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Intriguing, thought provoking and a testament of acting at it’s finest. Joker was amazing and will leave you wanting more. Todd Phillips did not mislead anyone when he said that this film would be a character study of a man who becomes destructive and eventually the villain we all know as the joker. Please keep in mind that there are no huge explosions, money burning or magic tricks with a pencil. You will witness a tragedy of a man who is abused mentally, physically and ready to jump off the edge. Joaquin Phoenix delivers another amazing performance that will surely impress the academy with a Best Actor nomination (possibly will win the statue). The progression of Arthur’s meltdown elevates throughout the film from start to finish. For some, you will find yourself sympathetic to his condition but when he takes extreme action, that sympathy might go out the window.

Joker is definitely a movie that opens the door for discussion on several topics but cannot be ignored for the different and dark approach that it presents to the audience. As predicted from the various trailers, the cinematography here is beautiful and depicts the time period (80’s) accurately. Outside of Phoenix, the rest of the cast has little to no shine with the exception of Robert De Niro as late night talk show host Murray Franklin and Frances Conroy as Arthur’s mother Penny Fleck. Bottom line, Joker is a satisfying and dark take of DC’s clown prince of crime and will definitely be remembered for years to come.

In this golden age of technology, millions of families nationwide have transitioned their homes into ‘smart homes’ with help from products produced by the likes of Google, Apple and Amazon. While products such as the Ring Doorbell, or Google Nest can make lives easier, owners need not forget that they must always protect their private information. Just ask the Westmoreland’s from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Fox News reported that an incident took place earlier this month where the Westmoreland’s Google Smart Home system was breached. A hacker got into their system and started talking to the family via the camera in the kitchen, then started playing loud and vulgar music from the video system in the living room and cranked the heat up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit through the digital thermostat. Basically, he took over their entire digital house.

Samantha Westmoreland said about the incident, “My heart was racing. I felt so violated at that point. It gives me the chills just talking about it.”  The solution required that their entire network ID had to be changed through their internet service provider, all their passwords had to change and they had to install two-factor authentication to ensure this never happens again. This is a scary, precautionary tale. The lesson is that the internet connected things in your home are the most vulnerable to attack.  As these items spread, the need for more cyber security measures increases.

The allure of YouTube and other streaming services

As our world becomes smaller, thanks to things like the internet and social media, the way people entertain themselves has changed as well. In the 80’s there were VHS tapes, in the 90’s DVD’s, and the early 20’s was when digital/downloadable movies became available. In the last 10 years, streaming services and self-created content has become all the rage. While Netflix has evolved from its snail mail services, it still cannot compete with streaming services such as YouTube, Instagram, or even Snapchat when it comes to Gen Z users.

Creators and Viewers

There are two things about YouTube that is attractive to Gen Z user and Netflix doesn’t offer. First, there’s a much wider variety of content on YouTube, some weirder and odder than others. Second, because creators are able to interact with the viewers, it feels more interactive. If you think about it, it’s actually the exact opposite reason why Millenials and other older generations watch TV.

TV in the 80’s and 90’s

Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, it was impossible to avoid face to face conversations. Jobs required people to work together and social events were in-person gatherings. After a long day, hanging out in front of the TV for hours, alone, wasn’t that big a deal. It might even be relaxing!

Human Interaction in the 2000’s

Today, in-person meet ups aren’t the only option that is available out there if you want to socialize. If you’re a bit shy or large crowds of strangers make you uncomfortable, you can stay home and talk to people from your phone or computer. You can even meet and screen dates now! And with remote jobs becoming more and more common, some people can go days without real human interaction.

Caveman Brain in a Modern World

While this sounds like a great option for those who experience social anxiety, it doesn’t get rid of the need for social interaction. No matter how technologically advanced we are (and shy someone is), we still have caveman brains. Humans are social creatures (probably why we get along with dogs) and do things in groups. A lone human is a dead human. That hasn’t changed today.

We all want to belong

Streaming content allows Gen Z members to feel like they are a part of a community. Except this community isn’t your local neighborhood gathering, but a million-member global gathering of viewers who enjoy a creator’s content. Instead of having a network choose what you get to watch, streaming content lets you find what you want to watch. Don’t like anything out there, make your own! No need for big production budgets or investors, all you need is a video camera and internet connection.

Keeping up with streaming services

For services like Netflix to be able to compete with streaming services, something has to change. While companies might focus on the streaming part, they shouldn’t forget about the interactive part. Because human interaction and making connections, no matter what kind, is what we’re all looking for. Source: https://www.adweek.com/tv-video/gen-z-spends-more-time-on-youtube-than-netflix-survey-shows/

Diet Soda Questions

Diet soda sounds like a good idea, all the taste of a bubbly, sugary drink without the calories. But have you ever wondered how artificial sugar affects you? And the long term consequences might be of drinking diet soda? Here’s what scientific studies have to say.

Diet Soda History and Regulation

Diet soda was originally created for people with diabetes, who could not consume sugar. As with all inventions, people found other cool ways to use diet soda; hey, there are no calories, let’s use it for weight loss. Though artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, have been approved by regulators in the US (the FDA) and Europe, anecdotal evidence and misleading websites continue to spread misinformation about the effects of aspartame and other non-sugar sweeteners.

Scientific Evidence

There is no scientific evidence that strongly links aspartame to cancer or any other conditions. All sodas, diet or regular, contain acids that erode teeth and they all contain zero to no nutritional value. To ask if diet soda is good or bad for you is a bit misleading, because the answer is, “Depends on how much you drink”.

Poor Life Style Choices and Diet Soda

Diet soda, or soda in general, isn’t food. At least, not in the sense of what we think food is – something that fuels your body and provides essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Soda is carbonated water with acids, flavoring, coloring, and sweeteners. It may be fun to drink once in a while, but it provides no value to your body. Add an unbalanced diet on top of drinking lots of soda – diet or not – and you’ll probably begin to experience vitamin deficiencies.

Too Many Variables

It’s difficult to say whether sugar substitutes cause obesity, cravings, and other issues, because it’s difficult to study people who only drink diet soda. While scientists try their best to eliminate as many variables as possible from their studies, the results tend to be in line with what the public experiences. That’s because so many other things affect our health – things like, smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, lack of exercise, poor eating, etc. all contribute to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

It’s All Relative

So is diet soda good or bad? Well, diet soda will never be good for you, simply because it has no nutritional value. Is it bad? Only if diet soda is the only thing that you drink. Can it potentially be harmful because it’s one of many poor diet choices you make? Absolutely.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/diet-soda-good-or-bad

With Lil Nas X (Montero Lamar Hill) is a twenty-year-old American rapper, singer/songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia. He began as an internet personality, but came to the forefront with his hit 2018 single “Old Time Road.” The core song is terrific, but Lil Nas X raises the level by finding a way to combine his urban rap with the pure country sound of Billy Ray Cyrus – Miley’s dad.

The remix with Cyrus went viral in April, 2019 breaking Drake’s record for most streamed song in a week. Though the song ran up multiple charts including number one on Billboard’s Top 100, its listing on the magazine’s Hot Country Songs Chart was taken down because “it does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart” as a country song. Boo to them. Before all the attention around the song, the wit and rhythm of Lil Nas X began to find an audience on the internet when he was 16. He was clever enough to break through the noise by connecting himself to Nicki Minaj. The strength of this creative powerhouse makes Lil Nas X a force to watch in the future.

Watch his new music video for “Old Town Road Remix” with Billy Rae Cyrus below: