Archives for January 23, 2023

Rubio’s Celebrates 40th Anniversary with 99¢ Fish Tacos

Photo Credit: Rubio’s.

When Rubio’s Coastal Grill, home of The Original Fish Taco®, turns 40 on Wednesday, January 25, California, Arizona and Nevada locations will celebrate the company’s Baja roots. The community is invited to enjoy throwback pricing, 99¢ Original Fish Tacos®, the launch of a new, “remixed” Fish Taco, ’80s-inspired prizes and music.

Ralph Rubio tasted his first fish taco as a college student during spring break in San Felipe. He brought the recipe home, opening the first Rubio’s in Mission Bay in 1983. Fish Tacos were 99¢ back then, and will be again on January 25. Proceeds benefit WILDCOAST, a non-profit organization working to conserve some of the world’s most significant coastal and marine ecosystems in the U.S. and Mexico.

On January 25, Rubio’s Rewards members can participate in a contest, both in-store and online, to win ’80s-inspired gear and free Rubio’s. Fifty winners will receive limited-edition Rubio’s bomber jackets, and other prizes. Rewards members earn entries for every visit January 23–29.

Rubio’s has become the #1 fish taco brand, credited with starting the fish taco phenomenon in the U.S. In celebration of the 40th anniversary, Rubio’s “remixed” The Original Fish Taco, offering a new version of the original favorite. The Baja Grilled Fish Taco features grilled mahi mahi and a special Baja sauce.

“When Rubio’s opened 40 years ago, putting fish in a taco was pretty revolutionary,” said Rubio’s Co-Founder Ralph Rubio. “Today, The Original Fish Taco is still our most popular, award-winning item, and we’ve sold over 270 million of them. We’re going strong and look forward to 40 more years.”

For more information, join Rubio’s Rewards and visit Rubio’sFacebookInstagram and TikTok.

Credit: Rubio’s. Self Disclosure: Some form of compensation was received to post.

Aquarium of the Pacific educators, live animals, and life-sized inflatables of a white shark and an elephant seal are coming to schools and neighborhoods near you

Photo Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

For the first time since the pandemic, the Aquarium on Wheels has returned. The Aquarium of the Pacific is back on the road with its educators and animals aboard the more than thirty-foot Aquarium on Wheels outreach truck and is now accepting bookings.

The newly remodeled truck includes a large tidepool habitat, where you can touch California marine life such as small sharks, sea stars, urchins, and anemones. Educators can also bring life-sized inflatables of a great white shark and elephant seal to schools and communities as part of the program. The Aquarium on Wheels features new interactive educational classroom and auditorium programs led by Aquarium educators where PreK to twelfth-grade students can dive into ocean learning.

The Aquarium on Wheels is available for bookings in Southern California regions in 2023 helping to make the Aquarium more accessible to those who cannot visit. “The Aquarium is committed to broadening the reach of our programs. We are thrilled to bring the ocean to classrooms and ignite curiosity in learners of all ages through hands-on encounters with tidepool animals and in-person programs with our educators,” said Jennie Dean, Aquarium of the Pacific vice president of education and conservation.

One of the first stops for the Aquarium on Wheels was at William F. Prisk Elementary school in Long Beach, California. Approximately 80 students explored tidepool habitats aboard the truck and participated in the classroom programs led by Aquarium educators. “We’ve really been looking forward to this awesome opportunity for our Kids’ Club Winter Break Camp students to have this hands-on experience with the Aquarium of the Pacific’s marine life. Many of us take for granted Long Beach’s close proximity to the Pacific Ocean; our hope is that this visit by the Aquarium on Wheels will ignite their imaginations and inspire these kiddos to dive deeper into learning about our marine habitats,” says Allison Thompson, Prisk Kids’ Club Supervisor, William F. Prisk Elementary school.

Aquarium on Wheels classroom programs available are Under the Sea Shapes (PreK to Kindergarten) and Amazing Animal Adaptations (Kindergarten to eighth grade). Auditorium programs available for Aquarium on Wheels visits are Pacific Journeys (Kindergarten to eighth grade) and Under the Sea Shapes. All these interactive programs support Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Aquarium also provides educational materials as teacher resources for students to get the most out of their Aquarium on Wheels learning experience. The Aquarium on Wheels mobile tidepool can also be booked for community events and birthday parties.

The Aquarium on Wheels is wheelchair accessible and can serve up to one hundred individuals per hour. It is available for bookings on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. For more information, the public can visit aquariumofpacific.org/education/aow or call (562) 590-3100. The Aquarium on Wheels is made possible through support from Marathon Petroleum Corporation.

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

Celebrate the creative talents of people with disabilities at the Aquarium of the Pacific with a weekend of music, dance, art, and workshops

Photo credit: Aquarium of the Pacific / Pictured: Dat Nguyen

 The Aquarium of the Pacific invites the public to its twentieth annual Festival of Human Abilities, which celebrates the creative talents of people with disabilities, and takes place on the weekend of January 28 and 29. The festival includes live performances by dancers, musicians, and artists with disabilities who have honed their crafts using adaptive skills. For the first time since the pandemic, the festival will also include workshops where attendees can learn adaptive skills taught by artists and other experts with disabilities.

During this event, the Aquarium will present its Glenn McIntyre Heritage Award to a member of the community. This festival will include sign language interpreters at all major programming. The Aquarium has quiet zones and KultureCity sensory bags available for guests with sensory needs. Aquarium visitor guides in braille and audio tours are also available.

A portion of a developing new audio description tour will be available in the Aquarium’s Northern Pacific gallery, which features sea otters, diving birds, and tidepool animals. All guests are encouraged to bring headphones to experience it and provide feedback to help inform the Aquarium as it continues the development of this program. This version of the audio tour is based on research conducted by The UniDescription Project and is optimized for use with smartphone devices.

Guests who would like closed captioning to accompany the multisensory film Designing Our Future in the Honda Pacific Visions Theater can use Moverio smart glasses provided by Epson, currently available in English and Spanish. In addition, guests who are deaf or blind can request Ultraleap devices, which use ultrasound waves to create the sensation of touch in mid-air, for use in the Honda Pacific Visions Theater. Shapes and movements that correspond to the film can be felt on the hand of the person using this device. The smart glasses, Ultraleap devices, sensory bags, Visitor Guides in braille, and audio tours can be checked out at the Aquarium’s Information Desk free of charge. The audio tour can also be downloaded for free from the Aquarium’s Visitor Guide mobile app.

WHEN:            Saturday and Sunday, January 28-29, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

WHERE:         Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, 90802

COST:            Included with general admission: $36.95 per adult (ages 12+), $26.95 per child (ages 3-11), $33.95 per senior (ages 62+), and free for Aquarium members and children under age three. Advanced online reservations are required.

INFO:              (562) 590-3100 or visit aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/festival_of_human_abilities/

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

A Man Called Otto * You Semi-Hate Otto For His Persnickety Personality, Yet As You Learn About His Tragic Life, You Change Your Mind

Based on the # 1 New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove, A Man Called Otto tells the story of Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks), a grump who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife. Otto is ready to end it all, but his plans are interrupted when a lively young family moves in next door, and he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol. She challenges him to see life differently, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world around. A heartwarming and funny story about love, loss, and life, A Man Called Otto shows that family can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Miguel C. comments, “Tom Hanks excels in his portrayal of Otto. This film really addresses equality and how much things have changed. There is a LGBTQ+ character in it and Mack Bayda portrays him very well.” Julie S. adds, “The character, Otto, is played so well by Tom Hanks that you semi-hate him for his persnickety personality, yet as the story evolves and we learn about the tragic events of his past, the “what and why” become clear.” See their full reviews below.

A Man Called Otto 

By Miguel C., KIDS FIRST!Film Critic, age 13

Trailer:

I didn’t love A Man Called Otto as much as I thought I would. It has a lot of funny parts even though it is a really sad movie. The funny parts are where they include different Latinx things and different things we say and do. As a Latinx myself, I had a good laugh, but my eyes did water up.  

First we meet Otto (Tom Hanks), who is a grumpy old man that loves to follow the rules and fights with everyone. Everything is annoying to him and he really doesn’t like people. He’d much rather be alone; he tries to do something many times and, along the way, he meets many people. We see a lot of flashbacks with Otto and his late wife.  

This move is sad and, the way they use dark colors to really make the mood, makes it sadder. Tom Hanks excels in his portrayal of Otto. This film really addresses equality and how much things have changed. There is a LGBTQ+ character in it and Mack Bayda portrays him very well. The costumes are really cool thanks to Mariana Treviño. Not only that, but she brings a Latin feel to the film like in all the different Latino food that is featured.  

The film’s message is that just because someone else’s life ends, yours doesn’t have to. There are so many beautiful and wonderful people on this earth. The one thing parents should be aware of is that there is some self- harm and suicide.  

I give A Man Called Otto 4 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It comes out in theaters January 13, 2023 

A Man Called Otto
By Julie S., KIDS FIRST!

I thoroughly enjoyed A Man Called Otto. Tom Hank’s portrayal of an aging man whose love of his life was taken way too young haunts his character Otto, but thanks to the persistent love of his new neighbors he emerges from his shell as he finds a new extended family.

The storyline follows Otto, a grumpy old man who thinks of himself as the quintessential rule enforces in his neighborhood and elsewhere. The film is filled with flashbacks which reveal the backstory of Otto’s life and how he came to become the grumpy old dude he is.

The character, Otto, is played so well by Tom Hanks that you semi-hate him for his persnickety personality, yet as the story evolves and we learn about the tragic events of his past, the “what and why” become clear. When new neighbors move in across the street, the wife (Mariana Trevino) is persistent in not letting Otto escape her kindness, whether it means bringing him wonderful Mexican food, which Otto begrudgingly loves, or inviting him to spend time with her children. The tragedy of Otto’s love story, which began and ended with his lively and beautiful wife, it is, no less, still a love story. It makes you ache for poor Otto who truly found his soul mate and lost her way too soon. He is bent on taking his own life, but constantly drawn away by his neighbors Marisol and her hubby.

Directed by Marc Forster, the film is beautifully produced with eloquent shots of the landscape of suburban Pennsylvania and sets that show middle class America in its simplest form. My favorite scene is a toss-up between the one with Otto and his neighbor buddy, during friendlier times when they compete for who has the coolest car and when he teaches Marisol how to drive; the speech he gives her about how she is not an idiot is awe-inspiring and afterwards, she loses all fear and drives like a warrior.

What I love most about this film is character. So many mass market films, particularly comic based ones, lack depth of character and this one delivers it in Otto, but also in Marisol and Anita, even Malcolm and Jimmy. Everyone evolves here and becomes more substantial than they are at first glance. Be forewarned that there are suicide attempts shown and some profanity.

I give A Man Called Otto 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It’s rare to find a film with such substance. We laughed and cried, then did it again and again. By Julie S, KIDS FIRST!

HAPPENING SATURDAY, FEB. 25, 2023

THE GREATER LOS ANGELES ZOO ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES WALK FOR THE WILD PRESENTED BY
PHOTO CREDIT: JAMIE PHAM/GLAZA

The nonprofit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) is launching its first-ever in-person fundraising walk—Walk for the Wild Presented by Skechers—on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023 to support the Los Angeles Zoo and GLAZA’s shared mission. The adventure begins the moment one registers as a Walker, wherein they will learn about the L.A. Zoo’s conservation work and its efforts to save threatened species around the globe. They will also receive helpful information on how to reach fundraising goals and tips on team recruitment. On the morning of Feb. 25, Walk for the Wild will begin with an opening ceremony as the walkers gather for a trek around the Zoo grounds prior to its opening, with views of elephants, giraffes, chimpanzees, and more. At the completion of the walk, participants will gather at the Walk for the Wild Village to relax and recharge from the morning’s event.

The proceeds raised from this event benefit the Los Angeles Zoo and its nonprofit partner the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA). In partnership, the L.A. Zoo and GLAZA are committed to preserving and protecting wild species and their habitat for future generations, and creating a space for meaningful, direct connections to nature through exploration, discovery, and education. 

Registration begins Nov. 1, 2022 and is $55 per person for standard registration or $75 per person for upgraded registration including a commemorative T-shirt. Walk for the Wild is open to the public, and participants of all ages and abilities are encouraged to participate. Walkers may also purchase registration packages that include discounted tickets to the Zoo following the Walk. To learn more and to register, visit www.lazoo.org/walkforthewild

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023; check-in opens at 6:00 a.m. and the walk begins promptly at 7:30 a.m. 

REGISTRATION INFO: www.lazoo.org/walkforthewild 

  • Standard Walker Registration: $55 per person. 
  • Upgraded Walker Registration: $75 per person; includes Walk for the Wild 2022 T-shirt. 
  • Discounted Zoo admission tickets are available for purchase during online registration at a special group rate.  
  • Register for just oneself or their entire household, then join or form a team and start fundraising for wildlife.  
  • Earn fundraising rewards based on your donation total.  
  • Compete for top individual and team recognition.

Credit: The Los Angeles Zoo.

Nuisance Bear * Helps Us Realize That People Are The Real Nuisance, Not The Bears

Nuisance Bear is a Canadian short documentary film, directed by Jack Weisman and Gabriela Osio Vanden and released in 2021. The film is a portrait of the polar bears in and around the town of Churchill, Manitoba.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Nuisance Bear has glorious cinematography and superb storytelling that drive home its important message of peaceful coexistence with nature. It’s a terrific film for all those who love the great outdoors, as well as for budding filmmakers… Nuisance Bear promotes respecting nature and ensuring you don’t disrupt other beings endemic to your area. The film helps us realize that people are the real nuisance, not the bears.” See his full review below.

Nuisance Bear

by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 16

Nuisance Bear has glorious cinematography and superb storytelling that drive home its important message of peaceful coexistence with nature. It’s a terrific film for all those who love the great outdoors, as well as for budding filmmakers.

Nuisance Bear follows a polar bear migrating across the town of Churchill in the Canadian province of Manitoba. People congregate to take pictures and videos, and the bear begins to clash with the locals. That is when the bear’s journey takes a dramatic turn, and “nuisance bear” removal forces enter the scene.

Nuisance Bear is a documentarian’s documentary. With no voiceover or speaking at all, the New Yorker team behind the film lets the images and captured video do the talking. And it’s supremely effective. I especially love the way the wildlife forces’ pickup truck is shot like it’s the predator, not the bear; it approaches menacingly with high beams on and then veers to the side as the bear makes its escape. It’s absolutely scintillating. In many scenes, there isn’t even any background music, so all you hear is the soft stepping of the bear and the rumbling engines of the wildlife forces. Hat’s off to directors Jack Weisman and Gabriela Osio Vanden for creating such a masterful piece of visual storytelling.

Nuisance Bear promotes respecting nature and ensuring you don’t disrupt other beings endemic to your area. The film helps us realize that people are the real nuisance, not the bears.

I give Nuisance Bear 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. The film is available to watch on the New Yorker YouTube channel now.

Trailer:

I Wanna Dance With Somebody * Naomi Ackie’s Performance As Whitney Houston Is Breathtaking

A joyous, emotional, heartbreaking celebration of the life and music of Whitney Houston, one of the greatest female R&B pop vocalists of all time, tracking her journey from obscurity to musical superstardom.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kendall B. comments, “Naomi Ackie’s performance as Whitney Houston is breathtaking. You can tell she studied Houston very closely. Whitney’s relationship with her best friend, Robyn Crawford (Nafessa Williams) is focused on very heavily in this film, and I loved it.” See her full review below.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody

By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

I Wanna Dance With Somebody is a new film about the life of Whitney Houston, one of the greatest voices of any generation. It portrays Houston in a new and exciting way that all audiences will love to see.

Raised by famous singer Cissy Houston (Tamara Tunie), Whitney Houston (Naomi Ackie) had a powerful voice from the time she was little. After being discovered while singing in her mom’s place by record executive Clive Davis (Stanley Tucci), Whitney quickly became a huge singer all across America and around the world. This movie follows her life from the beginning to the end and shows what happened behind the cameras, closely following her relationship with her husband, family, and friends.

Naomi Ackie’s performance as Whitney Houston is breathtaking. You can tell she studied Houston very closely. Whitney’s relationship with her best friend, Robyn Crawford (Nafessa Williams) is focused on very heavily in this film, and I loved it. There is lots of tension between the actors and it definitely makes the film better in so many ways. Another relationship that is focused on in this film is Houston’s relationship with Bobby Brown (Ashton Sanders). Ackie and Sanders both put lots of effort into their roles and it pays off. The film I Wanna Dance With Somebody does an astounding job when it comes to Whitney’s performances. It feels like you’re really there watching her perform. My favorite scene — and it’s really breathtaking to watch it.

The message of I Wanna Dance With Somebody is that fame can change a person’s life for good and for bad. Whitney Houston got lots of money and fame from her singing career, but it also messed with her in horrible ways. A few things for parents watching with children to be aware of is that there is lots of swearing in this movie and drugs are used towards the end of the film.

I give I Wanna Dance With Somebody 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters December 23, 2022.

Trailer: