Top 40 Places & Things in the media for 03/17/2019

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#1 Why St Patrick’s Day went global | The Economist

Why St Patrick's Day went global | The Economist

St Patrick's Day is celebrated by 149m people in America alone. How did Ireland's saint's day become a global event?

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In photos: The world celebrates St. Patrick's Day

Updated 12:45 PM ET, Sun March 17, 2019

A bagpiper marches down Fifth Avenue during the annual St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday, March 16, in New York City. The parade dates back to 1762.

Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

St. Patrick's Day this year is Sunday, March 17, but people celebrated all weekend. Take a look at images from around the world.

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, presents a shamrock to Irish wolfhound Domhnall, the mascot of the Irish Guards, during the St. Patrick's Day parade on March 17 in Hounslow, England.Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty ImagesThe Chicago River is seen from overhead on March 16. Dyeing the river green has been a St. Patrick's Day tradition in the city since 1962.Scott Olson/Getty ImagesA participant joins the annual St. Patricks Day parade in Dublin on March 17.Paul Faith/AFP/Getty ImagesA Yonkers Fire Pipe and Drum member reacts to being kissed by Kayla DeJesus, right, while marching in the 195-year-old Savannah St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday, March 16, in Savannah, Georgia.Stephen B. Morton/APA dog is dressed up in a top hat in bow tie at Arbat Street in Moscow on March 16.Igor Russak/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty ImagesA kayaker paddles on the Chicago River on March 16, after it was dyed green in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.Scott Olson/Getty ImagesMarchers participate in the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City on Saturday, March 16.David Dee Delgado/Getty ImagesParade participants play traditional music as they take part in St. Patrick's Day celebrations on Arbat Street in Moscow on March 16.Igor Russak/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty ImagesA man balances his hat during the annual New York City St. Patrick's Day parade on March 16.Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty ImagesGuinness, a 3-year-old Irish wolfhound, arrives in costume for his role in the 50th annual St. Patrick's Day parade on March 16 in downtown St. Louis.Christian Gooden/APSpectators watch Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade on March 17.Niall Carsons/APBagpipers pass St. Patrick's Cathedral during the annual parade on March 16.Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty ImagesHugh Hemly III holds a magnifying glass up to his eye during the Savannah St. Patrick's Day parade on March 16 in Savannah, Georgia.Stephen B. Morton/AP

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#2 St. Patrick’s Day: Leprechauns

St. Patrick's Day: Leprechauns

In this video, a brief history of Leprechauns is presented. Transcript: The leprechaun is one of the most iconic symbols of St. Patrick's Day. Where did the leprechaun come from? What are some traditions associated with it? Leprechauns are fictional creatures that have long been a part of Irish folklore and mythology.

5 leprechaun movies to watch this St. Patrick’s Day

by Joe Bursley / 2:58 p.m. March 17, 2019

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board.

St. Patrick’s Day is a holy feast celebration dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, who is known for eradicating snakes from Ireland and explaining the Christian holy trinity using a three-leaf clover. However, like any good religious celebration, St. Patrick’s Day has been cheapened and warped by consumerism and secular culture, leading to a holiday mostly known for drinking alcohol, wearing green, eating beef and cabbage, and buying Shamrock Shakes. The most peculiar and prominent imagery from St. Patrick’s Day happens to be the leprechaun, a fantastical Irish fairy dressed in green and concerned about gold and luck. There have been many iterations of the lucky little Irishman in popular culture, ranging all the way from the iconic to the indistinct.

Lubdan the Leprechaun (“Leprechaun” film series)

Image from IMDb

An 8-film comedy/horror saga that follows an evil leprechaun who tortures people who take and spend his gold. This leprechaun has hunted his treasure from Ireland to North Dakota to Las Vegas to an alien spaceship to the hood twice. Personally, if I were that dedicated to my personal gold, I would keep it in a Swiss safety deposit box

The O’Reilly Family (“Luck of the Irish,” 2001)

Image from IMDb

A privileged white male who has found general success in school, sports, and life is finally brought back down to size when he loses his family’s lucky medallion. And by brought down to size, I mean he starts shrinking and turning into a leprechaun, red hair and pointy ears and all. We never get to see his transformation complete, as the entire special effects budget was used to make his mom look six inches tall. In order to win his family’s luck back, he must defeat another evil leprechaun in basketball for the magical medallion. Yeah, this was a classic Disney Channel Original Movie from my childhood, but it certainly was no High School Musical.

The Leprechaun (“Red Clover,” 2012)

Image from IMDb

Hollywood must be afraid of leprechauns because there is yet another horror film centered around the mythical creatures, though one that does not have 7 others in its franchise. The made-for-TV movie follows a woman in a sleepy town who unwittingly releases a murderous leprechaun from an interdimensional prison. The leprechaun resumes his murder spree, and it is up to the woman and her father, the town’s sheriff, to end the creature’s rampage.

Seamus, Mary, and Mickey Muldoon (“The Magical Legend of Leprechauns,” 2000)

Image from IMDb

Break out the tissues and chocolates, because Hallmark has made a cheesy movie about leprechauns, involving clichéd tropes such as love at first sight, underdogs fighting corporatism, and…interspecies magical warfare? Seamus is a leprechaun who befriends a human, Jack, for saving his life, revealing the magical world of Irish mythical creatures. His son Mickey falls in love with a fairy-princess named Jessica, who are able to end the blood feud between their kind by a suicide pact a la Romeo and Juliet. Alas, even the most original Hallmark movie will fall to repeated tropes.

Lepkey the Leprechaun (“Getting Lucky,” 1990)

Image from IMDb

A teenage dork sets out to score a date with his cheerleader crush using three wishes from a drunk leprechaun he found in a beer bottle. No, I’m not kidding, that is the synopsis. Cheesy acting and a corny premise are succulent toppings to this indie sex comedy, which is anything but safe for work. But hey, having sex and getting drunk are practically staples of the modern St. Patrick’s Day holiday so I guess it fits.

Surprisingly there aren’t that many iconic leprechauns portrayed in films, despite the iconic imagery and thematic imagery that enable movies about Santa Claus or Halloween monsters come out almost once a year. Perhaps it’s because St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have the cultural impact that Christmas or Halloween do. Maybe it’s because having a character whose base trait is being lucky makes for a pretty uninteresting conflict and story. Or maybe it’s just because the effects and mythology details needed to make a decent leprechaun movie outweigh the desire from audiences to watch one on the big screen. So, if you’re like me and looking for a leprechaun movie to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in lieu of bar hopping…it looks like it’s pretty slim pickings.

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#3 “Where the Crawdads Sing” author Delia Owens

"Where the Crawdads Sing" author Delia Owens

For the last six months "Where the Crawdads Sing" has been a fixture on The New York Times' Bestsellers List. The novel by Delia Owens is a love story, murder mystery, courtroom drama, and ode to the outdoors all in one. Lee Cowan paid a visit to Owens at her home in Idaho, and in the wilderness she loves.

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Delia Owens on "Where the Crawdads Sing"

It's almost in Canada, with a view of Montana. That's how remote this northern corner of Idaho really is, worlds away from almost everything, except nature. For writer Delia Owens, it's heaven. Wildlife is her church, vast isolation her muse.

Does she get lonely out here? "I do. I get so lonely sometimes I feel like I can't breathe."

"But you like a part of that though, right?" asked correspondent Lee Cowan.

"I do, I do. And I decided to write a book about it."

That book, "Where the Crawdads Sing," has become a phenomenon. At a recent book fair in Savannah, Georgia, she had readers lined up around the block just to meet her.

 GP PUTNAM

The book has become a fixture on The New York Times' bestsellers list over the last six months. On the day Cowan visited, Putnam (her publisher) gave her a call to tell her that she'd made it to number 1 for the third week in a row. 

"They keep sending me champagne," Owens laughed. "One thing about the success is I have learned how to open a bottle of champagne by myself, ['cause] they keep coming!"

What makes her success all the more remarkable is that Owens, now 70, had never written a novel before.  "I have had such great response form my readers, I just feel overwhelmed with gratitude," she said.

The book is tough to categorize; it's a love story, a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and an ode to the outdoors – all in one.

It took her the better part of a decade to write, inspiration coming whenever it came. "I sleep at night with a little pad of paper in my bed with a flashlight and a pen, and I wake up in the middle of the night and write something down," she said. "Something that I think is brilliant! And then when I wake up in the morning I'll look at it and half the time I can't read what I wrote."

A thousand such moments became little scraps of gold, like this one: "Sand keeps secrets much better than mud." That one made it to the book.

 CBS NEWS

The title "Where the Crawdads Sing" was taken from a phrase Owens' mother used to use encouraging her tomboy of a daughter to take to the woods around their rural Georgia home, and listen to what those woods had to say. "I learned from a book that crawdads don't really sing. But I learned from my mother that if you go far enough into the wilderness, by yourself, and there's nothing but you and nature, you will hear the crawdads sing."

She took that advice to heart, earning a BS in zoology and a Ph.D. in animal behavior, and at 24 bought a one-way ticket to Africa to put her science background to work. With her then-husband Mark Owens, they made a name for themselves in the wild, writing three books together about their experiences with elephants and lions, even appearing in a 1988 National Geographic documentary, "African Odyssey."

"We were, at one stage, the only two people in an area the size of Ireland," Owens said.

"You never saw anybody?" Cowan asked.

"No. Not unless people came to our camp, and that was very, very rare."

Delia Owens in Africa.  DELIA OWENS

The two have since divorced, but Owens kept on writing. What she wanted to explore was something she felt all those years in Africa, but couldn't measure, at least not in a scientific way, and that was her feeling of being alone.

"I would watch the lions in the late afternoon, the suns setting behind the dunes, and they'd be playing and tumbling with their cubs and each others' cubs," she said. "And it made me think about my girlfriends back home. It made me realize how isolated I was not to have a group. And that was one thing I wanted to write about in my novel, was the effect that isolation and loneliness can have on a person."

The seed for her first novel was planted.  She chose at a setting a lonely place indeed – a marsh like the one she took Cowan to just off the coast of Savannah … the kind of channel her novel's main character would come through to her shack when she went to the sea.

Her protagonist is a girl named Kaya, the "Marsh Girl," as she's known in town, forced to scratch out a life all by herself in the wilderness after her family abandoned her.

For Kaya, this was her world – the wild, her teacher both in love and loss, much the way Owens herself had found her way through life.

Author Delia Owens back in Georgia, with correspondent Lee Cowan.  CBS NEWS

She said, "I feel at home when I'm in a place like this. It doesn't matter, you can put me in the middle of a desert, or the middle of mountains, when I'm out away from everything else, I feel like I'm home."

Perhaps that's why writing fits her so; it's a solitary pursuit.  But being a successfulwriter is anything but.

Cowan asked, "Is it hard doing a book tour and all that other stuff when you're surrounded by so many people and you've got so many events and book signings and everything?"

"It's very hard. I don't like that part," she replied. "And to stand up in front of a crowd and talk?"

As she told her audience at the Savannah book fair, "I've lived a remote life. I'm not used to seeing so many people in one place. And although I'm sure you're very nice, the feeling of excitement that I get right now is sort of the same as being charged by lions!"

She can't put the genie back in the bottle. She's even sold the rights for an upcoming movie, one Reese Witherspoon is producing. Hollywood, though, is a different animal than she's used to.

Delia Owens remains a nature girl at heart – happiest way out yonder, just like her mother always always said. "This is where the crawdads sing, right here," she said outside her Idaho home. "This is it. I finally found it. Took a lifetime, yeah!"

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Top 40 people in the media for 03/17/2019 (Open list) (12 submissions)

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#1 Videos Worldwide for 03/18/2019 (Open list) (10 submissions)