Blogging The Boys (blog)
Snap Counts For The Cowboys' Offense: The Offensive Line Just Dominated
Blogging The Boys (blog)
Who played, and who produced, for the Dallas Cowboys offense? In our weekly look at the snap counts, we'll evaluate whether Dallas is using it's players well, and how well each of them is producing. by VAfan @vafanbtb Oct 11, 2016, 11:00a. tweet …
Ahead of schedule: Dak Prescott exceeding all expectations in stellar start to NFL careerSports Illustrated
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Blogging The Boys (blog)
Cowboys Injury Update: Tony Romo MRI Results, Dez Bryant Knee Status
Blogging The Boys (blog)
The Dallas Cowboys still have a few major stars out with injury. Today, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gave everyone an update on where things stand with Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and Orlando Scandrick. Tony Romo had an MRI on Monday and Jerry Jones …
(CNN)“Buenos dias,” Salvador Alvarenga said to his friend, who was propped up in the bow of their fishing boat. “What is death like?”
Ezequiel Crdoba, his body hardening and turning purple, did not reply. So Alvarenga answered for his dead sea mate. “Good. It is peaceful.” Alvarenga looked out to the horizon, the ocean as endless as it had been for the last two months that they’d been lost at sea.
“Why wasn’t it both of us? Why am I the one who continues to suffer?” Alvarenga asked the corpse. He remembered Crdoba, hysterical in the early days, crying about his mother and starving for tortillas. But in his final hours, the suffering lifted. Alvarenga craved the peace Crdoba had unfairly found by dying.
Alvarenga continued his one-sided conversation with Crdoba’s body for six days before he realized he was conversing seamlessly with a dead man. Alvarenga snapped out of a haze, knowing he was slowly going crazy. He decided he needed to drop Crdoba’s body into the ocean to save his own sanity. Alvarenga easily picked up his friend’s corpse, the thin frame now blackened under the hot sun, and slipped him into the water.
“Who am I going to talk to? Why is he dead and not me?” Alvarenga was now suffering an unimaginable, hellish journey on the ocean, alone.
Four hundred thirty-eight.
Even now when Alvarenga speaks aloud the number of days he spent on the Pacific Ocean floating in a 25-foot fishing boat without a sail or motor, the number seems too large to comprehend. But he lived through every day of it.
November 17, 2012 began like any other day for the intrepid shark fishermen of Costa Azul, Mexico, Alvarenga remembers. The renegade fishermen, operating out of small, nimble fiberglass fishing boats, called themselves Los Tiburoneros, or “Shark Hunters.” They fished in the risky deep-sea waters 50 to 100 miles offshore. An El Salvador native with little formal education, Alvarenga found a way to make money in the Mexican coastal village. But he also found a way of life: play hard, work hard, fish deep.
Alvarenga, then 35, planned a two-day fishing trip with Crdoba, an inexperienced 22-year-old. Alvarenga knew a storm was coming, but he’d weathered many before.
“It wasn’t the storm that was the problem,” remembered Alvarenga. “My engine gave out.”
For seven days, the storm thrashed their boat. The seas were so rough, Crdoba was tossed into the water once and was saved only because Alvarenga pulled him back in by the hair. In addition to the engine, Alvarenga lost his radio and fishing gear. The boat had no cover — just an icebox, a large trunk used by the fishermen to store their catch until they got to shore. The men also had a bucket, which they used to bail water out of the boat.
By the time the storm lifted, Alvarenga knew they had drifted far from Mexico. He could see airplanes flying overhead. But with no mast and no flares, the tiny boat was invisible in the vast ocean.
“We didn’t think about hunger at first,” Alvarenga said. “It was the thirst. We had to drink our own urine after the storm. It wasn’t until a month later that we finally got some rain water.”
Alvarenga had been fishing since he was a child. That ingrained skill would now keep him and Crdoba alive. In El Salvador, he’d learned how to catch a fish with no hooks or lines by sticking his bare hands in the water. Now deep in the Pacific, the fish would skim past his hands until he snatched them with his fingers.
But the few fish he caught weren’t enough. Their bodies were starved for water and protein; Alvarenga could feel his throat closing in on itself. Extreme sun blasted the men, and their only refuge was huddling together in their icebox.
Sea birds began lingering around their boat. For them, the fiberglass vessel was an unexpected place to rest in the vast water. When Alvarenga grabbed the first one, he recalled, Crdoba stared at him in horror. He ripped it apart like a raw chicken. But unlike processed chicken, these sea birds had a vital source of liquid: their blood.
“We cut their throats and drank their blood. It made us feel better.” Desperately hungry, they tried to eat every part of the thin birds, right down to their feathers. The only part they discarded were the contents of the birds’ stomachs, which were often filled with plastic and garbage. Everything in the ocean became a possible food source — sea turtles, small sharks, and seaweed. But the ocean and the skies rarely provided for them consistently. The men counted the days in between food. Three days, catch one fish. Another three days, catch two birds.
“I’d heard about Mexicans who’d done this before,” Alvarenga said. “How did they do it? How come they were spared? ‘I shouldn’t be a coward,’ I told myself. I prayed a lot. And I asked God for patience.”
Patience had long left Crdoba, Alvarenga said. “He would cry a lot, talking about his mama, eating tortillas, and drinking something cold. I helped him as much as I could. I would hug him. I told him, ‘We’ll be rescued soon. We’ll hit an island soon.’ But he would sometimes get violent, screaming that we were going to die.”
It was raining the day Crdoba died, recalls Alvarenga. The two men, as they’d done almost daily for weeks, were huddled inside the icebox. They prayed. Crdoba asked Alvarenga to visit his mother and said that he was now with God.
“We said our goodbyes. He wasn’t in pain. He was calm. He didn’t suffer.”
Jealousy over Crdoba’s death overwhelmed Alvarenga. He contemplated suicide in the days after dropping his friend’s body in the ocean. Only the fear that God would condemn his soul to hell stopped him from killing himself.
Alvarenga was more than 10 years older than Crdoba. Alvarenga believes he survived, in part, because of his experience in the open sea, but he also credits simple optimism and faith that God would save him.
He focused on finding food. He prayed more and sang hymns, even in the most devastating moments at sea. Alvarenga remembers numerous cargo ships passing him by, but he doesn’t know if all the ships were real or if he imagined them. “I would signal them and nothing would happen,” he said. “But I thought God will determine which boat will save me.”
In the end, it was not a boat, but land that saved Alvarenga. After 438 days of floating on endless water, he saw mountains. When he felt he was close enough, Alvarenga dove into the water, swimming toward what he would later learn was one in the string of the Marshall Islands.
“I hit the ground first. My boat hit the ground second. I felt the waves, I felt the sand, and I felt the shore. I was so happy that I fainted on the sand. I didn’t care if I died at that point. I was so relieved. I knew at that point I didn’t have to eat any more fish if I didn’t want to.”
Alvarenga connected with residents near the beach where he landed on January 29, 2014, but no one spoke Spanish so they resorted to pictures and hand gestures to communicate. They gave him water but he immediately began to bloat, so the residents called the mayor’s office and Alvarenga was ushered onto a big shipping boat that transported him to the Marshall Islands’ biggest hospital.
Wearing tattered clothes and with his hair and beard matted wildly from 14 months at sea, Alvarenga stepped off the boat to news cameras and reporters. In days, he went from the most solitary existence imaginable to the most-wanted interview on the planet.
Alvarenga described himself as a prisoner who had been in solitary confinement for more than a year. He had no idea how to behave. “I was so scared. I was afraid of people. I couldn’t find the right words after being alone for so long.”
Skepticism immediately followed the images broadcast around the world of the remarkable castaway. Alvarenga couldn’t face them. He asked the hospital to shield him from reporters who were sneaking in to the hospital. He began to call them “las cucarachas,” or the cockroaches. Even on his flight back to El Salvador, his very first time on a plane, reporters sat near him and tried to snap pictures.
Alvarenga didn’t care that journalists didn’t believe his story. The University of Hawaii and a number of independent oceanographers would later say his improbable survival was entirely possible. Buoys and weather models show an ocean drift matched his 6,000-mile journey west. He’s collaborated with journalist Jonathan Franklin in a book about his remarkable survival, called “438 Days.”
Alvarenga kept his promise to Crdoba’s mother. He visited her in Mexico and delivered her son’s dying message. He now lives in El Salvador, mending a relationship with his daughter, Ftima, whom he had abandoned as a child. He doesn’t drink and continues to pray every day.
The man who once reveled in his life as a member of “Los Tiburoneros” now can’t bear to enter the ocean. He doesn’t fish. Alvarenga says he sees a therapist who is urging him to go back into the water, for his sanity. “I’m afraid,” he says. “There are still nights when I can’t sleep. The ocean keeps haunting me.”
He is admittedly a different man. He may be a better man. And Salvador Alvarenga says he is absolutely a grateful man. “I’m happy to be alive. I’m happy to be with my family. I’m proud to be what I am. I am simply glad I’m here.”
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Blogging The Boys (blog)
Cowboys Investment In DT Terrell McClain Paying Great Dividends
Blogging The Boys (blog)
By any view you want to take, Terrell McClain has been an big asset to the Dallas Cowboys this season. by DawnMacelli @BTB_Macelli Oct 10, 2016, 6:00p. tweet · share · pin · Rec. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports. Defensive tackle Terrell McClain is …
It’s called “Never Alone” (or “Kisima Ingitchuna”). And it wasn’t developed by Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, or any of the other big game studios.
It was the brainchild of the Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) a nonprofit community support organization for Alaska Natives and their families.
As more and more Alaska Natives move out of traditional communities and into urban areas, indigenous languages are disappearing and with them, traditional knowledge. Many don’t have a choice because climate change threatens to erode and, in some cases, even destroy native towns and villages around the state.
For many, life in Alaska’s cities is hardly easy. According to Amy Fredeen, executive vice president and chief financial officer of the CITC, Alaska Native youth in Anchorage are plagued by high dropout and suicide rates. Passing traditional knowledge down under these conditions becomes all the more challenging.
“We saw video games as a way to connect to our youth in a place where they’re already at,” Fredeen told Upworthy. The group also hoped that sales of the video game would help reduce their dependence on federal grant money.
There was a problem, however: No one on the CITC had ever made a video game before.
Undaunted, the council cold-called E-Line Media, a Seattle-based entertainment and video game development company with a message: “Come to Anchorage.”
According to Fredeen, E-Line urged the council to approach the project with caution: Video game development is a highly risky business and particularly challenging for a nonprofit with limited cash supplies.
But the group was determined and the developers were impressed.
E-Line signed on. And off they went.
“It ran the gamut from being terrible stereotypes to just appropriation,” Fredeen said.
The group found that not only were native video game characters exceedingly rare, but when they did appear, it was often as sidekicks exhibiting a mishmash of cultural signifiers cobbled together from various and unrelated communities or, worse, as one-dimensional villains.
“Some of them were really almost obscene,” Fredeen said.
Nuna, the game’s hero, teams up with an arctic fox to find the source of the blizzard that’s threatening her community. Players explore themes of resourcefulness, cooperation, and the transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next through the beautifully rendered gameplay.
“When I saw that come to life on screen, when they were using the scrimshaw in an animated way to tell a story, it brought tears to my eyes.” Amy Fredeen
E-Line credits the game’s part-Iupiaq lead writer, Ishmael Hope, for helping ensure that Alaska Native voices were front and center in the development process.
We want to be culturally appropriate without cultural appropriation,” Matt Swanson, one of the game’s producers told Upworthy.
According to Swanson, the original villain of the game was slated to be a raven before their collaborators pointed out that wouldn’t make sense in an Alaska Native context.
“As Westerners, we have lots of stories where [the raven] is a trickster character, and things like that. And they pushed back on that and said, ‘Look, that’s not really culturally appropriate. The raven in our culture is a much more sort of sacred character.'”
It was a surprise to the E-Line team, which highlighted the importance of listening and their role as students in the story development process.
In addition to the main game, “Never Alone” features hours of documentary footage of Alaska Native elders and community members sharing traditional stories, explaining customs, and passing down knowledge.
The team was initially worried that the footage which the player has the option of watching would disrupt the gameplay but later received tons of positive feedback on the feature.
Scrimshaw is a traditional form of bone or ivory carving. According to Fredeen, while scrimshaw today is most often done in single panel, it was traditionally used in Alaska Native communities as a multi-panel, serial storytelling device.
“When I saw that come to life on screen, when they were using the scrimshaw in an animated way to tell a story, it brought tears to my eyes,” Fredeen said. “The instant I saw that, I knew the team was listening to who we were as a people and how we really connected with each other.”
“After the game launched, we’ve been getting this incredible response from people of all different backgrounds on how getting to see an indigenous main character in a game, and seeing cultural representation in a game has resonated with them,” Swanson said.
For Fredeen, the importance of that representation can’t be overstated and was evident from the first time she saw a group of Alaska Native youth encounter the game.
“When they saw the video game on the screen, and when they saw a character that looked like them and the dress was familiar to them, and they saw their community members on the video with the video game, you could just see the pride on their faces.”
It’s been amazing all around,” Fredeen said.
“People just get excited in Alaska,” she added. “… They’re excited to see something that was made with Alaskans.”Continue reading
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Donald Trump campaign in crisis as Republicans abandon shipThe Sydney Morning Herald
So youre 23 and you have no idea what comes next.
First of all, congratulations. You’re ahead of the game.
Do you know how long most people wait to realize that theyre lost? Do you know many people never do? Do you understand how many people go through their entire lives aimlessly floundering; only to realize at the very end of it that none of what they did was what they wanted? Its a lot more than youd think. And most of those people thought they had it all figured out at twenty-three.
After all, its not so hard to be found when you are twenty-three years old. There are infinite hoards of people who will tell you what to do and where to go. There are endless opportunities for you to make money and prosper. All you have to do is let go of what you want for yourself. You just have to subscribe to living someone elses dream.
If you are lost at twenty-three, you are exactly where you need to be right now. I know that it is not where you would like stuck in the middle of uncertainty and failure and your own inconsistent desires. I know its not the place you thought youd be when you screamed, Cheers! on your 20th birthday in anticipation of the next exciting decade. I know that you would rather be just about anywhere but here except you cant figure out where to go and it is driving you slowly up the wall. I know what its like to be twenty-three and lost. I know that its the worst place on earth.
But the fact that you are lost right now tells you something. It tells you that your life as it has been is not your life as it will be. It tells you that youre not the kind of person who settles for okay or sort of good enough. The fact that you are lost tells you that you would rather be living in the middle of uncertainty than dead-set on something that makes you consistently miserable. And Im not sure if you realize how rare that really is. How few people still give a shit about doing something meaningful with their lives. How many more people we need who are just like you lost and reeling, yet still pushing themselves to do better.
You are lost because you care. Youre lost because youre passionate. Youre lost because you know that there is more inside of you than what youre currently offering the world and that is a brilliant thing to know.
At 23, JK Rowling was broke. Tina Fey was working at the Y.M.C.A. Oprah had just gotten fired from her first job as a TV reporter and Walt Disney had declared bankruptcy. None of these wildly successful individuals could have predicted what was in store for them next but the one thing they all had in common was that they knew that there was more to them than what they were doing at the time. And thats what you have in common with them, too. You know that theres a bigger, better version of yourself to bring to life. You just havent gotten there yet.
So lets look at where to go from here. If your life is lying splintered on the floor, which pieces do you want to pick up and keep? Which do you leave? What do you choose not to re-create now that youre given the chance to start over? Because that is exactly the chance that you have at twenty-three. You get to strip your life down to its bare bones and build the whole thing back up from scratch. Its not the easiest thing to do. But its the best thing. The bravest thing. The most rewarding thing and the kind of thing you only get the opportunity to do through being lost.
So right now, let yourself be a little bit lost. Because you dont get found by staying comfortable. You dont get found by running away. You dont get found by fighting your deepest impulses and you definitely dont get found by hiding out. You get found by doing exactly what it is that you are doing right now which is delving right into the heart of your life and fighting like hell for what matters.
If youre never lost you never get found.
And youre the kind of person worth searching for.Continue reading