2017 NFL Draft Recap: Round 1

the notepad

So I want to have a quick look at the first round. The main thing for me is looking at how much teams have improved to be competitive for next season. For me there are two absolute standouts:

BrownsGarett, Peppers and Njoku. Not only did they pick up two great guys on Defence but then they also traded up to get the Tight End with possibly the biggest upside. There is a reason Garett was the no.1 pick, he is a beast who will be terrorising opposing QBs. In Peppers they got a great Safety to sure up their Secondary. And in Njoku they have a guy who is really young and unpolished, but who in all likelihood will also be a Pro Bowler in the future. 

49ers Not only did they manage to persuade the Bears to trade up for Trubisky, meaning that they still got their guy in Thomas but…

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Why March for Science?

George Lakoff

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The enormous role played by science — especially government-sponsored science — in our everyday lives is barely appreciated.

Start with modern medicine. We, the public, paid for it through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and research universities where the medical researchers, surgeons, doctors and nurses were trained, and where tools like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) developed. Modern drugs were also developed through basic research sponsored by NIH. Modern medicine is the dividend of our investment over decades in medical science.

Next, computers. Computer science didn’t just appear. It was developed through grants from National Science Foundation (NSF) and Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARP). The Internet was developed by the Defense Department. It was originally called the Arpanet. Satellites were developed through NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Defense Department, with vast amount of new science: rocket fuels, physics, new materials for rocket shells, advances…

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Rey’s Parentage Will Be Addressed In The Last Jedi

The Midi-Chlorian Center

Since The Force Awakens was released, fans have been wondering who Rey parents are and came up with many, many theories. Answers are finally coming this December. After The Last Jedi panel on Friday, the cast and crew were interviewed and Rian Johnson said Rey’s parentage will absolutely be addressed in the movie. At one point in the video when the journalist asked him if there will be clarification, he said “it depends …” before backtracking. It obviously doesn’t point to the confirmation of any theory but I’m sure it will launch fans into more speculation on some of the theories.

Another interesting interview is this one where Daisy Ridley talks about Rey and Luke and she mentions that when Luke sees her with his family…

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Star Wars Rebels Final Season Trailer

The Midi-Chlorian Center

It is now official, season 4 is the last season of Star Wars Rebels, Dave Filoni made the announcement during the panel at Star Wars Celebration. All things must come to an end one day and it’s time for Rebels. This season will surely deliver great things and give us a beautiful conclusion to this series and it’s ending on Filoni’s own terms not like it was for The Clone Wars.

During the panel, a trailer for the final season was revealed and it’s amazing! You can watch it below:

Saw Gerrera is back with his look much more closer to how he is in Rogue One. As we knew it already Bo-Katan will be appearing this season in the Mandalorians episodes, which promise to be epic! Kallus is getting a new look, rebel costume! The X-Wing will also show up along with the rebel base on Yavin…

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer and Celebration Panel

Finally!! After months of wild rumors and endless speculations we now have our first look at Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

img_3423Courtesy IMDb: Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga.

An amazing new poster as well. Just the cherry on top for what was an exciting and revealing panel forThe Last Jediat Star Wars Celebration 2017. Not only did Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Mark Hamill arrive to give us insight into their roles in the sequel toThe Force Awakensbut we were introduced to a new character, Rose a maintenance technician from the Resistance played by Kelly Marie Tran.

For now, here’s the trailer. This post will be updated with new material as it becomes available.

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Hell or High Water

UnknownRover

Hell or High Water, the modern day country western on par with No Country for Old Men, puts together one of the best bank robbery films since Heat!

I’m sure there will be those that disagree, but I found this to be one of the best “westerns” I’ve seen in 10 years. Before I get attacked for that statement, I do not classify Django as a “western.” However, this film does edge out Hateful Eight and Magnificent Seven. If you feel that I forgot something better, please let me know!

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The story is set out in West-Texas. If you’ve ever been there, I’m sure you decided you probably aren’t going back. It tells the account of two brothers – neither of which with much going for them. Yet what they do have, is under the threat of bank foreclosure. Logically, the only thing they can do is rob…

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Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ Disney Movie Is Official

If we’re going to have a movie based on a theme park ride, then at least it stars Dwayne Johnson. The Rock himself has been attached to a Jungle Cruise movie, based on the Disney adventure, since 2015, but the project has gone through a number of script rewrites and changes (which feels like a smart move). But Johnson is also a very busy actor, attached to so many projects it’s hard to keep up. Nevertheless, it looks like Jungle Cruise will get slotted into spring of 2018 to start production.

As THR reports, Johnson will again team up with Dany Garcia, his co-CEO of the production company Seven Bucks, which is also behind Ballers, Baywatch, the Jumanji remake. Now that a new Jungle Cruise script by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay reportedly looks solid, it seems the Rock is ready,

The Road to Little Dribbling: Bill Bryson

travels in my own country

Travelling Companions 2

I seem to have decided on the pattern of reviewing these from most recently read and working backwards. Actually I’ve been enjoying the sunshine too much and haven’t had much inclination to sit, for more than a minute or two, in front of a computer screen if nobody’s paying me. This is one of my occasional extended reviews from Goodreads. Don’t be fooled by the unimpressed nature of the piece. Like many of you I am a big fan of Bill Bryson. I just don’t think much of this book. If you haven’t read any Bryson before and you’ve got a train or plane to catch then it will pass the time quite nicely. If you haven’t read any Bryson before, and there is a choice between this book and any other that he has written…choose the other.

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Here’s the review.

He’s become the Paul McCartney of travel…

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Carrie Fisher May Still Appear in ‘Star Wars Episode IX’

Carrie Fisher. She represented the emotional core of the initial trilogy, as well as being a first-class action hero, and she was easily the arrival greeted with the most cacophonous applause in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Her scenes for Star Wars: The Last Jedi had been shot already at the time of her passing but the question remained: what about Episode IX? A few months ago, Lucasfilms said it had no plans to digitize her and put her in the last volume of this trilogy and that seemed like the right thing to do. Today, however, brings news that Fisher’s brother, Todd, and her daughter have given Disney the go-ahead to include Fisher in Episode IX.

At first, one might panic and think that they’re going to pull a Rogue One anyway and have   an animated human walking around amongst the real-life ones. That’s not the case. As it turns out, Disney, Lucasfilm, and Trevorrow are planning to use cut scenes from The Last Jedi to bring Fisher back into the fray for one last time. That’s what the family members told the New York Daily News in an interview yesterday, with Todd saying:

“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t…She’s as much a part of it as anything and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi Wan – when the saber cuts him down he becomes more powerful…I feel like that’s what’s happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue.“

If that’s the case, this could end up giving Fisher and General Leia a proper send-off from the franchise but I can’t help worrying that this ambition might feel awkward or misguided in the movie itself.

Wildlife Wednesday: Nomads of the North – Common Redpolls

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Regularly occurring in small numbers in the village during this past winter, at times eruptive flocks of dozens of colorful Common Redpolls have descended upon Chignik Lake.

Determining the population status of birds in the Chignik area can be challenging. Common Redpolls (Acanthis flammea) are a case in point. Overall, there are estimated to be about 13,000,000 of these crimson-splashed passerines in Alaska – a number which surely fluctuates considerably from year to year. At home in a range of habitats including Arctic tundra, scrub alder and boreal conifer forests, their call, an electric zapping buzz, is frequently heard from high in the sky even when the birds themselves can’t be located.

In addition to the electric zapping call flying redpolls produce, perched birds have a variety of voices, including a cat-like mew.

*Click to listen to redpolls calling.

But how common are redpolls on the Alaska Peninsula? They aren’t included among the over 200…

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The Maid of Norway – The Tragic Story of Scotland’s First Queen Regnant

History... the interesting bits!

800px-Kongevåpen_1905 The coat of arms of Norway

The story of Margaret, the Maid of Norway, is short and sad. The little girl died before her 8th birthday, and before she ever set foot in the country of which she was Queen. And her death set into a motion a chain of events that would see Scotland torn apart by war for years to come.

Margaret’s claim to the Scottish throne came from her grandfather, Alexander III. Alexander had come to the throne at the age of 8 and had proved to be a very capable and strong monarch. He had married, on 26th December 1251, Margaret, the daughter of Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence.

Margaret and Alexander had 3 children together. Their eldest daughter, Margaret, was born in February 1261 at Windsor Castle. And of their 2 sons; Alexander was born in 1264 at Jedburgh and David…

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