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Madame Web, and six other films you could improve in moments even though you’re thick

SOMETIMES a film is so flawed you think of obvious improvements while looking in the fridge for a snack. Here are some that suggest you should be being paid millions in Hollywood. Madame Web (2024) Your brilliant idea? Put superheroes in a superhero film. In this case by your characters becoming the superheroes they’re destined to be before the end of the film. Then they can wear cool costumes and do exciting stuff, rather than being three fairly annoying teenage girls bickering. Sadly the existing version of Madame Web is the equivalent of Jaws concluding with: ‘Tell you what, let’s go back and get a bigger boat.’ ‘Makes sense.’ THE END. Cocaine Bear (2023) Your brainwave is this: make a film not based on one solitary joke, which in this case is: bears don’t take cocaine! Ho ho. Then you wouldn’t have to pad the other 94 minutes with random nonsense only Keri Russell’s most obsessive stalker would have enjoyed. This would also have benefited Snakes on a Plane. Or as your improved version would be titled: Snakes, Evil Doll and a Sharknado on a Plane. Paranormal Activity (2007) This franchise is one of the worst offenders when it comes to ghosts causing pointless ‘scares’. What would be far better is a ghost or demon with a clear strategy. This demon torments hapless protagonist Katie by… opening doors. Since it feeds off negative energy, why not just keep stabbing her in the leg with knives? That would produce more negative energy. Or, even simpler, just hang around an A&E department? In fairness the film that probably started the trend was 1982’s Poltergeist, which features the unforgettable, stomach-turning horror of a broken glass of milk. M3gan (2022) Here’s what occurred to you: maybe don’t make the story identical to every previous evil robot/doll story? It’s a tad tedious to sit through characters laboriously going through the motions of: ‘What could be causing this sudden spate of violent deaths? My creepy, extremely strong android with a warped sense of morality? No, let’s not go jumping to conclusions.’ Attack of the Clones (2002) Instead of Anakin doing bad things to save his wife and child, which is still trying to do what he thinks is right, why not have him actually seduced by the power of the Dark Side? Obi-Wan says it in the first film, so you don’t even need to think of it yourself. While you’re at it, after Anakin is turned into Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith, why not have him meet Padme? That would be dramatic. Although there probably wasn’t time for that and the exciting lizard/monocycle chase. The Marvels (2023) So many potential improvements, but let’s focus on: make your villain (A) in some way threatening, and (B) in some way competent. Obscure gender-swapped antagonist Dar-Benn looks as if she’d be scared to give an Amazon driver less than five stars, and, while searching for the all-powerful ‘Quantum Bands’, doesn’t notice someone wearing one of them in front of her. Sigh. That said, anyone who tries to kill the inhabitants of Aladna, the singing planet, deserves some credit. A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) ‘Let’s stop doing this,’ is your visionary idea. Upon realising that your film is a characterless retread of a much better one, just stop. Think of all the things everyone could have done with their lives if they’d not been watching lame sequels to Die Hard, Transformers, The Conjuring, The Fast and the Furious, Alien and Star Wars. Plus Bruce Willis would be eternally grateful.

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Oakville lives lived Feb. 10 to 15

Oakville News honours those in our community who passed away from Feb. 10-15, 2024. We wish their families, friends, and colleagues comfort and strength during their time of mourning. Names are listed alphabetically by last name. Helen Aello 08-Sep-1940 to 11-Feb-2024Joyce Mary Boone 17-Apr-1949 to 10-Feb-2024Jeremy Corbett 21-Aug-1995 to 14-Feb-2024Benedicto Culala 08-Jan-1956 to 10-Feb-2024Sally Da Cunha 28-Jun-1935 to 11-Feb-2024Sandra Doyle 30-Oct-1965 to 12-Feb-2024Consuelo Elmido 05-Aug-1941 to 10-Feb-2024Robert Douglas Ellwood 22-May-1949 to 13-Feb-2024Marie Lucille Koprich 01-Jul-1943 to 13-Feb-2024Daniel Andrada Mendoza 09-Dec-1950 to 10-Feb-2024Paul Micallef 19-Jul-1947 to 15-Feb-2024William “Bill” Werner Mueller 20-May-1940 to 13-Feb-2024Greta Murchie 30-Jul-1932 to 14-Feb-2024Juvenalia Nunes 28-Mar-1940 to 14-Feb-2024Alexandra Pangratis 02-Sep-1955 to 11-Feb-2024Shirley Secor 22-Aug-1940 to 12-Feb-2024James Andrew Till 22-Nov-1961 to 14-Feb-2024Lloyd Aston Walker 13-Dec-1936 to 10-Feb-2024James “Rickey” Wilson 14-Aug-1949 to 10-Feb-2024 If you wish to place an obituary or if a name has been missed and you would like it added, please email admin@oakvillenews.org.

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Lab spaces boomed during the pandemic. Then the experiment took a turn.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — In the heart of the country’s No. 1 hub for science research sit roughly 100,000 square feet of gleaming new lab and office space. A banner declares the site at One Canal is smack “in the epicenter of the world’s most impactful discoveries.” This kind of prime real estate would typically get scooped up. But there isn’t much discovery — or, really, much of anything — happening inside. A chain-link fence blocks the entrance from a quiet side street. And the site is almost entirely empty.

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Life Inside the Brutal U.S. Prison That Awaits Julian Assange

Starting Tuesday, a U.K. court will review Julian Assange’s appeal against extradition to the United States. At the center of the extradition controversy is concern that Assange will be tortured and put in solitary confinement in what’s known as a CMU — communications management unit — in federal prison. This week on Deconstructed, Ryan Grim is joined by Martin Gottesfeld, a human rights activist who was formerly imprisoned in two of the nation’s CMUs. Gottesfeld shares his experience incarcerated in CMU facilities, where his access to visitors including his wife were severely restricted. Transcript coming soon.

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Have your say: Primary school provision within the Turriff, Banff and Westhill areas

As part of the Learning Estates remit within Education and Children’s Services, officers are seeking your views on primary school education within the Turriff, Banffand Westhill Clusters which will help shape the future of education provision. Within the Turriff cluster both Easterfield and Fisherford Schools have been mothballed since August 2021. On February 1, Education and Children’s Services Committee agreed to launch a statutory consultation regarding the closure of both schools. Live SRF data from January 8 shows that there are currently 34 primary schools in Aberdeenshire which are operating under 50 per cent capacity. Currently Fintry School and King Edward School are both operating below 50 per cent capacity. It is predicted that by 2029, Auchterless, Crudie, Fintry and King Edward Schools will all be operating below 50 per cent capacity. Within the Banff cluster Aberchirder, Bracoden and Portsoy Schools are operating below 50 per cent capacity. It is predicted that Aberchirder, Banff, Bracoden and Portsoy Schools will all be operating below 50 per cent capacity by 2029. Within the Westhill cluster, Skene School is operating at 49 per cent capacity It is predicted that will decrease to 33 per cent capacity in 2029. The vision is to have a best value estate with financially sustainable provision, ensuring a more viable estate particularly in rural areas. Aberdeenshire Council also recognises the importance and value of rural schools. The surveys will be open until Friday March 8. Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

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What exercises to do if you have a bad week at work and cannot meet your daily fitness goals?

Keeping to daily fitness goals becomes a challenge with work pressures eating into your “me-time.” No matter how well we plan our day in advance, with dedicated time slots for each of our activities, when work spills over, your exercise hour becomes the biggest casualty. So how do you make up for lost time? Research has shown that people favour short exercises and are far more consistent with them as they think there is a lesser effort involved. In fact, if you devise at least three exercise modules in between your workday, you can meet your daily target easily. 1) You can do breath exercises for short spells in your busy day. Including certain breathing exercises and a light warm-up routine on a daily basis along with a short high intensity workout can be quite effective. I suggest deep, diaphragmatic breathing like the kapalbhati kriya of yoga, alternate nose breathing, also known as Anulom Vilom Pranayam. These are highly beneficial when done for even five minutes. You can even do a bit of tai chi, the ancient Chinese martial routine, that involves deep breathing, mindfulness and controlled movements, to relieve stress. 2) Plan a physical routine of no more than five minutes. Just climb a flight of stairs, do crunches while sitting on a chair, use your table to bend and stretch your spine, suck in your stomach and stretch your hamstrings, do slow jumping jacks or spot jogging. Slow jumping jacks are indeed beneficial. Usually, in a jumping jack, you jump with both feet off the ground, legs spread wide and the hands going overhead, and then returning to a position with the feet together and the arms at the sides. You can even do this one feet at a time. This is called a slow jumping jack. This helps you improve cardiovascular fitness, increase calorie burn, enhance strength, and promote overall functional fitness. 3) Do exercises that include inversions, back bends, side bends and stretching: Since disconnecting from the blue light emissions for a short period of time can be a great stress buster, you can easily do any of these intermittently at your workstation. 3) Chair dips, squats and leg extensions: The dynamic chest stretch is effective. Stand or sit up tall in your chair with arms stretched out straight in front of your body. Keep your palms together and move your arms out to your sides at a steady pace. Rotate your palms upwards and push your thumbs as far back as is comfortable, hold for ten seconds. Return to the start position and repeat three to five times. Squats can be done even in the corridor against a wall. Keep your chest up and your back in a neutral position. Bend at the knees and hips so that you move into a seated-like position with your thighs parallel to the ground. Return to the start position and repeat. Keep a resistance band at your workstation as it is a great way to alleviate tension in your back and shoulders. Grasp each end in either hand and stand in the middle. Raise your arms so that the band becomes V-shaped. Slowly pull on either end. Squeeze the band tight and release.

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Interior Minister reaffirms commitment to local governance reform

The Minister of Interior, Constantinos Ioannou, expressed the willingness, commitment, and determination to resolve any issues that arise in the implementation of the Local Government reform, in collaboration with the Parliament. Immediately after the meeting at the Presidential Palace, he stated that the goal was to inform the political leaders about the progress of the implementation of the local government reform, considering recent discussions. “We have less than 100 days left for implementation, so it was deemed appropriate to inform about the progress. Overall, based on the roadmap developed by the Ministry of Interior, we are on the right track. There are some challenges, so we requested advice from the Parliament to resolve any issues. The role of the Ministry is supportive. We stand by the Municipalities,” he noted. He also emphasized that “the President reiterated the government’s willingness to implement the bill as it was voted. Surely, the legislation is not perfect; we have identified the problems, which are not recent but since last June. We have the willingness, commitment, and determination to resolve any issues that arise, always in cooperation with the Parliament.”

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Tourism Min. Inaugurates Ramla, Al-Haddad Towers at Cairo Citadel

Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa opened, on Sunday 18 February 2024, Ramla and Al-Haddad Towers at Cairo Citadel following the completion of restoration operations. The opening of these unique archaeological sites at the Citadel will promote the cultural product of Greater Cairo, make Cairo an independent tourist destination, up the average number of tourist nights and increase one-day trips. The restoration of the two towers came within the framework of implementing one of the axis of the National Strategy for Developing Tourism the minister of tourism and antiquities has launched namely, improving tourism experience for tourists. Ramla Tower, built during the era of Sultan Al-Nasser Saladin Al-Ayyubi (1174-1193) is in the shape of a three-quarter circle and consists of two floors. Each floor has a base on which three cubits are perpendicular, with each cubit having an arrowslit. The tower was expanded during the era of Sultan Al-Adil Al-Ayyubi (1200-1218), so the arrowslits were turned into door openings leading to rectangular rooms covered with vaults, each room ending with an arrowslit opening. Al-Haddad Tower, one of the largest towers of the Citadel, is also in the shape of a three-quarter circle. It consists of a perpendicular base with a shield in the middle covered by a crossed vault. It has three cubits that end with embellished openings. Then two embellished openings turn into two doors that lead to a corridor in the form of a semicircle covered with intersecting vaults. The citadel has 12 additional towers, but they are currently closed. The two towers include cleaning the stones, replacing damaged stones, maintaining the stone stairs, establishing balustrades to protect visitors, as well as maintaining the stone floors in preparation for including them in the Citadel’s itinerary.

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