Hot Topics: A Creative Valentine’s Day Idea, Graceland’s Virtual Tours, & Billie Eilish Drops Book

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Let’s take a look at some Hot Topics.

Valentine’s day is less than one month away, and if you’re struggling for ideas, here’s a creative one! Every year the Loveland, Colorado Post Office receives mail from around the world to get a postmark from the nation’s “Sweetheart City.” All you have to do is put your addressed and stamped Valentine’s card inside a larger first class envelope, and send it to the postmaster in Loveland “attention valentines.” A group of volunteers will open that envelope, add a specially-designed stamp and love poem, then send the card to its intended recipient. Your letter needs to arrive by February 7.

Elvis Presley’s Graceland is now offering online tours for fans around the world, including those who can’t travel to the Tennessee tourist attraction during the pandemic. Graceland said the two-hour guided tours will take virtual visitors into Presley’s former Memphis home, which has been turned into a museum, and through the meditation garden, where he is buried. Also included in the $100 ticket is a tour of Presley’s jet and a walk through the entertainment complex, which houses exhibits and artifacts related to Presley. Graceland was closed for several weeks last year and is now open for limited-capacity, in-person tours. Virtual tours are scheduled for Jan. 27, Feb. 25, and March 25, with more dates expected.

Speaking of museums, there’s now another style of music to celebrate and appreciate in Music City USA. The National Museum of African-American Music in Nashville is now a reality. The galleries will take visitors on a journey, beginning with a video entitled “Roots,” discussing the history. Another gallery “Wade in the Water” focuses on gospel and spirituals, and “Crossroads” focuses on the blues. There are more than 1,500 artifacts, including clothing and instruments. The National Museum of African-American Music will open to the public on January 30 at 50% capacity.

A unique ceremony of love took place in Japan. This is a “husband tossing” ritual. It’s a ceremony that aims to strengthen the bond between husband and wife. Residents carry a married man to the top of the hill, then toss him over. He rolls down the hill to where his wife is waiting. Spectators were limited this year due to coronavirus restrictions. Participants also smear charcoal on their faces in hopes of having good health in the future.

Singer Billie Eilish is getting “everything she wanted”…including a book deal. The 19-year old Grammy winner is releasing a collection of hundreds of rarely seen photos. The book is called “Billie Eilish” and, according to the publisher, will “capture the essence of Billie inside and out, offering readers personal glimpses into her childhood, her life on tour, and more.” The book which is set to be released in May will have text but is predominantly photos.

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