Scientists seek new ways to combat Florida’s growing ‘red tide’

Scientists in Florida are on the cusp of developing promising methods to control toxic algae blooms like the “red tide” that has been killing marine life along a 150-mile (240-km) stretch of the Gulf Coast, the head of a leading marine lab said on Wednesday.


Reuters: Science News

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‘Dead Cells’ Review: Carefully Crafted Combat Meets Random Levels

While many games today seem to release and then (hopefully) get fixed later, Dead Cells has been functional and fun for so long that it’s almost as if developer Motion Twin forgot to hit the release button. Marrying gorgeous pixel art with skill-based combat and cleverly randomised levels, this is a dangerously replayable action game that you can gorge on in long stretches or just in 20 exhilarating minutes before work.

Take a deep breath, because we’re about to say the name of the genre. Dead Cells is the latest in the 2D pixel art metroidvania Soulslike roguelite action platformer to hit Steam. Video games, eh? It’s a subgenre of a sub-sub-subgenre that actually manages to define more than a few other games on the horizon. It turns out people just can’t get enough of that sweet, sweet, Soulsy combat.


Dead Cells player and enemy swing at each other

Still — seems like a contradiction, doesn’t it? How can a roguelite with randomly generated levels also be a metroidvania, a genre known for its meticulously crafted and explorable worlds?

The solution, like most of what Dead Cells offers, fees like a greatest hits of other games that’s somehow evolved into its own unique thing.

The Random Worlds of Dead Cells

Dead Cells achieves this by splitting everything up into different biomes. From The Sewers, to the Black Bridge, to the Clock Tower, these areas all have their own tilesets and enemies. The content within each is randomised every playthrough, but there are reliable constants. When you arrive at The Ramparts – a section of rooftops and towers patrolled by archers and mages – it’ll always be a lower level area with appropriately scaled gear.

As you’d expect from a roguelike, players have a degree of control over which biomes they visit. Once you’ve obtained the ability to climb vines, or use statues to teleport, or even wall climb, these permanent skills let you access the previously inaccessible. Find the shortcut, and these abilities effectively effectively let you skip a few biomes.

All of that spells more variety — though hell, even the repetition is fun in this game. Even going through areas we’ve beaten hundreds of times before, we didn’t get bored of them. It’s easy to lose yourself into that Soulslike flow when you’ve mastered an area and spend hours cutting through its enemies like so much butter.

Whether you’re exploring the new, or dominating the old, it’s just a different kind of fun. In Dead Cells, the latter becomes about beating each area quickly, as opposed to just beating them. Why? Because timed rewards are waiting for those who go from slow to flow.


Dead Cells randomised island game review
Every time we look at the island it seems different. Almost random…

Combat to Repeatedly Die For

We’re still playing this game a year after its Early Access launch, and that simply wouldn’t be the case if it didn’t rest on a rock solid combat system. Based on the “Souls roll,” hitting the dodge button here will grant you a second of invulnerability.

Each weapon has its own moveset but importantly, these carry different systems for critical attacks as well. It’s a unique system that gives each weapon an interesting playstyle and individual flavour.

Take the rapier for example, which crits after dodge rolls. Or the War Spear, which crits if it hits two enemies at the same time. The Twin Daggers crit on the third hit in their combo, and the Whip only crits on targets at the maximum thwack range.


Dead Cells early game boss fight
Did you just pull a Morpheus?

You may have noticed each of these has a nugget of risk/reward baked in. They also have different timings, such as a slightly longer attack animation on the Twin Daggers’ third strike. On top of this, all gear will come with randomised modifiers, which will be music to any Diablo fan’s ears.

Players will balance weapon moveset familiarity with stats and synergies, each respawn an opportunity for ad-hoc theorycrafting. It satisfies cravings for both action and strategy in each playthrough.

Perhaps you’re more comfortable with the Balanced Blade’s moveset, but that slower Oiled Sword might couple nicely with the Fire Grenade you just picked up? Every level has a series of interesting decisions for you to make while the clock is still ticking.

Floodgated Content

It’s also a game that has a surprising amount to do. There are new biomes and bosses waiting for you as you get further and further into the island, but it doesn’t stop there. Beyond the main game and its copious unlocks, the developers have been adding different ways to have fun.

For those who want to show off – or perhaps just need to catch a bus – Dead Cells is built from the ground up for speedrunning. Though “official” speedrunning rules would operate differently (Dead Cells pauses the timer in between levels while you upgrade), it’s neat being able to see how long each level has taken and each biome comes with a treasure room that can only be opened before a specific time.


Dead Cells start of game unlocks display
That is…a lot of unlocks.

There’s also the daily challenge, another randomised gauntlet with a unique scoring system. This mode incorporates how many enemies you can take out while also keeping an eye on the clock. Seeing yourself at the top of the daily leaderboards will require you to keep that kill combo speed buff going for as long as possible.

It’s hard to even talk about Dead Cells without sounding like a midnight shopping service – “but wait, there’s more!” – and just a few days ago Motion Twin threw a bunch more shiny new features onto the stack. Support was just added for modders which is always great for longevity, and expect Twitch streamers to be using fun gimmicks like requiring the chat to issue commands to open chests for them.


The Watcher boss in Dead Cells
Limbo as much as you want, I still see you.

Is Dead Cells Good?

We’ve seen Motion Twin add new bosses, levels, weapons, enemies, items, modifiers, and more over the last fourteen months. There’ve been redesigns, balance updates, and even a few less popular features removed outright to make sure the game flowed nicely.

It’s mainly a result of listening to its community — a practice that Motion Twin might be uniquely placed to do, given its novel structure in which every employee owns the same portion of the company. “Same pay, same say” for everyone, according to Motion Twin.

This is one of those titles we would’ve been happy with even at the start of its Early Access period. You could easily squeeze tens of hours from it back then, and over the course of fourteen months it’s just added more and more. Motion Twin could’ve flipped the “1.0” switch at any point to rapturous applause from its community.

Lucky you then, dear reader, if you haven’t yet dipped into this insta-classic. Dead Cells is an example of how to do things right in so many ways. How to do Early Access. How to listen to your community. How to take inspiration from games while growing into your own style. It also happens to be the best time to jump in and ride the content train that’s sure to keep rolling for a long time to come.

‘Dead Cells’ Was Supposed to Be in a Different Genre

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Combat Comparison: Arkham vs Spider-Man PS4

Here’s a confession: we swung into the PS4 exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man skeptical of its combat system. Being hardened veterans of three Batman Arkham games (and a spin-off), we’d developed an attachment to Rocksteady Studios’ rhythmic, standard-setting fights.

Watching E3 2018 footage made us suspect that Spidey was doing a me-too. But playing the game shows the AI, environment, and combo systems to be decidedly different. When a problem comes along Peter Parker not only thwips it good, he can do it in his own inimitable style…


Spider-Man web swing environment combat PS4 2018
Spidey realises he’s missed today’s copy of The Daily Bugle, grabs one for the crossword.

The Spider-Man PS4 approach to combat has some passing similarities to Rocksteady’s framework but you’ll find it becomes its own beast in a very short amount of time. For starters, the goals for fighting here are more about improvisation and acrobatics.

The bat is a blunt instrument whose no-nonsense, Krav Maga-esque style is borne from a lack of super powers. Conversely, Spidey can more or less defy gravity to run rings around any non-metahuman mook who stumbles into his web.

Anyone watching the Spider-Man PS4 trailer might assume the combat is more like than unlike Arkham’s trendsetter, but the differences start showing as soon as you pick up the controller.

Peter Parkour Beats Batty Brawls

The concept is simple: Peter Parker is a showy, smart-ass brawler with enhanced awareness of his surroundings and the webshooter means to make incidental objects work for him. Batman had a few limited ideas about hurling stuff and people about with his grapple gun but he’s an amateur compared to the smart-as-a-thwip resourcefulness of Spider-Man.

It seems like this is the next evolution for this fighting system. Spider-Man on PS4 makes it incredibly easy and effective to weaponise the world around you. Yanking things like racks down onto thugs, or express delivering a mailbox into a villain’s face is a great way to even the odds early.


Spider-Man high kick vs enemy in combat on PS4
Woah. Dude, hold up for a second. Let me just get this gum off your shoe.

Honestly, the first thing we’d do in any brouhaha would be to quickly twist the camera around to see if a telltale “L1+R1” marker was painted on anything. Hopefully there’ll be a manhole cover nearby for you. It’s the perfect gift to give a goon (at about 100 km/h).

It’s also worth noting that we cranked the difficulty setting right up to “Spectacular” just to see how durable Parker would be against some low-level mobsters. We could eat a total of four knuckle sandwiches before needing to take a post-meal nap.

This gave him roughly the same durability as the Bat on his toughest difficulty setting, but Arkham’s combat wins here vs the 2018 Spider-Man due to its small vignette upon death. By contrast, no arch nemesis will talk trash to Spidey when he punches out. It’s just a no fuss checkpoint reload.

Different Decisions in Swarming Systems

We punched our way through hordes of bad guys – typically half a dozen at a time – until something occurred to us. Insomniac’s enemies are much more ruthless and willing to swarm you in a dog pile, whereas the Arkham series affords Batman a bit more fear, respect, and distance to do his work. As Spidey you’ll be much more hard-pressed to mash out a full, uninterrupted combo on one particular baddie.

Get too personal with one enemy and you’ll be painting a bullseye on your pancreas – opportunists will run in from behind, essentially shoulder to shoulder with one another. Fighting on solid ground and on even terms with criminals is the fastest way to get Spidey splatted.


Spider-Man kicks enemy in face in PS4 combat
The old backflip kick to the face trick. Also known in horrendous pun circles as The Bruce Leap.

You’re way better off thumping into somebody a few times and then displacing out of the swarm to resume your assault from an outside vector. Getting clear is easy enough, thanks to a dodge button on circle (and your Spidey sense’s “incoming attack” warning).

But even with the new telegraphing mechanic in Spider-Man PS4, we found ourselves getting tagged mid-evasion more often than any Arkham game. You’ll find more success from tapping X to leap straight upwards and then square will Tarzan sling you forward with your boot stretched out. It’s a move highly reminiscent of Spidey’s Web Swing special move in the Marvel vs. Capcom series.

Spider-Man PS4 Gets More Air

Failing this, Spidey is into air-launchers in a way that Batman never was. If you’re new to the concept, a launcher is essentially an almighty uppercut that shifts the assault a few metres into the air. In the PS4 Spider-Man it’s an incredibly effective way to isolate a person of interest for a one-on-one drubbing. The only way your beat down (beat up?) can be interrupted now is by a bullet (but you can see a ghostly warning trajectory of that gunshot before the trigger gets pulled).

Better yet, while you’re upstairs in hang time you’ve got a means to crowd control even more. Any fly caught in your mid-air web can be flung down at the mob waiting below you. If you’re lucky, the human projectile will smack another victim far away from the pack thus giving you a new window with this newly isolated prey. Divide and conquer. All the way.


Focus bar reaches full and Spider-Man can do a finisher attack PS4 combat 2018
Don’t start something on the streets if you can’t…uh, finisher it.

Arkham Freeflow vs Spider-Man Focus

Kick enough butt to rack up a 20x combo and you’ll fill one bar of a three-tier Focus meter. Much like the Arkham series this will earn you an instant finisher move on triangle + circle. This is where the fun begins.

In our opinion, Insomniac’s animation system handles these moments with greater panache and fluidity. With the Arkham series you’d spot the occasional odd-looking roundhouse kick that seemed connect-the-dots rather than kinetic. We never once felt or saw that disconnect in Marvel’s Spider-Man. 

Whichever way you look at it, Batman: Arkham Knight and Marvel’s Spider-Man both share a bit of DNA but the billionaire in the batsuit and the kid jacked up on radioactive spider venom each do different things.

It’s perhaps an unfair comparison — 2018’s PS4 Spider-Man is better, but it’s standing on the shoulders of the Arkham giant. Insomniac has effectively taken the best combat system in gaming and air-launcher-uppercutted it to a higher benchmark of slickness and satisfaction. It’s sheer criminal arse-kicking catharsis. That launch day can’t come soon enough.

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India’s Central Bank Lifts Rate For Second Straight Meeting To Combat Inflation

India’s central bank lifted its key interest rate for the second straight meeting to keep a lid on inflation expectations amid robust economic growth. The Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India governed by Urjit Patel decided to lift the repo rate by a quarter-point to 6.50 percent from 6.25 percent, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday.
RTT – Economic News

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‘The Hate U Give’ Author Angie Thomas Talks About Upcoming Film and Using Love to Combat Hate

Angie Thomas’ debut novel, The Hate U Give, became an instant success, topping The New York Times best-seller list and earning multiple literary awards shortly after its release in February 2017. The book addresses the ills of modern day racism and police brutality as seen through the lens of a 16-year-old black girl named Starr Carter. Throughout the story, Starr grapples with living in two vastly different worlds: the low-income community of color where she grew up and the predominantly white prep school she attends. Her life, however, takes a tragic turn when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend—an unarmed young, black man—at the hands of white police officers.

Although fictional, The Hate U Give depicts the brutal reality of racial profiling and discrimination that people of color face. It’s also reflective of the constant exposure that young people have to the killings of black and brown bodies by police in real-time via social media, like Philando Castile, whose death was live-streamed on Facebook, and Eric Garner, who was recorded on a mobile phone taking his last breaths as police choked him to death.

novel

Photo Credit: AngieThomas.com

Censoring Literature

While Thomas has been applauded for tackling controversial themes in The Hate U Give, some critics argue that the social context is divisive and inappropriate for young adults. In fact, police in Charleston, South Carolina, have made a concerted effort to ban the book from a summer reading program for students at Wando High School. According to the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Tri-County Lodge #3, one of the largest police unions in the country, both The Hate U Give and All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely depict police officers in a negative light. FOP lodge president John Blackmon even went as far as to describe the books as “an indoctrination of distrust of police.”

“Whether it be through social media, whether it be through text message, whether it be phone calls, we’ve received an influx of tremendous outrage at the selections by this reading list,” said Blackmon to local news channel News 2. “Freshmen, they’re at the age where their interactions with law enforcement have been very minimal. They’re not driving yet, they haven’t been stopped for speeding, they don’t have these type of interactions.”

 

He added, “There are other socio-economic topics that are available and they want to focus half of their effort on negativity towards the police? That seems odd to me.”

Written In Love

However, in an interview with Black Enterprise, Thomas said the basis of the book was written out of love and to inspire people to become more compassionate toward each other. “There’s so much love in this. And I hope that they walk away feeling that,” she said at the 2018 Essence Festival.

Thomas also talked about her excitement for the release of the book’s film adaption, which stars Amandla Stenberg (Hunger Games), Regina Hall (Girls Trip), Algee Smith (Detroit), Russell Hornsby, Common, and Issa Rae.

“I think the movie, in a lot of ways, will be cathartic, especially for people who are dealing with this every single day. I think this is an experience that will heal in a lot of ways. And it’s going to open more eyes,” said Thomas. “I think they’re going to walk away feeling even more empowered and inspired. And if, nothing else, I hope they feel seen.”

The Hate U Give

Russell Hornsby, Angie Thomas, Regina Hall, and Amandla Stenberg at the 2018 Essence Festival Courtesy of Allied Integrated Marketing. Photo credit: Ryan Theriot)

Thomas also acknowledged that the strong social context may be triggering for some audiences, especially those who have been directly affected by police brutality or are fighting against it. “I’m never going to tell a person to go beyond their own emotional boundaries or what they feel like they can or cannot handle. But I would say, give it a shot, because if nothing else, I hope you walk away from this inspired.” She added, “You have people in the [Black Lives Matter] movement who’ve read the book, who were like ‘I wasn’t sure if I should read this book because I didn’t know if it was going to trigger me.’ But then they read it and they were like, ‘this is what I needed.’”

Ultimately, she says she hopes that both the book and the movie “create more empathy” and makes a lasting impression particularly on young women of color.

“I hope that the young black girls who go into the theater or pick up my book see themselves in it and see just how amazing they are in a world that so often tells them that they’re not enough. I hope that the movie and this book shows them that they are perfect just the way they are.”

 

The Hate U Give

Russell Hornsby, Angie Thomas, Regina Hall, and Amandla Stenberg, and George Tillman at the Ford activation at the 2018 Essence Festival (Photo credit: Ryan Theriot)

The post ‘The Hate U Give’ Author Angie Thomas Talks About Upcoming Film and Using Love to Combat Hate appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Get Well Wednesday: How To Combat Allergies And Asthma

TIPS FOR PREVENTING/MANAGING ALLERGIES AND ASTHMA

 

HOW CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAVING A COLD AND HAVING ALLERGIES?

Some allergy symptoms like congestion are also common with colds, so a lot of people have a hard time telling the difference between them. In fact, a recent survey found that nearly half of allergy sufferers (49%) find it difficult to differentiate allergies from a cold.

It also found that one-third of patients (33%) think sneezing, runny nose and congestion must signal a cold – but that’s a misconception. It’s important to understand the differences between allergies and colds, so you can get the most appropriate treatment and find the relief you need.

One of the biggest differences is duration. Cold and flu symptoms are finite and run their course in about 7-10 days. Meanwhile, allergies can wax and wane or just persist all the time. Allergies can also be more prevalent at certain times of year – so if you find yourself sniffling and sneezing at the start of spring each year, it’s probably time to see an allergist for a proper diagnosis.

Also, symptoms like itchy eyes/nose/ears are typically associated with allergies, not colds. Meanwhile, colds can involve symptoms like a sore throat and slight fever that aren’t as common with allergies. Allergy secretions also tend to run clear, whereas cold secretions may be more yellow/mucousy.

HOW ARE ALLERGIES DIAGNOSED?
Allergy diagnoses are made by board-certified allergists, based on a patient’s medical history, a physical exam and the results of an allergy test. Allergy tests are typically done as skin tests where the surface of the skin is pricked or scratched with tiny amounts of common allergens. When a scratch test cannot be performed, a blood test can also be done.

Many people may have a suspicion of their triggers based on their allergy symptoms occurring during certain times of year or around specific things like a dog or fresh-cut grass. If your symptoms are more year-round, it might be more challenging for you. But keeping a mental diary can help an allergist diagnose your triggers along with either a scratch test or blood work.

HOW CAN PEOPLE FIND OUT WHAT THEIR ALLERGY TRIGGERS ARE?

 Allergy tests detect a patient’s sensitivity to common allergy triggers, such as pollen, dust mites, animal dander, and mold. If you are sensitive to a certain allergen, you may develop redness, swelling or itching at the test site. Once the test is complete, your allergist can tell you what your individual allergy triggers are and give you advice on ways to avoid them in your daily life.

WHAT ARE THE BEST TREATMENTS FOR ALLERGIES?

 I consider the cornerstone of treating allergies to be a mix of a 24-hour oral antihistamine, an intranasal corticosteroid, and some sort of allergy eye drop. For my patients, I often recommend over-the-counter antihistamines like Allegra (which offers fast, non-drowsy relief) and Xyzal (which relieves allergies all night and all day, so you can get a better night’s sleep and have more productive day) or nasal sprays like Nasacort (which offers relief of nasal allergy symptoms like congestion). If allergic asthma is an issue, an asthma medication like an inhaler may be needed, as well. It’s important to learn about your options and find what works for you, so you can take back control.

WHY DO SOME ALLERGY SEASONS TEND TO BE WORSE THAN OTHERS?
The reality is that allergy season is getting worse each year with higher pollen levels, due in part to climate change – and this year is no different. Warmer temperatures and higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere help plants grow and produce pollen, which then trigger allergy symptoms.

Essentially, the moisture of winter followed by warmer longer days with more sunlight lead to early and vigorous pollination, which then leads to intense pollen levels when full-blown spring hits. So even if spring is “delayed,” you’re still going to experience those dreaded symptoms.

 WHAT ARE SOME HOUSE CLEANING TIPS FOR INDOOR ALLERGIES?
First, when cleaning your house, it’s a good idea to wear a face mask and gloves to avoid contact with allergens as you go. It’s also important to wash your bedding weekly in hot water to help get rid of dust mites. In addition, I recommend using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which will help ensure allergens stay sealed within the vacuum instead of blowing them back into the air.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ASTHMA?
 Common asthma symptoms include coughing, difficult breathing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing (although it’s important to know that even if wheezing is not present, asthma can still be the diagnosis). Nocturnal cough is also a classic symptom of asthma, especially in children.

CAN A PERSISTENT COUGH BE A SYMPTOM OF ALLERGIES?
Absolutely. A cough from a cold or virus should clear up in a couple of weeks. But if your cough persists or shows up consistently or in a pattern like every night in bed or each spring, it’s likely caused by an allergy.

 WHAT CAUSES ASTHMA?

Asthma can be caused by exposure to allergens like pollen. Asthma can also be caused by nonallergic factors like stress, exercise, changing seasons and temperature changes, including humid or cold weather. Asthma can also have a genetic component like all alllergic conditions.

 ARE THERE THINGS I CAN CHANGE IN MY LIFE TO REDUCE THE RISK OF ASTHMA?

Yes, you can reduce your risk by not smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke at all costs. Also, see a board-certified allergist who can help you identify your triggers, so you can minimize your exposure and start effective treatment. Compliance with your asthma plan and medications is so essential, too!

  WHAT KIND OF TESTS WILL I NEED TO MONITOR MY ASTHMA?

 Your doctor can provide you with a peak flow meter, which can give you a daily and as-needed snapshot of how you are doing. Keeping a symptoms diary and documenting triggers, along with breathing tests your doctor can do in the office, will all help your doctor assess how your asthma is doing and identify the best treatment approach.

 

Dr. Neeta Ogden is an adult and pediatric allergist, asthma specialist and immunologist in private practice in New Jersey. She is a graduate of Yale University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. Ogden has published research in various academic journals and presented at several national allergy meetings. She has also contributed to public education on allergies by sharing her expertise with a number of media outlets including The Today Show, CBS The Morning Show, CNN, and NPR to name a few.

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‘God of War’: Advanced Combat Tips and Builds

SPOILER ALERT: Warning, this article contains spoilers from God of War. Proceed at your own risk.

Listen here, boy. This is spoiler territory. You’d do best to watch your step around here if you are new to the game.

There are tough fights lurking in God of War. Battles you’ll struggle to win. When it wants to knock things up a notch, it’s a brutally punishing game tied to systems that can leave you reeling from every shot you take from an enemy.

It’s the sort of combat that has earned God of War comparisons with Dark Souls, and like From Software’s masterpiece series, God of War is entirely beatable — in fact, like Dark Souls, winning at God of War will often come down to a state of mind.

Road to Runes

We’re going to be straight up with you — attacking like normal is for chumps. Kratos‘ regular attacks are powerful — you’d hope so, considering — but Runic Attacks are the bread and butter of how Kratos can demolish anyone in his way.

By holding L2 and R1 or R2, Kratos unleashes a devastating attack. You can equip different ones as you find them, and each of Kratos’ weapons can equip different attacks, which means you can tailor them to your preferred playstyle, and even the enemies you’re facing.

Some attacks are single target, others have a very wide area of effect — and there are some that are in between. Finding the attacks that work for you is key, and experimenting is a great way to keep the game feeling fresh as you play it.


Upgrade page for Runic Attacks God of War 2018
Make sure you upgrade your preferred Runic Attack!

Still, once you’ve found your preferred options, upgrade them as soon as you can. They ramp up in effectiveness as you spend XP on them, and because of the way the game works you needn’t worry about not being able to unlock skills down the track because of ‘wasted’ XP.

With your Runic Attacks upgraded, it’s simply a matter of target selection — focus on your meanest target, Runic attack them, hammer them with Atreus‘ arrows, pop the alternative attack and they should be stunned and waiting for a grapple attack.

If they’re not, then here’s the beautiful trick — switch weapons, and runic attack again. The Blades of Chaos (you heeded the spoiler warning right?) Runic Attacks don’t share a cooldown with the Leviathan, so you can effectively pop four runic attacks on an enemy if you need to.

Advanced ‘God of War’ Builds

Initially you’ll just want to make sure your equipment is upgraded at all times, as per our other tips guide, but eventually you’ll want to think about your build.

Damage type resistances never really become *critical* in God of War outside of the insane God of War difficulty — with one major exception being Niflheim Mist Resistance.


Armour page in God of War
The Cursed Mist Resist Chist Piece

When you’re in Niflheim, you’ll want to build your Mist Resistance by farming mist echoes. You get back mist timer for every chest you open, but you’re still sometimes better off just running through an area — there’s no point having thousands of mist echoes available if you die before you can bank it. Your build in Niflheim should be whatever gives you the best mist resistance — it’s otherwise inconsequential.

Outside of Niflheim, you should build Cooldown first and foremost. As we explained, Runic Attacks are crazy powerful, and they only become more powerful as you stack damage into them. Atreus’ summons benefit too, so those wolves become more potent — and it means you’ll get to see Ratatoskr more often (and he’s the best summon in any game ever).

Your gut might tell you to stack Runic, because you’re focusing on runic attacks right? But over the course of the game you’ll get ample opportunity to acquire runic damage — cooldown is comparatively hard to come by. Even if you focus on CDN as your primary stat, you’ll find your Runic numbers are naturally way higher anyway.

The Valkyrie armour is a great source of cooldown with some Runic to boot — and you can upgrade them to a full allotment of sockets.

With that in mind — sockets are more important than almost any other build option in the game, and if you have a choice between a Talisman with a powerful ability or something with a garbage ability and many sockets, you should go for the sockets.

The rest of the build is largely up to you, but we prioritise Defence, Strength, Luck, and then Vitality in that order. It’s a glass cannon build — the idea being that things die fast enough that we don’t take any damage. If they don’t die, we just have to not get hit.

Taking A Stance

Now we’re hitting some advanced techniques. As you make your way down the Skills list, you’ll eventually find Kratos is able to switch stances.

It took us ages to actually pull off, until we watched the demonstration video — what you need to do is attack, pause for a full beat until Kratos shifts on his feet, and then attack again.

Kratos already has some fantastic combos, detailed in the Skills themselves, but you can really start to create your own with the stance system.

A particularly showy one is with the Leviathan — R1 attack, pause, R2, R1, R2. It’s a great option for when you’re surrounded, as the axe will twirl around Kratos (although you’re still usually better off just using the Blades of Chaos when facing enemies from multiple directions).

What’s a God to a Non-Believer?

Going in with a clear mind is more important than you might think. God of War is different to Dark Souls, because generally in Dark Souls you won’t die ‘unfair’ deaths. Without the burden of troublesome story-telling, Dark Souls has managed to refine its combat systems into something near flawless.

God of War on the other hand weaves a complex tale of paternal growth, utilising the Tend and Befriend drive to create an emotional attachment between you and the characters within.

What we’re saying is there are some goofs in God of War that will see you die in ‘unfair’ ways — especially if you build a glass cannon style Kratos (and you almost certainly should).

The camera is probably the biggest issue — it has trouble tracking enemies that leave the ground. Some enemies can forcibly break target locking and the the target locking itself is inconsistent. So keep a healthy attitude! Heck, this is good advice even in Dark Souls. If you remember Happy Hob beating Dark Souls, you’ll know that a good outlook is critical to success.

Valk Kil(m)ler

The Valkyries aren’t like every other enemy you’ll face in God of War. They can’t be stunned and grappled, most of them spend far too much time in the air and they all have different movesets you need to learn and deal with.

They’re our favourite enemies in the game, and the Valkyrie Queen is the best of them all — she’s the closest you’ll get to a Dark Souls battle. She has the moveset of every other Valkyrie in the game, and she can pull any of them out at any time.

Like Dark Souls, these moves all have tells, and you can actually dodge all of them if you know what to look for. Having beaten all eight other Valkyries, you’ll know what to do already — just stay vigilant, play it conservatively and you’ll beat her. She hits like a truck, but she can be beaten — and if you can defeat her, you can beat literally anything God of War throws at you.

Good luck, and know that the Dad of War believes in you!

The post ‘God of War’: Advanced Combat Tips and Builds appeared first on FANDOM.

FANDOM

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Anita Hill to Chair Commission to Combat Sexual Misconduct in Hollywood

(LOS ANGELES) — The biggest figures and institutions in entertainment have established a commission to be chaired by Anita Hill that intends to combat sexual misconduct and inequality in the industry in the wake of the huge wave of revelations spurred by allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

A statement Friday announced the founding of the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, a group that grew out of a meeting called by “Star Wars” producer Kathleen Kennedy and several other prominent women in the industry.

“The Commission will not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and interrelated causes of the problems of parity and power,” Kennedy said in a statement.

The chief executives of nearly every major Hollywood studio, TV network and record label attended the meeting and agreed to found and to fund the group, the statement said. The long list includes Disney CEO Bob Iger, Paramount CEO Karen Stuart, Universal Music Group CEO Sir Lucian Grange and CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves.

The movie and music academies and many of the major agencies and unions that represent entertainers also signed on.

“The fact that so many industry leaders_across film, television, music, digital, unions, agencies … and guilds_came together, in one room, to explore solutions speaks to a new era,” Kennedy said.

The group chose as its chair the law professor Hill, who brought the concept of sexual harassment to national consciousness in 1991 when she testified during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas.

“It is time to end the culture of silence,” Hill said in a statement. “I’ve been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change.”

The commission said in its statement that it would reconvene immediately after the first of the year to hone its mission, scope and priorities.

The revelations about Weinstein in The New York Times and the New Yorker in October have brought on two months unlike any the media world has ever seen, with nearly daily allegations of sexual harassment assault and abuse that have ensnared some of the most prominent players in entertainment including Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Dustin Hoffman and Russell Simmons.

Hill has been making appearances in Southern California in recent days before Friday’s announcement, speaking to a gathering of entertainers and executives in Beverly Hills last week.

She said there that she knew that despite Thomas’ confirmation to the Supreme Court, the issue would one day return.

“I never believed 1991 was the end,” she said, “and I was going to make sure in my life that I never saw that as the defining moment for me or for this issue.”


Entertainment – TIME

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How To Respond To Your White Friends When Say They Want To Help Combat Racism

With the great amount of outrage against the blatant expressions of white supremacy across the country right now, it’s good to see white people among the protesters. This is nothing new as a number of them have stood alongside Black people in the fight for civil rights in the past. Whether they’ve witnessed the mistreatment […]

The post How To Respond To Your White Friends When Say They Want To Help Combat Racism appeared first on MadameNoire.

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Switching to Grayscale Is the Perfect iPhone Trick to Combat Distraction

A ten-second trick to save your attention span

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Yale President Peter Salovey: ‘The Most Effective Way To Combat Speech You Don’t Like Is With Speech’

Yale President Peter Salovey spoke on free expression on campuses, reflecting on a recent incident at the University of California, Berkeley, where students protested comedian Bill Maher’s appearance at a graduation ceremony because of controversial comments he made about Muslims.

“It’s very difficult. You see this controversy playing out on many different campuses over the last couple of years,” Salovey said.

Salovey said he thinks people want to live in an environment where others are respectful and civil, but being offended can be a learning experience.

“It’s fine to protest, it’s fine to raise one’s own voice,” Salovey said. “The most effective way to combat speech you don’t like is with speech.”

Below, live updates from the 2015 Davos Annual Meeting:

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Combat Four of the Most Common Fears

Having just closed the chapter on Halloween this week, this is an opportune time to find our inner courage and kick some of our fears to the curb. Fear is a completely natural and healthy emotion to have. However, it’s good to be able to reflect and distinguish between fearing things that we can manage vs. those we can’t control. It’s easy to misguide excitement, anxiety and anticipation into the scary realm of fear, but with these simple suggestions and a fresh dose of perspective hopefully you can combat these four common fears!

1.Failure

It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure. — Bill Gates

We never know what the future might hold, and for many that thought can be a scary one, constantly causing us to ask ourselves if we are going in the right direction, if our paths will lead us to success or stability. Maybe we’ve been taught that failure is a result of laziness or the product of making a wrong turn. Maybe we see failure as a signifier that we aren’t good enough to succeed. But this isn’t true at all! Failure often means that we are headed in the right direction. If we don’t fail we will never see success. Think of how you learned to walk. We never say babies “fail” when they fall. We accept that falling is a part of the process and that they will ultimately stand up and try again. The same holds true for life. Failure gives us the crucial lessons we need to find in order to stand stronger and find new avenues for success.

2. Health

But the real secret to lifelong good health is actually the opposite: Let your body take care of you. — Deepak Chopra

While some of you may be thinking that it’s pretty ironic for a fitness instructor to encourage you NOT to worry about your health, let me start off by saying that health is something to tend to, support and nurture, not fear. Listening to your body is the first step to living a healthy and balanced life. Don’t let your fear of things you can’t control physically consume you. Instead, focus on what your body is telling you. Eat, engage in daily physical fitness and keep your body rested and hydrated. Your body truly is a temple, and when you treat it as such you may be able to dispel the fears you have of it failing or turning its back on you. In the unexpected nature of life we often can’t control getting sick, genetics or not feeling our best, but that doesn’t mean we should let the fear of what may come consume us. Breathe, listen to and enjoy your body!

3. Aging

Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength. — Betty Friedan

Aging isn’t easy, especially when we watch the people we love go through it. We fear the unknown and the uncertainty of the future. But what if we began to see the cloudiness of our futures as exciting as opposed to fear invoking? What if the future was something we refused to allow being anything but great? A little bit of faith goes a long way. If we begin to make the future seem like a grand adventure, or encourage ourselves to see it as nothing but fulfilling, it will be. Every age has it’s own energy to it; lets have fun in our 20s but enjoy the understanding and focus of our 30s and 40s. Let’s relish the expanding families we may see in our 50s and the wisdom we’ve garnered in our 60s and 70s. There is poetry to each age and each has its own voice. So let’s wipe those future fears clean and replace them with curiosity about what we will learn, master and draw peace from at every stage of our lives.

4. Risk

The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision. — Maimonides

We all take risks in life, if we don’t, we may never have the experiences that life is all about: love, relationships, new jobs, education, our own physical limits, joy, bliss and understanding. Risk, whether it is asking someone out on a date or skydiving, can fill us with those unmistakable tiny butterflies inside our stomachs. However, while those butterflies feel uncomfortable they are, in fact, innocuous. Taking risks in life, as long as they aren’t dangerous or harmful to others, can make us scared but the end result can make us better. So take a risk and feel those butterflies! They can help you do what you’ve always dreamed but never tried. By making the butterflies your supportive friends, I promise you’ll enjoy the result.

Our fears can be a powerful and valid force in understanding both the world and ourselves. By delving deeper into distinguishing what is fear and what can be re-routed into other emotions, you can begin to discover a healthier and more fearless life.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News