Men in Black: International

Men in Black: International (stylized as MIB: International in promotional material) is a 2019 American science fiction action comedy film directed by F. Gary Gray and written by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. It is a spin-off of the Men in Black film series, which is loosely based on the Malibu/Marvel comic book series of the same name by Lowell Cunningham. The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rebecca Ferguson, Rafe Spall, Laurent and Larry Bourgeois, and Liam Neeson. Emma Thompson reprises her role from the third film, while Tim Blaney returns to voice Frank the Pug from the first two installments.

Where did it all go wrong? While I love the first two MIB movies and respect the 3rd one, this one is a mess. The story, the plot, the villains, the characters – all fall flat! Molly, a young girl, in 1996 meets an baby alien and also witnesses her parents being neuralysed by agents of Men in Black while she helps the alien escape, avoiding neuralysation herself. This fuels her life’s desire to join the secret organization. Twenty-three years later in 2019, rejected from FBI and CIA due to her “delusions” regarding alien life, Molly tracks down an alien landing and follows MiB agents to MiB headquarters in¬†New York City. Caught entering the agency, Molly makes an impression on Agent O, arguing that she has proven her skills and has no life outside her search for the agency. She is awarded probationary agent status as “Agent M” and assigned to the organisation’s¬†London¬†branch.

She meets High T (Neeson) who runs the London branch and is paired with an Agent H, who used to partner with High T. In the beginning of the film they show T & H travel to Paris to stop an invasion of the Hive ‚Äď a parasitic race who invade planets by merging with the DNA of the conquered species ‚Äď at the¬†Eiffel Tower¬†using a wormhole included in the original migration to Earth. H has since developed a God complex, unconcerned with his duties and only keeping his job due to High T covering for him. H & M are paired together because she thinks he is cute and plays him a bit to make it happen. with Vungus the Ugly, his close friend and alien royalty. During their night out with Vungus, they are accosted by mysterious alien twins able to manifest as pure energy. These energy aliens fatally injure Vungus, who gives M a strange crystal before he dies, claiming that H has changed since they last met and cannot be trusted.

It is soon obvious that there is a mole in the organization as few people knew Vungus’ location. ¬†High T assigns Agents C and M to conduct an investigation while H is demoted to desk duty, with evidence suggesting that the alien energy twins had DNA traces of the Hive. H & M travel to Marrakesh, fight off the twins, ride a powerful hoverbike and are aided and then betrayed by one alien while getting a new ally in “Pawny”, the last survivor of a small group of aliens attacked by the Twins. In averting his honour suicide, Pawny subsequently pledges his loyalty to M. After the device is stolen from our leads, it is sold to Riza Stavros, an alien arms dealer and H’s ex-girlfriend. Travelling to Riza’s island fortress near¬†Naples, the trio attempts to infiltrate the base, but are caught by Riza and Luca Brasi, now Riza’s second-in-command. Luca is discovered as the alien M rescued as a child. Luca returns the favour by allowing them to leave with the weapon while he keeps Riza contained. The three are then cornered by the Twins, who are killed by High T and a group of agents who had been trailing M and H.

The celebrations are cut short when H & M realize that the twins wanted the device to use as a weapon against the Hive discover High T has deleted the case file and did not send the weapon to evidence. C also realises High T’s deception and allows H and M to follow High T to the Eiffel Tower. As they travel to the wormhole, M’s questioning of H’s memory of the Hive‚Äôs defeat reveals he was neuralysed. High T reveals himself as the converted mole of the Hive and activates a wormhole to draw them to Earth. However H draws out High T’s true personality long enough for him to relinquish the ultimate weapon, allowing M to acquire the weapon, destroying High T, the wormhole and the Hive infestation trying to reach Earth. With the mission completed gent O joins H and M in¬†Paris, where she grants M full agent status and appoints H probationary head of MiB’s London branch.

It isn’t half as funny as the original 3 or half as entertaining. It seems rushed and not well written and the thing is a shoddy mess of a movie. I hear that they had tons of problems including a director who wanted to leave and so many re-writes. The end result is just a below par version of the franchise. I give it…….6.5 outta 10!

USS Bellerophon

The USS Bellerophon (NCC-74705) was a 24th century Federation Intrepid-class starship operated by Starfleet. Under the command of Admiral William Ross, the Bellerophon transported Federation delegates to Romulus for a conference on Dominion War issues in 2375. (DS9: “Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges” ) The¬†Bellerophon¬†was the only¬†Intrepid-class starship other than the USS¬†Voyager¬†ever seen in¬†Star Trek, and the only one to appear outside of¬†Star Trek: Voyager.

The¬†Bellerophon¬†sets were a reuse of the¬†USS¬†Voyager¬†sets from¬†Star Trek: Voyager. This resulted in the¬†Bellerophon¬†having a¬†galley-style counter in the¬†mess hall¬†instead of the two food service¬†replicators, seen in “Caretaker“, and¬†captain’s dining room, mentioned in “Phage“. “Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges” writer¬†Ronald D. Moore¬†named the¬†Bellerophon¬†after the¬†HMS¬†Bellerophon, a British warship which served as part of a fleet commanded by¬†Lord Nelson¬†in the early 19th century. This vessel was in turn named after the¬†Greek¬†mythological¬†hero¬†Bellerophon, who rode the winged horse,¬†Pegasus. Coincidentally, the¬†USS¬†Pegasus¬†was featured in another episode written by Moore, namely¬†TNG: “The Pegasus“.

The¬†Bellerophon¬†was also the name of the starship that colonized planet Altair IV in the film¬†Forbidden Planet. That film was said to be among¬†Gene Roddenberry’s inspirations for creating¬†Star Trek. This was at least the second starship to bear the name, the first being the¬†Nebula-class¬†vessel¬†USS¬†Bellerophon¬†seen in the¬†Star Trek: Deep Space Nine¬†pilot “Emissary“.

A Dog’s Journey

A Dog’s Journey is a 2019 American comedy-drama film directed by Gail Mancuso and written by W. Bruce Cameron, Cathryn Michon, Maya Forbes, and Wally Wolodarsky. The film is based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Cameron, and a sequel to the 2017 film A Dog’s Purpose. The film stars Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid, Marg Helgenberger, Betty Gilpin, Kathryn Prescott, and Henry Lau.

The movie starts off a few years after the end of the previous film. Bailey is now an aging dog and lives on the farm with the now married Ethan and Hannah. Also in the farm house are their 2-year-old granddaughter Clarity June ‚ÄúCJ‚ÄĚ (Emma Volk) and her mother Gloria (Gilpin). Hannah’s son Henry having died in an accident Gloria is dependent on Hannah & Ethan to take care of her daughter. She herself isn’t very good at being a mom and Bailey has to rescue the toddler who wanders off and goes into a horse’s pen, attracting Ethan’s attention. Gloria is shown to be an incompetent mother with a hatred for dogs, a distrust of her dead husband Henry‚Äôs parents (Hannah and Ethan) and an ambition to have a singing career. She leaves with CJ accusing Hannah & Ethan of being close to CJ only for the insurance money that Henry left for his daughter.

A short while after that Bailey starts to suffer from cancer and soon is put down as his condition worsens. Ethan holds Bailey lovingly and tells him to take care of CJ, before he is lethally injected. Bailey, now dead, is then seen running through a grassy field towards young CJ. Nine years later, Bailey, who has been reincarnated as a female beagle named Molly, is part of a litter of puppies who are adopted out until only Molly and her favorite brother Rocky are left. She sees a young boy named Trent (Ian Chen) and his family adopting Rocky. She also sees a young girl with him, who she recognizes is CJ, now 11 years old (Abby Ryder Forston). Molly, remembering the promise she made as Bailey to Ethan, runs outside to CJ. CJ, now living in a house with Gloria, takes Molly home with her and hides her from her mother. Gloria eventually sees Molly and scolds CJ for getting a dog behind her back, but CJ persuades her mother to let her keep the dog given how neglected she feels.

Over time, CJ and Molly grow increasingly close, along with Trent and Rocky. CJ, now a teenager (Prescott), reveals to Trent (Lau) that she wants to drop out of high school and move to New York with her father’s insurance settlement to pursue a career in music. While CJ is busy, Hannah and Ethan visit Gloria’s home with a box of Henry’s old belongings, wanting to see CJ. However, Gloria, still angry over their discord, closes the door on them, but not before Molly takes a liking to Ethan, and he recognizes her as Bailey and reminds Molly of her request to protect CJ. CJ begins to date Shane, a store clerk whom Molly distrusts and tries to protect her from. Shane insists that they attend a party, which gets busted by police for underage drinking. Molly is separated from her and taken to a shelter. Trent retrieves Molly and reunites her with CJ. CJ is sentenced to community service at a facility that teaches dogs how to detect cancer and Molly teaches herself how to signal she has smelled the scent. Shane assaults CJ, and Gloria’s nonchalant response to that and revelation that she has spent Henry’s insurance settlement provokes CJ to leave with Molly.

While leaving town, CJ discovers Shane is stalking her, and eventually, Shane rear-ends CJ’s car, inadvertently killing Molly. Afraid that he might be arrested, Shane promptly flees the scene in a panic. Molly is then shown running through the same grassy field that Bailey was when he died. Bailey, again reincarnated, this time as a male¬†English Mastiff¬†named Big Dog, lives with his new owner, Joe, and is a guard dog at his gas station/convenience store. Although he enjoys his new life, he misses CJ. One day, CJ, now a young adult, visits the store, and Big Dog recognizes and engages with her. After she leaves, he lives the rest of his life missing her, and eventually dies of old age. He is then shown running through the grassy field again. Bailey, once again reincarnated, this time as a¬†Biewer Terrier¬†named Max, is at an adoption event in New York City. To avoid being adopted by anyone until he can find CJ, he uses an aggressive, biting persona, until he sees CJ and chases her to her apartment building. CJ is reluctant to keep Max, but she learns that if Max isn‚Äôt adopted by the next day, he will be put down. CJ is living with her boyfriend and working as a dog walker while aspiring to a musical career, but can’t overcome her¬†stage fright. She adopts Max, who befriends her boyfriend‚Äôs dog.

While CJ is returning a dog to a client after a walk, Max smells a familiar scent. Leading CJ on a chase throught the hallway, he ends up at the door of an apartment newly rented by Trent and his girlfriend (he also realizes that Rocky has since died). Max, sensing that CJ and Trent have feelings for each other, intentionally misbehaves, sabotaging CJ‚Äôs relationship with her boyfriend, causing them to break up and her to move out of his apartment. After staying with various friends, Max pulls CJ toward Trent on the street, who offers his guest bedroom for her to stay in. Soon after, Max remembers learning how to diagnose cancer back during Molly’s life, and signals CJ that he smells cancer on Trent. A doctor confirms the diagnosis and Trent begins¬†chemotherapy. His shallow girlfriend leaves him, leaving CJ as his primary caretaker. Eventually, Trent‚Äôs doctor informs him that he is cancer-free, and at Trent’s urging, CJ accepts a meeting with Gloria after not having seen her in years.

She has warmed up to dogs and gives CJ some of the contents that were in Henry’s box which Hannah and Ethan brought to her house during Molly’s life, which are revealed to be letters that Henry wrote to Gloria while she was pregnant with CJ. These notes inspire CJ to write more songs and perform them in front of an audience, finally kicking off her musical career. Trent wants to repay CJ and Max for their help, so he takes them on a road trip to Hannah and Ethan’s farm in Michigan, where they reunite for the first time since Gloria stormed out with CJ during Bailey’s life. Ethan immediately recognizes Max as Bailey. CJ is skeptical until Max performs a unique trick with Ethan that only Bailey would know. Ethan tells CJ that he had asked the dying Bailey to look after her. CJ realizes that Bailey brought her and Trent together as adults and saved Trent’s life, leading her to finally understand that Bailey, Molly, Big Dog, and Max are all the same dog.

CJ and Trent embrace their love for each other, and eventually marry and have their first child, a boy. Gloria reconciles with CJ, Hannah and Ethan. Ethan dies in bed, surrounded by family and with Bailey at his side. Bailey ages and dies as well, with CJ at his side. The movie ends with Bailey running through the grassy field, morphing backward through his previous incarnations, before crossing the Rainbow Bridge and being reunited with Ethan again in Heaven.

Cue the waterworks! Although I liked the previous film better, this one made me cry a lot more. Damn these tears! It didn’t make as much money as the first one. I give it a 7.5 outta 10!

Busy Day Running Errands

Today was a busy day, or atleast a busy morning. I wanted to go to the Ernakulam Main Post Office to collect a parcel that was being returned. I had purchased two box sets from Amazon UK and they were making me pay a customs fee. My information to my mother was mixed up and she ended up refusing the package. This was on Tuesday or Wednesday. I thought that I would go and collect it and pay the fees. I also had another errand to run which was in another part of the city.

So after coffee, breakfast, a shave and a shower I booked an Ola (kinda like Uber) rental, meaning that I had the cab for as long as I wanted. Well, I’m sure if it went for a few hours it would be a problem but an hour or two was good. So I first pointed the driver to the EKM post office but they didn’t have the parcel so I was asked to go to the customs office that help parcels next to the YMCA on Chitoor Road. However a short stay there led me to believe that the parcel, since it was refused, was on it’s way back to the UK.

Disappointed I went back to the car and then added the next destination as the institute I had to go to in Janatha to collect some documents. I went there and waited for 5 minutes before one of the lady staff came down and handed me the papers. Next it was time for lunch as it was almost 1pm by then so I headed off to Panampilly Nagar as I wanted a burger and a cold shake. By the time I got to The Burger Junction I was hungry and thirsty so I got some cold water and then ordered a milkshake (Nutella and peanut butter btw) and some honey bbq chicken wings for starters. The wings were awesome and I had a nice beef burger with a fried egg and bacon that I added on.

Lunch done, I went to Center Mall and got some grocery shopping done. After that since it was quite hot I decided to treat myself to an ice cream sundae, instead of the Lipton Ice Tea I usually get at the Subway in the mall. Sundae was delicious and then I came back home.

A Dog’s Purpose

A Dog’s Purpose is a 2017 American comedy-drama adventure film directed by Lasse Hallstr√∂m and written by W. Bruce Cameron, Cathryn Michon, Audrey Wells, Maya Forbes, and Wally Wolodarsky, based on the 2010 novel of the same name by W. Bruce Cameron. The film stars Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, Juliet Rylance, John Ortiz, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Peggy Lipton (in her final film before her death in 2019), Dennis Quaid, and Josh Gad. The film, like the book, tells the story of a devoted dog who is looking for his rightful purpose and wants to fulfill it.

In the 1950s, a newborn feral¬†beagle/German Shepherd/terrier¬†mix puppy named Toby wonders what life’s true purpose is. Weeks later, while playing with his siblings, Toby is whisked away to the¬†dog pound¬†and is quickly¬†euthanized, wondering if “fun” truly is life’s purpose. Toby’s spirit is¬†reincarnated¬†as a newborn¬†Red Retriever¬†puppy in 1961. Toby leaves his cage at a¬†puppy mill¬†and is found by two garbage men who plan to sell him. They leave to drink, and Toby is spotted locked inside their pick-up truck by a kindhearted mother and her eight-year-old son Ethan Montgomery, who rescue him from heatstroke. They bring Toby home and introduce him to Ethan’s father. After they convince Ethan’s father, the dog is allowed to stay and is renamed Bailey.

Bailey and Ethan bond quickly, especially over the summer when the family visits Ethan’s maternal grandparents’ farm, and Bailey now believes Ethan alone is his purpose. Years pass, and after several attempts at advancing in his job fail, Ethan’s father has become a deadbeat alcoholic. Ethan goes to a fair with Bailey and meets Hannah, whom he soon begins dating. Ethan and Hannah spend their summer together happily though their senior years are upcoming, but they plan to go to the same school; Ethan getting a football scholarship and Hannah following him on an academic one. When he goes home one night, Ethan’s father is drunk and shouting at Ethan’s mother. He turns on Ethan then and when his mother tries to keep them separated, he shoves her to the ground. Ethan orders his father to leave and never come back. Later, at a football game watched by scouts, Ethan is offered a full scholarship to Michigan State, but that night a vindictive classmate named Todd throws a lit firecracker into Ethan’s house, which results in a house fire. Bailey alerts Ethan, who goes to save his mother. Unable to get out of the door, they head out through his mother’s bedroom window upstairs.

Ethan first lowers her with her sheets to the neighbors below, then saves Bailey. However, he drops his rope and must jump, badly fracturing his leg and ending his athletic scholarship. Bailey attacks Todd, who is arrested by the police when firecrackers fall out of his pocket. Now, Ethan must go to an¬†agricultural school¬†where he will learn to take over his grandparents’ farm. Falling into depression, Ethan breaks off his romance with Hannah before leaving for college, while Bailey stays with Ethan’s grandparents. Shortly afterwards, Bailey becomes old and his health begins deteriorating. Ethan’s grandparents take Bailey to the veterinarian’s office, but Dr. Joyce is unable to save him, and Ethan comes into the office and watches as his beloved dog is put to sleep. The moment he passes away, Bailey reincarnates into another dog life, a female German Shepherd puppy, who grows into a¬†police dog¬†named Ellie, sometime in the late 1970s/early 1980s, while possessing full memories of her past lives.

Ellie is partnered with a widowed officer named Jakob of the¬†Chicago Police Department¬†and works hard at “seeking” and “finding”, now seeing the job as life’s purpose. The two form a close relationship which ends after Ellie saves a kidnapped girl from drowning and is then fatally shot by the kidnapper. Jakob breaks down in tears as his precious dog dies in his arms. Reincarnated again in the mid-1980s as a male¬†Pembroke Welsh Corgi¬†puppy, Bailey forms a bond with an Atlanta college student named Maya who names him Tino. Maya is lonely, and Tino makes it his purpose to find her some happiness. She starts a relationship with a classmate named Al whom she begins seeing after Tino falls for Al’s dog, a black and white female¬†Landseer¬†named Roxy. Maya and Al marry and have 3 children. In love with Roxy and now seeing her as his purpose, Tino is heartbroken when one day Roxy does not return from the vet. As a now elderly Tino dies, he thanks Maya for giving him one of his best lives.

Bailey passes away as Tino and reincarnates into his next dog life, this time as a¬†St. Bernard/Australian Shepherd¬†mix puppy sometime in the mid-to-late 2000s, and is taken in by an urban lady named Wendi, who names him Waffles. Unfortunately, Wendi’s neglectful husband Victor refuses to let her keep Waffles inside and, after several years dumps him in an abandoned lot. Afterwards, Waffles sets off in search of a new life. He gradually makes his way to the country area where he spent summers as Bailey and joyfully reunites with his old master Ethan, who is now in his 50s, living a lonely life at his grandparents’ old farm, which he now owns and runs. Not recognizing his dog, Ethan hands him over to the local animal shelter but has a change of heart and reclaims him, naming him Buddy. Buddy, sensing that he has finally found the true purpose of life, reunites Ethan with a widowed Hannah, and they get married.

Buddy convinces Ethan that he is his beloved childhood dog, by performing some tricks and responding to key phrases that were known only to the two of them many years back, such as “boss dog.” Ethan digs up Bailey’s collar, now old and rusty, and places it back on Bailey‚Äôs neck, and they resume playing exactly the way they did so long ago. Bailey narrates that life is about having fun, saving others, finding someone to be with, not getting upset over the past or the future, and living for today.

Feel good movie, a bit of a tear jerker, it has its fun moments amongst the more drama, romance and tender moments. Movies about the loving nature of dogs always gets to me and this one was no exception. I believe I had tears at more than a couple of scenes. I loved it. 8 outta 10!

Voyager’s Demon Class Beings

The things that come to you in the shower. I was in the shower earlier today when I started thinking that it was so sad about what happened to the Voyager crew duplicates from the Demon class or class Y planet (created in the season 4 episode # 23 “Demon” ). The being or “silver blood” comes to know about being “alive” for the first time after it comes into contact with Harry Kim & Tom Paris and duplicates them.

They then get to replicate the crew of the ship and even creates another Voyager and have the abilities and memories of the crew. Later in season 5 they are all killed after they start to deteriorate and try to find their class Y planet. No one is aware of what they achieved in that year of their existence and it’s a shame even the real Voyager isn’t aware of them.

I just had to sit and watch the episode “Demon” this afternoon before I had to get coffee and get ready to go to work. The episode is darkly haunting and beautiful in ways, especially when they are on the planet. I love these kind of episodes. I don’t have time to watch “Course : Oblivion” now so I will wait for when I come back home and then watch it.

Arsenal 5 Nottingham Forest 0

Unai Emery praised “fighter” Gabriel Martinelli for making the most of his opportunity after the teenage forward scored twice in Arsenal’s 5-0 Carabao Cup win against Nottingham Forest. The 18-year-old summer signing made his first competitive start in the third-round game at the Emirates. Martinelli opened the scoring with a powerful header before scoring a superb long-range second in injury time. Arsenal were playing only 48 hours after coming back to defeat Aston Villa 3-2 in the Premier League, but they put in a dominant display against their Championship opponents.

As well as Martinelli’s brace, Rob Holding marked his return from 10 months out through injury with a headed goal while Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson were also on the scoresheet. Nottingham Forest, who like Arsenal made a raft of changes for the tie, barely troubled their opponents with their only shot on target a late Sammy Ameobi strike that was comfortably saved by Emiliano Martinez. A big win was capped by the return from injury of defenders Holding and Hector Bellerin after lengthy spells on the sidelines while summer signing Kieran Tierney also made his long-waited debut after recovering from a groin issue.

Few fans had heard of Martinelli when he became Arsenal’s first signing of the summer, joining for ¬£6m from Brazilian club Ituano in July. However, back in his homeland he is viewed as having the potential to become one of Brazil’s superstars and he certainly impressed on his home debut for the Gunners. The teenager, who made his Premier League debut with a late substitute appearance against Newcastle in Arsenal’s season opener, played futsal as a youngster and the close control and dribbling skills developed from that sport were on show against Forest.

This was a fine display of attacking football from Arsenal but what will have been just as pleasing for their fans was the clean sheet. Arsenal had conceded 10 goals in their last five Premier League fixtures and this game provided Unai Emery with the perfect opportunity to give some minutes to those returning from injury. All eyes were on full-back Tierney as the £25m summer signing from Celtic made his debut after recovering from a groin problem, while centre-back Holding made his first start following 10 months out with a knee injury.

Holding’s goal will have gone a long way to helping him put recent injury woes behind him while Tierney put in a hugely impressive performance full of excellent crosses and surging runs down the left flank and he could now be in contention to face Manchester United in the Premier League on Monday. The standing ovation he received on being substituted spoke for the fans’ appreciation and the applause continued for his replacement, Bellerin, who made his return to first-team action after nine months out with a knee injury and even managed to provide the assist for Willock’s goal.

Why Do People Like Escape Rooms?

Being trapped in a room and having to solve a series of puzzles in order to find a way out under a strict time limit, would for some people, be their idea of a living hell. And yet the popularity of escape rooms has risen dramatically in the past few years, even despite films such as Escape Room and SAW depicting the terrifying possibility that they could be used for more sinister means. So why, despite going against many of our natural instincts, are people so in love with escape rooms?

Well, firstly we need to look into the fact that escape rooms are a full body, immersive, game experience and a chance for a person to become someone else for the duration of the game. Escape rooms provide their participants with a real life gaming experience, an opportunity to engage with and simulate a popular gaming scenario. Just as video games have been dubbed as ‚Äėaddictive‚Äô due to their stimulation of adrenaline, so are escape rooms, people love a challenge and quickly get hooked on the feeling of winning and outcompeting their escape room environment. Just as we used to enjoy playing hide and seek as a child, escape rooms appeal to adults looking for fun and adventure, with the ticking time limit and background fear of being locked in adding to the excitement.

The variety of escape rooms available also play into their success, ensuring that their is a game to suit any player. You can travel back to ancient Rome, fight off zombies in an apocalypse or visit a royal palace, the escape room provides the player with the option to be a part of any number of different worlds and to form their own character within it. From fairy fantasies to zombie nightmares there’s a style of game for all age groups and any number or players, making them appealing to a wide range of people. There are even games such as tiki palace escape room, where the objective is to earn more time in room by completing the hidden puzzles. People get a buzz out of different things, for some people the fear of being in the escape room in a horror style scenario adds to their adrenaline hit and the game is no longer simply about beating the tasks or the timer but about staying alive, for others, it’s all about the mental challenge, and the complexity of the puzzles themselves.

Another important reason why escape rooms may remain so popular is their ability to be played by a group of people, encouraging a feeling of bonding and teamwork as the challenges are overcome. As a social activity with a focus on teamwork and communication they seem perfect for group activities such as a hen or stag do, birthday parties or even work based team building days, companies love them as a way to view how their employees work in high pressure situations.

In essence escape rooms are a very clever activity that taps into a human desire for social, varied, immersive games that release regular hits of adrenaline and offer a feeling of satisfaction and pleasure. No wonder they’re so popular. Have you ever tried one?

Some Bizzarre Animal Reproduction Facts

Banana slugs are huge, they¬†eat your garden, and they leave a slimy trail as they squirm across the ground. Their method of reproduction is no more pleasant than their appearance: The scientific name for one species of banana slug is¬†Ariolimax dolichophallus, the second part of which means ‚Äúlong penis,‚ÄĚ and it‚Äôs apt. The invertebrates’¬†penises¬†can be 6 to 8 inches long‚ÄĒthe entire length of the slug’s body. When it’s time to get down, the penises grow out of pores in the head. It isn‚Äôt unusual for the penis of one slug to get stuck inside the other during copulation; to solve this uncomfortable situation, the slug on the receiving end will eat the penis that’s stuck inside it.

The elephant penis is so huge that males can rest on it like it‚Äôs a leg. When erect, it can weigh in at 66 pounds and can be more than 3 feet long. It‚Äôs also prehensile, which means that an elephant can move it around and even use it to scratch hard to reach places. Meanwhile, female elephants have a very long reproductive tract ‚ÄĒnearly 10 feet from start to finish‚ÄĒand the vagina doesn‚Äôt begin until about 4.27 feet in, so the elephant penis doesn’t enter the vagina. So male elephants have evolved to produce more but smaller sperm to combat the risk of dilution. To follow the reproductive strategy of mice sperm, elephant sperm would need to be scaled up enormously to make a difference.

Neotrogla, a fly-like insect that lives in a cave¬†in Brazil, is the first-ever species found that has ‚Äúopposite‚ÄĚ genitalia. The females are equipped with spiny, penis-like genitalia called gynosomes, which they use to penetrate the male; then, the insects get it on for up to 70 hours as the male transfers sperm and nutrients to the female. If the two are separated during copulation, the male‚Äôs insides will be ripped out while the female remains intact.

Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 2

Unai Emery praised Arsenal’s “amazing” team spirit but admits his side have to improve defensively after twice coming from behind to beat Aston Villa in a pulsating encounter at Emirates Stadium. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s stunning free-kick with six minutes remaining completed an unlikely turnaround for the Gunners, who had Ainsley Maitland-Niles sent off in the first half and were still trailing going into the final 10 minutes. John McGinn flicked home Anwar El Ghazi’s cross to put Villa ahead in the first half before Maitland-Niles was shown a second yellow card for a rash challenge on Neil Taylor four minutes before the break. Arsenal levelled early in the second period thanks to Nicolas Pepe’s first goal for the club from the penalty spot only for Wesley to restore Villa’s lead from Jack Grealish’s low cross less than two minutes later.

But in a thrilling conclusion, substitute Calum Chambers’ close-range finish brought the Gunners level on 81 minutes before Aubameyang’s late strike secured their third Premier League win of the season to lift Emery’s side back into the top four. The result was harsh on Villa, who impressed for long periods but paid the price for dropping far too deep in the closing stages and inviting Arsenal pressure. A fourth defeat from six league games means they remain in the bottom three. After opting for a mix of youth and experience for Thursday’s¬†Europa League win at Eintracht Frankfurt, Emery recalled the bulk of his senior stars for the meeting with Villa. That meant the Spaniard went with the same back four that lost a two-goal lead at Watford last weekend, and another shaky performance here means they have still not kept a clean sheet in the league since the opening day of the season, conceding 10 goals in five games.

The defensive problems ultimately did not cost them the result against Villa, but Emery cannot rely on his attacking players to bail out his team all the time if they are to make a sustained challenge for the top four. A lack of urgency and desire to close the Villa players down led to the opening goal, with El Ghazi given plenty of time to cross for McGinn, who found himself completely unmarked after ghosting ahead of Matteo Guendouzi. Guendouzi summed up Arsenal’s performance, he was often sloppy in possession and his failure to track McGinn led to the first goal, but he led by example in the closing stages with a series of driving runs into the penalty area.

One of those runs resulted in a sloppy tackle from Bjorn Engels, allowing Pepe to equalise from the spot early in the second half. After Arsenal went behind again Guendouzi drew a fine save from Tom Heaton, who pushed his low drive from the edge of the box on to the post. With Villa seemingly unable to get out of their final third, Arsenal’s pressure finally told. A mistake by Tyone Mings allowed Chambers, brought on in response to Maitland-Niles’ dismissal, to stab a looping effort beyond Heaton. Then, after Aubameyang was brought down just outside the area, the Gabon striker curled beyond an unmoved Heaton to send the Emirates crowd, who were frustrated for much of the afternoon, into raptures.

Street Kings

Street Kings is a 2008 American action thriller film directed by David Ayer, and starring Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Naomi Harris & Martha Higareda. The initial screenplay drafts were written by James Ellroy in the late 1990s under the title The Night Watchman.

Keanu plays tough LAPD Vice & undercover cop Tom Ludlow who is a disillusioned man after the death of his wife and is constantly drunk on duty. he meets in a parking lot with Korean gangsters who are looking to buy a machine gun from him and who he also believes have kidnapped two Korean schoolgirls. After a vicious beatdown, the Koreans steal his car. This was planned, however, and he has the cops locate the vehicle via GPS. Upon arrival at their hideout, Ludlow storms in and kills the four gangsters inside, then locates the missing children after the shootout and altering the crime scene such that he killed the gangsters by returning fire. While the other officers in his unit congratulate him, he is confronted by his former partner, Detective Terrence Washington, who no longer approves of the corruption as well as the deception and has gone straight, reporting the problems to Captain James Biggs, of Internal Affairs, who apparently starts an investigation against Ludlow.

Believing that Washington was “snitching” on him, Ludlow follows him to a convenience store to beat him up. However, Washington is executed in the store in an apparent gangland hit albeit with heavy fire by two gangbangers under the pretense of a robbery. Though Ludlow is innocent and the two were working together to fight back, the surveillance video of the shootout shows him to have accidentally shot Washington while trying to protect him with his .38 revolver, which can heavily implicate him in the murder. The DNA of two criminals known as Fremont and Coates is found at the scene, as well as a large amount of cash in Washington’s possession. It is assumed that Washington himself was corrupt, despite his seemingly changed attitude, and that he had been stealing drugs from the department’s evidence room and selling them to Fremont and Coates. Ludlow teams up with Detective Paul “Disco” Diskant, who has been assigned to the case to join him in his personal investigation.

After interrogating a Latino thug named Quicks, the two are led to drug addict/dealer named Winston “Scribble”, which eventually leads them to a house in the hills where they discover the bodies of the real Fremont and Coates buried in a shallow grave. The condition of the bodies makes it apparent that they were killed well before Washington’s murder. Ludlow and Disco, posing as dirty cops who are willing to take over Washington’s supposed activity of stealing and selling drugs, are able to set up a meeting through Winston with two criminals masquerading as Fremont (Cle Shaheed Sloan) and Coates (Common). Freemont and Coates then recognize Ludlow as the cop that was present at the convenience store robbery, prompting Ludlow to question who Freemont and Coates really are, and in turn Disco quickly states he recognizes the two, and he is shot and killed immediately, along with Winston.

Ludlow manages to kill both the men, who turn out to be former crooked cops and escapes to the apartment of his girlfriend Grace Garcia who confronts him. A news report reveals the killers were undercover¬†LASD¬†deputies (Wander later states that the two had been in deep cover for so long that they “lost their fucking minds” and had become corrupt cops). Shortly afterwards, Ludlow is subdued by Detective Cosmo Santos and Detective Dante Demille – two fellow officers from his unit. Talking Ludlow with them, the two admit that they planted Fremont and Coates’ DNA and the drugs at the scene of Washington’s murder. This causes Ludlow to learn that Washington was surrendering their captain, Jack Wander, up to Biggs, as they were the ones that were stealing drugs from the department’s evidence room. The two cops take Ludlow out to the house where the two bodies of the real Fremont and Coates were found earlier, for execution. However, Ludlow manages to kill both of them. He then heads to Washington’s house to take care of their supervisor, Sergeant Mike Clady, who was about to kill Washington’s widow. He captures Clady and places him in the trunk of his car.

Ludlow confronts Wander at his house and apprehends him after a brawl between them. He then discovers that Wander has incriminating evidence against almost the officers in the department, along with the judges, councilmen and politicians; Wander had been concealing his unit’s corruption to cover-up his crimes, and in the process has used the opportunity to become the department’s captain. Wander, asserting that he is Ludlow’s best-friend and mentor, attempts to buy off his silence by bribing him with a large amount of stolen money and incriminating documents – which Ludlo had uncovered from the wall moments ago. However, Ludlow refuses and executes Wander. Soon afterwards, Captain Biggs and Sergeant Green arrive at the scene. Biggs reveals to Ludlow that they used him to bring down Wander and get access to his files by opening his eyes to the real corruption going on within his unit. As he leaves, Biggs tells Ludlow that the department does need him.

Badass Keanu before John Wick was just as deadly with a gun. This is a tough violent movie to watch but entertaining enough to get through. Reeves is awesome in this movie as is Whitaker. 7.5 outta 10!

RIP Aron Eisenberg

Actor Aron Eisenberg¬†(January 6, 1969 ‚Äď September 21, 2019) has died. Aron was an American actor and filmmaker known for his role as¬†Nog¬†on¬†Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Born to a¬†Jewish¬†family.He was born with only one, partially functioning,¬†kidney¬†and received a¬†kidney transplant¬†at the age of 17. This limited his growth to 5 feet (1.52 m).

Eisenberg appeared on TV shows including¬†Tales from the Crypt, Amityville: The Evil Escapes,¬†Parker Lewis Can’t Lose,¬†The Wonder Years, and¬†General Hospital. He guest-starred in “Motherly Love”, an episode of¬†Brotherly Love. Eisenberg had a repeating guest star role in the ’90s TV series¬†The Secret World of Alex Mack, in which he played the character Jerry. He appeared in films such as¬†The Liars’ Club,¬†Puppet Master III,¬†Streets, and¬†House 3. Eisenberg starred as¬†Nog, a¬†Ferengi, through all seven seasons of¬†Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Although the part called for him to appear under heavy makeup, he appeared without makeup as a news vendor in the episode “Far Beyond the Stars”.

He later guest-starred as a¬†Kazon, called Kar, on “Initiations”, an episode of¬†Star Trek Voyager. Eisenberg has also performed on stage in such productions as¬†The Indian Wants the Bronx,¬†On Borrowed Time¬†and¬†Minor Demons. He has occasionally directed for the theater, as in the 1997 production of¬†On Borrowed Time¬†and the 1998 production of¬†The Business of Murder¬†at the Conejo Players Theater.

Eisenberg worked as a professional¬†photographer, opening his own gallery sometime before 2013. In August 2015 Eisenberg was once again diagnosed with kidney failure. He underwent a successful kidney transplant on December 29, 2015, the medical bills for which were crowdfunded. On September 21, 2019, Eisenberg was rushed to hospital in what was described as “critical condition”. He died at the age of 50 later that day.