Daily Archives: February 10, 2021

An Excerpt From ‘Peter and the Wolves’ by Adele Bertei on the Brief, Brilliant Life of Peter Laughner – Cleveland Scene

Posted: February 10, 2021 at 1:24 pm

In 1974, Peter Laughner, the legendary musician from seminal local acts Rocket From the Tombs and Pere Ubu, wrote in the Plain Dealer that, "I want to do for Cleveland what Brian Wilson did for California and Lou Reed did for New York."

Chasing and emulating those stars, Lester Bangs wrote three years later in an obituary for Laughner, who passed away at the young age of 24, was in some small way part of his demise: "Peter Laughner had his private pains and compulsions, but at least in part he died because he wanted to be Lou Reed. The 'new wave' can boast its first casualty."

Laughner's brief but influential career has experienced a revival in recent years, including through a five-LP box set from Smog Veil Records released in 2019 that brought previously unpublished recordings to light.

Smog Veil has also recently republished a memoir from Adele Bertei, a musician, writer, actor and artist who was friends, roommates and bandmates with Laughner. She first self-published the book in a limited run in 2013.

In a New York Times article on the "excavation of a rock 'n' roll tragedy," Bertei said, "If he had been able to sober up and shake off the whole Cleveland attitude and stigma that hung around him and just really concentrated on his music and gotten the hell out of there, I think he really would have been one of our major talents in America."

In Peter and the Wolves, named after the band Laughner and Bertei were in together, she "recounts her friendship with the late great Peter Laughner, Cleveland's answer to all things underground and punk in the 1970s. The book is Bertei's intimate recounting of the musical education she received from Laughner; of their complex artistic kinship, and the vivid trajectory of the 'live fast die young' ethos that extinguished the light of a radiant rock and roll heart."

Bertei decamped to New York shortly after Laughner's death. There, she began what's become a lengthy and notable career, beginning with the Contortions and a prominent role in the early No Wave art and music scene of late 1970s NYC. She was also a member of The Bloods, considered to be the first all-out, all-female rock band, before European DJ adventures and a return to the States and a record deal with Geffen as a solo artist. She's sung backup vocals for the Culture Club, written songs for the Pointer Sisters, made films and, in recent years, has published columns and her memoir.

In this excerpt, republished with permission, Bertei talks about her early friendship with Laughner, shares her memories of Laughner's private life compared to his public persona in the local scene, and gives insight into a singular talent lost far too soon.

Peter and the Wolves is available now at smogveil.com.Enjoy a curated Spotify playlist here.

I'd heard about a place in Cleveland Heights where local musicians held blues jams on Friday nights. Cleveland spawned many great musicians, yet few would propel themselves out of the local scene. Blues bands and cover bands were the norm. Legendary Robert Jr. Lockwood (rumored to have been the stepson of Robert Johnson) played often. The Mr. Stress Blues Band didn't really impress me, but the Tiny Alice Jug Band sure caught my attention. Their fiddle player could burn a circle around Paganini, and foxy little singer Peggy Cella stood out on lead vocals. 15-60-75, also called the Numbers Band, featured stunning musicians backing charismatic singer Robert Kidney. From the Akron and Kent area, the band included Chrissie Hynde's brother Terry, a beast on the saxophone.

While bussing tables at Isabella's restaurant in University Circle, one of the waiters told me about a local blues jam; if the players approved the look of you and you knew a song in their repertoire, they'd let you get up and sing. I picked something I imagined they might know, "Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin, and rehearsed until I felt secure enough to try my luck.

I made my request to the bass player. When the band kicked into a version close to Big Brother and the Holding Company's, I grabbed the mike and started to wail. It was an out of body experience, and the applause of the small crowd signaled I'd actually pulled it off. I collapsed into a chair, shaking, ready to drink my nerves away when a guy in a black leather jacket approached our table.

He had pale skin, dark wavy hair, eyes masked by Wayfarer sunglasses. A lean figure in tight indigo Levi's, his new white t-shirt peeked from beneath the open leather. I noticed a little space between his front teeth as he smiled, and he removed his shades, exposing mischievous eyes searching mine as he said, "You're really good."

I blushed and thanked him. He told me he played guitar, humbly, assuming I didn't know who he was.

"Do you wanna hang out and uh, maybe sing with me sometime? Maybe with the new band I'm putting together?"

I'd hardly forgotten Peter performing at the Change as lead singer, guitarist, and point of focus in Cinderella Backstreet. Three years later, there he was in the flesh, telling me he liked my voice. He gave me his phone number scrawled on a matchbook, put his shades back on, and walked out. Every head in the bar turned to follow.

No other guy in Cleveland struck as cool a style as Peter Laughner. The Plaza is an apartment building on Prospect Avenue. A jumble of several architectural styles, the Plaza served as the alternate nexus to Coventry for artists and musicians. It was Cleveland's poor stepsister to New York's Chelsea Hotel, hence a natural fit for Peter, who lived at the Plaza with his ex-wife Stella for a time. The building had been constructed to house the mistresses of Cleveland's earliest millionaires, John D. Rockefeller among them. I lived there for a short time and had met several people Peter had played music with. I'd heard the stories. He was the most talked-about musician in Cleveland, notorious due to his brilliance on guitar, his transgressions with drink, drugs, and guns, and for leaving every band he'd ever begun in a trail of bad blood. Twenty-two years old and he'd already served as catalyst to three of the best-known underground Cleveland bands: Rocket From the Tombs, the Dead Boys, and Pere Ubu. He incited strong opinions and stronger epithets; Peter the Genius, Peter the Asshole, Peter the Legend, the Drunk, and the Fool. The legend didn't compute with the guy I met that night, who was sweet and humble. A true gentleman.

I guess you could say we made a good match when it came to our reputations. No other girl on the scene had as bizarre a reputation as did I. Before I met him, I'd done time in detention homes and foster homes, on the streets, in reformatories. Held jobs at a Veteran's Hospital, on the assembly line at Ford Motors in Lorain, reading to the blind, sorting clothes at Sally Army. Twenty years old and I carried more stories than Pliny the Elder, with not a chip but a brick of attitude on my shoulder. Behind the airtight mask of a little OG, I was intact and impervious to hurt. Or so I thought.

Beneath the swagger I was petrified of people I admired, especially an artist like Peter, and it took a few days for me to call him. In case he'd meant what he said about my voice, I had to follow through, take the chance. I pulled my nerves together and dialed. He invited me over to his place in Cleveland Heights, off of Coventry a block away from where I lived.

I arrived at the appointed time buzzing with nervous energy. Peter greeted me with a warm smile, gesturing me into an empty living room adjoining the large dining room where his entire life was set up. A life clearly devoted to music.

"This is where it all happens," he said.


Peter's apartment was spotless, and I held cleanliness in high regard, having learned to appreciate order after my mother's cyclone of destruction. The Sisters of the Good Shepherd drummed it into me as well; at Marycrest, we had to wash the floors beneath our beds on hands and knees. Every morning, a nun would come by with a glove a white glove! and run a fingertip across the tiles, and woe to thee if a speck of dirt appeared on the cotton of Christ's bride. A tortuous exercise yet perverse as it may sound, it gave me a feeling of comfort. If you can't control what life pitches at you, cleanliness grants a semblance of control, some order to fall into when life knocks you off balance.

Against one wall was a nubby 1950s couch and lining the other, an elaborate stereo system and music gear a reel-to-reel tape recorder, a few assorted amps, and a collection of guitar pedals. The focal point was a lineup of stunning guitars. He had a classic Stratocaster, a Telecaster, two beautiful acoustics, a Les Paul, a Gibson ES-335, and a Dobro. I don't think I've ever seen an instrument as impressive as that Dobro. It seemed more precious art object than musical instrument until I heard Peter make it sing. Peter introduced his guitars as if they were human; this one was made in 1959, the headstock is yadda and the fingerboard yadda. . .. All Greek to me, but fascinating to hear him recite details about each instrument as if they were intimate friends.

Fronting two stacks of records were Patti Smith's Horses and Fripp and Eno's No Pussyfooting.

A 1950s blonde coffee table held neatly stacked magazines: Creem, Crawdaddy, and Punk on one side, opposite a local DIY newspaper called The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail. Peter wrote for Creem, a gig he'd scored not only with his writing chops but also through his friendship with the reigning bard of rock and roll journalism, Lester Bangs.

To the air between us he offered up a pretty guitar with reverence, as if it were a holy artifact. A guitar with a rosewood neck, like Tom Verlaine's, he said proudly. Verlaine was the lead singer and guitarist in the band Television.

I hadn't yet heard their music, which set Peter to shuffling through a pile of 45s as I continued inspecting the room. Above the stereo equipment was a black and white photograph nailed to the wall by a switchblade. A skeletal man. An Auschwitz inmate? It was Lou Reed in his Metal Machine Music phase. On another wall, he'd stapled a slip of paper with a scrawl; "It's so cold in Alaska." The Alaska line was from Lou's Berlin LP the most depressing rock and roll album ever recorded, yet compellingly poetic. The maiden voyage of punk cabaret.

Books were piled neatly around the room. Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, Dylan Thomas, Anne Sexton, Burroughs, Malcolm Lowry, Kerouac, Patti Smith. Scanning his record collection, I saw the Kinks, Richard and Linda Thompson, Nils Lofgren, Marvin Gaye's Trouble Man. Robert Johnson and Howlin' Wolf, Phil Ochs, Tim Buckley, Laura Nyro, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, the Stones' Exile on Main Street, Dory Previn, Lotte Lenya, Roxy Music, Eno.

Peter's taste ran the gamut. I'd learn that Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Gram Parsons, Television, and Richard Thompson were always given precedence when whatever high he was on reached its ultimate peak. He was into jazz too, but it didn't feature much in our friendship. Soon enough, I'd experience an instructional jazz moment through someone Peter would introduce me to in New York City.

He snapped a plastic disc into the opening of a 45 and placed it oh so carefully on the turntable. The stereo system was high-end. A Marantz. Parents Luke and Margaret Laughner lived in the tony suburb of Bay Village, and price tags were insignificant when it came to their only son's desires.

"Television's first single," he grinned, cueing up.

As the room filled with Fred Smith's eerie bass line, Peter beamed, motioning for me to sit in the center of the couch the perfect listening position for the speakers to bring forth the magic. The track was "Little Johnny Jewel," and from the first pings of Tom Verlaine's guitar, I knew I was in for something extraordinary. I closed my eyes, imagining a flock of birds pecking notes from starlight in this brand-spanking-new music, an otherworldly rock defiant of genre or label. Billy Ficca kicked in with the beat and the guitars began to chime like church bells, with Richard Lloyd's notes echoing Fred's bass line and Verlaine's voice coming on all awkward and angular, like the voice of puberty cracking. Words of boy-longing tumbling from a brain strung out on Mickey Spillane, science fiction paperbacks, and symbolist poets. The music perfectly matched a voice that didn't have much to do with singing and everything to do with poetry.

I glanced over at Peter. He was nodding in bemused approval to the lyric, "I want my little winghead!"


After the record finished, he asked if I wrote songs. I happened to have the lyrics to a song I'd written about my ex-girlfriend, a simple melody with a girl-group kind of chorus of da doo ron rons. When he asked how I started singing, I told him the story of Grandma Jo, teaching me how to harmonize to the Boswell Sisters.

Grandma Jo played stride piano, a highly rhythmic style popularized during Prohibition. She had that driving left-hand of stride, keeping the beat on the bass with a volume that could cut through the ruckus of the speakeasies. How my Irish Grandma learned to hammer the keys like that was a great mystery, but boy, could she play, by ear and like a soul possessed. She'd pick up a melody with her right hand after hearing it only once, her mean left pounding out a bass line worthy of Fats Waller. She may have met some traveling musicians making their way east to New York in the 1920s and decided that stride was the rhythm for her. I once thought she was a boogie-woogie player in the style of Meade Lux Lewis. That is, until I heard Fats. I can see her now, bouncing on the piano bench, black pin-curled hair, and bright red lipstick staining a dangling unlit cigarette. She was created for music. Her hands tap-danced over the keys with irresistible rhythm.

Grandma Jo was a single mother, raising my mom on the tips she made playing piano in the speakeasies. Imagine being a single mother in the 1930s. Unless you were a streetwalker or a scullery maid, you were out of luck and in line at the soup kitchen, making Grandma Jo as professional a musician as they came. She took my toddler mom to the speaks with her, sat her in a basket beneath the piano where her little hands hung on to a piano leg, feeling the vibrations of Grandma working the keys. Kitty's dance steps no doubt resonated with those early rhythms. Grandma Jo taught me about rhythm when I was old enough to hold a hand of playing cards. We'd play gin rummy, trading beats on the kitchen table with our plastic cards, she pushing me to beat out a cross-pattern to hers and we'd go on happily for hours. Rhythm is in the blood, she'd say with a wink, signaling that I was in on the secret.

My musical education continued at Blossom Hill. We had the choice of attending Catholic or Baptist services, a no-brainer. I loved reading stories of the Catholic saints, but it was gospel music that showed me the way to march those saints right on in. And then, to pull them up and out by the roots the saints transfigured into notes and the notes, my Holy Grail.

Peter enjoyed hearing these stories, would coax them out of me as the drink flowed. I felt comfortable telling him about the antics in reformatories where we queer girls called our kind of love "playing the game." The "game" made it easier for straight girls to play along if it was just a game, then no harm done when you're emancipated and return to your boyfriend on the "outs." But for many of us, it wasn't a game. I told him about Blossom Hill, where we created families from the same need as the darlings the world would later discover in Paris Is Burning and Pose.

On the flip side of my l'il Pimpin' act was the pathetic waif act I could never have pulled off with my OG sisters on the Hill. Marycrest, a convent school for "Wayward Girls," was run by the same order of nuns responsible for Ireland's Magdalene laundries the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. Same order as Baltimore's convent reformatory, House of the Good Shepherd for Colored Girls, once home to teenage Billie Holliday, where she received tutoring in choral singing. At Marycrest, my playing orphan worked like magic. Sister Veronica loved hearing me sing the embarrassing "Where Is Love?" and "Who Will Buy?" from Oliver! These wide-eyed, pathetic performances meant an extra dessert, another hour of clarinet practice, an amorous hair brushing by Sister V. and a burgeoning lesbian pedigree. Maybe it was my comfort around telling these stories that allowed Peter to reveal his gentle side the lonely that clung to his edges. Despite our vast childhood differences, we connected on the same terrain of lonesome.


Peter reminded me of Nan as we talked through the nights. Although I was trying my best to catch up, I was painfully uneducated compared to him. Reformatories don't exactly have well-stocked libraries, or in the case of Blossom Hill, classes above a junior high level. The childhood loss that enraged me most had nothing to do with being abandoned it was the lack of a decent education that haunted, leaving me in a constant state of resentment with an I can take care of myself attitude that forbade a reach toward formal education. This would have shown vulnerability and need, two feelings abandoned kids work hard at obliterating. My approach was based on following my curiosity, whatever shimmer of interest on the page proved capable of pulling head and heart. I thought, to hell with the GED, to the poverty and laziness of intellect I imagined it signaled. In truth, I was petrified I'd fail the GED, since I knew nothing of maths and sciences. My outside bad-ass was inside more Jude the Obscure, yearning for Christminster.

Once emancipated from the Hill, I hit the library and read everything I could get my hands on the Bronts, Hemingway, Henry Miller, Maya Angelou. Violette Leduc, Nikki Giovanni, and Rita Mae Brown Rita, a mandatory balm for every budding lesbian in the 1970s. The exhilaration of Rimbaud arrived courtesy of Patti Smith. Other potes maudits awaited my discovery via Peter. Delmore Schwartz, Bukowski, the French Decadents. I was crazy about all things French. I'd later discover certain guys in the music scene were reading Ayn Rand, getting off on her sexed-up capitalist white male superiority, while Peter was reading Walt Whitman, James Baldwin, and Anne Sexton.


Peter described The Buddhist Third-Class Junkmail Oracle as the brainchild of a Cleveland poet named d.a. levy. levy had been arrested several times on obscenity charges for handing out copies of his poems to minors. One of his works "Suburban Monastery Death Poem" is a compelling rendering of Cleveland during the 1960s, its themes still prescient today. levy bore a striking resemblance to Rasputin; imprisoned and shell-shocked, he gazes toward us from a photo as if asking, WTF am I doing here? Unable to acclimate to this world, he shot himself at twenty-six years old.

I read levy's agit-prop poetry while Peter set up his Telecaster, plugging into his Fender Twin amp. He played a series of ballads. All mournful. The dark "Baudelaire" reflected a weary isolation, yearning for mysticism and secrets in the presence of sylphic beauties. "Sylvia Plath" skated between serious and crass, and "Amphetamine" could have been lifted from a Velvet's rehearsal, with the opening line, "Take the guitar player for a ride, never in his life been satisfied." Another of his songs, "Rock It Down" had a verse about two sisters "doin' it." I tried not to blush while telling him how cool the song was. Being so close to a master musician, the torque of notes moving from his hands, through the guitar and into my nervous system felt like the earth reversing its turn. To play like that how much time had he spent practicing? When he showed me how to play scales on the guitar, I understood how mastering an instrument, or any art form requires a commitment to a solitude I was not ready to embrace.

Peter strummed a few chords and asked me to try out my lyrics. We wrote a song there and then, recording it on his reel-to-reel tape recorder. Aside from a bit of cognac, the night was excess-free, with none of the aggression, gunplay, or ass-holery tied to his rep. That night I met a true artist, a guy who lived for music, literature, and poetry. And shocking as it felt, he seemed genuinely interested in what he heard in my voice, and the stories I had to tell.

I'd placed my copy of Jean Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers on Peter's coffee table to impress him. And before my departure, he played an dith Piaf record, Non, je ne regrette rien, and gave me a paperback bio of her life. I fell in love with her voice at first trill. He asked if I wanted to meet up again that same week... to listen to music, to make more of our own.

Having arrived at his place around four in the afternoon, I left after midnight walking on ether, a new constellation of lights shimmering beneath my skin.


I'd taken a job at my second Salvation Army and began hanging out with Peter. One night while we were listening to music and drinking cognac, I took my first bump of methedrine. He didn't offer I saw him snort a line, so I asked, eager to try anything he'd lay claim to. The night became a jag of intense conversation, white lines on the table like so many guitar strings. I played rhythm guitar, rudimentary E-A-D chords beneath his lead, the meth coursing through my head and hands as I shaved the strings in a blur as fast as hummingbird wings. I liked the drug's effect, the race of shiny thoughts bursting to be expressed in the moment. My stories wrestling with his for airtime, we laughed as the words bumped and shimmied between us.

He played a track from the Roxy Music album For Your Pleasure, "Editions of You." I'd heard noise-music before, like the Velvet Underground discord of "The Black Angel's Death Song," but not like this. Peter explained it as the genius of a Brit named Brian Eno, unleashed on an electronic box of assorted oscillators called a synthesizer. For Your Pleasure's foldout album cover featured Eno dressed as a Cruella de Vil faerie queen. Mesmerized by Eno's image and sound, I needed to hear everything, and Peter owned most of Eno's recordings: Here Come the Warm Jets, No Pussyfooting, Taking Tiger Mountain, and a new release, Another Green World. As the speed progressed on its course, the music became more heated, Iggy and the Stooges style "Down on the Street." He showed me how to pedal a lethal guitar chord along with the track. Next came the MC5, founders of the White Panther Party screaming, "Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!" from the turntable. He told me they'd broken up and were all junkies. Guitarist Wayne Kramer had gotten busted selling drugs to a Fed and was now in jail. Peter opened Punk magazine and pointed to a photo of Patti Smith. She wore a large button that read FREE WAYNE KRAMER.

Dawn followed that shiny night with the speed wearing off and my first Valium nose-diving the energy. The music followed suit, downshifting to Richard and Mimi Baez Faria's petrifying ballad of white supremacy, "Bold Marauder" from Reflections in a Crystal Wind. Joni Mitchell's The Hissing of Summer Lawns. Dylan's Blonde on Blonde. Watching Peter dozing, the Gibson hollow-body in his arms while I daydreamed of the new possibilities provoked by him and the music I was hearing. He looked content. Innocent. A far cry from the raving, drunken maniac of myth. I wanted to smooth his cheek in a gesture of thanks but didn't dare. I left him to the sound of Eno singing "Everything Merges with the Night."


I never felt any sexual tension around Peter. He treated me like a friend from the very beginning, was never condescending, and didn't objectify women in person, although occasionally he did in song due to boy's-club groupthink. His girlfriend at the time was a quiet librarian. Ex-wife Stella was a fellow rock journalist and brainiac. People say she and Peter were quite the volatile pairing. When I met Stella, she launched into a monologue about the Peloponnesian War, my brain scrambling to understand why. Stella clearly operated from the head, where Peter steered more from the heart. His women were the antithesis of the rock and roll groupie-types you'd imagine a legendary rocker bedding. If he was a womanizer, he sure kept it hidden during our friendship.

Some claim he was into S/M. I'm not buying it. He was a dedicated follower of rock fashion, hence the nods to bondage. Then there was Lou Reed days and nights when he lived and breathed Lou Lou Lou only Lou. He fetishized Lou. If it were something he thought Lou might get up to, Peter would damn well try it on, sartorially and otherwise, hence the photos of him trussed like a turkey in a jacket of chains. The idea of sexuality defining the everything of a person's being he seemed to resent it as much as I did and my being queer was a non-issue. I'd be surprised if he had much sex at all in his short lifetime. Peter was a melolagniac. He got off on music.

Flying your 1970s freak flag before dark in Cleveland was never a smart move. One of the drag queens I performed with at the Change was murdered by her 'straight' married plumber boyfriend in the parking lot of a gay bar called Twiggy's. No matter how Lou Reed's Transformer may have cavorted with Bowie's Ziggy Stardust in the airwaves and on stages, once you stepped outside of your gay ghetto, you were treated like vermin, especially when it came to family. I had a foster sister beat the whites out of my eyes when she discovered I wasn't just nipping into the parent's booze at our all-girl pajama parties. Some boys in Cleveland's rock scene played dress-up glam gay as long as it was counterfeit. For those of us who resisted daytime camouflage as our authentically bent selves, we were treated like glittery dust mites; fascinating for a moment, but not enough to keep the crowd from kicking you deeper beneath the bed.

The ber-straight punk and avant-garde music scene of Cleveland never would have accepted a fag in their midst, just as a faerie bairn never could have walked beside Peter's father, the hard-drinking WWII army colonel Luke Laughner. Some nights I'd gaze over at Peter and notice how graceful he looked, especially when we were listening in deep to an incredible piece of music. Sometimes he'd knot a kerchief around his neck, like the Belleville thugs of Brassa. Or lounge around cat-like in a kimono, reading. And I'd wonder if being queer was the biggest secret he carried, his bisexuality a Calvary cross he had to bear in secret due to the scene's homophobia. He'd allude to it sometimes, went as far as telling me he'd been with a guy, but I never mustered up the nerve to delve into it with him. Loving girls well, my preference never blinded me to beauty. I see him as I did then, a parallax view of St. John the Baptist as rendered by Caravaggio; lithe upper torso and milky white skin, St. John gently cradles a lamb while raising aloft a crown of flowers. Savior and lamb, on earth in wolf's clothing.

Playing along to Lou Reed's Transformer, singing together on the chorus of "I'm So Free," crooning "Perfect Day," the joy coming off of him was visceral. Sometimes, as the night rolled away from us and his melancholy entered the room through his voice, his guitar, I imagined him feeling the sentiment of another watcher the boy in Bowie's "Lady Stardust" who sings, "I smiled sadly for a love I could not obey."

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An Excerpt From 'Peter and the Wolves' by Adele Bertei on the Brief, Brilliant Life of Peter Laughner - Cleveland Scene

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How rejecting Inter and Lyon set Andre-Pierre Gignac on his way to Tigres immortality – Squawka

Posted: at 1:22 pm

In the summer of 2015, Pierre-Andre Gignac was a man in high demand.

The clinical striker was coming fresh off a 2014/15 campaign in which he had scored 21 goals in 38 Ligue 1 appearances for Marseille, with only Alexandre Lacazette (27) outscoring Gignac as he fired Les Phoceens to fourth in the table.

That campaign was the culmination of an upward trend in the strikers career. After managing league goal totals of just eight and one (ouch) in his first two seasons with Marseille, Gignac netted 13 and 16 times across the 2012/13 and 2013/14 campaigns, respectively, setting himself up for a stellar 2014/15.

Gignac had also fought his way back into international contention with France but, despite being such hot property at the time, player and club could not agree on a new contract, and the former Toulouse striker made clear his intention to leave Marseille, then managed by Marcelo Bielsa, as early as December 2014.

I think I will leave at the end of the season, he said. I want to know if (coach Marcelo) Bielsa will stay, but I want a big challenge. I will consider all proposals carefully.

Gignac name-dropped Inter Milan as a potential destination, while the likes of Lyon, West Ham, Newcastle United, West Brom and Dynamo Moscow were all linked with him at one time or another. With that in mind, the decision to join Mexican giants Tigres UANLin June 2015 was one which caught most in Europe off-guard.

Despite hosting the most successful sides in CONCACAF, including the likes of Club America, Chivas and Monterrey, aside from Tigres, Liga MX has never quite had the same appeal or attracted the same level of wider curiosity as its neighbour in the north, Major League Soccer. As such, given the level of interest surrounding Gignac, then only 29 years old, there were those who accused the 36-time France international of making the move for financial reasons Gignac joined Tigres on an initial deal worth $4m per season, making him the highest-paid player in Mexico.

In the six seasons since he crossed the Atlantic, its safe to say Gignac has been on a one-man mission to prove his doubters wrong.

To date, the now-35-year-old Gignac has scored no fewer than 147 goals in 246 appearances across all competitions for Tigres, establishing himself as the clubs record goalscorer and proving the catalyst for an unprecedented era of success in San Nicolas de los Garza. Since his arrival, Tigres have won four league titles (3x Apertura, 1x Clausura), three Campeon de Campeones crowns, the 2018 Campeones Cup and, most recently, the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League the clubs long-awaited first triumph in that competition after final defeats in 2016, 2017 and 2019.

Gignac was the Golden Boot winner during the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League with six goals, while he scored the winner in the 2-1 final win over LAFC. The fact he has scored in three of the tournaments finals only serves to further illustrate the sheer impact hes had on the Mexican game. In short, Gignac is a legend.

For Tigres fans, Gignac is a massively popular figure, Cesar Hernandez of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast told Squawka when asked of the players influence on the Tigres fanbase.

In a roster filled with highly talented players that could easily make up the core of a potential Liga MX all-star team, Gignac has constantly found a way to stand out. Tigres fans absolutely love him for not only consistently scoring and bringing titles, but for also embracing his new Mexican lifestyle.

He quickly picked up Spanish, became a Mexican citizen, and has proudly boasted about his kids growing up in the region. Speaking of kids, a 2019 report from MedioTiempo claimed that over 40 kids from Nuevo Leon have a registered name that is inspired by Gignac. Safe to say fans love him, and hes reciprocated that love back. Hes brought titles, hes already had a Tigres-inspired tattoo, and seems to be genuinely happy in his new home country.

All odds stated in this article are accurate at the time of publication (12:00, 10/02/2021). You have to be 18+ to gamble. BeGambleAware

On where Gignac lands in the conversation of Liga MXs greatest-ever players, Hernandez adds: Weve seen plenty of arguments regarding whether hes the greatest player from outside the country, the greatest striker, or simply just the greatest. I think its far too early to say that hes the definite greatest in Liga MX, but hes undoubtedly in the running.

Hes definitely brought more attention from abroad, especially when you consider that he was born in France and that he could still be playing for an elite European team. That said, the league has plenty of room for growth and needs more players of his calibre to continue propelling it forward.

From Lionel Messi to Diego Maradona, the true icons of football never know when theyre done and there are always higher mountains to scale for those willing to go the distance. In his particular corner of the footballing world, Gignac is on the cusp of doing just that.

Once again, it was he who was the hero as Tigres came from behind to beat Ulsan Hyundai 2-1 in the second round of the delayed 2020 Club World Cup, scoring a first-half brace to send the South Korean side packing. That set up a semi-final glamour tie with Brazilian side and Copa Libertadores champions Palmeiras in an attractive game, but one most expected Tigres to ultimately lose.

As always, Gignac had other ideas. A wonderful Tigres performance saw the Mexican side enjoy 51% of possession and outshoot their Brazilian counterparts 8-7, while a mammoth defensive effort comprising of 16 tackles, 17 interceptions and 19 clearances kept the Libertadores holders at bay. But, of course, it was Gignac who had the final say.

With the game poised at 0-0, Tigres were awarded a penalty as Carlos Gonzalez was dragged down in the box. After already being denied by goalkeeper Weverton on a number of occasions, Gignac calmly stepped up and drilled the ball into the bottom corner, just beyond the reach of the Brazilians outstretched arms. Tigres held out to become the first-ever CONCACAF team to reach the Club World Cup final. The reward? A mouth-watering clash with European and German champions Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowksi, Joshua Kimmich et al.

We finally achieved an international title, tournament MVP Gignac said after the CONCACAF Champions League final.

I always wanted to win it even though some say it is not worth much. It is worth going to a Club World Cup, and it is worth playing against the best teams from each continent. Today it is Tigres turn.

Following the win over Ulsan, he proclaimed: We know were capable of making history and want to do so.

If the veteran striker can inspire Tigres to an unlikely, iconic victory over Bayern Munich, then Ricardo Ferrettis side will becomethe first-ever CONCACAF team to win the tournament, and he will transcend legendary status, sealing immortality.

Today is Tigres turn. Today is Gignacs turn.

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Marvel Confirms Thanos Can’t Be Killed, But Not For The Reason You Think – Screen Rant

Posted: at 1:22 pm

Marvel's Thanos can't be killed for good in the comics, as Death won't allow him to join her realm after the Mad Titan is defeated.

Spoilers forEternals#2 below!

In the Marvel Comics Universe, killing Thanos is next to impossible. It's not because the Mad Titan is incapable of being defeated in battle, but instead, it's because, at times, he's not allowed to die. In the latest issue ofEternals,readers are reminded that Thanos is effectively immortal and it's all because Death won't allow him to enter her realm.

Thanos has long sought the affection of the living embodiment of Death, as he wiped out half of existence with the Infinity Gauntlet in an effort to impress her. However, Death has never accepted Thanos' love as he had hoped. Instead, she's spurned his feelings - so much so, that in Cosmic Powers #1, she banned him from her realm, effectively making the villain immortal. That's on top of all of his original Eternal-related powers, including immunity to all disease and non-aging. While his ban and immortality werethought to be removed, in this week'sEternals,it seems that might not be the case after all.

Related:Eternals Star Shares New Details About The MCUs First Gay Romance

In Eternals#2 by Kieron Gillen, Esad Ribic, Matthew Wilson, and Clayton Cowles, Ikaris and Thanos battle across space and time in a fight on Titanos. The Eternals outcasted Thanos, an Eternal born with the Deviant gene giving him his monstrous appearance, and looked down on him even more thanks to the Snap. The two powerful Eternals exchange blows, as they travel through portals and different time periods. However, after Ikaris does damage to Thanos, it's noted that the Mad Titan can't be harmed so easily, as his wounds close as "Death itself rejects him from her embrace."

Since the fight lasts both seconds and for all of time and history, it's unclear whether Thanos is affected by the previous ban from Death's realm because of time-travel shenanigans, or if it's currently active. It wouldn't be surprising if it was the latter, as Thanos has died multiple times in recent Marvel Comics history, only to continually come back. If Death is preventing him from truly dying then that would explain his returns. You'd think that the Infinity Stones might play a factor in why Thanos can't be killed for good, but instead, it's a curse from the being whose affection he seeks the most.

Thanos is back and wants to kill the Eternals for good. With the Machine that revives Eternals now inoperative, the Mad Titan holds a key advantage to those who have previously outcast him - he seemingly can't die thanks to Death. The Eternals, meanwhile, have to figure out how to stop Thanos while losing their immortality. It seems like quite a tall task for the ancient beings.

Next:Marvels Green Lantern Will Fight An Infinity Ring-Powered Thanos

Hulk's Newest Villains Are An Evil Fantastic Four

Liam McGuire is a comics editor for Screen Rant. He has worked for numerous publications including Cineplex Canada, MLB.com, Vice, CBR.com, and more. You can reach out to him directly at liam.m@screenrant.com


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Why Bayern Munich’s opponents, Tigres, are taking the Club World Cup seriously, even if Europe is not – DW (English)

Posted: at 1:22 pm

Tigres sprung a surprise by beating Palmeiras of Brazil to become the first Mexican side to reach the Club World Cup final, but it is not just history that will drive the team in Thursday's clash with Bayern Munich.

Tigres UANL, from the suburbs of Monterrey, are bidding to cement themselves as Mexico's top team handy given that they are bankrolled by the country's top cement company.

Most fans in Mexico do not view Tigres as a big club. The likes of America, Chivas (Guadalajara), Cruz Azul and Pumas (UNAM) are traditionally the big four for many.

But Tigres are the most successful Mexican team over the past 10 years, winning five domestic titles, and are regarded as one of the best supported clubs in the country. Even training sessions regularly attract packed stands.

The Club World Cup has given them the chance to showcase their skills on the field and backing off it to a global audience and Bayern will face a real battle in Doha.

"We lost three CONCACAF Champions League finals in the past so not being able to reach the Club World Cupmade the tournament even more desirable and important," saysJose Ivan Martinez Carreon, a Tigres supporter from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, a proud northern region where people'sloyalties often lie more with the state than with Mexico as a whole.

"Having the opportunity to play against clubs like Bayernis a dream come true and something unique for Tigres fans. We've carried a stigma in Mexico despite having passionate support. But now with the Club World Cup, the press and fans in general are recognizing our club."

Their colorful goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman, who headed in a stoppage-time winner in a CONCACAF Champions League game in February 2020, says their pursuit of the title is all about Tigres proving their worth.

"This is a Club World Cup and we are going to represent only Tigres and we are not going to represent anyone else who wants to support us," the Argentina international told the club website.

Mexicans are generally split about supporting Tigres in the final.

"If Tigres win, the victory only belongs to them and the same goes if they fail. You can't identify yourself with another club you compete against every season," Milo Assad, co-founder of the Mexican national team supporters'club and a big America fan, told DW.

But it is not just the country making a first appearance in the final.

Tigres are also the first side from CONCACAF, the North and Central American and Caribbean federation, to reach the showpiece. The federation has traditionally been seen as one of the weakest but the progression of Tigres is changing minds.

Tigres forward Carlos Gonzalez told a news conference: "No other Mexican team hasgone this far, but now we want more. We came here hoping to lift the trophy and now that we're close, we're encouraged and motivated that we can achieve our goal."

World player of the year Robert Lewandowski will go up against Tigres' own hot shot Andre-Pierre Gignac

The Paraguayan shone in the win over Palmeiras, where strike partner Andre-Pierre Gignac scored the winner from the penalty spot. Former France striker Gignac is a rare export to Mexican football from Europe and has been there since 2015, another sign of the growing reputation of Tigres.

Palmeiras were distraught at losing. The Club World Cup is a big deal in Brazil, often enabling their club sides to go up against the cream of Europe. For Brazilian sides it is the biggest game possible and that Palmeiras didn't even reach the final stunned the country.

In contrast, the tournament is viewed as somewhat of an afterthought to European sides. The money and prestige involved in the UEFA Champions Leaguedwarfs FIFA's competition - something FIFA President Gianni Infantino is determined to change with his expansion of the tournament to 24 teams from 2022onwards.

But that is not to say European sides don't take the Club World Cup seriously, havingalways reached the final in its current incarnation and having only lost out to Brazilian sides three times since the 2005 revamp.

Bayern played their strongest XI in beating Egypt's Al Ahly in Monday's semifinal and have made a commitment to the tournament by having to squeeze in the two games between a Bundesliga clash last Friday and another German top-flight match next Monday.

All that amid a global pandemic which has led some critics to question why the tournament is even taking place at all.

European criticism of Qatar's treatment of migrant workers does not appear to be shared in Mexico

Indeed, coronavirus restrictions robbed New Zealand's Auckland City of the chance to compete in the Club World Cup this year, much to their dismay.

"The FIFA Club World Cup is crucial to our club and in some ways it is as important to us as the UEFA Champions League is to clubs in Europe," Auckland City chairman Ivan Vuksich told DW.

"Theformat has come in for some criticism outside our confederation but for our club, our country and region, it has provided a very welcome opportunity to compete on the world stage.

"It is important to remind people, especially those close to the corridors of power, that football is a global game."

Modest Auckland finished third in the 2014 edition, surprising the football world.A victory for Tigres against Bayern on Thursday would have similar ramifications in Latin America and show that the Club World Cup really does matter football-wise, even if human rights campaigners in Europe are aghast at host Qatar.

But concerns over the awarding of prestigious football tournaments to Qatar and thetreatment of the migrant workers who have built thestadiums and infrastructure appearto be a less pressing issue in Mexico, where Tigres have a shot atfootballing immortality.

"Here we are, with the stars in the sky shining down on us,' said Gonzalez. "We're very proud of what we've done and I imagine there are a few tears among our fans. This triumph is for them."

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

Posted: at 1:22 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Disney Pixar’s Soul: how the moviemakers took Plato’s view of existence and added a modern twist – The Conversation UK

Posted: at 1:22 pm

Ideas about the soul have been powerful throughout the history of religion and philosophy. Until the 19th-century, most people took the existence of souls for granted. With the rise of modern psychology, this belief lost its plausibility, and today it is largely absent from academic philosophical and even theological writing.

Many now deny the existence of a soul, considering human emotions and motives simply a function of neurons firing. Disney Pixars new film Soul seems to go against the grain of this development.

It presents its viewers with two realms of being. The first is the realm of human activity, where life occurs. The second realm is of the soul where life has yet to begin, the great before, and where it ends, the great beyond. In their conception of the soul, the producers hark back to some of the most influential ideas of western intellectual history but in an unmistakably 21st-century way.

The film follows Joe Gardner, an aspiring jazz pianist who is stuck in the rut of his daily life as a part-time middle school music teacher. At the beginning of the film, Joe suffers an accident which leaves him hovering between life and death. The viewer observes Joes soul separate from its body as it journeys to the great beyond.

This starting point accurately mirrors the historical origins of western ideas about the soul. The Greek word for soul psyche was originally restricted in its use to the context of dying. Homer describes death as the souls departure from its body. At the beginning of its history in the west, the soul was evident primarily in its absence from a dead body.

With the rise of Greek philosophy in the 6th century BC, the soul was also seen as the force animating the living body. Meanwhile, the idea of death as the separation of body and soul remained generally accepted.

This created tension. If souls were supposed to enliven a particular body, they had to interact closely with the body and arguably form a unity with it. But then how could the soul survive the bodys decay or even exist separately?

A further difficulty arose from the widely shared belief in reincarnation. Could human souls be born again into the bodies of animals or even plants? And if so, how could they then constitute the operational centre, so to speak, of their current host?

Plato and Aristotle parted ways over these questions. For Plato, the souls connection with the body was only accidental. The hero of Platos dialogues, Socrates, explained to his friends, hours before his execution, that the philosopher yearns for his death because it marks the liberation of the soul into its true existence.

Platos student Aristotle, by contrast, denied that there even was a proper afterlife for the soul. Insofar as the soul was simply the life of the body, he urged, the two formed an indissoluble unity, which death brought to an end.

Things took a further turn with the rise of Christianity. Overall, Christians were more sympathetic to the Platonist view than to its alternatives, because they believed in a life after death. But they rejected the idea of an accidental connection between soul and body. The classical Christian view of the soul as found in Thomas Aquinas fused Platonic with Aristotelian ideas: the soul is immortal but tied in eternity to the identity of a body-soul compound. As such, it will be brought back to life at the end of time.

Against this rough sketch of the western history of the soul, Pixars position comes closest to the Platonic view. Souls depart from the dying person and travel to the great beyond. Souls also pre-exist their earthly incarnation, and some of them at least dont seem overly keen to embark on this journey into life. Souls are immaterial - another tenet of Platonic philosophy - although in the movie they are understandably not invisible. Finally, reincarnation seems possible, even across species as Joe finds out when, for a while, he enters the body of a cat.

Yet the parallels only go so far.

Joe Gardner is unwilling to accept his departure from earthly life, and much of the movie deals with his attempts to return to his previous existence. For Plato, this would indicate that Joe was a bad person unable to detach himself from material pleasures. In the film, however, it is this desire that makes Joe remarkable.

His companion, a not-yet-born soul introduced only as number 22, learns more from Joe, due to his unbending will to return to Earth, than she did from the souls of Gandhi, Einstein and Jung, who had previously tutored her in preparation for her birth. In the world of 21st-century New York, into which the two enter through an extraordinary series of events, number 22 suddenly develops a lust for life after experiencing the simple pleasures of living from eating pizza to watching the leaves fall from a tree.

None of this would have made much sense to Plato. Rather, the film relies on distinctly modern ideas about the affirmation of the present life as worth living on its own terms. The ultimate purpose of the soul is to be the spark that imparts the simple gift of life.

Joes conclusion from his experience as a disembodied soul is to savour every remaining moment of the earthly life he regains at the end of the film. And even number 22 comes to embrace the value of an embodied existence, despite its risks and limitations.

These are ideas well known from romantic and existentialist philosophers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) sneered at the notion of personal immortality as the ridiculous wish to perpetuate ones own miserable existence. Instead, he posited the idea of immortality in this moment. The lesson Joe learns, and wants us to learn, from his unusual experience is rather similar, and points to the thoroughly modern cast into which traditional ideas about the soul have been moulded by the makers of this film.

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Life after death: Woman ‘engulfed by light and God’ in afterlife vision – Daily Express

Posted: at 1:22 pm

Whether there is an afterlife is one of life's greatest mysteries. However, one woman believes she has the conclusive answer after she temporarily died. A person by the name of Star was attacked in her own home and was left fighting for her life.

Before paramedics could arrive at the scene, Star temporarily died which resulted in a heavenly vision.

In her brief moment of clinical death - which is the cessation of the heart or breathing - Star believes she met God.

Star wrote on the Near Death Experience Research Foundation: "A pure, brilliant light engulfed me and I no longer had a physical body. But, I still existed?

"I had no eyes to see but I looked at everything around me. I was in the centre of a vast nothingness, but the nothingness was not empty.

"It was completely filled with the presence of the living God.

"There are no words in the English language to describe where I was. I was in the middle of the Glory.

"Then the Lord wrapped me in His Love and held me to His breast.

"I was filled to every fibre of my being with His peace that passes all understanding. I felt the love He had for me."

READ MORE:Life after death: Man who survived gas explosion recalls harrowing NDE

"From a biomedical perspective, this hope might help the body fight illnesses, improve the chances of spontaneous remissions or allow the illness to run its course, it's more equanimity for the person involved.

"But even if there is no biological change, a focus on the possibility of immortality can help some individuals disidentify from their bodily pain and develop a more peaceful relationship with their experience as their suffering.

"When this happens, improbable beliefs in an immortal body or soul can be seen as entirely rational and pragmatic even.

"However, when beliefs about immortality exclude attention to the biological physical body, it can have serious negative effects on health, and even cause untimely deaths.

"So, what we believe about death and our ideas of enteral life can really make a difference as to how we live, how we handle pain and suffering and experience being alive here and now."

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

Posted: at 1:22 pm

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

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

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

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The UAE Probe ‘Hope’ Has Successfully Reached Mars – ExtremeTech

Posted: at 1:21 pm

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The United Arab Emirates has joined the ranks of just a handful of countries to successfully send a mission to the Red Planet. The UAE probe Hope successfully entered orbit on Tuesday after a 27-minute rocket burn slowed the craft enough for Mars gravity to capture it.

Hope is a satellite designed to study Martian weather over the short and long term, including measurements of dust storms and the ongoing loss of the Martian atmosphere to space. The spacecraft is powered by a pair of 900W solar panels and it includes a digital camera, infrared spectrometer, and an ultraviolet spectrometer to measure the upper atmosphere.

Hope will be the first satellite devoted to the study of the Martian atmosphere, and the first to track its climate over the long Martian seasons. Mars has a reputation for being a barren, cold hunk of rock because thats what it is but unlike, say, the Moon, Mars has a genuine climate and seasons that change over the course of a Martian year. While other probes have taken measures of Mars atmosphere, Hope is the first vehicle dedicated specifically to that task.

The data Hope gathers may help us understand how Mars transformed from a world where liquid water flowed across its surface into the dry and barren place it is today. There is substantial evidence that the Martian atmosphere was once much thicker and capable of warming the planet via a substantial greenhouse effect. There is evidence for substantial erosion and weathering across Mars in planetary features that date to the Noachian period (4.1B 3.7B years ago) but by the beginning of the Hesperian period, 3.7B years ago, Mars was cooling down. By 3B years ago, Mars largely resembled its current state, though theres still evidence of local or regional flooding in specific areas after this date.

What ancient Mars might have looked like. Image by Ittiz, CC BY-SA 3.0

We know that the collapse of the Martian magnetic field helped the sun blow its atmosphere away and that the planets lower mass made it more difficult for the planet to retain an atmosphere long-term. Its thought that periodic huge impacts could have played a role in keeping Mars warm, but the total amount of energy available on Mars has always been a fraction of that on Earth, due to its smaller size, lower percentages of radioactive materials, and the lower amount of energy Mars receives from the sun. Understanding the existing weather patterns on Mars and the interaction between the solar wind and the upper Martian atmosphere will help us better understand why Mars is still losing its hydrogen and oxygen into space.

Any serious effort to colonize Mars will require an understanding of prevailing weather patterns. Martian dust storms can become powerful enough to cloak the entire planet, making solar power useless. Well need to be able to predict Martian weather, at least to some extent, if we ever hope to settle there.

Feature image by MBRSC

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Elon Musk’s Mars plan rocked as SpaceX CEO fears humans will ‘self-extinguish’ before 2050 – Daily Express

Posted: at 1:21 pm

Elon Musk explains risks of moving to Mars

The tech mogul previously detailed plans to colonise the Red Planet by building a one-million-strong city before 2050, but received a blow to that when the Starship SN9 prototype crashed and exploded after its first high-altitude test flight last week. Mr Musk said he hoped to one day produce 1,000 spaceships over 10 years and launch three a day. The rockets would blast off from Earth, each carrying roughly 100 tonnes of equipment, as well as 100 people in the hope of building a permanent settlement on Mars.

And the SpaceX CEO gave an insight into the rollercoaster ride hed already experienced during the 2020 Mars Society Virtual Convention.

He said: Weve gone through many iterations, starting from not really knowing how to build rockets at all, with Falcon One and having three failures before reaching orbit.

We only barely survived, I was at zero cash basically when we got this fourth one to orbit if that didnt work it would have been curtains.

I think its helpful to have as the objective the creation of a self-sustaining city on Mars.

This has to be the objective, not simply a few people or a base, but a self-sustaining city.

The acid test really is if the ships from Earth stop coming for any reason, does Mars die out?

Mr Musk made reference to the Great Filter theory the idea that somewhere along the trajectory of life's development, there is a massive and common challenge that ends life before it becomes intelligent enough and widespread enough in the universe.

He said: If the ships stop coming for any reason does the city on Mars die out?

If it does were not in a secure place, I mean I think this really might come down to the great filter front.

READ MORE: Elon Musk's plan to send one million people to Mars boosted with colonisation 'solution'

Are we going to be able to create a self-sustaining city on Mars before or after World War 3?

Hopefully there is never a World War 3, but the probability of launching after World War 3 are low.

We should try to make this city self-sustaining before any possible World War 3.

Mr Musk said the success of his project hinges on this, but he does not think the outlook is great.

He continued: Really we just face a series of probabilities. Theres some chance we could have a giant war, a supervolcano, or a comet-strike or we might just self-extinguish.

Quite frankly, right now, civilisations not looking super strong, you know, were looking a little rickety right now.

Its not an escape vehicle unless Mars is made self-sustaining, which will probably not happen in my lifetime.

Its meaningless to have an escape lifeboat if youre simply moving to another place where you will soon die out. That doesn't count.

This is really about minimising existential risk for civilisation as a whole and having a future where we are a spacefaring civilisation and a multi-planet species.

Global catastrophic risks also include anthropogenic risks caused by humans, such as through technology, governance and climate change.

Express.co.uk has today launched a revolutionary campaign to help save Britain's environment and give a 21billion boost to the economy.

Along with green entrepreneur Dale Vince, we are calling on the Government to scrap VAT on green products and to make more space for nature.

An exclusive poll commissioned by the Daily Express revealed 66 percent of adults are worried by the state of the planet, climate change and the decline of wildlife and nature.

The majority are also in favour of changing the tax laws to encourage a greener approach and to make polluters pay.

Express.co.uk is calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to show world leadership on the issue in the run-up to the G7 summit in Cornwall in June and the crunch Cop 26 climate change summit in Glasgow in November.

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Elon Musk's Mars plan rocked as SpaceX CEO fears humans will 'self-extinguish' before 2050 - Daily Express

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