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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Immortality
Posted: August 26, 2020 at 4:39 pm
In Live Forever Sarahs world gets knocked off its axis when her mother suddenly dies of cancer, and as the young girl struggles with the loss, the temptation of finding a way to never lose someone again becomes too strong. When she discovers a formula that will lead to eternal life, she doesnt realize at first the dangerous problem shes triggering.
Written and illustrated by Raul Trevino, the story brings to life what anyone who has lost someone they care about struggles with. Why did that person have to die? Whether they were too young or their illness or accident too devastating, or even if they had lived a full life and you were just not ready to let them go, death is a hard pill to swallow. It is not uncommon to wish for immortality, at least for those closest to you, but as Sarahs mysterious neighbor Samuel explains, if every fish kept on living in the sea, thered be no room for new little ones.
The black and white art features splashes of red here and there to accent specific elements, mainly blood, which, as the story unfolds, is a key part of a formula that challenges death. For Sarah, is her grief so intense that she is tempted to mess with the natural order of things? She soon learns that while her grief can be quelled and shell keep those she cares for, the results of this action will lead to a much larger crisis.
Live Forever functions on a few levels, which is why it is such an appealing story. It taps into the pain and emotions we all face when someone dies. It is also a fantastic thriller/horror tale filled with mysterious characters and details that slowly reveal themselves as the story progresses.
The complete series is available to read on Webtoons now. Click here to begin.
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Posted: at 4:39 pm
By Raj Das.
After his 222m move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017, Neymar was heavily criticised. It was viewed as a downward career move by many, in what was the most heavily dissected saga in the history of football transfers.
The move may not have made sense on the surface, but how can any player deny a weekly contract of 600,000 a week? Would the critics themselves have been able to resist such an offer? That is of course if somebody made such an offer for them.
For the last three years, the road has been bumpy for the Brazil star. He took all criticism in his stride. Injuries also played a part in declining his stock and further propelling his downward trajectory.
Despite all the accusations hurled at him, Neymar has shown great maturity of late and has assumed greater responsibility. He has shown the performances that the PSG faithful have been clamouring for so long.
Reaching the Champions League final against Bayern Munich is a road to redemption for the 28-year-old.
In many ways, he has resurrected his career and is on track to making himself an immortal. Neymar may be Brazilian, but there is something romantically Irish about his resilience and fightback.
Everything looks rosy from the outside but it is difficult to live the life of a celebrity footballer.
The celebrity footballer is not a human, he is projected as a demi-god into our imagination. Perhaps we need to humanise Neymar and consider him as a vulnerable, insecure athlete.
Did Neymar regret his choice of leaving Barcelona? Absolutely. He regretted his move just a week after leaving the Nou Camp. He sought refuge in videogames to drown out his inner voice. That is when his great love for Fortnite began.
In life, we make choices and Neymar made his. What seemed to be the wrong move three years ago suddenly seems to be the right one today.
It is an interesting crossroads of sorts for the former Santos star. He is 28, and has now entered the stage when most footballers are at the peak of their powers. He feels confident, is in a positive mood, and has the results to show for it.
In 2015, he was among the three best players in the world but since his move to PSG in 2017, he disappeared from the centre of footballing conversations for a few years.
Now he has the chance to shine, to show the world that he is still one of the best.
The French media, especially the likes of Frank Lebouf, have always worried about Neymar casting a bad influence on their wonderkid Kylian Mbappe.
After Mbappe disrespected Thomas Tuchel after the head coach took him off in a match against Montpellier in which PSG were already 5-0 up, critics speculated that the youngster had picked up dissent from Neymar through osmosis.
It is true to a certain extent that Neymar indeed has a penchant for nightlife and partying. It is also true that during his last days at Barcelona, he had an altercation with assistant manager Juan Carlos Unzu when the Spaniard had warned him to mend his ways, or he would wind up like Ronaldinho.
Then, he has been called a spoilt brat, a showoff, a snake who left Barcelona for money.
What is interesting is that people have always shown false concerns. They have tried to correct Neymar. Even now when he is in the form of his life, his detractors, who are in their legions, have attempted to find faults with him.
But his Champions League performances since the restart of football has only proved his detractors wrong.
Against RB Leipzig we could see glimpses of the confident Neymar. There was the body swerve, the nutmeg and the magnetic ball control and dribble.
Perhaps his greatest achievement of the night was his sublime touch-assist to Angel di Maria that led to PSGs second goal of the night just before half-time.
It is ironic that for all their energy drink sponsors, it was Marquinhos who brandished the wings and headed in the first goal.
But Neymar was at his usual best, pulling the strings sometimes from the middle, sometimes from out wide. He became the old-fashioned enganche, the hook player who enjoined the midfield with attack. It was like a breath of fresh air.
A few days before the Atalanta match, he had told reporters: I am in the best form since I arrived in Paris. Looking at his performances, we can absolutely agree with him.
Despite massive criticism, he has actually been very prolific for the capital side this season.
In the Champions League, he has scored three goals and provided four assists in six games, playing 495 minutes. Thats a goal contribution every 70 minutes. He had also been prolific for PSG in Ligue 1. In 15 appearances, he scored 13 goals and provided six assists.
His statistics would have looked even more impressive had the league season not been curtailed midway through.
But more than his statistics, Neymar is a presence. He likes to take the ball to draw fouls and win freekicks. He likes to dribble past defenders in tight spaces; he enjoys playing incisive passes. He has unrivalled ball control and he looks to use that to his advantage.
There is a sense of leadership in his game, an awareness that this could finally be his year in Europe. He has seized the moment.
It seems that in a span of two months, he has resurrected his career. Winning the Coupe de la Ligue and the French Cup infused him with the confidence and belief to also put sublime performances in the Champions League.
Despite all his faults, Neymar has still been an incredible footballer. Now, after his sublime performances against Atalanta and Leipzig, he has become the centre of footballing conversations all over again. People are once again talking about the former Barcelona player in a positive light.
Neymar now has the chance to etch himself in the annals of PSG folklore if he can win the club their first-ever European Cup on the 23rd of August. It will not be easy by any means.
Bayern have been flawless under Hansi Flick, a team who look capable of scoring with every attack. They put eight past Barcelona, and three past a brave Lyon side who did everything apart from finding the back of the net.
Robert Lewandowski has fifteen goals this season in Europe, and will undoubtedly be the main threat for the Parisians. Yet, worryingly enough, Die Roten are not dependent on their prolific number 9. They have other contributors, most notably in Surge Gnabry who hogged all the limelight against Lyon.
Neymar will have to tussle with the likes of Leon Goretzka and Thiago Alcantara in midfield. He must then face Joshua Kimmich and Jerome Boateng further up.
Neymar must undergo the proverbial trial by fire. Immortality must come at a price.
It is not going to be easy to win the Champions League against Bayern Munich, but surely the footballing gods have created this script for the 28-year-old Brazilian for some higher purpose.
Surely it is divine intervention that has landed him this opportunity to wash away three years of criticism, anxiety and disappointment.
Neymar has the chance to create his own Ben Bulben in Lisbon. He will yet have a long and illustrious career. But victory against Bayern will provide him with a fitting epitaph, just as the great Irish poet W.B. Yeats did for himself:
Poet and sculptor do the work
Nor let the modish painter shirk
What his great forefathers did.
Bring the soul of man to God (Under Ben Bulben, 1938)
Neymar, PSGs chief poet and sculptor, must juxtapose the divine and the human, and play the greatest game of his life. His ancestral spirit blesses him and wants him to shine. From now on, there will be no pain and criticism; a win against Bayern will completely justify his move to France.
Just as Ben Bulben symbolises the towering aspirations of the Irish people, Neymar, too, has the chance to make Paris proud and immortalise himself in the citys folklore.
It is also interesting that like Yeats who was repeatedly spurned by his love interest Maude Gonne, Neymar too has craved love and respect. In Barcelona, he played second fiddle to Lionel Messi, the only love of the Blaugrana faithful.
But he has now found his love in PSG, just as Yeats found it later through his wife Georgiana Hyde-Lees.
If Neymar can inspire PSG in the Champions League final, his journey from footballing resurrection to immortality will be complete. It will be a fitting, folklore-like finale to an epidemic-laden season.
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Rick and Morty plot hole: Rick’s ride on the Whirly Dirly creates huge immortality blunder – Express
Posted: at 4:39 pm
Adult Swims irreverent science fiction animated series wrapped up its fourth season this year with an impressive finale. Before five new episodes of Rick and Morty drop on Netflix, some eagle-eyed animation fans noticed a strange continuity mistake with the Whirly Dirly during Rick and Jerrys theme park adventure.
Rick and Morty (both played by Justin Roiland) have kept fans entertained during the coronavirus lockdown with a new series of twisted sci-fi escapades.
Back in 2017, co-creators Roiland and Dan Harmon took audiences on one of Ricks darkest adventures yet in the season three episode, The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy.
Following the brief separation of Ricks daughter Beth (Sarah Chalke) from husband Jerry (Chris Parnell), Rick decides to treat his newly single and despondent son-in-law with a trip to a theme park in space.
In signature Rick and Morty fashion, this particular resort isnt quite as it seems as the whole park is surrounded by an Immortality Field, preventing the death of its guests.
READ MORE:Rick and Morty theories: Season three reveals both Beths are clones
Despite their temporary invulnerability, Rick still manages to run afoul of an old enemy who is out for blood and concocting a complicated assassination attempt.
Jerry comes across Risotto Groupon (Clancy Brown), an alien who holds a grudge against Rick for selling weapons to the enemies of his people, who were then enslaved.
Groupon explains a tiny section of the Whirly Dirly rollercoaster travels outside the Immortality Field, a perfect window of opportunity to assassinate the unhinged inventor.
Thankfully, Jerry declines to help, but their peaceful holiday takes a turn for the worse when Groupon sends his hitmen onto the ride to take Rick out themselves.
The coaster car appears to be flung off the track in what can be assumed to be a Whirly, but the number of Dirlys is harder to determine.
Plus, their ride may have been interrupted before the third Dirly, as Rick uses his exploding jacket to fend off oncoming assassins, causing the coaster to derail.
Rick and Morty is infamous for its frequent use of bizarre, made-up languages and names, often improvised on the fly by creator and voice actor Justin Roiland.
It may simply be that the writers came up with an amusing name for the fictional rollercoaster, without putting too much thought in making sure the action scene lined up with Groupons exact plan.
Posted: at 4:39 pm
The theme this week is, it seems, woodland, history, and its secrets.
Last June saw the publication of Emily Teshs Silver in the Wood. I missed it until now, with the publication of its loose sequel, Drowned Country, and Im not sure whether to be sorry I missed such a gem last year, or glad that I had the opportunity to read two gems back to back.
Silver in the Wood sets itself in the forest called Greenhollow. Its protagonist is Tobias Finch, a quiet, pragmatic sort of man. Bound to the wood, he does not dwell on the past, but tends with a profoundly practical insistence to such forest problems as arise: fairies, ghouls, murderously angry dryads. His only companions are his cat and Greenhollows non-murderous dryads, for to the world beyond the wood, hes a figure out of folklore, Greenhollows wild man.
But when the handsome new owner of Greenhollow Hall, youthful folklorist Henry Silver, arrives in Tobiass wood with endless curiosity and no notion that some secrets may be dangerous instead of wondrous, things change. Because Tobias, to his surprise, finds himself attached to Silver. And Silver is exactly the kind of man, come the spring equinox, to be the prey of the woods wicked, hungry Lord of Summer, who was once a manbut is a man no longerthat Tobias knew very well indeed.
Tesh has a deft ability to combine the numinous and the grounded: wildwood magic and the need to darn socks sit side by side. The arrival of the practical folklorist Adela Silver, Henry Silvers mother, into the narrative gives Teshs world, and the characters of Tobias and Finch, additional dimensions, making already compelling people more complicated and interesting. The novella as a whole is gorgeously written, well-paced, and thematically interested in regeneration and regrowth as opposed to the stagnant, parasitic immortality of the Lord of Summer.
Drowned Country, its sequel, is part katabasis, part reconciliation, and part study in temptation, selfishness, the crushing weight of isolation and loneliness and hunger
Perhaps hunger isnt the right word, but it has the right weight.
Henry Silver has taken Tobiass place. Bound to the woodbound to where the wood once was, as well as where it isand facing a kind of immortality, he is not dealing well with the new state of affairs. Especially since his own choices lost him Tobiass regard. When his mother asks, however reluctantly, for his help, he steps out from the confines of Greenhollow to the damp, grimy seaside town of Rothport with its looming abbey and long-drowned forest: there to find a missing girl, a dead vampire, and a road to Fairyland in the drowned echoes of the long-lost wood.
And Tobias Finch, whom Henry loves, and who Henry believes despises him.
For such a slender volume, it carries a great deal of freight. Teshs combination of practicality and feyness is just as well-paired here, especially with Henrya man with less talent for the practical than Tobias, and more inclination to be fey. Or to wallow in self-pity. Tesh mingles, too, humour and pathos, and a striking sense of narrative inevitability: the emotional and thematic climaxes have a very satisfying heft to them.
Well-recommended, these novellas.
The only fantastic element to Carrie Vaughns The Ghosts of Sherwood and The Heirs of Locksley is Robin Hood and all that ballad tradition mythos. But fantastically unlikely ahistoric historical personalities are a fine tradition in SFF and its adjacent works, and Vaughn gives us a version of Robinfor all that her novellas focus on his childrenthat feels grounded to a specific time and plausible in its outlines. The Ghosts of Sherwood sets itself immediately after the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215; The Heirs of Locksley, around the second coronation of the then thirteen-year-old Henry III at Westminster, four years after his first coronation at Gloucester. (Henry went on to have a relatively long life and reign.)
The language of these novellas reminds me of Vaughns striking, at times haunting, post-apocalyptic novels Bannerless and The Wild Dead (I dare not hope therell be other stories set in that world, because damn those are good): spare, plain, and perfectly sharpened to a point. Concerned with personal relationships, Vaughns pair of novellas are also interested in growth towards adulthood, and with living in the shadow of a story, or set of stories, that is larger than life: Mary, John, and Eleanor, the children of Robin of Locksley and his lady Marian, have to navigate a world thats different from their parents youth, but one where the story of their parents lives, and the myths of Sherwood, and (some of) the antagonisms of the past, remain live concerns for them.
I enjoyed these novellas immensely. And not just because Ive been brushing up on my medieval English history.
What are you guys reading lately?
Liz Bourke is a cranky queer person who reads books. She holds a Ph.D in Classics from Trinity College, Dublin. Her first book, Sleeping With Monsters, a collection of reviews and criticism, was published in 2017 by Aqueduct Press. It was a finalist for the 2018 Locus Awards and was nominated for a 2018 Hugo Award in Best Related Work. Find her at her blog, or find her at her Twitter. She supports the work of the Irish Refugee Council, the Transgender Equality Network Ireland, and the Abortion Rights Campaign.
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Posted: at 4:39 pm
(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)
Matthew Redmond, Stanford University
(THE CONVERSATION) Since her death in 1886, Emily Dickinson has haunted us in many forms.
She has been the precocious little dead girl admired by distinguished men; the white-clad, solitary spinster languishing alone in her bedroom; and, in more recent interpretations, the rebellious teenager bent on smashing structures of power with her torrential genius.
As the world continues to endure the ravages of COVID-19, another ghost of Dickinson steps into view. This one, about 40 years old, seems by turns vulnerable and formidable, reclusive and forward. She carries the dead weight of crises beyond her control, but remains unbowed by it.
It was while drafting my dissertation, which explores the meaning of old age in America, that I first encountered this Dickinson. She has been with me ever since.
The depths of loss
Most admirers of Dickinsons poetry know that she spent a considerable part of her adult life in what we call self-imposed confinement, rarely venturing outside the family homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts. Less known, perhaps, is that the final 12 years of her life were passed in a state of nearly perpetual mourning.
It began with the death of her father. For all his stern comportment, Edward Dickinson had enjoyed a special relationship with Emily, his middle child. When her surviving letters declare him the oldest and oddest sort of a foreigner, one hears the affectionate annoyance that comes with real devotion. He died in 1874, away from home.
Loss followed loss. Favorite correspondent Samuel Bowles died in 1878. With the passing of Mary Ann Evans, otherwise known as George Eliot, in 1880, Dickinson lost a kindred spirit a mortal who, in her words, had already put on immortality while living. A very different loss was that of Dickinsons mother, Emily Norcross Dickinson, with whom she enjoyed little or no rapport for much of their life together, but who became at least somewhat precious to her daughter on her deathbed. That was in 1882, the same year that took from her literary idol Ralph Waldo Emerson and early mentor Charles Wadsworth.
The following year saw the death of her cherished eight-year-old nephew, Gilbert, from typhoid fever, his illness having spurred one of Dickinsons rare excursions beyond the homestead. The year after that, Judge Otis Phillips Lord, with whom she pursued the only confirmed romantic relationship of her life, finally succumbed to an illness of several years and was wearily dubbed by the poet our latest Lost.
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What impact did so much grief have on the mind of one of Americas greatest visionary artists? Her letters say little enough. Writing to Mrs. Samuel Mack in 1884, however, she frankly admits: The Dyings have been too deep for me, and before I could raise my heart from one, another has come.
The word deep is an arresting choice, making it sound as though Dickinson is drowning in a pile of dead loved ones. Each time she comes up for air, yet another body is added to the great mass.
This is characteristic of Dickinson. If her imagination shrinks from visualizing breadth, it thrives on depth. Some of the most captivating images in her poetry are piles of things that cannot be piled: thunder, mountains, wind. During the Civil War, she uses the same technique to represent soldiers heroic and terrible sacrifice:
In describing her more personal losses of the 1870s, Dickinson seems to imagine yet another pile of human corpses rising before her eyes. Or maybe it is the same pile, her loved ones added to the dead troops whose fate she kept contemplating to the end of her own life. Seen in this light, the Dyings appear not just too deep but unfathomably so.
Life after death
At the time of this writing, the pile of lives that overshadows our lives is 800,000 deep and getting deeper by the hour. Dickinsons imagery shows how keenly she would have understood what we might feel, dwarfed by a mountain of mortality that will not stop growing. The same anger, exhaustion and sense of futility were her constant companions in later life.
Fortunately, she had other companions. As recent studies have shown, Dickinson was the best kind of social networker, maintaining profoundly generative relationships by correspondence from the family homestead. Her poetic output, though greatly diminished toward the end of her life, never ceases, and its offerings include some of her richest meditations on mortality, suffering and redemption.
These words resonate in the current crisis, during which protecting the daily mind has become a full-time job. News reports, with their updated death tolls, erode our intellectual and spiritual foundations. All seems lost.
But if strain and sorrow are palpable in this poem, so is courage. Dickinsons lonely speaker chooses to express what she has felt, to measure and record the burden of loss that life has thrust upon her. Beliefs, once bandaged, may heal. And while no man has ever been bold enough to confront the deeper Consciousness that so many deaths expose within the human mind, the speaker will not rule out doing so herself. There is still room in this blighted world for the kind of visionary experience from which hope not only springs, but flourishes.
Living in the shadow of death, Dickinson remained enamored of life. This, as much as anything, makes her a hero of our time.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: https://theconversation.com/emily-dickinson-is-the-unlikely-hero-of-our-time-144262.
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Posted: at 4:39 pm
The season finale of DC Universe's Doom Patrol ended on a massive cliffhanger, leaving the fate of the entire team in jeopardy.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the season finale of Doom Patrol Season 2, "Wax Patrol," available now on DC Universe and HBO Max.
Season 2 of DC'sDoom Patrol series recently came to an end with an unintended cliffhanger. Production of the series was forced to halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, the final episode of the season couldn't be shot. So now, Episode 9, "Wax Patrol" serves as a finale one that leaves the fate of the whole team in doubt.
After learning of Niles Caulder's deceptions and true intentions, the team spent most of Season 2 grappling with the aftermath of his betrayal. He was responsible for the accidents which transformed each of them into freaks, but his reasons were complex. He was seeking a way to gain immortality so he could be an ever-watchful caretaker for his daughter, Dorothy.
RELATED: Doom Patrol: Danny's Transformation Could Pave The Way For ANOTHER Character
Introduced in Season 2, Dorothy is an ape-faced girl with incredible psychic powers. Able to manifest beings from her imagination and connected to a strong spiritual force, Dorothy is immortal and perpetually remains an 11-year old girl. Her powers are so great, she struggles to control them, and all season has been taunted by an entity called the Candlemaker.
A malevolent being who preys on Dorothy's fears when she's at her weakest, the Candlemaker can grant any wish Dorothy makes, but he always bends her wish to commit monstrous acts of violence. Niles feared what would happen to Dorothy without proper supervision, and thus began his journey for immortality, which resulted in the birth of the Doom Patrol.
RELATED: Catwoman Resurrects Doom Patrol's Most SUGGESTIVE Weapon
Unfortunately for Niles, he had to give up the talisman keeping him alive in order to save the team, and as Dorothy is exposed to the outside world, she has begun to grow up. With Dorothy losing control of her growing powers as she entered puberty, the Doom Patrol refusing to forgive Niles and his own health failing, hehas resigned himself to allowing his wizard friend, Kipling, to kill her.
Wanting to spend one last day with his daughter, Nilesbrings Dorothy to a fair. However, he and Kipling are too late, and, under duress, Dorothy is forced to unleash the Candlemaker. Not wanting people to be hurt, Dorothy sends her imaginary friend, a giant spider named Herschel, to warn the Doom Patrol. The team rallies at the fair, despite their feelings towards Niles.
The Candlemaker has taken over the fair, sealing people in wax. The team is separated and forced to confront their own imaginary friends, conjured by the Candlemaker. One by one they are defeated, with everyone, but Niles and Jane, sealed in the Candlemaker's wax. Cliff suffered the worst fate, being broken down into scrap before getting covered in wax.
Janeisout of commission too, but for different reasons. Stuck in the Well, the darkest part of her subconscious, Jane has been replaced by a former, primary personality, Miranda.However, as Miranda is called back to the Underground and questioned by the other personalities, Jane learns the truth. She finds the corpse of Miranda floating in the dark waters of the Well, and Miranda is in fact her abusive Daddy personality attempting to seize control of Jane.
RELATED: A Doom Patrol Hero Brings Another Piece of Watchmen Into The DC Universe
Meanwhile, Slava, Dorothy's mother, appears in a vision and urges her daughter to embrace her powers and face the Candlemaker alone. Despite Niles' desperate pleas, Dorothy conjures a weapon with her mind and moves closer. Before she can fight, she is snatched by the Candlemaker and pulled away, leaving Niles' devastated.
The end of Season 2 finds the Doom Patrol in incredibly dire circumstances. There's no telling what could happen to each character. No matter what, it seems their fate and the fate of the world rests on Dorothy.
Streaming on DC Universe and HBO Max, Doom Patrol stars Brendan Fraser as Cliff Steele, Diane Guerrero as Crazy Jane, Matt Bomer as Larry Trainer, April Bowlby as Rita Farr, Jovian Wade as Vic Stone, and Timothy Dalton as Niles Caulder.
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Ari David is pretty amazing. He writes and writes about Film, TV, Comics, and Games from his lair in Brooklyn. Check him out on twitter: @TheAmazingAri
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Posted: at 4:39 pm
Dr. Alan Graham, M.D.
By Dr. Alan Graham, M.D.
Those of us who have parented teenagers tend to agree that it is not for the faint of heart I am currently in the thick of it with two teen boys at home. When you throw in a pandemic and my job as a pediatric ICU physician, things get even more interesting.
Teenagers are not known for making great decisions. They drive too fast, climb too high, experiment too much, and rarely consider the consequences before they act. The teenage body, at the top of its physical game, and the teenage brain, convinced of its own immortality, team up to create an extraordinary risk-taking human. As it turns out, biology is one big reason the Big Air categories at the X-Games are full of teens.
Unfortunately, the same things that make teenagers incredible extreme athletes can work against them in a pandemic. How can you possibly convince a teenager, who is biologically programmed to believe they will live forever, that they should wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from all their closest friends 100% of the time? You cant.
As we age, our brains develop and our bodies take longer to recover. We suddenly understand mortality in a way that we were incapable of when we were younger. We cannot and should not expect our kids to act like adults. They just arent there yet, so it is the adults job to protect them.
We understand this inherently and have difficult conversations with them about drinking and driving, promising to pick them up no matter what time they call.
But right now, during a pandemic that can insidiously spread and cause fatal infection without warning, by the time we get that call, it may be too late. They may have already contracted the virus and be bringing it home with them.
Our teenagers need us now more than ever and they need us to be their parents, not their friends. They need us to be strong and decisive. When they beg to go to a party because everyone is going, they need us to say No! They need us to actively limit their exposure to other teens. They need us to model social-distancing and mask-wearing. They need us to advocate for the safe reopening of schools, which requires all of us to control the virus in our communities that surround our schools.
A recent study showed children over the age of 10 spread COVID-19 as readily as adults. In the ICU, we are bracing for the influx of patients that we fear will arrive once schools are back in session, and we dread giving families the worst news of their lives.
We need parents to understand that once their child arrives in our ICU, we will do everything in our power to help their child as they fight the virus, but once they are infected, we cannot protect them from the ravaging course the coronavirus may take on their body. A far better plan is to prevent them from ever needing to go to the pediatric ICU in the first place.
If youre a parent, do not allow your teen to congregate in large groups and certainly do not facilitate these gatherings yourself. Insist that every family member wear a mask when youre around other people. Social distancing and mask-wearing are simple, straightforward prevention measures that are more powerful than any treatment we have in the hospital.
Your teen may roll their eyes and slam their door, but they are counting on you now more than ever.
You got this.
Alan Graham, MD is a doctor specializing in pediatric critical care.
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ALLEN IVERSON PAYS TRIBUTE TO KOBE Greatness needs company, and we needed each other. – Basketball Network
Posted: at 4:39 pm
Dear Kobe, this is going to be tough. But I need to get this off my chest. Everybody clear out for me and Kobe. Clear the paint for Chuck and Kobe, one last time.
The stage is yours, Allen Iverson. Pay your tribute to your contemporary, both career and immortality wise. Show us what you love about the legend of late great Kobe Bryant.
As for many, it starts with the mentality for A.I. That superhero-like Im not backing down from anybody approach not even when facing my personal standard of basketball excellence. Thats when it all started with Iverson that first clash of No.23 vs. No.8.
The first time I saw you going up against Black Jesus when you were 18 years old, I knew you were akiller. Thats when I realized you were going to be a legend in this game. You were goinghardat Mike that night. No fear whatsoever. I mean, I knew from passing you in traffic over the years that you were a dog. But when I saw you going at Black Jesus like that? Thats when I knew you were a kindred spirit.
For 6-1 point guard, and 6-6 shooting guard, that was the point of identification. The fearless aura to them that was their common ground. It was a starting point in developing a bond. A bond that laid upon the grounds of two people whose pursuits of greatness intertwined.
But they never crossed a line. Whenever they stepped on the floor it was war. They went at each other uncompromisingly, but always within the borders of competitiveness. And they fed off each other, almost in a symbiotic way.
It was like heavyweight fighters beating the hell out of one another. And then at the bell, its nothing but love and respect. Greatness needs company, and we needed each other. Mike needed Prince, like Prince needed Mike. Tyson needed Holyfield like Holyfield needed Tyson.
Everybody needs that person to say,Oh, youre the sh*t, huh? Well, Im the sh*t, too. Well, for A.I. Kobe was the sh*t. The toughest, fiercest competitor he had ever faced, to the point there were times when even Iverson didnt want any part of Kobe Bryant. Not in 01, though. The two were going at each other like fighters, but from the point of pure admiration, they had for one another.
Whether it was playing for an NBA championship, or fighting for a scoring title, they were non stop. They pushed each other, as both were paving their ways towards the NBAs iconism. And they got there, both in their own unique ways. Iverson got there as a scorer and a culture-shifter, and Kobe got there as a winner.
Any time anybody asks me, Whos the greatest of all-time? Im not going to bullsh*t you. M.J. is always Number 1. I know youd say the same. Black Jesus, thats the G.O.A.T. But Number 2? Number 2, Im always going to say its Kobe Bryant.
From talking sh*t and smiling at the free-throw line, to hugging Kobe at the Staples, congratulating him on two jerseys being retired Iverson is keeping his Black Mamba memories close to his heart, and theyre not going anywhere.
Until the two meet again.
Posted: at 4:39 pm
In the second episode of Lovecraft Country, "Whitey's on the Moon," the Sons of Adam used Atticus for a magical ritual, but it failed. Here's why.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Lovecraft Country Season 1, Episode 2, "Whitey's on the Moon," which aired Sunday on HBO.
In the series premiere of Lovecraft Country, Atticus "Tic" Freeman returned from war to search for his missing father, Montrose Freeman, with the only clue to his whereabouts being a mysterious letter. This set Tic, his uncle George and his friend Letitia on the road to Ardham, Massachusetts. Along the way, an unseen force protected them fromracist police officers, monstrous creatures known as the Shoggothand other dangers. At the end of the episode, they took refuge at a mansion in Ardham.
Now, in the HBO series' second episode, "Whitey's on the Moon," Atticus learns themansion belongs to the Braithwaite family and the Sons of Adam, a group of men whoare partof an ancient cult known as the Order of the Ancient Dawn. And they need Atticus to achieve their goal.
RELATED:Lovecraft Country Has Already Outdone Stranger Things In One Huge Way
Upon their arrival, Atticus, George and Letitia are welcomed as guests and settle into their respective rooms.However, Tic is quick to notice not all is as it seems. He realizes that they are captives, not guests, and that their hosts are wizards with nefarious goals. In truth, the Braithwaite family kidnapped Tic's father and sent him a letter to lure him to them because the Sons of Adam's leader, Samuel Braithwaite, has a very specific use for Atticus. It turns out Atticus is the last descendant of their ancestor, Titus Braithwaite, and Samuel intends to use him to perform an ancient ritual that will open a portal to the Garden of Eden, a place where he will be able to achieve immortality.
Come night, the Sons of Adam coerce Atticus into willingly participating in the ritual: he's given a ring that indicates he's a member of the Order, and he's taken to a room where the Sons of Adam are waiting for him in ceremonial robes. When the ritual begins, the gate to the Garden of Eden starts opening, and luscious plant lifeemanates from it. For a moment, it truly seems like Samuel will get his wish.
But then, everything goes wrong: a darkness spreads from Atticus' ringand body. It consumes the portal and kills the new life it had just brought forth. The darkness wipes out the portal, and in a blast, it kills all members of the Sons of Adam in proximity. Worse still, it destroys the estate, which caves in. Luckily, Tic is able to get out alive --leaving viewers to wonder just what happened.
RELATED: Lovecraft Country: What Are The Shoggoth, The Series First Monsters?
The ritual seemed like it worked at first, but then it didn't. Some might consider that this is because of Tic's lineage. After all, in this very episode, a conversation between George andMontrose hints that the latter may not actually be Tic's biological father. In fact, George might actually be his blood relative. This could lead to the theory that Tic was not actually a descendant of Titus Braithwaite -- but it's important to remember this genealogy comes from his mother's side of the family, which means his status as a Braithwaite wouldn't be affected by the identity of his father.
No, the most likely reason the ritual didn't go as planned is Christina Braithwaite. The young witch crossed paths with Atticus on multiple occasions in her family's castle, and she made it clear that she was angry at not being able to become a member of the Sons of Adam simply because she was a woman. She resented her father Samuel and the Order's old customs because of it, and it's possible she decided to intervene to prevent them from getting what they wanted.
RELATED:Lovecraft Country: Atticus Reunites With [Spoiler] but at a Great Cost
The darkness that cause the destruction of the portal -- and Braithwaite castle -- seemed to have originated from Atticus' Sons of Adam ring, a trinket that was given to him by Christina. Therefore, since she is a witch, she could have hexed the ring to insure the ritual's failure.
If that is the case, then Christina truly got her revenge for being excluded from the Sons of Adam. We don't have all the answers yet but since Christina was nowhere to be seen when the castle collapsed, it's possible she made it out alive andmight return to continue her family's mission.
Starring Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Aunjanue Ellis, Abbey Lee, Jada Harris, Wunmi Mosaku and Michael K. Williams, Lovecraft Country airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
KEEP READING:Lovecraft Country Features A Surprise Team-Up With A Major John Carter Character
Lovecraft Country: Atticus May Not Be Who We Think He Is
Ian Cardona has written for CBR since 2017. He is a Feature, Comic Breakouts and News writer. He's been in love with comics for a very long time, and believes there is some good to be found even in the industry's more difficult times. His favorite Avenger is Captain America, and that was long before the character starred in a very successful film franchise. He is an avid statue and Funko Pop! figures collector, and he's rapidly running out of shelf space. With CBR, he has been able to write about his favorite subjects, from the MCU to Doctor Who. You can follow him on Twitter at @ian_c1701 (yes, that is a Star Trek reference) for discussions, debates or pictures of really cool collectibles he probably doesn't have room for.
Posted: at 4:39 pm
Orcs may be one of the prominent species in Lord of the Rings, but not everything about them makes total sense.
The word orc likely conjures the image of a great beast of a creature ripping itself from its slime-covered cocoon in front of Christopher Lee's Saruman in the Lord of the Rings films. Orcs were always the majority of foot soldiers for Sauron in his war against the rest of Middle Earth.
RELATED: The Lord of the Rings: 5 Reasons Legolas Is an Underrated Character (& 5 Why He's Overrated)
They always served evil and were born of evil, and yet, despite the simplicity in their creation and motivation, there are a few things about orcs in The Lord of the Rings, and even in The Hobbit, that don't quite add up. A few questions remain about the ugliest creatures in all of Middle Earth.
According to Tolkien, at least some of the orcs used to be elves. That's right, some orcs have the same ancestors as the beautiful Legolas. Apparently they were tortured and that's how they changed both their appearance and their personalities to the gross and evil kind. They, like elves, can die in battle, but viewers never spend enough time with them to see if, at least some orcs, still possess the immortality of their elf ancestors. Despite the explanations, it's hard to believe that torture can create an entirely new species, bot just a new attitude or outlook.
Orcs, like elves, have been around for a long long time, and yet they were never a real issue until the rise of Sauron. Despite their strength, numbers, and dark nature, orcs seemed to only bother dwarfs. What else were they doing all that time? They weren't exactly building their own culture or cities. They were just sort of around waiting for something to do? It's very weird that they weren't a greater problem for the residents of Middle Earth until an independent leader took charge.
Orcs cause major problems for the dwarfs, rather than Middle Earth at large, because they lived underground. Yet, why they lived underground doesn't make much sense. Elves don't live underground, and many of the earliest orcs were descended from elves. Apparently, due to living underground, orcs were also excellent miners, like Gimli and the dwarfs. If they had skills, again, it makes little sense that they weren't a larger problem earlier on for residents across Middle Earth.
Originally Tolkien said that all orcs were descended from tortured elves. However, not all orcs come from elves. Beyond the birth of the Uruk Hai that is seen in the Lord of the Rings films, Tolkien's son later admitted that his father wasn't always comfortable with the idea that orcs came from elves.
RELATED: Lord of the Rings: 10 Things That Make No Sense About Merry & Pippin
With their ever-changing backstory it's no wonder there is confusion over where orcs come from, what they can do, what their goals are, and what they do in their spare time.
Orcs were strong and talented (see their mining skills mentioned above). Yet, it wasn't until Sauron and Saruman that the orcs also started making a real mark on the different people of Middle Earth. Orcs were never depicted as peaceful so, again, it is strange that they weren't out marauding in the countryside earlier in the history of Middle Earth. They could have been a threat all their own, and been very destructive and powerful if they had taken initiative. It's never exactly clear why they didn't.
Uruk hai, unlike their elf descended brethren, are bred by Saruman at Isengard. They come from the dark arts and magical creation rather than torture or biological procreation. It is often said that uruk hai are actually a result of the crossbreeding of humans and orcs. Despite the difference in their backstory, uruk hai are not seen as their own species or creature, they are also known as orcs, even if they are a subset. Why uruk hai would be thrown in with the unsuccessful minions that came before them is a question that remains.
Despite how it appears in the films, with Treebeard being shocked at the destruction Saruman and Isengard have wrought on the forest, the fact that Treebeard didn't know in advance seems absurd. Orcs are not very smart, and yet the Ents are. The Ents claim they can communicate with the trees, and yet fans are supposed to believe no trees sent out the message that they were being destroyed. Orcs are not talented or secretive enough to have pulled off a move like this, even with Saruman's involvement.
In The Lord of the Rings,Peter Jackson makes it clear that orcs need to be constantly watched if they are going to be successful and organized as a fighting force. This means that orcs, despite their strength and numbers, can be very vulnerable to the well-organized men, elves, and dwarfs who they find themselves fighting against.
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While it's obvious that, before Saruman, orcs were not organized enough to do any real damage to Middle Earth, they still managed to survive. What helpful traits led them to this minor success is never revealed.
Elves live in Lindon, Lothlrien, and Rivendell and yet they are all just elves. Yet, orcs are categorized often by where they come from. There are Mordor Orcs, Isengard Orcs, Dol Guldur Orcs, and the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, along with the specific uruk hai. Why a disorganized species would have so many categories assigned to them doesn't make any sense at all.
Despite their numbers and their strength, even as unorganized as they are, it is very strange how well orcs seem to take orders. They march and so as their told when sent out by Saruman to end the age of men and begin the age of the orc. Again, why they never used their strength and numbers to do anything, including to sack towns and villages before they were pulled together by Saruman and Sauron seems like a lost opportunity.
NEXT: The Lord of the Rings: 5 Reasons Frodo Is an Underrated Character (& 5 Why He's Overrated)
Next Lord Of The Rings: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Minas Tirith
Jessie Atkin holds an MFA in creative writing. She is a storyteller, writer, and reader. She's a YA connoisseur, Star Wars enthusiast, Harry Potter fanatic, Mets devotee, and trivia aficionado.