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Baltimore company awarded 'Best Indoor Roller Coaster'

Good news for thrillseekers. Baltimore company Premier Rides has been recognized for its Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster at Universal Studios in Orlando. 

It received the 2013 Golden Ticket Award for Best Indoor Roller Coaster from Amusement Today, an industry publication. It beat out Disneyland's Space Mountain and a coaster called Winjas in Germany's Phantasialand.

Located in downtown Baltimore, Premier Rides has designed roller coasters for Six Flags America, Paramount's Kings Island and the now-shuttered Sahara Hotel and Casino. It also designed the Blacklot Stunt Coaster, based on the movie "The Italian Job." 

Cedric the Entertainer looking for 'Millionaire' contestants in Baltimore

Are you good at answering multiple choice questions and phoning a friend.

"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" — yes, that show is apparently still on the air — is scouting potential candidates in Baltimore for its game show, Mix 106.5 reports. Host Cedric the Entertainer will hold auditions in Towson Sept. 12. 

"Contestant auditions consist of a timed multiple choice test and for those people who pass, an interview with one of the show’s producers," Mix 106.5 says. "Auditioners will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis and producers will audition as many people as they can throughout the day."

You must be at least 18 to audition. Read the entire story here


Food Network's 'Great Food Truck Race' shoots in Maryland

“House of Cards” isn't the only show shooting in Maryland anymore, as this week filming in Maryland turns from the political to edible.

Food Network show “The Great Food Truck Race” filmed in Annapolis June 21, the Baltimore Sun writes. The multi-week, coast-to-coast challenge pits food truck vendors against one another to see who can sell the most tacos, burgers and other fare.

The Indian-Mexican inspired Tikka Tikka Taco, the Hawaiian-style Aloha Plate Truck and cheese-steak vendor Samboni Boys took part in the Annapolis challenge, the Sun reports.

The Annapolis episode will air Sept. 15. Read the full story here.

Jewish Museum of Maryland celebrating 'Superman' movie opening

A bar mitzvah is usually celebrated when a boy turns 13, but the Jewish Museum of Maryland is making a special exception for Superman.

The museum, located in Baltimore's Jonestown neighborhood, held a bar mitzvah on Sunday for the comic book superhero, who was created 75 years ago by Jewish artists. The superhero himself will be attending the event, which will also include dancing, music, food and a bar mitzvah cake, the Washington Post writes

The event will celebrate the new movie on the superhero as well as the museum's exhibit on Superman, which is on display through Aug. 18.
Read more about the exhibit here.

'House of Cards' filming in Maryland State House

The Maryland House of Delegates chamber will be getting a Hollywood makeover this week for the political thriller “House of Cards.”

The television drama, which airs on Netflix, will be transforming the House of Delegates chamber to resemble the U.S. Senate, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Gov. Martin O’Malley, the lieutenant governor and their staffs will have access to the building during filming and O’Malley himself will make a cameo appearance in the show.

This weekend, the show’s crew will be completing set construction on the State House and the building will be closed to the public Monday and Tuesday, June 17-18 for filming.

The Maryland-filmed political thriller starring Kevin Spacey brought $140 million in spending to the state, according to the Maryland Film Office.

Read the full story here.

Writers Guild names 'The Wire' one of the best-written shows of all time

The Writers Guild of America has named “The Wire” one of the 101 best-written shows of all time.

The critically acclaimed HBO drama broke the top 10, coming in at No. 9. The show ranked above classics like “The West Wing,” “I Love Lucy,” and “Friends.” Critics consistently praised the show for its engaging portrayal of urban life in Baltimore during its five-year run.

Another Baltimore-set show made the list. “Homicide: Life on the Streets” was ranked at No. 46 on the list in a tie with the 1980’s drama  “St. Elsewhere.” “Homicide” won the Television Critics Association Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Drama for three consecutive years during its run. The show ran for seven seasons on NBC in the 1990s.

The top three shows are “The Twlight Zone,” “Seinfeld,” and, at No. 1, “The Sopranos.” Check out the rest of the list here at E! Online.

Johns Hopkins biz school grad wins big on 'Jeopardy'

Which former BmoreMedia publisher won a total of $31,601 on "Jeopardy?"

The correct answer is Sam Hopkins, a Baltimore resident and 2013 graduate of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. He won the total over two days, May 29 and May 30. 

The Prairie Village, Kansas, native gave a shout out to Kansas City barbeque on his second day. Meanwhile, the Twitterverse was buzzing about the multilingual Hopkins. @alliekmiller Tweeted the following: Ladies, there is a man named Sam Hopkins on #jeopardy right now. He speaks 11 languages. Start watching. #betterthanbachelorette. 

JHU put out a news release on the grad's silver-screen appearance. The release also contains highlights from an essay that Hopkins wrote for the school's ONE magazine. In the piece, Hopkins recalls his trip to Bangalore, India and experience collecting vinyl records from around the world. 

You can also see Sam Hopkins' video greeting on the Jeopardy website. 

John Waters says Baltimore has the 'edge' in HuffPo interview

Why does John Waters still live in Baltimore?

Well it's got the "cutest boys" and it's where the writer-director has the most fun, Waters tells the Huffington Post.

"It's where I get all my ideas. It's where the cutest boys are. I have the most fun here. It's the most mixed. It's the most radical. We got edge here. Come on down."

Other highlights of the Q&A: The "Hairspray" director likes making Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley "umfortable;" he decided to hitchhike last year because at his age, he needs to take chances; and, he's not on Twitter because he already knows enough people.

"The only reason for any of that is to see people you wanted to have sex with," Waters says of using Twitter. 

You can read the entire interview here


Station North's Lost City Diner reopens

Baltimore's Lost City Diner has reopened after having been closed for over a year. The Station North Arts and Entertainment District diner opened in August 2011 and closed six months later, shortly after BmoreMedia ran this story on the neighborhood.

It has retained its 1930s sci-fi decor, but now has a new owner, Baltimore City Paper writes. John Rutoskey has steered the menu toward classic diner fare, with plenty of vegan options, the paper writes.

And Baltimore Fishbowl writes that the vibe is "classy yet easy, eventful yet low key."

"Most likely, all the hype and anticipation about Lost City opening (or opening again) comes from its high visibility location. It’s right next door to the Club Charles and the Depot, and across from the Charles movie theater and the former home of Everyman Theater. That’s a lot of drinkers/movie patrons/theater-goers who could use a shake, some fries, and a place to decompress after their other evening activities." 

Read more here

Video Americain gets a plug in the New York Times

Baltimore's Video Americain, one of the few remaining video rental shops in a dying industry, has gotten a shout-out in the New York Times' small business blog.  

Miguel Gomez recently opened — you guessed it, a video store! — in suburban Philadelphia and told the New York Times that streaming and online video rentals can't beat the personal experience of browsing through titles and getting recommendations at a store.

"There aren’t too many video stores left in the country, but the ones that are left are all pretty great," Gomez tells the New York Times. "Baltimore has Video Americain, Seattle has Scarecrow Video, Austin has both I Luv Video and Vulcan Video, San Francisco has both Lost Weekend Video and Le Video … so there are communities still supporting video stores, as long as the video stores have stellar inventories."

Video Americain has two Maryland locations: one on Cold Spring Lane in Roland Park and another in Takoma Park. Last year, it closed its Charles Village shop

Michigan professor teaches a class on 'The Wire'

Who knew McNulty and Omar had so much to teach us.

University of Michigan professor David Harding is using storylines from "The Wire" to teach his students about public policy, USA Today writes. The HBO crime drama is set in Baltimore. 

Titled "Urban Public Policy Through the Lens of HBO's The Wire," the class connects storylines in the HBO with real-life city challenges, such as housing, labor, health care, substance abuse and urban decay.

"It's a growing trend across the nation -- take some piece of pop culture, tie it to an academic subject and hope it grabs students' attention more than a standard academic class," USA Today writes. 

You can read the entire story here

Oscar-winning 'Searching for Sugarman' writer lived in Baltimore

If you were watching the Oscars Feb. 24, you know that "Searching for Sugarman" won Craig Strydom the Oscar for best documentary.

If you were searching for the movie's writer Craig Strydom, look no further than Charm City, the Baltimore Sun writes. Strydom lived in Baltimore for 13 years and worked for marketing firm IMRE.  

The movie tells the story of a music fan searching for the enigmatic 1970s singer Sixto Rodriguez whose music was used in South Africa's struggle against apartheid.

Netflix to release Baltimore-filmed 'House of Cards' on Friday

Netflix is releasing its Baltimore-filmed political thriller "House of Cards" on Friday, Feb 8.

The Maryland Film Office says the $100 million production starring Kevin Spacey is the largest filmed in the Free State, writes the Washington Post.

The 13-part series will be available all at once via Netflix streaming. 

Much of the movie is filmed in Baltimore, which stands in for D.C.

The Oscars are coming to Baltimore

The folks who put on the Academy Awards are taking their iconic gold Oscar statuette on a roadtrip. And Baltimore is one of the stops.

The first ever Oscar Roadtrip started in New York Feb. 4 and is hitting Baltimore Feb. 8. Oscar promoters are letting fans in 10 cities know what it's like to hold a gold statue in their hands.  Philadelphia, Chicago Washington, D.C., and Phoenix are some of the other places they will hit. The last stop is, of course, the live broadcast of the Academy Awards Feb 24 in Los Angeles.

It's unclear where exactly the Oscar will stop in Baltimore, as a lot of the decisions will be made at the last minute, the website says. You can follow @OscarRoadTrip on Twitter to follow their adventures or Tweet suggestions on places to visit around town. 

Maryland's Medifast Gains Points for New Weight Loss Ads

Owings Mills weight loss company Medifast Inc. has rolled out a new ad campaign that has received attention from the New York Times, Mashable and Business Insider. 

"Medifast has a clever TV campaign running right now that includes a heartbreaking ad featuring customer Tina Shelley, who appears as both her former (fat) self and her new (svelte) self," writes Business Insider. "You have to have a heart of stone not to get a little choked up," the online magazine writes. 

Business Insider also talks to the creative director of Minneapolis ad agency Solve, who explains that the videos are before and after shots of actual Medifast customers who lost weight over a period of nine months. 

You can read the entire story here. And here's a link to the New York Times story
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