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  2. Patch 1.1 Release Notes Optimization, bug fixes, and a new feature Hi everyone, Hopefully you are enjoying Trails of Cold Steel IV! We have created a new version which fixes various issues pointed out by the community. Here is a list of changes: Reduce the CPU usage of several threads, particularly in audio playback. These changes can greatly reduce overall CPU usage in some situations. Introduce additional caching to decrease load times, especially when revisiting previous maps and after battles. This will be particularly effective for longer play sessions. Fix save game thumbnails sporadically not showing up under specific circumstances. Adjust overall loading behavior to be closer to Trails of Cold Steel 3, in order to mitigate issues on some systems. Prevent the game from taking abnormally long to close on some systems. Make left joystick and WASD (or alternative mapping) behavior consistent across all menus. Fix button re-mapping involving X and O buttons along with displayed button prompts. Fix some remaining minor translation issues in game and launcher New Feature: Add configuration tool option to disable dynamic button prompt switching (primarily for Steam Controller users) Note: If you still see intermittent stuttering issues on systems with generally good performance, they might be shader cache related. Please look here for instructions on how to resolve them. While we expect this patch to improve the situations for all users, with the great variety of hardware and software configurations available on PC this is not always guaranteed in all circumstances. As such, you can return to the release version of the game by selecting the public "version_102" branch in Steam.
  3. Today
  4. The next OP chapter comes in 2 weeks. But for now, Zoro really gets a good hit in on Kaido, but moss head and Traffy get tramped by the big Emperor. And while Prometheus saves Big Mom as Killer & Kidd go after her, Luffy gets back up - and really lays into Kaido himself after figuring out what he can do.
  5. Yesterday
  6. Fact of the Day - EIFFEL TOWER Did you know.... that the Eiffel Tower is a wrought-iron https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lattice_towerlattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Locally nicknamed "La dame de fer" (French for "Iron Lady"), it was constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair and was initially criticized by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015. (Wikipedia) Monumental Facts About the Eiffel Tower BY BENJAMIN LAMPKIN | MARCH 31, 2017 | (UPDATED: MARCH 29, 2019) On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower opened to the public. Below are some things you might not know about the beloved monument. 1. THE TOWER WAS BUILT AS AN ENTRANCE ARCH FOR THE 1889 WORLD'S FAIR. To mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, Paris hosted the 1889 World’s Fair (Exposition Universelle). Hoping to be considered for the high-profile project, artists from around the nation sent in plans for a structure to mark the entrance to the fair on the Champ-de-Mars, a public greenspace in the center of Paris. 2. IT WAS DESIGNED AND BUILT BY THE FIRM EIFFEL ET COMPAGNIE. The commission was given to the consulting and construction firm owned by Gustave Eiffel, a bridge builder, architect, and metals expert. Eiffel also worked in the early 1880s on the Garabit Viaduct, a bridge in the Massif Central region that was, at the time, the highest bridge in the world. Prior to landing the World's Fair project, he also helped design the Statue of Liberty. 3. GUSTAVE EIFFEL REJECTED THE INITIAL DESIGN. The tower's main designer was one of Eiffel’s employees, senior engineer Maurice Koechlin. Engineer Emile Nouguier and the head of the company’s architectural department, Stephen Sauvestre, were also consulted. After viewing Koechlin's initial sketches—which Eiffel felt were too minimalist—the architect instructed Koechlin to include more details and flourishes in his redesign. Eiffel approved the final design in 1884. 4. THE PROJECT REQUIRED LOTS OF METAL (AND LOTS OF MANPOWER). Three hundred steel workers spent two years, two months and five days, from 1887 to 1889, constructing the Tower. They used more than 18,000 individual metallic parts, 2.5 million rivets, and 40 tons of paint. 5. ITS ORIGINAL HEIGHT WAS 985 FEET. Upon its completion in March 1889, the Tower measured 300 meters (985 feet) high. Surprisingly, this measurement isn't static: Cold weather can shrink the Tower by up to six inches. 6. IT WAS THE TALLEST STRUCTURE IN THE WORLD UNTIL 1930. For 41 years, the Eiffel Tower stood higher than any building or structure in the world—until it was surpassed by the Chrysler Building in New York, which topped out at 1046 feet. Just a year later the Empire State Building became the tallest in the world at 1454 feet with the spire. In 1957 an antenna was added that increased the Tower’s height by 67 feet, making it 6 feet taller than the Chrysler Building. 7. A 300-MEMBER COMMITTEE PROTESTED THE TOWER. Led by author Guy de Maupassant, Alexandre Dumas, Jr., and hundreds of other artists and intellectuals, a petition opposing the project was signed and sent to the Parisian government. They called the Tower “useless and monstrous,” but their protests fell on deaf ears. 8. THE TOWER WAS AN IMMEDIATE HIT. Despite the petition, the 1889 World’s Fair was deemed a great success, thanks largely to the Tower's imposing presence. Nearly 2 million people visited the Eiffel Tower during the Fair and spent $1.4 million on tickets, making the 1889 Fair one of the few to actually turn a profit. 9. IT WAS ONLY SUPPOSED TO STAND FOR 20 YEARS. The Eiffel Tower was never intended to stand over the Champ-de-Mars permanently, and was scheduled to be dismantled in 1909—that is, until someone realized that its apex was the perfect place for a telegraphy antenna. During the First World War, at the First Battle of the Marnes in 1914, the wireless telegraph transmitter helped jam German communications. 10. IT MOVES! Eiffel, a renowned expert on aerodynamics, published “The Resistance of the Air” in 1913. He and his team designed the Tower to withstand even the strongest winds, and never sway more than 4.5 inches. 11. THERE ARE THREE LEVELS. The 7 million people who visit the Eiffel Tower every year can now travel to three different sections of the Tower at three different heights. The first level is 189 feet high and includes an observation area, a reception room named after Gustave Eiffel, souvenir shops, an art show, a restaurant (58 Tour Eiffel) and a transparent floor. The second floor, at 379 feet, includes another observation area and Le Jules Verne restaurant. The top level offers amazing panoramic views at 905 feet high and a champagne bar, where you can grab a glass of white or rosé (just expect to pay up to $25 per glass). 12. SOME WEIRD EVENTS HAVE TAKEN PLACE THERE. The tower has drawn its share of daredevils (Pierre Labric, the future mayor of Montmartre, was arrested for cycling down its stairs in 1923) and overly-enthusiastic admirers. In 2007, a woman with an "objectum sexual" married the tower and changed her name to Erika La Tour Eiffel. 13. THE TOWER GETS A FRESH PAINT OF COAT EVERY SEVEN YEARS. About 60 tons of paint are needed to freshen the monument, which is owned by the City of Paris and operated by a public utility called the Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE). More than 500 people work for the SETE, as tour guides, security, in the post office, and in the Tower’s restaurants, shops, and boutiques. 14. THE TOWER WAS CLOSED DURING THE GERMAN OCCUPATION. French resistance fighters cut the cables for the Eiffel Tower’s lifts so Nazi officers and soldiers had to climb the stairs, and the monument was closed to the public during the occupation from 1940 to 1944. Hitler actually ordered the military governor of Paris, Dietrich von Choltitz, to destroy the Tower, along with the rest of the city; fortunately, his order wasn’t carried out. 15. THE ICONIC STRUCTURE IS BELOVED BY FILMMAKERS. James Bond chased an assassin through the Tower in A View to a Kill. A murder-mystery called The Man on the Eiffel Tower was released in 1949 and starred future Penguin Burgess Meredith. A scene from The Lavender Hill Mob, which featured future Oscar winners Alec Guinness and Audrey Hepburn, was filmed there. Hundreds of other films have used the Tower as a prop, or a backdrop. Source: Wikipedia - Eiffel Tower | Eiffel Tower Facts
  7. https://freebies.indiegala.com/earth-muncher Earth Muncher is currently free on IndieGala. DREAMB1GPC3 Use this password in your game to receive a Dream Ball. 1. Launch your Pokemon Sword or Shield game for Switch. 2. Select Mystery Gift on the X menu. 3. Select Get a Mystery Gift. 4. Select Get with Code/Password to connect to the internet. 5. Enter your password. 6. Watch as the gift arrives in your game. 7. Be sure to save your game. The Dream Ball can be claimed until April 12.
  8. This week, Anti rambles about the fallible woman's heart
  9. What's the Word? - SOCKDOLAGER pronunciation: [sahk-DOL-e-jər] Part of speech: noun Origin: American English, mid 19th century Meaning: 1. An exceptional person or thing. 2. A forceful blow. Example: "All of the nominees tonight are well-accomplished sockdolagers." "The car door hit Randy with a sockdolager that knocked the wind out of him." About Sockdolager It is believed that sockdolager developed as a fanciful formation from “sock.” How the word became associated with an exceptional person or a forceful blow is unknown. Did You Know? To find a sockdolager, you need not look much further than the Nobel Prizes. People and companies who qualify for nomination are exceptional in their actions and impact, and have often found a way to contribute to humanity’s progress in a particular field. Some notable recipients include activist Malala Yousafzai, writer Ernest Hemingway, and scientist Albert Einstein.
  10. Last week
  11. Fact of the Day - THE AFRICAN QUEEN (FILM) Hepburn and Bogart in a publicity still for the film. Did you know... that The African Queen is a 1951 British–American adventure film adapted from the 1935 novel of the same name by C. S. Forester. The film was directed by John Huston and produced by Sam Spiegel and John Woolf. The screenplay was adapted by James Agee, John Huston, John Collier and Peter Viertel. It was photographed in Technicolor by Jack Cardiff and has a music score by Allan Gray. The film stars Humphrey Bogart (who won the Academy Award for Best Actor – his only Oscar) and Katharine Hepburn with Robert Morley, Peter Bull, Walter Gotell, Richard Marner and Theodore Bikel. The African Queen was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1994, with the Library of Congress deeming it "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant". (Wikipedia) All Aboard These African Queen Facts BY: MOVIES! STAFF POSTED: DECEMBER 13, 2020 Considered an underdog film at the time that the studio didn’t know how to market, The African Queen floated into movie theaters with great success, even earning an Oscar win for Humphrey Bogart and Oscar nominations for Katharine Hepburn and director John Huston. 1. THE BOOK WAS ALMOST ADAPTED EARLIER. Bette Davis and husband-wife duo, Charles Laughton and Elsa Lancaster, were interested in starring in adaptions of C. S. Forester’s 1935 novel. After John Huston mentioned his desire to direct the piece, producer Sam Spiegel bought the rights with Humphrey Bogart in mind for the lead. It was considered an independent film, which was especially rare during the studio era. 2. THE LEAD CHANGED TO FIT BOGIE. Originally, the male lead had a cockney accent. However, Spiegel wanted Bogart and the part changed to accommodate him. Katharine Hepburn said, “[Can] you imagine anyone but Bogie playing the part? He was really it – hook, line and sinker.” Hepburn didn’t know Bogart or Huston at the time, but also got the part through Spiegel, after he sent her the book to read. 3. THEY SHOT PARTS IN AFRICA. It was especially rare at the time to shoot on location, and even more rare to go to Africa. Hepburn felt that the movie had to be made on the continent for authenticity sake, but she also just wanted to travel there. In fact, she accepted the part before the script (which she wasn’t quite satisfied with) was even finished. She even played golf while there. While many scenes were filmed in Africa, some had to be shot in California. 4. BACALL JOINED THE TRIP. Bogie and Lauren Bacall were married in 1945, and the two made quite the Hollywood romance. Hepburn remembered, “She and Bogie seemed to have the most enormous opinion of each other’s charms, and when they fought it was with the utter confidence of two cats locked deliciously in the same cage.” Bacall didn’t just come for the view though. She assisted with getting food for the busy crew and acting as a nurse when many fell ill. 5. ROBERT MORLEY WANTED TO WORK WITH HEPBURN. Hepburn was surprised Morley accepted his part because, as she put it, he was a “big London star”. In fact, Morley joined the production late because he was performing in The Little Hut in London, and a double was used for the burial scene. When Hepburn asked why he accepted the role, he said it would be “rather fun to play your brother”. Too bad his character didn’t last long. 6. THEY STAYED OUT OF THE WATER. Bilharzia is a bug found in polluted water that can enter a host through their pores. Even worse, they can cause boils in the urinary tract and in some cases, be fatal. As a result, scenes that required the leads to be in water were filmed in a tank at the studio. However, the first water tank burst, but thankfully, no one was injured. 7. BUGS WERE A BUG. Thankfully, the leeches used on their bodies were rubber. However, real bugs were still an issue. Bogie got a jigger between his toes. A local was able to remove the pest though, which was important, as incorrectly doing so could have led to blood poisoning. Soldier ants were also an issue. After being away, Bogie and Bacall returned to their hut to find it covered in ants. Hepburn was bitten severely by ants when they invaded her hut, but her costumes covered the bites. 8. HEPBURN FOUND INSPIRATION FROM MRS. ROOSEVELT. Huston worried that if Hepburn played her part too angrily the changing relationship between the leads wouldn’t feel natural. So he likened her character to Eleanor Roosevelt and called out the smile that she often wore when visiting the wounded, despite her insecurities about her beauty. The direction helped Kate, and she called it the best pierce of direction that she ever heard. “I was his from there on in,” she said. 9. THE FILM INSPIRED A BOOK. Peter Viertel was an uncredited screenwriter for The African Queen that was brought in to help craft the ending of the film. Viertel was so influenced by the experience that he crafted a fictional account entitled White Hunter Black Heart and ran the manuscript by John Huston for his approval. Huston suggested changes, which to his surprise made the Huston-character less likable. The novel was adapted in 1990 with Clint Eastwood as the Huston-character. 10. HUAC INFLUENCED THE FILM. In the 1940s, McCarthyism’s spotlight fell on Hollywood. Links and perceived links to communism ended or derailed the careers of actors, writers, and directors. Even Huston, Bogart, Bacall, and Hepburn were suspected of having ties to Communism because of their ideology. Some view The African Queen as their response, since the main characters come up against and prevail over the Germans. 11. THERE WERE MULTIPLE “BOATS”. A boat built in 1912 was purchased and named The African Queen. However, it was impossible to fit the crew for lights, camera, and sound on the boat, and so parts of the boat were built on a raft that had enough space. It wasn’t easy work, and they had to deal with engine problems, tangled propellers, hornets, other boats in the way, and even their own boat sinking. There was also a small miniature boat used for shots of them going through rough rapids. Watch the movie! Source: Wikipedia - The African Queen (film) | The African Queen Facts
  12. What's the Word? - HEURISTIC pronunciation: [hyoo-RIS-tik] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Greek, early 19th century Meaning: 1. Enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves. 2. A heuristic process or method. Example: "The pottery professor’s heuristic technique helped students discover their own sculpting style." "This heuristic will help interested parties become better writers." About Heuristic Heuristic developed from the Greek word “heuriskein,” or “find.” Did You Know? Self-education doesn’t have to be difficult. People attempting to self-educate themselves benefit from a heuristic method, which includes action items like goal-setting, committing to consistency, and minimizing distractions to maximize focus.
  13. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - Launch Week Deluxe Edition (PC) - $63.98 The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - Consumable Starter Set DLC (PC) - $18.92 The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - Consumable Value Set DLC (PC) - $31.60 The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - Premium Cosmetic Set DLC (PC) - $17.54 Probably the most I've ever spent on a single game.... but hey it was a -20% off discount on all of it on the day of release.
  14. https://freebies.indiegala.com/runestone-keeper Runestone Keeper is currently free on IndieGala. https://phasepixel.itch.io/resistanceisfruitile Resistance is Fruitile is currently free on Itch.io. https://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/o349812k3ak31o/free-vehicle-giveaway-the-lampadati-tropos-rallye Free Vehicle Giveaway: The Lampadati Tropos Rallye for Grand Theft Auto V Log in to GTA Online. Pull up your phone and head onto the internet. Navigate to the Southern San Andreas Super Autos website. Scroll down until you see the red, blue, and white Tropos Rallye vehicle. Hit ‘Buy’ and select which garage you want the vehicle to be stored in.
  15. Fact of the Day - STAGECOACH (FILM) George Bancroft, John Wayne and Louise Platt in Stagecoach (1939) Did you know.... that Stagecoach is a 1939 American Western film directed by John Ford and starring Claire Trevor and John Wayne in his breakthrough role. The screenplay by Dudley Nichols is an adaptation of "The Stage to Lordsburg", a 1937 short story by Ernest Haycox. The film follows a group of strangers riding on a stagecoach through dangerous Apache territory. Stagecoach was the first of many Westerns that Ford shot using Monument Valley, in the American Southwest on the Arizona–Utah border, as a location, many of which also starred John Wayne. Scenes from Stagecoach, including a sequence introducing John Wayne's character the Ringo Kid, blended shots of Monument Valley with shots filmed on the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, California, RKO Encino Movie Ranch, and other locations. Similar geographic incongruencies are evident throughout the film, up to the closing scene of Ringo (Wayne) and Dallas (Trevor) departing Lordsburg, in southwestern New Mexico, by way of Monument Valley. The film has long been recognized as an important work that transcends the Western genre. Philosopher Robert B. Pippin has observed that both the collection of characters and their journey "are archetypal rather than merely individual" and that the film is a "mythic representation of the American aspiration toward a form of politically meaningful equality." In 1995, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry. Still, Stagecoach has not avoided controversy. Like most Westerns of the era, its depiction of Native Americans has been criticized. (Wikipedia) Facts About Stagecoach April 1, 2018 Orson Welles argued that Stagecoach was a perfect textbook of filmmaking and claimed to have watched the movie more than 40 times in preparation for the making of Citizen Kane. Asked why, in the climactic chase scene, the Indians didn’t simply shoot the horses to stop the stagecoach, director John Ford replied, “Because that would have been the end of the movie.” In addition, Apaches would have stolen the stagecoach horses because, in their culture, horses were valuable in determining a warrior’s worth. Local Navajo Indians played the Apaches. The film’s production was a huge economic boost to the local impoverished population, giving jobs to hundreds of locals as extras and handymen. Stagecoach was John Wayne’s 80th movie. The hat that John Wayne wears is his own. He would wear it in many Westerns during the next two decades before retiring it after Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo, because it was simply “falling apart.” After that, the hat was displayed under glass in his home. The interior sets all have ceilings, an unusual practice at the time for studio filming. This was to create a claustrophobic effect in complete counterpoint to the wide open expanse of Monument Valley. Hosteen Tso, a local shaman, promised John Ford the exact kind of cloud formations he wanted. They duly appeared. Near the end of the movie, Luke Plummer has a pair of black aces and a pair of black eights. This is the notorious “dead man’s hand” supposed to have been held by Wild Bill Hickok before he was killed. John Wayne’s salary was considerably less than all of his co-stars, apart from John Carradine. John Ford loved the Monument Valley location so much that the actual stagecoach journey traverses the valley three times. Thomas Mitchell had stopped drinking alcohol for more than two years before he played the drunken Doc Boone. John Ford originally wanted Ward Bond to play Buck the stage driver but gave the role to Andy Devine when he found that Bond couldn’t drive a “six-up” stagecoach and there wasn’t enough time to teach him. Andy Devine was borrowed from Universal, John Carradine was borrowed from Twentieth Century Fox and John Wayne was borrowed from Republic. Louise Platt, who played the very proper Mrs. Lucy Mallory, wasn’t quite so prim off-camera. Observing John Wayne on the set one day, Platt turned to Claire Trevor and said, “I think he has the most beautiful buttocks I have ever seen.” The movie was originally budgeted at $392,000, but it cost over $500,000 to make. The movie grossed nearly $1 million by the end of 1939, earning the biggest profit of any Walter Wanger film production to that date. John Ford was so pleased with the way Yakima Canutt solved the problem of safely shooting the stagecoach’s river crossing that he gave Yakima carte blanche in creating all the stunts for the movie. Louise Platt, in a letter recounting the experience of the film’s production, quoted John Ford on saying of John Wayne’s future in film: “He’ll be the biggest star ever because he is the perfect everyman.” John Ford asked David O. Selznick to produce the movie. Selznick was interesting in making the movie, but only if he could have Gary Cooper as the Ringo Kid and Marlene Dietrich as Dallas. In 1939, Claire Trevor was Stagecoach’s biggest star and commanded the highest salary. Stagecoach is the first of three movies in which John Wayne and Claire Trevor were paired as romantic partners. Stagecoach made John Wayne a major star, 9 years after the failure of The Big Trail. In making the Ringo Kid, John Ford referred back to a silent era Western hero he made with Harry Carey called Cheyenne Harry. The interior scenes of the coach were all shot in a studio, and the town sequences were shot on Hollywood backlots. Producer Walter Wanger wanted Gary Cooper for the role of Ringo but Cooper’s fees were too high. Bruce Cabot unsuccessfully tested for it before John Ford got his wish and cast John Wayne. Joel McCrea and Errol Flynn turned down the role of The Ringo Kid. Source: Wikipedia - Stagecoach (1939 film) | Fun And Interesting Facts About Stagecoach
  16. What's the Word? - SYNECDOCHE pronunciation: [sə-NEK-də-kee] Part of speech: noun Origin: Late Middle English, 1350s Meaning: 1. A figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa. Example: "The team’s full name is the Jacksonville Jaguars, but they are often referred to by the synecdoche, “Jaguars.”" "The brand manager decided that the maple leaf logo could serve as a synecdoche for the tourism committee." About Synecdoche While synecdoche became widely used through Late Middle English, it originated from the Greek word “sunekdokhē”— a combination of the words “sun” (together) and “ekdekhesthai” (to take up). Did You Know? Despite the complicated spelling of the word, synecdoche is used quite commonly. Some examples are saying America when referring to the United States, saying a statement has been put out by the company when one means a spokesperson, and referring to sports teams by their nicknames.
  17. Fact of the Day - MICROBURSTS ALSO CALLED DOWNBURSTS Illustration of a microburst. The air moves in a downward motion until it hits ground level. It then spreads outward in all directions. The wind regime in a microburst is opposite to that of a tornado. Did you know... that in meteorology, a downburst is a strong ground-level wind system that emanates from a point source above and blows radially, that is, in straight lines in all directions from the point of contact at ground level. Often producing damaging winds, it may be confused with a tornado, where high-velocity winds circle a central area, and air moves inward and upward; by contrast, in a downburst, winds are directed downward and then outward from the surface landing point. Downbursts are created by an area of significantly rain-cooled air that, after reaching ground level (subsiding), spreads out in all directions producing strong winds. Dry downbursts are associated with thunderstorms with very little rain, while wet downbursts are created by thunderstorms with high amounts of rainfall. Microbursts and macrobursts are downbursts at very small and larger scales, respectively. Another variety, the heat burst, is created by vertical currents on the backside of old outflow boundaries and squall lines where rainfall is lacking. Heat bursts generate significantly higher temperatures due to the lack of rain-cooled air in their formation. Downbursts create vertical wind shear or microbursts, which is dangerous to aviation, especially during landing, due to the wind shear caused by its gust front. Several fatal and historic crashes have been attributed to the phenomenon over the past several decades, and flight crew training goes to great lengths on how to properly recognize and recover from a microburst/wind shear event. They usually last for seconds to minutes. (Wikipedia) Facts About Microbursts By Traci Pedersen | August 27, 2016 Debris from downbursts, or microbursts, is commonly blown in one direction. Often there will be an impact point with debris spread downwind in a fanned or divergent pattern. Microbursts, also called downbursts, are powerful, localized columns of wind that occur when cooled air drops from the base of a thunderstorm at incredible speeds — up to 60 mph — and subsequently hits the ground, spreading out in all directions. Once this column of air reaches the ground (or body of water) and fans outward, it produces straight winds that can reach up to 100 mph, equivalent in speed to an EF1 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Strong microbursts are capable of creating havoc for miles, knocking down trees, power lines and fences and causing extreme damage to buildings. Microbursts can occur all over the United States but are more common east of the Rocky Mountains, simply because there are more thunderstorms on this side. What’s in a name? The term “microburst” was coined by Ted Fujita, a severe storm researcher who developed the Fujita tornado intensity scale. It was upgraded to the Enhanced Fujita scale in 2007 and ranges from EF0 to EF5. An EF0 tornado may damage trees but not buildings, with winds ranging up to 85 mph (137 km/h). An EF5 tornado is devastating; winds exceed 200 mph (322 km/h), and buildings can be annihilated. As the name suggests, a microburst is a relatively small weather event, lasting anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes and affecting 2.5 miles or less. For downbursts affecting areas greater than 2.5 miles, Fujita used the term “macroburst.” How do microbursts form? The most common weather event leading to microburst development is dry air entrainment, a phenomenon that occurs when dry air mixes with precipitation in a thundercloud. The dry air causes the droplets to evaporate, resulting in a rapid drop in air temperature. This patch of cooled air begins to sink, gaining momentum as it drops and essentially turning into a speeding column of air. Air flows in and around a convective cloud. William Gallus, a professor of meteorology and numerical weather prediction in the department of geological and atmospheric sciences at Iowa State University, explains this phenomenon: “Cool air is heavier than warm air, so this blob of cold air can plunge toward the ground, and it spreads out rapidly when it hits the ground, kind of like how water explodes sideways when a water balloon is dropped and hits the ground,” he told Live Science. When this cool, dry air is further pulled down by the weight of precipitation, it is called water loading, and this causes the air to drop even faster. Wet and dry microbursts Microbursts are divided into two basic types: wet and dry. Depending on where you are in the country will determine which type you are more likely to encounter. Wet microbursts are more common in humid climates where there are plenty of thunderstorms, such as the Southeastern United States. These microbursts are typically driven by both dry air entrainment and water loading. Dry microbursts usually begin with dry air entrainment due to moisture in the upper levels but eventually turn into wind-driven events with no surface precipitation. “For dry microbursts, we know they are more likely when the relative humidity a few thousand feet up in the sky is rather high, but it is much lower (dryer) below that level, especially near the ground. This kind of situation happens relatively often in places like Denver,” said Gallus. “When this happens, a storm can form from the moisture up high, but as it creates rain, the rain falls into the very dry air near the ground, and it evaporates, which cools the air.” Precipitation that evaporates before it hits the ground is called virga. Some microbursts, known as hybrids, have characteristics of both wet and dry types and are driven by several influences, such as dry air entrainment, precipitation loading, cooling beneath the cloud base and/or sublimation (ice crystals turning directly into vapor), according to NOAA. Microburst or tornado? Though less well-known than tornadoes, microbursts are much more common. According to the National Weather Service, there are approximately 10 microburst reports for every one tornado, but these numbers are just an estimate. “There has not been a detailed study done to look at how many happen on average each year in different areas, but it is believed a lot of wind damage happening in thunderstorms is likely due to microbursts, so that our climatology of wind damage from storms might give us a good idea [of their frequency],” Gallus said. In fact, microbursts can cause so much damage that residents often believe they’ve been struck by a tornado. The surest way of knowing whether it was a tornado or a microburst, however, is by studying the pattern of damage. When a tornado hits, it leaves behind a more circular or meandering pattern of destruction and debris, while microburst winds cause straight-line damage that radiates from a center point of impact. Disasters in the sky The study of microbursts is relatively new in the field of atmospheric science. Before the introduction of Doppler radar at airports just a few decades ago, microbursts were responsible for as many as 20 major airline accidents, resulting in over 500 deaths, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF). Many of these had been mistakenly blamed on pilot error. Microbursts still pose an incredible danger to aircraft, particularly during a take-off or landing. With winds up to 100 mph, trying to maneuver through a strong microburst is about as difficult as flying through a tornado. And like tornadoes, microburst development can be difficult to detect on radar and seem to come out of nowhere. One terrible disaster in particular — the crash of Delta Airlines Flight 191 — is credited with speeding up microburst research as well as bringing stronger safety measures for all aircraft. The disaster happened in August 1985. A thunderstorm was hovering over Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport as the pilots of Flight 191 were preparing to land. As the aircraft descended toward the runway, an explosive downdraft of wind knocked the plane full of passengers to the ground, sending the aircraft careening onto a highway where it hit and killed an automobile driver and plowed into two large water tanks where it burst into flames. Only 27 people survived this horrific event, and 137 lives were lost. While most pilots at this time had been highly trained in wind shear — rapid changes in wind speed or direction — surprisingly little was known about the specific dangers of microbursts. The crash of Delta 191 was a turning point, calling for more scientific research on these small but potentially fatal weather phenomena. Soon after, it was required that all planes be equipped with wind shear detection devices. Thanks to better research and advancements in technology, including the introduction of Doppler radar in 1988, the airways are much safer today. The last U.S. commercial airline to crash from a microburst was USAir Flight 1016 in 1994. Forecasting microbursts Even with today’s advanced technology, detecting microbursts is still a difficult task. Not only are they a relatively small phenomenon, but they are also quick to form. “It is very hard to predict microbursts,” Gallus said. “We can predict that an environment is somewhat favorable for microbursts, but we cannot tell in advance which exact locations will get hit by one, and not all storms will produce one even on a day when we say conditions are favorable. So it is a lot like forecasting tornadoes, except that conditions that support microbursts happen more often than those that support tornadoes.” When forecasters are searching for ripe conditions, radar is the most helpful tool. They look for several factors, including air instability, high PW or precipitable water (a prediction of precipitation levels based on moisture in the atmosphere), dry air in middle levels, and strong winds in the layer of dry air, according to NOAA. The perfect conditions usually occur in the hot and humid summer months, especially in the Southeastern states. Forecasting Microburst Potential Forecasting for microbursts is typically done on a near-term basis, generally within 6-12 hours before convection is expected to develop. There are several atmospheric parameters that forecasters use to help determine the microburst potential on any given day, primarily during the summer months. Instability, high precipitable water (PW), dry air in the mid levels, and strong winds in the dry layer are just a few of the parameters necessary for the development of microbursts. The ideal conditions typically come together during hot and humid summertime afternoons in the Southeast. An actual microburst in the works will give specific clues to the forecasters. “Radar can show air colliding a few thousand feet above the ground, which normally would mean some of the air is forced downward,” Gallus told Live Science. “Radar also can show air diverging or spreading out in the lowest part of the atmosphere, near the ground, which again is a sign that a microburst is happening.” Radar does have some limitations when it comes to microbursts, though. For example, if a microburst forms on the outskirts of a radar’s reach, it may look so small that the meteorologist can’t see it, Gallus said. Also, since they form so quickly, one could hit the ground before a forecaster has time to issue a warning. When interpreting radar data, forecasters look for converging air within the mid levels of the thunderstorm, also known as a mid-altitude radial convergence (MARC) signature. These can be very hard to detect since microbursts are so short-lived and can sometimes occur between radar scans. Therefore, unfortunately, Severe Thunderstorm Warning lead times for microbursts can be very short, or there may be no warning at all. Our understanding of microburst formation and detection continues to increase and will hopefully lead to better lead times in the future. When a microburst reaches the ground, a divergence signature can be seen on radar. In the image to the right, you can see the divergent wind pattern in velocity near ground level from two different storms. The bright red indicates winds blowing away from the radar, and the bright green indicates winds blowing toward the radar. Another helpful tool for detecting microbursts is DCAPE (Downdraft Convective Available Potential Energy), a computation used to estimate the potential strength of downdrafts in thunderstorms. “DCAPE gives us an idea of how much negative buoyancy can happen, which means how much cooler can a blob of air get due to evaporative cooling than the background temperature,” Gallus said. Source: Wikipedia - Downburst | Live Science - Microburst Facts
  18. What's the Word? - INOSCULATE pronunciation: [in-AHS-kə-layt] Part of speech: verb Origin: Latin, late 17th century Meaning: 1. Join by intertwining or fitting closely together. Example: "The two trees had grown so closely together that they were inosculated." "The toymakers shaped the product so that the pieces would inosculate while stored." About Inosculate Inosculate developed from a combination of the words “into” and the Latin word “osculare,” which means “to provide with a mouth or outlet.” Did You Know? Many living creatures inosculate in a symbiotic relationship, depending on each other to survive and thrive. For example, remora fish share a symbiotic relationship with sharks and some whales; they attach themselves onto the larger animal, helping to keep them clean and seeking shelter from predators.
  19. https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p/3-out-of-10-season-2 3 out of 10: Season Two is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/pdp?id=8a25fd47-c800-45b1-b4cf-349d875fdf0d Minecraft Spring Friends Skin Pack is currently free on the MInecraft marketplace for PC, consoles and mobile devices. https://freebies.indiegala.com/theatre-of-war-3-korea Theatre of War 3: Korea is currently free on IndieGala.
  20. Finally finished The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd. A little over a week behind my intended schedule, but just in time for Trails of Cold Steel IV to hit PC tomorrow.
  21. Koby

    Edge of Eternity

    Edge of Eternity will be released on June 8th! After a long wait, the Midgar Studio team is happy to announce that Edge of Eternity will be released on June 8th. The roadmap you've been following since the Early Access release will be completed with the arrival of the game's final two chapters: A Message From Beyond and The Ascent. These two new pieces of content will provide 5-10 hours of additional gameplay. To reach the epic conclusion to their quest, Daryon and Selene's party will have to find the famed mount Berenroth and thread the most dangerous Clockwork Field in Astrya. It's your last chance to grab Edge of Eternity at $16.74 before the price increase on April 14. At this date, the price will goes up to $29.99. Check out the lastest key art for Edge of Eternity made by the artist Maeka below! It replaced the last video background on the game menu and will cover the future box art. Patch Notes Added new battle feature: Scan (Toggled with ALT key with KBM and DPAD UP with Controller) Added new key art to main menu and loading screens Improved memory usage Speeded up loading in the openworld Added GPU occlusion culling (reduce NPC CPU load) Global CPU performance improvements Improved terrain UV blending quality (prevent burnt far terrain) Reduced weapons and armor bonus level range (will remap existing items) Fixed CPU performance diminishing while moving on the openworld due to some physic issues Fixed audio stuttering issues Added an option to control the distance object update rate Added an option to rescale the UI Turrets will not activate during Junkyard's puzzles Cleaned music transition between open world and dungeon Burn status damages are now taking into account for residual fire damages bonus objectives Remaining effect after using firebombs Red widow Rock throw not disappearing Target Available for hack feedback not displaying Danger Effect not disappearing when Nepentha roots spawn Team member equipment will no longer be displayed after leaving the party Restored Energy interface will not spawn several times when spamming sleep Toggleable pause menu during loading Collisions fixes Skip cutscene interface displaying when pressing escape during a multiple choice dialog Team formation not applying in some cases Enemy Drone will no longer be able to move on player nexus Battle interface displaying during fanfare when swapping device Minor balance tweaks for Derek & Gavin and Mantis Fight Minor balance tweaks for Light From Above Spell Fixed bugreport input field not useable in 4K resolution Added two new sidequests in Chapter I Fixed some lighting issues when hour is changing abruptly Added an additional character scene Text fixes in Chapter 0.5 Cutscenes fixes in Chapter 0 Added new hunting quests Added craft items descriptions Improved crafting loot tables Added new monster Added a new lore tombstone in the desert Minor animation fixes Global polish of the game
  22. Fact of the Day - PODCASTING Did you know... that podcasting, previously known as "audioblogging", has its roots dating back to the 1980s. With the advent of broadband Internet access and portable digital audio playback devices such as the iPod, podcasting began to catch hold in late 2004. Today there are more than 115,000 English-language podcasts available on the Internet, and dozens of websites available for distribution at little or no cost to the producer or listener. According to one survey in 2017, 42 million Americans above the age of 12 listen to podcasts on at least a weekly basis. (Wikipedia) History Podcasts to Share With Your Friends These educational podcasts are much lighter than a textbook. BY LIZZ SCHUMER | Oct 9, 2019 If you're the kind of person who often starts sentences with "Did you know?" or you just need holiday cocktail party conversation fodder, add a few of these great history podcasts to your listening queue. They're faster and more portable than historical fiction and much more fun than a formal course, but they'll drop just as much knowledge into your ears. It's probably been awhile since most of us took a high school history class, and once you dive into the best history podcasts out there, you will quickly start to realize there were likely some gaps in your education, no matter how closely you paid attention. Some of our favorite podcasts provide fresh perspectives on politics, offer background on current events, or even help teach us more about people and events we thought we knew already. Even podcast fans who don't consider themselves history buffs will enjoy the witty banter on podcasts like The History Chicks, the golden age of film nostalgia on You Must Remember This, and the true crime bent on podcasts like Monster. If there's a podcast genre, there's probably a historical take on it, so we've found a selection to hit every subject. With this list, you'll never find yourself feeling under-informed again. The History Chicks If you ever felt that history class skewed a little male, this podcast will help close the gender gap. Each episode introduces listeners to female characters in history, including fun facts and interesting tidbits, juicy details and minutiae that will make you the smartest gal at your next get-together. And the show notes include links to learn more, if you're really invested. Listen now. Presidential Host Lillian Cunningham delves into the gap between our historical perception of our nation's past presidents and the real, complicated people they actually were. The series was originally launched as a lead-in to the 2016 presidential election, but it's still worth a listen today. Listen now. Atlanta Monster Some true crime podcasts focus more on the salacious stories than the actual events. Not the Monster series, which has one season on the 1979 spate of child killings in Atlanta and one on the infamous Zodiac Killer. This well-researched series hosted by Payne Lindsey and Matt Frederick will give you all of the facts and background to become a virtual expert on the subject at hand. Listen now. Throughline Help contextualize your news diet with this podcast that explains the historical basis for current events. Hosts Ramtin Arablouei and Rund Abdelfatah take listeners through subjects like military activity along the U.S.-Mexican border and sports protests, so you can come away feeling like a more educated news consumer. Listen now. More Perfect Supreme Court decisions shape so many aspects of our lives, from public safety to public restrooms and a whole host of private matters too, but most of us don't know the whole story behind the landmark cases. This podcast takes you inside the proceedings, explaining how they come about and what they mean for your life. Listen now. Slow Burn For history junkies who want to really dig into the issue, try the exhaustively fascinating Slow Burn from Slate. With two seasons focusing on Watergate and the Monica Lewinsky scandal, respectively, it not only investigates what happened during those events in minute detail, but ties them to our current political circumstances. Listen now. Back Story If you've ever wondered about the real whale that inspired Moby Dick or wanted to know the history of UFOs and aliens in this country, you'll want to take a listen to this aptly-named podcast. It also covers weightier topics like the opioid crisis and immigration, which those lighter concepts balance out nicely. Listen now. Fiasco For those of us who can't tear ourselves away from the latest political happenings, Fiasco is an excellent complement to the news. Host Leon Neyfakh takes us through what really happened during the 2000 election, shedding light on the twists and turns most of us probably never even knew about. It's fascinating, and totally binge-able. Listen now. Revisionist History From the author of such deep dives as The Tipping Point comes this podcast with equally in-depth explorations into historical events and issues you may think you understand. Malcolm Gladwell will show you there's a lot we're taught about our past that isn't entirely accurate, and help correct some of those misconceptions. Listen now. Stuff You Missed in History Class Whether you snoozed your way through AP History or just want to learn about obscure facts while doing other things, this podcast will help fill your chore time or commute with a dose of knowledge. It may not help you pass the exam, but it will make you more interesting at parties. Listen now. Source: Best History Podcasts | Wikipedia - History of Podcasting
  23. What's the Word? - STACCATO pronunciation: [stə-KA-doh] Part of speech: adjective Origin: Italian, 1715 Meaning: 1. Consisting of a series of sounds that are each sharply separated from the others. 2. A series of short, sharply separated sounds or words. Example: "It was hard to work with the staccato of the nail gun in the background." "Kim’s heels made a sharp staccato against the tile as she hurried down the hallway." About Staccato This word evolved from Italian, where it translates to “disconnected.” Did You Know? Staccato also exists in the world of music. Staccato notes have spaces between them for silence, which creates the sharply separated sounds the music is known for. Its opposite is legato, notes that are connected and played with no silence or pauses between them.
  24. Since I haven't seen a post in a bit, here's some indiegala freebs Stranded in Time World's Dawn
  25. The Snail and the Whale... my little nephew made me watch it like a hundred times... But it's very cute. I've generally enjoyed most of the Batman animated movies (Son of Batman, Batman vs Robin, Bad Blood) and I really enjoyed Teen Titans vs Justice League and Teen Titans vs Teen Titans Go. That's all I can remember for now!!
  26. I recently watched the Batman vs TMNT movie for the first time. It was good. Does anyone recommend any of the other DC animated movies? Batman vs TMNT was the first one I've seen. I was interested in it because it seemed like such a weird crossover.
  27. Not sure if it is okay to revive such an old topic, but I wanted to throw out that I have watched all the shows and movies that I have bought. Some things I have received as gifts and haven't watched yet, and yet others I have obtained through other means and haven't watched all of yet. I suppose putting my own money into getting something automatically makes me more invested in it, so I watched all those things I bought myself. Is this a similar case for anyone else?
  28. Fact of the Day - THE 1950s American fashion, 1953 Marylin Monroe (left, Jane Russell (right) Did you know... that The 1950s was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1950, and ended on December 31, 1959. Throughout the decade, the world continued its recovery from World War II, aided by the post-World War II economic expansion. The period also saw great population growth with increased birth rates and the emergence of the baby boomer generation. Despite this recovery, the Cold War developed from its modest beginnings in the late 1940s to a heated competition between the Soviet Union and the United States by the early 1960s. The ideological clash between communism and capitalism dominated the decade, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, with conflicts including the Korean War in the early 1950s, the Cuban Revolution, the beginning of the Vietnam War in French Indochina, and the beginning of the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957. Along with increased testing of nuclear weapons (such as RDS-37 and Upshot–Knothole), the tense geopolitical situation created a politically conservative climate. In the United States, a wave of anti-communist sentiment known as the Second Red Scare resulted in Congressional hearings by both houses in Congress. The beginning of decolonization in Africa and Asia also took place in this decade and accelerated in the following decade. (Wikipedia) Things That Happened in the '50s It's a decade where you'll meet multiple princesses, a new Queen, The King, Prince and the future King of Pop. BY BRIE DYAS | Nov 16, 2020 What comes to mind when you think of the 1950s? The baby boom and Cold War are certainly high on that list, but we're here to tell you that the record of noteworthy events goes on from there. From the world stage to our American backyards, here are just a few of the amazing, and in some cases ground-breaking events that had people buzzing throughout this decade. 1950: The Baby Boom Though it started in 1946, the '50s makes records for the number of babies born per year — around 4 million on average. The top names of the decade: James and Mary. 1950: The Price of the American Dream Just in case you were wondering, the median home price was $7,354 this year. The average home size was under 1,000-square-feet. 1950: A New Princess On February 15, Disney's Cinderella premieres and quickly becomes one of the highest-grossing movies of that year. 1950: Future Food Icon Years before she would become a TV hit and change the way we eat, Julia Child enrolls at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. 1951: In Living Color RCA broadcasts the first color TV episode on June 25. However, the only photos we could find were in black and white! 1951: Our Favorite Redhead On October 15, I Love Lucy debuts. In the first season, the show reaches over 10 million viewers. 1952: Look Up! Just before midnight July 19-20, a UFO is allegedly spotted on radar and by witnesses on the ground in Washington, D.C. 1953: A New Queen June 2 marks the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Hundreds of millions tune in on their televisions and radios to follow the day's momentous events. 1955: A Courageous Bus Ride On December 1st, Rosa Parks made the life altering decision to sit in the section reserved for white passengers on her bus ride home. Her refusal to offer the seat to a white man subsequently led to her arrest and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The famous boycott lasted for 381 days and resulted in the end of segregation on Montgomery's buses. In 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ruling that bus transportation within a state couldn't be segregated. 1955: Kermit Debuts Kermit the Frog makes his earliest debut on "Sam and Friends," Jim Henson's live action/puppet show that aired on WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. Click the link below to read more about what was happening in The 1950s. Source: Good Housekeeping - Facts About the 50s | Wikipedia - 1950s
  29. What's the Word? - FETTLE pronunciation: [fedl] Part of speech: noun Origin: Late Middle English, 1300s Meaning: 1. Condition. 2. Make or repair (something). Example: "Despite being over a decade old, the biplane remained in fine fettle." "Since Mark had experience with repairing manual vehicles, he was put in charge of fettling the old Chevy." About Fettle While the word fettle developed as a verb meaning “to prepare oneself or get ready” in Late Middle English, it originated from the Old English word “fetel” (strip of material) and the Germanic word “fessel” (chain, band). Did You Know? Old vehicles displayed in museums and in classic shows seem to naturally remain in fine fettle, but a lot of care goes into maintaining their condition. Vehicles are often already donated or loaned in relatively pristine conditions, and staff determine whether it should be cleaned or kept in its original state. Workers also follow meticulous instructions from experts to keep cars gleaming.
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