Ryan Reynolds Said Being a Dad Inspired Him To Open up About Mental Health

Ryan Reynolds made news lately for bravely discussing his own mental health battles in an effort to destigmatize the conversations around mental health. Now, Reynolds said he was inspired by his daughters to talk about those issues, and that being a dad is what encouraged him to use his platform to speak out.

Reynolds recently talked about his battle with anxiety, making a point to acknowledge Mental Health month by being open about his struggles.

“We don’t talk enough about mental health and don’t do enough to destigmatize talking about,” he said at the time. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Reynolds said being a dad is what made him have the courage to discuss his own struggle.

“Part of it is that I have three daughters at home and part of my job as a parent is to model behaviors and model what it’s like to be sad and model what it’s like to be anxious, or angry. That there’s space for all these things,” Reynolds said. “The home that I grew in, that wasn’t modeled for me really. And that’s not to say that my parents were neglectful, but they come from a different generation.”

That’s such an important part of being a parent; examining your own journey and the struggles you face, and figuring out how you can better equip your kids to face their own struggles along the way. By being more open with these conversations, it helps other people feel less alone.

“A lot of it is just wanting to model certain things for my own kids and model things for anyone who might need to hear it,” he said. “Other people feel like, ‘oh, he’s feeling that and so am I.’ Even though we might be in two completely different fields or have different lives, it connects us in a way.”

That desire to connect with others and help them feel less alone is essential to the discussion around mental health, and it’s also evocative of the late spiritual teacher slash psychologist Ram Dass, famous for (many things) saying “We’re all just walking each other home.”

Reynolds is doing his part to be a better dad, and hopefully, it inspires many more dads (and moms) to be more open about their own struggles with mental health.

Christy Joe: The Epitome of Strength

“This is my dad, Christy Joe.

Growing up, he was an underwater pipeline welder and the epitome of strength. My all-time greatest hero, and coolest man to ever live.

No joke. The man lost his thumb for a few hours and didn’t even cry.

He made sure my siblings and I knew the difference between every single tool in your tool box, and that you should always have a toolbox.

Unfortunately, he lost his battle to cancer a few years ago, and not a day goes by that I don’t think ‘what would my dad do?’

He raised me to be so self-sufficient, but at 28 years old, I catch myself longing to hop on the phone to give him a call and ask him how to fix a leak. His legacy will live on through my daughter, who I named after him: Joey Christy.

The countless ‘pull-my-fingers’ and sweet ass hairdo’s will never be forgotten.”

– Angie McPhee

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Scientists To Bring Woolly Mammoth Back From Extinction

It’s 2021 so it’s about dang time we got our first company focused on species de-extinction. Colossal, a new company of scientists and entrepreneurs (can’t have companies without ‘em) has announced their goal to bring species back from extinction using gene editing, and they are starting with the woolly mammoth. The creature went extinct 10,000 years ago, but the bioscientists and geneticists behind the new company think they can bring it back….sort of.

“This is a major milestone for us,” George Church told The New York Times. Church is a biologist and one of the company founders. “It’s going to make all the difference in the world.”

Here’s how it works: Basically the same way it did in Jurassic Park. I mean no, it’s way more complicated than what Mr. DNA could explain in a 5 minute presentation, but the basic principle is the same. Colossal will splice ancient DNA with modern living elephants to rebuild the lost creatures.

So it’s not like a magic spell where a woolly mammoth comes outta nowhere. But, they will have a cold-resistant, elephant-mammoth hybrid that has the basic traits of the woolly mammoth and can inhabit the same ecosystem its ancestor did.

Ultimately, the company thinks they can get thousands of their hairy, tusky cold-weather elephants back onto the frozen tundra of Siberia. The reason for the whole experiment isn’t to just play mad scientist, though. Introducing these animals back into the ecosystem can help reverse certain conditions of climate change, by restoring balance to the ecosystem. Okay, they’re probably a little bit into playing mad scientist, but it’s still about saving the world, not taking it over atop a herd of ancient horned beasts.

There are bigger implications as well. We could bring back species that we thought were gone forever. That’s hugely important as so many current species face extinction and have seen their numbers dwindling over the past centuries. Of course, any time you even open the door to de-extinction, people go straight to dinosaurs. No scientist is bringing up dinos at this point. But, as any dad knows, you gotta crawl before you can walk, so maybe this is just the first step to the de-extinction process, and a decade or two from now we could kick-start our own Jurassic Park.

For now, the scientists at the new company are VERY focused on whether or not they can, and definitely not about whether or not they SHOULD.

After Losing His Gamer Dad, Teen Starts Gaming Nonprofit To Help Sick Children

A high school senior started a nonprofit to play video games with sick kids in honor of his original gaming partner: his dad. Nick Priest inherited his love of video games from his dad, who passed away when Nick was six. That experience led him to found “Nick’s Power of Play,” a nonprofit where he and other volunteers game with kids in hospitals or who are dealing with someone else in their lives battling a serious illness. The goal is to put a smile on the face of someone who needs one and to pay tribute to his dad and the legacy he left behind. Nick wanted to spread the love of video games his dad gave him and connect with other kids who are experiencing what he went through.

Nick says playing video games helped him grow closer to his dad and helped comfort him after his dad’s passing. Even as he lost his gaming partner, people stepped in to make sure he “could still find joy in gaming.” Those people made a difference in Nick’s life and recovery from grief at a young age.

Now, Nick wants to be that person who is there for kids going through their own hard time.

“I would like to help bring happiness to kids who are in very difficult situations,” he wrote. “I believe it could give these children a little hope, just like it did for my father and me. It’s something that I wish that I would have had after my dad passed away, I would have loved to have a teenage boy to play Mario with, that would have been awesome. That’s what I’m trying to provide to these kids. I want to be there for them in the hardest part of their lives, and just try to let them forget about it for a while.”

COVID forced Nick to schedule his play sessions remotely, and now one of his biggest goals now is spreading the word to other hospitals around the country.

“When you hop on with me, or you hop on with a volunteer, it’s not going to be about that at all. It’s going to be, ‘Alright, let’s build this huge house in Minecraft. And we’re going to build a mansion for an hour, to help them forget about it for a little.”

Ted Lasso Shows Us It’s Okay To Get Help

In August of 2020, the perfect show came along at the perfect time. After nearly a year in lockdown, we all needed a big dose of positivity and it came in the form of Ted Lasso on AppleTV.  For many, watching Ted Lasso became a type of self-care. Groundbreaking in its overwhelming optimism, the first season of the show hit all the right notes. Rightfully so, it cleaned up at this years Emmys, and the cast earned a huge raise for season 3.

Season 2 of Ted Lasso has much of the same positivity and charm as season 1, but with an added wrinkle. Enter Dr. Sharon. We meet Dr. Sharon Fieldstone in the 1st episode of the 2nd season and we can tell immediately that she’s going to be a foil to Ted’s overwhelming positivity. Dr. Sharon helps many of the players early on in the season, especially Dani after his incident with the dog, and Colin who is “not a piece of shit”. But it is her relationship with Ted that is the most interesting.

Credit: AppleTV

At times during season 1 we could catch a glimpse of the anxiety that Ted dealt with silently. In some ways, his over-the-top optimism and exuberant personality were a cover for some internal struggles. Knowing that there was more to Ted than just energy and enthusiasm 24/7 didn’t make me like him less, it made me like him more. None of us have our shit together all the time, I’m skeptical of anyone that acts as though they do.

In season 2 we get a better glimpse of Ted’s internal state. Under the added pressure of his team’s performance, paired with the struggles of being separated from his family, Ted’s anxiety reaches a boiling point. In the 7th episode of season 2 “Headspace” we see Ted forced to leave the pitch because of a panic attack similar to the infamous episode in season 1. We’re not sure what happens to Ted until he turns up in Dr. Sharon’s office admitting that he needs to talk.

While Ted Lasso the show might be damn near perfect, its people aren’t. Ted, Nate, Rebecca, Roy, Keeley, Beard, Jamie, Colin, Dani, and Isaac:  they all have issues. Even Dr. Sharon herself. Everyone except Higgins, he’s mostly got his shit together. The rest need help in some form or fashion. Where season 1 was all about self-help with great quotes like “I believe in believe.” and “Be a goldfish” (because of its 10-second memory). Season 2 shows us that it’s ok to seek help.

Ted Lasso I Believe
Credit: Ted Lasso - Twitter

There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsions, post-traumatic stress, or a case of the damn yips, there is nothing wrong with seeking help. Nowadays even the best athletes on the planet visit therapists regularly. Roy Keane himself (the former Manchester United midfielder who inspired Ted Lasso’s “Roy Kent”) admitted during a recent interview that he spoke with a therapist when he was playing. But it doesn’t matter if you’re a professional athlete or just a normal dad like me, if you need help working through something there’s no shame in it.

At the end of episode 8 after the Man City game at Wembley Stadium Ted calls Dr. Sharon and we finally learn the big thing that Ted has kept bottled up. Its the first real insight we get into what makes Ted who he is. No spoilers, but when he revealed what he did to Dr. Sharon I immediately thought back to one of the best scenes in season 1, when he plays darts with Rupert. Now everything is starting to make more sense.

Like Dr. Sharon says “the truth will set you free, but first it’s gonna piss you off.” There’s a lot of reluctance around therapy. People have a lot of notions about how therapy works, and most of those notions are wrong. It is not a weakness to get help, in fact, it takes a lot more strength to make that admission and take that first step. If Ted Lasso can admit he needs help some time, then so can I. Our kids need us at our best and sometimes that means we need to tackle our issues Ted Lasso style. “Bird by bird” as he would say.  Barbeque sauce.

Companies Continue Creating Strange New Varieties of Candy Corn, for Some Reason

Fall is here, a time when seasonal items appear on shelves as quickly as dried-up leaves drop from the trees. In preparation for Halloween, candy companies compete to create the most munchable treats. It defies all logic, but candy corn has remained central to the spookiest season, despite being arguably one of the worst candies in existence. In typical Halloween tradition, companies are working hard to make the sickly-sweet treat even worse.

I’m truly not sure if it’s a bit at this point, but companies are still going strong in the candy corn category. They line shelves with mostly untouched bags of the stuff, providing a last-resort option for those of us who forget to buy Halloween candy until October 30th.

Sometimes though, the draw of the corn is too strong. When a flavor of just about anything looks strange enough, we have to try it. It’s intriguing, it’s mysterious, and despite the fact that it’s never led to anything better than “kinda ok, I guess,” it’s irresistible. This year, candy companies continue to offer some bizarre options to those of us with very little self-control.

Let’s get this out of the way now, because the longer I look at it, the more infuriating it becomes. Thanksgiving dinner candy corn. Ok, it isn’t technically a Halloween variety, but it’s scary enough to fit the bill. I don’t even – just read what these absolute maniacs threw in the bag.

Brach's turkey dinner candy corn
Credit: brachs.com

“BRACH’S Turkey Dinner includes all of the traditional Thanksgiving favorites,” Brach’s website explains. “From roasted turkey, green beans and stuffing to ginger glazed carrots, cranberry sauce and sweet potato pie. Flavors include Green Beans, Roasted Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, Ginger Glazed Carrot, Sweet Potato Pie & Stuffing.”

Ugh.

Let’s round this out with a slightly more promising option, shall we? Nerds Halloween Candy Corn actually won an award at the 2021 Sweets and Snacks Expo, and it truly doesn’t look that bad. Essentially, each piece of this Ferrara candy is a giant NERD (no offense).

Nerds Candy Corn
Credit: target.com

Target’s description explains, “Mystical and mouth-watering Nerds Candy Corn features a one-of-a-kind eating experience — candy coated shells wrapped around soft & chewy Nerds fruity centers!”

Companies are working hard to develop a variety of candy corn for everyone, despite the fact that most people’s preference is still no candy corn at all.

Castlevania Advance Collection Brings All the GBA Classics to Consoles & PC

We haven’t seen a proper Castlevania game release in quite some time.  What was arguably one of Konami’s most popular franchises, unfortunately, fell to the wayside (in favor of Konami’s love for pachinko machines).  The Netflix series is great, but I really want some new games.  Luckily for us, this collection of the beloved Game Boy Advance games will do just nicely for the time being.

Announced during yesterday’s jam-packed Nintendo Direct, the Castlevania Advance Collection is now available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, & PC for $19.99 USD.

The Castlevania Advance Collection includes:

  • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance

As an added bonus, we get the Super Nintendo’s Castlevania: Dracula X as well, which isn’t too shabby.

If you’ve never played any of the awesome 2D Castlevania games, now’s a great time to get acquainted.  They’re pretty lengthy adventures and the three in this collection definitely perfected the whole “Metroidvania” genre”.  Also worth checking out if you’re a Castlevania fan and own a Nintendo Switch, is a new upgrade for your Nintendo Switch Online membership will be available in October.  This new membership “expansion” will allow you to play N64 and Sega Genesis games on your Switch.  Why I bring this up is because the rare Genesis game Castlevania: Bloodlines is part of the Sega collection, and it still holds up today.

Tom Brady’s Dad Says Belichick Pushed GOAT Out Of New England

I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want the greatest quarterback of all time on your team, but apparently, by the time Tom Brady left New England, Bill Belichick didn’t. He was done with the man with whom his career will forever be linked. And now that man’s father is speaking out.

We’re in the midst of Brady’s second season in Tampa Bay, after spending 20 with the Patriots. At a certain point, it started to seem inevitable that Tom Brady was going to leave the team he’d led to six Super Bowl championships, and it even seemed like his career was tailing off. Then he won it all in his first year with the Bucs, and has started his second year on fire. Meanwhile, the Patriots are rebuilding, missing the playoffs – and not winning the AFC East – last year for the first time since Brady was the starter, making everyone wonder who really was responsible for the Pats’ two decades of dominance. And if Belichick regrets anything.

Now, a week before his son returns to Gillette Stadium to face his old coach, Tom Brady Sr is sounding off about why the GOAT left. He appeared on the Patriots Talk podcast with NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran and explained that his son felt vindicated by his performance last season in Tampa Bay.

“Belichick wanted him out the door and last year he threw 56 touchdowns. I think that’s a pretty good year.”

Curran then asked if Brady feels like Belichick wanted him out too.

“Damn right,” Brady Sr. said.

As for what Tom is feeling as his return to face the team he helped make a dynasty, Sr. had some thoughts on that too.

“Tommy is extraordinarily appreciative of everything that happened during his New England career, and he’s more than happy that he’s moved on because it was pretty obvious that the Patriot regime felt that it was time for him to move on,” Brady Sr. said. “And frankly, it may well have been perfect for Belichick to move on from him. On the other hand, I think the Tampa Bay Bucs are pretty happy that the decision was made in Foxboro that they didn’t want to afford him or didn’t want to keep him when his last contract came up.”

I’d say so. Behind an ageless Brady, they won last year and they’re 2-0 now, so whatever rumors there were about Tom Jr. slowing down, they seem pretty off-base.

It’s starting to look like he could play til he’s 50, and if Belichick is able to bounce back quickly with rookie QB Mac Jones, maybe we’ll see another Brady/Belichick showdown in the future and settle things once and for all.

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All-Star Voice Cast Announced for Upcoming Super Mario Bros. Animated Film

The highly anticipated Super Mario animated film coming from the animation studio behind Despicable Me has been shrouded in mystery.  Announced back in 2018, all we knew was that Nintendo was collaborating with Illumination and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto was involved as a producer.  Information was about as bare-bones as you could get.  Well, today during a really fantastic Nintendo Direct presentation, we got a ton of new info.  Not only did we find out a release date, but now we know who will be voicing the characters.  Man, it’s one hell of a line-up.

The main voice cast includes Chris Pratt as Mario, Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach, and Jack Black as Bowser.

Joining in on the adventure, we’ve got Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong.

Seth Rogen Donkey Kong
(Credit: Youtube/Nintendo)

Keegan-Michael Key as Toad.

Keegan-Michael Key Toad
(Credit: Youtube/Nintendo)

Charles Martinet (who has voiced Mario since the release of Super Mario 64) will appear in the film as surprise cameos.

Charles Martinet
(Credit: Youtube/Nintendo)

… and finally we have Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike.

Mario Bros Animated Film Cast
(Credit: Youtube/Nintendo)

I have to say I definitely wasn’t expecting this kind of voice cast!  It’ll be interesting to see these actors bring Nintendo’s beloved characters to life.  It’s also interesting to see characters like Cranky Kong making an appearance.  Is Nintendo starting their own cinematic universe?  Will Link and Fox show up at some point?  Oh, the possibilities.

Also announced during the reveal was that the film will release on December 21st, 2022 in North America.  Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, (Teen Titans Go!, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies) will direct, and Matthew Fogel (The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Minions: The Rise of Gru) will be penning the script.  Unfortunately, no plot details have been revealed yet, but with a cast like that, I’m just really excited for that first trailer to drop.  I hope the film isn’t a letdown, but come on, it just has to be better than the live-action Super Mario Bros. film we got, right?  RIGHT?

Donnie Quillen: Left An Imprint

“My dad was an amazing person.

When I was born, he had just turned 20 and was working at local truck plant. He and my mom split; she left us when I was just two years old. With the help of my grandparents, my dad did what he had to do to provide for me. A few years later, my brother came along and he faced yet another divorce, leaving him with two young boys.

I never in my life heard him complain about the cards he was dealt and we never knew the burden he held until we were older and figured it out ourselves. The truck plant he worked at for 23 years closed, putting him out of the job. We lost our house and he had to completely start over again with no experience doing anything else. He of course overcame and got back on his feet.

I went on to have a daughter who was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of two. That was something my wife and I didn’t know how to handle, the days were long and scary, but my dad was right in there in my ear telling me ‘we’ll get through this,’ and we did.

She finished her treatment late March but unfortunately he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at the beginning February. We rolled out of one battle right into the next.

He fought hard and kept that same mentality he always had and made it until August when he passed away. He and my daughter were best friends; the short four years they had together left an imprint on her she’ll forever remember.”

– Donnie Quillen

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