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Inception Media Group Proudly Presents

Todd Oliver: Funny Dog

Man’s Best Friend Finally Talks Back!

Family-Friendly, Stand-Up Comedy Coming to DVD April 8th

So funny and amazing!”

  • Penn & Teller

LOS ANGELES April 1, 2014 For Immediate Release A ventriloquist for 35 years, Todd Oliver brings his act to the next level by taking the stage with his own pets as co-stars in the comedy show, Todd Oliver: Funny Dog, coming to DVD April 8 from Inception Media Group.

Named as one of the top-five ventriloquists in the world by the king of late night himself, David Letterman, the comedian and his amazing talking, dogs – all real-life adopted family pets – bring down the house in this over-the-top performance!
Most recently, Oliver has appeared as a semi-finalist on NBC’s
America’s Got Talent and on TheLate Late Show with Craig Ferguson, the Today Show, Late Show With David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Howie Mandel Show, among others, have made him and his canine sidekicks a favorite of countless fans of all ages!

Todd Oliver: Funny Dogis presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16 x 9 (1.78:1) and digital stereo 2.0. 

About Inception Media Group Inception Media Group, LLC is based in Los Angeles and is a diversified media company specializing in the production, acquisition and distribution of motion pictures and other filmed entertainment across all media platforms and channels of distribution. Inception Media Group's management team has extensive relationships with exhibitors, retailers, distributors and technology companies, enabling the Company to maximize the services performed on behalf of its content partners. The company boasts a catalog of approximately 100 filmed entertainment properties and over 2,500 hours of digital content encompassing feature films, episodic television series, documentaries and special interest programming. More information is available at www.inceptionmediagroup.com

Todd Oliver: Funny Dog

Inception Media Group

Genre: Comedy/Stand Up/Family

Not Rated

Format:  DVD Only

Running Time: Approx. 62 Minutes

Suggested Retail Price:  $14.98

Pre-Order Date:  March 4, 2014

Street Date:  April 8, 2014

Catalog #:  IMG1243DVD

UPC Code:  #815300011805

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Bob Barker retired from CBS' THE PRICE IS RIGHT in June, 2007, after 35 years as the show’s host. The series has been one of the highest rated daytime shows during this entire period. It is also the longest running game show in television history, surpassing "What's My Line?" which ran for 18 seasons. In 2007, Time Magazine named Barker the greatest game show host of all time, claiming that he "never lost his utterly natural charm or self-effacing people skills". Separately, TV Guide named THE PRICE IS RIGHT the “greatest game show of all time.” Barker also served as the show's executive producer. His retirement from the game show marked his 52nd. anniversary of his debut on national television.

Since his retirement, Barker has been busy on a number of animal rights-related issues. He was instrumental in having a Spay-Neuter ordinance adopted by the City of Los Angeles and lobbied Chicago and the State of California to adopt similar laws, and is encouraging New York City to do likewise.  He also supported the adoption of such ordinances by the cities of Dallas and San Antonio. He has written an autobiographical book titled “Priceless Memories” that landed on the New York Times bestseller list within the first two weeks of its distribution.
He is involved in ongoing efforts to rescue elephants from zoos in Los Angeles and Canada. A two-year campaign to move three elephants from the Toronto Zoo resulted in having them transferred to the PAWS animal sanctuary in San Andreas, California, in October, 2013, when he agreed to underwrite the $1 million transportation costs..
He went to North Carolina to attempt the rescue of bears from local side shows. He has established endowments for the study of animal law at eight of the nation's top law schools, including Harvard. All of this with a view to making young lawyers and future politicians more knowledgeable in animal law.
He donated $5,000,000 the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to underwrite its cost of anti-whaling internationally. With Barker’s contribution, Sea Shepherd purchased a new ship which it named the Bob Barker that joins the society’s MV Steve Irwin in its direct actions campaigns to defend ocean wildlife worldwide. 
He has provided financial support for a number of other projects he’s undertaken since his retirement, including $3 million to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund towards construction of a $60 million treatment center for traumatic brain injuries suffered by military personnel. The center will be located in Bethesda, Maryland, adjacent to the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. As a former Navy fighter pilot, he is especially concerned with the care of injured veterans; $1 million to his alma mater, Drury University, to establish the Dorothy Jo Barker Professorship on animal rights that will lead to a full undergraduate degree program. He gave the school another $1 million to establish the Drury University Forum on Animal Rights, which includes an undergraduate course on animal ethics. These are the first such programs at an undergraduate school and they are reverberating throughout the educational system.

Barker has won a total of 19 Emmy awards -- 14 as TV host, more than any other performer, four as Executive Producer of “The Price Is Right” and the Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award for Daytime Television in 1999. He was installed into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame in 2004. He has also received the coveted Carbon Mike Award of the Pioneer Broadcasters and was named the most popular game show host of all time in a national poll. Although he has graced our television screens for over four decades, his career continues at full throttle. "But," he hastens to add, "I was very young when I started."

On April 26, 2002, Bob broke Johnny Carson’s record for continuous performances on the same network television show. Johnny retired from THE TONIGHT SHOW after 29 years, seven months and 21 days (10/1/62 – 5/22/92).

In September, 2007, he was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians. A bronze likeness of him was placed in the Missouri State Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City along side those of past honorees: Walt Disney, George Washington Carver, Harry Truman, Ginger Rodgers, Josephine Baker, former US Attorney General John Ashcroft and famed St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck.

He made his motion picture debut in Universal Pictures’ “Happy Gilmore” in which he appeared as himself with Adam Sandler. His real acting debut, however, came when he was asked to play Mel Harris’ father in NBC’s “Something So Right.” “It took 46 years from the time I first came to Hollywood for me to land a movie role,” he said. “I hope I won’t have to wait that long for the next offer.”

Another honor came when one of the most historic sites in the history of television, Stage 33 at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, was re-dedicated as the Bob Barker Studio in ceremonies following the taping of the 5,000th episode of THE PRICE IS RIGHT in March of 1998. Barker is the first performer to whom CBS has ever dedicated a stage.

Stage 33, opened in November 1952, has been the home of such legendary television series as "The Jack Benny Show" "The Red Skelton Show" and "The Carol Burnett Show," as well as some of the network's most memorable entertainment specials starring such performers as Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. "The Gary Moore Show," based in New York, used it during its annual trip to the West Coast, and "The Ed Sullivan Show," used it for all of its West Coast inserts. It was from Stage 33, in fact, that Elvis Presley made his historic first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Barker was born in Darrington, WA, and spent most of his youth on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota where his mother was a schoolteacher.  His family eventually moved to Springfield, MO, where he attended high school and Drury College, now Drury University, on a basketball scholarship.  When World War II intervened, he became a Navy fighter pilot, but the war ended before he was assigned to a seagoing squadron.

Following his discharge, Barker returned to Drury and took a job at a local radio station to help finance his studies.  It was there that he discovered that what he did best was to host audience participation shows.  After graduating summa cum laude with a degree in economics, he went to work for a radio station in Palm Beach, FL.  A year later he moved to Los Angeles, and within a month, he was the host of his own radio program, "The Bob Barker Show."

Barker made his debut on national television as the host of the popular TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES.  Ralph Edwards, the show's originator, had sold the show to NBC as a daytime strip, but he had not chosen a host.  He auditioned emcees in Hollywood and New York for weeks, but when he heard "The Bob Barker Show" on his car radio he knew he had found the man for the job.

When asked what it was about Barker that had impressed him, Edwards replied, "Bob sounds like Jack Benny doing audience participation."  Proving that Edwards had chosen wisely, Barker hosted TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES for an unbelievable 18 years.

“The Price Is Right” was named The Greatest Game Show of All Time by TV Guide. Barker has been twice named in the Guinness Book of World Records as
television's "Most Durable Performer," 3,524 consecutive performances on TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, and "Most Generous Host in Television History" for awarding $55 million in prizes on his various shows.  During the ensuing years, the $55 million figure has increased to more than $200 million.

He narrated the CBS telecast of the Rose Parade for 21 years, a record for the network. In 1978, he developed "The Bob Barker Fun & Games Show," a series of personal appearances which immediately attracted record-breaking audiences throughout the United States and Canada.

Named one of America's "Ten Best Dressed Men" by the Custom Tailors' Guild of America, Barker is a man of many interests, including karate.  His first instructor was film star Chuck Norris, who says that Barker was one of his most dedicated students.  Barker has traveled the world over, enjoys reading and is a Civil War buff, but claims, "I excel at lying in the sun doing absolutely nothing."

Barker is one of the most visible figures in the animal rights movement and one of its most eloquent speakers beginning with the "Fur Flap" surrounding the 1987 Miss USA Pageant which attracted more media attention than any single event in animal rights history.  If the swimsuit contestants wore real furs, as planned by the pageant producers, Barker said that it would be impossible for him to participate in the telecast.  He prevailed, and synthetic furs were substituted for the real thing.

In 1988, Barker was again the subject of media attention coast to coast when, after hosting the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants for 21 years, he resigned because the producers refused to remove fur coats from the prize packages.  As an interesting
sidelight, the first telecast of the Miss USA Pageant without Barker as host resulted in a decline in rating of 29%, an incredible loss for a special that airs from one year to the next. Barker also resigned as host of "The Patsy Awards" when he learned that trainers frequently use cruel methods to force animals to perform in movies.

A man of conviction who fights animal exploitation in all of its grisly forms, he has refused offers to do commercials for sponsors because of the animal cruelty involved in the development and manufacture of their products.  He turned down a lucrative offer to use his name and likeness in print advertising by one of the nation's best known hospitals because the institution was conducting animal experiments. He also spearheaded the investigation of the movie PROJECT X that led to a request by the Los Angeles Department of Animal Regulation that criminal charges be filed for animal cruelty during the production of the picture. 

Barker established the DJ&T Foundation in 1995 to fund low cost spay/neuter clinics and organizations subsidizing spay/neuter voucher programs across the country in an effort to help control animal over population. According to Barker, over population is one of our most tragic animal problems. The foundation is named in memory of his wife Dorothy Jo and his mother Matilda (Tilly) Valandra, both of whom loved all animals.

In June of 2001, the Harvard Law School established the Bob Barker Endowment for the Study of Animal Rights Law to support teaching and research in this emerging field. He has since established similar endowments at Stanford, Columbia, UCLA, Georgetown, Duke, University of Virginia and Northwestern University law schools, as well as at Drury University, the first such course to be offered at the undergraduate level.

The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics in Oxford, England, selected Bob as its sixth Honorary Fellow. “This award acknowledges Mr. Barker’s ground-breaking contribution to the establishment of animal studies within academia” said Professor Andrew Linzey, Director of the Centre. “His pioneering work in putting animals on the intellectual agenda will be of lasting historical importance to the cause.”

“We cannot change the world for animals without also changing people’s ideas about animals. Almost single-handedly Bob’s sagacity and generosity have - in little more than a decade - propelled animals from being a marginal issue into the academic mainstream. This is a colossal achievement”, said Professor Linzey.

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A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
by Gregory Berns

Advance Praise for HOW DOGS LOVE US:

"A solid introduction to an appealing new area of research" – Kirkus Reviews

"Amazingly entertaining and super smart. In How Dogs Love Us, Gregory Berns gives us our first real look inside the brain of a dog, while simultaneously setting new standards in ethical science. A truly great read!"
—Steven Kotler, author of A Small Furry Prayer

" How Dogs Love Us is a fascinating account of a scientist’s tenacious pursuit of the unknown. Gregory Berns’s account of his lab’s Dog Project provides readers with new insights into the minds of our most loyal companions while also reminding us that scientific research should be approached with passion, love, and a bold disregard for the possibility of failure."
—Dan Ariely, author of The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty

"Gregory Berns's book, packed with solid scientific research and warm personal stories, will set the agenda for future research on the minds and emotional lives of animals."
—Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals

"This book lets you see inside the mind of a dog as never before. How Dogs Love Us will revolutionize how we understand animals—especially our dogs. This is a must-read for animal lovers and neuroscientists alike."
—Brian Hare, author of The Genius of Dogs

Have you ever looked into your dog’s big brown eyes and wondered what he or she was thinking?  Do dogs really understand what we are saying and do they really love us like we love them?  Have we been underestimating their intelligence and capabilities? In his ground breaking new book, HOW DOGS LOVE US: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain (Amazon Publishing/New Harvest; October 22, 2013; 272 pages; $25), Greg Berns shares the story of how he trained dogs to sit quietly during an MRI and reveals remarkable findings that will transform the way we communicate with man’s best friend.

Emory University Neuroscientist Gregory Berns has spent decades using MRI imaging technology to study the human brain, but when he and his daughter adopted “Callie” a skinny, shy terrier mix from the shelter, he was inspired to see if the same tools would unlock the secrets of a dog’s brain as well.  Curious to know what his new dog was thinking, he overcame administrative, technical, legal and behavioral hurdles and painstakingly trained Callie to enter the MRI scanner on her own and stay still during the scans (earmuffs and all!).

In his new book, HOW DOGS LOVE US: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain (Amazon Publishing/New Harvest; October 22, 2013; 272 pages; $25.00), Greg Berns explains how he trained dogs to voluntarily submit to the MRI and then reveals many surprising findings from his studies of the canine brain.   What he discovered challenges many prevailing ideas about dogs and could revolutionize the way humans and dogs coexist.  For example, Burns found:

Dogs are more like people than we thought and his findings beg the question “Should dogs  - and other animals - be granted legal rights beyond being property?”
How dogs love and evidence that they do empathize with human emotions.
The idea of being the “pack leader,” as some experts suggest, may be a mistake.

Berns’ work conducting canine brain scans on conscious, unrestrained dogs—dubbed “The Dog Project” at Emory—has now expanded the team of MRI-dogs to explore how dogs learn and smell, and what they experience when they’re separated from their humans.

Utterly fascinating and required reading for all dog lovers, HOW DOGS LOVE US answers age-old questions about man’s best friend and will help pave new ways to improve canine-human communication —even with dogs who have shown aggression towards humans.  In fact, one day we might find ourselves declaring “Dogs are people too!” and granting them rights beyond our wildest dreams.

About the Author:
GREGORY BURNS, MD, PhD is the Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics at Emory University.  His research has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, Nature, Money, New Scientist, Psychology Today, and on CNN, NPR, ABC, and the BBC. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
Amazon Publishing/New Harvest
On-Sale Date: October 22, 2013; 272 Pages, $25.00

Saturday, Sept. 28, the 271th day of 2013.
There are 94 days left in the year.


Red, White, and Blue Butterflies Flutter to the Broad Stripes and Bright Stars at Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium!

Red, White & Butterflies
Red, White & Butterflies
Saturday, July 7 - Sunday, July 8

(New Orleans, La.)– In a most unusual salute to Independence Day, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium created a patriotic display made out of red, white and blue butterflies and visitors are invited to celebrate the Fourth of July with two full days of Red, White & Butterfly themed activities! The fun flutters in on Saturday, July 7 through Sunday, July 8 from 10am - 5pm.

In celebration of the newly renovated Butterfly Garden, guests will learn about the interesting life histories of several butterfly species, life spans, butterfly gardening, butterfly farming in other countries, and the differences between butterflies and moths. A butterfly release and chat are scheduled on Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

Throughout the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, visitors will enjoy unique butterfly themed activities including up close views of butterfly wings using a "scope-on-a-rope" camera, butterfly specimen identification by the Entomology staff in the Field Camp, and hands on butterfly crafts.

Additional butterfly activities include:

  • Butterfly-shaped balloons - 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Beautiful butterfly dancers in the lobby - 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Caricature portraits in butterfly form - Noon to 3:00 pm
  • Butterfly face painting - 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Roaming magician - 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

All Red, White & Butterfly activities are included in general admission cost.
Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
Audubon Butterfly Garden Insectarium prices are $16.00 for adults, $13.00 for seniors and $11.00 for children and free for Audubon Nature Institute members. Advanced tickets are recommended and can be purchased by visiting AudubonInstitute.org or at any Audubon Nature Institute attraction. Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is located at 423 Canal Street in downtown New Orleans in the U.S. Custom House and is open from 10am to 5pm.

Independence Weekend Discount Offer

Wednesday through Sunday, July 4 - 8, 2012
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
Get $4 off a single ticket adult or child admission. Valid July 4 - 8, 2012.
Visit Go4thOnTheRiver.com to redeem coupon.

Saturday, Jan. 14, the 14th day of 2012.
There are 352 days left in the year.