Skinit x Speck iPhone Cases – Marvel Collectors Edition Review

skinit_marvel_collectors_cases

It’s an amazing time to be a Marvel fan these days with the comic book giant becoming more and more popular as each movie gets released. Skinit have teamed up with Marvel and Speck to release the Marvel Collectors Edition collection. The collection features 20 of your favorite Marvel characters including Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Hulk and more. The fine folk at Skinit was gracious enough to let us review the Iron Man edition of their case.

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The Skinit Marvel Collector’s Edition Speck cases are comprised of both a durable plastic shell and a shock absorbent inner layer. The back of the case features a 3D comic book effect that’s inspired by Jack Kirby’s classic artwork. The print is highly detailed and the 3D illusion is fantastic to look at. Apart from the beautiful 3D artwork in the back, the entire case is transparent and has a smooth feel to it that’s not too slippery to handle.

However, should your phone slip from your hands, your phone will be well protected as the Marvel Speck case meets the MIL-STD-810G drop test standards. After several intentional and unintentional drops, my iPhone 6 was left virtually unscathed and was running as it should. The raised bezel on the front gives your phone plenty of clearance should your phone fall screen first on the ground. Not to mention that the case itself is excellent against scratches even after consistently pocketing the phone with my car keys. Even the Marvel design in the back was able to leave without a scratch as well.

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Unfortunately, with the case being as stiff as it is, installation proved to be more challenging than anticipated. As I attempted to install the phone into the case, I became afraid that my phone would bend in the middle because there isn’t much give in the case. However, once the phone is properly installed within the case then everything fit like a glove. Also, as you might expect, uninstalling the case is just as challenging as putting it on. You’re going to have to give it time to break in the case for everything to not feel as rigid as it does when the case first arrives.

Another slight problem with the case’s rigidness is the stiffness of the sleep/wake and volume button covers. Thankfully after a day or so, the stiffness of the button covers disappeared. The mute switch, speaker, Lightning port, and headphone jack are all left open and easily accessible. While most plastic clear cases start to show wear almost immediately, the case showed very little wear and tear. While there is reporting of the case yellowing over time, I haven’t encountered the problem personally after several weeks.

Overall, with its fantastic 3D artwork and its tough shell the Skinit Marvel Collector’s Edition Speck cases are a must-have for any Marvel fan that still has an iPhone 6. Unfortunately, the installation can be challenging and can potentially bend your phone if you’re not careful. Also, the fact that this good-looking collection came out right before the release of the iPhone 7 is a little sad. Here’s hoping that Skinit will release these cases for the iPhone 7 Plus.

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Rating: 4/5 atoms
NR 4 Atoms - B

This case was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Skinit Acquisition LLC.





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Salem 3×04 ‘Night’s Black Agents’ review

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When you find out an episode is going to be directed by Joe Dante, you can expect the episode to be dark with some light elements, especially when you have his longtime buddy/actor Robert Picardo added into the mix. Of course, the episode does have it’s dark and depressing moments because it’s Salem. But, with Dante’s expertise, he was able to add a bit of his humor, which is needed at times for the intensity of the series. I saw that dog peeing on Cotton, Joe. Nice touch.

Let’s check out what is happening to each of our characters.

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RUN AWAY, COTTON. RUN AWAY.

Cotton escapes into the woods to be met with images of Anne trying to contact him. He threatens to go to Boston and reveal everything. Sebastian finds out he ran away, but in exchange for not revealing this to the Dark Lord, he asks Anne to tell him everything that happened to Mary in the reckoning. She tells him Mary’s powers were taken from her, but she survived. Sebastian reveals that he loves Mary and betrays Anne by telling the Dark Lord about Cotton’s escape. The Dark Lord calls on his ‘night’s black agents’ to find Cotton and if they fail, Anne will suffer the consequences.

As Cotton is running through the woods, he runs into Mr. Stroughton (played by Robert Picardo) and his wife and begs for their help to take him to Boston. Little does he know, they are witches and capture him back to their home. He wakes to find himself tied up in their home. The Stoughton’s plan to reap the reward the Dark Lord has promised by turning Cotton in, but they agree to wait until the Dark Lord ups the reward. She begins prepping him as a meal, but is stopped by her husband. He tells her that the Dark Lord wants Cotton alive. As they begin to banter hilariously, Cotton frees himself and kills the Mr. Stoughton and their dog.

Tituba watches through her cat and begins a spell that protects him from the Dark Lord’s crows chasing him. She appears before him and tells him that he has someone that he loves – his unborn child.

As punishment for Anne losing Cotton, the Dark Lord begins to torture Anne.

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STRONGER THAN YESTERDAY

Post-losing her powers, Mary experiences the worst of pains from the Sentinel. She imagines bugs crawling into her skin as if she was relapsing from a drug. The Dark Lord tells her she’ll love him one day. As Mary is recovering, Sebastian tries to convince Mary that they should be together, but she turns him down because her son stands in their way. Oh, that tricky Mary. She knows how to play those men. She is totally using Sebastian’s feelings to somehow get to the Dark Lord.

As Mary roams her hallway, she begins to hear the voices of her victims through a locked door. Her victim Rebecca Nurse brings Mary to relive her sins and experience it herself. The Sentinel tries to get her to kill herself by jumping off the balcony. She tells him to kill her, but she knows he cannot because the Dark Lord forbade him from hurting her. She taunts him that she does have a choice and that he does not.

Mary is sent back to the Essex coven. They want to protect her, but Mary refuses to give up. She requests to be sent back to face the Dark Lord. That’s our girl. The witch is back and she’s stronger than ever. Her powers did not define her. She defined her powers and herself. This is why Mary is so awesome. She is one step ahead of everyone and knows how to use other’s feelings for her own gain. I predict her using The Sentinel’s anger to have him fight his own brother, because why not? Also, Janet Montgomery is killing it this season.

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CAPTAIN ALDEN SAVES THE DAY!

Alden follows the Native Americans and French to save Billy, who, lin the last episode, foolishly hid in the French cart. Alden attacks the camp and finds Billy with the French leader in the midst of torturing him/her. After saving Billy, Alden demands answers from the French leader and finds the Angel Tears, which was planned to blow up Salem. And, like that, those demonic Native Americans show up.

I have to be honest, I need more John Alden storyline.

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HAVE MERCY

Mercy and Hawthorne’s relationship advances and there is so much passion between the two. Hawthorne begins to reveal his problems with the refugees and being pulled from all sides on the issue. Mercy comforts him. She supports him more by having her minions cheer Hawthorne on in front of his peers, particularly Treasuer Putnam, as a great magistrate. Mercy then proceeds to recruit another girl for her brethren as Isaac watches from afar.

Let’s be honest, Mercy is actually doing some good. Sure, these girls are selling their bodies to better their lives, but she’s providing them the opportunity to survive. It’s not like she’s beating them and taking their money. She provides them a choice. I have to say, I’m liking this new empowered Mercy. Also, I’m really digging #MERTHORNE.

Side note, don’t you think Jonny Coyne (Treasurer Putman) make a great Uncle Fester from the Adams Family?

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MY SIDEKICK DORCAS

We finally find out the name of the little girl following Isaac around – Dorcas. If you’re wondering where that name came from, it’s from the bible. The writers provide their character’s names for a reason. Dorcas was a “woman was full of good works and almsdeeds”. So, I’m guessing, this little orphan girl was sent to Isaac to be part of his team to help in the good. When Isaac is unsure of what to do, she provides him good advice to just make sure “there are no more Dollys” (what happened to Dolly).

Isaac visits Mercy’s dollhouse and tries to convince the women to leave, but they love their life with Mercy. Isaac ventures upstairs to Mercy’s room and finds birds locked in cages. Uh-Oh… this can’t be good for Mercy. Also, where is the security for Mercy’s room? Can any gentleman just go up in her room and essentially rob her? For someone all magical and powerful, she has horrible security in her place.

 

So, what’s going to happen next? Will Isaac release the birds? Will Cotton return to save Anne and their unborn child in time from the Dark Lord? What’s Mary’s next step? Will Billy reveal herself to John Alden? What’s up with the demonic Native Americans? It’s killing me. We’ll find out more next week.

Salem airs every Wednesday on WGN America at 9pm.





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Jerome returns in new Gotham 3×12 promo

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Gotham is now on a hiatus and will return with new episodes in January. For those who can’t wait, a promo was released this week and showed the return of Jerome (Cameron Monaghan), who many believe is going to become the Joker.

In the midseason finale, things get a bit crazy between James Gordon, Lee Thompkins and Mario Falcone. Mario was able to make Lee believe that James is obsessed and crazy. It ended with Gordon shooting Mario, who was about to kill Lee. However, in Lee’s eyes, it looked like Gordon just barged into their honeymoon to kill a defenseless Mario.

Via Television Promos





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Billy Dee Williams returns as Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face, in LEGO Batman Movie

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Billy Dee Williams once played district attorney Harvey Dent in Tim Burton’s Batman. He didn’t get to become Two-Face, the schizophrenic villain, but he will in the upcoming LEGO Batman Movie. Director Chris McKay has posted on Twitter that Williams will be voicing the character.

Will Arnett, who voiced Batman in The LEGO Movie, will be reprising his role with Michael Cera as Robin, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth, Mariah Carey as Gotham’s mayor, and Zach Galifianakis as the Joker.

Synopsis: In the irreverent spirit of fun that made The LEGO Movie a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure: The LEGO Batman Movie. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

The film is written by Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter creator) with The LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller as producers. Dan Lin is also producing.

The LEGO Batman Movie hits theaters on February 10, 2017.





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New Assassin’s Creed featurette is all about the Animus

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Fox has released a new featurette for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie starring Michael Fassbender. The video touches on the new Animus, and those who have played the video game series know that this is a definite upgrade compared to the simple table/chair setup. (You can see the difference here.)

What’s interesting about this is that Fassbender’s character, Callum Lynch, moves around the room as he’s reliving his ancestor’s life.

Synopsis: Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

The film is directed by Justin Kurzel (Macbeth) and also stars Marion Cottilard (The Dark Knight Rises), Brendan Gleeson, Michael K. Williams and Jeremy Irons.

Assassin’s Creed hits theaters on December 21, 2016.





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Get ready for #Ham4Ham: The Hamilton Mixtape Performance tomorrow

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Hamilton fans!

The Hamilton Mixtape, which releases tomorrow on iTunes, Amazon Music, and GooglePlay, contains 23 remixed versions of some of the musical numbers. Musical stars like John Legend, Asanti, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, The Roots, and more have contributed to the soundtrack.

To celebrate the release of The Hamilton Mixtape. it looks like we’ll be getting a live-stream performance from some of the people featured in The Hamilton Mixtape. No other announcements have been made on who will be performing, but Hamilton: The Musical is giving those living in or near New York City, or visiting NYC at the time, the opportunity to be in the room where it happens at the Richard Rodgers theater.

The Hamilton Mixtape Performance airs tomorrow at 1pm ET, 10am PT on the link below.

 

Check out the playlist:

  1. No John Trumbull (Intro) by The Roots
  2. My Shot (feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess) [Rise Up Remix] by The Roots
  3. Wrote My Way Out [Explicit] by Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Aloe Blacc
  4. Wait For It by Usher
  5. An Open Letter (feat. Shockwave) [Interlude] [Explicit] by Watsky
  6. Satisfied (feat. Miguel & Queen Latifah) by Sia
  7. Dear Theodosia (feat. Ben Folds) by Regina Spektor
  8. Valley Forge (Demo) [Explicit] by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  9. It’s Quiet Uptown by Kelly Clarkson
  10. That Would Be Enough by Alicia Keys
  11. Immigrants (We Get The Job Done) [Explicit] by K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC, Residente
  12. You’ll Be Back by Jimmy Fallon & The Roots
  13. Helpless (feat. Ja Rule) by Ashanti
  14. Take A Break (Interlude) by !llmind
  15. Say Yes To This by Jill Scott
  16. Congratulations by Dessa
  17. Burn by Andra Day
  18. Stay Alive (Interlude) by J.PERIOD & Stro Elliot
  19. Cabinet Battle 3 (Demo) by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  20. Washingtons By Your Side by Wiz Khalifa
  21. History Has Its Eyes On You by John Legend
  22. Who Tells Your Story (feat. Common & Ingrid Michaelson) by The Roots
  23. Dear Theodosia (Reprise) by Chance The Rapper & Francis and The Lights





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SyFy’s Incorporated tells a familiar story, but with better looking people

incorporated

It’s the year 2074 and the future is run by corporations and separated by two zones – the safe and futuristic Green Zone and the poor slums of the Red Zone, which is ravaged by climate change and disease. Ambitious and handsome, Ben (Sean Teale) is working his way up in the Spiga Corp – married to the CEO’s beautiful daughter Laura (Allison Miller) – and does whatever it takes to climb the levels, even if it means corruption. Welcome to the world of SyFy’s Incorporated. 

Of course, not everything is what it seems. Ben is originally from the Red Zone and whole purpose for being in the Green Zone is to find his past love, who is now working as an escort for the rich in the upper levels. Hence, his determination to climb up the ranks to gain access to her.

Created by Self/Less screenwriters David and Alex Pastor and executive produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, the story seems oddly familiar. The dystopian world run by corporations where there is a divide between classes is not new. The story of Incorporated seems to grab elements from Mr. RobotGattaca, Damon’s own Elysium, and Blade Runner. Not that anything is wrong with that, but the story doesn’t present anything new.

Dennis Haysbert’s appearance as Julian, the Spiga security officer/torturer in the “Quiet Room”, does give the show some presence, but not enough to keep my interest. TV veteran Julia Ormond does provide some promise as Elizabeth, the CEO of Spiga and Laura’s mother. She seems stoic at first, but eventually warms up to you and you realize there is more to her character. Unfortunately, the other characters are a bit one-dimensional whose purpose on the show is entirely based on their secret.

Dennis Haysbert’s appearance as Julian, the Spiga security officer/torturer in the “Quiet Room”, does give the show some presence, but not enough to keep my interest. TV veteran Julia Ormond does provide some promise as Elizabeth, the CEO of Spiga and Laura’s mother. She seems stoic at first, but eventually warms up to you and you realize there is more to her character. Unfortunately, the other characters are a bit one-dimensional whose purpose on the show is entirely based on their secret.

Overall, the series tends to fall into the dystopian trope and typical cliches of that trope. It doesn’t present anything new to the table or the story, other than a beautiful cast.

Incorporated airs tonight at 10pm on Syfy.





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English cast revealed for Dragon Ball Super

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The English cast of Dragon Ball Super has been announced. Sean Schemmel and Christopher Sabat headline the cast as Goku and Vegeta respectively. Unfortunately, not all of the cast members from Dragon Ball Z has returned. So we’ll be introduced to new people voicing some of our favorite characters.

The Dragon Ball series is one of the rare animes where I prefer the dub version. I’ve been watching the dub since I was a kid and pretty much grew up on it. And before you judge, I did try the original version, but I just could not get over the voice for some of the characters, especially for Goku.

To get the whole list of voice actors you can click here.

Source: Funimation





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Westworld season finale, episode 10, ‘The Bicameral Mind,’ photos; Maeve sets her plan with Hector

Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

HBO has released four photos for the season finale of Westworld. Here we see Maeve executing her plan along with Hector, Armistice and Felix. The photo with the Man in Black and Dolores features her walking near her grave.

Episode 10, “The Bicameral Mind,” will air on Sunday, December 4th, from 9pm to 10:30pm PT/ET. Yes, it will be an hour and a half.

Synopsis. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) unveils his bold new narrative; Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) embraces her identity; Maeve (Thandie Newton) sets her plan in motion.

The episode is written by Lisa Joy & Jonathan Nolan and directed by Nolan.

Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO





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Lin-Manuel Miranda to produce new ‘Kingkiller Chronicle’ film/TV Show

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Disney has proven that it’s good to be in the Lin-Manuel Miranda business. And, now, Lionsgate is following suit. The company announced that they have tapped Miranda to serve as creative producer of a future TV and film adaptation of the popular fantasy series The Kingkiller Chronicle. This book series, written by Patrick Rothfuss, is a favorite among fans of the genre and is well-known for its huge and intricate world. Miranda will be in charge of providing any music and original songs for the series.

Miranda said in a press release, “Pat Rothfuss’ ‘Kingkiller’ books are among the most read and re-read in our home. It’s a world you want to spend lifetimes in, as his many fans will attest. Pat also writes about the act of MAKING music more beautifully than any novelist I’ve ever read. I can’t wait to play a part in bringing this world to life onscreen.”

Although no dates for either the film or TV show have been announced, this will be something that fans will be keeping an eye on very closely.





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First look at Alpha 5 for the Power Rangers movie

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The first look at Alpha 5 has been shared by Lionsgate, via IGN showing off an updated but familiar look to the classic character. Still having the classic red and blue color with a bit of gold, its sure to get fans excited to see him on the big screen. Alpha 5 will be voiced by Bill Hader, who also did vocal consulting for BB-8 on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


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Saban’s Power Rangers follows five ordinary high school kids who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove – and the world – is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover that they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so they will have to overcome their real-life issues and band together as the Power Rangers before it is too late.

Source: IGN





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The Examined Life is the Only One Worth Living

Star Trek is a show about ideas. It is often full of action, suspense, drama, and humor. But at its core, Star Trek communicates ideas about human life through the experiences, relationships, tragedies and explorations of the universe narrated/explored through its characters. In each of these encounters with alien species, space anomalies or with fellow crew members, something of the human condition is conveyed. I hope to explore some of these, along with the myriad fans of Star Trek, and come to know something more about the phenomenon we love and to know more about ourselves as well. In my professional life I teach philosophy and so I will carry out these musings in conversation with some of the key thinkers in philosophy and history.

Picard in Star Trek: TNG "Tapestry"

One of my favorite episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation is “Tapestry.” This episode has everything I mentioned above. It has the erratic and often humorous behavior of Q, some ornery Nausicaans, romantic interests, great fights, wonderful character development and suspense. The opening scene sees the stalwart and stoic Captain Jean-Luc Picard die in sickbay resulting from a weapon’s blast. The artificial heart he received in his youth gave out and he could not be saved. The omnipotent Q visits Picard in what appears to be the afterlife and asks whether there is regret in the captain’s life. It’s a poignant inquisition, as the tormented voices of those who have died, either through the action or inaction of Picard throughout his life, echo in the background. Q offers Picard an opportunity to make peace with his “sordid” past. He can alter the past in order to avoid the violent encounter with the surly Nausicaans in his youth to keep his natural heart and thus save his future life.

Q and Picard in Star Trek: TNG "Tapestry"

Picard is nothing if not an enlightened individual, and he laments that his youthful life was filled with “far too much ego” and “too little wisdom.” Rather than seeing an untimely end to his life, Picard is sent to the past and, in the course of events, a mature captain attempts to convince his youthful, ensign companions to not seek revenge on the cheating Nausicaans. He attempts to make them see that the risk is too great and the potential benefit not worth the potential loss. During his attempts to correct his youth, Picard manages to alienate his closest friends. He refuses to come to the aid of his mate, Cortin Zweller, and in doing so betrays the friendship which is based on years of comaraderie, shared experience and mutual support. They used to have one another’s backs, not one another’s consensus. In different ways, he explores the “what if” person in his life, Marta. However, in being willing to romantically explore what did not originally occur, the mature Picard does not anticipate the response of youth to the discomforting change of a friendship. This, too, is lost and cannot be recovered. Ultimately, Picard avoids the fateful combat with the Nausicaans, but the cost in terms of friendships is high. The cost is also high in terms of his own life. The outcome of being overly cautious and losing youthful zeal is not only that Picard’s career suffers. Even more so, he loses himself. The dreary lieutenant from astrophysics is a shell of the person Picard is and a caricature of the life he knows as his own.

Cortin Zweller in Star Trek: TNG "Tapestry"

Picard is given an opportunity that many would relish. As we mature, it is common to look back at points in our life and reflect on the choices we made and the things we’ve done. Depending on the nature of the events in mind we might swell with pride, wince with regret or even feel the pangs of shame. It is easy to examine our past from the standpoint of maturity and have some regrets. If we are caught in similar circumstances today, we act differently than we did in our youth. In Plato’s Apology, Socrates stands trial for denying the gods, corrupting the youth and for being politically disruptive (activities well known to philosophers!). Socrates discusses the option of avoiding execution by choosing a life of silence where his questions and his explorations in virtue will no longer prove to be a menace to the stability of Athenian society. He is given the opportunity to go on living, and all he has to do is avoid his life’s passion and abandon his inquiries. It is here that Socrates offers his famous dictum, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates cannot take up the offer of the Athenian authorities. He cannot remain silent. He must continue his searches because it is these inquiries that make his life worthwhile.

Picard talks to Q in Star Trek: TNG "Tapestry"

Ancient philosophers discussed this in the Socratic idea of the unity of the virtues. A person cannot simply be just or merciful, generous or patient without having the other virtues accompanying them. One must be resolute and have self-discipline in order to gain wisdom. One must be patient to be steadfast and one must be humble to learn knowledge. In other words, a complete life is needed in order to have a life that is worthwhile. Picard could not become the wise captain without reflecting critically on his impetuous youth. He could not courageously take command of the Stargazer when it was needed without taking the risks of getting into fights over games of dom-jot. He could not know that life is a fleeting thing that merits our making the most of every second without nearly losing that life before it reached fulfillment. These moments shaped who he became and gave him the life worth living. Without those moments of regret and the brash arrogance of his youth his life becomes tedious and wearisome. The normally stoic Picard cries out, “I cannot live out my days as that person. That man is bereft of passion and imagination. I am not that man!” He would rather die on Dr. Crusher’s table than live as the person he became after he changed his youth.

Picard is surrounded by his crew in Star Trek: TNG "Tapestry"

In this moment, Picard learns something of immense importance. He learns that living well is less about having a life without blemishes as it is about reflecting upon the complexities and conflicts of one’s life and learning from it. What is important, for both Picard and Socrates, is that we examine our lives with its imperfections rather than constructing perfect lives. It’s the willingness to confront ourselves and grow that matters. Picard doesn’t try to justify his youth, nor do his opinions change about it. In the end, he still thinks he was brash and arrogant as an ensign. But he comes to recognize that our well-being and maturation hinge upon our openness to acknowledge our flaws and learn from them. For Picard, Socrates and us, the process of learning from our lives is superior to having spotless lives. In fact, it appears that the examined life is the only one worth living.

Timothy Harvie is Associate Professor of philosophy and ethics at St. Mary's University in Calgary, Canada. His interests lie primarily in philosophical theology, political philosophy, environmental and animal philosophies, and ideas of the role of hope in society. He is a lifelong Star Trek fan. Check out his website at http://ift.tt/2g6ZrBf.





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Picardo, Braga Reunite for Salem

Star Trek: Voyager's Robert Picardo tackles a very, very different role today on WGN's creepy series, Salem. The actor, sporting a scruffy beard and long white hair, guest stars as a character named Mr. Stoughton in the third-season episode, "Night's Black Agents." Picardo, of course, reunites with another familiar Trek figure on Salem. His old Voyager boss, Brannon Braga, is Salem's co-creator and executive producer/show runner, as well as one of its writers.

Here's the official synopsis of the episode: In “Night’s Black Agents” – written by Brannon Braga & Adam Simon and directed by Joe Dante (Gremlins) – Cotton desperately tries to escape to Boston before Anne or the Boy’s followers track him down. He comes across Tituba, who shows him a vision of his future, ultimately changing his decision to leave. Mary realizes that even without her witch powers, she can still use her femininity to manipulate those around her. Meanwhile, Alden and Billy continue the fight on the outskirts of Salem.

Robert Picardo as Mr. Stoughton in Salem

Picardo, in a quick conversation with StarTrek.com, said: "I loved working on Salem with my longtime friends Brannon Braga and Joe Dante. Plus, it was great to have hair again, however briefly. I looked like an evil Ben Franklin."





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The Secret Like of Pets gets an Honest Trailer

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Film, much like life, sometimes gives you lemons. Sometimes you can take those lemons, and make them into lemonade, and end up with a cult classic on your hands. Other times, as mentioned by the Wolf in the hilarious animated film, 2005’s Hoodwinked, that lemonade “goes bitter, and ferments, and turns to pig-swill.” Never trust a bunny.

Personally, I never got a chance to go see Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life of Pets. I’m not sure why, honestly, but it may have been due to the bad taste their previous film, Minions, left in my mouth. But after seeing what the fine folks over at Screen Junkies had to say about it, I can definitely say that I didn’t miss out on much. Labeling it as a knock-off Toy Story, the Honest Trailer pulls no punches in letting fans know what they’re gearing up when they see it: animal butts. No, seriously, animal butts. Check out the video down below!

Source: ScreenJunkies





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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Lin-Manuel Miranda present Millennials: The Musical

millennials

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Lin-Manuel Miranda have teamed up to create a musical. No! Not just any musical. A musical for MILLENNIALS!

Last week, The Rock’s Seven Bucks Digital Studios released their first mockumentary video, ‘The Making of Millennials: The Musical” where he and Miranda introduced the concept of their new “musical” and a look ‘behind-the-scenes’. The clip featured the musical’s creator – an entitled millennial named Michael Palomar (Jack Jordan Norman) who “tweeted” the idea to Johnson and Miranda.

The musical is about privileged New Yorker named Crystal (Meg DeAngelis) whose world comes crashing down when she loses her phone. With the help of Gen-Xer Jack (Jon Hall), they look for where her phone would be, which consist of multiple millennial hotspots like a startup, juice bar, coffee shop, and dance club. While the fifteen-minute musical pokes fun at the millennial lifestyle and terms, it still has a catchy beat, all thanks to Miranda.

Let’s go to Burning Man!

Check it out below:

 





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Protect your electronics with the Accell PowerGenius 8 Outlet Surge Protecter (Review)

powergenius

You finally got that custom PC you’ve been dreaming about, or that 65″ 4K TV from your Black Friday shopping, along with your new PS4 Pro or Xbox One S. Now its time to enjoy your bounty, but, sadly, you ran out of sockets. Sure, you can grab that basic surge protector that’s been lying around. But with all that new hardware you just purchased, you need to step up the protection, and Accell has just what you need with the PowerGenius™ 8 Outlet Home Theater Smart Surge Protector. What looks like any normal surge protector, the Accell PowerGenius provides so much more, while protecting your expensive hardware.

Specs

  • Joule Rating: 2180 Joules
  • Outlets: 8 Grounded (1 adapter spaced)
  • Grounded Cord: 6ft/1.8m
  • Resettable Circuit: Yes
  • Electrical Rating: 120V, 15 Amps, 1800 Watts
  • Max. Spike Amperage: 144, 000 AMPS
  • Max. Peak Spike Current: 3KV
  • Max. Spike Voltage: 6KV
  • Clamp Rating: L-N 330V, L-G 400V, N-G 400V
  • Noise Reduction:52dB from 150KHz to 100 MHz
  • Wall Mounting: 2-Way
  • Ethernet or Phone Line Protection: 1 pair
  • Coax Protection: 1 pair

There’s a lot of information regarding what it can protect against and whatnot. Seeing as how it can be difficult to test these, I’ll focus more on functionality. One thing that is missing from the PowerGenius is a USB port. Since it’s focused more on your home theater system or computer set up, USB ports wouldn’t be necessary since this could be set up somewhere that wouldn’t be touched for quite some time. The 8 socket gives you the ability to plug in almost any home theater set up. TV, game console(s), surround sound, plenty of sockets for them all, including 3 wide sockets for adapters. Also included on the PowerGenius is the Ethernet in/out and coax in/out. Basically, it allows protection for your Ethernet connection or even cable tv/modem connection as well. Simply plug in using the in/out sockets and done. Offers the same protection should a jolt of energy burst through knocking out your power. The tech that powers the PowerGenius offers the safest protection by reacting to certain conditions and encased in fireproof material.

Line noise reduction is something that is often overlooked, but not for those tech savvy users. Line noise can disrupt TV and sound signals by the energy being emitted from the AC plugs, normally in the form of Electromagnetic Interference or Radio Frequency Interference EMI/RFI. Most people don’t notice, but once you have all sorts of things plugged in, or have several systems close by (like your computer near your TV system), it can cause interference that becomes noticeable as static. The PowerGenius provides a level of noise reduction from said interference to unnoticeable levels. Normally, I stream Netflix or Hulu shows, but I also watch TV on standard air waves. My TV and computer are setup close together and it causes interference to the TV signal in the form of skipping or loss of signal. The occurrence is frequent, to the point of not being watchable. Once I hooked up everything to the PowerGenius, the interference was down to a bare minimum with only a slight skip and the picture is clearer.

powergenius2

Final Reaction

When it comes down to protection, Accell has you covered. The PowerGenius goes beyond normal protection that many surge protectors offer. With the noise reduction, Ethernet and Coax protection, it’s a no brainer for anyone wanting to fully protect their expensive home theater system. The same can be said for those pricey custom PC rigs. And at a low price with a 5-Year Connected Equipment $100,000 Limited Warranty, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your equipment is protected and backed in case something goes wrong.

Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

You can purchase the Accell PowerGenius, along with other products, at accellcables.com
The Accell PowerGenius 8 Outlet Surge Protecter was provided by Accell for the purpose of this review





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Serial Cleaner: Fun ’70s style game lets you clean up murder scenes

Releasing a teaser trailer nearly six months ago, the fast-paced, groovy game Serial Cleaner is finally up for grabs!

With lots of positive reviews and recommendations on why to play it on Steam, we’re looking forward to playing it! “While I was more than a bit skeptical when first launching the game, Serial Cleaner is one of those few games this years that honestly took me by surprise, in terms of underestimating its quality,” says user WarriorDan on the game’s Steam page.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Inherent Vice and loved it, I can assure you that you’ll love this game as well. Upon seeing the teaser, I immediately was reminded of the movie.

You play as a guy who cleans up murder scenes and has to dispose of various things from the crime, like bodies and murder weapons. The overall game has that classic 1970s feel, and takes on a really cool art style.

As simple and straightforward the plot may be, the game offers so much more. It’s fast-paced style and action-y overtones make it all the more fun.

Check out some gameplay below, and don’t forget to pick up the game!





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Genji’s Dragonblade in real life

overwatch-genji

The folks at Baltimore Knife and Sword are back with another awesome weapon. This time, they are making Genji’s Dragonblade from Overwatch, as well as his shurikens. Watch as they turn this from a digital game asset to a physical weapon of destruction.

Now, if only we can pull off the ultimate move in real life. That would be so awesome! The final product looks incredible, and I’m on the hunt to see where I can buy my own now! Or I could just build a forge and make my own….nah. I’m good. I’ll just buy one already made.

Source: YouTube





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Throwback to the future: Neo-noir games you must check out

In this fast-paced world of ours, where video games look more like real life than real life can sometimes, it’s nice to sometimes take a step back and revisit the games that turned us into nerds in the first place. And even though some of those games were made years ago, sometimes the premise of the game goes even further back in time. I know that the majority of us nerds play our favorite throwback games all the time: The Legend of Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, and so, so much more. However, I’ve been revisiting a lot of other games as well. Trust me, if you haven’t played them yet, here’s all the reasons why you should.

As winter comes around, I always find myself in the mood to stick to mainly detective and noir games. Something about the rain; something about the trench coats. Who’s to say? I’ve played three just in these past few weeks, and they’ve helped in reminding me why I like mystery stuff so much.

The first one I played was a classic; Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes Game

The Sherlock games go all the way back to 1987. Although the older ones aren’t always as good as the newer ones, all of them are worth playing if you get the chance. All of them give you that proper detective feel, but specific ones like The Awakened and The Case of the Silver Earring really do the trick.

Next, a personal favorite, the Blade Runner game from 1997.

Blade Runner Game

The movie follows Rick, played by Harrison Ford, and his journey through a neo-noir Los Angeles to unlock secrets about the replicants.

Although the game follows along with some of the movie’s original plot, with various known characters making an appearance, our main character is not the same and the storyline is altered. Even cooler, Rick is mentioned several times throughout the video game. How cool!

The movie was fantastic, and the game allows us to relive the movie from a different perspective. Play it if you get the chance!

Lastly, a new game I fell in love with, the Tex Murphy series from 1989 to present. (Specifically, Under a Killing Moon.)

tex murphy

The video games take full advantage of FMV (full motion video). This means they film real people in front of a green screen and then pop them into the video game later. This feature makes the game look really cool, and really takes you back. It just feels authentic, making it even more fun to play.

The storyline follows along with our protagonist, Tex Murphy; “a down-on-his-luck private investigator in a post-nuclear future San Francisco, borrowing tropes from both the film noir and cyberpunk genres.” (via Wikipedia)

The Tex Murphy games really take you into the whole neo-noir, detective feel. It’s like the epitome of it all! So if you’re really wanting to flash back in time (or in this case, the future), then Tex Murphy will definitely do that.

All of these games do a perfect job at taking me back in time in both ways, visually and virtually. I get to play some classic things that embody the word throwback, but also play as detectives throughout different time periods and feel noir as hell.

If you’re looking for something along those lines, then I highly suggest the games above. And on a side note, if you’re just looking for some perfect detective/noir games in general, check our LA Noire, Wolf Among Us, or Murdered Soul Suspect.

Have any suggestions?! (Please do, I love these games.) Comment below!





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Exclusive Ben-Hur clip shows off making of and VFX of gally ship scene

ben-hur_jack_huston

Ben-Hur is now available on Digital HD, and we have an exclusive clip featuring how the gally ship was created and the VFX behind it.

Synopsis: BEN-HUR is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the film also stars Rodrigo Santoro, Ayelet Zurer, Pilou Asbaek, Sofia Black D’Elia and Academy Award winner* Morgan Freeman.

Ben-Hur will also be available on Blu-ray and DVD December 13th. The features from the Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital HD contain over an hour of bonus content including the making of the chariot race, interviews, deleted scenes, music videos and more. Also for a limited time, a $10 movie card will be provided if you get the Blu-ray Combo Pack. It’s good for any movie in theaters.

Check out the list of features below.

BEN-HUR Blu-ray Combo Pack
The BEN-HUR Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film as well as the following:
Blu-ray
• Feature film in high definition
• Ben-Hur: The Legacy
• The Epic Cast
• A Tale for Our Times
• The Chariot Race
• Deleted & Extended Scenes
• Music Videos

DVD
• Feature film in standard definition





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Surface Phone may become a reality

microsoft-lumia-950-18-630x420

Nokia Lumia 950 pictured

With Microsoft’s successful Surface line growing, the company is reportedly ready to begin production on the rumored Surface phone next year.

Rumors of the Surface Phone reignited a few weeks ago when Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, spoke about Microsoft’s commitment to building “the ultimate mobile device.” This is followed up by the company’s manufacturing partner, Pegatron, reportedly being ready to begin production as early as next year. Aside from the production rumor, however, little else is known about what we can expect from the device.

There is still the elephant in the room, however, that it may be too late for Microsoft in the mobile phone game. With the Windows phone being pushed for years, going back to phones like the Blackjack and even the buy-in of Nokia’s mobile division, Microsoft’s attempts to enter the fray have been less than successful. Not only do Android and iOS hold the market share, next year marks the ten-year anniversary of the iPhone. If the rumors are true, Microsoft has a lot going against their Surface Phone.

On the flip side, if it is as functional and useful as a Surface Book or tablet, then Microsoft may have a shot. They just need something to stand out.

Source: TechnoBuffalo





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Zootopia leads Annie Awards nominations

Image result for zootopia

Before the best animated film of the year is announced at the Oscars, a whole award show is dedicated to the genre. The Annie Awards is an annual ceremony that honors excellence in the field of animation. The 44th Annual Annie Awards will be held in February, and Walt Disney Animation Studio’s Zootopia leads the pack of nominees with a total of 11 nominations.

The film follows Officer Judy Hopps, a rabbit, and con artist Nicholas P. Wilde, a fox, as they uncover a conspiracy that involves the disappearance of predator inhabitants of a metropolis populated by various mammals. Besides the praise it received for its animation, voice acting and humor, it was lauded for its timely themes about discrimination and social stereotypes, mature content for an animated film.

LAIKA’s Kubo and the Two Strings was just shy of the top spot, earning 1o nominations. It, much like Zootopia, earned nominations for feature, direction and writing.

In addition to Zootopia and Kubo and the Two Strings, the feature nominees include Pixar Animation Studio’s Finding Dory, DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 3 and Disney’s second release this year, Moana.

The Annie Awards can be a good predictor of which films will be nominated for an Academy Award and which ones will, indeed, win. The upcoming awards, given by the organization ASIFA-Hollywood, will be held on February 4th at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

You can check out the entire list of nominees at annieawards.org

 





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Titan's 50 Years of Star Trek, Vol. 2, Out Now

"Fifty Years of Star Trek," Titan Magazines' second volume of archive material, charts the amazing story behind the making of the iconic sci-fi franchise, as told by the people closest to it: the stars of the shows and movies.

 

Covering every incarnation of Star Trek, from The Original Series to Enterprise and the Trek feature films, "Fifty Years of Star Trek" features classic archive interviews with leading cast members, including William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, Kate Mulgrew, Jeri Ryan, Scott Bakula, and many more. Fans will also discover how actors Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, and the other stars of the recent movies made the characters their own.

For more information or to get your copy now, go to www.titan-comics.com.





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