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  1. 3 points
    OVERVIEW Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age follows the perilous journey of a hunted hero who must uncover the mystery of his fate with the aid of a charismatic cast of supporting characters. They embark on a quest taking them across continents and over vast oceans as they learn of an ominous threat facing the world. Dragon Quest XI brings a massive, gorgeous world to life in a style that blends stylistic cel-shading with photorealistic detail. Engage in a turn-based battle system that eases players into combat with an accessible experience, featuring mechanics simple enough for novices but with enough depth to satisfy long-time fans. DRAGON QUEST XI features tons of side-quests and mini-games that provide enough content to keep you playing for well over 100 hours. GUIDES Exp Farming You'll need one Pep Pip per battle from casino, quest rewards, crossbow completion, or mini medal exchange, put them on Sylvando. Main Abilites: Hero - Pep Up (Luminary), Erik - Critical Claim (Guile) Two of these: Jade- Lightning Thrust (Spears), Serena - Thunder Thrust (Spears), Eight - Hatchet Man (Axes) Get Rab, Erik, Sylvando, & Jade into Pep and swap them out. Have the Hero use Pep Up when done. (about 10 minutes spamming defend) Save your game! Start a random battle anywhere with a party of Hero, Erik, Jade, & Sylvando. Hero, Jade, Erik use Haulellujah for guaranteed drop + exp bonus (Jade is usually fastest). Swap Erik for Rab, have Hero Pep Up, and Sylvando use a Pep Pip on Jade. Wait for the enemies turn to conclude. Hero, Jade, or Sylvando use Electro Light to change the battle into a fight with 3 Metals (flee and reload if this fails). Swap Sylvando for Erik. Rab uses Pep to force sleep the Metals. Begin killing with critical abilities only Every 10 levels the encounter changes. 50s: 3x Vicious Metal Slime: About 300k exp, Seed of Life from each 60s: 2x Vicious Metal Slime, 1x Liquid Metal, About 350k exp, Happy Hat from the Liquid 70s: 1x Vicious Metal King, 2x Liquid Metal, About 800k exp, Pep Pip from Metal King At level 70+ the Metal King returns the Pep Pip you use. Before 70 you'll need to rely on any Pep Pips you have from quest rewards or 125000 tokens. You'll gain 4-5 levels per fight from 50-70, and like 7-8 from 70-99. So it's reasonable to go from 50 to 99 with the Pep Pip rewards from quest/crossbow completion. Gold Farming The best method I've discovered for farming gold would be from Hooper Duper in First Forest Whale Way Station. Their common steal item is Devilry Drinker. Which sells for 30,000 gold. Max Skill Points In order to max out a characters skill grid once you hit level 99, this is how many Seeds of Skill you'll need to feed each character. Hero: 14 Erik: 3 Jade: 3 Rab: 5 Eight: 12 Serena: 12 Veronica: 12 Sylvando: 12 If you need more Skill Seeds you can farm them from Malicious Great Keeper in the Dundrasil Region while it's rainy. Just talk to the cow and rest at the camp site until it's raining if it isn't already for you. The Malicious Great Keeper will be located Southeast of camp near the ruined walls. Gold statues fall from the sky as you get close. All seeds are rare drops and the Seed of Skill is no exception, so you'll likely want to boost drop rates as much as you can. To do so I recommend equipping any of the following you have: Uniforme de l'Academie (reward for collecting 25 Mini Medals, Magic Key: L'Academie, Quest: The Agony and the Ecstasy) Pirate King's Pendant (Postgame Event in Sniflheim) Bunny Tail (Rare drop from Spiked Hare & Malicious Spiked Hare) Then you'll want to use Peps Haullelujah (2+ enemies) or Itemized Kill (1 enemy) to get some guaranteed drops. Casino Prizes Puerto Valor Casino Act 1 Recipe - Down the Rabbithole: 500 Mercury's Bandana: 2,500 White Shield: 5,000 Yggdrasil Leaf: 5,000 Infernails: 7,500 Staff of Sentencing: 7,500 Arrivistes Vest: 10,000 Elevating Vest: 10,000 Spangled Dress: 25,000 Platinum Sword: 50,000 Lightning Lance: 75,000 Platinum Powersword: 100,000 Act 2 Recipe - The Mothmask Prophecies: 1,000 Sainted Soma: 30,000 Metal Slime Sword: 250,000 Liquid Metal Helm: 500,000 Act 3 Yggdrasil Dew: 10,000 Agate of Evolution: 50,000 Spectralite: 200,000 Devilry Drinker: 800,000 Monster Casino Love Potion: 10,000 Medicinal Herb: 25,000 Cypress Stick: 50,000 Horse Manure: 100,000 Boxer Shorts: 500,000 Magic Water: 1,000,000 Octagonia Casino Act 2 Love Potion: 100 Sage's Elixir: 1,000 Bow Tie: 3,000 Recipe - Your Very Own Aegis...: 5,000 Molten Globules: 20,000 Cheat Sheet: 30,000 Imp Knife: 60,000 Scandalous Swimsuit: 70,000 Fire Ball: 80,000 Twinkling Tuxedo: 200,000 Shimmering Dress: 200,000 Happy Hat: 300,000 Gringham Whip: 750,000 Act 3 Elfin Elixir: 10,000 Slime Crown: 50,000 Recipe - Uberswords Illustrated: 70,000 Gold Bar: 100,000 Pep Pip: 125,000 Hot Bikini: 150,000 Metal King Helm: 1,000,000 Mini Medal Rewards In Dragon Quest XI the mini medals are back and both yield rewards for collecting a set number of them along with being a currency you can use to exchange for other items after you’ve collected all of the set rewards. Stamp Rewards 005: Shield-Bearer 010: Hermes’ Hat 020: Rune Staff 025: Uniforme de l’Academie 030: Recipe Book - Kit Fit for a King 035: Falcon Blade 045: Agility Gilet 050: Glombolero 055: Spiked Armour 060: Miracle Sword 065: Deft Dagger 075: Circle of Serendipity 080: Recipe Book - Styles for All Seasons 090: Recipe Book Glammer Gear for Goer-Getterers 100: Erdwin’s Shield 110: Recipe Book - Making Things with Metal Kings Exchange Shop Chronocrystal: 2 Medals Elfin Elixir: 3 Medals Pep Pip: 10 Medals Saint’s Ashes: 1 Medal Serpent’s Soul: 3 Medals Spectralite: 3 Medals Uber Agate of Evolution: 5 Medals placeholder
  2. 2 points
    Disney announced in June 2019 that its Pixar film for next summer is Soul. The studio already had June 19 RSVP’ed on the 2020 calendar for an untitled Pixar movie, and this is it. Soul will be the second original Pixar film next year after Onward, which bows March 6. The tagline for Soul: Ever wonder where your passion, your dreams and your interests come from? What is it that makes you … you?” Directed by two-time Oscar winner Pete Docter (Up, Inside Out), the film takes place between New York City and the cosmic realms. Dana Murray, an Oscar nominee for her animated short film Lou, is producing. Before Disney’s D23 expo, we had only a ghost of a notion of just what was going on with their new animated feature, Soul. The brand new, original feature arriving in theaters on June 19, 2020 was described as tackling “life’s most important questions” on a journey that travels from New York City to the “cosmic realms.” Things have solidified a bit since then. We now know that the movie will follow Joe Gardner, a middle school band teacher and jazz aficionado who gets a big break to play at a high-class jazz club. The problem is, Joe apparently dies before he can get there and finds himself newly arrived in the “You Seminar.” And while that may sound decidedly dark, the core of the story is that Joe’s soul will get an opportunity to commune with a multitude of other souls that are awaiting a chance at consciousness. Thankfully, we have some concept art (and some casting details) to help wrap our heads around that. Joe will be played by Jamie Foxx (Ray) while Tina Fey (30 Rock) voices a spritely soul-in-training named 22 who has an unexpected encounter with Joe when he accidentally finds his way to the “You Seminar.” Together, the two are going to find a way to get Joe back to Earth, making him think again about what it truly means to have soul. But that’s not all! Ahmir Questlove Thompson (Detroit), Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show), and Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting) also star as a drummer, Joe’s mother, and Joe’s neighbor, respectively. And the musical hits keep on coming because Trent Reznor (The Social Network) and Atticus Ross (The Social Network) are composing the score while Jon Batiste (Red Hook Summer) is writing new music for the movie. Two-time Oscar-winner Pete Docter (Up, Inside Out) directs with co-director/writer Kemp Powers (Star Trek: Discovery), writer Mike Jones, and Oscar-nominee Dana Murray (Lou) producing. This is really shaping up to be something special.
  3. 2 points
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/231430/Company_of_Heroes_2/ Company of Heroes 2 is currently free on Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/203778/Expansion__Crusader_Kings_II_Sword_of_Islam/ The Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam Expansion DLC is currently free on Steam. Note: The base game Crusader Kings II is not free, though.
  4. 2 points
    https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/the-messenger/home The Messenger is currently free on Epic Game Store. https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/the-messenger/picnic-panic The Messenger - Picnic Panic DLC is also free on Epic Game Store.
  5. 2 points
    https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/nuclear-throne/home Nuclear Throne is currently free on Epic Game Store. https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/ruiner/home Ruiner is currently free on Epic Game Store. https://freebies.indiegala.com/tomb-joe/ Tomb Joe is currently free on IndieGala. https://freebies.indiegala.com/cosmic-pioneer Cosmic Pioneer is currently free on IndieGala. https://freebies.indiegala.com/journey-of-the-sword/ Journey of the Sword is currently free on IndieGala.
  6. 2 points
    Fact of the Day - VIKING LONGSHIPS Did you know... that the Viking ship was perhaps the greatest technical and artistic achievement of the European dark ages. These fast ships had the strength to survive ocean crossings while having a draft of as little as 50cm (20 inches), allowing navigation in very shallow water. Ships were an important part of Viking society, not only as a means of transportation, but also for the prestige that it conferred on her owner and skipper. Their ships permitted the Vikings to embark on their voyages of trading, of raiding, and of exploration. Images of ships show up on jewelry, on memorial stones, and on coins from the Viking age. Some people were buried in ships, or ship-like settings made of stones (below), during the Viking age. The picture above shows a sketch of the side view and hull section, and a photo of a 9th century ship that was recovered early in the 20th century in Oseberg. The ship was part of a very rich burial and is now on display near Oslo. The Oseberg ship was once thought to be more representative of a royal yacht, rather than a true war ship, but more recent research suggests she was quite capable of sailing in open ocean. In the 1970's, five 11th century ships were found and recovered from the Skuldelev narrows in Denmark, giving us more examples of the variety of ships used in the Viking age. These ships had been intentionally scuttled, probably to block the channel during a raid. Two different classes of Viking era ships were found: warships called langskip (left) and merchant ships called knörr (right). Typically, a warship is narrower, longer, and shallower than a knörr, and is powered by oars, supplanted by sail. The warship is completely open and is built for speed and maneuverability. In contrast, a knörr is partially enclosed and powered primarily by sail. Cargo carrying capability is the primary concern. The two Skuldelev warships are narrower and less spacious than the Oseberg ship. A sketch of the smaller of the two ships is shown to the right. She is 17.4m long (57 ft) and 2.6m broad (8.5 ft). These ships are probably more typical of the kind of vessel that was used by the Vikings on their raids. A typical warship might have had 16 rowers on each side. The crew's shields may have been arrayed along the gunwales, held in place by a shield rack outboard of the ship. This kept them out of the way, but also provided some slight additional protection against wind and waves. The photos show the Íslendingur, a replica ship that sailed from Iceland to North America in the year 2000. Both coins and pictures stones from the Viking age depict shields arrayed along the gunwale of a Viking ship. Additionally, the sagas say that shields were displayed. In Brennu-Njáls saga (ch. 84), Kári and his ten ships rowed hard to join a sea battle, with row after row of shields on display along the sides of the ships. Several pieces of evidence suggest that shields were not routinely displayed while underway. On some ships, the shields interfere with the oarholes, preventing the oars from being used. Shield racks, to which the shields were fastened, were not robust, and probably were incapable of holding the shields securely in rough seas. Last, modern sailors of replica ships say they are very impractical. Click here to learn more about Viking Longships.
  7. 1 point
    During their panel at Anime NYC 2019 on Saturday, TMS Entertainment announced that the original boxing series Megalo Box has a second season in development. The story will be set seven years after the first season. Synopsis "To be quiet and do as you're told, that's the cowardly choice." These are the words of Junk Dog, an underground fighter of Megalo Box, an evolution of boxing that utilizes mechanical limbs known as Gear to enhance the speed and power of its users. Despite the young man's brimming potential as a boxer, the illegal nature of his participation forces him to make a living off of throwing matches as dictated by his boss Gansaku Nanbu. However, this all changes when the Megalo Box champion Yuuri enters his shabby ring under the guise of just another challenger. Taken out in a single round, Junk Dog is left with a challenge: "If you're serious about fighting me again, then fight your way up to me and my ring." Filled with overwhelming excitement and backed by the criminal syndicate responsible for his thrown matches, Junk Dog enters Megalonia: a world-spanning tournament that will decide the strongest Megalo Boxer of them all. Having no name of his own, he takes on the moniker of "Joe" as he begins his climb from the very bottom of the ranked list of fighters. With only three months left to qualify, Joe must face off against opponents the likes of which he has never fought in order to meet the challenge of his rival. [Written by MAL Rewrite] Megalo Box is based on an original draft by Ikki Kajiwara and Tetsuya Chiba, and it commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Ashita no Joe franchise. The anime marked You Moriyama's directorial debut. Katsuhiko Manabe and Kensaku Kojima handled the series composition, while Mabanua (Sakamichi no Apollon) worked on the music. The 13-episode TV anime aired in Spring 2018. The Blu-ray volumes included three short episodes, with the first serving as a prologue to episode one. Crunchyroll streamed the anime on its platform while it was airing. Viz released the series as a complete collection in June, which included a standard DVD, Blu-ray, and a limited edition Blu-ray.
  8. 1 point
    Fast & Furious is all about family, and that has never been more true than with the billion-dollar franchise’s new Netflix animated series. Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation’s Fast & Furious: Spy Racers will feature Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf) as Dominic Toretto’s cousin Tony and Vin Diesel‘s own daughter Similce Diesel. Executive produced by Fast masterminds Diesel, Neal H. Moritz, and Chris Morgan, Spy Racers follows the adventures of teenager Tony, who follows in his cousin’s footsteps when a government agency recruits he and his friends to infiltrate an elite racing league that is a front front for a crime organization bent on world domination. Rounding out the main crew of characters are notable underground racer Layla Gray (American Vandal’s Camille Ramsey), 13-year-old tech genius Frostee Benson (Harry Potter‘s Luke Youngblood), master artist and natural spy Echo (Overwatch‘s Charlet Chung), the group’s muscle and sweetheart Cisco Renaldo (Jane the Virgin’s Jorge Diaz), and leader of the criminal organization SH1FT3R, Shashi Dhar (The Resident‘s Manish Dayal). Headlining the guest voice cast is Diesel’s oldest child, Similce, who plays Frostee’s younger sister Sissy. Also lending their voices are Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton), Jimmy Tatro (American Vandal), Carlos Alazraqui (The Fairly OddParents), Eric Bauza (The Adventures of Puss in Boots), Grey Griffin (DC Super Hero Girls), Kevin Michael Richardson (Trolls: The Beat Goes On!), Fred Tatasciore (Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia), and Tru Valentino (Archibald’s Next Big Thing). With Fast & Furious 9 not scheduled to arrive in theaters until May 22, 2020, Spy Racers will help bridge the gap between films when it premieres Dec. 26 on Netflix. Below, check out the exclusive first look, beginning with Diesel and Posey.
  9. 1 point
    As pre-production on Amazon Studios’ high-profile Lord Of the Rings TV series is gearing up in New Zealand, the streamer is moving ahead with an early Season 2 renewal for the sprawling adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels. As part of that, Amazon has commissioned the reassembling of the writers room to break the second season. Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke confirmed the news that the second season of LOTR is already in the works during the company’s holiday party Sunday night at the H Club in Hollywood. Amazon Studios acquired global TV rights to The Lord of the Rings in a blockbuster November 2017 deal. It included a multi-season commitment to a LOTR series as well as a potential spinoff series. Still, each consecutive season after the first has to be formally greenlighted by the streaming network. The early Season 2 pickup is good news for fans as it will allow for a shorter break between the end of Season 1 and the premiere of Season 2 on Prime Video,, which is available in 240-plus countries and territories. In conjunction with the early renewal, the LOTR series will go on a 4-5-month hiatus after filming the first two episodes from Season 1, directed by J.A. Bayona. The writing team of the series, led by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, will use the time to map out and write the bulk of Season 2 scripts. Taking a break after the opening episode or two is standard practice for shows with straight-to-series orders as it allows producers and executives to step back and evaluate the footage much like they would do with a pilot. By going on a longer than normal hiatus, LOTR will be ready with Season 2 scripts so it could possibly film some Season 2 footage during the Season 1 shoot or even film the remainder of Season 1 and Season 2 back-to-back. That was a strategy used by Peter Jackson in shooting his blockbuster LOTR movie trilogy, also in New Zealand. That is considered a sensible approach for big-budget productions like LOTR as it helps find efficiencies because every filming ramp-up is expensive. Additionally, by extending the hiatus, the series, which, in keeping with the Tolkien mythology is expected to shoot primarily outdoors, will return to production after the winter season in New Zealand is over. Set in Middle Earth, the TV series will explore new story lines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. The lead cast, which is yet to be confirmed by Amazon, is believed to include Will Poulter, Markella Kavenagh and Joseph Mawle. The Lord of the Rings series is produced by Amazon Studios. In addition to showrunners Payne and McKay, executive producers include Bayona and his producing partner Belén Atienza, Lindsey Weber, Bruce Richmond, Gene Kelly, Sharon Tal Yguado as well as writers Gennifer Hutchison; Jason Cahill and Justin Doble. Bryan Cogman and Stephany Folsom are consulting producers, Ron Ames a producer, Helen Shang a co-producer, and Glenise Mullins a writing consultant. The rest of the series’ creative team includes costume designer: Kate Hawley (Suicide Squad), production designer: Rick Heinrichs (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), visual effects supervisor: Jason Smith (The Revenant), Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey and renowned illustrator/concept artist John Howe.
  10. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - RECORD PLAYERS (TURNTABLES) Did you know.. that arguably one of the most important inventions in the history of home entertainment; the record player has brought music into the home for over a century? For many years it was thought of a long and dead technology. Made obsolete by CD’s and later digital downloads. Yet this relic that was doomed to a fate of collecting dust in a basement or attic has risen from the ashes to become king once again. This technology has quite the storied history. Record players have evolved across numerous iterations, starting with the early phonautograph, morphing to the turntable and reaching the modern vinyl version. There has been a renewed interest in record players as vinyl music has grown in popularity over the last decade. Many covet analog music as it generates high-quality uncompressed audio. Others use their record players as it provides them with a feeling of nostalgia. The first version of the turntable was created by Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville. He created the phonautograph in France way back in 1857. Yet this device could not play sound back. Rather, it inscribed airborne noise onto paper for visual study. The phonautograph was mainly used in lab settings. Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877 and thus was known for who invented the record player. This device recorded sound and also played sound. It inscribed audio to tinfoil wrapped along a cardboard cylinder for subsequent playback. Alexander Graham Bell added wax to Edison’s phonograph design in order to record waves of sound. The result was referred to as the graphophone. Emile Berliner took record players to the next level. He dubbed his creation the “gramophone” and secured a patent for the device in 1887. The gramophone was made of hard rubber and shelac before being constructed with vinyl. The gramophone is the basis of the contemporary record player. It interpreted grooves on flat discs instead of a cylinder. This is the point in time when records became necessary. The first record player released to the masses in 1895. This gramophone record player was quite popular until the rise of radio. Though radio didn’t kill the record player, it certainly stole the spotlight for a while. Record players sold well in the 30s and 40s but didn’t quite hit a mainstream tipping point until a couple decades later. Record players became extremely popular in the 60s and 70s when Dual released the first turntables to provide stereo playback. High-fidelity sound reproduction hit the scene and motivated countless people to add a record player to their home. The automatic high-fidelity turntable was an immediate hit in the early 60s. This was the golden age of record players. It was during this era that Electrohome released its famous space-aged Apollo Record Player along side their classic wooden stereo consoles. Hip-hop DJs used record player turntables in a new and creative way through the 80s, 90s and beyond. They connected audio mixers to record players, guided their hands along the records so they scratched against the needle and produced a new rhythmic instrument of sorts. Though some people still use record players to play music, plenty of modern day hip-hop artists use record players in unison with mixers to add a rhythmic element to their music. After years of the vinyl industry being sustained by hardcore enthusiasts and niche music audiences, vinyl has come back into the mainstream. Now being sold at major department stores, grocery stores and even giving rise to the birth of new independent record stores. Most major artists are now releasing their latest albums as LPs allowing generations young and old to experience this 100 year old technology in their homes today. This increased interest in vinyl has resulted in a need for modern day record players. Many music enthusiasts or casual music listeners want to experience music on vinyl, while also wanting some more modern features such as USB recording, or connecting their smartphones and tablets to music systems so they can enjoy their entire music collection. It’s clear that record players are here to stay.
  11. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - PORCUPINES Did you know.... that porcupines are large rodents with coats of sharp spines, or quills, that protect them against predators? The term covers two families of animals: the Old World porcupines of family Hystricidae, and the New World porcupines of family Erethizontidae. Roughly 30,000 quills cover the whole body except for the stomach, nose and bottom of their feet. The porcupine has a small face, small ears, short legs and a thick, small tail. Its flat feet and sharp, rounded claws make it well adapted to climbing trees. Porcupines rely heavily on smell as they are short-sighted. Some quills can get up to a foot (30 centimeters) long, like those on the Africa's crested porcupine, according to National Geographic. They are found on every continent except Antarctica. Scientists group porcupines into two groups: Old World porcupines, which are found in Africa, Europe and Asia; and New World porcupines, which are found in North, Central, and South America. The North American porcupine is the only species found in the United States and Canada. Porcupines use the quills as a defense. They make shake them, which makes them rattle, as a warning to potential predators. If that doesn't work, they may charge backwards into the predator. The quills are loosely attached but cannot be thrown or projected, according to the Animal Diversity Web. Some quills have scales or barbs that make them very hard to remove. Once a quill is lost, it isn't lost forever. They grow back over time. The largest porcupine is the North African crested porcupine. It grows up to 36 inches (90 centimeters) long. The smallest is the Bahia hairy dwarf porcupine. It grows up to 15 inches (38 cm) long. Porcupines weigh 2.5 to 77 lbs. (1.2 to 35 kilograms), depending on species, and their tails can grow up to 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm), according to the San Diego Zoo. The length of quills varies by type. New World porcupines have small quills that are around 4 inches (10 cm) long, while Old World porcupines have quills that can grow up to 20 inches (51 cm) long, though there are some exceptions. In general, porcupines live in just about any terrain, including deserts, grasslands, mountains, rainforests and forests. Dens in tree branches or tangles of roots, rock crevices, brush or logs are the porcupine's home. Porcupines are nocturnal, which means they are active during the night and sleep during the day. During the night, they forage for food. New World porcupines spend their time in the trees, while Old World porcupines stay on the ground. Porcupines aren't really social. Both types of porcupines are typically solitary, though New World porcupines may pair up. A mother and her young is considered a family group called a prickle. Porcupines are herbivores. This means they eat mostly vegetation. Some porcupines love wood and eat a lot of bark and stems. They also eat nuts, tubers, seeds, grass, leaves, fruit and buds. Though they don't eat meat, porcupines chew on bones to sharpen their teeth. Bones also give them important minerals, like salt and calcium, to keep them healthy. Porcupines are also known to eat bugs and small lizards every now and then. Female porcupines carry their young for a gestation period of 16 to 31 weeks, depending on species, and give birth to one to three babies at a time. Baby porcupines are called porcupettes. Porcupettes are about 3 percent of mother's weight at birth, according to the San Diego Zoo. At birth, they have soft quills, which harden in a few days. Porcupettes mature at 9 months to 2.5 years, depending on species and can live up to 15 years in the wild. New World porcupines make up the Erethizontidae family, which comprises four genera and 12 species. There are 11 species, in three genera, of Old World porcupines in the Hystricidae family. This is the classification of the North American porcupine, according to Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS): Kingdom: Animalia Subkingdom: Bilateria Infrakingdom: Deuterostomia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata Infraphylum: Gnathostomata Superclass: Tetrapoda Class: Mammalia Subclass: Theria Infraclass: Eutheria Order: Rodentia Suborder: Hystricomorpha Infraorder: Hystricognathi Family: Erethizontidae Subfamily: Erethizontinae Genus: Erethizon Species: Erethizon dorsatus, with seven subspecies. Porcupines are listed as least concern or as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), depending on the species. Species listed as vulnerable include the Phillipine porcupine and the bristle-spined porcupine. There are currently no species listed as endangered, though some species don't have enough data to come to decision on its status.
  12. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - GOLDEN RETRIEVERS Did you know... that the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. The breed’s friendly, tolerant attitude makes them fabulous family pets, and their intelligence makes them highly capable working dogs. Golden Retrievers excel at retrieving game for hunters, tracking, sniffing out contraband for law enforcement, and as therapy and assistance dogs. They’re also natural athletes, and do well in dog sports such as agility and competitive obedience. These dogs are fairly easy to train and get along in just about any home or family. They’re great with kids and very protective of their humans. If you want a loyal, loving, and intelligent companion, consider adopting a Golden Retriever into your pack. Despite their titled heritage, Golden Retrievers didn't win breed recognition until the 1920s. Golden Retrievers were developed starting in 1850 by the Scotsman Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks, the Lord of Tweedmouth. Hunting birds was popular at the time, both as sport and as a practical way of obtaining food. Marjoribanks sought a medium-sized bird dog to support the hunt. The breed was developed by crossing a Retriever with a Water Spaniel, then crossing their offspring with Bloodhounds, Irish Setters, the St. John's Water Dog, and other Retrievers. Golden Retrievers were first shown in 1908, at the U.K.'s Crystal Palace. They were entered as "flat coats (golden)" rather than the name we know them by today. It took until 1925 for the breed to win official American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition. Today, Golden Retrievers are still used for hunting and field trials, and they also perform obedience and guide dog work. There are three types of Golden Retrievers. While you might think all Golden Retrievers look very similar, the breed actually has three different colors -- golden, light golden, and dark golden -- as well as three different types -- English, Canadian, and American. There are subtle differences between the types of Goldens, but they all fall under the same breed. How do you know what type of Golden Retriever you've got? Check their build and coloring. Canadian and American Golden Retrievers tend to have the same build; however, Canadians have a thinner coat than the Americans. English Golden Retrievers have a stockier build than the other types, and also tend to have a light golden to white color. To get an idea of what color coat your Golden Retriever puppy will have when it matures, take a look at its ears. The tip of the ears usually show what color the pup will be after they lose their puppy coat. No matter which type of Golden you have, they'll have an even, enjoyable temperament. Goldens are renowned for their calm, playful, and friendly disposition. Two Presidents enjoyed Golden Retrievers as pets while in the White House. Both President Ford and President Reagan enjoyed Golden Retrievers while in office. President Reagan's Golden Retriever, Victory, was one of six dogs the president owned. President Reagan also enjoyed a stable full of horses at his ranch. President Ford had a Siamese cat and a mixed-breed dog in addition to Liberty the Golden Retriever and Liberty's puppy, Misty. Goldens are also popular as celebrity pets. Celebs who own Golden Retrievers include Miranda Lambert, Jimmy Fallon, Emma Stone, Adam Levine, and Oprah. Golden Retrievers are so popular in movies due to their obedient nature. Golden Retrievers are often featured in movies and television shows, including Air Bud and Homeward Bound. While the breed is certainly cute, it's not their beauty that gets Goldens so many television spots. It's their mellow nature, combined with their trainability. Golden Retrievers are easy to train, and they perform reliably and consistently. That's what makes them such popular guide dogs, and it's also what led the breed to take first in AKC obedience trials when they were introduced in 1977. Golden Retrievers also make great working dogs. It's not all fame and fortune for these pets. Many Golden Retrievers work as search and rescue dogs. Their tracking abilities and strong sense of smell help them find missing people. Perhaps the most well-known use of Golden Retrievers as rescue dogs was during 9/11, when a two-year-old trained rescue dog named Bretagne helped search for survivors. Bretagne went on to aid in the search and rescue efforts during Hurricanes Rita and Katrina as well. Golden Retrievers are record holders. A couple of Golden Retrievers have made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. An Australian Golden holds the world record for the loudest bark, measured at 113.1 decibels -- 3 decibels louder than a buzzing chainsaw. Another Golden Retriever holds the record for the most tennis balls held in the mouth, at five tennis balls. Golden Retrievers are an impressive bunch, as any Golden lover knows. It's no wonder they are the third most popular dog breed in the U.S. While you can't predict when your pet is going to get sick or injured, you can protect yourself from expensive veterinary bills. Embrace Pet Insurance gives you the freedom to do what’s best for your pet without stressing over the cost. Easily personalize your coverage to fit your budget and your pet’s needs, then visit any vet for nose-to-tail coverage.
  13. 1 point
    https://freebies.indiegala.com/deponia/ Deponia is currently free on IndieGala. https://freebies.indiegala.com/camp-sunshine/ Camp Sunshine is currenlty free on IndieGala. https://freebies.indiegala.com/another-lost-phone-lauras-story/ Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story is currently free on IndieGala.
  14. 1 point
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/393380/Squad/ Squad is free to play on Steam for 3 days.
  15. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - DIABETES Did you know... that the earliest known written record that likely referred to diabetes was in 1,500 B.C in the Egyptian Ebers papyrus? It referred to the symptoms of frequent urination. Diabetes symptoms such as thirst, weight loss, and excess urination were recognized for more than 1,200 years before the disease was named. The Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappodocia (81-133 A.D) was credited with coining the term "diabetes" (meaning "flowing through" in Greek). He described a disease with symptoms of constant thirst, excessive urination, and weight loss. Dr. Thomas Willis (1621-1675) called diabetes the "pissing evil" and described the urine of people with type 2 diabetes as "wonderfully sweet, as if it was imbued with honey or sugar." He was also the first to describe pain and stinging from nerve damage due to diabetes. In ancient times, doctors would test for diabetes by tasting urine to see if it was sweet. People who tasted urine to check for diabetes were called "water tasters." Other diagnostic measures included checking to see if urine attracted ants or flies. In the late 1850's, a French physician named Priorry advised his patients with diabetes to eat large quantities of sugar. Obviously, that method of treatment did not last, as sugar increases blood sugars. The role of the pancreas in diabetes was discovered by Josef von Mering and Oskar Minkowski in Austria in 1889, opening the door to research about the hormonal causes of the disease. In 1969-1970, the first portable blood glucose meter was created by Ames Diagnostics. It was called the Ames Reflectance Meter (ARM). Ames later became a part of Bayer. The device looked a lot like the tricorder devices used in the original Star Trek series. They cost about $650 and were only for doctors to use in their practices or hospitals. Portable blood glucose meters for home use by patients were not sold in the U.S. until the 1980's. Dr. Richard Bernstein, author of the popular book Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution, was the first person to use a portable meter to check his blood sugar levels at home. He was an engineer at the time and in bad health due to type 1 diabetes. He obtained an ARM meter meant only for physicians. Since he wasn't a physician at the time, he talked his wife (who was a psychiatrist) into obtaining the device for him. His diabetes condition drastically improved. He then campaigned for portable home blood glucose meters for patient use at home. He was unable to get medical journals to publish his studies, so at 43 years old he went to medical school and became an endocrinologist. Dr. Elliott P. Joslin, founder of the Joslin Diabetes Center, was the first doctor to specialize in diabetes and to encourage self-management. He became interested after his aunt was diagnosed and was told there was no cure and little hope. She died of diabetes complications not long after. His mother was diagnosed the year he started his practice in 1898 (a few years after the death of his aunt). He helped her manage her diabetes and she lived 10 more years which was quite a feat for the times. Dr. Elliot P. Joslin said diabetes is "the best of the chronic diseases" on account of it being "clean, seldom unsightly, not contagious, often painless and susceptible to treatment." In 1916, Dr. Frederick M. Allen developed a hospital treatment program that restricted the diet of diabetes patients to whiskey mixed with black coffee (clear soup for non-drinkers). Patients were given this mixture every two hours until sugar disappeared from the urine (usually within 5 days). They were then given a very strict low-carbohydrate diet. This program had the best treatment outcome for its time. Allen's work drew the attention of Dr. Elliot P. Joslin who used it as a basis for calorie-restricted diet study and treatment. Dr. Priscilla White pioneered treatment for diabetes in pregnancy. She joined the practice of Dr. Elliott P. Joslin in 1924 when the fetal success rate was 54%. By the time of her retirement in 1974, the fetal success rate was 90%. In 1921, Canadian scientists Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin and, with the aid of biochemist James Collip, were able to purify it for use in treating diabetes. Before 1921, starvation or semi-starvation was the treatment of choice. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes were officially differentiated in 1936. However, the difference had been noted in the 1700's when a physician noted some people suffered from a more chronic condition than others who died in less than five weeks after onset of symptoms. Back in the day, there were no blood glucose meters; blood sugar tests were performed exclusively with urine. In 1941, Ames Diagnostics used Clinitest effervescent urine sugar testing tablets to test urine. This meant mixing urine and water in a test tube and adding a little blue pill that caused a chemical reaction that could cause a severe physical burn injury due to extreme heat. The color of the liquid would indicate whether there was glucose in the urine. In 1942, the first oral type 2 diabetes medication was identified, a sulfonylurea (a medication that stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin). In 1963 the first prototype of a an insulin 'pump' that delivered glucagon as well as insulin was similar to a backpack and was developed by Dr Arnold Kadish. Today, there are more than 7 classes of oral medicines to help manage and treat type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes can also use non-insulin injectables, GLP-1 agonists for the treatment and management of Type 2 diabetes. In 2016, the Federal Drug Administration approved the first closed loop insulin delivery system called Minimed 670G system. In 2017, the first glucose meter without a finger stick hit the U.S. market. The Freestyle Libre System uses the latest technology to provide real time glucose readings every minute using a pre-calibrated sensor (you do not have to calibrate it with a finger stick, this is done in the factory). In 2018, the FDA approved the use of a new GLP-1 agonist, Novo Nordisk's Ozempic (semaglutide), as an adjunct to diet and exercise for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults. Semaglutide is the seventh GLP-1 agonist to be approved in the United States and the fourth once-weekly injectable to receive approval. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the largest numbers of people with diabetes were estimated for the South East Asia and Western Pacific Regions, accounting for approximately half the diabetes in the world. According to the WHO, around 422 million people are living with diabetes worldwide, nearly doubling the prevalence from 4.7 percent in 1980 to 8.4 percent in 2014. In the United States alone, an estimated 29.1 million adults and children are affected.
  16. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - RAINFORESTS Did you know... that rainforest is described as tall, hot and dense forest near the equator and is believed to be the oldest living ecosystems on Earth which gets maximum amount of rainfall? If you don’t know too much about tropical rainforests, then you will probably be surprised to find that there are a few little known facts out there about them. This type of habitat is very different, in comparison to many of the other habitats that you are used to being around. Rainforests only cover around 2 percent the total surface area of the Earth, but really about 50 percent of the plants and animals on the earth live in the rainforest. They are the forests that receive high amount of rainfall. You can find rainforests in many countries, not just in South America. They can be found in Alaska and Canada, as well as Asia, Africa and Latin America. Rainforests are found on all of the different continents, except for Antarctica because it is far too cold there for the environment to be conducive. There are two different types of rainforests, and they include both temperate and tropical. The tropical rainforests are the ones that are most commonly found around the world. Rainforests help to regulate the temperatures around the world and the weather patterns as well. A fifth of our fresh water is found in tropical rainforests, the Amazon Basin to be exact. Rainforests help to maintain our supply of drinking water and fresh water, so they are critical in the sustainability of the earth. About 1/4 of natural medicines have been discovered in rainforests. Within four square miles of tropical rainforest, you will find 1500 flowering plant species, 750 types of trees, and many of these plants can be helpful in combating cancer. 70% or more of the plants that are used to treat cancer are found only in the tropical rainforests on the planet. Over 2000 types of plants that you find in the rainforest can be used to help aide in cancer treatment because they have anti cancer properties. The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world. Less than one percent of the species of plants in the tropical rainforests have actually been analyzed to determine their value in the world of medicine. Rainforests are threatened each and every day, especially by practices such as agriculture, ranching, logging and mining. There were around 6 million square miles of rainforest in the beginning, but now because of deforestation, there are really only less than half of that still found in the world. If the rainforests continue to decline in the way that they have been, then about 5-10 percent of their species will go extinct every ten years. 90% of the world's forests are in the underdeveloped or developed countries around the world. Every second there is part of the rainforest that is cut down. In fact, you probably lose over 80,000 football fields worth of rainforest each and every day. There are a lot of different types of animals that can be found in the rainforest, and most of them cannot live anywhere else because they depend on the environment of the rainforest for their most basic needs. About 90% of 1.2 billion people living in poverty worldwide depend on rainforests for their daily needs. A lot of the oxygen supply that we have throughout the world is supplied by the tropical rainforests, even though they are miles and miles away. This may come as a shock to some people. The average temperature of the tropical rainforest remains between 70 and 85° F. Timber, coffee, cocoa and many medicinal products are few of the products produced by rainforests, including those used in the treatment of cancer. Rainforests are constantly being destroyed by multinational logging companies, land owners and state government to make way for new colonies, industrial units. Trees in tropical rainforests are so dense that it takes approximately 10 minutes for the rainfall to reach the ground from canopy. About 80% of the flowers found in Australian rainforests are not found anywhere in world. More than 56,000 square miles of natural forest are lost each year. Insects make up the majority of living creatures in the tropical rainforest. Due to large scale deforestation worldwide, only 2.6 million square miles remain. A slice of rainforest, approximately equivalent to size of rainforest is destroyed each second which is equivalent to 86,400 football fields of rainforest each day which is equal to 31 million football fields of rainforest each year. Variety of animals including snakes, frogs, birds, insects, cougars, chameleons, turtles, jaguars and many more are found in tropical rainforests. At the current rate of depletion, it is estimated that 5–10 percent of tropical rainforest species will be lost per decade. Most of the tropical rainforests, approximately 57 percent, are located in developing countries. About 70% of the plants identified by the U.S. National Cancer Institute which can be used in the treatment of cancer are found only in rainforests.
  17. 1 point
    https://www.epicgames.com/battlebreakers/en-US/home Battle Breakers is free-to-play on Epic Game Store for PC, Android and iOS devices. https://freebies.indiegala.com/false-shelter/ False Shelter is currently free on IndieGala. https://freebies.indiegala.com/fluffy-creatures-vs-the-world/ Fluffy Creatures vs. The World is currently free on IndieGala. https://freebies.indiegala.com/call-of-fries/ Call of Fries is currently free on IndieGala.
  18. 1 point
    Finished episode 37 of DBZ Faulconer Revival! Screenshots: https://imgur.com/a/e02bnJw
  19. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - A BRIEF HISTORY OF TRAGEDY Did you know... that Tragedy begins in ancient Greece, of course, and the first great tragedies were staged as part of a huge festival known as the City Dionysia? Thousands of Greek citizens – Greek men, that is, for no women were allowed – would gather in the vast amphitheatre to watch a trilogy of tragic plays, such as Aeschylus’ Oresteia. Going to the theatre in ancient Greece was, socially speaking, closer to attending a football match than a modern-day theatre. Because audiences were so vast, actors wore masks which symbolised their particular character, so even those sitting towards the back of the amphitheatre could tell who was who. In Latin, the word for such a mask was persona, which is to this day why we talk about adopting a persona whenever we become someone else – we are, metaphorically if not literally, putting on a mask. This is also the reason why the list of characters in a play is known as the ‘Dramatis Personae’. The Romans were the first civilisation we know of to allow women to act in plays. Although women would not be allowed on the English stage until after the Restoration in 1660, the Romans got there first. In Roman plays, the colour of characters’ robes would often signify their role, so a yellow robe signified that a character was a woman, a purple robe that he was a young man, a white robe an old man, and so on. However, the Romans are more celebrated for their comedies – witness the very different styles of Terence and Plautus – than for their tragedies. The City Dionysia in Greece possibly grew out of earlier fertility festivals where plays would be performed, and a goat would be ritually sacrificed to the god of wine, fertility, and crops, Dionysus – the idea was that the sacrificial goat would rid the city-state of its sins, much like the later Judeo-Christian concept of the scapegoat. Tragedy, then, was designed to have a sort of purging effect upon the community – and this is even encoded within the word tragedy itself, which probably comes from the Greek for ‘goat song’. However, tragedy is, perhaps surprisingly, not the earliest of all literary genres. Nor is comedy: instead, a third genre of drama, known as the satyr play, is thought by some critics (such as Oscar Brockett in his History of Theatre) to have been the first of all literary genres, from which comedy and tragedy both eventually developed. Satyr plays were bawdy satires or burlesques which featured actors sporting large strap-on penises – the phallus being a popular symbol of fertility and virility, linked with the god Dionysus. Only one satyr play survives in its entirety: written by the great tragedian Euripides, Cyclops centres on the incident from the story of Odysseus when the Greek hero found himself a prisoner in the cave of Polyphemus, the one-eyed monster (we won’t make a phallus joke here). One of the most celebrated tragedies of ancient Greece was Oedipus Rex, Sophocles’ play about the Theban king who unwittingly had killed his father and married his mother. This story gave Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, the idea for his ‘Oedipus complex’, where every male child harbours an unconscious desire to do what Oedipus did. The child has to repress this, but is often only partly successful (Hamlet, for instance, doesn’t fully manage it, according to Freud’s reading of Shakespeare’s play). In terms of genre, tragedy requires a tragic hero (and usually it is a man): one who is usually tempted to perform a deed (frequently, though not always, a murder), after which the hero’s fortunes eventually suffer a decline, ending with his death (or her death, as in the case of Antigone – though whether Antigone is the tragic ‘hero’ of Sophocles’ play remains a moot point). When viewed this way, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is not really the tragedy of Julius Caesar at all: he is merely the character who is killed by the real tragic hero of the play, Brutus. It would be like calling the story of Macbeth Duncan, after the victim. Brutus is the one who is tempted to perform a murder (of Caesar himself), after which event his fortunes suffer a catastrophe (or ‘downturn’), eventually ending in his death near the end of the play. (We’ve got more interesting Shakespeare facts here.) More recently, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen created the definitive tragic heroine of modern theatre, Hedda Gabler, in his 1890 play of that name. Hedda has been called ‘the female Hamlet’, because it is the ‘Holy Grail’ role which actresses want to take on. Recently, star of the West End (and many television dramas and comedies) Sheridan Smith offered her interpretation of Hedda. Hedda is the ‘female Hamlet’ in other ways, too: like Hamlet, she is uncomfortable with femininity, both in herself and others (she dislikes the feminine qualities of her husband, such as his fondness for slippers and his clucking aunts), and, like Hamlet, she is ‘haunted’ by the ‘ghost’ of her father (whose presence looms large in the play, and whose portrait hangs in the living room throughout). And while we’re on the subject of women and Hamlet, it’s worth noting that the first ever Hamlet recorded on film was a woman, Sarah Bernhardt, in 1900. The first radio Hamlet was probably a woman, too – Eve Donne, in 1923. Since the seventeenth century a whole host of actresses have been attracted to the role of the Danish Prince. Tony Howard, author of the excellent Women as Hamlet and a professor at the University of Warwick, has even stated that the best Hamlet he has ever seen was played by a woman. You can see him talking about women playing Hamlet here. In 1949, US playwright Arthur Miller wrote ‘Tragedy and the Common Man’, an essay in which he justified the concept of having an ordinary person as the central character of a tragic play. This was something of a revolution, since many tragic heroes prior to this had been exceptional people, princes or kings, and Miller’s decision to take an ordinary salesman as his central figure was viewed by some as inappropriate for the subject of tragedy. He wrote his essay in response to hostile reviews which his play Death of a Salesman had received. Horace Walpole, inventor of the Gothic novel, once opined that ‘The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.’ More recently, Mel Brooks said: ‘Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.’
  20. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - PUMPKINS Did you know... that in the United States, pumpkins go hand in hand with the fall holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving. An orange fruit harvested in October, this nutritious and versatile plant features flowers, seeds and flesh that are edible and rich in vitamins. Pumpkin is used to make soups, desserts and breads, and many Americans include pumpkin pie in their Thanksgiving meals. Carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns is a popular Halloween tradition that originated hundreds of years ago in Ireland. Back then, however, jack-o’-lanterns were made out of turnips or potatoes; it wasn’t until Irish immigrants arrived in America and discovered the pumpkin that a new Halloween ritual was born. Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. These plants are native to Central America and Mexico, but now grow on six continents. The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was in 2005 and weighed 2,020 pounds. Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years. They are indigenous to the western hemisphere. In 1584, after French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence region of North America, he reported finding “gros melons.” The name was translated into English as “pompions,” which has since evolved into the modern “pumpkin.” Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber. They are good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron. The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,810 lb 8 oz and was presented by Chris Stevens at the Stillwater Harvest Fest in Stillwater, Minnesota, in October 2010. Pumpkin seeds should be planted between the last week of May and the middle of June. They take between 90 and 120 days to grow and are picked in October when they are bright orange in color. Their seeds can be saved to grow new pumpkins the next year.
  21. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - MONTH OF OCTOBER (Sunday's Fact) Did you know... that the name of the month of October comes from the Latin “octō”, meaning “eight”, because in the Roman calendar October was the eighth month of the year? With the adding of January and February at the beginning of the calendar after the Julian calendar reform, October became the tenth month of the year, as we know it today. The Anglo-Saxons called October “Wintirfyllith”, meaning “fullness of winter” because it had the first full moon of the winter season. Another fun fact about October is that, according to folklore, if the deer have a gray coat in this month you should expect a hard winter. The holiday of Halloween, celebrated in October, comes from “All Hallows’ Eve” or the night before “All Hallows” day (“All Saints” day) as in old English “hallow” means “to sanctify”. The zodiac signs for October are Libra (September 23 – October 22) and Scorpio (October 23 – November 21). Famous people born in October include Angela Lansbury, Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Julie Andrews, Hugh Jackman, Katy Perry, Alfred Nobel, Anne Rice, Arthur Miller, Auguste Lumière, Friedrich Nietzsche, Christopher Columbus, Johannes Vermeer, John Keets. The birthstones for October are the tourmaline and the opal. Tourmalines display a wide spectrum of colors, such as yellow, pink, blue, red, green, black or brown and they are believed to help you stay calm under pressure, bring peace and tranquility and defeat emotions like anger and jealousy. Opals exhibit different colors (green, white, yellow, blue, pink etc.) depending on the conditions under which they were created. Opal gemstones are believed to cure eye infections, strengthen memory, calm nerves and enhance creativity. The traditional flower of the month of October is the calendula, symbolizing comfort, healing, protection and grace. Special holidays in October include Halloween (October 31st), Columbus day (the second Monday of October), Yom Kippur, Diwali, International Peace Day (October 2nd).
  22. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - WEIRD HISTORICAL FACTS Did you know... that the first proposal for space travel in English history was made by Oliver Cromwell’s brother-in-law? Theologian and natural philosopher John Wilkins (1614–72), who married Cromwell’s youngest sister Robina, was a polymath of great learning and curiosity, and would be one of the founders of the Royal Society. In two books he explored the possibility of “flying chariots” to carry men to the moon. He believed, as did many others, that the moon and planets were inhabited, and that we should meet these people and trade with them. People were anchored to the earth by a type of magnetism, and if it were possible to reach an altitude of just 20 miles, travellers would be free to fly, or rather sail, though space. Breathing wouldn’t be a problem as the astronauts would soon grow accustomed to the purer air breathed by angels. Wilkins appears to have experimented in building flying machines with Robert Hooke, in the gardens of Wadham College, Oxford, in the 1650s. Some years later, however, with growing understanding of the nature of vacuums, he realised that space travel was much more complicated than expected. While his Cromwellian connections reduced him to poverty after the return of the monarchy, Wilkins’s fortunes were gradually restored and he ended his life as Bishop of Chester. There were ‘more than 600’ plots against Fidel Castro The former director of Cuba’s intelligence service claims that there were more than 600 attempts to kill or destabilise Cuban dictator Fidel Castro (1926-2016). These were backed by various opponents of the regime, most notably the United States, often operating at a distance by using gangsters or anti-Castro Cuban exiles. These have included using thallium to make his famous beard fall out, or LSD to make him sound mad during a radio broadcast. Then there was the poisoned diving suit, the exploding cigar, and the femme fatale who was to seduce him – in the latter case Castro claimed he uncovered her intentions, offered her a pistol and told her to kill him, but she didn’t have the nerve. There was also a tide-line of exploding seashells, which went off 40 minutes after Fidel’s visit to the beach, but which did succeed in fusing Havana’s traffic lights. There are also bizarre tales of a plan to beam a holographic image of the Virgin Mary, which was supposed to inspire Catholic Cubans to shun communism, though it doesn’t appear to have been tried. A lot of these plots are impossible to substantiate properly, though there can be no question that many people wanted Castro dead. “If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal,” he said. A pedestrian collected rocks to build a house A historical, topographical and descriptive view of the county palatine of Durham, Eneas Mackenzie & Metcalf Ross, dated 1834: “Simeon Ellerton died here [Crayke, North Yorkshire] January 3, 1799, at the advanced age of 104. He was a noted pedestrian, and was often employed by gentlemen in the neighbourhood on commissions to London and other places, which he always executed on foot with fidelity and diligence. He lived in a neat stone cottage of his own building; and what was remarkable, he had literally carried it upon his head! “It being his practice to bring home from every journey the properest stone he could pick up on the road, until he had accumulated a sufficient quantity to erect his habitation, by which time, although the motive had ceased, this practice had grown so much into a habit, that he imagined he could travel the better for having a weight upon his head and he seldom came home without some loading. If any person inquired his reason, he used facetiously to answer, ‘’Tis to keep on my hat’.” A one-legged man reassured London’s first escalator users The first escalator on the London Underground system went into operation at Earl’s Court in 1911. On its first day of operation, passengers who had never seen such a thing before were naturally apprehensive. To calm their fears, it is said that a one-legged Underground employee, William ‘Bumper’ Harris, rode up and down to demonstrate its safety – although there are suspicions that this story may be a myth. Harris was later clerk of works on the project to install escalators at Charing Cross when the remains of an ancient oak tree were discovered during the excavations. This was used to make furniture for the admiralty, but also an ornamental walking stick for Harris, which was presented to him in 1913. The stick and Harris’s pocket watch are now housed in the London Transport Museum. Boston witnessed a ‘toffee-apple’ tsunami On Wednesday 15 January 1919 in Boston, Massachusetts, a 90-foot wide cast iron tank containing two-and-a-half million gallons of crude molasses (for rum manufacture) exploded, probably because its contents had expanded during a rapid overnight rise in temperature. The tank, belonging to the United States Industrial Alcohol Company, was set 50 feet above street level; its entire contents spilled within a few seconds and with no warning. The resulting thick, sticky “wall of molasses”, which at times was up to 15 feet high, ran through the streets, reaching a speed of 35mph. It demolished buildings, tearing them from their foundations; it carried off vehicles and drowned horses. People who tried to outrun the wave were engulfed and drowned where they fell. In all, 21 people were killed and 150 injured (arriving at hospital, according to eyewitnesses “looking like toffee-apples”). The clean-up took weeks, and for decades afterwards the locals claimed they could distinctly smell molasses in hot weather. Want to read more about Weird Historical Facts? Click here.
  23. 1 point
    Fact of the Day- PSYCHIC Did you know... that the word "psychic" is derived from the Greek word psychikos ("of the mind" or "mental"), and refers in part to the human mind or psyche (ex. "psychic turmoil"). The Greek word also means "soul". In Greek mythology, the maiden Psyche was the deification of the human soul. The word derivation of the Latin psȳchē is from the Greek psȳchḗ, literally "breath", derivative of psȳ́chein, to breathe or to blow (hence, to live). French astronomer and spiritualist Camille Flammarion is credited as having first used the word psychic, while it was later introduced to the English language by Edward William Cox in the 1870s. Early seers and prophets Elaborate systems of divination and fortune-telling date back to ancient times. Perhaps the most widely known system of early civilization fortune-telling was astrology, where practitioners believed the relative positions of celestial bodies could lend insight into people's lives and even predict their future circumstances. Some fortune-tellers were said to be able to make predictions without the use of these elaborate systems (or in conjunction with them), through some sort of direct apprehension or vision of the future. These people were known as seers or prophets, and in later times as clairvoyants (French word meaning "clear sight" or "clear seeing") and psychics. Seers formed a functionary role in early civilization, often serving as advisors, priests, and judges. A number of examples are included in biblical accounts. The book of 1 Samuel (Chapter 9) illustrates one such functionary task when Samuel is asked to find the donkeys of the future king Saul. The role of prophet appeared perennially in ancient cultures. In Egypt, the priests of the sun deity Ra at Memphis acted as seers. In ancient Assyria seers were referred to as nabu, meaning "to call" or "announce". The Delphic Oracle is one of the earliest stories in classical antiquity of prophetic abilities. The Pythia, the priestess presiding over the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, was believed to be able to deliver prophecies inspired by Apollo during rituals beginning in the 8th century BC.[14] It is often said that the Pythia delivered oracles in a frenzied state induced by vapors rising from the ground, and that she spoke gibberish, believed to be the voice of Apollo, which priests reshaped into the enigmatic prophecies preserved in Greek literature. Other scholars believe records from the time indicate that the Pythia spoke intelligibly, and gave prophecies in her own voice. The Pythia was a position served by a succession of women probably selected from amongst a guild of priestesses of the temple. The last recorded response was given in 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I ordered pagan temples to cease operation. Recent geological investigations raise the possibility that ethylene gas caused the Pythia's state of inspiration. One of the most enduring historical references to what some consider to be psychic ability is the prophecies of Michel de Nostredame (1503–1566), often Latinized to Nostradamus, published during the French Renaissance period. Nostradamus was a French apothecary and seer who wrote collections of prophecies that have since become famous worldwide and have rarely been out of print since his death. He is best known for his book Les Propheties, the first edition of which appeared in 1555. Taken together, his written works are known to have contained at least 6,338 quatrains or prophecies, as well as at least eleven annual calendars. Most of the quatrains deal with disasters, such as plagues, earthquakes, wars, floods, invasions, murders, droughts, and battles – all undated. Nostradamus is a controversial figure. His many enthusiasts, as well as the popular press, credit him with predicting many major world events. Interest in his work is still considerable, especially in the media and in popular culture. By contrast, most academic scholars maintain that the associations made between world events and Nostradamus' quatrains are largely the result of misinterpretations or mistranslations (sometimes deliberate) or else are so tenuous as to render them useless as evidence of any genuine predictive power. In addition to the belief that some historical figures were endowed with a predisposition to psychic experiences, some psychic abilities were thought to be available to everyone on occasion. For example, the belief in prophetic dreams was common and persistent in many ancient cultures. To read more on Psychic, click here.
  24. 1 point
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/517630/Just_Cause_4_Reloaded/ Just Cause 4 Reloaded is free to play for 3 days. https://www.elderscrollsonline.com/en-us/freeplay Elder Scrolls Online is free to play on PC and consoles until November 13. https://store.steampowered.com/app/270880/American_Truck_Simulator/ American Truck Simulator is free to play for 3 days. https://store.steampowered.com/app/255710/Cities_Skylines/ Cities Skylines is free to play for 3 days. https://store.steampowered.com/app/578690/Dog_Duty/ Dog Duty is free to play for 3 days. https://store.steampowered.com/app/218620/PAYDAY_2/ Pay Day 2 is free to play for 2 days.
  25. 1 point
    Fact of the Day - INTERNET HYSTORY Did you know... that unlike technologies such as the light bulb or the telephone, the internet has no single “inventor?” Instead, it has evolved over time. The internet got its start in the United States more than 50 years ago as a government weapon in the Cold War. For years, scientists and researchers used it to communicate and share data with one another. Today, we use the internet for almost everything, and for many people it would be impossible to imagine life without it. On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world’s first manmade satellite into orbit. The satellite, known as Sputnik, did not do much: It relayed blips and bleeps from its radio transmitters as it circled the Earth. Still, to many Americans, the beach-ball-sized Sputnik was proof of something alarming: While the brightest scientists and engineers in the United States had been designing bigger cars and better television sets, it seemed, the Soviets had been focusing on less frivolous things—and they were going to win the Cold War because of it. After Sputnik’s launch, many Americans began to think more seriously about science and technology. Schools added courses on subjects like chemistry, physics and calculus. Corporations took government grants and invested them in scientific research and development. And the federal government itself formed new agencies, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), to develop space-age technologies such as rockets, weapons and computers. The Birth of the ARPAnet Scientists and military experts were especially concerned about what might happen in the event of a Soviet attack on the nation’s telephone system. Just one missile, they feared, could destroy the whole network of lines and wires that made efficient long-distance communication possible. In 1962, a scientist from M.I.T. and ARPA named J.C.R. Licklider proposed a solution to this problem: a “galactic network” of computers that could talk to one another. Such a network would enable government leaders to communicate even if the Soviets destroyed the telephone system. In 1965, another M.I.T. scientist developed a way of sending information from one computer to another that he called “packet switching.” Packet switching breaks data down into blocks, or packets, before sending it to its destination. That way, each packet can take its own route from place to place. Without packet switching, the government’s computer network—now known as the ARPAnet—would have been just as vulnerable to enemy attacks as the phone system. “LOGIN” On October 29, 1969, ARPAnet delivered its first message: a “node-to-node” communication from one computer to another. (The first computer was located in a research lab at UCLA and the second was at Stanford; each one was the size of a small house.) The message—“LOGIN”—was short and simple, but it crashed the fledgling ARPA network anyway: The Stanford computer only received the note’s first two letters. The Network Grows By the end of 1969, just four computers were connected to the ARPAnet, but the network grew steadily during the 1970s. In 1971, it added the University of Hawaii’s ALOHAnet, and two years later it added networks at London’s University College and the Royal Radar Establishment in Norway. As packet-switched computer networks multiplied, however, it became more difficult for them to integrate into a single worldwide “internet.” By the end of the 1970s, a computer scientist named Vinton Cerf had begun to solve this problem by developing a way for all of the computers on all of the world’s mini-networks to communicate with one another. He called his invention “Transmission Control Protocol,” or TCP. (Later, he added an additional protocol, known as “Internet Protocol.” The acronym we use to refer to these today is TCP/IP.) One writer describes Cerf’s protocol as “the ‘handshake’ that introduces distant and different computers to each other in a virtual space.” The World Wide Web Cerf’s protocol transformed the internet into a worldwide network. Throughout the 1980s, researchers and scientists used it to send files and data from one computer to another. However, in 1991 the internet changed again. That year, a computer programmer in Switzerland named Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web: an internet that was not simply a way to send files from one place to another but was itself a “web” of information that anyone on the Internet could retrieve. Berners-Lee created the Internet that we know today. Since then, the internet has changed in many ways. In 1992, a group of students and researchers at the University of Illinois developed a sophisticated browser that they called Mosaic. (It later became Netscape.) Mosaic offered a user-friendly way to search the Web: It allowed users to see words and pictures on the same page for the first time and to navigate using scrollbars and clickable links. That same year, Congress decided that the Web could be used for commercial purposes. As a result, companies of all kinds hurried to set up websites of their own, and e-commerce entrepreneurs began to use the internet to sell goods directly to customers. More recently, social networking sites like Facebook have become a popular way for people of all ages to stay connected.
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