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Archive for the ‘Self-Awareness’ Category

Islanders: Barclays Center Forgets Team Played There – Eyes On Isles

Posted: April 28, 2020 at 2:47 am

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Trying to find content for social media teams hasn't been an easy thing. The New York Islanders have done a really good job with their Isles Daily Challenges for example and other brands are starting to do similar things.

The Barclays Center official account, @barclayscenter tweeted out a Barclays Center Bing. Some of the things were "took the subway to an event", "went to a Nets game", "saw your favorite college team play", etc.

You can go up and down this board, in all 24 spaces and not a single time will you see anything Islanders related. No, I'm not making this up.

Are we surprised though? How many times has the Barclays Center hinted at them not wanting the Islanders to be there or completely botching something Islanders related.

At first, they tried to change the goal horns, only the championship banners were raised, and those awful black and white uniforms were launched to help "commemorate" the move to Brooklyn.

If you walked around the building you would think it was a neutral site facility, not an Islanders game. So now, after the Islanders played their final game in the building just a couple of months ago, they don't even get included on Barclays bingo board.

Who makes this stuff? Can't think of another team we hosted for half a decade, let's put in "ate Nathan's fries" that'll really get the people going.

You genuinely couldn't make this stuff up if you tried. The Barclays Center twitter account hasn't responded to the Islanders fans in the comments who found this lame excuse for a bingo board and I doubt they do.

At this point, all you can do is laugh at the lack of self-awareness.

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Islanders: Barclays Center Forgets Team Played There - Eyes On Isles

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April 28th, 2020 at 2:47 am

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‘Westworld’ Reveals the Truth About Caleb’s Past in Episode 7 (RECAP) – TVInsider

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[Spoiler Alert: This recap contains spoilers from Westworld Season 3 Episode 7, "Passed Pawn."]

Westworldis a show that is really difficult to take seriously, even though it so desperately wants to be seen as cutting-edge, hard sci-fi. However, there are moments so goofy, so utterly preposterous, that all you can do is laugh. That wouldn't be such a problem if the show operated with a wink-and-a-nudge. And, to give it its due, therearebrief glimpses of self-awareness, but these are so fleeting they barely register. Instead,Westworldprefers a tone so morose and self-important that it only serves to highlight the absurdity.

Take this episode, which sees Caleb (Aaron Paul) discovering the secrets of his past by way of a giant, sentient, light-up ball with a computerized French accent. This early prototype of the System, nicknamed Solomon, was based on the mind of its creator, Serac's (Vincent Cassell) schizophrenic older brother. "An insane AI, great," quips Caleb, in a rare moment of tongue-in-cheek humor. But that one line is about as far as the show goes in acknowledging the ridiculousness of the situation. Before you know it, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Caleb are conversing with the ginormous glowing orb about determinism and pathways and strategies for revolution.

Aaron Paul's shoulders must be aching because he does his damnedest to carry this storyline on his back. He manages to extract emotion out of a situation that wouldn't have felt out of place in 1980sDoctor Who albeit with a much smaller budget and a far brighter color palette. Caleb learns that everything he thought he knew was a lie. His friend Francis (Kid Cudi) was never killed in wartime combat. In fact, both Caleb and Francis were discharged from the army and sent home, where they were taken to a lab in Mexico as guinea pigs in Serac's reconditioning experiment. They were reprogrammed as assassins for hire, manipulated through the RICO app to hunt down anyone that may be an outlier to the System's new world order.

This is all revealed in a series of scattered flashbacks as Caleb and Dolores take a tour of Serac's facility in Mexico the building conveniently turning on the lights to a new room when it's time to move the plot on. The pair come upon a warehouse of thousands of unconscious humans all the captured outliers kept in stasis, away from disrupting Serac's utopian vision for the world. The echoes to Westworld are apparent even before Dolores points it out directly. Humans are treated just like hosts. Those who disobey are locked up and hidden away. Others are transformed and manipulated into doing the bidding of an insane megalomaniac. The rest cluelessly follow their predetermined paths.

So, just as Dolores rose up to free her people and lead a revolution, now Caleb must do the same. He might only consider himself a lowly construction worker, but so what? As Dolores says, she was only meant to be a bit player, the kindly rancher's daughter. But she changed her destiny. Now Caleb needs to do the same and march his people into the future, a future determined by Solomon, the talking French spheroid. I'd be lying if I said I completely understood what was going on here. I thought Dolores's whole thing was about breaking free of predestined pathways? That's why she left Westworld. That's why she destroyed the System. So why is she so willing to follow the strategies of Solomon?

Regardless, the decision is left in Caleb's hands, and he almost walks away after discovering the ugly truth of his past. It was he who killed his best friend, Francis. A flashback reveals that a captured outlier spoke too much of the truth to Caleb and Francis, and so, the omnipresent System ordered that one of them had to die, to tie up loose ends. Both men were given the instruction to kill the other and a substantial monetary reward for carrying it out. Caleb really had no choice but to shoot his comrade in a kill-or-be-killed situation. Again, Paul does his best to draw emotion from this rather cold material, even though we have very little reason to care about Francis.

While all this is happening, Dolores steps outside to do battle with Maeve (Thandie Newton), who arrives in a black jumpsuit, carrying a katana on her back, looking like a beacon of badassery. The two women finally fight it out, and as always, it's another highly entertainingWestworldaction sequence. There are acrobatics and drone-controlled weapons and lots of brutal stabbing. Dolores even has half of her arm blown off. There's a similarly exciting fight scene at the start of the episode when Charbot (Tessa Thompson) orders a hit on the fake Musashi (Hiroyuki Sanada). He's taken out by a returning Clementine (Angela Sarafyan) and Hanaryo (Tao Okamoto), who I assume are both working for Maeve.

But as all the hosts begin to turn on each other, there is another man with a mission to destroy every last host remaining. The Man In Black (Ed Harris) faced his demons, and now he's woke. Even though Serac stole Delos out from under him, and he clearly falls on the System's outliers list, the Man In Black shares Serac's concerns. Dolores and the hosts are bad news, and he's never been able to block out his part in creating them. The "original sin" he calls it. "I helped build you and Dolores and the lot of you," he tells Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth). "So now I'm gonna wipe out every host from the face of this Earth."

The Man In Black continuously belittling Bernard and Stubbs is easily the best part of the episode. "Don't lecture me, you f***ing can opener," he snaps at Stubbs at one point, an insult so hilariously vitriolic it wouldn't have felt out of place inVeep. Bernard has been such a spare part this season, only used to stare at screens and hammer us over the head with monotonous exposition. "Serac thought his machine could save the world, but it couldn't save humans from themselves, so he began reprogramming them..." wait for it, "... like hosts." Thanks, Bernard, I would have never drawn that comparison without you. If it takes the MIB ridiculing Bernard to break up the dreariness and add a bit of levity to the show, I'm all for it.

So we head into next week's season finale with Dolores and Maeve at war, Caleb embarking on revolution, and the MIB returning to his host-killing roots. And after this week's talking French orb of wisdom, I'm praying the finale goes full balls-to-the-wall bonkers. I just hope that if it does, it will embrace its ridiculousness and stop taking itself so seriously.

Westworld, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO

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'Westworld' Reveals the Truth About Caleb's Past in Episode 7 (RECAP) - TVInsider

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April 28th, 2020 at 2:47 am

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7 things we learned in episodes 3 and 4 of ‘The Last Dance’ – For The Win

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The Last Dance is a ten-part documentary from ESPN/Netflix that showcases the final run of the late 90s Bulls, one of the great franchises of modern sports history.

With outrageous access and interviews with just about everyone, these episodes have given us new light into a team that many of us grew up adoring, or, if you were a fan of a rival team, fearing.

We learned a lot on Sunday night, when episodes 3 and 4 aired on ESPN. Lets get to what we learned.

(Big caveat: I know most of this stuff was already known or reported on at the time. I get it. Very few documentaries truly bring to light new things, especially with teams this well covered. So lets just say these are things we were reminded ofand you can not tweet at me.)

Dennis Rodman was the star of Sunday night, and we broke down all his best moments already in great detail. What I was left with watching Sunday night was how seamlessly Rodman fit into that team, and how quick Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were to embrace him because of his excellence.

Whether it was Rodman breaking down the extensive prep work he did to learn how different shooters would result in different types of rebounds, or other players marveling at his ability to defend five positions,

Look at Trae Young realizing that Michael Jordan won MVP, the scoring title, All-Star Game MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and the Slam Dunk contest in the same year.

I remember how good Jordan was, but to put together a year like that while averaging 35 points a game on 53.5% shooting, as a guard, while leading the league in steals, I mean what? What?

I remember the Bulls needing to get over the hump of beating the Bad Boy Pistons in the late 80s, but it was definitely interesting to see how GM Jerry Krause had to basically rebuild the team with one opponent in mind.

When you have Michael Jordan, he can get you through 30 or so NBA teams, but to beat the absolute best, the Bulls had to acquire players who could match the physicality of the Pistons. They did it, and it started their run to greatness.

Again, we broke this down in the Rodman post, but I truly love that Dennis Rodman not only understood that he needed to take a break after helping Jordan carry the team during Pippens absence, but that Phil Jackson also understood it, and allowed it. (With Michael Jordans permission.)

With that one interaction, I understood Jackson, Rodman, and Jordan all differently. Rodman for his self-awareness, Jackson for his empathy and lenience, and Jordan for his empathy and not as much lenience.

Good lord Craig Ehlo took a beating on Sunday night, arguably worse than the one Jordan gave him however many years ago. Jordan said having Ehlo guard him was a mistake and Ehlos then Cavs teammate Ron Harper had an incredible reaction to the decision even all these years later.

Michael Jordan doing press scrums in every city he went to, talking to media members off-guardedly while getting taped up this justdoesntreally happen now. Teams are much more protective of players time, and the sort of interactions you see with Jordan, Rodman, Pippen in this documentary is stunning to see.

One of the stranger moments on Sunday night was when a Bulls employee went into a room with Michael Jordan and five or six guys in suits, and started introducing them as The Sniff Brothers, explaining that they had the name because they all sniffed [Jordans] jockstrap. They were his bodyguards, I guess? All of them?

I need to know more about these men. Someone tell me more about these men.

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7 things we learned in episodes 3 and 4 of 'The Last Dance' - For The Win

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April 28th, 2020 at 2:47 am

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"I fell from the dizzying heights of hypomania" | MHT – Mental Health Today

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Ann-Marie D'Arcy Sharpe 27 April 2020

Throughout my teenage years I really struggled with mental illness but, at the time, I had no idea what was going on. All I knew is that I was lost, confused, feeling out of control, and in emotional pain. For a long time I thought that I was "just a bad person".

In my mid-twenties I received my bipolar disorder diagnosis and finally got the help I needed.

Looking back, I understand that during my teenage years I had very few - if any - periods of mental stability. Ifell from the dizzying heights of hypomania down to soul crushing depression and back up again, over and over again. It was a truly horrendous, destabilising time in my life.

Now that I understand my disorder and I have more self-awareness, I can recognise clear signs of hypomania throughout my teenage years.

Acting out of character Most of the time I was hypomanic in my teenage years I can see that I was acting extremely out of character. I knew that at the time, sometimes even while it was happening, but I felt like I had no control over my behaviour at all. It was terrifying. I was saying and doing things that I would never have done if I was my usual self.

Risky behaviour Unfortunately, I engaged in a lot of risky behaviour in my teenage years during episodes of hypomania.

I was binge drinking a lot, I partied a lot, and because of this I was often around people I didnt really know, in situations that probably werent safe. I often walked home alone or ended up in places Id never been with no way to get home. Im incredibly lucky that nothing too awful happened as a result of these situations.

Hypersexuality As much as I am ashamed to say it, hypersexuality was one of the hypomanic symptoms I struggled with the most during my teenage years. Its one of the risky behaviours I engaged in, and it has been difficult to get past that.

Barely sleeping Coming home from parties or nights out during the early hours of the morning meant I barely slept when hypomanic.I was going to bed around 4am or 5am and even then, I was lucky if I slept for a couple of hours before I woke up again.

Many of these nights of not sleeping were the catalyst for me crashing back down into a deep depression.

I would suddenly come back down to earth' and be absolutely distraught at what I had done and the way I had been acting. Those depressions were some of the worst, and most dangerous, I have ever experienced in my life.

Restlessness I remember finding it really difficult to sit still or to engage inmy usual activities, like watching TV with my family or going for a nice day out. I always felt like I was being held down, like I needed to break free. I felt like I constantly needed to be doing something,which usually meant doing something risky, going out with friends, or going to a party.

As much as I tried to focus on education and various jobs, I found that I was entirely incapable of focusing on normal life. As hard as I tried, my mind would race ahead to other things that seemed far more important, even vital, at the time.

Spending money I didnt have I spent money I didnt have on silly things which seemed like the most important thing in the world at the time: a night out with friends, a whole host of new outfits, or a trip to visit a friend who lived far away.

Being irritable When my parents or friends couldnt keep up with how fast I was talking, or with the thoughts I was having, I became very frustrated and irritable.

When they didnt understand my actions it reminded me that I too didnt understand them and I felt increasingly alone. I often was short tempered, snappy, and harsh with those I love.

The present day: learning to release guilt and forgive myself Thankfully I now have the treatment and support that I needed when I was younger.

My hypomanic episodes are far less frequent. Im able to recognise indicators of their arrival and when I do experience hypomania, its far less severe.

I no longer struggle with hypersexuality and very rarely struggle with excessive spending or other risky behaviours. My hypomanic episodes tend to centre around racing thoughts and great ideas which I never finish even though they seem absolutely genius at the time.

I have a medication regime which works for me and the tools through therapy to manage my disorder.Acombination of an anti-depressant and mood stabiliser to be the most helpful for me, along with a sedativeto take when needed. Ihad to try a lot of different combinations and types of medication to get to where I am now . I find general talking therapy to be helpful in supporting me to address the root issues and triggers.

I have an amazing husband who helps me to manage my episodes when they do happen, and I feel so much more in control of my life. While bipolar disorder is lifelong, now that its well managed, I feel more me than I have since I was a child. Im happy and Im thriving.

As ateenager I was aware that I was acting out of character a lot of the time, but didn't know why or know that it was mental illness. Now that I know it's hypomania and I have my diagnosis, I tend to be able to feel rising.

However, once I'm actually in a hypomanic episode, I'm rarely aware that this is the case until afterwards. My husband may tell me that I'm having a hypomanic episode but, at the time, I often refuse to believe him. Sometimes I'm able to grasp that self awareness, but that's something I'm still working on.

Now I know that that time in my life wasnt my fault. I understand my behaviour back then was the result of a powerful, uncontrolled mental illness combined with a very lost young girl in immense pain. So, I have been able to forgive myself.

That period of my life is still hard to talk about and to think about, but Ive released the guilt and shame I carried with me for so long. Instead, I have replaced those negative emotions with a sense of intense pride in myself that I got through that, that I survived, and that I am here today.

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"I fell from the dizzying heights of hypomania" | MHT - Mental Health Today

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April 28th, 2020 at 2:47 am

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Start slow and the rest will come – Columbia Daily Herald

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The last thing I want to do is tell someone how to live their life, even if the person just told me something outrageously stupid and unwise.

Not only is it none of my business, it isnt as if Ive carried a glowing resume of good behavior throughout my life when it comes to my personal choices. However, now is the time when how we behave will determine just how quickly things can return to normal, whatever that means anymore.

Gov. Bill Lees executive order that has kept us all cooped up at home over the past few weeks is set to expire by the end of this month. This will mean some businesses will reopen once again and well have more options to get out and do things. However, that doesnt necessarily mean we open the floodgates for a massive retail and bar-hopping free-for-all.

Even though the wise thing would probably be to stay under quarantine until rapid testing for COVID-19 is made readily available, theres only so long before doing nothing will itself make things worse. Having to weigh the publics health and safety against the states economic health is a tough conversation, because you really cant have one without the other.

Its tough to argue in favor of extending the stay-at-home order because I, for one, havent been without work like so many others (approximately 400,000 Tennesseans according to the state unemployment office), nor do I have children to feed and look after. I cant imagine what life would be like if the paychecks stopped coming in and Id have to consider either joining the unemployment line, or find a job bagging groceries or flipping burgers. Im sure Id be pretty upset too.

Whether its next week or two months from now, the choice to reopen would have always been met with uncertainty, hesitation and people like me asking, Are you sure were ready for this? I think its possible at this time to reopen, sure, but there has to be a level of finesse and self-awareness that we keep among ourselves.

One thing we cant lose sight of is why we were put under self-quarantine. It was to make the number of cases go down, give health organizations time to work on a vaccine and for the public to educate itself on the proper hygiene practices.

The reason the case numbers have gone down is because were doing the right thing by staying home and abiding by the states health recommendations. It doesnt mean its all a hoax or that the government and media are blowing it out of proportion. Its as if some people need an extra 10,000 lives lost before they get the point.

Just because things are good doesnt mean they cant get worse. If anything, now is the time when we could become the most vulnerable to the virus, when our chances of getting it are hundreds of times greater because we will be interacting on a much greater scale now.

Hopefully our time in quarantine, as well as the repeated sanitizing of surface areas and places people touch, has given us a fighting chance that this thing is all but eradicated. But thats looking at the best case scenario, not necessarily the reality of what probably is.

I think people forget that giving in because you think this is ridiculous could mean putting the lives of your loved ones, of other peoples loved ones, at risk. Im confident that most of us know well enough to keep washing their hands and to maintain distance from one another. But there is always a chance the excitement of being out among the population could overshadow the seriousness we must remain aware of.

Even if we wanted to run out and pretend the last two months didnt happen, there is a plan in place to prevent that. As announced Friday, Lees Tennessee Pledge rollout plan is designed as a gradual return to business. The plan includes restrictions on how many patrons are allowed at certain establishments, with many restaurants, bars and retail centers operating at half capacity.

Businesses which involve close contact with clients, such as barber shops, salons and tattoo parlors will remain closed until later in May. There goes my hope for a good haircut for another few weeks, but rocking a haphazard mullet is a fair trade if it means the safety of others.

The next few weeks will be interesting, and its good to be optimistic that things are going to get better, because they are. We just need to be aware that this is going to be a slow process, and jumping the gun could mean this whole thing was for naught.

On a local level, Columbia is planning its own phased re-open plan, which more or less follows Lee and the states plan to reintegrate one step at a time. If the community abides by the rules the way they have been during the quarantine, I think were going to be just fine. The local economy will still suffer, somewhat, and Im sure the news of reopening doesnt necessarily mean local businesses are out of the woods, but the plan does provide a much-needed sense of direction.

There will be a sense of hope, I think, once we start seeing people out again, are taking strolls around the square and laughing together. Personally, I look forward to the day I can revive my Friday Things to do column to inform people about all the great stuff weve got happening around town. Itll be weird at first, sure, but if theres one thing the COVID-19 quarantine has taught me, its the virtue in being patient and to take things one day at a time.

Thats the only way the good days can happen again. Its that we listen, remain self-aware and take it slow, otherwise well just wind up back at the place we started, or worse.

Jay Powell is a reporter for The Daily Herald. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @JayPowellCDH.

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Start slow and the rest will come - Columbia Daily Herald

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April 28th, 2020 at 2:47 am

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Never Have I Ever Review: An Emotional Roller-coaster Ride You’ll Enjoy for the Most Part – News18

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Never Have I Ever

Cast: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan, Lee Rodriguez

Creators: Lang Fisher, Mindy Kaling

With Never Have I Ever, the inimitable Mindy Kaling, attempts a show for and about teenagers and does so with the aplomb of a seasoned hand. Kaling who has featured in television shows as actor, producer, writer among others puts on the creators hat once again along with co-creator Lang Fisher (The Mindy Project and 30 Rock). Only this once its for a show that does not have her facing the camera. Instead, she gives us a teenage heroine-- sophomore Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), who breaks any cultural stereotypes you may have of geeky teenagers or Indian women. Devi is no demure young lady. Or a nervous geek. What we have instead is a feisty and rebellious teen who lets her temper get the better of her more often than not.

Early on in the series, we see Devi recovering from paralysis of the legs caused by the sudden and tragic loss of her father (Sendhil Ramamurthy) who she loved dearly. Her recovery, on the other hand, takes place in a delightfully comic way when she unconsciously stands up from her wheelchair while trying to get a better look at the school heartthrob Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet)! This light comedic touch consistently laces even the gravest and most difficult situations throughout Never Have I Ever and makes it shine. It also helps that the writers dont shy away from unapologetically putting the ethnic eccentricities of Indians on the table albeit with great self-awareness and a healthy dose of self-deprecating humour.

The young Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is superlative as the smart, humorous, and confident Devi. Apart from the trauma of her fathers death, there are multiple emotional issues she is grappling with and yet as a true-blue Indian American, she gets good grades, aims to go to an Ivy League University and is expected to not have a boyfriend for a long, long time. However, rather unfazed by all of this, she marches to her own beat.

Fully aware and dreading that her return to school (post-recovery) will be an object of pity, Devi has a plan to turn things around. She tells her best friends Fabiola and Eleanor (Lee Rodrigues and Ramona Young) that they all need to get themselves boyfriends to shake off the geeky, undateable tag! Devi herself tries to get attached in many ways than one to the hunky Paxton leading to the various complications that make up a large chunk of the show. Along the way, the girls make interesting discoveries--Fabiola about herself and Eleanor about her mother. Devi for one discovers that its actually her arch-nemesis Ben (Jaren Lewison) who brings out the best in her!

Another very significant character of the show is Devis mother Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan). Nalini personifies the tough love integral to good Indian parenting. As the suddenly-single working mother, she reads Devi the riot act every time she is out of line. Jagannathan is excellent in this role and does not miss a beat when seguing from a cordial conversation to turning into a Momzilla! She typifies the Indian American parent who constantly monitors their children's progress and lays down strict cultural Laxman Rekhas that are never meant to be crossed.

The two lead characters of Devi and Nalini are finely etched out and extremely well performed highlighting cultural idiosyncrasies and divisions with an authenticity that is rare. Additionally, for good measure, there is Devis cousin Kamla (Richa Moorjani), a smart young Indian woman primed for settling down in an arranged marriage even though shes studying for a Ph.D. at CalTech. Although she appears to be a corollary, her presence adds a multi-generational perspective that prevents the show from caricaturing its protagonists.

In fact, its a relief to see that Devi is a character that has moved away significantly from the stereotype of the confused desi living in the Land of Opportunity.

The series (all 10 episodes) tackles issues common to all teenage dramasfamily conflicts, friends, teen-sex, and boyfriends not strictly in that order. What Never Have I Ever does exceptionally well is that it steers away from being a meaningless, vapid story about a young girl finding a suitable guy to accompany her to the high school prom. In the bargain what you have is an emotional roller-coaster ride, one that you enjoy for the most part.

Rating: 3.5/5

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Never Have I Ever Review: An Emotional Roller-coaster Ride You'll Enjoy for the Most Part - News18

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April 28th, 2020 at 2:47 am

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Rick and Morty season 4 episode 6: more insanely meta than ever before –

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Rick And Morty is back and more meta than ever before (Picture: Warner Bros.)

Rick and Morty left us hanging when they went on a sudden hiatus back in December 2019, but they are finally returning and made sure to give us everything we wanted.

Adult Swim announced on April Fools (of course they did) that the beloved sci-fi cartoon will be returning to TV on 3 May (7 May for us in the UK).

And after a lifetime of waiting, we got to preview episode six of season four and its a whirlwind 22 minutes filled with new zany characters and a little too much self-awareness.

Each season usually consists of one episode of Interdimensional Cable (or season 3s Morty Mindblowers), where Rick and Morty watch random and completely insane sketches from parallel universes cable TV.

From Tiny Bits and Little Legs to Eyehole Man and an extremely gruesome commercial for Lucky Charms, these episodes have some seriously quotable moments.

This time, however, the concept is similar but both Rick and Morty become parts of these wacky moments all while fighting bad guys in space.

Our beloved characters are all about breaking the fourth wall and even going beyond it, which is a quirk of the show weve always loved.

What made Interdimensional Cable scenes so perfect was the simple fact that they all felt improvised and random, which is not the case this time.

The universes smartest man and his not-so-smart grandson become part of these short stories whether they like it or not and try to come up with new tales between each fight scene.

Theres no point judging how cool (or pointless) the new characters are as Rick and Morty make sure to do it for us: to their faces.

We also get to see all of Ricks former lovers and, oh jeez, theres a lot of em.

You know what else he has a lot of? Enemies, and we get to meet them too.

Its a lot to shove into one episode, but we doubt Rick cares about what we have to say.

What makes their return episode so epic is the return of basically every minor character weve seen over the last four seasons, and theyre all back with a vengeance.

Oh Geez, Rick and Morty co-producer is writing Ant-Man 3

Rick And Morty drops trailer confirming season 4 return date - this is not a drill!

Rick and Morty drop bonus episode amid coronavirus crisis ahead of season 4b

Dont bother dwelling too much about whether the script and wild scenes fit with the overarching storyline, because writers Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland (a fan of being meta and all) made sure to mention all the cheap shots that happen in the episode.

They know exactly what theyre doing, and theyll do it when they want.

So sit down, let Rick and Morty do whatever the hell they want, and enjoy.

Rick and Morty returns on 7 May at 10pm on E4.

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Rick and Morty season 4 episode 6: more insanely meta than ever before -

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April 28th, 2020 at 2:47 am

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Review: ‘Sawayama’ is musically fascinating, but falls short of greatness – The Dartmouth

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by Jack Hargrove | 4/27/20 3:00am

Every 20 years, like clockwork, American culture repeats itself. This does not mean that the same exact trends are recycled in an endless loop. Rather, after about 20 years, outdated culture becomes retro, and nostalgia for past decades shapes new styles and artwork. The 1970s had Happy Days, and the 1990s had That 70s Show. In a more abstract sense, the infatuation with the glamorous lifestyles of the fabulously wealthy in the 1980s inspired reality television and Gossip Girl in the 2000s. As we enter the 2020s, the music stylings of the early aughts are making a comeback. Artists like Charli XCX and Slayyyter evoke Britney Spears-style pop, while Poppy and Grimes both recently released music that is heavily reminiscent of nu metal.

In 2017, Rina Sawayama self-published her first collection of songs, a mini-album titled Rina. In only 24 minutes, Sawayama packed her project with eight perfect pop songs, heavily inspired by the turn-of-the-century pop music of Britney Spears and R&B production reminiscent of The Neptunes. Instead of songs about relationships, however, the songs on Rina explored themes of depression, drug addiction and an unhealthy attachment to social media. This mini-album remains one of the most exhilarating first offerings of any pop artist, and fans eagerly waited to find out what she would do next.

Nearly three years later, Sawayama has finally released her debut studio album, named simply Sawayama. On this debut, Sawayama discusses themes that revolve around her relationships with her family, both biological and chosen. Musically, Sawayama provides a fascinating pastiche of various early 2000s sounds. But while Sawayama is a fantastic debut album, it falls just short of reaching the potential implied by Rina.

The album begins dramatically, with the song Dynasty introducing one of the primary 2000s styles utilized on Sawayama: nu metal. The crunching sound of the guitars and vocal flourishes in the chorus are a clear homage to the early aughts nu metal band Evanescence. Sawayama explores nu metal much more deeply on her third track, STFU! The booming, aggressive guitar riff and low growls sound unlike anything Sawayama has released before. The angry lyrics, including, Have you ever thought about taping your big mouth shut?/Cause I have, many times, many times, compliment the harsh instrumental. Nu metal influence appears subtly across the rest of the record, particularly in the guitar line for XS.

Pop sounds from the early 2000s also feature throughout the album, although not as much as on Rina. Track six Paradisin sounds like a television theme song, with its high tempo and simple melody. The vocals on the tenth track Whos Gonna Save U Now? sound just like Christina Aguilera in 2002. The song Akasaka Sad has a synth backing instrumental that evokes the mid-2000s. However, these pop synths are combined with modern trap elements, especially in the percussion. In fact, before the chorus, Sawayama goes so far as to imitate the triplet flow, a vocal cadence associated with trap artists like Migos. Similarly, the second track XS provides a modern take on 2000s pop, this time through its lyrics. XS describes the luxury and opulence that accompany a wealthy lifestyle in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Sawayama points out the absurdity of such a lifestyle in the lines, Flex, when all thats left is immaterial/And the price we paid is unbelievable/And Im taking in as much as I can hold/Well, here are the things youll never know. Instead of playing the premise straight like was common 20 years ago, Sawayama shows ample self-awareness and draws attention to the wealth inequality in the modern world.

While the pastiche of early 2000s musical styles is brilliant, it is important to keep in mind that the instrumentals are only half of the record. Lyrically, Sawayama explores her identity and the various groups she considers family. The first of these groups is, as implied by the title of the album, her biological family. The opening track Dynasty analyzes the ways in which Sawayama has inherited the troubles of her ancestors with the line Im a dynasty/The pain in my vein is hereditary. Throughout her life, Sawayama has dealt with financial and mental health issues passed down from her parents. At the end of the chorus, Sawayama implores the listener to join her in overcoming hereditary issues, asking, Wont you break the chain with me? Sawayama references these mental health issues again in the song Akasaka Sad, singing, You make me/Akasaka sad/Cause Im a sucker, sucker, so I suffer/Akasaka Sawayama/Just like my mother.

On other tracks, Sawayama writes about her relationships with her friends. In the song Bad Friend, Sawayama wistfully reflects on how easy it is to fall out of touch with a close friend. In the chorus, she sings, Im so good at crashing in/Making sparks and shit, but then/Im a bad, Im a bad, Im a bad friend. Later, on the track Chosen Family, Sawayama shows appreciation for the support she receives from the LGBTQ community as a bisexual and pansexual woman. She notes that We dont need to be related to relate/We dont need to share genes or a surname/You are, you are/My chosen, chosen family. These non-familial relationships help support Sawayama when her family cannot.

Though most of the songs on the album have fantastic lyrics, there are a few that are bland and generic. Whos Gonna Save U Now? is a generic condemnation of those who are stuck in their ways. Sawayama makes no reference to anyone or anything specific, making this track sound out of place among all of the personal tracks on the album. While the lyrics of Love Me 4 Me are commendable both for their deeply personal nature and positive message of self-love, the overall message feels trite. Pop songs have explored this topic a thousand times over, making the song uninteresting. Finally, the track Fk This World (Interlude) expresses legitimate grievances about climate change and inequality, but lyrics like Lets start a new life on Mars/Forget it, lets get fked up are immature and unproductive.

The final track, Snakeskin, provides a thrilling conclusion to the album and may be its finest song. The varied structure not only keeps listeners on their toes but also makes this song sound unlike any others on the album. While the influence of early 2000s pop can be heard throughout, Sawayama comes into her own, creating a completely unique sound. The interpolation of a melody from the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack is exactly the type of reference I expected going into Sawayama. The lyrics are also clever; Sawayama sings, Buy my expensive, exclusive, pain wear/My fine couture is your branded repayment/I tear my soul into two so that you can/P-p-p-pretend despair. Here, Sawayama expresses the discomfort she feels making commercial music out of her own painful experiences. The song ends with a recording of a conversation Sawayama had with her mother, recalling the motif of familial relationships.

Overall, songs like Snakeskin, XS, Dynasty and Akasaka Sad were what I had hoped the entire album would sound like. Every song on this album is good, but a few are more conventional than they could be for an artist with as much potential as Sawayama. Rina was as close to perfection as I have ever heard on a mini-album, and I truly believe that she will someday replicate that on a full album. Sawayama was a step in the right direction, but it is nowhere near the best record that she is capable of making.

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Review: 'Sawayama' is musically fascinating, but falls short of greatness - The Dartmouth

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April 28th, 2020 at 2:47 am

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Little Fires Everywhere sets off blaze of emotions – The DePaulia

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The Hulu mini-series is based off of the book by Celeste Ng. It is the story of two families who live in Shaker Heights, Ohio in the 90s and are brought together by a friendship between two of their children. Soon after this friendship sparks, so does the hatred between Elena Richards (Reese Witherspoon) and Mia Warren (Kerry Washington).

Witherspoon and Washington play two mothers who are completely opposite in every way; cooking, parenting, cleaning, living the list is endless. They reach a new level of hatred as each episode airs and the emotion is displayed so well on screen it feels as if you are there in person to cut the tension yourself.

While the show has been adapted a little differently from the book, one of the biggest changes was making Mia and her daughter Pearl Warren (Lexi Underwood) African American. This allowed the show to go in depth on racial and class issues throughout the entire series with the Warrens and the Richards, but also including the custody battle of May Ling.

Elena and Mia begin to infect each others lives whether that be through their children or themselves they become intertwined in ways they both wish didnt happen. It is frighteningly beautiful watching these two despise one another while also trying to keep their children from becoming involved.

Too late.

While they continue to develop into enemies, their children form bonds not always strong with one another that further drive these two families apart. Once Moody (Gavin Lewis) and Pearl became friends, it was clear these two mothers were not going to become members of the same book club. This event leads to drama throughout the series and leaves the audience unsure of whose side to be on.

Both Witherspoon and Washington play their characters so well you dont know whether to hate Elena or love Mia. Both perhaps? The constant lack of self awareness by Elena and the over awareness of Mia make for quite a pair on screen. Elena begins to fumble in her own life because she is so wrapped up in Mias, whereas Mia doesnt notice Elena digging into her past because shes helping her friend Bebe Chow (Lu Huang).

The biggest driving factor of hatred in this series stems from a custody battle involving Chow and Linda McCullough (Rosemarie DeWitt). Elena and Mia are on opposite sides of this battle. May Ling is Bebes daughter, but she gave her away, causing her to end up being adopted by Linda. If it wasnt for Mia, there would have never been a custody battle.

This causes Elena to dig into Mias past, bringing out a side of Elena that almost makes you mad at Witherspoon herself. Mias face fills with disgust at Elena when confronted with it. Youre left sitting on the couch feeling conflicted for eight episodes.

Of course, one character you love to hate besides Elena is Lexie Richards (Jade Pettyjohn). She, quite well, plays down the racial issues that she knows and compares it to her mother wanting her to be perfect. It also doesnt help that two of the worst things she does involve Pearl who happens to be African American, but hey, shes stressed with perfection.

The other young actors in this mini-series shined equally. It may have been because the story was compelling or just well written, whatever it may be, they all take the cake. Megan Stott who played Isabelle Izzy Richards knew how to hate her mother in a way that was both empowering and sympathetic. And the final episode brought a sibling love on screen that was never clear beforehand.

The riveting performances by the entire cast simply takes your breath away. The emotions of love, confusion, pain and hatred are shown without hesitation by every character. The tension between class and race is explored well by both the parents and children in the series, touching on issues of interracial dating, opportunity and oppression.

Correction: A previous version of this review incorrectly listed the two protagonists as El and Witherspoon. It has since been updated to include the correct names.

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Little Fires Everywhere sets off blaze of emotions - The DePaulia

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The Parents of Special-Needs Children Have Needs, Too –

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The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to all kinds of Im trapped at home with my kids and Im going out of my mind! memes, and more than a few articles that would fall into the first world problems category. Im not saying there arent challenges, of course. As one of the more helpful memes puts it, with a wistful Forrest Gump looking into space, And just like that, no one ever asked again what a stay-at-home mom does all day.

One group of parents we should especially keep in mind at this time is the group least likely to constantly remind us what they are going through, if for no other reason than theyre simply too busy. Im talking of parents of children with autism and other developmental disabilities. With most, if not all, special education programs and services suspended indefinitely, these parents are even busier than usual.

Many of us havent fully thought through what makes special education, well, so special. The goal of special education is to help individuals with special needs achieve a higher level of personal self-sufficiency and success in school and in their community While that includes academic subjects, those with developmental disorders need to learn essential skills that other children can often learn by imitating parents and their peers, including basic social skills.

Consider something as simple as looking at someone when they speak to you. There is a kind of self-awareness and the ability to acknowledge anothers presence taken for granted in this basic social habit. And, this habit is an essential part of so many other skills that can dramatically impact and even improve ones social life. A colleague of mine has a son with autism, and he marvels at how his son went from ignoring other people, to greeting them and even sticking out his hand expecting a handshake.

Another incredibly helpful skill to learn is how to cope with the sensory overload. This defining aspect of autism is why so many children on the spectrum tend to be anxious and retreat into distinct behaviors, such as rocking and flicking their fingers. Simply put, they are trying to turn the worlds volume down.

Though parents are, of course, essential to helping their children learn these skills, it often takes special training to learn how to teach these skills to those with unique challenges. So many parents rely on the sorts of programs that have not been available since the start of this pandemic. Even more, such programs provide consistency to those who often feel much safer with a routine.

Children with Down Syndrome present different kinds of challenges, which also require the training and expertise of others that many parents rely on. In addition to losing these services, studies indicate that respiratory tract infections (viral and bacterial) do appear to be more common in most young people with Downs Syndrome. Imagine the anxiety and stress being felt by parents of these kids in the age of COVID-19.

Finally, theres the fact that, for many parents, the time their kids spend at school offers a necessary respite from an extraordinarily stressful and difficult life. Though they love and serve their children, theyve lost some necessary down time because of this pandemic.

So, what can we do to help? First, we can pray for these families. Keep in mind that not only are they carrying a heavy load, but right now they offer a powerful and unique witness about the sanctity and dignity of all human life. Their witness is especially important now, at this time, in a culture where so many are left out of the categories of human dignity. All over the world, people with Down Syndrome are highly targeted in utero for elimination through selective abortion. And, of course, if a genetic test to determine autism existed, or a number of other conditions, these children would be under increased threat as well.

Second, we can ask the parents we know in these situations how we can help them. Something as simple as running errands or grocery shopping for them can make a huge difference, since getting out of the house is even more difficult for them than the rest of us.

And, dont underestimate the power of simply calling and asking a parent how they are doing. One of the most challenging parts of being the parent of a child with special needs, as I am told, is how very isolating it can be. There isnt much time or energy, much less opportunity, for a social life. I have it from a few very good sources that they would appreciate you just letting them know that you are thinking about them.

As I said, most of these parents arent going to spend the limited time and energy they do have to tell us what theyre going through. So, its up to us to let them and others know that their tremendous and heroic efforts arent going unnoticed.

Publication date: April 27, 2020

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Maskot

BreakPointis a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.

John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN),and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

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