local distribution

Let me elaborate from the previous post.

You see, Lionsgate produces movies and distributes them in US, Canada, and UK. The rest of the world? They sale the rights to other local distribution companies to do promotion and sale them to theaters to show their movies. This is basically why Lionsgate has the tendency to have (mostly) bomb after bomb and yet the company is still very much alive. You see how each year they make a crappy low budget animated movie that comes out in January? Norm of the North, Alpha & Omega, Rock Dog, to name a few, all bombs, and yet they got profit out of all them. Why? Because from selling the international distribution rights they practically recovered the budget and they get nothing but profit afterwards. On the meanwhile, the small local distributors get a quick profit for a movie they didn’t payed that much and they hardly promoted. Is a win-win.

It’s because of this form of distribution Power Rangers is failing internationally. Take for instance in my country, Mexico. In the opening weekend the movie was #1 at the mexican box-office. This was while having less screens than Beauty and the Beast (which already had a week in theaters), it’s major competitor that weekend. And yet, by the next weekend, it was in less screens than newcomer Ghost in the Shell AND B&tB. Why? Because whatever incentives the big companies offered the theaters, it was something the small local company couldn’t compete with. The local distributor, however, already received their profit, and Lionsgate doesn’t get much from international box-office anyway. This applies to pretty much any part of the world, having irregular distribution and promotion from country to country.

And how does this applies to Power Rangers and why buying toys would help much more guarantee a sequel?

Well, you see, Power Rangers is obviously a much bigger than most of Lionsgate’s films. They really wanted this to be their big franchise after Hunger Games, and even though it doesn’t look like it, Lionsgate has been receiving nothing but profit since day 1. Between the sale of distribution rights, canadian tax incentives, that Saban/Toei put part of the money, and whatever quantity (spoilers?) Krispy Kreme paid, despite the $110m budget, what LG truly invested into making the movie would be around 25-30m. So they practically recovered their investment since opening day!

“So this means we are getting a sequel? :D”

Calm down. No, it doesn’t. Again, Lionsgate, really wanted this to be their very own entry into the superhero movie bandwagon, and they really wanted this to be their new moneymaker since HG, since the Divergent series couldn’t live up to that (add those to the list of films with so-so box-office to outright bombs, and yet they still made sequels and they’re currently making a tv series). And even thought they probably won’t receive the money they wanted, there is a second party here that could push them into making at least one sequel: Saban/Toei.

As meanwhile Lionsgate keeps most of the box-office profit, Saban/Toei get their profit from merchandise. If they get more than enough from toy sales, they WILL push for a sequel, either with or without Lionsgate (granted, Lionsgate is the only one who would make such a gamble, so they’re the sure bet). Truth is, that is Saban’s/Toei’s true money maker, toys. For Power Rangers -and it’s sister series, Super Sentai- ratings are pretty much irrelevant, toy sales is what keeps those series alive (in particularly SS has had some serious decline and their movies aren’t exactly hits, but toy sales are always hot).

And yeah, I know toys are expensive, but if you could get something, you’ll help more the chances of a sequel than going to watch it again this weekend.

(Although form what I’ve seen the toys are not that much expensive from a movie ticket in US? I saw someone posting their ticket and it was $16?! What the fuck? Checking the Toys R Us website a toy is $8, so it’s cheaper than going to the movies, the fuck? In Mexico it’s $6, $10 tops if you go to a premium theater, what the fuck is wrong with american ticket prices, what the f)

Although, the most important thing is…

Keep this movie alive.

By that, I mean, keep it relevant. When it’s home released, show it to anyone who enters your house. Because, if the movie gets a sequel, it will be a make it or break deal. If the sequel gets mediocre earnings, it will not get further more sequels. It needs to be a hit. And, for that we need to bring in more people to watch this one. Maybe not in theaters, but through any other way. I remember that when I entered this hellsite, Pacific Rim was very popular. One post particularly stayed with me due to how quickly irrelevant it became. It said something along the lines of wanting Pacific Rim to become the next Star Wars, with all sorts of merchandise and tie-in novels and expanded universe stuffs. But people on this place forget and move on easily. I still follow many of the the blogs from that time who reblogged that post, and yet, only a handful of them keep posting PR stuff (practically only kaiju and toku blogs that I follow keep posting PR related content semi-regularly). I wonder if op even has any PR content on their blog nowadays. Want further sequels? Then do not let that happen to Power Rangers. 

That time I got pushed out of a job.

(warning: long story)

A few years ago i got hired at a big company, let’s call it company X. Up until then i had only been a research scientist working in microbiology but i needed more money so i took the job as a technical sales rep. I was hired to do sales and technical support for scientific research reagents. Thing is i was hired to do sales for government and governmental institutions. The job was ok, i interacted with a lot of the country’s leading scientists and built a reasonable network and some cool friendships. The county had been in crisis for a long time and getting worse every year, and my sales were becoming more difficult because the government wasn’t providing public universities for adequate (or any) money allocations to keep science programs and faculties stocked, and as the economy crumbled further, the government’s institutional labs from various sectors also started having serious problems and almost everybody switched to Indian or Chinese chemicals which were a lot cheaper than mine.

As the months passed, i was only able to get a few big contracts and sales (even though i managed to pull a few feats that got me commended as no other sales reps had been able to do what i pulled off). And yet I got yelled at a lot for not meeting my objectives. My manager was a complete tool 100% of the time.

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i really do hate it when people disregard fanfiction.

like i understand that it’s not your cup of english breakfast but don’t go saying it’s not real literary work? like idk maybe fuck off?

a person sat down to bring their thoughts about a franchise to life with their own take on matters and you’re going to shit on them?

fam, find your nearest mirror, look at yourself, did you sit down to write 60k? Did you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into something that you can call yours?

the only difference between a published author and a fanfiction writer is the fact that they got physical copies of their work distributed locally or internationally.

fuck you

MEANWHILE IN ANOTHER PART OF TOWN

Aya is your friendly neighborhood journalist and runs and distributes the local Bunbunmaru Newspaper. Keep an eye out for the latest issue on your doorstep every morning, ‘kay?

Hatate is her self-proclaimed rival, though she works for the business equivalent of what is essentially a gossip rag.

Momiji is a security guard, and has had to deal with many grievances towards both reporters (particularly Aya). She even holds a few grudges of her own.

Tackling Neurosexism

The neurosexism present in modern medicine, particularly cognitive neuroscience, is pervasive and culturally accepted as an immutable fact - generally because most people feel too intimidated by the medical terminology and theory to ever attempt to dispute it. Take this excerpt I was linked to after posting a status regarding the theory of the “sexed brain” [i.e. male and female brains]:

Most of the anatomical, physiological and neurochemical gender-related differences in the brain occur prenatally. The sexual differences in the brain are affected by sex steroid hormones, which play important roles in the differentiation of neuroendocrine system and behavior. Testosterone, estrogen and dihydrotestosterone are the main steroid hormones responsible for the organization and sexual differentiation of brain structures during early development. The structural and behavioral differences in the female and male brains are observed in many animal species; however, these differences are variable between species. Animal and human (in vivo imaging and postmortem) studies on sex differences in the brain have shown many differences in the local distribution of the cortex, the gray-white matter ratio, corpus callosum, anterior commissure, hypothalamus, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, limbic system and neurotransmitter systems. This review aims to evaluate the anatomical, physiological and neurochemical differences in the female and male brains and to assess the effect of prenatal exposure to sex steroid hormones on the developing brain.

At first glance, it seems innocuous enough. An excerpt regarding the physiological and neurochemical differences of the “male and female brain”, nothing ground-breaking nor earth-shattering, but reading it again and again I discovered the unmistakable mark of medical literature tainted by sexism (neurosexism).  

First, let’s look at the tone of the entire piece. It is undeniably authoritative and definite (one might expect this with medical literature, but medicine is rather unsurprisingly fluid and ever-changing!), considering the vastness of neurological structures and networks, neurological processes, neurotransmitter systems and synaptic functions, it’s daringly ambitious to declare the physiological structural differences between individual brains is due to sex - and more so, that these physiological structural differences have any baring on our cognitive abilities and psychological states. 

“The sexual differences in the brain”, already there is a declaration of the sexed differences between male and female brains. Not only is this wholly presumptuous, it’s also unfounded - there is no exact way to quantifiably define what a ‘male and female brain’ looks like, nor how it functions, nor how to measure it. The parameters are too expansive and the variables are so great that, even taking these into account, it is near impossible to pin-point what a female or male brain may be [variables can include age, physical size, background, physical condition, etc.] Once the foundation for the sexed brain has been laid down, it’s fairly easy to pick apart the seemingly definite physiological neurological differences between males and females - basically, when we have this pre-emptive assumption and formed idea that males and females do have different brains, we can support these theories fairly seamlessly with evidence that favours that hypothesis. In fact, even once evidence contradicts a researcher’s hypothesis, you’d be amazed at how quickly they formulate a way to justify the discrepancies! In fact, it’s not unusual (given the expansiveness of cognitive neuroscience) for researchers to apply several contradicting hypotheses and contradictory evidence as a basis for the claim that there are sexed brains. It’s amazing how malleable science can be when attempting to adhere to archaic and outdated ideas of gendered brains!

“…which play important roles in the differentiation of neuroendocrine system and behavior." Not only has there already been a explicit claim as to the existence of male and female brains, but there is now a direct link being made between how these physiological differences affect our behaviour. There are infinite factors that go into forming who we are, and how we behave and interact with one another, that it is completely ridiculous to rule it a result of hormone levels in our brains (prenatally or otherwise). In fact, there is evidence directly to the contrary. Studies done on Rhesus monkeys found that male foetuses have higher neuroendocrine levels of testosterone relative to their female counterparts. However, male fetuses whose mothers were (prenatally) given androgen-receptor blockers displayed no more behavioural differences than the control group, particularly in regards to the treatment and interest in child-rearing and interest in infants. Both groups were equally as interested in interacting with infants. Conversely, female fetuses whose mothers were injected with testosterone, were no less interested in the infants and child-care than the control group of female youngsters. What this (and many other studies regarding the affects of prenatal sex hormones on the brain) suggests is that the idea of hormones causing a drastic change in the chemistry, and function of our brains, is bogus. 

”Animal and human (in vivo imaging and postmortem) studies on sex differences in the brain have shown many differences in the local distribution of the cortex, the gray-white matter ratio, corpus callosum, anterior commissure, hypothalamus, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, limbic system and neurotransmitter systems.“ This sentence in particular piqued my interest, as I’d come across this sentiment a few times before, and it never sat right with me. These physiological differences, firstly, cannot be definitively correlated with behavioural differences between each sex. Secondly, these physiological differences are actually indicative of the differences between brain size and not simply between male and female brains. It was widely accepted that "female brains” generally have a greater amount of grey-matter relative to brain volume, but this is an inaccurate portrayal of information. Small brains have a greater amount of grey-matter relative to brain volume, and most crucially, this is not sex-related. Males with smaller brains exhibited the exact same physiological qualities of the “typical female brain”. So what does this all suggest? There is no quantifiable “male and female brain”, and there is no sexed difference between brains, but there is a size difference and subsequently, a difference in neurological structures, but this is not indicative of a lack of capacity nor capability whatsoever. It is far wiser to look into our socialisation, and how that affects our neuroplasticity, than relying on outdated and archaic ideas of hard-wired sex differences of our brains. 

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There’s a new drug killing teens — and it’s perfectly legal

More than 100 people in a five-day stretch in Dallas and Austin, Texas, have exhibited signs of overdosing after consuming K2, a poorly regulated form of synthetic marijuana. A doctor at Dallas’ Baylor Medical Center said that “several of [the patients] came in with similar symptoms of psychosis, altered mental status, abnormal behavior.” Police say the overdoses are likely related and originated from a single Dallas supplier.

Synthetic cannabinoids, known under brand names like “synthetic marijuana,” “K2” or “Spice,” are designed to mimic the effects of marijuana. These “drugs” are usually just a mix of herbs or dried flowers, which are then sprayed with solutions containing psychoactive synthetic cannabinoids that bind to the same brain receptors as weed. The DEA thinks synthetic cannaboids are typically made by chemists in Asia, and the synthetic drugs are smuggled into the country and applied to dried and distributed by local sellers.

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In the Indian state of Jharkhand, extreme poverty makes young, rural women especially vulnerable to human traffickers. Anti-poverty measures have not been very effective. For example, while the local government tried distributing bicycles to girls for them to travel to school, human traffickers target them on their routes. Even the women who have escaped slavery are still haunted and stalked by their traffickers. 

One woman, who had been kept as a slave by two married doctors and has since been rescued, is now enrolled in a state-run residential facility. Even though relatives of the doctors visited her parents to offer them “lots of money” to avoid prosecution, she has taken her case to court and is still fighting for justice. 

Learn more via Times of India.

Photo: Getty Images.

San Francisco Indie Book Crawl

Last week, I was delighted to find Sanne’s (booksandquills) and Marion’s (marionhoney) BookTube footage of the Indie Bookshop Crawl in London. There was a contest to see how many independent bookshops YouTubers and bloggers could visit in a single day, a spirited initiative to drive business back to the “little guys” of the book world.

Inspired by their charming videos, I decided to engineer a bookshop crawl of my own, targeting the myriad of independent book sellers in San Francisco. The goal: to visit as many indie bookshops as time and public transportation would allow. Instead of collecting stickers, I committed to purchasing at least one book from every shop. My boyfriend graciously decided to join me, and added to his own collection along the way.

Beautiful day by the Bay – I never get tired of this view.

We started with Book Passage, a little store on the backside of the Ferry Building. I didn’t see any used books here, but loved all the personalized recommendations and the display featuring books from California. Front and center was Edan Lepucki’s debut novel, California, which was my first purchase on the book crawl.

My boyfriend had an interesting exchange with the shopkeeper here. The man told him that while customers always ask if he’s read this novel or that one, no one ever bothers to ask him what he’s read lately. I believe he recommended something akin to Doctor Zhivago.

Our next stop, Chronicle Books, proved a little more upscale in its decor. This local publisher is nationally distributed, and each book featured in the shop was created by them. No adult novels or YA here, just a lot of cookbooks, children’s literature, and gift books.

I died with laughter over Jeffrey Brown's Vader’s Little Princess, a picture book depicting Darth Vader and a pre-adolescent Princess Leia. I bought the 30-postcard set to send to friends, and may include some in the giveaway if y'all are interested.

I loved the streamlined display – it made it very easy to see what was in stock.

This kills me.

One reason I love this city so much is the number of affordable, alternative taxi services available. We had some credits to use with Lyft and used that service to get to 24th Street in the Mission district.

Third on our list was Paper: Press on Works, which is an adorable niche bookstore filled with expensive stationery and vintage photography and art books (miscellaneous plays, children’s literature, novels, and poetry were also scattered around the store). I came away with Promising Young Women by Suzanne Scanlon, which promised a novel similar to one of my all-time favorites, Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar.

My boyfriend had the good fortune to select a novel that was written by the shopkeeper himself – who gave it to him for free!

I adore the cover of this book.

A little ways down the block was the first of two bookshop co-ops, Adobe Books & Arts Cooperative. I loved the feel of this store. It was very cozy and inviting, and the first shop we visited that offered couches and comfortable chairs for prospective buyers. They also had a wide range of contemporary literature, which was a big plus for me after browsing the limited stock of the previous two booksellers.

Outside, they offered classics and children’s books for a dollar.

I was waffling between a water-stained, annotated copy of Lolita and a hefty hardcover edition of The Circle, but decided on something a little prettier and more compact: A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote.

I first read Capote on a holiday in Scotland and fell madly in love with his writing. I expect good things from this one.

After a brief stop at Philz Coffee to rest, caffeinate, and read, we headed a few blocks down the street toward Alley Cat Bookstore & Gallery. This was easily my favorite shop so far that day. It’s spacious, sunny, and incredibly well-stocked with a mix of used and new volumes. Towards the back of the store, there are two rows of chairs and a gallery of photographs. Currently on display is a collection of photos taken in abandoned buildings and ghost towns – absolutely fascinating.

This is but a fraction of their stock. I could’ve spent hours browsing the shelves here.

It took me a while, but I finally settled on a softcover copy of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Gaiman is one of the few authors that I trust implicitly, even without a synopsis of his books or a recommendation to go on.

Our fourth and final stop in the Mission was Modern Times Bookstore Collective, another shop with a great community feel. I read reviews on Yelp that said this place was hard to find, but unless you’re blind you shouldn’t have a problem – it’s very colorful and easy to spot!

Modern Times had a small used section towards the back of the store, but the bulk of their stock tended towards new, full-priced editions. I was immediately torn between One More Thing and Boy, Snow, Bird, and eventually settled on Novak’s debut as the next addition to my library.

One thing I especially appreciated about this store was its selection of Spanish books and local history.

By this point in the day, we were starting to feel a little worn down. We hopped in a cab to the last store, Green Apple Books, and ducked into a neighboring bar to catch the last of the Giants game, grab a couple drinks, and – you guessed it – read.

Green Apple Books is one of my favorite San Francisco haunts, though it is not nearly close enough to public transportation for me to venture out there more than once or twice a year. They have an impressive selection of both new and used literature, and I was swimming in book recommendation heaven with their extensive displays. I couldn’t escape Green Apple with fewer than three books: Alain de Botton's News: A User’s Manual, Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales, and a softcover copy of Dave Eggers' The Circle, which I’d already read and loved earlier this year.

Pictured in the background: My current bookshelf.

With our wallets slimmed and our energy zapped, we headed back to the East Bay to recuperate from our day. I loved getting to sample the indie shops in San Francisco – it was a great way to get out of my comfort zone and explore the city while adding to my home library. At the end of the day, we had visited seven booksellers and purchased 16 books (nine for me, seven for him). In a couple weeks, I might try this again in Berkeley and Oakland… stay tuned!

buzzfeed.com
BREAKING: Eric Holder Announces Plan To End Racial Profiling "Once And For All"

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced plans to limit racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies, a move long-awaited by civil rights advocates.

Addressing the state of race and policing relations, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that he plans to introduce new policies that will end racial profiling “once and for all.”

Speaking to a capacity crowd at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the 1960s civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was a preacher, Holder said he’d lay out specific policy changes in the coming days, but acknowledged that the events in Ferguson, Missouri, had laid bare significant issues regarding policing and race relations.

“The issues raised in Missouri are not unique to that state or small city,” he said.

Tackling those issues would require systemic changes and a commitment at the federal, state and local levels to change how law enforcement interacts with the public.

“Our police officers cannot be, or be viewed as, an occupying force, disconnected to the communities they serve,” Holder said. “Bonds that have been broken must be restored; bonds that never existed must be created.”

Part of that effort, he added, would be “rigorous new standards and robust safeguards to help end racial profiling once and for all.”

The Bush administration outlawed racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies in 2003, but left the door open for national security cases. The Justice Department also did not limit officers from discriminating based on other factors, such as national origin, religion or sexual orientation, Time reported.

Holder also touched on the Obama administration’s support for the use of body cameras by local police by launching a $263-million, three-year effort to buy 50,000 body cameras for law enforcement.

The White House also planned to address “a lack of consistency” for how the military equipment is distributed to local police agencies, Holder said.

Local agencies would get streamlined standards for the type of military equipment the get and increased training for how to use it.

Ferguson police were criticized for their heavily armed response to protesters.

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Protesters interrupt U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as speaks to members of the community during an interfaith service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dec. 1, 2014, in Atlanta. David Goldman/Associated Press

The attorney general’s comments came one week after a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to file charges against a white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown.

Despite the grand jury’s decision, Holder said that separate and independent Justice Department investigations into Brown’s shooting death, and the actions of the Ferguson police department, remained ongoing.

Meanwhile, the ripple effect of the jury’s decision, and the protest movement it sparked, continues to touch cities across the U.S.

Thousands of residents in cities across the U.S. have since mounted their own demonstrations, often using the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” as their anthem.

“The rifts that this tragedy exposed in Ferguson and elsewhere, must be addressed,” Holder said.

The ripple effects were also seen inside the church Monday night when a small group of demonstrators chanting “no justice, no peace” interrupted the attorney general’s speech. Holder made it clear he wasn’t upset at the demonstration, calling it “a genuine expression of concern and involvement.”

“So let me be clear: I ain’t mad at ya,” he said.

Ferguson-inspired demonstrations have showed no signs of slowing. On Monday, thousands of students at campuses across the national staged mass walkouts.

The night before, several St. Louis Rams players caused a stir after also raising their hands over their heads in the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture during a home game against the Raiders.

Source: Jason Wells for Buzzfeed News

City Lights of the United States, 2012

This image of the United States of America at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. The image was made possible by the new satellite’s “day-night band” of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight.

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