Archive for the ‘Updates’ Category

The New England Patriots acquires Michael Bennett via Trade and his brother Martellus could join him   Leave a comment

Image result for The Bennett Brothers NFL

 

At one time the Bennett brothers were adamant about always wanting to play on separate teams. Above are the brothers pictured after the Patriots won Super Bowl 51 back in 2016 (the game was in 2017).

Michael Bennett candidly said this during an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2017:

 

 

Then with the Seattle Seahawks, Michael Bennett’s team lost to the Patriots a few years back. The Elder Bennett left the Seahawks for the Miami Dolphins until he was traded to New England today. His brother became a free agent after Super Bowl 51 and played a year with the Green Bay Packers before he retired. Marty B teased in a video he posted on Instagram after the Patriots won their 6th Super Bowl last month he might unretire and rejoin the Patriots to play with Tom Brady again. Now that his brother is going to be a Patriot, it should come as no surprise he is very interested in playing for another Super Bowl title. Michael’s a Defensive End and Martellus is a Tight End. So…yeah. They would join twin brothers Jason and Devin McCourty as the second pair of brothers to play on the same team at the same time. I mean all four playing together on the same team. Rob Gronkowski and his brother Eric both played together on the Patriots for a season a few years ago.

It would be fair–or unfair if you hate the Patriots–to say New England is already favored to repeat next season before today. The addition of both Bennett brothers could see the Patriots make a serious run at trying for an undefeated season again. Even as a Patriots fan, I understand all too well how…demoralizing everyone outside New England feels knowing the Patriots will be in the Super Bowl again next year. LOL.

 

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An important warning to parents and Educators about The “Momo Challenge” and Self-Harm Videos that target kids   Leave a comment

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I was preparing to make a blog post to comment on the sudden rise of self-harm videos that have been reported on YouTube Kids all month when I got word of this imfamous Momo Challenge that has been reported worldwide. At this point I think it would be fair to say it’s not an urban legend and is in fact a real thing. Local Law Enforcement are trying to get the word out because the Momo Challenge threatens and encourages kids and teens to do dangerous things and eventually, suicide.

Here’s how it starts: Users are asked to add Momo as a WhatsApp contact via YouTube, Facebook or some other social media platform. It specifically targets kids, teens and in some cases Young Adults. Once the connection is made, things immediately get scary…and dangerous…and possibly deadly, too. The entity known as Momo makes contact and immediately threatens and intimidatinng the victim into doing what it says, saying things like “I’m watching you” or “If you tell anyone, you’ll die”. Kids as young as six years old have apparently been targeted by this Momo Challenge. It specifically targets children and teens because they’re far more likely to accept what they see at face value and do what they’re being told.

I do believe Momo is actually a botting program that is being intentionally spread online. There certainly are chat bots sophisticated enough to carry a conversation as if it was a real person. They do what they’re programmed to do in short. Of course, I would be able to tell the difference fairly quickly between a bot or a real person. A child? Absolutely not. Certainly not a 6 year old. On the one hand, it’s fine to ignore the messages. On the other hand, kids are being specifically targeted. So…yeah.

I mentioned other self-harm videos.

Even worse is both the Momo Challenge and other self-harm videos seem to have hijacked YouTube Kids, which is a kid-friendly version of YouTube. Google, which is aware is trying to address the problem but for now it’s highly reccommended you uninstall the YouTube and YouTube Kids Apps from your kids’ devices for now and block the site on your computers at home. Why go that far? Well, the self-harm videos, which describe in graphic detail how to commit suicide are disguised as innocent-looking cartoons kids are familiar with. It starts looking normal but then it gets dark and scary. Even worse is it ends by encouraging kids to go through with it.

…Yeah.

There are some sick, sick people out there sadly.

I would recommend Educators take 5 to 10 minutes to talk to their class about internet safety in general. I would also reccommend school staff hold a meeting to discuss this important subject and send a notice home the parents. It would be an alert to let parents know the school is aware of both the Momo Challenge and Self-Harm Videos being shared on YouTube.

I would reccommend parents sit down and talk to their kids about the Momo Challenge as well as the Self-Harm videos. Tell them if they see anything online telling them or showing them how to hurt themselves to report the content immediately and don’t do what it says. Let them know all actions have consequences not just for them but everyone they know.

I intend to repost this on a few more of my blogs to help spread the word on this. One death from this foolishness is too many.

To the internet tough guys and trolls who think this is hoax, “Don’t see a problem” or feel “They’re doing parents a service”, you won’t feel that way when it’s your child or the child of someone you know. I promise you that. While yes, I certainly don’t think kids as young as 3 shouldn’t be using the internet unsupervised, that doesn’t excuse the malicious and vile actions of the people who are doing and spreading these things online. Show me a 3, 4 or 5 year old child who has never seen one of these videos before who would watch them and think it’s just ‘harmless fun”.

There is absolutely nothing “harmless” or “fun” about what these self-harm videos and the Momo Challenge are looking to intimidate and scare kids into doing. Yes, they revealed some glaring flaws in YouTube and YouTubeKids’ (and Facebook’s) prescreening algorithms but it doesn’t change the fact someone is deliberately doing this. The disturbing content is embedded in episodes of kids’ programming and uploaded to YouTube. In other words, someone is deliberately doing this for the sole purpose to traumatizing a child at best and coercing them into doing what they’re being told at worst. To date, 2 kids in Columbia (the country) have committed suicide because of these self-harm videos.

The disturbing content appears about 14 to 16 minutes into an otherwise normal episode of children’s programming and lasts for about 20 to 30 seconds. Short enough to not get picked up by YouTube’s pre-screening algorithims but still long enough to deliver its vile message. I have seen the messages myself and for reasons that should be obvious, I am not sharing here what is said. I will say for the Momo Challenge users are directed to add a phone number from Mexico, Russia or India to their contacts and contact Momo via WhatsApp under threat of death to them and/or their friends. Again: young children are being specifically targeted. They have no way of knowing they have nothing to fear from what they saw.

Like I said before, I do believe Momo–like Blue Whale before it–is a chat bot. It’s not an actual person but a scripting program someone made to sow chaos. I also believe the phone number is randomly generated and this is also why I am not sharing any numbers. Again, a young child would not know it’s not a real person. All they know is they’re being told to hurt themselves or put themselves in dangerous situations in very specific ways and if they don’t do what they’re told, something bad will happen to them or the people they care about. They are directed to not tell anyone or “I will know” and “I can see you right now so I’ll know if you tell anyone” obviously. Again, young kids who don’t know better are being exposed to this.

I am urging folks to reblog this post and help get the word out. The whole world is talking about this. That’s how serious this is. No one is taking this as “a hoax”. Kids are getting hurt at worst and in two cases, someone has died. This is one “game” that needs to be stopped immediately.

 

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Anthony Davis firmly rules out the Celtics as a longterm destination but the Pelicans clearly feel otherwise   Leave a comment

Image result for Isaiah Thomas traded to Cavs

 

The trade involving Kyrie Irving and former All Star Isaiah Thomas from two years ago pissed off Anthony Davis’ father (also named Anthony Davis) so much, he put out a public statement last week saying it’s the reason why he does not want his son to play for the Celtics. It wasn’t the trade itself but the way the trade went down that shocked the sports world and pissed off a lot of NBA Players as well as fans of Isaiah Thomas. As a reminder, Isaiah Thomas’ sister died suddenly during the Celtics playoff run two years back. He was also forced to have season-ending hip surgery during the Eastern Conference Finals, which the Celtics lost to the Cavs 5-1 (their one victory coming after IT was forced out of the lineup ironically).

Two months later and a week after the Celtics signed Gordon Hayward, the trade involving him (as well as Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic) for Kyrie Irving went down. Thomas (and the other two players involved) never saw it coming and found out the same way everyone else did: From the news. He didn’t hear it from the Celtics in advance and after what happened with him during the playoffs…well, he wasn’t wrong to feel disrespected. As everyone knows, Kyrie Irving was the one who demanded the Cavs trade him ASAP right after the Cavs lost to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. The Celtics made the Cavs an offer and the trade went down.

The problem wasn’t the trade itself. Isaiah Thomas is well aware it was business decision but and no one is untouchable. Given what happened to him two months earlier, to then be traded a little over a week after the Celtics signed Gordon Hayward without advance notice would understandably make anyone feel disposable. More so given he was a fan favorite. Isaiah Thomas and Danny Ainge eventually sat down and hashed things out.

The man once known as the King of the Fourth only played a handful of games with the Cavs last January before he was traded to the Lakers and was released at the end of the season (The Lakers didn’t make the playoffs last season). He was signed to the Denver Nuggets during the offseason at the Veteran minimum. Just the season before, he was in the All Star game. Isaiah’s public criticism of the Cavs and referencing his experiences with the Celtics during press conferences during his tenure with the team is pointed to as the main reasons he was traded mid-season last year.

On that note, I do think IT4 will return to the Celtics in the next few years. Most likely as a Free Agent in my book. I don’t see the Celtics trading for him personally. I think Kyrie Irving would want it since the trade came during a very low point in IT4’s life and it’s obvious he wants to return to the Celtics. At the same time, the undeniable fact is IT4 was a defensive liability. No one doubts his explosive offense but off the ball, the Celtics had to have him switch off with another defender or otherwise “hide” him.

Case example:

Image result for Lebron James Dunks on Isaiah Thomas

 

The obvious size difference aside…yeah. LBJ literally mopped the floor with him during that playoff series. THIS is why Danny Ainge pulled the trigger and traded him. IT4 is useless on defense against (much) bigger players like Lebron James, Giannis, Durant, Simmons, Westbrook and so on. Until he figures it out like Nate Robinson did, I don’t think the Celtics should take him back.

Isaiah Thomas aside. Anthony Davis himself said he would only consider playing with the Lakers, Knicks, Clippers or Bucks longterm and everywhere else would be a one-year deal. So, there is little to no point in the Celtics pursuing him knowing that. The Pelicans and AD’s agent both announced yesterday he will not be traded before the deadline. Given the Celtics just moved a player to open up a slot, that automatically makes them the frontrunner for AD come July 1. The big problem is the knowledge that he will be a 1-year rental so…yeah.

 

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New England Patriots win Super Bowl LIII 13-3; Julian Edelman named MVP   Leave a comment

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Having just won their sixth Super Bowl after 9 attempts in 17 years, it might be (un)fair to say the AFC Championship and the Super Bowl runs through The Patriots. When the Patriots win their next Super Bowl, they will break the tie they now have with the Pittsburgh Steelers in terms of total Super Bowl wins (6).

After the AFC game, Tom Brady went all in with what Pats Fans have been saying since 2007: “They hate us cause they ain’t us!”

ESPN’s Max Kellerman famously said a few years ago that Tom Brady “was about to fall off a cliff” as an athlete. I watched the full segment. Like Pats Nation and most of Sports Media, I LOL’d HARD. It just so happened Brady served a 4-game suspension the incoming season. In response, Brady got his revenge on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and not only let the Patriots to victory at Super Bowl 51 but completed what I called The Revenge Tour by winning the MVP that year. After winning the AFC game, TB12 had just one thing to say to all Haters: “We’re Still Here!”

As a reminder Tom Brady is 41 years old and has ZERO plans on retiring anytime soon. When asked last Sunday, he walked back his earlier declaration of playing until he’s 45: “I’ll play until I suck!” Basically, a giant middle finger to all the Haters. Do a Google image search of the phrase “THE GOAT” and the first person you will see in the results is Tom Brady. This was true before Sunday by the way.

…The thing the Haters know all too well is the Patriots have a real shot at winning two in a row next year or if they feel like it, give another shot at having an undefeated season. Now that TB12 has decided to go all-in on legit trying to hold the AFC and the Super Bowl hostage for the rest of his career…yeah. All anyone else can do is wait until he feels like retiring!

 

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…As a reminder, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series 3 months ago. Realistically speaking, BOTH teams could repeat in the next (Patriots) or upcoming (Red Sox) season. And yes, both teams did this before back in 2004. Both teams will have prettymuch the same roster going into the next season so…yeah. The Red Sox made a statement going into the postseason and swept the Yankees out of the ALCS. The Patriots beat LA twice on their way to their 6th Super Bowl in 17 years. Both the Red Sox and the Patriots are heavily favored to repeat next season!

 

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It would be more than fair to call Boston Title Town, USA. The Patriots are America’s Football Team. This chart proves it and it was a long time coming!

 

 

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Anthony Davis announces he wants out of New Orleans and wants to be traded to a Championship Contender   Leave a comment

Image result for Anthony Davis Trade

 

Let the Anthony Davis Sweepstakes begin!

At the beginning of the season, only two teams were looked at as top contenders should AD end up on the trade block: The Celtics and the Lakers. On that note. Jayson Tatum said during the offseason he would trade himself for AD if it came down to it. We already know Terry Rozier will be leaving after this season (and offseason) is done. Tatum + Rozier for AD would be a pretty hard offer to resist and more so given everyone else wants Tatum or Jaylen Brown (or both).

Of course, AD and LeBron James have the same agent. Based on that, most experts believe the Lakers are the most likely landing spot for The Brow. At the same time, it’s certainly possible AD could go with another contender such as the Rockets, Bucks or Nuggets. Besides, if the playoffs started tomorrow the Lakers would be out of the playoffs.

The problem for the Celtics is The Rose Rule prevents them from trading for AD until after the season (and post-season) is over. The reason: They got Kyrie Irving via Trade and thus, The Rose Rule is in effect. How it works is a team with a player that basically gained All Star-level status within their first four seasons in the NBA that is due for a contract extension–in this case, Irving–can’t sign another player who has also met the same criteria–in this case, AD–until the first player signs a new contract or leaves the team. The rule is named for Derrick Rose, who has done a tour of duty around the NBA during his career more or less.

Irving announced during the Preseason he intends to re-sign with the Celtics after this season. What this means is the Celtics will need to wait until the off season to make a deal for Davis. Of course, this is assuming New Orleans can convince Davis and his agent to wait until the offseason and not trade him before the February 7 trade deadline like we’ve all been assuming. Everyone knows the Celtics can offer New Orleans the best deal for Davis period. It’s just a question of weather or not New Orleans is willing to wait until July 1 to entertain an offer from Trader Danny. That’s the one advantage the other 28 yeams have over the Celtics.

As a reminder, AD will not become a free agent after this season. Irving will though he’s opted to sign a new contract with Boston. It’s certainly possible the Celtics and Pelicans could agree to a trade for Davis in advance and then wait until July 1 to make it official. So, everything I said in the first paragraph is certainly possible.

Taking another look at the Celtics Roster, these players could be packaged for Davis:

 

  • Jayson Tatum (Forward)
  • Terry Rozier (Guard)
  • PJ Dozier (Guard/Forward)
  • Jabari Bird (Guard)

 

Tatum and Rozier would obviously be the centerpieces of the trade. The Celtics have a lot of Guards they could offload but Tatum or Brown alone is enough for any team to say “HELL YEAH”! Both are franchise players as well. Because of the Rose Rule, they would both finish the season (and post-season) with the Celtics. The Celtics would also need to sign Irving to a new contract after the season (and post-season) before they can officially pull the trigger on a trade for AD. They could agree to a trade before the deadline, then wait until July to make it official though.

The talking heads on ESPN say AD will likely go to the Lakers but again, we all could be assuming the trade will happen before the deadline. We’ll have to wait and see if AD changes uniforms before February 7 or not.

 

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Updates to my 3-Story Urban Village concept   Leave a comment

Image may contain: drawing

 

Hit by inspiration, I sat down earlier this week and sketched a floor plan for what I would like to see in a 3-story apartment complex. Before I show you the inside, it goes without saying it’s not to scale. This picture is the outside. Parking would be on the right (See the next picture) but deliveries or taxis can pull up to the front door. There would be some tables out front  as well. I’ve never been good at aesthetics so my apologies for the lack of detail.

After getting some feedback from various folks including a contractor and an architect, I have updated this post in a few areas. I have also done an adjustment to how much it would cost to build as well.

 

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We’ll start with the ground floor. Parking will be on the right. As for how it would look, it could either be a parking garage or a parking lot. As shown, it would be at least 25 spots. There would be bike racks either in front of the building or in the parking area or both. The mail room would contain mailboxes for all apartments, businesses and services and it would be staffed by two clerks. Large package deliveries that can’t fit in a mailbox would be held by the administrative office until the owner can come for it.

The building would have its own security staff of 4 to 6 personnel. This is in part for the businesses and services in the building but also to help maintain the two layers security. In addition to the closed circuit cameras on all floors, smartcards will be used. All residents and staff woulf use them to access shared areas such as the Fitness Center and Library after hours as well as the rooftop facilities.

Yes, there will be both a laundromat and dry cleaners on the ground floor. They will be free to all residents and staff, eliminating the need for a washer/dryer in apartments on the upper floors. For a small fee, residents can have a pick-up/drop-off service to or from their apartment.

The whole building is wired for free Wi-Fi and it comes in 3 Flavors: Staff, Residents and Visitors/Guests. The library will contain several computers with high-speed internet access.

 

 

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If you thought the laundromat was something else, here’s where things get ground-breaking: A Clinic, Grocery Store, Pharmacy and Library all on the same floor as apartments. Again, this is not to scale. It goes without saying the building would need to be large enough to fit all these things. The area of the Grocery + Pharmacy would be about the size of your average Dollar General. Like the laundromat, a delivery service to apartments can be arranged for a fee.

Get a load of that Urgent Care Center. It will be staffed by 6 people–two doctors, two nurses and 2 CMAs (Cerified Medical Assistant). At least one doctor and nurse will be on call at any given time. The Operating Room will be for emergency or post-op treatment as well as general care. As for why I feel a 3-story apartment complex should have an urgent care center, that was just my idea. Otherwise, I’d put the tennis court on the roof in that spot.

Getting to the actual apartments: Again, they’re not to scale.

I imagine at least 10 apartments on this floor including two for the medical and security staff to make use of. Each apartment contains at least one bedroom and a kitchen + bathroom. There would be temperature control in each apartment as well as a land line included. The apartments would be partially furnished with a refrigerator, a desk + chair and a kitchen table + chair set.

 

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Yes, there’s more.

From here we focus more on amenities for the residents. The fitness center would contain exercise equipment, weights and so on. The Community Room is a function room for events and has a full kitchen included. The fitness center could be replaced with another store or an auditorium though.

 

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Saved the best for last.

By now you’ve noticed there are restrooms, stairs and elevators for all floors. That is intentional. Due to the area of space, there will be both an indoor and outdoor basketball court as well as tennis courts and a playground. There would also be a green house and raised gardening beds for residents who want to grow things.

…Whew.

What can I say other than I have vision?

Anything like this would be expensive to build let alone maintain. In fact, far more expensive than I originally estimated. I now estimate $70 Million will be needed to build this and another $10 Million will needed to outfit everything outlined. That is to say nothing of an allotment for salary for the staff mentioned up to now. It would be state of the art to say the least but I think it would be worth the cost to build. I also estimate construction will take 3 to 4 years from the first ground break to the ribbon cutting.

When I secure the funding, I will have this built in Boston. If proven viable or successful I will take this concept across the U.S. first, then to The Philippines and Guatemala. As for why I would like the first prototype to be built in Boston, I have at least 3 places in mind–Two in Dorchester and one in Hyde Park–for the prototype to be built. Once it’s done I would look at Detroit, West Virginia, Baltimore and Memphis within the US to start. I would then look at Guatemala and The Philippines for the first international locations.

I call it an Urban Village: Housing, commerce and industry all rolled in one.

In addition to everything pictured, there would be solar panels and a water filtration system to help keep costs down. I have a 2-story and single-story concept as well as 5 and 8-story concepts. The number of floors decides what amenities will be inside. When I draw them, I’ll share the 2-story and 5-story concepts. They will be variations of the 3-story model I just shared in this blog post.

It’s not secret Boston is the third most expensive city to live in behind New York (#2) and San Francisco (#1). The Urban Village will solve two problems at once. First, will provide affordable housing so rent will not and should not be high (no higher than $1200 max). Key facilities on-site means all residents have close access to important needs. Here’s hoping I can make these ideas become reality!

 

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Ok so my laptop died on Thanksgiving Day   Leave a comment

…Yet I’m not entirely devastated. Why? Because I planned for it when I decided to buy my desktop PC the year before buying it. Losing my laptop means I can no longer play Diablo III or World of Warcraft. It also means I’ve lost my primary streaming device for Crunchyroll, WWE Network, Viki, Asian Crush and Xfinity. I decided back in 2013 that I would always have both a laptop and a desktop at the same time at home specifically for situations like this.

In a nutshell, I’ve only lost access to a handful of pictures from my digital camera since I hadn’t backed them up after I put them on my laptop earlier this year. Actually, I’ve lost nothing since the hard drive is fine. If I can get an enclosure or the right cable, I can remove the laptop’s hard drive and recover my files. No rush. In exchange for losing my laptop, I got a Blu Ray Player yesterday. Basically, I am taking steps to mitigate no longer having the use of my laptop.

Is it fixable? Nope, only the hard drive is salvagable and that can wait indefinitely. If anyone is interested in helping me get a new laptop, you can donate money through PayPal. If you’re open to ordering a laptop and having it shipped to me, feel free to let me know also.

That aside, I obviously still have my desktop. Eh…for now anyway. The thing’s a toaster but it’s better than nothing. Man, do I not miss the 2000s when I had to struggle to just turn on my old laptop. I stopped using it for resource-demanding games and it’s not powerful enough to run Guild Wars 2, Civilization V, Destiny 2, World of Warcraft or Diablo III (all of which I have). The CD drive in my dekstop stopped working years ago, too so it’s not good for serious gaming overall. So, I would eventually want to get a more powerful desktop in the future too.

…That said, I have more pressing priorities than buying two new computers. Namely getting stable income first, my own apartment second and going back to college third. This is also why I haven’t been doing alot of blogging for much of the year. Fortunately, it doesn’t cost me anything to keep this blog online.

Thanks, WordPress!

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