Jim

Almost every day around four o-clock in the afternoon, I would smile when I heard her grunt and moan as she motioned back and forth on the swing in our backyard. I had made the backyard her wonderland. Flowers, vines, and white lights wrapped around every structure. There was a large deck which contained a pond, a wooden gazebo, and a rocky trail leading to the shed. The yard was a place of tranquility and magic. Our neighbours, a newly married couple, had two kids, a boy and a girl. Sometimes I would glance out the living room window and eye their children sneaking into the yard so that they could stare into the pond and try to catch a peak at the tiny fish.

My wife and I had two boys of our own. They were ten years older than our neighbours’ children. They were healthy, typical, teenage boys, who loved baseball and had good hearts. You could say that I saw the young couple next door as a reflection of my wife and I ten years ago. My wife also gave birth to a daughter, but there were some complications and we were told that she would not live very long. She suffered from critical brain damage. She would never learn the ability to speak or understand. She was impaired. We were told that the condition she suffered from was called cerebral palsy.

I had made the backyard for her. When we bought the home in the early nineties I chose the biggest lot on the street. I was determined to make a place for her, determined to see her smile each day. The doctor had told us that her mental capacity would never grow beyond one of a young child. She would motion back and forth; she would never grow out of her swing.

Like the garden, she required a lot of attention, and I was willing to care for both. It is only now that I am afraid I will not be able to care for her anymore. Six months prior to today, I had met with our family doctor who had more news to share; this time it was about me. I have been diagnosed with a cancer, which currently has no identified cause or cure. I have been undergoing treatment, but as I feel my life slip from my grasp, I worry about the garden; I worry about her. When I close my eyes I see her swinging, at age five, seven, nine, fourteen, twenty-one, thirty-two… I want to be there to love her; I want to watch her grow.

I lie in the hospital bed; I am surrounded by white walls and patients in blue gowns. The doctors are constantly in a hurry, and the dilated pupils of every visitor appear vividly distinct. I stare into these black tunnels, which extend so far back that they do not suggest an end. Everyone is distant; everyone is afraid of getting too close.

But then I hear her, unfazed, melodic and radiant. I close my eyes again, and see the sparkle and life of the garden, and the sun’s beams bouncing off her golden hair. Her light reaches me in times of darkness. I can see her light at the end of the tunnel. I close my eyes one more time and everything goes black.

I never did hear her swing again.

Three Matches To Watch from Starladder XIII LAN Finals Groups

Starladder XIII LAN Finals kicked off Friday in Kiev, Ukraine with Team EnVyUs, Natus Vincere, HellRaisers, FlipSid3 Tactics, Gamers2 and Gplay competing for a $50,000 prize pool. With unexpected wins from Gamers2 and Gplay off the tournament favourites, Day 1 ended with shattered expectations. To get a sense of how these teams are performing, here are some key matches to keep in mind going into Day 2 of the tournament:

http://www.thescoreesports.com/csgo/news/2463

Get On My Level 2015: Highlights from Melee Singles

goml

From May 30-31, the Canadian player-led video game organization Even Matchup Gaming hosted the largest Canadian Super Smash Bros. event in history. In Melee Singles, Hungrybox, asserted his dominance over the tournament, but there was also impressive play from Canadian KirbyKaze, fan-favourite SAUS and runner-up Hax$.

You can read what happened here:

http://www.thescoreesports.com/news/2223

First update of 6.84: 6.84c

With The International less than three months away, IceFrog has rushed the 6.84 patch update, nerfing many of the popular picks of the Summit 3 Tournament that took place last weekend. The changes affected Wisp, Gyro, Bristleback, Drow Ranger, Brood Mother, Undying and Chen, s4, and gold and experience gained from kills.

A full list of changes can be found on Valve’s official Steam release.

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Press Start 2015 – Super Smash Bros. Melee Tournament: C9 Mang0 Defeats Fly Amanita

Mang0 tears his way from Losers Round 1 and goes all the way to Grand Finals in MacD’s Press Start Smash Tournament, taking place in Southern California over the weekend. There were 232 entrants, which included three out of the top five Melee players, all competing for a prize pool of $10,000.

The format of the tournament was a bit different from most others. As opposed to the top 8 being best-of-fives, the whole top 32 would have these sets. The round-robin pools that took place on Saturday led to very unexpected brackets for Day 2.

After Round 1, Cloud9’s Mang0 was sent to the Loser’s Bracket for not showing up on time, along with two other top players S2J, arguably the best Captain Falcon main, and Hax, who is known for being an extremely technical Fox player. Fly Amanita and MVG’s Axe faced in the Winner’s Finals with Fly winning. Instead of Axe playing Pikachu, his main throughout the tournament, he opted for his known secondary, Young Link, against Fly’s Ice Climbers. Axe, feeling more comfortable on Young Link for the match up, stuck with him all five games.

It was an unexpected Winner’s Finals considering that three of the top five players Melee players and TSM’s Leffen were all competing. Other upsets occurred when COG/MVG’s Mew2King met Leffen in Round 2 of the Winner’s Bracket. Although the last two times they played, Leffen had the better of Mew2King; prior to Apex 2015, M2K always had his number. Leffen took MewTwo King 3-1, sending M2K to the Loser’s Bracket in Round 2; an early descent for the King of the Mews.

Leffen went on to face MIOM’s SFAT; the pairing that have been at odds over twitter recently. While SFAT was victorious in precious money matches, Leffen was the favoured to win, but he lost 3-2. Leffen, along with Mewtwo King and HungryBox (who lost to Lucky 3-2 in a close set) were all sent to the Loser’s Bracket.

Mang0 is known for having impressive Loser’s Bracket runs when he drops sets early, but today he completely dominated with wins on Jace (3-0), westballz (3-0), Hax (3-1), Leffen (3-0), Shroomed (3-0), Lucky (3-1), HungryBox (3-0) and Axe (3-1).

Leffen’s loss to Mang0 was a huge disappointment for arguably the sixth best player (and the only player outside of the top five to have taken sets off them), especially after recently beating Mang0 in the winner’s semis at Apex 2015 in a high-stake $1000 money match.

In the Grand Finals, which would have been the first-round matchup had Mang0 shown up on time, Mang0 won the first set 3-0 to reset the bracket, and then he also won the final set 3-0. Mang0, who hasn’t placed this high all year, showed the Smash world that he isn’t slipping as he lived up to his title of number one, only dropping three games in all of the Round 32.

Link to Bracket:
http://challonge.com/PSLmeleeTop32

Roshan

In Dota 2, the Roshan pit is located by the bottom rune. It has a radius of 1000 in length and 250-300 in width. Unlike other areas of the map, the means of seeing into the pit are limited. For the most part, to gain vision inside the Roshan pit, one must enter it. Hero vision does not extend within the pit and Observer Wards and Sentry Wards can not be placed inside it.

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Pure Damage

Pure damage is one of the three main types of damage in Dota 2. Like all types of damage, pure damage does not affect invulnerable units. The only exception to invulnerability is direct HP removal.

Pure damage is unique in the sense that fully ignores armor and damage block. It is also not reduced or amplified by magic resistance. For the most part, the damage inflicted by pure damage remains constant (making it easier to calculate than other damage types). There are only a few passive and active abilities that interact with pure damage, either reducing or amplifying it. Abilities that interfere are those that specifically target all damage types.

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The Restrictive That and the Non-Restrictive Which

The relative pronouns that and which are used to introduce relative clauses. That is used to introduce a restrictive/defining clause, whereas which, is used to introduce a non-restrictive/non-defining clause.

A restrictive clause provides information that is crucial to the meaning of the sentence, whereas non-restrictive clauses provide supplementary information:

Her scarf that is red is missing.

Her scarf, which is red, is missing.

In the first example, that is red identifies which scarf is being referred to: the red scarf is missing, not the blue or green one. In the second example, the colour of the scarf can be omitted and the meaning of the sentence will remain intact. Another important distinction displayed in these examples is that when using the relative pronoun which, commas offset the non-restrictive clause.

In North America, that and which are often used interchangeably when introducing a relative clause, but grammarians and critics’ opinions differ when it comes to whether breaking the grammatical rule is acceptable (Ruvinsky 149). Goold Brown’s 1851 work, The Grammar of English Grammars, is one of the earliest sources documenting proper usage of the two words. Goold explains how that is more appropriately taken in a restrictive sense, and how clear writing depends on the different usages these words usually convey (Goold 292).

One of Goold’s key methods on distinguishing between restrictive and non-restrictive clauses in general, is dependant “solely upon the insertion or the omission of a comma” (291). Thus, it is easy to understand how, by simply omitting the commas, which can be used to convey the restrictive sense. Many educated professionals suggest that using that and which in this exclusive manner does not reflect current North-American practice and the choice “for restrictive clauses is strictly a matter of style” as “many writers and speakers would find no difference between” them (Coghill, Magedanz 52). Although this point is true for British English, where both that and which are acceptable when introducing a restrictive clause, North American guides, such as The Chicago Manual of Style, continue to avoid the use of which in the restrictive sense (6.22 Restrictive and Nonrestrictive). In the manual’s section entitled “Good Usages Versus Common Usages”, a distinction is made between how style guides determine the language acceptable for print, from how words are commonly used and presented in dictionaries. To follow correct usage of which, it is only used restrictively when it is preceded by a preposition (5.22 Good Versus Common). In my opinion, following this standard of writing is important for print culture, but especially for law and politics. Examine William Safire’s examples of that and which usage in the article “On Language; The Wicked Witch and the Comma”, published in the New York Times:

He deep-sixed the evidence that was incriminating.

He deep-sixed the evidence, which was incriminating (Safire).

In the first example the restrictive clause is introduced by the word that and it is not offset by commas. It is clear that the evidence is incriminating.  In the second example, the non-restrictive clause begins with which and is separated by commas; “it is the fact that he deep-sixed it, not the evidence itself, that was incriminating” (Safire). The difference in meanings is drastic and in the extreme case, a person can go to jail over the difference (Safire). In Safire’s article, he also remarks on misuses of the word prominent in culture. For instance, when President Reagan jokingly stated during a radio sound check in 1984, ”my fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever”, he meant to use that, denoting a restrictive clause, but if what was meant was separated by a comma, it would have a different meaning entirely (Safire). Therefore, although in writing, punctuation is strong indicator to whether which is introducing a restrictive or non-restrictive clause, in speech especially, this distinction is not nearly as evident.

The grammatical difference between that (as restrictive) and which (as non-restrictive), is important for clarity of speech and writing, and in my opinion, it also complements the natural flow of speech. The soft sound of that connects additional information naturally, whereas the stress on which, benefits from the comma break preceding it.