Archive for the ‘Wordpress’ Tag

The New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers in Season Opener   Leave a comment

 

It was a blockbuster game even before news Antonio Brown signed with the Patriots 24 hours earlier broke the internet and possibly broke the hearts of fans of the other 31 NFL teams (LOL!). It would be more than fair to say–barring the unforeseeable of course–the New England Patriots just ensured they will repeat as Super Bowl Champions this year. The last team to win the Super Bowl back to back? The Patriots of course and they did it in 2003 and 2004. No other team has done it since because of how difficult it is in American Football. The Patriots would go on to curb-stomp the Steelers 33-3 after which said team had “no comment” to their former star Wide Receiver signing with the Patriots the day before.

The timing of Antonio Brown’s rape alliegations is pretty convenient but don’t take that to mean I’m hand-waving the charges against him. It comes the day after his signing with the Patriots becomes official and the charges are from his former trainer as well. No one is forgetting Patriots team owner Robert Kraft has an open criminal case related to prostitution either. Two birds, one stone. Brown now being forced away from the team to deal with the litigation will have zero effect on the Patriots moving forward. I would think differently if this happened toward the end of the season or during the postseason. As for the charges filed against Brown, it would be inappropriate for me to comment without knowing the details.

 

Something else I do want to comment on is a bit of news I first broke on My 11th Blog. Blog #12 is now Live: Aurabolt’s Sports Talk!

As a reminder, here is the full list of my 12 Blogs in the order I started them:

  1. This one
  2. Video Games
  3. Fan Fiction
  4. Original Literature
  5. Anime and Manga
  6. WWE
  7. Politics and News
  8. Religion
  9. MBTA
  10. Consulting and Support
  11. Memories from Way Back When
  12. Sports Talk

 

The Links to the other 11 blogs are at the top of every page of this one. All of my blogs also link to at least three of my other blogs to make it easier for folks to see all the various topics covered. Also like I’ve done with a third of my blogs, I will copy older posts related to sports to my new blog including this post but I’ll edit out this announcement.

Before I forget. If you see a blog Bolded, that means I am looking for Co-Editors and Co-Authors who may be interested in writing posts on that particular blog. If you think you may be interested, feel free to contact me ASAP.

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

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The Los Angeles Clippers win the Kawhi Leonard Sweepstakes and also get Paul George via Trade   Leave a comment

Image result for Russell Westbrook Trade

 

The second-biggest offseason domino has finally fallen. Kawhi Leonard is going home to Los Angeles…as a member of the Clippers. Not only that, he’s bringing fellow hometown All Star Paul George with him. News broke overnight after the entire NBA world was kept waiting all week for Leonard’s decision to be known. By daybreak, the NBA world got hit with another blockbuster announcement: Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to a trade that will send Paul George to LA.

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Odds makers updated their predictions favoring the Clippers to go all the way to the NBA Finals. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis being joined by DeMarcus Cousins, The Battle for Los Angeles Basketball is on!

 

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…I would be remiss if I did not mention longtime OKC Superstar Russell Westbrook.

The latest reports indicate he and his agent plan to meet with OKC executives soon about his future and it’s believed he will be traded. Westbrook has played his entire career with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Clouds of doubt surrounded Westbrook after former team mate Kevin Durant left for the Golden State Warriors and James Harden, whose trade to the Houston Rockets many viewed as a mistake emerged as an All Star.

When Paul George elected to sign a longterm contract with the Thunder, a lot of the doubts about Westbrook being able to play with another All Star team mate finally went away.  With PG-13 now gone after two years with OKC, signs point to Westbrook being on the move and that means the Thunder will be in full rebuild mode come next season.

Let the speculation on where Westbrook could go commence!

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

Breaking NBA Free Agency News: The Brooklyn Nets win the Kevin Durant Sweepstakes and other News   Leave a comment

Image result for Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets

 

….I may be up until midnight today LOL.

1 hour before Free Agency officially begins, All Star forward and 2-time NBA Champion Kevin Durant announced he will sign a 4 year, $164 Million contract with the Brooklyn Nets. He will miss his first year as a member of the Nets due to the injury he suffered during the 2018-19 NBA Finals. He will be joined by Kyrie Irving (Free Agent, played last 2 seasons with the Boston Celtics), who will sign a 4 year $142 Million contract with the Nets as well as DeAndre Jordan (Free Agent, played with the Dallas Mavericks and ended the season with the New York Knicks last season).

The Nets had the cap space to sign 3 Max Contract Players but the caviat is they would automatically have to renounce the rights to D’Angelo Russell who is now an Unrestricted Free Agent. D-Lo’s looking to sign with the T-Wolves next which is cool since Derrick Rose–remember him?–intends to sign with the Detroit Pistons. Actually wait forget I said that. Looks like D-Lo’s gonna be a Warrior this coming season. Se below for more on that.

Thus, the Nets’ 6 year oddyssey of having their draft picks held hostage by the Celtics is finally over. The Nets sold their future to Boston as per the terms of the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston to Brooklyn 6 years ago. Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are three of the many players drafted with the Nets’ picks. It’s considered the most lopsided trade in sports history for a reason!

It would be more than fair to say the balance of power has shifted.

The Warriors are basically the NBA’s version of the New England Patriots right now in which it’s assumed they’ll contend if not return to the NBA Finals next year. They did it 3 times in a row without Durant so…yeah. Klay Thompson, who was injured in what ended up being the final game of the NBA Finals may return for the second half half of the coming season. We’ll see.

The next biggest domino is easily Kawhi Leonard. He is reportedly only looking at either the Raptors, who he just won his second NBA Championship with or the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers just got Anthony Davis. With Irving and Durant now commited to the Nets, they’ll likely be looking to fill their roster. As of right now they only have 3 signed players: LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma (!). No, really.

 

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It would be more than fair to say the New York Knicks are the biggest losers in this blockbuster announcement. The failed to get Irving, Durant, Zion Williamson and just lost DeAndre Jordan. The Knicks last made the playoffs in 2013 (first round exit) and and last won an NBA title back in 1976. A shame that bad luck didn’t rub off on the Yankees, who swept the Red Sox in the London series this weekend.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith had an emotional meltdown likely shared by countless other Knicks fans. He was so emotionally devastated, Knicks officials put out a statement to the effect of “trust the process”. LOL.

 

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News broke this morning the Celtics were looking to execute a Sign and Trade involving the Nets and the Charlotte Hornets (which seems to have fallen through). Irving’s obviously gone to Brooklyn and with Kemba Walker coming in, the Celtics threw Michael Jordan an assist to avoid becoming the Nets 2.0 or the 76ers 2.0 (Tanking on purpose). It will be a changing of the guard as Terry Rozier will be going to Charlotte while Kemba Walker, who is in Boston will finalize his 4-year, $141 Million contract with the Celtics. Rozier will sign a 3-year, $58 Million Contract with the Hornets. Rozier showed flashes of how good he could be when he damn-near led the Celtics to the NBA Finals the season before.

Veteran Center Enes Kanter (traded to the Blazers from the Knicks mid-season) is reportedly very interested in the Celtics as well as his current team so we’ll see.

 

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Rising star Kristaps Porzingis, who was traded from the Knicks mid-season to Dallas has reportedly signed a new 5-year $158 Million Contract with the Mavericks. Porzingis, who was looked at as the protege of now retired NBA Legend Dirk Nowinski (played entire career with the Mavs) appears to be their new franchise superstar.

 

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Minutes after news broke Jimmy Butler is going to sign with the Miami Heat, news broke regarding Veteran Center/Forward Al Horford electing to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers. Joel Embiid always said the only player who gives him problems was Al Horford. Now they’re team mates. Horford joining Embiid, Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons makes them instant contenders and makes up for Butler’s departure. Enough to get past the Celtics, Bucks and Heat (with Butler) next year and all 3 teams plus the Nets the year after? I doubt it personally.

 

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D-Lo is now a Warrior.

In exchange for Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors have signed D’Angelo Russel to a 4 year, $117 Million Contract via the Brooklyn Nets. The Warriors essentially exchanged Durant forRussell, who made waves last season after the Lakers, who gave up on him sent him to Brooklyn two years ago to make room to sign LeBron James.

There was talk of the Lakers possibly interested in taking him back but the Warriors called the Nets and made the deal on the spot. The Warriors will start the coming season with 3 All Stars in Steph Curry, Draymond Green and now D-Lo. Thompson is projected to return mid-season while the status of DeMarcus Cousins, who is a UFA is currently unknown. He may be signed on with the Warriors longterm given they just pulled the trigger on a trade involving veteran Center Andre Iguodala going to the Memphis Grizzlies. With this move, the Warriors retain their standing as title contenders.

….Whew.

Ok I think I’ll call it a night now. The second-biggest domino that still has yet to fall is of course Kawhi Leonard. Will he stay in Canada or will he go home to Los Angeles and play with the Clippers?  We’ll have to wait and see.

I do agree with analysts who’ve been saying since Free Agency began that for the first time in a while, there is no one team you can look at and say “They’re definitely going to the NBA Finals next season”. That’s how wide open it is. I’ll provide another update once the next round of big moves takes place. It helps most of them happened in the first 6 hours!

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

Breaking News: The LA Lakers win the Anthony Davis Sweetstakes   Leave a comment

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News broke in the last hour the New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to trade All Star Forward/Center Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Here are the details of the trade:

  • Lakers Receive: Anthony Davis
  • Pelicans Receive: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, The Lakers’ #4 Pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and 2 additional 1st Round Picks

…As a reminder: The Pelicans already have the #1 Draft Pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and they are presumed to pick top draft and former Duke superstar prospect Zion Williams. So…yeah.

In terms of who won the trade, the Lakers did short term but the Pelicans did longterm. The Lakers are guaranteed to make the playoffs next year and possibly get to the Western Conference Finals with LeBron and AD. The Pelicans should also make the playoffs next year between the the new young talent they’re getting via trade and the draft as well.

This will mark the second time in two years AD will be paired with another All Star. DeMarcus Cousins played with AD two years ago before suffering a season-ending injury. Cousins elected to sign with the Warriors during the last offseason. He came in big during the NBA Finals and more so after Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both went down to injuries. The Raptors went on to beat the Warriors in 6 games but the Warriors are still favorites to return to the NBA Finals again because of the depth of the talent on their team.

This will also be the third time LeBron James has paired with another All Star level talent. He won a title the last two instances he paired with at least one other All Star. He won two titles with Dwayne Wade (and Chris Bosh) in Miami before winning a title alongside Kyrie Irving (and Kevin Love) in Cleveland. It would be fair to assume LeBron will win a title with the Lakers in the next two or three years or at least play for one in the NBA Finals.

According to reports, the Lakers are looking to get Kemba Walker from the Charlotte Hornets. Easier said than done given he has indicated he plans to stay on with the Hornets.

 

Note: Anthony Davis’ Lakers’ Jersey number not yet known. He rocked #23 with the Pelicans but since LeBron James is using that number, presumably his will be different.

 

 

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Speaking of Kyrie Irving.

According to multiple reports, Irving plans to sign with the Brooklyn Nets in Free Agency. Irving came to the Celtics via trade two years ago in a deal that saw the departure of Isaiah Thomas, who reached All Star status with the Celtics. Irving had season-ending knee surgery near the end of last season and saw the Celtics nearly reach the playoffs without him and fellow former All Star Gordon Hayward, who suffered a nasty leg injury in last season’s opening game.

The Celtics started this past season with everyone healthy but despite having what everyone considered the best starting lineup to challenge the Golden State Warriors–Irving, Jaylen Brown, Hayward, Al Horford and Jayson Tatum–the team struggled out of the gate. It wasn’t a lack of skill but they were unable to figure out playing together to win games. Ultimately, Brown and Hayward were swapped with Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris and things started to improve. The team finished the season 4th in the East, swept the Pacers out of playoffs and lost to the Bucks in the Second Round of the playoffs.

Shortly after the AD Trade was announced, the Celtics revealed they were not willing to include Tatum in a deal for Davis. With Irving also on his way out, it would be fair to say Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will now be the face of the Celtics. No doubt one or both could make the All Star team next season. Attention is now on veteran big man Al Horford, who could opt out of playing the final year of his contract with the Celtics this offseason. It’s a question of weather or not he would be willing to give the young talent one more chance at a playoff run. Horford was pivotal in the Celtics nearly making the NBA Finals two years ago vs. LeBron and the Cavs. I think he would weather the Celtics could get a big Free Agent or not. Next year will be a question of weather or not he agrees to sign a new contract with the Celtics or not to me personally.

All that said, Free Agency is sure to be real interesting this year!

 

 

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I’ve decided I’m going to be shipping out of Boston   2 comments


This is not a decision I make lightly. After all, Boston is the only home I’ve ever known. Like I said in one of my posts a while back, I have been seriously thinking of moving out of Boston for several years now. More so given the rising housing costs and gentrification going on in the Boston area specifically. There’s also the fact September 8 will make it 3 years since I became Unemployed. I have been looking for work all this time or rather looking for someone willing to hire me. I’ve been doing odd jobs, volunteer work and taking vocational classes to learn new trade skills while still job hunting for those who are wondering. Just trying to keep my skills sharp while developing new ones.

As for where I would want to move, I would prefer to stay in Eastern Massachusetts for now. I am looking at southeasten Massachusetts and specifically New Bedford, Taunton, Dartmouth and Fall River. The cost of living is the lowest in the state down there for one. Second, it would push me to get my driver’s license. I’m not entirely sure if I mentioned this on my blog before but I actually do have a Learner’s Permit. I got it two years ago but outside 2 hours of Driver’s Ed, I’ve never driven a car before. “What the hell?!”, I know. My Learner’s Permit will expire on my birthday, which sucks but as of right now renewing it will have to wait until after I get a passport.

I do plan to eventually move out of state. Hopefully before I turn 40. After I move to Southeastern MA I am looking at Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota specifically. Why? The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater lakes in the world. As in, you can drink from them. It would make the most sense to be near large bodies of water but far enough away from the ocean to not have to worry about coastal flooding as is the case over here on the US East Coast. Boston has been pretty lucky up to now but experts agree it’s a matter of when, not if. The weather’s also not as different as what I’m used to over here in Boston. I wouldn’t have to worry about earthquakes (Southern California), tornadoes (Central Plains, Southeast and Southwest) or brush fires (Southwest). Ideally, I could buy some land to live off of. I would be open to Nebraska, Missouri or Kanasas as a backup option though.

Also ideally–and I know this would take a lot of planning and money–I would move out of the US. I do have a short list of destination countries I am looking at personally:

  • The Philippines: I spent an entire blog post talking about it. I do see a lot of potential…and opportunities I could make use of if I were to move to The Philippines. I am also very interested in learning Tagalog personally.
  • Canada: There has already been a steady exodus of Americans moving to Canada since Trump took office. Given I plan to move close to the Canadian boarder, it makes the most sense to seek Canadian citizenship at that time. I actually do have an uncle who lives outside Toronto so that would certainly help.
  • Kenya: Like The Philippines, it has a lot of potential and more so when certain key problems are taken care of. It is one of the few sub-Saharan countries with political stability. The biggest problem in Kenya is how remote most in the country live. Many of these remote population areas lack clean water sources and paved roads. Non-profits and faith-based programs have been doing what they can but it’s clear that more can and should be done within the country. I believe I can help with that. I am also very interested in learning Swahili and Xhosa.
  • South Africa: It is the most developed Sub-Saharan nation on the African continent. Refugees displaced by civil war and political unrest in nearby nations travel there where they stay in refugee camps co-managed by UNICEF and the UN until they can be relocated. It is one of the youngest democracies in the world (as of 1994) but has been thriving. Yes, political corruption is a problem but the country IS stable.
  • Australia: I do think I could make it work if need be. It would clearly be a one-way trip. Like Canada, I wouldn’t need to learn a new language either.
  • Japan: Like The Philippines, I do see a lot of potential in moving to Japan. I’m looking at living in a rural area personally. Hokkaido feels like a good place for what I might be looking for. Japan’s got a very rigid immigration process that is the envy of some in Europe and the US and that is something to consider.
  • China: The balance of power on the world stage has clearly shifted in China’s favor. It is also no longer the same country it was 30 years ago in many regards. The world is looking to China, not the US for leadership on the world stage. That should tell you something. It certainly helps China is offering a free ride to foreign exchange students. More and more colleges around the world are offering Mandarin and Chinese History so…yeah.

 

…This is just my short list.

All of them are politically stable as well–for now, anyway. I wouldn’t consider anywhere in Europe or South America personally. Way too much political instability on both continents. I’m sure it’s surprising to a lot of people to know I would seriously consider moving to China. Well, I would. It’s not as hostile to Christianity as it was in years’ past and they are always looking for non-Asian foreigners. I didn’t number that list but I am personally leaning heavily toward Kenya, The Philippines and Canada.

As for why I would want to leave the US. My biggest reasons are human rights-related. Trump being the current president is irrelevant to my reasons as I have felt this way since the mid-2000s. That said, I am most concerned by the fact this country has embraced its slow, gradual transformation into a police state in recent decades. The one thing America has always consistently excelled at is mass incarceration so…yeah. America is a society does not believe in second chances. A criminal record means you forfeit the right to vote in most places. Many people won’t hire you. Many people won’t rent you an apartment. If you were in prison for a long time, your family might be dead and gone when you get out. This country’s “pride” in having the largest military budget in the world–bigger than the next 12 countries combined–should tell you something.

I am also concerned by the current adminstration’s efforts to defund everything and make life harder for people just trying to survive. I don’t just mean the cuts to government programs but making as hard for people to leave as it is for people to come here. Did you know it takes MONTHS to be approved for a passport in the US? It also costs a lot of money compared to most of the world. $120 on average but if you pay $170, they can take 2 months off the filing process. Why does a passport cost so much and take so long compared to the rest of the world? It makes no sense. My friends in The Philippines, South Africa and the UK can get theirs in a much shorter amount of time and for far less in comparison.

Another concern I have is my current unemployment status. It’s not from a lack of trying that I am still job hunting 3 years later. It’s like I’ve been saying to folks over the last 8 months: Finding a job is the easy part. The hard part is finding someone willing to actually hire you. I agree with everyone who’s told me there is no reason I should still be unemployed after three years. Yet I still am. Do I want to work? Of course. Am I actively doing things toward that goal? Yes I am. Last year, I started taking vocational classes and job training courses being offered for free by various organizations. I also volunteer my time. I am doing both so I can at least update my resume. I already know one of the first questions I’ll be asked is “What have you been doing since you became Unemployed?”. So, I’m making sure I have a few things I can point to on paper.

I do feel I will have much better economic prospects in all seven of those countries and in some cases, I will be trained and paid while training. We don’t do that in the US anymore and haven’t for decades. Even in entry-level job positions. In the US, you’re expected to be experienced and know everything when you come in. The catch 22 many college students have been finding out in the last 20 years is even after putting themselves in debt with 4 to 8 years of college, that doesn’t guarantee employment. Even if you have the skills, companies don’t want to pay you what you’re really worth because it’s not cost-effective to them. So, they turn to cheap labor instead.

Most importantly, I know I will have an easier time buying land to live on in most of those seven countries. The current US Government is openly hostile to immigrants but what I am more concerned about that not enough people are paying attention to is the US is also enacting measures to restrict the movement of US Citizens both within the country and internationally. Europe and Canada are getting beyond annoyed with the US government’s double standard on the topic of international travel so…yeah. The US is demanding exemptions and immunity from the international community but won’t do its own allies the same courtesy unless something is given in exchange.

The complete and utter abandonment of compassion and the disregard for human decency…I’m done. Kenya, Canada and The Philippines are my top 3 choices of countries I’d want to move to. I tell you this: Even after I move out of Boston, I will still be planning to move out of the country. That will be the ultimate goal. America is a Police State. There are so many distractions and traps looking to ensare everyone in America. I’m talking about the immorality promoted and glorified online as well as in Music, Movies, TV Shows, Video Games and even on the News.

America lost its moral authority for good during the 1960s and didn’t even know it. It’s fixated on hypocrisy. The only things it can and is interested in offering to the world now are war, violence, captivity, destabilization, materialism, greed, exploitation and sexual gratification. Nothing else. How can a country that many of its people calls a “Christian Nation” be like that? That’s a whole other topic I will cover on two of my other blogs eventually. I don’t want to digress further here.

For the things I want to do with my life, it’s time for me to look beyond Boston. That much I have realized and more so since I haven’t actually left Massachusetts in almost 10 years now.

 

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

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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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