. Re-watch the episodes, and you might start to see it!

star trek

  • Nobody actually says “Beam Me Up, Scotty!” One of the most famous catchphrases to come from Star Trek is one that was never said in the original iteration of the show. In the show, characters would contact Scotty if they needed to transport somebody or something from an alien planet. This trope was created to keep special effects costs low.

For whatever reason, the phrase has caught on in popular culture – but if you comb through each episode of the first series, you will notice that it is not uttered once by anyone.

  • Lucille Ball stopped the show from pulling the plug. In its early years, Star Trek did not enjoy anywhere near the cultural relevance and popularity it does now. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, was already in deep waters with NBC executives due to his argumentative nature; this, in addition to the more liberal themes of the show, did not win him too many other friends among the network bigwigs.

But Lucille Ball, who loved the show herself and was president of Desilu Productions, the Star Trek studio’s parent company – managed to convince the executives to keep the show running for two more seasons. This was enough to bring the show back through network reruns, eventually gaining it a large following and the devoted fan base we have today.

One of the most intriguing aspects of any show is the secret history behind its run. Armed with this new knowledge, you can now call yourself a true Trekkie!

The Iconic Che Guevara

The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. Perhaps you have not heard of this quote, but you have probably heard of the man to whom it is attributed: Che Guevara. Born Ernesto Guevara on Jun 14, 1928, in Rosario, Argentina, Guevara would go on to become an influential author, physician, guerilla leader, and diplomat, all inspired by his revolutionary Marxist philosophy.

Today, Guevara is an icon, lovingly referred to as simply “Che” by adoring followers. His image, especially as depicted in the photograph Guerrillero Heroico, or “heroic guerilla fighter,” is now a ubiquitous symbol of counterculture rebellion and social revolution available on t-shirts and other memorabilia. But who was the man behind the icon? We dug a bit deeper. Read on to discover the real Che Guevara.

Early Life and Radicalization

Che Guevara

Guevara was born into a well-off family, which, though it had aristocratic roots, held socialist ideals. It seemed that rebellion was in Che’s blood; his father, noting his son’s restlessness and acknowledging their part-Irish heritage, said, “in my son’s veins flowed the blood of the Irish rebels.” In 1947, Guevara befriended Berta “Tita” Infante, a member of Argentine Communist Youth. The friendship was a formative one: Tita and he read Marxist texts together and discussed them.

Guevara gained acceptance to the University of Buenos Aires in 1948 to study medicine. As a young medical student in 1951 through 1953, he undertook the travels around Latin America that would spur his radicalization and his book The Motorcycle Diaries. His journeys took him through almost every country in Latin America, where he witnessed the degrading work conditions of Chilean miners, the poverty of Peruvian peasant farmers, and corporate hegemonies in Costa Rica.

Philosophy and Early Activism

Guevara’s journeys around Latin America opened his eyes to the disease, poverty, and hunger he could not alleviate, though he was a doctor. It convinced him that corporate exploitation of Latin America by, for example, the United States, was a new type of colonialism brought on by the evils of capitalism. Guevara conceptualized a united Hispanic continent pursuing social and economic liberation, prompting him to leave medicine, and take up political and literal arms.

Guevara had settled in democratic Guatemala when President Jacobo Árbenz had decreed that non-cultivated land, even if already held by an owner, was to be redistributed to landless peasants. The United Fruit Company, which had holdings in Guatemala, was most impacted by this decree.

A struggle followed in which forces and arms were sent from Communist Czechoslovakia to Guatemala to support the Árbenz government. However, the United States anti-communist agenda propelled the CIA to deploy several hundred Guatemalan mercenaries to overthrow the government. Guevara had connected with Cuban, Honduran, and Peruvian leftists while in Guatemala (who had given him the moniker “Che”), and supported the Árbenz government by fighting, doing medical work, and calling for resistance. Nonetheless, the United States won, executing hundreds of suspected Communists and returning the United Fruit Company’s land holdings.

Later Activism

Che Guevara

Guatemala and the United Fruit Company cemented Guevara’s ideology that the social good promised by Marxism could only be achieved and defended through armed struggle. After narrowly escaping from Guatemala to Mexico, Guevara teamed up with Fidel and Raúl Castro to overthrow the United States-supported Cuban dictatorship. From joining the Castros’ 26th of July Movement, Guevara played a key role in the guerilla campaign that ultimately deposed the Batista dictatorship.

Guevara played key diplomatic and military roles in the new Cuban government and was directly involved in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and precipitating the Cuban Missile Crisis. While revolutionaries exalt Che Guevara, critics paint a harsher picture. During his time in the Castro regime, Guevara became known for his ruthlessness; he summarily shot people suspected of working against the regime, deserting from the military, or speaking against Guevara himself.

In addition to writing about his experiences and advocating for Cuban communism worldwide, Guevara also played a role in revolutions in the Congo, and finally in Bolivia, where he was captured and executed by Bolivian forces acting on behalf of the American CIA. With his death at age 39, Guevara immediately became a martyr for the communist cause.

Che Today

Che Guevara has been immortalized through his writings and merchandise, and his legacy in modern leftist movements. He left behind numerous texts, and his life and beliefs, and other writers, film-makers, and artists have embraced the complexity of Che Guevara in their works. Time magazine has named him among the 100 most influential people of the twentieth century. His image and name are immediately associated with revolution and social struggle, and those who are familiar with him are either adoring or repulsed by his actions, making him a perpetually intriguing historical figure.

Weekend Box Office Chart for July 22nd to July 24th


Star Trek Beyond continues the post-reboot hot streak with an sweet $59.6 weekend take!

1. Star Trek Beyond $59.6 Total: $59.6
2. The Secret Life of Pets $29.3 Total: $260.7
3. Lights Out $21.6 Total: $21.6
4. Ghostbusters $21.6 Total: $86.8
5. Ice Age: Collision Course $21.0 Total: $21.0
6. Finding Dory $7.2 Total: $460.1
7. The Legend of Tarzan $6.4 Total: $115.8
8. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates $4.4 Total: $40.3
9. Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party $3.7 Total: $3.7
10. The Infiltrator $3.2 Total: $12.2

Star Trek USS Enterprise Fan Expo Canada T-Shirt
Star Trek USS Enterprise Fan Expo Canada T-Shirt

X-Men Film Series Breakdown

The X-Men film series has been going strong since 2000, when the original X-Men debuted in theaters. Since then, eight additional films, including several spin-offs focused on a single character, have graced the silver screen.

While recent years have seen the popularity of comic books as movies skyrocket, none have proven quite as popular as X-Men. The nine films have collectively grossed more than $3.9 billion worldwide, making it the eighth highest grossing franchise in history.

Two additional sequels are scheduled for release in 2017 and 2018; they will undoubtedly be just as popular as the current and past films. Additionally, the popularity of these films has spawned a wealth of clothing and memorabilia dedicated to the various X-Men characters. Read on for a breakdown of all nine released X-Men films.

Overview of X-Men Films

Given the debate regarding the rankings of all nine movies, the X-Men films are reviewed in the order in which they were released below. We will leave it up to you to decide on your favorite.

  • X-Men

The first film in the series introduces the audience to the conflict between Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and his X-Men, and Magneto (Ian McKellen) and the Brotherhood of Mutants. The two were once friends, but, as they grew up, came to believe in different paths toward human acceptance of mutants. Magneto advocates a forced approach that sometimes turned violent, whereas Professor X believes in peaceful integration.

  • X2

X-Men X2

Colonel Stryker (Brian Cox) brainwashes both Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Professor X (Patrick Stewart) into revealing the location of every mutant on earth using the Cerebro machine, intending to kill them all. Without their respective leaders to guide them, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants team up to foil Stryker’s plan. They are successful, but lose one of their own in the process.

  • X-Men: The Last Stand

The pharmaceutical industry has developed a mutant-suppressing drug, creating a divide between those in the mutant community who yearn to be “normal” and those who are happy as they are. Magneto (Ian McKellen) forms an army of mutants, including the resurrected Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), and declares war on humans. Some of the mutants fighting against Magneto and Grey, including Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), realize they have a choice to make: kill the one they love or witness the end of humankind.

  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

This film was the first spin-off in the series, and focused on Logan/Wolverine’s (Hugh Jackman) origin story, including his relationship with half-brother Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber) who later becomes his nemesis Sabretooth. Logan’s evolution into Wolverine, including the insertion of indestructible metal into his skeleton, is also detailed, providing context for one of the franchise’s most popular and beloved characters.

  • X-Men: First Class

First Class jumps back in time, beginning with the origins of Professor X when he was just Xavier (James McAvoy), and Magneto, then known as Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), and moving forward to the start of their relationship in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Along the way, Xavier and Erik meet several other mutants, including Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), who they recruit to help them stop Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), a former Nazi mutant scientist intent on starting World War III.

  • The Wolverine

After being forced to kill Jean Grey, the woman he loved, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) travels to Japan to reunite with an old friend whose life he saved previously. Along the way, Wolverine defends the friend’s granddaughter from various assassins while he struggles internally with his past decisions. This film only introduces familiar X-Men characters Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Professor X (Patrick Stewart) at the very end, when they meet him upon his return to the U.S. to warn him of a new threat to the mutant race.

  • X-Men: Days of Future Past

Days of Future Past jumps between time periods, allowing Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to return to 1973 to stop an assassination and the ascension of robots known as the Sentinels that are eradicating mutants and their human allies. This film featured the cast of the original X-Men trilogy, as well as the newcomers from First Class, providing context for the characters in the past, present, and future.

  • Deadpool

Deadpool is the first in another spin-off series, following the popular Wolverine franchise. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), is a former Special Forces officer who is diagnosed with terminal cancer after meeting the love of his life, Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin). After meeting Ajax (Ed Skrein) who offers him an experimental cure that is actually a ploy to create a race of super-powered slaves, Wilson develops mutant healing powers and plots to get revenge on the man who took everything from him.

  • X-Men: Apocalypse

The most recently released film in the X-Men series centers on the first and most powerful mutant, Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), who awakens after thousands of years to find the world very different, and more disappointing, than he left it. He recruits four equally disillusioned mutants, Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Archangel (Ben Hardy), and Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse the earth and start anew. Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Professor X (James McAvoy) band together, along with a number of other mutants the audience has come to know through the series, to stop the end the world.

What Your T-Shirt Reveals About You

It is no secret that a person’s clothing can give a lot of insight into their style, background, and taste. T-shirts are no exception to this rule, particularly graphic tees decorated with logos, words, and images. Particular factors t-shirts can illustrate include an individual’s likes and dislikes, values, and maybe even a glimpse of their personality as revealed in the humor or seriousness of their shirts.

Additionally, the market for t-shirts has only grown and developed. Companies offer hundreds of options for tees with a huge variety of images and messages being presented. This variety allows for even deeper expression of values and beliefs that ensures that characteristics of their wearers will be revealed.

Corporate T-Shirts

Corporate t-shirts are typically given out in mass amounts, often to employees of a company or to members of an organization. Additionally, corporate t-shirts may be given out to volunteers who worked for a particular event. If this is the case, the wearer’s t-shirt shows the world where they have served at least once in the past, and hints that they are actively involved with similar organizations.

Also, the company where the wearer is employed can be clearly seen through corporate t-shirts in the form of logos or text. Ultimately, these shirts show where the majority of the wearer’s time is invested and where they choose to serve.

Brand T-Shirts

At the very least, brand t-shirts reveal where a person shops. However, they often give a much deeper understanding into the wearer’s life and habits, including the wearer’s interest in the values a particular company holds.

The place a person shops can often also reveal details about their financial situation. Big name and high-end brands that are found on some t-shirts can be extremely expensive, and by wearing that brand a person illustrates they have the resources to shop at high-end stores. Additionally, brands can reveal some lifestyle habits, such as brand t-shirts from athletic or workout companies or skateboarding companies.

Political T-Shirts

Particularly around election season, political t-shirts become increasingly common. Often these shirts are used as a form of advertising and promote a certain political candidate. They can additionally promote a certain party or political group. Adults are often the ones wearing these shirts, but young children and even babies can be spotted wearing these shirts, which is reflective of a family member’s political opinions.

Political t-shirts can also be used to express opinions against a political party. Examples of this include t-shirts that often comically display a faulty characteristic of someone running for office. Whether the shirts are being used to promote or rebuke a political figure or group, they certainly express the political opinions of the wearer.

Religious T-Shirts

Religious t-shirts are very similar to political t-shirts, in that they convey the wearer’s beliefs and opinions. These shirts can be very bold and expressive, or they can be as simple as containing the name of a church or the image of a cross.

Often religious shirts will portray a clear message or contain a passage or reference to a religious text or gathering nearby. Again, it is possible to wear a religious shirt that opposes a particular religion or religious group. Either way, deep insight is given into the wearer’s religious opinions and background.

Character and Celebrity T-Shirts

Dr. Who Tshirt

People of all ages can be viewed wearing character and celebrity t-shirts. These shirts cover a wide range, from animated characters on Disney Channel to real life images of actors, musicians, or television stars printed onto the front of the shirt.

There are companies that offer countless categories of character and celebrity shirts featuring Angry Birds, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and many more. These shirts and the wide variety of options available allow the wearer to express interest in shows, books, movies, and well known celebrity figures, giving all who view their shirts an understanding of their likes and dislikes in regard to popular media and television.


In the world today, more and more people are recognizing the significance and meaning behind what others choose to wear on a daily basis. T-shirts worn by men, women, and children of all ages are one of the simplest and most well recognized items of clothing that give insight into their wearer’s life.

Numerous online surveys depict images of t-shirts alone and ask viewers to guess characteristics of their wearers. The wide range of products available from companies allow for freedom of expression and true individuality, whether the wearer is supporting a political candidate, making a religious statement, or just showing off their favorite character to the world.

By sharing part of their lives and interests to the world through their t-shirts, wearers show the real power behind something as common as choosing a shirt, and encourage freedom of expression and style that shows others who they truly are.

Top Ten Most Powerful Superheroes

Since the 1930s when Superman became a household word, one of the biggest debates in modern pop culture has concerned which superhero is the most powerful. Of course, given that comic book and movie superheroes get created regularly, there are always new heroes entering the fray.

However, over the years, certain ones seem to get the respect of the majority of fans. The ones below, at least today, are considered by most to be the top ten most powerful superheroes.

  1. Superman

If Superman were to hit you with one of his famous infinite mass punches, nothing would be left but an enormous crater in the ground. His only weakness is kryptonite, and the sun is his unlimited power source. He can move worlds, he once held a black hole in his own hands, and has even revived himself from death.

He could sneeze away a solar system if he so desired. He survives the end of the multiverse and even helps recreate it. He is the ultimate and limitless superhero – an immovable object and an unstoppable force.

  1. Goku

Though not a standard superhero, Goku has no apparent weaknesses. At the young age of 12, he could destroy the moon. In his twenties, he had the power to demolish the entire planet. Later, he gained the ability to transform into and travel at the speed of light particles.

He can travel at 186,000 miles per second and break up to 100 layers of steel with just two fingers. He even has more energy (known as ki in the comics and show) than the sun. His only weakness is his heart – he’s soft on his enemies.

  1. Thor


The immortal god of thunder and guardian of Asgard, Thor derives unlimited power from the Tesseract. He can absorb all kinds of energy, and with a quick spin of his unstoppable hammer, he can instantly open a wormhole to an alternate universe.

  1. The Hulk

Nothing can overpower The Hulk. With nearly unlimited strength, the ability of rapid tissue regeneration, and limitless stamina, he could easily take on both the DC and Marvel universes combined.

You better not be around during one of his angry rampages. While his powers are limited to physical strength, he outranks almost everyone in this category.

  1. The Silver Surfer

Using the “power cosmic,” he can access a nearly unlimited source of power. The only superhero able to take on Galactus, the Silver Surfer can manipulate time, matter, and energy, and has a genius intellect, indestructibility, and the ability to travel faster than the speed of light.

  1. Manhattan

Dr. Manhattan

Dr. Manhattan can separate, destroy, and even create matter. He can make entire planets disappear if he wants. His lack of compassion allows him to eradicate entire races without so much as batting an eye.

  1. Green Lantern

He has powers of invisibility, an impermeable shield, and the ability to generate any object or form of radiation. His ability to travel through both time and space allows him to teleport anywhere almost instantaneously.

He is invincible to intense temperatures, disease, and bacteria, and has the ability to distort his body. His ring grants him unlimited power: “The most powerful weapon in the universe.”

  1. Batman

Not only is he the only superhero to take on Superman in a fight and win, but he has a rare feature when it comes to pivotal superheroes – the brains to outsmart his rivals. Given the eternal gift of rational and emotionless clarity from his traumatic past, Batman is truly incorruptible.

  1. The Flash

Through the power of the Speed Force, he can run, think, and act faster than the speed of light. He can travel through time, the multiverse, and matter, and even acquire knowledge at a hyper-accelerated rate.

  1. Martian Manhunter

Hailing from the planet Mars, and one of the strongest beings on Earth, comparable to even Superman, he has nine different senses, and both telepathic and regenerative abilities. He also has other capabilities common to Martians, such as flight, super speed, and super strength.

He once helped Superman and Wonder Woman move the entire planet Earth. He has complete control over his own molecular structure – he can increase his own size, increasing his overall strength in the process.

Final Thoughts

Everyone has a favorite childhood superhero. Whether you grew up reading about them in comics, or watching them in cartoons, television shows, or movies, these talented and powerful beings all fight for justice, honor, and valor. They influenced our childhood and allowed us to connect with them. Regardless of which is your favorite, some of the things we learned from them are:

  • Play to your strengths.
  • Defend the weak.
  • Past experiences shape who you are today.
  • Embrace your differences.

The Most Common Uses for Lanyards

A lanyard is a cord used to suspend something or carry it while being worn on the body. Due to their versatility, they are most often used in the workplace and school. Lanyards are available in a broad range of styles, sizes, materials, and colors. They can be customized to use as a promotional tool, identify students with their school, hold employee ID cards or even be a source of self-expression.


Everyone involved in school can find a use for lanyards. Most students wear them on field trips or conferences. Using a neck lanyard can help identify the students with their group and ensure everyone remains together.

Activities that students participate in, such as science fairs, cheerleading, and marching band often use a lanyard to display an ID badge to help keep the events organized. Breakaway lanyards are often preferred for these activities because they prevent choking that could occur during the event.

Lanyards seem to be a rite of passage for high school students who use them more for show than for utilitarian reasons. They use them to carry their car keys and to showcase the college they hope to attend, as well a mechanism for displaying what is hip and cool at the time.

Public Speaker and Seminars

Public speakers or people who often find themselves participating in seminars, even a convention like Comic-Con, use lanyards with an ID card. The participants’ name, group number, class name, or seminar room can be printed on the ID badge, so they are easily identifiable and easy for organizers to assist, if need be.


Lanyards are a useful piece of equipment for coaches when they are on the field or court. Many people may be wearing similar outfits, so a lanyard in the team colors makes the coach easily recognizable to the players and fans. A lanyard may be fitted with a carrier so the coach can stow game notes, etc.

Corporate Employees

Many corporate companies have strict hierarchies. When a place is so heavily structured, employees find it necessary to wear an ID card that hangs from a lanyard to provide a secure and efficient workplace. Many large corporations have full-time security guards, and employees may not have access to certain locations within the building without their ID badge.

Wearing an ID on a lanyard allows security personnel to easily identify employees. It also enables the employee to quickly display their ID or swipe it if necessary.

Concert Promoters and Event Promoters

Concert and event promoters have to let the public know their identity and make themselves readily recognizable by the media, the performers, and other employees.  Lanyards are also perfect for holding the backstage pass that allows security personnel to let roadies, media, and VIPs access to the artist after the performance.


Offering complimentary lanyards designed with a school mascot, university name, or charity organization is a terrific promotional tool. Lanyards make perfect giveaways for college tours, fundraisers, or tradeshows. They are a token of your appreciation for the attendee’s participation in your event, as well as a piece of memorabilia. They are also an inexpensive giveaway that everyone can use.

Retail Store Clerks

Many store clerks and cashiers wear a custom lanyard with an ID card so the customers can easily identify the employee. These IDs may also allow the employee access to dressing rooms, the cash register, and other areas that are off limits to certain personnel.


harry potter lanyard

Lanyards have become such a popular part of our culture that it seems they have always been around. In the past, they were only available in solid colors, but now they are a form of self-expression and are available in a wide selection of designs and colors.

Many college students, for example, do not have a key to their room or use cash in the dining hall. Their ID card attached to a lanyard carries out these functions. College students are known for self-expression and will use their lanyard to demonstrate their support for a particular sport, band, television show, or cause.

Students and counselors participating in camps also keep their ID on a lanyard. The college or program may use the lanyard to promote the college or the activity.

Final Thoughts

avengers lanyard

Lanyards are versatile and can be used for many different reasons. Typically, a lanyard is used to suspend an ID that allows for easy viewing. They can be used by hospital staff, utility workers, and law enforcement, as well as many others to hold ID cards.  A lanyard can also be used to hold keys and carry items, and be worn as an accessory.

Watch Now: Doctor Strange Official Trailer Two

A disgraced former surgeon named Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) becomes a powerful sorcerer under the tutelage of a mystic known as the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen, and Chiwetel Ejiofor co-star in this entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister).

See Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” in theaters November 4, 2016.

Doctor Strange Vibrant Pose T-Shirt
Doctor Strange Vibrant Pose T-Shirt

Four Best Original Netflix Shows

The landscape of television is evolving beyond the likes of anything we’ve seen before. Netflix originally started out as a home delivery DVD rental company, but in the last few years has evolved into an enormous online streaming powerhouse. After procuring contracts with multiple television networks and movie production companies in 2007, Netflix began streaming films and shows online.

Now, you can binge-watch a large variety of shows and movies for a low monthly subscription price. This practice has become so popular that Netflix even started creating its own content; Netflix’s original shows, which release entire seasons’ worth of episodes at midnight of their release days, have become some of the most influential aspects of pop culture today. Here we take a look at just a few!

The Best Netflix Original Television Shows



Marvel has been expanding its cinematic universe (officially known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or the MCU) beyond just its original Avengers from the beloved 2012 blockbuster film. Part of this concerted effort is through the development of Netflix original television shows focusing on lesser-known—yet equally as compelling?superhero characters stemming from Marvel.

The premise follows Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), a blind, mixed martial arts-trained newly minted lawyer, who turns down multiple lucrative job offers in order to open a small practice with his best friend Foggy Nelson in Hell’s Kitchen, New York. The pair almost immediately becomes entangled with one of the most dangerous underground criminal plots in the city.


Knowing that there exist many limits to what he can do to save his neighborhood within the confines of the law, Matt becomes a vigilante crime fighter by night. The second season mainly follows the enormous effects his secret decisions and actions hold for Foggy, their friend and secretary Karen Page, and for the city at large.

Daredevil has become one of the most popular shows on Netflix due to its compelling cast of characters and beautifully written storylines. Fans of the show can find all sorts of amazing merchandise to proudly display their love of one of their favorite characters.

Jessica Jones

A sequel series of sorts, and also part of the MCU, this particular show follows Harlem resident Jessica Jones, a freelance private investigator who also just happens to be imbued with super strength and virtual invincibility. Jessica Jones has garnered lots of praise due to its unflinching, highly realistic, and often harrowing portrayal of the damaging posttraumatic effects of sexual assault on survivors.

A feminist show with kick-ass female characters if there ever was one, Jones?along with the aforementioned Daredevil in addition to the upcoming Luke Cage and Iron Fist?is part of an effort by the MCU to eventually create a The Defenders miniseries . . . along the same vein that Marvel utilized the Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor franchises to lead up to The Avengers.

Orange Is the New Black

One of the first original series produced on Netflix, the comedy-drama series debuted in July of 2013 and subsequently enchanted millions around the globe. Based on a memoir by Piper Kerman about her year in a minimum security federal prison, the show has gained such unabashed praise from critics and audiences alike that it has been renewed for the seventh season despite the fact it will only be premiering its fourth season next month!

The series was also instrumental in launching Laverne Cox?one of the first transgender women of color to portray one on a major media network?into superstardom, and helping to thrust transgender issues into the national conversation.

Orange Is the New Black received twelve Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Comedy Series, and even Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for its first season alone. Later seasons have seen it continuously rack up even more nominations, including Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for actress Uzo Aduba.

House of Cards

Despite only existing on Netflix, the smash hit political drama starring Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey has made waves for its sharp, often satirical view of the American political system through the eyes of Frank and Claire Underwood, an ambitious United States House Representative and his equally ambitious lobbyist wife.

Though based on a BBC miniseries and a novel by Michael Dobbs, the show has recently drawn even more attention due to the current American election season’s similarities to many of the fictional political moves made by its protagonists.


The traditional days of waiting an entire week for new episodes of your favorite shows are nearing their end, thanks to the new world of binge-watching made possible by Netflix, but we can’t really complain when the end result is that of so many amazing new shows.

Eleven Interesting Facts About Power Rangers You Did Not Know

One of the most beloved TV fandoms of all time, the Power Rangers brought fun, action, and crime-solving superheroes to the living rooms of 90s children across the country. The Power Rangers have also graced the big screen, with two films in the nineties as well as an upcoming movie in 2017.

Many Power Ranger fans may think they know everything there is to know about this beloved series and its characters, but here are a few facts that even the die-hard fans may have missed:

#1 – It was based on a popular Japanese TV show called Super Sentai 

Created by Toei Studies in 1975, this series originally lasted two years, after which the Rangers got a new theme every year. Japanese kids got to watch Five Rangers, Turbo Rangers, Goggle Five Rangers, Battle Fever J Rangers, Ninja Rangers, and King Rangers. America’s version of the Power Rangers was based on the 16th version of Toei’s Rangers—the Beast Rangers of the Dinosaur Corps.

#2 – Billy CranstonThe Blue Rangerwas originally named after Bryan Cranston

Now known for his critically-acclaimed role in Breaking Bad as the cancer-stricken chemistry teacher turned crystal meth kingpin, this actor played the voices of two villains in the Power Rangers world—Snizard in Season 1’s “Foul Play in the Sky” and Twinman in “A Bad Reflection on You.”

#3 – In the original Japanese version, the Yellow Ranger was male

power rangers

#4 – The Green Ranger was supposed to make only a few guest appearances on the show, but his fans saved his job.

The Green Ranger, Tommy, played by Jason David Frank, was initially scheduled for a few episodes, but the fans loved him and sent massive amounts of fan mail convincing the actor to come back, so the Green Ranger became a central character on the show. Frank went on to play the White Ranger, as well as White Ninja Ranger, Red Zeo Ranger, Red Turbo Ranger, and Black Dino Thunder Ranger, appearing in a total of 217 episodes of the show.

#5 – There are 20 complete series of the American version of Power Rangers

Much like the Japanese show that inspired its beginning, Power Rangers spawned many versions of this popularly loved show, including Power Rangers in Space, Power Rangers Ninja Storm, and Power Rangers Jungle Fury. These twenty do not include Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers, a miniseries version of the show, or the confirmed 2016 rebootPower Rangers Dino SuperCharge.

#6 – There was initially an alternate ending made for the Season 1 finale in case the show was not renewed for a second season

Producers were unsure if the series would continue after the episode “Doomsday,” so they filmed an alternate ending in case the show was not picked back up for its second season. The alternate ending showed the Rangers sealing Rita and her minions in the Space Dumpster, paralleling the final episode of the Japanese show that the Power Rangers was based on.

#7 – Due to parents complaining the show was too violent, for most of Season 2, the Rangers’ Blade Blasters were holstered in their belts

power rangers

#8 – Malaysia’s government was worried the Power Rangers’ coined term “morphin” might lead to a child morphine addiction epidemic 

Authorities in Malaysia thought the use of the word “morphin” on Power Rangers might give rise to an outbreak of kids being hooked on morphine. To prevent this highly unlikely epidemic, the show removed all references to “morphin” from its episodes and toy advertising.

#9 – Marilyn Manson used the Power Rangers’ command center in the filming of one of his music videos

The director of one of Manson’s videos, Paul Hunter, used the Power Rangers’ command center in his 1998 video for “The Dope Show.” Not only does this building serve as a command center for the Rangers, but it also a part of the Brandeis-Bardin Campus in Simi Valley, California, and has been featured in films and TV shows from everything from The Twilight Zone to Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.

#10 – Power Rangers was initially banned in the location of it’s filmingNew Zealand!

When the Power Rangers first started, they filmed the show in New Zealand (specifically the Auckland region) for its shooting and production, commencing with the Ninja Storm season in 2003. Even though all the on-screen violence was physically occurring in New Zealand, the show was banned from New Zealand television audiences. The ban was lifted eight years later when Samurai came out in 2011.

Final Thoughts

These are only a few interesting facts about our favorite Rangers. With their new film coming in 2017, there will be even more secrets and facts on these characters to reveal.

Monty Python: The Undisputed Kings of Comedy

Rise to Fame

There has never been a comedy group more progressive and ahead of its time than Monty Python. Starting out in 1968, a group of young English comedians led by John Cleese and Graham Chapman made a television special entitled How to Irritate People.

It told the story of a disgruntled recent car buyer who attempts to return his vehicle. It humorously plays out as the dealer invents a host of excuses to avoid giving the buyer his money back as the car breaks down in front of the audiences’ eyes.

While it was intended to get Americans interested in a new wave of British comedy, it failed to achieve that goal. However, after a year, the BBC offered Cleese his own show, and he chose to bring onboard some of Britain’s most talented young actors.

Today, Monty Python t-shirts, clothing, movies, and even comic books have made these iconic characters part of U.K. and U.S. comedy lore.

Composition of the Cast

monty python

Cleese wanted to bring on Michael Palin, who was the director of a children’s show entitled Do Not Adjust Your Set. Cleese was such an admirer of the show that he recruited three of Palin’s collaborators. The first was Eric Idle, a Cambridge alum. The second was Terry Jones, with whom Palin had collaborated with at Oxford. The third was an American Terry Gilliam, who had traveled to London to be a cartoonist and illustrator, and who aspired to become a film director.

Thus, the new group consisted of six men who were broken into three writing units, Palin-Jones, Cleese-Chapman, and Idle, who specialized in songs and monologs. Gilliam did the animations by himself. After going through an exhaustive list of potential options, they decided upon the name Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

First Comedy Sketch

After going over the first pilot sketch, the crew decided to change it up a bit. They altered the location of the pilot car salesmen sketch to a pet shop and a disgruntled customer who had just bought what turned out to be a dead parrot. The dead-parrot sketch debuted in episode eight of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and demonstrated everything that would come to define the new show: breaking with old formal rules, and the ability to extract the most amount of comedy through situational humor.

Lasting Influence

monty python

What really made them unique was their collective energy and ability to deliver nonstop laughs. Between 1969 and 1973, the team made a total of three seasons, with thirteen episodes each. Toward of the end of the third season, Cleese left the show. The other members stayed on for another six episodes, but left soon after to pursue filmmaking. Their innovative and groundbreaking style of comedy had a lasting effect on the production of similar comedy programs.

Arrival in America

Considering previous attempts to reach American markets had fallen flat, it took until 1974 for Flying Circus to premiere on PBS. After that, it experienced widespread popularity. PBS’ decision to purchase the rights to Flying Circus saved them from destruction, as the BBC was getting ready to wipe the tapes for reuse.

Moving on to Films

In 1975, Python came out with its first film, the successful Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In 1979 came the Life of Brian, a critically acclaimed film set in Judea during the time of Christ. The final movie, The Meaning of Life, is considered a flop due to the lack of substance.

Remembering Monty Python

The forty-five episodes form the crux of the Monty Python repertoire. It was not so much that the cast had a shortage of ideas, but that they put in so much effort into every second of airtime. In no other series in television history have so many genius ideas been packed into one show.

Signature Python Style

The silliness of the show was extreme, and it was a mixture of education and wit. The members of the cast were masters of paradox; their classic move was to quickly jump into something in the wrong context. Many times dressed up as historical figures or members of the aristocracy, they would strangely insert themselves into the reality of a bleak 1970s England. For example, in the Spanish Inquisition, they burst into a series of middle-class living rooms.

Use of Word Play and Juxtaposition

The Python crew was infamous for their use of wordplay and juxtaposition. Their most quotable lines often contain a stark contrast between high language and low. For example, in Life of Brian, Brian’s mother declares, “He’s not the messiah; he’s a very naughty boy.”

When individuals call something Pythonesque, it means they are dragging on exalted themes through the context of English ordinariness, in the process showing the absurdity of the two. While Python relied on silliness to relay its messages, it had the education and wit to support lasting laughs. Their physical gags were low comedy, but the language they used while executing them sounded like they were speaking poetry.

When they did not understand a topic for their films, they did their research and grounded their satire in history. Their innovative use of paradoxical wit and progressive outlook on humor has left a lasting effect on both comedy and entertainment as we know it.

What to Expect When Attending Comic Con

Every year fans of movies, television shows, comics, and more all gather to one place: Comic Con. Comic Con is a large annual convention that takes place in San Diego, California, and for 40 years it has been the gathering point for fandoms across the pop culture spectrum.

As one of the most highly anticipated events of the year for many people across the country, Comic Con has been able to attract not only comic book lovers but people of other interests as well. Vendors highlight everything to do with comic books, including the movies, shirts, and clothing associated with comic book characters, action figures, and much more.

Attending Comic Con

comic con

The convention takes place at the San Diego Convention Center and hosts over 150,000 people annually. To access the event you must purchase a pass, which can range from giving you access to all four days to just one, based on your preference and budget.

The passes are known to sell out within just a few hours, but for the lucky few who are able to purchase one, they are able to attend panels with their favorite celebrities, watch previews for upcoming movies, and bask in an atmosphere unlike any other.

Hotels are booked soon after passes go on sale, so participants need to plan ahead. The perks of attending include freebies, exclusive items, and content, and the opportunity to meet and greet some of the actors of your favorite shows and movies.

What to Do at Comic Con

About two weeks prior, an itinerary is released detailing every panel and feature that will be going on during the four-day event. This gives participants the opportunity to create a plan of action so the long wait in line will be worthwhile.

Panels are some of the most popular features of Comic Con, and often feature key players from television shows or movies, such as The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad, which have both hosted panels in the past.

In addition to the panels, there is a large hall dedicated solely to exhibitors who sell figures, memorabilia, exclusives, and other items related to nearly every fandom. Food is available at the convention and is similar to that of a sporting event.

People Who Attend

zombie at comic con

If you are attending Comic Con for the first time, you may be surprised at the number of people dressed in costume. At the very least, most wear a t-shirt with their favorite character or movie saying on it. Familiar characters fill the halls of the venue to represent their favorite fandoms.

Many of the Comic Con attendees will choose to cosplay (a combination of the words “costume” and “play”) as characters from a movie or television show that is recognizable to the public. Costume quality can range from store bought to homemade, but each one is spectacular in its own way.

If you want to partake in expressing your favorite comic book or movie character without the added work of putting together a costume, another alternative that is frequently seen at the convention is simply wearing a shirt with the logo or visage of your favorite characters.

Outside the Convention

Comic Con has a lot to do inside the convention center, but there are wide varieties of events that go on in accordance with the event in downtown San Diego as well. Independent panels, concerts, and comedy acts take place downtown for the attendees.

Popular movie studios and magazines take this opportunity to throw extravagant parties, often with celebrities, for a select few who make the invite-only guest list.

Other offerings of downtown include bars and restaurants offering enticing food options, as well as deals that are exclusive to those who hold a pass to the convention.

How to Get the Most of the Experience

It is no secret that Comic Con is a huge event, and it can be overwhelming, especially for the rookie participant. Attendees can have a once in a lifetime experience if they take the time to make a plan of action, and recognize that they may not get to see everything.

It is important to prioritize what you want to see and account for the inevitable long lines. Do not let one missed event ruin your time at Comic Con, because there is so much more to see and do.

It is also important to set a budget. Comic Con offers so much merchandise representing your favorite shows and characters that it may be difficult to bypass a purchase. Last, take your time and enjoy the convention, its atmosphere, the exhibitions, the celebrities, and everything else on offer. It is truly an event that cannot be experienced any other place, and you are a part of it.

Captain America: The All-American Hero

The Captain America film franchise of the current iteration of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is perhaps the most financially successful of the MCU besides the Iron Man series, and almost certainly the most beloved. All three of the current films have consistently been universally praised both critically and commercially.

The second film in the series, Captain America: Winter Soldier is often viewed by fans as the best installment of the MCU due to its highly personal storyline, its exploration of Steve Rogers’ character, and the evolution of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow into one of the most kickass members of the Avengers.

In fact, the third film, Captain America: Civil War was released to a 90 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a $180 million box office on its opening weekend; thus far, it has raised 366.5 million dollars domestically and over $807 million internationally.

Captain America further helms one of the most successful lines of merchandise to stem from the MCU. Steve Rogers’ fans can proudly proclaim their Team Cap status with all sorts of cool graphic tees, hats, action figures, and even wallets from stores and sellers that specialize in merchandise based on popular media. Imagine Captain America shielding your ID, cash, and credit cards after finishing a heroic mission to save the world.

Of course, all movies that are released as part of the MCU are bound to do well with global audiences and—if Marvel keeps producing consistently high levels of quality writing, acting, and directing—critics alike. But what is it about Cap specifically that draws audiences to him? What is it about Steve Rogers’ character that makes his particular franchise so universally beloved? The answer lies in the fact that Steve is the all-American hero we did not know we wanted and that we need.

Captain America as the All-American Hero of World War II and the 1940s

captain america

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Captain America’s mass appeal to moviegoers of today is that he is loved in spite of his old-school aesthetic, rather than because of it. Much like Superman (and Clark Kent) in the DC universe, Steve Rogers’s Captain America is a man whose incredible super strength and enhanced abilities should not permit his immense goodness. This desire to make things right in the world is intrinsic to Steve’s character.

Captain America debuted in March of 1941 as a patriotic super-soldier as a reflection of the American state of mind right before entering World War II. Many of his early storylines depict him fighting the three Axis powers and successfully completing missions in which American military lives were uncertain.

In fact, Steve Rogers was created to be the superhero the United States populace wanted to see in real life; he was a reflection of hope that Hitler would be defeated and balance would be restored to the Western world.

Co-creator Joe Simon even remarked, in his initial conception of the beloved hero, he had briefly toyed with the idea of naming him the Super American. And, although the name did not stick, its connotations did; Rogers would end up transforming into the comic book embodiment of all things American in the 1940s.

Bringing Steve Rogers into the Twenty-First Century: The All-American Hero of the Present Day

Captain America

Yes, from the 1940s—and all the way through to the present day—Captain America remains the all-American hero. The most well-known version of Captain America now is, of course, his portrayal by Chris Evans in the MCU film franchise. Yet, despite his old-fashioned manners and unofficial status as the deer in the headlights of the Avengers, the Steve Rogers that we know and love today is a Captain America that we need.

Evans’ Cap is not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve and is a poster boy of the sort of emotionally charged masculinity that we so rarely see in other action movies today. Evans himself plays a part in reviving this version of Cap’s American heroism. Within days of the release of Civil War, many critics and audience members began drawing comparisons between the actor’s goofy, loving personality (as well as his admirably shameless displays of platonic affection toward his male co-stars and friends) and his superhero counterpart.

In Civil War, Rogers risks everything to save his best friend, Bucky, with a level of fierceness and dedication generally reserved for rescue missions between heterosexual love interests in other modern day films. Indeed, both Evans and Rogers are playing a vital role in revitalizing and “making cool” the idea that emotionality is just as important as romantic love and traditional masculine stoicism.

Final Thoughts

This, then, is the all-American hero that Marvel is giving us and, this time, he is the hero that America both wants and needs.

Weekend Box Office Chart for July 15th to July 17th

Ghostbusters Vintage Logo Shades T Shirt
Ghostbusters Vintage Logo Shades T Shirt

This weeks story, Ghostbusters was not as bad as everybody thinks it is. Actually it was pretty funny.

1. The Secret Life of Pets $50.5 Total: $203.1
2. Ghostbusters $46.0 Total: $46.0
3. The Legend of Tarzan $11.1 Total: $103.0
4. Finding Dory $11.0 Total: $445.5
5. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates $7.5 Total: $31.3
6. The Purge: Election Year $6.0 Total: $71.0
7. Central Intelligence $5.3 Total: $117.5
8. The Infiltrator $5.2 Total: $6.7
9. The BFG $3.7 Total: $47.3
10. Independence Day: Resurgence $3.4 Total: $98.5

Angry Birds Addiction

We all have one app on our phones we are absolutely addicted to using. The app in question is as unique as each person is. Some people are obsessed with Words With Friends, while others enjoy playing trivia games or Cards Against Humanity in real time against other players around the world. Still others prefer to spend their time on social media apps as an extension of their online presence, such as Facebook or Twitter or even Snapchat.

Yet one particular app swept the rest out of the water upon its release in 2009 and has been an unstoppable force ever since. It is the one game that is almost universally regarded as one of the most addictive games ever created, and it is this very universality that makes it an obsession, over which fellow fans and addicts alike can bond: Angry Birds.

Since its debut, the original Angry Birds has been individually downloaded over 3 billion times on smartphones around the world. Its immense popularity spawned 14 distinct versions of the game before giving way to the official release of Angry Birds 2, a release that was accompanied by a large amount of media coverage and various press events in New York and San Francisco.

So unprecedented was the vast popularity of Angry Birds that we now have a 3D animated movie based on it featuring bird characters based on those in the game.

What Makes It So Addictive?

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There are a number of factors that explain why this particular game takes the crown for one of the most popular apps for iPhone and Android users alike. First on the list is its pure simplicity; the gameplay is almost frighteningly simple. All you do is drag your finger across the screen to shoot fat, angry-looking birds out of slingshots to knock out groups of pigs who have stolen the birds’ eggs.

It all takes place in one frame on your screen; there is no visual movement. The uncomplicated nature of this game recalls the addictive nature of other classically simple mindless games—think of your old favorites, such as Tetris, Galaga, and Pacman.

The difference between failure and success in this game makes the stakes maddeningly high. You can sometimes knock out an entire batch of pigs in one fell swoop, while still other times you are forced to try slinging bird after bird until you manage to knock one pig off a relatively easy perch. This means the rewards feel great as you progress through the game little by little. Once you run out of birds, you are prompted to start the level again.

It is this ease of access paired with the very human desire to keep trying and trying again, that latches us to our landscape-rotated smartphones until we win and make it to the next level. When we win, our brains feel a dopamine rush that we want to recreate again. There is truly no stopping point that allows you to mentally check out, and this tiny neurochemical reaction is what makes Angry Birds so infuriatingly fun and addictive.

Oh, the Franchise (and Merchandise) You’ll Find!

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One of the most predictable aspects of living in a world so bowed to consumerist culture is that many trends that get people hooked become instantly marketable in other ways. Think about it; most popular forms of entertainment—whether they are young adult book series, movie franchises, or video game sequences—extend beyond their source material into empires of t-shirts, spinoff novel adaptations, and more.

The world of Angry Birds is absolutely no different; fans of the game who wish to show off their love of and expertise at the game in a casual manner can find all sorts of nifty graphic tees, funky baseball hats and beanies, shorts, and many more such items at stores that sell specialized merchandise for popular media.

Angry Birds is one of the most beloved and simplest games released in the past decade, and its immense success with users across almost all demographics is proof of its staying power. Try as we might to make it go away, Angry Birds has dominated the app market for nearly seven years.

Perhaps we should all take our friends’ advice and uninstall the app, but, at the end of the day, all we can do is succumb to its seductive, endlessly repetitive powers. After all, it is a hard world we live in. Don’t we deserve to have a little bit of addictive fun?