movies

Movie Theater’s Across The Country Celebrate “National Cinema Day” With Cheap Tickets

All across the country, movie tickets are only going to cost $3 for National Cinema Day.

The Cinema Foundation noted that this is in efforts to help encourage people to once again return to the movie theaters.

“More than 3,000 theaters with over 30,000 screens will offer tickets for $3, excluding tax, across all formats and show times on Sept. 3,” said The Cinema Foundation. 

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Labor Day weekend has been considered one of the slowest weekends throughout the year for movie theaters. Throughout the summer, movie theaters have seen low attendance even though it has been higher since they first reopened post-pandemic.

“After this summer’s record-breaking return to cinemas, we wanted to do something to celebrate moviegoing,” said Jackie Brenneman, Cinema Foundation president.

National Cinema Day also acts as a gift of thanks due to the high success of recent releases like “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Minions: Rise of Gru,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “Jurassic World: Dominion” which brought in roughly $1.8 billion. 

“We’re doing it by offering a ‘thank you’ to the moviegoers that made this summer happen, and by offering an extra enticement for those who haven’t made it back yet.”

Theater companies like AMC and Cinemark are adding to the mix with concession specials that they are offering on Saturday. 

According to CBS News, AMC is going to offer a fountain drink and popcorn combo for only $5. Cinemark is continuing with the theme for National Cinema Day by offering a medium ICEE, candy or a small popcorn for only $3. 

As a small preview, exclusively on Saturday, theaters will be showing sneak peeks and clips from several major studios with some of the upcoming films that are set to debut in the upcoming fall and winter months.

Movie theaters have taken a notorious hit over the last few years due to COVID and the theatrical releases coming out in “hybrid” form both in theaters and on streaming platforms. 

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Even with the lower than average movie theater attendants, the summer also saw a number of people coming to watch the big blockbusters like “Thor: Love and Thunder” and “Nope.”

According to Comscore, this past summer’s box office was $3.027 billion.

In total, movie theaters have found that the domestic box office has brought more than $5.2 billion and its set to beat 2021.

The organizers of National Cinema Day have noted that the event is set to act as a “trial” to see the response from theatergoers around the country. If the results are successful, it could become an annual event. 

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dog

How To Help Your Pets And Wildlife Stay Cool During The Final Month Of Summer 

Rising temperatures around the world are impacting pets and wildlife greatly this year. Pet owners are doing everything they can to keep their furry friends cool and safe for the remainder of the summer, but it’s important to think about the wildlife animals that are also enduring this heat. 

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a wildlife conservatory based in the UK, which is currently experiencing heat waves and droughts due to the heat this summer. An RSPB spokesperson recently discussed the best tips for keeping pets and wildlife safe throughout the rest of this summer.

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Many water sources throughout the world have begun to dry up due to extreme temperatures, causing multiple species of wildlife to become dehydrated. 

“A garden pond, no matter what size, benefits wildlife all year long, but is especially necessary in the heat. But even a shallow dish of water will help,” the spokesperson explained

“Some animals and birds will want to bathe and cool down, others just to drink, so keep it topped up with clean water and refreshed daily. Add pebbles or some kind of ramp around the edge of any water source to help the smallest creatures climb in and out.”

Dry conditions also cause a lot of vital food sources to become scarce, so the RSPB recommends putting out small quantities of food for wildlife. 

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“Putting out fruit and seeds will help, in small quantities but often, to avoid it spoiling. A bowl of dog or cat food (not fish-based) at night will help small animals. It’s essential to keep anything clean that you’re putting out – whether it’s a feeder or an upturned bin lid of water, as diseases can spread rapidly with different animals using them and in the heat.” 

“We  advise giving bird feeders a clean once a week with soapy water and emptying bird baths daily,” the spokesperson continued. 

If you have the garden space, let plants and trees grow as much as possible to provide multiple shade options for wildlife and your pets. 

“Shade is great for us, for our pets and certainly for our wildlife. A log pile will help lots of creatures to find a cool corner, from tiny woodlice to frogs and toads, as will longer grass. Avoid pruning and tidying up areas where leaves and branches are providing more shade,” the spokesperson explained. 

For your pets at home, make sure you’re consistently providing fresh water. Ice cubes are a great “summer treat” for dogs as well. 

If you happen to find a wild bird or mammal that seems to be in distress due to the heat, contact your local wildlife rehabilitation center for the best possible care.

hot

How To Keep Safe And Hydrated During The Intense Heat Waves

While summer lovers might say you can never have too much of a good thing, the weather might disagree.

More than 85% of Americans are bracing for continued days of intense temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while those in the South and Central parts of the country could see digits rise well into the triples.

If the 100 million currently under heat advisories aren’t careful, temperatures could become a lot more than simply irritating. Yet, no one can likely stay inside all day. So how can you and your family take on the sun while staying active and healthy?

Make Sure To Have The Right Drink In Hand

It goes without saying that fluids are critical to a person’s health during intense heat waves. Drink water throughout the day, even when you aren’t thirsty. That way, you won’t risk dehydration.

Additionally, plain water shouldn’t be your first go-to: coconut water and lemon water are particularly effective. Coconut water acts as an excellent source of potassium, amino acids, and minerals, and is fat-free to boot.

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While this might be excruciating, stay away from caffeine, alcohol, energy, and sugary drinks during the hottest parts of the day. These can help to make you dehydrated much quicker due to their contents not being able to replace fluid lost from sweating.

Snacks are important when it comes to maintaining energy and ensuring an intake of water. Cucumbers are the most water-packed vegetable with 95% and are also a good source of fiber.

Apples are equally solid snacks — with 85.56 grams of water per 100-gram serving — along with celery, lettuce, and watermelon. Avoid food that is high in sugar, like candy or bread.

Take Time To Prep And Dress For The Occasion

In addition to keeping fluid and snacks around at all times, take precautions with what you throw on. Heavier clothes should obviously be avoided in favor of lightweight and breathable outfits.

Darker colors, like black, can increase the heat and sweat you feel, so light colors will be your friend.

The same dress code should apply to children and babies as well, who are more prone to heat-related health risks due to their still-maturing sweat glands, smaller body mass to surface area ratio, and general lack of judgment or knowledge about weather conditions and exertion.

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It’s also beneficial to see how the temperature will vary throughout the day, as well as what that day’s humidity looks like. Understand that some activities should only be done at certain times of the day.

Speaking to The Washington Post, U.S. Soccer Chief Medical Officer George Chiampas emphasized that before 11 a.m. and after 6 p.m. are times you should try to plan your children’s activities for, as these are likely to be the coolest parts of the day.

Keep An Eye On Yourself Or Your Children

It’s important to have an action plan in case you or a member of your family runs into a potential heat risk. Signs of dehydration include dizziness or light-headedness, a dry mouth or lips, tiredness, and darker-colored urine.

Heat strokes show many of the same signs, along with clammy or pale skin, cramping, and a changed mental state. If you notice yourself or a child showing these, you should immediately relocate to a shaded or air-conditioned area.

While seeking medical assistance, drink and apply cold water onto your body, either through the use of a washcloth, a bath or shower, or a body of water.

pool

US Pools Closing Amid Nationwide Lifeguard Shortage 

According to reports, a nationwide shortage of lifeguards in the US is forcing local pools to close for the summer. 

Major cities throughout New York, Chicago, New Orleans, and many others are announcing reduced hours of operations for public pools, or just shutting down entirely due to the shortage of lifeguards. 

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Experts are estimating that a third of the pools in the US will be affected by overall staff shortages. The American Lifeguard Association estimated that by September half of the pools in the US will be impacted by these shortages. 

“The shortage is real, it’s a crisis.” said Bernard Fisher, the director of health and safety at the American Lifeguard Association. 

According to the New Orleans Advocate, city officials in New Orleans said that the municipal government would only open five of its 15 pools, and may be able to open up three more if the city can recruit more lifeguards. 

Chicago typically opens up their pools to the public on June 24th, but missed the deadline this year due to a lack of lifeguards and staff overall. City officials are reassigning lifeguards from local beaches to hopefully open up more pools as the summer progresses. 

New York currently has half the number of available lifeguards when compared to pre-pandemic levels. The state announced last week that they would be increasing the starting pay for lifeguards and developing a training program to staff more of the city’s pools. 

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Experts have stated that they’ve feared a lifeguard shortage for years prior to this summer, but the Covid-19 pandemic and an unstable labor market has made those fears a difficult reality. 

YMCA water safety expert Lindsay Mondick said a “lack of available US student visas has worsened the shortage, because many lifeguards in the country are foreign students. The slow release of more visas is having only a limited effect on the staffing shortages.”

 “We have been concerned about this potential lifeguard shortage for a number of years now. But I would say that Covid and the current tight labor market has really exacerbated this issue.”

Fisher said “simply increasing wages may not solve staffing issues because not enough people are training to be lifeguards.” 

“If cities cannot find ways to recruit more trained lifeguards and open up local pools, people may seek out unmonitored and possibly more dangerous swimming options in order to taste relief from the summer heat,” Fisher stated. 

“It’s such a crisis that if we don’t start resolving it this year, it’s going to be even worse next year, which I just can’t imagine,” Fisher said.

Social Media

Addicted To Your Smartphone And Social Media? It Could End Up Being Harmful

It’s not hyperbole to say smartphones, social media, and technology in general has become the center of our lives. We communicate, work, play, date, take photos, and do a million other activities, all at the click of a button. It helps to make tasks effortless and quick.

But as the rule with all good things, there comes a problem. Social media and smartphones can have very addicting tendencies that are becoming increasingly obvious. According to a 2021 Pew Research Center study, 49% of U.S. adults on Facebook — seven-in-ten users — say they visit the site several times a day, with 22% visiting at least once.

For Snapchat, 45% visit several times a day, while Instagram has 38% of users logging on frequently. The increased activity is especially prevalent throughout younger age groups, which apps like Snapchat are catered too.

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Of course, just visiting a platform doesn’t mean you’re necessarily addicted, especially if it’s only for a few seconds each. But, as Wall Street Journal family and tech columnist Julie Jargon explained, there a number of ways to tell if you’re obsessed with your phone and social media.

Jargon explained that if you find it hard to put your phone down, it could mean you’re using it compulsively, indicting addiction. Some examples of this might be a person refusing to do an action — such as going to the bathroom or walking down the street — without checking their phone.

This can certainly end poorly in a number of ways, from not looking while crossing the street or when driving, leaving both yourself and others in potential danger. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, texting while driving can reduce a driver’s attention by 37%.

Like with all habits, these compulsions can be hard to break. However, you have a weapon at your disposal: your phone’s settings, which can allow you to slowly chip away your need to be looking at the screen, even it’s its forced.

“Try logging how often you check your feeds in a day, including those brief glances during spare moments,” Jargon said, emphasizing turning off app notifications, turning on Do Not Disturb, and configuring settings that don’t allow the receiving of texts while driving. Finding other activities to put in place of the moments you use for your phone time can also help to fill the void.

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Among other signs to look out for include using social media to satisfy yourself, suffering withdrawal symptoms when not using a device, convincing yourself you have an audience you need to serve, or that social media use is getting in the way of your life and preventing you from time with family and friends.

All of those possible signs can have a draining impact on your self-esteem and relationships, while an addiction can also lead to other potential problems that can threaten mental states. Studies have found potential links between excessive phone usage and cognitive functions, emotional reactions, and medical problems that include a lack of sleep, unhealthy eating habits, and physical loss.

So, what else can be done to help? Jargon suggested developing a schedule for social media and phone use, helping you to give yourself much-needed no-screen time while not cutting yourself off completely. Therapy can also be helpful for those that have developed serious conditions.

Healthy Lifestyle

Adopting A Healthier Lifestyle In Your 80s Can Add Years To Your Life 

According to new research from Japan, even when you’re in your 80s you can add years to your life by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. 

Scientists in the research paper discussed how reducing your alcohol intake, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and increasing sleep can give individuals some of the biggest changes in their life for the better. 

Healthy 40-year-olds in the study showed a life longevity that increased by six years when these specific habits were regularly implemented into their daily lives. The benefits were even more prominent within individuals who were 80+ years old. 

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The gains in life longevity also applied to individuals who were dealing with life-threatening illnesses including cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease. 

The study came from Osaka University, and was meant to prove that it’s never too late for someone to give up negative habits that impact their health. The study was based on almost 50,000 individuals from Japan who were tracked for up to 20 years. 

“This is a particularly important finding given the prevalence of chronic disease has increased globally,” said Senior author Professor Hiroyasu Iso.

The team says “taking ownership of your health is key to a pleasurable retirement.”

“Idioms and proverbs about the importance of maintaining good health span the ages. Many emphasize how closely health is tied to happiness and the opportunity to live a fulfilling and enjoyable life.”

The study was published in Age and Aging, and emphasized how healthy behaviors adopted over time, when one is middle aged or older, have a significant effect on lifespan. 

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Specifically, researchers found that adopting five or more healthy lifestyle habits increases  life expectancy for individuals older than 80, including those with chronic conditions. The results of the study were also dependent on socioeconomic status which can increase someone’s access to things like assisted healthcare, and healthy lifestyle brands. 

The study began nearly 30 years ago when participants in the Japan Collaborate Cohort (JACC) Study filled in surveys regarding their diet, exercise habits, alcohol consumption, smoking status, sleep schedules, Body Mass Index, and illnesses. 

The overall goal of the study was to increase common knowledge on what simple lifestyle changes can make a difference when it comes to someone’s quantity and quality of life. It’s known as one of the first studies to measure the impact of improving lifestyle habits among older individuals. 

“The finding that lifestyle improvements have a positive impact on health despite chronic health conditions and older age is an empowering one, especially given the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and longer life,” said lead author Dr. Ryoto Sakaniwa.

Lead author Dr Frank Hu, of Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, described the study results as “a positive message for the public”.

“They gain not just more years of life but good years through improved lifestyle choices.”

Green Heart Lifestyle

Could Greener Lifestyles Lead To Greater Happiness? Studies Suggest So

For those that try to keep the Earth green and prosperous, you may have some good feelings coming your way as a “thank you” from Mother Nature. According to studies, research shows that there may be a positive relationship between pro-environmental behaviors and overall wellbeing.

As Cardiff University senior research fellow Stuart Capstick explained, there are a number of reasons for this connection. One could be that taking the steps to protect and better the environment fulfills our basic psychological needs, “such as the sense that we are making a useful contribution to the world or acting on our own values and concerns.”

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Capstick noted that kind of logic can also act in the opposite way. People who are in a better state of mind are more likely to pay attention to the environment surrounding them, acting in a way that will benefit everyone rather than just themselves.

In the study that Capstick was an author of, the research went beyond the relationship between environmentalism and wellbeing. Instead, they focused on whether this positive influence was only obtainable in wealthy countries, or if privilege is a nonexistent factor.

Studying 7,000 people in over several different countries like India, the U.K., and Denmark, the research found that regardless of their home and wealth, people that committed environmentally friendly acts — from reducing food waste to donating to environmental campaigns — had their wellbeing positively affected.

“At the personal level, the connection between green behaviour and wellbeing was as pronounced for those on lower incomes as those in higher income brackets,” Capstick said. He also added that regardless of how materialistic or selflessness people claimed themselves to be, their wellbeing rose the same regardless in the event of a environmental action.

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The key difference between countries found by Capstick and co. was that nations with a “more collectivist social organisation,” such as Brazil and China, had a “particularly profounding” wellbeing impact on those who participating in eco-friendly activities as a group.

Considering the data, then, would seem to suggest that a very simple way of improving your mental state is to take the steps to benefit the world around you. Luckily, there is plenty of flexibility when it comes to the actions that can make a difference.

According to BBC, looking for eco-friendly clothes — like cotton over polyester — and shopping at second-hand stores is a great way to bolster both your closet and your sense of eco-responsibility. When it comes to food, meanwhile, eating locally and seasonally are recommended, as is perhaps cutting down on meat.

“I don’t think everyone has to go vegan to make a huge change. The more realistic thing is for the majority of people cutting down meat consumption to a couple of days a week.”

Recycling and reusing materials is always a major environmental aid, and it’s as easy as throwing your plastic water bottle into a blue bin. That simpliness also applies to habits around the house, like turning off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth or flicking off the lightswitch after leaving a room. You’ll also be saving money if you do the latter.

Dog Flowers

Pet Safe Flowers To Brighten Up Your Garden This Summer 

As the summer quickly approaches, many of us are gearing up to beautify our gardens and homes with flowers. For those of us with pets, it’s important to know which flowers are safe to have around the house in case our furry friends decide to do what animals do best and eat something they shouldn’t. 

To ensure all the flowers you buy are non-toxic to your pets, it’s recommended to buy individual bouquets rather than the ones that are pre-assembled. Pre-made bouquets don’t normally have every flower in them listed when you purchase, so it can be hard to tell if everything is safe. 

Like most plants, if ingested, flowers can cause your dog or cat to have an upset stomach, so it’s important to know the least harmful ones you should be reaching for at the garden store. 

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Roses are a classic and safe option for both dogs and cats. Fallen petals that can be accidentally ingested by your pet won’t make them extremely sick, and they come in a wide variety of colors to brighten up any space. If your roses have thorns, try placing them in the least accessible place possible.

Gerber Daisies are some of the most popular flowers among pet-owners as they are both beautiful and safe to have around. Make sure that when you buy these flowers you’re purchasing Gerber Daisies specifically, as other flowers within the daisy family, like chrysanthemums or mums, can be toxic to pets. 

Sunflowers are a classic and safe option for summertime. If the petals or seeds are ingested by a dog or cat, it’s likely that they will experience mild stomach discomfort, but they won’t have any serious health issues. 

It’s vitally important to note that if you notice your pet has a habit of eating plants and/or flowers that you stop them immediately and try to reconfigure your space to give them little to no access to the flowers themselves. 

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Orchids are another beautiful option that pet owners can feel confident about having in their home. Like most flowers on this list, if your pet ingests a petal or leaf they’ll likely experience an upset stomach, but they’re non-toxic overall. 

Freesias are a tall and funnel-shaped flower, which makes it even harder for pets to reach if they’re in a vase. They are, however, lemon scented, which could be tempting for any furry friend. These flowers are non-toxic to dogs and cats though, so an upset stomach will be the biggest concern if they do ingest any part of the flower. 

Beyond the safe flowers, it’s important to know of the ones that you should absolutely never have around a dog or cat, as they’re toxic if ingested. 

These toxic flowers include lilies, mums, tulips, azaleas, daffodils, foxgloves, hydrangea, baby’s breath, peonias, iris’, lavender, and eucalyptus. To be absolutely safe, always do your research before bringing any sort of plant or flower into the home.

With Rising Prices, Here Are Some Ways To Save For Easter Activities

Due to rising inflation and the Ukraine conflict, prices on goods across the board have taken a hit, and with Easter coming up, you may feel it in your pocketbook more than ever. The New York Post reported that the average cost of an Easter basket has skyrocketed to $61.83, up from $50.46 — or 22.5% — in the spring of 2019.

Individual candies like Hershey’s and Kit Kats have risen 99 cents to $1.25, while a classic 6-oz chocolate bunny has jumped a dollar to $5.99. Classic Easter meals like lamb and ham have also seen a surge in cost as well, with the USDA reporting all foods to rise 4.5% to 5.5% this year.

Those drastic changes can certainly put a damper on a holiday that saw people spend a combined $21.7 billion last year. While you might feel like hopping away and hiding in a hole, you shouldn’t fret. There are plenty of ways to avoid spending a big paycheck while still ensuring your activities and plans are top of the line.

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When it comes to shopping, coupons are an absolute must for navigating your way towards the best prices. Looking through papers and physically cutting them out or using apps such as Ibotta are both excellent options that won’t just benefit you through Easter, but the rest of the year.

Shopping in bulk can also help cut down on the price per unit of a good, both at big-box retail stores like Costco and BJ’s, or online stores like Just Candy, which currently is having a 30% off sale on all bulk candy, along with 40% on select bulk candy.

Even discount retailers like the Dollar Tree and Dollar General haven’t been immune to rising prices, with Dollar Tree raising most prices to $1.25. Still, that extra change shouldn’t deter you from finding bargain deals on decorations, supplies, and candy. Even better, Dollar Tree’s loss is Dollar General’s gain, with the latter leaning more into the “$1 dollar” selling point. That should give you all the more flexibility on where to shop.

Speaking of decorations, Easter represents an amazing time to make your own. Country Living highlighted a number of fun and innovative ideas, from shaping napkins into bunny ears to making an egg carton wreath out of old egg cartons.

The key here is to recycle and transform common objects around your house, whether that’s pom poms or coffee filters. You’ll not only be saving money by not having buying decor at a store (which can range anywhere from $20 to $50 and above depending where you shop), your imagination won’t be limited either. While this method might take more time, you can easily make it into a fun family activity that your children will love, killing two birds with one stone.

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That DIY attitude can also apply to making your own easter baskets instead of buying pre-made ones, which will allow you to control how much they end up costing. Don’t feel like you have to stick to candy, either – small toys and trinkets make great goodies as well, and add some variety!

Of course, with easter baskets comes egg hunts, the glorious main event in the eyes of a child. If you’re looking to spice up the hunt without spending more cash on candy, The Budget Mom suggests ideas like transforming it into a nighttime hunt with flashlights or replacing the treats with custom rewards like a family movie night or an extra hour before bed.

If you’re more focused on having a grand dinner, perhaps considering making it potluck and BYOB style if a larger amount of guests or relatives are coming over. You would focus on the main dish, while your attendees can help to contribute by offering a diverse group of appetizers and sides. If you still feel like dictating what meals you’d prefer serve, you can also request guests to bring specific dishes as well.

While you might have had the idea that in order to create the perfect Easter, going over budget would be a necessity, taking the time to find the best savings and letting your creative juices flow can prove to result in an even better celebration with friends and family.