The Dark Knight's squire falls in battle
By: Kent B. - MSTv Correspondent
The character of Robin has been considered the conscious and a humanizing presence to the character, Batman, since his debut in 1940.
In his 70 year history, the laughing, carefree, yet brilliant character Robin, has been a partner, best friend, rival, sibling and ofttimes, son (literal and actual) to the dark and tortured man known as Bruce Wayne/Batman.
But, for a man who became legend based on the most grievous of losses - witnessing the first hand murder of his parents as a child, what can possibly be more traumatic than experiencing probably the second greatest human loss? What can seeing the death of your child, not once, but twice, do to any man? Or "Bat-"man?
Well, its something the public will find out on February 27th as Damian Wayne, the fourth Robin, dies in the pages of DC Comics' Batman Incorporated #8.
The death of a character has become an old stand-by in the comic book world. And in the world of the Batman, death and the breaking points of characters are a very common occurrence; incidents occurring to both Batman and Robin during their long careers.
But, this is a first: this is the second death of Robin. But, it's just not the same Robin.
Confused? Well, unless you're a comic fan, you probably should be. So, let's review a very brief history of the young men who would all be called, "Robin."
The four men known as "Robin"
Most are only familiar with the first and best-known character to hold the Robin title; a character known as Dick Grayson. Debuting in 1940, Grayson wore the tunic for over 40 years and was re-christened as the hero, Nightwing in 1985.
Since the powers at DC figured Batman needs a Robin, the second one was created in the character Jason Todd.
Todd, a extremely troubled kid and a juvenile delinquent from the start, was introduced in 1987. But, the character, being rude and abrasive, never made the kind of impact Grayson did and was killed off, by the Joker and comic fandom itself in 1988. However, Todd was revived in 2005 as the Red Hood.
A new Robin was needed and designed to have the likability and brilliance of Dick Grayson, but with more of an edge like Jason Todd. So, in 1989, Tim Drake became the third Robin.
Written and created to be likable, intelligent and a detective on par with the Batman himself, the Drake-Robin became so popular he earned his own long-running comic.
But, like Grayson before him, he eventually evolved into his own persona and became "Red Robin" in 2009.
But as always, Batman seems to need a Robin. So, one was created with a bit of a twist. Where the previous three were unrelated teens taken in to give them guidance and some type kindred companionship for the Batman, the fourth was actually a Wayne himself.
The father comes to terms with the son
Introduced in 2006, Damian Wayne served as the fourth youth to wear the red and green tunic of Robin. But, unlike the other three previous, Damian was the actual son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul; daughter of Batman arch foe, Ra Al Ghul.
Beginning a life as damaged as his father, his mother weaved a life for Damian to spite Wayne and garner the approval of her ruthless father.
But, Damian would prove popular with the fans as an interesting pastiche of all the Robins that came before him. And now in the wake of the "Death of the Family" Joker storyline, it seems Damian Wayne will be the next Robin to meet his demise.
But how it happens remains a mystery.. That is, until Feb 27th.
What is known is that Damian faces off with a cloned assassin, a cloned version of himself sent by his mother.. And like the the first Robin death, Batman arrives too late to save his son.
It seems tragedy and loss are destined to walk side-by-side with Wayne/Batman forever.
So, how will the death of his son (at the hands of the mother) affect the Batman? Will he need another Robin to tether in his rage? Should there even be another Robin?
What do you think?
By: Conner James - MSTv Correspondent
In this world of immediate online satisfaction, nothing is out of the reach of the spending consumer. But, with the immediate usually comes a lack of quality, or safety.
Now that lack of safety comes to a head as there is a growing concern over women, worldwide, purchasing untested abortion pills online.
One of the great, but most regrettable aspects of online purchases is that you can find anything you could want, or conceive, easily and at a price you're willing to pay. But, as there is no true regulating body for this worldwide entity, the term "buyer beware" holds true more so online then anywhere else.
Yet, women are drastically forgoing their health for the promise of a problem being "removed" with ease. But, some are paying harsh consequences.
The US and Great Briton Government's health regulators, the FDA and MHRA, warn it is dangerous as people don't know what they are getting with online abortion pills.
Painful and traumatic side effects were common for most women who chose to use these drugs.
"The ordeal was incredibly painful," describes Suzanne Lee, who took the three pill dosage in 2012.
She said: "As soon as I took the last pill, that was it, I was in the bathroom bleeding and vomiting all over the place. I regret getting the pills, but at the time, I felt it just was cheaper then seeing a doctor."
With the ease of purchase, BBC Newsbeat ordered some abortion pills online to get them tested. The website didn't want any medical information or prescription; just credit card details.
Three bright yellow pills turned up in the mail a week later with no instructions on how to take them. However after being analyzed at a drug testing clinic, the results showed they were mostly made up of paracetamol, a generic pain reliever, fever reducer and the primary ingredient in acetaminophen.
It should be noted that these pills were from just one website of many offering the pills. And it should be noted that online purchases of any drugs, other then from regulated companies, carry no guarantees or guidelines for their usage or your safety.
Such warnings need to be taken to heed when thoughts of purchasing any abortion pill online, and questioning just what is in it.
Its advice for anyone thinking about having an abortion is to speak to a medical professional. Heidi Wright from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society says it is worrying: "We are very concerned, firstly the abortion pill shouldn't be available online anyway.
She said: "We find more and more that actually among the women we come across, they have all used internet abortion pills."
By: Conner James - MSTv Correspondent
For 2013, February has been quite a busy month for Louisiana. Besides Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day and the Superbowl, it also happens to be Black History Month.
Black History month: our annual, national celebration, puts the spotlight on most of the important contributions made by our African Americans brethren throughout the history of the United States.
Having been an official national celebration since 1976, Black History Month is also recognized by our cousins in Canada and the United Kingdom.
On Feb. 5 the Salmen High School of New Orleans, presented a Black History Month program. It included a African dance and drum production, presented by several students and teachers from the Talented Art, Talented Theatre, and Brass Band programs.
The festive event, enjoyed by all, was held in celebration of important African-descent figures of American history. This event was one of many being held, or expected to be held throughout the state.
In other parts of the Crescent city, promising musicians are being encouraged to audition for positions in Dillard University's celebrated Jazz program.
Potential students who make the cut can be expected to take part in Saturday Jazz classes at Dillard and other opportunities. Membership has its privileges, as students gain opportunities to perform in the French Quarter Festival, Jazz and Heritage Festival and many other events.
As the month proceeds, many more pertinent events to celebrate the brilliant and diverse history of our proud African Americans will come to light. The following is just a few. So, go out to attend some and celebrate. But, return to your homes with a greater respect for the people; and for having learned something new.
Online TV: convenient or too much too fast?
By: Alex Templer - MSTv Correspondent
w/additional content from BBC Newsbeat
Though its newest figures aren't available, subscription growth in the online video service, Netflix, is growing drastically. One significant draw has to be its new series "House of Cards," starring Kevin Spacey.
The company is planning to create and add at least five new shows to their line-up per year; with other streaming services planning to do likewise. But with all these changes, one has to wonder how we'll enjoy TV in the future.
"I think it will certainly be a very exciting year for online content," notes Director of Amazon Studios, Roy Price.
Price, the executive responsible for Amazon's pay subscription service, Amazon Prime, believes the line between online and broadcast will become a lot more "blurred." To emphasize his point, Price admitted that Amazon Studios currently has six new and original shows being piloted.
Software juggernaut, Microsoft's production of online content plans aren't quite realized, yet. But, their creation of a Los Angeles TV studio this year shows where their newest goals might lie.
Their new programming would interact with the Microsoft's Xbox live platform and use the interactivity that service can offer.
Coming in from the world search engine of choice, Google, is the grandfather of online video,YouTube. The venerable video sharing service intends not to be left behind in the current trend with its launching of original channels initiative and 20 new channels coming from the UK alone.
"YouTube gave an advance on future advertising revenue, via their Adsense options, to a few channels," explains Google's Zayna Aston, "to basically help kick start the production of original content on the platform.
One of those channels is Jamie Oliver's Food Tube which already has 143,000 subscribers, 13 million video views, and it only launched on 21 January 2013.
So with all the promise of newer and more convenient online content coming soon, should traditional TV networks feel threatened by their online competition?
"I think it will be interesting to see how everything evolves with respect to all the different channels and sources of content," mused Amazon's Roy Price.
"And for now all we can do is create the best service we can and certainly to date we co-exist quite amicably with all of our channel and other programming partners," he added.
Victoria Jaye, director of all BBC online content adds, "I think it's really fantastic that we are seeing the on demand market become creatively competitive with people like Netflix originating content."
"We really want a creative competitive on demand market so for us this is , 'Bring it on!' We're excited."
What's the point of cheerleaders if you cant see em?
By: Kent B - MSTv Correspondent
What the hell happened?? You're sitting down enjoying the big game, face stuffed with wings and beer, then all of a sudden - poof - out go half the lights in the damn Superdome... Guess N.O. residents aren't the only ones who have Entergy problems. Or maybe Mercedes Benz just forgot to pay half the bill.
Well, I for one had two thoughts when it happened: 1)Glad I didn't spend money for a ticket. And 2) They better keep that beer cold and flowing in there, or the field won't be the only stage for fights!
But, I guess that kid, who was plastered on the cameras, had the last and best quote to say about the incident: “It was fun until the power outage,” he simply told the press. And guess what? He was right. But you know what else? It'll never be spun with the main focus on the game; just the unfortunate incident.
I know I'm guilty of doing that too. Hell, I began this article by trashing the outage. But, I just did so in fun and as a native New Orleanian, if I can't poke fun at my hometown, who can? However, the general press is much more unforgiving and ruthless. So, as the outage progressed, the news media of the world hopped to and broadcast this embarrassment to an international audience.
I can only imagine what some New Orleanians there wondered, and in some way, what the majority of the visitors to the town thought when the lights went out. But, some were quite vocal about it.
On air, several locals expressed concern and were worried as to how the story of Super Bowl 47 would be told. Would it be a typical New Orleans repeat? Would the focus only be centered on what went wrong instead of the many things that went right?
“I feel embarrassed for us because that’s what’s going to be talked about,” said Olivia Wilson, a Kenner native who lives in New York.
Other New Orleans natives and residents were unfazed, taking the opportunity to stroll the Superdome sipping cocktails.
“We’re the only town in which something like this can happen and we roll with the punches,” said Stephen Rue, a native and resident of New Orleans. “Everybody gets another drink and has a good time.”
“Locals can adapt,” added Rue’s friend, Brian McMillan, also born and raised in New Orleans. “Everybody else is panicking. We’re used to adapting to change.”
Its like night and day, huh?
Given the circumstances of this occurrence, have we become too accustomed to the misfortunes that seem to hit New Orleans every few years? Or, even by most of the glaring problems that a good portion of locals deal with living there on a daily basis?
By some of the above quotes, we seem well stereotyped to dealing with troubles and mishaps by washing away the problems with another drink. But how much booze is needed to wash, or haze this type of thing away?
Living in a town known for being, "the city that care forgot," can we really afford to be this unconcerned about our image? Especially with the world closely watching - again??
Its not a secret that some, in varied parts of the country and world, see New Orleans as a unrefined and hedonistic town; known only for its good food, carefree lifestyle and lack of "last call" drinking freedoms. So, now we can add having the lights go out during the biggest sporting event of the year to that list. Somehow I don't think, "my bad" will cut it for future Superbowl hostings.
Looks kinda half-dark outside too!
Officials however, remain positive that New Orleans will stay a favorite host city for the Super Bowl despite the outage. The city wins over football fans with its easy-to-access tourism hotspots, celebrated cuisine and music scene, offering entertainment options for a variety of visitors.
Just before the lights returned, McMillan shared New Orleans-style bright side of the power loss: “This extends the drinking period because the drink vendors shut down after the third quarter.”
See, there we go with the drinking deal again.. Oh well, maybe we can give everyone an Absente cocktail and the whole thing will just fade away.. Along with lots of perfectly good brain cells. So come on back for Superbowl 50-something, ya'll! Let's have some gumbo and lotsa drinks to forget about that little incident back in 2013. Anything to keep that money machine called New Orleans churning, right?
Read what New Orleanians and visitors are Tweeting...
Jude's Korean adventures
Alcohol in South Korea
All bars and local night establishments are filled to the brim with things you have seen in all other places like Jack Daniels and Jagermeister.
However you may spy a little green bottle with Korean writing on it and you may ask what is that? It's called Soju, my friends or 소주 for the Hangil inclined (Korean Language).
Soju is a spirit primarily made from rice, barley, potatoes or tapioca and has an average alcohol content of 20% ABV however there are some brands of Andong Soju that are upward of 45% ABV.
None the less, they will both get the job done. Soju has a taste very similar to vodka but it is slightly sweeter and easier to consume by itself.
Now we get to the matter of cost and availability; however rest assured the answer will be qiute positive. Soju is available all over South Korea from the local convenience store for 1,000 Won = roughly $1 or in a restaurant for 3,000 Won =$3. So these adult treats certainly won't set you back any considerable amount.
It alco mixes quite well with beer, cider, and energy drinks. Soju has been around since the 13th century and shows no signs of going anywhere anytime soon. So when you get the chance come on down to the Republic of South Korea and have a shot of deliciousness.