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Apple strikes deal to produce new “Peanuts” content

LOS ANGELES — Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the “Peanuts” crew will have a new home on Apple’s streaming service.

Apple has struck a deal with DHX Media to produce new “Peanuts” content. The global children’s content and brands company will develop and produce original programs for Apple including new series, specials and shorts based on the beloved characters.

“Peanuts” was created by Charles M. Schulz in 1950.

DHX will produce original short-form STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) content that will be exclusive to Apple, including astronaut Snoopy.

Peanuts Worldwide and NASA recently signed a Space Act Agreement, designed to inspire a passion for space exploration and STEM among the next generation of students.

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Special counsel probe cost surpasses $25M since May 2017

WASHINGTON — The Russia investigation has cost more than $25 million since the special counsel’s May 2017 appointment.

That’s according to the latest report from the Justice Department detailing the spending of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and support staff. Mueller is investigating Russian election interference and any coordination with associates of President Donald Trump.

From April through September, the special counsel’s office directly accounted for $4.6 million in expenses. Another $3.9 million was spent by other government officers supporting the investigation. That adds to the more than $16.7 million spent through March.

About $2.9 million went toward salaries and benefits. The special counsel also spent about $580,000 on travel.

So far, Mueller has charged 33 people and three companies and obtained six guilty pleas and a trial conviction.

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Limerick: Here’s a theory: It’s time to reclaim the meaning of some important words

As the year 2018 winds down, our nation is in crisis.

You’ve heard that before.

What you haven’t heard is a practical assessment of the cause of this crisis. But that’s about to change.

Here’s the source of our troubles: We have been inflicting intense suffering on some very important words, forcing them to associate with meanings that they abhor.

Let’s demonstrate the value of this assessment by performing a rescue mission for the word “theory,” currently standing out as one of the most unhappy nouns in the United States.

In our times, what we call conspiracy theories reproduce at a rate that would arouse the envy of guppies. And they generate much agitation, doubling as statements  invoking alarm and panic, and as statements inviting denunciation and condemnation.

Step back for a moment from the agitation, and the first thing you’ll notice is that the word “theory” is in anguish, trapped in an unbearably awkward position.

By its actual definition, a theory is a proposition that its author wants to test, putting it forward to be proven or disproven.

But in popular usage, the word theory has been coerced and bullied into carrying a meaning that it loathes.

And now the good news:  As we are about to make evident, rescuing mistreated words turns out to be easy—and breathtakingly beneficial.

First, we encourage everyone so inclined to announce a conspiracy theory.

Second, we then respond to each of these declarations by saying, without a trace of agitation, “That’s an interesting theory. Let’s figure out a way to test its accuracy.”

In other words, let’s show some respect for these troubled words, and let’s act on our empathy for their misery. When we restore them to the possession of their actual meaning, the words instantly feel better and fruitless public disputes are averted.

And now the time has come  to reveal the theory underlying this prescription of relief for unhappy words and an unhappy nation.

A quarter-century ago, I created a cheerful document called “Limerick’s Rules of Verbal Etiquette.” Here is the premise on which these rules rest:  “Words are our friends, and people should not put their friends in awkward positions.”

When I first formulated this premise, my only goal was to design an unexpected approach to convince professors and students  to become better writers.

And  now it turns out that my premise presents a route to the restoration of sanity to our national conversations.

If we treat words as our friends, and  if we rescue them quickly when they are forced to carry meanings that they find repellent, the third decade of the 21st century might turn out a lot better than the second.

Fellow citizens, rush to the aid of words in pain. Truth, accuracy, and fact would particularly welcome your help.

And please consider giving a hand to dignity. Rarely placed in an awkward position (or in any position at all), dignity struggles with a distinctive form of vexation,  feeling chronically sidelined, snubbed, and dismissed.

And that delivers us to a concluding theory deserving a vigorous test:  Giving the word “dignity” the opportunity it yearns for — a chance to serve as our anchorage — could offer a surprisingly effective way to deal with the nation’s current crisis.

Patty Limerick is faculty director and chair of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado.

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