All posts by MPC

Freelance Writer / Editor, based in Sacramento CA.

Six Flags Amusement Parks Add Immersive Virtual Reality To Roller Coasters…and Blow. Our. Minds.

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*One of my greatest surprises after moving to the west coast seven years ago was the discovery of Six Flags amusement parks. I grew up just a stone’s throw from the midwest’s Cedar Point, which is widely known as the roller coast capital of the world. I still cherish the memories of my annual treks there as a kid, and didn’t imagine being close a park that could match the thrills I’d experienced at Cedar Point.

Then, I found Six Flags.

The one in my neck of the woods, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, was always a thrill, but got better in recent years with the addition of rides like Superman Ultimate Flight (which is the first ride I hit when I enter the park!) and The Joker, a new hybrid coaster that repurposed the foundation of one of the park’s old wooden out-and-backs and turned it into a scream machine that left me hoarse for the balance of my day there last summer.

During THAT ride, I had to suppress my repeated “F*** me!” screams, as there were small, impressionable children aboard.  (I can’t wait to ride it again!) Continue reading

The Lego Batman Movie Cracked Me Up, Delivers Laughs For Kids Of All Ages

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*I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I can take another Trump announcement, pronouncement, or tweet!  Yesterday, I needed a break from the dismal news cycle, so I snuck into a showing of the hysterical new The Lego Batman Movie. Even a die-hard Superman fan like me loved it.

Maybe that’s because the Man of Steel himself has a role in the movie, and provides a fairly significant plot point to the action-packed romp, during which Batman struggles with…

…wait a minute. Am I ACTUALLY writing a review about a film that’s based on Lego building blocks??

Yes, I am. I was drawn into the story from the first few frames.  I howled with laughter during the flick, which has lots of action and humor that will appeal to the little ones, along with many jokes that will go right over their heads while leaving you in stitches.

Will Arnett, who provides the voice of the most vain Caped Crusader we’ve ever seen on screen (“…I get up at 4:30am and pump iron until my pecs are just sick!”), may well be my favorite cinematic Batman. Continue reading

Introducing an Orange Alligator: the “Trumpagator!”

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*I still remember the “horse of a different color” scene in the 1939 Hollywood remake of The Wizard of Oz. 

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Remember it?  That horse changed into several bright colors during that segment, and has prompted smiles for generations of movie lovers.

Well, THAT was a horse…in a movie.   I wouldn’t have been smiling at the sight of this:  a 4- to 5-foot orange alligator.  He or she — you can’t blame anyone for not wanting to get close enough to discern the beast’s gender! — turned heads earlier this week near a pond just outside of Charleston, South Carolina.  Residents have begun joking that it should be called a “Trumpagator.” Continue reading

‘The Voice Of Romance’ Johnny Mathis Kicks Off Concert Tour…at 81 Years Young

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*A few days ago, a colleague shared her perspective about music legend Johnny Mathis as he relates to current media consumers. She said she thought that today’s online readers “…are too young to know who Johnny Mathis is…”

As a lifelong Mathis fan, I was stung by those words. Could she have been right?

I swallowed hard as I took those words in, and clicked on my iTunes “Johnny Mathis” playlist. After listening to a few classics like “Misty,” “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late,” and “Chances Are,” I reflected on my colleague’s perspective. If she’s right, I surmised, it’s my job as a journalist to educate, to inform. And so…

Today’s Black History Month moment is brought to you by the incomparable Johnny Mathis! 

At the age of 19, San Francisco’s John Royce Mathis was headed to the Olympic trials when he turned his back on his promising athletic career and accepted an offer to meet with a representative from Columbia Records.

“I was overjoyed to get out of high jumping,” Mathis laughed by phone. “It was such a pain — literally. I had a bad back like a lot of athletes do. It limited not only my performance but my livelihood for whatever other physical activities I wanted to do. So when the telegram came, it sounded too good to be true, to get an invitation to come to New York and make a record.”

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Continue reading

Boy Finds Rattlesnake In Toilet, 23 More Found Underneath Family’s House

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*Where’s Samuel Jackson when you need him?

Isac McFadden, a boy in Abilene, Texas got up the other morning to use the bathroom.  When he opened the toilet, a rattlesnake that was slithering up the bowl was there to greet him.

He told his mom about it, who frantically called a snake removal expert.  She also told Isac’s older brother to grab a shovel.

By the time Nathan Hawkins of Big Country Snake Removal had showed up, one of the butch ass McFadden boys had decapitated the snake.

That made serpent removal expert Hawkins sad.

“They’re actually very, very amazing creatures that are really misunderstood,” Hawkins said.  “There are irrational fears around them.”

I think it’s irrational for anyone NOT to want to cut the head off of a rattlesnake that’s slithering around in their toilet bowl.   Continue reading

It’s About Time! The Boy Scouts of America Now Welcomes Transgender Boys

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*I cannot get CeCe Peniston’s club hit “Finally” out of my head.

The Boy Scouts of America has FINALLY begun accepting transgender boys.  

Membership in both the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts is now based on the gender indicated on an application, NOT on the gender listed on an applicant’s birth certificate.

They’ve FINALLY come to the conclusion that relying on an individual’s birth certificate “…is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state,” a BSA spokesperson said in a statement Monday.

In other words, the Boy Scouts of America has joined the 21st century, and I extend a hearty “Welcome aboard!”

Zach Wahls, co-founder of Scouts for Equality, agrees with me. Continue reading

22-Year-Old College Senior Running For Mayor of Detroit


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*President Barack Obama, during his farewell speech, said “If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organizing.  If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.  Show up.  Dive in.  Persevere.”

Detroit’s Myya D. Jones, 22, has taken the president’s sage advice to heart.  She’s running for the mayor of her hometown.  

“I have always been interested in civil engagement,” Jones told Detroit’s Metro Times.  “But I was turned off from doing politics because we had such a negative stigma around politics in Detroit.”

Now, she hopes to change that narrative, while she changes things in the city she calls home. Continue reading

1950s TV Western Features Con Man Named Trump Who Wanted To Build A Wall

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*They say life imitates art.  Sometimes, it’s the other way around.

A western drama TV series called “Trackdown,” ran from 1957 to 1959.  One of the series’ episodes, entitled “End of the World,” featured a con man named Walter Trump who told everyone that he could prevent the world from ending by…

wait for it…

building a wall.

For real.  

While OUR Trump wants to keep all of the raping, murdering Mexicans out of the country, the fictional Walter Trump’s wall was envisioned as the ultimate protector from a “cosmic explosion.”

Hilariously, the similarities don’t end there.   OUR Trump and THAT Trump had similar speaking patterns.  Check out this snippet of dialogue from the 1958 episode, and see if you agree: Continue reading