Laura Loomer and Twitter

Laura Loomer is a far-right political activist who just got herself spun into yet another controversy.

Her activism has sparked controversy, especially this time when she chained herself to the doors of the Twitter HQ.

She did this after Twitter banned her for calling Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota state representive, “anti-jewish” and part of an oppressive religion.

Loomer had handcuffed herself just a week after her ban while wearing a yellow Jude patch. A police officer used bolt cutters to un-handcuff her, and she was not arrested.

This isn’t the first time she got herself in a controversy. In her senior year at Barry University, she taped a conversation between her and college officials. She was given criminal charges and was suspended from the university for violating the student code of conduct. She has dressed in burqas twice for her activism, and even interrupted two book signings. She went to the trial of Noor Salman with press credentials, which were revoked after she started to harass Salman’s family.

Let’s just hope she doesn’t get herself caught up in anything else.

Funyun facts

Funyuns are a chip brand invented in 1969 by a Frito-Lay employee. That employee’s name? George Bigner. They are meant to be like onion rings with their flavoring and shape. The flavor comes from a salt and onion mix that they pour onto the chip.

Funyuns were named by Jim Albright, a professor at the University of North Texas. Funyuns were originally going to be called OnYums, but that was already a copywrited product of Rudolph Foods.

Frito-Lay chip bags used to have a “window” on the bags so you could see the food inside. Funyuns were the last chip of Frito-Lay that gave up the window. This happened in 2005.

Funyuns also had five different flavors. Original, Wasabi, Flamin’ Hot, Chile & Limón, and Steakhouse Onion. Wasabi was only a Funyun flavor from 2001 to 2002, and Steakhouse Onion was created in 2015 and was only discontinued this year. But the other three flavors are still here today!

Funyuns are made mostly from cornmeal, and then put into their ring shape from an extrusion process. As mentioned earlier, the flavor comes from a salt and onion flavor mix.

And last, a fun fact! In Brazil, Funyuns are called “Cebolitos”.

How to improve your second quarter

There’s always room for improvement! Here are three ways to help you do better in the second quarter of the school year!

Get Organized

Just a folder or two can drastically improve how you organize things if you normally just shove things in your bag without looking. Organizing has proven to help increase productivity, and it decreases stress and unhappiness.

Not organizing often means you forget assignments, and study less. So try to get more organized if you need to be!

Designate Time For Homework 

I’m sure everyone reading this has gone home after school, intending to do homework, but first you want to watch a YouTube video or Netflix. Then you’re no longer in the mood, or you’ve forgotten. Maybe designate an hour to two of your day specially for homework. That way you won’t forget, and you’ll actually do it.

Self Care 

Taking care of yourself is the most important thing. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and keeping up your hygiene. If you need a small break for mental or physical health, that’s always alright. You can’t do well in school, if you’re not well yourself.

Have a good quarter two!

Halloween tips

Halloween is one of the more spooky days of the year, but do you want to know what the real threat during Halloween is? It’s not ghosts or killer clowns, it’s being unsafe. 

It’s believed that Halloween started as a Celtic holiday with pagan origins. People believed that on one night of the year, the veil between the spirit world and our’s lifted, allowing spirits to visit us. People would leave food and drink offerings, and would wear masks so the ghouls would believe that they were also a spirit. It was also believed that deceased family members would come and visit their family.

But now that you know a little bit about the history, you should also know that safety on Halloween isn’t just for little kids. So, here are some ways you can be safe on Halloween.

Crime rates spike up on three holidays; New Year’s Eve, Independence Day, and Halloween. In Boston and Canada, they had a 50% increase in crime on October 31st. Drinking rates don’t go up during Halloween, definitely not as much as on Saint Patrick’s Day, but even then don’t go out late at night in all black.

That being said, make sure you don’t get distracted while driving if you plan on going out on Halloween. Most kids are instructed to wear reflective gear, but you never know. Just follow basic safe driving tips like don’t text and drive, and don’t get distracted in general.

Also, if you’re getting candy, make sure it’s safe for you to eat. Especially, make sure it’s free of any allergens that you might want to be aware of.

If you’re wearing a costume, make sure you can see clearly, that you can breathe, and that you won’t overheat easily.

If you’re going to a haunted house, make sure you don’t assault the workers, or ruin the decorations. If you’re a jumpy person, and you think if someone jumps out at you that you’ll bop them right in the nose, maybe don’t go to a haunted house. Don’t even punch a worker or break the spooky decorations just for fun.

Lastly, know your limits. Don’t do anything if it makes you too scared. It’s totally okay to stay inside during the night of Hallow’s Eve, and not do anything remotely spooky.

But the most important thing is to have fun. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing if you’re not having fun.

Have a fun Halloween!

 

 

What happened with TellTale Games

The gaming company TellTale started up in October of 2004, and nearly 14 years later, they shut down. But why? Were they not making good sales? Were they in the middle of a huge controversy? Did the employees stop caring? Well, here’s where you find out.

TellTale started off small, and it wasn’t until a crisp April day in 2012 that TellTale truly got its start with their game, The Walking Dead. The first season of their game boasted five episodes, and by November it was all complete. It received huge praise, winning over eighty awards. It topped the sales chart for Xbox, and when I say pretty much everyone played it, I mean it.

The Walking Dead started an era. An era of choice-driven games. In TellTale’s series, you, the player, can choose what to say and how to act. You are in charge of your relationships with others, who dies, who lives, and how well your group survives.

But is that true? TellTale tells the player in the beginning “Your choices matter,” but is that a lie? Sadly, pretty much. Sure, you have choices, you can make someone hate you, and you can even sacrifice someone to save another. But it doesn’t matter.

In the game you have to choose between two people to save. Doug and Carly. You would think that whoever you save would change the game. That these two characters will start a new storyline, and the game will change depending on who lives, and who dies. But no matter you save, they die soon later anyway, leaving the game unchanged. It creates an illusion of choice.

Sure, if TellTale’s games were only one of a few choice-based games then maybe nobody would have minded. The problem is that The Walking Dead became so popular that game companies realized they could make massive profit from those types of games. And why play a game that tricks you into believing that your choices matter when you can play a game where they actually do matter?

A good comparison is between TellTale’s The Walking Dead, and Quantic Dream‘s Detroit: Become Human. In the latter game, you can see a map at the end of every episode or section you play. You can see what choices you made, and the different branches of choices that you didn’t. There are tons of endings and small details that differ depending on what you, the player, chose.

So really, TellTale started an era in the gaming world, but it was their eventual downfall. The games being created to capitalize on the popularity of that genre were better than the one that started it all.

But I’m sure you’re thinking “That can’t be the only reason! Just because their games didn’t have real choices!” And you’re right. So let’s look at the next reason why TellTale couldn’t keep afloat.

Employees were generally unhappy. Many worked long hours, and the management was toxic. There was barely any organization. Nobody really kept track of what was going on. The management stopped interacting with their staff, and that meant less morale.

As TellTale got more popular, the more they made games. Soon they started working on multiple games at once. Instead of choosing developers to stick to one game, they rotated developers. This made the creation process to be more sloppy, and many workers didn’t understand this decision.

There wasn’t even any proper schedule. Rewrites and improvoments of the game were asked very last minute. Employees say that it was a constant barrage of work with no break, six day work weeks, with about 18 hours for each of those days. New developers couldn’t handle it, and the older ones were not putting in all their effort.

Eventually, TellTale couldn’t handle the stress. It collapsed under its own foundation.

Over 200 workers were laid off without severance, many took to Twitter to say not to work extreme overtime for a company that, in the end, will not care about you.

Many other game companies told these employees that they could always come and work them. At least there’s a silver lining to the storm clouds.

It is unknown if TellTale will continue the final season of The Walking Dead. The episodes are set to release in November and December, and their MineCraft Netflix series will be finished.

 

‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ review

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has just hit it’s 13th season, bringing it closer and closer to being the longest running live-action sitcom. The premiere for this season, titled “The Gang Makes Paddy’s Great Again,” has recently aired, and it was…just okay.

The first notable difference in this season is the absence of Dennis (Glenn Howerton). In the season 12 finale, Dennis left to North Dakota, so he could be a father to his son. This was because Howerton was doing another show, and didn’t know if he could do Sunny along with it. He had been there since the first season, offering angry outbursts and a chin chiseled by the gods themselves, it was sad to see him go.

His replacement was Cindy, played by Mindy Kaling (her most notable role being Kelly Kapoor from The Office). In Sunny, Kaling plays a manipulative women, who knows how to get Paddy’s more customers through lies and, well, manipulation. We first see her speaking to a crowd in Paddy’s, explaining how welcoming the gang had been, and that it is a great bar for people of all religions, sexuality, and gender.

As soon as her speech is over we cut to the back office, where Cindy explains that they finally got the “liberal crowd” for Paddy’s. It was a fake speech meant to entice the left to Paddy’s, so they could have more customers. The gang thanks her, and we learn that next they’ll be going for the conservatives by “Making Paddy’s Great Again.”

We cut to Mac’s apartment. This is where Mac decides to unveil his new abs, so it looks like we’ve come a long way from season seven’s “Fat Mac.” We then learn that Mac also bought a Dennis look-alike doll, that really creeps out the rest of the gang. This doll is what turns the episode from a political satire to a whole new plot.

Cindy eventually shows up, and explains her whole plan, and tells Mac to get rid of the doll. But he doesn’t. When the gang gets ready to do the plan, it seems to be perfectly fine. Dee is beautiful, Frank can play the tuba, Mac and Charlie have wonderfully decorated “Liberal Tears” signs for the right-wingers.

But the plan falls apart when the Dennis doll gets in their heads. The gang swears they can the hear the doll talking to them, saying everything that Dennis would say. This confuses Cindy, and of course makes her angry as it is making her plan fall apart. Dee ruins her make-up, Charlie and Mac ruin the signs, and Frank can no longer play the tuba. Everything is destroyed due to this doll, and therefore, because of Dennis.

Which is why, when Dennis comes back, Cindy gets so upset. It’s understandable, he ruined her plans and constantly bashes the gang, but he’s a part of them. That’s why it’s also so understandable that the gang lets him back in.

Dennis returns in a creepy fashion, which is very true to his character. The gang is talking about the doll, when all of a sudden we hear it talk. Well, we think we do. The camera actually pans right, revealing real life Dennis standing there accompanied with a jumpscare sound effect.

Dennis makes his remarks, Cindy argues that they shouldn’t let him in the gang, but they do. She leaves in a huff, and the episode ends with the original gang all back together. Dennis asks Mac if he’s gained weight, and we cut to the credits.

So, overall the episode felt very…forced. Of course, this could have been on purpose because Mindy Kaling was forced into the group as a replacement for Dennis, and the creators made the show feel like how the gang felt. But it doesn’t help that there were few laughs, and the sound quality didn’t seem to be the best.

It’s a good episode, it did it’s job, but I also don’t think it was at it’s best. Hopefully, the rest of the season does go above and beyond as Sunny is shown it is be able to do.