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Lord of the Rings: Why Gandalf Is Actually An Angel | Screen Rant – Screen Rant

Although it wasn't explicit inThe Lord of the Rings, Gandalf is an angel in Middle-earth lore. Even before the release of Peter Jackson's movie trilogy, Gandalf was one of the most famous characters in fiction. Wise, powerful and friendly, the wizard accompanied Bilbo Baggins on his journey to meet Smaug inThe Hobbit and later plots the downfall of Sauron using just a handful of regular Hobbits and a wild-haired ranger inThe Lord of the Rings. After Ian McKellen portrayed the character on film, Gandalf's stock rose further, transforming into a household name and cementing a cinematic legacy to go alongside his literary immortality.

Both the movieand book versions ofThe Lord of the Rings' story leave Gandalf's origins and powers intentionally vague. It's easy to accept magic in a world where Elves and Dwarves are commonplace, and even the wizard's resurrection from Gandalf the Grey to (the far more epic) Gandalf the White is explained without going into great detail. To both Frodoand the audience, Gandalf is mysterious stranger come to aid them in a time of great peril. As with all things Tolkien, however,The Lord of the Rings only touches the tip of Gandalf's story, and his full history reveals far more celestial origins than themain narrative alluded to.

Related:Lord Of The Rings' Faramir Change Was Good For The Two Towers

Gandalf was original a Maia calledOlrin, created by Eru, Tolkien's equivalent of God, at the very beginning of time. The Maiar were sent down to Middle-earth alongside another order of divine beings called the Valar to help shape the world, and wandered the land in a variety of different forms, largely unbeknownst to the Elves and men of Middle-earth. Not all Maiar were classified as wizards - only 5 of their order were selected for this role by the Valar,and the decision came as a direct response to the growing threat of Sauron. Alongside Saruman, Radagast and 2 other figures (don't worry about them), Gandalf returned to Middle-earth, this time in his familiar grey form, and with the intention of ending Sauron's dominion. The divine origins of the Maiar are the source of their "magic," and Gandalf's resurrection inThe Two Towers is also a direct result of his connection to Eru.

The spiritual side of Middle-earth is largely glossed over inThe Lord of the Rings andThe Hobbit, with Gandalf presented more as a mystical old man than a servant of God sent from the heavens to restore peace. Indeed, the existence of Eru, the Valar and Maiar is explored in more detail withinTolkien's posthumously-publishedThe Silmarillion, and in some of the appendices that now accompany editions of the famous trilogy. While the truth of Gandalf's existence isn't necessary to the core story, it does add context to the happenings inThe Lord of the Rings, and lifts the aura of mystery surrounding the wizard. However, those who only dipped into the main trilogy would be left mostly unaware that Gandalf (and by extension Radagast and Saruman) were actually the closest thing to an angels in the tapestry of Middle-earth.

Even in deeper Tolkien lore, the Maiar aren't explicitly labelled as "angels," but the parallels between Middle-earth spirituality and real-world theology is clear. Eru is essentially the monotheistic God of Christianity and other religions; an all-powerful and all-seeing benevolent ruler and creator. Meanwhile, the Valar serve as an analogy for archangels, the most trusted and loyal of Eru's servants and higher in rank compared to the everyday angels, the Maiar, whose job is to serve the mortals their master created. Furthering the parallel, Melkor (later known as Morgoth) is akin to Lucifer - a former archangel who grew hateful and attempted to enslave and corrupt God's creations.

The religious analogy runs deep, but serves no real purpose to the main story ofThe Lord of the Rings. Had Tolkien's landmark trilogyfully explainedGandalf's origins and divine stature in the midst of Frodo's quest to destroy the ring, the character might not have attracted the same level of popularity, but it's interesting that a figure most fans recognize as the archetypal fantasy wizard is actually something entirely different.

More:Lord Of The Rings Changed A Major Bilbo Moment In The Movies

Disney+: Every New Movie & TV Show Coming In May 2020

Craig first began contributing to Screen Rant in 2016, several years after graduating college, and has been ranting ever since, mostly to himself in a darkened room. Having previously written for various sports and music outlets, Craig's interest soon turned to TV and film, where a steady upbringing of science fiction and comic books finally came into its own.Craig has previously been published on sites such as Den of Geek, and after many coffee-drenched hours hunched over a laptop, part-time evening work eventually turned into a full-time career covering everything from the zombie apocalypse to the Starship Enterprise via the TARDIS.Since joining the Screen Rant fold, Craig has been involved in breaking news stories and mildly controversial ranking lists, but now works predominantly as a features writer.Jim Carrey is Craigs top acting pick and favorite topics include superheroes, anime and the unrecognized genius of the High School Musical trilogy.

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X-Men Anatomy: The 5 Weirdest Things About Apocalypse’s Body – CBR – Comic Book Resources

The name Apocalypse should strike fear into heroes, both mutant and human alike. En Sabah Nur has even been known to face down the gods themselves. His notoriety and abilities areboth biological and technological. The despotic shepherd of evolution has displayed extraordinary power on countless occasions, befitting of his ominous and intimidating title. Unlike other evolutionary fanatics like The High Evolutionary, Apocalypse is far more hands-on-- he's more than happy to force his view of how life should progress with an iron fist.

With En Sabah Nur, it all comes down to his belief in the "Survival of the Fittest" mindset. If something is weak, it does not deserve to live to see the strong futurehe envisions. Given his own powers, abilities and natural acumen for all sorts of things, he certainly practices what he preaches. So, what exactly is it about Apocalypse that makes his genetic makeup so unique?Here's a look at his anatomy, which may glean some information about the villain's staying power..

RELATED:X-Men: What Happened to Moira MacTaggert After House of X?

One of the technologies he is seen using the most is the armor he was given by the Celestials. This gave Apocalypse an amazing power spike, making him strong enough to go toe-to-toe with gods. In one such battle, Apocalypse ran afoul of a young, pre-Mjolnir Thor. With one headbutt, he forced the young god into retreatand Thor said he could feel that the blow almost broke his neck.

RELATED:X Of Swords Can Prove WHY Gwenpool Belongs With the X-Men

Even before the Celestials appointed En Sabah Nur as their evolutionary agent, Apocalypse was immortal. One of the longest living mutants, Apocalypse benefits from a seemingly infinite lifespan via his mutations. This is likely a largecomponent of his "Survival of the Fittest" school of thought, as he presumes he will live through everything that comes to pass. It is important to note, however, that his immortality does not mean he is invulnerable.

Luckily for Apocalypse, his appointment as the agent of evolutionary change on the Celestials' behalf has afforded him a way to bolster his immortality. Should the villain take a lot of damage, his augmented body can enter a stasis that allows him to heal from injuries that may have otherwise stayed with him. This ability coupled with his natural healing factor makes sure he can return at full power whenever he is defeated.

RELATED:X-Factor: Williams & Finch Variant Homages Lee & Williams' X-Men

Apocalypse has had an interesting relationship with the techno-organic virus over his existence. Most infamously, he infected Cable with the virus, which became a part of the character's lifelong struggle and the diminishing of his power. He has also instructed his underlings to utilize the virus in other ways, like taking over spaceships and other technology. When Apocalypse made Angel into Archangel, his metal wings were made from similar techno-organic means.

On one occasion, Apocalypse's understanding of the virus allowed him to step in and help cure Professor Xavier of the affliction. While uncharacteristic of the villain, both he and the X-Men were in conflict with Stryfe at the time, so it is likely he saw value in having Xavier live. The final and most intriguing relationship En Sabah Nur has with the techno-organic virus is that it appears to revitalize him. On the rare occasion Apocalypse is killed, the virus appears to bring him back to life.

RELATED:X-Men May Be Marvel's Latest 'Secret Invasion' - But WAY More Horrifying

Apocalypse isvery hard to harm. His body is resistant to a plethora of damage types and his endurance is among the most formidable in the entire Marvel Universe. While there are certainly ways to defeat Apocalypse, simple brute force rarely works. His aforementioned healing factor, Celestial augmentations and his molecular makeup work in tandem to make him nigh-impervious.

Apocalypse isresistant to some of the most powerful energy sources in the Marvel Universe, including a shout from Black Bolt. Black Boltis able to crack planets in two with his sonic capabilities -- so knowing Apocalypse has endured one of his attacks is quite impressive. En Sabah Nur also holds the power to take in energy and absorb it to bolster his defensive capabilities, similar to other mutants like Bishop.

RELATED:X-Men: Does Krakoa Fit Into Marvel's 2099 Future?

Proving he is indeed the fittest for survival, Apocalypse is able to completely control his molecular structure. Using this power, he is able to grow to large heights, shrink his form, fashion his limbs into weapons and even constrict his foes with his body, similar tohow Mr. Fantastic often fights. This manipulation also affords him incredible defensive abilities, reinforcing body parts with extra mass if needed or contorting in unusual ways to dodge attacks.

In addition tousing his molecular structure manipulation for combat, Apocalypse can perform other extraordinary tasks like morphing himself into machinery -- most notably, Celestial technology. This allows him to merge with it and understand it better. When coupled with his Celestial technology, Apocalypse can also manipulate his body to grant himself additional superpowers or employ deceptive, shape-shifting tactics to infiltrate and blend into crowds.

KEEP READING:X-Men: How House of M's Hero DESTROYED Marvel's Mutant Future

Dragon Balls Most Disappointing Saiyan Is [SPOILER] - Which Makes No Sense

Gary is a writer on all things Marvel and hails from Newcastle, England. His favourite heroes are Nova, Moon Knight and Elixir of the X-Men. He also likes listening to Japan and brooding on balconies in old buildings.

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X-Men Anatomy: The 5 Weirdest Things About Apocalypse's Body - CBR - Comic Book Resources

We’re in a golden age of TV re-runs. Soon they’ll be the only thing on – CBS46 News Atlanta

(CNN) -- Nick Offerman never knew he was part of a TV juggernaut.

"We were never a hit -- it's one of the huge misconceptions about the show," he tells CNN, reflecting on his seven years playing curmudgeonly local government director Ron Swanson on the NBC comedy "Parks and Recreation."

"We were a critical darling ... but for some reason we didn't catch on with the fast food crowd," Offerman adds of the show, which is returning next week for a one-off special to benefit Covid-19 relief efforts. "We remained a Reuben sandwich. We never crossed over and became a McDonald cheeseburger."

But years after it came off the air, the show's transition to Big Mac is complete. "Across history, we know a great many artists in every field who died penniless and uncelebrated, and then later on people said, 'Oh, this Beethoven stuff is not half bad,'" Offerman muses. "It's just wonderful that the advent of streaming services have allowed our show, which was more of a culty sensation, to reach a much wider audience."

It's hardly a boastful statement. Old TV has never been more fashionable, and "Parks and Rec" is one of a small clutch of shows from the 2000s and early 2010s to achieve levels of success unthinkable during their original runs.

Despite a wealth of new, expensive original programming to compete with, it was the ninth most-watched show on Netflix at the end of 2019, according to an image shared by media strategist Scott Lazerson at October's Wall Street Journal Tech Live conference. (Netflix are notoriously guarded about revealing their own viewing figures).

Topping the list was one if its contemporaries, "The Office," which also came from the minds of creators Michael Schur and Greg Daniels. "Friends" was in second place, a full 15 years after its final episode aired, and other mature programs like "Grey's Anatomy" and "NCIS" were in the top five.

Many of those shows are in the process of being pried away by new upstart streaming services; "The Office," which was streamed for about 52 billion minutes in 2018 according to Nielsen data referenced by NBC in a news release, will move to that network's own service next year -- while the rights to "Friends" and an accompanying reunion special are the crown jewel of HBO Max, which launches next month.

Meanwhile, there are popular podcasts dedicated to "The Office" and "Scrubs," hosted by their stars, while other cast members from the group of shows -- like Chris Pratt and John Krasinski -- have gone on to become stalwarts of the Hollywood summer blockbuster cycle.

"I don't think I've ever watched an episode of anything more than once in my life," Offerman says. "But now it's become a thing where people choose their shows, like 'Parks and Recreation,' and it's their medicine they treat it the way I treated 'Abbey Road' or 'OK Computer.'"

"It's the first time in the history of entertainment that we can say, 'Oh, that's so great that the show gets to stick around in this way, where people can access it,'" he adds.

And it's a good thing they can -- TV and film productions are shut down across the Western world due to the coronavirus pandemic, and if those standstills go on for months and cause a belated lull in new programming, old TV may be all we have next year.

Judging by our current viewing habits, that won't be a problem. But the endless successes of a few old comedy programs -- often at the expense of big-budget originals -- beg some simple questions: why are we still so obsessed with old TV? What does it take to create a hit on such a scale? And, in the era of streaming services and endless choice, will a new show even reach those heights?

You could argue "The Office" is the show of the 21st century.

What started as a long-shot adaptation of the workplace-based BBC original turned into the millennium's prevailing piece of comfort viewing, running for nine highly rated seasons on NBC and then finding immortality online.

"There was an awareness that this show's going to be around for a long time," Justin Spitzer, who joined the show in its third season and stayed on as a writer and producer until its final year, tells CNN. "'The Office' truly was that cliche of lightning in a bottle, where you had all the right elements come together."

Still, even he couldn't have predicted its enduring success.

The show remains so in vogue among millennials and Gen Y-ers that it's spawned a re-watch podcast hosted by two of its stars, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey -- a trend more recently picked up by "Scrubs" stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison, which also enjoys cult fandom.

Eighteen-year-old indie megastar Billie Eilish even sampled dialogue from "The Office" on her song "My Strange Addiction."

"The fact that it has stayed so popular for so long, and that there is this whole other generation discovering it, is amazing," Spitzer says. "Comedy modes change so much through the generations -- it's really rare to see that this vein of humor is as popular now as it was back then."

It's surprising that so many viewers found solace in a show based in the kind of workplace they turn on the TV to escape.

But another writer on the show, Caroline Williams, says that accessibility was key to its success. "It's the busy, ensemble element of it -- there's so many different people that you're inevitably going to know someone who resembles someone on the cast," she tells CNN.

"It's standing the test of time because it's not cynical," she adds -- and Offerman agrees that viewers return to the same shows for some good-natured humor.

"I certainly have a sense of nostalgia for a time when people were more neighborly," he says. "I feel like there's been a lot of cynicism in modern comedy, there's been a lot of negativity.

You can still say 'I love you' while making people laugh," he goes on. "That's my best guess as to why people find 'Parks and Rec' so welcoming. It has a sense of optimism in humanity."

"Friends," with its young, good-looking cast and aspirational location, forgoes some of those programs' accesibility -- while hospital-set shows like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scrubs" hardly replicate most viewers' day-to-day routines -- but all stick to the central tenant of good, kind fun that Offerman highlights.

For all their on-screen talent and studio backing, even those involved admit their shows wouldn't have succeeded without perfect timing.

"'The Office' was made in a time when there were fewer options, in a time when you had to appeal to a wider audience," Williams says. "There were only so many networks and you had to have content that was for the whole family -- you didn't have a choice," she says. "Shows now are more niche, so they have a more limited perspective, fitting a particular audience."

It's helpful, too, that "The Office" and its contemporaries surfed the streaming wave at just the right time.

"A big part of (their success) was iTunes coming along," Spitzer says. "For the first time, people could catch up on shows and start to binge shows ... who knows if this show would have been anything without iTunes."

At the same time, "those are the final crop of shows before there was so much streaming, and so many different options of things to watch." Since then, "we segmented the market into so many places that very few shows are able to put together a large audience like that."

It might explain why today's big shows have far briefer moments in the spotlight. "Tiger King," like "Love is Blind," "You" and "Sex Education" before it, has already come and gone this year -- capturing the internet's imagination for a week or two, before disappearing back into the abyss of the Netflix library.

Offerman and his wife Megan Mullally, the star of "Will & Grace" and various other comedic ventures, still keep half an eye on new offerings -- "'Fleabag' and 'Killing Eve' are the big winners in our household," he says -- but it's hard to ignore that the idea of a show sustaining an audience's interest for 24 weeks a year, nine years in a row, suddenly seems antiquated.

He predicts there likely will be future TV juggernauts -- but they'll look or feel different.

And Spitzer is less convinced. "Shows come along that are big and have everyone talking," he says, citing "Tiger King" as the most recent example. But those are "flashes in the pan ... I can't imagine there's going to be one show that gets that big an audience (as 'The Office') again. Is there going to be a show that has that cultural impact? It's hard to imagine."

Now, a new challenge faces the TV industry -- and it's giving writers and actors plenty of food for thought.

Fans of "Parks and Recreation" will soon see how the characters they love are responding to the coronavirus pandemic, with a scripted special set for next week on NBC. The episode was shot remotely and won't have "all the bells and whistles" of a normal installment, Offerman says, but he praises the effort to get it on air.

Imagining an episode of "The Office" set in these strange times, meanwhile, Spitzer says: "I can see Michael being the kind of guy who doesn't pay any attention to social distancing and breaks quarantine immediately."

"They'd be no greater pain for him than being socially isolated ... he would find a way to make the staff come into the office because he couldn't bear to be alone. That's what I bet the story would be," he adds.

Back in the real world, though, the Covid-19 crisis is wreaking havoc in Hollywood, moving writers onto video conferencing apps and shutting down shoots entirely.

"I have a pilot right now that was supposed to shoot and shut down right before (it started)," Spitzer says. "All the pilots right now are being asked to write back-up episodes."

"If this were to last a year, it's sort of unfathomable," says Spitzer. "Even if the shutdowns end pretty soon, I don't know how quickly people will be excited about 100, 150 people crews working closely with one another in poorly ventilated sound stages. It's going to be interesting how it affects the industry."

If there can be a "winner" from the standstill, however, it may well be old TV.

"There will not be a fall TV season for the first time in history," media analyst Rich Greenfeld tells CNN. "For streaming services, life gets more difficult the longer this goes on -- they're going to run pretty dry on fresh content by the end of the year and they'll have to live on catalog" if productions can't start back up soon.

"Right now would be the best time to launch a streaming service in history because you've got everyone stuck at home," Greenfeld notes. HBO and NBC are doing just that in the next few weeks, while newer additions to the market include Apple+ TV and Disney Plus (HBO and CNN share a parent company, WarnerMedia).

For the time being, Netflix is seeing peaks in traffic so high that it had to lower bandwidth in Europe to avoid overwhelming the internet. The service added a stunning 16 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2020, it announced when reporting its earnings on Tuesday.

But how long that boom will continue might depend on the strength of the back catalogs.

"If anything, maybe that speaks to an ever higher liklihood of shows like 'The Office' and 'Scrubs' and 'Grey's (Anatomy)' continuing (to grow) when newer shows aren't being made -- and all we have are the existing quantity of shows that have been produced up to now."

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We're in a golden age of TV re-runs. Soon they'll be the only thing on - CBS46 News Atlanta

FALLEN is Modern Mythology Unafraid to Delve Into the Deities Dirt – Monkeys Fighting Robots

If one were to combine the biopic Party Monster with Neil Gaimans American Gods, the result would look like Fallen, a Kickstarter-produced comic created and written by Matt Ringel and drawn by Henry Ponciano. Several gods from the pantheons of the Greek, Norse, Shinto, and Aztec mythologies are banished to Earth and cut off from their kin while retaining their power and immortality.

The first issue introduces us to some of the now-earthbound Olympians, including Zeus, Athena, and Apollo, and a contingent from Asgard, such as Loki, Thor, and Odin. For our divine friends, it is on Earth as it was in the heavens, i.e., spending much of their time drinking, womanizing, and collecting wealth. Here, though, its 1986 New York City, and theyre celestial mobsters running nightclubs and the like. So, same stuff, different century.

One way the gods keep power is imparting some of their might and immortality to a human ward. This is done as a condition of their exile is, they can no longer directly affect the world of people. The wards can step in and influence the rabble on the gods behalf, so the gods can still be, well, gods. This all changes when Zeus is murdered in his penthouse. His right-hand man, Casper Clay, is now on the hunt for the killer.

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(Bad news: Zeus is dead. Good news: Hercules isnt on the hook for a Fathers Day gift.)

As Ive said here before, I love indie comics, especially ones that have been crowd-funded. Even books not at the level of a Big 2 product are still pieces of art requiring a village to create. It also represents a level of courage, putting your vision out to the public and asking them to fund it. For many creators, its their first foray into publishing and placing work in front of an audience is daunting.

Fallen is well-done on several fronts. It looks and reads like a book published traditionally. The storyline of gods on Earth isnt new; very little under the sun is new. The key is adding enough variables to make it original, and Matt Ringel did that. Its not a stretch to imagine the gods as mafioso, but turning them into club kids and drug dealers and inserting them in NYC in the mid-80s is a unique premise.

Ringels dialogue is excellent. The gods talk like ordinary people. They have normal emotions. It feels like reading about regular folks because the script is well-written and doesnt go all-in on heavy descriptors and flowery prose. Its straight-forward. Its a gritty story with a gritty feel. These beings are doing shady things, and you feel that sensation of being on the outside of the law and the establishment.

The art is stellar. Henry Ponciano not only provides a well-drawn book, but the layout and framing are well done. Too many times in self-published books, creators try to reinvent the wheel and do crazy layouts with a tendency to be more distracting than creative. The pages of Fallen are laid out in a way that provides more detail, allowing the reader to better feel the environment while following most of the basic rules of comic book layout.

The story is dark, and the scenes and colors represent that. Fallen doesnt feel like a breezy Marvel production or one of DCs epics. This book has a back-alley feel dripping from every page. The immoral dealings of the gods are represented with noir-infused beauty.

(Tom Hiddleston & Chris Helmsworth they aint.)

Its a quick read because the story moves fast. The plot is lean with no extra fat. It gets where it needs to be with efficiency, but that doesnt mean it lacks detail or depth. You get a strong vibe from each character as to who they are, what theyre about, and the methods theyre willing to use to achieve their goals. Toben Racicots letters fit perfectly. While sticking to the basic all-caps tradition, Racicot adds just a touch of flair, allowing them to shine while not detracting from the art. For me, the best letterers are the ones following the rules while standing out amongst their peers. Racicots letters are recognizable the same way a Jim Lee- or Adam Kubert-drawn panel is.

Fallen provides a new spin on an old tale and does it by infusing the story with dirt, grime, and some godly magic. Fallen is a must-read for lovers of mythology, crime dramas, or well-constructed comics.

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FALLEN is Modern Mythology Unafraid to Delve Into the Deities Dirt - Monkeys Fighting Robots

Dairy drives help keep pride in the dairyland – WAOW

AUBURNDALE, Wis. (WAOW) -- In a time of struggle for dairy farmers, Auburndale High School and many others are doing what they can to show support.

The last month and a half has been a lot of trials and tribulations, said Kylie Brown. She's a teacher, mother, and she milks cows every week on her brother's dairy farm.

She knows in many ways, its just been a stressful time for everybody

Her brother, Adam has been selling his milk for ten dollars per hundredweight. In order to break even, he should be selling for at least sixteen dollars.

Mark Cournoyer, FFA Director at Auburndale High School said, Everybody got quarantined, restaurants closed, and the demand for cheese and other dairy products fell by the waist side.

In the Auburndale School District, families love their farms. When the yearly ride your tractor to school event was canceled this week, they all shared videos online.

There are 76 dairy farms in the school district. So, the FFA and student leadership team started a dairy drive.

The response has been unbelievable, said Cournoyer

They raised $550 dollars for each week of the drive. The school is adding locally-sourced dairy products to the student meals they send home.

Cournoyer said, This week, theyre going to be getting two blocks of cheese, a gallon of butter, and a gallon of milk.

They're focusing mainly on cheese because it cuts down the amount of milk on the market by ninety percent. In other words, ten pounds of milk equals one pound of cheese.

It also has a longer shelf life for families. Cheese is milks step into immortality, said Cournoyer

As the market fills and prices fall, community members in Auburndale and across Wisconsin are rising to the challenge.

Cournoyer said, Ive been here for almost twenty years and Ive never seen people step up in the way that they have for our dairy farmers here in central Wisconsin.

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Dairy drives help keep pride in the dairyland - WAOW

True History of the Kelly Gang is all style – FanSided

Justin Kurzels True History of the Kelly Gang has great performances and sleek style, but not much to say of substance about the Australian outlaw.

Ned Kelly, a figure of Jesse James like stature in Australia, is a mostly murky figure. He was a bushranger and an outlaw who became an icon in his home country as much for his helmet and bulletproof armor as his lawlessness. But despite various attempts to put his story to screen, its not particularly clear what his deal is.True History of the Kelly Gangisnt going to change that.

The True History of the Kelly Gang is director Justin Kurzels take on the narrative and hes done his damndest to hit the marks of successful modern sensibilities: Dark, sexy, queer. Nicholas Hoult even lounges menacingly in nothing but garters. But despite strong performances and moments of greatness,Kelly Gang never coalesces, and it never figures out quite what it has to say about its legendary protagonist.

The film is based on the 2000 novelThe True History of the Kelly Gang and thus takes its historical accuracy cues nothing you are about to see is true from there. The first 40 minutes follow a young Ned (Orlando Schwerdt) as he comes of age on his familys backcountry farm, his dad (Ben Corbett) a drunk, his mom (Essie Davis) forced into sex work, a British sergeant (Charlie Hunnam) always lurking around, before hes sold to bushranger known as Harry Power (Russell Crowe). When Ned later returns home a young man (1917s George MacKay), family trouble and a sadistic British constable (Nicholas Hoult) set into motion a chain of events that lead Ned to outlaw immortality.

Without a doubt, the performances areKelly Gangs crown jewels. Crowe is wonderful, clearly having the time of his life as a mischievous bad influence, and Hunnam and Hoult both sink their teeth into their respective roles as villainous, occupying Brits. (Hoult, to be fair, gets the more extravagantly psychotic material; Hunnam more in magnanimous savior mode.)

As Ned, MacKay does his best with a character weve pretty much seen before. Hes a man forced to violence out of a sense of familial responsibility foisted on him too young with a bottomless well of both mommy and daddy issues while devolving increasingly into manic madness and self-mythologizing because surprise! he has a sensitive streak. The best of MacKays performance is bracingly, intensely physical, but his most impressive scene may be the one of the more vulnerable moments Ned shares with an English teacher hostage.

But, with all due respect to MacKay, Davis is the films true star as Kelly matriarch Ellen. Shes a magnetic and terrifying piece of work and you never for one second doubt her power to keep all these men truly, every single one of them under her sway. From an innuendo-laden dinner conversation to a jail cell confrontation, Davis electrifies every scene shes in.

In addition to stellar performances, Kelly Gangalso has moments of true beauty, stunningly composed shots leveraging the full visual power of the Australian bush and the dramatic, eye-catching aesthetic embraced by the outlaws.

However, as a sum of these parts,The True History of the Kelly Ganglacks cohesion, momentum and ultimately, impact. Neds glaring parental problems its no surprise to learn Kurzel directed MacKay to approach scenes with Davis like he would a romantic partner arent particularly interesting, nor really is his quasi-romance or motivating conflict. The story simply drags, feeling much longer than its two-hour runtime.

Furthermore, for film lauded as gender-bending, transgressive and queer, it falls short of committing to any of those three things. The party line for why the men wear dresses into battle is that men are afraid of what they dont understand and men fear crazy. If his father, brother or any of the men in Neds gang are motivated otherwise, its not made text. And despite all the codifiers of intimacy and a romantic relationship between Ned and his best friend Joe (Sean Keenan) not to mention overwhelming sexual tension between Ned and Fitzpatrick in their first meeting plausible deniability abounds. (That said, the other lines of sexual attraction inKelly Gangare a Pandoras box of Oedipal complexes, pedophilia and power trips so maybe Ned and Joe are well enough left alone.)

Ultimately,Kelly Gangdoes not seem know what to do (or what it wants to do) with all the imagery, aesthetic and cultural signifiers it references. For all the monologues and speeches, theres no real sense of how the film understands Ned and his legacy or how a gender-bending punk rock veneer might elucidate some valuable truth about his story. Its sleek and stylish, and then its over.

There is a sharp, bold and visually stunning telling of the Ned Kelly myth somewhere in The True History of the Kelly Gang, but in the end, its too long, too uncertain and too flat to be legendary.

True History of the Kelly Gang is available on digital and on demandApril 24.

For more, explore the Reviews section at FanSided.com.

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True History of the Kelly Gang is all style - FanSided

What We Do in the Shadows is a vampire comedy about being stuck at home – The Verge

Theres something soothing about watching a bunch of vampires be absolute morons on television every week. Theyre undead, capable of incredible feats, dark magic, and, in most cases, have been alive for hundreds of years. They should possess at least a little more finesse than Michael Scott. And yet, the bloodsucking clowns of What We Do in the Shadows are so very bad at being immortal monsters, which means they are excellent at comedy.

FXs TV series, based on the Taika Waititi film of the same name, returned for a second season just as funny as ever. Like the movie, the show follows a trio of vampires this time, they live on Staten Island as opposed to the New Zealand of the films living together in a derelict old manor. Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Laszlo (Matt Berry), and Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) are hundreds of years old and also total dorks. Theyre bad at most things they do, but as long as they dont accidentally stumble into sunlight or fall on a wooden stake, theyll get over it. (It turns out, vampirism is a very potent form of failing upward.)

While this is extremely similar to the movie its based on, the TV version of What We Do in the Shadows fleshes out its mockumentary antics with a few additions to the formula: namely, a familiar, Guillermo (Harvey Guilln) who serves them in hopes of becoming a vampire, and Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), an energy vampire who looks normal but feeds off the ambient misery of everyone around him.

Colin and Guillermo are the reason What We Do in the Shadows works as a show, two regular-looking dudes juxtaposed against their goth reality show roommates that also have their own normcore sociopathic tendencies. Colin, in particular, gives the show a feeling very similar to The Office. As an energy vampire, he feeds off everyones annoyance and goes out of his way to be obnoxiously corny and irritating. (One very good Colin bit involves him incessantly saying updog as if it were a joke no one had ever heard before.)

Like the best work of show creator Jemaine Clement (who co-wrote the film with Waititi), theres a lot of fun to be had with taking the iconography of the occult and supernatural and putting them in front of the mundanity of the mockumentary. What happens when theyre haunted by a very petty ghost? Or deal with animal control when it captures one of them in bat form? Or accidentally get a pet zombie?

Watching What We Do in the Shadows is oddly cathartic while social distancing. Maybe its because the vampires of the show are also isolated in a fashion, unable to see the sunlight and absolutely kooky as a result. Maybe, What We Do in the Shadows argues, immortality wouldnt make you cool or fearsome, but instead really freaking weird. In that way, its kind of like watching a reality show about patently awful people. Maybe you have your flaws, but hey: youre not that bad!

If youve spent any of the last month on Twitter, the corniest social network, you might have noticed a meme going around where people ask each other to pick their preferred quarantine house. Simply put, the tweets list groups of people, real or fictional, and asks which set you would like to shack up with while social distancing. Like all bad memes, theres very little logic to them other than asking people to argue for the posters amusement, and this makes them consistently unfunny at least until the lists get so baffling that the meme loops around to becoming funny again.

Its a bad meme, but its one that feels appropriate for understanding why What We Do in the Shadows is so fun to watch. Like in this silly Twitter exercise, no one in their right mind would probably want to share a home with a bunch of vampires. But after watching What We Do in the Shadows, why not? It could be fun. I wouldnt recommend vampirism as a quarantine hobby, but being weirder? Sure. We could stand to be a little weirder.

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What We Do in the Shadows is a vampire comedy about being stuck at home - The Verge

The ethics of virtual immortality and an after-life online – Business Day

Tbilisi Have you ever wanted to talk to a loved one after they died? It used to be that only those calling themselves necromancers and mediums could claim to contact the dead, but soon digital versions of the deceased could be living just a few clicks away.

From South Korea to the US, tech start-ups are looking at ways to keep the dead alive in a digital afterlife that data experts say poses myriad legal and ethical questions the world is yet to properly address.

Technically, we can recreate anyone online given enough data, said Faheem Hussain, a clinical assistant professor at Arizona State Universitys School for the Future of Innovation in Society. That opens up a Pandoras box of ethical implications.

Most services only allow people to sign up to their own digital afterlife while they are still alive.But the lack of regulation on the issue leaves the door open for others with access to the data of the deceased to bring them back to life in virtual form raising concerns about privacy and consent, data experts say.

In most countries, the data of the deceased is not protected, said Edina Harbinja, a senior lecturer in media and privacy law at Birminghams Aston University.So, nothing in law would prevent the creation of an avatar or android that would resemble the dead.

That could happen without the consent of the deceased, and the data used could infringe on other peoples privacy if it includes, for example, conversations the person had with friends and others.

Virtual alter egos

From virtual reality (VR) to artificial intelligence (AI), advances in technology have spurred a series of initiatives offering different shades of virtual immortality in recent years.

In February, a South Korean broadcaster aired a tearful reunion between a mother and her deceased 7-year-old daughter who was recreated through VR as a digital avatar modeled on a child actor using photos and memories from her mother.

Other companies have been looking at social media as a source of information to create chatbots that could impersonate us after we are gone.

ETER9, a social network set up by Portuguese developer Henrique Jorge, pairs each user with an AI counterpart that learns to copy their online behaviour and can post comments and content on their behalf even after they are dead.

When a user decides to keep [their] counterpart active for eternity, [they] will have the extension of [them] alive forever, Jorge told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in e-mailed comments.Some years from now, your great-grandchildren will be able to talk with you even if they didnt have the chance to know you in person.

US-based Eternime offers a similar service, while Replika, a company in California, creates digital alter egos that users can talk to when in need of a confidant or companion.

Other start-ups such as SafeBeyond and GoneNotGone allow people to record videos and messages that will be dispatched to their loved ones after death, like letters from the grave marking birthdays or other life events.

Many questions, few answers

While some people might find comfort in the idea of living on digitally after they die, data experts warn that holes in data protection laws make it possible to virtually resurrect someone without their permission.

Wills can provide some guidelines if they contain directions on how to dispose of the deceaseds digital assets, but in some countries there is no guarantee these will be honoured, said Harbinja.

In Britain, for example, decisions around what to do with data is seen as personal wishes akin to preferring cremation rather than burial that can be overridden by executors and heirs and are not enforceable in court, she noted.

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The ethics of virtual immortality and an after-life online - Business Day

Denman’s racing immortality leaves mere passing firmly in the shade – Racing Post

Published in the Racing Post on June 7, 2018

Death shall have no dominion. How could it, when Denman had gained racing immortality long ago? Death takes a moment and is gone, but a life so well lived is everlasting.

The final kindness of the needle, gently and mournfully wielded, ushered Denman from his quiet field into the Elysian Field where all the horses go, the great and the good and the only ordinary.

Now, just out of our earshot, a strong, steady voice is announcing his arrival, and from the depths of the long, sweet grass Kauto Star has pricked up his ears and is walking quickly towards his old neighbour, old rival, old friend.

Denman's gone. No more will he lift his head as pheasants rise from the hedgerows with a clatter of wings, no more will he carefully present his backside to those seeking an audience, his silent, eloquent method of deterring conversation.

But what a treasury he leaves us. Death takes life but it cannot subtract from it, can't diminish that which came before. Denman's legacy is inviolable.

We know about the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the two Hennessys, the RSA Chase, the Lexus, the Racing Post Rating of 184, all the enduring excelsior of a career that never failed to excite.

What the bare statistics cannot convey, though, and what will form the main strand of a million reminiscences, is the way Denman went about his work. Some horses glide across the turf, others plod sturdily over it, but Denman hammered it into submission. At his great and glorious peak, he was an elemental force like no other.

He was a big horse, a throwback to a half-forgotten age of steeplechasing when giants strode the earth. We called him The Tank, in tribute to his size, but also to his relentlessness. He was the irresistible force, and woe betide any immovable object that lay in his way. Sometimes it was a rival, sometimes a long-established record, sometimes it was simply the bulwarks of belief that were turned to matchwood by his might.

Denman relaxes during retirement after a career that saw him scale remarkable heights

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

His victory in the Gold Cup was a good example. Not only did he steal the crown from Kauto Star, he wrenched it away with barely credible brute force, alloyed with a rough-edged elegance and economy of effort.

To watch him come barrelling down the Cheltenham hill, turning for home full of running, is to witness the perfect exposition of equine power. He would have run through a brick wall that day and not turned a hair.

Together with his stablemate he helped change the aspect of his sport. Denman and Kauto Star were like United and City, like Federer and Nadal, like Coe and Ovett, opposing styles, opposite poles of brilliance.

Between them they transcended the mere technicalities of their sport, seemingly spurred each other to greater heights, victory for one more sweet and more meaningful when gained at the expense of the other.

Cheltenham Gold Cup hero and jumps legend Denman dies aged 18

Ostensibly, you were implacably either for Denman or for Kauto Star, but that did not preclude a warm and genuine appreciation of the other's talents, nor the unavailing arguments about who was the better.

Perhaps it was in his two Hennessy wins that we truly saw the greatest of Denman, though. They were similar in execution he mercilessly crushed the opposition but very different in context.

His first victory, in 2007, was peak Denman, the mighty athlete in his pomp. He was still unbeaten over fences, his limits unknown, and he carried his 11st 12lb burden as a weightlifter might carry a small child on his shoulders. We thrilled to him, struck by all sorts of awe.

Two years later, it was a different Denman. He had been made to seem mortal, a shell of his former self, laid low by his heart problems, his proud record in tatters, his crown lost for good. On his previous start, he had fallen for the first time. Now his 11st 12lb looked like a millstone around the neck of a war-wearied veteran.

'The Tank' is back: Denman and Ruby Walsh storm to success in the 2009 Hennessy Gold Cup, carrying 22lb more than runner-up What A Friend (left)

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

Yet his spirit remained intact. He summoned up 'old Denman' for the final time, put his shoulder to the wheel, wore his battered old heart on his sleeve, and although it looked like very hard work he didn't shrink from the task until it was done.

It would be his last victory, his last hurrah, and as he returned to his adoring public there were not a few of them with tears rolling down their cheeks.

Now those tears are falling again, now that great heart is stilled. Denman is no more. One more long, luxurious summer at grass would have been a blessing, but it was time to go.

But as long as horses race, whenever the dust is blown in clouds from ancient record books, wherever men and women come together to talk about their champions, Denman will be brought bewitchingly to life.

Years hence, when younger faces light up at the exploits of the next great star (for there is always a next great star), old heads will nod and then these words will follow: "Ah, but you never saw Denman, did you."

And the stories will be told again.Denman will never die, you see; in this way he will live forever.

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Denman's racing immortality leaves mere passing firmly in the shade - Racing Post

Letter to the editor: A living soul – News – The Columbus Dispatch

SundayApr19,2020at12:01AM

To the editor:

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

The spirit of God has made me; the breath of the almighty gives me life. Job 33:4

For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child both alike belongs to me. The one who sins is the one who will die. Ezekiel 18:4

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might on the day He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10

Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. Matthew 25:46

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? Mark 8:36-37

But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did. 1 John 2:5-6

For my fathers will is that everyone who looks to the son and believes in Him, shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. John 6:40

For the imperishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:53

In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality. Proverbs 12:28

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. Romans 2:7-8

The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17

Gregory Graham

Senecaville

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Letter to the editor: A living soul - News - The Columbus Dispatch

In plants found the gene of immortality – The KXAN 36 News

Scientists at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands have discovered a new gene that allows annual plants continue to grow after flowering, and not to die. The discovery may improve the yield of agricultural crops, not visiva them again every year. Article researchers published in the journal Nature Plants.

Researchers have identified the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) gene AHL15, which determines whether the plant is capable of growing season after flowering. Vegetation growth and development, provide points of growth group of stem cells that form new stems with leaves or flowers. In perennial plants, some growth areas remain active, however, at the annual this is not happening. The suppression of gene AHL15 life of perennial plants gets shorter, and if sverkhekspressiya plants bloom several times.

According to scientists, the discovery will help to answer the question, why in the course of evolution, some plants become annuals and others perennial. In addition, the preservation of activity of some groups of stem cells such annual crops as rice or wheat, would the plants continue to grow after harvest.

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In plants found the gene of immortality - The KXAN 36 News

Westworld series refresher, what you need to know before season 3 – News Lagoon

Westworld is undoubtedly one of the most complex shows of our time.With the show being on hiatus for almost two years, people are likely to need a refresher as to where we last left off. So, here we are, trying to do our best to recap the sophomore season of Westworld.

While the show is getting a soft reboot in the new season and will be branching out to the real world (or is it just another simulation?), we spent almost all of our time last season in the park. We saw an uprising of hosts which resulted in a brutal slaughter of both the hosts and humans. Some of the hosts made it to the Valley Beyond, aka The Sublime, a digital sanctuary for hosts where they can lead a peaceful life, free from human predators.

And while the season 2 finale saw Thandie Newtons Maeve who is probably the only host who can pose a threat to Dolores getting decommissioned in the end (we cant wait to see where the queen will find herself next), it was not before she made sure that her beloved daughter made it to the Valley.

Doloress dearly beloved, Teddy (James Marsden) and Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon) also made it to the valley in the finale.

The end of Season 2 also saw Evan Rachel Woods Dolores escaping the park, as she entered the human world (or maybe just another simulation?) to endhuman dominance once and for all.

To escape, she disguised herself as a synthetic double of Tessa Thompsons Charlotte Hale, who was in charge of the park following Anthony Hopkins Fords death.

The real Charlotte Hale was already killed by Dolores herself a while ago. We also see Luke Hemsworths Ashley Stubbs, who was the head of the park security, helping her in her escape. The creators later revealed that Stubbs is a host created by Ford himself.

Dolores also managed to take five digitized balls with her, which contains the essence and psyches of some other hosts and could be used in different host bodies.

Dolores is using the android version of Hale as her insider within Delos, as she continues her role as an executive of the company. Although we still dont know who is inside her and we cannot wait to find out.

Jeffrey Wrights Bernard has always been conflicted between hosts and humans; after all, for so long, he thought that he was a human. During the season finale, we found out that Charlores killed Bernard, but later, he was brought back into the real world by Dolores. She explains that his presence is vital to her plan even though they will have to be enemies (seriously though??? What is up with that? We cant wait to find out.)

Ed Harriss The Man in Black, aka William, accidentally killed his daughter, who he thought was just another host and was a part of the mind game that Ford designed for him.

He also faced off against Dolores in the finale, which resulted in him injuring his hand severely and seriously hurting himself. As of now, he is the primary owner of the theme parks and is obsessed with the immortality project and the secrets that the company holds.

But intriguingly enough, in the post-credits scene, we saw him in a psychological prison just like the one where the younger William (Jimmi Simpson) used to interview Delos, being interviewed by a version of his daughter.

Meanwhile, we also found out that Delos real objective was to monitor the guests and collect their psyche data that is part of their larger and vital project, immortality itself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDJbFA32_QY

Next: Horizon Zero Dawn deserves a TV adaptation

Westworld Season 3 airs Sundays on HBO, Aaron Paul is the latest addition to the already star-studded cast of this superhit series.

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Westworld series refresher, what you need to know before season 3 - News Lagoon

48 SECONDS FROM IMMORTALITY: The story of the 1990 Concord Minutemen – Goshen News

DUNLAP On March 24, 1990, more than 41,000 people packed the Hoosier Dome to watch a high school basketball game.

Most were there to see Damon Bailey, a living folk hero in Indiana. The states all-time leading scorer, Bailey had been recruited by then-Indiana University head coach Bob Knight since eighth grade. A senior now at Bedford North Lawrence, Bailey had one last chance to add a state championship to his already legendary resume.

But there was another team on the court that night the Concord Minutemen. A team from near the Michigan border, the Minutemen entered the 1990 IHSAA State Championship Game with a 28-0 record, the No. 1 ranking in the state and four future Division-I college basketball players on the roster.

In many aspects, the Minutemen were the other team. They were the other team in the title game. They were also the other Concord team, as the 1988 team, led by future NBA all-star Shawn Kemp, went 28-0 en route to a championship game appearance. The 1990 Concord Minutemen believed, though, and it put them within 48 seconds of a state championship.

This is their story.

After finishing as the state runner-up in 1988, Concord had a disappointing 1989 season. They finished 18-4, but failed to get out of the sectional round. They played the entire 1989 season without Bill Mutch, though, a 6-4 forward/center who started on the 1988 team as a sophomore. Mutch was suspended for the 1989 season due to off-the-court reasons.

With Mutch coming back for his senior season, along with players like senior Jamar Johnson, senior Micah Sharp, junior Mike Swanson and junior Jeff Massey, the preseason expectations were simple: championship or bust.

I thought anything less than a state championship would be a failed year, Mutch said. The two goals I had that year were to go undefeated and win a state championship. Those were the goals that I wrote down and looked at every single night.

It was such a strong belief that the teams motto for the season was Believe. They wore wristbands with the word on it, broke every huddle by saying 1-2-3, believe! and head coach Jim Hahn even put a banner up with the word on it inside the locker room accompanied by a picture of the Hoosier Dome.

Greg and Austin are joined by legendary Concord boys basketball coach Jim Hahn (11:45-end) to discuss the 1990 Minutemen team that finished st

We just wanted to make it a mindset that this is really what we believe that we can do and where were going to get, Hahn said.

The Minutemen faced minimal resistance to start the season. In their first 11 games, only two of them were decided by less than 10 points. Concord had moved up to No. 4 in the Indiana Associated Press rankings following an 81-68 victory over Penn to improve to 11-0 on the season.

What awaited the Minutemen next, though, was a showdown with No. 1 Warsaw. Not only was the Northern Lakes Conference championship going to be decided in this game, but the No. 1 ranking in the state was potentially on the line as well.

Factor in the Tigers beat Concord by 26 the year prior, and the Minutemen were more than ready for the biggest game in the state that week.

Going into that week, nobody had to really pump us up, Sharp said. We were ready to go because we had all remembered what had happened the year before, and now they were coming into our house.

Concord alums, like 1989 graduate Dave Preheim, went out of their way to see the top-5 matchup.

I was going to college in Kansas, and I talked to one of my college professors into letting me out of a final, or moving one of my finals, so that I could come home because we were playing Warsaw, Preheim said.

The game wasnt much of a game. Concord fed off its home crowd and stomped Warsaw, 98-67. Johnson scored 35 points as the Minutemen left no doubt who the top team in the state was.

Nobody was going to beat us in McCuen Gym, period, Mutch said. That was just not going to happen even under our watch. And it didnt. It turned out to be The Jamar Johnson Show. The four of us starters kind of stepped back and watched it happen.

That was probably just a magical night for me," Johnson added. "Just because I knew that night, everybody in the state was looking at that game. If I wanted to make All-State, this was the moment for me to make my mark. ... And man, did the stars align for us that night.

Concord seniors Bill Mutch, left, and Jamar Johnson, right, celebrate winning the 1990 regional boys basketball championship.

Concord moved to No. 1 in the following weeks rankings and stayed there for the rest of the season. They entered the 1990 state basketball tournament with an average winning margin of 21.2 points.

The Minutemen then faced no resistance in the early rounds of the tournament. They beat Goshen, Penn and Elkhart Central to win the sectional; Bremen and East Noble to win the regional and Whitko in the semistate semifinal.

All that stood in the way between Concord and a state semifinals berth literally were Jon and Joe Ross of Northfield. Standing at 6-9 and 6-10, respectively, the Ross twins posed the biggest threat to Concord throughout the postseason run. The Minutemens tallest player? Mutch, at 6-4.

I was more worried about how we were going to defend them than was worried about our offense because, offensively, I thought if wed be able to score, wed be fine, Hahn said. I was just concerned about defense.

The game came down to the final seconds. With the score tied at 52, Concord had possession. Mutch wound up with the ball and passed it off to Massey, who put up a shot. As the shot was coming down, Jon Ross blocked it, causing a goaltending call. The basket counted, and the Minutemen went up 54-52 with two seconds left in the game.

The 1990 Concord boys basketball team takes a team picture after winning the semistate championship, advancing to the state semifinals.

Northfield still had one more chance to score, but Jon Ross missed a layup as time expired. Concord was the semistate champions and on to the state semifinals the next weekend at the Hoosier Dome.

I just remember beating the crap out of those guys, Swanson said. We committed so many fouls because we were so much smaller than those guys. It was a very difficult matchup because of their height. The goaltending at the end of the game was a dramatic way to win the game.

Our whole team, we just always played as a unit, Johnson added. I think the magical moment to show that we were destined to go to Indianapolis was that last play. I mean, how does a 6-10, 6-11 guy miss a layup at the buzzer? Were talking destiny now.

Back in the single-class system, the state semifinal and final games were played on the same day. In the 1990 northern semifinal game, Concord played the Anderson Indians. The southern draw saw Bedford North Lawrence against Southport.

Concord entered the weekend with the No. 1 ranking, but they were far from being the favorites.

I talked to several of the coaches from the southern schools that (Bedford North Lawrence) played and they all told me the same thing when we talked: Jim, you have a really good team youre not going to win a state championship, Hahn said. And Im like, What do you mean? And theyre going, Damon Bailey is going to win the state championship.

The atmosphere around Concord all week was electric.

I remember getting a lot of ticket requests, I can tell you that, Mutch said.

A lot of that stuff is kind of a blur, but I do remember when we were getting on the bus to go down to state, we had a charter bus and they had police in the front and the back trailing us down to state, Sharp added.

The team went down to Indianapolis on the Friday before the state games to do a shootaround. Hahn let the team walk around the Hoosier Dome for 15 minutes before the team practiced in the former home of the Indianapolis Colts.

The Hoosier Dome hit me when we walked in there for our shootaround for our practice on Friday, Johnson said. They let all teams in there for an hour and 15 minutes; thats when it hit me. Thats when I thought, This is crazy. This is crazy.

Concord senior Jamar Johnson, left, drives up court during the 1990 state semifinal game against Anderson.

Concord played the first semifinal game that Saturday. After going up by 20 points on Anderson, the Indians came back to tie the game late. Anderson ran out of energy, though, and Concord was able to hang on to a 70-66 victory.

Playing in the Hoosier Dome wasn't that hard, according to Swanson.

The Hoosier Dome, because of the way the floor was setup we could communicate with each other because the crowd was so far away from you, and it was such a large place, Swanson said. Thats kind of what struck me. It was amazing to look around, but while we were on the floor, it was like we were in the gym by ourselves talking to each other.

Bedford North Lawrence defeated Southport, 58-55, in the second semifinal game, setting up the matchup everyone wanted: The No. 1 team in the state vs. the No. 1 high school player in the country.

We wanted to beat him because we knew he was an Indiana legend, and thats kind of how our team was we wanted to beat the best and we wanted to beat Damon Bailey, Swanson said. It was definitely something we looked forward to because we had a lot of confidence in ourselves to win that game. We wanted to beat the best because we knew if we win the state championship and beat any other team, theyre not going to look at it (the same).

There was no doubt in the Concord locker room who was going to win the state championship that night.

We thought we were going to win state when we got on the bus, so when we got to the championship game, we still were thinking were going to win the game, Sharp said.

Swanson was tasked with guarding Bailey first, something the junior knew hed have to do.

Almost every game, whoever the best player was, whether it was a point guard or a big guy, I would take on their leading scorer as a defender, Swanson said. It was kind of my role, so I knew I was going to have to guard him.

Bailey and the Stars started the game strong. The states all-time leading scorer had 11 points, BNL shot 9-of-12 from the field and they took a 24-18 lead over Concord after the first quarter.

Hahn knew he wanted to rotate different defenders onto Bailey throughout the game. After the first quarter, a defensive change was made.

I believe Jamar came into the huddle between quarters and I asked, You want to guard him? And he said, Yeah, absolutely. Thats what you want, Hahn said. You want your best player to step up to that challenge.

The adjustment worked. Bailey was held scoreless in the second quarter and Concord outscored BNL, 19-8, in the frame. The Minutemen took their first lead of the game, 31-30, on a three-point play from Mutch with 4:35 to go in the half. They led 37-32 at halftime.

"Me and Damon probably played three or four times that summer in AAU against one another," Johnson said. "So, he knew me, I knew him. Damon was the type of player where he was smart; he was a smart basketball player. Maybe I did slow him down Id like to think that."

Bedford didnt go away easily, though. They fought back to tie the game at 46 going into the fourth. Bailey scored eight points in the period to send the Stars and Minutemen into a dramatic fourth quarter.

Just intently focused on the mission at hand, Mutch said. Weve got eight minutes to go win a state championship, period. At that point, it didnt matter if there were 40,000 people in the gym or 2,000 people in the gym. We knew what needed to be done.

I dont think anybody was in fear, not even (Massey), Sharp added. Its close now, but were just going to have to squeak it out like we did at semistate.

Concord came out strong to start the fourth. It built its biggest lead of the game, 58-52, with 2:38 to go in the contest. The Minutemen could taste a state championship.

We had a possession in there as we were running the offense, there was a thought in the back of my mind, Do we pull it out? Do we make them foul or take nothing but a layup? We were probably one possession away from doing that, and we didnt, Hahn said.

Bailey wouldnt go quietly into the night, though. He went on a 7-0 run of his own to give the Stars a 59-58 lead with 59 seconds remaining in the game. Concord called a timeout.

After the break, the Minutemen executed a perfect play for Johnson. The all-state senior buried a jumper on the baseline, giving Concord a 60-59 lead with 48 seconds left in the contest.

And then, it happened.

Following the Johnson field goal, Bailey took the inbounds pass and started running up court. The BNL senior headed straight towards the basket and ran right into Mutch. The referee called the foul on Mutch.

Everyone in green and white disagrees.

When I saw it, I originally thought, That is a charge! And so then, I looked up at the screen because they had the big screens and I wanted to see the replay, Sharp said. And they showed a Prudential Insurance advertisement, and I was like, Wheres the replay? Still to this day, I believed that it was a charge.

My mind hasnt changed since my original thought on that, Hahn added.

Bailey sank both free throws to put BNL ahead by one with 40 seconds left.

On the ensuing possession, the Minutemen missed a potential go-ahead bucket. While going up for the rebound, Bailey was fouled. He made two more free throws to give the Stars a 63-60 advantage with 24 seconds left.

Concord had one more chance to tie the game. The Minutemen wound up getting four cracks at knocking down a 3 in the final 17 seconds of the game.

Johnson took the first one and missed, but Johnson grabbed the rebound and passed it to Massey. His 3 attempt then rattled out, but Sharp grabbed the rebound. Sharp ran beyond the three-point line to take a shot, but his attempt also missed. Massey grabbed one last rebound and fired another 3, but it was short. BNL junior Jason Lambrecht grabbed the rebound, the clock ran out and Bedford North Lawrence were the state champions.

"Believe" was the slogan for the 1990 Concord boys basketball team.

A cheerleader holds a "believe" sign up during a timeout at the 1990 state championship game.

The final buzzer sounds in the 1990 state championship game.

Concord coach Jim Hahn, right, consoles senior Jamar Johnson after the 1990 state championship game.

Concord cheerleaders show their emotions after the boys basketball team lost in the 1990 state championship game.

Members of the 1990 Concord boys basketball team walk off the court with the state runner-up trophy.

Concord seniors Bill Mutch, left, and Jamar Johnson, center, receive the 1990 state runner-up trophy from then-school Athletic Director Larry Jackowiak at a school rally the Monday after the state championship game. Seated clapping is coach Jim Hahn.

"Believe" was the slogan for the 1990 Concord boys basketball team.

A cheerleader holds a "believe" sign up during a timeout at the 1990 state championship game.

The final buzzer sounds in the 1990 state championship game.

Concord coach Jim Hahn, right, consoles senior Jamar Johnson after the 1990 state championship game.

Concord cheerleaders show their emotions after the boys basketball team lost in the 1990 state championship game.

Members of the 1990 Concord boys basketball team walk off the court with the state runner-up trophy.

Concord seniors Bill Mutch, left, and Jamar Johnson, center, receive the 1990 state runner-up trophy from then-school Athletic Director Larry Jackowiak at a school rally the Monday after the state championship game. Seated clapping is coach Jim Hahn.

I had nightmares after that, Sharp said. I had nightmares about that shot. I actually had a dream where that shot went in, and then I woke up and I realized it was a dream.

I was in disbelief and I had this overwhelming thought of, I just let all of my teammates down and I letdown coach Hahn, Mutch added. At that time, my heart broke for Jamar, and my heart broke for coach Hahn. That was it. Those were the two people that it bothered me the most that we couldnt finish the job.

It took Johnson and Sharp 25 years to watch the game back through its entirety. Mutch has watched it multiple times, but not in 15 years. Hahn said it took him 27 years to watch it back. Swanson refuses to watch the game.

I literally will never watch that game, Swanson said. It didnt end the way I wanted it to end. I know the result; theres no reason for me to breakdown that film and watch it again.

Mutch has the unique role of being at the center of the controversial block/charge call to end the game. While he still thinks it shouldve been a charge, hes accepted the events that transpired in that moment.

I dont mind that call being a block in that, over the past 30 years to reflect, I think Damon Bailey deserved that call, Mutch said. I am OK with it, given what he did for his entire career in Indiana high school basketball.

Concord finished the season 28-1 for the second time in three years. The 1990 team is one of five boys basketball teams from Elkhart County to ever reach the state championship game. Only one 2004 Jimtown won a state championship, under the new class system that had been implemented in 1998.

Individual stats from the season.

Team stats from the season.

Games 1-15 of the season.

Games 16-29 of season. Games 21-29 were postseason contests.

Individual stats from the season.

Team stats from the season.

Games 1-15 of the season.

Games 16-29 of season. Games 21-29 were postseason contests.

Thats why many players from the 1990 team believe theyre the best team to ever come from the county even better than the 88 Concord team led by Kemp.

I think our legacy has to be the best team in the history of Concord basketball. I really do, Johnson said. The 88 team was the most talented, but I think the 90 team goes down as the best team in the history of Concord basketball thus to this point. First time the schools been ranked No. 1. Statistically, we were probably the best team.

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48 SECONDS FROM IMMORTALITY: The story of the 1990 Concord Minutemen - Goshen News

Ginkgo: The Tree of Immortality | NCPR News – North Country Public Radio

Mar 21, 2020

The search for the Fountain of Youth dates back at least to the writings of Greek historian Herodotus in the 5thCentury BC. Notable figures from Alexander the Great to Juan Ponce de Len searched in vain for a fabled spring from which a drink could halt the ageing process. If such healing waters ever did exist, I suspect the ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba) may have slurped them dry more than 200 million years ago, because recent studies show that this living fossil can grow for thousands of years without any sign of faltering on a cellular level.

The term senescence is the decline in vigor that happens to all or nearly all living things as they close in on their kinds average lifespan. Of course, this varies by individual, and ones environment plays a part as well, but by and large, longevity is a factor of what species you are. There are marine barrel sponges which apparently live for 2,000 years, and some land tortoises make it past the two-century mark. On the other hand, from the time it emerges out of the water, a mayfly has but 24 hours to find a mate before its clock runs out.

Trees also run the age-gamut. Bur and white oaks, massive and picturesque trees native to our area, can live eight centuries or more in good health, while eastern white cedars found on the Niagara Escarpment were seedlings during Europes Dark Ages. In the West we have coastal redwoods older than 2,000 years, and giant sequoias which have seen more than three-thousand winters. Impressive as this is, these old-timers still face the slow decline of senescence.

The mountain ash - live fast, die young. Photo: Giallopolenta, public domain

However, a study published on January 13, 2020 in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesindicates that the ginkgo tree, native to China, gets old but does not age in the way we normally think about that process. Dubbed a living fossil because as a species it has not changed in 270 million years, the ginkgo is best-known to North Americans as a street tree. It earned a place in the hearts of arborists and urban planners because it can tolerate harsh air pollution as well as heavy road-salt use and high soil pH, conditions fatal to many other tree species.

Gingko leaves. Photo: Marzena7, public domain

Unlike most trees, the ginkgo isdioecious, a fancy word for having male and female flowers on separate trees. This is important to keep in mind if you wish to plant one in your yard, because female ginkgoes bear a nut-like seed encased in fleshy pulp. After the seeds drop, this pulp decays. It stinks like rancid butter, and is almost as slippery. Most ginkgoes sold at nurseries are males, but ask just to be sure.

Conducted in Chinas Hubei and Jiangsu provinces, the ginkgo study examined 34 trees ranging from 3 to 667 years old. It looked at genes related to the making of chemicals that protect against disease, and found the same level of protection in trees of all ages. As molecular biologist Richard Dixon of the University of North Texas told CBC Radios Bob McDonald on aQuirks and Quarkssegment which aired on February 28, 2020, In relation to the immunity of the plant against stress or disease, it was hard to tell a 600-year-old tree from a 20-year-old tree. Id wager that line will show up in a marketing campaign somewhere.

Another author of the study, Jinxing Lin of Beijing Forestry University, allows that after thousands of years rooted in the same place, assuming it can avoid bulldozers, chainsaws and storms, a ginkgo tree might eventually die of old age. Thats about as close as a scientist can get to saying ginkgoes are immortal.

For humans and other animals, and every plant save perhaps the ginkgo, theres no way to dodge senescence, which shares a Latin root,senex, with senility. In that regard I envy trees. Their decline is a critical part of the forest life cycle, plus they dont have to remember where they left the car keys, or the car for that matter.

An ISA-Certified Arborist since 1996,Paul Hetzlerwanted to be a bear when he grew up but failed the audition. He now writes essays about nature. His bookShady Characters: Plant Vampires, Caterpillar Soup, Leprechaun Trees and Other Hilarities of the Natural World,is available on Amazon.

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With only 4k miles, this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300SD will outlive us all – Autoblog

At a time when we are suddenly confronted with our own mortality, the notion of immortality holds tremendous sway. That's why this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300SD, for sale right now on Bring a Trailer is even more compelling than usual. This Benz has covered just 4,000 miles and offers the promise, if not of immortality, then at least of a very, very long life ahead of it.

These diesel-powered W126-generation S-class Benz sedans are famous for their longevity, but most of them have already lived a full life in the 30-plus years since they were built. Not this example. With its ultra-low mileage and preserved condition, it's as if this Benz were only a few months old.

The '82 300SD is powered by a Mercedes's OM617 inline-six-cylinder turbodiesel, displacing 3.0 liters. Its 119 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque are dispensed to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission, and promise slow-but-steady progress. Outside, the car wears a period-perfect hue of Cypress Green. Inside, there's acres of Palomino leather. Adding to the big Benz sedan's comfort for the long haul are factory air conditioning (with a compressor that is said to have been replaced), power windows, power seats, and a power sunroof. Settle in and enjoy the ride.

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With only 4k miles, this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300SD will outlive us all - Autoblog

Christ Provides the Antidote to Fear Amid Coronavirus – National Catholic Register

Bartolom Esteban Murillo, The Resurrection of the Lord, c. 1655 (Public Domain)

COMMENTARY: Turn to the Savior of the world who conquered death when fear or anxiety strikes.

The global coronavirus pandemic has made it clear how interconnected, vulnerable and fragile mankind is--and how undivided we are in our unity against death. As fear of this disease haunts Americans' minds and hearts to the point it's paralyzing our nation, I'm reminded how many times Christ told us, "Be not afraid," and I feel compelled to ask a serious question. If we as Catholics truly believe that when we receive Christ in the Eucharist were receiving the fountain of immortality, shouldnt we be more stouthearted in the face of this news than the secular culture around us is?

As we journey through Lent, joyfully anticipating the bright new day of Christs Easter Resurrection, this seems an appropriate time to take stock of our spiritual lives and remember what that word salvation really means. When the prophet Isaiah 12:2 says, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation, whats he talking about? What exactly has Christ saved us from?

Well, of course, the short answer is that hes saved us from death.

Hold on a minute. Didnt Christ come to save us from sin? Yes, but theres more to it than that, explains Wyoming Catholic College Byzantine chaplain Father David Anderson. St. Athanasius says the problem with us isnt ultimately sin. God could have forgiven all the sins of the world gratuitously without the Incarnation. But to get rid of death, which is the source of sin, God had to become incarnate and take upon himself not only sin but also death. He points to a quotation in the Book of Wisdom: God created man for life and immortality, but by the envy of the devil, death [not sin] entered into the world.

So our Lord Jesus Christ our Savior, the eternal Son of God, comes to die voluntarily in order that he might destroy the power of death, Father Anderson continues. Thats what we are preparing for now as we journey through Lent toward the greatest celebration of the year the destruction of death. The destruction of death includes the destruction of sin, but sin is the symptom and death is the disease.

In the Byzantine tradition, Father Anderson adds, hundreds of times in the course of the Paschal celebration, were going to sing, Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death. Sometimes that word trampling is translated as conquering. But the original word in Greek literally means he stomped and smashed it to bits.

Furthermore, Father Anderson reminds us, eternal life doesn't begin only at some point "after we die." Eternal life in Christ begins now.

In a reassuring March 13 letter on the coronavirus, Bishop Benedict Aleksiychuk of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Nicholas in Chicago reminded the faithful that every test sent is by the will of God and that much information we receive through the mass media is incomplete or incorrect.

We are a people of faith, and that is why we see Gods Providence in this event which is teaching todays world to stop, listen and understand the language of God, the language of his mercy and love, Bishop Benedict wrote. Observing that this situation gives us a unique opportunity to love one another, he added, Let us protect ourselves, not only from this virus, which can destroy our body, but also from the virus that can kill our soul, through panic, anger, censure and confusion.

As the coronavirus reveals just how vulnerable we are as a race and a nation, fears of sickness and death have many Americans running scared. Thankfully, as people who know the meaning of salvation, weve been given the faith and hope to rise above fear and be for those around us a center of calm in the midst of the storm.

Sue Ellen Browder writes from Lander, Wyoming, home of Wyoming Catholic College.

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Christ Provides the Antidote to Fear Amid Coronavirus - National Catholic Register

The Nike Adidas Puma Olympic Battle Will Have to Wait – Barron’s

Text size

...And Puma takes the gold in a time of 9.81 seconds, ahead of Nike in a thrilling race here in Rio.

Billions of people around the world watched Usain Bolt sprint to victory in the Olympic 100 meter final in Brazil on Aug. 14, 2016. Bolt, wearing the iconic Puma-made Jamaican running gear, outpaced Nike-wearing American sprinter Justin Gatlin on his way to athletic immortality.

That same summer, 600 million people watched as Cristiano Ronaldos Nike boots helped Portugal win soccers European Championship, beating a French team lit up by Paul Pogba and his Adidas footwear in the final.

Both the Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020 have been postponed until the summer of 2021, and sports major brands are set to miss out on millions this year. The Olympics Games have become a battleground for the industry decorated swimmer Michael Phelps, who was sponsored by Under Armour, caused a splash four years ago by wearing Nike on the podium.

Puma, Adidas and Nike have long battled to kit out the worlds best sporting stars and teams at major sporting events, offering bumper sponsorship deals.

Those deals come good at the sporting calendars global events, and they dont come bigger than the Olympic Games. But with global sport on hold, the impact may not be that bad for the sector.

Read: Olympics postponement will make just a dent in Japans GDP. It could have been worse if the games had gone ahead

Earlier this month, Adidas Chief Executive Kasper Rrsted said 2020 would be an exciting year for the company, and said the brand would take center stage at the two major sport events of the year the UEFA Euro 2020 and Tokyo Olympics. It has even provided the match balls for Euro 2020.

The German sportswear giant said the financial impact of the postponements would be between 50 million and 70 million, describing the impact as fairly limited. Bryan Garnier analysts agreed the impact would be limited. Showing its competitive edge, Adidas said that while it would miss out on brand exposure it was the same for all brands.

Puma hasnt publicly quantified the impact but Chief Executive Bjrn Gulden said the Olympics typically spikes interest in sports and drives sales.

Nike Chief Executive John Donahoe was relatively upbeat about the Olympics postponement and said it would not hinder the companys innovation pipeline or product launches.

While global sport has been put on hold, Nikes third-quarter results on Tuesday hinted that the demand for sportswear may hold firm, despite the deepening coronavirus crisis. Adidas and Puma have signaled a significant financial hit at the beginning of 2020, as stores across Asia have been closed, but Nikes performance provided some positivity.

Nikes sales in Greater China fell 4% in the quarter, ending Feb. 29, having been up by double digits in the first two months of the quarter. At the peak, 75% of Nike stores in China were closed in February but now 80% are open. Digital sales climbed 30% in the country in the quarter. RBC analyst Piral Dadhania said the results suggest that sporting goods has perhaps been less affected than other sectors from the Covid-19 shutdown, with consumers focusing on health and well-being while at home. Nike, Adidas and Puma stocks all soared on Wednesday.

Looking ahead. Europe and the U.S. will be tough for Nike, as well as Adidas and Puma, in the coming weeks but the signs of an Asian recovery, and increased interest in sportswear for those stuck at home, bodes well. Crucially, major sporting events have been delayed but not canceled sport will return, and when it does its absence will have made the heart grow fonder.

As Donahoe said on Tuesday: We look forward to when organized sport will be back and running and when they are, well be there.

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Alex Salmond: from the brink of independence to a court room – FRANCE 24

Issued on: 23/03/2020 - 18:10Modified: 23/03/2020 - 18:07

London (AFP)

Alex Salmond came within a whisker of immortality among supporters of independence, when he took Scotland to the brink of a breakaway from Britain.

But six years on from the landmark referendum, he found himself battling to save his personal reputation after being charged with a string of sex offences, including attempted rape.

The feisty ex-politician was the face of Scottish nationalism for more than 20 years, taking it from a fringe issue into a mainstream phenomenon that almost broke up the United Kingdom.

He quit frontline politics in 2014, immediately after the campaign he spearheaded lost the independence referendum by 55 percent to 45 percent.

"Obviously I wouldn't have made the decision if there had been a 'Yes' vote," he said at the time.

Scottish independence though has become a permanent issue in British politics and his successor, Nicola Sturgeon, took up the cause with gusto, as Brexit breathed fresh life into his dream.

"For me as leader, my time is nearly over. But for Scotland, the campaign continues and the dream shall never die," he said at the time.

The rhetoric was typical of Salmond, who fired up crowds throughout his political career with his promise to "break the shackles" of the 313-year-old union with England.

He was set to go down in the history books as the politician who returned the energy to British politics -- and helped create a new type of United Kingdom, gaining paise from arch rivals.

The then UK prime minister David Cameron called him a politician "of huge talent and passion" who "has been an effective first minister and always fights his corner."

But the court case saw even his closest allies move to distance themselves from the jocular former first minister, including his protegee, Sturgeon.

- Made in Scotland -

Alexander Eliott Anderson Salmond was born on December 31, 1954 in Linlithgow, near Edinburgh, and graduated in economics and medieval history from the prestigious St Andrews University.

He worked as an economist with the Royal Bank of Scotland before entering the British parliament but found his calling when in 1990 he took over leadership of the Scottish National Party.

Four years before Tony Blair would do something similar to create "New Labour", Salmond steered the SNP towards the political centre and prepared to do battle.

David Torrance, author of "Salmond: Against the Odds", said both Salmond and Blair were more pragmatic than dogmatic. Their slogan could be: "Whatever works".

In the first elections for the devolved Scottish parliament in Edinburgh in 1999 -- created under Blair's leadership -- the SNP lost out to Labour and Salmond quit as leader.

He said his decision was "forever" but he was re-elected in 2004 saying: "I changed my mind."

He was rewarded with power, being elected first minister of a minority SNP government in 2007, and then in 2011 won an absolute majority -- and the promise of a referendum.

- Politician of a generation -

Salmond's charisma was hugely effective on the campaign trail but disguised what aides called an "explosive temper" and a talent for the scathing political put-down.

His supporters praise his unflagging determination and his political know-how, while his opponents brand him arrogant and misogynistic with a penchant for populism.

Many on both sides agree that he was one of the most talented politicians of his generation.

Sociable in public, Salmond has been discreet about his private life. His wife Moira is 17 years older and is only rarely seen by his side. The couple have no children.

His passions are horse racing, good wine and Indian curry, along with football and that Scottish invention -- golf.

Salmond also likes a singalong.

His favourite tune is "Scots Wha Hae" -- an ode by poet Robert Burns to an epic victory against the English at the Battle of Bannockburn 700 years ago.

2020 AFP

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Alex Salmond: from the brink of independence to a court room - FRANCE 24

How Altered Carbon: Resleeved Connects to Season 2 | Screen Rant – Screen Rant

Altered Carbon: Resleeved may be set hundreds of years before the events of Altered Carbon season 2, but thanks to the power of immortality the two are connected by a returning character. Tanaseda Hideki, the yakuza leader whom Takeshi Kovacs turned to for help in Altered Carbon season 2, also appears in Altered Carbon: Resleeved. Not only that, we get to see how the strong relationship between the two characters began.

Based on the books by Richard Morgan, Altered Carbon is set in a future where humans have discovered a way to digitize their minds and store them on disks called cortical stacks, which are inserted at the top of a spine. If a person's body is killed, their stack can be recovered and put into a new "sleeve," creating the potential for immortality. Altered Carbon: Resleeved is an anime feature spin-off of the live-action series, which follows Takeshi Kovacs in his early years as a mercenary for hire, who himself is on the run from the authorities.

Related:Every Returning Character In Altered Carbon: Resleeved

In Altered Carbon season 2, Takeshi reluctantly returns to his home planet, Harlan's World, and seeks out his most powerful contact there: Tanaseda Hideki. The head of the Tanaseda yakuza clan has a long history with Takeshi (seriously - they first met more than 280 years ago). When they meet again, Hideki explains to his great-grandson that Takeshi carried out a job for him after the fall of Stronghold, and that after Takeshi was caught and tortured by the Protectorate "in every way they knew how," he still never gave Hideki up. Significantly, Hideki once recited his family's death poem to Takeshi, making him perhaps the only person outside of the Tanaseda clan to know the poem.

In Altered Carbon: Resleeved, we get to see the first meeting between the two characters. Takeshi is carrying out a mission for Hideki, investigating his brother's death within the Mizumoto clan on Latimer, in exchange for Hideki using his influence on Harlan's World to wipe Takeshi's record there. Hideki suspects foul play within the Mizumoto clan that's somehow connected to their upcoming sacrificial ceremony, in which power is handed over to a new leader. By the end of Altered Carbon: Resleeved, Hideki discovers the terrible truth about what happened to his brother - thanks to Takeshi.

The end of Altered Carbon: Resleeved reveals Hideki's more conniving side, as he tells Takeshi that he hasn't even begun to make moves on wiping his records on Harlan's World. First, he wants Takeshi to carry out another mission for him. If viewer interest in Altered Carbon continues, Netflix may well produce more anime spin-offs as a follow-up to Resleeved, and perhaps even reveal the circumstances that led Hideki to recite his family's death poem for Takeshi.

More:When Altered Carbon: Resleeved Is Set In The Timeline

Star Wars Fans Will Forgive The Rise Of Skywalker Quicker Than The Prequels

Hannah has been with Screen Rant since the heady days of 2013, starting out as a humble news writer and eventually clawing her way up the ladder through a series of Machiavellian schemes and betrayals. She's now a features writer and editor, covering the hottest topics in the world of nerddom from her home base in Oxford, UK.Hannah enjoys weird horror movies, weirder sci-fi movies, and also the movie adaptation of Need for Speed - the greatest video game movie of all time. She has lived and studied in New York and Toronto, but ultimately returned home so that she could get a decent cup of tea. Her hobbies include drawing, video games, long walks in the countryside, and wasting far too much time on Twitter.Speaking of which, you can follow Hannah online at @HSW3K

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How Altered Carbon: Resleeved Connects to Season 2 | Screen Rant - Screen Rant

Neutralize COVID-19 hysteria with faith and kindness toward neighbors – Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Ray Comfort, in his bookSpurgeon Gold: Pure and Refined, describes Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the 19th-century preacher who ministered in the streets of London during the cholera pandemic of 1854. Spurgeons words, says Mr. Comfort, were pure and refined. They were rhetorical and theological gold. Spurgeon, had the ability to take the hammer of eloquence and nail a particular truth, to pull back the veil of the eternal and give us a fleeting glance.

Mr. Comfort continues. Gold holds its market value. Heavens everlasting streets are paved with it Gold is not meant to sit on the shelf of a rich man. If it does, then it becomes worthless. Its real value will be seen in its being spent on the cause of the Kingdom.In other words, the gold of truth earns its value only through the spoken word and the active life of men of virtue and valor. The gold of integrity must be spent. It cannot be hoarded. It only earns its value if it is invested.

As COVID-19 hysteria sweeps across our nation, the tens of millions of us who still claim to be followers of Christ might do well to consider, not only these words from Ray Comfort, but also the words and actions of Charles Spurgeon of some 150 years past.

They are so good.

They are so faithful.

They are so pertinent and so prophetic.

They are gold.

One can almost hear Spurgeon bellowing from the podiums of New York City and Washington, D.C., as he did from his pulpit in Essex England Christians take heart! Be not afraid! Your Savior and your God, is with you! Be steadfast and immovable! Be strong and courageous! Be not afraid! Always abound in the work of the Lord!

If you listen carefully, this man, known as the Prince of Preachers, a man with a golden tongue and a refined soul, is shouting Never let a crisis go to waste. Run toward the storm, not away from it. Embrace this calamity. Have courage! This is your time. This is your destiny. This is your opportunity. Shine with the light of salvation and the love of your Redeemer. Be the Church, for Jesus, himself, has told you the gates of hell will not prevail against you! Put your trust in God, not in yourselves, and not in government. Believe in His sovereignty. Walk in His grace. March with confidence in your King!

But enough of the dross of my speculation. Hear the exact words of Spurgeon:

At first, I gave myself up with youthful ardor to the visitation of the sick, and was sent for from all corners of the district by persons of all ranks and religions; but, soon, I became weary in body and sick at heart. My friends seemed falling one by one, and I felt or fancied that I was sickening like those around me. A little more work and weeping would have laid me low among the rest; I felt that my burden was heavier than I could bear, and I was ready to sink under it.

I was returning mournfully home from a funeral, when, as God would have it, my curiosity led me to read a paper which was wafered up in a shoemakers window on the Great Dover Road. It did not look like a trade announcement, nor was it, for it bore, in good bold handwriting, these words: Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

The effect upon my heart was immediate. Faith appropriated the passage as her own. I felt secure, refreshed, girt with immortality. I went on with my visitation of the dying, in a calm and peaceful spirit; I felt no fear of evil, and I suffered no harm.

The Providence which moved the tradesman to place those verses in his window, I gratefully acknowledge; and in the remembrance of its marvelous power, I adore the Lord my God.

Let me repeat Faith appropriated. I felt secure, refreshed, girt with immortality. I went on in a calm and peaceful spirit; I felt no fear of evil, and I suffered no harm!

This is gold. Pure gold. Refined gold.

Whether it be a bad market or a bad disease, lovers of Christ should be the first to show the world that our security is not in hand sanitizers but in our Savior.

Dont let this crisis go to waste! shouts Spurgeon.

Show the world what love, joy and peace, truly look like.

Show your neighbor, your city and your nation that even though we walk through dark valleys, fear has lost its victory and death has lost its sting.

Everett Piper, former president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, is a columnist for The Washington Times and author of Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth (Regnery 2017).

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