Categories
Art NFT

August 31’s NF3 Recap: Loot, Adam Bomb Squad and Dotdotdots

The final day of the month is shaping up to be a big one in the world of NFTs. In this edition of NF3, we’d like to address two extremely hyped projects in the space, and one relative sleeper—with some very cool art—that’s been picking up traction on OpenSea. If you’re just tuning in, make sure to check out the last edition of NF3.

This article does not constitute formal financial advice. Always do your own research before investing.

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1. Adam Bomb Squad Reveal Tonight at 9pm PST

The Adam Bomb Squad team revealed in their Discord channel that they would finally reveal the meta data and artwork for each bomb on Tuesday, August 31st, 4 days after the initial drop. In the days between, they’ve been hard at work conducting giveaways and continuing to build up the already massive community around the project.

Although the floor for the project peaked near .5 ETH in the days since the launch, tonight is when it all really starts. We’ll finally be able to see all of the bombs and determine which iterations are the most valuable; this is just the beginning.

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2. Loot (for Adventurers) is an Insanely Cool NFT Experiment

Ultimately, all NFT projects are just meta data and a list of attributes. That’s the genius of Loot. Rather than attempting to put different characteristics into an image of some sort, the team behind Loot just gives you the list. “Stats, images, and other functionality are intentionally omitted for others to interpret. Feel free to use Loot in any way you want.”

Third party apps have emerged to create digital renderings of your Loot, but these are supplemental. The generic nature of the tokens has encouraged numerous creators to create renditions of their text in more artistic forms. The project encourages artistic expression. The floor for the project has eclipsed 3 ETH on OpenSea and seems to still be trending upwards. After all, what are NFTs if not just lists?

3. A Sleeper: Dotdotdots
https://opensea.io/assets/0xce25e60a89f200b1fa40f6c313047ffe386992c3/4342
dotdotdot 4342 owned by Logan Larkin

There are so many projects released every single day that it becomes difficult to include everything interesting in this recap. Once in a while, something emerges from the fray. At this time, there is almost no info about Dotdotdots, except for a cryptic OpenSea description and the artwork.

The art, which seems to take inspiration from Hayao Miyazaki and other classic anime artwork, speaks for itself. We wanted to include it in this list simply because of how beautiful the artwork is, and collectors seem to be responding. Dotdotdots were up to mint today for .05 ETH directly from the contract, and the initial run of 4360 dotdotdots sold out. Don’t sleep on the little guy.

Other cool stuff:

This project MekaVerse has built such an insane amount of hype in a mere few days with almost no information surrounding the collection.

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I think most of the followers, like myself, were wowed by the art style and excited about the prospect of a mech-based NFT project, as mechs are one of the most beloved pieces of technology in all of sci-fi. Launch date seems to be somewhere in late September.

The official Christie’s twitter account finally announced the sale of a full set of Curio Cards during their October 1st sale, entitled, “Post-War to Present.”

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Every day, more celebrities and athletes get the NFT fever. A personal favorite of mine is this tweet from Javale McGee, who appears to be getting in the game.

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Welcome to the game Javale.

Categories
Culture Music

Yung Kayo is a 17-Year-Old Star in the Making

In today’s hip-hop scene, there are several different monikers that use some form surrounding the word ‘young’. While rappers like Young Thug, Young Dolph, or Yung Bleu, just to name a few, may have some form of the word ‘young’ in their name does not make them young. That’s where Yung Kayo steps in, a seventeen-year-old rapper signed to Young Stoner Life Records (YSL Records) and taken under his wing by hip-hop mogul Young Thug. 

Kayo’s musical journey began back in 2017 as a member of 40 Boyz, a rap group from the DMV. In 2019, at only the age of 15, he caught the attention of sevensevenseven, an independent record label. Just one year later, Kayo would sign with YSL Records under the wing of Young Thug. Since then, both Young Stoner Life Records and sevensevenseven have split the rights on the releases. 

In July, Kayo released work in progress, a five-track EP with an eleven-minute and thirty-five-second run time. In “don’t miss”, also featuring YSL signee Yak Gotti, the song has a very gritty and aggressive beat complimented by their authentic and their cutting-edge vocals. The song’s muddy 808s and distorted arpeggiator melody make this song stand out the second you hit play. In “cause + effect”, the beat also features a twisting distorted melody, reminiscent of a retro arcade game’s soundtrack. Nonetheless, Kayo takes full advantage of the beat, using the full spectrum to capture the attention of the listener. One song that really stands within this project is “new world”. This is due to the song showing Kayo’s skills pertaining to rapping and singing alike. 

Check out the EP below! 

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Following signing with YSL Records, Kayo made appearances in Young Stoner Life’s Slime Language 2, a project that put the YSL artist’s in the spotlight. Kayo was featured in Young Thug’s “Proud of You” alongside Lil Uzi Vert. The song quickly became popular, gaining over fifteen million streams since it’s release. Furthermore, Kayo was featured in “GFU” with Yak Gotti and Sheck Wes, receiving over three million streams. The album would eventually chart, reaching number one on the Billboard’s Top 200 and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

Kayo has also released singles such as “bstroy socks,” “tell me,” and “U N I,” among others, with YSL. These songs show the different sub-genres and themes that can be found throughout hip-hop. This is beneficial for the young artist, as these songs show that he is still working on refining and solidifying his sound; a promising sign at a young age. 

Be sure to tune into Yung Kayo below! 

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Categories
Gaming NFT

Coin Artist and the History of Plasma Bears

With more NFT projects releasing every day than all of the projects released in 2017-2018 combined, there are some hidden gems created by OGs involved in NFTs before there was a marketplace for them.

In a recent discovery on Twitter by many anonymous and notable collectors, Blockade Game’s Plasma Bears resurfaced with newfound enthusiasm.

To buyers and collectors alike, the enthusiasm is opening a door to NFT history that ties together some of the first NFT creators and developers on the blockchain ecosystem.

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I had the pleasure of speaking with Marguerite deCourcelle, aka Coin Artist, who is the CEO and Co-founder of Blockade Games and Neon District. A seven-year veteran of the cryptocurrency industry, deCourcelle has created crypto puzzles dating back to 2014. In August 2021, she was named to Fortune Magazine’s NFTy 50, a curated list of top influential builders, creatives, and influencers in the NFT space. She famously tokenized herself, creating the first social experiment of a collaborative governance of the Coin Artist ecosystem. She has spoken at Google and NASA in addition to appearing in CNBC, Forbes, CoinDesk, and more. 

She had always been an early investor in the crypto community: “In our family, we were into gaming, we had these GPUs from my brother who had some leftover from his time at Carnegie Mellon, and we started mining bitcoin. And from there I learned about decentralized networks and distribution.” From there, deCourcelle went on to develop a variety of projects, including “crypto puzzles” in 2014 where she embedded private keys into both physical and digital experiences. “At the time, I was doing it for educational purposes only and I gave away a lot of money,” she tells me. 

“I worked in different programs, and that’s where I found my CTO, Ben—who solved [a crypto-puzzle created by Zden]. And I watched him solve it.” From there, she told me that “the next step wasn’t to just launch Blockade, but to build something even bigger then crypto-puzzles.” 

Plasma Bears emerged as a blockchain game in early 2019 for the larger vision that deCourcelle had in mind. 

The parent company behind Plasma Bears is Blockade Games, which was founded in 2018 to create free-to-play NFT games and immersive, gamified experiences that leverage blockchain tech. Blockade Games also developed Neon District and Pineapple Arcade.

The team behind Blockade Games and Plasma Bears is full of crypto veterans, including CTO and Co-founder Ben Heidorn, Lead Artist & Co-founder Diego Rodriguez, Art Director Kyle Chivers, Game Designer Dave Smith, and Executive Producer Chris Chapman.

“Ben is a total rock star, and he’s never given up,” she tells me as she explains how Heidorn worked through a lot of the struggles the project faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the team lost a two million dollar deal that was supposed to support the development of Blockade Games through the market crash. “He worked on Ledger of Szabo, a game within Pineapple Arcade—which was the first time using the Bitcoin lightning network to mint NFTs on Ethereum, and created the first gateway for the NFT transfers.” 

Rodriguez is also one of the earliest artists to ever utilize blockchain technology, and has been working with deCourcelle since 2016. His works dates back even further, as he was one of Bitcoin Magazine’s earliest highlighted artists back in 2014.

Plasma Bears were launched as a prototype for Neon District, intended to test out advanced new technologies enabled by Ethereum. “We had been waiting for a metadata type token, and when Crypto Kitties launched, we launched within a week.” It also incorporated artwork from some of the earliest crypto artists, in addition to development, story-telling and direction from some of the earliest innovators in the NFT space, including: dhtenshi, mysterious animator, Zden, ilã, hellocatfood, XCOPY, Psyklon, Cr0wn_Gh0ul, coin_artist, cybourgeoisie, m3mnoch, plinq, ty13r, JTobcat, Red Suirrel Tech, Sarah Gray and Randall Kanna.

Plasma bears were created with a free-to-play format and had no gas fees, which attracted a lot of players. Within six weeks, over 300,000 NFTs were created. However, you could play without having a wallet, which is why only 1500 original assets from the Plasma Bears game exist. “I lost my bears when the side chain we had built the game on top of shut down,” deCourcelle tells me. “I wasn’t given a warning by the people who were running that blockchain network, and so I had not transferred the bears. When the network was dying, I tried to send two of my special bears through, but the transaction never confirmed.”

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You can see the original Reddit post here.

The Bears were originally on the Loom network, which shut down unexpectedly. “A lot of people lost their bears, myself included,” deCourcelle explains. Players could bridge their Plasma Bears over to Ethereum, but due to gas fees and lack of market activity, very few people moved them over. However, once the game shut down and the sidechain bridge was closed, the opportunity for players to retrieve their bears ended. “The bridge worked perfectly, but the bears were lost on the side chain for everyone who didn’t transfer the ones they wanted to keep.” At the time, you were able to play the game to find different bear parts and combine them to create new complete bears: “each time you found a new bear part it was like a lottery and you never knew what you were going to get, and each one had so much personality.” The utility of merging different assets through a form of amputation is what made the game so desirable. “My sister was COO of Blockade for a while, and her daughter was playing it. That’s how user-friendly it was.”

The first bear that went through the bridge.

The last bear that made it through the transfer.

Currently, the bears are available on Opensea, but there is no clear picture of what will happen to each bear and the limbs that are currently incomplete, and it might stay that way. “Each skin is a snapshot of what they looked like before they were transferred over. There are a ton of possibilities of what we do with them.” 

The combination utility that Plasma Bears introduced goes on to inspire new creators and is one of the many historical reasons that gives Plasma Bears their significance. Because of the importance of the project, many collectors are collecting parts of Bears and complete Bears. 

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GaryVee is one of the notable people buying the Plasma Bears. Vitalik Buterin, the Founder of Ethereum, was gifted a custom bear as an early gift in the project. Logan Paul bought a bear on the secondary market for 23ETH.

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Much like Plasma Bears, Tom Sachs Rocket Factory is a popular NFT that recently gained a ton of traction for the combination utility each NFT has; owner can assemble three parts of a rocket to make a complete rocket NFT. Stated in their medium article, a Rocket is composed of three Component NFTs: a Nose Cone, a Body, and a Tail Assembly. A Nose Cone, a Body, and a Tail Assembly may be combined to form a Completed Rocket NFT. The Component NFTs are burned, and a Completed Rocket NFT is minted.

Blockade Games has also developed an entire RPG called Neon District, which is one of the earliest NFT gaming ecosystems and is also free-to-play. It is currently undergoing its most recent update. “We have been working on Neon District since January 2018, and the concept art began in October 2017.” With each project deCourcelle works on, she wants to “create a space where anyone has an opportunity in the new global economy we are building.”

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Categories
Culture News

This Week In TikTok: Taking It Back To 2007

What in the world is going on in the land of TikTok this week? We’re not sure if we’ll ever be able to predict the direction trends and challenges will go, but we can give you an update on what is happening in the present time. When we first started doing these roundups in January, the majority of what we were seeing on the platform were dance and transformation challenges. In the seven month since, TikTok has evolved immensely and the trends for this week are a reflection of just how interactive and creative the app can be. As we start to turn the corner into the fall and winter seasons, these challenges are slowly transitioning from outdoors to indoors. Here is some of the action taking place on the app in case you want to participate.

<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/@helaasamelie\/video\/6998117681941564678" data-video-id="6998117681941564678" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@helaasamelie" href="https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/@helaasamelie">@helaasamelie<\/a> 20 years of marriage is real apparently\u2764\ufe0f <a title="pov" target="_blank" href="https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/tag\/pov">#pov<\/a> <a title="love" target="_blank" href="https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/tag\/love">#love<\/a> <a title="fyp\u30b7" target="_blank" href="https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/tag\/fyp%E3%82%B7">#fyp\u30b7<\/a> <a target="_blank" title="\u266c Like I Can - Sam Smith" href="https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/music\/Like-I-Can-242193381597327360">\u266c Like I Can - Sam Smith<\/a> <\/section> <\/blockquote> ","hed1. "Like I Can"- Sam Smith</code>
1. “Like I Can”- Sam Smith

Taking it all the way back to 2014, TikTokers are bringing back Smith’s single “Like I Can” from his album In The Lonely Hour.  Sam Smith is an artist full of depth, and creates songs that can bring back the memories and last a lifetime. The only requirement of this challenge is to share moments with your loved ones. So you could show off family photos, do a duet with relatives, or just simply record yourself singing along. It’s up to you!

<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/@slut4jooooliiienn\/video\/6999465678633766150" data-video-id="6999465678633766150" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@slut4jooooliiienn" href="https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/@slut4jooooliiienn">@slut4jooooliiienn<\/a> <p>it starts off with the black ones bestie<\/p> <a target="_blank" title="\u266c Life Is Strife - Jreg" href="https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/music\/Life-Is-Strife-6981515329373472769">\u266c Life Is Strife - Jreg<\/a> <\/section> <\/blockquote> ","hed2. \u201cLife Is Strife\u201d- Jreg</code>
2. “Life Is Strife”- Jreg

Life can indeed be strife. For this challenge, creators are making unique videos using on-screen text to highlight something disturbing. You have the power of imagination with this one, and it really depends on what you personally find to be “disturbing.” One TikTok user made a video in clown makeup (some people actually find clowns to be disturbing), while another made a video listing all of their mother’s nagging traits (if you guys listen to your mom the first time around she wouldn’t have to “nag,” but we digress). Again this can be freestyle so it’s up to you.

<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/@neverthatdeep\/video\/6998963466916662534" data-video-id="6998963466916662534" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@neverthatdeep" href="https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/@neverthatdeep">@neverthatdeep<\/a> <p>Concealer as lipstick??<\/p> <a target="_blank" title="\u266c Like a Boy - Ciara" href="https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/music\/Like-a-Boy-242459444368871424">\u266c Like a Boy - Ciara<\/a> <\/section> <\/blockquote> ","hed3. \u201cLike A Boy\u201d - Ciara</code>
3. “Like A Boy” – Ciara

Boy this is a throwback! You had to have been around in 2007 to know just how huge this song was (it’s one of Ciara’s biggest hits and one of her most successful music videos), but if you weren’t, then this TikTok challenge is the next best thing. Apparently there are two trends associated with this song: Creators imagining what things would be like if they “acted like a boy,” and text message arguments with a partner that end in a fake image as the punchline. Most are going with the former as a tribute to the video where Ciara reenacts relationship scenarios as a man. Pretty cool if you ask us.

Categories
Sports Strength

Patrick Mouratoglou’s Ride to Coaching the Top Tennis Player Ever

To understand how Patrick Mouratoglou found himself coaching Serena Williams you’d first have to comprehend where he came from and his genuine love for tennis.

Like many children, Mouratoglou struggled with his mental health when he was young, but given the time that he grew up in it wasn’t openly accepted to express those emotions. 

The Frenchman struggled in school and often felt anxious around others, but the place in which Mouratoglou felt solace was on the tennis court.

His love for the game quickly overtook his daily life and for that reason, Mouratoglou really credits the sport for “saving” him from a different and less fulfilled life.

“I remember the tennis court being the only place I felt safe,” Mouratoglou told ONE37pm. “I knew I didn’t fit in with a lot of the other kids, but every time I held the racket I felt like I could be something … that I was something.

“I wanted to be great, and from an early age I knew I had the chance to be extremely good at tennis.”

Unfortunately for Mouratoglou though, his parents didn’t share the same vision for him in the sport. Despite regularly practicing for hours each day and continuing to grow into a formidable youth player, his family believed pursuing a career in tennis wasn’t in Mouratoglou’s best interest.

After years of resentment and anger over giving up his dream of playing professionally, Mouratoglou shifted his attention to something even more fulfilling; coaching.

Despite having no experience in the space, Mouratoglou challenged himself to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to start his own business through his tennis academy at the age of 26.

Through years of hard work and processing the relationships that need to be built to succeed in the business, Mouratoglou steadily began to establish himself in the tennis world, securing valuable clients like Marcos Baghdatis, Laura Robson and Gregor Dimitrov.

Then, in 2012, Mouratoglou received a call from an unexpected player; Serena Williams.

Patrick Mouratoglou

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little surprising. She’s the greatest player to ever play the sport. She was obviously going through a lot at that time and it was a huge honor for me to be the one she called.

At that time, Williams had already amassed 13 major trophies in her career, however, she was in the midst of a dry spell that lasted over two years without a major victory.

Mouratoglou recalled a conversation he had with Williams at Wimbledon in 2012, a moment that served as a crucial point in time for the renaissance of the second half of her career.

“I was eating at one of the restaurants in Wimbledon and Serena ran up to me out of nowhere,” Mouratoglou said. “She was very excited and said to me ‘if I reach the next round I’ll jump back up to third in the world in the rankings.’

“I’m thinking to myself this is ridiculous and my response was so what? I don’t remember her even responding to me.

“Later that day I get a text from her apologizing for her comment and losing sight of her vision for herself as a champion.”

Williams ended her drought that tournament by winning Wimbledon and has gone on to win 10 majors since asking Mouratoglou to be her coach.

One aspect of Mouratoglou’s coaching that he always likes to instill in his players and the other coaches at his academy is that catering to each player is the most critical aspect of their jobs.

“I saw Serena and knew that she was already great,” Mouratoglou said. “Everyone knew how great she’s been her entire career, but she needed a reminder of her talents.

“It’s easy to lose sight of that when you go through the rough times, but my job is to make sure I’m reminding my players of what they can achieve no matter how challenging it is to get to that point.”

Although Williams isn’t able to compete at this year’s U.S. Open — currently taking place in Flushing, NY — Mouratoglou has a busy two weeks ahead as he coaches three players at this year’s tournament, including Stefanos Tsitsipas, Coco Gauff and Holger Rune.

While Tsitsipas and Gauff have significant expectations of reaching the later rounds and potentially winning the American major, Rune’s story is actually quite interesting.

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He’ll face the top-ranked player in the world on Tuesday in Novak Djokovic after qualifying for the U.S. Open last week.

At the age of 18, Rune is currently ranked 145th in the world. His career is only getting started, but Mouratoglou says he believes the match will serve as a significant learning experience for the young Dane. 

For players like Tsitsipas and even Rune, there’s a unique opportunity presenting itself at this U.S. Open and future tournaments. 

Tennis is at a crossroads as the sport’s biggest names begin to age, especially on the men’s side with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. 

The two greats continue to battle injuries and that’s opened the door for another legend, Novak Djokovic, to pursue the all-time record for majors.

There’s a clear opening in this next generation though, with Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev leading the charge as players only in their early-to-mid 20s.

For nearly two decades, Djokovic, Federer and Nadal have dominated the sport on the men’s side, winning a significant share of the titles since 2000. 

In fact, from 2010 to present, only four other players have recorded wins at a major championship for eight out of a possible 46 titles.

Mouratoglou recognizes the need for change in tennis as the sport desperately craves a younger audience and that’s why he created Ultimate Tennis Showdown.

The concept includes a condensed version of a traditional tennis match, with a 45-minute limit on each match and a variety of unique ways for younger viewers to become more engaged.

“I wanted to create something that brings a younger audience,” Mouratoglou said. “There aren’t as many young people watching tennis as there used to be and part of that is how long matches are.

“Roughly 15 percent of tennis matches actually involve the ball being in play. That’s way too much down time between points and it really hurts the sport because people lose interest quickly.”

While some may see UTS as a challenger to the traditional ATP and WTA Tours, Mouratoglou wants everyone to know that his goal isn’t to compete with the existing professional circuits.

Matthias Hangst / Staff

UTS utilizes a 15-second serve clock to speed up down time between points as well as allowing coaches to become more involved in assisting their players.

“One of the biggest issues I think that happens in tennis is the lack of coaching that’s actually allowed,” Mouratoglou said. “In traditional matches, you’re very far away from your player and can’t really communicate.

“You simply don’t see that in other sports. All of my work comes with the preparation I have with my players because once they step out on the court it makes it very hard to help them when they’re playing.”

All matches from UTS can be streamed directly through the organization’s website.

Categories
Sports Strength

Demarai Gray Lifts Everton With Strong Early-Season Performances

Rafa Benitez inherited several talented attackers when he took over at English Premier League club Everton, but one of his most surprising players in the early stages of the new season has been a new face on Merseyside. 

Demarai Gray scored his second league goal of the season in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion, continuing his strong start back in England. Gray was acquired this summer from Bayer Leverkusen and has been one of the club’s early contributors through four matches in all competitions. 

The England international didn’t look set for a return to the EPL after an average six months with Leverkusen, but is proving doubters wrong so far.

“It’s always good to get a win before the international break and it’s been a great start for us,” said Gray post match at the Amex Stadium. “With the players we’ve got, we’ve used everyone very well — the chemistry is good and I think over the season we are going to continue progressing.

“We train at a good tempo and it is very detailed. We feel comfortable [in our roles]. We have a good structure and that’s what the manager has drilled into us.”

Gray delivered his first goal for the club in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Leeds United, sliding a shot into the bottom corner from the left side of the Leeds box. Saturday’s goal was a similar effort at Brighton, this time beating Robert Sanchez to the bottom corner with another left-footed strike. 

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The 25-year-old fell out of favor with Leicester City last season before earning a permanent move to the Bundesliga. After only one goal and two assists in 12 league outings, Gray moved back to England and now could force his way back into the England picture ahead of a busy period of World Cup Qualifying. 

Gray has partnered nicely with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison in the Toffees attack and admits the speed of the group has played a vital role so far this summer.

“For my goal, we defended well and then we countered,” Gray said. “Running at speed and taking it on the outside makes it difficult for the defender. I did that and I’m happy to score.”

“We’ve got speed up top. For me, it’s about being direct. We’ve got to score to win games and going forward we’re very dangerous. I’m very confident, with the attackers we’ve got, we will create chances and score goals.”

Gray’s involvement in the club will only improve as Everton aims to stay near the top of the league table. Wins over Southampton, Leeds United, and Brighton & Hove Albion aren’t the most glamorous results, but the Toffees still have nine points out of nine and have also advanced in the Carabao Cup. 

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The speedy winger will only earn more opportunities as the season goes on, especially if he continues to deliver goals for his new club. Everton heads into the two-week international break full of confidence before returning to action with matches against Burnley, Aston Villa, and Norwich City. 

Everton will be favored to continue its hot run to the new season and Gray will hope to be at the forefront of those beliefs. 

“Demarai is a young player who needed to be more consistent, he is at the beginning [of his Everton career] but he has done well,” said Benitez. “He has the quality to make a difference, it is just to make sure that mentally he is strong enough to continue in the same way he is now.

“I tell him so many times, he’s done nothing yet, he has to carry on training well, and if he does, he has the ability to influence games. He is working hard in training sessions, he is improving and has more confidence and is always pushing to play. It is nice when you have players who want to be on the pitch and train how Demarai does, so the manager selects him.”

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The Biggest Games Releasing in September 2021

Gamers – it’s time all of you guys and gals made sure your checking accounts are well prepared. Because the month of September kicks off the usual fall season gaming avalanche. This month has it all – major AAA releases, AA projects that have the potential to be great, and indie titles that might end up capturing everyone’s imagination. Here are all of the monumental video game releases and ports that are dropping in September. Chances are there’s something on this list that you’re dying to play!

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/E1EHQKECRdE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>\n","hedF.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch - September 7 (PS5, PS4, PC - Steam)</code>
F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch – September 7 (PS5, PS4, PC – Steam)

The recent trend of Chinese development studios producing commendable gaming projects is inspiring. We already know how strong the catalog of games is from Japanese game studios, so it’s nice to see the Chinese territory stepping their game up to match theirs. F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch comes from one of those up-and-coming Chinese game studios – it features a badass anthropomorphic bunny that bashes enemies with a mechanical arm. You’ll explore the game’s steampunk world via an engrossing Metroidvania formula. FI.S.T. has the potential to be this month’s sleeper hit, for sure.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RfdOsDjIKQE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>\n","hedSonic Colors: Ultimate - September 7 (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC - Steam)</code>
Sonic Colors: Ultimate – September 7 (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

Sonic the Hedgehog’s 30th anniversary is being celebrated this year through the remastered re-release of one of his best modern games. Sonic Colors: Ultimate revitalizes the Wii classic by improving its already strong visuals, adding in a host of quality of life improvements, and throwing in some additional gameplay features. The new “Rival Rush” mode lets players race through certain levels against Metal Sonic, Sonic can now equip custom gear, and there’s a new Wisp power in play called the “Jade Ghost.”

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SOeB_LXeV4c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>\n","hedLife is Strange: True Colors - September 10 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC - Steam, Google Stadia)</code>
Life is Strange: True Colors – September 10 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam, Google Stadia)

Even though developer Dontnod Entertainment isn’t working on the latest entry in the Life is Strange series, there’s really no reason to be worried about it. Deck Nine’s work on Life is Strange: True Colors looks to be just as memorable and enjoyable as the previous entries in the graphic adventure series. The main character you’ll take control of this time around is Alex Chen, a young woman that has a unique ability – the power to experience the emotions of others. She’ll have to rely on this ability if she has any hope of getting to the bottom of her brother’s passing. Prepare yourself for a full experience on day one with this new Life is Strange game and get ready to get hit hard right in the feels during its heavy heart-tugging moments.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OcUzwnA569M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedNBA 2K22 - September 10 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC - Steam)</code>
NBA 2K22 – September 10 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

Now that we’ve entered the month of September, that can only mean one thing – the newest version of NBA 2K is on the horizon. This year’s rendition of digital hoops features the same signature basketball sim mechanics and modes that fans have already poured hundreds (thousands?) of hours into. NBA 2K22’s is definitely devoted to strengthening its WNBA suite – a brand new progression system for the ladies called The W lets you have even more control over your lady baller’s career. So as a fan of both the NBA and WNBA, you’ll have the best of both worlds at your fingertips in NBA 2K22.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7aZTPyWIa58" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>\n","hedTales of Arise - September 10 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC - Steam)</code>
Tales of Arise – September 10 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

Tales of Arise looks like it’s set to push Bandai Namco’s JRPG series forward and make the franchise as a whole more of a mainstream property. And by the looks of it, those goals are certainly attainable. This highly anticipated JRPG takes place within a world that features two medieval realms, which are referred to as Dahna and Rena. Rena’s superiority when it comes to its technological/magical achievements pushes them to enslave the nation of Dahna and treats its people as nothing more than slaves. Two individuals from those realms eventually befriend each other as they embark on a journey that’s meant to change the way things are run and bring harmony to their respective homes.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ir6oK58mXYM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>\n","hedWarioWare: Get It Together - September 10 (Nintendo Switch)</code>
WarioWare: Get It Together – September 10 (Nintendo Switch)

WARIOWARE IS BACK, BAYBEE! WarioWare: Get It Together marks the return of Nintendo’s zany minigame collection and goes even further with its crazy concepts. Now you have the ability to play as Wario and his quirky buddies within the minigames themselves (which there are 200 of, we might add). You can participate in all those seconds-long minigames on your own or alongside a friend within the game’s main Story mode and even more enjoyable side offerings. There’s so much to see, do, and laugh hysterically at within WarioWare: Get It Together – we can’t wait to pick nostrils and spin some windmills with the homies.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BsCivo9oR4U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedDeathloop - September 14 (PS5, PC - Steam)</code>
Deathloop – September 14 (PS5, PC – Steam)

Arkane Studios garnered tons of positive feedback from most players that gave it a chance. Now the studio is pivoting to a different type of first-person experience that’s all about escaping a time loop. You’ll take control of an assistant named Colt, who must eliminate eight targets on the island of Blackreef if he has any hopes of escaping his current predicament. You’ll need to map out your assassinations properly and also keep watch of a second assassin that’s hot on your trail. Deathloop’s unique gameplay loop, catchy soundtrack, and enjoyable cast of characters have all the making of delivering Arkane’s next big hit.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pWh5388AEHw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>\n","hedKena: Bridge of Spirits - September 21 (PS5, PS4, PC - Steam)</code>
Kena: Bridge of Spirits – September 21 (PS5, PS4, PC – Steam)

Do you guys remember when we all saw this game for the very first time? It was back during the June 2020 “Future of Gaming” live stream event for PlayStation. After several delays, Ember Lab’s ambitious action/adventure game will finally grace PlayStation platforms and PC. Kena: Bridge of Spirit’s ritual main heroine employs her staff and the aid of cutesy spirit companions known as the Rot. She’ll have to defend herself against a host of threats as she looks to restore a small village and help its deceased denizens move on due to their unfinished business in the human realm.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DttPBtsZ5fc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>\n","hedDiablo II: Resurrected - September 23 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC - Steam)</code>
Diablo II: Resurrected – September 23 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

While we all wait for the far-off release of Diablo IV, the remastered version of Diablo II should hold us all over. Diablo II: Resurrected upgrades the base game and its expansion Diablo II: Lord of Destruction by featuring improved visuals, a bunch of quality of life improvements, automatic pairing during multiplayer sessions, and so much more. Fans can expect the same addictive top-down, action RPG skirmishes that turned them into Diablo addicts in the first place with this remastered variation. It’s time to smash demons, collect loot, and raid dungeons just like the good old days!

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zHXI5ETUiKI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedLost Judgment - September 24 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC - Steam)</code>
Lost Judgment – September 24 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

Sega’s Ryu Ga Gotouku studio is responsible for crafting the Yakuza franchise. Its spinoff game Judgment embodied the structure seen in Yakuza but switched its plotline up by having players tackle a murder mystery. For the sequel, Lost Judgment reintroduces private detective Takayuki Yagami in the main protagonist role once again. And this time, he’s going to be busy investigating an individual that’s being accused of sexual harassment and murder. Yagami will once again find himself tailing potential suspects, beating down various aggressors, and exploring the rambunctious locales of Kamurocho and Isezaki.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1C8y7X5aXOc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedNew World - September 28 (PC - Steam)</code>
New World – September 28 (PC – Steam)

Amazon Games is heading into the MMORPG space that throws players into a world unlike any other in the genre. New World takes place in the mid-1600s and features a wide expanse modeled after North and South America in the Atlantic Ocean. Players will get to link up with one of three factions, then move out in the world they inhabit and fight hard for survival. The combat within this MMORPG feels so visceral and there’s a wide assortment of things to do & see. New World has all the makings of your next online addiction.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/efKWpOzF8jc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>\n","hedHot Wheels Unleashed - September 30 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC - Steam)</code>
Hot Wheels Unleashed – September 30 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

There have been some halfway decent Hot Wheels games here and there. Even Forza Horizon 3 got in on all the miniature toy car fun via its awesome Hot Wheels expansion! Publisher/developer Milestone is looking to introduce the first great Hot Wheels video game with Hot Wheels Unleashed, which is a high-octane racer that features a huge gathering of the toy brand’s signature vehicles. Players will find themselves racing across all those wild orange track layouts and flipping through all those topsy turvy loop de loops. Hot Wheels Unleashed may just be the best racing game coming out this month and the perfect way to revisit your childhood nostalgia.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XYW40kwkJO0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedMelty Blood: Type Lumina - September 30 (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC - Steam)</code>
Melty Blood: Type Lumina – September 30 (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

If Guilty Gear Strive turned you into an anime fighting game connoisseur, then feast your eyes on another brand new entry into the sub-genre. The most hardcore anime fighting game fans practically play Melty Blood anytime and anywhere they can. A whole new installment in the series is finally coming out and it’s been christened Melty Blood: Type Lumina. Based on Type-Moon’s series of visual novels, this HD rendition of the underrated 2D fighter features a retooled battle system that allows for sick air combos & so much more.

Console Ports

The Medium – September 3 (PS5)

Chernobylite – September 7 (PS4, Xbox One)

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom – Prince’s Edition – September 17 (Nintendo Switch)

World War Z: Aftermath – September 21 (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC – Steam, Epic Games)

Death Stranding Director’s Cut – September 24 (PS5)

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot + A New Power Awakens Set – September 24 (Nintendo Switch)

Ghostrunner – September 28 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S)

Darksiders III – September 30 (Nintendo Switch)

Categories
Consoles Gaming

5 Best PC Game Controllers on Amazon

When it comes to gaming, even if you want the high performance of a PC, sometimes a controller is the best option over a keyboard because it’s more immersive. Depending on the kind of game you’re playing, a controller can even be the best pick over a keyboard and mouse. If you want a controller to use on PC, here are five of the best on the market.

  1. Top Pick: ZD-V+ Gaming Controller Gamepad
  2. Best Quality: Logitech Gamepad
  3. Best Design: EasySMX Wired Gaming Controller
  4. Most Buttons: Razer Gaming Controller
  5. Also Consider: IFYOO PC Steam Game Controller
What to consider when buying a PC game controller
  • Consider comfort – The last thing you want is a controller that doesn’t feel comfortable in your hands. Some controllers are ergonomically designed and have the buttons and analog sticks positioned in a way that it’s easier for your fingers and thumbs to get to them.
  • Consider compatibility –  Depending on your controller and your PC, sometimes compatibility is much easier or much harder. For example, Windows and Linux will support PS4 controllers, but Windows will automatically detect Xbox and it’s a much smoother process.
  • Consider design – Of course, this isn’t as important as functionality, but if you do have a great PC setup, then you’ll want a controller that matches or doesn’t take away from the aesthetic too much.
1. ZD-V+ Gaming Controller Gamepad
Top Pick
ZD

This first option by ZD is compatible with Windows XP 7, 8 and 10, Steam and Android. As long as the game you’re playing on PC supports Xinput mode, this controller is a great budget plug and play option. The function of the directional pad and left analog stick can be changed and there’s a good vibration feedback function. Some have noted that the triggers have a slightly delayed response, which might be frustrating in games where timing matters especially.

Pros:

  • D-pad and left analog’s functions can be changed

Cons:

  • Delay on triggers
Buy Now, $23.99
https://amzn.to/3jtDWOf
2. Logitech Gamepad
Best Quality
Logitech G

This F710 controller by Logitech is a wireless option that looks like a vintage console pad. If you’ve recently made a switch from console to PC, this will feel like home in your hands. It has a data transmission of 2.4GHz, which means little delay or interference. Unfortunately, an updated driver for this console wasn’t released when Windows 10 came out, so for it to function with that, you’ll need to use the Xbox 360 driver, which means it might be hit or miss with some games.

Pros:

  • Vintage look
  • Little delay

Cons:

  • No updated driver for Windows 10
Buy Now, $34.79
https://amzn.to/3BoTYPx
3. EasySMX Wired Gaming Controller
Best Design
EasySMX

EasySMX offers a premium controller which is almost identical to the Xbox One controller in terms of its shape, button positioning and design. The wired controller is compatible with Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and 11, PS3, Steam, Android 4.0 or above and Tesla, which is an incredible range of support. It’s connected with a USB cable that’s 6.5 feet and it has a turbo button which allows you to press it once and have it respond like it’s being tapped repeatedly, a great feature for a competitive edge in some games. Some newer games will recognise it as a PlayStation 3 controller, which isn’t a problem other than when it tells you to, for example, press the X button and you actually have to press the A button.

Pros:

  • Compatible with a lot of platforms
  • Long USB cable
  • Turbo button

Cons:

  • Gets recognised as a PS3 controller
Buy Now, $19.99
https://amzn.to/3259Aff
4. Razer Gaming Controller
Most Buttons
Razer

If you’re a PC gamer looking for a controller, you likely already know the premium quality products that Razer offers. This controller is their Wolverine which is an officially licensed Xbox controller that works very well with PC. The adjustability here is incredible. The controller has interchangeable analog sticks and an interchangeable d-pad. You can also have the d-pad tilt and change the height of the sticks. There’s also textured grip and two extra paddles which can be assigned to any other button. Unfortunately, there’s no wireless option and the LED only works on Xbox and not PC.

Pros:

  • Great customisation
  • Great build quality
  • Extra paddles

Cons:

  • LED doesn’t work on PC
  • No wireless option
Buy Now, $129.99
https://amzn.to/3BrtL2Y
5. IFYOO PC Steam Game Controller
Also Consider
IFYOO

Last up is the IFYOO ONE which looks like a standard Xbox controller with a unique twist of a backlit decorative board in the middle which can shine seven different colors. The control is supported by Windows 7,8 and 10, PlayStation 3 and Steam, which will cover all bases for most people. The controller has a good weight to it and the buttons don’t feel mushy, in fact, the triggers are arguably a little too sensitive if anything. This is a great option for a budget buy.

Pros:

  • Light in the middle
  • Great support

Cons:

  • Triggers can be sensitive
Buy Now, $19.99
https://amzn.to/2UYAnpN

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Categories
Consoles Gaming

5 Best PS4 Controllers on Amazon

The Dualshock 4 controller that most will know as the PlayStation 4 controller is widely considered to be one of the best games console controllers of all time. A fan favourite, it’s not uncommon to want to customise yours or get some variation of it. Despite the release of the PS5, the Dualshock 4 still works on the console with PS4 games, so it’ll continue to be used. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of the best PS4 controllers.

How to pick the best PS4 controller for you
  • Consider design – This is one of the biggest factors for many. If you’re getting a Sony licensed controller, then your options are limited to a few different solid colors, but if you’re willing to go out there, it feels like you can get almost any design you want on your controller.
  • Consider wired vs. wireless – Of course, the Dualshock 4 is a wireless controller that only uses the accompanying wire to connect to the PlayStation in the first place or charge it. But wired PS4 controllers are genuinely something to consider, with many going for them for the faster connection and latency improvement. Of course, this only matters in the most extreme circumstances, so think about what would be best for you.
  • Consider shape – The shape of the original Dualshock 4 is iconic and most PS4 controllers on the market – whether they’re licensed by Sony or not – will follow this as a template. However, you can whacky if you want, with the Motion controllers or something bulkier that you think might be more comfortable in-hand.
1. PlayStation PS4 Controller
Top Pick
Amazon

For many, nothing will beat the original. The standard Dualshock 4 comes in jet black, glacier white, gold, red, midnight blue and green camo. It’s wireless and because it’s an official controller that’s licensed by Sony, you have the benefit of being able to turn your console on with it just by pressing the PS button on the controller. The only battery you need is included and rechargeable and it includes a micro USB terminal and a stereo mini-jack input. Of course, if you have this at the house and have someone round to play, they’re not going to be blown away.

Pros:

  • Can turn the console on
  • Available in different colors

Cons:

  • No unique designs
Buy Now, $59.99
https://amzn.to/3IQNTzY
2. Sefitopher PS4 Wired Controller
Best Speed
Amazon

If you’re a gamer that wants the absolute fastest and most reliable connection, even if it’s a fractional difference, then a wired controller is your best bet. This one from Sefitopher is one of the best ones around. The basic shape of the controller is almost identical to the Dualshock 4, but it also looks uniquely different because of some of the buttons and the blue trim. The length of the cable is 6.5 feet, so you can sit a comfortable distance from your TV screen or monitor if you like. Customer service for this product is also great. It’s worth noting that the analog sticks can be somewhat uncomfortable.

Pros:

  • Long wire
  • Good shape

Cons:

  • Analog sticks can be uncomfortable
Buy Now, $19.99
https://amzn.to/3oVlW1R
3. AUGEX PS4 Controller
Most Versatile
Amazon

This 2-pack of PlayStation 4 controllers is a great option for casual gamers. The designs are stunning, unique and even match each other without looking at all similar. They’re stylish without being tacky. For serious gamers though, there will be a minuscule, but noticeable amount of delay sometimes with pressing the buttons.

Pros:

  • Unique design
  • 2-pack

Cons:

  • Not for serious gamers
Buy Now, $47.99
https://amzn.to/3gzDlst
4. TERIOS Wireless Controller
Most Unique
Amazon

This controller by TERIOS is made for serious gamers. It has an ergonomic design that many will find more comfortable and easier to use than the actual Dualshock 4 itself. That’s because the handles are slightly wider, so the analog sticks feel like they’re in a different place. The controller is extremely unique in a few ways. Firstly, because of its turbo button. You can assign it to any button on the controller and one press of it is like repeatedly pressing that button. Second of all, the back of the controller has a flexible replacement for L3 and R3, although they’re not mappable.

Pros:

  • Turbo button
  • L3 and R3 buttons on back
  • Ergonomic design

Cons:

  • Back L3 and R3 cannot be reassigned
  • Not Sony licensed
Buy Now, $29.99
https://amzn.to/3IKxzka
5. Razer Raiju Tournament Edition
Also Consider
Amazon

One of the very few PlayStation 4 controllers licensed by Sony but not using their standard Dualshock 4 shape is the Razer Raiju Pro gaming controller. This is a variation of that one, which is almost identical. Razer is a very respected brand in the gaming industry and this controller is an extremely premium option for serious gamers. The mobile app allows you to remap buttons, adjust sensitivity clutch options and fine-tune the vibration. The buttons have a soft touch but a crisp response. There’s also a Hair Trigger mode that can be activated, which means that the mechanical-stop switches greatly reduce travel distance to the triggers. Do note that the wired mode for this controller is the best option to use and there’s no option to dim the light on the controller which is quite bright.

Pros:

  • Great adjustability
  • Soft buttons
  • Hair Trigger mode
  • Wireless and wired available

Cons:

  • Can’t dim the light
  • Wireless mode doesn’t have a fast response time
Buy Now, $149.99
https://amzn.to/33qKzLz

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Categories
Style What To Buy

5 Best Adjustable Bed Bases On Amazon

Adding an adjustable bed base to your bedroom makes it look extra lovely and allows you to adjust your liking height. You can also use the bed base to hold a comforter, which gives you both a nice feel while sleeping and the added ability to create your bed.

Classic Brands Comfort Upholstered
Top Pick
Classic Brands

WHAT WE LIKE: This adjustable bed base is easy to assemble and ships directly to your door. It comes with a built-in mattress retention rail, so you don’t have to worry about it slipping out of place. The adjustable height options are 5, 7, or combined for 12 inches.

BUY NOW, $679.99
https://amzn.to/3jepPw6
LUCID L300 Ergonomic Upholstered
LUCID

WHAT WE LIKE: This adjustable bed base is easy to assemble, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time getting it set up. The mattress is made from high-quality 5.5-inch steel coils that are individually wrapped to conform to your body and isolate movement. 

BUY NOW, $1449.97
https://amzn.to/3mxW4IH
Blissful Nights e3 Split King
Blissful Nights

WHAT WE LIKE: This adjustable bed base comes with two back-lit wireless remotes. Each base is rated for 750lb weight limit and 1500lbs total weight limit.

BUY NOW, $929
https://amzn.to/2XUw0NJ
iDealBed 4i Custom Adjustable Bed Base
iDealBed

WHAT WE LIKE: This adjustable bed base has a wireless remote that allows you to adjust the head up to 70 degrees and the foot up to 42 degrees. There are three pre-set positions, including zero-gravity, anti-snore, and flat button.

BUY NOW, $1,195
https://amzn.to/3mxE1lU
Sven & Son Twin XL Adjustable Bed Base Frame
Sven & Son

WHAT WE LIKE: This adjustable bed base features four independent heavy-duty motors with 900 pounds of lift capacity, making it one of the most potent adjustable beds on the market. You can also choose from three different massage levels to help relieve pressure points on your shoulders and hips.

BUY NOW, $1,497
https://amzn.to/3kkewlm

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