Christmas display in California sets world record

Published: Saturday, November 25, 2017 @ 4:04 AM

Christmas tree.
Portland Press Herald/Press Herald via Getty Images
Christmas tree.(Portland Press Herald/Press Herald via Getty Images)

The executive director of a California holiday display said San Jose's Christmas in the Park has set a Guinness world record, KGO reported.

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Jason Minsky said the 600 illuminated Christmas trees in one location set the world record. The paperwork has been accepted by Guinness, KGO reported. It will become official after Christmas in the Park documents all of the trees on video.

According to the Guinness World Records website, the previous record was 559, held by the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas tree maze at Herald Square in New York City.

The official lighting of the 38th annual Christmas in the Park tree display in San Jose occurred Friday night. The display will remain open through Jan. 7, KGO reported.

20-story hip-hop museum to open in New York in 2018

Published: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 10:41 AM

A rendering of the proposed Hip-Hop Hall of Fame Museum & Entertainment Mega-Complex (Illustration courtesy of Hip-Hop Hall of Fame)
A rendering of the proposed Hip-Hop Hall of Fame Museum & Entertainment Mega-Complex (Illustration courtesy of Hip-Hop Hall of Fame)

A neighborhood that birthed hip-hop heavyweights like Q -Tip, Doug E Fresh and Mase will soon be the backdrop of a massive museum.

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The first phase of the Hip Hop Hall of Fame Museum, projected to cost $150 million, will open in Harlem next February, according to Newsweek. Hip Hop Hall Fame, a nonprofit that aims to preserve and conduct research on the socioeconomic and cultural impact of hip-hop music, announced the plans for the museum last week.

The first phase of the new project is slated to include a cafe, a gallery, a visitors bureau and a gift store on the ground floor, and on the second floor, a museum, event space, offices and a multimedia studio, according to a news release.

The second phase will expand to 20 stories and include a hotel, mall, gift shop, an arcade, concert lounge and restaurant.

»RELATED: Study: Hip-hop has fewer drug references than any other music genre

James “JT” Thompson, who founded the Hip Hop Hall of Fame in 1996, has been working to bring the hip-hop museum and complex to life for several years, according to the New York Post.

“This has been a labor of love. It’s had its valleys, mountains, peaks and falloffs,” Thompson told the Post in reference to museum plans halting following the deaths of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.

Pending the successful fundraising campaign for the museum, Thompson will see the fruits of his labor after 20 years.

“Hip-hop is about empowering yourself, moving beyond the music,” he told the Post. “The HHHOF and I have a duty and responsibility to preserve this rich history of music and culture.”

Cincinnati Zoo reopening gorilla enclosure one year after Harambe's death

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 1:07 PM

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 2: Visitors walk past the closed main entrance to the Cincinnati Zoo's Gorilla World exhibit days after a 3-year-old boy fell into the moat and officials were forced to kill Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland silverback gorilla June 2, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The exhibit remained closed as zoo officials worked to upgrade safety features of the exhibit.  (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
John Sommers II/Getty Images
CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 2: Visitors walk past the closed main entrance to the Cincinnati Zoo's Gorilla World exhibit days after a 3-year-old boy fell into the moat and officials were forced to kill Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland silverback gorilla June 2, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The exhibit remained closed as zoo officials worked to upgrade safety features of the exhibit. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)(John Sommers II/Getty Images)

May 28 marks a year since a child fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, causing zoo officials to shoot and kill Harambe, one of the apes. 

Soon, fans of Harambe other gorillas will again be able to visit the famous ape’s former enclosure at the zoo’s Gorilla World.

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Gorilla World has been revamped with new safety precautions and is set to reopen to the public in June. A second phase of renovations will be complete and opened in November.

Changes include new landscaping, an energy-efficient stream and waterfall and a resurfaced outdoor habitat.

A new indoor area will also allow guests to see the gorillas year-round.

“We launched a fundraising campaign to expand Gorilla World in 2015 and have come a long way since we broke ground on the project last fall,” zoo director Thane Maynard said in a news release. “We’re on track to complete the new indoor environment this fall and excited to get gorillas outside in a few weeks.

According to Cincinnati.com, fundraising for the project raised $12 million.

Maynard said Gorilla World, which opened in 1978, had been well-maintained over the years, but the zoo’s “involvement in international gorilla conservation and concern for gorilla well-being at our zoo and everywhere influenced (the) decision to expand and revitalize.”

“We wanted to make it better,” Maynard said.

The zoo installed new barriers at the exhibit after a 3-year-old boy fell into the gorilla enclosure. The Cincinnati Zoo is home to at least 10 gorillas. 

Zoo officials say the new barriers include wooden beams and knotted rope netting.

Read more here.

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

Watch Giant panda at Toronto Zoo frolic, demolish giant snowman

Published: Thursday, December 22, 2016 @ 5:38 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2016 @ 5:38 PM


            The Toronto Zoo has two giant pandas it received from China in 2013. The zoo said the pair are a visitor favorite.
            Colin McConnell/Getty Images
The Toronto Zoo has two giant pandas it received from China in 2013. The zoo said the pair are a visitor favorite.(Colin McConnell/Getty Images)

The Toronto Zoo’s giant panda bear, Da Mao, had a little winter fun this week, frolicking, wrestling, eventually destroying a giant snowman his keeper built inside his habitat.

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The whole escapade was caught on camera by a zoo researcher and has gone viral.

Da Mao VS da snow man.

🐼 Da Mao VS da snow man ⛄.

Da Mao at is it again! Watch our security camera footage as he plays with, or rather disassembles, a snowman his Keepers made for him this morning.

Posted by The Toronto Zoo on Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The panda is seen rolling in the snow and clawing at the snowman before ripping its head off. Da Mao then tumbles to the ground, snowman head in tow, before eventually climbing up and sprawling atop what’s left of the snowman.

The bear is one of two pandas from China that arrived in Toronto in 2013 for a 10-year stay, according to the zoo. 

Both Da Mao and his partner, Er Shun, will remain at the Toronto Zoo until the spring of 2018, when the pair will move to the Calgary Zoo.

The giant pandas have become a favorite sight for visitors, the zoo said.

More Disney restaurants to serve alcohol, some passholders getting own entrance

Published: Monday, December 19, 2016 @ 5:48 PM
Updated: Monday, December 19, 2016 @ 5:48 PM


            (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has two new additions to the theme park's features.

More restaurants at the Magic Kingdom will start serving alcohol this week.

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Starting Friday, Tony's Town Square, the Liberty Tree Tavern, the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen and Cinderella's Royal Table will serve alcohol with lunch and dinner. , Alcohol  is currently served at the Be Our Guest restaurant.

Starting Wednesday, Disney annual passholders will have special passholder entry points at all park gates.

The park said it wanted to honor its annual passholders during the busy holiday season.

The entrances will be open through January, but a specific end date has not been set.