The Harvard Lampoon—the humor magazine known for its famous alumni (Conan O’Brien, John Updike et al) and occasional full-on parodies of national magazines—has completed work on its latest victim: National Geographic.With explicit content befitting of a Friars Club Roast, the Lampoon is set to publish a version of National Geographic featuring Paris Hilton—its honorary 2008 member—on the cover.The 100-page issue, hitting newsstands on April 1, carries just 10 ad pages, including a full-page congratulatory ad for National Geographic that reads: “Some people mock the world… Others explore it.” The magazine, published five times per year, is distributed free to 15,000 Harvard undergraduates and alumni and 30,000 subscribers. According to a Lampoon spokesperson, the parody’s print run has more doubled from approximately 100,000 in 2005 (for the Lampoon’s Premiere parody) to 225,000 for the National Geographic spoof.
Comments More on Wizards Unite Dismissing a Confoundable to collect a Foundable. Screenshot Clifford Colby/CNET I love almost everything about playing Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. In terms of animation, storyline and gameplay, it beats the sensation that was Pokemon Go every way but one. The game, codeveloped Niantic and WB Games, feels much richer, with more items to interact with and collect — wizards, magical potions and ye olde Inn. But after days of playing Wizards Unite, one fatal flaw became apparent. It’s too easy to cap all your free storage space when interacting with All the Things from this wild and wonderful world, not without paying for more at multiple steps along the way. I can’t free up space by using ingredients to brew potions because I lack required ingredients. And I can’t gather the necessary ingredients because I have no free space to store them. I can delete items to free up space, of course, and I can buy vault extensions to expand my capacity for $5 (you get 10 more spots for “spell energy”), but something feels off with the balance of the wizarding game, if playing for a handful of hours pushes me to make purchases to keep playing.I’m not against buying items. I’ve upgraded my bag and bought Pokeballs in Pokemon Go. I’ve purchased key lockers in Ingress too. And I don’t mind managing my inventory by ruthless pruning items to stay under a cap. But the range Harry Potter: Wizard Unite gives you to play before paying feels much smaller than in Pokemon Go and Ingress, Niantic’s first two games. News • Pokemon Sleep is Pokemon Go but for bedtime 17 Preview • The ultimate guide to everything Pokemon Go That other Harry Potter gameI’ve run out of space. Screenshot Clifford Colby/CNET To be fair, microtransactions are often an issue with free-to-play games, with developers looking to find the right balance between letting gamers play and making money from their game. For example, the first Harry Potter mobile game — Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery — upset a lot of players when it launched with a “cash-hungry model” that turned off a lot of players.The Wizards Unite store, named Diagon Alley, offers everything from an Anti-Calamity Kit for $4.99 to Vault Extenders, starting at $2. Still, gaming wizards are willing to pay. According to market research firm SensorTower, over its first weekend, nearly 3 million players installed Harry Potter: Wizards Unite on iOS and Android devices and spent $1.1 million. In comparison, SensorTower noted, 24 million players installed Pokemon Go during its first four days, racking up $28 million in player spending. The firm projects the wizarding game will earn $10 million in its first 30 days. Pokemon Go collected $206 million in its first 30 days.Time to pay?Is the game interesting enough that I’ll pay to play? I’m not sure yet. For me, the richness of the game may work against it. I don’t really want to spend my time managing items and Foundables and Portkeys when I’d rather be doing what the game does best: playing.Originally published June 28, 2019.Update, June 29, July 3, July 4, 2019. Pokemon Go Harry Potter Harry Potter: Wizards Unite: How to play the magical game available in nearly 150 countries Harry Potter: Wizards Unite best Pokemon Go every way but one Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is Pokemon Go with magic wands Harry Potter: Wizards Unite brings in $1M on opening weekend How To • Harry Potter: Wizards Unite best Pokemon Go every way but one Share your voice Tags Mobile Pokemon Go
Representational image.PixabayThe founding team of Social Samosa, Ankita Gaba and Aditya Gupta, have launched a social satire blog portal called ChaiBiscuit.com. The portal is aimed to be the social laundry bag that brings to the coffee table ‘taboo and off-limit topics’ in a light-hearted but hard-hitting style through satire and spoofs.The foundation of the portal is the evident erosion and regression of the Indian culture. For the good part of the past decade the news has been peppered with headlines of rape, brain drain, gender objectification, barriers to the right to free speech and many such aspects that put a culture that is the genesis of global evolutions like Kamasutra, yoga, binary system, etc. in reverse gear. Through the medium of Chai Biscuit, the founders aim to write and right the wrong of India today. Chai Biscuit has employed an arsenal of investigative reporters who specialise in noir comedic writing and slew of statisticians who add fact to figures.Ankita Gaba, co-founder of Chai Biscuit said: “Chai Biscuit was inspired from the belief that through individual human revolution by creating value for ourselves we can inspire evolution of others. If through Chai Biscuit we can get millennials to start thinking about the wrong in the world and work towards betterment then our battle is won. However, we don’t believe in preaching that’s why our content is purely entertainment based that is guaranteed to get the wheels in the brain churning.” Ankita GabaBy special arrangementChai Biscuits focus on entertaining content through satire and spoofs is what sets it apart from its competitors. Where others are focussing on showing the uncensored truth to the audience, Chai Biscuit masks its content with jokes and sarcasm that does not force but impacts the reader on a more subliminal level.Expounding on the name, Chai Biscuit, Aditya Gupta, the second founder of the portal said: “Chai Biscuit holds a lot an emotional value for us. It pains us to hear quotes like, 90% rapes are consensual or women wearing lipstick and powder are the same as J&K terrorists. Quotes like these leave a bad stain on the fabric of India.””Through Chai Biscuit we endeavour to remove these stains by bringing taboo topics to the chai table and create a recipe for discussion, which will usher a revolution in mindsets and will make the Indian society pristine one article at a time. Our articles will imprint on the readers’ mind and hopefully transcend candle-light marches and silent protests to something more powerful,” he added.Backed by founders with a proven track record of success, Chai Biscuit is all set to make its mark on the digital space in terms of content and inspiration. If you would like to check your sensibilities regarding your perception of the society then head to ChaiBiscuit.com. Aditya Gupta, co-founder, Social Samosa.By special arrangement
Prothom Alo IllustrationAnother suspected drug trader was killed in a reported gunfight with police in Mahmudpur of Sirajganj municipality early Saturday.The deceased is Jahangir Hossain, 35, son of a certain late Hatem Ali of Railway Colony Purbapara area, reports UNB.The incident, however, could not be verified independently.Acting on information that a gang of drug traders gathered in the area, a team of police conducted a drive there around 2:00am, said Kotwali police station officer-in-charge Mahmud Daud.Sensing presence of the law enforcement the gangsters opened fire on them, which forced the police to fire back in self-defence, he said.After the gunfight, police recovered the body of Jahangir, Mahmud Daud added.He was wanted in seven drug-related cases, the OC said.Police seized one revolver, four bullets, 135 yaba pills and 25 bottles of phensedyl from the scene.Two policemen were also injured in the incident, the OC added.With the latest one, at least 117 people were killed in ‘gunfights’ with members of law enforcement agencies while 37 bodies of suspected drug traders were recovered after reported gun battles between rival groups during the countrywide anti-narcotic drives since 15 May.
Smoldering ashes and charred items are seen on the ground in Budu near Maiduguri on 28 July 2019, after the latest attack by Boko Haram fighters on a funeral in northeast Nigeria has left 65 people dead. Photo: AFPAn attack this weekend by Boko Haram fighters on a funeral in northeast Nigeria has left 65 people dead, almost triple the initial toll, a local official said Sunday.Dozens more bodies were discovered following the assault Saturday by gunmen on a village close to the regional capital Maiduguri.”It is 65 people dead and 10 injured,” local government chairman Muhammed Bulama said.Bulama said more than 20 people died in the initial attack on a funeral gathering. Dozens more were killed as they tried to chase after the jihadists.The leader of a local anti-Boko Haram militia confirmed the death toll, while giving a slightly different account of the attack.Bunu Bukar Mustapha told AFP 23 people were killed as they returned from the funeral and “the remaining 42 were killed when they pursued the terrorists”.AFP journalists at the scene saw houses burnt in the attack. Relatives collected the bodies of those slain for burial.Bulama said he thought the latest attack was in retaliation for the killing two weeks ago of 11 Boko Haram fighters by local residents when the jihadists approached their village. The residents also captured 10 automatic rifles.Boko Haram fighters have repeatedly attacked the surrounding Nganzai district.In September last year, the group killed eight people and stole livestock in two villages in the area after residents tried to stop them from taking their animals.Boko Haram has waged a decade-long campaign of violence in northeast Nigeria that has killed around 27,000 people and displaced more than two million.There are persistent attacks despite repeated claims from the Nigerian government that it has broken the insurgency.The jihadists have splintered between the Boko Haram faction loyal to historic leader Abubakar Shekau and an affiliate of the Islamic State group.Shekau’s group tends to hit softer targets including civilians, while the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) has since last year ratcheted up its campaign against the Nigerian military.In June, 30 people were killed by a triple suicide bombing targeting football fans in Konduga, 38 kilometres (24 miles) from Maiduguri. The attack had the hallmarks of Shekau’s faction.Late Thursday, the group attacked a camp for displaced people outside the state capital, killing two residents and looting food supplies after burning a nearby military base.Communities have increasingly turned to self-defence groups to protect themselves against the jihadist attacks.Vigilantes and local hunters have taken up arms to safeguard local residents amid widespread complaints that the military does not do enough to defend them.
PixabayBraille, the writing system that allows people who are blind or have other visual impairments to read by touch, was once greatly understudied by the academic community.This began to change with new research that emerged two decades ago showing that the brain’s visual cortex lights up when people who are born blind read Braille. That revelation changed a lot of what we know about the brain.Some Rice University researchers are hoping to further expand what Braille can teach us about our minds — and to advance how the visually impaired are educated — by holding a three-day conference on Braille research and education March 8-10.Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty talks with Rice University’s Robert Englebretson, department chair and associate professor of linguistics, and Simon Fischer-Baum, assistant professor of psychology, about what scientists have learned from studying Braille’s effect on the brain and what more they hope to accomplish by bringing together Braille researchers and educators from around the world.Michael HagertyRice University’s Robert Englebretson (left), department chair and associate professor of linguistics, and Simon Fischer-Baum, assistant professor of psychology. Share
Share Todd Spoth /Courtesy Big Picture MediaAfter the census of 2010, demographers discovered that a Texas city had surpassed New York and Los Angeles as the most diverse metropolis in the United States. Perhaps, then, it was inevitable that group of musicians like The Suffers would emerge about the same time out of Space City.There was a terrific local singer, Kam Franklin, and bass player Adam Castaneda. And Castaneda knew someone, who knew someone else – and that person wanted to play with this other person. And, before they knew it, a full-fledged eight-piece band emerged and made its debut. That was seven years ago. The Suffers have come a long way since that early gig, playing a prom in Jackson, Mississippi.“If you think you’re an entertainer, and you’ve never played for a group of teenagers, you are not an entertainer, because teenagers hate everything,” Franklin says.The Suffers release their newest collection of songs Friday. It’s titled Everything Here. Franklin calls it Gulf Coast Soul, a label that pays tribute to the band’s roots. Franklin says drawing from Gulf Coast culture — its people, its music, even its food – has helped The Suffers succeed.“I feel like the reason we’ve done so well and we continue to do well is because we kind of just have chosen to embrace our city and embrace our sound,” Franklin says. “It’s not a familiar sound but, at the same time, when you listen to it, it kind of is.”At least some Houstonians and hip-hop fans will find familiar voices in “Everything Here,” which features appearances by Texas rappers Paul Wall and Bun B.Overall, Castaneda sees the new album as a branching out from their first album, which he calls a “homemade project.” In contrast, “Everything Here” involved two producers and a string section.“I might be able to unclog a drain but that doesn’t mean I can plumb a whole house, so we need to have plumbers come in here,” Castaneda says. “So, we had our specialist friends come in and help out in places that made the record better.”Production value wasn’t the only sound influence on “Everything Here.” While none of The Suffers were directly affected by Hurricane Harvey, its impact is felt in one of the songs.“‘After the Storm’ is a song about, basically, trying to make a hurricane boo,” Franklin says. “But at the same time, it’s about extending your hand to your neighbor but in a more sensual way, and telling them ‘hey, I probably should have said this before the storm, but I wanna see you after the storm, I wanna know how you’re doing, I wanna check in on you, I wanna make sure you’re okay in more ways than one.’”Written by Kevin Wheeler.