Idol Chatter

Julia muppet Credit: Sesame Workshop

Credit: Sesame Workshop

Julia, a little girl Muppet, has been in “Sesame Street’s” online series since 2015, however she’s finally making her TV debut on HBO and PBS in April.

The show’s creators have a goal to help children better understand playmates who have autism, which affects millions of American children. Children with autism will also now have a Muppet that they can better identify with.

In Julia’s first episode, she is introduced to Big Bird but is hesitant to shake his hand. Big Bird becomes nervous that Julia doesn’t like him, however Elmo explains that Julia has autism so she “does things a little differently.”

Julia’s designers were eager to use the new Muppet to express issues kids with autism often deal with, without turning her into some kind of standard model for everyone with the disorder.

“It’s tricky because autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism,” writer Christine Ferraro told “60 Minutes.” “There’s a saying that if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”

Julia’s puppeteer, Stacey Gordon, has a son with autism. She wishes Julia had been around years ago when he was “Sesame Street” age.

“Had my son’s friends been exposed to his behaviors through something that they had seen on TV before they experienced them in the classroom, they might not have been frightened,” Gordon told “60 Minutes.” “And [they] would have known that he plays in a different way, and that that’s okay.”

National Geographic on their upcoming episode of Explorer, which features His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. This special episode of Explorer airs on Monday, March 20th.

In a rare interview, National Geographic sits down with His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his largest event of the year, the Kalachakra, in Bodh Gaya, India. Journalist Michael Ware and the Dalai Lama have an intimate conversation as they discuss peace in a world gripped by violence. In studio, guest host Nick Schifrin sits down with theoretical physicist Michio Kaku and theologist Candida Moss to discuss the intersection between science and religion.

Faith-Christian-bible-crown-thorns-jesus-easter-resurrection_credit-ShutterstockWhile most of us have heard miraculous redemption stories about people straying away from God and then finding Him again, you haven’t heard a story quite like Jacob McKelvy’s. What makes his story so incredibly unique? McKelvy is the first confirmable satanic leader to be reborn into Christianity.

His testimony is powerful. When he was just a young boy, he lost his sister from a snake bite. After she died, he lost all faith and hope in God.

“I was born and raised Mormon, so I understood [who] Jesus Christ was and what God was and if they took my sister away I was going to go to the dark side,” McKelvy said. “There was a lot of hopelessness and feeling of powerlessness that drew me to this.”

He channeled his anger and rage which sent him on a really destructive path that eventually lead him to become a Luciferian “archon,” or world leader. He would later become the founder of the Greater Church of Lucifer in Texas.

When McKelvy first opened his church doors to the public, Christians both from and outside of the community protested against his church. While there were many people gathered outside the doors to protest the church’s practices and beliefs, Robert Hogan, pastor of Spring First Church, encouraged his congregation to not protest.

“God hasn’t called us to hate these people. He’s called us to love those people,” Hogan said to his congregation.”

Hogan also believed that if he had faith, something good could come out of the situation.

“I just believe that God could break a revival out at that church,” Hogan said.

As McKelvey drove by Hogan’s church, he felt an urgency to go in. McKelvey eventually walked through the doors of Spring First Church and asked to talk with Hogan. After a four hour meeting with the pastor, McKelvy and his wife surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ and were born again. They also renounced their ties to the church.

“We were once covered in darkness and bound to each other in Luciferian covenant,” McKelvy said during a service at Spring First Church in Houston.“We were mired in the shadows of the adversarial influence and knew no love outside of each other. Today I rebuke, denounce and break the satantic covenant by the blood of Jesus.”

McKelvy and his wife were both baptized at the end of the service.

The Greater Church of Lucifer in Old Town Spring Texas has since been shut down. At the time of McKelvy’s exit there were 41 branches worldwide.

Today, McKelvy shares his testimony in church’s nationwide, speaking openly about his journey to prove the power of prayer and the love of God. He hopes that his story will help to inspire others to follow his footsteps.

“I created a church to destroy dogmatic religion and He still loved me. So if He could still love me for me to be here today talking to you than there are no excuses anymore.”

The scene that won Marisa Tomei her first ever Oscar was almost cut from the movie entirely.

‘My Cousin Vinny’ turns 25 today, still being an instant classic that is regularly referenced in pop culture. It was Tomei’s performance as Mona Lisa Vito that helped the low-budget comedy rise to popularity and get noticed by the Academy.

In the scene, Vinny Gambini (played by Joe Pesci) brings in his surprise witness fiancee, Mona Lisa Vito, during the climax of the movie. Mona Lisa Vito takes the stand in a courtroom where Vinny is the legal representation for two young men who are on trial for murder. She shoots an apathetic eye roll at the prosecution’s Mr. Trotter (Lane Smith) before dismantling his “bullsh– question.” She boldly declares that “the defense is wrong” and rattles off automotive knowledge with a spitfire spunk of a Brooklyn hairdresser. The whole scene leaves even the judge dumbstruck at her knowledge of the automotive industry.

The scene is so famous, in fact, that when Bill Belicheck was being grilled during the “Deflategate” scandal, he said he wasn’t “the Mona Lisa Vito of the football world.”

Amazingly, screenwriter Dale Launer, who also spoke with TheWrap, said the studio originally wanted to cut Tomei’s character from the movie altogether. They wanted to give those big moments to Pesci’s Vinny.

“I thought they were looking at the best thing in the movie and wanted to cut it out,” Launer said. “Not only did I not take Lisa out, I decided to put more of her into the movie.”

Before the “Moonlight” and “La La Land” mix-up became the biggest mistake in Academy Awards history, Tomei was the subject of her own Oscars controversy. Rumors continue to this day that she didn’t really win and instead Jack Palance made an error when he announced her name for Best Supporting Actress. She was up against some stiff competition including Judy Davis and Vanessa Redgrave, and it is rare that comedies win this category. The rumor has been debunked, and Tomei even joked about it when she hosted “Saturday Night Live.”

“Everyone I spoke to said, ‘Who is this woman? She’s wonderful,’” Lynn said, confident in her victory.

Now 25 years after its release, “My Cousin Vinny” continues to be shown on cable TV and HBO. It is the kind of movie that you can’t turn off once you start watching.