made this is a record time of 4 minutes and 22 seconds

My story is a bit different than most, in that it has a relatively happy ending. 

In October 2015, when I was 15 years old, I was raped. Orally raped, technically, but given that rape is any form of nonconsensual penetration, I don’t feel that I owe specific details to anyone. So I just say I was raped, because really, it doesn’t make a difference where my body was violated. 

It happened at a church youth group. I had been going for about 2 years, since I was in the 7th or 8th grade (I was a sophomore in HS at the time of the assault). That’s where I met Jackson. I never paid him much attention; he was a run-of-the-mill jock who always caused trouble but never did anything bad

In March 2015, at a youth group outing, we started flirting. I thought I had a “crush” on him. About a month later, he asked for my number. When he spelled his name in my phone, he wrote Jaxson, which I thought was badass and intriguing. I was excited that a popular football player was paying attention to me. 

We didn’t really talk after that until a night in May when he texted me out of the blue. He told me that he had always thought I was pretty, and he’d wanted to tell me before, but he’d bailed out. He asked me if I had ever hooked up with someone. When I told him I hadn’t, he asked me if I’d want to hook up with him, or if I “wasn’t like that”. I said “sure” and we made plans to meet in a park the next day. 

May 4, 2015. I met him in the park. We made out. He wanted to go further; I said no. He would stop (trying to grope and finger me) when I said no, but he would start up again less than a minute later. He was like an octopus - his hands where always somewhere, and the second I would pull one out, another one would go in somewhere else. This being my first sexual interaction ever, I had no idea that this wasn’t okay. Besides, it’s not like he forced me. He was just so into me that he couldn’t control himself, I told myself. He’s just a teenage boy. He really wanted me.  

Later I found out he had hooked up with 4 other girls (my best friend’s friends) that same week. We all made a group chat to gossip about him and kind of cut him off. 

October 25, 2015. I went to youth group that Sunday. I was never very religious, but my mom made me go, and since it wasn’t a very religious group anyways, I didn’t mind. Jaxson was there, and it was only the second time since I’d seen him since May. We went to go get pizza. Everyone piled into the car - I was on the left in the back seat; he was in the middle, and the youth group leader drove us. On the way back to the youth group center, he started touching my leg. Soon he was prying my legs open and trying to finger me - in a car full of people. I was shocked and terrified, but I didn’t say a word, for fear that someone would notice. 

When we arrived back at the youth group, Jaxson told me to meet him in the bathroom. The center used to be a priest’s house, so the bathroom was a house bathroom - co-ed, that is. I complied, thinking we’d maybe kiss, which I was fine with doing. 

When I got to the bathroom, Jaxson told me to go wash my hands. I did. When I came out, he was standing in the doorway with his pants down. He told me to “blow him”. I said no, not right now, not like this, I don’t want to, maybe later, I’m not sure, there’s not enough time, people are going to come. I was scared. Once I realized that he wouldn’t take no for an answer, I started doing what he said. About 5 seconds into it, I tried to stop, and that’s when it happened. He pushed my head down forcefully with his hands, making me choke and gag. I couldn’t breathe. I was trying to pull away, but every time I tried, be pushed my head down harder and said “don’t stop” and “keep going”. I held my breath and willed myself to not pass out. I don’t know why I didn’t bite down - I froze. Finally he finished, and I got up and left, without a word. 

November 22, 2015. My dad drove me to the local police station at 10 pm. I was ready to report; after spending a month consulting friends and online resources, I had decided that what happened to me was, indeed, assault. I had no idea how terribly sexual assault cases are handled in the justice system, and if I had known, I would likely not have reported. I am so, so very glad that I did. I met with a female detective and a two hour long interview. She was so kind and I felt incredibly safe. At one point she asked me what I was wearing, but she prefaced it by telling me that it really didn’t matter, and it was only protocol. 

Two days later I came back to do a pretext phone call (recorded call) with Jackson, where the police got a recorded confession from him saying that yes, I had said no, and yes, he had ignored me, and “fuck, sorry”. 

Months went by. I called the police officer to check back in. She directed me to probation. I started getting generic letters from the courts saying that my case had an official case number now. 

July 2016. I received notice that my case had been taken up by a prosecutor in juvenile court! My DA became my idol. She was young, friendly, she listened to me, and she was dedicated to my case. I attended every hearing between then and November. 

On November 17, the case was set to close. Jackson had been charged with two felonies - oral copulation with a minor, and oral copulation by force or fear. He was going to plea to the first count, which was a lesser charge that could be sealed from his record when he turned 18 (a year from now). I had expressed my displeasure of this outcome to the DA prior, but she reminded me that juvenile court was intended for rehabilitation an not punishment, so a plea was totally acceptable. 

So on November 17, I showed up to court ready for the case to close. Instead, the DA informed me that things had changed, and another girl had reported him for rape. The DA felt that unless he was punished, Jaxson would do this again, and she wanted to take the case to trial to get a sex offense on his permanent record. 

I cried when she told me. This was such a blessing. Not that he had assaulted someone else, but that now there was a chance at justice. 

The case went to trial in mid December, right during finals week. I enjoyed the direct exam quite a bit, actually. Cross exam went pretty badly, but I did well. At one point, I answered a question in a way that shifted the blame right back on to Jackson, and it stunned the defense attorney into silence for a moment. Good

Jackson cried during the trial, which made me happy. During multiple occasions, I made eye contact with him and his mother. 

So anyways, Jackson was found guilty of one felony count of oral copulation by force or fear. California law deems that a 707(b) felony offense, which means that even though it’s in juvenile court, the offense is so serious that it stays on his permanent record. Other examples of 707(b) offenses are arsony and murder. That made me feel validated, that my assault really was that bad. 

During sentencing, I read an 11 page long victim impact statement. I grilled Jackson. I grilled the defense attorney. I grilled his parents. It was so fucking powerful. I had been warned in advance that this judge was incredibly unsympathetic to victims and would likely try to cut me off, but she didn’t, not even once. 

My statement made the DA choke up. It made Jackson put his head between his knees in shame. It compelled the Judge to admonish him for 15 minutes after I was done. The DA later told me that in her entire time working with this judge, never once had she seen her admonish a juvenile during sentencing. Not once. One line that the judge said to Jackson that really stood out to me was “Young man, this type of behavior is not going to be tolerated. Not now, not in the “real world”. If you are still doing this by the time you get to college, you will be back here.“

He only got probation and sex offender counseling, but it is still on his permanent record. That’s not enough for me, but it’s more than I ever expected. 

So here I am, a year later. How am I doing? Depends on the day. Sometimes the flashbacks torment me and eat me alive. Sometimes I am doing just fine. But there hasn’t been a single day, with the exception of one, where I haven’t thought about it.

The thing is, if I had the chance to go back and undo my assault, I would not. As horrible as it was, I feel that it has made me a better, braver, fiercer, stronger person. Because of the assault, I am now an activist. Because of the assault, I now know that I want to become a district attorney, and pursue justice for people like me. 

Sorry for the rant. That’s my story I guess. There’s no real ending because it’s still in progress. 

Get Up (Daveed Diggs × Reader )


Key

(Y/N): Your name

(H/L): Hair length

(H/C): Hair color

(E/C): Eye Color

(H/S): Hairstyle

(S/T): Skin tone

(N/N): Nickname

(L/N): Last name


Summary

(Y/N) and Daveed are rival aspiring recording artist trying to make it big in the hood. But, Daveed is also a drug dealer to make money and pay his rent. (Y/N) is a dancer for music videos on the side.


AU: Inner City/ Hood Au


Warnings: Cursing, Sexual Clipping. Lyrics, Sexual humor, Sexual behavior, mentioning of drugs and alcohol, use of drugs.

Word Count:2,842 (It’s a lot lovelies)

______________

 Beep beep! Beep beep!


  Daveed was sprawled across his bed as his alarm went off.  He groaned and rose up from his current position. He scratched his head and mindlessly turned off his alarm clock.


“Fuck….What time is it….?” He turns his head and sees that it’s already 9:30 pm. As he picked up his phone, the screen lit up with several text alerts.


Rafa- Yo, D! Are we still up for working on that song you were writing @ the studio? Groff is buying us some studio time! [8:00 am]

Ant- Daveed, do you got what I need? I’ll be there when you call. You have till 3:45 pm sharp. My boss will kill me if I don’t have it.😫[8:30 am]

Groff- You on your way? Studio opens in 15min.[9:05am]

Rafa- Also I got us a performance for an opening act at the club for some chick new to the game, but it starts at 4:30 pm! Our first gig up we gotta be there on time!![9:10]

“Shit, I’m late!”


He picks up his backpack, his pen, a little black notebook, his glasses, his phone, one bag filled with Molly, another filled with cocaine, and finally a bag filled with weed. He jumped out of his apartment window and ran five blocks to get to the studio.


As soon he got to the studio he looked across the street. Across the street, there was a rival studio that opened up. The building looked clean and modern. But in an inner city grudge way. He sees a group of girls, four girls to be exact. They all gossiped amongst themselves but one out of the four girls caught his eye. She had (H/L) (H/C) in an (H/S), her skin was a perfect (S/T) that complimented her beautiful (E/C). She was quite voluptuous and had a curvy figure. He found himself checking her out. One of her friends tapped her shoulder and pointed to Daveed.

_______________________

Philippa smirked and whispered to (Y/N).


“Ya know (N/N), he’s pretty hot….” She turns around noticed that Daveed was checking her out.


“And it seems like you are his type.~” Philippa taps (Y/N). (Y/N) turns around and puts her hands on her hips. (Y/N) looks at Daveed, checking him out for a quick second. Daveed smirks and winks at her suggestively. She blushes and quickly turns away.


“H-He is pretty handsome, but he is part of Lin Star Studios. It won’t work out.” Jasmine rolls her eyes.


“You would probably bang him if he was in our studio.” Renee giggles and walks up the staircase to the door.


“C’mon girls we’re gonna be late.” Jasmine, Renee, and Philippa continue up the stairs. (Y/N) looked back at Daveed. She winks at him and blows a kiss at him. Daveed smirks and catches it. He blows a kiss back.  Jasmine looks back and shouts at (Y/N).


“(N/N), you coming?”


(Y/N) shouts back, “Yea! I’m coming!”


(Y/N) runs up the stairs and waves Daveed goodbye. Daveed checks her out as she walks off. Rafa grabs Daveed’s shoulder and pulls him to look at him. Rafa punches his shoulder.


“D, where the hell have you been!?”


Daveed smiled and punches his shoulder in return.


“Late start. Couldn’t bring myself to get up. Now let’s get to the studio. I have a finished song.“


“But what the other song?”


“That one will have to take a while.”

__________________

Daveed walks into the studio and Jonathan looked at him in pure acrimony. His face was as red as a tomato.


“D!!! What the hell is up with you and being on time!”


“I was writing a song but it’s not finished.”


Rafa rolls his eyes heavily.


“You said you have 2 songs!”


“The first one is currently being on hold! I had a burst of…”


He began to think about (Y/N). Her curves, her flawless (S/T), and her (H/L) (H/C). The more he thought about the more lustful his thoughts would become he instantly came up with a song. It may have been a bit explicit but it was his first performance. Go big or go home.


“Inspiration..!~”


Daveed sits down at his desk and instantaneously write erotic and coarse verses in his notebook. He creates a title that gives the song justice. “Hot Fuck, No Love”.


“Ayo Rafa!!! Can you make me a beat in about a half an hour?”


Rafa’s eyes widen in horror.


“Thirty minutes!?! D, I know you can rush when you get inspiration but this is insane!”


“I’m a busy guy and we need this done quick! This is the opening act for tonight’s show.”


“Alright D, I’ll try! But no promises it’s gonna be in 30 minutes on the dot!”


Daveed smiles as he walks into the recording studio and he puts on his headphones.

 _____________________


 Jasmine, Philippa, and  (Y/N) Walk out the dance studio sweating and practically gasping for air. They were working on the choreography for (Y/N)’s first ever show as a recording artist. Philippa choreographed it, and Jasmine added some finishing touches to make the dance as clean and attractive as possible.


“Damn that choreo took us forever.” Philippa wiper several beads of sweat off her forehead. She takes a quick sip from her water bottle and sighs in relief.


Jasmine sat down in a seat in the break room.


“You’re telling me! Besides, you made the choreo to easy and childish. (Y/N) is now 22, Remember? She’s a grown woman! She should be able to choreo that’s a bit more complex and….Explicit~”


(Y/N) sighs in relief and giggles.


“Thanks for helping me out girls it really means a lot to me! You guys are experienced artist taking time out of your day to help me out!”


Philippa smiles and Jasmine gets up and hugs her.


“But we are also your best friends,” Jasmine stated with a smile.


“And best friends are always there for each other!”


Philippa piggybacked on what Jasmine said with a kind smile that caused her cheeks to become rosy. She checks her watch and sighs.


“Hey, Jasmine! We gotta go! We can’t be late for studio time! The song is due tomorrow!!”


Jasmine quickly gets up and runs to the studio.


“Well, what are we waiting for let’s go!! See ya (Y/N)! Your first ever session starts in 10 minutes! Don’t be late!”


“Trust me I won’t! See ya!”


_________________

   (Y/N) boils some water in a kettle on a hot plate to make herself some tea. Renee walks up to her with two mugs and honey for their tea.


“Hey (N/N), how is your performance set coming along? You’ve been working on that for weeks!”


“It’s going well…Well..I guess…I’m just really nervous!! It’s my first ever performance with the first songs I’ve ever written!!! None of them were recorded yet! I mean what if I fuck up the tempo! What if the tracks get lost! And don’t get me started on the choreo!!”


Renee giggles and puts her hand on her shoulder. She looks into her eyes and smiles.


“(Y/N), listen to me. I recommended you for a reason. You are extremely talented and pretty experienced on the mic for a fresh out of the hood artist with no training. And your singing voice is just to die for. The R&B and Hip Hop game alike need more females like you! You will do great! Now drink your tea and get in the recording studio! You gotta record your songs before you perform, honey! Also, you have to go shopping with Jazzy right after! Remember we have a schedule!”


(Y/N) smiles. Renee was always there for her when it came to her music. They were close ever since they were kids. She always knew what to say.


“Thanks, ReRe.”


She pours her piping hot water into her cup and makes her tea.


“I think I’m ready to record my first ever set, Renee!”


“That’s what I’m talking about, (N/N)! Let’s get in the studio!”

_____________________

“Alright, Alright!!! What’s up party people!?”


      The club was packed and the crowd goes wild as while the MC rallies the crowd up! Young women and men are screaming for Daveed. Some were chanting his name, others were saying things that you probably shouldn’t say in public.  Talent scouts came to the club for Rising Stars night. Once a week aspiring recording artist who were trying to make it big would perform a set that contains 6 songs. They were looking for young men and women between the ages of 17-25 who can sing, and/or rap their hearts out and who age well.

  Luckily, Daveed and (Y/N) fit the criteria.


  Daveed just turned 24 about month ago but he was writing verses since he was 18 years old. He would rap along to gangsta rap songs as a kid. He looks a fairly young and had an amazing body.


   (Y/N) just turned 22 about a month and a half ago. As a birthday present, she got a top of the line laptop with music creating software and a notebook for songwriting. She has been singing since she was 4 years old and dancing since she was 6. She looks like she is still 18 and is extremely curvy.


Rafa took out his computer as he walked over to Daveed with the file for the instrumental open.


“It’s all done and edited for ya D!”


“Thanks, Rafa! How does the crowd look?”


Rafa looks at the crowd from backstage.


“Packed and ready for a show.”


“Good. I’m ready to deliver that show.”


Rafa laughs and punches his shoulder.


“Aight. You’re on man!”

__________________

“Now introducing, tonight’s opening act, Daveed Diggs!”


Daveed walks into the stage and waved at the crowd. Jasmine smirked and pointed on stage.


“Ayo, (Y/N)! Your boyfriend is the opening act. It must be a good sign!~ You better bring it tonight!”


(Y/N) blushed as Daveed walked onstage stopping at up center stage. He turned around and sees (Y/N). He winks at her and smirks.


Daveed began to think about  (Y/N ) again while he was on stage. He thought of the lustful inspiration that drove him to create his song. He breathed in and looked up at the crowd. He began to rap his first of the verse of his song.


“Finger on the button.

That Cold War threat.

Finger on the button.

Got that lover in a cold sweat.”


Some members of the audience were in awe at the fact he could rap, other were bumping and grinding up against the person next to them. Talent scouts were taking notes on Daveed. He continued to perform and he turned his head to (Y/N)’s direction. He sees her dancing, swaying her hips in a hypnotic motion. He smirks and walks off, still rapping but is staring (Y/N) dead in eyes. Like a lion looking at his mate.


“Your loving on such and such

And so what is love?

It’s just a frame of mind

And boxed in by sex,”

His hands trace (Y/N)’s curves and hold on her hips as they swayed from behind her. Her hands wrapped his neck as she swayed her hips back and grinds up against him. His lips brushed up against her ear as he continued to rap. His tone changed to seductive and flirtatious.


“It’s toxic

And the single is intoxicating

And all the waiting and masturbating

The dick is chafing

Where’s the lotion?~”


As his performance came to a close, he walked back up onto the stage. As the outro of the song, rolled in he walked off the stage winking at  (Y/N).

__________________

Jasmine and Renee are giggling and teasing (Y/N) [Who is currently red in the face] while Philippa does her makeup.


“Soo…(Y/N)….And Daveed… ~”


Renee chuckles at the thought and (Y/N) blushes and sighs.


“It was probably just for show.”


“Or it’s a good luck charm from the sex gods” Jasmine chimes in, giggling.


Philippa rolls her eyes.


“You guys are such children. Let’s just focus on the gig for now. When we get to (Y/N)’s place to chill, we can talk about Daveed, the god of rap and sex. Alright?”


Philippa had a smirk as she finished (Y/N)’s makeup and addressed the girls.


“Alright.~”


The MC began to speak again as (Y/N) walked towards the stage. Daveed passed (Y/N) whispered in her ear.


“Good luck, beautiful~”

___________________

“Introducing, (Y/N) (L/N)!!!”


She walked on stage while she received at cat calls from Daveed, other men and some women in the crowd. Several teens who snuck in the club look at her in awe. She took a deep breath and began to sing.


(The song you are singing is called Gangsta by Kehlani)


“I need a Gangsta

To love me better

Than all the others do.

To always forgive me

Ride or die with me

That’s just what gangsta’s do.”

Everyone in the audience stared at you in awe, especially Daveed. Talent scouts quickly took notes. She danced and swayed to the beat in perfect timing. She noticed Daveed’s eyes grazing over her body. She walked downstage and gets on all fours crawling across the stage towards Daveed. She gets up and bends down to be at Daveed’s eye level. (Y/N) lifted up his chin and begins to sing once again. Her voice is sweet, seductive and alluring while she sings to Daveed.


“My freakness is on the loose

And running all over you~

Please take me to places, that nobody,

Nobody knows.

You got me hooked up on the feeling!

You got me hanging from the ceiling

Got me up so high I’m barely breathing

So don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me,

Don’t let me go~”


(Y/N) gets up and walks downstage and finished her first song, leaving Daveed mesmerized. Throughout (Y/N)’s set, Daveed couldn’t help but stare. He felt like he was on Molly, weed and LSD all at once ever since she looked at him and vice versa. When (Y/N) finally ended her performance, she blew a kiss at Daveed and that what got him going. His heart began to race and he felt like he was on Cloud Nine until Rafael grabbed his shoulder.


“Ayo D you did great!! The scouts look impressed.”


“Huh?! O-Oh yea! Thanks man! Wanna head back to my place? I gotta some Hennessey!”


“Sure man!”

Rafa and Daveed walked outside only to see a limo waiting for them.


A medium lengthed hair man and a dark suit walked out of the limo. The man has a kind smile.


“Diggs!!”


“Lin!! What are you doin’ here?”


“I heard today was your first show from one of my people. But I’m also here for my…..Stuff.”


Lin was the most powerful and well known mafia boss in the city and Daveed was his dealer. But nobody was scared of him. He is more kind than menacing. He anonymously donates millions of dollars to orphanages and charity. He loves children and classic oldies. He was a gentle soul but if you get him pissed you better pray. He once had hired someone to kill a man since he doesn’t like blood on his hands. He owns Lin Star studios to give him a cover up.


Daveed smiles and puts his hands in his pockets.


“Yea I got your stuff but how are you gonna pay me back.”


“I’ll pay you back based on the quality and quantity. Besides I wanted to throw you a celebration for you performance. Ya know as a late birthday present from your old pal.”


“Aight, man. It’s a deal.”


Lin hands the weed to Oak and the Molly to Anthony to try. Lin rolled up a hundred dollar bill for the cocaine. The three men tried it all at once. They all nodded in approval.


“Alright…I’ll throw a party at your place, give you a ride home, unlimited studio time, and about $230 bucks.”


“Sweet.”


“Good. Now you and your friend get in the car. I may have a hella lot of money but no enough time. That unfortunately I cannot buy.”

Mafia Boss (G-Dragon Scenario) - Part 11

Part 11 is finally here~ ^^ This emotional roller coaster of a series continues and I hope you’re all prepared haha. Hope you’ll like it and enjoy~

WARNING! Those who don’t handle violence and strong language well, be ware. This is not, I repeat not, a series suited for young and sensitive readers.

All characters in this series, aside from the members of BIGBANG, are fictional. Any resemblance to real life people, in name or otherwise, are purely coincidental.

Summary: In the aftermath of your chaotic breakup, you try to wrap your head around it all and figure out what actually happened.

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9] [Part 10] [Part 11] [Part 12] [Part 13] [Part 14] [Part 15] [Part 16] [Part 17] [Part 18] [Part 19] [Part 20] [Part 21] [Part 22] [Part 23] [Part 24] [Part 25] [Part 26] [Part 27] [Part 28] [Part 29] [Part 30] [Part 31] [Part 32] [Part 33] [Part 34] [Part 35] [Part 36] [Part 37] [Part 38] [Part 39] [Part 40] [Part 41] [Part 42] [Part 43]

Keep reading

fireyfobbitmedicine  asked:

Imagine being the people who animated the piano episode

WHY “SAKURA AND THE DANGEROUS PIANO” IS THE BEST EPISODE OF CARDCAPTOR SAKURA:

1. Sakura sleeps through the entire school day
2. Meanwhile in Home Ec, Syaoran is angrily baking some Angst Cakes
3. Everyone is impressed by Eriol perfectly frosting a series of cupcakes, as an absurdly powerful magical being you would think that he would have better things to do, but he probably just likes receiving the validation of his fourth-grade peers
4. Touya tries very hard to tell Yukito that he shares a body with a moon god but is truthblocked once again by Nakuru who is playing basketball very impressively outside the window. Again, it would seem like a magical being such as herself would have better uses for such power than recreational sport, but to each godlike entity their own. 
5. Guess what?? Even though all the Cards were captured, now they all need to be made pink!!! Why? Something something magic whatever! What’s important is that Tomoyo gets to film Sakura in more cute outfits!!
6. Eriol starts playing the piano (again: gross misuse of unlimited magic) apparently with the intention that both Sakura and Tomoyo will hear it and come into the music room
7. and then he SECRETLY TRAINS THE PIANO TO RECOGNIZE TOMOYO’S VOICE SO IT CAN ATTACK HER LATER
8. so after school, the piano hears her practicing her song and just starts blindly following the sound of her voice
9. and it keeps crashing into walls and doorways, so apparently its intention is either deadly or just overly enthusiastic for such an unwieldy instrument
10. Sakura wonders why the piano is moving on its own, and suddenly has a vision of Clow Reed’s face, and she’s like “YEAH THAT FUCKER IS PROBABLY AT IT AGAIN”
11. Syaoran summons his Magic Sword™ to electrocute the piano and it collapses to the ground with a broken leg (bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘sad piano’)
12. but tHEN IT JUST GETS UP AND KEEPS FOLLOWING THEM ANYWAY, LEAVING THE BROKEN LEG AND PEDALS BEHIND
13. Maybe they all have telepathy but all three of them start running UP the stairs to the roof which seems like a terrible idea because then you’re just trapped and the piano owns your life forever
14. Tomoyo says “It seems to come our way each time I talk!” and bless their innocent hearts not a single one of them says “then maybe you should SHUT THE HELL UP” 
15. Then, there is a time skip and suddenly it’s night. The piano is resting comfortably in the middle of the hallway, bathed in the beautiful moonlight beaming in through the windows, because custodians don’t exist and no one else stayed after school that day. The three kids are up on the roof, and Tomoyo starts singing. I can not be sure why they waited hours to enact their Master Plan, but I guess Tomoyo wasn’t allowed to talk during that time cause the piano would be on their asses in no time flat. 
16. The piano once again starts hovering down the hall, up the stairs, and Sakura waits until it’s literally banging on the door to create the Song Card, which is just a glorified voice recorder. 
17. Did Eriol have to engineer this elaborate scheme specifically so that Sakura would have to use The Song? Because otherwise, there is literally no use for it. It’s a dumb card. I don’t think it would be too bad if it lost all its powers. 
18. Also I just want to mention that literally any other card could have worked in this situation. Just off the top of my head: Use Firey and watch the wooden splinters burn in a blaze of heat! Use Freeze and shatter it into a thousand useless pieces! Use Fight to throw it through a window! Use Wood to grow a tree through it! I don’t know! There are a lot of options here!
19. Anyway the piano is a total dumbass, tries to follow Tomoyo’s voice which is now in The Song, and falls off the roof
20. … but not before it pulls a Wile E. Coyote move and stops for a few seconds, realizes it’s over a huge cliff, and THEN falls, because what this weird as hell episode needed was a Looney Tunes gag to ground it in reality
21. and there’s no reason for that to stop the piano, because it was already hovering to get around anyway, so shouldn’t it continue to do so instead of succumbing to gravity?
22. Anyway the piano slams into the ground. The three kids stare at it from their lofty precipice of the school’s rooftop. The piano is dead, and I say “dead” rather than “destroyed” because in these few minutes the piano has become it own character. They murdered the piano. 
23. Being broken before didn’t stop it, but I guess now it does. Just saying.
24. cut to come silhouettes who are definitely NOT Eriol, Nakuru, Anti-Kero, and Eriol’s stupid hat, apparently WATCHED THE ENTIRE MULTIPLE HOUR PROCESS from another rooftop
25. What’s even better is that they show the music room in later episodes and there is a brand new piano there. Did someone find the dead piano, splintered beyond repair, dropped unforgivingly at the foot of the school, and say “That’s a shame. Good thing the music budget has enough money for a new one!”
26. TIP TAP KOI WA ITSUDATTE CANDY
27. And that is why Sakura and the Dangerous Piano is the best episode of Cardcaptor Sakura, the end

50 fascinating facts you should know about Scotland, apparently.

1. The official animal of Scotland is the Unicorn.

2. The shortest scheduled flight in the world is one-and-a-half miles long from Westray to Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. The journey takes 1 minute 14 seconds to complete.

3. Scotland has approximately 790 islands, 130 of which are inhabited.

4. The Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae (pictured below), on the island of Orkney, is the oldest building in Britain, dating from 3100 BC.

5. The Hamilton Mausoleum in South Lanarkshire has the longest echo of any man-made structure in the world; a whole 15 seconds.
(Edit - longest echo is now at 112 seconds taken in a man-made structure has been set in an underground fuel depot constructed in Scotland before World War Two.)

6. Scotland has more than 600 square miles of freshwater lakes, including the famous Loch Ness.

7. The capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, is only its second largest city, after Glasgow.

8. Edinburgh was the first city in the world which had its own fire brigade.

9. Like Rome, Edinburgh was built on seven hills and the capital has more listed buildings than anywhere in the world.

10. Scotland had its own monarch until 1603. After Elizabeth I died,James VI of Scotland also became James I of England, ruling both countries.

11. St Andrews Links is considered the “home of golf”; the sport has been played there since the 15th century.

12. Queen Victoria is reputed to have smoked cigarettes during her visits to the Highlands of Scotland to keep away midges.

13.Edinburgh was home to Skye terrier Grey Friar’s Bobby, who captured the hearts of the nation by sitting on the grave of his dead owner for 14 years.

14.Scotland is currently the second largest country in the UK, after England.

15. The highest point in Scotland is Ben Nevis, at 4,406ft (1343m)

More facts after the cut.

Keep reading

New Beginnings {28}

Jared x Reader

Warnings: Swearing, You’re probably gonna need tissues

Words: 3,067

Previous Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21,  22, 23, 242526, 27

Tissue box handy? Good. Love you guys!

Keep reading

Exploring an Asteroid Without Leaving Earth

You may remember that back in February, four crew members lived and worked inside our Human Research Exploration Analog (HERA). That crew, made up of 4 women, simulated a 715-day journey to a Near-Earth asteroid. Then in May, a second crew of 4 – this time, 4 men, launched on their simulated journey to that same asteroid.  These 30 day missions help our researchers learn how isolation and close quarters affect individual and group behavior. Studies like this at our Johnson Space Center prepare us for long duration space missions, like a trip to an asteroid or even to Mars.
We now have a third crew, living and working inside the HERA. This is the spacecraft’s 11th crew. The mission began on June 11, and will end on August 10.

The crew members are currently living inside this compact, science-making house. But unlike in a normal house, these inhabitants won’t go outside for 30 days. Their communication with the rest of planet Earth will also be very limited, and they won’t have any access to internet. The only people they will talk with regularly are mission control and each other.

The HERA XI crew is made up of 3 men and 1 woman selected from the Johnson Space Center Test Subject Screening (TSS) pool. The crew member selection process is based on a number of criteria, including the same criteria for astronaut selection. The four would-be astronauts are:

• Tess Caswell

• Kyle Foster

• Daniel Surber

• Emmanuel Urquieta


What will they be doing?

The crew will test hardware prototypes to get “the bugs worked out” before they are used in off-Earth missions. They will conduct experiments involving plants, brine shrimp, and creating a piece of equipment with a 3D printer. After their visit to an asteroid, the crew will simulate the processing of soil and rocks they collected virtually. Researchers outside of the spacecraft will collect data regarding team dynamics, conflict resolution and the effects of extended isolation and confinement.

How real is a HERA mission?

When we set up an analog research investigation, we try to mimic as many of the spaceflight conditions as we can. This simulation means that even when communicating with mission control, there will be a delay on all communications ranging from 1 to 5 minutes each way, depending on how far their simulated spacecraft is from Earth.

Obviously we are not in microgravity, so none of the effects of microgravity on the human or the vehicle can be tested. You can simulate isolation to a great degree – although the crew knows they are note really isolated from humanity, the communications delays and ban from social media help them to suspend reality. We emulate confinement and the stress that goes along with it.

Scientists and researchers use analogs like HERA to gather more data for comparison to data collected aboard the space station and from other analogs so they can draw conclusions needed for a real mission to deep space, and one day for a journey to Mars.            

A few other details:

  • The crew follows a timeline that is similar to one used for the     ISS crew.
  • They work 16 hours a day, Monday through Friday. This     includes time for daily planning, conferences, meals and exercises.  
  • They will be growing and taking care of plants and     brine shrimp, which they will analyze and document.

Past HERA crew members wore a sensor that recorded heart rate, distance, motion and sound intensity. When crew members were working together, the sensor would also record their proximity as well, helping investigators learn about team cohesion.

Researchers also learned about how crew members react to stress by recording and analyzing verbal interactions and by analyzing “markers” in blood and saliva samples.

As with the 2 earlier missions this year, this mission will include 22 individual investigations across key human research elements. From psychological to physiological experiments, the crew members will help prepare us for future missions.

Want a full, 360 degree look at HERA? Check out and explore the inside of the habitat.

For more information on our Human Research Program, visit: www.nasa.gov/hrp.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

The Date

I have no idea if anyone even remembers a fic that I made in October of last year called ‘chance meeting’. It was something I did when I started writing and I actually wince when I read it because I can see all the mistakes I make, but a lot of you seemed to of liked it! So this has been sitting in my drafts for way to long so I decided to quickly finish it because I know a few of you were hoping for a part 2 so this is it! I actually really like this fluffy little parter. I just need a break from my other writing and this was perfect! Hopefully you like it and ill tag the first half as well, which you will need to read to understand this!

p.s I have only tagged the people from the first half and i would tag people that asked to be tagged in the second half but it wont let me access my notes for the fic & mind my spelling it can be shocking at times!

Chance meeting

 

Keep reading

UKC Pit Fighting Rules [Historical Purpose ONLY]

“The UKC used to hold Sanctioned pit fights and they had rules and titles. Rules Governing Recognized Pit Contests. Whereas.It is the aim of the United Kennel Club Registering Office,it’s members and the APBT Fraternity,to place” Pit Contest" upon a Recognized plane of Excellence and promote more and better contests,the Following rules have been adopted by the Fraternity and UKC Registering Offices. 

1.Pit Contest to be recognized must employ a UKC licensed referee. 

2.The principals may select any licensed UKC referee in good standing. 

3.The Principals may select any fancier for the official timekeeper,but the selection must meet with the approvel of the referee. 

4.A licensed referee shall not preside over any"Pit Contest" where one or both of the combat dogs are non-UKC registered “Cur” bloodlines. 

5.The combat dogs must be UKC registered in their rightful owner’s name and the referee shall make sure of this and be in possession of their registration certificates durning the contest. 

6.The referee shall deliver to the UKC Registering Office a full and complete report of the contest within 5 days after the contest. 

7.Any dog winning 3 moneyed contests held under these rules and presided over by the UKC licensed referee,shall have the degree of Champion conferred upon him by the UKC Registering Office and the Pit Bull Terrier Fraternity. 

8.It shall be the duty of the official timekepper to keep a correct record of the time consumed in the contest by scratches,etc.,and he shall deliver the original time sheet(or a duplicate) to the referee immediately after the contest to be sent to the UKC registering office for record.It shall also be the duty of the official time keeper to call to the referee before the 25 seconds"Get Ready" and the 30 seconds"Let Go", and the referee shall act accordingly. 

9.The full amount of the contest money shall be in the hands of the final stake holder before the referee shall order the dogs weighted.The referee shall order the dogs weighted 1 hour before the contest and they shall be weighted in the presence of the referee and the final stake holder of either dog exceeding the weight specified in the agreement shall forfeit then and there to his opponent all money posted. 

10. After weighting the dogs the referee shall toss a coin for the Principals and the Principals winning the toss shall have his choice of haveing his dog washed (first or last)also his choice of the corner in the “Pit" 

11.Each Principal shall furnish a sponge and two towels for washing and drying his opponents dog.Both dogs shall be washed in the center of the Pit with warm water and washing soda.15 minutes shall be allowed each Principal to wash his opponents dog.The time between washing each dog shall not exceed 5 minutes. 

12. After washing and drying each dog shall be placed in the hands of a watchful fancier in the corner of the Pit selected or assigned to him and kept there untill the Principals are given the word "Let Go” by the referee.Each Principal shall “let go” his opponents dog at the start and thereafter shall handle their own dog.

13.There shall be only one container of water in the “Pit” for sponging between a “pick up” and a “scratch” and each Principal shall furnish a sponge 2 towels for sponging and drying his dog.The referee shall examine the sponges and water and have full charge of them at all time.

14.It shall be a fair"scratch in turn" contest.30 seconds shall be allowed between every “pick up” and “scratch” 25 seconds for sponging,drying and fanning,and 5 seconds to get ready.

15.To establish a fair"turn"which will entitle either Principal to “pick up”.Both dogs must be free from holds and the dog which is accused of “turning” must have turned his head and shoulders from his opponent.Either Principal upon noticing this action may appeal to the referee and claim the “Turn” and if the claim be just and fair the referee shall immediately call a “pick up” and notify the other Principal it is his turn to scratch.

16.At 25 seconds the referee shall call"get ready" and at 30 seconds he shall call"let go"and the Ptincipal of the dog to scratch shall take his hands off his dog fair of his “scratch” his dog must go across the “pit” inside his opponents"scratch line" and mouth his opponent.Should the dog fail to go across and mouth his opponent he loses the con test and the refereee shall immediately announce the winner.

17.While ons dog is “scratching” the opponent shall hold his dog’s head and shoulders fair between his legs just inside the “scratch line”.

18.Should a dog while'scratching"become confused and sway to either side of the direct line to his opponent as long as he does not turn his head away from his opponent he is making a fair"scratch"

19.Should any outsider attract the dogs attantion while “scratching” and the dog,stop,or “scratch” the article or object instaed of his opponent,the referee shall immediately order the dog cratched"over.

20.Should either dog become fanged,the referee shall order a “pick up” and allow the principal to unfang his dog, then immediately order them put down two feet apart and give the word"let go".This action does not have any connection with a “turn” or “scratch” and must not be considered so.Principals can un-fang their dogs with their hands without picking them up if the referee so decides.

21.Should a fair"turn and pick up" be made and the dogs accidentally get in a hold again,the referee shall order them parted and proceed in 30 seconds with the “scratch”.

22.Principals shall be allowed to encourage their dogs by voice and actions.Should a Principal touch either dog with his hand,foot or other article while in action the the referee shall immediately call a foul ans announce his opponent the winner.

23.Principals shall take their hands off their dogs fair inside their “Scratch line”.Should a principal push his dog over his “scratch line” the referee shall immediately call a foul and announce his opponent the winner.

24.Should a Principal pick his dog up without being told to by the referee.the referee shall immediately call a foul and announce his opponent the winner.

25.Should a Ptincipal leave his corner before the dogs have resumed action, the referee shall immediately call a foul and announce his opponent the winner.

26.Under no circumstances where a match is made and money posted,shall the money be returned without a contest.The Principal appearing for the shall be declared the winner and receive the “stake” money.

27.Should interference of any kind prevent a fair decisive contest, the Principals and the referee shall name the next time and place for the contest(within 15 days).Should the Principals and the referee fail to agree upon the future meeting place, it shall then be the duty of the referee to name the time and place and the same referee shall preside over this unfinished contest and the principals and the referee shall start this contest with “rule 3”

28.Any persons or persons found guilty of doping,faking,poisoning or attempting to dope,fake,poison or damage any dog or dogs,before,durning or after the contest,shall forfeit all money,fined $100 and be barred from the APBT Fraternity for a period of 3 years ,and a full report of such action shall be printed 2 times each year for a period 3 years in the June and Dec.Issues of the UKC official Journal,Bloodlines.

29.In all recognized contests the decisions of the UKC licensed Referee shall be final and all bets shall go as the “main stakes”.30.The “Pit” shall be 16 ft.square with sides two and one half feet high,with a tight wood floor.A line shall be painted across the center,also a scratch line painted across each Principals corner.To draw this scratch line, measure 7 ft out each way from the corner.“

While today Dog fighting is considered a crime, there is no denying that back in the day Pit Fighting was a legitimate sport. 

Liam Payne Facts: 24 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About The One Direction Star

Liam Payne turning up to support his bandmate, Louis Tomlinson, at Monday night’s Believe In Magic Cinderella Ball reminded us all just how much of a wonderful friend and person he is.

We mean, he effectively gave up a rare evening off - and thousands and thousands of pounds - to make sure that terminally and seriously ill children were treated to a fantastic night that made them feel like royalty.

Originally posted by iamtheblankpage

There were far too many feels for us to deal with, tbh.

Anyways, in honour of the Payno, we decided to have a little dig and bring you 24 facts that you probably don’t know about the 21-year-old mega babe… Although we aren’t kidding ourselves and are more than aware you probs actually do know all of these.

But try and humour us anyways, yeah?

Originally posted by northern-boys-love-gravy

1. Liam has always had a pretty humongous heart, and if he wasn’t in the biggest band on the planet, or Batman, then he actually planned on being a firefighter because he “likes the idea of saving people”.

The star actually ended up proving his worth as a man in uniform too, when his close friend Andy Samuels caught alight during a freak accident at Liam’s home and the singer managed to save him from the flames.

Andy ended up suffering third degree burns and needed skin grafts, but if it wasn’t for Liam’s quick thinking and bravery then things could have been a whole lot worse. 

2. Still, Liam hasn’t always been super cool, calm and collected, in fact, he used to be a bit of a nervous Nelly.

Originally posted by liammix

Speaking in an interview once he admitted: “When I was seven, a girl I really liked tickled me and I wet myself.

“Then she laughed, because she was a lot older, but I cried and it was terrible.”

Yikes.

3. And Liam’s uncontrollable bladder seems to be a recurring theme from his youth, with the star also revealing that he once weed all over his family’s kitchen floor after he sleepwalked downstairs in the night.

Delightful!

4. Payno is the middle child of One Direction - older than Harry Styles and Niall Horan but younger than Zayn Malik (we miss him) and Louis, still, everybody knows that he acts as the daddy of the group.

5. In fact, Liam is such a father figure that he even has those cringey dad jokes down to a T with him once replying to somebody who claimed that she was his biggest fan by asking “How tall are you?”

Originally posted by liammix

D’oh, daaaaaaddddd, you’re embarrassing us.

6. Liam’s sensible attitude is also renowned outside of the group, with Ed Sheeran previously admitting that without Liam, those cheeky 1D scamps would probs be in prison.

7. Liam auditioned for X Factor way back in 2008 when they lowered the entry age to 14, he got as far as Judges Houses before it was decided that he just wasn’t ready.

And thank goodness for that, eh? If he’d gone through then, he wouldn’t have ever become a member of the biggest boyband on the planet - everything really does happen for a reason.

8. When Liam’s 2010 X Factor auditioned first aired on our televisions, bookmakers made Liam the second fave to win the entire show, behind Cher Lloyd.

Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for the gambling types, he was put in One Direction before the live shows even started. 

Originally posted by live-while-we-are-young-1d

9. While we’re focusing on the early days, a fun fact is that Liam had just over seven minutes worth of solos on the band’s debut album, ‘Up All Night’.

Which was the second most behind Harry.

10. Let’s go even earlier; after falling ill as a baby, it was discovered that one of Liam’s kidneys was scarred and dysfunctional, with him having to have injections just to cope with the pain.

However, in August 2012 a miracle happened with the star tweeting: “Just been for an ultrasound on my kidney turns out its fixed from when I was a baby!!!

Originally posted by theonewhoprotested

“:o so now I have two :) #weirdnewsoftheday [SIC]”

11. And that’s not all that poor little Liam had to contend with during his youth, with the crooner and mega babe being incredibly open about how severely he used to be bullied at school.

In fact, Li used to hate going in so much that he used to pretend that he was too poorly, and on his sweet 16 he threw a party but nobody showed up.

WAH.

As much as it breaks our heart to think about, we reckon Liam definitely got the last laugh.

12. Still, he always had his older sisters, Nicola and Ruth, to play with - with him previously telling The Sun: “They used to try to influence my fashion a bit.

“Which you know… may have involved a heel or two.”

LOVE. IT.

13. Before he quit the band, WELP, Liam had a pretty close relationship with Zayn Malik, with Zayn even admitting that if he had the chance to marry any of his bandmates, he’d choose Liam in a heartbeat.

Originally posted by roseaque

There are too many adorable Ziam moments to mention here, and because they leave us emotional we are going to have to stop before we burst into ugly sobs…

14. …Okay, okay, one more - Liam reciprocated Zayn’s love for him by once saying that his fave thing to do was watch the Bradford Bad Boi sleep because “he looks adorable”.

Originally posted by fziam

IS ANYBODY ELSE DROWNING IN FEELS?

15. Ahem, moving on… We’re sure you know this but it’s a classic Payno fact - the star has a ‘fear’ of spoons; so much so that he actually eats ice cream with a fork.

16. Last year, a hardcore One Direction fan stole his boxers from his hotel.

Not cool, guys, not cool.

Originally posted by liammix

17. Did you know that back in the early days of 1D, Liam admitted that he wanted to name his first child ‘Taylor’.

We’re not sure how Harry’s ‘thing’ with T-Swizzle has affected these plans, but we know for sure that Louis wouldn’t be too happy with that choice in name nowadays…

18. Fun fact: Liam said he used to be mistaken for Daniel Radcliffe… No, we don’t see it either.

Originally posted by bookonshelf

19. This one time, Liam was dawdling and ended up seeing the boys’ tour bus driving off without him.

Obviously he ran after them all screaming, and the boys thought that he was just a cray cray fan.

AWKS.

Originally posted by twoangelsonelove

20. That’s not the only time Liam has proved to be a totally smooth operator, with the singer revealing that once he forgot the words to the song he was supposed to be singing, so rather than embarrass himself he just tapped the mic as though it wasn’t working.

Y’hear that guys? SMOOTH.

21. Apart from, he isn’t so smooth in dreamland, with the babe admitting that he has nightmares about being nakey in public places, he dished: “I dream of being back at school a lot and have been naked a few times.”

For the record, we see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

22. His first concert was Gareth Gates. #TheMoreYouKnow

23. He is such a lovely person that once upon a time he went to McDonalds and got given eleven chicken nuggets in his box of ten.

Instead of jumping for joy at his little victory, like us less lovely people would do, he actually went back to the counter to give it back.

BLESS. 

Originally posted by liammix

24. And further evidence of his heart being made of solid gold? Liam ‘daddy’ Payne is the member of the band who always makes sure that he is there to support his boys.

On top of hosting his own charity gala for Trekstock earlier this year, Liam made sure that he attended Lou’s Cinderella ball and donated an arm and a leg in the process.

He’s also always there to cheer on the band whenever they take part in solo charity events because, let’s face it, he’s just an all round amazing guy.

Okay, so you definitely knew that one - but did we teach you anything new?

No?

Ah well, we tried.

Girl Meets Screen Time -Pilot

So I am doing a re-watch of the whole series, but I wanted to make it more interesting. Instead of doing what many people have already done, and pick apart symbols, and analysis the show in a meta fashion, I decided to record the screen times of the core four to see who has the most by the end of each episode, then season, then overall. Is Riley going to be the clear winner by the end? Is the show really putting too much of a spotlight on Maya? Should Farkle have been in the opening credits all along?

*Please Note: I am human so the numbers might be off by a few seconds, but I tried my best to be as accurate as possible. If you would like me to add anyone to my statistics along the way, such as Cory or Smackle, or would like to know how much of an episode is filler shots, please let me know.*

Here are my parameters for the experiment:

  • Time is based on when a character is in frame, regardless of whether or not they have dialogue. They have to be recognizable enough that the audience knows who they are.
  • The only exception to the first parameter is if a character has dialogue over the shot and they are not in it.
  • Obviously the theme song appearances DO NOT count towards the total.

The statistics and random observations of the first episode, Girl Meets World, will be below the cut.

Keep reading

Louis Tomlinson Facts: 24 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About The One Direction Star

Louis Tomlinson is pretty much renowned for being the sassy member of One Direction with cheekbones so high that he can make every individual within a fifteen foot radius swoon on demand.

But there’s a lot more to Louis than amaze bone structure and fab comebacks; for example, did you know just how many seconds worth of solos he had on 1D’s first album, Up All Night? Or what his surname COULD have been?

Originally posted by blue-eyes-and-jazz

Erm, okay, so you probably do.

Because you guys know absolutely everything and there’s really just no competition when it comes to Louis T knowledge.

Still, have a little peruse of our super duper fun facts and you never know, you might learn something new…

1. Simon Cowell and co. were actually a tad unsure about placing Lou in the hugest, biggest, most famous band on the planet back in 2010 X Factor, and he very nearly didn’t make the cut.

Erm, could you imagine One Direction without Louis Tomlinson? Because we most certainly can not.

2. On a similar note, even once the band were up and running the 23-year-old was kind of pushed into the background a little bit and was meanly given the least amount of solos on 1D’s first album, Up All Night.

If you’re wondering about the specifics, throughout the 53 minute and 14 second long record, Lou gets a grand total of 1 minute and 29 seconds worth of solos - less than the other boys by a landslide.

Originally posted by hsoneandonly

Still, Lou persevered and fans are in total agreement that his voice makes the band what it is and he has since gone on to write some absolutely awesome tracks for their fourth album.

*Cough* No Control *cough*.

3. We all know that Louis was born and raised in sunny Doncaster, but did you know that other famous peeps to reign from Donny include Jeremy Clarkson and Brian Blessed?

There you have it, a piece of Louis trivia that your dad will appreciate.

4. We are all well-practiced in scrawling our signature as Mrs. Tomlinson whilst we dream about the day that we will marry him, but we could have very easily been fantasising about being Mrs. Poulston or Mrs. Austin instead.

Louis took the surname of his stepfather, Mark Tomlinson, when he was younger but he could have kept his biological dad, Troy Austin, or his mum, Johannah Poulston’s, last names.

Is it just us or does Louis Tomlinson deffo have the best ring to it?

5. Louis’ mum and stepdad Mark broke up in 2011, just as One Direction were really starting to take over the world.

Speaking about the difficult split, Lou once revealed: “It must be so much harder for her because I’m living this fantastic life and being so busy every day whereas she’s still in the old life I was in but without me… It must be really difficult for her not to get upset.”

N'aww, chin up, love :( all’s well that ends well, yeah?

6. Big-hearted Lou has also previously shared that he is at his absolute happiest when he is spoiling his family…

7. ….Which must be pretty cool for his seven brothers and sisters - Lottie, Felicitie, Phoebe, Daisy, Doris, Ernest, and one sis on his father’s side, Georgia.

8. When he was just eleven years old, Louis had a role as an extra on ITV drama Fat Friends, alongside his newborn twin sisters Daisy and Phoebe.

9. He also appeared on Waterloo Road, If I Had You, and even featured as an extra in a film opposite blimmin’ Oscar winner, Eddie Redmayne.

10. In fact, Louis loved acting so much that he said that if he wasn’t in One Direction he would be a drama teacher, which obviously would never have happened because he is definitely way, WAY too hot to be a stuffy old teacher.

Nobody would be able to pay any attention at all!

11. In spite of his less-than-enthusiastic response to his “impending fatherhood”, Lou always insisted that he ruddy loves kids and can’t wait to have them. 

In fact, he once said that he wants to name his sons Leo and Lucas.

Going down the Kardashian route with that one we see, still, we’re not complaining if we get a reality show out of it…

12. If you rewind to before One Direction ever came to be, you might recall a certain Zayn Malik throwing a massive strop when he was asked to dance during X Factor’s audition process.

What you might not remember is Louis William Tomlinson doing jazz hands behind him throughout - who would have thought that those two would go on to be bezzie mates, eh?

13. Although they may be partners in crime, Louis isn’t afraid to act tough with the brooding and mysterious one, admitting that he once hit Zayn with a shoe for calling Harry Styles “Beautiful”.

The reason? “Harry’s mine”, explained Lou.

We know, babes, we know.

14. The hunk revealed that back in May 2012 he was woken up by a naked man trying to enter his hotel room in Stockholm at 5am.

SAY WHAAAAAAAAAAT?

Luckily, the man wasn’t a nude murderer or anything scary - he was appaz drunk and looking for the toilet - good excuse, eh?

15. Sticking to the strange territory, Louis said that he once got given a sanitary towel with a fan’s Twitter handle written on it.

We reckon whether or not it was… Erm… Used… Would have been a huge factor in whether she got her follow…

16. We’re sure that you all deffo know this one, but we thought we’d bring it up as it is our fave - ever sassy Louis once forgot his ID on a night out in Toronto, unfazed by the mishap Lou insisted that the waiter look up his date of birth online to prove that he was of age.

Originally posted by flower-childlarry

The power, THE. POWER.

17. A lot of fans believe that One Direction’s management team have control over Louis’ Twitter account, and the star has previously made mysterious comments alluding that this might just be true - like the time that he absolutely insisted that he had never unfollowed anybody on the social network, despite his account unfollowing a whole bunch of fans just days previously.

Needless to say, we are on high alert.

18. You’d have to be an amateur not to know that Louis was born on Christmas Eve, but did you know that it is also World Eggnog day?

Double the reason to celebrate, we reckon.

19. Louis was shocked when One Direction’s film, This Is Us, came out and his mum revealed that he’d only been back to Doncaster five, FIVE, times since the band started.

Lou said at the time: “For me, my mom actually says I’ve only been back to Doncaster [my hometown] five times. I didn’t realize that it was as little as that.

"It’s quite shocking to see.”

20. However, absence clearly makes the heart grow fonder with Louis being a patron for local charity, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, and even making a bid to buy local footie team, Doncaster Rovers, when he heard that it was going to close down due to low funds.

21. Steve Brookstein (remember him?) once slagged Louis off for not being a very good singer, definitely not because he’s bitter or anything like that…

22. Let’s get seriously specific, when Louis was born he weighed 7lbs 3oz, was 49cm long,  and had a head circumference of 34.5cm.

He’s still incredibly teeny.

23. Did you know that Louis’ can actually play the piano? And we are seriously disappointed that this has not been embraced to the max during any of the boys’ world tours.

24. He’s actually really ruddy nice. Known to sass somebody out with the flick of his hair and a raise of his eyebrow, Louis has a bit of a rep for being too cool for school - but that’s only if you cross him.

Generally speaking, he’s got a heart of gold and all the time in the world for his legions of dedicated fans, which we are sure YOU all know, but it’s still nice to get out there as much as we possibly can.

WE LOVE YOU LOUIS WILLIAM TOMLINSON. PLEASE DON’T EVER CHANGE.

Eminem looks back, forward on 15 years of Shady Records

With ‘Shady XV’ due out Monday, Eminem talks about his record label’s hits and misses

He’s used to long hours in the studio, which he considers his office. How often is he there? “Umm, how often is all the time?” Em asks. “Aside from being on the road, it’s pretty much been seven days a week for the past five, six months.”

“Shady XV” began as an outlet for Eminem to release a batch of songs that didn’t have a home. The album is comprised of a disc of greatest hits from the label’s history and a disc of 12 new songs, nine of which feature Eminem. (“I’m on it quite a bit,” Em quips.)

The set includes an early demo version of Em’s Oscar-winning “Lose Yourself” that features alternate lyrics from the original, and the new song “Detroit Vs. Everybody” featuring an all-star roster of Detroit talent: Big Sean, Dej Loaf, Royce da 5'9", Danny Brown and Trick Trick. After its online release last week, the song became a battle cry for the city’s rap community. (At the time of this chat, the song was still being pieced together and was referred to “The Anthem.”)

Eminem is open and engaging. His features are sharp, his blue eyes piercing. Over the course of 45 minutes, it’s easy to see the bond he shares with Rosenberg: Even though Rosenberg spends most of his time on the East Coast, they talk pretty much every day, whether it’s about business or just the Detroit Lions. (Both are excited about this year’s Lions team, by the way, but Em keeps a tight lip. “Every time I say something I feel like I jinx something, so I’m not saying nothing.”)

On the occasion of Shady Records’ 15-year anniversary, however, he’s got plenty to say.

Keep reading

BREAKING: The Full Sequence of Events That Led Up To The Murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri On August 9th, 2014

To hear the full eyewitness testimony of the first four eyewitnesses, watch below.

To see the eyewitness testimony from the two new eyewitnesses, watch below.

The autopsy reports have not been fully released. Here is a summary of what was discovered, courtesy of Politico.

Michael Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, when he was killed by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer, according to a preliminary autopsy.

The results, first obtained by The New York Times, showed that Brown was shot four times in the right arm. Dr. Michael Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York who conducted the autopsy, said the bullet that caused the fatal injury struck Brown near the top of his skull and suggested he was bent forward when it hit.

“Due to the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family, Attorney General Holder has instructed Justice Department officials to arrange for an additional autopsy to be performed by a federal medical examiner,” DOJ spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement Sunday. “This independent examination will take place as soon as possible.”

Brown, an unarmed African-American 18-year-old, was fatally shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson last Saturday. The autopsy reported that there was no gunpowder on Brown’s body, suggesting that the bullets might not have been not fired at close range. The report said that determination could change depending on whether gunpowder is found on Brown’s clothing, which have not yet been examined.

The attorney for Brown’s family Benjamin Crump called the privately requested autopsy “very preliminary” and said it “only tells part of the story,” but said its result support the numerous eyewitness accounts of Brown’s shooting.

“It’s going to be one of those things that we have to get all the witness statements out and look at all the autopsies, all the evidence to put this picture together,” he said at a press conference Monday following the release of the private autopsy.

Baden said six bullets struck Brown, including two head wounds and added there weren’t any signs of a struggle. However, Baden said x-rays, which should be available at some time whether in the next few weeks or month, will give more information. He added that “at some time” there will be access to Brown’s clothing.

“But often in an investigation like this, it’s not uncommon for prosecutors not to want information released, but I think in my experience, when that happens it only get the community more upset,” Baden said.

On ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday morning, Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden called the autopsy “very, very troubling.”

“It confirms our worst fears that the witnesses were telling the truth — that our son was shot many times,” she said during the interview. “What is worst is the head shot.”

Baden said he recovered only three of the six bullets from Brown’s body, and the Times report added that “some of the bullets entered and exited several times, including one that left at least five different wounds.”

The doctor criticized the Ferguson Police Department for failing to disclose how many times Brown had been shot. “People have been asking: How many times was he shot?” Baden said. “This information could have been released on Day 1. They don’t do that, even as feelings built up among the citizenry that there was a cover-up.

The above working theory of events is courtesy of @ShaunKing on Twitter.

Here is a full summary of events from the unrest in Ferguson and events since Michael Brown’s murder.

August 9 (Saturday, Day 1)

  • 11:51 a.m.: Michael Brown is allegedly involved in a “strong-arm robbery” at a convenience store.[7] Brown allegedly grabbed a convenience store employee by his shirt and pushed him back into a display rack.[8] The event was partially recorded by in-store surveillance camera, although the recording does not clearly show the actions alleged.[citation needed] Two young males can be seen entering the store and bringing some items to the front counter, which are apparently pushed back toward them by someone behind the counter causing some items to fall on the floor.[citation needed] The pair then apparently walk out of the store with some items over the protests of an employee.[citation needed] Whether any money was left for the items or not cannot be readily determined from the video. [9][better source needed] The owners of the convenience store told FOX 2 St. Louis that no employee of the store reported a robbery; a customer inside the store made the call.[10]
  • 12:00 p.m.: Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson left a scene of a call regarding a sick child.[11]
  • 12:01 p.m.: Wilson, unaware of the convenience store robbery, encounters Brown walking in the middle of the road.[11] According to police, Brown’s presence in the middle of the road was stopping traffic. [12][13] Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson, who was with him at the time of the confrontation, disputes this.[14] Wilson confronts Brown and eventually shoots and kills him.
  • 12:04 p.m.: A second officer arrives on the scene followed by a supervisor one minute later. An ambulance responding to the earlier sick person call drives by and responds to assess Brown.[15]
  • The crime scene is cordoned off by police for investigation and Brown’s body remains in place for “several hours”.[16]

August 10 (Sunday, Day 2)

  • Morning: A vigil is held for Brown.
  • Morning: The St. Louis County Police Department holds a press conference.
  • 8:00 p.m.: Another vigil is held for Brown.
  • 9:00 p.m.: Looting by protestors begins.

August 11 (Monday, Day 3)

  • 2:00 a.m.: The rioting is put under control.
  • 10:00 a.m.: A protest is cancelled.[17]
  • Hackers take down the city website.[18]
  • The Jennings School District cancels classes.
  • 4:00 p.m.: Brown’s family holds a press conference with Al Sharpton and Benjamin Crump.[17]
  • 6:00 p.m.: The NAACP holds a press conference at Murchison Tabernacle Church.[17]
  • At a Tuesday night community meeting, Belmar and McCullough announce that they will not release the officer’s name until criminal charges are filed.[18]
  • Additional unrest occurs at a QuikTrip and is eventually dispersed with the usage of tear gas.[4]
External image
Protests at St. Louis County Police Headquarters, August 12

August 12 (Tuesday, Day 4)

  • 12:30 p.m.: Al Sharpton is heckled at a press conference in front of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis.[19]
  • Hackers obtain personal pictures and information about St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar and post it online.[18]
  • KMOX reports that STL area gun sales have gone up.[20]
  • U.S. President Barack Obama issues a statement regarding Brown’s shooting.
  • Police charge nine rioters with felonies.[21]
  • Ferguson city leaders request that protests and prayer vigils should only be held in the daytime.[22]
  • Two rallies occur in the evening:
    • Missouri Governor Jay Nixon holds the first rally at Christ the King United Church of Christ on Black Jack.

August 13 (Wednesday, Day 5)

  • 1:00 a.m.: Police shoot another person who reportedly pointed a handgun at an officer.[23]
  • Protests occur for the fifth straight night.[24]
    • Evening: Two reporters, identified as Ryan Reilly of The Huffington Post and Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post,[25] were briefly taken into custody after SWAT officers cleared a McDonald's restaurant.[24]
    • Evening: Protesters lob Molotov cocktails at police.[26]
    • Police officers are widely reported to have used obscurants, tear gas, and military equipment during the civilian protests.[27]

August 14 (Thursday, Day 6)

  • Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D), who represents part of Ferguson, is tear-gassed while with protesters. Later during the day, she tweets “FUCK you” to Governor Nixon (D).[28][29]
  • Nixon announces in a press conference that the Missouri State Highway Patrol will take over policing Ferguson from the St. Louis County Police Department, referring to the change as “an operational shift”.[30]
External image
Protests at Ferguson, August 15

August 15 (Friday, Day 7)

  • Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson holds a news conference where he simultaneously identifies the officer who shot Brown as Darren Wilson as well as releasing an incident report naming Brown as the suspect in a “strong-arm” robbery of a Ferguson convenience store, located not far from where Brown was shot.[4]
  • Jackson holds a second news conference where he states that Wilson was not aware that the authorities were searching for Brown when he first came upon him while driving in the neighborhood.[31]

August 16 (Saturday, Day 8)

  • After midnight, on the morning of August 16, protests again turn violent with numerous instances of looting, and there are reports of at least three Molotov cocktails being thrown. The Ferguson Market, in particular, is targeted by looters.[32]
  • Governor Nixon declares a state of emergency and implements a curfew from midnight to 5:00 a.m. in Ferguson.[33]
  • 40 FBI agents arrive in the St. Louis area to canvass the local neighborhood for witnesses and assist with the investigation.[33]

August 17 (Sunday, Day 9)

  • Midnight to 5:00 a.m.: The curfew declared by Nixon is enforced, but a crowd initially defies it. Police use smoke and tear gas to disperse the crowd. A protester is shot during the encounter and is listed in critical condition, while seven others are arrested.[34][35]

August 18 (Monday, Day 10)

  • President Obama addresses the riots in a news conference, in which he announces that he will be sending U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson to monitor the situation.[36]

August 19 (Tuesday, Day 11)

  • Kajieme Powell, a 23-year-old African American man, was shot and killed by two St. Louis police officers several miles from Ferguson. The police had been called following Powell’s alleged shoplifting from a nearby convenience store. Powell, who was holding a steak knife, told the officers, “Shoot me now.” Seconds later, two police officers fired twelve shots, killing Powell.[37][38] Video captured on the scene shows the officers handcuffing Powell as he lay on the ground, perhaps already dead.[39] St. Louis Police Chief described the officers’ actions as defending themselves and quoted an unnamed witness who “described it as suicide by cop.”[40]
  • Forty-seven people were arrested.[41]

August 20 (Wednesday, Day 12)

  • Lieutenant Ray Albers of the St. Ann Police Department was suspended indefinitely from his duties after pointing a semi-automatic service rifle at peaceful protesters and threatening them the night before.[42]
  • On August 20, Attorney General Eric Holder traveled to Ferguson, where he met with residents as well as Brown’s family.[43]
  • Six individuals were arrested.[41]

August 21 (Thursday, Day 13)

  • Nixon withdrew the National Guard from Ferguson after witnessing improvements during the social unrest.[44]

A more detailed timeline from Vox (only goes up to August 21st as well): 

What’s in dispute about the shooting

What happened before Brown was shot

— Multiple eyewitness accounts say that Brown was killed while attempting to surrender.

— Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown at the time, says that the two of them were walking in the middle of the street when a police car approached, and the officer told them to get on the sidewalk.

— Eyewitness Piaget Crenshaw says that Johnson, Brown and the officer got into a verbal confrontation, and the officer attempted to put Brown in the police car. When Brown began to flee, with his hands in the air, she says, the officer got out of the car and started shooting at Brown. (Crenshaw has photos of the shooting, which have been turned over to the police.)

 Another eyewitness told the press that the officer was in his car when he started shooting at the boys. (At least one shot was fired from the police car.)

— Johnson says that he and Brown started running when they heard the first shot. He told local news station KMOV that Wilson “shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air. He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”

— Meanwhile, St. Louis County police, who have been called in to investigate Brown’s death, say that Brown assaulted Wilson before he was killed. St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar told reporters on August 10 that Brown shoved the officer back into the police car, “physically assaulted” him, and attempted to grab the officer’s gun. According to Belmar, the officer only began firing at Brown after the assault.

 According to Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson during a briefing on August 12, the officer who shot Johnson was injured during the encounter. One side of Wilson’s face was swollen, Jackson said.

How many times Brown was shot

— On Sunday, Belmar told reporters that Brown was shot “more than just a couple [times], but I don’t think it was many more than that.”

— Johnson’s eyewitness account indicates that four shots were fired. Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, says she was told that Brown was shot eight times.

What we know about the first weekend’s protests

Saturday, August 9

— A crowd gathered at the scene soon after Brown was shot, and their protest extended through much of Saturday afternoon. A subsequent protest at the Ferguson Police Department headquarters happened Saturday evening. The number of demonstrators varied: a CNN report says that there were up to 1,000 protesters at the peak of the demonstrations, while other reports say there were about 200.

— Brown’s body was left at the scene for several hours after the shooting. Police said that they needed the time to conduct “due diligence,” saying that the crowd made it difficult for them to process evidence properly. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson later told reporters that he was “uncomfortable” with the amount of time the body had been in the street.

— Protesters held their hands in the air and chanted “Don’t shoot me,” “We are Michael Brown," "No justice, no peace," and "Killer cops have got to go." Brown’s stepfather, Louis Head, held a sign that read "Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son!!!”

— During Saturday’s demonstration, around 2 p.m., a series of shots were fired in the area near the crime scene.

— More than 100 officers from 15 different police departments were called to the scene during Saturday’s protests.

Sunday, August 10

— On Sunday, August 10, nonviolent protests continued, but with a heavy police presence.

— One CNN video report, flagged by Colorlines, shows a police officer saying to protesters, “Bring it, you fucking animals! Bring it!” (at the 00:15 mark):

What’s in dispute about the first weekend’s protests

— Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson told reporters that Saturday’s protest at the crime scene “probably bordered on riot conditions.” Police say that the shots that were heard in the area during the protest were “warning shots” fired by protesters, and that protesters were heard shouting, “Kill the police.” According to the police, the purpose of the 60 reinforcements from other police departments was to protect public safety in a dangerous atmosphere.

— However, other accounts from Saturday’s protest don’t indicate that anyone shouted “kill the police,” and several eyewitnesses say that the police misheard or misinterpreted what protesters were shouting: “Killer cops have got to go” and “No justice, no peace.”

 There’s no confirmation as to the context of the gunshots fired during Saturday’s protest.

— Reports also differed about the tone of Sunday’s protests prior to the rioting. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said that protesters were “taunting” the police officers, but did not quote any protesters engaging in taunts.

What we know about the unrest on Sunday, August 10

— As protests continued on Sunday night, others in Ferguson began to engage in looting and violence. St. Louis alderman Antonio French has said on Twitter that looting began at a local QuikTrip convenience store. The store was later set on fire:

The QuickTrip is now burning. #Ferguson (photo: @PDPJ) pic.twitter.com/tJBeXQ6hzF

— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) August 11, 2014

— Looting spread to the nearby neighborhood of Dellwood and continued late into the night on Sunday.

— Rumors surfaced of multiple shootings and that one man was severely beaten. But the Washington Post says no injuries were reported.

— A staff photographer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that when the looting began, there were no police at or around the QuikTrip. As looting continued, police helicopters moved into the area. A SWAT team moved in and used tear gas to disperse the looters.

— As of Thursday morning, the total amount of damage caused Sunday night hadn’t been calculated. The Ferguson Police Department told Los Angeles station KTLA that at least 20 police cars were damaged. Police did not tell the Washington Post how many people were arrested, but reports indicate “dozens” of arrests:

 Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters on Wednesday that 32 people were arrested during the looting on Sunday.

— Monday, August 11, was supposed to be the first day of school for Jennings School District, one of the four school districts that cover Ferguson. Administrators canceled school out of fear for student safety.

— On Monday, August 11, a group of Ferguson residents got together to clean up the QuikTrip.

Continued protests — and police dispersals — on Monday, August 11


— After Sunday night’s unrest, a protest and rally scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday morning was canceled, and the mayor of Ferguson said that anyone who attempted to show up to the rally would be arrested.

 Regardless, people still turned up at police headquarters to protest. Police officers were there with riot gear.

 After about two hours, the police succeeded in getting the crowd to disperse and started making arrests.

— On Monday night, protests continued. Groups gathered in the street, raising their hands in surrender and chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot.” It’s become the unofficial motto of the Ferguson protests.

 Police also attempted to disperse these protests, moving down W. Florissant, the main street in the neighborhood. This time, they used tear gas and explosives to clear crowds and fired rubber bullets. One report indicates that police cocked their rifles at protesters. Police told protesters to “go home,” but several residents protested that they were trapped in cul-de-sacs while the main road was closed off. Police also threatened press with arrest if they didn’t leave the scene.

— One family was standing in their backyard, which borders W. Florissant, while holding their hands up in protest. Police fired a tear gas canister at them, into the backyard:

 One resident was challenged by police when he put his hands up after stepping out of his car.

— The evening ended with a standoff between police and about two dozen residents who were trying to get home. Wesley Lowery, a Washington Post reporter, was at the scene:

The final standoff came just before 11 p.m. Officers backed up their formation almost all the way to the housing complex where Brown was shot.

As they regrouped, the two dozen residents who remained outside approached with hands in the air.

“Can we go home? Do we need our hands up? Are you going to shoot us?”

The police, weapons at the ready, responded by telling them to stop asking questions and “just go home.”

Moments later, the cops pressed forward and cleared the street for good. As they passed, some remaining protesters threw rocks, and residents shouted from their windows: “This is our home. Leave us alone.”

 In all, police made several arrests on Monday. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters on Wednesday that around eight people had been arrested for unlawful assembly over the course of the last several days of protests.

— Police said no injuries were reported, and on Wednesday, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said that “nobody got hurt” in the response to protests. However, pictures circulated on social media of protesters with bruises and injuries from rubber and wooden bullets, and of one resident being loaded into an ambulance.

Continued tensions on Tuesday, August 12

— On Tuesday, August 12, the FAA issued a no-fly zone over Ferguson through Monday, August 18. The purpose of the no-fly zone, the agency said, is “to provide a safe haven for law enforcement activities” — to clear the airspace for police helicopters. On Wednesday, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters that he did not know anything about the no-fly zone and had not requested it.

— On Tuesday evening, there was a brief standoff between protesters and police at the QuikTrip that had been looted on Sunday. Protesters became upset when police arrived in armored vehicles.

— Protesters amassed in downtown Ferguson again on Tuesday night. Police were again there in force, blocking streets to downtown, and reporters were again told they would be arrested if they didn’t leave. On Wednesday, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said that he didn’t know reporters had been threatened, and said, “No, I want free access.”

— Most protesters, however, made their way down the other end of W. Florissant to a church for an evening service at which Al Sharpton was scheduled to speak. A group of young residents continued to protest nonviolently outside the church — even removing someone who they were worried would agitate the crowd.

 Tuesday night’s protests were quiet and nonviolent for most of the evening.

 Around 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time, a crowd began to advance toward the bridge where police were holding a line to block traffic. Cops warned the crowd and told demonstrators to get off the street.

 Around 1 a.m. Central Time, St. Louis County police shot a man near Ferguson. Police say the man was pointing a gun at an officer. It is not clear whether the shooting was related to the protests. The man is incritical condition as of Wednesday morning.

Arrests and police aggression on Wednesday, August 13

— On Wednesday, August 13, the Ferguson Police Department released its first official statement since the shooting. The statement read, in part:

We only ask that any groups wishing to assemble in prayer or in protest do so only during daylight hours in an organized and respectful manner. We further ask all those wishing to demonstrate or assemble disperse well before the evening hours to ensure the safety of the participants and the safety of the community.

This statement didn’t set an official curfew, which would have justified arresting residents who were out after a certain hour. Instead, the police appeared to be hoping to set an unofficial, voluntary curfew.

Asked about the statement on Wednesday, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said that there was no curfew, and that protesters who remained out after dark would not be arrested “as long as they’re peaceful and not blocking the roads.”

— Late Wednesday afternoon, protesters blocked both lanes of West Florissant again. Police began making arrests quickly. A large SWAT team arrived to clear the protesters, as well as a tactical vehicle. Cops continued to push protesters back for several blocks. Those who did not move were detained.

 The situation was then calm until around 8:30 p.m. Central Time, when cops began attempting to push protesters back another 25 feet. Protesters threw bottles and rocks; police and reporters say that one protester threw a Molotov cocktail, and police also say one officer was hit with a brick and broke his ankle. In response, police almost immediately started firing tear gas at the crowd. After telling them that this was no longer a peaceful protest and ordering them to leave the area, police used sound cannons to disperse the crowd and fired tear gas canisters into the area — including into neighborhood backyards.

 On Thursday, Antonio French posted an image of a woman who had been hit with a rubber bullet.(Warning: The image is graphic.)

 One news crew had tear gas fired at them while they were setting up for a shoot:

 Earlier in the evening, two reporters, Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post and Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post, were arrested in a McDonald’s after a SWAT team ordered residents to clear it out. Watch the arrest play out in this video:

 Other arrestees were treated even more harshly.

 In the first reported instance of violence by residents against someone other than a police officer, a man walking his dog was beaten up by a group of teens.

 Late in the evening, protesters lined up outside the Ferguson Police Station.

“Reframing” the chain of command on Thursday, August 14

 On Thursday, August 14, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon told voters he would be “reframing” the chain of command among police in Ferguson. The office of Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri confirmed that the St. Louis County Police Department, which had been in charge during Wednesday night’s protests, would be removed from Ferguson. The chief of the St. Louis city police department also announced that his department would not be participating in Ferguson on Thursday night.

— On Thursday afternoon, Governor Nixon formally announced that the Missouri Highway Patrol, headed by Captain Ron Johnson, would take over police response to protesters in Ferguson. However, he said, the St. Louis County Police Department would remain in charge of the criminal investigation into Brown’s death.

 Protesters gathered again Thursday by the police station and along West Florissant. However, protesters did not block the road. Police were absent from afternoon protests.

— Helicopters appeared before the planned protest march, but police escorted protesters along the march route.Thousands of protesters marched.

 Missouri Highway Patrol captain Ron Johnson marched with the protesters and apologized to those who had been teargassed.

Highway patrol captain Ron Johnson is leading protesters on a march through Ferguson. A corner turned? pic.twitter.com/ewytjhz2uP

— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 14, 2014

 Several participants and reporters noted considerably smaller police presence and a noticeably more"jubilant" environment in the street.

 As sunset came, observers held their breaths, feeling that this would be the test of whether protests would remain peaceful. But the protests remained wholly peaceful.

 Later in the evening, Captain Johnson spoke — and held a picture of Michael Brown as he did so.

Captain Ron Johnson holding a picture of slain #MichaelBrown. One of the most powerful images of #Ferguson #NMOS14 pic.twitter.com/n7SvhA0zRp

— Sally Albright (@SallyAlbright) August 15, 2014

 In other parts of the country, people rallied in support of Ferguson’s protesters and against police brutality.

On Friday, August 15, police reveal details from the day of the shooting, and tensions escalate after dark

 On Friday, August 15, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson announced the name of the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown: Darren Wilson, who has been on the force for six years.

 In the same press conference, Jackson said that  Michael Brown was the primary suspect in a strong-arm robbery of a convenience store that took place immediately before he was killed. He distributed packets to reporters that included security camera stills from the convenience store. CBS News later released video footage of the alleged robbery.

 Officials noted a negative mood change in Ferguson after the release of the information. Many protesters view it as an attempt to wrongly attack Michael Brown’s character and justify the shooting.

 Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who’s in charge of security in Ferguson, said he was not notified of the information prior to the news release. He added that he will have a “serious conversation” about better communications between police departments.

 In a second press conference later on Friday, Police Chief Jackson stated that “the initial contact with Brown was not related to the robbery," and clarified that Officer Wilson was not aware of the robbery at the time when he stopped Brown. Rather, Wilson stopped Brown because the teen was "walking in the middle of the street.” Jackson later told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Wilson saw cigars in Brown’s hand and realized Brown could be the robber.

 When asked why he released information about the robbery, if it had nothing to do with Wilson’s shooting of Brown, Jackson said he had done so “because you asked for it,” an apparent reference to the sunshine-law requests that had sought information about Brown’s death.

 Although tensions were elevated by the Ferguson Police’s news releases earlier in the day, the night’s early marches continued peacefully. Hundreds of people reportedly turned out, despite the rain.

 Late in the night, protests heated up again. Heavily armed police returned to Ferguson, asking crowds to disperse, stop blocking roads, and go home. Police reportedly lobbed tear gas grenades.

 It’s not clear why or how the situation escalated so quickly. Reports indicate the protests intensified after heavily armed police returned and fired tear gas in response to protesters throwing rocks and other objects.

 A few protesters began looting stores, including the store Michael Brown is accused of robbing. Reporters said a majority of protesters tried to stop the looters, and the looters were mostly drunk kids.

 The looting appeared to stop after other protesters intervened to guard stores, even though police never moved in.

 After the looting dissipated, some people began peacefully protesting again. The protests dwindled as the night progressed.

 Looting began again after most protesters left.

 Police were apparently ordered to stand down when some officers tried to stop the looting.

 Later on, St. Louis alderman Antonio French provided a firsthand account of what happened throughout the night. Based on French’s description, only a minority of protesters engaged in looting, and a majority of protesters tried to stop them. Police didn’t intervene because they realized it could make the situation even more violent, since the protests are rooted in distrust toward law enforcement.

On Saturday, August 16, the governor sets a curfew in Ferguson

 Michael Brown’s family, St. Louis alderman Antonio French and Senator Clarie McCaskill, among others, condemned the previous night’s looting and said it didn’t represent a majority of protesters. “America, please don’t hold small group of looters against hundreds & hundreds of peaceful protesters,” McCaskill wrote on Twitter. “Rather hold small group accountable.”

 Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who’s in charge of security in Ferguson, said he didn’t order the deployment of tear gas last night, but he did ask for the deployment of armored trucks to assist injured officers.

 Some residents hosted a cookout near the location of the Michael Brown shooting.

 Johnson hugged and shook hands with residents before an afternoon press conference.

 At the press conference, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced an order declaring a state of emergency and curfew in Ferguson. The curfew will run from midnight to 5 a.m. “This is not to silence the people of Ferguson or this region or others,” Nixon said, “but to contain those who would endanger others.”

 Johnson suggested security will resist a heavy-handed response while enforcing the curfew. “We won’t enforce it with trucks, we won’t enforce it with tear gas, we will communicate,” he said.

 Nixon noted that the FBI’s civil rights investigation into the Michael Brown shooting is “being beefed up” with investigators now on the ground in Ferguson.

 As the curfew approached, tensions remained high. Community leaders and the rain convinced most protesters to leave before midnight, but about 150 protesters remained after midnight. Some protesters built a barricade between police and the crowds to buy time, but tensions remained high.

 Police, after giving several warnings, fired smoke and tear gas at the protesters to enforce the curfew. Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Johnson said tear gas was used in response to reports of gunmen.

 At first, a few protesters remained, and some retaliated by throwing objects at police. After police moved in and detained seven people, the remaining protesters appeared to trickle out.

 Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Johnson said there were some gunshots fired throughout the night, but not by police. One gunshot hit a man who, according to the latest reports, was in critical condition.

 As for other violence, police said they were not aware of any looting.

 It was very difficult for journalists to report the evening’s events, because they were confined to a small media zone during curfew hours that was out of sight of a majority of the action. Police threatened to arrest reporters who tried to leave the media zone.

On Sunday, August 17, chaos returns to Ferguson

 US Attorney General Eric Holder, under the request of Michael Brown’s family, ordered another autopsy of Brown’s body. “Due to the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family, Attorney General Holder has instructed Justice Department officials to arrange for an additional autopsy to be performed by a federal medical examiner,” spokesperson Brian Fallon said. “This independent examination will take place as soon as possible. Even after it is complete, Justice Department officials still plan to take the state-performed autopsy into account in the course of their investigation.”

 Later in the day, Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson gave a speech in which he apologized to Michael Brown’s family and pledged solidarity with Ferguson. “We all ought to be thanking the Browns for Michael, because Michael’s gonna make it better for our sons, so they can be better black men,” he said.

 The night’s protests began with what some reporters called a party atmosphere.

 After reports of gunshots, Molotov cocktails, and vandalism, police moved in to disperse protesters. Police used LRADs, which make piercing noises, and fired tear gas, some of which hit an eight-year-old boy.

 Police reported three injuries, none of which affected officers, and seven or eight arrests throughout the night.

 Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Johnson said security officials are planning additional steps to contain the violence in the future, but he would not elaborate what the steps will look like.

On Monday, August 18, the National Guard goes to Ferguson

 Early in the morning of August 18, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered the state’s National Guard to Ferguson in response to the previous night’s violence. The National Guard troops were intended to protect police, who had claimed they were in danger from protesters — in the hopes that more protection might prevent police from panicking. “Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk,” Nixon said in a statement.

— That afternoon, Nixon announced that the midnight curfew Ferguson residents had been under during the weekend would be lifted. However, law enforcement officials said that protesters would no longer be allowed to stand on or by West Florissant — only walking protesters, not “stationary protests,” would be tolerated. Later reports said that protesters would be confined to an "authorized protest area" at one intersection,and West Florissant would be closed to traffic.

— Around 2:30 p.m. CDT, cops had already started arresting protesters outside the Ferguson McDonald’s. The McDonald’s closed before 5 p.m. CDT.

 The situation was largely peaceful throughout most of Monday night, with community leaders helping to keep the crowd calm. But that didn’t prevent police officers from activating sound cannons and aiming rifles at protesters and journalists. It was so peaceful, in fact, that CNN’s Jake Tapper sounded off on how ridiculous the police reaction looked in front of an overwhelmingly peaceful crowd. Later in the evening, however, Captain Ron Johnson appeared on CNN to defend the police’s actions.

 Around 11 p.m. Ferguson time, the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery reported bangs near the QuikTrip convenience store that’s become ground zero for the protests. Police rushed to the scene and deployed tear gas. Lowery also reported a fire in front of the store as armored trucks moved in.

 The tear gas burned a few people’s faces as it blew through the crowd. One photojournalist reportedly collapsed.

 Some protesters reportedly started a fire in the street to block police, and prepared "homemade bombs"in case of a confrontation with police.

 Around 11:45 p.m. Ferguson time, police ordered protesters to disperse. People who didn’t cooperate were arrested. Shortly after, journalists were also asked to move to a designated area at the police’s command center. One journalist from VICE had his media credential ripped off by a police officer, who said, “This doesn’t mean shit.”

gif’d that cop ripping off @timcast’s press badge #ferguson http://t.co/PA3aCKKizE

— kathleen french (@frenchamnesty) August 19, 2014

Reporter Ryan Devereaux of First Look was shot with rubber bullets and bean bags by police, and spent Monday night in jail. (He was released Tuesday morning.)

Captain Ron Johnson defended the police by saying that journalists were staying too close to protesters for police to tell them apart, and asked journalists not to "glamorize the acts of criminals.“

 As the night went on, the confrontation moved to the residential area of Canfield, where Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown. What happened in Canfield is disputed — and is the basis for a deeper dispute among journalists and local leaders about whether the police response on Monday was a step forward for Ferguson, or the worst aggression yet.

Police, along with local leaders like Antonio French and local journalists, say that local "Canfield kids” were “fighters,” not protesters — that they were attacking police and egged on by outsiders from Chicago and other areas.

Journalists who were in the residential area, including Elon James, however, were part of a crowd of eight people who were fired on repeatedly with tear gas. James says that the group was teargassed simply for turning a corner onto the street.

Thankfully, tonight police did not overreact when someone threw water bottles at them. #fergusonhttps://t.co/tzD4OP2yRi

— Antonio French (@AntonioFrench) August 19, 2014

Sir a group of 6 - 8 of is got gassed multiple times @AntonioFrench how is that not an overreaction? #Ferguson

— Elon James White (@elonjames) August 19, 2014

— In all, 78 people were arrested in Ferguson on Monday night, 18 of whom were from outside Missouri. Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol said that some of those arrested were from as far away as New York and California. Police confiscated two guns and one Molotov cocktail. Two people were shot, and four officers were reportedly injured by rocks thrown by protesters.

Relative quiet on Tuesday, August 19

 On the evening of August 19, the mood seemed more like a demonstration than a protest — especially as protesters were focusing on county prosecutor Bob McCulloch and calling for him to be removed from Michael Brown’s case. Police retained the “organized protest area” policy, but weren’t as strict in forcing protesters to keep moving, and showed more patience in dealing with protesters for most of the evening — it was the first night without the use of tear gas since the day Michael Brown was killed. More importantly, community leaders were active in leading protests, and helped urge protesters to leave the area after midnight Central time.

 Later in the evening, when a protester threw a water bottle at police, officers called in the armored trucks.

Water bottle thrown. Chaos ensues. Not many protesters (more media than them). The few protesters left are just adamant and angry. #Ferguson

— Ray Downs (@RayDowns) August 20, 2014

Riot police went after a few ppl hard after getting hit with water. Wasted no time Brought the armored trucks in. #Ferguson

— Ray Downs (@RayDowns) August 20, 2014

 The de facto leaders of the protesters, for their part, attempted to defuse the situation. They stood in a line between demonstrators and the police.

Peacekeepers form human barrier btwn police and media area where some protestors are mingling in the crowd. #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/661WSH282r

— Akilah Johnson (@akjohnson1922) August 20, 2014

 Police kept pushing. They aimed guns at protesters and media. They shot rubber bullets. They ordered people to go home. They made multiple arrests as protesters failed to disperse. Police told the media to leave. A photographer and other media personnel were arrested.

The smoke clears in Ferguson

 The protests on August 20 were the second night in a row that police didn’t deploy any tear gas, perhaps the biggest sign yet that tensions are easing — at least for now — in the small town.

 In response, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered the National Guard to begin pulling out of Ferguson.

 The protests seem to have calmed for the time being. Although some crowds still take to the streets on occasion, it’s usually in relative peace and without heavy police interference.

Some of the context for community anger

— There’s a history of police violence against young black men, and the shooting takes place at a time when this perennial topic was already being widely discussed. New Yorker Eric Garner, an unarmed black man,was killed in July after police put him in a chokehold by police. The incident, which was caught on video, caused an outcry against the New York Police Department — especially after Garner’s death was officially ruled a homicide. Mayor Bill de Blasio eventually agreed to a review of the department’s training procedures.

— The frustration and anger in Ferguson likely goes beyond the killing of Brown. Ferguson is like many cities in America: police disproportionately stop and arrest black residents. While 67 percent of Ferguson is black, 86 percent of all traffic stops and 92 percent of all arrests are of black residents, according to state report on racial profiling obtained by Buzzfeed. But black residents of Ferguson who are stopped by police are less likely to be carrying contraband than white residents are.

 The city’s government is predominately white as well: there is one black person on the Ferguson city council and one Latino on the school board. Just three out of the city’s 53 commissioned police officers are black.

— There’s also a lot of anger around how the media portrays young men who are killed. Over the weekend, the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, which was trending on Twitter on Sunday night, captured the divide between how young black men see themselves and how the media sees them.

— Advocates around the country who have been outraged by the shooting organized National Moments of Silence on August 14 in several cities to protest police brutality.

What we know about the investigation into Brown’s shooting

 The St. Louis County Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation to see if Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown. Their findings will be used by St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, who is responsible for filing charges against Wilson. On August 20, a grand jury convened to decide whether to charge Wilson in Brown’s death.

 Protesters and local leaders have expressed serious concerns about whether county prosecutor McCulloch will be willing to prosecute Wilson effectively. In the past, McCulloch has failed to press charges in some similar cases, and has broken trial rules in others. There’s a rising call for McCulloch to recuse himself from the case, or for Governor Jay Nixon to remove McCulloch from the case. Nixon has said he won’t remove McCulloch, but allowed McCulloch to recuse himself. McCulloch, in response, dared Nixon to “make a decision.”

 St. Louis County Police Chief Belmar has spoken favorably of the Ferguson police, telling reporters on August 10, “I would not think anybody would [ask for an investigation] if they had anything to hide." Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson is a former St. Louis County police officer, which also raises concerns about the investigation’s objectivity. Jackson told reporters on August 13th that he had asked the St. Louis County police to keep him "out of the loop.”

— Investigators have received photos from eyewitness Piaget Crenshaw, as well as a video that was recorded after the shooting.

— The Ferguson Police Department received a grant this year to purchase several dashboard cameras for police vehicles and two to three body cameras for officers, the Ferguson police chief told reporters Wednesday, but doesn’t have the money to install them yet — so no known video of the shooting exists.

— Eyewitness Dorian Johnson, Brown’s friend who was also stopped by the officer,  testified to police on August 13, after several days during which he said he was not contacted to testify.

 On August 11, the FBI announced that it was also launching its own civil-rights investigation of Brown’s death. The St. Louis NAACP had called on the FBI to take up the investigation to make sure it would be sufficiently independent. Ferguson police chief Jackson told the AP that the FBI would be taking over the St. Louis County investigation of the shooting. However, the FBI says that they’re reviewing the incident for possible civil rights violations, not duplicating the criminal investigation.

— Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, has been put on paid administrative leave while the investigation is conducted. Wilson was not identified until six days after the shooting. Police originally planned to release his name on the morning of August 12, but changed their minds out of concern for his safety.

— On August 12, the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office announced that they would not be releasing the results of the autopsy of Michael Brown’s body. However, on August 18th, someone with the county medical examiner’s office leaked some of the autopsy’s findings to the Washington Post. The autopsy found that Brown was shot six to eight times in the head and chest, and that he had marijuana in his system at the time of his death.

— Brown’s body was released to his family on August 13, and the family arranged for an independent autopsy. Results of that autopsy were reported by the New York Times on August 17. The independent autopsy showed at least six shots in the head and right arm, including one shot on the top of the head — indicating that Brown’s head was down when at least one shot was fired.

— Attorney General Eric Holder announced on August 17 that the federal government would be conducting its own autopsy on Brown’s body for its investigation.

— Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters on Wednesday, August 13, that the 911 tapes from witnesses to Brown’s shooting would be released to the public but did not say when that would happen.

Efforts to rebuild race and community relations in Ferguson

 On Wednesday, August 13, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters that the police department has been working with the community relations division of the Department of Justice to improve race and community relations. “That’s a top priority,” he said.

— On Thursday, August 14, the Department of Justice is coordinating a meeting between Chief Jackson and community leaders, including the head of the local NAACP.

Hopefully, Officer Darren Wilson is arrested soon.

If i have left anything out, I will add it when you let me know.

10

-KICKOFF COVERAGE’S: HISTORY OF THE 32 IN 32-

-BALTIMORE RAVENS-

2012

SUPER BOWL XLVII PINNED BROTHER VS BROTHER WHEN THE 49ERS & RAVENS WENT AT IT, BLACKOUTS, COMEBACKS IN THE END RAVENS WON THE SUPER BOWL FOR THE SECOND TIME IN THEIR HISTORY:

The Ravens’ attempt to convert Joe Flacco into a pocket passer remained a work in progress as the 2012 season began. Terrell Suggs suffered a tendon injury during an off-season basketball game and was unable to play for at least several weeks. In the opener on September 10, Baltimore routed Cincinnati 44-13. After this easy win, the team headed to Philadelphia. The Eagles had struggled during their Week 1 match in Cleveland and were not expected to win, but a bizarre game ensued thanks to the NFL facing another lockout mess, this one involving the league’s referees, who were replaced by ex-college officials. The replacement officials were widely criticized throughout the league. This game featured multiple quesionable calls that went against the Ravens, perhaps costing them the game 24-23.

Returning home for a primetime rematch of the AFC Championship, another bizarre game ensued. New England picked apart the Baltimore defense (which was considerably weakened without Terrell Suggs and some other players lost over the off-season) for the first half. Trouble began early in the game when a streaker ran out onto the field and had to be tackled by security, and accelerated when, at 2:18 in the 4th quarter, the referees made a holding call on RG Marshal Yanda. Enraged fans repeatedly chanted an obscenity at this penalty. The Ravens finally drove downfield and on the last play of the game, Justin Tucker kicked a 27-yard field goal to win the game 31-30, capping off a second intense and controversially-officiated game in a row for the Ravens.

The Ravens would win the AFC North with a 10-6 record, but finished 4th in the AFC playoff seeding, and thus had to play a wild-card game. After defeating the Indianapolis Colts 24-9 at home (the final home game of Ray Lewis), the Ravens traveled to Denver to play against the top seeded Broncos. In a very back-and-forth contest, the Ravens pulled out a 38-35 victory in overtime. They then won their 2nd AFC championship by coming back from a 13-7 halftime deficit to defeat the New England Patriots once again, 28-13.

The Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013, beating the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.

Super Bowl XLVII was an American football game between theAmerican Football Conference (AFC) champion Baltimore Ravens and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the2012 season. The Ravens defeated the 49ers by the score of 34–31, handing the 49ers their first Super Bowl loss in franchise history. The game was played on February 3, 2013 at Mercedes-Benz Superdomein New Orleans, Louisiana. This was the tenth Super Bowl to be played in New Orleans, equaling Miami’s record of ten in an individual city.

For the first time in Super Bowl history, the game featured two brothers playing against each other—Jim and John Harbaugh, head coaches of the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, respectively—earning it the nickname Harbaugh Bowl or The Harbowl. In addition, Super Bowl XLVII was the first to feature two teams who had undefeated records in previous championship games (Baltimore, 1–0; San Francisco, 5–0). The 49ers, who posted a regular season record of 11–4–1, entered the game seeking their sixth Super Bowl win in team history (and first since 1995), which would have tied the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most by a franchise. The Ravens, who posted a 10–6 regular season record, made their second Super Bowl appearance in 12 years, having previously won Super Bowl XXXV. Ray Lewis, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) from that game, as well as the last remaining member of the inaugural Ravens roster from 1996, also played in this game, his last before his retirement from professional football.

Baltimore built a 28–6 lead early in the third quarter before a partial power outage in the Superdome suspended play for 34 minutes (earning the game the nickname Blackout Bowl). After play resumed, San Francisco scored 17 unanswered third-quarter points to cut the Ravens’ lead, 28–23, and continued to chip away in the fourth quarter. With the Ravens leading late in the game, 34–29, the 49ers advanced to the Baltimore 7-yard line just before the two-minute warning but turned the ball over on downs. The Ravens then took an intentional safety in the waning moments of the game to preserve the victory. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns, was named Super Bowl MVP. Flacco became the 4th quarterback in a row to receive MVP after Drew Brees at Super Bowl XLIV, Aaron Rodgers at Super Bowl XLV, and Eli Manning at Super Bowl XLVI.

CBS broadcast the game in the U.S., and charged an average of $4 million for a 30-second commercial during the game, the highest rate for any Super Bowl. According to Nielsen, Super Bowl XLVII was viewed by an estimated average of 108.69 million people in the United States, with a record 164.1 million tuning into at least six minutes of the game.] Beyoncé performed in the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, which featured a reunion with her fellow members from Destiny’s Child,Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.

Celebrating 15 Years of Iker Casillas (12-Sep-1999-2014)

* Casillas started his career in Real Madrid’s youth system, known as La Fábrica, during the 1990–91 season.

* In 2000, he became the youngest ever goalkeeper to play in a Champions League final when Real Madrid defeated Valencia 3–0, just four days after his nineteenth birthday.

* Iker Casillas made his debut on 12 September 1999 against Athletic.

* Iker’s Debut in San Mamés vs Athletic eneded 2-2 draw. Toshack was the Whites’ manager at the time.

* In his first season Casillas was the starting goalkeeper in the eighth European Cup win.

* Casillas is an example of working your way through the club’s youth sides.

* In 2000, Casillas became the youngest ever goalkeeper to play in UCL final when Real Madrid defeated Valencia 3–0.  just four days after his nineteenth birthday.

* In 2010 Casillas became goalkeeper with most appearances of all time in the UEFA Champions League.

* In 2008 Real Madrid awarded Casillas a contract for life. Casillas signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2017, with an automatic extension if he plays 30 competitive matches during the final season of the contract and a buy-out clause of £113 million.

* Reports In 2009. Man City had launched a record £129 million bid for Iker Casillas which was rejected by Club and Casillas himself stated that he “had no intention of leaving” his boyhood club. 

*Europa Press reported that Casillas was the second most popular Spanish sportsman on the internet throughout 2010.

* As of 2011 Casillas is one of a very select group of players who have won all major club and national championship titles.

* At the end of 2012 he was voted into the UEFA Team of the Year for the 6th consecutive time.


* Casillas played his 600th match for Real Madrid on 22 January 2012 in a 4–1 win vs Athletic Bilbao

* On 22 December 2012, Jose Mourinho told Media to “Never stop writing” that “Iker Casillas isn’t same anymore”

* During the 2012–13 season, Casillas won IFFHS Best Goalkeeper Award for the fifth consecutive time.


* With IFFHS World Best Goalkeeper Award for 5 consecutive years Iker Casillas considered to be one of the Greatest goalkeepers of all time.


* Iker Casillas is the 3rd captain in football history to lift the World Cup, UEFA Champions League & European Championship trophy.

* Iker Casillas is the 1st captain in history to lift UEFA Super Cup along with World Cup, UCL & Euro trophies.

* When Iker was a child, he lived for some years in Basque Country, but he has always considered Madrid to be his hometown.

* Mourinho left Madrid & soon after his leaving, Spanish midfielder Andrés Iniesta criticized him about benching Casillas. 

* A new record by Casillas was made in 13/14 Copa del rey of 962 minutes without conceding a goal.

* In 2014, he became the first goalkeeper to play in every round of Copa del Rey prior to the final without conceding a goal.

* Casillas’ gloves on display at the Santiago Bernabeu museum.

Personal life

Since 2009, Iker Casillas has been in a relationship with Sara Carbonero. Their son Martín was born in January 2014.

Charity

In 2011, Casillas was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme‘s Millennium Development Goals.


Honours


UEFA Champions League: 1999-2000, 2001-2002, 2013-2014
UEFA Supercup: 2002, 2014
La Liga: 2000-2001, 2002-2003, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2011-2012
Copa Del Rey: 2010-2011, 2013-2014
Spanish Supercup: 2001, 2003, 2008, 2012
Intercontinental Cup: 2002

MY 14 FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2014

In no particular order, here are my 14 favorite albums of 2014. Enjoy!

Ryan Adams / Ryan Adams

In a year where I was already listening to more Ryan Adams than I ever had (holy what a rewarding back catalogue to discover!) Adams released one of his best albums in recent memory. An incredibly talented, hugely prolific musician (it’s amazing how often those traits are mutually exclusive) his self titled 14th studio album in the last 14 years sounds as fresh and emotional as ever. Sounding fiercely personal and broodingly dark, Adams somehow manages to give these songs a broad, mainstream brushstroke. Either thanks to hit maker Mike Viola’s (Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, Matt Nathanson) production, or Adams’ continued cult-like success, these mainstream rock songs sound 100% Ryan Adams. With a tight band that includes Benmont Tench (Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers), wife Mandy Moore on vocals for a few songs, and Johnny Depp shredding some electric solos, this album is one heck of a good time. Adams has the kind of ability that can only come with years and years of touring and writing, to make these simple songs sound cohesive, exciting, and interesting. He’ll have you dancing in the dark in the kitchen, singing along to simple words you didn’t realize you knew. He writes the kind of deceptively deep and dark lyrics that are getting more and more rare these days and recall his early career when singer-songwriters ruled the scene. When Adams cuts everything else out halfway in, for the heart aching acoustic ballad “My Wrecking Ball” you’d swear it was 2000 and you were 14 again, laying on your bed listing to Heartbreaker on your walkman. That’s the beauty of Adams. An artist who can be so progressive, so prolific through such a long period without alienating fans or critics, comes along rarely. With a home studio he’s been using to help promote music of all genres, a crowd pleasing tour with a real fan’s setlist, and a tell-all interview style that found me devouring anything and everything Adams this year, this probably would have been my number one album had I decided to rank them all in a specific order. Regardless, this is the album I had the most fun listening to, and if you’ve somehow avoided it despite all the hype, I TOTALLY recommend it. 

“Lying in the bed at night feeling like I’m somebody else / My thoughts inside my head get lost inside the haunted house / Everyone I used to know left their dreams by the door / I accidentally kick ‘em that’s how I can tell you’re still not sure.”

Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness / Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness

In many ways, longtime favorite musician Andrew McMahon’s first official solo release was both a pleasant surprise and a mild disappointment. Definitely my most highly anticipated release of the year, McMahon chose the wordy Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness as the title for his latest piano pop project. I have loved McMahon since his days fronting the punkier SoCal band Something Corporate and his second project, Jack’s Mannequin, is one of my favorite bands of all time. Whether due to restlessness, artistic exploration, or career aspirations, 2013/14 found McMahon venturing out on his own. Keeping ¾’s of Jack’s (losing only talented guitarist Bobby “Raw” Anderson) and focusing more on synths, keyboards, and electronic production, McMahon has released one of the most forward thinking pop records of the year. With huge radio ready pop choruses (feel good single “Cecelia & The Satellite” is the first time I’ve heard Andrew on the radio since 2005’s “The Mixed Tape”) and some big name co-writers, it’s good to see McMahon making a splash again in the pop scene. The disappointment came when I realized that by falling for co-writes and radio pop, McMahon had released something that sounds like a lot of the other mainstream stuff right now. McMahon has long sang about the “pop underground” and wanting to “hear some music / NOT the radio music” and this album loses some of the quirks that always made him special. That being said, his piano skills are still definitely impressive, his autobiographical lyrics are what set him apart from everybody else, and there are some GREAT pop songs on this album. From the pounding opener “Canyon Moon,” the gorgeous piano of “Halls,” and the echoing 80’s power pop of closer “Maps For The Getaway,” these songs sound like a more mature, mid-tempo McMahon. Gone is most of the teenage/twenty-something angst and turmoil, and most of these songs are about married life, McMahon’s brand new daughter and finding peace as a musician and human. Time will tell if these songs will hold up to McMahon cult favorites like “Bruised,” and “Dark Blue,” but I encourage you to check out his extremely uplifting 2014 release. 

“Parked outside the house we used to live / Staring down the green roof and the walls / The balcony, the hills, the pain / The years of hope, the months of rain / Now that we’re outside it / I guess we survived it after all.”

Angels & Airwaves / The Dream Walker

Full disclosure, Angels & Airwaves and I go way back. The songs on Tom DeLonge’s post-Blink 182 project have a common thread that immediately takes me back to my early 20’s. Whether I was driving snowy mountain passes home from college for Christmas blasting We Don’t Need To Whisper (AVA’s surprising 2006 debut); or taking 5AM sunrises head-on for jobs, school, and sports with I-Empire (2007’s powerful follow up) owning my headphones, I wore those two albums OUT in college. DeLonge had a way of making these vast, widescreen soundscapes feel personal and life changing. I fell in love with his passionate (although amateurish and affected) vocals, and his grand, Edge style guitar build ups. There was a positive message in the words that this overconfident punk rock kid from San Diego was singing. After achieving a fair amount of success with his first two albums (self produced and recorded in home studios) DeLonge gave away their third album LOVE for free download on their website. Here we are 8 years later and DeLonge is still carrying the torch for the punk rock, underground, DIY crew, and managing to hang just off the edge of the mainstream. Completely self recorded, produced, and released, Dream Walker is a true achievement. I thought I had grown out of DeLonge’s cryptic lyrics and overdone bombast, but something about Dream Walker caught my ear. No, it’s not a new found maturity for DeLonge & co, although with the addition of Ilan Rubin (NIN) on drums and synths, this album sounds raw and upfront, and abandons AVA’s endless intros and guitar heavy 6 minute epics. These songs trigger something in me and simply make me feel a little bit younger, a little bit more punk rock. In much the same way that last year’s favorite album, Typhoon's White Lighter threads melodies through different songs; DeLonge has a way of tying songs together. Using familiar chord structures and similar melodies, Dream Walker channels Patrick Stump (FOB), Bono, Gerard Way (MCR), and Robert Smith (The Cure), all the while sounding like a rejuvenated Angels & Airwaves. From the minor key piano in the opening track, the huge Blink drop in “Paralyzed”, and the radio ready hook from “Bullets In The Wind,” Delonge continually impresses. “Mercenaries” and “Wolfpack” bubble with an electric current of exuberant, boundless energy, and “Tunnels” is a sleek U2 style jam, that explodes with some of the best harmonies you’ll hear all year. Dream Walker makes this list because it disobeys the rules. It’s not perfect, it’s not lyrically brilliant, it’s just fun, sweaty, reckless abandon punk rock with an 80’s attitude and a leather jacket edge. I was waiting for something special this year, and Angels & Airwaves came along and made me feel 22 again. They made me want to sing along and go driving with the windows down, and to me, that’s what great music is supposed to do. 

“It’s on me / It’s only a small heart on one sleeve / Academy killer / Are you ready? / I’m waiting to begin.”

Bleachers / Strange Desire

Making the old feel new seemed to be a theme with my favorite albums this year and Bleachers (Jack Antonoff’s “don’t-call-it-a-side-project”) 80’s pop-rock blast Strange Desire did it better than anybody. When “I Wanna Get Better” hit the radio in February, it immediately became everyone’s favorite choppy, catchy, undeniable loser anthem. It was revealed all at once that Jack Antonoff (guitarist/co-writer for grammy winning group FUN.) not only had hit singles for a side project, but he had a full album and a tour hiding up his sleeve. Fans of Antonoff’s old band (New Jersey’s underdog punkers Steel Train) will find familiarity in a lot of the songs on Strange Desire, and in the absence of any news from FUN., Antonoff seems to have huge pop choruses for days. Alongside co-writing with Sara Bareilles (“Brave”) and Taylor Swift (“Out Of The Woods”) Antonoff wrote most of Strange Desire while on the road playing with FUN. With the weird glam-pop of Bowie and the rugged parkway grit of Born In The USA-era Springsteen, Antonoff makes the 11 tracks on Strange Desire feel like pure Bleachers. Using a lot of random samples, chopped up vocals and weird sounds, Antonoff puts his stamp on Strange Desire as the effortlessly cool, heart-on-sleeve, oddball front man of HIS band. All you have to do is look at the song titles. All “Wild Hearts,” “Rollercoaster,” and “Reckless Love” these songs could soundtrack a lost John Hughes movie. Selling out their summer tour across the US, and already making plans for next year, Bleachers rise to the top felt eerily similar to the path FUN. took a few years ago. Here’s to Bleachers and Jack Antonoff for the hard work and for releasing tunes that can make us all feel like kids again. 

“Woke up this morning early before my family / From this dream where she was trying to show me / How a life can move from the darkness.”

Field Report / Marigolden

Marigolden review here:

http://linernotesandseasons.tumblr.com/post/102325011184/field-report-marigolden

After missing the surprisingly moving debut album from Wisconsin’s Field Report on my best of 2012 list, I had Marigolden preordered and spinning from the day it came out in October. If you want a little deeper info on specific songs, check my full review linked above, but be assured, the music here is simply gorgeous. With understated acoustic guitar, drum brushes and keyboards, Field Report fill out a sound that was stark and bare, if not haunting on their debut. Adding enough pedal steel, sleek synthesizers, and electronic effects to draw comparisons to both Radiohead and George Jones; Field Report eschews the easy hooks of the currently saturated “folk” scene, to create something memorable and deeply powerful. Lyrically, this is solely a Christopher Porterfield project, and he writes like an older man with far more experience than a sophomore album would suggest. An ex-alcoholic from Milwaukee, Porterfield takes his songwriting cues from Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell. He uses visceral and complicated words that shouldn’t fit in such pretty songs; words like lamprey, trebuchet, and tessellated that jut out at you in sharp angles. Much the way Paul Simon could get away with singing about “lasers in the jungle” and “angels in the architecture” Porterfield spews poetry at you like a man on a mission. Marigolden is a gem of an album. A collection of songs that stick with you and get under your skin. I’m glad bands like this still exist and I think “americana” is alive and well in Field Report’s capable hands. 

“Over the water outside of Mobile allowing the sunset to take her time / I’ve been putting off the knowing in a pink and orange haze while the oil rigs are feeding me lines / And the pines straight and tall, fly past looking out on a hundred mile bar code of prison bars.”

Noah Gundersen / Ledges

When Noah Gundersen rolled through Denver on tour last February, his debut solo album Ledges had been released only two weeks earlier. When he and his sister Abby opened their set with the mostly acappella album opener “Poor Man’s Son” and charged right on into the epic violin riff that drives “Boathouse,” I was hooked. With an emotional maturity that belies his age (he’s only 25), Gundersen comes on strong with a quieter batch of acoustic songs about love, loss, faith, and family. Family has always been a huge theme for Gundersen (the only musicians on the album are siblings) and Ledges is rife with lyrical references to mothers, fathers, grandfathers, brothers, and sons. Younger sister Abby is the secret weapon here as she steals the show with her soft harmonies, and absolutely stunning violin work. Title track “Ledges” has to be one of the best songs this year. A roots rock blast that rides Abby’s violin line and Noah’s soul-baring lyrics to a huge chorus with its Springsteen-esque “better man” sentiment. Throughout these songs it is Gundersen’s honest, challenging lyrical approach and the way he speaks of religion and love that set Ledges apart from the flood of folksy singer-songwriters saturating the scene right now. Album closer “Time Moves Quickly” is a simple, sweet fade out. With Abby on funeral-quiet piano and strings, and Noah’s whisper quiet vocals, this one lasts long after the last note fades. 

“It’s the first defeat cuts you to your bones / Knocks you off your feet and you discover that home / Is not a person or place but a feeling you can’t get back.”

Hiss Golden Messenger / Lateness Of Dancers

A couple of weeks before Hiss Golden Messenger’s sublime summer record Lateness of Dancers came out, I was on vacation, wandering a Seattle record store and stumbled across an advanced copy in the used bin. I knew immediately that I was onto something good. From the very first electric strum of standout opener “Lucia”, Lateness is an album brimming with musical and lyrical talent, and a “roll down the windows, sweet southern summer breeze” feel. In much the same way that top 5 contender The War On Drugs rambles, Hiss Golden Messenger fills these songs with a kind of focused lazy. From the lilting, classic country feel of “Saturday’s Song,” to the swampy, southern rock of “I’m a Raven,” there is no hurry in front man MC Taylor’s delivery. Following an interesting career path from hardcore punk and alt-country in San Francisco in the 90’s, to studying folklore and forming HGM in North Caroling in 2007. I fell in love with HGM’s 2010 release Bad Debt a couple winters ago, and I loved the quiet immediacy and raw songwriting that came from just Taylor and an acoustic guitar. Lateness fleshes out that sound with an impressive cast of musicians that includes longtime partner Scott Hirsch, Matt McCaughan (Bon Iver), and the mega-talented Phil and Brad Cook. With his rugged vocals devoid of twang, Taylor sings of southern ideals and embodies the blooming North Carolina music scene of old souls. Equal parts country, americana, blues, folk, and 70’s rock, Hiss Golden Messenger turns up like a sweet, forgotten find in the dusty 70’s used bin of the old record store. Which is exactly how he wants it to be. 

“The misery of love is a funny thing / The more it hurts, the more you think you can stand a little pain.”

Ben Howard / I Forget Where We Were

After sleeping on Howard’s debut full length Every Kingdom in 2011, I vowed not to miss this year’s brooding soundscape I Forget Where We Were. Howard (27 years old from London) has enough songs floating around to fill far more than his two US releases, and with five EP’s to his name, IFWWW comes off as far more polished than your average sophomore effort. Although lacking the punch of catchier singles “Old Pine,” “The Wolves,” “The Fear,” or “Keep Your Head Up” from his first album, IFWWW does exactly what I want to see from a promising young artist. Howard shies away from easy choruses and uptempo beats and instead digs deeper with guitar tones and all around impressive musicianship on every track. Definitely darker and spacier, Howard gives the songs room to breathe, and uses enough effects and pedals to make The Edge jealous. Already an impressive guitar talent, you can feel Howard pushing himself to not only get better, but make the kind of songs that not many other young musicians are doing right now. From the gorgeous climb in the last minute and a half of the title track, the War On Drugs sprawl of “Time Is Dancing,” and the acoustic mastery of “In Dreams,” there is a lot to grow on you here. Standout first single “End Of The Affair” starts out sounding like “Everything” from his first album, but takes you on a much darker journey. When the percussion and guitar rhythm FINALLY click in at almost five minutes in, the last three minutes make this one song you probably don’t want to miss this year.

"Hold it in now let’s go dancing / I do believe we’re only passing through / Wired again now look who’s laughing / Me again, all fired up on you.”

John Mark McMillan / Borderland

Borderland is a deeply personal, spiritually challenging, powerful beast of a record. John Mark McMillan is a criminally underrated singer-songwriter who has been slaving away for a while on the edges of the easily hateable “Christian Rock/Worship” genre. Writing gritty, weird “christian” songs that are too moving and too biblically true NOT to be used in worship services around the world (see “How He Loves”) but just real, graphic, and visceral enough to make all the Christians a little uncomfortable. To focus only on how we label/perceive his music and religious beliefs would be taking away from the true beauty of Borderland, so let’s just talk about the tunes. With shades of 80’s era Springsteen and U2, and a rumbling voice that recalls a rougher Matt Berninger (The National), McMillan’s powerful vocals run a common thread through every song on Borderland. With a mind-blowing songwriting style that sounds gothic and prehistoric, modern and almost architectural. McMillan sings of freight decks, gaslights, Babylon, Rome, and Napolean, the repo man, jungles, cannonballs, lions and foxes. The songs and sequence are painstakingly crafted from the start. From the understated piano and mournful strings on opener “Holy Ghost,” the synthy, almost M83-esque “Love At The End,” to the rougher Imagine Dragons, radio rock of “Guns / Napolean” McMillan has three singles in the first three songs before he drops his “worship music” bomb. “Future / Past” is an epic, galatic-scoped worship song for megachurches full of thirty somethings. For me, someone who grew up on Christian music, and fell for “Christian” labeled bands like Delirious?, Switchfoot, Relient K, Bleach, The OC Supertones, and The Newsboys, McMillan’s spiritually centered songs ring true. It’s a tough genre to succeed in (McMillan and NEEDTOBREATHE are the only two christian artists who made my list), but McMillan is so passionate and so talented, and that talent shines through in a big way on Borderland.

“Are we all dangerous? Lost boys shoring up / Pockets full of fairy dust / Suffering the wanderlust / They all get crushed without love / By the law of the jungle.”

Manchester Orchestra / Cope & Hope

Cope Review here:

http://linernotesandseasons.tumblr.com/post/82482084948/manchester-orchestra-cope

When Atlanta, GA 5-piece rock group Manchester Orchestra released their blisteringly heavy 4th full length Cope in early 2014, my only complaint with the record was its lack of dynamics and the fact that it was missing any emotional ballads/quiet moments at all. Lo and behold, MO has listened to my plea! Less than half a year after battering us with Cope, they have reimagined and re-released the songs as an emotional, stripped down older brother, ironically (or perhaps unironically) titled Hope. Releasing the same 10 songs less than six months apart is a dangerous move for any band, but MO pulls it off. With beautiful piano, understated acoustic guitar, strings, and a little trumpet, this is a beautiful sounding collection of songs. If you didn’t know better you would think that this was how the songs were originally meant to sound. The contrast between the two albums showcases front man Andy Hull’s impressive vocal acrobatics, and he sounds just as passionate screaming over raging electrics as he does crooning over lush strings. Standout Hope track “Girl Harbor” is probably most reminiscent of Hull’s solo work as Right Away Great Captain! and Hull’s vocals in the bridge when he cracks his way through the “Desperate friends!” bit, are the most emotional thing MO has done since “Leave It Alone.” If you want to read more about Cope, my full review is linked above, butit is the contrast between the two records that really sets MO apart. After the challenge of a little lineup change, 2014 proved that these guys have the range, work ethic, and indie cred to be the next Black Keys, Kings of Leon, or Foo Fighters. 

“Desperate friends / Trying to reconcile the bends / There is a name for men like you inside the dark / And I know your faults / I know the way you write them off / I don’t want anything to do with it no more.”

 NEEDTOBREATHE / Rivers In The Wasteland

Rivers In The Wasteland was the last album I added to this list. Beating out some solid releases from Counting Crows, Desert Noises, Run River North, The Black Keys, Owl John, Max Garcia Conover, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Taylor Swift, South Carolina’s NEEDTOBREATHE has done something special with their 5th studio release. Joining John Mark McMillan as the other self proclaimed “Christian” act on this list, NTB lets you know exactly where they stand on their powerful opening salvo “Wasteland” proclaiming “If God is on my side, who can be against me?” Although not a popular sentiment for record sales, you have to respect them for singing out exactly what they believe. With a back story straight out of a movie script, brothers Bo and Bear (Yeah he’s named after legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant) Rinehart, played football and started a country rock band in Possum Kingdom, South Carolina. Their influences shine through heavily on Wasteland with the swampy, southern rock feel of “Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now,” and the rambling country of “The Heart.” Sounding tight, well produced, and like a band at the top of their game, doing exactly what they want, NTB uses Wasteland to make a statement about exactly where they stand in their faith. Upon first listen I said I couldn’t believe how “christian” they sounded. With worshipful tracks “Difference Maker” and “Multiplied” NTB certainly isn’t shy about alienating a secular audience. They do achieve enough genre bending here to keep it interesting. Check out the Beach Boys inspired intros to “Brother” and “State I’m In” and the straight up radio rock (Think Imagine Dragons, Young The Giant, or Kings of Leon) of “Where The Money Is.” Overall, NTB stick to their strengths and reaffirm anyone who doubted their passion. With a cohesive, exciting release (With gorgeous album artwork to boot) and a title taken straight from the Bible (Isaiah 43:19) NTB sounds like a band supremely confident in their abilities and beliefs. . 

“We are all transgressors / We’re all sinners / We’re all astronauts / So if you’re beating death then raise your hand but shut up if you’re not!”

Sturgill Simpson / Metamodern Sounds In Country Music

I think anyone who listens to country radio right now can agree that country music needs saving and Sturgill Simpson might be just the kind of unassuming Kentucky boy with the classic sound to save it. Drawing immediate comparisons to Waylon, Willie, and Merle (I like to think that the country music greats only need their first names) Sturgill laces Metamodern Sounds with equal parts jukebox barnstormers and soul searching ballads. Two things grabbed me immediately about Simpson’s songs. First, the musicianship is excellent. While sticking mostly to classic country chord structures and rhythms, Simpson’s band sounds tight, and he himself has guitar chops that most radio country artists right now could only dream of. Second, the depth of soul searching in Simpson’s lyrics are to me what puts him closer to Willie and Waylon (heretofore to be referred to as W&W), than to anyone I hear coming on Nashville radio. Oft analyzed lead single “Turtles All The Way Down” deals not just with W&W’s favorite topics (drugs and religion) but far broader ideas of death, space, and time. With the kind of down-home-druggie wisdom Nelson has made a career of, he proceeds to tackle society and government (“Voices”), and making a career in music (“Living The Dream” and “Life of Sin”). What makes Simpson more than just another Waylon Jennings knock-off (and believe me he does sound and look like Waylon) is his willingness to use production and to sound simultaneously old and new. The last two songs are a perfect example of Simpson’s diversity and experiementation. “It Ain’t All Light” is a nearly seven minute (that in itself is nearly unheard of in country music) Eric Church-esque, rock experiement. Driven by looping electronics, fuzzy minor key electric guitars, and Simpson wolf-howling about being a “sin eater” and “playing with devil.” Heavy stuff. That track fades right into the prettiest, folkiest ballad on the album about Simpson’s idyllic, small town country life growing up. Singing of his uncle, his great grandparents, even his “papaw” “Pan Bowl” to me is what a real country song is all about. Hallelujah, country music is alive and well!

“There’s a gateway in our minds that leads somewhere out there far beyond this plane / Where reptile aliens made of light cut you open pull out all your pain.”

Strand Of Oaks / HEAL

When Strand Of Oaks frontman Timothy Showalter put the name of his new album in CAPS LOCK, it wasn’t an accident or some kind of gimmick to stand out in a crowded bearded indie scene. No, Philadelphia’s Showalter meant for the word HEAL to be a command and when in the title track he yelps “You GOTTA HEAL!” he sounds like he really means it. There are some albums that sound and feel like they HAD to be made and HEAL buzzes with cathartic energy and pent-up emotion. Written after a near death car crash, a marriage infidelity, alcoholism, and a disappointing 2012 release, Showalter had a lot on the line for this album. Although HEAL was my introduction to Strand Of Oaks (I had to go on a 3 record store, citywide hunt to track down my copy earlier this summer), longtime fans might have been a little surprised by the heaviness of both the guitars and the synthesizers. HEAL hits hard with the guitars right from the start with Showalter’s hometown referencing, J Mascis guest-shredding “Goshen 97” and the synth and drum heavy title track and “Same Emotion.” The album doesn’t begin to hit its emotional peak till the middle section, with the Springsteen anthem “Shut In,” and the brooding, almost Coldplay-like power of “Woke Up To The Light.” After already name checking The Smashing Pumpkins, Sharon Van Etten, and The Tallest Man On Earth’s Kristian Matsson, Showalter lets everything go with his homage to the late great Jason Molina (Songs:Ohia & Magnolia Electric Co.) simply titled “JM.” The song begins simply and quietly enough, with Showalter singing about his childhood in Indiana, before exploding at about a minute and a half in with an unhinged guitar wall of fury. The refrain of “I had your sweet tunes to play” written for Molina, is one the most poignant lines of music appreciation I’ve heard in awhile. Showalter releases more chaos on the unsettlingly autobiographical “Mirage Year” and makes HEAL one of the most diverse, interesting, and emotional rock releases in the last few years. 

“Sometimes I move like shadows / Sometimes I move like wind / But most days I start where I begin / Naked in The Great Lakes / Underneath the shine of Mars / I begged my friend to just let me drift off / Shower your loves with kisses / Shower the world with tears / Take advantage of those who got you here / Let me roll / Let me go / I’m bound to lose control.”

The War On Drugs / Lost In The Dream

This gorgeous, shimmering The War On Drugs album snuck into my life pretty much right after it was released in March. A friend of mine from work started playing it consistently in the early morning (we start work at 4AM) and it took me over. Pretty soon everyone was passing around burned copies and trying to pinpoint Lost In The Dream’s elusive soundscape. Simultaneously spacey and heartland, calming and invigorating, chill and yet frenetic, Philadelphia’s Adam Granduciel has something special on his hands with this group of songs. In the same way that Sturgill Simpson is shaking up “country” music, Granduciel has taken classic sounds and made them feel new and fresh. Drawing comparisons to Petty, Henley, Springsteen, and Knopfler, The War On Drugs uses some impressive guitar work and beautiful synths, to create an album that feels both widescreen wandering and fiercely intimate. Highway anthem opener “Under The Pressure” fills its almost nine minutes with focused fuzz, driving drums, and an undeniable energy propelling the album forward. From the more straightforward rock songs like “Red Eyes” and “Burning” to the breathtaking lull of closer “In Reverse,” Lost in The Dream is a cohesive, soothing masterpiece. For three weeks in April I listened to ONLY the last two songs (the title track and “In Reverse”) on my drive to work in the still dark early mornings, and there is a passion in all of these songs. The War On Drugs seemed to finally break through this year finishing top 5 for album of the year from NME and Sterogum and winning album of the year from Amazon, Spin, Paste, Q, and Uncut Magazines, and Lost In The Dream is completely deserving of every accolade. A road trip album if there ever was one, I encourage you to take this one in the car and give it the old open road test. 

 "There’s a cold wind blowing down my old road / Down the backstreets where the pines grow / As the river splits the undertows.“

7

-KICKOFF COVERAGE’S: HISTORY OF THE 32 IN 32-

-PHILADELPHIA EAGLES-

2003

EAGLES 4TH QUARTER MIRACLE “4TH & 26” PLAY LEADS THEM TO OT WIN AGAINST THE PACKERS IN THE DIVISIONAL ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS, LOSE TO THE PANTHERS IN THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

The 2003 team lost its first two games, both at their new home. In the opening game of the 2003 season, the Eagles were shut out 17-0 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first regular-season game ever played at Lincoln Financial Field. Once again, the team went 12-4 for the season. By reaching the conference championship game in the same year as this defeat, they became the first team in modern history to get that far in the postseason after having been shut out at home in its first game. They achieved that distinction despite getting only five touchdown catches all year from their wide receivers, which tied the league low since the regular-season schedule was lengthened to its present 16 games in 1978 (this record would be broken in 2004 when the New York Giants’ wide receivers caught only two touchdown passes). The Eagle receivers even went through both September and October without a TD catch — the last time an NFL team had done that was in 1945.

The 2003 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 71st in the league. They matched their previous season’s record, going 12–4, however, they were again upset in the NFC Conference Championship. The team made the playoffs for the fourth straight year, won its third straight NFC East division title, and had the NFC’s top record for the second straight season.

After losing their final game in Veterans Stadium to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2002 NFC Championship, Philadelphia looked to turn the page with the opening of brand-new Lincoln Financial Field, but the stadium got an inaspicious start when the Eagles dropped their first two games there, including a season-opening loss to Tampa Bay. A crushing loss to the New England Patriots left the Eagles 0–2 and expected to compete for the Super Bowl, at a precarious 2–3, and it looked to be 2–4 before Brian Westbrookreturned a punt for a touchdown to shock the New York Giants in the closing minutes of their Week 7 contest. The play turned the Eagles’ season around and they won their next nine games, finishing with a 12–4 record. In the playoffs, the Eagles needed a miracle conversion on 4th and 26 to defeat the Green Bay Packers, but the magic had run out by the next week and the team dropped a 14–3 decision to the Carolina Panthers at Lincoln Financial Field in the NFC Championship.

A preseason holdout by running back Duce Staley resulted in a running back by committee situation by Staley, Westbrook, and Correll Buckhalter. The trio rushed for a combined 1,613 yards and 20 touchdowns and became known as “The Three-Headed Monster.” The rushing attack, which also benefited from 355 rushing yard and three touchdowns by quarterbackDonovan McNabb, carried the offense, which featured a weak receiving corps that did not record a touchdown until Week 9. There were calls early in the season to replace McNabb with backup A.J. Feeley, but McNabb would find his rhythm and enjoy a great season. The defense weathered early injuries to defensive backs Bobby Taylor and Brian Dawkins to eventually surrender the seventh-fewest points in the league. Cornerback Troy Vincent, in his final season as an Eagle, was elected to the Pro Bowl. The weakness in the defense would be in stopping the run, something the team struggled with even at the height of their nine-game winning streak.

4TH & 26 PLAY:

The drive started with a 22-yard run by Duce Staley, but on the next play, McNabb threw for an incomplete pass. Subsequently, on second down the Eagles were penalized 5 yards for a false start. On the ensuing play, a sack pushed the Eagles back to their own 25 yard line, and on third down McNabb threw another incompletion. The Eagles, faced with a fourth down and 26 yards, needed to convert for a first down, with only 1:12 remaining and no timeouts available.

On fourth down, the play (74 Double Go) called for a slant route to wide receiver Freddie Mitchell. McNabb threw a perfect strike to Mitchell deep into the Packers’ secondary. The Packers’ coverage, a Cover 2 package, broke down and was sharply criticized by broadcaster Cris Collinsworth. Linebacker Nick Barnett, who was responsible for shallow coverage of Mitchell, decided to bite on the tight end. Inexplicably, Darren Sharper, who was partially responsible for deep coverage of Mitchell, played past the first down marker positioning himself for an interception rather than preventing any catch in front of the marker. The only player that was close to making a play, Packers' safety Bhawoh Jue, was playing the sidelines as is customary in Cover 2 defense and was too late to prevent a catch or first down. Mitchell completed a leaping reception and was brought down at the Packers 46, giving the Eagles a first down.

The play set up David Akers’ 37-yard field goal attempt after McNabb ran for another first down. The field goal was good, and the game went into overtime, when Eagles safety Brian Dawkins was able to intercept an errant Brett Favre pass and return it 35 yards, setting up another Akers field goal try. The 31-yard kick was good, giving the Eagles a dramatic 20–17 victory and sent them to their third straight NFC Championship Game, which they lost to the Carolina Panthers.

10

DID YOU KNOW.. 15 FACTS ON EL CLASCIO

Ahead of Saturday’s meeting between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu, here are 15 stats on football’s eternal rivalry.. stats, scores, players, records… 

Scores and Matches:

1- This is the Clasico #263

2 - In the last seven Madrid-Barça fixtures in the league, the Catalans have gotten the better of the side from the capital with four wins, one draw and two defeats. If all competitions are considered, Barça again are on top with six wins, three draws and three defeats.

3 - Madrid and Barça have met in Week 12 of La Liga on seven occasions. The blaugranas have won the last three (2004, 2005 and 2009) and did not concede in any of those matches.

4 - Real Madrid have not lost in their last 22 league matches at home (19 wins and three draws).

5 - Rafa Benitez has faced Barça on 12 occasions, as manager of Valladolid, Extremadura, Valencia and Liverpool: seven wins, one draw and four losses.

6 - The most frequent result between Madrid-Barça meetings at the Santiago Bernabeu is 2-1 (18). Other often-seen scorelines are 1-1 (15), 1-2 (13) and 0-1 (13).

Records:

7 - In the last nine league Clásicos, both sides have managed to score, making it the second longest such streak after the two teams did so on 13 occasions between 1946 and 1952

8 - Andrés Iniesta has made the most Clásico appearances of any Barça player currently in the squad, with 31 matches against Madrid in all competitions. The Barça player with the most appearances in the fixture isXavi Hernandez who featured 42 times against Madrid with a record of 17 wins, 12 draws and 13 defeats.

Top 10 Players with most clasico appearances: *Bold means players are still active in el Clasico

  1.  Xavi Hernández: 42 apps (FCB)
  2.  Manuel Sanchís: 42 apps (RMCF)
  3. Francisco Gento: 42 apps (RMCF)
  4. Fernando Hierro: 37 apps (RMCF)
  5. Raúl González: 37 apps (RMCF)
  6. Iker Casillas: 36 apps (RMCF)
  7. Carles Puyol: 32 apps (FCB)
  8. Andrés Iniesta: 31 apps (FCB)
  9. Lionel Messi: 30 apps (FCB)
  10. Sergio Ramos: 30 apps (RMCF)

9 - Leo Messi is closing in on another record. This time for the most league Clásico goals. In his 18 matches against Madrid in La Liga, he has scored 14 times, the same number as Alfredo Di Stéfano. Also of significance is the fact that the Argentine has scored eight of those in the capital.

Goals:

10 - Barça have scored in their last 15 league matches on the road (41 goals with an average of 2.7 per game).

11 - The current top three scorers in La Liga belong to either Barça or Madrid. Neymar Jr. is top of the pack with eleven goals, Luis Suárez follows with nine while Cristiano Ronaldo has eight.

Cantera:

12 - La Masia starters double La Fabrica’s starters, with 56 starting role for La Masia Alums against La Fabrica’s 23.

13 - La Masia players have also scored double the goals (4) of La Fabrica players (2)

14 - Sergio Busquets leads the ranking in minutes played for a Youth player (900 minutes) for FC Barcelona, and for both team, while Casemiro comes in 5th with (581 minute)

the top 10 Youth player starters is the following based on minutes played:

1- Sergio Busquets: 900 minutes (FCB)
2- Sergi Roberto: 744 minutes (FCB)
3- Jordi Alba: 720 minutes (FCB)
4-  Gerard Pique: 621 minutes (FCB)
5- Carlos Casemiro: 581 minutes (RMCF)
6- Andres Iniesta: 480 minutes (FCB)
7- Munir el Haddadi: 462 minutes (FCB)
8- Daniel Carvajal: 408 minutes (RMCF)
9- Lionel Messi: 399 minutes (FCB)
10- Nacho Fernandez: 371 minutes (RMCF)

15 - In total, La Masia players have totaled 5115 minutes as starters while La Fabrica players have totaled 2239 minutes as starters.


  • REAL MADRID - FC BARCELONA, Clasico #263, November 21st 2015, at 18:15 PM CET, 12th Round of La Liga, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid.

*FCB
*MD
*Transfer Market.