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Comicbook Craze: The New World of Comics

Comics

December 9, 2017

If you’re a comic book geek like me then you probably have tons of paper made comics stored away in a collection box somewhere. Comic books have been a crazed hobby for decades now. The first comic book was Famous Funnies it was released in the United States in 1933 and was a reprinting of earlier newspaper humor comic strips.

by Lexi Sheets

The earliest superhero comic that had any sort of reference to being the first superhero was Mandrake the Magician; Mandrake's superpower was his ability to “make people believe anything, simply by gesturing hypnotically” Mandrake debuted in 1934, four years prior to Superman. But Superman was probably the first popular superhero.

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Superman first debuted in Action Comics issue #1 in June 1938, but from that grew an entire world of comic superheroes. Superheroes of all kinds were quickly making their way to store shelves. Hulk, Spiderman, wonder woman, Captain America so on and so forth.

Soon after the Comic boom hit, collecting comic books became a hobby for boys everywhere. Through the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s even into the 70’s comic books were considered something that only boys did. It wasn’t until the mid to late 70’s the girls started to pick up comic books, mostly to try and figure out what the boys found so interesting about books made up of pictures.

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Well by the early 80’s girls had figured out what was so interesting, as the ratio of girls reading comics had jumped from 1% of the market being female to about 15% of the market are female readers. Today that number is much higher with market research now showing at 46.67% of the market being female readers.

This was the first major change the comic world underwent, going from being a predominantly male-dominated market to being almost a 50/50 market. But now in the second decade of the 2000 era, the comic industry is looking at another major change.

It’s no surprise that comics are on the World Wide Web. Rather, it’s buying your comics online or reading online comics with websites that allow you to read comics online for free. That is if you don’t mind scrolling through them one page at a time while having to scroll down to each page.

Still, this is a nice change since living cost is on a constant rise, and many people just don’t have $3 to spend on a comic book. So, this new age allows those of us that fall into that group of people who can’t afford to buy a comic book. This access allows us to still keep up with our favorite stories and heroes.

But with these type of sites out there as nice as they are, can’t help but think “Is this going to cause the comic industry to collapse?” when you give something away for free your taking money from the creator’s pocket. Money needed to get more supplies, to keep producing more products.

Music artists dealt with this issue back in the early 2000's when Napster was giving away their music for free, which then change to a monthly membership fee. The reason for the fee was probably so the creator of Napster could pay off his lawsuit.

The point I’m trying to make is that if the artist didn’t stand and fight as they did, we might be without music today as music companies would have started to close down, due to lack of funds to produce the product.

I feel like this may be something that the comic world could be facing, allowing their product to be viewed for free. With no incoming funds to keep the supplies in stock that’s need to produce new issues. I do agree though that displaying your work on the internet is smart. It cuts down on cost, allowing you to sell the product at a reduced price thus moving more copies.

This is most definitely the future of the comics industry, and I look forward to seeing the kind of work we will receive through this method of distribution.

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420: Head High Vs Body High

Hobbies

December 8, 2017

I often get asked which is better head high or body high, and which one I prefer. Well, to break it down we first need to know the difference between the two. So a head high is the feeling you get when you feel like your floating and the earth is moving under your feet. You’ll feel like you're smarter, thinking clearer, and be more focused. This comes from Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being raced to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

by Lexi Sheets

This rush of THC overloads the body’s natural cannabinoid and interferes with the body’s process of fine-tuning communication between neurons, which in turn throws the entire system off balance. Thus you get high, but because THC rushes to the head and gives a psychotropic high, you’ll find yourself thinking more clearly and more focus. This is why you’ll believe you are smarter but actually you were this smart all along. You just needed something to quite the noise in your head and THC is your friend in this case.

THC is also a friend when you have migraines.

Body high is what happens when you feel like you can’t move, and you're glued to your seat, this is called couch lock. This comes from the Cannabidiol (CBD) entering the bloodstream to be delivered to the body. CBD has an anti-pain aspect to it, which is why doctors are doing more research as to how this could be used in the medical field. CBD is also being tested to see how it can help Parkinson's patients deal with the side effect of Parkinson's. CBD is the component that gives you the munchies.

So when you smoke cannabis depending on the strain (Sativa, Indica) will determine which high you get. Sativa strains will give you more of the head high, as Sativa strains tend to have a higher concentrate of THC. Indica will give you more of a body high as Indica strains tend to have a higher concentrate of CBD.

The same people like to have equal parts head/body high for this we have hybrid strains. Hybrid strains are stains made up of the two strains. Of course, the strain will be more dominant to what strain the female place is. So say you have a Sativa female and an Indica male, you can cross-pollinate these two plants to create a Sativa dominant hybrid. This would give you more of the head high but you would also feel the body high of the father plant.

This works the same for you reversed the plants and had an Indica mother plant crossed with a Sativa father plant. You’ll end up with an Indica dominant hybrid which would get you more body high but still getting the cerebral effects.

Everyone has his or her preference, but as for me when I’m asked this question “which do you like more Sativa or Indica?” I have to reply Sativa for every day, but Hybrid for party night. I think there are benefits to both head high and body high. Head high is good for when you need to get things done, but body high is good when you haven’t got a care in the world.

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Tom Brady Football

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Tom Brady, Can He Play Until He’s 45?

Sports

December 1, 2017

The year was 2000 and a young boy from California was drafted fresh out of Michigan University. Barely 23 years of age, no one knew this kid's name; much less that he would go on to join the ranks of great players known as NFL Legends. That boy was none other than Tom Brady!

by Lexi Sheets

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Either you love him or hate him, Tom Brady’s name is one that is talked about throughout football. Tom was drafted by the New England Patriots as the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft and spent his first season in the NFL sitting on the bench, Playing backup for Drew Bledsoe. The Patriots had no idea what they had sitting on the sideline, their future, their dynasty was waiting for discovery on that sideline.

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Brady got a chance to show what he was made of in the season of 2001 when Bledsoe was injured in a game early in the season. Tom Brady was to fill in for Bledsoe; Brady took every opportunity to show out, even leading the Patriots to the first of many Super Bowl victories. He receives the first of four Super Bowl MVP awards, the most received by a single player to date. All these accomplishments landed him the starting quarterback job for the New England Patriots for the next seventeen years.

He then took the Patriots back to the Super Bowl in 2003 when he lead his Patriots to a 24-14 win over Payton Manning and his Colts. Brady would then go on to lead them to a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Winning Super Bowl 38 while also winning Super Bowl MVP award for the second time.

Tom Brady returned the following season to lead his team right back to that very stage. Getting his team to Super Bowl 39 after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 41-27 in the AFC Championship. The Patriots would now have the chance for back-to-back NFL Championships. Facing a Donovan Mcnabb and the Eagles offense proved challenging for Brady and the Patriots, as the final score in Super Bowl 39 was 24-21 with the Patriots edging out the victory with a field goal. Brady had done it, he gave the Patriots their first consecutive Super Bowl victories and thus a dynasty was in the making.

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With an up/down roller coaster ride over the next two years. Brady would return to the field in the 2007 season, leading the Patriots on an undefeated season until they got to the Super Bowl. They entered the Super Bowl with a 16-0 although that was enough to get the Patriots added to the list of undefeated teams. The Patriots came up one short of being truly undefeated when they lost the 2008 Super Bowl to the NY Giants 17-14. But what a feat taking a team on a 16 win ride all while being 31 in a sport that is very unforgiving on the body.

Over the next eight years, Patriots would have a hard time getting anywhere near the big show. Then in 2015 Brady managed to get his Patriots back to the Big Game against the Seattle Seahawks. Thanks to a game-saving interception made by Malcolm Butler that put the ball back in Brady’s hands. Tom took the opportunity to take the lead off the interception putting up 7 more points in a 21-24 to lead his team to a 28-24 win over the Seahawks.

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Patriots would make one more run at the Lombardi trophy in 2016 going 14-2 in the regular season to get them to the 50th Super Bowl to face off with the Atlanta Falcons.

Everyone thought it was the Falcons year to get their first Super Bowl win. The Falcons were poised to get that Super Bowl win coming out and scoring 28 points against the Patriots and holding them to only 3 points in the first half of the game.

But, the Falcons forgot who they were playing against, Brady came out in the second half of the game putting up 25 points to send the game into the first ever overtime in a Super Bowl. The Patriots scored a touchdown to win the game 34-28. making it number five for the Pats.

So you may be asking yourself “ I thought this was about Tom Brady playing until he’s 45? What’s with the Super Bowl history?” well your right this is about Tom Brady and rather or not he can play to 45. The history is just to show what all Brady has already endured in his career.

As I said, football is a very unforgiving sport, the toll it takes on one's body can be overwhelming. Most players retire in their late 30’s due to the impact that all those hits have on the body. Pain in the joints, hips, or back can only be kept at bay for so long. Head problems can arise years after playing the game. Which can be a reason for a player to walk away from the game they love.

An injury is the number one reason players leave the field for good. Players never know from one game to the next if it will be their last. One good solid hit or landing the wrong way and you're done. So can Brady stay conditioned enough to avoid these types of injuries for five more years?

Well, seeing that here in 2017 at forty years old, Tom Brady still looks as good as he did when he was twenty-three. Winning nine out of eleven games played so far, and is poised to when his next five match-ups. Despite the fact that many of his top receivers are out with injuries themselves. He has thrown 26 touchdowns this season and only three interceptions. Passed for 3,374 yards so far, and with five more games in the season he could tie or beat his 2011 passing yards record.

So can he play to 45? I say yes! Provided that he doesn’t take a career-ending injury. Skillwise he can definitely play. Healthwise, Brady seems to be in the best shape of his life. So I stand behind him and say play to your heart's content Brady. Just watch your blindside cause that could be the injury I speak of so adamantly in this article.

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Becoming a Filmmaker

Film, Photography

November 27, 2017

As someone who makes films for a living, I’m often asked by people who want to pursue a career in film “how do I start?”

It's a valid question but one that's very difficult to answer. Filmmaking means different things to different people. Every culture, every country, every community has their own filmmakers and use filmmaking for their own ends.

I think it's really great to have mentors, even if those people don't know that you're their mentor. By this, I mean filmmakers and artists whose career and work you admire.

You can use what they do as a template and a roadmap for where you want to go. You can go back and watch their early work and see where they started – what they attempted and how they failed.

The next step to becoming a filmmaker is to try and have the experience of doing the work behind the camera – see how much work and labor goes into producing a film and telling a story.

I think a lot of people like the idea of filmmaking, just like a lot of people like the idea of being a pro athlete, but when you actually get down to it, they don't want to put in the work needed to make a career.

I really admire musicians and I love listening to their music. I know for a fact that I'll never be one: I just don't have the patience for that kind of practice. A big difference between filmmaking and music or being an author is that filmmaking is almost always a team effort.

Its a much more inter-human art form. It's also something that involves a lot of gear, a lot of people, a lot of time and a lot of coordination. You have to have a head for the logistics of it and to be a people person. I big part of filmmaking is being able to get what you want from people and not burn your bridges.

I tell people who want to be filmmakers, go out and make a film. Everyone has a camera or an iPhone, and everyone has a computer. They're part of our everyday lives now. So make a film but make a small one.

Make a really simple, achievable. Smaller than you think is small. It can just be one simple thought or a recreating of a scene from your favorite film. Shoot it on your iPhone and edit it on your laptop. This exercise will give you an idea of what filmmaking really is, not the Hollywood dream that they sell you.

You’ll see the amount of time and effort that goes into getting what it is that you want to represent. In my experience, 80% or 90% of the people that attempt this will never go further when realizing how many hours go into every minute of film. It takes much more concentration and discipline than you think. It is nice to have creative control but that comes with a huge responsibility that is too much work for most people.

When you are an actor or part of the crew, you learn your lines and give your performance – that's your piece of the puzzle.

Then you leave and go on to the next project. The director spends a year before and a year afterward putting all those pieces together into something that they can tell a story. That's a whole different type of challenge. It can be a very difficult personal complicated experience. There’s no map for it.

When a lot of people decide to make a film, they have a tendency to go big. They think “well, I'm already spending this money, I'm already asking these favors. Why don't I make something that will really show the world what I can do?”. That's great, but if you don't understand what the process is and if you don’t yet know if you enjoy that process, then you can bite off more than you can chew. You get stuck halfway and you lose energy. The film will never see the light of day.

Get your hands dirty – start small and then get feedback on your idea once you've finished the film. Find people that you trust to tell you if they like what you’ve made and if they think it makes sense. This being your first outing, the chances are that the film won't make sense. It really takes a humble, mature person to see that a lot of the work, if not all, of the work they’ve done was for nothing. But to be a filmmaker, and to grow as an artist, you need feedback to be part of your process. You have to take advice from

people who around you and go back and work until you have something that fulfills your original intent.

The internet has become a great place to share your work and get feedback. It has the advantage of letting you learn different parts of the filmmaking process as well. Probably the best part of being a member of an online filmmaking community is the encouragement. Everyone who's made a film knows one of the biggest struggles isn't financial or technical, it's a struggle for energy.

Once you put your heart and soul into something and no one understands it, it’s critical for other people with similar tastes, wherever they are, encourage one another and help one each other take the next step.

YouTube, in particular, can be invaluable. You can connect with people who like what you do. We are no longer captive to the Hollywood tastemakers and the Network TV. We’re able to build a community around the work that you love to do and find collaborators.

So make a film. After you’re done, you'll have a pretty good idea if you like kind of grind, intensity and monotony it takes to turn an idea in to a moving image. If it gives you a buzz, makes you feel alive and makes you feel like this is something you could do for a living, then choose a bigger project. Branch out slowly and surely.

You need to put some part of yourself into your work and you need to get something out of it.

Happy filmmaking!

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Guide for Those New to Casinos

Gambling, Hobbies

November 21, 2017

The initial visit to a casino can be something to behold. Sights of flashing lights, audible bells and alarms consistently rings, and other such attention-getters are plentiful. It can be a bit to digest, making it difficult to post a game plan or strategy once you have entered this new-found kingdom. If there is one thing you can do before trekking these new grounds, it is to study up. Materials detailing casino games, odds-making, and other such content associated with these mainstays is publicized heavily. The internet is the primary source, but many people have found success writing books and publications about casinos and their games. We have built this guide to help you find your footing in this space. Who knows, you may even win some money if you pay attention to the prescribed signs and advantages we are about to present to you.

New to Casinos, at First Glance

When you first step into a casino, you will notice many different visuals that seem appealing. Sounds will encompass the airwaves, helping to perk up your ears and listen in. These main attractants are the first representations of discourse. Following these noises and sights is a step in the wrong direction. Casinos will host equip their most quirky machines with these items. They may look nice, but don't touch. These machines are loaded with longshot odds, often carrying the largest advantage to the casino on the entire floor. This is a common practice for most casinos. They will draw in those who have little knowledge of the casino space by catering to the main senses: sight and sound. Hold your reins tight and avoid this initial draw.

Your first area of scope should be the player's club. These are incentive programs that casinos offer their players. Enrollment is often free, and the player stands to receive some sort of playing credit or bonus just for applying. If you find yourself handing over credit card information and other such banking information, back out. Some of these programs are dedicated to the VIP players or players who spend way too much dough at these establishments. Ensure you are aware of the difference between these two programs so you don't begin by signing your personal belongings away to the casino. These programs won't disrupt your life, but there should be a free player's club offering. Shoot for this model. Most casinos will start you off with minimal amounts of free playing credits, sometimes as high as $20, which starts you off in the green or in an optimal position to sample the gameplay options.

You should also set your eyes on a comfort or cool down place. There are many different lounges that are housed in these casinos. Some casinos also feature a resort add-on. There should be a few different “safe” areas for you to sample from. While you may find a coffee shop with astronomical prices, this can mark a perfect cool down spot. Most of the lounges and other little shops will feature a clock, which is something you should also be consistently aware of. It is easy to lose yourself in the sights and sounds of a casino. You can lose track of time easily. You will also find that there are no visible timepieces or time clocks on the machines. This is by design. The more time you play, the better chance the casino has at draining your stream of funds. You cannot win forever, so finding a place to sit back will you are ahead or re-group when you have burned through your allocated gambling funds is good practice. Source: Casino Report

Knowing the Games

The second stage revolves around some understanding of the different gameplay offerings a casino holds. There are many different instances of gaming. Some hold better odds for the players, while others act as prayers for large payouts that usually keep the casino's piggy bank full. The first thing to know is the house always wins. Casinos implement proprietary strategies and functions that will always keep them ahead. Do you ever notice how very few stories are released regarding casino bankruptcy? In partner to that, how many stories do you hear about people losing it all at a casino? The results are skewed in favor of the casino 10 times out of 10. There is no gaming strategy that you can implement that could cause for a casino takedown, so save your dreams for your pillow. With knowing and recognizing this information, there are certain games that benefit a user. The odds will never be stacked in your favor, but instances of increased chances are not uncommon.

Most of the increased instances of chances reside in the strategy space. Games like Blackjack, Video Poker and other such games that involve a sense of thought are catered towards the player. The first instance of increase comes in the knowledge advantage. Study up on the history of the game, going over certain odds streams and other such patterns. Using Blackjack as an example, you can actively increase your chances as the game progresses and with numerous opponents at the table. A single deck gameplay fashion also suits your odds, due to understanding remaining card types. For example, in the game of Blackjack, there are 16 different cards in the deck that hold a value of 10. An Ace holds the value of a 1 or an 11, whichever benefits the user. Since all cards are shown during the course of a game, one can actively view the availability of these sought-after high cards. If you are playing at a table with 4 other players and no face cards are shown for their 2-card draws, your odds of landing one of those increases. While this remains slight in scope to a 52-card deck, it is an advantage none-the-less. Locating the novice player or one that seems to be meaninglessly throwing away money can be an instance of success. These users will be more likely to take a “hit” on their draw in hopes of landing the famed “21” hand or “Blackjack”.

Video poker is the rare unicorn in the casino room. Some machines will feature a user advantage, albeit slight. Casinos range anywhere from a 0.40-0.60 advantage on video poker machines. Some simple math will show that the amounts coming in less than 0.50 to the casino's advantage would favor the player. Keeping this thought in the back of your head, your odds are increased in the video poker space. Basic card knowledge should still be applied, and these numbers should never be assumed. Most casinos will list these advantages somewhere on the outer portion of the machine or within the subcategories on the touchscreen.

Other card games, that include the element of human error and gutsy decision-making skills, give you the best odds of winning at a casino. These games are not for the meek and honing up on your skills prior to playing is highly recommended. With the many different applications available to users in the free space, you can download simple, mimicked versions of these games. This will give you a basic feel for how the playthrough occurs and allows you to track your instances of wins to losses. While this isn't an all-inclusive tool, it is something you can use to gain your footing before landing at a home-based casino.

After tailoring some of the best gameplay options, there are many instances that you should stay away from. Reverting to our initial entry to this guide, the flashing lights and loud sounds are just a distraction. They attract users to machines that host some of the highest casino advantages across the casino floor. They represent an instance of compromise, a draw for those who aren't as strong-minded as you are about to be. These games operate purely on chance and luck. There is no form of applied skill that one can use to calculate instances of winning and whether a machine is hot or not. Viewing someone wasting away hundreds of dollars and then trying to play is not a sure thing. Everything is calculated, and most of this calculation comes on an individual basis. Casinos will track user play and they know when to start someone off on a positive note. If you find success in the slot space, get out while you can. This is a glimmer that often loses its luster in quick fashion.

The same can be said for the table game of roulette. Notice, when you view a roulette table, how the color coding goes. There are red numbers, black numbers, and two green numbers. Almost immediately the user is attracted to the green numbers due to the difference in color. Would it surprise you to know that selecting a green number, as opposed to another number, carries the exact same odds? Most get lost in the sauce of color coding and brighter, larger spaces. This is yet another instance of casino calculation. They take their hardest instances of winning and display them in big, bright letters and colors. While these instances also mark the largest portions of winnings, the luck element does not disappear. If you must play roulette or like tracing your eyes in endless circles as the ball traces the playing field, bet the colors or even/odd instances. This is a 50/50 chance that pays out double what you bet. Not enough to make a living or a killing at the casino, but enough to gain the satisfaction of playing the game.

Setting Your Limits

The novice user often goes into this experience with high expectations and low amounts of funding. Anything we have ever been told associating to casinos and gambling is that life-changing instances can happen. Speaking of things that can happen, you could get struck by lightning in broad daylight. Is it likely? No. Can it happen? Sure. I think you've got the point on that comparison. It is important to set a limit to keep yourself in check. The best way to make this happen is to leave the debit and credit card at home. Withdraw your maximum playing amount and split it into sections. You can spend all your amounts on one game, but it is fun to explore a little.

Section your playing funds into separate patterns and periods. For example, if I have $100 to play with at a casino, I will dumb that $100 into 5 $20 bills to start. I will place $20 in my vehicle and only take $80 into the casino. Separate these funds into different pockets or areas of your checkbook. Start with only using one $20 bill. See where this takes you. If you find success from this initial amount, use your winnings as your playing cash. If you aren't successful, find that cool off place that you selected previously before returning to the playing room. A little time to regroup and calm yourself can bode well for continuing to play at a casino. Spending all of your funds quickly will only spoil your experience.

If, at any time, you exceed your initial playing amount, ensure you take the proper proceedings. The best course of advice is to secure your initial starting amount and lock it away in a safe place. This will not only make your winnings gravy, it will also help keep you sane in the light of victory. Remember, it is common for users to find initial success at whichever machine or table game they play. This initial stream of success is most common in the slot machine space. While this may seem all fine and dandy, it remains highly calculated and right on schedule with the casino's strategy. You have to be able to differentiate between dollar signs and stop signs. The second the dollar signs start to pop up is when you should begin to tamper your excitement and playing amounts. It is often downhill from there, leaving you with your own prescribed ways to rely on. Apply a proper gambling strategy and know your limits.

Carry Yourself Correctly

No one likes the guy who goes on a drunken tirade after consuming too many of the free cocktails. Others don't appreciate the loud screamer and attention-grabber that lets the whole room know when they have won $1.50. Carry on your way much like you would if you were in any other public establishment. There are many different individuals walking around a casino, all coming from different walks of life. Chatter and small-talk are okay but refrain from drawing too much attention. The casino is always at high attention, understanding the moves and counter moves of all patrons. If they notice you making a scene, you may be asked to leave or may even see a decrease in the success of play.

At the table games, refrain from touching your cards unless you are told to do so or are playing a game that requires you to do so. Performing this action may disqualify you from a hand or may cause for you to be banned from playing that game. While the dealing of bans is rare, it is not impossible. Respect the space and the fact that there is money on the line. Everyone is there for the same purpose: to leave with more than they started with. With all of the same mindsets floating around in one space, it is easy to get carried away. Keep your reverence, act accordingly, and respect the space like you would when entering someone else's home.

Those who act accordingly also stand better chances at being comped meals, playing funds, or even gaining insights from the dealers. Dealers have been perfecting their craft for quite some time and can tell when a player is new to a game. They may give you small tips, which is completely legal, to help you out. Their advice is free and often unbiased; take these little helpers when you can. They aren't going to tell you to hit on an 18 in a game of Blackjack, but they will recommend that you stay and verify your decisions in certain situations. These aren't little voices in your head, these are opinions of individuals who live and breathe this life day in and day out. Take little pointers, it can't hurt.

Check Your Point Earnings

Casinos are consistently running promotions and contests. When you visit, it is important to ensure you have your player's card ready and are using it for all forms of gameplay. Go over your course of play for the day or night and check your point balance at the end. You may be able to reach levels that allow you to additional playing credits or prizes. These points accumulate at every game you will play at the casino, causing them to add up quickly. Maybe you can leave with a little casino swag such as a t-shirt, hat, gloves, or a souvenir. At other times, new players receive an increased point amount for their time spent playing. These points can equate to credits for additional play. It is important to save this check for the end of the night and after you have reached your cash-out level or have spent your limit. It can represent the cherry on top of a successful night or can be that last hope at reaching the green. Whatever the case may be, do not ignore the free promotional offers. They are there to benefit your course of play and give you an extra boost when you are down. If it's free of strings and doesn't require forking over too much personal information, it is a program you can get behind as a player.

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James Bond Movies with Villains and Bond Girls

Film

November 18, 2017

Dr. No

After a catchphrase-making encounter with Sylvia Trench (Eunice Gayson, dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl), “Bond, James Bond” (Sean Connery) is called to investigate the murder of the SIS Stations Chief in Jamaica. There he outwits the assassin Miss Taro (Zena Marshall), meets the tough yet beautiful shell diver Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) and defeats mad scientist Dr. Julius No (Joseph Wiseman), who plans to disrupt Project Mercury with an atomic-powered radio beam.

From Russia With Love

Bond (Sean Connery) is still dating Sylvia Trench, but gets called away to stop SPECTRE agent Col. Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) from stealing a Lektor cryptographic device from the Soviet Union, which they plan to later sell back to them for a small fortune. Working with Ali Kerim Bey (Pedro Armendáriz), Bond is also aided by Klebb's pawn, Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi), but the two are pursued by Klebb's loyal agent, Donald “Red” Grant (Robert Shaw).

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Goldfinger

Bond (Sean Connery) stops Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe) from cheating at a card game by seducing his minion, Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton), as she uses binoculars to help him; she is then killed in retribution and left, covered in gold paint, on Bond's bed. As he continues to investigate Goldfinger's plan to rob Fort Knox, Bond manages to also seduce the villain's pilot, Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman), who claims to be a lesbian. Meanwhile, Jill's sister Tilly (Tania Mallet) tries to avenge her.

Thunderball

When an Avro Vulcan plane with two nuclear bombs on board is captured by SPECTRE, Bond (Sean Connery) teams up with his friend Felix Leiter (Rik Van Nutter) to investigate. They suspect Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi, dubbed by Robert Rietty), a wealthy black marketeer. After the murder of liaison Paula Caplan (Martine Beswick), Bond convinces Largo's mistress, Domino Derval (Claudine Auger) into helping them by revealing that Largo murdered her brother.

You Only Live Twice

An American spacecraft is hijacked, and Bond heads to Japan to investigate. With the help of agents Ling (Tsai Chin) and Kissy Suzuki (Mie Hama), he fakes his death and goes undercover as a Japanese man. Along with Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi), a Japanese secret agent and ninja, he discovers the plot is masterminded by Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Donald Pleasence), the “Number 1” SPECTRE agent, along with a businessman named Osato.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Bond (George Lazenby) prevents the suicide of Teresa di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg), and receives information from her father, a European crime lord, about the whereabouts of Blofield. Having set up a phony allergy treatment facility, the SPECTRE agent is actually hypnotizing his female patients into helping him plant a crop virus. After stopping the plot, Bond marries Teresa, only for her to be immediately murdered by Blofield's henchwoman, Irma Bunt (Ilse Steppat).

Diamonds Are Forever

Disguised as a professional criminal named Peter Franks, Bond (Sean Connery) investigates an international diamond smuggling ring. After intercepting the jewels from criminal Tiffany Case (Jill St. John), he follows the trail to a casino owned by one Willard Whyte (Jimmy Dean). Initially a suspect, Whyte is actually a pawn of Blofield, who has created a weaponized satellite that he plans to auction off.

Live and Let Die

Three MI6 agents are killed while investigating Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), a Caribbean dictator who moonlights as a crime lord. Bond (Roger Moore) goes to stop him, but Kananga has two advantages: double agent Rosie Carver (Gloria Hendry), and more notable Solitaire (Jane Seymour), a captive who has fortunetelling abilities for as long as she remains a virgin. (Spoiler alert: Bond finds a way to neutralize this advantage.)

The Man With the Golden Gun

Bond (Roger Moore) is trying to locate a scientist whose invention could solve the energy crisis, but is taken off the case when M learns that famed assassin Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) is targeting him. Working unofficially, he locates Scaramanga's enslaved mistress, Andrea Anders (Maud Adams) with help from Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland). Ultimately he recovers the device back from Scaramanga.

The Spy Who Loved Me

After two submarines and some microfilms for a submarine tracking system are stolen, Bond (Roger Moore) teams up with KGB agent Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) to find the culprit. The trail leads them to Karl Sigmund Stromberg (Curt Jurgens), who reveals that he plans to destroy both Moscow and New York, so that a nuclear war will wipe out all civilization and allow him to build a new one from its ashes.

Moonraker

Looking into the details of a Moonraker spacecraft hijacking, Bond (Roger Moore) investigates Sir Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), whose company made the craft. One of Drax's scientists, Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles), turns out to be a CIA agent also working on the case; together the two spies learn that Drax is planning to use a poisonous gas to kill all human life on the planet, while he and his mooks survive in a space station.

For Your Eyes Only

A device called the Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator (ATAC) is stolen by an assassin; while investigating the case, Bond (Roger Moore) teams up with the victim's daughter Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) to find out what happened. The trail ultimately leads to Greek businessman and KGB operative Aristotle Kristatos (Julian Glover), whom Bond must fight in order to recover the deadly machine.

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Octopussy

Bond (Roger Moore) is looking into the murder of a fellow agent, which leads him to an auction house and exiled Afghan prince Kamal Khan. The prince is working with Orlov, a Soviet general, as well as Octopussy (Maud Adams), who runs an all-female circus that is actually a front for a smuggling operation. Orlov, however, has a bigger plan: detonating a nuclear weapon and tricking the European nations to favor disarmament, allowing the Soviets to expand their territory.

A View of a Kill

As an industrialist named Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) tries to corner the market on microchips, Bond (Roger Moore) teams up with Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts), heiress of a company that Zorin is trying to obtain. Zorin is eventually revealed to be a rogue KGB agent and the product of a Nazi genetic experiment, who seeks to destroy Silicon Valley so that he will have a monopoly on microchips.

The Living Daylights

Bond (Timothy Dalton) is assigned to product a KGB officer, General Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé) as he defects to the West. It soon emerges, however, that Koskov is working with arms dealer Brad Whitaker (Joe Don Baker) to embezzle Soviet funds, buy diamonds and then convert them into a drug empire. Bond teams up with Koskov's girlfriend, Kara Milovy (Maryam d'Abo), who helped the general fake an assassination attempt.

Licence to Kill

When Felix Leiter (David Hedison) is crippled by, and loses his wife to, the drug lord Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), Bond (Timothy Dalton) becomes a rogue agent to avenge his friend. He meets with Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell), a military pilot and CIA informant, who helps him disguise himself as a member of Sanchez's staff and take down the criminal's business from within. He is also aided (not entirely willingly) by Sanchez's lover, Lupe Lamora (Talisa Soto).

GoldenEye

The criminal organization called Janus sends its agent, Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen), to steal the GoldenEye electromagnetic pulse and kill nearly everyone involved in its creation. Bond (Pierce Brosnan) learns from one of the survivors, programmer Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco), that his old colleague Alec “006” Trevelyan (Sean Bean) faked his death and is the mastermind behind Janus. Trevelyan plans to steal millions and then use the GoldenEye to erase all records and cover his tracks.

Tomorrow Never Dies

An international incident occurs when a British warship winds up in Chinese waters, and Bond (Pierce Brosnan) teams up with Chinese agent Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) to investigate. They learn that Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), a media mogul, arranged the incident in order to start a war and increase news ratings. Bond has an in, though, as Carver is married to one of his ex-lovers, Paris (Teri Hatcher), who provides him with information that helps him and Wai Lin prevent a war.

The World is Not Enough

After an oil tycoon is murdered, Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is assigned to protect his daughter, Elektra King (Sophie Marceau). She had previously been kidnapped by the terrorist Renard (Robert Carlyle), who is suspected of the new crime. Bond follows the trail to Russia, where he meets American nuclear physicist Christmas Jones (Denise Richards). Together they uncover some surprising information which reveals that Renard is working with an unlikely ally.

Die Another Day

Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is officially suspended after being tortured in North Korea, but he uses gene therapy to disguise himself and pursues the case. Eventually he learns that North Korean colonel Tan-Sun Moon has had the same procedure and is disguised as a British billionaire named Graves (Will Yun Lee and Toby Stephens, respectively). Along with NSA agent Jinx (Halle Berry), he must stop Moon/Graves from using a superweapon to conquer South Korea, and also face off against Graves' associate, double agent Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike).

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Casino Royale (2006)

This film is a reboot, beginning a continuity unrelated to the above movies.

Bond (Daniel Craig) faces off against Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), who uses acts of terrorism to aid his financial interests. When Bond foils one of his plans, he arranged a high-stakes poker game to try and recoup his losses. Bond is sent along with fellow agent Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) to win the match. Along the way he is captured and tortured, and learns that Lynd is a double agent, albeit one who is conflicted about her ultimate loyalties. Le Chiffre is aided by another villain named Mr. White (Jesper Christensen).

Quantum of Solace

Bond (Daniel Craig) investigates the organization Quantum, which Mr. White from the last film belongs to. They uncover a plot by environmentalist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) and General Medrano (Joaquín Cosío) of Bolivia to put the latter in power, with the former getting a monopoly on the nation's water supply. Bond goes with fellow agent Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton) to stop them, and teams up with Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), who wants revenge on Medrano for murdering her family.

Skyfall

After Bond (Daniel Craig) seemingly dies during a mission in Turkey, an investigation begins on whether M (Judi Dench) is qualified to lead MI6. Bond soon returns, however, and begins to investigate a former agent named Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), a cyber-terrorist who blames M for his capture and torture on a mission. He is aided by a field agent named Eve (Naomie Harris) and Silva's not-quite-willing mistress, Sévérine (Bérénice Marlohe).

Spectre

In the aftermath of the previous film, Bond (Daniel Craig) pursues clues left by M about the mysterious organization called SPECTRE, which is led by Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz). Working with psychiatrist Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the estranged daughter of Mr. White, Bond follows a trail that will lead to startling revelations that tie the villainous leader to his own past and loved ones.

“Bond 25”

This film is currently scheduled for release on November 8, 2019. As of yet, not much is known about the plot, though it is confirmed that Daniel Craig will reprise the role of James Bond, with other returning cast members rumored. The screenplay will be written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who have done every other James Bond film since The World is Not Enough.

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Thirty Human Rights You Might Not Know

Trivia

November 16, 2017

Thirty Human Rights You Might Not Know You Have

Article 1 Right to Equality
Article 2 Freedom from Discrimination
Article 3 Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security
Article 4 Freedom from Slavery
Article 5 Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment
Article 6 Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law
Article 7 Right to Equality before the Law
Article 8 Right to Remedy by Competent Tribunal
Article 9 Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Exile
Article 10 Right to Fair Public Hearing
Article 11 Right to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty
Article 12 Freedom from Interference with Privacy, Family, Home and Correspondence
Article 13 Right to Free Movement in and out of the Country
Article 14 Right to Asylum in other Countries from Persecution
Article 15 Right to a Nationality and the Freedom to Change It
Article 16 Right to Marriage and Family
Article 17 Right to Own Property
Article 18 Freedom of Belief and Religion
Article 19 Freedom of Opinion and Information
Article 20 Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association
Article 21 Right to Participate in Government and in Free Elections
Article 22 Right to Social Security
Article 23 Right to Desirable Work and to Join Trade Unions
Article 24 Right to Rest and Leisure
Article 25 Right to Adequate Living Standard
Article 26 Right to Education
Article 27 Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of Community
Article 28 Right to a Social Order that Articulates this Document
Article 29 Community Duties Essential to Free and Full Development
Article 30 Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Flowers, N. (2017, February 6) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (abbreviated). Retrieved from
http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/edumat/hreduseries/hereandnow/Part-5/8_udhr-abbr.htm

http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

Download the PDF here.

 

 

 

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Become a WORLD-CLASS Photographer in 10 Easy Steps

Photography

November 16, 2017

Are you a photographer? Have you ever looked through your Instagram feed and seen amazing pictures and thought “if only I could take photos like that!”?  Well, you probably could.

Photographers that take high-end photographs do have a lot of talent and a lot of experience, but I also feel that what you're seeing in an amazing photograph isn't necessarily the photographer’s talent. There are a lot of other factors that go into a great photo, that anyone else if they used the same factors, they could get not an identical but a pretty similar result.

These are the 10 steps that you can take if you want to take world-class photographs.

1. Use the best equipment

I’m not talking Canon 1d or the latest Nikon. I'm talking hundreds of thousands of dollars of medium format camera gear. Hasselblad, Leikas, Phase one. Crazy fast lenses from boutique companies no-one has ever heard of. Everything must be prime and have manual focus for an added bonus, and be transported around in no less than 50 pelican cases.

2. Hire and shoot the most beautiful, successful models

I'm talking about models with millions of followers – the cover girls and the people that appear in movies. This adds an air of glamor and fame and success to your photography. Models get millions of likes just for a selfie in the mirror. It should be pretty easy if you're shooting the most beautiful people in the world to produce some of the most beautiful photographs in the world.

3. Amazing clothes and stylists

Get jackets and coats and shirts and scarves that cost thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars. Get amazing wedding dresses that billow with silk and satin in vibrant bright colors. Get a stylist who picks clothes for a living and knows how to put together an outfit that will blow your mind.

4. Exotic Locations

Go to the most wonderful, amazing locations in the entire world. Go where no one else has been before. Go to an abandoned castle, exotic rivers, go to isolated beaches that you have to get to by helicopter. If you want to take a picture no one else has taken before, go somewhere no one else has gone or can go.

5. Timing

Shoot at the most beautiful times a day, when the light is just right, which means before or after sunset or sunrise. This can be hard, because it may take you hours to get to location, which means getting up in the middle of the night to get ready for a sunrise shoot. You only really have two hours of magical light each day but that's when everything looks the most beautiful so that's when you go to shoot.

6. A Great Team

Almost every part of the image taking process can be delighted, except pushing the shutter release. A gaffer will light your subject for you. A lighting technician will fine tune it. A digital imaging assistant will tell you how the image looks coming out of the camera. Get other people on set that know how to produce these images and have worked for other successful photographers. You don’t have to design your own lighting. Someone with a lot of experience that's done it hundreds and hundreds of times can do it. They’ll tell you how to set the exposure on the camera and we'll give you moment to moment feedback on whether or not your shot is in focus and where you need to compensate.

7. Use lots of lights

Put up 20×20 silks. Have 10-foot umbrellas mounted to cranes. Use dozens of flashes. This will make your photographs be sure to look like nothing else out there

8. Spray and Pray

Don't just take one picture, take thousands of pictures. Keep your finger on the shutter as take as many as you possibly can. By the laws of averages, one of them is sure to look amazing.

9. Go all-out on post

Use world-class retouches that can do amazing things with the images. Take out all the blemishes, reshape the model's body, replace the skies with something else and really drive up the production value. Get someone who really knows what they're doing, go to town your images and make them really a step ahead.

10. Rinse and repeat

The first shoot might not work, or the second. Keep going. Get really, really comfortable with shooting with all this gear and equipment and I guarantee you that the images that you will produce will look as good as anything else out there

Professional photographers might be able to tell that you're just compensating for your lack of talent with incredible models and lighting and props and wardrobe and locations and crew, but the average person probably won’t. The person that's looking at this on Instagram or in a magazine will just see all the factors that went into the photograph and be totally impressed.

In all seriousness, if you want to set your photography apart from other photos out there, you just need to do what other people are doing, which means finding your own voice, finding your own style and creating something that means something to you. Then doing it enough that you get good at it.

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Interesting Factual Tidbits About 5 Countries

Trivia

November 16, 2017

 

Sweden

Trivia Sweden

  1. Despite being a military power in the 17th century and one of the world’s largest producers of weapons, Sweden has not participated in any war for almost two centuries, including both world wars.
  2. Around 2,000 years ago, the Svear people gave Sweden its name. In their language, svear meant “us” and rikemeant “kingdom.” So, Sverige, the modern Swedish name of the country, means “Our Kingdom.”
  3. With a tax rate of 51.4% of GDP, Swedes are one of the most highly taxed populations in the world. Ironically, they are generally happy to pay a high tax rate, and the Swedish word for tax is skatt, or “treasure.”
  4. Swedish parents are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave—and of those, 60 days are reserved for the father. In 2012, dads used 24% of the total parental leave.
  5. Sweden has had seven Nobel Prize winners in Literature, including Selma Lagerlöf, who was the first woman to win the prize in 1909. Her birthplace at Mårbacka is a national shrine.
  6. An average of 1,836,000 meatballs are eaten daily in all of Ikea’s 313 stores worldwide. Ikea was founded in Sweden in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad.
  7. The Swedish three-point seatbelt is claimed to have saved 1 million lives. It was launched by Volvo in 1959 and is found in 1 billion vehicles worldwide.

Bartholomew, J. (2017, February 6) 73 Interesting Facts about Sweden. Retrieved from

https://www.factretriever.com/sweden-facts

 

Germany

Trivia German

  1. The name “Germany” comes from the Latin Germania, the Roman name for the lands north of the Alps, where the Barbarian tribes lived. The French, Spanish, and Turkish call it Allemagne, Alemania, and Almanya, respectively, after the Alemanni tribe. Italians call the country Germania, but the German language in Italian is called Tedesco.
  2. In Bavaria, beer is officially defined as staple food, like bread, and not as alcohol.
  3. Berlin’s Zoologischer Garten is the largest zoo in the world both in terms of number of species (1,500) and animal population (14,000). Germany boasts more than 400 registered zoos.
  4. Over 1,500 kinds of sausages are made in Germany.
  5. Over 300 kinds of bread are made in Germany.

Bartholomew, J. (2017, January 30) 65 Interesting Facts about Germany. Retrieved from https://www.factretriever.com/germany-facts

 

United Kingdom

Trivia Great Britain

  1. The word “Britain” is derived from the name of a Celtic tribe, the Brythons.
  2. The word “England” comes from “Angle-land,” or land of the Angli, or Angles, a Viking tribe that came across the North Sea and settled in the east and north. The French name for England, Angleterre, also literally means “Land of the Angles.”
  3. At its zenith in the 18th century, the British Empire stretched 20% of the world’s surface and contained a quarter of the world’s population.
  4. For the British, the position of monarch probably ranks as one of history’s least safe occupations. English kings have been killed in battle (Harold), beheaded (Charles I), assassinated (William II), murdered by a wicked uncle (Edward V), and knocked off by the queen and her lover (Edward II).
  5. Nowhere in England is more than 75 miles (121 km) from the sea.

Lehnardt, K. (2017, February 7) 78 Interesting Facts about the United Kingdom. Retrieved from https://www.factretriever.com/united-kingdom-facts

 

Canada

Trivia Canada

  1. Kanatais the St. Lawrence-Iroquoian word for “village” or “settlement.”
  2. “O Canada,” originally named “Chant national,” was written by Adolphe-Basile Routhier (French lyrics) and Calixa Lavallée (music) and first performed in Quebec City in 1880. The song was approved by the Parliament of Canada in 1967 as the unofficial national anthem and adopted officially on July 1, 1980.
  3. The border between Canada and the United States is officially known as the International Boundary. At 5,525 miles, including 1,538 miles between Canada and Alaska, it is the world's longest border between two nations.
  4. The Canadian motto, A Mari Usque ad Mare, means “From sea to sea.”
  5. Although Nova Scotia was granted the British Empire's first flag by King Charles I in 1625, Canada did not have a national flag until February 15, 1965, when its maple leaf flag was adopted by its parliament. Before that, the red ensign, a British maritime flag, was in general use.
  6. At 3,855,103 square miles, Canada is the second largest country in the world, behind Russia.

Kuligowski, T. (2016, December 5) 43 Interesting Facts about Canada. Retrieved from https://www.factretriever.com/canada-facts

 

New Zealand

Trivia New Zealand

  1. When it was determined by Dutch explorers that New Zealand was not attached to the South American continent, they changed its name from Staten Landt (South America) to Nova Zeelandia (New Zealand), after the Dutch province of Zeeland.
  2. Wellington, New Zealand, is the southernmost national capital in the world at latitude 41.2° South. It also shares the honor of being the most remote capital with Canberra, Australia, over 1,243 miles (2000 km) away.
  3. Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom is the official queen of New Zealand. She is represented in the country by a governor general.
  4. New Zealand/Māori ex-prostitute Georgina Beyer became the world’s first transsexual Member of Parliament in 1999.
  5. New Zealand’s Ninety-Mile Beach is only 56 miles (90 km) long.
  6. New Zealanders enjoy one of the world’s highest life expectancy rates—82.3 years for females and 78.3 years for males.

Kuligowski, T. (2016, November 6) 70 Interesting Facts about New Zealand. Retrieved from https://www.factretriever.com/new-zealand-facts

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