Free book for boys and reluctant readers
Reading is important
Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him. –Maya Angelou
Most adults would agree that reading is important, but many kids detest reading. Video games, devices, and TV are preferred entertainment and escape. They provide instant gratification. Reading takes time. For some kids, reading isn’t engaging.
I had this same problem with my son, so I solved the problem.
The classic stories I remember enjoying as a kid don’t interest my son and his immediate attention span. If he doesn’t enjoy the story from page one, he will not read further.
So how did I get my son to read?
I showed him how much fun it is to get sucked into a story.
Your book is amazing I can’t stop reading it – Joseph Young via twitter
Contemporary and Classic titles alike don’t interest many kids. Don’t worry, the love of reading is learned. We need a starting point. We need that one book that is just as engaging on the first read as the fifth, just like a really great movie that kids want to see again and again. A positive association with reading will make kids want to read more.
A love of reading is cited as the number one indicator of future success. My son didn’t have the desire to read. He didn’t care about the books I chose to read to him, and was overwhelmed with the selection at the library. I want my son to succeed, so I had to do something. Since we struggled to find books he cared to read, I wrote one. An epic saga about the things he loves. I put it in a world he loves and addressed the issues he faces in his life.
I just love your books I’ve been reading them over and over again. -Carson via twitter
But it’s a video game book
Don’t worry; it’s not a book about video games, nor is it a game strategy book. Flynn’s Log is a hero’s journey that takes place inside the Minecraft world that today’s kids know and love. The protagonist, Flynn, naturally flows through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (builds shelter and tools, learns what to eat and discovers a digital friend) and faces questions about his destiny. He learns important life lessons about friendship, integrity, and trust. Flynn’s Log is good for kids without being boring.
Thank you so so much for the free ebook. My son loves Minecraft now with this book I can get him to read to me. – Jennifer Wilkins
Start your son or daughter on journey today, reading Flynn’s Log 1: Rescue Island. Free on available these devices and apps.
Why is Flynn’s Log 1 Free?
My son loves reading — finally. If you have experience with a reluctant reader then I know your pain and I want to help. I’ve seen thousands of kids transform with this book. My readers, who don’t usually read books during the summer, couldn’t put Flynn’s Log 1 down.
Good book I thought I would never read a book on my summer but I feel I’m gonna finish it soon – Multigamer 47 via twitter
Let this book change your kid’s life too. You have nothing to lose and an avid reader to gain.
Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.
I am giving away Flynn’s Log 1 free because I want to give you a risk-free way to hook your reluctant reader.
Please and I mean PLEASE, WRITE MORE! I absolutely love it! They’re outstanding books.
-Devon123321 via twitter
What are Books for Boys?
I spend lots of time with teachers and parents. I hear parents ask, “How do I get my son to read? Do you have books for boys?”
I wrote the Flynn’s Log series for my son, and this book is interesting for boys. However, the series is a non-stop read for both boys and girls, especially those who are interested in Minecraft.
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
What are you waiting for?
You have nothing to lose!
News for Parents of Reluctant Readers
Get Reluctant Reader Book News from Stone Marshall
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — With no school and limited responsibilities in the summer, kids often find a hard time finding something to do. Parents who want their children to spend their free time constructively might consider sending them to one of Northeastern State University’s Summer Youth Academies or Summer Day Camps.
“This isn’t a baby-sitting service,” said Jerreth McLaughlin of College of Extending Learning. “This is something that’s really cutting-edge and exciting for these kids.”
Both the NSU Day Camps and Youth Academies will be held in June, and registration is now open. Parents won’t want to wait long to sign up, though, because all the spots can fill up quickly. McLaughlin said the programs typically have between 300 and 400 participants.
The Summer Youth Academies are each one week long, offering a variety of camps for different ages. The first week – June 3-7 – has an Up, Up and Away camp for 4- and 5-year-olds, a Minecraft camp for 6- to 8-year-olds, The Magic of Coding camp for 6- to 8-year-olds, and The Art of Photography camp for 9-year-olds and up.
“Minecraft is always very popular,” said McLaughlin. “The Minecraft camps usually sell out quick and go right up to the maximum number. I would say it probably gives them a leg up on school, thinking, and keeping their analytic skills sharp during the summer.”
The second week of Summer Youth Academies – June 10-14 – features a camp for 6- to 8-year-olds called Imagination Station. Kids will get to play with Legos, building blocks, Lincoln Logs and more, but the camp involves more than just playing with toys.
“We’ve got master teachers involved with this,” said McLaughlin. “So it’s not like a kid’s at home, sitting there playing with Legos. No, they give them different ideas and different creative approaches. They give them idea starters for designing and engineering.”
Several of the Summer Youth Academies involve space exploration. Academies include the Comets, Planets, & Space, Oh My, for 4- to 5-year-olds; Space: NASA, for 9-year-olds and up; Space, the Final Frontier, for 6- to 8-year-olds; and Exploration Space, for 6- to 8-year-olds.
“Last year, Barbara Fuller got to visit NASA and got a bunch of stuff from them,” said McLaughlin. “So they’re basing their camps off of material she got from NASA. I think it’s going to be state-of-the-art and cutting edge.”
Instead of paying for a whole week of Summer Youth Academies, parents might want to send their kids to NSU for only a day or two.
Last year, NSU held a pilot program for its Summer Day Camps program at the Tahlequah campus only.
It was so popular that it has expanded to the Broken Arrow campus.
Each day of the week throughout June is dedicated to a different camp. Monday is for Jewelry Creation, where kids can make their own treasures; Tuesday for Live in Your Own Virtual Reality, offering students a chance to use a green screen and make their own movies; Wednesday for Roller Coasters and Amusement Parks, giving campers a chance to build their own amusement park; Thursday for The Art Studio, a student can learn about textures and create projects; and Fridays, for The Science of Science, where kids will conduct experiments.
Both the Summer Youth Academies and Day Camps give kids a chance to explore new subjects and find new hobbies.
“Children sometimes don’t even know what they like,” said McLaughlin. “This is an opportunity to try something, and after a week if they don’t like it, they don’t have to try it again. They may decide this is really cool, or they at least have an idea of what it is and what it does.”
For more information about the NSU Summer Youth Academies or Day Camps, contact Continuing Education at 918-444-4610, or visit www.nsuok.edu.
Marvel Studios is hard at work on Black Widow, finally giving actress Scarlett Johansson her first solo movie in the MCU. And now we might know who she’ll be going up against.
According to a report from That Hashtag Show, Moonlight star Andre Holland is in the running to play the villain for Black Widow. The actor earned critical acclaim for his role in Moonlight, as well his starring role in Hulu’s Castle Rock.
“Marvel [was previously] seeking a male with open ethnicity in his 40s to portray the film’s villain, who is described only as ‘exciting.’ The studio is now looking for either a Black British or African actor, 30-45, to portray a ‘tough, dangerous and mysterious’ villain,” stated the report.
There’s no word yet on who the character could be, though some have theorized it could be another character with red in their ledger such as Taskmaster or Red Guardian.
There were previous rumors that Black Widow would be rated R. ComicBook.com caught up with Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and confirmed the film would not get a mature rating.
“Yes. Correct… It never was going to be,” said Feige. “Somebody writes, ‘I hear it’s R-rated!’ And then everybody writes it up.”
There have been rumors over the more mature label being slapped on Black Widow ever since news broke of Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox, and chairman Bob Iger confirmed the R-rated Deadpool movies would continue. But it seems like Black Widow, despite her past as an assassin, will still be the typical PG-13 fare Marvel Studios is known for.
This week has seen a lot of rumors crop up for Black Widow, including the possibility of Emma Watson being cast in a role. We’ll find out soon if Watson and Holland actually join the film.
For now, fans can next see Black Widow show up when Avengers: Endgame premieres in theaters on April 26th.
What are the best Minecraft mods? It’s a question that’s been asked for generations – since a young Plato attempted to tweak his game at the knee of Socrates. Or something. As new Minecraft mods have been steadily flowing out since the game’s first public release, there are a whole heap to choose from.
Minecraft is a blocky phenomenon. It’s the only game to ever exist that allows you to construct a castle the height of Jack’s famous beanstalk and fall through an increasingly challenging abyss for an eternity – but it could do with some Minecraft mods to improve things. From interface changes to tools to aid your hours of exploration, you have the option to make Mojang’s classic even better on PC.
The following list compiles some of the best Minecraft mods out there right now. All are divided into sections, depending on what you want to do with the game – from simple changes to deep, intricate Minecraft mods you can get lost in for months.
These are the best Minecraft mods by category:
- Minecraft interface mods
- Minecraft creative mods
- Minecraft exploration mods
- Minecraft automation mods
- Minecraft expansive mods
HOW DO I INSTALL MINECRAFT MODS?
Every Minecraft mod on this list comes with its own installation instructions that you should follow closely, and you’ll likely also need to downgrade your Minecraft version for many of them – in most cases, version 1.7.10 works best. To help with that, you can try MultiMC– a useful bit of software that lets you manage multiple Minecraft mod installs.
Alternatively, if faffing around in obscure folders isn’t your cup of tea, then grab a modpack instead – which comes with everything preinstalled and preconfigured. We recommend either Feed The Beast’s Direwolf20 1.7.10 pack (which comes with a YouTube series that’ll teach you how to use many of the included mods), the Tekkit Pack, or making your own modpack with Curse Voice. If you have trouble with any of them Google is probably a good bet.
Shall we dig into our list of the best Minecraft mods?
MINECRAFT INTERFACE MODS
When you’ve got lots of Minecraft mods installed you’ll probably find that Minecraft’s default UI doesn’t cut it any longer. The following downloads make playing modded Minecraft a more pleasant experience.
OPTIFINE / FASTCRAFT
Got a beefy computer? Make Minecraft look incredible with Optifine, which adds support for HD textures and more control over graphical options. Alternatively, if you’re playing on a potato, grab Fastcraft– it significantly improves performance on lower-end machines, particularly with lots of Minecraft mods installed.
Everyone likes to know where they’re going. Journeymap maps your world as you explore, lets you mark waypoints of interest, and can even warn you when mobs are sneaking up behind you. View the resulting map in-game as a minimap, or in fullscreen, or even in an external web browser.
NOT ENOUGH ITEMS
If you need an antidote to the pain of alt-tabbing to a wiki while playing Minecraft then turn to Not Enough Items (or NEI). It lets you look up the recipe for any item from any installed Minecraft mod through a nifty interface on Minecraft’s inventory screen.
WAILA stands for “What Am I Looking At,” and it’s a godsend when you’ve got loads of mods installed. Simply point your crosshair at a block, and it’ll tell you what it is, and which mod it comes from. With newer mods, it can also tell you about the state of that block – how full a tank of water is, for example, or the charge level on a battery. You’ll need NEI to run it.
Install Inventory Tweaks and you’ll soon wonder how you lived without it. Tools that run out of durability are automatically replaced in your hotbar, stacks of blocks are automatically refilled, and a simple middle-click will sort your chests and inventory. It’s also endlessly customisable.
MINECRAFT CREATIVE MODS
For many people, crafting awe-inspiring structures is what Minecraft is all about. The following mods will dramatically expand your creative options, from new types of wood to proper furniture.
Minecraft only has one cobblestone texture. Chisel 2 has 24. In fact, it adds alternative textures to a huge number of the game’s default blocks as well as blocks that come with other mods in this list – letting you create any decor you desire in your in-game constructions.
Cubes are great and all, but occasionally you want a slope, right?Carpenter’s Blocks delivers those slopes, alongside beds, buttons, doors, flowerpots, torches, and more, all of which can be customised with the texture of any other block. Ever wanted a netherrack ladder? This is the mod that’ll do it.
If you’d like a bit more variety when it comes to decorating your world, Decocraft is the mod for you. It adds craftable chairs, tables, bowls, bottles, lamps, stuffed toys, beer kegs, and even a kitchen sink. The full list is almost endless, so dive in to the Wiki to see the full range of options.
Bibliocraft also offers a bunch of aesthetically-pleasing blocks, but these ones come with their own functionality. Display cases and shelves let you show off your trophies, while a printing press lets you copy in-game books. It even adds a monocle for the distinguished gentlemen amongst you.
If Minecraft can be accused of lacking one thing, it’s poo. This humble Minecraft mod solves that problem with aplomb, not just making it so your pigs drop a steaming pile of the proverbial every now and again, but instead providing you with a new resource to master in Minecraft. Collect the droppings and you can use them instead of bone meal to fertilize your crops. Alternatively, you can fire them in a furnace and produce bricks that you can use to build a house – just don’t use them with white wool.
Bacteria simply never goes out of fashion, so it’s about time Mincraft modders brought it into the creative sandbox. This mod lets you cultivate a range of different bacterias, each of which will perform different tasks – destructive or creative – and set them loose on the world. Just be sure to contain it properly, especially if you’re experimenting in your own base.
Bring some serious variation to your Minecraft diet with this produce-laden mod that adds over 1,100 new foods and items, including 60 crops, 17 types of fish, tofu for vegetarian and vegan dishes, and 36 fruit or item bearing trees. The end result is a Minecraft diet that’s equal parts lavish and balanced. If you want to make this a necessity rather than just a fun extension to vanilla Minecraft, use it alongside Hunger Overhaul and The Spice of Life, which both punish your poor eating habits.
MINECRAFT EXPLORATION MODS
Some people prefer the life of a nomad to that of a builder. The following mods either spice up world generation, add new worlds to explore, or give you the tools you’ll need to explore them. To the Far Lands, and beyond!
Let’s start with the Overworld. Biomes O’Plenty adds a ridiculous 80 new biomes and 12 sub-biomes to Minecraft – from Alps to Wasteland. It also adds a little more variety to tools, armour, food, colour, and adds a few extra blocks to build with.
Working in much the same way as Biomes O Plenty, LotsOMobs adds a staggering 25 new mobs to further enrich your Minecraft world and make your biomes that bit more realistic. Gone are the days when squid were the only creature in the sea and chickens roamed free across the savannah. If you’d like giraffes, narwhal, seagulls, elephants, and even dinosaurs to appear in your game, then this is the mod for you.
Here’s a great exploration mod for people who avoid the Nether on the grounds of it being just a bit too demonic and hellscapey. CandyCraftoffers sweet-toothed Minecrafters a new realm to explore that’s made entirely of candy. There are sugar-coated critters to kill, marshmallow tools to equip, and honeycomb armour to wear as you make your way through this sickly sweet realm. Eat your heart out, Hansel and Gretel.
Boldly go where no Steve has been before with Galacticraft, an expansive mod that let’s you travel to, explore, and even colonise an entire solar system. Aside from all the interplanetary sightseeing, the main draw of this mod is the sheer amount of effort you’ll have to put into it in order to escape Earth and its famously surly bonds. It’s a compelling and brilliantly constructed series of missions that rewards you with gameplay opportunities, like building a moonbase, pimping out your spaceship, and fighting evolved mobs on Mars.
Not nearly enough mods focus on improving that most ancient and beloved of weapons – the bow and arrow. Quiverbow overhauls the options available to budding archers by providing them with a bounty of projectile-based weaponry. From basic additions like the humble crossbow to snow cannons and firework launchers, this is the ultimate mod for any aspiring Minecraft sniper.
MINECRAFT AUTOMATION MODS
There’s nothing like a good factory setup in your Minecraft base – automatically mining and producing resources so you never run out. The following mods offer everything you need to fully automate almost every aspect of modded Minecraft, and work best in conjunction with some of the deeper mods in the final section.
ROPE BRIDGE MOD
Chasms are a constant inconvenience for Minecraft explorers: you spend minutes jumping up the highest mountain only to find an annoying series of gaps between its peaks. Make mountaineering easier for yourself by installing this handy mod, which provides you with a portable grappling gun that will automatically build a bridge from where you’re standing to where it’s aimed. It’s also particularly useful for building tree-top fortresses.
Digging is the bread and butter of Minecraft, which is why someone made this automated tunnelling machine, freeing you of the chore so you can explore, kill mobs, and meticulously redecorate your base. You’ll have to build it yourself, but once you do, you’ll be saving hours in virtual labour. The drill head is upgradable too, with different materials offering their own benefits, so there’s some scope for you to get really stuck into this miner’s delight.
This mod adds basic automated devices for everything from farming to forestry. The best bit about Progressive Automation is that each machine can be upgraded as you progress, meaning fewer enormous rebuilds further down the line.
APPLIED ENERGISTICS 2
After staying a while in a large base storage starts to become an issue. Applied Energistics 2 lets you turn matter into energy, storing items on hard drives that can be accessed wirelessly from anywhere in your base. It’s fantastically useful, especially for the hoarders amongst you.
Ever wanted to be a nuclear engineer without learning about physics and going through multiple years of higher education? Then Big Reactors is the mod for you. Big Reactors allows you to build massive, fully configurable reactors in order to cope with the power demands of all those other industrial mods you’ve been tinkering with. Better still, it’s designed to interface with ComputerCraft, meaning you can monitor, regulate, and program your power station from a safe distance – should you tinker too much and cause a meltdown that is.
COMPUTERCRAFT AND RFTOOLS
Finally, we’d be remiss not to mention ComputerCraft. Itadds fully-programmable computers and assorted peripherals into the Minecraft world. It also adds RFTools, which lets you monitor and maintain a complex power network. Both are vital tools for any kind of automated base.
MINECRAFT EXPANSIVE MODS
That just leaves the largest mods – the ones that reward a significant time investment with substantial changes to vanilla Minecraft. We’d recommend tackling just one or two of these at a time, even if they’re bundled together in a modpack, for your sanity more than anything else. By the time you reach their endgame you’ll be the master of all you survey.
If you’ve managed to clad yourself in diamond and long for some new endgame gear to show off to your friends then you might want to install the Draconic Evolution mod. As well as adding heaps of new high-tier weaponry and armour, Draconic Evolution also has its own energy system that’s essentially Minecraft’s answer to cold fusion. Other features include a weather manipulation system, an enormous chest with built-in crafting facilities, teleporters, and mob spawners. In short, it’s the ideal mod for anyone who’s mastered vanilla Survival mode.
Being a wizard is pretty awesome, and that’s no different in the world of Minecraft. Thaumcraft lets you manipulate the magic energies found in every in-game item to create powerful wands, golems to do your bidding, and essence-infused items and tools. It hooks beautifully into several other mods.
Jetpacks make everything better. Everything. That’s why this humble mod isn’t looking to burden you with countless new systems and recipes to remember, it’s just trying to give ordinary Minecrafters the gift of instantaneous flight. Soar into the skies powered by Redstone Flux, letting you avoid hazards and move around the map much quicker. Higher level jetpacks will also act as armour and even negate fall damage, so there’s plenty of reason to invest a little time into this nifty add-on.
Occasionally, Minecraft is all a little too cute and fluffy. That’s where modders come in, introducing some ritualistic dark arts to give the vanilla game some edge. Blood Magic– that most heinous of all magics – introduces a few new systems and mechanics based around drawing power from the blood of mobs. Once you’ve harvested enough life essence you can use it at a Blood Altar in order to craft new items like a Dagger of Sacrifice.
Arguably the best all-round technology mod is Minefactory Reloaded. It adds heaps of machines and devices that allow you to automate almost everything – from breeding cows to playing in-game records. As an added bonus, it also works particularly well with many of the mods in the previous section.
Mining by hand is a thing of the past and everyone knows it. That’s why there’s BuildCraft, a hugely expansive mod that essentially allows you to put vanilla Minecraft through its own industrial revolution. From automated quarries to autocrafting tables that will pump out any desired item with the right ingredients on tap, this mod let’s you go full scale with your production lines.
From the ridiculous to the sublime, this cosmetic mod adds over 100 hats to Minecraft, ensuring you’ve always got some way of surprising and, in some cases, shocking your friends. You’ll have to spend some time hunting the hats down, though, as they’re programmed to randomly spawn on mobs around the world – expect to see a squid with a phone booth on its head or a creeper sporting a sombrero.
PneumaticCraft swaps out power for pressurized air making for a mod that’s both highly volatile and incredibly rewarding. Whether it’s air cannons, programmable drones, or a range of assembly machines, this mod adds a host of mechanical and automated options to Minecraft.
If those are not are the best Minecraft mods, we don’t know what are. These improvements and tweaks will transform your blocky bundle of joy and keep you playing even longer, much like the Minecraft maps that will transport you absolutely anywhere and the Minecraft servers that further keep things fresh. For now, though, we’re ready to get lost in Minecraft all over again.
Josh Brolin’s Thanos made quite the impression in last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, and he’s even making his way into the video game world.
And no, we’re not talking about Fortnite.
Reddit user DovahhhSama recently shared a screenshot, which shows off a recreation of Thanos in the world of Minecraft. As a comment attached to the photo jokes, they spent two hours on the recreation only to get a small number of upvotes (something that has changed since the post went viral).
Thanos will return (in a much less blocky form) in next month’s Avengers: Endgame, where the ramifications of his “snap” will be further explored. Now that Thanos has turned half the universe into dust, the remaining heroes will have a lot on their plate when it comes to fighting him.
“They’ve been misused by people who didn’t understand their true power.” co-writer Christopher Markus said in Infinity War‘s art book last year. “And now that the real master of them, Thanos, has shown up we can see what they actually do. The problem is, as you can imagine, as you gain control over these things, your story just goes haywire because why are there ay stakes for the man who can control time, space, reality, your mind, your soul and power? He can reset as many times as it’ll take. So you have to build in a lot of bumps in the road or maybe keep one stone away from him for long enough in order for the thing to have any dramatic structure at all.”
And as it turns out, Thanos’ snap almost occurred much later in the overall storyline than what ended up being onscreen.
“It wasn’t just, well, we’ve got too much story, we’d better chop it in half,” Markus revealed. “But what we realized is, it would feel more like a cliffhanger than we intended. It would be a continuation of exactly what you were watching before. [But it needed to] be as big as it wants to be, and as sprawling… [So we went with a script] that went all the way to a tragic ending. And then one where mysterious things happen that I can’t tell you about.”
What do you think of this Minecraft version of Thanos? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Avengers: Endgame will be released on April 26th. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universemovies include Captain Marvel on March 8th, and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5th.
PewDiePie’s unlikely rise to the top: From Minecraft and brofists to T-Series and making YouTube history
PewDiePie is known to just about everyone as the biggest name on the internet – and for good reason. The Swedish gamer boasts a following of almost 88 million, giving him the title of the most subscribed channel on YouTube – a spot which he’s held since 2013, years longer than anyone else. With Indian music label T-Series inching ever closer to his crown, the 29-year-old has beaten the odds, and managed to hold onto his position for a whopping six years. But, with friends who will spend eye-watering amounts of money on billboards, and loyal fans who dub themselves ‘soldiers’ willing to go to extremes for him, how did he get there? He’s held YouTube’s top spot for years longer than anyone else managed to (Picture: Jonas Ekstrmer/TT) Pewds – real name Felix Kjellberg – started out on YouTube fresh-faced in 2010, making his first video to show off about something funny he found on Minecraft. Although he was at university at the time, he later dropped out and put all his effort into his YouTube videos, working at a hot dog stand to fund his passion. And, despite already building an audience, it wasn’t until 2011 that the gamer started showing his face in his videos. It was around this time that he first started dating Marzia Bisognin, who also created a YouTube channel. The pair later got engaged in 2018. Already having his high-pitched ‘PewDiePie’ catchphrase down, he seemed a bit baffled as to how to define his videos, titling one ‘Video Commentary / Vlog – Partnership? Livestream?’ Whatever they were, they were working, with Felix’s channel reaching more than a million subscribers by July 2012. From then on, the numbers skyrocketed, with his channel overtaking comedy duo Smosh to become the most subscribed on YouTube just a year later. It’s hard to put your finger on why exactly the gamer’s channel grew so rapidly. It could have been anything from the rapid rise of gaming on YouTube, to the family feel he gave his corner of the internet, referring to his fans as ‘bros’. And by the time he’d taken the top spot, he had developed his own trademarks – the PewDiePie shriek and the ‘brofist’ included – and his channel wasn’t like any other around. His popularity only grew, with him taking the starring spot in YouTube Rewind 2014 – a role that this year was controversially given to Will Smith. By 2016, Felix had taken his spot in cultural history, being named as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People, and having a genuine impact on the gaming industry, with sales for titles he played shooting up. He’s not afraid to cross boundaries (Picture: YOUTUBE / DRAMAALERT) However, with the start of 2017 came the beginnings of controversy. After he hit headlines for using anti-Semitic imagery and cracking Nazi jokes, during a live stream in September, Felix dropped a shocking racial slur. ‘I’m disappointed in myself because it seems like I’ve learned nothing from all these past controversies,’ he said after the comments. ‘It’s not that I think I can say or do whatever I want and get away with it, that’s not it at all, I’m just an idiot, but that doesn’t make what I said or how I said it OK,’ Kjellberg continued. ‘It was not OK. I’m really sorry if I offended, hurt or disappointed anyone with all of this. Being in the position I am, I should know better … and I owe it to my audience and myself to do better than this.’ However, he and fans moved on quickly – far too quickly, according to some – and his channel was largely unaffected by the scandal. He later launched his show Meme Review, which recently featured an appearance from Elon Musk, straying away from his gaming roots. Team 10 member Justin Roberts bought the gamer a billboard in Times Square (Picture: Youtube/ Dean Noroozi) Part gaming, part vlogging, and part comedy skits, PewDiePie’s videos are still incredibly difficult to define – but that never held his fans back, with his numbers only increasing towards the 100 million mark. But his biggest success was more recent, when it looked like music label T-Series was set to overtake him as the most subscribed channel on YouTube – and his fans and friends immediately snapped into action. American vlogger MrBeast started off a campaign which led to billboards (even one in Times Square), radio adverts, and fans hacking video games. Felix gained support from the most bizarre of places, including Ukip and Pornhub, with the phrase ‘Sub to PewDiePie’ being well and truly branded into our brains – and making an appearance in this year’s underwhelming YouTube Rewind. The world’s biggest YouTubers, from Alfie Deyes and Logan Paul to JackSepticEye and Markiplier, urged their fans to subscribe to the gamer for fear of a corporation holding YouTube’s top spot for the first time in its history. In the first four months of 2019, the gamer’s channel grew more than it did in the entirety of 2018, with him gaining tens of millions of subscribers. As for now? Currently, he’s edging towards 90 million subscribers, having held the music label at bay since November.
Minecraft is one of those games that is timelessly appreciated by all ages. It has stayed incredibly popular since its creation, and has evolved into a large and diverse community.
As the game has grown, it has branched into a few different versions. Players are primarily familiar with the PC edition, as it was the only one for a long time. However, the console and pocket editions are surprisingly different compared to the PC version of the game. Deciding between these three can be a difficult choice if you’re trying to consolidate which platform you’d prefer to play games on. Here are the main differences between each one.
Which edition of Minecraft is best for you?
The original edition of Minecraft, it often is the first to receive new content. The graphics are more advanced on the PC edition, and there are hundreds of third-party mods that can be used on your servers. Along with these mods, you can get third-party addons for UI changes to really customize your gameplay. The multiplayer is diverse, and you can play with any community members who share their servers and realms online. It also has the easiest controls of any edition.
On the downside, the PC edition is obviously not portable. It also isn’t very friendly to new players. The other editions feature some easily accessed tutorial information, and often allow the player to start with a map. There is also very little support in terms of parental control without using some type of third-party application.
As the most popular versions of Minecraft, it’s clear that the Pocket edition has some appeal to it. Primarily, people play this version for the obvious convenience of having it on the go. Other than the Nintendo Switch, there are no other editions of Minecraft that are quite this portable. It does provide add-on and mod support, although not quite to the extent of the PC version. There are easy parental control settings, and the multiplayer is just as extensive as the PC edition.
Minecraft – Pocket EditionDOWNLOAD9
There are, unfortunately, quite a few factors working against the Pocket edition. Third party mods are discouraged by the program, so you can only reasonably use the ones provided by Minecraft. The controls are probably the worst of any edition, and they can be incredibly difficult to adjust to.
All of the major console retailers (Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo) have Minecraft adaptations for their main consoles. They also continue to put Minecraft on each console that has come out since its creation (such as the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch). Unfortunately, the console edition is the most limited in terms of functionality. The main benefit of each console is the ability to have local co-op capabilities. While there are some local co-op options for PC and Pocket editions of the game, the console version is much easier to access.In fact, the console version is a pretty great option for new players, since every aspect of the game is easily explained, the controls are intuitive, and it’s easy to play with offline friends.
The local co-op features are really the only thing the console editions have over the other two. All worlds on console editions of the game are finite, unlike the other editions, and there is pretty much no mod supportfor any version. The Switch is the only portable console you can use, and the multiplayer on it is far more limited compared to the other editions (though thankfully the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have some decent multiplayer options). There is just far less customizability and optionswhen it comes to the console edition, and the only real major benefit is how easy it is to use.
Of course, the right edition to use all comes down to preference. We suggest using the PC version if you want to use third-party mods, and want the newest features right away.
The Pocket edition is great for young gamers, who parents wish to monitor their gameplay, and gamers who want to play on the go and don’t mind the touchscreen controls.
Finally, console versions are ideal for local co-op, and those who prefer using a controller. No matter which version you choose, Minecraft is an excellent game and we’re sure you’ll enjoy playing it on any platform.
This article is part of the guide Game-Based Learning: Preparing Students for The Future.
Looking for innovative ways to bring computational thinking and computer science skills to your STEM classes? MINECRAFT: EDUCATION EDITIONmight be just the teaching tool for you, whether you’re an experienced player or are just learning about Minecraft.
Below are all the resources you’ll need to kickstart a game-based learning adventure in your classroom—no advanced degree in gaming required.
This infographic was sponsored by Minecraft: Education Edition and not created by the EdSurge editorial staff.
Alita: Battle Angel released in theaters on February 14 to dubious acclaim. No one can deny that the visuals were stunning. The faces of the cyborgs and the action sequences truly make you appreciate what modern special effects are capable of. However, the narrative of the film suffers from a run-time that can in no way encompass the plot of the manga it was based on.
Audiences are left with endless questions, especially about the titular main character of the movie, Alita. Her motivations are barely comprehensible, and her past is one giant enigma. Read on if you want to go over every question about Alita’s past the movie left unanswered.
10 WHO MADE ALITA?
As you can probably guess just from watching the trailer of the film, Alita is a cyborg, a human brain encased within a robot body. Not considering the logistics of how this would work, no hint is given about who is responsible for crafting Alita into the cyborg head we first meet her as in the movie.
In the Battle Angel manga, Alita was revealed to have spent most of her life as a cyborg, reaching such a mechanized lifestyle by the age of three. She was created as part of a plot to overthrow a Martian Princess by a man known as Baron Muster. Perhaps it is for the best that the movie did not delve into the complexities of Alita’s creation.
9 WHO WAS ALITA BEFORE SHE BECAME A CYBORG?
Part of Alita’s charm in the movie comes from the fact that she has no idea how to handle the new world she finds herself thrust in. She has no memories of her past life. As such, there are quite a few hilarious fish-out-of-water moments for Alita as she figures out how things work.
However, she never truly learns who she used to be before she woke up in Dr. Ido’s clinic. In the manga, we find out that Alita used to be a person called Yoko. The movie positively refuses to give us these kinds of clues about Alita’s past and keeps things vague for the most part.
8 WHO WAS THE FEMALE CYBORG IN ALITA’S FLASHBACKS?
Alita would receive brief glimpses of her former life in the middle of battles. These flashbacks were actually quite spectacular, depicting epic fights in zero-g. One female cyborg played by Michelle Rodriguez features prominently in these flashbacks.
It appears as if this female cyborg was responsible for Alita’s warrior training. Her name is never spoken, her relationship to Alita is never outright stated, and her appearance in the movie feels nonsensical as a result. In the manga, we learn that she is called Gelda, and she took Alita in when she was young, training her in the ways of Panzer Kunst.
7 WHY DID ALITA ATTACK ZALEM?
In one of Alita’s flashbacks, we see her and a platoon of fellow cyborgs attempting to climb up to Zalem, the infamous city in the sky. Battle cries are heard. One of those cries calls for the end of Zalem.
Given that Zalem is still standing (i.e. floating) hundreds of years later when Alita is discovered in the scrap heap beneath it, we can all assume that Alita and her compatriots failed in their objective. However, we never find out why they were attacking that particular city in the first place. The Terraforming Wars between Mars and Earth are gone into greater detail in the manga.
6 DID ALITA HARM EARTHLINGS?
It is strongly hinted at in the film that Alita fought for the United Republic of Mars during “the Great War.” We see her fight plenty of cyborg opponents, but we never really see her go up against a straight-up, Earth-born human. If she and her war buddies did participate in the fight against Earth, wouldn’t she have gone up against them at some point?
The fact of the matter is we never see if Alita did or didn’t eliminate humans as part of her role in the war. We’re sure that some of her later human friends would not have been too pleased to know if she did attack humans with her Berserker body in the past.
5 WHAT HAPPENED TO THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF MARS?
An infuriating omission from the movie’s plot is any information regarding the fate of the United Republic of Mars. The Terraforming Wars are described with great detail in the manga, but any mention of “the Great War” from the film is vague and obtuse.
We are left with no hint at what the fate of the United Republic of Mars could have been or at what point Alita got separated from their forces. Alita’s entire work relationship with the URM is left clouded by her lack of memory. Since this is a point that deviates greatly from the manga, we can only guess what happened to the people of Mars.
4 HOW DOES NOVA KNOW ALITA?
It is heavily implied in the film that the villain, Nova, knows who Alita is. He makes several remarks that hint at this knowledge, and he spends the entire movie planning to end her existence once he is made aware of it. Alita even seems to realize toward the end of the film that she knows him in return. But the movie ends before it is revealed how the two know each other.
The story closes with a final shot of Alita, about to win a match of Motorball, pointing at Zalem. She clearly intends to travel there and confront Nova, but we get no satisfaction from such a confrontation because the end credits start rolling immediately afterward.
3 DID ALITA EVER LIVE ON ZALEM?
Alita’s head and upper torso are found in the junkyard of Iron City. Dr. Ido, the kindly cyborg doctor with a clinic nearby, takes her in and gives her a new body. Later on, when speculation about Alita’s past is brought up, it is theorized by several characters that she used to live on the remote, floating city of Zalem.
The junkyard where she was found lies directly beneath Zalem. It is logical to assume that she was dumped there from the floating city. However, given what little we know about Zalem, Alita would not have been dumped so casually if anybody had known what she was.
2 HOW DID ALITA END UP IN THE TRASH?
Alita is no bit of spoiled food to be casually thrown in the trash. She is a relic of the United Republic of Mars, a piece of effective war machinery. Even in her damaged, defunct state, she should not have been tossed aside so lightly. And since Alita is a product of war, she would not have knowingly been sent away from Zalem in the first place, tossed down to the Iron City junkyard.
The question of why she was found there remains unanswered in the movie. Both the audience and Alita never find out why she was abandoned. It is a head-scratcher of a situation that will only be solved if a sequel gets released.
1 WHY DID NO ONE BOTHER TO STEAL ALITA’S HEART?
Alita’s heart is a special piece of equipment, not just because it is her heart but because it has immense potential as a source of energy. It is because of the power of her heart that Alita is able to accomplish extraordinary feats in battle. Even if her body was sent to be thrown out with junk, how could no one on Zalem recognize the value of keeping her heart?
The United Republic of Mars had a reputation for superb technological advancement. If Alita was brought down while on Zalem, her heart would have been a prize worthy of holding onto. We can only assume why her heart was left in her body.
Okay, so Cavill isn’t the worst choice in the world. But he wasn’t one of the fancasts that people had poured over, desperate for Netflix to pick one of the top choices, the actors who already somewhat resembled Geralt. Even in the screen test they released to the public, Cavill is more Rhaegar Targaryen than Geralt of Rivia.
And yes—he’s supposed to look more elven in the books. But not quite that much. So here are the actors that were passed over for Geralt, or unavailable, but would have made fans rejoice instead of say, “um, what?”
8 MADS MIKKELSEN
Mads Mikkelsen was one of the top choices for Geralt. Around Geralt’s age, he probably could have been roughed up enough to look like the witcher. He wasn’t quite as bulky as game Geralt, but some make-up could have made him cut an intimidating presence, and he was a famous enough actor that he’d have drawn people to the series.
Some people weren’t convinced, pointing out that although Mikkelsen is a great actor, he’s not quite Geralt.
Fair and true—but he looks more like him than Cavill, so it would have been something. And he was one of the most mentioned before the casting announcement.
7 ANSON MOUNT
Hell On Wheels was a western television series that Anson Mount starred in. With his beard and his hair all greyed up, it’s pretty impossible to look at him in this show and not think he resembles Geralt.
Not being as famous as the likes of Mikkelsen, he was mentioned less in the fancasts, but every time someone pulled up a picture and said, “hey, don’t you think he’d make a great Geralt?” the response was a unified yes. He was filming something else at the same time though, so people were pretty sure it’d be impossible to get him for The Witcher. Seems they were right.
6 NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU
Another super famous name among the list of fancasts was Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Recently starring in everything from romantic comedies to high fantasy, his most notable role is Jaime Lannister on Game Of Thrones—and since the final season is about to air, fans were hoping that might free him up for Geralt.
He’s tall, muscular, and old enough that he could definitely be greyed and scarred up to look like Geralt. Likely, no one would have been unhappy with this casting. He’s also proven himself to be a pretty diverse actor, so no doubt he would have done Geralt justice. Alas, we will never know for sure.
5 CLIVE STANDEN
Standen is most famously known for his role in Vikings as Rollo, brother of Ragnar, but he’s done a few other things of note: most recently, the action television series version of Taken. Like Mount, he was one of the lesser mentioned names but every time he did pop up, people agreed he could make a good Geralt.
He does have more of the game-Geralt look than a book-Geralt look, which is reportedly not what the television series is going for, so that may certainly be contributing to why he wasn’t mentioned too much. Still, he’d have been a pretty solid choice if the make-up and costume department could have worked their magic on him.
4 TRAVIS FIMMEL
Another Vikings star suggested for the role was the star, Travis Fimmel. He has the same vibe as Standen, even though the brothers are rivals in Vikings—rough, muscular, and charismatic enough that he could have pulled off Geralt. He’s a little young and smooth-skinned though, but that’s what make-up and collodion are for; making someone into the character.
Hopefully, they’re going to put bucket loads of that stuff on Cavill.
Not everyone loved the idea of Fimmel as Geralt though, and the suggestion ended up with pretty mixed reactions, but it’s safe to say he would have at least had the possibility of doing a good job. He wasn’t an instant write-off.
3 TOM HARDY
Like Travis Fimmel, Tom Hardy looks a tiny bit young for Geralt, but he was another one who was suggested over and over. Must be the muscles and the beard. He wouldn’t quite have been an instant solid choice that every fan would have been happy with, but it’s unlikely he would have received the same “wtf” reaction that Cavill managed to.
At the very least, he would have gotten a chance. After all, he did manage to make his way onto multiple Geralt fancast lists before the Netflix show was even announced, like most of these men.
2 VIGGO MORTENSEN
Mortensen is older than most on this list, but as Geralt is grey-haired and battle-scarred, that doesn’t really matter. Mostly, people were picturing a blend of his Lord Of The Rings look and his usual, everyday self. Mortensen has proven that he can do high fantasy better than almost anyone thanks to Aragorn, and we can only imagine that there would have been very few negative reactions to seeing him taken on Geralt.
He’s the perfect blend of handsome and rough already and although Geralt’s appearance actually isn’t described in much depth in the books, it’s assumed he has this blend too—after all, he’s seen and fought a lot, but he still manages to be popular with the women.
1 GERARD BUTLER
Finally, a questionable one, but one that was suggested many times too, so we can only assume he was another one that fans would have preferred to see as Geralt: Gerard Butler.
The Scottish actor popped up on lists also for his appearance, age, and let’s be real, the beard. He’s tall and broad, and probably could have made a pretty intimidating Geralt even without make-up and scars designed from collodion, so it’s a fair recommendation.
But there’s little point in wishful thinking about all these rough, older actors any more, because Henry Cavill ended up with the role. And who knows? Maybe he’ll be great. But the internet reactions seem pretty dubious.
Whether you’re discouraged about having yet another streaming service to subscribe to, or you’re looking forward to having all your favorite Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney Animated features in one place, there’s one thing for sure; the House of Mouse is not messing around with putting out a ton of content for its new Disney Plus streaming service, and making that content exclusive.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, and Disney CEO Bob Iger have been opening up a lot in the past year about the future of Disney Plus, and specifically how it relates to the MCU. Expect to see fan-favorite characters like Loki, Falcon, Bucky Barnes, and even Lady Sif get their own series, while future Marvel Studios pictures go directly to the service. We couldn’t be more excited to see how the “long form” of televised storytelling adds to the richness the MCU has already created. Here’s what we know so far!C
11 CAPTAIN MARVEL WILL BE THE FIRST EXCLUSIVE MARVEL FILM AVAILABLE
Brie Larson has been declared the next “billion dollar” Marvel star, and her new film Captain Marvel is set to smash box office records when it hits theaters on March 8th. It doesn’t even need to make the 400 million dollars domestically that Wonder Woman did to be considered a great success; it has another ace up its sleeve.
Captain Marvel will be the first Marvel Studios film to exclusively premiere on Disney Plus, which means anyone that doesn’t want to subscribe to the service in 2019 will just have to hurry off to the theater to see it.
10 AVENGERS: ENDGAME WILL GO DIRECTLY TO DISNEY PLUS
After Captain Marvel debuts in March, Avengers: Endgame will hit theaters in late April, effectively concluding the incredible conflict between the Avengers and the Mad Titan Thanos that had been building to its climactic final showdown for years.
Avengers: Endgame will see the end of many of the story arcs for favorite Marvel characters while launching opportunities for stories including several new heroes. It will be the next Marvel Studios title to exclusively be distributed through Disney Plus, bypassing the big trio of streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime) completely.
9 LOKI GETS HIS OWN LIMITED SERIES
One of the most anticipated series being talked about in connection to Disney Plus is the as yet untitled Loki spin-off. It will star fan favorite Tom Hiddleston in the role of the prankster god of Asgard and half-brother to the God of Thunder and Avenger, Thor.
Given Loki’s fate at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, it’s unclear exactly when the series will take place, and it may end up being a prequel. What is known, is that it will be a limited series of 6-8 episodes and a chance for fans who thought Loki didn’t have enough screen time to watch him cause even more chaos.
8 SCARLET WITCH AND VISION GET THEIR OWN LIMITED SERIES
Along with the hype surrounding the Loki series, there’s been considerable interest in the Scarlet Witch and Vision series rumored to also be in development. Fans of both characters liked watching their connection grow in the Avengers movies, but felt that they didn’t get nearly enough screen time.
There’s no information on when the series will be set, or if it will feature familiar characters from their past (Magneto), but we do know that both Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will return to reprise their roles. It will also be a mini-series, of 6-8 episodes.
7 THE WINTER SOLDIER AND FALCON GET THEIR OWN SHOW
Much praise has been heaped on Falcon and Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier) for being second-tier Marvel characters that managed to leave a big impression. It also helps that Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan have a fun camaraderie both on and off the silver screen.
We have no release date, but we do know that it will be written by Malcolm Spellman, and consist of 6-8 episodes. Considering both Falcon and Bucky turned to dust at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, it’s unclear when it will take place, but based on interviews with both Stan and Mackie, they’re interested in it having a “buddy cop” vibe.
6 LADY SIF GETS HER OWN SERIES
Lady Sif, Marvel’s favorite shield-maiden and battle buddy of Thor’s, had been conspicuously absent from Marvel films following Thor: The Dark World. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige cited scheduling conflicts as to why Jaimie Alexander didn’t appear in Thor: Ragnarok, but she’s apparently ready and willing to return as Lady Sif for Disney Plus.
Aside from Kevin Feige producing the series, no writers have been named, and it’s unclear in what time period it will take place. If it takes place during Thor: Ragnarok, perhaps it will create an intriguing in-universe reason why Lady Sif wasn’t present, or what her fate was in Avengers: Infinity War.
5 IT WILL HAVE EVERY PREVIOUS MARVEL STUDIOS RELEASE AVAILABLE
It probably comes as no surprise, but Disney will be pulling its collective Marvel Studios releases from their homes on other streaming services to be offered exclusively on Disney Plus. While some properties like Star Wars live-action films may live on due to licensing agreements for the next few years, Marvel television shows and films will only be found on Disney Plus.
This accounts for why fan-favorite Marvel series like Daredevil, Luke Cage, and to a lesser extent Iron Fist were unceremoniously canceled on Netflix. The contract for their collective licenses ran out with Netflix, and it didn’t want to produce what Disney would solely profit from.
4 THERE PROBABLY WON’T BE A DEADPOOL SERIES
In one of the largest mergers in recent times, Disney acquired Twentieth Century Fox and with it, a lot of hot intellectual properties. Aliens, Predator, and the X-Men characters are now all fair game for Disney Plus to make into series, as well as one very special superhero: Deadpool.
While it’s entirely possible Disney will choose to launch a Deadpool series, they have to be careful with the material they work with. Bob Iger has been firm that there won’t be anything R-Rated on the streaming service, which basically takes all the fun out of anything Deadpool related.
3 THERE WILL BE A POSSIBLE X-MEN SERIES
Until recently, Marvel Studios had to tread lightly with the entire X-Men catalog, especially since it was owned by Twentieth Century Fox. Use of the word “mutant” wasn’t happening, so strategic nomenclature was put in place (Scarlet Witch isn’t a mutant, she’s an “Inhuman”).
Now that Disney has acquired Fox, however, things may change for the better. The X-Men may get to be involved with the main plots of the big Marvel Studio films, instead of appearing isolated from the monumental goings-on in the rest of the MCU like they have been.
2 DAREDEVIL, LUKE CAGE, AND IRON FIST PROBABLY WON’T RETURN
Fans were surprised when popular Marvel shows like Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist were canceled abruptly and without any quantifiable reason. They then came to find out that Disney itself was giving up $300 million in annual licensing fees to house its IP’s on Netflix by moving them over to Disney Plus.
With that being said, don’t expect your favorite Marvel shows to come back right away; Bob Iger, Disney CEO has stated that the content for the streaming service will be very family friendly, and their more mature themes may not make the cut.
1 IT WILL FOCUS ON SECONDARY CHARACTERS
One of the biggest complaints from Marvel fans is that many of the characters they like in the MCU don’t get enough screen time, with their backstories often abbreviated or entirely written out in favor of propping up more important characters. These are characters that would never even be considered for their own stand-alone film, despite having large followings among fans of their comic books.
Disney+ has heard these complaints and plans to devote the majority of its Marvel films and television series produced exclusively for the service to these second-tier characters. It’s time for Iron Man and Captain America to play second fiddle for once.