The holiday season in 2020 already looks different than years prior, so whether you're struggling to get into the holiday spirit or already decorating your home with candy canes before Halloween, a good, old-fashioned holiday movie might be just what the doctor ordered.
The following titles can be viewed at a socially distanced movie festival, local theater or even from your couch. No matter the venue, holiday cheer is in store.
This 2003 feel-good film follows Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell), a human who grew up working as one of Santa's elves, as he travels through New York City to try and reconnect with his dad. The Ferrell classic will kick off the Paramount Theatre's, Holiday Film Series this year, playing on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $11 and the downtown theater is operating at 25% capacity for maximum safety. Don't be a cotton-headed ninny muggins—you know you want to watch it on the big screen again.
"Elf" is also playing at Alamo Drafthouse and Blue Starlite Drive-in.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
When was the last time you watched a "Peanuts" movie? Whatever the answer is, it's time for another showing. After an announcement that the "Peanuts" movies would only be available on Apple TV Plus, national outcry and a petition with over 260,000 signatures, Charlie Brown's films will play this season on PBS. Snoopy and the crew's Christmas special will air on Dec. 13.
A Christmas Story
Next up on the Paramount Theatre's list, "A Christmas Story" may not fill you with cheer, but it will definitely fill you with nostalgia. The 1983 classic has been playing every Christmas since its release. Striking fear into the hearts of children everywhere, this movie is responsible for some renowned one-liners that can't be missed. Catch the movie at the Paramount Theatre on Monday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
"A Christmas Story" is also playing at Alamo Drafthouse and Blue Starlite Drive-in.
Does "Die Hard" count as a Christmas movie? Either way, the movie takes place on Christmas Eve. You won't get your warm, happy cheer while watching this one but you will get your daily dose of thrills. Pick up your action-loving crew and watch the Bruce Willis classic at the Blue Starlite Drive-in on Friday, Dec. 4 at 10:15 p.m.
8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) gets every kid's dream, and nightmare, when he is left home alone over the winter holidays when his family goes on a vacation to France. From there chaos ensues, making it a very untraditional holiday. The movie will leave you glad to be surrounded by family, despite staying home for the holidays. "Home Alone" is playing several slots at the Blue Starlite Drive-in, starting Saturday, Nov. 28 at 7:15 p.m.
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
No Christmas is complete without Chevy Chase—everyone knows that. Following the dysfunctional Griswold family, this move includes everyone's favorite Christmas traditions, from unannounced guests to electrocutions to SWAT raids. If you're looking to feel just a bit better about you and yours this year, catch "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" at the Paramount Theatre on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m..
The movie is also playing several showings at the Blue Starlite Drive-in.
The Polar Express
The ultimate feel-good Christmas movie, "The Polar Express" will bring you back to your childhood or let you view it from your kids' perspective. In a musical journey to meet Santa Claus, the movie charts an adventure for the ages, filled to the brim with thrills, cheer and Christmas spirit. "The Polar Express" is playing at the Paramount Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 1 p.m.
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Some of your favorite Instagram filters can’t be used in Texas anymore and Austinites are sounding off on social media.
Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, announced on Wednesday that certain filters would no longer be available in Texas.
The change is a result of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against Meta, alleging the company uses facial recognition technology that violates laws in Texas. A release from Meta says it stopped using facial recognition tech in November 2021 and denies Paxton’s allegations.
Some Austinites bemoaned the shift, saying some of their favorite filters were now unavailable.
This was my FAVORITE filter on @instagram and they done removed it cause I’m in Texas ! Like wowwwwww pic.twitter.com/uX60hdIC0Q
— Pinkyy Montana (@inkstar_pinkyy) May 11, 2022
i heard that instagram filters got banned in texas? what the actual fuck y’all better give me my favorite filter back
— lia 🤍 (@liatootrill) May 11, 2022
loved this stupid filter sm i hate texas pic.twitter.com/DXr9mmUc64
— birthday boy jeno 🎂 (@beabtox) May 12, 2022
But more often than not, locals joked about the ban.
Texas women seeing the filter ban on IG pic.twitter.com/yDMcP3Qtsr
— Christian (Anabolic) Flores (@christian_flo24) May 11, 2022
So, the state of Texas has banned filter use on IG? THE END IS NEAR. 😂
— THE FRANCHISE! Франшиза (@NYCFranchise718) May 12, 2022
And some in-between chose to show off some natural beauty.
I live in Texas, but no filter needed. 😉 pic.twitter.com/A6teRgYMKn
— bad and bruja (@starseedmami) May 11, 2022
filter, no filter..texas women still reign supreme.
— 🎍 (@_sixile) May 11, 2022
Finally, some are trying to cash in on the opportunity.
Texas IG users- if you want to filter your picture cashapp me $1.50 $ErvnYng
— Gemini (@ervn_y) May 11, 2022
Meta said it plans to create an opt-in system for both Texas and Illinois residents, who are facing the same issues.
Power demand is forecast to push within 600 megawatts of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' capacity Friday afternoon as a record month of heat continues.
Demand for the statewide power grid hit over 65,000 Mw at 5 p.m., just under the capacity the grid can handle. ERCOT announced approximately 2,900 Mw of power was lost on Friday due to six power generation facilities tripping offline. At 5 p.m. it said all reserve generation resources available are operating. Texans have been asked to conserve energy.
Inbox: ERCOT says "six power generation facilities tripped offline resulting in the loss of approximately 2,900 MW of electricity. At this time, all reserve generation resources available are operating." Asks Texans to conserve power... pic.twitter.com/g6LxJlHlop
— Forrest Wilder (@Forrest4Trees) May 13, 2022
As the power grid threatens to buckle under the weight of consumers, record-breaking heat continues to push up demand. Austin is currently in the hottest May on record, with temperatures averaging at 82 degrees—eight degrees higher than average—at Austin's Camp Mabry.
And Austin is expected to have another triple-digit onslaught next week, with temperatures peaking at highs of 100 degrees Friday and Saturday. As a result, demand could peak Monday, with forecast demand expected to reach a May record of 70,758 Mw. The previous record was 67,265 in 2018, while ERCOT's all-time high was 74,820 Mw in August 2019.
While ERCOT has not yet seen a heat surge reminiscent of 2021's Winter Storm Uri, power outage woes became all too real for around 3,600 southeast Austinites Saturday as Austin Energy put on a last-resort power pause from around 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The outage was a culmination of many factors—from near-100 degree heat to unfortunately-timed maintenance checks and growth in the Bluff Springs area. The result was an overheating circuit that needed relief fast.
"It was related to high usage overloading one circuit at a time when some of our infrastructure was still undergoing maintenance in preparation for the months to come," Austin Energy spokesperson Matt Mitchell told Austonia. "So it was a very unique set of circumstances that we do not see repeating itself."
Mitchell said that all seasonal maintenance is complete and that Austin Energy will open a new power substation in Bluff Springs this June. The organization also said the issue had nothing to do with ERCOT, which released a statement assuring consumers that power was not threatened during that time.
NEW: ERCOT projects there will be sufficient supply of power to meet demand for this week. pic.twitter.com/fPZWHbWyoc
— Lindsey Ragas (@LindseyRagas) May 10, 2022
ERCOT also told Austonia before 5 p.m. that it "projects there will be sufficient generation to meet demand for electricity" on Friday. It then informed the public about the energy loss due to a power trip.
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