The 3-in-1 Smart Box is a pocket sized speaker

The 3-in-1 Smart Box has been designed as lightweight, easy-to-carry and importantly for an object this small, difficult-to-lose.

Fox sets 'Wayward Pines' premiere date

FOX announced on Tuesday (December 9) morning that the 10-episode thriller will premiere on Thursday, May 14 at 9 p.m. ET. And "Wayward Pines" won't just be rolling out in the United States.

Mockingjay dominates the slowest box office weekend of the year

With only one new release this weekend, The Pyramid, and everything else falling, the overall domestic box office generated a little below $80 million, resulting in the slowest selling weekend of the year.

The Devastating Impact of the Halifax Explosion

On a cold December 6, in 1917, it seemed as though the doors of hell had burst asunder in Halifax, Nova Scotia. French munitions ship the SS Mont-Blanc collided with Norwegian supply ship the Imo at 8:40 in the morning.

7 Incredible Roller Coasters Based on Movies

Providing a great day out for kids and the young at heart alike, theme parks are loved the world over. And as long you enjoy heart-stopping excitement, who can resist a roller coaster, with its twists and turns, plunging drops, inversions, and eye-popping G-forces?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Top 10 PlayStation 4 Games of 2016

It was a great year to be a PS4 owner. Besides the litany of third party games, this year also saw the release of Naughty Dog’s first proper PS4 release, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, but it also saw the release of the much-awaited The Last Guardian. That it turned out to be a good game was nothing short of amazing and helped put a nice exclamation point on a good year of gaming available on PS4.

This year in gaming has been impressive. Unlike recent years, there didn’t seem to be any one game that everyone agreed on was far and away the best. This says to me that there was a lot of quality games and a lot of things for people to really connect with. Let’s get to the list of my favourite PS4 games from 2016!

10. Final Fantasy XV

I’ve been a Final Fantasy fan since the original on the NES. The series has had its ups and downs, but, having skipped over Final Fantasy XIII, it had been a really long time since I’ve played a new Final Fantasy game. 10 years, to be exact. Final Fantasy XII was the last one I played and it so happens, loved.

The only reason why Final Fantasy XV isn’t higher on my list is because I’ve honestly not had enough time to get deeper into it. Well, I’ve had time; I’ve been playing for over 12 hours, but I’m only on chapter 3 because I’ve been enjoying doing all of the side quests and I keep getting more! This is a huge game I can see myself playing well into early next year for sure, but I’ve played enough to know it deserves a spot on my list this year.

9. Far Cry Primal

Despite being a huge fan of the Far Cry series, I have to admit I wasn’t all that excited for Far Cry Primal. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to play it or wasn’t interested, but rather I viewed this as a spinoff that felt more like glorified DLC. I couldn’t have been more wrong. As a fully fleshed out game with scores of variety in weapons and gameplay, Far Cry Primal shows just how well the Far Cry formula can translate to other time periods and environments.

The story didn’t really register much, and even now I can only recall bits and pieces of it, but I remember very well that I had a blast playing it. A highlight for me was running up on a group of enemies who had some of my people captured, sliding on the ground, raising my bow and taking out three enemies at once with triple arrows, then charging at the remaining enemies and chaining takedowns and throwing my knife at the last enemy. If you’ve been waiting on playing this game, don’t. It’s really, really good.

8. Hitman

could have easily missed making my list. I balked at the episodic release schedule and figured I wouldn’t play it until the full game released on disc early next year. Thankfully the full first season was available during a digital sale before Black Friday so I decided to jump in at the 50% discounted price. I’m glad I did. The Hitman games satiate so many of my favourite things about games. Tonnes of options on how to solve the problems presented to you, great stealth mechanics and a dark sense of humour. Some of these levels are huge and present so many opportunities simply by roaming around and eavesdropping on conversations.

In Italy, I heard a conversation between a newly hired kitchen hand and another NPC regarding the kitchen hand being late on his first day. I went inside the apartment building, snuck into his room, stole his kitchen outfit and made my way into the kitchen. I then took expired spaghetti sauce and dumped into a put of spaghetti that was then served to one of my targets. While he was eating his poisoned meal, I made my way around the other side of the mansion to a cliff right by where he was eating, climbed into a conveniently placed bin and waited. Once the food poisoning kicked in my target came and doubled over vomiting right on the edge of cliff which happened to be directly in front of my hiding space. I climbed out, snuck up behind him, and shoved him off the ledge to his death. And that is just one of the many ways I could have taken out my target. Another involves an exploding golfball. Play the game and try that one out.

7. Dishonored 2

Another game I wasn’t overly excited to play this year, Dishonored 2 managed to surpass my expectations and deliver a challenging and fun experience. I enjoyed the first game a lot but it didn’t blow me away or anything, so when I started Dishonored 2 I figured it would be more of the same.

Except unlike the first game, when I was away from Dishonored 2 I would keep thinking about it. Thinking about how I could use my powers to navigate the large maps and avoid being spotted while I would take down enemies nonlethally. I was extremely successful making sure no one died, but not so much when it came to not getting spotted. But that’s what multiple playthroughs are for, right? The story isn’t very good, however, and seems more as an excuse to use the mechanics rather than a driving force to pull the player through.

6. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
was my favourite game of the generation. With its fun gameplay, excellent writing and performances, jaw dropping, bar-setting set pieces, I felt like I had experienced Naughty Dog at the height of their powers. With Neil Druckmann taking over for Amy Hennig as the writer and creative director, I expected Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End to at least match Uncharted 2.

Unfortunately, this turned out to not be the case. The story is the series’ best, for certain, but the pacing was off (I blame he inordinate amount of forced walking and two entirely too long flashback sequences) and the game really lacked those aforementioned set pieces outside of one that comes mid game. There are a few smaller ones later in the game, but nothing that I’ve come to expect from an Uncharted game. If it sounds weird that I’m bagging on a game so high on my list, I get it. But understand that the presentation, storytelling and performances are top notch and when the gameplay is good it’s the best in the series. I only wish that Naughty Dog would have trimmed some of the fat.

5. Tom Clancy’s The Division

I loved, loved, loved The Division. Team based, tactical combat with a ton of RPG elements, customisation, and fun combat arenas, I couldn’t get enough of Ubisoft Massive’s open world RPG. If I have any real complaint about the game, it’s that I don’t quite think they nailed The Dark Zone’s promising concept. Instead of being tense, it became a chore, because relying on other people, it just became an asshole simulator.

As a huge fan of tactical shooters and RPGs, The Division scratched so many itches that I thought for sure it would be my favorite game of the year. That it’s only my fifth favourite game of the year is a testament to the rest of the games that came out in its wake.

4. Inside

Any questions I had regarding why it took nearly six years for Playdead to release a follow up to 2010’s Limbo melted away as I was consumed with the polish on display with Inside. Inside is a visually stunning, thought provoking, nigh impeccably designed game that offers anyone willing to experience it a truly clever and original experience that takes familiar concepts and almost literally turns them on their head.
Instantly captivating with deceptively deep yet simple mechanics that offer quite a bit of variety, it’s a testament to Playdead’s talents that they are able to not only continue to surprise but keep the entire thing fresh throughout. As a work of art, it’s astounding. As a piece of commerce, it is incredibly brief, and depending on how you value one over the other, when you decide to experience this masterpiece is up to you. However, make no mistake, Inside is a game I recommend that everyone play.

3. The Last Guardian

The Last Guardian
is not a game for everyone. As someone who almost unanimously prefers gameplay to story, I can easily see the camera issues coupled with the slower controls being a real source of contention and turn off some people. Admittedly, I came close once or twice myself.

However, when the gameplay works as intended, it works really well – and the beauty of the story together with the bond and affection I came to feel for Trico overtook any frustration I had. When “The End” appeared on my screen I wiped the mist from eyes, stood up and said to myself, “I loved that”. Unlike anything I have ever played before, if you own a PS4 and have a soft spot for animals, give The Last Guardian a try. You might come away as pleased as I was that this game exists and that you were able to experience it.

2. Dark Souls III

I love Dark Souls III so much that it’s probably unnatural. This is a game I’ve played through four times on PS4 and twice on Xbox One and that’s not including the DLC which I’ve played through on both platforms. The combat has been refined to perfection, the bosses are memorable, unique and some are incredibly challenging (Nameless King), I even appreciated the trick bosses which fall very quickly once you figure out the puzzles aspect of their weakness.

Dark Souls III comes really close to being my favourite game of 2016 but when it boils down to it, there are a couple things I don’t like about the game. First would be that some areas aren’t all that great, namely Smoldering Lake and Demon Ruins. They’re just not all that interesting and don’t really add much to the game save for a few items that could have been placed in other areas and wouldn’t really change the lore all that much and would have improved the game, even if these are really brief areas. The other gripe I have is the emphasis on invasions and how Covenant items depend on invading. It’s just not something I’ve ever enjoyed in these games and in one later third area it becomes utterly obnoxious. The only way to not be invaded is to either remain unkindled or play offline. Both lock you off from playing co-op which is entirely optional. I’m sure people will read this and hurl insults at the screen but sometimes you hurt the ones you love. These really are minor gripes for a game that does so many other things incredibly well.

1. Titanfall 2

Yep. Titanfall 2 is my favourite PlayStation 4 game of 2016. An improvement on the first game (which I loved) in nearly every conceivable way,  if Respawn had simply doubled-down and released the multiplayer for Titanfall 2 as it exists now, I would still easily recommend it. They’ve tweaked the existing formula in deeply satisfying ways that extend the life of the game immensely. However, by adding a truly surprising and impeccably designed single-player campaign that is consistently fun to play, as a package Titanfall 2 is the most pure, minute-to-minute fun I’ve had with any game this year.

What are your favourite PlayStation 4 games of 2016? Let us know by commenting below!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sir Elton John Announce Contest to Create Videos for His Classic Songs

YouTube and one of England’s greatest artists, Elton John have joined forces to provide a platform for creativity. Participants from all over the world will be able to craft official videos for Elton’s three hit songs: Bennie and the Jets, Rocket Man and Tiny Dancer.

John and Bernie Taupin will soon celebrate their 50th anniversary of partnership, which is why the artist decided to launch Elton’s The Cut and provide the visuals that go with the three classic hits.
Naturally, each song will be presented in a unique genre—Rocket Man will take on a feature animation, while Tiny Dancer will be produced as live-action, and Bennie and the Jets will have elements of choreography.

"We're excited to partner with YouTube to bring together generations of artists and music lovers around a shared passion for storytelling," Elton John said in a statement. "YouTube is a rich tapestry of creativity, and I can't wait to see how the breadth of talent from the dance, live-action and animation communities apply their vision to these cherished songs."

Professional YouTube creators will be in charge of shortlisting submissions and will present a panel of judges with their decisions.

However, it will be Elton and Taupin that will have the final say. After the two select the winners, they will join the Pulse Films production to create the final version. The winning films will come out in the Summer of 2017. Furthermore, the selected filmmakers will go home with a generous reward of $10,000.

"We're excited to see creative ideas that push boundaries, tell compelling stories and give viewers something they have never seen before," John added in the promotional video accompanying the contest.

Friday, December 9, 2016

YouTube has revealed its Most-Viewed Game Trailers for 2016

As another year goes by, it’s time to take a look back at the various game releases and see which game created the most excitement. One way to determine this is by reviewing which game trailer was the most-viewed on YouTube.

The list of 10 most-viewed video game trailers for 2016 includes the reveal and launch trailers, and especially highlights those that have gotten the most attention. Battlefield 1 gathered over 49M total views for its release trailer, which earned it the top spot, but other titles such as DOOM, Watch Dogs 2, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and others also got their spots on the list, as well as a few surprises.

Compiled by YouTube based on the total number of views, this list only includes games released in 2016, so it excludes trailers that came out this year but were for games that won’t be released until 2017 or later (that means God of War and Spider-Man PS4 are not on it).

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Grammys Hall of Fame Adds Recordings by Nirvana, Prince, David Bowie, Among 22 Others

There will be 25 recordings added to the Grammy Hall of Fame as part of their Class of 2017. Some of these recording include: Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, David Bowie's Changes, Losing My Religion by R.E.M, the famous Elvis hit Jailhouse Rock and Prince's Sign 'O' the Times.

Besides TV themes (Lalo Schifrin's "Mission Impossible), country (Merle Haggard's Okie From Muskogee, Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make Your Love Me") and early Sixties pop (Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me," Dion's "The Wanderer"), N.W.A's Straight Outta Compton, the Beach Boys' I Get Around, Jackson 5's ABC and Sly & The Family Stone's Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) are also in this colorful group of great tunes.

The Billboard reported that the criteria for the Grammy Hall of Fame eligibility is based on the rule that the recording has to be over two decades old—25 years old, to be exact. The two tracks that celebrated their 25th anniversary in the year of 2016 are Smells Like Teen Spirit and Losing My Religion. The Hall of Fame's number of inductees would rise to 1,038 with the 25 new additions.

"The Grammy Hall Of Fame represents all genres of music, acknowledging the diversity of musical expression for which The Academy has become renowned," The Recording Academy president and CEO Neil Portnow said in a statement. "Memorable and inspiring, these recordings are proudly added to our growing catalog and are an integral part of our musical, social and cultural history.

Have a look at the Grammy Hall of Fame inductees below:

Arlo Guthrie - "The City of New Orleans"
The Beach Boys - "I Get Around"
Billie Holiday - Lady Sings the Blues
Blind Willie McTell - "Statesboro Blues"
Bonnie Raitt - "I Can't Make Your Love Me"
Cab Calloway And His Orchestra - "(Hep-Hep!) The Jumpin' Jive"
David Bowie - "Changes"
Deep Purple - "Smoke of the Water"
Dion - "The Wanderer"
Elvis Presley - "Jailhouse Rock"
The Everly Brothers - "Wake Up Little Susie"
Jackson 5 - "ABC"
Lalo Schifrin - "Mission Impossible"
Lesley Gore - "You Don't Own Me"
Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra - "When the Saints Go Marching In"
Merle Haggard - Okie From Muskogee
Mills Brothers - "You Always Hurt the One You Love"
Mississippi John Hurt - "Stack O'Lee Blues"
N.W.A - Straight Outta Compton
Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
Prince - Sign 'O' the Times
R.E.M. - "Losing My Religion"
Rod Stewart - "Maggie May"
Sly & The Family Stone - "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)"
Sonny & Cher - "I Got You Babe"

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Most Incredible College Libraries Around The World

There’s nothing that consoles a book lover more than the library – the haven of all knowledge, the treasury of stories. The idea that you can borrow any book you like that hundreds of people have read before you is probably one of the better inventions of mankind. That being said, not all libraries fill us with awe, and thousands of best library lists and Pinterest entries prove that the beauty of a library is a very subjective matter. We have decided to focus on college libraries, and what freshmen may find in them as they embark on the new stage of their life’s journey.

These 9 university libraries are probably the holy sanctuary of all students attending:

Koerner Library at The University of British Columbia

If you like modern conceptual architecture, you will be hard-pressed to focus on the books at the Koerner Library on the University of British Columbia campus. It looks like an open book, and wherever you go inside, you will have full view of the glorious mountain landscape.

Sofia University Library

In Europe, our first stop would be the Sofia University Library. Its arching walls are vaguely reminiscent of the Oval office and its stacks of books are awe-inspiring, but it probably wouldn’t distract an eager student from obtaining knowledge.

Suzzallo Library at The University of Washington

If you like your libraries a bit more serious and you’re more of a fan of Wes Anderson flicks, you will find some very carefully dosed whimsy balanced out by grandeur at the Suzzallo Library at The University of Washington. Just remember – no talking while others are studying!

Library and Learning Centre at The University of Economics Vienna

For futurists and lovers of great architecture out there, the library on the campus of The University of Economics in Vienna is surely the most beautiful. Zaha Hadid’s vision was marvelously executed here – after seeing this, the idea of studying economics in Austria doesn’t sound so monotonous anymore!

Stauffer Library at Queen's University

If you, however, aren’t a student in Chicago but somewhere in Kingston, Ontario, and still want to study in a fantasy-world-ready library, you will find everything that inspires you in Stuaffer Library at Queen's University. Its fa├žade vaguely resembles that of the Capital City in The Hunger Games, but it’s beautiful and isn’t housing a dystopian nightmare – just lots of books.

Widener Library at Harvard University

If your vision of an ideal library is more old world and decorative, you would surely love the Widener Library at Harvard University. Its renaissance painting-decorated halls complete with grandiose chandeliers (no swinging, though!) remind us of times long past.

Humboldt University Library

If you would like your libraries more modern, but not soulless, and with one foot firmly in the past times, you would love studying at the Humboldt University Library in Berlin, Germany. It was carefully renovated to bring out the best of all eras.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University

Sci-fi and comic book fans going to Yale this fall will probably worship imagine the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library on the Yale University campus. Its position and construction are vaguely reminiscent of Superman's Fortress of Solitude, so looking for books here will have a whole new sense of mystery and exploration.

Harper Memorial Library at The University of Chicago

If you want to feel like you’re attending Hogwarts and practicing magic instead of just brushing up on design or engineering at ye olde Uni, the Harper Memorial Library at The University of Chicago is the place for you. You won’t need to answer a riddle to get in, but every true Ravenclaw will enjoy studying in these halls.