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Zola(NEW YORK) — Couples heading to the altar can now add items from multiple stores to one simple registry.

Brides-to-be can use their smartphones to scan the bar codes of products in any store or add links from online retailers with the new app from Zola, which launched Thursday. And users aren’t limited to products — they can also add dance lessons, wine tasting tours, cooking classes or honeymoon funds to their registry.

“We want couples to be able to register for anything they want — products, honeymoon cash, experiences,” Zola founder and CEO Shan-Lyn Ma told ABC News.

More than 10,000 couples have signed up since Zola launched its website in October. The new app, only available on iOS, adds a fun feature called Blender.

“It’s a quick and easy way to browse and add products to their wedding registry,” Ma said. “You swipe right to add and left to dismiss — similar to Tinder.”

The feature pulls products and experiences from multiple vendors, all sourced directly by Ma’s team.

“Our ultimate goal is to provide all the things someone might love to have with their fiancé, to create their lives together,” she said. “Whether that’s stuff for the kitchen or the home or a honeymoon.”

The app is also more interactive than a traditional registry. Couples can create collections to group similar products together and also add comments to let friends and family know why they want a particular item.

Instead of posting a link to Bloomingdale’s or Bed, Bath and Beyond, couples share their Zola link.

“We found the vast majority of couples today have a wedding website of some kind,” Ma said. “So they post the link there.”

When friends or family find a gift they want to purchase, they pay through Zola’s website and the couple gets an alert those funds are in their account.

The couple makes the final purchase.

Ma acknowledged it’s an extra step, but says that way the couple can control when the product gets shipped.

“Couples said this was a big problem,” she said. “It was hard to plan when your gifts would arrive or manage the returns process. We found people were having boxes arrive unexpectedly. They weren’t sure if they wanted to open them, or keep them or return them. We developed a tracker so you can device when and what will be sent to you.”

The app is free and will expand to other mobile platforms within the next few months.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) — Johnny Depp’s Dr. Will Caster and his wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), want to change the world through artificial intelligence. But Caster is an intellectual hermit: instead of going out into the world and raising money for his research, he’d rather spend his life at home with his beautiful wife, taking care of their garden while creating complex algorithms. That type of lifestyle just isn’t possible for him because, as indicated by his face on the cover of popular tech magazine WIRED, Will is a tech community rock star.

The culmination of Will’s research is PINN (Physically Independent Neural Network), an artificially intelligent computer whose only major flaw is that it’s not self-aware — a plot point seemingly created only to create conflict later in the movie.

Shortly after Will reluctantly delivers a speech about his research and the convergence of artificial intelligence and human intelligence — which he calls “transcendence” — an anti-technology zealot attempts to assassinate him. It’s all part of a coordinated attack on computer labs around the country that support Caster’s research, fearing it will lead to the downfall of society as we know it.

Will survives the attack, but not for long. The bullet he took was laced with a radioactive isotope, leaving him with only weeks to live.

Evelyn thinks she can save Will, or at least his mind, by employing PINN tech to essentially upload Will’s brain into cyberspace, where he can live forever. She’s going to need help, and that’s where their good friend and business partner, Max (Paul Bettany), comes in. Max helped Will develop the PINN software, and also apparently has some surgical skills — a convenient plot point which, like so many other aspects of Transcendence, is never explained.

The gamble works, but Max soon realizes that the A.I. version of Will may not be Will at all. It grows more powerful and intelligent by the second, becoming — ironically — the very thing the terrorists who tried to kill Will feared, and alarming the government as well.

Transcendence feels less like a film title and more like a mission statement, with the filmmakers hoping the movie would transcend its faults and become a fully realized story with fleshed-out characters (Kate Mara from House of Cards is particularly underutilized as the terrorist leader) and intellectually stimulating conversations. In fairness, there are a few tense moments, but there are also plenty of other moments where you wish the projectionist would stop the movie and throw on Spike Jonze’s Her, a much more subtle and entertaining meditation on a somewhat similar theme. Transcendence aspires to be a philosophical rumination about the future of artificial intelligence, but it’s really just an exercise in superficial intelligence.

Two-and-a-half out of five stars.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Heart-wrenching photos of families mourning loved ones lost in a South Korean ferry disaster capture what some experts say is a helpful process: group grieving.

At least 25 people are dead and 271 are missing from the sunken ferry, which was carrying 475 people.

More than 300 high school students were among the ferry’s passengers, prompting anger and heartache from crowds of inconsolable parents.

“The more similar the loss, the easier it is to share in a group,” said George Everly, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Md. “But like most things, it’s a double-edged sword.”

While shared mourning can help families cope with an unfathomable loss, it can also amplify the grieving process, according to Everly.

“Those who share a similar loss can be a remarkable support to one another,” he said. “But in the acute phase, the grieving process can escalate by virtue of the group.”

Photos from the ferry disaster, like photos from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, show families uniting in grief as well as outrage toward the authorities.

“Grieving is helped when there is an efficient and effective flow of information,” said Everly. “Grieving is not helped when there is potential human error that caused the loss.”

The cause of the capsized ferry is still unclear, but Coast Guard officials said the boat’s captain was among the first to escape the doomed vessel.

“I am really sorry and deeply ashamed,” 69-year-old Captain Lee Joon-seok said on Korean television Thursday, his face covered by a gray hoodie.

Relatives of dead students sobbed as ambulances transported bodies from Mokpo, a city near the disaster, to Ansan, a satellite city of Seoul. Meanwhile, relatives of missing students, desperate for answers and hoping for a miracle, gathered at Danwon High School in Ansan for a candlelight vigil.

“The moment it happens, that loss becomes the center of your life,” said Everly. “A healthy grieving process is one that moves that loss from the center of your life to somewhere else.”

Groups can help with that process by gathering to remember those lost, Everly said, citing support groups for those who lost loved ones in Pan Am Flight 103 — the Lockerbie disaster.

“They formed a special bond that I think was helpful,” he said. “Grief is better shared, as long as it doesn’t continue to escalate.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Mike Coppola/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Alexa Ray Joel is doing fine since collapsing onstage while singing to a sold-out crowd at New York City’s Cafe Carlyle recently.

“I’m doing fine. I’m great, and I’m standing,” the 28-year-old daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley told Extra on this week.

“I do tend to get a little bit of a low blood sugar drop. I was working shows in a row. You know it happens, singing is a physical act. I think I was just building up my stamina and it was a lot of shows in a row. Hey, life happens.”

Joel was two songs into her set on Saturday night when she lost consciousness. She was taken to the emergency room at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and later released after being diagnosed with vasovagal syncope, a non-serious condition that blocks blood from flowing to the brain and causes fainting, her rep told People.

The singer told Extra: “I really appreciate that everybody has been so respectful and not putting any salacious slant on the whole story.”

She added, “Everyone has been so caring and sweet and supportive. I’m getting all these messages on Facebook and social media of everyone asking how I’m doing. I really appreciate it, it’s helping me actually recover.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Zoonar RF/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Kevin Ogilvie thought he would never walk again after he was left paralyzed from the chest down in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan in 2012.

Ogilvie, a member of the Royal Air Force Regiment, was injured when the vehicle he was driving hit an improvised explosive device. Ogilvie was left with seven broken and three crushed vertebrae.

In spite of his injury, Ogilvie got to walk again — with some high-tech assistance. At a rehabilitation hospital in Scotland, Ogilvie was able to try out new robot legs made by Rex Bionics.

“It was really cool, but also really strange, to be walking again after so long,” Ogilvie told The Scotsman Newspaper. “It was weird to use, but weird in a good sense, having no feeling or control below my chest made seeing me moving even weirder.”

The creators of Rex Bionics say the device won’t exactly help people run a marathon, but can help people connect in small ways.

“They don’t want to go any faster….They want to get back at eye level,” said Rex Bionics spokeswoman Debra Leeves. “It’s a small thing — everything always happens above their heads.”

The robotic legs were part of a demonstration, but Kevin Ogilvie’s father, Phil Ogilvie, said he hopes his son will be able to use them again.

“The device is still in the development stage but it’s hoped that in four or five years it will be fully operational,” he told The Scotsman.

Ogilvie and his brother are now working to raise £10,000 for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and the Soldiers Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association by the end of the year as a way to thank the charities for their help after Kevin’s injuries.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Brad Richards, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin all scored in the third period to lift the New York Rangers past the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-1, in Game 1 of their best-of-seven first-round playoff series Thursday night.

The game was tied at one apiece with 12:25 left in the third period when Flyers center Jason Akeson was called for a four-minute double minor for high-sticking. The Rangers capitalized with Richards and Stepan scoring 47 seconds apart.

Philadelphia actually took an early 1-0 lead when Andrew Macdonald’s slap shot found the back of the Rangers’ net at the 7:28 mark of the first period. But just minutes later New York answered back when Mats Zuccarello backhanded his own rebound past Flyers’ goalie Ray Emery.

Emery, who was filling in for the injured Steve Mason, made 32 saves in the loss. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 14 of the 15 shots he saw in the win.

The Flyers still haven’t won a game at Madison Square Garden since March 6, 2011.

Game 2 is Sunday in New York. The puck is scheduled to drop at noon.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Frank Haith has verbally agreed to leave Missouri and become the next men’s head basketball coach at Tulsa, according to ESPN.com.

Haith takes over for the recently departed Danny Manning, who is now the Wake Forest head coach.

Haith has spent the last three seasons in Columbia, compiling a 76-28 record and making the NCAA Tournament twice. Last season Haith guided the Tigers to a 23-12 record and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament, where the team lost to Southern Mississippi in the second round.

Haith takes over a Tulsa team that went 21-13 last season and made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Jamie Squire/Getty Images)(LEXINGTON, Ky.) — Kentucky freshman James Young announced Thursday he will enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

“My time at Kentucky has been special to me, something I’ll always treasure, but I feel that I’m ready to take the next step to the NBA,” Young said. “I’ve learned more this year, on and off the court, about life from Coach Cal and the staff and appreciate all of their guidance and support. I can’t say enough about my teammates; the journey helped us build a bond that we will always share for the rest of our lives.”

The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Young averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season for a Wildcats team that advanced to the national championship game. According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, many NBA executives believe Young is a first-round pick.

”From Day 1, the NBA people who came to our practices in the preseason raved about him,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said in a statement. ”He’s done everything we’ve asked of him all season, investing himself in his brothers for the betterment of the team, and I think we all saw the end result in the tournament and Final Four.

“Whatever team drafts James is not only getting a superb athlete, they are getting the ultimate teammate.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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By MAX FILBY
STAFF WRITER
Van Buren School District is asking residents to approve a $29.3 million bond issue to expand its campus.
If voters approve the 37-year, 6.9-mill package on the May 6 ballot, it would pay for building 37 new classrooms and a new gym at the middle school and high school.
The district is not eligible for state funding for the project because its property valuation is too high, considering its enrollment.
“We’re very hopeful that the community will understand our needs,” Superintendent Tim Myers said.
Since announcing the bond issue in January, the district has hosted a number of open houses and information sessions that “were not highly attended,” Myers said.
Despite the low attendance, Myers is confident the levy will pass. “We’re not really hearing any intentional opposition to it,” he said.
Myers has also been active in communicating with community members via email and in the district’s newsletter about the expansion.
The project’s new classrooms and gym would replace an existing portion of the school that was built in 1918, making it almost 96 years old.
That part of the building is so old that it regularly has water main leaks, Myers said.
“It happens a lot just because of the years of deposits and sulfur buildup in the pipes,” Myers said.
The building’s chimney and floors are deteriorating, too. Older buildings also make it difficult to implement newer technology in classrooms, he said.
“We need to pass this levy or we’re going to have to keep pouring money into fixing these problems,” Myers said.
The project also would include improvements to the heating and air conditioning systems in both of Van Buren’s schools.
The district’s expanding enrollment and desire to further use technology in classes are additional reasons for the expansion, he said.
“Education has changed,” Myers said. “I’d like to think that we can create better learning spaces for our students than we have now.”
The district’s enrollment is about 1,100 students, Myers said.
“It’s not huge, but I don’t believe it’s ever been that high before,” he said.
To expand its campus, the district purchased two neighboring houses and is looking into buying three more if the levy passes.
In March, the Van Buren school board approved the purchase of 211 S. Main St. and 205 Maple St. at the combined price of $206,000.
Both properties were owned by Van Buren resident Ruthellen Yildez.
Yildez lives in one of the houses, and her daughter and grandchildren live in the other. Yildez asked the school district to expedite the purchase because her daughter was already looking at another house.
If the district is unable to make deals to purchase the remaining three properties, Myers said the district would just build around them.
“It’ll be fine, we would still have a quality facility,” he said of the school construction.
If the levy does not pass, Myers it will likely reappear on the November ballot. If it still fails to pass, the district would instead expand its parking lot onto the two properties it purchased.
“As landlocked as we are, we could always use additional parking too,” Myers said.
Filby: 419-427-8422
Send an E-mail to Max Filby
Twitter: @MaxFilby

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AN ARTIST'S SKETCH  shows the plan for a new mural that will be painted on the side of First Federal Bank on South Main Street in downtown Findlay. The mural will feature images from the University of Findlay, and areas of the city such as the Hancock County Courthouse.  (Sketch provided to The Courier)

By MAX FILBY
STAFF WRITER
Work will begin Monday on a new mural, to be painted on the side of First Federal Bank on South Main Street in downtown Findlay.
The University of Findlay is in charge of the project. The mural will feature images of the university’s Old Main building, students, and areas of the city such as the Hancock County Courthouse.
The concept behind the mural is to show the relationship between the city and the university.
“It’s very important,” said Greg Allen, southern market president at First Federal Bank. “The university brings a lot of very imp

AN ARTIST’S SKETCH shows the plan for a new mural that will be painted on the side of First Federal Bank on South Main Street in downtown Findlay. The mural will feature images from the University of Findlay, and areas of the city such as the Hancock County Courthouse. (Sketch provided to The Courier)

ortant people and things in. It helps make Findlay the community that it is.”

Martin Terry, vice president of business affairs and treasurer at the University of Findlay, agreed with Allen, saying “the city has been very accommodating” to the students and the university.
Officials from First Federal and the university will gather at university President Katherine Fell’s house on Wednesday for a private unveiling of the mural’s design. The ceremony is not open to the public, Terry said.
Oscar Velasquez has been hired by the university to paint the mural, which will replace a mural from Findlay’s bicentennial celebration.
“The bicentennial celebration is over, so we saw this as an opportunity to celebrate all the scholastic achievements the University of Findlay has accomplished,” Allen said.
Velasquez, who now lives in Macedonia, has painted nearly 30 murals in the area, including one depicting the Statue of Liberty on Main Street in downtown Findlay. Velasquez said he’s excited to have the opportunity to paint another mural in Findlay.
“I always look at every wall as a blank canvas,” he said. “Doing this is always challenging, but it’s rewarding, too.”
Velasquez is looking forward to the mural starting to take shape, and said he welcomes visitors who are interested in talking to him about it.
“I enjoy meeting people,” he said. “I usually end up making a few friends I didn’t have before, and end up with another project or two every time I do one of these.”
The mural’s images will start to become clear in the second week of painting, Velasquez said.
The project will take about three months to complete. Velasquez said he will be working between 40 and 50 hours a week to complete the mural by summer’s end.
Despite up-and-down temperatures, rain and maybe snow, Velasquez said he isn’t worried about the weather getting in his way. Velasquez said it’s typical to have one or two days of work rained out, and he’ll adjust his schedule as needed.
“I’ll be out there rain or shine,” he said.
Filby: 419-427-8422
Send an E-mail to Max Filby
Twitter: @MaxFilby

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