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The Vampire Diaries: The 10 Most Hated Storylines | ScreenRant – Screen Rant

Posted: March 26, 2020 at 6:02 am

Watching The Vampire Diarieswas often like a mad rush because so much happened in each episode. The momentum kept the fans watching for eight seasons, even after the central character, Elena was gone or "asleep." We were pulled in by the main characters' arcs and friendships. Additionally, the storylines were dramatic and interesting, pulling us in, making us want more.

RELATED: The Vampire Diaries Universe Top 10 Love Triangles

However, not every storyline was stellar; some became dull, or problematic, or even too dramatic. Which are the most hated storylines?

Damon finds out that his and Stefan's mother has been banished and imprisoned in a Gemini-coven prison world. He wants to bring her back, but she won't come without the heretics, witches-turned-vampire. When the group works to bring her friends back as well, Mother Salvatore appears to prefer the heretics to her sons, further rubbing the salt into both Stefan and Damon's wounds.

The heretics could have been interesting characters, but other than Valerie, the rest weren't given much screen time or allowed for much character development. We had Mary Louise and Nora, two heretic lovers who were never able to express their love in the world that they came from. So much more could have been done with their storyline. Additionally, all the heretics seemed to be devoted to Mother Salvatore, as if she were their mother. This loyalty was never really fully explored.

The Silas storyline was extremely dramatic. We learned where the doppelgangers started from--Silas and Amara. We also learned that Qetsiyah had cursed them, especially Amara who had to suffer supernatural beings walking through her in order to get to the other side.

Due to this role, Amara was desperate for a cure to her immortality. All of this could have been very interesting, and part of it was. However, the majority of this storyline became too melodramatic and diverted from the more interesting drama of our core group.

Stefan knew Valerie before either was a vampire. She was his first girlfriend prior to his all encompassing love for Katherine. We find out that Valerie still has a torch for Stefan, and that she had been pregnant with Stefan's child, losing it in a miscarriage. Knowing this complicated Stefan's feelings.

RELATED: The Vampire Diaries 10 Most Shameless Things Stefan Ever Did

Meanwhile, he had been assuring a jealous Caroline that she had nothing to fear about his past with Valerie. In the end, Stefan leaves Caroline (partly to save her), but he abandons her in that he doesn't even stay in touch. During this time, he is attached to Valerie. She is her girlfriend. He may have stayed with her due to their history, but it was clear that these two didn't have much of a future.

Once Stefan left and Caroline had the twins, she couldn't leave the twins. As much as she assured herself and others that she wasn't technically their mother, she felt attached to them. They had been magically transferred to her womb when their biological mother (Jo) was murdered, and Caroline carried them, giving birth to them. She couldn't help but love them, wanting to be in their lives. When she tried to convince herself that she loved Alaric, their father, it didn't ring true. It was more of a marriage of convenience and mutual respect, than that of love.

However, Alaric did seem to feel true romance for Caroline. This felt a little strange, especially since he had been a teacherat her school when Caroline was a high school student, and her best friend, Elena, was his first wive's daughter. This relationship had the yuck factor all over it.

This is another storyline that could have been more interesting. After all Jeremy inherited his powers as a vampire hunter, and his sister's friends are vampires--Elena became one, too. We do have moments when Damon is teaching him how to use his powers, which are light and fun. However, over all the brotherhood of the hunters proves dull.

RELATED: 10 Shows with Vampires If You Miss The Vampire Diaries

They were supposed to be presented as terrifying, even to the original vampires. It was hard to see Jeremy as anything other than Elena's sometimes annoying little brother. We would have loved to see Jeremy struggle more with his power and what it meant to him.

Rayna was a more interesting hunter than Jeremy. Built from the powers of multiple shamans, Rayna had an immortal focus on killing those she marked. Once she had marked you, you had very little luck of surviving. True, they tried to make Rayna more interesting by focusing on her history and her inability to change her hunting ways. Rayna even gave her powers to Bonnie, leaving Bonnie to sacrifice once again and with a thirst to kill her friends.

The problem with the Rayna storyline is that it got drawn out for so long and prevented our favorite characters from sharing the same space.

Of all the quick and nonsensical deaths, Tyler's is one of the worst. He ties with Vicki's. However, at this time, we finally got to know Tyler, see him grow, and see his connection to his friends. Elena had sent him off, telling him to get the future he deserved. Damon, wanting everyone to give up on him since he is under the influence of the Siren, kills Tyler.

Damon thinks that this is the one act that can't be forgiven by his brother and friends. Of course, his act doesn't work, and they all are Team Damon. Still, this quick killing of Tyler seemed a poor send-off to a beloved character--purposeless.

Alaric was transformed by Esther, the original witch and Klaus's mother, into an enhanced vampire. He is no ordinary vampire though, Esther gave him the power of an original vampire and enhanced that power even more. Alaric resurrected as a shadow of himself, now hating any vampires and any friends of vampires.

RELATED: The Vampire Diaries 10 Hidden Details about Mystic Falls You Didn't Notice

On one hand, it was interesting to see good-guy Alaric turn evil. However, he wasn't an evil part of himself, but rather a completely different character.

Bonnie becomes an extremely strong witch in her ability to adapt and grow. However, her friends both count on her and take advantage of her. She is made to sacrifice a lot for her friends: her family, her love, her powers, and even her life. She constantly lives or dies for others. Finally, in the last couple seasons, she seemed to be living her life, having her own narrative.

Still, this character deserved better than to be the one who constantly sacrificed for others. Her role shouldn't just be the friend. After all, she is the recipient of a long legacy of witch powers, a Bennett witch. More should have been done with that.

Finally, many fans had what they wanted--Damon and Elena as a couple. For seasons, Elena fought against her feelings for Damon. And for seasons, Damon had been trying to convince Elena to be with him instead of his brother, Stefan. It caused friction and tension between the two brothers, and it created an epic love triangle. After Elena becomes a vampire, she realizes that she loves Damon, choosing him over Stefan. Fans should all cheer, right?

Wrong. Since Damon made Elena a vampire, she became sired to him. Whatever Damon told her, she followed. This cheapens their relationship, and partially makes it seem that it's not an equal one, that Damon has power over Elena. She changes for him. Not a good sign to the beginnings of a relationship. Luckily, their relationship was able to change and develop. However, this wasn't a good way to start. Thus, their passionate session made fans cringe rather than feel happy for them.

NEXT: The Vampire Diaries The 7 Doppelgangers, Ranked

Next10 Things That Happened in Season 1 of Game Of Thrones That You Completely Forgot About

Heather Frankland is a writer, teacher, and public health advocate. She has had creative work published in literary journals and online websites. She enjoys analyzing her favorite shows and movies and is happy to exercise that talent at Screen Rant, previously exercised in long conversations over beer with friends.

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Today’s Gospel in Art – The Annunciation of the Lord – Independent Catholic News

Posted: at 6:02 am

The Annunciation with St Emidius, by Carlo Crivelli - 1486 National Gallery, London

Gospel of 25th March 2020 - Luke 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. He went in and said to her, 'Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.' She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, 'Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God's favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.'

Mary said to the angel, 'But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?' 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you' the angel answered 'and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.' 'I am the handmaid of the Lord,' said Mary 'let what you have said be done to me.' And the angel left her.

Reflection on the Painting

In the summer of 1995 I moved to London, where I have lived ever since. One of the very first paintings I saw was this magnificent canvas by Carlo Crivelli, at the National Gallery. The burst of colours (and this photograph doesn't entirely do justice to the picture), the detail and symbolism of the composition moved me. Still when I see this painting now, it reminds me of the start of that new chapter in life. Like an old friend reminding you of good times, art has the power to remind us of past times.

We see the ray of light from the Holy Spirit descending upon Mary. The closed passage into the depth at the left and the flask holding pure water in Mary's bedroom refer to Our Lady's virginity. The two other figures in the foreground are the angel Gabriel and Saint Emidius, carrying a model of Ascoli Piceno, a town in Marche, Italy, of which he is the patron saint. It is not unusual to see a local saint effectively intervening and being depicted as part of a biblical event. The apple in the foreground represents the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden, and therefore serves as a symbol of sin. The cucumber, balanced on the edge of the painting towards the viewer, symbolises the reversal of sin: resurrection and redemption. The peacock is associated with immortality, because it was believed that its flesh never decayed.

A man on a bridge is reading a message handed to him by another man, delivered by the carrier pigeon in the cage beside them, a clever analogy of the message of the Annunciation itself. Around them the town goes on, oblivious to the events depicted. Only a small, innocent, pure child peering round the corner seems to be interested in what is happening. A whole world goes on its way, apparently oblivious to the new Christian chapter in history which has begun in this very scene. Only Mary is complete in her way of being ready, humble and available to respond to the Lord

Today's story - https://christianart.today/reading.php?id=369

Christian Art Today - https://christianart.today/

Tags: Christian Art Today, Patrick van der Vorst, Carlo Crivelli

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Doctor Who: The Top 10 Tenth Doctor Episodes, Ranked According to IMDb – Screen Rant

Posted: at 6:02 am

For three seasons of Doctor Who, David Tennant's Tenth Doctor won Whovian hearts with his distinctive wit and depth as the most tortured Time Lord in the universe. This combination of humor and narrative complexity has made Ten one of the most beloved Doctors to date, and indeed, some of the most memorableWho storylines were conceived in this era.

RELATED:Doctor Who: 10 Most Shameless Things The Tenth Doctor Ever Did

Showrunner Russell T. Davies, along with writers like Davies's future successor Steven Moffat, helped create a world of intricate (sometimesquiteintricate) and mindblowing plots. Here are the top ten Tenth Doctor episodes, ranked according toIMDb:

The Doctor is not always a fan of his own longevity, but it's no surprise when mortal beings jump at the chance for immortality. In this first installment of a two-part story arc, the Doctor and his companion Martha (Freema Agyeman) insert themselves into an early-twentieth-century community to evade the Family of Blood, which wants to obtain the Doctor's Time Lord life span.

RELATED: Doctor Who: 5 Reasons Martha Was A Better Companion Than Clara (& Vice Versa)

To prevent this, the Doctor becomes human and assumes the identity of a teacher named John Smith. Martha is perhaps the real hero in this story, as the Doctor essentially orders her to "invent a life story for me, find me a setting, and integrate me." Stuck with a Time Lord who doesn't know who he is and has no power? Pretty tough luck for a companion.

This one-off episode from season four follows the Tenth Doctor as he attempts to discover the source of terror on a shuttle traversing the planet Midnight. Written by Russell T. Davies, the episode is an instance of the oft-used format inDoctor Who: isolation in an enclosed space, with a group of strangers that the Doctor must persuade into following his lead. In this case, the strangers run into some slight trouble with, well, getting possessed.

As the crew members lose their calm, the Doctor doesn't always maintain his, either. "If we're going to get out of this, then you need me," Tennant's angry Ten exclaims at one point. Considering how irrational they all become, who can blame the Doctor for getting a little unhinged?Fun fact: guest-star Colin Morgan began playing the title character in BBC One'sMerlinsame year "Midnight" debuted.

In this penultimate episode of season four, the Tenth Doctor andDonna (Catherine Tate) are joined by a litany of pastcompanions in their quest to save the planet and over a dozen others that have gone missing.

RELATED:The Sarah Jane Adventures: 10 Worst Episodes Of The Doctor Who Spin Off

"The Stolen Earth" is actually a crossover episode between Whoand its two majestic spin-offs,TorchwoodandThe Sarah Jane Adventures. As such, it boastsa tremendous cast that sees Rose (Billie Piper), Captain Jack (John Barrowman), Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen), and Martha (Freema Agyeman) assisting the Doctor once more. In this episode and its second part, "Journey's End," the Doctor battles the Daleks, who are perhaps his most iconic enemy in the Whoniverse.

In defense of the Family of Blood, who wouldn't want to live as long as a Time Lord? Unsurprisingly, the Doctor reigns victorious over the Family in this follow-up to "Human Nature," but not without some striking emotional revelations. "Family of Blood" features a heartbreaking speech from Martha when she says of the Doctor, "He's just everything to me, and he doesn't even look at me, but I don't care, because I love him to bits."

Considering all that Martha does to help the Doctor (especially when he doesn't even remember who he is), the moment is particularly devastating.

How often do you get to see the Doctor regenerate into the same incarnation? That's (sort of) what transpires at the start of this season four finale, which constitutes a sufficiently emotional follow-up to "The Stolen Earth." The injured Doctor partially regenerates to get back in tiptop shape, and explains in a hallmark moment of wit, "Used the regeneration energy to heal myself, but as soon as I was done, I didn't need to change. I didn't want to. Why would I? Look at me."

RELATED:Doctor Who: 10 Times The Doctor Broke His Own Rules

This clever event is followed by the successful defeat of the Daleks, but also the tragic end of Donna's time as the Doctor's right-hand woman. In one of the most disturbing companion departures, her memory of the Doctor and all their escapades must be removed. Although season four was Tennant's last as the Doctor, he did not regenerate into Eleven in this episode; instead, a few standalone episodes were released over a year after season four, culminating in the "The End of Time."

Past, present, and future collide in this wacky episode that invokes both space traveland corsets. After discovering a 51st-century spaceship in which he can see an 18th-century French girl through a fireplace, the Doctor must figure out what's so special about her -- and, of course, how to save the day.

The episode is a brilliant combination of the historical period pieces and futuristic space plots thatWhoexecutes so well.

In the perpetually-traumatic finale to season two, the Doctor and Rose Tyler are separated indefinitely by the aftermath of a battle involving the Daleks and Cybermen. When one Cyberman says, "Together, we could upgrade the universe," you know it's going to be a tough battle!

RELATED: Doctor Who: 10 Reasons Why Rose Tyler Was The Best Companion

Although Earth is saved, Rose and the Doctor end up stuck in two different universes. Much more than a wall separates them, but both gravitate toward the physical area in which Rose was pulled into the parallel universe. Tennant delivers an incredible performance, touching the wall with an eerily vacant look in his eye, butBillie Piper's delivery is even more affecting as she sobs uncontrollably in her new world. While Rose and the Doctor's reactions may differ, their trauma is most certainly equal.

The enigma of River Song (Alex Kingston) and the Doctor begins ... and then ends, in a sense ... during the first installment of this two-part story arc, where viewers see the two meet. This is their first encounter from the Doctor's point of view, that is. As Whovians know, "first" is highly relative when dealing with the chaotic nature of relationships onWho, especially the inherently nonchronological saga of the Doctor and River Song.

The episode kicks off when Donna and the Doctor arrive at an unusually empty library, where they encounter the homicidal and shadowy Vashta Nerada. Alex Kingston's debut as River Song is a powerful one, as her sensitive reaction to the Doctor quickly convinces viewers that their relationship is terribly complex -- even if we have not seen any of it.

The follow-up to "Silence in the Library" includes one of the most momentous moments inWhocanon: River Song's death. It's a rare moment that becomes even more traumatizing when you progress through the show, because at this point, viewers had only seen River Song in one other episode. River's subsequent character development, including her relationship with not only Ten but Eleven, and Twelve, is one of the most complex and rivetingWho storylines.

RELATED:Doctor Who: 10 Most Devastating Deaths Of The Modern Series, Ranked

For one, River is later revealed to be the daughter of Amy and Rory Pond, two of Eleventh Doctor's principal companions.OnlyDoctor Whocan kill off a character before you even know her,thendevelop her and make you swoon. Kind of similar to the Doctor's experience, huh?

The persisting critical and audience acclaim for this haunting episode is no surprise, given that it introduced one of the most sinister villains inWhohistory: the Weeping Angels. Written by Steven Moffat and guest-starring Carey Mulligan, the story follows Mulligan's Sally Sparrow as she grapples with the "timey-wimey" effects of the Angels. The Weeping Angels have appeared in severalWhoepisodes since, including a season seven episode that concluded Amy and Rory's time as companions to Eleven.

NEXT: Doctor Who: 5 Best And 5 Worst Eleventh Doctor Episodes

Next10 Movies To Watch If You Love Saving Private Ryan

Kat is an English major at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. As a lifelong television and film enthusiast, she's a fan of innovative visuals and morally ambiguous characters (preferably, both at the same time!).

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

Posted: March 24, 2020 at 5:01 am

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

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

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

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

This is their story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The atmosphere around Concord all week was electric.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then, it happened.

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

Everyone in green and white disagrees.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concord senior Bill Mutch (54) sits at center court as a mob of people run towards Bedford North Lawrence senior Damon Bailey following the conclusion of the 1990 state championship game.

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

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

The final buzzer sounds in the 1990 state championship game.

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

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

Concord coach Jim Hahn talks to his team right after losing the 1990 state championship game.

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

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

Concord senior Bill Mutch (54) sits at center court as a mob of people run towards Bedford North Lawrence senior Damon Bailey following the conclusion of the 1990 state championship game.

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

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

The final buzzer sounds in the 1990 state championship game.

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

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

Concord coach Jim Hahn talks to his team right after losing the 1990 state championship game.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Individual stats from the season.

Team stats from the season.

Games 1-15 of the season.

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

Individual stats from the season.

Team stats from the season.

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

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Mar 21, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Gingko leaves. Photo: Marzena7, public domain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

London (AFP)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Made in Scotland -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Politician of a generation -

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

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

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

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

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

Salmond also likes a singalong.

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

2020 AFP

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Boost your spirits with fun rom-coms – Boston Herald

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Love will help us get through this period of self-quarantine and social distancing. So will laughter. Thats why romantic comedies are a good choice for pausing pandemic anxiety for a few hours. Here are five that fit the times in their own special ways.

The Holiday (2006)

Youre in safe hands for a cinematic getaway when director Nancy Meyers is in charge. She makes movies that are funny, sophisticated images of a dream life. Her films also provide ideas for dream date, dream best friends and dream kitchens.

Meyers achieved cable-rerun immortality with The Holiday, a rom-com too good to limit to December. The house-swap escapade sends a high-powered Hollywood exec (Cameron Diaz) off to vacation in a cozy English cottage, while its usual resident, a British columnist (Kate Winslet), borrows the execs luxurious Los Angeles trophy home.

Whats the best part of a film thats as comfortable as fuzzy socks and flannel pajamas? Is it Jude Laws take on a humble, awkward widower? Jack Blacks sexy side? Winslets friendship with an elderly screenwriter played by the great Eli Wallach? Yes, all that, plus Diazs endless supply of off-white winter knitwear. Keep watching over and until you feel much better about life.

The Big Sick (2017)

Its a counterintuitive pick, maybe, but star and co-screenwriter Kumail Nanjianis tender comedy about a man who breaks up with his true love, then sticks by her through a medically induced coma makes a hopeful statement about surviving a medical crisis.

Nanjiani is wonderful in a plot based on his real-life courtship of his wife, co-screenwriter Emily V. Gordon. Whether dealing with his strict Pakistani parents (Anupam Kher and Zenobia Shroff), who are pushing an arranged marriage, or facing the skepticism of his girlfriends mom and dad (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano), he depicts the learning curve that anyone goes through when love is tested by uncontrollable outside forces.

Same goes for Zoe Kazan, who is superb as a woman who realizes that perfection in a relationship is unattainable, but extreme loyalty might be even better. If you think its impossible to laugh in a time of viral peril, the funny human moments here will correct that impression.

Youve Got Mail (1998)

Oh, the simple days of AOL email accounts. This classic Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan reboot of 1940s Shop Around the Corner directed and co-written by the great Nora Ephron is set in the dinosaur age of technology, yet its just the thing for coping with 2020.

What better way to conduct a flirtation right now than through online chatting and never actually meeting? And what more charming conflict than a feud between an indie bookstore owner (Ryan) and the scion of a mega-bookstore chain (Hanks)? It almost (but not quite) makes you forget your library is closed and your local bookstore is taking a big financial hit.

And given how much we all need a cathartic cry, the moment where Hanks wipes away Ryans tears Dont cry, shopgirl is one of the most exquisite weeping inducers of the last 30 years.

Jumping the Broom (2011)

Paula Patton and Laz Alonso star as the gorgeous young couple whose lavish wedding on Marthas Vineyard seems destined to be disrupted. But its still a reminder that family gatherings with dozens of testy relatives may not be the worst thing to endure.

As Patton and Alonso see their plans begin to unravel, a strong supporting cast finds comedy gold in the tensions of clashing relatives and in-laws. With Angela Bassett and Brian Stokes Mitchell as Pattons snooty parents, Loretta DeVine as Alonsos clingy mother, and Meagan Good and Gary Dourdain as the maid of honor and reception chef who send sparks flying, youll be saying I do to this comedy of misunderstandings, unearthed secrets and, eventually, blessed reconciliation.

The American President (1995)

The biggest problem faced by President Andrew Shepherd, at least for much of this politically themed rom-com, is convincing a florist he is not prank-calling when he tries to order flowers for the lobbyist who has stolen his heart.

Sure, there is some agonizing over an environmental bill and a mini-scandal involving the lobbyists youthful involvement in the protest movement. But rest assured, the ride in this star vehicle driven by Michael Douglas and Annette Bening is a smooth fantasy version of high-profile love affairs, not to mention government in action.

And if the ballroom scene in Beauty and the Beast animated or live action is your ultimate in swoon-level dances, check out Douglas and Benings twirl at a White House state dinner. As they used to say in 1995 (or maybe it was 1935?), yowza!

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

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

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

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

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We’re as lonely as a cloud but the Romance isn’t dead – The Guardian

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I read with interest your editorial (The Guardian view on poetry for dark times: add Wordsworth to the stockpile, 16 March) the day after my wife and I had taken a walk on Hampstead Heath to have a break from our self-imposed isolation. On the slope in front of Kenwood House we came upon Wordsworths host of golden daffodils and a magnolia tree in full bloom. This was the spot where, 40 years ago, our daughters played as children. Recalling that this year is the 250th anniversary of Wordsworths birth, on returning home I penned this mock-Romantic poem, titled Far from the Madding Crowd, Lonely as a Cloud, for our daughters and granddaughters:

As we wandered far from the madding crowdWith Hardy thoughts and Worthy wordsAll at once appeared a golden cloudof daffodils upon the sward.The greenwood tree upon the slopewhere once two little children playedIn magnolia blossom now arrayedmay still recall their childhood games And perhaps, also their names.

Not until I read the editorial was I reminded of the romantic poets fascination with the mysterious intensity of childhood.Mike FaulknerLondon

Surely the most apposite lines of Wordsworths poetry for our era of climate crisis is the stanza from his Intimations of Immortality:

The Rainbow comes and goes, /And lovely is the Rose, / The Moon doth with delight, / Look round her when the heavens are bare, / Waters on a starry night, / Are beautiful and fair, / The sunshine is a glorious birth; / But yet I know, whereer I go, / That there hath past away a glory from the earth.

I often find myself muttering those lines these days as I contemplate the loss of variety in our natural world. Wordsworth didnt know the half of it.Isabella StoneSheffield

Like Suzanne Moore (How do we face coronavirus? Common decency is our only hope, 17 March), I too am rereading Camuss La Peste, which I studied for A-level. Ms Moore quotes the main character, Dr Rieux, as saying its not a question of heroism but a matter of common decency. Interestingly, the original French is honntet and, when asked what he means by that, Rieux replies: in my case it means doing my job. Like Camus noble character in his book, thats exactly what our NHS is doing for us against all odds.Anne AbbottBath

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

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

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

Related:Every Returning Character In Altered Carbon: Resleeved

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

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

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

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

Every Ship In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker's Finale

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

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