Welcome to the North, where we will outlive you because… Winter.

Winter in The North, in case you come from a place where all the seasons aren’t properly represented, is about five months of cold and dark. Temperatures below freezing are not uncommon. Snow covering all surfaces for weeks at a time is likely.
Because winter mostly sucks and the most common coping mechanism is to hide from it. As soon as the first weather report of the winter season comes in, everyone rushes to the supermarket to buy canned and other non-perishable goods. Stocking up on other supplies makes sense too. It’s going to be cold and crappy out for a while after the first storm so no one wants to have to leave the house for toilet paper or dog food. Continue reading “Welcome to the North, where we will outlive you because… Winter.”

Tick tock goes the Armageddon clock: the Doomsday Clock moves forward

ICYMI: Yesterday, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock ahead by thirty seconds, and now it’s two minutes to midnight. Granted, it was 2.5 minutes to midnight before they moved the clock, so while it wasn’t a huge jump forward, it also indicates that globally, there are all sorts of situations that continue to deteriorate. (The decision to move the clock to 2.5 minutes to midnight, which happened in 2017, was in itself an unprecedented move since the clock typically only moves in full minute increments. Basically, things…aren’t great, and they keep getting worse.) (This is not the kind of time traveling I wanted to do.)
This is only the second time that the clock has gotten this close to midnight — the first time was in 1953, after the U.S. and the (then) U.S.S.R both conducted nuclear bomb testing. Comforting, right?
This time, the possibility of nuclear war is again a huge factor in the clock’s jump forward. While there hasn’t been bomb testing lately — at least, not of the kind that are dropped from planes, there has been missile testing. And missiles are basically just self-flying bombs, so there’s that. And aside from the actual weapons themselves, there’s also the fact that “hyperbolic rhetoric and provocative actions…have increased the possibility of nuclear war by accident or miscalculation.”
People have not been playing well in the sandbox lately. Unfortunately, a lot of those people have nuclear weapons. So…yeah.
But the nuclear threat isn’t the only reason the clock is moving forward. The Bulletin also includes the long-term effects of climate change — while increasing temperatures and the accompanying wacky weather and weather-related disasters don’t seem to affect us now, they will in the future. (Though there have been more disasters lately.)
Rapid technological change and emerging technologies is another concern. No, the Bulletin isn’t threatened by technology itself, but in how that technology is used. (So, you know, trying to influence election outcomes and that sort of thing is super not cool.)
And then, of course, there’s the “breakdown in the international order” — there’s concern about the US stepping back from its role as a global leader…and there’s concern about all the finger-pointing and name-calling that’s been going on lately. (See: people in the sandbox.)
The TL;DR version of this is: the Doomsday Clock has jumped forward to 11:58 pm, the closest it’s been to midnight since 1953. We’re inching closer to the apocalypse, and contributing factors are: the global nuclear threat; the continued effects of climate change; technology and the not-cool-use of said technology; and the current WTF nature of international diplomacy.
 

References:

“2018 Doomsday Clock Statement.” The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. January 25, 2018. Accessed January 26, 2018. https://thebulletin.org/2018-doomsday-clock-statement.
 

See also:

Doomsday Clock Statement Press Release: https://thebulletin.org/press-release/it-now-2-minutes-midnight11464
Behind the Design of the Doomsday Clock (The Atlantic): https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/11/doomsday-clock-michael-bierut-design/412936/
What is the Doomsday Clock and why does it matter? (Wired UK): http://www.wired.co.uk/article/what-is-the-doomsday-clock

Marvel's The Punisher – "3 AM" [Recap – S1E1]

Frank Castle, known throughout New York City as “the Punisher” after exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his family, uncovers a larger conspiracy beyond what was done to him and his family.

In case you didn’t know about the Frank ‘The Punisher’ Castle, season one – episode one opens with Frank finishing up his murder spree of the Mexicans (long-range rifle) and the Kitchen Irish (bludgeoning).
After that, it’s six months later and Frank is wearing a beard and beating a wall to death with a sledgehammer. His coworkers think the savant with the sledgehammer is mentally handicapped or something… unfortunately, none of them guessed he might be a well-conditioned psychotic.
New on the job is Donny a young and idealistic construction worker who just wants to be loved. The rest of the crew is mainly made up of school-yard bullies who really hate Frank’s (now going by Pete Castiglione and Fran is supposed to be dead) work ethic because they really love overtime.
Donny tries to buddy up to Pete with stories about his dead parents, including a father who served in the Marines, and an ailing Grandmother who makes great sandwiches. Pete summarily shuts down Donny’s attempt to befriend him.
Emotionally needy, Donny turns to the bullies and follows them around like a lost lamb. After tricking him into buying almost $350 worth of drinks at a local bar they, for some strange reason, invite Donny to pull a heist with them. For even less clear reasons, Donny agrees to join them in robbing an underground card game run by gangsters. As expected, he fucks it up beautifully: BY DROPPING HIS WALLET—OPEN TO HIS DRIVER’S LICENSE.
Meanwhile, Castle can’t sleep because he’s haunted by recurring nightmares of that time his family was murdered in his face. He, like anyone, decides that if he can’t sleep he should go to work at 3 AM and whack at that wall he hates with that hammer he loves.
Super pissed, as expected, the bullies decide Donny needs to die… At the construction site where they all work. Strongly disagreeing with this turn of events, Donny runs for his life and then puts up the saddest of sad fights for his life. Donny gets tossed off the roof into pouring cement.
Frank feels now he should intervene and suggests the bullies turn off the cement machine. They decline.
He bludgeons everyone to death with his hammer, asks Donny about the club they robbed, tosses Donny a rope so he can save his own dumb ass. At the end of the rope is the bag of money with a note written in blood suggesting Donny, “LEAVE TOWN.”
Because no one likes loose ends, Frank goes to the club where the gangsters are planning to follow-up with their assailants, firstly the self-identified Donny Chavez. He kills them all and then twists the main guy’s arm so he shoots himself with his own gun. Ta-da: Murder-suicide!
Jon Bernthal as Pete Castiglione / Frank Castle / Punisher
Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page (from Daredevil)
Ebon Moss-Bachrach as David Lieberman / Micro
Jaime Ray Newman as Sarah Lieberman
Ben Barnes as Billy Russo
Jason R. Moore as Curtis Hoyle (the Black Friend)
Clancy Brown as Ray Schoonover
Amber Rose Revah as Agent Dinah Madani
Michael Nathanson as Jr. Agent Sam Stein
Paul Schulze as William Rawlins
Daniel Webber as Lewis Wilson
Shohreh Aghdashloo as Farah Madani

Back to the Future: The Game – Ep1 "It's About Time"


Back to the Future The Game... If you just spent three movies traveling to the past, present, and future to cultivate the perfect life for yourself and your family, would you risk it all to save a friend? Would you risk not only the existence you know but also your actual existence?

That philosophical brain teaser is how Telltale Games kicks off Back to the Future episode 1, “It’s About Time.”

Six months after the events of Back to the Future Part III, the DeLorean Time Machine mysteriously returns to Hill Valley… Driverless! 

While that sounds super heavy, it’s actually more in line with the tone of the movies. These issues could be deep and disturbing but they’re handled with shrugs, side-eye, and chuckles.
Why am I seven years late for this game? Because I wasn’t really interested until it was free on Xbox as part of Games with Gold. As my grandma use to say, “If it’s free, it’s for me.” Continue reading “Back to the Future: The Game – Ep1 "It's About Time"”

Survival Skills Checklist: First Aid and CPR [Certified CHECK]

A while ago I resolved to learn a number of skills to help me feel more likely to survive and less likely to have nightmares about survival situations. This weekend I followed through with two items on that list: First Aid and CPR.

#8. YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW TO PERFORM CPR  | #30. YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW TO PERFORM BASIC FIRST AID.

I did it! I learned CPR and First Aid. I could save an adult,  child or aAdult and Pediatric First Aid CPR AED Certificaten infant if I needed to. The training was a little pricey but it was really straightforward and easy. it The online portion brokedown the step in such a way that I was forced to learn the information.
 
 
I’d compare the teaching method to an earworm or “The Song that Never Ends.” You have no choice but to learn and retain the information.
Because I am basically an advertiser’s dream audience member, you are safe in my hands. Babies, children, and grown folks can be rescued by me.
I will assess your situation, get some form of consent, ask you a number of questions, direct someone to call 911 and get me a First Aid kit (and an AED if available).
Before this training, I didn’t know what an AED was much less how to use one. It’s an unreasonably expensive portable defibrillator that is hella clutch in case of someone needing shocks. My favorite part is that when it tells you to do CPR it kind of gives you a beat you set your compressions to and tells you how much time has passed. I get tired and confused really easily, especially in stressful situations.

Some CPR and First Aid Highlights

Check. Call. Care.

Check to see if the person is okay and actually needs help.
Call 9-1-1 (by sending someone to call 9-1-1 and return with the First Aid kit and AED.
Care for the person as needed.

Act F.A.S.T. if you think it’s a Stroke

Face: does their face look symmetrical or is it drooping on one side?
Arm: are they experiencing weakness in one arm (ask them to lift both arms in parallel.
Speech: Do they slur a basic statement like, “The sky is blue.”
Time: Call 9-1-1 as soon as you notice ANY of the above signs and tell them when the symptoms first started.

30x2x2

These are CPR Dimensions… Kind of. If you’re alone with someone and need to do CPR, do 30 chest compressions the two rescue breaths for two minutes before putting them in the recovery position and leaving to go get help.
If you’re on the fence or tight on cash, you can always check out the great participant materials from The Red Cross.
For example, this Wilderness and Remote First Aid guide might come in helpful post-apocalypse… or if you’re just over society and bail to go live in the woods.

So, if you come around me, feel free to choke or fall or pass out. I got you. I  know CPR and First Aid and stuff.

Netflix's 'The Punisher'

The new Punisher series picks up a little while after the end of Daredevil season 2.

Frank Castle hunts down the last of the Hell’s Kitchen gang members who thought they escaped his violent cleansing. Satisfied with his work as a well-armed reward for bad behavior being done, Frank redubs himself, Pete Castiglione.
Pete is a very quiet, very focused construction worker. He has to be because every time he lets his mind wander even slightly he’s confronted with the memory of his family being murdered. These flashbacks aren’t annoying in the way that flashbacks typically are. Instead of filling in holes in storytelling or character development, these really build up the character’s development and add dimension to the story. The flashbacks are, in a way, an additional character. They are the Frank the audience never got to meet and the Frank The Punisher never got to be. Continue reading “Netflix's 'The Punisher'”

Being Black in Video Games

Being Black in real life isn’t super easy. Sure you always have company whenever you go shopping, even if you started alone. You’re more likely to have a living will or healthcare proxy (at least you should). Because Black folks are dropping dead like it’s Jim Crow again.
South Park’s new game recently introduced a slider that was labeled “Difficulty” and changed the character’s race. The darker you are the “harder” the difficulty. It’s funny because it’s true.

At least Fractured But Whole lets you be a person of color if you really want to. Or if you just really want to see a person of color as a hero in a video game. Continue reading “Being Black in Video Games”

Free Hellevator Rides to Adorable Boss Battles

It’s no secret that I have an obsession with adorable violence. Therefore, no one will be surprised by my response to Hellevator: Ohmigawd, Yes!

Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of information about Hellevator aside from the overview and download link. However, there is also a handy trailer and a cheeky little write-up.


Dark Souls crushing your soul? Needing a cute hit but craving that spooky-grim vibe? Hellevator has you covered!

Hellevator | Lil Death | Scope it Down Studios
Hellevator | Lil Death | Scope it Down Studios

Hellevator teams you up with the Devil himself in a ‘boss rush’ style game to escape the Circles of Hell. As the only son of the Grim Reaper, you must combine your strength with Lucifer’s and face the denizen of each level in a fast-paced, dark-fantasy boss rush game.
Oh, and an elevator is involved.
Experience the thrill of successive boss battles without the grinding to reach them. Slash, block and dodge your way to freedom, and experience the charming 3D underworld of Hellevator for yourself.

Continue reading “Free Hellevator Rides to Adorable Boss Battles”

GIANT BABY ZOMBIES: Language Game

Learning a language is a hard but important undertaking. I’m constantly starting and then forgetting to finish courses on DuoLingo. Hopefully, Giant Baby Zombies is the answer.
Giant Baby Zombies is a game that forces you to learn a language to beat it and save the world. Appealing to our sense of vanity might be the answer to forcing growth and development.
Maybe if the future of the world depends remembering the difference between camisa and comida people might be able to commit.
Zombies, Run was able to convince me to stay active because of an interesting apocalyptic story (and making me feel important). Maybe Wise Punch Games’ Giant Baby Zombies can get me to exercise my mind. Just the title is getting my imagination going… that’s part of the mind.
While language is important now, it will be will become especially relevant when navigating the post-apocalyptic world.

Giant Baby Zombies will launch around New Year’s Resolution season in 2018.

A batch of contaminated vaccines shipped to major cities around the world has led to an outbreak of Giant Baby Zombies. But not all is lost, their humanity can be restored. Your biggest challenge, as a military programmer, is operating an 1960’s supercomputer in a language you do not know how to speak yet. Launch state-of-the-art audio rockets that contain de-zombifying chemicals, and most importantly an 8-track cassette tape of a local language, recognized by the Giant Baby Zombies. What will you choose to learn? Japanese, Chinese, Irish, Spanish, Filipino, or English?
Name: Giant Baby Zombies
Price: $14.99
Release date: Early 2018
Platform: PC and Apple Mac on Steam
WebsiteGiantBabyZombies.com

Holy High Hell, Heaven is a Place on Steam!

I want to go to there.” There being High Hell because it’s essentially everything I’ve ever wanted in a first-person shooter: self-deprecating humor, violence, great graphics (based on the style, it’s beautiful).
High Hell looks like a cross between GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64 and the Adult Swim show Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell.

Check out the trailer for High Hell by Devolver Digital


Continue reading “Holy High Hell, Heaven is a Place on Steam!”