Thursday, April 30, 2020

How Much Caffeine Would It Take To Kill You?

Katie O/ asks: How much caffeine would someone have to drink to be fatal?

There have been numerous deaths attributed to excessive caffeine ingestion. So if you happen to be a person who loves coffee and energy drinks, you might want to know approximately what amount you should avoid drinking on a given day. So how much caffeine would it take to kill you?

Well, there are several factors that make this a tricky question to answer. For example, not everyone reacts the same way to caffeine. People also become tolerant to it and so the effects can be different from person to person. Lastly, there would be no respectable researcher who would dare perform a study on humans if the goal of that study is death to the person. Thus, as you might expect, we couldn’t find any studies that show what amount of caffeine would definitively kill your average human. But that’s not very interesting, so let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

First, we went ahead and gathered 100 volunteers who were tired of living, along with some who we just found on the streets and figured they should have been staying quarantined, so what would happen next in our study is really on them…

But more seriously, it turns out there are less ethically questionable studies that have allowed doctors to understand what’s going on inside the body in caffeine overdoses and approximately what dose would prove fatal for the average person. So while the exact dose is almost impossible to answer for a given individual, we can say for sure a few things, like that the highest caffeine dose ever known to be ingested by someone who survived was around 100 grams.

Although that might not sound like that much, in terms of raw amount of caffeine, it should be noted that that’s the amount of caffeine in about 1,200 cups of coffee!

Lesser doses that are generally thought to put an adult at high risk of death typically range from about 5-10 grams ingested in a short period, which is still an awful lot of energy drinks and/or coffee, though there are certain diet pills that can easily get you over that amount in just a handful of pills.

Of course, people ingesting significantly lesser doses have had death attributed to caffeine overdose. That said, others survive where you’d think they wouldn’t, such as one medical report looking at the case of an unnamed one year old girl who ingested some of her mother’s diet pills. The total dose of caffeine to the one year old was approximately 3 grams.

While said baby did have significant complications, including heart issues and seizures in the immediate aftermath, she survived the incident and did not seem to suffer from any long term issues. Noteworthy here is that due to her tiny size, the caffeine concentration in her system ended up being the second highest every documented in someone who survived the event.

Yet another research paper we looked at documented the case of a 16 year old boy who ingested around 6-8 grams of caffeine and also managed to survive, despite a number of immediate medical complications as a result of the caffeine.

So basically, there are a myriad of factors at play here, but as for a definitive dose that would kill most people, it turns out when talking cups of coffee or energy drinks, it’s a huge amount in most people, with some exceptions where individuals with certain heart conditions and the like might want to avoid significantly smaller doses.

As for the average Joe, most physicians and medical bodies tend to recommend avoiding ingesting more than around 500-600 mg of caffeine per day, not necessarily because you might die per se, but more because it’s likely not going to be good for you for a variety of reasons, especially if done regularly.

For reference, the average cup of coffee has in the range of 40-150mg of caffeine. For example, a Starbucks 2x Caffeine K-cup will get you a dose of around 260 mg, compared to the normally caffeinated k-cup from the same brand which has around 130 mg. Obviously if following the recommendations, you’ll want to avoid more than 2 of the 2x caffeine k-cups per day.

For other references, 12 ounces of Jolt cola has approximately 100mg (16 oz at about 160 mg), Monster Energy at about 160 grams, 12 oz of Mountain Dew has 55mg, and Dr. Pepper has 61 mg.

So this all might have you wondering how caffeine actually manages to kill?

Caffeine is one of several naturally occurring substances known as Xanthines. Xanthines are among other things, central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. Caffeine, specifically, is in over 60 known plant species. It’s the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world. Depending on which study you read, approximately 80-90% of the US population consumes at least 200mg per day. In low doses, it has many benefits that can help with things like pain management, water retention, alertness, and a general feeling of wellbeing, to name a few.

As with most CNS stimulants, the higher the dose, the more profound the reaction. As you consume more caffeine, the risks begin to outweigh the benefits. A person can become jittery, anxious, begin having high blood pressure, chest pain, headaches, dehydration, and unfortunately, dependence that causes withdrawals if you don’t continue consuming it. In toxic doses, caffeine can cause extremely low blood pressures, seizures, cardiac rhythm problems, and lactic acidosis.

While there appears to be some dissension among researchers as to exactly how xanthines, like caffeine, cause the reactions they do.  What is known is that they antagonize what are known as adenosine-receptors within almost every cell in the body.

Adenosine is a chemical present in every human cell. It combines with other chemicals like phosphate to create numerous compounds that help cells work properly. Those compounds need to attach to their receptors to affect cells. There are 4 main groups of adensonine receptors within the body and their effects can fall into four categories. Generally speaking, adenosine compounds help in increasing the oxygen available to cells, protect against the damage caused by a lack of oxygen, help in initiating the body’s natural anti-inflammatory responses, and help in the creation of blood vessels.

Caffeine is similar to adenosine in chemical composition, and as such, can attach to adenosine receptors not allowing adenosine compounds to perform normally. The result is CNS and cardiac stimulation, relaxation of the smooth muscles, and a diuretic action on the kidneys that can lead to dehydration.

Thus, in high levels, caffeine can be very toxic. It will bind to adenosine receptor sites known as subtypes A1 and A2. The result is seizures. In high doses, it will also inhibit an enzyme known as phosphodiesterase, while stimulating the release of neurotransmitters involved in your fight or flight nervous system. The result is extremely fast heart rates, dilation of your blood vessels causing low blood pressures, low potassium levels that can cause lethal heart rhythms, the breakdown of sugars in your liver, and an increase in your white blood cells.

If all that doesn’t seem like it’s deadly enough, those side effects will cause their own problems. Specifically, lactic acidosis will be caused by your body’s tissues not getting enough oxygen because your blood pressure is too low. The result of your seizures, low oxygen levels within your cells, and an inevitable calcium release from an area of your cells called your endoplasmic reticulum will give you what is known as rhabdomyolysis- this is a breakdown of your muscles causing a release of your muscle fibers into your bloodstream (brown pee and clogged kidneys anyone!).

If you’re thinking “I’m never drinking that nectar from Satan again”, don’t worry, those toxic reactions won’t happen at normal consumption levels. Just, again, when you start getting in excess of 500-600 mg per day for a typical adult, you’re going to start to have a bad time in many cases. And even less for the littles.

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as:

Bonus Fact:

Speaking of Satan, prior to being baptized in the 16th century by Pope Clement VIII, coffee had been thought by many Catholic leaders in Europe to be Satan’s drink. Whether because of its characteristic dark color and bitter taste (both of which were the antithesis of sweet wine, which was associated with the Eucharist and Christ), its physical effects, or its roots in the Muslim world, or all three, many Catholic clerics were solidly against the beverage.

As to who first brewed the first cup of Joe isn’t known, but that hasn’t stopped many a fictitious origin story from popping up, such as the commonly repeated legend that coffee was first “discovered” in the 9th century by an Ethiopian herdsman, Kaldi who noticed that one of his goats appeared to be particularly frolicsome after consuming some red coffee berries. Giving it a go himself, he soon felt more upbeat. Energized, he relayed his discovery to his neighbors and coffee consumption was born.

However it really came to be discovered as a stimulant, over time, coffee became popular throughout Ethiopia, where it was said that warriors of the Galla tribe mixed it with butter and ate it before going into battle. Eventually, by the 12th century Arab traders returning to what is now Yemen from Ethiopia brought coffee with them and learned to cultivate the plant. By this point, the beans were being transformed into a drink (qahwa or kahwah) by means of boiling.

In the 15th century, Ottoman Turks brought coffee with them when they conquered Constantinople (Kostantiniyye or al-Qustantiniyah). At this same time, the Mufti of Aden, who had been suffering with an unidentified illness and was cured after drinking coffee for the first time, touted its beneficial qualities, which contributed to its popularity throughout the Muslim world.

Also in the 15th century, the first coffee houses (Kaveh Kanes) began appearing in Mecca and Constantinople, and like today, they were used for not only drinking coffee, but socializing as well.

By the end of the 16th century, coffee was found in Venice, and by the turn of the 17th century, Catholic Church leaders were becoming suspicious of coffee and the effect it had on the local populace. Deciding it must be Satan’s drink, many local clergy beseeched the pope, asking him to prohibit its consumption.

Trying it for himself, Pope Clement VIII (1536-1605) found it agreeable, and demonstrating a gift for diplomacy, declared in 1600:

“Why, this Satan’s drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it.”

With the pope’s blessing and its natural addictive qualities, coffee soon spread across Europe.

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The post How Much Caffeine Would It Take To Kill You? appeared first on Today I Found Out.

from Today I Found Out
by Scott - April 30, 2020 at 11:27PM
Article provided by the producers of one of our Favorite YouTube Channels!
- April 30, 2020 at 09:01AM - Microsoft to show Xbox Series X games via livestream next week

Microsoft will show off the first Xbox Series X games in an Inside Xbox livestream next Thursday, 7th May at 4pm UK time.

There's no official word on what exactly we'll be seeing, but Eurogamer understands a number of third-party games will be showcased.

Obviously, fans are also looking forward to see more of flagship title Halo: Infinite, only teased until now, but also some of the many projects Microsoft's array of games studios have been quietly building and keeping under wraps.

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from April 30, 2020 at 08:55AM - Nintendo will delay its typical E3 Direct broadcast in June

Nintendo's plans for its annual E3 broadcast have been pushed back due to complications arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

That's according to Venturebeat, which first reported on the story this afternoon, and which Eurogamer sources have also been able to corroborate.

While Nintendo has long held its presentations digitally, Eurogamer understands it has told publishers set to reveal games during its showcase that it needs more development time on its first-party games. Work is currently being held up as the famously-secretive company adapts to staff working remotely.

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from April 30, 2020 at 06:57AM - Darkborn development put on hold, dev promises something new

Stockholm-based indie studio The Outsiders has announced its viking monster game Darkborn has been put on ice.

As explained on Twitter, the project had been in development for four years - and despite releasing a gameplay trailer in April last year, the team has decided to stop development.

"In spite of our best efforts to continue, ultimately we had to make the difficult decision to halt development on the project," The Outsiders said. "Perhaps one day we will return to it: we all hope so and genuinely appreciate the support of everyone who followed us over the years."

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020 April 29, 2020 at 08:45AM - Nintendo is giving away seven days of Switch Online for free

Nintendo has launched a new promotion that'll get you a free Switch Online membership for seven days.

Now, there's always been a seven day free trial of Switch Online available to new members when they first register. However, once you've used it, it's gone. This offer, though, is available to everyone who doesn't have an active membership. So, you can grab it even if you've already activated the Nintendo Switch Online free trial in the past.

Not a bad thing if you've wanted to schedule a few rounds of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with friends while in lockdown.

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from April 29, 2020 at 08:45AM - Dying Light to get Hellraid DLC this summer

Dying Light gets a Hellraid DLC this summer, Techland has announced.

Hellraid is the on-hold first-person fantasy game pitched as a mashup of The Elder Scrolls and Dying Light, and the spiritual successor to Hexen and Witchhaven.

It was initially planned for release on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 back in 2013, but was delayed to launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2014. Then, in 2015, it was delayed indefinitely.

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from April 29, 2020 at 08:06AM - EA forced to put popular FIFA 20 Ultimate Team promo on hold

EA has been forced to postpone a popular FIFA 20 Ultimate Team promo as it looks increasingly unlikely real-world football will return any time soon.

Team of the Week Moments, itself a lockdown replacement for the traditional Team of the Week promo, will be placed on hold during the ongoing Team of the Season So Far promo, EA confirmed in a blog post.

Team of the Week Moments was introduced in March as EA tweaked FUT because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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from April 29, 2020 at 08:00AM - UK devs are giving free games to NHS staff

It's a particularly tough time for frontline NHS workers right now, with services stretched and many overwhelmed with work due to the coronavirus outbreak. To help alleviate some of the stress, games companies in the UK have now launched an initiative called Games for Carers, which will distribute free games to NHS workers for use in their downtime.

More than 85,000 free games from a variety of genres and platforms will be available for NHS staff to download, in a campaign backed by companies such as EA, Codemasters, Konami, Jagex, Media Molecule, Xbox, Team 17 and more. The initiative was organised by UK games industry body Ukie, along with marketing firm Keymailer.

"The UK games industry has been proud to play its part in conveying these vital public health messages during this national emergency," said Ukie CEO Jo Twist. "Now our community has united again to say thank you to the truly extraordinary people who make up the NHS frontline team.

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Review: Mini Pop Kek with Banana

This bag contained eight individual packets, each containing a small, oval snack cake with chocolate coatings on the top, bottom and portions of the sides. ...

from Snack Reviews
by April 29, 2020 at 08:29AM April 29, 2020 at 05:26AM - Next Assassin's Creed location revealed today

Ubisoft is unveiling the location of the next Assassin's Creed game today via an ongoing livestream.

The artist Bosslogic is creating a live piece of artwork designed to show off the game's main character and location.

Of course, word on the street (and a tease in one of Ubisoft's own games) has pegged the setting of this next Assassin's Creed as being Viking-focused. But this is a broad time period, with a number of possible country settings.

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from April 29, 2020 at 03:44AM - Epic asks for two-factor authentication to claim free games

If the worrying reports of Nintendo account breaches weren't already enough to encourage you to enable two-factor authentication on all your gaming accounts, then maybe Epic's new policy will, as the company will periodically require users to enable two-factor authentication before claiming free games on the Epic Games Store. For the next few weeks, at least.

In a blog post, Epic explained the change was an "effort to encourage our players to take steps to strengthen their Epic account security", and will take place from now until 21st May. If two-factor authentication is not already enabled on a player's Epic account, the player will receive a message encouraging them to set up the security feature when trying to claim a free game.

"We understand that this is a minor inconvenience for some, but we want to provide the best possible solutions to protect your Epic account," Epic added.

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from April 29, 2020 - Someone should make a game about: The Etienne Terrus Museum

Attribution is one of the most interesting subjects in art, if you ask me. A lot of paintings are old and sketchily documented. Their provenance is up for debate. Many great artists didn't sign their work or have handy magazine profiles written about them. So much has been forgotten and so much that has survived has been restored over time and lost much of its context. So you have a painting with few clues. What do you do?

There's another muddying factor, of course, and that's forgery. With the arrival of an art museum in Animal Crossing this week - and a sudden outpouring of lavish canvases with little documentation - I've been thinking of one of the strangest stories of art forgery I've ever heard. It's a story about a French painter called Etienne Terrus and a gallery devoted to his work. Or so everyone thought until 2018.

The Etienne Terrus Museum is situated in Elne, a small French community in Southern France. According to a Guardian piece from the 30th April, 2018, an acquisition of new works brought with it an art historian to take a look at the collection, and lead to the discovery that "nearly 60% of the entire collection was fake."

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020 April 28, 2020 at 09:00AM - DICE shifts focus to next year's Battlefield

DICE has just revealed that this month's The Battle on Scarif update will be the last for Star Wars Battlefront 2 as attention turns towards an all-new Battlefield game scheduled for 2021.

"The team at DICE is working on the standalone Battlefield 5 update releasing this summer, and continuing their work on delivering Community Games," EA said in a short statement, while the official blog provided more details on what to expect in tomorrow's Battlefront 2 update.. "While the studio's vision for Star Wars Battlefront 2 is now complete with this week's The Battle on Scarif Update, the servers, in-game challenges, recurring events and game support will continue as the game lives on with players and the community. We're looking forward to hearing players' stories for both games, for years to come. Longer term, the studio is focused on the future of Battlefield that we'll be bringing to players in 2021."

It follows recent news that Battlefield 5's upcoming summer update will be the last for that particular game. While neither game's multiplayer is going anywhere, the ceasing of updates suggest a concerted effort is being made to ensure the next Battlefield launches on steady footing.

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from April 28, 2020 at 06:58AM - Destroy All Humans revival lands in July

THQ Nordic's new remake of Destroy All Humans will touch down on 28th July.

This shinier version of the 2005 original has been put together by German studio Black Forest Games, for launch on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

I got to play a bit at E3 last year and it's a solid mix of the old (including the original voice acting and level layout) with more modern visuals.

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from April 28, 2020 at 06:42AM - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order drops to a new low price on PC

The PC version of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has dropped to a new low price as part of a range of deals on select digital games from EA.

Respawn's force-fuelled adventure is absolutely the headline offer here, with a discount that hasn't been seen outside of the odd grey market key reseller. It's a tempting price for anyone who's had a passing interest in the game for some time. Back in November, it launched to generally favourable reviews, though Emma was somewhat more reserved in her Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order review.

The discounts are vast and wide across the rest of EA's back catalogue, too. Many you'll no doubt recognise from the last Origin sale, though some cheaper prices are available across the Battlefield, Dragon Age and Mass Effect series.

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from April 28, 2020 at 06:29AM - Deadly Premonition 2 has a July release date

The long-awaited Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise will arrive as a Nintendo Switch exclusive on 10th July.

Today brings a release date trailer which seems to show off the game's Bond-inspired credits and a catchy opening theme. It's as bizarre as you'd hope for and expect.

Deadly Premonition 2 arrives 10 years after the cult classic Deadly Premonition first launched on Xbox 360, and sparked a loyal fan following among those enamoured by its oddness. (You can get up to speed with it on Switch now, too.)

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from April 28, 2020 at 04:07AM - Someone's started an Animal Crossing weed removal service

Spent too much time inside doing interior decorating? Haven't noticed your island becoming a bit overgrown? Thankfully there's a solution to this problem, as you can now hire someone to weed your New Horizons garden for you. I guess that's one way to spend all your money made from trading on the Stalk Market.

A few days ago, Animal Crossing player "tybat11" posted several adverts for his services on Reddit, offering to get the weeding done for a small tip. "Professional weeder for hire. Experience in weeding even the most overgrown towns," tybat11 wrote. "If you have a weed-filled town and need some clean up, I am your man."

A couple of days later, it seems the service is so popular it's now expanded into a company called WeedCo, which is currently taking on new recruits after they pass an orientation course. The latest video shows one of these new recruits learning the weed-removal ropes, such as checking behind cliffs and trees, and precision weed-picking in flower beds. The trainee eventually passed her exams and was rewarded with her own WeedCo uniform.

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from April 28, 2020 at 03:58AM - You can now raid in Pokémon Go from your sofa

Remote raiding in Pokémon Go is now live, letting you take part in any raid you can see on your game map.

Simply click on a raid battle from the map or the Nearby screen and you'll be taken to the raid's lobby, where you can use a Remote Raid Pass to take part.

Up to 10 people can take part in a lobby via remote raiding at a time. A feature to invite others on your friends list to the lobby is also in development.

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Death Before Defeat- the Badass Story of Arrichion of Phigalia

The ancient Olympics are littered with spectacular stories of athleticism and peculiar characters, like Melankomas of Caria, an ancient boxer who won several Olympic wreaths by reportedly doing nothing but avoid his opponents punches until they gave up. Perhaps the most bizarre Olympic story of all, however, is that of Arrichion of Phigalia, who once won an Olympic wreath despite being dead when he defeated his opponent.

Arrichion, sometimes spelled as Arrhachion or Arrachion, was a practitioner of pankration, an ancient and rather brutal sport that could be regarded as a precursor to modern mixed martial arts, in that it melded together and incorporated elements from two fighting styles: mainly boxing and wrestling, both of which were also ancient Olympic events.

As for the name of the sport, this derives from the Ancient Greek words “Pan” and “Kratos” which translate to “All” and “Power” respectively, meaning the word “pankratiast” can roughly be understood to mean “the one who has power”. More literally, the word pankration translates simply to “All of might” alluding to the fact one needs all of their strength to win a pankration battle.

Under the rules of pankration, the only thing besides biting that was expressly forbidden during a fight was the gouging of an opponent’s eyes or aiming specifically for the groin (except in Sparta where everything was allowed, which is perhaps why they were apparently largely barred from competing at this event during the Olympics). But outside of that, every other kind of punch, kick and hold was allowed, upto and including intentionally breaking an opponent’s fingers- a technique favoured by the pankratiast Leontiskos of Messene, who achieved an impressive number of victories by using that as his primary tactic.

According to one ancient legend, pankration was invented by Hercules during his mythical battle with the Nemean Lion, explaining why so many pieces of art depict the demi-god grasping the giant feline in a headlock. Other legends attribute the creation of the sport to the hero Theseus, who supposedly used it to subdue the minotaur.

Historians are divided on the sport’s actual origins. However, we do know that it was first introduced to the Olympics in 648 BC, whereupon it quickly became the most popular sport of the ancient games.

Beyond, of course, the good family fun aspect of watching a couple of guys beating the crap out of each other, the popularity of pankration with ancient people over other similar sports is largely attributed to them believing that pankration represented “the ultimate test in strength and technique”. This differentiated it from boxing and wrestling of the age, which tended to be won by whichever man was biggest, with skill a secondary factor unless the two men were more or less in the same league of one another in size.

This trend is no better typified than by the wrestler known as Milo of Croton who was able to dominate the ancient wrestling world for two decades by being too big for any of his opponents to grab, lift, or push over. Because the main goal of ancient wrestling was to knock your opponent over three times, none of Milo’s opponents could score a point against him. As for him, he would simply grab his foe in a bearhug and violently slam them to the ground. Amusingly, Milo was eventually defeated when a young wrestler called Timasitheus did nothing but run in circles away from him until Milo reportedly fainted from exhaustion.

Similarly, boxing matches were invariably won by whichever man hit hardest and both boxers could, if they wanted to, even agree to settle the match by exchanging unguarded blows until one of them couldn’t take it anymore. An exception to this is the aforementioned Melonkomas, who focussed his efforts on defense rather than offense.

In contrast to this, with pankration, due to the fact that virtually any technique was allowed and that the only condition for losing was “giving up”, this sport tended to play host to more exciting (read: violent) matches that more frequently ended in crowd-pleasing upsets and underdog moments.

But we really should get back to Arrichion, because his story really is kind of amazing. Already a two time winner of the pankration, Arrichion was looking for a three-peat in the 564 BC games, and entered those games as the firm favourite. However, during the final bout of the event, Arrichion was caught in a vice-like chokehold by his opponent, from which it appeared there was no escape.

What happened next depends largely on which source you consult, but the general story, outlined by Greek sophist Philostratus is as follows:

Accordingly the antagonist of Arrichion, having already clinched him around the middle, thought to kill him; already he had wound his forearm about the other’s throat to shut off the breathing, while, pressing his legs on the groins and winding his feet one inside each knee of his adversary, he forestalled Arrichion’s resistance by choking him till the sleep of death thus induced began to creep over his senses. But in relaxing the tension of his legs he failed to forestall the scheme of Arrichion; for the latter kicked back with the sole of his right foot (as the result of which his right side was imperiled since now his knee was hanging unsupported), then with his groin he holds his adversary tight till he can no longer resist, and, throwing his weight down toward the left while he locks the latter’s foot tightly inside his own knee, by this violent outward thrust he wrenches the ankle from its socket.

Regardless of the exact details, the kick caused his opponent to collapse in agony and give up. When officials went to help Arrichion up and congratulate him on his victory, they made the startling discovery that he was dead, having broken his neck. It is generally thought he’d badly twisted his neck while leaning into the kick that broke the chokehold, causing his opponent to inadvertently twist it too far when he recoiled in pain.

However, despite being dead, under the rules of the games, when his opponent gave up, Arrichion was automatically declared the winner and, thus, successfully defended his title. While presumably not exactly the way he would have preferred to win, on the plus side for Arrichion, had he won in a more traditional way, nobody would remember him today. But as it stands, well over 2,000 years later, humans are still talking about his legendary final match. On the flipside, nobody remembers the name of his opponent that day.

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as:

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The post Death Before Defeat- the Badass Story of Arrichion of Phigalia appeared first on Today I Found Out.

from Today I Found Out
by Karl Smallwood - April 27, 2020 at 11:02PM
Article provided by the producers of one of our Favorite YouTube Channels!

Monday, April 27, 2020 April 27, 2020 at 09:21AM - The Last of Us Part 2 gets new June release date

Sony has revealed new release dates for the previously delayed Last of Us 2 Part 2 and Ghost of Tsushima, both of which are now scheduled to arrive on PlayStation 4 this summer.

The Last of Us Part 2 was previously expected to launch on 29th May, but Sony opted to delay release "until further notice" last month, as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. At the time, developer Naughty Dog explained it was "faced with the reality that due to logistics beyond our control, we couldn't launch The Last of Us Part 2 to our satisfaction."

However, Sony has now confirmed a revised launch date of 19th June for The Last of Us Part 2, meaning series fans will only have to attempt to avoid the internet for eight weeks in order to avoid spoilers following the massive Last of Us Part 2 leak seen this weekend.

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from April 27, 2020 at 08:14AM - Save a third off this 3TB Western Digital external hard drive

Western Digital has taken a third off its 3TB My Book external hard drive, bringing it down to just £59.99 at the WD Store.

That's one of the lowest prices we've seen for some time and a great opportunity to snag a new backup drive for cheap.

It's not only useful to store files, videos, photos and more from your PC, though. It can also be used to expand the storage space available to your PS4 or Xbox One. I'm sure you're finding each console's internal storage extremely limited this late in their life cycle - especially when some games require upwards of 100GB or more to be installed!

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from April 27, 2020 at 08:00AM - Bethesda, Zenimax pledge $1m to pandemic relief

Bethesda and its billionaire parent company Zenimax Media have pledged to donate $1m to frontline organisations in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

It's an eye-opening amount, and one which will be split between Direct Relief, UNICEF and relief efforts local to Bethesda's own studios worldwide.

The publisher will also fundraise further via Twitch with streams from Bethesda employees playing from home.

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from April 27, 2020 at 01:50AM - The brilliant Alien: Isolation is just £1.50 for Alien Day

Yesterday was Alien Day and so a number of Alien games have incredible discounts on Steam.

The highlight is Alien: Isolation for just £1.50 on Steam. Creative Assembly's horror classic sees Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, try to escape the clutches of the Alien menace on a spaceship. It's wonderfully done - and heart-pounding throughout.

The Alien: Isolation Collection, which comes with all the DLC (one of which is called Corporate Lockdown, appropriately enough), is also discounted to just £8.74 on Steam.

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Sunday, April 26, 2020 April 26, 2020 at 06:00AM - DF Retro takes on the epic Final Fantasy 7 saga

The recent release of Final Fantasy 7 Remake is the end of a long, long story - and the beginning of a new one. One of the most significant releases in the original PlayStation's library, FF7 redefined the JRPG with its combination of pre-rendered backgrounds, real-time 3D and stunning CG video sequences. Beyond the technology, the world and characters of the game had far more of an impact across the years than any Final Fantasy before or after, leading to numerous ports of the title, off-shoot games and even CG movies. It's a worthy topic for Digital Foundry Retro - but the sheer scale and scope of the project required us to push further than we ever have before.

You can see the results embedded in the video below, but even before we factor in the asset collection and research, there's the simple matter that this is a role-playing game - a genre we've not tackled on DF Retro before. This required 20 hours of capture for the PlayStation version alone simply to get representative samples of the whole run of the game, with a further 10 hours of capture from the PC version.

As you'll see in the video, the endgame in itself has an interesting technical angle, and that required access to a PS1 game save. Having lost my own saves from back in the game, Coury Carlson from My Life In Gaming stepped up, providing his own save from his time playing FF7 in his childhood. Data was sent over the internet, and I used a USB to PS Memory Card adapter to bring the data across from PC to PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 1 in order to run on original hardware.

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Saturday, April 25, 2020

What is the Correct Way to Hang Toilet Paper?

In 1977, one of the most influential women of the 20th century, newspaper columnist Esther Pauline Lederer, better known as “Ann Landers”- and funny enough twin sister of one of the other most influential women of the 20th century, Pauline Esther Phillips, aka “Dear Abby”, wrote a seemingly innocent article in which she cited a preference for hanging her toilet paper in the “under” orientation as opposed to the “over”. Said column promptly received over 15,000 letters from irate readers protesting this opinion, making it one of the most controversial in the famed columnist’s near half century long career. It turns out some people take toilet paper orientation VERY seriously… In fact, in a poll we ourselves conducted which included around 32,000 respondents, 42% stated they have strong opinions about toilet paper orientation, 34% claimed they have a preference, but don’t feel strongly, and only 25% say they don’t care either way. Further, in a separate poll, of the 26,000 voters on that one, almost 40% claimed toilet paper roll orientation has been a source of argument in their home.

This argument apparently extends all the way to the furthest reaches of the Earth, with it noted in a 1999 Daily Express article that researchers at the Amundsen-Scott Research Station at the South Pole had been frequently clashing over the correct way to hang toilet paper.

So today we’re going to look into whether there is an objectively superior way to hang toilet paper and, while we’re at it, in the Bonus Facts in a bit, we’ll be discussing the results of a series of defecation related polls we did which revealed some rather interesting things about people’s bathroom habits.

But first, as to toilet paper roll orientation- statistically, hanging toilet paper in the Over orientation is the more popular choice with a 1989 survey for the book, The First Really Important Survey of American Habits, finding that 68% of Americans prefer to hang the TP roll in this way.

Similarly, in our own poll delving into this same question with about 20,000 voters, the numbers skewed at 71% for Over, 6% for Under, 8% preferring vertical, and 15% not caring.

That said, in yet another poll posted a few minutes later, this one with 22,000 voters, while only about 71% in the previous poll claimed they preferred the Over orientation, a full 78% claimed the usual orientation in their household is the Over and another 14% stated vertical is their norm. These two things combined seem to imply the Over-lovers perhaps make a bigger stink over toilet paper roll orientation to get their way and, as ever, regardless of preference, humans are kind of lazy.

Moving on from our polls, many others we looked at more or less all agree with the fact that approximately 2/3 of people across all ages and genders prefer the Over orientation for hanging toilet paper. One notable discrepancy to this, however, had to do with earning power, with one survey finding that whereas approximately 2/3 of people who earned $50,000 or more a year preferred Over, approximately the same percentage who earned less than $20,000 actually preferred Under- something the authors were forced to admit was interesting, but they had no reasonable explanation for. And, we’re not going to lie, that one had us stumped too, so we went ahead and ran our own poll to see if our audience results matched this oddity or not.

And it turns out, for whatever it’s worth, our audience showed no such significant discrepancy. Of the approximately 60,000 voters, about 18,000 of them made more than $50,000 per year, with 10% of those reporting they preferred Under to Over. In contrast, about 15,000 voters reported making less than $20,000 per year, with 12% of them opting for Under instead of Over.

So that’s people’s preferences- But is there an objectively superior way to hang toilet paper? It turns, out, yes. Or at least, when talking multiple excrement ejectors using the same toilet.

You see, as noted by a 2011 study, Microbial Biogeography of Public Restroom Surfaces, as is probably unsurprising to everyone, bathrooms are absolutely caked with microbes of all sorts. In this specific study, they were interesting in the types and distribution of certain microbes, examining various parts of 12 restrooms such as toilet seats, door and sink handles, floors, etc.

For the curious, approximately the same microbes were present in both the men’s and women’s restrooms. However, the ladies’ room had much higher concentrations of certain ones, such as Lactobacillaceae, with these higher concentrations attributed to the high prevalence of said microbes in a certain ladybit and the urine of women- thus more frequently finding its way from that ladybit onto the surfaces of those facilities.

So what does this have to do with toilet paper orientation? The surfaces around the toilet seat, like the flushing control mechanism, toilet seat, etc. contain an awful lot of potential pathogens. (And a fun aside, presumably owing to people triggering the flush with their feet, they found that the flushing mechanism in some cases also had similar microbe concentration types as the floor around the toilet, which had the highest diversity of any surface in the bathroom.)

Thus when looking at toilet paper roll orientation at facilities in which a plurality of people use the marvel that is the modern toilet, the argument is that the Over orientation is superior because the Under significantly increases the likelihood of users of the toilet paper touching the wall. This would have the dual affect of both spreading microbes from their potentially soiled hands to the wall at even greater quantities than it already exists there and also will transfer what’s on the wall to said individuals’ hands. The Over orientation has no such wall touching problem.

That said, given the rather exposed nature of the toilet paper in some public restrooms, it’s potentially already got a lot of such microbes on at least the first squares you tear off. But it’s all about minimizing exposure where possible and then washing your hands after. So avoiding touching the walls, which also of note are not always frequently cleaned by maintenance staff, unlike other surfaces in the restroom, is a generally good idea.

On that note, we should probably mention here that while you might think, “Well, I can just wash my hands after, so who cares what I touch?” It turns out that according to the 2011 study, Bacterial Hand Contamination and Transfer after Use of Contaminated Bulk-Soap-Refillable Dispensers, the common refillable liquid soap dispensers themselves are contaminated approximately 25% of the time, including containing some potentially harmful microbes such as Klebsiella pneumoniae (which in the gut isn’t an issue, but elsewhere can be, for example causing about 5% of all cases of community acquired pneumonia).

On top of that, those who use these contaminated dispensers actually showed a 26 fold INCREASE in gram-negative microbes on their hands AFTER washing their hands than what they had on them before. As the researchers summed up, “We therefore conclude that washing with contaminated soap not only defeats the purpose of hand washing but may contribute to the transmission of potentially harmful bacteria.”

That’s not to mention the microbes often found on the paper used to dry your hands… and don’t even get us started on the concentration of microbes if you use the air blowers in public restrooms instead.

So let’s just say here that while studies do show a rather large net benefit in most cases when you wash your hands after using the restroom, particularly if the restroom is equipped with refill soap containers that are sealed from the factory, overall even if washing your hands it still behooves you to minimize contact with surfaces in public bathrooms where possible.

Of course, in your own home, given studies generally show your gut and skin surface microbe colonies are approximately the same as those you cohabitate with, this microbe argument perhaps isn’t quite as big of a deal as when you’re out and about.

So at home what’s superior? As for the reasonable pros for Over, this is mostly summed up by saying that Over is easier to grab and tear thanks to the dangly bit flapping in the wind as God intended.

Others do advocate many other reasons Over is superior, but these are objectively mostly inconsequential. For example, it’s often claimed by Over supporters that it is the correct way because manufacturers print their patterns assuming you will hang them in this orientation. But that’s only a thing because manufacturers know it’s the preferred hanging method. And anyway, does anyone actually care that the pattern appears embossed correctly or not? We’re guessing not, outside of novelty toilet paper.

Others argue that because Seth Wheeler’s 1891 patent for rolled toilet paper explicitly shows toilet paper hung in the Over orientation that this proves this is the “correct” way. But we’re guessing those same people aren’t caring that they pronounce UFO as U-F-O instead of “yoofo” as the coiner of said acronym intended, among countless other examples like this where the creator of something’s thoughts were ignored. So we’re guessing the only reason individuals putting forth this argument care what the fittingly named Mr. Wheeler drew on his patent application is that it vaguely supports their position. In the end, what the original creator of something thought was best doesn’t inherently matter to what’s actually superior. If it did, we’d all be advocating for Greedo shooting first and using bubble wrap as wallpaper.

On the flipside, advocates for the Under orientation note that it tends to provide a slightly more tidy appearance rather than just dangling out there in its best imitation of a kilted Scotsman. And, most importantly there, if one has beings of the feline or human parasite persuasion, the more concealed Under orientation tends to prove less tempting for these two groups to play with.

So to sum up, in public restrooms, to minimize microbial exposure as much as humanly possible, the Over or occasional “parallel to the wall” orientation would seem to be the definitively “correct” orientation via minimizing the potential for your fingers to touch the surface of the wall.

And as for in your own home where this is less of a potential problem as you all already regularly share fecal matter and associated microbes with those you live with, the answer is slightly more sullied, varying based on factors like majority preference of the members of the household and whether or not you happen to have a toddler or cohabitate with one of our feline overlords. However, given about 2/3 of humans and 100% of cats seem to prefer the Over orientation, it is probable that in your household, if it be a bastion of democracy, rather than ruled by a ruthless dictator or governed via an archaic monarchical system, the correct orientation is generally going to be Over.

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as:

Bonus Facts:

Just for fun, we ran several other wiping and toilet paper related polls. Here are the results. First, of 32,000 voters, 65% report that when they’re wiping, they fold the TP, 20% crumple, 9% wrap the TP around their hands, and, oddly, 6% voted for “Other”… We’re not going to lie, we only put “other” in because it’s always a good thing to put in polls, but we’re not really sure what people are doing here. Like… origami?

Whatever the case, other interesting data points include of 48,000 voters, 28% primarily wipe while standing up, 64% primarily wipe while sitting down, and 7% are ambi-wipers, reporting wiping sitting or standing approximately equally.

Moving on from there to a poll where approximately 43,000 people revealed their primary wiping method. In this, approximately 70% of men reported primarily wiping front to back, while 30% wipe back to front. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the ladies voted at a slightly greater clip for primarily using front to back wiping at 80% of respondents, with the remaining 20% going with back to front as their primary wipe, much to the horror of many a commenter on that particular poll.

In yet another poll, this one with just shy of 50,000 voters, 82% of people reported using toilet paper as their primary cleaner after rear expulsions, with a mere 10% reporting using some form of water or bidet system.

It is at this point we feel compelled to make a public service announcement that good bidet seat add-on devices cost only $30-$50 and take a mere ten minutes to install with no special skills needed to do such installation. This reduces toilet paper usage to almost nothing save a little drying and leaves you vastly cleaner (including for the ladies for a bit of extra cleaning during periods) while also being much easier on sanitation systems. This is also significantly more environmentally friendly given the massive amount of water, chemicals, and trees used in toilet paper production. And even if you don’t care about any of that, everybody likes saving money and the annual savings on toilet paper, particularly for households with many humans, is significant.

In any event, as to the rest of the respondents on that one, 4% note using their hand as the primary wiping method. The remaining 4% went with “Other” which we can only assume primarily is people using wet wipes.

Although note on that one, another public service announcement, as we outlined in our surprisingly interesting article “What Happens After You Flush” no matter what the wet wipes package says, if you flush them, your local sanitation workers despise you. As stated, sure, they are technically flushable, but so is a kitten. It doesn’t mean you should.

As with kittens, these wet wipes must be removed, in some facilities manually, from the waste water and sent off to a landfill, unlike toilet paper which naturally breaks down quickly. Further, wet wipes are frequently the source of clogs in the systems at various points, which means they’re just a big and constant headache for them, which in turn means more tax money spent to deal with the issue.

Expand for References

The post What is the Correct Way to Hang Toilet Paper? appeared first on Today I Found Out.

from Today I Found Out
by Karl Smallwood - April 25, 2020 at 06:41PM
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- April 25, 2020 at 09:13AM - FIFA 20 nailed Sergio Agüero's shock at missing a sitter

Say what you will about FIFA 20, but EA Sports nailed Sergio Agüero's shock at missing a sitter.

The Manchester City striker is spending a lot of time playing FIFA 20 during the coronavirus lockdown, and he's streaming himself on Twitch.

While playing FIFA Ultimate Team mode FUT Champions yesterday, Agüero found himself - literally - through on goal and one-on-one with the keeper. Now, as any Premier League fan knows, this sort of situation usually results in one thing: a goal. But that's in real-life. In FIFA 20, Agüero missed.

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from April 25, 2020 at 07:04AM - Video game cheating is back in the headlines

Video game cheating has been around for as long as video games. But the eternal issue has once again hit the headlines - and developers are struggling to cope.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Destiny 2, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Valorant have all been under the spotlight recently for cheating, with players reporting matches ruined by aimbots, wallhacks and other prohibited power ups.

Cheating is a prominent issue for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and its free-to-download battle royale Warzone, with Infinity Ward recently announcing it had banned over 70,000 Warzone cheaters alone. And just this week, under pressure from its community, Infinity Ward announced it had stepped up its war on cheaters, saying it had devoted extra resources to combat cheating, and it would force suspected cheaters to play against each other.

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from April 25, 2020 at 06:00AM - Evercade review: the cartridge-based retro handheld that works

On the face of it, Blaze's Evercade joins a long line of emulation-based multi-game handhelds - but this is a system with a twist. It uses actual cartridges, licensed games and bespoke emulation software included with each cartridge. It's a fascinating approach but also a contentious one. Surely it's all too easy simply to dump a complete set of game ROMs onto an SD card and call it day? Clearly that's one way forward, but the curated approach provides some interesting benefits, while behind the scenes emulation choices deliver a level of quality beyond my expectations.

Hardware-wise, the Evercade is a well-designed piece of kit. It's a reassuringly sturdy handheld with four face buttons, a pair of shoulder buttons and a surprisingly decent d-pad. It's also rather chunky which is perhaps it's best design feature - it's more holdable and surprisingly comfortable. Handheld systems have been focusing increasingly on thin design, but I feel this reduces overall comfort especially with buttons pushed out to the edge. By contrast, the Evercade, is a thick beast that sits more comfortably in the hand as a result. It has a nice weight and doesn't feel like a cheap, hollow device.

The system includes the expected inputs and outputs including a micro-USB charging port, a 3.5 minijack for headphones and a mini-HDMI output for playing the system on your television if you're looking for a big screen experience to complement handheld gaming. Inside, the Evercade features a 1.2GHz Cortex A7 SoC running a customized Linux setup. The 4.3-inch screen delivers a resolution of 480x272 just like the PSP. Battery life is listed as four to five hours which is consistent with my experience as I ran the battery dry three times during capture.

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from April 25, 2020 at 05:52AM - The curious case of Call of Duty: Warzone crossplay

Last week, Eurogamer revealed how Call of Duty players on console were disabling crossplay in order to escape cheaters on PC. But it turns out not all console players have this option.

Much was made of Call of Duty's new crossplay feature when it was confirmed - and with good reason. For the first time friends could play Activision's blockbuster shooter across platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC players all matchmaking together. Crossplay means a larger playerbase, quicker matchmaking and full lobbies. It's fantastic - in principle.

Every game has some element of cheating, of course, and no publisher or developer can eradicate it from their game. But with the launch of the standalone and free battle royale Warzone, cheating in Call of Duty ramped up - especially on PC. And so console players looked for answers.

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from April 25, 2020 - Games and dolls' houses are an interesting mix

It must be Animal Crossing, but for some reason I've spent a lot of the last week thinking of video games in relation to dolls' houses.

Animal Crossing is very dolls' housey, of course: to a lot of people the game is really about collecting furniture and arranging it just so, and then about making sure the whole place is populated with the right people. The shock of Animal Crossing back when it first came out was how domestic it all was. Here was a game with no guns and no winning, but it had armchairs and throw rugs and one of the best things that could happen to you was earning enough money to put another floor in.

It worked, didn't it? This week I've also been playing Moving Out, which is kind of like dolls' houses in their more seismic moments. This is a removals game in which you have to clear locations of stuff and get it on your truck as quickly as possible. It could very easily have been dressed up as a burglary game, but by making it a game about removals there's an extra frisson - a dolls' house frisson - in that this domestic stuff you're lugging about should really be staying in one piece.

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Friday, April 24, 2020 April 24, 2020 at 08:12AM - Borderlands 3 drops to £20 on console

Borderlands 3 has dropped to one of its lowest prices since launch over at Game.

The console versions of the zany looter-shooter are both just £20. Next best prices for the game are currently sitting around the £25 mark at most retailers. This was also how much it was selling for at Game earlier this week. It's not clear if it'll jump back up or this is a more permanent price reduction.

Either way, if you've been waiting to pick up the game on the cheap, here's a great chance to do so.

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from April 24, 2020 at 06:54AM - PUBG adding bots to public matches on console

It's almost inevitable: once a multiplayer game's been out for some time, veteran players tend to pull ahead to a point where newer players just can't keep up. The situation is the same for PUBG, which has now developed a player base so proficient that new joiners are simply being flattened before they can improve.

"We've seen the general skill level of our players grow significantly over the last three years", PUBG Corp explained in a blog post today. "We're seeing more often that many newer players are being eliminated early with no kills - and oftentimes with no damage dealt."

It's a serious problem for developers who want to keep their live service games populated, as a skill gap can alienate new players who are needed to refresh the pool. And so, to solve the skill gap issue, PUBG is adding bots to its public matches on console.

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from April 24, 2020 at 04:04AM - Fallout 76 to add pets

Pets are coming to Fallout 76, Bethesda has said.

Project lead Jeff Gardiner and lead designer Ferret Baudoin held a Reddit AMA yesterday, and in it revealed some new features coming to the post-apocalyptic MMO.

"Edible ones?" Gardiner joked when asked if pets were coming to the game. "I kid. Now that we have our companions system in the game, we are looking to add pets as well."

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from April 24, 2020 at 04:00AM - Win a custom Xbox One X with Deliver Us The Moon

Here's a Friday fillip for you courtesy of Wired Productions - a chance to win a custom Xbox One X, celebrating the launch of Deliver Us The Moon on consoles.

Deliver Us The Moon is a sci-fi thriller by Dutch developer KeokeN that's been out since September 2018 on PC (our friends at Rock Paper Shotgun reviewed it back then and really liked it, with one reservation). It's about a lone astronaut sent to the moon from a dying Earth, hoping to save us from extinction. Wired is now bringing the game to consoles, starting with a digital release on Xbox One and PS4 today - with a physical and Switch release to follow.

To mark today's release, Wired has provided Eurogamer with this handsome custom Xbox One X to give away to one lucky reader. Just use the below form to enter, and we'll pick the winner with a random draw next week. This is a global competition - you can enter no matter where you live, it doesn't have to be the UK.

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from April 24, 2020 at 04:00AM - Five of the Best: Jumps

Five of the Best is a weekly series about the bits of games we overlook. I'm talking about potions, hubs, bags, mountains, anything really - but things we ignore at the time. Then, years later, we find they're cemented in our memory, inseparable from our experience of the game. Turns out they were important after all. So now we're celebrating them.

Five of the Best works like this. Various Eurogamer writers will share their memories in the article and then you - probably outraged we didn't include the thing you're thinking of - can share the thing you're thinking of in the comments below. We've had some great discussions in our other Five of the Best pieces. Some of you have memories like elephants!

Today's Five of the Best is...

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from April 24, 2020 at 03:59AM - Classic Final Fantasy games are 50% off on the PSN Store

If you've blitzed through the Final Fantasy 7 Remake and are craving another JRPG to sink your teeth into then you'll want to head over to the PSN Store. Currently, many previous entries in the Final Fantasy series are 50 per cent off on PS4.

This includes all of the numbered games from the PS1 and PS2 era, as well as a handful of the more modern entries. I've dropped everything that's on offer - and their discount prices - just below:

All of these Final Fantasy games are reduced as part of the PSN Store's latest Big in Japan sale. No prizes for guessing what it takes to be featured in that.

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from April 24, 2020 at 03:48AM - There's a Tintin game in development for consoles and PC

The world of Tintin will be brought to life in a new console and PC game, French publisher Microids has announced.

Exactly how it will look and play remains to be seen, though Microids' announcement today describes it as an action-adventure game filled with all the characters you'd expect from Hergé's much-loved comic series.

Tintin and Snowy will be joined by Captain Haddock, Calculus and Thomson & Thompson in their first video game in a decade. Their last appearance was Ubisoft's 2011 tie-in to that slightly weird-looking Spielberg movie.

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from April 24, 2020 at 03:28AM - WWE 2K21 canned after disastrous WWE 2K20

WWE 2K21 is canned, WWE has confirmed.

During WWE's financial call overnight, interim chief financial officer Frank Riddick said: "There's not going to be a launch of the game this year."

The news comes after last year's disastrous launch of WWE 2K20, which was panned by critics and saw various hilarious glitches go viral.

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from April 24, 2020 at 02:00AM - I might be the world's most boring Animal Crossing player

What a wild month it's been in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Entire industries have been birthed, crimes have been committed, empires have risen and fallen. We all got through that week with the eggs. The amount of creativity and self-expression, both within Animal Crossing and across its community, has been staggering. And all the while, all I've really done is clock up 160 hours in pursuit of the perfect bathroom.

If you can't tell by the look on my face, I am so immensely proud of this thing. As I bloody well should be: the bath mat, acquired from Saharah, is just the right shade of blue, the pile of books by the basinless toilet positioned to help while away the moments when I'm flushing any excess fruit away, the hanging terrariums and mini cactus just the thing to ease any tension as I unwind at the end of a long day. Even the incidental soundtrack is spot on; coming home from a damp evening spent running some chores, it's bliss to stand and listen to the washing machine softly churn while raindrops beat against the window and the hot water gently hisses from the taps. This is my happy place, and it's worth every single one of the hours I put into its creation.

There have been times, though, when I've looked up from the Switch screen at the wider world of Animal Crossing and wondered whether I'm missing the point. I'd never insist there's only one way to play a game, but I have been frequently baffled by the extremes people have gone to in Animal Crossing: New Horizon this past month. Min-maxing fruit farms is one thing, and the tarantula island exploit was cute, even if I never had the nerve to try it myself, but trafficking villagers? It's astounding - actually, make that deeply depressing - what the free market can inspire.

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Thursday, April 23, 2020 April 23, 2020 at 12:07PM - DICE to move on from Battlefield 5 after summer update

DICE will move on from Battlefield 5 after a summer update, it's said.

The current Battlefield 5 chapter, Into the Jungle, wraps up on 29th April, and DICE will release one more standalone update - targeted for June - before moving on to focus on new projects.

This summer update will include "some new content, weapons, and game tweaks", DICE said, but there will be no new chapter.

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from April 23, 2020 at 06:53AM - Minimal Affect is a cel-shaded mix of Family Guy and BioWare

Minimal Affect does not attempt to hide its influences.

A comic sci-fi action RPG, it stars a clone of Mass Effect's Shepard (another one!), and an alien who looks like a cross between Wrex and Jabba the Hutt. Another character is a zebra with Darth Maul markings.

Its animation style looks like a Seth McFarlane series. Its combat... well, it looks exactly like Mass Effect 2.

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from April 23, 2020 at 06:40AM - Torchlight 3: The big interview

Torchlight 3 feels like it's come out of nowhere because in many ways it has. For a long time it was known as Torchlight Frontiers. It wasn't a codename but a name for something fundamentally different to the Torchlight games which had come before. It was free-to-play. But the people playing the alpha didn't like it and, truth be told, the developer didn't either, so late last year, big, bold changes were made. The studio went dark and when it reemerged in January, it announced a remarkable turnaround. No longer did the game have a free-to-play heart. It, and all its wiring, had been ripped out and replaced by a buy-once, premium design. No longer was the game fundamentally different to the Torchlights which came before it. No longer was the game Torchlight Frontiers. It was, instead, Torchlight 3.

And people loved it.

"We had no idea the name part itself meant so much to people." I'm talking to Tyler Thompson, co-founder of Echtra Games and co-lead of Torchlight 3, whose credits stretch back to being co-lead on Diablo 2 expansion Lord of Destruction, with his Torchlight 3 co-lead Max Schaefer. How things circle back around, eh!

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from April 23, 2020 at 06:35AM - Red Dead Redemption 2 replacing GTA 5 on Xbox Game Pass

There's some pretty wild news for Xbox Game Pass console subscribers today, as GTA 5 is due to be swapped out for a certain cowboy game very shortly.

Red Dead Redemption 2 arrives on 7th May, the same day Rockstar's other huge hit GTA 5 leaves the subscription service. The latter has been available since January, so it's had a few months on the service, but Xbox Game Pass subscribers get a 20 per cent discount if they want to purchase GTA 5 permanently.

If you missed Red Dead Redemption 2 when it first released back in October 2018, there probably couldn't be a better time to dive in: we're all stuck indoors, so why not experience nature (and thunderstorms) in a virtual wild west? It's also got a lengthy story, and although the narrative does drag a little at points, the final chapters are rather spectacular. Just as well we've all got plenty of time on our hands.

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