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22 Apr 19
Naomi's Book Blog

Eventually, Tyler started a group called project mayhem, this evolved from the fight club. Project Mayhem is almost like a cult with the leader being Tyler. A good definition of what Project mayhem actually is “An organization that trains itself as an army to bring down modern civilization”. Tyler assigns “homework” each week to the […]

22 Apr 19
a closer listen

A change of pace for Richard Skelton, Border Ballads contains some of the clearest melodies of the composer’s career.  Piano, viola and cello each make stunning appearances, no longer mulched but pristine, representing a new clarity of mind and purpose.  These twelve “miniatures” stand in contrast to the EP-length pieces for which Skelton has become known. The […]

22 Apr 19
Poem a Day

After ever death is the birth of something new Although it may not look like the original After some time it’s roots will shine through As nothing can die It just changes form as it passed through time

22 Apr 19
Metro
Optimus Prime could be transformed by the next gen consoles GameCentral readers name the movies, TV shows, and comics they’d most like to see turned into a game, from It to Doctor Who. The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Carnie and inspired by the slow, but noticeable, resurgence of big budget licensed games in recent years. What video game would you most want to see based on something that already exists and who would you want to make it? We had plenty of suggestions, for properties both new and old, with James Bond and Game Of Thrones being particularly popular – as well as the obvious, to gamers at least, potential for more Star Wars and superhero games.   [metro-fact-box title=”More than meets the eye” colour=”grey” icon=”no-icon”] Obviously I’m sort of cheating here because I can guarantee GC are going to use this letter, but as a fellow fan I would definitely want to see more Transformers movies. I think the non-movie games from Activision were actually really good, both the High Moon ones and PlatinumGames’ effort. High Moon got the characterisation dead on and Platinum are, obviously really great at action. But both games were only scratching at the surface of what could be done. Neither game made much real use of transformations, which seemed to be primarily a technical limitation of the last gen. There weren’t any open worlds and you couldn’t really go that far, so there wasn’t really that much point transforming. At times you could see how great it would be if you had both though, with the Vortex level in War For Cybertron, where you could transform into a helicopter whenever you want and fly around what was a pretty big level. That dialled up all the way to the next gen would be my dream game, with the ability to be car, plane, and various specialist transformers. I don’t know what it would ever happen but then I imagine that’s the case for most of what we’ll hear about this weekend. Xaaron [/metro-fact-box]   [metro-fact-box title=”No justice” colour=”grey” icon=”no-icon”] I don’t know how we’ve gone from the Batman: Arkham games being proclaimed as the best superhero games ever to… nothing on the DC side of thing. No more Batman games and nothing for any other character except a couple of beat ‘em-ups. If they can make movies of Aquaman and Shazam – too of the lamest, most overpowered characters in the DC pantheon – work surely it can’t be too hard for a game as well? Just looking at the Justice League, I’ll admit that The Flash is difficult (but there’s got to be something there a talented dev can come up with) but Batman’s already been done, Wonder Woman is God Of War with a lasso, and Cyborg already looks like a video game character. And while Superman is difficult because he’s invulnerable to most things he’s got an excellent rogues gallery, most of which can kill him. And in any case the idea of making his health bar, or whatever, other people rather than himself is one that could definitely be made to work in the right hands. And that’s ignoring all the tons of street level heroes and villains that wouldn’t take any effort at all to make. I mean, why didn’t a Suicide Squad game happen? Marvel are finally getting their act together and DC, who had a head start, are nowhere. Joeblank [/metro-fact-box]   [metro-fact-box title=”They’ll be back” colour=”grey” icon=”no-icon”] I’m still surprised that there hasn’t been a decent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie since the arcade days. I used to love the heroes in a half-shell back in the day and thought that with the Platinum game they were finally going to get their due, but even that was terrible. It’s not exactly a hard concept to get right either. It’s basically just Devil May Cry, or whatever, but with weirder characters. Them being turtles doesn’t really change anything about the gameplay: their ninjas with realistic ninja weapons, just make the game with that in mind and add in Shredder and the wackier enemies and the job’s done. That’s not to mention the potential for co-op play, which again hasn’t been realised since the coin-op days. I think the Turtles are on a bit of an ebb in terms of popularity but they always seem to come back sooner or later, so when they do next time I hope someone’s ready with a decent game. Cliffy [/metro-fact-box]   E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk   [metro-fact-box title=”Unfilmable novel” colour=”grey” icon=”no-icon”] I remember thinking when people were saying how It was an unfilmable novel, because of how long it was and how many flashbacks and weird stuff it has in it that it probably would make a good game. Just think about it: a group of kids exploring their town and searching for clues about an evil entity that can appear as anything it wants and do anything it wants. And then at the end they get to imagine themselves with special abilities and powers? That’s practically a video game right there. I’m imagining something a bit like an open world Telltale game in 3D, where you get to wonder around the town and speak to people, with dialogue choices and everything, but when you think you’ve sound somewhere where Pennywise is it switches to a survival mode where you have to explore and fight whatever form he’s taken. I really think it could work. A survival horror doesn’t have to be constant fear, I don’t think, and I’d love to see something that mixed Telltale style dialogue with more traditional video game action. That might seem weird for other games but I think it’d work perfectly for a movie tie-in. Calum [/metro-fact-box]   [metro-fact-box title=”Protect the innocent” colour=”grey” icon=”no-icon”] While most movie franchises have a long history of embarrassing failure one guy has always done pretty well for himself: RoboCop! Officer Murphy appeared in the excellent Taito coin-op and the groundbreaking RoboCop 3 (the first first person shooter I ever played) and is a natural for video game interpretation. I mean, think about it. He’s part man, part machine, and all cop! Whether you base the game on the movie plots or just a day in the life of Alex Murphy the potential is enormous. I just don’t think they’d do it nowadays because the reboot was a flop (thank god) and less people remember the original. I think there was another reboot coming up though, so maybe they could do something for that? If nothing else, ED-209 deserves to be in more video games. Stranger [/metro-fact-box]   Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here   [metro-fact-box title=”Paranormal exterminators” colour=”grey” icon=”no-icon”] I will always be extremely disappointed by the last Ghostbusters game we got. They had the entire voice cast, while everyone was still alive, and all we got out of it was a so-so third person shooter with a lame script that had maybe two good jokes in it. I was expecting dialogue to sparkle as much as the original film but what annoys me is that Ghostbusters is actually set up to be a much better game than they attempted. Funnily enough the original C64 tie-in got it right but having you set up business and just running things as a business sim. Earning your initial clients, ploughing the money into R&D, taking on bigger ghosts, and eventually uncovering the secret behind Gozer or whatever you want the big bad to be. Imagine XCOM but with ghosts and it practically writes (well, programs) itself. I can get trying to make action games out of newer films where they think only kids are playing but most original Ghostbusters fans are well into their 30s by now, I think we can handle a slower pace and a bit of strategy. Ninjaboy [/metro-fact-box]   E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk   The small print New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length. You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot. You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.
22 Apr 19
Carlseapatch's Weblog

During the school holidays I had a little trip to Hobart for a 4 day workshop with Alsyn Midgelow-Marsden, organised by the Stitching & Beyond textile art group. Alsyn is from the UK, lives in NZ and is often in Australia to run workshops. Alsyn was also at Ballarat in April this year (where I […]

22 Apr 19
Wristgazer

In part one of this two-part series (a first for the blog!), I told the story of my father’s Rolex Submariner, and how I came to acquire it. In this thrilling conclusion, I will go into the details of the watch itself. Let’s start by breaking down the model number – 16613 – and what […]

22 Apr 19
Santa Cruz Sentinel
It’s unclear whether one or both, or neither, of President Trump’s selections for the Federal Reserve Board — Stephen Moore and Herman Cain — will win Senate confirmation. What is clear is that this is a teachable moment concerning the Fed’s vaunted “independence.” If you think it means that the Fed can do whatever it wants and is truly independent in law and deed, then you are woefully misinformed. But if you think the Fed is simply a political lackey of the president or Congress, then you are also misinformed. The defining traits of the Fed’s “independence” are its ambiguity and flexibility. It is an elastic concept, meaning different things at different times for different reasons. The Fed’s basic tools are its ability to set short-term interest rates (the so-called fed funds rate on overnight loans) and to influence long-term interest rates (mortgages, government bonds). These and other powers were delegated to the Fed for two reasons. First, monetary policy — altering interest rates and credit conditions — is highly technical. Most members of Congress don’t have the time or the temperament to immerse themselves in the murky details. Second, and more important, these decisions are often highly unpopular. Sometimes raising short-term rates is the right thing to do for the long-run — containing inflation or financial speculation — even if the immediate effects are unpleasant. Presidents and Congress wish to insulate themselves from a public backlash by deflecting criticism to the Fed. As Sarah Binder and Mark Spindel observe in their recent book, “The Myth of Independence — How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve”: “Congress depends on the Fed both to steer the economy and absorb public blame when the economy falters. … [B]y centralizing power in the hands of the Fed, lawmakers can more credibly blame the Fed for poor economic outcomes, insulating themselves electorally and potentially diluting public anger at Congress.” Sometimes, the White House and Treasury’s mastery of the Fed has been almost absolute. Consider World War II. The Fed kept interest rates artificially low to finance defense spending (rates were 2.5% on long-term debt, less than 1% on one-year bonds and less than 0.5% on 90-day bills). “The war brought [the Fed] squarely under presidential control,” writes Peter Conti-Brown in “The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve.” After the war, the Fed and the Treasury quarreled over whether the low rates should continue. President Truman preferred the status quo, but the Fed feared that would lead to higher inflation. The issue was settled by the famous Fed-Treasury Accord of 1951, which freed the Fed from the artificially low wartime rates. For the next three decades, the Fed played second fiddle to White House notions of expansive economic policy. In 1965, President Johnson excoriated then-Fed chairman William McChesney Martin for raising interest rates. Later, President Nixon badgered Arthur Burns, Martin’s successor, to keep rates low to aid his reelection in 1972. These policies were a disaster. Wage and price inflation rose steadily. By 1979, average weekly wages were rising 7%, though after correction for price inflation, they declined almost 4%. This led to a basic change in policy. Under Paul Volcker, the Fed increased interest rates and squeezed the money supply to smother inflation. It worked; from 1980 to 1983, consumer price inflation dropped from 13% to 4%. President Reagan’s support gave Volcker the time for his austerity to kill inflationary psychology. Monthly unemployment peaked at 10.8% in late 1982. In 1987, Alan Greenspan replaced Volcker but kept his basic policies. President Clinton decided not to criticize the Fed. In practice, this meant honoring the Fed’s “independence” to make short-run decisions on interest rates without White House interference. But it was still not separate from the rest of government. A case in point: the 2008-09 financial crisis. Under Ben Bernanke, the Fed cooperated with the Treasury Department during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidencies. The idea that the Fed was so “independent” that it shouldn’t work with the rest of government was nonsense. The question now is whether the pendulum is swinging back to more control over the Fed. The case against Trump’s picks for the seven-member Board of Governors — Moore and Cain — assumes that they lack the necessary background. But by itself, this isn’t disabling. Fed governors have always been of varying quality. Cain has been a businessman, and Moore a conservative public policy advocate. The more relevant objection is that they would politicize the Fed, because they would be more loyal to Trump than to the Fed. Given Trump’s enthusiasm for smashing norms and humiliating adversaries, the threat to the Fed’s integrity must be taken seriously. If Trump maneuvered someone like Moore — a fierce partisan — into the chairmanship, it would cast a dark shadow over economic policymaking.
22 Apr 19
Archy Worldys

There are a few ideas why the Global Web hosting service market The report is a worthy one for the stakeholders. With market revolutions around the world, a market analysis report will certainly be a key factor in policy development. We have published a research report on the web hosting service market. The goal is […]

22 Apr 19
The Social Gadfly

It’s nearly 8 pm, EST on Easter Sunday. For those of you who are either religious, or religious-enough to go to church on Easter, and you are NOT a sincere person, are you done yet? Let me be clear – I have my thoughts on many subjects but I’m not going to make a lame […]

22 Apr 19
Homepaddock

Farming to create fresh air – Luke Chivers: When people think of farming, few think of carbon farming. But Canterbury farmers Warrick and CeCe James are using agriculture to feed people and fight climate change. Luke Chivers spoke to them on-farm. Imagine carbon emissions and what springs to mind?  Most people tend to think of […]

22 Apr 19
APKMB.Com

Selvi – Teleprompter Camera Stop making an endless number of bloopers, memorize complicated texts, write short hints on the paper and waste you time for creating a good video with speech. Now it`s all in the past! With Selvi you will speak on the camera no worse than TV anchors and top video-bloggers. The unique […]

22 Apr 19
The Evolving TImes

We may not know where we are headed, but we can all feel the new breeze… Something has happened in the Universe. We don’t need proof of that because we feel it. We sense it, rather. There is a new breeze blowing around and we are all experiencing it in one form or another. I can […]

22 Apr 19
purplepeninportland

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – “Tree Mythology”  (posted by Kim) “Based on myths and legends, stories in which people change into trees, such as Daphne, who becomes a bay laurel before Apollo can catch her; the Maenads who murdered Orpheus and have to watch their own toes turn into roots and their […]

22 Apr 19
Beans, Bullets, Bandages & You

I recently wrote some on diabetes mellitus. One of our readers, Strych9, posted an extremely information-rich comment in response. Strych9 (who I’ll refer to as ‘he’ for lack of further information and need for a pronoun) is a Type I diabetic who has learned a lot about the practicalities of managing the condition and insulin […]

22 Apr 19
Santa Cruz Sentinel
It’s been 49 years since the first Earth Day. Approaching the half-century mark, it’s a good time to look back at how far we’ve come and consider the path ahead. It was a watershed year in 1969 for the American environmental movement. Seven years after the publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” and a year after Paul Ehrlich’s “The Population Bomb,” there were rumblings here and there. But then in late January 1969 came word of a blow-out at one of Union Oil’s offshore wells near Santa Barbara. Day after day the story dominated the news, with footage of oil-soaked seabirds and filthy beaches creating widespread public outrage. The resulting scrutiny of offshore oil drilling resulted in many drilling bans, including one in Monterey Bay that eventually spawned the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. But that wasn’t the last of 1969’s bad news. In June, Cleveland’s major river, the Cuyahoga, fouled by decades of untreated industrial waste, actually burst into flame. Environmental catastrophe again topped the nightly news for days, and for the first time, words like “pollution,” and “environment” came into common usage.  Not long after, Congress passed the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act and created the Environmental Protection Agency. Sometimes social and economic forces seem like a locomotive; powerful, obstinate, almost impossible to turn from its predetermined course. But every now and then comes a tipping point. Public opinion shifts, the switch is thrown, and the train changes direction. We’re at a similar tipping point now. All over the world, people are realizing that our train is barreling down the wrong track. Somewhere ahead a bridge is out and disaster looms – unless we throw the switch. And while there is plenty of troubling news, every day brings word of another success. Dozens of countries have committed to renewable energy. Norway walked away from oil reserves worth billions, opting to leave them in the ground. Tesla sells more cars than General Motors. Wind and solar power are the fasting growing segment of the energy market, and coal plants are closing all over the world. People are waking up to the folly of disposable plastics. Country after country has banned plastic bags, and even the companies that make and use plastics have vowed to find more sustainable alternatives. Some are skeptical that people will make the necessary changes in time. We are too stuck in our ways, they say, too addicted to convenience and luxury. But history holds recent examples of people making radical changes to their lifestyles for a larger cause. During WWII, millions of Americans gave up butter and sugar, cut way back on meat, rode bikes instead of driving their cars, and made countless other sacrifices to save resources for the war effort. American factories switched from making cars and refrigerators to building tanks and planes. Men said goodbye to their jobs and loved ones to go off to war, and women said goodbye to their homes and children to take the factory jobs the men left behind. The world turned upside down almost overnight, and stayed that way for years. In many other parts of the world, the sacrifices were even more extreme. Before WWII, numerous countries quietly capitulated to Germany and Japan. Even in the U.S. there were those who called for accommodating the irresistible might of the Axis powers. They were just too strong. Nothing could be done. Why fight it? But fight it we did, and tyranny was vanquished, by millions of people working and sacrificing together for a common goal. Our current crisis is no less existential, and even more apocalyptic. We face not the prospect of tyrannical government, but the potential for catastrophic climate change. Widespread droughts and crop failures. The loss of most of the world’s wildlife. Sterile oceans, and the death of our coral reefs. Massive storms and the drowning of low-lying nations. Millions dying of hunger, thirst and disease, and potentially billions of refugees. The prospect is truly terrifying. But change is possible. We have the ability to choose another course, to throw the switch and turn toward a more sustainable future. Everything we need to do is within our power. We just have to show the will. This Earth Day, let us resolve to do so.