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Dan Baird formerly of the GA Satellites talks about RatAid 2017

RatAid 2017 is an 18 and older show at Smith’s Olde Bar Saturday, May 20, 7:30pm, starring Dan Baird (former lead singer of The Georgia Satellites.) 

All the proceeds from the evening benefit MusiCares

Kaedy spoke with her old friend Dan about the show.

Get your tickets here.

Cinco de Mayo: Five things you didn’t know

Cinco de Mayo is upon us. Many will be celebrating the holiday with margaritas and Mexican food.

>> Read more trending news  

Here are five facts about the Mexican holiday that you can use to impress your friends:

1) Despite a common misconception, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. The holiday celebrates the  Battle of Puebla , where, against all odds, the Mexicans made a stand against an invading French army in 1862.

2) Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the United States than it is in Mexico, with the exception of the city of Puebla. Mexico holds more of a celebration on its  Independence Day, September 16, than it does on Cinco de Mayo.

3) The holiday means big business for the avocado industry. The  California Avocado Commission says that Americans consume around 81 million avocados during Cinco de Mayo.

4) Chandler, Arizona, has a unique way of celebrating Cinco de Mayo. It hosts a Chihuahua race every year.

>>  Quiz: How much do you know about Cinco de Mayo?

5) The 2010 U.S. Census estimates that about 31.8 million U.S. residents are of Mexican origin. The largest concentration of Mexican-Americans is in Los Angeles, the city that holds the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the U.S.

Solar eclipse stamp changes from eclipsed sun to full moon

To commemorate the total solar eclipse over the US in August, the U.S. Postal Service is releasing a landmark stamp that does something no other stamp can.

The Total Solar Eclipse Forever stamp, which will be issued June 20, changes when you touch it from an image of the eclipsed sun to one of the full moon.

>> Read more trending news

On August 21, the moon will slip between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow that will create the first full solar eclipse over the U.S. in 38 years.

In a swath of the country from South Carolina to Oregon, darkness will reign in the middle of the day for a full two minutes and 40 seconds, beginning at 1:25 p.m. in the Eastern time zone.

>> Related: Time running out to get reservations for the total solar eclipse in US

The solar eclipse stamp image is a photograph taken by astrophysicist Fred Espenak, aka Mr. Eclipse, of Portal, AZ, that shows a total solar eclipse seen from Jalu, Libya, on March 29, 2006.

Thermochromic ink makes the stamp work. Using the heat of your finger, the image will reveal an underlying image of the moon, which Espenak also took. The image reverts back to the eclipse once it cools.

>> Related: Rare total solar eclipse visible from America in August 

Thermochromic inks are vulnerable to UV light and should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible to preserve this special effect. To help ensure longevity, the Postal Service will be offering a special envelope to hold and protect the stamp pane for a nominal fee.

The back of the stamp will have a map of the eclipse path.

Read more here. 

What You Need to Know For the Show

WHAT: Billy Joel 

Friday, April 28 

Doors: 6:30 p.m.* 

Show time: 8 p.m.* 

* Doors and show time subject to change 

 

WHERE: SunTrust Park 

755 Battery Ave. 

Atlanta, GA 30339 

TICKETS: 

• A limited number of tickets are still available and can be purchased here. 

• Fans who chose to print tickets at home will have information in their confirmation email that allows them to print their tickets. Tickets must be printed prior to arriving at SunTrust Park. 

o Tickets will not be reprinted at the Ticket Office. 

• Will call: Tickets left at will call can be picked up beginning at 9:30am on Friday

 

PARKING: 

• Attendees must purchase parking in advance. Parking for the Billy Joel concert in Braves-managed lots is permit-only. To pre-purchase parking, click here

• Braves-controlled parking lots have different opening times for the Billy Joel concert. Fans can check Braves.com/BillyJoel to find the opening time for your respective parking lot. 

• Guests are encouraged to use the Waze app to navigate directly to their Braves-controlled parking lot. 

 

The Battery Atlanta 

• Fans can visit The Battery Atlanta before or after the Billy Joel concert. Fans interested in visiting The Battery Atlanta prior to the concert can park in the Battery Red Deck on a first-come, first-served basis for free for up to four hours (before 2 p.m.) and up to two hours (after 2 p.m.). 

• Visitors who park longer than two hours will be charged up to $50, but can receive validation by spending a minimum of $50 among tenants at The Battery Atlanta. 

 

Tailgating 

• Tailgating is only permitted in the following Braves-controlled parking lots: Braves North 29 and Braves West 85. 

Michelle Malone talks about reuniting with her band

Atlanta gem Michelle Malone is reuniting with her band from nearly 30 years ago, Michelle Malone and Drag the River, for a big show at The Vista Room this Saturday night, 4/15/17 .

Hear her catch up with Kaedy Kiely before they go on facebook live to finish the interview!

Tickets available at freshtix.com

ESPN anchor draws ire over network’s soft WWE coverage, drops pro wrestling SportsCenter segment

Pro wrestling fans and writers had questioned World Wrestling Entertainment for several weeks after the disappearance of one of its lead announcers from television, Mauro Ranallo, who was suffering from depression.

Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer said Ranallo may have been the victim of WWE’s bullying culture, particularly John Layfield, his color commentator who made disparaging remarks about Ranallo following his absence on TV and during an out-of-character segment on the company’s streaming network.

The allegations became more rampant after the release of “Best Seat in The House,” a book by former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts. Roberts alleged Layfield bullied him and others regularly, particularly announcers. This behavior and culture was not only tolerated but encouraged by WWE owner Vince McMahon.

ESPN started covering WWE regularly last year, launching its own pro wrestling section on its website, and with a weekly SportsCenter segment by ESPN anchor Jonathan Coachman, a former WWE announcer himself.

ESPN has been questioned for its involvement with WWE, especially its reluctance to cover negative news about the company, almost to the point of sticking to storyline-esque interviews on its programming. The questioning began heating up over the weekend when the story bullying story began to go viral. When asked in a tweet if ESPN would cover the controversy, wrestling journalist Meltzer replied expressing doubt in strong language. 

Coachman wasn’t involved in the discussion, but entered the fray anyway with a shot at Meltzer.

In the middle of his argument, Coachman announced he was dropping the weekly WWE segment from SportsCenter. He deleted the Tweet later, then said he had been planning on dropping it for several weeks because of other projects, but his timing seemed suspect. He pointed fans toward ESPN’s vertical for pro wrestling and WWE coverage.

ESPN has drawn ire for its news coverage, often for its abundance of debate shows during the morning hours and conflict of interest of having TV deals with the companies it covers. The network dropped a planned fictional show based on a pro football team after criticism from the NFL, then later dropped support of a PBS Frontline documentary on accusations the NFL had covered up concussion issues. 

John Cena meets 12-year-old fan with cerebral palsy

WrestleMania 33 is Sunday night, and fans will pack the Amway Arena in Orlando or watch the matches live on the WWE Network. John Cena will be one of the headliners in pro wrestling’s biggest showcase.

>> Read more trending news 

Fans all have their favorites, and John Cena certainly ranks high among WWE fans. Recently, Cena made a 12-year-old fan’s dream come true.

At a WWE card in Johnson City, Tennessee, Cena spotted Payton Marion, who has cerebral palsy, and tossed him a T-shirt and wristband, WVLT reported. After the matches, Cena met with Payton and his father, Justin Marion.

“Payton is super excited about all that, all his friends have been aggravating him, calling him a superstar,” Justin Marion told WVLT. “The fact that my son was able to meet one of his heroes, my heart melts, and it was just crazy.”

Justin Marion explained on Reddit that WWE wrestler AJ Styles set up the meeting between Cena and his son.

“He saw us standing around, and asked if we wanted a picture,” Jason Marion said. “Of course we said ‘yes.’ Then he asked if we got to see everyone.”

When Justin Marion said Payton saw everyone but Cena — his favorite wrestler — Styles invited father and son backstage to the locker room.

Cena arrived and chatted with Payton, capping an exciting night for the boy.

Payton Marion said he uses Cena as motivation during his physical therapy.

Cena is one of pro wrestling’s biggest ambassadors, granting more than 500 requests in the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

English Nick & The Yanks Supporting Songs For Kids Foundation

Proudly supporting Songs For Kids Foundation - Songs For Kids provides kids battling serious illness with opportunities for creativity and self-expression through music. Performing at 500 Songs For Kids on Friday, March 24, 2017 at Smith's Olde Bar! 

Your donation helps Songs For Kids integrate musicians into the lives of kids facing illness and hardship.

Click to donate.

At SXSW, Joe Biden pushes to end divisions that hamper fight against cancer

In an emotional talk at South by Southwest on Sunday afternoon, former Vice President Joe Biden described his frustration with government silos preventing cancer research from moving forward and described the work he and his wife, Jill Biden, are doing with the Biden Foundation cancer initiative.

The so-called Cancer Moonshot work, which Joe and Jill Biden say they plan to devote the rest of their lives to, was the topic of a much-anticipated presentation at the conference, where government talk has taken center stage amid a divisive political climate.

Joe Biden stopped short of devoting significant time criticizing President Donald Trump’s administration, but did draw applause at one point for referencing Trump by suggesting that not caring about clean air or water is correlated to the fight against cancer.

>> Beau Biden's widow in romantic relationship with his brother, report says

“It frustrates me,” Biden said, without calling Trump by name.

Instead, after being introduced by his wife, Biden spent the bulk of his hour-long Austin Convention Center talk describing what work has been done on the cancer initiative and the work that needs to be done going forward.

In particular, Biden said, 50 years of walls erected between different disciplines need to be broken down.

“If we did nothing more than break down the silos of preventing greater collaboration because of how the system has been arranged, not intentionally ...  we could extend the life of a lot of people with cancer,” Biden said.

As an example, Biden cited a case in which under the administration of former President Barack Obama, $30 million was awarded to improve electronic recordkeeping. “It got divided up five ways, into six different silos. You can’t share information, by design even,” he said.

As to why he chose South by Southwest to deliver this message, Biden said that he needs the collective help of the kinds of people who attend the conference.

“South by Southwest has brought together some of the most creative minds in the world,” Biden said. Even those who work in technology as entertainment can innovate in ways to fight cancer in unexpected ways, he said. 

>> For complete SXSW coverage, head to Statesman.comMyStatesman.com512tech.com and Austin360.com

“That’s why we need your help. You’re the future. We can solve these problems. These are technological problems. These are not cancer problems. Some of the most innovative minds in the world are sitting in front of me,” Biden said.

The cancer moonshot initiative, Biden said, began when he had decided not to run for president in the 2016 election and was ready to announce it in the White House Rose Garden. 

"I would have loved to have been the president who presided over the end of cancer as we know it,” he remembered telling Obama, which put into motion the work, spurred by the death from cancer of his son, Beau Biden.

Biden spoke of the end of his son’s life toward the end of the talk, speaking more quietly and emotionally as he described a clinical trial his son participated in and how he felt when Congress, led by political rival Mitch McConnell, named a chunk of cancer funding for Beau.

“The one thing I know maybe better than anybody living is the Congress,” Joe Biden said. “And guess what? Guess what? The only bipartisan thing left in America is the fight against cancer.”

By the end of the talk, Biden was eliciting tears from the crowd. Referencing John F. Kennedy, he ended the SXSW presentation by describing the desperation of those dying of cancer who want just one more month, or even a day. He concluded: “That’s the urgency of now. This moment. This instant.”

>> Read more trending news

In addition to breaking down walls among disciplines, Biden said making better use of money taxpayers are already putting toward cancer research, better access to clinical trials and more widespread sharing of critical data are keys to the cancer battle.

“Your government that many of you don't like is the vehicle for how this gets funded,” he said.

Biden described a bright spot that has already began to spur change: cancer-sequencing data at the Genomic Data Commons has been accessed online more than 80 million times. Partnerships between research groups, nonprofits and tech companies, he said, will keep data flowing more freely. “It’s a big deal,” he said.

South by Southwest continues through Saturday, March 19.

'The Handmaid's Tale' is making SXSW 100 percent more unsettling

One way to promote a TV show at South by Southwest: opening a pop-up chicken restaurant. Another way: terrifying people to death. Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” went for option No. 2 this weekend in Austin, Texas.

As Statesman Shots co-hosts Omar Gallaga and Tolly Moseley explained in an episode of the podcast Saturday, they came across stoically marching ladies in red on their way to the Los Pollos Hermanos installation promoting AMC’s “Better Call Saul.” They were not the only people startled by the guerilla marketing for the dystopian drama.

>> For complete SXSW coverage, head to Statesman.comMyStatesman.com512tech.com and Austin360.com

All these (presumably) Handmaid's Tale folks are scaring me. #sxsw pic.twitter.com/VkXHYzhsUI— Anthony Balderrama (@anthelonious) March 10, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

A bunch of Handmaid's Tale handmaids are freaking people out at SXSW.https://t.co/6MM5hmB7jl pic.twitter.com/cHaBixOzX5— io9 (@io9) March 11, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

>> Read more trending news

Holy cats - Handmaid's Tale right outside the Austin convention center! #sxsw https://t.co/wjtia7Ilmi— Christopher Lucas (@ChristophrLucas) March 12, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Happy nightmares, SXSW. 

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