ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: 6 Games not to miss  (อ่าน 83 ครั้ง)

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28-03-2018 , 20:36:14
ตอบกลับ #15
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200 Best Video Games of All Time  - Mappy

200 Best Video Games of All Time - Mappy

Namco is one of the great golden age arcade developers, largely known for Pac-Man, Dig Dug, and Galaxian. However, their secret best title is Mappy, a cute cat and mouse platformer with vague influences from some of their more popular titles.

The goal, as the titular policemouse, is to collect a series of items strewn about the level while avoiding a miniature army of thieving cats. The stage is divided into several floors, and the only methods of traversal are trampolines strewn about.

As with many classic games of the era, Mappy cannot directly attack his opponents, but there are a few tricks he can use against them – particularly, the many doors spread around. Only Mappy can open and close doors, so he can use them strategically to divert enemies or knock them off their feet, if they're close enough. Additionally, Mappy is invincible while bouncing on trampolines. Just on these terms, Mappy is a fun game, but there are numerous layers to the scoring strategy.

For example, all of the collectible items are placed in pairs. If you collect them both one after another, you get a stackable score multiplier. The items are worth different point values, so do a little math and you'll realize that there's a specific order to grab everything for maximum score. They're placed differently in each level, though, and the movement of the cats is erratic enough that your plans may be mucked up, forcing you to compromise for lower scores. Even your best laid-out plans are in flux.

There are also a few flashing doors. When opened, they send a beam across the floor, which sweeps off everything in its path. Like Pac-Man, it's in your best interest to get enough cats together (especially the leader cat, Goro, who acts with a different AI pattern than the rest of the cats) for the most points. Goro will also occasionally hide behind items for a few seconds – if you catch him while hidden you'll score extra points, but if you're too slow, he'll pop out and kill you, guaranteed.

There's a substantial amount of depth here – both in grabbing items and luring enemies – and that's not counting the near-perfect motions you need in order to complete the bonus stages. It's the best kind of arcade game – the better you understand the scoring strategies, the worse you may end up performing, because it's just so tempting to maximize your play, which at the same time places you in the most danger.

It's also ridiculously charming. This is one of the first arcade titles to have a soundtrack playing during the game, plus Mappy's "death" animation is so goofy that it's almost not-too-irritating when one of the cats actually catches you. -Kurt Kalata

See Also:
The only other arcade Mappy game, Hopping Mappy, has little to do with the original and is best left forgotten. Mappy Land, the NES sequel, expands the concept into a longer form, but it doesn't really work. The final game, Mappy Kids, is a generic 8-bit platformer.

Instead, we’re highlighting Flicky, one of the other best, early arcade platformers. Flicky was the result of Sega’s management instructing Yoji Ishii to come up with a Mappy-killer, but the result stands very well on its own. The namesake bird has to gather all her chicks and bring them to the exit. Saving them all in one big line increases the score, but also the risk of having cats scare them away again. The jumping is floaty, and the narrow, scrolling stages wrap around, making for a uniquely crowded feel. -SD

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28-03-2018 , 20:36:27
ตอบกลับ #16
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Android apps need to be more expensive

We all like a freebie, but sometimes it’s worth remembering that you get what you pay for

I was recently involved in a Twitter discussion with a couple of tech fans. Twitter User A recommended an Android game. Twitter User B tutted that it “looked expensive”. The game cost ?1.49.

Is it possible that smartphone and tablet users, of whom Twitter User B is a typical example, have developed something of an entitlement problem? It’s hard to think of a time when good-quality software has been more widely available or cheaper, but this has made misers of us all, skinflints who purse our lips when asked to cough up the price of half a pint for an app that took months to create.

The race to the bottom
When did we get so tight with money? Or, to approach it from another angle, when did software developers get so generous?

It hasn’t always been this way, and in certain segments prices have remained relatively stable. During the console wars of the 90s, it was normal to spend around ?40 for a brand-new game for the SNES, and we’re in the same ballpark today: Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U costs ?39 on Amazon.

Desktop software varies wildly, and far more software is now distributed for free – Apple, for example, lets Mac users upgrade to Mac OS X Mavericks for nothing – but there are still plenty of higher-priced exceptions. Adobe charges more than ?1,000 for the latest version of Creative Suite. And triple-A PC games cost ?30 or so when they first come out. It’s not as though we’re afraid to spend money on software. It’s just that when it’s called an ‘app’, the wallet shrinks with fear.

App stores weren’t always the bargain hunter’s paradises they are today. But as the number of apps has rocketed and supply outpaces demand, market forces cast their spell, and prices have dropped. Other than insane competition between hundreds of thousands of apps, developers are encouraged to pitch their prices low by the importance of the charts; How much does it cost to build an app? We asked some developers about current prices on the various app stores, and if they are enough to make back the costs of an app project.

Garry Partington, CEO of Apadmi, stressed that app development shouldn’t be viewed as a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. “With app productions costs averaging at ?30- to ?60k it takes a lot of downloads at ?1 to ?3.50 to recoup the costs,” he pointed out. “Hit apps recoup their costs and more, but there is an enormous number of apps that will never make a profit.”

Is the answer to cut corners in the development process? “Developers in Silicon Valley/San Francisco
are known to be notoriously expensive,” Partington added, “but the counter argument is that you get what you pay for with app development.”

The truth is that, despite the much-heralded lower barriers to entry that accompanied the rise of mobile, creating quality software is just as costly as ever. And lower development spending is likely to result in a drop in quality, as we will see later.

A risk-averse market
Bargain-basement prices may not be good news for developers, but why should we care? I could have written a column about fairness – and I don’t see how anyone could seriously argue that 69p is a fair price for a fully realised game – and the effects on small development companies of the brutal price wars on the App Store and Google Play. These are legitimate concerns. But this affects all of us. It’s a question of the sort of apps market we’re creating.

Dino Patti, the CEO and co-founder of Playdead, believes that developers are pricing their wares about right, but argues that pricing trends in the mobile market make its games unlikely to ever match the experience you can get on PC and console.

“The lower pricing is causing most developers to do projects with a low financial risk,” Patti explains.
“And the result of that is what we see now in the app stores. I hate to be a judge, but the fact is that I have never had an experience which are even close to the experiences I’ve had on a PC or console. These two things are almost not comparable.

“Is this sustainable? If you are making free-to-play and small games suitable for mobile devices it’s very sustainable. If you are trying to make a quality experience on a bigger budget you wouldn’t aim for this market in the first place.”

Bad games
Making good software is expensive, and hard, and above all risky, because you don’t know if anyone
is going to like what you’ve created. And when the returns are so thin, there’s little incentive to innovate.

The mobile games market is notoriously prone to cloning, with a tendency to unoriginality that runs
the gamut from respectable homage to outright plagiarism, and this is at least partially attributable to the low margins in the app market. Developers such as Zynga and most recently King.com churn out carbon copies of existing games, because making groundbreaking software isn’t worth the effort.
Unoriginality afficts PC and Mac software, too, but the scale of the problem on the App Store and Google Play is unprecedented.

And the mobile games that aren’t thinly veiled copies of previous successes are free-to-play abominations. Freemium is the logical endpoint of a market in which nobody is allowed to charge a
realistic price up front. If you won’t spend money on app downloads, you force software makers to find other ways to get your money. And in the case of freemium, that means games that totally subvert the very idea of gaming in the name of profit.

Let’s take an example. The current (and deserved) punching bag for mobile gamers is EA’s desecration of the beloved 90s classic Dungeon Keeper. Dungeon Keeper on mobile is free, but absolutely everything is done to hamper and slow down your experience until you crack and pay for in-app purchases.

Instead of trying to make the game as fun as possible, so that you buy future releases by the designers, and tell your friends how good the game is so they buy it too, freemium designers aim to make your life as unpleasant as possible. It’s gaming as a chore. This is what we get if we don’t pay. We get crap, and we end up paying anyway.

One solution to the lack of adventure among developers is porting. Take Playdead’s Limbo, for example – an astonishing artful and visually ambitious game that couldn’t be further from the world of Candy Crush Saga. Limbo made its name on the PC, a market where prices are higher and innovation is more likely to be rewarded. Once it succeeded in that environment, Playdead made the
transition to mobile at a price of ?2.99.

That is also where Curve Digital pitched Stealth Inc, another superb PC game that appeared in iOS form. Rob Clarke, Curve’s PR and marketing manager, comments: “Stealth Inc started life as a PC game, moved to the PlayStation and came to iOS most recently as a premium game with a single piece of IAP. We’ve always priced the game differently in different markets, but as is ‘expected’, the iOS version works out about half the price of the PC version.

“We’re new to the App Store as a publisher, but I think we got the price right. We stuck with a premium model because we feel that freemium games only work if that’s your goal from the design stage, and we’re glad to see that there’s a healthy appetite for premium titles that have a fairly ‘hardcore’ appeal on the store.”

The upward curve
What’s the future of app pricing? As Garry Partington puts it, “consumers have now been conditioned to expect the current price point for mobile apps and will, most likely, not be prepared to pay prices more commonly associated with desktop software”. Is this a market that can only go downward? Once the price drops, will anyone pay a ‘fair’ price again?

Well, maybe they will. Trent Oster, director of business development at Baldur’s Gate publisher
Beamdog, believes brand recognition helped his games, but his story makes us feel optimistic.

“We’ve been lucky,” he says. “By bringing such well known games as the Baldur’s Gate series to the iPad we managed to get a great deal of attention despite our ‘premium’ price of ?6.99 for the first game and ?10.49 for the second. We’ve moved down in the standings since our launches, but the initial attention got us into the top 10 and was very positive for sales.

“Our subsequent sales were strong and now we’re settling down. Our daily numbers are wonderfully
stable as fans, fold and new, continue to discover our work. When you look at it from the big picture,
between the two apps, we’re off ering a massive package of more than 200 awesome hours of RPG
entertainment, for less than you pay to go a few movies or a decent dinner out. I feel we represent a great and clear value to game fans.”

It baffles me that gamers would rather put up with intrusive adverts or a hobbled user experience rather than cough up a few quid. But as long as we continue to pick the free alternative, even when it’s horribly fl awed, app designers are going to be motivated to race to the bottom.

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28-03-2018 , 20:36:39
ตอบกลับ #17
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Best new Android games of 2016

Lewis Painter showcases the best upcoming games of 2016

Rush Rally 2
Rush Rally 2 is an upcoming racing game for not only Android, but iOS and Apple TV too –  and it boasts some impressive features. First of all, the developers claim that the game will run at 60 frames per second and will feature over 72 tracks across a number of game modes including Rally cross and Rally Championship. There are eight cars available at launch with a plan to add more over time, all featuring realistic physics gathered from “real car telemetry data”. The iOS/Apple TV variants even feature MFi controller support, allowing you to use a gaming controller to play.

The good news is that the developers claim the game is completed, and it’s just a matter of deciding on a launch date. The developers hope that’ll be some time in May, but nothing is confirmed just yet.

Hackers, as you’ve probably guessed already, is a game about hacking – don’t worry, you won’t get into trouble with the NSA for this kind of hacking, though. The idea is that you build up your hacking network and then hack your friends and other online players. Though details about gameplay are scarce, the idea is that you have a network, and you have to build up your defences and resources in such a way that you make the core of your network impenetrable to hackers. The game is currently in beta testing, which you can sign up for at tinyurl.com/h85vaac, with a plan to release for Android in the coming months.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends
The Elder Scrolls: Legends was first announced at E3 2015, and while there still isn’t a solid release date in sight, it looks promising. It’s a collectable card game, with gamers collecting cards with stats including agility and strength to be used in battles, although there isn’t much else to go on as Bethesda is being tight?lipped about the whole situation.

Bethesda has recently announced a beta test which should be starting soon, and those interested can sign up at tinyurl.com/hcynze8. The game is set to be available for both PC and Mobile and while we assume this means both iOS and Android, there is no platform confirmation so far. The release date is still unknown, but with E3 2016 fast approaching, we imagine it’ll get some kind of mention then.

Leap of Fate
Leap of Fate is an interesting game already available for PC, but is due to be released on mobile ‘soon’. The game is best known for being hardcore. It may have something to do with the fact that you have one life to survive a journey across a futuristic, slightly cyberpunk looking New York. There’s no health regeneration either, so you’ll probably die quickly and have to start all over again. You can play as one of four characters, all technomages (using science to create the illusion of magic), and there are over one hundred upgrades available over four categories: Mobility, Passive, Attack Skills and Equippable Glyphs. You can find out more about Leap of Fate on its official website at tinyurl.com/j8ghja4. There’s no word on the release date for the mobile companion just yet, but we’ll update this when we know more.

Samurai Rising
Square Enix recently posted a teaser for something called Project: Rising with promises that we’d hear more soon. Well, it turns out that the “more” it was referring to was yet another trailer, although this one included a few more details – the only issue is that it’s in Japanese. A Japanese?speaking writer over at Touch Arcade translated the trailer, and gave us the following insight: “…it’s another free to play social action RPG from the same artist responsible for Bravely Default. The game centralizes around four player co?op, with players taking the role of various Final Fantasy?ish classes.” The video specifically mentions the Dragoon, White Mage and Black Mage classes, so it’s safe to assume that other Final Fantasy?esque jobs will make an appearance in the full game. Samurai Rising looks to be a Japan exclusive game at launch, but we’re holding our breath that it’ll come to UK shores sooner rather than later.

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28-03-2018 , 20:36:52
ตอบกลับ #18
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AereA Melodious musical magic

Welcome to Aezir, the floating island that has fallen to despair, and is now broken to pieces. Many mysteries await those that navigate this fallen world. Everything is in disarray, and the nine primordial instruments have gone missing. Only the disciples of the Great Maestro Guido are able to traverse the world, fend of the creatures that roam, and restore both balance and peace to Aezir.

Explore the beautifully handdrawn islands, populated by a wide variety of biomes extending to brimming lava caverns, snowy landscapes, extensive forests and city sites. The music themed style carries across the entire game, from the characters and abilities to the puzzles and monsters.

Players will have to step into the shoes of the four disciples of Great Maestro Guido: Wolff the Harp-Archer, Jacques the Cello-Knight, Jules the Lute-Mage, and Claude the Trumpet-Gunner. Each one has been gifted with unique musical abilities and instrument based weapons to be mastered.

With quests to complete, puzzles to solve, The four warriors will use their musical abilities to both fight and restore Aezir to its utopian eminence. There are nine unique bosses to face, each one inspired by a specific musical instrument.

Players will have to collect music sheets to learn new skills and abilities. Weapons can be customized to suit the gamers’ play style. This action-RPG has local play, for both local co-op and local multiplayer gaming. with a team of up to four players. SOEDESCO, the Dutch video game publisher based in Rotterdam, collaborated with Broforce composer Deon van Heerden, who worked on the soundtrack for AereA. This will be the first game in the AereA series.

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28-03-2018 , 20:37:05
ตอบกลับ #19
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Angry Birds Fight!

Angry Birds Fight!

Strictly for the birds? Rather than merrily catapulting your feathered friends through the air, in this spin-off of the insanely popular franchise, you match them into rows. Yes, it’s yet another match three game, and one whose basic gameplay adds nothing new to the genre. And at just 30 seconds long, the stages seem too short. In fact the only USP is that you get to battle random online opponents; while you can’t see their actual moves, you may well see the effects, such as when you’re ‘sabotaged‘ and have to tap crates to break free. At the end, you get to watch an animated ‘battle’, based on your comparative stats plus any special skills equipped – annoyingly, it seems you can lose even if you played better in the match. Winning battles can earn you weapons, hats and medals, plus EXP and gold to enhance items. Gems are the main currency – for recharging feathers (needed to battle) and opening bonus chests – and are naturally also available via those IAP.

Price Free + IAPs
Designed for Phone and tablet
Requires Android 4.0 and up

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28-03-2018 , 20:37:18
ตอบกลับ #20
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Flappy Bird creator pulled app for “your own good”

Flappy Bird creator Don Nguyen says he pulled Flappy Bird from Google Play because it was addictive We’ve all heard of the nanny state, but apparently there’s also such a thing as the nanny developer. Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen says he decided to take down his super-popular game several days ago, because it was “an addictive product.”

Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed,” Nguyen said. “But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.”

But Flappy Bird isn’t truly gone forever, since rip-offs of the game such as Flappy Fish and Ironpants
still abound. Android users who search hard enough will probably fi nd the original in alternative app stores as well – just watch out for malware.

If you’re really desperate and have some money to burn, a few opportunistic hucksters are also selling phones and tablets preloaded with Flappy Bird on eBay. Prices range anywhere from cheap to ridiculous because, hey, it’s eBay. (Wait, wasn’t Flappy Bird a free game?)

Although Nguyen says he took the game down for our own good, the events that have occurred since suggest otherwise. It may have had more to do with Nguyen’s diffculties dealing with his new found fame than anything else.

“I can call ‘Flappy Bird’ is a success of mine. But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it,” Nguyen
said on Twitter. He later followed up that comment with his announcement that Flappy Bird would be
pulled from iTunes and Google Play.

Nevertheless, Nguyen won’t let Flappy Bird’s success dissuade him from following his passion. Nguyen says he plans to continue making games, and he still has two top 20 apps in the iOS App Store. He just might be hoping to avoid another Flappy Bird-sized success.

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28-03-2018 , 20:52:53
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Taylor swift started off as a sweet and nice country singer, but she has definitely burned more than a few bridges throughout her career. Here's the list of 20 celebrities who just can't stand her.

1. John Mayer

Taylor dated John when she was 19 and he was 32. After their breakup, she released "Dear John" and bashed him for dating her while she was so young. John says the song "humiliated" him.

2. Edward Droste

When a tabloid magazine called Taylor a "Mean Girl," Edward Droste retweeted the image along with the caption that read, "obsessed that people are catching on."

3. Chlo? Grace Moretz

Taylor Swift ask Chlo? grace Moretz to be in her girl squad, but Chlo? declined because she thought Taylor's "squad-specific exclusivity" went against everything that she believed in.

4. Camilla Belle

Taylor Swift wrote "Better Than Revenge" which included route lyrics about Camila. Camila later became an Anti-Swift after siding with nicki minaj in her Twitter battle against the singer.

5. Miley Cyrus

Taylor Swift called Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke's 2013 MTV VMA performance "Grotesque." Miley fought back by saying Taylor was a "frigid ice princess who bored Harry Styles out of bed."

6. Zayn Malik

A Twitter user compared Taylor's letter to Apple music to a quote from Miley Cyrus saying she doesn't care if she gets paid for her music. Zayn retweeted the message, and many believed he was anti-Taylor.

7. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

At the 2013 Golden Globes, co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler mocked Taylor's love life by saying, "you know what Taylor Swift? You stay away from Michael J. Fox's son.

8. Justin Bieber

Justin chose his side in the kanye and Kim versus Taylor feud by posting a screenshot from his face time session with Kanye. The caption read, Taylor Swift what up."

9. Kendall Jenner

When Kim Kardashian leaked audio and video of taylor agreeing to being mentioned in Kanye's song "Famous," Kendall sided with Kim by "liking" many anti Taylor Swift tweets on Twitter,

10. Barack Obama

President Obama poked fun at Taylor Swift by saying, "Republicans fell in love with this thing and now they can't stop talking about how much they hate it. It's like we're trapped in a Taylor Swift album."

11. Drake Bell

When he was asked about Taylor Swift and Harry Styles hooking up again, Drake Bell describes the reconciliation as Taylor "making rounds" as a way to mock her tumultuous love life.

12. Diplo

When Diplo began dating Taylor's frenemy Katy Perry, he came to Katie's defense by making fun of Taylor's butt. Diplo tweeted, "someone should make a Kickstarter to get taylor swift a booty."

13. Pharrell Williams

Taylor Swift was dancing the night away at the billboard music awards, and cameras caught Pharrell Williams giving her the side-eye. Many assumed he definitely wasn't a fan of hers.

14. Kim Kardashian

Kim got so tired of taylor playing the victim, so on national sneak day, she tweeted," they have holidays for everybody, I mean everything these days!" in reference to the singer.

15. Lorde

Lorde called out Taylor and her good girl Act in an interview by saying, "Taylor swift is so flawless, and so unattainable, and I don't think it's breeding anything good in young girls."

16. Demi Lovato

When asked about her feud with Taylor, Demi said "there are women that I don't get along with, and that's fine."

17. Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom got so fed up as Taylor's neighbor, he had to move out of his new york apartment. Apparently, paparazzi would swarm their complex to get shots of taylor, and he got fed up.

18. Calvin Harris

Taylor Swift revealed she wrote ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris's song "this is what you came for" after they agreed to keep her involvement a secret. Calvin then tweeted, "I know you're off tour and you need someone new to try and bury like Katy Perry but I'm not that guy, sorry. I won't allow it.

19. Kanye West

Despite all the drama surrounding his song "Famous," Kanye took another dig at Taylor by featuring her naked wax figure lying in bed with him in the song's music video.

20. Katy Perry

Taylor Swift told "Rolling Stone" magazine there's a certain celeb who she thought was her friend, but she wasn't. Katie responded by tweeting, "watch out for the Regina George in sheep's clothing."

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28-03-2018 , 20:53:12
ตอบกลับ #22
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A Passion for Persimmons

Firm for slicing or jelly, soft, these luscious fruits are at their peak in winter

I'd never seen a persimmon tree until I moved into a house with a beautiful , 40-foot tall one just outside the kitchen window. As fall arrived that first year, my wife and I watched with delight as the tree shed its leaves to reveal brigh to range fruits hanging from the bare branches like Chinese lanterns.

Eager for a taste of our home -grown fruit, I picked a firm, flame orange persimmon and took a bite. My mouth puckered up and I spit the pulp out on the ground. Later I learned that tannins make all but the softest persimmons inedible. A ripe persimmon is pudding soft, and its flavor is pure ambrosia.
If you've never tasted one before, imagine something like a plum crossed with a honey- sweet winter

American persimmons grow wild and are not cultivated commercially. They are small-abou t the size of a plump cherry. The persimmons you'll find in stores were first cultivated in Asia. Most are grown in California, but persimmons from Chile often turn up in the off season.

=http://www.maxgax.com/2017/03/12-most-expensive-fruits-in-world.html come in both a stringent and non a stringent varieties. Astringent persimmons are
soft when ripe. As I discovered when I first bit into one, harsh tannins make this type of persimmon inedible unless it is fully ripened. As the fruit matures, the tannins soften, the sugars develop, and the luscious flavors of the fruit come forward. Hachiya is the most common a stringent variety.

The easiest way to enjoy an a stringent type persimmon is to simply cut off the top leaf stem from a very ripe fruit and eat the delectably messy pulp with a spoon. Non a stringent varieties, sometimes called crisp persimmons, are becoming more widely available in American markets. Identified by their flattened, four-lobe shape, their flesh is free of pucker causing tannins. Because they're firm when ripe, crisp persimmons can be neatly sliced and used in compotes and fruit salads.

Fuyu is the most common firm-ripe persimmon. Some, called Giant Fuyus, weigh as much as a pound. Another firm variety, called Chocolate persimmon because of its brown- stre aked skin, has
rich-flavored flesh. There's also a crisp persimmon from Israel called a Sharon fruit.

Persimmons will ripen slowly at room temperature. To hurry the process along, put the fruit in a paper bag with a ripe banana or apple : the persimmon will be re ady to eat in three to six days. Once ripened, persimmons can be refrigerated briefly. Freezing is sometimes recommended as a way to
ripen persimmons, but freezing won't remove all the tannins and the fruit will remain unpleasantly bitter. A frozen perfectly ripe persimmon, however, makes a refreshing sherbet-like dessert.


28-03-2018 , 20:53:26
ตอบกลับ #23
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The blueprint was set. In late 2015, Taylor Swift watched as her close pal Ed Sheeran made the conscious decision to disappear from public life for a while. Despite his six Grammy nods and two smash albums, he felt his career was stalling. “Everything I did, I got a very lukewarm reaction,” he recently explained to Australian TV program The Project. “I was like, ‘Here’s a new song.’ And people were like, ‘Ah, great.’” Taking months off to drive up the coast of Australia did the trick. Said Sheeran, whose latest disc, Divide, set
a record for most streams in a single week, “You disappear for a year and then people are kind of hungry for it again.”

Last November, Swift’s only aim was to avoid attention. Still reeling from her three-month whirlwind romance with Hiddleston, the Pennsylvania native began crafting ways to dodge photographers. “She
would hide from them in New York, which she never does,” says a source. Another insider says she began carrying a large golf umbrella “rain or shine.” Says the insider, “She didn’t want them to take her picture.”

A sizable shade wasn’t the only tool at the singer’s disposal. When it came time for her and Zayn Malik to film a video for “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” the single they wrote for the Fifty Shades Darker film, she had her private jet fly to London in the early hours of January 8. And after an all-day shoot, says a source,
“she went directly to her private jet at 2 a.m. and flew out of town. She didn’t want to be seen at all.”

But the “Shake It Off” singer’s most successful strategy was going off-grid. The star — who has a $20 million penthouse in New York, two Nashville pads and an 11,000-square-foot, $25 million estate in Beverly Hills — started hiding out at pal Blake Lively’s 1.7-acre spread in upstate New York. An insider says Taylor Swift became a frequent houseguest at Lively and husband Ryan Reynolds’ $2.3 million compound: “She spent
a lot of time there — sometimes a fewdays a week!”

Taylor Swift used the break to brush up on a few life skills. After telling Vogue she’d like “to be able to save somebody if they’re drowning” and become “a well-rounded person who can make a good drink,” she followed through on at least one of her goals. “She can definitely make a drink,” a source says of Taylor Swift, a fan of the whiskey-based Old Fashioned cocktail. Swift also busied herself with family time — the source says she helped younger brother Austin “get his acting career off the ground” with roles in Ben Affleck’s drama Live by Night and on Embeds, a comedy on Verizon’s streaming service Go90 — and some well-deserved relaxation. “Other than doing that single with Zayn, she took some much-needed time off,” says a close Swift insider. “She was writing a little, she always is, but not in major recording mode.”

That changed come spring. After months of “constantly writing and jotting down ideas for new music,” says a source, the singer — famous for blasting her exes in verse — was ready to hit the studio. But true to form, she kept her plans private. Swift is known for using cloak-and- dagger methods to keep future hits
under wraps. In a recent interview with Brazil’s Capricho magazine, Sheeran described how she let him preview their 2012 hit, “Everything Has Changed.” Said Sheeran, “They sent someone with a locked briefcase with an iPad and one song on it, and they flew to San Francisco and played the song.” To put together her upcoming disc — sure to be loaded with references to her 15-month union with Harris and her romance with Tom HiddlestonTaylor Swift booked time at an out-of-the-way spot.

“She’s been recording in secret,” says a source. “She hasn’t been in any of the bigger studios is Nashville, New York, L.A. or London.” Swift is sticking to the tried-and-true when it comes to the actual music, however. “She’s continuing down the pop route,” a source says of the onetime country singer, “because
1989 was a huge success and fans really gravitated toward that album.” (The 2014 disc sold nearly 1.3 million copies in its first week.) She’s also trying some fresh beats.

“Taylor’s experimenting with new sounds this time around and has been inspired by a lot of current music,” says the source. “Everything from pop to hip-hop to rock.” In the past few weeks, Swift has been in crunch mode. “She knows there’s a demand for a new album and has really started focusing on making that happen for fans,” the source explains, adding that Swift is also planning a tour. “She’s just excited to get back out there.”

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28-03-2018 , 20:53:37
ตอบกลับ #24
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Katy Perry would like to wipe away her bad blood with Taylor Swift. During a May 22 appearance on CBS host James Corden’s latest Carpool Karaoke segment, the 32-year-old said she would drop the years-long feud if Swift, 27, reached out. “There’s a situation. Honestly, it’s really, like, she started it, and it’s time for her to finish it,” Katy Perry said of the 10-time Grammy winner. Explaining that the dispute began with a conflict over three backup dancers, Perry claimed, “I tried to talk to her about it, and she wouldn’t speak to me.” A Swift insider doesn’t expect that to change now that Katy Perry has released “Swish Swish,” a response to Swift’s 2014 anthem “Bad Blood.” Notes the source of the lyrics, “Katy perry insinuates she wants Taylor Swift in a casket and says she’s ‘tired and needs to retire.’ ” Another pal says Taylor Swift is just sick of the drama: “Taylor honestly wants no part of this.”

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28-03-2018 , 20:53:59
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Ever since the Stone Age, human beings have indulged in cannibalism, either for dietary or ritual reasons. The prehistoric hominids known as Homo erectus enjoyed supping on the brains of their fellow cavemen. Aborigines throughout the world, from New Zealand to North America, routinely devoured the hearts of enemy warriors as a way of absorbing their courage. Ceremonial cannibalism was a central feature of the Aztec religion. And Fijians consumed human flesh (which they called puaka balava or “long pig”) just because they liked its taste.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition, however, cannibalism is regarded with such intense abhorrence that when faced with a choice between eating other humans or starving to death, some people have opted for the latter. (This was the case, for example, with several survivors of the famous 1972 plane crash that stranded a party of young Uruguayans in the high Andes.) As a result, of all the horrors associated with serial killer, cannibalism strikes many people as the worst. When Thomas Harris, author of The Silence of the Lambs, set out to create the most monstrous serial killer imaginable, the result was Dr. Lecter, aka “Hannibal the Cannibal,” whose idea of a gourmet meal is human liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti on the side.

In point of fact, however, real-life cannibal killers are relatively few and far between. For reasons that can only be surmised, Germany has produced a disproportionately high percentage of twentieth-century people eaters. During the social chaos of the 1920s, the hideously depraved Fritz Haarmann slaughtered as many as fifty young boys, dined on their flesh, then sold the leftovers as black-market beef. His equally degenerate countryman Georg Grossmann also supplemented his income by peddling human flesh, though his preferred victims were plump young females, whose meat he made into sausages. Yet another postwar German cannibal was Karl Denke, an innkeeper who killed and consumed at least thirty of his lodgers.

At about the same time in America, the sadomasochistic madman Albert Fish was roaming the country, preying on small boys and girls. He was finally executed for the abduction-murder of a pretty twelve-year-old named Grace Budd, parts of whose body he made into a stew. In recent years, the “Milwaukee Monster,” Jeffrey Dahmer, has served as a grotesque reminder that the forbidden urge to consume human flesh may still lurk beneath the surface of supposedly civilized life.

Appalling as they were, Dahmer’s crimes were outstripped by the Russian “Mad Beast,” Andrei Chikatilo, who—with a confirmed body count of fifty-two victims—holds the record as the worst serial killer of modern times. Among his countless atrocities, Chikatilo devoured the genitals of some of his victims—a practice that left him (according to his captors) with a telltale case of bizarre halitosis.

A cannibalistic contemporary of Chikatilo and Dahmer was Arthur Shawcross, whose wildly sadistic tendencies first found free play in the jungles of Vietnam, where (according to his own account) he raped, slaughtered, and cannibalized two peasant women during an army combat mission. Shawcross’s subsequent career of psychopathic violence included the murder of a ten-year-old boy whose genitals he devoured, and the strangulation of a string of prostitutes whose bodies he dumped in the woods in upstate New York. Occasionally, he would sneak back to the body weeks after the murder, then cut out and eat pieces of the decomposing corpse (a particularly abhorrent form of cannibalism technically known as necrophagy).

During the past twenty-five years or so, there have been a number of appalling cannibal killers who might well have become full-fledged serial murderers if they hadn’t been arrested after committing a single atrocity. These include Albert Fentress, a former schoolteacher in Poughkeepsie, New York, who, in the summer of 1979, lured an eighteen-year-old boy into his basement, cut off and ate the victim’s penis, then shot him to death; Issei Sagawa, a Japanese national living in Paris who, in 1981, killed his girlfriend, had sex with her corpse, then dismembered and ate parts of her body; Daniel Rakowitz, who likewise murdered and dismembered his girlfriend, then boiled her into a soup which he allegedly served to homeless people on New York’s Lower East Side in 1989; and Peter Bryan, a British schizophrenic arrested in 2004 after killing a friend and frying his brain for consumption.

Most bizarre of all is undoubtedly Armin Meiwes, a middle-aged German computer technician who, in 2001, advertised for a victim willing to be slaughtered and consumed (see Ads). When a forty-three-year-old man named Bernd-J?rgen Brandes showed up in response to this Internet posting, Meiwes—with Brandes’s full approval—sliced off the latter’s penis. The two men then shared a meal of the severed organ. Brandes was then stabbed to death, dismembered, and frozen for future consumption.

Meiwes was arrested shortly thereafter. Since Germany has no laws against cannibalism, he was charged with murder “for sexual satisfaction” and “disturbing the peace of the dead.” His attorney at his 2004 trial attempted to argue that since Brandes consented (indeed, eagerly cooperated) in his own death, the case should be classified as a mercy killing. The court was not convinced. Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to eight and a half years in prison, though in April 2005, prosecutors—objecting to the leniency of the sentence—won an appeal for a retrial.

Despite Meiwes’s claim that he had gotten his cannibalistic urges out of his system—“I had my big kick and I don’t need to do it again,” he declared—there is reason to doubt his word. Certainly, if he had chosen to indulge his unnatural appetites a second time, he would have had a varied menu to choose from. At his trial, a state police inspector testified that Meiwes’s computer files showed that his ad had drawn responses from 204 applicants looking to be his next meal.

In the realm of serial-killer cinema, cannibalism features prominently in Tobe Hooper’s splatter classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, about a family of deranged good ol’ boys who turn unwary teens into barbeque. Like Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs, Hooper’s movie was inspired by the crimes of Edward Gein. Ostensibly, investigators found unmistakable signs of cannibalism in Gein’s horror house—a human heart in a frying pan, a refrigerator stocked with paper-wrapped body parts. This allegation, however, was just one of many hysterical rumors that floated around in the wake of his crimes. Though Ghoulish Gein committed all sorts of unspeakable acts, cannibalism was apparently not one of them. He did, however, enjoy eating baked beans from a bowl made out of a human cranium.

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28-03-2018 , 20:54:17
ตอบกลับ #26
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CANNIBALISM and Serial Murder

CANNIBALISM and Serial Murder

Throughout history, many cultures have sanctioned and ritualized the consumption of human flesh, but cannibalism is generally banned today, since its practice requires either homicide or desecration of corpses (a criminal offense in most American jurisdictions). Still,
as bizarre as it seems in modern society, cannibalism is not particularly rare among serial killers, particularly those driven by sexual or sadistic MOTIVES.

Indeed, it has always been so. In ancient Mexico, where Aztecs sacrificed and cannibalized an estimated 15,000 victims yearly, Emperor Moctezuma was said to prefer dining on the same young boys he chose to share his bed. Cannibal killer ALBERT FISH also preferred the
flesh of children, while California’s EDMUND KEMPER devoured parts of at least two female victims, later terming the act a means of “possessing” them forever. The “CHICAGO RIPPERS,” four young Satanists, habitually severed and devoured the breasts of women they abducted, raped, and killed.

Cannibalism is not always a sexual act. For some, it may be a survival technique. Millions starved to death in Russia during the 1930s while Josef Stalin communized the nation’s agricultural system, and the tragedy was repeated 20 years later under Mao Zedong in the
People’s Republic of China. In both countries, many cases of cannibalism were reported (including parents who devoured their own children), but authorities responded in very different ways. Soviet officials executed an unknown number of cannibals, while sentencing some 350 others to life imprisonment; Chinese leaders, on the other hand, sometimes applauded acts of homicide and cannibalism, especially where the victims were members of the “reactionary” old guard. In Russia, at least one case of serial murder and cannibalism was also reported from Leningrad during the long Nazi siege, but details are elusive thanks to Soviet censorship. (Perhaps significantly, Russian slayer ANDREI CHIKATILO blamed his own forays into cannibalism on childhood stories concerning his older brother, allegedly murdered and eaten during the famine of the 1930s.)

There is at least one case on record of serial murder and cannibalism committed as acts of revenge. Embittered at the murder of his wife by members of the Crow Indian tribe, trapper John Johnston waged a ruthless vendetta in the Colorado Rockies, killing scores of tribesmen and devouring their still-warm livers, raw, as a gesture of contempt. When Hollywood tackled his story a century later, handsome Robert Redford took the lead as Jeremiah Johnson, a romantic hero, with no trace of “Liver-eating Johnston” to be found on-screen.

Reports of cannibalism flourished in the 1990s, perhaps because of the subject’s sensational nature. In October 1997, Ugandan police arrested Ssande Sserwadda, accused by his wife of cannibalism. In custody, Sserwadda freely admitted the charge, reporting that he learned the practice from his parents. He told the court, “We are a family of cannibals, we always have been, and I feel queasy if I go too long without tasting human meat. But just because we like to eat human flesh, does that mean we’re bad people?” Sserwadda admitted eating seven corpses in the past year, then added that his brother “is the really greedy one. He’s eaten dozens.” Presuming that Sserwadda dined on corpses without committing murder, the court sentenced him to three years in prison. He shocked the judge by asking if he could take a human leg, introduced as evidence at trial in 2001, to prison with him for a snack. “It’s still got plenty of meat on it. It’s a shame to let it go to waste.” In Nigeria, authorities jailed two alleged cannibals at Lagos, in February 1999. The suspects, identified as Clifford Orji and Tahiru, lived beneath a local bridge and were accused by neighbors of supplying human organs to black-magic practitioners. Raiders found the pair grilling parts of a fresh corpse, and seized the flesh and various bones as evidence. A police spokesman accused Orji and Tahiru of murdering women, and claimed they preferred “young, fine girls with long hair.” No disposition for that case was available at press time, but new reports of widespread cannibalism emerged from the neighboring Congo region in 2003. There, dwindling tribes of pygmies complained to the United Nations that rural guerrillas regularly killed and devoured members of their race, driving their people toward extinction. Reports published in Europe, during August 2003, described mobile armies of “child soldiers” dragooned by their elders to fight in a long-running civil war, subsisting on flesh from their slain enemies as they prowled the countryside.

Modern Asia has no shortage of cannibalism reports. In January 2001, Western journalists revealed that human flesh (dubbed saram hoki) was sold in the marketplace at famine-blighted Hoeroung, North Korea. Films and photographs supported the claim, depicting parts of a dismembered child in one cooking pot. Reporter Carla Garapedian told the world, “All of the North Koreans we interviewed knew about it.” North Korean officials declined to comment. A year later, in March 2002, authorities in Hyderabad, India, alleged that members of “a nameless sect” consumed human flesh as part of a puja ritual designed to help them find hidden treasure. No charges were filed in that case, but several alleged cannibals were reportedly slain by their neighbors on suspicion of practicing evil magic.

Eastern Europe has produced its share of cannibals in recent years. Ilshat Kuzikov, a 37-year-old resident of St. Petersburg, Russia, was convicted in March 1997 of killing and devouring at least three male acquaintances since 1992. Officers who raided his home found dried ears hanging on the walls and soft-drink bottles filled with human blood. Four years later, in April 2001, authorities in Chisinau, Moldova, arrested two women for selling human organs in the city’s marketplace. A full-scale investigation was announced, but its results are presently unknown. Four Ukrainians were jailed at Kiev in July 2002, charged with killing a teenage girl and devouring her body. Police claimed that the prisoners, including three men and a woman, had killed at least six victims for their flesh. The latest kidnapping had also involved an abortive $3,000 ransom demand. Detectives found “several books on black magic” at one suspect’s home, suggesting that the murders sprang from Satanism. Once again, no disposition of the case has been reported.

Across the Atlantic, accused cannibal Dorangel Vargas was arrested by police in San Crist?bal, Venezuela, in February 1999. A former mental patient who was briefly held on similar charges in 1995, Vargas confessed to murdering and eating 10 men over the past two years. “Sure I eat people,” he told reporters. “Anyone can eat human flesh, but you have to wash and garnish it well to avoid diseases.” Notwithstanding those admissions and the reported discovery of human remains at his home, some observers defended Vargas as a hapless “scapegoat,” allegedly framed by illicit organ-traffickers. No judgment in the Vargas case had been announced by press time for this volume. On April 14, 2001, police in Kansas City, Kansas, charged 21-year-old Marc Sappington with murdering and cannibalizing three men over the past week. Dismembered remains of one victim, 16-year-old Alton Brown, were found in Sappington’s basement. Held in lieu of $2 million bond, Sappington was examined for psychiatric abnormalities by analysts who reported his fascination with Milwaukee cannibal-killer JEFFREY DAHMER. After being certified as sane, Sappington faced trial in July 2004. Jurors convicted him across the board, on three counts of murder plus one count each of kidnapping and aggravated burglary.

In 2004, European authorities announced their discovery of an Internet cannibal network that “links maneaters from Austria to America.” That revelation emerged from the murder trial of German defendant Armin Meiwes, a cannibal who advertised online for a “young well-built man who wants to be eaten” and thus met Bernd-Jurgen Brandes, whom he killed and devoured in 2001. Defense attorneys for Meiwes submitted that he should be freed because Brandes volunteered to be slain and consumed. Jurors convicted Meiwes on a reduced charge of manslaughter, sending him to prison for eight and a half years, but police were more concerned with evidence that two more victims may have been eaten in Europe. German criminologist Rudolf Egg told reporters, “There are several hundred people with cannibalistic tendencies in Germany alone, and many thousands around the world.” Inspector Isolde Stock announced that Meiwes’s e-mail correspondence with members of various “cannibal forums” would fill two large trucks if it were printed out. The haul included several thousand photos of nude men, downloaded from the prisoner’s computers, in addition to scenes of torture.

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28-03-2018 , 20:54:33
ตอบกลับ #27
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BERKOWITZ, David Richard
New Yorkers are accustomed to reports of violent death in every form, from the mundane to the bizarre. They take it all in stride, accepting civic carnage as a price of living in the largest, richest city in America. But residents were unprepared for the commencement of an allout reign of terror in July 1976. For 13 months, New York would be a city under siege, its female citizens afraid to venture out by night while an apparent homicidal maniac was waiting, seeking prey.

The terror came with darkness on July 29, 1976. Two young women, Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti, had parked their car on Buhre Avenue in Queens, remaining in the vehicle and passing time in conversation. If they saw the solitary male pedestrian at all, they didn’t take note of him. In any case, they never saw the pistol that he raised to pump five shots through the windshield. Donna Lauria was killed immediately; her companion survived and got off “easy,” with a bullet in one thigh.

The shooting was a tragic incident, but in itself was not unusual for New York City. There was scattered sympathy but no alarm among the residents of New York’s urban combat zone . . . until the next attack.

On October 23, Carl Denaro and Rosemary Keenan parked outside a bar in Flushing, Queens. Again, the gunman went unnoticed as he crouched to fire a single bullet through the car’s rear window. Wounded, Carl Denaro survived. A .44-caliber bullet was found on the floor of the car, and detectives matched it to slugs from the Lauria murder.

Just over one month later, on November 26, Donna DeMasi and Joanne Lomino were sitting together on the stoop of a house in the Floral Park section of Queens. A man approached them from the sidewalk, asking for directions, but before he could complete the question he had drawn a pistol, blasting at the startled women. Both were wounded, Joanne paralyzed forever
with a bullet in her spine.

Again the slugs were readily identified, and now detectives knew they had a random killer on their hands. The gunman seemed to favor girls with long, dark hair, and there was speculation that the shooting of Denaro in October may have been an “accident.” The young man’s hair was shoulder length; a gunman closing on him from behind might have mistaken Carl
Denaro for a woman in the darkness.

Christmas season passed without another shooting, but the gunman had not given up his hunt. On January 30, 1977, John Diel and Christine Freund were parked and necking in the Ridgewood section of New York, when bullets hammered out their windshield. Freund was killed on impact, while her date was physically unscathed. Virginia Voskerichian, an Armenian exchange student, was walking toward her home in Forest Hills on March 8, when a man approached and shot her in the
face, killing her instantly. Detectives noted that she had been slain within 300 yards of the January murder scene.

On April 17, Alexander Esau and his date, Valentina Suriani, were parked in the Bronx, a few blocks from the site of the Lauria-Valenti shooting. Caught up in each other, they may not have seen the gunman coming; certainly they had no time to dodge the fusillade of bullets that killed them both immediately, fired from pointblank range.

Detectives found a crudely printed letter in the middle of the street, near Esau’s car. Addressed to the captain in charge of New York’s hottest manhunt, the note contained a chilling message.

The note described “Sam” as a drunken brute who beat the members of his family and sent his son out hunting “tasty meat,” compelling him to kill. There would be other letters from the gunman, some addressed to newsman Jimmy Breslin, hinting at more crimes to come and fueling the hysteria that had already gripped New York. The writer was apparently irrational but no less dangerous for that, and homicide investigators had no clue to his identity.

On June 26, Salvatore Lupo and girlfriend Judy Placido were parked in Bayside, Queens, when four shots pierced the windshield of their car. Both were wounded; both survived. On July 31, Robert Violante and Stacy Moskowitz parked near the Brooklyn shore. The killer found them there and squeezed off four shots at their huddled silhouettes, striking both young people in the head. Stacy died instantly; her date survived, but damage from his wounds left Violante blind for life.

It was the last attack, but homicide detectives didn’t know that yet. A woman walking near the final murder scene recalled two traffic officers writing a ticket for a car parked close to a hydrant; moments later, she had seen a man approach the car, climb in, and pull away with squealing tires. A check of parking ticket records traced an old Ford Galaxy belonging to one David
Berkowitz, of Pine Street, Yonkers. Staking out the address, officers discovered that the car was parked outside; a semiautomatic rifle lay in plain view on the seat, together with a note written in the “Son of Sam’s” distinctive, awkward style. When Berkowitz emerged from his apartment, he was instantly arrested and confessed his role in New York’s reign of terror.

The story told by Berkowitz seemed tailor-made for an INSANITY DEFENSE in court. The “Sam” referred to in his letters was a neighbor, one Sam Carr, whose Labrador retriever was allegedly possessed by ancient demons, beaming out commands for Berkowitz to kill and kill again. On one occasion he had tried to kill the dog, but it was useless; demons spoiled his aim, and when the dog recovered from its wounds, the nightly torment had redoubled in intensity.

A number of psychiatrists described the suspect as a paranoid schizophrenic, suffering from delusions and therefore incompetent to stand trial. The lone exception was Dr. David Abrahamson, who found that Berkowitz was sane and capable of understanding that his actions had been criminal. The court agreed with Abrahamson and ordered Berkowitz to trial. The gunman soon pled guilty and was sentenced to 365 years in prison.

Ironically, Berkowitz seemed grateful to Dr. Abrahamson for his sanity ruling and later agreed to a series of interviews that Abrahamson published in his book Confessions of Son of Sam (1985). The interviews revealed that Berkowitz had tried to kill two women during 1975, attacking them with knives, but he turned squeamish when they screamed and tried to fight him off. (“I didn’t want to hurt them,” he explained, confused. “I only wanted to kill them.”) A virgin at the time of his arrest,
Berkowitz was prone to fabricate elaborate lies about his bedroom prowess, all the while intent upon revenge against the women who habitually rejected him. When not engaged in stalking female victims, Berkowitz reportedly was an accomplished arsonist: a secret journal listed details of 300 fires for which he was allegedly responsible around New York. In his conclusion, Dr. Abrahamson described his subject as a homicidal exhibitionist who meant his crimes to be a public spectacle and harbored
fantasies of “dying for a cause.”

There is another side of David Berkowitz, however, and it surfaced shortly after his arrest, with allegations of his membership in a satanic cult. In letters mailed from prison, Berkowitz described participation in a New York cult affiliated with the lethal “Four P Movement,” based in California. He revealed persuasive inside knowledge of a California homicide, unsolved
since 1974, and wrote that “There are other Sams out there—God help the world.” According to the story told by Berkowitz in prison, two of neighbor Sam Carr’s sons were also members of the killer cult that specialized in skinning dogs alive and
gunning victims down on darkened streets. One suspect, John Charles Carr, was said to be the same “John Wheaties” mentioned in a letter penned by Berkowitz, containing other clues that point to cult involvement in the random murders. Calling themselves “The Children,” the cultists operated from a base in Untermeyer Park, where mutilated dogs were found from time to time. Cult members represented the “Twenty-Two Disciples of Hell” mentioned in another “Son of Sam” letter.

Suspect John Carr fled New York in February 1979 and “committed suicide” under mysterious circumstances in Minot, North Dakota, two days later. Brother Michael Carr died in a single-car crash in October 1979, and New York authorities reopened the
“Sam” case after his death.

Newsman Maury Terry, after six years on the case, believes there were at least five different gunmen in the “Son of Sam” attacks, including Berkowitz, John Carr, and several suspects—one a woman—who have yet to be indicted. Terry also notes that six of the seven shootings fell in close proximity to recognized occult holidays, the March 8 Voskerichian attack emerging as the sole exception to the pattern. In the journalist’s opinion, Berkowitz was chosen as a scapegoat by the other cultists, who then defaced his apartment with weird graffiti, whipping up a bogus “arson ledger”—which includes peculiar, out-of-order entries—to support a plea of innocent by reason of insanity.

Berkowitz himself confirmed the occult connection in conversations with fellow inmates and letters mailed from prison. One such, posted in October 1979, reads: I really don’t know how to begin this letter, but at one time I was a member of an occult group. Being sworn to secrecy or face death I cannot reveal the name of the group, nor do I wish to. This group contained a mixture of satanic practices which included the teachings of Aleister Crowley and Eliphaz [sic] Levi. It was (still is) totally blood oriented and I am certain you know just what I mean. The Coven’s doctrine are a blend of Druidism, the teachings of the Secret Order of the Golden Dawn, Black Magick and a host of other unlawful and obnoxious practices.

As I said, I have no interest in revealing the Coven, especially because I have almost met sudden death on several occasions (once by half an inch) and several others have already perished under mysterious circumstances. These people will stop at nothing, including murder. They have no fear of man-made laws or the Ten Commandments.

As Maury Terry noted, both the satanic Process Church of Final Judgment and its spin-off successor, the “Four P” cult, were “offshoot, fringe-type” movements spawned by Scientology. Both groups were also linked to the Charles MANSON FAMILY in California—as was convicted killer William Mentzer, named by Berkowitz in prison interviews as the triggerman in the January 1977 shooting of John Diel and Christine Freund. Investigation of the alleged cult continues, supported by testimony from convicted cannibal killer Stanley Dean Baker, but no further indictments have been filed to date.



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29-03-2018 , 16:34:58
ตอบกลับ #28
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200 Best Video Games of All Time  - Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions

The Geometry Wars series had an inauspicious start as a minigame buried within Project Gotham Racing 2 for the Xbox. An homage to classic twin-stick shooters like Robotron 2084, and perfectly adapted for a dual analog controller, you controlled a little weaponized claw as you blew up lots of other geometric shapes, created in the vector style of games like Tempest. It was fleshed out considerably and released separately at the launch of the Xbox 360, where, even as a cheapie download title, it was the best game on the platform for months, inspiring legions of new twin-stick shooter clones.

There are about a half dozen enemy types, each with unique attacks and movement patterns – pink shapes break into smaller ones when destroyed, green ones dance tauntingly around your shots, and vortexes will suck up the playing field and explode unless you kill them quickly. They're simple to predict, but the game is always tossing them at you in different combinations, getting more and more overwhelming, and only stopping for a breather when you get killed. The playing field is larger than Robotron, though, making it less
claustrophobic. It also has a slightly gentler difficulty curve, ensuring at least a few minutes of play for the average gamer before it becomes too manic. The visuals are minimalist, but the neon colored, high resolution characters, paired with the danceable techno music, grace it with a slick, modern appeal.

The main bit of brilliance is the way Geometry Wars forces you to be aggressive. Destroyed enemies drop little green things that add to your score multiplier, which keeps increasing until you run out of lives. You can't just run away and shoot, but need to grab these before they disappear, often moving back into the direct path of danger, creating a persistent risk/reward mechanic.

The original release was fantastic, but the series came into its own with the sequel, which offers several different modes of play. Beyond the classic "blow stuff up until you run out of lives", there are variations like Deadline, which gives you unlimited lives and three minutes to score as highly as possible. We've picked the third iteration as the highlight, as it contains slightly nicer graphics, along with an enhanced single-player mode that borrows elements from the spin-off, Geometry Wars Galaxies, as well as other similar games, such as Super Stardust HD, including circular playing fields and boss battles. These provide variety and longevity, but the best experiences remain in the standard score attacks modes, which are just as playable in the second game. -Kurt Kalata

The most lauded progenitor of twin-stick shooters (thought Taito's Space Dungeon is generally considered the first), Robotron 2084 is practically the genre's Robert Johnson. Its DNA can still be found floating around in modern games like Geometry Wars and Hotline Miami, and with good reason. “Moving with one  stick/shoot-andaiming with the other” is one of the purest, most intuitive gameplay control schemes ever developed, and has essentially stayed the same for 30+ years. Here, you save humans and destroy robots before a 2001-esque screen-filling transition sequence throws you rapidly into the next zone. Add to that some of the most classic sound effects that arcades had to offer, and gamers were treated to a glimpse of twitch-based gaming's future. -RS