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EDGAR SAYS, NERD SPOT

La Tormenta Se Avecina y la Vecina se Atormenta en Ixalan

Satisfaciendo al niño interior de todo jugador y a algunos niños reales que han incursionado en la escena profesional de Magic (Dana Fischer y demás), Wizards of the Coast nos ha entregado verdaderas cartas de Dinosaurio y de Piratas esta vez. No es coincidencia que estos dos nuevos tipos de Criatura, que han sido pedidos por años, se llevaran el privilegio de obtener 3 colores en las mecánicas de Ixalan; mientras tanto, los Vampiros y Tritones, tipos con historial competitivo, han sido relegados a dos colores y estrategias más esparcidas.

Para obtener “value” en formatos Construídos, Ixalan es francamente pobre. Magic repetidamente es expuesto por sus creadores como un objeto que funciona en mircoescala al mismo tiempo que en macroescala. Y es justamente en la microescala de Limitado en la cual brilla más la nueva expansión de Magic: The Gathering.

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ART, DESIGN + NICE THINGS, PAULIE SAYS

WISH DAY

My parents were part of the The Lions Club and wanted me to follow their footsteps, but I never did. I saw how they helped gather stuff for people in need, but oddly, I didn’t feel identified with the cause, maybe because I felt these organizations only benefited the rich and were more of a social status label, for the most part.

I think it was a couple of years ago when a friend contacted me for a volunteer job. At the time, I didn’t have much time off to go on activities, so I offered my graphic design skills. Then I got to know a little bit more about the Make a Wish Foundation.

You may wonder… what’s that?

Founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 1980, when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities.

After the start of Make-A-Wish in the United States, interest in granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions quickly spread to other nations. In 1993, Make-A-Wish International was officially formed to serve the five countries outside the U.S. – and now helps to serve children outside the United States in nearly 50 countries on five continents through its 39 affiliates. Make-A-Wish America grants the wishes of children in the United States through its 61 chapters. With the help of generous donors and over 32,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish has collectively granted approximately more than 350,000 wishes worldwide since 1980. (source)

Late last year I even granted a wish, along with my coworkers. We held a bake sale and sold ice cream sandwiches to fund it. Little by little we gathered the money and it felt so good. Something as simple as a new bike can make a kid’s day, or his entire year. If you have the chance, resources, skills or just want to bring a smile to a kid, and yourself, do it.

So, two weekends ago I had the honor to volunteer again, this time it was not design related (yay!), so I got up early on a Sunday morning (I know, the horror) and drove my way into the venue for Wish Day.

April 29th is World Wish Day®, the anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish® in 1980 and a worldwide day of gratitude to thank our donors, volunteers, medical professionals, sponsors, wish kids and families.

 

Wish Day was basically a party/fun fair for the kids, their healthier siblings and their parents. I was in charge of the “Duck Pond” and gave away prizes for the children. I may and may have not cheated a bit and helped them out so everyone got something…and maybe I did give away extra prizes to some kids… but It was a day for them go to all out. There was all kinds of games and things to do. I couldn’t even take many pictures, those kids kept me busy. Not surprised though, they had free popcorn, cotton candy, raspao'(Panamanian shaved ice), popsicles, burgers, hot dogs… and a freaking CANDY BAR. There was a candy bar, okay?! Even I walked out with my Jolly Rancher stash. My precious.

Most importantly, the children had fun and once more, taught everyone in the room how appreciative we should all be of the little things in life, like fishing a rubber duck off a kiddie pool and it being the biggest achievement ever. Those little people have probably been through hell and they are still fighting through it all with a smile.

If you’re interested in taking part as a volunteer for Make a Wish, you can contact them directly by clicking here or through me. There are many ways to do it and it doesn’t take much, but gives you back a whole lot.

POPCORN TIME

IFF PANAMA 

Roughly 2 weeks ago, the International Film Festival of Panama took place. On its 5th edition they showcased more local films than before, living proof that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Cultural projects are often neglected by the government and associations that are meant to support emerging talent. This event lasted around a week so naturally, with design and film titles under our belts and a thirst for entertainment, we managed to attend a few of them.

I might get a bit in trouble for saying this, but the organization and their ticketing system SUCKED. You weren’t able to buy them online unless you had a Mastercard. And when you tried purchasing them from an authorized seller (brick and mortar shops) you ran the risk of them telling you there was just one seat available or they ran out of tickets to print. It happened to me and I missed a couple of movies I really wanted to watch like Magallanes, Viva and The Thin Yellow Line/La delgada línea amarilla (and meeting some celebs as well, who roamed among us mortals during that time). Also, I couldn’t get in for the Opening/Closing galas. At $30/each, I couldn’t bring myself to shower them with my pretty pennies. The Thin Yellow Line was only going to be shown at the Closing event, so unless i cashed out and got all fancy for the night , I didn’t stand a chance.

On Monday night we attended the Premiere for Salsipuedes, a Panamanian film about life in one of Panama’s most famous neighborhoods – all of its idiosyncrasy and violence. Took us about two hours to get to this particular theater cause we got caught up in a Friday night traffic jam. The National Theater, which they used for this particular set of events, got shut down last year for lack of maintenance, so we got the Teatro Balboa left. 

The film itself… I give it a 3/5. I was expecting to finally be blown away by a national film but I left underwhelmed. The cinematography was nice, I believe they took a risk with some shots and they were a hit, but the acting left much to be desired. Apart from a few actors, I felt they failed hard at casting people aptly qualified for film (or they were not well trained for the part). You know how theater acting is different from film acting? That.

The storyline itself was a bit poor and predictable for my taste, but cinematographically I feel it succeeded.

a-la-deriva-2016-1

Now let’s move on to A la deriva. What a documentary. We waited at the rush line cause we failed at getting tickets (read above). 10 years ago, over 200 thousand cough syrup bottles were distributed to the Caja del Seguro Social patients. Little they knew they had used chemicals intended for the automotive industry. People died from poisoning and survivors live with permanent damage, inside and out. Physically and emotionally. It was a touchy subject with raw emotion that moved across the movie venue. It was filmed and edited almost flawlessly in my opinion. 5/5.

afiche-sin-filtroDays later, because our busy schedules kept us away from the venues… Sin Filtro. Technically, we didn’t watch it ~during~ the festival, but at a private screening from my workplace that took place simultaneously. It was featured at the IFF though. A chilean film about being your true self when with others. I felt identified with it. It was about a lady who had a seemingly well-put home life, a successful job…but she was a pushover and it was affecting her health, physically and emotionally. She worked at an Ad agency – hello! And they were trying to overlook her experience and hard work for a Youtube Vlogger with bird poop for brains. That, among other things. Until she began speaking her mind. It was wonderful, refreshing, hilarious and approachable. 5/5.

Last but not least…Dheepan. My boyfriend suggested we watched it. We saw “Indian themed things” and went for it without knowing what we were gonna sit down for, so we proceeded to buy the tickets and called it a date.

dheepan_1Dheepan was more than that. It was directed by Jacques Audiard, the same guy who brought us Rust and Bone. The story began in Sri Lanka, in the middle of a civil war, and was about a Tamil freedom fighter who fled to France, along with a woman he barely knew and an orphaned kid. They formed a family to the eyes of others, in hopes of building a better life for themselves in France, and relatively safe haven. It was raw, emotional and sadly, the true story of millions from anywhere and everywhere who have flown home just for a chance of a future, for better or worse. I liked it a lot. It was a bit slow at times, I attribute that to the director’s style, but it grabbed your attention right from the get go. 4.5/5.

And that’s a wrap! These reviews are based on no other than my personal opinion and experience. Thanks for reading and feel free to leave your own experiences, reviews and suggestions in the comment section below.

 

 

NERD SPOT

MTG: Shadows Over Innistrad Pre Release event

I’ve been a Magic: The Gathering player for about a year now. The Mr. has been playing for around 13 years and counting, and he was the one to introduce me to this fascinating world of creatures, spells and a crap load of expensive cards.

This past weekend the Shadows over Innistrad Pre Release event happened. It was tough, it was exhausting, it was so much fun.  We usually attend these events at a local shop called Level Up, its where they first taught me how to play while Ed was away. Also because it’s closest to his place/my workplace. The owner is a cool dude, and I met really nice folks in there. I feel comfortable playing there too, I try to avoid this other place where most egomaniacs meet.

I normally don’t like competing, let alone in draft formats –but last night they held a 2HG event. It stands for “2 Headed Giant”. A DCI-sanctioned multiplayer format, 2 vs 2 , 4 rounds of aprox. 50 minutes each and 30 lives for each team.

The sign-up cost of a Pre Release is $30 that includes a sealed pack with 6 boosters, a spin dice and a promo card. I got “Thing in the ice” –  from what I was told It’s a pretty powerful, sought after card. I failed to take pictures of the matches cause we used my phone’s life counter app while we were at it. Sawry!  I was a bit bummed we didn’t get any Planeswalker. I want a Sorin for my deck. This particular new set is revisiting Innistrad, and it’s Victorian/Gothic Horror themed. It is the 70th Magic expansion… that’s a lot of cards since it first started in 1997. It’s got spirits, vampires, humans, werewolves, zombies and other interesting things not for the faint of heart. Artworks are impressive as usual.

Here is a storyline from MTG Salvation: Innistrad is a world beset by terrible evils on all sides and betrayed by the hope it held most dear. Avacyn has finally returned, but what new evils have come with her? Madness is plaguing the inhabitants. Terror falls from the skies on blood-spattered wings and nameless horrors lurk in the shadows. Odd things are afoot: the forces that had protected the humans have been twisted into something dark and strange. Jace Beleren of the Gatewatch investigates its dark mysteries. Meanwhile, Sorin is in search of the whereabouts of Nahiri.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.27.02 PMI always let Ed do his card voodoo thing and build our decks. From what I’ve learned from him, they need some synergy to get positive results. Trusting your partner, people! (On a side note, I have never played in a sanctioned tournament against him, I’d rather just grab my stuff and run!)

I played Black-White. It had a ton of enchantments that helped us diminish the targeted damage and filled our battlefield with spirits and tortuous creatures. He played Red-Blue, which controlled our opponent’s creatures and did damage. I’m not going to go into details, but you basically draw cards and the same time as your teammate, attack at the same time and are able to discuss your strategy at any time.

So, we got got randomly paired against people I was a bit intimidated by. Others had never seen before, some were older than me, others were kids that warned us “not to get fooled because they were kids”. Right. Kids that most likely have more free time than I do to play Magic! So, I bought myself a new set of counter dice and my friend Chef gave me some Barbie-pink sleeves for my deck. I was armed, dangerous and ready to snatch some wigs.

Ultimately, we placed second, after winning the first three matches and losing the final round to this guy I met one of the very first times I walked into the shop and asked strangers to play with a noob.  Ed was THRILLED cause we won a bunch of boosters. I had fun, I think it’s the best I’ve done in a tournament like this. Got to defeat guys that have obviously played much more than I have or do regularly. We might buy a booster box –  and if we do, that’s gonna be another MTG post.

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