3 Healthy Business Lunch Ideas

You’ve been on point with your workout routing. You’ve been prepping your own healthy lunches and dinners. You are all set to lose those extra pounds gained this winter. Then, you get invited to a business lunch (or dinner, or networking event). You don’t want to be that person who everyone at the table side-eyes for asking too many questions about how a dish is prepared, and you don’t want to make your fellow diners feel awkward by eating too little Here are three tips to make a business lunch healthy.

How to Have a Healthy Business Lunch

Cut Down on the Liquor

Studies have linked moderate consumption of alcoholic drinks–especially mixed cocktails–to weight gain. Most of this is due to the calorie content of sugary mixes and juices added to cocktails. For example, one margarita can have more than 150 calories, compared with a white wine spritzer, which has less than 100.

If you just can’t get through that lunch or dinner without a stronger spirit, experts recommend nixing the chasers altogether and going with a top-shelf option on the rocks. For example, an ounce of 80-proof vodka, gin, rum, or scotch contains 64 calories and the same amount in 100 proof varieties has 80 calories. The average neat cocktail contains 1.5 ounces of liquor, so you’re still keeping the calories lower than if you’d gotten that Bloody Mary or Long Island Iced Tea.

Look Up Menu Options and Plan Ahead

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends researching the meal options at restaurants and checking online menus if available for nutrition information before a business lunch. If you’re being invited to a business dinner or lunch, request a particular restaurant that has a diversity of healthy options.

If you’re at a conference, nutrition buffs recommend skipping the donuts and muffins and going for fresh fruit or juices. You can also ask if vegetarian or non-meat options are available.

If All Else Fails, Doggy-bag Half Your Meal

We know; this can seem like an obnoxious and annoying request, but some restaurants will oblige a request for a doggy-bag. If you can discretely ask a server to take half your meal from the start and put it aside for taking home, do it. If that’s not a possibility–or you just cringe at the thought–the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests visualizing how your portion should be and eating accordingly.

 

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Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

Far-left ideas from AOC and some 2020 candidates are ‘really dangerous’: Ex-House GOP leader

"I worry as an American about the direction of one of our two major parties going toward socialist," says former congressman Eric Cantor.
Wealth

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25 Illuminating Lighting Ideas for a Beautiful Kitchen

There are so many decisions to make when you’re remodeling a kitchen—cabinetry, appliances, countertop material, faucets, backsplash—that it’s easy to shortchange the lighting. That would be a big mistake. Proper lighting is crucial to a kitchen’s functionality, and the lighting fixtures themselves can pack a real punch style-wise. Here, we’ve gathered 25 kitchen lighting ideas, ranging from traditional to ultra-modern, that can both brighten and enhance your kitchen.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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11 Bathroom Renovation Ideas to Freshen Up Your Bathroom

Are you contemplating freshening up your bathroom décor and design? There are many ways to go about this but knowing where to start is not always easy. Below we give you 11 bathroom renovation ideas that are guaranteed to give you the bathroom of your dreams.

1. CONTEMPORARY BATHROOM VANITIES FOR BOTH AESTHETIC AND FUNCTIONAL PURPOSES

You can install sleek bathroom vanities to give your bathroom not only a fresh new look but also to get more storage space.

You can include a vanity with a countertop or one without,depending on your requirements. The vanity is the focal point of the bathroom and you should, therefore, be creative. Quartz and marble are the most popular materials for vanity tops today.

If you want a contemporary look, go for a wall mounted unit as this gives you extra floor space. Stainless steel also gives you a contemporary look and feel.

If you want enough room for two, consider upgrading from a single sink to a double sink. For more space, use custom drawers. 

If your bathroom is small, consider a pedestal sink or a compact powder room vanity. Pedestal sinks give bathrooms an antique look and feel.

For example, Muti, Tidal Canada and Ron Bow offer wide variety of vanities in different designs and styles.

2. DRAMATIC BATHROOM ARCHITECTURE

If you want a complete overhaul of your bathroom (and you have some money to spare), you can go for dramatic bathroom architecture complete with handsome moldings, lofty ceilings, and deep arches.

3. SMART TILES FOR EASY INSTALLATION AND GREAT LOOK

You can install smart tiles which are self-adhesive and very easy to install. All you have to do is cut the tile, peel off the tape, and stick to the floor or wall.

Marble gives you a natural finish that complements any style from traditional to transitional to contemporary and is long-lasting. You can have marble in a variety of geometric shapes and patterns.

Maax offers great utile wall tiles that have the same deep texture, stylish patterns, and rich colors you expect from wall tiles.

4. WATER-EFFICIENT TOILETS FOR COST SAVINGS AND BIDET ATTACHMENTS FOR A CLEANER BATHROOM

Go for a water-efficient toilet that will help you reduce your utility costs. Porcelain perches come in different styles – pick what complements the rest of your bathroom décor.

Bidet attachments and handheld wands give you a cleaner,
healthier bathroom.

Acti-Clean self-cleaning toilet and innovative cartridge system from American Standard gives you a fresh, clean toilet. The system offers 2cleaning cycle options, one for a 10 minutes thorough clean and one for a 1minute regular clean.

Some of the top toilet manufacturers in North America are Duravit, Toto, Kohler, Produits Neptune, and American Standard.

5. FEATURE-PACKED SHOWER HEADS AND PANELS FOR A PREMIUM LUXURY EXPERIENCE

A good shower in the morning sets the right tone for the rest of your day. Go for a feature-packed shower head and panel to have the same experience you would have in a 5-star hotel. A good shower head gives a gentle stream that soothes you.

Today’s shower heads and panels come with such features as LED displays that change color as the temperature of the water changes and adjustable shower handles.

6. EYE-CATCHING BATHTUB WITH MORE SPACE

Go for an eye-catching bathtub without compromising on functionality. You can go for a soaking bathtub, a freestanding bathtub, or a whirlpool tub, whatever your preference is.

Today’s bathtubs are available in different styles from shabby chic to formal antique.

If there are seniors in your home, go for low height tubs for easy entry and exit. These can go as low as 16 inches.

Top bathtub manufacturers include Kohler, Maax, Zitta, Victoria & Albert, Oceania, Produits Neptune, Mirolin, Bain Ultra, and American Standard.

7. POLISHED FAUCETS FOR A SUBTLE FLOURISH

You can go for a waterfall faucet for natural beauty that will turn your bathroom into a spa. Bronze and chrome faucets are particularly breath-taking. Be consistent with the material you choose.

Moen, Grohe, Kohler, and Delta have a wide range of polished bathroom faucets that combine style, aesthetics, and exceptional performance.

Other top manufacturers of faucets are American Standards, AquaDesign, Blanco, Brizo, Franke, Hansgrohe, Kindred, Maier, Biobel, and Rubinet.

8. SIMPLE, MINIMALISTIC SINKS FOR UNDERSTATED SOPHISTICATION

Consider installing under-mount sinks for a sleek, modern, and contemporary look. The understated sophistication you get with this “less is more” approach lets the sink take the spotlight.

Under-mount sinks below the countertop offer an innovative design that will send a statement in the bathroom space.

Pedestal bathroom sinks save you much-needed floor space and are easy to install. They can give your bathroom a traditional look or a contemporary one, depending on how they are implemented.

You could also go for a wall-mounted sink that does not require a vanity base or a countertop. This is particularly ideal for a small bathroom as it gives your bathroom a more spacious look and feel.

Top sink manufacturers include Franke, American Standard, Blanco, Cantrio Koncepts, Duvavit, Victoria & Albert, Kindred, and Kohler.

9. LARGE MIRRORS FOR AN ILLUSION OF EXTRA ROOM

When picking your mirrors, consider large or oversized mirrors for an illusion of extra room and more light to brighten the bathroom. Large mirrors also have a functional benefit in shared spaces as they make mornings easier.

Mirrors come in different designs and have different functions ranging from LED mirrors to adjustable makeup mirror.

10. DISTINCTIVE ACCESSORIES AND HARDWARE TO COMPLEMENT THE BATHROOM DÉCOR

The accessories and hardware you pick should complement the rest of the bathroom décor. The materials, finishing, and forms should match the other fixtures in the bathroom, otherwise, they will feel out of place.

11. ILLUMINATING LIGHT FIXTURES TO SPOTLIGHT YOUR UNIQUE BATHROOM DÉCOR

The right vanity lighting will make your unique bathroom design even more spectacular. Light fixtures, just like other bathroom accents like faucets, tell a story about your bathroom.

The post 11 Bathroom Renovation Ideas to Freshen Up Your Bathroom appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Feeling extra? Gift ideas for your most maximalist pals

Gift-giving to the glamouratti has never been easier: Here are my faves for those who love something a little (or a lot) extra. Because your phone case should shine just as bright as you do. Strike sartorial gold with this ROYGBIV-inspired sequin top. With its sparkly accent, this belt is not for the faint of…
Fashion News, Photos, and Video | New York Post

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What Things Do You Own That You Heartily Recommend As Gift Ideas?

gift ideas for smart women

I’ve noticed a lot of commenters talking about gift ideas (this thread is not to be missed!), but I thought we’d do our own take on it. List here the best thing you’ve bought THIS YEAR that you would heartily recommend to others who are looking for gifts in that category. So readers, thinking about things that YOU YOURSELF own, what are your raves in these categories? What would you heartily recommend for someone else brainstorming gift ideas for smart women like you? If you don’t have a strong opinion about the category, just skip it… 

Best book:

Best makeup/skincare/nailpolish product:

Best handbag:

Best jewelry or accessory (scarf, sunglasses)

Best cardigan/sweater:

Best pajamas/lounge/athleisure item:

Best kitchen item:

Best pantry/shelf-stable food item: (recent thread from the readers)

Best wine, beer, or liquor

Best shippable gift basket, flower delivery, etc., you’ve received:

Best home item (e.g., blanket, Roomba):

Best gift that took a lot of work on the recipient’s end but was great (e.g., Storyworth, 23 & me, etc):

Best thing you received or bought that you see all over social media but not necessarily stores (e.g., Away luggage, American Giant, etc):

Best restaurant meal or giftable experience (please note city):

Best play/musical/event experience (please note city):

Best hobby-related gift (e.g., a wetsuit for your love of kayaking)

If you have a guy in your life with Opinions (brother/father/partner), please share his favorite Thing this year that he already has:

Best $ 10 or under you’ve spent:

Best other:

I’d love to hear your thoughts and raves! Here are my own answers… 

Best book: The Power or The Hating Game

Best makeup/skincare/nailpolish product: Chanel waterproof eyeliner, everything from Drunk Elephant, and a fragrance sampler set from Juliette Has a Gun

Best handbag: Anything from AllSaints

Best jewelry or accessory (scarf, sunglasses): jewelry from Monica Vinader or Alexis Bittar 

Best cardigan/sweater: Barefoot Dreams circle cardigan (black or navy preferred)

Best pajamas/lounge/athleisure item: PJs from Soma

Best kitchen item: n/a, but I’ll ponder

Best pantry/shelf-stable food item: basic spices from Penzeys — I use onion powder and garlic powder all the time.

Best wine, beer, or liquor: Death’s Door gin

Best shippable gift basket/flower delivery/etc you’ve received: n/a, although I got one a few years ago from Mouth that was lovely

Best home item (e.g., blanket, Roomba): Sunbeam heated mattress pad, Phillips Hue lights, Amazon Fire Stick (made it sooo easy to cut the cord)

Best gift that took a lot of work on the recipient’s end but was great (e.g., Storyworth, 23 & me, etc.): I liked 23 & Me, but that was a few years ago (and not that much work); I just bought Storyworth for someone, so I’ll report back next year. 

Best thing you received or bought that you see all over social media but not necessarily stores (e.g., Away luggage, American Giant, etc): Bombas (ack, I just realized Nordstrom carries them! heartily recommend)

Best restaurant meal or giftable experience (please note city): Commander’s Palace (New Orleans), Marea (NYC)

Best play/musical/event experience (please note city): Hamilton (NYC)

Best hobby-related purchase or gift (e.g., a wetsuit for your love of kayaking): n/a but I’ll ponder — if you know someone who often goes to water parks with their kids I heartily recommend Turkish towels like these or these.

If you have a guy in your life with Opinions (brother/father/partner) please share his favorite Thing that he already has: (I’ll ponder.)

Best $ 10 or under you’ve spent: Caudalie lip conditioner ($ 12), Tea Forte straining mug for loose tea ($ 20 but I paid $ 12 on lightning sale), Tervis mugs, Every Drop Makeup Spatula/Scraper ($ 7), colorful case for your Fire remote if you have multiple Fire Sticks in the house.

Best other: I’ll ponder — still love my 6-foot lightning charger and all the other little things I mentioned in our post on small purchases that make your life better. (Don’t miss the comments on that one also.)

Over to you guys: What things do you own that you heartily recommend? 

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

The post What Things Do You Own That You Heartily Recommend As Gift Ideas? appeared first on Corporette.com.

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ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Unique Gift Ideas

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Unique Gift Ideas



Ivy Storehouse Box

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Alpha Kappa Alpha sisters will love this subscription box tailored to the tastes of this sorority’s members. According to the company’s website, The Ivy box is “a curated package of licensed Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. products delivered to your doorstep. Every month, we pick high-quality apparel, accessories, and stationery products according to a Sorority theme.”


Kiva Card

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The Kiva Card is a quick, easy and meaningful gift option that gives your friends, colleagues, and family a way to support entrepreneurs around the globe. For as little as $ 25, Kiva Cards give those special people in your life the opportunity to change someone else’s — halfway around the world or even in their own backyard.


Greentop Gifts

 

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(Image: greentopgifts.com)

Greentop Gifts offers unique black-themed products like this “Clarence Claus” Black Santa wrapping paper.


Luxury Vacation 

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Dream Vacations is a black-owned travel franchise that caters to and accommodates the needs of clients, recommending destinations and resorts that make guests feel welcome.


Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Unique Gift Ideas appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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Great Gift Ideas for Chefs, Foodies and Cooking Enthusiasts

MINI-PREP PLUS PROCESSOR Grind or chop ingredients instantly at the touch of a button. Features a 3-cup bowl with handle and auto-reversing SmartPower Blade. – Cuisinart, www.cuisinart.ca

SUPERSTEAM + It’s 3 ovens in one: whether you’re cooking with Superheated steam, regular steam, or convection heating, you can cook anything just the way you want. – Sharp, www.sharp.ca

MICROWAVE DRAWER The microwave drawer allows you to focus on your kitchen’s design and workflow by offering flexible installation options that declutter your counter space. Sharp, www.sharp.ca

CONVECTION MICROWAVE Combination convection and microwave oven gives you the best of both worlds. Convection technology gives you perfect roasting, baking and browning while the microwave provides the speed you desire. – Sharp, www.sharp.ca

SLO-PRO RED COOKER The Thinkkitchen Slo-Pro Red Cooker lets you prepare everything from chili and meat sauces to tender pork and beef roasts without spending hours in the kitchen. Treat your loved ones to an easy, delicious comfort meal perfect for warming up after an evening of caroling! – Stokes, www.stokesstores.com

PURDY’S CHOCOLATES With over 100+ years of excellence behind them, Purdy’s offers a delicious variety of unique treats, traditional favorites and fun gift ideas like this Chocolate Survival Kit. – Purdy’s, www.purdys.com

NOLAA GRANOLAA Organic, gluten-free, vegan, locally sourced granola in great flavors like Choconana and Almonds & Apples makes a delicious and healthy snack. – Nolaa Granolaa, www.nolaagranolaa.ca

PASTA BASKIT Gift baskets like this Pasta Baskit are a thoughtful gift for any foodie who loves to cook and eat! – Baskits, www.baskits.com

LAKEVIEW CELLARS VIDAL ICEWINE Bursting with aromas and rich flavors, pair this delicious dessert wine with any of your holiday treats. Lakeview Wine Co., www.lakeviewwineco.com

WHISKEY BARREL AGED MAPLE SYRUP The complex whisky and barrel notes of this aged maple syrup make it excellent for cocktails, ice cream, cooking and, of course, pancakes. – Kinsip, www.kinsip.ca

JACEK ARTISAN CHOCOLATE Designer couture chocolates are a sweet treat for the gourmet aficionado on your list. – Jacek Chocolate, www.jacekchocolate.com

The post Great Gift Ideas for Chefs, Foodies and Cooking Enthusiasts appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

Home Trends Magazine

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11 Unique Gift Ideas That Are So Unusual We Can’t Say No

Tis the season for holiday shopping (at least amongst the forward-planners in our midst), and who doesn’t want impressively original gift ideas? Not that we don’t love getting and giving candles, but nothing really says “I love you” like dinosaur garden statues or logs that grow shiitake mushrooms, are we right? Thankfully, unique gift emporium UncommonGoods is here with these and more surprising offerings sure to amuse and delight everyone on your list. Read on for our picks, and get shopping before all the good stuff is gone!

For the Quirky Gardener

Dino-philes and green thumbs alike will surely appreciate these steel garden sculptures, which were made by hand in Arizona.

Buy It! Velociraptor Garden Sculpture Set, $ 180; uncommongoods.com

For the Farm-to-Table Fanatic

Maybe your significant other takes an interest in micology, or maybe they like locavore dining. Whatever the case may be, this shiitake mushroom-growing kit, which is good for up to three years’ worth of fungi, is certain to please.

Buy It! Shiitake Mushroom Log Kit, $ 30; uncommongoods.com

 

For the Tequila Enthusiast

Those who appreciate a fine tequila will love this set of four reusable, hand-carved shot glasses made from Himalayan sea salt. Salud!

Buy It! Himalayan Salt Tequila Glasses, $ 28 for a set of four; uncommongoods.com

 

For the Sports Fan

Not fun: Scraping snow off your car in the dead of winter. Slightly more fun: Scraping snow off your car with a novel hockey stick snow brush. Perfect for the hockey-viewer (or player) in your life.

Buy It! Hockey Stick Snow Brush, $ 25; uncommongoods.com

 

For the Cat Fancier

Any friend of felines knows that cats need something to scratch on, and we’d rather it be this cute cat-sized laptop scratcher than the new couch.

Buy It! Laptop Cat Scratching Pad, $ 35; uncommongoods.com

 

For the Avocado Toast Addict

No ugly brown avocado halves to be found here! These specialty kitchen items are made from BPA-free silicone and ensure more efficient avocado storage. The pit pocket can conveniently be pushed in or out depending on which half you’ve saved.

Buy It! Avocado Huggers, $ 7.95 for a set of two; uncommongoods.com

 

For the Animal Lover

Animal enthusiasts (or anyone who appreciates the cuter things in life) will go wild for this beginner-level felting kit, which provides materials and guidance for making 2-3 tiny, adorable wool hedgehogs. Thoroughly aww-inducing.

Buy It! Hedgehog Needle Felting Kit, $ 20; uncommongoods.com

 

For the Beer Drinker

Exalt six packs with these peel-and-stick magnetic strips, which adhere to the ceiling of your fridge and allow you to store bottles of your favorite brew up high. Not only do they free up precious refrigerator real estate, they look pretty darn cool.

Buy It! BottleLoft, $ 38; uncommongoods.com

 

For the Eco-Conscious

This ingenious solar-powered charger is portable and powerful — it’s around the same size and weight as an iPhone and delivers a full charge in two hours. It also emits light for up to 150 hours, if you please. And for each purchase, the makers of the device will give one solar-powered light to people in areas of the world without electricity. Now that’s illuminating!

Buy It! Solar-Powered Charger & Light, $ 59.95; uncommongoods.com

 

For the Friend Whose Phone is Always Dying

For those in perpetual need of a phone charger, this bracelet is a game-changer. Its long-lasting lithium battery charges up to 50 percent in 40 minutes — not to mention it makes a good-looking accessory!

Buy It! Phone-Charging Bracelet, $ 149; uncommongoods.com

 

For the Humorist

The jokester in your life will find endless amusement in this Bluetooth-connected, banana-shaped wireless handset, which is designed to take your cell phone calls sans radiation exposure. It’s USB-rechargeable and made from recycled plastic for maximum appeal.

Buy It! Bluetooth Banana Phone, $ 40; uncommongoods.com

 


PEOPLE.com

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As Pence kicks off his Asia tour, other countries have their own ideas for the ‘Indo-Pacific’

Before the Trump administration began calling for unimpeded commerce and an end to authoritarianism in the Indo-Pacific, both Japan and Indonesia already had their own policy ideas for the critically important region.
Politics

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These 14 Ideas Are the Next Best Thing to a Mudroom

Not every home has—or needs—a full mudroom, but everyone needs a place to handle the comings and goings of today’s busy families and all their gear. If you’re wondering how to create the convenience of a mudroom without having a dedicated room for the purpose, you’re in luck. These 14 photos offer great ideas for mudroom alternatives that suit a range of budgets and space limitations.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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‘Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4’ Feels Absurdly Polished, But Lacks New Ideas

As you might expect, with servers only going live for launch, much of what Black Ops 4 has to offer remains untested and even unknown. Consequently, for now, this review will focus upon our immediate reactions to the game’s full gamut of modes. We will update this with a finalscore once we’ve poured enough rounds in to reach a definitive verdict.

We’re just going to come out and say it. Right from the off. Headshot the elephant in the room so to speak. BANG BANG. Okay, well look, after immersing ourselves in Black Ops 4 for the weekend (we’ll update this review later in the week when the servers have become more populated and we can collect our thoughts further) we really miss the campaign mode. There. Said it. Whether you will or not will largely depend on whether you’ve enjoyed Call Of Duty campaign modes in the past. Either way, consider this. Yes, Activision reserve the right to do anything it damn please with its own intellectual property, but we can’t help feeling that the absence of a campaign in Black Ops this year sets a worrying precedent.



You might think that sounds overly dramatic. After all, the new title sees developers Treyarch giving the lion’s share of players exactly what they want. Which is, the opportunity to shoot people in the head using a variety of very big, highly fetishized guns in a crisp, meaty fashion. Some might applaud this. They’ve listened to the community and they’ve given players exactly what they want, right? Well sorry Treyarch, art doesn’t work like that.

It’s the reason why The Lord Of The Rings isn’t just four hours of orcs fighting. The reason why you have to play full games of football in FIFA and not just 90 simulated minutes of hitting volleys from the edge of the box. It’s the reason, maybe, why The Rolling Stones wrote a song called You Can’t Always Get What You Want. There is a gaming element to Black Ops 4, it’s why you’re here, but we’d argue it’s just as much of a toolkit as it is a game.

That’s not to say it’s not a lot of fun. It is.

BATTLE ROYALE AND FRIES, PLEASE

In fact, there’s almost an Orange Box feel to Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4, in that, where Valves’ seminal 2007 compilation gave you five separate games under one banner, Black Ops 4 offers three modes of play, each disconnected from each other, yet all of an extremely high quality. Of the three, Blackout is the newbie, and yet not especially different to the BETA you most likely have already played.

It’s CoD’s concession to the modern mania for Battle Royale – arguably the reason why Activision felt that it had to do something different this year, such is the fear that the likes of Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will leave the once dominant FPS looking like yesterday’s news. We can report they’ve done it really well.

As expected, you share the map with up to a hundred other players, though at the time of writing we haven’t been in a game with more than seventy – some have been positively lonely! – and after twenty odd rounds, we felt it played a lot like PUGB might if PUGB didn’t often feel so rickety. We’ll take that.



There are some flaws; some of the maps seem unnecessarily big, with lots of open space and many empty buildings. Playing alone and not in a squad is often infuriating and makes for very short games. Revive me! Please… But it’s worth remembering that Blackout is a launching pad for a new era of CoD, and yet they’ve delivered a firm, stable one.

Veterans will recognise the maps from outings that have come prior in the series – there’s a luxury villa, some kind of army compound, an airport; there’s nothing like a round of bullets to the brain to cure a spot of déjà vu – and the mode is given a distinct Black Ops feel to it by virtue of having areas of the maps populated with zombies and mystery boxes with rare weapons inside. This isn’t just a Battle Royale mode. It’s a Battle Royale inside Black Ops’ infrastructure, and it’s as slick and as meaty as you’d expect. Not as frantic though.

There’s something slower about it than we expected. Of course, it’s difficult to assess the mode with only a third of the players who are supposed to be in the game are online, but we hope the matches become more fevered. We don’t turn to Black Ops for sedate. And yet, the true test of whether Blackout can better Battle Royale FPS experiences elsewhere, will come if and when special events are held for users.

Hold the line on that one. More news when we have it…

SPILL THE ZOMBEANS…



Speaking of zombies, this time it’s a hulk of a mode, with three different adventures available. Two share the same cast of characters – Scarlett Rhodes, Diego Necalli, Bruno Delacroix, Stanton Shaw – with one mission set on the sinking Titanic (Voyage Of Despair, the closest thing we have to a campaign – it’s got cutscenes and everything!) and the other inside the pages of the greatest Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson Fighting Fantasy novel never published.

In this mode, named IX, the aforementioned foursome are plunged into a gladiatorial arena and forced to fight their way through wave after wave of zombies and zombie-adjace creatures – there’s zombie tigers in the game! – all for the crowd’s approval. It’s ridiculously fun. The characters, who quip throughout the veritable gore platter they subsequently serve up, are brilliantly written. It might be – might be – the most fun Zombies experience Black Ops has ever given us.

The third mode is called Blood Of The Dead, and is a re-imagining of the classic Mob Of The Dead map from 2012’s Black Ops 2. You play as the ‘Primis’ crew, specifically the versions of them from Origins. That’s ‘Tank’ Dempsey, Nikolai Belinski, Takeo Masaki and Edward Richtofen, all with jingoistic racial stereotypes in tow. It’s fun, but we don’t ask voice actors to voice Asian characters like that anymore Treyarch, okay? While we remember, there’s a pretty neat ‘customize your own zombie’ device with the main Zombies hub, which we’re going to get right into the guts of forthwith – pun most definitely intended.

THERE’S NO DIE IN TEAM



A few thoughts on Multiplayer, which we should say, is the mode we’ve spent the least amount of time with thus far. There are a few things we’ve experienced that you should know. Health no longer auto-regenerates, which doesn’t feel a lot like Black Ops if we’re telling the truth, yet maybe it’s something which will in time. Also, the game is largely concerned with making you play as a unit of specialists, each with different jobs to do.

Remember Brink? Of course you do. It was really, really boring, because, as is the case here, nobody goes into a FPS wanting a grapple hook rather than a flamethrower. Now, this isn’t Brink, but we bring it up to highlight the problem with the device. Again, maybe we’ll feel differently in time. There’s a character called Nomad. He’s got an attack dog he can call upon. We like dogs. Attack dogs too. As long as they’re attacking someone else but us, obviously.

Is Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 Any Good?

First impressions, then? Well, Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 is certainly a competent, varied FPS experience. It restores a franchise that was in danger of looking like just another shooter to being an AAA title that’s a pretty big deal. Fun will be had. Servers will be full. But here’s the thing. Call Of Duty has been with us a long time – fifteen years and counting – and it became the titan it was for well over a decade – by innovating. What Black Ops 4 does is shamelessly cherry-pick modern trends (some of which are boundlessly creative – even if Fortnite isn’t your cup of health, it’s difficult to argue it’s not a game drowning in ideas) and view them through its aesthetic.

Essentially, Black Ops 4 a Frankenstein Monster of a FPS experience. That’s fine. It’s also a little bit sad. Time will tell if the package peels further back to reveal more of its own soul.

The post ‘Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4’ Feels Absurdly Polished, But Lacks New Ideas appeared first on FANDOM.

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The Weekend Reset: Big ideas, a dying art, and some tunes for your weekend.

It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch up your weekend, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week contributor Tim Johnstone pulls together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.

 

APPRECIATE: Once upon a time these guys were everywhere

It is one of my favorite things about business travel: ending up in a hotel with overnight shoe shine service. Yes, it’s a bit of luxury but it always seems worth the cost. Shoe shine stands were a part of one’s everyday environment. You would see them in airports and kiosks at train stations. They were in many department stores and nicer hotels. And then, not so much. It really is an art. Thanks to Dappered reader John S for sending this our way. It is really cool. Also, I would be a doofus if I didn’t remind you all of this Dappered post.

 

WATCH: It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!

Let’s just admit that kids have always been dicks. And then let’s feel really terrible for Linus because you totally identify with him and…uh…forget that. Pop some corn and remember that when in need of a last minute Halloween costume, a sheet with black holes sharpie onto it with two holes for eyes and a paper bag with rocks is as easy as it gets. Also, identifiable.

 

LISTEN: You know you are a 90’s indie-rock nerd when…

It’s one of those weeks where I was listening to a lot of music while working on the Reset. So I made a playlist. It started with Hum and boom! I ended up going down a 90’s indie-rock kind of rabbit hole. This was music that I either promoted, played on the radio, played in clubs or sold at an indie record store.

 

SAFEGUARD: No, really, you might need to change your passwords. 

I’m not going to share with you the seriously effed up stories I’ve seen this week about hacking because that would be adding insult to injury. There are already so many reasons for you to head over here and find out who may have unintentionally shared your personal information. It does get old doesn’t it?

 

CONSIDER: A thoughtful take on you and me and what ails us. 

Art of Manliness

Any other existential astronauts out there? Also, obligatory.

Tim Johnstone is Dappered’s music correspondent as well as our resident gatherer of all things interwebs related. He’s currently undergoing a Tim Improvement Project™ (Version 4.0). It’s not pretty.


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Trends 2 Watch: Family Room Design Ideas

Home Trends’ Style Editor Jo Alcorn shares some family room design ideas.

Photography by Jason Hartog

SEATING Family rooms need adequate seating for reading, relaxing and hosting movie nights. In this space, I chose an oversized sectional and complemented it with a side chair and a modern rocker. When arranging your seating, be sure to also add hard surfaces such as a large coffee table and side tables to hold snacks and drinks.

PERSONAL TOUCHES Large scale frames featuring artistically taken family photos make a great statement over a sofa and are a great alternative to a gallery wall.

ACCESSORIZE ME Don’t shy away from accessories in a family room. Find a way to incorporate family treasures, bowls and lush throw cushions to give the space an elevated look.

TO SERVE AND PROTECT A high quality area rug goes a long way by protecting your valuable hardwood floors. Choose a subtle color in an interesting pattern (to hide possible stains) for a beautiful, timeless look. – Text by Jo Alcorn

The post Trends 2 Watch: Family Room Design Ideas appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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