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White Plains Performing Arts Center Sets Full A Christmas Carol Cast

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White Plains Performing Arts Center in White Plains, New York, has announced full casting for their upcoming production of the Alan Menken-Lynn Ahrens musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, playing the Westchester venue December 3-30.

Ryan Knowles (The Lightning Thief) will lead the cast as Ebeneezer Scrooge, appearing alongside Jennifer Artsten, Troy Austin, Stephanie Bacastow, Anna Backer, Cody Braverman, Carly Caviglia, Nick Cocchetto, Sara Coombs, Robbie Crandall, Andrew Cuccaro, Bobby Cook Gallagher, Raphe Gilliam, Olivia Gjurich, Colby Kipnes, Katelyn Lauria, Seth Lerner, Ellisha Marie, Steven Martella, Annastasia Mercedes, Mackenzie Mercer, Constantine Pappas, Stephanie Eve Parker, Daniel Pippert, Remi Tuckman, Emma Vielbig, and Chadwick Vogel.

Frank Portanova will direct the production, with music direction by Stephen Ferri and choreography by Lexie Fennell Frare. Scenic design is by Christopher and Justin Swader, lighting design by Jamie Roderick, and sound design by Jon Weston. Jason Brouillard is stage manager.

With a book by Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahrens, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Ahrens, A Christmas Carol adapts Charles Dickens’ classic novella about the miserly Scrooge, who is visited by three ghosts in the middle of the night to learn the true meaning of Christmas. Originally presented by Radio City Entertainment, this adaptation premiered Off-Broadway at the Theater at Madsion Square Garden in 1994, playing repeat holiday engagements annually through 2003.

For tickets and more information, visit WPPAC.com.

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Tesla’s Giga casting strategy to be adopted by half a dozen other automakers

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Tesla’s approach to using giant casting machines, nicknamed Giga Press, to make car bodies with just a few massive casted parts is catching on in the auto industry.

A Tesla supplier says that it is working with about half a dozen other automakers taking the same approach.

Over the last few years, Tesla has been heavily investing in casting and alloy technology to enable larger casted parts that have the capability to greatly simplify manufacturing.

The company acquired several units of the biggest casting machines in the world. They have been deployed at Tesla’s factories in the US, Berlin, and China.

Tesla has already been producing the Model Y with a single rear body piece that replaced 70 different parts in the vehicle.

Earlier this year, a picture of the first single front casting part of the Model Y produced at Gigafactory Texas leaked.

Last month, we reported that Tesla produced the first Model Y with both front and back single-piece casting.

The strategy to greatly reduce the number of pieces to make a car body results in a massive reduction in the complexity of the body line and the capital needed to build the production line.

It also brings weight advantage to the vehicle itself, which in turn can improve efficiency. However, it’s not all advantage.

Some people in the industry have been critical of the cost associated with potential repair in the event of an accident. This is led to questions whether Tesla is leading a new way for the auto industry to build cars in the future or if it was a fool’s errand.

But now it looks like some other automakers are willing to give it a shot, especially in China.

The New York Times published a report on Liu Siong Song, an engineer behind LK Technology, a partner in Tesla’s casting technology.

Liu said that he is working with six Chinese automakers to deploy similar casting technology as soon as next year:

“In addition to Tesla, LK will supply similar giant casting machines to six Chinese companies by early 2022 as more automakers adopt Tesla’s way of making cars, Mr. Liu said.”

However, the engineer suggests that they might run into some issues:

“For all China’s progress, it still has a long way to go. LK hopes to deliver the same types of casting machines to many Chinese companies in the next two years. But some of those companies are struggling to find car designers of the type and talent that Tesla has aplenty. Without the designs, LK can’t deliver the machines.”

Aside from designs, other automakers might also run into some issues with materials.

Tesla has long invested in material science to develop its own alloys to support such large casting parts. The automaker even partnered with SpaceX to share material science talent to develop those alloys.

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Entertainment District Arc Release Date & What to Expect

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Demon Slayer rounded out its Mugen Train Arc on Nov. 28, bringing Tanjiro’s mission with the Flame Hashira to a bittersweet end. Although “Set Your Heart Ablaze” will no doubt have fans feeling emotional, the conclusion of this arc also gives them a reason to be excited. The anime will officially move into never-before-seen territory with its next episode, which will kick off Demon Slayer Season 2’s Entertainment District Arc. What can fans expect from this new chapter, and when will it begin?

When does ‘Demon Slayer’s Entertainment District Arc start?

Official poster art for the 'Demon Slayer' Season 2 Entertainment District Arc being adapted from the manga to the anime.

Official art for ‘Demon Slayer’s Entertainment District Arc | ©Koyoharu Gotouge/SHUEISHA, Aniplex, ufotable

RELATED: ‘Demon Slayer’: How Many Arcs Does the Manga Have in Total? There’s Virtually No Filler

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Biden signs slate of bills aimed at supporting veterans

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“We have many obligations, but we only have one truly sacred obligation, in my view. And that is prepare those we send into harm’s way, care for their families when they’re gone and care for them and their families when they’re home,” Biden said at the bill signing event. “And that’s a lifetime commitment.”

One bill directs the Government Accountability Office to study whether there are disparities associated with race and ethnicity when it comes to Veterans Affairs compensation benefits, disability ratings and rejections of claims for benefits. Another directs the VA to recruit military medical personnel to work in federal health care occupations.

The third bill is aimed at reducing out-of-pocket education costs for surviving spouses and children of military veterans, and another piece of legislation is geared toward addressing maternal mortality among female veterans by authorizing $15 million for the VA maternity care coordination programs.

“We’ve heard from veterans of color, who upon returning home from their service, are treated differently from white veterans. This bill will help us understand how this happened, keep better records, expose the facts of the light of day and allow us to do the necessary work making sure that all of our nation’s veterans — all of them — are treated with equal dignity and equal quality throughout their entire time,” Biden said ahead of the bill signing.

Biden noted the Protecting Moms Who Served Act of 2021 was championed by Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who is a US Army veteran who lost both of her legs while serving in Iraq, as well as Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and others. Duckworth is the first female double-amputee to serve in the Senate and was also the first senator to give birth while in office.

Biden also noted the legislation was one of Vice President Kamala Harris’ “pet projects” when she was a senator.

“Our country continues to have the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world … especially among Black and Native American women. For many years, Vice President Harris has led the fight to address this tragedy in maternal mortality in our nation,” Biden said.

The President was joined at the White House by Harris, Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, members of Congress and advocates.

“Earlier this month, I commemorated Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery. On that solemn day, we lay a wreath and renew our oath,” Biden said. “But keeping faith with American veterans required much more than laying wreaths or making more oaths. It requires acts. That’s what you’ve done today, all of you. Acts.”

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