Only One Third of US Adults Would Take an Immortality Pill – Futurism

A new survey of roughly 900 American adults says that actually no, people dont want to live forever.

When asked whether theyd like to take a pill that would allow them to live forever at their current age, only about 33 percent of survey respondents said yes, according to research published in the Journal of Aging Studies. Another 42 percent said no, while the remaining 25 percent wasnt sure.

The low number offers a surprising departure from the emphasis on dubious longevity research and treatments among tech leaders in Silicon Valley. If this survey is to believed, it seems that the average person may be more accepting of their mortality than those peddling young blood transfusions or other questionable anti-aging treatments.

But part of the issue, PsychNewsDaily notes, is that the survey respondents were broken down about evenly into three age groups: young adults between the ages of 18 and 29, senior citizens with an average age of 72, and an even older cohort with an average age of 88. While the three groups answered almost exactly the same way, they did have different thoughts on which age theyd like to be frozen at, given the choice.

Both older cohorts suggested that if they were to be frozen at a certain age, theyd want it to be decades younger than their current age, a trend that more aligns with similar research that found a more positive response to living longer after clarifying that respondents would be healthy the entire time. In this case, it seems the notion of being stuck in the body of an 88-year-old for all of eternity didnt come across as the most tantalizing scenario.

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Only One Third of US Adults Would Take an Immortality Pill - Futurism

The Great Philosophers: Pythagoras was a mystic who believed in immortality – The Independent

It is well known that Pythagoras supposedly came up with the theorem that allows us to calculate the length of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle from the length of its sides. It is less well-known that he was a mystic who founded a religion that emphasised a belief in immortality and the transmigration of souls (a kind of reincarnation, in which the soul enters an already existing body rather than a newborn).

Pythagorass ideas about the triangle were only a small part of the contribution he made to the history of mathematics. His work on the mathematical foundations of music is probably the most significant. Legend has it that he first came to an understanding of the link between music and maths while observing a blacksmith at work. He noticed that there was a relationship between the size and weight of the blacksmith's hammer and the pitch of the note that was produced as it struck the anvil. It appeared that music was governed by maths.

For Pythagoras and his followers, this was indicative of the ultimate nature of reality: behind the play of appearances, they believed, all things are number. Precisely what this means, however, isn't entirely clear, since history has not been kind in leaving us clues to Pythagorass precise thinking. All that we know of him comes from fragments, apparently written by his disciples.


The Great Philosophers: Pythagoras was a mystic who believed in immortality - The Independent

From Iceland Man In The Age Of Immortality: Viktor Orri rnason Composes A Future With Eternal Life – Reykjavk Grapevine

The Epic of Gilgamesh, written around 2100 BCE and one of the earliest examples of human literature, tells the tale of a thwarted search for immortality. In it, the raucous King Gilgamesh travels to the end of the world in order to solve the only problem he in his kingliness is powerless againstdeath. There, he meets a brewess named Siduri, who urges Gilgamesh to be happy with what he has, telling the desperate man:

When the gods created mankind,Death they dispensed to mankind,Life they kept for themselves.

Thousands of years later, in 23 BC, Horace pens Odes, whose 11th poem in the first book ends with the infamous phrase: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero or Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow. At the same time, Epicureanism has its revival in Rome, whose inhabitants find wisdom and guidance in the Greeks philosophers primal teneta fearless embrace of death and celebration of lifes simple pleasures.

Fast forward almost 2000 years and Oscar Wilde pens The Picture of Dorian Grey. Add another hundred years and physicist Max Tegmark introduces the thought experiment of Quantum Immortality. Flash to 2005, when noted futurist Ray Kurzweil, the Director of Engineering at Google, gives a concrete date for singularity: 2045.

Now, just 24 years before Kurzweils predictions come to pass, neo-classical composer Viktor Orri rnason throws his own hat into the ring with Eilfurhis debut album which continues the thousands of years of exploration of mankinds inevitable future sans death.

The idea really grabbed me that it is possiblethat not too far in the future we will have such technical advances that we may be able to regenerate ourselves and choose to live as long as we want, Viktor explains. My thoughts then became: What does that mean for us as human beings? What is the purpose of life? How can we even enjoy it?

In Viktors view, it was mans own knowledge of their mortality that drove so much of their happiness. Today, people imagine themselves living 60-90 years and this gives you a timeline to engage with life with the knowledge that you will die, he says. If that is gone suddenly, its going to be difficult to stay optimistic and easier to just be bored and depressed.

To showcase this progression, Viktors nine-track album bases itself around three songs, entitled Var, Er and Var-Er.

The whole album is a display of a distorted reality, of time being irrelevant.

Var-Erthe last song on the album and finale of Viktors adventure into the futurebegins with a smooth horn progression peppered with spurts of twinkling trills. Its a bit Rites of Springalbeit more relaxeduntil a droning mens choir appears, pulling the listener into the depths of meditation. Slow and intense on the surface, the song is underscored at all times by a visceral sense of restlessness, of searching, or unease. Apparently living forever doesnt sound particularly upbeat.

The goal was to create a space where you would feel lost, Viktor explains. To create a sense that you could lose yourself in time.

And to do this, Viktor actually did lose himself in time. When composing each track, Viktor used tape-based time manipulation to warp discordant sounds together.

[This] was very important to me in the process of making this music, he continues. These are tools that allow me to mix together things that were originally recorded in different tempos or keys, to slow them down or speed them up to get them to play together. The whole album is a display of a distorted reality, of time being irrelevant.

But the question remains, were these medical advances available, would Viktor embrace them? Will he be uploading his brain in 2045?

I would do it, but Id want to stay optimistic, he laughs. Everyone Ive talked to, though, are frightened by this. So yes, I would definitely do it, but it saddens me to know that many of my friends and family would not want to.

As a whole though, Viktors album urges us to seize the day, regardless of our immortality status or not.

My question was, in the end, what do we need to do to enjoy life? And it became about the simple things in life, Viktor concludes. We need to learn to appreciate the moment. Allow yourself to be a child and look up at the sky and enjoy how wonderful it is. Enjoy every breath you take.

Eilfur by Viktor Orri rnason will be released on June 18th, 2021. Check him out on his website.

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From Iceland Man In The Age Of Immortality: Viktor Orri rnason Composes A Future With Eternal Life - Reykjavk Grapevine

Aloe there: Getting up close with the plant of immortality – Daily Maverick

Image: Val Van Sittert / Unsplash

In Athol Fugards 1978 play, A Lesson From Aloes, the aloe is used allegorically as a tool for trying to establish a sense of place in a country with so much racial conflict.

In isiXhosa, Aloe ferox is named Ikhala. It is beautiful, strong enough to survive harsh, dry conditions and has well-known medicinal properties. In the Eastern Cape, it features as a symbol on car number plates, and it also appears on the medal for the Order of Mendi a national honour for bravery.

The central image is sealed above by a green emerald which is surrounded on three sides by renditions of the bitter aloe, a hardy indigenous South African plant used in traditional medicine. The three bitter aloes represent resilience and survival and also serve as symbolic directional pointers, showing the way when rendering assistance to those in need during natural disasters, says the governments website.

Aloes have featured in San paintings dating from 5,000 to 2,000 years ago, and medicinal use of the plant is recorded in Egypt from as far back as 3000 BC as well as being referenced in the Bible.

Such is the importance of the Aloe genus in the South African landscape and in the world.

The aloe is a member of the Asphodelaceae family and is sometimes referred to as the plant of immortality as it can live and bloom without soil. Their flowering time is predominantly from May to August, and their height varies from a few centimetres to 4m.

Originating from southern and eastern Africa, Madagascar and the Arabian Peninsula, there are more than 550 naturally occurring species in the world.

Planting aloes in your garden

Aloes like a tropical climate with no frost and can withstand high temperatures and limited water. Their preferred domain is rocky outcrops, where you can marvel at the show of them marching across the countryside like Triffids the fictional plant imagined by British sci-fi author John Wyndham in his 1951 novel.

Winter trips through the Eastern Cape and en route to the Lowveld are well rewarded with magnificent shows of flowering aloes. Not only are they loved for their vivid colours, statuesque forms and hardiness, but they are often the main source of food for some birds during winter. Sunbirds flit around the flowers enjoying the sap and it is always worth having at least one aloe in your garden to enjoy the birds they attract.

When planting them domestically, they do not need rich soils although they will benefit from them and they need up to eight hours of sunshine a day.

About its healing effect

The sap from the Aloe vera plant is enormously important for its healing properties.

Aloe vera gel treats mild burns, and Aloe vera in toothpaste treats candida, plaque and gingivitis. It can also help with the eradication of acne.

Extract of Aloe vera juice added to smoothies or mixed with fruit juices helps with hydration, which leads to improved liver function, and it is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins B,C and E. Aloes are the only plant source of Vitamin B-12, which makes it an excellent supplement for vegetarians and vegans.

Added to this, Aloe vera controls the secretion of acid in your stomach, reducing heartburn and combating gastric ulcers. It does not contain sugar and has only a few calories, so the dietary benefits are there.

The Aloe Farm

On the strength of all this information, and longing to see a magnificent show of aloes in flower, I drove out to Andy de Wets Aloe Farm in Hartbeespoort.

De Wet developed a passion for aloes as a young man and hybridised his first aloe in 1973, after which he went on to study botany, and is now recognised as the biggest grower and hybridiser of aloes in the world. He exports his products all around the world.

From the more than 550 natural occurring species, he has hybridised many more, with beautiful shapes and colours and sizes.

There is the splendid Aloe Bafana developed for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, featuring a mass of yellow flowers; the two-tone Aloe Rocket which is dedicated to South Africas very own rocketman, Elon Musk; and the Aloe Peri-Peri and Hedgehog are two of his biggest sellers.

Close to his heart is the saving of aloes in the wild, as people often strip the veld of naturally-occurring aloe plants, such as the Aloe Marlothii. To this end, he has developed the large Aloe Magalies Mix, a hybrid which matches Aloe Marlothii in size. In addition, he is growing smaller hybrids from seed to mitigate against the theft of smaller aloes in the veld.

The names he gives many of his aloes are glorious, such as Aloe Firefly, Aloe Marilyn (after the famous photo of her in the flared skirt), Aloe Crunchie, Aloe Tom Thumb, and Aloe Alligator with its extremely serrated leaves.

And so, the aloe reigns: interplanted with crassulas and cotyledons and Echeveria, they make the most splendid show of colour during the winter months, silent figures that add structure to the garden. And who knows, extrapolating from Fugards play, could the magnificent aloe possibly be a vehicle for peace in a tempestuous society? DM/ML


Aloe there: Getting up close with the plant of immortality - Daily Maverick

‘Will give up immortality for Maggi’: Twitter unbothered as Nestle acknowledges 60% of its food portfolio is unhealthy – Free Press Journal

The worlds largest food company, Nestle, has acknowledged that more than 60 per cent of its mainstream food and drinks products do not meet a "recognised definition of health" and that "some of our categories and products will never be 'healthy no matter how much we renovate", the Financial Times reported.

A presentation circulated among the top executives this year, seen by the Financial Times, said only 37 per cent of Nestle's food and beverages by revenues, excluding products such as pet food and specialised medical nutrition, achieve a rating above 3.5 under Australia's health star rating system.

This system scores food out of five stars and is used in research by international groups such as the Access to Nutrition Foundation.

As per the report, Nestle, the maker of KitKat, Maggi and Nescafe, describes the 3.5 star threshold as a "recognised definition of health".

However, Indians are die-hard fans of Maggi. We can live without a lot of things but never Maggi. The Maggi that promises that it will get ready in 2 minutes always takes more than 5 minutes, but we still trust it with eyes shut. We love it endlessly.

So, when Indians heard this news, hearts broke collectively. However, ardent Maggi fans seem to be ready to risk their health for it.

Here's what Maggie fans are saying on Twitter. Have a look.

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'Will give up immortality for Maggi': Twitter unbothered as Nestle acknowledges 60% of its food portfolio is unhealthy - Free Press Journal

Can Jupiter Use his Powers and Wisdom to Rectify Racial Injustice and Inequality?: Ram Devineni and Yusef Komunyakaa on their Tribeca-Premiering AR…

Jupiter Invincible, the latest augmented reality comic book from Ram Devineni and his NY-based Rattapallax media house, marks a bit of a departure for the doc filmmaker and technologist. Best known in the AR world for his comic book series Priyas Shakti starring Indias first female superhero and rape survivor (and UN Women-designated gender equality champion) Devineni now travels both back to these shores and back in time, all the way to pre-Civil War Maryland. And he brings along an impressive trio of collaborators.

Our superhero of this tale, the titular Jupiter, is the invention of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa. And though Jupiter might be an enslaved teenager hes also immortal and able to join forces with the more mortal superhero Harriet Tubman on her Underground Railroad mission to freedom. Together with illustrator Ashley A. Woods (whos worked on Tomb Raider, Niobe and the Ladycastle series) and editor Eric Battle (whos drawn for both DC Comics and Marvel Comics), Devineni and Komunyakaa have created a futuristic history lesson able to leap from festival exhibitions, to a staged reading, to (with any luck) a classroom near you in a single bound.

Filmmaker was fortunate enough to catch up with half of the creative super team, Devineni and Komunyakaa, just prior to the comic books TFF launch on June 9th.

Filmmaker: Ram, I believe youre the only non-African-American to be involved in this project, so how exactly did it come about? Was the idea for Jupiter Invincible brought to you by one of the other artists?

Devineni: The initial idea for the comic was mine, but it was more of a concept. I wanted to create a story about an African-American enslaved person who had the power of immortality. Even though he could not die or be killed, he did not have foresight. So he would witness the repercussions of his actions, even 100 years in the future. Can Jupiter use his powers and wisdom to change the course of history to rectify racial injustice and inequality? That was the nucleus of the idea, but it was Yusef Komunyakaa who made it into reality by writing a brilliant story with complex characters and scenarios. Yusef can speak more to that.

Komunyakaa: I hope Jupiter Invincible renders a slanted gaze into that brutal institution where rather obscene wealth and privilege rose out of, and has been passed down generations. Jupiter is an albino, and this makes him doubly an outcast. After getting struck by lightning, going to the netherworld where his mother reigns after dying in childbirth, and then returning to the plantation with skin now Black, he seems an evenhanded young man who feels that he was born to talk horses into obedience. However, Jupiter is naturally defiant because he says, My heart is not a slave.

Filmmaker: You two have collaborated with illustrator Ashley A. Woods and editor Eric Battle to create Jupiter Invincible. So how did this process work? Did you approach the project as a unit, or did each of you tackle only your specific area of expertise?

Devineni: Although I am the overall producer and brought all the different talents together, I believe it was a collaborative process and that everyone shared their opinions and inputs into every aspect. My initial idea was very rudimentary but became concrete after conversing with Yusef about the story and characters. We spent several months in 2019 developing it. After our conversations Yusef would write a few more pages until we had enough for the first edition. This was Yusefs first comic book but he is a master poet and storyteller. He wrote it more like a stage play, so I had to convert it into the comic-book format before working with Ashley A. Woods on her stunning designs and artwork. I really believe we had the perfect team to create Jupiter Invincible. There was beautiful synergy between everyone involved in the project.

Filmmaker: Im very curious to hear about the research that went into the project, specifically at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and at the Hampton Plantation in Maryland. In addition, youre bringing to life photos from the Library of Congress. So how do all these elements intersect in the final work?

Devineni: The idea to create the comic book started in the summer of 2019, when I was selected by American Arts Incubator to run a comic book workshop in Durban, South Africa. This was my first trip to South Africa, and I had very limited knowledge of its history. While in Durban I met some of the Indian and Black freedom fighters who were involved in the struggle to end apartheid. They told me their stories. Later I would spend time in Johannesburg researching the movement at the Apartheid Museum.

Looking at the historical photos, there were many similarities between the apartheid complex and the power structures that were created during the Jim Crow era in America. Afterwards I spent several months at the Merriweather Art District in Colombia, Maryland where I visited the Hampton Plantation, and followed the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubmans pathways to freedom. What was apparent about slavery was a vast system to brutalize and exploit African-Americans that continued after the Civil War. The shameless opulence of the plantation mansions contrasted dramatically with the slave quarters. I relentlessly photographed everything, knowing I would use the materials for a future story.

It was only later when I started working with Yusef on the comic book that I decided to integrate the images into Ashleys artwork through augmented reality. It was critical to show the reality of slavery and life on the plantation. I also utilized the digital archive of photos and stories from the US Library of Congress and put them into the AR. Even though our comic book is fictional there is sound historical research, and the characters are based on authentic people.

Filmmaker: Jupiter Invincible comes with the exhibition at Tribeca, followed by another at the Schomburg Center Literary Festival. And then youve got the staged reading at the Stella Adler Studio (of Acting). So why this multi-pronged strategy? Are you hoping to reach as many different audiences as possible?

Devineni: I am proud that our comic book and exhibition is very approachable for young audiences and accessible from different avenues. Through the augmented reality in the book and the exhibition at Tribeca audiences can see the imaginative use of AR to go deeper into the story and history and experience the spectacle of the technology and see Ashleys powerful artwork. While at the Schomburg Center Literary Festival we want audiences to appreciate the beautiful language written by one of Americas greatest poets, Yusef Komunyakaa. I also believe the comic is easily adaptable for theater and cinema, and we hope to showcase this at the Stella Adler Studio. We are also doing virtual events and workshops at Comic Con Africa. We want to make the correlation between apartheid in South Africa and slavery in America.

Filmmaker:Do you have a plan in place to eventually get Jupiter Invincible into schools across the US?

Devineni: We are releasing the comic book for free in multiple formats, and we hope to bring this back to Columbia (Maryland) and introduce it in their libraries and school system. Obviously this is a complicated process with the pandemic and with schools reopening, but we have some remarkable partners and supporters in the community. The comic book is a mixture of pop culture art, literature, history and technology perfect for young people and schools.

When I went to school in New Jersey in the 1980s and 1990s there was very little exposure to stories about African-Americans or slavery. The only time I learned about slavery in school was when we watched the TV miniseries Roots, by Alex Haley. That was it, and the topic was never mentioned again. I believe bold new stories and narratives are needed to create a cultural shift and challenge perceptions about race in America.

Komunyakaa: Personally, I feel that such a comic book goes beyond mere entertainment, and it probably could create a slightly diffident dialogue. We have just begun; this is the first installment of an imagined character in a historical landscape. And everything that happens on the page has meaning. I feel that comedy and satire also enter this psychological space. We have just opened the first door to Jupiters life. Get ready for surprises and twists in the labyrinth.

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Can Jupiter Use his Powers and Wisdom to Rectify Racial Injustice and Inequality?: Ram Devineni and Yusef Komunyakaa on their Tribeca-Premiering AR...

‘The Bitter Comes With The Sweet’: Without Death, There Is No Life – WBUR

In the early days of the pandemic, my days were bookended by stories of death. I woke up each day hours before dawn to work on my book manuscript, happy to have a passion project to soothe my anxious energy. Mybookchronicleshow Vermont patients, caregivers and health care providers navigated medical aid-in-dying, in the aftermath oflegalization. In the morning, I combed through my notes, writing feverishly about dying, and in the evening, I absorbed the news of bodies accumulating around the world more quickly than they could be buried.

I have never been more acutely aware of my own mortality. I offered my husband detailed instructions about how to tend to my unfinished manuscript, should the need arise. We joked, with gallows humor, about how my death would make an ironic capstone to the book; he, of course, agreed to pen the afterword for the posthumous publication.

Studying medical aid-in-dying, and now living through the greatest pandemic in 100 years, has forced me to reckon with mortality. Over the five years that Ive collected stories about death and dying, people have often questioned how I could study such a morbid topic. Isnt it depressing? The answer is, anything but. Humbling and grounding, yes, and at times terribly sad, but never depressing.

An avid reader since childhood, I have always taken great comfort in stories. When the pandemic began, I realized that immersing myself in stories about death had actually helped me. Thinking about my own inevitable death is sad, but it doesnt terrify me anymore. At 40, I hope I have a great many years left, but Im also more or less at peace with my finitude.

Yet last spring, when I picked up Natalie Babbittsnovel Tuck Everlasting to read to my 7-year-old son, I realized it was this bookthat first made me address my mortality, some 30 years ago.

If the concept of mortality was terrifying to me, the idea of immortality was even more so.

Published in 1975,Tuck Everlasting takes place in the 19thcentury, 87 years after the Tuck family unwittingly drinks from a magical spring that renders them immortal. The story is set in motion when a 10-year-old girl, Winnie Foster, accidentally discovers their secret. They bring her to their woodland cottage to persuade her to keep quiet, warning her of the catastrophe that would ensue if news of the spring were to become public.

The novelquickly charmed educators and parents, winning numerous literary awards. While itcaptivates young readers with its lyrical prose, its matter-of-fact philosophizing on life and death set it apart. In a key scene, Angus, the patriarch of the Tuck family, explains to Winnie that dying is an unavoidable part of the wheel of life. The bitter comes with the sweet. It is the difference between having a life and merely being alive. You cant have living without dying.

The Tucks haunted my childhood. To my 10-year-old self, it seemed clear that the only thing scarier than dying wasnotdying. How awful it would be to outlive nearly everyone that you love! How bleak it would feel to be resigned to a life of complete social isolation. If the concept of mortality was terrifying to me, the idea of immortality was even more so.

This is precisely what the author had in mind. Babbittwrote the book to tame the worriesof her daughter Lucy, who was then 4-years-old. Babbitt wanted to help Lucy understand that dying was a natural part of the wheel of life, thatnotdying is much less desirable than it may seem.

Flipping cultural scripts on fears about death: thisis the power of stories.

As a non-fiction author, I write for reasons not so different from Babbitts. I use real peoples stories to examine cultural fears about death in my case, about lack of control over dying. Medical aid-in-dying offers what is, for many, a seductive vision of personal control over dying, and the promise of a peaceful, sanitized death. Yet such control often proves illusory, both becauseaccess to assisted death is much more complicatedthan it may seem, and because death, itself, is wily.

[P]eople have often questioned how I could study such a morbid topic. Isnt it depressing? The answer is, anything but.

I think about a woman in her mid-60s Ill call Candace, who developed metastatic cancer. Once it was clear that she was not going to get better, Candace decided to die on her own terms, with medical assistance. She procured the lethal prescription, which was no easy feat, because many physicians are reluctant to participate in the process. By the time she was ready to die, however, she was no longer able to ingest the medication.

The pandemic has made me even more sure that, like Candace, we are not in control of our destinies. But the Tucks werent in control, either. They waited passively, resigned to let the oppressive unfurling of time wash over them. In this sense, immortalitys promise of control over death is also illusory. It is poignant that the Tucks look forward to the day,every 10 years, when their sons return to the family cottage. During the pandemics eternal spring, when days bled into weeks and then months, I identified with this feeling, marking my days with UPS deliveries, as time moved ever so slowly.

During the pandemic, I have been in the fortunate position of being able to forestall illness and death with the appropriate precautions, such as staying at home. These measures should permit me to avoid the wrong sort of death. (There is universal agreement at this point that dying from COVID-19 is the wrong sort of death.) But I cannot avoid death altogether, nor (I think) would I want to.

Now, 10 months into this crisis, my book is complete. The wheel spins on. The end of the pandemic no longer feels as far off and impossible as it did last spring. And still, I wonder what kind of story I am in. I marvel at that wonder.

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'The Bitter Comes With The Sweet': Without Death, There Is No Life - WBUR

Charles Woodson’s Words Prove Just How Special The Hall Of Fame Is – Wolverine Maven

Charles Woodson is arguably the greatest cornerback to ever play football. Everyone, including Woodson himself, knew that he'd be a first-ballot Hall of Famer once the time arrived, but that doesn't make the moment any less special. Even for someone who comes off as being cooler than a polar bear's toe nail, Woodson couldn't contain his emotions once the hall became a reality.

And by the way, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. In a sport rife with masculinity and machismo, there's something so pure about seeing a superstar overcome with emotions when a dream comes true. Anyone who has ever played football likely started doing so in grade school, so reaching the pinnacle evokes the most genuine reactions.

Woodson is the man, there's no doubt about it. He was Mr. Football in Ohio as a prep star, helped lead Michigan to a national title and became the first ever defensive player to win the Heisman while in Ann Arbor and won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers. Now, he's a Hall of Famer. As he said, it's quite literally a form of "immortality" because the bronze busts should last for thousands and thousands of years. Woodson has long been one of the best Wolverines and cornerbacks of all time and now, he's simply one of the best of all time officially.

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Charles Woodson's Words Prove Just How Special The Hall Of Fame Is - Wolverine Maven

Regular Exercise and Lifting Weights Might Be the Key to Immortality – The Great Courses Daily News

ByMichael Ormsbee, PhD,Florida State UniversityEdited by Kate Findley and proofread byAngelaShoemaker, The Great Courses DailyAging doesnt cause the dramatic drop in muscle mass that we often see; rather, it is chronic disuse of muscles due to inactivity that is primarily responsible. Photo By DenisProduction.com / ShutterstockAging and Lifting Weights

Research has repeatedly shown that lifting weights can help prevent age-associated chronic diseases like osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes. It is also a major factor in allowing you to move around and maintain your independence.

You need at least enough muscle mass to walk unassisted, get out of a chair, and carry groceries. The best part about lifting weights is that there are no age restrictions.

Now, you may need a modification of an exercise or two, but that is where a certified personal trainer can come into play and show you proper form to prevent injury and make any changes you may need to accommodate any physical limitation. Consider Ernestine Shepherd, who began to lift weights at age 56 and started competing as a bodybuilder in her 70s.

As we age, a phenomenon called sarcopenia occurs, which is the natural, progressive loss of muscle mass. Studies have shown that between the ages of 40 and 50 years old, we can lose more than 8% of our muscle mass, and that can accelerate to more than 15% per decade after the age of 75, if measures are not taken to prevent it.

Fortunately, we can do much to slow this process down. Most people think that aging alone causes us to lose muscle. Now, though, research is showing that its not simply aging but rather the lack of physical activity that is responsible for sarcopenia.

One study looked at lifelong exercisers to determine if chronic exercise could prevent the loss of muscle mass and strength in aging adults. The researchers took 20 men and 20 women between the ages of 40 and 81 years old who exercised at least four to five times per week and competed as triathletes.

These older athletes were put through a series of tests to study their health, strength, and body composition using magnetic resonance imaging or MRI technology. MRI gives us a precise view of the fat and muscle in specific regions of your body. This study used it on the quadriceps muscles of the thigh to look at muscle quality.

As you might expect, the younger people in the study did have a lower body mass index, or BMI, and body fat percentage compared to older athletes. However, the lean muscle mass and strength were no different between the younger and the older athletes.

Whats more is that these benefits were similar in both men and women. This highlights the fact that long-term exercise training can aid in preserving muscle mass and may also prevent increases in body fat as we age.

Additionally, this study helps to debunk a common myth by showing that aging alone doesnt cause the dramatic drop in muscle mass that we often see. Rather, its the chronic disuse and inactivity that are primarily to blame.

One of the most interesting people to discuss is a man who is a prime example of how exercise and a healthy diet can improve your muscle mass and quality of life, Professor Ormsbee said. Hes John Nagy.

Nagy is a participant in the Physical Activity Centre of Excellence at McMaster University in Canada. Not only does he exercise vigorously, but he is also 97 years old.

A recent interview described his daily routine like this: his warm-up begins with movements in the shower, followed by floor and ball exercises for his core and his back. Hell then walk to the Universitytwo miles each wayor make up for it on his treadmill, followed by a 90-minute workout at the University.

He also keeps dumbbells, resistance bands, and a Swiss Ball in his apartment next to the treadmill along with a stationary bike. Mr. Nagy embodies the idea of using regular exercise to maintain his quality of life and to stay able-bodied so that he can live to the fullest.

Just like Ernestine Shepherd, Professor Ormsbee said. Maybe we should all take a pageor maybe a few chaptersout of their books.

Michael Ormsbee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences and Interim Director of the Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine in the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University. He received his MS in Exercise Physiology from South Dakota State University and his PhD in Bioenergetics from East Carolina University.

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Regular Exercise and Lifting Weights Might Be the Key to Immortality - The Great Courses Daily News

Cicely, Cloris, and two paths to Hollywood immortality – The Boston Globe

In remembrances of Cicely Tyson and Cloris Leachman, two acting titans who died last week, one couldnt help but notice parallels between their careers.

In the early 1970s when they first achieved national acclaim, both were already in their mid-40s. Leachman won an Academy Award in 1972 for her supporting role in The Last Picture Show. That same year, Tyson starred in Sounder, becoming only the second Black woman nominated for a best-actress Oscar.

Both also enjoyed success on television Leachman on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and, later, her own spinoff series, Phyllis. Tyson soared in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Roots. At 80, Leachman won an Emmy, her eighth, for Malcolm in the Middle. Tyson, also a multiple Emmy winner, made a celebrated return to Broadway in The Trip to Bountiful, winning a Tony when she was 88. And each continued to work into their 90s.

Yet theres a jarring difference. On the Internet Movie Database, Leachman has 287 credits while Tyson has 94, although their career longevity was roughly the same. Of course Leachman, as a white actress, always had more opportunities. Tyson could have worked more, but instead she chose only those roles that exalted the emotional complexity of Black people, especially Black women.

I made up my mind that I could not afford the luxury of just being an actress, and I would use my career as my platform, Tyson told CBS This Morning cohost Gayle King in one of her last interviews. She was promoting her autobiography, Just as I Am, written with Michelle Burford, where she explains the promise she made to herself.

As an artist with the privilege of the spotlight, I felt an enormous responsibility to use that forum as a force for good, as a place from which to display the full spectrum of our humanity, Tyson wrote in the book, which was released two days before her death. My art had to both mirror the times and propel them forward. I was determined to do all I could to alter the narrative about Black people to change the way Black women in particular were perceived, by reflecting our dignity.

Like Lena Horne, who years earlier refused to accept roles she found demeaning, this meant that Tyson often found meaningful work scarce. If Hollywood refused to acknowledge the depth of Black lives, that would be the industrys shame. Tyson would not perpetuate its lies for more money or greater fame.

Still, I wonder what else Tyson might have given us if allowed the breadth of opportunities Leachman enjoyed. (In my casting director fantasies, I long imagined Tyson playing political trailblazer Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress.)

In her career, Leachman could move from the drama of a depressed woman having an affair with a much younger man in The Last Picture Show, to the narcissistic and neurotic Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, to the hilarious Frau Blcher in Young Frankenstein. Her range was inexhaustible.

The same could be said of Tyson, who also carried the burden of correcting this nations disgraceful image of Black people, one very much reinforced by popular media. To be clear, I doubt she saw that weight on her petite shoulders as a burden at all. It was the cost she willingly paid for her time on this earth. Thats a choice many Black people confront throughout their lives whether to prostrate themselves for white acceptance or create a life where they can lift their people as they climb.

From Coretta Scott King to Harriet Tubman to a sharecropper fighting to save her family from the ravages of the Depression and racism, Tyson excelled in playing tenacious, undefeated Black women. She held up a mirror to her community, and what we saw reflected was beauty, substance, and self-respect. For more than six decades, Tyson refused to stand in a spotlight that shone on her alone.

Both Leachman and Tyson are icons. One will be remembered for finding that distinctive spark in every part she played. Tysons greatest role was her sacred belief that what was best for her culture would be best for her career. A love of Blackness was her true compass, and with it she defied ignorance, saw light in desolation, and traced a path from our broken places to glory and grace.

Rene Graham can be reached at renee.graham@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @reneeygraham.

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Cicely, Cloris, and two paths to Hollywood immortality - The Boston Globe

Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki believes users will create the metaverse – VentureBeat

Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki wants to inhabit the metaverse an online place where we work and play and entertain ourselves. He has dreamed about it for a long time, and he has so many followers now that Roblox will likely be one of the most credible candidates for building the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such asSnow CrashandReady Player One.

Roblox has 36 million people who come back daily to play on the platform. That makes the company one of the lead horses to move on to the next generation of technology. And Baszucki is a big fan of getting his own users to do the work.

People do everything from playing traditional games, to social experiences that are more around hanging out and just being together whether its working together in a restaurant or running away from a tornado, Baszucki said. And in the midst of this very difficult time, weve seen a lot of people using Roblox as a way to stay connected, whether its trying to have a birthday party, or how do we graduate from high school.

Baszuckis company is planning to go public soon through a direct listing offering, and Baszucki isnt able to talk about the latest financial details now. But Roblox has built a big war chest, raising $520 million in private capital at a $29.5 billion valuation earlier this month. It can use that money to build the metaverse and populate it with things that the users created.

Since Roblox focuses on user-generated content, Baszucki doesnt think his team will create the metaverse. His users will.

Above: Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki (right) speaks with Dean Takahashi of GamesBeat at Into the Metaverse.

Image Credit: VentureBeat

We think of ourselves as shepherds of this idea. But its an idea thats been around for a long time, he said. Our founding story goes way back to a prior company, Knowledge Revolution, where my Roblox cofounder Eric [Cassel] and I were building educational software to help people figure out how to understand physics experiments. And in the process of watching lots and lots of students use interactive physics, we saw that in addition to doing their physics homework, they were building stuff and creating stuff and watching what would happen when a car ran into a building. This kind of germinated the idea.

That origin is not so different from what Nvidia is doing today with its Omniverse physics simulation world, which is a kind of metaverse for engineers. (Richard Kerris of Nvidia will speak about that on Day Three of our event). Nvidias focus, however, is hyper-realistic.

Our hope is the metaverse doesnt just look like reality, Baszucki said. It feels like reality so that the cars in the metaverse have engines and they have axles and they have wheels. When the wheel falls off the car, the car does what we would expect in real life. So part of this hope of a physically driven metaverse is actually easier to program and easier to create emergent behavior because it kind of works like we expect.

He added, Weve all lost ourselves in a Pixar movie that is very high-quality rendering but it is not photorealistic rendering.

Above: How to make a metaverse

Image Credit: Roblox

The true metaverse will have something like eight different characteristics, Baszucki said. You have to have an avatar with a virtual identity. You can be everything from a rock star to a fashion model, and thats one big draw of the metaverse.

You can make friends with real people and socialize in the metaverse. It has to be immersive, or make you feel like youre somewhere else and you lose your sense of reality. You should be able to log in from anywhere, regardless of the country or culture where you come from. You need a low-latency connection, whether youre at a school or a business.

The metaverse has to have low friction, meaning you can go anywhere instantly. If youre studying ancient Rome at school, you should be able to transport yourself there within a second and take a tour with your class. It has to have a variety of content to support the long tail of interests people have. You need a vibrant economy to ensure that people can make a living in the metaverse not just coders but artists and designers too. And finally, you need safety and stability, so that people can come together and improve digital civility.

Above: Roblox will hold events related to Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline.

Image Credit: Roblox

Baszucki has done a couple of events with Ernest Cline, the author of Ready Player One and Ready Player Two. I asked Baszucki if he identified with the characters in the book who created the Oasis, or the books version of the metaverse. The founders of the Oasis in the book are Ogden Morrow and James Halliday.

When Ready Player One came out, I sent it to all the executives in the company because it was capturing not just societal changes but what I thought were visionary technologies that we were going to see play out as these platforms got better, Baszucki said. We really try to fade into the background. So Im not sure either one of those characters applies to us. We dont make any content. We actually dont have control of the content. We try to make really good technology and tools and a platform. And then we get amazed by the content.

He added, We almost see ourselves more as the creators of a primitive part of the electrical grid, back there in the distance, and were trying to more and more highlight the creative geniusof our creator community, which is really the real engine that works with us to power our part of the metaverse.

Baszucki compares what Roblox is doing to the invention of the printing press. The tech was so new that some philosophers at the time felt that people started reading too much. Over time, the culture came to accept book reading. Video went through the same cycle, as are games now. I joked that parents will one day tell their kids to stop reading and go back into Roblox to learn something.

Above: Lil Nas X in a Roblox experience

Image Credit: Roblox

People will know they have a physical identity and a digital identity, he said. Just as people that are very facile with books and videos and balancing them, were optimistic they will be with the metaverse as well. Were not so dystopian in our vision relative to maybe some science fiction. We think people will be able to balance this and use it in a positive way. We think it will be an integral part of learningand working.Just another tool side by side with video and books and other forms of communication.

Amid the pandemic, Baszucki said he has enjoyed seeing experiments on Roblox like concerts and parties that enable people to enjoy each other while social distanced.

Were hopeful that there are many situations where immersive 3D communication can bring people together, where its very difficult when theyre forced to be at a distance, he said. An example would be our Roblox holiday party, which we did in Robloxwith hundreds and hundreds of people.And because they were all employees, we were able to do the things we might do at a holiday party. I wish we could have been together physically. But we did have a nightclub. We did have a stage, wedid havea bar.

Quality has its own way of rising to the top. But the company has to spend a lot more time making sure the place is civil. More than 1,700 trust and safety volunteers ensure that Roblox is a safe and stable world for players.

We dont in any way filter on quality, but we have incredibly polished experiences that tend to do better, he said. We try to build systems that bubble up interesting things.We dont really know what is high quality if its safe and civil our Roblox community will vote with their feed and with their engagement and say this is interesting.

User-generated content rules on Roblox, and many young developers are starting to become entrepreneurs, forming teams or even studios focused on Roblox games. Hundreds of thousands are making interesting content, and more than 1,000 are making $10,000 or more and 250 are making more than $100,000. Those people are working alongside big brands that are making their own games for the platform.

The advances that will lead us to the metaverse are inexorable, Baszucki aid, as bandwidth, mobile devices, and other technologies improve.

Roblox has 830 employees, but Baszucki said it will need a diverse group of people to fill out its team to build the metaverse, with experts ranging from 3D game engines to corporate civility.

Baszucki believes that, if done right, the metaverse will make the world a better place by increasing the civility of the world.

The way we moderate, the way we nudge, the way we encourage civil discourse on the platform Im optimistic well be able to measure the general civility of society by watching whats happening on this platform, he said. Im also excited that at various ages, there will be various levels of appropriate nudging. There will be the ability tohave people with very different viewpointspop a little outof maybe the bubble they have and safely meet people with very different viewpoints and have a civil discussion with them.

Above: Part of the JDRF world inside Roblox.

Image Credit: Roblox

I also asked Baszucki if the metaverse is the place where well achieve digital immortality, as happens in the Ready Player Two novel.

This is such an enormous thing to think about. I think it goes way beyond the medical. Its a whole separate industry right there, Baszucki said. I do thinkover time the metaverse will be this wonderful place where [non-player characters] NPCs improve.Well see theTuring test happen not just through text and voice, but well see the Turing test happen in themetaverse.Well start to see NPCs that are harder and harder to distinguish from people over time.And this may be the foreshadowing to ultimately immortality. There may be forms of immortality that are a rough approximationof you and me. So I could imagine if you and I wore a device for our whole life that recorded everything we saw and everything we said, machine learning might be able to create an approximationof us that could live. But Im not so sure. I think its gonna be a while before we can snapshot every neuron and build that out.

So if you had to think of one, one thing you want to do in the metaverse, so what would that be?

Asked what he wants to do in the metaverse, Baszucki said his first thought was boring: just hang out with people that he knows in a social setting.

I think I want to have that ability to come together with people Ive been missing for a really, really long time.

He also wants to play a game in a virtual junkyard with friends, or two teams of five. They would build a crazy contraption with welding torches and drills and other gear, and then they would compete with each other using their contraptions.

Its all about the complexity of the physics and the interaction and emergent behavior, Baszucki said. These kinds of things are exciting to me.

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Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki believes users will create the metaverse - VentureBeat

2020, COVID-19 and Reflection on Human Immortality Tunji Olaopa – THISDAY Newspapers

The year 2020 will go down in history as the annus horribilis for the human race; the year that millions of lives were forfeited to a tiny and inanimate virus with no sensate hope or ambition. Yet, the coronavirus has decimated millions, and left many millions more cowering in our helplessness. This is one terrible year when most humans, for whom death is often a distant thought, came face to face with the possibility of a sudden demise from a COVID-19 ambush. 2020 has been the very definition of uncertainty for everyone, from the mighty to the lowly. We all got sucked into the vortex palpable fearno one knew when the virus will strike, where it could be contracted, or how fatal it could be. COVID-19 became the most lethal of all the enemies humans have ever contended with. And it fueled our uncertainty in the very fact that we had no certain fact about its character and modus operandi.

As the usual tradition goes with the coming of a new year, we all welcomed 2020 with hope and resolutions. Governments made budgets, humans made plans, organizations made projections. The year was to be the usual in the trajectory of human activities and busyness. Children will be born, and adult will grow old and die. There will be achievements all around the world, and calamities too. The usual diseases will keep ravaging humanity, from cancer to tuberculosis. All the states of the world would battle their normal internal crises and predicament, and few resolutions would be made. And yet, we all neglected what had been on humanitys radar since humanity began its civilizational march many centuries ago; the very underbelly of humans desire to transcend themselves.

COVID-19 brought humanity very low. It humbled us at the very height of our civilizational achievements. Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American philosopher, once perceptively remarked: The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization. Since the Stone Age, and then the Industrial Revolution, humanity has grown beyond its cradle which is the earth. We not only concretized the fragility of the earth; we also have turned our attention to the space. Humanity has arrived at what Mark Twain called the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities. This validates the Yoruba adage that when humans have eaten and are surfeited, they then look for unnecessary distractions.

After civilization had settled the issue of survival, it was then time for humans to transcend themselves, especially through the discoveries of science and technology and its limitless possibilities and dangers in ways that are often indistinguishable. When humans cracked the secret of the atom, we arrived at the nuclear reactor as well as the nuclear atomic bomb. We now contemplate a posthuman world with the breakthrough with artificial intelligence.

In its very essence, civilization commenced as humanitys search for survival. It has now been transformed into an exploration of our possible immortality. To be human is not only to be mortal, but to also have the capacity to perceive the infinite, which we do not see in our finitude. Humanity is trapped in the yearning for infinitude; the desire to undermine our mortality and live forever. Abraham Lincoln puts it better: Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality. And so, once the first land was tilled and farmed, agriculture enabled humans to conquer starvation. But it also enabled an abundance that helped us to keep staving off death. With medicine, humans started to invade the genetic code to hold off the principle of ageing encoded into our being. We started battling diseases and sicknesses, and also death. Immortality therefore lies in the achievement of civilization for humanity. We have to keep overreaching ourselves in other to be able to overreach our mortality.

Unfortunately, civilization is what makes you sick, says Paul Gauguin, the French post-impressionist artist. But more than this, civilization already puts in stock the pointer to what will eradicate humanitythe nuclear threat, and the virus. Since the combined effort of humanitys brilliant scientists unlocked the secret of the atom, the human race has remained on the precipice of self-destruction. When Hiroshima and Nagasaki snowballed into the atomic mushroom, we saw in that catastrophe, the possibility of undermining our own race for immortality. That is the paradox of civilization: it contained the seed for our immortality and our destruction in unequal proportion. In other words, we are more likely to be destroyed than to achieve immortality. If humanity is destroyed, then there will be no one left to remember us. This is where the insight of Emerson leads usthe civilization we have invented to ensure our immortality is what will most likely kill and efface us and all the infinitude we ever hoped for.

The reality of our accelerated mortality came alive in 2020. Nature rebelled against the unmitigated assault on her sanctity and exploitation. A family of the coronaviruses jumped its boundary and landed in the civilized space of humanity. And we were not prepared because we have always underestimated the virus. After all, we seem to have got the structure of most of the viruses we know and their epidemiological features. The common cold is one of the most dangerous ailment afflicting humanity, but we seem to have tamed it. What can we not tame? Yet, we have arrived at the limit of human hubris. And it is neither yet from aliens in outer spaces nor from artificial intelligence. It is from a lowly virus that is inorganic and inanimate. There is less we know about the virus and its behavior than we really know. The novelty of the coronavirus effectively undermines the accumulated scientific knowledge about its type that we have stockpiled for decades.

Mercifully, 2020 has also become the year in which humanity has managed to get an understanding of the vaccination that will stop the virus in its deadly track. Of course, human beings have the resilience to always overcome whatever adversity is brought on them either naturally or by their own efforts. But then, humanity has brought itself too many times to the precipice of destruction not to take notice of the dangerous side of our existence and the search for immortality. Essentially, it is human hubris that brought the pandemic of 2020 upon us. It is our inability to take stock of our civilizational progress and how far we are willing to go to transcend our humanity. It is certain that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, for instance, and all the others almost ready for us will provide instant relief from the scourge of the COVID-19. But should the fact of the vaccines, or human resilience in the face of troubles, blind us to how far-fetched our search for immortality is, or how dangerous?

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, has a piece of wisdom we can draw on: A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses. What insight do we need to urgently derive from this pandemic, and from others that have afflicted humankind? What deep lessons does COVID-19 teach us in 2020? It is simple: there is a need to de-escalate humanitys rush for self-destruction. If this family of coronavirus could make the fatal jump into the human host, there are so many more that can. Thus, the arrival of the breakthrough in vaccination against the coronavirus ought not be interpreted as the resumption of our human normality or the onslaught against nature. On the contrary, it ought to be a time to pause and reassess what it means to be human, and what civilization ought to mean.

And more than this, we need a redefinition of what it means to be immortal. Humans can only be immortal in the face of posterity and the state in which we leave the world. Posterity is our immortality. Unfortunately, the logic of civilization is often oriented towards a further exploitation of the universe with scant thought for what future generations will make of the progress we have achieved, and the failures we leave behind. It ought to be clear to humanity now that civilization is amok.

From the First to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, humans are barely managing the benefits of progress since we are ever confronted with the threat of imploding the world as we know it. 2020 and the pandemic make it very clear to us that we are nearer destruction, and the undermining of our own immortality, that we imagine. The COVID-19, uncontained, has the capacity to kill the whole of humanity. And we have barely even managed to get it arrested. And who knows what the future of more scientific and technological breakthrough holds? The coronavirus is insisting on the imperatives of weighing human progress on the scale of morality. Civilizational progress is not an unconditional good. It needs to be tempered by further thought on how our immortality can be retained in the womb of the future of those yet unborn.

Prof. Tunji Olaopa, Retired Federal Permanent Secretary & Directing Staff, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, tolaopa2003@gmail.com, tolaopa@isgpp.com.ng.

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2020, COVID-19 and Reflection on Human Immortality Tunji Olaopa - THISDAY Newspapers

Recognizing Hall of Famer Paul Westphal – Suns.com

Hey, now youre immortal, Paul Westphal said in relating what someone told him when they learned he was going to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

No, Westphal said during his induction speech in September 2019, responding to the well-wisher, immortality doesnt come from basketball.

As we pause to remember Westphal, and share how saddened we are at his passing, we recognize how prophetically spot-on he was.

Westy will not be immortalized for just playing basketball. He will be remembered for how he lived his life, and how he treated others.

The Phoenix Suns organization shares its thoughts and prayers with the Westphal family through this difficult time.

Westy will forever be remembered as a prominent Valley sports legend both on and off the court, said Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver. He built an illustrious career as both a player and a coach. His legacy ranks among the most quintessential basketball icons of all time.

Westphal left an indelible signature on the Phoenix Suns franchise with his All-NBA talent, his brilliant mind and his elite character. From guiding the team on the court in the 1976 NBA Finals to leading them from the sidelines in the 1993 NBA Finals, Westphals legacy in Phoenix crossed decades and his overall impact on the organization is virtually unmatched.

Throughout the past 40 years, Westy has remained a great friend of the organization and as a trusted sounding board and confidant for me, Sarver continued. His number 44 will forever hold its place in our Ring of Honor, enshrined as one of the utmost deserving members.

Born on November 30, 1950, Westphal was a native of Torrance, CA, and spent 14 seasons with the Suns as a player and a coach.

The eventual Basketball Hall of Famer known as Westy was acquired by the Suns in a trade with the Boston Celtics in 1975 and spent six seasons as a player with Phoenix. He ultimately found his way back in the Valley a few years later on the Suns coaching staff from 1988-95. Due to his astounding career and impact across the NBA, Westphal was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 6, 2019.

There may be just a handful of people who have as much influence and significance on the history of the Phoenix Suns, Jerry Colangelo said. All he accomplished as a player and as a coach. Off the court, he was a gentleman, a family man, great moral character. He represented the Suns the way you want every player to represent your franchise.

Known for his high basketball IQ, Westphal was instrumental in leading the Suns to their first NBA Finals appearance in 1976 against the Celtics. This series featured The Greatest Game Ever Played a triple-overtime thriller during which Westphals quick thinking helped put the Suns in position to extend the game behind Garfield Heards famous Shot Heard Round the World.

He was cerebral in his game, Colangelo said. He was always thinking one step ahead. Even the infamous triple-overtime game in Boston during the Final series, when he was the one who said, 'Call the timeout.' which forced a free throw, but gave us the ball at halfcourt and set up the opportunity to tie the game, which we did. That's thinking right on the spot at the moment.

Westphal became a five-time All-Star (four with the Suns) and garnered All-NBA recognition for four consecutive seasons, including three selections to the First Team. He sits as the eighth-leading scorer in Suns history, totaling 9,564 points and averaging 20.6 points per game, and was inducted into the Suns Ring of Honor on April 15, 1989.

Westphal joined the coaching ranks upon retirement and came back to the Suns as an assistant in 1988. Once back with the organization, Westphal learned under fellow Suns Ring of Honor member Cotton Fitzsimmons as he brought his basketball intelligence to the sidelines. Even as an assistant coach, Westphal proved his worth and garnered credit for his player relationships and development skills, including that of 1989 Sixth Man of the Year Eddie Johnson.

He led by example, Johnson said. He didn't change off of the court. It's just a positive atmosphere that he exudes when he's around. He always greets you with a pleasant smile. You always feel like you are a part of his clique. He's somebody we can put on a pedestal.

Westphal spent four seasons in this role under Fitzsimmons before taking over as head coach for the 1992-93 season. His success came early and often, leading the Suns to the best record in the league and a trip back to the NBA Finals in his first season at the helm. During his time as head coach in Phoenix, Westphal amassed a record of 191-88, which ranks as the fourth-most wins of any head coach in team history while his .685 winning percentage is best in Suns coaching history.

We had a personal relationship that spans decades, Colangelo said. He played for me. He coached for me. I always had great respect for Paul and he added to the quality of my life just with his presence. I'm very thankful that I had the opportunity to be associated with him."

Westphal left an everlasting legacy on the Suns franchise and within the city of Phoenix. While his greatest accomplishments may have come in the Valley of the Sun, his ultimate impact on basketball stretches from a young high school star in Southern California through a storied career as player, coach and broadcaster.

Westphal attended Aviation High School in Redondo Beach, Calif., where he was named the 1968 California Interscholastic Federation Player of the Year as a senior. He attended USC and earned All-Pac 8 honors in all three seasons with the Trojans. USC retired Westphals number 25 jersey and he was inducted into their Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.

Westphal was drafted 10th overall in the 1972 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics where he spent the first three years of his career, including the Celtics 1974 championship season. He was traded to Phoenix for future Basketball Hall of Famer Charlie Scott on May 23, 1975. He also first left the Suns in exchange for a future Basketball Hall of Famer, Dennis Johnson, on June 4, 1980.

He played one season with the Seattle SuperSonics and two seasons with the New York Knicks, winning Comeback Player of the Year for the Knicks in 1982-83. He returned to Phoenix for the final season of his 12-year playing career in 1983-84.

Westphal began his coaching career in 1985 with Southwestern Baptist Bible College (now Arizona Christian University). After finishing the season 3-20 the year before, he guided them to a 21-9 record in his lone season. He was then hired as the head coach of Grand Canyon University, leading them to a 63-18 record over his two seasons, including a NAIA National Championship in 1988.

In addition to four season as Head Coach of the Suns, Westphal spent three seasons as head coach of the Seattle SuperSonics, five seasons as head coach of Pepperdine University, one season as an assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks, three seasons as head coach of the Sacramento Kings, and finished his coaching career with two seasons as an assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets.

Westphal is survived by his wife Cindy, and his son Michael and daughter Victoria.

Thank you, Paul. Rest in Peace.

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Recognizing Hall of Famer Paul Westphal - Suns.com

Tomase: There’s no defending voting for 10 Hall of Famers this year – NBC Sports Boston

At the risk of denigrating the accomplishments of this year's nominees, it's hard to recall a weaker Hall of Fame ballot.

Of course Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens deserve enshrinement, depending on your tolerance for their truthfulness before Congress, but their case stopped being argued on its merits a long time ago.

I'll always consider Curt Schilling a slam-dunk choice for his postseason exploits alone, but I can see why others disagree, and frankly, in light of the comically toxic disinformation that spews from his feeds in a Deepwater Horizon-style geyser, I don't mind seeing him twist in the wind, because I am incredibly petty.

The fourth and final name on my ballot, Gary Sheffield, receives even less support, but I happen to believe he's one of the 30 greatest hitters ever, and if we won't reward that just because he plodded across the outfield like a hastily recommissioned Soviet Era tank, then what are we doing?

So we can quibble about this candidate or that, but here's what I can't countenance: examining this ballot and deciding that eight, nine, even 10 names belong in Cooperstown.

It is time to stage a BBWAA-wide intervention.

Over the last seven years, a record 22 players have earned enshrinement from the writers, finally breaking the PED backlog that basically coincided with the arrivals of Bonds and Clemens.

The 2021 ballot includes 25 names and if you pick 10 of them, that means you believe 40 percent of the qualifiers deserve immortality. That's not exactly an Ivy League acceptance rate, and we're supposed to be honoring the absolute best of the best.So what's going on?

Chalk it up to a pair of developments ruining our lives in different ways -- social media and the statistical revolution.

The former speaks for itself. Loudly. And not always with real people supplying the words.

Though the One True Ballot police have thankfully lowered their weapons since the overheated heyday of 2014, there's still an element of the voting populace that would rather satisfy Twitter banshees than defend leaving someone else's favorite player off their ballot. Easier to just check the maximum and then back away slowly with hands raised. "I would've voted for your guy, but the limit is 10. Can I go now? I have a wife and family."

I believe it was the great Ray Ratto who boiled this conflict down to, "I want a vote / you can't have one." The armchair experts -- whose theoretical ballots look suspiciously homogenous, by the way -- believe that their choices are The Way with the fervency of a Mandalorian. And if you disagree, it's to be expected, because that what happens when you entrust the vote to a group cursed with such breathtaking collective ignorance.

So where do they derive their preternatural confidence? Statistics, of course. The rise of analysts like Jay Jaffe of Fangraphs has given voters new ways to consider the ballot. Jaffe's case for Sheffield, for instance, helped clarify my own stance on his candidacy. (As an aside, I'm just not holding defensive metrics against someone who played the majority of his career before that data was even tracked accurately).

The larger point that's missed when considering his work, and others like it, is that it's not presented as definitive. Jaffe makes a case. His JAWS metric provides context for how a candidate's peak seasons compare to the average Hall of Famer's.

It's not meant to be absolutist, but it's often interpreted that way. When the Hall of Fame becomes an actuarial exercise of sorting career WAR and JAWS in descending order, and go bleep yourself if you even consider subjective measures like MVP votes or All-Star games or postseason dominance or hell, how watching Sheffield swing his bat like a cornered antihero made you feel, then we've lost our way in a style befitting today's broken game, where a Cy Young winner can get lifted in Game 6 of a World Series shutout after only two hits and 73 pitches, because that's what the numbers say.

The numbers also say that Bobby Abreu is a Hall of Famer. They say the same thing about Todd Helton and Andruw Jones and Scott Rolen and Billy Wagner.

They were all very good players. Rolen probably borders on great. But I'll again ask: what are we doing? Are we granting every above-average player immortality? Or are we holding the Hall of Fame to a higher standard than enshrining four out of every 10 nominees?

I know where I fall, which is why I'm comfortable submitting a ballot with four names total. Feel free to @ me. I will definitely ignore you.

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Tomase: There's no defending voting for 10 Hall of Famers this year - NBC Sports Boston

How are former Yankees doing in the Hall of Fame voting? – Empire Sports Media

The voting process for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Class of 2021, ended on December 31. The ballot has 25 candidates in total, and eight of them spent at least part of their career with the New York Yankees.

Bobby Abreu, A.J. Burnett, LaTroy Hawkins, Nick Swisher, Roger Clemens, Andruw Jones, Andy Pettitte, and Gary Sheffield are among the Yankees that are eligible for immortality.

However, as of right now with 115 ballots published, no one is making the cut to get in. Players in the ballot need to get a minimum of 75% of the votes to gain immortality. So far, Clemens (72.2%) is the closest of the former Yankees, with Barry Bonds and Curt Schilling also flirting with the minimum threshold.

The results will be announced on January 26, and the inductees will be honored in Cooperstown, New York, on July 25, barring any COVID-19-related postponement.

So far, here are the former Yankees and their progress through 115 votes, per NJ Advance Media:

Four first-time candidates were elected to the Hall in the last three years: Chipper Jones and Jim Thome in 2018, and former Yankees legends Mariano Rivera in 2019 (unanimous election), and Derek Jeter in 2020.

Jeters case was notorious, as he fell just one vote short of being the second unanimous election to the Hall after his friend and former teammate Rivera.

Abreu appears destined to get the minimum votes to see his name on the ballot for next year (5%), but Burnett, Hawkins, and Swisher, so far, look as one-and-done candidates.

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How are former Yankees doing in the Hall of Fame voting? - Empire Sports Media

Keanu Reeves addresses rumours of him being immortal, jokes with Fallon in an interview – Republic World

Keanu Reeves isfamousnot just for his acting skills and hit movies but his timeless John Wick hairstyle which has been popular since the film's first installment. Keanu Reeves fans argue that it isn't just his hairstyle that is timeless but fans think the actor seems to never age, some even suggest that the actor is immortal, in what has become a running trope. During one of his interviews when he was confronted about this, he expertly dodged the nonsensical non-seriousclaims. Read all the details about this interview here.

ALSO READ:'John Wick 2' Cast: Know The Actors Who Starred In This Keanu Reeves' Action Thriller Film

During an interview with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2017, the presenter of the show asked Keanu Reeves about the immortality claims by the fans. He confronted the actor with some pictures from the fan site Keanuisimmortal.com. He showed him a series of photographs which show that the actor looks similar to some of the historic figures shown. While the actor agreed that there are some similarities between all these personalities he neither accepted nor denied the claims made.

Reeves and Fallon both joked about the notion and theories of how Keanu could actually be immortal and has been alive for centuries. Although these jokes acknowledge the similarities it doesn't cancel the potential immortality theory. These jokes still seem like an expert dodge and another bit towards a confirmation according to some conspiracy theorists.

ALSO READ:Keanu Reeves Sports A Buzzcut, Chops Off Famous Long Locks For Upcoming Movie

ALSO READ:Cyberpunk 2077 Mix It Up Poster: Learn About The Controversial Ad In The Game

Keanu Reeves is not active on social media. The actor keeps a very low profile and doesn't share a lot of personal updates on the internet. Even after all his attempts to not be very social, the actor's fans have made him a social media superhero. According to the reports by Showbiz Cheat Sheet Reeves' acts of generosity and philanthropy have established the actor in everyone's good books. In 2019 when he went public about his relationship with his girlfriend Alexandra Grant the internet fanseven titled him asthe internet's boyfriend.

While there have been many memes surrounding the actor, many claims were made about his immortality and ageless looks. Fans have noted similarities between Keanu Reeves and many other historical figures such as Vlad the Impaler, artist Parmigianino and actor Paul Mounet. The 56-year-old actor resembles these popular figures who lived centuries apart.

ALSO READ:Keanu Reeves To Feature In Tom Cruise's Next Mission Impossible Film?

Get the latest entertainment news from India & around the world. Now follow your favourite television celebs and telly updates. Republic World is your one-stop destination for trending Bollywood news. Tune in today to stay updated with all the latest news and headlines from the world of entertainment.

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Keanu Reeves addresses rumours of him being immortal, jokes with Fallon in an interview - Republic World

The Meaning of Life According to Harry Potter and Soul – MuggleNet

by Victor Chan


Dumbledore once described music as a magic beyond all we do here (SS 128), a statement that Joe Gardner, the protagonist of Pixars Soul, would agree with. Indeed, Id like to believe that the magic of music is studied at the Department of Mysteries. Harry Potter and Soul both explore abstract concepts such as being in the zone, along with death and the meaning of life through a humanist approach. In Soul, characters search for their purposes in life, and although Harry was the Chosen One, he still had the agency to choose his life path. Here are three things that Harry Potter and Soul can teach us about the meaning of life.

At the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry is presented with two choices: go back or go on. Likewise, at the end of Soul, Joe is given another chance at life. Both character-defining moments occur in the heads of Harry and Joe. In Soul, 22 describes the Great Before as an illusion and hypothetical. In Deathly Hallows, when Harry asks Dumbledore where he thinks they are, Dumbledore replies, This is, as they say, your party (DH 712).

At the core of both Harry Potter and Soul is the idea that it is our choices that show what we truly are. The circumstances that we are placed in define us less than how we respond to being placed in those circumstances. In Harry Potter, Hogwarts students are Sorted into Houses based on their personalities and values. Soul explores the concept of a beforelife where souls are readied for life on Earth. One particular scene early on shows souls being assigned personalities, seemingly arbitrary. Joe asks, This is where personalities come from? to which another character replies, Do you think people are just born with them?

However, even though Hogwarts students are Sorted into Houses and souls are assigned personalities, Harry Potter and Soul reject determinism. In fact, in the Great Before, souls need to find their own spark.

In Harry Potter and Soul, characters grapple with the fear of the unknown. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore tells Harry that it is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness (HBP 566). In Soul, 22 has a cynical attitude toward what they think living on Earth will be like. In Harry Potter, Voldemort fears what Dumbledore describes as the next great adventure (SS 297). When Joe finds himself on the way to the Great Beyond at the start of Soul, he runs away from the light. Later in Soul, Joe says, Im just afraid that if I died today, then my life would have amounted to nothing.

Fear of the unknown holds people back from chasing that spark that makes life worth living. In Soul, we see an unnamed character with a stable, well-paying job in finance who is unhappy with their life but scared to make a career change.

Dumbledore believes that even though people fear the unknown in death, thats what makes it the next great adventure. This is shown in 22s character arc in Soul. When we first meet 22, they do not want to leave the Great Before to begin life on Earth. However, after they accidentally get sent to Earth and experience simple joys such as tasting pizza, feeling the wind blow, and catching a falling leaf in the palm of their hand, they do not want to return to the Great Before.

In Soul, when Joe tells his mother that music is all he thinks about, she says, You cant eat dreams for breakfast. Joes mother wants him to be realistic and settle on a career. This interaction transported me to Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone when we are introduced to the Mirror of Erised. According to Dumbledore, the Mirror shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts, and men have wasted away before itnot knowing if what it shows is real or even possible (SS 213). Dumbledore tells Harry not to dwell on dreams and forget to live (SS 214).

This idea of forgetting to live is explored in Soul. In the Great Before, lost souls are souls belonging to people who are disconnected from life because they cannot let go of their obsessions. Those souls are stuck in a state of limbo. In Deathly Hallows, a fragment of Voldemorts soul becomes stuck in limbo at Kings Cross. He was so obsessed with killing Harry that he never considered the possibility of Lily invoking an ancient form of magic, and he was so obsessed with immortality that he never considered that splitting ones soul could cause eternal pain and suffering in the afterlife. In Half-Blood Prince, a conversation between Voldemort and Dumbledore takes place where Voldemort says, Nothing I have seen in the world has supported your famous pronouncements that love is more powerful than my kind of magic, Dumbledore (HBP 444). In truth, Voldemort never searched for the power of magic based on love because he was obsessed with using the Dark Arts to gain power and immortality.

In Sorcerers Stone, Dumbledore tells Harry that people have wasted away before the Mirror of Erised, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible. When Joe finally gets his big break as a musician, he has an existential crisis. He had been dreaming of this moment his entire life, but when the moment finally arrived, it was underwhelming because he didnt feel any different. During a pivotal scene in the film, Joe realizes that its the little moments of joy that make life worth living, even if they may seem infinitesimal in comparison to the bigger picture at the time.

In Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore says that Voldemort was in such a hurry to mutilate his own soul, he never paused to understand the incomparable power of a soul that is untarnished and whole (HBP 511). Although Joes dream of a career in jazz is not as extreme as Voldemorts quest for immortality, both Harry Potter and Soul convey the importance of living in the moment and not developing tunnel vision.

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The Meaning of Life According to Harry Potter and Soul - MuggleNet

We Are All Related: Artists, Writers, and More Share Wishes for 2021 | Magazine – MoMA

As we leave a very difficult 2020 behind, were grateful to have had so many incredible voices as part of Magazine, and for the places their words, ideas, images, and music have taken us. We asked some of our contributors to share a wish for 2021 in a form of their choosing; something theyre looking forward to, something they hope for, or something theyd like to see. Their responses below show the connections we still find through artand the uninhibited dancing in a crowd we still seek.

In 2021, may we welcome a world that is closer together. The pandemic has made us understand that we are one species, sharing similar goals and aspirations. The pandemic has also acted as a mirror, reflecting our good traits and exposing the hate and anger that all too often is the weak response to challenge. May we see this point in history as an opportunity for global compassion and kindness.

Read Taken for Granite: A Climber Sees Yosemite from a New Vantage Point

Image courtesy of Conrad Anker

Image courtesy of Conrad Anker

I am reading a great novel called The Ministry for the Future, by Kim Stanley Robinson. My wish for 2021 is that this becomes a massively popular book that youd see on the coffee table in every home. This book encourages the kind of innovative thinking humanity needs. I also wish for all artists, musicians, and creative people to come out of this stressful time with healthy minds, so they can get back to making beautiful things.

Listen to A Portable Embrace

A wish for 2021: for a continued, widening arc of engagement, critical discourse, and art-work that is responsive to the seismic transitions of this present moment. This hope is that the growth and learning we have done together both in art and in the world over this past year continues to expand our perspectives and transform us alongside the transformations we see in the world.

Read Re-Imaging America

I cant imagine 2021 outside of my hope and dream of an end to COVID-19.

Explore Virtual Views: Faith Ringgold

In a year that has brought so much radical change to so many people, my wish is for a 2021 that brings increasing clarity and perspective, inner calm and balance, alongside enduring attention and commitment to systems of creative and holistic care of workers and artists and art workers through and beyond institutional spaces. Id also love to see it become possible to reconvene again on a dance floor as a collective celebration of continuing to hold and make space; the imagination and possibility there is one weve all longed for as weve sashayed across our living room floors alone with the speakers bumping at different points. Movement spurs thought and so my hope is for more ways to movemove our bodies, move one another, move the world.

Read Re-Imaging America

Like everyone, I wish for the return of civility and liberalism in our national discourse and the retreat of the virus that is COVID and the sickness that is Trumpism. In addition, I wish for antidepressants that dont have sexual side effects; my childrens recovery from the relative isolation that the virus has engendered; an honest reckoning with police brutality; more things sold with less packaging; travel; easeful death for people I love who are in decline; recovery for other people I know who are in decline; a boom market; more curiosity in my children; a release from the bonds of the screen for people who grow lonely as they interact with it; reduced anxiety; cures for what wants curing but not for anything else; art that is full of complex meaning but also looks nice on the wall; to stay the age I am a while longer; to keep my children from telling lies; to see the opioid epidemic stemmed rather than revenged; a pair of brown monk strap shoes; an end to global warming; peace in the Middle East; peace outside the Middle East; a new generation dedicated to equality but also respectful of merit; the end of the stigma around, indeed the word for, appropriationism; the rebuilding of the American educational system; beauty and truth in every day; a Pulitzer prize; a cure for psychosis; the cancellation of Brexit; a chance to go into orbital flight; the reuniting of separated children at the US border with their parents; immortality; the breakup of oppressive monopolies; athletic grace; and the ability, for me and everyone, to learn from human suffering.

Listen to The Case for Artistic Genius

I figure the planet-level stuff is sort of obvious. Personally, though? That Shuhada Sadaqat (Sinead OConnor) feel good and put out another record, that my 15-year-old start listening to me about her posture, that I get better about forgiveness and finishing things.

Read Another Country and listen to The Deepest Cuts

I dont have a wish, per se, but I have a new song and video called Cant Escape into Space, which is kind of a wish.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Cant Escape Into Space. Music written by Wolfgang Tillmans, Tim Knapp, Bruno Breitzke. Produced by Tim Knapp, Bruno Breitzke, Wolfgang Tillmans. Vocals and lyrics by Wolfgang Tillmans.

Listen to On My Own

Heres my wishI wish people would stop dying from COVID-19. I wish a vaccine was just a shot, a neutral thing that prevented a deadly disease. Thats a privileged position. Vaccines, like illnesses, are always loaded with cultural and political meaning. We are collectively deciding how much trust to place in our government institutions (and pharmaceutical companies), perpetrators of systemic white supremacy and violence against marginalized bodies. I hope we can trust these shots, and the trust is not broken. I hope we can be free.

Look at Love Sick

I wish that in 2021 we will be able look back on this strange and terrible year with relief and satisfaction that its over, and some prideeven joyin how we and our friends and colleagues and neighbors responded to its many challenges with dignity, responsibility, solemnity, but also creativity and humor. And that the habits and abilities forged in crisis dont leave us too quickly or fully.

Read Can Drawing Be a Crime?

My wish for 2021 is to de-center the human and to foreground the phenomenon within nature.

Read and watch Cooking with Artists: Anicka Yi

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We Are All Related: Artists, Writers, and More Share Wishes for 2021 | Magazine - MoMA

10 Strongest Gods In The DC Pantheon | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

As powerful as many of DC's heroes and villains are, they pale in comparison to the literal gods and goddesses that exist in that multiverse.

The DC landscape is filled with characters that absolutely boggle the mind in terms of unfathomable power. From heavy hitters such asThe Man of Steel, The Flash, and Shazam, these "terrestrial" heroes, for lack of a better term, pale in comparison to some of the entities that are capable of flipping these heroes worlds upside down.

RELATED:Flash: The 10 Most Powerful Villains Of The Fastest Man Alive

From reality warping to time-travel, these cosmic-level beings can, and in some instances, have made reality their will, bringing in the question of whether The Presence is obsolete in his position of DC's Supreme Being.

Superboy-Prime is an unfathomable force to be reckoned with that has thrashed both DC heroes and villains alike. Following the obliteration of his home universe in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Superboy-Prime would return from the Paradise Dimension alongside Alexander Luthor with a twisted scope of what he saw as a failing superhero landscape.

Believing the Post-Crisis heroes to be feigning heroism instead of upholding his idea of altruistic heroism, Super-Boy tumbled down the villainous rabbit hole, becoming the very thing he resented. Debatably the most powerful incarnation of Superman due to a lack of weakness to green kryptonite, Superboy-Prime has shattered dimensional barriers with sheer strength; subdued the JSA, Teen Titans, and Doom Patrol all at the same time; escaped the Speed Force; and was even held in a guarded quantum containment field after dispatching almost the entirety of the Green Lantern Corps.

Known as the First Lantern, Volthoom became the first being to harness the power of the Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum, making him the most powerful ring bearer amongst all other Lanterns. Searching for a remedy to his now-dead homeworld, Volthoom used a device capable of multiversal space/time travel called the Travel Lantern to venture into the multiverse.

Coming across the Maltusians in the main DC universe, Volthoom would aid the ancient aliens in bearing their experimental power battery in exchange for being able to take it back to his universe. However, upon being exposed to the infinite power the spectrum wields, Volthoom's psyche shatters, turning him against the Maltusians and killing hundreds of them. His constructs are physical manifestations as opposed to light constructs, lending credence to the idea that reality-warping is well within his abilities, not to mention being nigh-immortal.

Father to the Raven of the Teen Titans, Trigon is the quasi-manifestation of evil and hatred in the DC universe whose existence stretches back before the Big Bang. While his "demonic" appearance gives the idea of him being some variety of a Hell Lord, he is, in fact, a decedent of an ancient celestial alien race called The Divine.

This race would summon the evils of a hundred galaxies called the Heart of Darkness to cleanse Trigons' corrupted soul but Trigon, in turn, wouldabsorb the energy, elevating his cosmic power and slaying The Divine. Capable of a myriad of abilities ranging from molecular reconstruction, immortality, and metamorphosis, Trigon also swindles women from other worlds into bearing his children, spreading his evil across countless universes.

Hailing from the 5th Dimension, a dimension where the laws of physics are none existent, Mr. Mxyzpltk is an imp who has been a prankster to the Man of Steel for nearly 80 years. Originally a jesterin the 5th Dimension, Mxy uses his reality-warping abilities to jovial lengths to annoy Superman until he is undoubtedly sent back to his dimension once Superman gets him to say his name backward.

RELATED:Superman: 9 Amazing Mr. Mxyzptlk Cosplay That Look Almost Just Like The Comic

Despite this nuanced caveat, he can travel through space/time and dimensional barriers; break the fourth wall; is immortal and completely self-sufficient; and theoretically can do anything his imagination wills such as increasing his size and defeating the Spectre by cracking the earth over his head.

The Anti-Monitor is the OG cosmic menace that was the main antagonist in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Having multiple retcons to his origin, his most recent one revealed he is the offspring of an ultra-cosmic being called Perpetua, who along with his brothers, the Monitor, and the Forger of Worlds, were in charge of creating, examining, and destroying multiverses.

Hell-bent on destroying all things in existence, his vast reality warping capabilities have seen large contingents ofDC superheroes face-off against him and fail. He can wipe out entire universes, distribute portions of his Anti-Matter power to other beings, and even wield the anti-life equation to dominate the wills of those he chooses. It is said that if he "dies," he is reborn in the 6th Dimension, the highest plane of existence that exists beyond time and imagination.

The Spectre is the physical embodimentof Gods' vengeance in the DC universe. Having multiple hosts over the character's tenure, the Spectre rejected the notion of mercy and in turn, was made to bond itself to a human soul in hopes that it would mitigate the wrath of God.

Originally an angel named Aztar who sided with Lucifer during his rebellion, Aztar would come to repent for his violation and as punishment was made to be the embodiment of God's judgment. Having faced off with immensely powerful characters including the Anti-Monitor and Parallax, the Spectre derives its power from The Presence, the end-all-be-all creator in DC comics, making him nigh-omniscient and nigh-omnipotent.Even when "killed" he can reconstitute himself, effectively making him immortal.

Originally from theWatchmenseries by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Doctor Manhattan and the rest of the Watchmen began strategically segueing into the DC Universe at the start of DC Rebirth in 2016. When Nuclear physicist Jon Osterman is ensnared in an intrinsic field subtractor,a machine that utilizes radiation to remove "intrinsic" fields from solid objects, he reconstitutes himself as a godly being who can perceive all space/time, at the same time, relative to his life personally.

Now a quantum being with unlimited power, Manhattan can telekinetically control subatomic matter making his capabilities unfathomably grand in scope. From limited time-travel,size-alteration, and immortality tobeing able to create life and alternate universes, Doctor Manhattan is truly acosmic being that is in a category of his own.

Lucifer was originally an Archangel named Samael whose existence extended back well before the creation of the DC universe. Rebelling against his father, The Presence, at the dawn of time, Lucifer's war against Heaven would result in him being cast into a void dubbed The Chaoplasm which would transform into a desolate and barren region known as Hell.

RELATED:Doctor Manhattan Vs. Lucifer Morningstar: Who Wins In A Fight?

Awaiting the day to be freed, Lucifer's frustration of a deceitful pre-destination being intrinsically tied to him overrides his positionand he releases the souls of Hell and retires to Earth, leaving Dream of The Endless to watch over the bleak dimension. From nigh-omniscience, chronokinesis, and reality alteration, Lucifercan manipulate any external force to the extent he desires, making him one of DC'smost powerful characters.

Crisis on Infinite Earths had the Anti-Monitor.Zero Hour had Parallax.Infinite Crisis had Superboy-Prime. Every "crisis-event" in DC served as either a character rework or line-wide, hard reboot, each withan antagonist giving the heroes, and sometimes villains, a rude awakening in how inept they were against their vast abilities.

Now, what if there was a cosmic menace so grandiose they were actually the puppetmaster, pulling the strings on these crisis-events to obtain complete and total control of the Multiverse? Well, that would be Perpetua. Hailing from the 6th Dimension, Perpetua is a Super Celestial who wastasked by the Judges of the Source to create new life within the Omniverse, however, desired to eliminate the judges instead. Now free of her captivity after being imprisoned, Perpetua is on a quest to destroy and recreate the Multiverse as the ultimate, end-all-be-all DC enemy.

Where Marvel has The One Above All, and Image Comics has Mother, DC's omnipotent creator of all things is known as The Presence. Only making a handful of nuanced appearances, The Presence is the Source of Creation, birthing the vast cosmic energies that inhabit the multiverse. His power, like his counterparts, extend beyond the multiverse and into the Omniverse. Anincorporeal entity whose power is the source of every other power or energy, The Presence is one of a kind among DC characters.

NEXT:10 Superheroes Who Have Beaten A God

Next 5 Characters Spider-Man Lost To But Shouldn't Have (& 5 He Beat But Shouldn't Have)

Trevon Gibbs is a 22 year old entertainer living in California with a keen interest in all things involving the overall medium of superhero epics. Trevons journey as a writer is in its beginning stages, but its one hes excited to be embarking on, and bring his eye and imagination of comic book superheroes, to you.

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10 Strongest Gods In The DC Pantheon | CBR - CBR - Comic Book Resources

Book review: V.E. Schwab writes a book to leave you weeping and heartbroken – Sheffield Telegraph

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue has been causing quite a stir in the book community and for good reason.

This beautiful book totally enchanted me and I ended up reading it two times in one month because it was just that good.

I initially picked up this book as the early reviews were raving and the premise of a romance including a character of the literal devil was intriguing.

But this novel blew my already high expectations out of the water.

V.E.Schwab wrote an epic tale of romance with a fast plot which kept me on my toes the whole time.

Addie LaRue makes a deal with the devil but not all is what it seems as instead of immortality he makes her invisible, figuratively.

She can live forever but any person that she meets will forget her as soon as she is out of their eyesight.

Leading to a rather miserable existence for the main character.

The novel follows Addie from the 18th century to present day and how she finds ways to leave a mark on the world despite the devil's curse.

This book brought about a few existential crises in myself as it forces you to ponder your own impact and what you would do differently if you never aged.

The biggest pleasure of this book was the unravelling of Addies past as she travels the world and slowly grows into herself.

Schwab doesnt give you all of this information in one go.

She slowly drip feeds you the secrets of Addies past which constantly surprise me.

By the end of this book I was an emotional wreck, Schwab tears out the reader's heart several times and I loved it.

If like me the never ending pandemic is extending your singledom then I would highly recommend this novel to fill that romance hole.

If you want to hear more of my book thoughts you can follow me on Instagram @lauraandrew95

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Book review: V.E. Schwab writes a book to leave you weeping and heartbroken - Sheffield Telegraph