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Austin, Texas’ serial bomber

A series of five bomb attacks took place over 19 days in Austin, Texas. Packages filled with bombs were delivered to residential areas. Sadly, two victims were killed and several left injured.

Police were flooded with reports of suspicious packages. On March 21, the “serial bomber” was identified, though he committed suicide prior to capture and left behind a 25-minute confession video. There is currently an ongoing investigation.

Creative protesting as 7,000 pairs of shoes are left outside the capitol

March was filled with protests about gun regulation. For instance, 7,000 pairs of shoes were placed in front of the Capitol Building. Each pair represented a child killed by gun violence.

Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, approximately 7,000 children have been killed from gun violence. The protest was organized by Avaaz, a global advocacy group with a mission “to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere.”

Oregon’s anime-esque tourism ad: Only Slightly Exaggerated

The internet was buzzing when Oregon unveiled its tourism ad. This one minute, 30 second video highlighted key features about the Beaver State in an anime inspired animation style. Launched by Travel Oregon, the Oregon Tourism Commission, the video depicted the state’s landmarks and outdoor activities in a manner the video cutely describes as “only slightly exaggerated.” Included were the North Umpqua Trail known for mountain biking, a hot air balloon ride through Willamette Valley and many more attractions. The locations were even identified and compared to their real-life versions. The resemblance was uncanny.

Both Psyop and Sun Creature Studio produced the animation. The Oregon Symphony provided background music with an original score.

Editor’s note: For clarification. The Oregon Symphony performed the background music heard in the video with the original score composed by Jim Dooley. The original video link has been updated as the video was reuploaded on 3/20/2019.

The ad is similar to the 2017 tourism promotion launched by Canada. Though Warm Winter Canada! was made by the creators of Your Name.

Update: Another “Only Slightly (More) Exaggerated” video was released by Travel Oregon. The animation was developed by Wieden + Kennedy, Psyop and Sun Creature Studios. Update 7/30/2019.

Powerful student walkout

In honor of the Parkland shooting victims, thousands of students around the U.S. held an organized school walk out March 14. The purpose of the nationwide protest was to bring attention to gun violence in the US. Buzzfeed created a powerful gallery highlighting images from the event.

Rihanna’s response to Snapchat’s inappropriate ad is a lesson on tact

Please don’t come after RiRi. No matter how funny this may seem, domestic violence should not be taken lightly. The Snapchat ad for the third-party game Would You Rather had heads turning when one choice rubbed people the wrong way. The ad prompted game players to either “Slap Rihanna” or “Punch Chris Brown.” Snapchat eventually apologized for the ad, but were still met with scrutiny.

Rihanna posted on her Instagram story: “Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there! But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess! I’d love to call it ignorance but I know you ain’t that dumb. You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it.”

She continued with, “This isn’t about my personal feelings, cause I don’t have much of them…but all the women, children, and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet…You let us down! Shame on you. Throw the whole app-oligy away.”

FIU bridge collapsed

A 950-ton pedestrian bridge, built to connect Sweetwater, Fla. to Florida International University’s campus, collapsed March 15, killing and injuring many. Spanning seven lanes of the Tamiami Trail, the $11.4 million bridge project was designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. It was supposed to open early 2019. On the Saturday prior to the collapse, the bridge was taken off its temporary support and transitioned to its permanent position.

MTV, Nickelodeon and BET went off the air to support massive student walkout

In support of the student walkouts and protests against gun violence, Viacom networks went dark for 17 minutes on March 14, which paralleled the time of the Enough! National School Walkout protest. The networks suspended their scheduled programming with each minute representing a life lost at the Parkland massacre. Networks included MTV, Nickelodeon and BET.

March for our Lives

March for our Lives pretty much owned the month. Check out the photos from the March 24 event.

In closing

TL;DR – Oregon unveiled their Spring campaign, Only Slightly Exaggerated. A big name company was put in their place. Several protests took place in March displaying the persistence of the human spirit.

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