Mr. Flubber

Mr. Flubber

You thought it was funny,

To rhyme my name of Glover,

Which I have a heritage with,

With a term to remind me

Why I can’t decide on what shirt to wear,

Why people grab my chest,

Why that girl smacked me on the backside,

And discuss what bra size I was,

Calling me Mr. Tiddies,

When I was only 10 years old,

When maybe the reason,

I was overweight

Has to do with the fact I wasn’t fed as a baby,

I didn’t find it funny,

I was just mentally,

Physically,

And spiritually wounded,

And why these marks on my stomach remind me

Of my messed up childhood.

Thank you,

No sarcasm,

Because you reminded me each day that I should not chew gum,

And that I should starve myself,

And that today I’m not fat with an “f”,

I’m phat with a “ph”.

Mr. Flubber

Hurricane Season is Upon Us But There’s Good News in Sight

We have officially just started hurricane season here in the United States. The season which runs until November officially has not been kind to us in these past two seasons, with devastating hurricanes hitting the East Coast from Florida to North Carolina.

This season, however, is likely to be different from the previous two.

Thanks to a weak El Nino, experts are expecting a weak, slightly below average Atlantic hurricane season. This information was composed by meteorologist Phil Klotzbach and other experts from Colorado State University.

They predicted that there will be 13 named tropical storms that will form, five of which will become hurricanes.

An average season has 12 tropical storms, six of which are hurricanes. The past two seasons were above average seasons.

A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when its wind speed reaches above 74 mph.

Of the five predicted hurricanes, two are expected to spin into major hurricanes – Category 3, 4 or 5 – with sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or greater. The group said there’s a near-average chance for major hurricanes to make landfall along the U.S. coastline. Klotzbach put the chance of a major hurricane strike at 39%.

Last year, Florence and Michael combined to kill more than 100 Americans and cost nearly $50 billion in damage, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

The team predicts that 2019 hurricane activity will be about 75% of the average season. By comparison, 2018’s hurricane activity was about 120% of the average season.

The prediction from Colorado State last year was nearly spot on; they had predicted 14 tropical storms would form, of which seven would become hurricanes. In all, 15 tropical storms developed, and eight strengthened into hurricanes.

One of the major determining factors in hurricane forecasting is whether the USA is in an El Niño or La Niña climate pattern.

The Courier

Cometh o’er gentle stair
A steady stomp, the blast of air
Aglow in moonlight’s pallid glare
The storm of pounding, pearly mare
To guide its rider seek…
From vinework thick and forest dark
Did glow the sudden steely spark
And roar of rifle’s thunderous bark
To paint the crimson creek.

Ended was the mission dire,
Tossed from powder’s seething pyre
Splashed amid the muddied mire
Saved from roaring flash of fire
Did the courier shriek.
And did the savior rear up high
A pillar rising to the sky
Was not its purpose here to die
To save its rider, weak?

Google Introduces New Gaming Platform

Welcome to the never-ending battle royale of gaming, Google. Now look to see your opponents, which are just as rich as you are and also have the experience that you do not have.

It was announced at the annual Game Developers Conference that the search engine was introducing its new Stadia gaming platform, looking to make it easier to not just make video games but play them on any screen you own including phones, computers, and TVs.

Stadia, which will launch later in 2019, has promised many new ways to connect with games, which will include a Play button on YouTube videos that will launch you from the video into that game.

While at the annual event on Tuesday in San Francisco, Google demonstrated the new platform by showing a video of the game “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.” They showed how a “Play” button on the YouTube video could transport the viewer right into the game.

Often a player gets the urge to play a game while watching a video but has to boot up a game console or another program on their computer. This Stadia feature would get players into a game in “as quick as five seconds with no download, no patch, no update and no install,” said Google vice president and general manager Phil Harrison, a former Sony and Microsoft game executive who joined Google last year to work on this new project.

“Stadia offers instant access to play … (and reduces) the friction between getting excited about a game and playing a game,” he said at the event in front of hundreds of reporters and gamers.

The many other features built into Google’s game-streaming platform include Crowd Play for instant joining and coordination of multiplayer games and Google Assistant-style help, which will allow gamers to get in contact with customer service much easier.

Just this past October, Google began Project Stream, a four-month PC streaming video game test that included Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” among many other games.

Now, Google will have its very own game system. Welcome to the world of gaming; just hope you last longer than the SouljaGame.

Photo from Google

The First Ever Photo of a Black Hole is to be Released Soon

For us, the sheer power of a black hole is something that we do not want to experience. The fact that we can be swallowed up at any given moment is frightening and amazing at the same time.

However, we have never seen a picture of a black hole due to it being well, a black hole. We have known of them for decades now, but soon we will see an actual picture of a black hole.

Next Wednesday, at several press briefings around the world, scientists will apparently unveil humanity’s first-ever photo of a black hole, the European Space Agency said in a statement. What is even more amazing is where the picture is coming from. The black hole, “Sagittarius A,” is at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

But aren’t black holes, well, black, and thus invisible, so none of our telescopes can “see” them? Yes – therefore the image we’re likely to see will be of the “event horizon,” the edge of the black hole where light can’t escape.

Even that will be challenging, however, as the black hole at the center of our galaxy is “shrouded in a thick cloud of dust and gas,” according to Science Alert. Even more confounding is that spacetime around a black hole is “weird.”

The picture might be hard to see at first. This is due to the fact that black holes are actually collapsed stars. Their gravity is so strong that even light can not escape from the grasp of the hole. So the photo may show a dark blob surrounded by a ring of bright light, according to Yahoo.

Science News said that the black hole research was done using the Event Horizon Telescope, a network of eight radio observatories around the world.

It was reported by Popular Mechanics that this announcement taking place next week, whatever it could be, will be something that we have never seen before.

Press briefings will be held simultaneously in the U.S, Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo.

Their Day – A Snapshot

A woman walks through the garden
Golden roses with fiery edges,
Periwinkle forget-me-nots, pink hydrangeas, and yellow daffodils.
You can barely hear the gravel crunch
Under her black and brown cowboy boots
As Prayed for You by Matt Stell
Flows through the speakers
Slithering into every crevice
Of the hearts of their guests.

She crosses the old wooden bridge
Over the pond,
Notes her reflection in the water,
A mature yet young angel draped in lace,
The sunshine making her glow
Like god’s divine light shining down.

Her gaze falls on her lover
With a smile on her blushing face
And glassy happy eyes.
There he stands with a goofy smile,
Wearing a navy vest, cream shirt,
Blue jeans, and brown dress boots,
His brothers by his side
And her best friends waiting for her,
Her daddy wearing a suit, aging blue eyes,
And whitish hair that once was fiery red.
He holds her arm, leading her to the gazebo
To give her away.

The moment is here as she and her love
Stand in front of her pastor.
He reads 2nd Corinthians and Song of Songs.
They tie the knot—gold and red,
Read their vows, and finally he
Slides a titanium band on her left ring finger
Complementing the diamonds shining
On her engagement ring.
She, in turn, slips his tungsten band
On his large sandpaper rough left ring finger.
Love wraps his arms around her
And they kiss as they melt into one with God.

Another love song fills the crowd as they recess
To go take photos for lasting memories
As if they could forget this emotional day.

Later she dances with her daddy as he leads,
Far more confident than she is as she shakes
And resists the urge to look at her feet.
He holds her and twirls her
Like he did when she was five
Until the song comes to an end.

Her husband joins her on the dance floor
For I Swear by John Michael Montgomery.
Everyone who knows them knows they practiced
Because they both usually can’t dance
Unless it’s silly make fun type dancing.
He spins her round and round, dips her,
And steals kisses when he can
As if they can’t wait to be alone
Or are rather proud of this new privilege.

Dancing, food, and speeches consume the rest of the
Night until they cut the cake and smear some
On each other’s noses,
Laughing in silliness as he takes his finger
And licks it off as she blushes
Red as clown makeup.

She throws the bouquet,
Which is caught by her cousin,
Who is to be married in a year.
Her husband removes her garter,
Which is thrown and caught
By his younger brother.
Eventually, they leave ready to be alone
And live their lives together
As lifelong loving partners.

Looking To Make Money Lying In Bed For 60 Days?

Are you thinking about different ways to pay for your college? Well, how about lying in a bed for 60 days to pay off most of your tuition? It seems like a good idea, but is it good for your body?

Scientists are looking for women to stay in bed for 60 days to help them study how weightlessness affects the human body. The reward for participating in this study will pay about $18,522 or most of the tuition needed for your studies here at Radford.

Of course, it will be looking at astronauts and when they are in space. The weightlessness that is caused by the microgravity changes their body. That results in reduced physical stress in their bodies, which over time leads to muscles and bones to break down and body fluids to shift towards their heads.

This info is from the German Aerospace Center, which was commissioned by NASA and the European Space Agency to conduct this study.

NASA has previously done a similar study, though it was much shorter. Continue reading Looking To Make Money Lying In Bed For 60 Days?

Take Me Home

I am 9 years old with long curly brown hair.
I am three foot tall, weighing next to nothing
With giant burnt brown eyes.
I’m on the playground sitting on the cross
Of the ship made of giant Lincoln logs
With a tearstained red blotchy face
And rosy nose snotty and swollen.
Take me home.

I am dull and unable to read or write,
But good at math though slow.
I was once happy friends with everyone,
Considered a positive “happy” girl,
Despite being stupid.

I am persecuted by adults and later children
Who were once my best friends.
I am an outcast among my peers, family;
Even those who should protect me, take turns stabbing with spears.

I smile in church,
Leading worship,
Singing “I am a flower quickly fading, Here today and gone tomorrow.”
If only… Take me home.

On the cross, I sit alone again
And all I have is you, God.
Please take me home. Continue reading Take Me Home

Twitter Introduces Their “Lights Out” Dark Mode

Ever since Twitter introduced their dark theme for their mobile devices back in 2016, there were complaints about it not being dark enough. Well, Twitter has listened and they have introduced their true version of dark mode for iOS. (Sorry Android users).

Earlier this week, the new feature was released to users who have iPhones.

This new mode takes advantage of OLED screens’ ability to display pure black – they achieve this by turning off the pixels entirely to produce the darkest possible shade of black. This feature looks and works best on the most recent iPhones, which is why the feature is currently only available on iPhones only.

If you’re using one with an LCD display, you’ll still see a darker shade of black than before.

However, the switch between the old dark mode and the Lights Out version is not too big; yes, the new version is darker while the old version has a blueish tint, but it seems like the older version was better for the eyes.

In order to switch to this mode, you will need to head to your settings on the Twitter app and tap on the dark mode toggle and select the Lights Out option.

This feature is not available to Twitter users that have Android phones, but the company has promised that the new feature will be available to them very soon.

 

Photo from Metro

Child of Starlight: I.3 – P.4: Walking Death P.2

Jacobus turned around to the empty clearing now only littered with possessions and the few corpses. “Grim though it may seem, it would be a shame to leave it all. They may come back and re-arm themselves.”

Aliene handed him his pack and nodded as the two began collecting up the supplies. Jacobus dressed, adding the Schillian armor and sword, as well as a pair of heavy boots from a pile. Aliene found a purple tunic without sleeves as well. She took a recurve bow, testing the draw; satisfied, she smiled. The two picked up as much as they could and began walking, never catching sight of the other bandits.

Within an hour, the two reached a large road made from smooth stone. It stretched far into the distance in either direction. The Fuschian Road, as it was called, became a bridge of equal splendor reaching over the river they had been following. Aliene knelt down, rubbing her hand over the stone. “So this is the great pathway carved by an old Divine Mage.”

“It is the safest way to travel; some think that the magic the Divine used lingers. This keeps the beasts at bay to a degree,” Jacobus said, looking around along the tree line.

“You think magic could last that long? It was hundreds of years ago.” Aliene rose as she asked the question. Continue reading Child of Starlight: I.3 – P.4: Walking Death P.2

Verizon Introduces a Free Version of Their Call Filter

More and more people are looking at different cell phone companies just based off whether or not there will be a system for blocking out robocalls, which reached record highs in the past couple of years.

Verizon is releasing their features for free to customers after telling their customers of the features earlier in the week. They would fulfill that promise with Call Filter, which previously cost $2.99 per month per line.

The free version, which has the same name as the paid service, will be available to Verizon customers on the App Store and Google Play.

Some of the features that will be available on the free version of Call Filter include a spam detection, spam filter, and the ability to report numbers. Users will also get an alert if the incoming call is likely to be spam. Verizon will also let you determine your level of risk, which in return will help the network be able to block calls for you automatically, sending them to voicemail.

The free version has been released already, but Verizon did state that it will take about three weeks before all of its customers will have use of it. You won’t need to sign up for an unlimited plan to get the service, but Call Filter will not be available to prepaid users.

The service won’t be limited to just Android and Apple phones, as it will work with basic phones along with BlackBerrys and the discontinued Windows Phone. The setup will vary with each phone as users with those phones will have to call Verizon, head to a store, or log in to their accounts online.

Now, there will be some features that will not be available on the free version of Call Filter, which is why Verizon will be still offering the $2.99 version of Call Filter. Those who opt to pay for it will also gain Caller ID to identify the names of unknown callers, plus the ability to create personal spam and block lists.

Those who have the paid version will also get a “robocall risk meter,” a scale on your screen based on the fraud risk, ranging from low to medium, to high. The paid version will also provide users the ability to research and look up spam numbers.

It was also announced on Thursday that Verizon has successfully designed a “verified calls” feature on its network that helps you determine whether a caller is legit, showing you a notification that it is verified alongside the full ten digit number. This will be a function under the premium Call Filter services.

The company has started deploying verification across its network and will continue doing so over the next few months.

Verizon is not the first company to be entering the race to fight back against spammers as AT&T and Comcast made the announcement last week that they have completed their first verified call between their respective networks.

T-Mobile was the first to launch a  call verification on its mobile network, which took place earlier this year. However, it was only doing so for calls between T-Mobile customers and on a limited amount of devices as it waits for other carriers and networks to roll out the feature.

 

Photo from Forbes

Castle of Crows – Part 11

The change was instant. As dim as the woods had seemed before, they were even darker now, and when I looked up I could no longer see the sky above me, but it didn’t seem like it was day anymore. When I turned back I could still see the castle, and it was even still day there, but everything past the fence was foggy and seemed distant. Baron stepped through behind me, and as he stepped through he became clearer. It was a strange thing to watch, and I turned back to look at the woods instead.

The feeling of power was intensified here, and I felt other kinds of magic besides the trees. The trees were tall, and it almost seemed like they moved every time I looked away from them. There was a clear path leading away from the fence, but it branched off the further we moved from the fence. Everything about this place seemed unnatural to me, and I was very glad that I wasn’t alone.

Lilith was leading now, and no matter how many times the trail split she never seemed unsure of where to go. It was quiet as we walked, quieter than any forest ought to be, and while we saw no creatures of any kind, I couldn’t shake the feeling that we were being watched. The forest didn’t change as we walked, and the only way I could tell that we’d moved was that I could no longer see the fence behind me, which didn’t really make me feel any better. I almost thought we must have gotten lost, but the others showed no signs of unease past their extra alertness. Continue reading Castle of Crows – Part 11

Apple Cancels Their AirPower Project

Apple’s AirPower is officially dead. Yep, the wireless charger that would have been able to charge any Apple product is not going to be produced.

The product was first announced alongside the iPhone X in 2017; however, Apple has officially killed off the project.

When it was initially announced, the AirPower was touted as being capable of wirelessly charging an iPhone, AirPods, and an Apple Watch at once, something that has not been seen or done before. At the time, Apple had this product releasing in 2018. Well, 2018 has come and gone by, and now, we will never see this product in households.

A statement from Apple was first provided to Tech Crunch and has been confirmed by USA TODAY. Apple stated that they felt the charging pad did not reach their standards, therefore resulting in the cancellation of the product entirely.

“After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have canceled the project. We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward,” said Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering to Tech Crunch.

There have been persisting rumors that Apple had issues with hardware in trying to manufacture the pad. Sonny Dickson, a notable Apple leaker, wrote in a blog that the company had issues with heat management, interference, and the accuracy and speed of charging Apple products.

You may remember the battery issues that Samsung had with one of their Galaxy phones a couple of years back. Apple most likely did not want to have those issues with their AirPower, resulting in the pad’s cancellation.

This comes after Apple announced their latest version of the AirPods, which will come with a wireless charging case.

In what seems to be an ironic and cruel twist, anyone who buys the next generation of the wireless-charging buds will have a reference to, and in some cases a picture of, the now-canceled AirPower on its packaging.

What was meant to be a game changer will now be just a footnote on a box.

Child of Starlight: I.3 – P.4: Walking Death P.1

“I, Abijah Crimson, am a priest Cruor, the master of bloodshed.” Abijah let his arms fall slowly, then drew the claymore from his back. “You can make your deaths easier by” – he paused, fixing his gaze on Aliene – “removing anything of value.” He traced over her outline in the air with the tip of his blade, the glaring eyes shining with a dull red beneath strands of bright hair. Snickering from the group behind him made a toothy grin split Abijah’s face as his reach encompassed the two travelers.

Continue reading Child of Starlight: I.3 – P.4: Walking Death P.1

Gearbox Announces the Next Entry of Borderlands

After a long few years, Gearbox, the gaming company known for its Borderlands series, finally decided that in order to get back on track, it is time for the third game.

This news has been long-anticipated by fans, but it is now official: the third Borderlands game is coming out soon, according to Gearbox. After months of rumors, hints, and teases, the game was officially announced on Friday. There is no word on platforms (Xbox and PlayStation will be assumed here) or a release date, but it has been suggested by 2K Games, the publisher, that it will be out within this coming fiscal year, which will be next April.

This is the fourth entry in the critically and commercially successful loot-shooting Borderlands series, after the first two games and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which came out in 2014.

Borderlands 3 looks very similar to the three previous games, which were very popular and liked by critics and gamers.

This news, which is great for Gearbox, comes after a few difficult years for the independent studio located in Frisco, Texas. They have dealt with two high-profile games that were poorly received due to their graphics. Aliens: Colonial Marines, which was released in 2013, became infamous after a pre-released demo exposed the game for graphics that were flashy and fake compared to the real game’s. In 2016, an attempt to appeal to the fans of the hero shooters, but that game flopped just as hard as the Aliens game.

Now, the company will hope to win new fans as well as bring back old fans with a new entry to its most successful series to date.

However, for right now, fans will have to wait for more news, and according to Gearbox, there will be more to reveal to fans on April 3.

 

Within the Ice

Far to the North,
Before the world’s End,
There’s a cave in the Ice,
Where no mortal dare tread.

On the surface is beauty,
Blue ice rising from white snow,
Catching the light on the sun,
Hiding secrets we will never know.

Deep within those ice blue walls,
Where the world knows only cold,
Lie sleeping creatures terrible and great,
Lost since days of old.

Slumbering giants trapped below,
Alive and waiting in the dark.
The sun does not reach them there,
Yet they await its warming spark.
Within the Ice they’ve slept for years,
Creatures old and patient still.
What difference does a century make,
When faced with such an ancient will?

One day they will arise once more,
Though it’s doubtful to be soon.
When they come they’ll bring the cold,
And trap us all beneath the moon.

The world was dark and fearful once,
And one day those fears will return.
But for now, they sleep beneath the ice,
Until they feel the sun’s sweet burn.

Photo by David Rucker

NASA Has Published Picture of Undetected Meteor

A week before Christmas last year, there was a meteor that none of us even knew about. Now it wasn’t one that put us at risk but it was a reminder of how hard it could be to miss the ones that put us at risk of the end.

On Friday, previously unreleased satellite photos of a powerful asteroid that appeared just above the Bering Sea were released by NASA after it was discovered in photos.

The explosion unleashed around 173 kilotons of energy, more than 10 times that of the atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima in World War II.

Images captured minutes after the fireball disintegrated in the atmosphere show the shadow of the meteor’s trail cast on top of clouds, elongated by the sun’s low position.

The super-heated air turns the clouds to an orange tint in the meteor’s wake.

The pictures that were taken were from two NASA instruments on board the Terre satellite.

A still image was taken at 2350 GMT, while five of the nine cameras on the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument took another sequence of photos at 2355, which NASA collated into a GIF that shows the orange trail.

NASA estimates that the meteor occurred at 23:48 GMT.

Meteors are rocks from outer space that become incandescent upon entering earth’s atmosphere as a result of friction. They are also known as shooting stars. Pieces that survive intact and hit the ground are known as meteorites, which are very common for meteor showers and are sights to see.

It was the most powerful explosion in the atmosphere since the fireball that burst over the Russian town of Chelyabinsk in 2013. That was 440 kilotons, and left 1,500 people injured, mostly from glass flying out of smashed windows.

This time around, the blast occurred over waters, hundreds of kilometers off the Russian coast.

The first photo of the event that was happening was caught by a Japanese weather satellite and was just released this week as well.

The Arcade – Part 2

When Saturday morning came, Darren had his mom drop him off at the library at 8:30, with the promise that he’d be ready to leave by four. Hopefully that would give him and Jake enough time to really explore, and maybe if the plan went well, they could do it again.

“Bye sweetheart! I love you!” his mother said, waving at him as he got out of the car.

“Bye, mom. I love you, too.”

Darren made his way into the library, greeting the librarian with a nod before moving to one of the back tables, far from her sight. Now he just had to wait for Jake to see what his friend had brought to serve as a disguise. Hopefully it would be an effective one.

Jake arrived at 9:02 and handed Darren a Walmart bag filled with clothes.

“Alright, go put this stuff on and tell me what you think.”

Darren took the bag and made his way to the bathroom to change, being careful to stay out of sight, just in case someone was in the mood to gossip. Jake’s disguise bag had several different options, and Darren took his time looking through it once he was alone. Continue reading The Arcade – Part 2