Anita Baker, Humanitarian Heroes To Be Honored At BET Awards

This Sunday’s BET Awards may bring back some of the classic performances the show has been missing in past year. It certainly can’t hurt that Anita Baker is among this year’s honorees. The Detroit native, who performed for the first time this year on the Fantastic Voyage (after years of Tom’s begging) will be given the Lifetime Achievement Award during what she says will be her farewell year.

 

 

“Anita Baker is a legendary R&B singer whose soulful voice takes control of any room she’s in,” BET said in a statement. “Baker’s music resonated with audiences of all ages and races alike. With her extensive body of work, which spans decades, Baker continues to be one of the most legendary artists of all time.”

BET will also honor one of our own – writer Shaun King, whose columns speaking truth to power are among the most popular on this site. Also to be honored for their heroism or humanitarian work are Waffle House hero James Shaw, Jr., Parkland student survivor Anthony Borges, anti-gun violence activists Naomi Wadler and Justin Blackmon and Mamoudou Gassama, who saved a baby in France by climbing from balcony to balcony of an apartment building earning him the name Spiderman. He also got his French citizenship expedited and a job with the fire brigade.

 

Jamie Foxx hosts the annual celebrity fest, which airs Sunday at 8/7C on BET.

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Why We Like Rich Heroes Like Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen

Barry Allen: What are your superpowers again?

Bruce Wayne: I’m rich.

These two words, taken from last year’s Justice League movie delighted fans and reminded us of everything we love about wealthy heroes like Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen. They’re mysterious, powerful and, more importantly, they’re brutally real. The superhero element of these characters may be fantasy, but often they’re underlined with a morality that injects some much-needed realism into a fictional world.

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous


The Batcave
According to Forbes, Wayne Enterprises’ annual net income is valued at approximately $ 31 billion. The cost of maintaining Batman is approximately $ 682 million.

One of the main appeals of rich superheroes is that they’re rich. And, logically, this billionaire status affords their alter egos a lot of enviable super luxuries. Most people born into multi-billion dollar fortunes lead regular lives. They live in opulent mansions, own expensive foreign cars, and build multi-billion dollar franchises. You know, regular people stuff.

But wealthy superheroes like Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen take the dream one step further. They build Arrowcaves and drive Batmobiles. They hire efficient British butlers to run their households and superhero operations. And can we talk about the gadgets?

Wealthy superheroism, as showcased by Wayne and Queen, explores affluence in its extreme. With a moral compass and a billion dollars, rich superheroes live out the kind of conversations you might have with your friends. Their resources read like a thought experiment into what you could do with unlimited funds. The answer? Buy a lot of cool things. Naturally.

Born This Way


Batman and Martha Wayne: Flashpoint Timeline
‘I’m not the hero of this story. I’m a man who’s been corrupted by his own unbearable pain. I’m a man who has too much blood on his hands to be called good.’ – Batman (Thomas Wayne)

When it comes to the crunch, we may like rich superheroes because their gadgets are cool, but we revere them because we can relate to their struggles. Sure, none of us has ever scaled a 60ft building to stop an intelligent gorilla from taking over New York, but the problems of heroes like Wayne and Queen are more complex than the villains they face. Our protagonists are ultimately mortal beings, with weaknesses rooted in realism. Their origin stories are human: shrouded in loss, retribution, and self-realisation.

These characteristics are evident in both Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen, but they also hold true for rich superheroes as a whole. And you don’t have to look too far to find them. In one of the most literal iterations of The Dark Night: The Flashpoint Batman, millionaire Thomas Wayne is the one who takes up the mantle of Batman after his son Bruce is killed in a robbery-gone-wrong. His wife, Martha, goes mad after the loss of her son and later becomes Batman’s archenemy – The Joker. Although this origin story is by no means the darkest in the DC universe, in a twisted way, it’s perhaps the most realistic.

Strip away the gadgets and the vigilantism and Thomas Wayne’s Batman is essentially a father, grieving over the loss of his son. He feels an overwhelming sense of guilt and love that still tie him to his estranged, now insane wife. When Wayne the senior sacrifices himself and his entire universe to save his son, he acts in a way that any father would, and despite his riches, this human motivation makes him relatable.

Rich Is a Superpower


Arrow: The TV Series
Under the hood, Oliver Queen still lives up to the hero title.

The 2016 DC Comics series, Rebirth established Oliver Queen as an advocate for social justice. Aside from trick arrows and sewer villains, the storyline explored the obligations of the rich to the poor and voiceless. Though the series’ modern take on the character upset a lot of fans, the ‘new and improved’ version of Oliver Queen isn’t that new.

Questions of what those with power owe those without are ever-present in the superhero genre. DC has used this trope before, adopting heroes like Superman as an archetype. In the 1998 comic Superman: Peace on Earth and the 2008 movie Man of Steel, Superman struggles with what it means to be powerful and questions whether one man can ever really possess the power to change the world. Add money to this narrative, and rich superheroes start to explore a real-life parallel that counterparts like Superman can’t convey.

In their daily, non-superhero lives, the super-rich of the comic-verse are a reflection of wealthy living as it exists in the real world. We hold our rich and famous accountable for their actions, and in some ways, we expect them to represent the best of us.

In real life, our heroes often fall short of being role models, but our favourite fantasy superstars give us the kind of heroes we deserve. Their everyday heroics allow us to indulge in the reverence we expect to give real celebrities.

The Spy Who Saved Me


Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins
The name’s Wayne, Bruce Wayne. Out of costume, Wayne leads an even more glamorous and clandestine life than his alter ego.

With the expensive gadgets, dapper suits, and double lives, the plot of most Batman stories would fit quite comfortably into a 007 novel. Part of the excitement of the superhero genre has always been the double lives our heroes often lead. But rich superheroes raise the stakes even further. There’s an allure to the secret lives of the rich that makes the men behind the mask as compelling as the heroes.

Arguably, our fascination with rich superheroes is a two-fold affair. It’s impossible to separate the characters from their money, so ‘rich’ certainly lends to the appeal. But it doesn’t end there. Ultimately, we appreciate these heroes because they’re profoundly accessible. And more like us than we often realise.

Why Batman Shouldn’t Appear in the Arrowverse

6 Times Oliver Queen Epically Escaped Death on ‘Arrow’

QUIZ: Which Arrowverse Hero Said These Quotes?

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Nurses Are Our Everyday Heroes

Each year, National Nurses Week provides an opportunity for me to reflect on the significance of our nurses here at Kaiser Permanente and around the nation. Nurses display heroism day in and day out, putting their patients front and center, working behind the scenes to provide a caring touch and professional expertise. This year, especially, I’m reminded of that heroism as I think back to the recent tragic fires that raged across the North Bay and Southern California.

The North Bay fires were among the worst natural disasters in California history, destroying nearly 9,000 structures. The fires impacted our Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center directly, forcing us to evacuate 122 patients. More than 200 Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians lost their homes, yet they performed heroic acts to evacuate the medical center and move our patients out of harm’s way. Many went on to join their colleagues at other Kaiser Permanente facilities, and in the community, to continue to care for those affected by the fires.

I had the opportunity to spend time with the staff in Santa Rosa and San Rafael during the fires and afterwards. I heard about countless acts of heroism, including Julayne Smithson, RN, who only had time to run into her home and save her nursing papers and some scrubs. While her home burned, she did not think twice about returning to help her patients.

Or Benjamin Huggins, RN, whose wife, also a Kaiser Permanente nurse and nine months pregnant with their first child, had to evacuate from their home. Benjamin continued to care for his critically ill patient until the patient was safely transferred to another hospital.

When Southern California was ravaged by fires, Kaiser Permanente nurses once again rose to the occasion despite physically challenging conditions, as homes burned and there were mandatory evacuations for our physicians, staff, and members.

Meagan Billman, LVN, came to work at Oxnard 2 Urgent Care after having been evacuated in the middle of the first night of the fires. The blaze was so close that her husband suffered mild facial burns as they rushed from their home. Once she knew her family was safe, her main concern was her patients and the people affected by the fires who needed help.

Kaiser Permanente nurses work tirelessly to help their patients, such as those impacted by gunshot wounds, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. They also help bring babies into the world, help people of all ages recover from surgery, and care for families whose loved ones have taken their last breath.

The dedication and sacrifice of our nurses does not go unnoticed. Kaiser Permanente joins this week of appreciation by honoring our more than 58,000 nurses. They are leaders, clinicians, researchers, innovators and scientists, who are helping to transform care to improve the health of our communities and nation. They provide extraordinary nursing care to every patient, every time. Many of us have experienced a nurse’s kindness, devotion, compassion and care: their heroism.

Nurses are our everyday heroes, who deserve recognition and gratitude. Please join me in thanking and celebrating our nurses.

Sincerely,
Bernard J. Tyson
Chairman and CEO

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‘My Daughters Are the Heroes.’ Father of 3 Victims Apologizes for Trying to Attack Larry Nassar

(CHARLOTTE, Mich.) — A distraught father seething over sexual abuse suffered by three daughters tried to attack former sports doctor Larry Nassar in a Michigan courtroom after a judge rejected his request to confront the “demon” in a locked room, a stunning rush that reflected the anguish felt by parents who trusted him with their children.

Randall Margraves was blocked by an attorney, tackled by sheriff’s deputies and hauled out of court Friday. He later apologized, saying he had lost control. Eaton County Judge Janice Cunningham said there was “no way” she would fine him or send him to jail under her contempt-of-court powers.

“I don’t know what it would be like to stand there as a father and know that three of your girls were injured physically and emotionally by somebody sitting in a courtroom. I can’t imagine that,” the judge said.

Nonetheless, she added, it is “not acceptable that we combat assault with assault.”

The incident occurred during the third and final sentencing hearing for Nassar, who has admitted to sexually assaulting girls under the guise of medical treatment. This case focuses on his work at Twistars, an elite gymnastics club southwest of Lansing.

Nassar, 54, already will spend the rest of his life in prison. He was sentenced last week to 40 to 175 years in prison for assaults at Michigan State University and his home and was ordered in December to spend 60 years in a federal prison for child pornography crimes.

Nassar pleaded guilty to molesting nine victims in Eaton and Ingham counties, but the courts have been open to anyone who says she was assaulted during his decades of work at Michigan State, Twistars and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. More than 200 accusers so far have spoken or submitted statements in the two counties, and at least 80 percent have agreed to be publicly identified.

Margraves’ dramatic move occurred after he listened to two of his daughters speak in court for 10 minutes. Lauren Margraves, a college student, said her parents were “filled with regret” because they took three daughters to see Nassar for sports injuries.

“I see the look in their faces and I know they want to be able to do something but they can’t,” she told Nassar. “The guilt they have will never go away. All this is because of you.”

Her father then stepped up and asked the judge if she would grant him “five minutes in a locked room with this demon.” Cunningham declined and also turned down his request for “one minute.” That is when Randall Margraves rushed toward Nassar.

There were gasps and tears in the courtroom. Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis turned to the gallery and told families to “use your words,” not violence.

“This is letting him have this power over us,” she said. “We cannot behave like this.”

During a return to court, Margraves told the judge that he just snapped. He said he had not known what exactly his daughters were going to say about their abuse.

“I look over here and Larry Nassar’s shaking his head, no, like it didn’t happen. … I’m embarrassed,” Margraves said of his conduct. “I’m not here to upstage my daughters. I’m here to help them heal.”

About 30 more people spoke in person, by video or had statements read after the incident. The case will end Monday with final remarks from the prosecutor, defense and Nassar, followed by the judge’s sentence. Nassar faces a minimum of 25 to 40 years in prison.

At a news conference, Margraves repeated his apology and insisted he’s “no hero.”

“My daughters are the heroes, and all the victims and the survivors of this terrible atrocity,” he said.

Melissa Alexander Vigogne, who traveled from France to speak, said she was surprised that an attack had not been attempted earlier.

“It’s not that that’s how we should respond. But it’s truly understandable — the amount of pain that we’ve all gone through,” Vigogne said outside court.

Sheriff Tom Reich said his officers will investigate what happened in court and send a report to the local prosecutor.

The judge started the day by addressing comments made by a Nassar lawyer who said she had doubts about the large number of women and girls who say they were assaulted by Nassar. Cunningham called Shannon Smith’s remarks “unfortunate” and said Nassar did not authorize them.

Smith told Detroit radio station WWJ that it is “really unfortunate” if some people stepped forward only because of all the recent attention. Nassar released a statement saying Smith’s comments were a distraction and that his accusers’ remarks “have pierced my soul.”

Many of Nassar’s accusers have blamed Michigan State, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee for not doing more earlier to stop him. The USOC announced Friday that it hired a law firm to conduct an independent investigation. And the coordinator of the women’s national team for USA Gymnastics, Valeri Liukin, said he was stepping down.

Sports – TIME

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Watch Exclusive ‘The 15:17 to Paris’ Video: Sitting Down With Heroes

Watch Exclusive 'The 15:17 to Paris' Video: Sitting Down With Heroes

Three lifelong friends were faced with a completely unanticipated, completely frightening situation that threatened the lives of everyone on board a speeding train. How did these self-admitted "ordinary guys" become extraordinary heroes?

Director Clint Eastwood cast these heroes to play themselves in the real-life thriller The 15:17 to Paris. In our exclusive video, he explains why and also digs into the motivation for their actions. For their part, Anthony Sadler, Oregon National…

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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

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‘Fire Emblem Heroes’ Book II Update is Proof Mobile Will Be King for Nintendo

Fire Emblem Heroes is likely not the most well-known game from Nintendo to hit mobile devices. After proclaiming their entry into the mobile gaming market, the company launched Super Mario Run — featuring everyone’s favorite adventuring ex-plumber — launched last December to much fanfare. But the hype soon died down and people stopped talking about it. It was, after all, just another endless runner clone with a Mario skin.

However, in February of this year, Nintendo launched its second mobile game. And this one, it would seem, would have the kind of longevity that the company aspired to have. Fire Emblem Heroes — available now as free-to-play with purchases on iOS and Android — uses the Fire Emblem franchise. The IP that had faded into obscurity but was revived in 2013 with Nintendo 3DS title Fire Emblem: Awakening. The release of Fire Emblem Fates in 2016 catapulted the series back into the spotlight, and its explosion in popularity likely encouraged Nintendo to use it for their next mobile project.


Fire Emblem Heroes
The battle continues.

A Concept That Just Works

Fire Emblem’s core gameplay tenants are a perfect fit for mobile. Moving your units around the battle requires just a swipe or tap, and Fire Emblem Heroes can be played in short bursts or long sprints. Nintendo has released free updates monthly for the entirety of its 11-month lifetime. The only things you can buy with real-world money are Orbs to summon new heroes and upgrade your castle, and items that allow you to keep playing without a cooldown time — all items that can also be earned at a decent rate through gameplay.

Earlier this week, Nintendo pushed a significant update to Fire Emblem Heroes, including the ability to add new boosts to weapons. But the meat of the update is Book II, a narrative expansion that promises to be just as huge as the 13-chapter story already available in Fire Emblem Heroes. Book II so far only has two chapters to fight through, but with an entirely new set of characters to learn about and new Fire Emblem characters to collect, it’s clear this expansion will be significant.


Fire Emblem Heroes
New enemies threaten the balance in the war between Askr and the Emblians.

The story of Book II picks up from the cliffhanger at the end of Book I. The player character, Alfonse, Sharena, and Anna find themselves on a new battlefield. They rescue Fjorm, a princess from a kingdom under siege by the team’s common enemy, Princess Veronica of the Emblian empire. Fjorm reveals that a new foe has arisen to help Veronica destroy the kingdom of Askr and capture its heroes. But obviously, you and your team are having none of it.

A Long Road Ahead

Learning more about Fjorm’s kingdom and past, as well as why other villains are teaming up with Veronica, seem to be the core of this unraveling story. Fjorm is an interesting character; unlike the boisterous Anna, tough Shareena and courageous Alfonse, Fjorm is strong and yet very quiet. It will be interesting to see how these personalities clash or get along.

Fire Emblem Heroes has added new bonus maps every week since its launch, but these maps were always one-off affairs with a chance to score a rare in-game good or character. However, the introduction of Book II is proof that Nintendo is committed to delivering one of the high-quality console experiences the company is known for on a mobile device. Super Mario Run was a light appetizer. Fire Emblem Heroes is the main course. With a side of the recently-released Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, of course.

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Avengers: Where the Heroes Stand Before ‘Infinity War’

The Avengers: Infinity War trailer dropped today and we are still shaking! Thanos is on Earth! There are so many heroes! Spidey has a new suit! Bucky has his arm back! We have so many questions — but first, let’s take a look at where certain heroes were before Thanos invaded Earth.

Give This Man a Shield


Last seen in ‘Captain America: Civil War.’

Arguably the coolest moment from the trailer was Black Panther saying “Give this man a shield,” to Captain America. Well, there were A LOT of cool moments, but this one was amazing, especially considering where Cap last left his signature accessory.

We last saw Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, in his third solo film, Captain America: Civil War. In his final stand-off against Tony Stark, Cap buried his shield into Tony’s chest, thus deactivating Tony’s Iron Man suit. Cap pulled his shield out of Stark’s armor and went to pick up Bucky, who was badly wounded and missing his arm. Tony, however, told Cap that he wasn’t worthy of carrying the shield, since his father made it (and Bucky killed his father). Cap dropped the shield on the ground and left with Bucky. Ouch.

At the end of the film, Cap rescued Scott, Sam, Wanda, and Clint from General Ross’ “anti-Avenger” containment prison and sent a cell phone to Tony, “in case you need us.” Cap then put Bucky into cryosleep in Wakanda, with the help of Black Panther. Vibranium comes from Wakanda and was used to build Cap’s first shield. Whether or not he’ll get another shield made out of that material remains to be seen.

Bucky With the Good Arm



In the trailer, James Barnes AKA Bucky, is running with Captain America and a group of warriors from Wakanda. Cap is leading the charge with Black Widow, Black Panther and Okoye at his side. Hulk and the Wakandans are behind them. Bucky is sporting a sweet new arm. Bucky first lost his arm in Captain America: The First Avenger. Hydra built him a new one and called him the Winter Solider. Sadly, Tony Stark ripped off that metal arm in Civil War.

Judging from the post-credit scene in Civil War, Bucky and Cap have been recuperating in Wakanda. The Wakandans must have found a way to deprogram Bucky and build him a new arm. Based on the trailer, his new arm is slimmer, sleeker and a darker shade of metal. It would be rad if his arm was remade with vibranium, like Cap’s original (and hopefully new) shield.

War Machine Flies Again


He knew any mission could be his last.

In addition to Hulk and co., Cap is not flying solo. Both Falcon and War Machine can be seen flying above the group. The last time we saw Colonel James Rhodes AKA War Machine, he was recovering from a spinal injury on the Avengers training base at the end of Civil War. If you recall, he was shot out of the sky by Vision‘s blast. While this was an accident, is almost cost Rhode his life.

Romanoff, a Blonde?


Undercover again?

Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow. She is always a mystery. We currently don’t know her whereabouts, which might be why she dyed her hair blonde. While she was originally fighting on Tony Stark’s team in Civil War, in the end she chose to let Cap and Bucky go. Tony warned her that Ross knew what she did. Did that decision put her in contempt of the Sokovia Accords? Did she have to go on the run from General Ross? It’s possible that, since she’s on the run from Ross, she cut and dyed her hair and has assumed another identity in Avengers: Infinity War.

Say Hello to the Iron Spider


He’s ready to be an Avenger.

The last time we saw Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, he was asked to make a choice: go public with his identity and become an Avenger, or stay anonymous and go back to school. Peter chose school, like the good boy that he is, but in doing so, he passed on a wicked new Spidey suit designed by Tony Stark.

In the Avengers: Infinity War trailer, Peter is wearing the suit. Either Tony gives it to him anyway, or, they reach a compromise. Perhaps Tony lets Peter stay in school AND become an Avenger. Either way, he looks RAD.

Like Father, Like Son


Now he really is the ‘Son of Odin.’

If you saw Thor: Ragnarok, you know that Thor lost his eye to Hela. It was a painful, shocking moment, but it also made sense, since his father, Odin, also lost an eye to a great enemy.

In the Avengers: Infinity War trailer, Thor is picked up by a group of familiar faces: the Guardians of the Galaxy. He humorously asks, “who the hell are you guys,” which is a perfect greeting for the Guardians. If you’re wondering why Thor is in space alone and not on the Asgardian ship, the next section might tell us why.

Loki Finally Gets the Tesseract


Avengers-infinity-war-tesseract-loki
Loki with the Tesseract — which he clearly nicked from his dad’s gaff.

The last time we saw Loki, he was fleeing Asgard in the wake of its destruction. He joined his brother Thor, Heimdall, Valkyrie and the surviving Asgardians on board the refugee ship.

If you saw Thor: Ragnarok, you would know that Loki had an opportunity to take the Tesseract from Odin’s vault just before Asgard fell. While we didn’t see him grab it, we all know that he did. SO. Where does this leave our trickster prince? Now he can finally give Thanos the Tesseract, which of course, was his goal in the first Avengers movie. What a way to bring everything full circle. We even see Thanos put the blue stone into his gauntlet, so we know Loki surrenders it in the film. Doesn’t he ever learn?

There are also a few other characters to catch up with, specifically the group that Cap broke out of prison in Civil War, like Wanda, Scott, Sam and Clint. We do see Wanda in the trailer, twice, first with Vision (who looks human, WTH?) and with Cap, when Black Panther mentions the shield. We don’t see Ant-Man in the trailer, perhaps his role is bigger in Avengers 4? And Clint aka Hawkeye? He might be on house arrest with his family, but we know he suits up at some point with a new uniform and a sweet mohawk. We can’t wait to see the film!

Avengers: Infinity War hits screens in the UK on April 27, 2018 and in the US on May 4, 2018.

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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

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‘Overwatch’s Moira Plays Like Two Heroes in One

We got hands on with Overwatch‘s new hero Moira at Blizzcon. Like many characters in Overwatch, you instantly feel how fun she is to control and within a few minutes you can see yourself having a lot of fun with her.

Naturally, it was everyone’s first chance to play as Moira, so we ended up with about ten Moiras in the game. It’s an odd spectacle, two teams of Moiras constantly draining each other and healing each other.

But eventually people got curious about how other heroes stack up against the new geneticist.

That was good to see, because it’s clear that Moira might need some protecting. A Reaper that gets right onto her is going to make some short work of her, as we saw in the play session. She can even have a hard time dealing with a Tracer one-on-one, as every time Tracer blinks resets the wind-up on Moira’s drain.

She’s powerful, she has her counters.

It gets the most interesting when Moira comes into a setting with two established teams. As a hero swap, she has the potential to disrupt the norm. A team defending a corner or balcony, hiding behind its shields, will have to solve the problem of Moira when she’s picked.

In that sense, she could be a very good stalemate breaker. The change won’t be instant. The enemy team will still have a fair bit of time to react. But all of a sudden, those orbs are going to go through shields, and there’s a bit more sustain healing on the other side.

In the context of the wider meta, that’s exactly what Moira is doing. Coming into an established setting, and potentially disrupting everything. Could we see less reliance overall on clumping up behind shields in esports? That could make for a more exciting game. Time will tell.

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Heroes of the Storm Changes Stealth

During the Deep Dive panel at BlizzCon 2017, the Heroes of the Storm developers shared some insights into changes coming to the MOBA’s stealth mechanic. There are a few heroes who utilize stealth to creep around the map to ambush unsuspecting enemies, and other heroes who can grant stealth to their friends. Some of the upcoming changes are universal, while others are hero-specific in order to to encourage a particular play style.

First, the universal changes. Currently, it can be difficult to see stealthed players on the battleground. This is troubling because, by and large, they aren’t meant to be totally invisible; additionally, experienced players are more adept at spotting stealthed characters, adding to a potential unwanted disparity between skill levels.


Improved Stealth visuals
Improved Stealth visuals

To curtail this, Blizzard is changing the stealth shader to give heroes a slightly different visual, a la Predator. The trade-off is that, when a stealthed hero remains still for at least a short amount of time, they will become truly invisible. In either case, stealthed players will remain invisible on the minimap to the opposing team. These visual changes apply across the board to all stealth and stealth-granting abilities.

There are some heroes whose stealth mechanics were tweaked even further to be more in line with their unique mechanics.


Nova from Heroes of the Storm
Nova

Nova: Ghost play

  • modify Snipe Master and apply some damage to baseline damage
  • 15% faster while in Stealth
  • new active will instantly put her in Stealth
  •  


    Valeera from Heroes of the Storm
    Valeera

    Valeera: Disable opponents

  • enhance disabling openers
  • add blind to Cheap Shot
  • can teleport if in Stealth for at least 3 seconds; will increase stealth abilities
  •  


    Samuro from Heroes of the Storm
    Samuro

    Samuro: confuse with Mirror Image

  • will be able to swap places with illusions at level one
  • no more random placements; the real Samuro will be closest to player’s mouse cursor
  • move most damage from illusions to Samuro himself
  •  


    Zeratul from Heroes of the Storm
    Zeratul

    Zeratul: keep on keeping on

  • take Vorpal Blade baseline teleportation mechanic and give it to all Zeratul players
  • replace Shadow Assault with Might of the Nerazim – 15s cooldown, will replicate last basic ability used
  •  
     
    For more Heroes of the Storm BlizzCon 2017 coverage, be sure to check out the overview blog featuring such news as Alexstrasza and Hanzo!

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    Peace Heroes: Pakistani Activist Mossarat Qadeem Responds to Donald Trump

    In September, President Donald Trump threatened to cut financial aid from Pakistan if the country didn’t do more to stop the flow of militants. He also accused Pakistan of providing “safe havens to terrorist organizations.” Meanwhile, Pakistani peace practitioners like Mossarat Qadeem have been putting blood, sweat and tears to do the exact opposite.

    Qadeem is the Executive Director of PAIMAN Alumni Trust, an organization that earned an international recognition for its pioneering working on countering violent extremism using innovative methods. We spoke to her about Trump’s threat and her own work in Pakistan.

    What does extremism look like in your country?

    Extremism manifests itself in different shapes and forms in Pakistan. We have been experiencing it in the form of violence, be it political violence, economic violence, or violence coming out of religious schools and leaders. It is not necessarily only practiced through suicidal attacks or bomb blasts, but there is invisible violent extremism in the mindset. It is there in the way we treat each other, the way we speak to each other, and the way we perceive each other. Our whole outlook on life and how we handle others has shifted from a moderate pattern to a more volatile one.

    Trump is currently claiming that Pakistan is not doing enough to fight extremism. What is your opinion?

    I would like to send an open letter to Mr. Trump reminding him of the sacrifices of 65,000 innocent civilians, 4,700 security personnel, hundreds and thousands of disabled, economic losses of around USD102.5 billion, internal migration of millions of people from FATA and the Swat Valley and the irreparable socio-psychological impact in an aimless pointless war which has nothing to do with us. We suffered because of the ambitious endeavor of major powers. You are safe in the US. You haven’t witnessed the killing and maiming of thousands of people in worship places, in local busses, in markets and in schools. You haven’t heard the silent sigh of mothers who lost their children and you haven’t experienced the loss of a loved one who goes out for work or to school and never comes back. You haven’t experienced that fear and uncertainty that surrounds Pakistanis all the time despite having the most beautiful countryside with an abundance of resources. I would also say to President Trump, that I pray to Allah to give you a feeling heart and a thinking mind to stop him from asking for shedding more blood from us Pakistanis.

    Can you describe your counter-terrorism work in Pakistan?

    I am trying to prevent my communities from becoming extremist so the acts of terrorism become a history. PAIMAN is a pioneer in Pakistan in initiating a process of preventing and countering violent extremism since 2007.  From the platform of PAIMAN Trust, we neutralize extremist tendencies through community mobilization, active citizenship and community empowerment for building social cohesion.

    We empower women and youth economically, build their critical thinking, help them understand the indicators of violent extremism and responding to it, give them the skill of mediation and dialogue to create awareness in their communities to collectively prevent violent extremism. PAIMAN has de-radicalized, rehabilitated and re-integrated 1287 extremist and those who were vulnerable. We also trained a further 14,000 males and 43,00 females. Once the youth and women receive training from PAIMAN they become members of our Peace groups called TOLANA, and they help promote practices of peace and countering violent extremism from within the community. Our TOLANA today have become a collective movement. They are working against all odds in a non-violent manner. We use social and electronic media, hold community sessions in schools, madrassas, public places to create awareness regarding violent extremism and how to address it.

    We developed an inclusive peace curriculum and trained 120 school and religious madrassa teachers to teach respect for diversity and non-violence, using creative methods like sports, poetry, art, interactive theater. We have also worked with 100 female madrassa teachers and 120 women activists of all faith in Pakistan and female leaders of religious political parties to form a coalition of “Women of faith building social cohesion in Pakistan”. The members of the coalition are working today to promote inclusion, equality and interfaith dialogue in their communities, providing a platform for all voices to be heard, regardless of personal religious belief. They celebrate each other’s religious festivals and support each other in case of any incident of violence against one or the other community.

    What was the turning point that inspired or pushed you into peace activism?

    The turning point was the killing, miseries and suffering of my people in my province of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and adjacent area of federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) that I witnessed daily in 2007 and 2008. Being a student of conflict studies, I thought I will be able to contribute from the platform of PAIMAN Trust.

    Could you tell us one story or situation you have been through that deeply affected you or left a mark in your life?

    There are many, but the one that really strengthened my resolve to continue my work against myriads challenges took place in 2009.  I went to Swat to conduct research on the impact of violent extremism on women in Swat. I met a boy, Janas, who escaped from the extremists group but then was detained by security agencies and finally released. He told me that the extremists took him by force and kept him with other boys under strict surveillance. One night he didn’t swallow the pill that would be given to them every night. In the middle of the night he asked the watchman to let him go to urinate who allowed him and went to sleep himself. He then escaped and reached home after 24 hours with a lot of difficulty. The very same day the security forces came and took him to one of the detentions camps and kept him there for five months under very harsh condition.

    In a very quiet voice he asked me a profound question: “why did I suffer at the hands of two powerful groups of people. I was not an extremist but taken by force by extremists to be used for suicide attacks and detained again by security forces, punished, tortured with no fault of mine.” His experience compelled me to start this non-violent movement, ‘Let’s Live in Peace’ to help prevent extremism and radicalization of youth and become their voice.

    We helped him to learn how to repair mobile phones to earn an income. We also worked with him to overcome his trauma and fear. He recovered psychologically and physically. Today he runs his own mobile repair shop in his village, has a lot of self-confidence and is an active member of PAIMAN’s Youth TOLANA but his silent, piercing gaze and his question chase me even today.  He imbibed in me this spirit to hold the hands of the youth who are punished for no fault of theirs because they have no alternatives, no means and no status in their communities.

    How would you think peaceful responses instead of military operations would benefit the cause?

    That is a dream. The economic interests of a minority are tied to selling weapons and killing people. I do not see that there is a change coming soon to the policy framework to invest more in peacebuilding or peace initiatives, or conflict resolution and transformation. When you invest more in positive measures and efforts that resolve the issues and problems of the world, there will be tranquility and coexistence. It will also have much greater economic returns for more people. However, the way we are looking at the extremism problem right now is very superfluous. There is no real will to get rid of it, because politicians everywhere exploit it. Are the international institutions really serious about it? This is a question I ask everyone.

    How far can a small fund affect peace solutions?

    It goes a long way. We know how to be frugal with the funds we receive. We try to multiply our effort. We educate, and we help youth to try to understand extremism and how and why it affects them negatively.  We work in areas which are hard-hit by extremism, and they are very far from Islamabad. Because of security reasons, we cannot do the training in their own areas, so we have to take them to our center in Islamabad. The training lasts for a week. All this costs 100 to 150 dollars per person. they go back to the community and start talking to each other. When a handful of more skillful and more knowledgeable people go back to their communities and talk to them, the understanding becomes even more widespread. We try to give the funds too.  Just a $ 1,000 in the hands of the right groups can touch the lives of between 100 and 200 people.

    Why does including women in peace efforts matter?

    Women are half the population. They are half of the population that is suffering. They are also half of the population that is excluded from peacebuilding.  We cannot afford to exclude that social capital. Secondly, some women were actually part of breeding extremists. For example, they contributed to the making of suicide jackets. They facilitated violent extremism because they have been told it is a good cause, that it will bring them respect or security. So you need to engage women so that they become part of peaceful resolution and conflict transformation. In addition, women think, feel, and act differently. We have to project the positive roles women are playing. A woman’s role is not just a mother, but also an activist, a teacher, a religious scholar, a political leader, a decision maker, and a peace negotiator. Without women, I do not think there can be a peaceful world. If they are educated and given the skills, the world will definitely be a better place.

    What does the world need to do to support women peace practitioners?

    Stop giving lip service to women in peace and security. It has become a buzzword like “gender”. Peace and security need to be taken seriously. Resolutions have passed, and a lot of funding is committed, but where is it? There is very little funding for women led organizations doing peace work. Only a few donor agencies are actually interested in supporting women’s peace and security issues. So the world needs to get serious about this. Second, the best practices need to be solidified and shared with the world. Policy frameworks for the international community need to be developed based on these initiatives that are changing the communities. Material needs to be documented properly. The world needs to learn from us this time, we are the experts from the field, we have gone through so much.

    International Civil Society Action Network is a U.S.-based nonprofit whose mission is to support civil society activism in promoting women’s rights, peace and human security in countries affected by conflict, transition and closed political space. ICAN aims to support women’s efforts through bridging the divisions between activists and the policy community, elevating the voices and experiences of women activists, building skills and ensuring the exchange of knowledge and resources.

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    ‘Fire Emblem Heroes’: The 10 Best Husbandos

    Part of the draw of Fire Emblem has always been its roster of colorful characters. Each new entry into the franchise brings dozens of new personalities into the fray, from snarky sorceresses to BDSM-loving archers to warriors with immovable moral codes and others tortured by their past.

    Fire Emblem Heroes, the series’ mobile entry, gives fans a way to collect all these characters under one roof and make them available for you to play at your convenience — provided RNGesus is on your side. In Heroes, you fight battles to earn Orbs, and you use Orbs to summon new heroes onto your team. You can build up teams featuring your favorites from across the franchise, pairing up Fire Emblem Awakening’s Lucina with Camilla from Fates, Roy from The Binding Blade and Caeda from Shadow Dragon, for example (just to name my current team). Or you can just create a team that visually appeals to you, a team of husbandos, if you will.

    What’s a Husbando?

    The Urban Dictionary defines “husbando” as the male equivalent to a waifu, or a 2D character adopted from a piece of media as their significant other. Husbandos are mostly found in video games and anime, and the term doesn’t necessarily apply to crushes on characters from live-action media. So basically, a not-real person deserving of your affection.

    FANDOM acknowledges that some of these husbandos are superior to others, given their more popular appeal. Because Fire Emblem fans all have their favorites, the husbando-ability of these characters is debatable, but looking at Heroes’ roster and Nintendo’s recent fan-polling, we think we’ve got a pretty clear idea of the 10 best.

    Roy, The Binding Blade



    Roy makes this list as the ultimate Good Boy. He is so good, in fact, that he made it into the roster of Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001) before his own game was even released in 2002. His appearance in Melee was part of the spark that led to more Western interest in the Fire Emblem series overall.

    Roy is only 15 years old when The Binding Blade begins, but that doesn’t stop him from taking every task he’s given to heart and giving it his all. He’s a man of peace and loyalty and is always willing to help others, even when he doesn’t benefit from it. He’s also completely oblivious when a woman shows interest in him, which is just plain adorable.

    Xander, Fates



    The eldest child and eventually head of House Nohr in Fates, Xander is an easy pick. Have you seen the man? He gets on this list from his shoulder span alone. He also doesn’t look half bad in a bathing suit. But the real reasoning behind Xander’s inclusion here is his unwavering commitment to family; even when his father is ready to tear down the world on a whim, he stands by his bloodline. Family Man Xander is the one you want in your corner when the chips are down, because he’s a demon on horseback and easily one of the more powerful characters in his game and in Heroes. Plus, if you played Fates as a female Corrin, the way he says “little princess” inspires more than a giggle.

    Ryoma, Fates



    Another Fates boy and the head of Nohr’s rival house, Hoshido. Ryoma, like Xander, will do anything for his family and will go to his grave to protect his values — including harming himself, which is a major part of Fates’ story.

    Ryoma looks really scary, but he has a gentle heart and is tireless in his pursuit of justice. In both Fates and Heroes he’s also one of the more powerful characters, and between his strength and his jawline, he’s a must-get.

    Chrom, Awakening



    Awakening’s Prince Chrom is so woke he leaves his kingdom to start a wandering group of mercenaries that help citizens in crisis. Chrom’s sense of responsibility and love of the common folk make him an instant winner with us, not to mention he’s totally cool picking up amnesiac vagabonds and adding them to his retinue. He is an accepting, trusting, open-hearted young man, and while this does get him in a bit of trouble, it’s also the reason so many put their faith in him. That faith is what holds his army together, and the adoration Chrom receives is well deserved.

    Hector, The Blazing Blade



    Hector distinguishes himself as being the only lord-class main character in Fire Emblem to not immediately start with a generic sword. No, for Hector, only an axe will do. In The Blazing Blade, Hector possesses the most power and defense of the main characters. In addition to his beefcake status, Hector is also blunt and bold, unafraid to speak his mind or to take action where he sees fit. This brazenness makes him excellent husbando material, if his fierce loyalty and drive to protect don’t convince you already.

    Ephraim, The Sacred Stones



    One of the O.G. princes of the Fire Emblem franchise, Ephraim carries a lot of guilt on his shoulders and that’s kind of sexy in an I-want-to-make-you-feel-better way. Ephraim is riddled with guilt about being unable to protect his father during a war, and he is direct and headstrong in dealing with things. He also starts The Sacred Stones with some amazingly high stats, and only grows stronger from there, so who wouldn’t want this BAMF in their corner? Level him up right and he’ll be one-hit killing everything on the map in no time.

    Odin, Fates



    Odin is really weird. Like, cripplingly so. Which makes him an intriguing prospect. Odin likes to spend all his time researching super cool moves and collecting weapons; he also likes to spend inordinate amounts of time trying to name said moves and weapons. As a dark mage, he’s excellent to have on the battlefield, but it’s his personality that really makes him stand out. We’re not sure what’s more impressive: his commitment to his bit, or his abs.

    Ike, Path of Radiance



    Even if you don’t play Fire Emblem, you know who Ike is thanks to his inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Ike from Path of Radiance may seem simple when you first meet him, but he’s much smarter than you think; after being raised on the battlefield among the chaos of war, Ike takes things as they are and just goes from there. He’s quite brave and very humble, doing great deeds for the good of others without asking for anything in return — save his mercenary fees. We like Ike because he’s the epitome of a classic hero in this series: courageous, kind, and true to himself.

    Takumi, Fates



    Takumi is a big jerk with a giant soft squishy heart, a confusing contradiction that makes him a husbando because of the sheer high maintenance of the situation. You can’t help but feel bad for Takumi: his sibling is taken away at a young age, he’s the second son of a giant house that is clearly all about the first son, and his parents have died terribly. Yes, these events were shared with his older brother and fellow husbando Ryoma, but it’s clear that Takumi hasn’t dealt with anything nearly as gracefully. He’s rash and untrusting until you crack the shell around his sweet little heart, and then he purrs at you like a lost kitten that’s finally found a home. He may be one of the harder husbandos to deal with, but it’s definitely worth it.

    Bruno, Heroes



    Have you even seen BrunoEnough said.

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    HOUSTON—As darkness fell over Houston on Tuesday evening, three military helicopters circled above Tidwell Road, while near its intersection with the Sam Houston Tollway, a huge dump truck plowed through the water toward the highway carrying at least seven children to safety in its giant hopper.

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    Arnold Schwarzenegger to Neo-Nazis: Your Heroes are Losers

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    Hasbro Playskool Heroes Star Wars Millennium Falcon

    Hasbro Playskool Heroes Star Wars Millennium Falcon


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    Young Heroes: Of the North and South

    Young Heroes: Of the North and South


    When people read about the Civil War, it is often stories about daring soldiers in battle. But soldiers were not the only ones involved in the war. In every town and city, on every farm and in every school, children played a role in the conflict. Whether Union or Confederate, young people cheered their soldiers in the army with letters from home. They took care of the family homes and farms while fathers and brothers were away in battle. And all children suffered from the difficulties and the uncertainties of war, just as grownups did. "Young Heroes of the North and South tells the story of the many brave and courageous children who participated in the Civil War — from the home front and on the battlefield. Discover how young people helped in the war effort by raising money for food and medical supplies. Explore the ways children assisted on farms, lifted spirits by performing in plays, and helped nurse wounded soldiers. Meet young people who served as spies and marched into battle as drummer boys and soldiers.
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