KIK Assessment 2021 – Zoewebs

KIK is a free mobile program with which it is possible to trade emails. Consumers would be happily surprised from the simple and top-notch design and program for the heart of WhatsApp Messenger. The cellular application deals with all programs. The actual only real considerable disadvantage would be that just customers that buddies using this modern-day program to transmit communications may use the application. The application does not account for a lot space regarding product. Small how big is the app, more space is throughout the device to obtain other applications or information. With the KIK, you can easily customize it. Inside the program options, an individual will give the applying interface a distinctive additional pitchfork by changing motifs or colors. Join content consumers and enjoy all benefits of KIK while emailing your buddies!

Reputation And reputation for KIK

We familiarizes you with the KIK analysis with the Canadian messenger. This program created back in 2009. A few young students from the college of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) are determined that it is essential to go from traditional dating applications and chats that are applied to personal computers and concentrate on smartphone owners. These are generally obtaining some ideas drive from the Chinese instantaneous messenger WeChat. KIK desired to be labeled as a chat platform. KIK in addition decided to arrange using cyberspace application in the messenger. The KIK messenger surely could attract $70.5 expense, which aided to advertise the application while increasing the number of its people to 200 million men and women.

Site, software, software, Registration

KIK is a free of charge text messaging system together with your pals and matches. KIK integrates the efficiency of several texting applications, allowing customers to effortlessly send book, images, movies, and much more with some ticks. KIK is present on Amazon, iOS, Android os, and Windows mobile phones.

The KIK design is actually modern and very user-friendly. Application developers seriously considered their unique customers when they developed these a convenient software. After getting the mobile software, you ought to run it on the smart phone. To get this done, you click the «Register» button and develop a brand new membership. With this, the user enters personal data. Indicate your final title and first name, come up with an appealing nickname, don’t neglect to establish a contact and produce a substantial code for account, immediately after which click «Register.» A confirmation email would be sent to the email address, and you can begin using it. If you cannot get a hold of a message from KIK to confirm the email address, demand it to be resent. This might be accomplished from a mobile product, perhaps not from a personal computer.

Utilizing the application, you will find which associated with associates is online now, transform account avatars, and group chats. You see who prints the message for you, whether your information had been provided and study. Upload a profile picture. This is just what people see whenever they talk to you. Automagically, this can be an empty framework, but you can change it along with your photograph or some other picture.

Sigh Up Process. Would it be quick Here?

to join up when you look at the KIK mobile application, you don’t have to suggest the mobile phone quantity, referring to a good advantage over similar cellular messengers. When creating an innovative new profile, the consumer shows these information on himself:

  • title
  • last title
  • Nick
  • email
  • strong password.

Having given these details, you feel a person for the KIK cellular software. Should You currently have a free account, just click «Sign In.»

Include Accounts Real Here?

Since KIK utilizes the data of your telephone, it’s secure to state that user users are actual. Of course, possible enter the username by hand if you know under which nickname the consumer makes use of the messenger. You shouldn’t be sure the user exactly who produces for your requirements will be the person for that you go. That you don’t enter your telephone number during subscription. Together with email address might be artificial. Therefore the privacy of people, which is the top priority of the KIK, can donate to the introduction of phony profiles. A short while ago, it pointed out that scammers used KIK users to engage minors in sexual slavery. We advise you to be cautious with this specific!

site And Cellular phone Version

The messenger is present to users on the Android, iOS, BlackBerry / Symbian, and Microsoft windows cell programs. On the Internet at various KIK ratings, you’ll find details that software exists as a mobile version so when a version for use on a PC. But on the company’s formal web log, there isn’t any information that consumers can take the computer version of the application form.

Special Features

Since this software positions itself as a messenger, the very first thing you will definitely speak about involves communication. Communication in KIK performed making use of ordinary sms. In addition, consumers obtain the chance to produce group chats and chat with numerous consumers while doing so. During enrollment in KIK, the consumer doesn’t enter his contact number, which means that its impractical to make phone calls to mobile figures from the application.

By using the program, you share photos, films. But there are restrictions with the sized the document you send. You simply will not deliver an image or movie bigger than 12 MB. If file downloaded through the internet browser or there’s a web link to it, subsequently no problems should develop. But sharing documents of various other forms will not work. KIK supplies users various stickers. Stickers tend to be cost-free and people that you should pay. The pair of free stickers is actually big enough, so it’s your responsibility whether you want to spend $ 2 on new stickers or otherwise not. For anyone people who do not have enough regular images and stickers expressing their particular emotions, KIK builders have actually launched the event of sketches. KIK doesn’t make use of advertisements, public chats, because, for instance, in Viber or spam communications of advertising nature.

KIK opportunities it self as a super-fast messenger. The performance of information shipment is actually large. Additionally, the consumer can begin to see the standing of delivery and checking out their information. Another unique feature with the Canadian application is its integral internet browser, in which you will find fascinating content material and files without making the application. Customers remember that the very first time, they satisfy these types of a function when you look at the messenger. Links from the internet browser inside cam instantly put with a preview, therefore each individual can get a handle on their feed.

Mate Search

Since the applying will not immediately synchronize cellular numbers from the phone guide, it’s not really easy to locate brand new friends. To look for consumers when you look at the application, you should know the brands of customers or their nicknames in KIK.

So how exactly does KiK Work?

Exactly how will be the search using KIK, and just how does the application manage the telephone? Let’s consider it in detail. You’ve got installed the applying and licensed without indicating your own phone number. Next, you verify the e-mail address and can go into the program by simply clicking the Syn-up option. The very first thing the application form requires you – is authorization to search for friends using your telephone data and email addresses. If such users can be found, they will enhance your pals. If not, subsequently inside the look range, it is possible to go into the KIK login name also add it as a friend. Next, you’ll send emails, movies, and photos, however generate sound telephone calls and video phone calls.

Looking Alternatives And Filters At KIK

Starting KIK for the first time, this system will want to know when you need to get a hold of your friends. By pressing consent, KIK will scan the names and emails of those who will be on your own phone. Each one of these pals will add as long as they use this software like everyone else. You can perform these actions afterwards by clicking on the apparatus symbol about major software display. You will go directly to the «Settings» section where you can choose the «Address Book Scan» purpose.

If you would like include a user the system didn’t get in your contact listing, you can do this. This method requires just a few moments. Inside the upper correct spot, there clearly was an icon in the shape of a cloud with text. By simply clicking it, you will observe a search club. Enter the KIK username as well as your buddy’s genuine name here. If these a KIK individual is available, then your program will program it to you personally.

Using keyword phrases such as for instance automobiles, personal computers, music, flicks, manner style, you can include interest teams. And by simply clicking the «Create cluster» button, you’ll create your party, which additional users will discover.

Correspondence Methods

In KIK, you are able to only talk making use of communications. Movie calls or sound communications are not supported here. To send a note in a cloud with book, the user selects a friend’s name, clicks «Enter information,» and directs it. On some gadgets, the publish option seems like a blue cloud with book. Additionally, consumers associated with messenger can send an emoticon. If you would like diversify the selection of emoticons, get them when you look at the KIK shop. For this, the user clicks the «+» key and goes to the KIK store. You’ll deliver photographs and videos in messages, but their size cannot surpass 12 MB. If you like, you can add a comment into the photo or video clip. On some mobile devices, specifically iOS, the first occasion you attempt to deliver an image or video clip, KIK will ask you if this can access the photographs. After confirming the information transfer, the user can deliver emails with picture and video clip content material. And taking photos and films through KIK, you’ll be able to deliver YouTube videos, thumbnails, images, and.

KIK Alternatives

KIK started supplying chatting features since 2009, and during this period, numerous changes and advancements to the service occurred at KIK. Nevertheless, evaluating KIK with competitors eg WhatsApp, we could point out that this software continues to have work to carry out. With over 200 million consumers, this has but to update the messaging and details functions to contend rewarding utilizing the main messaging members in this industry.

Membership Price And installment Method

The program is actually free on platforms like Bing Enjoy or the App shop. This means that you will not shell out money to get the application. Consequently, the installation and setting regarding the membership will also be no-cost. You absolve to send messages, pictures, and video material.

Free Membership Features

KIK Messenger is actually a free cellular program. It focuses primarily on quick messaging, without needing standard SMS from cellphone, that you generally purchase. To deliver communications to other people, KIK makes use of the tariff strategy of your own mobile or Wi-Fi connection.

Superior Membership Features

The KIK messaging app is free. You use it utilising the tariff plan of mobile community operator or Wi-Fi community. Really the only compensated function is the ability to acquire stickers inside KIK shop. One sticker will cost only $2. But most users report that they just do not need certainly to acquire added emoticons considering that the pair of free of charge ones is just too big.

How much cash Is Dating On KIK?

The KIK messaging app is free.

Is actually KIK truly Safe

Using Web methods and solutions, we arbitrarily commence to think about the safety of some reference. From inside the modern world, hundreds and a large number of unethical people will be ready to dominate your computer data and use it for his or her reasons. But utilizing KIK, you’ll be relaxed. During subscription, that you don’t suggest the number; each KIK user has a unique QR code. Making use of this code, the user will get usage of find or receive brand-new users with the solution. This service membership additionally consistently needs use of carry out particular actions connected with important computer data, photographs, and video clips. It is vital that you enable access to your own camera. The program is still safe, also because there’s absolutely no experience of the phone book and any other programs, there’s also no accessibility through preferred social media sites, like myspace.

Occasionally the application can be used by children, though it suggested that it is available just from 14 years of age and older. As well as if your young children use it with great objectives – sharing pictures, etc., you should be careful contained in this, because the same, all circumstances made for privacy – neither the title, nor address, and fraudsters are able to use it. But since you can add on a user just knowing their nickname, you’ll be able to get a grip on whom the imperfect summertimes add. And in case it appeared to you your individual is not the one for whom he takes himself, it is possible to delete it.

Technical part Of Protection

The company makes every work which will make their solution more secure for people. The application has an age restriction of 12 decades. A unique QR code also produced for people, by using some activities are done when you look at the software.

Client Support

By standard, the «KIK Team» put into your friends` list during enrollment. This really is a course that can try to answer any questions. Forward any information to KIK group and study their reaction. In the event that you deliver KIK Team a note like «I need assist,» this program will be sending you a web link on the KIK help web page (help.KIK.com). You can send demands to KIK Team whenever you want throughout the day. Never give your own KIK username or password. Just remember that , KIK staff will not ask you to let them have this data. Understand that giving any content material in application; you are able to don’t cancel the sending. Very think twice before giving the unpleasant information or indecent photo!

Trendy User Question:

Users commonly always capable get in touch with the service group promptly. In such cases, user reviews and other reviews, which have been openly available on the online world, help. These types of critiques have actually both a description associated with the service and solutions to faqs of people towards KIK application. We give your interest just a tiny element of these types of questions and answers to all of them.

Simple Tips To Pass KIK Photo Verification?

The solution does not require verification by customer’s photo, while you should not enter a telephone number. You just need a valid email address.

Simple tips to Delete KIK Account?

You can find out how-to delete a free account correctly from KIK Team.

How To See Exactly who Likes You On KIK Without Paying

KIK Messenger informs an individual concerning delivery associated with information and its particular reading. In case your interlocutor writes the solution, you will notice it throughout the display of your own smart device.

Simple tips to Block somebody On KIK?

Like any communication solution, you may either erase an individual entirely or prevent him inside chat.

Just how to Cancel KIK Subscription

The KIK texting application is free.

Conclusion

This is a totally free application that you can use in apple’s ios and Android, will likely be a good thing inside toolbox. You are able to it to get in touch together with your pals alongside individuals on different programs. There many immediate messengers that really work cross-platform and serve their particular purposes. But after downloading, you are going to realize that this application is the one you need to use as it is meant just for chatting. This application is certainly not like WhatsApp, which designed for revealing content in realtime. Possible satisfy at KIK new buddies and talk with them.

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Legendary US folk-rock singer and songwriter David Crosby dead at age 81

David Crosby, one of the most influential rock musicians of the 1960s and ’70s and who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with two different groups, has died at the age of 81.

Crosby was a founding member of two revered rock bands: the country and folk-influenced Byrds, for whom he cowrote the hit “Eight Miles High,” and Crosby, Stills & Nash, later Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, who defined the smooth side of the Woodstock generation’s music.

“It is with a deep and profound sadness that I learned that my friend David Crosby has passed,” Graham Nash, his longtime collaborator and sometime sparring partner, said in a statement.

“I know people tend to focus on how volatile our relationship has been at times, but what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together … and the deep friendship we shared,” Nash said.

Crosby’s wife, Jan Dance, announced the death in a statement published by Variety. It did not specify when he died, nor the cause. Crosby’s British-based representatives could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters.

Musically, Crosby stood out for his intricate vocal harmonies, unorthodox open tunings on guitar and incisive songwriting. His work with both the Byrds and CSN/CSNY blended rock and folk in new ways, and their music became a part of the soundtrack for the hippie era.

“I don’t know what to say other than I’m heartbroken to hear about David Crosby. David was an unbelievable talent – such a great singer and songwriter. And a wonderful person,” Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson said on Twitter.

Personally, Crosby was the embodiment of the credo “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll,” and a 2014 Rolling Stone magazine article tagged him “rock’s unlikeliest survivor.”

In addition to drug addictions that ultimately led to a transplant to replace a liver worn out by decades of excess, his tumultuous life included a serious motorcycle accident, the death of a girlfriend, and battles against hepatitis C and diabetes.

“I’m concerned that the time I’ve got here is so short, and I’m pissed at myself, deeply, for the 10 years – at least – of time that I wasted just getting smashed,” Crosby told the Los Angeles Times in July 2019. “I’m ashamed of that.”

He fell “as low as a human being can go,” Crosby told the Times.

He also managed to alienate many of his famous former bandmates, for which he often expressed remorse in recent years.

His drug habits and often abrasive personality contributed to the demise of CSNY and the members eventually quit speaking to each other. In the 2019 documentary “David Crosby: Remember My Name,” he made clear he hoped they could work together again, but conceded the others “really dislike me, strongly.”

Crosby fathered six children – two as a sperm donor to rocker Melissa Etheridge’s partner and another who was placed for adoption at birth and did not meet Crosby until he was in his 30s. That son, James Raymond, would eventually become his musical collaborator.

“Thank you @thedavidcrosby I will miss you my friend,” Etheridge said on Twitter alongside a photo of the two of them.

Looking back at the turbulent 1960s and his life, Crosby told Time magazine in 2006: “We were right about civil rights; we were right about human rights; we were right about peace being better than war … But I think we didn’t know our butt from a hole in the ground about drugs and that bit us pretty hard.”

Crosby was born on Aug. 14, 1941, in Los Angeles. His father was a cinematographer who won a Golden Globe for “High Noon” in 1952 and his mother exposed him to the folk group the Weavers and to classical music.

Music and women 

As a teenager, Crosby found that one of his passions aided him in the pursuit of another. “It (playing music) was absolutely joyous to me,” he wrote. “I always loved it. I always will love it. And I did get laid.”

After a stay in New York’s Greenwich Village music scene, Crosby was back in California in 1963 and helped Roger McGuinn start the Byrds, whose first hit, a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” came in 1965, followed by “Turn! Turn! Turn!”

Crosby was kicked out of the Byrds because the band did not want to play his songs, with the flashpoint being “Triad,” about a menage a trois, and disputes over on-stage political rants.

Crosby and Stephen Stills, whose band with Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield, had fallen apart, then began playing together. Graham Nash of the Hollies, who met Crosby in 1966 and went on to become his closest collaborator and a closer friend, joined them. Their first album, “Crosby, Stills and Nash,” was a big seller in 1969.

Guitarist and singer/songwriter Young fell in with them that year and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young came to be considered one of the greatest amalgams of talent in rock history.

Their second performance together was the landmark Woodstock music festival in 1969, and their 1970 album, “Deja Vu” contained hits “Teach Your Children,” “Woodstock,” and one of Crosby’s signature songs, “Almost Cut My Hair.”

Girlfriend’s death 

As CSNY was taking off, Crosby was in a drug-fueled downward spiral caused by the 1969 death of girlfriend Christine Hinton in a car accident.

“Nothing in my life had prepared me for that,” wrote Crosby, who had added cocaine and heroin to his drug repertoire.

The next decade was a blur of drug arrests, album releases and women. “I was not into being monogamous – I made that plain to everybody concerned. I was a complete and utter pleasure-seeking sybarite,” he wrote in his autobiography.

Crosby had a daughter with a girlfriend but soon left her for Jan Dance, who moved in with him in 1978. That relationship lasted and they had a son, Django, in 1995.

Crosby introduced Dance to heroin and the free-basing method of smoking cocaine. “We went down the tubes together but we did it with our hearts intertwined,” he wrote.

There were several failed attempts at rehab and Crosby developed a reputation as a bloated, hapless addict. In 1985, Nash told Rolling Stone: “I’ve tried everything – extreme anger, extreme compassion. I’ve gotten 20 of his best friends in the same room with him. I’ve tried hanging out with him. I’ve tried not hanging out with him.”

Crosby beat a series of drug charges but lost in Texas after being arrested with a drug pipe and gun at a club in Dallas and went to prison in 1985. The prison system required him to shave his trademark bushy mustache, but he found solace in playing in the prison band during his year of incarceration.

After his release, Crosby told People magazine he had beaten his addictions.

He was also arrested on gun and marijuana charges in New York in 2004.

In 2014 he released “Croz,” his first solo album since 1993, but his tour to promote the record was interrupted in February by heart surgery.

He continued recording and was an active presence on Twitter, in addition to writing an advice column for Rolling Stone.

In March 2021, the Guardian reported that Crosby sold the recorded music and publishing rights to his entire music catalog to Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group for an undisclosed sum.

(REUTERS)

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From Halo to The Simpsons, would fictional mad scientists pass ethical review?

Cave Johnson is almost ready to start a new study in his secret underground facility. The founder of the Michigan-based technology company Aperture Science, he’s invented a portal gun that allows people to teleport to various locations. Now, he and his colleagues want to see whether they can make portals appear on previously unfit surfaces with a new “conversion gel” containing moon dust. “It may be toxic. We are unsure,” he wrote in a recent research proposal.

To test the gel, Johnson plans to recruit orphans, homeless people, and the elderly. They’ll get 60 bucks—compensation he feels is well worth the risk of their skin potentially peeling off, death due to an artificial intelligence guide becoming sentient, or worse.

None of this is real, of course—Johnson is the villain of the popular video game Portal—but the makeshift ethical review board that evaluated his study was. At a Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research conference conducted online last month, attendees of the session “Mad Science on Trial: The Real Ethical Problems With Fictional Scientists” had some serious concerns with Johnson’s research. Would the participants’ data be secure and anonymized? Would the team of henchmen include some henchwomen as well? And, most importantly, would there be cake?

The moderators of the session didn’t just target Johnson. They asked their audience of 450 virtual attendees to evaluate other fictional mad scientists as well, voting on whether an institutional review board (IRB)—a body of experts that a research institution uses to evaluate whether proposals are ethically sound—should approve their protocols.

Science sat down with two of the panelists—operations manager Lisa Rigtrup at the University of Utah’s IRB, and compliance analyst Amanda Sly of the U.S. Office for Human Research Protections, which evaluates the ethics of federally funded research involving human subjects—to talk about what fictional mad scientists can teach us about real research ethics.

Q: Why hold this “mad scientist” panel?

Lisa Rigtrup: I’m kind of the Chandler [from Friends] of my group because everybody knows I have a job but they don’t know what I do. I’ve explained it multiple times and they still don’t understand it. This “mad scientist” concept is something that you can explain to just about everybody to some degree.

To work out the kinks, I went to my local comic convention and put on this fake IRB panel for the folks that were attending. It was received pretty well. I think this format is good for making the IRB ethics world fun and doing it in a way that kind of stretches people’s minds.

Amanda Sly: I think the pop culture side of things is the hook. This format could be used to really reach just about any age group, especially if you wanted to go into an elementary school and teach them a little bit about research ethics.

Q: Do you actually see these kinds of crazy proposals in your day jobs?

L.R.: For most investigators, it’s pretty rare that you get somebody that’s completely naïve and wants to take on a research study. There’s a lot of training that happens before you can even submit a proposal to us. But I’ve seen protocols where a researcher wants to do fake injections for no real reason or cut someone’s skin as part of a placebo group. Sometimes these forms have pages and pages of risks—with no clear benefits. I just go, “Who would sign up for this?”

A.S.: Occasionally we do see the ones that you’re like, “You’re not quite a mad scientist, but there’s some hubris there.” 

Q: In one of your examples, Dr. Horrible, creator of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, and The Simpsons’ resident mad scientist, Professor Frink, want to collaborate on a freeze ray that stops people in their tracks. They claim it could be used to prevent children or animals from running into the street, or guests from leaving your party. But if a bad guy gets it, he could use it to take over the world. How do IRBs deal with such “dual-use” research that could be dangerous in the wrong hands?

A.S.: The IRB should consider only those risks and benefits that may result from the research, and should not consider possible long-range effects of applying knowledge gained in the research. It’s really about the risk to those participating in the research. You can’t always anticipate that this lovely cancer drug you’re approving could be used as a poison, so the IRB isn’t charged to go that far in their evaluations.

L.R.: Sometimes the opposite is true. When we get funding from the Veterans administration or Department of Defense for military projects, they often find more domestic applications for it. For example, there was some testing going on here with an exoskeleton. You get in this thing and it looks like something from Aliens. You know they had intended it to be for supersoldiers. And then I was watching the local news a few months ago, and here’s this exoskeleton at the local airport and they’re using it to help move heavy luggage. I actually really enjoy when the research turns out to be something that betters the general public.

Catherine Halsey invented the human augmentation procedure used in the Halo video games, which turns children into supersoldiers ready to fight off an alien attack.WikiHalo

Q: Another example focuses on Catherine Halsey, a scientist in the first-person shooter video game Halo. She proposes surgically enhancing 6-year-old children with armor, neural interfaces, and other technology to give them combat advantages against a theoretical alien attack. How do you weigh a distant risk against the real risk that research participants face?

L.R.: We wish there was some calculator that we could plug these things into and just get our risk-benefit ratio spat out. But the human element is critical. This is why we have groups of people that hash this stuff out: You’re dealing with risks that affect people’s lives and you’re dealing with research that’s going to be used to make changes in the world.

A.S.: It also comes down to the diversity of the boards themselves, which include five scientists and one nonscientist. If you’re reviewing a specific kind of research, you need to have the proper expertise on that board to understand what’s going on. You don’t want an IRB that has nothing but engineers reviewing an oncology study or vice versa.

Q: What was the hardest part of presenting all of this stuff in a serious manner?

L.R.: I have no poker face.

A.S.: I definitely told myself to keep it together. Don’t laugh.

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Millions See The World Through a ‘Static’ Haze Called Visual-Snow Syndrome

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Sierra Domb, founder and CEO of the Visual Snow Initiative, about her journey with visual-snow syndrome a neurological condition where people see tiny, snow-like flecks in their vision. It has been edited for length and clarity.

One day in 2015, as I was driving to university, my vision went black. My vision returned moments later, but the world didn’t look the same after that.

It was like a veil was covering my eyeslike I was seeing the world through an analog TV static. More symptoms began, including extreme light sensitivity and palinopsia, or when you continue to see an image after it’s no longer there. I also experienced ringing in the ears and recurring migraines.

From there, I went to some of the most well-known medical institutions in the country. After about 18 months of uncertainty and seeing many physicians, I was left without an answer as to what was going on with me.

Then, I discovered the name visual-snow syndrome in an online medical journal. The symptoms described in the article matched my symptoms exactly. I immediately contacted the doctor who wrote the article, and he subsequently diagnosed me with visual-snow syndrome.

Visual-snow syndrome is a neurological condition with a constellation of visual and non-visual symptoms. The hallmark symptom is seeing static or clashing lights and flickering dots that obstruct your vision 24/7, whether your eyes are open or closed.

An impression of the vision of someone without visual-snow syndrome, on the left, and the vision of someone with visual snow, on the right. (Visual Snow Initiative)

I learned that this syndrome was not well known within the medical community.

There were countless people out there, like myself, that were left to deal in private with this condition. A lot of people end up online, speculating what’s wrong with them, and they have to self-diagnose.

People like me were being marginalized and left without resources, simply due to lack of awareness and education. I sought out to rectify this by starting the Visual Snow Initiativea nonprofit that raises awareness, provides education, offers resources, and facilitates worldwide research as well as potential treatments for visual-snow syndrome.

We created the first diagnostic criteria for visual-snow syndrome, so basically anyone in the world can show it to their doctor to confirm a possible diagnosis. We also created a worldwide directory of physicians and specialists with knowledge of visual snow.

Oftentimes, people with visual-snow syndrome go to an eye doctor.

They see an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, which are doctors who specialize in the eye, and their test results come back normal, because there’s nothing wrong structurally with their eyes.

Research has found out that that visual-snow syndrome is a neurological disorder, meaning that it’s processing centers in the brain impacting your vision.

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It’s become apparent that this is not as rare as people initially thought.

When I first experienced the onset of visual-snow syndrome, I wasn’t even aware there were other people out there who had it too. Researchers have discovered it may affect an estimated 2 percent to 3 percent of Earth’s population. That percentage may seem small, but to put it in perspective, that’s millions of people who are affected all around the world.

Additionally, my team and I have communicated with thousands of people who have visual snow in over 93 countries. People of all ages and all backgrounds can beand areaffected daily.

When you have a large population of people that are also born with visual snow, they may not even know they have symptoms. They might think everybody sees the world this way. Those cases might go under-reported.

Everyone’s visual snow is different.

People with visual snow may experience all or only a few symptoms, including light sensitivity and tinnitus. These symptoms range in severity from mild to debilitating.

Living with this condition is a different experience for everyone.

When I first experienced visual snow, it was debilitating. Over time, it’s improved. For some people it’s mild from the start, and it doesn’t affect their daily life, and for some people it does. Many function normally, and for others it can be life-altering.

The one defining commonality for everyone with visual-snow syndrome is that they do see static 24/7, whether your eyes are opened or closed.

This graphic showcases a sunset image seen with the vision of someone without visual-snow syndrome, on the left, and the vision of someone with visual snow, on the right
Graphic showing what visual-snow syndrome looks like. (Visual Snow Initiative)

People might link their visual snow to a specific incident.

When you get a concussion, is this what caused your visual snow? Was it X? Was it Y?

There’s been a lot of speculation about the root cause, and the reality is that there are a lot of different reasons that people attribute to their visual snow, and it can be difficult to pinpoint across the board something that everyone has in common, especially when you have people that are born with something, and then people who get it at a random point.

You will find commonalities across the board, but that doesn’t mean that every single person with visual-snow syndrome has had the same experience, or it was brought on by the same exact thing.

To date, researchers are not aware of a cure for visual-snow syndrome.

Part of my mission with the Visual Snow Initiative is to rectify that. I was told by experts and researchers that this is something that will take time, but we’ve made tremendous strides in a short period of time.

Two doctors we collaborate with have had tremendous success helping visual snow patients treat some of their symptoms with Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy, or NORT. It addresses the visual symptoms and some of the non-visual ones, as well.

Wearing FL-41 tinted glasses might also be helpful.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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Getting to Know You: Donald Turk, Construction Vehicle Technician

Hailing from Buna, Texas, Donald Turk is a veteran of the construction industry.

Formerly a crew leader and currently industrial energy worker and vehicle technician, Donald has built his career around the concepts of professionalism, accountability, and a fierce determination to accomplish his tasks properly, on time, and with the utmost conscientiousness.

Initially, Donald made a decision to pursue construction work as a vocation in order to better support his family. He began the appropriate training and worked very hard, making a concerted effort to increase his industry-specific skill set and take responsibility for every task that was given to him. The first important certification he earned was his Safety Certificate, which signifies the holder has completed a rigorous course designed to promote awareness of any potential dangers on construction sites, as well as providing knowledge of emergency procedures and some rudimentary medical instruction.

As time went on, the quality of Donald’s work and his determination to accomplish his job in a professional and no-nonsense manner became evident. He was recognized by his supervisors and designated as a crew leader, eventually supervising 19 other construction workers.

Donald Turk continued in this manner until 2016, when he joined his current construction firm. Currently, he is responsible for maintaining the fuel supply for every vehicle and piece of heavy-duty equipment owned by the company. Donald’s positive attitude, innate professionalism, and diligence in the workplace was recognized by his new company when he was recently awarded the distinction of employee of the month. In gratitude for this accolade and in appreciation for the overall good treatment he has experienced, Donald Turk anticipates remaining with his current firm through to his retirement.

Outside of work, Donald Turk enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, and following his favorite basketball teams.

What are you responsible for when you’re on a construction site?

Among my other duties, I’m responsible for fueling all construction vehicles and equipment on any given site. That includes trucks, cranes, and any other vehicles—large or small—owned by the company.

What inspired you to go into construction?

I was inspired to go into construction to make my living because I think it’s honest, admirable, and necessary work. After all, someone has to construct all the buildings that people spend their lives working and residing in each day. Beyond that, working in construction appealed to me because it doesn’t require a multi-year post-secondary education. It’s one of the few industries where you can hit the ground running, work hard, and earn certifications as you go along.

What are the main keys to being productive while doing construction work?

The key to being productive when working at a construction site is to remain positive. Do your job to the best of your ability without complaint. But the most important part of the job is accountability. Always be where you’re assigned to be, when you are assigned to be there, doing what you’re meant to be doing as well as you possibly can. In short, be dependable.

Can you share a long-term career goal?

My main long-term career goal is to remain gainfully employed in the construction industry. I’m a loyal worker. As long as I’m with a good company, which I am right now, I’ll stay with them. I enjoy earning an income that provides a good life for my family. I’m coming up on retirement soon, so my goal is to do my job to the best of my abilities until then.

What are the most valuable lessons that you’ve learned over the course of your career?

The most valuable lessons that I have learned are never take short-cuts, always consider safety first, and if you see someone in need of assistance, extend a helping hand.

What advice would you give to others considering the construction industry as a career?

I would advise anyone considering a career in construction to earn as many of whatever type of certifications they might be interested in attaining. Certifications tend to open doors for people in this industry. I would also advise them to start with a specific trade, or learn how to drive heavy equipment, or operate machinery. There are a variety of specialized machines on which to become certified. The more you know, the more you grow.

How would your co-workers or peers describe you as a person?

My co-workers would probably describe me as quiet and dependable. They know I’ll always show up to get any task done and give it my best effort.

How do you maintain a solid work/life balance?

One of the things I practice all of the time is staying in the present and focusing on the task at hand. When I am at work, the job has my complete attention. During my time off, I schedule the things that I have to get done for myself and for my household. After that, I spend any time I have left with my family and sometimes take a little time for myself. The point is I don’t take my work home. In order to maintain a proper balance, work life and home life ought to remain separate.

What is the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome?

I think the hardest obstacle I’ve ever had to overcome was the death of my oldest brother in 2017. He was such a great man and a wonderful inspiration. I miss him a lot.

Who has been a role model for you and why?

The best role model I’ve had in my life is my cousin. He’s a preacher and I’ve known him all my life. He has so much love in his heart for others. He treats people the way he would like to be treated. He takes good care of his family, and he always gives good advice. I’ve always looked up to him. You can tell him anything in confidence and not have to worry about your confidence being broken. The other person who has been a role model is my foster Mom. As a kid, I remember her walking to work in the pouring rain to make sure we were all fed and we never went without. We always had good food and clothes. I didn’t recognize all we had back then, but I realize everything that she did for all of us now. So, the two great role models I had all of my life have been my cousin and my Mom.

What does success look like to you?

Most people measure success by money. To me, success is having family and friends who really care about you. Success is having a friend indeed, not a friend in need. It is knowing that when you get older, there will be people around you who will ask, “Do you need something? Can I help you in some way?” Success is having friends and loved ones around you who care about each other, wish the best for each other, and help each other as best as they can.

What is one piece of advice you have never forgotten?

One piece of advice that I have never forgotten is this: “You reap what you sow.” Whatever you do, you’ll get it back in return. That is to say, if you give out goodness, you’ll get goodness sent back to you; if you give out ill will and bad feelings, you’ll get them right back, too. So, don’t be surprised when it happens. In other words, be careful about how you treat others and watch what you say to people.



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The Undead

 

Werewolf: Cronach the Elder

We generally tell ourselves that nobody is beyond redemption until the point of death. It seems uncharitable to suppose otherwise. But is this clearly true?

In 1 John, the evangelist tells us there is no point in praying for someone who has committed a truly grave sin. 

When the scribes and Pharisees appear at the Jordan for repentance, John the Baptist rejects them. 

In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, Abraham says evangelization of the rich man’s relatives is useless: not even a miracle can make them repent. 

And Jesus advises us not to cast our pearls before swine.

That actually sounds pretty cut and dried: some people are apparently beyond redemption.

Further evidence is a folk image found all around the world: of soulless beings in human form. The most familiar modern expression is the zombie—and it seems significant that we find the image so compelling. It speaks to something in our experience; we have all met zombies, NPCs. They are being played by some demon vice. The parasitic demon or idolatry has supplanted altogether their soul.

Vampires are a variation on the theme. Like zombies, they have no soul, and survive by draining others of life energy. That is how some people are. Like zombies, they are “undead.” In other words, they are still animate, but the soul has departed. It is perhaps already in hell.

Similar figures are the werewolf, the rakshasa in India, the wendigo among the Algonquins Indians, the Nephilim in the Bible, the witches and ogres and sirens and lamia and melusines of European fairy and folk legend. It is arbitrary to see them as distinct beings; they are different takes on the same being. They are spiritual portraits of people who have surrendered their souls to vice. Modern psychology calls them narcissists.

Lycaon transformed into a wolf.

Lycaon, a figure in Greek legend, seems to have been the first werewolf. He was transformed into a wolf because he served u his own son as a meal—the wolf form was the outward expression of his true bestial nature. He had a beast’s soul.

“Ever since the time of Lykaon a man has changed into a wolf at the sacrifice to Zeus Lykaios, but that the change is not for life; if, when he is a wolf, he abstains from human flesh, after nine years he becomes a man again, but if he tastes human flesh he remains a beast for ever.”

On the mountain on which Lykaon killed his son, it is said, no man casts a shadow.

The rakshasa likes to kidnap and devour children. She can at will appear as a beautiful woman. She is driven by lust, gluttony, envy and anger, without restraint.

Lilith

She closely resembles Lilith, the female demon of Judaism and the ancient Middle East. She was the first wife of Adam—so she must take human form. Unlike Eve, however, she is still around, devouring children—so undead.0

The wendigo lives in the forest and devours any human he encounters. He generally appears as human, but his spirit is that of a beast. He is a shape-shifter. “The wendigo is said to invoke feelings of insatiable greed/hunger, the desire to cannibalize other humans, and the propensity to commit murder in those that fall under its influence.”(Brightman, Robert A. 1988. “The Windigo in the Material World.)

The Nephilim are supposedly a human tribe. 

“The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.” – Genesis 6:1

“And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” – Numbers 32

From these passages, the Nephilim are taken to be gigantic in stature. But perhaps this refers not to their physical size, but their self-image and boastful nature—their narcissism.

They were apparently prone to unbridled lust. “They married whomever they chose.” And they are the reason Yahweh sent the Flood to purify the world. He considered them beyond salvation.

Ogres are sometimes also thought of as giants; yet they are also able to make themselves small, and pass as ordinary people. 

“I have been moreover informed,” said the Cat, “but I know not how to believe it, that you have also the power to take on you the shape of the smallest animals; for example, to change yourself into a rat or a mouse; but I must own to you, I take this to be impossible.”

“Impossible?” cried the Ogre, “you shall see that presently,” and at the same time changed into a mouse, and began to run about the floor. (Perrault, Puss in Boots).

 

Despite the affection which he [the prince] bore her, he was afraid of his mother, for she came of a race of ogres, and the king had only married her for her wealth.

It was whispered at the court that she had ogrish instincts, and that when little children were near her she had the greatest difficulty in the world to keep herself from pouncing on them. (Perrault, Sleeping Beauty)

So again, the large size perhaps refers to their self-image. They too eat children, and male ogres rape women.

Sirens, mermaids, or lorelei may or may not be driven by lust; but they lure with lust. They are apparently driven by a desire to devour; as are lamia and melusines. They lure unwary suitors to their death. This resembles the “love bombing” familiar to those who have dealt with narcissistic romantic partners.

There are features common to most or all of these imaginary creatures.

They fear the light, and crave darkness. In other words, they hate the truth. Vampires are killed by sunlight. In the original zombie classic, “Day of the Dead,” the zombie assault actually takes place over one night. And the zombies fear fire—light. Werewolves transform and do their deeds at night, under the moon. Sirens and melusines hide their fishlike nature under the water line, emerge from the unknown depths, and will flee if their nakedness is uncovered—if they are seen in the bath.

Narcissists are enemies of the truth—it requires systematic self-delusion to submit to vice. One is hiding from conscience. This is why they attack anyone spreading pearls. 

Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. (John 3:19-20)

These various revenants are often suave or charming or superficially attractive. The female rakshasa, or the Melusine, lamia, or siren, generally can make themselves appear beautiful. The vampire is courtly, well-mannered. 

Lacking conscience or ethics, narcissists are commonly charming in this way. They can say whatever is to their advantage; so they become skilled at manipulation. In other words, they are shape-shifters. 

Several of them have the power to infect their victims with their vice: vampires and zombies do. Those who do not, directly and literally, often lure their victims by appealing to a vice: the lamia, the siren, the rakshasa. This is indeed true of the narcissist: he or she badly wants to lure others into vice. Moral behaviour in their presence is a threat to their conscience.

Many of these monsters seem to target children and the young. That is apt for narcissists too. It is not just that children are the most vulnerable victims; they are objectionable to the narcissist for their innocence and sincerity; as well as for the nagging thought that they might outlive the narcissist. Those they cannot tempt into vice they will persecute.

And so, while popular focus currently is on narcissistic love partners, the greater danger is the narcissistic parent.

There are zombies among us.

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Irish music community in New York rallies around Allen Gogarty

Allen Gogarty was smacked with ferocity by the unpredictability of life last month.

Gogarty, the 48-year-old native of Kilmainhamwood, Co Meath and resident of New York since 2002, had played a gig the night of Thursday, December 1, one of four or five live appearances he makes each week in the boroughs or the wider tri-state area. 

He arrived home to Glendale, Queens in the early hours of Friday morning, caught a few hours of sleep, and rose around 10-ish with an unusual, shooting back pain. Gogarty had never experienced anything like it.

“The pain continued for a while. At one point I took my shirt off, laid on the floor and started sweating,” he recalled during a weekend interview with the Irish Voice, sister publication to IrishCentral. 

He decided to take a bath, and his wife Amparo called the ambulance. When it arrived Gogarty says he was feeling better, but he was taken for observation regardless. 

“When I was in the ambulance the medics were asking me how I was. I said I was fine and thought I might have over-reacted about the pain,” he recalled. 

He was brought to the ER at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital for some tests which showed he wasn’t fine. Bloodwork revealed a chemical secreted from the heart indicative of a cardiac event, so he was kept overnight and transferred to the cardiology wing the next morning.

At that point, Gogarty was in severe pain and remembers asking for painkillers. Things quickly took a turn for the worse that Saturday morning and he blacked out.

The father of two teenage boys went into cardiac arrest and flatlined. The severity of his heart attack was such that he was transferred to North Shore University Hospital in Nassau County because Forest Hills didn’t have the required equipment to treat his condition. 

He was given CPR and chest compressions, and doctors were able to restart his heart. Then he had an angioplasty, surgery to clear one of two arteries that was 100 percent blocked. Gogarty later had a second angioplasty to treat the other artery which was 90 percent blocked. Stents were also implanted in his arteries to keep them functional. 

Gogarty recalls waking up for a short time the day after his ordeal with “all sorts of tubes,” he said.  

“I had a breathing device and the first thing I did was pull it out myself. I couldn’t speak. When I tried there was no voice.” 

He assumed he was still in Forest Hills. Sore and shocked, Gogarty slowly started to get his strength back and was released from the hospital after six days. 

He’s grateful to be alive, and surprised that his body experienced such a sudden trauma. 

“There was no indication at all, no medical issues. I felt fine, always felt fine,” he says. “I’d go to the dentist and have my blood pressure taken and it was a bit high, but I think everyone gets high blood pressure at the dentist. 

“There were no warning signs. You would expect something, but I had nothing.” 

Like all musicians who earn their keep from live gigs, the pandemic put a sudden and severe dent in Gogarty’s income. He adapted by doing some livestreams, but getting back to where he left off took a long time. He’s been happily busy again for several months playing his Irish music at various pubs and other venues, and also working with the Emerald Isle Immigration Center’s Creatives Rebuild New York initiative. 

But his musical career is once again on hold. Gogarty says he’s feeling better, getting a bit stronger every day but playing live, for now, is not happening. 

“I’m walking a lot and I’m able to do the shopping and things like that,” he says. “A couple of days ago I took out my guitar for the first time since the heart attack. It felt nice, I sang two songs but I could only play for a short period of time. I have to get back into shape.” 

Gogarty, a singer/songwriter/guitarist, has a couple of provisional appearances booked for March, “providing that I’m feeling okay,” he says. “I will have to ease back into it.” 

His many friends in New York’s Irish music scene immediately joined together to organize a GoFundMe and a live benefit performance set for February 11 in Manhattan. Gogarty has no wages at the moment given the nature of his job as an independent musician, so bills are mounting.

“I was still in the hospital and people visiting me said they were starting to put a benefit together. I said I wasn’t sure about it, but they told me it was none of my business,” he laughs.  

Through the years, Gogarty has played more benefits than he can count. The support now coming his way, he says, is deeply appreciated. 

“I was looking at the medical bills so far – a half a million dollars,” Gogarty says. “It’s scary to me that it’s so much. I’m lucky to have a certain amount of insurance so I won’t be paying all that, but I’m going to have to pay some so we will have to juggle with payment plans.” 

It’s obviously been a difficult time for Gogarty and his family, particularly his boys.

“They were very upset. They thought they were going to lose their daddy just before Christmas,” he says.  

Gogarty is taking each day as it comes, following doctor’s orders, taking meds “that I’ll be on, some of them anyway, for the rest of my life,” and looking for an elusive night of sleep. 

“That’s been the one thing, trying to sleep a full night. There’s hardly been any sleep. Doctors say it has to do with the discomfort in my ribs so I’m hoping that will end soon.” 

In the meantime, his friends and colleagues are happy to lend a helping hand.

“Allen is truly one of the hardest working musicians on the scene, and as a performer has always been a willing participant in fundraiser benefits to help others in need. During the Covid lockdowns, although his family finances were stressed, he organized a weekly live stream show, singing songs and bringing comfort to all attendees in NYC, Ireland, Australia, and beyond,” the GoFundMe in his name reads. 

The live event on Saturday, February 11 is at The Joyce Public House, 315 West 39th Street, New York, and it starts at 2 pm. Suggested donation is $20, and more than 40 entertainers will be on hand throughout the day and night, including the Thirsty Bandits, the Narrowbacks, the Amadans, the Prodigals, the Diddley Idols, the Wadds, and many more. There will be prizes and a 50-50 raffle on the day.

Support our friend Allen. #allengogartymusic


Posted by The Joyce Public House on Friday, December 23, 2022

The Allen Gogarty fundraiser will also be live streamed via YouTube:

 

For more information, call Joe Byrne at 347-286-6842 or Donie Ryan at 347-286-6842. 

*This column first appeared in the January 18 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.



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The Best Movies To See In Theaters – New Movies Out Now

Last year was a notably great year for movies, having seen the release of zany sci-fi films like Everything Everywhere All At Once, entertaining whodunits like Glass Onion, and fast-paced action films like Top Gun: Maverick. As we near the end of January, though, its successor, 2023, has no shortage of similarly fantastic movies to look forward.

Starting this Friday, you’ll be able to see several new indie movies at your local art house theaters. Among these, you’ll have the chance to enjoy Jesse Eisenberg’s directorial debut, When You Finish Saving the World, and the engrossing British drama, After Love.

Along with those titles, you’ll also have time to catch up on some of the best releases from the previous few months, like James Cameron’s latest blockbuster, Avatar: The Way of Water, the darkly comedic horror movie, M3gan, and the supremely entertaining family film, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.

Here are all the movies you can find playing at your local movie theaters starting this weekend.

Updated: January 19.

Popular New Releases

M3GAN

Months before its release to theaters, horror fans began to voice eager anticipation for the sci-fi slasher, M3gan. Thankfully, the movie’s reception seems to have stuck the landing, many reviews providing favorable outlooks in regards to the movie’s horror and comedic elements.

After gaining custody of her young niece Cady (Violet McGraw), a robotics manufacturer at a toy company uses an experimental new product to bond with Cady. Designed to be the perfect playmate, Megan (Amie Donald) starts off as the ideal best friend, before slowly developing a homicidal streak, killing anyone who threatens to fracture her relationship with Cady.

A rare horror comedy that’s as equally chilling as it is humorous, M3gan has been positively received by critics, many calling it a fun, somewhat campy film that’s sure to please fans of Chucky and The Conjuring.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
IMDb score: 6.2

Avatar: The Way of Water

It’s been over a decade since we last saw a James Cameron film, the director having delivered one of the biggest critical and financial sci-fi epics in history with 2009’s Avatar. Having diligently worked on a sequel to his pop culture phenomenon for the past 13 years, Cameron finally returns this Christmas with the anxiously-awaited sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water.

Over 10 years after the events of Avatar, Jake (Sam Worthington) lives a peaceful life with his family among the Na’vi. Unfortunately, the idyllic existence of his people is once again threatened by the human colonizers who have returned to Pandora.

As you might expect, Avatar: The Way of Water has already been hailed as a cinematic masterpiece in terms of its visuals alone. As was the case with the first movie, critics have commented that watching it truly makes it feel that you’ve traveled to a distant world, inhabited by vivid flora and breathtaking fauna. It might have taken a long time for Cameron to deliver — but deliver he most assuredly did.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%
IMDb score: 8.3

Plane

Gerard Butler has had a rough few years in the past, starring in a series of memorably bad action movies like Last Seen Alive, Angel Has Fallen, and Hunter Killer. With Plane, Butler successfully veers back on career course, ushering in what might be his best movie in recent memory.

Upon making a forced landing on a remote Pacific island, a pilot (Butler) and a convicted murderer (Mike Colter) team up to rescue the plane’s passengers after they’ve been taken hostage by an armed mob.

It’d be an exaggeration to call Plane a definitive masterpiece among action films, but it hinges heavily on Butler’s decent performance, as well as his chemistry with Colter. When looking at the film, critics have reacted far more favorably than they have to any of Butler’s latest movies, making it a return to form of sorts for the veteran action star.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%
IMDb score: 7

House Party

The original 1990 version of House Party remains a cult classic, benefitting from a sharp script, impeccable casting, and an energetic bundle of laughs. With how loved the initial movie was, the reboot of House Party had an admittedly tough act to follow, sadly failing to measure up to the high bar set by its ‘90s counterpart.

Fired from their job as house cleaners and lacking the finances to have a party of their own, best friends Kevin (Jacob Latimore) and Damon (Tosin Cole) decide to throw an epic shindig at the home of their former client, LeBron James.

Perhaps the greatest thing about House Party is its sizable list of celebrity cameos, with everyone from Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne to LeBron James himself making an appearance. Unfortunately, the amount of cameos isn’t enough to sustain this movie, which critics have noted significantly pales in comparison to the original House Party.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 40%
IMDb score: 

Babylon

Damien Chazelle is one of the best young directors working today, his debut Whiplash serving as perhaps the greatest film debut by a first-time director ever put to screen. Following up on the success of La La Land and First Man, Chazelle looks back at the intricate and chaotic world of 1920s Hollywood with his latest film, Babylon.

As the film industry undergoes a major transformation from the silent era into sound, several major stars and industry figures suffer severe professional setbacks.

Between its amazing set design and massive ensemble cast (Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart, Tobey Maguire, Olivia Wilde, Samara Weaving, and Flea, among others), Babylon is commendable for both its size and scope. While its cast, music, and visuals all secured praise, critics were dismissive about the movie’s thin screenplay and lengthy runtime (just over three hours).

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 59%
IMDb score: 

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

It’s been some years since we last saw that swashbuckling feline adventurer, Puss, in action (11 years, to be exact). After his lengthy absence, Shrek’s breakout character returns for what is quite possibly the final time.

Having cycled through eight of his nine lives, Puss (Antonio Banderas) sets out to locate the fabled Last Wish and restore his life cycle, all the while being hunted by a dangerous band of criminals led by the sinister Goldilocks (Florence Pugh).

A more than satisfying sequel to the original Puss in Boots, The Last Wish has earned instant critical acclaim, mostly owing to its vocal performances and animation. Already, it’s garnered a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes, with likely an Academy Award nomination to follow soon after.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
IMDb score: 7.6

A Man Called Otto

A Man Called Otto seems like the type of movie that would’ve done great during the holiday season. Possessing many of the same life lessons and themes presented in such timeless stories as A Christmas Carol and The Grinch, it’s an ideal movie for the Christmas season. While it failed to meet an earlier release, it’s still a decent enough movie to watch before New Year’s, full of plenty of life lessons to take with you into 2023.

Forced into retirement and still grieving from the loss of his wife, a grumpy older man suffering from chronic depression (Hanks) gets a new lease on life when he meets his energetic, upbeat neighbors.

Critics have remained mostly indifferent to A Man Called Otto, criticizing it for its unfunny jokes, its pandering style, and its largely confusing nature (the movie’s too dark to be a comedy and too light to be a drama). However, as per usual, Hanks’ performance has garnered mostly positive marks, critics feeling the movie coasts easily on his inspired lead role.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%
IMDb score: 7.3

When You Finish Saving the World

Jesse Eisenberg is a talented individual on varying artistic levels. Not only is he a skilled actor, but he’s also established himself as quite a remarkable writer, having penned various articles, short stories, and plays over the years. With When You Finish Saving the World, Eisenberg turns his attention towards the world of film, handing in his first effort as a director.

Lacking a strong connection with one another, a mother (Julianne Moore) and her teenage son (Finn Wolfhard) seek out surrogate replacements for one another.

As unlikely as its main premise is, When You Finish Saving the World has been released mostly to positive reviews. Most critics have remained a bit ambivalent about the movie’s plot and characters, but note that the whole project marks a successful first foray for Eisenberg into the art of filmmaking.

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 66%
IMDb score: 6.5

After Love

One of the most remarkable drama films in recent years, After Love is a palpable meditation on numerous subjects, ranging from grief and loss to coming to terms with the reality of individual relationships with loved ones.

After her husband (Nasser Memarzia) unexpectedly passes away, a middle-aged woman (Joanna Scanlan) is shocked to learn that he secretly had another family.

Taking that brilliant premise and exploring it to its fullest potential, After Love is a poignant drama film filled with surprises. Despite being an indie film, it’s gone on to achieve almost instant widespread success from critics, leading to several nominations at the 2021 British Independent Film Awards, where it won for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Director.

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
IMDb score: 7.3

The Whale

Like Keanu Reeves, Brendan Fraser can do no wrong. An unbelievably humble and likable actor, Fraser’s been beset by both personal and professional issues that have severely hindered his career. But 2022 marks the return of this superior actor, with Fraser managing to delight audiences in No Sudden Move and his most recent psychological drama, The Whale.

Facing mounting health issues, a reclusive English teacher (Fraser) tries reaching out and forming a connection to his estranged daughter (Stranger Things‘ Sadie Sink).

The Whale has been hailed as Fraser’s finest performance yet, launching what looks to be a successful, long-awaited comeback for the former action star. Most of the film’s positive reception has revolved around Fraser, with similar praise going to Sink and co-star Hong Chau.

Where to watch: In theaters for a limited time
Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%
IMDb score: 9

Women Talking

Based on Miriam Toews’ best-selling novel, Women Talking is as engaging an arthouse drama film as it gets. An effortlessly impressive adaptation, the movie retains all of the philosophical and personal questions that made Toews’ book a bestseller in the first place, combined with the performances of an amazing cast.

When they discover that the men in their colony have been drugging and sexually assaulting female members of their community, a group of Mennonite women discuss whether they should run, fight, or stay before the men return.

Evaluating questions of faith, loyalty, and female’s role in conservatively religious communities, Women Talking is an intelligent and poignant film that asks audiences some fundamentally important questions. Critical reviews have been extremely favorable, many calling it a touching film loaded with great acting (especially from Rooney Mara, Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, Frances McDormand, and Ben Whishaw).

Where to watch: In theaters for a limited time
Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
IMDb score: 7.8

Other Movies of Note

Notable films that will likely continue playing for only a few more weeks.

Violent Night

You remember the opening to Scrooged — where they had Santa and the Six Million Dollar Man fight off a horde of ski mask-clad bad guys at the North Pole? That’s essentially the plot to Violent Night, the new comedic action film starring David Harbour as a John McClane-Santa hybrid.

On Christmas Eve, a gang of professional thieves take a wealthy family hostage and try to break into their heavily fortified vault. The family’s only chance of survival is Santa Claus (Harbour), who hands out some violent vengeance against the ne’er-do-wells seeking to ruin Christmas.

As high concept a movie as they come, Violent Night nevertheless delivers a satisfying dose of over-the-top action and deliberately-cheesy one liners. It may not be the greatest Christmas movie ever made, but it’s no doubt one of the most original — an opinion shared by most critics, who gifted the movie with mostly positive reviews.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%
IMDb score: 6.9

Broker

Released way back in the summer, the South Korean drama, Broker, finally arrives in theaters abroad this coming weekend. A contender at this year’s Cannes Film Festival competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or, it’s an absolutely stunning movie that will leave you shaken and rattled.

Ha Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho) and Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won) are two best friends who run an illegal side hustle. Every once in a while, the pair will steal a baby left behind in an adoption box, selling it on the black market for parents unable to adopt children through the state.

After nearly having her baby stolen by the two, a young mother (Lee Ji-eun) opts to tag along with them, seeing for herself what her baby’s adoptive parents will be like.

There are many words that might immediately jump to mind when reading that premise — dark, macabre, mean-spirited being the foremost among them. However, the beauty of Broker is how well the movie maneuvers around its main concept, handling it with sensitivity and verve (a feature nearly every critic applauded upon the movie’s summer release).

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
IMDb score: 7.1

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Musical documentaries have been very much in vogue this past year, likely stemming from the critical acclaim heaped onto Disney+’s The Beatles: Get Back. This weekend, you’ll be able to look forward to one more musical documentary joining the fray — Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody.

Taking you on a journey through the life and career of legendary R&B singer Whitney Houston, I Wanna Dance with Somebody chronicles how Houston went from relative obscurity to a major pillar in the music industry.

As heartwarming as its portrayal of Houston’s life is, I Wanna Dance with Somebody has earned mostly divided reviews from critics. Most felt the film relied on the same basic outline used by other music documentaries before it, doing little to set itself apart from other projects like Get Back or Moonage Daydream.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 42%
IMDb score: 6.7

Empire of Light

Set in 1980s coastal England, a middle-aged movie theater usher (Olivia Colman) and a new employee (Michael Ward) form an emotional connection with one another, in spite of their personal differences.

Sam Mendes is one of the more underrated directors working today. His past movies (1917, American Beauty, Skyfall) have all won notable acclaim and various international prizes, but he doesn’t necessarily come up in the same breath with other filmmakers working today.

As impressive as Mendes’ previous filmography has been, Empire of Light is a bit of a disappointing follow-up to Mendes’ award-winning 1917. The performances of the cast have been called the movie’s finest feature, with critics viewing the tone and storyline of the movie uneventful and more than a little boring.

Where to watch: In theaters for a limited time
Rotten Tomatoes score: 43%
IMDb score: 6.6

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

In the wake of T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) passing, the people of Wakanda reluctantly come to terms with their monarch’s death, facing the threat of invasion from the recently-reemerged civilization of Talokan.

Few celebrity tragedies measure up to the unexpected passing of Chadwick Boseman in 2020. His death was a complete shock to movie fans worldwide, robbing audiences of a one-of-a-kind actor who had his entire future ahead of him.

Handling the subject of Boseman’s death in an emotional yet tasteful way, Wakanda Forever has earned significant praise amongst critics, many claiming it directly rivals the acclaim of the first Black Panther movie. Boseman’s presence in the film is sorely missed, but his fellow stars do a great job carrying the franchise forward.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%
IMDb score: 7.4

The Menu

Ironically arriving to theaters shortly before Thanksgiving, The Menu is a bite-sized dark comedy film that packs a wallop in regards to its satirical subject matter.

Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) are a young affluent couple who venture to an isolated island restaurant run by the enigmatic celebrity chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes). Together with the other wealthy guests, Margot and Tyler are surprised to find the night’s meal far more eventful than they originally expected.

The high-concept premise of The Menu might make it seem doomed to fail, but its inventiveness, wit, and no-holds-barred satire helps it resonate with viewers in more ways than one. The Menu has been met with phenomenal reviews, critics singling out the comedic elements of the film.

Where to watch: In theaters/On HBO Max
Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
IMDb score: 7.5

The Fabelmans

For all the movies he’s made since his debut in 1974, Steven Spielberg has rarely touched upon his own background prior to becoming a successful Hollywood director. With The Fabelmans, that all changes, with Spielberg offering a moving portrait of his early life and his relationship with his parents.

Set in post-WW2 Arizona, the film follows aspiring filmmaker Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LeBelle/Mateo Zoryon Francis-DeFord) from childhood to young adulthood. As Sammy copes with a shocking family secret, he also learns how his dependence on making movies can help him cope.

One of the rare films Spielberg had a hand in writing (along with Pulitzer-winner Tony Kushner), The Fabelmans has been met with overwhelmingly positive reviews, serving as an effective exploration of Spielberg’s early years and what drew him to movies in the first place.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
IMDb score: 8.3

Bones and All

Who would’ve ever thought a story about cannibals could be so romantic? But in director Luca Guadagnino’s very capable hands, Bones and All never comes across as gimmicky or high concept, existing as a tender, haunting, and equally terrifying story about otherness and living on the edge of society’s margins.

Maren (Taylor Russell) is a young woman whose instinctive craving for human flesh forces to go on the run. Meeting the similar-minded drifter Lee (Timothée Chalamet), the two form a friendship over their unusual diet — a friendship that grows deeper and more meaningful with time.

A cross between a love story, a creature feature, a road film, and a coming of age movie, Bones and All has been released to extremely enthusiastic reviews. Many have praised the film for its depiction of unusual subject matter, its breathtaking cinematography, and the amazing performances of the cast (Russell, Chalamet, Mark Rylance, and Michael Stuhlbarg)

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
IMDb score: 7.1

Tár

An ambitious and awe-inspiring psychological drama, Tár is at once an acting tour de force for star Cate Blanchett, as well as an engrossing meditation on power, art, and Ahab-levels of obsession.

Lydia Tár (Blanchett) is the acclaimed classical composer and chief conductor of a celebrated German orchestra. As she prepares for her inevitable rise to career prominence, she deals with various issues in her personal and professional life, threatening her ascension in the world of high art.

The premise for Tár might seem a bit dry or pretentious, but critics have universally hailed the film for its story, themes, and the performances of its lead cast (especially Blancett). It’s been toted as both a visual and audio marvel of filmmaking, with reviewers encouraging moviegoers to see it on the biggest screen possible.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
IMDb score: 8.2

Comedy

For movie fans who love to laugh.

The Banshees of Inisherin

Fourteen years after their previous collaboration on 2008’s In Bruges, Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and director Martin McDonagh once again pair up for McDonagh’s long-gestating dark comedy, The Banshees of Inisherin.

On a remote island off the coast of Ireland, Pádraic (Farrell) and Colm (Gleeson) are two best friends whose relationship comes to a standstill when Colm impulsively decides to break off all ties with Pádraic.

A film as wickedly funny as McDonagh’s previous projects (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), The Banshees of Inisherin earned rave reviews upon its premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.

Where to watch: In theaters, HBO Max & VOD.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
IMDb score: 8.3

Triangle of Sadness

The winner of this year’s prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Triangle of Sadness is an absurdist and comedic look at wealth, class divisions, and social privilege in a unique and poignant way.

In the middle of a dangerous storm, a luxurious private cruise filled with uber-rich, elitist passengers find themselves shipwrecked on a deserted island. While there, the power dynamic among the survivors shifts, favoring the ship’s more able-bodied crew than the upper-class vacationers.

One part Lord of the Flies, one part HBO’s White Lotus, Triangle of Sadness is a brutally frank satire for the modern age. Like director Ruben Östlund’s previous film, The Square, it’s smart, terse, and illuminates the socioeconomic divides between the average person and the super-wealthy.

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 71%
IMDb score: 7.8

Horror

For those looking for a good scare – one way or another.

Skinamarink

In the middle of the night, two young brothers wake up to find their father missing and all of the windows and doorways in the house mysteriously absent.

It’s not often a movie featuring young protagonists truly allows you to see from their perspective, infecting you with the same fears you had in childhood that faded with time (fear of the dark, most especially).

But Skinamarink brilliantly looks back to those childhood fears we all had, reducing us to legitimate terror by simply showing a dark, empty hallway while a voice eerily resonates from off-screen. It’s a highly original movie, and one that critics have been extremely complimentary towards.

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 73%
IMDb score: 5.2

The Devil Conspiracy

Horror movies rooted in Christianity are hardly a new thing. But every so often, a movie that makes use of Christian text comes along that’s so outlandish, it’s almost beyond belief. Such a description best applies to The Devil Conspiracy, a religious oddity in the worst way imaginable.

When a shady biotech group manages to obtain Jesus Christ’s DNA, the archangel Michael (Peter Mensah) comes to Earth, hoping to stop the company before it successfully creates an evil clone of the Savior.

Only a handful of critics have seen The Devil Conspiracy so far, but nearly all of them have pointedly dismissed the movie, relegating it to the same unremarkable breed of movies as End of Days, The Prophecy, and The Ninth Gate.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 50%
IMDb score: 7.9

Drama

For those looking for something a little more emotional.

The Son

There’s no question that Hugh Jackman is an actor of profound talent and dramatic range. Within the span of a few years, he’s proven himself capable of hopping from a musical comedy to headlining an R-rated superhero movie. Yet for as versatile as Jackman is, he’s not immune to the occasional weak film, as The Son most assuredly is.

Close to achieving the ideal life he always dreamed for himself, Peter (Jackman) tries his best to balance work and his personal life at home, which is thrown into disarray when his son (Zen McCrath) from a previous marriage arrives looking for a place to stay.

Premiering at last year’s Venice Film Festival, The Son was released to mostly mixed reviews. Critics were quick to compliment the movie for its exceptional performances (most especially Jackman and his co-stars Laura Dern and Anthony Hopkins), but were largely hostile to the movie’s weak script and McCrath’s acting.

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 34%
IMDb score: 6.2

Corsage

Films touching upon European monarchies can be either very good or too dry for most audience members to get a handle on. Judging from early reviews, Corsage fortunately falls into the former category, existing as an effective character study of a little-known figure in European history.

With her 40th birthday on the horizon, Austrian Empress Elisabeth (Vicky Krieps) begins acting out a bit more, undergoing a midlife crisis and obsessing over what she believes are her fleeting good looks.

A lesson in vanity, Corsage is a well-done, atmospheric film that effortlessly transports you back to the mid 19th century. The film has been acclaimed for its unique approach to the historical period drama, and for Krieps’ outstanding performance as the troubled monarch at the heart of the movie.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
IMDb score: 6.8

Aftersun

There’s a reason A24 is practically synonymous with the indie film industry in this day and age. Time and time again, they’ve released films that are narratively complex and emotionally gripping, with A24’s newest film, Aftersun, no exception.

Sophie (Celia Rowlson-Hall) is a young woman who looks back at a childhood trip to Turkey she took with her father (Paul Mescal). As she wades through memory and fantasy, she comes to terms with the man her father actually was rather than the idolized version of him she kept in her head for the past few decades.

Aftersun may not have received a ton of critical attention so far, but critics who have seen the movie have commended it for its raw emotion, themes, and performances. It’s been nominated or received awards at various indie film festivals since its premiere, and is no doubt another huge win for A24.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97
IMDb score: 7.5

Thriller

For audience members who want to be on the edge of their seats throughout.

The Old Way

At this point, it’s almost become a joke that Nicolas Cage agrees to star in every movie he’s pitched. But in all seriousness, that’s only a slightly exaggerated version of the truth, with Cage starring in the meta-comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and two separate Westerns in the past year — the most recent of which is The Old Way.

After his wife is killed by an old adversary seeking revenge, an infamous gunfighter (Cage) and his daughter (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) set out to find the man responsible.

The Old Way is far from the most original Western to come out recently, but hardcore Nicolas Cage fans might find plenty to enjoy about this reasonably fast-paced revenge film (although most critics strapped the movie with mixed to negative reviews).

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 29%
IMDb score: 

Alice, Darling

It might be tough managing to see Alice, Darling right now — the movie having been slated for a limited release window starting December 30, receiving a full theatrical run later in January. However, if you’re anywhere near a theater showing this movie and you’re a massive fan of Anna Kendrick, we recommend checking this little-talked-about thriller while you can.

While on a vacation with her closest friends, Alice (Kendrick) comes to terms with how troubling her relationship is to her psychologically abusive boyfriend, Simon (Charlie Carrick). Opting to break the relationship off, Alice must contend with her fears surrounding the mentally unstable Simon.

Movies exploring toxic relationships always make for interesting subject matter, with Alice, Darling being no exception. Led by an absolutely engrossing Kendrick, the movie manages to touch upon the subject in an enlightening yet sensitive way, accounting its mostly positive reviews thus far from critics.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
IMDb score: 7.2

Mystery

For movie fans who love a good mystery.

Decision To Leave

Director Park Chan-wook’s movies aren’t for everyone, but for the past 30 years, the respected South Korean filmmaker has cultivated a steady following of fans for his unwaveringly brutal, darkly comic films. Like his best movies (Oldboy, Lady Vengeance, and The Handmaiden), Decision to Leave is just one illustration of how phenomenal a director Park is.

Detective Hae-jun (Park Hae-il) is sent to investigate the mysterious and apparently accidental death of a man who fell from a mountain peak. Trying to find out if the man was pushed or whether he truly did slip, Hae-jun begins to develop romantic feelings for his main suspect: the man’s widow (Tang Wei).

Most of the reviews for Decision to Leave have been positive, although most critics felt the movie didn’t match the same quality as some of Park’s earlier films. However, those same critics lauded the film for its complexity, darkness, and ability to blend multiple genres into one cohesive film (including mystery, thriller, neonoir, and romance).

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
IMDb score: 7.3

Popular Re-Releases

Iconic movies that are headed for the big screen for a limited time.

Roman Holiday

Returning to theaters to celebrate its 70th anniversary is Roman Holiday. A beloved romantic comedy and a classic from the Golden Age of Hollywood, it’s a cinematic achievement in every conceivable way, serving as the blueprint for virtually every rom com that came after it.

Ann (Aubrey Hepburn) is a European princess trying to enjoy the sites of Rome on her own. After happening across an American reporter (Gregory Peck) interested in an interview, the two immediately begin to develop a mutual attraction to one another that only grows with time.

Few romantic comedies have seen as marvelous a cinematic pairing as Hepburn and Peck. Like Bogart and Bergman, Allen and Keaton, or DiCaprio and Winslet, the two radiate such intense warmth and longing for one another that it’s almost impossible not to be won over by their affection towards each other.

Where to watch: In theaters/On Paramount+ and VOD
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
IMDb score: 8

Grab your tickets ahead of time and skip the lines at the theater.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.


Richard Chachowski is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. He loves reading, his dog Tootsie, and pretty much every movie to ever exist (especially Star Wars).


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A Tribute to Bubba (2011-2023)

 

This afternoon, at 4.25pm, a light went out of our lives. Our beloved miniature schnauzer Bubba died.

Back in mid October John took Bubba to the vet as he seemed to have lost a lot of weight and his appetite wasn’t what it was. Over the next few weeks all sorts of tests were carried out, and eventually he was diagnosed with a tumour on his lungs at the beginning of December and we were told it was terminal. It was a huge shock.

We didn’t expect him to make it until Christmas, let alone the second half of January. Strangely, until today he wasn’t in any pain or discomfort. His breathing became laboured but he was alert, cheerful and had quality of life. But his appetite diminished even further and his body weight reduced from 8kg to under 6kg. By the end he was all skin and bones. But he was still the same loveable little dog who has been such a major part of our lives for the last eleven and a half years. This morning we realized that he had changed. He could barely walk and was clearly starting to feel discomfort. We always knew when it would be time to let go, and today was that time. Neither of us can bare to see any animal suffer, let alone one that we have cared for for so long. The end was very serene. As Bradley, our very caring vet, did the necessary, John had lovingly cupped his head in his hands, as I stroked him. He looked up into our eyes as if he was totally at peace with what was about to happen. We both regarded it as not only the right thing to do, but our final act of love for him. John was calm. I was in floods of tears.

bubba

We then brought our Jack Russell, Dude, into the room and allowed him to see Bubba’s body and sniff him. We had been advised that dog’s don’t understand sudden disappearance but do comprehend death, even if they don’t grieve like humans. To be honest, he seemed rather disinterested and unaffected, which the vet said was completely normal. But since then, he’s been quite subdued. He’s lying on the couch beside me, as I type this.

Bubba and Dude have spent almost their whole lives together. We got them a week apart in September 2011, when they were both about six weeks old. They have since then been inseparable, never having spent a night apart, so there will be a period of adjustment for Dude, without doubt.

bubba dude

Their relationship has been a joy to watch. Only once have they had a viscous fight. Otherwise they have always got on really well. Dude is the most intelligent dog I have ever known, whereas Bubba, it has to be said, was a little intellectually challenged. But adorable with it.

He came from a Schnauzer breeder in Upminster. A few weeks earlier we had lost our beloved Jack Russell, Gio. Initially we had decided we wouldn’t get another dog, but we both found the house so empty and after a few weeks we decided that we would get two puppies, so if we ever had to leave them alone, they would have each other for company. It was a great decision, not that they’ve ever been left alone much.

I remember the first time I met Bubba. We went to the breeder’s house. It reeked of dog. There were schnauzers everywhere. It was not a breed of dog I knew much about and if I’m honest, I wasn’t keen. I loved Jack Russells and wanted two of them. But as soon as I saw Bubba I was instantly smitten. Bear in mind at this stage he was probably only three weeks old. I could hold him in the palm of my hand. I remember lying back on the breeder’s couch and he went to sleep on my stomach.

Bubba

He was supposed to be pedigree, but it turned out he had jaws which didn’t match, so even if he had been a viscous dog (which he most certainly was not) he could never have bitten anyone even if he had wanted to.

A few weeks later we brought him home and he and Dude met for the first time. We recorded the event on video.

 

 

There are three more videos of that first meeting HERE.

In 2012 we rented a big house in Brancaster on the north Norfolk coast for a nine day long house party. Bubba was in his element. He was only a year old. We would take them both for a walk on Brancaster beach every day and let them off the lead. Each day they would run off just that little bit further. Towards the end of the week they ended up running off over the sand dunes. I’ll always remember John in a blind panic and falling over in the sand as he tried to get them back. They did, of course, eventually come back, but I will admit to being a bit worried. A year later we bought a house in Norfolk, with a walled garden. Bubba hated the three hour car journey but absolutely loved the garden when he got there. He’d spend hours sniffing around and one of my favourite pictures is of him on top of the railway sleepers which house what I laughingly call our vegetable garden.

Bubba

I’ll always remember his love of burrowing into the molehills that would appear on our lawn from time to time, and them running into the house looking all innocent but with the telltale molehill dirt still stick to his beard. They both also loved to sit in the kitchen window and bark at anyone or anything that passed by, as you will see here!

 

 

Bubba did love his sleep. And his favourite place to sleep was in my “hole”. I think I had better explain. In our sitting room in Kent, John has his sofa, and I have mine. Where I sit on my sofa, a dip in the cushion has developed, which somehow has become known as my “hole”, and Bubba regarded it as his favourite place in the whole world. He would curl up in it and sleep for hours, until I would reclaim my territory! But Dude would always gravitate to John’s sofa and Bubba to mine.

Brancaster Bubba & Dude

Bubba also had a really endearing little habit. Each evening, after he’d had his meal, he would come into the sitting room. Stand on the rug and stare at me for a few seconds. They he would lay down, get on his back and wriggle. I videoed the last time he did it, about ten days ago. It wasn’t the full routine, but when it finished on this final occasion, he just trotted off through the door into the kitchen. I remember shedding a tear at the time, as it seemed very symbolic. Watch it HERE.

Bubba, Dude, Lammas

Both of the dogs are very much creatures of habit. They like their food at the same mealtimes each day. They don’t like it when I have football on the TV. They definitely don’t like it when West Ham score a goal and I cheer. Not that there’s been much of that lately. You know when you get a dog that this day will come. It goes with the territory. But that doesn’t numb the pain. If you’re not a pet owner you probably can’t understand how all-consuming the grief is. Contrary to what people sometimes allege, dogs are not child substitutes for gay people. I never wanted children anyway. But they are members of your family. And now we’ve lost him.

Wedding Day Bubba Dude Iain John

Bubba definitely had his favourite people. Our friends Daniel, Jenny and Tony were three of them. He was also always so excited to see them. He’d jump up on their laps and give their faces a good licking. Bubba was never a lapdog, but he’d spend hours asleep on Jenny’s lap. One of the saddest pictures I have is of Bubba watching Jenny go down the stairs after she said goodbye to him for the last time a fortnight ago. 

Bubba Jenny

Since Bubba’s diagnosis, hundreds of you have sent your good wishes. John and I are incredibly grateful, and so would Bubba be. He’d want to give each of you a good lick.

James Clarke Bubba Dude

All we can do now is get on with what will be normal life. But life without Bubba. We’ll be on full Dude watch to ensure he gets a lot of extra love.

THIS VIDEO was taken at Christmas, mainly because I wanted a real memory of him, and my love for him. I just watched it again and of course welled up. It sums him up. Perfection.

 

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Pep Guardiola bemoans lack of passion, fire and desire following ‘comfortable’ Man City’s comeback win over Tottenham

Pep Guardiola launched an astonishing criticism of his players following Manchester City’s comeback win over Tottenham.

The Premier League champions came from two down at half-time to win 4-2 but Guardiola was left frustrated by the missing “passion, fire and desire” from his team – qualities that he believes leaders Arsenal possess.

“I cannot deny how happy we are, but we are far away from the team that we were,” he told Sky Sports in his interview with Pat Davison.

“Not in terms of play, we played good enough but there are many things like competitiveness, in terms of what we have to do in many things that we are far away.

“Rico Lewis conceded four fouls, but they weren’t yellow cards because it’s Rico Lewis and we don’t react. We play because ‘my manager told me to play this and how to do this’, but there’s nothing from the stomach or the gut.

“Today, we were lucky but it wouldn’t change, sooner or later we are again [going] to drop points. [We are missing] passion, fire and desire and to win from minute one.

“It’s the same with our fans, they are silent for 45 minutes. They booed because we were losing, not because we played badly. We played good, we had more chances, expected goals from Tottenham is 0.89 so we were better.

“They booed because we were losing, but maybe it’s the same as our team. Maybe we were so comfortable winning four Premier League’s in five years and that’s why we… you know. After the goal, they react, but that’s not the point.”

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Tottenham

Asked whether the fire has gone out in his Manchester City players, Guardiola added: “Definitely. Otherwise we wouldn’t concede the goals we concede in every single game. We give them [the goals] and today we were lucky but after, we will not be lucky.”

How do City get it back? “That is my duty, my job. I want my fans back, I want my fans here. Not my away fans, they are the best, but my fans here [at the Etihad]. The support for every corner and every action and support it. We have to do it, but everyone is relaxed.

“The Premier League doesn’t wait. We have the opening with Arsenal and they have the fire.

“Two decades, they haven’t won the Premier League and every player knows they will make history, like we felt when we won the first Premier League and broke all the records and won back to back.

“We don’t have the fire inside and we don’t have to ask anything, I just explained the reality that everything is so comfortable. And the opponents don’t wait. Of course I’m not [happy with my team]. I don’t recognise my team. My team always has passion and desire and run and everything.”

Richards: It was scathing by Pep

“It was scathing, wasn’t it,” Micah Richards told Sky Sports. “When we normally see Pep’s interviews, they’re very sarcastic, but today he came out and it was almost like he was saying he’s had enough of the situation of producing something so good, but no one seems to be satisfied.

“When you start going and talking about the fans, it’s a difficult situation. When the fans boo, it’s never acceptable, but it’s like he’s taken that really personally. I thought that interview was like he’s at the end of his tether.”

Carragher: It was a brilliant interview

“It was a brilliant interview,” Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports. “Pep Guardiola has not been in this position that often where he feels he has to send a rocket to everyone.

“Not many managers can get away with criticising their own supporters. Jurgen Klopp did it in his early time at Liverpool when a lot of supporters left before the end of the game. He’ll be fine, he’s not going to lose the supporters, he’s God here to supporters and he knows that.”

‘We are a happy flowers team’ | ‘Arsenal will destroy us’

Guardiola reiterated many of the points made in his Sky Sports interview when speaking in the press conference immediately afterwards, describing City as a ‘happy flowers’ team and insisting that Arsenal will “destroy” them unless they change.

“I’m incredibly happy but if we don’t change we are not going to win anything. I have to see my team. The love in our life is to have passion for something – our fans are comfortable, we are comfortable.

“Are you going to tell me we played bad in that first half? Absolutely not.

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Dejan Kulusevski jumps on an Ederson error to give Tottenham the lead.

“We have the problem that we have four Premier Leagues in five years and Arsenal have two decades without the Premier League except Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko and every ball and every action and every corner and every duel it’s there. We miss it. We don’t have it.

“Do you think I said something special at half-time? Play bad? No. We always play good. But there is something that’s not about that. We give the goals [away]. Today it was Edi or Rodri. The next day it will be a fight back and then a central defender and so on.

“Of course you have to do it. I want the passion from Julian, from Rico, from Nathan.

“Right now we don’t have it.

“The fans – they come here and we have to give them [something to be excited about]. They expect ‘oh, we’re Manchester City, we have to do it’. No, we don’t have it right now.

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Emerson Royal gives Tottenham a shock 2-0 lead at the Etihad against Manchester City.

“The tendency of the human being when you’ve won a lot is ‘ah, I should do this, I should do that’. No you have to work. You have to put fire there – in every ball, in every action, in every situation.

“If we want to do something we have to come back.

“This is a challenge. I want it.

“Our fans have to push us, demand more, have to shout: ‘Come on guys, I know how good you are, you have to show us.’

“We come, score a goal. No. It cannot be 0-2 down to react. Nine times out of 10 you don’t come back. Today we were lucky. We are not able to come back every time.

“I want a reaction for all the club, the whole organisation – not just the players, the staff and everyone. We’re a happy flowers team. Happy flowers, ah it’s good. No I don’t want to be a happy flower. I want to beat Arsenal.

“But if we play in that way Arsenal will destroy us. Arsenal will beat us.

“I want to see my team.”

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