The TMNT Leave The Sewers And Head For Injustice 2

The TMNT Leave The Sewers And Head For Injustice 2

Cowabunga, dudes!!
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Injustice 2 is the follow-up to the popular DC Comics fighting game by NetherRealms Studios. The series pits iconic DC heroes like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman against the likes of foes such as The Joker, Lex Luthor, and Ares in an alternate universe conflict that sees the two groups switching sides and forming alliances when the Man of Steel himself goes rouge. The original title featured a single guest character in the form of Mortal Kombat's Scorpion as a nod to their shared developers, but the sequel has gotten a little more liberal with its non-DC content.

Until now the game already featured two Mortal Kombat characters, (Sub Zero and Raiden) plus Hellboy of Dark Horse Comics fame. Now, it looks like now they’re being joined by four more unlikely heroes in a half shell.

Seriously! The Teenage Mutant gosh darn Turtles are coming to Injustice 2 as DLC alongside The Atom and Enchantress, and it looks like it’s time for them to kick butt. Apparently the turtles will play as a single unit and fight together as one rather than as separate individuals that can be pitted against each other. Players will be able to tag each turtle in and out of battle mid-fight in order to take advantage of their unique weapons and movesets. This fits their team dynamic theme nicely, and it makes them the first of their kind to be playable in the Injustice series.

Even beyond gameplay, this is a flat-out cool addition. It might seem strange to remember, but the turtle brothers were first introduced to the world and continue to appear now in comic form. This has included multiple surprisingly charming crossovers with Batman, and so the four ninja boys meeting up with DC heroes and villains is not unprecedented.

On top of this, you can tell that NetherRealms is going to handle the sewer-dwellers respectfully. Someone must seriously be a fan of the mutant martial artists down at the development studio, because they got their appearances, voices, and personalities down pat in the reveal trailer. They sound just right, they’ve got their familiar group dynamic banter and surfer dude accents going, and their visual designs look heavily inspired by the original cartoon; this choice may be a bit odd initially for a fighting game as gritty as Injustice 2, but it’s bound to make fans of the TMNT series happy.

Heck, they even had Raphael appear out of the shadows in his trench coat like he did in the original movies. That’s totally awesome, dude!

Cover Image Credit: Destructoid

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Just Because I'm From Hawaii, Does Not Mean I'm Hawaiian

My residency is not my race.
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Let me start off with a few things about myself. I am a first generation American who is primarily Filipino, Spanish and Hungarian. With that said, I am a woman of color, who frankly, looks all white. I was born and raised on the North Shore of O'ahu, but currently live in the mainland.

Now, let me tell you a little bit about Hawai'i, because I'm sure you don't know much about it since it's only given like, a paragraph of recognition in our history books. The Ancient Hawaiians traveled by canoe for thousands of miles using only the stars to navigate and found themselves in the Hawaiian Islands. They settled and their culture spread throughout the mountains and shores.
In 1778, Captain Cook "discovered" the islands, despite the thriving population residing there (he can be compared to Christopher Columbus). In the 1830s, the Sugar Industry was introduced, bringing a diverse range of immigrants from China, the Philippines, Japan and many other countries to work on the plantations, creating the diverse and ethnic population that makes up the islands today. In the 1890s, Queen Lili'uokalani (lily-oo-oh-kah-lah-nee) was imprisoned in an upstairs bedroom of her palace and soon after, the monarchy was overthrown. Hawai'i became a state in the 1950s.

With all of that said, we can now discuss an issue that I have realized needs to be addressed.

Since I moved to the mainland, I have had many encounters where people assure me that I am Hawaiian, despite my rebuttals that I am definitely not. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Them: "So you're from Hawaii, are you Native Hawaiian?"

Me: "Oh no, I'm Filipino, Hungarian and Spanish."

Them: "No, I mean, were you born and raised there?"

Me: "Yeah, but I'm not Hawaiian."

Them: "Yeah you are. It's the same thing."

No, it is most definitely not the same thing. If you were in Japan and saw a white person or any person not of Japanese descent, would you ask if they were Japanese simply because they lived there?
No, you wouldn't because you should know that residency does not equate descent. Sure, you might be curious and ask, but if they told you they weren't Japanese, you wouldn't try to convince them that they are. As I mentioned, Hawaii's population is made up of a ton of immigrants, and just because someone's family may have been there for generations, they are still not Hawaiian unless they actually have Hawaiian blood.

Not only do people assume that I am Hawaiian simply because I am from there, but they will continuously say that I look Hawaiian even if they have no idea what someone of Hawaiian descent looks like. Hawaiians are people of color, as are many of those who reside in the islands. However, as I previously mentioned, I do not look like a person of color even though I am, so why would you associate me, a seemingly full white person, to be Hawaiian? It makes no sense.

There are many things wrong with choosing to misidentify an individual or a group of people.
One, is that by you convincing yourself that I am something that I am not, you are diminishing who I am, and how I identify myself.
Second, you are creating an illusion based upon your own desires of who Hawaiians as a people are.
Third, by using me specifically, you are whitewashing the image of an entire race. I could go on, but there is not enough time in the world to name them all.




Their culture has been reduced to leis, aloha shirts, surfing, and tiki torches. Aloha has become a household word used by people who have no understanding of what Aloha truly means. Girls go as hula dancers in an effort to show skin on Halloween without any second thought. Please stop. We cannot continue to misidentify, appropriate and basically erase Hawaiian culture, just as has been done to the Native Americans.

Hawaiians have already been stripped of their land. I will not allow them to be stripped of their identity as well.

Cover Image Credit: TourMaui

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How The Death Of The Mars Rover 'Opportunity' Moved Us To Tears And Awakened Our Humanity

It seems crazy that we humans could become so attached to a machine that we would mourn its passing – but maybe that's just who we are.

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On February 13, 2019, NASA announced that the Mars rover Opportunity was dead – an announcement that came nearly eight months after a Martian dust storm silenced the rover. NASA originally intended for Opportunity to explore the plains of Mars for only 90 days, but the incredible rover ended up working for 15 years. During its "lifetime," the rover traveled approximately the distance of a marathon, providing scientists with numerous up-close pictures of Mars and greatly increasing our knowledge about the surface and makeup of the planet.

After years of exploration, the rover was silenced by a huge dust storm in June of 2018. Scientists at NASA tried repeatedly to reconnect with Opportunity, sending the rover approximately 1000 signals – but to no avail. Despite NASA's hopes that the rover would resume functioning once the dust storm had passed, they never heard from Opportunity again, prompting NASA to finally announce the "death" of the rover and the end of its mission.

The news of the rover's death sparked an outpouring of emotional messages on social media from people struck by grief at the loss of the robot. One person tweeted in all caps, "I cried when I heard the news," admitting that even though he/she is almost 20 years old, he/she "still cried about [an] inanimate object." Another person posted, "Is it weird that I may be mourning a little?" Yet another social media user referred to the "death" of Opportunity as "a very heart-saddening event." One writer tweeted, "I never imagined I'd be sitting at my computer crying over a last message from a robot on Mars, but here I sit wiping away tears." Many people took to creating emotional, beautiful artwork of the rover and posting it to platforms such as Tumblr. Even the scientists at NASA played Billie Holliday's song "I'll Be Seeing You" as a heartfelt way to sing the rover to sleep.

When I heard about these social media posts/messages, I found myself both deeply touched by the depth of these people's emotions and relieved that I was not the only person who felt this way. Ever since hearing the news about Opportunity, I have felt strangely sad and melancholic. Even though I know that it was just a robot that was never "alive" in the true sense of the word, I truly do feel as if a real death occurred, not just the breakdown of a piece of machinery.

This led me to wonder – what is it about this rover that tugs on people's heartstrings and causes them to respond to its "death" in such a grief-stricken manner? Why do we care so much about a machine? Why does the loss of it make us any sadder than if one of our kitchen appliances stopped working?

Indeed, others have noted how remarkable it is that so many people have been so deeply touched by the rover's passing. For instance, actor Tom Holland tweeted, "The strange potential of human being's [sic] future relationship with machines, [sic] is evident in the response to the Opportunity Rover's death."

We aren't sad about the "death" of Opportunity just because we lost a piece of machinery that provided us with valuable photographs and data from Mars. Our grief comes from the fact that, despite knowing that the rover was a mere robot, we feel a sort of human connection to the poor, lost rover. While we know that Opportunity was not a person, we still feel empathy for it and love it because it was something that we humans created. And when we create something, we tend to pour not just our time and energy, but also our emotions, into whatever it is we're making - an emotional investment that becomes stronger the more human-like our creations are.

Indeed, the robots that we build are probably the closest we'll ever get to "creating life." In a sense, building robots is our way of playing God by creating living beings, and we often form these robots in our own image, endowing them with faculties like speech, thoughts, "emotions," and senses (as much as we possibly can). Our robots will most likely never fully possess life in the same sense as humans and animals do, but perhaps we feel a strong connection to our robots because we give them human-like characteristics and "bring them to life" (in a sense). Consider this: we also build and make other types of technology/machines, including things like microwaves, cars, and forklifts, yet none of these are purposely given human-like traits like artificial intelligence is - a key difference that perhaps reveals why the death of Opportunity saddens us more than a broken microwave does.

While Opportunity was certainly not the most humanoid robot ever created, even it exhibited human-like qualities that kindled empathy and grief in the hearts of people everywhere. In the rover's final moments of life, it sent back these heartbreaking words to scientists at NASA: "My battery is low and it's getting dark." Simple as these words are, they convey a sense of loneliness and fear in the face of impending death.

We may know deep down that the rover experienced no emotions like fear or anguish as it passed away, yet these words break our hearts because they seem like the final, plaintive mourning of a doomed being who is crying out to the universe in despair, perishing alone on a cold planet surrounded by millions of miles of emptiness and cut off from any being like it. The rover could communicate with humans, and our hearts broke at the emotions its words conveyed. Indeed, death is part of our reality, and perhaps we recognized our own mortality in the passing of Opportunity. We saw experiences and emotions that we could relate to, and we felt as if it were the real death of a loved one.

It seems crazy that we humans could become so attached to a machine that we would mourn its passing – but maybe that's just who we are. Perhaps we saw a kindred spirit in the form of Opportunity, and our inner humanity awakened to feel a connection to and sympathy for this being. We cried. We sang her to sleep. We gave her the cute nickname of "Oppy." Perhaps our reaction speaks volumes about not just our relationship with machines but about who we are as humans.

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