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‘Super Nintendo Land’ Confirmed to Open at New Universal Orlando Theme Park – NBC4 Washington

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Fans of the Nintendo video game family are going to get a chance to experience
the adventuring world of Mario, Luigi and more in Central Florida.

NBCUniversal & Senior Executive Vice President Steve Burke confirmed Thursday that Super Nintendo World will open as part of Universal Orlando’s new Epic Universe theme park expected to open in 2023.

The new addition had been reported since the park was announced last
year, but not confirmed until an executive made the statement during a fourth
quarter earnings phone call.

Universal is expected to open the first Super Nintendo Land later this
year in Japan.

Universal Orlando is owned by NBCUniversal

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Jif Peanut Butter Rebrands as GIF — But How Do You Pronounce It? – NBC4 Washington

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How to correctly pronounce the word “GIF” has been the subject of a fierce debate for years — and it’s only intensified as more and more GIFs are created.

Now, one of the country’s most popular peanut butter brands is wading into the discussion with a new jar of its signature spread.

Just in time for National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day on March 1, Jif will be selling rebranded jars of peanut butter. Instead of just “Jif,” the jars will read, “Jif, soft g pronunciation” on one side, and “Gif, hard g pronunciation” on the other.

The limited-edition jars are more expensive than the average container of peanut butter, with each 40-ounce jar retailing for $10 on Amazon (the same size usually costs about $5). The company wouldn’t say exactly how many jars would be released but confirmed they’d only be available “while supplies last.”

“We’re teaming up with Giphy to put a lid on this decade-long debate and prove there is only one Jif,” Jif’s vice president of marketing, Rebecca Scheidler, said in a release. “It’s creamy, delicious peanut butter, not a looping picture you can send to make friends and family laugh.”

The peanut butter brand partnered with Giphy, a website that crowdsources GIFs and makes it easy to share them across different social media platforms, to reignite the pronunciation debate — which is nearly as old as the file format itself.

Former Compuserve engineer and GIF creator Steve Wilhite told the New York Times that it should be pronounced “jiff” with a “soft g” sound, and he’s been saying it that way ever since he created the file format in 1987.

However, the Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations.

“They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story,” Wilhite told the Times seven years ago.

At the time, Jif’s official Twitter account was all about Wilhite’s comments supporting Jif and GIF being pronounced the same way.

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

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Surfer Kelly Slater to Build World’s Largest Man-Made Wave in the Desert – NBC4 Washington

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Kelly Slater is planning to build the world’s largest man-made wave in the desert.

Plans for Coral Mountain, announced on Tuesday, feature the largest rideable open-barrel human-made wave in the world with technology from Kelly Slater Wave Company, a division of the World Surf League.

The 11-time world champion surfer is teaming with private real estate investment and development firm Meriwether Companies and Big Sky Wave Developments, founded by Michael B. Schwab, son of brokerage pioneer Charles Schwab.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2021 with the opening slated sometime in 2022, pending design and amended approval. The land was previously approved for 750 homes and an 18-hole golf course. The new proposal maintains the same density and will require less water than the previously approved golf course.

“We chose to do this project because it allows us to further build on our technology and also because one of our founding partners, Michael Schwab, is heading up the group running the project,” Slater said in a statement.

“We’re excited to make another KSWaveCo design and I’m personally excited to create a new wave that will be a stand alone design that nowhere else in the world has. This can become the blueprint for new developments around waves and surf parks going forward and is in line with some of my original ideas from when we started this project. I can’t wait to get underway.”

The wave basin will be part of a 400-acre site in La Quinta, California, set at the base of Coral Mountain. The master-planned community in the Coachella Valley will include a full-service resort, residential homes, a private club, multiple dining venues and adventure sport offerings.

The $200 million complex will have a 150-room hotel and up to 600 homes in the $1 million to $5 million range. Access to amenities will be exclusively available to homeowners, hotel guests, members and their guests. Dining will be open to the public through reservations.

The centerpiece of the complex will be the 18 million-gallon wave basin that has room for roughly 25 surfers — about five on the main wave, 10 each on the smaller waves at the ends of the basin. It will feature waves for all levels of ability and preference.

“I originally invested with Kelly in 2013 for my own personal surfing progression,” Michael Schwab, said. “I had no idea the impact it would have on my life, and I realized immediately that I had to share this opportunity.”

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UK Singer Duffy Says She Left Spotlight After Being Kidnapped and Raped – NBC4 Washington

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Welsh singer Duffy said in her first public Instagram post Tuesday that she left the spotlight during her ascent to stardom almost 10 years ago because she had been kidnapped and raped, NBC News reports.

Duffy, whose real name is Aimee Anne Duffy, said that she opened up about the incident to a journalist, who is not identified in the post, who found her last summer and that it felt “amazing” to talk. The 35-year-old artist said she wasn’t sure why it felt like the right time, but that she wanted to share her story with the world.

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You can only imagine the amount of times I thought about writing this. The way I would write it, how I would feel thereafter. Well, not entirely sure why now is the right time, and what it is that feels exciting and liberating for me to talk. I cannot explain it. Many of you wonder what happened to me, where did I disappear to and why. A journalist contacted me, he found a way to reach me and I told him everything this past summer. He was kind and it felt so amazing to finally speak. The truth is, and please trust me I am ok and safe now, I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days. Of course I survived. The recovery took time. There’s no light way to say it. But I can tell you in the last decade, the thousands and thousands of days I committed to wanting to feel the sunshine in my heart again, the sun does now shine. You wonder why I did not choose to use my voice to express my pain? I did not want to show the world the sadness in my eyes. I asked myself, how can I sing from the heart if it is broken? And slowly it unbroke. In the following weeks I will be posting a spoken interview. If you have any questions I would like to answer them, in the spoken interview, if I can. I have a sacred love and sincere appreciation for your kindness over the years. You have been friends. I want to thank you for that x Duffy Please respect this is a gentle move for me to make, for myself, and I do not want any intrusion to my family. Please support me to make this a positive experience.

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“The truth is, and please trust me, I am OK and safe now, I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days,” Duffy said. “Of course, I survived. The recovery took time.”

The message is the only public post on Duffy’s verified Instagram account, which has more than 36,000 followers.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com.

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Here’s How to Improve Your Credit Score Right Away – NBC4 Washington

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As a general rule, the higher your credit score, the better off you are.

However, a missed payment or default can quickly drag your score down, sometimes significantly.

As many consumers know, your credit score plays a big role in daily life. It can determine the interest rate you’ll pay for credit cards, car loans and mortgages — or whether you’ll get a loan at all. 

Those three digits can save you tens of thousands of dollars over time, or cost you just as much.

“Depending on your credit history, a 15- or 20-point shift could mean the difference between being approved or declined or better terms or higher costs,” said Rod Griffin, the director of public education at Experian, a major credit-reporting firm.

The good news is that average credit scores have steadily ticked higher since bottoming out during the housing crisis about a decade ago, when there was a sharp increase in foreclosures. Now scores are at an all-time high, according to FICO, a leading credit-scoring company. FICO scores range from 300 to 850.

The best way to increase your credit score comes down to paying your bills on time or reducing your credit-card balance. (The common advice is to keep revolving debt below 30% of your available credit so that your utilization rate doesn’t hurt your credit score.)

Your payment history and utilization rate typically account for 60% to 70% of a credit score, according to Experian.

Such positive credit behaviors can start to improve your score as soon as a few billing cycles. “As a rule of thumb, you could see an appreciable difference in six months,” said Ted Rossman, an industry analyst at CreditCards.com.

However, that also depends on the issues you are trying to overcome. (See financial comparison site SuperMoney’s charts below based on data by VantageScore and FICO.)

For example, “if a missed payment has dragged your score down, your score could rebound in a month or two, a series of late payments will take longer to make a full recovery,” Griffin said.

Being late on a mortgage payment is a more serious problem, yet you can recover from that in as little as nine months. File for bankruptcy, on the other hand, and it could take 5 years to 10 years to get back to where you once were, according to Miron Lulic, the founder and CEO of SuperMoney.

In addition, the condition of your credit history also plays a role, Griffin added. “The better your scores are to start with, the more difficult it is to improve them.”

That’s because a lower credit score reflects a pattern of missed payments. Adding one more missed payment is not as significant as it would be on someone who has a clean credit report, according to Lulic.

More from Personal Finance:
91 million Americans fear maxing out a credit card
The 30% rule of thumb about credit card use could cost you
Fewer women now pay their credit card balances in full

The goal isn’t to have a perfect score, Griffin said. “The goal is the have a score that qualifies you for the best terms of rates, generally 750 or above.”

Regardless of your starting point, to achieve very good or excellent credit, there are simple things you can do that will have an immediate impact. Here are five tips from SuperMoney to give your score a boost:

  1. Check your credit report and dispute every error you find.
  2. Pay your bills on time. Late payments stay on your report for seven years.
  3. Pay off your credit card balances. This will reduce your credit utilization ratio, which will do wonders for your score.
  4. Stop applying for credit. Hard inquiries ding your credit for up to 12 months.
  5. Ask a relative or friend who has good credit habits to add you as an authorized user on their credit card. As long as their payments are made on time, your credit score will improve.

This story first appeared on CNBC.com. More from CNBC:

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MAC Announces Sequel to Selena Collection in Honor of Late Tejano Singer – NBC4 Washington

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Pucker up, Selena fans – MAC Cosmetics is bringing makeup
lovers a sequel to its Selena collection this spring.

In honor of the Queen of Tejano’s legacy, the cosmetic company announced on Tuesday that the new line will launch in April. It teased fans with a preview of its Bidi Bidi Bom Bom lipgloss, which was featured in the original line.

Rare video of late Tejano superstar Selena that has not been seen in decades has surfaced.

The first collection launched in 2016, a year after fans of the iconic singer started an online petition for MAC to create a line in Selena’s memory. It featured products that were named after her biggest hits, such as “Como La Flor,” “Dreaming of You” and “Fotos y Recuerdos.”

Just like the first launch, the singer’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla Arriaga, teamed up with MAC to create the collection.

“I am forever grateful to MAC for allowing me to bring my creative vision to life and to celebrate my sister’s 25th anniversary,” Arriaga said in a statement posted by MAC.

The limited-edition collection is celebrating 25 years of Selena. Her legacy influenced a generation of artists and has even inspired an upcoming music festival in honor of her life.

Selena superfans can click here to sign up for email updates on the collection.

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