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KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings

The Entertation Index: June 20-24

The Entertation Index: June 20-24

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Each week KSR’s Funkhouser collects the best of pop culture. The Entertation Index collects the best of the week for your consumption.

Dmitrichenko, Pavel — Russian ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko, who has been in prison for six years after spearheading an acid attack on his former employer Sergei Filin, the artistic director of Russia’s famed Bolshoi Theatre, has been released and is attempting to return to the dancing world. The only thing slowing him down is that part of the job interview where he’s asked what his biggest weakness is and he responds “Probably trying to throw acid on my boss.”

Link: Out of Prison for Attack, Dancer Hopes to Get Back to the Bolshoi

Ain't afraid of no ghost.

Ain’t afraid of no ghost.

Ghostbusters — While no one has yet to see the new female-centric Ghostbusters, it’s not doing itself any favors with two trailer releases low on comedy and high on “not getting a good feeling about this.” But let’s retain judgement until – oh, what’s that? The Ghostbusters theme has just been officially remade by Fall Out Boy with Missy Elliott? Dammit, Ghostbusters, you are making it VERY hard for people to help you out here.

Link: Fall Out Boy Redid the Ghostbusters Theme Song, Boy Oh Boy

Hart, Kevin — Last weekend burglars broke into Central Intelligence star Kevin Hart’s home and reportedly stole upwards of $500,000 in watches, jewelry and clothes. To recoup his losses Hart has already signed on to star in, filmed and released a buddy movie where he plays a motormouthed dentist who gets wrapped up in a mob hit with Robert de Niro. The film started filming on Tuesday morning and opens in theaters everywhere tomorrow.

Link: Burglars Steel $500k in Jewelry, Clothes from Actor Kevin Hart’s Southern California Home

Lohan, Lindsay — On the evening of the United Kingdom’s important decision to leave the European Union, actress Lindsay Lohan took to social media to live-tweet the voting results, even poking fun at the sharply-dropping value of the British pound. Lohan hasn’t been this vocal about world politics since that night she dropped acid at Dave Franco’s party and went on MSNBC to criticize China’s Chairman of the Central Military Commission Hu Jintao.

Link: Lindsay Lohan Live-Tweets UK Referendum Results

Nelson, Willie — Iconic country superstar and noted pot aficionado Willie Nelson is launching his own personal brand of marijuana this summer called “Willie’s Reserve,” and he’s currently hiring bookkeepers, sales directors and production managers. Candidates must be motivated starters with a proven track record of oh who are we kidding do you like to smoke weed you’re probably perfect for the job.

Link: Willie Nelson Hiring Now for Colorado Marijuana Business

Are you ready for some SURREAL CHARACTER DRIVEN FRENCH CANADIAN THEATER?

Are you ready for some SURREALIST CHARACTER-DRIVEN FRENCH-CANADIAN THEATER?

Soleil, Cirque du — World-renowned acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil have announced a partnership with the National Football League to broaden their net of interest for new fans. The partnership is welcome news to people who love professional football but complain about a lack of people in unitards standing on each other to create a giant caterpillar.

Link: NFL Teaming with Cirque du Soleil to Draw New Fans

Stanley, Ralph — Thoughts go out to the family of influential bluegrass music pioneer Ralph Stanley, who died on Thursday. Stanley was a force in the genre, a National Medal of the Arts winner and an artist Jerry Garcia once called “the most perfect singer alive.” Here he is performing “Man of Constant Sorrow” with his brother in 1950.

Link: Man of Constant Sorrow — The Stanley Brothers


Well We Didn’t See This Wrestling Match Ending Coming…

Well We Didn’t See This Wrestling Match Ending Coming…

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DDT is a ridiculous wrestling promotion in Japan, which turns the dial of “realism” in wrestling to about as low as it can go before the knob breaks off.  There is Joey Ryan who can flip people with his genitals, an inflatable doll named Yoshihiko, who wrestles actual people.  But I think this one takes the cake…

Brilliant…  This is how wrestling should be on a regular basis.  Just bizarre and wonderful…

(H/T to Brandon Stroud at WithSpandex)


Origins 2016 Game Spotlight – The Networks

Origins 2016 Game Spotlight – The Networks

Networks

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to take a look at some of the games that I brought home from, or played at Origins Game Fair 2016 in Columbus last weekend.

One of the games that I had mentioned in my Origins Game Fair preview, as a game that excited me, was The Networks by Gil Hova (no relation to Jay-Z, I think…).  The Networks is a game that Hova has been working on for about five years, and ended up Kickstarting it in September 2015, raising over $103,000.  His goal was $25k.

I had seen The Networks for the first time just a few weeks ago as part of BoardGameGeek.com’s Origins 2016 preview, while doing research for my trip.  The idea of a game where you get to control your own television network is something that certainly intrigued me, but also seemed like a great fit for Funkhouser.  When I arrived at Origins, I made my way over to Gil Hova’s booth, Formal Ferret Games, to chat with him for a bit and pick up my copy.  I met up with Mike and TJ, who I met at our Extra Life Fundraiser back in November.  They were meeting up with Rob, Christina and Patrick of the board game podcast, Blue Peg, Pink Peg.

Pikachus Butt

Pikachu’s Butt

After learning different games with the Blue Peg, Pink Peg crew at the Stronghold Games booth, we all decided to meet behind Pikachu’s Butt, the overwhelming star of Origins (it has its own Twitter Account).  Behind Pikachu’s butt was a bank of tables where you could sit down and play anything that you purchased at, or brought with you to the convention.  While Rob, Patrick and TJ took on a game called Millennium Blades, Christina, Mike and I, along with a Canadian named Shaun, tried our hands at The Networks.  Shaun had been teaching The Networks at its booth, so we were able to learn the game quickly.  When we weren’t in conversation, the game flew by as we bought and cancelled our shows, and tried to match up each show in its desired timeslot.  Around the fourth round, I unknowingly was taking every show or star that Christina wanted, but it helped me in the long run.  At the end, I took a second place finish to teacher Shaun (surprise), but walked away from the game thinking how much I wanted to play it again.

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Playing The Networks at Origins

I was not the only person who thought highly of the game either. BoardGameGeek does a “Geek Buzz” list based on what people are enjoying at Origins, and The Networks was the #3 hottest game by the end of the convention, which is a big deal considering the other games it was going up against.


In The Networks, you start as a public access television channel with just a little bit of money, three terrible shows, a star and an ad.  Your goal is to build your television line-up with better shows and better stars so that by the end of five seasons (rounds) your channel has accumulated more viewers than your opponents.  In each turn, you have the option of Developing a Show, Signing a Star, Landing an Ad, Taking a Network Card, Attaching a Star or Ad, or Drop Out and Budget.

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A Typical Channel Layout (Via The Networks Rulebook – Gil Hova)

If you develop a show, you take the card from the array and put it in one of three time slots on your channel board at either 8, 9, or 10 PM (those are the only three slots).  Shows have preferred time slots, so in their first season, you will get a viewer bonus if you put the show on at the time it prefers.  Each season the show is on, it will either gain or lose viewers based on its longevity. So, the comedy “The Wacky TSA Agent” will have 8 viewers in season 1, but drop to 6 in S2, and 1 viewer each in S3 and S4.  Any time you replace a show, the “cancelled” goes into re-runs, and will earn viewers at the end of the round you’re playing, but then go to the archives for the remainder of the game.

To be able to put some shows on the air, they may either require Stars or Ads.  Stars work mostly like shows, in that you pay the cost to acquire them, and for each season, they draw a certain number of viewers.  However, some of the bigger stars may require an upkeep fee after every season.  Also, with both stars and ads, when you acquire them from the array on the table, they must first go into your “Green Room”, meaning you can’t just assign them to a show. In the later seasons, some of the stars you can acquire may like to be on only one type of show. If that’s the case, and you don’t put them on the show they like, you rotate them to show a different viewer track, which will garner less viewers than the star could have.

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Stars

With ads, when you land an Ad, you will immediately get a financial bonus.  Once you attach the ad to a show, you will continue to get a financial bonus to help you buy stars or shows.  However, I have found that because some of the bigger shows and stars have a seasonal upkeep, your ads are more often used to counteract those upkeep costs.

The Network Cards, which when we played at Origins we kind of forgot about, are cards you can use to help you gain viewers, earn money, circumvent some rules or mess with your opponents.  One I have found very useful allows you to add four viewers to each show you have in reruns when scoring.  If you have cancelled three shows that round, that’s a 12 viewer bonus, which is HUGE in a game that plays as tight as this one.

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Lastly, you can drop out of the round.  If you’ve done everything you really want to do during your turn, you move your token to the first available spot on the drop out line.  If you are the first to do so, you can choose between a certain amount of cash -or- gain a certain number of viewers.  After five rounds, you will score your shows one final (6th) time.  Whoever has the most viewers after final tally wins the game.

There is also a solo (and two player) variant of the game, which I had the chance to play yesterday.  The game relatively works in the same manner as a game with 3-5 people, but after every turn, you have to burn some of the cards in the play area.  Every “Network” card has icons on the bottom for Stars, Ads, Shows, Network Cards and Drop Out spaces.  After you take a turn, you draw a Network card, and whichever icons are colored at the bottom of the card, you take the left-most card of that type out of play, simulating playing a game with someone else and your choices starting to go away.  If you ever get an icon of a type of card that is no longer available to choose from, you get a cube in the turn order track, and if you get five cubes, the game is over.  So you’re racing against a turn clock, but you’re never sure which cards you’re going to go away after each turn.  If you can reach 265 viewers in the solo game after five seasons, you win!  My first (only) run of solo, I hit 247, but it was exciting all the way down to the end.


Since playing The Networks at Origins, I find myself continuing to think about it.  It is a fairly medium weight game that has enough in it for someone who likes a more difficult game, but would be extremely easy to teach someone not as experienced.  The game is chock full of thematic elements, between signing stars to sending shows to reruns.  You get bonuses if you ever have had three of one genre of show on your network, and another bonus if you’ve had five.  That’s such a little thing that goes a long way, of course you want your channel to have some sort of cohesion. Have five sci-fi shows over the life of your network, you’re essentially SyFy.  Everything makes sense in relation to the world of Television, which makes this game so accessible. I’m going to continue to take it to game nights in hopes that it can hit the table, because this game should be played.

For more information on the game, head over to The Networks website. The game is available for pre-order on the site, and should be available by July.


The Best Game of Thrones Memorabilia That Money Can Buy

The Best Game of Thrones Memorabilia That Money Can Buy

 

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This Sunday, season 6 of Game of Thrones will come to an end. The end of the season will leave a dragon-sized hole in my heart. As any true American will tell you, the best way to fill that empty void in your heart is with stuff, preferably handcrafted trinkets, knickknacks and chachkies from Etsy. It was a difficult task, but like Brienne of Tarth, I was relentless in my quest. Below you will find the best Game of Thrones trinkets that money can buy.

Game of Thrones blanket

etsy.com/JosephineJandLCrafts

Most Expensive Item: Hand Crocheted King-Size Blanket

Actual Retail Value: $3,000.00

Intended Consumer: A person who wants to use the following pickup line, “Hey, wanna come see my $3,000 Game of Thrones blanket?” but will probably never get to use it.

Jon Snow Mouse

etsy.com/TheHouseOfMouse

Most Adorable GoT Item 

Actual Retail Value: $52.02

Intended Consumer: Someone who can appreciate and handle the cuteness of this little rodent Jon Snow-dent.

Khal Me Maybe

etsy.com/TheCuriousCactus

Most Necessary Card Purchase

Actual Retail Value: $3.07

Intended Consumer: For anyone who wants to profess their love for someone while simultaneously annoying them by getting Carly Rae Jepsen’s song stuck in their head.

Bran Card

etsy.com/spicycards

Just Kidding, This Card Is The Most Necessary Purchase

Actual Retail Value: $5.00

Intended Consumer: Someone who is comfortable with make a joke at Bran’s expense.

Hodor Door Stop

etsy.com/WickedSpiritFashion

Most Obvious Item 

Actual Retail Price: $15.00

Intended Consumer: For people who need their own personal Hodor to help them “hold the door.”

Badly Drawn Jon Snow

Item that I might Actually Buy!

Actual Retail Price: $10.00

Intended Consumer: EVERYONE! This Etsy store has hundreds of badly drawn celebrities and for some reason, I want them all.  I plan on spending all of my GoT-less Sundays deciding which badly drawn celebrity I want to purchase. (Don’t worry.  I have already messaged the artist to see if he would draw of the UK coaches.)


Dragons and Battles and Dogs, Oh My!

Dragons and Battles and Dogs, Oh My!

***Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 9, “Battle of the Bastards” follow***

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By now you have seen or heard about how great Game of Thrones was Sunday night.  It truly was one of the best hours of tv that I’ve seen.  GoT has a history for putting on great shows, especially the ninth episode of the season, but “Battle of the Bastards ” definitely earned its place in the top two or three of the show, and definitely earned the Emmy(s) it’s sure to receive.  There were a lot of great things about the show especially from a storytelling standpoint.  A great place to catch up on those is the Kentucky Thrones Radio Podcast which you can access here.  What I want to focus on are the episode’s successes outside of the character arcs.  While we were captivated by the character interactions, there was so much going on from a technical aspect of the show that made it fantastic.  The actual Battle for Winterfell was the most visceral battle experience since the D-Day scene in Saving Private Ryan.  The aerial shots of all three dragons over Meereen were beautiful.  The music created breath-holding tension.  Overall the episode was more than just a tv episode, it was an experience.  Here are some of the key elements from “Battle of the Bastards”:

Cinematography

“Battle of the Bastards” was one of the most beautifully shot episodes of GoT.  From Danerys riding over Mereen on Drogan to the aerial shots of the battle at Winterfell, there was moment after moment of great visuals.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise as the episode essentially was shot like big budget war movie with hundreds of crew members, hundreds of extras, and it took nearly a month to film.  Here are a couple of the most memorable shots from the episode:

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Just fantastic work presenting the story through cinematography.

Sound

It’s hard to describe how music and sound affects the viewing experience.  Ramin Djawadi has delivered some iconic music in this series, most notably “The Rains of Castamere”, but the tension created in “Battle of the Bastards” through music and silence was amazing.  The Battle of Winterfell was scored like a major Lord of the Rings battle which lent a certain level of epicness to the fight.  The rush of air from the beating of the dragon wings and the thundering of the Dothraki horde coming felt like a movie experience.  The best moment of the episode from a sound standpoint was Rickon’s run.  The light score in the background is punctuated by Rickon’s footsteps, Jon’s horse, and the “thwack” of Ramsay’s bow.  There was little going on visually but those sounds created a moment so tense it caused you to hold your breath.

Pace

My favorite aspect of “Battle of the Bastards” was that everything was pretty predictable, yet it was still gripping.  Part of that is the result of GoT being known for throwing Debbie Downer curveballs.  In the back of your mind you are constantly thinking “will Ramsay win?”, “will Jon die again?”, “there’s no way Jon’s army can win this battle” and so on.  For this episode my GoT watching friends and most message boarders were in agreement on what would happen: Jon Snow would win, Ramsay would die a horrible death, Littlefinger would show up to save the day, one of the heroes (poor Wun Wun)  would die, and Rickon would probably die.  Despite the plot of the episode being fairly formulaic it still was amazing.  There are several pacing elements which caused this.  Most thought the episode would be 90% of Winterfell, but the opening in Meereen and subsequent cutbacks kept up the suspense.  These Meereen sequences were also very well done.  The battle against the Masters was great, but the scene with the Greyjoys negotiating with Tyrion and Danerys was another great moment.  The build up scenes in Winterfell were also great.  The meeting with Jon and Ramsay, the comedic stylings of Tormund, and the revelation of Davos were all nice little appetizers.  The slow buildup (the battle doesn’t begin until 40 minutes into the episode) did not feel slow, but once the battle started it was a break neck speed until the final showdown between Jon and Ramsay.  At this point we were able to breath slightly, but what a ride it was.  By the time Sansa approached Ramsay’s cell I felt like I had just stormed stormed through a Thanksgiving dinner, fat and happy.

Overall this episode was an amazing chapter in the GoT saga.  Let me know your favorite parts in the comments below.

 


Kentucky Thrones Radio: Episode 9

KTRLogo

The moment we’ve all been waiting for has come and gone.  “The Battle of the Bastards” was one of the greatest events in the history of television.  Relive the action with an hour of Kentucky Thrones Radio filled with bold statements and uncertain predictions for what lies ahead.  Also included:

—  Was yesterday the best day ever?

—  Sansa takes another giant step forward.

—  A combination of medieval, Roman and Spartan fighting tactics.

—  Khaleesi’s finest hour.

—  Three kills stood above the rest, which was best?

To listen, just subscribe to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or stream on Podbay.


This Summer’s Hottest Movies Explained By Kids

This Summer’s Hottest Movies Explained By Kids

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Kids are incredibly imaginative and surprisingly perceptive about the adult world.  Oftentimes, adults don’t give them enough credit, but I believe you can learn a lot if you entertain and seek out the perspectives and opinions of children.  I spent this Father’s Day weekend hanging out with my kids at the pool, where I got completely sunburnt, despite wearing SPF 50, swinging in my new ENO hammock, taking ‘er easy, as well as discussing this summer’s upcoming movie lineup.  However, rather than letting them watch the newest trailers and be spoon-fed the general storylines as I normally would, I conducted an interview with them, wherein I only showed them the movie poster to the forthcoming feature films and then asked them both to explain to me what the movie was about.   Below, my daughters, “A” aged 10 and “E” aged 7, share their insight into this summer’s hottest films.

The Shallows (June 2016)

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A:  “I think the movie is about a big scary deep sea monster, maybe a big shark, that starts attacking people or it could be about an animal that looks scary but wasn’t, and now mean people are trying to capture it.”
E:  “It’s about a girl who captured a shark and trained it to be nice!”

Swiss Army Man (June 2016)

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A:  “About people that go to heaven?  This looks really weird Dad.”
E:  “He looks dead or really sick.  What did he eat?”  “I have to pee!”
A:  “Wait, is that Harry Potter?  It IS Harry Potter!  Dad can we see that?”

The Purge:  Election Year (July 2016)

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A:  “What is this?  Is that a joke?  The movie is about the election and like how weird people get elected!”
E:  “Is about George Washington?  Or is it about how people get elected (meaning electrocuted) and they get shocked (mimics what happens when you get shocked and makes buzzing noises until we have to tell her to stop)!”

The Infiltrator (July 2016)

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A:  “Is that Poppy (her grandfather)?  I think the guy that looks like Poppy, trains people then betrays them.”
E:  “He’s a dad that lives alone and he wants to smoke and maybe he wants to solve problems or maybe even hurt people, because he has a bad mustache and looks mysterious.”

Star Trek Beyond (July 2016)

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A:  “Duh, space.”
E:  “About someone who goes to outer-space and then comes back from beyond.  There’s dangers out there and they have an assignment in space.  The aliens or humans have to go past, like beyond, the sign that says Do Not Go Beyond This Point, they do, and they probably get in trouble.”

Lights Out (July 2016)

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E:  “I’m thinking the movie is about dominoes sleeping in bed, because I see dominoes and it looks like they’re in a cozy bed and the tape is their covers.”
A:  “I think it’s about someone who gets captured, because in the picture there’s tape holding it down and that usually means something dark or around midnight.  That makes me think of something scary.  Can we see that?”

The Founder (August 2016)

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A:  “The movie is about the guy that created McDonald’s.”
E:  “I think it’s the Joker standing in front of McDonald’s.  The Joker has his hair pulled back, just like the new Joker and he’s standing in front of the symbol of McDonald’s.  I bet he ate all the food for himself and got fat.  Can we eat at McDonald’s for lunch?”

Sausage Party (August 2016)

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A:  “This looks disgusting!  It’s about a sausage guy and he went to a party where he wasn’t invited.  He’s a really special sausage, unlike the other ones and deep down he’s a good guy, but weird.”
E:  “I’m thinking his sausage friends get eaten and then this sausage gets some other sausages to attack the human that ate his friends.  Dad, you eat a lot of hot dogs.  Remember when you ate like seven in one day?  You ate a hotdog for breakfast once too.  Dad, I’m getting really hungry.”

Don’t Breathe (August 2016)

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A:  “These people can’t breathe because something got in the air and they had to stay inside in one place and they couldn’t do a lot of stuff either.  Or it could mean that there is something really scary happening in that house, or maybe it’s a hotel and they were stuck there.  They can’t make a sound like breathing or any other vibrations or someone or something will get them.”
E:  *covers eyes*

War Dogs (August 2016)

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E:  “Dad, is that guy the same person that used to be on your favorite show called Man v Food?  Yeah, that’s him dad!  Are we going to go to McDonald’s for lunch?”

 

So there you have it!  Which summer movie are you excited to see?


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The Entertation Index: June 13-17

Entertation3

Each week KSR’s Funkhouser collects the best of pop culture. The Entertation Index collects the best of the week for your consumption.

Dory, Finding — The latest Disney/Pixar sequel, which opens today, is breaking new ground by releasing a version of the film which will facilitate the experience for movie patrons who are blind. This advancement is not to be confused with the claims of patrons leaving Now You See Me 2, who are claiming to wish they had gone blind.

Link: Disney App Will Narrate “Finding Dory” for Blind Theatergoers

Father’s Day — As folks everywhere celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, please enjoy this video of a new father trying to change his daughter’s diaper while trying not to throw up everywhere.

Link: Dad Attempts to Change Baby Daughter’s Nappy for the First Time

Flame, Waka Flocka — Rapper Waka Flocka Flame urged his followers on Twitter to defy and protest an Atlanta rally for presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump, urging people not to vote for him. This move is expected to hurt the contingency of Trump supporters who are also Waka Flocka Flames fans — a contingency which statistically only consists of 24 year-old Gary Parker of Phoenix Arizona, who is said to be “conflicted” about the situation.

Link: Waka Flocka flames Donald Trump over Atlanta Rally

Graduation, 8th Grade — If you haven’t seen this Chicago-area eighth grader’s viral graduation speech — in which he impersonates all four of the most recent presidential nominees — you need to watch it right now. Kid’s got chops.

Link: Presidential Graduation Speech

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

Printing, 3-D — A tech company in Chattanooga, Tennessee has announced plans to create and build the first ever “3-D printed home.” According to spokespeople, the home itself will be easy to build; the real challenge comes with removing all the perforated holes from the sides of all the walls.

Link: Tennessee Startup Plans to Print 3-D House 

Vergara, SofiaModern Family star Sofia Vergara and her boyfriend, True Blood‘s Joe Mangianello, enjoyed their two year anniversary as a couple this week. Reportedly, Vergara gave Mangianello a diamond-encrusted wristwatch and in return Mangianello kidnapped Olive Oyl, put her in a barrel and fought Popeye.

Link: Sofia Vergara and Joe Mangianello Celebrate Their Two Year Anniversary

Fig. 2

Fig. 2

Warrior, American Ninja — A Tyrannosaurus Rex appeared as a contestant on NBC’s summer distraction American Ninja Warrior and managed to complete more than half the course. Unfortunately, the dinosaur was ultimately disqualified because he existed before America so he’s not American and THERE ARE RULES PEOPLE LOOK AT THE NAME OF THE SHOW.

Link: T-Rex Tackles American Ninja Warrior

Winfrey, Oprah — Media guru Oprah Winfrey has announced plans to further her brand with a publishing company, with its first title being a cookbook written by Winfrey herself. The book will feature Winfrey’s favorite meals, including “Gold-Fried Porkchops,” “Wild Rice with Blue Sapphires” and “Overeagerly-Approved-by-a-Doting-Gayle-King Grilled Salmon.”

Link: Oprah Winfrey Cookbook Coming to Stores in 2017


Funkhouser’s Origins Game Fair 2016 Preview

Funkhouser’s Origins Game Fair 2016 Preview

Origins

Starting today, Wednesday, June 15th, Origins Game Fair will be underway in Columbus, Ohio. Origins began in 1975 in Baltimore Maryland, at Johns Hopkins University. Since then it has grown into a destination for gamers, residing in Columbus since 1996. In 2015, 15,938 unique visitors made the trip to Central Ohio to get their game on.

I will be in attendance at Origins 2016 for Funkhouser on Thursday and Friday, so if you see me come say hi, or come play a game with me. I’ll be posting some images on our Twitter account: @funkhouserKSRso be on the lookout for those.

As I get prepared for the event, I thought I might showcase some of the games that I’m looking forward to getting a chance to play/get my hands on during the convention this weekend. These are in no particular order:

Holmes: Sherlock and Mycroft

Holmes

via BoardGameGeek.com

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, BBC’s Sherlock is one of the greatest iterations of the Sherlock Holmes canon, with the help of Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss and Stephen Moffatt.  So one would think in gaming that Sherlock Holmes would be a popular property for games to be based around.  This one, Holmes: Sherlock and Mycroft, is less about detective work and battling their demons, and more about set collection.

Holmes is a two-player game where you and your opponent go back and forth spending investigation markers to collect clue cards of different numbers.  In the deck of cards, there are nine 9’s, eight 8’s, and so on and so forth.  If after seven rounds, you collect the most of, let’s say the nines, you get nine points, minus the number of 9s your opponent collected.  It encourages you to branch out and try to get different sets of clues, while still making sure you have more than your opponent.  The way you get the tokens is by designating meeples on characters who have different powers.  In the image above, if you play on Dr. Watson, you will spend one investigation token to collect one card. For Lestrade, you will spend three tokens to collect two cards.  So it also becomes a management game on investigation tokens to not run out.  If you play on Mrs. Hudson, you gain three tokens. It looks like a good two-player game, and I look forward to playing it.


The Networks

Networks

Via BoardGameGeek.com

I’ve always wondered what it was like to be able to run the programming of a major television network. In The Networks, I’ll get that chance.  Players run new television networks who are working to find programming for their channels.  Because of this, players are going to need to find Shows, Stars and Ads.  Just like most television networks, Shows will need both big stars and ads that pay money out to be able to afford those stars.  Some stars are only suited best for different genres of television, maybe drama or comedy, and will raise your ratings if they’re in their best genre.

Of course, viewers lose interest in some shows over time, so you have to figure out when to send those shows into reruns to make space for newer, hotter shows in the lineup.  After five “seasons” of The Networks, the player with the most viewers will be crowned the winner.

I’m excited for this game for just the simple reason that I like the idea of getting to run a network television channel.  It seems like a game that you could get together with your friends and have a good laugh over.


Crazy Karts

Crazy Karts

Via BoardGameGeek.com

Imagine that Portal Games’ Crazy Karts is essentially like Mario Kart Double Dash, in that you and a partner are both controlling the Kart at the same time.  However, in Crazy Karts, you and your partner are each controlling a different half of the Kart, but they can’t communicate with each other on which decisions to make.  One player controls the brakes, while one player controls the speeding up of the Kart.  One of you controls the turns, while the other fires the cannons.  You just need to hope you and your partner are on the same page to avoid running into obstacles and walls.

The game plays 3-8 players and if you don’t have a partner, there is a lone wolf faction, that allows a single player to play with their own skills and hinderances.  I feel like this is going to be a game that I’ll see a lot of people playing outside of the convention at the hotel and other gathering areas.


Animals on Board

via BoardGameGeek.com

via BoardGameGeek.com

So here’s the deal… In Animals on Board, Noah is kind of a jerk.  Everyone playing has built an ark, to avoid the flood, and wants to take as many animals on board as they can.  However, Noah has essentially said, “You can take all the animals you want, but I’m the only person who can have pairs”, and has obtained an anti-pairing law.  Any player that has a just pair of any type of animal will discard those at the end of the game.

In a round of a four player game of Animals on Board, 13 animal tiles are laid out in a single group on the table.  You have the choice to make a single split of the group, into two groups.  By doing so, you will earn one food token.  Over the game, smaller groups will keep getting split into smaller groups.  Your other choice, instead of splitting, is to collect a group, by paying the number of food tokens for the numbers of animals in the group.  At the end of the round, if you have one of a certain type of animal in your ark, it is worth the amount printed on its tile.  If you have two of any type of animal, they get discarded and you get 0 points for those.  If you have three or more of an animal, you get five points for each animal in that “herd”. Definitely a fun quick game to bring out with friends.


Dead Last

Dead Last

Over the last couple of years there have been a number of Social Deduction games that have been released into the gaming world, games where everyone (or most everyone) has hidden roles and your goal is to figure out who is who.  Dead Last by Smirk and Dagger is not a social deduction game, it’s a social collusion game. Every player in the game (which plays 6-12 players) is a different color, no roles or powers.

Each round, players are going to spend about a minute determining who around the table to kill.  Players will vote by secretly playing a card that matches a player color at the table.  Who ever gets voted for the most, is dead for the round.  BUT ALSO – If you did not vote for the person who got the majority votes, you are also dead for the round.  The round will go until zero, one or two people remain.  So this means that you need to work together and form tiny alliances with people so you’re voting in the majority, but making sure that you’re not the one getting voted for.  If you think you are the one going to get killed, you have one card in your color called “ambush”, which if played, and you’re correct, you actually live and you choose who dies that turn.

If no players remain, you start a new round.  If one player remains, they get all four cards of gold (secretly ranging from 3-5 points, first person to 24-25 points wins the game).  But, it’s what happens if two people remain that adds some fun to the second half of the round.  The two players remaining in the round will play in a little game of prisoner’s dilemma called “the final showdown”.  Each player will get three cards: “Share”, “Steal” & “Grab One And Go”.  If both players “Share” they split the gold evenly.  If one says “Steal” and the other says “Share”, the person who stole gets all four gold.  If both say “Steal”, neither get gold, and everyone around the table gets one gold each.

This sounds like a fun one for big groups of 6-12, which the 8-12 player limit is one that is hard to find good games for.  Can’t wait to check this out!


There are plenty of other games that I’m looking forward to getting a chance to see, including: the new Dead of Winter, Bear Valley, Menu Masters, Running with the Bulls and more.  Again, I’ll be at Origins on Thursday and Friday, so if you happen to see me, come over and say hello!


Tracking Dad Trends In Pop Culture

Tracking Dad Trends In Pop Culture

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This Sunday, Fathers everywhere will receive obscure grill gadgets and cakes shaped like collared dress shirts. They will fall asleep to the TV blaring a show that you will desperately want to change. This Sunday, a significant portion of the fathers in America will wear a plaid shirt and open a father’s day card that makes a “farter’s” day joke.   The DNA strand that contains all the dad stereotypes is a dominant gene. Not a lot changes over the years. In 2016, there are a few changes on the horizon that will alter what it means to be a dad in the modern world.

As a dad trend prognosticator, here are a few new trends we can all look forward to in the upcoming year.

📈DADvertising

Jim Gaffigan is the pop culture paragon of a dad in the modern world.   Gaffigan is enamored with food, he is mildly competent with his children and he owns his flaws features.  Chrysler’s new marketing campaign uses Gaffigan as the centerpiece of their commercial for the Pacifica. Gaffigan asks the question, “You know who drives one of these all new Chrysler Pacificas?” and answers, “a considerate and caring father.” He might not know all of his kids’ names, but he knows how to pick out a safe and reliable car.

I predict that there will be more dadvertisment in the near future.

📈Embracing Dad Clothes

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Last week, all of America roasted Steph Curry and his new Under Armour shoe design. The shoes look like the sneakers your dad really wants to buy, but has a little self respect and chooses not to. Recently, Stephen Colbert asked, “How much do I have to donate to NPR’s pledge drive to get them as a gift?” as well as, “do you wear these shoes to play for Golden State or The Golden Girls?”

Something about dad clothes make them easy to ridicule. In the future, I foresee more celebrities embracing dad fashions. Soon everyone will be matching Eddie Bauer polos with knee-length jorts.

📈Dad Punch lines

Recently, Joe Pera was touted as having a stand up set that “kills.” He was advertised as a comedian with a “dry delivery.” Isn’t that the basis for every dad joke ever? In the clip above, the set up for the “Buffalo Bills Joke” takes a solid minute to develop. Don’t dad jokes tend to take awhile to develop? Dad jokes are on the rise. Now, in 2016, you can take your time with jokes, you can wear a sweater on stage and you can even end your set with the longest fart joke in history.

📉Dad Bod

Pop culture is fickle. With each rising trend, the dying embers of last year’s novelty are left behind. In 2016, that dying trend is the #DadBod.  Even though the mother of dragons herself, Emilia Clarke stated that she prefers “dad bod” over a man with a six pack, the phenomenon is due to end.  Right?

This Father’s Day, don’t forget to embrace all of the wonderful things that make the dad in your life so wonderful.  Don’t make fun of his clothes.  Laugh at his jokes and for goodness sake, don’t forget to make the cake that is inexplicably shaped like a shirt.


When Worlds Collide

When Worlds Collide

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Last Friday, Duncan Jones became the latest director to helm a big budget movie adapted from a video game.  Warcraft is the latest attempt to successfully translate a game franchise to film.  Unlike comic books, which have become the premiere intellectual property of Hollywood, video games have yet to seize the movie-going public in the same way.  The journeys between the two genres are an interesting study in movie history.  Ask most people which genre is most steeped in Hollywood tradition and success and the likely answer would be comic book movies.  Since Batman came out in 1989, comic book movies have been far and away the better movie genre, but prior to that the video game genre held its own as a viable alternative.  Here is a timeline of how comic book movies and video game movies have fared over the last forty years.

1978-1980: Comic Books

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The first real attempt to bring comic books to mainstream movie audiences was 1978’s Superman.  Superman was not only a commercial success, it was the number two box office movie of the year, but also a critical success.  This success was followed up with the release of the sequel, Superman II, in 1980.  Superman II again finished second for the year in box office totals, trailing only The Empire Strikes Back.  The foundation laid by Superman I and II showed that there was a definite interest in comic book movies.

1982-1983: Video Games

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In the early 80s the video game industry existed primarily in arcades, but was making its way into homes via consoles.  With computers and electronic devices entering everyday use it’s not hard to imagine the movie industry branching out into this untapped source of material.  In 1982, Tron was the first video game-related movie to hit theaters and it scored well with audiences.  Tron was a modest commercial success, coming in at #22 on the box office standings for 1982.  The film did double its production budget in box office revenue, but it’s biggest success was critically.  Tron achieved new heights with its technological presentation while also garnering several esteemed reviews, including a four star (out of four) review from Roger Ebert.  The success of Tron was built on in 1983 when WarGames finished in the top ten of the 1983 box office standings, beating out Superman III in the process.  The thriller was a critical success and helped launch Matthew Broderick’s career.

1984-1988: A whole bunch of crap

Neither genre really did much to capitalize on their early box office successes.  The comic book genre featured such hits as Red Sonja, Weird Science, and Howard the Duck (first Marvel movie!).  On the other side the video game genre had Cloak and Dagger, The Last Starfighter, and The Dungeonmaster.  So yeah, not a lot going on here and it’s amazing that either genre recovered.  Fortunately, happy times were right around the corner.

1989-1999: Comic book establishes dominance

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1989’s Batman established the bar for cross-medium success.  The Batman franchise, along with a stream of lesser-known comics being turned into movies (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Mask, Spawn, Judge Dredd, Men in Black, you get the idea) created a widespread net of comic book movie fans.  During this same time the video game genre had Super Mario Bros, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter.  The video games featured on the big screen were heavy hitters in the video game industry, but they failed to translate onto the big screen.  These movies may be guilty pleasures now (Raul Julia is awesome in Street Fighter), but they were nowhere near box office successes.  This was clearly the time when the two genres diverged from each other.  As the new millennium dawned, this chasm would only grow.

2000-Present: Mic drop

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2000 and 2002 were pivotal years for comic book movies.  2000’s X-Men and 2002’s Spider-Man established purely comic book movies (properties known specifically as comic book movies) as legitimate box office draws.  Both films spawned franchises which brought in billions of dollars.  The Christopher Nolan Batman franchise further cemented the box office viability of comic movies and then 2008’s Iron Man more or less sealed the deal.  As comic movies were becoming awesome, video game movies made some valiant attempts to get a piece of the pie.  Studios made big investments in video game franchises: Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Doom, Max Payne, and more.  Star power like Angelina Jolie, Mark Wahlberg, The Rock, and Mila Jovovich was not enough.  Though many of these movies enjoyed some box office success, it was not in the same ballpark as comic book movies.  The biggest reason for the divergence: the movies were bad.  The Rotten Tomatoes average for video game movies between 2000-2009 is a solid 17.4%.  Even dropping the lowest rated only raises the average to 19%.  These movies are just awful.

Can Warcraft find its place with moviegoers and potentially carve out its own franchise?  Probably not.  Reviews are awful and even the game fanbase has displayed trepidation for the movie.  It appears that Warcraft is destined for that elephant graveyard in Hollywood where video game movies are buried.

 

 


Kentucky Thrones Radio: Episode 8

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It wasn’t the typical blockbuster we’re accustomed to seeing in Episode 8 of Game of Thrones, but “No One” was still good.  Maybe not great, but good.  It set the stage for next week’s showdown in the north, but before you look ahead to the Battle of Winterfell, look back at “No One” with Kentucky Thrones Radio.  What you’ll hear in your ears…

—  A few things we correctly predicted, and a lost bet.

—  T.J. reveals what Cersei has hiding up her sleeve.

—  Which Clegane had better kills?

—  Arya’s journey in Braavos wasn’t a complete waste.

—  What to watch for at the Battle of Winterfell.

To listen, just subscribe to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or stream on Podbay.


Upcoming Netflix Series ‘Stranger Things’ Looks Totally Wicked

Upcoming Netflix Series ‘Stranger Things’ Looks Totally Wicked

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“The only point of clocks and maps
The only point in looking back
Is to see how far we’ve come”

Oh, you think nostalgia is your ally.  But you merely adopted the 80’s; I was born before them, moulded by them.  We are all anchored to some extent t0 a particular time and space, decades have a distinct look and feel about them and if you actually lived through them, you know them when you see them.  If you weren’t alive or you were too young to remember certain periods of time, glimpses of the past seem vaguely strange.  Nostalgia is a peculiar feeling, while some people revel in and pine over people, places and things of the past, others revile it and choose to repress memories of yesteryear.   If history has shown us anything, it’s that some trends like the dinosaurs all but become extinct, while others have a way of coming back to life.  Let’s take 1980’s fashion for example.  Those much-maligned skinny acid-washed jeans you used to peg at the bottom, a puffy bomber jacket, an oversized shirt, maybe even some mirrored sunglasses, you guessed it, they’re back!

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A simpler time. Kids riding their bikes unsupervised.

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The classic yellow rotary dial wall phone without: call waiting, caller ID, or voicemail. Used in conjunction with a phone book.

Which brings me to the upcoming original series, Stranger Things, which is premiering on Netflix next month.  The eight episode, mid to late 80’s inspired television series not only recalls the aesthetics of the iconic decade, but also resurrects some familiar actors connected to that era, namely Winona Ryder (Lucas, Beetlejuice, Heathers, Edward Scissorhands) and Matthew Modine (Vision Quest, Full Metal Jacket, Married to the Mob) giving the forthcoming horror/thriller show some gravitas.  As much as the 80’s were known as a decade of excess, many also consider it the foremost time-period for filmmaking in the horror genre, and the arrival of the Hollywood blockbuster.  Alongside Ryder and Modine, a number of young actors are making their debut, and as you can see from the trailer, the look and storyline is a mixture between great 80’s cinema, The Goonies and Stand By Me meets E.T and The Thing, with the bleakness and scariness of The Shining.

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Vintage Panasonic RX-5090 Stereo Cassette AM-FM Line I/O Radio Recorder Boombox.

Here’s a synopsis of the show:

“Hawkins Indiana, 1980’s.  Stranger Things chronicles the search for a young boy who vanishes into thin air under highly-suspicious circumstances.  His mother (Ryder) opens an investigation into the boy’s disappearance with local authorities that unravles a series of mysteries involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl”

Like, Oh My God, it’s almost as if Stephen King, Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter had a baby and this was the result.  Scare-O-Rama!  {That’s stereotypical 80’s Valley Girl slang for the uninitiated}  By the looks of the trailer, there’s plenty here for everyone.  Older audiences sentimental to the decade will certainly delight in the familiar settings, technologies, automobiles and clothing of the 80’s.  While some younger viewers may scoff at such dated artifacts, those drawn to the horror/thriller genre will find themselves right at home.  Ultimately, it will depend on the strength of the writing, because a suspenseful and compelling story is something that will always remain timeless, no matter how strange or fimiliar things may appear.

Stranger Things are happening July 15 on Netflix.

 

 


The Entertation Index: June 6-10

The Entertation Index: June 6-10

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Each week KSR’s Funkhouser collects the best of pop culture. The Entertation Index collects the best of the week for your consumption.

Beckinsale, Kate — Actress Kate Beckinsale recently told reporters that while filming the 2001 historical action drama Pearl Harbor she was repeatedly criticized about her appearance by director Michael Bay, who told her she needed to lose weight. In related news, Optimus Prime has filed suit against the inappropriate director for repeatedly attempting to grab his hitch ball.

Link: Kate Beckinsale Says She Was Body Shamed by Pearl Harbor Director Michael Bay

City, Lost Mayan — A 15 year-old Canadian boy has discovered the long-believed lost Mayan city of Kaak Chi after charting corresponding star maps over satellite images of a Mexican jungle on the app Google Earth. “Well,” said the boy’s mother, “I guess ‘overlaying the Yucatan Peninsula’ wasn’t a euphemism for what he’d been doing up there in his room on the computer all this time after all.”

Link: How a 15 Year-Old Discovered an Ancient City

Fieri, Guy — Sometimes things you find on the internet you didn’t know you ever needed. Like this montage of Guy Fieri eating set to Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt.” So here you go.

Link: Guy Fieri Eating to “Hurt”

Finals, NBA —  Just in time for the NBA finals, late last week saw Jimmy Kimmel Live featuring professional basketball players reading mean tweets about themselves. Come for Russell Westbrook struggling to read, stay for a grand finale about Dikembe Mutumbo.

Link: NBA Stars Read Mean Tweets With Jimmy Kimmel

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Gronkowski, Rob — For those of you still seeking your summer party song, look no further than this official party anthem about Dunkin’ Donuts from Rob Gronkowski and David Ortiz. You’re welcome, everyone.

Link: Watch David Ortiz and Rob Gronkowski Party Poolside in a Dunkin’ Donuts Music Video

Ortiz, David — See: Gronkowski, Rob 

Pyramid, The $100,000 — Those of you dying to FINALLY see Jon Lovitz face off against Deion Sanders will be pleased by a new reboot of The $100,000 Pyramid, which will pit stars against one another in an effort to stay relevant/win their civilian partners some cash. The new show will be hosted by Michael Strahan, who has been cursed by a spurned gypsy to die if there is ever again a second of his life during which he is not on TV.

Link: ABC is Bringing Back Pyramid, Again

During the two years this photo was submerged in the ocean, the man on the far left's shirt disintegrated.

During the two years this photo was submerged in the ocean, the man on the far left’s shirt was eaten by eels.

Vancouver — A camera lost during a shipwreck off a Vancouver Island two years ago has been discovered by divers with, surprisingly, its memory card and its images still intact and salvageable. Unfortunately, a recovery of the photographs turned up nothing but a bunch of fish butts.

Link: Shipwrecked Camera Found Underwater After 2 Years with Photos Intact 


Morning-ish Monologue: Anthony Davis plays Generation Gap on Jimmy Kimmel

Morning-ish Monologue: Anthony Davis plays Generation Gap on Jimmy Kimmel

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On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jimmy likes to play a game called Generation Gap, where he normally pits 92 year old woman Katy against younger people, and asks them questions about the opposite generation.  Because Kimmel is the headquarters for all things NBA Finals (including having our own KAT shoot a ridiculous cross-street shot), he invited Kentucky Basketball great Anthony Davis to take on Walt Frazier in a game of Generation Gap.  Davis and Frazier struggle early on, to the point where Jimmy asks Davis “Anthony, you graduated from college?”.

Davis looks good on a game show, maybe we can book him for Season 2 of Listicuffs…