Brilliant Australian Ad Shows a Crucified Jesus Becoming an Organ Donor

October 18, 2018 {COUNT} Shares
In an absolutely brilliant and hilarious Australian ad, a couple of Roman guards urge Jesus, already nailed to a cross, to consider becoming an organ donor before it’s too late.
Because that’s how Jesus can really save. (Up to seven lives!)
The ad is for the Australian Organ Donor Register , an independent group affiliated with the national government, and they also released a much more serious film called Dying to Live . The group also noted that while 80% of Australians say they would donate their organs, only 34% actually sign up on the registry. This campaign is designed to get more people to sign up. After all, it’s not like you’ll need those organs in any afterlife.
The complexity of this needed to be explained as well as a need for people to talk about the issue with their loved ones. One of the key requirements for becoming a donor is in fact talking to your family about becoming a donor. If people do not know the wishes of their loved ones 50% of families will say no.
Naturally, some Christians are furious that Jesus was used for a laugh — even though I would argue he’s hardly the butt of a joke here. The Australian Christian Lobby is calling for the ad to be pulled from circulation. (So much for being “pro-life.”)
… it is regrettable that this profound expression of sacrificial love has been trivialized as a cheap device for grabbing public attention. A different skit might have communicated the message without alienating a significant portion of the very audience it intended to engage.
We would like to send a clear message to the director Richard Todd and Dying to Live that this mockery of Christianity is not supported by the community. He has done the cause of organ donation a disservice.
If you’re offended by this, then maybe humor isn’t for you. Again, this doesn’t make fun of Christianity or Jesus. It uses a story everyone is pretty familiar with to make a point about how easy it is for any one of us to save lives. See?! Christianity was used as a force for good!
Australians can register to donate organs here , while those of us in the U.S. can do so here . There’s no excuse not to do this.
(Thanks to John for the link) Tagged with:

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A World-Class Airport for the End of the World

Stocking up on supplies—water, batteries, food staples— as tropical storm Gordon loomed over the Gulf, I was struck by a familiar sound in the sky as I loaded bags into my car: a bank of airliners forming a loose arc as they slanted down toward the airport, descending one at a time to land. While the city of New Orleans braced for the worst, life at the airport went on as usual.
Gordon ended up missing us completely, having fizzled out after making landfall well east of the city. New Orleans is safe, for now, but hurricane season lingers on through November. And let’s not even talk about 2019, when the storms could strengthen .
By then, the city of New Orleans plans to open a brand new, “state-of-the-art” airport terminal. The $1 billion project is currently under construction across the runway from the existing hodgepodge of concourses. But building a new “world-class” terminal in this sinking city is no straightforward matter. It reveals the precariousness of the world in its current state—a world in which airports may be nearing extinction.
Taxiing beside the building site during trip after trip over the last year, I watched the structure slowly rise up out of the swamp. Its undulating glass facade snapped into place one pane at a time, and then jet bridges began extruding from it. The new airport will completely replace the existing terminal and concourses, serving as a fresh, vibrant point of entry and exit for the millions of tourists and business travelers who visit the Crescent City each year. The current airport buildings are being assessed as to their future use—but they are likely to remain vacant until they are slated for demolition.
New Orleans celebrated its 300th anniversary this year, and there is a palpable sense of pride and creative energy here. Air travel in and out of Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY) is on the rise , up 20 percent between 2015 and 2017. The new airport gleams across the runway, promising to welcome this burgeoning population of jet travelers in the Gulf South. The future looks bright, from the air.
Less so, from the ground. At an average of four and a half feet above sea level, MSY is the second lowest elevation of any airport in the world, just above Amsterdam’s Schiphol. The low elevation of New Orleans, combined with easily overwhelmed pump systems and an elaborate system of levees, makes the area especially vulnerable to flooding. Meanwhile, the nearby coast is eroding at a staggering rate—roughly a football field’s worth every 100 minutes . Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that the the federal government is retiring place names by the dozens for islands and bays that have “simply ceased to exist.”
Almost an island, New Orleans is particularly susceptible to coastal erosion. The grand opening of the new terminal was pushed from February 2019 to May after its gravity-based main sewer line was found to be sagging, requiring a pressurized system with lift stations to be constructed. It’s hard to depend on gravity when construction is already taking place at such a low elevation. What “ground” rests beneath is hardly firm, and it will continue to shift around and change consistency each year. Local developers even refer to the soil here as “ gumbo .”
[ Read: How humans sank New Orleans ]
With tropical storms and hurricanes intensifying each year, a tone of bitter resignation sets in here during late summer, mixed with some gallows humor. A colleague at Tulane told me that the university had already acquired land on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, for rebuilding its campus when—not if —the city is finally submerged and rendered unlivable from a big storm. A Tulane official confirmed that this was pure myth but assured me that the organization does have a robust disaster-recovery plan in place. The short distance from wild rumor to deliberate preparedness reflects a common (if often repressed) attitude here: New Orleans’s days may be numbered.
So why build a new, billion-dollar airport here? From an ecological perspective, the site is already doomed.
MSY is hardly the only American airport undergoing significant renovations right now. In Los Angeles, LAX is in the midst of a $14 billion renovation. In New York, La Guardia is getting an $8 billion upgrade and JFK a $13 billion overhaul. Kansas City (KCI), has a new, $1.4 billion terminal in the works.
KCI’s investment might be more secure than the others; it is far away from any coast and thus not threatened by rising sea levels. But anyone who has seen a perfectly smooth travel day snarled by a storm across the country knows that when a single airport is taken out of commission, the ripple effects can be staggering. Airlines scramble to accommodate rerouted passengers, and flights get delayed due to grounded planes 3,000 miles away. Extrapolate this to entire airports suddenly rendered useless due to the unstoppable flows of a rising ocean. While it is mostly airports in coastal cities that will be affected directly by climate change in the coming decades, other sites also will be impacted.
Of course, airport planning would not get off the ground if it took such apocalyptic forecasts into account. Building and renovations lumber on, pleased with short-term gains and stubborn to reckon with the realities of life on a changing planet. But New Orleans has felt the pain of disaster, and the new airport is an expression of defiance. In the face of our tenuous place and the probable reoccurrence of a major storm, we’re still going to build a new airport.
Symbolically, such a structure will communicate the dynamism of the city. And materially, it could drive future capital investments and professional relocations . The new project reflects these intertwined goals. For example, a “jazz garden” stage, set amidst green space, is planned, to feature live performances by local musicians.
Will it be “world-class,” as the promotional material claims it will be? That depends on what such a structure would look like and how it would function for actual people of the 21st century. These are strange times for commercial flight, when passengers expect seamless transit but inevitably run into the complexities of global migration patterns. An actual world-class airport would have to find ways to mitigate the individuated stresses of travel while also communicating a more collective truth: Flight is no easy enterprise on an ecologically and economically stressed planet. Perhaps a world-class airport should be humble, rather than flashy.
To that end, the new terminal itself is rather bland, aesthetically speaking. The concept sketches were stirring, rendered as they were from a drone-like perspective against an inky, evening sky. The real structure, now nearing completion, looks a little less captivating . It has none of the breathtaking peaks of Denver International Airport, none of the swooping concrete wings of Eero Saarinen’s Dulles terminal or his TWA terminal at JFK. Instead of being architecturally noteworthy, it’s just fine instead.
We are far from the mid-century airports like Saarinen’s, or even their successors, like Dallas Fort Worth, which promised cutting-edge convenience—drive right up to your departure gate—alongside the thrills of jet flight. Now, it’s just a matter of minimizing the hassle while making the experience seem somewhat planned and dignified.
César Pelli, the Argentine-American architect whose firm spearheaded the new MSY design, is known as an architect with “ no personal signature style .” And yet, New Orleans is renowned for its architecture—shotgun homes, Creole cottages, the galleries and balconies of the French Quarter, and so on. It seems like a missed opportunity, to have made a shiny new airport that could really be anywhere, instead of a terminal that feels like New Orleans—from the outside as well as the inside.
That problem continues inside. An Emeril-branded eatery and a Sazerac bar will peddle local fare, offerings that smack of watered-down localism. But at least it’s a genuine attempt to make a bland non-place somewhat specific. MSY’s communications director, Erin Burns, told me that the new airport will host a retail mix including “local brands that are representative of Louisiana and New Orleans.” The airport will attempt to represent its locality within the context of generic comfort. It’s a recipe to make all types of travelers happy.
The rental-car facility—completed only a few years ago at a cost of $72 million—is located next to the existing airport, and will now be accessible only by remote shuttle. This adds an extra leg to the air journey, an inconvenience for everyone. Then the new terminal brags over “a single, consolidated checkpoint.” The idea of consolidation sounds appealing, and indeed free movement across the concourses, after security, is a smart feature. But regular travelers will also know that when an airport has a single security checkpoint, the risks of backups, delays, and long lines also increase.
All of this is proof that today’s “world-class” airport cannot rely on architectural spectacle or experiential novelty. Function is more important—but not as the Bauhaus would have had it, with elegant minimalism of form following suit. Instead, functionalism has become no-frills, done on the cheap, good enough to get the job done—for the time being. It’s world-class in the most blasé, accommodating sense of the term: Inside, keep passengers satisfied, but moving. Outside, offer structure without fanfare, meeting a civic and economic need for a landscape on the brink.
The new MSY is not attempting to be “America’s friendliest airport,” like the promotional material for Phoenix Sky Harbor’s current near-billion-dollar renovation advertises. Nor does it aspire for the integrated smart tech, posh lounges, or immersive regionalisms of the new airports of Dubai, Singapore, or Seoul. Yet neither is the airport responding directly to the threats of climate change, as European airports are being advised through climate science research . Here, the newness seems muted.
It’s as if the whole project recognizes that it is temporary, a quiet nod to the fragile world the airport services—even as it gestures toward an imagined world of ever-increasing flights and booming economic potential. If it gets flooded or destroyed in the coming years or decades, the new MSY will shimmer modestly in the catastrophe but impose relatively modest economic toll, and no great cultural loss. This is an airport for the end of the world.
The old airport terminal is still functioning, but it is slated for abandonment and eventual demolition. During a recent trip, I stared across the runway toward the new site, toward the future, where I am promised better, smoother, and more gainful transit. But then, I also know that next summer will bring another hurricane season. As readily as people will begin to use the new terminal to fly in and out of this unique city, the airport could also be as quickly abandoned.
In 1947, a year after the New Orleans airport first opened, it was flooded by the final landfall of the tenacious Fort Lauderdale hurricane. It is uncomfortable but necessary to think about what the new terminal will encounter during its early years of operation, in these times of widespread denial of the human factor in accelerating planetary changes.
Airport construction under the shadow of climate change betrays the bullheadedness that typifies our time. Many environmental scientists and philosophers are calling this era “the anthropocene,” and others debate the scientific value of this term, or propose different labels such as “ the capitalocene ”—an age marked first by money, the ultimate lure for human repercussions.
[ Read: Did climate change ground flights in Phoenix? ]
Air travel is integrally tied to the accumulation and consolidation of capital, and in some ways airports epitomize globalism. They convey tourists, businesspeople, refugees, cargo, ideas, disease, and more anywhere across the globe in less than a day. This is why President Trump was so eager to point out the miserable state of American airports during the 2016 campaign. If our airports were better, everything else would be better, too. The era of climate change is also the age of the airport, in which international, cross-cultural efforts to bolster and maintain human air travel proceed at any cost. Airports both facilitate and symbolize the glory and the cost of global industry, and the global warming it has produced.
Those disturbing patterns become vivid around airports, especially those airports near sea level . But the effects can be seen everywhere else, too. Consider an abandoned airport in Athens, Greece, whose disaster porn went viral ; or the eerie video-camera footage of the 2011 tsunami inundating the Sendai airport in Japan, baggage carts and Tugs washed asunder; or a “ ghost airport ” in Spain, deserted in the wake of the European economic crisis of 2011; or record-high temperatures that grounded flights out of Phoenix Sky Harbor in summer 2017 (rising temperatures don’t care about friendliness); or most recently, Typhoon Jebi’s crippling effects on Kansai airport in Japan. Though disparate, together these examples bespeak a looming reality of airports in ruins, with human progress entangled in the destruction at every turn. Is there any way to plan for this future, or is it simply a matter of biding time while inhabiting a world in dire straits?
New Orleans’s new airport will most likely open with glee—and then it will quickly subside into the humdrum routines of daily transit. Meanwhile climate change will continue its course, an inbound vector as concrete as it is difficult to pin down. The flight that’s due eventually to arrive in New Orleans will be of a different sort than new routes or more Dreamliners utilizing the airfield. The bigger flight will be more than the new airport can ever handle. It is the impending exodus portended by climate change, a trajectory begun long ago, a terminal much longer in the making.

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A Very Happy ‘Halloween’: Thursday Night Previews Around $10M – Early Read

Miramax Universal
FRIDAY PM UPDATE: Early industry estimates show Halloween scaring up $32M today, including $7.7M from last night, on its way to a $75.5M opening, which would easily make it the second-best theatrical domestic debut for October behind Sony’s Venom ($80.2M). Hence, rival distributors are figuring the David Gordon Green directed slasher plays roughly akin to the B.O. trajectory of The Nun and It. As we already mentioned, it’s a record weekend for the John Carpenter franchise, Blumhouse (their last record opening being Paranormal Activity 3 at $52.5M) and and a great launch for the revived Miramax under Bill Block and Nasser Al-Khelaifi . ‘Halloween’ Review: Jamie Lee Curtis Battles Michael Myers (Again) In A Treat For Horror Fans
Worst case scenario, if tonight shows something significantly lower (which many aren’t expecting), like in the $60M-range over 3-days, understand that’s phenomenal for this time of the month, and the film itself which only cost $15M, co-financed by Miramax and Universal . The third weekend of October usually goes to the dogs: Studios typically populate the weekend with counter-programming junk which will be gone before Veterans Day arrives. Former distribution boss Nikki Rocco believed that when a movie is great, it can play any weekend on the calendar, and the studio continues to practice that m.o. here with Halloween. The Jamie Lee Curtis slasher will profit greatly: Blumhouse’s Split off a $9M production, $80M P&A and $278.4M global gross cleared $68M+ in black ink at the end of the day. Get Out, which cost less at $4.5M, $77M WW P&A, $255.4M WW box office earned an estimated $124.8M in profit . . The Hate U Give Fox
Sony’s Venom looks to rank second in its third weekend with $18.6M , -47% and a running total of $171.6M. Warner Bros./Live Nation’s A Star Is Born is eyeing $18.2M , -36% for $125.2M in third. 20th Century Fox’s The Hate U Give in its third weekend expansion from 248 to 2,302 locations is looking at a third Friday of $3M-$3.3M and a weekend of $9M-$10M for $13.4M. The George Tillman Jr. feature adaptation of the YA novel by Angie Thomas made $300K in previews at 1,600 locations in new markets from 7PM showtimes.
Sony’s Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween looking at a weekend 2 of $9.8M , -38%, for a 10-day of $28.9M.
Uni’s First Man is eyeing a second weekend of $9.4M , -41% for a 10-day of $30.8M.
FRIDAY AM UPDATE after Thursday PM EXCLUSIVE: Universal is calling Miramax/Blumhouse’s Halloween at $7.7 million in Thursday night previews, which began at 7 PM at 3,200 venues — still a fantastic result for a horror pic even though our estimates overshot. Last night’s take bests The Nun ‘s $5.4M preview, and it’s just under the $8M of Paranormal Activity 3 ‘s midnight previews.
The funky, front-loaded nature of horror movies –they don’t exactly leg out like superhero ones — makes Halloween a tricky one to peg in regards to how high it will go. Already we were hearing that advance ticket sales today are enormous, and that’s after last night’s show. We also heard presales in certain multiplexes are beating It ‘s sales. Already, Fandango reported that Halloween is the best horror preseller of the year, well ahead of The Nun.
Should Halloween follow a similar path to It and The Nun ‘s gross trajectory — with Thursday repping 25% of Friday, Saturday down 10% and Sunday another 40% — it will be looking at roughly $30.8M today (including previews), $27.7M Saturday and $16.6M Sunday for a $75M domestic opening.
In a Fandango survey of 1,000 responders, 98% are excited to see the return of Jamie Lee Curtis and the original Michael Myers (Nick Castle), 97% are excited that John Carpenter was involved, 89% are looking forward to David Gordon Green and Danny McBride bringing dark humor to the project, 88% are fans of the slasher thriller genre, and 76% have seen most of the films in the Halloween franchise.
Halloween ‘s Thursday is arguably the third best preview for a horror film after It’s $13.5M and Paranormal Activity 3. Universal
Remember with It and The Nun, their grosses were goosed by Imax theaters. Those are being relegated this frame to Universal/DreamWorks’ First Man. In Friday morning estimates as of 6:54 AM, the epic Damien Chazelle-directed Neil Armstrong biopic ended its first week with an estimated $21.4M after a third-place take of $1.09M on Thursday.
In first, winning every weekday this week, is Warner Bros’ A Star Is Born which earned an estimated $2.7M, down 8% from Wednesday, for a two-week running total of $107.1M. Sony’s Venom is second with $2.08M Thursday, down 7% from Wednesday, for $153M through 14 days. The studio’s family pic Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween earned an estimated $19.1M in Week 1 after a fourth-place Thursday of $699,000, up 17%. Warner Bros’ Smallfoot made $598K last night, up 28%, for a three-week running total of $59.8M. 20th Century Fox’s Bad Times at the El Royale slotted sixth Thursday with $524K, down 13% from Wednesday, for a one-week take of $10M.
PREVIOUS, THURSDAY PM: Universal/Miramax/Blumhouse’s Halloween is being projected by our industry sources at around $10 million, which arguably is the second-best preview night for a horror pic after New Line’s It banked $13.5M from 3,500 theaters on Sept 7, 2017.
Tonight’s forecast doesn’t come from Universal, so there’s an asterisk as the final tally could come in higher or lower by the morning. Showtimes started at 7 PM. We heard that the David Gordon Green-directed sequel at one point was tracking at $8M at around 6 PM, then popped to $10M after 9 PM. Still even if Halloween is in the high single digits at $8M-$9M tomorrow morning, that’s amazing for a horror movie considering New Line’s The Nun hit a Conjuring universe franchise record back on September 6 with $5.4M. Arguably, the next best horror movie to fare well in previews after It was Blumhouse’s own Paranormal Activity 3, which cleared $8M on October 21, 2011; and that was just from midnight shows.
Where does Halloween land on its opening day and the weekend?
Without a doubt, the film produced by Malek Akkad, Bill Block and Jason Blum is easily headed to its best opening in the franchise’s 40-year history, beating 2007’s Halloween ($26.3M), and it’s poised to be the biggest opening for Blumhouse, besting Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.5M). The opening also marks a great launch for the new Miramax under CEO Block and chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi, which co-financed the $15M feature here. True, genre fans are a front-loaded kind of crowd who show up first and then disappear the rest of the weekend, but Halloween is playing like a blockbuster given its multi-generational pull. The drawing power for many is Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her legendary role as Laurie Strode for the first time since 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection .
If Halloween follows the gross pattern of It and The Nun, its Thursday will rep 25%-27% of its opening day which would be a $37M-$40M Friday (including previews). Saturday would dip 10%, which would put the second day around $33M-$36M. Sunday would fall roughly 40% from Saturday, making it $19.8M-$21.6M. That puts the entire weekend between $89.8M-$97.6M. Again, that’s if Halloween plays like It or The Nun. Critics won’t be a problem business-wise for this movie because they love it at 81% Certified Fresh.
It ‘s Thursday night repped 27% of its $50.4M opening day before finaling at $123.4M, while The Nun did 25% of its $22M opening day on Thursday before posting a $53.8M opening. Both movies had the help of Imax. Currently the Imax auditoriums are being used by Universal/DreamWorks’ The First Man.

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