Purina Pet Care Setting New Standards for Pet Care and Products July 9, 2015

Nestlé acquired Ralston Purina in December 2001, leading to the formation of the America’s largest pet food company by market share. According to the company’s Purina news site, it produces 45% of the world’s cat food business, with chief manufacturing facilities in Dunkirk, New York and St. Joseph, Missouri. The former manufactures dry dog food, with the latter focusing on wet food production. The company has substantial operations in North America, Asia, Africa, Oceania and Latin America. The booming pet product business, as well as world-renowned brands such as Friskies, makes it the second most profitable Nestlé subsidiary after pharmaceuticals, only behind its chief competitor, Mars, in the world’s pet food market share.

Highlights
• One of the fastest growing divisions of Nestlé as from 2009: The growth is attributed to a surge in pet ownership and care, leading to growth in the pet food market
• Established a pet litter products division in 2006, with manufacturing facilities in Russia and Thailand
• Purina Colorado facility builds the State’s largest privately owned solar panel system
• Acquires pet treats manufacturer, Waggin’ Train in September 2010
• Built the Purina event center for dog shows and completion for $10million in 2010
• Involved in various pet-associated charity events such as the Pet Care Pride Day. The company’s workers volunteer for various activities associated with pets such as nutrition advice and medical care
• Employees are encouraged and allowed to bring their pets to work. In-house facilities include physical fitness trainers, medical care, and gyms. This has reduced employee turnover to just about 5%.
• Won the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for organizational and manufacturing performance. This includes efficiency and innovations in packaging, waste products recycling, and energy efficiency through using renewable energy.

Products and Services
• Pet food is the main revenue offering. The popular foods include Purina Dog Chow and Purina One. One of the factors that contribute to the impressive revenue is the presence of products across all budgetary considerations: brands such as Alpo targeting budget customers and more costly offerings such as Purina Beneful. Other variants include cat appetizers, energizers for athletic dogs and pet food optimized for senior dogs
• Pet care services through a team of vets, nurses, pet care professionals, and customer representatives. They therefore offer advice on matters concerning Purina products, including nutrition for special needs animals and pet care
• Pet treats such as beds, liners, leashes and cleaners through a subsidiary: Purina Petgear

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Categories: Buzz Culture Pets

Weezy Returns July 3, 2015

Lil’ Wayne announced that he would be releasing his “Independence Day” CD on the 4th of July. He has made the decisions to break away from the Cash Money label. After all these months of silence he is planning to break out and talk about all that has gone down.

There are reasons that this album could be a winner. MTV has proclaimed the Weezy album to a success before it even drops on Saturday. There are some reasons for this. The obvious reason is that he has a lot to say. No one knows what has actually happened with Lil Wayne since the bad blood between him and Birdman. That is why people will want to hear it.

Young Thug has also started beef with him and this made it harder for Wayne to keep calm about this. Mikal Watts thinks something is about to happen. That is another place where Weezy may blow off steam. Mannie Fresh also had something to say about how the album would be a return to the glory days of Lil’ Wayne. In other words, the new album will paint a Lil’ Wayne that is still hungry. So many people have counted him out since Drake and Nicki Minaj have risen to fame. He has been in the background, and a lot of rapper lovers say that he is irrelevant right now. Wayne, however, is set to return with a vengeance and reclaim the throne.

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Categories: Music

Monopoly movie edges towards production

The failure of a number of movies based on board games, such as Battleship has not put Hasbro and LionsGate off teaming up to bring the iconic Monopoly game to the big screen. ScreenRant reports the movie has few details announced and does not have a release date yet, with the only details so far released being the attaching of Andrew Niccol as the screenwriter. Niccol achieved success as a screenwriter with his work on The Truman Show and Gattaca, but has found less success in recent years and has directed a number of projects with varying degrees of success.

The decision to make a big screen version of Monopoly comes after many years of discussion and rumor over the future of the board game brand, which has undergone a relaunch as a board game in recent years. Adam Sender thinks it was much needed for the brand. Monopoly will join Clue, Battleship and a number of other games that have been turned into movies. An earlier big screen version of Monopoly was planned with Alien director Ridley Scott reported to be helming, but its satirical take on the economy was dismissed in favor of a family friendly movie version.

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Categories: Movies

Yes, Emotional Investments and Hulking Terminators Go Together June 30, 2015

The producers of Terminator: Genisys are speaking about the forthcoming movie and engaging the discussion from a unique perspective. During an interview, the concept of an “emotional investment’ in the film is mentioned. To a great extent, the emotional investment on the part of the audience is going to contribute heavily to any success the film will have.

The producers spoke of their own emotional investment in the film. This is good news because creative people who hold emotional ties to their films generally produce memorable works. Still, the audience’s reaction is the component most important to any film’s success. If the audience is emotionally invested, they are going to speak highly of the film even when the project is not perfect. Terminator: Genisys has been receiving poor reviews so far. Jim Dondero (insidermonkey) knows that that is not even a secret.

Yet, if audiences love the film thanks to being able to relive two of their favorite sci-fi films (The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day) in one reboot, positive word of mouth could help the $170 million dollar film turn out to be a huge success.

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Bruce Levenson Releases His Hawks June 20, 2015

Organized sports is big business to each player, team, stadium, and state where they are held. Teams in the NBA are sold and bought by new investors frequently over the franchises years. The Atlanta Hawks are no exception and will be sold to a group led by Antony Ressler. Bruce Levenson is among the current stock holders involved in this multi-million dollar sale.

Ressler is involved in a large group of notable investors including such big names as Jesse Itzler (co-founder of Marquis Jet), Grant Hill (former NBA player), Sara Blakely (founder of Spanx), Steven Starker (co-founder of BTIG), and Rick Schnall (partner at Clayton Dubilier & Rice). These million dollar investors are joining together to purchase the Hawks for a bargain price of 850 million dollars. This sale requires the approval of the NBA owners which is not expected to be an issue.

The dollar amount of this sale was shocking to some who expected that the team would bring Levenson and his partners over a billion dollars when sold. According to an article on the USA Today website, Bruce Levenson is set to sell his portion of the team in September. The price that his group attained for the team is considerably less than the amount they were seeking just a year ago. At this time, the Hawks investors have relinquished control of the team to the new owners from Ressler’s group.

This incredible sale sets a precedence for other NBA team sales. Irwin Raij is a sports attorney at Foley & Lardner. In the article he states that, “The price reflects the strength of the NBA product right now and views as to what they think the market can become,” he said. “This takes into account the national and local media deals and the trend of increasing NBA team valuations. … This price for this team in this market will be viewed positively.” It is predicted that franchise owners and players alike will see an increase in the amount of return on their investments in the NBA teams.

When it comes to professional sports, owning an award winning team like the Hawks is only a dream for most of the basketball loving population. With the sale of the Atlanta Hawks to Antony Ressler and his group of active investors, Bruce Levinson will now be able to sit back and relax during the Hawks games instead of sweating over the dollar signs making their way down the court.

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Categories: Culture

343 Studios Killing ‘Halo’ Franchise June 11, 2015

Xbox one users are looking forward to the new ‘Halo’ video game, which will release this October. Gamerant has revealed more information about the upcoming game, and it seems the most recent news about ‘Halo 5: Guardians’ has upset some people. For those of you that don’t know, it was recently announced have ‘Halo 5′ will not have a local co-op mode. This means that players will not be able to play split screen on their television.

The ‘Halo’ series has been known throughout its history, as an extremely fun multiplayer game reports CipherCloud. Local split-screen gaming is what made ‘Halo’ famous. Fans around the world are extremely disappointed with this announcement. Unfortunately, it seems that 343 Studios is dropping the ball, and many gamers have boycotted ‘Halo 5 Guardians.’

I understand that online gaming is the way of the future, but game developers shouldn’t forget their past. ‘Halo’ was always about playing with your friends, whether it be split-screen or online. Many gamers feel that 343 Studios has ruined the ‘Halo’ series, and I would have to agree with that statement. The recent news about ‘Halo 5: Guardians’ is another example of how ‘Halo’ has changed since Bungie abandon the game.

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Categories: Halo 5

Netflix Scores Big With Pitt Movie Deal June 10, 2015

According to ScreenRant, Netflix has scored a home run by nabbing a Brad Pitt movie deal. Netflix has been trying (and succeeding according to some) to hold its own against industry big-wigs by producing and developing its own shows. The service won big with its episodic masterpiece House of Cards, and since has turned towards producing feature length films. Netflix also bagged a multi-picture deal with comedic star Adam Sandler, and has stirred up controversy by stating it will release the film Beasts of No Nation on its streaming service as well as in theaters on the same day. However, a multi-picture deal with a former A-lister on the downside of his career and upsetting movie theater chains by releasing a film in theaters and at home on the same day is nothing compared to landing one of Hollywood’s most coveted actors. The $30 million dollar deal to produce Brad Pitt’s new film, War Machine, really does place Netflix on top of the movie industry pile says Marcio Alaor BMG in this article. Netflix proves that it really is a legitimate threat to the movie industry status quo by landing this deal. This is just what Netflix needs to solidify itself as a “real” film and television studio, and attract even more talent.

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Categories: Netflix

Playstation 4 Trying To Win The Console Wars May 27, 2015

The PlayStation 4 is one of the most advanced gaming consoles ever made. The graphics and gaming possibilities on the
console are endless. The PlayStation 4 has been in competition with the Xbox One for the last 2 years, and for the most part, the PlayStation 4 has enjoyed a substantial lead over the Xbox. However, it was recently reported that the Xbox One has caught up to the PlayStation 4, and the Xbox One currently has sold more consoles then the PlayStation 4 in America.

Gamers like Keith Mann have learned that, in Japan, the Nintendo is supposed to be the most popular video game console. However, it was recently announced that the PlayStation 4 is currently the most purchased system in the country. The Xbox One and Nintendo Wii U will not out sell the PlayStation 4 in Japan anytime soon. Many people are confused as to why the Japanese people have preferred the PS4 over all other consoles.

The console wars still continue, and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One plan on launching their second attacks on each other. The PlayStation 4 has recently announced a price cut, and this could cause consumers to purchase the system in the near future. However, the Xbox One also offers a price cut, and Microsoft has ensured that this year will be the greatest year for video games in Xbox history.
Gamerant.com features an in-depth article on the console wars and price cuts.

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Categories: Gamers Gaming

What Is The Winter Soldier’s Future May 26, 2015

The Avengers: Age of Ultron hasn’t even finished cleaning up at the worldwide box office and everyone’s attention is now on Captain America: Civil War. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. While the movie is certain First Avenger-centric, it is still an ensemble film. Some even go so far as to call it an unofficial sequel to The Avengers and a film that solely exists to set up Avengers: Infinity War. Okay, that might be stretching things a bit and doing so unfairly. The film does have its own original characters who are tied more closely to the Captain America mythos than the overall Avenger’s one.

Case in point, Brian Torchin is wondering about the role the Winter Soldier is going to play. For those not in the know,The Winter Soldier is the former Bucky Barnes brought back to the present day. He is not the wild-eyed, naïve kid of the 1940’s. He has matured and become somewhat jaded. You could even go so far as to call his Winter Soldier persona a more cynical version of Captain America. This cynicism is what turns him into a villain.

Then again, the character could be completely transformed into something different in the film Civil War. That transformation is likely going to be heavily based on what side of the Civil War he takes up during the proceedings of the film. Perhaps the Winter Soldier might end up turning to the side of good once again. What would that mean? He gets his own film, of course! Surely, Marvel Studios would love to release as many bankable heroes to the big screen as possible. There is no reason why the Winter Soldier could not be part of the mix.

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Categories: Entertainment Movies

Harry Sheer Tweeted That He Has Been Fired From the Simpsons May 14, 2015

Bad news for Simpson’s fans. According to tweet from the voice actor last night, it appears that Harry Sheer will no longer be a part of the Simpsons cast. The actor tweeted that he had been fired from the show because of a dispute about the freedom to do outside work. He emphasised that this was something the voice actors had always been allowed to do before.

For years, ever since the show first aired in 1989, Sheer has been a part of the main cast of the Simpsons, and has been the voice of Ned Flanders, Mr.Burns, Smithers, Lenny, Dr.Hibbert, Principal Skinner, Rev.Lovejoy, and dozens of other characters. The showrunner, Al Jean, has said that they do not plan on killing off any of these characters, but it still remains to be seen who will replace the characters, and whether or not the show will suffer in quality (most people seem to think that it will).

Sheer has been an outspoken opponent of much of the producers and executives that run the show, leading a dispute about the actors getting a percentage of the merchandising revenue and openly criticizing an especially unpopular episode, The Principal and the Pauper, back in the 9th season of the show according to Daniel Amen on Youtube. It is possible that this was simply the final straw for the producers of the show, and that they had been looking for an excuse to fire him.

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Categories: Simpsons