Idris Elba Joins Sonic 2 As Knuckles

I had never heard of Idris Elba when I started watching The Wire back in the day, but like the various cast members of Mr. Show (best wishes, Bob!), or the kids on Friday Night Lights, everyone on The Wire has become a favorite of mine, and I am always happy to see them show up in other projects. Elba has been in plenty of things over the years, and lately his career has been booming.

Last week he led the ensemble cast of The Suicide Squad as Bloodsport, and his deadpan responses to the insane characters and bizarre situations James Gunn’s sequel to the 2017’s much-maligned Suicide Squad were one of the highlights of the movie. Now, fresh off that cartoonish comic book movie, he’s been cast in a new, cartoonish video game adaptation, which he announced via his Instagram account.

 

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He’ll be appearing, or at least lending his voice to, the Sonic the Hedgehog sequel as Knuckles (instead of the rumored Jason Mamoa.) We don’t know much about the movie yet, but rumor has it that it will feature a variety of Sonic’s cohorts from the video game. We already saw Tails, briefly, in the first movie, which suggests he’ll be back, along with Jim Carrey’s award-winning Dr. Robotnik, currently stuck on another planet but no doubt scheming to get back to earth and get revenge on the hedgehog.

As for Knuckles, he’s part of the Echidna clan and is a frenemy of Sonic’s who spends his time protecting the Master Emerald. Perhaps Sonic, tails, and Knuckles will team up to defeat Dr. Robotnik, or maybe Robotnik is after the emerald, or maybe Knuckles will have a speech about 40 degree days. Who knows?

I’m just happy that Elba is doing so well, because his Stringer Bell was one of the most memorable characters on the greatest television show of all time, and I’m a fan for life.

Dad Hires PR Firm to Rehabilitate Image After Being Seen Wearing Non-New Balance Shoes

MURFREESBORO, TN – Public gaffes can be a nightmare when it comes to salvaging your reputation, especially for local dad Gregory O’Neill, who had no choice but to hire a PR firm to rehabilitate his image after being seen wearing non-New Balance shoes.

“I made some regrettable choices, and to show how deeply I care about those I affected, I’ll be making a $500 contribution to New Balance in exchange for several new pairs of sneakers,” said Gregory in a statement issued through his publicist, aiming to win back public trust in advance of the rumored photos acquired by TMZ featuring Gregory donning brown leather boat shoes.

While Gregory insists that he only wore his Sperrys because he had just mowed the lawn in his New Balances and they were being cleaned, everyone knows that all dads should have several identical backup pairs of each New Balance they own in case of emergency, leaving Gregory at a loss for words and with no choice but to hire a PR team to step in and perform damage control.

“Gregory is a dedicated father and self-professed New Balance fanatic, whereas Todd from down the street doesn’t even own a pair of New Balances, let alone a riding mower,” said Gregory’s PR firm in a statement, deciding that attacking other fathers in the neighborhood for their misgivings may draw attention away from Gregory until the shoe issue blows over.

With Gregory’s approval rating amongst other neighborhood dads slowly ticking back up, the PR campaign may be working, and will hopefully continue to make a positive difference as Gregory is scheduled to cut the ribbon at his town’s recently completed New Balance factory.

Despite being completely plausible to parents, THIS JUST IN is satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. For more stories like this one click here.

Facility Dogs Like Peanut Provide Joy and Emotional Support for Students

It’s common knowledge at this point that dogs are man’s best friend. But thanks to people like Pamela Kramer, dogs are also kids’ best friends – even if they don’t have the privilege of having a dog at home. Well over a decade ago, while working as a teacher, Pam began the rigorous process of applying for a facility dog. Facility dogs are trained by professionals as service dogs for those with disabilities, but for one reason or another, aren’t quite “up to snuff.” Instead, these highly-trained dogs go on to change lives in other ways. Enter Peanut.

Peanut was one of several dogs Pam had by her side over her years as a teacher. “Peanut is smart,” Pam told The Dad, “but she’s not a hard worker. She’d rather snooze on the couch and get petted than actually work.”

With the training of a service dog and the work ethic of a kid on summer vacation, Peanut was the perfect candidate for a facility dog. After being trained by Canine Companions for Independence, a highly-respected service dog organization, Peanut entered a very different kind of school with Pam.

Before they could interact with their new classmate, Pam ensured her students knew how to safely interact with Peanut and other dogs they may encounter. She showed her students some of Peanut’s many tricks, skills that service dogs used daily to make their humans’ lives easier.

Don’t worry, she’s a pawfessional

Peanut the professional
(Credit: Courtesy of Pamela Kramer)

“I’d drop my phone and Peanut would pick it up, put her front paws in my lap and hand it to me,” Pam recollected. “Every time kids saw her in the hall, you could see the smiles on their faces. She brightened everyone’s day even if they just saw her passing them.”

Peanut, Bentley, and Sadie, three facility dogs that worked with Pam over the years, had an immeasurable impact on students and staff alike. “One time,” Pam recalled, “we had a fire drill and Peanut lay by the lockers with the kids showing them how to be quiet. Another time DCFS had to interview a young boy and Bentley was there during the interview with the boy petting him. I could see how comforting it was for him to have Bentley there.”

Bentley hard at work

Bentley hard at work
(Credit: Courtesy of Pamela Kramer)

Students benefited from the presence of Pam’s facility dogs, so much so that some of their families went on to adopt Pam’s foster pets. Growing up is no easy feat, and for many kids, school isn’t exactly a stress-free place. The presence of facility dogs like Peanut provides a much-needed smile for students and staff, as well as emotional support during trying times.

“My daughter also has a CCI dog she’s using as a school psychologist in classrooms with low functioning kids,” Pam explained. “Recently the school custodian died suddenly and she brought her dog, Nifty, to the grief session. They asked her to return with the dog as they felt the dog was MUCH better at comforting them than the grief counselor! Of course. The students love Nifty.”

To learn more about Pam, visit her website.

Bus Driver Buys 50 Students Breakfast When Severe Weather Delays School

Growing up, the most exciting days were the snowy ones. Days, where snow fell from the sky in thick clumps, meant that maybe, just maybe, we’d receive the unparalleled gift of a snow day. But for some, school is a safe haven. It’s a place completely free from stressors at home, the only place you know you’ll have food on the table. When icy conditions delayed the beginning of the school day, bus driver Wayne Price was unwilling to let his students miss their morning meal.

On a frigid December day in 2018, Montevallo Elementary School decided to push the start of school back two hours. Safety-wise, it made sense to allow students to come in late, hopefully avoiding the worst of the icy roads. However, after five years working with the elementary school, Price knew most of the 50 students on his route didn’t have breakfast food available at home.

Rather than spending his extra two hours in the safety and comfort of his home, Price jumped into action. He drove to the nearest McDonald’s, determined to complete his ambitious mission.

“When I got to McDonald’s, I asked the manager, ‘Can you turn around 50 biscuits in 15 minutes and can you give me as good of a deal as possible?’ He gave me a dollar deal and we just turned it around,” Price told TODAY. “They really hustled with other customers in the store and I walked out with a box load of biscuits for my kids.”

When the students finally boarded the bus to school, their dedicated bus driver met them with a welcome surprise. Each student chose their breakfast happily and gratefully, warming Price’s heart throughout the frigid morning.

“I got some sweet kids and I get really attached to them… they were really appreciative. I dunno,” Price explained. “I just love my kids. I got lots of fist pumps, lots of high-fives, lots of ‘Love you Mr. Price,’ lots of ‘Thank you Mr. Price.'”

Insider Claims More N64 Rare Games Are Coming to Nintendo Switch Online

After the recent Nintendo Direct showcase, one thing I think we can all agree on is the announcement that N64 games are coming to Nintendo Switch Online was amazing.  It was a thing of beauty to behold and the nine games announced are all classics definitely worth revisiting.  Some of those games like Mario Kart 64 will include local and online multiplayer too (mind-blown).  What’s crazy is those titles are just the start of this online membership expansion.  Nintendo would tease us with seven other N64 games that would release at a later date.  One of those games being legendary developer Rare’s ‘Banjo-Kazooie’.

The inclusion of a Rare game honestly came as a bit of a surprise.  Rare was a powerhouse developer for Nintendo’s N64, but Microsoft bought Rare back in 2002 so they would develop games exclusively for Xbox.  We haven’t seen a Rare game on a Nintendo console for quite some time, and I thought we never would ever again.  Despite that, we’re getting Banjo-Kazooie, and if this rumor pans out, it seems we’ll be getting more Rare titles.  That’s a win for us Switch owners.

Based on a new blog post from ‘Zippo’, other Rare N64 games potentially coming to the Nintendo Switch Online service include Diddy Kong Racing, Killer Instinct Gold, and Banjo-Tooie.  Of course, my mind immediately went to GoldenEye, but maybe they’re just warming us up.  Other than that, the leak is slim on info, but Zippo has been right in the past, so we’ll just have to see what happens next.

One thing worth noting is the whole “N64 games coming to Nintendo Switch Online” rumor started as just that, a rumor.  I know we need to keep our expectations tempered here, but I’m the glass-half-full kind of guy who thinks this could 100% be true.  We haven’t seen Diddy Kong Racing on a Nintendo system since the Nintendo DS port back in 2007.  On the N64, Diddy Kong Racing was one of my all-time favorite racers, but that stretches back to 1997!  If this Switch port featured online multiplayer for Nintendo Switch Online, I’d say it would give Mario Kart a run for its money.  Killer Instinct Gold on the other hand is available on Rare Replay for Xbox One & Xbox Series S/X, so while it’s definitely a great game, we can technically already play it on current-gen consoles.  Banjo-Tooie is the sequel to Banjo-Kazooie and while it would be a nice addition, there’s just so much crap to collect in that game.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Now, as I said, we just need them to add Rare’s masterpiece Goldeneye to the mix and its game over man.  I’ll just sell all my other consoles and dedicate my time to the Switch.  Could you imagine N64 Goldeneye with online multiplayer?  I know it sounds insane, but that would literally sell Nintendo Switch consoles.

Blue’s Clues 25th Anniversary Continues With a Very Blue (Da Ba Dee) Music Video

Nostalgia hits differently for everyone, but for those of us who grew up in the ‘90s, the emotional return of Steve from Blue’s Clues has dusted off some long-forgotten boxes of memories. The ‘90s were a strange and wonderful time filled with brightly-colored windbreakers and endlessly rewinding VHS tapes, but it was also the golden age of kids TV. Recently, Nickelodeon has gone all out to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their cutest, bluest, clue-loving dog. For a recent video, they even enlisted a classic ‘90s band to add to the nostalgia.

Ok, so “classic” may be a bit of a stretch. The band itself is the epitome of “one-hit wonder,” but boy, was it a hit. You couldn’t go anywhere in the ‘90s without your ears perking up at the sound of “Da ba dee da ba di,” and no matter where you were, you couldn’t help but bounce to the beat.

Nobody really knows what “Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65” was about, but it didn’t matter. That song freaking slapped. After what I imagine was a couple of decades of hibernation, Nickelodeon managed to coax the band out of hiding for a very special project.

What better way to breathe new life into a ‘90s classic than to bring in some ‘90s royalty? Blue the dog stars in the aptly-titled remix, “I’m Blue!” alongside all three Blue’s Clues hosts. Eiffel 65 re-recorded ruffly 30 seconds of their hit song, throwing in lines like, “and all day and all night she often likes to leave lots of clues, all around, inside and outside…” true lyrical brilliance, if you ask me.

The 30-second video is filled to the absolute brim with all things Blue’s Clues, from the dancing hosts to a kaleidoscopic montage of various characters and set staples. Magenta makes an appearance, as does the smiling side table drawer (protector of the Handy Dandy Notebook, obviously).

After more than a decade off the air, the newest Blue’s Clues iteration was recently renewed for a fourth season. Blue’s Clues & You! follows the same general premise as the original, with the addition of a new host (Josh Dela Cruz) and some wacky new characters. You can find Blue’s Clues & You! on YouTube Premium as well as various streaming apps, and of course, Nickelodeon.

Dad Convinced He Can Turn Stud Finder Joke Into Wide-Ranging Comedy Career

MORGANTOWN, WV – After eliciting a mild smirk from his wife while they were looking for the proper place to hang a painting, local father Trevor Abrams is convinced that he can turn his self-proclaimed “unbelievably funny” stud finder joke into a wide-ranging comedy career.

“Forget dingy comedy clubs, I’m going to sell out Madison Square Garden right away. Seinfeld can eat my dust!” said an irrationally cocky Trevor, who seemingly had no recollection that he had told his stud finder joke dozens of times before and his wife was just smirking to be polite.

Despite making six figures as a financial analyst, Trevor has already begun drafting a resignation email to his boss so he can focus on comedy full time, though as a goodwill gesture is planning to offer his boss two free tickets to what Trevor has tentatively named the Stud Finder Comedy World Tour.

“I can’t just be a one-joke comedian; I have to come up with an entire set. Wait, I’ve got it… Pull my finger! How has nobody thought of that before?” said Trevor to his wife, who waited until Trevor wasn’t looking and discretely hid the stud finder so he wouldn’t be able to tell these jokes again.

Sadly, Trevor’s joy quickly turned to frustration, as he found over 6,000,000 results when searching for “pull my finger” on Google, convincing him that they had all stolen his genius idea.

Despite being completely plausible to parents, THIS JUST IN is satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. For more stories like this one click here.

Fans Want Danny DeVito, Not Chris Pratt, As Mario in Super Mario Bros. Movie

OK, so the casting news about the new “Super Mario Bros.” animate movie did not go well. Nintendo and Universal teamed up to pull together an all-star cast for the hotly anticipated film, but the news of Chris Pratt’s casting as Mario was NOT well-received. It’s nothing against Pratt, who is a lovely actor, but the Mario fans wanted someone different for the role. Someone with a little more connection to Charlie Day’s “Luigi.” And as soon as it was announced, fans started campaigning to have Danny DeVito in the role of Mario.

As fans petition for DeVito to take on the role, it should be said that it does make sense on some level. 2021 is an era where if people don’t get *exactly* what they want, they protest endlessly about it. If you don’t believe me, just look at how the “Jeopardy!” hosting saga has unfolded.

But the Danny DeVito as Mario angle is one that could work. You need to look no further than the dynamic comedic chemistry DeVito has with his “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” costar Charlie Day. Day was cast as Luigi, so it’s already a natural pairing to get DeVito in there as Mario.

Fans were not thrilled, and DeVito started trending on Twitter as fans put together the dream casting right away:

“Danny DeVito should’ve been Mario not Chriss Pratt, we were robbed.”

“I cannot believe we have been robbed of Danny DeVito as Mario and Charlie Day as Luigi…this is criminal”

It would’ve been legitimately cool to have DeVito as Mario alongside Day’s Luigi, but it’s also not how movies work anymore. What could be fun and cool isn’t nearly as important as “who can sit next to Jimmy Fallon and promote the movie?” and that’s why you need a big name in your leading role, even for an animated movie.

Jack Black is starring as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key and Seth Rogen are also on board. Anya Taylor-Joy will be playing Peach. Just a shame the obvious answer was there the whole time, but it was completely missed by the suits that deal with spreadsheets more than jokes.

Besides, they should probably release the Snyder Cut of the original film first and we’ll keep praying for DeVito as Wolverine.

Dust off Your Shoes and Make Sure You Remember These Bowling Rules

Bowling may feel like just a chunk of your childhood — a fun thing you did at some birthday parties or a boring league night with your parents every week — but bowling is actually much, much older than you or your parents. It’s believed that the original iterations of bowling existed as far back as 3200 BC. At least that’s around the age of a child’s grave that was unearthed and found to contain the first known balls and pins. If it feels like it’s been 3200 years since you stepped foot in one of the giant, dimly fluorescent-lit lanes of your youth, you might not remember all the details. Do you know, for sure, what kind of bowling you’ve signed up to play? And do you remember these bowling rules? We’re here to walk you through the whole thing, so you can stroll in with the same excitement and determination you did on the night of Megan’s 12th birthday party at Crossgate Lanes.

Over the centuries, bowling has, of course, evolved. In Germany, bowling was so popular among the gambling kind at one point that the government passed laws regarding how much money you could bet on a yard game. (We imagine they did this to cut down on how often bowling games led to fisticuffs.) Over time, it evolved more and began to look entirely different from the games played across Europe. In fact, things took a decidedly uppity turn when none other than Henry VIII banned the lower class from bowling and imposed hefty levies on private lanes. Of course, even Henry VIII’s game was significantly different from what we play today — primarily because they still bowled outside. And it wasn’t until 1511 that Martin Luther set a rule on the exact number of pins needed to play. As bowling evolved further, different parts of the world began putting their tweaks on the game.

Historians believe the first indoor bowling lanes opened in New York during the mid-1800s, and only then did bowling truly start to look like the game we play today. So, while an evening in a bowling alley now might feel a bit different than it did in your childhood, good “old-fashioned” 10-pin bowling is still played the same way it has been for many, many years. Keep reading for a quick (but thorough) refresher.

Types of Bowling

Did you know there are five different types of bowling? While most alleys specialize in the typical “10-pin” bowling game, there are a few other variations, too.

10-Pin

This is the bowling game you probably grew up playing. You throw your ball and try to knock down all 10 curvy pins.

Candlepin

Candlepin bowling is, well, weirder. The balls are even smaller, and the pins are long and narrow like candles. You’ll roll three times to try to knock over as many as you can. Fair warning: The candlepins are much harder to knock over than a standard pin.

Duckpin

This set-up is very similar to 10-pin — except, once again, the pins are shaped differently. These pins are curvy, like in regular bowling, but much squattier. The balls are similar in size to Candlepin balls.

Kegel/9-Pin

Kegel bowling is wildly different from 10-pin bowling. When playing 9-pin bowling, you play in teams on which you all work to take down the same pins. Another twist? There’s no resetting the pins between bowlers.

5-Pin

This version is prevalent in Canada, where they use smaller balls to knock down the five pins arranged in a V shape. And to add to the confusion, each pin has a different point value.

Bowling Rules

Since 10-pin bowling is the most popular and widely played, we’re going to focus on that. These are the most important rules you need to keep in mind when bowling. Of course, if you’re playing with friends, some people might not be as inclined to stick to the rules as others. Just remember it’s a game, Big Lebowski — you’re there to have fun.

1. Beware the Foul Line

When playing a casual game, people might not take this too seriously. However, the foul line is critical when playing in a league because it comes into play for two fundamental rules. First, you should release your ball before the foul line, not past it. Second, your body shouldn’t cross the foul line either. In serious bowling games, traveling across the foul line with your foot or with your ball still in hand would disqualify any points you earn during that throw.

2. Balls That Gutter Don’t Count

You already know that if your ball ends up in the gutter, you’re losing that throw and not scoring any points. But what if it rolls into the gutter and then bounces back out? Most leagues will tell you that your roll doesn’t count, along with any pins your ball might have knocked over. They’ll adjust the score manually.

3. No Ball Changes Mid-Game

Ever pick a ball, roll a few frames, and then decide to switch to something lighter or heavier? While this is fine when you’re just playing with the fam, it’s not allowed in a league. Proper bowling rules state that you must use the same ball for the entirety of your game. (You can switch between games, however.)

4. Two Throws Max Per Frame for the First 9 Frames

A strike comes when you throw the ball and knock over all 10 pins on the first throw. You don’t get to throw the ball a second time then, obviously. A spare is when you knock over some pins on your first throw and knock over the rest on your second throw. If you leave any pins after your second throw, you have an “open frame” and don’t get as many points.

5. 300 Points Is the Pinnacle

The “two throw max” rule gets complicated during the 10th frame. If you score a strike in every frame, you get a bonus throw in the last frame. If you get a strike or a spare on the tenth frame, you get a “third ball” or a third throw and a chance to get yet another strike. Getting all strikes for all these throws? That’ll get you a “perfect game” of 300 points.

6. Note the Bowler on Your Right

Is it your turn to bowl? Many recreational bowlers don’t know this, but it’s courtesy to wait to bowl until the person in the lane to your right is done with their frame. Trying to throw your ball at the same time as someone else can be pretty distracting.

7. Be Ready

Playing with a group? If you’re heading to the bathroom or the concession stand, make sure you time it so that you’re back in time for your next frame. This isn’t just courteous to your own friends but also people waiting for an open lane on busy nights.

8. Wear the Right Shoes

Bowling alley floors are expensive and require a lot of work. That’s why you’re required to wear bowling shoes. It might skeeve you out a little, but c’mon, we’ve all done grosser things. Besides, refusing to wear bowling shoes can do damage to the bowling alley’s floors, so you could be asked to leave if you don’t follow the rules.

Bowling Terms

Every sport has its own lingo, and bowling is no exception — there are a ton of words people use when you get into professional bowling. For instance, during a night out bowling with friends, you probably won’t be talking a lot about the “action” or how your ball spun. But if you hit the alley on league night, you’ll probably hear these bowling terms tossed around.

  • Arrows: The little triangles on the floor help you figure out where best to align yourself when throwing your ball.
  • Back End: The far end of the lane, down by the pins.
  • Bagger: A series of strikes.
  • Ball Return: The fancy machine that brings your ball back to you after each throw.
  • Chop: When you go for a spare and only knock down one pin while leaving the other next to it still standing.
  • Clean Game: When there are no “open frames,” and all frames were spares or strikes.
  • Foul Line: The line marking your approaching area versus the playing area.
  • Open Frame: A frame where you don’t knock down all the pins (so you don’t get either a strike or spare).
  • Spare: To knock down all remaining pins during your second throw.
  • Strike: To knock down all pins on the first throw.
  • Split: The gap between pins after you’ve knocked some over.
  • Turkey: Three strikes in a row.

Dude, it’s a lot; we know. Your best bet if you’re just getting back into the swing of things? Read through these rules, grab a ball that feels the most comfortable, lace up those rented shoes, and wait for the memories to come rushing back to you. We promise they will.

Jason Lander: No Quit

“There are a million pictures of my husband, Jason, with our four children, but this one stands out the most to me.

This was four days after our youngest child, Levi, was born and the first time Jason was able to hold him. Because of the severity of Levi’s jaundice, he was only allowed out from under the lights (he had three levels of lights) for very short periods of time, and not at all for the first 24 hours.

Jason was with our three older children most of that time, and since we decided it was best they didn’t see Levi in the NICU, he never had the opportunity to hold Levi, despite spending as much time as he could in the NICU with Levi and me.

I cannot imagine what it was like for Jason to go four days without holding his baby. I know it killed him, but he never said otherwise, because he knew how crucial it was to keep some sense of normalcy for the older children and allow what little time Levi could be held for Levi and I to bond. He held our family together during one of the scariest periods of our lives.

It is amazing to me that this period is now just a footnote in our lives, a memory that comes up in our Google photos. Three years later, Levi is now Jason’s little shadow (and twin!) The second Jason walks into the door, he runs up and greets him with a ‘Daddy!!!!!!’ Then follows him around everywhere. It’s absolutely beautiful.

And truly, anyone who knows my husband wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, be surprised by this. He has worked his tail off since the day ten years ago we decided I would be a stay-at-home mom to give our children the opportunity to have their momma home with them all the time.

He has gotten up and gone to work day-in, day-out through Lyme flairs, high fevers, injuries, and no sleep from being up with the kids. He has had to sacrifice being there for first words and steps, and funny stories, a lot of small things and a couple of big things, in order to make sure our family could be happy and comfortable.

It’s an amazing sacrifice in this day and age to take on the financial responsibility of a whole family, and Jason has done it every day, non-stop, no quit.

We are seriously so blessed to have this man heading up our family. I cannot imagine another person dedicating themselves or sacrificing as much as my husband does. I do not brag on him enough, but we are all so very thankful to have such an amazing man leading us.”

– Madalyn Lander

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