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ivan reitman

Ivan Reitman.

It’s admittedly cliche to write “we lost one of the greats,” but nothing feels more appropriate when writing about director, producer and screenwriter Ivan Reitman.

Reitman’s work is the quintessential comedy experience for people across at least three generations. His biggest film, “Ghostbusters” was a first-of-its kind pop culture phenomenon. “National Lampoon's Animal House” flipped frat house humor on its head. “Meatballs” introduced the world to Bill Murray, for cryin’ out loud. Reitman always seemed to know exactly how to blend silliness, innovation and heart in the most magical way.

Part of Reitman’s gift was his knack for finding funny people. "You get a sense after a while when you're seeing something special in a person," Reitman said in a 2007 interview. "They have a way of taking a stage, or taking a screen. It's not just that they know how to say something funny—there's something about their face where you just have to keep looking at them."

Reitman even saw the comedic potential of action superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred in two of Reitman’s movies: “Kindergarten Cop” and “Twins.” This was a near 180-degree turn from the normal bare-chested barbarian and souped-up killing machine roles that Schwarzenegger had become known for.

On hearing the news of Reitman’s passing on Feb 12, Schwarzenegger gave a heartfelt statement on Twitter, calling him not only “comedy royalty,” but also “kind, generous, smart as hell, and always there for you.”

Schwarzenegger certainly wasn’t alone in his appreciation. Filmmakers and film lovers alike paid tribute on social media.

Paul Feig, who directed the all-female version of “Ghostbusters” in 2016, reflected collaborating with Reitman for the project. “It was always such a learning experience,” he wrote. “All of us in comedy owe him so very much.”

Kumail Nanjiani, co-creator of “The Big Sick” and a film trailblazer in his own right, tweeted, “A Legend. The number of great movies he made is absurd.”

Included in that absurd list is “Beethoven” and “Space Jam,” which Reitman produced. It’s not easy to make family movies that are actually funny to all family members. But Reitman excelled at it.

Mindy Kaling, who worked with Reitman on the rom-com “No Strings Attached,” described him as “old school in the best way,” adding, “it’s sad he’s gone, it makes me feel older and like my childhood movies are more far away than ever.”

Even Tom Rothman, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, spoke out. According to CNN, Rothman said in a statement, “Tonight, the lady with the torch weeps, as do all of us at Columbia, and film lovers around the world. Ivan Reitman was an inseparable part of this studio’s legacy, but more than that he was a friend. A great talent and an even finer man; he will be dearly missed…”

Ivan instilled a love for comedy into his son, Jason Reitman, whose tribute took on a more personal tone.

“All I want is the chance to tell my father one more story,” the tweet read.

Jason might not be able to fulfill that wish, but he does continue his father’s storytelling legacy. Working with his dad, Jason directed the franchise’s latest installment: “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” and has produced dark comedy cult classics “Jennifer’s Body” and “Young Adult.”

Even the official “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” Twitter account paid its respects, saying, “See you on the other side. Rest In Peace Ivan Reitman”

The world might be saddened by the loss of this icon of feel-good entertainment, but it’s only because he gave us all so so many moments that opened our hearts and brought us to laughter.

via FIRST

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Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.