What We Are Playing Today: Pokémon Masters

Updated 04 October 2019

What We Are Playing Today: Pokémon Masters

Remember all those Pokémon games you used to play on your Nintendo Game Boy like Fire Red, Leaf Green, Ruby and Sapphire? The fun continues with DeNA’s new Pokémon Masters.

As the player, you start off with Pikachu as your companion, and from there you create your designated team, made of familiar faces like Brock, Misty and new characters who compete in the Pokémon Masters League by collecting five badges.

The game is full of nostalgia for older players as you battle Pokémon Masters on an artificial island called Pasio to become champion. It is also exciting for those who are not familiar with previous Pokémon installments, as the battling system relies on strategic thinking and choosing your elements correctly.

Players need to upgrade their relationships with their Pokémon by fighting in order to complete later stages.

The more levels you complete, however, the tougher it gets to evolve your relationships, and the need to spend real money on the application increases. As players leave feedback on these shortcomings, I am certain further updates will incorporate better features to flesh out the gaming experience.


Former US President George W. Bush’s freudian slip sees him confuse ‘wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq’ with Ukraine

Updated 19 May 2022

Former US President George W. Bush’s freudian slip sees him confuse ‘wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq’ with Ukraine

  • The 75-year-old former president blamed the slip on his age

LONDON: Former US President George W. Bush found himself somewhat embarrassed after he called the invasion of Iraq “wholly unjustified and brutal” while discussing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Speaking at his presidential center in Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday, Bush said,:“The decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq … I mean, of Ukraine.” 

The freudian slip joins a long list of Bush’s verbal gaffes delivered over the years.

The US invaded Iraq in 2003, with the Bush administration claiming at the time there were weapons of mass destruction in the country. However, UN inspectors found no evidence of the existence of such weapons before the invasion.

US military operations in Iraq dragged on until 2011, with tens of thousands of civilians killed and displaced and almost 5,000 coalition troops killed.

On Twitter, many quickly pointed out the irony of conflating the invasions of Iraq and Ukraine. Justin Amash, a former congressman from Michigan, tweeted: “Oof. If you were George W. Bush, you think you’d just steer clear of giving any speech about one man launching a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion.”  

Another tweeted: “That’s not a Freudian slip, it’s a Freudian tumble down the stairs.”

“Awww. there goes that ol rascal george, reminding everyone of his war crimes. hahaha! isn’t it cute? please excuse him. he’s 75, so it’s okay to laugh off the millions he killed. we have fun here at the institute. now where was he? oh yeah, Putin’s unprecedented evil” tweeted another.

https://twitter.com/DubJ/status/1527109267228172288?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1527109267228172288%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffpost.com%2Fentry%2Ftwitter-reacts-bush-iraq-slip-up_n_6285a57be4b05c3afec484e3 

Writer and entrepreneur Adam Best wrote: “George W. Bush has always been the Michael Jordan of speaking gaffes but never expected a Freudian slip where he admitted to being a war criminal.” 

Some have speculated that the slip-up could be used as evidence in a possible prosecution of Bush for war crimes, with one tweeting: “This should be admissible as evidence at The Hague.” 

In his speech, Bush said that elections in Russia are rigged and political opponents are imprisoned or eliminated from participating in the electoral process. 

The 75-year-old former president blamed the slip on his age, and after an awkward silence, the audience laughed. 


I need a shot of tequila for my knee pain, pope jokes

Updated 17 May 2022

I need a shot of tequila for my knee pain, pope jokes

  • The pope said: "Do you know what I need for my leg? A bit of tequila"
  • One of the seminarians posted the exchange, which took place at the general audience last Wednesday, on TikTok

VATICAN CITY: His doctors probably don’t agree but Pope Francis thinks a shot of tequila just might help his painful knee.
While his popemobile stopped in St. Peter’s Square at his last general audience, a group of Mexican seminarians shouted out to him, asking how his leg was doing.
“It’s being naughty,” the Argentine pope replied in Spanish. A flare up of pain in his knee and existing leg problems have forced the pope to use a wheelchair at times recently.
One of seminarians then thanked the seated pope for continuing to carry out his duties despite the pain, telling the 85-year-old Francis that his persistence was an example for them as future priests.
Noting that they were Mexican because of the flag they were carrying, the pope said: “Do you know what I need for my leg? A bit of tequila.”
After much laughter, one of them shouted back: “If one day we go to Santa Marta, we’ll bring you a bottle,” referring to the guest house where Francis lives in the Vatican.
One of the seminarians, Rodrigo Fernández de Castro, posted the exchange, which took place at the general audience last Wednesday, on TikTok.

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Lebanese activists launch mock ‘lollar’ currency

Updated 13 May 2022

Lebanese activists launch mock ‘lollar’ currency

  • The Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA) decided to take the joke to the streets, with a stunt encouraging people to use “lollars” for the day
  • The “monetary disobedience” campaign, entitled “Currency of Corruption,” encourages people to print their own “funny money” at home

BEIRUT: Lebanese activists Friday rolled out mock banknotes featuring paintings of a gutted central bank or the Beirut port explosion to denounce high-level corruption that has helped to wreck the country.
The collapse of the Lebanese pound and frozen bank accounts have left Lebanon with a confusing currency system, with a multitude of exchange rates applying to various situations in daily life.
The dollars stuck in accounts that citizens can only withdraw in Lebanese pounds at a fraction of their original value are known locally as “lollars.”
With parliamentary elections two days away, the Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA) decided to take the joke to the streets, with a stunt encouraging people to use “lollars” for the day.
The “monetary disobedience” campaign, entitled “Currency of Corruption,” encourages people to print their own “funny money” at home and try to use it as a means of raising awareness.
“We will not adapt to this mockery anymore, we are #NotPayingThePrice,” the LTA said in a statement unveiling the campaign and its hashtag.
The mock banknotes feature paintings by acclaimed Lebanon-based artist Tom Young depicting calamities that have hit Lebanon in recent years, from the deadly August 2020 port blast to forest fires, solid waste pollution and shortages.
On one of Beirut’s main squares Friday, organizers installed a fake ATM from which passers-by could withdraw “lollars.”
LTA communications officer Hazar Assi said the campaign was aimed at reminding voters that their current plight was to blame on the country’s corrupt hereditary leaders.
“When people vote, they should make a choice based on accountability and rejecting the corruption that is affecting all of our lives,” she said.
Lebanon’s traditional sectarian parties will seek extend their stranglehold on power in parliamentary elections on Sunday but a new generation of independent candidates are hoping for a breakthrough.


Movie critics gush over Tom Cruise’s return in ‘Top Gun’ sequel

Updated 12 May 2022

Movie critics gush over Tom Cruise’s return in ‘Top Gun’ sequel

  • "Top Gun: Maverick" earned a 96% positive rating on the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregation website among 57 reviews as of Thursday
  • The movie debuts in theaters on May 27

LOS ANGELES: It took Tom Cruise 36 years to head back to the danger zone to bring a “Top Gun” sequel to the screen, and the first reviews from movie critics said it was well worth the wait.
“Top Gun: Maverick” earned a 96 percent positive rating on the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregation website among 57 reviews as of Thursday. The movie debuts in theaters on May 27.
Cruise returns in the film as Pete Mitchell, the cocky Navy pilot, codenamed Maverick, who has never risen through the ranks because of his penchant for bucking authority.
Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press called the movie “a textbook example of how to make a sequel.”
“The movie satisfies with one foot in the past by hitting all the touchstones of the first film,” Kennedy said, “and yet stands on its own.”
Box office analysts project the movie from Paramount Pictures will rank as one of the biggest box office hits of the summer.
The movie had been scheduled for release in June 2020, but Paramount delayed its debut multiple times during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Critics said the movie offers thrilling flight scenes, an emotional story and strong performances by supporting cast including Miles Teller, who plays the son of Goose, Maverick’s partner who died in the original 1986 film.
But most of the praise was reserved for Cruise.
“It’s a fresh-faced gloss on the original ... powered, like the original, by a star who’ll simply never stop being a star,” wrote K. Austin Collins of Rolling Stone.
Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly said the movie “belongs in almost every scene to Cruise.”
“At this point in his career, he’s not really playing characters so much as variations on a theme — the theme being, perhaps, The Last Movie Star,” she said. “And in the air up there, he stands alone.”


Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra seek to lift spirits at Eurovision

Updated 12 May 2022

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra seek to lift spirits at Eurovision

  • Their entry "Stefania", sung in Ukrainian, fuses rap with traditional folk music and is a tribute to frontman Oleh Psiuk's mother
  • The bookmakers have made it the clear favourite for the annual contest based on the plight of Ukraine following Russia's invasion in February

TURIN, Italy: Kalush Orchestra are aiming to “lift the spirits” of their fellow Ukrainians by riding a wave of public support to win the Eurovision Song Contest in the Italian city of Turin on Saturday night.
Their entry “Stefania,” sung in Ukrainian, fuses rap with traditional folk music and is a tribute to frontman Oleh Psiuk’s mother.
The bookmakers have made it the clear favorite for the annual contest, which normally draws a television audience of close to 200 million, based on the plight of Ukraine following Russia’s invasion in February.
“Any victory in any aspect is very important for Ukraine these days, so winning the Eurovision Song Contest of course would lift the spirits of so many Ukrainians while we don’t have much good news these days,” Psiuk told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
The band takes its name from the Western Ukrainian city of Kalush. It finished second in the country’s national song contest but replaced winner Alina Pash after controversy over a visit she made to Crimea in 2015, a year after it was annexed by Russia.
“We are here to showcase Ukrainian culture because attempts are being made these days to kill Ukrainian culture, and we want to show that Ukrainian culture is alive, it’s unique, and it has its own beautiful signature,” Psiuk added.
One of the regular band members has stayed behind in Ukraine to help defend Kyiv, according to Psiuk, who added that he planned to return home after Eurovision and resume work with a volunteer group trying to find accommodation and medicine for his compatriots.
“Even here, outside Ukraine, we are worried about our family members that stay there, and you wake up every morning without being sure whether everyone you love is still alive and where another missile could hit,” he added.
Russia, which says it is conducting a “special military operation” in Ukraine, has been excluded from the contest this year.
Italy is hosting after winning last year with Maneskin’s rocky “Zitti e Buoni” (Shut Up and Behave).
The contest is decided by a combination of votes by the official jury and viewers from participating nations.
Eurovision fans, converging on Turin for an event that combines glitz, energy and a fair dollop of eccentricity, welcome the chance to let their hair down.
“Eurovision is like a bridge to that normal life we had before the war started,” Vitalii Lirnyk, a member of the official Ukrainian Eurovision fan club, said in Turin.
“And maybe, for like a couple of minutes, for an hour a day, we can just feel safe and normal,” added Lirnyk, who has lived in the United States for the past few years.