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Wayne Mackie

Wayne Mackie

Contributing Writer for The Rock Father. Pop Culture Fan. Music Fan. Dad. Hailing from the Los Angeles area, Mackie and his family recently relocated to the Midwest.

Video games have gotten a bad rap when it comes to maintaining personal relationships. More often than not, the gamer in the relationship is considered lazy, emotionally stunted, and a bad force in society. Even though over 20% of marriages end within the first five years, couples have undoubtedly mentioned that video games impacted this final decision.

But like most good things, video games have gotten a bad reputation when people take this hobby too far. In fact, the World Health Organization has recently classified video game addiction as a type of medical issue, known as gaming disorder.

Unfortunately, hobbyist video gamers are still lumped into this category. There are plenty of people who manage to find a work-life-video game balance. It's the rotting few in a bunch of good apples that deleteriously affect society's views on gaming. Just like 59% of workers claim that communication is the biggest obstacle to success, gamers who don't communicate with their partner are apt to follow a similar path in their relationships.

In fact, it was only after playing video games with her partner that Eve Peyser's views changed.

"It took a couple of months to crack me, but my view began to change with the first game my boyfriend persuaded me to play," she explains in an interview with The New York Times. "My boyfriend's gaming never actually put a strain on our relationship, but when I started playing with him, it went from being one of his boy hobbies I could never possibly understand to an experience we could share, something that highlighted why we worked so well together."

Now, the duo is smiling more than ever. And since more than half of people agree that smiling is the most important feature as we age, finding ways to continue to smile is essential in a healthy relationship.

That being said, let's look at some of the best games to play with your partner before the cold months of winter strike.

Bomberman

Let's start with a classic: Bomberman is a co-operative game that came onto the scene over 30 years ago. It's a strategic, competitive option that relies on manipulation to trick your opponents into falling for your traps. Rounds often go quickly and there aren't too many mechanics involved, making this a fun game for just about anyone, gamer or not.

Portal 2

The first Portal game was -- quite literally -- a game-changer for puzzle games. But Portal 2 flipped the script and became the first game in the franchise to offer a two-player option. If you're a puzzle lover and want to work cooperatively with your partner to meet a common goal, this is the modern game for you.

Left 4 Dead

Everyone loves a good zombie game, right? If you're not in-tune with the online hijinks of today, this cooperative option enables players to kill zombies in campaign-mode. This allows users to save and pick up where they left off next time, a welcome change from the online games we know and love.

This popular shooter game relies on a heavy dose of cooperation in order to make it through each level. Even if you're scared of zombies, knowing your partner is at your side can make you brave enough to tackle anything -- including the witch.

Monster Prom

This lighthearted game is a welcome option after fighting zombies for a few hours. It doesn't take itself seriously, nor does it rely on serious competition to beat the game. All you need for this simulator is a good sense of humor as you navigate the ups and downs of monster dating.

Little Big Planet

This co-op game is another puzzle option. Only this time, it features cute stuffed toys that you can customize to your liking. Beat big bosses and try to make it to the end of each level without dying. Luckily, your partner can bring you back to life so you're never out of the game for too long.

Did you know that 52% of young couples claim that gaming has helped improve their relationship? Whether you want to introduce your loved one to a new hobby or find new ways to improve your teamwork, relying on video games might be the perfect option for you.

Refrigerated trailer gaskets are used inside trailers to prevent the leakage of cold air from the trailer. They are installed at the periphery of trailer body doors and vents. The global refrigerated trailer market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% from 2016 to 2022. Additionally, according to a new research report by Persistence Market Research, the entire industry is expected to reach a market value of over $30 million by the end of 2025. 

The research report explored every aspect of the global refrigerated trailer market and highlighted the fact that high demand for frozen foods and perishable goods is driving the growth of the market. When transporting perishable food, a combination of insulated packaging and dry ice will preserve food for 24 to 48 hours

Many of these trailers — and their towing trucks — are manufactured from recycled metal. Currently, about 40% of steel production across the globe is made with recycled metal. According to Truck News, truck and trailer orders could soon suffer, however, due to uncertainty stemming from the trade war with China and other political issues. 

"When you're a business decision-maker trying to decide, 'What should I be doing?' when that uncertainty enters, you say 'I'm not doing anything,'" said Eric Starks, CEO of FTR. "The market continues to be relatively healthy. We are seeing a normalization within the market." 

October will be a crucial month for the market as a whole since truck inventories are currently high, meaning retail sales all need to continue to gain steam in order to prevent unhealthy inventory for dealers. 

What's more, drivers need to focus more on safety and keeping their hauls securely inside their trailers and not all over the road. Each year, approximately 16,000 chemical spills occur from trucks, trains, and storage tanks, often when materials are being transferred. Here are some of the most notable trailer accidents that result in products dumping out of their trailers: 

  • Bell Peppers: Crates of bell peppers covered the Interstate 10 median near Milton, Florida, after a truck driver lost control of his vehicle. WKRG reports the driver said a steering malfunction caused him to veer into the median, overturn, and spill his cargo. 

  • Beer: A truck transporting Budweiser products completely overturned in Mariposa, California. 

  • Milk: Hundreds of gallons of milk mixed with about 100 gallons of diesel fuel spilled all over the New York State Thruway in Plattekill, New York, after a Mack truck swerved to avoid another vehicle and subsequently rolled down a center embankment before overturning. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation responded to the scene to clean up all the fuel and milk spillage. 

  • Potatoes: "There are no injuries, but potatoes everywhere." -- That's what was tweeted by the Hillsboro Police Department after a truck carrying lots and lots of potatoes spilled its contents across the roadway. The potato roadway incident occurred on Highway 26 in Oregon. 

This industry might not seem like it affects everyone, but it truly does. From potatoes to medical equipment, all sorts of products are carried inside these trailers and the market needs to continue to do well.

Square Enix Collective will bring Circuit Superstars, to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2020.

Circuit Superstars combines arcade-style racing with a more realistic driving model that enables new players to jump in and race, but sets a high skill ceiling for serious players looking to set the fastest laps possible. It will feature a range of on- and off-road racing categories – from rally, GT, classic cars and even trucks – all in a unique and gorgeous visual style.

Original Fire Games is a six-person team, originally started by three siblings from Mexico (Carolina, Carlos and Alberto Mastretta). Together they have a combined total of 14 years in game development, as well as more than 15 accumulated years of real motor racing experience – and it’s this experience they’ve drawn from to make an accessible game with a realistic edge.

“Over the last three decades we have seen a fascinating evolution of racing games,” says Carolina Mastretta, Director & Producer at Original Fire Games. “And these days, we can drive almost any type of car on amazing recreations of the best tracks in the world. However, we believe it’s time to try something different, and we want to do this by reviving a style that pioneered the racing genre decades ago.”

Phil Elliott, Director of Indie Publishing at Square Enix (and avid racing fan) is excited to be bringing Original Fire’s debut game on board. “Here at Square Enix Collective, we’ve been hoping to find a great racing game for some time – and we’re so happy to be working on Circuit Superstars. It’s one of those rare games that has charm and style, but also an edge to the handling that makes you strive to get better with each lap you drive.”

Wednesday, May 22 2019 13:52

GM Introduces New Carbon Fiber Truck Bed

General Motors has announced they will be beginning regular production of a carbon-fiber cargo bed in the 2019 GMC Sierra Denali and Sierra AT4. This material has not been regularly used in automotive production before and GM hopes to apply it to other vehicle models in the future.

While vehicles rely on a lot of materials and substances to be manufactured and run properly, like steel, aluminum, and oil, which is produced in more than four billion metric tons around the world every year, carbon fiber is a durable and lightweight material that is typically not used in vehicles. But with more and more regulations regarding fuel economy being introduced, GM and other automakers are having to find ways to make their larger vehicles, like trucks, more efficient.

Truck beds are typically steel and even though stainless steel can contain more than 60% post-industrial recycled material, it's still quite heavy. Switching to the CarbonPro cargo bed will shave off 62 pounds compared to traditional steel. Furthermore, when the ability to get rid of bed liners is considered, almost 100 pounds can be lost. And although it's much lighter, it still has the same impact resistance of steel.

Not only is the new cargo bed lighter, but it can be designed differently too -- the carbon fiber can be produced with molded floor cavities to help secure motorcycles safely and add extra room for cargo.

GM has been fighting the high cost of carbon fiber by using a combination of as many as 13 different materials to help improve the fuel economy of their vehicles, as well as driving performance and the overall quietness of the truck.

Experimenting with different methods, GM has found a new way to use bonding and adhesion methods to work with the expensive material -- and the automaker plans to continue working on refining the method.

According to Mark Voss, engineering group manager for GM's pickup boxes, GM had to do a lot more development and testing that is usually needed for a standard steel bed -- GM has been working on the carbon fiber box for about eight years.

"Steel boxes have been around for 100 years; you don't have to do that level of developmental work on a steel box. Once you do the production design, you validate it [by the] normal process," Voss explained.

And during tests of their new product, GM was able to show just how much better the new bed is than steel options and even Ford's choice of aluminum. GM put their work to the test, throwing sledgehammers and cinder blocks onto the carbon fiber bed, their own pickup trucks with steel beds, and the F-150. Unfortunately for Ford, some of the objects pierced right through the F-120 bed. GM engineers recorded the tests, showing that the carbon fiber beds were barely impacted by the heavy objects.

With there being about six million car accidents every year, automakers are always striving to make their vehicles more durable and safe. And the use of carbon fiber for new truck beds will increase durability, safety, and sustainability all at once.

If you own a vehicle, you should understand the importance of keeping it clean and properly maintained. Simple maintenance tasks can help you keep your car in pristine shape, saving you time and money down the line. And seeing as how something like a good cleaning can remove about 70% to 90% of the plugged ash in your truck's DPF, there are a lot of simple maintenance tasks you should be doing regularly. Let's take a look at a few of these tips so you can keep your car in good shape.

Check Your Fluids

One of the easiest things you can do to keep your car in good condition is checking and changing the fluids regularly. Your engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluids should all be checked as needed for your car. If you fail to refill or replace fluids as stated in your vehicle's manual, your car could run into some serious problems. While stainless steel pipes can last more than 100 years, fluids in your car can get dirty and sludge-like, causing the vehicle to have to work harder to run. So changing the fluids regularly will ensure your car can run smoothly.

Get New Windshield Wipers

Your windshield should be kept clean and clear so you can see properly. After all, visibility is a key component of being able to drive safely. This is why you should consider not only cleaning your windshield, but replacing your windshield wipers, too. A lot of dirt and debris can accumulate on your windshield, which can hinder your ability to see -- removing this buildup is as simple as using some glass cleaner and a paper towel. And if you have old and ripped windshield wipers, you're not going to be able to properly see when it's raining or snowing. Replacing your wipers is a low-cost and easy task that can make a big difference when you're on the road.

Keep Your Engine Clean

If you don't fully understand the inner workings of your car, that's totally fine -- you can still keep the exterior of your engine clean and in good condition. While many people focus on keeping the exterior of their vehicle in good shape, especially with the possibility of it taking up to 100 small pushes before a dent can be removed, the condition of the exterior of your engine is important as well. Debris like grease and dirt can buildup and can do quite a bit of damage if not taken care of. So invest in a good cleaner (The Rock Father™ likes Tub 'O Towels) and give your engine a gentle but thorough cleaning.

Tub 'O Towels

All of these tasks can be done quickly and easily, even if you have little to no experience working on cars. So if you have been slacking on your car maintenance, consider completing these tasks to keep your vehicle in good shape.

Top Photo: Dinocar by Ryan McGuire

Americans have always and will always love sports. Though baseball once reigned supreme and was hailed as America's pastime, football as taken over in recent years. In fact, 37% of U.S. adults say that football is their favorite sport and baseball is at its lowest point ever, with only 9%.

Plenty of off-field drama has hurt the NFL's reputation recently, but baseball, rather than capitalize on the NFL's perils, is no stranger to off-the-field drama, either.

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