ON THIS DAY: GAMEBOY TURNS 25!

On this day…April 21st in the year 1989 Tokyo (AFP) released its 8-bit Game Boy. Yes, Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks its 25th anniversary today with the portable device’s legacy living on in cutting-edge smartphone games and among legions of nostalgic fans.

Billed as a “handy game machine”, few knew it would start a revolution that did for portable gaming what Sony’s Walkman had done for mobile music. It also helped turn Super Mario and Donkey Kong into global franchises, allowing users to change their favorite games on the go just by inserting small cartridges into the device.

Although they did not invent portable gaming…Game Boy’s discount price and popular software blew away the competition at the time and pushed mobile gaming into the mainstream. It laid the foundation for what we call portable gaming today, regardless of whether it is console or smartphone games, because the basic concept is the same… That’s the legacy of Game Boy. “The device also allowed users to connect with another gamer through a link cable, setting off the beginnings of online gaming networks that now numbers millions of users.

“It made gaming portable, but what’s great was it was built on the concept of networking, enabling users to connect and battle each other- ‘It was a revolution’!

The unfortunate part of this story is that a quarter century later, the company’s financial fortunes have suffered. The Game Boy was discontinued years ago. But in its heyday, Nintendo sold almost 119 million original Game Boy consoles and shifted another 81.5 million units of the next-generation Game Boy Advance series, which was launched in 2001.

The original device’s red buttons and cross-shaped directional pads may look clunky these days, but they evoke a sense of nostalgia for many fans.

Although we can all acknowledge that the small screen and games seems outdated…in the past, it seemed to be enough. For one 21 year old student…today’s games have so many possibilities. However, it’s not necessarily a good thing as the struggles with today’s hyper-fast world of 3d offerings where movement is limitless…is usually tricky to master. “Recent games have become so complicated that you can be totally lost on what you’re supposed to be doing,” he said, admitting he sometimes feels “nostalgic” for simple games with black dots and horizontal scrolls. Happy Birthday Gameboy!

 

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NBA TALK: PLAYOFF 2014 ANALYSIS

After nearly six full months and 82 games for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, the regular season now gives way to the postseason. With no clear favorite, a massively competitive Western Conference, and two big rivals atop the Eastern Conference, this year’s playoffs figure to be worth the wait.
The effective Spurs bounced back from last June’s heartbreaking NBA Finals loss to finish with the league’s best record, due in large part to the strengths of head coach Gregg Popovich and the mainstay trio of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili. The Mavericks return to the playoffs after a one-year absence and boast Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis as offensive leaders. San Antonio swept the season series 4-0 and looks like the favorite this year, as well.
With All-Stars Dwight Howard and James Harden, plus a strong supporting cast that includes the multi-talented Chandler Parsons, the Rockets have a solid chance at representing the West in the NBA Finals. The Blazers cooled down after a scintillating start to the season, but All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard present a formidable challenge for any opponent. Expect a high-scoring series from two of the NBA’s most efficient offenses.
New head coach Doc Rivers guided the Clippers to their second-consecutive division title as Chris Paul provided his usual peerless point guard play and Blake Griffin elevated from All-Star to genuine MVP candidate. Known for their offensive firepower and the outside shooting of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors struggled to score efficiently at times this season and now face the absence of center Andrew Bogut, out indefinitely with a serious broken rib injury. These teams do not like each other, having engaged in several scuffles this regular season, and figure to get into a few more regardless of the series result.
The Thunder have been without star point guard Russell Westbrook for several long stretches of the season due to knee trouble, but Kevin Durant has made up for his teammate’s absence with performances that should earn him his first MVP award. After early injuries, including a serious one to linchpin Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies returned to their typical grit-n-grind ways to get back into the playoff picture. This series represents a rematch of last spring’s conference semifinals, in which the Grizzlies pushed around the Westbrook-less Thunder.
The Pacers tailed off considerably with a 10-13 record since March 2, but this team, led by All-Stars Roy Hibbert and Paul George, remains dangerous and stands very good odds of supplanting the Miami Heat as conference champions. Meanwhile, the Hawks made the playoffs largely by default in a top-heavy East and didn’t consider the accomplishment especially relevant to their long-term goals. Despite Indiana’s recent struggles, it would be downright shocking for this series to go Atlanta’s way.
Despite losing star point guard Derrick Rose to yet another season-ending knee injury, the Bulls bounced back with their trademark tenacity and an MVP-type season from center Joakim Noah. The Wizards have rebounded from several years of franchise-wide malaise, primarily due to the emergence of star point guard John Wall. The battle-tested Bulls and upstart Wizards provide an interesting contrast.
The Raptors went from lottery participants to one of the East’s best teams after a December trade of highly paid forward Rudy Gay, with All-Star DeMar DeRozan and point guard Kyle Lowry having breakout seasons. The Nets were one of the league’s biggest disappointments until the calendar turned to 2014, when their considerable talent meshed and first-year head coach Jason Kidd began to get more of a handle on his squad. This series could be one of the most competitive of the first round.
The two-time defending champion Heat will attempt to become the first team to win three titles in a row since the Los Angeles Lakers of 2000 through 2002. The Bobcats were one of the league’s surprise teams after two historically bad seasons, with offseason pickup Al Jefferson playing well enough to earn All-NBA consideration and the defense improving considerably. Nevertheless, the Heat are an overwhelming favorite to make this a short series.
Who’s your pick?

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PARANORMAL FUNNY

There comes a time when you can’t help but laugh hysterically while watching a Vine video. I thought I would share this particular one as I am a wimp for horror films and would probably pee my pants if this happened to me in real life. I think Josh Darnit & fellow viner David Lopez handled it way better than I would have in today’s funny video(play with volume for the best experience):

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GETTING IN SHAPE | FOR THE DISCIPLINE CHALLENGED

Willpower functions similar to a muscle — it can be exhausted, and it can be strengthened depending on our actions. If you’ve done a poor job exercising willpower to work towards your goals for a long time, getting started can be an incredibly challenging task. Also, if you work at a job that you hate, chances are you’re depleting your willpower almost daily, leaving little to do the things you really want to do. So…if we were to apply that to our work out goals, the best way to start regaining your willpower is to start with small chunks of ego-affirming activities that help build willpower over time. If you try to tackle huge goals all at once, you run the risk of fatiguing your willpower.

A lot of us are left scratching our heads asking ourselves why the hell we keep failing at these goals that we want to achieve so bad. Ego depletion does a lot to help explain why it can be so difficult to get into shape, why we fall out of the habit of going to the gym or cheat on our diets The good news is that the best way to overcome these issues is to start with a lot of very small steps, properly timed. You’re going to achieve your fitness goals in two very predictable very well-known ways: by taking control of what you eat and by getting exercise.

Diet plays overwhelmingly the largest role in this entire process, and it will inform everything else. The very first step you need to take is to start getting into the habit of knowing how many calories are in the food you eat. Also, discard most of the dietary rumors you’ve been told. Scientific evidence suggests that when it comes to weight gain, it doesn’t matter when you eat, how long you go between eating or the carbs or fat or sugar or any other content that is in the food. There are exceptions here and there, but “How many” calories you consume is, for all intents and purposes, the bottom line.

The next step is to find out what your baseline is. Go online and do a quick assessment to gauge how many calories you burn in a given day just by being alive. This will vary based on your height, current weight, and how active you are. Once you know that number, you can start to make decisions based on it. For those of you who don’t know, there are approximately 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. So… if you want to lose a pound per week, you would have to create a 500 calorie deficit each day.

Your goal now is going to be to establish dietary habits based on when you’re most likely to be able to make good decisions. So for instance, for me personally, I’m often less likely to keep my dietary commitments for dinner.  This is probably going to be true for a lot of you out there, especially all you nine-to-fivers. If it is, what you’re going to want to do is try to make the best possible food decisions for breakfast and for lunch each day, knowing that when you get home, you’re free to eat pretty much whatever you would like. Aim to hit less than 50% of your caloric budget for the day during what you have assessed to be your high-willpower times of the day, knowing that you still have plenty of room for the times of the day when you know you’re more likely to cheat.

Exercise isn’t as huge of a calorie-burner as a lot of us might think. Many of us like to kid ourselves by assuming that we can atone for our dietary sins of the day by planning  to work out extra hard to make up for it. This is a mistake for two reasons. For example… to make up for a really savory meal of a cheeseburger, fries and a soda, which could easily add up to 1,600 calories, you would have to run for two hours and after such a huge meal your body will be in a food coma and not be very willing to run at all. So aim to eat as light as you can during the day and work out in small, manageable chunks throughout the day. Your goal should be to do enough to get out of breath each time. Elevating your heart rate in this way will do a few really amazing things. Eventually… you’ll notice that you’ll have far more energy throughout the day. You’ll stop hitting that terrible wall at around 3 p.m. You’ll also be a lot sharper mentally. I’m not making that up — studies have shown that even moderate intensity exercise increases working memory and self-reported mood. Best of all, though? By peaking your physical activity in small chunks throughout the day, you’ll receive the benefits of the effects all day long. The calories you burn doing this activity might be relatively low at first, but the most important part is that you are flexing your willpower muscle in small chunks and building a positive habit.

If you find yourself slipping, don’t beat yourself up over it, and don’t be afraid to move the goalposts a little closer if you’re having trouble working up the willpower to keep with it. The most important part is that you do it at all. Once you start developing your willpower, everything will become a lot easier.

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FRIDAY FUNNY: WHY INSTAGRAM SUCKS

It’s true that Instagram is the many-headed frenemy, the great underminer. We know this because science tells us so. Research has found that your “passive consumption” of your friends’ feeds and your own “broadcasts to wider audiences” on Instagram correlate with feelings of loneliness and even depression. It was also found that “passive following” on Instagram triggers states of envy and resentment in many users, with vacation photos standing out as a prime trigger. Heres why:

Instagram is exclusively image-driven, and images will crack your mirror.“You get more explicit and implicit cues of people being happy, rich, and successful from a photo than from a status update,” Self-promotion triggers more self-promotion, and the world on social media gets further and further from reality.” 

Instagram messes more with your sense of time.“You spend so much time creating flattering, idealized images of yourself, sorting through hundreds of images for that one perfect picture, and then you spend even more time staring at other people’s carefully curated and filtered images that you assume they didn’t spend much time on. And the more you do that, “the more distorted your perception is that their lives are happier and more meaningful than yours.” Again, because Instagram is image-based, it creates a purer reality-distortion field.

Instagram ups your chances of violating “the gray line of stalkerism.” Arguably, you’ve violated the gray line of stalkerism simply by looking at those photos in the first place, even if you don’t reveal yourself in public as the sad lurker that you are. Each time you swipe through more images of people’s meals and soirees and vacation sunsets, you are potentially blurring the boundary between stranger-you-haven’t-met and sleazy voyeur skulking around the cabana with an iPhone.

Here’s a funny video from the comedic crew over at Reckless Tortuga that shows how Ugly instagram can get! Watch below:

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DISNEY RESURRECTS STAR WARS WITH EPISODE VII

In 2005 it looked like the Star Wars saga was officially over with Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, completing the prequels that tied the story back to the original trilogy. Fast forward to
October 2012, where Disney studios brokered a $4.05 billion deal to buy Lucasfilm, and with the deal came the announcement that they would be starting production on a whole new trilogy of Star Wars films that would keep the epic story going for years and years to come. It’s speculated that Abrams and his team would have to start filming in May 2015 to hit the December 2015 release date (making it the first in the franchise not to have a summer release date). Filming will take place in the UK, and the size of the production actually is triggering expansion at the ILM facilities in Great Britain. Disney’s Bob Iger also confirmed that the storyline concocted by screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (and, possibly, Michael Arndt) will take place 30 years after Return of the Jedi.

J.J. Abrams will not only be the director of Star Wars: Episode VII, but also one of the co-writers (working alongside Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan. Since Star Wars Episode VII was announced, every fan has asked the same question: “Does this mean we’ll see the return of Luke Skywalker?” And while Disney and Lucas film have yet to say anything concrete on the matter, evidence suggests that the answer could be yes. Not only do we have the reports about a more Luke-Leia-Han centered screenplay, Mark Hamill has confirmed in interviews that he actually met with George Lucas about the new trilogy prior to the contracts being signed, and he has even offered up his own speculation about where the story will go, suggesting that Luke could end up being an influential character like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Carrie Fisher has evidently confirmed that she, Hamill and Harrison Ford will be back for the sequel, but it’s probably best not to believe anything until it’s printed in a press release from the studio. Are you excited about the resurrection of the Star Wars series? Let’s see celebrity reactions to news of the sequel:

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GEAR UP: SMARTWATCH ANDROID WEAR

It’s heating up in the smart watch world with every major tech manufacturer and even a few fashion brands developing their “it” device to outfit your wrists. The one lingering problem with these current offerings however is that they do not have a standard operating system designed to actually accommodate such small screens. Google answered that call with the new Android Wear in which a clean and simple interface is integrated into the watch with limited but purposeful data on the screen at any one time. The default functionality of the watch looks very much like the smartphone system Google Now. Users can see time, weather, call and text update, sports scores, flight and concert updates plus more. What’s even more exciting is its aesthetically pleasing design which doesn’t only deliver functionality but is extremely fashionable. While we are not sure how many other manufacturers will jump on board with a watch that runs off of a smartphone operating system, we wouldn’t be surprised if we’ll see some new offerings running the OS software as well. Check out the video and see what’s new in the tech world with Android Wear.

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THE LATEST WORKOUT CRAZE: EMS

If you dislike working out as much as I do, you will love the not-so-new technology that’s starting to make some noise in the fitness world. EMS, or electrical muscle stimulation is a 20 minute, twice a week work out that gets great results fast by sending electrical impulses to the muscles while working out. The body ends up working harder and more efficiently than it ever could while at the gym. Not only is it great for people of any age, it’s also great for the joints and is useful in reducing injuries. Find out what it’s all about right here(see video clip below):

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PHIL’S BACK IN NEW YORK

It is confirmed that Phil Jackson has accepted the position to oversee basketball operations for the NY Knicks, the place he started his career. According to a league source…Jackson gave the Knicks a verbal commitment on Saturday but his actual status has not been confirmed….though it is said that the word “president” will be in his title. Current Knicks president/general manager Steve Mills will stay on with a revised role due to his vast network of contacts with NBA agents and GM’s. Phil will have control over the franchise but it’s not yet known to what degree, what we do know is that he will not have to manage day to day operations. The question now is if Jackson can indeed change the woeful franchise’s fortunes and how this will affect Carmelo’s upcoming free agency with no draft picks and cap space. Only time will tell.

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MARK JACKSON AND STEPH CURRY FACE OFF!

If you had to bet money on who would be the best long range shooter in a 3 point shooting contest between 49 year old Marv Jackson vs. one of the greatest shooters in NBA history with his career 44 percent mark from long range Stephon Curry…I’m sure you wouldn’t even think it’s fair! However that didn’t stop the Warriors coach from going head to head with the young star who could pretty much make any shot with hands in his face! Check it out to see who wins.

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