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Rare’s ‘Everwild’ Was Reportedly Missing At E3 Because It’s Getting ‘Completely Rebooted’

There are a few things you can always expect when it comes to E3 — huge announcements, news leaks, awkward moments between hosts, and pure unadulterated zaniness from Devolver, to name a few. One of the more unfortunate things you can expect at E3, however, is for certain games to just simply vanish. Sometimes, perhaps even most of the time, they return with tweaks but others are thrust into game development purgatory while their respective studios decide what to do with them. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with the highly-anticipated artsy adventure game Everwild.

According to a report by VGC, Rare Limited’s Everwild, as we so briefly knew it, has been scrapped in its current form. Turns out that after the departure of creative director Simon Woodroffe last year, the studio decided to completely overhaul the game’s design and direction, as well as the team working on it. According to folks involved with the game’s development, Everwild has essentially been “restarted from scratch,” meaning it will likely be some time before we see it again. While unfortunate, this news makes sense following Everwild’s lack of presence at this year’s E3 and comments made by journalist Jeff Grubb late last week.

VGC also reported that the team behind Everwild is now “optimistically” targeting a 2024 release date under the new leadership of one of Rare’s most senior creative employees, Gregg Mayles. According to Everwild‘s executive producer Louise O’Connor, however, the team has “never been stronger” than when Mayles was added to the project. She went on to say the team is continuing “to work hard to realize our vision and to bring the magic of nature in Everwild to life for players around the world. The team behind Everwild continue to shape a truly magical experience and remain focused and excited about creating a new game centered around a truly unique, new world.”

While this might be a lot of us to process, according to folks familiar with Everwild‘s development this news isn’t particularly shocking. According to the VGC report, the project was struggling to find direction on its current path.

According to people familiar with its development, Everwild’s small team had struggled to define a clear direction for the title, beyond its striking art style and soundtrack.

As of last year, the game was a third-person adventure with god game elements, we were told. One person said that, in particular, a mandate from Rare’s leadership to not have any combat in the game had led to road blocks in design.

While we’re certainly a fan of the trend of games shifting away from combat, it’s understandable how forgoing it could cause the Sea of Thieves developers some pause. Here’s hoping by next year’s E3 Everwild might resurface and, even more importantly, look just as good as it did back in 2019.

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MyPIllow Guy Mike Lindell Believes The Jan. 6 Insurrection Was A ‘Setup’ (And That Trump Won By 19 Million Votes)

Last weekend, everyone’s favorite deranged bedwear salesman, Mike Lindell, aka the financially troubled MyPillow Guy, held a kooky pro-Trump rally in New Hampshire. It was called “MAGA Frank,” and it featured such 45th president fans as Diamond and Silk, filmmaker and pardoned felon Dinesh D’Souza, as well as the big boy himself. Lindell is so confident about his belief that the failed blogger not only won in November but will be re-installed in the White House that he allowed a Rolling Stone reporter to cover the event, even interview him. And in the finished piece, he had some new deranged things to tell him.

Arguably the most shocking? That the Jan. 6 insurrection — in which violent Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election — was a scam. This isn’t a new opinion; baseless theories that folks from Antifa and BLM were posing as DJT fans were floated almost immediately after the failed but deadly attack. But Lindell still subscribes to some variation on that nonsense idea.

For one thing, he admitted to reporter Stephen Rodrick that he’s “never even watched footage of that.” His bona fides thus established, he then went on to claim that, “in my opinion, it was a setup.” Why? Because it had never happened before. “I’ve been to over 50 rallies year. There has never been one incident. And you don’t think it was a setup? Gimme a break.”

Is it a waste of time to point out that it’s hard for Trumpists to storm the Capitol at rallies not held at D.C.? Perhaps. But Lindell had another revelation: In his latest video, entitled Absolute 9-0 — a reference to his belief that the Supreme Court will unanimously vote to reinstate Trump after they get a load of the intel he drops in his latest motion picture screed — he claims that Trump didn’t win. He won bigly. While discussing his film with Rodrick, he doubles down on his claims:

“There was 147 million registered to vote. OK, Biden got 80 million and Trump got 75 million. That’s 10 million extra voters.” Lindell nods repeatedly, proud of his point. In fact, over 213 million American were registered to vote — Lindell was off by just a bit, i.e., 66 million. He then mentions that 1.7 million Pennsylvanians requested mail-in ballots while the election count shows hundreds of thousands more, proving more fraud. In reality, Pennsylvanians requested over 3 million mail-in ballots. As Lindell becomes more caffeinated, the claims become increasingly exorbitant. “Trump won 80 million to 68 million,” Lindell says as conservative outlets line up in the bus for their interview. That would be a 19 million-vote swing. Lindell is a college dropout whose main mathematical background comes from card counting at casinos. He says that number will be confirmed when there are audits done in all 50 states.

There’s a lot in the Rolling Stone piece, including Lindell’s belief that, because he banned him (and Trump) from Twitter, Jack Dorsey “should go to jail.” He brushes off the death threats that people like Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has received from Trump supporters, claiming he’s been getting them, too. And he makes a bold claim about his favorite president: “He is the only president in my lifetime who wasn’t in it for the ego and worked only for the people and not for his own interests.”

Despite this, Rodrick describes Trump’s eventual speech at the rally as “autopilot,” as though he couldn’t even bring the pain for his most ardent fan among the home goods market. A shame.

(Via Rolling Stone)

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Rudy Giuliani Claims That ‘Everyone’ Misses Trump’s ‘Policies,’ Yet Again Opening Himself Up To Humiliation And Mockery

Monday, June 14 is the 30th birthday of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It’s also the 75th birthday of Donald J. Trump, the president-turned-failed blogger. A good chunk of the Republican Party still believes a septuagenarian who lives in a cruise ship-like resort filled with strangers and can’t spell the word “junkie” will take back his old job in 2024, and some of them took some time to wish him well on Twitter, the platform on which he’s permanently banned. One of those was Rudy Giuliani, but, being a reliable klutz, he couldn’t do it without getting roundly mocked.

“Happy Birthday, President Trump!” wrote the former NYC mayor, whose Manhattan offices were raided not long ago by the feds. But Giuliani couldn’t leave it at that. So he added, “Everyone says they miss your policies!”

But much of social media took umbrage with his use of the word “everyone.”

It is true, some pointed out, that there are people who do miss his policies. And some of them are almost certainly going to jail for trying to help him overturn the 2020 election.

Others pointed out some of the darker stuff Trump did to earn scorn from so much of the nation.

Others simply laughed at him.

And some used data to disprove Giuliani’s questionable thesis.

Since November, Giuliani has not only repeatedly put his freedom in jeopardy to help Trump, but he’s also regularly been mocked and humiliated. His attempts to challenge the 2020 election results were surreally chaotic, all but eradicating the goodwill he stored up in the wake of the September 11 attacks, when he was considered “America’s mayor.” And it doesn’t look like he’s done yet.

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A Blind Taste Test Of Bourbon Whiskeys That Hit 110 Proof Or Higher

If you’re new to bourbon, the higher-proof bourbon whiskeys out there might be a little intimidating. Or not. Maybe you’re already used to 100 proof vodkas, over-proofed rums, and even absinthe. Either way, as you spend time imbibing bourbon, your palate begins to change and there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to level up to higher-proof whiskeys. Soon, 80 proof expressions will begin to taste “thin.”

Since higher-proof bourbons are often filled with nuanced and complex flavors, it takes some effort to sort the wheat from the chaff (or the kernels from the cob, as it were). To do so, I selected eight well-known bourbons that hit 110 proof and higher. The below bottles range from barrel-proof bourbons that haven’t been cut with any water to high-proof bourbons that have been cut with water but still kept those ABVs pretty high.

Since we hope that our blind taste test will make you want to do one of your own, we selected bottles that can be found at your local liquor store (although some are a little more difficult to source than others). If you don’t want to meander through the aisles, you can also click on the prices to order any of these bottles online.

Part 1: The Taste

For this blind taste test, I used the following expressions.

  • Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
  • Booker’s
  • 1792 Full Proof
  • Larceny Barrel Proof
  • Old Grand-Dad 114
  • Maker’s Mark Cask Strength
  • Wild Turkey Rare Breed
  • Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve

Let’s get this party started!

Taste 1:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

I took time to take in the scents of heavy wood char, candied orange peels, and vanilla beans before taking my first sip. There was a mineral quality to the flavor that greeted my palate immediately. This was followed by more woody flavors well as dried fruits and caramel. It ended with a nice bit of heat that reminded me “hey, it’s higher proof.”

A decent whiskey, but definitely not exceptional and almost too light.

Taste 2:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

The first thing I noticed were the scents of charred oak, spicy cinnamon candies, toasted vanilla beans, and a subtle hint of smoke. The flavor was all vanilla, caramel, charred wood, and a nice nutty sweetness that permeated throughout. The finish was long and warming.

In my notes, I wrote: “A really great sipper and one that I will definitely return to.”

Taste 3:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

This is a bold nose and I like it. There’s a lot of pepper, vanilla, and charred wood. It’s bold and brash like a high-proof bourbon should be. But it’s not too much to take in. The flavor was surprisingly complex with notes of pipe tobacco, candied orange peels, buttery caramel, and a nice herbal, warming, cracked black pepper finish.

While there was a good deal of heat, the vibrant pepper and caramel flavors make this a great sipper.

Taste 4:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

The first thing I noticed was the alcohol smell. It was pretty “in your face.” After that, there was corn sweetness, vanilla cookies, and a great deal of charred oak. The palate was better than the nose, with hints of dried fruits, vanilla beans, and a lot of spicy cinnamon. The last few sips were on par with Red Hot candies with a lot of alcohol-fueled heat.

This whiskey leaves little doubt it is high proof and that’s not such a great thing.

Taste 5:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

Although there wasn’t a ton going on with this whisky, I smelled hints of brown sugar, cinnamon, and a musty rickhouse. The palate was more of the same. There were a lot of spicy cinnamon flavors as well as a bit of caramel and vanilla. But mostly a lot of heat and just a bit of oak at the end.

Overall, not something I’d sip neat.

Taste 6:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

Nosing this whiskey revealed nostalgic caramel apples, charred wood, dried fruits, and a nice kick of vanilla. The flavor was classic bourbon with notes of Werther’s Original butterscotch candies, cinnamon sugar, and just a hint of cracked black pepper. The finish was long, lingering, and filled with warmth.

All in all, it’s a decent whiskey. I just… I feel like I need to come back and try this one again — it feels like it’s missing something.

Taste 7:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

From the initial nosing, this was by far the most aromatic. Notes of charred oak, treacle, vanilla cookies, and candied pecans are present. When I sipped it, I entered a world of vanilla beans, butterscotch candy, dried cherries, more nuts, and just a hint of spice. This easy-to-drink, mellow whiskey ends with a nice mix of heat and sweets.

It’ll be hard to top this whiskey in overall flavor.

Taste 8:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

A lot was going on in the aroma department. First, I smelled wood char, spicy cinnamon sugar, maple candy, and toasted vanilla beans. There’s not a lot of heat on the palate. There are flavors of raisins, buttery caramel, more vanilla, and a nice kick of spicy cinnamon. The warming, cinnamon sugar flavors carry on long after your last sip.

Overall, an extremely pleasurable sip.

Part 2: The Ranking

8. Old Grand-Dad 114 — Taste 5

Old Grand-Dad

ABV: 57%

Average Price: $29

The Story:

Along with Old Overholt, the Old Grand-Dad expressions fall under the “Olds” range from Jim Beam. This high-rye bourbon is called 114 because that’s the proof (57 percent). It’s bold, filled with cinnamon heat, and highly mixable. But the flavor is a little too much to consider this bottle as a sipper.

Bottom Line:

This is the kind of bottle that people keep on hand for mixing, especially if you’re making cocktails with bold flavors. The 114 proof stands up in these cases. But I wouldn’t suggest it as a sipper and that’s why it landed so low on my list.

7. Maker’s Mark Cask Strength — Taste 1

Maker

ABV: 55.05%

Average Price: $40

The Story:

If you’re a bourbon drinker (or any type of drinker), you’ve probably had your fair share of Maker’s Mark. Its leveled-up Cask Strength version falls between 110-114 proof, depending on the batch. It’s high corn (70 percent corn, 16 percent wheat, and 14 percent barley). The lack of rye (and the wheat presence) means that even though this bourbon is fairly high in alcohol, it still has a soft, mellow flavor.

Bottom Line:

While this whiskey ranked much lower than expected, it shouldn’t really be that surprising. For the high alcohol content, this is one of the cheapest whiskeys on this list. It’s a decent sipper, but nothing to write home about.

6. 1792 Full Proof — Taste 4

1792

ABV: 62.5%

Average Price: $60

The Story:

This award-winning bourbon from 1792 doesn’t disclose its mash bill, but it’s assumed that (especially due to the flavor) that it’s around 75 percent corn. This means that, even at 125 proof, this specially filtered, rich, and decadent whiskey is as sweet as it is potent.

Bottom Line:

This whiskey had more going on with it than Maker’s Mark, but it was also a lot more potent in the heat department. I really had a tough time ranking these two. But this one beat Maker’s out because it was slightly more flavorful.

5. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof — Taste 6

Elijah Craig

ABV: 64-70%

Average Price: $79

The Story:

The highest proof in this tasting was Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. This uncut, unfiltered, bold bourbon has won numerous awards over the years and this bottle lives up to the hype, for the most part.

Bottom Line:

I’m a big fan of Elijah Craig, so I was a little bummed that this landed here. It lacked a bit of the flavor-to-heat combination that some of the higher-ranked bourbons had. Given that, I would definitely sip this one neat again and see if I enjoy it more the next time.

4. Larceny Barrel Proof — Taste 8

Larceny

ABV: 57-60%

Average Price: $70

The Story:

While this list is comprised of easier-to-find bourbons, Larceny Barrel Proof is a little trickier to find than others, depending on where you live. If you get your hands on a bottle, you’ll be treated to an award-winning, wheat bourbon that’s non-chill filtered, small-batch, barrel proof, and aged between 6 and 8 years.

Bottom Line:

Larceny has made a name for itself in the whiskey world in the last decade. While you can’t go wrong with any of the brand’s expressions, we suggest grabbing this bottle. It’s equally as great as a mixer as it is a sipper.

3. Wild Turkey Rare Breed — Taste 3

Wild Turkey

ABV: 58.4%

Average Price: $49

The Story:

This award-winning bourbon is a favorite of both bartenders and whiskey aficionados. It’s well-regarded for its reasonable price, high proof, and even higher quality. It’s uncut, robust, and surprisingly smooth for such a high-proof whiskey. It finds a place behind both amateur and professional bars due to its sippable, mixable ability.

Bottom Line:

The spicy, cinnamon, and rye flavors should appeal to both high-proof bourbon fans as well as rye whiskey aficionados. It’s great for cocktails, but we prefer sipping it in a rocks glass with a single ice cube while we enjoy the mellow, warming heat.

2. Booker’s — Taste 2

Booker

ABV: 60-65%

Average Price: $109

The Story:

When it comes to Jim Beam’s Small Batch collection, Booker’s is by far my favorite. It’s uncut, unfiltered, and cask strength. One of the most eagerly awaited whiskey releases, each new batch has its own name and specific flavor profile. The proof changes based on the batch. The 2021 version is called “Donohoe’s Batch” and it was made to pay tribute to a long-time, retired Jim Beam employee.

Bottom Line:

One of my favorite high-proof whiskeys, this expression landed on this list right where I thought it would. Even with the uncut, unfiltered, bold nature of this bourbon, it’s surprisingly smooth and very easy to sip. I definitely wouldn’t use this as a mixer.

1. Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve — Taste 7

Knob Creek

ABV: 60%

Average Price: $49

The Story:

When it comes to value, it’s difficult to beat Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve. Aged for nine years in charred, oak casks, this 120-proof whiskey is made up of hand-selected barrels that are blended together to create a nuanced, rich, easy-to-sip whiskey.

Bottom Line:

It should come as no huge surprise that this expression took the top spot (though I wouldn’t have predicted a #1 finish). Made from hand-picked barrels that are aged to perfection before being blended together to make the perfect flavor, this is a highly complex whiskey and a natural fit as a sipper.


As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

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I left my job to care for my mental health and it was the best decision I ever made

I’ll never forget the exhilaration I felt as I headed into the city on July 3, 2018. My pink hair was styled. I wore it up in a high ponytail, though I left two tendrils down. Two tendrils which framed my face. My makeup was done. I wore shadow on my eyes and blush on my cheeks, blush which gave me color. Which brought my pale complexion to life. And my confidence grew each time my heels clacked against the concrete.

My confidence grew with each and every step.

Why? Because I was a strong woman. A city woman. A woman headed to interview for her dream job.

I nailed the interview. Before I boarded the bus back home, I had an offer letter in my inbox. I was a news writer, with a salary and benefits, but a strange thing happened 13 months later. I quit said job in an instant. On a whim. I walked down Fifth Avenue and never looked back. And while there were a few reasons why I quit that warm, summer day: I was a new(ish) mom. A second-time mom, and I missed my children. Spending an hour with them each day just wasn’t enough. My daughter was struggling in school. She needed oversight. Guidance. She needed my help. And my commute was rough. I couldn’t cover the exorbitant cost of childcare. The real reason I quit was because my mental health was failing.


I live with bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder and was going through a dark period. My depression was all-consuming. I struggled to get up and out of bed. My anxiety had also peaked. I was having near-daily panic attacks: with my breakfast. During our department’s morning meeting. On the bus.

At first, I was afraid. Leaving my job was terrifying, personally and financially. I worried I was ruining my life, my family, and my career. Plus, my husband and I had no savings or nest egg. There was no backup plan. I was also ashamed. Millions of people live with mental illness — I was (and am not) unique — and they juggle both balls. They have a handle on their health and hold down a job. But I didn’t. I couldn’t, and that was discouraging.

It made me feel like a failure.

I thought I was weak.

But I wanted to take a risk. I needed to take a risk, for my happiness and my health. So I left my job, and immediately, a weight lifted off of me. I felt free. I had time for therapy appointments and counseling sessions. I could read, reflect, journal, and write. There was also time for self-care. I ran almost every morning. Without work, I found the energy to get up and shower everyday. But the shame persisted because I was incapacitated, contagious, or broken. This disease was “all in my head,” or so I had been taught. Or so I had been told.

You see, when you are sick your doctor tells you to take time off. They encourage you to rest and recover and stay home. When you are going through medical issues, like chemotherapy or cancer treatments, there are numerous medical accommodations you can make, i.e. paid time off aside, there is short-term disability, long-term disability, and the Family Medical Leave Act. And if you have COVID-19 — or think you may have COVID-19 — you are told to quarantine for 10 days. For nearly two weeks. But mental illness? When you are depressed you are told to buck up — and suck it up. Society suggests you should just push through. It is also hard to get documentation saying you are too sick to work because mental illness is subjective. But everyone has limits.

It’s important you listen to your body and your mind.

Make no mistake: I know leaving my job was a privileged decision. Many people cannot do so because their insurance covers therapy. Because without work, they cannot pay their mortgage, rent, or other bills. Many people cannot leave their job because there are true disparities in the (mental) healthcare system. Accessibility is an issue, as is stigma. And many people cannot leave their job because they do not have emotional and financial support — which I get that. Truly, I do. But there is help. There are options. You do not have to do this alone.

So talk to your psychiatrist, if you have one. Find a therapist, if you can. Say “no” when you’re able to, to preserve your time and energy. To help clear your plate, and speak with your employer. Determine what you can do and what things you have the power to change, because while it is hard to take time off for mental illness, it is a covered condition. You should not be (or feel) ashamed. It is also imperative you realize your self worth, i.e. you matter. Your physical, emotional, and mental health matter. And knowing that is imperative. Paying bills is important, but breathing and being is invaluable.

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People turned the 30th anniversary of `Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves` into a viral Alan Rickman lovefest

With the cool, gothic darkness of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series and the cinematic dominance of the entire Marvel franchise, it’s easy to forget that hero films used to be delightfully campy at best and completely hokey at worst. We didn’t expect complex protagonists or multi-faceted villains. We weren’t looking for deep backstories or in-depth character arcs. Moviegoers were largely content to be entertained while the good guys narrowly defeated the bad guys, especially in stories that were already familiar.

That’s probably why audiences in 1991 found “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” with its star-studded cast and beautiful scenery a reasonably fun, if a little strained, bit of entertainment. Moviegoers especially loved Alan Rickman’s performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham, as Twitter users made clear in response an op-ed that referred to the film as “joyless” on its 30th anniversary.

The op-ed claimed that “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” was “a joyless hit that should stay in the 90s.” While few would argue that the film is a masterpiece, many people feel that Rickman’s performance alone made it worth watching.


Rickman, who was best known for his villain roles, gave a hilariously over the top touch to the Sheriff of Nottingham role, with some memorable one-liners and perfectly Rickman-esque facial expressions.

Alan Rickman didn’t start acting in movies until he was nearly 50 years old, but his two-decade career was beloved by millions. From action films like “Die Hard” to classics like Jane Austin’s “Sense and Sensibility” to children’s fantasy movies like the “Harry Potter” series, Rickman nailed each and every one of his characters.

Heck, he even managed to play a villain of sorts in the romantic comedy “Love Actually,” giving that office tart a necklace for Christmas and making Emma Thompson cry.

And when he passed away at age 69, the theatrical world wept.

So while “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” may not make it into any Best Hero Movies of All Time lists, Rickman’s role in it makes it highly watchable at the very least.

For some, his role may be the only part of the film that’s worth watching. And there may be a good reason for that beyond just his acting.

Rickman revealed at a BAFTA event honoring his career that he had rewritten parts of what he called the “terrible” script of the film with the help of a couple of friends, Ruby Wax and Peter Barnes. Some of his lines were reportedly ad-libbed on set as well.

Basically, he saved the whole movie.

Rickman died in 2016 from pancreatic cancer, a diagnosis he had hidden from the public. Only his closest friends and family knew about it prior to his passing.

Rickman won a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. In accepting the award, Rickman said, “This will be a healthy reminder to me that subtlety isn’t everything!”

Enjoy this montage of his Sheriff of Nottingham scenes to see what he meant:


The best of Alan Rickman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

www.youtube.com

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‘We’re kidney sisters’: Woman donates a kidney to her husband’s ex-wife

Ten years after her first date with Jim Merthe, Debby Neal-Strickland, 56, and her beau were married at a Florida church. Two days later, she was on the operating table donating a kidney to his ex-wife, Mylaen Merthe, 59.

“She’s a person and she needed a kidney and I had one. I was healthy enough to give it to her,” Debby told “Good Morning America.” “She’s also the mother of my guy’s kids and they were having their first two grandchildren.”

Debby’s act was a beautiful example of giving. However, in a world where relationships between people who’ve shared the same spouse are usually a bit tense, Debby is a saint.


Jim and Mylaen have been divorced for over two decades but got along well as they raised their two children. So when Mylaen entered the picture, the two women were friendly with one another but never too close.

However, their relationship has become a lot closer now that they share more than just family. The women now refer to each other as “kidney sisters.” “[We] usually text every single day,” Debby said. “We talk quite a bit.”


Man’s New Bride Donates Her Kidney to His Ex-Wife

www.youtube.com

Before the transplant, Mylaen had long suffered from kidney disease. Her kidneys were functioning at just 8% and she appeared pale with dark circles under her eyes. She was due to become a grandmother and Debby couldn’t stand the idea of her not being there for her daughter and the new arrival.

I just couldn’t not try to change that,” she said according to Fox News. “God told me, ‘You’re a match and you need to do this.'”

Debby was also compelled to help all she could because she spent years waiting for her brother with cystic fibrosis to get a lung transplant. “When somebody needs an organ, if they don’t get it, they’re probably not going to make it. I know it’s something that you do quickly,” she said.

After months of testing and delays caused by the covid-19 pandemic, the transplant was successful. Once Debby regained consciousness after the surgery, all she could think about was Mylaen. “`I need to see her.’ That was the first thing out of my mouth.”

Debby could see the difference in Mylaen’s appearance almost immediately. “She looked so alive and revitalized,” she said.

Even though the three of them were wearing masks there was no mistaking the incredible emotion they all felt after the surgery. “We had our masks on too, so we’re crying, and of course our stomachs were hurting because of the incisions,” Mylaen said. “We kinda laughed and cried.”

After the surgery, Mylaen moved in with her daughter to recuperate. The kidney sisters can’t wait to see each other at a big family reunion in Georgia this summer.

“This is what the world is about. Family. We need to stick together,” Mylaen said. “She saved my life.”

“I have a lot of love for her,” Mylaen added. “She’s a family member.”

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A Blind Taste Test Of Bourbon Whiskeys That Hit 110 Proof Or Higher

If you’re new to bourbon, the higher-proof bourbon whiskeys out there might be a little intimidating. Or not. Maybe you’re already used to 100 proof vodkas, over-proofed rums, and even absinthe. Either way, as you spend time imbibing bourbon, your palate begins to change and there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to level up to higher-proof whiskeys. Soon, 80 proof expressions will begin to taste “thin.”

Since higher-proof bourbons are often filled with nuanced and complex flavors, it takes some effort to sort the wheat from the chaff (or the kernels from the cob, as it were). To do so, I selected eight well-known bourbons that hit 110 proof and higher. The below bottles range from barrel-proof bourbons that haven’t been cut with any water to high-proof bourbons that have been cut with water but still kept those ABVs pretty high.

Since we hope that our blind taste test will make you want to do one of your own, we selected bottles that can be found at your local liquor store (although some are a little more difficult to source than others). If you don’t want to meander through the aisles, you can also click on the prices to order any of these bottles online.

Part 1: The Taste

For this blind taste test, I used the following expressions.

  • Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
  • Booker’s
  • 1792 Full Proof
  • Larceny Barrel Proof
  • Old Grand-Dad 114
  • Maker’s Mark Cask Strength
  • Wild Turkey Rare Breed
  • Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve

Let’s get this party started!

Taste 1:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

I took time to take in the scents of heavy wood char, candied orange peels, and vanilla beans before taking my first sip. There was a mineral quality to the flavor that greeted my palate immediately. This was followed by more woody flavors well as dried fruits and caramel. It ended with a nice bit of heat that reminded me “hey, it’s higher proof.”

A decent whiskey, but definitely not exceptional and almost too light.

Taste 2:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

The first thing I noticed were the scents of charred oak, spicy cinnamon candies, toasted vanilla beans, and a subtle hint of smoke. The flavor was all vanilla, caramel, charred wood, and a nice nutty sweetness that permeated throughout. The finish was long and warming.

In my notes, I wrote: “A really great sipper and one that I will definitely return to.”

Taste 3:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

This is a bold nose and I like it. There’s a lot of pepper, vanilla, and charred wood. It’s bold and brash like a high-proof bourbon should be. But it’s not too much to take in. The flavor was surprisingly complex with notes of pipe tobacco, candied orange peels, buttery caramel, and a nice herbal, warming, cracked black pepper finish.

While there was a good deal of heat, the vibrant pepper and caramel flavors make this a great sipper.

Taste 4:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

The first thing I noticed was the alcohol smell. It was pretty “in your face.” After that, there was corn sweetness, vanilla cookies, and a great deal of charred oak. The palate was better than the nose, with hints of dried fruits, vanilla beans, and a lot of spicy cinnamon. The last few sips were on par with Red Hot candies with a lot of alcohol-fueled heat.

This whiskey leaves little doubt it is high proof and that’s not such a great thing.

Taste 5:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

Although there wasn’t a ton going on with this whisky, I smelled hints of brown sugar, cinnamon, and a musty rickhouse. The palate was more of the same. There were a lot of spicy cinnamon flavors as well as a bit of caramel and vanilla. But mostly a lot of heat and just a bit of oak at the end.

Overall, not something I’d sip neat.

Taste 6:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

Nosing this whiskey revealed nostalgic caramel apples, charred wood, dried fruits, and a nice kick of vanilla. The flavor was classic bourbon with notes of Werther’s Original butterscotch candies, cinnamon sugar, and just a hint of cracked black pepper. The finish was long, lingering, and filled with warmth.

All in all, it’s a decent whiskey. I just… I feel like I need to come back and try this one again — it feels like it’s missing something.

Taste 7:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

From the initial nosing, this was by far the most aromatic. Notes of charred oak, treacle, vanilla cookies, and candied pecans are present. When I sipped it, I entered a world of vanilla beans, butterscotch candy, dried cherries, more nuts, and just a hint of spice. This easy-to-drink, mellow whiskey ends with a nice mix of heat and sweets.

It’ll be hard to top this whiskey in overall flavor.

Taste 8:

Christopher Osburn

Tasting Notes:

A lot was going on in the aroma department. First, I smelled wood char, spicy cinnamon sugar, maple candy, and toasted vanilla beans. There’s not a lot of heat on the palate. There are flavors of raisins, buttery caramel, more vanilla, and a nice kick of spicy cinnamon. The warming, cinnamon sugar flavors carry on long after your last sip.

Overall, an extremely pleasurable sip.

Part 2: The Ranking

8. Old Grand-Dad 114 — Taste 5

Old Grand-Dad

ABV: 57%

Average Price: $29

The Story:

Along with Old Overholt, the Old Grand-Dad expressions fall under the “Olds” range from Jim Beam. This high-rye bourbon is called 114 because that’s the proof (57 percent). It’s bold, filled with cinnamon heat, and highly mixable. But the flavor is a little too much to consider this bottle as a sipper.

Bottom Line:

This is the kind of bottle that people keep on hand for mixing, especially if you’re making cocktails with bold flavors. The 114 proof stands up in these cases. But I wouldn’t suggest it as a sipper and that’s why it landed so low on my list.

7. Maker’s Mark Cask Strength — Taste 1

Maker

ABV: 55.05%

Average Price: $40

The Story:

If you’re a bourbon drinker (or any type of drinker), you’ve probably had your fair share of Maker’s Mark. Its leveled-up Cask Strength version falls between 110-114 proof, depending on the batch. It’s high corn (70 percent corn, 16 percent wheat, and 14 percent barley). The lack of rye (and the wheat presence) means that even though this bourbon is fairly high in alcohol, it still has a soft, mellow flavor.

Bottom Line:

While this whiskey ranked much lower than expected, it shouldn’t really be that surprising. For the high alcohol content, this is one of the cheapest whiskeys on this list. It’s a decent sipper, but nothing to write home about.

6. 1792 Full Proof — Taste 4

1792

ABV: 62.5%

Average Price: $60

The Story:

This award-winning bourbon from 1792 doesn’t disclose its mash bill, but it’s assumed that (especially due to the flavor) that it’s around 75 percent corn. This means that, even at 125 proof, this specially filtered, rich, and decadent whiskey is as sweet as it is potent.

Bottom Line:

This whiskey had more going on with it than Maker’s Mark, but it was also a lot more potent in the heat department. I really had a tough time ranking these two. But this one beat Maker’s out because it was slightly more flavorful.

5. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof — Taste 6

Elijah Craig

ABV: 64-70%

Average Price: $79

The Story:

The highest proof in this tasting was Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. This uncut, unfiltered, bold bourbon has won numerous awards over the years and this bottle lives up to the hype, for the most part.

Bottom Line:

I’m a big fan of Elijah Craig, so I was a little bummed that this landed here. It lacked a bit of the flavor-to-heat combination that some of the higher-ranked bourbons had. Given that, I would definitely sip this one neat again and see if I enjoy it more the next time.

4. Larceny Barrel Proof — Taste 8

Larceny

ABV: 57-60%

Average Price: $70

The Story:

While this list is comprised of easier-to-find bourbons, Larceny Barrel Proof is a little trickier to find than others, depending on where you live. If you get your hands on a bottle, you’ll be treated to an award-winning, wheat bourbon that’s non-chill filtered, small-batch, barrel proof, and aged between 6 and 8 years.

Bottom Line:

Larceny has made a name for itself in the whiskey world in the last decade. While you can’t go wrong with any of the brand’s expressions, we suggest grabbing this bottle. It’s equally as great as a mixer as it is a sipper.

3. Wild Turkey Rare Breed — Taste 3

Wild Turkey

ABV: 58.4%

Average Price: $49

The Story:

This award-winning bourbon is a favorite of both bartenders and whiskey aficionados. It’s well-regarded for its reasonable price, high proof, and even higher quality. It’s uncut, robust, and surprisingly smooth for such a high-proof whiskey. It finds a place behind both amateur and professional bars due to its sippable, mixable ability.

Bottom Line:

The spicy, cinnamon, and rye flavors should appeal to both high-proof bourbon fans as well as rye whiskey aficionados. It’s great for cocktails, but we prefer sipping it in a rocks glass with a single ice cube while we enjoy the mellow, warming heat.

2. Booker’s — Taste 2

Booker

ABV: 60-65%

Average Price: $109

The Story:

When it comes to Jim Beam’s Small Batch collection, Booker’s is by far my favorite. It’s uncut, unfiltered, and cask strength. One of the most eagerly awaited whiskey releases, each new batch has its own name and specific flavor profile. The proof changes based on the batch. The 2021 version is called “Donohoe’s Batch” and it was made to pay tribute to a long-time, retired Jim Beam employee.

Bottom Line:

One of my favorite high-proof whiskeys, this expression landed on this list right where I thought it would. Even with the uncut, unfiltered, bold nature of this bourbon, it’s surprisingly smooth and very easy to sip. I definitely wouldn’t use this as a mixer.

1. Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve — Taste 7

Knob Creek

ABV: 60%

Average Price: $49

The Story:

When it comes to value, it’s difficult to beat Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve. Aged for nine years in charred, oak casks, this 120-proof whiskey is made up of hand-selected barrels that are blended together to create a nuanced, rich, easy-to-sip whiskey.

Bottom Line:

It should come as no huge surprise that this expression took the top spot (though I wouldn’t have predicted a #1 finish). Made from hand-picked barrels that are aged to perfection before being blended together to make the perfect flavor, this is a highly complex whiskey and a natural fit as a sipper.


As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

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Kevin Smith Is Assuring ‘Masters Of The Universe: Revelation’ Viewers That There Will Be Plenty Of He-Man In The Show

Last week saw the reveal of the first official teaser for Masters of the Universe: Revelation, and fans were hyped after catching a glimpse of Kevin Smith’s take on He-Man. Not many people can revive a classic cartoon and mesh it together with the Footloose soundtrack, but Smith pulled it off. However, the internet can be a double-edged sword. While the show received an overwhelmingly positive reaction on social media, disgruntled theories started cropping up about the direction that Smith was taking the show, and he was not having it.

During the latest episode of his Fatman Beyond podcast, Smith did his best to address online theories while noting that because the Masters of the Universe revival is Netflix and Mattel’s “toy,” he can only say so much. But he wanted to assure fans that the show will have plenty of He-Man despite what fan theories are suggesting. Via Comic Book:

One major rumor was that He-Man would be taking a backseat to Teela and her girlfriend, but Smith debunked that this is not the case. Noting that while the series gives Teela a major series, the show itself is “all about He-Man.”

According to Smith, a full story trailer will be released closer to the show’s premiere, and he says that will answer questions and (hopefully) clear up any confusion. “Once you see the story trailer kids, everything will make absolute sense. Anyone going like ‘I heard it’s this,’ you’re going to go, ‘Oh, I see,’” Smith said. “I can’t say that everyone will love it because some people are dug in, and feel what they feel, but I love the story trailer.”

Masters of the Universe: Revelation starts streaming July 23 on Netflix.

(Via Fatman Beyond)

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The 2021 WNBA All-Star Game Will Be Played In Las Vegas Against Team USA

The WNBA will be bringing its All-Star Game back in full in 2021, announcing on Monday that the game will be played on July 14 in Las Vegas.

The format of the game will pit All-Stars against the Team USA Basketball roster in a game that will serve as a late tune-up for the Olympic team before they depart for Tokyo. The women’s USA Basketball squad will be in Vegas for camp after the WNBA begins its Olympic break on July 11, with games against Australia and Nigeria following the WNBA All-Star game.

Fan voting for the WNBA All-Star game will begin tomorrow, June 15, at 2 p.m. ET, and conclude on June 27, with fan able to choose four backcourt and six frontcourt players.

Voting for the AT&T WNBA All-Star 2021 will tip off on Tuesday, June 15 at 2 p.m. ET and conclude on Sunday, June 27 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Fans will be able to directly impact the on-court competition by voting for up to ten (four backcourt players and six front court players) of the WNBA’s top stars at WNBA.com/vote and the WNBA App. All current WNBA players will be eligible for selection. Two “2-for-1 Days” will allow fans to have their votes count twice on Sunday, June 20 and Sunday, June 27 through WNBA.com/vote and the WNBA App voting platforms. All “2-for-1 Days” will be designated from midnight ET – 11:59 p.m. ET.

The All-Star selections will be decided by the fan vote (50 percent), player vote (25 percent), and a media vote (25 percent), with the 36 top vote-getters not on the USA Basketball roster then being selected by the coaches to fill out the 12-player non-Team USA roster.