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Reka Forgach

The Elder Scrolls Online Releases a Nerd Call

Zenimax and Bethesda Softworks is prepared to unleash its newest empire to the deserving few

If you clicked on this story because you already know what Elder Scrolls Online is, then you probably already know that the highly anticipated video game is opening its doors for beta testing – an unparalleled opportunity for gaming mega nerds to build up characters, pwn wilderness wolves and digitized orcs, and begin spending sleepless days and nights in front of their gaming cubes, before everyone else. If you don’t know, now you know n00b.

Elder Scrolls has been highly anticipated by nerds and lesser nerds alike, as it demarcates a revolutionary new chapter of role-playing and storytelling never before seen in the gaming universe.  ZeniMax director Matt Firor explained, “We have been working hard to create an online world in which players will be able to experience the epic Elder Scrolls universe with their friends, something fans have long said they wanted.” Players of Elder Scrolls will be able to remain socially connected while playing – allowing them to invite friends to existing gaming marathons via Twitter and Facebook.  The intense lifelike graphics, incredibly vast size and detailing of the universe, and intricate faction and character stories have all been lauded by anticipatory fans who got a sneak peek of the game through ZeniMax’s six-minute trailer.  O, you haz dezire to rewatch right now?

Elder Scrolls is groundbreaking in the liberty it gives its players, and has taken years of pains to develop a world that individuals can go hunting through on their own time.  If you’re looking for a quest right away though, start by signing up to become one of the chosen and coveted few to lay your sticky fingers on this prize.  The task, should you choose to accept it, is not simple, young warrior.  Be prepared to answer a barrage of questions about your personal statistics, gaming history and style, and full system diagnostic information. This amateur thinks applying to college may have been slightly easier, although less immediately gratifying — a progress bar will notify you of your chances of being selected for this position, so don’t freak out.  Visit here for more info from ZeniMax.

Manti Te’o Catfish Victim Lied After Reveal

The plot thickens as Manti Te’o finally speaks up about Facebook girlfriend

Manti Te’o, star Notre Dame linebacker, is perhaps one of the most famous victims of the “Catfish” phenomenon – an abuse of social media in which people are duped into online relationships via false Facebook identities.  The term “Catfish” stems from a (possibly fake) documentary in which Nev Schulman’s Facebook hoax relationship is investigated by brother and friend.  Unfortunately, Mormon Hawaiian linebacker Manti Te’o was already in the spotlight as his own relationship hoax was beginning to unravel, leading him to panic and briefly lie about the reality of his “dead” girlfriend, he revealed on an interview with Katie Couric set to air tomorrow.

Finally breaking his silence about the twisted affair, in which his girlfriend of three years supposedly died, Manti Te’o opens up to Couric about his initial reaction when his supposed deceased love called him up on Dec. 6, three months after her “death.”  The call came just days before Te’o was set to appear on national TV as a Heisman trophy nominee, and in anticipation of national spotlight the linebacker apparently continued to perpetuate the elaborate story he was inadvertently cast in.

“You stuck to the script. And you knew that something was amiss, Manti,” Couric said.

“Correct,” Te’o replied.

“Why?”

“Katie, put yourself in my situation … This girl who I committed myself to died on Sept. 12,” Te’o said.  “Now I get a phone call on Dec 6. saying she’s alive, and that I’m going to be on national TV two days later, and they ask me about the same question. What would you do?”

Fans, admirers and the general public are ticked and skeptical of the extent of Te’o’s knowledge of Lennay Kekua’s existence over the past months.  Their heartbreaking story of the linebacker who played through the grief of his grandmother’s and girlfriend’s deaths was a convenient crowd pleaser during Notre Dame’s already undefeated season, and as time goes by and the hoax unravels revealing ever more, the public feels betrayed.  This interview follows just one week after Lance Armstrong, another celebrity disappointment, admitted to doping on Oprah.

Workaholics is Back and Hasn’t Changed – Thank God!

The third season of Workaholics gives us everything we have come to love

Workaholics is Comedy Central’s stupidly goofy show about three cringeworthingly awkward guys working reg’lar white collar jobs for a witch.  And it’s back for a third season! The description may sound like a bunch of other filler TV shows, but despite rumors of being taken off air, Workaholics has made indeed pulled it together for at least another 10+ episodes.

Workaholics is written by its three main characters, Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine and Anders Holm, who play themselves on set so fully that they didn’t bother making up new names for their characters. The main attraction of the series is its appeal to recent college graduates still goofing off hard in the off hours.  Presumably in order to illustrate this point fully, while off set Blake Anderson himself jumped off a roof and onto a ping pong table at a party.  These guys are nothing if not dedicated.

Early reviews for the third season are definitely positive, with more time and jokes given to supporting Workaholics actors, most notably recently deceased Jessie “Jet Set” Hudson. Writer and actor DeVine commented enthusiastically, “We love to just cut him loose,” said DeVine. “Everything that comes out of his mouth is comedy gold.”

Still not convinced because you hate office dramas like, well, The Office?  Let’s put it this way, Workaholics could be located anywhere – on a farm, in a bar, in any of the countless cliché sitcom locations.  The show is less about the drones and robots of a workplace atmosphere and much more about three bros just broin’ like they bro.  Give it a looksie.  If you’re in the twilight years of college life or at the dawn of a career as a young professional (or on screen awkwardness and facepalm moments thrill you) you’ll be hooked. Adios.

Lena Dunham Takes Both Acclaim and Insult in Stride

Despite heavy criticism in the media, Dunham gracefully accepts Golden Globe for “Girls”

Lena Dunham has consistently gotten a more than healthy dose of criticism sprinkled in with her well-deserved fame, a phenomenon that culminated in last week’s Golden Globe Awards. Several reporters remarked on the barely concealed disappointment and lackluster applause fromDunham’s peers as her HBO show Girls won Best Comedy and Best Actress, over shows Big Bang Theory, Episodes, Modern Family and Smash

The crowd’s chilly reception of Dunham’s gold mirrors negative opinion and criticism of the young actress/writer from all corners of the web.  A simple Google search of “I hate Lena Dunham,” for example, yields a shocking 3,800,000 results. Acerbic radio host Howard Stern has also let fly some scalding remarks, calling Dunham “a little fat girl who kind of looks like Jonah Hill and she keeps taking her clothes off.”  More recently, Stern has admittedly padded his insults, remarking post-Golden Globes, “Good for her, it’s hard for little fat chicks to get anything going.”

While the reasons for Dunham hate represent another much discussed and debated topic in the writing world, Dunham herself seems to brush off the negative attention with grace and acceptance of the ways of the writing world.  While accepting her Globe, Dunham almost immediately addressed the issue, remarking, “I think that when you get criticism, you have to be elegant about it and appreciate it,” she said. “It’s part of the gift of getting to put your work out there in the world. I’m sure people don’t like the show for a lot of reasons.”

Controversy on the merits and shortcomings of Dunham’s career is so extensive that it’s discussion, which started back in April with the debut of Girls, is seemingly endless.  In this respect, we have to applaud Dunham for accepting media response for what it is, and continuing to just do her, in the only way she knows, rather than retaliating to the whimsical and fast-fading opinions of Gawker and other internet gossipmongers.  In some ways, Dunham’s smooth drive on the high road embodies one of the most commendable characteristics of her Girls character, Hannah– an unabashed presentation to the public of her, in all her weaknesses and all of her many successes, coupled with an informed disregard for the haters and unstoppable zeal for achieving what she set out to achieve.

Denver, CO Transforms into Foodie Paradise in February

February 23-March 8 sees Denver celebrating their annual world’s biggest restaurant week

Denver continues to live up to its title as reigning restaurant-week champion, as they release this year’s list of 300+ participating restaurants.  This year’s eating bonanza continues in the tradition of past food weeks in Colorado’s capital, where the town’s top restaurants offer a delicious meal for two at the prix fixe of $52.80 per couple and $26.40 for the solo diner (read: diehard foodie). 

Needless to say, if I was put in any Denver citizen visitor’s shoes, my emotions might take the course of: delighted, daunted, analytic.  Such an incredible opportunity cannot simply be exploited in bacchanalian fashion, so remember kids, be smart, plan ahead.  For all of your Denver dining needs over the two-week course, Opentable.com has created a comprehensive survey of participating restaurants, complete with hundreds of customer reviews and immediate reservation options.  In light of the happiness this event will cause Denverians and other lucky tourists, a suggestion would be to begin reserving your cheap gourmet meals ASAP.

Justin Bresler with VISIT DENVER, of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has also thrown foodies some morsels regarding what will and will not be included in the package.  While details vary from restaurant to restaurant, keep in mind that tax and gratuity will be added extra across the board.  Furthermore, Denver liquor and wine stores also hope to get a cut out of the increased restaurant traffic, as not all meals include appropriate libations – which, in this writer’s opinion, is a make it or break it factor over the course of any fine meal.  Because of the great price, don’t be afraid to splurge and help out Denver’s economy and restaurant scene this February.  Splurge and quench your epicuriosity with top-notch Cajun, Italian, American, you-name-

Happy Birthday Aaliyah! — Remembering a Legend

The unforgettable singer and actress would have turned 34 today

Aaliyah Dana Houghton would have turned 34 today, as another circle around the sun completes a year without the blossoming hip-hop star, who passed well before her time.  Despite her tragically young age – 22 — at the time of her death, Aaliyah was a born star, capturing an audience and critical acclaim with her sultry confidence, style and talent.  To this day R&B fans and 90’s kids alike croon along to favorites like “Are You That Somebody” and “Rock the Boat.”

Aaliyah burst into the public eye at the young age, recording her first album, “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number” at age 14 with R. Kelly.  A few platinum records, and collaborations with as yet unknown Timbaland and Missy Elliot, found Aaliyah rising quickly in 2001, adored by fans and friends alike for her humble beauty and unswerving loyalty to integrity and grace.

  • Twelve years later, Aaliyah’s stardom hasn’t waned.  Arguably it has only grown, with Aaliyah tribute blogs, continuous tribute articles on Rolling Stone and other outstanding publications and a forthcoming Aaliyah tribute album by hip-hop artist Drake.  In the words of the beloved deceased herself, we reflect on our own love of Aaliyah and her timeless work, and accept that she has taken up her calling as the angel she has always been.

 

It’s been too long and I’m lost without you
What am I gonna do?
Said I been needin’ you, wantin’ you…

Bank of America Joins the “Gun Grabbers”

Is Bank of America taking a political stance with its clients?

Bank of America seems to be doing all it can to obstruct any business transaction involving gums and ammunition from transpiring through its services.  Last month following the Sandy Hook school shooting, the bank allegedly froze accounts of American Spirit Arms, an established arms dealer, according to company owner Joe Sirochman.  American Spirit has been a client of Bank of America for a decade, however just recently faced difficulties processing deposits – a development that seriously disrupts business. 

More recently, rumors have circulated that Bank of America is refusing to do business with any clients dealing with firearms.  In a report denied by the bank, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks was supposedly told that, because it now manufactures firearms, its business is no longer welcome. 

The blogosphere is buzzing with speculation about why Bank of America has decided to take measures against arms dealers itself, to date the only bank to do so.  Critics point out that Bank of America receives billions in federal funding and is also one of two vendors processing payments for Obama’s presidential campaign.  The bank has denied all charges that it has declined business from arms manufacturers and has released the following statement:

“We want to let you know that we hear your comments and questions regarding one of our customers. While we cannot discuss the details of any individual client we work with, we can assure you the allegations being made here are completely false. Bank of America does not have a policy that prohibits us from banking clients in this industry. In fact, we have numerous, longstanding customers in the industry.
“We are also extremely proud of our support of the US military and reject any assertion to the contrary. We count as clients many companies that provide for our nation’s defense. We employ thousands of veterans, Guardsmen, and Reservists, and plan to increase our hiring this year.”

This story continues to illustrate the unease businesses face with deliberations regarding the Federal Gun Control Act forthcoming.  Rumors about Wal-Mart’s alleged preemptive measures also blur the line between government and commercial business.

Stacie Halas, Ex-Porn Star and Ex-Teacher

Middle school science teacher is barred from the classroom as illicit past comes to the surface

Stacie Halas hoped she had escaped her x-rated past when she started a teaching career in a California middle school, but unfortunately, young boys and the internet are not to be underestimated.  The 32-year-old banger was fired after students came to teachers with claims that their science teacher, Ms. Halas, had previously moonlighted as a porn star.  In a typical showdown of bumbling school officials v internet, teachers at Halas’ workplace initially failed to find evidence of her odd job, because they were searching off of school computers, which are restricted from accessing porn (duh).  Soon though, a barrage of teachers was able to successfully dig up incriminating material on their smartphones, and swift action was taken against Prof Halas.

Stacie Halas’ lawyer Richard Schwab sought to solicit some empathy from the court, reasoning “I think she’s representative of a lot of people who may have a past that may not involve anything illegal or anything that hurts anybody.”  However, Halas’ employer and colleagues maintained that, in an Internet Age, this kind of past matters, and effectively disrupts and compromises Halas’ new career as a teacher and role model.  Doubtless, many of her young male students couldn’t quite forget scenes of a different “Ms. Halas” while discussing the anatomy of a…hmm…what were you saying?

This Tuesday, a three judge panel unanimously decided against allowing Halas to re-enter the classroom, a decision district superintendent Jeff Chancer applauded.  Despite the circumstances in which Halas turned to a stint in adult movies – her boyfriend had abandoned her and left her penniless – and her forbearance from continuing an illicit career while teaching her students, Halas was unable to outrun her past.

Wal-Mart Suspends Future Ammo Shipments

In light of future changes to the Federal Gun Control Act, Wal-Mart has temporarily stopped ordering new shipments of ammunition

Wal-Mart has temporarily discontinued ammunition sales pending “the upcoming decision on the Second Amendment.” The decision by Wal-Mart’s corporate office to discontinue future arms sales is most likely in light of expected anticipated gun control recommendations made to Congress, and uncertainty about the legality of certain guns in the near future.

A Wal-Mart customer was in the office as an unwitting employee called their headquarters about his store’s shortage, only to receive the following response.

“As of right now we are unsure of what new legislation might be coming, and because of this, we are suspending new orders. We will continue to sell what is already in stock in stores and at our distribution centers, but any new orders will not be shipped until the issue is resolved”.

In keeping with its characteristic tight savings and sales techniques, the decreasing stock of ammunition at Wal-Mart has caused prices to increase.  One customer reports a 60-cent increase on all types of ammo still available at the store.

Wal-Mart’s temporary discontinuation of ammunition is certainly good news for anti-gun activists such as forcechange.com and Michael Moore.  The former individually targeted Wal-Mart’s CEO Michael Duke with a letter writing campaign while the latter investigated the superstore’s lax ammo buying regulations in his documentary “Bowling for Columbine.”

Lance Armstrong Apologizes to Livestrong Before his Tell-All Interview with Oprah Airs

World famous cyclist and cancer survivor apologizes to Livestrong team before his televised capitulation on Thursday

Lance Armstrong choked up while apologizing to the staff of the Livestrong cancer foundation, a Texas-based nonprofit organization that offers support to cancer victims and their families.  In his apology, Armstrong said sorry to his Lievstonr team for disappointing them and putting the foundation at risk.  He went on to promise to rebuild the organization’s reputation to the best of his abilities, and encourage his team to keep supporting the Livestrong mission to help cancer patients and their loved ones.

Armstrong’s apology preempts the official airing of his “no-holds-barred” interview with talkshow host Oprah Winfrey this Thursday. The show will focus on the years of allegations made against Armstrong that he used doping and other performance-enhancing-drugs, including the most recent Usada report that stripped the legendary cyclist of his seven Tour de France medals.

Armstrong is expected to admit in some part to the charges brought against him, the worst of which accuse him of spearheading a long-term scheme to dominate the Tour de France.  It will negate all of his previous statements vehemently and ferociously denying any allegations, and could be the highly publicized start to a long road to redemption or sorry fall from grace.

The interview is set to air Thursday at 9pm eastern time in the US on the Oprah Winfrey Network and will be streamed live internationally on Oprah.com.